What Teachers Really Want for the Holidays

Alright folks, if you have been hanging around this blog for a while, then you might recognize this post. I wrote the first incarnation of it a couple of years ago, back when I was still teaching, but I figured it was time for a refresher. And while I am no longer teaching, my husband and most of my friends still are, so this is a PSA for them!

First, the things teachers do want:

  1. Gift Cards: Most school districts have rules about teachers accepting cash, so a gift card is the next best thing. Teachers love gift cards, and this is hands down the best gift to receive from students. Some gift cards that are always a hit with teachers: Starbucks, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and of course, BevMo. True story, my husband had a student who brought him a bottle of wine for Christmas. That kid  (and his mom) was a hero. However, I’m sure many schools have rules against that kind of thing, so maybe just go with the BevMo gift card to be safe.
  2. Food: This is most of what my husband brings home, and I ain’t complaining. Baked goods, boxes of candy, if it’s edible, it’s usually a good gift. For the most part, any yummy goodies delivered to teachers will be eaten by them (and the lucky people who live with them), but even if they themselves don’t want to partake, they can pass the goods along to friends and family.
  3. Something Personal: I feel like there should be a big ole asterisk next to this one because it should be used sparingly. When I was teaching theater, I had a more personal relationship with my students than when I was teaching English simply because I spent way more time with them. They knew me as a person (as did many of their parents), not just as a teacher. Many of them got me awesome personal gifts over the years (mostly Disney related) and I still have all of them. Some of my favorites are a Walt Disney quote necklace, Disney ornaments, and a baby blue stuffed Mickey Mouse for Squirt.  If you are going to venture into the something personal category for a teacher, make sure it is thoughtful and from the heart.

And now for the hard part, the things teachers really don’t want. Yes, I know, it’s the thought that counts, but the thought should be about the receiver, not the giver, and I’m just trying to save you a little money, and save teachers the guilt they feel when they toss student presents in the trash.

  1. Lotions/body washes/anything to be used in the bathroom: This seemed like kind of a go-to gift when I was teaching. For the most part, I don’t mind these gifts, but it got to the point when I had so many that I started re-gifting them. I can only use so much lotion in one year. I also got to the point (when I was making more money) where I could afford to buy the lotions and scents I wanted on my own, and so the holiday gift sets became a total waste. Also, just a reminder that some people have sensitivities to scents, or to beauty products, so a lot of the Bath and Body Works combos are given away or trashed.
  2. Anything you saw on Pinterest: Oh Pinterest, you have done so much good for the world, and yet caused so much pain. Teachers DO NOT want any craft made from crayons, pencils, or any other school supplies. Teachers do not need monogrammed signs shaped out of rulers. Teachers do not want homemade body scrub in a Mason jar. Teachers do not need Christmas ornaments made out of popsicle sticks. By the time you buy all of those craft supplies, you could have just gotten them something they actually want. The only acceptable thing to craft from Pinterest is a cute gift card holder (see above). Seriously, back away from the Pinterest.
  3. Anything that includes a framed picture of your child: Chances are, that’s the child your teacher might want to forget. #sorrynotsorry

Alrighty folks, there you have it, the blunt, honest truth. Please, please, please save yourselves and your kids’ teachers a lot of trouble this year and go for the gift card. Teachers work hard, and they deserve the very best for the holidays. Give them what they want!

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Recipe: Fun and Festive Holiday Cocktail

Well, folks, it’s Monday, which means we are all in need of a little cocktail, am I right? Today I have a super simple and delicious holiday cocktail recipe for you. This would be great for a party, and you could even make a big batch in a punch bowl if you wanted to serve it as an alcoholic punch. Here’s the ingredients you will need: vodka, cranberry raspberry spritzer (this particular one is from Trader Joe’s, but I have seen similar drinks at most supermarkets), and an orange. How pretty is that orange? I sent Matt to the market and told him I needed a photogenic orange (exact words) and he delivered this beauty!

holiday cocktail

For the drink, mix two shots of vodka and two shots of the cranberry raspberry spritzer. Then squeeze the juice from half of the orange into your drink and mix together. I don’t recommend shaking since the juice is carbonated, just give it a good stir. If you are not a huge vodka fan, you can always add more of the juices to mask the flavor. Adjust to your taste! You could also add ice if you so desire, but since I always keep my vodka in the freezer and the juice was refrigerated, I didn’t need it.

This cocktail is super yummy and super easy to make, plus it came out to be the perfect color for a holiday drink! I would definitely serve this at a party, it would make a great Christmas cocktail!

holiday cocktail

All the decor in these pictures can be found at Target. The gold polka dot glasses and the mini Christmas trees were in the dollar bins, and the light up “Cheers” sign was in the party section (and it was only $12, total score in my opinion!).

Happy holidays friends! What are you going to be drinking tonight?

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Holiday Highlights from Years Past

Hello friends! The holidays are clearly upon us and I don’t know about you, but my social media feed is full of all kinds of crafts, recipes and projects all themed around Christmas and Thanksgiving. I figured today I would share some of my favorite holiday themed posts from past years with you so you have them all in one convenient spot. I will have some new holiday posts coming your way soon, including a look at the new holiday offerings at Disneyland, but these will hopefully tide you over until they are ready!

I can never pass up the opportunity for themed Minnie ears. Last year I made these Christmas ears and I still love them. I’m sure I will make a new pair this year, but I am still in love with this pair too.


I am no longer a teacher, as you know, but my hubs still is, as are many of my close friends. For their sake, and for the sake of all of the teachers out there, please read this post and take heed! This is what teachers really want for the holidays.


No holiday (no day?) is complete without a festive cocktail. Last year I made these tasty drinks, and completed them with some simple DIY stir sticks.


Another highlight of the holidays is all the baked yumminess. These festive cookies are so easy to make!

Christmas Cookies

The holidays at Disneyland always bring something new to the table, but a lot of the traditions return year after year. Here is my list from last year of my top ten favorite things about the holidays at Disneyland.


Holiday photos are a must when you have little ones, but as you can probably imagine, wrangling a wiggly baby or toddler into a cute pose is not always easy. Here are some tips for a successful at home photo shoot with your kiddlet.


One of my favorite parts of the holidays at California Adventure is the decorations in Cars Land. Cars Land has such amazing theme-ing as it is, and it is pretty spectacular what they come up with for holiday decorations.


And if you missed it, make sure you check out my post from last week highlighting my favorite holiday cards for 2016!

I’m still having trouble believing it is actually the holidays already. Are you ready for the holiday season?

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My Favorite Holiday Cards

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Well friends, if you have been out of the house or watched TV any time in the past few days, you know that the holiday season is officially upon us. I am all at once completely stoked and totally blown away that it is already November. Seriously, where the eff has the time gone? I was a super slacker last year and did not send out any holiday cards to anyone and I really need to get my on my game this year and get it done early. Honestly, I’m just so lazy that I put it off and put it off until it’s too late. But this year I am starting early! And I WILL get those holiday cards done and in the mail before Christmas! And since I love you all so much, I have put together a collection of holiday cards options for you that are adorable, classy, and fun. Basically all you have to do is choose your favorite, click the link and personalize these babies. You’re welcome. I’ve even organized them into categories for you because I am awesome like that (and humble, as always). You can thank me by sending me one of your adorable holiday cards! Here are your fabulous options:

Chic and Sleek: These cards are for all you fancy people out there, or for anyone who just needs a little sparkle.

holiday cards

Black and Gold Joy

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Black and Gold Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Simple and Modern: I love the clean lines and open spaces on these cards. Holiday vibes without being too cutesy.

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Find Your Merry

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Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Merry Christmas Script

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Merry Christmas Red

Fun: I am all about a card with a little sense of humor. These are some of the more unique cards out there.

holiday cards

Awesome 2016

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Top Five Moments of 2016

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Christmas Selfie

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Laughing All the Way

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Love and Laughter

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Adorable: If you have little ones, I totally support pimping them out in order to create the cutest holiday card you can find.

holiday cards

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

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Cutest Little Elf

Classic: Sometimes when it comes to the holidays, you can’t beat the classics.

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Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Wishing You a Merry Christmas

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From Our Home to Yours

If none of these cards speak to you (and I’ll try not to be insulted by that since I think I found the best cards out there), then head over to Tiny Prints to check out their HUGE selection of holiday cards. For reals, these are just a small fraction of their adorable offerings, you can find so many great designs on their website that suit just about any tastes. Plus, if you place your holiday cards order between 11/10/16-11/17/16, you can receive 10 free cards AND 30% off your order (some exclusions apply)! If you want to cash in on this awesome deal, make sure you use code HOLIDAYGIFT at checkout. Seriously y’all, take advantage of the awesomeness, I know I will be!



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DIY: Thankful Banner Plus a Free Printable

Hello lovelies and happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but I am still finding it hard to believe that it is November already. Not going to lie, I was a little tempted to skip the Thanksgiving festivities and go straight to Christmas, but I decided to wait a while and embrace the season of being thankful for at least a couple of weeks. So I put together this super easy DIY banner that is not only festive for fall, but also a nice visual reminder of how many things I have to be grateful for in my life. I love how it came together and I think I am going to make this a yearly tradition!

First, I created this document in Microsoft Word. It seriously took less than five minutes, but you don’t even have to spend that long because I created a printable version for you! Stay tuned, the link is at the end of the post!

diy thankful banner

I printed the design on some white card stock and cut up the little cards. I grabbed a couple of fall colored Sharpies to use when we write our messages.

I then used some fall colored washi tape to hang a piece of burlap string. We have a window cut out in between our kitchen and living room, and it is the perfect place for hanging banners and the like (especially since we don’t have a mantle).

I then used mini clothespins to hang our thankful for signs all around the banner. The goal is to add a new one each day, so by the time we get to Thanksgiving, we have a whole list of things to be grateful for. I made Matt get in on the action too, we’ll see how long he keeps up with it!

Obviously the first things that came to mind for me were the big ones, namely Matt and Squirt. But there is also room to be thankful for the little things in life, like coffee!

This was such a simple project and I love that it adds a touch of fall decor to the living room. But even more than the aesthetics, I love that every time I walk by it I am reminded of what an amazing life I am living right now. You really can’t go wrong with that! As a bonus, I didn’t have to buy anything for this project, everything I used I already had around the house! Score!

If you would like to print out the thankful for cards for yourself, you can use this link to find a printable version. I hope you enjoy, and I would love to see pictures of your cards in action if you decide to use them! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter, @falonloveslife! What are you feeling thankful for this November?

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DIY: New Year’s Eve Cocktail and Stir Sticks

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello all! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!  Hard to believe we are just days away from 2016, but the new year is going to be here in a jiffy.  Of course, when we think about New Year’s Eve, we think about the dranks, am I right?  So I obviously had to whip up a tasty NYE cocktail and throw in a little DIY bling to go along with it!


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Disney Top Ten: Holiday Time Edition

The holiday season officially comes to an end (in Disney terms anyway) on January 6th.  I’m always a little bit sad to see the holiday goodies and decor packed up and stored away for another year, but it also just makes me that much more excited for the next year to come.  Here are some of my favorite things (in no particular order) about the holidays at the Disneyland Resort, and what I will miss the most!


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