Heart Candle Holder

What you need:
• Tissue paper
• Glass jar 
Mod Podge
• Sponge brush

What you do:
• Cut out a strip  of tissue paper that is equal to the width of your jar.
• Cut some tissue paper hearts of different colors and sizes.
• Using a sponge brush, gently brush the Mod Podge around the top and the bottom of the strip of tissue paper.
• When gluing on the hearts, always start your brush strokes from the middle and move out to the edges.
• Cover the entire heart with a layer of Mod Podge.
• Keep adding more hearts until you have finished gluing them all the way around the jar.
• Let it dry.

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Crepe Paper Rosettes

What you need:
• Styrofoam ball
• Crepe paper streamers
• Ribbon
• Sewing push pins
• All purpose glue
• Ruler

What you do:
• Measure your crepe paper strips at 9 x 1  inch.
• Cut.
• Crumple the strips up, to make them softer and more fabric looking.
• Straighten them out.
• Begin to roll. Start small and then get a little looser. Like a real rose.
• Gather the end piece of crepe paper and then add a dab of glue to the outside of the flower, itself, and stick it on the edge.
• Start putting flowers on the ball.
• Use some sewing push pins to adhere the ribbon to the ball.

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Heart Bookmark

What you need:
• Heavy Card Stock
• Utility Knife
• Construction Paper
• Glue Stick

What you do:
• Create a template of a heart, about 1 1/2 inches wide.
• Cut out with a utility knife, and trace onto heavy card stock.
• Copy it at 80 percent, cut out, and trace onto construction paper.
• Cut out both hearts, and use a glue stick to secure smaller patterned heart to center of the larger one; let dry.
• Trace bottom half of inner heart with a utility knife, cutting through card stock beneath. Then your valentine can slip pages between the hearts.

Heart Ornaments

What you need:
• Red-colored felt
• Heart shaped cookie cutters
• Disappearing-ink pen
• Scissors
• Thread

What you do:
• Trace cookie cutters with a disappearing-ink pen on felt.
• Cut out twice.
• Lightly brush glue onto the back sides of colored-felt pieces.
• Sandwich the light-colored piece in between.
• Let dry flat.
• Hang from a length of silver thread, knotting at top.

CD Candle Holder

What you need:
• Candles
• Old CD’S
• Small foil pie tray
• Oven tray
• Access to oven

What you do:
• Place the foil pie tray onto an oven tray. If you can not find a small Pie tray use a metal dish to melt the CD over. Remember to always use Gloves.
• Heat the oven to 350 F.
• Gently place a CD on the foil cup, with the label side up.
• Place it into the heated oven for around 10 Min’s.
• Using an oven glove, push the CD down into the pie tray.
• It should be flexible enough to sink into the tray and shape.
• Allow it to cool and harden.
• Always melt CD’s in a well ventilated area.

Winter Wonderland

Take the Kids Outside.

When the first week of winter weather approaches many parents groan with the thought of their kids being stuck in the house. Life changes with each season change but there are activities that can be done outside during the winter months. Not only does getting outside during the cold months give everyone a change of scenery, it’s also very important to be able to continue staying active. In addition, it will instill lifelong values into your children about the importance of enjoying nature during all of the seasons earth provides us with.
Getting outside during winter is important to keep the family active. Children work well on routines so it is almost not fair to have children busy through fall picking pumpkins, running through apple orchards, and jumping in leaf piles to all of a sudden shut the door to the outside world. They will appreciate continuing outdoor activities and experiencing nature in a different setting. Make sure to be prepared for winter and have clothes that fit children that will keep them warm such as a winter coat, snow boots, warm thick socks, hats that cover little ears, scarves, and gloves.
Children will also benefit doing outdoor activities in the winter by having quality family time. When it is cold outside, it’s easy for parents to get involved in a book, a football game on TV, or be content taking a nap. These types of indoor activities do not involve the children and family time can get lost. When the family gets out as a unit they can focus on each other without distractions from the TV and such. It allows for children to also feel as though this is their time and once they return home they will have exerted enough energy to be tired or at least be more content doing something by themselves.
Here are 17 fun (and cheap) outdoor activities to get you motivated:
1. Go ice skating.
2. Build a winter bonfire and make s’mores.
3. Rent some snowshoes and go snowshoeing.
4. If you have the equipment, go winter camping. If that’s too ambitious, check out your state parks for cabin or yurt rentals. Once you’re there, go on beautiful winter hikes (afterwards, a cozy fire is definitely in order).
5. Take your dog for a walk. It’s one of the main benefits of having and owning a dog.
6. Go cross-country skiing.
7. Attend a dog-sled race. You don’t have to live in Alaska to see one of these – check your state’s Department of Natural Resources page, they usually have a list of upcoming events.
8. Go sledding.
9. Build a fort and have a snowball fight with your kids. Or buy a snow block maker and build an igloo.
10. Take a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and sit outside on your front porch swing.
11. Shovel paths in the snow.
12. Feed the birds or go bird watching. Make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed.
13. Go ice fishing.
14. Go on a winter picnic. Take blankets, sandwiches and hot soup in a thermos
15. Head out on a photo expedition to take pictures of the winter landscape.
16. Set up an obstacle course in the yard with jumps, tunnels and other challenges.
17. Make snow paint. Simply add food coloring to water and put in a spray bottle, then go out and paint your yard!

As your children grow older, they will continue to want to do these activities and even pass them along to their children. Don’t forget to have a nice warm treat to conclude the day, such as creamy hot cocoa.


Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to preserve photos and other memorabilia while at the same time creating a book of memories that is uniquely yours. Scrapbooks can be simple or quite ornate, depending on the artist, but no matter the style, one thing remains true: it’s all about you. Introducing kids to scrapbooking provides opportunities for parents or other caregivers to help children express themselves creatively.

Basic Supplies
Children as young as four or five can begin to learn how to make keepsake scrapbooks. In the beginning, keep it simple. You’ll need a few basic supplies and you are ready to go. What to get:
Album – a basic album is required and for kids, larger is better.
Scissors – regular ones are necessary and it is nice to have a few specialty craft pairs that cut in creative patterns.
Adhesive – you’ll need an adhesive of some type; glue sticks work best for young kids while older ones can usually handle other types without making too much of a mess.
Paper – you can start with a small assortment of colored and textured paper, but be sure that it is acid-free.
Pens – an assortment of colors is nice, but one black pen will do.
Photos – the most important element. Gather some favorite photos and get ready to make some memories!

Rather than merely assembling a variety of miscellaneous photos into a book, try to come up with a theme, which will give the book some consistency. Vacations, summer fun, school days, best friends, or family are all good themes for kids’ scrapbooks. While it’s fine to offer suggestions, allow your child to decide on the theme.

Getting Started
Scrapbooks are as unique as the individuals who create them, but the steps in making a page are pretty much the same every time. In general, there are five basic steps:
• Gather supplies and decide on photos for one page. If you are working with young children, you may want to protect the tabletop before beginning.
• Keep Scrapbooking for kids fun and relaxed. Let go of the idea that all pages need to be perfect. For children, it’s all about the process and working with the materials, not the product or end result.
• Designate certain materials for your kids to use when scrapbooking.
• Scrapbooking for children should be age appropriate. This applies specifically to scrapbooking tools. Your child may be old enough to use scissors, but some of the specially-designed cutting systems for scrapbooking can be too dangerous for young children. Carefully explain the safety precautions.
• Have photos that interest your children available for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking for kids is more fun when they are working with photos that include them.  Does your daughter love stuffed animals? Let her do a whole album with pictures of her stuffed animal collection.
• Use duplicate photos when scrapbooking with children. Then, let them use the photograph any way they wish. You still have an original for your scrapbooks.
• Crop the photos. This simply means cutting the photo to include only the area that you want to use. You can crop pictures in traditional squares or rectangles, or you can trim them into heart, star, or other shapes to make them stand out on the page.
• Matting is optional, and young children often prefer to skip this step. For older kids, however, placing a colored mat on the page behind each picture helps to highlight the photos and gives the page a more finished look. Mats are often cut with specialty scissors that leave a fancy edge.
• Scrapbooking for children should always include journaling. Journaling simply means to write a bit about what is in the photo. This can be as simple as a short caption or can be a detailed story.  Have your children use their own handwriting. Encourage kids to express themselves in the journaling step since this is part of what preserves the memories.  You may need to give your children journaling prompts, but for most children, let them express their own thoughts and feelings on the page layout.
• Mounting is pasting the mats and photos to the page. Show kids several ways to position the pictures on the page to allow room for the captions while making the page visually appealing.
• Embellishments are what really make scrapbook pages different than regular photo albums. Stickers and punch-art help to make the page come to life.
• Teach your children scrapbooking techniques. Again, consider the ages and artistic abilities of your kids. Simple scrapbooking techniques like paper tearing and matting are easy for most children to learn. Older children might enjoy rubber stamping or embossing on their page layouts.

Keeping it Fun
When working with kids, it can be tempting to help them too much. Sure, their pages will probably not have a polished, professional look, but the important thing is that they have fun creating them. Lend assistance only if you are asked for it and keep in mind that you are building memories right now, too!

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Kids Cooking

Cooking is an exciting and novel experience for children. Whether they’re making chili or hot buttered popcorn, the act of cooking provides an instant entry into the adult world.
Here are 10 reasons why you should cook with your kids:

1. Cooking is much better for both of you than eating out. Have you seen the terrible excuses for “kids’ meals” recently? Just because they’re designated “for kids” doesn’t mean that children (or you, for that matter) should assume they’re healthy choices. You’d better believe that some restaurants won’t hesitate to serve up belt-busting options that contain 600 calories and nearly 40 grams of fat, which is part of the reason why child obesity is on the rise! Teaching kids to cook will help instill skills to last them a lifetime.
2.  Boost their self esteem. If your child needs a boost of self confidence, (and who doesn’t!) cooking in the kitchen will do just that. They are accomplishing a task, learning something important and contributing to the family.
3.  Create family time and bonding. Every family has signature recipes. (One of my great-grandmothers was known for her chicken paprikash; another for her sugar cookies.) Teach your kids the staple recipes of your family. They will learn culinary skills, and you’ll get the opportunity to fill them in on their ancestry. (Just remember to have patience. Don’t worry about flour on the floor or spilled milk).
4. Kids will be more apt to eat what they make. Kids who learn to cook are more knowledgeable and interested in healthful ingredients than those who don’t.  Kids generally shy away from foods that seem unusual or foreign. If they don’t know what broccoli is (and it’s true that some don’t), they’re not going to take a risk to find out what it tastes like.
5. Kids learn real lessons in science, language, math and creativity. Cooking will help reinforce all these subjects!
6. What a great way to learn life skills. This can be especially helpful when kids are on their own and won’t have to rely on fast food and junk food to sustain them.
7. They can help contribute to the family. Even if they’ve just stirred the pot or snapped the beans, the pickiest family members will be much more eager to try every dish on the table if they’ve had a hand in the making. No matter if it’s an ingredient they’d usually shy away from, there’s no way they’ll resist sampling their own handiwork.
8. They are working together as a team, whether it is with a parent or with a sibling to get the job done.
9. These skills last a lifetime. They’re small fries now, but eventually, they’re going to grow up and have to fend for themselves. While all the other kids in their dorm are scrounging up change for pizza, your kid will be whipping up a healthy, hearty batch of stew or a pasta primavera for all of his or her roomies.
10. You just might get a nice surprise. Yes, this is all about arming your kids with everything they need for a happy, healthy culinary life, but the more they learn, the better your chances are of waking up to a birthday breakfast in bed, or a surprise Sunday lasagna dinner — made with lots of love.

Easy Ornaments

What you need:
• Watercolor
• Watercolor paper
• Brush
• Glue
• Scissors
• Ribbon, curly wire or ornament hook
• Cookie cutters
• All purpose glue
• Hole punch or needle

What you do:
• Spray down the paper with plain water.
• Paint large areas of color in random areas.
• Use the paintbrush to gently help the paint float together to make the colors touch without blending too much.
• Let it dry.
• Trace your favorite cookie cutters.
• Cut out the shapes.
• Put the front and the back pieces together. Glue.
• Use a hole punch or a needle to put a hole in the top.
• Put a loop of ribbon , a curly wire or a simple ornament hook in the hole to enable you to hang it .

Tip: These also make beautiful gift tags to make a package extra special.

Simple Tree Skirt

What you need:
• Felt, 60 square inches (about 2 yards)
• 2 bulldog clips
• String
• Tailor’s chalk
• Small plate
• Scissors

What you do:
1. Fold the felt in half to create a triangle. Fold the triangle in half to create another smaller triangle.
2. Use the bulldog clip to attach one end of a long string to the folded corner of the fabric. Use the other bulldog clip to secure the other end of the string to a piece of tailor’s chalk. Holding the string taut, swing your “compass” from edge to edge in a quarter-circle, drawing an arc with the chalk.
3. With the fabric still folded and using the small plate as a guide, trace an arc onto the folded, 90-degree corner of the felt. Leave it folded, and use scissors to cut along the trace marks.
4. Unfold the felt halfway, and cut a slit along one of the folds from the edge of the circle cutout in the middle to the edge of the felt.

Felt Mistletoe

What you need:
• Mistletoe template (provided)
• Green felt
• Sharpie or fabric pencil
• Pearl embellishments
•Hot glue or fabric glue
• Ribbon

What you do:
• Cut out the templates and trace around them on your felt using the marker or pencil of your choice.
• Cut out your felt shapes and arrange the sprigs to your liking.
• Glue the stems and leaves where they overlap.
• Arrange your pearl embellishments and glue them in place.
•Tie a ribbon bow around the stems.
• Cut an additional length of ribbon and loop it to create a hanger. 
• Glue it to the back.
• Hang your newly crafted mistletoe above the door.

Reindeer Food

Santa’s reindeer will be hungry when they get to your house.  While Santa’s inside eating the cookies and milk you have waiting for him inside, the reindeer will be waiting outside.  Why not leave them some reindeer food to fill them up!

What you need:
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 2-6 Tablespoons red colored sugar
• 2-6 Tablespoons green colored sugar 

What you do:
 • Mix everything together.
•  Scatter around outside, or place in a plastic bag, adding as much colored sugar as you like for that festive effect.

 You can also give as a gift.  Just tie with a ribbon and attach a gift card with the following poem:

                       Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight. 
                       The moonlight will make it sparker bright.
As the reindeer fly and roam.
This will guide them to your home.