DIY Halloween card for kids (2016)

DIY Halloween card for kids (2016)

I wanted this year’s card to be different than last year’s, because I’m giving the cards to a lot of the same kids. However, I had a lot of the same supplies to use up, so they ended up being similar!

I used:

  • dark purple cardstock (12″ x 12″) – I used my paper cutter to trim these to 4″ x 5.5″ to fit in envelopes
  • spooky ribbon to line the bottom of the card
    • Recollections “Halloween Boo” ribbon (pack of 5) [Michaels]
  • pumpkin letter sticker – but since I’ve run out of a bunch of letters, I didn’t always get to use the first letter of their name (as shown)
  • silver metallic Sharpie for the words I wrote on (child’s name and mine)
  • printed out spooky-lettered “Happy Halloween!” onto white card stock and rounded two opposite corners before gluing on
    • font: Nemo Nightmares [here]
    • Martha Stewart corner rounder [Michaels]
  • sparkly/gemstone pumpkin sticker [sheet of 25 stickers: Hobby Lobby]
  • envelopes – The Paper Studio value pack – 100 white [Hobby Lobby]
  • Elmer’s Craft Bond Extra strength glue stick – to affix white “Happy Halloween!” paper
  • Elmer’s Craft Bond quick dry dual-tip glue pen (the small side) -to affix ribbon



For the kids whose cards I will mail (not my students), I included a couple of sheets of stickers and a jack-o-lantern eraser. (stickers and erasers from Target – that section in the front where everything is only a few dollars)cig_img003

I also put a sticker on the back of the envelope.



For the kids whose cards I will hand-deliver (my students), I added stickers to the actual cards and that was that.


the rectangle of green paper is over the student’s name for student’s privacy


If my post inspires you, and you blog about it, I ask that you credit me! Also, I’d love to see it!

Etsy shop

I run an Etsy shop for my paper goods. I have had 10 sales and no reviews. I am hoping I will get some reviews soon!

I am offering 20% off of everything in my shop from earlier today until late Monday.

Here’s a screenshot of most of my items:

etsy for sale


Everything is handmade by me. I love to do this and I would love some (positive) reviews! Have at it!

10 Simple Rules for Responsible Recycling

10 Simple Rules for Responsible Recycling

The area I live in has just a few curbside recycling rules. They don’t seem to be too well known, so I will share them with you. There are also ways to be more courteous to your recycling plant; I will share those ideas with you as well.

1. Separate plastics/glass/aluminum from cardboard/paper. WIthin city limits, blue bag vouchers are provided to us. These bags are for glass, plastics #1 and #2, (more on that in item #3), and aluminum or tin cans.

2. To recycle cardboard and paper, use a paper grocery sack or a box. The box cannot be too big or too heavy, though.

10 Simple Rules for Responsible Recycling

3. Pay attention to the type of plastic your area takes. In my area, they only recycle plastics #1 and #2. All recyclable plastic has a number on the bottom inside of the recycling symbol. Water and soda/beverage bottles, plastic gallon jugs, etc. have always been #1 or #2 in my experience.

4. Lids tend not to be labeled for recycling. I always remove lids for plastic beverage bottles or lids to other plastic containers (e.g. plastic peanut butter container, plastic salad dressing bottle.) HOWEVER, check it out for bigger lids. I’ve experienced a brand of yogurt containers where the container was plastic #5 and could not be recycled in my area, but the LID was plastic #2 and could be.

5. Clean your containers. This can be obnoxious for a few items (sticky peanut butter!) but it is important. Many containers, I have found, just need to be rinsed a couple of times with the spray nozzle on the sink. After that, we place them upside down on the sink for a few hours or overnight to drain some of the water. (Note: this is also an important step if you struggle with bugs or rodents.)

10 Simple Rules for Responsible Recycling

6. Remove paper labels. Honestly, I do this to the best of my ability*. On plastic beverage bottles, it is easy to crunch the bottle a little bit and the paper, which is only stuck in one small section, can be snipped off with scissors and easily ripped off where it has been glued. Why is this important? You are, again, separating your paper from your plastic. You do it for everything else, after all! (*If the label is a sticker and difficult to remove, I don’t spend too much of my day trying to remove the sticker. I try – check out if it WILL come right off, because some do! – and remove what I can. If you are super interested, the Magic Eraser will remove labels from glass pretty nicely.)

7. Certain cardboard/paper items should not be recycled due to saturation of oil or food. Prime candidate: Pizza boxes from delivery. I read you should not recycle these.

8. Be careful with paper. I always cut or rip my name or other information off of paper before I recycle it. I shred the parts with my information. (More about that in #9) Magazines are great for this, because your address is small and the rest of the magazine can be recycled. If it is something like a credit card offer, I shred the whole thing because there are “Invitation codes” all over that paper and I worry about those things.

9. Some areas do not accept shredded paper. Check it out before you try. You can always compost it if you’re into that sort of thing.

10 Simple Rules for Responsible Recycling

10. Crunch everything up! My area recommends you step on your plastic containers so more will fit in the blue bag. Cardboard boxes, like a box of cereal, can often be easily opened at both ends (the top is open anyway!) and flattened.

***Many things cannot be recycled curbside but are still recyclable. My favorite example is the plastic grocery sack. We occasionally make a trip with these because we reuse them for small garbage can liners. But if there’s a hole in one or we get too many, there is a big drum for recycling these sacks inside of many grocery stores, Targets, and Wal-marts right when you walk in to get a cart! Keep your eyes open.

Finally, a note about printer paper: I keep a manilla folder full of paper to be recycled – names and staples removed – and take to the local library where there are blue tubs specifically for recycling printer paper. I don’t know what they do with it, but it works.

Go forth and recycle responsibly! Were any of these new information to you?

Oil Pulling: 2 Week Update

I have been oil pulling every morning for 2 weeks now (click to see my first post on oil pulling.) I’m kind of surprised I’ve been able to stick with it even this long. I am hoping to form a habit by oil pulling every morning for 21 days. I’m interested to see how it goes when my regular job starts up again in mid-August and I don’t have as much time in the mornings.


I have noticed that the sore spots on my gums are gone. In fact, they were gone after just several days. I have also noticed that the skin on my lips requires less moisturizing – as long as I can remember, I’ve had very dry lips. I have only had one headache since starting oil pulling, but I don’t know if that’s related, because I only have headaches once a week or so. 

I haven’t noticed whiter teeth yet, but this could be for a few reasons. 

  • My teeth were pretty white already. 
  • The effect is gradual.
  • It’s only been 2 weeks. 

I haven’t been paying that much attention to the color of my teeth because it was not my number one concern regarding oil pulling. 

Here’s a picture of my teeth right now, for reference sake. It’s pretty weird looking at my mouth like that, trying to show as many teeth as possible!


As far as I knew, I didn’t have any cavities, so I’m not testing that out. 

Since the third day, I’ve been using a regular table spoon to take the oil. The third day I took 2 teaspoons of oil and plopped it on a regular spoon, and have been getting about that amount since. It’s perfect. My cheeks still get sore from swishing – wonder if I’m being too vigorous? – but that goes away quickly once I’m finished.


About how much oil I use daily. Not an exact science.

One thing I don’t like about oil pulling is when I have to yawn or burp with the oil in my mouth! Thankfully, I haven’t had to sneeze yet! I’m concerned about when I get a cold and am unable to breathe through my nose. I guess I’ll have to skip on those days. 

I’ve done a lot of things during my quiet mornings oil pulling – showered, washed dishes, perused the internet, read a book, and once I even walked on the treadmill while oil pulling. My point is, you don’t have to sit down and focus on the oil in your mouth. You go about your business.

Using this small amount of oil daily means I’m not going through it too quickly. I’m glad, because it was kind of expensive! Here’s how much is left after 2 weeks:

DSCN1367Do you oil pull? How has it affected your life?


Oil Pulling (Day 2): Too Much Oil!

I’m not planning to post about oil pulling daily, but I did have another thing to say today. 

Since my experience with one teaspoon went so smoothly yesterday, I tried a tablespoon of oil today. No problems with the gag reflex, but OH MAN was that a lot of oil in my mouth. And as time went on and my produced saliva was added to the oil… I had my lips closed but the oil was leaking out. Gross! Plus, my jaw ached after 20 minutes.

I’ll do a little less tomorrow. Maybe 2 TSP? That’s 2/3 of a TB, right? I’ll give it a go… 

Any experience with small mouths or big gag reflexes and having to reduce the amount of oil?

Name Train DIY

Name Train DIY

For my friend’s son who loves trains, I started a project. They’ve recently moved and he has this new big boy room, and I went with the color scheme they’ve used already.


Started with orange and white striped 8.5″x11″ paper and trimmed down to 8″x10″ so it would fit in a frame I already had. I used my paper cutter for this.

Name Train DIY by Savannah of

Made some word art letters to print. I printed on regular paper because I don’t know if our printer would do well with construction paper. Instead of a solid line, I outlined the letters in dots so it would be less visible if I messed up the cut job.

Name Train DIY by Savannah of

I glued the white letters UPSIDE DOWN to the yellow construction paper. Didn’t use a ton of glue in case I wanted to peel the white piece off. Then I cut around the letters and flipped them over so the yellow side was RIGHT SIDE UP.

As I held the letters up to the background, it wasn’t a very good contrast. I took a black Sharpie and outlined the letters. This was the MOST stressful part of the entire process, and I did mess up on the middle of the O!

Glued down the yellow letters on the striped background.

Used a 3/4″ circle punch (from Michaels) to punch out 8 “wheels” on black construction paper, and glued them down (two wheels for each letter).

Name Train DIY by Savannah of

Cut a thin strip of black paper into pieces for the joining pieces between the letters.

Name Train DIY by Savannah of

Popped it in a frame- voila!Name Train DIY by Savannah of

Not perfect but I am certainly proud and excited for him to have it!


Disposing of Clutter pt 2 (donating)

Selling things can be fun and rewarding. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that my discarded items will bring someone else joy – and if not, I profited from getting rid of them.

Selling can also be a pain. 

It can be much, much easier to give things away, and just as rewarding – if not more so!

  • Make sure the person or organization wants your leftovers.

If they don’t, someone else will, so look around. I say this because I’ve given things to people who were uninterested in a donation and they go to waste – this was only realized later. I now know that just because my niece (or her parents) don’t want my giant stuffed dog that I thought might be fun for her – it gets thrown away when they move and I am slightly heartbroken. It’s not that I want the dog back – I just wish someone could have gotten use out of it, or at least that I wouldn’t have found out that they didn’t.

That’s the big one.

I tend to donate:

  • books to the public library. I don’t think they go on the shelves very often, but our public library has book sales to raise money for the library. The books they sell come from donators.
  • clothing and housewares to a local organization, Love INCLove INC is a Christian-based organization that provides low income families with inexpensively-priced items. They have “yard” sales where they sell items like what I donate.
  • furniture to Love INC also. They can even take things from your house if you request a pick up for large items such as a bed frame.

If you want, there are always shelters and the Salvation Army; we also have a Disabled Veterans organization that I an donate to.

I might sell rather than donate if I think the item is worth a pretty good bit of money, like a toy that is also seen as a collectable. Otherwise, I do tend to donate.

Things I’ve donated/given away recently, or am going to soon:

  • Children’s books (public library)
  • Blank photo albums (Love INC – probably for garage sale)
  • VHS tapes and VHS player (family member)
  • Bed frame (Love INC)
  • Clothing, shoes (Love INC)
  • Toys (family members)

Everything I give away or donate is in good condition.

To stay organized, and because I don’t want to go out every time I find something I want to give away, I keep my items together, usually in a big bag or box.

If you like the joy of selling AND the joy of donation, you could always sell items and donate the cash you receive as payment! 😉

Where do you donate your used things?