It’s a Tastic Christmas: Part Two

It’s a Tastic Christmas: Part Two
Craft-Tastic

Who would have ever guessed I’d be one crafty Mama?  Not me.

But last year around this time, when our toddler was just over two, I tried a lot of fun Christmas crafts.  I was actually a little worried that this year I would have fewer ideas to try.  Like I have to outdo myself every year or something.  Well, either way, I was wrong.

This year we sure had a Craft-Tastic Christmas.  Our crafty little toddler is so much into craft projects (especially those involving candy), she almost gets the shakes.  And, I think she did have the shakes when I revealed all the candy set up for our Christmas Craft Activity #1: Gingerbread house and tree.

All the candy prepped for our gingerbread activities.

This is about the most simple – and sugary – activity you can do.  They have so many options for premade houses and other things.  I actually found mine on Amazon and since I have Amazon Prime (free shipping), they arrived at my door two days later and didn’t cost me a thing to ship.  You could of course bake your own cookies, but honestly I’d rather spend time organizing all the candy in the little glass jars, which are actually candle holders I had.  Most of the candy is even from the dollar store.

The finished house (notice the massive, uncontrollable sugar smile on our toddler)

NOTE: if you don’t want your child to eat too much sugar, skip to Christmas Craft #2.  Really, no use in torturing them with all the candy!  I pretended our toddler didn’t have a dentist appointment two weeks later.  Which, had great results mind you, because she certainly doesn’t eat candy like this all year (and we have a pretty strict no juice policy).

Christmas Craft #2 Hand and Feet Christmas Tree

This was so much fun! I used our toddler’s hands and our baby’s feet to make the tree and tree stump.  The crafty toddler was on her own with what she wanted to use for decorating the tree.  I had this old frame lying around so I was actually able to frame it and utilize it as part of our Christmas decorations.  I dated it since I figure I’ll hang it up every year.

Our girl, decorating the tree.

The finished product, hung with an old frame I had. Toddler hands, baby feet. So sweet!

Christmas Craft #3 Triangle Tree

So, I did have to prep this the night before and cut out all those darn triangles.  I also taped the white paper together in advance.  Then, I let our girl go wild with glue, buttons, glitter glue and whatever else we have in our massive ‘art project hutch’ (which use to house nice glasses, plates vases, etc….another one of those ‘before we had kids’ moments).  You could really ‘hang’ it however you wanted.  I used double-sided tape, which I keep at least two rolls in the house for all children craft emergencies, and then hung it on an existing hook that was here when we move in.  Voila!

This could really be made a lot smaller, if needed. I like the bigger size though. And please note the cute thing our toddler is doing with her foot. She saw this pic and told me it was her 'new foot thing for pictures.'

Christmas Craft #4 Nativity

With all the crafts and cookies, santa claus and snow excitement, it’s nice to take time to refocus your child on the true meaning of Christmas.  So, we put together this nativity make out of graham crackers, lots of fruit roll ups, marshmallows, etc.  I saw some pictures online, but then just kind of used what we had to make it work for us.  By this activity I really was to the point where I wasn’t going to buy ANY more candy!  It turned out pretty cute.

Fruit roll up nativity! The hay is coconut I colored with food coloring...not cheese.

This time of the year is so much fun.  And, I think there is always good reason to take the time to set up organized projects for your kids.  I think I had just as much fun as our girls!  I am confident, however, that I ate a lot less sugar than they did.

If you’re a little obsessive like me, just ignore the massive piles of glitter and sprinkles all around the house and remember that soon all the decorations and clutter will be gone and we can move into the completely boring months of January and February…even more reason to try and enjoy the mess!

God Bless and Merry Christmas to you and your families!

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It’s a Tastic Christmas

Part One: Bag-Tastic

So, I don’t usually endorse products on my blog, besides my beloved Pooper Scooper, but this year I found some really awesome bags and purses that were so awesome they well…made me want to write about them!

Back in the day, before we had kids (goooosh it seems like I am writing that a lot lately), I used to be really into purses.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I was and never will be a purse snob, only sporting Gucci, Coach or whatever else brand is really cool now (and since I can’t even think of a third brand name, how cool does that make me?).

I live in rural Michigan.  Coach is not required.

But, when I used to work in an office and get up early to take an entire hour to get myself ready for work, I always had a coordinating purse.  Now I grab the one nearest the door with the most diapers and snacks left inside…and that includes snacks for me.

When I put on my Cyber Monday Queen hat and Christmas shopped for all the lovelies on my list, I added myself as a lovely.  It’s been a while since I have bought myself anything and well, the temptation was just too great for me.  I bought myself this super cute, functional and fun mommy tote.  It is seriously the most-clever-idea-for-a-mom-with-a-toddler-and-a-babe. Ever.  Like ever-ever.

The Mother Child Tote in blue

The little babe is most-always attached to my hip.  So, I hold this bag on the other shoulder and our toddler holds onto the handle.  HOW.CUTE.IS.THAT?  And, our toddler loves it!  It’s also ginormous, which is great because I look like a total fool carrying small bags.  I am vertically blessed…remember?

The most awesome part about this was that it was only $20.  What a deal!

This bag must have been really popular because they don’t even have it listed at my second favorite online shopping site where I bought it just a few weeks ago, uncommongoods.com.  But, luckily…if you’re interested in it, they have it at my first favorite online shopping site, amazon.com.

The other Bag-Tastic find is from a great nonprofit group at plywoodpeople.com.  I went to college with one of the founders.  They do this amazing project to help legal refugees who were forced to flee their countries because of conflict.  The material used for their ‘billboard bags’ is upcycled from billboards on the streets.   Proceeds from the bags (or wallets, laptop cases, etc.) provide English classes every Friday and restores dignity for the workers.

The bags are not only unique, but carry your stuff…and a story (hey, I should take up marketing).

Back of my billboard bags.

Front of my billboard bags.

Message tag on the billboard bags.

I ordered two billboard satchels, not knowing who I would give them to, and now I am trying to decide if I should give them away or keep them.  You can designate any specific colors you want, but I didn’t and thought I would just see what I got.  I happen to get leopard and grey.  Grey?  That is SO my second favorite color (first being black).  They will both match everything I own.

Tough decisions here.  Tough decisions.

Stay tuned for a Tastic Christmas Part Two: Craft-Tastic!