Thursday, June 30, 2011

Patriotic Wreaths

I have seen a lot of patriotic wreath ideas floating around out there so I thought I would share my findings...  And it's not too late, you still have a few days to make one! 
Young and Crafty created this square wreath out of...can you believe...newspaper!?!  I love that the wreath is square, first of all, making it already different than most, but also how creative the concept is.  Oh and let's not forget, basically free to make as well!
This next one from Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo I thought was clever too.  The flip flop at the bottom definitely helps to give it that summer time feel!
BUT I also love this {balloon} wreath she won from Bugaboo, Mini Mr. & Me.
This garland and pinwheel wreath comes from The Jubilee Circus.
I love how Annie from Behind Our Front Door totally made up her wreath as she went along with it.  Sometimes those kind of crafts turn out the best!
This American Flag wreath is made from yarn and comes from The Creative Imperative.
I am a sucker for tulle.  I think tying a tulle bow around a gift makes it look that much better, so I might just have to make myself one of these from It's A Muegge Life.
I hope this post goes to show you that wreaths (or most crafts for that matter) can be cheap, easy, beautiful and original!  Now what are you waiting for?   Head to your local craft store (or look around the house) and get busy making your own!

More Red, White, & Blue Food

Here are some more great food ideas for you to bring to your 4th of July BBQ!
How about starting the day off right with a 4th of July breakfast from Be Different Act Normal.
I love this healthy idea, using fruit kabobs to create the American flag.  Idea from The Englands.
Fresh Cut got creative with this flag Jell-o!
This next flag cake comes from Ladybird Ln.  The outside of the cake has fireworks....
and the inside looks like the American flag!
White chocolate dipped strawberries from J & M's Eye Candy.

*On a side note, I am still super frustrated with the whole comment thing from Blogger.  I like to leave comments for people when I see something I like.  You know, show some Blogger love, but I am still not able to on all blogs.  It seems I either have to leave my comment from "anonymous" or if I get lucky, on some blogs (not all) it leaves me signed in so I can leave a comment as myself.  If I have to try to sign in on my "google account" to leave the comment, it won't allow me to do so.  It just continues to log me out and around and around it goes.  Am I the only one this is happening to or am I suddenly not doing something right?  I have even changed up my blog's comment settings to allow "anonymous" comments in case others are dealing with this same issue.  HELP!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Red, White & Blue Treats

The 4th of July is right around the corner...Monday to be more exact.  Do you have any BIG plans?  Well since BBQs on the 4th are almost as American as the fireworks, what are you bringing to your BBQ?  Here are a few red, white and & blue ideas to get you feeling a little more patriotic...
OH. MY. GOODNESS!  I so LOVE these firework cookies from Red Couch Recipes.  They are so cool looking!!
Cupcake Kabobs from The Cupcake Activist.
These Rice Krispie Treat Flags from Simply Designing look like a fun way to get the kids involved.
Brownie Cheesecake from Sun Scholars.
An American flag lemonade cake from Bebe A La Mode Designs.
Star Cookies from Nestle, topped with strawberries and blueberries...making them a healthy choice of course! ;)
And finally, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes from Food, Folks, and Fun.  Not because they look patriotic, but because they look completely irresistible!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

OUTDOOR Summer Activities

Ok so let's be serious.  My last post was about indoor summer activities, but in truth my kids want nothing more than to be outside playing.  That is, unless it becomes too hot and then we have to refer to the indoor activities posted about before.  As are some OUTSIDE activities to get your kids playing and keep them busy!
Teach your kids about primary and secondary colors using food coloring & water inside of water guns!  My (younger) kids have really been loving water coloring lately and I know they would get a kick out of this!  Thanks My Little Princess World for such a great idea!!
She Wears Flowers came up with this homemade DIY sprinkler system.  I might just have to make a trip to Home Depot this week!
How about having a sail boat race!?!  Alphamom suggests a different approach...make your own {ice cube}boats.

Here are a few more ideas...Use what works for you and your kids.  These ideas might vary depending on where you live and the ages of your kids!
*Wash the car.
*Have a lemonade stand.
*Take your own "field trip" and see things around your town you might not have before.
*Go on a {service} scavenger hunt.  Make sure a grown up goes too and go in a neighborhood you are familiar with!
*Go on a picnic.
*Have a dog show.
*Go to a water park.
*Have a cook out...marshmallows and hotdogs (or tin foil dinners) with a real fire!
*Go camping, hiking, or on a nature walk.
*Have a family game night or movie night.
*Play night games (my kids do this all the time...kick the can and all!)
*Plant a garden
*Dig for worms/collect insects.

No worries....more ideas and activities to come.  For now though, have a FUN summer!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

INDOOR Summer Activities for the Kids

I love summer!  It's great to sleep in, let go of the schedules and just hang out with my own kids for a few months.  Truthfully, come May I begin looking forward to summer, but by August I am ready for the routine of school to start up again.  Any of you feel the same way? 
With all the fun that comes during the summer months, it can also be challenging to entertain kids, especially if your kids have ever used the phrase, "Mom, I'm bored!"  A few back up plans might be handy to have on hand, if you want to keep your kids happy and yourself sane!  Here are a few great INDOOR ideas I have come across...perfect for when the weather is bad or just too hot to be outside.
Make homemade bouncy balls from Making Memories:
Homemade Moon Sand (made with real sand!) from Home Spun Threads:
Also from Home Spun Threads, these make your own pet cages.  This would be right up my son's alley!
Get crafty by turning your old toothbrush into a bracelet by Two Girls Being Crafty:
A few more on the list...
*Build a fort to read books in.
*Play hide & go seek.
*Watercolor pictures, or if you don't like a mess (although it is easy to clean), try the paint books where you paint over with the paper with water and watch the colors appear.  I saw one of these last week at Walmart!
*Play could even try making your own with the kids!
*Have a game day.
*Make popsicles or try out a new recipe.
*Bake sugar cookies and decorate them.
*Have a pillow fight.
*Tie dye or puffy paint shirts.
*Paper mache - make & decorate a mask or a pinata.

OUTSIDE ideas for your kids coming soon....

**Question for my readers...I have thought about doing linky parties at the end of posts before.  The only problem is that I am not sure how to do it.  Is it free to do?  Is it beneficial to you (the reader)?  Does it make it any easier to find what you are looking for? Any suggestions??  You'd think I would know this by now!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Reading

Sorry that it has been about a week since I posted anything here.  My family took a much needed vacation last week and it was great to get away and spend time together doing nothing but playing.  We returned Sunday and yesterday I came down with the flu and spent the whole day in bed.  I HATE getting the flu (not that anyone enjoys it!), but the timing couldn't have been least we were home.
Anyway, I hope you all had a great Father's Day and maybe even were able to find something useful on my blog to give?!?
I have come across some summer ideas and activities for you kids, but I thought I would start by featuring this great reading incentive that came from Brown Paper Packages
Basically, each child is given a bucket with their name on it.  {You could use another approach depending on what works best for you...a basket, bag, box, etc.}  Time is set aside each day for the family to sit down and read.  As each person attains their goal (either 20 minutes of reading or a book read), they earn a tag to place in their bucket.  Each week the kids are rewarded for their reading efforts and the prizes get larger as the weeks go on.  Kierste has even suggested a list of books broken down into two categories; 4-7 and 8+.  Check it out for all the details and for FREE downloads of the tags.
For my kids, I have enrolled them in our public library's reading program.  Once a week they have story time with various programs and activities throughout the summer.  The library set a goal for young kids to read/have read to 10 books a week, while the older kids (8-11) have to read 50 pages a week.  Kids 12 and older are asked to read 100 pages a week.  To get my older son excited about reading, I bought him the Percy Jackson series and told him he has to complete the series by the time school starts again.  He is excited to do this only because of the books he now has to read.
Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program.  Your child has to read 8 books and write them down on the chart they give you and then they earn a free book.
As a teacher, I know how important it is for kids to continue reading over the summer.  Make it fun and exciting so they will want to read and then it won't seem like such a chore.

What are you doing with your kids to keep them reading over the summer??

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Father's Day Subway Art

I love Subway Art!  It seems to be one of the hottest trends right now and lucky for us there seems to be lot of it on the Internet.  What's great about that is you can either print the download and print it straight from your computer or develop it as a picture.  Either way you like, the result is very cute!  Here are a few Father's Day Subway Art I have come across lately.  Pick out one of these that works for you, print, frame and enjoy!
From Craftionary a {5x7 or 7x5}display of the word Father in various languages:

For a larger selection {2 designs 17 color choices to be exact} visit Today's Fabulous Finds:
Family Subway Art from The Crafting Chicks (4 color options):

From Pink Ink Doodle:

From Perfect Expressions:

By the way, is anyone else having a hard time posting comments on others' blogs or even mine?  As of lately, I have tried leaving comments for others and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Not sure if it's my account or something to do with Blogger.  Just wondering...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I-Dad I-Pad Card

Charlotte's Fancy came up with this clever idea for a Father's Day card.  It looks as though it would take a little time to complete, but the results look amazing.  Super cute!

FREE Customized Father's Day Card

Want to know what I just did...for FREE?  I just made a customized Father's Day card thru Tiny Prints. 
Today through Monday
is offering a FREE personalized Father's Day card
{including the shipping & no additional purchases necessary}
Check out the various Father's Day designs they have to offer.  Add your own captions, photos and details!
Enter promo code:  FREEFD at the checkout
Offer expires Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Sweets for Father's Day

Thinking of giving something sweet to your dad/hubby/father-in-law this Father's Day?  Here are a few cupcake ideas to get you thinking...
For the golfer in your life, golf cupcakes from Mega Crafty:

Fishing cupcakes from Nothing But Country:

FREE super dad cupcake toppers from Joyful Creations:
 Have a sweet idea you would like to see featured here?  Leave a comment and let me know!  I'd love to see what you have cookin' up!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Father's Day Card Ideas

Since homemade gifts seem to be the best thing to give/receive I thought I would post a few Father's Day card ideas to get your homemade ideas going.  Here are a few...
From Can't Stop Making Things...a tux card:
A Super Dad "cape" to use as a tag for a drink.  Free download included thanks to Lizard & Ladybug.
A shirt with gift certificates in the pocket.  The gift certificates can be found and printed from What the Teacher Wants if you don't feel like coming up with your own.
 Free printable cards from The Mombot.  I love the one that says Real Men Have Kids!  LOL  The other card is one that your kids can help create by drawing a picture and listing reasons why they think their dad is #1.

father's day free card printables
A faux tape measure from Family Fun:

How Dad Measures Up - Step 3

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Father's Day Gift Card Wallets

Although I seem to be on a roll with door decoration ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week, I am taking a break and turning some attention towards Father's Day.  This idea came from Whatever Dee Dee Wants
If the man in your life (or they seem to have everything they already need!) are somewhat difficult to shop for, why not find a gift certificate to give instead.  I figure you can't go wrong with money or gift cards as gifts!  Find a gift card to his favorite restaurant (hey you can get a date out of it!), clothing store, hardware store or even movie theatre.  Once you figure out what card you are going to include as your gift, whip up one of these card holder wallets!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Home Depot Door Decoration

Sometimes I feel that male teachers can be more difficult to do things for.  It can be hard to show appreciation in a way that is not too cutesy or girly.  You know what I mean??  Well I have to say that I LOVE this idea for decorating a MALE teacher's door during Teacher Appreciation week!  The best part is that I am sure Home Depot would be willing to donate all or most of the items you would need for the door.
The close up...
 Looking from down the hall...
These ideas came from reader, Cindy Wilkinson.  She sent me lots of great pictures of the doors from her school so I will be sharing more!  Thanks Cindy for letting us see what's going on at your school!!

Using Reese's Pieces For Door Decorations

Using Reese's Pieces candy as a theme for Teacher Appreciation Week seems to be a popular idea.  Many doors have used this theme and can you blame anyone?  Simple + cute = perfect!  I have included several pictures so that you can get a good idea....
We love _________ to Pieces! Glue pictures of the students inside of a yellow, orange or brown circle (Reese's Pieces)