The easiest way to make labels (really)

Yesterday I posted about the teacher appreciation gifts I made/put together for A’s daycare. All of my effort (and it was minimum) was put into making the labels. But personalized labels do put a nice touch to things. And knowing how to make them quickly, easily and cheaply is an awesome skill to have in your back pocket.

First things first, I am not a super duper creative or artsy person. Really, you can ask anyone. I don’t really have an eye for design. Even with these shortcomings, I’ve found I can still make pretty cute labels, which means you can too. And all you really need is Microsoft Word.

If I can do it, you can do it!

If I can do it, you can do it!

Sure, there are better graphics programs out there, but better = more expensive. And Word is probably already on your computer, making it cheap and accessible. Plus, it’s pretty user friendly, and since you’ve probably been using it forever, there’s no learning new software. Ding ding, we have a winner!

I originally wanted to type out a tutorial, but it got too long and too confusing. Instead I will refer you to someone who already did so, and much better than I could. Just a Girl and Her Blog has an awesome guideline for it. Go there. Learn.

I have a folder of saved images I use specifically for these kind of projects. If you Google image search “chevron”, “stripes”, “polka dots”, “plaid”, etc, you have an endless supply of fills. Saving them gives you a plethora of options in one place. I mentioned yesterday that is my favorite resource for fonts, and I wasn’t lying. Most fonts are free for personal use, and there is literally a font for anything you could ever need.

Of course, these resources can do a lot more than make labels. Anything you could possibly want to print and make pretty you can make: Stationary, gift tags, invitations, stickers, etc. I’ve already started designing A’s birthday invitations using them. And once you realize how much fun it is, you’ll want to make a label for everything.

Even babies appreciate teachers

This week is “Teacher Appreciation Week” at daycare. I didn’t even know daycares had teacher appreciation weeks? It makes sense, lord knows they do work their butts off. I don’t think I could be in a room with five crying infants, or 10 curious three year olds, for that matter. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, as all the teachers at A’s daycares are amazing and definitely deserve more than a week’s worth of appreciation.

But, if I’m being entirely honest, I kind of inwardly groaned with the handout was sent home last week. I think I said something similar to, “Great, as if I needed one more thing to do,” later that evening. Luckily, daycare made it easy and practically laid out what to bring each day. Monday was breakfast foods day, Tuesday was candy/sweet treats day, today was “take and go snacks” day, and tomorrow they’re having a luncheon for all the staff.

With John leaving, I needed this week to be as easy and painless as possible. I also needed it to be as cheap as possible. I still wanted to have a little fun with these gifts. I settled for store bought/packaged snacks and personalized labels. On Monday, I got mini donuts, and I put this label on the top:

Picture 5I found adorable orange and white polka dot ziplock baggies in the dollar section at Target, so on Tuesday I filled them with M&Ms and Hershey Kisses. I slapped this label on a bag for each teacher in A’s room:

Picture 2For my “take and go snack” I got Teddy Grahams in those little lunch box bags. I put two in each baggie, and taped this label to the front for each teach:

Picture 1Those labels weren’t my best work, but I only had about five minutes total to get them done. I love for things like this. I was able to get really cute symbol fonts of food and teddy bears.

Tomorrow is the teacher’s luncheon. The first day they had sign up sheets I quickly signed up to bring brownies. I didn’t want to be the sucker stuck bringing a casserole or meat dish. I went super duper easy and just got a mix, which kind of breaks my heart, but I don’t have the energy to bake from scratch tonight. They are currently baking and making my house smell amazing. When we’re ready to go tomorrow I’m just going to pop this label on them:

Picture 4All in all, this week was easier than I anticipated it. I enjoyed having an excuse to get a little creative and DIY something, even if it as simple as a printable label. And I spent less than $10, which makes it an all around win.

Weekend recap

You know, for needing a break so badly, we definitely had a productive weekend. Yesterday, John and I ran errands. I am on a mission to find a bigger basket for Amelia’s room to house her ever growing collection of toys. I was unsuccessful, but we did get some much needed tools for organizing the closet. We visited some family members and capped off the night with a nice dinner together. Even though we didn’t do anything special, I really appreciated being able to spend the whole day with John. Because of our schedules it doesn’t happen often, so it was nice just to have alone time with my husband. Especially since pretty soon that’s going to be SEVERELY limited, I’m trying to make the most of it now.

John had a flight today, so I tried to accomplish some more necessary errands he can’t stand. Like grocery shopping, something I haven’t done in over two weeks (our cabinets and fridge were pretty barren). I cleaned the house in preparation for a couple special visitors and returned some duplicate gifts I’ve received and purchased two necessary baby items: A diaper bag and a crib mattress. My mom and dad came to see our place and the nursery and took me to lunch (I don’t care how old you are, you can always appreciate a free lunch, and the older I get the more I appreciate the time spent with my parents).

I’ve spent the rest of the day just laying around, watching So You Think You Can Dance on Hulu and reading. Overall, it’s been one of the nicest weekends I’ve had in a while. Even though it was productive it was still relaxing, and dare I say it, even fun. Plus, the nursery is almost done!

(I promise all of those things will be out of the crib when she’s actually using it).

All it really needs is a few finishing touches. My mom ordered a beautiful pad for the rocking chair that I can’t wait to get in there, I want to get some small storage baskets for the first couple shelves of the bookcase, we have some staggered shelves to hang on the other side of the window, and it still needs a dresser. But, it’s almost there! And in only 6.5 more weeks I get to rock my sweet baby girl in it. Cannot wait :).

Nursery, round whatever

The nursery is almost done! This is what it looks like now:

(If you need comparison, this is what it looked like a few weeks ago.)

What a difference, huh? We got the rug from Target (God, I love that store). It’s soft and plush and the perfect size for putting a blanket down for tummy time.

All that’s really left is getting the dresser. And let me tell you, finding a dresser that works in the space was a huge pain in the ass. It’s not a very big room, which is fine, I mean, it’s a nursery. She won’t even be in it for a couple months. After some intense measuring, I figured any dresser we got would have to be less than 50 inches in length. Well. I don’t know if you’ve looked for dressers recently, but most are MUCH BIGGER than 50 inches.

Frustrated, I started looking into changing table/dresser combos and hated all of them. Then, I was introduced to, which contrary to the name has a lot more than diapers. And friends, it was there I found a slew of dressers in my size range. I’ve decided to go with this one. It’s a good size, simple, and I think the color will go well with the other furniture in the room. And also? Free shipping over $49. Holla!

Other than that, the only other big projects left are organizing the closet (finally have a plan for that, I cleaned out most of it yesterday) and decorating: Hanging the pictures I made and other random things. John really wants to build a model airplane for her and hang it from a hook in the ceiling, an idea I adore. I’d also like to get a storage ottoman to a) put things in and b) prop my feet on while I rock her, as well as a much bigger basket for toys and things.

I’m beyond ready to be done with this project. The smallest bit of exertion just takes everything out of me, and moving around really kills my back and hips. Also, some not so nice pregnancy enemies have returned, namely nausea and awful heartburn. This is of course thanks to her pushing up against my stomach pretty much all day. She’s really fond of kicking it quite hard. So, basically, the sooner this gets done, the better, because Mama is TIRED.


30 week update/The most productive week EVER

So. We are 30 weeks pregnant.

Which looks like this.

This may have been the most productive week of my pregnancy. Allow me to recap:

On Monday, John and I finally sat down and decided on a crib. We ordered it that evening and YAY it arrived yesterday. It is now assembled and in Baby A’s room, where it looks beautiful.

It’s the Graco Classic Shelby crib from Target, if you’re curious

On Wednesday, I went and looked at a daycare option. This was kind of hard for me (I’ve discussed my personal reservations with enrolling her in a daycare here before). This daycare was highly recommended to me by a couple parents. It at was clean, organized, and the staff were very friendly; the babies in the infant room were happy, engaged, and well attended to. More importantly, they were excited to be with their caregivers, and it was clear the staff adored the kids they cared for in all age groups. Overall it was a very positive experience and reassured me my baby will be well taken care of and loved when it’s time for her to go to daycare. We’re on a waiting list for this location, but I’ll probably go look at a couple other options in the next few weeks.

On Thursday, I met with the pediatrician. I chose the practice on a recommendation, and because it takes our insurance, has privileges at our delivery hospital, and has weekend hours. But I chose the doctor kind of by throwing a dart. She’s currently accepting new patients, and to be honest, she’s a she. I have a very high preference for female doctors, and this case is no different. She’s extremely laid back and casual, which I think will be great as Amelia gets older.

I also had my bi-weekly check-up on Thursday. My blood pressure is still normal, and everything looks great. I had been having some worries about her movements earlier this week. She usually moves with a lot of intensity, and for a few days she wasn’t necessarily moving less, just much more subtly. The good doctor reassured me this is normal, and she is probably just in a different position which can prompt a change in movements. Also, she’s running out of room in there which will also change the way I feel her. And when she listened for the heart beat on the doppler, we heard her jump around a few times. Everything is A OK in there.

Today, John and I went to a childbirth class at the hospital. Although it was long (four freaking hours), we both found it very informative. I knew pretty early in this pregnancy my ultimate goal is a natural labor and delivery, so this class was mostly for logistics: When do I go to hospital, what should I be looking for, what are my options, etc. We’ll be taking another, more detailed natural childbirth class in a few weeks.

Like I said, productive. As a pat on the back, we’re going to a local fancy eating place for a much needed date night. (and finally using a Christmas present from last year, so it’s a free date, which is even better). And tomorrow, I plan on sleeping because this burst of productivity has left me zapped of energy. I may even fall asleep at table tonight.

Another project in the books

Last night I got a wave of energy and was motivated to finish a project for the nursery I started ages ago.

I pinned this awhile ago on Pinterest (seriously, what would we do without Pinterest?):

Basically it’s a map modge podged onto a canvas, then you apply sticker letters, then paint over them. I loved the quote, and I thought something similar would look good over the dresser in her room.

So, this is what I ended up coming up with:




I had the frames left over from some art work we used to have hanging over our TV, so in the interest of reusing, I repurposed them for this project.

Before we knew Baby A was a girl, we were pretty much sold on an airplane room for a little boy. I was pretty stoked after I saw the pin, because I knew a way I could bring a little aviation into our little girl’s room. Instead of using a regular street map, I used sectional charts (VFR and IFR, if you are interested), which are basically aeronautical maps.

It’s a pretty straightforward project: I cut the sectionals to size for the frames, then printed the quotes onto transparent card stock. I secured the card stock to the sectional and the sectional to the frame with just a little bit of tape in the corners. I dug through my random assortment of scrap-booking stuff for the adornments.

If I were doing this again for another room, I’d probably just buy 8x10s though. These frames are a really strange size, so I ended up having to cut strips of card stock and piece them all together so it was uniform. It was a pain.

Overall, I’m really happy with this little project. I love, love, love the quotes. And I think it’s really special how a little bit of her Daddy’s world has found a home in her very sweet nursery.

Feathering the nest

Is 28 and a half weeks too early for the nesting phenomenon to take place? Because the past few days I have been hard core into making our living space as perfect as possible. I’ve been obsessing over the completing the nursery (which is beginning to feel like a never-ending project and migraine inducer), as well as ORGANIZING THE MESS WE LIVE IN. Especially Amelia’s closet, which not only serves as a place to store her stuff but where we have been putting everything that doesn’t have a home since we moved.

(For the record, it’s not messy, dirty mess as much as “how on earth did two people in their twenties accumulate so much crap?” mess.)

Today I washed the small mountain of laundry we had accumulated and cleaned the condo. And by cleaned I mean whined for John to clean the litter box and the cats’ bathroom (the spare bathroom is where the litter box is, and they are the only ones who really use that room so now it’s their bathroom; such spoiled animals) while I swept, Swiffered and mopped the floors. Of all the things in this world that drive me crazy, especially now, the tile floors in this condo take the top spot. I was definitely wrong in thinking ceramic tile would be easy to keep clean. It’s impossible to keep even moderately clean. I’d have to do the same Swiffer+sweep+mop combo every day if I wanted to not feel like I have to brush my feet off every time I sit down.

The problem is it really hurts my back and knees to do these things, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to hire someone in the weeks before Amelia arrives to really scrub the place down. I’m definitely not asking for a permanent housekeeper (I wish we had that kind of money), but someone who can make and keep it baby clean in the weeks before and after she gets here will super helpful.

If anyone out there has some advice for de-cluttering, something I seem to be terrible with, and easy organization tips, this pregnant girl is all ears!