Made it Monday, Home Improvements, and Chicago Blogger Meet-up!

by becky on July 2, 2012

I have been a bad summer blogger. Oops. I have a good excuse though. I have been making many home improvements, working on fun stuff for school, and just overall enjoying summer. 🙂 I wanted to FINALLY join up with Tara’s Made it Monday Linky Party to show off some of the fun things I have actually accomplished. If you want to see some really fun projects teachers across the web have made, click the button below and visit Tara’s 5th Monday Made It. Don’t forget to look at the first four posts also. Amazing!

Okay, let’s start with my new TEAM gift. I’m hoping to pass these puppies out at the first team meeting of the year. Gifts make meetings way more fun, don’t you agree? I found this idea on Pinterest (of course) and made it work for me. Here are the ingredients:

I have 5 baby bows, 5 picture frames, and 5 teacher To Do Lists

First things first, I printed out 5 personalized copies of a To Do list each is 5×7. Then, I went to Wal-Mart and bought 5 picture frames and 5 baby bows. I was going to tie my own bows, but for $1, I got 5 perfect bows that I don’t have to fight with. Here’s a close-up. I literally found them in the baby section.

Then, I cut the lists and put them in each of the picture frames. I glued a bow in the corner, and viola!

Adorable Dry Erase To Do Lists:

And, a close-up of mine. Yes, I made myself one 🙂

I am still going to attach a dry erase marker with it, but haven’t figured out the best way to do this. But, other than that, they are ready to be wrapped!

Next up, my first summer home improvement project: My deck

Here’s the story… I decided to prove to myself that I could re-stain my entire deck by myself. I thought, hey, I don’t need a man, I can do this myself. Since I live alone, I tend to ask for a lot of help from my parents. In fact, this was originally going to be a 50/50 project with my dad.  Last July I started to stain. I did all the spindles, the posts, and the handrails. My dad was going to stain the floor of the deck while I was in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, he got very sick and went into the hospital and wasn’t able to finish the staining. Well, life happened, and my deck stayed 1/2 stained until this past June. Literally, the day after I got out of school, I went to Home Depot, bought more supplies, and went to it. About 4 hours later… it was done!

After the staining was done and TOTALLY dry, (and done 100% by me!) my dad and my sister’s boyfriend came over and put up the 2nd half of the project… my gazebo. During the day, my deck gets ZERO shade. Yes, it’s nice for tanning, but not nice for just enjoying the outside. With our over 100 degree temps lately, shade is hard to come by. Here is my deck finished. I still want to add more decor (plants, tables, re-staining the furniture) but it is a nice get away for both Lillie and me.


So, there you have it… two of my summer projects. I have several more I’ve been working on. Both school and home. Here’s a teaser…

This is shot from my VERY disorganized (hiding in shame) garage. No, I’m not doing anything with the snow blower, gas can, salt shaker, air pump, or Halloween blow up. It’s the black file cabinets. Just wait. I love what I’ve done with them! And, for the record, my garage is much cleaner now that I’ve started working on the cabinets.

And, FINALLY, and most exciting… if you live in the Chicago-land area and would like to meet some fellow area bloggers, head on over to Lesson Plans SOS to sign up for…

Melissa, Nicole, and yours truly would love to meet up with you! It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t have a blog!

 If you are a teacher and a reader, we would love to have you join us for a late lunch/early dinner!

If you are interested, please email Melissa and Nicole at:
teachers (at) lessonplansos (dot) com
We will send you an Evite for the blogger meet up!
Til next time! Have a fabulous 4th of July!!!




{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara July 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

What a wonderful idea for team gifts!!!! I love those!! I am maybe, so I’ve heard, supposed to be program planner this year and would love to give these to my team if I am:))) Thanks for sharing!!! Your deck….amazing!!! What a fun place to hang out:)) Thanks for linking up and I hope you can come back with more projects next week:))


Heather July 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I’m sure your teammates will love those. They are super cute.



Kristen July 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Hey Becky! I love the team gift…so easy and adorable!! Your deck came out so nice, wow!


Brandi July 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I love that as a gift for your team…another to do list project!

Success in Second Grade


Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Those frames are adorable. I pinned them to make for my daughters!


Jennifer July 3, 2012 at 2:04 am

The frames are adorable! I am going to make some for my team too! Thanks for the inspiration! I grew up in Chicago – actually got my first job at the Oakbrook Mall but it’s a little far to drive from Oklahoma now. Have fun though!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten


Amy July 3, 2012 at 3:00 am

I just wanted to say “thank you” for continuing to inspire me not only as a teacher, but also as a blogger. You’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger and The One Lovely Blog Award. Head over to my blog to pick them up!



Amy July 3, 2012 at 3:02 am
Amy July 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Great minds think alike! Just like the Amy above, I have passed along the Versatile Blogger award. I absolutely love your idea for teacher gifts. I am going to be working with a new team this year. What a great way to start the year. Thank you for sharing!


Sandra Hooker July 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

We are going to make these for our staff at my school also. They are so cute. We are going to use the little Velcro dots to attach the dry erase makers. Maybe you could try that as well.


Jessica July 8, 2012 at 2:05 am

I nominated you for two awards. Stop by my blog and pick them up!


Jennifer July 9, 2012 at 12:11 am

I love your teacher gifts. That is so thoughtful of you! Your deck and gazebo look great. You go girl, staining that deck all by yourself! You rock!

Delighted in Second
Hope you will join my $20 TPT gift certificate giveaway!


Cathlin July 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Where did you get the personalized to-do lists? I would love to make these for my teamies, as I am team lead this year as well!


Becky July 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hi Cathlin,
I actually made the lists myself. It’s really easy. Just open up Word or Powerpoint, draw a rectangle using the shapes, size it to 5×7, fill in the shape with a picture (I have a ton of digital papers on my computer), then use text boxes and additional shapes to create the headings and check off boxes. I hope this helps!!! -Becky 🙂


Cathlin July 17, 2012 at 4:23 am

THANKS BUNCHES! THAT totally helps. I’m definitely going to make them for my team.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: