How to Throw the Ultimate St. Patty’s Day Party

St. Patty's Day1

With March 17th readily approaching, it’s time to dust off your bagpipes and bring out everything green—it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you’re Irish or just have a bunch of Irish friends, St. Patty’s Day is a great time to gather with loved ones and celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. If you’re ready to throw your very own St. Patrick’s Day Parade, consider these tips below.

Dress Green

The shamrock is Ireland’s national flower, which is a small clover that comes in a deep green. This is why most St. Patrick’s Day apparel and items are green in nature. To stick to tradition, make sure you and your guests dress the part to avoid getting pinched. You can find fun men’s and women’s St. Patrick’s Day shirts to wear throughout the celebration, or you can just choose something green from your closet. Whether you’re a fair Irish lassie or a mischievous little leprechaun, make sure to don your green apparel.

Decorate Your Home

Next on your list is decorating home. Themes make every party greater, and the essence of St. Patrick’s Day is easy to capture. With green, gold, white, and orange being prominent colors associated with Ireland, decorating your home is easy. You can download St. Patrick’s Day printables and hang them up around your home, or you can string clovers and drape them along your banister.

Here are some easy DIY St. Patrick’s Day decorating tips worth giving a try:

Blowing up green balloons and placing them throughout your home and yard
Placing a rainbow rug in front of your front door
Creating a mantle display with your wall art
Assembling golden centerpieces for your party tables
Painting clay pots to look like leprechaun hats
Purchasing shamrock drink coasters
Hanging an Irish flag on your front porch
Placing pots of gold around your home with chocolate coins
Placing a St. Patrick’s Day banner on a wall to create great photo opportunities

Prepare Irish-Inspired Food and Drink

St. Patty's Day2

If there’s no food or drinks, there’s no party, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. As you may know, St. Patrick’s Day is commonly associated with heavy drinking. That’s because many Irish Catholics give up alcohol for lent. However, during St. Patrick’s Day, they’re allowed to drink, which is why this day becomes a huge celebration. With that in mind, make sure you have plenty of beer, like Guinness and Irish Stout, on tap. You can purchase your own keg, fill coolers with cans or bottles, or ask guests to BYOB.

When it comes to food, there are plenty of dishes and desserts you can serve. From Irish cream push pops to Irish cream cheesecake, here are some delicious “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” recipes:

Corned beef and cabbage
Irish beef stew
Soda bread
Shepherd’s pie
Sauteed cabbage
Lime poke cake
Colcannon
Green velvet cupcakes
Mint schnapps milkshakes
Irish coffee
Beef pot pie
Potato cakes
Pork
Beer-battered broccoli

When it comes to St. Patrick’s day food, drinks, and desserts, the three main ingredients are always corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. However, if you have other recipes in mind that you’d like to serve at your St. Patty’s Day party, all you have to do is color it green. Green food coloring will make all of your recipes an Irish green without compromising taste—a win-win!

Bring out the Games

While your company will have a great time mingling among themselves, bringing St. Patrick’s Day themed games to the party is an excellent way to liven up the party and make lasting memories. To throw the perfect party this March 17th, play St. Patrick’s Day-themed Pictionary, Apple to Apples, or Bananagrams. In the background, play traditional Irish tunes such as Molly Malone, The Irish Rover, and Whiskey in a Jar.

There’s also plenty of St. Patrick’s Day drinking games if your attendance list consists of guests over 21. Some drinking game ideas include Irish poker, beer pong with green beer, shot potato (a twist on hot potato).
Time to Get the Party Started
With these party-planning tips, you’ll be on your way to throwing the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day party. From St. Patrick’s themed apparel to decorating your home with anything green, these are just some of the great ideas you can use to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. Good luck!

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A Mom’s Guide to Simple and Cute Fashion

mom fashion

Every mom knows how hard it can be to stay on-trend and fashion-forward when you’ve got a kid or two to take care of. Between feeding the baby, taking the kids to school, scheduling dentist appointments, and finding time in there for a steady career so you can provide for your family, it’s no wonder why so many moms let their fashion sense wane a little.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, maybe the days of 6-inch heels and pencil skirts every day are behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be the cutest mom around. Check out these simple tips to make your mom fashion stylish, function, and perfect for your life.
Start with the shoes

Let’s face it – moms are on their feet all day. When you’re always chasing after the toddler about to stick a fork in an outlet, or dashing from grocery store to grocery store looking for that brand of cereal that’s the only thing your 5-year-old will eat in the morning, your feet are going to take a beating.
Needless to say, moms need comfy shoes that can weather the hassle moms face daily. That’s why a lot of moms opt for comfy but clunky shoes that get the job done, but maybe are a little less than ideal on the fashion end. No need to fret – there are plenty of comfy shoes out there, from stylish athleisure shoes that are a dream for those long days on your feet, to slip on sneakers that you can easily throw on as you dash out the door. With stylish colorways and sleeker styles, it’s easier than ever to have a winning wardrobe while still treating your feet right.

Leggings are pants

Let’s put an end to this debate once and for all. Leggings are, indeed, pants and can be worn as such. They’re comfy as heck, they can be dressed up or down, and they make the transition from working out to running errands pretty much seamless. Don’t listen to the naysayers who would have you believe it’s inappropriate for ladies to wear leggings out – you’ve got it, so flaunt it. Let the haters stew in their own juices.
There are tons of great options for leggings, too. Brightly colored options, like electric blue, seafoam green, or fiery orange can bring a striking appearance to your outfits. If you’re more of a neutral-color loving gal, don’t worry. Black and gray leggings are sleek and stylish, and can pair well with everything from a crop top to a cute blouse. Sporty leggings are comfy, supportive, and add an athleisure flair to your outfit. Plus, they make momming that much easier.

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Dry shampoo is your best friend

It’s 7 am, and you have 15 minutes to get in the shower, wash your hair, rinse it, condition it, rinse that out, dry off, and blow-dry your hair – all before getting your kids in the car so you can get them to school on time. Sound like a challenge? We already you know all too well how hard it can be. That’s why we’re gonna let you in on a little secret: dry shampoo.

What’s that, you ask? Basically, instead of going through the hassle we just described, dry shampoo is a quick spray you can add to your hair that rejuvenates, revitalizes, adds volume, and safely cleans grease from your hair. Sure, it’s not exactly the deep clean of a long shower, but when you just need to get out the door without looking like a ragamuffin, it’s a pretty sweet alternative. Without having to shower to have your hair look nice, you’ll be able to get the show on the road quickly and efficiently.

Other morning routine hacks you can add to your beauty regimen? Go for an easy and quick no-makeup makeup look that’s cute, fresh, and can be put on in less than ten minutes. Sure, having kids can take a lot of time out of your morning routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look as cute and professional as ever – all it takes is knowing a few tricks.

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How to Plan the Ultimate Cross-Country Road Trip

road trip

Are you and the kiddos ready to embark on a trip to remember? A cross-country road trip is a great way for you and your children to experience different cultures, cuisines, and history throughout America. However, planning a trip like this is no easy task, especially when you have multiple suitcases to pack, mouths to feed, and brains to keep entertained.

Below, we’re going to go over how to plan the ultimate cross-country road trip for you and your family. From what to pack to how to plan your route, you’ll be ready to hit the road and make lasting memories in no time.

Make sure your car is up to snuff

First and foremost, you’re going to need a reliable vehicle to make it across the country and back. If you’re driving a 2002 minivan that has well over a hundred thousand miles, you may find yourself stuck on the side of the road in the middle of Kansas with the closest help an hour away. To prevent your trip from being ruined due to an unreliable car, plan well in advance to save up for a new or pre-owned vehicle with limited miles.

You can save money on your new investment by honing in on your negotiating skills and getting a fair deal. Selling your car is another excellent way to get some extra cash to put toward your new vehicle purchase as well. Lastly, make sure you do your research if you need to buy a new car. Going from dealership to dealership will allow you to compare prices and speak with different dealers to see who will offer you the best deal. Of course, buying isn’t your only option. You can also rent a car, too. There are plenty of rental car companies and even apps that allow you to rent a car. Just remember there are different costs that come with renting, so do your research and plan accordingly.

Plan your route

Once you have your ride set, it’s time to begin the fun part—planning your route. You’re starting point is most likely going to be where you live. But where do you go after that? That’s up to you to decide! The best way to plan your route is by grabbing a map and your computer and making a list with your family of all the places you’d like to see, such as:

National parks
Museums
Colleges or universities
Cities and towns
Historical monuments
Famous places

With your map, place a needle on every attraction you’d like to visit. This way, you’ll be able to connect the dots to create the shortest and fastest route. Ultimately, the places you see depends on your time limit and budget. If there’s an attraction that is off the beaten path and will add a few hours or even a day to see, it’s probably best you omit it.

There are also road trip planning apps that can help you create the easiest route to get from point A to point B, and gas saving apps to reduce your overall road trip cost. From places to eat and stay to hidden gems and major tourist attractions, a planning app, or even a travel agent can help ease the burden of planning a week or month-long trip.

Lastly, don’t get too stuck on your itinerary. When you visit a place, you may bump into locals who suggest a cool or interesting attraction. Give yourself some wiggle room to visit unique places and navigate around detours and roadblocks. It’ll make your trip much more memorable.

Begin packing

With your plans all set and take-off time approaching, it’s time to begin packing. It’s easy to forget essential items, such as chargers and toothpaste, which is why it’s important to create a list of must-have items and invest in organized handbags to keep easy-to-lose items like chapstick or your wallet.

Items you better not forget on your road trip include:

* Cosmetics, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial scrubs, toothpaste, and sunscreen
* Chargers for your phone, laptop, and digital camera
* Portable car battery charger
* Extra layers of clothes for unexpected cold weather
* Footwear for different activities, such as hiking boots, sandals, and sneakers
* Emergency aid kit for unexpected accidents
* Roadside emergency tool kit

Bring entertainment

Lastly, you’re going to want to bring a few items to keep your little ones entertained for those moments you’re driving through cornfields for hours or down endless highways in the desert. Some engaging games and things-to-do include:

* Compact games good for car rides such as Hungry Hippo and Bop It
* Music playlists with a variety of genres, such as rock, pop, kids, classical, 70s, and so on
* Playlists suitable for kids and adults
* Portable DVD player


Time to get going!

With these tips handy, it’s time to buckle up and get on the road. Who knows, maybe your family cross-country road trip will inspire you to create your own travel blog. From buying the right car to packing all the essentials, these tips will ensure your road trip goes as planned.

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Unique Gift Ideas For Loved Ones Living Out of State

Christmas gift1

The holidays are a special time to celebrate those who are near and dear to you. From hosting family game night to decorating Christmas cookies, and, of course, unwrapping the presents left under the Christmas tree. But for those loved ones who live out of state or far from home, the holiday season can be a little less magical when you have to spend it away from those you love the most. That’s why it’s so important to still make an effort to make Christmas special, no matter how many miles separate you!

Since you’ll likely have to ship the presents you buy for your loved ones that are out of state, you may need to get a little creative. Luckily, we’ve created a list of unique gift ideas especially for your family and friends who are far away.

Bring Christmas to them with holiday decor

One of the most special parts about the holiday season is the lighting, festive colors, and overall decor. If you want to make the holidays extra meaningful for your family and friends across state lines, you can bring Christmas to them by sending them some holiday decor! Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

* Many popular flower delivery companies sell miniature Christmas trees that you can send to help your long-distance loved ones deck the halls.

* Send a set of ornaments and a stocking to remind them of home during the holidays.

* Here’s a fun DIY project: curate a holiday hot chocolate set for them complete with a holiday mug and hot chocolate accessories.

Turn one gift into many with subscription boxes

Subscription boxes are a great way to go if you want to up the ante with your gifts this season. The best part is that there’s a subscription box for just about every interest, passion, want, or need. Whether the recipient is into cooking, self care, or sports, chances are there’s a gift box for that. Here are a few of our favorites to add to your list:

* For the busy bee who has it all, except the time to cook: A meal subscription box would make dinners easier and more delicious than ever. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Home Chef are a few great options.

* For the gal who deserves a little self care: Order a self care subscription box to deliver cozy essentials (candles, face masks, tea) right to their doorstep.

* For the guy or gal that loves their craft beer: Sign them up for a monthly beer subscription box to encourage them to imbibe in their favorite beverage this holiday season.

* For the creative kids on your shopping list: Green Kids sends monthly boxes filled with crafts and lessons about fascinating environmental topics.

A gift card to their favorite restaurant

If you want to make sure your loved ones have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season wherever they are, why not encourage them to enjoy a night off from holiday cooking by taking them out to their favorite restaurant? Simply send a restaurant gift card along with your personalized holiday wishes and they’re sure to have a happy holiday season.

Flight miles or accommodations

If it’s money that’s keeping your loved ones from traveling this holiday season, why not ease the financial burden by buying them some flight miles or offering to cover their accommodations? After all, spending time with those you love is the best Christmas gift you can give.

Something to remind them of home

Perhaps your loved ones can’t make it home for the holidays due to time constraints or some other obstacle. That doesn’t mean you can’t find them a gift that makes them feel right at home! Send them a Christmas care package filled with all of the things they love about being home for the holidays. Here are some ideas to help you fill your care package:
* Mom’s baked goodies
* A homestate candle
* Photos of their favorite holiday memories

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Final thoughts

If you weren’t sure where to start with your Christmas gifts this year, hopefully these tips helped! No matter where your loved ones are celebrating from, it’s important to make everyone feel loved during the holiday season.

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6 Skincare Tips to Give you a Timeless Look

busy mom

Just because you’re a busy mom doesn’t mean you can’t keep your skin youthful and healthy. And, it doesn’t have to require a 20-step skincare routine either. Because let’s be honest, none of us have the time for that. While you might feel like you don’t have time to step up your daily skin regimen, I can assure you that it’s worth the time and effort. To help you make sure your skin looks and feels it’s best, without it being a burden, I’ve put together these 6 easy skincare tips.

Keep it natural

Natural skincare routine is easy and you can feel good about the products you’re using. To get started, it can be as easy as introducing one or two natural ingredients to your skincare regimen. For example, you can use witch hazel for oily skin, aloe vera for dry skin, and natural oils for combination skin. Fortunately, there are also many brands dedicated to using natural ingredients in their skincare lines so you can feel good about the products you’re using.

Practice proper washing technique

You might think rubbing some cleanser on your face and cool water is a sufficient skincare routine, but it won’t quite cut it if you want a clear complexion. But don’t fear, practicing proper face-washing technique isn’t hard. Once you apply your cleanser in circular motions and rinse your face with lukewarm water, pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Keep in mind that washing your face when you wake up and go to bed. You should wash your face before and after the gym, or any other time you’ll be working up a sweat. This is especially true if you tend to wear makeup.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating might seem like an unnecessary extra step but it’s important to do it several times a week. By exfoliating, you’ll be removing dead skin cells which are often responsible for breakouts because they clog pores, causing bacteria and dirt to get stuck under the skin. To make exfoliation part of your skincare routine, you can use a special scrub, face washing pads, or using face mask with exfoliating beads in it.

Always moisturize

Moisturizing is essential to maintaining a youthful glow. Not only does it help maintain balance by preventing your skin from becoming too dry or oily but it helps your skin repair so you’re less likely to develop wrinkles. Just make sure you use a non-comedogenic moisturizer so that you don’t contribute further to your skin problems.
Wear sunblock every day. The skin on your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. Neglecting to wear sunblock, even when you’re driving around town running errands, is one of the easiest ways to harm your skin. Choose a sunblock with SPF 30 or higher to ensure your skin is adequately protected and make sure to reapply several times per day, especially when you’re going to be outside or around water for extended periods of time.

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You’ll be thankful you did when your complexion still looks youthful years down the road. And more importantly, wearing sunblock regularly helps protect you from skin cancer, so you can spend your days at the beach worry-free.

Use a skin roller

You may be curious about skin rollers if you’ve seen them online recently. These skincare tools are designed to activate the lymph nodes to rid your skin of toxins and stimulate collagen production, both of which can help keep your skin healthy and prevent wrinkles. Using a jade roller is an easy step in your skincare routine. All you need to do is rub it across a few key areas like your forehead, cheeks, and jawline several times a week to reap the benefits. Plus, it feels pretty good!

If you want to brighten and rejuvenate your skin, practicing a good skincare routine is the first step. Taking care of your skin is an important part of self-care so make you fit it into your schedule, I promise you won’t regret it when you see an improvement next time you look in the mirror. Start with one or all of these tips today to do your skin some good.

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Freezer Meals to make with leftover Ham #FreezerMeals #HamMeals #HamRecipes #Easter

ham

There are a lot of great recipes that you can make and freeze with leftover Ham from Easter. So I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets

Pizza Dough
1-2 cups chopped ham
slices of American Cheese
bag of Frozen Broccoli

Take the dough roll it out to a small circle, add some ham pieces, slice of cheese and a couple pieces of Broccoli. Then fold in half and take a fork and close the edges on both sides. Be sure not to over stuff or they will leak. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool and put them in Sandwich bags to freeze individually. Then just take one out and heat them in the Microwave till hot and serve.

Here are some more recipes that you can use as well:

Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

6 potatoes
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Ham
1/2 cup of Milk

Clean and slice the Potatoes, You can leave the skin on or remove it, Then in a freezer bag, just throw the potatoes in and Ham, then mix in the Cream of Mushroom Soup. (Do not add the Milk to it till you cook the dinner.

Ham and Macaroni and Cheese (from the oamc digest)

8 oz. elbow macaroni
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups cubed ham
2 cups thin white suace (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni and drain. Place half of the macaroni in and 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add all of ham. Top with remaining macaroni and cheese. Pour white sauce over casserole. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

THIN WHITE SAUCE (for macaroni and cheese)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk

Melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Use as directed in recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Notes from a tired oamc cook (don’t know who this was!): I was tired and worn out at this point. I decided that the Ham and Macaroni and cheese would have to be a SAR (Some Assembly Required) meal. I placed three cups of cheese in a qt. size freezer — then I placed 2 cup bag another qt size freezer bag. I placed a rubber band around these and froze them. At meal time – I will use this recipe. I will stir in the ham before baking.

The following recipes are from “Dinner’s Ready” by Andrew Schloss and Ken Bookman, a “chain cooking” cookbook, where you make completely different meals out of leftovers from previous meals. These look good. Where there is a leftover used, I posted that recipe too, in case you wanted to do it their way or adapt these recipes.

Here are some more great recipes:

* Delicious Ham & Potato Soup

* Ham & Cheese Ziti

* Cheez Ham & Potato Bake

* Ham & Bean Soup

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Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Baby Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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If your looking for greener products for your little bundle of joy. Then look no further then Gunamuna, they have created beautiful and comfortable Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Babies. These Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet are unquestionably the most luscious wearable blanket yet invented. Part of the secret? It’s superbly soft-fibered viscose fabric made from eco-friendly bamboo — a self-replenishing plant that is both plentiful and naturally harvested. Add to that it’s said to be breathable, moisture wicking + antibacterial.

When I touched the Gunapod Luxury Duvet, it was amazingly soft, I just loved the feeling of the material. I at first thought that the material was a fleece but was surprised to learn that it was actually made from bamboo. I would have thought it was made from fleece though the way it was so soft and felt against my skin. I had a feeling that my grandson was going to love the feeling of it as much as I did. That night I put it on my grandson and he started to rub it on his face. He liked the softness as much as I did.

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I then put it on him and he started to cuddle up to me. I loved that if he gets warm or needs a diaper change it unzips so that you can let air in or change the diaper without any problems. It really comes in some beautiful colors as well for you to choose from. There are neutral, girls and boys colors to choose from. The colors available are really precious, and perfect for a little prince or princess. My grandson looked so adorable in the Blue and white stars Duvet, he was so comfortable and ready for relaxing. He just loved the feel of it and I loved it, he kept running his hands over it till he fell asleep.

He needed to be changed so I laid him down unzipped the bottom and changed him easily. He actually stayed asleep while I changed him. He started to wake up a little bit but rubbed his hands on the Duvet again and he was back out again. I zipped him back up and laid him back down and he was just so comfortable that he didn’t wake up. He was sleeping like a little angel, it was so sweet and so precious. He has slept so good every time we put him in the Duvet it’s his favorite cover up so far! When he out grows it I’m going to have to get him more because there are so many adorable colors and styles and he is going to need a lot more of them.

If your looking for the perfect holiday gift for a little prince or princess, I can say that Gunamuna has a great selection of Duvet’s and they are a great greener product as well. Which is important to our world and your babies skin!

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Word Winder Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

word-winder

Word Winder Game is a great educational game but a lot of fun as well. I saw it at the Toy and Game Fair in Chicago and the kids were having so much fun playing it. They were all standing in line to learn to play the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game it was so much fun to watch them playing the game. There were always new children wanting to learn how to play and they were standing before the giant game board just having so much fun.

I brought home the Word Winder Game and played with my son’s. The object of the game is to make different words on the board with your chips. The winner will have their words going all the way across the board. The object of the game is to block the person your playing with and get your words going straight across the board. It’s a fun game that any one can play and they will have a great time playing. My son’s and I played several games and they were playing new words every game. It’s a great way to expand their word selections and practice their spelling words as well. It has also helped to increase my son’s spelling of words as well. They both love to play it to see who can get their words across the board first.

I also love that they offer the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game that is perfect for schools, Church functions, Boys and Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls clubs and other facilities as well. The large boards make it possible for a classroom to play the game together and learn more new words and math problems. It was so amazing to watch the children playing and figuring out addition, subtraction as well as multiplying while playing the large math games. I was so highly impressed with the game boards and how when the children play and change the boards around that no two games were ever the same. They were always different because of how the board was set up. But I noticed that no matter how the board was set up that the children were always having a great time!

I also have to say that I am completely impressed with the way that you can do a fundraiser with Word Winder for your school to purchase the giant word or math winder. They wanted to make sure that any school, club or other facilities that would like to have their game for educational and fun purposes would be able to earn it for their facility. Which I think is just wonderful and will help them have it for their students or children that are apart of their facility. You can contact them to discuss their fundraiser options that are available. I would love to see this at my son’s school and will be discussing it with out PTO at our next meeting. All of their games would make a great gift to a child or to a school or facility that could use more educational products.

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Make Candy Bouquets Like a Pro – Free How-to Instructions #DIY #CandyBouquet #Valentine’s Day #Gift

You can make a great Valentine’s Day Candy Bouquet. I have found this cute Candy Bouquet that you can easily make for Valentine’s Day. If you can’t find the perfect gift or you like to make your own gifts to give this Candy Bouquet will be the perfect gift idea. I also love that you can choose their favorite candy to use to make it. When you have them made they use the candy that they have chosen and they may not all be ones that they will like. You can also use the colors to decorate it the way you would like to. If your on a limited budget you can use Candy and decorations for it from Dollar Tree as well to cut the cost of making it. It’s sure to please your Valentine!

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