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Saturday Project: Valentine’s Wreath

50916cba6e5f98d47df125b9f2ffd005I am just starting to get into wreaths for the changing seasons. I made one general wreath that we keep up all the time and one Christmas wreath. For February I thought I’d try my hand at a Valentine’s wreath. The people at Craftionary.com have put together a super list of Valentine’s themed wreath projects for all styles.

Find your favorite Valentine’s Wreath project here!

Christmas Morning Basket

Cartoon_Decorated_Christmas_Tree_with_a_Star_Topper_Surrounded_By_Christmas_Gifts_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_101115-016574-232053As a kid I remember Christmas mornings were always interrupted by someone searching for scissors, batteries, or grabbing a trash bag for all the wrapping paper. In order to minimize the last-minute running around for things on Christmas morning, we use a Christmas Morning Basket.

This simple basket goes under the tree and has all the things we needed for the morning. If you have little kids, be sure the basket is out of their reach or is covers so that they don’t get into things that could hurt them.

Here are some tips of what to put in it:

  • Bible – To read the Christmas story before you start opening presents
  • Scissors or a pocket knife – We prefer using a Swiss Army knife because it is harder for little kids to get into the sharp parts.
  • Batteries (TIP – Take everything out of the packaging and put batteries in before you wrap it! Add some extra batteries to the basket, just in case.)
  • Clear trash bag – For bows, bags, and other wrappings that you might want to re-use
  • Trash bag – For paper, packaging, and anything else you might want to throw away.
  • Small Zipper Bags – For little pieces to games and toys that might otherwise get lost in wrapping paper mess. Snack sized works great for this!
  • Sharpie marker – To write on the zipper bags what the pieces go with or to write names or initials on toys that may be the same as another child’s (e.g. two kids in the same family each get the same stuffed animal.)
  • Screw Drivers – Include a Phillips and flat-head screw driver for any toys you didn’t assemble prior to wrapping or to open battery compartments if you didn’t add batteries prior to wrapping. TIP – We always assemble and add batteries before wrapping presents.
  • Note pad and pen – If you are sharing Christmas morning with someone other than your immediate family, make a note of what gifts they give and who the gifts were for so that you and your children can write thank you cards during the next week.
  • Snacks – Especially if you have little kids or you didn’t eat breakfast before opening presents, include granola bars, breakfast bars, or other healthier breakfast alternatives to keep kids from getting too hungry  while opening presents.

Yes, I Make Them

Recently I have been asked by several people if I actually try the projects I feature on this site. The answer is simple – YES! Some of the projects I followed the featured directions. Some of the projects I tried it another way that didn’t work well, so I found better directions to share with you.

Here are some recent examples of my handiwork:

Large Country Star    Ornament Wreath                         Ornament Garlands

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Country Star III (Large Christmas Star)

DSC_0012So by now you know I love Christmas stars. Of course I am too cheap to buy something new. So I have made stars out of cereal boxes (see Country Star) and paint sticks  (Country Star II). This time I was looking for something larger to hang outside or in our large window over the door and stairs. Enter the yardstick star! A Little Bit Funky as put together an easy tutorial to make this large country star out of yardsticks!

Holiday TV Guide

2079_1383681066If your family is like ours you LOVE watching all the great Christmas programing. Somehow, every year, we miss some show we really wanted to see. This year, I hope to avoid that because of the helpful guide from iheartradio.com. This guide lists all your favorite holiday shows (plus some other great family shows) with the network and airtime so you can make sure to watch or DVR your favorites.

Caution: This list is fairly comprehensive and includes several programs I do not endorse and would not show in my house. Use your best judgement as parents to make sure you don’t expose your kids to entertainers or shows that conflict with your values and vision for your family.

Christmas Ornament Wreath

HOW TO MAKE A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT WREATH.jpgI love using plain monochrome ornaments and decorations at Christmas. To do with the ornament garland for the fireplace and stairs, here is an ornament door wreath tutorial for making a front door hanging out of ornaments.

Tip: To save money and weight you can trim down a pool noodle and duct tape the ends together to make a wreath form.

Tip: Spray paint your wreath form to match your color scheme. Then you will have to worry less about areas that show through.

Holiday Budgets

Cartoon_Decorated_Christmas_Tree_with_a_Star_Topper_Surrounded_By_Christmas_Gifts_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_101115-016574-232053Budgeting for the holidays actually starts months before you ever buy a gift or serve a cookie. Planning your holiday spending into your monthly budget is the best way to ensure that you have the money you need and don’t overspend. You can get a jump on your 2014 Holiday budget with these tips from Christmas Planning: Money.

But what about now in 2013? If you have saved away money and now have some to spend on the holidays here is a great new tool from Dave Ramsey: My Christmas Budget Tool! This tool allows you to set up a total budget amount and then a line for each family member and other gift recipient. You can set a budget amount for each person and add gifts in as you purchase them to make sure you don’t go over your budgeted amount. This tool will keep your spending on track and function as a great way of making sure you get all the gifts you need.