Wednesday, June 19, 2013

End of the Year Gifts

Tomorrow is Erin's last day of kindergarten....wait what?!?! How did this year go so fast? How am I going to have a first grader in the fall?! Time sure does fly when your having fun and learning new things. *Sigh* Anyway, enough weeping, onto the fun part!

The other room moms and myself decided to have a fun little craft for the kids to do this week that would result in a sweet keepsake. I met another mom at A.C. Moore and we purchased little canvas tote bags, iron on transfer paper and red fabric paint. Erin's teacher sent home a cute piece of paper that the whole class signed. I added the teacher's name and the year to the middle of the paper then cropped it, flipped it and printed it on to transfer paper. I ironed a copy of the signature paper to each of the tote bags. Then on Monday, we went in with the totes and the fabric paint and each child put their hand print on the plain side of the tote bag. When they were done, we had the teacher put her hand print on the bag as well. They came out so cute! And the kids really loved them!

We even had a larger tote bag for the teacher that all the kids put their hand prints on and had the same iron on transfer as the kids' bags. The tote bags really make such a cute and functional keepsake!The class also chipped in to get the teacher a gift certificate to a local spa - she could use a spa day after teaching 24 kindergartners all year!
I really love Erin's teacher! She is such a kind, caring, warm person who really loves the kids. Erin has enjoyed being in her class this year and she really helped to make Erin's first year in elementary school special. So, I wanted to give her something special that was just from Erin. And since I sew, what better gift that something hand made form the heart! Some of you may have seen some sneak peeks of the gift on my Instagram or Facebook page. I got the idea for the gift from this post I saw on the Ann Kelle blog a couple years ago and thought it would be the perfect thing! Instead of making notebook slip covers like in the post, I used a pattern that I created back here for the gift. I liked the idea of the teacher's name embroidered on the front so I had Erin write her teacher's name in disappearing fabric ink and I embroidered over it in red embroidery thread. I also like the apple applique so I added one to the front as well. I used linen from Joann Fabric for the cover and the apple fabric and yellow striped fabric were part of a bundle I purchased from Fabricworm over a year ago. I don't remember the name and I don't see it on their site anymore - anyone know what it is?
I put in a 5x8 notepad, a pen, and a small date book - all purchased at Target plus I added a picture of Erin and her teacher at their class picnic. I sent Erin off to school with it today. I hope she likes it!

Last but not least, I purchased some cute striped towels from Target and some sunblock to give to Erin's bus drivers. She has a morning driver and an afternoon driver so I got two of each, wrapped them in clear gift bags with a ribbon and will hand them out tomorrow. I thought that was a cute idea and something that they could use over and over again!

Well that is a wrap on the end of the year gifts. Did you give handmade/DIY gifts out this year? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Instagram Life

Thought I would share some of our happenings around here via Instagram pics. Do you use Instagram? I started last August and am having fun with the different filters and hash tags. I recently downloaded the A Beautiful Mess app which is fun to add little graphics and words to your pictures. I'm still trying to figure it all out, almost a year later ha!



My Instagram user name is @onceuponanotion if you'd like to follow my randomness ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recipe: Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad

Last week, we had a bit of a heat way here. A little too early in my opinion for 92 degrees and humid but what are you gonna do? We do not have central air in our house, so on days when the mercury is rising, we like to avoid putting the oven on at all costs. I'm sure you are all right there with me on that one! Even having the burners going can create too much extra heat in the house. Dinner can be a daunting task on days like this so we take to the outdoors to grill (and by we I mean my husband!) So for dinner on one of these hot and humid days, we had a nice grilled steak, a salad and our favorite summer-time side dish - Tomato, basil and white bean salad.

I came across this recipe a few years ago in one of the summer month issues of  Martha Stewart Living and it has become a favorite ever since. It is a great side dish for burgers or steaks and can be a great main dish as well when served over some penne pasta. It is perfect for making on a hot summer day (you only need to turn your burners on for two minutes tops) or any day of the year!

Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad
(recipe from Martha Stewart - source)

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 35 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4


    • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 small garlic cloves, minced


    1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.
    2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.
     My kids do not care too much for this salad so we usually have leftovers. I will boil up some penne pasta the next night for dinner and pour the remaining bean salad over the hot pasta and add some quartered fresh mozzarella balls or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Makes another great quick meal!