Features & Fun Friday #16 ~ Top 5 Back to School Ideas

Happy Friday, friends! It’s the last Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for some fabulous features and a sneak peek of what’s been going on behind the scenes at Five Heart Home!

{Top 5 Round-Up ~ Back to School Ideas}

Top 5 Back to School Ideas ~ printables, treats, teacher gifts | FiveHeartHome.com

1. Back to School Smile Catcher (free printable) >>> Kiki & Company
2. First Day of School Free Printables >>> I Should Be Mopping the Floor
3. Back to School Apple Cupcake “Donuts” >>> Anders Ruff
4. Printable Back to School Lunchbox Notes >>> Thirty Handmade Days
5. “One Smart Cookie” Mason Jar Teacher Gift Free Printable >>> It’s Overflowing

It’s hard to believe that summer vacation will soon be coming to a close. I know that some of you are already back in school, and some of you won’t head back until September, but hopefully a few of these fun ideas will make the transition a little easier whenever the time comes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Feel free to pin the round-up collage above, but to grab or pin the printables/recipes, please be sure to click through to the original sources…thanks!)

If you’re on the look-out for more back to school teacher gift ideas, I have a few of those in the arsenal as well…

First Week of School Teacher Survival Kit
First Week of School Teacher Survival Kit Gift FREE PRINTABLE ~ Energy (caffeine) + Sanity (chocolate) + Antibacterial Hand Gel | {Five Heart Home}

Back-to-School Teacher Survival Kit Mason Jar Gift
Back to School Teacher Survival Kit Free Printables ~ Mason jar teacher gift featuring Sharpies, hand sanitizer, Starbucks gift card, and chocolate | FiveHeartHome.com

Teacher Appreciation Printables
Teacher Appreciation Free Printables ~ 8x10" print, note cards, and gift tags | FiveHeartHome.com

And for a yummy back to school recipe, check out my Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins! These muffins are a much-anticipated tradition at our house…I always have them waiting as an after-school snack on that first day. ๐Ÿ™‚
Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins ~ a perfect after school snack on the first day of school (or any day after that!) | {Five Heart Home}

When school starts back up, schedules are always crazy until we all settle back into a routine, so you can bet that I’ll be relying on my favorite crock pot recipes come August!

Slow Cooker Chicken Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Chicken Sloppy Joes ~ juicy shredded chicken meets homemade sauce in these effortless sandwiches | FiveHeartHome.com

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos {Mexican Pulled Pork}
Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos (or Mexican Pulled Pork) ~ perfect for taco night or Cinco de Mayo | FiveHeartHome.com
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff ~ No ‘Cream of X’ Soup
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff ~ easy crock pot meal featuring tender beef and hearty mushrooms in a sour cream sauce | FiveHeartHome.com

In case you’re still relishing the remainder of the summer, don’t miss the round-up of quick and easy summer recipes that I just did for my good friend Abby of Just a Girl and her Blog!

25 Quick and Easy Summer Recipes | FiveHeartHome.com for JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

She’s recovering from surgery right now and I was honored to have the opportunity to guest post for her while she’s taking some time off. Abby is one of the sweetest, most gracious bloggers I’ve had the privilege of getting to know, not to mention the fact that she’s extremely talented…and smart as a whip on top of that! I’d love for you to hop over, say ‘hi,’ and wish her a smooth and speedy recovery.

Finally, I wanted to make sure you knew about the big, fun giveaway currently taking place! If you haven’t already, ENTER NOW for a chance to win a little summer get-away and/or a bundle of 15 FABULOUS BOOKS for a whole lot of relaxing summer reading!

Favorite Books & Summer Vacation Giveaway | FiveHeartHome.com

{Behind the Scenes at 5HH}

July was a fun month around here, but boy did it whiz by! Here’s a little peek at what’s been up at Five Heart Home…

We donned our red, white, and blue (with a touch of maroon, of course) to wish America a happy birthday!

photo 13

There’s something about losing his first top tooth that made my biggest big boy look even bigger.

photo 1_PS

ย I couldn’t resist splurging on a wand and some fairy wings for our little miss at the Target Dollar Spot. That place gets me every time, but I think this was two bucks well spent…photo 5

…particularly since two kiddos seem to be enjoying these goodies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

photo 4

The middle child actually has a plethora of dress-up interests. He’s just as likely to sport his construction vest and hard hat as his sister’s fairy wings.

photo 10

Look who got her first pedi! She has a fascination with my nail polish collection and was more than willing to hold perfectly still and let me paint her toenails for the first time. I have to admit…it’s kind of fun having a girl after two boys!

photo 3

Pardon me while I brag on my eldest for a moment. He’s been exceptionally helpful around the house lately, insisting upon cleaning up the kitchen for me several nights in a row.

photo 6

And I especially appreciate his efforts since they somewhat balance out the other messes I find waiting for me around this place.

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One area of our house that is messy no more would be my pantry. Y’ALL. Why did I not buy a bunch of baskets and bring some order to this pantry years ago??? It is SO MUCH BETTER. In fact, looking at the organized shelves makes me so happy that I’m tempted to pull a chair into the doorway and just sit back and enjoy the view! And maybe I have.

photo 8

Well, I’ll leave you this month with a final smile thanks to Twister. That stinker in the middle might not follow directions but she’s cute enough that it doesn’t matter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to enter that giveaway and thanks, as always, for stopping by!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!



  1. What a fun post! I think I might send in a version of the first week of school kit for my daughter’s Extended School Yr. teacher. Also, the peanut butter and jelly muffins were one of the first things that drew me to your site – yum. Love the various pictures of your kids they look like fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good week!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Kristin…thank you for the kind words. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure your daughter’s teacher would love a back-to-school kit, and I’m glad your family enjoys the PB&J muffins. I’m not entirely ready for my boys to head back to school in a few weeks, but I am looking forward to an excuse to make those muffins — ha! Hope you’re having a great week…thanks for stopping by!

  2. Stopping by from Time to Sparkle link party. The smile catcher is so cute! Reminds me of my childhood. Thanks for sharing such a great round-up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I totally agree, Melinda…I loved smile catchers growing up, although I don’t think mine were ever as cute as the one I included in the round-up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks so much for stopping by…hope your week is going well!

  3. Thanks for rounding these up, I love the pencil box idea for the teacher. My son is so excited to start school this year and I’m sure he’d LOVE the apple donuts on his first day! Stopping by from the Hit me with your best shot link party.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m glad you found some ideas to possibly use for back-to-school this year, Sara! Thanks so much for hopping over. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Such cute ideas!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Courtney! I appreciate you stopping by and hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Greetings from VA!! Great ideas! I will definitely be using the 1st Week of School Teacher Survival Kit and I will be handing out the Smile Catchers to all the neighborhood kids attending our Back to School Party this weekend! Your children are beautiful! Thanks so much!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Shannon! I’m glad you found some ideas that you can use. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you’re having a wonderful week…I have no doubt that everyone will have a great time at your Back-to-School Party this weekend!

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