advent calendar activities {2016}

Welcome to another season of Pinterest Christmas!

Pinterest Christmas

My first project for the year was to come up with activities to fill the buckets of our diy advent calendar. I am so excited for all of our fun activities this month. When I sit down to make the list of activities, I always have my calendar out so I know what fun things we already have planned so I can fill those buckets first. Next, I fill in the remaining weekend days since those days are good for more time-intensive activities. I fill in the remaining days with activities that worked well in the past, or with new ideas from Pinterest. This year, my friend Lindsey shared her list with me, so I borrowed some of her ideas to mix in some new ones.

{1} Find Sprinkles the Elf [on the Shelf]
{2} Mail Christmas cards
{3} Go to Disney Springs to see the Christmas decorations
{4} Build a gingerbread house
{5} Make reindeer chow
{6} Have snowflake pancakes for dinner
{7} Get a blizzard at DQ
{8} Wear Christmas pajamas and read Christmas books
{9} Listen to Christmas music
{10} Build a “sand” man at the beach
{11} Donate toys and clothes to others
{12} Kenley shops for Crosby’s gift
{13} Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
{14} Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon
{15} Make a Lego Christmas ornament
{16} Family movie night: The Polar Express
{17} Crosby shops for Kenley’s gift
{18} Go to Sea World to see the Christmas lights
{19} String popcorn for the Christmas tree
{20} Drive around and look at Christmas lights
{21} Celebrate Christmas with friends
{22} Roast marshmallows over the fire and makes s’mores
{23} Make Christmas cookies for Santa
{24} Go to the Christmas Eve service at church

Some activities are small compared to others, but I don’t want to over commit ourselves or feel like we are rushing from one thing to the next. The point is to enjoy the Christmas season together as a family and that is what we intend to do! You can see our previous activities here and here.

Keep an eye out for other fun projects coming soon as part of Pinterest Christmas and don’t forget to check out Misha’s projects at Emerald City Diaries.

You can also see past Pinterest Christmas projects here.

Happy December!

Pinterest Christmas: DIY Cookies in a Jar

I am finally here to share my first Pinterest Christmas project with you!

Pinterest Christmas

This year, I made (actually, I am in the process of making) cookies in a jar for the teachers at the kids’ school. I went with the Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie because I asked Greg and our friend Ryan what cookie they would prefer to receive as a gift and the answer was “oatmeal”. I figured the cranberry white chocolate makes it a little more festive since this is a Christmas gift. I found the recipe through Pinterest (obviously) from Thrify Jinxy.

Here are all of the ingredients and supplies needed:

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I got majority of my ingredients at Aldi (which is another blog post for another day) except for the brown sugar since they didn’t have any. The 32 ounce ball jars were purchased at Ace Hardware for $10 for a case of 12! Do not purchase these from your local craft store… they are way more expensive. Michael’s had them priced at $3 PER JAR!

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My original game plan was to do one ingredient at a time over several jars, but after I made the first complete jar, I just continued to go one jar at a time. Here are a few things I learned from the process —

I do not own an 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon, so I eyeballed the measurement using my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon.

You will make a mess in the process and if you have little ones, they will want to help, which means they will want to eat all of your white chocolate chips.

Once you start adding in the ingredients, you may think they aren’t all going to fit in the jar, but it really ends up fitting perfectly every single time.

The layers of your jars though will not be perfect. I know, this was a hard one for me to swallow, but some of my jars looked better than others. Live with it!

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I really love how they turned out! I am planning to add a little ribbon with the instructions for baking tied on to them, but right now, I just like to admire my hard work. I definitely recommend these cookies in a jar if you are still thinking about giving some homemade gifts this year!

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Don’t forget to link up to the Pinterest Christmas 2015 linky party with your Christmas crafts the entire month of December. Click the link below to add your blog link!

Also, don’t forget to check out what Misha is crafting over at Emerald City Diaries!

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday!

o n e

girl main header group with ellen

I love Ellen and I love the GapKids + Ed by Ellen collaboration. This shirt is my favorite:

// embellished graphic tee //

t w o

The Mets are on fire right now and we’ve been pretty stoked about it. This play from last night’s game was unreal and we were actually watching while it happened.

t h r e e

In the spirit of the Halloween and fall season upon us, I’ve added these to my to-do list! How adorable?!

Brit + Co. DIY Basics: Ombre Wine Bottles

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Now it’s your turn! What are you loving this week?

Hop on over to see what these ladies are loving this week!

Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica // Ashley

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*this post contains affiliate links.

diy Christmas ornaments + decor

pinterest christmas diy

This week I’m sharing a hodge podge of different little crafts I did to decorate this season. You know how much I love to make ornaments, so I continued that tradition this year. After finding this adorable fabric scrap ornament, I dug up a pack of styrofoam balls that I had purchased way back for probably a very good reason, which I cannot remember now. I also had a little bit of scrap fabric left over from my Christmas garland I made last year, so this project was a freebie! I started with the ribbon and a stick pin so I could hang my ornament. I then cut the fabric into (approximately) one inch squares and started poking them into the styrofoam ball. The fabric stuck on its own, so I didn’t need any pins. I would imagine you could use any tool that has a sharp point. I ended up using a this little cleaning gadget that came with my sewing machine. I love how it turned out and I definitely want to make more in the future.

diy ornaments

diy ornaments

The other ornament I made this year was Crosby’s birth announcement ornament! Misha also made one for Eloise and did a little tutorial on it, so check that out here!

diy ornaments

This year I felt like I needed more festive decor for our TV unit in the family room. I had my eye on these waterless snow globes and felt like they would be perfect. I picked up a few extra Ball jars at Jo-Ann Fabrics (they also make smooth edge jars too!), as well as the fake snow. I found the trees on Amazon for $12. The small globes are candle votives that weren’t getting used in the house, so I decided to use them. I used the flat lids of two other Ball jars and attached them to the votives with spray adhesive. They look great from a distance, but not the best up close. I should have spray painted the lids white, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. They look great where they are!

diy christmas decor

Along with the snow globes, made a little festive vase. The (p)inspiration came from these JOY bottles and I just modified it a little bit. If Santa were to bring me a Cricut machine for Christmas, you will probably be seeing these JOY bottles again next year. For this project, I used one of the many frappucino bottles I have tucked away and painted it with the frosted glass spray paint. I put three rubber bands around the bottom of the bottle to make three stripes. I filled the bottom of the bottle with fake snow and put in two stem of cranberries.

diy christmas decor

Thanks for keeping up with our Pinterest Christmas projects this season. For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

diy gift wrap cart

pinterest christmas diy

Leading up to Christmas, I had been wanting to get my gift wrapping essentials in order and under control. They were all thrown into our “junk room” and were in complete disarray. I would have loved to have a dedicated space in the house for gift wrapping, but I knew it probably wasn’t feasible, nor the smartest use of space since most of my gift wrapping happens in the last three months of the year. The inspiration for the gift wrap cart came from Pinterest, of course, and Ana White. I also found a similar cart sold at Crate & Barrel this season!

Greg had the day off on Friday, so he got to work on this project for me. He says that his way of relaxing and enjoying a day to himself is by building things in the peace and quiet, so I take full advantage of this! He followed the supplies list and instructions from Ana White and put it all together without any problems. Since he put it together, he has thought of some things that he would have done differently in the process.

diy gift wrap cart

 diy gift wrap cart

diy gift wrap cart

The top tray holds my scissors, tape, pen, and gift tags. The middle shelf holds the smaller gift bags, as well as tissue paper; and the bottom shelf has boxes and bows. Eventually, I may have him put another hook on the opposite side if I keep acquiring more gift bags.

diy gift wrap cart

I plan to keep the cart in our office, so I can swap out the holiday gift wrap for birthday and seasonal gift wrap during the year and have everything at my fingertips if I need it. You know how much I love organization, so now that this area is organized, I am thrilled!

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

diy advent calendar

Welcome to week one of Pinterest Christmas!

pinterest christmas diy

Greg and I have been searching for the perfect advent calendar since last Christmas. I couldn’t break down to spend a lot of money on the one I really loved and it eventually sold out. We searched this year for one that we could do ourselves and I am so happy we did! Our inspiration came from Our Vintage Home Love and her inspiration came from Pottery Barn, so of course it was right up our alley.

Four 1×3 boards, 6 feet long
One 1×2 board for the trim
Stain
Maze nails, 2 1/2 inches
Two 12 pack mini metal buckets
Chalkboard stickers

The long 1×3 boards were cut down to make seven 34 inch smaller boards. Greg used the Kreg jig and made pocket holes to join the boards. He used the 1×2 as the trim and used the nail gun to attach the trim.

diy advent calendar

diy advent calendar

Before we stained the boards, we measured where to hang the nails for the buckets, which was the hardest part of the whole project. We tried to make it as accurate as possible by laying out the buckets to get a general idea where the nails would be. Once we had the buckets laid out, we marked the board with a pencil. Greg pre-drilled the holes to make the nails fit easier and to ensure the boards did not split when we hammered in the nails. Once the holes were drilled, it was on to the stain. We already had a can of stain from previous projects that we used to stain the boards.

diy advent calendar

After the stain was dry, we hammered in the nails. I added the chalkboard stickers to the buckets and wrote the numbers, then it was time to hang the buckets!

diy advent calendar

I am so happy with how it turned out. It has a great rustic feel to it and I know it will be used for many years to come. I wasn’t sure where we would put it once it was done, but we have the perfect spot for it in our entry way.

diy advent calendar

diy advent calendar

I am also thrilled and so thankful that the advent calendar is featured in the holiday issue of The Moms Magazine that came out last week! I shared the list of the fun, family friendly activities that we are using  to fill the buckets over on Orlando Moms Blog, so be sure to check that out too!

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

Pinterest Christmas // 2014

pinterest christmas diy

I am so excited to be co-hosting the third annual Pinterest Christmas blog series happening in December! Each week the hosts will be sharing Pinterest-inspired projects related to the holiday season. The projects could be anything from decorations and crafts to traditions and recipes. Each of us will be sharing our projects in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We would love for you to join in on the fun. Plan your projects, post them, link back to one of our posts, and leave us a comment! Not a blogger? No problem, we’d love to see your projects on Instagram! Use the hashtag #PinterestChristmas2014

The hosts:

[Emerald City Diaries | Greg & Maggi |  The Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]

Need some inspiration? Check out the posts from the previous two years here.

Happy crafting!