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Ooooh!  Time to get ready for the 4th of July! 
I love this time of year. 
Bring on the sun.  Bring on the red, white & blue.  Bring on those patriotic crafts and foods and d├ęcor. 


Here's an extra easy appetizer to feed your crowd.
Patriotic Melba Toasts
in 4 easy steps.
On a cookie sheet lay out Melba Toasts crackers.
 Sprinkle toasts with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Add half slices of pepperoni to each toast.
Sprinkle with crumbled bleu cheese.
(yes, this may be a stretch for blue, but just play along...)

Broil on low until the mozzarella cheese is melted,
about 3-5 minutes.
Be sure to watch them so they don't burn.

Best served warm, but we've had them cold, too.

 Mmm!  Happy 4th!

Click here to see my Top 5 Patriotic Party Ideas.

Linking up to: InspireMeMonday,

Really Awesome Things
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I'm sharing my Top 5 Patriotic Party Ideas for you.
These are the ones that I use over and over.
Quick, easy and festive!
July 4th Popcorn Bar is always a crowd pleaser!
Just give each guest their own personal popcorn box so they can refill when they want.  The best thing is no refrigeration is needed--especially appreciated on a hot summer day!  Assembly and setup can be done ahead of time. I love serving different flavors of popcorn in festive buckets with metal scoops.

These Red, White & Blue Parfaits are so good!
My family asks for them all summer long.
I love that I can quickly make them ahead of time and pull them out of the refrigerator when they're needed. 
Warning:  Walking into a room, carrying these on a tray will immediately result in oohs and ahhs!  Be sure to stick spoons in each one.

Easy to make-- Red, White & Blue Parfaits

The idea of having Red, White & Blue Chips is nothing new...however, these turned out to be so incredibly tasty, that we now do this every year for the 4th.  It doesn't get any easier than this!


I can't even begin to tell you how much I love crafting and decorating with washi tape and ribbon.
These Washi Tape Cup Markers add a bit of instant party to any celebration!
No more smeared sharpie names printed on the cups.  No more cups thrown away after one drink.  Love!

Whatever you do, don't forget about a patriotic photo shoot!
July 4th Photo Booth is a family favorite.
Flag on the wall, flag in the hand...add a great hat and even an Uncle Sam beard!  Perfect shot!

How are you celebrating the 4th? 
Come back and visit the blog this week for more quick and easy 4th of July ideas.

Monday:  4th of July Melba Toasts Appetizers
Linking up to: InspireMeMonday
Really Awesome Things
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We're still in teacher gifts mode.
3 more days of school.  We're going to make it!
(Nothing like last minute around here.)

This is a quick and easy gift, sure to please any teacher.

Works for male and female teachers...
as well as anyone else you need to thank.


Print out this tag.  Click here.
Trim tags and hole punch.  Slide coordinating ribbon through.

Tie ribbon around a box of pasta and a jar of olive oil.
Attach tag. 
Super easy.

 Make this gift as 'big' as needed.
Use a basket and add more pastas, a pack of napkins, a pizza cutter, Italian restaurant gift cards, tomato sauces, cookbook, fresh basil, a jar of olives, etc, etc...

'Olive' us over here.....can't wait for summer!


For more teacher gifts:

You Are Worth More Than Gold

UR Amazing!

Linking up to:

Lil Mrs Tori
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My kids still have another week of school left...
(Yes, I realize that most kids are out of school, but for some reason our schools like to start after Labor Day and finish around the middle of June.)  This post contains affiliate links to help you locate products.

So, we've been working on teacher gifts...
Gold teacher gifts.

When your Jr. High student has multiple teachers and wants to give something to every teacher including her homeroom teacher, club time teacher, team teacher, assistant vice principal, secretaries and all her academic teachers...well, that's a problem.
Instead of doubling our tuition costs to pay for teacher gifts, we came up with this.

A perfect gift when you have a LOT of 'valuable' teachers to thank. (catch that pun?)

You can make this gift as big or as small as you'd like. 

On some we added a gift card to the top of a box filled with gold candies.  

On others, we bagged up some gold candies in cellophane bags and added a tag.

This is simple, simple, simple.

Print out these tags onto white cardstock.  Click here.

Trim and glue the tags to gold paper. (optional)


Hole punch tag near the top.

Purchase some gold candy in bulk.

Rolos, Snickers, Hershey's Nuggets, Gold wrapped mints, chocolate coins, etc.

Package up the candies.

Gold fortune boxes or small cellophane bags work well.

I had leftover gold rings from this party so I added them to the tags.

(The gold fortune boxes were from the party as well.)

I thought the rings added a bit of needed 'bling' to the gift.

Tie tags on with gold curling ribbon.

Be sure to sign the back of the tags before attaching them.

Hand deliver to all those 'precious' teachers.

Here's some more teacher gift ideas.

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School isn't out for another 2 weeks, 

but we have many, many people to thank, now!  

Teachers, coaches, bus drivers, Sunday School helpers, etc. etc....not to mention Dad and grads.

I like gifts that are fast and simple with a bit of clever creativity.  (Cuteness is always a bonus.)
This one works for me...and who doesn't appreciate a gift card?

Want to create one?

First, gather up some Amazon gift cards. The gift cards with the single 'a' on them work perfectly.

(The post contains affiliate links to help you locate products.)

Next, purchase white alphabet stickers like these.

Then, gather up some colored cardstock.  (I used blue and black.)

You'll also need:
-Washi tape and Baker's twine (optional).
-Tape-- any kind
-Glue stick

Tape the Amazon gift card to the middle of a sheet of cardstock.
Stick on the letter stickers directly onto the gift card.
Overlap the stickers onto the cardstock-- spelling the word, 'amazing.'

Add the stickers 'U R' above the gift card.

Another option is to add a #1 sticker after the U R.
Below the gift card, use stickers to spell out 'DAD', 'GRAD', 'COACH', 'TEACHER'...

Trim cardstock evenly and close to the stickers. 

Apply a strip of washi tape and tie on some baker's twine.
(Just for a bit of added flair.)

Glue onto a piece of black cardstock.  Trim.

Have your child sign the card and hand deliver!

Quick, clever, easy...done!

Need more gift ideas?

Click here to go to my Gifts/Fun Puns Pinterest Collection.

'Fanta'stic Gift

Over'foaming' with thanks

You Knock Our Socks Off

U Rock Gift

Ice Cream Social- You're so cool!

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