Spring & Easter Holiday Shelf….Finally!

A couple of weeks ago reader Mary left me a comment letting me know that she missed my holiday shelf posts and well now Mary, this post is for you!!  I really appreciate when people leave feedback like that because sometimes as a blogger I don’t really know which posts people like over others.  So thank you Mary!

It is true that I have been slacking in the holiday shelf department.  My home has been sadly holiday-decorating-less for the last several months.  For some reason I am just feeling extra busy lately (may have something to do with a crawling 10 month old who is into everything and doesn’t like to nap) and so I set up my shelf to be neutral and haven’t touched it in months.  Here is how it has been looking:

Spring & Easter Holiday Decorating IdeasA simple paper banner, some flowers in a milk bottle, lantern, bird, little box…nice and neutral items that blend in with my every day decor.  The best part though were these fun little prints I made for the frames underneath.  Oh Boston, Mass…you have my heart.

Spring & Easter Holiday Decorating Ideas

I’ve been thinking of creating prints like this for different cities & states and adding them to my Etsy shop.  What do you all think?  Would anybody be interested in something like this?

After reading Mary’s comment I decided that she was right and that I could find 5 minutes in my day to change out this shelf.  And honestly, that is really about all it took.   I made a few quick changes and wham…the shelf is now ready for Easter!  Good thing, since it is only a couple of weeks away.

Spring & Easter Holiday Decorating IdeasTo make the easy switch I added a new paper banner (the same one I saved from last year), some pink flowers and a new ribbon around the milk bottle, a nest in front of the bird, some ceramic bunnies, a bright bottle in place of the lantern, and some white eggs in the box.

Spring & Easter Holiday Decorating Ideas

I also changed out the frames, using my Go Blooming Crazy Print in one and then I quickly changed the text in the other to make it say Spring has Sprung.

So there you go, it is possible to decorate your home for a holiday in just a few minutes, I’m living proof!  I’ll try to remember this when Easter is over and my shelf is just waiting for a new look.  No promises though.  :)

And in not really related news, that 10 month old I was talking about?  She’s pretty much the most adorable thing in the world.   I appreciate you sticking with me even though my blogging has slowed down a little.  But when you look at this face can you blame me for wanting to spend more time with her rather than on my computer?!

Savannah 10 Months Pics

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Go Blooming Crazy

This wasn’t a post I planned on doing but the other day I was walking through the grocery store and I saw this phrase on a poster in the window.  I thought that it would make an adorable print so I headed home and whipped one up.   I also picked up some daffodils from Trader Joe’s and together with this print I am pretending that spring has come to New England.  Last check of our weather showed a possible 6-12 inches of snow over the next few days.  I’ll be hiding out in my house in denial.

Free Blooming Print for Spring- available in two colors Cute, right?  I’m not always 100% thrilled with everything I put together but this is one that I really like.  I also made it in white so you can choose which one you like the best.

Free Blooming Print for Spring- available in two colorsI hope you enjoy these prints and that they bring a little bit of spring inside.  And if you live someplace that is nice and warm then please go outside and stand in the sun for just a moment and think of me.  I’ll be shoveling snow off my car. :)

Download the PDF- Black

Download the PDF- White

Testing, Testing…1,2,3….

I want to take a moment to introduce you to one of my dearest and best friends Tory.  She is amazing!  She has a little boy who is only a month younger than my daughter so we have “play-dates” all the time for our kiddos, but really it is so we can hang out together.  :)  Before she became a mama she was a teacher and taught US History, Journalism, and tutored in SAT Prep for the last 6 years.  Now in addition to raising her adorable boy she is a tutor with Home Base Tutoring and specializes in SAT Prep.  She knows her stuff.

_DSC0121A couple of weeks ago she held an SAT Prep Booster class for some of the local high school students and gave them some extra tips on how to prepare for the class.  I helped her put together some goody bags to hand out and I thought it might be fun to share some of what we did with all of you.  I know lots of you are moms (or teachers) and if you have a child who is getting ready to take the SAT or ACT maybe you want to put together a good luck package for them!  And you know, this could even work for someone in college (child or spouse) getting ready to take a test like the LSAT or GRE.   You never know, a little encouragement might be all they need to help calm those nerves before the test.

SAT or ACT Goody Bag- For students getting ready to take the big test, here's a little encouragement

Here’s what we put inside the goody bags, and why:

Smartfood Popcorn- for one because the name is cute but also because it is a healthy, light snack.  You want to avoid snacks that are heavy because that would draw the blood away from your brain and send it to the stomach to digest the food.  Nuts would also be a good option.

Mint Gum- Sniffing cinnamon has been shown to improve scores on memory tests and chewing gum has been shown to improve recall, specifically on the math section.

Small Soda- (notice the word small.  That means no RedBull.)  A jolt of caffeine can boost your memory, in fact of study done at John Hopkins said that caffeine can enhance memories for at least a day after they were formed.  Helpful if you were cramming the night before.   If you’re not a caffeine drinker, than good news.  An apple or some chocolate can have the same effect.  As if I needed another excuse to eat chocolate.

Water- Like the soda you want to only have a small bottle of water.  There’s nothing worse than being distracted with the need to visit the bathroom during your test.

Ear Plugs- to cancel out any distracting noises.  More than likely they’ll be taking the test with several other people, some of them will be coughing or tapping their pencil or foot, and ear plugs help tune them out.

Pencil & Eraser- these are self-explanatory. *Quick Note, in the picture I have a mechanical pencil because that was all I had on hand, but you actually aren’t allowed to use them on the test.  They have to be the old school kind.

Other Ideas- stopwatch or watch to time themselves on each portion.  Extra batteries for their calculator.

Then on the big day, or the night before, you can show your support by giving the test-taker this little bag of goodies and wishing them luck!

If you’d like more tips for test taking such as what to wear, the best breakfast foods, and why you should do certain stretches before the test then I encourage you to contact my friend Tory.  She has put together a helpful packet that she would be more than willing to share.  And just one more plug, because I think she’s awesome, Home Base Tutoring does in person and online tutoring in many different areas including test prep.  Check them out!

Contact: tory@homebasetutoring.com

Website: homebasetutoring.com

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For Your Sole Sisters- Bridesmaid Gift Idea

To start this post off I have a confession to make.  We didn’t have any bridesmaids, or groomsmen, at our wedding.  It just wasn’t something I wanted to deal with and maybe that is slightly out of tradition, but it worked for us.  See, look how happy (and young) we were!

Copy of Wedding Pictures 038 - Copy

However, I have been a bridesmaid before so at least I have some experience in that area.  Which is a good thing because I think one of the most requested gift ideas I get is for a bridesmaid gift.  This is an idea that you can go all out on or keep it small and simple.  Whatever works for your wedding budget.

Sole Sister Bridesmaid Gift Tag- Free Printable

The big day of the wedding your bridesmaids are more than likely spending many hours on their feet.  And probably in high heels.  And you will be requiring them to have lovely smiles on their faces the whole time.  That’s a lot of pressure on their footsies!  Giving them a gift to pamper their feet is a perfect way to say thank you.

Now like I said you can make this really fancy or super simple.  But here are some ideas of what you could include in your gift and you can pick any combination that works for you!

- Flip Flops or Comfy Slippers

- Socks

- Manicure Set/Tools

- Nail Polish (could match the color of your wedding for them to wear on the day)

- Foot Scrub

- Lotion

- Gift Certificate for a Pedicure

Sole Sister Bridesmaid Gift Tag- Free PrintableAnd what would a gift basket be without a cheesy pun to go along with it?  “On the day I marry my SOLE mate, there’s no one I’d rather have by my side than my SOLE sister.”

  I’ve made a gift tag in 6 different colors to try and give you brides lots of options.

Sole Sister Bridesmaid Gift Tag- Free Printable

There is a separate PDF for each color and each one has 6 tags.  Download the PDF:

Sole Sister Gift Tag Green

Sole Sister Gift Tag Pink

Sole Sister Gift Tag Purple

Sole Sister Gift Tag Red

Sole Sister Gift Tag Teal

Sole Sister Gift Tag Yellow

So for all the many requests I get, here is one idea!  I will try to keep them coming especially since we are heading into wedding season soon!

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March Visiting Teaching- LDS

The message for March is called The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Light of the World.   I particularly enjoyed this quote from Elder Quentin L. Cook, “We need to protect our families and be at the forefront together with all people of goodwill in doing everything we can to preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities.”  It’s a powerful responsibility.

Here is the handout for the month!

Download the PDF

March 2014 VT

A “Creative” Gift Idea for Her

It is snowing here.  Again.  Lots and lots of snow.  And it has been so cold that the snow from all of our previous storms hasn’t had a chance to melt.  The snow banks are now taller than me and driving down the road is like driving down a giant white hallway.  It’s getting a little crazy.

So while we try to dig ourselves out of yet another storm I thought I’d take a break and share a quick post with an easy gift idea.  If you know someone who enjoys scrapbooking, crafting, making cards, or just working with their hands then this is a great gift idea!  It is a gift box full of all sorts of creative goodies!

Gift for Her- perfect for the creative gal in your lifeI’ll break down what I put in my gift, but the possibilities are pretty endless.  To start with the box is just a plain cardboard box lined with some pretty scrapbook paper and filled with some brown shredded paper.  Inside there are some embellishment flowers and bows, a small jar filled with buttons, ink pads, stamps, markers, and ribbon and twine.  The ribbon is wrapped around a paint stick that I cut and stamped the word “create” on.  Easy!

Gift for Her- perfect for the creative gal in your lifeAt this risk of sounding super cheap, this may also be a great way to re-purpose some of your own crafting supplies that you have had laying around for awhile and haven’t used.  It isn’t throwing it away, but hopefully passing them along to someone who will actually use and enjoy them.  And hey, it cleans out some space for you!

Gift for Her- perfect for the creative gal in your lifeThe box I’m showing is a little more for scrapbooking or card making, but you could certainly change it up depending on the recipient’s hobby.  If they enjoy sewing include some needles, safety pins, buttons, thread, etc.  Or put one together for crocheting.  There’s lots of ways to adapt it.  And here is the printable tag I made to go along with it!

Download the PDF

Gift Idea for Her- perfect for the girl who loves to create!