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Ease the First Day Jitters

Ease the First Day Jitters

The first day back to school is never easy. Yes, it’s fun to arrive with brand-new everything – backpack, sneakers, pencils, notebooks, etc. And what kid doesn’t want to see their friends after a 2 month hiatus? But we all know from our own memories, and our kids’ experiences, it’s hard to go back. And if starting at a new school, the anxiety can be off the charts! There’s not a whole lot we as parents can do besides chatting up the fun they’ll have and offering reassurance of a great first day.

But wait – I have a little something that may put a smile on their faces. Slip this little surprise into their lunch (or paperclip it to their notebook if they buy the school lunch.) It’s a sweet way to show you’re thinking of them during the day. You can also write a note of encouragement on the back.

Teachers, you can also use these for your classroom – put on your student’s desks or hand out as they come in. I’ve created a printable for each grade 1-5.

Simply layer the printable with card stock, or leave as is. The Smarties can be bought at your local supermarket or here.

Click here for your free printable. Scroll to find your child’s grade, print and cut out.

Happy First Day of School!




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Let’s Talk Tulle

Let’s Talk Tulle

When you hear the word “tulle,” what comes to mind? Is it a flouncy skirt, or maybe a wedding veil perhaps?  I’m about to turn things upside down and suggest that tulle could be a fabulous addition to your gift wrap station.

Tulle is a lightweight netting-like fabric that has many uses. If you’re looking for a delicate and fluffy accent for a gift, tulle adds a fantastically feminine touch. This fabric is so versatile. It may not go with absolutely everything, but I know it comes close.  It is available in just about any color you can think of, and is fairly inexpensive.  You can even find it in glittery varieties!

Accenting with tulle

In spite of its soft, gentle look, tulle can be manipulated into a variety of shapes and decorations. It easily puffs up to cover large portions of gifts when used as a ribbon or accent. You can keep it simple, like I usually do, and use the fabric to create a simple bow, or, you can work with it a bit to create flowers, a unique braid, or just about any other shape you can think of.

Wrapping with tulle

If you’re looking to wrap an entire present with tulle for a gift that stands out, there are ways to do that. You can use multiple layers of tulle to cover a gift — just lay the fabric out like you would regular wrapping paper, then wrap with each layer individually, cutting off the excess material as you go.

You can also use tulle to create a pouch-like package that closes simply- just gather the ends and tie them with another piece of ribbon. It’s so simple and versatile!

My daughter’s birthday is part of the inspiration for this post. That birthday has come and gone, and she loves cats, so I just couldn’t resist this paper. It was perfect for her!

If you have a cat-loving friend or family member and think they might enjoy this paper, it’s available in my shop. And the variety of colors  – you can choose a tulle in many shades of purple, green or teal to make your gift really pop when you present to the recipient!

Tulle is definitely something to keep on hand in your gift wrap stash, especially because you can use it in so many ways. You can find it at any craft or fabric store in your area. When you find the kind you like, don’t feel guilty about stocking up – just think of how many presents you have to wrap throughout the year and how unique your presents will be with tulle accents!



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It’s summer! We can sleep in! No more rushing in the morning, no lunches to pack. Relaxation and freedom rules the land!

It’s all fun and games until boredom sets in.

I told my girls – they each need to pick a project for the summer.  It can be anything at all.  But they must work on it the days we are home, for at least an hour.  One chose to improve her drawing skills (she likes manga style).  The other is still mulling it over, but she’s thinking of creating a stop-motion film.  Hopefully this brilliant plan of mine actually proves successful and beats the boredom blues.  We shall see….

But, before they walked across the graduation stage, teacher gifts were given out…of course! The teachers have worked with my girls all year, imparting wisdom, sharing laughs, and creating relationships. That’s not to be discounted, nor is the effort, energy and expense these teachers go to while they help my girls (and other students too, of course) to soar.

Coming up with the teacher gift idea is truly my favorite part of May.

My girls give gifts to every one of their teachers, even “the specials” such as music, Spanish, art, etc. If you’ve worked with my girls in the classroom, we recognize your efforts. This is so much fun!

To keep costs down though, as I’ve mentioned before, I try to spend about $5 per “special” teacher, and more on their actual classroom teacher. Every teacher deserves kudos, and we love making sure that anyone who has touched my daughters’ lives during the school year gets a little love.

These boxes are from Oriental Trading, found here. I created a simple tag which you can download and have your child write in their name. (You can download a full sheet of tags here.) Once you’ve got your boxes and you’ve selected the perfect present for your child’s teachers, they’re easy to handle. Just fill these boxes with your chosen treats or gift cards, trust your children to present them, and wait for the smiles.

Here’s to recognizing teachers’ efforts, making memories and enjoying the summer to come.

Happy summer to all!

P.S. For details on what we put inside the boxes, sign up for my newsletter (another free printable this month!)


Balloon-5Balloon tag

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