Some more Advent Adventures

We've been having so much fun with our advent adventures the other night we had a family over when we decorated our gingerbread houses.  Several years ago my friend told me about how she hot glues her gingerbread houses (made out of graham crackers).
When the other family arrived I told them not to eat their houses--but they could eat the candy and the frosting.
 We also had lots of fun making and delivering our christmas goodies.  I had my 6 year old write all the tags--it was so fun to have her involved.


Days 1 & 3... Advent Adventures

We've been having so much fun with our daily "adventures"

Day 1-Make a paper chain
Boys pull of the green-Girls pull of the red.  I made a paper star using this tutorial.

Day-3 Hand Print Christmas Tree
This was so much fun to do as a family.  The 6 year old cut out the kids hands, the 4 year old cut out the red ornaments.  Dad & Mom cut out the big hands and glued all to some paper.
My favorite part?  The 6 month old little hands as our star.


Adventure Advent

I've had this idea for several years, but didn't pull it off until this year.  I love advent calendars, they help the kiddos visualize exactly how many days are left until the big day.  I wanted to have something to open for each day.  I thought about having a treat for each day, but didn't like the idea of promoting sugar everyday.  

Each envelope contains an "Adventure" for the day.
1.        Make a Paper Chain
2.    Watch the 1st Presidency Devotional & Eat Cookies
3.    Make a handprint Christmas tree
4.     Watch Rudolph
5.    Make a gift for your teachers
6.   Make a toy donation pile & donate
7.    Write a Letter to Santa
8.    Watch Arthur Christmas
9.   Drive around & Look at Christmas Lights
10. Family Game Night
11.     Make Snowflakes
12.  Decorate Cookies & Doorbell Ditch
13.   Watch Frosty the Snowman
14.   Watch The Grinch
15.   Make goodies & Deliver to Friends & Family
16. Act out the Nativity
17. Build Gingerbread Houses
19. Make a Reindeer Family
20. Make a Gift for your friend
21. Have a Christmas Concert
22. Wrap Presents
23. Make Presents for Jesus
24. Watch Joy To The World
25. Write Thank You Notes

When planning out the activities I coordinated them with certain dates.  On Sunday's I tried to keep the activities simple.  Mondays are family centered.  On days that I knew would be more hectic I planned movies.  I also tried to make the activities more Christ centered the closer to Christmas we get. 
 I used my old school Sizzix to cut out the numbers
 Then laminated all 25 circles so the numbers would stay on.
I originally had the envelopes hanging on my pantry door--that lasted one day before it fell off.  Now the ribbon is strung across the bay window in the breakfast nook.  I post some of the adventures we have throughout the month.


Happy Baby Bag

My neighbor had a baby shower a few weeks ago.  Because she isn't going to find out what she is having until the birth a needed a gift that was gender neutral. I could have made bibs or a yellow blanket--but I thought of something else.

The Happy Baby Bag:
My hubby and I have found a few things that we see as priceless when it comes to having a happy newborn...


Washable Garbage Bag

Before we had to fit three children in the backseat I had a corolla--we called it zippy.  It fit two kids nicely and and small garbage can right in the middle of the backseat on the floor--it didn't even tip over.  When I switched cars with my hubby the garbage can would not stay put.  A moving garbage can is not conducive to a clean car.  So I made a garbage can that the kids could reach and could be washed if needed.

 I made one set of triangles wider than the other--both are the same length.
 Only the outside layer has a box pleat.
 I left the inside bottom open until the boning was sewn in place--then just sewed it straight across.
 This is a simple project, and can be completed quickly. 

I have seen some without boning, I wanted mine to stay open and easily accessible for little hands.


Super Hero Family: Wonderwoman

I think this is was my favorite costume to make.  Thor is my favorite to see in person--it's just cool.

Here's the inspiration for the wonderwoman costume:
Yep, how is a 6 year old supposed to wear this costume...to school...to a church function...out trick-or-treating in 40 degrees???  I took the general concept and made it modest and warmer.
The sparkly skirt is awesome.  At the last minute I found the tutu/pettiskirt at Target and grabbed it, it made it more girly and fun.
 I found some red shiny stretchy material and made my own pattern following a shirt that fits my girl well. The skirt is a circle skirt sewn on to the red top.  The back of the shirt is cut down the middle with velcro added so she can get in and out easily.
 I used fusible interfacing to keep the gold as the base, then sewed on the trimming.
 I used tennis shoes covered in one of my knee socks, then wrapped it in red duct tape finished with one stripe of white down the middle.
Awesome boots--and their not slippery.
The gold belt goes all around with the sequines.  I added the arm bands to the sleeves to help finish off the costume.  The crown is just bobby pinned to the wig--my 4 year old has pointed out several times that the crown needs a red star.


Super Hero Family: Thor

My poor hubby got sucked into this costume.  I asked him several times if he was really okay being Thor.  I told him he had to wear a blond wig to really pull it off.  He's been a good sport about it--

Here's the inspiration photo...
 And here's the final...
I used a long sleeve grey shirt sewed on a black vinyl vest and the cape.  The cape is gathered and sewn at the top of the shoulder seams, and one spot in the middle of the neck. 
I used bowls for the circles and free handed the lightening shape.  I used silver spray paint for the color.
I bought the hammer at Target, I ran out of time to make one. The hubby also wore black pants and black shoes to complete the costume. Besides the super long cape and the cardboard I think he was pretty comfortable.


Super Hero Family: Robin

I broke down a few weeks ago and bought a Captain America costume for my 4 year old--it was just easier than making that costume.  Then we started talking about what our 5 month and 6 year old should be too.  I was perusing Pinterest when the 4 and 6 year old saw a picture of the avengers.  So I showed them some other super heroes..and that's how we decided to be a family of superheroes.

So the boy is captain america..I'm not going to take a picture of this costume to post here. But you can imagine what it looks like.  I wanted to do a coordinating costume for mom and baby...we found this idea:
I dabbled with the idea of the baby being batman and mom being robin, but it just didn't work out that way.
Ta-Da! A baby robin costume
With cape and coordinating shoes.
I found a 12 month shirt at walmarto--cheap and the perfect color.  I added yellow tabs and appliqued them on.  I also tapered the shirt just a tad do it was drowning my baby.
Then added the R for robin.  I cut out a green circle skirt and sewed it directly on to the shirt.  The sleeves were a bit long so I ruched the entire length of each sleeve.
The cape is another circle, cut in half with the two halves sewn together.
You can see the circles here, and the ruching on the sleeves.  The cape is perfect in that it doesn't get in the way, but still add the design element.
I didn't add masks--I hate masks on costumes--they are annoying and you can't tell who the person is.  So none of our family costumes have masks.
 Maybe I will add some bloomers.
This robin is just cute.  :o)


Halloween Ideas

Are you ready for Halloween?  We were invited to a Halloween party last week--which meant that I had to finish up our family costumes.  It was a bit crazy, and my sewing room crazy messy now.
 Here's a little hint...

I had to modest-fy wonder woman.  Baby-fy Robin and thank goodness Costco had awesome superhero costumes this year because I actually bought one for my little guy.  When the lighting is a bit better and kids cooperate I will share our costumes this year.

Here's one of the decorations my sister put up this year...


Miracle-Gro Gardenieres

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

The other night my family and I were out for an evening stroll & just like that a crisp breeze child us and we knew the summer was over.  With the change of season looming I usually start thinking of spring--I know it sounds crazy to just skip over winter---but now is the time to think about what flowers you want to see blooming in the Spring.

 We have the traditional daffodils, tulips & hyacinths, but would love to expand our collection.  It seems to be a guessing game as to what bulbs would work best.  Thanks to Mircle-Gro Gardenieres you can now ask a real-life gardening enthusiast with real-world experience lots of gardening questions.  

I would love to plant some bulbs in my front yard and learned a bit about it from watching this video: 

Wouldn't it be great if you followed Teena Spindler's advice this fall so you could enjoy the pop of color in the spring? One key to success that I have found is to always use Miracle-Gro potting mix.  This summer we used the off brand to save a bit of money--we won't be making that mistake again.  Next year we will be using the good stuff.


 (1) Miracle-Gro The pop of color spring bulbs provide always make me happy and make the cold harsh winter a little more barable.

New plants are always fun and exciting, but you can't forget about your existing plants.  We live in a high altitude dessert, and trees are so valuable.  The don't grow by themselves, we have to water and ferilize to keep them looking beautiful.  Watching a video from one of the Gardenieres reminded me that it that time of year to insert our Miracle-Gro Tree Spikes


These tree spikes are great-you insert them into the ground a viola you have balanced feeding for deciduous trees and shrubs.

And what would be better than to make new gardening friends?  Not much.  Check out and "like" the Miracle-Gro Facebook page to find those with similar gardening interests.


Visit Sponsor's Site


Winner Winner

The Winner of the Dermagist Skin Care Giveaway is...

Karen Bowden


Superhero Party-The Party

This was an awesome party to plan and execute.

Games & Activities:

1. Get the Bad Guys...
The night before the party I blew up lots and lots of balloons and drew bad guy faces on them.  Nothing too fancy.
When all the guests had arrived we went out into the backyard and I dumped the garbage bags full of bad guys all over the lawn and all the guests had to sit on the balloons to pop them.  Once they were all popped they needed to collect the bad guys to put them in jail...a.k.a. the garbage can.

2. Create Your Secret Identity
Each guest got to color and decorate their own mask. 
 This was fun, just use foam sheets & shoelaces (both from the dollar store.)

3. Shoot The Bad Guys
I wrapped empty boxes--I put water bottles in some to give them weight.
The windows are just black cardboard glued on.
Then we used nerf guns to shoot the guys off.

4. Pin the Mask on the Superhero
I printed off an engineer print at Office Max--just under $4.  It is 24x36.  Then we had to "pin" the mask and the superhero thingy on.  The kids loved this game!

The Grub...
Nilla wafers with a sliced banana.  These went pretty fast and the kids enjoyed them.
I found this cupcake decorator set at Williams Sonoma--my little guy carried this around for days telling me which one he wanted on his cupcake.
These were a hit too.  Even the girls liked all the superhero stuff.
Happy Birthday Little Guy!
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