Simply Gilded August box

This box IS AMAZING!  The value of this box ridiculously exceeds the amount I paid for it.  I have not had a single subscription thus far that is this good.  Every single item is well done.  Nothing sticks out as not matching the theme.  It’s just subscription gold.  Before we had even received this box people were offering large amounts to purchase.  Because Irene’s subscriptions to the boxes are limited and only so many spots open each month, there were many people who could not make it into the list.

First off, let’s talk about these washis!  Rose gold accents, soft purples, book washi!  It is amazing that she can create such solid pieces month after month.  The book washi alone instantly became a highly sought after item.

I haven’t put this pouch down since I received it.  It feels like blue jean and is so soft.

Inside, it is sewn with a nice polka dot pattern, and the washi fits just perfectly inside.  The bag actually opens on the bottom, allowing you to stand it up if desired.  I have it stuffed with pens, craft scissors, and my inhaler.  Because no one likes fuzzies in their inhaler.

I’ve attached this bow to the zipper of my bag and it has held up so well!  I’ve had to attach it a couple of times because I am so rough with my things (pulling it in and out of my purse has been an issue), and it just keeps on holding on despite the abuse I have put it through.

img_5325-1

We also received post it notes and a Juniper magnet!  Hurray!  I didn’t have a Juniper magnet yet and I am super happy I had not purchased one on my own.  This Juniper has rose gold accents as well.  Other items pictured are a journaling card (so magical!), two pockets, a TN, and sticker set!

I am slightly annoyed that the books in the pockets does not match the purple washi.  One book even says Lavender on it, but clearly is NOT lavender.  Granted, it is a nice blue, but I want lavender dang it!

As much as I loved these stickers, I had no problem ripping these suckers out and putting them in my planner!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

Such a lovely box!  And a great deal, which makes this spend thrifty mommy very happy.

Yours,

the Colourful Teacup

Advertisements

The Planner Society August box

Oh this box is amazing!

I know I say that every single time.  But this time the box is in lovely shades of rose gold.  I never realized how much I like rose gold, but it matches these flowers and soft muted colors in such a lovely way.  It really is magical.

Ugh!  Drool!  I need more of this paper!  Seriously, I want this paper to be my bed linens.  It is perfect and screams summer in Kentucky to me! When I see this piece I think back to my childhood, lying under the dogwood tree, watching the clouds float by and disappear behind the mountain.  Suddenly I am back home, on the mountain side, surrounded by all the flowers daddy had planted for mom.  Roses, peonies, tiger lilies, bleeding hearts!  I miss those summers when the clover begin blooming again, but the trees haven’t quite yet started turning.  The summer days where dusk brings a nice crisp chill, but your day is still nice and long.  Sigh.  Oh, country summers, I miss you!

Sticker book!  These are super coveted items by TPS gals!  They have an incredible resell value.

Here are some more items included in August’s box!

Stickers, elastics, and binder clips (in rose gold, of course).

 

This pen!  Ugh, so lovely!  It writes like a dream!  Also, puffy stickers, which I personally don’t like (they are too bulky for my bullet journal), but are super popular so far among other subscribers.

  

Pockets, labels, and a cute new habit tracker stamp!  That stamp is adorable!  I seriously need to find some good ink options!

Paperclips, note pad, and die cuts.  Super cozy looking!

  

Subscription box washi!  Those wild flowers have my heart!

Washi subscription!  I will seriously use up all of these washis!

These tabs are great!  Christy has begun putting foil on all of her tabs and stickers.  I loved these so much I made new tabs for my journal.  Someone on the group site actually posted a “how-to” to make these tabs into reusable tabs, using regular office tabs and double sided sticky tape!  Life changing y’all!

A close up of the habit tracker stamp!

Guess who got a new Bullet Journal?  This gal!  For those of you who haven’t followed along or who are just joining us, I use the Leuchtturm 1917.  For weekly spreads I use stickers sized for the Erin Condren planners, as they are smaller and fit better.  I use my bullet journal to track our homeschool assignments, my daily todos, dinner planning, and for my diary entries.  This time I went with the berry color, medium, dotted.  So far I have been very satisfied with these journal.  There is practically no bleed through from my pens, AND you can apply watercolors.. ya know, if you are actually talented like that. Sadly, I am not.  *sob*

Don’t mind the couch pictures.  My living room couch is the best place in the house for good lighting!

Yours,

the Colourful Teacup

Simply Gilded July box

I am not a fan of leopard.  Like, at all.  But I am a huge fan of toucans!  And rainbows. And color.  So I viewed Simply Gilded’s July box with a bit of mixed feelings.

We were really spoiled, I feel like with the items in this box.  We essentially received 8 washi tapes!  But, more on that in a minute.

Look at this journal card!  Gosh, I do love Toucans!  But, in all seriousness, I am not sure what to do with all these journaling cards that I keep getting.  People, I have noticed, collect them and some put them in photo albums.  It seems like as good of an idea as anything else, but I’m just not sure its worth keeping them.  Others use them as a dashboard of sorts in their planner, but as I use a bullet journal that really isn’t helpful for me.  I’ve also seen examples of people using them in picture frames.  But I have enough “decorations” without piling more on.  No, none of those ideas will do for now.

Post-it notes.  I get a lot of these with my boxes, which is fine with me because I use so many of them with my husband and his job.

Personal sized TN.  These are one of the best items I receive.  I just pop them in my purse and use them to jot down ideas, grocery lists, notes, etc, that I don’t want to add to my bullet journal.

This pen is seriously no joke!  It weighs a lot, writes like its made of gold (gel), and is just so pretty!  I did mention that I love rainbows?  Anywho, mine arrived bent on one side, but SP shipped me out a replacement.

I love getting bags in my boxes.  Again, not sure I will ever use this one, but its a nice touch for the boxes.

These stickers are amazing!  I love, love, LOVE them!  These will 100% be used!

Subscription box washi!  Three 15mm, one 10mm, and four 5mm.

The 5mm match the tropical themed washi.  Here it is with my 15mm tropical set:

So, all in all, a stunning bag.  Irene always does a phenomenal job on these kits.  The reviews appear to be mixed.  There are many items that I will never use in the kit, but still I consider it a solid addition to my Simply Gilded collection.

Colorfully yours,

the Colourful Teacup

The Planner Society July box

July’s Planner Society box was all about Unicorns!  So much fun! I was a little in Unicorn overload considering the little one’s birthday party prep was in full swing when I received it.  But, unicorn overload considered, it was jam packed with great items!

Let’s talk about my favorite part first.  That pen!  Little tulips, and flower confetti! Pastel rainbows!  Look at me, I can’t even construct full sentences anymore!  That’s how exciting this box was!

Also included was a cute new stamp and an adorable patch.  Somehow I managed to keep the little one from “acquiring” my new patch.

As far as the stamps go, I am still looking for a good ink pad to use for all my TPS stamps. One of my friends suggested using a foam block to get a better result.  And I’ve tried the stamp makers where you apply the color with a marker and then stamp.  Hum… the search continues for now!

This washi is not only adorable, its very shimmery too! I’m not sure how often I will use it, but it definitely fit the summery mood!

The die cuts were just perfection this time around.

  

Post-it notes! How fun would these be to drop on your husband’s desk. LOL!

“Please pick up milk, eggs, and hey!  How do you like my unicorn post-it notes?”

I love the tabs that the Planner Society include with all their kits.

Paperclip!  Planner paperclips are so satisfying.  They fall out all the time, so they aren’t too practical, but there is something so satisfying about seeing them poking out of the top of our little planners.  They give it all such pizzazz.

Let’s see some more up close pictures of that lovely pen, shall we?

I miss Tulips so much!  When we lived in Scotland I could have them practically anytime I wanted them, and now that I am back in Florida tulips just don’t stand a chance in our heat.

And here is another picture of that patch.  So sparkly!

This time Christy included these Vinyl Stickers.  I am not sure what I am going to use them for, but I am super excited that this is a new possibility for my future crates.  I really feel like compared to other kits, the Planner Society boxes are so sophisticated.  And vinyl stickers can be put on practically anything from water bottles to computers.

I LOVE it when there are pockets!  This time around there are holographic bows and scalloped edges.  I could just die!  They are so pretty!

That’s it for this crate!

Peace out dudes!

the Colourful Teacup

July Birthday Fiasco for the Tiniest Teacup

It was a birthday for the ages.  It started with a simple request.  My [soon to be] nine year old daughter requested that we have a birthday party for her this year.  Simple enough.

She wanted it to be a super girly Unicorn party.  Okay dokie.  Simple enough.

She thought it would be super cool if we could invite a bunch of girls over, swim, maybe do a craft, and create some epic swag bags.  Simple enough.

See where I am going with this?  Yeah.  It was NOT simple.  Next year she gets a birthday cake and a hardy handshake.

I thought, being the overly ambitious and crafty gal I was that I would crochet some bags for the girls, stuff them with some washi tape and a little homemade book (my daughter has inherited my love for all things planner), and maybe a couple pieces of jewelry.  I’m great at crocheting pretty much anything with a pattern, and I’ve gotten fairly skilled at creating my own patterns as well.  Well, I wipped up a sample bag in no time at all and thought- “Wow!  I can totally do this!”.  I was wrong.  Oh, man, was I ever wrong!

See, I overestimated my ability to sew in the liners.

And I also forgot that I have zero foresight.

And I forgot I would have to make 15 of these bags.  FIFTEEN!  For the love of humanity!

But, alas, I finished with… well something.  Not a finished product I’m terribly proud of, but decent enough I suppose!

They are crocheted with Special Stylecraft DK yarn, imported from the United Kingdom (my favorite yarn).  The snaps are KAM snaps.  The fabric liner is from a bundle I bought on Amazon of just random cuts of fabric.  I had planned on writing the pattern out and sharing it with all of you, but..  don’t, just don’t.  Just go buy something shiny and unoriginal.  It’s not worth it y’all!  My fingers were bleeding before I finished!  I was flying by the seat of my pants, did not have time to properly block the crocheted part, and abandoned my hand sewing for a machine after the first one.

P.S. If you didn’t know, you can’t easily machine sew on crochet, as the machine gets caught on the yarn and tangles it with the thread from the bobbin.  That’s if it doesn’t suck it into the great bobbin abyss.  This was lesson number 15 million.  And the worst one.  Nothing like spending hours creating something to have it pulled apart in front of your eyes!  Huzzah!

ROY-G-BIV… that’s a little relaxing.  I loved all the floral and gingham prints.

  

Oy!  Sigh… lesson learned.  Moving on to happier items.  Birthday party shopping!  Squee!

img_5093

What Girly Birthday party would be complete without pig-tail hair bows?  Well, not this one!  Every girl was sent home with her choice of a matching homemade (not by me- gosh not by me) pair.

(Don’t mind the great mountain of law books in the background.  It’s my husband’s stack and it could not be moved in time for the party.  I just sat things on top and used them as a kind of shelf, while getting the side-eye from the hubster, te he.)

We ordered some jewelry from China which made it super affordable to get great looking pieces without breaking mom and dad’s checkbook.  What girl’s outfit is complete without her own set of pearls?  And these rings are so AMAZING!  Because I had to order in bulk, I got to select and keep several pieces for myself and I have received so many compliments on them.

Target spot pens and pencils!  Bright colors for a sunny child!

The setup y’all!

So much happy!  But gosh y’all, Mommy is going to need the next few months to recover from this party.  It was so exhausting!

Celebrating the not-so-tiny teacup,

the Colourful Teacup

Postage stamp quilt- a crazy idea

Once upon a time I received these little fabric squares in a magazine bundle.  

I loved them so much that I held onto them, rather than doing the suggested craft that came with them.

You see, I had an idea!  A glorious idea sprang forth from my artistic little creative brain, and the other rational half scarcely had time to recognize that a bad idea was forming before it was out of my head and in my eBay cart!  I mean, just look at these tiny adorable flowers!  What’s not to love?

So I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that I would quilt (something I haven’t done since High School) a postage stamp quilt!  A few years ago my mother gifted me a couple of scrap quilts that my great grandmother made.  They are made of squares of what appear to be random fabric and is just so colorful.  The quilt is happiness to me.  You see, I was the child who would stare at the patterns on wall paper for hours, tracing the pattern around… and around… and around…  And I LOVED color!  So a postage stamp quilt would be a kind of therapy for me.  A busy, busy quilt, for a busy, busy woman, with endless patterns, and colors, and inspiration to excite the mind!

So, let’s recap…  from a free sample of fabric in a magazine, I decided to embark on a project that I haven’t had experience with in nearly 20 years, and a project that maximizes skill level in the very BEST quilters.  Yup!  Sounds about right.  But wait, there’s more folks!

From that small collection of floral squares, the desire for more tiny treasures grew until it overwhelmed my seasonally depressed heart with a NEED for as much color and florally goodness as my budget could reasonably afford. One eBay trip later and I was the proud owner of these AMAZING pieces of art! I bought them from a store appropriately named myfabricaddiction1!

Oh, so nice!

So then from there (I think you can tell where this is going), I found these Kaffe Fassett fabric pieces.  It was a random cutting, and I hoped to get as many colorful options as possible.

Here’s a few of my most favorite squares!

I decided that every few paychecks or so I would grab another random colorful bunch of fabric squares.  This trip Etsy was my enabler!  Courtesy of The Trendy Little Geek.  These are from the Tula Pink line and have little animals blended in with floral patterns.  

Look at that trash panda being so cheeky!

img_4990.jpg

More Tula Pink, this time the animals are a little more difficult to spot, and there’s some polka dots thrown in there, which I just happen to be a huge fan of.

Look at these little snails!img_4992.jpg

And this pack as well, which was cat themed.  My cuts didn’t have cute little cat eyeballs, which I crossed my fingers for, but they are good selections, none-the-less!  

Ok, so if you look closely, these polka dots, are actually kitty cat spots!

img_4998.jpg

And these odd shapes are kitty cat eye balls!

img_4999.jpg

That little cat is so satisfying!  Too bad more will get cut off from the edging.  Maybe I should buy a quarter roll of this fabric?

img_5001.jpg

And no, your eyes are not deceiving you!  That is indeed cat food cans on that fabric square!  Squee!!!

img_5002.jpg

In the course of this grand search all across the kingdom for colorful fabric choices I discovered Liberty Lawn fabric.  And THIS. RIGHT. HERE.

There’s a wheelbarrow…

And a cute house with little birdies, and a field of sheer happiness…

And a garden… there’s a garden with a gardening can and a little brick paved way and a kitten in the flowers…

I ordered two.  And I would buy SO MUCH MORE, if it wasn’t crazy expensive and had to be imported from Britain.  Sigh.

But, wait!  I did buy more Liberty Lawn fabric, in different colors.  Here was my next purchase from a lovely Etsy store called Liberty Charms.

Their business card is so cute, and looks just like it was made from a postage stamp quilt!  And apparently, news to me, there are all kinds of ladies who use Liberty Lawn fabric in their postage stamp quilts!  The fabric has patterns that are so tiny and make it perfect for small squares under 4 inches.

The shop also offered charm packs as well, in the size I had determined I would start with- 2 1/2″  I was not disappointed and will, undoubtably, buy more!  The texture of this fabric cannot be accurately described in words.  It is heavenly!

Here they are all laid out on my kitchen table.

Look at this particular one:

img_5014

It’s arts and crafts!  It was destiny!  Look closer at those tree branches!

img_5015

I might have to get a little more of that fabric as well.  Maybe I’ll ask the hubster for some for Christmas?

At this snails pace it will take me forever to gather enough materials to make my quilt.  But I don’t mind!  I love the thrill of finding treasures and selecting exactly the right pieces for my happy little quilt!

Artistically yours,

The Colourful Teacup

Homeschool Time! Back to School!

It’s school time folks!

Every summer I try to evaluate what we loved about the past year, and where we went totally wrong.  I only have a few personal rules about homeschooling and the curriculum that we choose.

Here are my super easy rules!

1.) It must be secular-ish, or at least sincere Christian literature.  I know what you’re thinking, but keep reading!  I think it is important to  introduce my children to and help them develop healthy relationships with Christ.  BUT, if it isn’t fleshed out any further than a superficial attempt at mentioning God in a book to make it “christian” for the homeschool market, then it feels more like a marketing ploy, than a sincere attempt at introducing children to Christ.  Additionally, I doubt that the majority of these authors have degrees in both theology and the subject, doing a disservice to our children in BOTH areas.  Not everyone speaking in HIS name, is furthering HIS mission. 

2.) It MUST be affordable.  We are a single income family with a small business.  That means income is not always stable and fluctuates with the market.  These big box homeschool kits that cost over $600 are not an option.

3.) It must be flexible for children with special needs.  My oldest daughter has dyslexia and synesthesia.  It has been a struggle for us, as her symptoms often leave her with seriously intense migraines.  She struggles with sequencing, small fonts, spelling, and writing. Very little of her problems actually relate to her not being able to read.  Any curriculum we get must be curriculum that I can read or teach her, rather than independent work.  Colorful graphics are helpful in helping her stay focused and keeping her eyes where they need to be, or at least helping her remember how to get back to the same spot.

4.) It must be interesting.  Look, my kids have to listen to me all day long.  And because the youngest is still small and the oldest has dyslexia, I have to work one-on-one with each of them ALL. DAY. LONG.  It’s gotta be interesting for me, as much as them!

And that’s it!  That’s all the “rules” for choosing my homeschool curriculum!

Ready to see what we picked this year?  Here we go!

4th grade

Language Arts:

  • Florida Treasures by Macmillan McGraw-Hill: Grade 4 Grammar Practice book, these workbooks are free online!  Additionally, the textbooks are super cheap to get secondhand on Amazon, Ebay, or other used book stores.
  • Daily Language Review: I have discovered an amazing teacher (group of teachers?) on Teacherspayteachers.com and we are going to use her FOREVER!  The “store” is called Teacher Thrive
  • Language Assessment Quizzes: Teacher Thrive

Reading: Core Knowledge has free Reading units that are a touch harder than normal curriculum at the grade level, which we need as we have a super great reader on our hands!  Some of the units are copyrighted, but luckily do not cost a lot to purchase.  Core Knowledge Reading

Math:  Lessons for a Living Education by Angela O’Dell & Kyrsten Carlson.

I’ve tried so many different math books, and bought this on a wim.   Although sampling the older versions I know that I will not be able to keep with this set as it tries to get more “theological” the higher you go- and I apply the term theological liberally, as I sincerely doubt my Priest would find it to be sound in its scriptural references.  I have no idea how it has a solid 5 star rating, unless of course, the adults aren’t actually reading through it. It’s pretty good in the math department, in all seriousness, so long as I skip the super weird stories spaced throughout that have absolutely very little to do with math and are quasi-racist or at the very least written without sensitivity to a diverse reading base.  I had a friend read it who also homeschools, and is a christian as well, and she agrees that it’s weird.  She wasn’t quite ready to call it racially insensitive like me, but, well… (it totally is).  I will not be buying it again, but next year will totally get the one I choose for my 12 year old (see below). Math Lessons for a Living Education

Social Studies: Core Knowledge has free social studies curriculum online with teacher guides.  You can also buy hard copies, which is what we choose to do since the cost of the book is generally cheaper (and neater) than printing out my own.  Core Knowledge Social Studies

Science: We are a little bored with normal science textbooks repeating the same old thing every year.  So we are mixing it up a little this year.  We’ve decided to dive right in to some chapter books for this littlest, happy reader.  Especially chapter books that target a specific topic at a time.

  • Magic School bus books
  • Magic Tree House Research guides
  • Science Readers that correspond with the Scott Foresman books.
  • Other hodge podge collection of science-y books.  We just got done reading all about Albert Einstein, for example.

Art:Concordia University Chicago has free art classes online, organized via grade level!  Just print with your colored printer and easy peasy art lesson!

7th grade

Language Arts:

Reading:

  • Targeted Chapter books based upon what we are learning or want to learn.  Currently we are reading No Summit out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits which came with one of our deluxe tinker crates.  I hope to read Ender’s Game, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond before the end of the semester.
  • We will be reading selections from Realms of Gold, Volumes 1 and 2 for classical examples of literature such as  Shelley, Frost, Angelou, Poe, Twain, Keats and more!

Math:

I wish I had found this math curriculum earlier!  I do not think I will deviate from using it in the future for either of my daughters!  It seems both sound and easy to understand (for both her and I- ha!).

I didn’t want to focus entirely on algebra this year, like some middle school math texts do, so I opted for the level 7 book, above, from teaching textbooks, but I did want to touch upon it every now and then.  My daughter has a good grasp on algebra, but struggles with things like fractions and sequencing (dyslexia rears it’s ugly head).  This textbook is exactly what we need for some targeted practice and an introduction to linear equations.

Social Studies: 

This Year we have selected the following titles for my oldest to work through:

-Foundations of Geography –> which she actually started this past year but needs to finish up.

-The Ancient World

-Medieval Times to Today

There are chapter outlines available for free online and Chapter Tests! Best part, the tests are graded automatically!  Huzzah!

  • US Government & Civics Bell Ringer Journal (for an introduction to some serious subjects, and extra writing practice):  The SuperHERO Teacher

Science:

For this year I have selected the following titles to work through:

-Human Body Systems (book D)

-Astronomy (book J)

-Chemistry (book L)

The absolute best thing about these books, other than their manageable size, is the fact that the quizzes and tests are all online!  Which means less I have to grade!  Huzzah!

Art: Again we are using the 7th grade packet from Concordia University Chicago

Other Materials and Resources

Duolingo.com This is a free website for learning dozens of languages.  The oldest is currently taking French and the youngest is taking Spanish.

Exploring Handwriting Through U.S. Geography.  Super Successful Cursive edition.  This link, by the way, is to Christianbook.com, a company that I have found has cheap prices and amazing customer service!

Draw Write Now: A great drawing and handwriting course teaching kids to draw everything from pigs to boats.  We all have fun learning to draw together!  They come in installments, and each one is slightly themed (for example, barn animals, autumn, etc).

Minimus Latin: a cute quick latin course with Minimus, a mouse. Slightly expensive though.

It’s So Amazing!  A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families:  Need a good Birds and Bees book?  I can’t recommend this one enough!  There are good little cartoon dialogues between the two characters ( a bird and bee, appropriately enough), lots of pictures and diagrams, and tasteful discussion about lots of sensitive topics.  I’ve used this with both of my girls and I keep it around just in case anyone has any questions or wants to reference it.

Tinker Crate (for the 12 year old who likes to build things):  Use my link to help me earn $10 toward more crates for my kiddos!  Tinker Crate     You can sign up for the deluxe version which includes a book.  I’ll be using the books throughout the school year to help with her reading.

Doodle Crate (for the 9 year old who likes to create): Use my link to help me earn $10 toward more crates for my kiddos!  Doodle Crate

Atlas Crate (for both of the kiddos to learn about the world around them, and to NOT be those folks on tv who can’t find a country on the map): Use my link to help me earn $10 toward more crates for my kiddos!  Atlas Crate  Like the Tinker Crate, you can sign up for the deluxe version which also includes a book. This is a brand new subscription but so far I have not been disappointed.

Wow!  That was a lot of info y’all!  Hopefully you’ve made it to the bottom and have a lot of new resources for your homeschool!

Let me know your thoughts!  Anyone have an amazing textbook that they can’t live without?

Yours,

The Colourful Teacup