DIY Teacher Gift with Bachman’s

With six teachers between Miss E and Miss F, I’ve been trying to think of something special yet affordable for all of their teachers. Miss F will be switching to Miss E’s school next year but Miss E will have her same three teachers the next two years.

Sunday afternoon it finally came to me. We’d get decorative planters, small potted plants and add some personal touches to make it something meaningful, just a stitch cheesy enough, but also something that everyone can use.

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Here’s what you need:

*Decorative planters {I chose watering can planters that are available at Bachman’s but there’s tons of options ranging in price. The ones I got were about $10 each.)

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*Six to eight inch potted plants {FLOWERS!} that will fit inside the decorative planters {Every single flower you can think of available at Bachman’s $8-10 each, you could even choose perennials that might be cheaper}
*Permanent paint {$3-4 at your local craft store}
*Potting soil {$5-7 for a large bag}

Step one:

I got the pots ready by writing who they were for and then I let Miss E sign her name. {I signed for Miss F.}

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Step two:

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Handprints on the pots

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Step three:

Let them dry. Important: Make sure you use permanent paint and a permanent marker so that when they get wet they won’t get wiped away.

Step four:

Add potting soil and your flowers.

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Ta-Da!

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I’m super happy with how they turned out and considering each one was a little less than $20 each, I feel like it was an economical gift, too.

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What do you have planned for teacher gifts this year?

Bachman’s has six convenient locations throughout the Twin Cities and they’ve got all sorts of items that make great gifts for teachers {dads and grads, too!}. Bachman’s would like to give one of my readers a $25 gift card.

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway right here.

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Bachman’s. All words, opinions, photos and crafting mishaps are mine alone.

Disney’s Live Action Beauty and the Beast Teaser Trailer

Beauty and the Beast is one of the very first Disney movies I have recollection of seeing in the theater. We also ended up owning it on VHS and it was a well loved and well played story. Just as I type this “Tale as Old as Time” is playing in my mind.

I’m pretty excited to see how Disney transforms the beloved cartoon fairy tale into live action on the screen and they’ve just released their first teaser trailer.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

Follow along and #BeOurGuest when it opens in theaters on March 17, 2017–>
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DisneyBeautyAndTheBeast
Twitter – https://twitter.com/beourguest
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/beautyandthebeast

VIVAROSES: Shipped Direct from Ecuador

I am a huge fan of fresh flowers. There is something about having a clean house and vases full of flowers that makes me feel happy and no matter the day I am having, the world looks a little bit brighter.

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READ MORE here.

VIVAROSES: Fresh From Ecuador, Shipped Directly to Your Front Door

What started as a love story has transformed to a family business with volcanic roses shipped direct to your door.

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I am a huge fan of fresh flowers. There is something about having a clean house and vases full of flowers that makes me feel happy and no matter the day I am having, the world looks a little bit brighter.

Some weeks I’m good at finding a bunch at the store here and there or other times J will bring a bunch home and surprise me. It really is a day brightener.

That’s why when VIVAROSES contacted me, I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. Fresh flowers delivered to my doorstep freshly grown on a volcano? Yes, please.

I chose the “In Perfect Harmony” medium sized bunch because I truly couldn’t decide on one color.

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I LOVE them.

First of all, FOUR dozen roses is A LOT of roses.

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But I loved setting them up throughout my house.

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Three things to know about VIVAROSES:

  1. They are grown at a small family farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
  2. They are guaranteed fresh. When you open that box up and get them ready to display, you can smell the freshness. The roses were shipped and packaged in a way that made sure they were fresh upon arrival
  3. They ship free. Anytime and all the time.

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My roses from VIVAROSES arrived five days ago now and still look just as amazing as they did when they arrived.

And my house? SMELLS amazing!

VIVAROSES has invited my readers to try them out with a 15% discount. Use code: SUBURBS-15 to save right here. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions and photos are mine.

The Finest Hours on Blu-Ray/DVD!

Disney’s The Finest Hours is coming out to Blu-Ray/DVD!

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This heroic action-thriller is based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In 1952, a massive winter storm strikes off the coast of Cape Cod, ripping a T-2 oil tanker in half and trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly sinking stern. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard, four men led by Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) set out in a 12-seat boat on a daring mission to rescue the stranded men, braving freezing cold, 60-foot waves and hurricane-force winds, and guided by Webber’s vow that “We all live, or we all die.” Packed with thrilling, larger-than-life action and anchored in a belief in the strength of the human spirit, The Finest Hours is a triumph.

For more info: http://movies.disney.com/THE-FINEST-HOURS

Review: My 10 year old and I saw this movie this past winter when it was in theaters and we loved it. It’s full of action and suspense but there is also a very real human interest story between Miriam and Bernie {some would call it love, but not 10 year old boys!}.

The movie is based on a true story, which was super interesting to us and really gave me a greater appreciation for the US Coast Guard and what they do for us. I also ended up buying the book the movie was based on for my 10 year old.

As far as recommendations: I could see some younger kids being scared because there is quite a bit of peril but I think it’s a perfect movie for older elementary and above.

It’s rated PG-13 and comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD May 24!

The Blu-Ray/DVD combo comes with some special features including a behind the scenes look at who Bernie Webber was and his close knit small town, cast members reflect on the difficult and adventurous scenes and some Coast Guard inspiration.

Did you see The Finest Hours in theaters? Plans on seeing it on Blu-Ray/DVD?

Disclosure: Disney and Allied sent my family our own copy of the Blu-Ray/DVD. All opinions expressed are mine alone and no compensation was exchanged.

My 9th Stitch Fix

My ninth Stitch Fix arrived on Saturday morning and it felt like Christmas. I hadn’t received a Fix since this past fall. I tried Trend Send this past winter from EverEve and then I had a Stitch Fix scheduled around my birthday but with an updated check card, my order didn’t go through so I had to update my account and reschedule.

My 8th Fix wasn’t my favorite one but I did keep a black top that I really enjoyed all winter long and still love. This Fix was even worse than that one. Actually, I returned everything. I was pretty disappointed in what I was sent this time around and didn’t schedule another Fix {even though Stitch Fix has emailed me twice since I checked out}. I felt that I had given some comments of what I was looking for and also based on previous Fix’s that there should have been some good info of what my style is like in addition to my Pinterest board and style profile.

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Here’s what I got this time {don’t mind the unmade bed in the background- I was washing bedding Saturday!}

Pixley Ellie Printed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse $48

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This was ok. It fit fine but it’s not really something I would get a lot of wear out of for an almost $50 price point. I think if I had gotten it in March I probably would have kept it because of spring and Easter and such but at this point I’m looking towards summer and wouldn’t see a lot of wear of this.

Decision: RETURN

Azalia Skinny Jean $148

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I did ask for denim. These were more like JEGGINGS than denim in my opinion. They fit my legs great but accenuated my muffin top which is not a look I prefer.

Decision: RETURN

Collective Concents Galen Laser Cut Dress $88

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I actually did like this dress aside from the straps but I have so many navy and black dresses like it.

Decision: RETURN

Collective Concepts Helga Crochet Detail Top $48

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Someone forgot to tell my stylist that I’m 34 and not 21.

Decision: RETURN

Market & Spruce Didi Crochet Detail Knit Tank $38

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I can’t stand razorback straps, which was part of my dislike of the other tank as well.

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Decision: RETURN

 

All in all I was disappointed. Maybe I’m getting too picky? I’m not sure if I’ll have another one sent or if I’ll give Trend Send another try. I’ve gotten some good fixes in the past so if I do schedule will probably shoot for end of summer. What do you think? What would you do?

 

My past Fixes:

My First Stitch Fix
My Second Stitch Fix
My Third Stitch Fix
My Fourth Stitch Fix

My 5th Stitch Fix
My 6th Stitch Fix
My 7th Stitch Fix
My 8th Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix out yet? What have you liked or not liked? If you haven’t signed up yet what are you waiting for?

For a $20 styling fee, you fill out a questionnaire and all of your likes/dislikes when it comes to clothing, style, price points etc and a stylist puts together five pieces they think you might like. Hate it all? The only cost is the style fee. Love it?  Your $20 style fee goes towards your purchase and if you buy all five items you receive a 25% discount.

If you sign up and use my link I receive referral credit {it costs you nothing more or less by using my link, I’m just disclosing that I will receive credit}.

Captain America: Civil War Opens Nationwide Today

I wasn’t able to go to the pre-screening for this one so I asked my friend Charles Awad to cover for me. Here’s his review: 

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Captain America: Civil War marks a return to silver screen starring role for Marvel’s resident great American hero. Similarly to Winter Soldier, Cap faces long odds, tough decisions and unexpected betrayal, as he squares off against Tony Stark for control of the Avengers’ increasingly tumultuous future. Civil War ends up feeling more like the next Avengers installment than the next Captain America. If you’re like me, you’ll pretend this was, in reality, the second Avengers film, instead of the poorly executed Age of Ultron. Even so, Captain American proves to be this feature’s brightest shining star, with his shield front and center in the moments that matter most.

The Russo brothers expound upon their successes with Winter Soldier, while marginally paring down the military espionage elements that dominated that feature. They also prove themselves potentially worthy successors as directors to Joss Wedon’s sacred Avengers movie helm, showing that an ensemble cast of superheroes– replete with their own personalities, powers and ethos– are not too much Marvel for the duo to handle. The sense of humor that is used to break up tension feels subtler, and altogether more natural, than Whedon’s brand of borderline dad jokes. We’ll see if they remain up to the task when Avengers: Infinity War Part I debuts in May of 2018.
If you’re a Marvel movie fan, experiences such as this are worth relishing. Superhero films don’t get much better. In addition to the great action and suspense on display, the opportunity to witness the on screen debut and inception of Black Panther, the homecoming of Spidey, and one other “big” surprise, prove worthy of the cost of entry on their own.
Captain America continues his reign as the one major feature film hero with which Marvel has never failed us. Here’s hoping that they, and the brothers Russo, keep it that way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKrVegVI0Us

Captain America: Civil War is rated PG-13 and Charles noted the rating is particularly on account of some of the heavy themes of military power and control, and a couple of tough to watch scenes of violence. He recommends the movie to ages 12+ for parents that are patient enough to explain the philosophies illustrated in the film to their children. 

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation

This next week is teacher appreciation week and a few weeks later, the end of the school year. It always sneaks up on me and I’m never quite sure what to do to say “Thank You” to the people who spend their days loving, leading and teaching my children.

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I put together a little list of some last minute gift ideas, things that you could have in your hands by the end of next week to gift teachers OR if you’d rather wait until the end of the school year, then you’ll totally be overachieving.

Feed My Starving Children Artisan Gifts:

Handmade by women in the very villages FMSC is committed to helping, these gifts are not only great to give to the receiver but they give back to the artist as well. My top picks:

Hemp Daisies:

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Just one of these daisies {available for $6} provides 13 meals. Buy a bunch of six and you’ve provided 67 meals to children in Haiti.

Metal Art by Claudy:

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Claudy, the artisan in Haiti, has been creating metal art for FMSC for 11 years. You can purchase this for $65 and your purchase provides 145 meals.

Lots more handmade goods are available at your local Feed My Starving Children or online.

Shutterfly Book:

Chaperone a few field trips this year? Have access to class photos or a way to team up with other parents? Compile classroom photos and make teacher a special memory book. Never made one before and not even sure how to start? Use my link and your first one is FREE! {this offer is only good for first time Shutterfly customers.} Existing customers can shop here.

Candles: 

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I am super picky about candles but if I gift candles they are either the Volcano candle at Anthropologie or Mrs. Meyer’s candles.

Handmade cards and notes from kids:

From what I’ve heard teachers do NOT need one more “best teacher ever” mug but love reading how their teaching has affected you or their student. Have your son or daughter write a note or you write a note and tell the teacher why you are grateful for them.

Need a specialty card? Check out my friend Jenny’s collection {ThreeLetterBirds}.

Coffee: Unless teacher doesn’t like coffee, I don’t think you can go wrong with a coffee gift card {confession: this tends to be my go-to.}

Succulents:

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Succulent plants are SO in right now and are relatively inexpensive, can go anywhere and super easy to take care of. Stop by your local nursery {My favorites are: 101 Market and Schulte’s Nursery} and pick a few up, add a little stake with a kind note and you’re set.

 

Do you give teacher gifts during teacher appreciation week or do you wait until the end of the school year? Or do you do both? What’s your go-to gift idea?

 

Last Chance for the FREE Grove Collaborative Every Day Luxury Package

The team at Grove Collaborative (formerly ePantry) has put together this incredible Mrs. Meyer’s  Everyday Luxury Set set for my followers — for FREE.

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The set feels like something you’d get as a gift from a chic friend, or maybe you’d gift it to a busy mom or someone you know who could use a sweet pick me up. It includes a lovely Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Candle, and Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges. So pretty and useful. {All products I have and use in my home.}

My favorite scents are Lavender, Lemon Verbana and Bluebell.

If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, you’ll get this set FREE + free shipping when you use my link and spend $20. There are so many beautiful, healthy household products to choose from at Grove Collaborative.

With a few clicks, I can choose my favorite products and scents, customize my shipments, and have them delivered right to my door (carbon offset, of course).

If you’re already a Grove Collaborative subscriber, they want to pamper you too! You’ll get a free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap with your next order when you use this link.

There are a limited number of sets available, and this offer is only good while supplies last or until Sunday, May 1 — so grab yours now. Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You’ll receive the Mrs. Meyer’s Everyday Luxury Set for free when you sign up!
  1. Answer 4 quick questions about your home. This takes under 30 seconds, and Grove Collaborative will use this to customize your first basket.
  1. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items. {Don’t want things? Take them out. Want more of something? Simply add it.}
  1. To receive this offer, your order needs to total at least $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.

5. Click “Finish & Pay” and place your order.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Disclosure: Affiliate links were used in this post. This means if you do make a purchase, a small percentage of that purchase goes to me. Your purchase will not cost you more or less by using my links but I appreciate your support.

On Loving the Teenage Years.

I always thought I would be more sad as my kids moved from little to big. That I’d miss the nursing and the carrying and the sippy cups and carseats.

Perhaps I just haven’t had time to miss these stages. In our 12 year marriage I’ve spent 5.25 years either pregnant or nursing. Perhaps the shift of the stages hasn’t been as evident. It’s not that I am glad to move from these stages, it’s just I enjoy the next one as we get to it.

It’s always sweet and bitter to watch change and growth happen. Some stages are better than others. I couldn’t do the newborn stage again but J could. I could do age four over and over and over again and J would rather poke his eyeballs out. The jury is still out on age 10 and our almost three year old has staked full claim on the littlest little.

Often as a society and within the world we live, we talk about teenagers as if they have just landed from a foreign planet that we’ve never been to.

{We have. I promise.}

But here’s the thing, maybe it’s because I was just a teenager last week {kind of} or maybe it’s because I’m stepmom to teens, but I actually enjoy our teenagers.

No, it’s not perfect. There’s plenty of conflict and disagreement. Just yesterday morning M and I went head to head over yogurt.

YOGURT, people.

But I often say M is my right hand girl, always ready to help me and loves big and she is always up for a walk or a trip to the coffee shop.

I also love the engaging conversations we have, I love the discourse, I love the political discussions and the watching them come into their own with what they believe and why they believe it. M often surprises me with her understanding of the world around her and the ideas she has, I love that she can articulate what she believes and why. I love that T asks questions about this or that or who or why. I don’t ever want to tell them what to think or that the way I do it, say it, believe, is right. I hope my life speaks those things but they’ve got to come into it on their own. Even if that means I’m singing to worship songs or Meghan Trainor in the driver seat and T’s listening to Eminem on his phone in the passenger seat. I am me and he is he.

We worked through what I like to call the “icky’s” – the power struggles and value conflicts and friend dramas- all those icky stages between 12-14, give or take a year, and we had to work hard. Hard. I remember both T and M being so mad that we would ask questions and have hard conversations and I always said, we will never regret working through those stages.

And we don’t.

Because of this.

Two times today. TWICE. I was doubled over in laughter with T.

At one point as we shopped for his new glasses, I joked about his wrinkled shirt {clearly an effect of him doing his own laundry} and he was laughing as he said we need a new dryer because his clothes are always wrinkled, even though no one else’s are and another guy nearby said, “I used to have that same problem.”

T and I looked at each other and laughed. My eyes were crying, I was laughing so hard and as we left the eye clinic I said, “this is it, T, this is it.”

“What?!” he looked at me like I had two heads as I SnapChat-ed a pic of him to his mom.

This is what we worked for. We made it through the “icky’s” for this. Raising kids you actually like? You actually enjoy spending time with? That want to hang out with you?

It’s pretty much a parents dream come true

Don’t dread the teenage years. Nourish the kids you’re growing so you like each other later. Fight them tooth and nail when it matters so that someday they choose YOU over looking at their phone. Do these things, work past the icky’s and I promise, you’ll never regret it.

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