Friday, January 09, 2015

Fat Quarter Shop $40 Gift Card Giveaway - CLOSED!!



*This note that this giveaway is now closed!




Do you love fabric as much as I do?
Here's your chance to win a 

$40 Gift Card

to 


Fat Quarter Shop is an online fabric store with a huge selection of fabrics from top manufactorers  including; Michael Miller, Moda Fabric, Riley Blake, Robert Kaufman, Timeless Treasures, Red Rooster, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, and many, many more.

You can choose from jelly rolls, patterns, fat quarter bundles, fabric by the yard, etc.

Who doesn't want the chance to win such fabulous quilting quality fabric?!

I would enter, if it wasn't my blog haha.

Just look at all these beautiful choices for Valentine's Day








and how about this absolutely gorgeous quilt kit by Holly Hill Designs and A Year of Love fabric.


simply gorgeous, right?

If you are a quilter or are interested in quilting, please check out 
for lots of 'how to' videos.


This giveaway contest will run until January 24, 2015 (midnight est).

To enter just follow the instructions according to Rafflecopter.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 05, 2015

DIY Flannel Board


I made myself a flannel board.

Flannel boards are a handy teacher tool.
They can be used for a multitude of things.

Retelling Stories
Sequencing
Patterns
Math Concepts
Colors
&
much, much more.

I wanted to purchase one to use for awhile now, but they can be pretty pricey.

I thought the next best thing to buying one was to make one of my own.

I went to a few local thrift stores to look for old funky picture frames that I could either use just the frame itself with a particle board attached or something similar.

I ended up finding an old cork board instead.

I bought some flannel and some colorful buttons to decorate the frame to make it more appealing.


cork board = $2
flannel = $2.47/yard
buttons = 3 packs/$1.50 each
paint and extra buttons (already had)
glue gun

for a total of less than $10 I made my very own flannel board
(which is actually two sided, so it's even more versatile) 




I spray painted both sides of the cork board frame


I cut the flannel just slightly larger than the cork board
I sprayed a thin line of glue along the edges using my glue gun
Next, I used a screw driver to push the fabric underneath the frame


I used my glue gun to attach some bright colorful buttons all around the frame.
I actually did this on both sides of the cork board - so my flannel board is actually double sided.

awesome!


I made some fish out of felt.

I also found some printables on line from various sources.

I printed them out and then laminated them.
I glued a small piece of velcro to the back of the printables so that they would stick to the flannel


Do you like my handy dandy laminator?
It was a Christmas gift from the kids.
I know I will get a ton of use out of it.


The Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear printables can be used for 
sequencing events 
or for retelling the story.


Dogs, Numbers, Colors and Bones
can be used for a multitude of lessons
colors, patterns, math, etc.

  

Just like my new fancy little laminator, I'm sure I will get plenty of use out of this 
little flannel board for many years to come.

It is such a fun way for children to incorporate with learning. 



Sunday, January 04, 2015

what's on my reading list....


In my spare time, before my life gets overrun by textbooks again, I've been
trying to catch up on some new books.

I'm almost finished reading Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnn Johnson.
I am really enjoying this book.  It's geared more towards teaching older students, but she does provide some tips for teaching younger students as well.  She shares her classroom management plan and other ideas to make teaching and learning an enjoyable experience for both teachers and students.


Overwhelmed by Perry Noble is a book that I'm really looking forward to reading.  It deals with anxiety, stress, and feeling overwhelmed and how we can manage life and see our way through the overwhelming feelings of just trying to get by.


How Full is Your Bucket?
Since I started subbing at the pre-k's and head starts I noticed that a lot of schools have been using this bucket filling/dumping program and I wanted to read and learn more about it.  I also bought a child's version of this book to read with my children.  This is probably a program that I will utilize in the future as a teacher, so I thought it would be nice to have the children's version on hand (for my future classroom).

The First Days of School is another book about classroom management.  I read reviews that this is a really excellent source for teachers, so I thought I would read it for myself.

The Power of a Praying Wife since I am continuing on my spiritual journey, I'm embracing my role as a wife and helpmate to my husband.  Hey, I didn't get this far in my marriage without a little (ok, a lot) of help from above....and even after 22 years of marriage, there is still a lot of things that I should know and do.

In my quest to exude happiness and positivity I also plan of reading The Power of a Positive Mom and also The Power of a Positive Woman.  I really do believe that there is power in words and in emotions.  I think if you walk around feeling down in the dumps and hopeless, then you will project those feelings to those around you.  I'd much rather be known as a super, happy, almost "too happy" person, than a depressed Debbie downer....know what I mean?


I'm sure I will add other books to this list....but for now I think I'm off to a great start.

What are you reading this year? Do you have any recommendations that you think I would like?



Thursday, January 01, 2015

your life matters.



I know it's new year and all and everyone is all about new beginnings and resolutions...
I usually think of my birthday as my 'new' year.
so, I usually wait and think about what I really want to accomplish
and plan that around my day.

when I turned 40 a few years ago, I made some big, huge changes to my life.
I don't regret a single one of them.

I embarked on an incredible journey of discovering who I wanted to be.

the kind of wife
the kind of mother
the kind of person God was calling me to be
the kind of friend I needed to be

I wanted to feel like my life meant something.

I know I'm a pretty big important person to my family.
but, I needed to see that for myself.

I needed to step back and take a big ol' look at myself 

I kind of didn't like what I saw when I did.

I felt like I settled in my life.

so, I set out to make those big - huge changes.


I let go of so many, many fears that held me back in my life.

I let go of my fear of failure
I let go of my fear of fear itself.

I took a huge giant leap of faith....
I prayed that God would be there to catch me if I fell.

who knew when I jumped that I would actually fly?

certainly, not me.

I quit my job that I had for eight plus years

I went back to college, after twenty years

I started my own sewing business after re-teaching myself to sew

I lost over 30 pounds of weight

I discovered a love of nature

I got a new job that I totally love, one that makes me incredibly happy

I grabbed life by the horns and rode the ride...so to speak

I got in touch with my spirituality
I prayed that God would help me to understand how much pain and suffering my husband was going through.....and then, went through my own physical pain and endured it.
I prayed that God would help me to understand the feelings of anger, doubt, frustration and helplessness of dealing with someone who is going through a major life depression - just as my husband had done for me, many years ago in the earlier stages of our marriage and what an eye opening experience it has been.

to say that I became a stronger woman, through it all, is a drastic understatement.

No matter what life (or God) threw at me....I succeeded.

I did it.

was it always easy?

um, hell no.

did I still have feelings of doubt that I let creep in?

oh yeah.

is that fear still lingering?

um, yep, you bet.

but you know what I realized....I'm worth this life that God gave me

I'm worth the love He has shown me

I'm worth every damn, darn second.

my life may never be perfect...
and I'm totally okay with that.

but I will say this....I will never give up again
I will never let the devil beat me down and make me feel worthless
I will never, ever let fear steal anything more from me.



I'm just going to continue to climb this mountain of life that God placed before me
and know that I'm not alone
that I have nothing to fear
that I can do anything
as long as I believe in myself

Life matters,,,,
Life is worth it....
Make the most of it.


It's a gift that was hand made and planned just for you.

you can do with it what you want.

you can live in a bubble and not like it
you can live in fear and denial

or

you can take a step back and look at the big picture that was painted just for you.

that path that is just waiting to be explored


I'm planning on filling my life scrapbook with

love and grace

how about you?


and someday....when I'm old and gray and bedridden
and my children and their children and perhaps, even their children
look in my 'trunk' of life (so to speak),

I want them to see what a completely amazing person and woman I was

and be pretty darn proud of me.

and think my mom, nonna, great nonna played the game of life and 

she totally nailed it!!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Decorate a Christmas Tree....

This cute little craft was found on Easy Toddler Crafts.com.



It's a little paper tree with ornaments that you can cut out and have
the kids decorate....I thought it would be a good way for little ones to practice
cutting with scissors, but as it turns out the little ornaments were tiny and even hard for me to do.

But still, if you want to cut out all the little pieces and let the little ones "decorate" their own tree, this is a super cute way to do it.

You can glue the finished product to a sheet of scrapbook paper.  You could also frame it for future use (makes a sweet little keepsake).  Another idea would be to laminate it and use as a
holiday place mat.  Or perhaps, mod podge it to a canvas....the possibilities are endless.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

voices of christmas past....


Thanks to the timehop app for these fun reminders....

*****

heard from the other room...
"Oww, I'm telling Dad on you!"
"Sorry Nathan, it was an accident...you can shoot
me in the eye to make it even."

*****

"I would like to get all sappy since it's Christmas...
but it's not Christmas in this house unless someone is
fighting, screaming is going on, someone throws a tantrum or two
and someone takes another ones toy and breaks it.....
Merry Christmas everyone from our wild crazy bunch to yours!"

*****

"kids still hyped up on sugar, playing hide and seek in the dark
with their nerf guns....when Nathan says 'I can't find anyone,
so turn on the light so I can see.'
bwhahaha....kind of defeats the purpose of hiding in the dark, eh?"

*****

"Sounds like another Juliani Christmas....fighting over toys and games, bickering sisters,
too many cookies consumed.  Nerf darts and discs flying through the air, crying after stepping
on army guys and legos, half eaten pieces of chocolate laying here and there,
wrapping paper everywhere, toys scattered about waiting to be put together,
game pieces getting lost....I'm ready for nap!"

*****

"hmmm, can the kids go back to school now?"

*****

"Overheard this a minute ago - 
'Stop texting me so much....and anyway you spelled 'butthead' wrong."

*****

"Well, that sounds about right...
Nicholas: 'Mommmmmm, there's nothin' to do.....'"



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ready or Not....Santa is Coming to Pennsylvania!



Here comes Santa Claus....
Here comes Santa Claus....
Right down Santa Claus Lane.....

I saw this little book and thought it was super cute and just had to get it.

You can find them for all the states and even some specific towns and cities as well.

Such a cute idea for Christmas and a little reminder that Santa is on his way......


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!




Sharing a Few Cute Christmas Books

Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy


Written by Tim Bugbird and illustrated by Lara Ede

Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy is a sweet rhyming book with bright, colorful pictures.

The story is about a little fairy who bakes gingerbread and all the fairies love her shop.

But, then a new, sparkly, glittery store opens next door and takes all of the Georgie's business.
Georgie decides to close her store because "gingerbread was so last year and out of style"

Soon, the town started to smell.
The new store had a plastic, unappealing smell that wafted through the air.

This prompted Georgie to come up with a new plan...
a wonderful smelling aroma spray of what else?

Gingerbread.

Now both stores are able to coexist and all the fairy residents are happy at last,
with their sparkly, glitter goods and a fresh smelly gingerbread town.


What Santa Can't Do



Written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Doug Cushman
New York Times bestselling team of the books
What Grandmas Can't Do, What Moms Can't Do, and What Dads Can't Do.

Sure, Santa can do a lot of things, but
What Santa Can't Do 
gives a new spin to all that Santa cannot do.

There are lots of things that Santa can do, like find every house in every country, 
but he can't find his own pipe or slippers.

He can remember everyone on his list,
but he can't remember the grocery store list that Mrs. Claus wrote for him.

He can't shave, because no one would know who he was.

He can't touch his toes.

He can't wear shorts and a t shirt or even sandals.

He can't snicker, or giggle, or even chuckle...he can only "ho ho ho!"

There are lots of things Santa can't do....but in a lot of ways
he's just like you and me.

He can't wait until Christmas!!


The Great Christmas Crisis


Written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Jannie Ho.

The Great Christmas Crisis 

is a wonderful reminder to make sure you save a little cheer for yourselves this year.
Sometimes, we get so busy spreading the cheer and good things to everyone that we tend to forget about ourselves.

This book serves as a reminder to save some cheer for you and take a little time to relax and enjoy the holiday season as well.




Sunday, December 21, 2014

One Special Christmas - Book Review & Craft


One Special Christmas was written by M. Christina Butler and illustrated by Tina Macnaughton.

This sweet book is a touch and feel book.  The red hat and thread feel like velvet.

When Santa gets sick on Christmas Eve, little Hedgehog is asked to help deliver the presents.
Little Hedgehog dons his red toboggan and sets off to help...
along the way, the sled crashes and Hedgehog loses all the presents.

With the help of his friends, he uses his little red hat as a bag to help gather up all the presents.
Once the friends and bag of gifts are back in the sled, they set off on an adventure.
The hat catches on a branch and it starts to unravel.

As the hat unravels, the presents start to fall out of the bag.

Luckily, their good friend Badger gathers the gifts with the help of the red string.

All the presents get delivered just in time for Christmas.

Little Hedgehog was happy to help Santa, but also sad that his new hat was ruined.

But, his little furry friends weren't the only ones who got a special gift that night....
Hedgehog did too...

a brand new red toboggan from Santa.


For this little craft you will need:
a toboggan/hat template
construction paper
red yarn
glue


glue the template to a sheet of construction paper


Spread glue all over the template and glue the yarn to the hat 


easy and super cute craft to go along with the equally cute holiday book.




*Disclosure: I was given the book One Special Christmas for review purposes only.  The opinions and craft are my own and were not influenced by Tiger Tales.


Saturday, December 06, 2014

Christmas Elf Craft


nathan's christmas elf
made with scrapbook paper
you will need
several different sheets of christmas scrapbook paper
 one paper plate
pink or flesh colored paint
two wiggly eyes
one button
one pom pom
red yarn
scrap ribbon
glue


we used a square for the body
and painted a paper plate for the face
we cut the inner circle of the plate for the face
and used the edges of the plate to cut out pointy ears
then, we used a sheet of scrapbook paper to make a hat
and a fun elf collar
we also cut two long strips of each paper
for the arms and the legs


we folded the arms and legs in a zigzag pattern


we painted the plate pink
and glued on the ears, the eyes, a button for the nose,
and some yarn for the mouth


then we glued all the pieces together

we added a pompom and a cute festive ribbon to the hat

and another small rectangle to the square as a belt


it came out super cute!!!


see, i just knew hoarding all that old christmas and holiday
scrapbook paper would pay off eventually - hehehe!