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DIY Valentine’s Day Treat Bags for Under $20

This week I volunteered to read to my son’s class.  Since Valentine’s day is literally just a couple days away, I decided to pick a couple of books that celebrate love and warm, happy feelings.

I absolutely love these books and they were perfect for the occasion and season!20180209_105428.jpg

Note: If you’re interested in any one of these books you can find them in the picture links below:

Whenever I visit to read to his class, I also try to bring treats that compliment the general theme of the book/season. And further, since I LOVE LOVE LOVE Valentines day, I wanted to do something a little special for the kiddies.  I made a quick trip out to Dollar Tree and found a few things:

If you don’t know what Dollar Tree is, it is the best dollar store in the world and every item there is a dollar or less!20180209_105323.jpgPictured above are pencils, erasers, bubble tubes, plastic treat bags, and tissue paper. 

On a side note, I also found these cute tote bags there:20180209_105622.jpg

I also managed to dig up a few things from my closet since I generally stock up on items in the clearance bins after a holiday.  These were the items I found last year at Walgreens and Walmart for 75-90% off:

I literally spent less than $3 TOTAL for the items pictured below:20180209_104844.jpgPictured above are plastic cups, buttons, and plane kits. 

I also like to add a few sweets in there (because it’s Valentine’s Day!!!) so I added a couple of lollipops and rice crispy treats from my local grocery store.  After I gathered all of the items, I essentially used the cups as little “baskets” to hold everything.


I then added a bit of tissue paper as well, but cut the sheets into quarters so that they would fit proportionately to the cups:


Since I was going to be transporting them from my home to their class, I wanted to make sure that the cups and contents would remain in tact, so I placed each cup into an individual bag:


If you’ve ever used the plastic cellophane bags, you’ll notice that they come with several wire twisty-ties for securing the bags–  I cannot stand these things mainly because I usually end up pricking my fingers with them and they’re a pain to get off once they’re on; so I decided to create paper tags that I could staple onto the bags to keep them closed and add a little bit of extra flair.  I had some heart-themed cardstock that cut into 3.5×4 inch rectangles and folded in half long-wise:


I basically just folded the tops of the bags and cupped them over with the paper tags.  I then secured them on with staples.  Here is the finished product:


I made a total of 24 treat bags– one for each student in his class.  This project cost me less than $20 to make and about an hour to assemble. The kiddies nearly lost their minds when they saw them!  I love how the smallest things can bring so much joy.

I’m still not done with assembling my other Valentine’s Day goodies as I’ve procrastinated just a bit.  So if you’re in the same boat as me, we’ll be burning the midnight oil together!  Cheers to you and I hope you’re having a Happy Monday!


45 Days

I remember the day I first really entertained the idea of quitting my job to take some time off.  I had just come home late again after having spent over 12 hours in thick coveralls out in the summer heat of Texas.  This was followed by a long drive home, where Houston traffic forced me to spend 2 hours reflecting on the frustrations that had been accumulating at work over the past year.  Working the way I had been over the last few years, it became common for me to come home late; in fact, I can not tell you how many nights I had to put my bug to bed over the phone.  It broke my heart, but my job enabled me to provide well for my bug, so I bit my lip and continued to press on day after day.

But on this particular evening, I came home in tears.  I had reached critical mass and  decided I was done– but I didn’t have the slightest clue about what “done” looked like.  I sat in my car a little while longer, sobbed a little bit more, then pulled myself together before I was able to get out of my parked car and go inside.

Being a single parent and the sole provider in my home made it difficult to even entertain the thought of quitting my job without an offer; nonetheless, I began to crunch numbers that night– the exercise alone lifted my heavy spirits.  However, as I moved from row to row in my spreadsheet, I began to realize that with some preparation and a revamp of my budget, that quitting my job and taking a break from work were entirely possible.  That was enough for me to commit to make the leap.

Fast forward to today, I am officially 45 days in to my “sabbatical.”  These last 45 days have been powerfully rejuvenating, each filled with simple pleasures that have been therapeutic in their own right.  Though the time has certainly sped by, I already feel like a new person– less hurried, less stressed, and more open, loving, and giving.  As I reflect back on 2017, I realize that my favorite parts of this year have mostly occurred in the last 45 days–  I have spent my mornings having breakfast with my mom after walking my son into school, or sipping on coffee as I curl up with a book; visiting my bug at school for lunch; and picking him up every day after school; volunteering to tutor at his school, or just to come and read a book to his class.  I have been experimenting in my kitchen again, and I successfully baked my first bread cornucopia and made tamales for the first time; I spent hours crafting ornaments for our Christmas tree and many more hours crafting goodies for my son’s classroom holiday party that I also hosted.  Most satisfying of all, I have had the honor of serving in my community again, donating time, resources, or even just a batch of homemade goodies.  I am not only happy, but in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time.  I can honestly say that this break is one of the greatest gifts I could have ever given myself and my family, and I am better because of it.

2017 has been a good year for me and it is ending on a wonderful note.  I am so thankful for the good, the bad, and even the ugly parts of this year, for it has reminded me of the things in life that are truly important.  As we get ready to enter January, I will begin the New Year feeling refreshed and with a greater sense that my priorities are back in order.  I’ll go back to work in the near future simply because my savings won’t last forever, but for now, I will just sit here and enjoy the quiet while I sip on my coffee; and as I wrap up this post, I am smiling both on the inside and out.

Here’s to the end of 2017 and to the start of an even better 2018!  Thanks for visiting my blog–  I have a bit of catching up to do on on here but I hope you’ll be back soon anyway!

Have a very safe and Happy New Year, everyone!