Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Traditions for Kidlets

(;*WARNING*;)
These are HIGHLY messy activities! Enjoy!!

I don't know if I have ever explained how much I absolutely adore Christmas, furthur more (and this is where I get the eye rolls) I LOVE WINTER! Yep, It's my favorite season hands down and I can't wait for it to come back around every year. A main reason, of course is Christmas and it has intensified since I had my own kidlets. I love the feelings that are associated with Christmas. I am a sucker for a real fire place, the smell of the wood and the crackle of the popping logs. I wish that gas fireplaces had a built in speaker to resemble that sound, at the very least. I love that you can live in sweaters and snuggle up on the couch sipping some tea, hypnotized by the flame. I love the glow of Christmas lights and how for a small frame of time it seems so many of us are united. Car rides to see Christmas lights are a top on my list. I love the decorating and the activities we plan with our kidlets. I love sitting down with family and stuffing our faces until we pass out on the couch. I love the holiday specials on TV and the All-Christmas-Music stations. But most of all, above all else. I LOVE CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS!!

A few years ago we started our Christmas Eve traditions. First rule,  no one is allowed to enter or exit on this day. This is a day for the four of us to focus on our immediate family and take a break from all the hustle and bustle. There are not to many rules on this day other than that, and it is my favorite day of the year. So I thought I would share some of our Christmas Eve traditions.

Usually we start off the day by making our Gingerbread House. It has also been a train and will likely be a sleigh in the future, but mostly a house. The 'BIG' kids (Mommy & Daddy) help with the icing and the kidlets do the decorating eating! Some decorating gets done but an awful lot more gets eaten ;)
Caught in the act ;)


 Next up is making cookies for Santa and of course US! The kidlets get all dolled up in their baking gear. All ready to get down to messy business.


Once we have the cookie dough assemble (Chocolate Chip in our case), they roll them or log them up to hit the oven. It doesn't matter what they look like because they never make it past Christmas Eve anyway, and even if they did, who cares? ;)


After we get the kitchen all cleaned up, we move our mess into the living room where we make indoor s'mores. This is a common event for our family and you can read another post about it here. This year however, we will not be making s'mores in the fireplace because we have a gas fireplace in our new house, so we'll be improvising with the oven!


 Once we have them roasted, the best part resumes...THE EATING!!

Nom Nom Nom




After we eat up all that goodness and try to stuff some healthy meals in between, we move onto more yummy goodness. As you can see, this day is not meant for watching our waistlines. We stick to the balanced nutritious stuff every other day of the year, Christmas Eve is when we get our junk on!  So to keep the theme going, we have Mount Crumpet Hot Chocolate!!! This only works well with the stuff that comes out of the can. You get the best peek for the top of your mountain.  If you don't know what Mount Crumpet is, you really need to read Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Making Mount Crumpet

Look at the peek on the mountain! This may be the favorite of the kidlets, probably because of the mess that they make ;) I promise it is worth every spill of hot chocolate for the smiles these mountains bring!


Next, one of MY favorite traditions...matching pajamas! I will so do this tradition as long as the kidlets will let me. Sometime before bed, they open there NEW Christmas pajamas, even though they spent most or all of Christmas Eve in the previous years Christmas pajamas! As they get older finding matching ones is getting tougher, they don't seem to make cute jammies above size 5. Still working on these for this year.
Opening the matching jammies! (pic from a few Christmas' ago)
Cute as can be all matched up
Next we put out our food for the reindeer on the front lawn. Super simple recipe of oatmeal and sparkles. The kidlets dump the 'food' out and Santa knows which house to come to.



Lastly, we come back inside and get our snacks ready for Santa and more for the reindeer. A sip of milk for Santa and then we snuggle up and read Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas, this is a favorite book of a great classic.


That's it! Our Christmas Eve traditions come to a rest until next year. It truly is something I look forward to every year and I highly recommend making a day that is devoted to just your immediate family. No one in or out, no exceptions, one day a year. It's worth it!!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone! What do you do with your families for the holidays?

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Toy Central Reveal-Organization

Now that we are in the gap between holidays, I thought now would be a great time for some more organizing tips from our NEW homestead. As some of you may know, we recently built a new home and are now settled in nicely. We have converted one of our bedrooms in our home to be the main toy room. We also have a toy stash in the main living room and an Inside-Outdoor Play Area in our unfinished basement. As most families with children, we have stashes of toys EVERYWHERE. I think this is the key to organizing. If your kidlets are anything like mine, they like to be where we are. Since we don't spend ALL of our time in the playroom, there needs to be places for them to put their toys in other living areas of the home.

Since I also run a daycare, my kidlets also have small toys in their bedrooms that could be chocking hazards for the smaller children. So basically, there are toys in every room but the master bed & bath. Gee Whiz, that's a lot, I feel a purge coming on. ;) But seriously, it's not that bad. I will tour you through the rooms over the next few posts and you will see how we keep it under control!

First stop, our main living space. You may recognize the same toy storage set up from this post. Same stuff, different house! Sorry for the blurry photo, maybe Santa has an extra SLR in his bag ;) Just as in our old house, the toys are neatly tucked away in little bins that I am in LOVE with! Our movies are all tucked into the ottoman, as well as all of our remotes. We keep about half of our toy stash here and the rest in the playroom.


 And this is our new playroom!! This is where we spend most of our day, playing and reading and colouring and dancing. Again, I have storage bins! This one is my oldest storage bin that I purchased from good ol' IKEA about 5 years ago. This baby has been in most rooms of the house and when my kidlets were babies, it was a change table with a change pad strapped on top. We also have our table and chairs that are from IKEA, which is the most used piece of furniture by far!


Next we have our Reading Corner.  This is actually MY favorite place in the whole house. I wish I could snuggle up with my own books in this space but I would have a kidlet jumping on top of me in no time. This space is actually the closet and we had the electrician wire a lighting box in it for us. We removed the doors and had the inside of the closet painted the same colour as the rest of the room. I purchased the wall decal from Uppercase Living and custom picked my colours to match. I purchased the book shelves from IKEA which are actually picture ledges. The hanging pendant, also from IKEA, was a plug-in pendant light that we converted to wire into the light box. You can see it hanging better in the next photo.


On either side of our reading corner we have our dress-up and our stuffed animal section. Our dress-up is simple hooks mounted to the wall and a large plastic bin for all of the smaller dress-up bits. On the other side, mesh hanging baskets house the smaller stuffed animals and a larger bin goes underneath for the larger ones.


On the opposite side of the playroom we have our train table, play kitchen and our IKEA mirror (to check out all our cool dress-up characters we come up with). The train table is the second most used space in the room as it is a great place for tea parties and building of any kind. Above the train table I have our Circle Time Board that we use for my preschoolers at Circle Time. I'll go more into detail on that in another post ;)


Lastly, another view of the playroom. I am loving a room specifically dedicated to MOST of the toys!!  Although it does not look like this most of the time, it's a space for the kids to mess up freely and clean up at the end of the day.


Thanks for stopping by as always. See you soon ;)

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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Spooktacular Healthy Kidlet Lunches

As Halloween is inching closer and closer, I have more spooktacular, healthy, kidlet lunches, as promised. Tonight at dinner we where having carrot sticks and Croque Monsier (a specialty of the hubbies) and my little guy came up with this concoction...

ZOMBIE FINGERS 

He just started poking the carrots into the bread and then used the ketchup for blood. Ha Ha Ha, I love it!!! I guess I have made him a few wacky lunches in his day ;) So of all the lunches that have ever come out of our kitchen, this is by far my favorite! Okay, enough gushing about my totally awesome little man ;), and onto more lunches!

BLOODY DEVILED EGGS 
This cute little lunch was made with an ordinary deviled egg recipe, egg yokes and mayo, and some green and red food colouring. I made the egg yoke mixture and added the green food coloring and cut off the corner of a Ziploc bag to pipe it back into the egg whites. I used red food colouring and a toothpick to create the eyeball 'veins' on the egg white and finished it off with a couple black olives. To create the rest of the face I used a carrot and carved some nostrils into the sides and some halved cherry tomatoes. I used mayo under all of the pieces to secure them for their travel to school.

MONSTERS INC. - MIKE WACHOWSKI SANDWICH 
This one is another super simple one and super cute. To make Mike Wackowski from Monsters Inc., you need two circle shaped cookie cutters or round objects you can use as a cookie cutter. I think I used a jar lid for the shape of Mike's face. First cut your top and bottom out and then assemble any kind of sandwich you like in between.  Cut a smaller circle out of cheese and place in the area of your monsters eye. Use the crust of the bread to cut two triangles for his ears and a crescent shape for his eyebrow. Attach with mayo or peanut butter, anything sticky that goes with the inside of your sandwich. Next cut some teeth shape from a piece of cheese and attach near his mouth area. Lastly, get your edible markers in black and green and draw Mike's pupil and iris and colour your mouth piece green. All done!

VAMPIRE TORTILLA TEETH
 And lastly, Vampire teeth and bat. Again, create any type of sandwich you like but use tortillas as your bread. I used a vampire teeth cookie cutter and a bat cookie cutter and drew the details on with the ever so trusty edible markers. Add a toothpick tomb stone and viola, yet another spooktacular lunch ;) Happy Haunting, more to come next week.

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Friday, 12 October 2012

I've Got An Eye On You-Spooky Cheese Eyeball

As we all know, Halloween is just around the corner. I don't know about you but I am SUPER excited!!! Since the move into our new neighbourhood, I seem to be extra excited this year. In our old home we had a grand total of 6 kids ring our bell and this year, that will not be the case. I can guesstimate that we will have some where around the 200 mark for kidlets and I just can't wait!!

Our old neigbourhood was so snore bore that we actually drove our kidlets to a different neighbourhood to trick or treat. Are you allowed to do that? Hope so ;)

Anyhoo, although the neighbourhood was not into the festivities, we sure were. Last year I had big plans to make this cute little Frankenstein Cheeseball for my little guys class party, but I got sick and couldn't convince myself to give up extra "get well" sleep was in no shape to make him. Soo, plan B. I had all the ingredients for a  regular ol' cheeseball, but that's not very fun or spooky. What to do, what to do? Concoct a BIG BLOODY EYEBALL!

This sucker was super easy to make and delish as well. I used the same recipe from the Frankenstein Cheese ball above, minus all the decorative parts. I made the mixture and rolled it up into a ball inside some saran wrap and placed in the fridge over night. In the morning I placed the ball in a bowl and halved a colossal olive, placed it in the center and then drizzled red food colouring from the olive down the ball. It's a little hard to see here but the food colouring really bleed into the nooks and crannies of the cheese ball and looked like the nerves. I placed the ball on a dish with blue/black corn chips, pretzel twists and crackers. Added some tomb stones and pumpkin carving knives as the cheese spreaders. That's it! Super simple and super easy!! I have more Halloween goodies to come, so poke back next week ;)


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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Yes, You May Play With Your Food!

We all see those posts out there of all different kinds of kids lunches that quite frankly must take hours to make. Making cute lunches doesn't need to cost tons of money, nor should it take hours compiled with frustration. It just needs to be fun!

I have gathered a few of my average lunches that I send my little kidlet to school with each day. Remember if you are new to making fun lunches, perfection is not what you are striving for, a simple smile from your kidlet is the goal!

This year my son has changed from 2 snacks and 1 lunch period per day to 2 "Nutritional Breaks". His breaks have more food than a typical snack but not quite as much as his old lunches. I'm not sure how I feel about this new system because it is not very true to real life, hmmm.... Anyhoo, you will see both below.  I like to send him a little note every now and then, letting him know that I am thinking about him and miss him and love him. I will do this until he tells me to cut it out because I'm embarrassing him ;)

Hopefully you will take a little inspiration from some of these and start having some fun with your food!!

Babybel Cheese with star cut out, Olives, Tomatoes & Face Pick and Fish Shaped Boiled Egg

Yogurt, Lychee fruit, Cookie, Grapes & Fruit Pick, Carrots, Pizza Loaf roll-up with dinosaur cut out & Fruit Leather

Babybel Cheese with edible glitter sun, Crackers, Fruit Leather, Peach, Coleslaw & Pork Skewers with Face Pick

Milk, Tomatoes, Apple sauce, Cheese with Pick, Dinosaur Kielbasa cut outs & Crackers

Juice, Pickles, Olives, Car Shaped Boiled Egg & Peach

Milk, Cheese string, Cookie, Greek Salad with Heart Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Feta and Greek Dressing

Juice, Carrots, Peach & Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Carrots, Wafers, Cheese string, Juice & Turkey Roll-up (face drawn on with edible markers)

Milk, Fruit Salad & Raisin Bread with Strawberry Cream Cheese


Go get out your cookie cutters and fancy picks and go play with your food. Next week I'll show you how to have fun with some Halloween lunches!

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Saving On Back-To-School: Star Wars Style

We are all gearing up to send our kidlets off to school for another school year. I am pretty sure this summer flew by on a jet plane. Remember the days when we were kids and summers lasted forever? Those were the days! Anyhoo, I'm jumping back in the saddle for regular posts and am excited to do so. We are all settled into our new house (I'll get to that in an upcoming post) and gearing up for back-to-school with the mass population of our new, family oriented, kid packed neighbourhood that I am in love with.

So, as we are shopping around and gathering our supplies, I am noticing that if I want to purchase anything of name brand, I need to pay an outrageous amount for it. Okay, that might be slightly dramatic but I do think $10 for a Star Wars pencil case is ridiculous, since I can get a perfectly fine one for $1 at any dollar store. That's when I needed to get creative! My little guy picked out a plan ol' black and red pencil case from the dollar store, he thought it was very Darth Vader like. My job...turn it into a Star Wars pencil case.

So this is what I did...


First I needed a stencil. I found this great Darth Vader one at ScaryHalloweenPumpkinPatterns.com. As the name suggests, it's a pumpkin carving stencil. I downloaded the image and made the image smaller to fit the pencil case. Once I had it to size, I cut the black portion of the stencil out with my trusty exacto knife.

Then I got a tube of Tulip Metallics Fabric Paint in Silver to trace Darth Vader onto the pencil case.


Trace out the outline as close to the edge as you can get. Keep the paper still and don't fuss about the cleanness of your lines at this point, you can clean them up afterwards.


Slowly remove your template, clean up your lines and you've got yourself a much cheaper Star Wars pencil case :D


I also added my little man's name to the bottom and voila, complete!


Here's to trying to save a little money at the time of year when it seems to fly out the window ;) Happy back-to-school everyone!!

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Friday, 13 July 2012

Banana Beach Bites

I'mmmmmm BaaAAAccckkkkkk!! Well sort of... I'm slowly starting the transition back into blogging, getting my feet wet a little during our transition.  We should be in our new home by mid August and once we settle, I can get back into the regular swing of things. :D We are currently 'camping' in a one bedroom apartment and spending tons-o-time outside at the park, with friends and family and wasting our days away at the BEACH! Naturally this makes me think... KIDLET FUN FOOD!

It's summer vacation here for the kidlets which means our school year has come to an end, as they do. To say good-bye to our friends and the fabulous teachers, we sent the little man to school with food! Typically, I wanted something nutritious first and fun second. I found these super cute cake pops, but cake pops unfortunately are not that healthy for you. Total bummer, right? So the wheels started turning and I came up with these little beauties.

Banana Beach Bites!



These cuties were super simple to make.

Here's what you will need:
-bananas (1 banana makes 2-3 bits)
-graham cracker crumbs
-blue candy melts
-gummie bears
-drink umbrellas
-plastic cups
-beach themed stickers (optional)
-cellophane bags

First you need to get your candy melts and heat them slowly in the microwave, stiring every 30 secs or so (like the package recommends). I learned this lesson tonight as I thought the melts where not melting and kept heating them (without stirring), just to melt the container they were in. Whoops! Mind the photos, we're camping here people ;)


Anyhoo, after you have done that, pour your melts into a tall container.


Next you need to place your graham crackers in a bowl for dunking.


 Chop up your first banana and start the dunking process. Remember to dunk half way down the banana to create your 'sand' as well as keep the banana from browning.


Next, flip the banana over and dunk the other half in the blue candy melts for your 'water'. Place banana 'water' side down into your plastic cup and refrigerate immediately.


Once you have all your bananas dunked, get your umbrellas and gummie bears and start pushing the umbrella toothpick through the gummie bears hand, to half way up the umbrella.


Once you have all your umbrellas placed, remove your bananas from the fridge and push the toothpick into the 'sand' so your gummie bear is lying on the 'beach'.


Lastly, decorate your cups now or in advance and place in a clear cellophane bag. Ta-Da, Banana Beach Bites! Once completed keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


These were a hit with the kidlets and I'm sure will make a reappearance around here in the future. Hope you all are having an awesome summer (or winter), where ever you are in the world!!

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

MOVING! Please bare with me

Well folks, we sold our house and are MOVING!
We have two moves in the next four months! Our next home we are building and it will not be finished by the time we close on our current home. With that said, I'm going to be busy for the  next few months so I won't be blogging or participating in any of my social media (besides Pinterest ;)). Please bare with me in this transition time. I appreciate ALL who come by and hang out, I will be back before you know it! I hope you all have the best summer and I will be back in the fall to catch you all back up! Hugs!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

My PURSEonality

 I needed to get a new purse because I was basically living out of two separate ones. A diaper bag and a tote bag. In the diaper bag I had all my necessities and my tote bag had my wallet sunglasses and keys. Since my youngest came out of diapers 6 months ago I figured it was time to combine and downsize...which meant, NEW PURSE! I was on the hunt for awhile trying to find the perfect one and I found a cute little pink one. Since I had to organize my new beauty, I thought I would share with you my PURSEonality ;) and how I organize it. So here we go!!

This is my new beauty, isn't she cute?


I wanted a purse that had tons of compartments. This is a must in my purse searches. I LOVE compartments. This one has three compartments and this is how I divvy them up.



 I am a creature of preparedness so I have to tote around anything I may need at any given time. This is what is in my Medicine Bag.


My second compartment is the main middle section of my purse. This is where I put the things I use everyday.


I even organize my wallet. I have had this wallet forever and it has been my favorite of all time. I actually purchased it a Staples of all places. It houses all the cards you can collect ;)


I carry sunscreen for those unexpected trips outside when you go somewhere you thought was indoors. Diaper cream (Zinc) has many uses, not just for sore bums, and plastic bags for those wet or sticky situations kidlets get us in!
 

The back of my purse has a section for my phone. This is also an important area to look for when shopping. Usually if I would throw my phone into the inside of a purse I can never hear it. On the outside I can. 

Lastly a part that I keep in the car at all times, instead of toting around, is an extra pair of clothes. You never know when you come across a rain puddle or an accident so "it's better to be safe than sorry" ;)


I'll blog in the future about how I organize my van and what I stock in there for a rainy day situation!!

What's your PURSEonality?? Throw it all in or compartmentalize??
Happy purse organizing!!

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