If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Never procrastinate. I will get to why procrastination is bad after I am bad for a few minutes and procrastinate yet again. First, I need to explain the root of this procrastination. Cooking and baking are not my things. Once a year, I push my desire to refrain from using the oven aside. Why? My boys love making cookies. No, store-bought cookies will do around Christmas time. Only home-made cookies they helped make are acceptable. Once a year, I can play the traditional Christmas Mom who gets in the kitchen to bake. After all, I love my kids enough to do anything, even battle the oven.
When Smiley360 invited me to join the AirHeads Crafting Mission, I gladly accepted. My older son is a huge AirHeads fan. Crafting without eating everything before we use it to decorate would be a challenge, because of how much he loves them. No worries. I hid the box of goodies. That’s right. This box arrived almost two months ago, and I had to hide it to prevent the goods from disappearing before we could complete the mission. Both my older son and my husband found my hiding place, so I had to move it to a third secure location. If there is anything missing from the box, they must have taken it.
That reminds me that I need to take photos when the boxes arrive. Why do I keep forgetting to do that? Candies and treats do not always make it to the start of the mission, so taking pictures when the items arrive and another when I start the mission will actually help me see if anything is missing. Anyway, I digress. Smiley360 is an online community. It consists of influential consumers who try products and experiences for free. Brands give their products to Smiley360 who matches them to qualified community members for testing.
Based on past missions and your profile, new mission opportunities go on your dashboard. Members take part in the mission if their short qualification surveys line up to what the study is looking for. The more missions you complete, the more points you earn. Members with more points usually get first dibs at new missions. You choose your level of activity. Pardon my pop culture reference, but “your mission should you choose to accept it” is to take part in the studies that interest you. To complete missions, you must give honest reviews on social media. If you’re unfamiliar with Smiley360, you can read more about my first Mission.
This mission was not scheduled to end until 12/21/15. All missions have deadlines to prevent you from sitting on them too long. Now that I have procrastinated with back story, I will explain why this procrastination was bad. My desire to tie this AirHeads crafting mission into our annual Christmas cookie baking backfired. My boys got sick. We were going to bake the cookies on the 20th, so we can eat them over the next few days and still have relatively fresh cookies for Christmas. By waiting until the last-minute, I could kill two birds with one stone, Christmas cookies and the mission. Bam, I am only baking cookies once, again this year.
Even sick, my boys did not want me to do this mission without them. They knew about it from the day the box arrived almost two months ago and eagerly awaited crafting day. We’ve had several discussions about this and the thought of crafting is even what detoured my son from eating all the candy in sight when he discovered the box in its first hiding place. In other words, there was no way I could do this without them. No one would want to eat their germ-filled cookies, and I do not dislike any of my family members enough to pump them full of germ-filled cookies. They’ve been on the nice list this year.
I also was not going to let the mission lapse without doing the work. On top of the fact that they sent me a bunch of free stuff in exchange for me holding up my end of the bargain, failing to complete a mission can disqualify or severely limit your chances of participating in another mission. We all enjoy the missions, so we had to carry on. My older son who is further into his sickness was too tired to get out of bed, too. Luckily, my husband had an idea.
Instead of baking the cookies now, we can bake them closer to Christmas if the boys are feeling better. For now, we can just use ready-made cookies and decorate them. The boys can each eat their own creations, so we are not handing them out to anyone else. Problem half solved. Luckily, we always have ready to eat cookies on hand (I only bake once a year). We also had all the decorations on hand, because we were finally ready to bake.
The second problem was my older son did not have the energy to go downstairs, so we brought the cookie decorating to him. His bed is too small for all of us, so I moved us into my room. Look at how lovely everything was when we started. He found some energy to sit up. My older son happily grabbed his favorite color, green, and started decorating. Red is my younger son’s favorite color. It is kind of neat that my kids love the two main Christmas colors, because it is one less thing for them to argue about. I always know who will get green and who will get red.
This may have not been the best idea. Even though I was smart enough to lay down a towel, I did not expect they’d color on my sheets. After coloring the first cookies, my sheets had brand new, green and red stains. Those decorating tubes were magnets for my sheets. I doubt those stains will come out, and that is really not a pretty look. The towel took a bit of damage of its own. Do not decorate cookies in bed!
I am not creative, and my “creation” proves this. This is a whimsical lollipop wrapped in a rainbow. The whole design used a popsicle stick and three strips of AirHeads Extremes. It was the best I could come up with. There were ideas on what to create inside the kit, but I did not suggest any of them to the boys. I wanted to see what they would come up with on their own. Yes, mine is extremely boring, so we are moving on to more creative designs. That is right both my four-year-old and mine nine-year-old have better designs.
My younger son initially wanted to make rainbow cookies. He used a Marias Gamesa cookie, one AirHead Extremes strip, and four AirHeads Bites. This is right on par with my creation, but he had another idea that slowly made me think he has my husband’s creativity after all.
Using an extra strip and two less Bites, he made a happy face rainbow. On top of being overly cute, I love that my four-year-old just wanted to see a happy person made of rainbow.
My older son decided to make a Christmas Tree Cookie. He used two green Airheads for the tree and some Airheads Bites for the ornaments. A Marias Gamesa cookie served as his base.
He used various techniques to decorate the tree, including an AirHeads Extremes strip as garland.
The AirHeads Extremes strip was a tree skirt here.
The Airheads Bites are gifts under the tree in this picture.
The AirHeads Extremes strip was a tree topper in this picture. He added the little balls to represent Christmas lights on the tree.
He did not tell me what this one is, but it looks like the tree is wearing a scarf.
All three of us had a lot of fun even though this was such a messy project. As soon as they felt a little better, we baked real cookies and decorated downstairs. They made a mess, but it went a lot smoother.
This was another great mission, and we had a lot of fun with it. I may have eaten a few things while I crafted, but I surprisingly did not sneak a single piece of candy during the two-month waiting period. You can join Smiley360 if you love sampling free stuff and do not mind sharing your thoughts. I love sharing deals and writing about freebies, so this program is perfect for me. See all Smiley360 articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.