Friday, April 29

Great Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

There is one thing for sure about starting your own business..... it creates a kind of warp speed in your life where things are passing by so quickly that it's almost too hard to believe. Case in point.... it's already the end of the school year! Didn't I just buy new backpacks and lunch boxes a couple of months ago? Right?

Nope, not right. It's here, SUMMER! Especially in Alabama! And the end of the year for my three kids always means a mad dash to find something wonderful to give to their teachers to show them how much we appreciate all that they do. Really... teachers have just about the most important jobs on earth..... training and teaching and molding our kids. So a sweet gift of appreciation is always appropriate this time of year. And I don't know about your kids, but mine are so excited to bring something special into the classroom for their teacher.

I thought I'd share a few cute ideas I've seen around the web.... some are super easy and some might require a bit more time, but all are do-able and adorable.

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3 Four and Under makes amazing apple cookies using a cookie cutter
that she found at Joann's Craft store. I love this twist on the apple for your teacher.



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This one is pretty cute, too. Mini Oreo apples from The Crafting Chicks as seen on
Skip To My Lou, one of my favorite websites.


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Brooke from The Crafting Chicks uses mini Oreos, Airheads candy for the leaves, pretzels sticks, and red candy coating to make these adorable little treats, perfect for teacher gifts.


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How Does She makes very useful gifts for teachers, personalized hand sanitizers. Teachers are always asking for this stuff by the bucketfuls!



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Our Best Bites makes those super easy turtles using Rolos candies, pretzels and some nuts. These are one my personal favorite treats. So yummy!


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And another version for your M&M loving teachers.

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This is such a great idea for a gift display from the whole class. Family Fun shows us how to make a paper flower arrangement using the flowers as gift card holders. Love this!



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Gift in a jar are always a hit. This one is a Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quickbread from Sunset.


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These fabric bookmarks are beautiful and functional and not too hard to make either. Just follow the tutorial from Little Birdies Secrets as seen on Skip To My Lou - not too hard at all.


I hope you are inspired to create something wonderful for your own kids' teachers.
They deserve the best.... who else can handle 25 kids all day long and
actually teach them something to! Kudos to teachers!
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Wednesday, April 27

Red Carpet Party!

I have such a wonderful story and party table to share with you today. My internet friend, Kate Petronis from And Everything Sweet is not only AMAZINGLY talented, but I've found she's quite a little angel, too.

Kate lives close to a little girl named Lily whose become quite a local celebrity in their hometown. You see, Lily was diagosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer in 2009 and has been in the fight of her life for the last couple of years. Although the cancer began with a large tumor in her abdomen, the doctors soon found the cancer had spread throughout Lily's body. But after long bouts of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, it seemed Lily had won the battle until recently when a small spot cancer was discovered. Lily is now undergoing treatment again.

When Lily's family called Kate to put together a last minute birthday cake for her 10th birthday, Kate jumped at the chance to help this sweet little girl. But according to Kate, "... such a special girl deserves more than just a cake. My goal was to knock Lily's socks off!!!"

And from the looks of these photos, I think she did just that!! Kate contacted me for a little help with the printables for the table, and I sent over some new designs I had been working on. The whole table came together amazingly fast -- Kate told me she felt like God was there helping her the whole way through. Did I tell you that she did this in just a couple of days???


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Kate says, "While I was setting up the table I saws lots of fun stuff going up around me including a red carpet, photo booth, makeup artist, stereo systems and an awesome black and white balloon arch! It was one fabulous party!"

Absolutely it was!! Thanks so much, Kate, for allowing me to share Lily's story and your fabulous work! Be sure to check out Kate's post on her blog to find out more about Lily's story.

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Thursday, April 21

Easter Table Setting Ideas

It's about that time...... are your Easter baskets ready? I wish I could say mine are, but I been feverishly busy working on a really special birthday party for my oldest daughter. I can't wait to reveal the photos after I'm done. It's been a true labor of love!

With just a few more days until Easter, I'm sure we are all trying to find some great ways to decorate our Easter tables with unique and fun table settings. Here are a few ideas that I found from around the web:




This gorgeous display from Better Homes and Gardens uses peony "nests"
in footed glass bowls with some speckled eggs as centerpieces.



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Using butterflies as table decorations signifies Spring right away. These beautiful ideas from Southern Living can be executed in minutes after a quick trip to the craft store.


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A collage of Easter ideas from Bliss Wedding Market, Delish, and BHG.
The Easter tree makes such a statement for very little time or money.




Martha Stewart shows a beautiful Easter table using large baskets of tulips as
centerpieces and some colorful compotes of jelly beans. The repetition of coral from the tulips to the tablecloth, jelly beans and even the drinks makes an eye-catching display.



Just a few simple blossoms in an egg cup sitting on your plates make a wonderfully easy place setting from Celebrations.com



Or you could try this egg cup idea from the Farm Chicks
using a little moss and a place card flag.



And again, simple is good! I love this place card Easter egg idea from

I hope you all have a wonderful day.... and now to work on those Easter baskets!

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Tuesday, April 19

{Customer Party} - Easter Birthday!

Today I'm sharing a few photos a sweet customer sent me of a party that I designed the printables for. Little Ella was celebrating her 6th birthday, and with it being so close to Easter, her mom, Andrea, decided to go with an Easter theme and use my Bunny Birthday collection as a good starting place.

The party was held at Twin Oaks Fun Farm where the kids enjoyed lots of fun activites like riding ponies, picking strawberries, feeding animals, hunting eggs, stuffing bunnies and playing on the farm's huge playground. Can you even imagine how much fun those children had!

And with 65 guests, children and parents alike, Andrea did an amazing job of decorating and organizing all of those activities and even served a full bar-be-que lunch.

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Andrea chose cupcakes from a local bakery, Bliss, and used the sweet personalized cupcake toppers from the Bunny Birthday collection to dress them up a bit.


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The dessert table also included some cake pops and cookies that Andrea made herself.
I love a DIY girl!

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What a beautiful setting!

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And the birthday girl.....

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Andrea used my napkin wraps from the Bunny Collection to wrap around store-bought bubbles which made a fun and inexpensive prize for the kids. And about her cake pops, Andrea says, "For my first try at cake pops they turned out pretty good and were a big hit."

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And that's not all Andrea can do! This smart mom used her Cricut to cut vinyl names which she then used to personalize each of these Dollar Tree Easter buckets.
What a smart idea for an Egg Hunt.

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Andrea's mom came in to help, too, making all of the table runners for little Ella's party.
What a great mom!

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Andrea says, "We had a wonderful time making some special memories for Ella on her 6th birthday." And from the looks of things, I think everyone there must have had an amazing time, too!

Thanks, Andrea, for letting me share Ella's party! You did a wonderful job!

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Monday, April 18

Candy Shop Photo Shoot

I'm taking a little departure from all things Easter today to show you a fabulous candy shoppe photo shoot from the girls of Puddle Jumpers Photography and A Festive Touch using some of Shindig Parties TO GO's custom party circles. The photos were taken for a new line of adorable children's clothing by Thomas Park Gifts. And what a wonderful job they did.... you are going to fall in love with these little outfits!


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These ladies did an amazing job, and I'm honored to be a part of their gorgeous photo shoot.

If you love these children's clothes as much as I do, be sure to check out Thomas Park Gifts online and also they have an Etsy shop. The owner creates handcrafted, fun fashions for little one using beautiful fabrics, colorful ribbons and unique designs, and best of all, they ship them right to you.

For those of you in the Chicago area, Puddle Jumpers Photography is a one of the most talented photographers I've seen in a while so be sure to visit her Facebook page and blog to find out more about how you, too, can have your own fabulous photos. And A Festive Touch was the fabulous stylist behind the scenes so be sure to check out more of her work on her blog as well.

Great job, Ladies!
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