Pretty Magnetic Pen Container (DIY from spice tin)

Does it drive anyone else CRAZY when there is no pen nearby to add things to your fridge notepad? I tend to forget things easily, and sometimes, by the time I get my pen, I forgot what I needed to write down!

My mom has the same problem, so I made her this as part of her birthday week.  [I’ll add the link once her birthday week is over! I don’t want to ruin any surprises so I’m waiting…]

Magnetic Pen Container by thisthatandcraft

Super easy and ended up being super cute gift!  I got the notepad at Michael’s.

Here’s how to make the super cute magnetic pen holder!

What you will need:

  • empty spice tin (got mine at Kroger – they have 2 sizes, I used a large one)
  • scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge (make your own with Elmer’s glue)
  • small foam brush
  • magnets & glue (E6000 is good stuff)

Magnetic Pen Cup Supplies


  1. Remove the lid of the spice tin.  I opened it and was able to get it out with my fingers.  You could also use pliers.
  2. Cut your paper to fit the spice tin.  I set the paper on top of the ridge, and made it the paper about 1/2 – 1 inch taller than the container to create nice edges.
  3. Using the small foam brush, put a light coat of Mod Podge on the tin.  Place the scrapbook paper on the front – starting on the bottom rim, making sure the seam for the paper will be on the back.  Use a credit card to smooth the paper.  Smooth it around the corners.
  4. Cut a diagonal slice down each corner, put Mod Podge on the paper sticking out the top and then pressed it firmly to the inside of the tin.  Put more Mod Podge just where the paper overlaps the tin to secure the seal.
  5. Attach the magnets to the back of the tin (the side with the seam).  Let glue dry.
  6. Add pens, attach to fridge, and VIOLA!

My inspiration from Not Without Heels:


I also love the idea of using a pretty tea tin!  No paper necessary!

Tea container


Airplane Travel Survival Kit (Great Gift for Overseas Travelers!)

I’ve made some fun survival kits for my coworkers like this Hospital Survival Kit for new mommas and the Wedding Day Survival kit.  I did not expect a gift for my birthday, but they made me this AWESOME Travel Survival Kit in an adorable purse/messenger bag for my upcoming trip to Taiwan!  My best friend had the same idea!  She got me a decorative suitcase filled with fun things for my trip.  What’s crazy is the only things I got double of was things I’ll use – like hand sanitizer.  I feel so blessed for such thoughtful and sweet coworkers and friends!

Airport Travel Survival Kit

Some ideas of things to include:

Comfort and sleep: (especially for long flights)

  • travel blanket
  • neck pillow (inflatable take up less space)
  • earplugs
  • sleep mask
  • benadryl or other sleeping medication


  • hand sanitizer (travel size)
  • compact mirror
  • chapstick & lotion to combat dryness in air
  • travel comb or brush
  • hair tie
  • Tide To Go or Shout Wipes
  • nail file
  • dry shampoo (travel size)
  • hygiene supplies: check out the travel size section in your pharmacy or grocery store for what you think your recipient will need: toothbrush/paste, floss, deodorant, etc. – include a quart size bag for liquids!
  • face wipes

Stay healthy:

  • disinfecting hand wipes
  • hand santitizer
  • tissues
  • bandaids
  • pain relief tablets
  • motion sickness medicine
  • barf bag

Just in case…

  • snacks
  • hard candy and gum (to help with the
  • pen
  • luggage tag

For fun:

  • deck of cards
  • favorite magazines
  • paperback book
  • Sodoku or crossword book

You could even include a few things for your recipient to use on the trip!

  • plug adaptor
  • battery operated fan
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • scarf
  • travel journal
  • sun hat
  • bra stash or money belt
  • travel clothesline

How about a packing list or other infographic:

If you have little ones, here are some good ideas:

What to Bring on a Flight for a Baby and Toddler

What to Bring on a Flight for a Baby and Toddler

Flying with a Preschooler & Baby from The Active Toddler

Flying with a Preschooler & Baby from The Active Toddler

Toddler Airplane Survival Kit from Blog by Ben

Toddler Airplane Survival Kit from Blog by Ben

Squirt Sea Turtle Cupcakes (with instructions!)

I do not often make “cutsie” cupcakes. They tend to be a lot of work and not as tasty. But a coworker requested these for her son’s first birthday, and since it’s summer, I agreed. [And sea turtles are also my favorittte animal.  We went to see the Sea Turtle Lady in SPI many many times.  Family vacations at SPI for spring break… that’s a story for another day.]

And a BIG shoutout to my self-designated “cupcake engineer” – she figured out how to solve many of the problems I came across.  And did a lot of the cutting of the candy.  I’m just not careful enough for that…  Thanks Olivia!

2013-06-14 P1070983

The cake: I made 2 flavors of cupcakes at her request – my favorite chocolate and my now favorite vanilla recipes I even used my new surprise cupcake pan (isn’t my boyfriend sweet? Happy birthday to me!) to have Reese’s in the middle. Mmmmm. (I even had blue wavy cupcakes – water!)

The candy:

You will need…

  • Peach gummi ring candies – 1 per cupcake
    • make sure they’re not hard when you buy them!  The first few bags I bought were and it made them difficult to manuever.
    • try to find some that are mostly red on the top portion of the ring.  It just looks better!
  • Gumdrop candies (green for the head and red/orange to match the gummi rings) – 1 of each per cupcake
    • See if you can find them in where you can buy just one color.  I couldn’t, so I had to buy lots of bags to get enough.
    • You can also use small spice drops for the center of the shell (then, no cutting is necessary) – but since I had to buy lots of packages of gumdrops anyways AND I didn’t want any frosting poking out of my shells, I went with red gumdrops.
  • Spearmint Leaves candies – 2 per cupcake
  • Mini chocolate chips – 2 per cupcake
    • If you live in Texas, and it’s June, therefore a gazillion degrees outside, don’t leave in your trunk for 2 days.  Unless you want a long and slow method of melting chocolate and you’d like to pipe the eyes.  I may or may not have experienced this…
  • Wooden kitchen skewer or toothpick

Red GumdropGumdrop shell: (I did this ahead of time. Make sure to seal them somehow – I used Saran wrap.) Slice the red gumdrop in half, eat or discard the bottom half (warning: may taste slightly like cough syrup.  According to my cupcake engineer.  I was perfectly happy eating the leftover peach rings.)  You will place the red gumdrop top on the center of the gummi ring to create the turtle shell.

Fins: Slice a Spearmint Leaves candy in half. Then use an oval or heart fondant/cookie cutter to cut each half into two pieces, as shown.  Use the outer pieces for the front fins and the inner pieces for the hind fins.

Gumdrop head: If using chocolate chips, use a kitchen skewer or toothpick to poke eyeholes in the sides of a green gumdrop. Then press a mini chocolate chip into each hole, using a dab of white icing to help hold it in place. If you’re going to pipe the chocolate, you better be more cautious and careful than I am.  Luckily, I had my trusty “cupcake engineer” friend Olivia to help me do the tricky parts for me and be the brains of the operation.

The frosting: Once the cupcakes have cooked and when the candy is prepared, frost them with the frosting of your choice.  I love me some vanilla buttercream! I scooped it onto the cupcake using a small or medium cookie scoop and then spread it using a small icing spatula.

Assemble the turtle:  (see picture below) I put the head first, then the shell with the top-half-red-gumdrop in the center, then the legs.  Press down slightly to stick in place.  I refrigerated my cupcakes until serving.  I live in Texas. It’s hot.  Frosting melts…

Turtle method adapted from Spoonful: Courtesy of Disney.  Here are some other versions (with varied candy types): Zimbio, these made with chocolate shells, Thrifty and Chic mom

My Favorite Educational iPad App: Bitsboard Review

I work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students of all different ages and levels.  I use Bitsboard with so many different levels and ages of kids (currently 3-year-old to 8th grade).  It’s a must-have app for teachers!  I’ve used to to introduce topics (school objects, actions words, sight words), auditory training (animal sounds, Ling sound check, environmental sounds), and to support vocaublary in the classroom.  This app is amazingly free and incredible!

The basic concept: Create or download a set of flash cards, called a “board.”  Each flash cards consists of a picture and a word. You can add your own pictures or select one from the app.

The app includes a number of games that can be used with any “board.” Every update has seen more new games, and they’re always awesome!

With the new update, you can also add different users.  This will be great for me, since I work with many different students – I can track their progress and more!

Download it here to try it out!


Bitsboard Help Center

Why share a board?

How to Delete a Board from the catolog

Problem Downloading Boards

How to Delete Boards

Wedding Day Survival Kit: Free Downloads

I’m starting to be known around my friends and coworkers for my “survival kits.”  I don’t know how it happened.  I guess I just love the practicality and the personalization I can do when creating a kit for someone I care about.  Here’s the one I most recently made! One thing I love about this one is that anything the bride doesn’t end up using can be used for a guest room bathroom! Wedding Day Survival Kit: Contents What to include: [I did NOT include all of this.  Think about your bride and what she would actually use in an emergency]

For clothing (I found most of this at Joann’s):

  • sewing kit (if possible, make sure it has the bridesmaids’ dress color thread) – I found mine at Michael’s for $1.50 in the baskets of value items!
  • scissors (my sewing kit included mini scissors)
  • double stick tape
  • corsage pins
  • safety pins
  • clear nail polish (for fixing a chipped nail, runs in hose, or putting it on the thread of a button about to fall off)
  • stick-on instant hemming tape
  • white chalk (for masking stains)

[Side note: You’d think you wouldn’t need any of this.  At my best friend’s wedding, one of the bridesmaid’s zipper BROKE on her dress.  The zipper had seemed a little “off,” but David’s Bridal said they couldn’t do anything about it.  She couldn’t get it zipped, and then one side came completely out.  We had to literally sew her up, but the thread color didn’t match and we ran out!  EEK!  The bride may have been hiding under her veil at this point…] Wedding Day Survival Kit: Hair & Make-up

Hair & Make-up: (Most of this I found at Wal-mart in the travel section)

  • bobby pins
  • comb or brush
  • hair spray
  • compact mirror
  • chapstick
  • tweezers
  • nail file (I found a cute set at Wal-Mart by the nail polish!)
  • nail clippers
  • blotting papers
  • cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • make-up wipes
  • hand lotion
  • lint roller
  • deoderant
  • toothbrush-to-go & toothpaste kit (travel section)
  • floss
  • mouthwash
  • eye drops (if the bride wears contacts, make sure to buy drops that are specifically for contacts)

Just in case…Wedding Day Survival Kit: Just in case!

  • bandages or first aid kit
  • blister kit
  • mints
  • tissues
  • earring backs
  • tampons
  • Shout Wipes or Tide-To-Go
  • static cling
  • water bottle(s)
  • straws (to keep lipstick from getting totally ruined) – next time you grab and extra one from a fast food place, save it!
  • superglue
  • lighter (for lighting candles or to fix fraying ribbon! It works for most ribbons – just swipe it so it doesn’t catch on fire!)
  • for outdoor weddings: sunscreen, bug spray, allergy medicine

For Sanity:

  • medicine: headache, pain, antacid, etc.
  • snacks (I got Nature Valley fruit and nut bars or Clif bars – no chocolate or anything that will stain!)
  • I’m not a drinker, but if the bride is, you could go with some mini containers of …juice…

Now, for the bag.   I wanted something with a handle that could be easily carried.  I considered a purse or beach bag, but then realized either everything would be floating around, or I would have to purchase additional pouches.  I also considered a tackle box.  While this is a super cute idea, and they tend to be about the same price as what I got, I thought it’d be too annoying to carry around / have to keep upright.  SO I went with a cute cosmetics bag with a handle, various pockets, and even a hook to hang it over a door.  I find this is my favorite style to gift.

UPDATE: Here are a few I have made since this post! I even personalized some of them with vinyl!

I got the larger cosmetic bags at TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning for less than $15 each.

I recently made the purple clutch survival kit for my fashionista friend!  Carrie had her cosmetics kit on her table at the reception!  I knew Allison would not put a bag that didn’t match on the table, and that she would appreciate a matching clutch, so I ordered this “large” Missy K Rose Clutch on Amazon.  It was hard to fit everything I wanted to in there, but I think it works for Allison!

I also made a mini wedding day survival kit for another friend of mine.  I found the small bag at Target for less than $2and was able to fill it with lots of good stuff thanks to this: My Tagalongs Personal 911 Kit.  I found these at TJMaxx for less than $5!  I love a good deal!

Label:  I used Callie Hand font for my label.

This download includes a standard printable PDF with no bride’s name.  Download and print on cardstock – I used my handy-dandy paper cutter and corner rounder to make this all pretty, punched a hole, and tied it with a ribbon.

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 3.51.09 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.01.46 PM

This download should work with fonts on most computers.  I’ve been including a list of what was included for my bride!  That way, she can look through it without emptying out the bag when opening her gifts.

I also made you lovely ladies a shopping list!  Again, I made one in Word, so you can edit it as needed.  Or, you can just print it, and you’re ready to go!  Here is the PDF.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.13.08 PM

Just delete what you’re not using and change it to your favorite font!  If you have trouble, please let me know.  Comment below if you have anything you added, and please link back if you use these ideas so I can see what you’ve done!  Thanks for reading!