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brown paper packages: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

{DIY baggage tags} with free printable!

It's summer! Our family has some big trips coming up in the next few months, and I wanted to create some fun and easy baggage tags for all of our luggage. When we fly, we usually leave our stroller and car seats at door of the plane, and then pick them up when we get off.  Tying a cute baggage tag around them will add one more step in an effort to making sure our stuff doesn't get lost!  I also wanted  needed a cute tag for my pink polka dot luggage, lol.

These tags will take less than 5 minutes to make, are super inexpensive, and are perfect on everything from kids' backpacks to strollers! Of course I went with a monogram, because I'm slightly obsessed.  :) 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{mini s'mores}

We are a S'mores loving family, and I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw the new Lil' Squares by Honey Maid.  They are seriously the CUTEST mini version of graham crackers, and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them!

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Monday, May 28, 2012

{summer reading program} with printables!

 I posted this for the first time last summer, along with the printables. I've received several e-mails telling me that the place I updated those printables to is now requiring payment in order to download them.  I decided to go ahead and re-post it, and change the link for the printables to one that is free!  

This was one of our very favorite summer activities, and can't wait to do it again! Since we're moving this summer, and will be in between libraries, I think it's going to be even more important.  Enjoy!
When I was growing up, summers were for reading.  I read all year long, but in the summer I could curl up with a book for as long as I wanted to. I absolutely {love} to read, and even now, it's my biggest luxury.

Our local library only allowed 10 books to be checked out on a junior library card, and for a fast reader like me, that was just not enough.  I would read those 10 books in two days, and then beg my mom to take me again. I soaked up all my favorites, and I would read them, them read them again. The tooth fairy at our house also brought books, and by the time I was 8 or 9, I had read many of the classics---Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, David Copperfield, Little Women, Great Expectations, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and more.

I want to pass that love of reading on to my children, and share with them my passion of summertime reading.  Our library has a wonderful summer reading program, but it's fairly short, and can be (and usually is) completed in four weeks. 

Last summer I decided to create our own family summer reading program, and it was wonderful!  We had a set time each day, where all grabbed our books (myself included, yay!) and sat down to read together.   The time of day had to rotate a little, depending on what we were doing, but it was something that we looked forward to every day.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} featured guest: somewhat simple

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{silhouette GIVEAWAY and promo!}


Wahoo!!  I LOVE when I can do this!!!! I have the best readers ever, and I get so excited when I get to do a giveaway like this! 

A very lucky Brown Paper Packages reader is going to win a Silhouette Cameo!  

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{easy father's day ideas}

Father's Day is right around the corner, so I've collected some fun and easy ideas for the special dad in your life!

{Father's Day Pop!} free printable

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{a place for everything} treasure boxes

Is it just my kids, or do yours love to "collect" treasure, too?  And when I say treasure, I mean rocks they found in the front yard, broken toys from the dollar store, every scrap of paper they've written their name on, pieces of colored lint, an old bead necklace they found on the bus...the list could go on and on.  

When I first discovered piles of "treasure" in their room, I was torn between wanting to acknowledge their need for keeping things that are important to them (don't we all want that?), and my need for a clutter-free home. I also wanted to teach them how to keep things orderly.  From these needs, treasure boxes were born, and it has been one of the best things we've ever done! It's such a simple idea, but the effects are far-reaching, and everyone is happy!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

{giveaway} jameson monroe

I was introduced to Jameson Monroe a few months ago, when their shabby flower skinny headbands were featured on a boutique site.  I thought they were so cute, and decided to give them a try.  Once we had them home, they quickly became our go-to headbands!  The bands are comfortable--I've never had a complaint from either one of my girls.  The shabby flowers are adorable, and made really well. 
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Friday, May 18, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} featured guest: lil' luna

Hi there! Kristyn from Lil' Luna here!! I'm SO excited to be here on Kierste's awesome blog today - I just LOVE the girl!! 

With it being Summer here in AZ, things are getting pretty HOT, and the kids aren't as excited to play outside, so I thought it would be fun to make Homemade Gak (It's something I made all the time with my cousin growing up!) The recipe that was most similar to the one I used growing up if one I found HERE. It is so EASY and literally takes 2 minutes to make, but has provided HOURS (and I'm not even joking!), HOURS of entertainment!! Every day, for a week now, the kids have played with this gak for at least an hour each day. I've pulled out plastic cookie cutters and they go to town, and guess what?! I LOVE it!! It's hardly any mess!!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

{white chocolate chip lemon bread}

Lemon is to spring and summer as pumpkin is to fall, and I am passionate about all things lemon.  That means I am super excited about sharing one of my most favorite lemon-y recipes--White Chocolate Chip Lemon Bread!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{easy DIY cupcake stand}

I adore cupcake stands--I just think they are so, so cute.   I've found a super easy, inexpensive version of my own, and I'm excited to share it with you today!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

{giveaway} polka daisy

 Good morning, everyone!

This week I'm excited to introduce you to Polka Daisy!  They specialize in hand stamped jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and keychains.  They have many darling items to choose from on their site, but they also love doing custom design.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} featuring...ginger snap crafts

Brown Paper Packages

Hi!  I’m Ginger from Ginger Snap Crafts
So nice to meet you!
It really is a dream come true to be here at Brown Paper Packages.
{I think this was one of the first craft blogs I followed!}
Thank you so much for having me, Kierste!  I adore you & your blog.

I love summer time!  My kiddos have one more week of school left.  Yay!
We have tons of fun things planned!  Can’t wait to get started!
One thing we do every summer is that each kiddo has a summer journal. 

summer journals
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

{we're moving!: a binder to keep you organized}

 Our family is about to embark on a very big adventure...we are moving cross country in about six weeks!

We moved a lot when we were first married, and all through school, but we've lived in our current town for nine years. We made a big move when we went to graduate school, but we had one baby, and knew it would be temporary.  Now, with five kids, a house to sell, a house to buy, a relocation company, and all the ins and outs of changing pretty much every aspect in our life, there is a lot of information to keep track of.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{photography with lei} watermark your images

Hello there!  Today we are going to talk about watermarks.  Why should you watermark your images?  There are a few reasons. First of all, it dissuades others from passing off your photography as their own.  Yes there are people out there posing as photographers, only they are stealing other people's images off the web and displaying them under their name.  It's despicable, but you can make it a lot harder for the with a well placed watermark. Watermarking also allows you to market yourself better.  Should your image get passed around the internet, your watermark may be your only credit.  Hey - who's that awesome photographer?  Ah, her name is on the photo! ;)  Lastly, in the world of Pinterest, where your images may not always get pinned from your site (case in point - my images being pinned via Brown Paper Packages), a watermark identifies you as the owner/creator of that image.  If people are interested enough in your work, they will google your name.  Without a watermark that would not be possible.  Or, the site owner from which the photo was pinned may get the credit instead of you.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{elmer's craft it!} giveaway and mother's day card

 Last summer I hosted an Elmer's Craft Camp, and I loved it so much that when they contacted me again, I quickly jumped on board. When I received their package in the mail this time, I was so excited to go through the products and find not only tried and true favorites, but some new items as well.

Here's a look at what I received...

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Monday, May 7, 2012

{giveaway} word whipped

Happy Monday, everyone!  I'm excited to introduce you to Word Whipped, a darling etsy shop that features a variety of products, including handmade wood signs, vinyl applications, and custom order originals in a variety of designs and styles. Their featured product is wooden subway art boards that are hand painted and use vinyl, or are a computer generated stencil and painted to create the finish they want. 

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Friday, May 4, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime?} guest post: eighteen25

I'm so excited! Today is the summer series kickoff, which will feature some of the most talented bloggers around.  They will share their summer ideas and projects, including activities for kids, holiday decor, recipes, printables, and more!

I am {thrilled} that the fabulous eighteen25 girls are here today...

we are jennifer, jamie + jodie from eighteen25

if you're familiar with our blog, then you know about our subway art that we've shared for the holidays, birthdays and such. yesterday, we shared our new summer subway art...

(you can find them all HERE)

now you can frame your subway art, make a card or use it as a tag attached to, what i think, is the cutest little watering can i ever have seen... 

along with a packet of seeds to plant, of course!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

{handprint aprons for mother's day}

If you are my mother, or my husband's mother, please do not read any further.  ☺

Sometimes it seems like the years past faster than the days do, and capturing little handprints are like freezing a moment in time. When my oldest was small, I made an apron with his handprint on it for my dad for Father's Day.  I still LOVE seeing his tiny little hand on that apron.  ♥ This year I decided to make them for my mother and mother-in-law--perfect for Mother's Day!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{teacher blocks...appreciation gift}

I made a set of seasonal blocks a couple years ago that I absolutely love, and I thought it would be really fun to turn them into a set of teacher blocks for appreciation gifts!

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