the best lunchbox notes

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We started writing lunchbox notes for our kids in preschool, when they had trouble saying goodbye and needed a little extra love at lunchtime. We still love writing lunchbox notes for our kids, but it is really hard to come up with something new every day. There are A LOT of lunches to be packed during the school year! If you are like us, the mornings are really crazy and at night we are too tired to do much prep for the next day.

Thank goodness for printable lunchbox notes! We found some really cute lunchbox notes that can be printed and cut out in a flash. They hold up better if you print them on card stock, but plain copy paper will do just fine! Spend an hour prepping a stack of notes on the weekend so you can slip one into your kid’s lunchbox each morning. You will look like Super Mom with minimal effort!

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One Charming Party

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hello, Wonderful

 

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Fresh Mommy Blog

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A Whole Lot of Tiny

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Alice & Lois

If you want a cute template with a blank space to write your own know, check out these cute lunchbox notes from Minted. If you don’t want to mess with printing or cutting, we love these Lunchtime LOL notes.

Here’s to a great school year!

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Hallman + Ashley

colorful front doors

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London was my home for nearly 9 years. There are so many things that I love about London, but the colorful front doors all over the city can brighten the rainiest of days. The good news is that you don’t have to live in London or rent a charming flat to have a colorful front door. Painting your front door is an inexpensive way to up your curb appeal and transform the look of your home.

There are so many amazing colors that it can be hard to make a choice. Even colors that feel too bold for the interior of your home can make the perfect statement on your front door. If you are having trouble picking a color or a shade The Decor Fix  and A Life in Full Color both have a great list of paint colors for front doors.

Blush, Pink and Coral

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Apartment Therapy

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Apartment Therapy

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 Orange, Yellow and Red

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Say Yes

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One Kings Lane

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Domino

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Sarah Richardson Design

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Blue, Green & Purple

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Bright Bazzar

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One Kings Lane

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Southern Living

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One Kings Lane

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Cheers!

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Hallman

back to school photo ideas

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The first day of school is a mere two weeks away for our kids! This Summer has just flown by, and while we are relishing the last few days of Summer with our kids, we have started to think about preparing for the upcoming school year. One of our favorite moments to capture is their first day of school and each year we try to come up with a creative new way to photograph it. It’s not easy to get the kids to stand still for the perfect photo, so we like to give them a prop to make the photos more fun. We’ve come up with a few creative and easy ideas for photographing the kid’s first day of school that will make everyone smile!

Polaroid Frame

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Creating a mock Polaroid frame was a great way to get our kids to pose for their close up. It also let us include information on their grade and date. To create the frame we cut a square hole out of a large piece of white foam core that we found at Michaels. We used large, colorful letter stickers to note the grade and date, but you could easily use any markers or crayons you have on hand.

Stack of Books

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Our inspiration for this idea was the middle school task of covering school books in paper grocery bags. After we covered some books from our own shelves in grocery bags, we used black letter stickers to indicate our kids’ grade and date. If you don’t have stickers you could hand write the grade and date with pens or even crayons. For a pop of color we added an apple to the top of the books. A helpful hint if you’re adding the apple: be sure to tape it to the book, otherwise it will topple off pretty easily. For an easy tutorial on how to cover a book, check out our article on DIY book covers.

Chalkboard Talking Bubble

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This was a really easy photo to take because all you have to do is ask your child to shout “hello” or say the phrase on the talking bubble! To make the talking bubble prop we cut the bubble out of a large piece of black foam core. Then we rubbed white chalk all over the bubble and wiped it of with a paper towel. Using the same chalk we wrote our phrase. We love this prop in particular because we were able to erase and re-write the information for each child!

For more fun and easy first day of school photos check out our post from last year.

Happy first day of school!

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Ashley + Hallman

our favorite podcasts for kids

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We love a good podcast! Whether it’s informative or for pure entertainment, podcasts are a great way to pass the time in the car, but sometimes the content isn’t appropriate for kids. With so many Summer car trips we wanted to find a few podcasts that our kids would enjoy. After some research we’ve come up with a list of family friendly podcasts that will keep everyone, including parents, entertained on the longest of road trips or even short car rides between pick ups and drop offs:

For kids who love adventure stories

The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified: A fast-paced, comedic adventure series for kids, The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified is a radio show created by a producer of the well-known radio show, Fresh Air. Eleanor is a journalist, radio host and adventurer, and her investigations often get her caught up into precarious situations. Set in the future, it has an old-time radio show feel complete with amazing sound effects, fabulous voices and story lines that carry on from one episode to another.

Story Pirates: This silly, completely kid friendly podcast features stories written by kids, and adapted into sketch comedy and musical theater. Our kids love listening to all the crazy, zany stories written by kids and performed by a lively group of actors complete with sound effects and music.

For curious kids (or adults)

Brains On: This may be one of our favorite podcasts. Co-hosted by kid scientists and reporters, they tackle all those fascinating questions that kids ask. Questions like, “Is there life on other planets?”, “Why does tickling make you laugh?” or even, “How do sneezes work?” This is a great podcast for the whole family!

Tumble: This is a show that explores the stories of science discovery. Using questions they receive from kids, the show’s two hosts interview scientists and experts in their field to answer questions like “Do invisibility cloaks exist?”, “How do black holes work?”, “Why do bats hang upside down?” Our kids always enjoy learning the answers to some of life’s most interesting questions.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids: Another science-based show that answers some of kid’s most interesting questions. This podcast gets to the bottom of questions like, “Who invented words?”, “Do bears sleep all winter?”, “Why is the sky blue?” But Why, occasionally addresses topics that can be sensitive or more complex for younger listeners, so be sure to look at the description in the notes of each podcast. The host is also good about giving a heads up when the topic of any given episode could be sensitive so no need to worry about little ears hearing something they’re not ready for yet.

For kids who love fairy tales

Stories Podcast: The fairy tales featured in Stories Podcast range from classics like snow-white and Peter Rabbit to completely original work. Whether it’s a classic Grimm fairy tale or a new take on an old myth, they are all completely family friendly. This podcast isn’t as lively as some of the others so it’s perfect when you want something a little quieter and less animated.

Storynory: This podcast features fairy tales, children’s stories and poems read in a way that sound and feel like an audio book. Our kids loved listening to these stories because they were completely new to them, and we were completely taken by the readers’ fabulous British accents.

Happy Listening!

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Ashley + Hallman

popsicle stick kids crafts

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Popsicles are a daily treat in our households during the Summer, so it only makes sense that we incorporate all our left over sticks into our summertime kids’ activities. There are so many fun and creative ways to use popsicle sticks, or craft sticks, that they are the perfect tool for any impromptu crafting activity. While we do use some of our kids’ left over popsicle sticks, you don’t have to stuff yourselves silly in order to have enough for an activity. Craft sticks are readily available in any color on Amazon or at any craft store.

Popsicle Stick Butterfly

Most of us fondly remember making godseyes at summer camp with two popsicle sticks and some yarn. Our kids aren’t quite old enough for that craft yet, so we came up wth a simpler version…a colorful butterfly!

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Supplies:

  • Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
  • Yarn in various colors of your choice
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Large wooden beads (optional)

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Start by making an “X” wth two popsicle sticks. Then tie a knot around the cross section of the two sticks. With the long end of yarn, start wrapping the yarn around the middle section of the two popsicle sticks, this will secure the sticks and make sure they don’t move around.

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Using the long end of the yarn, and beginning on one side of the popsicle stick “x”, wrap the yarn around two popsicle sticks in a figure eight fashion.

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We made our butterflies extra colorful by using two or three colors on each one. When your kiddo finishes with their first color, tie a knot with that color to one of the popsicle sticks. Using a new color, tie a knot to one of the popsicle sticks with the new color and wrap the yarn around the two sticks in the same figure eight fashion. When you’re finished with making the butterfly wings, tie off the yarn and cut the ends of any remaining bits of string.

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Fold a pipe cleaner in half and place it around the center of the butterfly. Twist the bottom portion of the pipe cleaner below the butterfly a few times and then twist the top portion of the pipe cleaner to create the butterfly antennae. To create a head you can thread a large wooden bead through the pipe cleaners on top of the butterfly. Finally, wrap the antenna around your finger to create a curve in the antenna.

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Our kids had so much fun making butterflies with popsicle sticks that we gathered together a few more fun crafts that we can’t wait to try!

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The Idea Room

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DIY Network

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I Heart Arts n Crafts

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Molly Moo Crafts

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I can Teach My Child

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Housing  Forest

Happy crafting!

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Ashley + Hallman

summer dinner party inspiration

Summer is the best time of the year for entertaining. We love to host a backyard dinner party on a warm Summer night with pretty flowers and simple food made from the best Summer ingredients. These tablescapes are more elaborate than most of our dinner parties, but the colors and details have inspired us to set the table with an extra dose of charm.

Blue & Pink

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The Pink Pagoda

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100 Layer Cake for Crate & Barrel

Tropical Leaves

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Style by Emily Henderson

Flowers & Fruit

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Style Me Pretty

Boxed Dinners

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Thyme Cafe & Market

Natural

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Salve a Noiva

Happy Entertaining!

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Hallman + Ashley

7 berrylicious recipes

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Berries are one of the best parts about Summer. We want to take advantage of every moment of berry season, so we put together our favorite ways to use berries. With 4th of July around the corner, these berry recipes will also make any BBQ spread more colorful and festive.

Mixed Berry Bowl

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Rip & Tan

Eton Mess

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Sprinkle with Salt

Berry & Basil Toast

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Rip & Tan

Raspberry Mojito

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Jane Can

Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

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Sour Cream Berry Tart with Graham Cracker Crust

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Thyme Cafe & Market

Double Berry Cream Pie

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Kale & Caramel

Happy Summer!

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Hallman + Ashley