.

Want an eco- friendly way to coupon? Then you should try Food Lion’s MVP Coupon Hub

This is such an awesome solution to my already hectic and busy schedule. I love to coupon but sometimes I just do not have the time or patience to cut and organize. Then when I get into the store I end up losing a few of them along the way. Here is the solution: Food Lion launched the “MVP  Coupon Hub” which is a simple way for families to save money as they do their grocery shopping. 

This program allows users to load coupons directly to their MVP cards right from the Food Lion website!  This was so simple. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to watch the video on FoodLion.com, register my MVP card (you can easily sign up if you do not already have one), and start loading coupons! One thing I really liked is that there were a large number of coupons that I actually felt like I would use! 

This whole concept is awesome. So now, I don't need to remember anything when I head to the grocery store. I simply scan my MVP card and all the coupons will be right there ready to use at checkout!



This is what you will need to do:
  • Go their website HERE and sign in to your Food Lion account or sign up for one. You will need your MVP card if you are signing up for the first time.
  • Click on the Load to Card or the Print at Home tab to see the available digital and printable coupons.  You can filter the coupons by key work, expiration or coupon value.
  • Once you have loaded digital coupons to your MVP card, you can click on the Print My Coupon List link to print out a list of the coupons you loaded so you remember which digital coupons you have available when you go shopping.
  • When you buy the items that you have digital coupons for, the digital coupon amounts will come off at the register (as long as you use the MVP card you registered with and you bought the correct products).  If the amount does not come off automatically, let the cashier know so they can have a manager fix it.

 Would you like to win one of four $25 gift cards from Food Lion? 
  • Follow @greenowlcrafts and @FoodLion on Twitter
  • Visit the Food Lion Coupon Hub to download at least one coupon to your store MVP Card.
  • Post a tweet letting me know which coupon you added to your card. Tag me @greenowlcrafts and @FoodLion and use the hashtag #FLcouponhub in your tweet, and you’ll be entered to win.
  • Like me on Facebook and then comment on my wall and let me know which coupon you added to your card.
  • Or you can comment on this post letting me know if you are using Twitter or Facebook or Both! That gives you 5 different ways & opportunities to enter! Do them all if you like!
Contest ends on the 30th and the winner will be announced on December 1st!


{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Food Lion, but all thoughts and ideas are my own.}


Here is a preview of BabyBrother's bedroom. While I am no where near where I want to be with the decorations I have been focused on making sure we had the essentials. 

When I found out I was expecting I immediately thought about finances. How exciting! You find out that you are about to have another little guy or gal in the family and you immediately worry about how to pay for everything. Sadly, that is the world I live in and I am sure many of you are in the same boat. I am already a thrifty shopper and feel like it is a waste to buy new when you can buy used at a fraction of the price (not to mention the eco-friendliness of thrifting). I knew I would easily be able to find everything I could possibly need for our new little bundle of joy by starting early. 

My husband has been after me since I brought home the first thing from the thrift store...."He's not even born yet and he has enough clothes to last him until he is 10!" Well....not quite THAT many clothes but hopefully after this post he will appreciate all the time I have invested in scouring thrift stores and yard sales the past 7 months or so getting our essentials. So....here they are. Just the essentials and a few extras. Things that I felt were needed to provide a well rounded nursery for a newborn. 

It's been ten years since I had to do this and back then I purchased almost everything new....and then donated/sold it because I did not think I would ever have another. Some things were kept and used with my nephew & nieces but the bulk of Big Brother's things are gone. I have his special clothes and blankets and some of his favorite books and toys that were kept and used....but I had to basically start over. I hope this post encourages some of you to take the thrifty route when planning your nursery!


 Before I start getting into detail on the items that are in Baby Brother's room I will go ahead and say that before I purchased some of these items I did check the dates they were manufactured as well as look for any safety recalls. Things from yard sales & thrift stores are not always up to safety standards so shop and purchase at your own risk.

We typically in the warmer months go looking for yard sales every Saturday morning around 8. I use an app called Yard Sale Treasure Map which links to craigslist and imports yard sales that are close by my location. I can't tell you how many times I have found awesome yard sales using this app. Most of the time I don't even have to leave our neighborhood or immediate area! Also, I will say use this at your own risk since the map is not always 100% accurate and sometimes if someone has canceled a sale it will not update in time. Once you get close to the area start looking for signs.

At one of these recent outings I found this wooden rocking chair for $5. I really wanted a cushioned over-sized glider.....but definitely could not afford $450+ for a new one and they are hard to come by in good used condition. Even then you are talking $100. When I saw this rocker I immediately purchased it. I tried to find a cushion I liked for the whole thing but those are also expensive. Do I actually NEED the whole thing padded....no....although I would like for it to be. I found the bottom cushion at the thrift store for $2. **BONUS** it was for two bottom cushions....and we happened to get a Free rocker as well at a yard sale because it was broken and the lady told me to take it. We fixed it up and put it in the living room! The retail price I would put on this rocker is $150....only because Im not sure where it was purchased. I know there is this one on Amazon that looks similar for $299.

The DIY toy boxes were a project that you can find details about here: {click here for the post}

The Ikea plush fox (which has a baby one to match) was found at the thrift store for $1 and the cute little fox book which was brand new was purchased for fifty cents.

The bouncer seat was also purchased at the thrift store for only $3. The batteries were barely working when I tested it so that at least told me that it worked. I typically bring batteries with me when I go thrifting to check things like that but here lately I have been forgetting to. Retail value of this in new condition (and this thing is in excellent condition!) is $65.00 on Amazon.


Another thing I'd like to point out is when buying used products, especially baby products make sure you can thoroughly clean the item. You do not know where this has been prior to you purchasing for use. As a rule....if I cannot take it apart and wash it in the washing machine for cloth/soft items then it better be free because I don't want to spend a lot of time sanitizing and hand/spot washing.

This may spark some controversy but we are using the heirloom crib that my friend Cindy gave us. Her children slept in this and before she moved away from Northern Virginia (sniff sniff) she asked me if I would like to have it. It is an Edison Little Folks Crib and I adore it! I checked all the safety standards and this crib does meet them other than the drop rail side which can easily be made stationary. The only crib like this I could find online for sale was for $450.00 which is because it is a vintage piece. I will put a value on the crib for $119 because you can purchase a brand new (& cute) one for that price.

The mattress was gently used and I got it for free off of a local Facebook yard sale site. New retail value for this is $75.

The rock & play sleeper was a yard sale find and I paid $8 for it. New retail price is $75.


This photo is going to be hard to determine a savings but Im sure most of you will know about how much these little toys and books retail for. A lot of the board books I found for twenty five cents at thrift stores or yard sales or they were Big Brothers & my nephews.

The black bag to the left contains a breast pump that I am borrowing from my dear friend Kelly. The retail value of this particular pump is $300.

The little donkey riding toy was too cute to pass up. It's in excellent condition and while I couldn't put it in the washing machine I was able to sanitize it very well. I couldn't find anything like it online but this is the closest thing to it and it retails new for $56.


Im going to be borrowing the changing table that my boss used for her sons but I have not been able to pick it up & bring it home. Retail value for a new changing table is about $80 and I will have to buy the padded part but I think those are about $10 so I will get that new.

My cloth diaper stash has come from a variety of places. Again, my friend Kelly gave me several of these and she also was able to find a deal for me on some used ones. I have also been able to find several at the thrift store. Retail for cloth diapers varies and it is hard to put a value on them. I have saved a lot this way and a big thank you to Kelly for helping me in my cloth diaper journey.


Let's see where do I begin here. From the right.....I got two Boppies at the thrift store. The "naked" one had a pink cover so I took it off and it is currently in the donate to the thrift store pile. A new Boppy with a cover retail for about $40.

The Bumbo seat with the tray was an awesome yard sale find. They didn't have these when Big Brother was a little guy and my nephew loved his so this was an essential item for me. Got it at a yard sale for $3 and a new one retails for $50.

The Moby Wrap was also a must for me and they are hard to find second hand at a decent price. I saw this one at a yard sale without a tag and almost did not ask the price scared it would be unreasonable. When she said $4 I almost cried....it is brand new! Retail price for a Moby Wrap is about $40.

The tummy time mat was new in the box and my sister had that left over from my nephew.

The two baby carriers are from the thrift store. One was was $1 and the other was $5. The  $1 carrier is Chicco brand. They retail new for $50. The other one is a CatBird Baby mei tai carrier. I got it for $5 and the new retail price for it is $79. The print I have is not being sold anymore though but this one is still in great used condition.

The crib bumpers were a thift store find for $2. They are Eddie Bauer brand and Im not even sure how to price them. The shopping cart and high chair cover was $1 at the thrift store. Retail for this particular one is $30. The My Breast Friend nursing pillow was not an essential item....just something I purchased prior to finding the Boppies. They retail new for $45 and I got this one for $2. Last is the baby bath. I paid $3 for this at the thrift store and this exact one retails new for $25.


I cannot even begin to price out clothes, shoes, etc. I got pieces from numerous places...hand me downs, yard sales, thrift stores, gifts. I have only purchased one thing new for his wardrobe and it was on clearance at Target. The blankets were all gifts and leftovers from Big Brother. You can check out my Thrifty Baby Shower to see more about the gifts I received by following this link.

So here is a roundup of the essentials and the amount of money I saved not buying new:

  • Rocking Chair ($145)
  • Custom Toy Boxes ($88)
  • Bouncer ($62)
  • Crib ($119)
  • Crib mattress ($75)
  • Rock n Play Sleeper ($68)
  • Breast Pump ($300)
  • Riding Donkey ($53)
  • Changing Table ($80)
  • Cloth Diapers (???)
  • Boppies ($72)
  • Sumbo seat ($47)
  • Moby Wrap ($36)
  • Chicco carrier ($49)
  • Mei Tai carrier ($74)
  • Cart/Chair cover ($39)
  • Nursing Pillow ($43)
  • Baby Bath ($22)
Grand total that I can actual say I have saved: $1786.00 and that is just on these items named. There may be close to another $800+ dollars that I do not have the time or want to put the effort into tracking including extra crib sheets (which are expensive and all the crib sheets we have are thrifted) as well as the countless toys he has....Im sure it is several hundred in savings on toys alone!

Now I need a nap after going through all of this....so sweet dreams & enjoy!



most people know that i am a thrift-a-holic. i even have my own thrifting website NOVAthrifting where i write reviews of local thrift stores here in northern virginia. 

anyways...when i announced my pregnancy in may i had so many friends asking me if i were going to have a baby shower and that they wanted to get me a gift. well....while i LOVE giving gifts and making things for others i am not so good at accepting gifts.....let alone opening them in front of people. so i started to get anxiety. also, im a little old school and since i had already had a baby shower with my first born (10 years ago) i felt like it was rude to ask for another shower.

my solution came to me one day while i was browsing through the baby section of one of my favorite thrift stores....why not have a thrifty baby shower?? so i started googling and searching on pinterest and could not find a thing. i find it hard to believe that someone out there has not had a thrifty gift baby shower! 

this is the BEST way to do it y'all and im about to tell you why! i got some really creative and awesome gifts for baby brother! i even had a prize for the person who had the most thrifty gift. i did do a baby registry for some things...not everyone has time to go thrifting or enjoys it like i do so i did not want to exclude anyone. and i do love everything i received....not just my thrifted items.

here are my invitations that i designed and my sister printed and mailed.





i got too many awesome things to list but here are a few things that i photographed to share.

clearance magnetic primer! such a great idea since i love to craft and make stuff!


my mother in law made this scrapbook which was from the goodwill and all the pieces she made were thrifted too!

my sister found this little toy horse at an antique consignment. too cute!

my mom got this bag at a yard sale for me to use as a diaper bag.

some of my favorite...i got blankets that belonged to my nieces, nephews and other family
members as gifts! love knowing that when i use them people i love have used them too!

so the most thrifty gift award goes too......

my former boss and one of my best good friends charlene. she really has a heart of gold. her gift was not only thrifty but the most sentimental. two of the gifts she gave me belonged to her son anthony sanders. he passed away when he was 16 years old on August 16, 2001 after a short battle with cancer. he was her only child and it is heartbreaking to think of the pain of not only loosing a child, but not being able to prevent it from happening. she is like a second mother to me and i love her dearly. the little tennis shoes were anthony's first pair and they even have a little alabama red clay on the bottom to remind me that he wore them in the yard. the baseball was one of his prized possessions...signed by the 1992 atlanta braves team. i will forever cherish these gifts....and all of them i received. THAT is why i recommend a thrifty baby shower. sometimes the greatest gift of all cannot be purchased new off the shelf....it it in someone's home or an item that can be recycled from the goodwill or thrift store.

here are some of the new gifts too. i loved them all! thank you everyone who took the time out of their day to come see us!




oh...and since it's fall i made this little mustache man pumpkin. isn't he cute??



happy thrifting ya'll!



Tired of looking at the nursery's grey plastic storage bin as a toy box I set out on a mission to find the perfect wooden box to create something special for my son. 

Here are my before photos. I got these from Bthrifty. They were 15.99 for the both but it was half off furniture the day we went so I got them for $7.50! What a deal! I instantly knew I wanted to make them toy boxes for Baby Brother but was not sure exactly what my vision was.

I got this Ikea fox plush from The Village Thrift for $1.

This awesome fabric...which took me hours to pick out, was only $2 a yard. I got it at Joann's on red tag half off clearance! The orange paint came from Home Depot and I got the sample size. It was less than $3 and I still have half of it left. The chalkboard paint was in my stock and I have gotten so much use out of the can I purchased about a year ago.


Total project cost: $12.50 for both
Published in Prince William Living
Star Chart Image 2
This summer, take your little ones on a tour to infinity and beyond from the comfort of your own backyard. To prepare for liftoff, know where you’re going and what you might see. Download this free printable sky chart, customized to the Northern Virginia sky.
We’re all captivated by the wonder of our galaxy—its faraway planets, many moons and falling stars. On clear summer nights, this vast expanse seems to beckon us to journey into deep space. Though you can’t climb into the family rocket and take a spin—not yet, anyway—you can take your little ones on a tour to infinity and beyond from the comfort of your own backyard.
To prepare for liftoff, it helps to know where you’re going and what you might see. After all, your kids will have lots of questions. You may have a star chart at home, but if not, I have created one for you to download and print here.
You can also visit Sky and Telescope magazine’s website and click on “This Week’s Sky at a Glance” to learn more about upcoming celestial events. Or you can download the Google Sky Map app to help locate celestial objects from your location.
You will also need an open horizon or view of the sky in an area that has low light pollution. A telescope is nice for viewing deep space objects and details on planets in our galaxy, but you can see them with a good pair of binoculars as well. Visit http://astronomyindc.org/places.shtml to see a list of local observatories, astronomy clubs, planetariums and space camps.


Start with the Moon
The moon is the largest and brightest object in the night sky. That makes it a good place to start family observations. Use a landmark in your yard to keep track of where and when the moon rises each evening. You do not need a telescope to see details on the moon. A set of binoculars will do nicely.
Watch how the moon crosses the sky each night. As time passes, your kids will see all of its phases. Explain that it doesn’t make its own light. As the moon circles Earth, the sun lights different parts of the lunar body. That’s why the moon’s shape seems to change. When the moon is full, look at its pattern of light and dark patches. Explain to your kids that the dark areas are large, flat lava plains. The light areas are hilly and full of craters. The largest full moon this year will be on the night of Aug. 10.

Virginia Moon 1
Reach for the Stars
The best time to see stars is on a moonless night. As soon as your family gets settled, ask everyone to close their eyes and count to 100. This will help your eyes adjust to the darkness. When you open them again, stars will seem to fill every corner of the sky. Ask your children how many stars they think there are. The universe contains billions of them, but we can only see about 2,000.

Pick a Planet
The first “star” you see at night might be a planet. How can you tell? Stars twinkle, but planets give off a steady light. Like the moon, a planet doesn’t make its own light. It reflects the light of the nearest star, the sun. Planets are smaller than stars, but they look big and bright to us because they are much closer to Earth.
Most planets will be hard to spot this summer, but Jupiter and its four largest moons, the Galilean moons, will be in the ideal position for viewing in July and August. You’ll need  binoculars or a telescope, so be sure your children have practiced using them before the big night.

Meet Some Meteors
A shooting star is really a meteor—a bright streak of light that we see when a small rocky body from space enters Earth’s atmosphere. You can see them any night of the year, but there are two excellent opportunities this summer:
  • Look for the Delta Aquarids meteor shower from July 21 to Aug. 23. The flashes of light will radiate from the constellation Aquarius. The best viewing will be July 27-28 after midnight, when the moon has set.
  • The Perseids meteor shower will produce up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak Aug. 11-12. Look toward the constellation Perseus in the northeast after midnight. The Perseids are particles released from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle during its numerous returns to the inner solar system.
Milkyway
Spot a Spacecraft
Shooting stars last just a few seconds. If you see a steady light cruise across the sky, it’s probably a spacecraft—a satellite, the space shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS)—orbiting Earth.
It will be easy to spot the ISS all summer long. To find out where and when to look, visit www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/ realdata/sightings. Click on “Go to Country” in the “Sighting Opportunities” box, and then select your state and town. Once you’ve spotted the spacecraft, watch your child’s interest in astronomy shoot to the moon.

Unplug and head outside. That’s the idea behind the National Wildlife Federation’s popular, nationwide Great American Backyard Campout.™ In conjunction with Great Outdoors Month, this annual June family event encourages people of all ages to camp in their backyards, neighborhoods, parks and campgrounds, as a way to reconnect with nature.
This year’s event is Saturday, June 28. “Kids need to experience camping, especially in their youth when the wonders of the outdoors can influence their future love for nature and wildlife,” said Maureen Smith, chief marketing officer for the National Wildlife Federation®, America’s largest conservation organization. National Wildlife Federation programs educate and inspire Americans to protect wildlife and its habitat for our children’s future.
 
There are a lot of benefits to taking your kids camping. “In addition to developing a deeper appreciation for the outdoors and the wildlife around them, through camping in their backyard or at a local park, being in nature helps to burn off energy, stay fit and be mentally focused for school, homework and all activities in their busy day,” Smith said.
For its Great American Backyard Campout, the National Wildlife Federation provides nearly everything you need to head out into the great outdoors. The event website(www.backyardcampout.org) has packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, nature games and more.
Now in its 10th year, the event is part of the organization’s 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign, a three-year initiative to get kids outside regularly, connecting to nature. According to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which supports the National Wildlife Federation campaign, increasingly fewer American children are playing outside, from 75 percent a generation ago to only 25 percent today. The goal of the federation’s initiative is “creating a generation of happier and healthier children with more awareness and connection to the natural world,” according to the NRPA (www.nrpa.org).
The National Wildlife Federation has worked to connect youth with nature for decades, inspiring children through its Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. magazines, working with educators to get kids learning outdoors and helping parents find new ways to engage their children outside.
For the past two years, my son and I have participated in the National Wildlife Federation’s camping event. Prior to moving to Prince William, we lived in a small town in rural Alabama. So camping in our backyard was very much like being in the middle of the woods. Instead of just throwing up a tent and heading to the backyard, I like to try to make things as exciting as possible. We work on crafts the week before and get our grocery list for the things we will want to cook on our campfire.
Of course, no campout can be complete without making s’mores. Here are simple steps to creating your own custom marshmallow roasters. I spent a total of $3 in supplies for this affordable craft, and kids will love being able to use their creativity to design their own.
Materials
  •  Long round wooden dowel 1 inch in diameter
  •  Sandpaper
  •  Metal skewers
  •  Industrial-strength glue
  •  Paint
  •  Sponge brushes
  •  Clear wood sealer spray paint
  •  Twine, buttons, scrapbook papers and other supplies to decorate (optional)
Directions
  •  Cut the wooden dowel into about 6-inch lengths. Drill a hole in the bottom for skewers and, if making a string handle, also through the top for the twine or yarn. Sand the edges.
  •  Decorate your dowels as desired and allow them to dry. Use clear wood sealer spray paint to coat the dowels and let that dry completely.
  •  Clip the end of your metal skewers and add adhesive to the end. Insert the skewer into the bottom of your dowel.
  •  Add your twine for the handle along with any buttons or other decor items you want to use.
  •  Before roasting food, burn the end of the metal stick in the fire for a few minutes to burn off any residue.
Also, lighting is always important when camping. You can create this Mason jar solar lantern with a basic Mason jar and a $1 solar light. Uncap the solar light from its stand. Remove the inner portion of the jar lid and secure the solar light to the top. I used hot glue and twine on this one. Use some heavy wire to wrap around the edge of the jar and create your hanger. Your new lantern will now easily hang from inside your tent. You could also skip hanging it and just set it out on the ground or your camp table.
For more information about the National Wildlife Federation, visit www.nwf.org. To learn more about its campout event, go to www.backyardcampout.org.
Outdoor Movie Night

This spring I am going crazy thinking of all the fun activities I want to do with my family. Warmer months are the perfect time for casual parties, afternoons with backyard water slides, water balloons and homemade popsicles.

When the weather starts to warm up, I always think of my family’s movie nights, which my family loves. Movie nights are even more fun when you bring them outdoors. My family only does this a few times a year since it takes a little extra effort, but the results and memories are worth it. On the day of movie night we prepare the yard and start setting up.

First, you need a projector. Prices for new top-of-the-line projectors can start well into the thousands of dollars. However, along with newer models, many electronics stores carry a range of cheaper, refurbished projectors, and you can find used models starting at around $200. There are also several websites that will rent a projector to you for less than $100. Or you may be able to borrow one from a friend.

Outdoor Movie Night3

Next, you will need a DVD player. Laptops or popular game consoles, such as Xbox or Wii, can serve this purpose, too. You will need A/V cables to hook your player to the projector just like you would with your television. Follow your projector’s instruction manual if you have any difficulties. You will also need sound since the projector will not provide that. If you don’t have stereo speakers, you may find them at yard sales or thrift stores.

Now onto the screen. You can show your movies on anything from a purchased or rented screen to a smooth outdoor wall. I use my photography backdrop stand with a thick white sheet. You could also secure the sheet along the fence or clothes lines.

Outdoor Movie Night4

Then, of course, atmosphere is vital. There are so many ways to create the perfect movie theater feel. I hang string lights for a soft glow. Candles and lanterns will do this as well. For seating, my family uses beanbag and lounge chairs, blankets and even tents. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can pull the couch or a futon outside like my dad used to do.

Another important component is food. No movie night is complete without snacks. Popcorn, candy and soda are requirements. I also like to get creative. “Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes” is one of our favorite outdoor movie treats.

Popcorn Cupcakes2

Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes  
I have created a special #pwliving version, which includes the “Yellow Butter Cake” recipe by Jason Shriner, The Aubergine Chef and Prince William Living’s “What’s Cooking” writer and monthly recipe contributor. (Look for his recipes at pwliving.com under “Food and Drink.”) INGREDIENTS About 8 egg yolks or 6 ounces (room temperature) 8 1⁄2 ounces milk 1/8 ounces vanilla extract 10 1⁄2 ounces all-purpose flour 10 1⁄2 ounces granulated sugar 19.5 grams (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) baking powder Pinch of salt 6 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature) DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place liners in cupcake pan.
  2. Combine the yolks, vanilla and 2 ounces of milk in a bowl and whisk lightly.
  3. Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine on low speed.
  4. Add the butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are moistened.
  5. Increase to medium speed and beat for 11⁄2 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
  6. Gradually add the egg mixture in three batches, mixing for about 20 seconds and scraping between each addition.
  7. Fill cupcake liners halfway and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes until finished. Let cool before decorating.
Simple Buttercream Icing
This easy-to-make, egg-free frosting recipe has been in my family for generations. It’s not only great on cupcakes, but also for decorating cookies for holidays, birthdays and parties. To add coloring to the icing, use color paste. INGREDIENTS 1⁄2 cup shortening 1⁄2 cup butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons milk DIRECTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and vanilla.
  2. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
  4. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.
Marshmallow “Popcorn”
For cupcake topping, you can get creative with marshmallow “popcorn.” You will need regular-size marshmallows, yellow food coloring and a little powdered sugar.

First, color half of your batch of marshmallows yellow and let them dry. Next, make a small cut in the middle of each marshmallow and then make three small cuts in their tops. Twist the marshmallows lightly at the middle. Then press the three “petal” shapes made from the three cuts lightly until they begin to fan out. Viola! Your marshmallows look like popcorn.

The more shapes you make, the better the “popcorn” will look. If the marshmallows get sticky while you are manipulating them, dust them lightly with powdered sugar. Be aware that the sugar will dull the yellow color of the marshmallows. So use it sparingly.

Click this image to download these custom Popcorn Cupcake Wrappers that I created exclusively for Prince William Living. Download, print on cardstock, cut along the lines and tape them together. Drop your cupcakes in after they have been decorates.
Popcorn Cupcake Wrappersa  

Wait! I forgot about the movie! Picking the perfect movie is key. Keep your audience in mind. Depending on the quality of the equipment you have, picking a family favorite may be better than choosing a new release as it could be hard to hear and the projector quality may not be up to movie theater standards. The Prince William Public Library System has a large selection of DVDs you can check out for free. Visit www.pwcgov.org/library.
 
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