Tag Archives: diy

School’s Out For Summer

Summer Bucket ListThis Friday marks the first day of summer and I could not be more excited.  My husband’s birthday is in May.  My anniversary is in June.  Pumpkin’s birthday is in June and Ladybug’s birthday is in July.  I work in a profession that has summers off.  Is it not obvious that summer is my favorite season-HANDS DOWN?  Along with summer comes the boredom/insanity challenges.  I have an over-inquisitive five year old that functions best with routines and procedures in place (blame me).  With summer being a time of fun and exploration, I like to venture out on at least one outing a week.  This year I wanted to involve the angels and decided to create a Summer Bucket List with their input.

I am a semi-creative person that does NOT believe in recreating the wheel.  I searched and searched for a printable with pictures of summer activities that would be age appropriate for my angels and I finally struck gold.  I simply cut and paste the pictures to construction paper and put it on a poster board and our 2013 Summer Bucket List was created.  Simple and applicable.  It actually surprised me how excited and ready the angels would be to start scratching items off their list.  So, now that I am being held accountable by a very intimidating 5 year old and three year old…I better get to planning our first outing.

Activities On Our 2013 Summer Bucket List
Watch a Movie
Ice Cream
Baseball Game
Children’s Museum
Watch Fireworks
Bake Cookies
Art Project
Butterfly Pavillion


Teachers Are SO Appreciated In Our House

Teacher Appreciation Week made its appearance and disappeared into thin air. And now it’s really time to thank the angels’ teachers because it’s the end of the year and these teachers have given their blood, sweat, and tears (I’m sure they shed many. At least I know I did.) to 15-25 sweet, sweet children. Between the two angels, there are SIX teachers and as much as I want to give them a gift card to Nordstrom’s, I just can’t do it. So, I found a reasonable and creative way to thank each teacher for at least three days. We were out-of-town the last two days of the week and I took full advantage. I gave each of their teachers a gift a day and these ideas were found after a bit of late night reasearch and Pinteresting. The total cost of the project cost $15.86 (excluding the card stock, glue, and pattern cut-outs).


“You Are Extra Special”


Card stock

Pack of Extra gum (I found 4-5 piece packs for $1.00 at Family Dollar)

Star (or any fitting) pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun


  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a piece of card stock:

You are extra special. Thank you for everything you do every day.

  • Glue the pattern and Extra gum to the piece of card stock
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the card stock


“Thankful Hands”


Card stock

Small container of hand sanitizer (I found 3-2 oz bottles for $1.55 at Family Dollar)

Hand pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun


  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a hand pattern (trace your hand or your little one’s hand) cut out of card stock:

I am thankful for the hands that help me every day.

  • Glue the hand sanitizer to the hand pattern
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the hand pattern


“Thank You Notes


Card stock


Small Clipboard (I found these for a $1 each at Target)


Small legal pads (I found packs of 3 small legal pads for $.94 at Walmart)

Multi-colored writing pens(I found a 10 pack of multi-colored pens for $1.67 at Walmart)


Heart (or any fitting) pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun


  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a piece of card stock:

Just a note to say, “You are awesome.”

  • Glue the pattern to the piece of card stock and clip to the clipboard
  • Attach a pen to the card stock with ribbon
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the card stock

Date Jar

In the past month I’ve hosted two baby showers, so I’m in the shower/party planning mood. Last year, I assisted my mom with hosting a bridal shower for my sister and as a gift my mom gave her a dating jar. The truth is: I created the jar and gave my mom all the credit until now. Its a jar filled with dating ideas that range in spontaneity and cost. It ended up being a hit with the bride and my mom was smiling from ear to ear.

This jar is beyond easy to create. It’s so easy that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Seriously, I’ll say it again, crafts are not my thing, so if I can do it, I KNOW you can do it.



Colored tongue depressors

Thin Sharpie marker

Decorative Jar (or create your own)


I color categorized the date ideas (click for ideas) for easier planning for the couple:


  • Write one date idea per category on each depressor.
  • Place the depressors in a decorative jar and present to the bride!

I Plan. It’s What I Do…

PlannerFor the past few years, I have spent every New Year’s Eve-New Year’s Day the same way.  I prepare for the new year.  I set realistic goals and action items to accomplish each goal.  This year, as I sit down to prepare my goals, I can’t help but be in awe of my DIY PLANNER.

A couple of months ago, I realized, “If I don’t write it down, it won’t happen.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a tech geek.  I use my phone for EVERYTHING.  But, it is still no replacement for pencil and paper.  I needed to brainstorm, set goals, and jot down my ideas and so my search began for the perfect planner.  My search was HIGHLY unsuccessful.  I am a researcher, so I searched forever looking for the perfect planner.  I found them to be very expensive and still missing several key components I needed for my own planning purposes.

So, I created my own planner.  I had no choice.  I refused to pay up to $50 for a planner that I was not fully satisfied with.  I absolutely love my new planner.  I will admit, that my planner isn’t colorful and pretty, but it is fully functional, works great, and cost me about $25 to create.  Maybe next year, I will attempt to be a bit more creative.  Or maybe not.

I started designing my planner with a section for each month containing the following sheets:

For me the calendar is the most essential filler for my planner.  I wanted a calendar on two pages with an area for notes.  I printed a generic 2013 calendar with the full year to view to start my planner.

Following each monthly calendar was a set of weekly planner sheets (4-5 sheets depending on the month).  I am very anal (and not ashamed to admit my personal flaws) and I searched high and low for a single page planner sheet that started its week with Monday.  In my world, the week starts with Monday.

On the back of pages, I copied lined pages.  I wanted to utilize every space of my planner.  NO WHITE SPACE!

I added these sheets to the front of my planner to stay completely focused on my goals throughout the year.

I added a gift checklist to the beginning of my planner and after the December calendar to prepare for the holidays.


This year I plan to grow a closer relationship with Christ and added a prayer list sheet to keep track of prayer requests and celebrations:

I filled this section with sheets to help me create goals I want to accomplish with this blog.  I also included about 50 copies of a blog planning sheet (copied front to back) to organize my blog thoughts.  Often times, I will think of a great blog post, but by the time I find something to write it on, the thought is gone!

I started this section with a year calendar (the same one I started the planner with) and a one year planner sheet copied back to back and year calendar (3 months on a page) with notes.

I also filled this section with 52 sheets (for each week of the year) of weekly planner sheets to plan my week in business at the start of each week.  I also included a few goal sheets in this section.

The personal calendar section, blogging section, and business section were separated by a blank piece of bright orange cardstock that can also be used for notes.  I created a simple cover page with my name and the last decision I made was the binding.  As you guys know by now, I AM A BINDER QUEEN and I originally wanted to use a 3-ring binder to contain all my planner pages, but decided that a true planner is bound together, so I opted for a coil binding with a  clear front cover and hard back cover.

If you plan to make your own planner, remember to find pages that work for you and fit your lifestyle, there are SO many free fillers that you can find to fill your planner such as calendars, lined pages, and goal strategy sheets, just to name a few.  And take your time, I spent over an hour at Kinko’s making sure my pages were copied correctly front to back and flowed like a true planner.  And once again, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am severely anal which I’m sure added to the time I spent at Kinko’s.

Closet Bliss

This picture is not the best!

We have an adequate amount of shelf space in our closet and I make it a point to utilize all spaces effectively.  I despise clutter and to me, shoeboxes = clutter.  As a result, when we moved in this house, one of the first items on my to-do list was to rid my shoes of shoe boxes and purchase inexpensive shoe/boot boxes.  I am such a happier woman!  This system has also helped me purge.  Every new shoe has a plastic shoe box which means a pair is being donated to make room for  new shoes.   Now, I may have 3 flat shoes such as sandals in one box, but nothing is going to waste.

These come in a variety of sizes and colors and make great storage bins!

We are lacking drawer space and I resolved that situation by purchasing decorative plastic bins to store workout clothes, lounge wear, seasonal pjs, seasonal gear (hats, mittens, bathing suits, etc.), and miscellaneous t-shirts.  I love these bins, they are spacious and look good.  I have them on the top shelf of my closet, and I don’t think about them!  You can use these bins for almost anything anywhere in the house.

Are You Warranted?

Side Note:  Let me begin by saying, I had this great idea for a title, and then I had to verify that “warranted” was being used in the proper context or if it was even a word.  I need to slow my roll and pump my brakes!

Warranty Binder. I am addicted to binders. I use them for EVERYTHING!

It was late at night and I was again in a cleaning mode.  Believe me friends, I really live by what I post.  We had a drawer in our kitchen that was full of every instruction booklet and extra installation piece we had collected over the past nine years.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I sorted each booklet into a different category, placed the booklet of each sorted category in a pocket sheet protector, placed the sheet protectors in a binder, and didn’t look back.  
We had so many booklets I had to use two binders, one for the kids’ items and the other for household items.  During the sorting, I trashed any booklets for items we no longer owned.  I am so embarrassed, we even had an instruction booklet for a VCR player.  Now you know, that player has been long gone.  I am once again pleased.  Now, I even have more space in my kitchen, because I now have an empty drawer.  My husband will be pleased to wake up early in the morning to find I have rearranged the cabinets and drawers again.  He loves when I do that!

You Must Get a Calendar….NOW


We absolutely would sink without our calendar.Our house could not function without our family calendar.

Our house could not function without our family calendar.  I found this cheap (about $10) dry erase calendar at Walmart.  At the beginning of every month I fill the calendar with our appointments, engagements, party dates, etc.  Once again, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.  The little ones can’t read yet, but my husband certainly can.  I am the Queen of Documentation and he can’t say, “I didn’t know.”  Everything is on the calendar and it is stuck to the front of the fridge as a daily reminder.  This is one tool my husband will agree is beneficial.  When I update the calendar, soon after I see him updating his phone.  It helps keep us on the same page, and we need it.

My Own Recipe Book

I love to cook.  Usually these days, time doesn’t allow for the elaborate cooking I enjoy.  Nevertheless, I collect all types of recipes and eventually, I find the time to try all types of recipes from snazzy drinks for a party to yummy cookies for the little ones and everything in between.  As a newlywed, I began sparking an interest in cooking and the organization bug quickly bit me.  I can organize anything with a binder, sheet protectors, and hole puncher, including my OWN recipe book.  It is beyond simple to create your own recipe book.  All you need is a binder (about 1.5-2 inches), standard sheet protectors, and tabbed sheet protectors.

  • Gather all your recipes and sort them into categories such as Drinks, Appetizers, Sides, Poultry, Meats, Seafood, Desserts, etc.

  • Create title pages for each category using decorative printer paper and place each page in a tabbed sheet protector.
  • Place each recipe into a sheet protector.  I double the recipes in each protector; the choice is yours.

  • Put the recipes in the binder with the tabbed sheet protector leading each category.

It’s that easy.  You can pull the the binder out when it is time to cook and the sheet protectors will keep each recipe clear of spills and splatters.  You will have a collection of your own recipes that you find anywhere for years to come.  Please excuse my recipe book it is over nine years old and time for an update.  Oh, if I could only find the time.

DO NOT ask me, “What’s for dinner?”

My husband asks constantly asks, “What’s for dinner?”  I hate this question and he knows it.  And then I realized, it is unfair to keep the dinner menus under lock and key and I need to share the wealth.  The problem was that I even forget what was planned for dinner, so I created a menu board.  The board displays the planned meals for the week.  You simply use a dry erase marker to write, a paper towel to clean, and this board can be used week after week.

This board is so easy to make.  Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it better.  I am NOT a crafty, artsy, cutesy, mom.  It is not my thing.  Hobby Lobby and Michael’s makes me nervous every time I enter.  But, every now and then, I step it up and get a little crafty.  So, once again, if I can do it, YOU can do it!


Picture frame

1 sheet of scrapbook paper

Embellishment stickers

Letter stickers

Picture frame display easel


  • Place the letter stickers on the scrapbook paper to display the title and days of the week

  • Embelish the paper with stickers
  • Place the completed scrapbook paper in a picture frame


  • Place the frame on a picture frame display easel

This is another menu board I made using a different color scheme.