first day picture. too cute. photo shoot.

First days of school make me a little giddy. I love them. I can’t wait for them. Nothing is better than that first day of school picture.  And, my other half just smiles and goes along with it because in the end he knows that is what makes me smile too.

So, what would be better than your own little photo shoot background? Don’t look far… I found it! Not to mention, it is a simple download and a cheap way to ring in the new school year. May I introduce you to a little gem I found online called {caravan digital downloads}…


I am in love and think you will be too. This is your one stop shop for…

  • free printables
  • stationary
  • art prints & chalk prints
  • toys
  • holiday ideas

What had me at hello? Oh, just wait.  A {back to school poster pack}.

poster pack picture Adorable. You can find this specific template {here}. Good news? It’s cheap. For $12 you can download files from a generic 1st day of school background to pre-k and up to 8th grade. You might also find some other free printables along the way.

{the simple task}
step 1. visit the site and order the poster pack. maybe some other goodies too.

step 2. a link will be sent to you to download the file.

step 3. save the link to a thumb drive or send it directly to an office supply store to get it printed as a large {engineered print}. my choice? 36 x 48.  i used Staples and ordered it online. total cost? a whopping $7 with tax. hooray!

step 4. 
pin it to the wall. kids stand in front. smile. click. done.

Grayson smilegrayson goofy

Not only is this such a treat for your 1st day of school pictures. But, think of all the other ideas?  To name a few…

  • for teachers… work portfolio pictures? Or, a special backdrop for a notebook, class magnet, time capsule? You wouldn’t even need to blow the image up. Buy. Save. Print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  • for christmas card lovers… this could be the backdrop for each of your little kiddos’ pictures. An easy way to share their grade and maybe even write some other fun facts to the side of it with white pencil, pens or chalk.
  • for art  enthusiasts… cut it out and put it in a frame or two. You could have a whole playroom, bedroom or hallway with all the different grade levels.
  • for parents… this could be the beginning of the school year portfolio that holds all your kiddo’s artwork. Don’t have this? Don’t worry… it is on my list to tackle for my own family. More to come on this one.

1st Day Tags Blog

Don’t shy away from it just because the 1st day of school has passed. No one will even be the wiser. Just get those kiddies of yours dolled up and {pretend} it is the first day yet again.

Easy. Simple. A ridiculously adorable way to show off those little cuties of yours.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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diy notepads. so easy. teachers will smile.

Truth? I love notepads. I have them all over the house. I love to make checklists. I love to keep track of my day. I seriously just love notepads.

And, who doesn’t love a notepad more than a teacher? My thoughts exactly. So, I was on a mission to find an easy way to make  a notepad for the kiddos’ teachers as a {happy first day of school} package. So simple. So easy. So ridiculously cute. My other half thinks it’s brown-nosing, but I disagree.


{you will need}
notepad template
cardboard, chipboard
pad/book compound glue
{find the compound HERE}
small paint or foam brush

Notepad Materials

{your task}

step 1. print the template.
So many choices… Which one will you choose?

step 2. cut the template into four even sections. cut the cardboard to match… an old box worked perfectly for me.

Step 1 Paper

step 3. use your clamps to hold down the sides. apply the glue with your paintbrush.
apply at least two coats of glue for an even consistency.
place a clamp in the middle as well to keep from puckering in the middle
if you are wanting to make these right away… rumor has it that caulking from the hardware store will work too!

Step 2 Glue

step 4. dry. wrap. done.

What teacher wouldn’t be smitten with something as adorable as these? You can even find some matching pens or pencils to complete the {happy first day of school package}. I found mine at Target in the $1 bins. Wrap your new notepads up and add the attached tag for some a little something extra. {find Happy 1st Day Tags here}

Easy. Simple. An adorable way to share a note or two.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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hello world! hello cupcake!

This is the first of hopefully many posts to come! To celebrate this momentous occasion I thought it would be fitting to ‘ring in the big reveal’ with one of my favorite little treats… a light, tasty cupcake. To me, summer means going blueberry picking with the ‘ big’ and ‘little’ and then finding a million and one recipes to make with our overflowing buckets of blueberries. A favorite in this house has been none other than ‘Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes”.



  • 1.5 cups, plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons (1/2 cup, plus 2 tbl) sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup low fat
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries


  • 1/4 cup low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • fresh blueberries, to make it look pretty!
  • fresh mint leaves, more pretty! 



{cupcake + frosting = yum}

 Preheat oven to 350°. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin pan.


  •  Measure flour and level with knife. Sift together 1.5 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/4 salt and baking soda in large bowl.
  • Combine melted butter and egg in a separate large bowl. Stir with whisk. Add buttermilk, milk and grated lemon rind to butter mixture. Stir with whisk.
  • Add buttermilk mixture to flour, stir until just moist. 
  • Toss blueberries with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Fold into batter.
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan for 5 minutes on wire rack, remove from pan and let cool completely.


  • Add all ingredients in a bowl, with the exception of powdered sugar and lemon juice. Beat at medium speed until just  blended.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar being careful not to over-beat.
  • Stir in juice.
  • Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes and ‘pretty them’ up a little with mint and blueberries.
  • Store covered in refrigerator to keep their shape and yummy taste! 1-DSC_0558

 eat. enjoy. share.

Letter j 2

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