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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

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

Free Printable - Easter Egg Game- fun activity game for toddlers and young kids

The Easter Egg Game

When I was thinking of ideas for our “Party with our Peeps” at 2am instead of sleeping (anyone else do that?) I thought it would be fun to have a game for the kids so I came up with one that is great for young kids. Ours are aged 2.5, 3 and 4.5 and it was perfect for them. It is a bit of a combination of an idea I saw on Pinterest for an egg hunt with activities like “do a somersault” inside the egg and Roll and Play. (Roll and Play is one of our favorite games – it is the perfect first game for little ones, especially little ones who have older siblings that love board games). It was really fun and I should note that the title is courtesy of Hudson. 😉 I hope you enjoy this game as much as we do.

Free Printable - Easter Egg Game- fun activity game for toddlers and young kids

The Easter Egg Game

Supplies:

Game Boards (Click link to download free Printable)

List of Activities (Click link to download free Printable)

12 Easter Eggs – (I used two of each color and selected colors that matched the game boards)

Set-Up:

Print out and cut out your list of Activities.

Place one in each egg – matching the peeps to the egg.

Print out and cut out your game boards (This game works best for two players, but could easily be played with more – we had three kids so we put the two little ones on a team together).

To Play:

Player 1 selects an egg, opens it, then performs the activity. If they complete the activity, they get to keep the egg.

Player 2 does the same thing.

The goal is to collect one of each color egg.

Our kids just placed the egg on the coordinating game piece, but you could also use stickers to mark each spot.

Free Printable - Easter Egg Game- fun activity game for toddlers and young kids

Just like in roll and play, this game is more about the fun of the activities than winning and it was the perfect length and skill level for our kids. Luc struggled a tiny bit with waiting his turn, but other than that, it was great for them to think about what colors they needed to complete their board and of course they all loved doing the activities. I hope you enjoy this fun Easter game. If you like it, please Pin It!

Free Printable - Easter Egg Game- fun activity game for toddlers and young kids

Happy Easter!!

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

Peeps Party Photo Booth Printable

My friend dropped off supplies for me to make an adorable Peeps bunny banner yesterday and the wheels in my head immediately started turning (did that make anyone else start singing Journey? Just me? Ok. I’m a little sleep deprived this week, haha). Anyways, we have friends arriving Saturday from Australia and I wanted to make the day fun for them, without overwhelming them as they will have been traveling for a long time with two little kids. Without going too overboard (thankfully that is hard to do when you have two little kids and only one day to plan) I wanted to have a Party with our Peeps. 😉 I figured a few cute treats, a couple of fun activities and our go-to photobooth would be perfect.

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

I bought adorable props for a few bucks at Target, made a fun photobooth sign and set-up our DIY Photobooth. It was really easy and I know we will have so much fun taking pictures with our peeps this weekend!

If you would like to create your own Photobooth, check out this post for all the info.

To download the Photobooth sign, click here.

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter
tackle the toys with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

Seasonal Toy Bins

Organization is not one of my strengths. I wish it were, but it is something that I struggle with and something I always have to put effort and intentional time into. I do notice though, that having a clean house with everything in its place makes me happy. Sometimes, when life is really hectic, I will find myself cleaning at least one room in my house, so I can sit in it and pretend like everything around me is calm and together. (I know this probably makes me a crazy person ;))

tackle the toys with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

tackle the toys with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

The boy’s birthdays are back to back in August and September and they got way too many toys. Prior to their birthday party, everything had a place,  but we were already at capacity, so after, toys were taking over the house. By November, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I tackled the mess before the next wave of stuff came in for Christmas. I had read about rotating toys in a few of my mom’s groups and figured I would give it a try.

The boys had so many toys that they didn’t seem to be playing with most of it, until, I tried to get rid of stuff, then all those buried toys became instant hits (Every time I’ve collected toys to donate I’ve had to do it while the boys weren’t around and they still ask about a few of the toys they rarely played with that I gave away :/). With the rotating, I was hopeful that it would free up space so the current toys could be fully seen and appreciated, encouraging more play with them. I was also hopeful that with each rotation a new excitement for the toys would be ignited.

tackle the toys with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

I grabbed four plastic storage bins (one for each season-Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring) and filled them with similar types of items – trying to keep the seasons in mind. For example, each bin had a puzzle or two, a few lego sets (Hudson and I put built all the legos and then I stored them in ziplocs by set), a board game, plastic toy sets, etc. I filled Winter up, then put those contents back into the playroom since that was the current season we were in.

tackle the toys with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

I noticed an immediate difference with the kids play as their toys were much more accessible, but wanted to wait to share this post until we had tested out a rotation.

old toys seem new again with seasonal storage bins - free printable for storage bins

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would do at the rotation. Part of me expected myself to put the bins in the black hole that is our garage and forget about them, but March rolled around and I actually remembered to swap out the bins. The boys were so excited about their old toys it felt a bit like Christmas morning. I love that everything is neat and tidy and has it’s place and I also like that the rotating forces me to go through the boy’s toys every few months to toss broken toys and donate toys they no longer play with. Overall, this has been a big success!

My hubby’s only request in all of this was that the bins be clearly labeled before being placed in the garage, so I made some cute labels to share with everyone. If you would like to use them, you can get them by clicking on the links below.

free printable - seasonal storage bin labels

Winter and Spring Seasonal Storage Bin Labels

Summer and Fall Seasonal Storage Bin Labels

free conversation heart i love you because printable attached to heart shaped balloons for valentines day

Valentine’s Day 2017 with my Sweethearts

One of the things I promised I would do with this blog was keep it real and honest. Of course, part of me would love to pretend like I am perfect (especially in the sea of instagram moms who seem to be professional photographers, bakers, party planners, organizers and models), but I am far from having my life together (as evidenced by this post being finished a week after Valentine’s Day) and I’m slowly becoming ok with that. So here is our Valentine’s Day, the real deal. 😉

I made an adorable breakfast of heart waffles, that Hudson begged for and then decided he didn’t like after all, and heart-shaped cinnamon rolls.

valentine breakfast - heart shaped cinnamon rolls and pink heart shaped waffles

valentine breakfast - heart shaped cinnamon rolls were a hit

The kids were much happier with their McDonald’s Happy Meal lunches.

valentines day lunch - mcdonalds

We made two trips to the Dollar Store to get balloons to tape our I love you hearts to. After waiting in two huge lines I realized I didn’t have my wallet so we had to drive home to grab it, drive back and wait in another line to buy the balloons. (You can check out this post for all the details on our I love you because… hearts tradition.)

free conversation heart i love you because printable attached to heart shaped balloons for valentines day

I set up a cute Valentine themed sensory bin.

valentines day sensory bin

The kids had way more fun playing in the muddy water from the rain.

valentines day fun - water, mud and leaves

I didn’t have time to get the rest of my plans together so we had to have a Valentine’s Day Part 2 the next day (luckily the kids were more than happy to have Valentine’s Day twice)

conversation heart cupcakes

Luc and I made conversation heart cupcakes and although the kids can’t read (and would have been happy regardless of how they looked), the cupcakes were a big hit! Yay! They also came in handy when I had to bribe the kids to take a few photos in the backyard. 😉

be mine conversation heart cupcake

That night, we all sat around the table and I read each of our I love you because hearts out loud. Being together, sharing why we love each other, laughing and smiling was the best part of our Valentine’s celebrations. Even if I discovered Luc only loves me for my milk. 😉

I love you because conversation heart free printable.

And even after realizing the kids like McDonald’s better than themed breakfasts and playing in mud and water better than, well almost anything, I will probably go through all the trouble again next year because I enjoy it, but also because I hope some day my kids look back on these holidays and see how much love and effort I put into trying to make special memories together.

valentine's day dinner with conversation heart cupcakes and conversation heart i love you free printable

Here is the printable I created for our family this year. Feel free to pin it now so you can use these next Valentine’s Day. 🙂

free printable conversation hearts I love you because...

free printable shark valentines day cards

Shark Valentine’s Day Cards

Every year I ask Hudson what kind of Valentine cards he wants and then I look on Pinterest for a free printable or I make them myself. This year he asked for shark valentines (sharks are one of his favorite animals). I filled my Amazon cart with a few shark toy options: shark squirters and shark figurines and let Hudson pick what he wanted to gift to his classmates. Hudson ended up picking a fun 12-pack of small shark figurines by Wild Republic. With the figurines in mind, I searched Pinterest for a free shark printable, and while I did find a few cute ones, none of them were exactly what I had envisioned, so I made some myself.

free printable shark valentines day cards supplies

I purchased the graphics from Prettygrafik Design, I bought some Wilton pops favor bags (any similar sized plastic bags wil work), blue paper shred and blue m&m’s. We experimented with the shredded paper, m&ms and combining both before deciding that we liked how the tissue paper looked best.

free printable shark valentines day cards

Hudson helped put everything into each bag, I folded the bag once, placed the card on and Hudson helped me staple each card to the bag. Hudson and I both loved how they turned out and Hudson can’t wait to give these to all of his friends for Valentine’s Day.

free printable shark valentines day cards

 

If you would like to make these, you can grab the free printable here.

free printable shark valentines day cards

(Btw, how cute would these be with shark gummies in the bag for a candy version?)

free printable shark valentines

If you love this printable, please share on Pinterest and don’t forget to follow me on instagram and tag thecreativecopycat if you use any of our printables . Thanks! 🙂

valentine craft ideas - keepsake handprint crafts and fun crafts for kids

Valentine’s Day Crafts

I kind of have an obsession with hand print (and footprint) art. There is just something so special about capturing those tiny little hands and feet that has me hooked. Throughout Hudson’s first year, I was constantly making prints of his hands. I had plans to turn each hand print into a cute animal or holiday themed pinterest project, but sadly, didn’t finish most of them. Once Luc came along, the hand print captures became even more infrequent (those two kicked my butt the first two years!). One thing I did, that I will suggest is to at least capture the prints occasionally in those first few years because you can always go back and finish a project, but you can’t go back and capture those tiny hands and feet again. I’ve actually had “finish Valentine’s Day artwork” on my to-do list for over a year now, so thank you to this blog for pushing me to finally finish them. 🙂

On Hudson’s first Valentine’s Day, we did a family hand print. We put heart stickers on our hands to make the prints extra festive. I love seeing how small his hand looks next to ours.

valentine craft idea-put heart stickers on hands before stamping onto paper

I totally dropped the ball the next year (I’m going to have to blame the first trimester of pregnancy for that one) and apparently didn’t do any Valentine themed art projects. I was creating a baby though, so I’ll cut myself some slack. 😉

In 2015, I used a printable I found on Pinterest to make an adorable Valentine decoration capturing Luc’s baby feet. Click here to check out the original post and grab your own free printable.

love footprints with cute poem and link to free printable

That same year, I used another fun Pinterest idea to make a cute heart hand print keepsake of Hudson’s hand prints. Check out the original post here.

handprint art in the shape of a heart with a cute poem

In addition to the hand print crafts, which are obviously more for me, we also enjoy doing regular crafts together. Last year, the boys made a stained glass heart with our Mom’s Club group that was a lot of fun for the kids. You can check out all the details in this post.

stained glass heart craft

stained glass heart craft for valentines day

This year, I threw this craft together to give the kids something to do while we were locked up in the house with hand, foot mouth. You can check out the original post here. I am terrible at drawing (yes, even things as simple as hearts) and I hate my writing, so I quickly made a printable to use instead. You can grab one for free here. 🙂 The kids really enjoyed this one – I cut the squares for Luc and he glued them on, while Hudson did all the cutting and gluing for his himself.

i heart you to pieces valentine craft with free printable

 

 

 

I Love You Heart Printable

One of my favorite traditions that we started two years ago are I love you because… hearts. The first year I found a printable on-line, printed them out and wrote a bunch of reasons why I love my hubby on them. Then I taped them to heart-shaped balloons from the dollar store and displayed them on Valentine’s Day. Last year, I couldn’t find the printable I had previously used, so I made my own. Instead of the love notes just being from me though, I got the kids involved. Hudson told me that he loves his dada because he plays with him. Luc wasn’t really talking much, but I knew how much he loved kissing Nic through our stair rails before bed so I put that on the one from him. Hudson loved helping me pick out the balloons from the store and taping our hearts to them and I just love having these hearts to look back on every year, especially since the kids have more and more to say as they get older and they say such cute (or sometimes funny) things. This year, instead of just writing why we love daddy, we are each going to write one for each member of the family. 🙂

free printable valentines day I love you because hearts attached to dollar store balloons

If you would like to start this fun Valentine tradition with your family, you can click here to get your own I Love You Hearts printable.

free printable valentines day I love you because hearts attached to dollar store balloons

Also, here are a few other ideas for you using these hearts: you could tape a new heart on your child’s door each night so by Valentine’s Day their door is covered with reasons why you love them, or you could stick them in your kid’s lunchbox, or leave one on the mirror for your hubby or string them up and make a banner. The possibilities are endless. However you choose to use these, they are just a fun and easy way to spread a little love.

free printable valentines day I love you because... hearts. Spread a little love by attaching them to dollar store balloons, hanging them on kid's doors, putting them in a lunchbox, etc.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

Planes Birthday Party

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

One day while we were driving in the car, I asked Hudson if he knew what theme he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. I threw out a few options and out of the blue he said Planes. I thought it was kind of funny, because while he does love planes, that wasn’t one of his favorite movies. I waited a few days, asked again and got the same answer. By about the 5th time, I decided to commit and dove into planning his 3rd birthday party. It ended up being a really fun theme with a cute color scheme of blue, orange and some red. We had the party at My Gym which made things much easier (set start and end time and they did all the entertaining). This was great because Luc’s 1st birthday party was only a few weeks later so I had a lot on my plate. I also had to keep in mind the fact that everything would need to be transported to the event location and we only had a limited amount of time for set-up, which forced me to minimize decorations and keep the food on the easier side. All in all, it was a pretty simple, low-key party that everyone had a blast at. The only real downside was that it went by so fast, we didn’t really get great pictures of everything.

planes birthday party family picture

Since the party was in the morning, I went the breakfast route. We served donuts “spare tires” which were literally just packaged chocolate and powdered sugar donuts on a platter with a few racing flags.

planes birthday party donut spare tires

A fruit platter of “plane parts” with a cream cheese dip “fluffy cloud dip” To make the dip, I just combined one 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese with one 15 ounce jar of marshmallow cream. It is so easy and so delicious, especially with an assortment of fruit.

planes birthday party fruit plane parts and fluffy cloud dip

We picked up a coffee traveler from Starbucks for our adult “fueling station”. That couldn’t be a more accurate description of coffee for parents, right?

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

We had Jamba Juice drinks  and water for the kid friendly “jet fuel”.

planes birthday party fuel up water bottles

The Jamba Juice drinks were perfect because they were dairy free so Hudson could have them and they were just easy for the kids to grab and drink. They were so popular in fact, that I think they may become a party staple.

planes birthday party jet fuel jamba juice smoothies are perfect for young kid's parties

We also had a bunch of “in-flight snacks” like chips and cookies.

planes birthday party chips and cookies for in-flight snacks

For desserts, we had propeller oreo cake pops, cloud rice krispy treats, marshmallow propeller pops, planes cookies and dusty cupcakes.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I made oreo pops using this recipe from Bakerella, then made little propellers to attach. A link to the free printable is at the end of this post. I just cut them out, punched a hole in the center with a hole punch and slid them on. They were really easy and super cute.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I used a cloud cookie cutter to cut out the rice krispy treats (I used the dairy free recipe listed here).

planes birthday party cloud rice krispy treats

For the propeller marshmallows, I made the propellers using candy melts on wax paper (I just free-handed the propeller shape), dipped half of the marshmallows into candy melts, then attached the hardened/cooled propellers.

planes birthday party marshmallow propeller pops

I ordered the plane cookies from Dainty Cakes by Andrea on etsy and they were so detailed and a big hit with everyone.

planes birthday party sugar cookies

I absolutely loved the Dusty cupcakes, they turned out so cute and were a huge hit with the kids. Sadly, the company I ordered the cupcake wrappers from is no longer in business, which is a huge bummer because these are brilliant. It is so much easier to hand each kid a cupcake, especially at a party like this, and every kid was ecstatic to get their own Dusty! Hudson’s face when he first saw the cupcakes was priceless and they were pretty easy to make (just took a few nights of cutting and taping). In case you love this idea as much as I do, I did find Planes Fire and Rescue cupcake wrappers by Printamajig on etsy.

planes birthday party dusty cupcakes using cupcake wrappers

I bought the tablecloths, plates, napkins, goody bags and balloons from Party City. I ordered the flags and Hudson’s t-shirt from Amazon. Luc’s wingman t-shirt was from Target. The Planes movie characters were a gift, from the Disney store, that doubled as decorations. I made my own invitations inspired by this design by PartyInnovations09. I used water bottle wrappers and cupcake toppers (for the adult cupcakes) from Homeketeers (I’ve linked to their homepage, but was unable to find the printables so they may no longer be offering them). I made personalized wings for each kid by making a printable, printing the wings on cardstock, cutting them out and attaching pins like these to the back. The kids thought these were really cool.

planes birthday party personalized wing pins

I also made the Happy Birthday Banner (you can find a similar one here),  the food labels, and the gift bag tags. We filled the goody bags with some fun planes themed items from Party City and everyone collected them from Baggage Claim before they left.

planes birthday party thank you for flying by goody bags at baggage claim

That was pretty much it. Like I said, I really kept this one fairly simple (for me, lol).

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops

To get your own free propeller printable, click here. For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.