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Date Idea Fun! (and free printables!)

I know that this post has absolutely nothing to do with school... but I think that's ok. One thing that Jake (my husband) and I have been trying to do is go on a date at least once a week. We never really got to have elaborate dates because we always lived at least 2 hours apart. So now that we live together we finally have time for dates! :)

I found this really fantastic site-- and these women have some great date ideas-- with tons of FREE printables and things to use. Click here to check it out!

I have taken a few of their ideas and morphed them into my own. Here is one date I took Jake on a few weeks ago-- I started out by making scavenger hunt cards, and then I printed out the cards, glued them on scrapbook paper, and made sure I had everything ready. I gave him the cards and we ended up going to a National Park and hiking/picnicking. It was fun! Click on the first picture to download the cards on Google Docs:

Anyway, on our honeymoon we got into a bit of mini golf competition overdrive... We played at least 3 rounds. So I decided we needed another round to discover the champion! I found this cute idea on Pinterest (click the pic to read the original post):

Date in Jar Idea Mini golf

So I decided to make my own version! First, I went to Walmart-- I couldn't find a lone mason jar (but I know you can find them in thrift stores), so I bought a small glass canister instead. Then I found cheap plastic golf balls in the sporting goods section. I finished up by purchasing a lime green sponge and small notebook.

When I got home I cut up the sponge to fit the bottom of the jar (fake grass), made a flag from a toothpick, painted 2 of the golf balls with acrylic paint (our favorite colors), cut a pencil down to size (you know they always give the tiniest pencils on mini golf courses), and also cut the notebook down to size. That is probably where a mason jar would've been a better choice. I put everything in the canister.

View from the front
View from the side
Next step? Create a trophy (because I couldn't find one in a store), so I used a mini Cricut to cut a trophy and stuck it in the canister. Then, as a final touch, I cut out a golf club set and used a small ribbon to attach it to the outside. I plan on putting our score card inside the jar-- so then it'll be a memory jar! I think it's a really fun idea!

Trophy at the back
My last step was to create an invitation (click on the pic for a free download-- I attached a blank one):

I know it looks a little like Easter-- but I am a fan of pastels :) And there you have it, Date Night in a Jar! I am looking forward to WINNING on Friday!

Student Supply Caddies... and Some Coffee :)

I must be on some kind of school crafting roll-- because today I completed another project! Celebration with a cup of coffee!

Our grade (actually our entire elementary school) is doing this thing where we charge supply fees-- and then the classroom teacher shops for the ENTIRE class for school supplies. Yes, a huge headache, but also totally fun because I absolutely adore the school supply aisle. And when those back-to-school sales starts, my husband has to practically drag me away kicking and screaming  because I want to buy some of everything.

So a few days ago I went with my colleagues and we all purchased our school supplies in bulk (sorry to our poor cashiers!). And since all of the supplies will be school owned- I figured it's ok for the kids to be sharing them. A lot of the other teachers said they were going to use group tubs, so I have been looking for (affordable) items such as this art caddy:

Medium Classroom Caddy (Blue)
I almost always group my student desks in groups of 4-5, so I figured supply caddies would be the perfect thing. I checked online-- but figured I could find better prices in stores. The first place I went to? Dollar Tree. They have some amazing deals! Sadly my Dollar Tree only had 3 caddies-- and I wanted at least 6.

My next stop? Wal-Mart. As I was meandering down a seasonal aisle-- I saw some supplies for college students. On the shelf was a giant bathroom caddy. I was a little dissapointed because it was basically what I needed-- it was just much too large. Then my husband was quick to point out the mini bathroom caddies on the top shelf. I guess they put them up there because they're so cheap ($0.97). And they had at least 4 different colors to choose from-- so I picked up 6 black ones. Total cost? $6.

We then headed toward the craft area-- where I picked out 6 different shades of ribbon. I have this thing for polka dots-- so I gravitated toward those. Each spool cost $2 apiece (it really depends on the size of your ribbon and the design). So that cost $12.

I took it all home, and today I used hot glue (it works EVERY time!) to stick the ribbon on the caddy. Then, because sometimes I get really girly-- I tied a little bow on the handle. I know that the bow won't last a week with 3rd graders-- but for the time being it made me happy. I almost glued on some table numbers (you could also use the ribbon to attach table numbers to the caddies), but I realized I always call table groups by their colors. So the numbers were superfluous to my plan.

Here are some pictures-- because I know you want to see the finished product (for a grand total of close to $18):
I should've made one for my own desk!

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School Stuff-- and my expert skill of procrastination

I know that today marks the middle of July-- which, for teachers, basically means the summer is over. I have been procrastinating beautifully on all things school related. Instead of schooling it up, here is how I spend my days:

1. I head to the public library, check out 4 books at a time, and try to finish them all before they are due.

 2. Ok, I lied. I have been doing some things for my classroom. Last year I kept noticing how all the teachers had these awesome plastic tubs (bins?) that they used for organizing their daily materials. For example, in the Monday tub you put all your items for Monday's lessons. It seemed like a great way to stay organized and help plan ahead. So I went online to find me some tubs... Here are the ones sold by Lakeshore:

They look so great, don't they? The folders come color-coded and everything! I was going to get myself a set-- until I saw the price. $49.99??? That can't be right (oh, and this week they are on sale for only $39.99-- click here to pick some up)... Needless to say I was very sad because I am still a somewhat new teacher-- and my salary cannot pay for my student loans AND new color coded tubs.

That's when I went on Pinterest-- I think this site is so great for teachers. And I saw these:
So I went to her TPT store and downloaded these pretty little labels for FREE. And then I knew what I was going to do. I was going to make myself some weekly organizer bins. For a lot cheaper than $50! 

I headed over the Walmart and bought 5 ice cube bins for probably close to $2 a bin. So now I had spent $10. I already owned a ton of colored scrapbook paper and Mod Podge-- so I didn't need to purchase any of that. I did pick up some adhesive from the craft area (all for under $10):

So-- here are my finished weekly bins-- and I love them so much more because I put the time and effort into them. I personalized them and I know nobody else will ever have these same exact bins.

All I did was print off the FREE labels (mentioned above), and then used Mod Podge to stick on scrapbook paper. It was really easy and fast!

To make the folders I tried a variety of methods. Of course, you need file folders and scrapbook paper. Here is some good news-- if you have OLD file folders this project will still work for them because you're just covering up the folder.

I tried at least 4 different types of adhesives. Here is what I found:
1. Glue sticks work-- but it's hard to get the paper on before the glue dries.
2. Liquid white glue works-- but it tends to wrinkle the folder and warp it.
3. The adhesive squares (pictured above) were my favorite thing to use because I could really take my time and line everything up.
4. The adhesive spray is very quick and easy to use-- but make sure you use it on a covered surface-- like newspaper.

To make scrapbook covered folders, simply apply the adhesive of your choice-- then trim the paper to fit the folder. I covered one side at a time. Here is my Monday folder-- I made the back of it red so I could easily match it to its tub! You can cover the insides too, I just didn't care to go that far-- so I tried to only over the inside tab.
Front view
Back side view
Here is a folder I did for fun (to try out the spray glue):
I had a lot of fun making these-- scrapbook paper is endless and has tons of amazing designs. You could really go all out!

My next goal? Setting up common core folders... Big breath-- it's going to take awhile-- but it'll definitely be worth it in the end!
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