A friend of mine is this close to having a baby – it’s gonna happen within the next week or so for sure! A new baby is exciting and we are very happy for her. I would say we can’t wait to meet the little one, but she lives clear across the country on the east coast and neither of us have a chance to take a trip anytime soon. So we’ve been doing our best to share in the fun long distance. She sends me photos of the progress on the nursery, asks advice on what to put on her baby registry (don’t think I was much help there!), discusses deals and sales on baby items and sends pics when she finds a cute new outfit.
When I first heard the news that my friend was pregnant I was sad that I wouldn’t be there for her (this was shortly after we moved out of the neighborhood) and I wanted to send her something fun. So I put together this great little Pregnancy Survival Kit and popped it in the mail. Everyone loves some happy mail right?
I found some fun patterned paper and used that for a quick introductory tag, as well as for tags on a lot of the items to tie it all together. Instead of just saying “here is your pregnancy survival kit” the note reads: “Pregnancy is such a wonderful time, here are some things so you don’t lose your mind.”
I started off with my trademark Pregnancy Countdown Blocks. This is something I invented a few years ago and one of my favorite things to give to expectant friends and family. The blocks make the countdown a little bit more fun, and are also great photo props. (they were very popular in my Etsy Shop too, but I have discontinued carrying them so I could spend more time on the laundry drying racks) You can see another version of the countdown blocks that I made for another friends with a fun Super Mom Gift Basket theme.
I also included a pregnancy themed magazine (is it just me, or are magazines getting harder and harder to find??), some Tums for heartburn (turns out she had plenty of that), some water bottle mix-ins
“for energy” One of the things I remember most about pregnancy was the severe lack of energy and wanting to take a nap pretty much every day. I wanted to include something that might give her a boost but without any caffeine.
The tag says: “Because there is never a wrong time or reason to cry.” The notorious pregnancy hormones – ‘nuf said, right?
More drink mixes – just because they’re fun. The tag reads: “and for hydration – drinking all that water gets old fast.”
And one of her favorite candy bars (this was around Valentines. I thought the heart-shaped candy bars made it feel a bit more special) because everything is more fun with chocolate. The tag says: “for your sweet tooth.”
There are a lot of great ideas out there and I could have included more, but I wanted it all to fit into a Flat Rate box so I stopped there. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to save a few ideas for next time. What would you include in a Pregnancy Survival Kit or Gift Basket?
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… !!
Ok, not sure where I was going with that 😉 Actually, I’ve got pregnancy on the brain. No, no, I’m NOT pregnant. But it sure does seem like I am hearing about more than the usual number of friends and acquaintances announcing they are expecting or showing up with new babies. It feels like it goes in cycles – have you noticed that? Most of the time it’s not on your radar (unless you yourself are pregnant then baby and pregnancy cues are EVERYWHERE) then all of a sudden it feels like everyone is pregnant all at once? I call it Baby Season and it is in full strength lately.
The most recent announcement unexpectedly came from one of my good friends in North Carolina. It was also her birthday last week so I figured I would go a little bigger than the Starbucks gift card I had already picked up and put together a fun pregnancy gift box. I really wanted it to be unique and I was stumped. I think I covered every aisle at Michael’s at least three times trying to come up with something fun and creative, thinking the entire time about what (in my opinion) is uniquely her. And finally – light bulb! See, she has two small boys who are really into Power Rangers and super heroes, and when her husband was deployed last year the tagline on all of her photos was “daddy went away to be a superhero.” Why not go with a SuperMom theme?!
SuperMom double wall drink cup with token “keep calm” saying – check!
I did a quick search for clipart for the crown then used my handy-dandy Silhouette machine to cut out the vinyl. Simple as that. I always use “outdoor” vinyl on projects like these and as long as you wash the cups on the top rack of the dishwasher ONLY, it holds up pretty well.
Funny SuperMom Wall Decor – check!
Quick mini-tutorial for you on this one. Unfinished scrolly wood plaque from Michael’s. (love those things!) Paint it. Superman logo and lettering in vinyl, courtesy of my Silhouette machine, of course. Put it all together and ta-da! Under $5 and probably less than 10 minutes.
It wouldn’t be complete without one of my signature Pregnancy Countdown Blocks, right? (I have decided to retire these in the Etsy shop. If you want one you better order it quick before I run out of stock!)
So there you have it – a Super-fun gift for the SuperMom in your life! I’m thinking this would make a great Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think? (which, by the way, is only a week and a half away – eek!)
According to my calculations, we have only one more week until Teacher Appreciation Day/Week. You know those hard-working teachers need a boost, especially at this point in the school year (anyone starting to get as excited for Summer as I am?!), and it’s kind of fun to put together a little something for the kids to take to school. I made Countdown to Summer blocks for my children’s teachers this year, which is one of my favorite ideas. For those of you that may want something a little more simple/easier to put together (the blocks aren’t hard, but they do take a bit of time and prep) I thought I’d do a quick round-up and recap of the teacher appreciation ideas I have used in the past few years.
In 2011 I put together a little kit of office supplies and candy for the teacher. The PTO at the school had a standard gift idea list – one day was a card, one day candy, and one day was a flower. I went along with those too, but wanted to add a more personal gift as well.Original inspiration (and instructions) for the project found here. I chose a smaller size bead organizer from Walmart and grabbed a few coordinating office supplies, which I divided between the two kits (one for the teacher, one for the assistant), and of course added a little sugar to finish it off. I was shopping with both kids for the candy and couldn’t concentrate, or I would have made sure the wrappers were blue or green to go with my color scheme too. 😉
2012 followed much the same format from the school – cards on one day, chocolate on another, flowers on a third, then I did a little something on my own that wasn’t part of the suggested list.
I picked up a bunch of yummy smelling hand sanitizer (in pocket sizes) and holders at one of Bath and Body Works big sales knowing it would come in handy for something like this. The tag says “you are scent-sational.” The printables for this one and the chocolate came from the Eighteen25 blog and can be found here.
2013 was once again cards, chocolate, flowers and I added in a set of countdown to summer blocks in fun black, white, and red patterns.
I added the option to count down to the beginning of next school year – just for the fun of it. These were an absolute hit with the teachers and I have repeated the idea again this year – see earlier post).
Last year (2014) – chocolate, cards, flowers (tiny pots with seeds this time) and the personal gift was altered clipboards.
I found the owl printable card first (Printable found here) and decided to go with that as the theme.
I modified the printable water bottle labels found here and used that for the tags on the rest of the items. The tag on the flowers reads “Thanks for helping me grow. Love, ___ ”
The chocolate: The tag reads “you deserve chocolate! Love, ___”
And finally, a more personal gift from the kids. I like to get a little creative with these, not only to give the teachers a little variety but hopefully they also get the message that we participate in Teacher Appreciation week not just because we are asked to, but because we really do appreciate their contribution as teachers to the lives of our children.
I took Plain Jane clipboards
and turned them into something fun, pretty, and personal.
The tag reads “You’re just write, teacher. Love, ____”
I’ve been working on quite a few smaller projects lately. Since most of my creative time is spent working on orders for the Etsy shop and most of my project time is spent dealing with giant organizing/spring tasks, it’s been nice to work on something new. I have a whole list of things I want to share with you and with Teacher Apprecition Week/Day fast approaching (It’s the week of May 4-8th this year. I looked it up!), I figured that would be a good place to start.
My children and I have been very lucky to have a lot of great teachers so far, and this year I am particulary happy with my children’s teachers and how helpful they have been with the kids’ transition to the new schools. I know teacher appreciation gifts aren’t a requirement, but I’m always happy to have an excuse brighten someone’s day, especially ones that go out of their way for my children. This year I decided to go with my signature countdown blocks to use as Teacher Appreciation gifts. I do these blocks for all sorts of occasions (pregnancy, holiday, vacation, etc). I have given them as teacher gifts in the past and they are always well received – everyone loves a good countdown. The blocks have numbers on all the sides and you just rotate them from side to side to show the correct number of days left as you count down.
The base block is double-sided for even more countdown fun. In May, the teachers can use the blocks to count down until the end of the school year. And in the fall the base block can be flipped to the other side, which reads “days ’til school” and they can countdown to the beginning of the next school year. (I’m tricky like that – always trying to find another way to get a little more use out of my crafts)
I’m still working on a cute saying to put on the tag or card. Maybe something like ‘I can always count on you teacher!” ?? (If you have a better pun, please share!)
Now I can happily pat myself on the back for being ahead of the game and not rushing to find a last minute teacher appreciation idea. If only I knew what to do about Mother’s day…
I’m curious though – what’s your favorite teacher appreciation gift idea? And also, do you do teacher appreciation gifts for just the teachers of the younger children or do you carry it on once they get to high school?