Archive | Printables

Back to School Checklist

Well, I’m back after having a baby and taking a few weeks off.  It was nice, but I missed blogging more than I thought I would.  I especially missed the routine I had gotten into before having the baby.  He’s adorable and cuddly, so I’m enjoying that too!  Check out my Instagram Stories to see a sneak peak of the little guy.

I know most kids have started going back to school, at least they have where I live.  However, my daughter doesn’t start pre-school until August 21st, so I still have time to put this back to school checklist to use and I hope you do too.

I’ve compiled a few items that I think everyone probably needs to think about right before school starts.  I’m sure there are many more that aren’t included on this list that are specific to your school or grade of your child.  If you know of a really good one that we could all be reminded of be sure to leave a note in the comments for us to benefit from.

Click on the picture below to download and print out the checklist to use before school starts!

Some things like school supplies are a no brainer when getting ready for school, but others may need reminding.  Have you gotten all the forms filled out and turned in that are required before school starts? Why are there so many forms?  What about figuring out the routine of before and after school?  I’d recommend doing a dry run before school starts just so everyone in the family knows what they need to do.

Did your homework station survive over the summer?  Does it need a little effort into setting it up again?  Doing so will mean once the kiddos bring home homework they aren’t stumbling looking for a pen or a quiet place to read.

Take some chaos out of the morning shuffle by setting up a lunch packing station in your refrigerator and pantry.  Encouraging your kids to pack their own lunches will also cut down the time to get out the door in the morning.  Having easy snacks, lunches, and drinks on hand and available to throw into a lunchbox will make it much more likely that the kids will do it on their own.

My personal favorite on the checklist is the last item.  I love the idea of hosting a back to school party or an end of summer soiree.  A simple neighborhood ice cream social or a back to school breakfast with a few friends is a great way to celebrate the anticipation of a new school year.  Here are a few parties that do a great job celebrating back to school.

Don’t forget to click on the checklist above and have a handy reminder of all that needs to be done before school starts.  And be sure to leave a comment with your best back to school reminder for us all.   Or let me know what you’re looking forward to the most this school year.

0

Real Life Party: Bourbon and BBQ Birthday Party

This past weekend I had the privilege of celebrating the birth of my favorite person, my husband!  He’s kind of funny when it comes to birthdays.  He’s not like typical guys because he absolutely loves his birthday.

This year was kind of a milestone birthday (I’ll keep his actual age to myself ;)) so I wanted to celebrate in a bigger way.  We had a fun guy’s only bourbon and bar-b-q themed birthday.

Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barI took a lot of inspiration from this party that Pizzazzerie hosted.   Pizzazzerie’s Father’s Day party also gave me a lot of charcuterie inspiration.  My husband enjoys a good bourbon based old fashioned and more times than not he will order BBQ no matter what restaurant we’re at.  So this theme was perfect for him.

I had planned on catering the food so all I had to do was set up the bar, make a charcuterie, and bake a pie, but then my husband decided he wanted to smoke a brisket and ribs for the party.  You can see how he does that here.  It required a bit more work, but he enjoys the process of doing it and it always turns out super tasty.

Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barI started the party with this bourbon themed charcuterie board.  After a quick google and Pinterest search I found several items that would pair well with bourbon.  Things like walnuts, dark chocolate, parmesan, and dried fruit were best suited for bourbon.  This is probably one of my favorite charcuterie boards I’ve ever put together. Surprisingly, the guy’s pretty much tore it up. I’ll take that as a sign that it was good.

Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barUnfortunately, the weather wasn’t super cooperative and we had to move the food buffet indoors.  In the long run, I think it turned out for the best.  As I said earlier, my husband smoked brisket, ribs, and beans.  I rounded out the menu with a family favorite side dish of corn casserole and a couple cole slaws purchased from the deli department at my grocery store.

I also made my husband’s favorite, pecan pie.  He’d eat that over cake any day.  This is probably one of our biggest areas where we don’t agree, but if that’s it, then I’ll take it.

Adding in a few rustic elements like wood slices and an old whiskey crate made the set up more masculine for this guy’s only party.  Using a couple leafy plants instead of flowers was a way to add some life to the tablescape without being overly girly.

I even found the exact fabric for the table as was in my inspiration party.  The classic red, white, and blue plaid will come in handy for a lot of different events throughout the year.

Bourbon Bar

Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy'sBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barFor the bourbon bar, I again used some wood slices to highlight the bourbon choices and included a garnish bar.  Including a recipe was helpful to the guests when they wanted to mix up the specialty cocktail.  You can get your copy of the Old Fashioned recipe card here, or by clicking the picture below and downloading it.  It makes a great addition to any bar.

Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barBourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon barTo tie into the theme, I brought some more plaid fabric out to the bourbon bar.  This classic cocktail look so sophisticated with a skewered cherry and orange peel.  Probably the only time my husband will drink a cocktail with fruit in it.   Bourbon and BBQ themed guy's birthday, plaid and rustic birthday for guy's, bourbon bar

If you’re looking for a great theme for a guy’s party this will surely be a hit.  You can even mix it up a bit based on what type of drink the man in your life prefers.  I know my husband enjoyed having a guys only party where he got to eat and drink something manly.  And I enjoyed setting up the party and bringing my inspiration to life.

Another great birthday in the books!  What was your favorite part of the party?  Don’t forget to download your own Old Fashioned drink recipe.  Just click the picture of the recipe above.

2

10 Tips to Quickly Unpack From a Trip

I recently returned from a road trip back home to attend my sister-in-laws super pretty backyard wedding.  Don’t worry you’ll get to see how cute it was soon.  When we returned from our 12 hour drive I had a strange amount of energy and got us unpacked so quickly.

After getting bags unpacked and put away so quickly I just had to share with you a few of the things I did to make it such a quick and smooth process.  I did a quick search and there are a lot of packing lists and checklists, but not many that will help you unpack quickly.  I’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks today, plus a free unpacking checklist to help you get it all done quickly.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

1. Dump out all of your laundry right in your laundry room

No matter if you wore all of your clothes or not, washing everything that has been in your suitcase will give you a fresh, clean start.  Dumping it all out on the laundry room floor makes it easy to sort and start laundry right away.

2. Have a ready made meal for dinner

I highly recommend having a quick frozen meal ready to throw in a skillet or the oven once you return home.  You will definitely not feel like cooking after traveling.  Having something ready to go makes your life so much easier.  A great option is one of those one skillet Voila frozen meals.

3. Sniff Sniff

If you have gone on a road trip you most definitely will need to air out your car and make it smell nice again.  A simple way to do that is to place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in your car for a day or two.  It will smell so nice afterwards.

4. Put your suitcases away right away

There’s nothing worse than feeling like it takes forever to unpack because your suitcases are left out.  If you get them put away right away the trip is visually over and you’re ready to get back into your routine.

5. Clean your house before you leave

Picking up big messes, making beds, and cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving for your trip will make unpacking so much easier.  Plus, coming home to a clean house is so much nicer than walking into a mess.

6. Keep separate bags

Keep toiletries and chargers constantly packed in a separate bag.  All you’ll have to do to unpack is take the bag out and put it away. No need to put everything inside of it away.  This means you’ll have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, etc. but they’ll all be grouped together and packing and unpacking will be a breeze.  All you will have to do is throw a toiletry bag in your suitcase and not have to fish out everything you need from your medicine cabinet.

7. Take care of the car

If you are taking a road trip, schedule an oil change or car detailing within a few days after your arrival.  Set this up before you leave to help you get back into your routine.  This will also take care of any car issues that may have come up on your trip.

8. Set a Timer

For procrastinators it may help to set a timer once start unpacking.  Have a time limit will help you get motivated to get everything out and put away.  Give yourself a prize if you need to for finishing unpacking before the timer goes off.

9. Don’t repeat

When unpacking, be sure to put like items together.  One way I do this is to put everything that needs to go back upstairs on the bottom step. This way I’m not running up and down the stairs a bunch of times, but can take everything at once.  If you use a central location to unpack, like your laundry room, you can even just make piles of items by which room they need to go back to.

10. Enlist Help

You probably didn’t go on a trip alone, so you shouldn’t be the only one doing all of the unpacking.  Get your husband, kids, or hey call a neighbor if you need to to help you.  Having someone sorting laundry while someone else is cooking dinner will make the unpacking go much faster.

Now that you’ve gotten some great tips, feel free to click on the image below to print out a quick cheat sheet to help you unpack.  I highly recommend just posting this in your laundry room or central unpacking area as a reminder.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

Do you have any other unpacking tips?  If so be sure to leave a comment so I can reply.  I hope you get to go on a great adventure this summer! I’m sure it will be a breeze to unpack with these tips when you return home.

 

2

FREE Printable Father’s Day Cards

Well, Father’s Day is only about a week away.  If you weren’t sure when it is, it’s this Sunday June 18th.  Isn’t Father’s Day always so much harder than Mother’s Day to make special?  Dads are just hard to buy gifts for in general.

I’ve got you partly covered today with a few Father’s Day cards that you can use in a pinch if you need something to give your Dad.  Super easy to just print out on cardstock, cut out, sign, and place in an envelope for your Dad.

Here are a few Father’s Day gift guides that you might find helpful if you are still in need of a gift.  Mine from last year, this one from Jones Design Company, or this one that’s a full grilling gift guide.  My husband personally has a few items off the grilling gift guide and he loves them!

Either way, if you get a gift or you don’t you’ll need to write a special little note for your Dad.  Feel free to print off any of the cards I designed below.  There’s one for an awesome dad, a hard working dad, and the world’s greatest dad.  Just click the picture to download the card.

Free printable Father's Day Cards, awesome dad father's day card, green and blue father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, hard working dad father's day card, blue and orange father's day card

Free printable Father's Day Cards, greatest dad father's day card, camoflauge father's day cardI sometimes find that cards in the store are either super vague or way to mushy for my taste.  These cards are pretty simple, but give you lots of space on the back to write something specifically for your dad.  Card prices are out of control! I hate the idea of spending $4-$5 on a card, it’s ridiculous!  These are free!

Be sure to click on the images above so you can print out your free Father’s Day cards.  Then all you’ll have to do is add your personal message to the back and pop it in an envelope.  Either attach it to a gift or give the card all on it’s own.  These would also be great to give along side a gift card if you plan to go that route.

What are you planning on getting your Dad, husband, or grandfather for Father’s Day?  I already have quite a few ideas for my husband, but he reads these posts so I won’t be giving him an spoilers.  I hope you have a great rest of your week and your Dad has a special day on Sunday!

4

Party Prep Tips and a FREE Party Set-Up Timeline

Happy Monday friends! How are you adjusting to the time change? I was so tired yesterday! I hope you’ve recharged a bit.   How about a free printable to help you get ready for your party faster and I promise it won’t tire you out?

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.I find that anytime you search for a timeline or guide to help plan a party, everything you find doesn’t give enough detail for what to do right before the party. I always find timelines that are months and weeks ahead of a party. But what about those of us that tend to wait until the last minute to get ready to celebrate?  Or just need to know what to do once the guests have been invited?

I like to have a to do list for each day and hour leading up to the event. Today, I’m going to help you do the same. I’m also going to give you some awesome tips that will help you get your party ready and be done before your guests arrive. No more rushing around when your doorbell rings.

One Week

By the time your event is a week away, you’ve probably already decided on a theme, invited guests, and have a plan for food, drinks, and decor. So now you need to start executing your plan.

One week before the event, purchase or start making your party décor. This will give you enough time to make homemade decor and not feel rushed to get it done.

If you plan on purchasing helium balloons, place the order now. Schedule to pick the balloons up a few hours before your event.

Four Days

Four days before your event is all about the food. By this point you’ve nailed down your menu and made grocery lists. So, purchase groceries and all the things you’ll need for drinks.

Once you’re home, be sure to prepare your food for the party. If things need to be washed, cut, or stored specifically for your party do it now to save you time closer to your event.

Two Days

A couple days before your event you’ll want to start preparing your event space. To do this cut and arrange flowers if you’re using them. Start decorating your tablescape or food/drink buffet area. This step is crucial because you’ll need it set up now to prepare for other steps in the days leading up to your event.

This is also a great time to set out anything on your table or food station that isn’t going to go bad in two days. Things like plates, cups, napkins, serving ware, flatware, and platters.

One Day

The day before your event is exciting! But there is a lot of work to do. First you’ll want to start making any of the food you’re preparing yourself. If it doesn’t have to be freshly cooked prepare it today.

Storage containers, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap are your friend. Wrap up your prepared food and store it in your refrigerator until the big day. You’ll have time to assemble and finalize recipes later, so use this time to do as much prep cooking as possible.

Once you’ve gotten your food prepared, it’s time to clean your event space. I highly recommend using this method to clean for guests. You don’t have to get carried away cleaning, focus on the areas that your guests will spend the most time. Typically, around the food and drinks, any sort of activity areas, and be sure to clean your most used bathroom.

Night Before

Are you ready for one of my biggest tips to party planning? The night before your event, label your platters and serving ware. It will save you so much time and energy. It also helps you plan out your table and spacing of food and everything else that needs to be on your table.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.This is also a great way to help anyone that’s helping you. If you hand your husband a bag of chips and ask him to put it on the table, he’ll clearly see the bowl labeled chips and guess what? Those chips will be in the exact spot you want them to be. Amazingly reducing the amount of rework you’ll have to do.

Also the night before is a great time to put up all of your party décor. Doing so now will free up so much time the day of your event. It’s also a great way to see how well your décor is going to hold up. If you put everything up the night before and it has all fallen down by the morning you’ll know that you’re going to have to try some new ways to keep it up throughout your party.  Use this method to have everything you need handy and avoid running around after tape and scissors.

Four Hours

Whohoo, it’s the day of your event! Let’s get ready to party! At this point you are ready to go. Décor’s done, most of the set up is done, guests are on their way, now to put the finishing touches on your party.

It’s time to get all of that pre-prepared food together. This is the time to start putting salads together, mixing all your ingredients for dips, assembling sandwiches, or decorating a cake. It’s so much easier because you’ve prepped everything the day before.

If you have food that needs to be baked or cooked do it now, so all you have to do is warm it up later.

This is also a great time to set up your dessert bar or buffet. It’s plenty of time for your cake, cupcakes, or cookies to not get dry or melt. If you have desserts that need to stay cold, be sure to wait to put them out.

Two Hours

A couple hours before your party you should have almost all of your food taken care of, décor done, and desserts ready. It’s the perfect time to touch up any cleaning that you did the day before. Whether that be giving your bathroom a once over, fluffing your couch pillows, or cleaning up any messes in the kitchen.

It’s also a great idea to make sure all of your trashcans are empty and ready to be used at the party. Another great tip is to label your trashcans, especially if you plan on recycling. Cleaning recyclables out of a trashcan is not fun to do after a party.

One Hour

One of the last things to get ready is the drinks. Do this about an hour before the party so drinks are cold and ice hasn’t melted yet.

Also be sure you have plenty of cups, straws, glasses, and a way to label individual glasses. Great options are a sharpie on plastic cups, wine charms or these drink labels.

30 Minutes

Now, right before your party you’re going to want to just put the finishing touches on everything. This is when you’ll want to pull out any food that has had to be cold or warm up any food that needs to be warm.

It’s a great idea to use your oven on a low temperature setting, a warming drawer, or use a chafing dish with a warming flame under it.

Finally, my favorite part of party set up, is enjoying how your party and house looks before all of your guests arrive. It’s a great time to take a few pictures of all of your hard work. Let’s be honest, your house probably doesn’t usually look this good, right?!

Congrats!  You’re ready to party!

Here’s a handy dandy printable to help you remember all of the things you need to do leading up to your party. Putting these steps in place will definitely help you be ready for your party more quickly and be set to go before your guests arrive.  Just click the picture below to download a copy for yourself.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.

2

Celebrating everyday!