Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's time to make a calendar for your Elf on the Shelf!!

 The time is nearing for our Elf on the Shelf to return from the North Pole. We love Christmastime and all the magic it brings, especially watching through the eyes of our sweet 3-year-old daughter. Our Elf first came to visit last year, and although it was fun having him around, every night my husband and I had the task of remembering to move him to a new hiding place. This year I decided to get ahead of the game and created a calendar so I know what our Elf will do each night. I went to WinCalendar and grabbed a free printable December 2011 calendar template and typed right in it to keep note of Elf’s daily “activities.”

Our Elf plans to make his reappearance for the Christmas season at our first-ever North Pole Breakfast. What a cute idea from Jessica at Little Pumpkin Grace!! Elf plans to bring a special letter to Haleigh Ann along with yummy breakfast treats like powdered donuts (her favorite!!) and hot chocolate in a cute mug of her own. Mom and Dad will add some fun small Christmas-themed gifts like socks, crafts, hairbows, lip gloss, etc.

Then the nightly Elf fun will begin!! Here are some of the things our Elf on the Shelf might find himself doing this year:
  • Sitting on the kitchen table with donuts for breakfast 
  • Reading a Christmas book 
  • Watching a Christmas movie while eating popcorn 
  • Hiding with the hairbows (and wearing a new one) 
  • Hanging off a candy cane in the Christmas tree 
  • Having a tea party with stuffed animals 
  • Swimming in a bowl of marshmallows 
  • Coloring our milk green 
  • Bringing reindeer food to put out Christmas Eve 
  • Making a mess with new handsoap in the bathroom 
  • Singing at the piano with Christmas sheet music scattered around 
  • Hanging from a Slinky 
  • Coloring in a new Christmas coloring book 
  • Bringing a Christmas craft 
  • Getting a sugar rush head-first in the candy bowl 
  • Taking a bath 
  • Playing Candyland with Barbie dolls 
  • Writing name on the kitchen table with Cheerios 
  • Playing with toilet paper in the bathroom 
  • Scattering undies and bringing a new pair 
  • Holding on to a helium balloon 
  • Roasting marshmallows 
  • Painting a self-portrait at the art easel 
  • Brushing his teeth 
  • Scattering “kisses” (Hershey’s kisses) 
  • Fishing in the fish tank 
  • Sitting in a stocking with a goodbye letter on Christmas Eve
While I didn’t come up with all these ideas on my own, I used these blogs for ideas and inspiration:

The most important thing is to be sure to use ideas with things YOUR KIDS enjoy. Our Elf will hide with the hairbows and have a tea party because those are things my daughter will enjoy. Boys might enjoy seeing their Elf play with their train table or car track, having a Nerf gun fight, or hiding with their action figures. And although I think it’s a cute idea to have the Elf make a “snow angel” out of flour on the kitchen counter, it’s not something I want to clean up right now. 

Oh there are so many more ideas I’d love to use, but I guess I’ll have to save them for next year. I hope you have fun making your own calendar for your family’s Elf on the Shelf this year!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Boo Boo Packs -- Save the Band-Aids!!

All kids inevitably get owies, ouchies and boo boo's, and these Boo Boo Packs are an easy, cheap, quick way to make the little ones feel better in a flash.

All you have to do is take some scrap fabric and sew up three sides, fill partially with rice (regular, NOT instant) and sew up the fourth side. I added a ribbon loop to these just for fun. Then put them in the freezer and use it next time there's a boo boo.

And for the husbands bigger kids, make large ones to use for muscle aches. They're even great relief when warmed up in the microwave. You can make these as fancy or plain as you like, but either way they work just the same. And believe me, we've saved lots of money skipping the Band-Aids. :O)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rainbow Crafts {Fruit Loops & Jell-O}

At our rainbow playdate the kids all did an amazing job with craft time. The projects were both very sensory and the kids really enjoyed doing them. I found lots of great ideas at Making Learning Fun, but chose two specifically for the playdate.

The first was making rainbows with Fruit Loops cereal. Some of the kids put all one color on each row, while others mixed up the Loops. Either way you get a beautiful result!! Go here to download the Rainbow Fruit Loops printable.

Rows of a single color

Mixed colors

The first time Haleigh Ann did this activity (before our playdate) she had fun picking out the different colors of cereal and counting how many of each she needed per row. It also was the first time I let her use glue from a bottle and (thankfully) it wasn't quite the messy experience I figured it would be.

Grace ^ and Izzy making pretty rainbows!!

TIP: Have extra Fruit Loops on hand -- they are yummy and hard for kids (and adults) to resist!!

Our next craft was Scented Rainbows. The kids spread glue onto the page and then sprinkled on powdered Jell-O with spoons. The result was a beautiful, fruity-scented rainbow!! Go here to download the Rainbow Scented Jello printable.

Dante's finished scented rainbow

Haleigh Ann ^ and Ella making scented rainbows!!

Props to our 5-year-old crafter Ella who combined the two projects by adding blue Fruit Loops to resemble clouds on her scented rainbow page. :O) She finished by putting her name at the top in Fruit Loops and added some cotton balls for clouds at the top. She's quite a creative little girl!!

Ella with her pretty rainbow creation!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Glass Block Jell-O {Rainbows}

Another neat treat we had at our rainbow-themed playdate was something I'd never seen before: Glass Block Jell-O. It was ridiculously easy to make and the vibrant colors made it a playful addition to the other snacks.

I came across the recipe at Our Best Bites and couldn't resist giving it a go. The result was pretty wiggly squares that tasted like Skittles. :O) The only thing you really need to make sure you have plenty of is time. Don't wait until the last minute to put this together since it requires two rounds of gelling.

All you need is Jell-O, unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk. And because Jell-O comes in a variety of colors you can use whatever colors fit your theme. The recipe linked above makes a big 9x13 pan, but you could easily cut the recipe in half and use a 9x9 pan. 


Give it a try for a fun treat kids and adults alike will love!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lovin' These Labels!!

I can't believe I won these super-cute vinyl labels from my friend Ginger at Ginger Snap Crafts. It's the first time I've won a blog giveaway!! Now I think I need to buy some new containers to go with these fancy labels, right? :O)

Get on over to Ginger Snap Crafts for more pictures of her craftiness and see what's in her shop!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Our first time making Rainbow Cupcakes was a huge success. I couldn't have asked for them to turn out any better. Not only did they look beautiful, but I also had a terrific time making them with my wonderful little girl. I love making special memories like this with her.

We got started with the cupcakes a day ahead of our playdate. We used this recipe and inspiration for our cupcakes.

I like this recipe because it makes a thick batter, which is good for getting a better differentiation in the color stripes when baked. (ETA: I highly suggest using Greek yogurt vs plain yogurt. It is creamier (more like sour cream) and has a better flavor and consistency.)

First we mixed up the batter, then divided it into five bowls. Each bowl was 1 cup. Then we mixed in Wilton Icing Colors to get really vibrant, pretty colors for our rainbow.

Haleigh Ann helped mix the colors into the batter.

We used red, yellow, green, blue and purple for our rainbow colors.

Next she put cupcake liners in our cupcake pan (the 12-cup muffin pan stoneware piece from Pampered Chef -- it makes simply divine cupcakes!!). The color of cupcake liner doesn't matter since you'll peel it off before serving anyway. Tip: I stock up on them when they go on sale half-price or more after holidays.

Then I put a scoop of the bottom color into the liners (ours was purple). I have a handy dandy small scoop from Pampered Chef that holds about 2 teaspoons and was perfect for this. After placing the batter in there you'll want to have a small bowl of water for wetting your finger to spread the batter out evenly. Then repeat until you have all the layers done. Note: You'll want to make sure you have enough time set aside for this part of the project. It took me about an hour and a half to get them from start into the oven, but keep in mind that also included letting a 3-year-old help.

The last layer before spreading.

The top layer after spreading.

 Now it's time for the oven to work it's magic.

 Fresh out of the oven.

 Aren't they beautiful?

Now let them cool completely before you touch them again. After they are cool, you can remove them from the pan and peel off the cupcake liner. Since we made these a day ahead of time, we put them in a cupcake keeper for the night (the liners were still on at this point). The next morning I removed the liners and put them on a plate and made their "clouds" of Whipped Cream Frosting.

Sitting pretty on a plate, sans liners.
Just love the bright colors!!

Now it's time to make the topping for these beauties. I used the recipe below -- easy, fluffy and not too sweet. It was perfect. Then I used my medium scoop from Pampered Chef (2 tablespoons) and placed "clouds" of frosting on top.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • splash of vanilla
Add whipping cream to a large bowl. Chill bowl and beaters in fridge for at least 10 minutes. Beat at medium speed until mixture starts to expand; increase speed to high and beat until thick. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; continue to beat. Be careful not to beat it too long. Whipping cream is like meringue -- at the end it goes very quickly and can easily be beaten too much.

 The finished Rainbow Cupcakes. 

So pretty and tasty, too!!

 Here's one split in half. I think the colors are gorgeous. It's fun to see the stripes of color.

It's also a really neat lesson in how cupcakes bake in the oven. See how the bottom layer is thicker? The cupcake bakes from the bottom up and pushes the rest of the batter up and out. 
*That's the end of my Alton Brown lesson for the day, LOL.*

I think we'll definitely make these cupcakes again. Of course you can use whatever colors you like, and even make themed cupcakes for sporting events, birthdays, holidays and most importantly, just for fun.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rainbow Playdate

Today we had a wonderful Rainbow-inspired playdate at our house. All the kids really enjoyed their snacks and crafts and even played well with each other to top it off!!

I must admit I had a lot of fun myself making the Rainbow Cupcakes and Glass Block Jell-O. They both turned out so gorgeous for the rainbow theme I did a little happy dance inside. :O)

The kids did a super job with their Fruit Loop Rainbow and Scented Rainbow crafts. One of them even went the extra mile and added clouds and her name in Fruit Loops to hers. :O)

I'll have to make a separate post to describe the Rainbow Cupcakes and Glass Block Jell-O, but links to the crafts are here: Scented Rainbow, Fruit Loop Rainbow.

Now for pictures of these adorable kiddos:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Caterpillar Snack

This morning we made our first silly snack from the cookbook Memaw gave our little family at Christmas. They all look fun and really simple, but this may be the easiest one of all!! Baby Girl did everything by herself and had a great time. Then she ate it piece by piece, which was probably more fun since she loves to eat. :O)

Cutting the banana with her toddler knife.

Spreading peanut butter between the slices.

Caterpillar snack with a "happy face," as she said.

Ta-da -- finished caterpillar snack.

Or was it? Ooops, she pointed out that we forgot to give it ears.

OK, ears are on now and she's happy with her creation.

Time to eat that caterpillar. Yum!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Snow Queen

Today we made not just any ordinary snowperson; we made a Snow QUEEN.

But I must first thank Max and Ruby's Winter Adventure for the inspiration:

Although I'm partial, I still think our Snow Queen creation is much more beautiful:

She has a pink tiara, baby blue button eyes, orange crayon nose, pink lipstick mouth, shrubbery arms, pink and blue bangle bracelets, and a pink scarf to adorn her highness.

Then OF COURSE we had to make Max and Ruby:

Mommy's fingers were getting cold, so we made due with blue fruit snacks for the eyes and lipstick for the nose and mouth.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...