Sunday, December 16, 2012

Table Centerpiece (Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees)

 Our table's centerpiece for an early Christmas party with Grandma.
 Ice cream cones, colored frosting, and mini m&m's.

 Simeon had green everywhere by time he was finished. 
The frosting was just TOO yummy to resist.

 Powdered sugar snow.
Thank you, Emmett,
for your creative touches that totally made our centerpiece complete!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade String Ornaments

Emmett is making these ornaments, and they turned out beautifully!

This project has such a vast array of possibilities! 
Just start with some string, some watered down glue, some balloons covered in vaseline (to prevent sticking)...

I think it would look awesome to have a couple dozen throughout the tree. They set neatly between the branches and don't even need hangers. 

This idea came from this great DK book: 

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Couple of Simeon's Christmas Projects

COUSINS! Bestest Buds!


Such a great visit...warmed my heart to see how the cousins got along instantly. 
It was a loud and rowdy time with lots of laughter and fun -- you can't tell from the pictures though, because I could only take those when they slowed down to take a breath!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tea Giveaway

Would you or your favorite tea drinker like to win some tea?

For a chance to win a half-pound of either of these two teas, just follow this link to the Bulk Herb Store, and then answer the following three questions in the comment box for this post.
1) What area of your health do you want to improve?
2) What item from the Bulk Herb Store do you think could help you improve your health?
3) Which tea would you like to win?

 Organic Lemon-Drop Tea
Contains Natural Caffeine Free: Orange Peel, Stevia, Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass, Rose Hips.

The properties in this tea mix are amazing; they help reduce muscle spasms, colds, flu, and fever, increases circulation, high in vitamin C, promotes sleep and lowers stress. We recommend using 1-2 tsp. tea per 8oz. cup of water; use more or less according to you taste. Steep for 2-3 minutes before straining.

Sparkling Festivi-Tea
Contains Naturally Caffeine Free: Organic Hibiscus Flowers, Organic Lemon Grass, Organic Chamomile Tea.

Perfect for both your Christmas and New Years gatherings with family! This deep red tea will sparkle on your Holiday Table and dance across your palette. Rich in flavor and in nutrients, this tea is sure to become a holiday tradition. Remember that a little goes a long way with our robust blend, so you will only need a teaspoon of herbs for every 8 oz. cup of tea. Go ahead... ring the bell, make a toast and let the celebrations begin!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bottlecap Magnets

Here is a project perfect for a wide range of ages...preschoolers will love the simplicity with beautiful results, while older children can get as detailed and creative as they desire.
Fill some bowls, divided container, or muffin tin with the supplies needed. 
You'll need some unbent bottlecaps, circular magnets, and an assortment of beads, sequins, stickers, pictures, or other small items.
 I chose to use glossy Mod Podge for this project because it dries clear.
 Spread a layer of Mod Podge in the bottom of each bottle cap.
The older children can do this themselves, but for preschoolers, it is a good idea to do it for them.
 Let them drop in whatever items they want. 
Older children may take the time to make special designs or scenes.
 Set the bottlecaps aside until they are dry.
 Then, put on another coat of Mod Podge to seal in and protect the decorations.
 Attach circular magnets to the back.
 Wrap them up for gifts by putting them in jewelry boxes. 
See, how they shine like jewels?
Putting them in the boxes and sticking on the bows are all things your preschooler can do.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Buttons (and, a LOT of Glue)

 Put out a piece of foam board and a bowl of buttons, then hand your preschooler a bottle of glue!
 Oh, the fun!
 This will take a couple days to dry.
Put it in a frame. 
(NOTE:  Simeon didn't want to smile for this picture, because he is sick.)
This was such a hit that Simeon did three foam boards for gifts and still wants to do more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Household Happenings

REALLY ugly spider!

 Simeon leaving some seeds for the flock of super-cute, itty-bitty birds that live around our house.
Close-up of Jason's favorite apple pie.


It is easy to make your own toothpaste and it comes with great health benefits. 

From what I understand, the ingredients in regular storebought toothpaste coat your teeth such that minerals your teeth need cannot be absorbed.  Plus, they contain unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and flouride.  Making homemade toothpaste with xylitol, which has been shown to prevent cavities, is a great alternative.  You can read some of the other benefits in this article.

I am not fond of the flavor of this recipe, but I LOVE how my teeth feel when I use it.  Our family will be making our own toothpaste from here on out!

Here is the recipe that came from "Everyday Paleo", modified slightly with my own preferences:

  • 5 Tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 4 Tablespoons of Xylitol
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Castille Soap
  • 3-5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (amount varies with personal preference for texture)
  • 20+ drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional-to preserve longer)

  • After mixing the ingredients, I put it into little baby food storage containers and give one to each family member. 

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Survival Bracelet

    It isn't easy finding cool crafts for boys.  BUT, we just recently came across this awesome project. 

    Emmett has just learned how to make these paracord survival bracelets, which he plans to make as Christmas gifts for family and friends. 

    Each inch of bracelet contains approximately one foot of paracord which can be used for "camping, boating, lashings, indoor and outdoor clothes lines, hanging food bags in trees...". 
    The color shown here is olive drab, but paracord comes in a vast array of colors.  Here is a sampling of what is available on Amazon.
    While you can make keychains, lanyards, or just about anything, there are special buckles for bracelets that also come in many colors. 
    Here is a link to a printable of easy instructions so you can make your own.