Blog Archives

6 delicious dips to make in your slow cooker

January 26, 2015
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Fix it and forget it…sounds like my kind of recipe! All of these mouthwatering, tasty dips are just that–basically combining all your ingredients into your slow cooker, mixing, then walking away.

slow cooker dips

Whether you’re throwing a party for the big game or just having a few friends over, we think these amazing appetizers will impress your guests (with very little work involved)!

You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of toasted crusty bread if you decide to whip up this Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Dip. Head over to Cooking and Beer if you’d like to also find out what beers pair up perfectly with Justine’s dip.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip–have your ever enjoyed this at your favorite restaurant and thought, “I wish I could make this at home”? Well, now you can! Check out Tina’s recipe on Just Putzing Around The Kitchen.

If you’re looking to spice it up a little, check out Sarah’s recipe for 7-layer Bean Dip on her blog-The Magical Slow Cooker. This dish requires a little extra prep work (browning the meat), but just looking at this photo it appears to be well worth the effort.

Cris explains that her recipe has three things going for it….bacon, cheese, and more cheese! If her Bacon Double Cheese Dip looks like something you’d like to try, take a trip over to her blog Recipes That Crock where you can get the whole scoop.

Move over store bought onion dip–and make way for this Crock Pot Creamy Onion Dip. It takes only 2 hours of cook time in your slow cooker to make this crowd pleaser.

Tammilee makes a good point…if you’re having guests over, making your food ahead of time makes sense so that when your guests start to arrive you can actually spend time with them and enjoy the party instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Here’s her timesaver: Crock Pot Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip.

Like appetizers that taste great and are easy to make?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

send some love

January 23, 2015
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I know the holiday season is the most popular time to send cards and gifts to those you love but my favorite time of year to send pretty packages is Valentine’s Day.  It’s a slower time of year that isn’t over scheduled… The days are cold and often grey… And people aren’t expecting it so it’s even more of a happy surprise.  All of these goodies are easy to slip into a padded     envelope for simple shipping.

surprise snail mail gift ideas

1.  Cute dish towels are one thing you never can have too many of… especially when they are made of super thirsty flour sack towel material  $9.95

2.  Does your car need a smell makeover?  This fun freshener pack will do the trick!   $8.95

3.  Sweet treats always need testing before they head to the oven and this batter finger spatula was made just for that!  $9.95

4.  Create an air tight seal over your leftovers in a snap with a magical lily pad lid $8.95+ 

5.  Take a long hot relaxing soak with the help from a lavender tub tea  $4.25 

6.  There’s nothing wrong with a little positive affirmation from your pocket mirror $3.95

7.  Need some inspiration to get up and into the shower?  Morning Dew soap was made for you $5.95 

8.  Take your favorite instagram photo off your phone and display it on this pretty photo block $13.95 

9.  Pretty nail files are always a plus $5.95

10.  Add a little color therapy to your wrist for some extra passion & courage in your life  $11.95

11.  Too cold to go out?  Invite your girlfriends over for a girl’s night in… complete with fancy drinks and the latest dish  $10.95

surprise snail mail for kids

1.  Zip up some serious style with these creative bracelets  $3.95

2.  Warm up with some Hello Kitty PINK hot chocolate  $1.95

3. Flossing is a bit more fun when it is cupcake flavored  $5.95

4.  Dressing up these adorable animals are sure to bring smiles $5.99

5.  Whoopee cushions have been bringing laughs for decades $1.95

6.  Build something fun with this clever building toy from Denmark $10.95

7.  Candy charm bracelets never go out of style  $.50

8.  Finger eyes can turn any hand into a personality $1.95

9.  I mustache you… where did you get those fabulous bandages? $5.95

10.  Play away with this addicting and color changing thinking putty  $11.95

11.  Doodle away with colorful pens that smell sweet too!  9.95  

Do you like fun finds that bring  big smiles? We’re happy to share some of our unique ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

cupid is back

January 20, 2015
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We really enjoyed playing cupid last year and it warmed our hearts knowing our little packages of goodies brought smiles to deserving souls during the gray days of February.  Since it was our very first Cupid Call Campaign we were truly overwhelmed with the response rate.  Because of the large volume of nominations we were limited to selecting  only a percent of the nominees due to the cost of shipping all the packages.  In hopes of being able to shoot more arrows of love and light this year, we chatted with Cupid and made a few changes to the campaign.

cupid call envelope

This year instead of sending packages with goodies we hope the recipient would like, we are mailing valentines stuffed with our own cupid currency that spends the same as cash during the month of February at our locations in Ann Arbor, Berkley and Rochester.

The valentines are still anonymous but they do explain a little bit about how our Cupid Calls work.  Now we just need you to help us find sweet souls who could use a little extra love sent their way this February.

cupid call

Your nominees could have had a hard holiday season,  dealing with health problems, recently lost someone special or maybe just struggle to keep a smile on their face.

1. Email your submission to service@catchingfireflies.com with subject title: CUPID CALL (please do not leave info in the comments section on this post)

2. Include your nominee’s full name, age and mailing address.  One submission per email please. (there is no age limit for nominees)

3.  In a short paragraph, let us know why they need a cupid call.

4.  Include your full name and your relationship to the nominee.

Deadline for entry is February 10

We’re going to do our best to send out as many cupid calls as possible.   You will not know if your nominee was chosen, but if they were, a pretty pink envelope with a valentine and cupid cash will be delivered to their mailbox.

If you do have additional questions, please ask them in the comments box and we will reply so everyone can see them.

surprise someone with sweet snail mail

January 19, 2015
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Everyone loves getting mail (we’re not talking bills here!)–you know the handwritten kind. The kind that means someone actually took the time to sit down and write something special.

snail mail

In this age of technology, this is something that has definitely gone by the wayside (it’s so much easier to type out a quick email)…so, just imagine the delight on the face of your friend or family member when they open up the mailbox and discover that you’ve sent them something extraordinary !

Who wouldn’t love this sweet treat in their mailbox? Head over to 52 Kitchen Adventures to read all about how easy it is to ship cupcakes.

The gals over at Hey Wanderer can show you how to turn your old magazines into envelopes. Click here to get the scoop on this easy craft.

Your handwriting is a something that you can truly call your own. Brush up on your lettering skills before you sit down to write a note to that special someone. You can also use your fancy fonts to adorn the outside of your envelope. Diane from In My Own Style also shows you to how pick a pen and create shadows for your lettering.

Send someone the gift of soft, supple lips this winter  by making this cool note to wrap right around the lip balm itself. According to AmberLee from the Giver’s Log, you can then just drop it in the mail as is–no additional packaging required.

Did you know that you can mail a ball? Simply write your own message on it and take it to your Post Office. This delightful idea is courtesy of Allison at The House of Hendrix.  She calls it “happy mail” and we definitely agree.

Who needs an envelope when you can send a Message In a Bottle? We found this clever concept over on the Playdough to Plato Blog. Drop someone a simple note or use this cool idea for delivering an invitation to a Pirate themed birthday party.

shoe invites We’ve personally pushed the envelope (so to speak) when it comes sending bizarre things.  We like to make our firefly team smile and won’t a pink party invite on a shoe do just that?

unusual mail A pack of markers makes for easy sending too!  Who wants to cover up all the color with a brown padded envelope?

unusual mail

For inspiration we recommend walking around a thrift shop or dollar store and see what you could send.  We’ve sent frisbees, flip flops, paper plates and more.  Unfortunately not all these plastic wine glasses made (I was warned) but some did and who wouldn’t smile to find one of these waiting for them with an invite to meet a friend for some much deserved drinks?

Like to make this world a little brighter?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

love this giveaway

January 14, 2015
By

LOVE this giveaway

One way to warm up during this chilly season is by spreading a little love and we’re going to do just that with this lovely giveaway.  If you have a few favorite photos that need to come off your phone and into your home these handmade photo frames and holders belong to you.   $60.40 value

Just enter below and these goodies could be yours! We’ll select the winner’s names on Wednesday February 21, 2015 and they will be listed on this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to miss out on future fantastic firefly giveaways?  Be sure to stay in the loop  by signing up here and we’ll email our fun-filled blog posts to your inbox!

6 ways to spread a little sunshine

January 13, 2015
By

Wanna warm someone’s heart? All it takes is a small random act of kindness to remind us of all the goodness and love surrounding us everyday.

spread sunshine

If you’re game for making someone’s day–check out the cool ideas that we found from some fellow bloggers. Who knows…you may even inspire your recipient to pay it forward!

Here’s a nice big list of ideas to get you started–head over to the Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Blog where you’ll find a list of 50 Random Acts of Kindness. (photo credit: supersonicphotos on flickr)

Send the kids on a secret mission to for an entire week! The Fickle Pickle has all the forms ready for you to print and get your little ones brainstorming on special ways to brighten someone’s day.

Meri Cherry came up with the idea of getting her class to create these Clay Hearts and then handing these unexpected gifts out to everyone! She also suggests slipping one into a purse or leaving one on someone’s keyboard as a sweet little surprise. Click here to read her whole story.

On the Find Joy In The Journey Blog, you can print the cute Random Acts of Kindness cards to leave behind. You’ll also find some more cool ideas for ways to make someone’s day.

Picture the waiting room of a hospital or an oncology office…usually not the most pleasant place to be, right? Dana thought of a way to relieve a little stress there by leaving a bowl of “hugs” there.  You can find all the details on Make Them Wonder.

Turn date night into an evening of serving others (and have a lot of fun doing it)! Imagine the look of surprise when someone walks up to rent a movie and finds the bag of goodies that you’ve made to share with them. Camille and Jacob have a whole slew of neat ideas for your RAOK Date Night on their blog, Friday We’re In Love.

Like to make this world a little brighter?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

making 2014 brighter

January 6, 2015
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Now that we’re one week into the new year, there are loads of tips, ideas and solutions on how to make it better.  We are in that mode too but before we cruise full speed into planning and preparing for a fabulous 2015,  we want to take a moment to look back and celebrate the days we made brighter in 2014.

shopping spree winners

Remember that $63 shopping spree you signed up for at our stores?  This is one of our lucky firefly fan’s stash of goodies she got with her winnings!  Maybe 2015 is your year to score this happy deal?  It’s one of our favorite ways to give $3000 back to our fans every year.

cupid call

We grabbed our bow and arrow last February and played cupid by sending out 180 pretty packages to deserving souls nominated by their friends and family to receive a surprise care package.

rochester makeover

Our little train depot in Rochester got one BIG MAKEOVER and we never tire from hearing how our firefly fans are loving the new space.  I also want to thank our firefly team who took on this makeover like champs.  Nothing like 6 straight days of cleaning, prepping, painting, moving, assembling, reorganizing and displaying!

piper

Piper may not know how to gift wrap or check someone out, but she does greet our customers from time to time and continues to delight so many of our firefly fans as she makes her way around our Berkley location.

best of detroit

Winning best place to buy a gift 8 years in a row definitely brought BIG SMILES to our team.  Thank YOU firefly fans for your love and support of our whimsical world!

lillolo

Okay, this is more of a personal shiny moment for Steve and me…  This adorable little lady joined our family and has been busy bringing joy to everyone she meets.  She continues to be a curious soul who loves a good game of peek-a-book and giggles with glee when she is happy.

magical courtyard

Many bubbles were chased and fairies spotted in our purple wheelbarrow garden all summer long at our Ann Arbor location.

ice bucket challenge

We accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Seeds of Happiness and happily donated $200 to ALS and Operation Kid Equip to help send kids back to school with the supplies they needed.

loops of love

To celebrate the amazing people in our firefly fan’s lives who are fighting or have battled breast cancer we linked together over 400 pink paper loops at all our locations and donated $1500 to the Pink Fund.  We also sent out $600 worth of catching fireflies cash to surprise survivors in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

halloween

We love all the festive activities the Rochester DDA puts together for downtown family fun and passing out Halloween treats is one of our favorites!

holiday open house

Thanks to your generosity at our holiday open house we were able to donate over 300 pounds of canned goods to Open Hands Food Pantry.

thaw fund

We’re always happy to offer complimentary gift wrapping and are thankful for your generosity during December because we raised over $700 worth of tips that we donated to the THAW fund!

mudlove

We’ve sold over 600 mudlove bracelets this year which means we raised $2500 dollars to donate to charity water.

We also have given out over $3000 worth of charity gift card books throughout the year to over 50 non-profits and schools in our area to help with their fundraising efforts.

shining our light

Thank you for letting us be light in your life and partnering with us in our charitable efforts.  Cheers to another bright and beautiful 2015!

stylish succulent gardening – no green thumb required!

January 2, 2015
By

I have joined the succulent movement and have quite a few of these darlings in my home.  These hardy little plants need little to no care at all and are just right for indoor gardening and perfect for fairy gardens! I dug a little deeper into the history of succulents and learned that many of them originated in desert areas and are able to store water in their fleshy leaves and flowers.

succulents

 

If your previous plants have fallen victim to neglect–succulents are your solution! Here are just a few trendy ways to start your own sensational succulent garden…

Jessica at Mom 4 Real shares all her secrets on How to Grow and Care for Succulents.  Her best tip??–make sure you use a well draining pot, otherwise they will rot.

Make a modern version of a 70s classic…Thrifty Decor Chick will show you how to make your Succulent Terrarium. These would make a lovely table centerpiece!

Head over to Infarrantly Creative to find out how to create this Industrial Tiered Tabletop Succulent Garden that was inspired by a cupcake stand!

Another ingenious idea from Jessica at Mom 4 Real…check out her guest post on Snap Creativity where she can teach you how to turn an ordinary mason jar into a succulent planter.

Go vertical with your garden…this unique Vertical Succulent Planter takes about 2 months to get going, but as you can see-it’s well worth the wait. Take a trip over to Confessions of a Secret Crafter to get all the details.

Pink-Pebbled-Succulent-Planters

If all green isn’t your thing, add a splash of color to your plant by incorporating some neon aquarium gravel into your container. Chelsea shares the endless possibilities on her blog, Making Home Base.

succulent

If you little plants get too big for their pots, Needles and Leaves shows you how to grow new tiny ones by simply removing the leaves from the large succulent!

Like to create simple projects that bring a little life inside your home?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox. 

cheers to a new year

December 29, 2014
By

Planning to party this Wednesday evening?  Grab a few of these goodies and bottle of bubbly to bring in the New Year.

new years party hostess gifts

1.  Keep your white wine chilled with this cool pour through corkcicle.  $24.95

2.  Just what the doctor prescribed…  a shot of liquid fun $21.95

3.  Toast to friends who share your same talent  $19.95

4.  Make any drink your guests want with this super handy 10 in 1 bar tool $29.95

5.  You’ll be counting down to midnight in no time because time does fly with friends  $3.95

6.  Now here is a toast your troop can raise their glasses to.  $5.50

Do you like fun finds that bring  big smiles? We’re happy to share some of our unique ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

7 healthy appetizers that your guests will love

December 27, 2014
By

Need to get an early start to your resolution?  Delicious doesn’t have to mean loads of calories or fat.

healthy appetizer recipes

If you’re looking for a way to lighten up the menu, get the party started with few of these a few of these amazing appetizers that we found on the web from some creative cooks…

The Spinach and Bacon Deviled Egg recipe courtesy of Emily on the Healthy Seasonal Recipes blog replaces mayo with greek yogurt and lots of other unique ingredients. She put a very flavorful spin on a family classic.

You may have to hold everyone back from digging into the Zucchini Carpaccio once it hits the table.  It’s not only delish, but a true feast for the eyes. Find the full recipe on DishTales.

If you take a trip over to Mason Jar Salads, Spinach Broccoli Bites is just one of the healthy and tempting dishes that you’ll find. These bite-size portions are great for kids!

Head over to Peas & Crayons to find out how to turn a pepper into an instant appetizer….these Healthy Humus Stuffed Peppers are a nice crunchy way to add nutrition to your menu.

You’ve probably enjoyed this tasty dip at a restaurant, but now you can learn how to make a slimmed down version by following Monica’s recipe for a Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip here.

The Cucumber Cream Cheese Tomato Bites from Kara’s Party Ideas can be made in just minutes (these look pretty impressive…and don’t worry, we won’t spill your secret)!

And lastly, a plate that’s full of flavor and packs a lot of punch. Tempt any appetite with these Sweet Potato BBQ Nachos! You can change up the toppings as you wish, but Brita used shredded chicken, cheese and tons of veggies.

Like appetizers that taste great and won’t make you feel guilty?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty. Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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