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Simple Super Bowl Party

29 Jan


Are you ready for some football???? 

As it seems like we are getting busier and busier, the thought of all the preparations needed for a Super Bowl bash can seem too daunting to even attempt to tackle.  Here are some pretty simple options that may help make the Big Game memorable – without the hassle.



How cute is this ‘tablecloth’?  All you need is a roll of craft paper, masking tape to make the 10 yard lines and white number stickers.  I think I might add end zones  on each end of the table by cutting out letters for the Bronco’s and the Seahawks.



I tend to make a Buffalo Chicken Dip that is served from a crockpot using crackers or nacho chips to serve the dip. This is a really cute alternative that doesn’t take much longer in its prep time.  I’m also including the link to the blog post that gives you the recipe:



Take a cue from ‘The Girl Who Ate Everything’ and serve your 7 layer dip in individual plastic tumblers – this gives you the chance to have all your guests have the pleasure of a perfectly formed dip and not the inevitable ‘mush’ that this dip turns into once a few people dig into a big platter of this dip.  Here’s the link to her blog post with the recipe:



Cheese and bacon – enough said!



How cute are these?  Pull out your Candy Melts and piping bag and pipe away…



How many people watch the Super Bowl for the commercials?  (Weird, isn’t it?  Imagine WANTING to watch commercials….)  This is a great idea to keep folks interested DURING the actual game – click on the link below to get to the game boards that folks can use to play football bingo.  Have a fun little prize for the winner.  You could probably play one round for each quarter to really keep your gang on their toes – all it will cost you is a few fun trinkets…….

We hope these simple solutions help you pull together a festive gathering in no time – we will be pulling out all these stops in my house on Game Day.

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I’m In Love! And I Made An ABC Box

19 Sep

I’m in LOVE!!!                 with chalkboard paint.

chalkboard paint

I’ve seen so many cute projects on Social Media that use chalkboard paint and I finally decided to give it a try.  I figured I better start pretty small since my interest in crafts far outweighs my crafting ability….

I found an old index card box lying around in our office and thought that this would be something I could work with.  When I think of chalkboards, I think of school (when I went to school and they actually had chalkboards…) and then I thought of learning to write.

My niece Molly is 2, and can recognize her letters.  She can’t write properly yet, but she loves to put pen/pencil/crayons/markers to paper.  She once even demonstrated her artistic ability on my sisters freshly painted walls at home!!!  I thought this little box would be something she could carry around with her and play with.

Even though I was a little nervous (going back to my ‘crafting ability’ comment above), I jumped right in and gathered some supplies:


The bottle called for 2 coats of paint and it certainly had good coverage – even on the first coat.  After waiting an hour, I applied the second coat.

ABC box - painting cover

Because the box has texture, I was afraid it may have needed a third coat – to fill in the tiny crevices and make a smoother writing surface.  I decided to test it out after I let it dry overnight.

testing ABC box

If it was for an extra special project that was going to get a lot of use, I would have probably added a third coat.  This project is for a two year old that will play with it for a few minutes and probably forget about it as she goes on to the next toy so 2 coats of paint is enough.

I finished the project with a little personalization so she could see the letters in her name.  Voila!

ABC box - final touches

Update:  Here is Molly with her finished ABC box…

Molly with ABC box

Have you ever used chalkboard paint?  What did you think – yeah or nay?  Share your thoughts with us by commenting on this post.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at to let us know what you think.

Summer Activities for Toddlers

25 Jul

Summer is a busy time of year, and toddlers are always busy, so what can you do to entertain them during the summer?  Here are a few fun ideas I found from some crafty bloggers:

Fluffy Shaving Cream Paint

shaving cream paint

Such a simple idea, but one you should probably do outside where you can hose the little kids down after they are done!


Shaving Cream (I used an inexpensive on-sale brand)

Food coloring

Small bowls

Kids paint brushes

Paper (or something to paint on)

Put 3-4 drops of food coloring into the bottom of each bowl. Squirt shaving cream into each bowl and mix with the end of a metal spoon until the color is mostly incorporated. Add a couple more drops of coloring to the shaving cream as needed to intensify the color.  That’s it!

Note: You might be able to do this with whipped cream from the can too! (I haven’t tried it.)

– See more at:

Make Your Own Sidewalk Paint

sidewalk paint


1 part cornstarch (1 c.)

1 part water (1 c.)

food coloring (we used neon colors)

sponge brushes

Mix corn starch and water. Add food coloring and mix.

*I used a muffin tin for extra large muffins to hold the paint. One cup of cornstarch and one cup of water filled them about half way. The paint stretched further than I thought. I also included a sponge brush for each color–just simpler.

Edible Candy Necklace

edible candy necklace

I love this idea because of its double duty nature – First – it’s a craft and Second – it will serve as a traveling snack.  This one is nice for snacking in the car since I hate to give a little bowl of crackers to my niece to munch on.  As soon as I pull out of the driveway, I usually hear “Uh-oh” as the bowl slips out of her hands and hits the floor.  Before I give it to her in the car, I will certainly make sure she can successfully bite the snacks off the string without sucking on the string.  I wouldn’t want her to choke.

Since it has been so warm out, I think I will be looking for cookies and pretzels without chocolate.  That’s a mess just waiting to happen.

goldfish crackers

Oh, how I wish Goldfish crackers had a hole in them so they could be included in this activity!!!

Water Play

Water Play

I love how this Early Education grandmother takes such a simple concept (a little water and small objects you can put in the water) and lets her grandson explore what he wants to do with it.  I am definitely going to do this with my niece.  She will especially love to wash the ‘dishes’ or ‘toys’.  She loves to wash things in the sink, and I never thought to make her very own ‘sink’ with a tub of soap and water.

washing the toys

Learning in a Tub of Rice – more educational than I thought!

tub of rice

At first I assumed that this was a dry version of the Water Play (above) because I’ve seen this activity done with lots of rice and the kids burying toys and feeling the textures.  Who knew, less could actually be more?

I definitely plan on trying all of these simple activities with my niece.  Do you have any more ideas you can share?

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at to let us know what you think.

Father’s Day Memories

13 Jun

by Rich Dunn

Many men will tell you that the gift that they would desire on Father’s Day is 5 – 6 hours of uninterrupted couch time with the clicker in hand in front of any sports event on TV… however that is just not the case.  The real gift that most REAL Dads want is to spend some good time with their families…

There are many fun and interesting things to do on Father’s day … A trip to the Beach … a trip to a Museum … or a trip to a Movie … BUT my favorite Father’s Day was the visit to our local Minor League team game.  The New Britain Rock Cats (the Minor League affiliate to the Minnesota Twins) have an event every Father’s day where the Dads and the Kids can have a catch on the field before the game.  One such Father’s Day remains one of my best memories.  In a homage to the movie Field of Dreams and as baseball is one the cornerstones of American culture, a day like this is a great Father’s Day idea.


My wife, son and I went to a game one father’s day a few years back and we were able to have a catch on the field with a bunch of other Fathers and Sons. My son was around 4 years old when we did this.  He is now 12 but it was a great day to spend with my family.

… The Dads gathering on the field with their boys hunting out a good spot for a catch …


Once we got or spot out in Left Field we had our catch … it is fun to compare the 4 yr old version vs. the 12 yr old version … I think that his form has not changed much even though HE has changed a bit …

… In the blink of an eye things change; He is now 12 … but his form is about the same …

First is The Wind-Up …



… and then The Throw …

and the throw


Once we finished our catch we got our seats on the 3rd base line …

ready to watch a Rock Cats game

To this day I don’t even remember who won the game … that is not important … but it is one of my favorite days …at the end if it is baseball … fishing … a movie … or the beach … hanging out for a few hours together on Fathers Day is the way to go!!

What special days have you shared with your family?  Share your favorite Father’s Day memories with us.

Rich Dunn is the husband/co-pilot/co-owner of

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at to let us know what you think.

5 Things to Do With the Kids on April Vacation – Without Breaking the Budget!

11 Apr

April vacation is upon us (well, next week in my town) and here are some ideas that you can do to entertain the kids that won’t break the bank…. flower

Bike ride to a Park

The weather is finally turning nice, and now’s your chance to jump on your bikes, feel the warm air on your face and have a leisurely day (or just a couple of hours if you prefer) with the kids at a local park.  Pack a picnic lunch in a backpack – grab a Frisbee or a tennis ball – and go.  Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers – and if the flowers aren’t bloomed in your area yet, have the kids notice the different buds that are hopefully forming.  You can talk about the ‘rebirth’ that happens each spring and have the kids notice what blooms earlier in the year and what blooms later.

family bike ride

Treasure Hunt

If you happen to be going on a long car ride, or just a walk around your neighborhood, create a Treasure Hunt for the kids.  You can write up the lists before you leave and challenge the kids to see who can find the most things on their list before you get back home.  Lists can be tailored based on the various ages of the children.  (Non-readers can get a list of pictures they need to find.)  Give each one a pencil or crayon to mark off the items as they find them.  After a successful Treasure Hunt, the reward at the end can be a trip to the ice cream shop!

scavenger hunt

Camp Out at Home

If chilly weather won’t allow you to really ‘camp out’ by sleeping in a tent in the backyard, you can still have your first camp out of the season.  Light up the fire pit in the back yard, sing songs, roast marshmallows and cook up some s’mores, and sing some camp fire songs.  When it’s time for bed, head in to the family room and sleep in sleeping bags on the floor as a family.  To make the effect of really sleeping in a tent, you can make an indoor tent by draping blankets over chairs or the couches.

kids around campfire

Work in the yard

As you do your Spring clean-up in the yard, challenge the kids to dig in and get dirty.  Who can find the biggest worm in the soil?  How many different plants are sprouting out of the earth?  And if you are really ambitious to have the kids help out, getting them their own ‘kid size’ garden tools might inspire them to be great gardeners someday.

kids gardening

Cook up a Storm!

Check out Pinterest to see a huge variety of ‘Fun Food’ ideas that are very kid friendly.  From a fruit kabob rainbow to no-bake desserts you make in a mug, there is something to excite just about everyone.  Here is a link to my ‘Fun Foods’ board on Pinterest:  Use some of these ideas, or search around to find other fun ideas.

rainbow fruit kabobs

Whatever you choose to do while the kids are off from school, doing it together is the best way to build fun memories!!!

Please share your favorite ‘wallet friendly’ ideas for the kids with us by commenting on this post.


Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at to let us know what you think.