advent calendar...

I wanted to start an advent calendar with Little Bit last year but I just didn't get around to it. Since she has been more interested in the days and knowing when things are going to happen, I decided to get one ready for this year. Plus she is so excited about the holidays, I thought it would be a perfect way for her to countdown to Christmas...and do something fun everyday along the way.

This one was my inspiration and I took off from there. I started out with a placemat from the Dollar Tree. Then I cut 5 rows of felt 2 inches high by 11.5 inches or so....however long a standard piece of felt is! ;) I sewed them on, making pockets evenly spaced apart...about every 2 1/4 inches.

I found a felt bag with a tree on it in the dollar section at Target. It was just hot glued on, so I peeled it off and stitched it on the placemat. I then hand stitched on a few buttons to "spruce" it up. ;)

Next I attached some red rick rack to the top so I could have some way to hang it.

For the numbers, I just bought a pack of number stickers at Michaels and stuck them on the front of each pocket.

I wanted to have an activity or event that we could do together each day. So I used some scrapbook paper and cut little cards to fit in each pocket. Then I wrote something on the back of each one.

A few examples are....watch a Christmas parade, wrap gifts, make a gingerbread house, put together a Christmas puzzle, play Christmas music and dance to it, donate unused toys to goodwill, make cut out cookies, watch a Christmas movie with popcorn, paint our nails, read the Christmas story, etc...

Here she is all hung up and ready to go tomorrow! Little Bit can't wait to see what the first card says!!!


{shoebox} doll house

Little Bit just loves dolls and making little "houses" for them wherever she can find. So I decided to make her an actual "house" that she could play with her new little Christmas dolls in. {When I say new, I mean new to her....I bought them at Target on clearance last year and just got them out for her to play with!}

I started with a sturdy shoebox and some scrapbook paper.

I found some paper that looked like wallpaper and cut it to size. Then I used some white for the ceiling and some brown for the floor.

Next I made a window and some wall art! ;) I used some pictures of Little Bit with 2 of her aunts and a couple of decorative punches for the wall art.

Here it is all decked out with her dolls! I cut 2 little pieces of felt for blankets and she grabbed some pom poms for pillows. Then we turned a votive holder upside down for a table. Little Bit had the idea to put the lid on top for the roof....she is quite a creative girl! ;)


{title} page...

Here is the 1st page of my 2010 album. I always like to do a family picture and have the year on there somewhere....
I got this kit at Archivers! Love to get to that store whenever I can manage! ;)

Love how this ribbon flower turned out! The kit came with a giant glue dot {gluber} and I just pleated the ribbon all the way around the gluber to get this look. Then I added the button to the center.


Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ crock pot pork chops, stuffing, green beans, bread

Tuesday ~ beef tortellini, apple slices, bread

Wednesday ~ almond coconut tilapia, rice, baked sweet potatoes

Thursday ~ green pepper chicken chili, peanut butter sandwiches

Friday ~ french toast, scrambled eggs, fruit

Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes


wristlet clutch

With today being Black Friday and all...and lots of shopping going on, I thought it would be the perfect day to show off my wristlet clutch refashion!

I have been wanting a cute clutch to use when I don't' need to carry a big purse, like on Black Friday! I wanted one that was roomy enough to throw in my basic essentials....wallet, phone, lip gloss, lotion, mints, sunglasses...etc. I just didn't want to spend much money on, so I haven't purchased one yet.

Then one day I was looking for something in the bathroom cabinet and I stumbled upon this oversized makeup bag from Clinique. It had potential. It was roomy, cute and had a wrist strap...and it was in my cabinet not being used...score!

I wanted to jazz it up a little bit though. So I found some fabric in my stash that matched perfectly and made a little ruffle accent strip. I then hot glued it onto the bag and tada....a cute, roomy wristlet clutch....for FREE!


is it thanksgiving {tomorrow}?

Little Bit is all into knowing when things are going to be, but she doesn't quite get "tomorrow" and "yesterday", let alone "in 2 weeks". So we got her a calendar to hang in her room and each night she can mark the day off. We put stickers on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so she can count the days until those holidays.

But for the day to day stuff, I wanted something different. I thought having something out that we could see everyday would be helpful.

First I went through our week and pulled out the main thing we do each day. I searched google images and found pictures of them to print off.

I printed the images in black and white and let Little Bit color them to add her own personal touch. Then I wrote the name of that days main event under the picture.

We hung them on the fridge using day of the week magnets. Now each morning we look at the fridge together and find out what we will be doing that day. This is helping her to learn the days in order and recognize the day names.

I even printed off ones for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have them clipped on the side of the fridge until we need them. Then I will just place them on the day of the week in which that event falls on.

Little Bit loves knowing what is going on each day and I think this is a big help!


holiday planner...

My mom and I have been going shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving for quite some time now. It is our mother/daughter day! {This year my 14 year old sis is coming along too!} Thanks to my handy holiday planner, I have my shopping list all ready!

Last year I made these holiday planners for myself, my mom and mom in law. Well they were a hit, so I knew I needed to make them again this year. Last year I just used cardstock to make the books and mine got a little mangled in my purse, so I thought I would try something a bit sturdier.

I found these journals at Michael's in the dollar section. The were actually travel themed with images in the lower right corners. But since I was going to alter them I knew it would be no problem to cover up.

I found some patterned paper that coordinated with the books and began altering. I started with the covers, making sure to hide the airplanes and luggage. I used a couple punches and some stickers to make the covers presentable! ;)

Then on the inside I divided the book into 4 sections with tabs. I just used punches and patterned paper to do that. I also reinforced these tabbed pages with white cardstock on one side and some of the coordinating patterned paper on the other.

I also included a couple envelopes to store receipts or whatever else in.

I think these books will last us a couple years. I started off using the first section to list all the people I buy for. Then beside them I write gifts I've bought. In the second section I have written gift ideas for people. Then in the third section I have written just random gifts that I have on hand. I mark them off as I find a purpose for them. We will be donating several of them to Toys for Tots in a couple weeks.

How do you organize for the holidays?


{check} this out...thanksgiving reads

Here are the Thanksgiving books that we have been enjoying the past few weeks...

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing

We have also been doing some Thanksgiving themed crafts and activities. Such as this turkey pictured above. To think it started as a simple toilet paper roll! ;) We also made several handprint turkeys, worked on patterns using leaves, dot to dot pumpkin and a Thanksgiving table coloring sheet.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving book or activity?


{foto} friday...

I'm linking up with Jeannette again over at Life Rearranged for her InstaFriday feature. Since I missed last week cause we were out of town these pics span a couple weeks. Here is my {retro} week...

Last week while at the mall with some friends, we saw workers setting up for the arrival of Santa. Little Bit and I both though this snow man was pretty cute! {She did note that he needed a mouth and I let one of the workers know ;) hehe!}

Little Bit loves to make silly faces....so here we are playing around...taking pics of ourselves making silly faces!

...and another one!

This statue is outside of one of our local stores. Little Bit loves all opportunities to get a photo taken. I love that she has her arm around George's!

The makings of a rainbow feathered turkey! We have been reading lots of turkey themed books and making some crafts. Here is one ready to be assembled.

How cute is this?! Little Bit brought home this hand print turkey placemat that she made at Preschool.

life rearranged


{crockpot} chicken & wild rice soup

Another super easy and yummo crockpot soup!

3 chicken breasts
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 small onion diced
1 box long grain & wild rice {rice & seasoning packet....I used Rice A Roni}
2 cans cream of chicken soup
4 cups chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken to shred, then return to crock. Stir and serve.



This time of year is a great time to talk about leaves. The colors are so beautiful and the weather is wonderful. We have been out playing in leaf piles several times in the past few weeks. Here are a few books we have enjoyed reading about leaves...

Fall is not easy by Marty Kelley {this story is soooo super cute!}

We're going on a leaf hunt by Steve Metzger

The little yellow leaf by Carin Berger

There was an old lady who swallowed some leaves by Lucille Colandro {We always love a good take on the old lady swallowing something books!}

While playing in the leaves Little Bit had fun collecting some. She found several different types in lots of fun colors...

We took some of them and did leaf rubbings...
What fun with leaves have you been having?!