Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School Dinner Idea with Free Printables




I love the idea of a back to school dinner the day before school starts! Take what Inspiration for Celebration did for her kids, and use as inspiration for your own back to school party, She explains how much everything costs, what she used for decorations, the links to all the printables, and a very cute tutorial on an apple drink with a worm (what kid wouldn't love that)! Go to inspirationforcelebration.com and read all about the awesome dinner she threw for her kids.. with invitations!



Comment below and let us know:
What's the best way to get your kid excited for the upcoming year?

Back to School Subway Art Free Printable

 


I love printables! Print this out and decorate a mantel, add it to a wall gallery, or set it out as decoration for your back to school dinner or breakfast! This free printable from Sweet Coconut Lime is a great way to add decoration for the upcoming school year!





First Day of School: Back to School Breakfast Idea


I love the idea of a back to school breakfast! It's a great way to get the kids up in the morning, and to have them excited for the first day of school. There are a lot of ideas out there. You could do a back to school party and invite all your kids friends. You can do a special dinner the night before and talk about their favorite summer memories and their hopes for the school year! Or you could do a breakfast (keep in mind that the first day of school is normally hectic, so try to give your kids plenty of time and have a relaxing morning). The Diary of Dave's Wife has some great ideas, click here to see her post.

I think the best way to do a back to school breakfast or dinner is to either have the kids favorite foods, or go all out with something special. If you normally do cereal for breakfast, then try some pancakes or french toast! Make sure to start the kids out right with a balanced breakfast. Include some milk or orange juice and some fruit. 

For a dinner, make sure the kids get some veggies! Eat classics like spaghetti and meatballs or order pizza! Make sure to give the kids some dessert, especially if they don't get to eat sweets that often! Talk about their favorite summer memories and their concerns or hopes for the upcoming year! Help your kids get really excited for the upcoming year! 

The decorations: this seems easier than it really is. Fun colorful things work really well, get a colorful table cloth, plates, napkins, cups, silverware, muffin tins or cupcake wrappers, and maybe some balloons at any party supplies store. Create fun centerpieces and decorations by finding some classroom decorations (like bus or apple cutouts). Make a chalkboard sign or use a dry erase board to write a fun back to school message. Use school supplies as decorations, a glass canister with crayons or markers in it, a new notebook or pack of markers on their plate, an eraser as a name card, new books layed out on the table as a center piece, or a cup full of pencils (and be sure to decorate each item with ribbons). 

That's really all there is to it! Happy Back to School Everyone! :)



Comment below: 
What are your favorite ways to celebrate back to school?








Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back to School Photo Idea: Favorites List





We all know that child's favorite anything, can change every 5 minutes. But I love this idea of writing out their favorites for the first day of school. This idea is so easy to make and such a cute way to look back and remember your child at such a young age!


Here's how to make it:
1. Find pre-made cut outs at a craft store or make your own using foam poster board. 
2. Use paint writing markers or metallic sharpies to write with, and write out all your child's favorites. Try using a plain color as the question, and a bright color that stands out as your child's answer. 


Example's of questions to ask:
1. Name
2. Age
3. Grade
4. Favorite Movie
5. Favorite Color
6. Favorite Song
7. Favorite Food
8. Favorite Book
9. Favorite TV Show
10. Favorite Outdoor Activity
11. Favorite Indoor Activity
12. Favorite Game
13. Favorite Animal
14. Favorite School Subject
15. Favorite Toy






Source: justusfourblog.com

Back To School Treat: Apple Pretzels



These apple pretzels are great for a back to school party, an after school snack on the first day of school, or even a teacher gift! And best of all, they are super easy to make!



Here's what you need:
Rips sour candy (comes with red and green pieces)
Hershey's chocolate bar
Red candy melts
Large pretzels
Scissors
Wax paper


Here's what you do:
 1. Take the sour candy and either using a small leaf cutter or a pair of scissors, make a small leaf shape.

2. Chop the chocolate bar into small enough pieces to fit as the stem of the apple

3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the red candy melts at 15 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between. Repeat the intervals until the red chocolate is smooth. 

4. Using a fork dip the pretzels in the red chocolate, covering them completely (let the excess drip) and lay out on a sheet of wax paper.

5. After the coating has dried, gently pick each one up, to keep them from sticking to the wax paper. Place a small amount of the melted red chocolate (melt more, or reheat) into a small plastic ziplock bag, then cut a small tip off of the top. This will serve as a biding agent for the leaf and stem of the apple.

6. Simply place a small amount of the red candy, the press the chocolate stem on to the pretzel. The repeat the process with all of the pretzels, before placing on the stems with more melted red candy. 





Enjoy!






 
 
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

DIY Back To School Countdown Board


The first day of school is getting closer and closer.. some kids might be returning students going into 2nd or 3rd grade, or you may have a little kid just starting preschool or kindergarten. Some kids may be excited, while others can be nervous (especially first time students). Try this fun activity from Becoming Martha to get your kid excited for the upcoming school year.

Here's how it works: There are 7 cards for the week leading up to school, everyday let your child pick the card (starting at 7 and going down) and read the contents on the back. On the back of the card, there will be a fun activity or back to school task that your child must do for that day. At the end of the day the can receive some kind of reward or treat! If you have more than one child going back to school, you can take turns reading the cards (which doesn't always work), or have them complete a task (like being the first one to make their bed, putting away their toys without being asked) and you can choose who gets to read the card that day!



To make this you will need:
-a large frame (the one pictured was a cork board torn apart, with fabric wrapped around the frame for decoration)
-wooden shapes for decorations (owl and "c" pictured, could use all children's initials)
-printables on card stock paper for the front of the countdown cards (get them here)
-printables for the back of the card (of course you could always personalize it and right your own, or get the pre-made one's here)
-twine or thin rope
-clothes pins (decorate with washi tape for extra color)
-treats (book bag key chain, candy, summer fun activity, ice cream date, they pick dinner out night, stickers, special pencils, diary, any type of school supplies)

Idea's for each day:
-record your favorite summer memory with decorative paper and pen
-help mom buy school snacks and pick out your lunch for the first day
-decorate a memory box with stickers to put all of the kids school work in this year
-estimate how many time you will write you name on your school supplies, then right your name on everything, the winner gets a candy treat
-bake cookies for your new teacher, but try a few with mom to make sure they are yummy
-pack your back pack for the first day, and add a new key chain to make it perfect
-pick out your favorite back to school outfit, then wear your favorite summer outfit for an ice cream date with mom
 



What's your favorite way to get your kid excited for the upcoming school year?

Lunch Box Jokes Printables




I love these lunch box jokes from Happy Home Fairy! It is the perfect way to ease your child back into the school routine! All you have to do it print the jokes out from happyhomefairy.com and put them in your child's lunch as a surprise! It's a great way to put a smile on their face, on their first day of school!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to School Photo Checklist Printable


Don't miss a moment of your child's first day back to school.. or their first day of school ever! Use the back to school checklist from Fab N Free to make sure you capture every moment! Go print yours out now and be organized for the up coming first day of school!



What's your favorite back to school must have photo?

Free School Note Printable



These free school note printables are so cute! All you have to do is go to Hello Cuteness, download and print the school notes. And print out a lot of them! Use these for any reason! Kids always forget to tell their teacher things, so send a note with them, attach it to their homework if you need to! Keep the communication between mom and the teacher with these very useful school notes!

School Supplies Scavenger Hunt





Getting ready to go back to school? Get you kids excited for the first day of school with this school supplies scavenger hunt game. It's so simple! Just print out your free game piece printables from The Happy Home Fairy, and place your new school supplies around the house. Place each clue with the item they have found, give them their backpack to fill with their school supplies! After the game is over, let the kids have a fun back to school themed treat! Talk about their new school supplies, their hopes, expectations and worries for the up coming school year!


Happy Back to School Everyone!

Teacher Gift Idea: DIY Post It Note Holder



This DIY post it note holder from Domesticated Lady, is the perfect gift for you child's new teacher. Who doesn't need post it notes laying around? First thing to do is to go to domesticatedlady.com to print out your FREE printable picture and tag. To make this, use a 5x7 clear plastic picture frame, insert the printable (they come in pink or green), hot glue on some ribbon, and the post it's, then add the tag with a tiny clothes pin! To go a step further, you could even include a new pin to match!




This teacher gift inspiration from Crafty Engineering, would look great on any teachers desk! Simply find back to school scrap booking items at your local craft store, and use scrapbook paper for the background, find some ribbon and post it's that match! 


Back to School Book and Lunch Labels




These back to school book and lunch printables from catchmyparty.com are so adorable! They each come in 4 different colors/patterns, so you can pick out what best suites you little kids personality! Go print your FREE prinables and be organized and prepared for the upcoming school year! 

Back To School Lunch Box Apple Printable




I love this lunch box printable from One Charming Party! A cute apple that says "Have a great day at school!", with an apple jacks worm coming out of it! Such a cute idea, and would be a great way to make your child feel better on their first day of school. 


Here's how to make it: print out the printable from onecharmingparty.com  and punch a small hole in the apple. Thread a pipe cleaner through (and make it wiggly) to make a worm and place apple jacks on it to make a nice treat!

5 Tips for Packing School Lunches



School is almost here! As parents we are shopping for school supplies, getting our nervous kids excited for the upcoming school year. We are busy planning last minute summer actives, and getting ready for another fun year of learning for our little smarties! School lunches get left out a lot, but mom's we need to be planning for a year of healthy school lunches. Having your child take a lunch is much better, you can control what they eat, give them healthier, better tasting, fresh food. We always want our kids to eat healthy, but give in every now and then and let them buy lunch on pizza friday, or pack a cupcake for a special dessert! Follow these 5 tips from About A Mom for packing nutritious and healthy lunches.


1. Pack Meals They Like
Kids won't eat food they don't like.Try to pack different food items that you know your child likes. A good way to get excited for the new school year is to go grocery shopping, and make a list of a few of your child's favorite lunch items. Include a few choices, make sure to get some veggies in there every day. Every now and then you can pack a surprise dessert.

2. Lunch Bags & Containers
Presentation is always key in making kids eat food. Let you children help pick out there lunch box to get them excited about school. Have an extra at home, just in case one gets lost or damaged. Use silicone molds to keep food separated and look nice. The lunch boxes that have dividers for food, are quickly becoming very popular.

3. Easy To Eat Items
Between the amount of time kids get, and the fun of socializing with their friends, lunch goes by very fast. Make your kids items easy to eat. Sandwiches, wraps, pasta, salads, diced fruit and veggies are all great ideas. Include some finger food like diced cheese, cut up fruits and veggies or pretzels.

4. Menu Planning 
Be prepared for the upcoming week by writing out each days meals. Be sure to include a variety of foods.. or let your kid "eat a rainbow", by giving them many different healthy fruits and veggies. Make sure that each week they eat new foods, so they can grow their taste in different foods and be less picky (hopefully).

5. Plenty of Fluids
I love the reusable water bottles! If your child is allowed to drink during recces or class, you can give them a reusable water bottle packed in their back pack, and pack a small juice cup in their lunch box. This way, you control the amount of sugary drinks your child has, help them to love refreshing water instead of juice, and they stay hydrated all day long. A small juice cup at lunch, may not be enough for the whole day, so let them bring there very own water bottle with them. Your child can even help pick out their very own cup!



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Back to School Shopping Tips



10 Tips for Back to School Clothes Shopping: 

1. Make a budget. Have a set amount for each child. If your child is old enough, it is a great way to teach about the value of a dollar. Have them look a the prices and decided when something is too expensive. 

2. Shop early and shop the sales. A lot of school supplies and clothes go on sale weeks before school starts. Don't wait until the days before to do all your shopping. Also, it is not necessary to do all your shopping in one day. Wait for the stores to have sales, going to different stores multiple times weeks before school starts.

3. Take your child with you and let them help. Don't just pick out their clothes for them, this is an opportunity for your child to express their personality through how they dress. Let them help pick out clothes, but don't feel bad to say no to them. You are the parent, and we should not let our children dress inappropriately. Take the time to explain how to be dress modest, but to still have fun and follow trends. 

4. Be aware of children's growth spurts. It's very upsetting to buy new clothes and shoes.. only to find out that after they wear them once, that they have out grown it! Be aware of their growth spurts and only buy a few essential items to last you until their growth spurt hits and they can fit into bigger clothes and shoes. 

5. Consider the school dress code. Most school's have strict dress codes (no open toe shoes, no pants with worn out look to them, skirts and shorts longer than finger tips). Of course younger children will not have such a strict dress code, but make sure to read through the dress code and avoid prohibited items.

6. Buy plenty of pants. Especially for preschoolers and younger kids, they tend to spend more time on the floor playing, which makes their pants wear out faster than normal. Younger kids will also have accidents, and spill things on their pants. It is a good idea to set aside of a pair of nice jeans for special occasions. These pants are not to be used to play outside in!

7. Buy lots of mix and match pieces, and weather appropriate clothes. When you go out to buy clothes, buying outfits that will only go with one thing, means that it wont get worn a lot, and it will cost more because you will need more items. To avoid that, buy lots of mix and match pieces and a few stand out outfits. Also, try to be prepared for colder weather and rain. Buy a wind breaker jacket, a rain coat and some rain boots to be prepared for when the weather changes. 

8. Let the kids pick out a few (appropriate items) that you would otherwise not have picked out. Kids are developing their personality and their clothes reflect that. They also see what other kids wear and want the latest trends, even if you don't like it. Give in on a few items.. maybe a super sparkly top, or a fun looking shirt with their favorite cartoon character. Kids will be happier if they like what they are wearing. Don't force clothes on them that they will hate, let their opinion matter and try to compromise on clothes. 

9. Don't buy too much. Try not to over buy clothes. Parents hate to buy items for kids, that they never wear, and kids don't like to have their parents constantly nag them about not wearing it. Try not to buy too much, that way you child won't have tons of outfits, and wind up not wearing some items.

10. Don't feel bad about skipping name brands. With kids certain brands will become very popular for a few months. Don't spend hundreds of dollars buying name brand clothes, that kids will rip, and get dirty. Buy a few select pieces, and find other similar items a cheaper store.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back To School Shopping List Printable


Going clothes shopping for back to school is a must! Do the kids have enough pants? Is it time for a new pair of shoes? Print and fill out this free printable to keep track of what they need. They come in 4 different pattern's, so each child will have their very own! This printable from Free Time Frolics will help your back to school frenzy become more organized!
 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Free Beach Subway Art Printable


We love this FREE Summer Printable from alittleclaireification.com
Click here to go download and print your free summer printable.


Happy Summer!

Free Elementary Back to School Checklist Printable


Getting ready to send you child back to school? Use this helpful checklist of what your Elementary Student will need to start off their year! Of course always check with your students teacher to find out any additional items.

Click here to download your free printable from orgparent.com.



Happy Back to School Everyone!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Free Summer Bucket List Printable


Love free printables? We do too! This is your FREE Summer Bucket List Printable! I know that our family hates missing out on fun things to do! Print this list out, and make sure to all the fun summer activities as a family! We Love the idea of framing it and using a dry erase marker to mark off each fun thing you do! Have more than one child? Why not try using this as a reward system! Who ever can do all their chores, eat all their vegetables for a whole week or completes a book in their summer reading list gets to pick the activity for that week!






Need some idea's? Don't worry, we got you covered!



Try these s'mores recipes for when you go camping or roast marshmallows for a cook out!





Instead of going out for ice cream, try these yummy homemade popsicles made from fresh ingredients. Let the kids help too, it will be a great way to learn about healthy eating!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Wreath and Decoration Ideas



 We love this "On Beach Time" poster from GoJumpInTheLake on etsy.com, this will give just the right amount of beach time decor to your home during the summer. 



This Nautical Starfish Wreath will look great on a white front door! Show off your summer time spirit with this cute wreath from elisavallison on etsy.com.



This Nautical White Rope and Starfish and Sea Shell Wreath from beachgrasscottage on etsy.com would look great for summer time on a dark colored front door.





You might also like:






DIY Paited Sea Shell Decorations



We love collecting sea shells from the beach every year! But they end up just getting broken, lost or thrown away. This a cute idea to add some DIY summer decor to your house! All you need is to wash and dry your sea shells, and spray paint them all the same color. We love using a metallic silver, gold white! Put them in a jar and set out as summer decorations. 

*Make sure to keep a few unpainted for some Christmas ornaments ideas coming this winter!







Source: loveumadly.com

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

S'mores Cookie Bars


A graham cracker cookie crust sandwiched between a layer of warm melted chocolate, and a layer gooey melted marshmallow. These will make you feel like your eating s'mores at a campfire! Everytime these cookie bars are made, they are gone within a few hours!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 king-sized Hershey's chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups of marshmallow creme or fluff





Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8-inch baking pan

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. 

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough evenly onto the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Lay out the chocolate bars in even layers (breaking the chocolate if you have to). Spread the marshmallow creme on top of the chocolate. Then, roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper, until about the size of your pan (try not to go any bigger). Gently, remove the parchment paper and place the dough on top of the marshmallow creme. 

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly before enjoying (they taste better warm)!

*TIP: Heat the leftover room temperature cookie bars in the microwave for 30 seconds to make the chocolate and marshmallow warm and melted again! 


Enjoy! :)













Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Baja Sauce


A crunchy beer battered fish taco, fried until golden brown, topped with a refreshing creamy baja sauce. A great way for adults and kids to eat fish who don't normally like it! 


Ingredients:
For The Tacos:
1 lb. frozen tilapia, thawed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
12 oz. bottle of mexican beer
1 tablespoon mexican seasoing
vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mexican beer
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
1 lime, cut into wedges
3/4 cup shredded queso blanco or monterey jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded green cabbage

For the Baja Sauce:
1/2 sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon mexican seasoning
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 Directions:

1. Place fish in a large, zip-top bag. Mix 1 bottle of mexican beer and mexican seasoning together. Pour the mixture over the fish and place in the fridge and chill for 2-3 hours.

2. Pour the oil into a skillet or dutch oven until 1 1/2 inches depth. Heat oil to 360 degrees.

3. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of beer and hot sauce. Drain the fish, and discard the marinade. Coat each fish in the flour batter.

4. Cook fish in batches for about 4 minutes or until done. Drain off on paper towels.

5. To make the Baja Sauce: Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, until well combined.

6. Place 2 - 3 pieces of fish on each tortilla, squeeze lime wedge over the fish. Top with a spoonful of the baja sauce.


Enjoy! :)






Source: myrecipes.com





Peach Raspberry Popsicles


A healthy, yet sweet treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth. A creamy greek yogurt based popsicle, combines fresh peaches and raspberries to make a treat that anyone would love!


Ingredients:
1 cup fat free greek yogurt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 peach, skinned and chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar


Directions:

1. Place the raspberries in a blender, and blend until smooth. Push the mixture through a strainer to strain out and discard any seeds.

2. Place the mixture back into the blender and add the greek yogurt, peach, lemon juice, and sugar and blend until smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and put the in the freezer until frozen. 


Enjoy! :) 






S'mores Bar and Free Recipe Printable


S'mores are the perfect dessert! We eat them in the summer at a cookout, and during the winter with a bonfire! They are a year round dessert that is sure to please everyone! Try making a s'mores bar for you guests at your next outdoor cookout or bonfire! The key to a great s'mores bar is variation. We all know and love the traditional s'mores recipe, but try mixing it up by laying out tons of different options! Have a variety of different cookies, flavored marshmallows, candy bars and chocolates, and fun add-in's.


Cracker Variations:
 Traditional Graham Crackers
Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Covered Mint Cookies
Chocolate Striped Cookies 

Chocolate Variations:
Traditional Hershey's Bar
White Chocolate Bar
Peanut Butter Cup
Carmel Filled Chocolate Bars
Dark Chocolate Bar

Fun Add-In's:
 Flavored Marshmallows (Strawberry, Chocolate, Mint)
Marshmallow Creme or Fluff
Nutella
Peanut Butter
Fruit (Strawberries, Raspberries, Bananas)
Caramel Sauce
Butterscotch Sauce





Take this free printable, frame it, and put it out on your s'mores bar! Let all your guests know what the best s'mores combinations are. Click here to download the s'mores recipe printable.







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