Teacher Survival Kit {Back to School}

The first day of school is full of lots of excitement and jitters for both the students and the teachers.  My little ones love to give their teachers presents…it breaks the ice  and calms their jitters a little bit on the first day of school.

I know most children have started back to school already but our preschool starts after Labor Day.  So I am just now working on the Teacher Survival Kits that I like to give their teachers on the first day of school.  I have done this the past couple of years and both were the same idea just presented differently.

Year 1:

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Year 2: I found these cute crayon cups at the grocery store last year.

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I am going to do it again this year.  Not sure exactly how I will present it but will share it with y’all for sure! You can really include whatever you like.  I have seen lots of other ideas on Pinterest but these were easy to compile!  Hope your little ones first days is/was an A+!!!!

Teacher Appreciation Gift

I wanted to get a little something for my kiddos teachers for teacher appreciation week.  I had seen some ideas floating around Pinterest but I had something else in mind.  Here’s what I came up with….

Mint Polish with a cute nail file and a tag that reads…You were MINT to teach!

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You can find the free printable tag here.  They attached it to a box of mints which is another idea!

End of Year Gift Ideas

The end of the school year has always been a big deal to me, especially when I was teaching.  A class gets so close throughout the year which made it hard to say goodbye to my little friends!  Every year I would make a slideshow video with pictures that I took throughout the year.  We would watch it as a class and then I would give each student a copy.  The parent reactions were the best…they loved them!! Even though I am not teaching I still like to give little end of the year gifts to the teachers and classmates of Finley and Zane!  Below is what I made last year and since we are at a different school this year I am going to do the same! I got a bunch of beach balls on sale, printed out a tag, and tied it with mu favorite bakers twine…sweet and simple!

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For the office staff, I rounded up cute tumblers, printed a tag, and filled the cups with lemonade and orange instant drink packets!

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For the teachers last year, we collected money from the whole class and gave them visa gift cards which was very appreciated.  This year I am going solo on my gift and getting a mani/pedi gift card.  Still putting it together so I’ll report back with the final product!

Office Space

When we moved back in to our house I had a vision for the office.  And we are S.L.O.W.L.Y getting there.  What is next on our To Do List? Hopefully in the near future we will enhance our Ikea bookshelves with molding.  I have seen so many great tutorials from other bloggers here and here and just need to get brave and do it.  We made the first step and bought a 6 foot piece of molding to test out our sawing skills.

What we’ve done in the office thus far…

First we needed a desk…so we semi-DIY’d one.  We got the legs from Ikea and added a stained wood top.  It is 3 wide pine planks. I actually mixed 2 stains to get the grayish brown that I wanted!

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Then we added 2 Ikea Billy Bookcases! They are the perfect basic book shelf and just needs a little facelift!

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As you can see, it is a work in progress.  I’ll post after pics and any tips I may have once we add the molding. Wish me luck!

(Yep, that is my reflection in the window…wearing pajamas…and it is still light out. Don’t judge!)

Terrific Tape!

I usually grab my office supplies at Target or the grocery store.  Or when I need printer ink, I run in the Office Supply store and grab it and go.  The other day I wandered around…sans kids…for a few minutes and a tape display caught my eye! Oh, the possibilities! Kuddos to Scotch!

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What would you do with this fun tape? Got a favorite…I like the mint green diamond print, the black and white shipping, and the ikat tapes!

Pretty Personalized Packages

“Brown paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of may favorite things.” From The Sound of Music…another one of my favorite things!

I believe whether the gift is big or small, the packaging makes a big impact.  The hubby always rolls his eyes when I am wrapping a present but then I remind him of his mode of wrapping…brown paper sack stapled shut with a handwritten To/From in sharpie.  Uh huh.  Thank goodness he gives good gifts to make up for the wrapping!

I enjoy it…what can I say! So here is a small sample of some packages that I have personalized.

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Other ways to add a little flare could be:

  •  add a few tissue paper puffs to a gift bag
  • color coordinate package with the party theme
  • simply add a monogram
  • add a printable label with name

There are many great tutorials out there showing how to make labels using various programs. I use PicMonkey as well as the basic publishing program on the Mac.  Cassie just did a great PicMonkey tutorial over at Hi Sugarplum!

There are many times when I find a great gift bag and add tissue…done! But I do tend to get creative and add my own flare!

Happy wrapping!

Our DIY Farm Table

Last spring we were eager to use our patio, but we needed to do a few things first.  Initially, I went out shopping to look for a table  and chairs.  I looked at ikea, Pottery Barn, Crate&Barrel, searched on craigslist, but just didn’t find what I wanted, at the price I wanted. I wanted a farm table with a bench for a couple hundred bucks…wasn’t gonna happen! So I started looking at DIY tables.  Then I started getting excited…and had to figure out a way to convince the hubby that this was going to be fun! Really all I had to do was show him prices of inspiration photo$ and then the price to DIY…hook, line, and sinker!!! I sure know the way to his heart!!!

Inspiration photo: Well, this beauty is just a tad bit out of our price range.  Like $2,000 out of our price range!

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Here is our version for a LOT less!!

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I actually used a Lowe’s tutorial video to walk us through the building process. (FYI…we did not build our bench like the one in the video). But first we had to gather the materials.  What you need will depend on the size of your table and bench.  I am no carpenter so I won’t do a tutorial, but will give you the gist of how we built our very own Rustic Farm Table!

First we gathered the wood…we decided on smooth cedar and used 4×4’s for legs and 2×6’s for top and 2×4’s for table skirt.

I bought a mini Kreg Jig Kit online…and kinda LOVE it.  Hiding the screws just gives it a finished look.  Gary cut the pieces and I stained and sealed each piece before we assembled it.  It will remain outside so I wanted it to be as sealed as possible.

Then we basically followed the tutorial adjusting as needed for our plans.

Here are a few more photos.  Since these pics, we have gotten 4 Tolix-like chairs from Overstock, and built a buffet to match. We have enjoyed many picnic lunches, and dinners out there already! I am so glad we built our table! We are certainly proud of it.

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Since these pics, we have gotten 4 Tolix-like chairs from Overstock, and built a buffet to match. We have enjoyed many picnic lunches and dinners out there already! I am so glad we were brave enough to build our table! We are certainly proud of it. Have you DIY’d anything lately?