Friday, August 26, 2016

DIY Classroom Reading Corner with Cuddle® Fabric and Fairfield World

Every elementary school classroom needs somewhere comfortable to curl up with a good book.  Of all the reading areas we've helped with (and there have been a lot), this DIY Reading Corner is definitely my favorite.  HUGE thanks to Fairfield World for donating all the "insides" supplies for this project and another HUGE thanks to Shannon Fabrics for donating all of colorful chevron cuddle fabrics.  Both companies jumped into action when I requested materials and we got this project finished just in time for the first day of school.  Fairfield World has compensated me for writing this post, but all ideas, opinions, and enthusiasm are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links.

My daughter's first grade teacher last year was brand-new to our school, and this year, she got to move in to a larger room with space for a reading corner.  She wanted a really large bench with lots of pillows for relaxing.  She's decorated her room with bright bulletin boards surrounded with chevron trim, so we decided to keep with that theme for the reading corner too.
We used mostly solid Embossed Chevron Cuddle® for the larger pillows and then made some smaller accent pillows using the Easiest Ever Cuddle® Pillow Instructions on Shannon Fabrics blog.

We also knew that it was a MUST that the reading bench cover and pillow covers come off for easy washing.  I NEVER donate any fabric goods to the school that can't be washed.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

16 Brilliant Ideas for Back-to-School and the Block Party Link-Up

Whether your kids have already adjusted to their back-to-school schedule and are all settled in to their new class routine...or you're like us and will be starting school this coming week (or the next), you'll love these Back-to-School Ideas we've rounded up...

It's time for another Block Party hosted by Making the World Cuter | Rae Gun Ramblings Keeping It Simple Crafts | Pieces By Polly!  Be sure to check out all of our blogs, because we've been up to some fun things lately.

Polly here from Pieces by Polly.

Here is a little flavor of what I've been up to the last few weeks.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

DIY Worry Pet - Pocket Pet - For Kids with Anxiety

If you have kiddos with anxiety about going back to school, they might like to take one of these Worry Pets with them in their pocket.  The poly-pellets inside give nervous fingers something to fiddle with and the super soft cuddle is soothing.  Once you make one, you won't be able to stop.  Your whole family will want one.

Friday, August 19, 2016

DIY Weighted Vests for Anxiety, ADHD, Autism, Sensory Issues & More

With Back-to-School, that means many of us are looking for new ways to help our kids deal with challenges brought on by anxiety, ADHD, autism, sensory issues and more.  In our family, we have one child with a severe form of social anxiety called selective mutism and another child with ADHD.  As we've been working with professionals over the last year to help each of them, I've been struck by how many strategies can help both of them.

First of all, though, a few disclaimers.  Please don't take anything I say as medical advice.  If your child is struggling with any of these issues, please make sure you're working with a professional(s) and check with them before starting new therapies.  Fairfield World providing me with Poly-Pellets and compensated me for writing this post, but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links that help support my blog and keep bringing you new ideas.

My 7-year-old struggles a lot with social anxiety at school.  Last year, there were quite a few days when she insisted on wearing her winter jacket through her whole school day.  It would get hot and the sleeves were bulky and could get in the way, but it helped her feel safe.  I wanted to find a way to help her get the same feeling without all the bulk.  I've been considering trying weighted vests for my kiddos for a while, and this month when Fairfield asked us to use their weighted Poly-Pellets in a challenge project, I decided it was time to make them a reality...and they're surprisingly easy to make.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

16 Awesome Projects for Book Worms and the Weekly Block Party Link-Up

I cannot believe it's back-to-school season already. To soften the blow a bit I thought I'd share some of the best crafts for bookworms.
Must see projects for book worms. Great book inspired crafts and book lists.

From awesome book recommendations to kids crafts inspired by books to even book character costumes here are some must see projects that will bring a smile to any book worm's face!
Rae Gun guest posting picture

Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings here today as this week's host. I just finished up with my HUGE 2 week long Harry Potter series.
Lots of really creative and unique Harry Potter crafts, tutorials, recipes, projects and even book lists. SO many awesome projects
During it we shared 65 brand new Harry Potter inspired crafts, recipes, book lists and more. If you know a Harry Potter fan you should totally share this post with them there's so many cool projects! And if you love Harry Potter I have a pretty giant giveaway going on on my Instagram!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

12 Amazing Cake Recipes and the Weekly Block Party Link-Up

"How about cake? Everybody loves cake!" My husband says that in his best Donkey (Eddie Murphy in Shrek) voice anytime I say I'm hungry and I don't know what I want. He makes me laugh...and he makes me hungry for cake! I rounded up 12 delicious cake recipes from you guys and the hosts this week, hopefully you'll find something to curb your cake cravings!
Tiffany at Making the World Cuter
Hello there! Tiffany here again from Making the World Cuter! School is just about to start back up and I feel like I haven't had summer yet, so I could definitely use one or more these cake recipes about now! That, and three more months of summer! Ha! Happy to be hosting today and getting to see all of your fun ideas along with my friends Marissa, Kaysi and Polly! Now it’s time to show me what you’ve been up to! Link up your posts to the block party for your chance to be featured on all four of our blogs! 🙂
Time for the block party! Be sure to read over the guidelines…
  • We’d love it if you pinned the image above of the 12 cake recipes
  • Link to a specific post, not your home page.
  • Don’t add links to promote giveaways, other link parties or your shops.
  • Visit and comment on at least 2 other links in the party.
  • Don’t link posts you’ve linked before.
  • This party starts Sunday @ 6pm PST and ends Friday @ midnight.
  • By entering a link, you give us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit and links will always be given.
  • Please link back to whatever blog you are linking from and let your readers know you joined the block party and invite them to do the same!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hagrid's Birthday Cake for Harry Potter

If you have a child who is in love with Harry Potter right now, this is a fun way to create that they can do themselves.  There really is NO way to mess up Hagrid's Birthday Cake for Harry...unless you don't make one.  Rebecca wanted to make a cake to celebrate Harry's birthday on July 31st, and I told her she could as long as she did it herself.  (This post contains affiliate links.  When you make a purchase through one of the links, a small percentage of your purchase goes to support by blog.)

At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry receives his first ever birthday cake from Hagrid.  As with many things Hagrid does, the cake is not elegant, but it is done with lots of heart.

We're told that it's pink with green frosting and that it got slightly squashed in Hagrid's coat during the journey.  It's also a bit mispelled, "HAPPEE BIRTHDAE HARRY."  All of these features make it the perfect project for a new cake artist to attempt on their own.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Ravenclaw Blue and Bronze Quilt - Golden Snitch Quilt - Harry Potter Inspired

You're might belong in Ravenclaw if you've a ready mind, where those of wit and learning will always find their kind...and now there's a House Quilt for Ravenclaws too.

You can order a custom-made Ravenclaw Quilt in my shop here, or if you prefer to make your own, you can purchase my Single House Quilt Pattern here  (or here for my 2-Pattern Bundle which includes both the Single House Quilt, and the 4-House Hogwarts Crest design.)

Even though most of our favorite Harry Potter characters are in Gryffindor and we don't get to know many Ravenclaws well beyond Luna and a bit of Cho, I've always had a fondness for Ravenclaw.  I've often figured that my 11-year-old-brainy-and-not-so-brave-self would have been sorted into Ravenclaw had I gotten my acceptance letter to Hogwarts (if of course there had been any Harry Potter world back then.)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

12 Non-Traditional Burgers, Hot Dogs, and Fries and the Weekly Block Party Link-up

I love a good barbecue, especially in the summer time!  As much a love the regular hot dogs, hamburgers and fries, I like to change things up and eat something that is a little different.  So here are 12 recipes for some nontraditional burgers, fries and hot dogs. 

Golden Snitch Birthday Cake - Harry Potter Birthday Cake

This has been the year that Rebecca has fallen in love with Harry of course she wanted a Harry Potter themed birthday cake.  Her favorite character goes back and forth between Ginny and Hermione...but Ginny started out as her firm favorite.  (I talk about that more Rebecca's connection to Ginny here.)  Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  When you make a purchase through an affiliate link, a small percentage of your purchase goes to support my blog.

So we decided to go with a cake that Ginny would love since she is such a super quidditch player, and sometimes plays the position of Seeker.  We figure this must be similar to the cake the Mrs. Weasley made for Harry's 17th birthday in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  We also made matching golden snitch cupcakes to take to her class at school (although almost none of the kids knew what they were...first grade is a bit early for Harry Potter literacy apparently.)

Becca's always been about the heroines in any book or movie.  It's been so fun to see her fall in love with books I love so much...and I think Ginny is a freaking awesome role are most of the women in Harry Potter.