That’s TexasNorth for the more proper ‘project.’  Say what you will, but say it with a smile.

I am considering growing my hair out.  Nothing drastic.  It’s in a weird phase.  I think it’s trying to tell me it’s tired of this particular style, shampoo, and lack of styling. Now, the growing-out phase of my very thick and very wavy hair is awkward for everyone around me, so I’m nervous.  Just a little.   I need a shape change, a length change, a something.  Just a little bit.  Please walk this road with me.

Super fun interest in the canning/preserving/homemade cookbook collection which still does not have a name.  I’m excited!  Yesterday I wasted all of precious Nap Time scouring canning blogs and websites. I found some great calendars and tips and book lists to include, so I think it will be fun.  I’m still working on a template for the recipes, so hold your horses until I can decide if that’s going to make my life easier come compilation time or not.  I’ll play with it this weekend.


It’s simply not possible to MAKE everything.  Sometimes, and I’m just pretending here*, your kid claims the apron you made as her very own and your other kid pukes 2 quarts of questionable contents on said apron before you can say NO to the first child, clean up the 2nd child, and wrap the gift.  Sometimes.  

*That’s a lie.  I am not pretending at all.

Our latest go-to gift has made my life and my conscience so. much. better.  It’s cute, works for girls and boys, works for over and under age 30, can be made in your last 5 minutes of sanity.

Option 1 : you have 10 minutes

Go to the camping aisle of your super-grocery mass-market mom-and-pop killer store.  The aisle with all the coolers.  Now, search for Igloo’s newest little cooler bags… cutie little insulated lunch bag things ($5).  Choose one.  Choose another for your child who is nearing a Destruction Mode BreakDown.

Continue on to the Children’s $1 aisle, game aisle, play dough aisle.  Stock up.  Add to your child’s bag as well.  Go ahead.  You’re not getting out of the store without putting things in her bag too, and you know it.

Think: play dough, bubbles, barrel of monkeys, deck of cards, silly putty, whoopie cushions, paddle ball, jacks, marbles, koosh balls, matchbox cars.

Tag the bag, and walk into the birthday party like a rock star.

Option 2 : you have 20 minutes

Grab a plain tote bag from the Craft Aisle ($1.25).

Use some Heat -n- Bond from your last project and cut out a letter matching the birthday girl or boy’s name.  Or, do initials.  I don’t wanna tell you what to do.

Continue on to the Children’s aisle and fill as mentioned above in Option 1.

Say, “No. No, I didn’t make the bag, but I did personalize it for you… because that’s the kind of girl I am.” when your sweet little simple and inexpensive gift steals the show.

Shoot, fill up a couple of these bags and stash them in your closet for last-minute gifts.  These are great “You’re 30- don’t forget to be a kid every once in a while!” or “You’re a big brother/big sister and I brought you something, too!” or “We’re going on a 500-Mile Road Trip” presents. 

Rock on.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

12 responses to “projeck

  • Sunday Grant Photography

    love it!! what a great idea. i have one of your aprons i bought from you stashed away for a hostess gift or something like that. love you are growing your hair out! worth always asks me what happened to the girl in overalls he met in college? i am pretty sure I realized that they are not flattering on this girl! canning project sounds neat, but I am no canner!

  • Margie

    Great ideas! Love, love, love the bag. Think one with ‘M’ might just need to be in our house. By the way, this is the first time I’ve “gotten” what Heat and Bond is. It could change my world.

  • Chris

    I was JUST thinking yesterday that i need a cute lunchbag. Here’s my answer!

  • Amy B.

    Love the gift ideas – right up my alley. I’m awful at thinking up, remembering, following through on birthday gifts. Yes, I’m that mom.

    I’ve been meaning to tell you that Curt’s comment about your hair sounds exactly like something Jeremy would say – in fact, it’s quite possible he has said it, since my hair was waist-length when we first met and has not been below my shoulders now in years!

    I may bow out of the canning recipe exchange. I just don’t “have what it takes”. But I will be waiting with baited breath for the casserole-dessert-etc. recipe exchange later in the year…

  • Grace

    Great ideas! I do that for baby showers. I buy a cutie diaper bag and then stock it with all the “little things” you need for a baby: bibs, pacis, wipes, etc. They usually go over big, and you don’t have to worry about wrapping… cause the wrapping is the bag! It’s a win-win!

  • Anna

    Amy has been doing canning for a few years now. In fact, I don’t think we’ve bought store jelly in a while. She just made some great jalepeno jelly that was so awesome with cream cheese and ritz crackers. (Bonus points to her from growing the peppers in the garden too.)

    So I know how much work goes into it. I am so impressed!

    Also, I love your gift ideas. I’ll have to remember that.

  • jtp

    ohhhh where do you find those bags? I’m paying way more than that and have a ton of people asking for halloween totes…. do tell!!!! love me some heat and bond!!!!

  • beckyswann

    Love the gift idea! So fun, I need some good go-to’s in my life
    I had my hair pretty short and the easiest way to grow your hair out is to have a hair dresser help you through it…different stages, different shapes for different lengths
    Any way you go I’m sure will look better than Donna Martin…ehhh

  • Jessica

    Super Fun ideas!! Your such a Rock Star!!

  • LoLo

    This year when the school supplies went on sale I totally stocked up on all kinds of markers and colored pencils. Sam’s and Costco have these awesome “Doodle Books” (a color book with partial pictures, you “doodle” in the remainder of the picture) for $7 ($15ish elsewhere). So for less than $10 we give a doodle book and 3 pkgs of NEW markers/pencils as a gift. Now tell me what kid doesn’t LOVE a new pack of Crayola Markers!!

    Love the bag idea! I might even get some of those and use them for the gift sack to put the book & markers in!!

  • annie singletary

    great ideas.
    growing hair out is no easy task, i’ve just been doing it, i think i’m finally past the awkward way too puffy stage, it’s exciting. but then i will lose it after jack is born and i will cut it again, it’s a vicious cycle is it not?

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