Sunday, December 13, 2015

Glass Etching and Stitch Fix ... Perfect Gifts!

I posted about glass etching casserole dishes on my Instagram page a few weeks ago and many people asked for a quick tutorial.
Doing the casserole dishes is my go-to gift... it's simple, practical, inexpensive, and thoughtful.  I usually throw a sheet of tissue paper in the bottom, toss in a box of brownie mix, and tie it up with a ribbon.  VOILA!  You do need some type of Silhouette or Cricut machine to make a stencil... unless you are just REALLY amazing at drawing and cutting precisely by hand.
1)  In my Silhouette software I type the last name that I need and usually change the font to some cute KG font.  The ones pictured are KG Lego House.  I usually make the name about 1.5 inches high and usually no more than 6-7 inches long (this depends on the size casserole dish you are etching).

2)  I send the file to be cut out on the Silhouette.  
3)  I peel out the "inside" of the name... leaving the rest of the vinyl behind... This creates a stencil.
4)  Using transfer paper, I position the vinyl onto the casserole dish and carefully remove the transfer paper.....  and smooth all pieces down to make sure nothing is lifting, etc.
5)  I use a sponge/foam brush to dab etching cream all over.  I don't actually rub the brush or swipe because I don't want it to lift the vinyl... so DAB it is!
6)  I ask Siri to set a timer for 10 minutes and sit patiently start the dishwasher, run to the bathroom, start the laundry, start dinner, etc.
7)  After 10 minutes, I take the dish to the sink and rinse off the etching cream and do a quick rinse with soap and then I take off the vinyl... dry my dish and think about how awesome I am.
I'm included a pic of the etching cream that I use.  I've read about other etching creams, but have never used those.  This bottle I bought from Amazon, but I'm sure they probably sell it in stores, too!  I'm just a sucker for free shipping and ease!  You do need to be very careful with the cream as it can burn your skin and will etch surfaces VERY quickly.  This is not a project that you want to rush through.

While I have you here, I wanted to share my latest luck with Stitch Fix.  I was really pumped to get my last box after taking some time off.  If you follow me on IG then you know that I have lost over 60 lbs this year {compliments of divorce/anxiety/stress}... and clothes just haven't fit right and I haven't really been interested in buying or even trying new clothes.  I was pleasantly surprised by my last box and kept 2 of the tops.  They are more form fitting than I normally wear, but sometimes it's good to branch out, right?  These are perfect for date night I think.
Did you know that you can buy your friends and family Stitch Fix gift cards?  I didn't know either, but I think it's the perfect gift for a busy mom or even as a teacher gift.  My next "fix" is scheduled for February and I'm so excited.  I know that I will have had time to recover financially and physically from the holidays by then!  {click the pic to head to their site}
So, there you have it... 2 easy gift ideas this Christmas season.  Time to get busy etching some glass or snag up some Stitch Fix gift cards for those hard to buy for peeps on your list.  I hope that y'all will have an amazing last week before break!  Talk to y'all soon!  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chalk... All the Chalk

Anyone who knows me would say that a good quote is the way to my heart.  I love words.  Words are powerful.  I love to put words on just about anything.  My QUOTABLE board on Pinterest is probably my favorite board.  I just love words, y'all!

I also love things that are whimsical and quirky.  Enter the perfect recipe...  my desire for words and CHALKOLA markers.  This girl is in word heaven!  Chalkola wet erase markers are VIBRANT& BRIGHT- 

Use them on Mason jars, ceramic jars, or DIY projects, Perfect for leaving personal notes on mirrors & calendars...even on chalkboard stickers, chalkboard contact paper, tile, metal, plastic, glass doors,   

Check out some of the projects I've tried with the markers so far:  

 I loved the smoothness of the chalk markers and the colors were super bright...not muted and that was exactly what I was looking for.  I tried the bullet tip markers (swoon), but they also have a HUGE 15mm nib with a rectangular tip which was great for really large projects or lettering that you can check out HERE.  Today I am hoping to use them to add some lettering on a spray painted globe... I think the possibilities are endless.  If you want to see the finished product, be sure to follow me on Instagram HERE or the Funky Fresh Firsties FB page HERE!

Interested in snagging some markers of your own?  The kind people over at Chalkola are offering you 20% of orders over at AMAZON.
Use code: CHALK20A

I hope that you and your families will have an amazing Thanksgiving... safe, warm, and full of many blessings.  If you do a chalk project, please send me a picture through FB or tag me (@stacyrena) so that I can see!  I love finding inspiration from you guys!  Talk to y'all soon!  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's Currently May...

Woohoo... we made it!  It's finally May.  Not much longer now, peeps!  I'm linking up with Farley for the May Currently...  
Listening:  it's Sunday morning and I'm chilling on the couch.  TV is off, sipping my coffee and my small humans are still sleeping!  I think they've finally reached the age where they realize the merits of sleeping in on the weekends.  We had a full day of shopping and playing yesterday and there were TIRED!

Loving:  I have been watching Married at First Sight on A&E and I'm in love.  This is the 2nd season (I didn't even realize there had been a 1st season).  But... if you're in the market for a new show... I highly recommend this one.  It's intriguing and entertaining and so much better than I thought it would be.

Thinking:  There are only 19 days of school left until summer vacation.  The last few months have actually gone by pretty fast, but that always seems to be the case after Christmas.  The last day with students is the 29th and then we have to go back a few days for post-planning and then HELLO summer vacay!

Wanting:  To go skydiving.  There is a place locally that does it.  I am thinking I may go next weekend when the boys are with their dad!  Wish me luck... can't wait to share pics!

Needing:  A tan.  Y'all...  this girl is pasty!  My friend and I leave for our annual beach trip the week after school is out and I am not ready.  I need to work on this and soon... or I'm going to look like a lobster after the first day!

Summer Yes, Hope, Dream:  I am so excited to go to Vegas again this summer.  Last year we had a blast (Read:  New Kids on the Block concert)... and I'm sure this year will be even more of a blast.  My hope is to organize the house and simplify stuff... throw out stuff that has no meaning, etc.  My dream is to be more spontaneous and open to what happens.  I am such a list maker and planner... and this can be a bad thing sometimes.  I am excited to throw caution to the wind (a little bit), go out on first dates, stay up too late, take road trips, and see what happens!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's Currently March

It's March 1st, peeps... crazy, right?  February is a short month and goes by fast... pretty excited from a paycheck standpoint!  Just sayin'...  So, it's time to link up with Farley for the Currently phenomenon...  here goes:
Listening:  to my kiddos playing in the tub.  This weekend was with their daddy so I had a weekend solo.  While it's nice to have a tiny bit of quiet, it's also hard to be here for too long in the quiet... or go to church alone.  Just a weird feeling to have them away from me.
Got up early today and ran some errands, then grabbed coffee and headed to church.  No one to shush or remind to be quiet.  I didn't have to find anyone's page in their hymnal, or hunt for quarters for the offering plate... just a new different feeling.

Loving: that tomorrow is a teacher workday.  Sure, there are a few conferences and maybe even some PD thrown in there, but my body will be in jeans.  I can brew a pot (or 2) of coffee and go to the bathroom WHENEVER I want.  I'm excited to grade and sort some papers, prepare materials for this week, and Clorox wipe ALL the things!

Thinking:  of my to-do list.  It's categorized, y'all!  There's a house to-do, school to-do, TpT to-do, gifted endorsement to-do.... AGHHHH!  Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of a short to-do list paper clipped to a big to-do list... the struggle is real.  I think that there is so much going on in my head that I'm afraid I'll forget it if I don't write it down.  I have always been a list maker, but I think I'm starting to envy people who don't.  Something to consider I suppose...
next TpT project
See... a list on a list 
Wanting: a set of lockers (or maybe 5) for my kitchen wall to use as storage for lots of different things.  I love the industrial vibe in houses.  If you follow me on Pinterest... then you've seen my HOME board and know that about me already.  I don't like cookie cutter things.  I also really, really want an old library card catalog.  I have found a few on Craigslist, but am super scared of being killed by a serial killer who is pretending to sell things online.  Also, they're uber-expensive.  So, there's that...

Needing: to do my taxes.  Womp, womp, womp.

Spring break plans:  I think I might get braces over spring break.  I have an appointment later this month for my consult then we'll go from there.  Braces at 35... why not?  ;)  Also my entire family lives in east TN (currently snowing) and so maybe by spring break I can head that way to see my peeps.  How beautiful is this picture?  Yes, I think a road trip might be just what I need!

I hope that you will have an amazing week.  Talk to y'all soon!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers are Heroes... DUH!

Y'all know I love a good sale... heck, any kinda sale, BUT the TpT ones are some of my favorites!  I always look over my wishlist in preparation and make sure that I have left feedback for all of my purchases so that I can maximize my savings.  The TpT sale is happening THIS Wednesday, February 25th!  If you enter promo code HEROES you can save up to 28% off most peeps' stores!  I am filling my cart with tons of clip art for new projects and font licenses!

So... what's new in my store?  Glad you asked!  :)  I had last week off (don't throw tomatoes at me) and I was able to finish 2 projects that had been tabled for the last few month due to my divorce.  It felt SO good to sit and create things for a change... and I'm so excited about these 2 new packs!

First up... Under the Sea Non-Fiction Passages for Curious Learners: 9 Non fiction passages, KWL charts, comprehension questions (2 per page to save ink)... and posters of each animal!  My kiddos are enamored with sea life and this is going to be a HIT!    {click the picture to take you  the store link)

The 2nd Pack is George vs. George {A Revolutionary Match Up} which is perfect for 4th and 5th graders.  In this unit you will find:
1) Several graphic organizers for King George III and George Washington,
2) A Venn Diagram with optional tags to paste.
3) 3 non-fiction passages 
4) 1 texting activity (students need to craft a reply text to King George III and a reply text to George Washington)
5) Comprehension questions for the "Why You Taxing Us, Dude" passage! 
I hope that you will score some AMAZING deals during the sale... and that the rest of your week will be AMAZING!  Remember that you can connect with me on FB HERE... and on Instagram HERE!  I'm so much better at updating those vs. blogging these days!  Talk to y'all soon!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's Currently February...

How is it already February?  The last month or 2 have really sped by...  won't be long and summer break will be here!  I'm really gifted at summer vacay, y'all!  :)  So... what am I "currently" up to?  I'm linking up with Farley to share...
Listening: to my kiddos playing and laughing on the trampoline with their friends.  They just got home from their weekend with their dad.  Can't believe that my "baby" is 7 years old.  On the day he was born I pulled into the school parking lot and had my first contraction... the school bookkeeper had to drive me to the hospital and I was already almost completely dilated.  Crazy day for sure!  
Loving: I did my 1st food prep today.  I made enough to last almost all week long.  I did a breakfast scramble for breakfast, chicken and spaghetti squash for lunch, steak and sweet potato mash for dinner.  I need to do better and was excited to try something new.  It was the first time I had ever cooked a spaghetti squash... and even the first time I had ever cooked a steak.  Crazy, right?  

Thinking:  of all the things that need to get done.  Trying to find balance in my new circumstances.  My divorce has been final for a month now.  The boys and I have moved and I'm trying to make this house feel more like "home"...  full time teaching, TpT, and working on my gifted endorsement.  I feel like I"m not doing well with any of it.  I have decided that I will think ahead, but that I'm mostly going to take it day by day... and allow myself some grace while I navigate.  

Wanting: for it to be summer already.  I am so ready for some extended time off, a tan, etc.  I already have a week at the beach planned out.... and super STOKED for the TpT Vegas conference in July!  125 days til the beach trip (me, 2 girlfriends and their small humans, and a babysitter)... and only 158 days til Vegas!  
Needing: a clone of myself... see that part above and all that is going on.  I would like to clone myself, but maybe she could have her JUNK together... and get it done for the both of us.  Maybe she could go grocery shopping, write lesson plans, and vacuum?  Maybe?  ;) 

Pageant title: Introverted Princess ...  how funny would that be?  I was in a pageant once when I was in middle school and I won...  looking back I looked hilarious.  Guess it's a good thing I have boys now... not sure I would know what to do with little girls!  

Hope y'all have a great week...  I haven't been so good with blogging consistently, but I do update my FB page pretty often with freebies, jokes, and interesting links.  Have you stopped by yet?  Talk to y'all soon!   

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Y'all, I haven't written anything on this blog in awhile... it's been hectic 'round these parts.  I am excited to see this year end and am optimistic about what 2015 might bring for me and my small humans.  I'm linking up with Farley for her January Currently... here's what I'm currently up to:

Listening:  to House Hunters International...  man, I love HGTV.  I always try to figure out which house the people will pick, but I am usually wrong.  Guess what works for me isn't true about them :)  The International one is even more intriguing... I love looking at the different houses in amazing countries... I should travel more!
Loving:  my boys and our new family of 3.  I don't know what this is supposed to look like yet.  Not sure what divorce looks like for us...  we have moved into a new house and are navigating it together.  For now we have a safe place to live, internet (finally), DirecTV, groceries, and each other.  I have been surrounded by friends this last week and have felt so loved.
Thinking: about way too many things.  I keep rewriting my to-do list.  Just when I think I've got everything done... I think of 10 more things to write down.  I am only getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night so writing stuff down is WAY important.  I am normally a list maker anyways, but certainly more right now.

Wanting:  my pink eye to go away.  Seriously, what teacher gets PINK EYE over break?  I went to the doctor yesterday and got drops, but I still look kinda crazy!  I just want to keep my sunglasses on all day so people can't see me!  I know it will pass, but DANG...  PINK EYE?!?!

Needing:  a new coffeepot... any recommendations?  Y'all know I love coffee... plain or fancy.  What kind of coffee pot do I need?  I also need a new welcome mat.  I have looked on Amazon, but not sure where else to look for something fun and whimsical...  maybe even witty ;)  If you know of somewhere... leave me a comment!  I'm also needing some sleep... so if you find some extra ---> send it my way!

Yes, Maybe, Wish: Yes, to loving myself.  For me that looks like Crossfit, healthier choices, working on my gifted endorsement, and allowing myself some grace when I fail.  Maybe I will buy a house.  For now we will live in our happy rented home while I get my ducks in a row and figure out what our family of 3 needs.  But maybe it would be nice to start over!  Wish:  I would love to find a way to pay off my student loan.  It is the one thing that I angst over the most it seems... like this looming thing... always.  If I won the lottery... it would be the first thing I would do... pay that baby off!

I hope that you will have an amazing night and that you will wake up tomorrow ON FIRE with plans of awesomeness.  Can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for all of us!