Our HOMEMADE Christmas

I hope that you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Ours was wonderful!  This year we took things down a few {okay, a few major} notches.  As I posted earlier, we needed to simplify Christmas this year and decided to make all of the gifts. {with the exception of clothes they needed & thanks to wonderful Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Santa Claus brought them a gift that they wanted, too!}

But –  this post is to tell you all about the HOMEMADE part of Christmas.

I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson – but I couldn’t have done these projects without 3 things.

1. My sewing machine.

2. My Silhouette Cameo

{If you got one for Christmas but need to learn how to use it – you can sign up for my Online Silhouette Course HERE.  Class begins Monday January 6th!}

3. My Photoshop Skills.












Here is what we all made for each other:




My cute hubby made my 9 year old daughter this “pink fluffy” pillowcase.

She see’s them in the store and loves them and says funny things like:

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die” – so he knew that it was the perfect gift for her.

{He was VERY proud of himself}


That’s a dedicated dad :0)







My husbands favorite game is Monopoly.  Our family has a not so good history with it.  I’m ashamed to say that the biggest fights in our marriage have been over Monopoly.  We were actually banished from playing it at his moms house.  I thought that maybe if I made a homemade version that had funny things to lighten the mood that we could play a friendly game.  So – I put my photoshop skills to good use and made him a JAREDOPOLY board.  I had so much fun thinking up clever Chance & Community Chest cards, talking to his mom to find out the places he’s lived for the properties (which she impressively remembered them all!) It was ALOT of fun!


 And even more fun when we played and I CRUSHED him Christmas Morning!  {although – he was so mad that he didn’t enjoy my funny cards :0(  There is a price that comes with Monopoly Domination.  Ho Ho Ho!}

I will post all of the details on making this board another day.  That would be an entire post on it’s own and I need some time to change the files to be generic for you to use!

But just be throwing around ideas for a board of your own.  I think that a LOVEOPOLY board would be SUPER FUN for Valentines!!




My 13 year old daughter has been wanting new ipod covers.  One day she will say “I want a minnie mouse ipod case” another day it was “I want a BYU iPod case” – so my 9 year old, who loves to draw, decided to make her these interchangeable skins to go inside this Clear iPod Case.  You can download the silhouette studio cut file HERE.



PVC Pipe Bow & Foam Tipped Arrows


My 11 year old son is boy through and through – so we helped our 7 year old son make him this PVC pipe bow and arrow. (the “arrows” are wooden dowels tipped with cut up pool noodle)  We’ve seen them made with hula hoops – but we had extra PVC and 45 degree elbows laying around – so used those with a rubber band for the the string.  We now have 3 other kids that want one, too…so our work here is not done.



Constellation Flashlight


My 7 year old son has a hard time staying in bed – so we thought that something interesting to keep him there would be PERFECT!  I’ve seen these around – but decided to make more work for myself and make a set.  My 9 year old son got to learn how to use my Silhouette to make these.  He thinks he’s pretty cool now.

You can download the Silhouette Print & Cut File HERE.

Or print a regular printable HERE.  {Just cut out the big circles and use push pins to punch out the small constellation circles.}

Don’t want to mess with it, and would just like to purchase??  I’ve added them to the shop, and the low cost keeps them in the frugal category!

I put a tiny piece of double sided tape on the flashlight to hold the cards in place – but they still pull off easily.





I’m ashamed that I had to ask what this thing was.  My husband helped my 13 year old daughter make it for me.  Once I found out – I was REALLY excited!  I’ve been doing a lot of screen printing using my Silhouette to make the masks.  This will make my work go MUCH quicker!!  Very thoughtful!  LOVED IT!


The rest of the homemade stuff was all me.  And I had so much fun doing it.





I used the Silhouette to cut out vinyl to act as a mask – and then sprayed them with this frosted glass spray. (and I couldn’t help myself – I added a blast of glitter spray, too)

You could also use Etching Cream – but I had this spray on hand – so I used it, instead.

**If you use the frost spray – they MUST be hand washed!  If you want dishwasher safe – go for the Etching Cream!!**

{If you don’t have a Silhouette – you can use contact paper and an exacto knife.}



Christmas Jammies


Every year on Christmas Eve we have our fancy Christmas Dinner.  They each have a wrapped gift at the table, and it always has their Christmas Jammies inside.

We open the gifts and change into our Jammies and eat our super fancy dinner in them.  I love it.  I’ve never attempted making PJ’s before and was a little nervous.

I followed this SUPER EASY TUTORIAL and they turned out great!

The only changes to the tutorial I made were:

*adding the ribbon to the girls and a shoelace to the boys to look like ties. (in hindsight I would’ve used thinner ribbon)

*I didn’t make the pattern like she suggested.  I just eyeballed cutting around the sample and then used the first cut as a pattern for the second cut.

Luckily – I’m a fabric junkie – and have  A LOT of fabric hanging around.  Leftover from old projects – or projects that never came to fruition – however it worked out – I had ticking stripe fabric lying around – and thought that PJ’s would be the perfect use of it.



Rosemary Place Card Wreaths


For the dinner table – my sister in law shared some of the rosemary from her garden and I made these wreaths and place cards:





We also break a piñata on Christmas Eve – and they started last week making it.  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product – because, to be honest, it creeped me out.  It was supposed to be rudolph the red nosed reindeer – but it looked more like a brown rat with a red nose.  Not pretty.

If you want a tutorial on making a piñata – check out this post.



Homemade Tamales


I used THIS RECIPE for the masa & some of my leftover TOMATILLO CHICKEN for the filling.  I even used the juices from the chicken to make a sauce to top them with.

I wish I could tell you how delicious these Homemade Christmas Tamales were…

BUT…I burned them.

Yep – they were all destined to be perfect.  I didn’t add more water to the bottom of the pan and before we knew it – the house filled with smoke and my favorite pan was scorched and our Christmas Tamales had a inedible smokey flavor and went into the trash.  Here is a picture of them all perfect going into the pot to their un-forseen demise.


I was sad – until I had the idea to have cereal instead.  And then I was happy – because I love cereal!

I had a lot more plans – as you can see on my Homemade Christmas Pinterest Board – but not enough time.  But, regardless of having or not having a job next year – I’m definitely doing this again!!!

For a lot of reasons:

*got to teach the kiddos a few skills while we helped them make the gifts

*having them think of the idea {thank you pinterest!} & make it was WAY more exciting for them than picking out a gift in the store

*christmas morning seemed much more exciting – because they had their handiwork to show off & they were much more engaged while they opened gifts.

*the joy of giving really took center stage this year.  I think because they were more invested…


I hope you’ve been inspired a little bit to do this with your family. And I hope that you’ll share any links to great homemade Christmas Ideas in the comments section!



Ice Cream Party Games

Who doesn’t love a game of bingo?  And you can’t go wrong with cards this cute!!

Candy Bingo Card Printables



You will need:

Candy for each player (at least 25 pieces – we used jelly beans but would suggest smarties for younger children so they don’t roll around)

Bingo Cards DOWNLOAD OUR VERSION HERE  {the original images are from THIS WEBSITE – we just gave them a makeover)

Picture Squares (The first page of the printable PDF has the pictures that you cut out )

To Play:  (just in case you don’t know how)

Print and Cut the Sweet Shoppe Bingo Cards onto card stock (you can laminate them if you want them to survive for re-use)

Give each guest a card (there are 16 different cards in the file)

Draw from the Picture Squares



Have guests place a marker (jellybean) on the square of the image that was called



Once they have 5 in a row  – they yell BINGO!  And then they get to pick a prize from the prize bowl!  There were enough prizes for everyone to get BINGO – so you just continue play until everyone has had a chance to choose their prize.  We kept the prizes to things under $1. Some prize ideas include:

nail polish

ice cream flavored lip gloss

jump rope

fingernail stickers



We also played pin the scoop on the ice cream cone.  I just enlarged the cone, scoops and cherries from our Party Invitations to fit on a 12×12 sheet of paper.

Each girl got their own color of scoop so that we could see who got the closest to win the prize!  Of course, we had 2 cherries for the 2 birthday girls to stick on the top!






Very easy & affordable games – and the girls had a GREAT TIME!

Friday I’ll show you the food we ate and the darling goodie bags the guests were able to take home!!


p.s. If you’re like me and love BINGO for every occasion – check out the holiday BINGO cards in my Etsy Shop.  OR – I’m happy to design a set for your next big shindig!  Just convo me and we’ll figure it out ;0)



Ice Cream Party Tablescape


Silly Silly Me!!  I planned on having a party recap for today’s post – and I stewed and fretted about sticking so much information into one eternally long post.  { Thus, the late hour of my post }  I still wanted to show you the games we played, the food we ate, the cute table that we ate them on – so I’ll have to continue the posts into next week as well.  This really was a GREAT party!  {I guess this is what happen when you have a mother that goes overboard X 2!!}  So today – I’ll post about the DARLING tablescape!

Here’s a view from the top:Ice Cream Party Table Setting - purdueavenue.com


And here are some closer views at the cuteness:

The Place Settings

Ice Cream Party place setting - purdueavenue.com



The Tablecloth

Randi made using THIS darling blue chevron fabric.

At each place setting:

Plate, 4 inch doily, Ice Cream Sundae Cup, Spoon

Napkin (Randi made them, and they were DARLING!) held with a candy necklace wrapped around twice and twin cherry lollipops.

You can find a similar fabric for the napkins HERE, and she trimmed them with tiny pom pom ribbon.

Glass with Pink Swizzle Stick, Blue Striped Paper Straws, and Cherry Limeade Yummy Straw Tag, and a candy bracelet around the bottom of the glass.

Cherry Limeade Straw Tags - purdueavenue.com


Ice Cream Scoop Place Card (You can see the tutorial HERE)

Ice Cream Party place card - purdueavenue.com



We gave each girl a glass “jewelry jar” to take home the candy jewelry they made. (more on the jewelry later!)

Ballerina jewelry jar with chalkboard label

What you’ll need:

Crystal Glass Jelly Jars

Pink Spray Paint (or preferred color)

Ballerina Cake Topper

Chalkboard Stickers

Hot Glue Gun

Chalk Marker

How To Make It:

1. Remove the lid & spray paint them the desired color

2. Once the lid has dried, use a hot glue gun to put a ballerina cake topper in the center of the lid.

3. Write the names on the chalkboard labels using the chalk marker

4. Attach the label to the front of the jelly jar


Chalkboard Place Mat

Chalkboard Place Mats


Love those adorable chalkboard placemats?  Wanna know how easy they are to make??  It’s just black card stock, a chalk pen and a circle punch!

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

Black Textured Card Stock

Chalk Marker

1.5″ Circle Paper Punch (or some scissors)

How to Make:

Step 1: Punch the corners using the circle punch (or find something round, trace onto the paper, then cut out with scissors)

Step 2: Using the chalk pen, draw a border about 1/2″ inside the paper.  If you’re not comfortable freehanding it – just use a ruler for the edges and something round for the ticket stub part.

DONE!  See?  I told you it was easy!

Next week  I’ll show off the decorations, activities & food.  You’re gonna love it!!










His & Hers Soiree: Food, Glorious Food


Food presentation is a HUGE part of the “enjoying eating it” experience!

Randi has an amazing ability to present food…so everything looks and tastes amazing!

Here are a few tricks to follow – and you’ll soon have a few tricks up your sleeve!

Let’s start with the Cupcakes:


The first trick is to use a great big tip when piping your frosting like THESE

You’ll get a professional look, even if your piping bag is a ziploc baggie. {Don’t knock it til’ you try it!}

Don’t forget to top it with a sprinkle of Gold Edible Glitter

The cupcake liners were purchased at home goods – but you can find similar ones HERE
– or make your own with this template:


{Click on the image to download the template}

If you have an electronic cutter like the Silhouette, then you can zip them out on your striped paper looking FABULOUS!

You can also cut them with scissors and then use a scalloped edged scissor at the top.

For the Mustache Toppers: Just cut them out from our TEMPLATE and glue them to a flat topped toothpick.

I’ve also made a TEMPLATE for the Happy Birthday Pennants…just cause I like ya so much!



The pennants were attached to wooden skewers {cut in half} and topped with a glittered wooden ball on top. (the balls can be found in the craft stores by the wooden dowels)

 Click HERE for a tutorial on making the glitter ball sticks. (just scroll all the way down)

The Drinks

The decision for how to make this drink was made because she had a color that she wanted it to be!  Genius!

So she found a juice that was the right color and built the drink from there.




What’s great about this drink is that it can be a formula for any party drink

1. choose a color them – pink for example

2. add coordinating frozen fruit – raspberry

3. fill 1/2 with juice that matches the color palette

4. fill remainder of the glass with gingerale.


We also made darling

Buffet Signs

to go in front of the different goodies on the table.

Here is the one we made for the drink:


It says “Drink Me, I’m just peachy”

You can download the buffet sign template HERE.

I’ve left the template blank so that you can add in whatever you’re serving…

Like the sign for the cupcakes:


It says: “Let Them Eat Cake, Lots of It”  Hee Hee.

 {Let’s just say it was midnight and we were getting silly with our sign making.}

and for the



The sign says “Lots of Chocolates for Me to Eat”


You can get the mustache chocolate mold HERE

It really is as simple as:

1. Place the sticks in the mold

2. Pour in your melted chocolate

3. Wait for the chocolate to set (refrigerator works great to speed this along}

4. Pop the chocolate pops out of the mold

To keep the pops standing upright she filled a trophy cup with rice…GENIUS!



Follow the same steps for the Crown Molds

Before you pour in the white chocolate – sprinkle some Edible Gold Glitter
into the mold.  Then you’ll have sparkly crowns ;0)

The truffles are just lindt truffles, unwrapped with a sprinkling of Edible Gold Glitter
…so easy!  So smart!

chocolate-ballsSound like a lot of work?  You could save yourself the trouble by winning our {#PARTY IN A BOX#}!

You can read more about how to win this box in THIS POST!

Good Luck!


Photo Booths Are All The Rage…

It is officially Birthday Season at my house!  A few weeks ago, my son celebrated his birthday – and the trend of birthdays continued with my birthday 2 weeks later, then my daughter’s 2 weeks after that and so on and on and on…

Every 2 weeks until June we celebrate every birthday in our 6 person family – AND our Wedding Anniversary. WHEW!!  I’m tired just telling you about it!

Because it’s Birthday Season – I thought it only appropriate that I share fun Birthday Ideas with you!

The first one being A Photo Booth.  It’s super easy, and super fun, and you get fun pictures in the end: {my funny hubby HATES cameras!!  this was just about his limit…}


What you’ll need:




– I found mine at kensie kate.  She offers 12 pages of free printable photo booth props. (I added rhinestones to the Cat’s Eye Glasses)

**just a note – you don’t need that many – people seemed to gravitate toward the same ones**

– You can buy them pre-cut from a few places, like Etsy.

– Or you can use REAL props.  Fake Mustache’s, Feather Boa’s, Vintage Eye Glasses, {visit good will – think goofy ties and hats}, or THESE GROUCHO MARX GLASSES.


A Cute Photo Booth Sign

You can make your own – but why?  I’ve made one for you…you can download it HERE. {sorry for the blurry photo – horrible lighting!!}

– Just print it off onto cardstock and stick it in a fabulous frame on an easel.

Taking the Photo’s

A few different options:

You can use a nice fancy camera

You can use a regular ol’ point and shoot (not gonna get the best results with this one because of the delay)

You can also just use an iphone {or other smart phone}

– Just sit the subjects on a chair {if there is more than one, picture the image square when you take the photo – leave lots of room on the edges – and make them get CLOSE!!}

– I just found a spot of wall with no decor – nothing fancy…you could hang some fabric if you’re looking for a specific color, though.

– Make sure to use the flash – because hey – photobooths are notorious for those cool washed out pictures. {I know – it hurts to even THINK about using a flash when you love photography}

To Make the Photo Strips:

You can do this a few different ways.

If you took the pictures with a smart phone:

To get the vintage photobooth look, you can process them using filters from apps like Instagram

Step 1. Process the photos

Here is my process for instagram:

Process it once using “earlybird”, then open the processed photo, and process it again using “Inkwell”

Step 2.  Send them to your lab and print them in wallet size.

**NOTE – Instagram will resize the photo to a square – this is great for a photo booth – but it will look funny when you print it in wallet size.  Just trim the edges off.**

Step 3. Attach your photos to a piece of card stock {make sure to leave a border} around and in between.

Step 4. Trim off excess.

If you have a nice fancy camera:

I’m going to assume that you also have Photoshop – so here’s what I did to the photos:

Steps for Processing in Photoshop

Step 1: To get the vintage look – I processed them using Pioneer Woman’s “Vintage” Action from Set 1.

Step 2: I also added a vignette around the edges {there is a “Vignette” action under “Default Actions” that comes with your copy of Photoshop}

Step 3: Mask the photos to this Photo Strip Layered Template and tell me how much you love me for doing it for you ;0)

{Don’t know a thing about Photoshop??  Then you need to take my class…I’m just sayin’…}


If you took the pictures with a digital camera – and don’t have a clue how to use photoshop {and for some crazy reason, you don’t want to take my class} then you can:

Hire it out:

Websites like photoboother will do all of the work for you!

– Just follow the sites instructions to upload your photos and they’ll do the rest!!

However you do it…you don’t want to miss out on the chance to do this with your friends, kiddos, or GRANDPARENTS!!  How fun to have these!!



Kiss Me Cards

I’m super excited about my latest project {and super excited that it’s finally done!}

My Husband and I rotate being in charge of our Anniversay and Valentines Day.  Last year I was in charge of the Anniversary – which leaves me in charge Valentines this year.  It is going to be pretty low key …but I still wanted it to be fun.

So – I created these Kiss Me Cards…and I figured – I’m making them – I may as well share them!!  I’m loving them because they don’t have to apply to just Valentines Day.  You can pull them out for a Stay at Home date night – or if your husband has been a little too wrapped up in the the TV – just walk over and fan them out and say “Pick a Card, Any Card”.  {You’ll quickly become more interesting than whatever he’s watching }

Kiss Me Cards Preview

It’s a deck of playing cards – but each card has a kiss and a description of how to perform the kiss, and you only get 30 seconds per kiss.  { No matter how much longer you want it to last }

The great thing is – you can take out any cards you’re not comfortable with ahead of time and your significant other will be none the wiser!  HA!

For the sake of disclosure – they are pretty low key.  Nothing too risqué in there… ;0)

And because I love all of my readers – you can use the code FIFTYOFFDIGI to get it for only $1!  {Half Off } Click HERE to buy.

I have ordered them as actual playing cards as well.  You can order them HERE – it will be about a 2 week shipping time because they take 10 days to produce.  So…make sure you order now to  get them before Valentines!!  I will post a picture of the actual cards when I receive them from the printers!!

I will post my other diabolical plans as I finish them… {Well, some of them…Ha Ha…}



Allowance Checkbooks

A few weeks ago I posted our Scratch off Job Cards and Caught Being Good Reward Cards.  So today I thought I would show you the rest of our discipline system with our kids.  This one we’ve been using for about 2 years and it has been WONDERFUL!

I’m one of those mothers that have tried EVERYTHING.  Allowance (I hated constantly getting cash in small bills), buttons(they lost them), tickets (they lost them), you name the system, I’ve probably tried it.

This system was introduced to me by my sons teacher.  The reason I immediately tried it out, is because he has Aspergers Syndrome and it’s hard to get him to follow through with things.  He loses interest quickly & revolts a lot. Things are easily overwhelming for him, and this seemed to work in the classroom – so of course – I implemented it at home.  It works very well for all of my kids!

So during the week – they use their checkbox cards.  They don’t get paid for these.  I think it’s good to have family jobs just because you’re part of the family.  However, every Saturday – we all work together to clean the whole house – they have 3 assigned rooms each.  They get paid $1.00 per room.  If they finish before the timer they earn a $2.00 bonus. (they get 30 mins per room – if they finish ahead of the timer – they have extra time on the next room, etc.)  So a total of $5.00 per week is possible at our house.  Plus – I’ll throw in the occasional – “if you do this for me – you can have $1.00 in your checkbook.”  Of which they get very excited.

We use regular ol’ check registers.  You can use the ones that come in your boxes of checks – or – I got these bigger ones at Staples.  I will eventually get them all a Ledger Book – because I think they are too fun.

My favorite part is that it teaches your kids how to manage their finances

For example: In a store when they are begging for something, I just say “Do you have enough money in your checkbook to buy it?” If the answer is no – then they take note of the price and they have a goal, if they do have enough – they can get it.  It stops the whining, gives them goals, and makes them manage their money responsibly.

We also use it to show them that if a mistake is made, they have to pay a consequence…literally.   If they are being naughty, they have to write us a check.

I made these ones for our kids:

If you want to use them, you can download the photoshop document (you can fill in your own info and change out the background paper) HERE or email me: purdueavenue@yahoo.com – I’d be happy to design some for you for a small fee.

I only use the check writing for punishments.  I like them to have to write it out and hand it over.  This reinforces them owning up to their mistake, because they have to write out what they did wrong.  I.E. “Didn’t do my homework” “Talked back to mom”   Also – if they don’t do a job – they have to pay me for doing it.

I suggest taking them to the store every once in a while to get them excited about working toward something.  They do MUCH better when they have a set goal they are working toward.

I hope these work for you as well as they do for my family!  Please ask any questions if the info wasn’t very clear :0)



I have made amends…

So…after 1 whole day – it’s obvious…the scratch-off job cards just aren’t working for my family.  I have one child that just can’t seem to go a week without leaving something on his card blank.  It’s frustrating him, because he doesn’t get to scratch off his prize – it’s frustrating me – because he isn’t doing what’s expected of him.  Too much frustration!  I think we need to try this with baby steps.

Plus – I didn’t like that it wasn’t broken into morning and night routines.  They need to pray twice – brush teeth twice, etc.

So – we discussed it – and this is the solution:


I laminated the checklist – so it can be reused everyday – and put it on a clipboard with a dry-erase marker.  If they complete their checklist they get a “caught being good” card – which will have a scratch-off sticker with a reward underneath.

This way – they get a fresh start everyday.  The week was just too much…and one bad day meant no reward for the good days.  I think this will be a much better system for our family!

But – I think I’m still going to use the other cards as a bonus reward for the kids that go above and beyond and have the perfect week!!  Maybe I’ll make those prizes a little more enticing…hmmm…

Plus – I can randomly give out the “caught being good” cards for outstanding behavior throughout the day.  YAY!  I can just envision it now…my children will behave – my house will be clean – we will close to God.  Yep.  It’s gonna happen!

You can download them HERE.



Wanna Scratch?

I don’t know about you…but I love to scratch these little stickers.  And not knowing what reward lies underneath makes it that much more fun.  So – I thought maybe it could motivate my kids to do their jobs :0)  And just because I like you guys so much – I’ve made the cards available for you to print.

Because I have 4 kids – I made 4 styles of cards.  2 girl, 2 boy.  I also added a file with the job lines blank – so you can fill in your own jobs in photoshop – or handwrite them in.  You can download them HERE

To print the cards:

I used 4×6 Blank Index Cards (which should be pretty cheap in the school supplies sales right now)

Set your printer settings to 4×6 paper size (most have this for photo printing)

Once you’ve printed your cards (I printed off 10 at a time so that I have them on hand, ready to go) you need to write the rewards in the gray circles…make sure to randomize them!!

Add your scratch off stickers.

I used THESE for the boys cards and THESE for the girls cards.

Place the sticker over the rewards – OR –  if you remember Mandi’s project study – you can also use  Sharpie Paint Pens

Once they’ve finished their week’s worth of jobs – they get to scratch off ONE sticker to reveal their prize.

To redeem their prize – they just turn in their card.  Easy Peasy.

Here are some of the rewards we wrote in:

Treasure Box (items that your kids LOVE, but don’t cost a fortune.  Small lego packs, squinkies, mini-figure packs, etc)

30 Minutes Technology Time (i-pad, xbox, wii, computer, whatever your kids choose or you have available)

$$Extra Buck$$ – They get an extra dollar added to their check book

Free Day – One day free of jobs.  This can be used retro-actively…like if they didn’t get their stuff completed one day.

Gimme 5 – Extra $5 in their checkbook (this will not be used very often – ha ha)

Ice Cream Date with Mom & Dad (this can be done in your kitchen after all kids go to bed – or taken out)

Extra Bedtime Story (for the little people)

Late Night (get to stay up late and play a board game or other activity with mom and dad)

What are some prizes your kids would love to have?  We’d love to hear & share the ideas around!

I think I might make some of these cards for my chores around the house!  Maybe it will motivate me!!  Ha Ha.

****UPDATE: I have made amends – click on the image to see them



Our Take on SMASH Books…


First of all…I apologize for being absent for so long.  Life got crazy and something had to give.  Sadly, my blog and my laundry were the first to go.  But, all of the awards assemblies and end of school activities have come to a close and things should settle down a little bit.

With that said: I would like to share what I have recently discovered: SMASH Books.
(Apparantly I’m slow…they’ve been around for awhile, but I just discovered them.)  They come in different themes that will fit pretty much any personality.  I was in LOVE with the product!  Not so much the price tag. Ouch. They were $12.99 at Target…but they are on sale at amazon right now…click the images for pricing…

The accessories they sell with them are absolutely creative genius.

Little sticky tabs, journaling prompts, tape, all wonderful.  The best feature?  The pen.  They call it a SMASH Stick and it has a felt tip fine point pen at one end, and a glue stick at the other.  I tell you…I fell in love.  But again, the price tag.

I have 4 kids, so the price tag goes up quickly…and all of the pages aren’t exactly what I love.  So inspired by the smash books, and by Jodi’s last Photo Friday Post, I thought: “I could make that”.

(my husband cringes every time I utter those words.)


You’re invited to do the same. I’m going to print out the pages for my kids, let them do their thing, and scan them to go into our family year book. (much like the books Jodi made for her Teachers) They won’t be quite as fabulous and “SMASHY”.  They won’t be able to add all of the paraphernalia sticking out everywhere…but at least I’ll capture some of their fun personalities and keep them busy this summer.

I have 2 boys and 2 girls with very different personalities – so I tried to capture their personality in the font.  Buy the book, use my page, create your own…or let your kids draw the whole thing :0)  Either way, lets document these fun times.

The first page I’ve created, is just a simple “I AM” page.  I printed it and had my kids write things that described them.

For instance: my 5 year old wrote:

A Lego Tornado

A Little Bit Fat (He’s not)

Diabolical (I may have whispered that one in his ear)

While my 8 year old daughter wrote:

Fabulous at catching butterflies

An Artist


They drew pictures on the pages, used different colored crayons, basically just made it their own.

So…here are the first pages for your downloading pleasure.  Click HERE if you want all of the images.

Or… individual pages can be accessed: just click on the image you want to download and it will take you to the box where you can print them or save them.  I left a white background so you can print it on whatever color cardstock you like, or add in your own digi paper. :0)

I used Splendid Fiins Ledger paper  for the background and the fonts I used are: 5th Grade Cursive, AL Modern Type, Clementine Sketch,  &  Agent Orange.