Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hand Sanitizer Snowman

Every year I am faced with the challenge of figuring out what to give my daughters' daycare teachers as a gift for the holidays. They've got several women who come in and out of their classrooms each day, plus the teachers for their extra tutorial sessions. Needless to say, it can really add up when you start buying gifts for everyone. While I want to show our gratitude for the care they give to our girls all year, I need to try and keep my costs to a minimum. Last year I did THIS and it was a big hit.

This year I decided to mimic an idea I had in my Pinterest files from last year. It was originally posted on Crafts and Crap and I thought it was so clever, cute and wonderfully cheap frugal! YAY!

It starts off with a bottle of hand sanitzer from the Dollar Tree. I forgot to take a picture of the 'before' but I simply peeled the back label off the bottle removing any lingering adhesive with some olive oil (I use this in place of goo gone). I left the front label (making it the back) on so the teachers would know what was in the bottle.

Next I gathered up my supplies... A large selection of ribbon, some self-stick buttons left over from my scrapbooking days and some foam stickers from the snowman craft kit I coincidentally bought last week at Michaels (using a 40% off coupon, of course!). We used the stickers from the project pack for the eyes, noses, and mouths of our snowmen.

Foam snowman project pack used for eyes, mouths and noses

Then I called in SweetPea and Boogey and let them "have at it"! They selected which ribbon they wanted to use for each teacher and I tied it on for them. They then added the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons themselves. Here they are all lined up ready to go...

Hand Sanitizer Snowmen

You can tell which ones were made by Boogey because she always puts her snowman noses straight up and down. LOL

Whose nose is whose? :)

Since the girls were very particular about which snowman was for which teacher, I added name tags on the back using my label maker.

Label Maker label identifies who it is for.

There is another label along the bottom that says who it is from. The girls did all the typing themselves (with some spelling help from mom). They love that label maker almost as much as I do!

One more pic...

Super Cute Hand Sanitizer Snowman

My only out-of-pocket cost was the $1 each for the bottle of sanitizer ($10 total for 10 teachers) since I had all of the other supplies already. Lovin' that!! And they are super cute and great for the classrooms!! And I love that my girls were able to decorate them themselves!!

What are your frugal teacher gift ideas???

Linking up to these parties:
House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
The Frugal Girls

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Mantel - spot the difference!

So I thought I would share a photo of our Christmas mantel. I finally got around to taking the Thanksgiving decorations down and putting the Christmas ones up. (But please don't ask me if we've got our tree up yet! *sigh* We're supposed to buy one this weekend! I swear!!)

Here it is in all it's glory. Not too bad, huh? (the kids did the hearth)

Christmas Mantel 2011
Anyway, I don't think it is too different from last year. Although I did add a few new glass trees that I picked up from Target after Christmas last year (gotta love their after-holiday clearance sales!)

I love my trees

In the background, you can just barely see a Christmas card my aunt sent out a few years ago. She typed up a benediction that her pastor had once shared. I really like it...

The benediction reads...

Everything's going to be all right

and even if everything isn't going to be all right

everything's still going to be all right

- William Packard

I put my Snowflake Specimen Art from last year in a silver frame this year since my black one is tied up at the moment but I gotta say that I don't like it quite as much. I like the black better. But I do like it here on the mantel.

Snowflake Specimen Art

So there you have it... our 2011 Christmas mantel.


Ok, so I have a confession...

...that first photo of the mantel isn't entirely "true". Before I took that picture, I made a quick "swap" of one item so it would look nicer for you folks at home. But, since I feel the need to "keep it real"... here is a photo of how it really looks right now... Can you spot the difference??

The "real deal"


Yes, SweetPea saw that zebra/hot pink stocking at Target last weekend and just HAD to have it. Jeez, you turn 5 and you get all sorts of opinions! *sigh* So much for my nice matchy matchy stockings effect. I considered convincing her to hang that zebra one in her room or in the playroom or something. But then decided to let her have her way and just express herself. I mean, it isn't like I've got Better Homes & Gardens coming to do a photo shoot of my holiday decorations or something. And it makes her happy. So that makes me happy. I'm a mom - whatcha gonna do?

Maybe that is why I let Boogey take her fall class photo like this last month??

Boogey ~ Fall 2011 (courtesy Lifetouch)

Her Easter dress, sneakers and a crown. LOL. I figure, that is who she is right now. Who am I to control it? She'll have to "play by the rules" soon enough. Let the kids be kids, right?? Either that, or I'm just too damn tired to argue. ;) But, she does look kind of cute. :)

So our mantel is a little "off"? Yeah, so what! Ain't life grand?! :)

So be honest, have you ever "staged" a photo for your blog???

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ch ch ch ch changes...

So we've had some big changes going on recently...


White Kitchen Cabinets!

We painted our kitchen cabinets white! AND I LOVE IT!!

It is such a huge change and I couldn't be more pleased with the decision. I will be honest that we didn't do it ourselves - we hired it out. But with working full-time and 2 pre-schoolers in the house (yeah, you try and prevent 2 little ones from touching anything in the heart of the home for an extened period of time!)... I knew it would be worth the expense. And it was!

I DID however, do all the installation of the beadboard and baseboard around the island and on the outer edges of the cabinets. Yup - all by myself! Not even any help from the Heela! Quite proud of myself, if I do say so myself. :) I'll post details on that project soon.

(The walls were painted green during the summer when we had the whole lower level re-painted)

We've got a few more things to do in here to really pull it all together, but for now... I'm blissfully happy with it!

How do you feel about white cabinets? Trendy? Timeless?

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Such is my life. (aka "Snowflake Specimen Art re-visit")

Well, I have a confession to make. I haven't taken down my Thanksgiving decorations yet. *sigh*.  Yes, such is my life.

So don't even expect me to post any "new" Christmas decor ideas anytime soon. Yes, such is my life.

But... in the interest of the holiday spirit, I thought I would re-post one of my most successful projects to date originally shared last year. And it seems this post has been quite popular recently (at least according to my statcounter) so maybe you won't mind seeing it again...

Yes, it's my Snowflake Specimen Art! :)  It cost next-to-nothing to create. And you'll never believe what it's made from! Click HERE to go to the original post and learn all the deets.

Snowflake Specimen Art

I can't wait to pull this beauty out again! LOVE!

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