Fun Ideas to Commemorate the School Year

With the school year wrapping up, we’ve gathered some great ideas to help commemorate the year for teachers, students, and parents too. (Let’s face it, it’s a long year for all of us!)

Get all your friends to sign a t-shirt that you can wear and remember for years.

Have children’s artwork turned into an artistic screen print.

Use sidewalk chalk to write a “Welcome to Summer” message on the road or driveway.

Take a Last Day of School photo holding your First Day of School Photo for a fun comparison.

Decorate the car with washable paints.

After a year of learning and development, have the class make future predictions about their professions as a gift to the teacher.

Do you have a fun way to commemorate the year? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Graduation Gift Idea: On Your Own Survival Kit

It’s that time of year when graduation caps begin flying in the air and young adults head off on their own for the first time, either to college or the great wide world. If you’re looking for a great graduation gift idea, we’ve got it: an “On Your Own Survival Kit” complete with all the little things you find yourself needing when suddenly you’re the one in charge. Use our list as a shopping guide or as inspiration for your own gift. But whatever you do, don’t forget the cookies!

The On Your Own Survival Kit

  • Small sewing kit with buttons, needles, thread
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Rainy day funds gift card
  • Cookbook
  • Kitchen knife set
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Cough drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Air freshener
  • Basic medications like pain, allergy, antacid
  • Address book with family and friends mailing addresses
  • Duct tape
  • WD-40
  • Flashlight
  • Assortment of batteries
  • Safety pins
  • USB thumb drive
  • Laundry soap
  • Tooth floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Cell phone battery backup
  • Basic screwdriver set
  • Basic wrench set
  • Krazy glue
  • Scissors
  • GPS
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Road atlas
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Ziploc bags
  • Clorox wipes
  • Multivitamins
  • Wall calendar
  • Board game
  • Emergency candles
  • Lint roller
  • Kleenex
  • Laundry basket
  • Sharpie markers
  • Box of ramen noodles
  • Case of toilet paper
  • Plunger
  • Travel blanket
  • Plenty of Mrs. Fields cookies

101 Questions to Ask A Relative

As you get together with family and friends for Memorial Day to celebrate the legacy of loved ones lost, take a few moments to interview your living loved ones. We’ve got a list of 101 questions to get you started. Use them all or choose some as a springboard for your own questions. The past will come alive and your loved one’s legacy will have voice in the here and now. Set up a camera or audio recorder and document it, or email questions to those far away.

  1. When were you born?
  2. Where did you grow up?
  3. Do you remember your first house?
  4. Who were your childhood friends?
  5. What was your favorite toy?
  6. How did you celebrate holidays as a child?
  7. Where were your childhood vacations?
  8. Did religion play a role in your childhood?
  9. Do you remember the first day of school? Your first teacher?
  10. What was your favorite way to fill an afternoon?
  11. What was your mother like?
  12. What was your father like?
  13. What were your siblings like?
  14. Did you have any pets?
  15. Did you like were you lived?
  16. What was your favorite childhood food?
  17. Where did you shop for groceries and supplies?
  18. Did you have a favorite song or singer?
  19. What was your favorite subject in school?
  20. Did you get good grades?
  21. Did you ever cut class?
  22. What was the best thing about your childhood?
  23. What was the worst thing about your childhood?
  24. What is a favorite memory of your mom?
  25. What is a favorite memory of your dad?
  26. Did you spend much time with your grandparents? What were they like?
  27. Who taught you to drive?
  28. What was the first car you drove?
  29. What was your first job? Were you good at it?
  30. Do you remember your first paycheck?
  31. What were you most excited about as a teenager?
  32. Where did you hang out with your friends?
  33. What did you think you’d grow up to be?
  34. Who influenced you most as a teenager?
  35. When was the first time you felt independent?
  36. Who was your first kiss?
  37. Who was your first boyfriend or girlfriend?
  38. What was your high school prom like?
  39. What were summers like where you grew up?
  40. What were winters like where you grew up?
  41. Did you play any sports or belong to any clubs?
  42. Have you ever been in a fist fight?
  43. Describe a time when you felt jealous.
  44. Describe a time when you felt successful.
  45. Who was the first president you really remember?
  46. Did you ever have to worry about war?
  47. Did you go to college? Where?
  48. How did college influence or change you?
  49. Did you have a favorite professor or class?
  50. What was your first “real” job after high school or college?
  51. What did you wear to your first “real” job?
  52. Did you like your boss?
  53. What excited you most about adulthood?
  54. What worried you most about adulthood?
  55. What was a typical date like when you were young?
  56. Where have you traveled?
  57. How many times have you been engaged?
  58. How many times have you been married?
  59. How did you know that was the person you wanted to marry?
  60. Where did you get married?
  61. Who was at your wedding?
  62. What do you remember about your wedding day?
  63. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
  64. In what ways was marriage what you thought it would be?
  65. In what ways was marriage different from what you expected?
  66. How did you choose your career?
  67. When was your first child born?
  68. What kind of parent were you when your child/children were young?
  69. What did you enjoy about early parenthood?
  70. How did becoming a parent change you?
  71. How much did a gallon of milk cost?
  72. How much did a gallon of gasoline cost?
  73. What were your ambitions?
  74. If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
  75. What is your best personality trait?
  76. What is your worst personality trait?
  77. Describe your first home where you paid the rent/mortgage.
  78. If you won $1000, what would you have done with it?
  79. Have you had any health scares?
  80. What age did you look and feel your best?
  81. How were your thirties different from your twenties?
  82. How were your fifties different from your forties?
  83. How were your seventies different from your sixties?
  84. How old do you feel?
  85. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?
  86. What do you think is better about the world today?
  87. What technological advances were most significant in your lifetime?
  88. Do you remember the first computer you saw? Used? Owned?
  89. How are you similar and different from your parents?
  90. How are you similar and different from your child(ren)?
  91. If you could go back in time to any date in your life, what would it be?
  92. If you could spend an afternoon with someone from your past, who would it be?
  93. Have you traveled to any foreign countries?
  94. Describe your perfect meal.
  95. Where do you hope to be in five years?
  96. What do you hope your legacy will be?
  97. If you could give a piece of advice to the next generation, what would it be?
  98. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
  99. What is your greatest hope?
  100. What is your greatest fear?
  101. If you could describe your life in one word, what would it be?

{Image via curiositiesbydickens.com}

How to Cut a Mango

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango
Whether you want to dice one up for a fruity salsa or to make a homemade sorbet, cutting a mango can be sticky business. Without the right technique, you’ll have mushy, misshapen pieces and handfuls of frustration. This simple method will have you slicing and dicing perfectly cut mangos in minutes. Give it a try!

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Start with a ripe mango, soft to the squeeze, a cutting board, a large knife and a paring knife.

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Stand the mango stem side up, and using the large knife and making the incision about a quarter inch from the stem, slice off one side of the mango. HINT: The pit is oblong and flat. If your cut runs into the pit, start a new cut another centimeter away from the stem.

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Repeat on the other side.

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Use the paring knife to cut the flesh from the two sides of the pit.

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Use the paring knife to score each half of the mango, and each of the side slices, cutting to the rind but not through it. (If you want long slices, cut only one direction.)

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Invert the rind and all the perfectly shaped cubes will pop out. Use the paring knife to slice them away from the rind.

Mrs. Fields Secrets Mango

Voila! Perfectly cut mango!

How to: Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

Mrs. Fields Secrets Preserved Herbs
We’ve got a great tip to keep those fresh herbs from your garden or your crisper drawer from wilting and browning before you get a chance to use them. You can preserve them in olive oil for up to three months in your fridge, enjoying the same freshly-picked flavor. This works particularly well with basil and parsley, but try it out with chives, thyme, and your other favorite herbs.

Preserved Herbs

2 bunches of fresh basil or parsley
3-4 teaspoons of coarse salt
olive oil
small jar

Directions
Thoroughly wash herbs and allow to completely dry. Remove the stems and place the leaves in a food processor then sprinkle with the coarse salt. (The salt will help preserve the shiny green color as well as keep the leaves from sticking together.) Use the “pulse” function to chop the herbs into a fine mince. Drizzle olive oil all along the sides and bottom of a mixing bowl and transfer the herbs to it. Whisk the herbs into the olive oil and drizzle more oil in to give the herbs a chance to separate and become coated with oil. Pour the mixture into a small jar, then top with another thin layer of olive oil. Place the lid on top and store in the fridge for up to three months. Use a scoop or two at a time to add fresh flavor to sauce, or as a delicious dip for bread.

HINT: Pair this with a fresh loaf of bread and you’ve got a thoughtful gift!

 

Recipe: Banana Bread French Toast + Other Mother’s Day Meal Ideas

Mrs. Fields Secrets Banana Bread French Toast
Start your Mother’s Day off right with a delicious meal for mom made with love. We’ve got some incredibly delicious meal ideas, including this Banana Bread French Toast drizzled in maple syrup, dappled with fresh blueberries, and topped with a dollop of whipped lemon sour cream, the perfect tang to balance all the decadent sweet. Try it with our delicious banana bread recipe (which you can make ahead of time), or you can cheat with your favorite store-bought loaf. (We won’t tell Mom.)

Banana Bread French Toast

1 loaf banana bread, cut into 2-inch slices (see recipe below)
unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
maple syrup

Directions
In a shallow baking dish, whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg together. In a small mixing bowl, whip the sour cream with the lemon zest until light and fluffy. Set aside. Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium-high heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan. Dredge each side of each slice of banana bread in the egg mixture, then place on the hot pan and cook until crusty and brown before flipping over to cook the other side. Remove from heat and top with maple syrup, blueberries, and sour cream. Makes approximately 4 servings.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups ripe, mashed bananas (about 4 large bananas)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the mashed bananas and scrape the sides to incorporate any butter that sticks to the sides. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg together. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the buttermilk until just combined. Prepare two loaf pans with nonstick spray and add the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife dipped into the middle comes out mostly clean. Allow to sit for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Other Favorite Mother’s Day Meal Ideas

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Menu
Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
German Pancakes
Baked Cake Donuts 
Berry Muesli
Bite-Sized Brunch Menu
Cherry and Sweet Goat Cheese Turnovers

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Dessert Ideas

Mrs. Fields Secrets Cinco de Mayo Desserts
You’ve got your guacamole ready, plenty of chips and salsa, and an abundance of ice for your margaritas, but what about dessert? Here are a few fun last-minute ideas to give your Cinco de Mayo party a sweet ending! (Follow links for full instructions.)

1. Sombrero Sugar Cookies
2. Crispy “Fried” Ice Cream
3. Churro Truffles
4. Margarita Cupcakes
5. So-Easy Sopapillas
6. Easy Tres Leches Cake
7. Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

A Spoonful of Sugar and Other Fresh Flower Tips

Spring is busting out all over, which means fresh flowers outside and in! If you clip a few from your budding garden or on a nature walk, here are some great tips for keeping them looking fresh and fabulous even longer.

1. Think outside the vase. Use a group of smaller jars or bottles to serve as vases. This will keep the stems from getting overcrowded and moldy in one vase, plus it allows you to introduce different heights and shapes of your arrangement.

2. A teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down…and helps the flowers bloom too! Dissolve a half or full teaspoon of sugar (depending on the size of your container) in warm water in each vase. This will help mimic the natural chemical balance for the flowers and the height of their bloom and keep them bright and full for a longer period, and the warm water will stimulate the intake of fluids into the stem. Refresh the water and sugar every 3-4 days.

3. Trim excess leaves. Before putting them in water, trim excess leaves from the stems. Only keep those that are above the container’s top.

4. Cut stems underwater at a 45-degree angle with a sharp blade. When possible, trim at least two inches from the bottom. After 3-4 days, trim the bottoms again when you refresh the water.

5. Keep flowers away from fruit. The gases emitted from fruits will speed the wilting and decaying process of your flowers.

6. Place wildflowers in the refrigerator at night to mimic the cool night air. This can extend their life for up to 5 additional days!

7. Remove dead buds and leaves daily. Flowers take cues from each other, so keep the droopy and dead pieces culled for optimum results.

{Image via Pinterest.}

25 Great Ideas for a Date Night In

Having a great date night with your significant other doesn’t have to mean a night out on the town. Here are 25 great ideas to have a great time right at home by adding a little creativity to make things special.

  1. Grab the laptop and plan out a fantasy vacation. Money is no object, so explore where you would stay, what you would eat, tours you would take, what you would wear, and souvenirs you would bring home. It’s almost as fun as the real thing, and much more affordable!
  2. Give each other a “Chopped” challenge by putting a handful of random ingredients in a shopping bag and exchange them. One of you creates dinner with your ingredients and the other creates a dessert.
  3. Recreate your first date, but at home. Cook the same meal you first ate together, find that old movie to watch together, or set up a bowling lane in your hallway. Whatever it was, rekindle those first flames with a creative repeat.
  4. Read to each other from a favorite book or a sexy novel.
  5. No need to embarrass yourself in front of a class. Learn to dance together by finding instructional videos online and then trying them out together.
  6. You like Chinese food, but he prefers pizza. So why not do a little of both? Order your favorite take out from different places and enjoy your own food festival.
  7. Get in your pajamas and make breakfast for dinner and eat by candlelight. Try one of our favorite breakfast menus for inspiration.
  8. Learn some birding basics and go birdwatching in your backyard. You’ll discover a whole new world right outside your door.
  9. Build a fire in the fireplace and spread out a soft blanket with some pillows. Add a cheese plate and a bottle of wine and you’re set for hours of romantic relaxation.
  10. Have your own karaoke night alone or with friends. Borrow a karaoke machine or sing into a hairbrush, but whatever you do, belt out a love song for your date.
  11. Get out your favorite board game, but add some “naughty” twists to the rules. (Wink, wink.)
  12. Do you know your significant other’s lifelong dreams and wishes? Write out your bucket lists together and then post them somewhere in the house as a reminder.
  13. Pack a picnic and head to the backyard for a private, romantic, eat-with-your-hands meal. Bring a blanket big enough to sprawl on, some good music, and a book of poetry to read.
  14. Prepare a deluxe bubble bath to take together. Splurge on some fancy soaps and loofahs, light some candles, and bring a plate of chilled berries and drinks.
  15. Give the opera a try without the expensive ticket and uncomfortable seats. Watch famous opera arias online, or rent a popular opera and watch it together. (Subtitles help, so look for one that has them.)
  16. Give each other massages. All you need is a bottle of massage oil, a new age music playlist on Pandora, and some simple tips and tricks to get started.
  17. Buy an exotic food at the grocery store and learn how to cook it together. Ask your grocer for tips and ideas, and even recommendations. You may discover a favorite new food!
  18. Learn the night sky and do some stargazing together after dark. Get a map and look for the naked eye constellations, or use a telescope to explore more hard-to-find clusters.
  19. Take a long, lingering walk around your area. Hold hands, walk slow, take time to stop and smell the roses.
  20. Have a wine tasting together. Choose 3-5 bottles of a specific type of wine, ranging in price and have a tasting together.
  21. Do your best Barbara Walters and interview each other. Use these questions for inspiration or jot down your own probing questions to learn even more about each other.
  22. Have a pretend power outage. Turn off the power to the house and shut down all those handheld devices. Enjoy the quiet and the candlelight and get creative to entertain yourselves.
  23. Use your best sound system and create a concert of your favorite songs, or look up your favorite artists in concert and enjoy the best seats in the house.
  24. Get a new perspective and climb up on the roof together. (But be safe!) Enjoy the view, the quiet, and a chance to reconnect.
  25. Have a cookie bake off where each of you choose a favorite cookie recipe and put your baking skills to the test. (Search our Recipe Index for some Mrs. Fields favorites!)

{Image via Getty Images.}

Small Cookies, Big News: Nibblers Cookies Are Coming to a Grocery Store Near You!

NibblerPackaging
What’s bigger than big? Our big news about our Nibblers® Cookies, that’s what! Your favorite snackable, stackable cookies are available in grocery stores nationwide this spring! That’s right, our Nibblers® Cookies, the darlings of our catalogs, website, and stores can now become the darlings of your weekly grocery list. Check them out…

01_MilkChocolate_Vertical

But wait, what’s that we spy? Is that a layer of rich, chocolate fudge on the bottom of each cookie? Yes, yes it is. You may need to sit down for these. Yes, sit down with a tall glass of milk and a fresh package of 15 cookies and contemplate how great your life just became, because all of our packaged Nibblers® Cookies are fudge dipped for ultimate cookie indulgence. And they are so delectably petite, there’s never any harm in indulging. So, pick up a package for your next book club, sleepover, or movie night. Better yet, get two.

Available Nibblers® Cookies flavors:
Milk Chocolate
Peanut Butter
Double Chocolate Fudge

Look for them on the cookie aisle at Kroger and other grocers this spring!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...