U Is For U.S.A. Mommy School

It's Mommy School time!!

I realize that summer is a busy, hectic time.  To be honest, I haven't kept up my Mommy School routine.  We are having way too much fun living it up this summer!  But I have been wanting to do some Mommy School for the Fourth of July to teach Little Man about our great nation.  Yes, it's a bit late... but I consider the entire month of July to be a patriotic time!  So hopefully some of you are in the same boat and can still use this packet!  (If not, pack it away for next year!)

Here are some of the concepts covered in this 46-page packet:

Letter of the Week:  U

Number of the Week:  9

Shape of the Week:  Star

Song of the Week:  Yankee Doodle

Theme of the Week:  America/Patriotic

Here are a few teasers of what you can find in this packet...

2 pages of fun patriotic songs!

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

How are you celebrating today?

We woke up bright and early to participate in our church's pancake breakfast and bike parade.  Little Man's legs don't quite reach pedals yet, so he took his Mickey Mouse bike for a spin instead....


We decorated his bike so he could cruise in style!  There may have been a few tears when the balloons popped.   I am happy to say that Little Man retrieved each and every streamer that fell off his lil' bike.


We got a good laugh out of his shirt--I Dig Chicks With Sparklers. (Thanks, lilsteinstyles featuring sam-n-i!)


So cheers!  Have a red, white, and blue popsicile.

Relax and enjoy your Fourth, my friends!


Worn Wood Flag {Sweet C’s Designs}

Hello my friends!  I have been eager to start featuring fabulous, talented guest posters with inspiring tutorials.

Courtney from Sweet C's Designs recently started a creative blog AND a gorgeous etsy shop, and let me tell you--this lady is talented!  Batter up, Courtney!

I'm Courtney, the mom behind the Sweet C's Etsy shop and Sweet C's Designs blog!

I have to tell you a little story before we start our craft today... when I decided to leave a high profile job in politics behind to stay at home with my little man, I found myself looking for inspiration in my new "world", and I instinctively turned to craft blogs. I stumbled across a blog I absolutely adored and read all the time... and then one day the author posted a picture of her son- and I recognized him!  Turns out this wonderful little blog was run by Alison, who I went to high school with and we had recently reconnected on Facebook! (I'll admit I was not super observant at first, as I know she posts a picture on the side of her site with a bio... I had a new baby and was clearly in the clouds). Oopsey Daisy was such a pleasure for me to read, I got inspired to start my own blog because of Alison! I am totally honored to be guest posting here today.

Our lives are very heavily influenced by baseball- my husband spends weekend afternoons parked in front of Rockies games (although he's an O's fan at heart after growing up in Annapolis), and my brother used to play in the minor league for the Minnesota Twins. My brother is still busy traveling the globe playing for teams in Japan, Germany and Australia- anywhere in need of a very tall (6'7") pitcher. So when summer rolls around, our thoughts are pretty consumed by one thing- baseball! Little man's baseball themed first birthday party is coming up soon, and I wanted some fun Fourth of July decor I could leave up all summer long that would work well with our obsession. I have seen lots of worn wood flags made with baseballs as stars, and I wanted to make my own version!

Here's how I did it:


-A large pallet (we have had this in our yard in a trash corner I am beyond embarrassed to say has been there since the old owners left. This craft was a great excuse to finally get some of the trash out of there!)

-If you don't have an old pallet laying around, you can also just use 7 worn wood boards and string them together, or nail them to two "anchor" boards running behind them (like a pallet has, but they will sit flat instead of making a box shape).

-Red, white and blue paint

-An old, large paintbrush

-Six aged baseballs (or new baseballs, some old coffee or tea, dirt, and asphalt)

-Hot glue and a hot glue gun


Paint your pallet by "dry brushing" paint on. Don't put too much paint on your brush, and sweep it quickly over the wood. An uneven look will make it look more aged- so you don't need to worry about perfection here. I did the four alternating red and white stripes at the bottom first, and then the top three I only painted half the length of the wood plank so I could then add the blue square.

If your paint is too thick in areas, just sand it down a bit so it looks more rough. I was using a VERY well worn piece of wood, and I adore the character it gave this flag!

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USA Sparklers {Thanks, Elmers!}

Hello, Oopsey Daisies!

Is there anything better than crafting with friends?!

Over the weekend, Elmers sponsored a little crafting party (several, in fact!) for some of my family and friends.  They really did spoil us, so thank you, Elmers!!  I'll share some more details on that later this week.

My sisters and I made a set of these lovelies to help us get ready for the Fourth of July:

Seriously--how did the Fourth of July creep up on me this year?!  I love the Fourth of July--the sparklers; the heat; the stars and the stripes!  And my favorite part: We always make a scrumptious batch of homemade ice cream!  Now we have a little something to help get us in the patriotic spirit!

Here is how we made our sparklers...

We started out by using our razor blades to cut out 3 stars from our Elmers foam board.


After tracing them, we used Tacky Glue to adhere patriotic scrapbook paper to the fronts and backs of each star.  We used a bit of distress ink for a special homey touch!


Next, we added some chipboard letters and any embellishments.  (It was interesting to see my sisters' personalities.  One of my sisters embellished her stars tons, and one left them simple and elegant!)

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Red, White, & Blue Yummyness

Happy Memorial Day, my friends!
Many thanks to our military troops, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to protecting our great nation!

It's the beginning of the patriotic season--one of my very favorite times of the year!  Get ready for firecrackers and s'mores! 🙂

Tomorrow, I will be enjoying an entire day outside with my family, soaking in the sun and enjoying every last minute of this 3-day weekend.  I don't know about you, but I needed this extra day in my weekend!

In the mean time... here is some patriotic eye candy.  Is there anything more lovely than red, white, and blue??
Here is some yummyness to get you in the patriotic spirit!



1.  Red, white, and blue cupcakes - Skip To My Lou.
2.  American Pie Cupcakes - Mommy Topics.
3.  Flag Cupcakes - The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Fresh Fruit
4.  Red, white, and blue strawberries - Oopsey Daisy.
5.  Red, white, and blue skewers - Make and Takes.
6.  Red, white, and blue stuffed strawberries from Fabulessly Frugal.
7.  Watermelon stars - No Biggie.

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Star Ribbon Wreath

For months I have wanted to try a ribbon wreath.  Because I decorated my first grade classroom in red, white, and blue, I still have plenty of patriotic ribbon in my collection.  So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create an adorable star ribbon wreath!  (I thought I'd had an original idea, but as it turns out, I have seen these star rag and ribbon wreaths popping up everywhere!  Great minds think alike!)

I think we all have those moments where our vision of creating something beautiful doesn't quite work out as planned.  That is the story of my life!  I am still learning to love the shape of my wreath.  However, I am still enchanted by my cheery reminder of American pride hanging on my front door!

After creating the star shape out of a wire hanger, it was quite a simple process.  This is what I did:
I loved my wreath best when I turned all of the knots so that the extra fabric faces OUTWARD.  It gives the star the most defined look.  I had to play with it for a while before I was satisfied.

I'm just counting down the days until we can watch those fireworks!

PS  Lest you think that my blog is suffering from an identity crisis, I think I am finally pinning down my decisions on the blog facelift.  I am not the most decisive person... I just keep tweaking away.  So bear with me!

Flag Firecrackers

In case you didn't get enough firecrackers yesterday, here is the second set I made!  I was truly inspired by the firecrackers I saw on Amber Packer.  (via UCreate, of course!) I love her stars and stripes!  I realized that I could really make mine look like a flag! 

Can I just tell you how much I love Home Depot?!  My local Home Depot knows me pretty well by now, and they are so good to me.  I bought an insanely long piece of wood that was somewhere around 3.25 x 2 feet... it was only $1.87.  SCORE!  I had plenty of wood left over for future projects, too.  I had 3 pieces cut-- 6 inch, 10 inch, and 14 inch pieces.

After painting my wood white and sanding it down, here is what I did:

Now for embellishing!!  How about some stars?

And a few stripes:

I used the same methods from yesterday's firecrackers to add a bit of wire to each one.

I tied it all together with some twine.  I think it adds a nice rustic touch!

I must say, I absolutely adore my star firecrackers, but I am loving these ones even more!!  On Saturday, my hubby took Little Man to Costco for the morning (definitely their favorite spot!) so I had a couple of hours to work on these guys.  Thanks, babe!

 SYS Thurs

MuralMaker and More

Star Firecrackers

One week until Independence Day... the countdown is on!!  I have been trying to finish up my patriotic crafts all weekend.  I actually created two sets of firecrackers, and here is the first set.  

I painted up my stars, sanded the edges, and embellished with ribbon and buttons.  I used a bit of distressing ink on the white star.

I have so much fun with craft wire!  I just love the spontaneity of its twisting and turning. Here is what I did:

Now these lovely stars are brightening up my mantel!

Stars are just so happy!!  I will be showing off my second set of firecrackers later on!
Enjoy your week, my friends!!

**If you haven't noticed, I am giving my blog a bit of a facelift!  Bear with me until I get it all finished! **

 SYS Thurs

Red, white, and blue strawberries

I think that my favorite crafts are the ones I can eat.  Fun to make.  Fun to enjoy.  My only regret is that they just don't last very long.  I am constantly mourning that my hubby does not eat sweets.  But good for me, he does eat strawberries!  And yes, that includes chocolate-covered strawberries!  I was inspired by a picture of some similar strawberries on Bakerella, (although now I can't seem to find the link anywhere!), and I knew I had to try this out.

Sweet story:  My hubby drove to a couple of different grocery stores searching for the perfect batch of strawberries for me.  What a sweetie!  Using this recipe from Betty Crocker, I mixed up the white chocolate.  It was surprisingly simple!!  I dipped the strawberries in about three quarters of the way, then dabbed the very ends into a bowl of blue sprinkles.  I laid them out to dry on wax paper.   This was the result:

Just one word:  DELICIOUS!  These would be so much fun to make with your kiddos, and a scrumptious treat for a 4th of July picnic!  Little Man's favorite food is, without a doubt, strawberries.  Tonight I surprised him with these beauties, and he couldn't get enough of them!!  He may possibly even like the chocolate more than the strawberries!

By the way, we dipped pretzels to use up the leftover white chocolate, and that was delectable as well!

I hope you enjoy these!!  

Today is the last day to enter the Fun Fourth giveaway!  Check it out here.

 SYS Thurs

Patriotic Denim-Burlap Flowers

Well, I had plenty of red, white, and blue fabric scraps left over.  Considering the season, I knew I needed to bust out these scraps and create something pretty with them!  I feel so frugal when doing a project with scrap fabric.  There have been so many cool flower tutorials out there, so I used some new techniques from a few to create some just plain purty patriotic flowers!

I bought a skinny wodden dowel and wrapped it with twine to create the "stems" for these flowers.  I made them all different lengths--variety is the spice of life! 🙂

I used all kinds of denim, burlap, and fabric scraps... a little twine... and some buttons.  My hot glue gun and I became friends, and with barely any burns, I layered up these little beauties!  

I secured these flowers into some styrofoam, and found a fun can that completely matched my colors and theme!  I am really wishing I had a yard or some outdoor area.  These would be so fun outside on a patio!!  Perfect for the Fourth of July!  Here are just a few more shots:

I love this project because it combines so many of my favorites... denim, burlap, flowers, and the 4th of July!!  And it matches my table runner perfectly!

PS Just after taking pictures, I found the perfect wooden tray to put the can on.  It's a lovely finishing touch!  Have a happy Monday, my friends!

 SYS Thurs

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