5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

Whether you lost track of time or you just added a new Valentine-recipient to your list, you are not stuck with sugary snacks or overpriced flowers as gift options. It doesn’t matter if  your Valentine is 5 or 50, there’s a little something on this no-eat sweet treat list that you still  have time to get!

  1. Gummy Bear Scented Blueberry Earbuds. Toys R Us sells them for under $8.

Last Minute Valentines

2. Conversation Heart Pillow. The one pictured was found online (click picture for site), but variations can be found at Barnes and Noble, Target, Claire’s, and Nordstroms.

Last Minute Valentines

3. Cupcakes that serve a purpose. Memo pads, sticky notes, and notepads come in a variety of cupcake options that are perfect for some sweet notes! Shop party supply stores, dollar stores, toy stores and big box stores. While you’re at the party store, pick up a bag of Valentine pencils. Gift alone, add a few to accompany your memo pad offering, or divide into ribbon-tied bundles to be presented to multiple Valentines.

Last Minute Valentines


Last Minute Valentines

4.  Sweet socks. Not to be confused with “sweat socks.” The pictured trio is from Kohls.

Last Minute Valentines

5. Soaps that look good enough to eat.  You can find delicious-looking soaps in stores that sell bath and kitchen supplies, but if you’re feeling crafty, check out this video to whip up your own batch of not-to-eat sweet treats!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce

Last Minute Valentines

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – If Only Virtually

Celebrate the Holidays together even when you’re not!


It is a reality of the world in which we live – we can’t all always be together for the holidays. However…it is possible to feel closer to each other even when we’re not – and even start some new holiday traditions! We’ve put together a few suggestions for bringing your loved ones just a tad bit closer when celebrating from different places.

  • Favorite Holiday Movie Night


Make this one fun by sending movie treats to all and set a time and date when all of you can watch your family’s favorite Christmas Movie together in different places. Even if your family can’t agree on a favorite, you can pick someone’s favorite this year and another’s the next year. Or agree to each watch your own favorite on the same day and at the same and munching the same goodies!

  • Same Christmas Carol CD


One tradition my family had was to decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music. One of our all time favorites was the Muppets Christmas CD. One year my daughter Anne made me a Christmas mix. Like this mix, your family favorites can  be copied and distributed to all so that when each household decorates their tree, all can be listening to the same ‘mood music.’

  • Traveling Christmas decoration, ornament and/or advent calendar


Ok – this one can be as fun, religious or sentimental as you would like to make it. It can be a treasured Christmas ornament, the family nativity set, the angel or star tree topper, a family photo from the last time you were all together on Christmas, the proverbial white elephant holiday gift, etc…I like the idea of an advent calendar that has compartments. The person that had it last Christmas is responsible for stuffing the compartments for the person being sent the calendar this year – 25 days of sharing fun with someone you love!

  • Special Gift Time


My girls have always made gifts for each other to be shared on Christmas Eve. My son-in-law has joined us in this tradition and I just love seeing what each of them craft for the others each year – they are truly incredible! I myself have been the recipient of some wonderfully hand-crafted gifts. The grouping above are pictures I received showing my heart in each state where my daughters live. Such personalized gifts absolutely make the holiday! DIY gifts ,or specially selected gifts, are even better if you share the event via Skype or FaceTime so you can all be together in the same virtual room and participate in the joy of giving.

  • Recorded Storybook or Message

Recordable Storybooks

This may be more for grandchildren, but I would bet grownup siblings, daughters, and parents could enjoy the tradition as well. Hallmark has an assortment of books that will record your voice as you read the story. Not all of them are Christmas related, so you could record a favorite book your family enjoys. There are cards and ornaments that will capture your personal message too! You can make your own recording as well using the ‘old school tape’ method or a CD that you record from your computer. This gift can be enjoyed over and over again throughout the holiday or whenever you want to feel closer to your loved ones. Be silly, be serious, be jolly, be sentimental – whatever strikes your fancy.


Don’t despair over being in different places during the holiday season! Embrace the life you lead and stay connected to those you love by getting creative and sending a bit of ‘you’ to wherever ‘they’ are! That’s what holiday traditions do –

make each of us feel as though we are home. – M


5 Gifts to Whip up in a Flash for that Good Neighbor

5 Gifts to Whip up in a Glash for That Good Neighbor

I was raised in a house and a time where “running some over to the neighbor” was a common occurrence. Whether soup because someone was sick, a pie because it was just as easy to make two, or a batch of cookies as a holiday hello, letting the neighbors know they were appreciated with our handmade efforts was part of life. As busy as we all are these days, sometimes we don’t even know our neighbor’s names! Here’s 5 gifts that are easy to whip up, easy to give, and easy to run the results over to the neighbor who you appreciate or have been meaning to introduce yourself to.

1. What could be quicker than dipping pretzels in melted white chocolate then rolling in the decoration of your choice or drizzling with colored white chocolate? Present on a holiday paper plate, stand up in a canning jar with a bow around the neck, or wrap the bottom half in tissue paper and belt with a bow for a pretzel bouquet!

Whip up a Gift for That Good NeighborWhip up a Gift for Your Neighbor






2. Cookie mix in a jar. Any recipe can be used for this by layering the dry ingredients (mixing the salt and baking soda in with the flour), but Google “cookie mix in a jar” and it will take you longer to look through the options than to put it together if you’re looking for new ideas! Change up the color scheme (pink’s not my thing, but I know I have some pink-loving friend’s out there!) to match the holiday you’re celebrating and change up the name to personalize for your recipient. [Click the picture for the Cowgirl Cookie Mix  tutorial]

Neighbor Gifts to Whip Up 3.   Cinnamon Hot Chocolate. This simple mix uses ingredients that many already have on hand. Wrap the mix in a decorative plastic bag and stash in a festive mug for personal portions with a tag that says Just add milk and heat! [Click on picture for this Taste of Home recipe]

Whip up a Good Neighbor Gift4.Cappuccino Mix. If you went for the hot chocolate, you already have the non-dairy powdered milk and cinnamon. Add some coffee powder and nutmeg and you have the makings for a more sophisticated drink. Jar it up and tie on a little coffee scoop and mix directions for a a budget-friendly holiday gift that is sure to receive a welcome as warm as the beverage! [Click picture for recipe]

Whip up a Gift for That Good Neighbor 5. Coasters. For a non-food quick gift, modify this idea from Better Homes and Gardens. Get linen fabric that has the holiday or color scheme of your choice, cut squares to 5×5, and pull threads along all four sides until the fringe is the length you want it. If you want the coasters to have a little more heft to them, you can stack and glue two or more together. Stuff into a clear jar and tie the neck with a ribbon for a colorful gift that doesn’t need wrapping!

Whip up Gifts in a Flash for that Good Neighbor


blog2 neighbor cartoon