Monday, May 2, 2016

How to Create a System for the Piles of School Papers and Free Printables!

Does anyone else feel like they are literally D R O W N I N G in school papers by the end of the school year? Trust me, I was there. I would empty the boys' folders every night and add the papers to the growing stack stuffed in the bottom of the coffee cabinet. Because if I can't see them, the problem isn't there. Eventually I knew I had to tackle this issue, but I just couldn't bring myself to throw any of their genius work away. I mean, what if in 20 years I want to look back and see them add 2 + 2 fifty different times??My boys are only in first grade and Pre-K so if I didn't tackle it now, what would it be like when they are Seniors? I envisioned an episode of hoarders.

I am happy to say that I created a system for organizing my kid's school papers that actually works! I am not an organized person by nature, so if it works for me, seriously anyone can do it! It just takes a little bit of prep time, but I promise it's worth it.



The first thing I did was purchase some 1" white binders and clear page protectors. My goal was to condense all of the papers from that year into that one binder and throw away (eek!) the rest.  As I sorted through the papers, I just kept 1 of each kind.  So if there were 50 math papers where he added single digit numbers, I just kept 1. If there was special artwork or something unique, I kept it. Everything else got trashed. Let me tell you, my husband had to pry it out of my hands and throw it in the trash can, but I haven't regretted it. 

Next, I created the title pages for each book and printed them out. Each year, I purchase one 5x7 school picture to go in the book and forego the whole picture package. It's way overpriced and we have professional family pictures done every year anyways.


 










I just love this picture that Levi drew on the back of one of his school papers. He loves drawing pictures of cowboys :)







Now I can easily see the highlights of each year and its something that we can look back at in 20 years and appreciate.

I'm including links to the cover sheets and binder labels I created, so you can download them for FREE!


I'm working on getting the rest of the printables listed in my Etsy shop, so be sure to check back soon for those!
I'd love to hear from you! Do you have any tips on organizing your kid's school papers?

Happy Organizing!





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Farmhouse Living Room Inspiration and Mood Board

Farmhouse style is ALL the rage right now thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper (my FAVORITE show by the way!) I just love this living room designed by Yellow Prairie Interiors! There's something so cozy and inviting about farmhouse interiors-it makes you want to grab a good book and a cup of coffee and just jump into the space!


This was my inspiration for creating my farmhouse style mood board.  I stumbled upon Yellow Prairie Interiors on Pinterest and I'm in love with her style. She has an instagram account too. Seriously, check her work out. It's amazing. 

I used to love making mood boards in design school. In fact, it was always my very favorite part of the project. So I have decided to make this a regular feature on my blog. I will take an inspiration room and search out the internet for similar items on an affordable budget. Because if you could afford to pay $350 for faux hydrangeas you could hire your own personal designer, right?  
The links to purchase the items are located at the bottom of the board. Have fun bringing farmhouse style into your home! 



sofa: Nebraska Furniture Mart//wire tray: Hobby Lobby//baskets: Target, H&M//coffee table: Walmart//pillows: Kirklands, Joss & Main, Peek Pillow Originals Etsy Shop//clock:  Target//farmhouse sign: WoodenThatBeSomethin Etsy Shop//topiary: Pier 1 Imports//lamp: Kirklands//Faux Hydrangeas: Pottery Barn

I'd love to connect with you and hear about your amazing farmhouse finds!



Monday, April 18, 2016

The Best Star Wars Party Ever!



My boys are OB-SESSED with Star Wars.  And when I say obsessed, I mean that is all they talk about.  So when I asked Hudson what theme he wanted for his 5th birthday party, it was no question.  This ended up being one of the most fun birthday parties I've ever planned!

We made Jedi robes for all the kiddos out of brown sheets from Walmart and made light sabers out of pool noodles. I'm telling ya, just give a little boy a pool noodle and it's like free entertainment for 5 hours! 


You can't have a Star Wars party without Princess Leia, right??

                      


                       

For table decorations, I splatter painted black butcher paper with white paint and cut out the letters with my Silhouette Cameo using the free Star Jedi font available here

I found a Star Wars crawl generator on Star Wars.com and had it playing on my laptop during the party. 


Click here for Star Wars Crawl generator.

Unfortunately I didn't get good pictures of the food but here is what we had:
Darth Vader Punch (red cool aid)
Jabba the Hut Dogs (hot dogs)
Princess Leia buns (hot dog buns)
Light Sabers ( pretzel sticks)

(I kept the food pretty simple and focused on the games and activities.)

When the kids arrived, we handed out Jedi Training Cards.  When they completed each activity, they got a star in the box.  


ACTIVITY 1:  DEATH STAR BEAN BAG TOSS
We used a corn hole board, but you could use a bucket if you don't have one. For the death stars, we wrapped up bean bags in foil. 

          

ACTIVITY 2:  BUILD A SPACESHIP OUT OF LEGOS
I knew I would need a break, so I set out a tub of Legos and let the kids have at it! They loved building their own spaceships and I got to actually sit down and eat a hot dog! Woohoo!


ACTIVITY 3: USE THE FORCE!
Ok. Want to know how to impress a bunch of 5 year olds? Get a toy Star Wars spaceship and glue a magnet to the bottom.  Put it on a plate and hold a magnet underneath the plate with your other hand. Let kids take turn using the force to make the spaceship move. They will love it! I promise!
Thank you to Raegun Ramblings blog for this idea!.


ACTIVITY 4:  STORM TROOPER TRAINING
Draw Storm Trooper faces on white balloons with a sharpie and let the kids try to keep them in the air with their "light sabers."

The template I used to draw the faces can be found here.


Look at the concentration on his face!

ACTIVITY 5:  LIGHT SABER TRAINING:
Blow bubbles and let the kids practice their Jedi skills by popping the bubbles with their light sabers.




ACTIVITY 6: PHOTO BOOTH
For the background I took a piece of black butcher paper and splatter painted white paint for the stars.  







                  

I found this free overlay by Amy on AttaGirl Says blog here. I used the picmonkey app to  put it on the pictures.






Click here to download Photo Booth Sign.

Once the kids had completed all of activities, we had a Master Jedi award ceremony where they got their certificates.


Click here to download certificate.




Pure Joy!!




According to Hudson, it was "The Best Star Wars Party EVER!"

If you use any of my printables, I would love to see pictures of your party! Do you have any other Star Wars party ideas?



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Birthday Bash


HAPPY FALL!!
This is my absolute favorite time of the year! Pumpkins, hayrides, sweaters, football, coffee, birthdays.... Ahhh pure bliss! I thought a fall themed party for my son's 4th birthday would be the perfect start to fall! I don't know who had more fun, the adults or the kids! 

The Invitation:

The invitation is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

The Decorations







The Menu:
Frito Pies
Hot Dogs
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Nectarine pumpkins
Popcorn
Smores


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies:
I found the cookie cutters at Michaels and I used this recipe for the cookies.  I added quite a bit more flour so I could roll out the dough to cut it.  For the royal icing, I used this recipe.  They were a big hit!

Pumpkins:
Ingredients:
Nectarines
Celery
Popcorn:
For this, I just made paper cones out of 12x12 scrapbook paper.  and hung them from a branch that I had my husband cut down.

Activities:
Feed Sack Races



The Hayride

All the kiddos (and Haley)