Six {6} Back-to-School Teacher Gifts…..that you’ll LOVE

“Meet Your Teacher” Night is coming up and so is the beginning of a new school year.  You don’t want your student going back to school to start the new year without a little something for the teacher, or at least I don’t.

Here is a list of six of the top back-to-school teacher gifts that I’ve found & loved.  I hope that you will love them to.  Let’s jump in!

*This post contains affiliate links.  See side-bar for full-disclosure.*

1. Flips

Nothing says that I am excited about starting a new school year AND that I’m happy that you’re my teacher like this cute little bag of chocolate covered pretzels (the white ones are my favorite) & printable tag that reads, “I’m doing FLIPS that you’re my teacher!”  Click here for free printable.

2. “Mark my words” Sharpie Gift

“Mark my words, it’s going to be a great year!”  With just a few brand new colorful sharpie markers,

* Printable (link below)

* Baker’s Twine

* Double-sided tape or hot glue

You have yourself a wonderful & cute little gift.  Click here for printable.

3. Squeaky Clean Wipes

Back-to-school can also mean “back-to-germs” if students and teachers are not adamant about wiping & re-wiping surfaces, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and did I say re-wiping shared items.  An extra container of distinfectant wipes would be welcome in any classroom.

4. The Crayon Wreath

This crayon wreath is both cute & creative and also something that your child’s teacher could display in his/her classroom or door.  With just a few boxes of crayons, chalkboard background, add-ons & your all set.

See full post here. 

5. The Future is Sharp

I don’t think that a teacher could have too many good colorful brand-new sharpie markers.  I love the phrase on this tag.  With a package of sharpie markers & this printable you are all set!  This is just another fun way to add to your child’s teacher’s supply stash and hand them a fun gift at the same time.

6. School Supply Cake

I saved the biggest for the last.  The biggest is not necessarily the best, but if you have the supplies, the skill, the courage & the time, you may want to try and tackle this monster of a gift!  Either back-to-school, end of year or Christmas, I think that this school supply cake would likely be a dream come true!  This video shows a similar version of it and actually had the easiest to follow instructions.

So, what are you going to make for your child’s teacher this year?  Are you going to have them bring something to their “Meet Your Teacher” event or walk something in on the first day of school?  I’m excited to see what you come up with. 🙂

Chemeeka 

Six fun gift ideas for Dad this Father’s Day!

* This post contains affiliate links.  See full disclosure in side bar. *

This year, I am super-excited about Father’s Day.  Why?  Because I have a handful of concrete and fun ideas (both handmade & store-bought), and enough time for me to execute them in.  #happy

The following are a collection of heartwarming, hand-made & store bought gifts for dad.

1. Crayon-framed hand print craft

Crayon-framed hand print craft by Involvery

The hand printed gifts, seem like the most insignificant gift at the time and then become the most treasured as the years go by.  I often think, maybe I should send something more, to the grandparents & relatives when I send them hand print projects, but they actually love them.

You’re capturing a little piece of child at the moment that will one day pass by, as they grow.

2. Super-Dad Bars

Super Dad Father’s Day Gift by I heart Crafty Things

I love this!  Now granted, you will need a few flat or Hershey’s chocolate candy bars of your choice, some markers and scrapbook paper but just imagine the look on dad’s face when he sees these?

I think that he’s going to feel like a true super hero.

 

3. “One-In-A-Melon” Watermelon Father’s Day card

Father’s Day Watermelon Card by Frugal Mom-eh

This card has a little bit of whimsy, a little bit of fun and a LOT of love.  Frugal Mom-eh, takes you step-by-step, supplies you with a watermelon template & a supply list for this project.  For a full tutorial on how to make this card, click here.

4. Superhero Dad Card

We can’t get enough of our superhero themes for Dad.  Right?  Well, when it comes to Father’s Day (or Mother’s Day for that matter), I don’t think that you can lay on your appreciation for their “super powers” too thick.

Print at a large (4-5 inches across) Superman logo on to card stock and then choose two or three of your favorite Dad-inspired card stock designs from your local craft store, some hot glue & your buttons and I think that we have ourselves a hero of a card!

5. Daddy’s Helpers Outdoor Work-gloves

Grab  yourself a pair of outdoor work gloves, a black Sharpie marker, a few bottles of craft paint (depending on how many you’ll need) and prep Daddy’s gloves just in time for the big day.  Be sure and allow yourself enough time between hand prints for the paint to dry.  (*So, note to self: The morning of is not going to work for this one –:).  Dad is sure to treasure this gift for years to come.

6. Photo gifts or photo books

Photo book  by Luhvee

A good friend of mine told me that she creates a photo book for her husband every year and gives it to him on Father’s Day.  Her book captures little memories and moments from the year with a special emphasis on moments with Dad.  I love the idea of this & know that there are several companies that you could choose to go through.  There’s Shutterfly, Chatbooks, Mixbook, Persnickety Prints, Nation’s Photo Lab and so many more.

I have rounded up a post of three companies with the most affordable pricing to get your photo gift for dad done on time and at a great price.

See the full post here.

I hope that you have some fun ideas in place for Father’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things You Can Do to Stay Ahead of the Game this Summer

Summer is here!  And we are easily relieved of not having the restrictions the morning routine and school’s schedule (whether you homeschool or not), and at the same time burdened to keep your child’s boredom levels at bay.  It’s an odd mix.  We’re crux between, “let’s do nothing & go no-where” to we need “something” to do.

This is my list to fill in the gaps.  My list, the list, of things that I had wished when the school year started back, I or the kids, had done during our free, no-pressure time.

1. Grandparents Day Gifts

I always, always, always forget about the Grandparent’s Day Cards and gifts.  I mean, during the summer, or earlier in the year, I will have these just fabulous ideas.  Or I will see something and say, “Yes, I am going to get that or have the kids make that this Grandparent’s Day.  The grandparents are going to love it!”  And when the time comes, we’re usually two weeks in of school starting back.  The dust has just settled between their new schedules, all of the varying information, making sure that I’ve got all of the (right) uniforms that we’ll need.  (*Parents: You know that there can be a slight descrepancy between the uniforms that you bought over the summer online & thought they’d work & the ones that actually “work” for them.), and information about their first fundraisers.

Before I know it, it’s the week of Grandparent’s Day & I don’t have a gift, but I will have one, handcrafted by me or the kids and it will be mailed out with hand-picked or handmade cards by Tuesday.  Eventhough, I am having the thoughts on Monday – the day before – and I didn’t factor in homework time, and meal time & promising that they’ll be play time or a fun story before bed.

It’s Friday of the week OF Grandparent’s Day & unless I am going to magically come up with the list of supplies that I’ll need for that cute idea that I just saw online & make everyone’s focus cooperate AND get it out in the mail in the next 12 hours – you guessed it.  My great idea & or gift is not making it to the grandparents in time.

Additionally, the chances of my plan to contact the local nursery & or florist and get someone on the phone that could set up plant delivery or pick up with a special note (without paying a fortune -through a florist at least) in that short amount of time, are slim.

So, what is my solution?

My solution is, in the middle of the summer, when it seems like there’s nothing to do – get on Pinterest, collect your list of great gift ideas, and get to crafting or buying what you need.

I find that grandparents LOVE all of those cute fish-on-the-hook grandparent’s pictures:

Hooked on Papa Footprint {Fish} Paint Craft by Mom Evny

       Or the little cute cards, where the shape of your child’s hand pops out:

Sending Big Hugs Card by Audrey at Monofore

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

However, if you wait, you’re likely going to run out of time to get your crafting done, or other things that are attached to the school year are going to take precedence.  And there you’ll be, grabbing a pre-made card from the supermarket and signing it from all the kids – and getting it there a day or two late.

Another option, would be to put together one of those nice photo books. Again, something that takes thought and time AND you and I both know that the coupons will be in favor of those that think ahead.  Those that, um, I don’t know, maybe have the book(s) already cued up and ready to go two weeks prior to the holiday on their site..? (*P.S.   That is never me, but if you & I will think ahead then it will be!)

Be intentional & let the grandparent’s day gifts be the FIRST thing on your list of Summer to-do’s!

2. Back-to-school teacher gifts

Okay, this one is priceless for me.  Why?  Because I distinctly remember sitting there with the mason jar and the lid, and the craft brush, and the paint…

Apple Mason Jar by Mason Jar Crafts Love

I did not have a realistic expectation of the amount of time or supplies it would take me to get my finished product to turn out like the one in the picture.

First of all, I grabbed the matte paint & not the glossy paint.  And then I remembered that I actually needed to be there an hour before I was originally thinking.  And I needed a printable to go with it – and – I just ran out of time & my child walked into the open house WITHOUT a gift for her teacher.

Are these gifts required?  No.  A necessity?  No, not that either, but you want or at least, I want my child to walk in the door, letting the teacher know that they’re there to be a gift.  There with a sense of appreciation of all of the effort for things that he/she will be putting forth during the school year.

Secondly, if I or my child can walk in the door with something that can help the teacher: like a gift card or some pencils, crayons, hand sanitizer – something.  Something, will be much better than nothing.  And something well-thought out & well-intended would be best.  That is why, your back-to-school teacher gift has made it second on my list.

3. First Day of School Signs

Are you the mom that it hits just moments before your kid walks out the door, that you’ve got no first day of school sign for them to take their picture with before the head back to school for their very first day back?  Are you that mom?  Have you ever been that mom?

*Nervously bites nails.*

“No, me neither.”  Lol!

Let’s not be “that mom” and let’s find & print and frame, the sign of our choice.  That’s right, frame it now, baby.  Just go ahead and print it AND frame in and drop it in a drawer with all of your other back to school stuff.

The night before back-to-school, have your glass-less “First Day of School” sign somewhere near the door they’ll be leaving out of.  I say glass-less frame because the chances are, with the best laid efforts, the door will slam, the book bag will brush the sign and somehow, by some weird, freak, I-just-want-everything-to-turn-out-right chance, the glass in the frame will get broken.

Even better, if you can, have the frame in a large ziplock bag to keep it from getting wet & now you’re good.

Ah……I feel relieved already  😉

4 & 5. Handmade Thanksgiving and/or Christmas  cards (for everyone from the bus driver to the mail man & everyone in between).

You mean well.  And you do actually appreciate everything that your bus driver does, or the mail carrier does, and you want to show them your appreciation, but it ends up being the last thing on your list.  Or that thing that just adds to “one more thing to have to do before the holidays.”  You don’t want to permanently be in “wishing that it was over” mode, right before Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it can get that way.

You want to thank everyone.  You want them to feel that Christmas-love, but in spite of best efforts during that time of year, you’re really just trying to keep up.

That is why the summertime is the PERFECT time to, put this on your check list and say, “If there’s any five things that I can do?  This is what I am going to do to stay  ahead of the game this summer.

The kids can complete one project per week.  Print out the list.  Leave it on the fridge, and let everyone know: if we get bored or having any downtime, this is what we’re going to do.  You’ll feel so accomplished from having done so!

 

 

 

8 Traditions that you should start this Christmas…

Christmas can be that time of year when the days fly by, financial stressors are high, schedules are busier, and for one reason or another, the magic of Christmas seems to always be outside of your reach.

This Christmas, I want to give you 8 practical ways, to make your home a haven and the destination of your heart a place where Christmas finds it’s warmth and the season finds a spot for you to sip and savor in those moments that your family will treasure for years to come!

This is my guide for the 8 Traditions that you’ll want to start this Christmas:

  1. Make Christmas ornaments

Pom Pom & Pinecone Ornaments

There are a TON of handmade ornaments that your kids can make.  Some with little or no help from mom/dad and others that you’ll have to more closely manage.

Santa Handprint Ornaments

Nonetheless, being able to capture the preciousness of having an item that was handmade by your child to look back on, is always a priceless treasure.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Don’t forget to scribble their name & age on the back (ie.  “Maria, age 4-Christmas 2017”) before you stash them away  until next year.

2. Bake cookies

There are so many yummy & simple Christmas cookies recipes out there that you really don’t have to feel overwhelmed.

(This post contains affiliate links)

The most important thing about this step is actually getting into the kitchen with your little ones.  Take a simple recipe like Russian Tea Cakes, grab some aprons, (a little patience) and enjoy!  I will assure you that there are memories in measuring out the flour & sugar that your kids won’t soon forget.

3. Decorating the Tree

The task seems simple enough, “Right?”  Well, not always.  If you’re one of those that has OOPD (Obsessive Ornament Placement Disorder-I’m not 100 % sure but I have heard that such a thing does exist) than having your kids join you -or take over completely- in the decorating of the Christmas tree may not seem like a doable option.  However if you’re a part of the percentage of the population that doesn’t mind where the ornaments go, then why not this Christmas, share the task of trimming the tree with the little ones in your home.  They’d likely always remember that they played an important part of helping to bring the magic of Christmas into your home.

4. Come home to the sound of  Christmas music

I feel like most of the retail stores have my number when I am not even thinking about Christmas just yet, and I walk in their door to pick up something totally random and I smell the scent of cinnamon and hear Christmas music playing.  Nothing puts me into the spirit faster than a few decorations, some holiday scents, and Christmas music.

This Christmas, grab a couple of Christmas cd’s at that start of your morning or just before the kids get home from school, throw a disc of season-themed music into the cd player and get the sounds of Christmas swirling around the atmosphere!

5. Make Hot Apple Cider

The smells of Christmas…ah, yes!  Nothing says Christmas more in your home that the aroma.  If you’re not a baker, than this recipe is perfect for you!  Grab some oranges, cinnamon sticks, a few frozen cranberries and some apple cider, throw them into your crock pot and you’re good to go!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider 

Not a fan of cranberry, then check out these other recipes: Crockpot Caramel Apple Cider, Crockpot Mulled Apple Cider, and Slow Cooker Apple Cider.

6. Open a gift per night

We often use Thanksgiving as a time to rehearse the things in our lives that we are thankful for.  Why not this Christmas use simple gift wrapping ideas and package up individual gifts that have one word on a sheet of paper per box.

Alternate each night who gets to pick to open a gift, and for the word that is found on the paper inside (“Grateful”, “hopeful”, “thankful”, “happy” etc.) , go around the family and share expressions of what that word makes you think of and what are they, “hopeful” for.

 

7. Read Christmas stories

It’s easy to forgo sitting down & snuggling up to the sounds of mom or dad reading an old Christmas story but this really is the time of year to do so.  Rather than keeping up with the demands of the hurriedness of the season.  Grab some of your favorite Christmas stories & make the memory of reading them together with your family.  Whether around the dinner table or just before bed, this is a moment that you’re kids will enjoy.

8. Set up a hot cocoa bar

Add a little bit of magic to your Christmas decor this year by having a designated space (a small side table will do) for a hot cocoa bar.  Set out Christmas mugs (I found these at the Dollar Tree), some hot cocoa packets, Christmas cookies, and add a bowl of white chocolate chips, brown chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and candy canes.

You can also grab everything that you’ll need for your hot cocoa bar here:

Melamine Christmas Tree Platter
Santa Claus Christmas Decor Mug Dishwasher/Microwave Safe (4)
Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies decorated for Christmas 7 Oreo Assortment, Milk Chocolate
Nestle TOLL HOUSE Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 12 oz. Bag
Nestle Tollhouse Premier White Morsels, 12 Ounce
Jet Puffed Miniature Marshmallows – 16 Ounces
Brachs 12- 6oz. Peppermint Candy Canes

With that, you should be off to a great start for a Merry Christmas!