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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Beadboard Pennant Banners

School has started and the weather is starting to cool off (love that!) which means that fall isn't very far behind.  I love the feeling of fall.  The cool crisp air.  The colors.  And the excuse to make more decorative crafts! :)
I've been wanting to use up some up the extra beadboard we have laying around, so I came up with these fun beadboard pennant banners.  The first one I made is double-sided - one side says "Trick or Treat" and the other side reads "Give Thanks."  Two holidays - one decoration!  Halloween and Thanksgiving are so close together the decorations don't have a chance to be on display very long.  Plus the color scheme works really well for both holidays.
It also gave me a chance to use this great grey/teal/brown/orange argyle fabric.  I fell in love with it months ago when I picked some up to make baby gifts but haven't had a single project for myself where I could use it.  So I'm excited about that too  (yes, it's the little things) 
Side #1
Think it's too early in the year to leave the mantel like that? ;)  I had to dress it up a little bit for the photos - poor thing was very sad looking this summer.  I still haven't fully figured out what my permanent/non-holiday decor should be in that room.  Now I don't want to pack the stuff away and look at a bare mantel for another month.
Side #2

And because I was on a roll, I put together a generic fall banner too.  I think this one will end up on the decorative ledge by the stairs. 
I'm pleased enough with both of the banners that I think I will make some for the upcoming craft fairs (a friend and I are going to share a booth at a couple this fall and see how it goes - eek!  Craft fairs sound like so much work - and what if I don't sell anything?!) and of course I will list them in my etsy shop.
I've had so much fun with this idea that I've got a lot more ideas swirling around the brain - parties, photo prop, other holidays...stay tuned - I'm sure you'll be seeing more of these from me soon! Linking to:

Skip to My Lou

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sending them Back to School

I just listened to my 8-year-old tell her brother (in her whiniest, most annoying, loud voice) to get out of her room because "I just need PRIVACY" while attempting to shut the door in his face (I assume).  That's the third time today.  *sigh*
School starts in a week and that was probably just the reminder I needed to get me out of my nostalgic mind-set (summer can't really be almost over can it?! But it was so much fun! And dang, are my kids really this OLD?!) and back to looking forward to the fact that this year both kids will be in school all day and I will the have the house to myself - clean (because no one will be home to mess it up), quiet (with no one around to blast the music or interrupt me every 5 minutes), and with plenty of time to work on anything my little (crafty!) heart desires - WOOHOO!
So today I got on the ball and pulled together everything I've been meaning to get ready for the transition to school.  I have a whole list - and a Pinterest Board (see it here).  The kids and I went through their closets last week, reorganized everything and made sure they were all set for school in that department.  Today I pulled all the supplies together and double checked the school's lists (missing one thing for each kid - urgh) - see that big pile of stuff?  I remember when all we needed for school was a pencil and maybe a Trapper Keeper :)
Then I labelled everything that I thought would need labels.  Supplies.  Backpacks (Sharpie on the inside with names and name keychains we picked up in Utah for the zippers).  Coats, etc etc.  And I made sure to bundle everything up and put it where we would need it - backpacks are now back on their hooks in the mud room (tight fit with the pool bags still out), supplies in grocery bags for us to take to Back to School night.
I even printed out some of the fun First Day of School memory/scrapbook stuff I've spotted online.
I will have the kids fill these out this week (printable can be found here)

And the kids will hold these signs for some of the First Day photos.
I even prepped a quick little First Day gift for the teachers.  (printable found here)
That just left lunchboxes.  I tracked them down, added new bottles of hand sanitizer, and put them in the pantry so they will be easily accessible when needed.
I fired up the printer one more time and added a few more fun lunchbox notes and jokes to my stash.  And I made myself a quick list of lunch ideas.  That's always the hard part - figuring out original but healthy ideas so the kids don't get sick of PB&J over and over. 
My list includes:
-sandwiches:  peanut butter with Nuttella as a treat.  Cut into shapes once in a while to vary it
-see if the kids will try wraps, even if it's just peanut butter on a tortilla
-make your own lunchables (crackers and cheese for Tyler, crackers and bologna or pepperoni for Kate)
-french toast sticks
-muffins:  easy to do variety with these and the kids eat almost any kind.  The pumpkin/cake mix kind is a big favorite and pretty healthy.  Bran.  Sweet potato.  etc etc
-yogurt and granola
-trail mix/nuts:  these are good to add when the rest of the items in the lunchbox are low on protein
-nachos (this is more of a once in a while thing to add in some fun)
-smoothies: fruit, yogurt, milk/juice, even some veggies/spinach and the kids love them.  Can make ahead of time and freeze and the containers will thaw by lunchtime plus help keep the rest of the lunch cool
-tomato soup or chili for Kaitlyn (need to remember to try the hot water trick to see if it really does keep the thermos extra warm - she hates it when her hot food gets cold before lunch)
-chicken nuggets and maybe mac n cheese for Ty (he likes his food room temp so I don't have reheating issues with him)
-Kaitlyn will eat all fruits (and I mean ALL fruits - it's great) but Tyler sticks to apples (have finally been able to get him to eat them whole/with the skin on yippee), applesauce, bananas, carrots, celery (sometimes, with PB), and once in a while some grapes (thinking I need to try the trick of rolling them in jello mix and freezing them.  Bet he gobbles them up that way).
-and mix up the drinks between milk, juice, water mix-ins (love these!), juice boxes/capri sun, and Splash (sneak in those veggies!)
I have pinned a ton of those cute Bento Box and Muffin Tin ideas that I want to work into the lunches maybe once a week.  Often enough to make the kids' lunch extra fun, but not enough that they complain when I just throw something together quickly and not made it cute :)

I think that covers everything - phew!  Now I can just sit back and let things happen.  First day of dance class tonight.  Back to school night for Kaitlyn on Wednesday.  Monday brings the first day of school for Kate and also the first section of the staggered entry stuff (can't believe it takes them 2 weeks to get the Kindergarten fully started!) for Tyler...
It's going to be a busy year!

What do you do to get ready for your kids to head back to school?