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Entries in Crafts (4)


Little Gifts

Nic is like a cat—you have to wait for him to show you affection. If you run up and try to hug him, much like if you had tried the same with our now deceased cat Slater, you might end up with a serious injury. Because of this, it really surprised me when he started overtly showing his love to me, not through hugs, but through pictures.

It all started to this little love note that he left for me one afternoon.

And since then, I’ve been showered with drawings and “projects” that have been made with love. Sometimes, he will even find an empty box, put the artwork inside the box, tape it up and “deliver” it to me like the UPS man.

"This is us having lunch together and you loving me." - NicWe go through a lot of tape in our house. 

"I'm giving you a necklace that I made for you." - Nic

I won’t lie. This makes me feel GOOD. To know that he’s thinking about me, and that he’s thinking about me loving him, really builds me up. Sometimes we struggle, this boy and I, but these pictures show me that even if I have to be the tough mom sometimes, he knows that I love him. And he loves me back.  




To Don't List


I saw this tip in a magazine this week: Survive the holidays by creating a To Don't List. What a good idea!

A To Don't List includes things that you should not be taking on if you want to maintain your sanity. It is a good reminder that you are too busy to make your life more complicated.

So before you get roped into making crafts for all 12 days of Christmas for your child's classroom, you'll think of the list and politely scale it back.

I am a pretty busy girl. I'm a wife and mother of two small babies, working on my MBA, launching a new web show, doing quite a few freelance jobs this fall and winter, in addition to MommyBeta and The Trending Show. Plus I am hosting Thanksgiving at my home this year in addition to traveling back to the Bay Area to visit my side of the family. I will probably need to say no more than a few times this season.

Don't get me wrong, I love participating out at my son's school but I can volunteer once or twice. Not EVERY time there is a call to arms. So here is my preemptive To Don't List. I will NOT:

  1. Volunteer for an assignment at Miles' daycare every week - every third or every other week will suffice!
  2. Try to knit my children's mittens. The mittens I started for Miles two years ago still sit finished only up to the thumb. Buy those damn mittens and call it a day.
  3. Start solids with Ava until after your travels in a few weeks. She is thriving on Mommy's milk and you don't need to go running around the country lugging baby food if it is the difference between starting solids at 6 months and 6 1/2 months.
  4. Stress about Thanksgiving table settings. The food will still be delicious even if you don't serve it on chargers.
  5. Spend too much time shopping for Christmas presents. Amazon ordered gifts will suffice. The mall is no place to be when you should be studying for an MBA or playing with your babies.
  6. Feel the need to keep up with Pinterest holiday crafts. That site can really make you feel inadaquate as a homemaker. Screw that! I will do the best I can but I'm not doing Santa themed nail designs!

What is on your To Don't List this year?


Homemade Stocking Stuffers


I'm no Nathalee, but I did a little homemade Christmas project myself this year. I made play dough to put in Baby Mo's stocking stuffers. Look at these!  

This wasn't a very hard or time consuming project but I do not really enjoy crafts very much so I was proud of myself. I used this recipe with some gel-based food coloring and packed my concoctions in glass jars I found at Target.

I know store-bought Play-Doh is supposed to be non-toxic - and it probably is - but I still like the idea of homemade gifts that we can all enjoy. I just hope the dough isn't hard as a rock in a few days! 

My husband gave me a little talking-to recently about over buying for Baby Mo. Sound familiar? I had to clamp down on buying toys to put under our tree no matter HOW good of a deal they were or intellectually stimulating the toys may be. But home made play dough for the stockings? Now how could he object to that?  

What are the homemade goodies that you put for your little one under the tree or hanging in a stocking this holiday season? 


Homemade Christmas Ornaments


Last year, I made adorable handprint ornaments for all of Nic’s grandparents, God parents, aunts and uncles. They were a big hit. So this year, when I got an email from Factory Direct Craft offering tips on Christmas projects, I jumped right on their suggestion to make personalized, filled ornaments.

Factory Direct Craft graciously sent me the craft supplies to make these lovely ornaments, and below I’ll go through their construction, step by step.

What you need: 

Step #1: Print Photos

Select two cute holiday-appropriate photos. You’ll need one for each side of the ornament.  I used Picnik to add some text to one of my photos.

Step #2: Trace and Cut

Using one half of the ornament as your guide, trace a circle on to each picture maximizing what you want visible. Cut out these circles.

Use double-sided tape to stick each set of images together.  Make sure they are lined up correctly (both heads are pointing the same direction for instance).

Step #3: Decorate Photos

One of my photos couldn’t be cropped in a way that would avoid showing half of my husband.  It looked a little funny, so decided to decoupage over him (he wanted me to!)!  A bit of Mod Podge and some snowflakes did the trick.

Step #4: Fill Ornaments

Open up the ornaments and sprinkle some confetti into each side. (I forgot to do this one about half of mine and am bummed about it.  Don’t forget this cute step!)

This next bit is the only tricky part of the whole project. Fit the double-sided photo neatly inside the “female” side of the snowflake.  It might take a little trimming and some patience, but it actually will slide in there nicely.  Once it’s in place, slide the other side on snuggly.

Step #5: Ribbon

Cut approximately 20 inch sections of ribbon.  Fold the section in half longwise and then again in half widthwise, thread this through the BACK of the loop at the top of the ornament.  Leave a nice sized loop for hanging and then tie a knot at the front of the hanging loop.  Then make a bow.  Tying it this way ensures that the bow stays at the bottom front of the ornament.

Step #6: Decoupaging the Outside

I wanted to give them one final touch, a ring of snowflakes around the outside.  I also figured the Mod Podge should seal the ornaments shut.  Hang the ornaments if you can (I used a laundry drying rack, which worked great).  Do a stripe of Mod Podge along the seam of half of the ornament.  Place a few confetti pieces along the glue.  Repeat on other side. (Doing one side at a time prevents the glue from drying before you get your confetti on). Let hang to dry.  The Mod Podge does dry clear, but try not to goop it on or it will be visible.

I enlisted a bit of help with the snowflakes.


You have cute, inexpensive and personal ornaments for your nearest and dearest.