I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing long weekend! We had a little staycation in the city and it was perfect. I’m trying to soak in as much as San Francisco as I can before the big move!

Can you believe it is almost June, and time to start thinking about father’s day? This year we put a little twist on the normal father’s day card, and turned it into a bright, cheery banner. I’m sharing all of the details today over on Modern Parents Messy Kids. And stay tuned for the rest of our Father’s Day gift next week!



  • Liz Stanley - So cute! Love the rainbow colorsReplyCancel

  • Best of Signs - Nice Photos with great explanation to create Happy Father’s Day Banners and it looks amazing. Thanks for Sharing.ReplyCancel

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

Tomorrow is Lucky Penny Day, and there is nothing more exciting to Avery than finding a lucky penny on the ground. So obviously this is a day we want to celebrate.

We made a few lucky penny necklaces, using extra special pennies from each of our birth years. We of course had to make one for Alessia as well, even though it will be quite a few years until she is able to wear hers.

These were really easy, practically free, and would be so fun to make as gifts. Or as my mom (the former school teacher) pointed out, a great activity to do in the classroom. Just ask each child to bring in a penny from their birth year, then ask a parent volunteer to drill the holes and precut the cotton cord. The rest would be easy for a child of any age to do. (My 4 year old did it with very little assistance)

If you don’t like the idea of a necklace, you could always turn your penny into a lucky penny keychain instead.

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

You Will Need:

  • pennies – if you would like your pennies to be super shiny like these – read on for some cleaning tips
  • a small drill bit and drill
  • a small piece of scrap wood
  • a 30 – 36 inch piece of organic cotton cord (found in the beading section of a craft store)
  • washi tape or painters tape

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace


  1. Secure your penny to the piece of wood with a piece of washi tape or painter’s tape.
  2. Using a very small drill bit, drill a hole through the top of the penny. This was so much easier than I had imagined. I don’t know anything about drill bits, I just grabbed the smallest one I could find from the toolbox. Then I started drilling into the penny applying a bit of pressure. I stopped as soon as I could feel the pressure let up. The 2009 and 2013 pennies were really easy to drill through, because they are copper plated zinc. The hole was smooth and there were no jagged edges on the back of the penny. The 1979 penny, which is actual copper, was a bit harder, and there were a few jagged edges on the back. I used a small piece of sandpaper to smooth out the jagged parts.
  3. Fold the cotton cord in half, and insert the folded end through the hole from front to back.
  4. Take the ends of the cotton cord and tuck them through the loop.
  5. Pull it tight to secure the penny.
  6. To make the necklace adjustable, start to tie a knot at the end of the right side of the cord.
  7. Insert the end of the left side through the partially tied knot on the right side.
  8. Pull the knot on the right side closed with the left side in the middle of the knot.
  9. Start to tie a knot at the end of the left side, around the right side of the cord.
  10. Pull the knot closed. Then adjust your necklace to the desired length.

If the instructions for the adjustable closure seem a little confusing, check out this tutorial on youtube. It says to use leather cord, but the cotton cord works just fine.

Lucky Penny Necklace

To get your pennies sparkly clean:

  1. In a small bowl or dish, mix together 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Drop the pennies in (don’t let them overlap) and let them soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the vinegar from the jar.
  4. Take one penny into your hand and sprinkle it with Bon Ami.
  5. Rub the Bon Ami onto the penny in circular motions with your fingers for a few minutes, until it is clean. Repeat with your other pennies.
  6. Dry the pennies thoroughly with a dry cloth.

DIY Lucky Penny Necklace

Our other Lucky Penny Day plans are to empty out this fresh roll of 50 pennies, one at a time, on our walk to preschool tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will give 50 people some good luck!

Lucky Penny Day

Happy Lucky Penny Day!

Mini Notebooks - May

Month 5 of the year of mini notebooks project. May. In honor of warm weather, bright colors, outdoor fiestas, and my birthday.

Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.
Jack Kerouac

Mini Notebooks - May

You will need:

  • a plain mini notebook
  • brightly colored card stock scraps
  • scissors
  • glue (not shown)


  1. Cut the colored card stock into tiny triangles.
  2. Glue onto the mini notebook so that it looks like a garland is strung across the cover.

Happy May!

To see the rest of the mini notebooks in this collection, click here.

Austria Invites You

Well, it’s official. We’re moving…again. And this time it’s to Vienna, Austria!

3 whole years in Europe! I have to pinch myself now and then to really believe it.

We’ve actually known about this move for quite some time. But with the unpredictability of the Foreign Service I was reluctant to make any big announcements before now.

Well the countdown is on, our San Francisco days are numbered, and I am about to go into full-blown moving mode.

Which also translates to: I can’t sleep because I am making mile long to-do lists and I still have so much I want to do before we leave San Francisco and the house is about to become a disaster while I purge anything and everything before the movers come.

Ahhh…the joys of moving!

But before the madness starts, let’s talk Austria. I’ve never been, but have heard nothing but amazing things about it. Any recommendations for us? Please share!

  • Alli - Oh my gosh, I am so jealous! Vienna is AMAZING! Exactly where I’d pick to live if I were going overseas. Congrats, and I’ll be living vicariously through you!ReplyCancel

    • Kaley - Thanks Alli! So glad to hear you love it there. :)ReplyCancel

  • ashley - I am green with envy! Austria is amazing. We loved Salzburg so much we cancelled other parts of our trip to stay longer. Plus, you will be a short train ride or flight away to the rest of Europe.ReplyCancel

    • Kaley - Ash – you guys should come visit us! :)ReplyCancel

  • Florence - Salzburg is a really beautiful town in Austria, it´s the Sound of Music town !
    I also visit a salt mine around there, it was very fun and especially with kids I think. And in Vienna, don’t miss the Manner shops and it´s delicious specialities.ReplyCancel

    • Kaley - Thanks for the suggestions, Florence! We will definitely add those places to our must do list.ReplyCancel

  • DIY Gift Card Holder - […] I have been spending every spare moment researching anything and everything having to do with Austria, I have been racking up the points like […]ReplyCancel

  • Savannah - I lived in Vienna in college for a year- it’s perfection. It’s only a few hours from a million places and it’s full of wonderful itself. I loved catching $3 operas and the kunsthistorisches has Caravaggio’s David and Goliath which is fantastic. There are wonderful parks. Minoritenkirche is the most peaceful refuge in the middle of the city, and it has a fascinating history with Napoleon. The absolute best part of Vienna however is the Christmas markets. THE BEST PART. It’s the happiest this to ever happen!! You are going to have the best time ever.ReplyCancel

    • Kaley - Thanks so much for the suggestions, Savannah! I can’t wait to check them all out. And yes, I have heard the Christmas Markets are pure magic.ReplyCancel

DIY Mustache Tea TowelMy little brother sports the most fantastic 70’s style mustache ever. Well, at least my daughter thinks it’s fantastic. She wants to be just like her uncle, which has caused a bit of a mustache obsession. So when it came time to think of a gift for him, of course she insisted on something with mustaches on it.

This little mustache tea towel was so quick and easy to make, and makes a perfect gift for your favorite ‘stache sporting friends.

DIY Mustache Tea Towel

You will need:

DIY Mustache Kitchen Towel


  1. Draw your design on freezer paper with the sharpie.
  2. Cut out your design using the x-acto knife to make a stencil.
  3. Iron the piece of freezer paper to the towel, smooth side down, using a hot iron without steam.
  4. Using the foam paint brush, dab the fabric paint onto the towel. Do a few coats to make sure it is fully covered. Let the paint completely dry, following the instructions on your fabric paint, then carefully peel off the freezer paper stencil.

For more details and photos on using freezer paper stencils, check out my little heart onesie tutorial.

DIY Mustache Kitchen Towel

Her mustache is from Land of Nod, and gets played with on a daily basis…usually with a princess dress, of course.

DIY Mustache Kitchen Towel

The fabric paint that we used has the best texture once it is steamed, it almost looks like a real mustache!

DIY Mustache Kitchen Towel


  • courtney - Great towel and perfect for your brother! Definitely think you need to include a picture of him with this post!ReplyCancel

    • Kaley - Good idea! I may have to update this with a photo of his crazy ‘stache.ReplyCancel