Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Gift

I wanted to make a little something for our relatives when they came to visit from the UK this summer. I wanted it to be handmade - useful - and still small enough to not create a problem when they traveled home (because they pack light - unlike me).

(photo from eighteen25 blog)

I remembered this idea for an emergency clutch and thought it would be perfect (you can read the full instructions here).

What makes this so clever - is that they are made from an ordinary potholder - and zip lock bags. How simple is that?

Emergency Wallets

Here is how mine turned out.

I started by going shopping to get the cutest potholders I could find.

...and I looked - and looked - and looked...

Too kitcheny - wrong shape - only sold in a set

I could not find a cute potholder anywhere to save my life.

But I did find some really cute fabrics.

Colorful Fabrics

I'll just whip up my own potholders. How hard could it be? It's just a quilted square!

Think again - they are much harder to make that it looks - so don't look at my wonky corners and uneven quilted stitching. It's the thought that counts.

Emergency Clutch Coral

I made a set in coral.

Emergency Clutch Blue

And another set in Blue.

Emergency Clutch Orange

And a third set in Orange and Green (that's my favorite).

Each one has a different coordinating pattern on the inside.

The zip lock bags are just zig zag stitched down the middle to create those great re-sealable pockets.

Emergency Clutch Inside

I started out by adding a contrasting tape to cover the center seam.

Emergency Clutch Inside Option

That step was quickly eliminated after just a few.

Emergency Clutches

In the end - they turned out great. We filled them with gum, mints, band-aids, moist towelettes, mini tooth brushes, and other travel aids.

It really is a great idea - so if you come across some adorable pot holders - pick them up. They would be super easy to make with pre-purchased potholders.
Not so easy if you do it the way I did.

Story of my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School Breakfast

We live on the end of a street that has 5 families that all go to the same Elementary everyone gathers at our house and takes the Annual Back to School Photo on our front steps before heading off.

(I giggle at the term Annual - since we have only lived here a year....but that's why I love our neighborhood)

This year I invited everyone over for Breakfast before Shool:

Scrambled Eggs
Belgian Waffles
Orange Juice
(and a little Champagne for the parents)

Plus some extra muffins and sweet goodies contributed by the neighbors (thanks ladies)

School Sign

I saw this free printable at eighteen25 a few months ago (around Teachers Appreciation time) and thought it would be a perfect reminder on the first day of school.

So I printed up a bunch, framed them and had them all around the kitchen. I just loved the bright and cheery colors - and coordinated a few other things to match.

Food Trays

I found these colorful food trays at the dollar store years ago (back in the playgroup days). We don't use them as much anymore, but they worked out great for our group of 15.

I didn't realize that the kids don't get their school lunches in trays like these they all thought it was pretty cool. May have to start bringing them out more often.

Smartie Pants Treats

I made some treats for each of the kids - for their First Day of School.

collage of treats

There wasn't much time to pull this all together (we only just returned from 3 week trip to Pennsylvania a few days before), so I kept it simple. I'm already planning on some even cuter treats for next year....

First Day Signs

Blank signs were made for each of the kids to write their grade on (oops - sorry for the bad photo...I was a little busy)

I would love to show you a beautiful picture of all the kids perched on our front steps with these adorable signs....

That didn't exactly happen:

One had her sign turned backwards
Several were making bunny ears
Only half of them would smile
There were a lot of squinty eyes (too much sun)
One went running off in the middle of the picture
Another held her sign in front of her face

But I love that group photo...that's how our mornings really are.
And I'm OK with that
(because I got a whole bunch of great photos of my kid the day before - hee - hee).

the gathering

The Walk

And so we went - off to school. Some walking, some riding bikes, some running ahead...and the parents following behind (with Mimosa's in hand).

We've been in school for a week now. Back to our regular routine - and loving every minute of it.

How was your kids first day of school?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dry Run Sunday

Monday is the first day of school around this area. Little K spent the weekend organizing her school supplies and picking out her favorite outfits for the week.

No matter how much preparation we do before, or how early we get up, the First Day of School is always rushed.


Little K hates to be late. So that means I don't get a whole lot of time to take pictures.

Which makes ME grumpy....

Which makes Little K grumpy....

On the Front Bench

Which is NOT a good way to start off the year.

So this year I had a (dare I say) Brilliant idea!

Why not take pictures the day before?

Kind of like a dress rehearsal - to work out all the kinks - and be sure everything is accounted for.

A Dry Run (on Sunday)!

She's Done

Little K was able to take her time, try out different hair styles without being rushed, and pick out just the right accessories.

Lunch Box

We discovered her skirt didn't have attached shorts (so we needed to dig a pair out the dirty laundry and get them washed before Monday) - much better than the alternative....

New Shoes

I was able to take all the pictures I wanted.

Fifth Grade

In all different locations throughout our yard.

Kicking Back

So much easier to get a genuine smile when you can take your time (and when I'm not screaming....SMILE).


For those of you that think I'm a little Anal - or a Control Freak - or borderline Obsessive.


But it if works for us.
And we have the time.
And reduces our anxiety and stress.
Then why not?

Those Eyes

On Monday morning - we can take our time getting ready and enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast. That's a much better way to start the First Day of School.

OOPS - did I forget to mention that we're hosting a First Day of School breakfast for all the families on our street.

So maybe it won't be completely stress free Monday - but at least I'll have some great pictures of Little K (and she'll be wearing clean shorts).