Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

#4thOfJuly #GiftIdeas for your #SecretPal

Image shows a worn baseball glove holding a baseball next to two mason jars filled with home-made lemonade over ice.

Image: iClipart

I realize it’s only June 4th, but we’ve got to plan ahead, right?

For my 4th of July Secret Pal gift idea, I’d like to suggest putting together all the fixin’s for your secret pal to make himself/herself some home-made lemonade. Search for a recipe online and print it out. Also place the following goodies in one of those summer jars you see on sale at every store in town:

  • A dozen fresh lemons
  • A bag of C&H pure cane sugar
  • A wooden spoon
  • A juice squeezer

Tie a big yellow ribbon around the jar, and you’ve got a 4th of July gift for your Secret Pal!

 

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#SecretPal #Gift Ideas for a Man: home-made bread

Image shows five different kind of bread superimposed on one another.

Image: iClipart

Home-made bread is the all-time best secret pal gift idea for a man. What man doesn’t love a loaf of home-baked bread?

Okay, granted some men may be diabetic and/or on a low-carb diet. Do a little homework to make sure that isn’t the case before you place that yummy-smelling home-made bread on his desk in his cubicle. If you find that’s the case, maybe go with a Hickory Farms cheese sampler or something like that.

However most men really love a loaf of home-made bread.

If you’re not a confident baker, just go to the frozen foods aisle at your grocery store and buy the frozen loaf of ready-to-rise bread. Allow it to thaw and rise before baking it, following all the directions on the package. Show up at work the next day with that yummy, fresh-smelling bread under one arm and a from-your-secret-pal gift card in your hand.

Please note that although my posts only happen once a month most of the year, these posts occur weekly during the holidays, when it’s “Secret Santa” season, so it’s a good idea to bookmark this website for later reference.

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Free Printable Cupcake Topper for #SecretSanta or #SillySanta @ SecretPalTeachers.wordPress.com

Visit SecretPalTeachers.WordPress.com for more free printables for Secret Santa  or Silly Santa. Image of bright yellow sun on a soft yellow background. Watercolor.

Visit SecretPalTeachers.WordPress.com for more free printables for Secret Santa or Silly Santa.

You might be thinking: “What the–” because a sun seems out-of-place for a Secret Santa gift. However this little printable cupcake topper goes with a very silly winter poem that I will post next week.

Think of it this way; for people who live in Hawaii, a snowman seems sort of out-of-place, right? Well what about wishing someone a sunny Christmas? Is that possible? Of course it is!

The poem I’m planning to post next week will make it all go together nicely.

For now, bake your cupcake gifts, print this little watercolor sun, tape it to a toothpick, and jam the toothpick into your cupcake. Then wait for the poem… It’s coming soon!

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#SecretSanta Goes Into #Hibernation in Anticipation of #SecretPal Events

16424613835_867c66ab9d_zDuring the holidays, this blog, SecretPalTeachers.WordPress.com, gets its peak viewership. That makes sense, right? Everybody loves to give Secret Santa gifts.

When January comes, I only post once a month, for those who continue to do Office Buddy or Secret Pal gift-giving. So yes, I’ll still post my gift ideas, but no, you won’t be inundated with unwanted emails and tweets about Secret Pal gift ideas. (Nobody likes an overloaded inbox, right?)

My first post actually looks forward to next month’s February “Secret Pal” or “Office Buddy” gift idea. How do you give your Secret Pal a February gift without seeming too romantic in lieu of Valentine’s Day? Focus instead on Groundhog Day! Bake your Secret Pal some Groundhog Day cupcakes with just a few brown M&M’s, a box of chocolate cake mix, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Or, if you don’t have a box of chocolate cake on hand, here’s a recipe from Bakerella (see her website for some great step-by-step pictures and tips):

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup hot water
FROSTING
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill cupcake tray with 18 cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix. It will be very liquid.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
  • For chocolate frosting, beat 1 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1-2 Tablespoons milk and mix until creamy and smooth.

The image and recipe shown here come from blogger and baking guru, Bakerella.

 

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Make a Marshmallow #Snowman for Your #SecretSanta #Gifts @ SecretPalTeachers.WordPress.com

 

 

Image of whimsical snowman made of marshmallows with round candy eyes and candy cane arms and a red rope for a scarf and cinnamon buttons.

Image: iClipart

 

There are plenty of ideas for making an edible snowman on the web, but just to make it easy for my followers, I’ve created a bunch of helpful links to various edible snowmen:

Melted Snowman Oreo Cookie Ball Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Snowman Sugar Cookies Made to Order from BakeMePretty on Etsy

Snowman Cookie Idea from Ingredients, Inc.

Powdered Donut Snowmen from The Celebration Shoppe

And here’s a link to my “Fun With Food” Pinterest page, which has a bunch of marshmallow snowmen ideas, like the one pictured above.

Next week I’ll offer the perfect “Tasty Snowman” poem to accompany your Secret Santa snowman gifts, so check back with me in another week for the follow-up!

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#Snowman #Chocolate Bar for Your #SecretSanta from http://livingpractically.blogspot.com/

Here’s an idea from Jessie at http://livingpractically.blogspot.com/ and it’s perfect for a Secret Santa/Silly Santa stocking-stuffer gift:

Image of Hershey bar wrapped in white paper and decorated to resemble a snowman.

Image used with permission from http://livingpractically.blogspot.com/

Instructions:

  1. Wrap a Hershey bar in white paper.
  2. Tie red embroidery floss around it.
  3. Use a hole punch to make black dots for eyes and mouth.
  4. Cut a long triangle from orange paper.
  5. Glue facial features onto paper.
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#GroundhogDay #GiftBasket for your #SecretPal

Groundhog in top hat, dancing

Image: iClipart

February 2nd is Groundhog Day in the US, which I realize is a month away. But secret pals must plan ahead…

Very rarely do we give gifts for Groundhog Day, but what a fun observance to celebrate with your Secret Pal! And there are lots of ways to put together a quick gift basket. Just check out these possibilities:

Heck, pile a bunch of these things together in one big basket, tie it up with a ribbon, and you’ve got a Groundhog Day gift basket that even Punxsutawney Phil can’t resist!

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Hot Cocoa #Poem for #Christmas for Your #SecretSanta

Image of man in Santa hat drinking a warm beverage from a ceramic coffee mug

Image: iClipart

Hot cocoa is an inexpensive gift to give your secret Santa, and you can have a lot of fun with it. Just check out the links I’ve offered below to various hot cocoa gift ideas on Pinterest:

And here’s a little poem to add to your gift:

 

When winter takes its toll

And staying warm is your goal

They say cocoa warms the soul

Place your hands on a mug

And chug-a-lug-lug

It’s like getting a nice warm hug!

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Make Sun Cupcakes With Candy Corn

sun cupcakeSo your secret pal teacher friend has been having a tough time getting through his school days?

He needs a little sunshine in his life! Why not make these wonderful sun cupcakes I found on Pinterest? (That link will take you to the right page so you can re-pin, follow, or visit the original designer.)

Here’s a little springtime poem you can include with your cupcake:

When the sky is clear

We know spring is near

May this little sun

Bring you lots of fun

And plenty of springtime cheer

Remember, if you use my stuff, it’s always nice to show your appreciation! Like it. Tweet it. Tell a friend. Thanks!

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Cupcakes for January Gift Basket

melting snowmen cupcakes January gift for secret pal office buddies teacher gift present

Image: Cake Central

I’ve noticed that traffic to Secret Pal Teachers typically slows down quite a bit after the holidays. So from now on, I’ll be posting once a month instead of once a week.

There are lots of great Secret Pal ideas in the archives though, so be sure and come back to search for gift cards, bag and box patterns, and, of course, more gift ideas, whenever you’re in need of a gift for your Secret Pal or Office Buddy.

For January’s gift idea, how about these “melting” snowman cupcakes? This idea comes from Cake Central, where you can find some pretty amazing cake-making ideas. I stumbled across it via Pinterest though.

I can imagine filling a gift basket with Easter “grass” and plunking these guys on top of the greenery. Then maybe tape a little orange cardstock “sun” to the basket’s handle, to show that the snowmen are melting. How cute would that be?

In January, we all need a little sunshine, right?! 😉

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