So if you are planning a get together for toddlers, teens or adults balloons are always a VERY easy way to decorate. Fill your family room with them and let the streamers hang low. I suggest picking 2 colors only to coordinate with your theme. I love this picture from Martha Stewart - silver and white - perfect for a New Years Eve celebration or a birthday party! Would also be great in black and gold! Pass out some horns and voila - instant party! (be careful with children under 6 with balloons and popping)
Another neat way to use balloons at a New Years Eve party is to create a balloon drop. You can purchase a balloon net at a Party Store or at Amazon. DIY using a sheet or plastic tarp with balloons and attach to ceiling lights, ceiling fan etc and leave one side available to untie. More specific directions here. Don't forget to add some candy and confetti inside the drop!
While visiting family this past weekend my aunt asked me what we were doing for New Year's Eve. ummm Not much, we don't have a babysitter so we are probably going to dinner with friends and our kids - around 6pm. I hope to stay awake for the ball drop! I love fireworks so maybe if I watch London or Australia that will be good enough.
So now that you are parents what do you do? go out and leave the kids with a babysitter, throw a kid friendly party at home, or nothing????
My children don't really understand the holiday yet but I did some research on things that you could do with your kids to celebrate!!
I love this idea from familyfun.com At midnight (or better yet 7:00pm est as Big Ben strikes midnight in London) do the Bubble Wrap Stomp! Be sure to buy large bubble wrap from you local office supply store, lay it on the ground and countdown to 1 then everyone jump on the sheets of bubble wrap. The sounds are just like fireworks or the popping of champagne!!
Here are some cute FREE printables found over at Catch my Party - if you are doing a party and need some resolution cards, cupcake toppers, banner etc.
You could also get a bunch of bells (left over from Christmas), hand them out and ring away! Here is a cute banner also from Catch My Party. Banner found here
So gone are the days where you leave out carrots for the reindeer now its oatmeal! We put together a little bag of oatmeal and added some glitter (could also use sprinkles) - This is so the Reindeer would see it glimmer in the moon light and find our house!
Christmas Eve we went outside and sprinkled it on the lawn. The kids were having a blast, Vanessa dumped the bag and Gavin took out handfuls. Either way it was cute to see them have so much fun.
On the way home from church Gavin, my 3 year old says to us - 'how do the reindeer get the food on the ground if they land on the roof?' HAHA we said they fly down and eat while Santa fills the stockings they they fly back up and get Santa from the chimney! Smartie!!
Here is a cute saying to add to your little bags of food - great to make for your children's friends or to hand out to the neighbors. For a free printable check out TomKat Studio
After putting on Santa jammies the kids put out chocolate chip cookies and apple juice for Santa.
(side note; one of the Santa's we visited told Gavin he wanted chocolate chip cookies. Gavin also told me Santa gets too much milk and wanted to give him apple juice)
As I was perusing Pinteret this week I came across this cute pic from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons and decided I needed to do this for my kids. We all know making fun/cute food makes it much more interesting to eat right?
I wanted to wait till Christmas Eve morning but couldn't resist!
Here is my version of reindeer pancakes, no fruit, cool whip or bacon-I used red M&M, raisins and pretzels!
My son and I just made Peppermint playdoh for the kids in his nursery school class. It was very easy to make, you have all the ingredients in your pantry AND it was so much fun.
I got the idea from Artful Parent. She used adorable ball jars but I decided that in dealing with 3 year olds plastic was the way to go. I found these ball plastic containers right next to the ball jars in the grocery store. They happen to have green lids! Awesome.
I added a candy cane topper and a sticker that said Peppermint Playdoh, Merry Christmas Love G.
Voila - easy gift for friends and also an awesome favor idea at your next birthday party.
Ohhh the possibilities.
Think of the colors, the packaging....:)
If you decide to make this let me know - would love to hear your creative ideas.
Yes you can buy peppermint bark at Homegoods, Target or Whole Foods but you can also make Chocolate Peanut bark that is easy, fun and perfect for little hands to help you break apart and bag up for friends, neighbors, teachers and babysitters!
All you need is Almond bark (vanilla or chocolate), unsalted peanuts, some crushed up candy canes or any other candy pieces you want to add. I found the bark at Giant and Target.
If you have a double boiler that is best. Put 4-5 cubes in the double boiler (after water is boiling), melt then spread out on wax paper. Then sprinkle on top of chocolate peanuts, candy canes, m&m etc. Let set up about an hour then break apart.
You can package them in candy bags, boxes or reusable plastic ware. Add a bow and voila a perfect last minute gift!
My kids are getting lots of holiday cards from their friends. When they are not carrying it around I thought they could have their own holder to display. Just for them, in a snowman shape. Following are instructions on how to make it.
embroidery rings - 2 different sizes
Trace your clothes pins on to the scrap book paper and cut out.
Put mod podge on the clothes pin, put paper piece on and let dry 2-5 mins,
then add a coat of mod podge to the top to set the paper.
Paint your rings in what ever color you want, I choose red.
Glue pieces together and hang on wall - voila. I originally thought these were going to be 2 ornaments but when my son saw them he said 'Mommy is this a snowman?' 'why yes yes it is!!'
Salt +Snow!? Well I wanted to create some simple, diy and inexpensive decor for the holiday season! I love to decorate the house, 3 trees, lots of wreaths and lots of Santa's! But I needed something for a window shelf above my kitchen sink. This can actually stay up till February!
Snow filled glass candles -do you have some Ball Jars or baby jars or even some sauce jars laying around? Here is an EASY way to spruce up a mantle or window sill.
Items you need: ball jars, kosher salt, water, ribbon (optional)
sprinkle jars with water and shake excess out (less is better)
pour kosher salt into jars along sides and then excess will fill bottom
We had our family picture take over the weekned at home in front of our Christmas tree! I am so excited to have our tree and stockings in the pictures. Our kids actually did awesome and I think a few smiles were caught.
I was reading up on tips to take pictures (since I am no professional). Thought I would share them with you and hopefully they will be helpful in taking your holiday picture or for Christmas morning.
8-Turn on lights, open curtains - let as much natural light in as possible.
7-Timing - after kids are fed and of course not too tired.
6-Give them something to hold on to or catch them as they are opening a present. Looking at the camera is not necessary. Use wrapped gifts, small chairs, ornaments, stockings etc.
5-Get down on their level (yes that could mean laying on the floor)
4- If they are getting ansy how about giving them a candy cane or lollipop?
3-Put them inside a box and give them tissue paper.
2-Take your flash off and move them 6-10 feet away - the tree lights will be blurry and the childs face will be prominent.
and my #1 advice is to talk to your kids, prep them for what you expect. "Later today we are having our picture taken, Ok - are we ready for some fun smiles with daddy? Lets get close and smile, can you hug your sister now, show mommy the angel on the tree, where is your stocking? do you want the candy cane I promised you"
This will be our first year of 'writing' to Santa. I am not sure how much Gavin understands but he is definitely 'getting' our Elf-Bob so hopefully we can start this tradition of sending Santa a note and receiving one back. We saw a Santa form letter at Macy's today and he got excited.
If you want a special North Pole postmark follow these instructions.
-affix postage to an addressed envelope (this can be letter from Santa or all your holiday cards)
-package in a larger envelope, priority Mail etc
Here is the official address to send Santa a letter, must be received by Dec 10 to be delivered back by Christmas- so mail them out ASAP! There is no charge for this except for your postage.
North Pole Holiday Cancellation
4141 Postmark Drive
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998
How about a video from Santa from Portable North Pole- very clever - you fill in the information (age, city, wish list, naughty or nice and pictures) and they email you a video from Santa. I will play this for my kids a few days before Christmas.
I know we are all getting ready for the holidays but I thought I would share a baby shower that I designed.
The mommy to be didn't know the baby's gender and we wanted the shower to be modern but baby so we did a combo of polka dots and prams but spiced it up with yellow and teal. Martha Stewart Paper flowers hung from the ceiling and a clothesline of onsies hung from the restaurants mantle. Instead of the traditional shower games there were two fun stations. 1-write your advice for new mom and baby 2-decorate with stamps on onsies.
Guests were greeted with a onsie 'flag' and welcomed with Izzy drinks. The menu was a circle tucked into mini felt diapers, and the favor was a pram shaped paper seeds.
I really enjoyed designing this party - hope you enjoyed viewing pictures of it.