Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Make Quick Thank Yous for Many Volunteers


500 volunteers to appreciate?!  Yikes!  Can that be done? 
Of course!

Our Youth Group volunteered to make 500 little appreciation gifts for the many volunteers of Jubilee Reach
Jubilee Reach is a non-profit organization that helps children and families in our local community.  They rely on hundreds of volunteers to run their many programs.

My job was to design the tags.  Easy enough.
First up was the mint theme.

All mint candies and small cellophane bags were purchased at the Dollar Store.

Plastic trays were used to separate the candies.

We set the kids to work filling and stapling the tags to the plastic bags.

...and before you could count to 300, the gifts were done!

Next came the Blow Pops.

Another cute little tag with a hole punched for the lollipop stick to slip through.  Secured with a tiny bit of tape on the back.

...and there you have it!  500 volunteer treats ready to hand out.

This was a great project for our youth group to do.
Interested in making your own?  I'm guessing you won't need to make 500?

Click here to print off the Commit-Mint tags.

Click here to print off the Blown Away tags.

Need some more thank you gift ideas?
Click here for 10+ quick teacher/volunteer ideas that will have you done in no time!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Lettuce Thank You Pun Gift

So... there's this great 8th grade Washington State History program at my daughter's school.  Groups of ten kids are assigned 2 parents, 2 vans, a very limited budget and a part of Washington State to explore for 5 days.  There's lots of planning with lots of requirements including service projects and historical sights to see.  They have to budget their allotted money and figure out driving time, gas, lodging and food.  It's a week full of lots of learning for the kids.
     I knew that I could never make it through 5 days of driving teenagers across the state and there was NO way I could handle 5 nights of sleeping with I did NOT volunteer.  The 'angels' who did volunteer had more patience than I could even possibly comprehend!  I mean, really.  Do you know how smelly teenagers can get?  Do you understand how much they can eat?  Do you realize how loud their volume is?
     So, when the vans pulled into the school after 5 days on the road, I had a little appreciation gift for the volunteers.

Lettuce Thank You!

Easy, simple and a very organic way to say 'Thanks'.
You could also add in a gift certificate to the local Farmer's Market.

I bought these lettuce 'bowls' at our local neighborhood nursery. 
You could easily plant your own, buying lettuce starter plants of different varieties and potting them in a beautiful planter or in a metal colander.  (Wouldn't that be cute?)
It's amazing how many gorgeous varieties of lettuce there are!

Click here to print your own tags.

Mat tag onto green colored cardstock-- if you wish.

Use a large colored craft stick to tape the sign to.
Sign the back and hand deliver.

By the way...the volunteers were so excited to see lettuce!  Apparently teenagers don't eat much roughage?!

Have anyone in your life that would appreciate a little greenery?

And yes, I've used this pun before!
Click here for this hostess gift.


Friday, May 1, 2015

15+ Mother's Day Party Ideas


Mother's Day is quickly approaching!  Need some new ideas to celebrate mom?  I've gathered up our past Mother's Day celebrations to inspire you.  So many fun, creative ideas to choose from, plus some real cute kids to look at!  Take a look and click on the links for more information.

2011  Mother's Day Pink, Lime Green and Toile
Mother's Day Celebration
Flower Pot Place Markers
Squiggle Cake for Mom
Plastic Tablecloth Poms
Herb Garden for Mom

2012  Mother's Day Turquoise Party
Mother's Day Turquoise Party
Glass Jar Painting
Gumball Wreath
Ruffle Cake for Mom
A Love Tree

2013  Mother's Day Tea Party Brunch

Mother's Day Tea Party Brunch
Tea-riffic Tea Bag Cookies
Donut Hole Cupcakes
Card Branch Gift Idea for Mom

And here's our Mother's Day Celebration from last year.  This one never made it on the blog, (too much going on last year!) but don't you just love our color theme?  Lime green with black and white polka dots plus some chalkboard thrown in. 


A few details: 
-Lime green jello push pops were a hit with my nephews.
-Chalkboard tags were used for place markers.
-Polka dot cupcake liners held little candies and treats.
-I made everyone take a turn in the 'photo booth' (of course). 
-We changed up from a brunch menu to a lunch menu. Yummy!  -The men chose to 'cuddle' up at the table so they could celebrate Mother's Day AND keep their eye on the Mariner's game happening on the TV. (They're cheering for a M's win.)
-The lime green poms down the center of the table were from Mother's Day 3 years ago.  I love when I can reuse!
- Lime green polka dot wrapping paper covered the table, with black and white polka dot crepe paper down the center.

Any guesses on the color theme this year?  Hmm, wish I knew...I better get busy will be our first Mother's Day in our new home!  Happy Mother's Day to you!

Linking to: BloomLovelyLittleLinkParty, ReasonstoSkiptheHousework,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Organizing a Pantry with Chalkboard labels

So we moved.  Click here if you missed that craziness.

The pantry in our new home was one of those 'pull your hair out' type spaces!  It was an average size, but laid out terribly!  The shelves were deep and wide, but there weren't very many!  We spent the first few weeks in this house digging through bins and shelves trying to find things, but most of the stuff just stayed on the floor.  (So glad I didn't get a picture of that!)


Before                                      After

To use the space more effectively, we decided to double up the shelf space.  AH (Awesome Husband) cut white laminate shelves to fit.  My DAD (Do Anything Dad) showed me how to iron on laminate edging. (That iron on edging is pretty spiffy!)  Now, I had shelves I could work with!

The first thing I did was organize my food items into categories, then, I divided my space into sections based on those categories.  I needed a fool-proof system that would work for my whole family.
(I didn't want to be the only one cooking or putting groceries away!)

Using plastic bins I already owned I loaded up my multiple food items and started arranging. (I forced myself to NOT go out and buy rustic baskets...maybe someday?)


I had quite a few old, white Sterlite bins lying around, so I used them all and added chalkboard tags with twine.  I found the tags at Michaels.  Small items that I had multiples of, went in the white bins. 

Things like drink mixes, jello, cocoa, spice packets, popcorn, Top Ramen and even dark chocolate!  I'm sure you have a dark chocolate bin in your home, don't you? What?  You don't?  Well, you're missing out...on a few hundred calories, that is!

My pantry is always changing.  New foods come in, old foods get eaten, products change, recipes change, new eating patterns emerge depending on the season...hopefully healthier habits as the season changes.
That's the beauty of a 'chalkboard' pantry.  All labels can be wiped clean and re-labeled when needed.  Got to love the flexibility of that!

I quickly ran out of white bins, so I used some leftover blue IKEA bins that I had.  Cookie cutters and sprinkles needed their own bin, so did some of the snacks for the kid's lunches! 


I also labeled the laminate shelves. 

This was easy to do using chalkboard self-adhesive vinyl. You can cut the vinyl into any sized shape you need. I cut square shapes to label the blue bins and rectangle strips to label the shelves.  I used the Chalk Ink marker to write on the tags.

The majority of my food items are for baking. (Apparently, I would much rather make brownies, cakes and sugar cookies than dinner?!  All with dark chocolate of course.)

Storage of bulk items:
Because of the high ceilings, I can go as tall as I can reach on my handy step ladder. Costco size boxes of dry cereal and fondue pots are being housed here currently.
Storage of crockpots on the bottom.

Health Supplies:
One important item we keep in our pantry is throat lozenges.  I keep cough drops and Airborne drink mixes in a container labeled health.  This allows any member of the family who has a sore throat, to take a few cough drops with them throughout the day. 

Meal Planning:
On the side wall of the pantry, I hung our chalkboard frame.  It's the perfect spot to write our meals for the week.  This not only helps me with the planning, but allows the kids to know ahead of time what dinner will be. (You know, so they can decide to eat at a friend's home because we're having something repulsive? That doesn't happen at your house, does it?)


So there you have it...Our Organized Pantry. 

Now, about those rustic baskets I've been dreaming about...


Linking up to: BloomLovelyLittleLinkParty, ReasonstoSkiptheHousework,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Finals Survival Study Sack for the College Kids

Finals are almost here for the college kids. 
We stopped by my alma mater last week with a little treat for some students finishing up their freshman year.

 Finals Survival Study Sack
'Orange' you glad you're almost finished?!

I used orange gift bags leftover from this post.
Then purchased 'orange colored' goodies to help the students get through their studying...or at least one night of studying?!!

Orange drink, Cheetos, orange TicTacs, orange crackers and granola bars.  And of course the 'teacher' in me-- threw in some orange mechanical pencils and highlighters.  The index cards aren't orange, but figured they wouldn't mind.  I went through a TON of index cards in college!  Maybe college kids don't use index cards anymore?

All tied up with these cute tags.

Click here to print your own tags.

Hopefully this little treat will bring them some motivation to study those oh so important theological principles and calculus derivatives...yikes!  Study hard, kids!

'Orange' you glad you're not in college anymore?!   Whew!


Click here to see College Blues

Linking up to: LinkPartyPalooza@TT&J,