Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Years

Here is wishing you all a Happy New Year may it bring whatever you are seeking for yourself and your families.   

My intentions for the New Year is to bring calmness, a renewal of health and learning to myself and my family.   I have a plan and this year I will try my hardest to stick with it.

I'm so looking forward to the New Year this year. I have signed myself up for some classes that I can't wait to start.   First off I have joined Cathy Zielske's Big Picture class Move More, Eat Well.   

Move More, Eat Well 2012   

I just love Cathy's sense of humor and the way she just tells it like it is.     I am looking to change a few things in my life and this will help with a couple of them.  Also I have lined up a seat in  Ali Edwards Big Picture class One Little Word.   


I am so looking forward to this class.  I've wanted to join it last year but had to much on my plate to commit to it, but I am making time for it this year.

I can't wait to see what the New Year will bring and feel so blessed that I have  the life I do. Here's hoping your New Year is a Happy ONE!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Preparing for the New Year

Christmas has come to the end and now all you have left are piles every where.  Piles of empty boxes, piles of Christmas cards (hopefully you saved those envelopes that they came in).  Well you get the idea right?  It's time to get ready for a New Year.  I'm going to share with you some of my organizing tips to get me ready for the New Year.

Update Address Book

I always start right after Christmas getting ready for my New Year.  The first thing I do is take that pile of Christmas cards sort them.  So that I can update my address book.

This is what I look for:

  • I look for any cards that were returned to me
  • I look for cards from family and friends that have bought new homes 
  • I look for information like newly weds (usually they have new addresses), new babies names etc.
While updating my address book I always try to remember did anyone get a new cell phone this Christmas and I make a note of that.  (My nieces and nephews always seem to get new phones around this time and it never fails that someone has a new phone #). 

Remember - at this time of year you are supplied with so much great information (look at those friends and families newsletters and cards and look for that special information) don't waste time and think that you will remember to do it later, do it now.

Clean Desk off

Next on my list of things to organize is my desk.  I don't know if you are like me but at this time of year my desk seems like a great big pile of papers.   Here are some of the things I do..

  • I sort through my check statements and look for any medical bills that were paid during the year and put them into a tax file for this year.
  • I gather up mortgage statements, house tax paper work, interest statements and 1099 I will be receiving and place them in one file marked Taxes.
  • I file away this year credit card statements, bank statements, and make new files for the coming year. (I try to keep only one year of statement in my desk then I move them to the file cabinet)
  • I take the time to make a list of office supplies I need. Also I take a note of what school supplies the kids might be missing and buy them too.
  • I have a bill binder that I keep track of my bills with an excel sheet so I update that.
  • I also have a home binder book and as much as I try during the year to keep that tidy it never fails that I always have a pile of things that I have to update or file away in there too.
  • I get out the new calendar and look up kids school information for the coming new year and put special dates on the new calendar. I mark down important dates like birthdays, anniversaries and upcoming events too.
  • In my desk I always seem to have one draw that gets full of junk, where miscellaneous things seem to pile up - so I take the time to sort through those things and get rid of any thing I don't need.
  • During the year if I have purchased any major appliance for the home I keep warranty information and manuals in my home binder.  Usually at this time of year it never fails that I forgot to file some of those away so I do that at this time too.
  • Usually when I get done cleaning my desk out I always have a pile of papers that have private information that I don't want seen so I schedule a couple of days to shred those types of papers.
There is nothing like a clean desk to get the New Year off to a great start.

Getting the house organized

There are so many great sites out there with organization tips so I won't bore you with a whole list of my preparation.   I will share with you a few of those sites that I found this year.  What I wanted to say here is a year ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs called Clover Lane and she gives out organizational tips too.  The one thing that stuck out to me is the way she approaches organizing her house.

She said, that she looks at her house as if she was going to put it up on the market to sell.  She pretends that she is about to have an open house.  She goes through each room and makes a list of things that need to be organized, de-cluttered, and fixed.  Then she breaks down each of those thing down and assigns a time or  a month when she knows that she can tackle those problems.  Isn't that brilliant!

Here are a few of the websites that I found had great organization tips.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adventures of Penny our elf

Penny Adventures this week ....

Penny took on my elf decoration in a shoe race in  the beginning of the week.  As you can see
Penny was way out in front and she won the race hands down.

The next day Penny decided to strap on some skies and pile up a bunch of our couch pillows and had fun skiing down.  I love how she used candy canes for her ski poles.

Penny and friends were bored and decided to play clue.  My daughter is still wondering what character Penny used.

Penny had a sick day on Thursday.  Poor thing.  She didn't do to much but laid around and take medicine that day.

Penny bounced back from her cold on Friday and decided to hold a scavenger hunt for my daughter.  The note above says, "Ready to find my surprise for you, here's your first clue".  It was so fun.  She had my daughter running all over the house.  She even left a note on my daughter's bed saying you know you should make your bed this next clue will be harder on you.   At the end of the scavenger hunt Penny left a small present hidden in our Christmas tree for my daughter.

On Saturday Penny gave my daughter an elf candy cane garden packet.   She left what look like to me and my daughter a bag of oatmeal and a crushed up peppermint candy and instructions saying to plant the candy cane seeds in the North Pole dirt, give it a few drizzles of water and watch it grow.
All day my daughter kept on checking to see if anything grew but nothing happen.  Hmmm is this a trick my daughter wondered.

To our amazement it was not a trick.  We woke up Sunday morning with Penny sitting on the bowl and Three huge candy cane containers filled with M&Ms.   My daughter was laughing so hard. She thought for sure Penny was playing a joke on her yesterday, but she was glad she didn't.

We are coming down the home stretch this week, so stay tuned to find out what Penny will do next.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lemon Hand Scrub

Homemade Christmas gift - Lemon Hand Scrub

Materials Needed:

Grape Seed Oil (found at grocery store)
Vitamin E oil (found at Hobby Lobby)
Lemon fragrance (found at Hobby Lobby)
Glass bottles (found at Hobby Lobby)
Pattern Paper

Lemon Hand Scrub

I have a seen a lot of recipes for Lemon hand scrub on the internet, however, I have modify that recipe.  I live in the Midwest and winters here are hard on your skin.  I was looking for a scrub that would not only exfoliate but moisturize my skin.  While doing my research I found that Grape seed oil is used in many cosmetics. It's a traditional remedy for stretch marks and can be used on delicate areas of the face, such as under the eyes. Grape seed oil is high in vitamin E and spreads well on the skin.  Linoleic acid, a main component of grape seed oil, has been used for decades to treat eczema and dry skin.  I just love how my hands feels after using this scrub.

Mix together 2 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup of Grape Seed Oil, 2 drops of Vitamin E oil, 4 drops of Lemon fragrance into a bowl. 

I found my Vitamin E oil and Lemon fragrance in the soap section of Hobby Lobby. 

Once Mixture is all mix start filling your bottles.  I found my bottles at Hobby Lobby too.   I made a tag in my Photo Shop Element program cut it out and cut some pattern paper to back it then I tied it to the bottle with ribbon. 

These are very easy and fast to make and would make excellent Christmas gifts for teachers, or great for anyone with very dry skin or who is suffering from eczema. 

This post was posted on Not  Just a Housewife, and Todays Creative Blog

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Adventures of Penny our Elf

Umm ....... Dear Santa we need to talk

What can I say -  Penny has been up to no good again.   Every time I turn around that elf is into mischievous.  I was under the impression that she was here to keep track of my daughter behavior, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.  

Any ways here's a peek at Penny adventures this week.

She was caught drinking straight out of the syrup bottle.  I was a little concern that with that much sugar in her that she would be bouncing off the wall that whole day.

She gathered some friends around the house and made a fort and ate a lot of candy that they took for our candy jar.  (friends pictured above:  one of my snowman decorations, one of my daughters favorite stuff animals)  Needless to say I was worried again that she would be bouncing off the walls

OMG!!!  That elf found a marker and she went all around the house marking up all of our pictures.  I'm still not sure if I got all the pictures cleaned up.  I was not happy on to say the least.

On this day she must of been really bored because she went into the cabinet and took out some of my daughters favorite snack (gold fish crackers) and she pretended that she was fishing.   Cute but cmon !

On this day she moved her sleeping bag under the Christmas tree and took one of my fake candles and started to roast marshmallows.

And finally on this day she was caught talking with our Santa decoration.  What does the sign say you ask???

Naughty or Nice????  Then when I was doing my morning routine checking my e-mails.  I found a video message to my daughter from none other than Santa Claus.   In the video message Santa talked to my daughter about her year and then he had his elf look up if my daughter was on the naughty or nice list. 

This is a sample of the message (nothing happens when you click on it).  Go visit  Portable North yourself and you might just find that your child can get a message too.

Well it was a tough week in our house this week with our elf.  Here's hoping that next week will be different (something tells me it won't).


Monday, December 5, 2011

Adventures of Penny the Elf


Thanks for checking back in.  I have to say that our darling little elf has been keeping herself very busy lately.  You ask what has she been up to?  Well lets see .....

She took over my daughter's bedroom while she was at school and even made a little sign to let my daughter know what she had in mind.

Then there was a time that I came down into the kitchen in the morning to find her ,,,,,,

yes that's right that's her riding my daughters stuff Rudolph and if you are thinking to yourself is she tied to the ceiling fan you would have guest right.   I'm telling you it's been really hard to keep up with this elf.  It seems that she gets bored and finds different ways to amuse herself.

She also has embarrassed my daughter by

hanging my daughter's underwear on our Christmas tree.  My daughter keeps telling me that I shouldn't get mad at Penny that she only trying to keep herself busy so she doesn't miss the North Pole and I guess she has a point there but really how much more can this elf possibly do??????

Simple Advent Calendar

Materials used

knitted mittens and Stockings (purchased at target)
scrap paper
number stickers

Last year was the first year I used an advent calendar like this and I'm happy to say that its has become a tradition in my house.  So far we have made a different advent calendar each year but one thing stays the same we fill each day with an activity for my daughter to do.   I saw this idea on Ali Edwards blog last year but I modified it to fit our family.   I also have a special box that we picked out last year which holds sometimes surprises or maybe the materials needed to complete a certain activity.

The box holds surprises that our connected with the advent calendar.
It may hold material for a project or even surprises for her.

This years advent calendar came together very quickly,  I spotted these mittens at target and knew immediately what I would use them for.  

Here are few examples of the activities....

1.Surprise a neighbor and bake cookies and bring them to them
2. Buy a toy to donate to our local charity toy drive ( I wanted to teach her that Christmas is not about just getting gifts)
3. Take a Big Girl Bubble Bath  (this is one of my daughter favorite one)
4. Read a Christmas story (each year I try to get three new Christmas books for her to read)
5. Make a gift for the birds (In the special box I put all the materials for her to make a bird feeder out of a pine cone.  I give her a small jar of peanut butter, pine cones, and I fill a small zip lock bag full of bird seeds)
6. Game night pick out one game to play with mom and dad
7. Get your warmest PJs on and let's go for a ride to look at the Christmas decoration and lights.
8. Watch a Christmas movie (we have a basket full of Christmas DVD for her)
9. Make a card for your teacher
10,  Write grandma or grandpa a letter
11. Christmas tree camp out (this one is my daughters favorite - We act like we are having a camp out.  We light a fire in the fire place and make smores and all the lights in the house are turned off and when it's time to go to sleep we pull out our sleeping bags and sleep under the Christmas tree)
12. Go see the lights at the zoo
13.  Surprise Dad with movie tickets (This one is my favorite usually we do this one when things need to been done around the house that need to be done without the kids around if you know what I mean.  I usually grab a Movie Theater gift card and put in the special box for her to give to her Dad)

This has been a fun new tradition and I think it's going to be around for years to come.


Friday, December 2, 2011

December Daily - Dec 1

December Daily 2011

This is my second year doing a December Daily album.  My first year I decided to do it all digital and it turn out great.  However, this year I decided to mix things up and do both digital and hybrid pages.  Things have been kind of busy around here with decorating and getting ready for my dd birthday coming soon.  So I don't have all my foundation pages put together.   I also didn't get a chance to take a picture of my second page of Dec 1st, but here is a peak at the first page.

I will take a picture and post it with Dec 2nd  post.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's that time of year again

Yup, it's time for a visit from our elf friends.  This year Santa decided to send my dd a new elf, her name is Penny.  Last year my daughter had Patrick the elf but I guess he didn't get all of his work done at the North Pole this year to come to our house so instead Santa made the decision to send Penny.

Penny is a very sweet elf and she decided to come early this year.   To introduced her self she planned a very nice North Pole breakfast for her and my dd.   She even brought all the food.  She brought powder donuts and hot chocolate (the only things is it wasn't really hot according to my dd)  I explained to my daughter that she does come from the North Pole and maybe that's the way they have it there.

Penny really out did her self with this breakfast.  Not only did she bring all the food but she even brought my dd a note from Santa and a present.

Letter from Santa

                                                          Present from Penny the Elf

                                    Stay tuned in for the many adventures of Penny the elf.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Christmas Decoration

Today I am going to show you how to make simple Christmas Decorations.   That don't cost an arm and a leg.

Materials Needed:

Glass jars ( Some of these jars I had already at my house, however, I did go to the dollar store and
 purchased one for $1)
Epsom Salt
Greenery Picks ( I picked up mine at my local dollar store)

First I poured the epsom salt into the jar, then you place your picks or other objects and that is all there is to it.  Simple, fast and easy but the results are so cute.   Be creative with it use things that are laying around your house. 

I pick this glass jar at the dollar store, then I raided my daughter animal toy bin, also I made the sign and added a pick and some small pine cones.  I purchased the glass jar, epsom salt, pine cones and picks from my local dollar store.  This cost me only $3 to make.

This jar I had already at my house, I just wanted to show you that you can use decorations that you have laying around your house.  The snowman was given to me a while ago, the bunnies were from my daughters animal toy bin and the ribbon I had laying around the house.  The possibilities are      endless so have fun with it.                                                        


P. S.  This post was linked to Not Just a Housewife, and Today's Creative Blog , The Inspired Colllection                                

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Wreath


Grapevine wreath (Hobby Lobby $1.99)
White felt (.50 @ Hobby Lobby)
Greenery Pick ($1.00 @ Family Dollar)
Ribbon ($1.00 @ Family Dollar)
Glue Gun

This was really super easy to put together.  Just right for those small areas in the house that just need a little something.

To make the felt roses I just got cut different sizes of circles and then cut each circle into a spiral and rolled and glue them.

Then I hot glued the greenery pick with my hot glue gun on to the wreath along with the felt roses.  Tie a ribbon for the wreath to hang from and then your done.

This post was added to Not Just a Housewife, Todays Creative Blog

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekernd in Review

What I want to remember about this weekend .....

That I took my daughter to get her ear pierce.  She was excited yet still nervous. It's kind of funny how the past repeats itself because I was the same age as her when my mom had my ear pierced.  I held off on getting her ear pierce until I knew she wanted to do it.  After getting her ear pierce we had fun picking out some earrings.