Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nap Time Christmas Decorating

I'm sure I'm sure I'm not the only SAHM that LOVES nap time!  It gives me a chance to regroup, get some peace and quiet, and perhaps to even sit down watch some reality TV and work on a project.  I've been having so much fun making my home more merry this year with the boys, but sometimes I just want to do something fun without any interruptions!! I've been all over my favorite place Pinterest, and I found this perfect nap time activity.

Pinterest via

I love the classy and elegant feel of it and I new right away I wanted this in my dinning room.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went (on the weekend with both boys of course).

Now typically I don't do glass ornaments in my house (two kids under 3 and all).  Anyway I was looking for plastic silver balls and they just weren't giving me the shine factor I wanted.  So I went with glass and some silvery looking ribbon.

I bought one box of I think 10 small balls and like 3 boxes of 6 larger ones.  I started by stringing a small ball on the end of my ribbon.  I guessed the length of the ribbon I wanted.  I figured I could always cut any extra if it was too long.

I tied a loop on each ball along the way to keep it from sliding down to the bottom.

Then I added 2 or 3 more balls using smaller ones near the bottom and bigger on top.  When I was done I had this.  I repeated these steps about 5 times until I had a shiny bunch.

 I attached each string of balls directly to the light fixture simply by tying it.  Once I finished, I had to do a bit of sliding the balls up or down to get the look I wanted.  This of course was kind of tricky since I had tied the balls to keep them from sliding.   It took a few different tries to get it exactly the way I wanted.

I was really happy with how it turned out, but it made the table look super plain.  So I did some rummaging through the house and found an old runner.  I borrowed two candles from the mantle over the fire place, and an old charger from party city sitting in one of my kitchen drawers.  It was gold and kind of very spotted.  Two coats of white spray paint solved that problem.

TA DAAAA!! I told my mom I was going for winter elegance.  I know it's no Macy's window display, but it makes me happy and that's what matters.

 Enjoy your day!!!

Linking to
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How To: Make Your Own Field Guide

In yesterday's post I showed off our new A - Z field guide.  I kind of got the idea from Go Diego Go.  Munchkin is really into that show.  He was not into talking about animals until I told him we should make a field guide like Diego.  Anyway this is all we did.

 Gather your supplies, and definitely involve your little one.  We used a $1 notebook, brown paper bag, glue (in the picture you'll see a glue stick... it didn't work), scissors.

Trim your paper down to size.  Cut the bottom and handles off.  

Next let your munchkin crumble the bag.  He had a lot of fun doing this.  It's not often I actually want him to crumble paper.

Smooth your brown cover over and measure to be sure you have enough to cover the front and back.  I didn't really measure.  I just laid the book over the paper and folded it down to size.  Be sure to do this while your notebook is closed, otherwise you'll be a little short.

Then I let Munchkin go crazy with the glue stick (as I mentioned before... this didn't work, so I ended up going back over it with regular white glue.  Be careful not to get glue on the pages or the spirals.

Last I closed the field guide and let it dry.  I did have to use clothes pins to hold the bag cover to the book.  This also helps to keep the cover off the pages while it dries.

Last decorate your guide.  I found these movable stickers at the Dollar Tree.  Be sure to let your little one in on the decorating!!  I do have to admit.. Munchkin was having a two year old moment when it came time to decorate the cover... so he chose not to participate.  Have Fun!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tot School... What We've Been Up To

Munchkin is 33m
Little Bear is 14.5m

Seems like forever since I did a Tot School Post.  We've been up to lots.  We actually started our Letter of the Week over at A again.  This round we will be focusing more on the letter  sounds, as opposed to simply identifying letters.  So far Munchkin is doing great!!

First of all, he as finally gotten the hang of cutting!! LOL, he is so excited about it too! He loves just cutting and cutting until there are a million little snippets everywhere.

 I've decided to make an ABC book with Munchkin too.  We will do a letter craft each week for both the big and little letters, make a collage page, and we'll add a letter tracing page too!  Check out our A letter crafts.  I found the cute letter craft ideas at No Time For Flash Cards.  While we are learning the letter we'll hang it in the school area of the playroom.  At the end of the week we will add it to our book.

We have also made an A-Z field guide (very Diego like).  Each week we will add some type of animal (or insect).  We had a great time making it.  I'll add a how to tomorrow.  This week we talked about antelope.  I just did a google images search for the pictures!

See the antelope eating grass.. lol!

My other little Tot Schooler is doing well too!  He is walking everywhere now, and getting into everything!!!  He loves playing with these sorting vehicles.  I know, not letter A related, but he loves them and that's what matters.  He takes them in and out of the bucket, kicks his legs in them, and of course tastes them.

He is also very interested in "reading".  He is always flipping through his board books, and now at bedtime he actually will sit and listen (most of the time) while hubby or I read.

Check out more great Tot School posts here!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Five: Stay In Love With the Holidays!

Hey All!!! So let me get right to it.  Last week I was watching the news (I forget which channel) but they were reporting on the top 5 reasons people hate the holidays!! SERIOUSLY!?!?! Do people really hate the holidays?  Anyway, It really made me kind of sad, because everything they listed; standing in lines, debt, crazy relatives.. can all be avoided.  If you've been reading my blog than you know that family is very important to me, and I LOVE the holidays!!  So here are my 5 ways to stay in love with the holidays.

1. Remember the reason for the season.  Let me start by saying that while I am a spiritual kind of gal, and I strive teach my children good morals and values,  I'm not very religious.  With that said, I do understand that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of little baby Jesus.  I feel if people just remembered that one astounding but very simple ideal, they'd enjoy the season much more.

2.  Make gifts! or shop with in your means.  I mean if you got it... go for it... but if not, there are so many ways to show someone you care with out breaking the bank.  My favorite thing to do is make presents for people.  I used to do this more often, before I was caring for 2 little people and a home, but nonetheless, I still do here and there.  It can be as simple as putting together a gift basket; try adding fun soaps, body puffs, and a candle for a spa in a basket, or make a date night basket with a favorite DVD, microwave popcorn, and perhaps a bottle of something sparkling.  This year my nieces are getting a little bath caddy filled with toiletries just for them (Mary Kay of course; )  Making fun scrapbook pages is fun too (if you have the time), and for the quickest heartfelt gift... a picture with frame will be treasured by most.  Trying to impress someone with an expensive gift just seems like the opposite of what Christmas is all about.

3.  Don't go crazy for the kiddies!  I have 4 brothers and sisters and my mom did her best on her teacher's salary to make our Christmases merry.  We didn't always get everything we wanted... and we survived.   I have so many awesome memories of the holidays; dancing to Christmas tunes, baking and eating cookies, decorating the tree... but honestly there are very few toys and gifts that I remember and count as a precious holiday memory.  My boys are getting 2 gifts to share, 2 gifts of their own, and some fun bath things in their stockings.  I don't want them to be overwhelmed by toys (that I will inevitably be cleaning up), and I also don't want toys and gifts to over shadow all the other great things the holidays have to offer. (BTW, shopping online is the best thing ever if you do want to spoil the kiddies and avoid lines)

4.  Learn to say NO!!  Last year the hubs and I decided to invite everyone we know (friends and family, neighbors... just about everyone we met!!) to our house for Christmas, and most of them came.  I had the nerve (because it was my first time hosting) to try and cook almost everything myself, and that was all while trying to handle my 20m old Munchkin and nurse my 3m old Little Bear.  By Christmas I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was hide in my room.  This year I have been careful to say no to things I know I can't handle.  I want to be able to enjoy the day with my family, and the small amount of guests we have over this year.

5.  Create a special holiday tradition.  When I was little we didn't get a tree until a few days before Christmas, and we didn't decorate it until Christmas Eve.  We put cookies out for Santa every year, and always watched The Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out!!..yes that one).   I love thinking back to those days.  I've started my own holiday traditions with my own new family.  We get our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we will put cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer and on Christmas Eve we will all snuggle together and read Twas' The Night Before Christmas.  I am thinking of choosing a special book for each little one and writing something nice in it every year too.. but I haven't technically started that one yet.

Now as always, you can take or leave what I say, but I do hope that those of you out there that get overwhelmed by the holidays take just one idea and spin it into something that works for your family.

Happy Holidays!!