12.31.2010

new years eve goodness...

Nothing like ringing in the new year with a platter of yummy goodness...

...peanut brittle, lazy man's toffee {definitely line your pan with foil!} and cinnamon sugar pretzels. All these snacks are super quick and easy to whip up!

Have you made any yummy snacks lately? Feel free to share!


Thanks for spending another bloggy year with me...Happy New Year!


12.27.2010

Menu Plan Monday









Monday ~ ham & beans, cornbread, green beans, apple slices

Tuesday ~ take out...pizza, salad

Wednesday ~ orange-ginger tilapia, green beans, brown rice, garlic bread

Thursday ~ chicken patties, carrots, chips, apple slices

Friday ~ New Years Eve!.....MORE yummy appetizers!

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

12.23.2010

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always such a fun time of year....especially with a 3 year old! Little Bit has been so excited and just can't wait for Christmas to get here. We have had alot of fun activities and outings to help us celebrate this amazing holiday. Wishing you lots of wonderful memories this Christmas!!!

Here are a few of the things we have been up to over the last couple weeks...

Books:
Piggie's 12 Days of Christmas by Howard Fine
Duck & Goose It's Time for Christmas! by Tad Hills
The Nutcracker by Gaby Goldsack
Snowman at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by John Rox
The Christmas Story by Patricia A. Pingry

Activities:
Making ornaments!...cinnamon ornaments, fingerprint snowmen, candy cane {pipe cleaner w/red & white beads}

Bow wreath...paper plate with circle cut from center, then mini bows attached all over to create a cute festive wreath!
Making cards...we used stamps to make a card for daddy and then we made another card using foam stickers.

Nativity kit...we put together a foam nativity set complete with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Paper snowflakes...good cutting practice!

Activity shelf...pom pom transfer w/tweezers; felt triangle trees to string on ribbon; jingle bell transfer with wooden spoon; bead arrangement with sugar shaker, pipe cleaners and beads; sorting mini presents by color; snowflake matching

Sensory Box...filled with pinecones, pom poms, jingle bells, red crystals, red & green candle holders, box, scoop and tongs

Drawer activities...build a Christmas tree; marble transfer to star suction mat; number matching {must clip the correct numbered clothes pin to the same numbered snowflake}

Open/Close...This was Little Bit's favorite from the activity shelf....{note that I had to take a separate pic cause it wasn't on the shelf earlier when I took the picture!} I put Christmas themed erasers inside each container. She loves "unwrapping" her gifts and then "wrapping" them back up for me to open!

Outings:
Christmas lights....fun family time together, we love driving around different neighborhoods and looking at all the lights!}

Journey to Bethlehem...a guided walk through a live nativity on the search for baby Jesus...put on by our church. Little Bit just loved it!

Toy donations...shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoebox fillers; shopping for child whose name we picked off tree at church; dropping off toys at Toys for Tots locations

12.21.2010

finger print snowman...

I saw a super cute ball ornament with a stamped handprint turned into a snowman family. So I took inspiration from that to create our own version.

I bought a package of like 8 colored ball ornaments from the Target dollar section. Then we painted Little Bit's fingers and made a snowman! {Using 3 different ones to get the varying sizes.} Then I used sharpies to add in the details. Super easy, cheap and cute!

Creative Corner...Scrap Club

Well December is almost over and I am just getting around to posting my November scrap club layout. I have had it done for a while....just forget to take pics and then get it posted. Plus I have been trying to finish up last minute projects for Christmas!

For November, we used the title GRATEFUL. That truly expresses how I feel at Thanksgiving....my favorite holiday. I love the wonderful food and the time spent with family! {Plus I love Black Friday shopping....a day my mom and I spend shopping together, just the 2 of us!}

12.20.2010

Menu Plan Monday









Monday ~ pita pizzas, salad, apples

Tuesday ~ green pepper turkey chili, peanut butter sandwiches, apple slices

Wednesday ~ honey teriyaki salmon, green beans, sweet potato fries

Thursday ~ chicken patties, carrots, chips, grapes

Friday ~ Merry Christmas Eve!.....yummy appetizers!

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

12.19.2010

cinnamon ornaments

I first saw these on Superheros and Princesses and she linked to Little Page Turners. I thought these looked cute and would be fun to make with Little Bit. She loves it when we break out the cookie cutters!
Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce

Directions:
Mix cinnamon and applesauce together until dough forms. You'll need to use your hands at the end. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper until it is about 1/3 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters and use a straw to punch holes for the ribbon. I used a little spatula to help get the cut outs up without them tearing apart.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2.5 hours.

Let cool and then use twine or ribbon to hang ornaments. {What a wonderful smell your house will be filled with while these are baking!}

Little Bit wanted to give some away....so here is a little gift for our wonderful children's librarian. {Some yummy sugared pecans are in the bag!}

And of course we had to hang a few on our tree! {A friend of mine says she made some 11 years ago and they are still holding up and even still smell!}

12.18.2010

I - L Review

{Circle Time}
Calendar...Talk about the month and days of the week and put sticker on the day we are discussing.

Reading...This week we reviewed some of our favorites from the past couple weeks...
Ladybug Girl by David Soman
Llama, llama mad at mama by Anna Dewdney
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
The Berenstain Bears Do Their Best by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Songs/Rhymes...Knick, knack paddy whack;
Itsy bitsy spider

{Activities}
Coloring...Hello "Kitty"

Dot to Dot...kite {printables from Ladybug Girl website}. Little Bit loves doing dot to dots and then coloring the picture.

Letter Identification...handwriting sheets. I picked ones that coordinate with the Christmas season...J is for Jesus, I is for Inn.
...christmas tree do a dot. I printed the one that had the letters jkl for our review week.

Activity Shelf...marble transfer to suction mat; felt clothes line; color shade matching; nuts & bolts {matching sizes & threading nut on bolt}; measuring length of pipe cleaners; sorting blocks by color; spelling words; leaf stringing

12.16.2010

{framed} necklaces...

My necklaces have been a mess for a long while now. I have a tall jewelry box with drawers....good for bracelets, earrings and the like but not good for necklaces. I tried just laying them in the top but they would still end up getting all jumbled together.

So....I created this! I wanted to keep my creation on the cheap, that meant off to the Dollar Tree! I found this 12x14 black wood frame and thought perfect....since I already have black accents in the room. I used some cork sheets and fabric that I already had on hand.

Then I lined up straight pins all along the top and hung the necklaces from them.

Here is another shot of the final product....I just love it. Love how it shows off my necklaces and keeps them neatly organized too!

12.15.2010

reindeer sandwich...

I saw this post yesterday on The Activity Mom and was inspired to try it for Little Bit. So I fixed her this open faced sandwich for lunch and she loved it! Think I might try a snowman next and see how that goes over!

12.13.2010

Menu Plan Monday









Monday ~ bbq chicken, green beans, chips, grapes

Tuesday ~ hobo meatball stew, apples, bread

Wednesday ~ honey teriyaki salmon, green beans, sweet potato fries

Thursday ~ french toast, scrambled eggs, fruit salad

Friday ~ veggie noodle soup, toasted cheese sandwiches

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

12.12.2010

Christmas around the house...

Thought I would share a few more pics of our Christmas decor around the house...
You know my decor wouldn't be complete without a word spelled using scrabble letters!

This plate stand sits on my kitchen island. I got the red plate at Walmart and used E6000 glue to attach it to a dollar store candle stick! Then I filled it with pinecones, some green sprigs and ornaments....LOVE it!

I had to carry on the tradition of framed art on the bookshelf. My inspiration came from this framed piece I saw at TwoPeas. So I turned on the Cricut and cut letters using the Simply Sweet cartridge. Cardstock I used was from Stampin Up...chocolate chip, cherry cobbler and wasabi. To finish it off, I freehanded the holly leaves and added some red jewels for the berries.

And one more of the tree....and my little sweetie!

12.10.2010

Letter Ll

"L" topics...ladybug, llama, length, leaves

{Circle Time}
Calendar...Talk about the month and days of the week and put sticker on the day we are discussing.

Reading...days of the week book...Weekdays by Tizzie Knowles
...theme books...My "l" Book by Jane Belk Moncure
Ladybug Girl by David Soman
Ten little ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
Llama, llama mad at mama by Anna Dewdney
How long is it? by Donna Loughran
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber

Songs/Rhymes...The L says...

{Letter Craft}
L is for Ladybug...{this one is my design}
{Activities}
Coloring...Letter Ll

Letter Identification...
find the letter worksheet
...do a dot letter printables
...used craft sticks to build the letter

Spelling...We worked on spelling LID this week. I wrote the word and drew a picture on our dry erase board. Each day I had Little Bit spell and sound out the word.
...tray with magnetic letters and cards with words {LID, }. Little Bit placed the corresponding letters over the letters on the cards...while sounding out each letter.

Ladybug...dot to dot ladybug. This is a great exercise for getting letters in the correct order and drawing lines!
...follow directions to make a ladybug
...Ladybug girl printables

Length...Little Bit loved this activity! I cut 4 pipe cleaners at different lengths and then she had to measure them with the ruler and place them by the correct number.
Leaves...identify lower and uppercase L's and color the leaves
...trace the leaf and color

Activity Shelf...marble transfer to suction mat; felt clothes line; color shade matching; nuts & bolts {matching sizes & threading nut on bolt}; measuring length of pipe cleaners; sorting blocks by color; spelling words; leaf stringing
Computer time...Starfall {we worked in the ABC section with the letter L}
...Little Bit also loves to get in some computer time when we go the library. They have computers set up in the children's area with games, stories, etc. She loves working on Jump Start PreK!

12.07.2010

Christmas mantel...

Remember the thrifty hurricane vase that I created with Goodwill finds? Well here it is filled with red, blue and silver ball ornaments. I paired it with another plain hurricane vase from the Dollar Tree...and I just love it!

The red and blue ornaments I already had on hand. I picked up the silver mini ornaments in the Target dollar spot and the larger silver ones from the Dollar Tree.

I have a love for snowmen....but I am trying to declutter a bit...so I just placed a few from my collection on the mantel with some greenery and ornaments!

How is your holiday decorating coming?

12.06.2010

photo cards have arrived!

Well....I posted about Shutterfly and their wonderful selection of photo products here. After looking through ALL the card choices and narrowing it down to a few, I had the Hubs and Little Bit look at them and pick their favorite. This is the style that won...


I really had fun picking out which card to send and love that my family was involved in the process. What stood out to us on this card was the color scheme and the 3 stockings {cause there are 3 of us!}.

I am so pleased with the final product! It is a flat stationary card and I just love the matte finish and postcard like feel. The back is blank, so you can still include a handwritten message if you so choose.

Thank you Shutterfly!

Menu Plan Monday








Monday ~ green pepper turkey chili, peanut butter sandwiches, apple slices

Tuesday ~ ham & beans, cornbread, asparagus

Wednesday ~ chicken patties, sweet potato fries, salad

Thursday ~ orange-ginger tilapia, green beans, brown rice, garlic bread

Friday ~ pita pizzas, salad, apples slices

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

12.04.2010

Letter Kk

"K" topics...kite, kangaroo, king, kiss

{Circle Time}
Calendar...Talk about the month and days of the week and put sticker on the day we are discussing.

Reading...days of the week book...Weekdays by Tizzie Knowles
...theme books...My "k" Book by Jane Belk Moncure
Kangaroo Christine by Guido van Genechten
Where are you, Blue Kangaroo? by Emma Chichester Clark
The Berenstain Bears Do Their Best by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

Songs/Rhymes...The K says...; Knick-Knack Paddy Whack

{Letter Craft}
K is for Kangaroo...inspired by this blog
{Activities}
Coloring...Letter Kk, Kangaroo
Letter Identification...
find the letter worksheet
...do a dot letter printables
...used craft sticks to build the letter

Spelling...We worked on spelling KEY this week. I wrote the word and drew a picture on our dry erase board. Each day I had Little Bit spell and sound out the word. {This one was a little tricky with long E sound and the Y.}
...tray with magnetic letters and cards with words {KIT, KEY}. Little Bit placed the corresponding letters over the letters on the cards...while sounding out each letter.

Kites...dot to dot kite. This is a great exercise for getting letters in the correct order and drawing lines!
...pieced triangles together to make a paper kite
...kite lacing activity {Melissa & Doug}
Kings...shape matching activity sheet. I printed this picture of a king and gave it to Little Bit with foam shape stickers. She matched the shape stickers to what was on the sheet.
Activity Shelf...{same stuff as J week}...marble transfer to suction mat; felt clothes line; color shade matching; nuts & bolts {matching sizes & threading nut on bolt}; counting jelly beans; sorting blocks by color

Exercise...kicking, karate!

Computer time...Starfall {we worked in the ABC section with the letter K}
...Little Bit also loves to get in some computer time when we go the library. They have computers set up in the children's area with games, stories, etc. She loves working on Jump Start PreK!

12.02.2010

it's december!

I can't believe that December is here already! Where has the year gone?! In getting ready for the holidays I wanted some special activities that the hubs and I could do with Little Bit to make the days leading up to Christmas special.

One thing I have done is pull out all our Christmas books {we have like 7!} and put them in a basket by the Christmas tree. Each night Little Bit gets to pick out one of the books for us to read together. {I saw an idea where someone wrapped up all the Christmas books they had and did a different one a night until Christmas. Since we don't have 25 books, I went for the basket option.} We will probably enjoy a few more Christmas books that we check out from the library!

I also have a basket of holiday crafts in our Learning Center. I am hoping to come up with enough things to do one a day until Christmas. So far we have 8 things in our basket....and I'm still thinking!

What holiday traditions do you have in place with your family?

11.30.2010

december daily foundation...

I first posted about my December Daily album here. I have more to show you...
I wanted to spruce up the plain green cover....so I used some scrap paper, cut outs and a few stickers.

Then for the inside pages I took inspiration from what Ali is doing. I just cut white cardstock to fit the binder and punched the holes. Then freehanded black lines all around the page to create a border and box at the bottom part of the page. Then using rubons I added numbers in the lower corners.

Then I placed all my paper scraps, stickers, accents, memorabilia, etc. in this turquoise tin. So I am ready to create pages as I get my pictures.

...Some of our holiday traditions start in November so I have actually started taking pictures for my album! Looking forward to putting it all together!

11.29.2010

Menu Plan Monday








Monday ~ bbq chicken, sweet potato fries, salad

Tuesday ~ honey teriyaki salmon, green beans, ramen noodles

Wednesday ~ chicken noodle soup, salad

Thursday ~ ham & beans, cornbread

Friday ~ pita pizzas, salad, apples slices

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

11.25.2010

gobble, gobble...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! {Thanks for reading my blog...it is such a fun creative outlet for me!} We are thankful to be sharing some time and wonderful food with our families over the next few days....hopefully you are doing the same.

I thought I would share a few Thanksgiving books and activities we have done the past week....

Books:
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
Thanksgiving by Miriam Nerlove
Thank You Bear by Greg Foley
Thank You, God, For Everything by August Gold

Activities:
...turkey pumpkin...pictured above {We used one of our pumpkins we had out as fall decor and turned it into a pumpkin! We glued all the face pieces on but used thumb tacks to secure the hat and feathers.}

...thankful banner {Using leaves I cut out with my Cricut, Little Bit told me things she was thankful for and we wrote them on the leaves. Then punched a hole in the leaves and hung them on some twine in her room so she could see them everyday.}

...handprint turkeys {I have done this every year with Little Bit...trace her hand and turn it into a turkey! She loves getting her hand traced and trying to do it herself!}

...turkey dot to dot


...thanksgiving bracelets {These bracelets help children learn the story of the first Thanksgiving. Check out this post and get download the instructions on how to make your own!}

11.24.2010

laundry activity...

I thought this was too cute and such a fun looking activity, I finally created one for Little Bit.
I found the white wire shelf at Meijer for a few dollars and then started cutting mini clothes out of felt scraps I had leftover from other projects.

Here Little Bit is trying out the activity, using the mini clothes pins {from Michaels} to hang the clothes.

She had fun sorting by size, color and item!

11.23.2010

get out your {scrap box}...

As I was going through my paper scraps box...{looking for paper to use in my December Daily album}...I came across this cute dot paper and thought....why is this just sitting here. So I created this card using those scraps, the Ippity set What Matters Most and the Martha Stewart 3 in 1 butterfly punch! Sometimes I love challenging myself to use a limited amount of supplies to see what I can create...

11.22.2010

Menu Plan Monday








Hope you all have a wonderful week and a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday ~ orange-ginger tilapia, green beans, brown rice, garlic bread

Tuesday ~ veggie noodle soup, toasted cheese sandwiches

Wednesday ~ pita pizzas, salad, apples slices

Thursday ~ Thanksgiving part 1

Friday ~ Thanksgiving part 2 ;)

Linking up with Org Junkie and Fit Meals Monday...check them out for more recipes!

11.21.2010

holiday photo cards...

Christmas is literally just around the corner...{how did that happen so fast?!}...so that means it is time to be thinking about what Christmas cards to send. I usually make handmade cards and the last few years we have been incorporating a photo. I have printed wallets to attach to cards in the past but this year...thanks to this wonderful opportunity through Shutterfly, I will be sending holiday photo cards! If you are a blogger, check out how you could get 50 free holiday cards too!

There are so many different cards to choose from, I don't know how I will finally decide which ones to order. My favorite style is the flat stationary cards. Several are really catching my eye....here, here, and here. I think this one might be getting close to the top of the list...just depends on how many photos I want to include!


I am always pleased with the great quality products that Shutterfly provides. I have ordered a variety of photo items from them...4x6 prints, folded photo cards for Christmas, flat photo cards to highlight Valentines Day and Birthday photos, and several photo books.

Photo books are one of my favorite gifts to give our parents and grandparents....and they just love receiving them! I love doing traditional scrapbooks but have become a huge fan of the digital version you can do on Shutterfly. I have put together several of the photo books over the years and tried a variety of sizes. I think the 8x8 size is my favorite. Doing one of these ABC albums for Little Bit was especially fun...just love all the digital paper and embellishments that make it look like a "real" scrapbook!

Personalized mugs are another great gift idea. There are several different styles of mugs to choose from but I think this one is super cute! What grandparent wouldn't love drinking their morning coffee or tea while catching a glimpse of their grandkids!

So...take a moment and stop by Shutterfly to check out their great selection of photo products. If you do decide to take advantage of any of their great photo gifts, remember to use the coupon code SHIP30 for free shipping on orders of $30 or more.

Here's to a photorific holiday season!

11.19.2010

december daily project...

I just love reading Ali Edwards blog. I especially love her idea for doing a December Daily album! The main concept is to have the album bones ready to go so all you need to add are the pictures and journalling.

I so look forward to the holidays...all the decorations, traditions and events that lead up to Christmas Day. So why not make a special little album to record all those memories! Last year was my first time doing one. I started out small though...I didn't record something everyday of December, I just highlighted a few special things. I used a small acrylic album with varying page sizes. It was different for me but I loved it! So this year I plan to do another one. I'm going to try and do 25 days of Christmas....recording 25 things we do or love that lead up to Christmas.

Deciding on what type of "album" to use is my first struggle. I like to be a thrifty crafter so I try to find something that is fairly cheap. I saw a couple ideas using mini binders and liked that idea...so off I went in search of the perfect cheap mini binder. I didn't find anything at the local craft stores so I took a quick look in the dollar store and this is what I found...
This green little binder is about 6x9....just perfect! And the price couldn't have been better....$1.00!

I also decided to try and use up supplies that I already have on hand. Here is a sampling of my paper, leftover stickers and accents.

Now off to get started creating the foundation of my album!

11.18.2010

Letter Jj

"J" topics...jump, jet, jelly beans, jaguars

{Circle Time}
Calendar...Talk about the month and days of the week and put sticker on the day we are discussing.

Reading...days of the week book...Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman {...a fun one!}
...theme books...My "j" Book by Jane Belk Moncure
The Giant Jelly Bean Jar by Marcie Aboff
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
Jaguars by Julie Guidone
Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Songs/Rhymes...The J says..., 10 little jelly beans

{Letter Craft}
J is for Jaguar...inspired by this blog

{Activities}
Coloring...Letter Jj

Letter Identification...
find the letter worksheet
...do a dot letter printables

Spelling...We worked on spelling JET this week. I wrote the word and drew a picture on our dry erase board. Each day I had Little Bit spell and sound out the word.
...tray with magnetic letters and cards with words {JET, JAR, JAM}. Little Bit placed the corresponding letters over the letters on the cards...while sounding out each letter.

Dot to Dot...jack-in-the-box. This is a great exercise for getting letters in the correct order and drawing lines!

Activity Shelf...marble transfer to suction mat; felt clothes line; color shade matching; nuts & bolts {matching sizes & threading nut on bolt}; counting jelly beans; sorting blocks by color
Exercise...jumping!

Computer time...Starfall {we worked in the ABC section with the letter J} and Fisher Price{they have some great learning games and online coloring pages}.
...Little Bit also loves to get in some computer time when we go the library. They have computers set up in the children's area with games, stories, etc. Her favorite one to do is Just Grandma & Me by Mercer Mayer. She puts on the headphones and watches/listens to the story! Another one she is getting into is Jump Start PreK.