Super quick post here tonight to let you all know that I created an instant download printable for teacher appreciation week and teacher gifts for the end of the school year. It is available in my etsy shop.
The print has a sweet poem surrounded by a border of red roses to express you are thankful for the education and care teachers give the kids! Easy to print at home or at a local print shop for a meaningful gift. The simple, modern design is suitable and attractive for graduation from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school or college. Busy mom? This is an instant download so perfect for last minute teacher appreciation week and end of school year gifts. Best part is you can print as many as you need so you can include the specials teachers, school counselor, music teacher, art teacher, ESL teacher, and assistant teachers as well!
If you have any stories about a special teacher, please share! Big time thanks to all you teachers!!
There is a little girl I want you to meet. Her name is Cecilia. She is about 6” tall, has a sweet smile and two sassy braids. The coolest thing about her? She is bilingual! I have been working on Cecilia for months and I’m so excited to finally introduce her to you!
Cecilia is a paper dress up doll that comes with a bunch of cute outfits for both winter and summer, all labeled in Spanish and English. I drew all the illustrations by hand before uploading them into a digital, instant download printable. Playing with Cecilia, your child can practice English and Spanish conversation skills talking about the clothing, the seasons or any other fun topic that comes up! Children can color the simple black and white illustrations with pencils, markers or any favorite art supply. Then, they can cut out the shapes and “dress up” the doll in a cute outfit.
Besides using this bilingual printable as a dress up doll activity and coloring page, your child can also cut out the labels for the clothing and see if they can match the label with the correct piece of clothing as a matching game. While kids of all ages may enjoy this activity, I think kids in preschool, kindergarten and elementary school would especially enjoy it.
Since the time my kids were very little, I have always been on the lookout for bilingual kids toys and books. With kids in Spanish immersion school, I wanted to support their education by providing them with fun activities in Spanish because I’m a big believer that learning should be fun and that kids can learn so much through play. The idea for Cecilia was born from my love for kids, language and bilingual education.
The idea for Cecilia was born from my love for kids, language and bilingual education. "
Cecilia, the paper dress up doll, is available as an instant download pdf file printable in my etsy shop so your child or students can play with this learning activity immediately. After purchase, you can print as many copies as you need for your personal use (or classroom use if you are a teacher). You can find more details about Cecilia by clicking here.
I know that we all get busy but would you leave me a comment to let me know what you think of Cecilia? It would make my day!
Thank you so much!
We all know that children love to explore and that exploring is important to their development. As adults, it is easy to get stuck in the routines of daily life and occupy ourselves with the same old activities, habits and chores. I personally love my routines but recognize that us grown-ups can certainly benefit from exploring too!
Exploring can open our minds to new ideas, gain a new perspective, clear our minds from stress and inspire us to seek knowledge of the world around us. Here are five easy ways to incorporate more exploration into our adult lives and helping our inner child to soar:
One of my favorite ways to explore is by going outdoors and into nature. I’m blessed to live in a beautiful place where within a hour’s drive I can be either at the coast or the mountains. The Pacific Northwest offers a variety of landscapes that make it fun to explore with the whole family. The seasons offer different activities to explore nature and many of them are free!
Our family loves to go hiking and pay attention to wildlife tracks on the trail. We study the native plants we see or try to figure out which bird is singing so pretty. In summer, we swim in mountain lakes and learn about newts. In fall, we hunt for edible mushrooms in the forest or go for “nature treasure hunts” in the city as we look for pretty acorns and chestnuts.
While the kids learn lots through these experiences, I have found myself learning as well. Exploring engages me with the natural world and encourages me to open up reference books to better understand what plant or animal track I’m looking at.
As an artist, I explore by trying out a new art supply or experimenting with a new medium. In my illustrations, I strive to communicate ideas with simple line drawings and push myself which lines are necessary to make the drawing as pleasing yet simple as possible. Last year, I received a rubber stamp making kit for Christmas. I had never tried my hand at making stamps but found that my simple designs work very well in making stamps.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, it can be so fun to doodle with some pencils, build something out of wood or create a bowl out of clay. Our modern smart phones are equipped with amazing cameras so you can literally be a photographer on your lunch break and receive instant feedback through posting on instagram!
Explore New Skills
If you feel stuck in your job or tired with daily chores, maybe it’s time to learn a new skill. Who knows what opportunities open up by learning a new skill! It may help you to work more efficiently or step up in your career. You may find a new hobby, for example by learning how to play a musical instrument.
I recently started taking ice skating lessons. If you would have told me last year that I would be taking ice skating lessons, I would have told you you’re crazy. However, my daughter started taking lessons and it looked so fun, I couldn’t resist! I grew up ice skating during the winter in Holland so it feels great to be back onto the ice. I have to be very careful because of my back issues but taking a basic skills class has been an exciting way to get back into it.
Explore through travel
Being an international family, we’re lucky we have family all over the world we can visit. We love to travel! Exploring through travel truly opens your mind and helps you to learn about other cultures, foods and ways of living. It widens our horizons…. quite literally.
If travel is not in your budget or you have physical challenges to make travel a reality, you can travel from your most comfortable chair right at home by reading books! I recently read “A State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett which allowed me to “travel” to the Amazon rainforest, a place where I have never been. Do you love to travel through books? If you have any good book recommendations for me, please leave them for me in the comments.
Explore your community
Talking about books, have you visited your local library recently? The library is not only a wonderful place to find books but also connect with your community. Our local library offers free events for all ages.
How can you explore your community? By visiting a park, by visiting a neighborhood coffee shop, by introducing yourself to a new neighbor, by supporting a local small business or getting involved as a volunteer? So many ways to explore your community!
Feeling inspired, I created a new design around this concept of exploring. The design has a triangular shape with colors that are attractive to men and women, boys and girls. The “explore” design is available on a wide variety of products including cards and apparel. By clicking on the images, you will be directed to zazzle which is the print-on-demand company which produces my designs into real life products and gifts. If you are interested in seeing the entire product line, please click here and select newest products.
If you believe in the benefits of exploring and enjoyed reading my post, I always appreciate it if you share via social media. Thank you!!
... you can make a difference for a sweet 7 year old girl in my family. You see, just a few months ago, Maddison’s days were filled with gymnastics, attending 2nd grade and playing with her sister and dogs. Then, on November 18th, Maddison was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme Cancer. Glioblastoma is a very rare and difficult to treat cancer. While battling cancer is so extremely challenging already, the family has had to battle with the health insurance company to get coverage for the chemotherapy drugs Maddison’s oncologist has recommended.
Hearing her story really touched my heart. I wanted to help but live too far away to help in a direct way. Because I express my feelings through art, I created a drawing inspired by Maddison and her love for animals and the zoo.
I’m offering this drawing to you as a free printable that you can use as a coloring page for your kids or a decorative print to hang on the wall of your child’s bedroom or baby’s nursery. You can download the pdf file simply by clicking on the image below and print from your home computer or at local print shop.
However, if you choose to download the printable, I ask that you please consider making a donation to Maddison’s gofundme campaign. Maddison is so strong and brave but she could really use a miracle right now. The gofundme campaign will help pay for the overwhelming medical expenses. Any donation will be appreciated! Your donation will bring hope and make a difference.
Thank you so much!
I just added an instant download printable for Valentine's Day cards in my etsy shop. This printable is for an 8 1/2" x 11" page of 9 cute Valentine's Day cards with my polar bears with heart illustration. The illustration shows two polar bears sharing a heart of love. The design works for both kids as well as adults (including teachers!) and is perfect for classroom Valentine parties at school!
You can print from your home computer or at the local print shop so you can print last minute! Just cut the cards along the lines and have your child fill out the "to" and "from" sections! Easy!
These Valentine's Day cards are super affordable as you can print as many as you need.
Click the button below to visit my etsy shop. Thank you for checking it out and sharing the love by liking my post, leaving me a comment or sharing on social media!
If you love spending time at a lake cabin or mountain cabin, raise your hand! Nothing can rejuvenate us like spending time in the outdoors, connecting with nature and swimming in a lake. Spending time at a cozy cabin allows us to reconnect with our family, reading books and playing games. It is one of our family’s favorite ways to spend time! Since I enjoyed working on the bilingual memory game printables I recently launched in my new etsy shop, I was inspired to create a memory matching game that celebrates the simple joys of staying at a cabin with your family.
I started with creating little doodles of woodland animals and illustrations of things that remind me of cozy cabins. Living in the Pacific Northwest for so many years has given me plenty of inspiration! From staying at historic fire lookouts on stilts to rustic cabins without any modern amenities to warming up in a beautiful ski lodge or log cabin, cabins are the best for creating lasting memories! Working on these drawings would remind me of our special family memories and before I knew it, I had 24 unique designs!
I kept the designs as simple line drawings in black ink because I thought kids may like to color in the drawings themselves and have another fun activity to do besides playing the game. Plus, it makes it easy for us moms to print at home even if the color ink cartridge on your printer is out of ink!
Would love it if you check out my new “Cabin in the Woods" game printable as it has been a labor of love! Here is the link to my new etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PresentsofLoveShop
Also, I would value your feedback on any other printable products you’d like me to create with a cabin theme. Bookmarks? Games for kids? Stationery? Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts! Thank you so much!
Any new beginning, but especially a new year, can feel so refreshing and energizing. To me, it feels like a blank canvas with lots of opportunity for continued learning, growing, exploring and experiencing. I also seem to get an extra energy boost for decluttering and organizing after the busy month of December. It would be great if that feeling lasted awhile because our home can certainly use that…
I do love to spend time reflecting on the year past and what goals I have for the next year. This year, I determined that goal setting is an important skill for the kids to learn as well so I created a worksheet to put down our family goals. I wanted to share it with you as a free printable and hope you will enjoy using it with your family in your new year’s goal setting. This printable will help you to write down your reflections and goals in concrete terms or serve as a tool for discussion. The printable is a concise one pager but it would also be helpful to discuss with the kids how they plan on achieving their goals.
To download the free printable, please click on the image below. You will be able to print this family goal setting worksheet as a pdf file.
Good luck on your new year’s goal setting! I would love to hear about your experiences and feedback in the comments. If you like this printable, please share it with your friends or via the social media icons! Thank you so much for your continued support!
How are you doing on your holiday prep? Are you feeling well prepared to enjoy the holidays in a relaxed state of mind or are you feeling stressed rushing around to get everything done on time? December is such a busy month! Every year, I tell myself to start earlier but then the holidays come so quickly again... If you're like me, you will find yourself wrapping gifts late at night right before Christmas!
At moments like that, the last thing you need is finding that you are out of gift tags! After all the effort you put into finding meaningful gifts, you wouldn't want to write who the gift is for with a barely working pen found underneath a pile of your kids' toys and written straight onto the wrapping paper...
If you don't have the energy at that point to run to the store for more printed gift tags, I have another solution! I recently added a gift tag printable with my Polar Bears with Heart design to my etsy shop. These gift tags are super affordable as there is no limit to how many you can print. Plus, like I said, the best part is that you don't have to head out to the store again! The polar bear design works great for any holiday or celebration in winter, whether you celebrate a birthday, Christmas or Hanukkah.
To find this cute gift tag printable, head over to my etsy shop by clicking the yellow button. If you like my illustrations, I really appreciate it if you share with friends! Thank you so much!
Best Wishes for a Joyful and Peaceful Holiday Season!
Looking for a gift for that someone special who loves to go camping, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding and spend time in the outdoors? Here are a few gift ideas that will make them smile big time!
These designs are available on a wide variety of gifts and items from shirts to home decor to paper goods for both kids and adults so please check out the complete selection at my zazzle shop. Thank you!
Just a quick post tonight as it has been a very full week and I need some sleep! I'm super excited to share with you though that I added a second product to my etsy shop today! It is a memory matching game in my native language Dutch.
If you are an English speaker wanting to learn some Dutch because of your heritage, an upcoming trip to Holland, because you are an expat living in the Netherlands or whatever the reason may be, I hope you will enjoy this game to practice your Dutch!
If you are a Dutch speaker who would like to practice English or teach your children English or you are planning travel to an English speaking country such as England or the United States, I hope this memory matching game will be fun for you too!
Because this product is a digital printable, it is easy to bring along on a trip. Whenever we travel back to Holland (a long flight from the west coast of the U.S. for sure), I always bring a memory game for the kids to play. It is easy to play while we wait for the plane in the airport and lightweight to carry along in our luggage.
I would love to hear your feedback about my memory matching games and if you have a connection with Holland! Are you learning Dutch? Thank you for leaving me your thoughts in a comment!
You can visit my etsy shop by clicking the yellow link below. Thank you!
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Illustrations and mosaic art gifts that celebrate the simple joys in life in a global world.