Hello Spring! Well, close enough, right? I told myself to wait until the end of February before I could think about Spring but now that it’s March… 😉
We may not see flowers popping up anytime soon (at least not here in Northern Utah) but all of the Spring holidays are certainly on their way. I often like to get the ideas flowing by looking at some of my past holiday ideas for Spring. And since I have yet to share the Spring Care Package I put together for my husband while he was deployed last year, let’s start there, shall we?
Getting the timing right for sending care packages can be a tricky thing, especially if they are being sent overseas. I found that I had to think ahead at least 3 weeks when sending packages for the last deployment.
After a look at the calendar last year, I decided to hit all three of the big Spring holidays in one box. Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and April Fool’s Day all got their own mini care package.
My favorite are the Regional Rate A b0xes (the catch with those is that you have to order them in sets of 10 online – but they’re free!) whose rates are based on how far away the box is being sent but still not tied to a specific weight. The Regional Rate A boxes are only slightly smaller than Medium Flat Rate boxes, but can save up to half the cost of the Medium Flat Rate shipping costs. The added bonus of the Flat Rate boxes of any kind is that they ship quickly, only 2-3 days in transit if shipping within the USA.
First step for putting together a care package is decorating the box. I always try to use patterned scrapbook paper from my stash on the flaps and something fun/funny for the bottom of the box. In this case I had my daughter draw a picture for St Patrick’s Day with the stipulation that part of it should look like a pot of gold. Then we added chocolate gold coins (glue dots work great for keeping them in place), placing some beneath a slit in the paper along the upper edge of the “pot” so it looked like the coins were being held inside it.
Isn’t she cute?
Another integral part of the care package is the card. In this case I wanted to create a unique card for St Patrick’s Day. I took a photo of our dog for the front of the card and added the quote “I wanted to give you a big kiss for St Patrick’s Day…”
and the inside reads “but I don’t have a LICKER license.”
Items for the St. Patrick’s Day portion of the care package included beer-flavored Jelly Bellys, a couple of pin on buttons (in case the husband needed a touch of green), Lucky Charms cereal (printable tag found HERE), and a few more chocolate gold coins (of course!).
I wanted the Easter portion of the care package to have it’s own container so I cut down one of the Flat Rate boxes. Some more patterned scrapbook paper, some Easter basket “grass,” and the quote “Some Bunny Loves You” completed the decorations for the box.
Inside: Easter candy! Some stuffed in plastic eggs, some left in it’s own packaging. His favorites include Robin’s Eggs, Reece’s Eggs, and Peeps. My husband also loves chocolate-covered gummies so I was happy to run across the bunnies at World Market. (Which is also where I got the Jelly Bellys). And of course, the kids and I each wrote a note inside some Easter themed cards I had in my stash.
April Fool’s deserves a nod, doesn’t it? I decided to keep it simple and just put together a small “open when” envelope. A fun meme and a box of Bean Boozled jelly beans are just the right size for the envelope. The jelly beans are the kind where you have to guess if you’re eating a good flavor or something crazy like ear wax.
And there you have it all together in the box – a fun Spring Care Package for all the holidays. As you can see, I added a few other things either as requests from the husband (the poster tack for hanging photos on his wall) or something I thought he could use (the coffee mug and a dish wand and soap so he could wash the mug himself as needed). Round it out with letters from the kids and myself and the package was ready to go.
I hope this gave you a few new ideas for sending a little something to your loved one. We all deserve a little happy mail…or a gift basket? Something to think about… 😉
Searching for more Care Package/Gift Basket Ideas? I’m developing quite the collection. Like the Beat the Heat Care Package, Half-Way There Care Package, or Deployment Survival Kit (for the spouse at home).
*This post may contain affiliate links.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving – do you know what that means?!?
Ok, yeah so some of you said Black Friday shopping. Yes, you could be doing that.
And someone else probably said something about putting out their holiday decorations. I’m on board with that. We put up our tree this morning.
But what I’m actually talking about is the fact that new episodes of Gilmore Girls are out today! Bring on the junk food and binge watch all the shows!
I have a couple of good friends from high school who are big fans of Gilmore Girls, just like I am. We used to talk about the show quite often when we would get together in the years right after college (we had a standing Saturday with the Girls once a month for years – such a fun tradition). In fact, when the series ended we all got together and had a party to watch the final episode together – complete with matching T-shirts and themed food. It’s fun to have friends that like to put that little bit of extra fun into things, isn’t it?
When I heard about the Gilmore Girls revival I knew I wanted to involve my friends somehow. We haven’t managed a big get together in quite a few years and with both of my friends having new babies recently I knew planning some sort of viewing party wasn’t in the cards. So I came up with the idea of putting together a Gilmore Girls themed care package to surprise them with.
And now that I’ve sent out the package and don’t have to worry about ruining the surprise, I can share its contents with you! 😉
When it comes to care packages or gift baskets, a lot of the wow factor comes from the packaging, right? I always take a minute to decorate the inside of the box when I’m mailing something special. In this case I grabbed some patterned paper from my stash and printed out a few funny Gilmore Girls memes.
Don’t forget to decorate the bottom of the box! It’s always fun to think you’ve reached the end and find something that gives you one last smile.
Inside the box:
-a coffee cup. Of course, it wouldn’t be Gilmore Girls if there’s wasn’t some mention of coffee, right? And even though my buddies aren’t really coffee drinkers, the cup works just as well for hot chocolate 😉
-junk food! Lots and lots of sugar in fun movie theater sizes
-printable quote from the theme song that I turned into a bookmark. Had to have some sort of reference to books, right? Printable found HERE
–Gilmore Girls Bingo cards
-and a few “things I learned from Gilmore Girls” quotes that I printed and scattered among all the items in the box (You can find links to these and a few other ideas I didn’t use on my Just the Girls Pinterest Board)
*quick tip on mailing care packages – using Regional Rate A boxes is a great way to save money. They are only slightly smaller than the Flat Rate Medium boxes but because they calculate the rates based on distance travelled and I was shipping In State I paid about half the cost of a Medium Flat Rate box. The catch is that post offices don’t typically stock them, you have to order them (for free) in bundles of 10 or 25 through USPS online.
I had a lot of fun putting these together and I’m sure it was quite the surprise when my friends found the packages in their mailbox last week.
I think it’s about time to grab a blanket and some snacks and settle in for a Gilmore Girls marathon this afternoon, don’t you?
Outside my window the first snowflakes of the season are slowly floating down. It doesn’t look like it will amount to much, but the snow, combined with the drop in temperature we have experienced lately are just more reminders that fall is on its way out and winter will be here much more quickly than I am comfortable with. Life is crazy busy right now and there is so much I would like to get done before the weather sets in. *sigh* I don’t think it’s all going to be finished. But. When I do find a little time to get ahead of things I like to take advantage of it. Today is one of those days.
My mom started a Bunco group years ago – back when it was really trendy in our area. I can’t remember if I was in high school or college at the time, but that group is still going strong 15-20 years later. After I moved back home last year I subbed at Bunco a couple of times and when a spot for a regular member opened up I was asked to join. The game itself isn’t hard, nor do I think winning one of the prizes is really the point – though sometimes they do have some great prizes! The appeal, for me, is to have a reason to leave the kids at home and have some dinner and a few laughs with a great group of women I may not regularly spend time with otherwise.
We had our latest Bunco Night this past week and it caught me by surprise when they started talking about Christmas party plans for the next get together. A white elephant gift?! It’s been years since I had to bring one of those to a party. And while I love the idea of a fun and quirky gift, I also like gifts to be useful so I came up with the idea for a Bunco themed cup of some sort. I drug my husband along to TJ Maxx with me last night during a super-rare date night in which we had a little time to waste between dinner and the movie and was happy to find this great water bottle – and for only $4 too!
One of my favorite tricks when I want something customized and unique is to add a quote or lettering in vinyl. It’s a pretty simple thing to do with a die cutting machine and I have a Silhouette which I love to put to work on projects like this one.
I chose to add the words Bunco Diva and a few dice shapes to round out the design.
*In case you are wondering, the font for the lettering Lounge Bait (found it free HERE) and the dice are dPoly Block Dice dingbats (found HERE). And did I mention to be sure to use OUTDOOR vinyl? By using outdoor vinyl and making sure you get the vinyl on really well, these can be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher without any problems.
I would have added some feathers, as I was in that kind of mood 😉 but as I didn’t have feathers on hand I went with a fun glittery bow. Now I just need to decide what to put inside the bottle – any ideas? I may just end up stuffing it with chocolate if I don’t come up with a better idea before the party. For now, I’m patting myself on the back for being on the ball with this single Christmas project – and we will just ignore the fact that there are at least 50 more things on the list that will need attention, won’t we? What’s on your project list? Have you started any Christmas prepping yet?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
1. From Wine to Whine // 2. Creative Ramblings // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. unOriginal Mom // 5. Small Stuff Counts // 6. Alayna’s Creations // 7. Single Yet Married Mom // 8. Comfort and Yum // 9. Tori Grant Designs // 10. Cutesy Crafts // 11. The Crafting Nook // 12. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 13. Architecture of a Mom // 14. Havalah // 15. Create & Babble // 16. A Time For Seasons
Gift giving is hard, doncha’ think? At least that’s how I feel, especially when I don’t know the recipient very well. No scratch that, it’s hard even if you’re best friends with the person you are giving the gift to (like the husband – aren’t men the hardest?) Or maybe that’s just my perfectionist side coming out. I always want to get the perfect gift – one they will love and enjoy and not something that gets opened then set aside to take up space on a shelf somewhere, or worse – taken to the store and exchanged! 😉 So, when I hit upon a gift idea I really like, I really want to share it.
A little over a week ago I found myself in the city starting in on the Back to School shopping with my daughter (is it really time to start thinking about that again?!). When I’m out shopping, especially if it’s in the city and I don’t have my little guy along (he tends to slow things down) I like to hit as many stores as I can and get stocked up on anything I may need in the next couple of weeks. And with another family wedding coming up, I was on the look out not only for a flower girl dress for Kate (found something that will work – yay!) but I also needed gifts for the wedding and the bridal shower. Figuring kitchen items were a good place to start I wandered more than one store without finding any inspriation (and one of them was Target – how do you not get inspired at Target?!) until I stumbled across a great little cake stand and a bell went off – put together a cake baking gift basket!
From there it was pretty easy. Sure, I gathered things from at least three different stores, but as I was planning to go to those stores anyway it wasn’t a big deal.
Then it was time to figure out how to put it all together. At first I tried piling everything up, thinking I would tie it together with a big ribbon and a bow or something.
Kind of cute, but there was no way it was going to survive the car trip to the bridal shower and still look good. And I didn’t have any of those big cello bags or tulle handy. So I grabbed a basket instead (dollar store. This time of year that place is practically overflowing with containers for Back to School/college. It’s awesome).
I stuffed the bottom with newspaper and covered that up with some tissue paper so the items would sit higher in the basket, which makes a better display. Sure, I could have stuffed it all in a big gift bag and called it good – and I almost did that when I found myself running out of days before the shower and no chance to drive the 25 min to the craft store. However, I think part of the appeal of a gift basket – and I’m a huge fan of gift baskets lately – is the visual look of them with everything piled inside all cute and easy to explore.
In case you can’t tell from the pictures, inside the basket you will find:
-2 round cake pans
-spatulas/rubber scrapers (the one that says “I kiss even better than I cook” was a huge hit)
-cake decorating bags
-a couple of cake decorating tips and a coupler
-cake mixes and a can of frosting (I tried to find some unique ones like the strawberry cheesecake mix and the cookies and cream frosting)
Other good ideas would include: a favorite cake recipe or cookbook, actual baking supplies like flour and baking powder, parchment paper, a cake/cupcake decorating ideas book, etc
Want more gift ideas for weddings, bridal showers (or anything else really) – check out my Date Night Picnic Basket Idea.
I think we will be done with our current batch of wedding invites soon, but it always pays to have an idea or two up your sleeve so I’m curious – what is your favorite wedding/bridal shower gift to give or receive?
Linking to: Merry Monday, Lou Lou Girls, Project Inspired, Inspire Me Monday, Your Turn to Shine, Thursday Favorite Things, BFF Open House, Pin Me Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Sundays Down Under, Tutorials and Tips Link Party, Something to Talk About,
Mother’s Day is just a few days away! Hopefully we all have our gifts figured out, plans made for dinners and brunches, and cards all bought and signed (I don’t! Aaaaa!).
In the spirit of the day I thought I would go ahead and follow up on the SuperMom Gift box I put together a couple of weeks ago. I made the gift box for a friend that just found it she is pregnant, but it would work great for a last minute Mother’s Day gift as well. Or maybe a fun Halloween costume? So here we go – a quick tutorial for making the SuperMom logo shirt.
I was wandering around the craft store the other day and spotted this sun-activated dye that looked like fun. They had these small packages and they seemed like the perfect size for experimenting. And as it turned out, it wasn’t too hard to work with.
The dye is sun activated – whatever the sun hits takes on the color of the dye. Any parts that are covered up are washed out and remain the original color of the fabric. So the first thing I needed was a template. I used Superman logo clipart, added the “mom” in the center, then cut it all out of vinyl. It would work just as well to use cardstock or paper or something. The instructions said you can use just about anything to create the image, but if I can use my trusty vinyl I usually choose that option 😉
Figuring the stability wouldn’t hurt and not wanting the chance of the dye leaking through to the back, I stretched the shirt over a piece of cardboard and taped it down on the back. Then I used packing tape to make a rectangle to contain the dye, added the decal and spread the ink over everything. The fabric still streched and moved a bit as I applied the dye. Next time I would probably stretch the fabric even more before applying the dye. And I forgot to “blot” it after spreading the dye. The instructions said you would get more even coverage if you blotted it.
That’s was the hard part. The shirt spent 15 minutes in the sun and you cold see the color of the ink deepen as time went on. Once it was finished I peeled off the tape and the decal and tossed it in the washing machine. Easy as that!
I can see a lot of possibilites using this method. It was easy and didn’t take a lot of time, and unlike iron-ons, the dye simply changes the color of the fabric and the shirt stays as flexible and comfortable to wear as when you first bought it. (It’s not just my kids that complain of “scratchy” iron-ons or appliques on their Tshirts and sweatshirts, is it?) I don’t make many personalized shirts, but I would probably consider doing this again.
Do you have a favorite method for personalizing clothing?
*Nope, this is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my little experiment.
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?