Feels Like Christmas, Maybe?

Usually the day after Thanksgiving our Christmas decorations are put up. It makes me feel that much longer than that is an eternity, even though it really wouldn’t matter. Today I finally got the boxes out of the attic (by myself, woohoo!) and put up the tree to start with. I put it in our den this year so that people could see it from the window as they walked up to our door.

My son doesn’t understand it and loves to touch the branches and tear off the ornaments and play with them. He can’t reach the breakable ones, but I’m constantly putting them back on the tree. We also watched Frosty the Snowman today. Colton approved!

Even if I’m not terribly in the mood for Christmas this year, it’s nice to have my son so that I go through the motions because I know he’ll enjoy it even if he wont remember it.

Happy Pie Day!

Are you making a pie on pie day? I’m not, I already bought mine and it’s ready to go in the freezer. I’m not a big fan of pie crust so I like the crumbly dutch apple pie.

Pie isn’t the only thing that I’m excited about for Thursday though. I can’t wait to have gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Yum! I am going to add green bean casserole to our meal this year, it’s not often that we have one at our family dinner.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Does your family do anything different than most American families?

{Deployment Packages} Christmas Decor Edition

At my house we don’t pull out any Christmas Decorations or anything until after Thanksgiving. I didn’t think about getting this package out until recently but I really should have had it out a few weeks ago.

I did this same thing for Halloween, I found cheap and flat decorations so that my husband could have fun decorating his room. When I was buying them I knew I could make the same or better.

This time, I was able to find a couple things I could put together easily with the paper I had. I made the paper christmas lights and cut some paper for a paper chain that he can put together there.

The rest of the decoration items are from the dollar section of the store, and I included some candy, cocoa, chapstick, other of his regular goodies. (See Also: Deployment Packaging Station)

Wallet Decoration- Button Mickey

I have a wallet that my sister gave me recently, and I love it. I don’t love the company that put the name on the wallet, so I finally figured I should just cover it up instead of buy a new one and I love my wallet completely now.

Materials:
Wallet
Buttons
Ribbon (optional)
Hot Glue

Before:

 After:

 After After:

This was quick and easy, I saw a pin made from buttons at Disneyland, so this is just my version. Green for money 🙂 The bow is optional, you never know it might be good for a Disney lover guy!

Other Disney Projects:
Heartbeat of Disney T-Shirt
3 Ways to Use Disney Souvenirs

Change Jar Guessing Game

I was recently reading an article titled 30 Signs That You Were Raised by Frugal Parents” over at Wisebread.

One of those signs was that your family held a contest to see how much change was in the change jar. We never did that, but it’s never too late to start. I was just gonna text the picture and ask my husband his guess, but I figured I could see if anyone else wanted to play.

There are only pennies and dimes, because that’s what fits through the hole. My guess is $48, but I haven’t counted it yet.

The winner can help me find another cool jar. Or help me clean my house. You know, whichever you want. I’ll find a cool prize before the contest is over because I don’t know what it is yet! The contest will be over next Sunday or whenever my husband sends me his guess, which ever comes last!

Please leave your guesses in the comments. 🙂

Today at Arizona Mama: Lace Cuff Bracelet

I love bracelets but never actually wear them. I recently was wearing the bracelet I made with my boys’ picture on it but then my little boy wanted to wear it. Don’t worry it was redone with camo fabric instead of the ribbon it first had. It made me realize that maybe I don’t like bracelets because I haven’t found the right one yet. When a friend wanted help making one I jumped at it, and made one for myself too. Check it out my new bracelet at Arizona Mama.

The Rock Climbing One Year Old

My husband and I used to both be outdoorsy people. That was a few years ago. We would still like to be, but we spent 3 years of working different schedules and our together time became meals, shopping or tv time because we didn’t have the time to drive to somewhere “outdoorsy” and we don’t have much close, or the weather is too warm.

I was able to go out in a Jeep this past weekend, and we stopped by some cool places in the desert. My son got out and walked around with us. He has just been learning to run and was tripping over everything at first. He’s not used to obstacles in his way (ok, other than his toys that don’t get picked up).

I was amazed that when we got to an area with some large rocks that he started trying to climb right up. He did a great job with it, until he tried using his knees rather than his shoes to get to the top. With holding our hands he made it up to the top of the rocks he was trying to climb and walked around on everything without getting a concussion, so I consider it a success. He must have the bouldering already programmed into his mind from our genes. It was a very exciting thing to see and has me getting ready to enjoy the great outdoors with him more.

Mail Time: Postcards for Daddy

With a deployed husband we try to send him things pretty often, whether they are e-mails, letters or packages. I think he enjoys what we send him. It’s hard to figure out what he really feels with this distance.

One thing I have had fun doing is letter our toddler get involved with sending stuff to Daddy. The toddler can help pick out postcards from the rack, or help chew on the postcards or bend them. I know he doesn’t really understand but I let him color in crayon or highlighter on whatever I send and I write in pen. That way you can see both of our messages on the same postcard. It works well, usually. One thing I have learned was that if you use a gel pen, don’t let the toddler kiss the postcard because it may smear the mailing address.

Other Toddler Activities:
Pinned it, Did It: Tube Play and Finger Paints in a Bag
Toy Laptop
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Fabric Headrest Mounted Tablet Holder

I saw a plastic one of these at Ross for $12.99 and I put it back because I figured I could make a fabric one! (Plus the plastic one looked totally cheesy and I was worried that the tablet would fall out!) This one only cost about a dollar or so, I think it’s a much better deal! This tablet holder is kind of an ugly project– I could make it cute, but it doesn’t have to be pretty because it’s useful and I’m lazy.

Also, this is for a 10.5 inch tablet, but use your own tablet measurements to figure out the right dimensions!

Materials:
1 foot Clear Vinyl (I bought 4 Gauge, at least that’s what the receipt said, I just picked the thinnest)
Scrap Fabric, Just a bit bigger than your tablet
Bias Tape
Ribbon

Directions:
Use your tablet to measure out your fabric. There should be at least and inch or two on each side.

Cut out the fabric, and cut out the same size for the plastic.

Next, you will want to go out to the car and measure around the headrest with a flexible tape measure. You will need the length around the top to bottom (make sure they overlap) and around the top, from side to side. That length, plus an extra 10 inches is how much ribbon you will need.

Each length of ribbon will be cut into two, but don’t do it evenly. Have more on one side than the other so that the bow you tie will be able to be tied off to the side, so that there won’t be a knot in the back of the person’s head that is sitting in the seat.

Put your plastic on top of your back fabric and place the ribbons in the middle, with the edges at the edge of the fabric and plastic,

Sew the 3 sides, and turn it inside out. (This is where more work could be done to make it prettier, those seams are pretty ugly! Covering them with bias tape might be cute.)

Next, make a bias tape or use an already bought one and finish off the top edge. A ribbon will need to be added to the top as well.

This is going to be so helpful for our next road trip, as my son has started watching cartoons lately. I’m going to try to save it for when he gets really cranky though!

I was impressed to find out that the touch screen was still able to be used with the clear vinyl. The vinyl does cling to the screen as well.

More DIY Bags:
Play Mat Toy Bag
Padded Tablet Case
Messenger Bag

Road Trip Tips:
The Greatest Trip I Hardly Remember
Road Trip Packing List Printable(And One For Toddlers)
Eating Out of a Hotel Room {Vacation Money Saving Ideas}

Disney Souvenirs

I’m a thrifty person, so when I go to Disneyland I am looking in the shops for ideas of what to make at home! Here are a few ideas that I have done so far- it means buying a small souvenir at Disneyland but you can use these souvenirs to make better things from them for less!

Smashed Pennies

I already posted about making a display for your smashed pennies, and since that post I have filled up my souvenir penny display quite a bit more!

Souvenir Penny Display

 

Buttons

The free buttons that they give you at City Hall (or some of the shops) are awesome as magnets. They are so easy to put together too! They give out “I’m Celebrating” ones if you aren’t there for your first time, anniversary or a birthday! I took an anniversary one to send to my husband when our anniversary does come up.

 

Pins

If you are into pinning and reading the different articles about saving at Disney you may already know that you can buy a lot of pins for much less online different places than at Disney. You may not get ones that you like, but you can trade them to get ones you like when you get there. Cast Members have to trade, so check out their pins to see if they have any you like!

I am not one to put a ton of pins on a lanyard, I bought pins to put them on other stuff to make a plain hat, purse, etc into a Disney hat, purse, etc. I took the flower off of my hat in order to put a pin on it, and my other pins are going to be put on the next purse and wallet I make. These pins (I bought them at full price because this was a last minute trip) were the priciest souvenir I bought, but they are much cheaper than buying a Disney Hat or Wallet.

I used the pirate pin to decorate this bag I created. My full tutorial is over at Arizona Mama. Click here to see my pirate satchel.
Pirate Bag TutorialAt Disneyland they also had some souvenir pins that were made to look like buttons, but instead of buying those I had fun putting real buttons on things- just like this cute wallet! Click here to see the tutorial of how I created this wallet.
Button Mickey Wallet

I hope you like what I did with my Disney Souvenirs and that it gives you more ideas!

Other Souvenir Ideas:
Heartbeat of Disney T-Shirt
Souvenir Baseball Bat Display
T-Shirt Quilt