“See Mom – IT TOUCHES MY EYES!!”

The setting:  Early morning, pre-daycare while I was hurriedly trying to clean the kitchen.

The conversation:

Loodle (3) {Obviously excited}:  “Mom, look – my smile is touching MY EYES!!”

Me {After processing her excited lilt}: “It sure is hon.  That’s one big smile!”

1 minute later, camera in hand (in the living room now)…

Me: “Loodle, show me that smile again please.”

Loodle {While posing, of course}:

Its touching my eyes

“See Mom – IT TOUCHES MY EYES!!”

Fair enough…may we all smile so big, especially at 7 am:)

Most smiles are started by another smile. 

– Author Unknown*

Wishing you many smile-starting moments this weekend!  December here we come…

Blue Skies, Smiley Eyes,  & Blessings,

Lindsey

* I found this warm, fuzzy quote on The Quote Garden – one of my go-to places to find sayings from people more eloquent then myself!

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Nursery Wall Lattice Treatment

So, in reality this is a “flashback” as I put this on the wall of Miss Silly’s nursery and she just turned 5 in October!

A little back-story…I am a tom-boy through and through.  I have NEVER been in to girly things – in fact I can say I detested most things girly for a long, long, LONG time.

Then I was pregnant and found out I was having a girl.  If you’d known me you probably would have thought a gender-neutral (or at least gender-subtle:) nursery.

AND YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG!!

As soon as we found out I was pregnant with a girl I did two things:

  1. Bought a bright pink, super fluffy snowsuit (on clearance – it was June:)
  2. Decided her nursery was “going girly”.

D choose the wall color – a beautiful lavender!  I did the rest… I don’t really remember how I thought of the lattice – probably just saw it at one of the home improvement stores that summer.  I KNOW it was inexpensive ($7 +/-).

I added some fake flowers, painted some cut-out elephants (to coordinate with her Amy Coe Mod Elephant bedding) and clothes pins, added some pictures, AND there you have it – really fun nursery wall treatment.

Lattice Details FINAL

I wanted the lattice off the wall to allow me to put things through it but also to create a reveal and shadow lines.  It turned out great.  I would have left it up for Loodle but felt the need to “redo” the nursery (on a tight budget of course) for each little addition.  That was actually why I had selected the elephant bedding – I’d thought I’d reuse it if we had a boy.  But no, new nursery for Little Man too:)

I would show more pics of her nursery but it was teeny tiny so the only photos I have are detail shots taken quickly on the day we were redecorating for the soon-to-be-born Loodle.

It’s making me nostalgic looking at the pictures.  Only with the first did I get to sit for long periods of time in the never-been-used nursery and dream about the future little one (while folding little bitty clothes).

And because she was the inspiration for it all and the girl of my dreams, a cute collage of my Miss Silly.  Already five – I’m STILL amazed!!

By the way…the bright pink, super fluffy snowsuit?  She was too big for it by the time it was cold enough to wear it.  I did squish her into it one time just for the sake of seeing it but otherwise it hung in her closet:)

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger

Christmas Bellies {Free Printable}

The inspiration for this post is two-fold…1) the start of a Rudolph printable I’m working on that looked like the beginnings of the Elf belly and 2) a gift bag that I received a few years back that was a Mrs. Claus outfit (SO CUTE!!).

A fun, festive holiday decoration, I LOVE that they are made of simple shapes and bright colors.

Feel free to click below to save or print – I’ve provided all four of the individual Bellies as well as a combined print:)  These are sized for an 8 x 10 frame.

       

{Quick Note:  All free printables offered on my site are copyright, If I Had a Million Hours. They are intended for your personal use only.  Any commercial purposes/uses are strictly prohibited. Feel free to share them on your blog or in social media, but please use the thumbnails only and include a link to this page or my homepage: http://www.ifihadamillionhours.wordpress.com.  Many thanks!!}

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies and Blessings,

Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger

THANKS – Preschool-Style

Want to know what my kids are thankful for??

Their 21 Days of Thanks will give you some idea.  I should note that I let them say whatever they wanted but did ask them to “try again” if they repeated something.  I didn’t think a whole print of “Mommy & Daddy” (their default answer) would be that cute:)

Miss Silly – 5 years

Loodle – 3 years

Little Man – 18 months

Little Man is only 18 months so this is my assumptions of what he’d say if he was talking more – I’m guessing I’m 90% accurate!

This was such a fun activity  – we’ll definitely being doing it again next year!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

“Wrapped-Up” Christmas Frames ($10 TOTAL!)

I’ve wanted to do this for a LONG time but never got around to it before this year.  Blogging helps with these procrastination tendencies – I need something to show, right?

Pretty straight forward…I just wrapped the two frames in Christmas wrapping paper ($1/roll), added a bow ($1/bow) and homemade label ($3 each for 1-hour photo) and TA DA – large scale, super cute Christmas decoration.

The room these are in is termed the “middle room. ” It was the original family room but with an addition 20 years ago its kind of stuck in the middle.  Its pretty dark – wood paneling, lack of natural light, etc.  At some point we’ll sheet-rock and paint this room but its pretty far down on the priority list.  Until then I’m always looking for ways to bring in some brightness.   I think the wrapped frames make this room pop for Christmas.

Miss Silly (5) was able to help – her cutting of the paper left something to be desired but it was hidden so no worries:)

I made up the labels, feel free to print and customize if you like.  I added our family’s name to the “To” area and made it “From Santa”:)

{Quick Note:  All free printables offered on my site are copyright, If I Had a Million Hours. They are intended for your personal use only.  Any commercial purposes/uses are strictly prohibited. Feel free to share them on your blog or in social media, but please use the thumbnails only and include a link to this page or my homepage: http://www.ifihadamillionhours.wordpress.com.  Many thanks!!}

All in all a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to dress up our wall for the Christmas season.  In fact, there is one other painting that might get this treatment as we continue to put up our decorations.

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger

Peppermint Chocolate Rice Cereal Bars

While shopping for our shoe box stuff the other day for Operation Christmas Child I spotted PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS (the caps = pure excitement:)

Immediately my head went to rice cereal bars (of course) and then the compounding of flavors started.   With savory foods this normally ends  with “put bacon on/in it!” (or cheese:)  For this delicious treat though it went something like this:

PEPPERMINT rice cereal bars?  Yum.

Peppermint CHOCOLATE rice cereal bars?  Even better.

Peppermint chocolate rice cereal bars WITH VANILLA CHIPS? How could I not!!

This is a simple, delicious recipe that’s ideal for the busy holiday season.  I was able to make these with daycare in full swing and a baby in my arms in less than 15 minutes (during snack time actually:)

Want the recipe?  Feel free to print the  Peppermint Chocolate Rice Cereal Bars Recipe or “Pin It” for future use!

I was planning to bring these to my sister-in-laws for Thanksgiving.  The problem?  There’s not enough left!

As always, please let me know if you try these.  Feedback always appreciated.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Blue Skies, Pumpkin Pies, and Blessings,

Lindsey

This recipe will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger

How much JOY can you fit in a SHOE BOX???

The answer:  A TON!!

A quick note:  I always feel uncomfortable talking about service/charitable donations with others.  Just like with possessions, WE DO NOT NEED TO COMPARE, “keep up with the Jones”, etc. when it comes to giving.  Each family must decide for themselves how much they can afford and want to give.  But even though it makes me slightly uncomfortable to share, I will because I think this is a worthy cause and hope to inspire at least one person/family to consider this giving opportunity.  I hope others will see it as a call to action, which is how its intended:)

Our church participates in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.  Our family had planned to participate last year but ended up not doing so.  I could blame it on three small kids, moving homes on Dec. 16th, etc. but really I just didn’t prioritize it.  THIS WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN!!  This is a great new Thanksgiving/Christmas family tradition.

A quick description (in my own words) – you fill a shoebox with stuff (toys, toiletries, etc.) either yourself or online.  Samaritan’s Purse gets it to a child in another country that needs it.  Pretty simple –  yet such an amazing blessing (both to the recipient and the giver.)

Was it easy to do on my end?  Not really – three children who are 5 and under shopping for “cool” stuff for people other than themselves is not extremely enjoyable.  The difficulty just corralling the two girls (5 & 3) is one thing (Little Man was in the cart) but having them help select stuff was somewhat problematic.  For example, Miss Silly (5) was adamant that we should send “our friends that need stuff” a princess dollhouse that was HUGE and cost $140:)  The message I kept repeating – it has to fit IN the box and be the right price for our family.

So, what did we include?  I figured I’d include a list (with prices) to show a) how much stuff truly fits in a shoebox (amazing) and b) that with only a small monetary investment you can bring joy to a child (or children) each Christmas.

Girl Box (2-4 years) & (5-9 years) 

  • 1 plastic box ($1)
  • 6 washcloths ($1.50 – 18 pk for $4)
  • 3 bars of soap ($1.25)
  • 2 toothbrushes ($1.25)
  • toothpaste ($1)
  • 4 combs ($1 – 10+ for $3)
  • hair elastics ($1)
  • barrettes ($1.25)
  • 1 big baby doll ($4)
  • 1 small baby doll ($1)
  • 1 baby rattle (for the baby dolls:) ($1)
  • 1 baby bottle (for the baby dolls:) ($1)
  • 1 box of crayons ($1.25)
  • 1 small notebook ($1)
  • 1 solar calculator ($1)
  • 1 long-sleeve (super girly;) shirt ($4)

Boy Box (2-4 years)

  • 1 plastic box ($1)
  • 6 washcloths ($1.50 – 18 pk for $4)
  • 3 bars of soap ($1.25)
  • 2 toothbrushes ($1.25)
  • toothpaste ($1)
  • 4 combs ($1 – 10+ for $3)
  • 1 dinosaur ($1)
  • 3 play cars ($5)
  • 1 small baby doll ($1)
  • 1 box of crayons ($1.24)
  • 1 small notebook ($1)
  • 1 long-sleeve shirt ($4)

We did try to include some items in each box that could easily be shared with any siblings since I didn’t know if all siblings receive boxes.

The pictures happen to be from the 4th – only ones I had available:)

You also can include an “All About Me” page with some basic information about your child.  If you want you can include your address in hopes of receiving a letter in return.  I hope we get at least one letter back – I know the girls would be thrilled!

Since putting these together I have thought numerous times how much excitement my kids would get from receiving one of these boxes AND THEY HAVE A TON OF STUFF!!  Imagine this excitement and then multiply it by who knows how much:)  I hope the excitement of the children that receive our boxes brings joy to those around them and lifts up the spirits of their families and/or care-givers.

What can you do??  National Collection Week ends today for physical box collection but if you feel like helping this year you can click here to build-a-box.  If that doesn’t work for you please Pin or bookmark Operation Christmas Child for next year.

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies, Pumpkin Pies, & Blessings,

Lindsey