back to school fun finds

One of my boys started school this week and one starts school Tuesday, so back to school has been on the brain for weeks now! And today I thought I would share some of my favorite finds.

From backpacks to lunch boxes to pencil bags, there are some really adorable bags for young kiddos to take to school this year.  Neither of my boys hesitate at the door anymore, actually my youngest never did, but for littles that are a bit timid to leave mom, these bags are almost like stuffed animals to keep them company! And these were some of my favorites:

In my book, big occasions always call for sweet rewards, like these awesome back to school cookie ideas from some very talented bakers:

  • Lunch Box Note Cookies with Lizy B Bakes ~ love these! And as she states in her post, if your kiddos are embarrassed by the love notes, they can always eat the evidence. {grin}
  • Nerdy Bookworm Cookies from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle ~ Callye always amazes me, but I think these might just be my new favorites!
  • Homework Done? You get a Gold Star Cookie! from The Decorated Cookie ~ Meaghan always comes up with easy and fabulous ideas, but this is just genius!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate! Happy weekend everyone! 

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back to school photography ideas


Every year, until this year, I scrambled around the first morning of school trying to capture a few quick pictures before rushing the kids into the car and making it to school on time. Not this year! This year, we had a mini photo shoot the day before. Much less stress, the kids’ eyes weren’t puffy from just waking up, they didn’t mind holding my props {grin}… it was wonderful. Plus, since my oldest has to wear a uniform to school, this gave him an opportunity to show his own style a bit.

We started with chalk and the driveway. I saw an idea on Pinterest, but the child was laying down and I didn’t really want them on the ground. Instead I wrote the word on the drive (ours is a bit slanted), grabbed my hubby’s eight ft. ladder, positioned myself downhill and above the boys. I really loved how they turned out!

My oldest wanted to stop and draw for a while, so I got a shot of that too. Another reason to do this the day before!

Next we moved on to chalk and slate. My neighbor got these from an old school house roof and they worked perfectly for one of my favorites, asking them what they want to be when they grow up. This year my Kindergartner chose a classic little boy answer, Fireman. As for my oldest, the answer has been scientist for two years and this year he’s honed his passion from science in general to science and math for engineering. I wonder what other loves they’ll discover this year that will mold their dreams…

They also had their own ideas of course. They wanted to walk the drive and then race on scooters. It was actually a fun little shoot. No tears, no time constraints, just fun.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and in this case, celebrate back to school!

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Linking to  The Educators’ Spin On It 

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back to school teacher gift + printable


Hello there! I’m Deanna, event designer and editor of Mirabelle Creations. I’m so happy to be here at The Celebration Shoppe, sharing a super simple back to school teacher appreciation craft that you can do with your kiddos!

All teachers love a little something at the beginning of the school year and these Edible School “Glue” Sticks, inspired by the traditional Elmer’s Washable Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, and fun “So happy to be stuck with you this year!” free printables are a great way to show your appreciation. Plus, they are easy for little hands because they’re simply filled with York Peppermint Pieces candies! But a warning, make sure you have extras because while making these as many candies went into my helpers’ mouths as did into the containers!

The idea for these Edible School “Glue” Sticks came to me last week while shopping for school supplies with my kids and a school supplies themed craft for the teachers seemed like a great way to start off the school-year.

What you’ll need:

And here are the simple steps:

  1. Fill the bottom of the push-up-pops container with a layer of blue candies, about ½ inch thick. Fill the remainder of the push-up-pops container with white candies.
  2. Tape the top of the push-up-pops container closed.
  3. Cut two pieces of orange ribbon, the length of the circumference of the container.
  4. Fold one piece of ribbon in half, lengthwise, securing it with glue dots. Attach it around the bottom edge of the push-up-pops container using the glue dots.
  5. Wrap the other piece of ribbon around the top of the push-up-pops, securing to the bottom edge of the container lid. The taller ribbon at the top will mimic the cap of the glue stick.
  6. Print the Edible School “Glue” Stick label on a full sheet of white sticker paper or regular paper and attach with tape.
  7. Print the I’m so happy to be “stuck” with you tag on cardstock. Punch out the tag and attach with string or ribbon.

Now you’re all set to show your teachers how excited you are about this new school year! Enjoy!

And as always, we hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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free back to school owl lunch box notes


Here in Ohio we’re only a week away from heading back to school. The kids are getting excited and I’m getting anxious about adhering to a strict schedule again… {smirk}. I’m also gearing up by organizing the house, setting up new ways to monitor homework and papers coming home (there is so much!).

AND, I’m thinking of fun ways to remind them how much I love them throughout the day.

Hop over to my facebook page and

DOWNLOAD your FREE printable OWL LUNCH BOX NOTES NOW

they come bundled with my FREE “MINT TO BE” back to school teacher gift printables.

And make sure you stop back in because I have a few fun things lined up to share with you this week! And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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shopping back to school style

I’m still a bit in denial. This summer has gone by so quickly and although we’ve had so much fun, my boys are amazingly ready to get back to school. They may change their minds in a week or so, but for now, they’re ready! And let’s face it, getting new clothes, new school supplies, new backpacks, etc…. etc…. etc… {hear the money leaving your bank account}, is exciting! 

And each year, to make sure I’m getting the best deals and to keep my boys from having a melt-down because we’re in the store too too long, we tend to shop online before we hit the stores. I also keep tabs on our favorite stores by signing up for their e-mail lists/coupons. 

My oldest son is in love with green… green everything {I hope this subsides soon} so he chose a green polo, jeans and skull shoe combo from Old Navy as one of his first picks. For the shoes,  he liked the design and I love that they’ll go with almost everything!  Plus, through August 15 — my boys sizes in jeans are half price, just $10 a pair!

And he really wants a watch, like this Flex 4D gray watch, this year. I debated because I don’t want him counting the minutes til school is out, but he is 7 3/4… almost a grown man… so I guess it’s time. {grin}

My youngest son loves blue… his big brother chose it for him {smirk} when he was a toddler and it stuck! So he’s loving these DC Mariner Blue Stripe Shirt and DC Navy Chino Shorts with Shark Vans and a “mini” Flex (just a skinnier version of his brother’s pick). And for those brisk days, this Patagonia jacket.

And who said moms didn’t also get a little back to school wear! I’ve been collecting a few things on my Pinterest board, Clothing. You should have a peek… and I should think of a cleverer name for my board!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and in this case, SHOP! Happy Friday everyone!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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FREE back to school printables



I love greeting our teachers each year with a little teacher appreciation gift from the kids. This year I made “Mint To Be” candy wrappers and wrapped them around boxes of Junior Mints! It will make them smile and breaks the ice for what will hopefully be a wonderful year of learning!

And of course I’m giving them to all of you, because I appreciate each and every one of you way more than I can ever express!

There are two versions of the candy wrappers and both can be personalized with your new teacher’s name right inside the file before printing. No special applications needed, just Adobe Reader.

The two candy wrappers say:

  • You were “mint to be” my teacher!
  • I was “mint to be” in your class!

DOWNLOAD these fun FREE back to school PRINTABLES NOW!

Oh, and I’ve included last year’s free owl lunch box notes too! {grin}

Happy Monday everyone and happy back to school planning! {3 more weeks for us… let the countdown begin!}

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back to school pb&j cookies

I ran across these Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich cookies from Julia Usher’s Noshes and Notions blog. The cookies look so yummy and the styling for a back to school party is just adorable! It makes me want to throw one for the boys! Hmmm… {wink}

You can find Julia’s pb&j sandwich cookie recipe on her blog and all of her goodies in her fabulous book Cookie Swap on Amazon.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!  

Photography by Steve Adams.

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back to school t-shirts


I know… back to school already?! We’re on day 53 of our summer vacation… yes… I’m keeping count! And with only 28 days left {whimper} I’m starting to gear up with these fun back to school t-shirts from Sew Jewell on Etsy!  

This one, 2nd Grade ROCKS!, is available in any grade and any color you want, hot pink and purple for your little girl or muted camo colors like my guy chose. And Sew Jewell will even monogram the sleeve with your kiddos name! LOVE it!

And how adorable is this “Smart Cookie” t-shirt?! I want one of these for me! 

Shop Sew Jewell for “School Grade Rocks!” and “Smart Cookie” t-shirts or to have her create something unique for you! She’s amazing, trust me… she’s my mom! {huge smile} Oh, and he LOVED the shirt… the sun was in his eyes a bit!

Happy Monday everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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back to school calendars

The other thing I’ve been obsessing about (other than the lunch box) is the calendar! There is so much to keep track of when the little people go back to school.

For us, my boys are at two separate schools (with dropoff/pickup at different times) on different days, plus sports, plus homework reminders, plus special projects due, plus snack day… and on and on. And if you have small kids, you know that all school reminders, like XYZ project due date, are as much your responsibility as it is theirs! What happens if you don’t remind them to get it done?! Yep… it’s your fault.

So these are a few freebies that I found around the web:

  • Week-At-A-Glance from MommyTracked – I love that I can put the whole family on it
  • Goal Making 101 from Jana Laurene – not by person, but pretty and will keep us organized… if I can only get everyone to write smaller. {wink}

And then there are the DIY kind, which might work best for us because then I can make it how I want. Chalkboard is fun! But where would I put it? And would someone accidentally erase something important to draw a picture of their favorite toy? Hmmm…

 I want pretty and functional. Is that too much to ask?

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lunch boxes with promise

As I mentioned on Monday (when I posted our FREE lunch box notes!), I’ve been obsessing a bit about my oldest heading off to first grade (and away from me for the entire day… for the first time since I left my corporate life). Lunch is a big part of that stress. He’s such a picky eater and I don’t want to fill his lunch box with cookies… I may have to, but I’m going on record that I don’t want to.

So, while I’ve been stressing and scouring the net for food ideas, I’ve come across some pretty cool lunch box ideas.

  1. He hates for his food to touch so this divider lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids would be a great option.
  2. He would love to doodle and draw on these frame napkins from Perpetual Kid, and it gives him something to do if lunch time gets boring… or more likely… he doesn’t want to eat what I pack him {stressed again}.
  3. He loves planes and I love the retro, so this linen box from The Land of Nod has promise. (It also comes in a green space rocket and other choices for girls!)
  4. He really loves camoflage right now and I love the monogram and the sturdy sides since he has to put his lunch in a huge bin with all the other kid lunches. So this bag from Pottery Barn Kids is a strong contender. Can you imagine the kid who brings his in a paper bag like I did?! It will be flat! 

More to come on food ideas as school gets closer. Happy Tuesday everyone!

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