Monday, December 22, 2014

Printable Gift Tags from Santa

I am coming to you with a Holiday appeal...

My girls are 7 and 8 and on the cusp between believing/disbelieving in Santa.  I'm not sure I'll still have this same belief and wonder next year and it's saddens me. 

My appeal is to you - parents of children that still believe.

I need some consistency in my Santa messaging.  We watch Arthur Christmas, Fred Claus, The Santa Clause (I, II and III) and in each movie Santa is different.  At each mall, Santa is different.

In an effort to create some consistency, and hopefully encourage kids to continue believing I've commissioned some Santa gift tags from the amazing Ang at Visions Graphic Artistry.

These tags are straight from the North Pole and are approved by the big man himself - and are available for you to print at home.

They have been formatted to fit Avery shipping labels 5163, but you can print on paper as well - there are 10 labels per sheet.

Help a Mom out - use these on your special "Santa" gifts and when kids talk - hopefully stories will be consistent and imaginations re-ignited!

P.S.  You could always copy the website address of this page and e-mail it to all your friends and family as well.  We could make this a UNIVERSAL norm!

For a little Holiday chuckle - watch this...

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays everyone!

 Have a great one!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Crafts for kids: Pine Cone Owls

I'm a guest contributor on the blog for Curiosity Box and I'm due to submit an idea for a craft for kids.
As a bonus - I'm going to share it here too.

With the kids out of school for the Holidays, you are bound to hear the irrepressible "I'm booooooored!"

Here's an idea that will keep their little hands busy for awhile:
Pine Cone Owls.

You will need:

  • Coloured and white cardstock
  • Pine cones (dried out)
  • REALLY sticky glue (glue gun works best, but if you aren't working with the kids, just an extra-sticky will do).
  • Scissors
  • Optional - oval, circle and a small heart punch if you have them

The owl consists of a few pieces;  3 circles in varying sizes for the eyes, two ovals or wing shapes for the wings, a small beak and the funky shape above the eyes that I'll call the "eyebrow".

I tried this a couple of different ways and I found that creating the eyes first (layer by layer) worked best.

To make the eyebrow, I put a piece of paper behind the eyes and drew around them with an upsweep at the sides.

In this case, the beak is a small heart that I glued behind the eyes.  A simple triangle would work just as well.

To make the wings, I used two different sized ovals, gluing one on top of the other and then cutting to a wing-like point at the bottom.

Adhering the eyes and wings to the pine cone isn't easy - this is where an adult with a hot glue gun would come in handy.
I couldn't find mine, so I used Tombow glue (which is really sticky) and things stayed in place.

I've seen these done with felt and I can see where that would make sticking the pieces easier (more flexibility) - but I think these little guys turned out pretty cute.

These are the punches I used - but again - plain 'ol scissors will work just as well.

I'm envisioning raccoons next, with big goggly eyes inside a black mask.  Or a fox with big goggly eyes glued above the puffy white cheeks, or an adorable little penguin!

Create a whole forest - these are so easy and SO cute!

Speaking of Curiosity Box - I just delivered one of these the other night and it was a HUUUUUGE success!
Thank you Cassie!

 Have a great one!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Adding Snaps to your Tea Towels

Why would you do this?
Won't it scratch your dishes and glassware?

Well yes, but I had a special request from my Dad asking me to put snaps on some tea towels for him.

Why?  So that when he's done washing the dishes, or rinsing his hands, he can just dab them off quickly.

You've seen these before I'm sure.  We had one growing up that was crocheted at the top and hung over the stove handle.
I think those are the ones my Dad still has... (yikes!)

Since I can't crochet, I opted for the easy route:  metal snaps.

Depending on the length of your tea towel you can do this at the end, or as in the photo above, in the middle.

Fold your tea towel over a large wrapping paper tube to determine the placement of your snaps.

Then all you need to do is to hammer them in place.
You can buy a special tool if you want, but really a hammer and an eraser (so you don't crush the snaps) work pretty well.

Snaps like these are available at any fabric store - I think you get 6 for about $2 maybe?

GREAT idea Dad - now the towel won't go missing when my hands are dripping and it won't continually fall off when I'm cooking.

Oops, I guess it's not much of a gift if it's used eh? lol

Have a great one!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift Tags

Well, we're nearing the point now where we shift focus from shopping and Christmas cards to wrapping and hiding our loot.

I love wrapping gifts. 
I don't do anything fancy or frilly.  I don't even add ribbon usually - but something about crisp corners and the image of the recipient's face just makes me happy.

We wrap all of our gifts and put them under the tree as we get them.
Evil parents - I know - but the girls know that it's usually Santa that brings the "good stuff", so they don't squeeze or maul the packages too much.

Come on now - squeezing and mauling is one of the best parts of being a kid at Christmas isn't it?  
My brother and I even figured out how to carefully peel the tape off of  the presents to peek inside, and then re-seal it without anyone being any the wiser.
That's what memories are made of!

I digress....
After my Christmas card bonanza of a couple of weeks ago, I had a LOT of leftover paper.

Some are large enough that I can make the post-Holiday thank you cards with, but then there were these little guys - 1 3/4" wide and 2" wide on the purple.

PERFECT for gift tags!
I cut them all to match the smallest one;

Then chose a border stamp to run across the bottom edge.
I can't remember the name of this set - but it's from Papertrey Ink (my favourite company).

I was going clean and simple here - no bells, whistles or loud colours - just purple, cream and silver.

Cut the corners on an angle to make them look like tags, adhere them to the coloured backings and punch a hole - easy peasy!

I still had paper leftover so I thought I'd try a few more...
Not as pleased with these though - I think I was trying too hard to impress you.

At our house Santa usually delivers his gifts in a different gift wrap that the girls haven't seen before - so I'll have to come up with a "Santa tag" for those ones.

To be continued....

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!

Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Vignettes

I've been surfing Pinterest again (uh oh!) and it's come to my attention that I've been decorating the house all wrong....
Christmas decorating that is.

I was putting my little tchotchkes and ornaments here and there and incorporating them into my existing decor.
Turns out, the "correct" way to decorate is to create little vignettes here and there.
Clear out your regular items and create little "vignettes" (strategically placed and visually appealing groupings) in different locations.

I'm not sure I have it down yet - but here are a few of my attempts:

A little basket of pine, candles and a giant mercury glass ornament on the sofa table.

I was planning on cleaning off all of my bookshelves and re-staging them with Christmas items - but I have to be honest and say it looked like too much work.  
Maybe I'll start earlier next year.

These guys are a vignette in themselves I think?  These are my singing angels and I love them so much, I leave them out all year.

Does this count as a vignette?

This last one is a "vignette of candy"

My Aunt makes these gorgeous gingerbread houses and each year she comes over to make one with the girls.
Of course she was mortified at this creation (no doors, windows, icicles, pathway etc) - but I reassured her that the real goal of any gingerbread house is to cram as many candies onto it as possible.  The memory you're creating is excitement and childhood dreams (of candy gluttony) - not perfection over the architectural details.
Frankly, the girls left it a little sparce for me, so I ramped up their candy vignette by squeezing more M&M's into every nook and cranny. lol

I like the idea of vignettes, but I need more....

How about curated vignettes interspersed with Wannabe-Griswold decorating?

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!


Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seacret - The $110+ GIVEAWAY!

I've done a bit of research on these next products...
Personal research in that I've been testing them on my own face.
Yes, I love you THAT much, that I would sacrifice my chubby cheeks to a possible outbreak or allergic reaction, just to provide you with a first-hand account of a product.

Since Alanna introduced me to the Seacret Mineral-rich Peeling Gel about a month ago, and then the M4 Magnetic Mud Mask, I've been smitten.

The top 4 products in the 
SEACRET™ line are the Mud Soap, the Clarifying Mud Mask, the Mineral-rich Peeling Gel and the Intensive moisture cream.  This combination is the lethal four for your skin;  exfoliating, de-toxifying, cleaning and then moisturizing.  
These are all you need in your skin care regime.
While I can't personally vouch for every product in the SEACRET™ line, I can tell you that I have broadened my repertoire to include the above to both "test" for you, and in the hopes that they were as nourishing and rejuvenating as the first two I tried.

First thing that impressed me - the ingredients: 

SEACRET™ Mud Soap contains dead sea mud, dead sea minerals, witch hazel and palm oil and it is 100 percent all natural.

I can pronounce, and even spell, all of those words!

The first three ingredients on my Oil of Olay soap: Sodium laurel isethionate, paraffin, sodium cocoglyceryl ether sulfonate.  The first is derived from an acid family, the second is a petroleum product and the third... I couldn't find.  

Should I be concerned about this?  
Not that I can't spell or pronounce any of it - but that I'm putting these things on my skin?

One bar of Seacret Mud Soap costs ~$17 and will last you six months - no automatically renewing subscription that you have to remember to cancel, no further sign-up or sign-in required - buy a bar, try it, like it, buy another bar.

This is a key test for me - the "after the eyebrow wax" test;

every time I get my eyebrows waxed I break out.  EV-ER-Y time!  I've tried toners, clearasil, astringents, everything I could think of to balance (or aleviate) the oil that seems to surface, but nothing's worked.
Until now!
After leaving my aesthetician's, I came home, washed my face with mud soap and then applied a little of the Essential Moisture Face cream - and NOTHING!
Seriously - no breakout at all!
I'm floored - this has been a 20 year tradition - wax on, zit on.

This has been long-winded - I'm sorry - I'm just so excited to have found something that works so well and is all natural!

My face feels like a baby's bum - quite literally - and has this soft, milky texture.  I'm in LOVE!

Now it's your turn!

People are hesitant to invest money in something without having tried it (or having read a glowing review), so Alanna has generously offered a GIVEAWAY!

Yup - the lucky winner will receive a Seacret Mud Soap AND a full-sized jar of Seacret's Intensive Moisture Face Cream.

That's more than $110 in product!

Three entries possible today and more if you come back each day!

You have to try this stuff - and Alanna is giving you the opportunity FOR FREE!

Here's another option;
Seacret is offering 60 - 75% off of their Holiday Gift sets!
Enter to win, then buy one for a friend!

Contact Alanna

Have a great one!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great Gift Idea: - For those that have suffered a loss this year

I'm part of an AMAZING Facebook group.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the name, but I have to tell you, it is fantastic.
People send referrals to each other, ask for ideas, tips, help and even offer up services to each other - and it is reciprocated and responded to (not all that common in the Facebook world).
This past weekend a brilliant artist named Michelle posted an ornament that she had made a few of and asked if anyone wanted to buy them.

Based on the FB thread - she will be working from now until AFTER the Holidays to fill all the orders she received.

Want to know what it was she was offering that had everyone raising their hand so eagerly?



It's a glass ornament with a white feather inside and a poem that reads:  

Feathers from an Angel
are ones we rarely see,
but this one is quite different - 
and special as can be.
This feather is a reminder
of a special someone's love
who is now your Guardian Angel
watching from above.

Check out Michelle's story on her blog Day to Day Dreams.  (thank you  Michelle for sharing!)

She also has a contact link there so you can reach her if you want one of your own.

Have a great one!