Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Ornament

Made with Love, Little Man
Before we get too far past the Christmas Season (sniff, sniff) I wanted to share the Christmas Ornament Little Man and I made!  We made three, one for each set of Grandparents, and one for us.  They were super easy to make - and very inexpensive!

First off, let me say what a saga this was finding the perfect "canvas" to put Little Man's handprint on! 

First, we went to Painted Earth, a place where you can paint and fire your own ceramics.  They were out of the one we wanted and only had some really, really heavy plate things left.  Not so good for hanging on a tree!  They had some other bulb ornaments that may have worked, but they were about $15 a piece, plus we would have paid $7 each for The Hubs and I to sit down to help Little Man.  No thank you!

Sent The Hubs to Michaels to see if he could find some ornament to put Little Man's prints on..he came back with already glazed ornaments that were too small for Little Man's hands.  Nice try, Hubs. 

Then I decided to try making Salt Dough and bake them in the oven.  I don't know what happened,  but they blew up like biscuits!  Tabitha made some, and hers came out just fine.  Who knows??? Would have been cute though, I even got one of Charlie's little paw prints. 

Then I went to the hobby lobby, and it was closed (see, told ya it was a saga)

Finally to Michael's, where I didn't think I would have any luck because The Hubs already tried looking there.  I really did trust that he looked really hard.  (But really, I think men don't know their way around Michael's like women'd be like sending me into an autoparts strore.  I get it.) 

I just happen to find the last set of wooden cutouts!  Then, because I'm a Libra and can't make up my mind to save my life, I looked at paints forever, then ended up just using leftover paint I already had. Go figure. 

The Cost:
1.  Four ornamates:   $1.79
2.  Acrylic Paint (2): $.79 each (I already had mine)
3.  Glitter Paint: $1.19
4.  Ribbon:  $.79

So if I had paid for it out of pocket it would have cost me $5.35 total.  I already had everything but the wooden cutouts, so it costs me $1.79. 

To make:
1.  Paint entire circle the color you want.  I ended up adding several coats.  (works good with a dark color incase you mess up the handprint.  That way it's really easy to repaint over it and try again)
2.  Paint your little one's hand using a paintbrush.
3.  Stamp their hand on the cutout - making sure not to take too long (they'll wiggle their fingers around too much!)
4.  Wait until it dries.
5.  I painted around his handprint with glitter paint.  You can omit if you wish.
6.  I wrote Little Man's name, age, and the date on the back of the ornament.  
7.  I sprayed a clear varnish around it.  But you probably don't really need to.
8.  Used ribbon to make a loop in the back so we could hang it on the tree.  I guled it with super glue
9.  Made a bow and superglue it to the front of the ornament. 

Little Man had a great time making these.  We did end up redoing the handprint a couple of times.  At first he didn't really get the concept (he's 15 Months) but once we did it a few times he knew to hold his hand out flat.  He would also let me paint his hand and would sit very quietly while I did so.  After I showed him the print on the cutout, he got really excited about it!  For a younger baby, a footprint might be better. 

This will make a very nice keepsake that I know I'll enjoy seeing in the years to come! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's the Simple Things.....

Little Man and Grandma

On Christmas Eve we decided to take Little Man to a park.  Although we've taken him to parks before, this was the first time he was able to really walk by himself.  He had a great time walking around the whole park and then found himself a giant pile of leaves to play in.  I doubt he and I would have even noticed the giant pile had my dad not stood at the top of it.  Liam was trying to walk up to see my dad when he literally got stuck in leaves.  So, he plopped down and started playing.  He was soo interested in the sound, and the texture of them.  I've shown him leaves before - but he's never had handfuls and handfuls at his disposal.  He was having soo much fun he could have sat there for hours - and we could have watched him play for hours. 

All you need for this activiy:
1.  Giant Pile of Leaves (a small pile would work great, too hehe)
2.  Change of Clothes (We didn't change him right after the park, just when we got home.  I didn't want leaves in his crib hehe)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Although I love the holidays, it can be undoubtedly busy.  For me, the Christmas Season begins the day after Thanksgiving.  That's when I officially start worrying planning for the holiday.  It's usually about two weeks after my official kick-off date that I start kicking myself for (once again) neglecting to make anything homemade for Christmas.  Not this year, my friend!  This year I actually planned a little bit ahead and tried my hand at canning!

My friend/partner in Crime, Tabitha, and I got together and made two batches of Sweet Apple Cider Butter.  I'll do a tutorial on what did in the future.  Today I just wanted to share the "gift" portion of making these.

Here is the finished product:
Sweet Apple Cider Butter

I hope everyone likes them.  We're planning on giving them out to our neighbors and other people we may not usually buy for, but would like to give a little gift to.

We put together a little gift basket for the Grandparents and as Hostess gifts.

For the bags.

The gift bags contain an Apple Butter, Trader Joe's Spiced Apple Bread Mix, Trader Joe's Chocolates, and a Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate mix.

Usually I would have baked something to go with the Apple Butter, however, since we'll be traveling, I wanted to give something that would hold up - which is why we went with a boxed mix.  Had I had though of it in time, I probably would have made a mix in a jar for some kind of baked good.  I didn't think of it in time, so we just bought something.  ha ha

The chocolates look really amazing and fancy: some have cranberry and pistachio on them while others have sea salt and almonds!  The Hubs was trying to convince me his Grandpa doesn't like sweet stuff and that we should just open one of the boxes now. I'm kicking myself for not buying more for the Hub's Stocking.  

As for the Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate: I got the recipe from Tabitha who gave them out as gifts for her Ugly Sweater Party.  I don't know where she got the recipe, but it was delicious, so I copied her! :D  I don't think she'd mind if I gave out the recipe:

Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate
3/4 C  Hot Chocolate Mix (I used Trader Joe's Brand)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Packet Instant Coffee (I bought a jar and used one HEAPING teaspoon.  Not sure if that's the correct measurement, but I did measure one of Starbucks Tia packets and that's what was in there.)

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Makes one 8 ounce jar worth of mix.  Use 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Mix to 8 oz of hot water or milk.

Happy Holidays!