Sunday, December 30, 2012

Felt Superhero Masks

While my nephews were out for the Holidays we decided to make some masks. I had a ton of left over felt from other projects. We simple printed off the masks we were looking to make (we made a ton but I never got a photo of all of them :( We made our own version of Bat Girl (purple) and a Yellow Spider-man.
Simply cut out of felt and either draw lines on with Sharpie or stitch with sewing machine. Add elastic to the back and you're done.

Christmas Printables

Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my house already. A fun thing to keep the girls occupied with while I'm busy is printable worksheets. Especially when they are home on break for two weeks! I can't have them forgetting all the things they've learned throughout the year already. Here are the worksheets we did, below you'll find a list where you can go to the pin or original site and get them too. Happy learning


Instead of downloading the Santa to my computer (you can never be too careful) I simple fitted it to paint.

Santa color by number

SnowMan Family sight words

Roll the dices Christmas Tree game

Another Christmas Tree dice game

Reindeer Sandwich

I'm a bit behind on the pins, although I have been doing them. This one I did the last day of school for the girls before vacation. It's very easy. Simply cut the sandwich in a heart shape, add M&M's for eyes and noses (Hannah needed a yellow nosed reindeer) and Pretzels for the antlers.

Elf on the shelf got touched
While our family was in town they met our elf, Pepper-MinT. Like all kids who have come over and met him, they are skeptical and try to touch him. After the second time Pepper-MinT moved, I noticed he looked like her was in a new position. My daughter confirmed that yes, her cousin had touched him. Now, If you have an elf you know that is supposed to take away the magic and the elf can't fly back to the North Pole. She asked how I knew and I quickly told her that  I had received an e-mail from Santa who would fix everything. 
While my family was out I quickly put together a bag of glitter, and  went to the bloggers site,  printed poem:
 "Santa heard Elf is feeling blue
His magic is fading fast
St. Nick’s powers are strong and true
And Elf’s sadness will not last..."
For the full poem you must visit the original blogger
and made a letter to show I meant business ;)
Dear _________ household,
It has come to our attention at the North Pole that Elf # 060320058685, AKA Pepper-MinT has been touched by a child in your house. Touching an elf results in losing his/her ability to come back to the North Pole at night. Enclosed is magic glitter from Santa himself that will help Pepper-MinT regain his Christmas magic. Simply have the child who touched him sprinkle some glitter on the elf. Please be care and do not to it again- Santa’s orders.

Thank you,

Gladice, Elf control

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Grinchie stuff

The Girnch Pills are a silly little holiday thing to make you smile. My nick name through our house is Grinch (and not just during the Christmas season) because I want our kids to remember it's not all about presents. I've accepted this nickname and brought it to fun by wanting or buying things that are Grinch related. This was easy to make. All you need to to id print the label off from the main blogger (You'll have to shrink it a little in paint) and then cut it to fit a tic tac box. You can either mod podge or tape onto the container. Now you have your own Grinch pills.

Grinch painting

Check back for more on the Grinch later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowmen Cupcakes


So I need to make some cupcakes for my daughters Holiday party. It can't be anything that has to do with any holiday. That pretty much leaves Snowmen and Snowflakes.  It also gets trickier when one of the kids in the class is allergic to dairy. No problem,  I made Vegan cupcakes. They are really good (and moist compared to the other chocolate cupcakes from a box).

I saw this on pintrest about using a marshmallow as icing for a cupcake. I thought this was perfect because I needed something without butter or milk and the only canned icing I had on hand was green.  I placed them on the cupcakes 5 minutes prior to removing them.

 Now I admit I did not look at the end results on the persons blog. If I had, I never would have done it. It was not the texture I was looking for in anyway shape or form.

I ended up having to scrape it all off and making  marshmallow fondant for the top. I got exactly what I wanted.

I then took some clear sugar sprinkles and dipped the tops in it. Using mini M&M's and mini Chocolate chips I made the face. For the Dairy free kid I used Skittles and raisins.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Memory gifts

For Christmas I typically do something memorable for my sister. Since she has chosen themes for both her daughters I found these on pintrest and I decided to do them for her.

Now, you try making a 4 1/2 month old sit still and stamp her hand. She was asleep when I started, but woke up halfway through.

Amazingly enough the 5 year old was also non cooperative. Except when she got to sign her name in paint.

Christmas Nails

What you need:
Nail polish
Tooth picks

For her birthday, Hannah got the "So So Happy" Nail polish set that can be found at Toys R Us. We've been adding designs to their nails since Hailey's pre-school teacher gave us a book about it.
We pained her base coat white, twice. Then with a tooth pick (because we don't have the tools) we added the red stripes. I was a little iffy about using a "kid pack" of nail polish, I was excepting Disney and Hello Kitty quality (doesn't work). But was really impressed with the results.

Our nails for this week were strings of Christmas lights that lead to the Christmas tree on her thumbs. Again, all this takes is a toothpick.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chipotle inspired Veggie Burrito

I love Chipotle. The whole thing about them.. I actually feel they are worth paying more for. My wallet doesn't always agree. Thanks to this nice blogger I was able to get a knock off and try it tonight for dinner.  This was incredibly close. More so than I'd ever gotten.

I used:
Pinto canned beans (for black beans check original blogger)
Shredded Cheese (if Vegan, leave out)
Regular Safeway salsa (can make your own if desired)

Green pepper
Green bell pepper
Red pepper
red onion

Heat a pan to medium and add enough oil to coat pan. Once it is hot, add tll the chopped veggies. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Stir every minute or so until the veggies soften slightly and start to brown. (aprox: 6-8 minutes)

Lime rice:
White (or brown) rice
Lime juice
double the amount of water (example: 3/4 cup rice and 1 1/2 cups water)

Heat rice and small amount of oil in sauce pan. When it starts to get translucent, add the water and put a lid on it. let it rise to a boil and then reduce heat. Let it cook until done. Add Lime juice and cilantro. Then the one thing I didn't know- salt! What a difference.

Add in any order (or Chipotle order: Rice, beans, veggies, cheese and salsa)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Turkey Veggie tray

As part of our late Thanksgiving/early Christmas dinner with my sister the past weekend I decided to make her a turkey out of veggies.  The picture is self explanatory, really. Cut the end off the bell pepper for the face. slice cucumbers for body and various colors of other peppers for the feathers.

Bread Basket

With my family being so far away half of the time we don't get to celebrate the holidays with them very often. My sister was out this week and we decided we needed to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving with her. I chose to make some dinner rolls, a turkey made out of veggies, and a bread bowl.

Now, because this was for a "big event" I did not want to risk using a dough that would be gross. I stuck with the one I typically use. The recipe can be found here:

I started with making the rolls and letting them rise in the oven once. After that I punched it down, and formed most of them into rolls. The other half I rolled into long strips and placed them onto a heavily greased upside down bowl. I say heavily because I did mine lightly and well, it didn't want to come off the bowl. My husband eventually got it off. Once I had a few rows I started weaving longer strips around the side of the bowl. 
After that I let them rise one last time before baking the whole thing like I would rolls. The results were cute. Everyone thought it was cute and a fun idea to add to our made up holiday.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making your Elf on the Shelf Bend

I was so excited to get our elf on the shelf. I was prepared to have oodles of fun posing him in different positions and making him do funny things. I was not however aware of the fact that when I got my elf he would not be able to do those things. It wasn't until I came across this womans post about it that I found out what was going on. People doctor their elves by adding wire into their bodies and sewing them back up.

What you'll need:
Wire (she used 14'' I had 24'' on hand and just doubled it up)
Wire cutters (to bend the endges over so that they are rounded and not pokie)
Thread (red and white)
Stitch remover
velco (optional if you want to velco the hands)
hot glue gun (for velcro)

Start by taking a few stitched out of the hands and feet. I measured my wire on the outside, but you're free to eye ball it or feed it into the elves body parts and then cut it off where you feel necessary. If you are using thin wire like I did, bend it over and wrap a second set of wire over it to keep it sturdy.  I also added some wire in his back to see if that would help him stay up!

When you have finished with wiring the body, simply close him up. Now we are ready for better mischief tomorrow!  I did not add the Velco because it would be too obvious to the girls and I don't want them asking questions. Check out what Peppermint has been up to this year: Here

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ruldolph Hairstyle

So we were slightly rushed this morning. 20 minutes to get 3 people up and out the door. I'm amazed I pulled this even remotely off today. I started with a bun and added the brown pipe cleaners for antlers ( I actually kept mine as a whole and twisted it under the pony tail.) I added our google eyes (two hot glued to two bobby pins). Then I added a red pom pom for the nose. She doesn't have a lot of hair the only red pom poms I had were either too big or too small.

Here are our other Holiday hairstyles:
Spider Hair
Turkey Hair

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Charlie Brown Ornaments

My mom loves Charlie Brown. I saw these ornaments on Pintrest and knew I could make them. I first went to the original bloggers page and printed the pattern she so nicely made.  I had all the felt but peach...which has proven to be difficult to get!! For now I made Snoopy, and then Linus, Charlie Brown and Lucy's outfit.

For Lucy and Snoopy I had to draw the design on and embroider (or just a basic stitch) the details on. Then I added the ribbon and sewed the top piece to the bottom. .

For Charlie Brown I just stitched his design on the ornament and sewed it together. For Linus I did rows of zig zag stitches and then sewed it together.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Clay Santa Hands part 2

So my first attempt at these failed horribly. The baking soda clay hands were a very nice white, but dried and cracked. So it's back to salt dough.

 2 cups of Flour
1/2 cup of Salt
1/2 cup or less of Water

 Start by mixing all the ingredients together. When you have a nice playdough type clay roll it out onto a floured surface and push your childs hand into it. (TIP: You could just trace your childs hand on paper and use it as a template for the dough- but you will not get the indents that way). After that cut out around the hand carefully and play on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake them at 200 for over an hour. I actually had to flip mine and put them back in the next day because they didn't cook long enough. Once they were dry we painted them. These will make great little gifts for the grandparents we won't see this Christmas.

Snowman pancakes

It is that time of the year already. I'm guilty for starting Christmas up the day after Thanksgiving, a tradition started by my husband. This morning we had Snowman pancakes. Simple enough we made the pancakes three different sized circles. Chocolate chips for face and buttons. The only difference is that I gave ours a strawberry scarf instead of bacon and whip cream snow instead of marshmallows.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Kid Christmas List

Simple enough. I printed this letter to Santa from the original blogger page. I really liked it because instead of a spot for only toys it makes the kids choose other items for Christmas.They gave the list to our elf on the shelf to take back to the North Pole

Grout cleaner

So while I was waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to cook at my moms house I was determind to see if this pin actually worked. About 3 1/2 years ago my grandma had her niece tile her kitchen floor. After about a year or so the grout began to darken and it never looked clean no matter how often we cleaned it.

I got out a bowl and place
7 cups water
 1/2 cup baking soda
1/3 cup ammonia (or lemon juice which is what I used)
 and 1/4 cup vinegar

I mixed it up and poured it over the grout and let it set. With a scrubber I found under sink I began scrubbing away at it. You could actually see the dirty water! I was amazed.

It really does work! It is a really big work out though and worth it on special occasions. My mom wouldn't let me finish because it was about half of her kitchen floor is clean and the other half isn't. Note the different colors in the grout in this picture?

Thanksgiving rolls

For Thanksgiving (yes I'm a few days behind) we made these rolls at my moms house to go with Thanksgiving dinner.

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for brushing on top of baked rolls
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk (if you can't find dry milk like me, we substitute normal milk)
1/2 cup instant potato flakes

Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar. Let it activate (should only take about 8 minutes)

Add all other ingredients to the bowl, and when it's ready add the yeast and water mixture. Mix the ingredients until they form a dough. This was seriously the softest dough I've ever kneaded.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Then place in a warm spot and let it rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.   Once it has risen Lightly grease 1 12-cup muffin tin or 2 6-cup tins. Gently deflate your dough. Divide the dough in 12 equal pieces. Take one piece and divide it into thirds. Shape each third into a ball and place the three balls into a muffin cup. Repeat for the remaining 11 pieces. Let them rise a second time until doubled.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

They were pretty heavy rolls (which I find happens a lot to me. It also could have been that my mom only has a semi working convection oven, not a real oven.). They were still good and went over well with everyone.

Elf on the Shelf ideas

Alrighty, at first I must admit I did no want one of these "creepy little elves" in my house. I didn't get the point in them.. I assumed it was to keep an eye on your kids so that they knew Santa was watching (which is actually true). So I bought a different elf at Safeway and called it our Elf on the Shelf and named her Tinsel. It wasn't until I came across them on pintrest that I decided I had to have one. The things people do with these dolls are hilarious. We bought ours over a month ago with survey points I earn so it cost me nothing but time.

 The reason he is in different spots is because every night he flies back to the North Pole to tell Santa what he saw that day. You don't have to even do silly things with the elf. All he has to do is move spots. Someone just got creative and decided to.Now there are a lot of people out there who do not do them. I've even seen a blogger bad mouth the parents who do. I feel like that is taking it a little far. If you don't want to do them, that's fine but don't be rude to people who want to. Not doing an elf doesn't make you a bad parent- teaching your child to put others down for wanting to does.

Today, November 24th, We got our elf on the shelf. We decided he shows up right after we decorate the tree. His name is Peppermint, or just Pepper for short. Check back for all our ideas!

We got a visitor this year. Our Elf on the Shelf.
Day two:
Taking a nap


 Day Three:
Turns the Milk green

We decdied he was going to start off doing harmless things and then as the days progress he was going to get more entertaining.

 Day four:
Riding in a sleigh with Mickey and Minnie

Day five:
Cotton ball bath

The lighting in my bathroom is terrible, but here is Peppermint taking a cotton ball bath. You can use marshmallows and your sink. But I only have one bathroom so I can't be too extreme

Day six:
Convinces other toys to play board game

Day seven:
Makes a flour angel on counter
 I ddin't go crazy on the flour because I was going to have to clean it up.  Plus I didn't want to waste the flour. An alternative to that is putting the flour in a 9x13 pan

Day Eight:
Roast Marshmallows on a candle

To roast the marshmallow, I stuck it underneath a lighter for a few minutes

Day Nine:
Hides in a Jewelry box.
Now I would have loved to have done what the original blogger did, but that is extremely hard to do in the dark while your kids are sleeping. This was the closets I could get. Also I just found out through this blogger that they have added wire into their elf's body. See instructions here

Day Ten:
Packs the kids their lunches with random items in the cupboards/house
Peppermint really thought about what the girls might need to eat when they got to school: Sugar, condensed milk, lime juice, an onion, and soup still in a can. To get him to sit I taped his butt down... after he fell off the candle a few times I was determined to keep him where is is.

Day Twelve:
Replaces all photos in the house with ones of himself

Thankfully when I moved we did not unpack all of our photos or I would have been there all night!!

Day Thirteen:
Elf is playing Santa

I took a cotton ball and small double sided sticky tape to his face to get it to stay. A few days beforehand I hid the dogs under their bed (where they usually are, but closer to where I needed them). We got the sleigh from a Lowes Build and Grow workshop that was promoting Dreamworks "Rise of the Guardian"

Day Eleven:
 Builds Snowman out of marshmallows

 I Used Wilton food color pens and spaghetti sticks to make the snow men.  This was by far the most annoying one ever. 1) Because the Marshmallow snowmen kept falling over and 2) I still have yet to doctor the elf to make him bend and stay.

Day Thirteen:
Elf Graffiti- He uses window markers to color all over the bathroom mirrors

 Alright this one kinda happened quicker than I was planning. With my allergies kicking in yesterday I was so tired I went to "rest my eyes" while I waited for Hannah the night owl to fall asleep. Next thing I know I'm waking up an hour and a half into my nap disoriented wondering what the elf was supposed to do (a down side of owning an elf is this moment).
Our graffiti didn't show up as nicely as the other moms who used dry erase markers...

Day Fourteen (open because I'm not home).
 I decided there was no way I was going to try to bring him to grandma's house and get caught.

Day Fifteen:
 Stays up all night watching T.V with Barbie

This was a little hard because I had to se it  up right before I left for the weekend. I managed to do it without the girls seeing.

Day Sixteen:
Zip-line Elf

This was super fun to do.  First I had to wait until the girls fell asleep last night (of course since they fell asleep in the car they were crazy napped kids who had more energy!). I would have tied it to my tree, but it is one of those fake ones (don't judge me) and it is on a motor. So when the lights turn on the tree spins slowly in a circle. Super awesome. Only problem would have been if I had put the zip line it would have pulled the string into it. So I had to put it on the binds instead.

Day Seventeen
Piggy Bank thief
 I made the bag out of tissues, stuffed it with cotton balls and tied it with some yarn. I taped the quarter into his hand. We used a scarf to make it look like that is how he climbed up to the piggy bank. Then at the last minute I decided Aurora needed to be the getaway driver.

Day Eighteen:
He replaced all the stockings with the girls underwear.

Day Nineteen:
Photo Booth with Aurora and Barbies

The backdrop is a flat present I had wrapped.
To make the props you have to go to the original bloggers page and print them out. Getting all the dolls to pose was a very frustrating task. But we got it! Keeping the papers on the sticks (that I made too short) was also a little frustrating.  I had to use a LOT of tape... The girls don't seem to notice.

After taking these photos I had to switch the dolls positions because he was eying Rapunzel and the girls would make a comment about him liking Aurora.

Day Twenty:
 Builds Fort out of oatmeal box and hides in the Christmas tree

Day Twenty-One:
Wraps girls door in crepe paper
It use to look nice and even, but while I was doing it last night the top left corner kept falling. Then I had to add mroe tape, which in return made my oldest stir and I thought I saw her eyes open. all in all, still cute and fun.

Uses Husbands razor
 Super glad I got this one ready before I fell asleep. The girls are both sick (stomach bug &  cold)

Elf has a sick day

Colds and stomach bugs have flown through our tiny little apartment. So I've been cleaning quite a bit. I thought it only appropriate to give Pepper-MinT a cold too.

T.P's the Christmas tree
Read The Grinch to some toys

Stuck in a bag of M&M's

Potty Humor
No Original Source

I set the bar a liiiitttle too high the other day.. They weren't impressed with being stuck inside the M&M bag.. so I had to pull out the bigger guns.

 Hiding in the candy bowl
Lego Men capture elf
I accidentally deleted the main photo of this one off my camera. This is the best I've got- right after this my daughter mentioned her cousin touched the elf and we went into "Emergency Elf Kit" gear.

I can't believe I missed the picture of this. He was sitting on our advent calender and there was a note saying : Santa's coming tonight!

OTHER IDEAS: These are ones I was going to use but eventually were nixed for whatever reason:

1) Elf colors in coloring book or makes a self portrait
2)Does "YMCA" with Barbies
3) Sets up dominos
4) Makes a Good Morning cup of Hot Cocoa
5) Makes mini pancakes for the kids
6)Spells out a message in cereal or candy
7)Builds a real snow man out of shaved ice in your freezer
8) Super Elf
9)Weight lifting elf