Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope yours were as good as ours!

Our Santa finally grew his beard. Emma absolutely loved gluing cotton balls on each number every day! (See original post here)

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The kids got some seriously awesome gifts this year. A certain far away Aunt ordered the kids a bounce house. A FULL size bounce house. It’s meant for outdoors, but since it’s winter, we set it up in the house! I think this summer we’ll be the most popular house on the block!

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For Christmas I made the kids a dress up box. I made some super hero masks (I found templates here), a tutu, and bought a few cheapies from the dollar store (cowboy hat, firemat hat, pirate kit, doctor’s kit, fairy wings). The kids absolutely love it! Emma likes to pile on as many things as she can. Here she is looking like Carl from the Walking Dead.

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Soon afterward she donned a pirate eye patch and hook, Wolverine mask, and bandana.

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For my goodie bags I gave out, I made salted caramel hot chocolate (here) and Chocolate Peppermint popcorn mix (here).

Of course I made enough so that I could sample it, too! Both were soooo good! The hot chocolate mix was so rich, it has real ground up chocolate and caramel in it, not to mention milk powder. I made it with whole milk, it was amazing!

I also made Oatmeal Cream Pies to send into work with Ben. It was hard to let them go! (Recipe here).

Needless to say, there was much baking and crafting going on in my house in December! I also found about a million more recipes via Pinterest that I want to make.

And we have some BIG news. But I can’t share it yet. I should be able to make a post about it within the next 2-3 weeks though!

Mini snow globe

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I saw this idea a while ago on Pinterest (isn’t that how almost all of my posts start?) You can really do anything you like with these, trees, little figurines, snowflake confetti. I had an assortment of beads sitting in my craft room from broken necklaces and other craft projects.

To make the snowman, I used 3 assorted size white beads, hot glued together. The hat was a black button an a small black bead. His little scarf is a snippet of sparkly ribbon. Everything is held together with hot glue (I figure it won’t dissolve in water) and I added glitter for snow. The snowman is glued to the lid of a baby food jar. I think my little snowmen turned out pretty cute!

It’s such a cute little craft! My kids are still a little young to help with this (with a hot glue gun involved) but I think it would be a lot of fun for kids ages 4 and up.

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Santa Advent Calendar – Free Silhouette Download!

I found this adorable Santa Advent Calendar printable through Pinterst, and decided to give it a little pizzaz. I worked a little magic with Silhouette Studio and made it to be cut with my Silhouette! Enjoy!

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You can also snag the printable version of this at her blog.

The words that go with it:

“Santa’s beard is very bare

On his chin, there is no hair

So each day add a puff of white

And when it’s full, he’ll come that night.”

You add a cotton ball on each number as they days go by, ending on Christmas Eve.

Download

Easy Christmas Craft: Snowman Fridge

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Happy almost December! It’s officially after Thanksgiving, which means time to gear up for Christmas! Today the kids and I broke out the Christmas tree, lights, and Nativity. Emma watched the Veggie Tales Christmas special and we listened to Christmas music. And we even got our first snow flurries today!

I’ve seen this snowman craft online before, and it’s SO easy! Emma had lots of fun helping me with this one.

You start with black circles. You can use black paper and tape if you’d like, but since I’ve got my Silhouette, I just used vinyl. Plus, vinyl is sturdier than construction paper, and the kids will have a harder time destroying it.

I used 2 large circles, about 4 inches in diameter; and about 12 smaller circles, about 2 inches in diameter. The nose and scarf were just cut out of craft paper and taped on. And the hat is held on with little fridge magnets. The prep work for the project only took 10 minutes or so. Quick, simple, and the kids love it! It also looks adorable and not too tacky. ;)

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Apple upside-down cake

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Ingredients:
¾ cup salted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup apple sauce
1 cup water/Apple juice/cider
3 eggs
Yellow cake mix
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven in 350 degrees.

Peel and slice your apples. Layer them in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. (I used an 8 inch and 6 inch round for this, you can do whatever you think will fit!)

Cook sugar and butter on stove, let boil for 1 minute. Add cinnamon and salt and stir. Pour hot mixture on top of your apples.

Mix eggs, water/juice, and applesauce in a mixing bowl. For this I replaced the 1/3 cup of oil that was called for on the box with ½ cup of applesauce. You can also replace the water with apple juice or cider.

Add the cake mix and cinnamon to your wet ingredients, and mix well. Pour evenly into pan over the apple and sugar mixture.

Bake in your preheated oven for roughly 25-40 minutes. You can tell if it’s done by sticking a clean dry knife into the center. When it comes out clean (or with only a few moist crumbs clinging) then you know it’s done! The baking time will vary depending on what size pan you use.

Let the cake rest for about 5 minutes, and then flip it out onto a serving plate. To flip the cake out, take your serving plate and place it surface down onto the cake. Flip both the serving plate and the pan over so that the cake is now resting on the serving plate. You’ll most likely want to wear oven mitts for this! Knock on the bottom a few times to loosen any apples, and then pull the pan off.

Let cool, and enjoy! This can also be topped with caramel sauce, which you can read about here.

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(my lovely arrangement of apples)