Sunday, July 31, 2016

First Day of School 2016 - Free Printable signs

My kids are the greatest. Once again, they agreed to pose for back to school photos more than a month before they actually had to head back to school, just so I could show you samples of this year's first day of school printables. Aren't they the best?

Can I give all of you a little tip? If you can, do this these photos the night before. It's way less stressful.

I have the two designs offered last year, and I've added a few new categories, including "Young Fives" and "Middle School."  As usual, there's a generic "First Day of School" sign in case I don't have the specific grade or stage that you need.

Are you looking for something custom? Contact me through my Etsy page or by email for more details.


To download the signs, just click here. You'll be prompted to subscribe to my email list.  Once your subscription is confirmed, you'll see the links to the printable files!  You will need Adobe Reader, which is preinstalled on most computers. You can also click here to download it for free.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

One of THOSE weeks {with a free printable poster}

This week has been one of THOSE weeks. It was just crazy busy and so many little things went wrong. We all missed out on a lot of sleep so we were extra cranky, and it seemed like everyone else around us was extra cranky, too. It wasn't anyone's fault, really. It just kind of went that way.

I created this poster to hang in my office last year (yes . . . my office is the only room in our house left unpainted, so the walls are still bright purple). I found myself reading it a lot more this week than most weeks. It's one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it is exactly what I need to remember as we get ready to jump into next week.

Maybe you had one of THOSE weeks, too. If so, print one of these, and hang it where you can see it, because "This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays."

Click here to download the 8" x 10" .jpg file.

Click here to download a 8.5" x 11" .pdf file.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Free Printable: Last Day of School 2016 Signs

These signs are no longer available!  Check back in April for Last Day 2017 signs!

If you used my first day of school signs for photos last fall, you might want to round out the year with a last day of school photo!  I've updated my signs for the occasion.

Just click here to subscribe to my newsletter list, and when you confirm your subscription, you'll see the links to download the printable files.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

FREE PRINTABLES: Teacher Appreciation Week

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week (or so I'm told). Parents at my daughter's preschool have come together to spoil our teachers there and I was commissioned to create the tags, and I've decided to share them with you.

There are four files available:

We're attaching these to scissors. My 8-year-old informed me yesterday that scissors are a lame gift, but the tags are already made. 8-year-old boys aren't our target recipients anyway.

These will be attached to little bottles of hand sanitizer. You could attach it to hand cream, too. Or maybe a little manicure set? Just follow your heart on that one.

We're putting these on candles, but I think little flashlights would be cute, too. Hmmm . . . what else? 

These will be put on little plants.  You could attach them to seed packets, too. 

Click on each of the titles above to download the file you'd like.

Not seeing anything you like?  Check out my printable tags from a few years ago right here and here.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Vintage Camping Birthday Party Ideas

We moved into a new house in August 2014.  I was 2 weeks from delivering baby #4, and 3 weeks from sending our kids back to school.

Bennett's birthday party was in September, and we threw a VERY casual get together in our new back yard. We were shoving boxes into closets minutes before party time to make room for guests!  Because of that, writing about his party took a back seat to everything else.  Here we are 18 months later . . .

We decided to do a backyard camping theme for his party, mainly because it was simple and had easy set up.  We sent up a few tents, built a campfire and threw some chairs around it. So simple.

You can see the invitation here.

We didn't serve a meal . . . just a s'mores bar, caramel apples, cider and donuts.

Oh, and bottled water, of course. See the printable labels here.

For party favors, we set up a trail mix bar, with bags that guests could use to make their own mix. See the printable tags here.  We included pretzels, goldfish, popcorn, chocolate covered raisins, craisins, nuts, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.

Awful picture, I know. But remember . . . new baby, new house?  We're lucky I have any photos at all!
All of the kids went home with canteens that I bought from Oriental Trading Company.  The tags for them can be seen here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Free printable letter from Santa

Long time, no see. Do you guys remember me?

I hope to make up for my absence with this fun printable, just on time for Christmas!  I actually had it planned for last Christmas, and didn't get a chance to post it. But I'd prefer to think of it as right on time, rather than a year late. That's just the kind of person I am.

This letterhead is perfect for leaving your kids a note from Santa.  Delete all of the text and hand write it, or just click in the text boxes and type your message. The text and the signature are editable and can say whatever you'd like them to say. Leave it on the mantel, or next to the empty plate where they left cookies. Just for fun.

Click here to download the pdf file.

You must have adobe acrobat or adobe reader to edit this file. Download it here for free.

Because this is a free file, technical support isn't offered.

Monday, August 3, 2015

First Day of School - Free Printable signs



It's that time again . . . for many of you, at least. Your kids are headed back to school! The thought of that might fill your eyes with sentimental tears or tears of joy, but in any case, these signs are perfect for "first day" pictures!

Even though my kids don't go back until September 8th, they posed for these photos tonight. Wasn't that nice of them? There may have been ice cream bribes involved. I'll never tell.

This is the fourth year that the chalkboard signs have been offered, so to mix things up a little, I've added a new design this year! Both sets include preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first - sixth grade.  There's also a "first day of school" sign for anything that these might not cover specifically.  Need something more specific?  Just contact me through etsy and we can talk through details.

These printables are no longer available, but check back soon for Last day of school printables!

Fortunately, we have a few weeks to practice with my preschooler before she takes her official pictures!  I'd love to see the pictures you take with these signs!  Be sure to tag my facebook page, or share them there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last Day of School!

If you used my first day of school signs for photos last fall, you might want to round out the year with a last day of school photo!  I've updated my signs for the occasion.

Click here to download and print them right away!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ROBOT POSTER {Free Printable robot poster}

Have I ever mentioned that I work at a camp? Because I do. My husband and I have been in full time ministry at a camp since before we were married. June will mark my 15 year anniversary at camp, which means I started this job at the tender age of 11.

Right, so maybe I was 21. But who's counting?

Anyway, one of our all-time favorite camp speakers is Jerry Jacoby.  I think my kids are almost Jerry's biggest fans (probably second to his grand kids). One of his songs that my kids go crazy over is The Robot Song off of his Walkin' Free album.  If you click on the link, you'll see the lyrics to the song AND you can purchase it. Or just go ahead and buy the whole album. You can thank me later for that idea.

Last summer, when we were getting ready to move into our house, I had this idea to create artwork out of their favorite songs and Bible verses to hang in their play room. I'm just now getting around to it.

I didn't tell my kids I was going to do it. I just designed the first one and surprised them with it yesterday. It's kind of haphazard (as are most things that I do for my own family) but they LOVED it. I think anyone who knows the song or knows Jerry will love it. I posted a picture of it on Facebook, and even people who DON'T know the song or Jerry loved it. So, Jerry and his wife, Michaela, have graciously allowed me to offer the poster as a free printable!

I have two sizes available.  The first is an 8 x 10 that can be printed as a photo or on a standard sheet of paper.  The second is an 18 x 24 that can be printed as a poster.  I printed mine as an 18 x 24 poster through Vistaprint. I'll admit I was slightly disappointed in the print quality, but I didn't need anything fancy. And it was CHEAP.

Click here to download the printable files.

8 x 10 JPG File
8 x 10 PDF File 

18 x 24 JPG File
18 x 24 PDF File

Thursday, February 12, 2015

FREE PRINTABLE: Valentine's Day gift certificates

If your family is anything like ours, you'll sometimes feel like you're drowning in stuff. And most of that stuff is made up of toys.  Toys from Christmas, toys from birthdays, trinkets from birthday parties and fast food happy meals . . . it sometimes feels like we have stuff coming out of our ears.

We like to get our kids gifts, and I've always loved Valentine's Day in particular, because it's not one of those times that they're ASKING for things.  They don't make Valentine's Day lists like they do Christmas lists or birthday lists. We usually just get them something small and they love it, because they aren't expecting anything in particular.

As I began to think about this Valentine's day, I was hard pressed to come up with something.  None of them need more toys, and we've got plenty of books to keep them reading for years. Electronics are unnecessary and out of the price range of what we usually spend. I also didn't want to get junk that they'd play with for a day and then I'd have to stick in the garage sale box.  We don't have money to just throw away like that.

After talking with my husband, we decided we were going to give them gift certificates!  The certificates for my kids are good for things like 30 minutes of screen time on a school night, a date night with Mom, one-on-one breakfast with Dad, etc.  Never have I been more excited to give them something because these are things that I know they'll LOVE and will result in zero clutter and waste.

I made these cute little gift certificates as a free printable for you.  The fields are editable (you will need to install this font if you want the fonts to be the same on the editable portion) so that you can give these to anyone and make them good for anything!  Or just delete the text and write in your own message after you print them.  There are crop marks for each certificate to make even cutting easy.

PLEASE NOTE:  You'll need to SAVE IT and install this font to edit the text.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FREE PRINTABLE: ORANGE you glad we're friends Valentine card

Once again we've established that for as long as I have 4 young children, work a full time job and run a business, free printables will always be posted at the last minute. I've mentioned this before. Maybe we could just say it's really early for Valentine's Day 2016. Whatever. I've made my peace with it.  I hope we can still be friends.

So, when my oldest was in preschool, we started the tradition of doing little non-candy gifts for his friends.  We did plastic bugs one year (love bugs), both of my boys have given rubber balls, and then last year we gave out toothbrushes upon request from my second born.

This year we decided to give clementine oranges (after an extended conversation about how giving his classmates each a new Batman watch just isn't within our budget).  

If you go onto pinterest and search for "printable orange valentine", you'll probably see a dozen or so for orange valentines that say, "Orange you glad we're friends?" or "I think you're a CUTIE."  So if you're not crazy about this design, you have many options.  This is a pretty cute option, though, if I do say so myself! 

Even if you don't want to give oranges, you could use these toppers for more than just oranges.  Crayons, candy, plastic toys, etc.  Go crazy.

When trimmed, these measure just shy of 4" across and are 4" tall (to be folded down to 2"tall).  They're designed to go at the top of a 4" cellophane bag, but you can use them on anything you see fit.  Print them, trim them and sign them.  To attach them to the bags, most people staple them, but I prefer to keep pokey edges away from 4 and 5 year old kids.  Instead, I run them through my Xyron sticker maker  and stick them to the tops of the bags.

Just click here to download the printable file.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vote for Claire! A FREE PRINTABLE for election day!

ADDED on 10/29:  I realized that the original download didn't have the name on these formatted as "editable."  I've fixed that so that you can customize it with your child's name.  All links have been updated.

Are you as sick of political ads as I am?  Here's a way to make election day more fun for everyone!  Download this free printable and let your future leader make a case as to why we should vote for him or her!

The candidate was not all that cooperative for her photo shoot, and her running-mate was waking up from her nap and hungry, so I didn't have much time to elicit cooperation.

Anyway,  this is editable, so that you can add your child's own "platforms" in the bottom right. 
Download it, edit it and post it proudlly for all to see!  Be sure to share it with my facebook page so that I can see, too!  You can also click here to download it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Halloween pumpkin decals

I still remember driving home from the supermarket a few years ago with a pumpkin in my trunk, trying to develop a strategy for the best way to help my kids make jack o'lanterns. 

At that time, they were 4, 2 and 9 months, so I knew that I would be doing most of the work, while they sat, watched, and made a mess.  I couldn't let them use sharp objects, and chances are they'd lose interest after about 20 minutes . . . if I was lucky.

We had been to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins, but I had to purchase a separate pumpkin from the store for carving.  I like to leave my pumpkins out until Thanksgiving, so if we made them all jack o'lanterns, we wouldn't be able to leave them out that long.

And then, as I was driving, it hit me.  Stickers.  They could use stickers.  Stickers were safe, easy and relatively quick.  And I could peel them off after Thanksgiving.  I got home and started playing with the black vynil that I had and thought, "mustaches might be cute."  An idea was born!

These things are still true a few years later:

1.  Pumpkin stickers are cute and fun for the little ones
2.  Pumpkin stickers are fast.
3.  Pumpkin stickers leave little clean up.
4.  Pumpkin decals have no sharp edges.
5.  Pumpkin decals extend the life and usefulness of your pumpkins.

What's not to love?  Click here to get yours!

Monday, May 5, 2014

FREE PRINTABLE Teachers Appreciate Week seed tags (and baby shower favor tags)

I am super, in-over-my-head busy these days so this will be a quick, quick, quick no-nonsense post to provide you with a few freebies.

Attach these sweet little tags to seed packets for the perfect teacher appreciate week gift!  I wrapped mine in vellum and tied some twine around them, but you could do whatever you'd like!

Click here to download the "Teachers help children bloom" tags.

I originally used these as favors for a baby shower/farewell party last week and used tags that said "May good things grow."  I loved this because it fit the baby shower and the farewell theme perfectly!  I've added two free printable versions of this tag . . . one in the original gray stripes and aqua and one in a pink blooms design.

Click here to download the "May good things grow" striped tags.

Click here to download the "May good things grow" pink blooms tags.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Frozen birthday party invitation

I don't work with character art in any of  my designing, but I can normally work within the style of any given theme.  So, when my niece decided on a Frozen-themed birthday party, I came up with this invitation:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cue the confetti for 2nd birthday party ideas!

My daughter's birthday is the day after Christmas.  Last year we tried to have a party ON her actual birthday, but we were all very sick and had to postpone it.  Even if we hadn't been sick, we discovered that throwing a party on the day after Christmas is difficult and stressful.

So this year, we waited until February, and I'm so glad we did.  I didn't really have a theme, but we used confetti and flowers for decorating.  The invitation had a chalkboard look to it.  It's one of my favorites!

I used a photo of Claire on the back.  Yes, she is putting a gummy bear into her mouth . . . they really are the best bribe for getting kids to look at the camera.

I included confetti that I punched out of gold and pink tissue paper in each envelope, and then used the rest of it on the tables. 

We catered the dinner through Qdoba and I kept the party decorations super simple because it's been a somewhat stressful winter for us and I'm pregnant with my fourth child . . . I just wasn't up to anything spectacular! I used pink carnations in glass lanterns with the confetti scattered around each bouquet.  Super simple and easy.  It would have been super cheap, too, had I not ordered them for delivery on Valentine's Day!

Side note: Carnations are so underrated.  I worked at a florist for two years in high school, and no one every wanted to give or send carnations because they were considered the "cheap" flower.  But I LOVE them.  There are no thorns to deal with, they last for weeks and weeks, they have a pleasant scent, they come in really vibrant colors and they're inexpensive.  What's not to love?  They make beautiful round boquets and they're tied with tulips for my favorite flower.  Anyway . . . 

I didn't set the table like I usually do, because the pink plates I bought kind of clashed so I thought they'd do better on the buffet table.  Oh, well.  I liked the clean look of the tables, anyway.

The dessert table just had cake, ice cream and cotton candy party favors with printable thank you tags.

I think my favorite part of the party decor was this sign, hand drawn by my friend Julie at Blue Heaven Signworks. I sent her details on Claire at 2 years old and she turned it into this masterpiece:

Overall, it was a very simple party, but one of my favorites because of how relaxed it was.

Oh, and here's one of the birthday girl!

Side note: she received those sandals as a gift that day . . . we don't normally let her out of the house in sandals WITH socks on 10 degree days.  Or ever.

OH!  And water bottle labels.  I didn't take a single picture of the water bottles, but matching printable labels are available here.  Click here!