Saturday, April 2, 2016

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This Personalized Family Tree Pillow from Amazon Handmade Was the Perfect Grandparent's Gift

Personalized family tree pillow cover from Amazon Handmade . . . a cherished gift for a parent or grandparent.
The Mother's Day and Grandparent's Day gift idea we are sharing about today was purchased with our own funds.

A couple of weeks ago, my mother turned 70 years old.  (I'm still having a little trouble accepting that.)  For this milestone birthday, I wanted to find something she would love for our children to present to her as a gift.  She is a tough person to buy for.  The gift couldn't take up a lot of room due to the size limitations of my parent's apartment.  It also couldn't cost too much money because she would just yell at me for spending so much money on her.

I started searching on Etsy because it's a great source for one-of-a-kind gifts, but I couldn't find anything that I loved that would get to me within a few weeks.  My next stop was Amazon Handmade.  It's still fairly new and I had never taken the time to see what items were available.  I lucked out and found this 20" Family Tree Pillow Cover sold by Crafting Rehab.  I could request the quantity of names, choose from a small assortment of pillow colors, specify the colors in the printing, and change the message located at the base of the tree.  The pillow cover and the cost of shipping were both priced very reasonably.  SOLD!

To complete the gift, I also ordered a 20" square pillow insert on Amazon for $8.50 with free shipping.  The pillow cover was shipped by Crafting Rehab in less than a week and arrived about a week later, earlier than the estimated delivery date.  I must also say that the communication from Crafting Rehab was very timely, friendly, and helpful.

I included the names of my 3 children and my nephew on the family tree to represent all my mother's grandchildren.  The gift was presented to her from all 4 children at the end of her birthday dinner.  My mother just LOVED it!  She told me that night and actually called me the next day to tell me again how much she loved it.

If you have a parent or grandparent who is tough to buy for, I highly recommend checking out Amazon Handmade.  I didn't think I could love shopping on Amazon more than I already did, but this shopping experience made that happen!

Monday, February 15, 2016

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How to Make Newspaper Reporter Activity Goodie Bags { plus Free Printable Press Passes & Word Search }

How to make Newspaper Reporter Activity Goodie Bags for Kids plus free printables  |
Thank you to Oriental Trading Company for providing the goodie bag essentials for our classroom-friendly newspaper reporter activity kits.  All opinions expressed are our own.

Although our oldest has moved onto middle school this past fall, our twins are still in grade school.  Their school has a strict policy against sending in sweets for birthdays, so I always send in non-food goodie bags.  Since their birthdays are in January, one of the coldest months of the year, I try to send in themed activity kits the children can do (if they choose to) during indoor recess.  This year, I decided to make Newspaper Reporter Activity Kits for the twins' goodie bags because they are in the middle of studying non-fiction in both their classrooms.  They were so easy to make and the possibilities are endless for what types of inspiration you would like to include in the kits.

What you'll need to make Newspaper Reporter Activity Kits . . .

12"x18" Newsprint Paper (3 sheets per kit)
News Reporter Word Search (Free printable below)
DIY Personalized Press Passes (Free printable below)

What to put in Newspaper Reporter Activity Goodie Bags for Kids with free printables  |

After you have everything you need, there is some assembly required for the actual newspaper and the press passes.  I created the word search puzzle shared below with the help of Discovery Education's Puzzlemaker.

For the newspaper:  I folded 3 sheets of newsprint paper together in half once and then in half a second time so that they resembled a newspaper folded into quadrants.

Fun DIY newspaper activity kits for kids  |

For the press passes:  I saved the digital image of the sheet of press passes onto my computer and used a graphics program to add the first and last names of each child.  You could also simply write the name of each child on the paper with a thin marker.  Then I cut out the press passes and slid each one into a clear gaming card sleeve protector.

DIY press passes how-to plus free printable  |

After I put all the contents into each bag, I used a paperclip to secure each child's press pass on the outside of the bag.  Please note that the 8.5"x12" bags fit a standard piece of paper perfectly, so it may take some patience to get the paper to sit flat, but it can be done.

How to make Newspaper Reporter Activity Kits for kids plus free printables  |

With the stickers provided, the children can be inspired to write news stories about who won the big game, who their favorite Star Wars or Big Hero 6 characters rescued this week, or even fashion editorials using Monster High stickers for the photos.  Our son, who is a huge Star Wars fan, decided to dedicate his newspaper to Star Wars and what he would imagine a newspaper would be like during those times.
Make your own newspaper kits for kids - a fun learning activity  |

Print the DIY Press Passes and News Reporter Word Search Puzzle below . . .
Free printable DIY press passes  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.comFree printable Newspaper Reporter Topic Ideas word search  |
TO PRINT:  Click on the desired image to enlarge.  Then right click and select print.  Use your browser's back arrow to return to this page, if needed.

Like this goodie bag activity idea?  Pin it for later . . .
Classroom-friendly Newspaper Reporter Activity Kits for kids - make fun non-candy goodie bags  |

Check out last year's DIY Comic Book activity goodie bags . . . 
DIY Comic Book Activity Goodie Bags - Great for classrooms  |

Have some ideas about other things that could go in a Newspaper Activity Kit for kids? Share them with us in a comment here.

Monday, February 1, 2016

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

The Perfect Portion Cookbook . . . This is the Cookbook You're Looking For!

The Perfect Portion Cookbook
Images provided by Dennehy Public Relations. No compensation was received for sharing this new portion-controlled cookbook with 3G2S readers.

Are you a fan of 100-calorie snacks?  Why stop at just snacks?  This new Boston-based cookbook, The Perfect Portion, gives you recipes that can be divided into 100-calorie portions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Containing 150 comfort food recipes, which include healthier ingredients, this cookbook is fun way to eat the foods you like while keeping track of your calorie intake.
The Perfect Portion Cookbook 100-calorie meals and snacks

You can learn more about The Perfect Portion cookbook on QVC this Saturday, February 7th, where this cookbook, co-authored by Bob Warden (New York Times best-selling cookbook author), Anson Williams ("Happy Days" actor/director), and Mona Dolgov (local food and nutrition expert), will be available for pre-order at a special price of $19.95.

Anson Williams on the Today Show for The Perfect Portion cookbook
Anson Williams on the Today Show

100-calorie Cheesecake Minis recipe from The Perfect Portion cookbook100-calorie Cheesecake Minis recipe from The Perfect Portion cookbook

100-Calorie Cheesecake Minis Recipe (from The Perfect Portion cookbook)

Mona's Southwestern Chili recipe from The Perfect Portion cookbookMona's Southwestern Chili recipe from The Perfect Portion cookbook

Mona's Southwestern Chili Recipe (from The Perfect Portion cookbook)

If you can snag this cookbook at the special pre-order QVC price, pick-up a second one for an upcoming birthday or Mother's Day gift!  The Perfect Portion cookbook is also available for pre-order on

Have you tried some of the recipes in this cookbook?  Tell us which recipe was your favorite in a comment here.