Thanks A Latte Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea with free printable

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Hi Friends!

Since tomorrow is Teacher Appreciation Day I just wanted to share a quick gift idea with you. As I’ve mentioned before, both Scott and my mom are teachers so I see firsthand, on a daily basis how much time, love, energy, and dedication it takes to be a teacher. Let’s celebrate all of the wonderful teachers in our lives tomorrow, and every day!!

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This is the easiest little gift, and a super cute way to dress up a gift card. When you purchase the gift card at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc. just ask for an extra cup or two. Then just add some krinkle paper, a bow, and this printable tag and you are good to go! I’m including the printable tag with and without the “Happy Teacher Appreciation!” wording at the bottom. I’m also including a version that says “Have a great summer!” so you could use it as an end-of-the-year gift if you would like too!!

You can download the printable, here!

Have a great week, friends!

alison_name

Play-doh carrots

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Hi Friends!

Yesterday, I had the fun opportunity to help with the Easter party at Sawyer’s preschool. I think the kids had a great time at the celebration. We made bunny masks, ate bunny shaped Rice Krispie treats, read Easter books, and did an egg relay game.

I wanted to make a quick, inexpensive little treat for all of Sawyer’s classmates. I know this weekend will be filled with chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and other sugary deliciousness, so I wanted to stay away from candy. Sawyer loves play-doh and I am a huge fan of this flour and salt recipe. I make it all the time! I usually try to blend up different and unusual colors with the food coloring, but a batch of all orange worked perfectly for these carrots. I mixed up the dough, squeezed it into triangular candy bags that I found at Michael’s Craft Store (in the candy section) and then just tied the top with green ribbons! So easy! I think they are so adorable!

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If you are looking for a quick, last little item for those Easter baskets this weekend, give these play-doh carrots a try!

Happy Easter!

alison_name

 

Get daily texts (and a selfie) from Santa!

This post uses affiliate links. However, all opinions are 100% own. For more information, read about my disclosures, here.
 
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Hi Friends!

Fall is in full swing around here. Sawyer has started his first year of preschool. The mornings are crisp and the evenings have become cooler. Some leaves have even started changing colors and falling from the trees. We will be making trips to some local farms for apple and pumpkin picking in the next few weekends too.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is less than 3 months away! As you can see from Sawyer’s shirt, we definitely “believe in the beard” around here. So I’m super excited to share with you an adorable and fun way to celebrate with your kids during the entire month of December leading up to Christmas…with texts from Santa! The big guy in red (along with Mrs. Claus and the elves) will send a custom text message to you and your kids every day during the month of December leading up to Christmas. The personalized messages vary from festive holiday cheer, to games, to spreading goodwill (example: Do 3 nice things for someone today to help {your town} have the highest number of good kids!). As a parent, I love the spreading goodwill idea! Then on Christmas morning Santa sends a photo of himself next to your stockings or tree in your living room!! (shhh! you can submit the picture for Santa through the website) A selfie from Santa!?! How fun!!

The cost is $9.95 to receive a personalized message every day in December leading up to Christmas. Sign up right here and get into the holiday spirit!

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Also, Texts from Santa is currently running a kickstarter campaign to raise funding for even more fun features for the future. Check out their campaign here and support this awesome company!

This post uses affiliate links. However, all opinions are 100% own. For more information, read about my disclosures, here.alison_name

 

Sawyer’s First Day of Preschool

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Hi Friends!

This fall marked a major milestone in our household…Sawyer started school!! I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that he is even old enough to be starting school but I guess that’s a discussion for a different day. He’s in the 3 year old preschool class that meets 3 days a week and is truly loving it! Just as I had suspected, there were no tears or fears (on his end at least!) with me dropping him off on the first day. He’s only gone a few days and I can already see so much growth and change in him. He wakes up so excited for school. His curiosity and thirst for learning is truly inspiring. At drop off he always gives me a quick hug and then he’s off running to the first activity, never looking back. This is going to be an amazing year watching him grow and become even more independent.

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I originally shared my School Days Yearly Record on my dear friend Abby’s blog but in an effort to capture these fleeting days and years I just had to share it here as well. I designed and created my School Days Yearly Record as a way to see/remember (and document!!) all the ways children grow and change from the first day of school to the last day of school.

A really fun feature of this little record book is that it is completely self-contained. On the first day (or close to the first day) of school have your children fill out the five “First Day of School” pages. Then, just flip the whole book over and on the last day of school have your children fill out the “Last Day of School” pages. You can read all of the first day of school pages, left to right and then when you reach the center of the book, just flip the entire book over and read the last day of school pages, left to right, until you reach the center again. The entire year is captured in this one little book!

To make your record book, first, download the printable, here.

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If your printer is able to print double sided that would be the easiest way to quickly produce your record book. If not, no problem at all. Just print each sheet individually then glue together pages 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6.

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Next, stack all of the pages in the order of the printable PDF. (Page 1 should be facing down on the bottom and page 6 should be face up, on top.)  Then fold all of the pages in half and use a hole punch to make two holes for the spine of the book.

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Then just thread a ribbon through the holes and tie a bow. Now your School Days Yearly Record is complete and you and your children are ready for a wonderful school year ahead!

Have a great school year Sawyer! I am so proud of the little independent boy you are becoming. You inspire me daily and it’s an honor to be your mommy. I love you so much!

alison_name

 

A dino-mite birthday bash: Sawyer is three!

 

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Hi Friends!

It’s hard to believe that my little man turned three this summer. Three. How is that even possible?! Sawyer’s dinosaur themed 3rd birthday party was a roarin’ good time!! We celebrated the day surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. Our Sawyerosaurus is truly blessed to be loved by so many.

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We served dino-mite desserts (all of Sawyer’s favorites)! Everyone enjoyed “digging into” all of these goodies!

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Sawyer’s birthday cake was a sculpted dinosaur wearing a party hat and holding a “3” flag. Year after year, Bella Christie’s truly outdoes themselves!

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All of the kids had a blast pretending to be paleontologists and finding toy dinosaurs in the dino dig! It was a wonderful day!

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Everyone enjoyed some dino cookies for the road too!

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Happy 3rd Birthday Sawyer! You truly are our everything. We love you more than you will ever know.

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All paper goods (invitations, thank you tags, food signs, welcome sign, dino dig sign) are available in my etsy shop.

Photography by my amazing and talented friend, Jen of Rose Photography.

 

alison_name

A guest post…a welcome…and a giveaway!!!

Hi Friends!

I am so excited to share that today I am guest posting over at Just a Girl and Her Blog as Abby is recovering from her surgery. I am sharing this fun School Days Yearly Record free printable! Be sure to head over there and check it out!

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If you are visiting from Just a Girl and Her Blog, welcome and hello! I’m so happy that you are here. Thanks so much for stopping by! For those of you who may not know me very well, my name is Alison and I’m a wife, mother and graphic designer. My family is my whole world. I strive to live a faith-filled life focused on loving my family well.

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Two other aspects of life that I am extremely passionate about are celebrations/parties and motherhood. I believe in celebrating all of life’s amazing moments. Because at the end of the day, it is these moments that are what life is truly about. Not only do I love throwing parties but I also love designing invitations and party decor to help make any celebration in your life even more special. You can find my designs on cardstore.com and minted.com as well as in my own shop. I also love sharing free printables so be sure to take a look around this blog!

Motherhood is another aspect of life that is so very important to me. Being a mom is a tough job, but also an incredible one! As mothers, I believe we should take every opportunity that we can to support and encourage one another. My very dear friend, Natalie started a monthly care package service for moms that is focused on celebrating motherhood, Happy Mommy Box. Together with her business partner, Mandy, they have been doing a wonderful job of inspiring and encouraging moms all over the country. Several months ago I started working with them as a Brand Outreach team member. I just love being a part of the team as we deliver encouragement to all of our mom’s doorsteps each month!

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Also, here are a few of my recent projects to get you started…

WoodlandAnimals_graphic3Woodland Animal Party Invitation with Free Thank You Note Printable

 

IMG_1477-685Chick and Bunny Candy Boxes with Free Printable

 

berry_boxesBerry Favor Box Free Printable

 

YOLO_685-2Once Is Enough Art Print – Free Printable

 

Phew! That was a much longer introduction than I thought it would be!!

And now for a GIVEAWAY…now who doesn’t like a giveaway?! This is a fun one! Enter below to win a custom design of your choice! I’ll work directly with the winner to design a free project of your choice…party invitations, thank you notes, bunting banner…you pick! You just tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll help to make your celebration shine!! How fun is that?!? I’m so excited about it. I hope you are too! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**The (not so) fine print… This giveaway is for the design file only. No printed cards/invitations/materials are included. Also, this giveaway includes only 1 round of design revisions after the initial design is created. Also, if you are the winner I reserve the right to share your completed design in a separate blog post and/or on my social media channels.

alison_name

 

Instagrahams!

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Hi Friends!

To continue the milk and cookies party one day longer I just had to share these adorable “instagrahams” that Sawyer received for his birthday. Aren’t these just the cutest, most clever cookies you have ever seen!?! They are made by Baking For Good, an online bakery that supports great causes. Not only do their cookies taste so good, they are truly doing so much good for the rest of the world. 15% of all net proceeds go to a cause that you choose.

They will print your instagram photos onto their cookies, creating “instagrahams.” All edible, all completely delicious, shipped directly to your door!

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Sawyer just couldn’t get over seeing his own face on the cookies! He loved them!

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The next time you are looking for a unique, sweet gift, give Baking for Good a try. You won’t be dissappointed!

Have a wonderful weekend!

alison_name

Milk and Cookies Birthday Party: Sawyer is Two!

This post uses affiliate links. However, all opinions are 100% own. For more information, read about my disclosures, here.
 
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Hi Friends!

There has been a lot of celebrating going on around here recently. Last week Scott and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary, and over the weekend Sawyer turned 2!! I still cannot believe that my little baby is 2 already. Where did the time go?!?! He had a wonderful birthday celebration over the weekend full of family and friends.

I love theming Sawyer’s birthday parties to his current favorite things. Last year, for his first birthday, he had a Very Hungry Caterpillar party, his favorite book at the time. So this year, we focused on two of Sawyer’s favorite foods…milk and cookies!! I had such a blast planning and designing all of the details for Sawyer’s celebration!

Below is Sawyer’s big day in photos…

IMG_2192_685Suspenders and bow tie from Howell’s Haberdashery

invitations1_685From the moment we decided on the Milk and Cookies theme, I just knew his invitation needed to incorporate a cookie being dunked in milk. I designed the front and back of the invitation to have a large chocolate chip cookie splashing into milk. Then to create the glass, I found aqua transparent paper at Michaels Craft Store.  I was able to make two “glasses” out of each 8.5 x 11 sheet of the paper. I just cut each sheet in half and folded it around the invitation, gluing it together at the left side with double sided tape. Then lastly to add depth and to make the glass look more realistic, I cut a subtle scoop in the front.

The invitation is available in my etsy shop right, here.

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FrontDoor1_685I designed the welcome sign for the center of the door to have a cohesive look and feel with the invitation and other elements of the party. Then I surrounded it with cookies and paper rosettes that I folded and glued together. At the top of the door I added 3 simple, tissue paper tassels.

The welcome sign is available in my etsy shop right, here.

IMG_2472_685The cake was made by the amazing Kristin of  Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique. She did such a fantastic job! Kristin was so easy to work with and her cakes taste just as incredible as they look!!

IMG_2299_685All cookie signs and milk bottle labels are also available in my etsy shop right, here.

bottles_685*Fun Tip: Starbucks Frappuccino bottles make perfect glass milk bottles! I bought two cases and Scott and I drank them for about a month leading up to the party! haha! After we finished all of the Frappuccinos, I peeled off the labels and used Goof Off to wipe away the sticky residue. Then I thoroughly washed and dried all of the bottles and then wrapped my new label around each one. They were so easy to make and I really loved the results!

IMG_2315_685The birthday boy caught red handed stealing way too many candies!

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IMG_2312_685Above our bay window I hung a Happy Birthday Sawyer banner and on the sides of the windows I hung more cookies and paper rosettes. I used Dap Adhesive Putty to hang all of the cookies and rosettes. The puddy was stronger than I thought it would be and everything stayed on the walls for the entire party.

IMG_2307_685As for the favors, each guest took home a cookie and a milk carton full of candy. I had such a fun time designing the milk carton and making it personalized to Sawyer.

The thank you cookie tags and milk cartons are available in my etsy shop, here.

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I also wanted to incorporate a photo collage of Sawyer into his party decorations in some way, so I designed this giant 2 that hung on the wall. It was 3.5 feet tall and included more than 35 photos!

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On the tables outside, where everyone ate dinner, I wanted the centerpieces to be unique but very simple. I decided to reuse the twos from the table number forms from my wedding and switch them up a bit. Instead of wheatgrass, I filled them with small white pebbles and a variety of succulents and cactuses.

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The birthday boy enjoying some milk!

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IMG_2510_685Dream big, little one…and make a wish!! Happy Birthday!

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Happy 2nd Birthday Sawyer! You are my sunshine and greatest joy! I love you to the moon and back little one.

alison_name

 

 

I link up at these fun parties!

This post uses affiliate links. However, all opinions are 100% own. For more information, read about my disclosures, here.

Gender Reveal Bee – with free Printable

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Hi Friends! Happy Friday!

I just love the idea of gender reveal parties. I think it’s such a fun way to celebrate your little bundle-of-joy-on-the-way. With my son, Sawyer, we had our sonogram technician write down the gender and seal it in an envelope. The following weekend, we took the envelope to a local bakery and had them bake a cake with pink or blue icing in the middle. Then we threw a little celebration in our home with our family and friends. It was so fun and special to be surrounded by our closest loved ones when we cut into the cake and all found out together that our little boy was on the way!

So, yes. I’m a fan of gender reveal parties. And recently I’ve seen so many fun, creative ways to reveal your baby’s gender. Frosting in cakes, releasing balloons…I even saw an adorable idea of a best friend painting her friend’s nursery pink or blue and then surprising the parents-to-be. So cute!

Well, today I’d love to share a fun paper craft gender reveal bee with you. Recently I added a sweet Gender Reveal Bee Invitation to my etsy shop. You can find it, here. As I was working on it, I started thinking that it would be such a cute idea to make paper craft bees for each guest filled with either pink or blue candy. Then when it’s time to reveal the baby’s gender, everyone can just tear open their bee and see!!

Below are step-by-step instructions:

To start, first we have to make the pom pom head of the bee. Of course you can always buy a pom pom from any craft store but I always like the look of yarn pom poms. Also, they are so easy to make. Just start by winding yarn around 2 or 3 of your fingers. The more layers of yarn you wind the fuller your pom pom will be. I think I wound this one 25-30 times.

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Then, simply slide your fingers out. In the hole that your fingers left, slide another piece of yarn through and tie a knot. Then slide a pair of scissors through the hole and cut the loop of all of the pieces of yarn. Then trim the edges of the yarn and fluff into a pom pom.

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Now that our pom pom head is created. Next, download and print the bee template. For best results, print on a thicker cardstock paper. Then cut out the bee shape and hole punch in the rounded ends (indicated on template).

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Next, fold on dotted lines (also indicated on template) and glue the tab to attach to other side of bee. Now you are ready to fill your bee with pink or blue treats!! Once your bee is filled, thread a piece of yarn through the holes and pull together to close the top of the bee body.

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Lastly glue on the pom pom head and attach antenna and wings if you would like. For the antenna I used a black pipe cleaner and for the wings I used light blue sheer (somewhat transparent) paper that I found at Michael’s Craft Store.

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That’s it! Your bee is now complete! How adorable are they?!?!

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Happy crafting!

alison_name

 

I link up at these fun parties!

 

 

Woodland Animals Party In A Post with Free Thank You Note Printable

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Hi, Friends!

I have recently been hard at work designing some new fun invitations and party decor. I can’t wait to share all of my latest and greatest designs with you!

To start off, I just launched my new Woodland Animals invitation in my etsy shop. It can be customized with any wording and color palette, so it is perfect for a baby shower or birthday celebration!

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Today, I want to share the matching thank you note with you as a free printable! You can download it right here. For best results, print on a thicker cardstock paper. Then just trim on the crop marks and fold on the line indicated in the PDF. So easy! Enjoy! :-)

Also, below is a collection of adorable Woodland Animals Party inspiration and ideas to make your celebration an even bigger hit! I have included all of the direct links below the photos.

Print1. Adorable Chalkboard Wooden Sign  2. Party “Marshrooms”  3. Breadstick Snails
4. Woodland Owl Tablescape  5. Acme Craft Kit  6. Woodland Animals Felt Masks

You can also check out my Woodland Animals Pinterest board for even more ideas. Happy party planning!!

 

alison_name

 

I link up at these fun parties!