We are 7 sisters (well, 6 sisters and one in-law who we think of as a sister). We have always been close to each other and so now in order for us to stay close, even though we are far away, we have a blog, which we like to share fun finds, recipes, date ideas, crafts, and anything else we think the others will like. :)
Teacher gifts for Christmas and end of the year can sometimes be stressful. Do you get them something or not, how much to spend, what would they like or need, is it something the kids can help make? Most schools now have a policy limiting the amount you can spend on a teacher per year so make sure to check the policy before getting the gifts!
5. Add some cranberries to your decorations. Not only do they bring in a vibrant red to your decorations, but they also add a nice touch to everything.
4. Hang up a wreath or two!
3. Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree...Enough said.
2. I think having a Nativity set up is the best way to remember what Christmas is really about.
And last but not the least...
1. Christmas Signs! These signs are a great way to customize your decorations to bring out the meaning of Christmas to you. Be sure to check out our shop in Etsy to customize your own. Merry Christmas!!
Something we did as a family when we were young that was a fun tradition, happened on the night we finished decorating the tree (and house). I believe we always decorated for Christmas the Monday following Thanksgiving. It might have been another night and it wouldn't matter when you choose to decorate.
What we would do is make egg nog (store bought and sprite added to it, yum!) or hot chocolate for everyone. We would all come and sit around the Christmas tree and turn off all of the lights except for the tree. Dad would tell a Christmas story or talk about the REAL meaning of Christmas to start us out. Then we would sing Christmas songs for a while. We probably each got to choose our favorite song and would sing until everyone got a chance to choose a song. I don't know what it was about the singing under the lights, but it sure put us into the BEST Christmas mood and spirit!
Another tradition we had every year, maybe a week or two before Christmas, was to go look at everyone else's Christmas lights. My mom would usually make some Hot Chocolate or something we could drink to keep us warm while we looked. We would all pile up in the car and just start driving around for an hour or two looking at the beautiful lights around us. There were usually a few neighborhoods or single houses that always had good lights we would make sure to hit.
One of the homes we always went to went WAY out of their way to show their spirit. It was SOOOO much fun to see as a kid. They had decorated several different "scenes" throughout their yard, from the front to the back of the house. There was Santa's workshop with his elves, Mickey Mouse and his crew working on presents, kids ice skating in a pond, trees and animals in a winter wonderland, a scene from The Nutcracker. Just about anything you can imagine, he had out there. You would get out of your car and go walk around. When you left the yard, the old man was always out there passing candy canes to everyone who came to look.
As an adult, I have tried to keep up this tradition with my kids because I loved it so much when I was little. When we lived in Texas, there was this GIGANTIC neighborhood that had competitions each year. It was really amazing. Each street had a theme they were in charge of. They would take a certain Christmas carol or story and starting with the 1st home on that street, they would break the story or carol up with each house doing a small phrase. It was really incredible how it all went together and how the entire neighborhood participated. My understanding is that when you bought and sold a home in that neighborhood, the new owners had to agree with participating in their purchase contract! What a neat idea!
I am one who really likes to make things with my hands, and Christmas cards are one of those things. If for some weird reason I run out of time during the holidays (wonder why, *wink wink*) I don't send out a card. I have sent a Walmart photo card twice, but just didn't love the results as much as my homemade ones. And really, I have absolutely nothing against those. I just love to see something that I have made go out to those that I love. I am weird, I know. I thought I would share some of my previous Christmas cards. All of them were made with Stampin' Up products, the paper, ink and stamps (along with everything else). This is not sponsored by Stampin' Up, I just stinkin love their stuff!!
We, the sisters, are going to be posting over the next 12 days, 12 ideas to make your Christmas Season the best ever. Included will be Homemade Christmas Card ideas, recipes for Christmas Breakfast and Dinner, Christmas Eve Ideas, Decorations, Neighbor and Teacher Gift ideas. Check back with us each day to get your ideas ready for a great Christmas season! Hopefully we can help with some inspiration to make everyones' Christmas one to remember!
Hey everyone! We are having a Black Friday Sale this week in our More Sister Shop! Click the link to check out the deals you can get for Christmas gifts this year! The Sale Starts today and goes through Friday!
Some of our featured items are:
Infant and Toddler Dresses
Infant and Girl Headbands
Infant and Girl Hair Clips (use promo code SILK5 and get one of these hair clips for 50ȼ. Must have a hairclip in your cart for the promotion.)
On Monday night we have what we call Family Home Evening. This is a time we spend together as a family. My husband and I come up with a lesson or thought of something that we need to teach our children, or sometimes something that we need to be reminded of. A lot of times we spend that night playing games as a family, or watching a movie, just "family time."
Well, this Sunday was a pretty rough day for me, I had a very negative attitude and my poor children felt the brunt end of that. So after church I had a young lady come over and I went to Austin's office (since he was on call and not at home) and sat and talked it all out... for 3 hours. I came to the realization that we were looking at all the negative aspects and results that come from opening a new business, instead of looking at all the positive, which is a ton! And because of this I had a negative, grumpy attitude about EVERYTHING! I had been seeing all of these posts on Facebook of people stating the many things they were thankful for and it gave me a great idea for Family Home Evening.
I went outside and cut a bunch of branches off our Aspens and Willow trees (around 18"-24"). The kids were in charge of cutting some fall colored cardstock, and I cut a bunch of string. My little son got to punch holes in the squares. After dinner everything was ready for our lesson (which we gave while playing Dominoes). The kids were all pretty excited because they had helped get it ready but had no idea what it was. So while we were playing we started to talk to them about all that we have that we can be grateful for, and how we need to ALWAYS remember that, not just on Thanksgiving day. We taught them that when we are thankful we are happy, because it helps us remember all the little things that can bring happiness to our lives. It turned out to be such a good discussion. After the game, during the treats, I asked the kids to each think of two things they are thankful for, and then to fill out one each day until next week. I was so amazed with them! One of my daughters filled out 12 papers, even my 5 year old son filled out 3. They were so excited to think of things. It was a very special moment for me. It really made me realize I have little moments like these to be thankful for everyday of my life.
Since Sunday evening I have tried so hard to have a better attitude. Being positive is a lot harder than negative, but I can say that it is working. I can tell that I am happier, and last night I slept better that I have for months (probably since we opened our office). So, now my goal if to remember that...FOREVER!
PS. I think this would be a fun activity to have set up for your family on Thanksgiving Day, and be able to watch your tree grow throughout the day. We have so much to be thankful for.
We have all collaborated again to share our best ideas for a fantastic Thanksgiving Day. We hope you will enjoy all of the ideas!
Pumpkin pie is kind of a staple for Thanksgiving, right? I LOVE pumpkin pie but I also like variations of this great pumpkin treat. One that I found this year is a pumpkin cheesecake and it is so incredibly delicious.
2 (8 ounce) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust- Graham cracker or regular pie crust
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Frozen Whipped Topping
1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time.
3. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into the bottom of the pie crust.
4. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir until blended well. Spread this mixture over the batter in the pie crust.
5. Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until the center is almost set. Allow the cheesecake to cool, then place in fridge for at least 3 hours. (The original recipe called for 35-40 minutes, but I have made it 3 times now, and it was always closer to an hour cooking before it was completely done).
6. Spread the cool whip over the top before serving.
Crafts for Kids
For the past couple of years, the kids have made placemats or some cute Thanksgiving craft at school and they turned out so cute we want to share some of them!
This first one is a Turkey made from Pine cones, Acorns, Feathers, Googly Eyes, and Craft Foam pieces. All you do for these is select an acorn for each pine cone. The acorns will serve as the head, so pick the size accordingly.
1. You can have the turkey standing or laying down. If it is standing, hot glue the acorn at the top, but facing forward. If laying down, glue it at the top facing up.
2. Glue the googly eyes to the acorn for the face.
3. Next, cut out a small triangle from the orange foam. Glue it under the eyes, kind of curving it to form the beak. You can also cut out feet with the orange foam if you want to add those.
4. Add feathers to the back or bottom (depending on how you have it positioned) to make the tail.
**My son glued these to a paper plate for the display, but you can just have the turkey itself to display!
Another cute Turkey idea is with a toilet paper roll and construction paper.
1. First you need to make the feet so they can act as a base for the turkey. Make it just about a 1/2" around bigger than the toilet paper roll.
2. Make 4-6 large feathers to put around the back side of the toilet paper rolls for its tail. Have the kids write something they are thankful for on each feather.
3. Design a hat and beak from the construction paper and attach accordingly.
4. You can draw on eyes or use the googly eyes for the bird.
Pilgrims and Indians
This one is another idea to be made out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper.
You will basically follow the instructions for the turkey, just adjust it to the Indian with feathers and the pilgrims in their hats. So Cute!!!
We have several ideas for placemats, so take your pick, or do them all!
1. The first option was one done at school. They used long (11X14") construction paper, preferably 2 different colors. You could use 8X10" sheets if you don't mind a smaller mat.
a. Choose your main color and cut length wise, strips about 1 inch apart all the way from one edge to
the other, width wise. Leave about 2 inches at the end of the paper length wise. (I hope all of this
makes sense. Hopefully the picture will help with the visual of which directions the strips are cut and
b. Take the second color of construction paper and cut it into 1 inch strips width wise.
c. Next, you will take one strip and start weaving over and under the long sheet, starting as close to the
2 inch margin as you can. Continue weaving each strip until you get to the second margin.
***If you get to the end and there is not enough space, just cut the margin a little wider on each
side until the final strip fits. If the last strip has just a little extra room and you don't want to try
to fit another strip in, simply spread the strips apart from each other a little bit.
d. Finally, decorate it with the child's name, pictures or drawings. My son's teacher used some paint on
their hands and made a turkey out of it! It turned out really cute. (Laminate if you can for future
2. The second idea was something Stacy did last year in Alabama. Since there was no family there, we just had Thanksgiving with several of our friends and their families. About a week before, we got all of the kids together with a bunch of old magazines. We used 8X10" construction paper for this project. We also had stickers and stencils, markers and crayons, and other little shapes they could add to their mat. The kids went through and found pictures representing things they were thankful for.
a. We had all of the kids glue their pictures and accessories to their paper however they wanted.
c. Have them add their name somewhere on their design.
d. Finally, my friend had a laminator, and if this is available, I would highly recommend it. You can just
make this a one time thing though and skip the laminating!
***If you want it laminated and don't have access to a laminator, one cheater way to accomplish
this is to use clear packing tape. Just tape it across the paper length wise from top to bottom. Do
the same thing on the back side to seal it. USe your finger or scissors to go around all of the
edges one more time then cut the excess off.
I think a fun tradition to start would be this table runner. You buy a table runner and then have everyone in your family put their handprint in paint in a different color, add the year and voila! Something fun for the kids to pull out every year and see how much they've grown over the years. I think this is so cute!
I came across these beadboard turkeys on pinterest and thought they are such a cute decoration for Thanksgiving! Here is the tutorial to make them.
We hope these fun ideas might help make a great Thanksgiving!
I know this is a small thing to put on a WHOLE post, but it's FREE, so why not! This for any CVS Shoppers. Take your card up to their Coupon Center and scan it. You will receive a coupon for a FREE bottle of CVS brand Acetaminophen, 24 count.
You can also visit CVS's website to see the other deals they have this week.
WOW! Fry's has some amazing deals again this week for anyone in the Fry's Food area! Michelle and I went shopping for the great deals today and were both very pleased! This is a GREAT time to stock up on things like Chicken Broth, Chili, Canned Green Beans or Canned Corn. So, I'll list what I got and the deals I was able to get on these items. Keep in mind, I do coupon, but I am NOT an extreme couponer so others may be able to find even more deals than I did! This week, they have 49 items that are buy 10 get $5.00 instantly at the register! They have at least 6 other deals that are 10 for $10. They have digital coupons for several of these sale items plus you can find several other printables!
- RP 9/29 has a $1.00 off 1 detergent (final cost $1.49 if you can get 2 coupons)
- RP 11/3 has a $2.00 off 2 coupon (final cost also $1.49)
AXE Body Spray- $3.49
- Grocery Smarts has a $2.00 off 1 coupon making your final cost $1.49
Fry's Half Gallon Milk- 88ȼ ea
American Beauty Pasta- 16 oz for 49ȼ ea
***So if you haven't made plans to shop at Fry's Food this week, check out these deals and more in their weekly ad and see what kind of AWESOME deals you can come up with! Hopefully these links will help a little. It is alway fun to get a great deal and fill your pantry in the process!
This is such a fun pie to help use up those apples! We had a big bag full of yellow delicous apples that I wanted to make a pie with. And don't worry like I did the first time... the brown bag will not catch on fire in the oven, I hope. :)
Brown Bag Apple Pie
Crust: (don't roll out)
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 C. oil
2 Tbsp. milk
Combine together with hands, press it down in the pie pan evenly.
4 C. sliced apples
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. sugar (maybe a little more depending on tartness of apples)
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all except apples. Add apples and toss together. Pour into unbaked shell.
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter (do not soften)
1 C. sugar
Combine with fingers until crumbly, sprinkle on pie. Put it in a brown paper bag, roll it up and staple it together. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Do not open bag when cooking. Take it out of the oven and cool for a few minutes and then cut open the bag and enjoy the pie!
My youngest son wanted to get these big letters from Hobby Lobby to put on his wall, that spell his name. His bedroom is red and white with a sports border at the top. I came up with the idea to get various sports scrapbook papers to decoupage onto the letters to put in his room. I think the turned out really cool and he loves them.
Here is how I made them.
1. I first traced the letter backwards on the back of the piece of paper we were using for that letter. Add an extra 1/4 inch around as you are tracing. (You will need that for the edges). The letters we chose were about 1 inch taller than the paper we were using, so I had to get creative to cover both ends. Some of them I would add the remnants to the top and bottom, some in the middle, some to the top with a strip in the middle and so on. I mixed it up so they wouldn't all look the same.
2. Once you have cut out the paper and made the adjustments (if needed) you will turn both over and start adding the mod-podge to the board, then press down the paper. I would try to do it about 1/3 at a time so I could adjust the paper as needed. I would also make sure to mod-podge all of the edges after attaching to the board.
3. Next you will cut the extra edge with little slits at each corner and around curved edges so you will be able to cover the width of the letters easily.
4. Start at one end and start moving around gluing a small section of paper to the edges. This part takes a while, so be patient. The edges will not hold immediately. You will have to hold it down until the glue starts sticking, and don't be surprised if you have to go back and hold some sections down again.
5. Once you have finished all of the edges, go around all of them and the back outer edges with the mod-podge again and let it dry.
6. Once dry, turn back over and mod-podge over all of the front. Let it dry overnight.
7. To attach it to the wall, you can attach picture frame hooks on the back or get some of the heavy duty Command tapes and apply to the back, leaving the little tabs hanging out the edge. I know you can buy packages of just the sticky tabs if this is the route you want to go.
Here is a look of the final product! My son does love them.
8. If you are willing to be patient in getting the letters, you can use a 40% off coupon on each of them. You can go to this Hobby Lobby website to either print the coupon or put it on your smart phone to show the cashier. For the largest letters, this will make them about $2.56 each. The paper goes on sale about every 2-3 weeks at 50% off, leaving each sheet at $0.25 each.
It is a really fun project and looks great in the kids rooms.
The other night at my Witches Night Out party, which is so much fun by the way and all you women out there should throw one next year! But anywho... one of my friends brought these yummy little treats that I dibbed "rolo bites". They are the yummiest little thing with just the right amount of salty and sweet!
You heat your oven to 350, place one Ritz cracker with one Rolo in the center, when your cookie sheet is half full put them in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Take them out and immediately place another Ritz on top and smoosh. :) It's a word, I use it all the time. Cool, then enjoy.
Michelle made this delicious Raspberry dessert for Easter this year and I finally made it for my family. YUM!! It is just a small twist to Heather's Raspberry Jello Dessert, but nevertheless, it is delicious too and a great side for a meal.
For this, you will mix:
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
1 large container of Raspberry Yogurt (if you can find it, if not substitute with Strawberry or Vanilla)
1 3 oz box of Cheesecake Pudding Mix (again, if you can't find cheesecake pudding mix, substitute with vanilla, white chocolate, or french vanilla)
1 bag (8 -12 oz) frozen Raspberries
This makes quite a bit so mix in a large bowl and refrigerate. I would also suggest to add the raspberries about 15 minutes before serving.
I have said before, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. I really don't like the creepy skeletons, bloody hands or things like that , but I love the cute pumpkins, witches, and ghosts. I really do try to add to my collection every year. I have gotten with my sisters to see what ideas they have for decorations this year and this is what we have come up with!
Let's Get Batty!!
My friend had done this on her front door a couple of years ago and I fell in love! She gave me her template and I finally got the bats made this year. I just used cardstock and taped them to my front door windows.
Arizona is really big on recycling, which is nice and it also helped to spark this idea. As I was throwing away multiple glass bottles, such as spaghetti and pickle jars, I got an idea to save them and use them as pumpkin decorations. I just painted the outsides of the jars orange. I painted the lids and the little pumpkin segment lines brown. One of the pumpkins I painted over the orange with a beige color, leaving the pumpkin segment lines orange. I used a sharpie marker to draw on each pumpkins face and finished it with some raffia or Hemp String around the lids. My kiddos really like them too!
Here is a picture of my little Trick-or-Treater group! I wish I could say I made all of them, but just the little girl with the ghost head is my contribution. (You can buy one of them in our store if you like her too!)
Gliding Ghosts (and a bat)
Another one of the kids favorite is our flying glow-in-the-dark ghosts. We have a bat amongst them (my oldest son made in 1st grade a couple of years ago). The glow in the dark ghosts can also be found in our store or on the blog as a tutorial! I attached these by using fishing string and hooks in the wall. I put them up as high as I could reach and just tied slip knots on either end of the fishing string. Then I attached fishing string to the heads and bottoms of the ghosts and bat (2 strings each) and did a slip knot for each string onto the string strung across the room. I hope that makes sense! I think it turned out pretty cool. (I, Stacy, really shouldn't be taking credit for hanging them though because Michelle actually did it for me! Thanks so much!!!)
Here is a close up of the bat. It is just made from a black nylon hose with the end stuffed with cotton. Tie it off at the length you want your bat. On black cardstock, draw the bats wings, head and ears and then hot glue it onto the bats back. You can also add additional googly eyes if you want!
Witches Hat Garland
This is a project Michelle is going to be doing this week. It is this really cute Mini Witch Hat Garland. Click on the link for the tutorial! I believe Michelle is making the hats garland!
Here is Rachel's Garland she made from scraps of black, white and orange material. It was a quick and easy project she did with her kids this weekend. Rachel is also going to make some cute little witches hats for some center pieces at her Witches Night Out Party.