Sunday, December 6, 2015

Quick and Easy Class Gifts...


I love sending class gifts with Mia and Ryan in the last couple of weeks of school. They love getting to hand out a little something to all their friends and class mates and its a really simple way to show them how much fun it is giving without expecting anything in return. Plus I just really love Christmas, so i will use pretty much any excuse to spread a little Christmas cheer!

Last year I made candy cane playdoh, which Ryan loved but Mia thought that it was a little too babyish for her. She really is growing up! So to avoid any disappointment this year I let them both choose what they wanted to give as class gifts. I thought for sure that Ryan would pick something edible because the boy LOVES to eat, but he sure surprised me.

He went with these super cute packages of Grinch dust. We found the super cute printable on Pinterest, and although the picture and poem were both supposed to be on the front of the bag, I wanted the labels to be smaller so just cut them and put the poem on the front and the Grinch picture on the back. I was super happy with how they turned out.

To make the Grinch dust I put 3 cups of sugar, 2 big splashes of green food colouring and a large tube of green glitter into a really big jar and shook it like crazy until it was all combined. The effect is really cute, and much cheaper than the bags of straight glitter which I was planning on using. Ryan loved them and we are going to make some for us to use a couple of days before Christmas, after all we don't want the Grinch stealing all our presents!

Mia went with the classic Reindeer noses. Bless the girl for making it super easy for me. Again we found the printable on Pinterest. Seriously, you can find everything you need there! We used malteasers for the regular noses and jaffas for rudolph's nose. For both lots of class gifts I used the same great bags from The Reject Shop. I always head to all the cheap / discount stores for great cheap christmas goodies. And I usually always walk out with way more than I intended getting but it's always awesome and so cheap. I know I have mentioned this store heaps lately and trust me it's not a sponsorship deal at all. I wish! I just am all about the bargains when it comes to all those little Christmas goodies.

I hope these ideas inspire you to do some class gifts too! It's always so much fun. And the look on the kids faces when they get a little surprise is always worth it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

DIY Large Christmas Sign Using A Sharpie...

If you follow me on Pinterest you would have seen me pin a heap of large Christmas signs. I love them and have wanted one for so long. But they are crazy expensive to buy and I wasn't willing to spend the money. So DIY it was. It turned out even better than I hoped and now I have been bitten by the sign making bug, I have plans for a few more up my sleeve.

We have a stack of pieces of timber in a corner of our garage from when we have pulled apart old furniture so that we could turn it into something new, remember our console table from a couple of years ago? Luckily there was a nice solid piece of timber which was just the size that I wanted. I needed it to be a heavy piece because it's going outside and needs to not get picked up by the wind. It had old varnish on it so I sanded it back and sprayed it with a few coats of white paint. I didn't even bother filling in the old screw holes because I knew most of them would end up being covered anyway!

Once the paint had dried, I sanded over it again. I wanted to lightly distress it on the edges and give it a slightly worn look.then I rummaged through all of my craft supplies. I played with different options and layouts for a while until I found one I was happy with. 

I used some glitter ornament stars, a mini chalkboard and some candy cane striped glitter cardboard cutouts all from The Reject Shop and ribbon from IKEA. I just used my trusty craft glue to glue them all in place. I wanted to used decals for the words, but I don't have my Scan N Cut machine yet so I had to come up with an easy substitute that wouldn't have drying time since I was doing it inside with my little ones running around. My sharpie was perfect!

I used a pencil and just freehand wrote the words on. I had a rough idea of how I wanted it to look so I just went slow and steady. I'd do a couple of words then step back and see what it looked like. Once I was happy with how it looked I went over it very slowly with my sharpie.  Once I had gotten all the way to the bottom I used an eraser to remove any of the pencil you could see left behind. I also rubbed over the sharpie a little to make it look a little worn and not so stark black against the white background.

I am so happy with how it turned out, I love it and since I used timber I already had, it only cost me about $10. What a bargain! And a beautiful one at that.

Here it is in all it's glory at the front door. It was so bright and colourful I knew I needed to grab a new wreath to match. Lucky enough I found a fantastic one at The Reject Shop. Couldn't have been more perfect! It really makes the front entrance pop.

I hope I've inspired you to get a little creative and make a festive sign of your own. Be sure to come back and share with me if you do! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

It's well and truly starting to look and feel like Christmas around these parts.

As much as I decorate from the beginning of November and the excitement starts to build. It's not truly Christmas time until the big tree goes up. Once it does, the feeling is just pure magic.  

It's no secret around these parts that I like to celebrate putting up the Christmas tree in a big way. I cook us up a Christmas feast, we sing and dance along to Christmas music, be silly, laugh and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. 

This year was the first year that Connor could really get into it, he took decorating the tree very seriously, and he was so excited with his decorated branch. It was just adorable! He even had a little pile of ornaments underneath once he couldn't fit anymore on it. He is such a cutie! And when he got to put the star on top, I don't think I've even seen a bigger smile! 

Liam thought the boxes from all the ornaments were pretty great. He is pretty easily pleased though!

Our dinner was delicious. We had a baked turkey with homemade stuffing, baked ham with the best glaze ever, mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon and nutmeg, broccoli, turkey gravy and yummy sour dough dinner rolls. Dessert was pumpkin pie (and of course I made a double batch so I could freeze one for Christmas Day!). It was all so good, we curled up on the couch by the tree afterwards with very full bellies. 

The kids also wrote their letters to Santa on the weekend, Mia and Ryan helped write Connor and Liam's. It was really sweet. They are super excited to pop them in the post box tomorrow and they are keeping their fingers crossed for a reply from Santa himself. I have a feeling they will get one. 

It's my favourite photo at the moment, I can't get over how gorgeous they all are with their cheeky smiles. How lucky am I to be their Mum! This season is all about blessings, and these four are my greatest ones by far. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How To Throw An Easy Gingerbread House Decorating Party...

Last year for the first time I decided to throw a Gingerbread house decorating party. I'd seen some fantastic ones online, but needed to do something I could put together quickly, as Liam was still only 2 months old and didn't have a lot of spare time on my hands. Here's what I did, it's so simple you can throw one yourself!

I found some basic gingerbread house "plans" online, used my regular old faithful gingerbread recipe and cut out the shapes for the walls and roof. Everyone got there own to assemble. This year I grabbed a cutting kit and am going to pre-assemble the houses. I'm actually really excited to see how they turn out.  

I used wrapping paper over a $2 plastic tablecloth so that I could just strip it all off and throw it away after they were done. I'm am all about easy clean up! 

On the table I had squeezy bottles filled with red, green, white and yellow icing. There were containers of red & green m&ms, chocolate freckles, crushed candy canes, while mini candy canes, musk sticks, mini and large marshmallows, chocolate and caramel chips. 

I also made up a few dozen sugar cookies for the kids to decorate since we were hosting a neighbourhood Christmas party the next day. Less work for me and more fun for the kids. 

Everyone had their own way of approaching their house. Some assembled first, some decorated individual pieces, and some did a mix of both. It was so fun letting them just explore their creativity. 

We had Christmas music on in the background, watched a Christmas movie and talked up the excitement for the season big time. 

We even had a second round with some other kids. They helped me finish of decorating gingerbread cookies as well. Such a great bunch of kids, all of them! 

I can't wait to do it again this year, hopefully I will remember to get some pictures of it all set up before the chaos begins.