Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Parcels, Cards and Luminaires


We’ve learned a few fun new crafts and games this December that I thought were worth sharing!


At our neighborhood Christmas party, the kids played Pass the Parcel led by our British neighbors. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who didn’t know about this game or if it is truly a British game per Wikipedia. Anyway, it’s similar to Musical Chairs but a wrapped package is passed while music plays. When the music stops, the child holding the package unwraps one layer of the wrapping.


Our neighbor so kindly put a small chocolate Santa in each layer so everyone got several chocolates since there were at least 10 layers! Finally the child holding the package for the last layer of wrapping paper gets to keep the gift. Then she brought out gifts for each child—so diplomatic and thoughtful!

At the other party we got to attend, the kids did a bunch of fun crafts. Thanks Cristi and Kim {waiting for the yarn hat tutorial on her blog}!


I added to the mix with a craft I based on a Christmas lanterns tutorial from Our Best Bites. I had a bunch of dessert jars I couldn’t bear to throw away yet which I thought could be a small version of their project. The kids cut up small pieces of tissue paper and glued on with a half water/half glue solution. Some of the candle holders looked more Christmas-y than others which is great either way.


The kids got busy with other things before they could have added ribbon and glitter snowmen or trees we had to the outside, but I still think they turned out really cute—and talk about a cheap craft!



We also tackled a few homemade cards for neighbors and local friends this year. Styled after one from Meet the Dubiens' blog, I drew a “cord” for the girls to add finger stamped light bulbs to. Inside I glued on little tags that said “All is calm, All is bright.” Imperfectly perfect?!


One last thing I had to share was one of the “gifts” the girls have put together for another {they ran around the house and put some items together for a “new” gift}. I love the wrapping on this one under the tree—it says “I love you Miah”! Sweetest ever!!!



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

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Before I’m way past Thanksgiving, I thought I better share about how it went, even if it’s just me for to check next year when I’m recalling what worked or didn’t!


Food wise {for what I made for this meal}:

  • For the turkey, I used Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Turkey Brine again since Butterball’s are not an option here. I think it helps a fresh turkey {the butcher made sure I knew it had been killed the morning I picked it up!}.
  • I made Make Ahead Gravy again from Southern Living. I was a little sad to not put all the good drippings from the turkey to use after I’d already made the other though—but having it already made is so nice!
  • My green bean casserole was much better than last year’s because I boiled the frozen green beans before adding them to the casserole to bake. I didn’t have that problem in America with canned green beans {difficult to find here}.
  • I need to use jello mixes from the same country! One from Germany and one from the US did not make for a solidified jello salad. Funny my kids and husband still ate it though!
  • Keep an eye on the rolls to not let them get TOO brown!
  • Pureeing frozen pumpkin with a little condensed milk helped it get to the right consistency faster. It worked fine in All Recipe’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie instead of canned pumpkin.

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Last year’s napkin holders were still in good shape, and I liked how they looked with my “new” table runner and napkins turned placemats from the flea market.


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I also found some cheap copper-like cups for small bouquets at the flea market. I decided to let our town florist make the bouquets since it didn’t cost me any more than the price of the flowers. I was OK with them after I pulled out all the greenery I wasn’t fond of. So next year I think I’d choose to cut and arrange the flowers myself.

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So thankful for my friends making wonderful treats in addition to the traditional dessert fare! The best EVER sugar cookies—pretty too!

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The cupcakes were not only tasty but helped make our kids’ table Mayflower boats! Later we let the kids ice the cupcakes.


The printables came from Shindig Parties To Go. I only made the ships and napkin rings, but they offered much more to make in the free download.

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The kids had a great time icing the cupcakes and doing some coloring and crafts after our meal.

Everything turned out great—truly thankful for a wonderful time!



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