Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Elf on the Shelf! 2015

This is the first year we did elf on the shelf for Ty, we only forgot a couple times... So i found a bunch of ideas on Pinterest, so those, combined with my own ideas, we managed to get through almost a month of fun elf on the shelf ideas! and here they all are in live action:
 elf sleeping in a box of tissues
 elf hanging upside down in the garland, close up.
 elf again hanging in the garland
 elf taking a bath in some marshmallows in the sink
 elf catching up on some christmas movies
 elf swinging in the doorway of Ty's playroom
 Elf sliding on Ty's car ramp
 elf enjoying a midnight snack of chocolate chips
 elf reading some Christmas stories
 Elf coloring minions on the bananas
 elf all tangled up in Ty's birthday streamers
 elf sitting with ty's birthday balloons
 matt did this one......
 elf pretendng to be a snowman
 elf flying santas sleigh
 elf zip lining on a candy cane
 another angle
 elf fishing
 elf in the fridge
making snow angels

we have one more night!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DIY Coffee Mug Teacher Gifts

Each year, I like to do something cute and creative for Tyler's teachers for Christmas, they deserve something at the end of the year for all of the work they do, and I want to give them something they will enjoy, not a crappy little gift. I am super proud of myself this year for my gifts!
Reusable Starbucks cups filled with candy and a Starbucks gift card! being in the public school, Ty now has a ton of teachers! He has a classroom teacher, 2 aides, 6 different teachers for 'specials' (gym, art, music, etc.) and 2 bus drivers, morning and afternoon. A lot of gifts.
I gathered all my supplies, I had previously gone to Starbucks and purchased gift cards of different amounts for different teachers. I found the reusable Starbucks tumblers at a different Starbucks for $2 each. Ribbon, cellophane, and tissue paper from the dollar store. Bulk candy from BJ's, a pack of candy canes, and gift tags. 
I scrunched tissue paper in each of the cups, and had Ty put a sleeve over each cup. I then added assorted candies to each cup, Tyler added 1 candy cane to each, and then I put the gift card on top. 
Cups from the top filled with candy, before being wrapped.
The finished product. I put the lid on the bottom and placed on the cellophane and wrapped and tied with a ribbon! I tied the gift tag onto the ribbon. The gift tags I had found as a free printable on Pinterest: Original Free Printable Tag. They came as a 4x6 to on a printed sheet, I decided I needed it a little smaller though, so I tweaked the tag using paint and Publisher, only keeping the shape of the cup from the original design. Here is my final tag link for download:

I will say it again, I am super proud of the final product! One of my best gift projects yet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Christmas Card Display

 I wanted a new Christmas card display to suit our large house.
My aunt hangs Christmas cards on ribbons around her doorways, and she saves them from previous years, they are so fun to look at, seeing our Christmas cards over the years from when we were kids. I wanted to do something similar... and of course I have a shoebox filled with Christmas cards from the past few years, because I cant throw away cards that have family and friend's faces on them

A few years ago, I made this super cute Christmas card holder! I used a round piece of wood I got at a craft store, painted with chalkboard paint, and hot glued green ribbon around the outside to look like a wreath, then hot glued some decorated clothespins around to hang the cards. Its super cute and I love it, however it doesn't fit too many cards, so when we moved I was looking for another solution to display Christmas cards!
 I decided to get some ribbon to hang the cards around our living space doorways!

  I headed to the craft store and got some clothespins, paint markers, spray paint, and Christmas ribbon.

I found mini spray paint cans at Hobby Lobby, for a lower price than a large can and thought it was perfect for this quick project. I laid the clothespins out on a yoga mat that I use as a backdrop, and sprayed each side of the clothespins Christmas colors.
 Once they were painted and dried, I used the paint markers to draw cute little designs on the clothespins to jazz them up.
 I hung the different ribbons around the archways from the front entry into the dining and living room.
 To seure the ribbon, I used small tacks and stuck them next to the trim, even when I take them down after Christmas, you will never see the holes!
 I would have liked to have the ribbon reach lower to the ground, but I needed them high enough so that the puppy would not reach!
 I still hung up my little wreath next to the archways, because I still do love it, so on that one, I put our old Christmas cards, and a couple others.

I love it! And these are old Christmas cards! We haven't got any for this year yet, but I am thinking I may add some ribbon around the large window in the kitchen, we'll have to wait and see!

I love looking at the old Christmas cards, most with family photos, I would hate for them to go to waste! Reuse and re-display every year for fun and personalized Christmas decor!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Christmas Stocking Holder

I had made a stocking holder when we were living in our apartment, because we did not have a fireplace. now, in our new home, we do have a fireplace, however there is no mantel. Last year, I used the old holder I had made, but when I hung it up this year, it was just too small. The fireplace is large, and needed a larger holder!
 I purchased this pallet-looking piece of wood at hobby lobby. I also found teal blue "stain" which intrigued me, so I decided to stain the pallet blue. I used a rag to apply the stain and let it dry for a few hours.
 I then applied a second coat, and I felt that was enough stain. I let it dry overnight.
 The next afternoon, I took it inside and used some paint markers that I had also found at Hobby Lobby to write on it.
I used the large white paint marker to write the phrase: "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care" and I used the gold marker to outline it, and the red to outline "stockings"
I had Tyler pick out some fun knobs from Hobby Lobby for everyone, each is different, then my husband drilled the holes in the wood, cut the bolts on the knobs to shorten them, and it was ready to be hung!

Reflecting, I think I rushed too much on the writing, so I may re-write it next year. And the knobs are a little close together, and the stockings overlap.

This was a quick, cute, inexpensive project to hang our stockings!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to Clean Legos Efficiently!

How to clean legos that wont take forever!

In case you havent been in the market for legos lately, they are EXPENSIVE! A large set can range between $50-$100 and you dont even get that many usable pieces!
We were lucky enough to have inherited a huge storage box of 10 year old legos, for Tyler. 
Unfortunately when these legos were packed up about 10 years ago, they were not cleaned, and there were all kinds of things mixed in! (Wrappers, crayons, etc..)
Before we wrap them up and put them under the Christmas tree, I needed to clean them, in the 2 1/2 hour time frame I have while Ty is at school. 
 I filled the tub with HOT water, and added some vinegar and Dawn dish soap (a miracle combination I use to clean many things; floors, shower, etc)
I let them soak for a while at first, then I mixed the legos around and used a collander to scoop them out and into the storage bucket.
 From the storage bucket, I dumped them onto towels in our guest bedroom, and spread out to dry.
 It took quite a few trips, and 3 full size towels. It only took about an hour to wash them all, lay to dry, and then clean out the tub.
 I left them to dry overnight (I locked the guest room door so Tyler would not see)
 They were dry the next day, when he went to school! So I scooped them all up in the towel and dumped into a new, clean bucket.
 From there, I hid in the closet, and Santa will leave for Ty on Christmas!
Nice, clean legos!