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Category "$20 or Less"

Back-to-School 3D Food Pencil Cases

I remember as kids the excitement of getting new Back-to-School clothes and school supplies.

3D-pizza-pencil-case-thoughtful-gift-ideaMom enjoyed taking us shopping. Looking back I think she was like every parent, happy and ready for school to start!

Some of you may remember buying shoes at Payless where you could purchase two pairs for $5. That was their big campaign slogan a long long time ago.

Purchasing three-ring binders, notebook paper, spiral notebooks, #2 pencils, Bic pens and folders with pictures of a popular TV show were the main school supply staples of the baby boom era during which I grew up.

I’ve gotta tell you, there’s a lot more fun things to choose from now! I found a back-to-school item that will keep things organized AND that kids will think is cool – a 3D Food Pencil Case!

You can buy pencil cases that look like pizzas, ice cream sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream cones, bagels, bananas, pita breads, and cookies to mention a few.  Sorry these items are no longer available. You can still get cute food pencil cases through Amazon.com

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Money Treasure Dig | Fun Gift for Kids

- - $20 or Less, Kids, Money

Kids love to dig for treasure in the sand. Kids also love money.

money-treasure-dig-kids-giftCombine those two things and you’ve got yourself a Money Treasure Dig that is a perfect money gift for younger children!

All you need are a Plastic Beach Pail and Shovel, Play Sand, and money coins.

Pour a layer of sand in the bucket and then drop a few quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Pour sand on top of the coins until they’re hidden. Add more coins to the bucket and then add another layer of sand.

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Send an Easy Peasy Video Get Well Message

You’ve heard that a friend or family member is ill. You’re going to stop and pick up a get well card on the way home from work. Oops, life gets in the way and you’ve forgotten – again!

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A video get well message is so much better than a get well card!

Don’t sweat it. I have a thoughtful and entertaining solution that works even better than a get well card. I know because it happened to me.

I was home recuperating from surgery when I received a message on my cell phone. It wasn’t a text, and it wasn’t voice mail. It was a video get well message from several of my cousins!  TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

I played the 10 second video over and over again because it made me laugh and grin from ear to ear. My cousins’ “thoughtful twist” of sending a video get well message instead of a get well card was both impressive and unexpected!

An easy peasy way to send a get well message is to pick up your smart phone, make a quick video and send. You’re done. No trying to remember to stop at the store to get a card.

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Dropping Off Meals for New Parents | Easy Chicken Tacos Recipe

After having my first child, I felt so thankful to friends and family who came and visited bearing gifts of prepared meals. Between breastfeeding and let’s see… more breastfeeding, there was no time for anything else!

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Drop off this ready-to-eat meal for family and friends with new babies. It’s easy to make and it will provide them with several hot meals!

Just by popping the food dishes we received straight into the oven or microwave, my husband and I could eat lots of hot meals with very little work.  It was a blessing I tell you!

Our favorite dish came from one of our family members, Terri, who dropped off shredded chicken tacos and everything we needed to go with it.

Not only was it delicious, but we were able to get two dinners and two lunches out of it which was awesome because those were four meals we didn’t have to worry about at all.

I asked Terri for her chicken tacos recipe, and she happily shared it with me. Thanks Terri!

EASY PEASY CHICKEN TACOS

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Regifting | How I Gave a Repurposed Gift in a Meaningful Way

Have you ever repurposed a gift? Yep, I have! Ever told the recipient that it was a repurposed gift? I recently did!

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click to enlarge

It was a book titled “Cationary Meaningful Portraits of Cats” by Sharon Montrose and purrrfect for my friend.

My husband and I have started talking about downsizing. Retirement is on the horizon, and we want to have more with less! More time to travel, less time working in the yard. More time for hobbies, less time cleaning the house.

More time for everything we want to do and less time doing the things we don’t want to do. You see a pattern? Continue Reading

A Heartfelt Thank You Letter to My 5th Grade Mentor

Completely by chance, I found out a friend from high school worked with my 5th grade mentor, Mr. Brownlee.

heartfelt-thank-you-letter-mentor-thoughtful-giftI haven’t seen or talked to Mr. Brownlee in more than 20 years, but I’ve thought about him many times since then. Through him, I learned an important life lesson that always stuck with me.

Let me first explain how I got to know Mr. Brownlee. A few students from each of the 5th grade classes at my elementary were selected to be a part of a leadership group that everyone simply called “Mr. Brownlee’s Group.”

Each month, we met Mr. Brownlee in our school library to talk about a wide variety of different topics. He always brought a special guest so we could learn from people from all walks of life.

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Relax & De-stress With Coloring Books for Adults

This is one of those ideas you say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of this?” Coloring Books for Adults! The idea is to help adults de-stress and slow down our crazy-busy-every-minute-of the-day-life.

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Adult Coloring Books

I first heard of the Coloring Books for Adults on NPR. The guest explained how life has become more stressful in this fast-paced world because we are always connected by smart phones and computers. Her advice – disconnect from your electronic devices and color.

Disconnect? How many times have I wanted and needed to do that?

Have you ever seen a child that is coloring stressed out? Nope, me neither!

Coloring books for adults are perfect for friends, family members or co-workers who are extremely busy and who could use a little help to unwind and relax. Coloring will bring back their carefree days of childhood with no grown-up worries. Heck, you should try it for yourself!

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Picture Frames | The Keeper of Memories

Picture frames are wonderful gifts for all occasions. They keep memories close to our hearts by celebrating weddings, birthdays, friendships, vacations, children, couples, and families.

picture-frame-drawing-of-dog-thoughtful-gift-ideaThere are five of us girls who have been BFFs for close to 40 years. We still enjoy celebrating each other’s birthdays when we are together.

This year we decided to give three yellow (her favorite color) picture frames to Linda. We brainstormed what pictures to place in the frames.picture-frame-drawing-dolphin-thoughtful-gift-idea

1) Charlie, her faithful companion.

2) A picture of a swimming dolphin from one of her vacations.

3) Of course, a picture of us five girls together. Continue Reading

Creative & Inexpensive Homemade Birthday Cards

I once received the neatest homemade birthday card from my co-worker Bruce. I found it sitting on my desk when I came to work, and it immediately brought a big smile to my face!

creative-homemade-birthday-card-thoughtful-gift-ideaA birthday candle and “Happy Birthday” confetti decorated the front of the card. I loved how the candle gave the card a 3-D effect!

I also loved his “thoughtful twist” of propping up the birthday card on my desk for me to find instead of giving it to me in a traditional envelope.

I borrowed Bruce’s idea and made my own homemade birthday card.

HOW TO MAKE A HOMEMADE BIRTHDAY CARD

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Why I Gave My Son a Baby Doll

I’m raising a little human. He happens to be a boy.

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Playing is learning!

In our culture, many unsaid rules exist about how little humans called “boys” should act. Even more so for “girls.”

At the age of two, I bought my son a little doll, a newborn baby dressed head to toe in pink pajamas. I wanted to give him access to a wide variety of toys, not just those considered “gender appropriate.”

My son will grow up to become a father one day, and every parent needs to know how to nurture and nourish.

We give boys race cars and doctor kits all the time although only a very small percentage of them will actually grow up to become race car drivers and doctors. Compare that to how many boys will one day become fathers.

As soon as I showed my son the pink box containing the doll, he grew excited. He yelled, “Baby!”

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