Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Looking Forward To Fall and King Richard's Faire 2016

King Richard's Faire Musicians - Carver, Massachusetts
Photo provided by Dennehy PR
Sitting here in the 90 degree heat, I'm dreaming of fall and wishing it were September already.  What's not to love about fall after all?  It is my favorite season for many reasons.  School is back in session, the air is crisp and cool, and King Richard's Faire returns! My family has visited our local Renaissance faire in Carver, Massachusetts at least once every fall since 2012.  This year we will be returning again and will be receiving complimentary passes to continue on with this family tradition.

Having attended the past four seasons, one of the things we look forward to the most about King Richard's Faire is seeing the friendly and familiar faces.  That gypsy in the photo above read our children's fortunes last year.  We look forward to seeing the strapping fellow who pushes the Swan Swing and the guys over at M'Lady's Shady Maze.  Of course, we hope to catch a wave from Queen Anne and King Richard.  Our daughter was thrilled to have had her photo taken with the Queen two years ago.  Such awesome family memories are made every year!
King Richard's Faire - Queen Anne and King Richard - Carver, Massachusetts
Photo provided by Dennehy PR
What do you have to look forward to at King Richard's Faire this year?  Here is the special event schedule (free with admission), all held at 4pm EST on the King's Stage unless otherwise noted. The 2016 faire will be open September 3rd thru October 23rd.

Sat. 9/3: Carver Day - free admission for Carver residents with valid ID

Sun. 9/4: Military Appreciation Day - see website for details

Mon. 9/5: Open on Labor Day

Sat. 9/10: Annual Cleavage Contest

Sat. 9/17: Romance Is In The Air: Vow Renewal Ceremony

Sat. 9/24: Game of Thrones Costume and Trivia Contest

Sat. 10/1: Prince and Princess Parade and photos with the King and Queen

Sat. 10/8: Highland and Celtic Hunks Contest: Clash of the Tartans, Men In Kilts

Mon. 10/10: Open on Columbus Day

Sat. 10/15: Childrens’ Fairies & Pirates Parade and photos with the King and Queen

Sat. 10/22: Fantasy Finale Adult Costume/Cosplay/Time Travelers Contest

For more details on these events, including rain dates, or to purchase tickets, visit  You can also rub elbows with King Richard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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.