Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Adventure

I'm a procrastinator - always have been. So I'm usually no help to those who search blogs for crafty ideas. I'll post about them months later or too late to get it done - or not at all (you should have seen the cute witch hats we decorated for a preschool project). HOWEVER, you still have a day to complete this easy peasy project and have a fun way to count down the days with your kiddos.

Last year, I painstakingly folded origami cups and it was worth it (and really not that bad), but I didn't make them sturdy enough to be re-used (plus I wanted a little bigger pocket for loot). So I desperately tried to figure out a way I could make something quick, easy (cheap) and cute.

Voila! I present to you the quick & dirty advent calendar!

Materials you'll need to make your own:

Small cups: (I chose plain red and green punch cups) - found at Fred Meyer in the party section. They are 9 oz. I was hoping for smaller (the original idea in my head was with dixie cups) but I actually like the size now.

Numbers: I printed some in circles that I colored red and green on the computer - you could stamp or just simply write them on the cups with a pen. There are even easy number stickers you could use.

Ribbon: Joann's was having their 70% off ribbon sale yesterday - score! Or just use kitchen string or twine.

Clips: I used mini clothespins (leftover from last year's project) but you could use binder clips, paper clips, etc. You could even staple to the ribbon. I chose not to so we could take the cups down as we go. I plan to replace the empty spots on the ribbon with any drawings/projects Monkey makes during the month.

1) Affix numbers to the cups
2) Attach to the ribbon
3) Fill cups with messages, loot, etc.
4) Show to kiddies and have a fun time each morning checking out the new surprise!

I haven't figured out what will be in all the cups yet but some days will be a little treat (edible or a toy) and others will have a note about an activity we'll do that day.

Here are some I know I'll be using:

Note: Get out the holiday books
Note: Paint an ornament for the tree
Note: Go to Grammy & Grandpa's and watch the Santa parade
Note: Decorate the Christmas Tree
Note: Visit Winterfest
Note: Bake & decorate cookies
Note: go look at Christmas lights
Note: paint wrapping paper
Note: look under the tree for a surprise and we'll watch a holiday movie tonight (the surprise will be pj's for the whole fam)

small dinosaurs
crazy straws (the kid loves them)
dinosaur tattoos
card game

Now go do it - it's fast and easy and a whole month of fun!

P.S. if you had to buy everything for this project it would be well under $10. Compare that with the Pottery Barn tree I've always coveted (and have thought of trying to make every year but then remember who I am!)

Involve your kids - get white cups and have them paint, draw or glue to decorate! I would have done that if I had thought ahead and Monkey wasn't at Grammy's this weekend.

If you like this - check out these great thank you cards and this easy Santa photo display.

P.S. Please share your results!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Crafting

Well, I've caught the bug again. Not H1N1 but the crafting bug. Of course it's a bit late - but I want to make another advent calendar this year. Last year's was a lot of fun (both to make and open) and the plan is to make it a tradition. If only I had made the origami cups a bit sturdier . . . I would suggest using ribbon for the handles if you make it but I didn't want to buy anything so I tried to use what I had in the house (lots of paper). Anyhoo, I've got a quick idea for this year's calendar and I'll be sure to share once it's done - hopefully prior to December 1st!

(Last year's folding fun)

I'm also excited to have a mantel this year - Mark finished it (mostly) over the summer and it's exciting to have somewhere to hang the stockings again. It also means I have some horizontal space to play with for decorating . . . agh! I was inspired by Amber over at Life and Times of Stella (check her out - she's funny and smart) to create a banner kind of like this. She hasn't blogged about it but I know she has all the materials just ready and waiting. Mine will be a bit simpler as again - I want to use up what I have in the house! I think I'll raid Monkey's glitter stash.

So that's what I'll be doing in the wee hours - what about you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I meant to post this prior to November - but it's not too late! Movember is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men’s health issues - specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

If you've ever wanted to grow a mustache - here's a wonderful excuse that your partner can't dismiss. And if you're follicularly-challenged (I don't think that's a word but it should be) or mustache-phobic (understandable) you can support your mo-bros, raise awareness and donate to the cause! Feel free to join our team Mo Bikes.

Or donate to the cause here:

We got a bit of a late start as we had family pictures done on Monday (oops) so Mark had to shave off his fuzz and start over - so you can too! Really, it's not about the mo - it's about the conversation.

A Mo Bro starts Movember – the month formerly known as November – clean shaven, and grows a moustache all month long, garnering support from friends and family in the form of donations. What’s more, a Mo Bro is a walking billboard for the cause as his new look opens the door for him to talk about cancers affecting men – making the moustache a symbol, much like the pink ribbon is for breast cancer. Each Movember culminates in a Gala Partè in major cities around the globe where Mo Bros dress up to match their Mo, channeling the likes of Tom Selleck, Gandhi and Ron Burgandy, vying for the ultimate accolade: Man of Movember.

While growing a Mo is left to the guys, Mo Sistas (women who support their guys) form an important part of Movember by recruiting Mo Bros, helping to raise funds and attending the highly anticipated Gala Partés.

This Movember, the money raised in the U.S. will be split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation will use the money raised by Movember to fund research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation will use the money raised by Movember to fund:
• the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance program which has the goal of improving survival rates and quality of life for young adults with cancer between the ages of 15 and 40.
• research initiatives to further understand the biology of adolescent and young adult cancers.

To date, Movember has raised $47 million globally making it the world’s largest charity event for men. Significantly, awareness of men’s health issues has improved with Movember helping to spread important health messages directly to millions of Mo Bros & Sistas around the world.

I challenge you to join us in changing the face of men's health.

For further information, visit Movember's official site.