Present tags out of Christmas cards

Christmas cards! I love to give and get Christmas cards. The holiday season is always so busy and trying to see all of my family and friends can be difficult. I want them to know that our family is wishing them a wonderful holiday and a happy new year even if we were not able to get together and celebrate. 

Christmas comes and goes and your left with a stack of cards from family and friends. What do you do with yours? Well I used to save each and every one in a box! I always enjoyed looking back at them the next Christmas but thought to myself "do I really need to save these?" I am always trying to re-purpose things and as I was flipping through past cards I thought some of them would make cute tags. So for a few years now that is what I have been doing with my Christmas cards. 

First I read each one over again! I mark off who I received cards from in my Christmas planner, and then I pick out the card that I think will make a cute tag.

I then get out my tools that I will need. My Fiskars paper cutter, and my favorite punches. 

I then trim off the parts of the cards I will not need. 

I then take my punches and punch out the area in circles, scalloped circles, scalloped squares or I just use my corner round punch to round up the corners. And wa-la I now have tags for my presents next year. 

All you need to do now is use a hole punch, string some ribbon through it, and fill out your to and from on the back. Some tips for you to remember; check the back of the area you want to punch as some cards have writing or another picture there and you will not be able to write your to and from, don't forget to look at those photo cards - I trim out the picture for a photo album but use the images for tags, look for images inside the card and on the back of the card too - sometimes they will work for a tag, and finally don't attempt the cards that have a paper lining inside - they are glued in there and don't come apart nicely leaving you with a messy back to your tag.

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas to you and your family! We are having a wonderful Christmas! Santa was very good to our boys and I have a feeling that I will not see my boys for days with all the Lego's they got! Their fingers will be hurting by the time they are done building! We had candy canes for breakfast.....the healthy ones :) So easy to make and the boys loved it. Just cut up strawberries and bananas in slices and arrange in the shape of a candy cane! 

Snow Much Fun

Today the boys and I made snowman pillows, an idea I found on Pinterest. The idea was not linked for me to give credit as it was just a picture. I knew they would love them so I headed out to the stores to get the supplies. I had to guess a little as there was no supply list or instructions. This was a super cheap project! I got the pillows for $5.58 each, a set of two pillow cases for 3.58 the Santa hats for $2.99 each, I had the ribbon, and I had the foam for the eyes, nose, and buttons. So each pillow cost about $10.00. 

I had the kids put the pillow case on their pillow. Then they held the pillow up while I tied the ribbon, and their little finger helped me to double knot it! I also tied up the top of the pillow to make it look more rounded like a snowman. I used the foam sheets that have a sticky side on the back. I cut out the eyes, nose and buttons and the kids peeled the paper off and stuck them on. Lastly I safety pinned the hats on. The kids had fun and so did Mommy too!

One Word

My one word for 2012 was change. Well I guess you can say that was a perfect word for me. The biggest change for me was our address. We moved this year to a beautiful new home. In my previous post about my one word for 2012 I can say I continued to carry a 4.0 GPA, I did make more time for me (as much as I could), I learned to say no (that was big for me as I was always saying yes to everything and everyone). There are so many things that I changed in my life this year but I still have more to change. 

Now as 2013 is just around the corner I am starting to think about my one word for 2013. Reflecting back on what the purpose of the one word challenge is. One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012. I am now asking myself what the word is for the answer to that sentence for 2013. What is your word for 2013??

The Elf on the Shelf

Do you have an elf?? This is our third year with our elf Roddie. The kids love him and become angels when Roddie shows up. Chores get done with out asking, dinners get finished, the talking back stops, it's great! We have found our elf in some fun place in the morning and thanks to Pinterest I think Roddie will have even better spots! Thought I would share with you some of Roddie's places we have found him over the past three years.

Roddie hanging out in my pots and pans.

Roddie wanted to help me decorate

Roddie need a nice relaxing bubble bath!

We have so much fun with Roddie. It is a holiday tradition for our family. When does your elf show up? Ours shows up right around Thanksgiving or right after. Has your elf forgotten to move? Ours has but we just assumed that was a spot he liked and wanted to stay there one more day. Has your elf ever been touched? What did you say or do? Nathan touched Roddie one year and I knew right away as I found him on the floor and not in his spot. I asked Nathan if he touched him and he started to cry and said yes. So I left Roddie there for 2 days! We then wrote Santa a letter about how sorry Nathan was for touching Roddie and can he please give Roddie his magic worked! The next day Roddie was in a new spot! What are some creative spots your elf has landed in? I would love to hear all your stories and ideas!


I have been starting small on the organizing project in my new home. I would love to dive right in to so many projects but I am trying not to overwhelm myself. Besides the holidays are right around the corner and I am in a pretty tough class for school so my time is limited.

We finally have a nice walk in closet so of course I would like it to be neat and organize! However this is what it looks like with all our miss-matching plastic hangers.

I am in love with the slim line hangers!! I bought a box of 35 for $10.00 at Costco and tried them out. At first they were a little bit of a pain because they have a felt fabric around the hanger and it really grabs the clothes but it's a plus on my tank top style shirts! No more need for hangers with the indent or slots to place those spaghetti straps! You have to adjust the clothes a bit to have them hang right on the hanger, but wow what a difference! 

I have converted almost all of the closet over. I have to grab a few more boxes to finish the rest this week! They really do maximize the space and I love that all the hangers are the same color! I organize my clothes by color, as you can see, but I also organize by sleeve length. Spaghetti strap tank tops first, then thicker tank top straps, short sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, long sleeves, and finally sweat shirts or fleeces. I have mostly black clothes (what women doesn't) then my colors run white, brown, red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, and grey. I hang all my jeans and pants and again by color and length (pants, or capris). I also have a section for sweats. I am a stay-at-home mom so I have lots of sweats! So I organize the sweat outfits by color as well.

How do you organize your clothes? 

Were in! Let's get organizing!

Wow that 19 days went fast since my last post! We have been in our new home for a week now.....swimming in boxes trying to find a spot for everything but we love our new home. I can't wait to organize it and show you what I have done. First spot (because it's the easiest and I need to start small) my mud room. Any suggestions as to what I should decorate the cubbies up top with? I have bins for the 5 cubbies below for the shoes, and two smaller bins for a cubbie up top to hold keys and sunglasses. Am I missing anything? Coats, backpacks, shoes, keys, sunglasses????

19 days and counting

I can't believe I will be in my new home in 19 days! I can't wait........seriously I can't wait. I am going a little crazy with all the boxes. I can't tell you how many times I go to look for something only to realize it is packed! The chaos in my house is getting to me but I just take a deep breath and think about all the organizing I will get to do when we move in, and that calms me. I know, clams me, really? Yes, I am weird and love to organize stuff, and make it neat and pretty! I think the kitchen is my favorite space and the first room I will tackle to organize. Any organizational tips for the kitchen please leave me a comment, I would love to hear how you organized your kitchen and what is working for you.

31 days and counting!

OMG I have been so busy with packing and getting ready for the move. On top of school, state test, kids and life in general. We are officially 31 days out and I can barley stand to wait! Even though I feel a little overwhelmed I am still organized. I am to the point where most of the house is packed and I will only have the last minute packing of stuff we are currently using or need. My organization system is working out great! Here are a few new pictures of the house

Front of the house 

Back of the house 

Wood floors before the stain 

Wood floors after the stain 

Title in the shower 


Let me repeat.....I can not wait to move in!!!!

Pre-drywall House Pictures - So Important!!!

We just had our pre-drywall walk thru on our house. I can not stress to any future home buyers who are building a home how important it is to take pre-drywall pictures! We did it on our first home and I can't tell you how many times we referenced those pictures to "see" what was behind the wall. However on our first house we did not take enough. So this time thru I took about a 130 pictures!

On our first house we also made another mistake. We took the pictures and then downloaded them. That's it. I did not label what room it was, or make any notes about the pictures. When it came time to look up a picture it took awhile to find the right wall as they all look alike! So this time I took the pictures and then did some editing. Thank goodness for Photoshop! I was able to bright the pictures and then write right on the picture as to what room it was. Here is just a few:

See that big pole??? I know I would more than likely want to hang something on the wall and would hit the pole with my luck! 

The house is moving along so fast! I can not wait to get into it! And when I need to "see" what's behind the wall.........I think I will be ready!

Packing Boxes

So now that I have my moving organized system in place, I have started the packing. We started by asking everyone we know for boxes. Thankfully our great friend who runs a restaurant has had his crew saving boxes for us for weeks. My favorite is the boxes his lettuce comes in. They are a great size!

Organizing a Move

 I have never moved before......well let me rephrase that. I have never moved 11 years worth of stuff and two kids. When my husband and I moved into our first home we were young, childless and had barely any furniture or stuff! We have begun our first step in the moving process and are trying to go thru and donate or sell items we will not be needing but the rest all has to get packed. I of course need to have some sort of an organization system in place to help me not feel/get so overwhelmed! After searching my favorite site, Pinterest, for some packing/moving ideas I collaborated my organizing system. I loved these ideas from one of my favorite blogs A Bowl Full of Lemons. She borrowed from another favorite organizer of mine, Alejandra, a color coded system to label her boxes. I loved that idea and did the same. Here is my legend.

We have a roof!

They are moving so fast on our new home! I can't wait I am so excited.

They have moved our closing date up twice which is awesome as I can't wait to get into the house but that means less time for me to pack! My packing/moving system is working well so far. I will be posting about that really soon!

Longboat Key, Florida

How fast time flies when your on vacation! My husband and I traveled to Longboat Key in Florida at least once a year. We love it there. We just got back and I think this was the first time we went that it was cooler in Florida then it was here in Chicago!!! We add a short stop in Clearwater this year and the kids had a blast at the pool in the hotel we stayed at. Just a short ride down to LBK and fun in the sun began! The kids swam at the pool or played at the beach everyday! I even got a great family photo of us. 

On our return flight home we end up stuck at the airport for over 5 hours due to mechanical issues. The airline was very nice about and even gave us all free round trip tickets for a future flight for our inconvenience.....Florida here we come again! 

Took a break and scapped!

It felt so good to take a break from my chaos and scrap. Did a quick digi page. Enjoy!

Products used: Bella Gypsy Extra Strength Mischief Kit and I do what I want template from Bella Gypsy.

It's official ~ We are moving!!!!

I am so excited because the construction on our new house has begun. See me and the boys and our hole :)

So I have already begun our moving plans. I have created a moving binder, color coded system for the boxes that will correlate with what room in the new house they will go in, tabs in the binder such as address changes, moving to do, a moving calendar tracking the progress of our house as well as packing schedule and so much more. If anyone has moving tips or organization ideas for making a smooth move please share!!!

Chalkboard Paint ~ finally got to play with it!

I tackled my first project with spray painting furniture and using chalkboard paint. I picked a piece of furniture I knew the kids were outgrowing just in case I messed up! Here is what it looked like before:

Lego Instructions....Everywhere!!!

My son has so many legos! I have organized his legos by colors in drawers but he is out growing that storage so soon I will need to make a trip to Ikea for some larger storage. The other part of legos that is crazy out of control is the lego instructions. I had them all in a bin thinking a 6 year old could keep them organized that way. Wrong!!! When he wants to build he pulls out every instruction book and spreads them all over the floor. Then he finds the one he wants to build and starts building leaving all the other instruction books all over the floor. Then Tornado Trace comes into his room and steps all over the instructions on the floor, ripping, bending, and folding them! So I could not take it anymore. Time to organized all those instructions!

School Box

Thanks to Pinterest I am so motivated to do projects. I found this project here at I Heart Organization one of my favorite sites. Jen has amazing ideas and I heart her blog! Now let me tell you a little story as to why I wanted to make these boxes for my kiddos. They bring home TONS and I mean tons of paperwork from school. I began taking pictures of their art work when my oldest son was in preschool. After I took the picture I threw away most of the artwork and save a few pieces in a bin. After they complete a year I then take the pictures and put them together in any online book.