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I don’t mean to brag here, but yours truly just so happens to be a 4th grade Valentine card box decorator champion. That’s right, y’all. I won the fourth grade contest for decorating a shoe box with glitter and cupcake liners to hold all of those little Valentine cards that all of the kids in class would deliver to each other during the Valentine’s Day party. It was a pretty special moment (and sort of a big deal,) not gonna lie. 😉
I’ve always loved decorating for Valentine’s Day. I loved taking the time to prepare my Valentine cards to pass out to everyone at school, and I especially loved receiving them! Sure, there were always the cool character ones with a sticker or tattoo that obviously came in a box from Walmart, but I always looked for the homemade ones. Those were always the most special to me!
Has anyone noticed that Walmart (and likely other stores) have already started putting out their Valentine’s Day decor and candies? It’s not even Christmas! I used to think that was absolutely crazy (I still mostly do,) but I can totally understand why they start doing it early. The longer it’s out, the more inspiration people gain! More inspiration = more fun crafts and treats! At least, that’s how my mind words! 🙂
So I went slightly against the one-holiday-at-a-time grain here and started putting together some inspiration I’ve spotted on Pinterest to start getting me in gear for Valentine’s Day (once Christmas is over, of course!)
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
This weekend I got to sneak into “town” and do some special holiday shopping for my friends and family. My husband stayed home with my daughter, so I got to walk around the store completely uninterrupted. No temper tantrums, no little hands reaching for items on the shelves and throwing them on the floor, and no frantically chasing a toddler down the aisles. It was bliss.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you may already know that I’m from a very small community in rural Alabama. There’s not much to my little town, just a few gas stations, a sandwich shop and a school. There is, however, a centerpiece in my community that makes surviving out here in the sticks much, much easier. It was also my store of choice on my much needed shopping trip this weekend, where I picked up a few supplies to put together a really fun little DIY project I’m about to share with you. You may be surprised to know that the gem that I’m referring to is my beloved Dollar General store, and I am pumped about all of the sweet holiday items I scored there!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time to trip up the tree with Christmas stuff…like bingle balls and woofoo fluff! I remember the weeks leading up to Christmas break when I was in school were always so much fun. We’d watch Christmas movies at the end of the day while we munched on sugary Christmas-themed snacks and worked on our Christmas list to give to Santa.
Times were SO much simpler back then weren’t they? Seeing all of these delicious edible Christmas crafts takes me right back to those days, though. Maybe that’s why I love them so much! Since I’ve been looking for some really fun snack ideas to share with my daughter this season, I thought it’d be fun to put together a whole list of some of my favorite! All of the content is original to some AMAZING bloggers which I’ve listed beside each picture. Take a look around and let me know which ones are your fave! :-D…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebrateClean #CollectiveBias
You better watch out, you better not cry, and you certainly better not pout…and I’ll tell you why! The holidays are here, and all of your family and friends are coming to town! If you’re lucky enough to be hosting a crowd in your home this season, this one is for you. 😉
I’ve been there before. Slightly stressed, making lists, checking them twice, frantically cleaning my home to give off the illusion that I am, in fact, a clean and tidy person- and all because company was coming “home” for the holidays! But stress is not something that I really like to keep around during this time of year, so this time around I’ve got my head in the game and came up with a few tips that have proven to help me make my home holiday-ready without the stress!
One of the very first things that I do is make sure that my budget isn’t going to suffer while I’m out and about buying things I’ll need around the home when company comes over. As much as I love to hunt down a good deal and shop around for the best prices on household essentials, I feel that my time is way too valuable to be spending my energy doing that. Because this season is SO busy (and harsh on my pocket book,) I depend on Family Dollar to be my one-stop shop to get the best deals on the things I need to get ready for the holidays.
I love checking things off of my shopping list, and two of my must-have items on my list (Angel Soft® bath tissue and Sparkle® paper towels) were even on sale!
After making my stop at Family Dollar to pick up a few supplies, I started making my plan as to how to tackle the notion of making sure all of the guests in my home have a wonderful holiday experience. To avoid completely losing my marbles, I like to start this process a little early so as to not be completely loco come Christmas time. Here are a few tips that I’ve found to be super helpful for me, and hopefully they’ll help keep your home full of cheer this year, too!
Set a Cleaning Schedule
There is absolutely nothing fun about running around the house like a chicken with its head cut off moments before guests come over trying to clean and tidy everything up. Been there, done that. One way that I helped combat that hopeless feeling of not getting everything clean before company arrives is to start breaking down all of the tasks into smaller portions throughout the week leading up to people actually having to see and be inside my house. Who’da thunk something like planning ahead and getting things done early would work?! 😉 It totally does, and it helps me keep my sanity in check during this time of year!
To help me get all of my cleaning done, I print out a weekly cleaning schedule (there’s tons available to print for free online) and start breaking down big cleaning tasks into short 10-15 minute cleaning sessions per day. To make sure I tackle all of my cleaning with ease, I keep a roll of Sparkle® paper towels in my basket along with all of my other cleaning supplies. I can always depend on Sparkle® to get the job done when I’ve got a mess on my hands, and their price point is great for my budget. They’re also the perfect paper towel to keep on hand when you’ve got a house full of friends and family over to celebrate the holidays with!
Stock up on Disposables
A few years ago my entire immediate family (on my side) took up residence in my home for a few days during Christmas. As much as I love hosting, this particular year was hard. Like, really hard. My home is approximately 1100 sq feet and has 2 bedrooms and 1 tiny bathroom. It’s already cramped for my own family of 3, but adding 10 more people to the mix was rather…interesting. And I kid you not, y’all, it felt like we were blowing through a roll of toilet paper every other hour. The dishwasher could not keep up with the amount of dishes we were using, and spills were happening left and right.
Stocking up on disposable goods like toilet tissue and paper towels wasn’t something I really thought of. Luckily we made it through without any catastrophes or having to use leaves to wipe our behinds, but it’s a miracle! Making sure I’m thoroughly stocked up on Angel Soft® bath tissue and Sparkle® paper towels is a high priority on my radar from here on out!
Save those Toilet Paper Tubes
Say what?! I know what you’re thinking. What in the WORLD do toilet paper tubes have to do with anything at all? Why in the world should I be hanging on to those things when I’m trying to clean and declutter my house? Trust me, I hear you. But you know that mile-long Christmas shopping list that you’ve got that seems to have everyone in the world written on it? Toilet paper tubes can actually help you out with that! I’m not saying you should wrap them up and give them as gifts to people. No one would want that! But you CAN turn them into something really cute to put your smaller gifts in! Think along the lines of stocking stuffers, candies, money, gift cards, small toys and trinkets, etc.
Saving your bath tissue or paper towel rolls from your Angel Soft® toilet paper or Sparkle® paper towels is a really inventive and frugal way to plan ahead for the holidays. There’s little guesswork in how to wrap up a small gift for your friends or family – just stick the gift down inside the tube, wrap a layer of tissue paper around it, tie off the ends with ribbon and stick a gift tag on it! Voila – you’re done! I love that they look like little candies once they’re wrapped. I think it’s a really cute touch!
By the way, you can find a sheet of free printable gift tags (pictured below) that are already sized perfectly for a toilet paper roll by clicking right here. Think of it as my gift to you! 😉
Shop Smarter this Season at Family Dollar:
For a limited time, you can snag some sweet savings at Family Dollar on several of your favorite brands (including Angel Soft® bath tissue and Sparkle® paper towels) by using their digital coupons! They’re a great time-saving perk that lets you skip right over physically clipping out and keeping up with coupons. Just visit their website here and save them to the account that you create. Redeeming is as easy as entering your phone number on the keypad at checkout! Here’s a look at what I redeemed during my shopping trip:
Save 50¢ off ONE (1) Angel Soft® Bath Tissue, 12 Family Roll or 12 Big Lavender Roll
Offer: Save 50¢ off ONE (1) Sparkle® Paper Towel, 6 Roll
I saved $1.00 off of two of my favorite brands just by using Family Dollar’s digital coupons! These particular deals are valid from 10/20 – 12/27/16, so stop by and pick up these household necessities today!
Do you have any tips that help you stay sane and keep your home holiday ready during this time of year? If so, drop a comment below and share the love!
As much as I love the Christmas holiday season, I always have to be careful with how caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. It’s so easy to get suckered into the commercialized aspect of things and completely lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
My family celebrates Christmas because it symbolizes the day that God sent his son, Christ Jesus the Messiah to be born. Christ’s entrance into the world is nothing short of miraculous, and I want my daughter to know why we celebrate. Sure, we can get excited about Santa Claus and presents, but those are all Earthly things that will pass. We celebrate our Lord who is not of the world, and gives us eternal life in Heaven!
So since December is quickly approaching, I decided to throw together a compilation of cute and fun little Christ-centered Christmas crafts that are geared towards little children. I know that there’s going to be plenty of Santa Claus crafts to go around this season, but these crafts offer a valuable teaching lesson and an opportunity to share with children about the birth of Jesus Christ!
All of these crafts have been put together by some pretty AMAZING crafty moms and bloggers from all over the world. If you decide to try out some of these crafts with your kiddos, I’m sure they’d love for you to leave them a kind and encouraging word on their posts!
Nativity Finger Puppets (Source: The Crafty Classroom)
Stained Glass Nativity (Source: Housing a Forest)
Star of Bethlehem Ornament (Source: Equipping Godly Women)
Wise Men Stick Puppets (Source: Made by Millie’s Mom)
DIY Stable Ornament (Source: Adventures of a DIY Mom)
Clay Pot Nativity (Source: Fun Family Crafts)
Angels We Have Heard on High Craft (Source: Happy Home Fairy)
Away in a Manger Cookies (Source: Catholic Icing)
Jesus Lights Up My Life Crafts (Source: Danielle’s Place)
“Names of Jesus” Printable Ornaments (Source: Bible Story Printables)
Paper Plate Angel (Source: Our Potluck Family)
Christmas Shepherd Craft (Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry)
Baby Jesus Ornament (Source: What Shall We Do Today? Life as an Air Force Family)
Jesus in a Manger Hand Print Craft (Source: Crafty Morning)
Stained Glass Window Advent Craft (Source: Kinder Craze)
Christmas Scripture Kisses (Source: My Daylights)
Symbols of Christmas Kit (Source: Peppermint Plum)
Footprint Christmas Nativity Canvas (Source: Munchkin Time)
Nativity Chalk Silhouette (Source: The Chaos and the Clutter)
Graham Cracker Nativity Scene Edible Craft (Source: Gluesticks Blog)
Cookie Jar Christmas Craft (Source: The Lettered Cottage)
Fingerprint Manger Scene (Source: Crafty Morning)
Scripture Craft Stick Christmas Tree (Source: Fun At Church)
Simple Baby Jesus Craft (Source: Happy Home Fairy)
Wise Men Toilet Paper Roll Craft (Source: JDaniel4’s Mom)
I hope that you’ve been inspired to share the word of Christ with others this season through these creative crafts projects! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season coming up, and that you find the love of Christ wherever you may go!
When my husband and I moved into our current home, we knew that we were going to have far less room in our new house than we were accustomed to. We decided to move back to my husbands hometown and stay in his grandparent’s rental property for a few years to save up enough money to build our dream home. While we’re forever grateful for this humble little abode, it’s had it’s share of challenges. For instance, the house is approximately 1100 sq feet, so coming up with places to put our belongings requires us to get really, really creative sometimes. With just 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and no storage space at all, things got tight fast.
Wow has this year really flown by! Before we know it, we’ll be cutting the Turkey at the dinner table on Thanksgiving day! I remember always getting a kick out of celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday when I was in elementary school. Every year we’d have a “party” where we would do a special study on early American culture, put together fun little crafts and devour seasonal snacks until our bellies were stuffed!
Who all is pumped up about VBS 2017?! It may be almost a year away, but lots of people are already starting to make preparations for the big undertaking that is Vacation Bible School. If you’ve ever been on the worker side of VBS, you know it’s quite a job…and very important one at that! There are quite a few themes to choose from this year, and they’re all SUPER cool!
Lifeway’s theme is lighting up the sky with Galactic Starveyors – a study where kids will learn all about the Creator of the universe. Group Children’s Ministry’s theme is Maker Fun Factory, where kids are getting a little technical and taking on the role of inventors as they study God, the greatest inventor of all time.
This year, Cokesbury has rolled out an amazing VBS theme called Hero Central, where children will be learning all about the different heroes of the Bible while discovering their own strength in God! Now that’s a message to really get excited about!
If you’ll be helping out with with VBS 2017 and are looking for some fun craft alternatives to use with the Hero Central theme, I’ve put together a list of 12 craft-tastic ideas to help you and the kiddos really get in the hero spirit! If you have any additional ideas you’d like to share, just leave a comment below!
Happy crafting, y’all! 😉
Simple Super hero mask – Well all know that a superhero needs a mask, right?! I think these little masks are so cute, and they’re easy to customize and get creative with! You can find out more about this simple craft, plus find a free printable template over at The Craft Train!
DIY Superhero Mini Shield – A hero needs to have some solid armor, and these cute little DIY mini shields will do just the trick! Get the scoop on how to make these little shields of awesomeness over at Spaceships and Laser Beams!
Upcycled T-Shirt Capes – If you’re going to fly faster than a speeding bullet, you’ve got to make sure your cape can help you get the job done! Besides, you want to really look the part of a true superhero, right? Of course you do! Find out how you can make these simple capes using old repurposed t-shirts over at The Tiptoe Fairy!
Decoupaged Super Hero Picture Frame – We’re always taking a ton of pictures at our VBS, and I’m sure you will, too! Make sure the kiddos have a super cool frame to put their VBS portrait in! Get the scoop on how to create this sweet hero-inspired picture frame over at Crafts By Amanda!
Paper Bag Superhero – This is a craft that may be more suited for the younger kids in the bunch. They’ll have fun coloring and creating their own super hero using simple materials that’ll only cost pennies on the dollar! Plus, there’s a free mask printable included! Just head on over to Glued to My Crafts Blog to learn more!
DIY Superhero Cuffs – A superhero’s outfit just isn’t complete without the matching cuffs! Kids can personalize their cuffs to match the persona of their own created superhero! The items needed to make this craft are simple, everyday items found in our own homes. Learn more about this craft by visiting Kids Activities Blog!
Craft Stick Superheroes – This is another cute little craft that’ll be more appropriate for the younger children attending VBS. These super cool little stick heroes are featured over at Premeditated Leftovers, so go check them out!
DIY Comic Strip Craft – This one is probably my very favorite craft listed here! Just think about all of the creative ideas kids will come up with when they’re creating their very own comic strip! You can find more ideas and details on how to create your own comic at What Do We Do All Day!
Superhero Pom Pom Shooter – Every superhero needs a defense mechanism, right? Why not let it be shooting pom poms at the enemy?! If you don’t mind mini pom poms flying across the room while you’re teaching class, then this craft might be a good fit for you! 😉 You can find out how to make these cute little shooters at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails!
Rainbow Loom Super Hero Flingers – This craft requires a higher level of skill and possibly time, but it would be a huge hit with kids to get to make their own flying superhero! You can find all the details over at Frugal Fun 4 Boys!
DIY Superhero Peg Dolls – Aren’t these little peg dolls just the cutest? This craft isn’t just for the girls, little boys can have fun creating their own hero action figures, too! For a complete tutorial and for more ideas, visit The Craft Train!
Mason Jar Super Hero Money Bank – Who doesn’t love a good mason jar craft?! They’re so versatile! This is another fun craft that kids can personalize and decorate however they’d like! You can even challenge kids to fill up their piggy banks and bring them back at the end of VBS for the offering! You can find all the details over at Fire Flies and Mud Pies!
Will your church be participating in this SUPER awesome superhero theme this year for VBS? Do you have any other hero-inspired craft ideas that you’d like to share with the world? Drop a comment below and share the love!
Update: I found this SUPER cool (and really inexpensive) backdrop that will be PERFECT for snapping pictures of the kiddos with their crafts in front of. Check it out!