Monday, December 5, 2022

Countdown to Christmas - Elf Surveillance Sign DIY


When I saw this Elf Surveillance sign at the Dollar Tree, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I have rolls of elf themed ribbon in my craft stash, and  I share posts about our elf shenanigans. 

I made a reel with video on how I made this sign over on Instagram.  While writing this post, I realized I only took a handful of still photos 🤦

I made the bow by folding the ribbon in an 8 inch loop several times.  I gathered it in the middle, and cinched it with a rubber band. I cut another piece of ribbon 18 inches long, and tied it around the rubber band.  I then pulled out the loops and fluffed them a bit. 

I made elf harnesses with the believe ribbon, and attached the elves to the sign. I tried to make the look like they were watching with little pieces of tape to hold their hand over their eyes, but it didn't stick too well.  I like how the sign turned out though, and the elves are going to be getting into more mischief tomorrow.  

If you are looking for fun family activities to do this Christmas I I have my Elf Advent Activity Cards live in my shop now.  There are 40 cards with different daily activities.  You can have your Christmas Elf deliver a different card each day, or if you don't have an Elf, you can still use these cards for family fun. 

I also have some Christmas Elf Gift Tags in the shop as well.  

Some other idea posts with  Elves Buddy and Joy can be find here.  Elf Ideas and Props

** these are Amazon Affiliate Links 

If you don't have an Elf on the Shelf yet, but interested in getting one, they have them on Amazon where you can find boy and girl elves,  

If you want something a little different than the traditional elf, how about a Grinch on the Shelf.

I was so surprised by how many cute accessories are available for the elves. How cute are these Donut Be Naughty elf pjs.  You can see them and other accessories here

Read More »

Friday, December 2, 2022

Dare to Share Saturday

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

Happy December!  Have you decorated yet?  We have done a little bit of decorating, but still have a lot to do.  I have a mini tree up in the bedroom, and a few things here and there.  Part of the reason why things are not up yet, is I am with someone who likes to wait until December to decorate. This year I was in the spirit early, but I need his help to get out all the decorations out of the crawl space. Hopefully by this time next week, it will be a little more festive around here. 

This week I continued the Countdown to Christmas series.  A few years ago my Snow Owl Ornaments went viral. In this week's post I re-shared how to make them and shared a few gift ideas for the crafter in your life. 

 On Tuesday I shared this Christmas treat Reeses Cup Reindeer.  I also shared some gift ideas for Christmas baking.  

On Wednesday I shared a craft idea to make with your kids, a homemade Advent calendar that can be filled with daily candy or toys.   I also shared some kids advent kits filled with Marvel, Disney and fidget toys.


I found out yesterday morning, that December 1st is National Pie Day.  I shared an Easy Chocolate Banana Pie, that would be great for you holiday get togethers.  I also share a few travel carriers to transport your pies when going to a pot luck or party. 

Over on my Etsy Shop, I have listed some new treat bag toppers this week. In my shop I also have Christmas Trivia, Christmas Riddles for kids, Letters from Santa, and moreThis weekend I am posting  Elf Activity Cards that your elf can give your kids with several Christmas activities that the whole family can do.  I will also be adding a Christmas Scavenger Hunt in the next few days.   

Now it is your turn to share.  I would love for you to share what you are up to.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Read More »

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Countdown to Christmas - Easy Chocolate Banana Pie

 I heard on the news that today is National Pie Day.  Since it is a special day to celebrate pies, I thought I would share one that would work well for your upcoming holiday celebrations. 

This chocolate banana cream pie is easy to put together, and great to serve to guests. I love the blending of the chocolate and banana taste in this pie.  While I have not tried to do so yet, I'm thinking about  also trying to make it with other flavors. If I do, I will definitely be posting it. 

You will need 

Graham Cracker Crust 
1-2 bananas
small box of chocolate pudding 
small box of banana pudding 
1 3/4 cups of milk 
1 cup of sour cream 
chocolate chips (optional) 
Whipped topping 

Slice the bananas, and lay them on the bottom of the pie crust. 

In a mixing bowl, add both boxes of pudding, the milk, and the sour cream. 

Mix the ingredients well. I used a whisk to mix it. It turns into a yummy chocolate mousse. 

We wanted to up the chocolate factor in this pie, so I also added chocolate chips.  I did not measure the chips, I just poured in a good amount.  I think it was about a half of bag. 

Once it is fully mixed, add the mousse to pie crust, covering the bananas.

Cover the pie with the whipped topping and place in the fridge to chill for about an hour.  

After an hour it is  ready to eat. (if you can wait that long LOL!)  I told you it was easy to make, and it is  definitely delicious.  

** this post contains affiliate links 

Since this pie is perfect for taking to parties, you might need a good way to transport it.  I looked online to see what is out there,  and a few items caught my eye  

This Sweet Creations 10 inch pie carrier looks pretty sturdy, has a nice handle and is highly rated.

Another idea if you would like to bake several pies and give them out as gifts are these  disposable bakery boxes.  You could also use the to give cookies, and other treats. 

They also have this multipack of plastic containers with hinged lids

Read More »

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Countdown to Christmas - Homemade Advent Calendar

 When my kids were younger, we decided to make an advent calendar.   We brainstormed a bit, and looked at our craft supplies.  We had been collecting cardboard tubes for crafting and thought they would be perfect for holding treats.

We painted the tubes in white, red and green, and numbered them with coordinating number stickers.  We stapled the bottom to make a little pouch.  If you do not have 24 tubes, you can use 12 and make them double sided.  After you add the numbers they are easy to embellish more.  We added stickers on each of ours. 

** this post has affiliate links 

We had an inner office door that had glass panes. We hung them on that door and then placed candy treats in each of the pouches.    Other options could be to add some ribbon and hang on the Christmas tree or garland.    An idea I had for this year it to make some that are Elf themed and have our Christmas elves Buddy and Joy bring one day. 

I am currently making Advent and Elf activity cards for my shop, which will be added this week.  The cards would fit inside the tubes with a different Christmas themed activity you could do that day.  I will be posting the link here as soon as it is up.  

If you would prefer to buy an Advent Calendar than to make one, I found some really cute ones online.  

If you love Marvel, this Marvel Pop! has a different characters in  each day of the month.  At the end of the month you would have a entire mini Marvel army to play with. 

 If you are a Disney fan, they have a  Funko Disney Character Advent Calendar

So many kids (and adults)  love fidget toys, they even have a Daily Fidget Toy Calendar, where each day you would get a new fidget toy.    They all look like fun except for the mini skateboards.  LOL I frequently had to temporarily take them away in class when my 6th graders got disruptive during the lesson.   If you make an homemade version of an advent calendar and want to add your own fidget toys, definitely check out the toy aisle at the Dollar Tree, they have lot of fidget toys. 

I wish they had this 5th generation Echo Dot for Kids when my kids were younger.  There are so many things you can do with this.  It will play songs, games and even help with their homework.  You will give a 1 year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus, and it has parental controls.  The kids can decide if they prefer this owl with owl voice, or turn it into a dragon with a dragon voice.  Definitely go check it out online, there is a lot cool features and a 2 year worry free guarantee. 

Read More »

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Countdown to Christmas - Reeses Cup Reindeer

I made these Reeses Cup Reindeer a few years back with my kids.  I had forgotten about them, until I was going through some old blog posts. My kids loved them!  They are easy to make, and a big hit especially with people who love Reeses Cups.  

What you will need 
Reeses cups - regular size 
Reeses cups - mini size 
Red M & Ms 
small pretzels 
candy eyes 
a few pieces of chocolate to melt 

Melt a few pieces of chocolate in a small cup to use as chocolate glue. I used four chocolate kisses and melted them in the microwave.  I started with 20 seconds, stirred, and then added a few more seconds. 

Using the chocolate glue, I attached a mini Reeses cup for the snout, a red M & M for the nose, and two candy eyes.  I left the wrapper on  during this step to minimize the melting while handling the chocolate

Remove the top of the wrapper, and use a toothpick to make two holes for the pretzel antlers.  

To make the antlers, I broke the pretzels in to candy cane shapes.   I then dipped the end of the pretzels into the chocolate glue and put in the premade hole. 

The Reeses Cups got a little bit soft while working with it, so I placed them in the fridge to chill for a few minutes.  We took them back out, and they quickly disappeared! 

** this post contains affiliate links 

If you are looking for some Christmas gift ideas for your favorite baker, I found some really nice things you might be interested in over on Amazon. 

These Gluten Free Sprinkles are gorgeous and you get a lot of them.  They come in several variations including this one with mini gingerbread. 

This 4 pack of Buffalo Plaid Christmas Baking Aprons are so cute!  One thing nice about a four pack, you can break it up into multiple gifts, making each one a very affordable gift. 

If you know someone who likes to make candy, this 8 pc Silicone Christmas Candy Mold Set is currently under $10.  

Lastly,  this Nordic Ware Holiday Mini Loaves Pan can be used to make several gifts or treats at one time.  I love all the details in each of the loaves.  Bonus, it is currently on sale! 

Now for one more last minute  holiday tip.  If you go to McDonalds, I just heard of a new amazing sweepstakes they are starting very soon  They are giving out multiple McGold Cards which gives the owner free food at McDonalds for 50 years.  Yes, that says 50 years.  The SZN for Sharing Sweepstakes will be December 5th-20th on their mobile app.  You will find daily deals, special merch, and a chance to win a special McGold card.  


Read More »

Monday, November 28, 2022

Countdown to Christmas- Snow Owl Ornaments

A few years ago an ornament I made back in 2013 went viral.  It was so interesting seeing my post everywhere for about a week.  Yahoo even picked it up, and made my photo a cover to one of it's posts.  On my own Facebook page, I saw several people share the post, even without knowing it was from my website. 

These snow owl ornaments are now special to me and the stars of my Woodland themed Christmas tree, which you can see in this post Woodland Christmas DIYs

All you need to make these ornaments are cardboard tubes, paint, glitter paper, cardstock and hot glue.  

The first thing I did when making the ornaments was to paint the cardboard tubes white.  


Once the tubes were dry, I folded the tops and bottoms in to form points on both the top and the bottom of the owl.  

This is what it looks like when you are folding the tube.  Fold one side over first, and then the other.  

The best way to make the eyes and feathers of the owls is with a  hole punch. I think I got mine at one of the local craft stores, I did find these set of three sizes over on Amazon.  The  two biggest circles you need for the owl is for the whites of it's eyes.  

Using a smaller hole punch (I think this was 3/8"), I cut out two black circles for the eyes, and several circles for the body.  I layered 15-16 circles made from glitter cardstock and glued them the body.  I also cut out the wings out of the glitter cardstock, and glued them to the sides of the owls.

I used half of a gold pipe cleaner to hang my owl.  I folded it into a loop and then added some hot glue to the back of the owl. 

The last step to finish up the owl ornaments is to add a small triangle beak, and the small white dot on the owl's eyes. 

Don't they look pretty on the Christmas tree, and they cost very little to make since all you need is cardstock. 

Now for my money saving tips of the day.. 

Have you checked out any of the Cyber Monday deals yet today?   I have been watching for some new craft items to add to my Christmas wish list that I could really use in my craft room.  

Have you seen these handy heat guns used by DIYers on crafting reels on Instagram and Tik Tok.  Well they are perfect for you want your paint to dry quickly or when you want to shrink wrap a gift.  I would love to have one for when I am painting projects. 

If you like to create gnomes like I do, you might be interested in this 36 pc gnome kit , with nosed and faux fur beards of different colors. I like that the beards the little gnome noses are ready to use. 

Probably the most useful item on my Christmas list is this Chandler Full Size 60W glue gun with stand. Several of the crafters that I watch on YouTube have this glue gun, and it is a best seller on Amazon. Not only would it do what I needed it to do, but it looks really pretty too.  

What crafting items are on your wish list?  

Read More »