Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Simple Christmas Activity Calendar Banner-Style



This year's Christmas Activity Advent Calendar came together quickly. I was able to get this done in under an hour! 

This was a very simple project:

 1. cut even strips of Kraft Paper
  2. fold in half
3. stamp numbers and stars on the front
 4.write the activity of the day inside
  5. close with Washi tape

 I then pinned them onto some twine that will hang somewhere in the house where my son can take them down each day to read the activity. I am excited to try this more simple version out this year.

A lot of the activities are the same as last year's Activity Calendar, but I changed around a few - we have a couple of events this December and I wanted to try out some new activities. too.


1. Decorate the House and Make a Decoration
2. Write a Letter to Santa (we use the Mega Monkey Mash printable
3. Take a Family Photo
4. Order and Make Christmas Cards
5. String Lights Outside
6. Go Ice Skating
7. Visit Santa at the Company Christmas Party (or the mall)
8. Christmas Family Game Night
9. Make Presents (my son makes small things for his Aunts and Uncles. Last year he painted ornaments)
10. Watch a Christmas Movie
11. Make a Christmas Craft (this year I am thinking of some hand and foot print crafts)
12. Dinner Date
13. See the Light Show at our local farm 
14. Decorate the Tree
15. Bake Cookies
16. Check out the lights around the neighborhood, pick out our favorite house (maybe leave a prize at their door!) 
17. Another Christmas Movie Night
18. Write and Draw a new Christmas Story
19. Christmas Date in the City (we live near Philadelphia)
20. Decorate Gingerbread House
21. Winter Walk in the Park 
22. Make a New Ornament for the Tree
23. Wrap the Presents We Made
24. Cookies and Milk for Santa! And go to sleep early of course.


Do you have any fun Christmastime traditions? Please share! I am always looking for something different to try. 



Monday, November 24, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Calendar

Today I am sharing my Elf on the Shelf calendar I plan to follow for 2014. I have been feeling so busy lately I thought it would just be easiest to make my own calendar so I don't even have to think about what to do each night with the Elf. This is only my second year doing the Elf on the Shelf tradition. Last year I tried to stick to my plans but I didn't always follow through - no big deal. There is no pressure in my opinion - do what you can! 



Our elf is getting just a little mischievous this year, but not making too much of a mess. Do you have any elaborate Elf ideas this year? Or does your Elf like to stay put on one shelf? 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmas Traditions: A Book a Day

I cannot believe Christmas Eve is only a month away. I am in the middle of moving to my first house so I feel a little lost for time! This year I wanted to keep my book tradition simple.






 I did not buy any new Christmas books and I wrapped everything in brown package paper. After I wrapped all the books I stamped the date I want my son to read the book on the paper- simple and fast. He absolutely loved opening and reading the books last year and I plan to keep it going for many years to come. 



I am working on my activity advent calendar next. I'm trying to figure out how to make a quick and simple version. Here is last year's Book list and Activity Advent Calendar. Have you begun working on any projects for the holiday season? 



Monday, September 8, 2014

New Pork Tenderloin Recipe

So have you ever invented a new recipe and just had to share it with the world? This one I made up last night, and I just HAD to share. The flavors are DIVINE! This is a MUST try...trust me:)

Ingredients:

Pork Tenderloin (mine was about 3 lbs)(remove the fat)
one small red onion (chopped)
Real bacon bits (or just bacon and you crumble it up)
Apple (mine was a pink lady but whatever you have works)
Blueberry Honey (reg honey works too but mine happened to be flavored)
McCormicks smoked Applewood Rub
Rosemary
Cinnamon
Tin Foil


Preheat over 350 Degrees. Line Roasting Pan with Tin Foil for easy cleanup. I cut a slit down the middle of the bottom of the tenderloin after removing the fat. I placed a chopped apple, red onion and real bacon bits in the center and drizzled with the blueberry honey. Then i pinned together the sides with toothpicks and flipped it over. Then i rubbed the McCormick seasoning all over top of the pork, sprinkled Rosemary on that and then a small amount of cinnamon over that. Placed a piece of tin foil over the pork to cover it. Since my pork was 3 lbs, it baked covered for 1 hour and 15 mins.

It came out SOOOOO juicy, tender and delicious. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Did you know it is Harry Potter's Birthday today? My son very recently just saw some of the movies for the first time and has been obsessed ever since, and wants to be Harry for halloween this year. A few months ago, I posted a link to this tutorial which shows you how you can make wands. I had planned on trying it out but didn't get around to it until the kid showed an interest.

They were so easy! They're the perfect size and they are actually very sturdy. Each one is unique and the instructions were simple to follow. I wanted to share our wands that we made with the tutorial by trainsandtutus. We each made our own with dowels ($3.00 for a bag of 20), a glue stick, construction paper, hot glue gun, and paint. I have plenty more to make for my neice and nephews, too!


First we took a dowel and put glue all over the back of a piece of construction paper. We rolled the dowel tightly in the paper and snipped the ends.

Then I took a glue gun and made handles and random designs on the wands. I spun the stick while slowly pouring the glue out to make the handles and i liked how it dripped down the stick as I went.



They dry pretty quickly but I let it sit a few hours just in case. After that, I painted over everything in black acrylic paint. The glue was easy to paint.


 I almost wanted to keep it like that! It looked cool. But I had the metallic paint and wanted to give it a shot so we each painted our own wands.


I loved the tutorial and I love the wands so much I'm definitely making more. It was so simple and the result is unique, fun, and sturdy. Give it a try and share pictures!

Have a great Harry Potter's Birthday!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sailor Moon Inspired Crafts

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love Sailor Moon. I am beyond excited for Sailor Moon Crystal on July 5th, 2014. I thought I'd share some things today that were inspired by Sailor Moon.

First are some gorgeous Sailor Moon inspired earrings that are on sale at our Etsy Shop! 



I wanted to make a quick and easy card. I decided to use my butterfly hole punch and some enamel dots to make the Sailor Scout bows. It came together very quickly, which is perfect for me. Now I just need to add my greeting and it is ready to go!



Another item for sale in our Etsy Shop is this Sailor Moon Inspired Necklace. It goes nicely with the earrings! It reminds me of her scepter in Sailor Moon Super S. 




I love Duct Tape crafts and this one blew me away. It is a Duct Tape Purse inspired by Sailor Moon's outfit. The one below is the one I bought myself, but Dexter's Boutique on Etsy has several more styles! Isn't it so pretty?





It also occurs to me that the Captain American Barrettes we posted before are pretty similar to the wing barrettes that Sailor Moon wears in her hair! A few minor tweaks and you're set!



I'm off to do some more Sailor Moon Crafting because I'm too excited to stop!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Remembering Loved Ones - Scrapbooking Idea

May and June are big months for our family as we remember our grandparents. Yesterday was my Pop pop's birthday and tomorrow will be my Grandmom's birthday. My Grandpop and Mom mom both have their birthdays in June. Then, of course, there is Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Memorial Day (both my grandfathers served). I wanted to make a special memorial page in my album for them, and when I thought about what I wanted it to include, I thought I'd add in all four of the funeral cards I've been holding on to so I would never lose them. 




To make the page, I used a pocket protector. They come in lots of varieties. This one is by Becky Higgins Project Life. On each side of the page I included a photo of each couple, a 4x6 journaling card with just little random things I remember and never want to forget, and the funeral cards. I didn't tape them down to the 3x4 polka dot cards underneath them so I can pull them out and read the backs in the future. 

I'm happy that it turned out simple and useful, as well as documented some of the things I've been thinking about during these months that remind me so much of them. I'd love to hear how others are storing their prayer cards or remembering loved ones! Share below!