Author Archive | dailyhostess

Thoughts on Fall Mantle Decorating

Well hello again old friend!  It’s been awhile (read like three weeks) since I’ve posted, yikes!  I’ve been traveling practically every weekend this month and it’s just so hard to get back into the swing of things when you’re constantly packing, unpacking, and doing laundry.   I’ve wanted to post about our fall mantle for awhile since the first day of fall is this Saturday.  Although from the temperatures outside lately you wouldn’t know it.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvI think another reason I’ve been so delayed in writing and posting anything is a lack of creativity.  Or motivation.  Or both.  It’s hard to see all of the over the top fall posts on Instagram and Pinterest and not go into comparison mode.  I also prefer using what I have and not buying a bunch of extra stuff to decorate with.

I knew I needed to start getting things ready for fall around here so I could photograph them and post about it.  But I didn’t have much motivation.  It’s funny how just one thing can really change your mindset about finding the motivation to start though.

The Story of What Sparked Me to Start My Fall Mantle

So a couple of weeks ago I was at Wal-Mart getting a couple of random things. It’s actually pretty rare for me to be in the store.  Praise Jesus for grocery pick-up when you have two little kids, right?!

So there I am wondering around the aisles from one side of the store to the other because of course I needed cheese and a hand held mirror.  Totally random and of course on the opposite sides of the store.  As I was walking towards the inevitably under-manned check out lanes I’m looking around trying to think if we need anything else and I spot them.

I see the exact thing I need to jump start my fall decorating.

It’s noticeable contrast caught my eye.

So I quickly diverted my cart to get closer and check it out.

As I got up to them they were exactly what I thought I saw from the distance, but better.

Black and white buffalo check pumpkins with a natural stem and a raffia bow.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

Similar pumpkins here

Who knew I needed them in my life?  I sure didn’t but they instantly got me excited and motivated for fall decorating.  To be honest, the entire fall section did.  There was so much black and white with pops of deep orange and cranberry colors.  I hadn’t really ever tried decorating for fall with black and white.

So I bought those little black and white buffalo check pumpkins and decided this is what I’m going to center my fall decorating around this year.  And you know what happened?

I brought those pumpkins home, and they sat.  For another solid week.

Isn’t it funny how in the moment you can be so excited but once you’re back to everyday routine the excitement wears off?

One Small Step Forward Is all The Motivation You Need

So finally, this week I had a couple minutes to start putting those little pumpkins to use.  I started by adding them to my fall mantle.  Just that one small step launched me into action.  It was like a waterfall of activity, motivation, and creativity.  So much that I was almost late to an appointment because I was in the grove decorating everything, snapping photos, moving stuff around, and taking more pictures.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tvThankfully that small step got my mantle decorated for fall, the entire living room decorated, and work towards updating the front porch for fall too.  All of those things will be on the blog soon too.

The funny thing is that the black and white of those little pumpkins opened my eyes to be on the lookout for other things around my house and at stores to use to decorate with.

I found perfectly matching paper placemats that I used to make the black and white banner on my mantle.  They also serve as intended on my dining room table.  Black and white bowls from around the house because a focal point for my decorating too.

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Mixing in white photo frames, with natural, neutral tones and a couple pops of typical fall colors really brought my fall mantle together.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv

Reimagining this color scheme allowed me to reimagine what I already had.  I turned this white with navy blue vase around so all you see is the white side.  Now it fits perfectly with my fall mantle color scheme.

fall mantle decor, fall mantle decorating ideas, fall mantle decorating with a tv I’d love to get some live eucalyptus leaves to put in this vase.  To me they are the perfect fall greenery.  I will probably wait a bit so I can enjoy them a little longer though.  Plus, you can never have too many reminders to be thankful!  I’m certainly thankful for taking a small step of action to be ready for the season.

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What small step can you take today towards that thing that you’ve been putting off?  Just like my little pumpkins, there is something that will give you the motivation for productivity.

 

 

 

 

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Labor Day Inspired Charcuterie Board

Happy Friday friends!  I hope this is the start of a fun filled or relaxing holiday weekend for you.  What are your plans for Labor Day? I’m sure at some point there will be food involved.  And I have a great idea for a Labor Day party appetizer for you today.

Because Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday of September all of the items on this charcuterie board are in season in the month of September.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardA quick google search and I found out that blackberries, cantaloupe, and red peppers are all in season this month.  So I focused my charcuterie board around those items.  And cheese of course!

I composed the board of three distinctly flavored cheeses,.  An aged Gouda, Merlot bellavitano, and a chaumis which is a soft cow’s milk cheese.  I also added in several different flavors of crackers like rosemary, cracked pepper, and sea salt.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardFor the savory component to the board I used prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni, along with a roasted red pepper spread that I made.  I’ll provide the recipe , just keep reading.

The red peppers were extra sweet because they’re in season right now.

Roasted Red Pepper Spread Recipe

I didn’t get too many pictures of this recipe, but it’s pretty easy not to mess up if you read through the directions below.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardIngredients:

  • Red Pepper, I used one, but you can use more for a bigger batch of spread
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place your whole red pepper right on the oven rack and roast it for about 20 minutes or until you see the skin turning black and blistering
  3. Once the pepper is roasted, remove it from the oven, and I love this hack, place it in a zip top bag for about 10 minutes.  This will steam it to make removing the skin easier.
  4. Take pepper out of bag and peel the skin off.
  5. Chop up the pepper, removing the stem and seeds.
  6. Place chopped up pepper in a food processor or blender.  Blend until chunky.
  7. Once blended place the spread in a pot with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  8. Let that simmer for a few minutes until all the flavors are blended together.  Just keep tasting it and adding any additional seasonings if you like.
  9. Ta-da, your done!

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardAs you can tell, I’m not super exact when I cook, so my directions and recipes aren’t either.  The good thing is with only four ingredients you can’t mess this one up too badly.

This spread is great on a bold savory cheese.  It’s also good on chicken, beef, or pork so if you have leftovers use it as a sauce the next time you cook dinner.  If you use it during a dinner party, your guests will be so impressed.

Blackberry Balsamic Jam Recipe

If you want to go one step further and incorporate another seasonal ingredient in your Labor Day charcuterie, try making this blackberry balsamic jam recipe.  It’s even easier than the red pepper recipe above.

Ingredients:

  • Blackberries, I used one 5 oz. container
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardSeptember seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese board

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a pot on medium low heat.
  2. Occasionally stir and kind of mash up the blackberries.
  3. Once the blackberries are mashed up and cooked down to a chutney consistency reduce the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Ta-da!  You’re done!

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardI recommend tasting the jam throughout cooking it to see if you need to adjust any of the ingredients.  I didn’t really measure when I made mine and it definitely could have used a little more balsamic.

This jam is great with cheese and crackers, but I could totally see this on some warm biscuits, yum!  Or even as a filling in a cake for someone that wants a little bit of a different flavor.

These two spreads really amped up the seasonal aspect of this charcuterie board.

I also used cantaloupe on my board because it’s another September seasonal fruit.  I wrapped it in prosciutto and stacked it up.  The combination is very tasty.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardSeptember seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese board

I hope you’re inspired to try some September seasonal produce, make a charcuterie appetizer, or whip up a new jam from reading this post.  It’s not hard to put in the little bit of effort any of these ideas take to make an extra special dish for Labor Day this weekend.

And this is how I know this child is mine.  He’s obsessed with cheese!  Well basically any food.

September seasonal charcuterie, how to make a cheese board, blackberry jam recipe, roasted red pepper jam recipe, meat and cheese boardHappy Labor Day, if you make either of these recipes let me know by tagging me on Instagram, Facebook, or commenting on this post.  I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

 

 

 

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Tablescape Tuesday: Bollywood Inspired Dinner Party

I keep seeing an article floating around the mom circle about how it’s so much nicer for kids to receive experiences instead of gifts.  I’m totally onboard with this idea because I’m somewhat of a minimalist and just don’t want a bunch of toys at my house.  I even requested no gifts at my daughter’s fourth birthday.  FYI, she got a bunch of gifts, haha!

However, we can’t expect grandparents and friends to get them experiences if we’re not willing to also.  Because let’s face it, grandparents are probably going to buy the kids whatever it is they want anyway.  Even after asking you what to get them, #amiright?

So how about giving your kids an experience during an everyday event instead of just at birthdays and holidays?  You can do so through your menu and tablescape decor at meal time.

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I’m certainly not advocating doing so every night for dinner.  I’m right there with you moms that are struggling to get dinner on the table while the baby is crying and the toddler is having a melt down over not getting yet another snack.

But every now and then don’t you think they’d remember a really special dinner table?

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasWhat’s even more memorable is when the menu pairs with the decor.  It can kind of be a learning experience for everyone. You can enjoy a cuisine of a different culture and be surrounded by the colors and decor of that culture.

This past Easter season we tried to host a different family for dinner every week.  I tried to make them fun themed dinners.  You can see one here and another here.  Today’s tablescape Tuesday is a Bollywood themed tablescape and dinner that we hosted during Easter.

I wanted to make an easy crockpot meal and love this **chicken curry dish**, so the only thing that made sense was making a Bollywood themed tablescape to go with our Indian meal.  This meal is a big crowd pleaser when served over rice and with naan.  I love this naan that I get from Costco.

Thankfully, I used things from around our house to put this tablescape together.  The only thing I had to get were some flowers from the grocery store.

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasThe colorful tablescape is sure to make a memory for our kids.  What kid doesn’t love pink, red, and orange flowers with a big elephant in the middle of the table?

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasI used traditional deep saturated colors with gold and sparkle.  The elephant in the middle of the tabel is a treasure picked up from Thailand during a Navy deployment.  It holds a wine bottle, so it’s a great idea to display your wine for the dinner party right in the middle of the table.

I had some gold buckets from the Target dollar spot that I used as vases for the grocery store flowers.  I also dispersed some glitzy tea light holders throughout the middle of the tablescape.

The place settings were made using my go to combination of gold chargers + white plates + gold flatware.  I added in some deep purple napkins and gold napkin rings.  The napkins almost match the table runner perfectly.

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood is all about the glitz, glam, jewels and color.  I think this tablescape totally embodies that.  It would be fun to add in lanterns or pillows to a Bollywood dinner party.  Or even have someone giving your guests henna tattoos.

The colors and taste of this meal are sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests and your kids.  And how great that you can give your kids an experience without even leaving your house?!

Bollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideasBollywood inspired dinner party, red, orange, and pink dinner party colors, Morrocan inspired tablescape, Bollywood party ideas, Morrocan party ideas

Who is with me to start making experiences at home during meal times?  What are your thoughts on toys versus experiences for kids?

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Real Life Party: Mr. Onederful Dapper Themed First Birthday

It’s been one of the fastest years of my life!  The first year of my son’s life has gone by in a blur.  But we were able to celebrate in a big, formal, dapper way with a Mr. Onederful birthday party.

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First birthday parties seem to be somewhat controversial because the baby is still so small and won’t remember anything anyway.  Even though the party is mostly for the parents, it’s still an occasion to celebrate in my opinion.

Since my son was just a couple months old, I have loved putting him in suspenders and bow ties.  He just looks like such a little man, it’s so cute.  I wanted to do the same thing for his first birthday.  The theme was based soley around the fact that I wanted him to wear suspenders and a bow tie.  So I went with the Mr. Onederful theme.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

To make the theme carry through I asked our guests to wear bow ties.  It was so cute seeing our little friends showing up with their bow ties on.  It always makes a party more fun when your guests can participate too.

I love the fancy yet simple color scheme of black, white, and gold.  It’s such a classic combination that can be used for young birthday parties like this one, or even for a 30th or 50th birthday.

Mr. Onederful Dessert Table Backdrop

I DIYed almost all of the decor in the dessert backdrop bow tie, **link**fringe garland, banners, and tassels.  Please excuse my poor photoshop skills, but I had to get rid of the blue tape that was holding up the fringe garland.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I love having a dessert table at most of my parties because it can be such a focal point of the party.  A place where the theme can really stand out.  See how to put together your own dessert table here.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I ordered these huge black balloons to make a big statement next to the dessert table.  Thankfully we didn’t run into this party mistake this time around.  I’ve definitely learned my lesson when giving my husband directions to pick party supplies up.

I went with my standby cake and cupcake place, Safeway.  You just can’t beat the price, especially if you’re getting a simple cake or cupcake design.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasThis cake was just a simple white cake until I added fun themed sprinkles and a cake topper.  This is a great tip if you want a more custom cake but don’t want to pay designer cake prices.

I added the same sprinkles to the cupcakes as well.  I also realized after having two parties this summer with chocolate cupcakes that I need to order two dozen.  They just go a lot faster than the cake, especially with kids.  They are the perfect size for kids.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasI saved money on the cake and cupcakes so I could splurge a little more and get frosted bowtie sugar cookies from my amazingly talented friend Melissa.  You can order cookies through her Facebook page here.  She’ll even ship if you’re not local.  She also has a cookie of the month club which is genius!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Mr. Onederful Birthday Party Food Buffet

We did serve lunch before the dessert.  I also went the easy route and ordered catering from Chick-fil-a.  Those nugget trays are seriously the best!  One tip I have is to put your catered food onto trays or platters that match your party decor.  It makes your buffet area blend in with your party a lot more.

I wanted to incorporate the theme around the food buffet as well, so I wrapped a few boxes in coordinating wrapping paper to create various levels for the food to sit on.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasSimple food like like fruit, chicken nuggets, and pasta are great because they are so kid friendly.  Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasBlack and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Here is the Mediterranean **pasta recipe** I used.  The olives and dressing made it so delicious.  I also thought putting it in individually sized cups made it look so cute and a little fancier.

Mr. Onederful Birthday Party Tablescape

I used a simple table centerpiece for the party.  These “ONE” letters were reused from my daughter’s first birthday and I bought this table cloth off of Amazon.

It’s neutral enough that I bought a nicer tablecloth instead of buying a plastic throw away tablecloth because I know I’ll use it many more times.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideasSimple white roses also added to the classic look of this Mr. Onederful party.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

The drink station fit into the theme by adding DIY bowties to the champagne glasses.  I’ll have to do a tutorial on how to make them because they turned out so cute!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I added my son’s monthly photos above this area and it’s so fun to see how much he’s changed over the last year.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Here’s a close up of those drink bow ties.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I even added them to the containers holding the forks.  It was an easy way to dress up an otherwise plain mason jar.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I couldn’t leave out the birthday boy when decorating for the party, so I dressed up his highchair too.  A DIY fabric garland and #1 banner made the high chair extra special.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I also made his party hat with some scrapbook paper, pom poms, elastic cord, and a #1 cut out.  All the kiddos got DIY party hats as well. They all turned out so cute.

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

I changed out our mantle decor for some one year cake smash photos of my son and another themed box.  It was nice having a dedicated spot for him to enjoy his birthday cupcake with a cute backdrop for pictures.

Here’s a picture of him enjoying cake during his cake smash.  I can’t even with how cute he looks in his suspenders and bow tie!

Black and gold first birthday party ideas, boy first birthday party ideas, mr. onederful birthday theme, mr. onederful birthday ideas

Whew, that was a long recap of a little boy’s birthday, but I hope you enjoyed it!  It was a lot of fun to make so much of the Mr. Onederful party decor.  What was your favorite part?

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A Back To School Mailbox Organization Craft

It’s an exciting day here today.  My daughter starts full day Pre-K in uniform today!  Unfortunately I’m out of town for work so I didn’t get to do the whole first day of school pictures in person.  Thanks to technology though I was able to Facetime with her this morning.

Because school is starting I wanted to share an easy way to organize all of those school papers, projects, notes, and homework that are about to start coming home. A simple mailbox in a useful and functional space is a great way to corral all those items.

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxWho better to help me with this project than the little lady that is going to be using it the most?  It’s always kind of fun to do crafts like this together.

Back To School Mailbox Materials

This back to school mailbox is super easy to make using things that you probably have around your house already.  Here are the things you’ll need to make your own school mailbox.

  • Cereal Box
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Stickers, Markers, Pom Poms, Confetti, Gemstones, anything kids would like to decorate with

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxI used brown craft paper but it’s pretty thick and somewhat difficult to wrap very tightly.  So I’d recommend using traditional wrapping paper in a neutral color if you want the decorations to stand out.  Or use a fun patterned wrapping paper and add minimal decorations (perfect for a tween or teenager).

DIY Back to School Mailbox Instructions

1. First you’ll need to cut down your cereal box.  Cut the flaps off the top then make angular cuts on the small sides.  This allows the front to be shorter than the back. back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailbox2. Next you’ll wrap the cereal box.  I found it easiest to wrap the box as if you were wrapping a normal square box.

3. Then on the top or open side of the mailbox you’ll need to cut down into the corners of the box so that you can fold the paper over into the mailbox. Like the picture below.

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailbox4. Once you’ve done that, fold the paper over into the box and secure with tape. Once it’s wrapped all the sides and most of the inside will be covered in paper.

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailbox5. The fun part starts now!  This is where your little helpers can use their imagination to decorate the mailbox however they’d like.  We used a combination of Frozen stickers, markers, gemstones, pom poms,  and confetti.

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxback to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxHere’s the finished product!

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxback to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxOnce it had dried, because preschoolers use A LOT of glue, I put it in our mudroom.  This is the space where I’m hoping right after getting home from school, she’ll put all of her things away.

Her papers will go into the mailbox and she’ll unload her backpack into the closet and lunchboxes will go back in the pantry.  Here’s hoping!

This summer I really tried to work on my daughter’s independence.  I’ve been trying to get her to clean up her place after meals.  And now she’ll have putting her school things away on her list of “chores.”  Do your kids have chores?  What age did you start introducing chores?

back to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxback to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailboxback to school mailbox, back to school organiation, back to school craft, organize school papers with a mailbox

I hope this helps keep you organized at the start of school and all through the school year.  And I’m sure your kids will have fun decorating their little hearts out!

Here’s to back to school!

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Celebrating everyday!