Ellie’s elementary school has instituted a wellness policy to promote healthiness in the children. This means that no treats are allowed for birthdays or special events. I think it’s great (we still have a whole bowl of Halloween candy left!) but it can get tricky to make fun bags for Christmas & Valentine’s Day.

So the kids and I headed out to Hobby Lobby to see what we could find that their friends might actually like that wasn’t candy. HL had lots of things to choose from (erasers, jewelry, stickers, puzzles, toys, etc) and they were all on sale! We chose some color-able puzzles, game rings and glitter stickers. I already had the paper bags & washi tape at home, but Hobby Lobby sold those as well.

My plan fail was that I tried to print on the paper bags, which jammed my printer and created a mess. So we used labels instead. Then I made the kids get to work to assemble them. All in all it took less than half hour to assemble 30 and it cost less than $15. I don’t do bags every year – normally we just purchase valentines but I thought this was a fun change for this year since the kids are old enough to help!

What do you like to do for Valentine’s Day? Do you buy valentines? Do you make them? Do your kids create them? Let’s share some ideas!!

I can hardly believe that Christmas & New Years has come and gone! It’s mid-January and it’s time to start planning for the next big day: Valentine’s Day! Celebrate your loved one with a handmade, personalized item from the shop. We’ve listed our favorites above, click on the picture to go directly to the product!

What’s your Valentine wish?

{{p.s. we’ve listed a bunch of new items lately…with more to come this week!}}

After an insanely wonderful season with the business, on Friday I was able to take a few days off and just enjoy the Christmas season. Time to focus my mind on things like Christ, cooking, traditions and family. I’d be lying if I said up to that point my mind was focused on the most important things, but I think all of us fall into that trap at one time or another.

For whatever reason, traditions were really important to me this year. I had an urgency to celebrate traditions that have been in years passed, like making Read Entire Post …

One of my favorite things about the holidays is traditions. We talked about traditions at MOPS this week and a few of my favorites are about my dad. He used to make the best cinnamon candy from scratch…he’d walk around the house while the sugar was melted and make the house smell like cinnamon. Another favorite tradition is that he’d make my grandma’s noodles for Christmas. It’s been a while since he’s done either, so I told him all I wanted this year was cinnamon candy & noodles. I can’t wait until Tuesday!

A new tradition we started this year is decorating gingerbread houses. It’s a simple, fun Christmas craft to do together. Next time we do them though, I’ll be hot gluing the pieces together. The icing wasn’t quite as sturdy as I’d hoped, but we made it work. (tip: put houses in the fridge to harden the icing, making them easier to decorate)

We’ve never decorated gingerbread houses before as a family and surprisingly Hubby was REALLY into it. I mean, so into it that we were all done well before him, as he’s delicately forming the icicles and cutting the gum drops to make windows. I’m just not that patient.

Yep, icicles.

Hubby’s is the prettiest, so naturally it’ll get all of the attention. And he says he’s not crafty…

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Today I’m revisiting a tutorial from last year that I loved and had so much fun with (I’ll be making more for gifts SOON). It’s the Glitter Ornament Tutorial. It’s super easy and fun – and who doesn’t love glitter? Let’s get started!

All you need is some blank glass (or plastic) ornaments, Christmas rub-ons, glitter & diamond glaze (or other thin glue). Spread out your rub-ons and pick ones that are appropriate for your ornaments. I used my Christmas ones from StampinUp! but also used some “friend” phrases for an ornament for my best bud. Being very careful, place your first rub-on onto the ornament.

Carefully rub on the rub-on (that sounds funny) with a plastic tool or Popsicle stick. Make sure you don’t squeeze the ornament too hard, you don’t want to break it and shatter glass in your hands. Keep adding rub-ons until you’re happy with how it looks. Be careful not to drop your ornament…not like I know from experience or anything. Then create a funnel with a spare sheet of paper.

Here’s where there are two different ways to glitter the inside. First I’ll tell you how I did it on my sample, then later I’ll explain how I did it for the other 3 that I made. Take off the top of the ornament, pick out your glitter colors and add them to the inside of the ornament. You’ll only need about a teaspoon or so at first.

Then, drip your diamond glaze on the inside…you’ll need quite a few drips. Covering the opening with your finger (or your finger and some paper towel) shake, shake, shake to cover the inside. You’ll add more glue & glitter until the inside is as sparkly as you want. Allow it to dry upside down so that the excess glue will fall out. Then finish it off using tulle or ribbon and hang it on the tree!

(Alternatively, for the rest I made dots of diamond glaze all over the inside of the ornament as my first step. Then I put in a few sprinkles of each color while turning around the ornament. Then I shook them, adding more glue and glitter. Both methods have the same result.)

If you’re a person who does NOT love glitter (what?!), here’s another easy way to make a beautiful ornament and it’s super easy. Cut scrapbook paper into 1/4″ strips. Curl the paper around a pencil and then put the paper curls inside the ornament. (and if you want you can add a little bit of glitter to the bottom for sparkle when you shake it). Add some tulle or ribbon to finish it off.

Pretty ornaments for your tree! Happy crafting!