Tag Archives: Back to School

Kara’s Weekly Menu/Grocery Planning {Back to Scool Blog Bash- finalle}

Today is the final day of the Back to School Blog Bash, and out grand finale is Kara who offers a super tutorial and template for a weekly menu and grocery list.  What a perfect way to make everyone in the house responsible for creating the grocery list or helping create the menu.  As a working mom it’s painful to get home from work and figure out what to have for dinner.  Truly a great tool to make life easier especially when balancing the crazy school and extra schedules 🙂  Here’s Kara- make sure to check out her blog for some blog love and fun ideas 🙂

I’m so excited to be a guest today on Fostering a Creative Life and to be part of the Back to School  Bash.  I’m Kara from Happy Go Lucky where I love sharing fun, easy, and inexpensive craft projects the entire family can enjoy.

Today I want to share an easy way to organize your weekly meal plans and grocery shopping list.  Because we all know grocery shopping is so much easier when we are prepared and organized.

To help me plan my weekly meals and create my grocery list I created this Weekly Meal Planner and Grocery Shopping List. 

Print out your own Weekly Meal Planner and Grocery List HERE
Then to keep it conveniently located on my refrigerator I made it into a magnetic notepad. 
Here’s what you need to make your own Weekly Meal Planner and Grocery List Magnetic Notepad (wow that’s a long name).
  • copies of the Weekly Meal Planner and Grocery List – I print about 20 at a time
  • two pieces of cardboard
  • three brads
  • modge podge and paint brush
  • scrapbook paper
  • magnets
  • hole puncher
Start by cutting a piece of the cardboard so it is 3 inches by 11 inches.
Fold it in half and then unfold.  Decoupage the scrapbook paper onto the strip of cardboard.
Once this is dry, wrap around your copies of the meal planner with the other piece of cardboard behind the copies.
Punch three holes through everything and place your brads through the holes.
Add magnets to the back and place on your refrigerator.
This will only be able to hold about 20 copies at a time because the brads aren’t long enough but you will easily be able to add more copies when you run out.  Just remove the brads.

I hope this project helps you stay organized and save time when it comes time to planning your weekly meals and do your grocery shopping!!

Thanks Heidi for having me.  I had a blast! I hope everyone has a fantastic school year!!  Stop by my blog and say “Hi” if you get a chance.  I’d love to have you visit.

Thanks Kara, and to all the lovely guests who posted during the Back to School Blog Bash.  Hopefully you all found some great ideas to make this years back to school transition a little easier on everyone!


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Thrive’s Wall Pockets {Back to School Blog Bash-Day 8}

Today I bring you a tutorial from Choose to Thrive and these handy Wall Pockets made from cardboard. We all need a little order in our lives, some of us might need a lot of order, don’t worry I won’t point fingers!  I chose this to feature on my last day because this would make a great way to track each child’s “stuff”…schedules, homework calendar, notes, you get the drill.

Hard to believe this was made from these simple supplies

There are many steps involved, where it might just be easiest to stop by THRIVE and check out  the full tutorial for your self!  She also provided a link to download her pattern...gotta love that!

Thanks to Nike and all the guest bloggers for sharing inspiring ways to make the back to school transition a little easier on all of us.  Good Luck 🙂

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Lunch Box Love Notes {Back to School Blog Bash-Day 7}

I love you sticks

Hi, my name is Vanessa and I write about children’s books and crafts at Silly Eagle Books. Heidi asked me to share an idea I had for some crafty lunch box love notes.

They are pretty simple, really. My daughter and I were painting some popsicle sticks one afternoon (working on a magnet project), when I got the idea that it would be fun to write some messages on the sticks with a paint pen.

I started with “I love you.” and kept going from there.

Words that I had for my children just started flowing and I got to thinking that these would be fun to stick inside her lunchbox once school started up.

At the end of the painting session, I had quite a collection.

It’s my hope that the words I wrote will make her smile not just when she opens up her lunchbox (and is away from me at school), but also on other days–maybe ones far into the future.

Since they are sturdy and long-lasting (and kind of fun and pretty), I think she’ll keep them in a box somewhere and maybe stumble upon them one day when she is cleaning her room. Hopefully, they’ll remind her just how much I love her.

To make your own popsicle stick love notes, just grab a bag of popsicle sticks (I like the mini ones, but any size will do.)

Paint them however you want. (Lighter colors are best if you plan on writing on them with black; darker colors are best if you have a white or other light-colored paint pen.)

Lastly, once the paint has dried, write your love notes with a paint pen or permanent marker.

Now you are ready to drop them into your little one’s lunch box!

If you like popsicle stick projects, we came up with another fun idea for them. Check it out here!

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Homework Help from Jill {Back to School Blog Bash- Day 6}

The dreaded part of school….Homework.  Jill from Creating my Way to Success made some super cute tools to help kids practice thier times tables ( or any math really).  I’m sure I could make a modified version of this for spelling and site words too?!  I’ll let her explain the how-to’s!
Hi I’m Jill from Creating my way to Success

I’m so happy to have been invited to post my project here on the Back to School Bash!
I hope you like it!
My 2 daughers, and ages 6 and 8 are both learning their times tables.  I’ve been helping them along the way – and learning too about the best ways to teach them.  My dad was a maths teacher – and I remember doing lots of work with my times tables at home as a kid! So I have lots of experience to draw upon!
One thing I’ve found that works really well, and they love doing is playing ‘Memory’ or ‘Pairs’ – the card game where you have to match 2 cards and pair them off.
So as we’ve worked our way through the tables, I’ve been making them sets of Memory cards.
It then seemed important to make something to keep these sets of game cards in.  Something that they could easily find the set they’re looking for and so play them by themselves whenever they want!
Times Tables Pockets!
I’ve also written an ebook on how to teach your kids their times tables in 5 minutes a day. The book includes templates to make all the times tables memory cards.
I’m offering this book free to all subscribers to my other blog – Be Our Best, which is about all aspects of education and parenting and trying to bring our kids up to be the best people they can be.
So if you have kids who are learning or soon to learn their times tables – then please do head on over and sign up for a free copy of my book.  This is what has worked with my kids – and I would love any feedback on how it works with yours!
Now back to the Times Tables Hanging Pockets Tutorial!
First – gather your materials.
You will need:
2 rectangles of fabric for front and back 47cm x 32 cm (18.5″ x 12.5″)
1 rectangle of interfacing 47cm x 32cm (18.5″ x 12.5″)
4 rectangles of fabric for pockets 38cm x 10cm (15″ x 4″)
Vlisoflex (bondaweb) – double sided fusible webbing and chosen material for number and letter applique  76cm x 6cm (30″ x 2.5″)
Dowel rod  30cm (12″)
Ribbon 30cm (12″) for loops, plus length for hanging.
First do the applique numbers and letters.
Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for your fusible webbing.  For vlisoflex, iron one side of the webbing onto the back of the fabric you’re using for your numbers and letters.  Then write on the paper side all your letters and numbers – BACKWARDS:
Then cut all your letters and numbers out:
Now take the 4 rectangles of fabric you have for your pockets. Take the long side of each pocket – this will be the top of the pocket. Single turn and stitch to hide the raw edge.  If your fabric is one that frays, then double turn and stitch:
Now it’s time to add your applique letters and numbers.
Place the letters for Times Tables 6cm (2.5″) down from the top of the main front rectangle.
The numbers should be evenly spaced 3 on each pocket strip.
Make sure you peel the paper backing off each letter and number before laying them on the fabric!
Using a damp cloth, iron each number and letter into place:
Then using a wide zig-zag stitch or the applique setting on your machine, stitch around each number and letter:
Now turn over the bottom of each pocket strip and press.
Now you need to pin the pockets to the main front rectangle.
First pin the sides of each pocket in place, then stitch:
Then to pin the rest of the pockets – measure 10 cm increments along the MAIN fabric – folding the fabric so each number is in the middle of that 10cm. and pin the pockets at that 10cm mark:
Do this for all the pockets, then stitch down the pin lines:
Next you need to pin and stitch along the base line of each row of pockets – folding the edges of the pockets as you go:
Now you’re ready to put it all together!
Lay down first the interfacing, then the front pocket part you just made, then the backing rectangle face down on top:
Pin and stitch around all 4 edges – leaving a gap along the top edge to turn it all right sides out afterwards:
Trim all four corners:
Then with the 3 ribbon loops tucked into the top seam
 (sorry forgot to show the ribbon loops on the photo), topstitch closed.
Then all that remains is to thread the dowel rod through your ribbon loops, and tie the rest of your ribbon to the length required to hang the pockets:
Then fill the pockets with your memory cards:
In case anyone is wondering – the pocket with the “?’ just has some random pairs in from all of the times tables!

My 2 girls manage to play these memory games well together – even though the elder one knows her tables better, the younger one is better at the memory side of the game!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – don’t forget to sign up for my free ebook on how to teach your kids their times tables – complete with templates for all the memory cards – click here

Need more inspiration?  Check out the rest of the Back to School Blog bash.  Have an idea to share- go link up!

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Operation Organization from Somewhat Simple {Back to School Blog Bash- Day 5}

The thorn in my side of anything related to back to school is all the STUFF! The papers that come home, the artwork, the writing samples…they all somehow end up in a pile, then into a box to save for later, ultimately I forget about them and I have 20 boxes of papers to go through next summer, or worse yet, your mom brings over bins when you are 30 filled with of 15 years of school stuff for your reading pleasure (love you mom)! Stephanie from Somewhat Simple offers a great suggestion that is both cute and functional (girl after my own heart).

School is starting soon, and that means all those cute papers, projects and awards you little ones bring home will need a place to stay without getting crumpled or spilled on by tomorrows bowl of cereal!
Up until yesterday, all of Ethan’ s stuff was at least stashed in an expanding file folder, but then I saw Becca’s idea, and I was sold!
I made one box for each of my kids- each box has a file folder for each grade. These boxes are durable and can stack on top of each other or fit nicely in a corner on the top shelf in a closet to save space.
And they are super cute-
…So am I. Better yet, put the responsibility on the older kids to go through at the end of each year to decide their 5 most-favorite things in that folder for that school year. Looking for more ideas, or have some of your own ideas to share? Check out the Back to School Blog Bash!
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How to win over a teacher’s heart? {Back to School Blog Bash- Day 3}

I am so excited to introduce Dee, from La-Dee-Da creations.  Her pencil-based centerpiece and bracelet really peaked my interest….but the onesie.  I definitely need to make myself one of those for my little man! Don’t take my word for it, do check her out.  She has great to tutorials to go along with these adorable ideas 🙂  Allow yourself plenty of time, you may need to look around a while!

Hi there, I am the La-Dee-Da crafter

and I am so excited to be a part of the

Back to school blog bash

My blog home is

I am a wife to a Navy Commander, F-18 pilot

and a mom to great kids and I adore my La-Dee-Da doggie

When school rolled around here in AZ, it was still July and I was not in the school spirit. But I kicked it into high gear and we had a fun back to school party/dinner.

Go here to see all the details:


I decided to make a pencil centerpiece. I used notebook paper for the inside and added some flash cards, flowers and ribbon. Go to my post to get step by step directions on how to make your own.

I used back to school items to make a banner too!!! And by each of our plates was a name tag, just like the first day of school!!!

SO fun!!!

I gave this centerpiece to one teacher, but I have 2 girls so I came up with a pencil cuff.


You can find step by step directions for this craft as well.

I took a cuff I had, pencils, hot glue, ribbon and made a fun teacher accessory.

And just for kicks, I made a back to school onesie. I craft on tv and this week I am doing baby gifts and so with back to school on my mind, I had to make a back to school baby onesie!


There you have it!!! All of my back to school fun!!!

I hope you will come by and visit my blog.

Thanks Heidi for having me be apart of your blog bash.

I had a blast in a very La-Dee-Da way!

Need more inspiration, or wish to share your own tips, tricks or creative ideas to make the Back to School transition just a little more fun?!  Head over to the Back to School Blog Bash
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DIY lanyards from Pocket Full of Poise {Back to School Blog Bash day 2}

Welcome Back to Day 2 of the Back to School Blog Bash.  This series of creative ideas, tips and tricks to make the back to school transition a little easier on everyone!  Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration to make getting back to school a little more fun!
Our guest blogger today is Kristy from Pocketful of Poise.  When I saw her DIY lanyard project for her Kindergarden team of teachers my heart pitter-pattered just a bit.  As a former teacher, I know how these little things can make life as a teacher so much easier- having your ID badge and keys available at all times is almost a must for a teacher on the go…. to have something super cute is just extra credit in my eyes. 
For a new blogger she has so many cute ideas and inspiration project you’ll want to try.  I have her bookmarked to add a bunch of pins to my pinterest page too.  Make sure to spread the blog love and visit her blog 🙂
First, I want to say thank you to Heidi for inviting me to guest post for the Back to School Bash!  I am still very new to the blogger world and still get giddy about things like guest posts… so thank you Heidi. 
I guess I should also introduce myself… I am Kristy from Pocketful of Poise.  I love all things crafty. Like I said, I am very new to this world, but I am loving it already.  I hope you pop off to my blog and get inspired to make some of the fun and inexpensive projects I have posted.
Something else that you might not know is that I am a kindergarten teacher.  This is my fourth year and quite frankly it is something that truly makes my heart sing. I am kicking off the school year with some pretty cute lanyards.  Yes, you guessed it… I am making them for my kindergarten team. Maybe it’s part of being kindergarten teachers, but we seem to get so excited over the smallest things. So, if a cute ribbon lanyard with our school’s little cub paw print gets them excited then I have to make them!
Here’s what you need:
  • ribbon
  • lighter
  • key ring
  • felt flowers
Start with a spool of ribbon. I used a whole spool of ribbon to make six lanyards.  I cut each ribbon at 30 inches.
 Burn the edges so they will not frey.

Place the ribbon around your neck and overlap the ends. Holding the two ends in place, fold the edges back and pin in place.

You can hand stitch or run it through your sewing machine; don’t forget to back stitch reinforcing the ribbon.

You now have a loop to run the key ring through. 
Decorate with felt flowers, buttons or just leave it as is.  Add your teacher I.D. and maybe you’ll actually remember to wear it now that it’s on that cute lanyard!
I hope all my teacher friends have an awesome first day!
~Happy Teaching~
Thank you Kristy! To share your creative idea, tip or trick to make the back to school transition easier, please check out the Back to School Blog Bash Linky Party.  Make sure to add your link and vote for others ideas that you like! 

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