Monday, May 23, 2011

What time is it?? SUMMERTIME!! I the only one who does "End of the school" gifts for my kids?? I think it is so fun to try to put something together for each of my boys the end of school so when they walk in from school on the last day, they have something fun!!
Here are a few ideas.
I made each of my boys an "Art Tote." I found small bathroom caddy's at the dollar store and filled each caddy with coloring books, workbooks, construction paper, scribble pads, flash cards & some small puzzles. Each boy got different books/activities based on there grade level. I found all the books/supplies at, where else, Dollar Tree.
I velcro-ed 4 small cups in the front of the tote (also found at the Dollar Tree) each cup filled with different art supplies. Each tote had its own paint, markers, crayons, glue sticks, pencils & scissors. My boys LOVED them and still use them today for homework projects. Each boys has all his own art supplies so no fighting over crayons.
I found each of my boys a small draw string backpack.
(Each a different color or style). You can find these everywhere and a lot of times you can even get them for free.
I have been trading kids with two of my friends for the last couple summers so my boys could have a play date with there friends at least once a week. I got them the backpacks to make it easier to go to playgroup.
I filled each one with a swim towel, sun screen, goggles & a water bottle. So my boys would always be prepared to head out the door. It made play dates way easier to prepare for because each boy was in charge to "prep" his own back pack with what he'd need. Again, the boys loved them and they were really useful. We still use them for play dates, sleepovers & road trips.
Summer Movie Bucket!!
Our family LOVES movies!! We have family movie night every Friday night. So we look forward to the new movies that come out in the summer. However, our family movie night does pose one problem. Because we watch movies EVERY FRIDAY, my boys DON'T want to go to the cheap "Summer Movies" at the theatres because we've already seen all the movies they offer (many times more than once).'s the solution. Instead, the last 2 summers, I have bought the 3 older boys there own movie gift card. The new movies only cost $5.00 to see on Friday and Saturday mornings before noon. So with a gift card for $40 you get to see 8 new movies during the summer. I's NOT cheap. But it's one summer activity that the whole family looks forward too.   
We have a HUGE bucket that I stock with munchies and candy. Then I tie on a "Movie Menu" with the movie release dates so my boys know which movies we are going to see and when. They LOVE it!! Before each movie we go to, they get to pick something out of the movie munchies bucket. We also keep the gift cards in the bucket so they don't get lost.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

End of School Teacher Gifts

It's that time of year again!! I can't believe how quickly the school year passes.
Honestly, I've been so busy the last couple of weeks, the end of school just snuck up on me. YESTERDAY (yes, yesterday. Exactly 3 1/2 days till school lets out) I realized I had NOTHING yet for my kids teachers. So off to Target I went, hoping some sort of creative genius would strike as I walked the aisle looking for thank-you gifts.
~Here's what I found~
At Target found this TOO CUTE beach towel on sale for $5.50. So I grabbed one for each teacher. Went to Bath & Body works where they had all travel size coconut fragrances for $1.00. Then came home and tied it all up with some flip-flops I already had in my gift closet from the Dollar Tree. I LOVE THEM!!
Best part of all, my boys are excited to give them to their teachers! I think I like them so much because they are different. Not what I would usually think to do for a teacher gift. Here are all three of them tied up and ready to go!

~Past Teacher Gift Ideas~ 
you could also just do the teacher's last name in vinyl on a candle for a gift that he/she could take home with them.
In these 2 pictures, I have a friend who bought some cute metal boxes (which can be found at Michael's as well as Hobby Lobby) & then had me do names and/or initials in vinyl to decorate the outside of the box.
In the top picture the box was filled with a everything your teacher would need to give herself a pedicure. Flip flops, lotion, foot scrubber, manicure set.
In the bottom pic, the box is filled with thank you notes from all the kids in the class. How sweet is that!!

For other adorable & creative teacher gifts, visit these sites:

Monday, May 16, 2011

B is for Boy Baby Shower

I am serving in YW right now in our ward. And 5 out of the 8 YW leaders are
pregnant. One of them happens to be my friend, Brittany Barnard. Who is the BEST Mia Maid advisor EVER!! She has 2 little girls already and when I found out she was pregnant, I told her if it was a boy, I get to do her shower. Well SURE ENOUGH, when she had her ultrasound, she found out she was having her very first baby boy. And since i am an expert at baby boys, I couldn't wait to do her shower!!
In prepping for the shower, I asked her what she was going to name him? She and her hubby were still debating names & so my idea of a "B is for Boy" Baby Shower theme was born. You see, her name is Brittany Barnard. And this was Baby Boy Barnard. So the "B" theme fit perfect!!
 My friend Cadi, offered to do the shower with me. I was so excited to have her help. I've worked with Cadi before on Activities Committee and LDS Prom and she is as "freakish" as I am when it comes to parties and the details.
 (And I mean that in the nicest way possible)
So after a month of prep time, here are the pictures of the final product.
The living room piano was the first thing guests saw when they walked into the house. I had wrapped some white candles in scrapbook paper that matched the shower colors.
Weeks before the shower, I made up small cards (kind flashcard looking). All had "B is for..." and then a vintage picture of a 'B' item that had to do with baby. I found unfinished wood frames as the Dollar Tree (some were 2 for $1). I painted and antiqued them so we could place them in various spots around the shower. Total I made 20. They were WAY time consuming but turned out darling and I was so happy with the results.
(On top of piano B is for...
bath, booties, bubbles, buggie, bassinet) 
I made a diaper cake for the mom-to-be's gift. It served as the centerpiece of the gift table. Again using matching scrapbook paper and ribbon to wrap the layers diapers. Don't you love the HUGE buttons? They are just small unfinished wood plaques that you can get at any craft store and my hubby drilled holes in them to look like buttons.
In the entry way we had a small table that had the mom-to-be's thank you cards & envelopes that each guest could fill out there address on. I had also framed a copy of the invite to display on this table.
Small grouping on my hallway pie safe
B is for Baby
I borrowed this adorable white sofa table and put it in the hallway. On it we had a game for guests to play (guess the number of kisses in the bottle) and also an advice book where guests could write to Brittany.
The 3 frames had B is for Boy, Bear & Book.
Also made this simple banner out of matching scrapbook paper
Small banner of onesies that matched out shower colors.
Found these at the Dollar Tree, if you can believe it!!
Now onto the food :) We had assigned out all the food except for dessert.
Let me tell you, all the food was DE-LISH!! We had chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, cinnamon sugar chips with fruit salsa, tortellini pasta salad,  veggie pizza with dill, apricot & brie bites, mushroom turnovers...Every bite was so yummy!!
Thanks to all those who brought something to share.
They are kind of hard to see in this pic but hanging among the cute paper lanterns are more "B" that Cadi painted and antiqued!! She did a fabulous job.
I put arrows in the pic below so you can kind of see the B's
Better view of some of the food :)
We served out paper products out of small galvanized buckets.
All the "B" you see are courtesy of Cadi who painted and antiqued them all.
Flower, frames and buckets were on the back of the serving table
B is for Bib 
Its hard to see but that mason jar is filled with binkies and one tied to the front
because B is for Binkie 
B is for Bottle
B is for Bow tie
Drinks were water bottles with a custom label. Served out of a huge galvanized bucket. As well as Limeade that we served out of mason jars.

All the mason jars were tied with a small metal edged tag so guests could write their name on their cups. I also found these blue straws that matched PERFECT!!
For dessert, I made cupcakes. 3 different kinds. We served them off of these adorable galvanized cupcake trays and tiered cake platters. Only got pictures of 2 kinds...3rd flavor was "Better than Anything" cupcakes-YUM!! 

Red Velvet
Lemon Cream Cheese
(these were sooooo good!!)
B is for Ball
B is for Blanket & Bike.
Small grouping in corner of the family room
B is for Brother
And of course the bathroom had to match.
B is for Bottom
As guests left, we had a small table by the front door where they could take there favors. The favors were small metal tins filled with blue, green & brown M&M's.
On top each tin said "B is for Boy."
Thank you so much Brittany for letting Cadi & I do your shower. I am so excited for the arrival of you new baby boy.