Thursday, May 26, 2016

Last Day of School 2016

It's the last day of school!  That means it's time for the first and last day of school photo comparisons!

It's always fun to see how much they've grown throughout the school year!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day Cup of Love Mug

Mother's Day is almost here!  Hopefully you have already found the perfect gift for Mom.  If not, start shopping or maybe creating.  I thought I'd share the mug I made for my mom.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the design.  I got it last year for Christmas and I've had such fun creating with it ever since.  I used the flower wreath design and added the text Cup of Love to the middle of it.  Perfect for her nightly tea.

To the back of the mug, I added Mimi since this is what my kids call my mom.  A fun and simple little gift for our Mimi!  Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Candy Flower Bouquet

Another quick and easy Teacher Appreciation gift or Mother's Day gift.  I made something like this last year for my Mom.  She loves the Dove chocolate candies, so I used those last year.  My daughter's teacher like Reese's peanut butter cups, so I bought a bag of those to make her a Mason Jar Candy Flower Bouquet for Teacher Apprication Week.

I used a mason jar, a bag of candies, double sided foam mounting squares, and some silk flowers.  Place a mounting square in the middle of each flower and attach a piece of chocolate.  Put your flowers in the mason jar and fill around the stems with the remaining chocolate.

I cut a scrap of paper to fit in the middle of the mason jar lid.  I added a little note, "How Sweet it is to be Taught by you!"  I taped the metal part of the lid to the outer rim to keep it in place.  Before taping the lid in place, I slid a piece of ribbon through the lid in order to tie it in place around the mouth of the jar.

Maybe Mom or your child's teacher would prefer real flowers!  I sent in this African Violet for another day of Teacher Appreciation Week.  I used a strip of paper with a note that read, "Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that grow forever."  I taped the two ends of that note to the end of skewers and stuck the other ends into the soil of the plant.  Super easy and a fun little banner to top your plant.  Need another idea?  Check out my Framed Word Art for an easy craft.  

Whatever you decide to do, make sure to tell the teachers in your life and Mom, Thank you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Word Art Gift

 Teacher appreciation week is here!  Hopefully you've made plans to show your child's teacher just how much they mean to you!  If not, don't worry.  I have an idea for you.

I'm class mom for my daughter's fourth grade class.  I didn't start the year that way, but I guess no one volunteered and they saw me in the school lobby one day and asked me to take over the position.  I wasn't sure how much time it would take up, but it hasn't been that bad.  I've decorated the class door for Red Ribbon Week.  I've organized the teacher's birthday gift and lunch.  Mostly it's been e-mails out to the few parents that would actually share their e-mail address with me.  The toughest part is that I have very few parents that are involved or want to participate.  The school has a basket night where families try to win baskets that the classes put together by buying tickets and using them as chances to win different baskets.  I asked for donations from our class, but no one responded.  I ended up making two different baskets for our class on my own.  I got donations from our local MLS team, Orlando City and made that into a basket.  Then I shopped after Halloween sales to make a costume/dress up basket as well.  I don't like the ball to be dropped so I just take it over.  It' gets to be a lot of work, since I tend to make it more than it needs to be.  But I'd rather do that than have nothing done at all.

So coming into Teacher Appreciation Week, I wasn't too hopeful to get donations.  I was pleasantly surprised to have a few generous donations that will definitely help me to show our teacher some love.  I had already planned to do a little gift each day, so this will help me to do that.

Today I sent in a framed Word Art gift that had all the kids names made into the shape of a flower.  I used Tagxedo to make my flower shape.  There are all different kinds of shapes to choose from and you can change what words you want to use to appear in your word art.  It really is so cool.  Plus it can be used for so many different projects!  I've used it for party invites as well!

After choosing my design and getting it laid out the way I wanted, I printed my flower onto cardstock.  Then I found a frame I liked to put it in.  Now I just wanted to add my message to the mat of the frame.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to print out Thanks for helping me Grow in vinyl.  You can also use sticker letters from the craft store as well.

On the bottom of the mat I added the school name and year.  You could also add the teacher's name or whatever message you choose.

I'm really happy with how it came out.  Perfect for Day 1 of surprises for Teacher Appreciation Week!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spartan Race Giveaway

Pre-Order Today!

So it's been a little while since we talked Spartan!  It was right before Christmas when we were contemplating our New Years Resolutions!  How are those going for you?  I had slipped a bit on my healthy eating with a few too many sweet snacks.  Trying to get back on board though.  Sometimes that's not as easy to do on your own as you might think.  Everyone can use a little help.  Why not take the advice of an endurance sport legend!  Now you can do just that with Joe DeSena's new book Spartan FIT!  In 31 days you can transform your mind and body!  No gym required!  Want to learn more?  Read Chapter 1 HERE!  Spartan Fit is the follow up book to his bestseller Spartan Up.

What you will find in this book?

  • A 31 day workout and diet plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint - or just get in great shape!
  • Full-body workout requiring no gym and no weights
  • How to build fitness levels from one race to the next
  • Inspiring, motivating storis of Spartans
Order your book and then sign up for your first Spartan Race!  Go to Spartan to find a race near you!

Maybe you're not a Spartan newbie.  Have you heard of the Agoge?  It's their new endurance race that is just out of control.  They hold the endurance weekend in Vermont twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter.  The even builds physical, tactical, mental, and team-based strength through training, testing, and evaluation.  Feel you can handle it?  Find out more about AGOGE!

Now it's time to win your FREE  one time race entry for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US!  Find a race near you!

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Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easter Snacks

Easter is almost here.  My kids are on Spring Break!  It's nice to have this time off, but it's also a bit tough to get anything done with them here.  Since there's no school this week, that meant we had school Easter parties last week.  I was in charge of organizing the party for my daughter's preschool class.  It didn't have to be anything too big.  Just a snack, craft, and a book to read.

What little bunny doesn't love carrots?  Especially when they're filled with cheese crackers!  I used Stauffer's Whales which we think are so much better than Goldfish, but any kind will do.  I've found Whales at Dollar Tree, Target and Big Lots.  Annie's bunnies would be perfect but they are a bit pricey when I had to make these for a whole class.

No snack would be complete without a little juice.  I cut yellow scrapbook paper to fit around mini juice boxes.  I taped it in back and they stayed in place just fine.  On the front I used sharpies to color in eyes and a chicky beak.  So cute!

The kids all loved how cute the food looked.  These would be the perfect table decoration for the kids table at your Easter feast.  Plus the kids would have something to snack on while waiting for dinner.

The kids also decorated their own Easter eggs at our party.  I found the plain white plastic eggs at Walmart and then let them be creative with markers and stickers.  See how I made my Doodle Eggs here!  It's fun to see how the kids all chose to decorate in different ways.  Still need to decorate eggs?  I love these doodle eggs since it elimates the big mess that comes with dying eggs.  Have fun and be creative!  Happy Easter!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dennis Viollet: A United Man

This morning I woke up thinking about the movie we went to see yesterday, Dennis Viollet: A United Man.  He was an underappreciated man that is a soccer hero.  Loved in our soccer community when I was growing up, but even we didn't know what kind of legend he was.  

Dennis Viollet grew up in Manchester, England joining Manchester United in 1949.  He played striker for them and was one of the Busby Babes. In 1958, he survived the Munich air disaster that took the lives of 23 Man U players, supporters, and media. He was hospitalized with head and facial injuries. Despite all of this, after recovering, he had one of his best seasons ever scoring 32 goals in 36 games. This single season scoring record has never been beat. He went on to play for Stoke City and the Baltimore Bays. 

In 1978, he began his coaching career with the New England Tea Men which relocated to Jacksonville, FL in 1981. This is how he came into my life. He coached a number of professional teams, college teams, training sessions and summer soccer camps. I attended a number of his camps over the years, even multiple weeks a year since he would generously invite my brother and I back to another week. He was the coach to teach me how to strike a ball without using my toe. He introduced me to awesome soccer movies like Victory and Hot Shot when it was too rainy to play outside. He touched a number of lives in the Orange Park and Jacksonville soccer communities. 

In 1999, I was in town to watch a Jacksonville Cyclones game that was being played at Mandarin High School. Mr. Violet came up to me and said that he needed to talk to me about something. He left town and I never saw him again. After a trip with the team, he began to show signs of an issue. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It is believed to have been a result of the Munich air disaster years before. I always wondered what he wanted to talk to me about, but after his diagnosis I wasn't sure if he even knew. 

I can't believe that it has been 17 years. I am forever grateful that I had met and been guided by this talented and kind man. I was thankful to be able to see the Dennis Viollet Documentary, created by his daughter Rachel, in order to honor her father. It was a great story and I loved learning about his early life. He was never boastful, so many of us didn't grasp how big a soccer star he was. Mobbed by crowds in England, he led a quieter life in America. Today he is the 5th all-time leading scorer for Manchester United and he still holds the single season scoring record. All soccer legends should be this humble and kind.

Dennis Viollet Documentary