Category Archives: Ideas

Handmade Christmas Ideas

Handmade Christmas Ideas

Believe it or not, Christmas isn’t that far away. In fact, it’s only about six or so paychecks away for most of us. While ‘tis the season to be merry, the financial strain the holidays place on people can make a scrooge out of almost anyone. And, when you’ve got children, the financial burden of Christmas rises. Not only are you shopping for the kids for Christmas, but you’ve also got to find gifts for your kids to give to their grandparents and some of their friends. One way to alleviate some of the financial strain these extra gifts can cause is to help your kids make handmade gifts to give. Below are some suggestions.

Picture Frames – You know that wedding your little girl was the flower girl in this summer? Well, get a picture of her all dressed up in her flower girl dress and set it aside. Go to the nearest craft store and pick up a plain wooden picture frame (there are some made out of cardboard too), paints and small decorative items that can be glued on to the frame. Then, help your little one paint the frame and decorate it. Finally, place the picture in the frame and wrap it up. Grandparents love homemade gifts like these!

Handprint Plaques – Another great idea is to go and get a small wooden plaque from your local craft store along with some paints. You will need at least two different colors, one for the plaque and one for the handprint and writing. Don’t forget to get a spray on clear coat. All you have to do is help your child paint the plaque, let it dry and then dip their hand in the other paint and press firmly on the plaque. Write their name and date on the plaque, let it dry and then apply the clear coat.

Gift in a Jar – This is a fun, cheap and easy Christmas gift for children to make for their friends and/or loved ones. All you need to do is decide on what gift in a jar recipe you want to make, buy the ingredients and a mason jar and you’re ready to go. There are a lot of gift-in-a-jar recipes to choose from ranging from brownie mixes to bread mixes to cookie mixes to S’mores and many more! Children often love making and giving these gifts. They’re perfect for little ones to give to their friends because we all know how little children love sweets!

Family Picture Ideas on What to Wear

Family Picture Ideas on What to Wear

The majority of families have family pictures done every two or three years…some even do it every year, depending on how close the family is. Once the family picture date is selected, the most common dilemma families face is deciding what to wear for the pictures. Honestly, the location and the attire for the pictures are critical for family pictures, because they (and the people) make the picture.

As far as family picture clothing goes, your options are endless. You can have everyone dress up for the pictures, wear matching outfits, have color-coordinated pictures, go casual or a number of other things. The decision is entirely yours, but before you choose you should consider the following:

  • Your Family:  First, consider your family as a whole. What type of attire best represents the individuals that make up your family? Do your family members enjoy dressing up for special occasions or are they more laid back and casual? You want your family pictures to represent who your family is.
  • Comfort Level:  Another consideration is how comfortable the clothing is that you are considering. While some people are comfortable wearing a formal suit and tie, others may not be.
  • Cost:  The clothing worn for family pictures does not have to be expensive or brand new in order to look good. In fact, most people don’t think about how much the clothing cost when they are looking at family pictures of their friends. Therefore, take the cost of clothing into consideration.
  • Location and Theme:  Finally, consider the location and theme of your family pictures. For instance, if you want your family pictures to be taken with an old family barn in the background, would it look odd to have everyone in formal dresses and tuxedos? Or…would that be a unique theme for your family picture? It’s all in how you look at it!

Regardless of what you have your family wear for pictures, make sure everyone has fun. The best family pictures are taken when everyone is truly having fun!

Easter Activity Ideas

Easter Activity Ideas

As you know, Easter is right around the corner. For most of us with young children, Easter means attending the morning Easter service at our home church and taking the little ones Easter egg hunting afterwards. However, there are many other families who have outgrown the Easter egg hunting days as their kids are “too old” for that. So, exactly how should these families celebrate Easter? Below are a few Easter activity ideas for families to do in lieu of (or after) Easter egg hunting.

  • Host a BBQ – More than likely, you and your children have friends who have also outgrown the traditional Easter activities. Therefore, why not make a big day out of it by inviting them all over and hosting your own Easter BBQ? Eating doesn’t have to be the only thing on the agenda for your party. Playing games, watching movies and swimming (depending on where you live) can also be on the “to-do” list.
  • Go to the Movies – Going to the movies is one of my favorite pastimes, but I especially love to go on a holiday. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter are all fun times to go. I’m not quite sure what it is about going to the movie theater on a holiday, but it’s just special. This is especially true if you are going with your friends and/or family. Plus, it always seems like there are good movies always coming out on holidays.
  • Go to an Indoor Water Park – Who doesn’t enjoy getting a little “wet n’ wild?” If your area has an indoor water park nearby, take the whole family on Easter. If you live in a place like Florida, California, Hawaii or somewhere where it’s warm and sunny year around, go to the beach or an outdoor water park instead. This is a great way to spend Easter afternoon. It ensures everyone will have fun and be worn out by dinner time!

As you can see, there are several things you and your family can do on Easter aside from hunting Easter eggs. All you have to do is think outside the box. The ideas above are just a few of the MANY activities available for families on Easter! To get the most out of Easter 2018, start planning now and don’t wait until the last minute or you might find yourself sitting at home watching television again. Get out and about! Make this Easter one the entire family will remember!

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

As you are probably well aware of, May, June, July and August are the four most popular months for weddings. Many brides dream of having beautiful outdoor weddings where they can wear gorgeous summer wedding dresses and their bridesmaids can wear fun and simple bridesmaids’ dresses.

In theory, summer weddings are great because the majority of people can come due to school being out and lighter schedules. However, this isn’t necessarily true for everyone. For those with older kids, summer means a frenzy of activities as many kids play summer sports and then there’s also family reunions and vacations to go to.

You may know exactly what I’m talking about if you’re already looking at a jam-packed summer schedule. However, this doesn’t mean that you haven’t gotten your share of wedding invitations. Naturally, you won’t be able to attend them all. If you aren’t going to be able to attend a wedding, then you need to make it a point to attend the bridal shower.

Many people don’t like attending bridal showers because they take up a portion of a Saturday that could be spent doing something else and everyone at the shower sees the gift you bought for the couple. While bridal showers do take a little time and can put a little pressure on you to choose your gift carefully, they really are a great way to show the couple you care about them. Below are a few suggestions for appropriate bridal shower gifts.

  • Kitchenware – Engaged couples are always asking for various kitchenware whether it’s a good set of pots and pans, a toaster, dishes or something else. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with kitchenware, especially if you want to get the couple something that you know they’ll use.
  • Personalized Quilt/Blanket – If you really want to show the couple that you’re happy for them, then consider having a quilt or blanket made for them and personalized with their names and wedding date embroidered on it. I actually received one of these at my bridal shower and it’s one of my favorite keepsakes. This is one gift that will not be returned and will be treasured for many years to come.
  • Vacuums, Grills and Other “Big” Items – You may have a good sized budget for a gift or maybe you are going in together with someone else to purchase the couple something nice. If you are going to purchase a big item, then make sure you pull the couple’s wedding registry and choose something off the list of items they’ve selected. This will help ensure that the gift is appreciated and not returned and exchanged for something else.

Spring Activity Ideas for Families

Spring is right around the corner as we’re already right in the middle of March. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago we were all celebrating New Year’s Day with our friends and family. Spring brings so much excitement as the grass begins to turn green, trees begin to bud and outdoor activities begin to pick up. What are some of your favorite spring activities to do with your children?

My son is only four, but we’ve already found several things to do during the spring with him that has become sort of a tradition. Of course, now that he’s a little older, there are even more things we can do with him…such as soccer. He just started soccer the other night and his first game is today! It’s really cute watching all the other 4-year olds out there, and he loves it too. While soccer is new to our family, the following spring activities are not. Hopefully, you’ll find something on the list below that you and your family will be able to do in the upcoming weeks!

  • Family Pictures – Now that I have a child of my own, I look forward to spring family pictures! Before children, I didn’t see much of a point in it as the candid pictures I took around the house seemed to be ample enough. However, with a little one, my husband and I enjoy taking pictures every spring because we get to compare them to the previous year and see how much our son has changed. Plus, it’s fun to get dressed up in a pretty dress and have my hair done. I also enjoy picking out a new little boys’ suit for my son too!
  • Visiting the Zoo – Another favorite springtime activity we enjoy doing with our son is taking him to the zoo. We’ve found that the crowds aren’t quite as bad during the spring as they are during the summer, providing we go on a weekday and avoid Spring Break, which makes the experience that much more fun for our little guy. Not to mention, the weather is cooler out and the animals are a little more active…plus, we can stay for the majority of the day without succumbing to the summer heat!
  • Evening Walks – Once the spring weather is here, my husband and I love taking our son out on evening walks. It’s a fun family activity that we’ve always enjoyed. When he was little, we would push him in the stroller, but now he has his own bicycle (w/training wheels) and can pedal himself down the street. It’s a great opportunity for us all to bond…we even take the dog along!

On the above list are just a few of my family’s favorite spring activities. What’s some of yours? If you haven’t ever taken the time to enjoy the spring weather with your family, I hope you do so this year!