When December rolled into town, so did the fun traditions like the advent calendar. Each morning, my kids would rush to their designated calendars and want to see what awaited for them. Most of the time, it was chocolate, or maybe a small toy. But it was enough to make waking up before school a little bit more special. I got to thinking, why do we only do this during December and not any other time, counting down to a fun holiday? I stopped into my local Target, and in their Bullseye section were advent calendars that counted down to Valentine’s Day! What a clever and innovative idea! They only had two designs, and both were super cute! I felt like I could create something a bit better…and incorporate nature in a fun and festive way!
These D.I.Y branch advent calendars were super easy to create! I found the branch outside of my home and utilized the ribbons and trim I had leftover from Christmas. Since I’m a huge fan of using pink and red during Christmas, I had plenty left over for the craft. The bags were a great Amazon find, that I’ll link at the bottom of this post. The treats and trinkets I filled the bags with we’re small Valentine’s Day themed gifts from the Dollar Tree and Target. You can avoid the stores completely and order for a Target drive-up or order small things online to be delivered to your doorstep. Once I had my items together, I wrapped star tinsel around the branch for extra sparkle. I then cut 14 pieces of ribbon and tied them to the branch, leaving a bit of space in between each. For extra security, I hot glued the ribbon to the branch, but you don’t have to. After they all assembled onto the branch, tie your goodie bags to the bottom of each ribbon. Fill your bags up with an item per day, or a few if you have siblings sharing the advent. Once assembled, Hang on your wall by balancing the branch with a nail about midway down the branch. For added decor, tape a decorative balloon, like this “Love” balloon I got at the 99 Cents Store. That’s it! Starting February 1st, open one bag a day to countdown to the most loving day of the year!
The season of love is here and I am more excited than I’ve ever been for it! I plan on making a ton of Valentine’s Day themed content in the weeks to come, and I wanted to start off with my top reads! Ever since Halloween, the kids have been loving the idea of having holiday books set aside to enjoy. I normally would utilize our local library to collect such things, but due to the pandemic, that is sadly not an option. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite books to read to my littles during the month of February, along with a shoppable link so you can start to collect safely from your home!
So, we’re less than a week or so away from “the big day” and you still have some holes in your shopping list with the littles… don’t worry. I know this time of the year can be stressful enough. Add the pandemic, and you’ve got yourself an impossible mission to get it all done, and safely. I’ve personally ran into the problem that I’ve shopped for my kids during lockdown to keep them entertained, and now I don’t have options for Christmas. I know you can relate to that one! I wanted to compile a list of my kid’s favorite requests on their wish list, along with some items we just couldn’t live without during the year. That way, it can help fill in some blanks on your kid’s shopping list, giving you enough time to mobile order it all! If you do need to go out and shop in person, remember to wear a mask, socially distance, and bring hand sanitizer with you!
Play Osmo Educational Fun
Do you own an iPad or Tablet? Looking to mix up the homeschool routine or looking for a way to get the kids to learn while they’re having “screen time?” Look no further! The Play Osmo system is a huge hit in our home, and the kids honestly don’t realize they’re doing things like phonics and math! With so many games to choose from, there really is a game (or eight) for everyone!
This bag is the only bag that matters, and not only because of its precious cargo. I snagged this crossbody bag a few months back when it first came out, and I’ve never gotten so many compliments! No wonder it sold out in no time flat! Along with the fact that it’s beyond adorable, it’s completely practical too. When I need to venture out into our new world, I no longer like to bring a big bag with a ton of my possessions. Instead, I like to take just what I need to get the job done, which lately is my wallet, keys, mask, and hand sanitizer. This bag fits it all. If you love it as much as I do, you better act fast. This restock wont last long!
This year has been all about finding your inner cozy self. The coziest thing you can possibly have is a good pair of slippers. Happy Feet Slippers makes some of the coziest and most fun slippers around! From Disney to Marvel , to your favorite sports teams and animals, they have a slipper style for whatever you’re into! I fell hard for the Dumbo character slippers, while the girls love the flamingos. The fun doesn’t just stop with slippers! They also carry a line of stuffed animals that flip to reveal a new character! A total must for everyone on your shopping list!!
Kensey went bananas over the Netflix movie, “Barbie: Princess Adventure” and I was just happy to have so much merch to choose from! Target has an entire line of practically every character from the movie, so just head over to Netflix and watch this cute flick and become equally obsessed! I personally love every song from the movie, especially “Try it on.”
The most fun and fab dolls out there have had an artistic makeover! Choose from 26 “hairdoorable” characters, that each comes with 11 surprises, including a new hair art extension! Each package comes with one poseable doll, removable outfit, and 10 stylish surprises. I love the bright and vivid colors, as well as their cute expressions! You can get Hairdoorables at your nearest Target, Walmart, or Amazon!
Carmen Sandiego Handheld Electronic Game
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? I would spend countless Summer days on my mom’s computer playing this game. I remember every sound like it was just yesterday. If you have someone on your shopping list that was born in the 80’s or 90’s, you need to snag this up for them! Give them a piece of their childhood back, while watching a new generation of kids fall in love with it too! This game is available on Amazon.com!
Melissa and Doug “Let’s Play House” Cleaning Set
My toddler, Kensey, is a girl after my cleaning heart. She is constantly stealing my broom and mop and pretending to be a big helper. She’s always struggling to hold a regular-sized broom, so bless Melissa and Doug for making this cute and practical set! If you have a little cleaner in your house, be sure to snag this cleaning set for the holidays!
Kensey’s bestfriend in the world is her “Share Bear” Care Bear. She doesn’t go anywhere without it. The Care Bear plush are so cozy and huggable, you’ll want to collect them all! Available at Walmart, Target, and Amazon!
A classic that just never gets old! I love the idea of giving some fun games under the tree this year, because it continues the fun after the luster of new toys has gone down. Jenga is a family favorite of ours, and kids of all ages can play!
I am absolutely obsessed with these playsets! They come in a few character options, and come ready to build, just as a LEGO set would be! As you go, you’re creating your playground for your princess to play in! Comes with everything you need to build the inside, as well as characters and stickers to decorate. Once you’re done playing, close it up and take it with you! Best for older kids, as it comes with small parts and advanced instructions.
I hope these ideas helped sparked some ideas and eased some stress! If you don’t have time to grab any of these items for the holidays, they always make great gifts for birthdays! As always, just relax and known that your kid will have a magical Christmas regardless of what is under the tree. Have a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas! Happy shopping!
Call me Judy, because I may have gone a bit garland crazy as of late. I absolutely love how a garland can transform a space and create some whimsy anywhere it lays! I wanted to create a holiday themed option, but the ideas I found just weren’t my favorite.. until I stumbled on this gem of an idea! I decided to give it a try, because it seemed so simple, and it was! I love how you can keep this up, honestly all year long if you want! There isn’t a specific holiday feel to it, so it’s very subtle in the festive department, Best of all, it was super cheap to create!
Medium sized book
Yarn color of choice for beanies
Hot glue gun/glue sticks
Large sewing needle
Toilet paper roll
Small wooden beads
Optional: pom pom maker
How to Create:
To start, we are going to create the beanie for your gnome. Take your beanie yarn color of choice and wrap the yarn around the book about thirty times. Take your scissors and cut the yarn off of the book. Take your toilet paper roll and cut off a small section, about an inch thick. Take your yarn pieces and begin to attach the yarn to the paper ring. To attach, take your yarn piece and fold in half. Place behind the roll and create a hoop with the top part of the yarn, and loop the ends through to attach. See the photos below for more of a refernece. Once attached, repeat this process until all of the yarn has covered the paper circle. If you need to cut more yarn to cover, feel free to do so. After the ring is covered, take the yarn ends and tuck into the paper ring, so that the yarn is facing up. Take another piece of yarn and tie the yarn pieces together about 3/4 of the way up. Take two cotton balls and shove it up into the beanie to add some shape. Cut the top of the yarn down , so that you have a fluffy little beanie topper. Repeat this process until you have made your desired amount of beanies for your gnomes.
To make the gnome beard pom, I used a Clover brand pom pom maker and created perfect poms in minutes! Don’t have a pom maker? That’s totally okay! I’ve attached a link to a video below that shows how to make a perfect pom without any extra materials. After you have created your desired amount of poms for your gnome, it’s time to assemble the garland. Take your beanies and hot glue the base of the beanie to the pom. Then, take your wooden bead and hot glue it to where the base of the hat and the beginning of the pom meet. Once you have assembled all of the gnomes, it’s time to string them together. Due to the thickness of the cotton ball, and the thickness of the yarn, you will need a needle with a larger hoop. Take your yarn and string the gnomes together through the beanie. To add a little extra whimsy, I put wooden beads between to break them up a bit, but you don’t have to. Once they are all strung together, you’re ready to hang and enjoy your hard work! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and for a more detailed look on how I created this D.I.Y, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @OCfitmommy where i break down this project with video in my story highlights! Happy Holidays!
At a loss for festive decor for Thanksgiving? Look no further! This garland literally took less than ten minutes to make, and was under $5 to create! If you cant tell by my past D.I.Y entries, I’m big on finding cute decor ideas that cost next to nothing. Im a firm believer that you don’t have to sacrifice cost or class to create a great home decor piece, and this garland just proves it. I love that this activity is also kid friendly to create, so if you want to involve them in the process, go right ahead! Here’s what you’ll need to make this project:
seven to eight orange paint swatches (free from your local Home Depot)
To start, heat up your glue gun. As its heating up, you can cut out triangles with your paint swatches. I would make it go at least 3-4 colors long, to create the ombre effect. To make the “crust,” take your burlap ribbon and make sure its thin enough to just cover the top. glue the burlap ribbon onto the paint swatch and let dry. To create the “whip cream dollop” take your cotton ball and glue in the center with your hot glue gun. Once all your pie pieces are created, glue them onto a piece of yarn with your glue gun. Once dried, hang and enjoy! Such a simple and inexpensive D.I.Y! Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!
The air is turning crisp and colder, which means we are in the thick of fall. I absolutely love this time of year! Christmas is on its way, and everyone just seems a little bit more cheerful. As much as i LOVE Christmas, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to autumn. November brings things like cozy clothes, turkey, and beautiful fall leaves. They are my favorite part about the season, and such a diverse craft piece too! As fun as real leaves can be for crafts, I used fake leaves on this one, but the tribute to this little fall mascot is still very much there. So, snag your glue gun and let’s get to crafting!
Let’s talk foliage. The leaves this time of year are absolutely beautiful, but dry. The real things are great for a fun toddler art project, but if you want a crown that will last, choose to go with faux. I snagged some fake leaves at The Dollar Tree back in September when Halloween prep was in full effect. And when I say I snagged some, I mean I snagged a ton! You can also head to your local craft store, but start at a dollar only style store to keep your costs low. Here is a full list of materials you’ll need to make this project:
10-15 faux maple leaves
optional: glitter, add-ons like star wire
Once you have your materials gathered, you can start to create! Cut your fake leaves off the stem and lay out on a tablecloth you don’t like, or a paper plate. Take your paint and start to paint the leaves. I like to mix pastels and metallics together to give it a bit of depth, but you can choose any colors you want. Be sure to give your leaves at least three coats of paint, to give it that vibrant look. Once the leaves are dry, you can start to glue them onto the headband. Hold the headband horizontally and glue the leaves on in a way that you find pleasing. I like to find the biggest leaf and put that in the middle and glue outward. If you want to add an extra dose of sparkle, you can always sprinkle on some glitter or add some star wire…honestly whatever makes you happy! That’s it! Enjoy your beautiful autumn crown and rule the world of fall!
Wow, have I gone ghost crazy this season! I just can’t get enough of these little spirits, and the home decor is no exception! This year, I constructed these garlands for my friends as a way to “boo” them in a way that they would enjoy! I made a custom color scheme for each recipient and mailed them as a surprise! Absolutely made my day seeing their reactions online as they opened them, so I highly recommend making one for a loved one as a gift! This D.I.Y is so simple to do, anyone can do it! For this craft, you will need the following:
white yarn, along with three other complimentary colors
glue gun and glue
option: sparkle yarn for bows
To begin, you will take a piece of yarn the length of the book spine and tape it to the book spine using painter’s tape. I found that painter’s tape comes off the easiest and is easy to reuse, as you will reuse the tape for multiple ghosts. Once you have the yarn taped on the book spine, start to wrap the yarn around the book horizontally. The more times you wrap the book, the thicker your tassel will become. I chose to go to thirty and stop, as about thirty times gave a good amount of thickness. Once you have wrapped it to your desired thickness, take the taped piece of yarn and tie a knot to gather together and secure the yarn. Once tied at the top, cut the yarn wrapped around the bottom. Take another piece of yarn and about a third of the way down, tie a knot to create a tassel. Trim the bottom to even out the yarn pieces and you’re done! Repeat this process for each color, until you have six completed tassels for each yarn color.
For the white tassels, we will now be creating the ghost faces. Take your glue gun and start to heat that baby up! While it’s heating, you can start to create your ghost face pieces. This is where you can be completely creative…make them look anyway you like! I like to make each of the faces look different to give the garland a unique personality. To create the eyes, cut out very small circles. To create a smiling mouth, cut out a half moon shape by using the edges and a circular cutting shape. Once you have your pieces cut, glue them onto the white tassel. If you want to add some extra sparkle, take some glistening yarn and make a double knotted bow around the ghost’s neck area. After your ghosts are decorated, you can now start to string them together!
To string them together, take a piece of yarn and hang on two sides of your fireplace or mantel. If you don’t have one, take a long piece of yarn and tie down to something. Find the middle of the yarn string and tie your first ghost on. Once you have that one tied on, tie another ghost next to it. Start to repeat this process outward with the complimentary colors, so they match on each side. I tend to double knot each ghost onto the garland for extra hold. Once you have all of your tassels attached to the string, cut the extra string pieces off and you’re done! You can add knots on each end to give it a place to attach, or leave as is! Seriously, how simple was that?! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have a ghostly good time creating!
Halloween season is still consuming my every thought when it comes to purchases as of late. I find myself mindlessly typing in things like “pumpkin” or “ghost” in the search engine, just to see what comes up. I’ve been putting my focus on ghosts this year, but not the scary kind… more like the cute kind my girls adore! It’s all things pastel and ghost this year, and I’m not hating it. From spooky sweaters to sweet home decor and kid’s activities, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ghostly items, just for you!
This cute little pillow is one of my favorite things to come out of Target this Fall. I love it’s subtle ghost vibes! it spooks up any room while still remaining chic. It doesn’t scream cheesy Halloween decor, which is always a major plus. Put it in your entry way to add a little extra touch, or use it as a throw pillow on your nicest sofa chair in your living room. Super versatile and you can’t beat that price!
These printables are a total game changer! Best of all…they’re FREE! These are the cute little ghosts pictured above in my main image, and BOTH of my girls play with them constantly! Basically, anything that will keep my kid’s attention for longer than five minutes is a win for me. These cute little printable ghosts come with all kinds of fun accessories to sass them up. I downloaded the printable from the link above, then I laminated the paper and cut them out and found a cute little bag to hold them in. Makes for a great gift for Fall baskets or Halloween gifts, and makes the perfect distraction in the morning when you’re trying to keep them occupied before breakfast. A huge thanks to Lydia Louise Blog for creating such a fun and festive idea!
Unique Vintage ALWAYS brings it with the Halloween closet staples, and these ghost earrings are no exception. Simple but recognizable shape makes them perfect for a subtle Halloween vibe. Dress them up by pairing them with a classic LBD, or dress them down with some jeans and a simple tee for just the right amount of festive.
These pajamas have my heart and soul. I have basically lived in these bad boys since the moment they showed up on my doorstep! I like to use the pajama top as a fitted long sleeve tee paired with cute boots and jeans, because 2020 is definitely the year for comfy chic! Bonus: they come in sizes for the entire family! My husband is basically anti-matching anything, so I only snagged a set for me and the girls (I’ll hit him up during Christmas time for that nonsense lol). These pajamas are selling crazy fast, so I wouldnt wait too long to snag some in your size! Then, time to cozy up by the fire and watch Hocus Pocus.
You can file this cutie away under “things I know I don’t need, but do.” Hold your Airpods in this ghost shaped silicone case and be the cutest ghoul around! I love how it clips easily onto any key ring for easy access, and its happy little expression just brightens my day!
Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Cotton On is my designated go to spot for the best mug selection, and this Ghostbusters mug is no exception! I just love its classic look, almost like drinking out of it makes you an official team member!
Okay, cutest hat ever! The listing is from the men’s department, so I guess you can give it to your significant other….but I’m rocking this baby myself! I love the subtle little ghost embroidery and the orange tint makes it perfect for spooky season!
Ghost Mickey alert! It didn’t feel right to not have something Disney themed in this post, and this light up Halloween ghost plush is the perfect addition! Just like magic, the plush lights up when you place it on the palm of your hand. Use it as a Halloween basket stuffer, or put it somewhere around the house for extra decor. At night, it works great for a kid’s flashlight.
Okay, this blanket is HUGE! It can literally fit your entire spooky clan in it! Makes for a great comforter cover on your bed for an extra dash of festive this holiday season! I actually fell in love with it for its cute print! Definitely a must have for those cozy nights in.
Well, that about wraps it up for the list of my ghost themed must haves! It was so fun hunting for these items, and even more fun purchasing a few! I hope you snag yourself some spooky, but not too spooky pieces for yourself!
Hi friends! Back at it again with some fun D.I.Y action for you! This time…it’s Halloween themed! We’ll be making this fun spiderweb wreath, but don’t worry, its super simple, and the total cost is under $10! With this time of year leading up to the holiday season, cost effective ideas are a must for me. So i like to upgrade cheap options rather than drop serious money on decorations. I don’t know about you, but my taste in decor often changes and evolves. That’s why I like to change it up every year, but by integrating things that are cost effective and can be edited easily. Now, about that spiderweb wreath…this baby is simple to create, but you’ll need the following ingredients:
Bag of Spiderwebs
Bag of Fake Spiders
Black Acrylic or Spray Paint
Thin Ribbon of Choice
To begin, take apart your embroidery hoop and separate the outer and inner circles. You will need both hoops for this project. The first steo would be to paint the hoops black, Depending on your time frame and preference, you can either hand paint the hoops with acrylic paint, or spray paint the hoops. I made a few wreaths and I strongly recommend the spray paint option, haha! Once the hoops are dried, take your spiderweb and start to assemble on the inner hoop. The wood acts as a natural glue, so the web is easy to assemble. Once you get the web look you desire, take the outer hoop and layer on top of the webbed inner hoop. Screw together with the screw on top and trim the edges of the extra webbing. The hoops layered together will hold the spiderweb in place, but for added hold, you can glue edges with a glue gun. Start to heat up your glue gun, and edit once heated, if you think extra hold is necessary.
While the glue gun is hot, take your black spiders and glue around one edge of the hoop. For a more dramatic effect, try to snag a few bags of spiders that are different sizes. I had a hard time finding different ones, so along with my original bag of spiders shown above, i bought some spider rings and cut the ring part off and spray painted them. Once you have achieved the look you want, it’s time to add the ribbon. Take your ribbon and create a bow around the metal screw of the embroidery hoop. For added hold, glue the bow with hot glue onto the metal screw. Once you have done that, take a second piece of ribbon that is about two feet long and wrap around the center of the bow. Glue the second ribbon onto the bow center and use the extra ribbon for hanging. That’s it! You’re all done!
I snagged the embroidery hoop at Jo Anne’s Fabrics, but you can locate them on Amazon as well. The total cost of a hoop was under $3. The spiderwebs, spiders, acrylic paint, and ribbon i got at The Dollar Tree, bringing the cost of this D.I.Y before tax to be $7! If you don’t have access to the stores listed above, you can snag all of these items online through Amazon, by clicking the links below:
Purchasing everything in store does lower the cost of the wreath by a ton, but I wanted to give options in case going out is not an option. I hope you enjoy making this slightly spooky decoration just as much as i did!
This cute and easy craft is not only wallet friendly, but earth friendly too! I LOVE creating things with toilet paper and paper towel rolls because they work so well for so many things! And at the rate we come across them, we mind as well find a fun way to use them! Halloween is a great time to get creative with these little babies, and one way to do it is to create some spooky friends! These “Monster Buddies” are great for those preschool and elementary school crafters to not only play with, but create! To start you’ll need:
A large empty coffee can
multi-colored construction paper
4 toilet paper rolls
acrylic paint in the colors orange, mint green, and off white
glue, preferably a glue gun or Tacky glue
Halloween stickers for decor
To begin, you will need to make sure your coffee can is washed out and your toilet paper rolls have been stripped of all toilet paper. Once that is done, you can begin painting your toilet paper rolls. For the mummy roll, we are going to leave that as is, so put one toilet paper roll aside. Paint the remaining three rolls with at least two coats of the paint colors listed above. If you don’t have access to acrylic paint, regular art paint will work. Acrylic paint is more vibrant and sticks better to the rolls without chipping, so acrylic is my preferred choice. Toe achieve the vibrant look, add two to three coats and leave to dry overnight. Once dried, you can begin to decorate.
To decorate the pumpkin, cut out three small triangles. Arrange two triangles to form eyes and turn the other triangle upside down to form the nose. Cut out a funny looking mouth and attach on with glue. Cut a thumb shaped brown stem and attach to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Cut out a long football shape on green construction paper and use a pen or pencil to curl it by wrapping it around. Glue the curled leaf next to the brown stem on the inside of the roll. You are officially the pumpkin King or Queen!
To create Dracula the vampire, take your off white colored roll and glue two googly eyes in the middle. Take your black construction paper and cut out the hair design by adding two arches in between a triangle. Once that is cut out, you glue it onto the top of the roll. Take your black marker and draw a half circle smile. Add two small white triangles for teeth on the arches of the smile. Take your red construction paper and cut an obtuse triangle out for the cape. Take the triangle and glue it onto the back center of the roll. After that, you’re all done! Time for some blood sucking good times!
To make the Frankenstein monster, take your mint green painted roll and glue a small black rectangle cut from construction paper, near the bottom for a mouth. Angle the rectangle ever so slightly, for a creepy smile look. Take a second black rectangle and glue it an inch or so above, for his bushy uni brow. Take two googly eyes and glue right towards the bottom of the eyebrow rectangle. Cut out a strip of small black triangles on black construction paper and glue to the top for hair. After that, it’s alive! He’s ALIVE!!
To create the mummy, it basically requires no effort. Take your bare roll and glue two googly eyes in the middle of the roll. Cut out 1/4 inch wide strips of toilet paper and glue back onto the roll, making it look like your wrapping a mummy. Once you have achieved the mummified look you want, you’re all done! Ready for its tomb sweet tomb!
To keep these monster buddies from getting lost or damaged, take a large coffee can and decorate it with Halloween themed stickers and construction paper! I covered mine with orange, with the intention to make it a jack-o-lantern, but decided last minute to make it cute and festive with some felt stickers i grabbed from the Dollar Tree. All of these materials, i snagged from either the Dollar Tree or Target, or was laying around my house ready for the trashcan. It’s good to be Eco-friendly while being creative!
When it comes to playing with them, you can use them to encourage imaginative play by simply letting your child make up their own use for them. You can use them as puppets in a play, ask your preschool child to describe them using color references. You can talk about the various shapes that are found, since there are most present in this craft. You can count the monster buddies, hide them for hide and seek, etc. There are so many fun ways to play, and I hope you enjoy creating them just as much as I did!