Sunday, November 25, 2012


 I saw these fun looking Christmas card display boards on Pinterest (and of course I cant find the pin now) but the way that they explained making it seemed a little costly. I wanted them, but I wanted them cheap, and be able to use what I already had around the house!

The original said to buy Canvas, and fabric but those things can get a little expensive depending on where you buy the items, and what quality they are ect. ect. ect.

I had thin foam poster boards I found at the dollar tree for $1.00

I had planned on doing something else with them, the other craft failed! I knew I could find some use for them, so they stayed tucked away until today.

I have four of these boards but I wanted three smaller ones so using a big exacto knife carpenters blade, I cut two of the boards down to the size I wanted.

Hmmm they tell you to cover the boards with fabric, what do I have around the house that says Christmas, and doesn't cost a lot? Wrapping paper! I had two rolls of coordinating wrapping paper that I didn't end up using last year.

I just wrapped the foam board with the wrapping paper, stapled it down on the back side, and stapled some ribbon to them. Now they can hang on the wall, patiently waiting to be covered in Christmas Cards! *hint hint*


I know that every family who enjoys the Elf On A Shelf tradition does it differently, some elves create mischief, some just move from place to place, and some elves are helpers in reinforcing the true meaning of Christmas.  This year my family decided to adopt our very own Elf.  We went to Target and chose the Elf that would spend our Christmas seasons with us.  I decided I wanted to do a 30 day elf trial run this year, seeing as the day after Thanksgiving has always been the day the Christmas decorations start coming out of the boxes.
I wanted our Elf to do pretty much all of these things, plus a few!

Today when we got home from Target, we read the book that came with our adopted elf, but surprise there was a note from Santa tucked into the book cover! The letter was a way of tying Elf On A Shelf, Santa and the true meaning of Christmas all in one fun family tradition.
The idea of a letter from Santa was borrowed from HERE it is a wonderful letter, explaining that Christmas isn't just about gifts, but many more things!  I tweaked the letter a little for our own family and talked about grace and forgiveness a little more but you can get a basic idea from the original letter.

After we read the letter we continued on to read the actual book that comes with our elf and then watched a DVD that we found about Elf On A Shelf.  The DVD was only about thirty minutes long but the children seemed to enjoy it, well we all did!  I like that the DVD allowed the children to visualize everything, plus it was nice all of us cuddled up enjoying some family movie time.  Even baby Boogie sat through the whole movie!

The kids went to bed tonight and magically Toby (that is what we named him) came to life! Toby made personalized Christmas ornaments out of Scrabble tiles and hung them (the first ornaments to be displayed this year) on the tree.

Day 1: Toby our elf 

Toby also brings a letter from Santa back every morning!  It is written on this free printable Santa letterhead that I found HERE ! The letters from Santa will congratulate the children on the good choices they are making and discuss or remind them about bad choices that could have been made better.  Santa will not nit pick about every little thing but he will remind them that he learned to be forgiving and full of grace from Jesus and God!

Before the kiddos went to bed, Babydoll was displeased that we only had a boy elf on the shelf and not a girl one too! She had seen the girl elves on the DVD so I quickly told her about Toby's twin sister who we went ahead and named Twinkles!  Toby and Twinkles will take turns showing up at our house so the other one can help Santa at the North Pole!  I am too cheap to buy two dolls,(besides the only difference in the boy and girl is that the girl has thicker painted lashes)  and honestly I know that they sell the little skirts for the girl dolls but meh why buy one when I can make one?!?!  So using felt, some ribbon (I couldn't find my snaps) and my hot glue gun, Toby can magically turn into Twinkles!!

I think the skirt looks almost exactly like the one they sell!

So there you go our Elf On The Shelf has begun, I think I might also try to tie in some Elf / Santa recommended Random Acts of Kindness in the letters we get back every morning!  I also alreay love the fact that my oh so original kids named our elves the same names as out dogs!
Elves: Toby and Twinkles
Dogs: Toby and Twinkie

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Candy Dishes

Christmas is my favorite time of the year!  I love the music, making and buying gifts that I know others will enjoy, wrapping presents, decorating, teaching my children about the reason for Christmas and just the whole feel of the season and holiday!

About 4 or 5 months ago I was at a local thrift store and I found these adorable little Christmas dessert plates!  I bought them right away, even though I was wearing shorts and Christmas was still pretty far off, but they cost me only $0.50 and I figured I would find something to use them for!

After letting them gather dust for months, and then forgetting that I had them...I found them today and decided that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I have seen these adorable DIY cakes stands made of candle sticks and plates, they inspired me.  The plates were all the same size so a cake stand wouldn't work but...I could make candy dishes!!!

I still have a few a lot of black candle sticks left over from the wedding and thought that they would accent the colorful dishes, plus they were on hand and free!

I needed something to hold them together....scrounging around in my container of different adhesives I found one that I thought might work.  I honestly don't know how long this will hold them but they seem to be pretty stable and it's not like I will be throwing them around or anything.  I just washed the candy dishes with a soapy dish towel and will wait and see how they hold up!

I just ran a good amount of adhesive around the top edges of the candle sticks...

then placed them upside down on the bottom side of the plates. I followed the directions on the back of the adhesive and let them dry for two hours.  I have picked them up by the candle stick alone, washed them with a soapy dish towel and they are still holding strong!

Now I have cute little Christmas candy dishes to display candy.....for a whole two seconds!  Lets face it with four kiddos, a husband who is addicted to Reese's like it's crack, and me with my dark chocolate obsession...the candy won't last long!! Unless I buy the crappy candy...I may just buy the crappy candy!

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Now  I know that it has been a while since I posted anything but I started a new job...hello Police Dispatcher (sorry Police Telecommunication)!!! The training hours are well....a little obnoxious and I haven't had too much free time recently.  I plan on getting some more posts up soon but I just need to get them all together! So if you click that pretty link below it may just inspire me to get my butt in gear and work faster!!

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Motherhood Holds Many Truths

As a first time mother you can feel overwhelmed, under fed, sleep deprived and just at a total loss! Who am I kidding you can feel that way after one, two or even three kids.  Sometimes, it is difficult to find the good times and just be thankful for all that you have.

I was asked by a fellow mother of four, Susan Burkepile, to review her new book entitled 199 Truths About You and Your Baby.  This is new for me I have not been given the privilege to review anything up to this point, and I am extremely excited that I was given this opportunity.  It never hurts to review something that you absolutely love, it simply makes the review more fun!

I found myself laughing, reminiscing and just simply enjoying myself while reading this lighthearted short book.   Susan Burkepile stuck to the basic truths of being a mother and made it fun and entertaining all the while.  There are 199 truths as the title simply states and believe me I found every single one of them to be true, better yet many of them reminded me of moments with my own children.

Susan Burkepile has this enjoyable book listed on Amazon for the very low price of $0.99 which makes it easy to download to your Kindle, and if you don't have a Kindle you can read it on your PC using Kindle's free Cloud Reader.  There is even the option to gift the book to a friend. If your like me and love to hold an actual book in your hands you can purchase the paper back version for only $4.50. I have already started my list of friends that I plan on gifting 199 Truths About You and Your Baby. I think it would make a fun addition to any baby shower gift!  As a mother I know that there are many things no one tells you about parenting, and sometimes you forget a lot of the truths between children. 

I want to thank Susan Burkepile for the opportunity to read her fun new book and for trusting me to write a review.  I strongly encourage any new or experienced moms to check it out.  I am sure that you will enjoy it as much as I did!  Anything that encourages you to laugh about the perils, cry inducing moments, and simple amazing joys of parenthood is a must read!

To purchase Susan Burkepile's new book you can click on any of the links above or below!

Susan Burkepile also has a Facebook page and if you would like to head over there with any words of encouragement, or thoughts about her book you can click HERE to do so!