Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanksgiving Countdown

This November I'm determined to keep it simple! Since I'm still exhausted from our Halloween countdown I knew I wanted to keep November as stress free as possible. For our Thanksgiving countdown I used a cheap frame that I bought at Michaels in the clearance section (it had a crack on the bottom). That didn't bother me since my kids would most likely knock the frame over and distress it even more. I removed the back of the frame and painted it orange with acrylic paint and once dried I applied vinyl I cut using the silhouette. I found these awesome envelopes at Staples last Christmas. I added numbers to each envelope and cut leaves using the silhouette in fall colors and placed them inside the envelopes. Each day my kiddo pulls one leaf out of that days envelope and writes what he is thankful for. Some leaves include activities that make this month of giving more special like bring someone a coffee or take someone an unexpected gift. I love that this teaches my kids the importance of being thankful and really focuses on what the month of November means to our family. We are making a special effort to be thankful each day for everything God has blessed us with. Hope this inspires you to start Thanksgiving traditions with your family. XOXO~Jenn 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Paint brush ornaments

So this Christmas season I'm determined to keep things simple. That means that I need to get a start on handmade gifts before the true holiday craziness begins around here. I'm happy to report that I have already started Christmas shopping. However, my handmade gifts always seem to take a back seat. Since this year I have a few handmade gift exchanges I figured I better get a move on. So here are a few examples of some quick and easy handmade ornaments that are also easy on your pocket book:) 

First up are these adorable paint brush ornaments.

I bought the paint brushes from Home Depot for $1.19 each and used the acrylic paint I already had to paint each one. For the Santa ornaments I used rinestones I found at Michaels and glued them on with this glue. Also found at Michaels. 

You can probably hot glue but little pieces, my fingers and hot glue don't always see eye to eye. 
For the snowman I used my vinyl cutter to cut out the snowman face. You can totally free hand this but...well...umm... I can't! So vinyl it is:) 
For the hat I hot glued yarn I had laying around and added a bow made with ribbon scraps. Think about what you already have and use that. I love those kinds of projects! Think outside the box and get creative.

Here is another super simple and cheap ornament you can make in under 5 minutes! Seriously. I just did it. It took me longer to heat up my glue gun. 

Peppermint flower ornament

All I did to create this cute peppermint flower is hot glue the sides of each peppermint candy to one another. For the red dots I used a few foam balls from jar filler I bought on clearance at Tai pan trading a few years ago. Hot glue ribbon to the back and there you have it! Cute. Cheap. Easy! Now go and create something!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ghost Peep Brownies

Just wanted to share a fun recipe the whole family can help make. 

Ghost Peep Brownies
Here is what you will need:
A box of your favorite brownie mix
An 8 x 8 baking dish (perfect size for 3 rows of 3 peeps)
Graham crackers
Chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
And of course some ghost peeps 
(I found mine in the dollar spot at Target)

First you will need to smash up some graham crackers for the crust. I used my favorite 2 year old for this. She used two of her plastic hammers and went at it.
Once your graham crackers are nice and crumbled melt your butter. Mix melted butter with graham crackers and press around the bottom of your baking dish to form a crust.
Bake crust for 10 minutes.
Next prepare your brownie mix according to package directions. Pour over graham cracker crust. 
Bake according to package directions
Once the brownies are done remove from oven and place peeps on top. 
Now place in the broiler. Please pay attention! If your house is like mine try to tune out the kids running around throwing shoes at each other and jumping on the couch. If not, your results will be frightening!!! Leave them in long enough to lightly toast the top! 
You will notice that once placed in the broiler the eyes disappear almost immediately. Don't worry! This is where the chocolate chips come in handy. After you remove them from the broiler place the chips to make the eyes and mouth. Mini chips would be ideal but I didn't have those so I just used what I had. 
Now go...enjoy the delicious gooeyness!!! Yes that's a word! Your welcome:)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Treats for kids

My kids are making their way through their Halloween countdown and having a spooktacular time doing it! A few days ago we made some boo mix, complete with witches warts, ghost poop, goblin teeth and monster scabs. Tutorial is below. 
Boo mix
Golden Graham's cereal
Mini marshmallows
Mini chocolate chips
Candy corn

Here is the fun part. Huddle up your favorite kiddos and have them dump all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. So easy and fun for everyone. We usually play monster mash while doing it:) 

Another treat my kids loved was "spooky juice" 
This juice was kind of accidental. One of those recipes that you make up as you go along. The end result was so yummy my kids have asked for it again. 
Spooky Juice
1 (2) liter Sunkist
1 (2) liter diet 7 up
1 cup apple juice
1 packet orange Kool aid
Mix well and serve over (now here is the spooky part) frozen gummy worms. 
Place gummy worms inside an ice tray and freeze a few hrs. The kids loved it. 
Eat, drink & be spooky!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin luminaries

Day 9 of our countdown was pumpkin luminaries. My kiddos loved these and I even had time to make one for myself:) Here is a quick tutorial.
I saved a few spaghetti sauce jars but mason jars work too.
Orange acrylic paint
Black vinyl or black paint
Foam brushes
Vinyl cutter if you don't want to paint on the faces
Paint the outside of the jars orange with your acrylic paint (ours was from Michael's)  
Let dry. Paint again and add coats until it's completely covered. Ours took 3 coats. 
Be patient and let them dry. I found that a foam brush and the dabbing method worked perfect! Once dry I applied black vinyl jack o lantern faces:) but if you are good a free handing you could paint your faces on. I'm not! So I went with the vinyl:)
Lit them up with a flameless tea light from the dollar store:) happy haunting! 
Xoxo Jenn  

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A letter from the North Pole

It's almost that time of year...yes...I said it...Christmas time! This year I'm determined to have my Christmas shopping done by December 1st. The hardest people on my list this year are my kids. Yep...the little people I see everyday. The ones who I know everything about. The ones who yell after every infomercial "mom...I need that!" The problem is they "need" it, I want to get it, but...umm...where do we put it?  We really have no room. Here is my proof. Our playroom from last Christmas! 

I get a migraine just looking at it. My oldest isn't very good about getting rid of things he no longer wants to play with. My youngest isn't much help either. This year I found the solution! Yep...I had a plan and it actually worked. Here is how I did it. I called the North Pole and spoke to Santa (yep I know him) I asked if he could send "Eddie" (our elf) if you follow this blog you will get to know Eddie well:) to help me out with this problem. For some reason when Santa asks for things they get done. Eddie rang our door bell the next morning. He had 2 boxes and this letter with him.

I had set aside a few hours so they could work on this. I played the Elf on the Shelf movie while they went through their toys and thought this would eaisly be a whole afternoon project. Nope. It took about 20min. Yep. 20 whole minutes!!! To fill up 2 boxes full of toys they no longer wanted. Some new, some with tags still attached.

It made me happy that my oldest was focused on the blessing other kids part of the letter. My youngest was more into filling her box like her brother. I was okay with that since the end result was a cleaner, less cluttered playroom. Thanks Eddie! Your the best! I can't wait until you show up after Thanksgiving so I can clean up your messes and so the kids wake up at the crack of dawn to look for you! Until then Xoxo ~Jenn

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Halloween Countdown 2013

Testing...testing...anyone still reading this bloggity blog? It's been forever since I have posted but since I have a million projects planned for fall and a million more for Christmas I figured I might as well share them. So here is some of what we have been up to. 
For those of you that know me you know I love Halloween! Not just put out a few ghosts and spiders kinda love. Nope. More like a have your husband hang off the roof to hang a giant spooky witch from a cable and buy a 10ft spooky tree kinda love. I get my Halloween love from my mom. I remember doing all kinds of countdowns as a kid. There was the Christmas countdown, vacation countdown. My favorite was always the Halloween countdown. I decided to start this tradition with my kids. I hope they will always remember the fun memories we share and maybe one day do this with their kids. Here are days 1-7 incase you want to join us. Don't worry if you didn't start on October 1st. My friend does a mini version beginning Oct. 13th. Happy Haunting! 
Halloween PJ's
Candy corn feet
Halloween cups. Thanks Target! With Orange Julius recipe via Pinterest. 
Halloween movie with animal crackers.
Halloween Masks-day5
Boo crew sign with footprint ghosts-day6
Pumpkin painting:)

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Fruit Kabob

Fruit.... delish... refreshing, sweet, colorful! I was going to a crab cook out that my friend was having and I wanted to take some fruit! But I did not just want to take a fruit tray so I got a little creative. I got different types of fruit then made kabobs. I also bought a large pineapple and stuck the kabobs in it!!!There were a couple left over so I put them on the tray.  It was easy, fun and I thought it looked so cute!!! Here it is ... Well minus some of the kabobs that had already been eaten!

When I worked at the Y the kids would love to make fruit kabobs!!! They would gladly wash their hands and get to work making their own snack! Here is the before pic ... The kids ate it to fast for me to get a pic lol ...

YUUUMMMMMMM.... I cant wait to be snacking on fruit and sitting by the pool!!!!! Well untill next time ...XOXO... Kali

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An "Egg"cellent Lunch

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Just got done making a fun Easter egg inspired lunch for my kiddos. I will do just about anything to make veggies fun for them and we have a "must try it" rule in our home. We tell our kids that before they say that they don't like something they must try it at least once. Usually they end up liking it and if they don't we add a few drops of ranch or veggie dip and it usually fixes the problem:)
 Today we went to our local egg farm to pick up a few flats of eggs. Yes we eat so many we buy by the flat. While there I asked the man at the window if I could have a small carton and he happily obliged. We got home and I washed 6 plastic Easter eggs with warm soap and water, placed them into the carton using both sides of the eggs. Then I just filled up with veggies, fruits, nuts, fish crackers and a mini snickers bar:) My kids loved it and I loved not having to tell them to eat their veggies 500 times. I think I may do an egg carton inspired breakfast with mini muffins and different fruits and maybe an egg carton dinner with mini hot dogs and veggies. Have fun with your food! XOXO~Jenn

And just wanted to share these super simple Easter pails for some special boys:) Check back soon for my BIG DIY personalized Easter idea!

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Auntie Day!

Happy Friday everyone!!! Thursdays are my favorite day of the week!!! Weird righhhtt?!?!? Well I love Thursdays because it's Auntie Day!!! I get to spend the whole day with my nephew and we do whateevvveeerrr we want!! Let me tell you..  by the end of the day we are both tired! We do all kinds of fun stuff. We go places, visit cousins, playdates, park , make fun lunches, and do "projects!" I wanted to share what we did last week and this week. Yeah sure going and doing big things is fun but its the simple things that they love!!! Don't get me wrong we go to buy random stuff (toys) at Toys R Us and Target but sometimes its the cardboard box that captures his attention and imagination for hours!!Just like the leprechaun trap!
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Here is what we did last week!!! 

After playing in the backyard alllll day we went
  to the pet store.. a mini field trip.. great way to see lizards, fish , turtles, birds, cats ect. all in one building. Quick and fun! He loved it and was ready for a nap soon after getting back into the car!

This week we....

So I hadn’t noticed how dirty the outside of my car was because of wind, dust ect. I had a great idea.. after being out and about all day.. running from one place to another I decided to take Maximus to the carwash. I just wanted a quick rinse (something is better than nothing right!?) So off we went! He was so excited! Sure the inside of my windows have hand prints and smudges because he was trying to grab the bubbles lol but it was so fun!!! He loved it! And of course at the end he asked if we could go again!!! Maybe next week haha....

Sometimes its the simple things that are so much fun! Think outside of the box!! Looking forward to sharing more Adventures with Auntie!!! Until next time.... XOXO...Kali

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY Cranky the Crane

Just wanted to share a Thomas the Train Party for all you Thomas fans out there:) I don't know about you but just about every 3 year old boy I know loves Thomas! So needless to say when my sons third birthday came creeping up we knew Thomas would be the theme. Now my son not only loves Thomas but his favorite character on the show is Cranky. For those of you who are not up to date on your Thomas characters Cranky is a large, green, grumpy crane. I knew I had to recreate a large Cranky for my sons party and lucky for you I'm going to share the super top secret really easy tutorial. Here is a list of what you will need.

1. Boxes (ours were from Home Depot) you need them in 2 sizes. 3 large and 2 small.
2. Craft paint in an army green color. Ours was from Michael's not sure what the name was sorry. Remember to use what you have on hand. It's really easy to mix paint to get the color you want. You also need, black and grey.
3. Painters Tape
4. Two-Sided Tape (the good stuff)
5. Paint brushes-1 thick and 1 really thin (we used the thin one from my sons crayola art set:)
6. A good friend or cousin to help
7. Some good drinks to bribe them with:)

First things first...get one of your large boxes and tape the box shut with painters tape. I used painters tape because you can actually paint on top of it. It holds the paint really well as opposed to packing tape where the paint would just wipe off. Repeat this step with all of your boxes. Once all boxes are taped off use your green paint and give the boxes a few coats. We were going for an industrial look so it didn't bother me that the Home Depot wording on the boxes was showing through. But if you are like Kali and it will make you all crazy and all OCD you could always add brown craft paper like I did when making the Rubix Cubes here. Once you cover all boxes let the paint dry. We gave it about 1/2 hour because I'm  impatient like that. So now you will have 5 green hopefully dry boxes. Now take your black craft paint and your 5 boxes and have your super helper friend (hopefully a good free hand painter like mine) paint a large X on all four sides of the  boxes leaving 1 side of one of the large boxes without an X. Once all the X's have been painted set them aside and grab the large box with no X and paint a large grey rectangle leaving about a 1" green border all the way around. Once the grey rectangle is dry you can start working on the face. I can't take credit for this, it was all Kali:) she pulled up an image of Cranky from Google and free handed his face onto the box. Now take your two sided tape and use it to tape the middle of the boxes to make the crane stick together. That's it! Now you should have yourself one large Crane for an awesome Thomas Party.
 *Side Note- The day of the party was really windy so we ended up cutting a long slit in the bottom box and slipping a 20lb round weight in there. It held together perfect:) Here are some pics for the party! Have fun creating your own! XOXO~Jenn
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