Tuesday, May 14, 2013

End of Year Teacher Card

It's finally the end of the year! Emmy is finishing 1st grade in about two weeks. I made this little card for her to fill out to give her teacher. I printed mine on cardstock. Then I used a hole punch and made a simple bow at the top.

Click here to download your own. Just trim the edges and have your child fill it out.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Movable Alphabet

If you're familiar with the Montessori method, you know all about the movable alphabet. My daughter attended a Montessori school and I found this to be a fantastic way to teach reading. My kids are both in public school now, so I made my own to teach my son how to read.

A movable alphabet is basically loose letters that the kids can use to build words on a board or even on the floor. I used mine even with Emmy now that she's in First grade. I think she likes hunting for the letters and seeing if she can spell the difficult words I give her. I try to make it more like a game instead of a "learning activity".

If you can shop, you can make one for yourself; there is no crafting involved here.

What you'll need:

1. Loose Alphabet Tiles
- you can buy them plain or with magnets on the back. I bought
                                          mine with the magnets so they would stay put on my board.
                                          I bought mine on Amazon here:

2. 11x14 Magnetic Board - really you can use any size but I think this one is a perfect fit
                                          for little kids or you could even use a Dollar Store cheapo cookie sheet
                                          I bought mine on Amazon here:

3. Picture Cards - I bought my colorful cards a few years ago at Walgreen's but you can find
                                         these in pretty much any educational section. You can also draw
                                         your own simple pics on unruled notecards.

4. Carrying Case - You'll need some sort of divided container. I found mine at Joann's.

Some tips for success:
  • Start with simple CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words like car, sun, dog
  • Then start adding some blends like ship, shop shut 
  • Keep adding more and more blends and reviewing ones they've already mastered
  • A great way to reinforce spelling is to have your child write each word they've made on paper


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To Do Board for Work

I have spent a long time working out the best system of staying organized at work. It can be very challenging because like many people, my job is constantly changing, and I'm always switching gears. One thing I've found really useful is this giant dry erase board that I keep above my desk. I use it to keep my weekly and monthly projects tracked. I was finding I was getting sidetracked with other unexpected projects and my weekly to do's kept getting pushed back. Now I have a list of things I MUST do for the week and then I can fill in with some of the monthly tasks.

The nine motivators at the top of the board are from a TED talk online that I found really interesting. It was about the qualities of successful people and I thought it might make a good reminder. Of course, like everything else on the board, I change out the motivators as needed.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to Make Your Kids Want to Read

This Summer I started a Summer Reading List with my kids. I was trying to think of a way to get them more excited about books and reading. We have a lot of garage sale books at home, but we've read most of them many times and the kids are getting bored with them.

So I decided to check out our local library and create a book list so the kids could see a concrete list of books we've read.

First, I bought 2 book bags. You can make one easily or buy one to decorate at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. I bought Ryan a red crab bag and Emerson this monkey bag. I bought them both from Walmart. Each was only $5.00 in the women's purse department.

Then I bought some small envelope pockets at Joann Fabrics in the teacher supplies section.
I created a little card to fit into the pocket just like you would get at the library. We used it to list all of the books we read on this card.

Then I stapled the pocket to the bag. If you don't want to do this, just put your card in a Ziploc bag and keep it in your book bag.

There you have it, a Summer Reading Book Bag! The kids like taking their bag to the library and picking their books and adding the books to their list.

 If you want to print out your own Summer Reading List Card, you can get it here:


I know Summer is almost over so here is a link to a plain year round reading card.

Have a great end of your Summer and a great year reading!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kate & Macy Jewelry Christmas in July

The Summer Shows are coming...

When I go to Atlanta, we'll be introducing a lot of new product. Giftware companies always introduce all of their holiday designs in the Summer and we have a ton coming out. We'll now have a full display unit of just our holiday designs.

These designs are the most fun for me to design because they can never be too cute or too whimsical. The themes are endless and I know my customers will love them because I was asked all year for more holiday... more holiday... more holiday!

Here's one of the new designs, "Snowy Friends". I love it so much because it features cute snowmen in colors you can wear all Winter long. All the beads are hand painted glass and they sparkle with rhinestone accents.

If you're buying for your store in Atlanta this July, come say "hi" to me in The Rep Connection Room showroom #1407, in Building 2 at the Merchandise Mart.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Free Digital Cupcake Pick Topper Template

I've never made or used cupcake picks before, but after this project, I can see the sky will be the limit with these fun little toppers! I created these blank circles for the kids to fill out with any kind of picture they wanted. Since they are kind of small circles, you may want to stick to pens and markers. You can do a theme (draw all faces, animals, flowers, bugs) for kids or, if you have a more grown up party, write words that have meaning to the event or party recipient. This is the page I gave each of them to fill out.

I just printed out two and let them have at it! Emmy was happy to pose with her's. Ryan, well...not so much.

Then we cut out all of the circles and attached them with a piece of tape to a straw. You can then hold them up to a finished cupcake to determine how long you want to keep the straw and then trim it.
Here's what all of our finished cupcake picks looked like.

We finished all the cupcake picks and frosted the cupcakes. I got out all of my many many many jars of sprinkles and let the kids go crazy. They didn't turn out really fancy, but the kids loved explaining all of the pictures to their Dad when he saw them.

Enjoy your cupcake picks!!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Download a Free Digital Gift Card Holder Template

With Sean's birthday on the way, I wanted to make him a custom gift card holder because he will be getting....a gift card! Actually, as Florida residents, we get season passes to Sea World with one day's admission so we'll probably go there to celebrate his birthday. Because his birthday is so close to Father's Day, it's hard to come up with something good to get him so I'm going with the never fail gift card! I designed this custom holder just to make it a little more fun and personal. I'm also going to bake some cupcakes and grab some sprinkles and let the kids decorate them instead of a big cake.

This is how you assemble it:
See #1. - fold these tabs and put a small piece of double stick tape to close the sides
See #2. - fold this tab and put a small piece of double stick tape to close your card holder


After you download your plain gift card holder, you can personalize it by adding your own photo or type. You can leave the circle on the back blank or type in the gift card amount. 
Hope you enjoy!