Thursday, December 30, 2010

Busy Time of the Year

We are still around and have just been busy with the holidays. Plus I work in retail.....enough said. I have a few minutes so I thought I share some of our recent photos. We will be back in the swing of things next week. Happy New Year everyone!

We went to see Enchanted Village a holiday tradition in the Boston area

Christmas Eve
Mixing up some reindeer feed

Sprinkling reindeer feed outside
Three cookies for Santa

Christmas Day
Wow Santa Came!

Dad got a new phone and a hat. LOL

Santa even brought Lucy a gift
We had a Nor'easter Snow Storm the day after Christmas. We had no electricity for a 24 hours, power lines laying across our driveway, cause by a downed pine tree. It caused a lot of damage to the coastal communities. First two photos taken by a friend the day after the storm.
Knocked down the sea wall at the nearby cove
Alex had fun sledding after the storm ended

See everyone in 2011 :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gifts Part 2

To go along with the Peppermint Mocha Ornaments I made some Peppermint Bark. Such a simple treat to make, but it is delicious and looks festive. Alex enjoyed being my taste tester.

He also like breaking up the candy canes.

If you don't know how to make this all you need is:

12oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
12oz bag of white chocolate chips
candy canes

Cover a square (8"x8") or rectangle pan (11"x7") pan with foil. Melt you semi sweet chocolate first according the the directions on the package. Spread it into your pan. While it is cooling you can break up your candy canes into tiny pieces. When you pirst layer is solid melt your white chocolate and pour on top of the first layer. While the white chocolate is still melted sprinkle on your bits of candy cane. Put pan into the refrigerator to cool. When it is cool, pop it out of pan and break into pieces.

We also made a couple of hand print snowman ornaments that it seems like everyone in the blog world has done. These are for Alex's grandmother and great grandmother.

To make these put your child's hand print on to a ornament with white paint. Once the hand print has dried, paint on details to make the fingers look like snowman.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gifts

I thought I'd share some of the homemade gifts that I have been working on this year for my family. I have a couple more ideas, that I hope to accomplish this week. So here is what I have so far.

Peppermint Mocha Ornaments. I found these adorable little gift ideas here.

I changed my recipe a little bit. To make these I purchased 6 clear glass craft ornaments.  I used mint cocoa and instant coffee. About 1 and half cups of cocoa and half a cup of instant coffee. Mixed them together well and added about 6 Tbsp to each bauble. I used soft peppermint sticks to add color. They were easier than candy canes, to get the correct size for the bauble.

I printed out directions, Add 3 tbsp or more to hot water or milk and enjoy. Cut them out into circles and mounted them to a piece or red card stock. I added a bow to each with a little holiday ribbon.

I plan on giving this along with some Peppermint Bark to my cousins.

I also have seen a ton of people making Scrabble tile pendants on Etsy and decided to give it a try. These were fun. I plan on giving these to my tween cousins. Eight year old twins and a 7 year old.
To make these I found some scrabble tile replacements at a craft store. I purchased three 16" silver chains, some fun scrapbook paper, some jewelry bails and paper glaze. I also purchased some cute little truffle boxes to use as packaging. You can find a tutorial for making them here

Finally I made some transportation theme recycled crayons for a little 5 year old boy. I used Wiltons candy mold and some crayons from the dollars store. I bought a little blue tin for them to go into and a Disney Cars coloring posters for him to color.

These are simple to make. Take the colors you would like to put together. Peel off all the paper, and break them into small pieces. Melt the crayons. I put them into small containers and then put those containers into very hot water. They do not melt if you just stick them in a microwave. Pour into desired molds and pop out of mold when cool. Be careful not to pop them out on a hard surface so they don't break.

So today I hope to make a couple more ornaments with the help of Alex for the grandparents. Will post about them later. Happy Holidays everyone!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cinnamon Ornaments

Today we did some Cinnamon Applesausce Dough Ornaments. We made 10 little gingerbread men and look forward to decorating them in a couple days. Alex loves pouring and mixing and playing with dough so this was a great project for us, plus our house smells great now.

While I was cleaning up, I gave Alex the empty Cinnamon container, some pipe cleaners and some red and green lacing beads. He laced the beads and put the pipe cleaners in the holes in the container. Great fine motor skill work and I got the kitchen cleaned!

It seem like everyone in the blog world has made these cinnamon ornaments, but just in case here is the recipe.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments


  • Applesauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Foil or waxed paper
  • Spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cookie sheet
  • Ribbon or jute twine for hanging
  • Glue, beads, buttons, glitter and other embellishments are optional

Instructions for Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments

  1. Mix equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce to make a soft dough. For instance mix one cup of applesauce with one cup of cinnamon.
  2. Roll or press the dough out on a foil or wax paper covered cookie sheet.
  3. Use cookie cutters to make shaped ornaments.
  4. Pull the excess dough away from around the shapes.
  5. Use a straw or toothpick to make a hanging hole at the top of the shape.
  6. Let the ornaments dry on the sheet.
  7. Decorate the ornaments however you wish. Run a piece of ribbon through them for hanging.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meeting Santa and Trimming the Tree

Saturday we went to meet Santa at my husband's work place. Alex did so much better this year. He actually liked Santa. I could only get him to look up if Daddy sat next to him though. Santa's beard poked him in the eye and he didn't want to look up after that. When Santa went to leave Alex ran over to him and gave him a hug. It was so cute.

Last night we finally decorated our tree. We always get a real tree from our local farm. We don't really do a theme, its just a collection of ornaments that have been collected over the years. There is a lot or Scandinavian ornaments as I am from Finnish descent, a lot of ocean and beach related ornaments. We live right next to the ocean and we love it. Most have a sentimental meaning to them and I love the look of the vintage ornaments that my mom still has.

Here is a closer look at some of my favorite and most meaningful ornaments.
My Dad passed away in 2004, he was a lobster man and this was a mini replica of his buoys

We got this for our wedding in 2005

This was made by my Great Grandmother "Mummu" she made the tatting on it. Its over 40 years old.

This little angle was on my Mom's baby shower cake when she was expecting me

Just a cute little vintage deer

This bird has had a little nest in our Christmas trees ever since I can remember

Love this little Santa, not sure why
A Scandinavian Gnome

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa and Ice Decorations

Today we read  Jolly Old Santa Claus by Alice Leedy Mason and George Hinke
This is the condensed board book version but it still features some of the beautiful oil paintings by George Hinke. The story line seems a bit cut up in this version though. Alex enjoyed looking at the pictures and pointing out details that he thought were interesting. We do have a paper back version too, but Alex's attention span isn't that long to listen to the whole story.

After reading about Santa we made a hand print Santa. I helped Alex put white paint on his hand and then stamp it on a piece of blue paper. We then added a face and hat out of construction paper, some googly eyes and cotton balls. We added a couple of craft foam snowflakes to the background. It came out very cute.

A few days ago I saw this post by the Artful Parent and have been wanting to try making natural ice wreath and ornaments. The idea is very easy just add water and some colorful berries or leaves into a containers, add a string for hanging and freeze. It was about 20 degrees today so it was plenty cold enough. We bundled up and went out around our yard to find some colorful leaves and berries. It was cold!!! We quickly found some stuff to use, we put them together inside because it was so cold.

He was cold and was giving me the evil eye

leaves and berries we found

Alex making the wreath

working on the ornaments

I added strings to each one and put them outside to freeze

A preview
Its dark out now, so I will post pictures of them all frozen and hanging up tomorrow.

I'm linking up to Kids Get Crafty and the Play Academy