This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on a link, you are supporting DIY Party Mom, my family, and our blog fun. Thank you for your love and support!

A Teacher Can't Live by Apples Alone Teacher Gift

You know those ideas that you have that seem so easy when you come up with them?  Well, this was one of those....but it was also one that was so darn hard to execute.  And not because the project itself was hard, it just seemed like everything went wrong. 

But in the end, I love how it turned out and will be sad to let this little beauty go visit another home.  Hopefully my kids' teachers will love it as much as I.
When I saw these lovely candlesticks on Pinterest, I knew I had to have a set and wanted to play with the idea of how to do them on other items.  It took me a while to track down the original pin and where it was pinned from (can I say "Pet Peeve"---pin from the SOURCE people!)  It was a message board with a little bit of direction...of course, I can't find it now, so I'll have to keep looking and let you know when I find it.

The idea said to use regular Elmer's school glue and food color to achieve the sea glass effect.

I mixed mine up in an old sour cream container with a lid since the original poster said she had to put several coats on the glass to make it look so pretty.

My first attempt turned out BEAUTIFUL, but way too pink for the apple look I was going for.  I'm glad because now I have a jar for myself, but it ended up costing me a day.  I had to go home and find some red food coloring instead of the rose color I had tried.

My second attempt turned out better.  I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but it's a beautiful red sea glass color.  In the light, it is so pretty.

I filled the jar with Hershey Hugs candy.  It took about 1/2 a pound to fill one of the small mason jars.

During all my stress time trying to get everything together for this project, I spray painted the lid to the jar and a small empty thread spool.  (At least I got something accomplished during that week when I couldn't get it all together.)

I glued the spool on top of my jar to look like an apple.  (If you stretch your can see it right?)

To finish off my project, I printed out the tags that went to our Teacher Hugs Candy Topper set.

Using the curly ribbon style that I showed you on my Candy Bouquet tutorial way back when, I tied the tag to the top of the "stem" on the candy jar apple.

Now it's ready to go make a teacher's day with a few hugs!

Back to School Personalized Plates

And that my friends is why I'm not allowed to start a book unless I have NOTHING going on.  After telling you about the new Harry Potter series, I thought I would check out the first little bit to see if I'd actually like it...well, I got hooked.  I ended up reading the whole book and starting on the next one.  I'm so bad that way.

Luckily, I had a deadline on my Back to School party so I came out of Hogwarts to make a few last minute decorations.  I've seen directions on how to personalize your own plates on Pinterest, so I knew I wanted to try them for my dinner party.  And I'm so excited to say how well and easy they worked.  The possibilities are endless and I can already see fun Christmas gifts for all my family this year.

I started with a yellow plate from Walmart and an idea of what I wanted.  I used a dry erase marker to test out my design and make sure it worked.  I wanted a ruler theme, so I used the dry erase marker to mark out my lines to make sure they were even.

Once I was sure of how it all lined up, I used a black sharpie to make my ruler lines.  Then I went back and wiped off the dry erase marker.

I loved how the ruler design turned out, but I felt like my plate needed a little something extra.  I thought it would be cool to used colored sharpies to draw an apple or something fun in the middle, but decided to go with a personalization.  I drew lines to look like a writing tablet and added each of my kid's names in the center of the plate.  (Again, I did it first in dry erase to make sure I got it even and liked how it looked.)

Then I baked my plate at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I don't know if you need to put it on a cookie sheet, but I decided to do it just to be safe.

I let the plate cool for 20 minutes and then checked it.  I noticed I had not erased all of the dry erase markers in spots, but they wiped right off even after being baked.  But the design I made in sharpie stayed with no smearing or rinsing off.

I'm so excited about how these turned out.  I am a sucker for plates for every holiday and this is a cheap fun way.  You can make them for different holidays, as gifts, as a special plate for a birthday...the ideas are endless!

Back to School at Hogwarts

As I'm sending my kids back to school in a week, I'm hoping I'll have a little more "free" time in my day.  Time to get some laundry done (and have it stay done for more than a minute or two), time to enjoy a quiet cup of Hot Chocolate as I enjoy the sun rise over my mountain (yes, I love Hot Chocolate in the fall!), and time to read a book or two.

And I'm super excited too, because I just discovered Hogwarts is back in session now too!

I don't know how I could have missed a sequel to the wonderful world of Harry Potter, but I did.  I only just discovered that Harry Potter's son James has a series of 4 books (so far) that tell his story at Hogwarts.

I'm about 3 chapters into the book and I was a little worried about how I would feel with someone other than JK Rowlings writing the books, but I admit, I'm enjoying it so far.  It's fun to see some of my favorite characters as grown ups and the next generation getting into lots of trouble as they roam the halls of Hogwarts.

I'll let you know how it goes, but if you want to join me, you can't find the series in the local bookstore.  They are only available as E-books to download.  But you can find them for FREE here or on Good Reads here.

Here's to a Sweet Year Teacher Gift

I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea to butter up my kids' teachers each year.  With some of them, school is NOT their favorite place to be and it can be a tough year.  So I've been thinking about some inexpensive teacher gift ideas to start the year off on a nice note.

I saw these great M&M themed cups at Walmart this summer and I bought a few.  I'm not a hundred percent sure they are still available as my Walmart is not the best place to base any shopping on.  But if you can't find them, I know they have other themes and styles available.

Then I made up a candy topper that says "Here's to a Sweet Year" and printed it out.  I used a border from my Candy Dots collection that looks like M&M circles.
(This is the same style as my other candy toppers with the 4 sizes to fit whatever type of candy bag or container you have.  I printed out the tag size.)

I took off the lid and filled it with M&Ms.

I screwed the lid back on and then tied the tag to the straw with yellow ribbon.
Now I have a sweet gift for each of my kids' teachers.  Hopefully this will butter them up and have them think "happy" thoughts about my kids every time they use their cup.

Yes, I'm not above Bribery.

Here's the tag version of my candy topper if you want to try making one of these for your teachers.
I hope I'll have the rest of the set up soon.


Crock Pot Brownies

If you haven't heard me say it before, I love Pinterest.  
It's so easy to find great ideas and recipes to help in a pinch.
Thanks to a quick search, I found this yummy Crock pot brownie recipe.

It was a busy day with work, family visiting, and being in charge of our women's monthly meeting today.  So I through together these brownies and let them cook all day today.  They sure made the store smell good!

They would also be great for a treat on the first day of school.  Throw them in the pot about lunch time and by the time the kid's get home from school you can sit down with a tall glass of milk and hear all about the thrills and spills of the first day.

Making them is pretty easy too, just as any Crock pot recipe should be.

Start with 8 ounces of semi sweet chocolate and 1/2 cup butter.  Microwave them in 30 second intervals until the chocolate and the butter are melted.  Then mix together.

Add 1 cup of sugar into your chocolate.  Mix well.

Mix 3 eggs into the batter.

In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients- the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.

Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, and if you want, 1 cup of walnuts to the dry mix.  Stir until well coated.

Add your dry ingredients to your chocolate mix.  Mix well so your chocolate chips won't sink to the bottom while cooking.  

Now you need to spray your crock pot and then line it with parchment paper.  Then go ahead and spray the bottom of the parchment paper so the brownies are easy to come out.

Add your brownie mix to the crock pot and cook on LOW for 3 hours.  Remove your lid and cook for another 1/2 hour.  When done, remove from the crock pot and let cool.

Find yourself a tall glass of milk and sit down and enjoy your child's story about the day.

You're the Apple of My Eye

School starts two weeks from today. I admit, I'm a little glad this year...and a little sad.

It's amazing how fast time is flying.  The Drama Queen will be a Junior this year.  I can't believe how soon she'll be gone.  Where did all the time go?

I guess most mom's think that this time of year.  I'm trying to be excited for the new year and all the changes it will bring.  I'll have kids in 3 different schools and will be a working mom.  I'm not sure how that's going to work out, but we'll see.

So we're going to start the year with a grand party.  And what screams Back to school more than apples?  So here's a few items from the small businesses of Etsy to kick off our Back to school party.

'You're the Apple of My Eye' 

Apple themed items for a back to school, birthday, or baby shower party!

REBA CoRN HuSK and Apple WR...
Divine Twine Bakers Twine Gr...
12 Fall Season - Apple Cake ...
6 - Pink Candy Apple Popcorn...
Apple Thank You cards - set ...
Teacher's Gift, Upcycled...
Crayola Crayon Wreath with A...
Candy Apple Red Striped Pape...
Back to School Banner Sign G...
Apple Birthday Invitation wi...
Red Apple Sugar Cookies
Apple A Day... bowl
The Little Apple Cutting Boa...
For the Teacher - Apple - Te...
Vintage Apple Canister Set
Set of 4 Yellow Cambridge Ap...