Declutter Pre-K to 12 School Pictures

 


“Ugghy” Blue and Faux Rainbow Backdrops

Have you ever wondered what the heck to do with all of those Pre-K to 12th grade school pictures? Mundane and cheesy, yes, but it is YOUR child and it does serve as a fundraiser for the school, so let’s face it, you’re going to buy them. A bunch of them, most likely!

I don’t understand why you can’t buy just one picture instead of packages of 100’s and I can’t imagine who in the world decided that a bright blue background or a fake rainbow looks good hanging on anybody’s living room wall?  Yes, those are our precious babies and they are adorable even with a faux background, but that still doesn’t mean I want them hanging on my wall. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a bad mother, but honestly, I don’t think my kids really want them hanging on the wall either.

So, what do you do with all those pictures?

Well, for about 15 years, I kept them in a nice box. One for each kid, 15 to 100+/- pictures for each year, Pre-K thru 12. Until a couple of months ago, when I decided to clean out the “junk” closet (ok, you know me well enough now, one of the “junk” closets) to make room for my craft supplies that I would be moving to the downstairs closet whenever/if ever, I clean out the craft room upstairs, again! You might be able to relate, it’s a vicious cycle. I plan to write a post about how to clean out a really full closet and reorganize it soon, but I have to figure out how to do that first. Ha, ha!

ADHD moment: My little craft room used to be a craft room, then I cleaned it out to be my husband’s office, then I moved my craft supplies back in there to be a craft room again and somehow, they just took over the space. Craft supplies just seem to have a way of doing this to a room, a house, a barn or all of the above! Lol. Good luck with this, right? Another project for another day.

Now back to the school photos. The first thing that I thought of when I found these boxes was that I couldn’t even remember how long it had been since I had opened them up. And secondly, after I opened them, why in the world did I think I needed to buy and keep all of these photos of the same child, same pose, same old blue background? I mean, you can only get away with giving so many of them as Christmas gifts. Lol.

So, this is what I decided to do. I took all the pictures out and sorted them into piles by each child, then by school year (x 2, twice a year). Oh my gosh, I had forgotten that they take school pictures twice a year. Really, how much does a kid change in six months once they are in kindergarten? But anyway, I then started the process of photo elimination.

Step by Step Easy to Follow Plan:
  • Pull one 8×10 picture from each photo session
  • Take a picture of the photo with your cell phone
  • Send to an album on your phone
  • Cut out 2-3 wallet pics in case they want to give to their kids one day
  • Cut a 2×3 or 5×7 for each of the other siblings. Nice to have if they ever want to blackmail their brothers or sisters
  • Place the 8×10 and wallets in a large envelope
  • Do this for each school year
  • Toss envelope of photos into a storage tote.  Stick a label on the side with their name and L👀k at that!  You have just created a Memory Tote for your children that they can take with them when they leave home.  

Presto, magico!   They have photos from every school year (x 2) and you have eliminated your school picture clutter!

For both kids, this took me about an hour. It was quick, super decluttering and so refreshing to accomplish! Easy access. No more digging through photo albums or boxes.  And, I don’t think there is a better way to embarrass your children than by sharing their school photos with your grandchildren. Lol.

 

Now, my long-range plan is to upload the photos that I saved on my phone to Chatbooks and create one book with all of their pictures together. I think it’ll be so cool to flip thru the book and see the changes from year to year, all in one place! Don’t hold your breath, but I’ll keep you posted on this progress.

I guess if I was really serious about decluttering, I’d just make a Chatbook for each child and they wouldn’t have any photo clutter either. You could snap the photos, eliminate all the steps above, toss all the pictures and just create the books. Truth is, I’m not sure I could throw away ALL of the cute little stinker’s school pictures.  However, I CAN put them in THEIR boxes so that one day they will be the ones dealing with their own clutter and I won’t have a guilty conscience about tossing all of their school pictures in the trash. Lol

Remember: Snap a quick photo, save a couple for the Memory Tote and toss the rest!!!  No guilt!

If you declutter your kid’s school pictures, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

February 14, 2018


Valentine’s Quickie

 

Now, now, get your head out of the gutter.

We’re talking Valentine decorations, here! 

I’m almost embarrassed to show you how quick and simple these little decorating ideas are, but that’s what I am about, quick and easy. There you go again, head in the gutter!

We don’t have a big Valentine’s Day party, so I don’t see any reason to spend a lot of time decorating the house. However, I enjoy having a little holiday decor around for our own personal pleasure. It just makes me happy!

Decorative Heart Tags

In the picture above, I just took patterned pieces of scrapbook paper and cut out hearts with a hole on one side.  I used my Cricut, but truly, how hard is it to cut out a heart and punch a hole? Then I cut a piece of twine and threaded through the hole in the heart.

You can spruce up your table so many ways with these Valentine patterned hearts.

  • String the heart and tie around your mug handles.
  • Tie the twine in a bow and lay the heart on your plates.
  • String the twine through the hole and tie a knot, then stick the heart in the middle of your napkin ring.
  • Pull the string through the hole and tie around your pretty napkin.  (Can even use a paper napkin).  

I think you can handle these quick, but festive and pretty decorations, very easily!

Hand-Inked Napkins

Make your own hand-inked napkins. I promise, you can do this.  Buy plain white or off white muslin.  It’s very cheap so go ahead and get a couple yards. I’m sure you’ll want to use it to make another set. Measure and cut accurately, or you can do it my way.  Decide about how wide you want the napkins, make a little snip, grab and rip!  I love the sound of ripping fabric. Then snip and rip the size you want and use it to measure, snip and rip the rest.  Lay napkin out and using a rubber stamp and a permanent fabric ink pad, STAMP and BOOM!  Pretty napkins!

There are lots ways you can display your napkins on your table.

  • Lie napkin on top of napkin ring, then push fabric down in the middle of the ring.  Wiggle fabric around until you are happy with the fluffy arrangement.
  • Roll napkin lengthwise towards the middle and slide napkin ring to the middle.
  • Fold napkin over and tie twine in a bow around the middle. (bottom right, first collage)
Your hand-inked napkins will make your table look very impressive.

Mood Lights

Nothing sets a better mood than lighting and the easiest of all decorations, unless you are putting them on a tree, are string lights. I bought the red set 75% off after Christmas. Nice!  And the white lights, well, if you read my blogs, you may remember that I put them up at Christmas and have just enjoyed them so much, I haven’t taken them down. I don’t feel like it has to be a holiday to have mood lighting! Am I wrong?

A Few Extra Touches

Happy Valentine’s Day

I hope this post has given you some quick and easy inspiration for your Valentine’s decor (and maybe a few hints for your Valentine as well). Lol.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Everyday!

 

Go Red for Women®️

National Wear Red Day®️

Friday, 2/2/18

The American Heart Association sponsors National Wear Red Day®️ on the first Friday of every February in order to raise awareness of heart disease in women. By wearing red to promote and support this cause, we can honor loved ones who have suffered heart attacks, strokes or other effects of heart disease, as well as, draw more attention to the risks of  heart disease in women. We should also use this as a reminder to ourselves to have regular physical examinations, eat healthier foods and exercise more in order to protect that part of our body that keeps it all pumping!
Back in my day, well, actually a lot shorter time back than that, Heart Disease was thought to strike mostly men.  With women’s symptoms usually being quite different from what a National Wear Red Day®️ experiences, women were rarely considered targets of heart disease.  Based on these issues, early detection was uncommon, which is “heart breaking” considering that according to the AHA, “80% of cardiovascular diseases maybe preventable with education and action.”  
Many people today still do not realize how vastly this affects women.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, in the U.S., states that “Coronary Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States.”  We have to raise awareness about hosw this disease is killing women and that is exactly why we Go Red For Women®️!

 

 Ladies, Learn your Risk Here

Okay, enough stats and heart disease history. This is where it gets real…

 

You can read “My Story” below to understand what inspired me to start honoring my mother, Jackie, in February 2009 by participating in Go Red For Women®️.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I just asked co-workers in my area at the community college where I work, to wear red on this day if they wished to participate.  Well, as usual, these amazing people stepped up and we had red hats, red shirts, red dress pins, red fingernails…you get the picture!  Go Red For Women®️ throughout the office!
We continue this tradition every year with more people on campus coming over to our offices showing off their red attire in support.  We try to have fun whatever we are doing, so one year we put a red dress with white polka dots on a headless mannequin and took turns having our heads photographed with the mannequin body. Last year, we made a simple photo booth by hanging a big, red tablecloth with white hearts on the wall.  We let everyone write the names of people they “Go Red” for, on the hearts and took pictures in front of it using funny props.  
The tradition has extended off campus to our friends, friends of friends, family members and the community. On this day, all day, I receive selfies and group pictures of people in their red attire.  Some are supporting me, some remembering my mother.  Most have had a friend or family member touched by heart disease.  Whatever the reason they choose to participate, they are helping bring awareness about heart disease in women to more and more people.  

When I send out the Go Red For Women®️ email reminder every year about this time, “My Story” is attached for any new employees or in case anyone wants to share it with their friends and family.  My mother was truly an inspiration to anyone that knew her.  I have missed her every day of the past 12 years and will continue to miss her always.
Won’t you please Go Red For Women®️ with me on Friday, February 2nd and proudly help raise awareness about heart disease in women?  It could save a life!  You are very special and deserve a HAPPY HEALTHY HEART!

 Free Shipping @ Target. 

 

My Story

My mother had her first heart attack when she was 36.  I was in the 5th grade.  She lost an entire artery and was told that she could not go back work.  She was disabled…
As a child, that did not mean much to me, except that, my mother was sick and couldn’t do a lot of the things that she used to do.  She had been working as a teacher/librarian, going to school to get her Master’s Degree in Education, looking forward to a bright career ahead, as well as being a wife and active mother of two young girls.   As I got closer to that age, and then even more when I passed it, I realized how young she was and how life-altering that must have been for her.
She survived another heart attack when she was about 50 and because of her determination, lived a very full life even though her heart was only pumping at about 10% capacity.  She dedicated herself totally to her family and friends instead of focusing on her illness.
On Feb. 6, 2006, she collapsed at a middle school basketball game, was taken to the hospital by ambulance and died two days later, on February 8, 2006 of congestive heart failure.
With National Wear Red Day®️ occurring the first Friday of every February, I thought this would be an awesome way to honor her for being so strong and persevering, when I know she hardly had the energy to get up every morning.
At her celebration of life, we played a song that was very special to her, “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Rimes. I hope that the next time you hear this song, you will think about her and remember that life is short.  You must dance, live fully, laugh much, love, pray, enjoy your friends and take care of yourself!

 

If you have a story you wish to share, please feel free to comment.

 

February is American Heart Month and as much as we need to promote heart health in women, we care about our men’s heart health as well. This article by the Center for Disease Control is certainly worth the read.
Link: Strong Men put their Heart Health First