I live in Florida and was so surprised at how quickly my silver tarnished! Trust me, I am not one who likes to do much silver cleaning (Click HEREto see my tip to clean large amounts of silver without a lot of elbow grease!). At the suggestion of one of my readers, I decided to seek out a solution to the problem! So today’s Simple Holiday Survival Tip focuses on how to store your silver to prevent, or at least reduce, tarnishing!
Independence Day is a favorite holiday in my house! It happens to be the day AFTER my birthday, so I always looked at it as a celebration of MY birthday as well as our country’s! My neighbor and I both love it so much, we started our neighborhood’s Fourth Of July Bike Parade 15 years ago and it is STILL going strong!
Here are a few simple crafts you can do with the kids this year, plus a few decorating & celebrating ideas I found that were just too good not to include!
Liberty Paper Plate Hat
This is a simple project that requires just a few items!
What You Need:
White paper plates
Blue acrylic paint & paint brushes
White and red construction paper
Glue or glue dots to eliminate dry time
Cut the paper plate in half, then on the cut side, cut a half moon out of the bottom using the other half of the paper plate as a guide (sounds complicated, but see photo below!). Paint one side of the plate blue. Set aside to dry.
Cut elongated triangles out of the red and white paper.
Flip the dried plate over and glue the paper triangles to the back of the paper plate (along the top-curved part), alternating red and white-points pointed up. Allow to dry.
Using hole punch, punch a hole on either side of the bottom of the plate. Thread elastic through each hole and tie off (estimate amount of elastic needed based on the child’s head size). You can also use a hard headband and put the headband ends through the holes on either end!
Bendy straws make this simple craft fun AND pretty!
What You Need:
7 bendy straws per person
Blue and Red acrylic paint
Red, white or blue glitter (optional)
Pull each of the bendy straws so they are fully extended. Holding the 7 straws in a bundle in your hand (making sure the ends are aligned), wrap tape around the bottom and then right under where the straws bend. Once secured, bend and spread out the bendy end of the straws to create a pinwheel shape. (See photo below!)
Pour blue paint onto a paper plate and have the kids dip the pinwheeled end of the straws in the paint. Have them stamp the pinwheel all over the white paper; repeat with red paint. (You may need to press the straws to the paper so they make full contact with the paper.) If desired, while paint is wet, sprinkle sparkles on the artwork.
Give the flag a hand! Use your child’s hand to re-create the flag! (Don’t laugh, but since I have teens, not toddlers, at home I used my own hand for demo purposes!)
What You Need:
Red, White and Blue Acrylic Paint
Light Blue Paper for the print
Red Paper for Mounting
White Paint or Paint Marker
Assemble your paints, brushes, and light blue paper. Have your child hold out their hand (I used left hand) and gently paint a blue square on their palm, followed by alternating red and white stripes leading out onto their fingers. (See photo) NOTE: Plan to work quickly so the paint doesn’t dry on their hand!!
Press the painted hand onto the light blue paper. Once dried, paint a white star on the blue square. Mount the artwork onto slightly larger red paper.
This is always fun for kids to make and they are perfect to display on the porch, in the bedroom or even attached to a stick to carry in the neighborhood bike parade!
What You Need:
Blue & Red Construction Paper, cut into long, inch wide strips (I used heavier paper that I had on hand)
White Paper, cut into free-formed stars, various sizes
Lay two blue strips vertically with a few inches between them. Lay your red strips between the blue strips horizontally and glue (see photo below).
Once dry, join the each end of the two blue strips together and glue.
Add the white stars as desired, and put a few dots of glue here and there, then sprinkle with glitter if you want to add a little more pizzazz! (You could add streamers off the bottom if you want to turn this into a windsock!)
Glue a red strip to the top as a handle and you are ready for the parade!
You might see a red cup, I see a Sparkler Guard! I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was brilliant! I love sparklers, but when I was little I was always afraid that I would get burned. This solves that problem!
Just cut a small hole in the bottom of the cup and stick the sparkler handle into the cup. That’s it! But now, a few notes and disclaimers on this one:
Never leave a child alone with matches, sparklers, fire or anything else flammable!
Always supervise your children during this activity – This is not meant to be a “Light It & Leave” activity!
Always have a container of water on hand to place the used sparklers in to douse any heat or flame.
Make sure the entire “business end” of the sparkler is sticking out, so the only part on the inside of the cup is the handle and your hand. You don’t want it to burn down INTO the cup!
Other Great Ideas From Around The Web:
There are so many fun 4th Of July activities & crafts out there, I couldn’t cover them all! I’ve selected a few of my favorites below. Be sure to click on each link to visit the sites for directions!
This super-simple potato casserole will become your go-to favorite. Probably the easiest recipe, besides buying pre-made potatoes! I’m whipping this up for Easter Dinner this year. How will YOU use them? At a party? A family meal?
A big thank you to my sister-in-law, Lisa, who shared this recipe with me!
1 30 oz. Bag Frozen Shredded Potatoes (I used Oreida Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Pint Sour Cream (NOTE: I used 1 cup of sour cream by accident in the video, and they still tasted good! )
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 chopped, sauteed onions (optional)
Using cooking spray, grease the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Line the bottom of the pan with the frozen, shredded potatoes.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and shredded cheese (add the onions, too, if using them!)
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hr. It will bubble all along the sides!
It is the day before Valentine’s Day, and you haven’t gotten anything for your sweetheart? No worries! I’ve got some simple ideas sure to make your sweetie swoon!
Make a Personalized & Romantic Valentine’s Day Crossword Puzzle
What would be better than to create something based on your own relationship? Follow this link to DiscoveryEducation.com to have your choice of making a crossword puzzle, word search and so much more!
Make “Good Morning, I Love You” Biscuits
With a sweet little heart in the center, who wouldn’t melt for these in the morning? They are easy to make using Pillsbury Biscuit Dough and your favorite jelly (and a little powdered sugar for decoration!). These are good for both your significant other AND the kids! Get the recipe here at Pillsbury.com.
“Count The Ways” Jar
An ode to Shakespeare’s famous sonnet, show him or her how many ways you love them! Decorate a unique-looking jar or box. Write numerous love notes, love quotes, and why you love your sweetie on small pieces of paper and fill the jar with them. Present the jar to your sweetheart. Need a little inspiration? Check out the site, BrainyQuote.com, for quotes on love!
Go Retro With A “Mix Tape”
Create an iTunes playlist with songs that make you think of your sweetheart. Share it through Home Share on iTunes, or export it to your sweetheart’s computer. Or go really retro and burn it on a CD and give it to him/her! Need some song inspiration? Check out Billboard.com for their Top 50 Love Songs of All Time List! Instructions on how to export your playlist are below:
LOVE On A Chocolate, Wine, or Beer Tour!
Indulge your sweetheart in one of their favorite things! In the Jacksonville, FL area, Whetstone’s Chocolates in St. Augustine offers factory tours (Click Here for Reservations and Pricing). Love wine or beer?The Tasting Tours in St. Augustine has a special discount just for Simple Solutions Diva viewers! Visit their website and choose from the Vittles & Vino VIP Carriage Tour (3 hours of food and wine tastings via carriage) or Beer About Town Tour (2.5 hours of sipping & savoring on this walking tour). At checkout, use the code “DIVA” and you get 10% off the regular price on either of the tasting adventures. (Code is valid thru 12/31/15)
A very Happy Valentine’s day to all!
Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to share these simple ideas!
The Simple Solutions Diva has an answer to an age old question:
How do you get your plate back from a holiday party?
The simple answer? Don’t ask for it back — Create a Season of Giving Plate!
The concept is: you share the plate, along with the food you bring to a party. Then the host is free to use it when THEY go to a holiday party, and the plate moves from home to home throughout the holidays!
The instructions are easy: It is as simple as buying a pretty plate from the Dollar Tree Store, writing a nice verse (for suggestion, see below) on the plate in permanent marker, baking it at 350 degrees for approximately 30 mins. This baking process will set the permanent marker so it won’t wash off.
You can write whatever you would like, but if you are in need of something, try this:
Season Of Giving
In this Season Of Giving, we share so much joy,
& plates full of cookies for all to enjoy!
This plate is for giving, not keeping for one.
So pass this plate on to others, and share all the fun!
It is a beautiful way to share the love this holiday season!
I was amazed at how simple this recipe is! My friends at The Spice & Tea Exchange gave me this recipe – they are a wonderful source for rich spices and flavored teas! If you ever have a chance to go to their store in St. Augustine, FL, it is a treat for your senses! The smells of the spices, the beautiful jars of spices and specialty teas – Wonderful!
The basic recipe is as follows:
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
11 oz. Bittersweet chocolate or semi sweet chocolate (I used bittersweet for a dark, rich flavor)
1-2 Tablespoons favorite liqueur (My suggestions: brandy, rum, spiced rum, Chambord, Kahlua or other favorite.)