A Little Bit of Valentine Decor

For those that know me really well, you know my passion for decor, so I get advantage of some of the Holidays to be able to decorate even if it is a little. Valentines is a holiday that we do not care that much about, so I go “light” on the decor, but I still like to add something here and there to make the house special for the kids. Target has really cute Valentine’s decor in the dollar section, so if it is cute and cheap I am sold. My mantel got some love…

We are loving these little mailboxes to leave love notes each morning. I look forward to reading them each day…one morning I opened one and I found a highlighter inside it but no note. I asked who left the highlighter in there. My oldest (he is 10 1/2) said it was him. Then I was really curious and asked him why he decided to leave a highlighter and not a note and he said “you did not get it mom?” and I replied I didn’t. He said “you are the highlight of my day!” And then my heart melted completely.

The little heart here is from Hobby Lobby and the burlap banner is from Target, only $3! It was too long so I cut it and made two instead…LOL!

The “XOXO” and “LOVE” signs are from…yes, you guessed it…Target DOLLAR section!

The tea lights and containers are from the dollar store.

Here is the other half of the banner…

The kitchen got some lovin’ too. Those plates are from Target. I purchased them years ago.

This is from the dollar store from years ago.

This little banner is from Target (yes, it is my favorite store)

What do you do for valentines…what traditions do you have? I will share another tradition we have in a couple of days. My family loves it!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas + Little Kitchen Tour

It has been crazy around here. We have been sick plus sick some more but very blessed as well. We had a great Thanksgiving and we enjoyed our time off with family and good friends. After a GLORIOUS meal my BFF Emiley and I went shopping a little (we do it more for fun than we do it for shopping itself, just some girl night out time!) My husband and I usually go in the morning as our older boys sleep over at grandma’s with the cousins.
We have been getting ready for Christmas and the kids could not wait one more second to decorate the house. However, we found a GREAT deal on the floors we wanted for our kitchen while we were at Home Depot…49 cents a square foot! Whaaaaat? so half the price. We went ahead and started working on tearing off carpet and old laminate and replacing the kitchen and  living room with new floors. To the kids disappointment, we all had to wait to put the Christmas tree until our floor was done. I will show you pictures of the before and after of that in another post. To top it off, our fridge started leaking like crazy as my husband was putting the new floor and we had to end up getting a new fridge (I know, darn it, right?). But it was pretty old and was not worth it to invest in fixing it.
I love decorating for Christmas since it is my favorite Holiday. I like simple things, and I did not want to spend money in the decorations. Homemade decorations, free printables, some stuff we already had and getting something new for this year was my goal.
Prepare for TONS of pictures…

The smaller pillows are placemats from Target that I opened up and stuffed up with batting… 3.99 each!

I found this garland in the dollar section at Target and I use it to display cards:
My beautiful friend Patricia

This deer was on sale for $8 I think…

I printed “Silent Night” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” from HERE and used frames that I already had.

Homemade ornaments, and some ornaments the kids have made during the years are so precious…

Dollar Tree ornament…

 Our first Christmas together…2003! Look how young we were!

We love to do our advent every night and read from the story of Luke in the Bible about the birth of our Savior. We enjoy hot cocoa and marshmallows by the tree since we do not have a fireplace.

My daughter loves her felt Christmas tree I made two years ago using my Silhouette Portrait machine for the ornaments plus some cheap snowflakes from the dollar store.

 We have a hot cocoa buffet with marshmallows and candy canes.

Hello there!

We have a collection of our favorite Christmas books. I will share them with you soon.

The kitchen
I have had a lot of you ask me when I was going to post pictures of our kitchen. I guess now is the time. We are actually pretty much done with the kitchen. We started back in February when our faucet broke. We got this one from Amazon and it has been great!. We then proceeded to change the sink that was all scratched and painted the countertops using Giani Granite Paint.
Then the hardest part of the whole makeover: painting the cabinets. You can click on the link for the tutorial. The hardware is from HERE and HERE.
Here are some more pictures of the kitchen decorated for Christmas…
These canisters are from Walmart, the chalkboard labels are from Hobby Lobby

This little Christmas tree is from the Goodwill, 2.99!

 My antique scale is from Etsy, the cheese thingy is from the Goodwill. The “rosemary” box is from TJMaxx.

Sorry about the crock pot, but dinner was in the making…chicken tacos!

More details…the “peace, love and joy” plates are from the Goodwill, the kitchen towel is from H&M Home. Have you checked their home stuff ? it is AWESOME!
It is all about family. 
Sneak Peaks from the boy’s room:
Little Princess:
And some Christmas decor in our bedroom:
             
Hope you got enough pictures. We are having a great time this Christmastime remembering the birth of our Savior and creating memories. Have a Merry Christmas!
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25 Days of Christmas

Today I’ll like to share what we will be doing with our Advent Calendar this year. I created a list of activities to do with the kids for each day starting December 1st until the 25th. It includes activities that are both fun and spiritual and involve learning about the Holiday season. We believe Christmas is about the birth of the Savior. Here is the list. I will be showing you my completed advent calendar very soon.

Dec 1st Put up the Christmas tree and decorations. What are the symbolism of some of the decorations?

Dec 2nd Put up the Advent Calendar and read a Christmas book each day until Christmas Eve. Get the Christmas pillow to lay under the tree
Dec 3rd Drink hot cocoa and have a testimony sharing about Christ
Dec. 4th Watch some of the life of Christ videos
Dec 5th Make tree ornaments. Work on a family motto
Dec 6th Write to Santa. Write thank you notes for a person that has helped you in your life.

Dec 7th Read the story of the birth of Christ when Mary received the news she was going to be the mother of the Savior. Why is the birth of Christ important?
Dec 8th Bake cookies. Read the birth of the Savior until the Wise Men came.
Dec 9th Talk about the Wise men and the star. Make a glow in the dark star to put in the kids bedrooms and talk about what things guides them to follow Christ.
Dec 10th Make a paper snowflake and learn why they are special. Talk about why we are special like the snowflake.
Dec 11th Read “The Tale of Three Trees” Why are trees important on Christmas?
Dec 12th Make homemade marshmallows for hot chocolate, and make some for gifts.
Dec 13th Make blankets for the Women Shelter. Talk about the gifts the Wise men brought and their importance and decide what gift they are giving the Savior this year.
Dec 14th Breakfast with Santa @ Nicholas. Who was Saint Nicholas and why does his legacy still live? Why should Christmas be about Christ and not about Saint Nicholas? Watch Joy to the World
Dec 15th Learn about music and caroling at Christmastime. How does music influence the Spirit? Sing a Christmas Hymn.
Dec 16th Go ice skating. Decide to do “ARKs” Acts of  random kindness.
Dec 17th Drive around to look for the Christmas lights in the neighborhood or park.
Dec 18th Learn about the role of the shepherds on Christmas, eat candy canes.
Dec 19th Make gingerbread houses. Where was the Savior born?
Dec 20th Learn about the angels in the Nativity story. Make paper angels for the Christmas tree
Dec 21st Make a video about what you are grateful for this Christmas season. Why do the scriptures tell us to “live in thanksgiving daily’?
Dec 22nd Mom’s birthday. Decorate cupcakes. Watch a Christmas movie.
Dec 23rd Family Christmas sing along and perform!
Dec 24th. Christmas EVE. Decorate cookies for Santa. Read the whole Luke 2 chapter. Perform the Nativity. Read “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”
Dec 25th Merry Christmas! Say a special family prayer thanking Heavenly Father for the wonderful gift He gave us, His Begotten Son Jesus Christ!

Halloween Costumes

Halloween is so near and I still do not have our costumes ready. I have been working on them but I am not done. I am going to share with you what inspired me to create our costumes. I found this on Pinterest and I was in love:

Halloween!!

Via Etsy, Freckles N’ Frills
I decided that it would be cute for my princess and I to be matching witches!
I have also seen these cute ones:
Spooky Witch Costume

This one is adorable too, check out the broom!

polka dot witch costume
One of my sons wants to be a Ninja. I will not attempt to make his costume because he knows exactly what costume he likes:
ninja costume
My other son first wanted to be this:
Headless costume.
But then he changed his mind and now he wants to be a ghost. Now that I can do!
Ghost costume

Or the Charlie Brown Ghost:
Final.jpg

Do you have your costumes all ready or are you like me? Stay tuned for the finished products!

Spooky Monster Fingers

Only 20 days till Halloween!! We have been having some cooler weather and enjoying hot chocolate and pumpkin bread…how about you? In Uruguay it is starting to get hotter and the days longer.
Today I wanted to share a spooky recipe as part of the Halloween Time is Nigh series.

 This recipe is my son’s favorite Halloween dinner. It is called “Monster Fingers” and it is just a big chicken nugget shaped in the form of a finger.

The ingredients are:

  • chicken tenderloins, quantity depends on your family size. For my family we used 1 1/2 packages.
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 container of Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoned
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Flour
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • slivered almonds for decorating
First, assemble a work station: flour, eggs, breadcrumbs mixed with cheese. Meanwhile put aluminum foil on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 Dip the chicken in the flour, then in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Roll to make shape of a finger. Put them in baking sheet and sprinkle some EVOO on chicken. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, turn them over half way through the cooking time to brown on the other side. Glue a slice of almond with ketchup (they will be the nails!) Serve with sauce and a side of veggies. My kids like ranch or ketchup.

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Halloween Time is Nigh!

My kids are super excited about Halloween this year. I try to keep the feeling alive by making things at home  they love and also that will be cherished for life. I hope that when they have kids they will share some of the things mom would do with them to make childhood so exciting.
I am starting this new “series” called “Halloween Time is Nigh” in which I will be sharing Halloween  recipes, crafts, decor and games every MONDAY, THURSDAY and FRIDAY until “THE DAY.” I have been doing so much already that I honestly haven’t had time to share them with my family and friends (AKA, you!).
Being so thrifty is an outlet for me to be more creative. I decided this week I wanted to have some Halloween pillows for my living room. I saw some cute ones at Target but I would never pay 15 dollars or so for a pillow…never! So I went to my fav store (Hobby Lobby) and found bandannas…made out of Halloween fabric! I could not believe my eyes!  and they were only 1.99! so I got a couple of those plus some black ones for only .99 (for the back of the pillow) and I could hardly wait to get home and start sewing! I thought that making slipcovers for the pillows I already have would not only save money but also storage. I thought that if I stuffed the new pillows they would occupy so much room! However, slipcovers would be much easier to use PLUS I can change the pillows I already have for all the different seasons (Christmas pillows, you just wait for me!)

Here are the materials: pillows, scissors, bandannas and not pictured Velcro.

 First I was measuring the size of the pillow to the size of the bandannas. I decided I did not wanted to cut them but rather leave quite a bit of room to fold.

 For the back of the pillow I used a cheaper bandanna in black…can’t beat .99 cents!

I pretty much sewed a “bag” leaving an opening to insert the pillow. And yes, I did not care if the seams were not perfect…

This is what I had, but I recommend a more heavy duty Velcro.

Insert the pillow…

See how much fabric I left? I wanted to have enough for folding and attaching the Velcro.

I pretty much folded it like a present:

At this point I attached the velcro.

All done!

I made some more…

It literally took me like 30 minutes to make these 3.
Keep in touch for the

Every Monday, Thursday and Friday!
( Note: this is NOT a link party)

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Craft-O-Maniac   The Gunny Sack  A Bowl Full of Lemons