Treat Your Dog to a DIY Bed 2 0

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Being man’s best friend is a tough job. So it goes without saying that your pup deserves the best, even when it’s catching z’s. Ally Chen is here with a super-easy dog bed DIY that’s guaranteed to make your pooch feel pampered.

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Teacher Appreciation Week 2018 0 5

sa_1525098106_Teacher Week
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National Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday of the first full week in May, the entire week is celebrated as Teacher Appreciation Week. This year it is celebrated May 7th through May 11th. If you need some ideas here’s what I am doing this Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teachers are such a gift I am sure you know they are some of the hardest working people, just like a mom’s work never ends, it is the same for teachers. I frequently see them grading, and planning on their lunch break, taking home more work that needs to be done after hours.

I love that we have designated weeks and days it is a great reminder to stop and honor those special people in our lives. Plan for Teachers Appreciation Week it helps if you budget to give gifts throughout the year, it makes gift giving easier if it’s planned.

Take some time and think of ways your family can show appreciation to your kids’ teachers. It can be small gifts every day this week or maybe a larger gift you have in mind. Depending on your budget it can be a handwritten note or picture drawn by your child, don’t limit showing appreciation to needing to spend a lot of money and don’t limit it to just your family you can get the other parents involved. You organizing something is a great way to show appreciation.

This year I got together some of the parents and each grade is going to take a day of the week the Kindergarten and 1st Grade class parents are providing all the things for a Teachers Appreciation Breakfast to kick off the week.

Another day of the week my son’s third-grade class is going to make a Taco Bar Luncheon for all the teachers and staff.

In the past I’ve made themed gift baskets, gift cards are always a favorite. One year I made these super cute DIY Crayon Wreaths.  Inspired by the crayon wreath and some other crayon creations I saw on Pinterest this year I also made this easy DIY Crayon Pencil Holder.

I used a tin can that I emptied, washed and dried. Then I hot glued this ABC Themed Ribbon on the top and hot glued crayons all around. I love the way it turned out. I am going to give this to my son’s 1st-grade teacher. Inside I put a ruler, glue, pencils and dry erase markers which teachers always need. I’ll include a gift card with it but I had everything else to make this, this is an easy DIY and fun way to bless a teacher.

This year I wanted to paint some mason jars and use succulents. I thought these would make a nice gift they could keep on their desk or also take home and display on a mantle or shelf. On Pinterest there are some really cute Teacher themed painted mason jars, made to look like a pencil, ruler, etc. I wanted to go with a more neutral theme. I think they probably receive plenty of teacher themed gifts.
I found these mini 2 1/2″ succulents for $3 at my local Orchard Supply Hardware Store. I already had the mason jars, paint, and ribbon. I also saw some artificial succulents at Target for $3 you could also use artificial plants or flowers.
I washed and dried the mason jars, used a paper towel and rubbing alcohol over them, I’ve heard that tip somewhere whenever you paint glass. I did two coats of paint on these and then used twine on the top part. I was going to distress the jars a bit using sandpaper but I didn’t find any sandpaper at my house, maybe I’ll do that later.

Although I had planned on using the mason jars, I was at the 99 Cent Only Store and they had these cute galvanized flower pot sets for only $1.99. So I picked up a couple of these too. Any of these gifts would be great for Teachers Appreciation Week or for an end of the year thank you to your teachers and administrative staff. Don’t forget the administrative staff who keep everyone in the loop with school newsletters and lunch menus.

I used larger 9″ succulents for these galvanized flower pots they were on sale at Orchard Supply Hardware 3 for $12, great deal! You can make these a variety of ways with burlap and ribbon, you could paint them. I only painted the top rim part, because I personally like the metal look.

I hope these ideas help you in blessing your kids’ school teachers and staff this year and hopefully encourages you to help plan something for next year. All the parents I spoke with about getting involved with the breakfast and lunch were super excited about helping and so glad we were doing something as a group.

Here is the link to the DIY Crayon Wreath I made a couple of years ago:

More Gift Ideas:

  • Fresh Flowers
  • Starbucks Gift Card or Bring in drinks for all the teachers.
  • Gift Card to a nice Restaurant
  • Gift Card to Michael’s or Dollar Store (I know many teachers who would appreciate this.)
  • A DIY Gift Basket (Treats, Replenish School Supplies, Pamper Yourself Theme, etc.)
  • Bring in breakfast or lunch for all the teachers and staff.  (You could get other parents involved to help with these meal ones.)
  • Make your own Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, Salad Bar for lunch, Taco Bar, or BBQ.

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DIY Game Day Snack Stadium 1 2

sa_1516505354_DIY Snack Stadium
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Are you getting ready for the big game? Here is a DIY Snack Stadium idea that I have used before and love the way it turned out.

I am not a big football fan, I am really not a sports fan of any kind. Growing up my dad was a HUGE football fan, a Raider fan to be exact. We went to games, practice games and autograph signings, we drove hours to these events, it just did not appeal to me in any way.

Fast forward to now I am married and my husband is a sports fan, not a huge football fan, he is more a fan of baseball and hockey, but still, I just don’t get it. I also have four boys, who love sports also just like my dad and just like their dad. So I’ve embraced sports will be a part of my life, and I try to make game-day fun for the whole family. I could go read a book or take a nap and I have sometimes, but I would rather be with them the people I love so I cook, I bake, I make football-shaped cookies and I ask who is winning periodically.

I’m sure you’ve seen people post pictures of their Snack Stadium’s on-line with Pinterest and Social Media, they look really cool and festive. You can even buy a pre-made Snack Stadium setup at Party City. I saw this idea on Pinterest to make your own Snack Stadium out of soda boxes and I thought I would try that. I loved the way it turned out and I love that I was already purchasing soda anyways, why not use the boxes to create this Snack Stadium.

On my blog I share the link where I got the idea for the DIY Snack Stadium, she has step by step instructions with great pictures to show you how.

Food brings people together when I look back at my childhood memories if we had family or friends over you can guarantee food was a big part of our gathering. That is one thing I look forward to when it comes to football season or any sports season, is having people over and sharing fun food together. It was really fun seeing the excitement on my boys’ faces when they saw my Snack Stadium, they thought it was the coolest thing.

I also over the years have made a football shaped cake, football-shaped brownies and a football-shaped bread bowl with spinach artichoke dip, I’ll share pics of those here too.

You can keep a game day gathering simple with pizza, chips, and brownies it’s still fun. I think it is more enjoyable to watch the game with others and have someone to talk to about the commercials or plays. You could also go big and make a snack stadium, the main thing is to spend time together and make it fun.

Another simple tip is to use the colors of whichever team is playing and use that color food and decorations, it does not have to be name specific. You will always see Rice Krispie treats at my parties, I love them, my kids love them and they are easy to turn into any color based on the teams playing.

You could also use the city of the team for inspiration. Last year the New England Patriots were playing the Atlanta Falcons at the Super Bowl, so I made Clam Chowder and I made a simple peach dump cake in honor of Atlanta, Georgia peaches.

You can usually find inexpensive football decorations at the Dollar Store or even Wal-mart. I found football-shaped glass cups at the Dollar Store, last year.

Here is the menu I had at last years Super Bowl:

In honor of last years Superbowl teams (New England Patriots & Atlanta Falcons) I made New England Clam Chowder and Peach Dump Cake.


Nachos, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Guacamole, Chips & Salsa
(I made a field goal out of corn tortillas to place in guac and salsa.)

Finger Foods:

Mozzarella Sticks and Jalapeno Poppers

Main Course:

Clam Chowder & Deli Sandwiches


The Peach Dump Cake, Football themed Rice Krispie Treats and football cupcakes.

Again want to keep it simple, pizza and wings are always a hit with my crew too.

More simple food ideas would be: Meatballs or Pulled Pork in the Crockpot with bread rolls, Taco Bar, Nachos, Hot Dogs, and Chili, or BBQ Shredded Chicken Sliders.

I sure am looking forward to finding out who will be playing in the Super Bowl so I can start menu planning. We have had a few simple football gatherings this year. My family is originally from Denver, so when the Denver Broncos and the Raiders recently played we had a get-together and I made my Crock Pot Potato Soup and we had another get-together and kept it simple with Pizza and salad.

If you are planning a football party I hope you will try making this Snack Stadium, I think you will love how it turns out, I know your guests sure will.

You can find some of the links for the recipes I used including the Super Bread Bowl Football Dip on the blog at
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