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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIY-Last minute advent calendar. {FREE printable}

It's not too late to pull off a cute, homemade advent calendar this year.  I know it starts tomorrow, but it can be done.

I don't believe we did this growing up.....and I had wanted to start the tradition of advent calendars last year, but with starting up the new business- there wasn't much time for anything else.  ;)

But this year- it was at the top of my priority list.  And although it was at the top....... there was still little time to do it.  Luckily- I spent some time a few weeks ago making the numbers for whatever advent calendar I would end up making.  There are so many cute ideas out there....and while I thought I'd find a calendar to use year after year, I decided one a homemade one for this year that might not be used again.  It is cheap.  And it is easy.  (And I kind of think it will be fun to do different ones each year.  We'll see how I feel about it next year....

There are so many neat ideas out there, and I had almost decided on different idea that above, but when I couldn't find what I was looking for....these little wedding party favor boxes fell in my lap.  I got them at Hobby Lobby- and they were 50% I spent a total of $8.00 on all of them.  I guess kind of high for paper boxes, but not bad in my mind that I spent a little less than $11.00 including ribbon and all.

If I do it again- I'll just use the white paper favor bags you can get at Hobby Lobby for $1.99!

These black ribbons came with the boxes.....

....and I wanted to make it more I used the sticker labels that came with the boxes.... close off the ends of my own Christmas ribbon....

And glued the numbers on the front of the boxes with a glue stick!

I like that it is hanging below our bar because I wanted the girls to be able to touch it themselves.

Parker has already practiced her counting.....

If you want to print these numbers out yourself, just click on the links below.  The circles are about 2 inches in diameter.  I used a 1 7/8 inch circle punch but I think you could easily use a 1.5 inch punch or just cut them out yourself.

These numbers could easily be used on any kind of advent  calendar you can think of.  Glue or tape to paper don't even have to hang up the bags, but place in a bowl or basket.  Doing this just made me realize I don't have to make everything so complicated!  And I like it just the same.  ;)


And another thing to mention......all of our boxes are still empty.  Ha!  I am still figuring everything out.  I had planned to have it all done, but just doing what I can when I can.  Will hopefully fill the first few boxes tonight!  ;)

advent #1-12


Somewhat SimpleGussy

Thursday, November 24, 2011



We made a family trip to Wal-Mart last weekend and I found it kind of amusing that we have to walk all the way to the side (well- kind of the side, but still in the front) get these shopping carts that the girls love.  You can't get these right when you walk in the door, so you have to make the extra effort.  ;)


I was able to sneak away to Kohl's for a bit last weekend and found this....

I sent him the above picture and message.....and here are his responses....

Yeh- me, too.  But these really are the best!  Virtually no clean up and so very easy to use.  ;)

AND.....I had an extra coupon and gift would have been half of that.  ;)


The night before Thanksgiving I took the girls to Cici's.  Parker asked if she could play a game, and so I let her (it's the holiday and all).  Parker loves the driving games, but what I found so fun was that instead of trying to go so fast (because why would she?)....she would actually drive a bit and then take her foot off the pedal and tell me that she was stopping at the stop sign.


These are really good!


We also made a trip to Home Depot last weekend, and while Geoff and I were talking with someone that was helping us, I couldn't help but look over to see our girls giggling and smelling their feet???  Really?  

They were laughing so. hard.  That deep belly laugh.

These are definitely Geoff's kids here....  Ha!


So I got all of the stuff together a few weeks in advance to make these because I just knew they wouldn't be that hard.  

Well- they were.

And here is the one I attempted to make.


I begged Geoff to not forget to take a picture of the girls in their turkey shirts and to send them to me on my phone.  And it made my day.


Geoff also worked today so the girls hung out with my family over at my mom's house.  My mom and Terry were kind enough to drive the girls home and have them in bed when I got home....which was so nice.

I went in to check on them.....

I love how she is holding on so tight to those dills that are almost as big as she is.


And the icing on the cake......When I went into the kitchen to fix my plate of Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner- I noticed that Geoff had already cleaned out the coffee maker, put in a new filter and the coffee,  and set my timer for tomorrow morning.  Something so little that I think is so thoughtful and means so much.  ;)  Reminds me how it really is the little things that count and I should do things like this more often!


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


life rearranged

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for Thanksgiving- Crafts and such.....


Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year as it does every year, I suppose.  So I really tried to kick it into gear last week and put some activities together for Parker to do.  With each year- the holidays become more fun and meaningful as Parker is able to understand more.

As I've said before- Parker just eats it up when I have activities planned, and this day was no different.  I didn't take pictures of her actually doing these things, but here they are finished.  I think it took me longer to prepare than for her to do!  All of the things you see here were downloaded from 1+1+1- here.


We started this craft last week and finally finished it a few days later.  It was a little too involved for her, I think.  But anyway- the plan for next year is to have a thankful tree.....gather some branches, place in a vase....and add the 'leaves' as we discuss over a few days or weeks what we are thankful for.


I had originally planned for us to venture out to the library to see the "Creature Teacher", but decided that we needed a day to just be.  We have been blowing and gowing, and with me working the next 3 days- I wanted to try to get some things done around here and with them.

Our day started out with pancakes.


This next 'project' was totally last minute.  (As is most things that I do these days!)  I found the idea of this hand print turkey shirt on Pinterest.....and this is the blog with the tutorial.  I love doing things with their handprint because, as you know, they will never be this size again.  I had originally thought I'd do the same craft each year, and while this is a good idea, I have yet to do the same craft twice.  So we'll just go with some sort of hand craft.  ;)  

One of my priorities in making this project was for it to be cheap!  The only thing I had to buy new was the tee and onesie (they didn't have a tee in Grace's size or I would have gotten her a tee.....although I think the onuses may be the way to go now that she can undress herself, and will if the mood strikes.....take off everything- including her diaper).  I purchased these at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon for one of them, so I ended up spending less than $10.

I didn't end up using the fabrics I had originally thought I would use.....I just had to keep going through my stash until I found something that had 4 coordinating prints.  I knew I could find coordinates, if needed, but again- the goal was to use as many things that I already had.

Instead of using the turkey template that she used- I just grabbed 2 different sized tupperware bowls from our kitchen to use as the body.

Ironed on the the Heat-N-Bond (the kind with the red writing on the package)

I even got a huge wrinkle in the pink because I was so careless.  Oh yeh- the other requirement for this project was for it to be very quick and easy!  And it was.  So I highly recommend it.

I traced the girls hands....twice on each of the 3 different fabrics for the feathers.  I didn't even switch up which hand I used every was about speed and I figured it would turn out regardless.  Grace loved doing this.  As a matter of fact- Parker did, too, but she was being distracted by the tv.  But tracing the hands is definitely something that my girls love to do.

I quickly ironed Parker's shirt together during Grace's nap time..

I totally think that this would be even cuter if I stitched around it- but I really just wanted to get it this will do!  I did finish Grace's a little while ago and I ended up stitching around the beak of each one and it did add a bit.  I also went ahead and stitched down the ric-rac chicken legs.

I am hoping someone will get pictures of them in these tomorrow!  ;)


Ok- so I also saw these on Pinterest.

I stumbled upon this adorable ice cream cone cornucopia and knew I wanted to do this.  The first people that came to mind were the girls' Sunday school teachers (especially now that we are going Wednesdays, too.....after a year and a half...Grace has just now started not crying and I know they have had to give her extra loving).  I botched it up last year and didn't do a thing for them for Christmas- so this year I really want to do something for Christmas.....and wanted to do something for them for Thanksgiving if I could find something quick and easy (not to take away from the thought, but just limited on time!).

I will for sure be doing this again next year!  The tutorial used sugar cones I think....or at least the mouth/opening of the cone was a complete circle.  I was a little worried these waffle cones would't work, but they did....and I really like that the opening is not uniform.  It makes it look a little more cornucopia-ish.

She has a great tutorial- but I will say that I dipped the cones in warm water for about 20-30 seconds....then placed them in the microwave for 20 seconds (2 at a time).....then rolled the ends with a clean straw for about 30 seconds.  You can't fill them up until they are completely dry, and I thought they would be by this morning, but they weren't.  Geoff suggested I put them in the oven for a few minutes, which was a great idea, because after about 5 minutes or so, they were completely dry!

We filled about half with the new pretzel m&ms (oh my goodness they are so good) and the other half with candy corn.

I made these little tags to add a little something....


Parker also made these cute turkey crafts at Kristin's the other day....


Back to today.....

So I had run into the office to get a few things this morning- and when I came out there were wipes pulled out....quite a few of them.  Anyway- Parker was standing their folding them up- in her own little world.  I asked her if Grace or if she had pulled them all out.

Her response, "I don't know........I didn't see."  Really???  ;)


We also tried to read this a few times, but it just can't seem to keep their interest.  It looks like it would.  It doesn't have too many words and it has great pictures, but still......


I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I'll be honest and admit that this one is a bit bittersweet.  I have so much to be thankful for (more than I deserve)- and yet still sad that I won't be with my family as I have been for the past 30 years.  But such is life.  And in the true spirit of the holiday- it comes down to the very same thing it always has.....just being thankful for all that He has given us.


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