Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back to School

 Back to school is always a little bittersweet. Youre happy to see your kids sweet little faces all day, but you experience a little thrill when they go back to school too. And who doesnt love back to school shopping?? I know I do...I get a little excited just from buying the packs of pencils, crayons and new lunch boxes! Not to mention the clothes for the little darlings...

And my newest little thrill? Back to school decorating! With one short day of special treats and a week long countdown, I add a few extra special touches to my home, for my kids.

Sort of....maybe just a teensy bit for myself, too. Shhhh!

Our week long count down starts tomorrow, and I usually use an "apple" chain, made from red card stock cut in apple shapes about the size of my hand, and use news paper for the numbers glued to the front. Each day the kids would take an apple off the chain, and behind the apple would be a simple thing written, like "Time for a trim!" and a new pack of ponies would be attached, or, " Pack those Bags!" and we would get out the back packs and pack them up.

But this year I found something new to do! Im going to re-create this idea from family fun to make it my own, but I couldnt help loving the idea!!

For ours, Im going to cover the tubes with news print, use a tape measure to wrap around the tubes for the numbers, cut little red apple shapes and hang from the tubes and write a little saying with black marker. In the tubes will be little "treats" relating to each saying. Pony tail rings, eraser caps, pencils, sharpeners....the last day will have something extra special in it, just havent decided quite yet what it will be. Once I get it finished, Ill post pics and what I wrote and put in the tubes.

 Count the Days

The first day of school is a day filled with anticipation. Will my friends be in my class? Will I like my teacher? So why not make it as special as possible? Use the whole day to relieve some of the stress on them, by using school themed treats, like these, to send in to their class, or for after school.

 I just loved these from my friend Brittanie over at cupcakes kisses 'n' crumbs, but not sure where she found these ideas!


Then, for a few added touches:
* "graded" pancakes-pancakes shaped like the grade your child is entering. Use a baster and fill with your mix (might not be a good idea to use fruit inside!) and on a hot griddle, quickly scribble the grade, connecting the "st, rd, th's" to the number. For kinders, use a "K".
* cut out apple shapes, pencil shapes, number and letter shapes, any kind of school related shapes in bread for french toast, and/or sandwiches
* fill an empty tin can with reular brown pencils and wooden rulers, and use as a center piece for the dining table, and core apples and place little t-lights in them. Rub a lemon around the cut to prevent browning.
* if you can find some school related fabric, use for a table cloth, napkins or in a bread basket.
* cut up a fabric tape measure, or if you get lucky some ribbon like one, and use as napkin ring holders
* cut out some school shapes and letter shapes from card stock to make a banner to hang by the dining table.

These are all things I do for the first day of school. I change it up each year and add a few different elements, but my kids always feel good about leaving, and are excited to come home and see their treats!

Happy Back to School!!

Monday, August 2, 2010


It has been awhile since I last posted!! Summer has definitely kept me busy....Well, I guess not summer itself, but the children I had to occupy! And boy, have I occupied them. We have visited two (yes, TWO!!) amusement parks; both Disneyland and Legoland, went swimming I dont know how many times, had craft days and movie days, sleepovers and library visits, lake days and did back to school shopping several different times.  Weve played the wii, we've had root-beer floats and trips to the Dairy Queen. We have one whole week left before its back to school, and I plan on filling it with even more fun! Ive got a trip to the Natural History Museum planned and a tour around the Botanical Gardens. And then in two weeks, our annual camping trip in the beautiful Sierra Mountains! The girls cant wait, and neither can the husband and I! Its so beautiful and peaceful up there, and the fishing is great!

I also completed Alanna's bedroom! It looks fabulous, if I do say so myself! I went a little crazy but she is completely ecstatic over the results. She has since added her own flourishes, like a pillow she made herself at her aunts and various stuffed animals and toys. And, she has made ENORMOUS use of the seat I refashioned from my old chest. She stuffed it full of things. And I gotta say, Im really proud of how well she has maintained her room. She has even started doing her own laundry!!! My baby girl is growing up! Here are some really horrible pictures I have yet to update....

her little reading corner
her pillow she made herself! and my own handy work on the walls ( there is now a third horizontal matte with the first, for a set of 3)
her desk, shelf and nightstand
her dresser is painted with chalboard paint, and recently sports ribbon drawer pools in hot pink and silver
every girl needs a monogram!!
this lamp replaces the little pink one she had
the sheer fabric is silver sequins. nice and shimmery!

I had really planned on posting more often, I wanted to do Christmas in July, and share some fun things to do over the summer, but I just couldn't find enough time (or energy!) to do a decent post.

But, Im committing myself to posting as much as possible before my vacation starts. Ive got a lot planned, and have been planning my holiday crafting already. Look for some back to school ideas over the next couple of days! I cant wait to get started!!