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DIY back-to-school cool crafts Getting organized with school checklists The most incredible things to do in Ibiza Get the best photos while travelling

How to create a first day of school frame

If you are anything like us, then you love to document every milestone, including the first day of school! We shared First Day of School photo ideas and now we are sharing how to create a first day of school frame. While it may look overwhelming or hard to create, you won’t believe how easy it is to do!

Get the kids involved

We have been using this frame since the first day of preschool, so in the beginning, we were creating them ourselves. We like to change it up a bit each year, but you can use the same frame every year. This has become a first day of school tradition, so our kids get excited when we take out the supplies  — and they want to help! We are all for the kids helping us, but our type-A personalities get the best of us sometimes, and we want it to look perfect.

With kids, we have learned to let go a little bit and remind ourselves it is about the process as much as the product. With the help of Elmer’s Purple Disappearing School Glue, we get the best of both worlds! When they get glue all over the place, we don’t have to worry because we know that when it dries, there will be no colour left behind. The purple glue also helps the kids know exactly where to place the paper and letters, which is a huge help.

Back to school frame
What you’ll need

You will just need a few things to create a frame that will last for years to come. We like to use a wooden frame so that it has no chance of getting destroyed over the course of the year. You could create it out of Bristol board, but you will likely need to recreate it from scratch year after year.

Frame for school

Materials:

Elmer's Purple Disappearing School Glue
A few things to note

A few things to note when getting what you need. We use this frame because you can pop out the back and the plastic. Then it is an open frame, which is exactly what you need. Whichever letters you choose to buy, make sure there are enough sets in the pack. Some packages come with only one set. When writing ‘first day of school’, you will need 2 s’s and 3 o’s, so one set won’t do the trick! When it comes to scrapbooking paper, go wild and get something fun! We have used everything from sports to superhero papers!

Letters on First day of school frame
Get crafty

Remove the back of the frame and the plastic at the front of the frame. Place the frame down on the table. Using a pencil and the scrapbooking paper, measure the width of one panel of the frame and mark it on the paper. Use the ruler to draw a straight line down the paper. Then repeat 5 or 6 times to make sure you have enough strips to cover the entire frame.

Take out the Elmer’s Purple Disappearing School Glue and have your child put glue all over the frame. You can use a Popsicle stick if you want to spread out all of the glue to make sure no spot is left uncovered. The purple colour of the glue makes it easy to ensure that you don’t miss a spot. Once the glue is on, cover the frame with the paper. Next, decide what you want the frame to say. You can write ‘first day of school,’ ‘first day of 1st grade,’ ‘Jonah’s first day,’ ‘3rd grade, here I come!’ – Whatever you or your child want!

Elmer's disappearing purple glue

Take out the glue again and use it to glue down each of the letters across the frame. We helped our little ones by using the glue to write the letter on the frame so that they knew exactly where to place it. Don’t worry if the glue smudges. When it dries, it will look clean and beautiful!

First day of school Frame

Once it is dry, there is one last step. Have your child hold it up over their face and remind them to give you a BIG SMILE! Take out the camera and document their first day! Make sure to tag us, @savvysassymoms if you share it on social media – we would love to see your creations!

First day of school Frame youtube play
How do you document your child’s first day of school?

This post was sponsored by Elmer’s Glue as part of the #SavvySassySchoolDays campaign. All opinions are our own.

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DIY back-to-school cool crafts

As we begin to plan for back to school, we love getting the kids involved. Using Elmer’s Glue to create a multitude of DIY back-to-school cool crafts is easy and will keep your children occupied for hours. Every pencil case has Elmer’s School Glue in it to stick things together, but we are using it here as the main ingredient! Here are some great ideas that your kids will think are cool crafts.

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

What you will need for your BTS cool crafts

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

For the paint mixture: Elmer’s School Glue or Elmer’s Tacky Glue and food colouring.

Recommended items to paint: vase, jar, glass picture frame.

Additional: painter’s tape is nice to have on hand to create interesting designs.

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

The Process

Lay out a throwaway mat or a craft mat to get started! Though it looks pretty on the finished product, food colouring is not your friend. It stains and drips EVERYWHERE, so it’s important to be cautious. Elmer’s School Glue is the perfect consistency for a painting craft. We have been using it for so many activities like painting and making slime.

Now, mix the Elmer’s School Glue and approximately 4 drops of food colouring and mix. You can add more or less food colouring to create darker or lighter hues. I found that less than 4 drops created a translucent look. The glue acts as an adhesive and it is a little thicker than the feel of ordinary paint. Once you start to paint your item of choice, the mixture glides on.

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

Have fun painting

Give your children the opportunity to explore with different brushes and tools.

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

Create a first day of school frame

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

Using painter’s tape to create a frame around the edges helped us to create a simple design with a small detail of two small yellow lines, leaving the picture of your child the focus of the frame. Have your child write their name on the frame or a sentence in permanent marker for them to keep as a memorabilia of their first day of school.

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

Use it as a Teacher’s gift

This green vase is a perfect way to start the school year. I love the idea of giving your teacher this as an entry to school gift. The teacher may use it during the school year to store pencil crayons, Popsicle sticks, paintbrushes or other school based objects!

DIY back-to-school cool craft with Elmer's Glue

Use as storage

Give your child the motivation to stay neat and organized with this personalized school supply container. It contains your items and you can give your child the opportunity for personalization, which they will be sure to appreciate.

These back-to-school cool crafts will help your kids to start thinking about the school year ahead during the summer months. By doing a fun craft that relates to getting in gear for school, it makes the transition easier and creates a positive atmosphere towards learning and waking up on that first day!

Photographs taken by Ben Starkman of BGS Images

What activities will you be doing to help ease the transition back into school-mode?

This post was sponsored by Elmer’s Glue as part of the #SavvySassySchoolDays campaign. All opinions, as always, are our own.

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Getting organized with school checklists

After a relaxing summer without schedules and more playtime, it can be tough to get back into a school routine! When the kids are used to running out of the house in a bathing suit and flip flops each day, getting them to remember all of the things they need to put in their backpack for school may feel like pulling teeth. As with most things, we try making the mornings fun and organized by using school checklists. This way we avoid the calls home in the middle of the day letting us know that our kids don’t have a lunch (eeek)! 

A list goes a long way

Every parent knows how important lists are whether you are headed to the grocery store or planning what to pack in your suitcase. We have so much going on in our heads that it becomes impossible to remember everything! Our kids are the same. Especially at the beginning of the year when they are feeling excited and anxious about heading into a new grade at school. 

Expo Markers

Getting organized for school

Together, we come up with a list of things that our kids need for school each morning. We put our list up on our Little Partners Deluxe Easel and write our list with EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator. Before they leave the house, they take out their markers and check each thing off the list. Once the list is checked, they know they are good to go! After the list is fully checked, they love how easy it is to erase their check marks to get ready for the next day!

Back to school checklist

As our little ones are learning how to read, they love using the EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator to find and circle letters or underline words they know. We love how the markers encourage the kids to focus on their literacy skills without hounding them to practice their reading! The Ink Indicator at the bottom of the pen makes it easy for them to see when the markers are running out so that we are never left in a situation without the best markers for our Little Partners Easel

Our back to school checklist

Brush your teeth
Get dressed
Eat breakfast
Pack your bag
Go to school

Expo markers

As the year goes on and the list of thing changes, we encourage our kids to write the list themselves making them fully accountable for what they need each day! 

Use your EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator everywhere!

Expo markers for back to school

We love sending little notes in our kids lunch each day which has become a tradition for us as moms. Our kids have grown to love and expect their little notes each day! This year, we will be surprising them with an updated, environmentally friendly lunch note! Our schools have a litterless lunch policy, so we need to be cautious about what we send in the lunchbox! We love the Stasher reusable snack bags made from pure silicone and we use our EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator to write a special message to our children. We are so excited to see the expression on our children’s faces when they get home on the first day of school!

Images by MTPhotography

What’s on your back to school checklist?

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored. All opinions are our own.

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Enjoy the ride with iBert Safe-T Bike Seat

As a family, there is nothing we love more than hopping on our bikes and exploring. We take our bikes everywhere. We explore local restaurants, go to our neighborhood pools, and even take them on vacation with us. It’s a great way to get exercise and expose the kids to new experiences, even our tiniest of tots. We’ve always brought the kids along to enjoy the ride. Our family has tried numerous attachments to incorporate our little ones into our biking adventures. Our latest find is the iBert Safe-T Bike Seat.

A review of the iBert Safe-T Bike Seat.

About the iBert Safe-T Seat

After extensive research, and a ton of hands on experience, the parent powerhouse behind the iBert wanted to create a bike seat that let both the parent and the child enjoy the ride in the safest way possible. Thus, the iBert Safe-T seat was born.

The iBert Safe-T seat is a front-mounted safety bike seat specifically designed for children ages 1 to 4. It comfortably seats a child up to 38 pounds and 42 inches tall.

ibert5

It comes available in three fun colors — green, red, and pink. At only 3 pounds, the weight ensures the center of balance on your bike is minimally affected.

Front-mounted Fun

Part of the fun of riding a bike is getting to see all the sights around you. The forward position of a front-mounted seat means that both the parent and the child can see what is in front of them. The child gets to experience the thrill of the ride in a whole new way. You can give them a whole new view (even if your backside is quite enjoyable from all that biking). You can pass snacks and drinks with ease (hallelujah!). Most importantly, you can interact with them along the way – talk, sing, share with them what they are experiencing in real time.

ibert12

Easy to mount and install

The iBert Safe-T Bike seat works on most bikes (road, mountain and commuter) and only needs 3/4″ of the steering tube to be installed. We tested this on our mountain bikes and mine was too short, but my husband’s bike had just enough room.

ibert2

The install was quick and easy. A “T-Bar” attaches the seat to the steering tube. The seat easily slides into place and secures with a pin. The only tool required is an allen wrench, and within just a few minutes you are secure and ready to ride.

Kid tested, kid approved

We gave the iBert Safe-T Seat a good test run both on an off road, and haven’t heard one complaint from our toddlers about being uncomfortable. Their legs are stretched out and relaxed while being protected in the leg slots, and the high back seat allows for comfortable seating during longer rides. The little steering wheel on the safety bar provides a great place for hands and provides for a little entertainment and have some “control” during the ride.

ibert3

Safe-T

Our biggest question about the iBert Safe-T seat was how safe did we feel riding with it on the front? We were nervous about tip overs. We gave the iBert seat a test run and realized our center of gravity was thrown off less than we expected. The seat is made out of hard plastic and is extremely durable. The design of the seat allows for maximum protection in the event something were to happen.

ibert11

The child is secure with both a shoulder harness strap as well as a lap safety bar that is easy to lock into place. The shoulder harness felt slightly loose on our 18 month old, and a few times the straps would fall down. After a quick adjustment we were able to get them to fit more snugly. We popped our long and lanky 3 1/2 year old into the seat to see how she would fit, and the straps were snug. This was our only con in regards to the seat. Especially if you have a little one who tends to fall asleep while they ride.

ibert8

Final thoughts

Overall, we loved the iBert. The ability to tend to our child’s needs with out taking your eyes off the road is a major convenience. The easy installation makes this a go-to over our bulky trailer. Not to mention, it is an absolute blast as a parent being able to experience riding with your child up front. The ability to share the experience of the ride with them as we go — priceless!

ibert4

What is your favorite way to bike with your kids?

 

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Get the look from Paris fashion week

Paris Haute Couture week stormed the runway, displaying an array of beautiful pieces in every collection. This season, the looks did not disappoint, ranging everywhere from fairytale to snow princess. At the end of an amazing week, I couldn’t wait to achieve a similar style from the comforts of my own closet! Without being too frivlous, I tried to get the look from Paris fashion week by pairing some great classic pieces with some garments that add that Paris flair.

The Haute Couture Look

get-the-look-of-paris-haute-couture

Particularly, Ewa Minge’s Fall collection packed a powerful punch. The collection’s multi-layered pieces, mixed fabrics, and textures that worked as separates (you can read the full article here), really spoke to me. In Paris, it all makes sense on the catwalk! Accordingly, I wanted to recreate this look straight off the runway and into my daily life.

Recreating the Paris fashion look at home

Incidentally, I was so moved by the Paris fashion designers I immediately started scouring online for ways to emulate them. I find myself being continually inspired by designers that push fashion forward, providing us with new pieces that we can easily transition into our own wardrobes.

Get the Paris look, the investment piece
haute-couture

I think everyone needs a great topper. Keep with the layered look and try this beautiful faux shearling coat or this one here.

As well, if you don’t already have a lace blouse, consider purchasing one this season. This versatile lace blouse here looks super feminine — for a reasonable price!

Additionally, if you really want to emulate a Parisian fashionista, try on a leather pencil skirt, or a faux leather skirt. You can dress this look up or down to be classified as cool or casual.

Don’t forget the accessories

Next, a beaded box clutch or a gold ring pouch will brighten up any outfit and pull it all together. If you want to emulate the Haute Couture look at a lower price, you should think about purchasing a smaller bag. As well, a pair of chandelier earrings will elevate your look and keep you looking polished and on trend.

I noticed Platform sandals have been going strong for some time. This cute, inexpensive pair can be worn with a sheer sock and can be paired with all outfits pictured above or with jeans.

Key pieces

Either a patterned jumpsuit or a floral jumpsuit is a great key piece! From the sheer drapey fabric to the beautiful soft pattern, I think it fits perfectly with the Parisian style. If you will wear this piece over and over, I would consider investing.

No doubt, this luxe faux mink jacket allows you to mix fabrics and textures easily. It looks luxurious, and the cropped length makes it rewearable with jeans.

Finally, I recommend trying on a pair of combat boots this season. The season’s must-have bootie appeared on a multiple runways!

For more Paris posts, try Dress with Parisian style and Get the best photos while travelling.

Olga from Flytographer contributed the featured image photograph.

What piece are you thinking of investing in this upcoming season?
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How to throw a pineapple party

It’s summer time and that means it’s time to party like a pineapple. Or at least throw a spectacular pineapple themed bash. This summer time fruit favorite lends to the juiciest of party themes, and we couldn’t wait to throw a pineapple party of our own!

pineapple-party

Party like a pineapple

The good thing is during the summer pineapples are all the rage. It’s easy to grab great pineapple themed party supplies for both adults and kids alike. The hard part is containing yourself and not going too crazy with all the adorable theme ready items available.

Pineapple party table setting.

For our pineapple party we chose to go with a black and white backdrop with accents of palm leaves, yellows, and golds.

Cute pineapple party supplies and drinkware.

We always like to welcome our guests with a fun little sign or saying to set the tone for the party, and follow through with the introduced in our invitation. We crafted this little party signed and used it in various ways throughout the pineapple party.

pineappleparty12

Download your “Party like a Pineapple sign.

It’s all about the food

One of the easiest things about hosting a pineapple party is that it’s all about the food. The pineapple food. There are so many yummy pineapple treats, drinks, and ways to incorporate pineapple themed food into the party.

Pineapple drinks and food for a pineapple party.

We set up various snack and drink bars throughout the party for people to snack on. This way everywhere you turn you can grab a delicious pineapple infused yummy while mingling with your guests.

twinkies3

From sparkling water to grilled pineapple kabobs to cake pops, nature’s candy is quite literally the life of the party!

pineappleparty9

One of the biggest hits of the party was this Pineapple Coconut Parfait. We used our favorite Strawberry Parfait recipe and just replaced the strawberries with pineapples and coconut – yum! If hosting your pineapple party during brunch hours replacing the whipped cream with yogurt is a yummy alternative.

Say…Pineapple!

We learned long ago one of the keys to being is a good host is making sure everyone is entertained. Especially the youngest guests.

Pineapple party crafts for kids.

We created a little pineapple themed craft station for kids and it kept their creative (pineapple) juices flowing.

pineappleparty2

Not a crafty person? Have no fear! These little pineapple magnetic crafts came in packs already together with easy to read picture instructions for the kids.

pineappleparty16

Once crafts are completed guests of all ages can smile and say, “Pineapple!” with this easy DIY pineapple themed photo booth.

Pineapple themed Photo Booth for a pineapple party.

We put together this photo booth in just a matter of minutes with a black and white striped disposable backdrop, palm leaves, and yellow balloons. With just a little tape, and a few fun pineapple themed props you have a fun area where guests can post their favorite pineapple party selfies.

How to set up a pineapple themed photo booth for a pineapple party.

Pineapple after party

We always like to leave our guests a little something to remember the party by. These pineapple themed party boxes were perfect to hold small pineapple scented candle gifts for our older guests and pineapple bubbles for our younger ones.

Pineapple party favors.

Add a little treat, a little sparkle and for your guests the pineapple party doesn’t stop once they leave!

Will you party like a pineapple this summer?

pineappleparty6

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5 Reasons a kid-free vacation is good for your marriage

My husband and I currently live in the thick of parenting. For the past couple of years, we’ve literally felt like we’re out in the wilderness, with our only goal being survival. We live in Brooklyn with our four young boys, away from family support and facing challenges we have never faced before.

How do you take four kids on the subway? Can I manage school pickup when the schools are 20 blocks away — with the exact same pickup time? How do you feed a family of six on a tight budget? Can you care for four kids while making sure no one is left out? How do you parent all of these kids differently according to their own personalities without losing your ever-loving mind?

kid-free vacation

We’ve come to accept living our lives in varying states of crazy. We’re changing diapers, getting kids to and from school, keeping the house in order(ish), wiping butts, picking up toys, having chats about feelings and consequences, doing dishes, taking the kids to the park, the sprinklers or to throw a ball around. There’s always something to be done, yet nothing ever feels fully accomplished. And this is exactly why my husband and I decided that we needed to get away.

For a few years, we discussed different ways to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Little did we know when we were making these plans just how much we would need this break. We decided we were going to fly somewhere far away to celebrate by ourselves. But life was busy, the kids were still so young, money was tight — a plethora of reasons not to go. A lot of times before we left, we found ourselves thinking, “There’s no worse time to go away on vacation.” Actually, there was no better time to go away on vacation. Why?

kid-free vacation

1. You get to clear your head

Imagine letting go of all of the stressors of everyday life. Let your brain relax. Stop making mental to-do lists. Stop making actual to-do lists. My brain feels like a beehive. There’s always a buzz — and not the alcohol kind.

Did I pack the kids lunch? Who did I make plans with today? Is today trash day? When did the kids last brush their teeth? When did I last brush my teeth? Do I need to move the car for street cleaning? Did I leave the laundry in the washing machine overnight again? When we were away, I was able to shed my responsibilities, and only look out for myself. The buzzing faded, which created room for some physical and emotional shifts to happen.

kid-free vacation

2. You get your partner’s undivided attention

During our normal family routine, like strolling the avenues or spending time on the ferry or at the park, my husband and I usually focus on what the kids are doing. Mainly for their safety, but also someone always wants to tell a story, ask a question or be observed doing a new trick. Yes, we chat along the way. Often the kids entertain themselves for a while before we have to referee an argument or tend to an injury.

However, outside the four walls of our home, most of what we’re doing, saying and thinking revolves around our boys. On a kid-free vacation, it’s the complete opposite. No one interrupts, pipes up with needs to be met, and (hopefully!) no one gets injured.

kid-free vacation

3. You can actually have an adult conversation

Even at home, Seth and I take time for date nights. We’ll do a date night swap with friends or our amazing neighbors will watch our kids. Yet even on date night, we don’t get to talk about all of the things on our mind. We want to, but there’s no way to wade through the rest of the stuff that’s going on in our lives in two or three hours before getting to the conversational treasure. It feels impossible.

However, when we were away, we basically had one long date night. We took our sweet time talking about things that have been weighing heavily on our hearts. Over long dinners, we talked about our hurts, fears, struggles and exhaustion. We were able to talk about things we have been learning, things that have changed within us, revelations of self awareness and anxiety. We talked about a lot of BIG things and processed a lot of emotions, and the amazing thing was we didn’t come to all of these conclusions alone, we came to a lot of them together which strengthened us as team Hoffman.

kid-free vacation

4. You get to be a “couple” again

When you take a kid-free vacation, no one looks at you like a family. Other people see you as a couple. People walk by you on the street without any idea you birthed a child or two — or more. As a couple, no one gives you the side eye when entering a restaurant, an airplane or a boutique, as you do if you were followed by a gaggle of children. When you vacation as a couple, you don’t say, “Don’t touch that,” “Keep your hands to yourself,” or “Don’t lick your brother.” You actually wander into stores, look around and not have to worry about your child hiding in the window display or knocking over all the fragile things.

kid-free vacation

5. Your kids need a break from you

Dare I say they need a break from you as much as you need a break from them? Do we get sick of saying the same things to our kids on the regular? Yes. Do they get sick of hearing those same things? Absolutely. We often find a change of scene or a change of routine can work wonders with our kids — and ourselves too, if we’re honest.

We needed the chance to miss our kids and appreciate their sweet, fun and energetic personalities. They needed the chance to miss us and appreciate our snuggles, stories and bad jokes. Being apart from one another helped us to be more patient and understanding, and helped our kids to be more grateful for our family unit and the support and love it offers.

This two-week vacation to Italy was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Partly because of the things we saw and the things we did — the Colosseum, paddleboarding in the Ligurian sea, getting lost in Venice — and partly because I reconnected with my most favorite person in the world. We want to make our marriage a priority. We value our marriage as the important thing we’ve ever committed to, and consider it absolutely, 100% worth the investment.

For more on my Italy trip, head over to www.brooklynboymom.com

Brooklyn Boy Mom for Savvy Sassy Moms

Rhianon Hoffman contributed this post. Rhianon is a mom of four young boys; Hudson (7), Wyatt (5), Amos (3), and Brooks (19 months). She loves to honestly share about the challenges of raising small children, funny observations, daily unfortunate mishaps, and creative ways to engage with your kids. She loves being as authentic and transparent as possible, and hopes to create an encouraging space in which readers can reflect and reimagine their identity as parents. Rhianon and her husband Seth live in Brooklyn, NY with their little dudes.

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Simple back to school craft for kindergarteners

The first day of school is thrilling for parents and kids alike, but the excitement of a kindergartener can’t be beat! Make your little one’s very first day of school extra memorable with this quick and easy back to school craft for kindergarteners.

Back to school craft for kindergarteners

Brightest Bulb in Kindergarten Craft

All of us mamas know that our little Einsteins are the “brightest bulbs” in their classes, and this simple craft is a fun way to memorialize their first day of school. With just a few basic supplies, your new kindergartner will have a fridge-worthy piece of art to be proud of! And psst… it also doubles as an adorable photo op! #momwin

DIY back to school craft for kindergarteners

What you need to get started

Supplies:

  • “Brightest Bulb in Kindergarten” template (download here)
  • Yellow washable tempera paint
  • Crayons or markers

Instructions:

1. Download and print our “Brightest Bulb in Kindergarten” template.

2. Cover your child’s hand completely in yellow paint and have them stamp their hand to create a “bulb” on top of the black base.

3. Add some flair by coloring the words at the top of the page or adding some extra details. My daughter included a few thumbprints on her page because she didn’t think one light bulb was enough, haha!

4. Snap of photo of your proud kindergartener on their first day of school and hang their completed craft in a place of honor in your home!

Simple back to school craft for kindergarteners

We hope back to school is extra special for all of your kiddos! Let us know if your new kindergartener gives this fun craft a try!

This post was contributed by Joanna Murnan. You can find more from Joanna on her blog, Makingmine.

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