Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Printable "Friends are the Flowers...." Tags & Picks

I was driving home today 
and spotted pots of mums at our local home improvement store.
Fall must surely be coming, right? 
Even though it says 90˚ on the school marque.
Summer is hanging on for awhile.

 But, I couldn't resist these lovely mini pots of mums.
Thought they would make the perfect gift for a friend.

I wanted to add a little extra touch of fun 
so I designed these cute friend picks.
You can print off your own {here}

I trimmed them down and mounted on black card stock.

Take a thin wood skewer, cut in half
and hot glue to the back of the tag.

I took some cellophane and wrapped around the pot,
to help catch any dripping water and
to dress it up a bit.

Tied it with raffia.
Remember when raffia was used all the time with crafts?
And one bunch would pretty much last you forever.
Well, I had some laying around and used it for the bow.
Raffia is very Fallish.

A sure way to brighten someone's day.

I got such a great deal on the mums ($1.58 a pot!)
That I went back for a few more.

You can never spread too much cheer to those around you.

And I can't wait for Fall!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kid Friendly Chili

I grew up in a home that didn't add a lot of "heat" to food and I've continued this tradition in my home (although I do have one child that would enjoy a little more kick to his dishes here and there). Growing up, my mom made a yummy chili that I loved smelling as I walked into the kitchen. This chili is not at all spicy, but is perfect for young children or for those of us who like things a little tame. It was a staple in my childhood home and has become a staple in my home today. With the weather changing, you may want to add this comfort food to your Fall line-up.

Kid Friendly Chili 

1 64 oz. can of tomato juice
1 can of Italian recipe tomatoes
2 cans of pinto beans (drained and rinsed) 
1/2 onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 pound of hamburger, cooked and crumbled

Throw all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for the day. Enjoy your chili topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, diced red onion, or diced avocado. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kid Olympic Crafts

What kid doesn't dream of being in the Olympics?
It's been fun to watch the games in Rio the past two weeks.
Today we've got some fun craft ideas for your little Olympians.
We used these at our last Kid Camp.
This would be fun for a party too.
Start out your Olympics with the torch.
We got our torch inspiration off Pinterest {here}.

We cut a torch/flame shape out of card stock.

Then we cut the outline of the torch handle out of foil and hot glued it in place

Next, the kids glued on square of orange, red, yellow and gold tissue.

These torches looked great,
time to start the games!

We set up a slip and slide in the backyard
and had slide competitions.
Water sponge relay races, balance beam (walking across a pool noodle), cartwheel competition and sponge darts (drew a bullseye with sidewalk chalk on the patio and they threw sponges in center).
A favorite was paper plate tennis.
The rackets were paper plates decorated with markers and a large Popsicle stick glued on the bottom.
(We glued another stick on the back in the center for extra support.)
They hit a balloon back and forth.  
They had a lot of fun with this tennis game.

Everyone got a medal.
You can find our gold medal template {here}
Print out on golden yellow card stock and cut out.
We pick up this great ribbon on clearance from the 4th at Hobby Lobby.

Fold the ribbon in the middle and staple on the medal.

They decorated their medals--so cute.

A fun Friday at the Olympics!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Teacher Survival Kit

School is right around the corner.
As you know, we have several teachers in our family.
My oldest daughter will start teaching 6th grade next week!
As a brand new teacher,
I thought she could use a "Teacher Survival Kit" 
to start out the year.
Here is what we've got in the kit:

I think she's going to love it!
I found the items mostly in the travel size item section at Walmart & Target.
The pen, apple post it notes and colored paper clips from Michaels.
You can always find cute thank you cards at Marshalls.
Pick up a gift card to some place local where your teacher can stop in for a treat!

Use a large cellophane bag for your items.
And tie it up with some cute ribbon or tulle.

Add our fun survival item list.
You can print off your own Teacher Survival Kit list {here}

I just trimmed down the list and mounted it on black card stock.

I was so excited about making one for my daughter,
that I made a few more for some of the other teachers we know.
Make one for your teacher to kick off the year!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Superhero Day

Each summer my older kids put on a "Kid Camp"
It's a way for them to make a little money over the summer--
keeps my teens and tweens busy and creative.
Moms like it too,
especially when you get to that point in the summer when it's hard to keep kids entertained.

Kids ages 3-9 years can sign up to come.
They have crafts, games and snacks.
And a theme for each day.
Our last camp had a Superhero Day.
These ideas would be great if you were throwing a Superhero party too! :)

Every Superhero needs a cape.
We cut out these simple capes from a dollar store plastic tablecloth.
You can get 16 capes out of one cloth!
First, take it out of the bag and only unfold it so it's one long vertical piece 
about 9 feet long and 13 1/2 inches wide. (You'll still have a lot of folds in-between!)
Cut this piece in half so you have two 4 1/2' pieces.

Now, cut these in half so you have four 2 1/4' pieces.
In each of these 4 sections you'll have 4 layers of plastic.
Cut along the sides to give yourself 4 individual pieces of plastic.
You should end up with 4 pieces in each section that are 6 x 13 1/2"= 16 cape rectangles.

Fold this in half length-wise,
Cut an arc, starting along the fold side and ending at the top,
leaving about 2" on the side.

Unfold for your cape!

You can find more details on cape instructions  {here}

To make these a little more individual,
the girls had the kids design their own hero logo on half a piece of white paper.
Then we ran it through our sticker maker
and stuck it right on the back of the cape. Easy!
Check out some of these cute logos...



These heroes needed a shield too.
They decorated the back of a paper plate with markers.
We cut 2" wide strips of poster board, measured around their arm for easy on/off access and stapled.
Then hot glued these arm holders in place on the opposite side of the plate.

Now ready to "stand up for justice in a single bound!" 

The capes and shields provided tons of fun being superheros!
We had a snack and then made 

You never know when you might need some!
All of a sudden, we realized our prized pup, Sunnie,
was missing and the kids found this note:

That tricky Joker!
The kids had to go on a treasure hunt and solve the riddles
to find that pup and missing jewels!
(Joker note font {Earwig Factory})

The Joker was no match for these superhero kids!
They found the pup and the candy necklace jewels!

This was a lot of work for the girls,
but one of our favorite Kid Camp days.
The kids had a blast!

Summer Peach Jam

Its peach season!  My neighbor had a bountiful harvest of peaches this year and invited my family over to pick some of this wonderful fruit.  We came home with a large bucket of peaches- what to do with them all?  Time to make jam!!!   

Summer Peach Jam

4 Cups peaches finely diced
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
5 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Box Pectin

Prepare your jars and lids- make sure they are clean and sanitized.  Start your pot for processing ( make sure the water is boiling) and lay out all your tools so you are ready.  Measure exact amounts of sugar and set aside.  Measure the exact amount of peaches and pour into a saucepan.  Add in lemon juice and mix together.  Add in your pectin and bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat.  Stir constantly!  Once your boil has been reached, stir in your sugar.  Return mixture to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim off any foam.  Ladle the jam into your hot clean jars allowing 1/4" of head space at the top of each jar.  Cover and process for 10 minutes.  Allow jam to time to set up on your counter when done.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to School Dinner

Hard to believe - school starts for my children this week . . . like tomorrow for my middle schooler! (My younger children start Thursday.) Honestly, what happened to summer?! Oh, well. Time to move on. Sunday we held our traditional back to school dinner and goal setting interviews. You might be wondering what I mean by goal setting interviews. My husband and I sit down with each of our children individually and discuss the coming school year - what they're excited for, what they're nervous for, what after-school activities they want to participate in, what academic goals they can set. It is a good time to listen to each one of them and helps my husband and I better understand their needs. (My husband also gives our children their annual back to school blessings.) For dinner, we had a yummy BBQ. I have to get in as much BBQ before the weather turns on us. Here's what I did to decorate for the occasion. Hopefully, it will give you a few ideas.

I used a lot of black, white, and red in my decorating. I found these great black, white, and red paper products at Target in their party supply aisle. These paper goods are meant for a pirate party, but were perfect for our dinner. For place cards, I wrote each family member name on a strip of dotted writing paper. I was able to buy a stack of these cards in Target's dollar section. The extra writing cards will prove helpful for years to come. I also placed a red apple on each plate.

For the centerpiece, I found a bunch of great items again in Target's dollar section. They had these fun wooden black ABCs. I propped the letters up with books or with my ruler crate (again from the dollar section). I used our household globe along with a ceramic pencil to finish the decorating. The pencil - you guessed it - is from Target. I decided to invest in some back to school decorations this year to use for years to come. The most expensive item I bought was $5. So, go and check out Target's dollar section. You'll be surprised at all the goods you'll find!

For a table runner, I pulled out all our math flashcards. My daughter helped me place them in a haphazard row. We also used some of our LED candles for the occasion.

I placed two small vases in our ruler crate. With my soon-to-be kindergartener, we picked wildflowers along the side of the road near our home. I loved the cheeriness the flowers brought to the table and how the yellow flowers popped alongside the black letter C.

I hope you enjoy your last days of summer and have time to celebrate with your family the beginning of a new school year!
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