Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tip- Check It Twice!

Make your list and check it twice....

I have been buying presents, here and there, and storing them in our hallway closet up stairs. Don't get me wrong, I take time and effort into gift giving, but I have found that purchasing things in advance helps the stress level (and wallet) when the Holidays come rolling around! So today, I went through my closet and made my list....

I list the gift, the recipient and the cost of the gift. If I have shopping to do, I make a separate list of who to buy for, how much to spend, and a gift idea.

Next will come wrapping! I group my gifts together by family/Chritmas party and wrap each group in the same wrapping paper. That way, when you are grabbing presents on your way out the door to a party, you don't forget anyones present!

Happy Listing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Madness- Christmas Tree Decorating

Christmas Decorating MADNESS (the type of MADNESS I love)...
Playing a favorite Christmas CD always helps!

Every year, our kids get to decorate their own trees in their rooms...


(Graham needed a little help from Mommy and Daddy this year)

Our BIG tree usually takes a couple of days to finish. We put it up and light it in one day and we take another day to decorate it. I was pleasantly surprised when we opened the Christmas boxes to find things I had bought last year, after the holiday season on clearance, to use with decorating the tree. (I'm not sure why I was surprised because that happens every year!)
I had bought a huge roll of red mesh and a roll of gold polka dot ribbon.

So, I decided the colors for the tree this year would be red and gold....

When my husband and I were first married, I started collecting magnets from all of the places we traveled together. We had only collected a few magnets when I thought to start collecting ornaments instead.

Some places we visit, I find an ornament there....

Other trips, I have an ornament made later to remind us of a trip...

And every year, I purchase a family ornament with our names and year...

One by one, we will one day have a tree full of places we have visited and years we have been a family!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Tip- Rapunzel Party

I had so much fun throwing this Tangled birthday party...

The Cake:

I made chocolate cupcakes and adheared them to a cake base with icing.

I iced half of the cupcakes with blue icing, to represent the water, and then sprinkled crushed vanilla wafers on the cupcakes with white icing, to resemble sand. 

(I used toothpicks to hold up the dolls hair out of the icing.)

Make a wish!

The Door:
Nothing says "Welcome to our Tangled party" more than hair on the door!

The Food:

Jello Boats

"Frying pans, who knew?"

Bread 'Braid'

I hung lanterns over the food and winded 'hair' (yellow yarn) down the center.

The Fun:
I bought a cardboard castle for the kids to color during the party.

Of course, it had Rapunzel's hair coming down from the tower....
(In the back, you can see the purple banner I made with yellow suns.)

The Game:
I made a wanted poster of Flynn Rider.
(I printed a coloring sheet off the computer and traced it onto a transparency sheet. Next, I traced it onto a poster board using a projector. Finally, I tore the edges and had my husband burn around the poster to enhance the 'wanted poster' look.)
And 100 hours later....
Pin the frying pan on Flynn Rider's face!
(Print your own frying pans here.)

The Party Favors:
Pascal Blowers
(Make you own party blowers here.)

The Birthday Girl:
Rapunzel showed up!

Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet girl!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Madness- Traveling with kids

Calming the MADNESS while you travel with kids...

1. Pack snacks! When in crisis (slow moving traffic, the next exit is still 5 miles away, or someone is just ready to get out of their car seat), pull out a fun snack and you have instant content children.

2. Pack games/toys/DVDs -especially if you are planning a long road trip.

3. We often pack a meal (breakfast or lunch) in a cooler when we have many hours to travel. If you don't need to stop to eat, it's amazing the time you will save. Besides, eating in the car is a good time passer.

4. When we make a 'potty stop', EVERYONE goes potty, whether you think you need to or not.

5. Pack headphones. It helps keep the noise level down during a movie and keeps the older kids content while the younger ones need a quiet nap.

6. Keep a tote or basket of some type at the kids feet to keep all of their toys in. Having contained toys helps keep the car clean and avoids the kicking-of-toys-out-the-door-when-we're-trying-to get-out scenario.

7. Dress comfy! We usually keep our kids in their pj's until we have to get out of the car. Shoes off, relax and enjoy the ride!

8. Limiting the fluids that go in, will limit the fluids that need to come out. (Okay, I'm not saying dehydrate your children. Just don't allow them to hold their sippy cup the entire trip, refilling it as they empty it.) With little ones, saying "I need to go potty" usually is hinted with a bit of emergency. (Especially if they are newly potty trained, you don't want to take chances.)

9. Decide on good traveling times, depending on your children. We have a 12-hour drive when we visit family, so we always leave early in the morning and try to arrive by dinner time. Our kids don't do well traveling at night.

10. Make the most of your stops. (Change diapers, go potty, stretch, let the kids run around in a safe, grassy area, throw trash away, change seats, etc.)

Don't get frustrated when it takes longer to travel with children than it does without them. Your goal is to get them there, safe and happy. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fun- Turkey Cups

Turkey cups will be a fun addition to any Thanksgiving table!

I combined a few ideas I recently saw and here's what fun the kids and I came up with on this Fun Friday...

What You'll Need:
Scissors (the Mommy and the kid kind)
Googly Eyes
Disposable Cups
Scrap paper

Here's How:

2. Cut
In addition to cutting the turkey hand feathers, you will need a yellow beak, a red gizzard, and a brown circle just big enough to hold the turkey face.

3. Glue
(Oh yeah, this is were I regretted doing this little project in the living room....)
You're probably thinking it was one of the little helping hands that did this, but no. It was the Mommy squeezing a little too hard on the glue bottle. Table, floor, couch and more...

Clean up and back to gluing...

And wha-la!
Turkey cups! We'll be using ours for snacks...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving is on Thursday- Thankful Tree

Thanksgiving is one week away!

I'm sure you are hearing all about what people are thankful for. Why not diplay what you are thankful for as a table center piece or entry decor?

Thankful Tree

I simply stuck twigs in a glass candle holder and used artifical pumpkins as filler. My twigs were bought but if you have trees, which we don't, real twigs would be nice too! Then I cut out leaves in various colors and inked the edges.
My empty leaves are awaiting 'Thankful' things to be written.

I added other decor to make this a centerpiece for the table.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Weekly- Cinnamon Bread Breakfast

To help your mornings run smoother, try baking and freezing individual breakfasts.

I've been feeling a little guilty about just feeding my kids cereal every morning. So, I decided to make some breakfast items to freeze.

Cinnamon Bread was one of them....

What You'll Need:
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Here's How:
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking soda and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs, milk and oil.  Combine just until moistened.

2. Combine remaing sugar and cinnamon.
Spoon half of the batter into greased pans. (I used mini loaf pans)  Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon-sugar; repeat layers.  Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

3. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

I slightly adapted this recipe from Only From Scratch. Thanks Lauren!