Santa’s Little Helper – Christmas Folder

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or any other holiday you may celebrate! We had a great Christmas at my in-laws house and the kids handled all of the chaos pretty well!

My new goal of having a folder for every major holiday continues. This year, I have already made one for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Now it’s time for the Santa’s Little Helper Christmas Folder! Now this one isn’t completely put together yet. This has been an incredibly busy holiday season so I plan on doing the final touches once all of the holidays are over. However, I’ve been gathering some great ideas from blogs, Pinterest, magazines, etc and will have a great reference for next year.

There are a couple differences between the Christmas folder and the other ones. For the Halloween folder, I included party ideas since we started hosting a Halloween party this year. We don’t have a Christmas party, so I don’t have a section for that. In the other two folders, I also have sections for Kid’s Craft and Adult Crafts. I definitely have a Kid’s Craft section in the Christmas folder. However, instead of the other craft section, I have a bunch of miscellaneous topics, such as ornaments, advent calendars, gift wrap etc. There are so many different Christmas ideas, I needed to separate them into more categories.

I did keep the decorating sections and have split them into inside and outside decorations. I have split up the food into the following categories: desserts, appetizers, entrees.

Here are a few pictures of the book in progress. I created the section title pages in powerpoint.

Christmas Folder jpeg 4

 

Christmas Folder jpeg 3

Christmas Folder jpeg

And you can find my Christmas Pinterest ideas here. Here are just a few of the ideas I found on there so be sure to check out the Pinterest album for all of the links!

Advent Calendar 5 Appetizer 3 Card Holder INside Decor 3 Kids craft 4

I’m so glad I started these books. They help me to organize thoughts and ideas and also help me remember things that worked great. I also store them with their respective decorations so they don’t take up valuable shelf space year round and they are always with the ridiculous amounts of stuff for each holiday. I can’t wait to use them again next year!

And I can’t go without sharing one of my absolute favorite pictures from this Christmas season:

My Sweetest Boys

My Sweetest Boys

Happy Holidays!

~Erin

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Thanksgiving Wrap Up

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving at our house. We stayed at home and it was just the 4 of us. It was calm and relaxing and full of fun and food. I wanted to give a little wrap up of the holiday and list some things that made it easier, as holidays have a tendency to be stressful.

First we had our Thanksgiving crafts, which we did over the last week and a half. There was, of course, the Cardboard Turkey Game:

We also did a leaf wreath, which we made out of aspen leaves from the yard and a paper plate with the center cut out.

Then I printed an acorn coloring page that I downloaded and Evan colored it and added some stickers.

I always take pictures of the kid’s crafts. That way I have them all on my computer in case something happens to the actual crafts. It’s also great because I am able to print or scrapbook the photos of items I don’t keep. Is it horrible that the turkey box is already on it’s way to turkey box heaven in the recycle bin? At least I have great photos and now I’m not stuck keeping a bunch of things I don’t need to keep.

The evening before Thanksgiving, I did as much prep as possible. I seasoned the turkey, peeled the potatoes, and made a casserole. I also set out the dishes, utensils and dry ingredients I would need for all of the other dishes along with a copy of each recipe. The prepping was great because it meant I didn’t have to do ANYTHING on Thanksgiving day until after noon when I put the turkey in the oven. Awesome.

We ate a light lunch, including a Turkey themed PBJ for Evan (inspired by Pinterest here):


Mine wasn’t picture perfect like all the ones I saw on Pinterest, but Evan loved it, so who cares? 🙂

It was actually a very relaxing day. And even though it was just the 4 of us at our house celebrating, we still made enough food to last until New Years.  🙂

And of course I put together my Thanksgiving folder to help keep all of my Thanksgiving inspiration in one place. I made a folder for Halloween (which you can see here) and I loved it so much, I decided to do one for every major holiday.

So I started by making title pages for each category, such as Thanksgiving dinner, appetizers, crafts, decorations, etc.

I found inspiration on blogs, Pinterest, websites, magazines and our already established traditions. I printed photos of crafts I wanted to try, coloring pages for the kids,

recipes that looked good, and decorations I thought were pretty.

I also included the recipes that I have used for years on Thanksgiving. That way, I don’t have to dig them out of another cookbook because they are all in the Turkey Trot Folder!

Another thing I did was print a page with directions for cooking the turkey. I realized that I did not want to spend another year trying to read the directions while trying to avoid touching the raw turkey wrapper they are printed on. (Sidenote….My Thanksgiving tip is to take off the wrapper around the turkey while it is completely in the sink. On Wednesday night, I cut a small slit in the wrapper and expected to gently pull it off as I held it over the sink. You know how you try to gently open a bag of chips and then the bag explodes and chips go everywhere? Well, that happened to me. Except it wasn’t chip crumbs…it was raw turkey juice….everywhere.)

Anyways! So now I have a great resource for all my Thanksgiving projects. I plan on adding to it every year as I find new inspiration and try new recipes. You can find many of the ideas I put in the folder on my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Now on to Christmas!

~Erin

 

 

 

Trick or Treat Neat

I am so excited to be participating in a new collaborative blog post project called Collectively Creative. This project was designed by Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons. The concept is for various blogs to write about the same general topic on the same day. However, the individual posts will vary widely in their actual subject matter.

This month’s topic is, appropriately, Halloween!

I have always loved Halloween and I spent days and days racking my brain to come up with a way to combine Halloween and organizing. I present to you….. (dramatic pause)……

The Trick or ‘Neat’ Halloween Ideas Folder!!! (I’m picturing wild applause and unrelenting anticipation from my readers)

This handy folder is going to contain all of my Halloween ideas, inspirations and reminders for many (Full) moons to come.

Here’s the basic setup:

-I have made sections for various categories, such as crafts and food.

-I have made a title page for each section.

-I have used clear plastic sheet protectors for everything and I have left extra empty protectors at the back of the folder for when I add to this next year.

-I plan to keep this book in the plastic bin with all of my Halloween decorations.

So let’s get this crazy holiday organized! I’ll break it down by section:

~Craft Ideas

-Kids Crafts – I found some kid’s Halloween craft ideas online and I printed them several to a page. They are just photos (no instructions) because they are fairly simple concepts and I can figure out what to do just from the photos. I plan on adding new ideas each year, but it will be a great reference for craft night with the kids or Halloween parties.

-Coloring Pages – I like to search online for free coloring book pages for various holidays and themes. I usually try to find new ones, but I decided it would be good to have a stack of pre-printed ones that I could just copy if I wanted to. I have about a dozen coloring pages printed and I actually printed them 2 on a page. I do this because I like having a half-page coloring sheet. That way, I can put it on a piece of construction paper as a `background if I want to and they are also easier to store or hang on the fridge because they take up less room. I am going to copy a bunch of these for a little Halloween get together we are having next week so I am already using them!

I also took the ghost from my coloring page section, cut it out on black felt and then Evan and I covered it with cotton balls to make a 3-D ghost. I put a copy of the coloring page as well as a photo of Evan’s finished ghost in the binder so that I would remember this idea. It was fun, quick and cheap!

-Adult Crafts – This section is more for me. 🙂 I found a few ideas for some Halloween decorations (such as twine covered mini pumpkins) and put them in here. There was one project (Mod Podge Halloween Blocks) that I wanted to have the exact process on hand for, so I printed the instructions and put them in this section as well.

~Food

-Food Presentation – This section is for clever ways to present your food on and around Halloween, such as salsa or dip in a carved out pumpkin or ‘googly eyes’ on plastic cups.

You can also see that there are several places where I just wrote a couple notes next to the photos.

-Appetizers – This is for Halloween themed pre-dinner dishes such as a pumpkin made of carrot sticks.

-Desserts and Treats – Now this is the section that Halloween is made for. There are so many creative and cute treats that looks like pumpkins, spiders, ghosts and more. Besides, you’re supposed to have treats at Halloween right? There are a million Halloween dessert ideas out there, so at some point this section may need its’ own binder!

~Decorations

-General Decoration Ideas – This section is going to include photos of our decorations as well as inspiration photos for future decorations.

-Party Decoration Ideas – This will be photos of our party set ups or inspiration set ups for future parties.

~Photos

-Previous Kid’s costumes – I wanted a cute way to display photos of the kids’ costumes from previous years, so I am going to laminate them and hang them on a string (like a photo garland). I really like the idea of being able to see these every year, especially Evan’s second Halloween when he was a spider and he had these long fabric spider arms dragging on the ground as he learned to Trick or Treat. Since I don’t want the photos to get bent in storage, I am putting them in the Halloween folder so they stay flat. Look for photos  of this project later this week!

Tip Alert!!!!

-I created the cover and section labels on powerpoint using fonts I found at Font Space. I just recently started using this site. There are lots of font download sites, but this one is great so far. There are literally thousands of free fonts to choose from, it is easy to search by category and they even have fonts that contain different borders, pictures and embellishments. It’s FANTASTIC! I did some searches for reviews on the site and saw a lot of great things. So while I can’t officially promote this because I haven’t had a ton of experience with it, it has served me well so far and I completely recommend it. Some of these fonts will soon be making appearances on my labels at home.

-I also reorganized my Halloween pins in my Pinterest folders. I have general Boards for Food, Desserts, Crafts/ DIY, and Holidays (check me out on Pinterest here). However, I realized that I had Halloween related items on all of those boards, which is incredibly inefficient. Knowing me, I would be looking through the Holidays board on November 1st and see an awesome Halloween idea. So I made a separate board for just Halloween items, which you can see here. Most of these pictures were actually printed and put into the book, but the Pinterest board allows me to share it with others, which I love.

So I’ve got my book to reference and add to for future Halloweens. I have also decided to do this same type of thing for every major holiday. It’s the project that keeps on giving! 🙂

Now here’s the fun part. Check out all of the links below to see who else is participating in the Halloween edition of Collectively Creative! These are great blogs year round so make sure to keep tabs on their tips, recipes and ideas.

Also, make sure to keep an eye out for next month’s edition of Collectively Creative. Again, thanks so much to Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons for allowing me to be a part of this!
~Erin