Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Last New Year's Eve Idea

Okay, so this is really last minute, but I only just discovered this fun idea yesterday when I dropped my son to his friend's house.  His friend's mom was in the middle of this project when I walked in and I decided I had to do it too!  She was decorating plastic wine and champagne glasses for New Year's Eve.  I didn't have time to go grab the cups, but she was sweet enough to give me her left over glasses.  Thank you, Kristin!

You can choose whatever you want to decorate with.  My friend put little bells on the base which I thought was genius to shake at midnight.  I didn't have bells, but we decorated with pom-poms, gems, chipboard letters and glitter glue.  Oh, and of course, my new favorite tool, glue dots.  I will note that the glitter glue was coming right off this morning after it dried, so beware.  I'm sure there's a better option.  Also, did I mention I need photography lessons.  Please bear with my poor photos.

You can do fun and festive....

A little sophisticated...

Or a bit of both.

The kids and I had so much fun with this project and they turned out great!
(not sure if you can tell by my photos)
PS - you could always do this for a birthday party if you miss New Year's Eve.

And one last fun idea I discovered at 30 Handmade Days was a fun recap/goal sheet for us to do.  One is made for kids and one for adults.  Check it out if you have time.  There's always next year!

Happy New Year's, Everyone!
Be safe and have fun!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve Fun

Hi there.  Just a quick post to share a fun thing to do on New Year's Eve with the kids.  Get yourself some bubble wrap rolls, one for each kid.  At midnight, roll them out and let the kids run up and down the strips, stomping their feet to celebrate the new year.  The kids get such a kick out of it and it doesn't hurt your ears as much as those blow horns J.  I bet you find yourself jumping on one, so pick up a roll for yourself too.  Good fun!

Happy New Year &...Happy Popping!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Tradition

This year my daughter wanted our family to do Secret Santas together.  We didn't send each other notes or clues, just a simple gift on Christmas day.  The beauty of this was that it helped us tune into each other by finding or making thoughtful gifts for each other.

My daughter had her younger brother and gave him homemade slime, snowman face gum, "Grinch Pills" and a kitchen timer. A kitchen timer may sound odd, but he's a gadget guy and if you knew him, it would all make sense:). We found the slime, snowman gum idea and Grinch Pills all on Pinterest.

Sources: You can go directly to my Christmas board on Pinterest or directly to the following links.  Slime recipe from Our Best Bites, snowman gum idea was linked to My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia on Pinterest, but I couldn't find it on the blog, but I did find a great blog!  It's ok because the gum project is self-explanatory - just wanted to make sure I gave proper credit.  The Grinch Pills are from Scrapcation Getaway. She did an entire case with a "scut file". I had no idea what a scut file was, so I just saved the pic of the Grinch Pills poem and printed and taped it to the Tic Tacs container.

My youngest had my husband and he gave him the sweetest poster made out of wrapping paper with his hand print and a homemade bracelet.

I was Secret Santa to my oldest and copied off my daughter with the snowman gum and Grinch Pills.  To personalize it, I added a Hex bug and an invention I created especially for him.  My son has a tendency of losing bookmarks, so instead he uses tissues to hold his page.  And if he loses the tissue bookmark, he simply replaces it because there is a tissue box next to his bed for an unending supply of bookmarks:).  So I took a binder clip to be clipped to the back of his book and attached a braided bookmark to the clip to be flipped in and out without being lost because it's attached to the binder clip which is always attached to the back of the book.  Hope it works!

 My oldest had my daughter and gave her some Magic Tree House books to fill in the gap of ones we didn't have and my husband had me and gave me Ellen's new book (I love her!) and some new Chai tea to try because I'm hooked on Chai tea.

It was truly very special and sweet to see the thought and love put into everyone's gifts.   I look forward to continuing this tradition for the years to come.

I also want to share a clever gift bag idea before I sign off.  My daughter's class made gifts for their families and wrapped them in brown paper bag gingerbread houses.  I thought it was such a clever idea! 

The gift inside was super cute too!

Make sure to stop by again tomorrow to see a fun New Year's Eve idea.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Look What I Got

Just had to share this cute mason jar gift my friend gave to me.
How fun is this?!

She made the marshmallow snowman faces with edible markers.
I never knew there was such a thing.
Fun Stuff!

And here's something I grabbed while out braving the mall last night - a Capri Blue Volcano scented candle from Anthropologie.  A good friend of mine gave me a gift card last year and I actually had it with me for once!    

Every time I drag my husband and I walk into Anthropologie, we are drawn in by this scent.  The first time we walked through the store like Toucan Sam, following our noses until we found where it was coming from.  I've wanted it for a while, but wanted the mercury glass container (they usually come in cobalt blue or red).  And in came the holidays and the mercury glass was back!  Yay!  I was also holding back because I haven't really lit a candle (besides birthday cakes) since kids.  I finally decided that the kids are old enough and I love the scent enough to live on the edge. 

I wish you could smell it through the computer, it's heavenly!

Crazy, could have been horrible, side story...I finally lit a candle last weekend (before I grabbed this one) and left the house for 8 hours with it lit!  Came home and everything was still in tact.  Thank God!  My guardian angel was watching over me.  Unbelievable!  I hope the glass jar will keep it contained if I ever do that again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Class Party

Heads up, this is a slightly long post.  Just wanted to share what we did for my son's kindergarten winter class party.  It will be divided into three parts - the Disassembled Snowman Snack, Snowman Water Bottle Craft and my favorite - the DIY Snowglobe Gift Card...obviously a snowman theme going on.  The great thing is that you could use any of these ideas throughout the winter just for fun.

Playing off our snowman theme, we created a "disassembled snowman" snack.  It was simple, fun and it covered sweet, salty and healthy.

Disassembled Snowman Snack
  • Carrot Noses
  • Melted Snow (Ranch dip)
  • Coal Eyes & Mouth (mini Oreos)
  • Stick Arms (mini pretzel sticks)
  • Hats (crackers with cheese cube stuck on top with squeeze cheese, could also do with fudge cookie and smaller cookie on top, but we needed to balance the sweet and salty)
  • Snowballs (powdered doughnut holes)
  • Juice and water (we were going to do hot chocolate, but logistically, juice and water were easier)

I used a dispenser for the water, rather than water bottles to give kids the choice between juice or water.  My jug looked too much like summer, so I wrapped it with a white towel and cut out foam shapes for the face of  a snowman and added a hat I had from a snowman kit.

Water Bottle Snowmen Craft

What you'll need:
brown pipe cleaners, black and orange beads, glue dots (my new best friend), cotton balls, black paint, black construction paper, 2 inch hole punch and/or scissors, garland or ribbon for a scarf

We were working on limited time and with a group of kindergartners so I did a bit of prep work.  I painted the lids black and tied on the scarves.  For the arms, I cut one pipe cleaner in half, then folded each piece in half and twisted around itself until I had a "y" shape.  Then I used a razor to create slits on each side of the water bottle to insert the arms.  I used glue dots to stick the beads on strips for each child.  This way there was no glue mess or dry time time to contend with.  It was also helpful because it provided each child the amount of beads they needed without beads rolling around everywhere.  I also pre-packaged sandwich bags with 10 cotton balls each because you know they would stuff that water bottle with as many cotton balls as they could if given the option:).  The rims of the hats were two inch circles of black construction paper with a hole the size of the cap in the center so it could be slipped right on top.  (I used my two inch hole punch, then traced the cap in the center, then cut out centers.)

Don't these look like dot candies?

We had a volunteer to lead the craft at each table, so I gave each volunteer a grocery bag with all the supplies needed for that table.  It was lot easier to have a person at each table teaching six kids, rather than one person trying to keep the attention of all 24 kids at once.  I will definitely do that again!

Sandwich bag with 6 bead strips and 6 hat rims ready to go
in a grocery bag with the other supplies.

To avoid snowman mix ups, we gave each child a white lunch bag to decorate with a snowman face and their names.  That way they could pop their little snowmen in the bag for a safe ride home.  Added bonus:  if any body parts fell off, they would fall into the bag for repair when it got home.

I also made glitter and peppermint scented play dough as a back up in case we had extra time.  But the snack and craft were just enough.  You could also make snowmen out of the play dough with the same supplies.

Teacher Gift: Snowglobe Gift Cards

We presented our gift cards to the teachers in DIY snowglobes.  A few years ago, my sister tipped me off to the DIY snow globe and it's been on my to do list ever since.  You can do the snowglobe wet or dry.  I read an article that said they tested putting a gift card in water for a week, but I really didn't want to chance it, so I kept our snowglobes dry.

jar (I used salsa jar,already had silver lid too),
 mini snowmen, trees, fake snow, snowflake confetti, glitter, glue gun, gift card

    To attach the gift card to the lid, just run a thick bead of glue onto the lid and stick it in.  I did a test run and found it took some muscle to pull the gift card off, so I traced white cardstock and folded it up about a 1/2 inch in the front and covered the entire back of the gift card.  The cardstock would be easier to break free and I simply put a glue dot on the back of the gift card so the cardstock stayed attached like a one sided envelope.  You can certainly do it without the cardstock.

    Aren't they cute? 

    I made one for myself while I was at it!  For mine, I used a pickle jar and wasn't so lucky with the lid color this time, so I painted it silver.  And I decided to experiment with glue dots instead of the glue gun to adhere the tree.  It worked!  Love those glue dots!

    These would make great gifts on their own without a gift card, especially to bring for the host of a holiday party.  Inexpensive, easy and very fun! LOVE!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Accidental Holiday Decorating

A couple weeks ago, our kids did a Christmas show for my husband and me.  They even made props and a Santa costume.  You could tell it was serious business.  They closed off the entire playroom so we could not sneak a peek.  My little guy was so cute about it.  He had to leave for a birthday party and told me not to worry, his brother was going to take over his job while he was gone.

Anyhow, the show was cute, of course.  It had two acts.   My favorite part was when they opened the curtains for act two and the entire room was transformed. 

There were over 30 handmade paper snowflakes taped all over the walls...

a Christmas tree drawn on several pieces of paper taped together with real ornaments taped on it...

and Christmas lights draped around the perimeter of the room.  

And although it was messy, I totally appreciated that they used the scraps from their snowflakes as falling snow during the play!  They did such a great job and the room looked so fun, we kept all the snowflakes and the lights up to be a part of our Christmas decorations this year.  My pictures won’t do it justice, but you can feel the magic of Christmas in that room!

Completely Magical!

I mentioned in my last post I would share the fun from the my son's class party, but I still need to organize that post and don't have time right now.  We are running out to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze with my in-laws and I still have to shower and make myself look human:)!  It will be there next time, I swear!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, thanks for getting me through my mornings.  School mornings are not the easiest around my house.  In fact, my husband teases me and says that getting my daughter ready for school is harder than any challenge he encounters at work.  Every night, a transformation occurs and unknown creatures emerge from my kids' rooms.  One creature is very loud and unruly and the other is very quiet and doesn't move much.  Actually, one child does emerge from his room every morning and that's my oldest.  He's my only morning child, actually, the only morning person in the entire house.

But, slowly, once food goes down and a bit of time passes, another transformation occurs and I start to recognize these creatures as my own lovable kids.  Yay!!  The past couple weeks, the thing that has gotten me through these morning battles with these unknown creatures is flipping on the Christmas tree lights.  In the midst of the morning battle, it gives me a moment of peace.  What am I going to do when that tree comes down?  I look forward to two whole weeks of anticlimactic mornings and holiday fun!  By then, I will look forward to the morning battles because the sibling battles will probably be on the rise after two weeks of good quality time.
Anyhow, moving on...tomorrow I can't wait to show you all the fun stuff we did for the little man's Winter Class Party!  They are fun things you can do any time throughout the winter for fun.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Goes A Long Way

Sometimes it doesn't take much to infuse a feeling into a room.  I have just a few pops of red Christmas decorations in my kitchen and it does the trick for me.  I just love how the red plays off the colors in my kitchen.

These Joy and Peace signs hanging off the knobs on my cupboards were about a buck a piece and have a huge impact against the black cabinets.

My daughter insisted on a mistletoe this year, so I snipped some faux greens into a cluster and tied them with a bow.  Yo, ho, the mistletoe!  Extra kisses for everyone!

And of course, a little artwork adds that festive feeling every time.  If you've got it, use it!

And that's it!  A little here, a little there and the kitchen says Christmas!
The best part is easy up and easy down, more time to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Living Color

So it’s true, I’ve been a white light snob for over 14 years and now my kids have broken me.  It all started last Christmas when my kids told me endless times that our Christmas decor was boring and we needed color.  I decided I actually liked the Christmas balls you see hanging outside on people’s trees and took a baby step by getting each child a color.  Next, I gave in and got colored lights for the Christmas tree…that everyone can see through our front window, the horror!  As it turned out, I ended up liking the punches of color and by the end of Christmas season, I bought a huge pack of ornaments – pink, blue, green (only $3 mind you, nothing to lose).  The color bug got under my skin.
So this year, I’ve decided to take my traditional front door wreaths and punch them up a bit.  Traditional Christmas decor is and always will be in style, but why not have a little fun and make my kids happy at the same time?  It’s a win-win.  Besides, their childhood is such a small window of time, let's whoop it up kid style!

Classic, beautiful, never out of style, still LOVE it!
classic with a punch of fun
I tried keeping the bow on it and adding colorful ornaments, but it seemed like it just wasn't working, so I kept it simple.

The beauty of it is, I could change these wreaths every year if I wanted with a little florist wire, nothing is permanent.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one for collecting and buying more stuff just to do a different theme every year.  I think I could get creative with the stuff that’s around me.  But I think we’ll be living in color for a while. 
And I might be trying too hard on this one, but it's for our side door and was super cheap - $4 for wreath and another $3 or $4 for JOY sign.

Big wreath for garage, actually very sad looking, so it needed an update anyway.

New bow and colorful ornaments
I don't know, I still don't love this wreath, but I had to incorporate it with our colored wall of lights and colored balls.  I'm sure I could do better, but time wasn't on my side, it was outdoor decoration day (nice weather too) and I knew my husband wouldn't have a chance to climb on our roof again.

I have to say stepping out of my box on this has been slightly challenging.  I don't think I've mastered the look quite right.  I've seen fun, colorful displays that I love, but for some reason I'm not sure I've pulled it off.  Baby steps.

So that's how we went over to the "colorful side"...for now anyways.  I still have dreams of an all white, gold and silver Christmas.  Someday.   Sigh.

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