Monthly Archives

May 2017

mama, you inspire me free card printable - perfect for Mother's Day or just because to encourage and uplift your mama friends

Mama, You Inspire Me – Free Card Printable

Just like the Mama, You Rock cards, which you can get here, these cards are perfect for sending an uplifting note to your mama friends. So many of my mama friends inspire me in different ways. I hope receiving a note in the mail helps those mamas to feel appreciated and realize that not only are they doing a great job raising their kids, but they are also making a positive impact on the other mamas in their life too. The best thing about these cards is that they can be used year round and I definitely think mamas deserve love, encouragement and recognition all year!

Click here to get your free printable.

mama, you rock free card printable - perfect for Mother's Day or just because to encourage and uplift your mama friends

Mama, You Rock!

One of the hardest things for me when transitioning from working to staying at home was the lack of validation and re-assurance that I was doing a good job. At work, I didn’t get much of this either, so I figured I would have been better prepared, but I quickly realized that I had figured out ways to validate myself. I made to-do lists, did trending to make sure I was always improving, I had an annual audit where an outside source evaluated my work, then gave me feedback and a score. As a stay at home mom, my to do lists were never even getting looked at, heck, I was barely even finding time to shower and I constantly felt like I was failing. I didn’t really talk to anyone about how I was feeling, but I assumed I wasn’t the only one.

Facing challenges like that again, also brought back a lot of memories from my first year with each of my boys. Hudson had reflux, allergies and eczema and was therefore always fussy and needing to be held. Luc had food intolerances and tummy issues (nothing to the extreme like with Hudson), but he was a terrible sleeper and I was an emotional mess. So many times I would wonder why motherhood seemed to be so much harder for me.

As I talk to more and more mom friends though, I realize that many of us feel this way at one point or another. I had been trying to think of a small way I could make a positive change and had a little lightbulb moment around the holidays and when we were in Australia. Just before we left for our trip, my best friend’s mom sent me a text telling me she was proud of me and that I was doing a wonderful job with my kids and then while in Australia, my sister-in-law also told me that I was doing a great job raising my boys. I cried when I read those words in the text and almost burst into tears the second time too. Their words were so powerful and it got me thinking that many of us moms don’t hear encouragement like that often enough. It seems like the focus is primarily on what we are doing wrong or what we can be doing better (and I am definitely my own worst critic) so it was just nice to feel validated and hear that encouragement.

I decided I wanted to make more of an effort to uplift my mama friends, but sometimes it’s hard or awkward, at least for me, to verbalize praise for my mama friends, especially when most of our gatherings involve chasing after our kids. I figured a card would be a better approach and there is just something special about receiving a hand written note in the mail. I enlisted the help of one of my favorite mamas to do the artwork. She founded the facebook group, First Time Mommy Group, which provided me with so much support and encouragement my first few years of motherhood (you can also find her on instagram, just click here). It seemed fitting that she be involved in creating another way to uplift and acknowledge mamas. I’ve made her beautiful artwork into a printable and can’t wait to start writing notes to send to all my mama friends.  

I hope we can use these notes to tell our mama friends what a great job they are doing, or to share our own struggles so they don’t feel so alone or just to give them a little boost on a tough day (because even the best mom with the easiest baby has those tough days). I hope we can use these cards as one step towards lifting each other up and encouraging each other because Mama, You Rock!

Click here to get your free printable.

*If you send or receive one of these cards and share it on social media, please use the hashtag #mamayourock

may your coffee be stronger than your toddler free printable - put $5 gift cards in and pass out to mamas who could use some positive energy - great way to encourage other moms, random acts of kindness, just because gift for mom friends or a mother's day gift

May Your Coffee Be Stronger than Your Toddler – Free Printable

You know the mom in Target whose kids are all melting down and she is on the verge of melting down herself? Not only have I seen this mom multiple times, but I’ve also been her. Since I know how this feels, I try to give a smile and an “I know exactly how you feel because I’ve been there” nod, but I always feel like I want to do more.

Enter my husband, who one day was complaining about someone buying him his coffee that morning. I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately actually, where the person in front of you at the drive-thru coffee line buys your drink then you pay it forward by either buying the person behind you coffee or with some other random act of kindness. This obviously makes the do-gooder feel great and it is supposed to brighten the receiver’s day too, but my husband, who tends to over-analyze things felt guilty. Was he now supposed to do the same? What if the car behind him was packed full of people with a massive order? Was he supposed to come up with some other way to “pay it forward?” I know he is missing the point (don’t men tend to do that?), but all he wanted to do was buy his coffee and be on his way (I can sort of see his point if I am being entirely honest – don’t tell him I said that ;)).

As I was thinking about all of this, I decided I like the core idea of paying it forward – a random act of kindness to spread joy – and decided that I would like to partake, but in a more intentional way. I came up with the idea to make these cute little gift card sleeves and fill them with $5 coffee shop gift cards so that the next time I see an overwhelmed mama I can hand it to her and hopefully lift her spirits a little.  I know in those moments, we often feel utterly defeated and then on top of that, judged by those around us. My hope is that this card will not only make the mama laugh and give her a little caffeine boost, but also just let her know that I support and encourage her.

may your coffee be stronger than your toddler free printable - put $5 gift cards in and pass out to mamas who could use some positive energy - great way to encourage other moms, random acts of kindness, just because gift for mom friends or a mother's day gift

If you would like to spread some mama love, click here to download this printable.

Supplies (you could easily do this without most of these supplies, but they might make your life easier)

may your coffee be stronger than your toddler free printable - put $5 gift cards in and pass out to mamas who could use some positive energy - great way to encourage other moms, random acts of kindness, just because gift for mom friends or a mother's day gift

Directions:

  1. Print out the printable on cardstock
  2. Cut out using paper trimmer and scissors
  3. Use circle punch to remove half circle for tab
  4. Use score board and bone folder to make creases along white lines
  5. Add double-sided tape or glue to tabs
  6. Fold card over and press down to attach to tabs
  7. Gift card should slide nicely inside

may your coffee be stronger than your toddler free printable - put $5 gift cards in and pass out to mamas who could use some positive energy - great way to encourage other moms, random acts of kindness, just because gift for mom friends or a mother's day gift

dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

Cinco de Mayo – Dessert Taco Bar

What’s better than a taco bar? Well, for me not much, but for the kids (especially Hudson), this dessert taco bar was everything! I came across the cutest printables from The Littles and Me that I just knew I had to use. When another friend, Maggie at Just Create Today, posted the cutest oreo cookie tacos I knew I needed to make a dessert taco bar. I just used food coloring and shredded coconut to make the cheese and lettuce, a smashed up chocolate cupcake for the meat and mini red m&m’s for the tomatoes. The hardest part was actually cutting the golden oreos in half – they kept breaking. For all the exact details and instructions on making the tacos, check out this post on Just Create Today. Then I set-up a little taco bar and let the kids get to work assembling their tacos.

dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

Hudson was really into it and Luc just wanted to eat everything, so he grabbed a taco shell and went to town on the “meat.” The tacos looked so realistic and this was a really fun activity for us to do together. None of us are fans of coconut (if I think of a substitute, I will let you know, but it just looks so realistic that we had to include it) so we just scooped our toppings off before eating our tacos and they were delicious!

dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

The next night, for Cinco de Mayo I re-used my taco bar sign and we had my family over for tacos, margaritas and the rest of the chocolate cupcakes. Earlier in the week I came across a Cinco de Mayo box in the garage that had all sorts of cool things in it from a party I threw back in college (hoarding for the win!). I found the cutest little drink charms that also worked perfect as cupcake toppers. The best find though was a Fiesta Playlist. There were a few gems on it that made me smile like Macarena and Livin’ la Vida Loca and the boys and I had a blast dancing around the house together.

Cinco de Mayo playlist

It was also National Scrapbooking Day this weekend, so I scored some new digital scrapbooking products at a great price and quickly created a fun scrapbook page of our Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

cinco de mayo digital scrapbook page using Simple Stories by the Creative Copycat

free printable teacher appreciation card

Dandelion Teacher Appreciation Card – Free Printable

I’ve always loved the idea of a homemade card as part of a teacher appreciation gift. I think it is extra special and a sweet way to show your teacher how much you appreciate her (or him).  Since I was out-of-town this past weekend, I needed something quick and easy. I had seen a few cute crafts with dandelions on Pinterest and knew something similar would make a perfect card. I found a quote that I love and created a card that is available as a free printable at the bottom of this post.

free printable teacher appreciation card

Supplies:

Paper trimmer (optional – scissors could also be used)

Score Board and bone folder (optional – you could just fold in half with your hands)

Stamp Pads (I used my Tim Holtz distress inks that I have for scrapbooking, but any stamp pads will work)

free printable teacher appreciation card - use a score board to make the cards look professional

Directions:

1.Print out the free printable on cardstock.

2. Cut it along the dotted lines (I always use my paper trimmer so the edges are straight – it should end up being about 7×10).

3. Use a  score board to make a crease right at 5 inches and fold the card in half using a bone folder. This step can be done with just your hands, but this tool gives the card that crisp, professional look.

4. Pick out a few stamp colors and have your child stamp thumbprints on the card. (Hudson decorated three cards in no time and with almost no involvement from me. By the third card he told me that it had gotten really windy and put thumbprints all over. I just love his imagination.)

5. Then you or your child can write a message on the inside and your child can sign it (or scribble if they can’t write yet)

free printable teacher appreciation card

Click here to get your free printable.

These cards were so easy to make and they turned out beautiful. This year, our school asked that everyone donate money towards a teacher breakfast instead of individual gifts, but you could easily put a gift card inside or pair this card with a plant or some flower seeds and gardening tools. This card printable makes it easy for a young child to be part of the process and make something really special for their teacher. *Hudson’s teacher’s are all female so that is why I made the wording that way. I know there are also male teachers so if I get enough requests, I can make a male teacher version. Enjoy and an extra special thank you to all teachers who help to shape and mold our children.

free printable teacher appreciation card