Friday, December 20, 2013

One last Christmas DIY!

These hairbows are simple to make and are perfect for any little noggin! All you need is felt, a hot glue gun, and clips. (You can find all of these items at Michaels)

Trace a flower shape onto felt and cut out shapes. You will need 7 per bow. (I used a cookie cutter for a stencil)

Fold each flower in half.

Fold again!

Snip off the pointy end to create a flat surface.

Place a dab of hot glue on the end and glue onto a round piece of felt.
You'll need 4 flowers to lie flat on the felt circle and three pieces to glue upright in the center.

Ta da!

One more view...

A quick shot of the clips that I used.

Hot clue a clip to the base and you're done!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Free gift idea for the kid in your life

Give the child in your life the gift of a fun "date" with you. Make and decorate a coupon for them to unwrap, detailing the destination and plan for a date with you. It will be sure to be a favorite tradition for years to come!
  • Book store date. Go to your favorite bookstore and browse together. Let the little one pick out a book to bring home.
  • Go to a park with a pond and feed the ducks or fish. Bring a picnic lunch or if it's too cold, stop at a coffee shop for hot chocolate.
  • Attend a sporting event together.
  • Check out a local theater production, musical, or ballet.
  • Order takeout and play board games at home together.
  • Take a trip to a home improvement or craft store. Purchase items for a project and craft or build it together when you get home.
  • Go hiking together and pack a few fun snacks.
  • Take a tour of your local fire station.
  • Visit a local farmer's market and let them choose something to buy.
  • Visit a museum together.
*This is the perfect gift for a hard-to-buy-for spouse!

Take the cake!

There are plenty of us who will be transporting cakes this Christmas season. Take the stress out of it all with these simple and effective tips!

  • Trace a circle around a large bowl onto a piece of scrapbook paper and then cut out with pinking shears. (You know, those scissors that make a scalloped edge.) Place the paper on a cake plate or stand and set the cake on top. This serves as a garnish as well as a shield for your silver, making serving so much prettier and simpler!

  • Another trick for transporting and serving a cheesecake is to put a small circle of grippy mesh(like you line your cabinets with or use to hold rugs in place) onto the cake platter and then put the cheesecake (still with the metal pan bottom under it) onto that platter. A perfect solution for keeping cheesecakes secure around each winding curve! This will also keep your cake from sliding during transport if placed under the paper that the cake is sitting on.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Perfect toddler gift

The deals on online photo printing websites are flying fast and thick right now. Even the grocery store is printing out the occasional coupon for a free photo book. Instead of Grandma, give the toddler in your life a photo book. Fill it with pictures of family, pets, favorite places or animals and don't forget to include a photo of themselves. I discovered this would be a favorite when my two toddlers got their paws on a photo calendar of themselves. They were absolutely enchanted! Laminate the pages for additional durability and you've got a home run!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Handy Dandy Baking Tips

Since Christmas baking is probably well underway, here are a few helpful tips to help things go smoothly.
  • Good news, readers: most cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months, so get baking while you have time!
  • To freeze cookies, place in container in single layers with wax or parchment paper in between the layers.
  • Meringue cookies do not freeze well.
  • If you're decorating the cookies, ice them once they have thawed.
  • When chopping sticky ingredients (dates, candied fruit, etc.) give the ingredients a quick spray of Pam to chop more easily. You can spray the knife blade too.
  • For all of you royal icing fans, powdered egg whites are interchangeable with meringue powder.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tips for smart shopping at Christmas!

It seems like everywhere I go, folks are talking about spending less money this Christmas. Here are a few ways to ease the strain on the ol' gift budget:
  • Do a gift card "sweep". Collect all gift cards in your house and use those for buying gifts.
  • Sell the gift cards on ebay for cash.
  • Check out thrift stores and yard sales for gifts. Don't laugh, you can find brand new stuff!
  • Use credit card rewards points for cash or more gift cards.
  • Draw names for gift giving this year instead of buying each person a gift.
  • Shop online. Free shipping is a big deal- it costs about $6 in gas just for me to go to the mall!
  • Trade gift cards with a friend so you can shop your favorite stores.
  • Sell items you can do without on ebay and use the cash to buy gifts.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recycle those electronics!

Upgrade to a newer digital camera, mp3 player, or tablet? Don't leave the old one collecting dust- it will make the perfect gift for your child! We gave an old digital camera to our 5 year old and she was thrilled. We were quickly informed that "This was the best present ever!". Not only will it not cost you a dime, but you can dress it up to make it even more special with a new case or a gift card for iTunes. Remember, Christmas is less than 6 weeks away!