10. 13. 2014

moving announcement headerSo, we moved. From the looks of my house, you’d swear it was yesterday, but it’s actually been almost two months. For the three months between closing and moving in, we were able to get crazy amounts of renovations complete. As always, these things always take longer and cost more than planned… so here we are with unfinished trim, unpainted walls, and boxes of stuff waiting to be hung/put into furniture that we don’t yet own.  It turns out, it’s not as easy to get projects done when you are actually living here.   For some reason, my family thinks they need to be fed, their clothes need to be washed, and I have to entertain them all day. What’s up with that?

It goes without saying that with all the money we have spent redoing this house, I couldn’t justify buying some of the killer moving announcements I had been eyeing. I thought about not sending out our new address at all, but I am a paper person.  My friends can attest that they get way too much mail from me.  Plus, what would happen if all of those lovely Christmas cards that I look forward to all year went to the wrong address?! I had to figure something out.

As I was browsing paint samples during my 98304th trip to Home Depot, I decided to use paint swatches for our moving announcements. They were the perfect size, and seemed to kind of go with the ‘new house’ theme. I wasn’t really sure how they would print on my less than stellar printer, but I grabbed a few (ok, maybe more than a few… thanks HD) and gave it a shot.

I created the wording in Illustrator, but it could have just as easily been done in Word. I set my document and printer settings to the size of my paint swatch, and it printed perfectly! It’s weird, but some color samples soaked up the ink differently than others, so you might want to test a few different colors to make sure it doesn’t do something wonky.

I added a little washi tape to the paper bag envelopes and stamped the back with my new return address stamp from MJ’s art stamps. So easy.

Sidenote: I have purchased beaucoup return address stamps. MJ’s are by far the best I’ve ever used. I have given them as gifts as well, and people are always telling me how much they love them too. Check out her Etsy shop. Not only are they SO cute, they are very competitively priced. I had so much trouble deciding which one to get, but I went with this one:return address stame

I’m really pleased with the way these announcements came out, especially for being costing next to nothing and being so easy to do.  I would love to hear about your clever moving announcements! Although after moving twice in one summer, the thought of moving again gives me hives…

 

 

 

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lil luna

aka design

It’s my favorite time of the year…the beginning of the school year! As a teacher, all of the labeling, organizing, and new supplies made me unnaturally giddy. As a mom, not only am I a tee-tiny bit ready for a few days off, but I love love LOVE back to school gear. This will be Hayes’ third year and Jack’s second in a mothers’ day out program. Here are some of my favorites that get us through the year!

 

back to school

 

1. A great backpack or tote is a must! Here are three options that I am loving this year. All three would look so great with a monogram or patch added as well. The navy stripe bag from Gap Kids is even more adorable in person, and it seems super durable for the price.  This army green “Durham” from State Bags is in the lead for my favorite. I learned about State Bags through Small Fry a few weeks ago and was instantly obsessed. When I went to their website and saw Beyonce had collaborated with them, I was sold! The price tag on this backpack is a little higher, but for every State Bag purchased, a bag is donated to a child in need right here in the United States. Read more about their amazing charity here.  The last backpack is the “Settlement” bag from Herchel’s line for Crewcuts. If you haven’t gathered, I love me some Herschel. I seem to squeeze one of their products on every list! I think Jack is going to get this one, and I am on the hunt for a great patch or applique’ for the navy part.

2. Any mama knows the hunt for the perfect cup is pretty intense. My search ended as soon as I got my paws on these Camelbak Kid’s Eddy water bottles. They are tough as nails, you have to try really hard to get them to leak, the straw parts are replacable, and let’s be honest… they are the cutest things ever.

3. Nap Mats. The dreaded nap mat. I don’t know about you, but nap mats give me anxiety. It all began with the thought of these poor teachers trying to get my barely over a year old son to sleep on one. Well, those miracle workers did it in no time flat! The other reason nap mats are a pain is that they are so dang expensive?!? Being the rookie mom who was super excited about buying a nap mat, we went with some silly thing from Etsy that was insanely cute but didn’t hold up at all. After asking around for a while, I found that there are quite a few schools around Dallas that actually recommend/require Wildkin napmats. Evidently, they are a great thickness, roll well, and remain that way after washing multiple times.  I ordered this green dot Wildkin napmat, but it hasn’t come in yet. Fingers crossed it’s as dreamy as people say.  I do know, however, that this navy rocket nap mat from Pottery Barn Kids is so cute, I don’t even care what it feels like or how well it washes.

4. Itzy Ritzy makes so many “must have” products, and these  “Snack Happened” reusable snack bags are no exception. These are incredibly well made and have held up through several years of constant washing. How great are these these polka dots?!?

5. No matter how thoroughly I think I label every little thing, something always comes home with a big ol’ strip of masking tape letting me know I missed it! I mentioned these Orbit Bands by Inchbug in my personalized gifts post, and I’ll probably feature them again, because they are like a top 5 must have for our family. They fit on any cup, are super durable, and can be used for eternity! For items that can’t hold an orbit band, you’ll need some super industrial strength stickers. Check out this fab company, Kidecals, for all of your sticker needs. They have a great variety, and if I had a child with any type of allergies, I would be stocking up on these allergy alert stickers.

6.  Lunchboxes can be tricky. If your kids eat like mine, you really just need a small refrigerator to contain everything they eat. Since that isn’t an option, we have used Pottery Barn Kids lunchboxes the past two years and have been very happy with them. Hayes is all about construction vehicles, so this “Riley Construction Lunch Bag” from PBK is right up his alley. Let’s talk about how perfect this Choozepack lunchbox in BeepBeep is! I fell in love with Chooze after I randomly stumbled upon their Instagram. For you local folks, this company was started by a Dallas mom and their stuff is genius. On top of innovative products, Chooze is a Good Returns company, which means they invest annual profits to anti-poverty programs (read more about that here). You can find their products locally at Babybliss, Whole Foods, and Whole Earth Provisions.

7. Go ahead and get a Lunchbots container, and save yourself the heartache of standing in the aisles of Target, absolutely awestruck and/or overwhelmed by the amount of options you have when it comes to lunchbox containers. We have used the Quad container, and I highly recommend them. I might step it up this year and go with the larger Cinco box, because my boys are bound and determined to spend their college savings at the grocery store. Although I love the colorful tops, I would suggest just getting the plain stainless steel boxes, because the paint does chip after time. Also, these particular boxes are not meant for liquids, which was never an issue for us, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

So there you have it! I hope you found something to make your school year run a little more smoothly. Now, tell me some of your must have gear!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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05. 14. 2014

silhouette1

I’m not dead, I promise. I may have fallen off the face of the blogging earth lately, but I am alive and well and gearing up for a move this weekend. Not gonna lie, I got a little overwhelmed actually putting that in words. So official. Yikes!

Anyways, I know Mother’s Day is long gone, and I’m sure all of your gifts were a hit! I thought I would go ahead and share what I did for all of our mamas, because it was so easy and can be used for any holiday.  I could recreate the wheel and give you detailed instructions on how to make these, but Emily at Jones Design Co. has made this killer video that explains the process far better than anything I could write. These silhouettes are so much fun and literally took minutes to make.  Once you have them made, you can use them on such wide variety of projects. I have put them in frames of all sizes and on stationery. How cute would a sweet little girl silhouette be on a throw pillow in her room?! (Did I just say that? Dreaming about a girl room? I am really, really tired, y’all…)

DSC_0636 copy

Can we all take a minute to assess that curl situation going on in these silhouettes? Hysterical. I love how these capture my boys’ sweet little faces and features so well. Although I’m not sure I could ever forget the cowlick that makes the front of Jack’s hair all Medusa-like or Hayes’ perfect little top lip that never quite closes, I will treasure how beautifully they were depicted in these silhouettes for a long, long time.

I would love to see how you have used silhouettes {of any kind, not just of kids!} in your home!

teacher appreciation roundup

 

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5-9th this year, and I have created six free printables to help you show your teachers some love! In case you are just joining, here is a round up of some quick and easy gift ideas I posted this week that are sure to get your teachers smiling.

 

First up, is the Starbucks gift card holder. There’s something for everyone at Starbucks!

teacher appreciation latte 1

Next, I shared this gift tag perfect for office supplies. A few people have sent Instagram and Facebook pictures of this one in action… so cute!

teacher appreciation note 1

This sweet little gardening or plant tag is my favorite, and it seems to be my readers’ favorite too! Perfect for a potted plant or a pot full of gardening supplies.

teacher appreciation grow 2

Lunch totes, beach bags, reusable grocery bags… this tote-ally awesome tag can go on all kinds of things teachers love. I did this tag for Valentine’s Day gifts, and many readers requested it for Teacher Appreciation, so here it is!

teacher appreciation tote 2

For your teachers that rock, here is an iTunes gift card holder.

teacher appreciation rock 1

Last, but certainly not least, is this free art print that might be just what your teachers need during these last few crazy weeks of school!

teacher appreciation print 2

I really enjoyed creating all of these gift ideas, and I hope that one of them makes your Teacher Appreciation gift giving a little easier!

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the casual craftlete

design dining and diapers

aka design + life

just a girl and her blog