Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My 5 Favorite Fonts {for Teachers}

Below are the links to my 5 favorite fonts for teachers.

1. KG This Is Not Goodbye by Kimberly Geswein
This font comes as part of a package. Over 230 awesome fonts for free!!
2. KG Part of Me by Kimberly Geswein
This font is part of the package mentioned above. If you choose, this one is available individually for free download by clicking the link.  
3. Hello Millionaire by Jen Jones
This font, like the previous two, resemble handwriting. Really neat and clear handwriting. I love using these 3 for word walls, and notes home to parents. This font is part of a package. It is free to download!
4. Stanford Kinderprint Dashed by Jessica Stanford
This font comes as part of a collection. For $10 you get 37 different fonts including this one. I love to use this when making worksheet for my students or activities for the Smart board. The print is clear and the dashed line helps students to trace.  
5. Janda Manatee by Kimberly Geswein
This font is great for charts and for sight word worksheets where students color the word. It's also by KG fonts and free to download by clicking the link.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School: DIY Personalized Pencil Case

September is just around the corner and back to school sales have already started. This is a tutorial for a personalized pencil case. There's not much to this really. Once you have your supplies- you draw. That's it.
  • A plastic pencil case. This one was from Staples.
  • Elmer's Painters paint markers in assorted colors.
*Keep wet and dry paper towels close by. If you make a mistake with the paint marker, it will easily wipe off while it's still wet.
Step 1: Use your paint markers to draw a design. I chose a character from Frozen. I recommend googling simple pictures of your idea as a guide. Once you choose your image - keep it close by for reference. This part will take you the longest. As seen in the picture, paint your lightest colors first and let dry before layering other colors on top. It takes a few minutes to dry completely.
Step 2: Write the name. This was tricky for me. The middle part of this pencil case had a glossy finish and some of my paint markers did not hold very well. I wiped them off, and tried another, eventually going with white.
Step 3: Decorate the rest of the box. I used super simple snowflakes. (intersecting lines)
Finished Product



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Zoya : A Safe Manicure for Expecting Moms

Over the years I have perfected the at home diy manicure. I have all the tools and about 200 nail polishes from Essie, Loreal, and OPI. I almost never step foot in a salon. However, once I became pregnant I was very cautious about using my industrial stength nail polish remover and regular nail polish.
I even went my entire first trimester with bare nails which I have not done since middle school. Some sources say that pregnant moms should go for a manicure and it is "probably fine" for the growing baby. (Not very convincing)  Other sources say that the polish is okay, but to WEAR A MASK to avoid breathing in the fumes, (Yikes) and finally, some sources discourage any use of it. 
An old friend ( and new mom) turned me on to ZOYA. They offer products that are 5-free, meaning no Dibutyl Phytalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor.  Their polishes will run you about $9. If you follow on Facebook, they offer great promotions so you end up spending much less. During their 4th of July sale, I placed an order on their website using promo code THREEDOM. This meant 3 nail polishes- of any color- were free! You just had to pay $12 shipping. ZOYA is also available in beauty supply stores and some salons making it easier to find. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Favorite New Product: The Camera Wrap

I love my DSLR camera! When I first bought it, I saw a difference instantly in the quality of my photos- even in auto. Then my pictures really improved when I upgraded from the kit lens to a 35mm 1.8 prime lens and 50mm 1.4. I was finally able to master the blurry background that I loved. Finally, the pictures improved even more when I learned to shoot in manual mode.
However, even after spending all that time to learn, and the money on the equipment, I barely used the camera! A major reason for that was I HATED carrying it around. I would have to bring a big bag, that fit my huge padded camera case to make sure I didn't scratch the display with my keys or anything else in the bag. The bulky case also had a clip and zipper closure which made it a mission to take it out and put it away between snapping pictures.
Then, I bought this...

This is the Camera Wrap from kmdesigns09. It is a small camera case/camera insert made to fit in any bag! It's protective and practical and comes in 4 colors - red, hot pink, turquoise, and black(shown). You give them the dimensions of your camera and they make you a padded wrap that secures with Velcro. I was able to order the standard size for my camera (5"x4"x6") but there is no extra charge for the custom sizing. It holds the camera snug to keep it in place and takes up WAY less space in my bag. I was also going to purchase another wrap a tiny bit larger to fit my camera when it's attached to my tripod clip, but because the whole wrap secures with Velcro, I was able to adjust it to fit both with and without the clip.
I debated between the camera wrap and camera cube for a while. I figured the cube would be easier to quickly reach for and get great action shots of Baby M, but the wrap with the added closure on top made me feel safer when stuffing it into my diaper bag just incase something spilled or fell on top of it. Plus the Velcro would make it easier to access even with the top.
The best part about this was the price. The Camera Wrap was only $25 and the Camera Cube was only $20! Now I actually bring my DSLR camera out of the house resulting in much better photos.

Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Cupcake Toppers: Part 2: Assembly

Hello! This is part two of the cupcake topper tutorial. Here I will show you how to assemble the toppers you created in Part 1.

  • Your printed designs from Part 1
  • Circle paper punch 1 3/8"
  • Scallop paper punch 2"
  • Glue
  • Scissor
  • Toothpicks
  • Construction paper or scrapbooking paper.

Step 1: Cut out everything. Using the circle paper punch, punch out your designs upside down. This provides more control when centering. Then punch out the scalloped circles. You will need 2 of these for each topper, and punch out any decorations you might use. Here I used Martha Stewart's ribbon bow punch.

Step 2: Glue your design onto the scalloped circle.
Step 3: Add glue and glue on your toothpick. Then use another scalloped circle to seal it making sure the two scalloped punches line up exactly. This will seal in/hide the toothpick and make your cupcake topper look pretty from any point of view.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Cupcake Toppers: Part 1

This is a tutorial for how-to create cupcake toppers for a celebration. You will learn how to use your computer to create the correct size and shaped text to be used to tailor make cupcake toppers for any occasion. These can be used for any holiday or celebration because you create the text or images you want. 

Part 1:
  • Your computer & printer
  • Microsoft Word
  • White paper or cardstock.
Part 2 ( Coming Soon)
  • Circle paper punch 1 3/8'
  • Scallop paper punch 2'
  • Glue
  • Scissor
  • Toothpicks
  • Construction paper or scrapbooking paper.

 Step 1: Open Up a Microsoft Word Document. Click on Insert> Shape> and click on the oval shape. Then move to your screen and click and draw your shape. 

Step 2: Adjust the size to fit your paper punch. My circle punch was 1 3/8 so I changed the diameter of the circle to be 1.45. This way, I can guarentee that I won't see the outline, but the text will be visible after it is cut out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Wedding Favors: Personalized Hot Cocoa & Mugs

(Photo by Adeline Ramos for George Street Photo)

 We ordered these for our guests. They come packaged as blank white packages with sheets of personalized label stickers. I did not know this when I ordered them, but it really didn't take much time to do. The stickers were also thick enough that if I made a mistake and put the label on in the wrong spot, I could peel it off and try again without ripping it. We ordered the whisks on the side and planned on giving out those two as favors.

That was until my mom came across the personalized mugs.

We ordered our mugs from this website. It was the only option I found that was affordable and I spent hours looking. When you place your order, they warn you that some may break during shipping. We ordered extra to be on the safe side, but every single mug arrived safe and sound.

I picked up some plastic gift bags and rolls of purple ribbon at the Dollar Tree and recruited help. We spent about 2 hours adding the stickers to the cocoa packets, filling each mug with the cocoa and whisk, and tying bows to each favor.

Questions? Comment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Wedding Day Details

Our wedding day was the funnest day ever! It was so fun to have everyone we love from all the dimensions of our life, together in one space to share our joy. We got married in February and a snow storm had just passed in New York. There was snow on the ground and the threat of rain, but it all held out for our special day. 
The Ceremony

Our First Dance
Us having fun/Cake Cutting

My suave husband

Getting Ready

Our family & bridal party on the limo bus ( That broke down twice!) 

Our Centerpieces
Our Favors

Our Cake

 Bride & Groom chair signs using the Carolyna Pro Black font seen here:
 My 5 Favorite Fonts & Where to Find Them.

The Dress & Monogrammed hanger

My bouquet
I loved the charms that I made to include loved ones that had passed on. I purchased them from Perfect Pendants on Etsy and followed their simple directions. Everything was included except the photos and they only took about 5 minutes to make. I then dropped them off at the florist and they attached them for free. 

* All photos were taken by the super talented Adeline Ramos for George Street Photo* 

DIY Wedding Date Banner & Our Engagement Shoot

We had a long engagement. We were saving and we were planning. During that time I somehow convinced my husband to take professional engagement pictures as part of my birthday present. Of course that meant figuring out what to wear, how to do my makeup and hair, and what props to bring. One idea I came across was a wedding date banner. These are usually used for Save the Date annoucements. They seemed simple enough and here is how I made the one seen in our picture above. 

  • White cardstock or coverstock. (Regular printer paper will not do, the numbers will flip over with the slightest wind.)
  • Your computer & printer
  • Optional- Heart paper punch ( I used one by Mary Uchida for the one above, and cut it out by hand in the pictures seen below.)
  • Red construction paper
  • Ribbon
  • Hole puncher. The one I used creates slits instead of circles and is by Fishkars
  • Tape
  • Glue
Part 1: Computer Time

Step 1: Open up a powerpoint document. Microsoft Word or any word processor will also work. I find it easier to move around text inside powerpoint. Click Insert>Text Box and choose the rectangle shape.

Step 2:Then click on your workshape and hold down the mouse to create a shape. Next adjust the size on the top right. You can make this any size you want. Here I did 4x4. 

Step 3: Unless you want a blue banner, change the color. Click on shape fill and adjust. Then shape outline and adjust. I like to make the shape outline a light/medium gray. This ensures that it is dark enough to see when I have to cut it out, but light enough that if I make a mistake or a little bit of the trim shows, it won't show up in photos. 

Step 4: Add your numbers. Click Insert>Text Box. Then click inside your square. Type in one number from your date. Adjust your font, color, and size. Here I used Imprint MT Shadow which came standard on the computer in size 250. 
Step 5: Use your mouse to click outside of your text and shape and draw it over all of your work. Hold onto the mouse button the whole time. When you're finished the shape will be hilighted. Now you're going to click copy, or Ctrl-C. Then click paste or Ctrl-P and move your duplicated work to a spot close by but not covering your work. I like to line up the shapes exactly. This makes cutting them out quicker. Repeat this step until you have enough squares for your entire date and the hearts. I needed 12. This required 3 additional pages (slides), as I only fit 3 on a page.

Step 6: Click in each box, erase the number, and write in the numbers you need. I leave 2 blank for the hearts. When I first tried to print the heart picture, the color of my printer just wasn't bright enough. You could paste a picture of a heart from the internet or use the shape tool you used the create the square to make the heart if you choose. 

Step 7: Print it out ON CARDSTOCK.

Part 2: Assembly

Step 1: Cut out all your numbers using the squares as your guide. 

Step 2: Using your hole puncher, punch 2 holes along the top of each number.

Step 3: Cut out and glue your hearts onto the paper or draw them. 

 Step 4: Thread your ribbon through the holes of each square. Make sure they are in the correct order!

Step 5: Center your numbers on the ribbon making sure there is enough extra on both ends for you to hold or suspend. Once everything is correctly positioned, use tape to hold down the ribbon on the back side of each square. This will help the numbers from sliding behind each other. 


Other pictures from our shoot. 

It started raining.

* The photos from our shoot were captured by the talented Adeline Ramos for George Street Photo*