end of the year

So, if you know me, you know I love a couple of things – arts and crafts and personalization. I worked with many, many amazing people this year, but I wanted to share my gratitude to two of my coworkers who picked up my slack, poured in ideas, took great initiative, and truly eased the burden of so much “stuff” that had to happen this year. Enter Treat Greeting Cards. You know Shutterfly, right? You may have ordered Christmas cards from them like we have! …. Well, Treat a newer brand of theirs! This website and their products have absolutely stolen my crafty, personalized loving heart! The specialize in cards, phone cases, and mugs; fun, useful items like that! I went to order these two gals cards thinking I would just be able to add a picture and my own greeting/signature.  I was already stressing thinking I had to find a card that would communicate something close to what I wanted to say. I even feared I’d have to be uber creative in making a card “work” that really didn’t. But, when I say I personalized just about EVERY aspect of  these cards. Ya’ll I was in heaven. Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. The fact that I was able to personalize the message sent me over the moon!! Annnnnd, then they came on the day they Treat said they would. Yes, they give you an accurate delivery date and will even send the card to your bud or stud if time is of the essence. THRILLED. I mean. I couldn’t be happier! The gals seemed to really enjoy them and one of my other coworkers is already planning and creating cards for a few of her friends! I mean, who wouldn’t want their face with a personalized message on a card?!

Check these out! while simultaneously excusing my work area. I live/work/paint/etc here!! amy2dewalt2Yes, I threw in a little Aibileen from The Help!!

Then… Two more of my favorite things in the entire world – painting and personalization collide…. Every single cheer or classroom gift I’ve given my kids has been an initial, a personalized picture frame (complete with their name & photograph!), SOMETHING with their name on it… and, I’ve made it myself. With attempting to not make it look homemade. lol. 

This year, my vision for my cheerleaders’ gifts were chalkboards. And, as frustrated as I was about the paint pens not making precise, clean lines – it does kinda look like chalk. I had to seriously fight my inner perfectionist and not focus so much on what is “wrong” or why it isn’t perfect and delight in the fact that it looks just like what I wanted it to look like. (Doesn’t life just work out that way sometimes?) I love that the black paint has a slight, slight shimmer to it, too!!! Annnnnd, I didn’t get paint of any furniture or carpet this time!! Woooooot!!!

Here are a few of the finished “chalkboards” aleshadanielle And, then my heart was happy.

… cheers to finding new ways to love on those you love and appreciate most!!!
(And, you still have time to love on your kiddos’ teachers, your fave coworker, classmate, teammate or WHOEVER before that very last day of school!!!)

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… 9 and 1

9 days and 1 holiday left.
countdownAnd, I am beyond happy. Far beyond.

The last few weeks of school are always hectic for me because I always wait until the absolute last minute to complete gifts for my cheerleaders and students.

And, during every project I tell Thomas “Next time, I’m starting earlier…” And, I’m right there again, making those same promises during the next midnight hour paint sesh. lol.

One year, I literally stayed up all night completing gifts. No sleep. Not a wink. But, the gifts were cute which is really all that matters in the end. Right?

The thing that makes these gifts so time consuming is that I love personalization. So, I make personalized gifts for each kid. Initials, names, monograms, etc. It’s all personalized to the kiddo.

Again, time consuming but because I have my priorities all in order, it makes the lack of sleep and complete social life shutdown  worthwhile. Right?

So you would think that 9 days before school let out, I would know exactly what I doing for my students. I have no clue. Not an inkling.
These gifts are from a couple of years ago and they are my absolute favorite student gifts in the world….
lettersalvin12Absolute. Fav.
Sooooo……. we’ll see what I can come up with by Friday. {{pressure}}

I also make my cheerleaders personalized gifts…..
This is what they received this year! I think this may be one of my favorite gifts for them so far.
arielle

katrina

These were the girls’ basketball gifts for this year that I also painted…..
When I tell you I literally prayed over these gifts, I’m serious!
There was absolutely a bow your head – prayer hands situation that happened before I started drawing these lines. I was so nervous!
basketballs
But, I think they turned out really well and I’m really excited about them.

I’m almost out of the woods with gifts… I’m nearing the end of the road……. I just need to get this last gift idea done!
These gifts will be given out on the last day of school… so once these gifts are DONE… so is the school year….

And,
summer can’t come fast enough.

I only have ONE summer goal (so far)…….
A GARDEN!!!!!

 AS SOON as school lets out, I’m scouring Garden Ridge and wherever you go to buy plants and cute gardening gloves and tools. I’m even going all out with season/holiday themed garden accessories and those little stone frogs from Hobby Lobby. I’ve never gardened before, but I’m ready for the challenge that I’m sure it will bring.

I am so excited and Thomas is already exhausted. lol….. I know I wear him out with all of my ideas and tasks but he’s so supportive and lets my little creativity flow in whichever way it takes me, which I appreciate so much!!!

I’m excited. It should be fun.

…. here’s to 9 days of school left and new challenges!!!!

 

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… tradition

This is the last week before the Christmas holidays and I am not ready!!!!!

Every year, I make gifts for my students….. This year, I’ve added my cheerleaders to the list.
I usually wait until the last few days to begin crafting but this year I started today- a SATURDAY night!!!! I should be all done by Wednesday for sure – which would be a HUGE feat and break in tradition!!! Lol. Along with the fact that this years gift was considerably cheaper than the last two years! (Another break in tradition!!!!)

My agenda for the next 6 days:

Cookie exchange/potluck…… Of course, I had to veer from the dessert rules a little bit but I’m sure everyone will think the rebellion will be well work it!! Lol. And, we haven’t thought of a food item yet, either. Nice.

I have gifts to finish for my students and cheerleaders (which are DIY, might I add) and treats for our classroom holiday party to figure out. Not to mention cheer practices and basketball games!!!

Busy, busy week with tons to do. Not to mention that I have not done a STITCH of Christmas shopping. Not a lick.

…… Which reminds me that I have to do Secret Santa shopping for this week, as well.

Oh joy! Lol.

Seriously!

Holidays are alway fun – full of sweet music, beautiful decorations, and events to attend. Lots of food!!!
I’m goaling to work harder at the gym over the next few weeks to counteract the (moderate) amount of food/desserts/snacks I will be consuming!!! I REFUSE to hit a major setback weeks before birthday/anniversary vacation.

What I love best is that THIS year, I’m going to more events and spending more intentional time with friends and family.

The holidays are looking mighty bright – and, it’s not only bc of the colorful, blinking lights!

….. Here’s to enjoying the now with those who mean the most!

Hope you guys are enjoying your holidays and time spent with family and friends – remember that there’s nothing more important, nothing that can replace the people God has given you to impact, serve, and love on! Spending QUALITY time with them is more important than any gift wrapped under the tree. The benefits last for (and, affect) generations!

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