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In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
December 2, 2017

Reverse Advent Calendar (FREEBIE!)

 

My 4.5yo preschooler is really into a calendar his Oma gave him earlier this year. We have different symbols for when he goes to preschool, church, doctor/dentist offices, and even when visitors are coming. He adds stickers when it’s someone’s birthday. It’s like a year-long art project. So, it was no brainer that we would get one of those ubiquitous chocolate advent calendars. I mean, they are only 99 cents at Trader Joe’s!

The other day as I was unpacking all our Christmas decorations, I came across a large empty plastic fillable ornament. I think it was something someone used to pack their Christmas gift and because I am a pack rat AND maker, I kept it. I bet I thought I could come up with some need for it. And so the creative juices were going and going and *ding* …light bulb!!

The month of December can easily become stressful and busy. Even more so with my family as we have two December birthdays. While my children are at that age where Christmas is now oh-so exciting with bright shimmering lights and fake snowfall, my ultimate hope for this Christmas is to truly experience the gift of the advent season together. So, as a way to cherish this special time, I created this month’s FREEBIE, a Reverse Advent Calendar, which I am having my preschooler do each day this month. It’s reverse because instead of taking something out, he’s putting something special in(to the ornament).

Here’s how it works:

  • Simply download the FREEBIE file (click here) and print
  • Cut out each tag and either hang them on a string (like a banner) or leave them as a stack
  • For each day, write down (or draw!) a favorite memory
  • Wrap the tag around a pencil to curl it and drop it into your ornament
  • Store your ornament in a safe spot to be opened and read next Christmas or 10 Christmases from now!

Supplies Needed:

  • Printer
  • Two 8.5in x 11in sheets of paper. NOTE: I cut 12in x 12in cardstock into 8.5in x 11in sheets. This way, the back of the tags were colorful. Totally not necessary!
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Pen
  • Fillable plastic ornament
  • Ribbon (to tie your ornament closed when finished)

 

We did time capsules for both our kids’ first birthdays, where we asked party guests to write a message for them to read when they turn 18. Pretty cool right? I mean, it sounds like a long time from now but at the same time, if you’re a parent, you know that day will come soon and fast! 

While I’m certain my son won’t remember a single memory from this year’s Christmas, my hope is that when he opens the filled ornament years from now, he will see how much we did together as a family, how many special memories were made, and maybe even laugh at the cute, only-a-kid-would-say “favorite” memory. (I’m not crying, you are…)

I hope you and your kids enjoy this activity! 😊

In Freebies, Holidays on
November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Activity Placemat for Kids (FREEBIE!)

 

Oh my gravy, thanksgiving crept up on us this year! In fact, we nearly missed out on ordering a smoked turkey from our local BBQ restaurant. I’ve never had a smoked turkey before but it sounds delicious. Have you??

Ordering a pre-cooked turkey is the golden ticket when you are a parent of young children. All I have to focus on is making the side dishes, which I enjoy more anyways. Mmm…mashed potatoes and gravy. Lots of gravy. Time to make sure my stretchy pants are clean and ready to wear come Thanksgiving Day!

This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house and now that my youngest is old enough to self-feed, I may be able to enjoy a *hot* Thanksgiving meal! However, to guarantee this actually happens, I decided to whip up a fun activity placemat for my son, who eats just fine (it baffles me how he’s such a beanpole when he eats so much) but cannot keep his bottom on his seat during meal times. Any other parent have the same problem?! 🙋🏻

This FREEBIE Thanksgiving-themed placemat features four areas of activity.

  • From the top left, going clockwise…we start with the classic tic-tac-toe game. This is great for getting two kids to stay put at the dinner table even if it’s only 10 mins. That is a solid parent win.
  • Next, we have the all-time favorite coloring activity so be sure to have some extra crayons on hand. A cute idea is to wrap a napkin around a bundle of crayons and tie it together with ribbon.
  • On the bottom right, before the tryptophan kicks in, we challenge the kiddos’ brains with a little pattern guessing game. My son is really into this at the moment so I know he will have fun trying to figure it out!
  • Lastly, good ‘ol bingo except the goal is to get all the squares filled. Haha! At least that is what the parents will tell the kids! I know firsthand what an ordeal it can be to get little ones to eat. #thestruggleisreal  All that hard work making your family’s Thanksgiving meal…with this simple bingo game, there will be no food left untried on Thanksgiving Day!

Click here for the blank version of the activity placemat. OR click here for the filled-out version.

Once you’ve downloaded the file, simply print it on letter-size paper. I recommend using cardstock as it’s more durable…otherwise, you may get some crayon markings on your tablecloth/table.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! 🦃🍂🍗

 

In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
October 29, 2017

Glow Necklace Favor Tags (FREEBIE!)

Will your little one be roaming the streets this Halloween? Maybe with a group of little goblins? Well, unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you might want to put a little glow stick necklace on your child for safety reasons. It’s easy for you (the parent) to identify your child and what munchkin doesn’t like things that glow in the dark?! Um, can we say win-win? And anytime I can win as a parent…count me in!

Since candy is plenty this time of year, this is a great non-candy goodie for the kiddos! Took a walk through Target’s Halloween section (where I…mmmyeah, probably spent a solid hour) and spotted these simple glow necklaces that came 10 in a bag for just $3. Oh Target, just take my wallet!

To go along with the glow necklaces, I designed these adorable candy corn-shaped favor tags that read “Shine bright on Halloween Night!” You, too, can make these super simple goodies by downloading today’s FREEBIE! Below is a super quick tutorial with supplies that you probably already have at home!

 

Where to buy specific craft supplies: hyde and eek glow necklaces

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In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
October 19, 2017

(Kindness + Monster) Rocks (FREEBIE!)

 

Drum roll please…I am SO excited to share with you today a very special collaboration with Word Rocks Project! The gal behind this beautiful, straight-from-the-heart kindness movement is actually my neighbor, Carol! And when I say neighbor, I mean like she’s literally next door! There is a small slope between our homes and we bypass the front yard/sidewalk route and travel between this little “secret” slope to get to each other’s front door! This is where you can find us exchanging craft supplies (no joke!)…pretty sure there’s glitter scattered over the landscaping!

Carol decorates rocks so artistically and poetically with the sweetest and encouraging words. You have to check out her Instagram! For our collaboration, it was so cool to see her colorful rocks come to life as Halloween monsters while I came up with cute flag printables for our fun creatures to hold.

Word Rocks Project is the first rock project ever (started over six years ago!) and has been touching so many hearts and changing lives! It’s an easy concept that young children can even get in the action!

Want to get your kids to join the kindness movement? It’s a great way to teach lifelong values to our next generation that will make the world a better place. Let’s spread kindness and uplift people’s hearts and doing it with a little Halloween flair! Below is the supply list and a super easy tutorial!

Click here to download today’s FREEBIE (Kindness Flags)!

 

 

 

 

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In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design, Holidays on
October 12, 2017

Test Tube Treats (FREEBIE!)

 

Something about test tubes just scream Halloween, doesn’t it?! Totally right up Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s alley. My alley too. I’ve been eyeing these test tubes for years (yes YEARS!) but haven’t found a way to use these for my children’s birthday parties, especially since these particular test tubes are made out of glass. But alas, Halloween is a couple weeks away and I’ve waited long enough so I treated myself (ha, pun!) and bought them to give away to my galpals! This is a cute little gift idea for teachers, co-workers, and even neighbors!

I purchased the glass test tubes from Michaels from their dollar bins (although I believe they’re $1.50 each. These were located near the checkout aisle at my local store, FYI). TIP: Buy ones where the labels are new and easily peel off. Otherwise, be ready to wipe down with Goo Gone.

Next, simply fill with tiny Halloween treats (the test tubes are not very wide so the skinnier the candy, the better). I whipped up these fun printable labels that adds a festive finishing touch to your mad lab creation. Today’s FREEBIE even includes a label where you can write in your or your child’s name.

 

 

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In Freebies, Graphic Design, Holidays on
October 1, 2017

It’s the Most Frightening Time of the Year (FREEBIE!)

Move over September, it’s time for October to shine!! My favorite holiday is just around the corner!!!!!! I love Halloween so much that I am dedicating a WHOLE month on this blog with Halloween-inspired crafts, DIY tutorials, AND freebies starting today! You best be ready for some spooktacular crafting fun! 🙂

I grew up with my mom making my costumes. She didn’t sew one-of-a-kind creations but rather combined various clothing items, accessories, and props and it totally worked. I’m pretty sure this is where my love for DIYing started. As long as you have supplies that work, an imagination to envision an idea coming to life, and a tenacity to keep trying. #makersgonnamake

So join me in kicking off the Halloween festivities and download today’s FREEBIE, a frightening 8×10 printable in not just one but two versions (black/white and color)! In my home’s entryway, I have a large frame where I showcase seasonal prints. It’s such a fun visual reminder of the upcoming holidays and celebrations! Instant holiday art!

 

[Click here to download black and white print]

 

[Click here to download color print]

 

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In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design, Home Decor on
August 2, 2017

National Coloring Day (FREEBIE!)

Hello August!! Has your summer flown by too?

Luckily, I have a special FREEBIE for you that will help you slow down and enjoy the present. In honor of National Coloring Day today, I created a 8in x 10in coloring sheet that can also serve as pretty home decor. Or frame this print and give it to a friend for a special occasion or just because…who doesn’t like thoughtful and homemade gifts?!

Grab your colored pencils, a nice cup of coffee, and get lost in the art of coloring!

Click here to download today’s FREEBIE!

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In DIY, Freebies, Parties on
July 20, 2017

Ice Cream Bingo (FREEBIE!)

The celebration continues! As you can see, I am taking this ice cream celebration seriously AND making it a whole family affair. Well…you should too. 🙂

Now that I’ve inspired you to craft the perfect shirt and showed you how to spiff up your ice cream wooden spoons, it’s time to play a game of Ice Cream Bingo while devouring a bowl of ice cream (duh!!). Click here to download the super cute FREE printable. Instructions are on the bottom of the first page. There are eight unique bingo cards so the maximum number of players is eight. If you have more than eight players, team up so that everyone can join in on the fun! Use coins or scrap paper as your bingo markers and have some fun! Maybe the winner gets an extra scoop or TWO of ice cream??

 

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In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design on
May 21, 2017

Graduation/Encouragement Print (FREEBIE!)

 

It’s graduation season! <cue “Pomp and Circumstance” song>

Although I personally don’t have any close friends or family graduating this year, I know next year will be a whole different story as my firstborn will graduate from preschool…um, where did the time go?! Please check in with me this time of year next year…I may be a hot mess.

When I look back at my school days, even as far back as elementary school, I remember certain instances when I questioned my ability, intelligence, or confidence. Each new challenge seemed daunting and I wondered how I would get through it. Obviously, I managed to tackle the hurdles, sometimes miraculously leaping over them and other times tumbling my way through but I somehow always ended back on my feet. This ebb and flow pattern continues strongly in the parenting life and I have to constantly remind myself that I am enough by remembering what I have gone through for the past 30+ years. As a parent now, I hope to instill this self-awareness and confidence to my children early on.

I came across this beautiful quote from A.A. Milne, author of Winne the Pooh, and it just stopped me in my tracks. I love how it affirms the reader that he/she “is” braver/stronger/smarter/loved versus “will be” or “can be” braver/stronger/smarter/loved. It draws out the truth that already lives deeply within each one of us.

If you know someone who is graduating or just needs some encouragement, please print out one of these! Better yet, frame it and it becomes a perfect wall art gift! I think I will put one in each of my kiddos’ rooms.

This is my first freebie and it comes in three colors (black, coral pink, and steel blue). They are 8×10 prints and available in both PNG and PDF formats. I hope you like them! 🙂

Black [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

Coral Pink [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

 

Steel Blue [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

 

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