Sunday, December 19, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments

I told you I had been blog-hopping lately and I saw these adorable and easy ornaments to make and thought it would be a great project for the kids and I plus they would be a perfect little gift for my husband's co-workers. I hand picked what kind of ornament shape so I could come up with cute sayings or stories with each one so it would be more meaningful to them as gifts. So here is what you need:

And here is the recipe:


1/2 Cup Salt

1 Cup of Flour

1/2 Cup Water

Mix all ingredients together. Roll out on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters of your choice. Make a hole in the top of your shape by pressing the end of a straw into the dough. Transfer them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 hours at 275 degrees. Allow to cool completely before adding embellishments.

It said to use a type of sealer - we had Mod Podge on hand so I just applied a thin layer to each side. If using Mod Podge do not make a thick layer, it goops up and leaves a chunk of glue on ornament that will rip the paint off if you try to remove (yes I know from experience).

Here are a couple ornaments that we made:

I also got this next idea from a blog and thought it was a priceless keepsake. I had my kiddos place their hands gently on the dough and made a faint outline with a pencil. Then they removed their precious hands and I cut out their hand print shape with a knife. Now we have adorable hand print ornaments to keep for years to come!

This is my son's hand - 5 years old.

And this is my daughter's hand - 3 years old.
If making as a gift you can make the wrapping cheap and easy too: I bought a package of small plain white paper bags and simply stamped on a silver snowman and "Merry Christmas" (they have some clearance Christmas stamps on sale at Hobby Lobby right now!! So check your local store) Wrap in one sheet of tissue paper and Voila!
Hope you are having fun making many memories this Christmas Season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A couple cool giveaways...

I found a couple giveaways that were just too cool to keep to myself and of course the added bonus is I get extra entries for sharing them on my blog!!

1. For a beautiful book of "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore and Illustrated by Robert Ingpen can be found at Brimful Curiosities. Ends 12/15

2. A Blu-Ray Disc Player and Redbox Rentals for a YEAR over at "A Not-So Blog's Experimental Mommy, Dissecting Mommyhood one review at a time" ! ONLY 24 hour giveaway, ends 12/14 at 11:59 P.M.

Hope your Christmas season is full of Christ and joy!


Christmas = Baking and vice versa. Am I right? My kids have never done a gingerbread house (mainly because they are still very little and don't understand my desire to make it pretty and let it sit to admire before eating it, lol) However we made a ton of cutout cookies in October for Halloween and Thanksgiving and with my son studying gingerbread men in school it just seemed the right time. I didn't want to attempt to make a homemade one (shocker I know) for the fact that it's so hard to get them flat and straight and that young kids aren't patient. I wanted a simple, quick and easy to construct house that the kids could do almost all by themselves. I found a perfect one at Target for only about $10!

It was great! It constructed so easily and even came with a building tray to set the pieces in. And the icing set in 15 minutes, enough for my kiddos to handle. I let them loose with the candy pieces and only decorated one half of the roof myself - that's it! They had SO much fun and I giggled at their corky designs.
You can't tell that they're proud can you? hehe.
I take that back. I piped the icing on the Santa and Tree cookie pieces that went in front of the house. My bad. Although I was thankful for those cookie pieces - it gave my kids something to eat right away and kept my pretty house intact for admiring purposes! (At least for a little while)
I added some powdered sugar to give it that "just snowed" look. So if you're looking for a quick fun gingerbread house to create with your kiddos check out this fun kit at your local Target!
Now I had to laugh because we read a cute book my mom gave us that night at bedtime however I was reading through some of my blogs I follow and someone beat me to the punch on sharing this adorable kids book so instead of re-sharing, I'm sharing her post instead! Hop on over to Brimful Curiosities for a great gingerbread kids book to go with your creative fun! Not to mention she has an even EASIER idea for gingerbread fun with your little ones!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A sewage pipe, a turkey, and 6 kids...

I have been SO wanting to get on here just about every night since my last post and I'm so sorry ya'll that I have been absent during the holidays! But to say my house became a zoo would be an understatement! My holiday week started Sunday as my parents arrived that afternoon. That very night as my mom took a shower she heard some funny bubbling noises coming from the drain of the tub. A few minutes after she was through with her lovely warm shower our sewage backed up.

Yep. The FIRST of my company arrived and I have 6 more coming in two days and I have sewage backup. Isn't that a great start??! Thankfully my daddy was there and from his wisdom found the pipe and dug it up so the sewage never leaked out into our house. Again - thank you dad!! We had finally (after talking to 3 separate Roto, Rooter, Plumbing, Whatever companies) we found a place that we came over that we called because they had the christian fish logo and a verse on their advertisement! They lived up to their advertising too. It was a FABULOUS company and the guy got started right away, worked with us, was so clean and orderly about everything he did and stayed until it was done!

Now I made that seem simple but this wasn't just fixing a broken pipe...this was fixing a pipe that was a foot into the foundation of our house. Yes. He had to chip away our foundation just to remove the old pipe. All the while I'm supposed to be trying to focus on buying all the food that is supposed to stuff my kitchen to the brim with carbs and sugar for our Thanksgiving feast!

However life continued and the company arrived! It was 6 kids and 6 adults in our little house but I did have a couple tricks up my sleeve and I want to list them here for ideas for ya next year:
1. If you have little kids buy some butcher paper at a teacher's store (or something similar) and cover their table with it! It keeps them busy and quiet and AT the table while you set the food out! I even took it a step further and put black butcher paper on my wall for them to do chalk art also! It was a HUGE hit and it's SUPER CHEAP!

2. If you can see in this picture I also picked up some cheap leather crafts from Hobby Lobby for the kids to do that morning while we were busy in the kitchen. I got Indian necklaces for the boys (with real arrowheads!) and a tom thumb purses for the girls. They were all about 2 to 3 dollars a piece.

3. Plan make-ahead recipes! I try to get half of my meal done the day before so I'm not so exhausted on Thanksgiving Day that I don't enjoy it. I have made Cranberry Salsa with Pita Bread, Pear-Applesauce, and Cranberry Salad as make-ahead recipes before.
4. Keep it simple. Don't stress about having or doing everything perfect or above and beyond. the focus is on thankfulness and family - focus on spending time with those around you instead of the things around you. Here was my simplistic table this year:

To round up our holidays most of the family went for a walk while my dad and I stayed behind to clear the kitchen of dishes...only to get drenched by the rain!
And we battled my dad's wits with his favorite Trivial Pursuit! Lastly we celebrated his 60th with dinner at Papadeaux (cuz seriously NO ONE wants to cook the day after Thanksgiving!)
It was good times and fond memories made. Hope you had a special, even if chaotic, holiday as I did. See you guys soon with a VERY COOL project I'm planning for next year - all to be displayed on my blog the whole year through! Can't wait to share...