Planning a Mermaid/Under the Sea Themed Party? Dollar Tree To The Rescue!

I’m working on planning a mermaid-themed party for a certain little girl in my house. Thankfully, Dollar Tree has some great supplies on the cheap! These are available in-store and online.

First off, check out these cool iridescent shell-shaped eggs. Perfect for hiding candy or tiny gifts like bracelets or rings. In the store, there are a lot of beaded necklaces, like there.

There are mermaid-themed party paper goods too. Plates, cups, and napkins. One thing I love about Dollar Tree is that with the rising costs of everything, I’m able to host cute themed parties and stay on budget.

I’m loving these cute mermaid buckets, they would be great for goodie baskets. If you aren’t sure what to put in them, I’d suggest mermaid facial masks, nail polish in “mermaid” colors- there are tons of colors in stores, mermaid tail shaped hand soaps,  Nail art sets, nail files (there are ocean/mermaid themed ones in the stores, and bath bombs- some stores have mermaid tail-shaped bath bombs. All locations have bath bombs in various scents and sizes.

Don’t forget to hit up the home decor area to look for beach, ocean, and mermaid themed signs.

As for snacks and menu, we’ll be serving:

  • Strawberry lemonade, complete with frozen strawberries (available in the stores) as our beverage.
  • Cold Pasta Salad using shell pasta (recipe is forthcoming)
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Fresh Fruit cut into star shapes- Watermelon, pineapple, apple (with a hole cut in the middle where I remove the apple core)

I love using the plastic “crystal” serving ware from Dollar Tree too. It makes the party look fancy, without worrying about little hands breaking anything special or vintage.

And for those wondering, we only invite 4-6 of Bitty’s good friends to parties. I can’t have a house full of 20+ kiddos. My neighbors would never forgive me. We may have a viewing of The Little Mermaid while we eat.

And of course, I’ll be making invitations on Canva for free, saving the image as a PDF, and either printing them out to hand out or emailing them to friends parents/guardians.

Holiday Crafts at Dollar Tree!

Y’all know how much I love crafting, and that I am a frugal person too. Dollar Tree has really upped their game in the craft department. They have tons of wooden paintable items, wreath supplies, and kids craft kits (I love their ornament kits for kids).

If you have holiday events coming up where you will be crafting, this is the perfect time to take advantage of their $5.99 flat rate shipping deal!

Order supplies online in bulk for your upcoming crafty events (perfect for classroom or club holiday parties), and have them delivered to your door!

One less “thing” to do- No stores to visit, and less holiday stress!

Dollar Tree: $5.99 Flat Rate Shipping For a Limited Time!

It’s Back! One of my favorite deals from Dollar Tree. $5.99 Flat Rate Shipping is back for a limited time!

From Monday, September 12th through Wednesday, September 14th, Dollar Tree is offering $5.99 Flat Rate Shipping with exclusive code: HARVEST.

Shopping online with Dollar Tree is great for party planning, crafting, or stocking up on snacks. You buy a case and get the same in-store price and value, and now with this deal, you’ll pay only $5.99 shipping.

What I love about this shipping deal is that now I can buy in bulk without having to travel between 2-3 Dollar Tree locations to get as many craft supplies and snacks as I will need for an upcoming event.

If you aren’t sure what Dollar Tree has that’s fresh and new check these out:

Managing a Household with Neurodivergencies (ADHD, ASD, etc.)

Earlier this week my friend Sam posted on Facebook, “Neurodivergent Friends what are some tools you use with others that help you with daily life, communication, relationships?”

A few friends posted that they needed help with meal prep, day-to-day stuff, and as y’all know, that’s my bag, baby!

Both my kids are Neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD and ADHD), and their dad has ADHD (combined type/ C) and because of that, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily life and how we function. And while our processes and schedules may not work for everyone, hopefully, these tips give you some idea and hope if you need it.

Some of these directly affect/benefit the kids, and some make my life easier, which in turn makes their lives easier.

Having an accurate(ish) pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory. I have made my own sheets in the past (using Canva), but the ones from Organized Home are great.

Meal Prep and meal planning (this includes using Dream Dinners once every few months). This frees up time each night to read, hang out, bathe, and get kids ready for bed.

Meal Prep can be as easy as cut up veggies, fruit, pre-portioned foods, and easy meals or side dishes prepared in advance that only need to be heated up to avoid wasting money eating out because “there is nothing to eat”. Also having one night for take-out. And I have a whiteboard that lists our meal plan for the week- I try and post it weekly on Instagram.

The Snack Box- I also organized our fridge and pantry to be more ND-friendly. Stuff that should be eaten (healthy food like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.) is at kid eye level in clear packaging and is labeled (I use expo markers on my Rubbermaid containers), and I have a “Snack box” in the pantry that is available 24/7 for hungry faces. It’s got individually portioned shelf-stable snacks and meal components. And on days when I am too tired/rushed to cook we have “Meal of snacks” where I serve a variety of snacks on old-school sectioned cafeteria trays- fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, cookies, and a drink (juice or iced tea is a hit).

We have a list of snacks on the fridge so the kids know what there is to snack on. It is a visual list (I drew it), and when we are out of specific items, I cover the picture with a piece of posit note.

Calendars– in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom. I update them weekly, plus the grownups use the calendars on their phones and we have a shared family calendar. Kids get reminders each day in the morning and afternoon of any appointments or events that will take place during the day. The visual and auditory reminders really help cement the appointment in their mind.

Visual reminders– next to the front door at eye level there is a sign that reminds us we need: cellphone, wallet, keys, and garage door opener. It’s laminated.

Visual schedule– this is mainly for the kids. I drew up a daily schedule using words and pictures. I wrote a post about it here.

Lists– Everyone has a “Care tasks” list each week that includes appts, returning borrowed items, and tasks to do throughout the week. You can read about my weekly Care Tasks here. 

Larger font digital clock with day of the week, date, and what part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, night). The kids can read a clock, but it can take time to engage their brains and count by 5’s, but the “old people clock” as it was marketed on Amazon helps them instantly and helps a lot with the “is it time for xxxxx yet?!?!”

Using your phone to stay on top of details- I saw this on Facebook in a group and I’ve started doing this. If you have an iPhone, there is a notes section in each contact. I’ve seen them used to keep track of favorite fast food at various restaurants, favorite foods/drinks, clothing sizes and brands, favorite colors, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s such a game changer.

The fidget/stim box– we have a plastic box full of fidget/stim toys for everyone to grab when they need to focus. And everyone has some in their room too. This includes headphones to cut down on loud sounds (I buy the landscapers kind from harbor freight). We have 3 pairs in the house and two pairs in the car. For those not familiar- fidget toys can help calm the body so the mind can focus.

Some favorites include pop-its, hand strengthening eggs, fidget cubes, fidget spinners, stretchy tubes, pop tubes, and stress balls (the kind with Orbeez are super satisfying). Amazon sells really great fidget toys mutli-packs.

Medication Boxes- We refill our medication boxes each week (both AM and PM).  The three of us take our meds together each morning at breakfast time. Our medication boxes live on the kitchen counter, along with our pill minders: Jon Cena and Skeletor.

Stuff has a place– The kid’s shoes and backpacks are always by the door during the school year, ready to be cleaned out and refilled each night. My car keys and purse live in the same spot, the pool key has a special spot. The extra toilet paper and paper towels are always in the same spot (under the front bathroom sink). These are just a few examples of the ways that we remind ourselves and create routines. Creating routines can give us a sense of normalcy and be calming.

The Family Binder– One last thing that doesn’t directly “help” the kids but helps the family, especially in times of emergency is the family binder. I’ve had one since 2010 in various incarnations. I have a really old post about it here.  It’s basically my brain in paper form. It’s got all of our important papers, insurance info, important phone numbers, policy numbers, warranty information, receipts for expensive/valuable stuff, copies of most recent IEPS, copies of diagnosis paperwork, lists of everyone’s meds, doctors info, etc. Think of it as all the info you’d need if you lost power for an extended period, your house burned down, or there was a tornado.

There are a lot of other things that we do in our home to help the kids- keep them safe, regulated, and happy. The stuff listed above is just a small sample. Everyone’s home runs differently. And this was and continues to be a lot of work. The examples above are continually changing, and evolving in our home, and are a combination of 11+ years of hard work, learning, and failing. Some of this stuff I did to try and get organized in my late 20s, even before I was married and had kids.

 

 

Saving this summer with Dollar Tree!

This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links 

Y’all know I love Dollar tree for crafts, party planning, and even stocking up on snacks. 

Recently, I made this cute Welcome sign for our front door with Dollar Tree Supplies.

But did you know you can order online from Dollar Tree? It’s perfect for parties or weddings! Cases of craft supplies, wedding decor, or even your kiddos’ favorite snacks. 

$5.99 Flat Rate Shipping is back for a limited time! From Sunday, July 10th through Saturday, July 16th, Dollar Tree is offering $5.99 Flat Rate Shipping with exclusive code: SAVENOW.

If you are looking for some inspiration from Dollar Tree, check out their website here!

Crafts and Fun DIY with Dollar Tree!

Wednesday is the last day of school for us. And we’ve got two weeks of fun and frolic before summer school starts, so that means it’s time to bulk up our craft supplies and try out some new crafts.

Dollar Tree does not disappoint. Since they’ve increased prices to $1.25 per item, I’ve seen a huge increase in the quality and variety of craft items, including cotton fat quarters, which are great for all sorts of sewing and crafts.

If you are looking for some ideas for fun, inexpensive summer crafts, check out the Dollar Tree Blog here.

I picked up one of their bottles of dye for tie-dying, and I took pics for Instagram. I’ll post a final pic this morning. Overall I’d give it 5/10. I chose dark purple, and it came out more of a wisteria color. There is a lot of fading, but if you use some of my tie-dye tips here (especially the washing soda pre-soak), you may have greater success. Colors available include Green, Pink, Purple, Red, Turquoise, Yellow.

And I made this cute sign the other night. All the supplies came from Dollar Tree!

The wooden sign, The butterfly stickers, one of the colors of paint (white), and the black permanent marker I used to outline the leaves.

All told, this craft cost less than $6 and I have a cute welcome sign for the front door.

There are all sorts of fun crafts available at Dollar Tree! I’ll be posting more of our crafting adventures on Instagram this summer, if you see a craft that interests you, please comment and I can do a tutorial!

 

Kitchen Reorganization on a Budget!

We’re at the point in kitchen renovation where we need to put the kitchen back together. I was tired of eating out of the myriad boxes in my living room.

Being on a budget, I looked for simple and easy ways to make our kitchen work better for us. Our pantry is long (about 1 meter) and narrow. It’s such a pain. So much of it is inaccessible.

I cleaned out a bunch of the clutter as I unpacked the boxes. My mom gifted me these cool white baskets (which you can find on Amazon here).  She previously used them to store fabric. I put my label maker to good use and labeled the white baskets with the following categories:

  • Soup
  • Sauces
  • Baking Goods
  • Rice and Noodles
  • Oils and Fats
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Canned Goods
  • Soup
  • Snack Box
  • Snacks (I use this for the overflow of snacks)

I also reorganized the spice cabinet, and I’ll be moving some of the bulk spices to these glass jars from the plastic bags they came in probably later this week.

Moving on to all of the drawers in my kitchen. Yeah. Nine Drawers of various sizes. I lined them with Contact Paper from Dollar Tree– which BTW, is so much cheaper than Amazon or the big box hardware stores. I also lined the cabinets that hold our dishes. I did not line the pantry shelves- They are really long and narrow and I can’t reach all the way to the back.

To contain all of the STUFF in each drawer, I picked up some of these skinny drawer organizers, and the drawer organizers in the picture, which are wider and medium-sized.

The Silverware has a drawer caddy (not shown in the photo, but it goes in the empty drawer), but the rest of the drawers were just a disaster. Now the cooking utensils will be corraled, the batteries rolling around the junk drawer will be contained, and all of the yummy drink powders and drink concentrates (like Mio) are corraled.

So for less than $50, I was able to reorganize the kitchen and spruce it up a bit.

After the kitchen is done and the water heater is installed, we’re having a cleaning service coming to do a post-construction clean up. There is drywall dust all over my freaking kitchen and living room. It’s so gross.

Host a Paint Night Party on a Budget with Dollar Tree!

Looking for a fun, frugal night in?

Check out this great idea from our friends at Dollar Tree!

Host a Paint Night Party- Dollar Tree has everything you need (except the wine!) to host a sip and paint.

Shop in-store or online- You can order online and have it shipped to the store for free (hooray for saving money on shipping).

 

Hop into Easter at Dollar Tree!

Easter is April 17th this year, but don’t wait until the last minute to get your basket goodies, Easter Dinner supplies, and goodies!

Dollar Tree has a ton of great ideas, and can help you stick to your budget!

Spring Cleaning on your Care Task List this Spring? Dollar Tree has your back with Cleaning & Storage Supplies. 

We recently re-organized our under the kitchen sink area with baskets and totes from Dollar Tree. And I use their totes to organize our HBA stockpile, hair coloring supplies, and even our first aid kit.

Frugal Cleaning: “Magic Blue” Cleaner- Great for the Bathroom!

It’s not really magic, but it gets your bathroom (and kitchen) clean without much elbow grease or fuss.

I recently discovered this concoction, and It’s definitely worth sharing. And the best part, you probably have all of the ingredients in your home. If not, a quick trip to Dollar Tree will get you going!

I went to help my mom this week, and I thought I’d clean her bathroom. Our area has the worst hard water (lots of minerals in the water), so cleanings bathtubs and showers are a lot of work.

Enter our magic blue cleaner!

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup blue dawn hand dishwashing detergent liquid (I know a lot of people call it soap, but technically it is a detergent).
  • 1 cup water (I used tap water)

Pour the vinegar and water into a spray bottle, add Dawn, screw on the lid and shake until the Dawn has dissolved.

Spray on the dirty areas, let sit for about 10 minutes, wipe off (I used a scrubby sponge), and rinse.

The recipe makes a lot, I tend to pour it into smaller spray bottles, so I can have one in each room (bathrooms and kitchen).

It also works great on cleaning toilets, countertops, and sinks too!