Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Play Dough Stocking Stuffers

I ran across a wonderful gingerbread play dough recipe the other day that I think is the best! It smells so, so good. I was raving about it on facebook last week.


My four year old loves to help in the kitchen so I let him mix the ingredients. When it was time to put the pot over the stove, I took over. In just a couple of minutes, we were ready to play!


I didn't get photos of our playtime, but we pulled out the rolling pin and cookie cutters. I held the baby in my lap and Big Boy worked solo. That was the best hour! Do you make your own play dough? I actually prefer it to store bought because it is less sticky and smells so good-- plus, I know exactly what goes into it.


My oldest wanted to give some of our play dough to his little friends for Christmas, so we made a batch and divided it into baby food jars. One recipe filled five small jars for us. Then I cut circles out of cheery red and white fabric and tied a bright green grosgrain ribbon around the lid. For the cards, I used scrapbook paper and Santa stickers. 

Now... what to do with the other 737 glass baby food jars I kept for crafts? 

The recipe was found at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle via Pinterest.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm guest posting at Under the Table and Dreaming today! Yay! You can find my brand-new tutorial for handmade embroidery hoop ornaments there.



Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent Tents

To celebrate the season, I came up with daily activities that our family could do together. I've never had much room for a big advent calendar so I kept it simple this year. I wanted to incorporate our favorite traditions, some easy seasonal activities, and special treats for the month. We're loving it!


I printed out the activities on card stock and glued pretty scrapbook paper to the back of each. Then I folded them like little tents. I found my printable template at Living Locurto.


Every morning, we turn the next tent over to see what's on the schedule.


Here they are in order.

1. Let's go see Santa tonight.
2. We're going to the Christmas parade!
3. You get to eat a few Christmas cookies.
4. We'll make a handprint craft together.
5. Pick a board game to play with the family.
6. Let's make hot chocolate together.
7. Mommy will read you a Christmas story.
8. We'll watch The Polar Express tonight.
9. We're going to the movies! How about The Muppets?
10. Let's wake up early to go see Santa at the tractor store.
11. Read a Christmas book.
12. We're going to make paper snowflakes today.
13. Make Christmas cards for the widows at church.
14. Help Mommy deliver the cards we made yesterday.
15. We'll make a batch of gingerbread play dough and play with it.
16. Let's make gingerbread men.
17. Drive around to see the Christmas lights.
18. Make your annual "My Favorite Things" ornament.
19. Angel Tree shopping
20. Listen to our Christmas books on audio.
21. Help Mommy make goodies for the neighbors.
22. Let's make peanut butter and bird seed ornaments for the birds.
23. Our Christmas Eve (Friday night)
24. Our Santa Claus Morning (Saturday)
25. Christmas Day



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Smells of Home

I don't remember much from science class, but I do recall that of our five senses, smell is most closely linked to memory.

Isn't that so true? Every time I smell leather, I think of my dad's leather bomber jacket. Every time I smell freshly-cut grass, I'm transported back to second grade, looking out my schoolroom window at the men mowing and wishing I was running through the open fields. Don't even get me started on the smells coming from my mom's kitchen or newborn babies. My first perfume, Love's Baby Soft. Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. I could go on and on.


my baby at three weeks old

Having a good-smelling home has become important to me. I want my husband to come home every day and say what he said to me this afternoon, "It smells like Christmas in here." Knowing that I'm turning our brick and mortar into a home is definitely a feather in my hat. I want my boys to grow up thinking of our home as a warm, delicious place where they love to be.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a big batch of Scentsy from Amanda Burns, a super-consultant (that's my title for her, not the official Scentsy-endorsed title, fyi).

Oh, girl. That stuff is the best! I know you probably already know that. Scentsy's no big secret, but it really has become my new favorite thing. I was a Scentsy virgin, ahem, and the very first brick I melted was Pumpkin Marshmallow. Mmmmm. It's sweet and coconutty. After riding his bike outside, my four year old came in and proclaimed, "Mama! I want to eat what I smell!" Love that.

So I ordered myself a few more burners and they're going non-stop around here.

My favorites--

For our bedroom...
1. I love Duke (might be my #1 fave)-- it's masculine and like a wonderful, woodsy cologne.
2. Luna is a close second. It's light and floral.
3. Weathered Leather is third. I'm in Texas. It's like a new pair of Cowboy boots. Or walking into the Coach store.



In the kitchen...
1. Sunkissed Citrus is fresh and bright and makes me feel happy.
2. Pumpkin Roll, Central Park Pralines and Sentimental Cider tie for second place. During the holidays, I love the smells of baked goods and Christmas spices. Yum!



The guest bath... 
I try to save my lighter scents for the bathroom because it is a small, enclosed space and I don't want anything bold or overwhelming.

1. White-Out is a peppermint scent. I really like how crisp it is.
2. Home Sweet Home is light and smells like berries with a touch of cinnamon.
3. Autumn Sunset is also a spicy, cinnamon scent, but not too heavy.


Definitely do order with Amanda Burns. She's great to work with. You'll pay the same shipping no matter who you order from and I know you'll enjoy the super customer service you'll get with Amanda.

Check out her website here and her facebook page here.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Felt State Ornaments


I was whipping up another Geography Love Pillow and started thinking about making an easier version for us. We don't have our own pillow. You know what they say about the cobbler's kids never having shoes? Cue the violins.

I do want one for myself, but haven't really set aside time to make one. And Jeremy and I are both from the same hometown, met in the 7th grade. No long-distance love story for us.


So I came up with a quick and simple alternative.

I pulled out my felt stash-- it almost needs an entire closet-- and my ever-growing collection of cut-out geographical locations from pillow-making (so ironic for a girl who made her first C in geography and was in BIG trouble for a few weeks).


I used two circles of felt for the ornament and blanket stitched them together, leaving an opening for stuffing and a ribbon to hang.


The Texas, heart and ribbon were hot-glued on. Hot-gluing felt is like welding metal. That stuff is there forever.

The project took me about 15 minutes and I loved it so much that I'm planning to make a few more.

One of these days, I'm going to post about all the pillow covers I've been blessed to make. The stories that go along with the orders have made my heart swell. Who knew that a simple little wedding present would turn into an opportunity for me to learn about so many amazing people? I'm thankful for that.


Share with: Fingerprints on the Fridge

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Video: Easy, Healthy Chocolate "Pudding"

I wanted to try out a new recipe that's a little inventive, a little Birkenstock, and really easy. It's chocolate pudding made from only an avocado, a ripe banana, cocoa powder and maple syrup. 

I know, that was my reaction at first, too. But it's pretty good stuff. Nutritionally, I feel good about giving it to my boys.

In hindsight, I probably should have changed out of my sweats before doing a video tutorial, but I strive to keep it real around here. I'm just glad I didn't have dried drool on my shoulder or peanut butter on my shirt sleeve.

I hope you all feel really good about yourselves right now.

Recipe for Chocolate "Pudding" (1-2 servings)

1 ripe banana
1 ripe avocado
1 heaping T. cocoa powder
1 T. real maple syrup or honey

Mash together (or use a food processor) to get a smooth texture. I recommend not telling anyone about the secret ingredients until after they've tried it. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our 1st Elf Breakfast {And A Personalized North Pole Set Giveaway!}

Giveaway at the bottom of post!

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Our Elf is Elephant and is pretty much the best thing since Santa Claus. He buys us a whole month of "Eat your vegetables or Elephant will have to tell Santa" and "I wouldn't want to go have a chat with Elephant about not sharing your blocks with your brother." and also "Great job! I know our Elf will love letting Santa know how good you are being!"


This year was the first time we had a special Elf Breakfast to welcome our little guy back for the holidays.

I first saw the idea at Little Pumpkin Grace and had been planning a little something for my boys when Kelsey at Snowcones and Lollipops sent over a fabulous custom set of North Pole printables!

We received custom invitations to hand out to friends, a banner, milk and water bottle labels, cupcake toppers, straw flags, custom place cards and a template for our letter to Santa!

The printable set definitely made the morning even more magical for my little man.


The first thing he saw was the special North Pole banner...

then the place card with his own name on it...


and then the powdered donuts and snow milk! My little boy was a very happy guy!


Elephant even brought the boys (one was still sleeping away) a new movie to watch.


Instead of using my straw flags as they were intended, I used them to create a scavenger hunt.


1. Santa sent me to watch what you do. I brought you some presents; to find them, let's start at the Loo.

2. You're one step closer, but where to go next? Let's walk to the room where we eat breakfast.

3. The boy who is four makes this room his place. Hop, don't walk, with a smile on your face.

4. We are halfway there, but not yet done. Go to the front door. Are you having fun?

5. Tiptoe to the nursery, where you'll find the last clue. I'm always very quiet. What about you?

6. I hope you enjoyed our little game. Run to the fireplace and pick up your candy cane!


Then we wrote our letter to Santa. I started him off, then he added quite a bit on his own.  Can you tell finishing soup was a bit of a conflict the night before? 

Really fun memories were made that morning and I have personalized keepsakes and a set of party printables to use next year, too!

Want a set for your littles?

Kelsey is giving away a FREE personalized North Pole set to one lucky family.

To enter, you must be a follower or subscriber of In Between Laundry:

Go to Snowcones and Lollipops and take a look around. Leave a comment saying what you like the best. Leave your email address. Winner announced in one week. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap and It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

How's that for a title?

Thanksgiving went a little something like this...

1. Tuesday... Stayed up really late to finish packing. Realized my red shoes that had just come in that afternoon and were bought specifically for Wednesday's family portraits, didn't fit. At all. Like, wouldn't even go over my toes. And then I fell to the ground trying to make them go on. Not my shining moment. Two hours or rethinking our outfits later, bedtime.

2. Wednesday... Got up really early to get dressed and take family Christmas pictures in the cold air. Tears, snot, running toward traffic-- I'm a mess without my coffee-- and had to schedule a reshoot. Actually, baby boy was NOT a fan of that cold day.

Yay for one single good shot! Here's our Christmas card picture:

3. Drove to Houston. I have become quite the fan of long car rides. The boys sleep and I can sit still for a couple of hours and read. That never happens! I even watched a little Netflix on my phone and Jeremy and I got to chat along the way. It was like a date.... words I never thought I'd speak. 

4. My sister hosted Thanksgiving and we stayed in a hotel! That is THE way to go. After supper and visiting with the family, we went back to our room, got into our p. jammies and cozied up in the big bed with a little Food Network. I love hotels.


5. Thursday... We put on our Thanksgiving clothes and watched a bit of the parade before heading to Kristin's house. Throughout the day, we cooked and more family trickled in. I grabbed a hot potato with my bare hands and chunked it straight at my brother-in-law's mother, nearly killing her, so that was exciting. After a yum-yummy meal (thank you, Pioneer Woman menu plan), the girls all went out to see Breaking Dawn. I proudly admit that I'm 30 years old and loved the Twilight books. Not as much as Harry Potter. There, I said it.


These shirts were quick and easy-- I used faux suede for the ties and felt for the turkey faces, then fabric-glued everything right on the shirt. I saw the inspiration in a flash while browsing Pinterest, but don't remember where exactly.


6. Then we watched the last ever Texas A&M vs. UT Thanksgiving Day game. We're Aggies fans around here so it was a sad defeat for our team.

7. Friday was spent doing some Black Friday shopping, polishing off leftovers, visiting Santa at the Bass Pro Shop and driving home.

8. Laundry, laundry, laundry.
I love our tradition of spending the rest of Thanksgiving weekend, decking our halls. 
It's the hap-happiest season of all! 


Our first real tree (non artificial)
When it comes to decorating, Christmas is all about traditional reds and whites for me. I experimented with pom pom trim on the tree and love it so I need to go get some more.



Snow Village





Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Shopping Event

I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving meal with your family!

black friday

Are you ready to do some shopping with a few amazing stores?

It is Black Friday, afterall! I am a strong believer in staying in my jammies and shopping at my computer with a warm beverage close to my side. Any time I can get stuff scratched off my list without having to put on makeup is a good time.

shops 18-24-27

So grab yourself a cup of coffee and check out the fabulous vendors below. Just click on the store name or the image to be directed to each site.

After you shop, come back and leave a comment below to tell us about the awesome items you found. It'll be like a virtual show-and-tell after a good shopping trip! So fun!

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Hey y'all- I'm Amanda. I fell in love with Scentsy last year & knew I had to make it into a career! My favorite scents and wishlist get longer every time I open the catalog. 

I'm running a special today- all orders placed on my website will receive a free bar of Comfort & Joy AND be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate. 

Drop by, do some holiday shopping or just treat yourself to a gorgeous gift! Happy Holidays!

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Hi, I'm Ellie.  Rose is a Rose Designs specializes in one of kind handmade items including Ties, Suspenders, and Hair Accessories for all sizes. I love creating custom looks for your photography sessions, wedding parties, and special events.  

Friday through Sunday at 5 pm CST, use coupon code LAUNDRYBLACK to receive 20% off your total purchase!

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I started Poofy Cheeks as an outlet for my shabby chic, craft paper, and baker's twine obsession. I enjoy putting the items together and I am so excited to share all of the Christmas tags and stocking stuffers I have available. I hope you will stop by and browse around!

Use discount code 'inbetweenlaundry' to get 15% off in the shop this weekend!

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x-mas banner

Here at Yellow Plum Blossoms you will find handmade baby blankets and quilts, hooded towels, burp cloths and bibs, lunch boxes and other delightful and adorable items. Ask me to make you something custom!

30% off for all In Between Laundry readers, November 25-28, with the coupon code LAUNDRY (enter in at check-out).

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Personalized and hand-painted gifts for all ages

Each item is a one-of-a-kind creation, made especially for you! You choose the design, you choose the colors, you choose the name that goes on it!

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Christina's Creations

Christina's Creations is a place for all things pretty. I love making personalized clipboards, hair accessories and menu planners. I work really hard to keep my prices low--there's nothing over $10 in my shop. I also love working with you to customize almost anything you see at Christina's Creations.

Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2011 to get 15% off your order!

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Cicale T Designs

Jewelry made with Swarovski Crystal Elements
Natural Gemstone Necklaces
Mixed Medium Statement Pieces
Bold Designs
Modern and contemporary jewelry
Original and one of a kind.

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Bale and Twine

Gifting made easy with limited edition handcrafted goods from Bale and Twine. One stop shop for gifts that are thoughtfully made and packaged with care. Support the tradition of handcrafted artistry made in the US.

30% off sale for Cyber Monday!

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Posies In My Pocket
Posies In My Pocket Ad-1

Fun, colorful gifts and stocking stuffers!  Posies In my Pocket specializes in unique accessories for the girly girl in all of us! I hope you enjoy my items as much as I do making them!

The weekend of Black Friday, all orders placed will receive a free hair pin stocking stuffer and 15% off the entire shop!!  Use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

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table talkers
Kids grow up fast-- enjoy supper together with easy and fun Table Talkers!

24 original recipes for sugar hand and foot scrubs, using common kitchen ingredients.

This weekend only, my eBooks are on sale for $2.99 (regularly $5.00). Click on the images above for more information.