Printable – Frugal Novice
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Free Fourth of July Printable


I love to decorate for all the various holidays, and with Fourth of July right around the corner that means a lot of red, white, & blue.

One of my favorite low-cost methods of decorating is by displaying framed printables. Just buy some inexpensive frames (it’s especially fun to go thrifting or antiquing to find unique options) and paint them to fit with your aesthetic; then it’s so easy to swap out art as the various holidays roll around!

I love the idea of layering frames with different printables along a mantle or tabletop – you can easily achieve pops of color, and you can find all sorts of great quotes on Pinterest. Of course, since I’m a graphic designer I like to create my own printables so I can achieve the look – and convey the thoughts – that really fit our family.

I created a new Fourth of July printable recently and I’m sharing it with you today so you can add it to your patriotic decor. Just click here to start your free PDF download. This is sized for an 8×10 frame, but you can print it smaller for 5×7 if you prefer.

Enjoy, and Happy 4th!


Thank a Teacher & Share a Coke!


Note: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareSmiles #CollectiveBias

Can you believe the school year is almost over? It feels like just yesterday we were sending the boys off for their first day in new classes, and now we’re down to just weeks before the summer begins.

As many parents do, I’m sure, I’m getting a little sentimental as summer approaches. We have really loved the boys’ teachers this year and will miss having them! I don’t think I could ever do enough to thank them for all they’ve done for my children – I mean, they’re caring for these cute kiddos, and teaching them so much!


I did want to do a little something to show appreciation as the school year wraps up. I know both teachers love Coke (thanks to sending them a “favorites” survey at the beginning of the school year – which I highly recommend) so I thought it’d be fun to make them a Coke-themed gift basket complete with a theme-appropriate gift tag (which I’ll be sharing with you in just a bit)!

It’s perfect timing, too, because all the Share a Coke bottles and cans are out right now, which makes it even more fun. I went to our Brookshires to go hunt for the perfect bottles.


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Cleaning Calendar – Free Printable!


I saw a quote going around recently on Facebook that said, “I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty mediocre at housekeeping.” It resonated so much with me that I shared it on the Frugal Novice page.

Brian and I both work full time, and we’ve got three fairly young children. We just don’t want to – and frankly, aren’t willing to – spend our whole weekends cleaning, when we could be spending quality time with the kids.

Three years ago I had the idea to create a printable monthly cleaning calendar to help myself break housework up into small, manageable pieces. It just requires a little effort each day, and it means that we’re still able to spend the most time on our priorities – namely, our family time. It’s also a way to make sure you don’t overlook something (not that I’ve ever gone months without dusting the fan blades… not me!).

Many of you probably remember my free monthly calendars; I got many emails requesting updates, and I’m thrilled to know they were helpful to others! I got behind in creating a new one each month, though, and so the idea for a perpetual cleaning calendar was born.

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Free Printable – and Gift Ideas – For Teacher Appreciation Week!


Teacher Appreciation Week is right around the corner – I’m room mom for both my boys’ classes, so I’ve been getting emails from the PTO reminding me that it’s approaching. We love their teachers and I am so glad for an opportunity to thank them for all their hard work!

I’ll share some gift ideas that I’ll be doing for our kids’ teachers below, but first let’s talk about this fun printable. I think it’s great to have the kids give their teachers something especially from them, so I came up with this adorable free printable you can have your child customize for their teacher. You could even print one out for each student and then bind them into a little book for their teacher to keep.

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Kindergarten Diploma – Free Printable!



I’m a sucker for memorabilia, so it made me a little sad when I realized our son’s school didn’t give out diplomas for “graduating” kindergarten. My mom still has mine hanging in the hall, and I love it! I decided to make a simple diploma for each of the kids in his class, and then I went to Dollar Tree and bought a frame for each of them. SO easy and inexpensive, and hopefully it’ll be something the kids are proud to receive.

In case you’re like me and would like to have diplomas for your child’s graduation, I’ve created a free printable for you to create your own. It’s a PDF file with text fields, so it should be easy for you to add your child’s name, the date, and the name of the school. There are five color options, too!  Just click here to download the PDF, and open it with Adobe Acrobat to edit the text.


Free Printable: “Dino-Mite” Valentine’s Card Tags


My son C wanted something fun for his Valentines this year, and we decided to do something a little different than our standard cards – we sent his friends dinosaurs! I found these for $1 each at Walmart, but you can also often find bags of dinosaurs at the dollar store. Either way, I’ve got an adorable tag ready for you to use along with the dinosaurs. I’m kind of in love with these!





Just click here to download a free printable PDF. The file has two pages. The first has 8 tags laid out. The second page has a repeating dinosaur pattern that looks really great printed on the back of the tags. We typed friends’ names on the tag, but I’ve left space on these for you to write in the names (and your child can write his or her name at the bottom of the tag, which is what we did). Enjoy!

Free “You Rock” Valentine’s Printable for Pop Rocks


If you’re looking for an easy last-minute Valentine idea, look no further! Simply print out this adorable tag, fold it, and tape it to the top of a Pop Rocks bag. Voila! Here’s how cute ours turned out:



Just click here to download a free PDF file of the tag (just one single tag), or you can right-click and save the JPG below. If you’d like a whole sheet of the tags, click hereOh, and the hardest part for us was finding where to buy Pop Rocks (Target and Walmart had none!). We finally found them at Dollar Tree, where you can get a pack of 3 for $1.




June Cleaning Calendar

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!

Click here to get the cleaning calendar for June! I’m sorry for getting it up late – I meant to get it up last night. Happy cleaning! I really like this month’s cleaning tips – have you tried either of these before?


FREE Downloadable “Monsters University” Activity Sheets!

Are you as excited for the Monsters University movie as we are? Brian and I have been huge fans of Monsters, Inc. since it first came out. And that scene at the end when Sully grins as he sees Boo’s face gets me every time. 

Monsters University will be our next family movie to all go see in the theater, and we can’t wait! To help us (and you) pass the time, Disney is letting me share some great downloadable activities.

Reminiscent of (but so much more fun than) the original pin the tail on the donkey, “Archie on the Loose” lets your kids try and put the Monsters University logo on the Fear Tech mascot (ah, classic college prank!) while blindfolded. Click the image below to download your free printable PDF!


This next activity sheet is one I know my boys will enjoy – you can create your own MU (Monsters University) ID badge! Just print out the PDF and let your little monsters draw their little monsters on the card, and voila! You’re good to go. Again, just click on the image below to download your free printable!


Note: Disney provided these activity sheets for me to share but I am not compensated in any way for doing so. I just wanted to spread the fun! 

May the {Holiday} Force be With You

When you’ve got a husband that’s a huge Star Wars fan, it’s not surprising to end up with {awesome} holiday decor like this:

“Holiday cheer to your home, these snowflakes will bring.”  – Santa Yoda

If you want to make your own Star Wars snowflakes, go here for printable templates. You’ll want to have a sharp X-Acto blade on hand for some of the more intricate parts!

Note: Thanks to Brian for inspiring today’s post!

Free Easter Basket Craft – Printable Download!


After doing a survey on my Facebook page last night, it seemed obvious that what people want most in the way of Easter printables is a craft to do with their kids. I did some brainstorming and tried to think of something that would be both fun and practical, and I decided on a pattern for an Easter Treat Basket. This is a great project to do one-on-one at home, but you could also do this at a school party and then let children fill their baskets with treats. Fun and easy!

Once you’ve printed your page for the Easter basket from the PDF (I’ll link to the file at the end of this post), let your kids color to their hearts’ content. I had fun coloring one for an example – you might want to do this project  yourself, too! One note – make sure you fill out the “to” and “from” part now, because this will be on the bottom of the basket once it’s complete.

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