Monday, December 18, 2017

Elf on the Shelf Ideas and Dollar Store Accessories


We are in the home stretch with our elves, Christmas Eve is one week from today.  If you have an Elf on the Shelf you may be running out of ideas on what to do these next few days.  My kids are now older teens, so our visit from our elf Buddy and his friend Joy is a bit different  than it used to be.  Instead of them moving at night when the kids are asleep,  my daughter helps me think of fun ideas for them to do.  We are often at the dollar store, keep our eyes open for items that are the perfect size for our elves. 


This is one of my favorite photos of our elves Buddy and Joy that I took 2 years ago. (this was also when Joy joined in the fun)    I found an adorable little guitar in the toy aisle that was perfect for a Christmas serenade.  

This year I took pictures of some of the different adventures of Buddy and Joy.   Here they are sledding on their very own elf size sleds.  




The sleds were actually ornaments found at  the dollar store.  We decided to remove the berries and greenery so the elves would fit on the sled better, but they also look very festive this way. 



This year the dollar store had mini trees for sale. They were the perfect size for the elves to decorate.  



The elf size present was also found in the ornament aisle.  




The elf size lantern is actually an ornament, and the elf size skillet was found in the toy aisle.  I was wondering what my daughter might do with them and was happily to see them camping. 



You may be wondering what is going on in this picture.  Joy is looking through candy cane binoculars made from a red and white stripped pipe cleaner at something just beyond the hedge.  



The elves came across two reindeer and colorful birds enjoying nature.  




The bird house was found in the craft aisle.   The wild birds were attached to Christmas floral picks.  


This picture was taken a few years ago, and is another one of my favorites. I found elf size easels at either the dollar store or craft store.  They were the perfect size for Buddy to do some art work.  



This is another picture taken a few years ago.  It was very easy to make some elf themed ornaments by gluing white felt on a red ball and DIY stocking ornament. 

Now is also the time to keep an eye out for accessories for next year.  When shopping the Christmas clearance be sure to think out of the box, because you just might something perfect for your elf for a fraction of the cost. 




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Friday, December 15, 2017

Dare to Share #292


It's Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 


Our has your week been going?  Ours has been interesting. It has been snowing where I live most of the week.  Mid week we were hit with a big snow storm and have had a few snow days.  I did not mind the time off though, because I was busy baking and crafting to bring you a new Christmas party post.  




You can see all of the new crafts and supplies at A Woodland Buffalo Plaid Christmas.  There are also several other new Christmas posts in the works that will be up in the next few days.. We had a lot of fun with our elves Buddy and Joy in recent days, and I will be sharing our $1 elf accessories that we found at the dollar store.  We have a few new Woodland ornaments  that have joined our favorite Snow Owl, and I made a few new crafts and Christmas treats.  (I told you I was busy)  


Are you looking for an advent idea?  My co-host Kim from Everyday Parties just recently started a sweet Nativity Advent that you can follow along.  

Now it is time for this week's party! 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

   
   








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A Woodland Buffalo Plaid Christmas







I am so excited about this year's buffalo plaid woodland/lodge trend in holiday decorations and party supplies.  I have had a woodland themed tree for the last several years, and this year I was able to expand on the theme with new crafts and decorations.  





I am an ambassador for Oriental Trading company, and I love the new buffalo plaid line holiday products they sent me to share with you.  I had so much fun putting together all the crafts, treats and goodies for this post.  


Underneath my tree is a stuffed moose I bought on clearance after last Christmas. His festive scarf and hat match the decor perfectly. I also found a woodland themed popcorn tin at Aldi this year for only $3.99.   The pretty bags are from Oriental Trading. 






One of my favorite pieces in the buffalo plaid line is this three tiered tray perfect for serving multiple treats at your holiday party.  It is easy to put together and take apart for storing after the party. The trays are ceramic, and hold quite a bit  We made several woodland themed Christmas treats to put on the trays. 


Years ago when my daughter had her Woodland Themed Birthday Party, I bought the Ikea woodland cookie cutters. Our hedgehog cutter seems to be temporarily missing, and we added a few new ones (the standing reindeer, the deer heads and the unicorn) to our stash.  We also tried decorating them in homemade Royal Icing instead of frosting from the can this year.  If you have been following me for awhile, you know I really love unicorn.  Technically unicorn are woodland animals, so rainbow sprinkles made it to the dessert tray. 


One of my favorite candies to make is Simple Candy Clusters. These are so addicting made with cherries and cashews.  I served them in buffalo plaid cupcake wrappers from Oriental Trading. 



We also made Reindeer Pops, and Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies.  I did not realize until editing this post that one of the reindeer pops seems to be missing.. Hmmmm. 





On the wooden buffalo plaid serving tray, I placed some of my wooden reindeer I bought some time in the last few years, and gold glitter bottle brush trees.  The decorative pail is holding the small wood slices that can be used in crafts, for ornaments and more.  



I was not sure what to do with the antlers, but my daughter had a great idea.  She place them with some of the wood slices, and turned them into moose. I think we may have to grab the glue gun and make a few new ornaments for the tree. 



Another  craft I made was this reindeer frame. I found the cute paper at the dollar spot.  It looks really cute on the wall behind the tree.  



I was inspired by a much more expensive wreath at Target.  For this super simple berry wreath, I found a wreath and pom poms at the dollar store. I have had the bows in my stash for years. 


Another easy and fun to make woodland craft is the JOY sign I put on the wall near the kitchen  I wrapped cardboard in buffalo paper and wrapped the wreath in greenery. 



There are also a few new additions to our tree this year.  One of my favorite handmade ornaments I ever made, the sweet Snow Owl has a few new friends this year. My daughter has designed a fox, raccoon, cardinal, and squirrel.  watch for them to be posted in the next few days.  

I hope you enjoyed our Woodland Christmas, and all of the fun supplies from Oriental Trading







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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dare to Share #291


It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 

Wow, it is almost the middle of December! How are your preparations going?  We still have a lot to do, but have also been able to complete a few annual traditions.. 



Last weekend when had our first celebrations when we had a Gingerbread House Decorating Party with a few of my daughter's friends.  





I also shared a quick and easy Gingerbread Craft that we had as a decoration at the party.. 

If you entered the Coobie Bra Giveaway, I will be contacting the two winners this weekend!! 



My co-host Kim from Everyday Parties is in the gingerbread mood this week too. Check out her Gingerbread Man Chocolate Graham Cracker Cookies  

It is now time for this week's party.. 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

   
   







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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gingerbread House Party



Gingerbread Houses, Christmas Party, Christmas Treats





This past weekend, my daughter had a few friends over for a Gingerbread House Decorating Party.  Everyone had a lot of fun decorating gingerbread houses, and making gingerbread crafts.  Almost all of our Christmas Party Supplies came from the Oriental Trading. As a Brand Ambassador for the Oriental Trading, I was sent these supplies to use at our party, and share them with you. I truly love their products, and I have been a long time customer before I even started blogging. (check out some of my childrens' parties featured on the blog from years ago).  


To save money we used a mini village gingerbread kit instead of buying a large house for each guest.  The smaller houses were a perfect size, and not overwhelming to make. 



One of the favorite crafts at the party were these Gingerbread Boxes. Each box came with a page of foam stickers, and as you can see, had enough stickers that you can be very creative.  



I found this awesome gingerbread baking pan at my local Salvation Army earlier this year.  I decided to try it out for the first time with a gingerbread dough mix.  You will see how they turned out later in this post.  



Our kitchen table looked like a sweet shop explosion. At each table setting we had a small house, and the gingerbread crafts that we had already  put together. Since the kit only came with one bag of icing, I made a few small batches of Royal Icing and placed them in plastic baggies around the table. 



We had a lot of goodies to use on the houses. Some of the candy came from the dollar store.  The gingerbread marshmallows were found at Meijer.   Placing all of the goodies in cupcake pans kept them contained, and within arms reach to everyone. 



The gingerbread house goodie boxes were easy to put together,  and the perfect size for the guests to take home all of their goodies at the end of the night 



Here are just some of the crafts and goodies that the guests made and took home.  We used some of the leftover stickers from the Gingerbread Boxes and used them on foam gingerbread cut outs.  The paper mache gingerbread houses can be found on the Oriental Trading Site as DIY House Shaped Boxes.  We painted them brown and then decorated. These house shaped boxes can be used for many different crafts, not just gingerbread houses.  The guests were also given a candy cane, and a special gingerbread sucker from Oriental Trading 



Here are how the cookies turned out with the Gingerbread Baking Sheet.  I placed them on the table so they could also be decorated (and eaten!) They turned out perfectly.  I had more dough left over that can be used a later time. 



I think  these plates are so adorable.  There were also on the table to place the individual cookies on while decorating.  




I think this gingerbread cookie looks good enough to eat! 




We have a small dining area, but it was decorated in full theme for the party.  The gingerbread cut out ornaments came unpainted from Oriental Trading.  I had a lot of fun painting them, and bringing them to life.  ( you may see them in another post  later this week) 


Here is a close up of one of the ornaments. 



I adore this sweet Gingerbread Boy Pinata. We did not have the heart to break him.  I think we will use him as a decoration for awhile.  He is from Oriental Trading.




I painted the Gingerbread Face using a charger from the dollar store.  I have had the stuffed gingerbread man for years.  I think it might have even belonged to one of my kids when they were little. 




The gingerbread garland matched the decor perfectly. 



Here are the finished houses that the guests were able to take home.  To make them more portable, they were on small foiled covered cardboard, or plastic plates. 






In addition to all of the goodies show earlier in the post, each guest also got a gingerbread rubber duckie, and a gingerbread cookie in a cookie take home box.  

It was a great night, and a great party! 




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