December 5, 2013

Family Fun December Activities

Looking for something fun to do with your family? Want inexpensive, easy ideas that are fun and kid friendly? Here are some fun family December activities from cooking, to decorating, to games and more!
(via All About Quilts & My Crazy Blessed Life)
1. Create and decorate your own felt Christmas tree and nativity! For the tree, I would create 2D ornaments so that Christian can stick them flat onto the tree, instead of creating buttons to tie them on. I also {LOVE} how this tree lays flat for storing too! How easy, right?! The nativity is a great way to teach kids about the true meaning of Christmas. (All templates for felt pieces are at their respective link.)
(via Art with Ms. Chiddo)
2. Elf yourself! All you need is a printed off photo of your face, scissors, glue, markers and paper! Wa la! These little elves are so cute!
(via Adagio)
3. Make your own hot cocoa stirring sticks! Dunk candy canes in melted chocolate, and let them sit for a few minutes to harden. These are so simple and kids will love them! (These would go well with #7 below!)
4. Participate in annual Santa Sacks! There's nothing better than teaching your children that they must help give back to others, {especially} during the holiday season. Have them help collect old toys that they no longer play with (or even toys that they hardly touch), put them in Santa Sacks and send them on their way to Good Will or the Salvation Army for families in need! You can tell the kids that Santa needs their old toys so that they can be recycled into making new ones! I love how this also helps clear out the old before bringing in the new.
(via Helt enkelt)
5. Create a photo Christmas tree. What an awesome idea to relive past Christmas memories by putting together a photo Christmas tree! This classy black & white tree has the right touch of elegance for a family with older kids, where as colored photos would be more interesting for younger children. You can also decorate it with a string of lights, actual hanging ornaments and pom-poms!
(via The Decorologist)
6. Piece together a book tree. Do you have favorite stories that you always read during the holiday season? As a family, gather all your favorite stories and put together a book tree! All you need are books and a cake stand! A tree topper and small ornaments are optional, but would make for a more decorative tree. If you want mix it up a little, throw in your favorite holiday movies as well! As the month goes on, read a book or watch a movie as a family from the tree.
7. DIY Hot Chocolate Bar. This is fun for the kids! They'll love to help you shop and pick out toppings for the hot chocolate bar! Check out how my Hot Chocolate Bar turned out!
(via Blue Eyed Yonder)
8. Decorate for the season! Doesn't this photograph just look beautiful? and yummy at the same time? What an awesome idea! Stringing up marshmallows so that it imitates snow.... Pssst, I coulda come up with that! :o) Instead of marshmallows, because they'd be OH SO tempting to eat, try cotton balls and clear fishing line for this neat decoration.
(via All Things Simple)

9. Make your own activity based advent calendar! Include activities such as: create a hot chocolate bar, watch a Christmas movie, sing carols, make an ornament etc. Have the kids help think up fun holiday themed activities! Check the link above for more activity ideas! 
(via Meet the Dubiens)
10. Make your own personalized Christmas cards! Using your thumbprints create a work of art for your card: reindeer, lights, Santa Claus and the elves, lights on a Christmas tree, snowmen etc.
(via Taste of Home)
11. Make Grinch Punch! How cute AND yummy looking! Recipe at link above.
(via Some What Simple)
12. Make Christmas cookies! My family has done a Christmas-cookie-making-day for many, many years now. There are so many different kinds of cookies (I'd say probably different 10 kinds) that each person or family that'd like to take home cookies, has to bring cookie tins to transport them home in! These cute snowmen cookies would be fun for kids to help decorate. Instruction and recipe at the link above!
(via Kohls)
13. Start a new tradition: old photos in holiday frames! A neat tradition that my husband's family has, that I too have adopted over the years, is the tradition of decorating for the holidays with photos of the past in holiday frames (and not just Christmas!). It's so neat to be able to look at pictures of yourself (and others) from previous holidays, and to see how far you've come.
(via Mason Family Blog)
14. Minute to Win It Christmas Style games! These are fun games that the whole family can get involved in! Check out the link above to see details!
(via Decorating by Day & House of Baby Piranha)
15. Holiday Art Projects. Get the paint ready for the little ones! They'll enjoy creating these art projects and they'll be nice reminders of how little they once were. Get them out every holiday season to decorate your home! (Store them with the rest of the holiday gear so they are easy to find!)

Have fun creating new memories with some new holiday activities! 

December 4, 2013

A {Hassle free} way to make your own Blog Button!

So you want to create a blog button hassle free? Here's the easiest way how (short of having someone else do it for you of course)!

1. First, you need a blank canvas for your button, literally. The easiest way to do this (instead of making it yourself) is to download and save this one: blog button 125x125 (right click>'save image as'). It will save as a blank box for you to start creating your new button!

2. Open the blank blog button in PicMonkey and create away! Upload the blog button you just saved, under edit photo. Start adding font, color, your logo etc. For more detailed description on how to do this, check out this tutorial on creating Word Art (half way down through post and start with step #4). Add you own logo by clicking 'Overlay,' then 'Your Own' at the top. Bam!

Make sure to merge your layers on your blog button before saving. This way it saves it as a one "piece" image, instead of an image with fonts, colors etc. 
Also: save as a PNG file! I've noticed they don't turn up as grainy as the JPEG.

This is my button after everything is said and done! Just text and a few circles in black and white.

3. Upload your saved blog button to your online photo book. I use Flickr. Get the HTML code for the photo you've just uploaded. ☟ (For the time being, copy this code into a blank Word Doc. You'll only need one part from it before deleting it. Set aside for step 4.)
4. Now that you have your blog button ready and saved, go to Grab My Button Code Generator (to get the html code for under your button so others can copy and share your button)! 

Plug in all your information that it prompts you for:
-your homepage title and URL
-the HTML code for your blog button image 
(go back to your copied HTML code in your Word Doc, and get the WHOLE line of text for your photo location. You'll notice it has a .JPEG at the end. You can see where my photo link was in the code, below. This is ALL you'll need from this section of code. You can delete it after you've copied your photo location.)
I changed no settings (colors, borders etc) when I typed my information in. You may if you'd like.

5. Grab your new generated blog code! Press preview and get the code. Your code will then show at the bottom of the page, under preview.
6. Once you have your generated blog button code copied, you can insert it onto your blog platform
Since I have Blogger, I click Layout>Add a Gadget>Click add HTML/JavaScript>paste your code (and save). Done!
It will then show up on your right hand side bar (you can see it in my picture above, at the bottom of my column, since I already had it created).

How hassle free was that for your newly created blog button??!! No writing any HTML code or copying code from other sites and inserting your information etc. Boo-ya, you're welcome! :o)

December 3, 2013

Remember: You are His

DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

DIY Hot Chocolate BarA really easy way to help set the holiday season mood, is to create a Hot Chocolate Bar! All you need is a trip to the store for a few items!
My Hot Chocolate Bar was served with:
-cute Straws (Target $1 section find!)
-mini marshmallows
-whipped cream
-tiny candy canes
-cinnamon sticks
-pumpkin pie spice
-rich & milk organic hot chocolate mix
-chocolate chips

This is something that is easy and quick to set up. PLUS, you can leave it out and others can help themselves. Make sure to replenish your items through out the holiday season!

Some other optional items to include: 
-Peppermint Schnapps (yum!) 
-Baileys Irish Cream
-butterscotch (instead of chocolate) chips
-Hershey's Cocoa
-big AND small marshmellows
-DIY Heart Shaped Whipped Cream Marshmallows
-homemade hot cocoa mix 
-peppermint marshmallows

There are SO many possibilities!
Cozy up and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa from your Hot Chocolate Bar!!

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