Easter Bunny Footprints & Baskets

- - Experiences, Kids

Easter baskets have come a long way from what my brothers and I used to get. Ours would have stuffed animals, such as a small bunny, duck or yellow chicks, and chocolate candy. When my children were young, they also received stuffed animals but they were parrots, dogs and one time a seven foot snake. What can I say? They thought the Easter Bunny was awesome!Bunny-footprints-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

As they got older, their Easter Baskets contained video games, basketballs, t-shirts of their favorite sports teams, and of course the traditional chocolate candy.

One Easter morning when my boys were little, I woke them up by saying, “Hurry! Get up and come see the Easter Bunny! I saw him leaving your baskets!”

By the time they got to the baskets at the front door, the Easter Bunny was gone but we knew he had been there because we saw his footprints going down the sidewalk.

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Mother’s Day Gift Idea | Digital Photo Frame Containing Sweet Messages

When digital photo frames came out, I loved the concept and thought, “Why didn’t I think to invent that?” (I thought the same thing about Snuggies and Pillow Pets, and I bet you did too! We totally could have been millionaires by now!)

Digital Photo Frame Containing Sweet MessagesInstead of having to look at the same photo each day, with digital photo frames you can view a slideshow and swap out the photos without making a trip somewhere to get prints made.

I don’t think I need to go into how mothers love having photos of their children and other family members on display.

sweet message for Mother's Day

Download this image to use as one of your sweet messages.

From my experience, it’s pretty much a universal thing!

Giving a preloaded Digital Photo Frames as a Mother’s Day gift is a great gift but not unique on its own. So let me tell you how to make it unique!

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Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt With Flashlights

- - Experiences, Family, Kids

I grew up in the 50s and 60s with the traditional Easter egg hunts at our church or in the backyard. My mother would hide the real eggs that my two brothers and I had decorated. (At the time, there was no such thing as the plastic eggs with treats.) We loved to hunt for Easter eggs and could do so for hours!

Nighttime Easter Egg HuntIf the weather did not cooperate, we would hide the eggs in the house. Mother always made us count the eggs to be sure we had them all. I remember not being able to find one egg for about a week. We eventually realized it had fallen behind my bedroom dresser. I can still remember that hold-your nose-awful-smell of that rotten egg! PHEW!

I followed the same tradition of Easter egg hunts with my children. I’d hide real and plastic eggs throughout the backyard and inside the house and my children never tired of  searching for them.

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Custom Personalized Name Ring | Mother’s Day Gift Idea

Coming up will be my second Mother’s Day. My son will be 19 months old, and I just love him more and more with each month that passes. (I’m surprised my heart hasn’t burst out of my chest yet!) I wanted a piece of jewelry with his first name – Aiden – and middle name – Dragen – (he was born in 2012 the Year of the Dragon) and decided on a ring so that every time I looked at my hands, this ring and my wedding ring would remind me of the two most important people in my life.

personalized name ringI found a store on Etsy.com that makes custom personalized name rings but what made them stand out is that you get to pick out the font! With so many stylized fonts in existence, a person’s name can look like a beautiful custom piece of art.

You can also choose a font style that best fits the personality of the mother. A script or cursive font might be better for one mother while a retro or handwritten font might be the better choice for another. My favorite font website is Dafont.com because they have a wide variety of font styles. You can also type in names or words and see what they will look like in a certain font.

By selecting what goes on the ring, the metal the ring is made of, and the font, you can tell someone you custom designed the ring for them!

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Graduation Gift Idea – 18 Things I Wish I Had Known at 18

- - Graduation, Kids

Goodbye childhood. Hello adulthood. This is what my oldest niece Shakira is experiencing as she gets ready to graduate from high school. She’s excited about adulthood because to her it means freedom to do whatever she wants. But like most 18-year olds, she hasn’t really thought about the responsibilities that come with that freedom.

words of wisdom bookAs her aunt, I thought I would take the opportunity to impart some life lessons that I’ve personally found to be helpful in living a full and happy life. But Shakira doesn’t want to listen to a lecture from me. Blah. Blah. Blah. Even if she did listen, she could easily forget everything I told her the next day.

I needed to deliver my nuggets of wisdom in a fun and memorable way and something that would make a cool graduation gift.

I created a custom photo book called “18 Things I Wish I Had Known at 18.” I picked out a black and white template from Shutterfly.com that matched my niece’s sense of taste and style.

In the book I listed my top 18 life lessons and paired them with photos of Shakira, Shakira and me together, and group family photos. I arranged the photos in chronological older starting with her baby photos.

Here are the 18 life lessons or words of wisdom I put together:

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25 Ways to Pay It Forward| Random Acts of Kindness

The idea behind “pay it forward” is that everyone can make a difference in the life of someone else. When you pay it forward, you make an effort to positively impact a person’s life through a random act of kindness and love.

laundry detergent in laundromat

Leave a container of laundry detergent at a laundromat with a note saying, “Feel free to use!”

Last week, I wrote about my friend Erin who wanted to inspire 34 pay it forward random acts of kindness in celebration of her 34th birthday. In case you were inspired to do the same thing, I thought I’d share with you some ideas of what you could do.

  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line
  • Send a card to someone in the military overseas
  • Put something you no longer need on Craigslist.org for free
  • Tape a bag of microwaveable popcorn to a Redbox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”
  • Drop off a toy or game at a children’s hospital
  • Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a stranger
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Time is the Best Gift of All

Time is the best gift of all. When I was 21, my 16-year old brother and I were on our way to the gym when we decided to visit our deaf  grandparents. I asked them if they would like to go and exercise too.

Grandparents-Time-Best-Gift-of-All-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

Walter & Julia Cleaver in the 1970s.

They had no workout clothes so when Granddaddy came out in Grandma’s baby blue shorts, sleeveless undershirt, black socks and black street shoes, my brother did not want to take them. When we arrived at the club, the walk from the parking lot was the longest walk ever for my humiliated brother.

Entering the gym, we had to fill out guest forms for them. Putting their birth dates of 1896 and 1902  raised eye-brows. We wanted to take our grandparents to the exercise room on our own, but the club insisted a trainer take them for their first visit. When the big, muscular trainer came in, he was shocked at the age of his clients – ages 77 and 71.

Grandma’s trainer soon had her doing sit-ups and leg lifts, riding a stationary bike, and relaxing in the sauna. We finally made it to the pool.

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Random Acts of Kindness for Your Own or Someone Else’s Birthday

When my friend Erin turned 34 years old, she posted the following message on Facebook:

pay it forward popcorn taped to Redbox machine

Pay It Forward Idea – Tape a package of microwaveable popcorn to a Redbox machine along with a note!

Friends and family – I am on a quest to complete 34 random acts of kindness today in honor of my birthday… will you help? Pretty please!?

It can be as simple as buying the order of the person in the drive through behind you, helping someone load their groceries in the car or taping quarters to the candy machines at the mall. It can be done at anytime and anywhere!

And if you wouldn’t mind sharing with me (send me a text, give me a call, post it on my Facebook wall), I would love nothing else on my birthday than to hear about all the nice things being done for others! I am starting today with volunteering at the Oklahoma City Regional Food Bank until noon if anyone would like to come and join!

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Kleenex Tissue Flower Bouquet for a Sick Friend

Flower vases – we have them stashed everywhere in our kitchen just taking up space. We occasionally – more like never – use them for flowers but mostly they sit hidden with no future and collecting dust!

Here’s a gift idea for your round or square vases. Colorful vases work really well. For plain clear vases, I like to bedazzle them with rhinestones!Kleenex.flower.bouquet.gift.idea.sunburst.gifts

Use your imagination when decorating. Try all one color or multicolor. Create a heart shape or place them at random. Rhinestones and glue are all you need. It’s easy peasy as Princess Diana likes to say!

Purchase facial tissues in the small square box, pull them out all at once, and place them in the glass vase. Take a single tissue from the center and pull it up. The tissues are also available in different colors too!

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