Friday, August 30, 2013

Inspiring Teachers


Thanks to Participant Media for sponsoring this post and for the opportunity to acknowledge the importance of teachers in our children’s lives.

Many of you who have been reading F&J probably know that I was a middle school Math teacher for several years before I became a stay-at-home mom.  I loved teaching and hope to return to it soon.

I loved teaching in the middle school.  The kids are young enough to act silly but old enough to get my sarcasm.  But I didn't always want to be a teacher.  I was inspired my math teacher that I had in Junior High School.

Here I am in Junior High.... Aren't I so cute??  

Ms Moland was my math teacher in 7th grade and 9th grade.  I had struggled with dyslexia in elementary school and Ms. Moland was the first teacher to make me realize I was really good at Math.  She was one of those teachers who was tough by kind.  She set really high standards for her students, and we all wanted to reach them.  She taught the advanced level math classes and also the  lower level at-risk students and treated them all the same.  She challenged us to do better.  In 9th grade I got the opportunity to be her Teacher's Assistants.  It was during that time that she told me that I would make a great math teacher some day.  I had never even thought about becoming a teacher.  But once she told me that, it was all I wanted to be.

As back-to-school is in full swing I am thinking of my teaching years.  How teachers get to gear up for the school year the week before the students come back.  I remember making seating charts, hanging up posters, and planning lessons.  I miss it.

But this year my son is going to kindergarten... my fist kid to go off to school!
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com
He is totally ready for school and I am excited and nervous for him all at the same time.  I just got to meet his teacher and she is going to be great!

Teaching is such a great way to impact the future!  Shaping kids minds and guiding them to greatness is what teachers get to do (Although it mostly feels like grading papers and telling kids to sit down and be quite!)



TEACH, Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s third documentary film about education in America asks the question: What Does It Take to Be A Great Teacher Today?

Following four dedicated teachers from different schools across the country over the course of one school year, TEACH gives viewers a window into the challenges, demands and rewards of teaching, with the purpose of elevating and promoting the profession, as well as engaging new teachers and supporting current teachers. We see that for the best teachers, it’s not just a job but a mission. 

As intense as it is emotional, this year in the life of four public-school teachers illustrates how tenacity, passion and a belief in innovation drive these educators as they navigate the daily ups and downs of the 2012-2013 school year. These educators use conventional and unconventional methods and do whatever it takes to overcome obstacles and strive for success.

Here is the trailer for it:



Tell me - What teachers inspire you?  Leave a comment and let me know your stories!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Easy No-Sew Appliqué Flower Shirt and Jeans. (12MonthsOfMartha)

***This post is written as part of the 12 months of Martha program.  I get craft supplies from Martha Stewart Crafts for free to create fun crafts with.  All my projects and opinions are 100% mine.***

I had so much fun with this months box of Martha Stewart supplies that I made a second project!  And this one is SO EASY!  It took less then 15 minutes (plus dry time) to complete!  

No-Sew Appliqué!   
This one is for all you none-sewers out there who what to spruce up your clothes with some appliqués but don't want to sew them on! 

1. Supplies: Martha Stewart Fabric-to-fabric decoupage, Clothing item of choice, Martha Stewart fabric decoupage flowers, craft paint brush.
2. Brush on the fabric-to-fabric decoupage on to your clothing item where you want your appliqué to go.
3. Brush on the back side of the appliqué.
4. Place appliqué on your clothing item and decoupage sides together and brush over the top with more decoupage.  Let dry completely. 

It drys soft and is washable!  

Michaels currently has a 40% OFF coupon for any one regular price Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Item (includes decoupage, decoupage mediums, tools and accessories) which is valid until September 29th 2013.

Check out more fun projects on the 12 Month of Martha Pinterest board!




***Disclosure: I was supplied with the Martha Stewart craft supplies but my opinions are always honest!***

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No-Sew Lace Applique Tote Bag (#12MonthsOfMartha)

***This post is written as part of the 12 months of Martha program.  I get craft supplies from Martha Stewart Crafts for free to create fun crafts with.  All my projects and opinions are 100% mine.***

This month's 12 Months of Martha box was pretty exciting! 
I got products from the BRAND NEW Decoupage Craft Line!   
“Martha Stewart Crafts is launching a new premium multi-surface decoupage product line that allows users to take decoupage crafting to a new level of durability. This broad line includes more than 57 items tailored to decoupage crafters of every level: premium multi-surface formulas, beautifully detailed paper cut-outs, fabric die-cuts, rolled papers, a variety of trims and doilies, and tools.“

I am excited about all of the items... but I am MOST excited about the Fabric-to-Fabric decoupage!  I made 2 crafts this months so come back tomorrow and see what I did! 

The 1st project I did was an Easy Lace Applique Tote bag:

Here is what you will need:
1. Supplies: Martha Stewart Fabric-to-fabric decoupage, Tote bag, Martha Stewart Lace decoupage trims, brush.
2. Place a cardboard box inside your tote to protect the other side.  Lay out your lace pattern.
3. Brush on the fabric-to-fabric decoupage on the bag where you want your lace to go.
4. Also brush the fabric-to-fabric decoupage on the back side of the lace.
5. Place the lace on to the bag and brush on the fabric-to-fabric decoupage on the top.
6. Repeat for each strip of lace.

It is a great and easy way to make a classy tote bag.

Michaels currently has a 40% OFF coupon for any one regular price Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Item (includes decoupage, decoupage mediums, tools and accessories) which is valid until September 29th 2013.

Check out more fun projects on the 12 Month of Martha Pinterest board!


***Disclosure: I was supplied with the Martha Stewart craft supplies but my opinions are always honest!***

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby Boy 3 months and 4 months

So I missed the 3 month and 4 month post because we were super busy this summer.   Having fun and getting our house ready to sell (more on that later)... get ready for some picture overload! :)

Here are the pictures from Baby boys 3 month photo shoot with Footloose Photography:
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

I saved my favorite one for last!  Don't you just want to eat him up?
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

The 3 kids together:
isn't this picture awesome???!!!  
All 3 kids looking at the camera and happy... that is nothing short of a miracle! 
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Big Boy 
5 years old
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Sweet Girl
3 Years old
Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com

Photo Credit: http://footloose-photography.com
Note: I hired Sue from Footloose Photography to take our kids pictures and she did an AMAZING job! We went downtown Minneapolis and the kids had a grand time walking around and taking pictures.  My big boy son asked if we could do it everyday.  If you are in the Twin Cities area I HIGHLY recommend Sue!   (This is not a sponsored post I just really love my pictures!)



Here are the 4 months pictures that I took myself...


He can sit up in his bumbo now!  I love the bumbo! 

He loves to suck on his two fingers!


He is such a happy baby and has such a great smile!




During the first 2 months I wondered how anyone would ever want to have more kids - I loved my baby but man, it was a lot of work!  But, now I get it, 3 and 4 months are so great!  His personality is coming out and he is sleeping a little more... it almost makes me want to have another baby... almost! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Acne issues

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Clearasil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SuperFruits  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.”


Generally speaking I had a good complection going through junior high and high school and into young adulthood... but once I got pregnant with my (surprise) son... I got Preg-Acne!  The hormones were too much for my face to handle.  And 4 months after giving birth - I am still dealing with it!  

Now- you know I love you guys because I am posting a picture of myself with NO MAKE-UP!
But, you can see I have acne issues on my forehead, on my cheeks, and on my chin.  Plus since entering my mid-30s I now have to dealing with some aging face issues too.  

So I need a cleanser that will be tough on the acne but gentle on my aging skin.
Enter -Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleansers!  Not only are they gentle enough to use 2 times daily... they smell GREAT!   My husband and I have used Clearasil products for years and love them, so when I got a chance to try out their latest, I jumped at it! 
Product info: Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleansers is an acne medication that is gentle enough to use every day, twice a day. They are formulated with sensorial Superfruit Extracts AND are gently medicated with 1% salicylic acid acne medication to help prevent blemishes.


On the bottle is printed pretty much what I want in a cleanser:  
Clear the blemishes and give me radiant skin! 

The other great thing about it is that it is available at Walmart at a great price!  Plus - there is a link for $1 off coupon at the bottom of the post! 


I have been using Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleanser for a little over a week now.  It has a great fruiting smell and it really makes my face feel clean.  It creates a perfect base for when I put my make-up on!  

Here is an after picture with my 4 month old son.  He is totally worth dealing with all the acne issues,  but with Clearasil's help now I can have my baby and clean skin too! 

Try it yourself with $1 off coupon!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Personalized Thank You Cards DIY and Silhouette Promotion!

My Friend is getting married in October!  And her shower is coming up!  Since I have to give a little hand-made something to everyone (I am getting known for it now!) I decided to make some personalized Thank-You Cards!  I know that they will need them!  

I used my NEW Silhouette Cameo and Sketch pens!  Oh-My-Goodness- these are so much fun!  There is an awesome promotion going on this week so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post! 

I created the sketch design in my Silhouette software.  I also upgraded to the design studio.  HERE is the tutorial I used to make the sketch picture.  I already had pre-made cards, but the tutorial shows you how to cut out a card shape too! 


I replaced the blade with the sketch pen and sent the picture to be "cut" to the cameo.  It is so fun to watch the pen sketch away! 


I added a little bakers twine (because everything is cuter with baker's twine!)

I repeated for a set of 8 cards and added the envelopes that match.  
All wrapped up and ready to give! 

Ok here is the awesome promo that Silhouette has going on right now! 

(1)    CAMEO plus sketch pen starter pack, metallic and glitter collection packs, plus a $25 gift card and a penholder for $269.99 ($88.96 off the retail price)

(2)    Portrait plus sketch pen starter pack, metallic and glitter collection packs, plus a $25 gift card and a penholder for $129.99 ($108.96 off the retail price)

(3)    Sketch pen starter pack, metallic and glitter collection packs, plus a penholder for $19.99 ($13.97 off the retail price)

To order your own go HERE and use the code: FIREFLIES and the deal is all yours! 

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Silhouette and I was provided with some materials to make this craft.  However, all opinions are 100% mine



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Easy DIY Ruffle Top with the Summer of Joann

To say that I love Joann's Fabric and Craft Stores is an understatement!  Love love love love love Joann's... I am at that store at least once a week and my kids have been trained how to shop there! So, when I was asked to be part of the Summer of Joann's challenge - I was quick to accept!  I got to look through this catalogue and pick out a project that I want to make (and put my own spin on).

I choose this great ruffle top!  Theirs is crocheted... I don't have the time (Although I think it looks AMAZING!) so I put my own spin on it to make it super easy and cute!  
Find the full directions HERE to make Joann's version.

Here is how you can make an easy ruffle top:

What you will need:
Knit shirt or tank top
two coordinating fabrics

1. Cut your fabric pieces.
Here are some suggested dimensions (in inches):
12M - 3 X 36 and 6 X 36
18M- 4 X 36 and 7X 36
24M & 2T- 5 X 36 and 8 X 36
3T & 4T- 6 X 36 and 9 X 36

2. Finish off the bottom edges - I surged mine, but you could also hem them.
3. Gather your strips (I do mine at the same time) I use Dana's cheater method to make the ruffles.  Sew the ends together to make a tub.
4. Cut off the bottom of the shirt just a couple of inches under the armpit.
5. Pin the ruffles to bottom of the shirt with right sides together.
6. Sew the ruffles to the shirt.

Done!  Totally cute and easy! 



Sign up to be a preferred customer and you can get a 20% off coupon

Disclaimer: I was provided with a gift card to Joann's to buy the supplies for this project.  All options and projects are mine!

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