We aren’t the most original when it comes to gift-giving to teachers during the holidays. I think I’ve given a coffee mug and Starbucks gift card to my children’s teachers for both Christmas and Valentine’s day every year since they started school. This year isn’t entirely different; however, I did deviate from my night-before-the-classroom-party run to Starbucks by planning a week in advance AND organizing a mug decorating craft so that my children could create a personalized cup for each of their teachers. (more…)
This weekend marked our annual gingerbread decorating day. It’s become a Christmas tradition, and I’m surprised by how much J + J continue to love this activity, even as they get older and the latest wave of popular obsessions (Star Wars, Minecraft, etc.) seem to dominate their time. This year’s gingerbread decorating, however, didn’t exactly escape the hold of popular culture. In fact, Jenna’s Shopkins toys were the focus of her gingerbread endeavor this year.
For those who aren’t familiar with Shopkins, they are are tiny plastic toys that personify everyday consumer products – things like eggs, notebooks and shoes. Truth be told, they are pretty cute, and their names further their appeal. Mary Mobile is a mobile phone, Kooky Cookie is, of course, a cookie and there’s even Ginger Fred, a gingerbread house. Jenna has amassed quite a collection of these adorable characters over the past couple of months.
Jenna not only used her gingerbread house as the site of a Shopkins character party, she also filmed a video in which she narrated a story of the little figures as they gather around the house to celebrate Christmas and mostly comment on the decorations of the house.
In the past two months or so, Shopkins have become huge at our house. They’ve even become inspiration for the art Jenna creates. Meet Snow Crush, a season one special edition that Jenna painted in watercolors:
And even Jason is willing to play Shopkins alongside his sister. Shopkins are perfectly scaled to his Minecraft minifigures, so Minecraft/Shopkins mash-ups games have become part of their daily routine.
This weekend we visited Magnolia Market, the home decor shop owned by the stars of the HGTV series, Fixer Upper. We’ve been fans of the show for nearly a year now, and with Waco less than 2 hours away, we decided to take a road trip. I had visited their smaller shop over the summer, but was blown away by the significantly larger new location. With two giant silos, a garden, large lawn for children to play and two warehouse-sized showrooms, it was definitely worth the drive. In addition to the gorgeous holiday scenery, the market featured tons of products and ideas for decorating during the Christmas season. (more…)
I finished Jenna’s classroom Valentines yesterday, and while I usually prefer to avoid giving candy to kids on Valentine’s day (see here, here and here for non-candy ideas), I have to admit I’m super thrilled with how these turned out. Jenna picked out the small conversation heart containers at Michaels, and we filled them with Valentine’s M&Ms. (more…)
My daughter often leaves me notes at night wishing me a good night’s sleep, telling me what a great day she’s had or planting an idea in my mind for something we can do the following day. Sometimes she gets more inventive, like the time I opened my bathroom drawer to find a note that simply said “you are going to be pritty!” How awesome is that? Now I return the favor with lunchbox letters and bedside good morning notes.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to have a stash of Valentine’s cards on hand for our daily love notes, so last weekend I set up a make-you-own-Valentine’s craft table. (more…)
I was working on my next post for Modern Parents, Messy Kids this weekend, and I decided to do a test run of glass etching before tackling the project for the post. I had the impression that creating an etched glass effect would be difficult, but it turned out to be incredibly easy.
If you need any last-minute gift ideas, or if you are delivering cookies to anyone this week and want to personalize the container, I highly recommend this etched glass project. (more…)
Remember last year when we participated in our town’s holiday home tour? (if not, see here, here and here). Well, this year’s Christmas decor is decidedly minimal in comparison. We have our reasons, but they’re a secret, at least to our children. So when I found out that my son asked my husband last night “when are we going to decorate for Christmas,” I felt a little guilty.
We can’t tell him why, but I’m willing to bet, on Christmas Day, he won’t mind a few less wreaths on the walls and significantly less glitter on the floors. (more…)
Decorating gingerbread houses is an annual holiday tradition in our family. This year’s two-house event was definitely scaled down compared to last year’s village creation, but we still had a messy fun time and Jason’s house definitely achieved a new record of colorfulness. Before we began, I separated all of the green, red and white Jelly Bellies from the rainbow of colors … to maintain a common palette, of course. Somewhere along the way, however, Jason discovered the banned colors and covered his roof in them. And I have to admit, his house is my favorite one yet. (more…)
Last year, I fell in love with the trend of displaying trees in woven baskets. This year, it’s trees in vintage crates. I love the rustic look of natural trees in wooden boxes – such a great idea for Christmas decorating. Here’s how to get the look in your holiday decor: (more…)
Last year, we visited relatives for Thanksgiving and my aunt had a perfect activity to involve my then-five-year-old daughter in the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal: making flower arrangements for the table. My first thought was, scissors, glass, water? Been around young children much? But then I watched my daughter carefully pour, cut, and arrange to her heart’s content. She loved creating the centerpieces, and it turned out to be a simple and easy way to involve her in what is often a hectic day of kitchen mayhem.
This Thanksgiving, I brought back the tradition of Jenna-created floral centerpieces. And it was such a hit, I think she’s officially in charge of all future floral arrangements chez Dyer. (more…)
Now that Thanksgiving is a wrap, we’re turning our attention to Christmas, which immediately brings to mind the subject of advent calendars. While I love the way advent calendars weave holiday excitement into the month of December, I’ve never been a big fan of giving our children extra gifts leading up to a day full of even more gifts.
This year, I’m trying a new way of counting down to the big day – one that I hope will place more emphasis on giving than receiving. I’ll share the details of the plan on the Tiny Prints blog next week. In the meantime, I’ve posted a free editable Photoshop template here and be sure to check out the Tiny Prints holiday collection.
Check out the Tiny Prints blog for more details on our approach to counting down to Christmas this year, including top ideas for getting your children involved in charitable giving. (more…)
When I wrapped up this project for my recent guest post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I was feeling well ahead of the Thanksgiving curve. Our linens were hand-stamped, our turkey napkin holders were created, and we still had several weeks to wrap up any outstanding details.
Now we’re less than 2 days from Thanksgiving, and the possibility of my daughter creating place cards using post-it notes is becoming more likely. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the first time she made impromptu name cards with post-it notes.
To avoid this fate, I’ve assembled a few ideas for super simple place cards, all of which use easy-to-find materials. Now I just have to choose a favorite.
Christmas Photo Cards are an annual tradition in our family. Last year I framed all of our past cards and displayed them in the kitchen during the holiday months (and maybe a few months after). This year, we’re continuing the tradition, but the addition of this year’s card caused us to exceed the wall space in the kitchen. Luckily we have a living room with completely bare walls just waiting to be filled. (more…)