New Year's Solo Cup Chandelier

Here's a quick decoration for a last minute New Year's Eve Party.  Your guests might think it's pretty funny to see solo cups hanging from your chandelier.  They'll laugh (the ice breaker), they'll ask you about it (the conversation starter) and voila: your party has begun!  Meet the Solo Cup Chandelier:

I'm on a real solo cup kick and I was trying to come up with a new use for the cup as a party decoration.  How about hanging cups?

These are the supplies I had from a Christmas project that never happened. :\  It was supposed to be a solo cup candy cane (maybe next year).

How-to make the parts that make up the whole:

1. Hole in the cup.

2.  The clear string (stretch magic or fishing line) and the spacer (practice golf balls or recycled Styrofoam).

3.  Stack the cups, add sparkle and hang.

Festive, fun and a bit humorous.  That's how I'll take a New Year's Eve Party!

This was supposed to be for a slumber party with my Sister's family, but the flu is getting in the way of all our holiday plans.  Go out and get the flu vaccine, it's not too late, I just did, tell it to your neighbor!


Merry Christmas, Neighbor!

I'm feeling the spirit tonight and I just wanted to tell you Merry Christmas!!!

I saw this today while shopping for my husband at Cavender's, it made me smile, I hope it does you too:

Thank you Minted for the Inspiration Board contest and $200 towards our Christmas cards.  We loved them!


Toddler Christmas Activity

This idea needs to get out while you still have time!  I'll make this short and sweet.  Yesterday was my 2 year old son's Christmas Party at school.  I brought the craft/activity.  The kiddos had a blast!  Every single personality was into it and enjoyed it!

The idea started with this Cardboard Tree from Ikea, $14.99!  (I just checked stock for Houston and the site says "probably available" and for Dallas it says "most likely available".  So call ahead if you're in Houston, 1-888-888-4532.)
Then I needed stickers that were easier to peel than the Ikea stickers.  So I picked up two 88 piece packs of Holiday Foam Stickers by Creatology from Michael's (they're now half off).  I should have bought 3 packs!  We set up the tree and dumped out the stickers on a nearby table.

The two year olds went to town!  Out of respect for the parents I'm not posting a picture of the kids crowded around the tree, but please trust me they had so much fun!  I enjoyed watching each of them laugh and they all had their own technique.  Here's a foggy picture of my baby "in the moment":

The cutie pies were busy for at least 20 minutes and the fun only ended when we ran out of stickers.  This idea would even be a fun activity to do when the family gets together for Christmas.

Just had to add the above photo, it was a great party!

Santa's Tool Giveaway - Winners!

And the winners of the STANLEY Precision Screwdriver Sets are (using the True Random Number Generator from Random.org)... 2, 16, 4, 7, 17 and 10!

  • 2 - Karen Ivey
  • 16 - Carole W.
  • 4 - Karen Stopnicki
  • 7 - Arden
  • 17 - Robert M.
  • 10 - It's the Little Things
Congrats everybody and thank you for entering!!  If I'm unable to contact you, please send your mailing address to my e-mail address (the yellow envelope in the right hand column) and I'll ship it to you ASAP!  You're going to love this tool!


A Tool for Santa (That's You) - GIVEAWAY!

Every Santa needs this simple tool set and if you've ever replaced batteries or assembled a toy then that's you, Santa!  I gave it to a few of my Santa friends last year including my Sister.  She tells me now that at the time she thought it was nice but she wasn't sure she'd ever use it.  Now she says she uses it all the time!

It is the STANLEY Precision Screwdriver Set and if your looking for the perfect stocking stuffer or a small gift for your neighbors, this is it!  It's $5.19 at Target stores.  Here's what's special about it:

1.  I've never lost it or any of it's parts.  The screwdrivers snap tightly into place and the storage case has an attached "seat belt" to hold it all in.  This is how I see it in my drawer:

2.  The top swivels so the screwdriver spins in your palm.  No wrist movement.

3.  Replacing a battery or repairing a toy is a snap because this tool will reach the difficult screws.

3.  No screw is too small.  I repair my darn sunglasses all the time!

This is your lucky day because I happen to have six extra screwdriver sets.  Last year I bought them for my friends, stored them and then couldn't find them.  Well, I just found them and I want to give them to you, Santa.  I want you to go to bed earlier by assembling toys faster. :)

So here's how this small GIVEAWAY works:

1.  If you're not already following, make sure to follow this blog via your preferred social outlet (in the right hand column), leave a comment to this post and you'll be entered in the drawing!

2.  For an extra entry please tell your neighbor about this giveaway by sharing on facebook, repinning on Pinterest or by tweeting and please leave an additional comment with a link to your share, repin or tweet.

Check back here tomorrow, I'll post the winners and we'll make arrangements. There will be SIX winners and you have till Thursday morning to enter!  I'll do a drawing in the morning on December 20th so I can ship by Friday.  Good luck, you'll love this tool!

Quick link:


Big Battery Operated Lights

The Polka Dot Wreath
Have you ever looked at the store for battery operated lights?  They are crazy expensive or dinky and cheap.  So when I saw these big battery operated lights on QVC that offered so many options I thought it was too good to be true.  Nope!  They're awesome, tell it to your neighbor!!!

battery operated Christmas lights

I almost didn't order these lights because they're LED and generally I don't like the "blue" LED look.  But I thought it's time to embrace LED, it's where we are headed anyway.  I'm sure the scientists are working hard to make them "warm" for all of us.  And indeed, the lights are clear and warm!

cordless christmas wreath

The lights come equipped with so many options, for example: on or off, timer or light sensor and twinkle or steady.  They require 3 D batteries and the box for the batteries comes with zip-ties to attach to your wreath or garland.

So long to cords getting in the way of the look!  These big battery operated lights are on clearance right now and you can find them here on QVC: Bethlehem Lights Battery Operated 16' with 50 LED Faceted Bulb Light Strand, H15797.  An alternate light look promising as well, they're just missing the photo sensor: Round Light Strand.  If these lights are unavailable by the time this gets around, look here on ebay: seller tflynn12 or seller jairnet.


The Tree Is Up and It Is Good!

The Christmas Tree Intervention went well!  I didn't dread it!  Decorating the tree was the first thing we did and everyone got to play.  We lost about four ornaments but so worth it!  I felt even better about this decision to give up the tree to the kids when Sarah Richardson validated my feelings in a recent interview for The Globe and Mail.  I love Sarah and validation is always good. :)

The jumbo poinsettias anchored the look amongst all the collected ornaments just like I had hoped!  I love the way the mercury glass owl looks perched on top of the tree.  It even glows with a few twinkle lights stuffed inside.

sheepskin tree skirt

I had to veer from the original plan of the basket tree skirt.  I was trying to save by making my own but I couldn't find a basket that would do the trick.  So Sarah Richardson enters the equation again, I saw her throw down a few sheepskin rugs for her tree skirt in a recent holiday party episode.  Easy and done!  I picked out the whitest rugs from the bunch at IKEA.

For next year I need one more poinsettia (I feel like it needs just one more), one more sheepskin for the back and I'll always be on the lookout for a basket I can convert.  How pretty would this be with giant white poinsettias?


The Kids' Remote

kids remote control

Would you like 30 minutes of extra sleep on Saturday morning?  This is how: Our sleepy heads call it "The Kids' Remote" and I'm happy it's in their hands!  My friend Katie pinned this 3 months ago, I ordered it and have been loving it ever since.  For some reason it's been discontinued and it's going, going, almost gone!  So hurry and order Sony's Remote for Children, tell it to your neighbor!!!

kids remote

Kids love being in control and independent.  I like having control of the TV when we're away and the kids are with a sitter.  There are 7 programmable channels so I was even able to program the Food Network and HGTV for whoever is watching the kiddos.  Sometimes our sitters have trouble with the regular remote.  I've felt bad coming home with the TV stuck on Nick Jr. and the kids have been asleep for hours.  Yes, this has happened.

We did have a phase of arguing over this great thing, but now they've figured out how to negotiate channels in the early morning. :)

parental control of the tv

The Kids' Remote was missing for a week and that's when I realized it was a necessity.  I almost want two of them so it doesn't happen again.

The #1 reason to get The Kids' Remote:  Our kids like to turn OFF the TV all by themselves!  And when I have to ask they are happier to do so!


Split Second Elf Ideas

Everybody could use a few more Elf on the Shelf ideas, right? ;)  I took these pictures last year (pre-blog so please excuse the grainy photos) of our elf, his name is Tiny.  These ideas were split second, spur of the moment, because most of time we remembered to move our elf after we were already falling asleep.  Meet Tiny, this was his first appearance last year, starting with the reason for the season:

Elf on the Shelf ideas, fast elf on the shelf ideas

Tiny prefers to fly to the North Pole on the wings of an angel:

My personal favorite, Tiny is looking out the window at our car, his evidence is on the table:

Hot chocolate ready to go:

Doing his best to get comfortable for a rest:

Missing the North Pole:

Up all night doing last minute online shopping, toysrus.com:

quick elf on the shelf ideas

Tiny likes to color for the kiddos (don't forget to change your handwriting):

Up all night dancing:

Tiny didn't want us to forget to send Santa a Christmas card, he had a snack too:

Getting fancy:

He made cookies and left them for everyone in the microwave:

Tiny just wanted to feel close to his owners so he snuggled with their spare loveys:

Tiny brought a few small gifts as we got closer to Christmas, here he's gone fishing in the new wooden groceries:

Tiny loves music:

The day before Christmas Tiny had a sign that said Santa's Coming and brought some booties to keep the toes cozy and prepared for Santa's arrival:

Tiny has been in my sock drawer since last year, ha!  I didn't know where to put his magic self so our kids wouldn't see him in a box.  He ended up in my drawer in a last minute hide move.  I see him almost every day, funny!  Can't wait to bring our Elf on the Shelf back out, let the fun begin!