watermelon caddy teacher gift

another summer is upon us and as usual i'm feeling nostalgic
i'm not sure if it's just that my girls are so big now or that it feels like time is slipping away really fast or both, but when summer comes around it always seems bittersweet ...anyone else with me? anyways i saw these watermelon caddies at michaels last month and knew i wanted to use them for teacher gifts. 

caddy gifts (see here & here for instance) tend to be my go-to thing when i have to come up with gift ideas, i don't know why except all i can figure is that to get a gift that's filled with lots of little gifts just sounds like the best thing ever to me :) it's like the gift that keeps on giving ... and it's organized and compartmentalized #ocdprobs

if you hit that "make" tab up in the navigation bar, you'll find a bunch of gift ideas
 i've done over the years and most of them are the same ha!

these two tins were for my youngest daughter's 5th grade teacher and our bus driver
(we've had the same bus driver since the kids started school! we love her so much. 
i have her number in my phone on speed dial haha)

i filled it with mostly fun things for summer that i picked up in my shopping travels
sunscreen, candy, notepads, straws and an insulated cup from target

filled it with crystal light packets and put the cup in one of the back sections of the caddy :)

threw some tags together in my design program and tied them on, that's it! fun right?

there are so many gift fillers to be found at the dollar store or in the target dollar spot!
just think outside the box a little ;)

these patriotic pencils were in the target dollar bins and i couldn't pass them up
there's just something about the red white & blue during summer time

my daughter plays flute in the school band and wanted to bring a little something extra in for her band teacher - simple ideas for a few dollars make for cute gifts and smiling faces

who doesn't love to feel appreciated? it's so easy to go about our day to day without recognizing what so many people do for us or for our kids. don't underestimate the power of giving guys! 
it feels so good to give - and doesn't have to be material or expensive it can be your time or a particular skill set to lend a favor that can be given as well

i feel like most days out society is so focused on what we can get for ourselves that to teach our kids to put others first has become even more challenging! since it's become so counter culture - so don't underestimate the power of giving and involve your kids!

speaking of ... when did my kids get so big?
last day of 5th grade right here folks

hard to believe they were this little when i started this blog (sniff sniff)
thanks for following along with me here over the years, you really are loved & appreciated ♥

little box of sunshine gift idea

we sent this happy little box to my mother in law for mothers day
and i thought i'd share here with you all in case you're looking for a fun gift idea that's easy to put together and is such a surprise to the recipient!

i saw the idea on pinterest and decided to put a box together to send off to North Carolina
and after a trip to target i had a bunch fun stuff ... 

that happiness book is really cute - there's some funny things in it
i know this because i was chuckling in the isle at target while i flipped through it :)
i put all the little odds and ends in the clear catch all bag 

i lined the inside of the box with some bright yellow paper & double sided tape
the brighter the paper the better! you want that box to shine when all the flaps are opened :)

the flat rate box from the post office is free! and you can pack it full no matter what the weight 
and send it off for a flat rate fee priority mail (2-3 days) for around $15 i think, i can't remember the exact rate but it's around there :)

the paper i had was 8.5 x 11 and fit perfectly in this small flat rate box leaving only a little gap at the bottom on one side but you won't be able to see it once you fill it up

a little trimming might be necessary near the top flaps
and i just placed a full sheet on the bottom with no tape

the best part is this clipart that i got here
from my best girl's etsy shop - simply purchase, download, print and cut!
a little more of the double sided tape to place it where your heart desires and that's it!

i also printed out the text from microsoft publisher on my PC - cut & taped that to the long flaps

fill you box and send it off!
i know whoever receives it won't be able to help but be so happy :)
the only thing i was missing was yellow basket straw - you know that crinkled paperish stuff that comes in all different colors? filling the space at the top with that would've kept the yellow theme going, but i only had white tissue paper on hand, but yellow tissue paper would work too right?

some pictures of us girls on Mother's Day ♥

that's my mom - doesn't she look good?!
hoping i get her slow aging genes :)

whatever Mother's Day means for you i hope it was filled with joy and happines ... even if it's sort of a sad day for you whatever the reason, know that God works all things together for your good! even in the sadness (especially in the sadness) He's molding & shaping you into who He wants you to be ♥ remember that every heartache and trial you face was first sifted through His hands before it got to you so take comfort in that girls.
much love to you

layered chocolate brownie trifle

one of my favorite go-to crowd pleaser desserts is this layered chocolate brownie trifle
my cousin gave me the recipe a long time ago when we were still young and our kids were just babies
thanks cousin :)
i've made it so many times over the years
it's always well received and there's rarely any leftovers

here's what you need:
2 & 1/2 cups of milk
2 packages of instant chocolate pudding (4 servings size)
1 package brownie mix
1 - 16oz tub of whipped topping
strawberries or raspberries for garnish

bake the brownies as directed on the box the night before 
and the day of, all you have to do is assemble ... which takes less than 30 minutes
so the next day or whenever the brownies are cool 
cut them into one inch squares and set aside

to make the chocolate mousse part
whisk together the milk and both boxes of pudding then fold in half of the whipped topping
use the other half to layer between the mousse and the brownies

layer brownies on the bottom of a trifle dish
then layer half of the chocolate mousse
then half of the remaining whipped topping

then repeat all that once more :)

you can also switch the strawberries on top for raspberries, shaved chocolate, heath toffee bits or really anything you can think of 

i added this recipe to my project life recipe book using the PL app that you can download right onto your phone for a dollar or two ... i use it to document all our family photos and i've started organizing my recipes with it as well, i love it!

i hope you try this next time your have to feed a bunch of people dessert!
enjoy ♥

free mini December calendar ♥

well i say this every year. how did Christmas get here so quick?
i was scrolling though some old blog posts and got excited about some gifts & decorations i've done in years past 

this hot cocoa bar is coming back this year! but in a different spot and i'm gonna change it up a bit

this Christmas card / gift wrapping caddy is so handy to have around
and it looks cute on the kitchen counter or living room table ♥

yeah... that's not happening this year ha!

trader joe's christmas cookies for the win
and sprinkles in hot chocolate

taking in the last little bits of fall this past weekend
soon it will be covered with snow
for 6 months

guys. we saw Moana. 
we loved it! it's so cute!
disney never disappoints

hope you are getting lots of shopping, decorating and cookie making done!
much love ♥
01 09 10 11 12
Blogging tips