Category Archives: Pinterest Successes!

tried and true Pinterest recipes, tips, etc.

Let’s do some “appreciating”!!

When I used to teach, I loved to see all the different gift ideas that would flood my desk at the end of the year. Let’s be honest…if you have NEVER been one to “do”teacher gifts…this is your year!! Teachers truly care. We truly pour our heart and soul into teaching your children…with little financial gain. We spend countless hours after school and on the weekends working on the latest and greatest way to help our students learn. If there is anyone who desires your “appreciating”, it is your child’s teacher. However, this doesn’t have to be a huge expense. As a teacher at our local co-op and a parent, I get to receive cute gifts and give them.

When I taught in the school system,  the “crafty” moms would get something cute and trendy, and the “last minute” moms (don’t be offended…this would be me..haha) were always good for a gift card.  My desk was often filled with yummy baked goods, and candy filled mugs.

So….what did I love???!!

Here you go…….5 great gift ideas for your teacher:

  1. A group gift: One year my “class moms” collected money from any family willing to give, and gave me a Visa gift card and a card from the children. It was a hefty sum of money and was such a thoughtful way of acknowledging me. If you think giving a Visa gift card is weird, it’s not. Any teacher would love to have extra money for a dinner out or a new outfit.
  2. A gift card: I love gift cards to places that I frequent anyway. In the past, I have given and received gift cards to Wawa/convenient store, Target/Walmart, local ice cream places, Panera, and Starbucks. I love that I can also go on Pinterest and find a cute tag  to attach to my gift card. One year our family used downloads similar to these along with our Starbucks card. I would not suggest getting teachers a gift card to a teacher supply store. Enough of our money is going there anyway…haha.

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You can find these free printables here.

3.) Homemade Food gifts: In dealing with several teachers for my children’s homeschooling co-op, I found that making something “yummy” was a great and inexpensive way to acknowledge the 15 teachers that teach all 5 of them. So this year, we used these awesome tags found here.

I didn’t feel that it was necessary to bake a whole dozen or even a half dozen. Three or four nicely baked fresh cookies would be sufficient. I have also received some delicious homemade applesauce, apple butter, and taco seasoning. All great gifts that were surely enjoyed. I was so bummed when I finished off the remainder of the homemade taco seasoning.

This is also a super cute idea. You get the “feel” of a homemade gift for half the work. haha. You can find the link for this here.


4.) Homemade gifts: If you are the “crafty” type, you can really find some wonderful ideas on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorites…..

How cute are these hand scrub jars? You can check these out here.

diy lemon hand scrub in mini mason jar with custom gift tag sticker:

I received a tumbler like this one year and I loved it. The student had filled it with a couple of different “packets” of instant lemonade, and iced tea. Perfect for those poolside days!

You can print the tags for that here.

What a cute and easy idea for teacher appreciation! Cute cup with a free printable tag:

5.) Wine, wine and wine: It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t acknowledge the beauty of a nice bottle of wine..and what teacher wouldn’t love a bottle of wine with this cute tag attached. You can find it here.

Give a teacher a bottle of wine with this free printable gift tag.  Teachers love grapes.. not apples.

Most importantly, write a small handwritten note thanking the teacher and acknowledging the work that they have done in your child. Be as specific as possible. Few things make a teacher happier than knowing that he/she is making a difference.

Here’s to another great school year coming to a close!

God bless,


Summer Reading!!!

Summer Reading is in full swing here at our house!


And we are loving every minute of it.

(This picture shows the pool that included a “swim up” library…)

“Can we get an armful of books, mom?!”


“Can we read two books at one time, mom?!”


The library is definitely one of our favorite places to visit during the summer. And there are few things I love more than cuddling up on the couch with a new library book and a hot cup of tea.  Unless, it’s cuddling up with a cute wee one and a fun read aloud book.

We have our personal favorite “go to” authors that the kiddos love. For the past few years we always get out some of our favorites from Keiko Kasza….like the Wolf’s Chicken Stew:

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or  Badger’s Fancy Meal…..

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Even the older kids will crowd around the couch to hear one of these books read.

We keep a nice big basket on our fireplace to house all of our library books and to contain how many missing books we have when they are due. Let’s just say I am sure there have been “community rooms” fully funded by our family library fines.

So…although I have some children that LOVE reading….aka “Turn off the flipping light and go to bed”….I also have children that I have to bribe to read. DDD loves reading Captain Underpants and Diary of a Whimpy Kid but forget any real form of literature. Sweet Pea loves reading….from the classics to Babysitter’s club. The Fashionista has a tougher time with reading and so this summer is about getting her excited about challenging herself. We are trying to move her beyond Junie B. Jones. haha.

Now….I have been known to come up with great incentive programs that leave me with a lot of work to do.  However…….I have learned that the simplier the better…..both for me and the children.

Intro….our Summer Reading Program……

Goal: to create a system that creates enthusiasm for reading and is easy to maintain.

I found these great Reading logs for the younger two girls.

I write the name of the books that I read them and I let them color them in.

FREE Reading Logs Kids Can Color - This Reading Mama

Once their whole sheet is colored (30 books), I take them out for ice cream. I have showed the hubs and the big kids how to fill these forms out in case they read to the girls.

The older children need a little more incentive since they are reading chapter books.

So for them I found these great reading “chains” that we are working on. They each received a $5.00 Rita’s gift card for finishing their first book…and a $5.00 gift card for each 5 books they finish.


The name of their book and the date gets placed on these strips of paper and then stapled to make a paper chain.

I simply place these someplace that the kids can see them often. For us, this was on the door to our basement. This allows the little ones to continue to color in their reading logs and the big kids to add to their reading chains.


So with half of our books due back on Wednesday, we will be renewing and grabbing new books this week.  Thankfully,  I created a “recommended” book list for each child which we take to the library and they get assistance, from the librarians, with finding their books.

Here’s to more literature in your life!!!