homemade christmas gifts

It wouldn't be the same without them. 
Last Christmas I was making Dora shirts like they were going out of style. This year I didn't even pull my sewing machine out and had no intention of making any homemade gifts but then there was pinterest. Who am I kidding, I couldn't stay away from a cheesy homemade Christmas gift.
My friend Suni showed me these cute DIY drink coasters that she saw on pinterest and was making for her family. I decided to make a set of 4 for Bob's grandparents and then 20 coasters later everyone in the family was getting some. They really weren't hard to make, just took a little bit of time. I bought tiles at Home Depot and then printed my pictures on white tissue paper. My least favorite step was cutting out a piece of tissue paper the size of card stock and then taping it around the edges. 
Then you paint a layer of mod podge on the tile and lay on your piece of tissue paper. Let it dry and then paint over tissue paper with mod podge. Let dry, repeat. Let dry, repeat again. Then once the mod podge is dry you paint on 3 layers of a sealer, letting each one dry in between. Lots of wait time for drying with this project. If you do this in a room with a fan it spends it up much faster. I covered the back of each tile with black felt.
I wrapped the tiles up with ribbon and placed them in a six pack of drinks. I took two of the coke bottles out for the coasters to fit and covered the cardboard case in clear packing tape just to make it a little stronger. 
My dad was the lucky one who got the bud light with his coasters:)

One of the things on Ella's Christmas list this year was makeup. I love how girly she is! I wanted her to have a fun place to keep all her makeup so I bought her this caboodle from target. I used my silhouette to put her name on it.
I printed it out on black vinyl. Once it was already stuck on, it bugged me that it was off centered just a bit (sometimes I'm crazy) so using red vinyl I added a lip stick kiss in the corner. It's kinda hard to see but it turned out super cute. 

Then there is my sister's new boyfriend Tyler.
He is such a nice guy and one of the first times I met him I remember him saying how much he loved chewy candy. Music to my ears. Those words stuck in my head and I even remembered some of his favorites that he listed off, swedish fish being one of them. So of course he was getting a jar full of his favorite candy from me for Christmas. 
 One of my favorite things about Tyler is all his cool tattoos. His arms are covered in them and they all have a cool story behind them. Well, I just so happened to have some tattoo paper on hand and thought it would be fun to create some temporary tattoos for Tyler to think about. I had way too much fun with this and was cracking myself up! I wish I had actually gotten a good picture of them. Some were pics of him and Anna, Tyler and his doll head from school, swedish fish, scissors, and using the Paul Mitchell (Tyler goes to Paul Mitchell cosmology school with Anna) font I made one that said "Paul Mitchell is my hero." They are all mirrored so it's kinda hard to read.
He loved them and immediately put one one. He put the ANNA one on his wrist and later on that night his dad just about lost it thinking he had tattooed Anna's name on him. Haha! 

We hope everyone had such a wonderful Christmas!


surprise balls

I saw the idea of a surprise ball on this blog a while ago and thought it was such a fun and different way to gift something. So when Kristen turned 30, Lindsay, Aly and I combined 30 reasons why we love Kristen and each made her a surprise ball. I'm sure it was fun to unravel one but by the time she got to number three she probably wanted to kill us! You take little items and wrap them in crepe paper. Each layer you add another item and so on and so on. Click here to see a video of a surprise ball being unraveled and click here to see how to make your own.
I don't have any pics of Aly's but here are a few from what Lindsay and I made ours with. 
This is everything that was in my surprise ball. 
 I put a fanny pack (they should have never gone out of style) in the center of my ball that I had to roll up real tight and hold with a rubber band. 
It was so fun to see all the similarities that Lindsay and I did in our surprise balls for Kristen. Lindsay put a zipper pouch in the center of hers.
Picnik collage
I love how she used yarn for a layer and how cute is that owl pattern!
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
Picnik collage
We each made a label and printed it off on sticker paper to put on the outside layer.
 I am going to make a surprise ball for Ella and McKenna's stocking. (and maybe Bob too if he's lucky) I think it is the perfect size and shape to fill up the toe of a stocking. I guess I better get to work since Christmas is just days away!!! YAY!


holiday happenings

I can't believe Christmas is almost here! Ella is at such a fun age this year and I love seeing her excitement for everything. Fancy the elf is still a huge hit each morning and it gets Ella out of bed faster than any of the tricks I have tried. (playing loud music, ripping the covers off, the smell of freshly cooked pancakes, jumping on her bed, and of course the mom yell when we have 10 minutes to be at school) Fancy might have to come back to visit when school starts again. Our elf doesn't get into any fun or trouble in the middle of the night, she is just always somewhere different each morning. So far Fancy has been in the Christmas tree, sitting on a frame, on top of the advent calendar, ceiling fan, mirror, popping out of a kitchen cabinet, and tomorrow I think she might be hanging out in dad's stocking.
As of Saturday I finished Christmas shopping for everyone. I still have a few cheesy homemade gifts that aren't finished yet but just about everything is wrapped and under the tree! This is our first year to do Christmas with just us and I am so excited about it. I grew up where Santa left an unwrapped gift under the tree and filled our stockings full of fun surprises. That is what we are doing with the girls this year and I can't wait to see them both walk (yes I said both walk, McKenna is walking everywhere!) out and see what Santa left for them under the tree. Then on Christmas day we are squeezing in two more Christmas celebrations with my family and Bob's. It will be a fun filled day! I have wrapped all of those family gifts in separate paper than ours and put them in baskets next to our tree.
Last Friday Ella's school had a Christmas program. They sang 3 songs and I loved watching her on stage. She is such a performer at home but so shy in public so I couldn't wait to see what she would be like during the program. She was a mix of both, not the most outgoing kid on stage but also not the quiet one. McKenna couldn't hold still in my lap. She wanted to be on stage with Ella so bad!
Ella had been telling me about these jingle bells that they used in the program and how she wanted some just like it. She would tell me that they were a circle and looked like a snake. Once I saw them during the program her description actually made more sense. It was just a pipe cleaner bent into a circle with jingle bells strung on it. They were super easy to make and Ella and McKenna love them.
 For teacher gifts I found these cute glittered boxes from Pier One. I put an ornament in each one and added a hobby lobby gift card to her teacher's box. I also made a Merry Christmas label for mason jars and filled them with one of my favorite treats, the pretzel rolo things. I think I ate 100 of them over the weekend, and I plan on making more…
We had some friends come over the other day to make some Christmas crafts and I'm so sad I didn't get any pictures. We did the snowman paint that is on pinterest and it turned out so cute! You just mix equal parts of elmers glue and shaving cream and the paint dries puffy.
Ella spends hours at her little table each day crafting and I had been trying to think of a way to organize all of her stuff so it didn't keep rolling off the table and then going straight into McKenna's mouth. As I was walking up and down the aisles of hobby lobby (exciting, I know) I saw this cake turntable and thought it would make the perfect lazy susan for her art supplies. I hot glued 6 mason jars around the outside of the turntable to hold all of her markers, crayons and pencils. I put a bigger mason jar in the center that I didn't hot glue because she takes that one out to get the sticker pieces. It has worked out so well and she loves it!
and then there was Santa…
I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and I will be back soon with a fun stocking stuffer that will fill up the toe of your stocking just perfect! 


Some videos for the weekend

Just a few videos I have cracked up at the last couple of weeks.
I am totally obsessed with marcel.  
Guess why I smile a lot? Uh, because its worth it.

This one is going around but I think its pretty cute.

Bri Emery from Designlovefest's loft is super cute.
Rue - design loft fest from Son of Shark Pig on Vimeo.

ok.  I thought there were a lot more.
I guess three is the magic number.
Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend.


Fancy the elf

I was so excited when I won an Elf on the Shelf from Meredith's blog giveaway! It was waiting for us in the mailbox when we came back into town last night! This was the first time for Ella and I to ever read the story of the Elf on the Shelf and we loved it, such a cute idea. I told Ella the first thing we had to do is give our elf a name. Without any hesitation she says "Fancy." I don't know where Fancy came from, I was almost certain she was going to say Buddy the elf. So once Ella went to bed I decided to make our elf look a little more like a Fancy.
I made the elf a bow, earrings, skirt, and shoes out of felt. 
I cut out hearts for her shoes and then just hot glued them around her feet to make pointy elf shoes.
Fancy was the best alarm clock this morning. Ella is a sleeper. She rarely wakes up on her own, every morning and nap I have to wake her up which takes forever sometimes. She would sleep in like a teenager if I let her. This was so nice for a couple of years because I am a sleeper too. McKenna, not so much. She is an early riser just like her dad. Anyways, this morning as I am trying to get Ella up for school, she is pretending to not hear me because she doesn't want to wake up. Then I say "I wonder where Fancy is" and she pops up so fast and jumps out of bed. I was cracking up! She started running around the house looking for Fancy. Ella found her sitting on a photo frame and she was so thrilled to see that her elf really looked like a girl. 
Can't wait to see where Fancy ends up tomorrow morning. 
Thank you SO much Meredith! We love our elf!
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