DIY Teacher Tote

Can you believe we are already at the end of the school year? Our kids are done on May 26th. Teacher gifts have been on our radar this week because next week is going to be crazy! We are always so appreciative of our teachers. It seems like they spend more time with our kids than we do! It’s always fun to do something special to say thank you. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, though. Having multiple kids in school does add up when you are buying teacher gifts. Here is a DIY for a fun gift we came up with.

Teacher Tote! Have you noticed that totes are all the rage? Reminds me of this cartoon my kids like. Tote Life!Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 11.34.57 AM.png

Really, though, we love having a tote to take to the library, on a day trip, or to church. IMG_0351

Here is what you need to make a teacher tote (I got this stuff at Walmart):


You can download the image right HERE:



Load your printer with the iron on paper


Then you need to trim the paper. The white of the paper irons on with the text so use a paper cutter to make sure your lines are straighter than ours!IMG_0345

Then you peel off the back of the paper and place the parchment that comes in the pack on top of your image.


We used the cotton setting on my iron. The instructions say to use medium heat. This just takes a few seconds and you have an awesome finished product!




5 Things I learned About Throwing a 40th Birthday Party

IMG_0087I had so much fun working on a friend’s 40th birthday recently. When I started planning things, my first step was of course to scour the internet for ideas. I found that there is not much out there if you are NOT wanting to go the “all black, over the hill” theme. So after researching and diving in, here is what I learned:

  1. KEEP THE HUMOR FOR GUYS AND THE GLAMOR FOR THE GALS – Some women might appreciate a few funny jabs about this age, but not all. I found it super fitting to go the “forty and fabulous” route with my friend. I didn’t come out and use that catch phrase, instead, I just showed it. I used glitter and gold and bright fuchsia. I created a FABULOUS environment to reflect a fabulous person. Also, not too much emphasis on the number 40.FullSizeRender (14)


  2. YOU JUST NEED ONE UNIQUE EVENT TO MAKE THIS PARTY EXTRA SPECIAL – My friend has been on a major street taco kick. She is always on the lookout for good street tacos. In fact I’ve gone to three different restaurants with her to get street tacos! For her birthday we had a street taco vendor cater tacos for the evening. It was so fun! It got people talking about the food and trying new things which broke the ice a bit as not all the guests knew each other very well. 1
  3. ENTERTAINMENT CAN BE KEPT SIMPLE, IF IT IS FOCUSED ON THE BIRTHDAY GUY/GIRL – The internet wasn’t providing me with many ideas on making the party entertaining. I knew that my diverse group wouldn’t be extremely comfortable playing games. Luckily, the husband of the birthday girl was a great public speaker. We collected a few fun memories people had of the birthday girl prior to the party and her husband read them or recounted the stories. Some were hilarious, some sentimental and the last one was just downright tugging at your heart strings. It helped us to get to know the birthday girl better and the crowd was captivated hearing these stories.

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  4. MAKING IT A SURPRISE IS THE ICING ON THE CAKE – this party was my second 40th birthday party that was a surprise. When you give them something they aren’t expecting, it becomes a treasured memory, they reflect on for years to come. FullSizeRender (8)FullSizeRender (9)
  5. PHOTOS AND CHATBOOKS ARE A MUST!! – First of all, if you wind up making it a surprise party, behind the scenes photos of people setting up or party prep are always fun for the birthday girl to see later on. Make sure you take at least 30 great photos of the event. IMG_0049IMG_0048 (1)IMG_0047 (1) IMG_0052Capture all the family and friends and the important moments like the big surprise or the blowing out of the candles. I have been a customer of Chatbooks for a few years now, and am so pleased with the quality of books they produce with such little effort and cost. I got my 30 favorite photos from the brithday and loaded them into a new chatbook, using the app on my phone. Chatbooks has so many great cover choices, I just chose one that reminded me of the birthday girl and made an awesome photo book in seconds….actually I did the whole thing on the car ride home from the party! Bam! I chose this design by Oh Joy!~ I just love Joy Cho.

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After this party, I don’t think Forty will be so bad…silly numbers!






When I was first learning how to paint with watercolors I was taught a technique of adding salt to my painting to create an interesting design and texture. This little trick has stuck with me for years and popped in my head when I was thinking about ways to get festive for Valentine’s Day. This project is fun and simple enough to involve even the the tiniest of hands!

To make these lovely, and very versatile hearts, you will need:

  • watercolor paints (any quality will do!)
  • watercolor paper
  • scissors
  • paint brushes
  • salt
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter or stencil
  • a jar full of clean water
  • paper towels (to sop up excess water)


To get started, allow yourself to experiment with the paint. Try using concentrated amounts of paint in some areas and watered down paint in others.


Terese and I decided to limit the colors we used to create a Valentine’s Day palette (however, there was no limiting our helpers!).

Once you have painted an area of your paper, sprinkle the wet paint with salt.


The salt will create the most beautiful texture:


I recommend painting the entire paper to maximize the amount of hearts you can make!

Once you have finished your paintings lay them out to dry. When the paintings are dry turn them over to the backside and trace as many heart as you can fit on the paper. You may have some excess salt rub off of the paper, but fear not, the design will stay in tact!


Next, cut out all of your traced hearts. **Yes, mama needs a manicure!**


Voila! You have dozens of beautiful hearts!


With these babies, the possibilities are endless!

Sew them together to make garland. Glue them to card stock to make a special Valentine. Affix them to bags to make party favors.


I hope you’ll give this project a try! Let me know how it works out for you!