Duck Derby

This is a project I’ve been brewing up for over a year. I shot the first part of the post last fall, and before I could post it, we had an early snowstorm, and the streams all froze…so it seemed really awkward to post about a fun water activity when all the water was frozen solid. So I’ve been saving this post for ages; and today’s the day! Labor Day weekend is the perfect time for an end of summer party the whole family can enjoy. And a Duck Derby is just that! Fun for everyone, and easy peasy to throw together. Ducks1My friends at Munchkin were so kind to send all these great ducks* for our party; and so patient when Mother Nature ruined my plans. We have one special Munchkin Duck (his name is Edwin) who has been a member of our family for almost ten years. You’ll hear more about him later; but let’s have a Duck Derby! 

Duck RaceHere’s what you’ll need:

Just head to your favorite stream and launch the ducks. Someone needs to stand at the finish line to make sure the ducks don’t get away; but other than that, it’s a pretty simple, fun activity to do with your family.

DucksNaturally, I took things a step further and created a coordinating picnic. I just happened to paint my picnic table bright yellow this spring; so it was practically begging for a duck-themed party. 

Duck TableJust one stop at the party store and I was in business. I grabbed some white and clear balloons;  tiny duck squirters; orange paper goods, yellow utensils and some cute striped bags

Duck PicnicI made the soap bubble centerpiece by blowing up the balloons to various sizes and taping them to the table. Then “float” a few dressed-up ducks on top for a quick, inexpensive centerpiece! 

Duck CoolerThis adorable inflatable duck bathtub works well as a cooler…so grab your favorite drinks and you’re ready to party. 

DrinksHope you all have a happy, fun and safe Labor Day Weekend!

*Munchkin provided all the rubber ducks and the inflatable bath tub for this post. I feel so lucky to work with such great companies. Thanks for supporting the brands who support my work. 

Back to YOU!

This summer vacation was my favorite to date. We didn’t even take any big trips…just lots of swimming, lots of cousins, and lots of time spent with friends. It’s the kind of nostalgic summer vacation I always dreamed of for my kids: art projects, parades, water balloons; evening bike rides, popsicles.  I spent most of my summer prepping for my first big craft show (which was so much fun!) Then shortly after, I designed and set up a booth for my husband at the community health fair…so I’ve neglected both the housework and myself amid all the fun and the chaos. Even though I’ll miss my little buddies next week, I’m craving some organization and quiet.

I’ve partnered with my pals at Wayfair* to help get Back to ME when the kids go back to school. I know as parents we rarely (if ever) put ourselves first; and the beginning of a new school year is a great time to treat ourselves to something we want or need. What I need is a little quiet. As much as I love reading Harry Potter with my 4th grader; occasionally I need some quiet time to myself. This little reading nook I designed for my bedroom should fit the bill perfectly: Back to You-01I usually gravitate toward lots of color and pattern in my interior spaces; but after the chaos of summer, I need something more muted. I stuck with white, grays and black with just a bit of metallic to create my “ME” space. I imagine curling up here with a cozy blanket and a good book as the weather turns cooler. Maybe I won’t cry so hard at kindergarten drop-off next week knowing I can read a good book, and eat a treat all by myself. 

There were so many other things I wanted to include in my reading nook, so take a look at my Idea Board to see some of my other favorites. And here’s a source list if you need any of these pieces in your life as badly as I do: 

  1. Union End Table, by Sunpan Modern
  2. Hathaway Armchair, by VOLO
  3. Alvira Table Lamp, by Three Posts
  4. Worn Stripe Pillow, by ferm LIVING
  5. Superheroes Print, by Kal Barteski
  6. Geometric Pillow, by e by design
  7. Sarjaton Metsa Mug, by iittala
  8. Iron Wire Basket, by ferm LIVING
  9. Menagerie Elephant Figurine by Jonathan Adler

So how are you going to treat yourself once the kiddos go back to school? 

*This post is sponsored by Wayfair. I chose all the products; and all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support my work. 


Printable School Labels

School starts next week. This is the first time in my parenting career that I’m not anxiously awaiting the end of summer. It’s been a really fun summer, and I’ve truly enjoyed the small people that give me zero personal space. This little darlin’ is headed for kindergarten and I’m not emotionally ready for it. But don’t tell her I said so. She’s feeling a bit nervous; and I have to keep my composure so I don’t freak her out. My pals at The Land of Nod sent over this adorable unicorn backpack to help send her off in style.
BackpackOver the years, I’ve sent kids to school in three different states. And I’ve learned a few tricks to keep things (somewhat) organized on the home front once the school bell rings and the papers start piling up. You can see my whole school year organization guide over at Honest to Nod today. 

Printable School LabelsHere’s a sneak peak at one of my learned-the-hard-way tips: LABEL EVERYTHING! Somehow socks wander off, water bottles sprout legs and walk away and that super cool (literally!) insulated lunchbox gets left on the playground. The only way you even stand a chance is to slap a name + phone number all over the place. Sure, feel free to not label that awful pokemon hat; and then act surprised when it doesn’t make it home. I won’t tell anyone. 😉 But stick a label on the things you actually want to come home. 

Printable School LabelsI made these printable label sheets to make the job a little easier. Print them out on card stock, a full-page label sheet; or laminate them luggage tag style and attach them to everything. Get them in pink/orange, blue, or green/brown (for those Minecraft lovers out there). Be sure to stop by Honest to Nod today for more Back-to-School organizing inspiration. And I leave you with one more look at the cutest backpack ever made:Unicorn BackpackP.S. Backpacks and lunch boxes are 15% off until Monday…so go snag a magical backpack of your own, er, I mean for the kids.


Printable Tooth Fairy Receipts

Now I’m up to TWO blog posts this summer. So I’m pretty much killing it. 😉 I’ve teamed up with my pals at JAM Paper for this fun Tooth Fairy project. My almost-kindergartener has been losing teeth left and right lately. One tooth per week for the last three weeks! She’s giving the Tooth Fairy a real run for her money. Tooth Fairy ReceiptI know every family approaches the Tooth Fairy differently; and I’m one of those parents who believes in prolonging the magic of childhood with a few white lies and an occasional sprinkling of fairy dust. My husband pulls teeth regularly, and the Tooth Fairy joins us often at community health fairs, so we’re basically family. Sidenote: loose teeth give me the heebie jeebies…so those 7 years of dental training were totally worth it if it means I never have to touch a loose tooth as long as I live.

Envelopes 2OK, back to business; JAM sent over these adorable tiny envelopes and my daughter lost her first tooth the next day. So this project was meant to be. I occasionally design rubber stamps for my parents’ office supply store; so I whipped up an official Tooth Fairy seal for myself while I was at it. You never know when you’ll need an official Tooth Fairy seal, right? 

Tooth Fairy EnvelopesThen I stamped the envelopes, and embossed them in silver because that’s was the Tooth Fairy would do. I asked her. She gave me two tiny thumbs up for my design choice. I made a little “receipt” so the Tooth Fairy can just check a few boxes, tuck the money into the envelope, and ta-da! Magic accomplished. She’s very busy, you know, so if I can streamline the process at all for her, I’m happy to oblige.

Printable Tooth Fairy Receipt

Embossed Tooth Fairy Envelope

You can grab some envelopes over on JAM’s website; and you can get the printable receipt here. If you happen to be at Craft Lake City next weekend, I’ve got a version of this available during the event…so come visit me in booth 115. And Thanks, JAM Paper, for having tiny envelopes in bright colors. You speak my love language.