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Wednesday, October 15

Sunshine Girl (Parade)

"Friends are the sunshine of life." -John Hay

Every few months, my friends and I send each other boxes full of goodies.  We don't see each other often (maybe once in three years), and this is our way of sending hugs & sunshine through the mail.

These boxes are full of treats and goodies for both mom and the kids.  We're utilizing the postal service, which to me is a lost art, and also it is full of little gifts that don't cost much (we mostly shop from our homes or local thrift stores), but they are from the heart. Not everything has to be electronics and expensive. The best things in life are just little thoughts from people that care about you.  I encourage you to send find a partner and send sunshine boxes...you never know when one will arrive on the perfect day!
We don't have rules...we just aim to make each other smile.  But if you need some guidelines :
  1. Fill up a flat-rate box...pack carefully and make a game out of how much you can cram into one box.  I'm not sure who the current title-holder is in our group right now.
  2. Even if it's Christmas, don't wrap things - it just takes up more space.  DO put a note inside for mom, though, if you want it wrapped up on the receiving end.
  3. Fun things to send :  small souvenirs, snacks, photos / postcards, small toys, books, cd/dvd, clothing (occasionally we'll swap shirts amongst the kids), magnets, homemade stuffs (jelly, jam, cookies), art & craft supplies, fun thingamajigs....the list is endless!
I crammed all of this into two medium flat-rate boxes.  It was back-to-school time, so we swapped out nice, "new to you" clothing.  And that's a full-sized cookie jar in the back!


We also like to put in baked goods!  Cook up some extra love with these sunshine lollipops, from Hungry Happenings.

Sunshine Lollipops (makes 12)

Ingredients:
Supplies:
Instructions:
  1. Pour some of your melted candy melts into a squeeze bottle fitted with a small round pastry tip (or use a disposable pastry bag, or a zip top bag with one tip snipped off.)
  2. Pipe a circle the same size as your cookie onto your parchment paper. Set a craft stick onto the piped circle. Pipe triangles all around the piped circle. Fill in with candy coating. Repeat making 12 sunshine pops. Refrigerate for 5 minutes until candy coating hardens.
  3. Note: I recommend making a few pops at a time then refrigerate them, so that the yellow candy coating doesn't get splotchy, streaky, or spotty:) 
  4. As you work, you will probably need to re-heat your candy coating. Place it in the microwave and heat it for 10 seconds, then stir. If needed, heat 10 more seconds, but don't over heat or you could burn the candy coating. I like using the plastic squeeze bottle for projects like this because the entire bottle (as long as you use a plastic decorating tip) can go into the microwave.
  5. Pour your remaining yellow confectionery coating into a small bowl. Place a cookie in the melted coating, submerge it completely, then use a dipping fork or kitchen fork to lift it out. Tap the fork on the side of the bowl allowing the excess candy coating to fall back into the bowl. 
  6. Set the candy coated cookie in the center of a sunshine pop. Immediately add two candy eyes. Repeat creating all 12 pops. Refrigerate for 5 minutes until the candy coating hardens.
  7. Remove pops from refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Use a black food coloring marker to draw smiles and eye lashes on your sunshine lollipops.
  8. Store your Sunshine Lollipops in an airtight container for up to a month. You can package them in clear cellophane bags to give out as gifts or party favors. 
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