Friday
Dec122014

Inexpensive Teacher Gifts (or gifts for other people in your life)

Teacher do a LOT for our kids. They really do go above their paygrade to teach, nurture and care for our kids. 

So don't forget the teacher when putting together your Christmas list!

Today I am sharing 7 ideas for teachers (or other people in your life). 

Thursday
Dec112014

When you need routine

For the first few months after Issie was born I wandered around my house in a daze.

Our house was always dirty, I could never find a clean spoon and meal times were hit or miss.

I knew I needed a change, but with a baby that didn't sleep and a toddler into everything, that was easier said than done.

Everyday was different, a new set of struggles, a different ball to juggle.

I thrive on routine. My kids thrive on routine. So I had to set some things I place to make life easier.

Finding a routine that works for you is paramount. For me it helps settle my mind and helps me just feel better.

1. Start the day with an empty sink. I try to load my dishwasher and have my sink cleaned and sanitized before putting the kids to bed at night, that way we start the day with a clean slate.

2. Make my bed. Okay, I cheat on this one. I hate top sheets... HATE THEM! So I just pull my comforter up and fluff the pillows. It takes 30 seconds and I can do it with a toddler rolling around in the bed.

3. Throw on a load of laundry. Each morning after breakfast I throw a basket of clothes in the washer. This way I can stay on top of the laundry before it piles up. It might not get folded for several days, but at least it's clean.

4. Plan to eat. I plan out our meals, all of them, in advance. I have a loose meal plan that I work with each week. This saves me time and money everyday.

5. Plan to dress. I also lay out my clothes the night before. Even if I'm not going to be seen I still put my clothe out so I can dress in seconds before my kiddos wake.

What is in your routine? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

 

Wednesday
Dec102014

Hand Print Tile Coasters

Are you looking for a GREAT gift for grand parents? These hand print tile coasters are the answer. They cost pennies to make are will be cherished. 

To get started you will need:

four tiles (these were four inch by four inch tiles) these can be purchased VERY cheeply at your local hardware store

craft pain

sponge brush

mod podge

something to use as backing like moleskin, cork or furniture pads

I had Ry and Issie paint the tile with their sweet little hand and thumb prints. 

I then baked them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool completely before brushing them with Mod Podge to seel them shut. Then I added the backing. 

Then I wrapped them up with some lace and presented them to my mother-in-law. It was a big hit! 

These make a great inexpensive handmade Christmas gift. 

What are some sweet DIY projects your kids have made? 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec092014

Starting Christmas Traditions

I fondly remember our Christmas traditions as a child. I remember drinking hot chocolate at the Christmas parade.

I remember getting in the car to go look at Christmas lights. 

I remember leaving a shoe on the front porch and returning home to find that Mrs. Claus had left a treat in our shoe. (This is something my mother started.)

My mother would make seafood every year on Christmas eve. 

These are fun traditions that you live with, that you carry with you to your own family. 

I love this photo. Our sweet friends at Photo by Frame Photography were kind enough to come to our home last year and take this photo. 

Last year our little boy was just six weeks old when Christmas arrived. So he slept through most of it. 

But this year has been a whole different ball game. 

He loves to playing with Christmas theme toys.


Particularly the Little People Nativity  my Mama gave him last year. 

He loves the way the Baby Jesus lights up. 

He has enjoyed reading Christmas books. His favorite was "O Little Town of Bethlehem" which both lit up and played music. 

Every night Jason reads him two books, one a fun book about Christmas. The other is a story about the first Christmas written for children. My sister was kind enough to give us a HUGE bag of Christmas books last year. So we have plenty to choose from. 

 

He likes looking at the tree, we put it in our sun room to keep him from pulling off ornaments. One year olds are a bit destructive!

He loves dancing to Christmas music and dances to it when we listen on Pandora. 

I even let him watch a little Charlie Brown last night and he loved it. 

But I think my favorite thing we did this year was taking him to "A Walk Through Bethlehem" at a local church. It was a great way to share the story of Christ's birth in a way that the baby could hear, see and thanks to the real live stock, smell. 

It was beautiful and moving and he loved to hear the singing, see the sheep that the "sheperds" were tending to and watch all of the people. 

 Here we are waiting our turn at the church. Clearly the baby is mesmerized by all the Christmas lights!

I am excited to come up with traditions for our growing family and I am excited to watch as my child (and one day soon children) discover all there is to love about the season. 

What are you doing as a family to create memories? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday
Dec082014

See our budget-friendly decorations

Christmas is less than three weeks away. Can you believe that? Is your shopping done? Are the cookies baked? Have you even had time to put up your tree???

I wanted to share with you today some of our budget-friendly Christmas decor. 

 

Since we now have a new house I want to spruce it up with some Christmas decorations. But, I don't want to spend a lot of money. SO this year I limited myself to just $20 to bring a little Christmas magic to my home. 

I use a lot of things I already had, I found some great deals at Goodwill and I spread the Merry all over our little house. 

There is a certain magic about Christmas and I don't want to miss a second of it. So here is a look at our budget-friendly decor. 

Pine cone wreath. 

Wreath I already owned (purchased at the Dollar Tree eight years ago) $0

Ribbon I already owned (also purchased a Dollar Tree eight years ago) $0

Pine cones from my yard $0

I simply wrapped the ribbon around the wreath and secured the ribbon and the pinecone with hot glue. 

Boom! Free (sort of) wreath. 

Ornament Frame


I made this frame last year. It was a cheap frame from the thrift store (I think it was a dollar.)

Poinsettias in a bucket

Two poinsettias $6

One bucket (already had it)

Ribbon from Lowes $3 (but split amongst lots of things)

I hot glued the bow and ribbon on the bucket and called it a day. I then shoved an ornament in there  so... there is also that. 

Upcycled topiary

I bought this little topiary at Goodwill for $3.99. Then I glued on ribbon and ornaments. You can watch the details here: 
 

Tomato cage topiary


This was the thing I was MOST excited about. 

I took an old tomato cage, wrapped some garland I already owned and some lights I got last year and slapped a bow on the top. 

It didn't cost me anything because I already owned it all!

SO you can see I was able to really spruce up our home for Christmas while spending next to nothing! 

So what are some ways you have decorated your home on a budget this season?