Back to School – Preschool Totebag *Free Download*

August 1st, 2014

My little boy is growing up (insert crying here). He’s such a little love and we have such a strong bond, it’s going to be hard to not have him with me all day long. He’s starting preschool in the fall and on his supply list he needs a tote bag not a backpack. So I thought creating a custom tote bag would get him super excited to start school (he’s already thrilled).

We went to Michael’s and grabbed a pack of tote bags and some iron-on vinyl.
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This is such a fast and easy project, all you need is a tote bag, iron-on vinyl, a die-cut machine, and an iron.

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I cut out Ollie’s name (be sure to do mirror image!), and a monster that I had Mr. Project quickly draw for me (see bottom of post for a free download of this cute monster).  Then I placed them film side up on the bag to get the placement right:

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And then ironed on (one item at a time). I also learned after the first one to read the instructions (ha!) and put a cloth between the iron-on and the iron. No irons or tote bags were damaged in the process, but I was a little nervous there for a minute. preschoole-tote-iron

After ironing, I pulled off the plastic liner and saw the final product!

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The bag turned out so so cute! Ollie is completely in love with his new bag and even endured me taking more than one photo!
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There was even posing!!! this is unprecedented folks, maybe he could be a child model after all.

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Now he really can’t wait for school to start. He even told our babysitter that I would make one for her. preschoole-tote

I have a few more Back to School crafts up my sleeve that I’ll  be posting about in a few days. here’s a little sneak peek… I guess I’m pretty excited for school too!preschoole-tote-grouping

And if you have a back to school project, be sure to enter the Michaels #Create2Educate sweepstakes for your chance to win a $50 gift card! There’s a winner every day, so keep sharing your favorite back-to-school craft until August 15th. For more info and to check out other entries, visit michaels.com/create2educate-sweepstakes.

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Click below to begin download:

Free Monster SVG File

Free Monster DXF File

Free Monster STUDIO File

Click on a link above to download my Free Monster Cut File. The downloadable file in this article (and across my entire site) is free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany any images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my free downloads are available. Files are a free download AS IS. Also since you’ve made it this far, please subscribe to my  facebook page, instagram, and pinterest so you can find me again! And don’t forget to tell your friends!

To see my entire library of free downloads visit my Free Downloads page.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored as part of the Michaels Makers program. I received free product in exchange for this post. All ideas, opinions and wording is entirely my own and I had a lot of fun too!

Unplugged Play – Playing the Sock Game

January 30th, 2014

  It’s hard with a 1 and a 2 year old to figure out new and fun things to do with them especially working full-time. And all too often, a movie is the solution for keeping them occupied. I recently picked up this book Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner in an effort to find some fun simple activities with my boys.
unplugged-playI like this book for many reasons. One of them is that it’s sectioned by age group. So I can look through just the 1-2 year old toddler section, or the 3-4 year old preschooler group. There are a lot of familiar games, and variations on familiar games, but there are also many new and simple games that i’ve never thought of to play with my little ones.

My son’s favorite game so far has been what we call “the sock game” It’s a  really simple premise. You gather a bunch of big socks, and put little household objects/small toys in them without your child seeing (See easy! All stuff you have on hand).

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Then you give your child one sock at a time, and have them feel the object and try to guess what’s inside. Ollie would want to quickly look inside, so I started setting a timer for 1 minute with each sock to give him time to really think about what he was feeling.

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During that 1 minute, I also ask him simple questions like “Is it hard or soft?” “Will it bend or is it straight?” “What shape is it?”  ”Is it big, or is it small?” etc.

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He’s not quite 3 years old and LOVES to play this game. Usually we can do 2 rounds in one sitting before he’s ready to do something else. And I’m always impressed by which objects he can identify by just feeling them.

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It’s been great finding simple learning activities for his age, and this book has activities for up to age 10, so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it for years to come!

**This post contains affiliate links. To see my full disclosure statement, visit my sponsor page.

Construction Party – Leo’s First birthday

November 22nd, 2013

We never expected to still be in our rental for Leo’s first birthday. But because it took us so long to finish the design phase of our house build, we knew this day was coming and hosting a party was not entirely feasible. I’ve been stressing over his party for months now. Our rental is filled to the brim with cabinets, and boxes full of lighting, speakers, appliances, and personal effects. Having a party IN the house sounded like a really bad idea. But what else do you do at the end of October in Utah? Planning an outdoor party is even more nuts than having one in my crazy filled up space. And not having a party at all was just not an option, not for his first year.

I thought about hosting it at some sort of event facility, but that seems overkill for a first birthday party. I decided to just “make it work” and do a very small family party in our rental. One of my facebook followers suggested a construction party, and I thought it was an awesome idea because 1.Our lives, of course are in the middle of a huge construction phase, and 2. if the theme is construction, your house doesn’t have to look all fabulous and put together. And hey, that plywood and sledge hammer that is sitting on our front porch is now considered “decorations” Score!

What I didn’t expect, was that on the day of the party it would be 70 degrees outside. And so on that beautiful warm fall day (November 2nd if you can believe it), we had our little party out in the backyard. It was glorious to not have to worry about our crowded messy house, and everyone had a relaxing time sitting in the beautiful weather.

I tried to keep everything fairly simple because of the chaos we are constantly living in. The two things that I spent time on were the royal iced cookies, and the cone-shaped smash cake. Everything else was really simple and easy!

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My main decoration was this awesome CONSTRUCTION ZONE sign that I found at an antique market. It’s an actual really old hand-painted sign. I love it and plan on hanging it up in the playroom in our new house. Anyway, I was able to use it as a really cool backdrop and so everything else came together pretty fast.

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For the treats, I made royal-iced cookies. This was only my second time making piped cookies (the first time was practice for this), I think they turned out great! It’s a lot of work , but I’ve been wanting to learn how to do it, so this was a great opportunity to dive in (more pictures of those below).

The other treats are simple things like cheese-its (floor tile), sun chips (shingles), pretzels (rebar), and graham crackers (plywood), and starbursts (bricks). Most of our servingware is in storage, so I just used random plastic and glass food containers and went for that mis-matched construction kind of look.

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For the cake I went super simple, and picked up a plain chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from Costco, and put little construction diggers and dump trucks on it with some crushed oreos (a few oreos go a LONG way). We still have 2/3rds of this cake in our freezer!

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For drinks I got the Mexican made Fanta that kind of look like road barricades/cones. I had big plans to strip off the labels with some acetone, etc. but cooler heads prevailed and I just chilled the drinks and put them out.

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Mr. Project was in charge of the real food. He made bacon-wrapped turkey skewers, pigs in blankets (half hot dogs wrapped in Pilsbury crescent rolls) for the kids, sweet potato fries, rolls, and a veggie tray (there really was one, it just didn’t end up in the pictures!).

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Here is the sweet birthday boy holding his little construction hat. He’s the best baby… but he’s not really a baby anymore :(

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Its a miracle that I actually got him wearing his hat – this kid hates hats!

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Here he is with cousins Josh and Aubry – the oldest grandchild and the youngest grandchild in the family.

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My awesome brother got him a little Cosmo (BYU mascot), he loves stuffed animals and so a tiny cosmo was perfect!

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We also had a little favor table when you came in at the back gate. I bagged up the piped cookies as favors, and bought some orange bubble tape gum, and plastic yellow hard hats from Oriental Trading Co.

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Here are the cookies up close:

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And in their bags… so cute!
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And while I’m showing close-ups, here are some close-ups of the big cake:
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And while I’m showing cakes… I should show the cone cake that I made for Leo’s smash cake. I took pictures of the process. I can post that as it’s own post in a few days (how many times have I said that??).  This was my first sculpted cake. It turned out pretty good but kind of got a little melty-lopsided in the sun. I used sugar paper for the white stripe and the orange square at the bottom.

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Here’s the super cute birthday boy “digging in” He refused to touch the cone cake with his hands, but was happy to tear it up with a fork. Go figure.

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So there you have it, our perfect first birthday party for our little Leo. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and never would have imagined that we could host his party outside. So happy for the little things that make life so wonderful, like having family over for some cake and conversation on a nice warm fall day and celebrating the one year anniversary of a brand new life – little leo – whom we cannot possibly live without.