Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fun Holiday Gift for Toddler Friends + Christmas Crafts

Ellie and Summer made "reindeer food" on Sunday using old-fashioned oats and a variety of Christmas sprinkles. They had fun all while making a big mess (thank goodness for the dust buster). Then, I printed out these reindeer tags, filled treat bags from Target and tied with string. Ellie made a bag for each of her friends and we are in the process of dropping them off. It's a fun gift idea for toddlers and such a cute idea. I had never heard of it until we received a bag from her friends last year. 

The poem reads:
"Sprinkle on your lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home." 

Ellie created these Christmas tree ornaments a few weeks ago. I found the craft idea on Pinterest and we already had the supplies:

colored popsicle sticks
tiny pom pom balls
star stickers (or you can cut out stars and glue to the trees)
I broke one popsicle stick into three pieces to make the tree trunk. Then, we used a star sticker which fit perfectly at the top of the tree. I tied string at the top to make the ornament. On the back we wrote her name and date. It makes a great gift for grandparents or to attach to the top of a gift. 

Another craft I saw on Pinterest is the paper tree. It's so easy and perfect for little hands! We already had a variety pack of colored construction paper so I cut long strips and Ellie cut them into shorter pieces. She placed the strips on the sheet of paper using glue. I cut out a tree trunk and star for her to attach, as well.

We gave her teachers foot print snowmen and are currently working on Santa hand prints. You can see our print artwork from last Christmas here and a few other Holiday crafts here. And, Ellie made this one at school, which is adorable:

Merry Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

First, my sister came home Thursday night so the girls and I stopped in to see her Friday morning. It's so nice to have her home for the Holidays. We haven't seen her in 6 months and won't again for a while, but I don't want to think about that... Friday evening we went back to my parents to decorate their tree and have dinner. We do this every year and each time it takes less time with all the kids helping.

My Dad helping Summer hang some ornaments. She is proud of herself!

Saturday morning I tried my first hot yoga class with my sister and sister in law. It was great! I got a great deal with Groupon for a month of unlimited classes. I plan to go a few times a week. Lately my body just hurts and I don't feel as flexible. I think the yoga will really help. Then, I did a few errands and in the afternoon we had my nephew's first birthday party.

The girls looked pretty in white!

Sunday morning I felt motivated and went for a run. A 1.8 mile loop around my neighborhood with a big uphill at the start. It was tough. I stayed inside the rest of the day. It wasn't planned, but Ellie was going out in the afternoon and Summer seemed tired so I tried napping her three times before 3:00 to no avail. She finally went to sleep after Ellie left for the Nutcracker. It was her first time going and it was a special day! My brother and I gave our parents tickets along with Ellie and her two cousins for Christmas. Everyone was dressed up. Ellie wore a dress we bought at Carter's, which I love. I wish we bought it in more colors! I snapped a few pictures in front of our tree.

My beautiful girl growing up!
 (I'm still in my running clothes and no make up face here):

While Ellie was out we hosted my brother and his wife and two other kids and my sister and her fiance for dinner. It was just a casual dinner, but as we were setting the table I realized we are short on our glasses. I have to get to Crate and Barrel to restock. We ordered Indian take out- my first time trying it and it was better than expected. It was fun just talking and laughing around the table for a couple of hours. 

Here is a picture of our table with our tree in the background.

We really don't have any plans until Christmas Eve this week. Lots of wrapping to do, a play date with friends this afternoon, and just enjoying the Holiday. I will be back later with a house tour of our Holiday decorations!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weekend Recap

Friday morning we met friends at the library to play and for story time. They did a cute craft, too:
Friday afternoon Ellie had a play date and Summer stayed at home with Nick so my friend and I were able to catch up over a glass of wine, which was so nice and relaxing. We left at dinner time and Ellie and I went to Zoe's Kitchen before going home. We had our first fire that night and I read the girls Christmas books and Ellie watched Toy Story 3 when Summer went to bed. 
The girls sat next to each other to watch the fire and Ellie put her arm around her sister. Such a sweet moment!
Saturday morning we decorated our Christmas tree and the girls were so involved. Summer and Ellie hung most of the ornaments and they did a great job. They were fun to watch as they helped each other and smiled and giggled. Not one ornament broke either (yet, anyway).
 I love all the different ornaments on our tree. They tell a story and there are so many memories. These were Ellie's hand and foot prints at 8 months old and Summer's first Christmas ornament below.
 Can you tell this is where the girls hung ornaments?
We used our tripod for the first time. The last one came out a little blurry, but it would've been a perfect family photo!
 Love this picture of Summer hanging an ornament:
Saturday evening we took the girls to a nearby neighborhood light display (we do this every year). Last year Summer was in the Ergo so it was fun for both of them this year. Ellie saw Santa from the edge of the driveway and pointed and shouted "Santa!" in delight. 

On Thursday morning Ellie has her holiday recital at school and party. I have to pick up gifts for her two wonderful teachers. Nick is taking off work to attend and we are seeing Santa in the afternoon. Ellie is asking for one more thing- a Rapunzel dress. Luckily, the Disney Store still has them in stock. My sister also comes home this week and we are so excited to see her (it's been a while!).

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas: Girls' Wishlists

Ellie was first asking Santa for just Strawberry Shortcake, then added a doll with clothes. We really don't have any dolls that you change their clothes and I found a new line at Target called Generation. The dolls are reasonably priced and have a variety of different outfits and accessories. We picked the Christmas edition doll dressed in a red dress with an outfit included. My mother in law is getting her a bunch of outfits, too. I think she will love her. 

I picked up Rapunzel and her horse before Black Friday at Toys R Us for half off. Ellie loves dressing up as Rapunzel and uses a piece of long fabric as her hair. I am also going to get her the matching Rapunzel dress since that is one she doesn't have.

I got her a Prince to go along with all of her Princesses. You can't forget about him and Ellie and I take turns acting as the Prince during her pretend play. Last night while shopping with Nick we picked up an Elsa doll similar to this one below since she has Anna already and always plays with her. JC Penney had them on sale for $10 (all princesses included). They have a great Disney section in their store.

Flynn Rider

And, this Minnie Mouse Bowtique. We don't have anything Minnie.
The most personal gift this year is a teddy bear to replace "Snowy." Snowy was her favorite teddy and went everywhere with her. He was washed so many times he was looking frail, but he became a member of our family. About a month ago I realized we hadn't seen him. I have no idea where he might be, but I searched our house and he is nowhere to be found. Honestly, I am sad about losing him. I was looking through old pictures last week and saw a picture of him and his tag, which was "Ganz." My husband and I called and searched the web looking for a replicate. He was given to Ellie as a Christmas gift two years ago from Hallmark. He had a black nose. We found a pretty similar one on eBay and bought him last week. We just received him and although a little larger in size, he looks almost identical. We both got a little emotional thinking about Ellie's reaction to him on Christmas morning and I'm sure I will cry, too. Here is a photo of Ellie with old Snowy and his replacement:

Ellie at 2.5 years old (November, 2013)
Summer was a little harder to shop for this Christmas since she already has so many of Ellie's toys to play with. She loves babies so Santa is bringing her a new one plus a package of baby diapers. She also loves to play with cars and trains and that's something we don't have many of so I bought her these two:

 Dump Truck:

She loves riding on this toy rocking horse at our library so I ordered it for her in pink. I think both girls will love it.

The other day in Home Goods Summer picked up this toy and walked around the store with it so I discreetly put it in my shopping cart. This one by Pottery Barn is very similar. Toys at Pottery Barn Kids today are 30% off!

 Push Toy
Every year the girls receive a couple new books. I love going to Barnes and Noble and picking them out instead of ordering them. I've heard great things about Pete the Cat so they will be getting this book for sure:

The girls are getting new art supplies in their stockings, princess wands, new hair bows, and a few other small things.
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I still have to pick up a few more things and wrap (something I love doing). I'm excited for Christmas morning!