Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Little Muon's Memory Box

If you know me, you'd know that I'm a sentimental person and love holding on to items that can trigger a memory or emotion.  When I was a teenager, I created a memory box using a plastic tote box to store things like my diaries, old letters from friends, pictures, drawings, etc...  When I got older, I went thru the box and cleaned out a-lot of things that I felt didn't mean as much anymore.  For example, the New Kids on the Block pin I kept didn't quite mean as much as it did 20 some years ago.  Wow!  I'm aging myself here!  I haven't upgraded my plastic tote, but it works for me and I still add to the box whenever I want to hold onto something special.

When Little Muon came along, I also created a memory box for her as well.  Actually, my intention is to buy a sort of "Hope chest" to store these items in.  Traditionally, a hope chest is a chest used to collect items of clothing or household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.  Now, I'm not THAT old fashion, but I still like the thought of passing on a sentimental piece that contains special moments and memories of Little Muon's life.  I haven't found the perfect wooden chest that fits my style or is within a reasonable price range, so in the meantime, I use a pretty box that I found at Michaels as her Memory Box.

The lid flips opens and stores items that I think would be special to her when she is older.

I'd like her to know about historical moments that occurred in her lifetime.  For example, when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, the hubby bought a newspaper and an issue of People specifically for her Memory Box.  My only regret was that I didn't a newspaper for the day she was born.  Guess I had other things on my mind that day!

I also have a small photo album in the box to store special photos.  I have pictures of her grandparents when they were young, pictures of my hubby as a child, etc...  On the cover is her hospital picture.  I also kept some special baby clothes, like the onesie that she wore in her hospital picture.

I also kept all the cards that have been given to her from her baby shower to her birthdays.  I used scrapbook paper, a circle cutter, ribbons and stickers to keep them labeled and bounded together.

Using a smaller box that I covered using scrapbook paper, I keep loose items like a newborn diaper to remember how small she was, hair from her first haircut, my pregnancy test, her hospital bracelet and my mother in-law's obituary (to name a few).

I also have her birth announcement, 1st and 2nd birthday invitations, and our family Christmas cards in the box.  I'm planning on putting them in small 8x8 scrapbook so that they are all in one place.  I also have her sonogram pictures in her memory box as well.

I'm aware as time passes, this particular box is not going to be able to house all the items that I add to it.  But hopefully, I'll be able to find the perfect Hope chest one day.  For the moment, this works for us. 

I hope that when Little Muon gets older, her dad and I can sit down together with her go thru all the special items in her Memory Box, telling her about their significance and stories behind each of them.

What about you?  Do you keep a sort of "memory box" for your kids?  What items are in there now?  And if you don't have one now, I hope this posts inspires you to start one for your kids today!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Teacher's Appreciation Week - Easy Gift Idea

Not sure if I should even bother posting this since Teacher Appreciation Week is about over.  I actually had no idea that the first week of May recognized teachers and their hard work.  Little Muon hadn't been attending a daycare until this past week.  I struggled with sending her to a traditional daycare when I first had her and opted to have a family member take care of her instead.  She's fast approaching her 3rd birthday and hubby and I realized that we had to get her into a more traditional daycare environment to (a) prepare her for Kindergarten and (b) develop her socializing skills with other kids.

Here she is with hubby on "our" first day.

This was before the tears and screaming.  It was a traumatic day for Taylor, mom and dad!  By the 3rd day, she had completely adjusted and drop offs were fast and easy (with no crying or vomitting)!  I really credit the teachers for helping her adapt so quickly and making the experience as easy as possible.

When I found out it was Teacher's Appreciation Week, I knew it was a perfect opportunity to thank the kind teachers and director for making our first week as stress-less as possible.

My first thought was chocolate and coffee!  I came up with this easy and inexpensive gift idea:

I went with a green and red color theme.  Supplies and cost breakdown:

1)  Chinese Take-Out box (Walmart in the party supply dept).  Comes with 4 boxes.
Cost = $1.50

2)  A BIG bag of mini-chocolate treats.
Cost = $7.50

3)  Shredded paper made as basket stuffers (Walmart in the crafting dept).
Cost = $1.00

4)  Red ribbon (not pictured)
Cost = $1.50

5)  Dunkin Donut Gift Cards.
Cost = Four $5 gift cards ($20.00)

6)  Glue Dots (not pictured)
Costs = $0 since I already had them

7)  Cardstock (not pictured)
Costs = $0 since I already had them

Total Cost = Less then $8 per teacher.  Not too bad!

I filled the bottom of the take out box with shredded paper.  This was only because I was worried that I wouldn't have enough candy.  Turned out I had plenty of candy, but since I already bought the shredded paper, I used it anyway.  Then topped it off with lots of candy!

I wrapped the red and white polka dot ribbon around the box two different ways; (1)  across the box and (2)   up and down the box with a bow on top.

I was able to use some awesome free printables available in blogland to decorate the box.  "Anything But Perfect" had these fun Teacher Appreciation circles.  I used my 3 inch circle cutter and used glue dots to stick them over the ribbon on one side of the box.

For the other side, I printed out a Teacher Appreciation Card from Paper Box Press.  I cut the card the same size as the gift card.  Using glue dots, stuck the gift card inside the top half of the card and wrote a little thank you note on the bottom half.

I punched two holes at the top of the card and added more ribbon for embellishment.  Again, using glue dots, I stuck the thank you card to the other side of the box.

Finally, I used Good Gravy's polka dot gift tags and tied it to the top of the box with more ribbon.

And then I was done!

Couldn't you totally see using this idea as a goodie bag for a birthday party or for some of your favorite Moms for Mother's Day!

And because I was late in posting this for Teacher's Appreciation Week, here are some cool Mother's Day printables that you could reuse for this idea.

Good Gravy

Whisker Graphics


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