My Son's Christmas List

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My son Charlie is right at the age where "Santa" is in "his" prime. When I asked Charlie what he wanted most for Christmas, he answered, "A bell from Santa's Sleigh!" Easy enough....
I searched for Polar Express bells on Amazon, Esty and Google. I found a great website with handmade bells placed inside a decorative box and enclosed with a scroll from Santa himself. But the price...eeek! I was looking at $50+ just for the bell!
We built a brand new house this year, my husband bought a new truck AND we have a baby on the I was trying my best to cut back this year. But this was Charlie's #1 item on his Christmas list. Santa just HAD to get it for him! After all, Ralphie got his BB gun!
I had searched through ebay with no luck...until last night. I was seriously watching the Polar Express movie and found the perfect bell!
The handmade bell is JUST LIKE the bell in the movie! It comes in a red velvet drawstring bag, then is placed inside a decorative box with a note from Santa. It even comes with a movie sized "BELIEVE" punched train ticket!
$30 with free shipping for everything!
It may seem steep for a bell, but this is the BIG present from Santa this year. All I need now is some green ribbon :)
Santa will also bring him a 3D movie, a Carrera Avengers race track, Spiderman slippers, Spiderman Comforter and everything in his stocking (socks, underwear, candy, body wash, shampoo, and Chocolate milk straws)!
Mommy and Daddy bought him a 3DS Nintendo, 4 3DS games, Spiderman sheets, A Lego builder Book, Winter hat and gloves, clothes, and a Ninja Turtles action figure!

Free Santa Letter Printable

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Here is a letter that is all ready to go!
Just have your children fill it out and place it in the mailbox!
Get your free printable here:

Free Christmas Printables

Inviting Printables
had this delightful Christmas printable
and I just had to share!!
Click here to download your own file here.
Click here to download your own file here .

Stocking Stuffers

When I was a child, the first thing we would "open" Christmas morning was our stocking. The stockings would be jam packed with small gifts, candy, movies, etc. and we couldn't wait to see what Santa left in ours. Today, I am practicing the tradition with my own family and every year I look forward to seeing their surprised faces. Now that I am the one jamming all the goodies into the stockings, I try to switch it up with gifts that are different, creative and sometimes goofy.
I made up a list for anyone who is stumped on what to stuff into their loved one's stockings this year.
Gel pens, scented markers or Crayons
(My son loves the Crayola Twistables)
Coloring books, Crossword puzzles, Sudoku books
(Scratch and sniff are super fun!)
Enormous bouncy balls
(Kids love them!)
Fizzy bath tints
Mini Lego packs
Funny eye glasses and/or stick-on mustaches
Potato shooter or marshmallow gun
Character bandaids
Mittens, earmuffs, scarves and/or winter hats
Bath Markers
Matchbox cars
Lip Smackers flavored chapstick or lipgloss
Hair clips, bows, hair tie ball and/or headbands
Wallet and/or coin purse
Funky socks
Travel games
Silly Putty
Faux makeup
Fun shaped erasers
20 Questions handheld game
Crazy drinking straws
mp3 Player
BeanBoozled Jelly Beans
Mini Flashlights
Stamp set
Card games/Flash cards
Barbie clothes
Chocolate golden coins
Mini action figues
Solid perfume
Pretend shaving kit
Character shampoo or soap
Doll accessories
(Diapers, clothes, bottles, etc.)
Video games
Sea Monkeys
Slipper Socks
Shrinky Dinks
Flying monkeys
Sidewalk chalk
A bell from Santa's sleigh
(For the children who love The Polar Express!)
Underwear and/or socks
(This is an every year occurance/must have)
Chewing Gum
(large packs are available at Dollar Tree)
Fun Printed Kleenex packs
Gloves, winter hats, ear warmers
A toothbrush
Hand sanitizer
Blurays or DVDs
Gift cards
(Starbucks, movie theatre, iTunes, etc.)
Phone Cover
A piece of Fruit
Wrist watch
Hair gel/mousse
Money clip
Hot cocoa kit
Bubble bath
Kindle Fire
Tablet protector
Flavored dental floss
Nail and/or grooming kit
Body wash
Back Scratcher
Disposable hand warmers 
Golf balls
Month membership to Netflix
Handheld mirror
(Go crazy...I promise you will eventually use them all!)
Ice scraper
Mini bottles of liquor
Hot Sauce
Spiced nuts
Nail Polish
Engraved Flask
Gift cards
(Spa treatments, GNC, golf, etc.)
Bath oils, salts and scrubs
Gourmet chocolates
(Glacier Confection of Tulsa!)
Car air freshener
(They even have bacon scented fresheners on Amazon!)
Personalized coffee cup or travel mug
Address/date book
Razors and refills
Lint brush with refill
Bottle opener
Beef Jerky/Slim Jims
Fishing lures, line and hooks
Pocket knife
Essential oils for warmer
Bottle of seasoning
Travel size hand lotion
Neck tie
Lottery tickets
A big o' lump of coal

The Polar your car!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Minivan Express
After your children have had their baths and are cozy in their pajamas, give them a ticket to the Minivan Express. Have popcorn and hot chocolate ready in the car and punch their tickets before they get "on the train." Drive around and look at Christmas lights in different neighborhoods.
Don't forget the Christmas music!!

Free printable tickets are available HERE.
Have fun!!!

Christmas Tree Skirt

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I have had the same tired tree skirt since 2005...not to mention, the poor thing isn't the prettiest. It's a fluffy white, glittery piece of fabric that is supposed to look like snow.
This year will be the first Christmas we spend in our new home and I would like to make my own NEW Christmas Tree skirt this year :)
Here are some simple DIYs that I found! 

Red and White Fleece Tree Skirt - This cute tree skirt is made with red and white fleece. The skirt is red while it is embellished with snowflakes and snowmen! So many details make this a beautiful tree skirt to add to your decor. Give your gifts a cozy place to rest until Christmas.

Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt

You'll Need:
  • 2 yards red fleece
  • 2 yards white fleece
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Pinking shears
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread: red, white
  • 2 squares red craft felt
  • 3 squares green craft felt
  • 4 squares white craft felt (if desired, buy extra squares for snowflakes)
  • Craft glue
  • 12 black buttons, 1/2 inch each
  • Black fabric marker
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks!!
To Make Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt:
  1. With fleece folded in half as it came off the bolt, fold it in half again, matching cut ends. Take bottom corner at fold of short edge, and bring it to long edge of fold.
    Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

    Fold bottom corner to long edge.
  2. Tie 50-inch length of string to piece of chalk, hold down string at point of fleece, and pull taut. Swing chalk in arc around bottom edge to mark off curve. Cut on curve to create circular skirt.
    Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use chalk to mark off curve.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with white fleece. Pin red and white circles together.

  4. Cut 1-inch-wide strips 5 inches long through both layers of fleece. Knot matching red and white strips together.
    Fuzzy Fleece Tree Skirt
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Knot red and white strips together.
  5. Use sewing machine to stitch 2 straight lines 1/2 inch apart from edge to center of skirt. (Use red thread in top of machine and white in bobbin.) Cut between stitched lines toward center to create skirt opening. Make 7-inch circle in middle of skirt with chalk. (You can use string as you did in step 2 to make a small circle.)

  6. Sew around circle, and cut out inner circle with pinking shears.

  7. Copy and cut out patterns. Download tree skirt patterns here. Cut out snowmen and holly designs from felt. Glue snowmen to red side of fleece and holly berries and leaves to white side of fleece with craft glue. Hot glue black buttons on snowmen. Use fabric marker to draw snowman eyes. (Note: Spot wash only with mild soap and water.)

Easy Tree Skirt Variation
Adirondack Tree Skirt
Felt Flakes
Ring Around the Evergreen
Tree Skirt

72" square of red felt
Chalk marking pencil
1 yd of string
Tracing paper
1⁄4 yd of white felt
White yarn
Fabric glue
White pompoms in various sizes
1. Fold red felt in quarters. Tie string to pencil; pin other end of string to folded corner of felt. Keeping string taut, move pencil to mark quarter-circle along edge of felt.
2. Cut along marked line through all 4 layers.
3. At folded corner, cut out a 1"-deep quarter-circle (makes a 4" center opening). Open out felt. Cut from outer edge to inner circle to form tree skirt.
4. Glue white yarn in a vine design about 2" from the edge of the tree skirt.
5. Draw leaf shapes onto tracing paper; cut out. Cut about 16 white felt leaves. Glue onto skirt near yarn.
6. For berries, glue pompoms in various sizes in clusters around the skirt.

Read more:
Christmas Crafts at - Easy Christmas Tree Skirt Ideas - Woman's Day

Christmas Eve Surprise Box

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I found a wonderful idea for an "open early" Christmas gift on
The Imagination Tree blog.
click here to see full post.

The box is to be opened on Christmas Eve at sunset by everyone in the family.

The box can contain anything for a fun-filled "family night."
Some ideas for the box:
Christmas movies
Arthur Christmas National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation  (20th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) (Widescreen)
New Pajamas for the family
Merona® Men's 2Pk Sleep Set - Assorted Nick & Nora® Women's Fluid Knit Love Letters Pajama Set - Black/White/Multi
Star Wars Boys' 2-Piece Long-Sleeve Pajama Set - Gray/Red Hello Kitty Girls 2-Piece Short-Sleeve Pajama Set
House Slippers
Isotoner Men's Fleece Clog Slipper - Charcoal Women's Cordette Scuff Slipper
Kid's Angry Bird Slipper - Red Girl's Cassia Bunny Slipper - White
Christmas Books
Twas the Night Before Christmas (Paperback)   The Polar Express (null) (Mixed media product)
Pop Secret Movie Theatre Buttered Popcorn 6pk Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix 1oz. 10ct.
Kraft Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows - 16 oz.
(Everything pictured is available at Target) 

Thanksgiving - The Children's Table

Friday, November 2, 2012

I remember as a child, almost the entire family would meet at my grandmother's house for the Thanksgiving. The table was filled with delicious food; turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. And as soon as our plates were full, us children were then escorted out of the dining room into the isolated kitchen nook to the "children's" table. We were also forced to drink milk with our food (yuck), despite my lactose intolerance :/
Even into my teen years and early twenties, I still sat at the children's table. It wasn't until I had my son that I was finally allowed to eat at the "adult" table. I had experienced and witnessed the isolation and utter boredom at the Children's table and have decided that there will be no more of it! If the kids have to eat at their own table-we as adults must then make it fun for them (with the option of water or tea as an alternative to milk).
Crayons, coloring books and a paper covered table is a MUST!
If you would like the cover page above, just leave a message and your email address on this Facebook page and they will send the link!
FREE printable coloring pages may be found here .
Kids Thanksgiving Table

You could even put out a small bucket of legos!

This is also their Thanksgiving -so make it fancy for them too!
 It will make them feel equally important :)

Thanksgiving - Thankful

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I get so excited for the 'most wonderful time of the year' that I go straight from Halloween to Christmas, completely skipping Thanksgiving all together.
I was reminded today of what Thanksgiving is all about; being thankful for what I have.
 I am thankful for the people that are in my life. Thankful for the love I have from and for everyone around me. Thankful for my family's health. Thankful for my husband and my son and how I am blessed to have them in my life.
Even though my family has suffered a great tragedy in the past, I believe these events led me to the wonderful life I have today. As they say, "God works in mysterious ways." But I admit, I sometimes dwell on what I have lost and forget what I have right in front of me; Life, Love and Happiness.
I thought I would share the story behind my thankfulness that is both beautiful and inspiring. It made me forget all the "troubles" I thought I had in my life. It made me truly grateful for what really matters...the love of God and my loving family.
Meet Tripp
Tripp was born on May 14, 2009. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic skin disease called "EB." Any type of friction on his skin or mucous membranes causes blisters. They told us he would not live to be a year old. Every day he amazes us by his strength. He is a fighter and with all he has been through, he has never given up. He is the strongest person I know. Tripp wakes up each morning with a smile on his face. Every day spent with him is a blessing. God has a special plan for him. I'm just blessed to be able to witness that plan.

Tripp is on constant pain medicine, but on most occasions (when he is not down from an infection or acutely sick), he is a very playful, happy boy who LOVES to play the drums.
He is VERY smart and despite not being able to speak/see, he has definitely been given a gift of hearing and an ear for music. He can play his drums perfectly to the rhythm of any tune:)
I am one PROUD Momma.

On January 14, 2012, Tripp received his wings and went to be with Jesus.
My baby took his last breath, in the rocking chair, in my arms.
Our hearts are broken.
I truly appreciate your prayers and support through this unbearable time.
Mommy misses you, my little angel.
And you are always, ALWAYS in my heart.
You can meet Tripp and his mommy HERE.

Recommended Halloween Movies 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

❣ Halloween ❣
I love the fall season with the leaves changing colors, carved pumpkins and the cool brisk feel of the day. The Halloween candy isn't half bad either!
The scary movies are also a perk during this time of year. But we have all seen the usual villians...Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees over and over, Halloween after Halloween. Don't get me wrong...these are MUST SEE scary movies...but to be completely honest, it's becoming a little tiresome.  
So I put together a list of scary movies that are a little more untraditional but will still get you in that spooky Halloween mood!
Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
Directed by Tim Burton
(If you are a Harry Potter fan like me, you are bound to see some familiar faces/heads)
Three unemployed parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Dan Aykroyd
Bill Murray
Harold Ramis
Sigourney Weaver
Directed by Ivan Reitman

The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she's losing her mind.
Harrison Ford, Michelle, Pfeiffer
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
A female figure in silhouette stands before an enormous statue of a humanoid head. Text at the middle of the poster reveals the tagline "The Search For Our Beginning Could Lead To Our End". Text at the bottom of the poster reveals the title, production credits and rating.
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce
Directed by Ridley Scott
(Follow this film with the Alien trilogy...)
An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a Mummy.
Brendan Fraser
Rachel Weisz
Directed by Stephen Sommers
Movie poster shows a woman in the ocean swimming to the right. Below her is a large shark, and only its head and open mouth with teeth can be seen. Within the image is the film's title and above it in a surrounding black background is the phrase "The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller." The bottom of the image details the starring actors and lists credits and the MPAA rating.
When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.
Roy Scheider
Richard Dreyfuss
Robert Shaw
Direct by Steven Spielberg
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer; aiding him is imprisoned criminal genius Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.
Anthony Hopkins
Edward Norton
Ralph Fiennes
Directed by Brett Ratner
After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.
Jason Patric
Corey Haim
Keifer Sutherland
Directed by Joel Schumacher
A woman goes in search for her daughter, within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.
Radha Mitchell
Sean Bean
Directed by Christophe Gans
An uncommonly gentle young man, who happens to have scissors for hands, falls in love with a beautiful teenage girl.
Johnny Depp
Winona Ryder
Directed by Tim Burton
(May also be considered for the Christmas Holiday)
A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Chloë Grace Moretz
Directed by Matt Reeves
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening is to come.
Mel Gibson
Joaquin Phoenix
Rory Culkin
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
After being killed during a botched mugging, a man's love for his partner enables him to remain on earth as a ghost.
Patrick Swayze
Demi Moore
Directed by Jerry Zucker
Sally and Gillian Owens have always known they were different. Raised by their aunts after their parents' death, the sisters grew up in a household that was anything but typical-their aunts fed them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them the uses of practical magic. But the invocation of the Owens' sorcery also carries a price-some call it a curse: the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Now, adult women with very different personalities, the quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their powers to fight the family curse and a swarm of supernatural forces that threatens the lives of all the Owens women.
Sandra Bullock
Nicole Kidman
Directed by Griffin Dunne
A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.
Mia Farrow
John Cassavetes
Directed by Roman Polanski
Fool, an African-American teen, breaks into the home of the wealthy landlords who evicted his family from a ghetto tenement. A fortune in gold coins is rumored to exist inside, but Fool discovers that the mansion is a chamber of horrors presided over by a pair of incestuous, serial killer siblings. The twisted couple has also tried to raise a succession of kidnapped boys. Each botched effort is handled the same way - the victim's eyes, ears and tongues are removed, and he's sent to live in the sealed-off basement, where a colony of similarly deformed "brothers" resides. Fool is able to avoid the evil lovers as he moves through the house's maze of hidden passageways. He discovers that the occupants have a daughter, who has survived their abuse, so he rescues her and they attempt to free the "people under the stairs."
Brandon Quintin Adams
A.J. Langer
Directed by Wes Craven
Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Steve Buscemi
Directed by Gil Kenan
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.
Nicole Kidman
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar
After 300 years, three sister witches are resurrected in Salem Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches reign of terror once and for all.
Bette Midler
Kathy Najimi
Sarah Jessica Parker
Directed by Kenny Ortega
A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past.
Peter Sarsgaard
Kate Hudson
Directed by Iain Softly
Poster for Zombieland with subtitle "Nut up or shut up". The four actors appear as a group all holding different weapons.
A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
Jesse Eisenberg
Emma Stone
Woody Harrelson
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
A young family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts. The ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house for the amusement of everyone. Eventually the events turn sinister and their youngest child disappears and is held captive by the evil ghosts.
JoBeth Williams
Craig T. Nelson
Heather O'Rourke
Directed by Tobe Hooper
(#1 on my list of scary movies)
A boy inadvertantly breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.
Zach Gallagan
Phoebe Cates
Directed by Joe Dante
(May also be considered for the Christmas Holiday)

Frank Bannister has genuine psychic powers, but he doesn't use them to help people. Rather, he generates cases for his supernatural private-eye firm by harassing a group of hapless ghosts into staging hauntings and poltergeists in the homes of likely marks. Bannister's world turns on its head when he starts noticing real hauntings around town - ghostly assassinations that seem to be tied to the execution 20 years earlier of a brutal serial killer. Lucy Lunskey, the wife of one unlucky victim, teams up with Bannister to get to the bottom of the killings and find out what shut-in Patricia Bradley and her witchy mother have to do with the sinister killing spree.
Michael J. Fox
Dee Wallace Stone
John Astin
Directed by Peter Jackson
A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.
Peter Sarsgaard
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

 A flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation's destined battler of vampires.
Kristy Swanson
Donald Sutherland
Luke Perry
Directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui
After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.
Kevin Bacon
Directed by David Koepp
An American man unwittingly gets involved with werewolves who have developed a serum allowing them to transform at will.
Tom Everett Scott
Julie Delpy
Directed by Anthony Waller

If you are finding it difficult to stray from the tradional horror films, at least upgrade to the new versions...
After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution (where he was committed as a 10 year old) and he immediately returns to Haddonfield, where he wants to find his baby sister, Laurie. Anyone who crosses his path is in mortal danger.
Scout Taylor-Compton
Malcolm McDowell
Directed by Rob Zombie
 A film poster with the title "Friday the 13th" appearing in red letters just below "From the producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Above the title stands Derek Mears dressed in full Jason Voorhees make-up and a machete in his right hand. Fog and a moon-lit wilderness appear in the background. The production credits appear in small font at the bottom of the poster.
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.
Jared Padalecki
Amanda Righetti
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.
Penn Badgley
Dylan Walsh
Directed by Nelson McCormick