Winter Decorating

I LOVE decorating for holidays!  I feel it just makes the house more festive and who doesn’t need a little something extra to celebrate these days?!?!  My garage will attest to my love of holiday decorations as I now have TWO garage racks packed with all my Christmas, Valetine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and Fall decor (NOT including my ever growing collection of wreaths I am working on!)

I wanted to create some sort of Winter mantle and some winter wreaths for my doors since everything looks so dull once Christmas decorations are put away.  So off to Pinterest I went in search of some simple DIY ideas.  I still haven’t made anything, printed, or decorated my mantle but I hope to one day add another bin to my collection that is labeled WINTER.  In the mean time, here are a few of the ideas I was pinning to offer you some design ideas (unless you are like a large majority of my Facebook fans that say they go straight to Valentine’s Day after Christmas).

Source: mycomputerismycanvas.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

Could this mantle be any cuter???  Here is my ONE problem with “winter” decor… As much as I love the colors and the snowflakes, I live in So Cal so it just seems strange to hand a banner that says “Let is Snow” or the like when it is so warm here (now this winter is very chilly, but there is still no snow in my backyard – ya know what I mean!)

There are so many cute printables in Pinterest and I just love the Bucket Lists for the seasons you can find on there.  Here is a winter one that I found that I wanted to add to my mantle but I don’t happen to have a spare picture frame hanging around. The bummer about these is they are usually dated.  This one still works just fine for me!

Source: katieballa.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

Last but not least, I did make some more yarn wreaths for my door.  I didn’t necessarily want to make another yarn wreath since my Candy Cane Wreaths were just up, but I couldn’t think of something better for the time being.  I got Christmas picks and ribbon for 70% off to decorate this wreath and I used a 12″ straw wreath instead of an 18″ wreath but I like the smaller wreaths.  These are perfect for the month between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and I just love them!

Winter Wreath
So what about you? Do you put up something for winter or just wait until Valentine’s Day to decorate your home?

Father’s Day Gift Basket {Free Printable Tags}

My dad loves candy so any gift that involves sweets is always a hit.  Last year I made my husband, father-in-law and dad Hero Kits with all sorts of super hero munchies.  The year prior to that I washed out glass soda bottles and filled them with little candies and nuts and decorated the box that the 6 pack came in {can you believe that I didn’t take pictures of the completed projects!!!}

So this year I decided it was a safe bet to continue with that theme for my dad and my hubby as well.  I went a bit overboard for my hubby and ended up splitting all his goodies into 2 baskets, one from the boys and then one from me!

Father's Day Gift basket

I got the printable for my dad in the frame from A Proffittable Life.

It was just perfect since the very first saying is “You make a better door than you do a window”!  That is something I heard SO many times growing up and I smile when my dad says it to my boys now.

Now you can get a look at all the goodies I have packed into the basket for my husband.  See why I had to split it into two baskets!  For my hubby I got the printable from Pink Ink Doodle.  It describes my man perfectly!

Hubby Goodies

Candy and the saying that goes with it:

Peanut M&M’s – You are anything but PLAIN

Red Vines – You are an ORIGINAL!

Honey Roasted Nuts – We are NUTS about you!

Jelly Bellies – We love when you tickle our bellies

Swedish Fish – You are of-FISH-ally the best!

Sour Patch Kids – Sorry our attitudes are SOUR sometimes.

Whoppers – You’re a WHOPPER of a Dad

Extra gum – For all the EXTRA things you do

Reeces Peanut Butter Cups – A CUP for a KING

Starburst – You’re a STAR, Dad

Snickers – You know how to make us SNICKER

Milky Way – You’re out of this WORLD

Twix – From your 4 boys

3 Musketeers – From your 4 MUSKETEERS

AW Rootbeer – You are AW-some

Mt. Dew – Thanks for all you DEW

Now you can print your very own and create a basket of goodies for the man (men) in your life!  ENJOY

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FREE Father’s Day Tag PRINTABLE

Mother Son Dinner 2012

A couple of years ago, the mommy group I was a part of was having a Mother Daughter Tea.  Now as a lady that loves to throw a party, I was a bit sad to not have a daughter.  So I thought up the Mother Son dinner.  Having 4 boys doesn’t mean we can’t dress up and have a fabulous time together.  My husband jumped on board wanting to help teach the boys how to be gentlemen.  To do this, all gentlemen need to know some basics- how to date properly.  Who better to practice on than your mama?  So the Mother Son dinner began.  First Mother Son Dinner

The first year it was a small crowd – myself and my 2 oldest boys (Boy #3 was an infant  and #4 wasn’t even a glimmer), and two other mamas.  It was a sweet time!

Then last year the numbers grew. We filled up my front room with 2 full tables of mommies and their sons.  {My poor hubby got a gold star for doing all the serving and pampering for us by himself!}  I can’t find my picture with all my boys so here is one of my sweet Chris (He LOVES to dress up and look handsome so this kind of event is right up his alley!)

Mommy and Chris

This year, it was time to plan it again and my husband and myself wanted to bless even more mamas.  So we opened it up to many of our friends and family.  Nine mamas and 19 boys were able to attend and it was better than ever.  Thanks to several fathers, friends, and a couple older daughters Bryan was able to organize getting us all served and fed quickly!

Set up and ready

While searching Pinterest I found a link to Amanda’s Parties To Go and I was so thankful for her FREE printables for Mother’s Day.  To get it all you have to do it LIKE her page on Facebook.  So I did and my printer got busy!  She had EVERYTHING in this download from a banner to water bottle wraps and place cards.

banner

Once I had that, I knew the colors for the dinner.  Off to Target I went and I was blessed to find green tablecloths on clearance in a 2 pack for $2.08!  And the pink table runners- clearance wrapping paper!  A pack of tissue paper for Poms and I was set!

menu

tables

When the mama’s arrived a picture was taken of them and their baby boys.

Mother Son picture

Then the boys were taken aside by my husband to receive their lesson on being a gentleman.  This included instructions on asking mom to be your date, showing her to the table, pulling out her chair, ordering for her, and then thanking her for a wonderful date night!  Too cute!  One of the son’s came in and asked his mom “Will you be my HOT date tonight?”  So precious!

placing orders

Mommies having fun

And a HUGE thank you to all those that helped!  Bryan couldn’t have done it without help this year and we were so blessed by the daddies, sisters, and friends that came to help serve and bless the mamas and their boys!

Helpers

Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Teacher Appreciation Week!

I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation week at the same time of the year, but alas they are.  That means lots crafting and gift giving is in my near future.  Since Teacher Appreciation week is coming up next week, I thought I would give you a look at what I am planning on giving to my boys’ teacher this year.

Some of you might be thinking – But don’t you homeschool?  What do you mean teachers? Isn’t that you?  Well, yes I am my oldest son’s teacher for the most part but he does have a supervising teacher that we turn all his work into.  So she deserves a treat for putting up with my emails and questions all year long ;)  As for my preschooler, he attends preschool 3 days a week so I like to give a smaller gift each day instead of just one gift.  I was a teacher so I know all the hard work that goes into teaching and how nice it was to receive little treats! My older son also has a piano teacher so I might just throw in a little something for her as well!

I have been pinning ideas for a while now on my Teacher Appreciation board on Pinterest.  Here are the ones I am going to be using this year!

Gift #1 – PICKED  basket of treats(courtesy of Eighteen25)

Couldn't have Picked

You can find the blog post here detailing what you need to make your own, as well as the link to print your very own tag for your gift basket!

Gift #2 – Supplies 4 Teacher (courtesy of Less Cake, More Frosting)

LCMF-Supplies-4-Teacher

Here you can also download the free printable tag.  Instead of filling it up with necessary classroom supplies as she suggests, my plan is to load up a cute little gift bag with a light duty staple gun and staples since I constantly see my son’s preschool teachers doing the whole “wack the opened up stapler against the wall” thing when they are changing up the classroom decorations.  The best tip I EVER got as a teacher was to use a light duty staple gun!  Saved me so much time when putting up bulletin boards. I am hoping to find a staple remover that slips right under the staples too (not the pinching kind that looks like it has vampire teeth) to include as well.

Gift #3 – Can’t live on Apples alone… (courtesy of Little Pumpkin Grace)

Apples and Hugs

This is a a nice and easy gift to give – I mean, come on, who doesn’t like some chocolate!  I will need to create my own tag since I  think a printed one looks nicer than a handwritten one.  So now I am hunting for just the right container to put the hugs in!

Of course you could always create a personalized gift for your child’s teacher too!  A couple years ago I made these adorable crayon letter frames that the teacher’s just loved!  In fact they are still proudly displayed in their classroom (I know because those teachers are my preschooler’s teachers this year – bummer, no reusing gift ideas for me!).

Crayon initial

Let me know what you are planning on doing for your child(s) teachers this year!  I love getting new ideas for appreciating teachers!

Partying with the Cat in the Hat, part 1

Well the party of the “year” around here is over.  My little guy’s first birthday was a Seuss-cess! After months of pinning ideas, searching for inspiration, menu planning, and of course crafting up hats and outfits – the party is done.  I am so excited to show you all the fun decorations that helped make this party a hit.

First the hats were so fun.

The boys enjoyed running around as Cat in the Hat and the adults even got in on the fun sporting the hats a bit themselves.

family shot

For the decor in the family room, the entertainment stand was all cleared to make room for our Dr. Seuss book collection and a few beloved Seuss characters were perched in the perfect positions for watching the party. Balloons and my bunting {first seen here} added the final touches.

Books galore

Birthday banner hung over the entryway into the dinning room and hallway.  I got all my printables from Cupcake Express on Etsy! These were amazing and made my life SO much easier.  Usually I make my own printables but I am starting to realize I just can’t do it all.  These pennants were cut out, hole punched and then I tied them up using red and blue with white polka dot ribbons.

banner

This next idea was “stolen” AHEM, inspired by my friend Heather. Last summer she threw a Mickey Mouse party for her daughter and put mouse ears on all her family pictures.  It was ADORABLE!  These hats were found at Michaels and I had LOTS of them so they got put on the heads of any picture that was the right size. You will see that not only the family room pictures got hats, but so did others around the house!

silly Seuss

In the kitchen, the white cabinets needed some dressing up.  These book covers were also found at Michael’s in a set along with the character punch outs.  I love the fun they added to the kitchen.

kitchen decor

Along with the printable pack I purchased there were some quote printables.  This quote is one of my favorites for the birthday party.  No one is Youer than You on your birthday!

quotes

More hats in the hallway!

hat in the hall

hidden hats

The bathroom couldn’t be forgotten.  A few character punch outs, a quote, and some kid level hats were placed on the mirror so bathroom guests had something to smile at while washing their hands.

bathroom decor

And here is the reason for it all!

My sweet birthday boy in this “Happy Birthday to Me!” shirt. His hat didn’t stay on long, but he enjoyed his party nonetheless.  He even took 5 or 6 consecutive steps (previously it had only been 1-2 in a row).

Birthday Boy

Check back tomorrow for another post on the FOOD!

There were just too many yummy Seuss inspired treats to show in this post.

Summer Activity Jar

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Here is the finished product! Our Summer Activity Fun Jar is complete and full of fun ideas to entertain my little men all summer. Cards are color coded – blue is for easy to complete activities, green activities are outside fun, and orange are trips that involve money or a bit of notice (like a SeaWorld trip).

The boys are enjoying choosing a card each day and seeing what they get to do! My oldest is dying to pull the “silly string war” card. It will happen soon enough but for now we are enjoying doing things together.

Download the Summer Activity Fun Cards.

Linking up here:

Shaped by Grace