Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Harper Ellyson!

This special, precious, beautiful girl made me a mommy 7 years ago!  I can't imagine my life without her and even though she's only 7, we have been through so much together that she's also my best little friend!  I love you to the moon and back my little mini-me!!
My little dark eyed, black haired baby turned into my blue eyed, (thickest ever) curly blonde hair big girl...

How did this happen so fast?

Happy Birthday Harper!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saving Money in the Kitchen

I'm always looking for easy ways to save some money and there's a few of my new favorite ways that I want to share with you...

I don't know about you but with five kids (mine plus two I babysit) we go through a lot of granola bars!  And those things aren't cheap, even when you buy the generic brand.  So I hoped on Pinterest and found a recipe that I'm in love with.  It's pretty easy and really yummy!  Click here for recipe.
Here's all the ingredients
I used a rolling pin to flatten the mixture out and make it even in the pan.
May not be the prettiest granola bars ever but they are delicious!  I used a pizza cutter to cut out the granola bars...I found that to be easier than using a knife.

My bars were falling apart somewhat so I store them in a container in the fridge...solved that problem!

You know those little "Energy Bars/Cookies" you can purchase at the grocery store for $4.99 for a tiny container?  Love them but not paying those kind of prices when we would go through one container in a day!  So when my aunt made some delicious Energy Cookies, I told her I had to have her recipe. The recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen and they are "cookies" I don't mind feeding my children.  
 Here's the recipe: 

-Microwave 1/2 cup of butter at HIGH for 30-40 seconds or until butter is partially melted

-Whisk together partially melted butter, 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp of honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract

-In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt

-Stir in 1 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats, 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels, 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup roasted/salted pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries 

-Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring just until combined (Do not overmix)

-Shape dough into 2 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets

-Bake 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned at 350 degrees's a staple in our pantry.  But there's a cheaper way to have the convenience of those packets that cook in a minute in the microwave. All you need is a big container of quick cook oats, brown sugar, and snack baggies.  Put a 1/4 cup of the oats in each baggie then add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to each.  I made 40 "packets" of oatmeal for less than $4.  You can also add dried fruit, cinnamon or other things to the baggies if you want a variety.  Here's where I got this idea.  

If you have read my blog before you might know how much I L.O.V.E. this blog!  Not long ago she had such a simple but amazing tip for making your own pumpkin flavored coffee (it's fall and I'm all about pumpkin flavored everything!).  So simple, I had one of those, "Why didn't I think of that!?" moments.  All you do is sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice right on top of your coffee grounds and hit the brew button.  You can decide how strong you want the pumpkin flavor to be...Happy Fall Yall!

Anyone have any favorite ways to save money in the kitchen?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

5 Cheap Organizing Ideas

As a single mom, I'm always looking for ways to save money.  As much as I could go crazy spending money on cute little things or organize my home with, I've learned a few ways to do it cheaply... 

Hangers:  Who doesn't have a few unused hangers in their closet??  I use them to organize my pocketbooks, belts, scarves, bras and bathing suits.  Sure you can make a pile of purses in your closet floor or stuff belts, scarves, bras and bathing suits in your dresser drawer (which I've tried before) but I can find what I need a lot faster since I started hanging all of those things up.
my purses, scarves and belts
Hooks:  I use hooks all over the place.  Since we are in a rental house and I don't want to leave any holes or permanent marks on the walls, that I'm going to have to repair later, I love the 3M Command Hooks.  I have used them to hang pictures as well as organize.  Here's how I used them to organize our school stuff.
I used scrapbook stickers to put each child's initial on their hook
Shoe Organizers:  You can buy these for a few dollars and use them to organize all kinds of small things.  My son has one on his closet door for shoes, hats, gloves, ties, etc.  My daughters share a closet but both have their own shoe organizer hanging on their side of the closet.  Putting their shoes in that, frees up a lot of floor space and allows them both to have room in the one shared closet.  We also have one hanging in the art supply closet.  It holds all kinds of small art things (paintbrushes, pipe cleaners, fabric, glue sticks, paint, art smocks, pencils, etc).
I just cleaned Archer's organizer out so it's got some pockets ready for this fall/winter season's stuff
Storage bins:  All of the plastic storage bins I have purchased have been on sale and I haven't paid over $3 for any of them.  I keep our pantry organized with these bins.  It keeps it looking good without much effort.  As you can see, we just throw things in the bins but since they are labeled, it makes it look nice and tidy.  This method has made it so much easier for my young kids to go in and get themselves breakfast, snack or help me pack their lunch.
I also used the plastic bins when I was organizing our school stuff.  I realized they needed more than just a hook to hang their backpack and coat on, so I got each child a bin to keep under their hook.  They throw things in there that they will need for school the next day (like shoes, socks, lunchbox, show and tell, library book, etc). 
Self Stick Tiles:  Great to use on wire shelving.  It creates a space for things you wouldn't otherwise be able to put on that type of shelf.  I used them on the top shelf in my pantry to store my cookbooks on, in the art closet to put coloring/activity books on, and even in my closet so my folded clothes wouldn't end up with those darn wire marks on them. 
$9.99 for a box of 25 tiles at Ollie's
I'm always looking for new and creative ideas so please share how you keep your home or car organized!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First day of Preschool

Well that week between my oldest starting school and my middle smartie starting preschool sure went by super fast...sigh.  I do have to say, I'm not an emotional wreck like I was when my Harper started preschool.  And my middle smartie did go to preschool for half a year last year, so we aren't complete newbies to this.  But it's still hard to let go of one of your babies...whether it's the first or last or any in between!  

Here's how today went for us...

Got all three smarties up and dressed, their two cousins came over and they ate breakfast together and played while I cleaned up after breakfast.  Then we loaded the van up (not without snapping a few pics first) and headed to school.  Since it was Palmer's first day, I walked her in but from now on, she will get out at the traffic circle with her sister and cousins. 
She wanted to make her own First Day sign like her big sister did last week.  And even though it's hard to read, I went with her idea...I mean how cute is that!?

More photo opportunities...
 I am so excited about the year ahead of her.  She has such an amazing teacher.  Seriously, I have heard nothing but praise, praise and more praise about Mrs. Lyon.  I know one thing for sure, she knows how to decorate, huh!?
Preschool is over at 12, so little smartie and I picked Palmer up and head home for lunch and nap before we went back to pick up the big kids at 3.  Yep, it's a crazy, hectic day with lots of rushing around getting, everyone here and there but I wouldn't trade my life for anything! 
 She got a special first day of school treat after lunch.

Now that we have a new school routine down, we get to throw in soccer practice and dancing next week to add a little more craziness...I'll take any prayers (for my single mom sanity) that you're willing to give! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Palmer is a whole hand!

The way we have to do birthdays is different for us now...a hard to get used to kind of different.  When it hit me a couple of weeks ago that my middle smartie's birthday weekend fell on a weekend that she would be with her dad, I cried...cried my eyes out.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I wouldn't be with my child on her birthday...the birthday where she would turn a "whole hand old."

  I prayed (a lot) and finally decided I could do this, I had to do this.  I had to let go and accept that birthdays and holidays would be different for us from now on.  But I would be lying if I told you, I didn't shed tears after watching the truck pull away with my smarties all buckled in and waving to me from the back window.  

With a knot in my stomach and an ache in my heart, I walked back in the house and prayed for my girl to have a wonderful 5th birthday.  As the weekend went on and I got texts and pics and phone calls, I felt better and that knot slowly went away.  I knew my little girl was having a great time on her special day.

When my smarties came back from their weekend away, we had a small family celebration for Palmer after her cousin's gymnastics party.  I realized one huge thing after making it through the first new way we have to do birthdays/ children don't need huge over the top, Pinterest inspired celebrations to make them feel important, all they need to know is that they are loved.  And that, my friends, is enough!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of 1st Grade

So long summer, hello new school year.  I can't believe my oldest smartie started 1st grade today.  It was so much different than last year... with kindergarten, it was hard to let go and hold back tears.  Today was excitement and smiles.  She had everything ready to go and laid out last night...first day outfit, new shoes, backpack, and lunch.  So this morning it was pretty easy and we even left in plenty of time to take pictures and say hey to friends as we walked into school.  She is beyond blessed to be able to go to the school she does and I can leave her there knowing she is surrounded by loving teachers and friends.
 Yes, we did the first day of school sign but I decided to do it different than last year, from now on.  I let Harper write it herself.  One day we can look back at pictures and see how much her writing has changed as well as how much she has grown and changed.
 After school, I picked her and her two cousins up and we went back to their house for after school treat their mom got for all the kids to enjoy.  
Little smartie was not happy when he dropped his cupcake. haha
 Now it's only one more week until I have to send my middle smartie off to preschool....

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School Teacher Gift

Last year, when my oldest started kindergarten, we found such a cute first day of school gift for her to take to her teacher. (found here at one of my all-time favorite blogs!) This year she wanted to do it for her first grade teacher and her little sister wanted to make one for her preschool teacher.  

Here's what we did:

 ~Got a couple of bags of M&M's -we chose the regular ones instead of the peanut ones since there are so many people allergic to peanuts
~Poured them into a couple of half pint mason jars -I try to keep these on hand because they can be used for some many crafts and ideas 
~Printed off the little poem-you can print it off onto cardstock or use regular printer paper and glue onto a piece of scrapbook or construction paper to keep it from being too flimsy
~Punched a hole into the paper with poem and attached it to the jar using string, twine, yarn, etc.
~You can also add a piece of cute paper or fabric on the top of the jar for more decoration

 Here's the poem:

Green is for the inspiration you will give me each day
Blue is for your patience in showing me the way
Orange is for your awesome first grade style
Yellow is for the way I know you will make me smile
Red is for my life that you will touch this year
You're a very special teacher just like this jar, that's clear
You place your knowledge into our hands
and melt into our hearts.
You're a “Magnificant” and “Marvelous” teacher...
Thank you for being my “M & M”.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Fun 2013

As the school year fast approaches, the kids and I have had so much fun looking back on the many memories we got to create together this summer....from front yard lemonade stands, to splash pad fun, to the beach, to playdates with friends, to dancing in the rain, to family time, to many adventures in the mountains.  Here's to a great memory making, fun-filled, blessed summer we have had!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cookout Yumminess & Giveaway

Silly me thought summer would lead to me having more time to blog...ha!  We have been beyond busy and out of town a lot.  But this weekend, I made time for a cookout after I received a goody box in the mail from Red Gold.  If you remember this post/giveaway about using the Red Gold products before, then you will understand why I jumped at the chance to try out new recipes using Red Gold products.  Red Gold is a family owned business that started in 1942 and they strive, “To produce the freshest, best-tasting tomato products in the world.”
  Health facts about Red Gold Tomatoes:
-100% natural-no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
-The antioxident Lycopene is found naturally in tomatoes
-A fat free food
-Good source of Vitamin A
-A gluten free food 

I received several yummy recipe ideas but decided to use the Chili Ready Diced Tomatoes for the "Summer Tomato Burger" and the Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies to make the "Spicy Burgers."  They were both super easy and sounded delicious.  If you know me, I am all about simple!

I followed the three step recipes and here's what the final product looked like...

You, of course, can top your burgers with whatever pleases you and your crowd but the recipes did come with serving suggestions.  I chose to put out tomato, spring lettuce, avacado, ketchup and mustard.  The ketchup we used was Red Gold's "Mama Selita's Jalapeno Ketchup."  My brother commented that the ketchup was what made the was yum!

Enter here for a chance to win a Summer Grillin Party from Red Gold (contest ends Aug. 30, 2013)

If you want to learn more about Red Gold products, recipes, and many other things, visit the Red Gold website.

Would you like to win this box of Red Gold products (you know you would!)??  
 All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll let let pick a winner for me.  I will announce winner on My Little Smarties' Facebook page
tomorrow morning! 

Don't let summer get gone before you try Red Gold products at your next cookout!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Schedule

Just because summer is here doesn't mean we will be throwing our schedule out the window.  Yes, it will be more relaxed but I like having an idea of what each day will bring and I think my kids function better knowing what to expect.

So here's the schedule I have made for our summer:
(This schedule is for our mornings, until lunch, since our afternoons consist of nap time for my younger two smarties.)

 Out & About Monday:  We run most if not all our errands for the week.  I make my lists out over the weekend so we can be out the door and on our way first thing on Monday mornings.

Stay Home Tuesday:  Cleaning and Laundry Day -kids have a few chores to do and after they do them they are allowed some computer, tv or Kindle time while I finish up my chores.

Whatever Wednesday:  We will go do whatever activity the kids' pick (It can be something that costs money.)

Active Thursday:  Do something active together, whether it be walking (hoping to try out some of the greenways around town), going to kick the soccer ball around, going to swim at grandparent's pool, etc. 

Free Fun Friday:  We will do a free activity the kids chose (library, park, picnic, pool, playdate, Pinterest idea, etc)

I also made a list of friends who we can call on for a playdate and a list of activities (free and ones that cost money) to have beside our schedule for a quick reference guide.  

For those of you who live in and around our area, here's a list I came up with:

(we go to Jonie Moser, Jack Warren, Tanglewood but would love suggestions of your favorite ones so we can try out something new) 

As I was making my list of things I wanted to do with the kids, I came across this article of 50 things to do this summer in the Triad Region.

*keep your eye out on Groupon, Living Social, etc for deals on these kinds of things.  We have gotten to do several of these activities for cheaper than normal.  Like a family pass to the zoo for $28 using Living Social.
*Tanglewood park-costs $2 or buy a year pass sticker-$25 ($20 if you purchase in January)

Here is my Summer Fun Board on Pinterest

What will you be doing to keep the kids busy this summer?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

DIY Father's Day

This year we decided to make a few things for Father's Day instead of the usual picking something out at the store.  I hoped on Pinterest and found a few cute ideas and decided to do the ones the kids liked best.  This is what they decided on...

I came across a sweet poem called, "Walk With Me, Daddy."  I typed it up and printed it out on cardstock then added one footprint from each child and put it in a frame.  It turned out really cute!

Then the kids really wanted to make the candy card.  So we hit the Dollar Tree and got all the candy we could there and walked next door to the Five Below and got what we couldn't find at the dollar store.  With the price of cards being so high these days, why not spend a few more dollars and make your own that you can actually enjoy?!  Here's how the card turned out...

And last, the kids wanted to make Daddy a yummy dessert for an after dinner.  So we are planning on making this Fruit Pizza. I hope ours turns out this cute!

the Diary of DavesWife: Father's Day Fruit Pizza

Monday, June 3, 2013

DIY Kiddie Pool Cover

I can't remember where I saw this idea but I loved it so much, I just had to share it with you... 
My kids love playing in the kiddie pool in the backyard on those hot summer days but I always hesitate to fill the thing up because as soon as they play in it once, I have to dump all the water out.  Bugs get in, grass and other nature blow in and it starts to look rather swampy if you leave the water in for a day or two.  When I saw the idea to put an old bed sheet on as a pool cover, I had to try it out.  Our kiddie pool has a slide so it's a little bigger around than the ones without so I used an old queen sized great and totally did the job!

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Goodbye Kindergarten

Yesterday was such a bittersweet day.  My oldest smartie, Harper, graduated from kindergarten.  I can not believe how much she has grown and changed this school year.  Her last day consisted of a program for the parents in her classroom and then songs, recited scripture, a slide show and graduation in the sanctuary for the rest of the family to attend.  In the class, her teacher presented each child with an award for a trait that she has seen God place in each child.  Harper's award was for diligence.  I would by lying if I said I didn't cry my eyes out listening to her teacher's sweet, heart-felt words for not only Harper but each of her classmates.
My precious girl
Lined up with her cousin, Benjamin, who was in her class
Singing songs, reciting scripture and looking adorable

Harper, Benjamin (cousin), Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Gauer
After graduation pedis with her little sister and then off to a special lunch together

                          Hello summer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Staying fit

I have had a few people ask me how I find the time to exercise while being a single mom to my three smarties. I do not belong to a gym but have found things that work for me and keep me feeling good.  Here's what I do...

I found a couple of quick and simple exercise routines on Pinterest that I like to do.  I chose the ones that I could do without needing any equipment.  I find myself making excuses to not workout if I need to have all kinds of stuff to do it.  

Here's one of my favorites.  It's called the super fast fat blasting stair sprint workout. All you need is stairs.  You can shorten or lengthen this workout and the blogger gives you alternatives when you need to bump up the difficulty.  This is one I like to do after I put my smarties in the bed in the evenings.  

Another workout I've really enjoyed is Fit Friday: At home workouts.  No equipment needed and can be done in less than 30 minutes.  Another easy one to do once kids are in the bed for the night.

I love this ab routine and do it daily.  It can be done in the floor while my kids play around me and I don't need any equipment.  30 Day Ab Challenge

Running...It's something you can do without needing anything, you can do it anywhere, and for as long or as short of a distance as you like.  I recently bought a double jogging stroller on Craigslist ($65) and I will take my youngest smarties for a run/walk some mornings while my oldest smartie is in school. But even when I do have all three smarties with me, we go for walks around the neighborhood together. I want my kids to learn how important it is to take care of yourself and live a healthy life so I get them involved when I can.

I do own a treadmill and I will jump on it after the kids are in bed some nights and walk/run.  Getting on the treadmill was like torture for me for a while...I mean staring at a wall makes it hard to be on there for too long.  So I decided if I was going to use this thing, I had to find a motivator.  So I went on Netflix and picked a TV show I had never watched (I chose the show 24) and one that would keep my attention.  I only allow myself to watch an episode (or two sometimes) when I'm on the treadmill.  Every episode is a cliff-hanger so it keeps me wanting to get back on the treadmill.

I try and alternate between running, stair workout, and the at home workout.  I have found one thing is for sure with me...if I do one thing repeatedly without variety, I get totally burned out and end up not doing it at all.

I'd love for you to share some easy at home routines or things you like do to keep you exercising!  I'm always looking for new things to do.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Tie" backs

This weekend brought amazing weather here in North Carolina.  Perfect temps in my opinion.  So I opened every window in the house to let some fresh air flow through.  My children's rooms have one window in the them and I have black out curtains and liners on those windows.  I use old hair ribbons as tiebacks in my daughters' room but I hadn't thought of something cute to use in my son's room yet.  I was looking around his room trying to get an idea, when it hit me.  I looked over at his open closet and saw two neckties hanging on the doorknob.  Why not use those?  No they don't match but hey it did the job right?!  If you wanted to yours to match, I'm sure you could find a couple of cheap ones on a clearance rack somewhere!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

cute DIY gift

My sister-in-law and I were trying to think of a cute Mother's Day gift for the grandkids to make for their grandma.  She came across an idea of spelling out a word using FrogTape on a large blank canvas and letting the kids paint it.  I knew my 4 and 6 year old would not be happy if their little brother or little cousins painted on their part so we decided to get each child their own small canvas.  We chose the word LOVE. The kids had a blast doing this project and it was something even my 18 month old and his 21 month old cousin could partake in.  

Here's what we did:

-Got 5 x7 canvases at Michael's
-Using  FrogTape, put one letter on each canvas
-Poured out each color of paint on paper plates so the kids could share (Although I think if we did it again, we would let each child pick a color or two. My 4 year old used so many colors, her canvas turned out a yucky color.)
-Let the canvases dry over night.
-Pulled the tape off and ta-dah
-Since we have 5 kids and a four letter word, we let my 1 year old's canvas be used as a place for all the "artists" names to go.
Here's the paint we used.  We knew it had to be washable with our little ones using it.

We used FrogTape so we could easily get it off after the paint dried.  *We learned not to let the kids put a ton of paint on because it could cause the tape to move and then get paint where you don't want it to be.
They had lots of fun painting!

Here's how it turned out. 
I know Mother's Day has passed but this would be a cute gift for a loved one anytime of the year...Father's Day, birthday, etc. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorite

While I haven't been able to restart my Shaklee business (since starting my "new life") I have not stopped using their amazing products.  I find new uses for them all the time.  Not long ago, I found a new use for my ScourOff.  This stuff works amazing wonders on my tile grout, showers, tubs, stove, sink but when my oldest smartie came home from a playdate with her shoes looking like they took a mud bath, I had a thought...instead of throwing them in the washing machine, why not see what ScourOff can do???  

Here's what happened...

Before I took this picture, I rinsed the shoes in the sink to get as much mud and dirt off as I could with just water.  My daughter has worn these shoes to school almost every day since school started.  

I think they look pretty good for lasting a whole school year!  What do you think? 

If you would like to try some of the amazing, non-toxic, safe, green Shaklee products for yourself, visit this website

Not only is it an amazing smells so yummy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rainy Day Fun

My nephew, Ethan, just had his third birthday and we were trying to think of something different to get him for a gift.  (We did get him a dvd he asked for but I wanted to get him something else to go with it.)  Here's the idea we came up with..."Rainy Day Fun in a Box." Recently, the kids and I made "indoor sand" and they have had so much fun with it, why not get all the supplies and put them in a box for Ethan?!  That way he would have a fun project to do and also have something to keep inside to play with on those rainy days.  

So here's what we got...

~1 large plastic container with lid (Target $3.22)
~a bag of flour (Target $1.94)
~bottle of vegetable oil (Target $3.00)
~plastic shower liner-to cover the table or floor when your kids play with the "sand" 
(Target $2.24)
~sand toys (Target $1.00)

Here's what we did...

1.  Put the flour, vegetable oil, shower liner and sand toys inside the plastic container.
2.  Typed out the directions and put them on the top of the container.
3. There is no's that simple!


*Mix 4 cups of flour with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil with hands.
*Have fun with your sand toys, small cars, etc!!
*Store the "sand" in the container...keep lid on tight. 

Here are two of my smarties playing in their homemade sand and we've done this a lot lately since its been raining here almost daily for the past two weeks!
 Do you have any fun, cheap, do it yourself ideas for birthday gifts?  Between my three kids, we have lots of birthday parties to attend and I would love to start giving DIY gifts more often!

 Join me on Facebook at My little smarties

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Classmate gifts

Harper's kindergarten class has been such a blessing.  All the kids in there are so sweet and they all get along and play together so we wanted to give all her friends a little end of the year gift.  I, of course, went straight to Pinterest and saw this cute and cheap idea so we went with it...

We got one pack of Kool-Aid for each child and attached it to a Krazy Straw and added a little note.  For her class of 18, this only cost me $8 and I have some packets and straws left over.  The straws come in packs of 6 at the Dollar Tree and I got the packets of mix at Target-5/$1

We loved this idea so much that we made a few more for Harper's soccer team for end of the season teammate gifts.

If you didn't want to do the straws with the Kool-Aid, I also saw a recipe for making your own play dough that you could type out an attach to the packets.  

Here's the recipe...

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar 
1 package unsweetened Kool Aid mix
1 cup water 
1Tbsp vegetable oil

Directions: Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool Aid in a medium pan. Add the water and oil. Stir over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the mixture when it forms a ball. Knead it until it’s smooth. Let cool and store in an airtight container OR have fun playing!!! Repeat for each color of play dough you want to make.

Have any fun, cute, and cheap ideas for end of the year classmate gifts?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

End of the year teacher gift

It hit me the other day that my oldest smartie only has a few days of school left (she gets out May 30th)!  So I was trying to think of a little something to get her teachers as a "Summer is here!" gift.  I thought back to when I was teaching and one year I had a student give me a beach bag filled with "summer things."  I also saw similar cute ideas on Pinterest so that's what we went with for this year.  We found a beverage jug at Target for $3 and filled it with cup, packets of Crystal Lite lemonade, sunscreen, bug spray, chewing gum, spf chapstick, and some pieces of their favorite candy.  I let my daughter put the gift together, which she loved and then we added a note to the jug's handle.

Do you give your child's teacher(s) an end of the year gift?  I'd love for you to share your ideas!