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Month: May 2013

Pear Tree Greetings: Our Graduation Party

Pear Tree Greetings: Our Graduation Party

ptg2I was watching Rock Center before and there was a salute, of sorts, to the class of 2013. There were clips of graduates and commencement speeches, some of which got me teary eyed.

The notion of graduation, that right now is the beginning of the rest of your life, that you can be whatever you dream to be, it was so amazing.

Also today, I read a story about a woman who started as a receptionist at a company and, 31 years  later, she was just named CEO of the company. What a day to be reminded that anything is possible, you can be anything.

It also reminded me to tell you about the graduation items at Pear Tree Greetings.

Whether you are planning a preschool graduation, a college graduation, or anything in between, Pear Tree Greetings has you covered. You can buy anything from address labels, personalized signs to stick in your lawn, seniors sweatpants, and more.

Although I thought about picking these items, for our graduation party, I stuck with personalized napkins, confetti, and thank you cards.


You can personalize the colors of all the items to match your school’s colors. I picked purple and white. Although the example cards and napkins that I liked weren’t purple, I was able to change the colors to purple and white, which was the perfect theme for the party.

I did base this around the confetti, which did come in purple.

I absolutely loved the confetti to decorate the tables. I’ve always been a big fan of confetti, but I hate that shiny cheap stuffed. You know, you’ve seen those bright blue shiny graduation cap-shaped confetti and those pearl colored diplomas. Oh no. That spells a tacky party. This confetti by Pear Tree Greetings is a thick paper in various shades of purple. But of course, it can be personalized. You can add up to seven photos (with both a front and a back) to make the large confetti circles. I added the same picture to both sides of the photo confetti but you don’t have to. One order of confetti is about 1,250 pieces, so you will definitely have enough to decorate all your tables. Just grab a handful and decorate the center of the table (then invite me over).


Another small item to add to your party to make it pop is personalized napkins. You can make photo napkins, but to me, it was a little weird. I don’t want people to be wiping their mouths with a photo of my face. Kinda awkward.

But you can get other napkins that are just text, but you can still personalize them. The ones I got say Class of 2013 in script up top and then I personalized them to add the name of the school below it. The trouble was, I selected a black to write the name and it didn’t show up all that very well.

I do love how the cocktail napkins looked under cocktails though. Plus, the napkins are a little thicker than a regular napkin, so they will hold up to your drink (okay, they will hold up to multiple drinks). Sounds like a good way to save napkins.


When the party is over, you will need to mail out thank you cards. I selected the celebrated elegance line, and I don’t know why I didn’t realize that they were flat cards until they arrived. I absolutely love them though. The design is gorgeous and I was able to select the color to match the rest of the party.

Now I just have to hope that everyone realizes that purple is the color of our graduation party and that is the reason for the cards (which you can get white or ecru envelopes for; I picked ecru, just because).

Right now, there’s a graduation sale going on. You can get $10 off a $75+ order with the code 10GRADUATE, $15 off a $100+ order with the code 15GRADUATE, and $20 off a $125+ order with the code 20GRADUATE. You can also save $10 off a $50 purchase with the code SHARE10.

Take a look at the items and let me know what you would use for your party.

Pear Tree Greetings provided the items for our party.

Amazon: Get A FREE Book From Audible & 30 Day Trial — Perfect For The Gym (It’s Back)

Amazon: Get A FREE Book From Audible & 30 Day Trial — Perfect For The Gym (It’s Back)

I’m starting to go back to the gym. I need to get in shape for the wedding.

When I’m there, though, I bring a magazine. If you can’t read on the treadmill, no worries. What about listening to a book?

That’s where Audible by Amazon comes in. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial, which means you can get a free book. So excited. Now you’ll have something to “read” at the gym.

It works like this: Sign up for Audible. You don’t have to create a new log in (you can if you want, but you can just use your Amazon log in). If you create a new log in, you will be asked for your credit card info; if you use your Amazon log in, it will use the credit card you have on file.

You will NOT be charged for the one-month free trial.

Every month, you will get one book credit for free. Most books cost one credit. You download the book to your computer or mobile device. It’s yours to keep and listen to whenever you please.

If you want to keep the service, you can pay $14.95 a month and each month you will get a new book credit, which means you can get a new book for free.

If you don’t want to keep it, you can sign up for Audible, download your free book, and cancel after. You’ll get to keep your free book and you won’t have to worry about paying each month.

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes

artichoke1Until I met Pete, I had never eaten a whole artichoke. Artichoke hearts, sure, but never the entire thing.

The first time we went to Christmas dinner and they were there, my eyes widened and I was so confused. I needed help.

Now that Pete has made them twice in the last two weeks, I’m a pro. The first time he made it to try out the recipe, the second was for this post.

Stuffed Artichokes

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 artichokes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Peccorino Romano cheese (or Parmesa)
  • 5 cloves of garlic

What You’ll Do:


Chop off the top of the artichoke. You need to expose the leaves in order to stuff them, so don’t cut too little.


Chop of the thorns. Each leaf has one and you don’t want to eat it. You can use regular scissors to do this, but we used poultry sheers because that’s what we had handy.


Chop off the stem and a little of the base.


You want to chop off enough so that it sits flat. This is super important for when you cook it later.


Punch the garlic. At least, that’s what it always looks like to me. Instead of trying to peel the skin off, Pete always puts a knife on top and slams it with his fist. It crushes the garlic enough so that the skin is easily removed. Also, chop off the base of the clove.


Chop the garlic (and yes, Pete changed knives. He started chopping with a serrated knife and it just wasn’t working so he went to a non-serrated one).

artichoke8 artichoke8a artichoke8b artichoke8c artichoke8d

Put breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the cheese. Then add the chopped garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir everything until it is mixed.


Begin stuffing. You really want to be careful to get the breading within every leaf. Separate the leaves with a spoon (especially up top). The better you can stuff, the better it tastes.

We didn’t have any extra stuffing, but if you do have some, you can save it and dunk the heart in it when you’re eating.


Put the artichokes in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes (check your pressure cooker for directions, in case yours varies, but ours requires a small bit of water and high heat).


Serve warm.

Stuffed Artichokes
  1. 3 artichokes
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1.5 cups bread crumbs
  4. .25 cup Peccorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
  5. 5 cloves of garlic
  1. Chop off the top of the artichoke.
  2. Chop of the thorns.
  3. Chop off the stem and a little of the base.
  4. Chop the garlic.
  5. Put breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the cheese. Then add the chopped garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Stir everything until it is mixed.
  6. Begin stuffing. You really want to be careful to get the breading within every leaf.
  7. Put the artichokes in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.
Drugstore Divas
Follow Lisa Sokolowski @ Drugstore Divas’s board My Recipes on Pinterest.

Ace Hardware: Free Craftsman Bottle Opener On Saturday (First 50)

Ace Hardware: Free Craftsman Bottle Opener On Saturday (First 50)

What are you doing Saturday morning?

We are actually going to a concert on the beach, so we will be up and about in the morning … so maybe we’ll have to stop by Ace Hardware.

The first 50 people at Ace on Saturday, June 1 with this coupon will get a free Craftsman Bottle Opener.

It actually looks really cute for a man to keep in the garage with his tools. Father’s Day gift? Maybe.

Grasshopper: Get A Phoneline To Work At Home

Grasshopper: Get A Phoneline To Work At Home

grasshopperI work at home, which is kinda challenging. I had four packages delivered (separately) today and needed to sign for three of the four. My lunch break consists of taking a shower.

A phone line shouldn’t be a work at home challenge. You don’t want to give out your home number to your potential clients, which is why Grasshopper is great.

You’re able to get your own local or 800 number … hooked up to your cell phone without actually having to give out your cell phone number for work.

If you work at home, check it out.

Free Sample: Maxwell House KCups

Free Sample: Maxwell House KCups

maxwell houseKcups are such a treat for us here. At $.42 a cup (on a good sale), I’m just too cheap to buy them. We use ground coffee or beans and the reusable filter in the Keurig. Works just fine.

But, I love love love free samples of kcups. Such a joy. And I just found a new one.

Right now, you can get a free sample of Maxwell House kcups. Just click that link and play the game or just go straight to the sample (that’s what I did).

Don’t forget, there are also two Gevalia samples available: Gevalia sample from Facebook and Gevalia kcup sample.