Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Some fun ideas on how you can show your appreciation to your kids teachers.

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Candy Flowers: Sweet and simple. Check out the tutorial here.

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School Supply Cake: Easier and more affordable than you think – just not edible. Checkout the tutorial here.

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Succulent Gifts: Checkout the tutorial here.

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Chocolate covered strawberries: We gave these to the teachers for Valentine’s but they could easily be given for Teacher Appreciation week, also. See the blog post here.

 

School Supply Cake

Here’s a fun and creative way to give some love (and school supplies) to the teachers and school that nurture your kiddos.

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Materials used:

  • 1 ream of paper
  • 1 pack of napkins
  • 1 box of tissue
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Stickers – $1
  • 20 pencils – $2
  • 20 markers – $4
  • 6 bottles of bubbles – $2
  • Mini chalkboard sign – $1

Total Cost: $10

There are a ton of different things you can use as the layers and to decorate the “cake” but I tried not to spend too much so I used what I had at home and maximized what I bought by spacing out the markers/pencils.

Here are some simple steps on how to make this bad boy.

  1. Used packing tape to hold the layers together and the bubbles to the tissue box.

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2. Wrapped some ribbon around the ream of paper.

3. Used a long piece of scotch tape to space out the markers on opposite sides of the napkins.

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4. Used the same technique for the pencils.

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5. Wrapped the sticker sheet around the tissue box.

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6. Attached 4 pencils to the corners of the tissue box with tape.

7. Write your message on the chalkboard.

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There you have it. A sweet gift the teachers cannot eat (Zander told his teachers not to eat this cake).

Hope this inspires you to give a little love to the teachers that mold our children. For more ideas on gifts for Teacher Appreciation checkout this post.

DIY Candy Flowers

Here’s a sweet little alternative to giving fresh flowers. Great for Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Days, party favors, etc.

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Materials used:

  • Sticks (I used disposable chopsticks from past takeout and kabob skewers)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Flower petals (I used a combination of fabric and paper. The fabric flowers came from artificial flowers that I took apart and the paper flower petals came in a pack)
  • Ribbon
  • Felt
  • Jar – Recycled food jar that I removed the label from. For more ideas on what to use old jars for checkout this past post.
  • Paper shreds
  • Mini chalkboard sign – $1 from Target
  • Dove chocolate – $4 (used less than 1/2 a bag

Total cost: Roughly $3 (everything else I already had handy from past projects)

It’s pretty straight forward but here are some simple steps on how to make them:

  1. Cut a felt circle and glue it to the pointy end of the stick.

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2. Glue flower petals one at a time.

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3. I used the hot glue gun to stick the chocolate on but waited until it cooled a bit so it didn’t melt the chocolate.

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4. Tie ribbon and tuck behind flower.

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Great to give individually or as a bouquet.

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5. Fill your jar with paper shreds (tissue, stones or any other fun filler)

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6. Cover the top of the jar with ribbon or string. I hot glued this string on.

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Add a message to your chalkboard and you’re done!

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Hope this inspires you to make something fun, use what you have, and make someone’s day.

Photo Wall Gallery

Yes, I finally get to check this project off my to-do list! The thought of a photo gallery was so overwhelming and daunting that I put it off for years, and years, and…years. This is my year and I’m determined to make big things happen so here you have it – a tackle at one of my hardest projects in a long time. It turned out even better than I ever imagined, mostly because it’s filled with the beautiful faces I know and love.

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Since all our family photos were over two years old I had the choice of filling this space with older/classic photos of us OR try to take new photos. I chose the latter and planned a short notice, quick, DIY photo shoot on a free Saturday. Couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out. I used the newest photos in the large frames and saved the older/classic photos for the smaller frames.

Materials used:

  • 4 Large 19 3/4 x 19 3/4in Stromby silver frames from Ikea ($12/each)
  • 4 ornate white frames 5 x 7in in 2 different styles from Marshalls ($7/each) (vertical photos)
  • 4 ornate white frames 4 x 6in in 2 different styles from Marshalls ($6/each) (horizontal photos)
  • 1 decorative wooden box with LOVE print from Marshalls ($5)

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I added the artwork “Kind Heart, Fierce Mind & Brave Spirit” to the photo before printing. It’s set at 50% opacity. Here’s a free download of the artwork for anyone interested.

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Here’s a free download of the artwork I created of “You are capable of amazing things”.

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This is an up close view of the ornate frames.

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Hope this inspires you to take on some big projects that have been on your to-do list for far too long. If this helped you with your own photo gallery, please share a photo of yours, I’d love to see!

Freezer Friendly Egg Muffins

I was looking for a way to add more protein, veggies and variety to our breakfast and came up with the perfect solution, egg muffins. They’re quick, easy and portable. Perfect for a busy family.

Below are the ingredients I used but you can easily substitute the veggies, sausages, cheese for what you have or prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 10 large mushrooms
  • 12 sausage links
  • 1-2 bell peppers
  • 6 cups kale
  • 1 carton of Hashbrown potatoes (or a frozen bag will do)
  • 18 eggs
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

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  • If you’re using the carton of hashbrowns follow the directions and add water to carton to cook.
  • Slice and cook sausages in pan
  • Dice peppers and add to cook with sausages
  • Chop and add kale to cook last

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  • Once everything’s fully cooked in the pan place it in a large bowl.
  • When hashbrowns are fully cooked, add to bowl and mix together
  • Add cheese (I used about 1.5 cups) and mix together

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  • In a separate bowl beat eggs together.
  • I added some garlic salt.

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  • Add eggs to bowl with mixture.

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  • Generously grease pan with cooking spray. DO NOT skip this step unless your arms need a workout while scraping your pans clean later.

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  • This kind of ice cream scooper works perfectly for filling the pans with the mixture.

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  • This recipe made enough for 24 large muffins

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  • 24 small muffins

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  • And there was a bit extra so I put it in a loaf pan.

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  • Bake at 350 degrees
  • Bake large and small muffins for 30-40 mins, until eggs are fully cooked.
  • Bake loaf pan for 1 hr or until eggs are fully cooked.

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There you have it. A delicious and healthy breakfast (or lunch, or snack, or dinner!)

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To freeze:

  • When cool, place muffins in a single layer inside a freezer Ziplock bag.
  • To prevent freezer burn place in refrigerator until cold, then freezer.
  • These warm up easily in the microwave. 45 sec – 1 min per large muffin.

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If Not Now Then When – Quote

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Happy Lunar New Year, all. It’s the year of the monkey – my year. I couldn’t think of a better quote to start off my year off. It’s simple yet so impactful. It’s giving me momentum to make big things happen this year.

I found this quote from on a fun site I like to visit called FFFound!. It’s full of randomness, fun and insight.

If you have a quote/phrase that motivates and inspires you I’d love it if you shared it in the comments.

Here’s to a wonderful, fulfilling and intentional year ahead.

Think Happy. Be Happy. Quotes. Hand Lettering Practice.

I picked up this sweet little book a couple years ago. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations and inspiring quotes. Every week I’ve been picking one to put on my white board to be a nice reminder to “Think Happy and Be Happy”. It’s also been a nice way to practice my hand lettering.

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These are some quotes that have resonated with me so far…

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Hope these inspire you as much as they do me. If you have a quotes that move and motivate you please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Avocado Quinoa Salad

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I’ve been hooked on this salad ever since it was first introduced to me a few years ago. It’s simply too good not to share.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked in broth
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used Better than Bouillon)
  • 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can of sweet corn
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro dressing (I like this one, not pictured) (This is a good recipe for cilantro avocado dressing if you can’t find any at the store.)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lime (I sub’d this with lemon because I didn’t have lime handy)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package in broth. Combine beans, corn, avocado, sea salt, pepper and lime zest to taste. Top with cilantro dressing and toss. Add 1/2 cup cilantro and gently toss. Set aside.

When quinoa is cooked, toss with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve spread quinoa on large serving platter and top with corn and bean mixture. Garnish with extra cilantro. Or you can just mix it all together like I do. If you can’t happen to find the cilantro dressing at your local market (because it went out of business like mine did)) this dish will still taste fabulous without it.

There you have it, one of my favorite dishes that’s the best of both worlds, healthy and tastes amazing!

 

DIY Diaper Clutch

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I think diaper clutches are the perfect gift for new parents. Such a convenient, fun and practical way to hold all your essentials for diaper changing. This bag will hold a couple diapers, box of wipes and even diaper cream, keys or other small items.  I used this tutorial as a starting point and made the following additions:

  • A strap for easy carrying while juggling squirmy kids.
  • Rounded corners, double stitch, and label on flap for a more professional and finished look

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Sewing bags can be a bit tricky because it requires lots of sewing inside out and flipping so all the seams are hidden, but once you’ve made one the subsequent bags will be a piece of cake.

Hope this inspires you to try a project that’s outside of your comfort zone. Happy sewing!