November 25, 2013

A kid friendly Christmas tree garland


We kinda just skipped Thanksgiving this year (but in our defense, we don't really decorate for that holiday anyways because we don't host it at our house). I'm just too excited for Christmas. Little Miss is finally old enough to really understand believe and participate. However, I'm also terrified of Little Mr. destroying the Christmas tree and opening all the presents early, but well get through that.

I want to keep the kids involved in everything I do Christmas wise (I mean come on, they even went Santa present shopping with me, they thought the toys were for their cousins). We made a traditional paper circle garland last year to hang in our entryway. This year I wanted to do something a little more creative and festive. 

This Christmas tree garland is perfect for the 3-5 age range. Little Mr. tried to help make the garland but mostly he just wanted to eat the supplies (sequins are pretty tempting, like glittery rice).  All the supplies you need are:
Whatever is in your craft area. Seriously we even used pieces of yarn. Construction paper worked best for Little Miss. 

Cut your construction paper in half before you start. Then decorate. I tried to show her how it becomes a tree so it should have ornaments on it and the such, but she didn't care. She went to town with the glitter glue and sequins. I also let her use my rubber glue and glitter, until she dumped the whole thing in her lap.



I decorated half and she did the rest. We stayed content for almost an hour (not the little one, he gave up That's pretty good for a three year old. She was really excited to use "mommys special glue" and put it on everything. We ran out of Elmer's and had to use my craft glue. If that's what it takes to get her to actually finish a craft, so be it. 

We used a lot of glue so we let ours dry overnight. I cut out the star toppers and let her glue them on the top once the trees were formed (just fold together into an almost triangle- which you can see took  me a few tries till I got it right). String em together and Tada! Christmas garland. 


We had a blast picking out our favorites. We all agreed it was the one that was completely covered in sequins (which I'm still sweeping up). This very cheap craft (I actually had everything on hand) is fun and easy to do. You could even write notes to Santa on each tree!! 

Wha fun craft are you planning on doing with your kids for the holiday season?

xo Stacie

November 22, 2013

Sharing is caring

In continuing with our attempt to teach the children about thankfulness and giving, we started what I hope to be a new tradition (this year is FULL of those). I made some delicious salted caramels this past weekend (which were also super easy to make!), and there's nothing better in life than making something delicious and then sharing the goodness (unless of course scientists finally discovered a way to eat it all yourself and not gain weight-I'm still waiting though).


We have some really awesome neighbors that we heart dearly. I'm talking neighbors that you can let borrow things because they will actually bring it back. We all get along, with and without the kids. 


What better way to teach the Little Miss about giving than to bake something and share it with friends? So we glittered up some leaf tags and wrote a note of "thanks for being great neighbors" and stuck them on our bags of caramels. We lucked out on the fact that everyone was out for the day and we could deliver our packages without notice. We didn't luck out on the fact that the wind was so fierce that it blew the bags around and it looked like we left steaming bags of dog poop (true story). 

Little Miss thought it was so cool to leave presents on people's doorsteps. We can't wait to share more goodies in unexpected ways from now on. Everyday she becomes more grown up and it is our job as parents to make sure she grows with the right morals and standards.

What types of goodies do you like to share?

xo Stacie

November 20, 2013

Anthropologie inspired monogram ornaments

I'm obsessed with the store Anthropologie. But I don't allow myself to go inside one. It's too tempting to buy everything in stock. And that stock ain't cheap (yup I just said ain't, it's serious). I found these adorable little pompom ornaments online and just couldn't help myself! 

But at $8?? Each?? Seriously??

So I made my own. For less than a dollar each. Seriously. 

Now from the picture it looks like they made theirs from wool. Me? I used embroidery thread, because at Walmart? They sell it for 30 cents. Can't beat that (plus they didn't sell wool roving, I looked). 

Supplies needed are: 
   Embrodiary thread (Walmart sells for .30)
   Cardboard letters (I got mine on clearance for around $1 at Michael's)
   Mod podge
   Tacky glue
   *I also used baker's twine for the loop but extra embrodiary thread works too. 

First things first, glue on your loop. You want the thread to cover it so it's extra secure. Then (now, this is the hard part), wrap the thread all around the cardboard letter. Secure the ends with the tacky glue. 

Next up are the balls, oops I'm sorry, I mean the pompoms. Easy but messy. 

Cut about an inch an a half to two inches of each color of thread you want. Then separate each color into two's (so you'll end up with three sets of each color). Using about a fingertip of mod podge, coat a set of thread and then roll it into a ball. 


By the time you are done with all the colors, the mod podge will have dried (on the pompoms and on your fingers) and you can attach them to your letter with the tacky glue. 

And TA-DA! You have a super cute monogrammed pompom ornament that did not cost eight smackaroos. These were so easy to make, I did mine while watching tv. In bed. 


What will you do with your ornaments? I'm thinking of using mine as gift tags. 
p.s. that totally cute glitter tree they are hanging from in the pictures? A stick. From my backyard. Free ninety-five. That's what I'm talking about. 

xo Stacie

November 18, 2013

Turkey meatloaf so good your husband will think it's beef


We've always been beef lovers at this house. Yet when our children grew teeth and became carnivores like the rest of us, our tastes needed to shift. Red meat is great, tasty filling greatness. But not super healthy. I want our kids to grow up with diverse taste buds (including those pesky vegetables no one ever wants to eat). So we buy turkey meat. A lot. Not only is it slightly healthier, it's cheaper!!


I make lots of things with turkey meat that I would normally make with ground beef. My favorite? Meatloaf. The hubs was so nervous when I first pulled it out of the oven that it wouldn't be near as good as beef. And it took a few tries, but I got this 'ish now. Now when I make it, I don't tell him it's turkey until he's had a bite and remarked on how good it tastes. Oh yeah. High five to me. 

Let me share my secret recipe with you. 


Combine all the ingredients together but the ketchup and mush (that's a technical term there folks) it into a loaf shape in your pan. Cook for an hour and a half to an hour forty-five minutes (or if you have one of those fancy meat thermometers turkey is done at 145 degrees f). 


Sometimes I switch it up and add onions and peppers, but I don't always have those on hand (honestly I just hate cutting onions). 

The kids eat every bite (ok not all the time because they are three and one and comeon) and sometimes ask for seconds!  Meatloaf is a great comfort food and why not make it a little healthier?


How do you like your meatloaf? What are your favorite side dishes?

xo Stacie

November 15, 2013

Giving new life to those old accessories

Something bad happened at the Fluff household recently. Someone broke into my house and broke my favorite new wood bowl. I know it wasn't one of my lovely children because they are just perfect angels ( yeah right, I was standing right there when it happened). Don't get me wrong, I wasn't very broken hearted seeing as I paid a whole stinkin dollar for the bowl but boy was she perdy.

Ignore the beautiful iPhone pic, didn't know this beauty would be a new project. 

So after the unfortunate accident of the bowl being broken by a certain little man, the hubs figured he could fix the bowl. A little gorilla glue and the hubs put humpty back together again.

Gorilla glue dries white though in case you didn't know (I didn't). And since the bowl is wood, once I sanded down the glue area I would literally have to sand the entire bowl down and restain it. Ain't nobody got time for dat (is that still cool to say? I feel so out of the loop, I still say "that's what she said"). 

Enter craft paint and my new found love of all things gold. This simple craft can be done on any bowl. Slather a few coats of white paint on the inside and it's ready to party. *side note: I'm going to have to add a coat of poly-whatever as the little culprit man used it as a train depot and the white is scratched in some places. 

Using painters tape, I wrapped it around the outside of the bowl just below the glued part. You have to use tiny pieces of the tape to keep the line straight all the way around. In an effort to not buy any supplies (which of course I since have) I used a gold poster paint marker. Let me tell you something. Use those things on a well ventilated room because sheesh. Those. Things. Stink. The second oat around I used a poly brush and swept around the paint to get rid of the pen marks. 

This simple little update makes me smile. It brings a little bit of gold into my color pallette for the living room and since all supplies were on hand already. It was free (well it was a dollar, yes a dollar, for the bowl). Updating old accessories you have on hand already is a great idea to give them new life and make them more "cool".

What are some things you've updated lately?

xo Stacie

November 13, 2013

Put a little glitz on that mirror

I'm on a mission this year to make Christmas my you know what. Little Miss is four (well in Dec. she is) now and notices things. And questions them. Boy does she question them (and remembers my answer too!!). So I'm preparing for a season of advent calendars, cookies for Santa, letters to Santa, elf on the shelf? Yup. Got him too. And I'm pretty sure I am just as excited as she is. And we're ready around here. It snowed yesterday and the first thing out of her mouth was "does this mean it's Christmas now? Did Santa come?"

So I've started gathering the projects I want to complete to make our house so full of Christmas cheer you're shaking it out of your hair on Valentine's day. Well maybe not that excessive. 

First project of the Christmas season? I little ornament mirror. I see those beautiful ornament wreaths EVERYWHERE and I will probably join the cult bandwagon and make one too, but I wanted to try something a little different. 

You can find these mirrors in almost every thrift store. And cheap too. Because they are not made of real wood, but plastic. This little guy cost me three dollars. And while I really want two to even them out on the wall, one is enough for now. Those bigger ornaments? Dollar store. I only needed four tubes to complete it. The other smaller ones came from hobby lobby for $3 a piece. You might be able to find them cheaper at Walmart but I just haven't gone there in a while and didn't want to make an unnecessary trip. You can use any ornaments you want to match your decor (our tree is silver and blue so I wanted to coordinate, even though I'm LOVING the gold this year). 

A ton of hot glue (or less if your gun isn't made for midgets like mine is) and you are set. I was kind of rushing to finish this before the sun set (which I failed because I ran out of ornaments) so mine isn't as perfect as I want it to be.  However I love the effect. I'm tempted to hang it on my door as a wreath! It's just something simple and fun. And it cost only $13! You can't even buy one of those fancy ornament wreaths for that (and if you can, can someone send me the link?).

Do you like how I accidentally focused on the ceiling in the mirror? Oops, guess I need to work on that skill now!!
I plan on making a second one mirror so that this one isn't lonely. But first I need to go to the thrift store and find another mirror!

What's your first project for Christmas? Have you already set up your tree?

xo Stacie


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