Tip {py} Tuesday: Child-Proofing Christmas…And It’s Pretty!!!


I know that most people have their trees up and decorated by now, but this was too cool not to share.  Most parents probably remember decorating for Christmas for the first time after they have kids.  It’s like everything you take out to decorate has a flashing neon sign screaming, “DANGER!  So not baby-proof!”  The candles you used to use to warm up the living room?  Fire hazard.  The stockings hung by the chimney with care?  Baby could pull them down.  Tiny little ornaments you use in your advent calendar?  Choking hazard for sure.  But by far, the thing that freaked me out the most were those ghoulish ornament hooks.  My youngest puts everything in his mouth and the idea of him swallowing one of those suckers scares me to death.

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That’s why when I saw these ribbon ornament hangers at Lowe’s, I had to share.  They were 50 for $2.00 so they were reasonably priced, but would also be easy to make your own if you have ribbon on hand, or you wanted it to be a certain color or theme.  One of the best parts?  You put the ornaments away with the hangers on!  No untangling a mess of ornament hooks next year, they can go right back on the tree.

The hanger is just a length of ribbon tied into a loop with a small double knot.  The loop is made from any length of ribbon, mine were about 5 inches, depending on how long you want them to hang or if you want to do a bow or a knot.

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Once you have your ribbon loop tied to the desired length, simply thread it through the top of your ornament.

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Then pull the knotted end back through the other end of the loop and pull tight.

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*If you want your know to be on top of the ornament instead, just pull the loop side through the knotted side.

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Once your loop is pulled tight you are ready to hang your ornament!  No more worrying about your child swallowing one of those hooks like a fish!  Happy, happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

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Foodie Friday…Yummy Spritz Cookies!


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These are a family favorite, and the perfect recipe to use with your cookie press.  Their small size makes them easy to eat without feeling too guilty, and the simple recipe makes them great to give as gifts.  They are a Christmas favorite in our house, a recipe passed down from “Grama B,” so I thought it was a good time to share.  Hope you get a chance to try them out, they really are delicious!

Spritz Cookies ( to be made with a cookie press )

Ingredients:

1 lb. butter or margarine

2 c. sugar

4 egg yolks

2 T. cream

5 c. flour

1 t. vanilla

Cream margarine and sugar.  Add other ingredients gradually one at a time.  Put in cookie press and place cookies 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Add decorations if desired, the crystal sprinkles work the best.  Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  The cookies are done when the edges are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Making a Believer Out of Your Kid


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It’s hard when you have children who have a compromised pretend and imaginary minds to engage them in play. Last year, the Elf on the Shelf was a major holiday event. I had debated a few months prior whether or not to participate. Bug only thinks in black and white and has a difficult time with make believe. He is too smart for his age. I know with a lot of ASD children it is the same way. It’s not that they may not believe in the holiday magic, it’s more they just don’t have the capacity to do so. It’s confusing to them and it’s intangible to the eyes and mind. How do you believe in something you can’t see? How do you make someone believe? Well, you can’t. But all you can do it try. So I decided to try. Up until that point my kids really didn’t know who or what Santa was. Between their age and the ASD, they really hadn’t been impregnanted with the whole “holiday magic” ideals. But isn’t that what we as parents are here for- to be teachers to our children; from teaching the facts of life to the magic of dreams.

So, without further ado- here’s Holly!
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Last year, Hubs was away and was not able to participate. I am so flipping excited he will be home this year to help with the shanagans. So to start out the season right- a letter from Santa deliver by Holly. The envelope is a cute little addition (printable PDF pinned on our Pinterest board) from The Fancy Yancey’s blog. The letter (also printable PDF pinned on our Pinterest account) dictates a few reminders to the kids about the rules.

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I’ll post as often as I am able to her daily nuances. Check my Instagram feed for all her actions and check out our Pinterest for links to cool Elf related creative ideas.

Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done: Why I Need a Vacation from my Vacation Planning


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Oh my gee! I can’t see straight because my contacts are glued to my eyes from staring at my computer screen for the last three days while trying to book a family vacation. With all the stress and anxiety it has caused me, I need a vacation from all this vacation planning. My nerves are shot and if Hubs refuses to answer one more call from me trying to verify answers; I will go through the phone and tightly wrap my hands around his cute little neck.

Why is planning a vacation so hard?! I think its because I over analyze everything. I can’t just make a simple decision. I have to feel that I have made the best choice after weighing all options. It’s decision overload. So what options did I look at?

We looked at going home at Christmas. Barf, $5000 just for plane tickets is to expensive for our blood. So we looked at Disneyland. The kids have been asking since we got back this past February and I agree. Disney! But Disney at Christmas is just high as ranked up there with realizing you are out of milk…on pay day. Nuf said. So we thought about a staycation. Sigh, living in paradise has it’s up and downs… we have experienced all there is to experience here.

I can’t take another Christmas 4000 miles away from family. Having already spent two holidays away from them, it might put me on Prozac to experience another. It’s just the quiet of it all. No grandparent’s gushing over their grandkids; no brothers playing football in the snow; and no turkey on the dinning room table. Staying here is not a option.

So off I went in search of a cheap, but fun alternative; and wouldn’t you know.? There is more than just one island in Hawaii?! Oh snap, say whaaaa? There are several. So why not. Has anyone every asked you if you have visited Hawaii? I always wonder if its a trick question. Yes, I have visited a few islands that make up the entire state of Hawaii. Have you? It’s sorta a pet peeve of mine. But whatevs.

We have already been to two islands. We want to get to the Big Island, but really only desire to see the volcanoes and no desire to spend hours and hours driving. So we decided to do a staycation on Kauai. But is it really a staycation then if we leave the island? Whatever it is, it will be fun. Today I booked the house from Vacation Rentals By Owner online. Several friends have recommended and used them. I’ll write up a review after we return.

I am so excited to go. The last step is to book our flight and rental car. We were trying to piece together our trip; booking everything separate. Which was still cheaper than the tickets alone back home, but way to expensive for the budget we had in mind. Then we tried bundling them on sites like expedia.com or priceline.com; but neither had a feature to only book a car and flight. They both wanted us to include the hotel. So ITR to the rescue!

If you have never used the ITR at your base – GO! Run Fast! They not only saved us over $1000, they were also to obtain a much desired mini van for our vacation. The only thing we are missing? A Christmas tree. Maybe we can ship one?