Music and Twine Bottles

Music and Twine Bottles

I have a neat tutorial to share with you that can really be expounded upon in so many different ways, your creativity can go rampant. We all know about my urge to save glass bottles and jars and have gone as far as enlisting family members to do the same. So when inspiration strikes, bottles of all sorts are available.
Here’s a list of what I used for this project: Glass bottle, sheet music, glitter, Mod Podge, jute twine, snowflake ornament, jingle bells. 
 
 
 I was given several of these schnapps bottles, that have really taken me a while to come up with a use for. They are tall and flat and can’t really be used for my Waterless Snow globes…but finally inspiration hit in the form of ‘Altered Bottle’ which is fancy for saying decorating the bottle to serve some sort of purpose beyond it’s intended use.  SO I washed up the bottle, removed the label with handy dandy Goo-Gone (thank goodness for that stuff!!) and a pretty bottle is what you have. It no long looks like a schnapps bottle…but in my mind looks like a ‘message in a bottle’ type of bottle…cue The Police Just a castaway
An island lost at sea, oh
.. I didn’t use the lids and used wire cutters to cut off the little ring left around the neck.
 I have been lucky enough to find some old sheet music and believe me when I say this book is happy to be given a second chance at life in the form of art…the pages were so weakened with age and fragile….it just couldn’t be used anymore. In fact, when I tried to use my paper cutter, it just shredded the paper, so I ended up just scoring and tearing. The idea is to use the music paper to create a label of sorts around the bottle, so I tore the paper to fit the center of the bottle, leaving a little glass on the bottom and the neck of the bottle still exposed. Slather the back of the page with Mod Podge:
 Eye-ball it on the center of the bottle:
 Do the same for the back so you have something that looks like this:
Be sure to smooth it on well.  Next, to soften the edges of the ‘label’ and for a little glitz, use Mod Podge and glitter around the edge ( I used a paint brush and spooned on the glitter). This a messier way to do it, if you want, you can use glitter glue or something similar. Once dry, use a soft dry brush to remove excess glitter.
 Next, wrap twine around the center of the bottle, leaving two ends for tying. I used about three yards of jute twine. If twine isn’t your thing, ribbon would also look good.
 I needed a focal point and found it by way of snowflakes. I found this package of small glittered snowflakes at Hobby Lobby…but you can use several different things….if you crochet, crochet a snowflake…stiffened doily….just something in proportion and creates a focal point.
 Tie the twine through the snowflake:
 String jingle bells on the twine (I just love the sound of jingle bells!)
 Tie a shoestring bow, tightening the bells up and giving the snowflake a finished look. Like I said though, you can get really creative…see what you can come up with!
 I think these would make great gifts, bud vases, candle holders….
 …or how about writing  a message rolling it up and putting in there for a loved one to read. Wouldn’t it be fun to write your yearly Family Letter and put it in there and share with your extended family. Write hope and dreams and put in there. Lots of different things can be done…..or really, it’s just pretty to look at.
 Whatever you do, the bottle has been given a second life and been made into something beautiful.
 
 
 What bottles do you have that can be altered?
 
***
It is almost Thanksgiving and I really cannot believe it! I know I haven’t been around much this past week, but I sure do appreciate you for being here. If I don’t talk to you before then I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving spending it with the people you love and cherish. Give your kids an extra hug and your husband an extra kiss, that is what I will be doing….and hopefully eating pumpkin pie! Love to all of you!
Christmas Bingo

Christmas Bingo

What’s the Project?: This free printable Christmas Bingo game is fun to play for any Christmas party with the kids! Whether you need it for a class party at school or for a fun activity at home with the littles, this cute Bingo game is easy-just print then play! Everyone will love it! 

Christmas and the holiday season can be such a crazy time! Crazy fun but also crazy busy.

So whether you are looking for a fun Christmas Bingo game because you need something quick and easy to print and play for a class party or a Christmas party you’re throwing for the kids, or just because you need to slow down and do something fun at home with your kids, this is the perfect game!

All you need to do is print and play this cute free printable Christmas Bingo game! It’s fun and festive and the kids will seriously love it!

This works great for a class party or any Christmas party you are throwing or just on a cold winter day to play at home with your kids.

I like to take this Christmas Bingo with me to the class parties and play it with small groups. We’ve also played it at a family holiday party and the kids (of all ages) had fun. It’s so easy and simple but fun.

The cute Christmas Bingo game board has Santa and stockings, penguins and snowflakes, presents, ornaments, lights, and more.

So many fun things to do with the kids this holiday season and all you’ve got to do is print! You can’t beat that, right?!

And here’s a fun emoji guessing game for Christmas!

Free Printable Christmas Bingo Boards:

It can’t be simpler than this. All you need to do is open this PDF and print it out:

Print Here: Free Printable Christmas Bingo Game

I actually had mine printed at a printing store just so that I could get a higher quality print. You could even laminate it if you want so that you can play it for years to come.

It will print out 8 game boards and the cards to draw from to play Bingo. (Sorry-there are just 8. If you need more I recommend playing in small groups of 8 or less so that everyone gets a chance to play.)

Here’s a sample of what a Christmas Bingo Board looks like:

HOW TO PLAY CHRISTMAS BINGO:

Print the cards and cut them all out.

Then you just need some fun markers to mark off spots on the board when it gets called, like Christmas candy or marshmallows or crackers or something like that.

Have one person call out as they draw the cards from the drawing pile and the players get to put a marker on that picture.

Once someone has five in a row they shout out bingo and they win that round!

How fun is that?

Here are a few more Christmas games you might love if you are planning a family party!

Have a great time playing this Christmas Bingo game with the kids!

Christmas Mad Libs Printable

Christmas Mad Libs Printable

This fun free Christmas Mad Libs printable is perfect for kids of all ages (and grown-ups, too!)! Great for teachers in the classroom, holiday parties, playgroups, and more!

LOVE Mad Libs (seriously, what parent doesn’t love a language lesson disguised as fun?!), so I created this silly Christmas Mad Libs Printable that’s perfect for kids to play as they wait for the big day! These Christmas Mad Libs will make a great addition to your classroom, family fun night, holiday parties, playgroups, Scout meetings, and more!

My three boys had a blast testing out this silly Mad Libs game, and they laughed their heads off reading our hysterical Christmas Mad Libs letters to Santa! Some of our favorite Mad Libs wishlist items were a “dirty new microwave,” “stinky new spaghetti,” and a “crazy new cat” to make them the “happiest monkey on the piano!” LOL!

This silly Christmas Mad Libs printable will test your child’s grammar knowledge of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and more – the more creative you get with your word choices, the funnier your story will be! I’m not going to lie, my boys tend to gravitate towards potty humor when they fill out Mad Libs, but sometimes those end up being the most hysterical ones of all – just make sure to keep things G-rated, okay?

 

Mad Libs is always a fun and silly game that’s perfect for passing the time, and this Christmas version is sure to be a big hit with your friends, family, and holiday party guests! Even the adults will want to get in on the fun!

A Christmas Tree Decorating Party

A Christmas Tree Decorating Party

There’s something festive yet casual about a Christmas Tree decorating party. It’s an occasion that celebrates the fun of the holiday season, built upon one of the more enduring holiday symbols. Yet, by its very nature, things don’t have to be perfect. When guests attend your party, they expect to find a naked tree and a house that is not quite ready for Christmas.

Before your guests arrive, you should have purchased your tree (!) and set it up in its stand. Light a fire in your fireplace and play Christmas carols as background music. If you have a piano, place Christmas sheet music on it in case any of your guests feel inspired to play. Serve your food buffet style, since this will be an active party with your guests moving around decorating, or at least admiring your tree.​

 
 

You can also expand on the cookie buffet by adding hearty appetizers. This way you are still keeping things very casual, holding down the expense of the party, and in my opinion, offering the two most interesting courses.

 

A weekend brunch is another relaxing alternative. You can offer a selection of fresh bagels, muffins, cut up fresh fruit, and one or two breakfast casseroles, which can be made the night before, and baked that morning before your guests arrive. Serve orange juice, coffee, punch, and eggnog, with optional champagne and rum.

 

You can always make any of these buffets heartier by adding a roast turkey and trimmings or baked ham. Or, to keep the mood very casual, arrange a large crockpot of chili on your buffet table, and serve it with sour cream, chopped onions, grated Monterey jack cheese, chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, and salsa.

 

Whether or not there will be children present, you can set up a table for guests to make their own ornaments to take home as a party favor. Simply choose the craft based on the age and craftiness of your participants.

 

For another planned activity, you can set up bowls of popcorn and cranberries in cozy corners of your home for guests to string as decorations for your tree. It’s a great way for guests who don’t know one another well to interact.

 

If you will be having young children at the party, you can have Christmas coloring pages and crayons already set up on a low, easily accessible table. If you’re concerned about crayons on the table, wrap the table in Christmas wrapping paper. You’ll then have a festive surface that serves to protect your furniture. Or, plan a few Christmas games that will keep kids entertained.

 

If you’re lucky, when the party is over, your tree will be fully dressed and ready to welcome Christmas. If not, you still will have helped your friends to forget, at least momentarily, their seasonal chores, and to remember the fun of the holiday season.

DIY Cookie Exchange!! Free Printables & Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

DIY Cookie Exchange!! Free Printables & Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone we turn our attention to the winter holidays. That means lots of cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, and shopping going on.  Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukka, or other winter holiday you’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit in all the seasonal activities.

One way to reduce your seasonal cookie baking is to have a cookie exchange and swap baked goods with friends and relatives.  I usually love to host an exchange, it’s a great excuse for a girls day or night out! But in these days of social distancing and limited contact hosting an exchange may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean friends and relatives can’t share the holiday baking load with a drop off cookie exchange.  It may take a bit more planning, but at least you’ll only have to bake one type of cookie and still have a variety to enjoy or gift over the holidays.

There’s really not much to having a Drop Off Cookie Exchange, just a bit of coordinating and if you’re really creative you can have a Zoom baking party! You know set a date and time when everyone involved can get together virtually while they bake, it might be fun!

Here’s a few tips to help you plan your Virtual Baking Party and Drop Off cookie exchange!

1.  Decide who you want to “invite”.

You may want to keep the party small and intimate to keep it manageable.  It’s probably not the right time to throw a zoom party with 50 of your friends and their families.

2.  Set your date and time.

Send out virtual invitations with the date, time, link to join, and ask guests to RSVP and tell you the type of cookie they plan to bake.   Knowing what type of cookie each guest plans to make will ensure that you have a variety of cookies. You can also ask each person

Ideally cookie swap invitations should be sent out a month before, but if you haven’t already done so, you should schedule it as soon as possible so guests can plan to attend. Everyone is busy during the holidays, if your guests are able to attend weekday events it may be easier to have your Baking Party during the week, otherwise you can schedule a weekend day at least a week before the holiday.

Before your Virtual Baking Party you’ll have to tell guests how many people will be participating and ask them to bake at least a half dozen cookies per guest.  The cookies must be packed separately for each participant, in many cases Ziplock bags will work.  They don’t need fancy packages because each participant may want to repack them with other cookies for gift giving.

3. Decorate the Kitchen.

Or which ever room you plan to be in during the Zoom Party.  Decorating the area you plan to be in sets a festive mood.  You might even want to have some cider or eggnog to sip on while you bake and chat.  Wearing something festive like a holiday apron adds a nice touch too!

4.  Bake your cookies and join your friends in a Zoom party.

You can make them well in advance and store baked cookies in the freezer, this way you can just chat with friends during the zoom party.  Or you can prepare the cookie dough in advance and just bake them during the party.

Cookie bars freeze and pack well as do chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, and snickerdoodles.  For a list of cookies that freeze well check out this article from aboutfood.com.
To learn how to freeze cookies click here!

5.  The star of the show are the cookies and the main event is the exchange.

Decide how you’re going to work the exchange during the party.  Will each person deliver a pack of cookies to each participant or would you prefer to set up a central pick up point where everyone can drop off and pick up cookies?  Decide on the date and time for the actual exchange and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask.  We all want a safe and healthy holiday season!

Free Cookie Exchange Printables from How to Nest for Less

Caramel cookie bars are an excellent choice for a cookie exchange.  They’re simple to make and are really yummy.  You can dress them up for the holidays by adding sprinkles or other candies for a festive look.

Caramel Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

2 Cups Brown Sugar, packed

2 Eggs

2 Cups Flour

2 Tsp. Vanilla

2 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Spary a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine Sugar and Butter.

Add in eggs and vanilla.

Add in dry ingredients.

Mix until dough is well combined.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Let cool and cut into bars.

 

Rustic Cabin Thanksgiving Party

Rustic Cabin Thanksgiving Party

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I hope you all have a splendid day!

I just love the acorns made out of doughnut holes, pretzels & sprinkles. How cute are the cornucopias and teepee’s made out of sugar cones, too! The whole party is simply darling!
 
“This was a Thanksgiving Party focused on ideas for the Kids’ table and entertainment.”