Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Hersheys Candy Bar Wrappers

I consider myself a pretty thoughtful person but usually I feel overwhelmed during the holidays so my thoughtfulness doesn't always end up matching my actions... well at least not without a lot of sleep deprivation and stress.  I'm sure many people can relate.

So this year I decided that I would get on top of the teacher gifts earlier than in years past.  That means not staying up late the night before the last day of school to get them all put together.  

My kids switch classes so that means I have 18 teacher gifts to make.  Plus my cute hubby decided he wanted me to make them for his coworkers so that added another dozen or so.


I have compassion on those who are in the same boat as I am so I decided to share my super easy gift with others to spread the Christmas joy and ease some stress.  The bars listed above have my personalized wrappers but I created a generic one for others to use (after receiving requests from several of my friends around the country).

Here's how to do it.

1) Design a candy bar wrapper (I already did this so you can use mine if you'd like). Click HERE to download my PDF file.  Or you can design your own by downloading free chalkboard fonts on this blog and a free chalkboard background at this website.  I used PowerPoint to design mine. If you create your own, be sure to save it as a PDF file as well.

2) Download the PDF file on to a flash drive and take it to a copy shop like Staples.  They can pull the file up from your flash drive to print.  Ask them to print it on regular copy paper.  There are 4 wrappers per page so just figure out how many you need to print. Note: You really don't want to print even one of these out at home because it will use A TON of ink.  I am way too frugal for that.

3) Buy your candy bars.  I bought a box of 36 normal sized Hershey bars at Costco for a little over $20.  I'm sure you could buy them individually someplace else if you wanted a smaller quantity.

4) Cut the copies so that you get 4 wrappers from each page.  Wrap the paper around each of the bars and tape on the back. The paper won't quite wrap around the entire bar (there will be a gap).  If they had wrapped all the way around, it would have involved twice as many copies.  I think I mentioned that I am frugal so I didn't want to do that.

5) The candy bars I made were personalized with my kids' names so the teacher would know who gave the gift.  You'll need to add a little tag or sticker to the back since these wrappers are more generic.  

If you want to spend some more money, you can attach something additional to the back of the candy bar.  For my high schooler, I attached a QT gift card to the back of the bar.  For my younger son, I attached movie ticket vouchers that I purchased at Costco.  My husband's coworkers were just given the candy bars.


Legal stuff: Please note that the fonts I used are free for personal and non-profit use.  If you decide to sell something using these fonts, you'll need to purchase them from the person who created them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kisses and Bear Hugs Handout

Here's a little fun handout I designed to go with one of my favorite sweet indulgences.  I am passing these out to the ladies that I visit each month.  This would also be great for a Valentine's Day treat or anniversary or wedding goodie.


Click HERE to get the PDF file to print from GoogleDocs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Black & White Wedding

I was honored to attend my brother's wedding this past weekend and it was awesome!  He married the love of his life and the "Happily Ever After" theme was quite fitting.

ENTRY AREA: 

The guests arrived and we had a table set up in the entry area of the yard.  The table served a few purposes - gift table, water station, and also sign-in area.  I didn't get a picture since I was the one greeting everyone.

This was the sign that we had attached to a folding easel that I painted white:


Here's what we put on the table:
- A glass water dispenser filled with water, lemon slices and strawberry slices (and clear cups on the side).  Surprisingly almost everyone wanted water as they entered.
- A picture of the bride and groom.
- A tall, antique looking lantern to put cards in.
- An area to place the gifts.
- A vase to sign (instead of a guest book).
- A basket full of wedding keepsake fans (framed with white cardstock and attached to a wooden handle; people loved them and used them).
Front of fan
Back of fan

WEDDING CEREMONY AREA:

They were married next to the pool in SoCal and there was a beautiful ocean view from the backyard of my aunt and uncle's home.  They used a simple metal arch and added flowers and off-white, sheer fabric to it to make it pretty.  We used white pipe cleaners to attach all the froofy stuff (is that even a word?).  The put urns filled with ferns at the bottom of the arches to secure the structure since there was a breeze.

TABLE SEATING SIGNS:

We had the table seating signs posted between the ceremony area and the reception area.  I designed these signs on the computer and printed them at Costco as 16" x 20" pictures.  I put them in frames that I spray painted white so they looked like chalkboards.  Believe it or not, people thought they were real chalkboards and were quite impressed. I 'fessed up that they were easy to make and I didn't have those awesome penmanship skills. You can get the chalkboard fonts for free on THIS WEBSITE.  You can also find free chalkboard backgrounds on Google.  I will do another post about how to make the signs.  (Note: names on the seating charts are fictional in case you were wondering ha ha).




BAR & APPETIZER AREAS:

We used my aunt's existing pool furniture to arrange a little area to hang out at near the bar.  It was a nice place for people to relax if they needed some space away from the crowd.


We had some fun photo props out in case people wanted to take pictures while they waited.  The wedding planner said sometimes she provides a photo booth area but we had a more casual approach and people could do their own thing.



Appetizers were served on a banquet table.  They served pulled pork, rolls, veggies and fruits.  There was also a cheese and cracker tray with fruit over by the lounge area.


Here are some close up pictures.  For those who struggle to make fruits or veggie platters look nice, you can look at these and get some ideas.


SERVING AREA:

We had the serving tables shaped like an "L" and a chalkboard style menu sign at the front of where the serving line would start.  My brother's friends did all the cooking (they are HUGE BBQ fans) and it was truly delicious and plentiful.












DINING AREA:

My sister-in-law found good deals on the glass plates, glasses and silverware so she bought them instead of renting.  I think she shopped at the dollar store and IKEA.  She's one smart cookie!


We made chalkboard style table numbers and put them in glass frames on the table.  Everyone loved how the chalkboard theme ran throughout the whole wedding (including the wedding announcement that is not pictured).  You can't really see it but there are tall glass things in the middle of each table and a fancy electric candle inside that we used at night.  There are also little battery-operated candles around the table.  They added white rose petals spread around the table at the last minute so they wouldn't blow away.


We had nine table with about 10 people per table.  I believe my aunt made a lot of the black table toppers out of black sheets which is a frugal idea, plus it looked great.  They rented all the tables and chairs and borrowed the white tablecloths.  What you can't see is all the lights on the trees and walls. Totally beautiful even if it did take my relatives about 10 hours to put them all up.



BRIDE & GROOM TABLE:

Aren't they such a cute couple!  We hung that sign on the tree as a whim but it sure looked great in this picture.  They had another arch with lights behind their table.







 MUSIC & DANCING:

This DJ did a great job.  He does lots of events in Orange County and if you would like his contact info, I can get it for you if you email me.  We had a dancing area near the food serving zone.  Not huge but it met our needs.  I'd post a picture of my brother dancing but then he might kill me so I won't.


My sister-in-law saw this concept on Pinterest so I copied the theme and made a sign.  She bought the flip flops at the dollar store and people loved them.  She tied each pair together with black ribbon.


DESSERT BAR:

The candy bar was well-received.  They had cupcakes placed on tiered platters (I'd bought the platters at Costco a while back).  The glass jars all held different candies.  The glass cake platters held lemon cakes and mini-brownies from Costco.  They put candles in the white tins from IKEA and it looked great at night. You can't tell but there are white Christmas lights underneath the white tablecloth so the table was lit up at night.  It looked quite fancy. Unfortunately the dessert table ended up crashing down at the end of the wedding after most of the guests had left.  We suspect one of the legs wasn't locked in completely.  We'd cleared about half the stuff off the table but some of the jars were crushed and we lost the extra treats.  Thank goodness that didn't happen DURING the party!


 My brother doesn't eat sugar or white flour so they made a watermelon wedding cake instead and put a topper on that.  It was perfect for them.


Overall, this was an awesome wedding if I do say so myself.  Susan was the wedding planner and she did a fantastic job and I learned a lot from her.  I know my brother and his wife are grateful to her and all the others who helped out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recommended Movie - Field of Lost Shoes

I am a huge supporter of worthwhile movies.  In fact, I will often go see them in a movie theater and then later buy the DVD just to show my support with the hopes that others will be encouraged to make quality movies that mean something and are more than just mindless entertainment.


Last week, my dear friend was able to attend the red carpet premiere of such a movie called "Field of Lost Shoes." This movie will be released this Friday, 9/26 and she said she highly recommends it. The movie has great ratings and is a family-faith-based film.  The director is Sean McNamara who was also the director for the movie "Soul Surfer" (which was also a wonderful movie).

Here's a little bit about the movie:
"Based on a true story and In the midst of a prolonged and deadly American Civil War in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appoints a very different kind of general, Ulysses S. Grant, Chief of Union Forces.  Grant acts decisively.  He brings total war to the pristine Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the South. The superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) volunteers to send the Corps of Cadets to protect the valley.  A group of 274 young cadets must confront the horrors of an adult world when they are called upon to defend the Shenandoah Valley and marched northward toward the strategic valley choke-point of New Market.  On the day of battle, Confederate General John C. Breckenridge, former Vice President of the United States, and commander of southern forces in Valley, is faced with a horrible decision.  When Southern forces are jeopardized, he orders these young cadets into battle, leaving behind their youth, making the grave decision of what they are truly fighting for."

The movie has some fabulous actors and actresses in it like the following:
Nolan Gould (from Modern Family)
Love this guy!

Lauren Holly
Tom Skerritt
David Arquette 

FYI - Around November 2015, another positive movie will be released called "Starting Over."  I will post more about that one next year.




Monday, September 1, 2014

Flecks of Gold = Great Wealth


This is a wonderful story about a young merchant who was caught up in the Gold Rush in the 1850's. He was discouraged when he didn't find large nuggets of gold as he panned and searched.  He overlooked the small flecks of gold that didn't seem worth his time.  He envied a nearby old prospector and his full pouch of gold.  Imagine the young man's surprise when the prospector showed him that his bag was full of small flecks, not nuggets.  He said, "The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."

I love this analogy and  I agree that by small and simple things great blessings are brought to pass.

Elder M. Russell Ballard shares:
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wedding Reception - Coral & Gray Color Theme

Our family friend, Eryn, was married last weekend.  We've known Eryn since she was in elementary school and consider her (and her whole family) to be "Framily" - friends who are like family.

The reception was just beautiful so I thought I'd share pictures.  They had a wedding coordinator do all the decorations for the reception and she also worked with the caterer so Eryn's family could just relax and not worry about any planning, prep or clean up. I highly recommend that if you can afford it.  Her wedding coordinator and caterer were both fairly reasonably priced as well, especially if you consider the cost of all the time involved with planning a wedding.

Here are pictures of the entry area.  I didn't get a picture of the whole entry area, just some close-ups.  The lighting was dimmed and they had a DVD playing of the couple.  The movie had photos of the bride and groom as children, teens, and also when they were dating and engaged. People loved seeing that as they walked in.

At the bottom right corner of the picture below, you can see a "Project Life" book that the couple used instead of a traditional sign-in book.  Each guest wrote on a small card that would later be placed in the album mixed in with pictures.  What a great idea.  There was a small white metal cart-style table on the side for people to write their message on the cards and a cute box to put the notes in.  The display below was on a dresser that they brought to the site.


Love the cool chalkboard sign.  They used a chalk marker to write on there.  Also notice the cool metal card holder to house all the wedding cards that people brought in.  My job was to be in charge of the gifts and the sign-in notes.  It was really fun to greet people.  (Note: Never leave the gift area unattended because strangers have been known to run in and grab gifts/cards at receptions.) They also had two beautiful quilts displayed that were given to Eryn by grandparents.



Loved the popcorn bar that they had. This was also a big hit with the younger crowd. They also brought out 5 or 6 tin shakers with different seasonings after I took these pictures.






Here's a "big picture" of the whole scene.  I loved how they had the lights hanging from a pole in the middle and going out to poles on the edges of the area.  It really made it feel cozy and it was nice not to have to decorate the church walls since the focus was taken away from that area.


Next to the lights, they had twine hanging as well with doilies folded over and glued together.  Love it!



The tables were all decorated differently but coordinated overall with the theme.  Some of the tables were normal size and some were smaller.




The drink table was in the middle of the room.  The main pole for the hanging lights went up from the pole which was a good way to handle the pole without looking awkward.  They served water and punch (2 containers of each).


 The backdrop for the receiving line was simple but tasteful.  Note the darling bride Eryn in the picture (love that girl!).  She made her own bouquet.  I'll try to see if I can get an upclose picture of it.




Here are other decoration from around the room, mainly from the food area.  The food wasn't out when I took the pictures before the reception though.  They served foods that the couple liked - waffles and crepes with toppings.  The food was a hit although the caterer said it was hard to keep the waffles crisp.  The crepes were much easier to handle.


Love the tissue paper pom poms.  The darker ones were made from old sewing patterns that they found at a thrift shop. The bride made the heart garland of yarn.










Cake table was totally darling with another chalk sign.  They had a cake and mini cupcakes.







 

When I get the contact information, I will post the details about the wedding coordinator in case anyone in Mesa, Arizona area would like to hire her or the caterer.  It was a wonderful night.