Celebrating Valentine’s Day at School

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February 14th is a day full of love, and there are many ways to celebrate with your loved ones, especially your kids. Multiple activities are available to create excitement around Valentine’s Day at home and at school. However, it can get overwhelming deciding on the perfect Valentine for your child to send to their classmates. To help ease some of the stress of finding the right Valentine to send to school, below are some ideas for you to use.

  • It is common to send a card and candy with your kids to give to their classmates, but sometimes that can get a little confusing, especially with food allergies. If you are going this route, double-check with your child’s teacher and/or other parents to scope out what type of food allergies are in the class. Easier types of candy to include are chocolate or conversation hearts. Don’t be afraid to branch out from doing traditional candy. Popcorn, pretzels, and cheese puffs are great ideas, as well. One of my favorite ideas is attaching a bag of lifesavers to the card with the caption, “Your friendship is a lifesaver.”
  • Candy or food doesn’t have to go with the card. Instead, try adding a colorful pencil, small notebook; a fun toy, such as a Hot Wheels car for boys and a bracelet for girls; or a miniature animal or Legos. Let your child decide on the cute treat to include with their classmates’ Valentines.
  • Most kids love doing arts and crafts. Create a small DIY project for a Valentine. Provide the materials and instructions on the card or a decorative tag. Take it up a notch and let the students make the craft project during their Valentine’s Day party at school. Arrange this activity by talking with the teacher or party coordinator. They will thank you for taking care of this element. Plus, it is an interactive, hands-on way to engage kids in celebrating the day. A quick Internet search or trip onto Pinterest will give you multiple projects for all ages. Remember to scout out projects where you can purchase the items in bulk, such as construction paper and popsicle sticks. Plus, if anything needs to be cut out, go ahead and prepare that for the classmates. When giving Valentines to a class, it is never okay to leave a student out. Think about materials you can get in quantities from 20–35. The “Bumble bee on a Stick Puppet” activity is a perfect example. All you need is:
    • Paper – yellow, black, and red for the antennas.
    • Black marker
    • Glue dots
    • Popsicle stick
  • Then, cut out two circles in yellow paper, about 2and 1½” wide respectively, for the body and head. Attach the smaller circle, the head, to the bigger one with a glue dot. Using the black paper, cut two or three ¼”-wide and 5″-long strips for the bee’s stripes. Attach to the body with glue dots. Cut off any excess black from the body and place it on the back of the head as the antennas. Create a small flower of red out of the red paper to attach to the top of the antennas for a pop of color. Then, add the bee’s stingers with small black triangles to the body. Then, turn the bee into a puppet by gluing the insect to a popsicle stick. Lastly, add some decoration, personality, and a cute face to your bee. Ta-da!
  • Other fun ideas to make into Valentine’s Day gifts include watercolor paints, bubbles, finger paint, Play-Doh, glow sticks, fake tattoos, and coloring pages.

Valentine’s Day is a sweet holiday whose meaning is centered on love. These ideas are awesome in helping to bring the holiday’s meaning to school with your kids. Just remember the goal is to make the Valentine’s Day fun, creative, and exciting for the receivers.

xoxo,

Megan

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On the 4th Day of Christmas…

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It is always nice to give a loved one in your life a meaningful, handmade gift at Christmastime. But, where do you start? First, take a Mason jar (different sizes or types of jars can also work) and think about what kind of present you want to give. Is it a birthday present? Is it an anniversary present? However, the jar doesn’t have to be used as a gift. It can be a jar full of ideas for your family, spouse, or children. Below are a few ways to use a Mason jar as a gift, or in other ways.

Date Night: In need of some date-night ideas? Fill your jar with strips of paper with ideas for you and your loved one to do. Some paper strips can be for game nights, movie nights, or having a meal together. The purpose of a date-night jar is that all of the ideas are inexpensive, yet meaningful. Create enough ideas to last a year. Another take on the date-night jar is to write reasons why you love your special someone. Give it to them on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, or your anniversary.

Boredom Busters: Keep your kids entertained during the summer and school breaks. Take Popsicle sticks or strips of paper and write fun, creative ideas for your children to do. Whenever they are bored, have them pull out an idea and have a ball. Also, include activities for your whole family to do together. Maybe a family game night, places to visit throughout your town or elsewhere.

Mixes: This type of jar is great for Christmas presents, especially if you need to make something in bulk. Prepare the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe for cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, etc. Attach the recipe’s instructions and be sure to mention liquid ingredients that need to be added.

Movie Lovers: We all have someone in our lives that is a die-hard movie lover. They are always the first ones to see the latest blockbuster hit. The next time you are looking to give them a present, think about a movie lover’s jar. This jar can contain popcorn, candy, and gift cards to the movie theater. You can also package it with a few bottles of soda or a DVD.

Spa Night: A spa in a jar is the perfect gift for a friend, mom, sister or aunt. Give it to them for their birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or “just because.” All you need to do is include a face mask, hand-and-foot scrub, lip scrub, massage oil, bath salts, hand cream, foot lotion, and an eye mask. Also, add in a pair of socks and pieces of candy.

Survival Kit: Jars are quick and convenient ways to hold and carry needed supplies. Survival kits can be used for college, a new parent, the first day on the job, and more. Think about the items a person needs the most when starting a new occasion or life event. They can also be used for holidays. For example, a bridesmaid survival kit could include a mini-sewing kit, safety pins, breath mints, lip balm, lint roller, polish remover, stain remover, nail polish, pain reliever, tissues, and bobby pins.

Housewarming Gift: When a new family moves into the neighborhood, they will soon be greeted with welcome baskets, pies, cakes, and other gifts. But, do you know what will be a unique gift? Give them a housewarming jar full of items such as mini-champagne bottles, kitchen utensils, soap, colorful napkins, clothespins, Magic Erasers, and other cleaning supplies. You can also include local restaurants or helpful phone numbers on a strip of paper. Another example is creating a sangria jar with the ingredients to make the popular drink.

Color-Coded: Think of a person’s favorite color, then make a jar of items of that color. For example, if your friend loves purple, think of only purple things to include. This idea can be used for any type of present, whether it’s going off to college, a housewarming present, a birthday gift, and more.

With any type of jar you choose, throw in as many items as you would like. Just remember to get creative and have fun!

xoxo,

Megan

Unique Holiday Hostess Gifts

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You have just been invited to your best friend’s Christmas party, a weekend at your aunt’s, or need a gift on hand for the last-minute dinner at a friend’s house. When someone has welcomed you into their home for an event, it is always nice to bring a small gift to thank the host. However, it can sometimes be hard to think about what you should give someone. Do they like a certain type of food? Are they allergic to various smells? Don’t stress, because I’ve done the hard work for you by creating a list of unique hostess gifts below. All you need to do is choose which one you want to use.

  • Sangria in a Jar – All you need to do is take a mason jar and place the items needed for sangria inside. Along with the jar, include a bottle of wine and a selection of fruits to complete the present. Another option is to use a drink dispenser instead of a Mason jar and tie a wooden spoon to the outside.
  • All-One-Color Basket – Use the host’s favorite color and turn it into a basket with only items of that color. For example, if they love yellow, all gifts would be yellow. This gift doesn’t have to be huge and can include their favorite candies, drinks, lotions, etc.
  • Frames with a Picture Inside – This small gesture will be meaningful for you and your friend. Purchase a few pretty frames and then place a favorite photo of the two of you behind the glass. What better time to remember fun times than during the holidays?
  • Cranberry Orange Stovetop Potpourri – This present takes a little more planning and assembling than others, but definitely worth it, and you can also make one for yourself! All you need is:
    • 1–16 oz. Mason jar with lid
    • ½ cup fresh cranberries
    • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • 2 slices of an orange
    • 23 cinnamon sticks
    • Nutmeg
    • Water
    • Burlap
    • Ribbon or twine
    • Gift tag

Then, fill the jar with the ingredients and immerse in water. Decorate the outside with the burlap, ribbon or twine, and add a gift tag with instructions on how to use. The instructions should say something like: “Pour contents into a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat. Add water as needed. Enjoy!”

If you are looking for hostess gift ideas that can be purchased in a larger quantity and take less time to prepare, try one of these ideas below.

  • Cloth Napkins and Napkin Rings – This present can be used year-round. Choose a style that will match the hostess’ kitchen, dining room, etc. Make sure to purchase at least four napkins and rings to provide the gift-receiver with a set.
  • Funny Dish Towels – Another gift that will keep on giving the whole year. Consider your friend’s personality and what type of towel they might like. Then, every time they see the towel, they’ll think of you.
  • Coasters – Always a necessity, coasters are a great way to fuel the host’s love for their favorite sports team or school. Not sure what they prefer?  You can’t go wrong with a design or colorful set.
  • Cheese Board Set – I love gifts that are usable and have many purposes. A cheese board, complete with a set of cheese knives and even cheese, is a perfect present. The board doesn’t have to be huge and can also be used as a cutting board.
  • Utensil Set – This is a great item, especially for people who are newly married or have moved into a new home. Choose a cute container that matches their style and fill it with common kitchen items. Take it a step further and tie a kitchen dish towel (or a funny dish towel) around the utensil set.

Whenever you’re invited to a holiday shindig this season, always remember to bring a hostess gift. The host will appreciate your taking the time to think of them.

xoxo,

Megan

Article published in Forsyth Family Magazine. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Just saw this idea on Pinterest and had to share! Write “Open When” letters for that special someone in your life! Such a sweet and meaningful Valentine’s Day present.

These letters are designed to let someone know just how much they mean to you.

Some ideas include:

  • Open when you are feeling lonely
  • Open when you need to know how much I love you
  • Open when you want to know my dreams for our future
  • Open when you need a laugh

Be creative and have fun, but most importantly, let the letters be honest, personal, and handwritten by YOU!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo,

Megan

Picture Source: Pinterest