Spooktacular Reads

October birthday’s are so fun to shop for! Especially when it’s for little young monsters! Check out the books I purchased recommended by Amazon’s Best Sellers! They’re perfect for little ones to early readers! As a parent of two, when it comes to my boys receiving gifts, books from friends and family are the best gifts to receive. Anything educational focused, and activity based! And they don’t take up so much room in the house! Books are one of the best things I believe a child can receive as a gift!

Buying a few books can range from $15-$25, a perfect target price for a decent gift for a little one! Beat the toys, the large gizmo play sets with a million pieces for parents to assemble, and go towards the wonderful route of picture books, early readers, or children’s novels! Trust me, the parents will be happy, as well as the child!

GiftIdea

Halloween Children Books Recommended:

Curious George Haunted Halloween By: H.A. Rey

Hang on to your hats! George gets spooked when he spends his first Halloween in the country and hears the legend of No Noggin—a headless scarecrow that kicks people’s hats off on Halloween! The man with the yellow hat tells George it’s just a legend, but with the help of his friends Allie and Bill, George is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out once and for all if No Noggin really exists. This early reader features a festive bonus activity for even more Halloween fun with George!

I Love You Little Pumpkin By: Sandra Magsamen

Whose smiling face is this, so sweet and true?
It’s my little pumpkin and I love YOU!

This bestselling interactive novelty format features sturdy lift-the-flaps on each spread and blends Sandra Magsamen’s signature soft illustrations and heartfelt messages with a touch of Halloween. Babies will giggle at all of the adorably costumed little ones and squeal with delight when a surprise mirror reveals who is loved most of all!

Spooky Pookie By: Sandra Boynton

It’s Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton’s celebrated charm and pizzazz, Spooky Pookie has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!

One, Two…Boo! By: Kristen L. Depken

The littlest trick-or-treaters can lift the flaps to count their way through a spooky old house . . . but they had better be prepared for a few surprises! With a die-cut cover, adorable illustrations, and a flap on every page, this sturdy little board book is the perfect Halloween gift for trick-or-treaters everywhere.

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Festive Fall Gift Wrap

To keep the gift still low-budget, and to avoid buying birthday gift wrap, try using items you can find around the house! I used brown paper lunch baggies! Yes! Something I have all the time, along with chalk pens, chalk tags, and twine! These are staples I love to keep in  my personal craft supply kit. To add that fall festive look, I purchase black and orange burlap rolls  and ribbon for a dollar at Target (Found at the Dollar Spot!) These little convenient rolls of burlap can be used now from October and November! If you love gifting fun holiday gifts to friends and family, or even to co-workers, and your child’s teacher, these decorative gift wrapping essentials are a hit, that are budget friendly!

What are you up too this Halloween? Any fun parties to attend to? Work pot-lucks? Or just staying in passing out candy?

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DIY Farmgirl Bouquet

The school year has finally came to an end!! (Insert dancing mom gif here) I’m happy enough to have been the class mom for my son’s second grade class, and attend just about every field trip, and to come in most Friday’s of the school year for a crafternoon. There are so many benefits of volunteering as a class mom. And as my birthday landed on the last Friday of the school year, it was one of the most precious gifts that I could ever have, by volunteering  in that same day!! You seriously cannot buy experiences of sharing good times with children doing arts & crafts!

Parent Fact:

Whether the kids are just starting kindergarten or entering the final year of high school, there are many good reasons for parents to volunteer at school. It’s a great way to show your kids that you take an interest in their education, and it sends a positive message that you consider school a valuable cause.

By interacting with teachers, administrators, and other parents on a regular basis, you’ll be able to gain a firsthand understanding of your child’s daily activities. You’ll also tap into trends and fads of school life that can help you communicate with your kids as they grow and change (all without intruding on their privacy or personal space).

Even if you haven’t been involved in the past, it’s never too late to start. In fact, it may be more important than ever to get involved when kids reach secondary school. Some parents may experience “volunteer burnout” by the time their kids enter high school or decide that the schools don’t need them as much then. Many parents who volunteered a lot of time during their kids’ elementary years return to full-time careers by the time their kids are teens, so there’s often a shortage in the secondary schools.

(Info From KidsHealth.org)

End Of School Year Teacher Gift

This can also be applied to a Class Mom, volunteer, Team Mom gift.

(Check my last post on the Berry Basket! It compliments the bouquet!!)

Teacher Gift 2With the school year done as well as little league, there are tons of important people to thank. From the classroom teacher, class mom volunteer, little league managers, and team moms. All these people put in the extra hard work for your children. They go above and beyond to make the year or season run smoothly. Here is a great DIY End Of School Year/End Of Season gift to those important ladies. Let’s get started with my DIY inspired FarmGirl bouquet.

As mentioned, my birthday was just last week and I received a beautiful FarmGirl bouquet from my brother. The idea of a carefully wrapped burlap bouquet of fresh blooms is quite brilliant. After unwrapping the beauty I was able to figure out how to create my own rendition and take the idea for a small simple bouquet for gift to others.

Farmgirl

(Checkout my blog post HERE recapping my 29th Birthday)

LoveFlowers

Here’s what you’ll need for the DIY Inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet.

Materials:

– Scissors

-Twine/ Ribbon/ Yarn

-Burlap

-Foam

– Gift Tag

-Flowers (I purchased my tall Larkspur bunch from Traders Joes for $3.99) 

Directions:

1.) First cut your flowers at a decent size. weather you prefer tall or short, I like to pre-size them up against a standard size mason jar or small desk vase.

2.) Simply, cut and snip, and clean the stem with loose leaves or thorns.

3.) Take your foam and soak in water (and squeeze!) Make sure the foam isn’t soaking wet, but just enough not to dry up by delivery time. This will add moisture to the stems of the flowers to hydrate them, during travel time and delivery.

FlowerCut

4.) Take your foam and cut a large size triangle. Have the size of the foam compliment the size of the bottom half of the stems of the bouquet.

5.) Fold your foam triangle, making sure the bottom of the stems are completely covered. 

6.) Using your twine, tighten the foam around the bottom part of your bouquet.

BottomBouquet

7.) Once the foam piece is secured and tied, place your bouquet on top of the burlap.

This is when I seriously had to play around with my burlap. Note, I was using scraps of burlap I had. Just about the size of a table runner.

8.) I wrapped by bouquet and tightened it with more twine, leaving enough of the flower to poke over at the top.

Burlap WrappedAfter following the above steps your bouquet it almost finished, and should look like this. From here, we’ll style the burlap to there’s more florals showing through.

9.) Take the opening of the burlap and fold it back. If your burlap is stiff, try pining it back with a safety pin, or sewing needle pin.

Final

And viola! There is your DIY inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet! I only spend $3.99 for the flowers! Everything else, I had here at home, scraps of foam, burlap, and twine are staples I always have in my craft supplies! Check out my next post, on the berry basket gift that compliments this bouquet of flowers!

What I love most about this bouquet, is its easy to make, simple, and can be given at any occasion. Mother’s Day, visiting a friend and her newborn, and like I’ve mentioned, can be a perfect gift for teachers and team moms alike! Enjoy!!

Smiles

Birthday Love

Last Friday on my birthday, two of my girlfriends treated me out to a cute little British Tea room in San Francisco, called LoveJoy’s Tea Room. Located right along Church St. in Noe Valley, this is a perfect place for a girls day out! Their scones and sandwiches are delightful. Their cute little tea sandwiches and scones are neatly arranged and displayed on plated tiers, served with delicious butter and jam that add that perfect touch to your toasty fresh scone. Warm scones, tasty tea sandwiches and a bottomless pot of tea await you at LoveJoy’s.

LoveJoy

As we were hosted to our reserved spot, located right at the front bench window, the seats were decorated with a number of various vintage pillows and cushions;I noticed a bouquet of flowers sitting on our table. Instinctively, before enjoying the beautiful bouquet I searched for a card, or any tag. FarmGirlFlowers, of San Francisco is were it was delivered from, and ordered by my younger brother! As I’m tearing up enjoying the beautiful gift arrangement of wildflowers, peonies, pink/lavender calla lilies, roses, and cabbage life blooms – I could only send positive energy and vibes to people all around me. The energy was definitely real. I was completely touched by the beautiful burlap wrapped gift.

To my brother Justin, if you’re reading this. Thank you so much for the special delivery. It really put a huge smile on my face.

Tea Table

Below, we ordered 3 variations of the Queen’s Tea (Tea Service). It includes your choice of two sandwiches,served with cabbage salad in a caraway cream dressing, organic spring greens, a scone with preserves and devon cream, a crumpet with meyer lemon curd, fresh fruit, a petit four and tea tea biscuit.

 

Tier

Shared between the three of us, we were table to try 6 of their sandwiches, which were: the classic cucumber & cream cheese, chicken-apple-walnut salad, smoked turkey & dijon, cream cheese & green apple, salmon mousse (which I didn’t try- due to sea food allergies), and the Bay shrimp & mayonnaise chicken asparagus. All were absolutely delicious!!

TeaRoom

Our selection of teas were Earl Grey, China Rose Petal and  Passion Fruit. Each of us had out own tea pot served to us, as well as a cute tea cup placed on two saucers, a provided strainer, milk and cream.

TeaRoom2

As my friends and I enjoyed our afternoon tea, we discussed upcoming plans for the weekend. Since, I’ve been living and breathing fitness and working out – the girls agreed to join me for a Sunday morning hike. We ended our late afternoon enjoying the sweet treats on chocolate bon bons, and adoring the cute quaint decor of the tea room, we topped it with photos taken at every corner of the tea room, and outside too! Literally, the tea room is filled with tea pots, lace vintage doilies, porcelain figurines, and amazing soft prints and textures complimented with distressed mix matched furniture.

As simple as the my birthday was spent, I couldn’t have spent it any other way! Short, sweet, and surrounded by good vibes, a good atmosphere, a delightful food and tea. It doesn’t take much for me to smile, and its the littlest details that make me swoon.

LoveJoys

Thank you all who wished me a Happy Birthday! Turning 29 definitely as made me realize all you need is love and joy to keep on smiling. I look forward to the new year at a new age, and pushing into my 30s!!!!

Smiles

DIY Mother’s Day Wreath

Lately, I haven’t had the time to craft as obsessively as I’d like too but; when I do the get the chance to craft it undoubtedly turns out absolutely fantastic!! This year I’ve gravitated towards creating door wreaths for my family and friends. This homemade decoration item, creates a fantastic element of surprise, welcome, warmth, with a handcrafted with love flair! I created this burlap wreath for my mother for Mother’s Day this year, and made a much more simple one for his mom as well. Take a look below on how to create this festive, full “welcome to our home” eye candy piece!

Wreath

Materials You’ll Need:

-Grapevine Wreath

-Burlap Deco Mesh

-Zip Ties (I always buy mine at the DollarTree or Daiso)

-Scissors

-Hot Glue Gun

-Faux Florals I used Hydrangeas, and other varieties of flowers.

I purchased many, yet all my materials at my local Michael’s Craft Store, on those special days then all silk/florals are on sale, and I had a 40% Coupon handy.

Fake Florals

Zip Tie Instructions:

If you’ve seen my Easter Wreath post, the same technique applies with wrapping the deco mesh with the tip ties. Check it out here!

Basically, pinch, place, gather & bunch,  zip tie, cut!! Then repeat!!

It’s that simple!

ZipTie Instructions

Note: Burlap Decor Mesh is very flexible, and can be shaped very easily to create an easy, fun and full wreath.

Zip ties make this craft so EASY to do!! I can’t think of any other material that would help secure the

deco mesh any tighter,and easy to use!

Burlap Wreath

This was such a great Mother’s Day Gift! Being a mom, I appreciate having a happy looking home filled with delightful accents in my home, from nice placemats, coffee table candy dish, or a sweet scenting candle. Just a few home accents make the homemaker mother smile.

Door Wreath

Try creating a homemade decorative piece for a special woman figure in your life! They’re perfect gifts for moms, neighbors, co-works, teachers, and team moms!! Customize them however you like!! Have you ever created your own door wreath? Share it with me!! I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Smiles