I know I shared this a couple of years ago, but I just had to share this again for anyone that may have missed it! I LoVe this homemade potpourri! It is super easy to make and will smell up your entire home for the holidays! Try it out and let me know what you think!
3 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Bay Leaves
¼ C. Cloves
2 Lemon Wedges
1 Orange Peel
(Top 3 ingredients are found in the dry spice section of the grocery store.)
CoMbiNe all of these ingredients in a small crock-pot. Add water to cover top of all ingredients. Leave on low temperature. As the smell fades, continue to add water and various ingredients to keep the mixture moist for a continuous yummy smell! EnJoy!
*Be sure to unplug your crockpot at night because all the water will be gone by morning and the potpourri will be burnt!
*If you are ready to start a new batch, drain the water and set out the old potpourri to dry. Even as dry potpourri it smells AWESOME! Place the dry potpourri in a pretty bowl on a table as another way to smell up your home and extend the life of your potpourri!
Need a quick X-Mas Present idea?! Throw the ingredients into a basket or mini-crockpot and give as a gift! Include a printed version of the recipe by clicking here!
Tis’ the season for trying to capture that PeRfEcT photo for the annual Christmas card! You know the one I’m referring to that gives the illusion that your kids never fight, don’t play in the mud, and wear matching outfits daily. First there is the decision over whether to go to a portrait studio, hire a photographer and do an outdoor family photo shoot, or take the pictures yourself. Once that is decided the planning of the outfits can begin. The ridiculous part about this is that stores start putting out their holiday lines in October so if your kids wear a popular size you better be thinking ahead. Ok, now you know who is taking the picture and what everyone is wearing, but here is the hardest part…getting everyone to cooperate!
I am sure many of you moms are going through this torture over the next few weeks so let me share my Christmas card 2013 attempt with all of you. Before I start getting all sorts of complaints from dads, I chose to write moms because maybe there are one or two dads out there who break the mold and take the kids for the Christmas photos, but in MY experience, there is NO dad who wants to be anywhere near this unprecedented madness EVER!
This year I was going to have a friend who is a professional photographer take photos in our yard. Well that idea went down the toilet when I had to cancel the session because it had rained the night before and the grass was soaking wet. I know my kids would never have cooperated if their feet were soaking wet from the grass and we wouldn’t have gotten the photos that I wanted to get. My second attempt pictured above was yesterday. I thought I could take the bull by the horns and take the photos myself. I’ve done it before so why not? Here’s why not…apparently I bought my son “handsome” clothes instead of “cool” clothes and he refused to put them on. In a desperate attempt to move forward with my plan I decorated a tree with candy canes and figured I would at least get my daughter’s picture done since she was all dressed and loves getting her picture taken. I figured my son would get jealous and cave once he saw her getting all the attention and put the cute plaid shirt and sweater on, but boy was I wrong. What erupted was like a scene out of a Christmas horror show. While my daughter was standing on a chair smiling my son took one of my giant candy cane props and started chopping down the candy canes one by one out of the tree faster than I could grab him. Candy was flying all over the place, my daughter was wobbling in a chair in her Christmas dress, and all I was thinking was, don’t react like Clark Griswold when his lights don’t light up in Christmas Vacation!
Needless to say, we marched back in the house after picking up all of the broken candy canes and I am left with this fantastic picture that I share with all of you. Please keep it in mind when you are stressed to the max this Christmas season. As you receive your mail full of smiling faces each day remember a lot more goes into those cards than you think and don’t be too hard on yourself if your journey to whatever your PeRfEcT card is isn’t so PeRfEcT!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
With my son in Kindergarten, I’ve been planning more projects that incorporate some writing and of course some messy art! With all the academics that need to get covered in the short school day kids don’t often get the chance to get down and dirty with paint anymore. This simple Indian Corn project kept my 4 and 6 year olds busy for about a half hour (just long enough for me to enjoy a cup of coffee!) and the writing piece will remain a special memory of what they were thankful for at this special time in their childhood.
If you are a teacher, this can be done as a whole class activity and it would make a fantastic bulletin board display! Click on this link to print my free THANKFUL FOR tags and get your creative juices flowing!
I cut out a corn shape out of cardstock and fabric and glued them together. You can just use cardstock, but I thought the fabric gave the project a rustic look!
The more fall colors the better!
I used burlap to make the dry corn leaves and attached the printable Thankful For cards!
Happy Painting & Memory Making!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I couldn’t let a season pass by without sharing my handprint and footprint ideas from this year and years past. As my kids get older I am finding it harder to come up with projects that can fit both their hands and feet on one page so I’ve been letting them each do their own thing. I’ve also been having fun adding their drawings to the handprint art! The possibilities are endless!
HaPpY MeMoRy MaKiNg!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I know…it is only September…but I already have half of my Christmas shopping DONE! The motive for starting so early? I’m tired of stressing out during the holidays!
The reason I’m starting so early has to do with money. If I began now, I could spread the cost of gifts over the course of several months, instead of spending a large sum of cash in November and December. Since we do a monthly budget, I didn’t want to go WAY over in December (and throw the budget out the window), all because of Christmas. I figure if I SpReAd OuT my spending, I could easily pay $50-$150 in Christmas gifts and it wouldn’t make much of an impact each month.
The last couple of weeks I started searching for a few gifts. To my surprise, I was able to purchase several of my items half-off, just by shopping on eBay and Amazon! If I would have purchased those same items in a couple months from now, I’d be bidding against NuMeRouS (stressed) Christmas shoppers, which would make the bidding prices go uP Up UP!!! I have already saved significant cash on gifts, which allowed me to start working on the items I was planning to purchase next month. Can’t beat that!
The other obvious advantage is avoiding to shop (and panic) at the last minute. I feel less rushed doing it this way and can also make sure I get what I really want (since items are IN STOCK in September! ha!)
Christmas can be the last thing on your mind since we haven’t even hit Halloween, but if your past experiences left you in financial ruins and stress, it might be worth considering!
It just occurred to me that this week we are celebrating three of my favorite professions…NuRsEs, TeAcHeRs, and MotHeRs! Having been a first grade teacher for the 8 years prior to having my children I know how teaching can sometimes seem like a thankless job. There are MaNy parents who go out of their way to let you know that they appreciate the difference you are making in their child’s life. BUT…for every parent that thanks you there are 5 that say nothing and 5 that do nothing but complain about what you are NoT doing for their child! I saved every card and thank you that was ever given to me by a parent or student and now being a parent myself know how important it is to simply say…ThAnK YoU!
Next up…Nurses! I have to say up until my late 20’s I had little experience with nurses. I never broke a bone or needed surgery and had no reason to visit a hospital. I guess I saved up my need for nurses for the grueling 2+ year struggle with infertility and then my 2 time bought with postpartum depression. There is No WaY I would have made it through both of these experiences without the support of the nurses who took care of me during these times. When going through my 3 IVF cycles, it was truly the nurses, not the doctors who knew my story. I saw the doctors every morning on a rotating basis, but it was my nurses Mary and Pat who were my true cheerleaders. They cried with me through the disappointments and were on the phone with me when I found out I was expecting my miracle baby. It takes a SpEcIaL kind of person to be nurse and share in the highs and lows that come with the fragile life we are given. To all of you…ThAnK YoU for all you do!
Finally…a huge thank you to all of the MoThErS, AuNts, and GrAnDmAs! For years I dreamed of having a baby and being a stay-at-home mom. I am not sure what exactly I thought I was getting into, but I can remember saying a few times in the very beginning, “Where are the cute baby bunnies and little yellow duckies?!!!” Baby gifts and baby cards always have cute little animals on them with cheerful little expressions…there have been MaNy a day that our house looks like a bull ran through a china shop and I have yet to see those cute animal faces! That being said, I believe that being a mother is the hardest JoB in the world. Every single decision you make directly affects those you hold so dear. I wish all of you a VeRy HaPpY MoThErS DaY!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I’m at it again! Here are some pictures of the art that I created using my kid’s handprints and some finger-painting!
To make this shamrock I used a small canvas that I bought on sale at my local craft store. I let me son paint the background orange and then I used a different green color for each of my kid’s handprints. To add the lettering I used rubber stamps and paint! This one is my favorite!
I had my son finger-paint the rainbow and color the pot of gold with crayon. Once the rainbow was dry he glued on his own “gold” coins that I purchased at my local dollar store!
My son wrote his name with a white crayon and I went over it with gold glitter glue!
You can do this with the shamrock and leprechaun like I did or do them separate. I had my daughter do the shamrock and son do the leprechaun so they each got to do their own thing. My son used his fingertips to do the hair and pink cheeks. I attached a cute saying and sent these to our family for St. Patrick’s Day!
Click the links below to see handprint ideas for
Christmas,Valentine’s Day, and Patriotic Holidays!
Christmas Handprint Memories
Valentine’s Day Handprint Crafts
Handprint American Flag
Have fun MaKinG MeMoRiEs!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Each year I try and think of a cute way to send out my kid’s VaLenTiNe TrEaTs at school. This year I found two cute ideas on Pinterest and then added my own touch! Our school has a no candy policy so we used individual packs of Teddy Grahams and Goldfish.
I printed the cards on light brown card-stock. Next, I glued the eyes on the bear and had my 3-year-old daughter draw a nose, a smile, and then sign her name!
I printed the cards on white card-stock. Next, I had my 5-year-old son draw the water in the fishbowl and then sign his name!
I attached the bear to a treat bag with Teddy Grahams and the fishbowl to a treat bag with Goldfish!
Click here to download the cards to attach to your treats!
Abby’s Valentine Teddy Bear
Nicholas’ Valentine Fish Bowl
Happy Valentine’s Day!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Maybe it’s the first grade teacher in me, or maybe it is just simply the Mommy in me trying to bottle every minute of my kids being LiTtLe, but I am hooked on handprint crafts! When my son was born I made about 20 handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving and sent them out to family and friends. Since then there hasn’t been a holiday that has gone by without the creation of a handprint project to proudly hang in our home to remember how little their hands once were and to remind us how quickly time goes by. Maybe my Handprint Memories post last Christmas prompted some of you get out the paint and start MaKiNg SoMe MeMoRiEs…if not, here are some easy Valentine’s Day ideas to get you started!
This year my 5-year-old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!
I found these wood hearts at my local craft store and stamped them with the “special name” that my kids say I call them the most!
You can also do a family handprint craft!
Here’s one my sister did last year and gave out as Valentine’s Day gifts from my niece!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)