U for USA!!

U is for the USA

It turned out SO perfectly that U for USA fell on the Monday of 4th of July week. What a perfect week to review our states and symbols!

I printed out a pledge of allegiance sheet (http://homeschoolcreations.com/files/Pledge_of_Allegiance.pdf) just to be sure they all knew what the exact words were considering we were going to say it LOUD and PROUD today!

After that, we read the Scrambled States of America (Keller)- a rather cute book I highly recommend! I know the kids would too. I placed two other books on the carpet for down time: Celebrate the 50 States (Leedy) and The United States of America-A State by State Guide (Miller). Both of these are great resources as well.

U for USA books

We headed to the big table after for workbooks and there were quite a variety of worksheets in there today!

U for USA Lucas Work

U for USA work collage

U for USA worksheets 1

U for USA Worksheets 2

U for USA Worksheets 3

U for USA Worksheets 4

One by one as they were done, they headed to the carpet to flip through books celebrating our great nation. The two big kids pulled out our Scrambled States game and played it for a bit.


 When all were done with work sheets,it was time to begin our activity-USA Bingo! I was so thrilled to find this amazing set (http://deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com/2011/09/united-states-bingo-game.html) for FREE (seriously, how generous is that!).


I have to say, in all the months preparing the workbooks for school, I still can’t get over how many FREE resources are out there. I know, having created a few sheets myself, the time and effort it takes to make them so next time you come across one you love, please let them know-it goes a long way!

After BINGO, was snack time!! I created a fruit snack for the kiddos celebrating our most cherished symbol, the American flag! I would have made one more row so there were a true number of 50 blueberries but with the number of kiddos we had, I didn’t want anything to go to waste-lol! So 40 states it was 😉

U for USA fruit flag

We also enjoyed a yummy and educational snack that a friend of mine from the East Coast, the talented Mrs. Michelle Bushey (www.bouchedesign.com), found.  These amazing cookies (they also come in Presidents which would have been phenomenal for Letters G and P Governments and Presidents a few lessons back). They are nut free, wholesome and super yummy! The kiddos had fun trying to find New Mexico, but alas, there wasn’t one for our beloved home state.

U for USA snack crackers

States and Capitals by Dick and Jane (http://www.dickandjanebakingco.com/educational-snacks/smart-cookies-states-a-capitals).

Before we began our craft, we learned a bit about Uncle Sam from the “Oh Say Can You See” (Keenan) book.


Then the kiddos worked on various age appropriate Uncle Sam activity worksheets.


Then, it was on to the craft! For this craft, all you need is: a white paper plate, a piece of white cardstock, and blue and red sheets of construction paper. For the beard, I simply printed out this template.


U for USA Uncle Sam WorkThis one cracks me up every time!

U for USA Uncle Sam Poster ShotAnother craft we did (on the 4th of July) that would tie in beautifully with this theme, are these amazingly cute hand print flag tee’s! Simply grab a plain white tee and some red and blue craft paint. We used the full palm for the stars and thumbprints for he stripes. These were a hit on the 4th!

U for USA t shirt collage

There’s so many other great ideas out there for crafts AND snacks! What did you guys do for the 4th?



I Spy Ornament!

I SPY Ornament EY

I know, I know it’s been for-eva since I posted. I re-started my professional organizing business here in NM and became a Stella and Dot Stylist, so needless to say, my blogging fun died down a bi. BUT, I am becoming more balanced now! Phew.

Last year, we had a snow day here in Albuquerque. Say what? I know, right. Snow…Albuquerque? But, it does snow a bit here and when it snows a bunch, the whole city shuts down and everyone is in a panic. Case in point. We woke up here in the Tracy household on said “snow day” and were bundled up and ready to go at the bus stop. We, however, began to wonder why no one else was at the bus stop with us. Hmmmm…… Turns out school had been cancelled. Friends asked, “Why didn’t you check your email or the news??” Ummm, because we moved her only five months ago and in good ol’ Massachusetts this would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, qualify as a snow day so the thought of checking to see if wether or not we had school, NEVER crossed my mind.

Ok back to being home on said chilly snow day. Being that we were up and ready so early in the day, we invited our friends to an impromptu cookie and ornament making day at our house!

Ugh, so glad I changed out that rug.

The I Spy ornaments we created were, however, my favorite part of the day! I purchased empty clear balls from Michaels and had the kiddos pick out the items to add to them. Note: I didn’t think about it at the time of purchase but the opening of the large ornament is quite small so certain items we purchased, didn’t fit (for example, see snowman in pic).

I had thought to use a teeny-styrofoam-ball filling however, it clung to all the items we put in and you could never get a clear look at what you were spying for. So, we scratched that and used white rice. It works great and it is so much less messy than the styrofoam!

And of course we sipped on some of this 🙂

Mmmm….peppermint hot chocolate.

Have you tried this fun ornament?


Cant-o-lantern! Yup, you heard right!

I was pathetically excited when I received my Pre-K-ers snack schedule for October and we were snack for Halloween!! The baker in me let out a little squeal-no judging. The more I thought about it though, as a parent, I came to the more sane realization that they were already going to be bombarded by sugar that day so I should start thinking about something more healthy….boo. So after some googling and searching, I found a cute make-a-face-on-a-tangerine like a mini pumpkin idea. But then I immediately felt guilty thinking about the teachers peeling all of those. Next. I saw pumpkins being carved out of all sorts of squash so I thought a cantaloupe might work.  Next thing you know, I grabbed one from the grocer and ta-da! SOOOOO cute! He loves it and I can’t wait to bring it to class! I am also going to hunt down some Halloween pretzels to bring for extra.

Do you have any healthy Halloween snack ideas to share?

FREE Halloween Lunch Notes!

Whipped these Halloween lunch notes up for the kiddos and thought I would share them! If you like what you see, please leave a comment with your email and I will send you the excel file with all six of the notes sized for you! Please use for personal reasons only. Have a spook-tacular season!


Let me know if you like them or want them! Enjoy!

Spook-tacular Decorating!

Well, it’s almost October 1st so I decided to spruce up the house a bit and get in the Halloween spirit! I hope you enjoy!!

My boys 🙂

Now onto the dining room! There are cobwebs everywhere ($1 bag goes a LONG way!).

Found six of these cute little mice at Marshalls and I LOVE them!

I decided to jump on the placemat-into-a-pillow bandwagon and after seeing the House of Smiths post this project on facebook, I just had to give it a try! Take a $2.99 placemat, filler, and iron-on-fuse tape and voila, a pillow!! It took less than 10 minutes and it is SO cute!

I even Halloween-ed the boys bathroom! He He. Found this great 6ft banner at Marshalls too; what a deal!

Well, that’s most of it. Still need to post my front door and there are other touches here and there but this is the bulk of it. The holidays are SO fun!

Have you started decorating yet?

Today is National Watermelon Day!


Yup, that’s right-today is National Watermelon Day! It seems like there is a National Food day every day nowadays but hey, this one I am happy to jump on. There’s just something about watermelon, especially when it’s cold and fresh on a HOT summer day. In honor of today, I rounded up some traditional and non traditional images that will hopefully inspire you to make something special of the day!  Pretty much every image is via pinterest  and there is even more inspiration to be found there!

Watermelon Nachos

See My Footrprints

And of course, how timely- Olympic Rings!

Watermelon Olympic Rings

And if you are thirsty, another great idea!

Martha Stewart

Need to cool off? Try these cold watermelon treats!

Eat Yourself Skinny

Nourishing Meals

Perhaps you need to bring a more traditional baked dessert to a BBQ today or this weekend? Try these super cute watermelon-inspired desserts!

Watermelon Cake Pop

Watermelon Cake


Watermelon Jello Slices


Enjoy a watermelon today!! I know we will.

“STAY COOL THIS SUMMER” Easy Teacher Gift!

This was the teacher gift I did last year; they all seemed to really like it! The iced drink beverage cuff was a BIG hit (as it should be-nothing more annoying than a sweating drink)!

The gift is pretty self explanatory but here are some helpful links to get it done!

  • Colored bags from Target
  • Insulated iced drink tumblers-EVERYWHERE you shop pretty much these days!
  • STAY COOL printable tag (from here) but they were quite large (for freeze pop bags) so I adjusted it down when I inserted the file into excel.
  • Beverage cuff from Bouche Design. Michelle is awesome and there are so many fabrics to choose from! I LOVE mine 🙂

There you go! You could even attach a gift card to Starbucks or DD to the tag or drop it in in the cup!

 Have an excellent Wednesday!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

FREE Earth Day Cupcake Toppers!

Yup, that’s right another FREE printable. I know, I know, I spoil you but you guys are worth it!

I have seen these yummy goodies all over pinterest and intend on making them for my Kindergartners class this week in celebration of our fabulous Earth (Earth Day Sunday April 22).

However, I wanted to get across a message to these little kiddos as well on how to protect our Earth. So, I whipped up these toppers and am sharing them with you all. If you like them, please leave a comment and share them with those you love too! And as always, these are for personal use only.

So they are the right size for a 2″ circle, right click the image and save as.

I am linking this up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects


FREE Easter Art Round-up!

I love switching an 8 x 10 picture frame with a piece of printed holiday art such as subway art or a clean cut silhouette. It adds a little touch of holiday here and there around the house. The best part is that there are always tons of FREE options out in the totally talented blogosphere (of course FREE with the exception of your own card stock and ink 🙂 ). Here are a few of the many that I have found for you this week.


Eighteen25 Spring Subway Art

Eye Candy Event Spring Subway Art

My Paper Lily Easter Subway Art

Hopscotch Designs Easter Subway Art

Love from the Oven Easter Subway Sign

Today’s Fabulous Finds Subway Easter Art-Multiple Colors

Or there are also silhouettes out there to use as is, cut and trace onto scrapbook paper or create a transfer with!

The Graphic Fairy Bunny Silhouette

Double Easter Bunny Silhouette from Graphics Fairy

Easter Bunny Silhouettes from Art by Annel

This one is such a simple graphic and can be used for so many projects.

Girl Inspired Bunny Graphic

Using this same silhouette, you could create a great table scape like Uncommon Design!

Uncommon Designs Easter Table Runner

I’ve also attached some charming vintage images for making a banner with and perhaps some holiday cards!

Graphic Fairy Vintage Easter Images

Well that was the Easter and Spring Graphic Round-up. I hope you were inspired and are feeling creative.  Oh, and of course, please share!

Spring Mantel Reveal!

Welcome Spring!

Well it may be the beginning of Spring but here in ABQ, it’s only 50, brrrr. I couldn’t take it anymore; it was time to infuse some color and green into our mantel!

I found this amazing SPRING banner and striped picnic basket at Target and took the colors and texture from there.

The banner was a bit on the short side so I decided to cut it up and attach it to some burlap. LOVE it!

I finished off the top with two playful tall bunnies I’ve had for years, a sweet little nest with some blue robin’s eggs, and two charming burlap nests with colored eggs (the burlap were scraps from the banner project)!

The beautiful picnic basket literally jumped out at me at Target. I was immediately smitten. I had no idea at that moment what I would use it for, but I knew it was mine 🙂

The other corner of the fireplace is full of texture.

I saw this wreath and had to re-create it at once! I did adjust it by using scrapbook stickers for the flowers rather than fabric trim and added some colored eggs; I wanted the flowers to have a bit more substance. The wreath is soo soft and comfy!

A little green birdie sits in my rotating white lantern and I dressed up a white Target bunny with some burlap, a little sticker, and some of the grass yarn.

Well there you have it! A mantel full of texture, color and charm. It makes me smile whenever I walk by it and isn’t that what it is all about!

Let’s see your spring mantel!

I linked this up to

The Lettered Cottage