I don't know about you, but I really love how I feel when I get a thank you note from someone. It's just the best. I also know that while I have really good intentions, sometimes I just drop the ball and don't send as many as I should, when I should. I can also be good at writing them and forgetting to get them in the mail because I was out of stamps or something silly like that.
So who made the rules up about when you have to send thank you notes, anyway? I'd been thinking a lot about how many things my parents and in-laws had done for us over the past year. Coming into town to help with the kids so that I could attend a class, picking up something for us from the store, taking us to dinner, sending the kids little things in the mail, keeping our dog while we went on vacation. All these things I appreciate immensely, but never put a thank you into writing. And so, I made a list, and over the course of a few nights, we wrote thank you notes.
For lack of better timing, I was actually at my parents house when they received their package. My mom sat down to open it with me right there and I almost wanted her to wait, but I am so glad I didn't. Watching her laugh and read each note, sharing them with my dad was one of the best things. I got to see, first hand, how happy this made them, and it was amazing. She teased me for feeling like I needed to thank them for nearly every. little. thing. And laughing about notes for gifts that had been given nearly an entire year ago and for keeping the dog at the beginning of the summer!!
I think sometimes we just need to make up new rules when we see a need. I may have missed the ideal 3-day window, but this impact was so much more. I'll still try better this year to send my thank you notes in a reasonable amount of time, but I like knowing that there's more than one good way to do something great and many ways to have an attitude of gratitude.
Ahh, summer! A time for rest, relaxation, a break from the norm, fun in the sun... and reading!
Reading is that one "school" activity you should encourage your children to do over the summer. As the mother of a dyslexic child (and an academic language therapist), I know how hard they work to gain those skills all school year, and three months without practicing those skills can have some major implications. Summer slide is a real thing, and you want to keep them at the top of their reading game!
To help you get excited about reading, I've created a really fun color-in reading log that you can download and print for free to keep track of all that summer reading! Illustrate the book spines with snippets from the books you read, add the titles and/or authors to keep track and make a library of books you read!
Do you need inspiration to find some really great books? Many of our favorite books come from the Texas Library Association's Bluebonnet Award Book List and the Texas 2x2 Book list for kids 2-2nd grade. You can also check out Brightly for all kinds of book recommendations and reading resources. Summer reading doesn't have to always be about educational content, it can just be fun. Let your kids choose books they like and run wild with it!
Check your local book stores and public libraries for summer reading programs as well. Kids can earn gift certificates, t-shirts, free books and more just for reading over the summer! We visit our local public library every couple of weeks during the summer. It's a great reprieve from the heat, and it's nice to get a fresh stack of stories to read.
I can think of so many great ways to use these cute little books, and I'd love to see your colored in reading lists! Tag @polkadotpapercompany on Instagram or share it with us on Facebook. Happy reading!
Please remember, this reading log is free for personal use. To share, please share our page, and not just the file. This artwork is © 2018 Polkadot Paper Company.
There's really nothing quite like a handwritten note. It has the power to really turn your day around when you receive a note from someone who cares about you. Sometimes, you go through times when you could really use a note, but there isn't one in the mail. Or your friend is going through something and you wish you had a way to have special words already in their hands.
I came across a trend called "Open this When" and I fell in love with the idea. A stack of letters, prewritten and given as a gift to someone special. With a little preplanning, and a lot of heart, you can give the gift of your words and your thoughts to someone who means so much to you. I wanted to create some colorful stationery that would brighten someone's day and pair it with some bold and bright envelopes preprinted and ready for your sentiments. For this kit, you don't even have to be super crafty or have model handwriting to send something that's really going to stand out.
And so for you, I present Polkadot Paper Company's "Open this When" stationery kits. Six beautiful papers, and six bright envelopes eager to hold your words and be gifted to a special someone.
The possibilities are endless and the creativity is all yours. Grab your kit on Etsy or Amazon, and get busy writing those special letters and notes, and stay tuned here for lots more ideas for letter writing. Show us your creations by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you ever think of something you need or want, but after lots of searching, you just can't find the right thing? Lately, I've had this feeling and it all started around the need for grab-and-go organized tote bags. As a mom of two young children in sports and activities, multiple committees and commitments, I needed a quick and easy way to organize the things we use on the go, and it all started with this library bag.
I'm sure it's just my creative nature, but I've always been one to make the things I need or want. Every Monday afternoon I tote my two children and a range of books to and from the public library. I needed a library bag specifically designated to make sure all the books we'd borrowed made it back to the library. Our new bag hangs by the front door to collect books that have been read, and it's easy to grab on Monday afternoons... and as an added bonus, it's pink and beautifully designed! (Don't worry, more colors available!)
After trying out this bag, I realized all the other reasons I needed a cute, dedicated tote bag. My second need: an adventure bag to house our National Parks Passports for when we visit parks and monuments. We collect park stamps and Junior Ranger badges. It's a special time for our family to be together and explore new places. I decided with a dedicated tote, I could collect park patches to sew to the outside to make a really special keepsake for myself and my boys. Each item in this new collection is made to order, so you get to choose from a range of colors, and even phrasing as shown in the new Proud Mom series tote. Karate Mom, Soccer Mom, Band Mom? You got it!
I'm still brimming with ideas for totes, mugs, and mousepads, so I'll be adding to the collection over the coming weeks. Make sure you check out the whole collection of new items and don't forget about a few of our all-time favorites.
What do you think? I'd love to hear it in the comments, or via email! If you have an idea for a tote or item you've just been trying to find, maybe we can create it together!
Ever since my son's first Christmas, we've decorated a gingerbread house together. It's always fun and the results are never as fantastic as what I had in my head, but I love it just the same. Last weekend we hosted our second gingerbread house decorating party. There are some things (like pumpkin carving and gingerbead decorating) that are just so much more fun when you do them with other people.
The months of November and December are so crazy and filled with shopping and holiday parties that it's hard to find the right time to have people come together. We open our home for a "come and go" gingerbread party and it works out just perfectly. I make a bunch of yummy soups, we have festive drinks, and a table FULL of yummy treats for decorating a gingerbread creation. Guests are invited to bring a pre-made gingerbread house, or choose to build out of a supply of graham crackers and icecream cones. Some of these photos are from both years. The setup was similar, but unfortunately my decoration's bar photos from last weekend did not turn out!
This year it was cold and rainy, which actually helps make it at least feel more like Christmas than the 80 degrees we're use to, and it made the hot chocolate very popular this year! In addition to the houses, I baked a bunch of gingerbread cookies for decorating and eating. There's nothing quite like trying to eat one of those pre-baked houses, so fresh cookies are a must!
Gingerbead House Decoration Ideas
It's fun to peruse the aisles of the grocery store looking for unique treats for decorating gingerbead houses. Here's a few ideas and some of the things we used!
If you're looking for a fun way to bring family and friends together for the holidays, you might consider a gingerbead decorating party! I've found that many friends with young kids would make these creations anyway, and making them with friends just makes it that much more special! What are your favorite things to decorate a gingerbead house with? I'd love to know!