DIY Valentine’s Day Craft Projects
Valentine’s Day is coming fast! I wanted to find a couple DIY projects that you might enjoy.
Romantic Candle Garden
I must really like the idea of the candle’s in coffee beans because I showed you one the other day I liked from pinterest too. But how simple would this be to do? Grab a few of those pillar candles that you probably have in a drawer somewhere, find a neat bowl or basket, pour in some coffee beans, place your candles and wah-la.. you’re finished!
Candy Hearts and Flower Arrangement
I think this would be super easy. It might take a trip to a craft store, but just for the jar and flowers. You could use either real or artificial flowers in this, but personally I would suggest artificial if you want to feel ok about eating the candy hearts.
How cute would this be sitting on your daughter’s bedside in the morning?
Heart finger puppets Disney
These next couple ideas came from the Disney site. This would make a cute craft for the kids and would also make fun home made Valentine’s Cards. They could write their messages on the back of them.
Your a blast
I’ve seen a couple people who have made this project, on pinterest. They have said they use Rolo candy in the center tube to stabilize. This would also be a fun craft for the kids to make for others, or something easy to make for them.
Valentine’s Day Coupon Checks
I loved things like this when I was young. You can print these coupons for the kids to fill out for Valentine’s day gifts. Another idea if they planned to give them to parents, siblings and Grandparents would be, if you have your old checks from a closed checking account sitting around – let them use those. If they are going to close family members you wouldn’t have to be so concerned with getting personal information off before using.
What kind of crafts does your family do?
New Start For New Year
I always love the New Year! It motivates me to make changes. Do I make resolutions? Yes – No – Kind of. I make goals for the new year. I think goals are always good to have.
My goals for this year?
1) Lose weight (yes, I know.. everyone’s goals. Dave and I are joining Weight Watchers together.)
2) Exercise (although routine one .. right?)
3) Not work as many hours – now that is different, right? I’ve been working between 60-80 hours per week for a year an a half now with my social media job. I LOVE it… but my house, my health and my family have suffered. I have to consciously not work so many hours, and because I love what I do, it’s difficult.
Those are my biggies.
What are some other things I like to do with the new year?
I like to clean up and clean out. When that Christmas Tree and decorations come down, I like to get into other areas of the house and clean them up too.
Today I dove into the pantry, the refrigerator, my office, my paperwork, my tax information.
I make myself a check list for the new year. I use them for work, so made another one. What is on it?
3) Household jobs
4) Tracking food for each meal
There are a few other goals on the list. But I used excel, put the tasks I wanted to accomplish down the left side. Across the top I put the days of the week and I’ll check off as I do things.
What works best for you? I don’t know.. that is up to each individual. But I suggest the following:
1) Decide what goals you’d like to accomplish for the new year. Personal and business
2) Write them down
3) Make yourself some kind of check list. Documenting what you accomplish each day is helpful.
4) Prep other areas of your home, life to get ready.
Happy New Year!
Do You Still Send Christmas Cards?
Christmas cards seem to be a dying art. I know in the last five or six years the number of cards I’ve received in the mail has dwindled down to very few. It used to be that I had them up everywhere, around doorways etc. Now I get a small pile.
I’ve always sent out a Christmas card with our family picture on it. Yes.. I’m a letter sender too. I know many people make fun of the Christmas letters, but I love them. Those are my favorite Christmas cards to receive. When I get my Christmas cards out of the mailbox I, I usually know who sends the letter and I always open their cards last (save the best for last).
I love catching up with what is going on in the lives of my friends. I know that Facebook and blogs have begun to take place of sending out the cards.
I have never spent the time to sit down and make all my Christmas cards such as those that I’m going to showcase.
I love this one. Have your child make a drawing and then take that to an office store and have them make a rubber stamp out of it. Then create multiple cards. You could even have them write their name with a small picture and use as a signature for your cards.
What do you do for Christmas cards? Do you send them anymore? Do you take family pictures, or write letters? Have you joined the multitudes of those that don’t send them anymore?
I might be joining that group myself this year. We didn’t end up getting together for our family picture this year at Thanksgiving that we normally do, so I’m not sure if I’ll get cards out this year or not.
We Loved The North Pole Express Train Ride!
We ventured down to Nelsonville, Ohio on Saturday evening Dec, 4th, 2010 to ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, on the North Pole Express train ride. The setting was perfect, a nice peaceful snowy night.
It was about an hour and half ride for us from the Columbus area, so Dave, the triplets and I left plenty early since it was snowing. We figured we would have time to go into Rocky’s and shop around and eat dinner before the train left at 7pm. We arrived around 5pm and found out we didn’t have as much spare time as we thought.
I wanted to get pictures while it was still light out, and then was also given a tour by Bob of the train before everyone got on.
There were so many cars… I am thinking 10. Several of them were so similar that you wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart other than decorations were different colors. There was one up front that had a pot belly stove going, another one (that we sat in) that had higher back seats. The one the kids thought looked the coolest was the double decker train car. Bob was explaining a lot of the history to me. How most of these cars were used in Chicago.
We went over to Rocky’s, but evidently there were a lot of other people who had the same idea as us… so we went to eat at McDonald’s. We were told it would be a good idea to get back close to 6pm if we wanted to get a good seat on the train. The ride was sold out! There were 537 people on board. We did get back at 6pm and the kids had gotten their PJ’s and robes on.
Before the train started at 7pm, I went through a few of the other cars to get pictures. I asked parents before I took and pictures of their children. Here are a few of my favorites:
This little girl was so darling, I just couldn’t get enough of her. I think I could have snapped pictures all night of her. She just seemed to me to be the poster child for The Polar Express, or as our ride was called… The North Pole Express.
They started serving the hot chocolate and cookies soon after we left. I felt bad for the hot chocolate man…. he needed a much bigger pitcher for it, or someone to bring him refills. He would only get a few rows filled and then would have to run a few train cars back to refill the pitcher.
We called the cookie man…the cookie elf. He had a cute hat on and followed behind the hot chocolate man. He also had some extras….so came back through a few times (oh darn…. we had to have more than 1 cookie!)
They passed out bells for all the kids….but us adults couldn’t hear them ring. I don’t get it? LOL
We had the Hobo come through and tell everyone not to tell the conductor where he was. He came back through double checking with the kids to make sure they hadn’t told. Mine thought that was hysterical, they were telling him that they did tell on him.
After we got back from our ride, we could go across the street. At the Nelsonville Commons Park they had an ice skating rink set up. They told us skate rental was free with our train ticket so the kids decided to go skating. (hint…grab their gloves out of the car before you head across the street). Here they are skating in their pajamas having a great time… was on the other hand loved standing by the fire can….warming up! lol
One thing I would suggest if you have little ones. Send someone on the train to get your seats and hold them for you. Keep the little ones off the train until closer to the departure time. After they have already been on the train for an hour, then the hour and half train ride gets to be a little too much for some of them. On the way back the natives were a bit restless. (But keep in mind this was at night and they couldn’t see the sites outside. During the day you might not have as much of that).
Disclosure: I was given the tickets for my family and myself to ride the North Pole Express. But the pictures, video and opinions are completely my own.
This post was originally posted on my Explore Ohio with Sandy site.
How to Keep Christmas Gifts a Secret
We often want to wrap the Christmas gifts prior to Christmas Eve (although I do know a couple people that don’t wrap anything until Christmas Eve), but you know that the shape, size or weight of the gift will be a dead give away?
Maybe your kids aren’t as interested as mine were/are but they like to check out all the gifts under the tree prior to Christmas. I remember my brother and I spending all kinds of time under the tree looking at the boxes that were ours and trying to figure out what they were.
There are times that if I have a “dead giveaway” gift, such as a DVD or CD, then I will put it in a larger box, so you can’t tell what it is. I don’t always have the boxes or inclination to do this though. One nice thing about the smaller gifts like that is that they don’t take up as much wrapping paper, and you can often use scrapes to wrap them.
I came up with this system when my four boys were young. We have done it every year and after I married Dave, we have used it for my step children also.
Make Up Goofy Pseudo Names.
Make up fake names for your kids and label the gifts that way. You have to make a key for yourself (and don’t lose it!!) ahead of time. If you have 4 kids I pick out 8 names. I give them each 2 names so they will have no chance on figuring out their gifts. It may look something like this:
1) Joe – Dasher / Mary Poppins
2) Drew – Batman / Spiderman
3) John – Snow White / Elf
4) Tim – Belle / Hulk
Don’t make them gender basis either. Give the boys girl characters and the girls boy characters. That will throw them off even more!
My boys have been used to this since they were small. Dave’s kids just started it 5 Christmas ago when we were first together. They think it’s great and keep asking if we are going to do the “names” again on the presents.
That is my job today, to wrap gifts and come up with the code list. (That’s the hardest part for me coming up with 16 fake names)
Then on Christmas morning you announce what their pseudo names are and hand out the gifts.
Pigeon Roost Farm Is The Bomb!
We discovered Pigeon Roost Pumpkin Farm in Hebron, Ohio last year and loved it. I shared the post from last year, just a couple weeks ago. I wanted to give you all another blast from this year.
One of the things I love about Pigeon Roost is that the prices are really reasonable. There is not cost to part, no cost to get into and shop the upper area, get great pictures and enjoy the atmosphere. If you want to go into the lower part of the farm and do all the activities, it’s only $5 per person. Considering another local pumpkin farm charges $8 per person for just the corn maze, I think this is quite a deal.
I’m going to share the pictures with you…. they pretty much tell the story!
This is the kids favorite activity. They call it the hamster wheels.
Dave decided he would try it out too…. Elise won. LOL
This was the rubber ducky race.
Pigeon Roost Farm is in Hebron, Ohio. This is not a sponsored post, I just want my readers to know about this awesome place here in Ohio.
Easter Preparation on Organizing and DIY party
Organizing and making DIY projects can be common practice for many people before a holiday.
We always make Easter eggs. I’m going to share some of our Easter pictures from 2005. The triplets were five years old and Tim & Drew were 13 and 14 yrs old. They still enjoyed coloring eggs too. Can you tell which one I did? lol
The dates on the pictures aren’t right, not sure what happened with my camera back then.
Easter morning – the kids did an Easter egg hunt outside in the yard and then had to find their hidden Easter baskets.
Alex with his kangaroo…. obviously also has a mouth full of Easter candy!
I love Easter memories!
Link up to my Linky Party! I’d love to see your Easter, organizing or DIY projects!
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (url code under button tab )
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click here
This party will be open until April 8, 2012 at 11:59pm
St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest Pins
Have you checked out Pinterest for any St. Patrick’s day ideas?
These were some of my favorite pins for Saint Patrick’s Day! This just looks SO awesome! Look at the green sprinkles on top. lol
Love whoopie pies!!
Would love for you to link something you would like pinned!
1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. (Only pin my Fav Pin Friday button, not any of the pics I put up from pinterest please.)
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!
5) Please click on the pictures, it will take you to my pinterest boards where I pinned these pics. Please repin these pictures, as it will help the people who originally posted the picture. Visit their posts to help them out.
If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday
If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.
Halloween Revisited from 2005
I was looking through old Halloween photos and realized how fun this Halloween was with the kids. The triplets were 4 years old. I think Drew was 11 and Tim was 12. We went to Boo at the Zoo that year at the Columbus Zoo.
I think this one is my favorite. One of my older son’s John came with us. Elise thought it was so funny that she was on his shoulders along with her horse! I just love the laugh!
Hope you all have a fun Halloween. Our trick or treating is tonight, so I didn’t have any pictures from outfits this year. But what can beat the young kids costumes?
Link up to My Linky Party
What is happening in your life this week? But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.
You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click Here.
This party will be open until November 13, 2011
I worked with a client the other day who gave me some insight. She has MS and has trouble getting around. She also has oodles of Christmas decorations. I looked around at all her beautiful displays and asked if she had decorated herself (because I had a hard time picturing this much of a creativity side of her husband…no offense. LOL) She said, “No…I just direct.” I thought how frustrating that must be. To have the desire to do so many things in life and have a disability or disease that doesn’t let your body do what your mind wants to.
Then she shared with me something I have seen before, but never thought to be used in this way. She took a picture of her decorations up and displayed the way she likes them (last year or the year before I think) and posted that picture on the bin with those supplies in it. Brilliant!
Each person helping her just brings that bin up and knows exactly where and how to put the decorations.
So simple but most of us would never have thought to do so.
This is a fantastic idea for any of us to use. In the spirit of Christmas or other holiday, if you know someone who has troubles getting around themselves, help them do it this year! Take a picture close up and one a little further back (to see exactly the location) of their decorations. Help them to load just that set up or two in a bin and post the picture on the outside.
Love it! Thanks Becky!
Unpacking the Christmas Decorations – Is it Scary?
Does your decorations look anything like this? So many things, just a mess! It makes you think …..”It is just too much to get out and put away, I don’t really need to decorate.” Those are the years that you may either have too much clutter, too many commitments going on or you know what a mess it was last year when you put it away and you don’t want to open that box!
Just like you can have too much clutter in the rest of your house – you have have clutter in your decoration supplies too.
Think about it:
Do all your lights work?
Do you use everything that is packed up?
Are there things each year that you don’t really want to put up anymore?
Do you have broken or ragged looking ornaments or decorations that you just can’t throw out?
The solution is simple (but not so easy) You need to sort through and declutter your holiday decorations.
Follow the same steps for any sorting. As you unpack your supplies evaluate (quickly) each item.
1) Keep – You love it, you use and decorate with it, it works and is not broken
2) Donate - It works and looks good, you just don’t like it, or can’t use it now.
3) Pitch – It’s broken or not fit to donate. (recycle if possible)
Remember, if there is something you haven’t used or can’t use….why keep it in a box all the time? That isn’t honoring the memory. You can take a picture of it to have, then give that space it takes up to one of your other decorations.
Walmart is a massive company. They don’t have to do anything to help others….but guess what? They are. The Walmart Gives Back Holiday Campaign this holiday season is giving $32 million. There are several things they are doing….Check them out!
Here is a video that shows the big kick off.
Walmart (foundation) has provided 35 refrigerated trucks to bring food to 35 different food banks across America. That is a lot of food people! There will be Walmarts Great Value products along with fresh apples. This will provide families with food to prepare their Thanksgiving meal. Something that so many of us take for granted. Watch the video of some of the people this helps. There are so many people that depend on these food banks to feed their families. Most of them are just having tough times due to this economy. We all hope that we never have to use a food bank ourselves, but I’m sure all those who are now depending on them….used to feel the same way. Thank goodness there are companies as generous as Walmart Foundation to help.
They are also donating a $2.2 million grant to help fund 140 Meals on Wheels member programs across the nation that serve seniors. Wow! I have seen how these programs help many people. I was organizing a client and she had a husband who was disabled by a stroke. She was soooo thankful for the Meals on Wheels program. She worked full time and they came in once a day and provided her husband with a meal that he would have been unable to get himself while she was gone. That is just one family of millions that this program has helped.
Walmart is really impressing me. Not only are they doing all of the above, but they are working with the Military families and they are having the Salvation Army Bell Ringers back to their stores this holiday season.
Disclosure: As part of the More Than Eleven Moms Group, Walmart provides me with news and company information that you will see in this blog post.
Keeping Your Kids Safe on Halloween from FedEx and Safe Kids USA
Since many of you are going to have kids out trick or treating this week I wanted to pass on some safety tips. FedEx is teaming up with Safe Kids USA and child pedestrian safety expert Moira Donahue, to help keep your kids safe. Night time, excited kids running from house to house thinking only of the candy they are going to get at the next house and costumes….it is one of the most dangerous times for little trick or treaters. Please keep the following tips passed on from Safe Kids USA in mind:
* Always trick-or-treat with an adult until age 10.
* Only trick-or-treat in familiar areas that are well lit
* Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
* Look left, right and left again when crossing; always walk, don’t run, when crossing streets
* Make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are turning or backing up
* Walk on sidewalks or paths; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
* Never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars
* Wear light-colored, flame-retardant, costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers
* Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls
* Carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers
* Wear face paint and makeup; a mask can restrict a child’s vision
Driving Safely on Halloween
FedEx reminds motorist to please be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:
* Be especially alert in residential neighborhoods
* Drive more slowly and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on and near the road
* Be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances
* Take extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
* Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle
* Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
* Remember that children are excited on this night and may move in unpredictable ways
* Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30pm
* Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and pedestrians
The above picture has some violations in it! This picture was taken of my kids at Boo at the Zoo. When they were walking…their masks (except for the red Ninja Turtle) came up so they could see. (honest! LOL)
Disclosure – I was asked if I could pass this valuable information on to you. (Duh? why wouldn’t I…this is great stuff) I am being sent Halloween safety bags for my kids but it was not a condition of posting and that is not the reason I am posting this. I did not get paid for this post.
If you are blessed enough to have your Father still with you, then embrace this day. I am lucky, my Dad is still alive. He is 78 years old and still looks great. (doesn’t he?) He jokes and still says that someone told him he had a gray hair, but he doesn’t believe them. (He didn’t have any gray until about 10 years ago)
He is the root of my organizational skills. This is the Master Organizer. He doesn’t keep things he can’t use. Shortly after my mom died he had a Christmas party he was invited to that was a “white elephant”. He wanted to know what that was. When I told him you take some joke gift that you have around the house that no one wants as your gift he said, “But I get rid of things I don’t use around the house…what will I do?” LOL
We are actually celebrating our Father’s Day next Sunday. My sister will be in town and she hasn’t been here for a couple of years. So my brother, sister and I are going to take Dad out to lunch and then to visit my husband’s farm to see all the kids.
Enjoy today if you have your Dad. If you don’t, enjoy some good memories. Make sure your kids enjoy their dad today if possible.
I just learned that the 4th week of March was National Clutter Awareness Week! (thank you @clutterdiet on twitter for making me aware of it.) The beginning of spring and spring cleaning does make sense for the perfect time to declutter.
The biggest reason for most people to have clutter is because you do not have a place for everything you own. So it gets set down on a table or desk and then just continues to accumulate, and accumulate and accumulate.
You may think..”I don’t have clutter”. But look around. Are the surfaces of your counters and side tables clear? Can you find the surface of your desk? If you can’t..then you too may be guilty. LOL….heck, we all are at some point!
If it is past a point that you can’t take 10 minutes and pick it up and put it away…then you may have a clutter problem.
Generally it is because we have more “stuff” than we have room for the “stuff”.The solution is simple – decrease the stuff. Simple. Right? No..it usually isn’t that simple.
Start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes and pick a small space. A junk drawer maybe, or small desk top. Think fast and don’t ponder on one item for more than a few seconds. (you have to “depersonalize” it)
Decide 1) Do I use it?
2) Do I need it?
3) Does it add value to this space?
4) What is the worse thing that will happen if I don’t have it?
Then you can decide if you need to keep it, can donate it or throw it away.
Give it a try.
Wouldn’t you rather work in an space like this instead of the above? (Yes it is the same space after we sorted, decluttered, painted and moved furniture.)