Celebrating Fun: November 2012

Can you believe it is already November?!?!  It definitely took me by surprise (which is part of why this post is a few days late!).  Between my entire family, including myself, being sick for the past month, Halloween last week and getting ready for the craft fair I participated in on Friday – I just didn’t get this post written!

Honestly, there aren’t too many “holiday” we celebrate in November other than Thanksgiving.  There are a few special dates and one that has become special to us this year in our extended family!

November Holidays

3rd – National Book Lovers Day – grab a book and READ!

3rd – Housewife’s Day!!!

3rd – Sandwich Day

11th – Vetran’s Day – thank any and all the service men and women that you know!!!

15th – Clean your Refrigerator Day – (I know I need to do this!!!)

16th – Have a Party with your Bear day – do something fun with the kiddos and have them bring their stuffed bears along!

17th – Homemade Bread Day – whip up some fresh bread!  Pumpkin Bread, Banana Bread, or even just some yummy rolls to go with dinner.

Cooking with mom

17th – National Adoption Day!!!  This is exciting for our family this year since my sister  in law and brother in law are getting ready to adopt 3 precious children!  They are having a shower on this day and I can’t wait to bless them as they prepare to become parents!!!

19th – Have a Bad Day Day – I really don’t think I want to celebrate this one ;)

20th – Beautiful Day – YES it is since the 20th is my birthday!!!! haha

22nd – Thanksgiving Day – take some time to give thanks for all the Lord has blessed you with (we do this all month long!!!)

23rd – Black Friday – Do you Black Friday shop?  I did last year with my sister in law and it was SO much fun!!!

26th – Shopping Reminder Day – only ONE MONTH until Christmas!!!  Get that shopping done!

In the past we have done a few other things in November to get us ready for Thanksgiving. Once year I made handprint turkey cards for all the grandparents and aunts and uncles.

You can make a Thankful Tree and each day a leave to it with something you are thankful for.  How beautiful would that be by Thanksgiving, branches COVERED in leaves of thanks!

November (around my birthday) is also the time of year we decorate for Christmas!

Tree Decorating 2010

Zach decorating the tree in 2010

Here is the calendar I have gone to for years to tell me what holidays are in each month!

{Celebrating Fun}: Mummy Dogs

We don’t put too much focus around here on Halloween.  The decorations in the stores scare the boys.  But I do like to do some of the more fun things that come along with this sugar filled holiday.  One of those things that has become a quick and easy tradition around here is mummy dogs (aka Pigs in a Blanket).  I “discovered” these a few years ago and I love how quick and easy they are for lunch or dinner (not to mention yummy!) but also I love that they are super simple so the boys can help me make them.

Mummy Dogs

Mummy Dogs

Shopping List (not really much cooking going on here so I just couldn’t put ingredients, haha)

  • tube of crescent rolls
  • hot dogs of choice
  • dipping sauces (ketchup, mustard, etc)

Directions:

1. Open the crescent rolls and instead of pulling them apart into the triangles like usual you are going to roll out the rectangle like they come out of the tube and cut them into long strips about 1/2 inch wide.

2. Take a hot dog and begin wrapping it at the top (pinch the end so it stays together).  Don’t forget to leave a hole for the mummy’s eyes ;)

3. Keep wrapping until you reach the bottom, if you need to add another piece just pinch the ends together and keep wrapping.

4. Place all your mummies (crescent wrapped hot dogs) on a cookie sheet and bake to the directions on the crescent roll tube.

5. When they come out of the oven, use a couple dots of mustard or even diced olives for eyes and then let your little ones eat them up!

There you have it!  A quick and easy lunch or dinner during the month of October.  The boys LOVE making these since they are so simple.  We ALWAYS have them for dinner on Halloween before heading off to the church for Hallelujah Night.  Usually they make it on the menu plan a couple other times as well.

So go make some for your pumpkins and monsters and tell me how they turn out!

Tuesday Tutorial {recipe}: Pumpkin Spice Waffles!

So the other night I had a hankering (yep, I said it) for something fallish for dinner.  Since the cupboard was getting pretty bare, the  best option for dinner was breakfast.  Waffles were sounding yummy but first I wanted to make sure the hubby was OK with pumpkin waffles.

Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “If I said pumpkin spice waffles, what would your reaction be?”

Hubby: “With maple bacon?”

Me: “Maple sausage and regular bacon.”

Hubby: “Sounds good”

 

So off I went in search of a Pinterest recipe for Pumpkin Spice waffles.  I soon realized that I either didn’t have some necessary ingredients OR the recipes were just pumpkin with no spice :(  But instead of getting defeated, I just decided to take one that was the closest to the ingredients I had on hand and “tweak” it a bit.

Here is what I came up with!

Pumpkin Spice Waffles 

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups of pancake mix
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Mix the wet ingredients together.  In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  I put about 3/4 of a cup of the batter in my waffle iron for each waffle and total ended up with about 7 waffles.  My boys gobbled them up and my hubby said the spices were just right: not too strong but enough to taste.  I will definitely be making these a bunch more this fall!

More waffles please!

 

Celebrating Fun: October 2012

October comes with a lot of fun on its own.  I mean any month where you get TONS of candy is a good month.  In our house we have a few traditions that come along in October.  While there aren’t as many “fun” days to celebrate there are still plenty of ways to keep busy in October and I plan on celebrating with my sweet little monsters.

 A few of our yearly traditions in October are:

Making Mummy Dogs – always dinner on Halloween but usually a couple other times in the month!

Family trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Annual Pumpkin Patch Trip

Carving pumpkins with Aunt Darla – though she recently moved to Colorado, we are hoping to visit in October and still carve pumpkins with her.

Pumpkin Carving with Aunt Darla

Family Pumpkin Carving Night – my SIL started a couple years ago having us all come over and carve pumpkins together.  It is a fun and silly time with my hubby’s side of the family that we love!

The 5 older cousins with all the pumpkins

Hallelujah Night – where we celebrate Halloween, our church’s Halloween carnival

 

October Unique Holidays:

3rd – National Techies Day (my hubby is a web developer so I might just have to surprise him with something!)

4th – National Golf Day – for sure a day I won’t have to force my hubby to participate in ;)

Golfers

5th – Do Something Nice Day – sounds like some random acts of kindness will be in order!

14th – National Dessert Day – what to make???

16th – Dictionary Day – a homeschooling mom’s favorite type of holiday, it can fit right into schoolwork!

3rd week in October – Pastoral Care week – do something nice for the pastor of your church

30th – National Candy Corn Day – I am sure my boys will LOVE this one!

31st – Halloween & Carve a Pumpkin Day

 

Here is the complete list of things to celebrate in October!

Which holidays are you going to celebrate???

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Do you have those lovely plastic pumpkins that you can get for a $1 at Halloween for your kiddos to collect your their candy in?  I sure do!  Can I just say that I am not a fan of storing those all year long to be used for just a couple hours ONE day a year.

So here is the solution – adorable candy tote bags that are reversible too!!!  Want to make one (or four, like me)?  Well, here’s how…

Mom's Busy Crafting - Halloween Candy Tote Bag Tutorial

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Materials:

Materials

1/3 yard of main fabric

1/3 yard of lining fabric

1/6 yard for straps (I used a remnant I found!)NOTE: I bought a yard of each fabric and this made a total of 6 bags!

 

Cut fabric (from selvage to selvage) into 12″ panels.

Cut fabric in 12" sections

Turn fabric and cut width of each panel to 22″ (pretty much just trim the selvage ends off).

Cut to 22" wide

Open up the fabric and cut along the folded edge – you should now have TWO panels that are 12″ x 22″.

Cut the long panel in half

Fold the right sides together and sew up the sides.  (Sorry for the change in fabric!)
Sew up the sides
Now repeat these steps with the fabric for the lining.
This little guy wanted in on all the picture taking!

Cutie break

 

Turn ONE of the fabrics right side out and place it INSIDE the bag that is inside out.  Turn right sides out

bag inside lining

 

Now let’s make the straps. Cut your strap fabric into 5″ strips (again, selvage to selvage).  Then cut those long pieces in half.  You will now have your two straps.  Press each strap in half.

Fold strap

Open the strap back up and fold the edges into the center and press into place.

Fold sides in

Fold along the center line again and press well.  Strap is almost done!

Fold along center

Sew BOTH sides of the strap (the open side and the fold).

sew strap

Time to pin the straps to the bag and finish it up! I pinned my straps 2″ in from the sides leaving a 3″ space in the center of the straps.

Pin straps

Now sew the bag around the top leaving a 2″-3″ hole for turning.

Sew bag and lining together

Turn fabrics right side out and put lining into the bag.

Turn the bag right side out

Top stitch around the top of the bag making sure to close the hole where you turned the bag.

Top Stitch to finish bag

And there you have it.  Candy collectors that are MUCH smaller to store (and much cuter too, if I do say so myself!).  I can’t wait for the boys to see them (I finished them at 11:30pm so they are sleeping).  Since they chose the fabrics I know they will be very excited to see them complete.

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

 

”Tip

Finally my OWN Burlap Wreath

A few years ago I bought the supplies to make a fabric Christmas wreath.  With pinking shears in hand, I proceeded to cut LOTS of little squares of fabric.  After what seemed like hours there were two red and green piles.  So I started pinning away.  I ran out of fabric squares LONG before I ran out of straw wreath that needed to be covered.  Sure I had more fabric, but I was DONE!  So there it sat… and sat… and sat.

Burlap Wreath: beginning

Fast forward several years…  Having just moved the wreath surfaced again.  Well, I now knew just what I wanted to do with it!  My friend, Laurie of Gallamore West, had posted a while back about the burlap wreath that she made for her son’s birthday party.  As soon as I saw it I was in love!  I mean we are talking serious wreath envy!  Ever since I have wanted to make one of my own, but I dreaded the cutting squares and pinning.

With fall fast approaching, I decided I wanted to tackle so kind of burlap project so with coupon in hand off to JoAnn’s Fabrics I went.  My purchase of 2 yards of burlap sat for several weeks as I went back and forth on what I wanted to make until one day once again Laurie inspired me!  This time she had whipped up (seriously, like in a naptime crafting session no less – and she also has 4 young boys!!!) TWO burlap wreaths – one for fall and one for Halloween!

If she could do it so could I!  One night once the boys were in bed, off to my craft space I went determined to get my wreath made.  I started by taking out all the pins and fabric squares that were already in the wreath from my last attempt.  Don’t worry, I will still use all the fabric squares I spent so much time cutting out.

Burlap Wreath: Supplies

I cut about 5 strips of 3″ wide burlap (selvage to selvage).  I pinned one end into place and wrapped the straw wreath until it was completely covered.  Now it was time to cut the dreaded squares.  Thankfully, since I was now equipped with a cutting mat and rotary cutter this step went SO MUCH faster!!!  Within just a few minutes I had several 3″x3″ squares of burlap (but boy do those fibers of burlap get everywhere!  I was so itchy – not a good thing when you are crafting in your jammies! OPPS).

After folding each square into fourths I pinned them onto the wreath making sure to pin in all different directions so my wreath would look full. I didn’t really count how many squares I ended up using.  I just cut about 3 strips at a time and then would cut more when I needed.  In the end, it was probably about 10 or so strips.  All together it took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete (find something good on TV or throw in a movie and fold and pin away).

Burlap Wreath: Pinning the squares

To finish it off, since this is a wreath for fall – at least for now- I added in the red fabric squares from the old wreath. {please excuse the horrible picture of the end product, it was 10:30pm and this was taken hanging on the door of the bathroom in the loft area where my craft space is.}

I’m not quite done with it yet.  Need to add a ribbon hanger and probably will throw in some ribbon accents.

Burlap Wreath: All done

Can’t wait to find the perfect spot to hang this!

I am thinking I need a mirror for over our mantel and then I can hang it in front of the mirror!  {squeal}

Finished Turkey Cards

With a bit of ribbon and some rub on lettering, the handprint turkey cards for Thanksgiving were complete. Two were given to my son’s teachers, two were for each set of grandparents and the final two (which were a bit different) will be used in my older boys’ scrapbooks for Thanksgiving pages.

Thanksgiving Banners

As a little thank you for my son’s preschool teachers, I made banners that say “Give Thanks”. Using my Opposites Attract Cricut cartridge to cut out the letters. From one set of lettering I was able to make both banners. I cut the other shapes with my Creative Memories cutting system. With a few pieces of grosgrain ribbon, the banners were complete! The teachers loved them and they cost me virtually nothing since I already had all the materials.




Autumn Banner

>I saw the idea for a cute holiday decoration on Nannygoat and I have been wanting to make one for quite some time. Since the ladies at Nannygoat used chipboard letters I was waiting to use those. However, since I was never really able to find large chipboard letters at Michaels and it was suggested on the blog, I just pulled out my handy dandy Cricut machine and cut out my own letters.

Using my Creative Memories cutting system, I cut out the backing circles and wavy edge circles. I also cut out some fall shapes on the Cricut (leaves, apples, acorns). It was all put together with Mod Podge. With the banner being entirely made of paper, I wanted to add some stiffness to the banner and seal all the layers together well. To string the banner I used some thick twine that I had on hand and then to add some finishing touches to it I tied on some grosgrain ribbons in two different widths.


World Card Making Day! UPDATED

As a mom of three, I have learned I have to get things done well in advance. So I used World Card Making Day to get ahead. I made 5 cards for our pastors for Pastor Appreciation Day the following Sunday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of those. The boys and I also made Thanksgiving cards for Chris’s teachers and a few others. Out came the box of paints, foam brushes, cardstock, and of course, the little hands! The end result… well, honestly they aren’t completely finished, but I just need to add a few embellishments (ribbons, brads, rub-on transfers, etc.).

I started by cutting some dark brown cardstock to make a 6×6 inch card. Then over that the tan cardstock would be placed with the handprint turkeys. Next, I used CB’s hand (the biggest one) and did two layers of “feathers” using his handprints. Notice I only used the fingers and not the thumb for the feathers.

After two layers with the larger handprints, I did two layers of CJ’s hand (smaller handprint).
Here is a picture of the completed feathers.
I then used CB’s hand again, this time the entire hand including the thumb to make the body of the turkey.
Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished product!