Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wishing you a merry Christmas

Spoiler alert: Stop here if you are reading with little ones!!!

Checking out to celebrate the holidays a little earlier this year...

As we prepare to spend time with family this Christmas, I leave you with some pictures of Ernesto (our elf on the shelf) as we capture him doing all kinds of silly stuff around our house...

The kids had a blast with Ernesto's silly antics... I can't help but to think that maybe this is the last Christmas that Miss V will have until she finds out about the truth about the big guy... Which by the way, she said something to me the other day that made me smile and a little sad all at the same time... Her friend in school told her: "Whatever you do don't trust Google, I typed if Santa was real, and the search result said No, is Google crazy or what???"

Have a very happy Christmas everybody... See you back here in a few days!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Origami

Origami making has been the thing to do in our house as of late. First my sister sent Miss V an instruction book with tons of cute things to make for her birthday. Then she gets invited to an Origami making party... Isn't it a fantastic idea for a party? The girls got to learn from a Japanese guy how to make two really cute items and take home a baggy full of origami paper to practice... 

Now, this girl of mine is taking it really serious... What are we to do with all of these cranes?
Display them on the Christmas tree, of course

The Japanese legend says... Make thousand and you can make a wish... 988 to go...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Inspired by Arizona - Making a dream catcher

We saw some dreamcatchers on our trip to Arizona... Miss V wanted one, but not wanting to spend the money I said: "I bet you can make one, prettier than those"... Darned if she didn't...
The purpose of the dreamcatcher is to allow good dreams to filter through… Bad dreams stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day. Good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

We searched YouTube for a video to make one... Find the one we used with a list of the materials here

Friday, December 14, 2012

Menu for the week

Mexican meatball soup - Trying to replicate one we tried at a little Mexican dive in Sedona, AZ/Salad
Spaghetti with a tomatoes, basil and cream sauce/Salad
White bean chicken chilli/Salad
Chicken and vegetable quesadillas/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi $19
Costco $11
Kroger $23

This weekend I am looking forward to staying home. I have been battling a cold for the last week and all I can think about is sleeping late and watching Christmas movies with my kids... We had to cancel a double date with friends :( but I think hot tea and soup with the kiddos sound much better right now...

The tragedy in Connecticut has been on my mind too... I can only imagine the pain of all those affected and it feels horrible... The president said it best : "Our hearts are broken" No much more to say here; my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fabric twist ties

Here is a cute way to dress up a celophane bag full with goodies... Make your own twist ties by using scrap fabric.

It's so easy:
  • Cut out the desired template - Found here.
  • Using a sewing pin, pin template to the fabric and cut out the desired shape.
  • Take two pieces of cut out fabric and apply glue to the reverse side of one. Lay down the wire* and then put the other piece of fabric, reverse-side down on top. (*Alternatively, you can use saved up bread bags twist ties)
  • Allow the fabric twist ties to dry completely.
  • Twist on your bag to give it a cute and different look
Find template patterns here. Idea via here

PS: In case you are wondering, this year I baked chocolate rugelach, palmiers and salted butter chocolate chunch cookies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pictures from the weekend

A few snapshots of our weekend...

Advent making

Nativity scene creating
Santa visiting

Getting in the spirit
Letter dropping
Gift giving
Elf crashing

It's official... We have adopted an elf... We named him Ernesto... After all the resistance, I think the husband and I are having the most fun of all.

Have a happy 12-12-12 !!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I heart Christmas




You love it?

You can do it too... All you need is black craft paper, a heart punch and some tape. Go here for detailed instructions and more ideas...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Menu for the week

Roasted chicken with carrots/Mashed potatoes/Steamed broccoli
Chicken and vegetable soup/Salad
Grilled cheese sandwiches/Homemade tomato soup
Chicken Korma/Rice/Vegetables

Breakdown:

Kroger $40
Costco $12
Aldi $18
Super H $12

After a very stressful week, this weekend will be all about Christmas. We are planning a visit to the big guy, deliver letters filled with holiday wishes, baking cookies for teachers and neighbors and overall Christmas merriment. The kids are impatienly awaiting the visit of the Elf on the shelf (I can't believe we caved... We are planning on taking advantage of it, big time).

I hope you are getting to enjoy this wonderful time to the max...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

{Homemade} fruit roll ups

Thank you Pinterest... I owe you one

Ingredients:

2 x 10 oz packages organic frozen berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry or combination - I used frozen blueberries from our trip to the farm)
1/4 cup of agave nectar
Butter for greasing

Directions:
  • Cut parchment paper to fit and lay into jelly roll pans
  • Grease parchment with butter
  • Defrost berries and place in blender
  • Add agave nectar to berries and blend until well pureed
  • Divide mixture evenly between the two jelly roll pans and spread thin with a rubber spatula

  • Heat oven to 150 degrees (do not heat higher than this or you may cook the fruit as opposed to drying) If you have a convection oven, use this setting to speed up drying process.
  • Place jelly roll pans in 150 degree oven.
When fruit is dry and no longer sticky to the touch (4 1/2-6 1/2 hours for convection oven or 8-12 hours standard oven – depending on the thickness of the puree), remove from oven and cut fruit with parchment still attached into 2″ strips. Roll each strip and place in airtight container.
Hooray for making kid's favorite snacks into healthier versions!

Go here to see homemade Pop Tarts (yes! seriously!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Through their eyes - Arizona

As I told you yesterday, we skipped the Thanksgiving hoopla for some hiking in Arizona. It was so awesome... Words cannot describe. Of course, to keep with the tradition I have gathered a few of the kiddos' favorite activites from our trip. Without further ado, I leave you with a look through my kids' eyes at the Grand Canyon and Red Rock Country in Arizona

A hike on South Kaibab trail, Grand Canyon

Attending a {free} park ranger talk and becoming a junior ranger, Grand Canyon
Spotting super cute animals, Grand Canyon... No Elks though :(

Learning all about the Hopi indian tribes
At the Wupatki National Monument

And at Montezuma Castle National Monument

A drive (with a few stops) in Sunset Crater Volcano National Park

Going on a search for Vortexes in Sedona

At Boynton Canyon, Coconino National Forest

And at Cathedral Rock, Coconino National Forest

Visiting (utterly fantastic) Antelope Canyon

Arizona, We loved you! We can't wait to see more of you!

Are you planning a trip with your kids and need ideas of things to do? Check all my "Through their Eyes" posts here to see the places we've been. It might give you ideas of things to do with your munchkins.

Monday, December 3, 2012

We are back

Hi there! We are back from Arizona!

We may have not had a Thanksgiving feast, but I'll take a sandwich with this view any day
And just to proof we indeed had sandwiches...
"It was here that the romance of my life began."

Theodore Roosevelt's thoughts on the Grand Canyon

So many beautiful things to see here in the good, old US of A... To use Teddy's words we are determined to keep the romance alive... We even got a passport to help us achive our goal. We are planning to stamp the heck out of it. We already started... Check it out...

Stroke of genius: Going to the Grand Canyon on Thanksgiving day was one of the best ideas we have ever had... The crowds were minimal. Also, the temperature was perfect (chilly in the mornings and nights but absolute perfection in the middle of the day... I can't imagine going there any other time...)

Happy Monday friends!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Menu for the week

Ground beef tacos/Rice
Fettucini with pesto and zucchini/Salad
Three bean chilli/Salad
Vegetarian Jalfrezi - Recipe from here/Rice

Aldi $37
Costco $15
Super H $14
Kroger $25

December is here and with it the marathon to the big day starts. Some of the activities we are doing this weekend:

Getting the house decorated
Writing letters to Santa
A little shopping
Making treats to be gifted to friends and neighbors

My goal this Christmas is to enjoy it to the max... I will be embracing it with open arms. We'll be busy with  travel to visit family and other projects  (girls night out, holiday luncheons, cookie exchanges) but I will try my best to not be rushed or {too} overscheduled. I am also hoping for some hunkering at the house with the kids enjoying hot chocolate/cider, baking, crafting and such... But I have to say, it's not looking so good thus far, but I can always hope, right? Right!

Have a great weekend everybody