April 2015 - Rachel Teodoro

20 Teacher appreciation gifts you can make today!

I don't know about you, but teacher appreciation week sneaks right up on me every.single.year.
I sort of work best at the last minute, so I put together a list of 20 teacher appreciation gifts that you can make TODAY! Some of the ideas may require a quick trip to the store, but all of them can be made and packaged in under an hour.
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Plain turquoise bowl gets a face lift

Last week, I attended my first blog conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I've been wanting to go to SNAP for years and I finally signed up and made the time to go and I am so glad that I did!

The part of SNAP that I was most looking forward to was connecting with other bloggers. For months leading up to the event, we were getting updates, connecting on our social media accounts and even being paired with secret sisters.  

My secret sister was Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts. I was excited and a little nervous since I've read Mandy's blog for years.  She's one of those amazing bloggers that I admire and have on my every day reading list.  When I found out that she liked turquoise, I started to see turquoise every where.  I ended up making a little something for her and I love how it turned out and wanted to share it with you too.


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Gifts to make for Mother's day {no macaroni included!}



Mother's day is the perfect day to sit down with your kids and make something for their Grandma or Nana. I love to get and give handmade gifts, so I put together a collection of my favorite Mother's day handmade gifts to give and I have divided them into easy to find categories with links directly to their tutorials.
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Mother's Day gifts (to wear, for the home, personalized jewelry) to give round up


They say the best gifts to give are the ones that you would want to get yourself.  So I've compiled a list of gifts to give to your mom on Mother's Day, or ones that you can add to your list for your kids to get for you.  Every single item are things that I would love to get {hint hint sweet husband and kids of mine!}

I've broken it up into some easy to find gifts {to wear, for the home, personalized jewelry} and provided the links directly to the products for easy shopping.
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Gold glitter believe wood sign

Do you remember the day when Target didn't have a one spot? It's like thinking about peanut butter without the jelly.  Or mac without the cheese.  But I digress.

I'm sure the one spot is the first place you stop when you walk into Target.  They didn't put it in front of the doors for nothing.  Them there are marketing geniuses!

One such afternoon when I found myself in Target, I saw this plain wood sign for only $3.
Believe isn't the first word I would have been drawn to, but it's the only raw wood one they had and I thought it would look super awesome with a nice coat of gold glitter on it.  I mean, heck, what doesn't look good with gold glitter on it?



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Vinyl zippered travel bag

I have been doing a lot of traveling lately.  In fact, I am pretty sure I've spent more nights sleeping in hotel beds than in my own bed this year! Don't get me wrong, I love it! Travel is one of my most favorite things ever. I've actually gotten quite good at packing.  My favorite travel item are these zippered pouches. They are even better now that I personalized them a bit.


Do you have a Diaso store? You all know how much I love the Dollar Store, well Daiso is the Japanese version except everything is $1.50 {exchange rate and all yo}. I haven't been in there for months, so I thought I would pop in this week and I was glad that I did.  I found these super awesome zippered travel pouches that are perfect for putting liquids or wet or dirty clothes. Only problem is, they were super boring. Plain Jane. Lucky for me I have a vinyl cutter.



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Cancun as a couple





We weren't married for long before we became a family of three.  We had our oldest son while we were still in college and we jumped right into the family life, never really having time to enjoy just the two of us as a couple.  Sometimes in the thick of things with parenting it feels like it lasts forever, but we are in the home stretch now with one of them and it seems like it all happens in the blink of an eye.  Pretty soon, it's going to be just the two of us, something that really never was in our marriage.  That's why it is so important for us to be able to take the time as a couple to reconnect with each other.  Both of us agree, that it's best to do that reconnecting at an all inclusive resort in a tropical location.

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Training again. Some tips that I have learned through the years.


I don't let the fact that I hate running stop me from running. I have found that I am a fairly typical type A personality which is why I think that I keep signing up to run races. I have run four half marathons and more than a handful of 5k's.  I'm currently signed up for half marathon number five in June.
I made myself a snarky running shirt and I think that helps me during my training runs.  I have also learned a few things over the years. If you are training for your first 5k or your fifth half marathon, maybe some of my tips will help.
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What you can do to fight poverty and be part of the solution


We sang this song by Tommy Walker at church on Easter Sunday. I was still processing everything that I saw and experienced on my recent trip to Zambia and when I sang these words the names and faces of the people that I met popped into my head.

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Hero's in Zambia

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48


As I stood on that red dirt in Africa for the second time in less than a year, I realized that this verse is so true for me. I spent years dreaming of an opportunity to go to Africa, a land that I have loved since I first heard about it when I was a small child.  I have been grateful for the opportunities that I have had to visit and I am humbled that I get to be a small part of an organization like World Vision that is doing great things in not only Africa, but in nearly 100 countries world wide.

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Improve your child's reading skills and self confidence


I have always loved reading.  One summer as a young teenager, I picked up a hammock at a garage sale for a few dollars, recruited help from one of the toddlers that I babysat and cleared out a spot between two trees in my backyard and spent my summer reading The Babysitters Club book series.

Once I had children of my own, that love of reading continued and some of the best memories I have of my three kids are of them on my lap reading book after book after book before naptime.

We have always had a house full of books {thank you local library!} and a never ending supply of reading material. I'm thankful that all of my children love reading and almost always have a good book or two that they are knee deep into.

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Living in fear and how you can be a part of the change

Disclaimer: this post will have some disturbing information that may be graphic in nature. If you are sensitive, please use discretion.

Before I left for Zambia I had heard about ritual killings.  I wasn't quite sure what information I would be able to learn while I was on the ground, but I asked the hard question of our World Vision staffer Collins, while we were driving into the city of Choma before our work had begun. 
He informed me that there had been one ritual killing that had occurred this year, and six that had occurred last year.  There is so much secrecy involved in these rituals that sometimes deaths go uncounted.  In South Africa, ritual killings are culturally accepted and usually go unreported. These practices continue to happen around much of Africa and usually involve hunting down a victim {usually walking alone}, mutilation, and murder of some of the communities most vulnerable people.
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Snack time!

There was no school today.  The kids were all home fighting, hungry and testing every last bit of patience that their mama had.  My three kids are all capable of finding something to eat on their own {hallelujah!} and a few of them aren't even afraid of the oven. I had heard a few hundred times as my kids stood in front of the recently stocked {as in just yesterday I spent a small fortune} pantry and then moving on to the "can we squeeze just one more thing in jenga style" fridge how we had nothing to eat.  

One sweet child {who will remain unnamed} was begging for these prehistoric animal shaped nuggets that he had had at a friends house a few weeks ago.  I'm actually super grossed out by those nuggets because a) I don't think that there is a whole piece of meat inside of them and b) they are the soggiest mess when they cook that I don't think they are even fit for human consumption.

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April free printable memory verse

We are just a few short days away from celebrating Easter.  Good Friday is on the horizon.  It's always a somber time before the celebration.  I have been offering up these free printable memory verses for you every month.  I hope that you can spend time marinating in the truth of God's word.
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