Creative School Lunches: A Special Back to School Lunch

A Special Back to School Lunch
Suddenly, it all feels very official – the school supplies are purchased, the teacher meet and greet has taken place, and the first day outfit has been selected…  School starts on Monday!   We’re are as ready as we can be.  Actually the only thing that we were missing for the big day was a special, creative school lunch.  Because the first day of school deserves a little something special.  So, with a little time to kill after the meet and greet yesterday, I decided to do a trial run of my back to school lunch.  I think this might be the cutest creative school lunch yet!

I typically like my creative lunches to be easy to make and take no longer than 20 minutes to assemble, but this one probably took a bit longer because of the school bus sandwich.  The ingredients are pretty simple and I had all of them on hand, but assembling it to make sure that it came out just right, did take some time.  I think the second time around will definitely go faster.A Special Back To School Lunch - Bus SandwichTo make this sandwich, start by cutting the crusts off 2 slices of wheat bread and place some turkey in the middle.  Then cut a rounded edge on to one slice of a piece of cheddar cheese (I highly recommend using a pizza cutter for this step); the side of the cheese with the rounded edge will be the top of your school bus.  Cut your rectangular windshield in the cheddar cheese using a knife or pizza cutter and place it on top of the slices of wheat bread with the rounded edge on the top.  Cut a semicircle out of a second slice of cheddar cheese (I used the rim of a cup to do this) and place it on top of the first piece of cheddar cheese, just under the “open” windshield.  From there, slice a cherry tomato in half and place them towards the top of your bus as the flashing lights, and add string cheese slices to create lights and the grill of the bus, before topping them off with raisin eyes and a green pepper slice smile.  Give your bus some wheels by placing some mini OREOs under the bus.

A Special Back To School Lunch School Bus Sandwich Instructions

Once you’ve completed the school bus sandwich, this lunch quickly falls into place.  The apple cookie cutter
was actually something I had left over from last year’s back to school lunch, and went perfectly with the watermelon sale at my grocery store this week.  I added a pretzel “stem” and sliced green grape “leaf” for a little extra color. A Special Back to School Lunch - Watermelon Apple

Finally, I wrapped up this creative school lunch with a sweet treat blackboard rice crispy treat, decorated with black cookie frosting, pretzel sticks, and a sugar apple.  I really wanted to put some white frosting letters or numbers on the blackboard, but my freehand isn’t so great, so I skipped it this time, but I highly encourage you to do it if you’re good with frosting.  While I think she’s going to love this entire lunch, I’m pretty sure this is going to be her favorite part!A Special Back to School Lunch - Black Board Rice Crispy Treats

If you’re looking for a way to add a little fun to your child’s lunch box this school year, be sure to check out all my creative lunches!  And good luck to all those going back to school this week!Creative School Lunches A Special Back to School Lunch

DIY No Sew Door Bumper

DIY No Sew Door BumperOn Sunday, Everett slept in until 9:30.  Nine thirty!  Don’t get me wrong, the kid’s always been a decent sleeper, but that’s unheard of even by his standards.  I had to fight the urge to go in and make sure he was still breathing.  As I laid and tried to relax while waiting for him to wake up (because as a mom I’m not longer programmed to sleep quite that long) I realized how quiet the house was…almost too quiet.  And then I realized it – there were no slamming doors.  With the girls gone at their grandparent’s house, there was no one to run in and out of my room asking when breakfast would be served or if I could turn on the tv or if I could get their clothes for the day, each time slamming the door behind them.  And just moments before each slam I find myself helplessly begging, “Don’t slam that door!”  I feel like it’s my weekend anthem.

Mom problems.

So when Poise approached me to discuss yet another mom problem – light bladder leakage – and asked me to find a creative way to recycle my period pad, I just knew that there had to be a solution to two mom problems.  Light bladder leakage is a problem that affects 1 in 3 women. Often caused by physical changes due to pregnancy and childbirth, light bladder leakage is most definitely a mom problem.  Triggered by laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercise, light bladder leakage can be an embarrassing problem for so many moms, especially during the summer months when shorts, skirts, and bikinis are part of the dress code.  And because so many women don’t know any better, their using bulky period pads to combat their light bladder leakage instead of Poise.  The new Poise Thin Shaped Pads are specifically designed to protect against light bladder leakage and give you the security you need this summer.  Poise Thin Shape PadsSince Poise clearly has light bladder leakage covered, it was time to do something else with my period pad.

Which lead me to the question – “What if my kids couldn’t slam the door and wake up the baby?”.  Suddenly I thought back to a fancy baby boutique I went to before Greenleigh was born and remembered seeing a fabric door bumper.  At the time I didn’t know what you could possibly need one for, but now…well…now I understand.  Since my sewing machine is currently out of commission, I decided to make this a quick and easy no sew project.  No doubt I’ll have one on every door by the time the girls return!DIY No Sew Door Bumper Instructions

You will need:
Hot glue
Period pads (any brand)

Step 1 – Cut two pieces of fabric to 5 inches wide and 4 inches long.  I did this by measuring on one piece and then layering the pieces and cutting them at once.  Then take one of your pieces of fabric and lay it with the pattered side up.

Step 2 – Cut a piece of your elastic to 4 inches long.  Make a loop with your elastic and then hot glue it in the middle of one end of your fabric, approximately one quarter of an inch from the end.  You should be gluing this to the patterned side of your fabric, not the back of the fabric.DIY No Sew Door Bumper

Step 3 – Once the hot glue is dry, glue three sides of the fabric.  Place the second piece of fabric on top, patterned side down.  Press down along the edges.  You want the patterned sides to be in the middle and the back of the fabric facing out.  Allow a few minutes to dry.DIY No Sew Door Bumper Instructions

Step 4 – Using the elastic, pull the fabric right side out.  Use your fingers to push out the corners.DIY No Sew Door Bumper Tutorial

Step 5 – Cut the period pads down to size and then remove the adhesive strip from the back.  Place your pieces of period pad into the fabric, laying them flat on top of one another.  I ended up using 2 full pads in my door bumper, but each pad was cut in half.No Sew DIY Door Bumper

Step 6 – Tuck in the edges and hot glue the elastic on first, before gluing the door bumper shut.DIY No Sew Door Bumper In Process

Then place it on your door and enjoy the quiet in your house. DIY No Sew Door Bumper TutorialAnd if you’re interested in trying Poise pads and lines for free (yes, FREE!) be sure to click here for your free sample!Poise

DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament

DIY Christmas Wreath Ornaments
Every year, I try to make a homemade ornament for our tree.  Sometimes it’s an ornament I make with the kids help, and other times, it just something that I do myself.  It may not be fancy, but it keeps our tree personal because something that I worked on.  And yet, this year, I feel like I’ve had less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas than ever before.  How is it that when you’re a kid those 3-4 weeks go by so slowly, but when you’re an adult it feels like the same 3-4 week period goes by at the speed of light?  Simply put, I didn’t have much time to put together an ornament this year, but I didn’t want to abandon the idea altogether.  So as a compromise, I came up with this DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament.  It requires very few supplies and they can be put together in just a few minutes.  Plus, if you want to get fancy, you can use the circle in the middle of the wreath as a picture frame and insert a photo!DIY Christmas Wreath Ornaments for Kids with PomPom
Want to know how to make them?  I promise…It’s really easy!  And if you have older kids who are going to be out of school in the coming weeks (and can be trusted with a glue gun), they’d probably enjoy making these too!


You will need:
Green beads
White ribbon (although you could also use red or green, if you preferred)
Red pompoms
Hot glueDIY Christmas Wreath Ornament for kids
Step 1 –  Make a circle with your green beads.  The best way to do this is to lay them out on the table in front of you in the exact size that you’d like your ornament to be.DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament for Kids in process
Step 2 – Using your hot glue gun, put a small dot of glue between two of your beads and press them together firmly until the glue dries and they stay together.  Continue doing this with the next bead in your circle, and then the next, and the next until your circle is completely glued together.


Step 3 – Cut your ribbon to approximately 2 feet (depending on how big you’ve decided to make your wreath, the 2 foot estimate is based off a smaller wreath, so keep that in mind).


Step 4 – Weave the ribbon in and out of the beads leaving a little loose at the end.DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament for Kids Craft
Step 5 – When you reach the loose end of the ribbon at the top of the ornament (after weaving the ribbon through the entire wreath), make a small knot and a loop.DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament for Kids with ribbon
Step 6 – Hot glue a red pompom to the front of the wreath and hang it on your tree!DIY Christmas Wreath Ornament Craft for KidsThen step back and enjoy all of your not-so-hard work!

DIY: Anna & Elsa Frozen Wreath

Frozen WreathDIY Frozen Wreath Door Decoration

I won’t lie, it seems a little ridiculous that I’m posting a “Frozen” craft in the dead of summer.  On any given day, it feels like it’s a million degrees outside, and the only frozen thing that I’m concerned about are the ice cubes in my lemonade.  But despite the intense temperatures, my daughters’ love for Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and all thing Frozen is at an all time high.

I actually started this wreath in April, just before Greenleigh’s birthday party.  I just made Hazeline’s Sofia the First wreath and felt confident that I could make another one fairly quickly.  But then life got in the way – the crunch of throwing 2 birthday parties in 3 weeks, illness, family visiting – it all became too much and this project got put to the side.

I started working on it again in June and got it almost completely finished except for a few of the finishing touches.  But then summer fun got in the way – who wants to stay inside when there’s pool time to catch up on?  So it sat on my dining room table just a little longer…until Greenleigh saw it there over the weekend and asked, “Mommy, when are you going to finish my Frozen wreath?”.  Ugh.  Called out by my 5 year old.

So I fired up the glue gun and decided it was time.  This wreath, which is intended as a decoration for her bedroom door, had to be finished.  Realistically, it could have been done in a few hours (with the wrapping the wreath form in yarn being the most time consuming part), but had been delayed months.  And sure enough, in a matter of 45 minutes, the finishing touches were done.  My Frozen wreath was finally done!  I’m not wild about how it photographed, but I love, love, love how it turned out.  So I couldn’t help but share it here.

Since this isn’t that different from Hazeline’s Sofia the First Wreath, I’m not going to repost the instructions here, but make sure to check out that post for how to make your own.  It’s a cheap and easy way to decorate and can be made in any character that you like!  Plus, they make really cute decorations for kids’ bedrooms!DIY Frozen Wreath Door Decoration TopDIY Frozen Door Wreath DecorationFrozen Door Wreath BottomFrozen Door Decorations Close

DIY Frozen Elsa & Anna Chunky Beaded Necklaces

My kids want nothing more in this world than “Frozen Stuff”, or merchandise associated with the Disney blockbuster Frozen.  They’ll take anything that even remotely resembles Anna, Elsa, or Olaf…problem is, you can’t find “Frozen Stuff” anywhere.  In fact, if you follow me on Facebook (which you totally should, ’cause all the cool kids are doing it) you’re aware that parents everywhere are getting similar requests and are losing their minds over the inability to fulfill them.  Literally, some of them may need to be committed.

So when it came to the girl’s Easter baskets, I knew I had to incorporate something Frozen and I knew that buying it was out of the question.  I’ve seen a few Etsy shops selling beaded Frozen necklaces, but at a price of nearly $30 a piece, I decided to just make them myself.DIY-Frozen-Necklaces

Now, I’m not about to open an Etsy shop anytime soon, but I think they turned out nicely and I still have supplies left over to make several more.  These necklaces aren’t terribly hard to make, but I wanted to post the tutorial here just in case you’re one of those moms trying to fulfill Frozen dreams and you think you can’t make your own jewelry or don’t have the time.  They’re actually very easy and only take about 20-30 minutes a piece.  Oh, and it helps that my kids just love them!

DIYFrozenNecklaces Collage Anna

For this project you will need:
Super strong beading cord (lots of people use the elastic kind, but I didn’t – it’s your choice)
20 mm chunky gumball beads in any color you wish*
4 mm clear glass spacer beads
1 inch round clear, raised epoxy stickers
Silver frame that can fit the epoxy stickers (Mine is from Found Objects, purchased at Michael’s)
Lobster clasps & loops
Picture of Anna, Elsa, Olaf or any other character your child will want to wear
Tacky glue

Step 1 – Using a copier, shrink the character photo down to 1 inch, or as close to that as you can get.  Then place the clear epoxy sticker on top and press down hard so it adheres.  Cut around the epoxy sticker character using the scissors, trimming all the excess.  Don’t do this with an x-acto knife or you might end up damaging the epoxy sticker.DIYFrozenNecklaces1

My photos were a little bigger than 1 inch, but I wanted the character pictures to be large and clear so I didn’t shrink them down any further.  Just use 1 inch as a guide.

Step 2 – Place a small amount of Tacky glue in the silver frame and place the round epoxy character on top.  Press down hard to force out any excess glue.  Allow the characters to dry completely.DIYFrozenNecklaces2Step 3 – Cut approximately 25-30 inches of beading cord.  Your necklace will be shorter than this, but you want to have a little extra room to work with.  Using a square knot (pictured below – please pardon the poor cell phone picture!), place your character in the middle of the cord you just cut.  Remember, if it’s not exactly in the middle that’s okay because you left yourself a little extra room and can always trim the ends to make it the middle.


Step 4 – String one side of the necklace, placing a clear 4mm spacer bead up against the silver frame, then a gumball bead, then a spacer, then a gumball bead, and so on until you’ve strung 10-11 gumball beads (all with spacers in between), depending on the length you want – Hazeline’s Anna necklace was 10 gumball beads on each side and Greenleigh’s Elsa necklace was 11 gumball beads on each side.  You want to start and end the string with a 4mm spacer bead.  Once you’ve reached the end of one side, tie the clasp on using 2-3 knots.  When you reach the other side, tie the loop to the end.  When your tying the lobster clasp and loop to their respective ends, try to leave as little beading cord exposed as possible.  In other words, you want the clasp/loop to be right up against the very last spacer bead (or as close as you can get it).DIYFrozenNecklaces3

Step 5 – I don’t know that it’s absolutely necessary, but for a little extra security, I placed a dab of hot glue on the knots attaching the beading cord to the clasp and loop ring.DIYFrozenNecklaces4

Then sit back and enjoy as you win Mom of the Year for getting your hands on some coveted “Frozen Stuff”!

DIYFrozenNecklaces Collage Elsa*I purchased my beads from the Fizzy Pops Etsy shop.  I ordered on a Saturday and they arrived on Wednesday morning.  I highly recommend them!

Crafty: Easter Feather Wreath

A couple of weeks ago I was at the craft store when I saw a feather wreath that had Easter eggs on it.  It was so different (and fluffy); it was love at first sight.  I picked it up and intended to purchase it before I saw the price tag – $29.99.  Even with the coupon I had, it was a little more than I wanted to spend.  It promptly went back on the shelf and decided that I could probably make my own for a little less.  Mine ended up being around $16 (after coupons) and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

You will need:

12″ Straw wreath frame

3 White feather boas

Hot glue gun


15 Plastic eggs

Step 1 –  Wrap the 3 feather boas around the straw wreath frame, one at a time, securing the boas at the ends with hot glue.  You want the boas to cover the wreath frame, but you need to be able to move the middle part of the boa that isn’t glued down for placement of eggs.  At first I thought this would be easier to do if I took the plastic covering off of the wreath, but doing so made a huge mess and I quickly decided to leave the plastic on.  Leaving the plastic on the straw wreath frame made it so much easier to secure the boas and eggs.
I toyed with the idea of zig-zagging the feathers across only the front of the wreath, securing at the top and bottom with hot glue, but I’m so glad that I didn’t.  Yes, it would have made the best use of my feathers, but hot gluing them would have been a problem.  Feathers and hot glue are a tricky combo.  Plus, you need the feathers to be able to move freely so you can attach the eggs.I know, it looks a little rough, don’t worry.

Step 2 – Using hot glue, attach the plastic eggs to the straw wreath frame.  In order to do this, you will need to move the feathers out of the way and put the hot glue directly on the straw wreath frame.  It’s also good to have an idea of how you want your egg colors to be distributed before you glue them down.  I had to pull two of my eggs off the wreath because I had a clump of similarly colored eggs all in one spot.My package only contained 12 eggs, but this wreath requires more than that.  I wasn’t about to make another shopping trip for a 99 cent package of plastic eggs though.  So instead, I used a few eggs from the Easter Egg Hunt my kids went on last weekend.  They aren’t a perfect match, but I picked similar colors and placed them towards the back.
Still looking rough, don’t worry.

Step 3 – I used white ribbon left over from my ribbon wreath project and attached it to the back so I could hang the wreath.  Make sure to hot glue the ribbon at an angle so it will hang properly.   I attached my ribbon in two different places (it crossed over one of my strands of feathers and is glued on either side of the strand) for extra hold.

Step 4 – Time for a hair cut!  Using scissors create a center to the wreath and tidy up the edges.  I also trimmed a little around the eggs so they were all visible.  This was mid-hair cut:Oh, and I don’t advise you do this in your house.  I did and I regret it.  It looks like a white bird died in my living room.  I’m still trying to figure out why I thought it was a good idea to to this inside.  Unfortunately, Hazeline’s carseat was near the area where I did this and she went to school covered in feathers.

Happy Easter Everyone!  And Happy Passover to my Jewish friends!