• Kids,  Life & Family

    5 Things for the 1st Day of School

    This year, it seems like the summer went by in a flash, right? It’s getting close to the start of the school year, if your kids haven’t started already. Every year, I have a little list of things I love to do for my daughter, Pinky, to make that first day a little more memorable.

    5 things first day 1

    #1. Have something fun for breakfast.

    I love serving up a special breakfast on the 1st day of school. Usually, I let my daughter pick something fun that she loves and this year she chose doughnuts. We rarely have doughnuts, since we are all eating fairly gluten free, but there are a few special days of the year that I am OK with unique treats like these. Lucky for me, I was able to just buy one from the drive-thru and I didn’t have to make anything. But, you could totally make a yummy and healthy breakfast at home. I’m thinking fruit and eggs. Or oatmeal. Or bacon. That’s healthy, right?

    5 things first day 2

    #2. Be excited.

    Kids are very intuitive and if you are anxious or worried about them heading back to the classroom (or going for the first time,) they will totally pick up on it. Even if you know that they may have some obstacles to deal with, whether they be social, academic, etc., try to be positively excited about the new experiences to come and they will most likely follow suit.

    #3. Record their favorites.

    Kids are constantly changing and growing (Duh!), so it is a great idea to get the details of all of their current favorites down on paper. I whipped up this quick questionnaire for my daughter to fill out the 1st day of school, so we could keep a record of her favorites. I love that she will be able to see how her likes have changed over the years, as well as her handwriting.

    You can also print it out, for your own use, by clicking on the image below. Please download the file to ensure proper print sizing. When printing, make sure that Page Scaling is set to “Fit Printable Area” and Borderless Printing is selected.

    5 things first day 3

    #4. Take a picture.

    This is something that many people already do. I have photos that my parents took of me on my first day of school and I love looking through them and seeing how I’ve grown and changed. Plus, I always get a laugh when I see the clothes that I wore. The 80’s were an interesting time.

    We’ve been snapping a photo every year of our daughter since she started kindergarten and will continue to do so for our son too. It’s crazy how quickly they grow up!

    5 things first day 4

    You don’t need to do anything fancy and can use a dslr or a point and shoot camera. Heck, even a phone camera will do. The point is to get a photo that represents your child. Props are optional. We like to have Pinky hold a sign that says the grade she is in, but any picture will work, as long as you take one. There are so many great ideas out there.

    5 things first day 5

    #5. Tell them you love them.

    This is probably self explanatory, but kids need our love and support. Never let them walk away without telling them how much you love them!

    And remember, even though this list claims to be for the 1st day of school, whether it be in a public, private, or home school setting, it is completely flexible. If your work schedule or other events keep you from being able to do one or any of the previous mentioned items on the 1st day, do it another day. There is not a specific time line in the rule book that says you must take a photo, make a special breakfast, or fill out a favorites questionnaire on the actual 1st day of school. Give yourself a break and work it into your own schedule, whenever that may be. (Our daughter’s 1st day was technically cancelled due to fog.) It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. We hope your kids have an awesome school year!!!

  • Crafts,  Home Decor,  Kids

    Simple Silhouette

    Warning: Extremely easy tutorial ahead. I know that some people enjoy working really hard for long periods of time with little to no progress (yeah, right), but I’m not one of them.

    Simple Silhouette 1

    I love the classic and timeless look of silhouettes. They are so fun to decorate with and also make great gifts. And the only supplies you need to make one are a camera, a printer, white card stock to print on, scissors, a pencil, colored card stock (I chose black card stock to keep to the with the traditional look, but I think using other colors would also work great), and a few extra minutes.

    First, take a side view photo of your subject, preferably in front of a solid background. It doesn’t need to be good quality; any image will work, as long as you can make out the perimeter of your image. I used my daughter, Pinky, who likes to intentionally make funky faces when I take her picture. Goofball.

    Simple Silhouette 2

    Next, print out the photo on to white card stock (this was an 8″X10″ print) and cut around the outside of your subject. I left some extra white space on the bottom and added a little extra roundness on the lower back of her head to balance out the poof above her pony tail. Excuse my freaky looking print out. My printer is super low on colored ink.

    Simple Silhouette 3

    Then, trace the template on to the colored card stock, add embellishments, like longer eyelashes and a curved bottom if you like, and cut out your silhouette.

    Simple Silhouette 4

    And there you have it!

    Simple Silhouette 5

    I framed my silhouette by centering and taping it to a piece of white poster board, which was cut to fit the size of my frame.

    Simple Silhouette 6

  • Kids,  Printables

    Lunch Notes

    I can’t believe that it is already August! And that means that the new school year will soon be upon us. Last year, I found some really neat little cards at Michael’s craft store that had funny jokes and motivational sayings on them, so I sent them to school with Pinky in her lunch box for a little midday pick-me-up. Unfortunately, they ran out not long after I opened the package, leaving me empty handed.

    Not that there is anything wrong with writing a little something on a torn piece of paper and throwing it in with the peanut butter and jelly, (I love you is I love you no matter what you write it on,) but I tend to like my notes to be cute and fun, so I decided to whip up some of my own.

    Lunch Notes 1

    I chose a few cute literary quotes from my favorite children’s book authors that are both fun and motivational.

    Lunch Notes 2

    I also used the same designs to create some fill-in-the blank cards, so I can tell my sweeties how much I love them or wish them good luck on a test. Or a big work project. My husband loves jacks and bicycles. *wink*

    Lunch Notes 3

    And guess what? You can snag these fun lunch notes for yourself too! Click the images below for the free PDF link. Please download the file to ensure proper print sizing. When printing, make sure that Page Scaling is set to “Fit Printable Area” and Borderless Printing is selected.

    Lunch Notes Quotes Lunch Notes Blanks

  • Crafts,  Kids,  Sew

    Kid’s Tool Belt

    My 3 year old son has recently been playing a lot with his toy tools. Apparently, carrying them in his tool box was too difficult so he started just stuffing them down his shorts and letting the elastic hold them up. He would take two steps, and the tools would hit the floor with a loud bang. I decided to remedy this situation by making him his very own kid’s tool belt.

    To make for a special child in your life, cut one 13″ x 4 1/4″ piece of canvas (or any fabric you choose) for the base, one 7 3/4″ x  3 1/4″ piece for the pocket, two 14″ x 1 1/2 ” pieces for the ties, and two 3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ pieces for the tool loops.

    Tool Belt 1

    Then, fold and sew the tie and loop pieces to make straps.

    1. Using a clothes iron, press in half.

    2. Unfold. Then, fold and iron edges to the center crease line.

    3. Fold and press in half again.

    4. Sew along the edges.

    Tool Belt 2

    Take your base section, fold and pin sides under to hide raw edges. Tuck your tie pieces in and sew around the rectangle.

    Tool Belt 3

    To hide rough edges, fold and sew around your pocket portion.

    Tool Belt 4

    Place the pocket on top of the base and attach leaving the top side open.

    Tool Belt 5

    Sew a straight line down the pocket piece to make separate sections.

    Tool Belt 6

    To attach the tool loops sew one edge down. Then loop it around to make a circle.

    Tool Belt 7 Tool Belt 8

    Repeat for the second loop, add some tools and you are finished!

    Tool Belt 9