Thursday, July 30

Yellow & Grey to Make Your Day!

Hey teacher friends, it's been a while... sorry, I have been busy with my DIY friends (although, I know some of you fall under both categories)! You've probably been too busy enjoying summer vacation to even notice, huh?!

However, that little voice in the back of your head has you thinking about the upcoming school year... doesn't it? I have a classroom bundle just in time for your summer classroom planning!

This time my classroom bundle is for those of you that love yellow paired with grey!

Here's what's included in this 70 page bundle:

*Page 1-2: Clock Numbers (:00, :05, :10 etc.) **I use my fiskars circle punch to punch out black circles to back the numbers before laminating!**
*Page 3-10: Table numbers (small for tables, large to hang) numbers 1-6
*Page 11-21: Calendar Pieces (months, black and turquoise numbers, today/tomorrow/yesterday cards, birthday cards, blank holiday cards)
*Page 22: Homework Page (M,T,W,Th,F,Sat/sun)
*Page 23: Lesson Planning Page (math, science, social studies, reading, writing, other)
*Page 24-30: ABC Word Wall Headers
*Page 31-37: Number Cards (0-10 & three blank cards)
*Page 38-52: Animal Alphabet Cards (including 2 blank and 1 page listing what each picture is)
*Page 53: 2 Name Plates
*Page 54-55: Bulletin Board Borders (Yellow & Grey Chevron)
*Page 56- Blank Gift Bag Labels
*Page 57-61: Welcome Banner Flags
*Page 62-70: ABC Bunting

Here's a close-up preview of some of the items!

As always, I'd love to hear your suggestions as to what else I can create to make my classroom bundles even better! Maybe you need cursive letters for your classroom? Let me know! A behavior chart to match? Tell me what you're hoping for!

I also have a movie themed and turquoise, black, and white classroom bundle available in my TpT store!

Tuesday, July 28

Whatever Will 'B', Will 'B'...

This summer has been a bit of an adventure for me. In this short summer,  I have learned a lot about life.  I have experienced the loss of a loved one, the birth of a few new best friends, and I made it to my {first} 29th birthday. This summer has given me time to reflect on how amazingly beautiful and heartbreaking life can be, and how lucky I am to be here. I have an education, a house, a wonderful family, an incredible boyfriend, and life long friends. I suppose, at my age, it is normal to start thinking about life. We are reaching so many different milestones... things we have dreamt about since childhood! I am so thankful to be reaching (or at least getting closer to) these milestones with a group of wonderful friends by my side. You've heard the song, "Que Sera, Sera"? Well, I am content in knowing that whatever will be, will be along with the people I care about the most!

In this post, I'd like to celebrate new life by talking about about a little "Baby B's" shower that I helped plan! My friend Maria is a pioneer of sorts, as she seems to be at the helm, leading us through these major life milestones! She was engaged and married first... and, most recently, she just had a baby on June 1st (I thought the baby may have had my birthday... June 28th... Maria did NOT like that prediction)!

When Maria told us she was pregnant there were tears of joy... and then when we found out she was having a girl... there were more tears, and squeals of excitement that we were truly having a "girl's lunch"!

How cute is this gender reveal scratch off card Maria gave us?!

Of course, I immediately began to think about Maria's shower, so we teamed up with her mom.  This brought us all back to high school when we would invite ourselves over Maria's house all the time! Maria mentioned she would want a Classic Winnie the Pooh theme. This is even more adorable because their last name begins with "B, and we referred to the baby as "Baby B" the whole pregnancy.  "B"s and Pooh Bear... perfect match! We painted these adorable "hunny" pots (got the idea here) ... and of course, there were plenty of laughs and snacks!

I was given pieces of wood from a friend that used them at her wedding. Kristen picked up the wood and then her husband made some cupcake tiers out of them (thank you for making my vision come to life!) I also glued tissue paper on branches to look like flower buds. I was going for a "100 Aker Wood" look.

Obsessed with Eeyore doing a headstand over there on the left!
I printed out Classic Pooh Bear characters onto white card stock and glued them onto toothpicks for simple decorations. I finally got to use my "grass" piping tip that Greg got me a while ago (after listening to me complain about how I couldn't make grass for my Truffula tree cupcakes for my Dr. Seuss themed kindergarten graduation... I make gift giving so easy for him). I found the edible bees at Walmart and piped some hives for them to sit upon (the frosting wasn't as thick as I would have liked it to be, so the hives weren't as tall).



For the centerpieces we kept it simple.  Framed quotes or images on the wood pieces, along with the "hunny" pots.

The favors were little jars of honey (Maria's mom's brilliant idea).  We topped the jar with bumblebee fabric and attached a tag with twine.  


I also created some games for guests to play at the table. Personally, I do not love shower games that require you to get up and do things. I like to chit chat! Maria also requested that we not play the "what's in the dirty diaper?" game or make anyone drink from baby bottles... not that I would have done that in the first place (ew)!

ugh, number 7 is supposed to be 'onesie', but I left out an 'e' on half of the cards... so 'noise' works!
Of course there were presents... and of course I wrapped mine in a super cute way ;)


Want to know what I got for Maria? Next blog post I'll have a wonderful baby shower DIY for you!

Here's a clue:

Any guesses?

Saturday, July 4

File Under "A" for Awesome!

I spy a new addition to the craft room!
It was just my 29th birthday, so that makes me an "almost adult"... right? So, I should probably have a filing cabinet for all of my super important adult documents... What's that, you too are an "almost adult"? Well, lucky for you, I have a really awesome and easy DIY for you today!

I took a trashy filing cabinet, and turned it into a treasure! I loved this project so much, I already have another {FREE} filing cabinet ready to be re-done for my classroom!

  • sandpaper
  • cleaning supplies
  • screwdriver
  • primer (and roller if using canned primer)
  • spray paint
  • painter's tape
  • plastic bag or other protective covering

1. PLAN: Plan out your design before you start painting. Do you want the cabinet to be one color, or two? Will the fronts of the drawers have a design? I planned out my cabinet in Microsoft Word beforehand (things like this truly make me happy!)... I am a visual person, and seeing the colors together helped me make my decision.


2. REMOVE HARDWARE: Remove handles, label holders, and any other hardware your cabinet may have.  My handles were screwed on which made for an easy removal. For the label holders,  I used a flat head screw driver to pry up the metal tabs securing them.  You can use painters tape to cover the lock on the bottom drawer, or stick a piece of paper inside the lock opening to keep paint out if you want the lock primed.  Some filing cabinets are different and may have additional hardware or handles that are not removable.

3. CLEAN/ SAND: In order for the primer to adhere to the best of its ability, it is a good idea to wipe the filing cabinet down to remove any dust or dirt.  The amount of sanding that you'll have to do depends on the condition of your filing cabinet (if you sand, wipe down the cabinet after this step). This cabinet was in fairly good condition (no paint loss) so I did a light sanding all around. The bottom edges had a bit of rust, so I sanded more heavily there to remove that and make it a level surface.  

4. PRIME: You can use a spray primer, or a paint/roll-on primer.  For this cabinet, I actually used both options.  My spray ran out before I was done, so I grabbed a canned primer and a roller and completed the job. I used Zinsser primer and did 2 light coats. The only thing I noticed is that there are some of the stippled roller marks on the front of the cabinet that can only be noticed when inspected closely (almost like the ones on painted walls)... so if this will drive you crazy, use a spray primer. With your hand, feel for any uneven spots after you prime.  Lightly sand these spots in between primer coats. Use a rag to brush off any dust left from sanding. Make sure to let the primer dry according to the directions on the can. 

5. PAINT: Now it's time for color! I used Valspar spray paint in Nautical (satin), Brushed Rose (flat), White (flat), and Brilliant Gold. The body of the filing cabinet needed 3-4 coats.  As you can see in the pictures, it was streaky at first, but after the 3-4 coats it got better (don't get frustrated). Even after those coats, it may look like there are streaks, but it is the contrast between the fresh spray paint and the more dry paint. Eventually it will go away!

The drawer fronts only needed 1-2 coats because they were white and it was going on over the white primer.  I used painter's tape for the stripes, and a garbage bag to cover the rest of the drawer front that I did not want painted.  Make sure it is completely secured so no paint can get under the bag! Let the spray paint dry according to directions before adding additional details. 
I spray painted the hardware gold.  I did not prime the hardware because my spray had run out, but if I had the option, I probable would have! I sprayed 2 coats of gold to the hardware. The lock was painted with a gold acrylic paint (in a not perfect match). I did not want to attempt to spray paint the lock and ruin my other work!

5. PROTECTION: What? I can get pregnant from painting a filing cabinet? Haha no! I mean a protective top coat and felt feet. These steps are optional.  If you think you need a clear protective top coat you can spray one on.  I did not choose to put a protective coat on because I didn't have one when I chose to do this project.  However, my cabinet has held up fine so far.  Just make sure you let the paint dry for a few days before putting anything on top of it. Another option is adding felt feet on the bottom.  My cabinet is on a hardwood floor, and with the felt feet it is now easy to move without damaging the floors or having to lift it.   

I just love this filing cabinet, even though I haven't even put any files in it yet. Eventually I will organize my teaching templates and items I have made... and those aforementioned important adult documents! My next cabinet, for my classroom, will be black and white! What are your plans for your rusty old filing cabinet?

1. PAINTING: When I was painting the pink stripe, I did not secure the plastic bag on well enough.  Some of the pink paint over-spray got onto the white part of the drawer.  I had to then repaint white over that.  Save yourself those extra steps and secure the cover!

2. DRYING TIME: LET THE PAINT DRY! I, of course, was impatient and had to style the top of the filing cabinet the next day!  When I tried to move the things I had stacked on top, the items had left indents in the paint.  After waiting about a week, the paint had a chance to harden and nothing sticks to the top anymore.

3. HARDWARE: If you want to spray paint your lock, that is something to do ahead of time, before priming and painting.  I would have liked to have the lock painted in the same gold as the rest of the hardware, however, I didn't think about that until the end when it was too much of a hassle/ risk to do it.  Cover as much of the cabinet as you can and then spray the lock.  After the lock dries, cover it in painters tape and you can prime and paint the rest of the cabinet... any over-spray from painting the lock will be covered by the primer and paint!

I want to see your painted filing cabinets! Send me your pictures! 

Sunday, May 31

A Bushel and a Peck

On Wednesday afternoon my nana passed away.  This is a sentence that has crossed my mind many times since then, but this is the first time I have been able to write it.

It wasn't sudden, she had been in and out of the hospital since the winter, but it's still so difficult to accept as a reality. I am so lucky I was able to visit with her and that we were both able to express our love for one another... as we both silently understood what the inevitable would be.  In her nana voice, that I can still hear in my head, she would say, "Shannon... you are my baby" as she held my hand and closed her eyes. This is the same voice she would use to say, "I think about you everyday", whenever we spoke on the phone. I'm worried I won't always remember that sound...

I am...was... lucky enough to be one of her three grandchildren. I was her only granddaughter, and the youngest, which I think created a special bond between us. Not only that, but before my aunt adopted me, during the times my mother couldn't take care of me, it was my nana that I lived with.  My nana, who was supposed to be done raising children, would walk me to elementary school, cook me spinach and eggs, dance the polka in the living room, let me do her hair, play restaurant, make me practice spelling tests, and sing to me... the list could really go on and on.

Nana is clearly enjoying her hair being styled!
Yesterday, when I went to her house, the place I associate as my childhood home, I felt so much happiness.  As I went around the house collecting pictures and knick knacks I felt like I was back in time, like maybe my nana was in the pantry washing dishes.  I think my favorite part was that the smells of the house were the same.  As I peeked into the sun porch, the smell reminded me of going outside on a flower tour with nana, of jump roping, and of the butterfly bush, as this was the exit we used to go out and play in the backyard together.

The attic also had the same smell.  To this day I still have dreams that involve me walking up the stairs to that attic! That's where Nana kept all her old barbies and dolls. The attic still has equal parts comfort and mystery, as I wasn't always allowed to venture up there.
My favorite smell, however, was when I opened the drawer that had all of her pillow cases and sheets.  I remember helping Nana make the bed as she taught me songs like, "You Are My Sunshine". When I lived with Nana I didn't have my own room, so basically we had sleepovers every night. The smell of that drawer brought back the memories of the comfort and safety I felt under the sheets and blankets, that always felt freshly washed and cool on my bare feet... my nana close by to protect me from any nightmares I may have had. Looking at the bed yesterday, I laughed because it looked so small compared to my memories... Poor Nana had to deal with my all over sleeping patterns... I was known to do 180's in my sleep when I was a kid, and would end up at the foot of the bed, but she never complained.

My nana was my best friend growing up. She taught me so many things. Not things you learn in school, but the things that help to make you who you are.  My favorite flower, favorite childhood song, favorite food... all have ties to my nana.
Looking through pictures I am learning more more about my nana and her life... I only wish she was here to answer the questions I have. In these pictures Nana isn't always smiling, but I love that. I know that was the serious face she would make as she said something she knew was funny... and then, after a moments pause, she'd laugh at herself. 


Thank you, Nana, for helping me be the person I am today. I always have your voice in the back of my mind when I make decisions, and I promise that won't change. Thank you for thinking about me everyday, and loving me so much... I hope you felt the same amount of love from me as well. I'd say I hope you were proud of me, but I already know that you were.  I'm sorry I wasn't there when you left this Earth, and I'm sorry I didn't get you home before you went... I understand the comfort your home brings, and that's all that you wanted... I hope my visits brought you some comfort.

We always talked about my wedding and you being there, and it breaks my heart you won't be there in person... When that day {finally} comes I hope you're there in spirit... And I hope I look as beautiful as you did.


I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.  

Lucy Niezelski December 15, 1924 - May 27, 2015

Tuesday, April 21

Shine Bright Like a... Wood Floor

I am super excited to share an awesome discovery with you!!!
April break just ended and there are a few projects that I started... and many more projects waiting to be started.  However, it was 2 nights ago... the last night of April break, that I started a project that has me so excited! 
That's right, we shined up our hardwood floors... and I know... you're wondering if I've won the lottery because there is no way this "almost teacher" could afford to get all of her hardwood floors refinished! Well, I haven't won the lottery... just yet, but I did get beautiful looking floors, on a budget! 

A while back, Greg mentioned to me that he had bought a kit to restore the shine to our hardwood floors.  He also explained we'd have to move our furniture when we decided to do it. At that point the floor project it was put on the back burner, because I have been hoarding tastefully collecting furniture to refinish and it's scattered all around the house. 

This past weekend, while I was downstairs cleaning, Greg decided to start the flooring project because I had already swept, vacuumed, and steam mopped the whole upstairs (nothing like a "last day of April break" cleaning frenzy).  When I came upstairs to see the half of the kitchen that Greg had completed, I was IMPRESSED! I immediately forgot about the mess downstairs, and said, "let's do my craft room next!", and so we did!

Greggy- Poo hard at work shining my craft room floor!
 It's really easy! You can do it this weekend! Here are the steps we took.
We used the Bona Hardwood Floor Care System {about $20} to prep the floors,  Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver {about $20} to get our floors shiny again, and a Bona Reusable Microfiber Mop Pad {about $6} to apply the Minwax... all purchased from Lowe's! We will have to buy another bottle of the Minwax to complete the project, so 2 bottles should complete 3 rooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen, and hallway. 

A common question I've been asked is if the floors were slippery after we did this.  I have found that the floors actually have more grip now that we have done this treatment, whereas before, we had certain {death} spots that were super slippery and almost caused me to break my neck on multiple occasions. 

This treatment can be repeated every 6 months.  I think this would be great for someone selling their house, someone who just purchased their house, or someone doing some last minute cleaning before going back to school (hehe, thats me!)

So, are you super pumped so "refinish" your hardwood floors?!

 Check out this beaut I snagged for $20 hanging out on the {shiny} kitchen floor (don't tell Greg I put her there).  I will be painting this and adding gems... and finally my kitchen chandelier dreams will come true.