December 31, 2010

The Best of 2010!

First of all – Thank you to all of my wonderful blog followers! I can’t believe that a year ago I had just begun my adventure into the blog world and now I have over 90 followers! Thanks for all of the comments and support from everyone this year!

This has been one of the best years for me – My husband and I both got new jobs we love (and making more money is a plus – lol), we have two beautiful boys who are growing so quick, my ETSY shop had over 170 sales in 2010, and my blog lets me outlet my creativity and thoughts! Looking back it has been an overall great year and I wish everyone a great and prosperous 2011!

HERE IS THE BEST OF THE BLOG 2010!

Wyatt & Mason another year older – Toy Story Birthday!

In October I started sharing my crafts!

Wyatt’s Room went Trains!

Mason’s Room went Cars!

Christmas came and went…

and now the New Year is upon us. I’m headed out to get all the stuff we need to make sushi! Mike and I both have to work early tomorrow morning so we are staying in this New Year and celebrating with sushi and champagne.

Stay safe this weekend!

Kelsey

December 21, 2010

Gifts in a Jar . Christmas Idea #17

Every year I make my dad a homemade German Chocolate cake for his birthday. It is his favorite! Since we don’t ever eat the whole cake, I decided to use jars and give cake as gifts to my husband’s side of the family. Buy German chocolate baker’s chocolate and the recipe for the cake and coconut icing is on a card in the box!

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The cake from last year – This half never got eaten!

Look for this box and get the recipe card inside.

I made yellow cake from a box with butter cream icing too. I iced enough cupcake to take to my parent’s house tomorrow and then layered the rest in jars. I put fabric over the lid and tied on tags with the flavor and a spoon. They are ready to eat!

I had a few jars left, so I decided to jar my homemade melon sugar scrub too. You can even use recycled glass jars for this! All you need for sugar scrub is sugar and olive oil. Start out with the desired amount of sugar and slowly add oil – stirring – until sugar is damp. You can add coloring and fragrance if you have it on hand. This scrub has a pretty good shelf life. It is great for dry skin, but should only be used once a week! :) My skin is begging for some it right now!

In the jelly jar

In a recycled baby food jar.

These are easy, inexpensive, last minute gift ideas!

-Kelsey

Magical Key for Santa . Christmas Idea #16

We live in Florida, and like many homes in Florida, we do not have a chimney. The boys haven’t started asking yet, but I know they will ask ‘how sill Santa come in since we don’t have a chimney?’ I already have an answer to that question…
The magical key for Santa!
I went to our local antique store in search for a skeleton key. They had one, but it was $5 and they only took cash. Of course – I didn’t have any cash on me. I searched through our junk drawer and found this bad boy (pictured above). Since it is so close to Christmas – it will do the job!
If you don’t have chimney then this would be a great idea for your family! HERE is the free tag printable. The poem is below-
We have no chimney for Santa this
Christmas Eve.
It makes us all wonder how Santa
will enter and leave.
The elves told of a magical key.
Hang it outside the front door for
Santa to see.
He’ll use it to come in the house;
Leave presents and then leave as quiet
as a mouse.
These kids have been as good as they
can be.
Please leave what you can and they’ll
be thankful for what is under the tree.
Just print out the tag on cardstock, cut it out and the gather the other supplies you need.

I used black chalk ink around the edges of the tag to make it look worn. Then I punched a hole at the top and used ribbon to string through the tag and key. Now it is ready to hang on the front door Christmas Eve.

December 20, 2010

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe . Christmas Idea #15

I’m feeling loads better. A few pots of hot tea and a box of Kleenex later… I still have a little congestion and the boys still have a bit of a lingering cough. Overall we are back to normal and I hope we are feeling great by Christmas!

Last Tuesday we made cookies. I thought the day would never end! The baking, baking, baking, cooling, frosting, frosting. As much as I look forward to baking Christmas cookies, I am ready to wrap things up by the end. I am so pleased at how our cookies turned out though!

We used royal icing for the outline and then hard icing for the inside. I am not a fan of royal icing – I think it tastes blah! The hard icing is so much more yummy (I use almond extract in mine) and it stays shiny even when it dries.

HARD ICING RECIPE-

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I’m sure it would be good with vanilla extract too!)
  • assorted food coloring

Stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup or if it is too thick add more milk.

So yummy! We also made peanut butter blossoms.

-Kelsey

December 14, 2010

Christmas Rag Wreath – Christmas Idea #14

The sugar cookies are made! We made peanut butter blossoms and sugar cookies today. Tonight we are having my brother and sister over to finish decorating them. Ever since I moved out of my parents they have come over to decorate/make cookies. I’ll share pictures tomorrow!

If you are new to my blog – WELCOME! If you are a veteran – THANK YOU! Whichever you are – new or old – Thanks for following along!

Now – you may (or may not) remember the rag wreath I made for Halloween. I have made many more since then and what better time to make a wreath than Christmas? If you missed the how-to then go HERE.

Mini  Christmas Fabric Rag Wreath - 6 inches

Christmas SALE - Christmas Fabric Rag Wreath - 12 inches

Christmas SALE - Christmas Fabric Rag Wreath - 12 inches

Christmas Fabric Rag Wreath - 12 inches

Christmas Fabric Rag Wreath - 12 inches

Don’t have the time or energy to make your own? Head to my ETSY shop and purchase one. They are even better in person!

-Kelsey :)

December 12, 2010

Dollar Store Craft . Christmas Idea #12

I was in the dollar store the other day and saw that they had Thomas the Train wrapping paper. One family tradition we had growing up is that each child had their own wrapping paper design from Santa. So, this is something that I am doing with my kids – but I’m adding tags too because as I got older I always wondered how my parents knew which child had which paper.

Anyways – since Wyatt was with me the other day I couldn’t buy it. So, I went back today while he was asleep in the car with Mike. As I was heading for the checkout – I spotted the flameless candles – for $1! I picked one up and now I wish I would have got more!

I added red rub-on letters. You could add vinyl too – I just didn’t feel like pulling out my cricut tonight.

This took about 2 minutes!

-Kelsey :)

DIY Ornament . Christmas Idea #11

Only 13 days until Christmas! Wyatt’s birthday is also on Christmas, so every day when we move the candy cane on our advent calendar I remind him that it is Christmas and his birthday once we get to the pocket with a #1. Wyatt will be three, but he is super smart… he went and got a chair so he could reach to put the candy cane in the #1 pocket and then said ‘Okay mommy, where are my presents?’

I know it is getting close to Christmas, so this ornament idea is really easy and one that the kids will enjoy!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Clear glass ornament
  • acrylic paint
  • something to let the paint drip into (I used an old baby food jar)

-Gather all of your materials and remove the top from the ornament.

-Squeeze the paint into the ornament. Gently tap the ornament on the palm of your hand to cover the inside of the ornament. You will have to do this several times if you want to cover the inside completely.

-Leave the ornament upside down in the jar to let the excess paint drain out and for the paint to dry.

-When it dries it will have streaks where the paint drained. To finish off my ornament I added a ribbon and a rhinestone sticker that I got at Michael’s in their dollar section!

-Kelsey

December 10, 2010

Covered in Chocolate! . Christmas Idea #10

On Wednesday night we had a real Christmasy night with our boys. When Mike got home from work I had dinner ready and after that we made chocolate covered pretzels. The boys were in sprinkle heaven! (including Mike!) After that we bundled up. Yes I said ‘bundled’ because it has been getting into the 20s and 30s during the evening hours here in the Sunshine State! We loaded the boys in the wagon and took a stroll down our street looking at Christmas lights.

On Thursday Mike took our Christmas cards and the pretzel rods to work to give out to his co-workers. None – not one single – pretzel rod made it’s way back home. I literally only had 1 1/2! So, tonight we made more! They are so easy, quick, and yummy. The boys were already asleep – so I did the dipping and Mike did the sprinkling. He is a pretty good sprinkler if you ask me!

If you have never done pretzel rods before – who hasn’t? They are really easy!

Here is what you need -

  • Chocolate chips (we used white chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet too!)
  • Pretzel rods
  • Sprinkles and any other topping you like
  • A double boiler (or a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water and a microwave safe bowl that fits on it)
  • Wax paper

The toppings we used on Wednesday – sprinkles, pecans, chopped semi-sweet chocolate, chopped peppermint Hershey kisses, and crushed candy cane!

My make-shift double boiler! Stir stir stir the chocolate and once it is done I poured it into another container that wasn’t blazing hot and then dip and sprinkle! I use wax paper to cool them on so they don’t stick!

Wyatt’s pretzels! He had SO much fun!

The four pictures above are the ones we did tonight. I didn’t feel like getting fancy so we just used an assortment of sprinkles. I like the plain sprinkle ones the best anyways! Now we have so many that I might package some up and take them into my co-workers!

Enjoy - Kelsey

December 9, 2010

A Video from Santa & Letters to Santa too!

Today I’m sharing some great things for kids around Christmas!

Last year I stumbled across the Portable North Pole site. You can request for Santa to send your child a video. It is really the neatest thing! Every parent should request a video for their children!

Please do this when the kiddos are busy – Santa needs some important information from the parents in order to make this happen!

Below is the video Wyatt received from Santa last night! He was in awe. He wanted to watch his video over and over and over!

http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/EHvaRs_1lk9nXhv56LGGMA

Sorry – they didn’t have a code to embed it!

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The other thing that I JUST got in the mail are ‘Official Letters to Santa’ from Heather of Chickabug. She has an ETSY shop with tons of awesome items!

These letters come with four letters, four envelopes and four address labels pre-addressed to Santa. Lucky for me I can use these this year and next. But you better believe – these will be a new tradition in our family!

Official Letter to Santa Kit - Set of 4 cards, red envelopes, and mailing labels

Other great items from Chickabug-

Pirate party - Custom STICKERS - Parrot, crab, pirates - Sheet of 12 or 24

Rainbow - Personalized WATER BOTTLE LABELS - Set of 15

-Kelsey

Shabby Christmas Letters from Leyton Smiles

Today I am showing a craft by Lisa of Letyon Smiles. I came across her blog because we are both members of the ‘Busy Moms of Etsy Team.’ Her ETSY shop is ADORABLE! The perfect shop for those of you who have an expectant mother or newborn on your list of people to by Christmas gifts for.
Neck Tie Burp Cloth Set of 2 in Orange and Red Paisley


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She posted a how-to for ‘Shabby Christmas Letters – On the Cheap,’ which I thought were right up my alley. I love mod podge, cheap crafts, and I love Christmas! Here is her how-to on the letters.
I started out buying chipboard letters at our local Arts & Crafts store. I also bought different Christmas scrapbook paper (each piece big enough to trace a letter on), and a tiny tube of silver glitter, and that was it (just because I'm a sucker for all things shiny at Christmas). You'll also need modge podge, or something similar, which I already had.

I started tracing each letter on the paper and cutting them out. I then used modge podge to glue the cutouts to the letters. Be careful here to use a VERY thin layer of glue, or the paper will bubble. Mine bubbled a bit, but I have them up high and no one will ever notice. :)


The modge podge dries very quickly, so as soon as it was dry, I used scrapbook ink (I used brown) to distress all of the edges. You can do this as heavy as you like - I went heavy since I wanted to be see it from far away.
Once the ink dried (again, super quick), I modge podged over the top of the letters to seal it and give it a nice finish. Yeah, I know. Bubbles. Pretend you don't see them. :)
 
 
Last, I painted a little more modge podge on each of the letter edges and dipped them in the glitter. You really can't see much of this where they are displayed, but it gives them a finished look and a little extra sparkle. :)
Total cost -
  • Letters - $4 for 4
  • Scrapbook paper - $2.50 for 4 sheets
  • Glitter - $1.50
  • $8 total
And the finished product - I love it!


Now for $8 I’m making myself some letters! You should too! If nothing else check out Lisa’s ETSY shop or her blog!

-Kelsey :)

December 8, 2010

2 Cookie in a Jar Recipes . Christmas Idea #8

Finish Laundry – CHECK

Finish Dishes – CHECK

Start Dinner – CHECK – It is in the crock-pot now.

Now it is time to blog! I’m sharing some cookie-in-a-jar recipes. These are perfect gift ideas for friends or extended family. I plan to give mine to co-workers! The best part is that they are SUPER easy.

RECIPE #1- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar

You will need a 1 quart sized canning jar and the following Ingredients-

  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Layer the ingredients in the order shown above. (Starting with oatmeal). I used a piece of cardstock to funnel the ingredients into the jar, and a sprinkle jar to pack the ingredients.

 

RECIPE #2 – Snowballs

You will need a 1 quart sized canning jar and the following Ingredients-

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Layer the ingredients in the order shown starting with the flour.

To make them extra cute… I put a square scrap of Christmas print fabric over the lid and then screwed on the second part of the lid over the fabric. After that I attached the tags which have the rest of the ingredients and directions. I made free printable tags for you right HERE. Just cut them out, punch a hole and tie them on with ribbon!

Enjoy - Kelsey