Thursday, August 21, 2014

Story Stones

In honor of back to school week here in the Lowcountry, I am sharing great projects to do with your kids by our design team member, Krissy at B-Inspired Mama.  Have you seen her blog? I absolutely adore seeing her three adorable children grow up and all the exciting, educational projects she does with them.  She's a former art teacher who comes up with clever and creative projects to do on a regular basis.  She recently wrote a great post about simple ways to connect with your children after school.  I think the most important one is number 14, just BE there.  It's something that I am working on as a mother -- to be fully present in the moment with my children (no email checking, no folding laundry, no cleaning up. Just sitting down and enjoying them. It sounds easier than it actually is but is such a great goal.)  

Today I am sharing a project that Krissy created for us: DIY Story Stones.  Story Stones are a great way to get your children's imagination to run wild.  Depending on their age, ask your child to pick up two, three, four or more story stones from the basket.  Arrange them on the table and ask them to tell a story based on the pictures they see. Take turns around the table, each story will be completely unique.

Krissy first painted dozens of rocks she found in her back yard in yellow, blue, and red.  When they were dry, she used a variety of stamps by PSA Essentials and stamped onto the rocks.  She  used a crab and sailboat stamp from from Anchor's Aweigh Peel & Stick pack, a cupcake from Whimsy Cakes Peel & Stick pack, a bee from Country Home Peel & Stick pack, and many more!

I just love this idea! A fun project that you can even get the kids help on. Have them paint the rocks and help you stamp. It may just even make story telling that much more special.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cute Back to School Photo Idea

Today marked the official "back to school" day for May River Montessori here in Bluffton, South Carolina, though it's a strange schedule until September 2nd.  Because of orientation for new students, we have school this week, but not next and they are half days for Molly and only 1 hour and 1 1/2 hours for Connor.  They both loved their first day, Connor was particularly thrilled with his new bag with his name on it.

I took more than enough "first day" photos of them this morning. I found these chalkboard/burlap stakes that were already made up and I wrote their class/year for easy reference years from now. The stakes were $5.99 each at Michael's and well worth my time not to have to do any DIY.  Photos turned out cute! Here they are:

We're practicing our smile. Clearly... 

Snapped this from the car.... right before meltdown (which I am told only lasted seconds.) 

Happy first day of school! Be sure to share your photos with us on our Facebook page. We'd love to see the creative ways you are taking back to school and first day photos of your kids. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to School

It's time to go back to school here in South Carolina!  I am so excited for the school year ahead. Connor is starting at May River Montessori and it's now Molly's FOURTH year at this school.  She started in the Toddler Cottage program when she was just two years old and has done incredibly well.  This year is her last year of the primary program (a three year program in Montessori) or the equivalent of Kindergarten. She's getting so big! Connor starting at this incredible school is so thrilling to me.  He's going to love it and we know he'll do just as well. 

Today I am sharing handmade school themed cards by our PSA Essentials Design Team. These are cards you can make for your kids, or for your teacher.  It's a great way to thank teachers for all their hard work, or an extra special lunch box note to your little one.  They all use Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials

I really love this one for an extra special lunch box note! Kelley used the A+ stamp found in Super Star Peel & Stick stamps and her acrylic blocks. She dipped the stamp in a rainbow of inks and stamped onto white cardstock. She has used purple twine from The Twinery and framed it against red cardstock. Clean and simple! Just the way I like it. 

These two cards are great for encouraging your little one at school.  Make these ones to congratulate them on high test scores, when they've gone above and beyond, or just to encourage them in school. 

Cards by Melissa Connolly/ Kelley Eubanks use Hello Kitty School Days and Super Star Peel & Stick by PSA Essentials 

Card by Melyssa Connolly use a stamp from Super Star Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials

Card by Melyssa Connolly use a stamp from Super Star Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials

Lastly, I loved these ones by Regina Magnum. The first is for a soccer coach as a thank you (she even made a gift card holder.)  And the second, is a mock report card which I think would be great for encouraging your student or rewarding your student for a report card well done. 

Cards use Hello Kitty School Days & Super Star Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials

Back to school time can be a really exciting time, it can also be mixed with anxiety and a bit of dread. Gone are the lazy days and low-key schedule of summer. For helpful tips on how to ease the transition back to school, be sure to check out this post by one of our retailers, More Than Paper. It's chalk full of great advice! 

I'll post pictures of the kids on their first day of school. There are so many fun ideas on Pinterest of how to take back to school pictures. Share your ideas and pictures with us on our Facebook page! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

London & Birmingham

I am back from an incredible adventure to London and Birmingham, U.K for my best friend's "wedding 2.0." Last August, Jenny got married in New Hampshire though because she married a Brit, only a few of her husband family and friends were able to attend.  Wedding 2.0 took place in Birmingham and was celebrated with over hundred guests from all over England and Scotland.  I was so honored to be included and fortunate enough to be able to make the trip!

You can read all about her wedding last year (click to view the post). It was an incredible rustic wedding at Longlook Farm in New Hampshire.  Complete with a DIY bar, photo booth, handmade flower crowns, and so many beautiful handmade details, it's a wedding you should see!  We made her a PSA Essentials personalized stamp that she then used for favor tags and favors.

The day I arrived, I took a double decker tour bus around the city to get a complete tour. I loved Covenant Gardens area, Mayfair district, and it was very interesting to see all the "major" sites (London Bridge, Tower Bridge, the financial district, theater district, Big Ben, Parliament, The London Eye...)  On Friday, Jenny and I went to the Tate Modern in London, which is truly one of my favorite modern art museums in the world. We didn't venture to the Matisse cut out exhibit, but I heard it was fabulous.

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is check out local eateries and specialty shops. I loved seeing the perfumeries and tea shops while in London.

On Friday afternoon, we made our way by train to Birmingham, where Jenny and Dan now live.  It's actually an interesting city that I enjoyed checking out! Friday night, we had fish & chips at her home. It was really lovely!  Saturday morning, I sat by myself in a cafe, had coffee and read the paper for an hour. It was glorious.

Onto the details of wedding 2.0 now! Her mom made the boutonniere and the flowers for Jenny to wear in her hair. 

The reception was held in Dan's parents garden, at the home where he grew up. Gorgeous garden!

There was a short ceremony and some speeches. I was unaware of having to say anything so I "made it up." Not really sure what came out of my mouth! 

Dan asked that all of Jenny's friend state-side make a video... He edited it and it was a complete surprise to Jenny!

Then it was time to party! Well into the night.... What incredible fun we had!

Congrats to Jenny & Dan again! 

To see more of Jenny's wedding in New Hampshire, visit this post: and also check out the Boston Boat Party I hosted for them last August, too!  There were lots of fun PSA Essentials details in that one, too. Visit: