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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

DIY Vintage Christmas Countdown / Advent Calendar

Whenever December arrives, I like to have an Advent Calendar/Christmas Countdown for the kiddos.  Sometimes I make them, sometimes I don't.  I was feeling crafty this year so I decided to make one, but instead of the full 24/25 days, I opted for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I found this picture at Goodwill and I knew I could work with the frame!

Once I got it home I turned it over to check out the backing - and it was this.  Ugh.  It definitely wasn't the easiest thing to remove, but it eventually came off.

I added some black paint with a piece of paper towel, but I was also careful not to cover up all the gold.  I was going for an aged vintage look...

It was looking pretty...

Once dry, I turned it over and added string to the back.

I used hot glue and a staple gun to keep it in place.

Next up, I got to work using my brown paper bags, these pretty vintage gift tags and some number stickers I found from the dollar store.

I added candy to the bag...

...then folded the bag...

...and then glued it together like an envelope.

I turned the bag over and glued on the gift tag.

Next, the dollar store numbers were added to the upper left hand corner.

I repeated that several times and then I tied the bags into place using the gift tag string onto the string and a Christmas Countdown was born!

This was so fun to make.  I did make an Instagram Reel about it and it took me fooooorever, but it was totally worth the effort!  I'd love it if you checked it out!  To make this without filming a Reel wouldn't take as long.  Kids could even help with this project, it really was easy and a good time!

Now to wait for the countdown to begin.  In the meantime, it serves as a pretty Christmas-y piece of artwork in our home.

Thanks so much for stopping by, it means so much!

Best Wishes,

Marie :)

I'm linking up with:

Gift Guide for Tween Boy Ages 8-12

Hey there, friends!

How's your Christmas shopping going?  I'm about 60% done over here.  I've been working on some gift guides and I'm sharing a Tween Boy Gift Guide with you today.  This guide is a combination of what we've gifted in the past and a few items that a certain tween boy will be receiving this year.

Our little guy, who's 11, wrote out a letter to Santa again this year, which made things a little easier, but also pulled on my heartstrings... Fingers crossed he writes a letter to Santa well into his thirties...  ;)

Anyhow, before I start to cry, here's what you came here for today - A Tween Boy Gift Guide!

Scooter  //  Catan  //   Harry Potter  //   Star Wars LEGO Set  //  Plasma Ball  //  Laser Tag Guns  //

Spy Pen  //  Pokemon Cards  //  BEYBLADE  // Soccer Nets  //  Segway  //  Headphones  //

GameStop Gift Card  //  Oculus  //  Favorite Jersey  //  Risk

I hope this helps you as much as it's helped me!

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Every view and comment means so much to me!

Marie :)

I'm linking up:

This post contains affiliate links for which I may be paid a commission.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hello Monday - Thanksgiving Break 2022

Hello Monday!

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday over here.  It was filled with lots of moving around, lots of hugs and lots of food!

On Wednesday we took the kids to go and see Hamilton in Detroit...yup, another visit to the D!  We had originally purchased a ticket for Jane, too.  I figured, she'd enjoy the show to a point and then I was planning to bring snacks and noise canceling headphones for her to wear, but after further research, I found that it's somewhat looked down upon to bring a child under the age of five to a show like that.  The theater website even mentioned something about being five.  As a result, we decided against taking Jane for the show and asked my sister if she'd watch her for us and we'd swap out Jane for my Mom - and that's exactly what we did.  It made for a longer drive, but it was well worth it.

Jon, myself, Henry, Eliza and my Mom went to eat at a restaurant about thirty minutes outside of Detroit and it was delicious!  Actually my mom had just been there days before for a surprise birthday party, so she knew it was going to be a great place to eat.  We loved our meal and the ambiance of the restaurant!

 Driving into Detroit has been relatively easy, knock on wood, the last couple times Jon and I have gone and this time was just as nice.  Parking was just outside the doors of the theater, Fisher Theater.  The theater was gorgeous!


We took lots of pictures before heading in!

 The kids did great.  At intermission, Henry was pretty sleepy since the show started at 8...their usual bedtime, but I found some Skittles in my purse and handed them out to keep them going.

From the beginning of the show to the end, the kids clapped their heart out and their faces showed their amazement!  There are parts of the musical I usually don't let them listen to...and/or they know there are really bad words.  Eliza even grabbed my hand at one point to let me know there was a particular song coming on or bad words were about to be said, but I just didn't say much and let it happen.  


 We were so happy to have my Mom join us.  She had never watched Hamilton on Disney+ or listened to the music, but she loved it!  I felt bad because she was crying at the end, and I apologized for that, but she was all good and really enjoyed herself, which in turn made me so happy for her.  :)

We returned to my sister's house super late from Detroit and went to bed.  The next morning we enjoyed coffee and a slow cooker breakfast that my sister had made.  We sat around and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and it was awesome!

My sister and her family headed to her in-laws around noon, so we left for the grocery store and to my mom's house a little before noon, too.

We hung out with my mom.  She cooked up everything, I napped, Jane napped and the kids watched football.

My sister and her family, my niece and her family and my brother and his family all showed up later in the evening.  It was great to be together, but also bittersweet without our Dad.  I had counted the wrong about of chairs, but it worked out for a place for Dad...we put a glass of wine at the table setting for him and his memorial program on a plate.  It's just not right.  I could hear him saying Grace and a blessing before we ate...he always did that...oh my shattered heart.

Jane drew a self portrait!

 The kids setting the tables.

A table setting for Dad.  :( 

The next morning the elves had arrived!!!!

We had a lot of driving to do, so it was fitting they arrived in the car!

Jane was excited... 

Until she wasn't.  LOL!

Ignore the dirty carseat... 


 These two were suuuuper excited, too! 

 Jane slowly warmed up to the elf...


We headed north to go check out a car.  We're kind of, sort of in the market for a new car.  Jon's Toyota Camry is a 2007...we bought it in 2006.  It's been a great commuter car for Jon but it's starting to have a few issues...which isn't surprising since it's technically 16 years old.  My car is a 2011 Toyota Highlander and while it's doing fine, we're quickly outgrowing it.  We're liking either a Toyota Sienna, a Honda Odyssey, a used Toyota Sequoia or a new Toyota Sequoia.  Jon could write a blog post about the pros and cons of all these options...Haha!  We've changed our minds soooo many times!  I really loved the used Toyota Sequoia, which is what we looked at.  It's an entire story of why we like the used one versus the new one...it's an entirely new design, so, like I said, Jon could blog all about it.

Anyway, the trip north added a little more time to our ride home so I spent time adding items to my Instagram stories for Black Friday.  The sun was in our eyes the entire time, so I spent a lot of time under my coat.

On Saturday I found a new place to get a Christmas tree.  We showed up as soon as it opened at 9 a.m.  We were the first ones there and we loved having the place to ourselves, something we haven't been used to while frequenting other tree farms.  It was a nice change of pace.  More people arrived as we were leaving.  It was the prettiest little tree farm.  The new owners apparently bought the farm last year and while they opened for a few days last year, this year is more of their official opening.  They were the sweetest young couple...they had kids and it was magical.  They had free cookies, coffee, hot cocoa and candy canes, too.  We were very impressed.  Even better, all trees were $50!  No matter the size!

Jane gave her two thumbs up as approval for our tree!

Counting the rings...

So cute!


Got one!

We arrived home, I added lights - which was an whole thing of trying to fix lights, taking lights off the deck that I had just put up the night before and testing lights... I should've just purchased new lights this year.  Face palm.

I let the kids go at it and decorate how they wanted.  I've tried in the past to micro-manage and it just leaves me frustrated, so I've learned to let them add everything how they want and then at night I "clean it up," if you will.  ;)

I left the tree and the mess around it and then we all sat down to watch the Michigan / Ohio State game!!!!

   Did you happen to watch?!

WHAT. A. GAME!!!!!!

Jon, Henry and I sat in the living room the entire afternoon completely glued to the tv.  We were sweating, we were cheering, we were jumping, we were clapping...

Ohio State dominated the first half and then something happened....unbelievable!!!  I'm so happy Jon and I took the kids to watch the Wolverines in the Big House this year!

Ignore the mess that I refused to pick up - but that score!!!! ;) 

 Our neighbors to the north of us are from Ohio (their house here in Michigan is their summer lake house), and Ohio State alumni.  We made sure to send this picture of Henry to them.  LOL!  It's all in good fun, I promise.  ;)

Actually, our row of houses and fan/alumni goes like this - Alabama, Indiana University, Michigan, Ohio State... It pretty fun!


The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning, doing laundry and going through the kids' closets for inventory and to get rid of what doesn't fit the kids anymore.  They're growing like weeds!

On Sunday, Jon and I worked out, I made homemade chocolate chip cookies (it's all about balance ;) ...LOL), we made homemade pizzas and then watched Noelle on Disney+.  It was a great break and I was sad to have it come to an end.  We now have three more weeks of school before Christmas break.  I'm hoping it goes slow...but I'm also seriously so excited for break!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope to get Christmas crafting, so get ready for lots of crafts coming your way here on the blog! ;)

Marie :)

I'm linking up over at Hello Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Easiest Little Turkey Snack

Okay, who needs one more little turkey snack?!

This is so easy and fun - the kids will love it!  

You'll need some disposable gloves, googly eyes - I love me some googly eyes, popcorn, colorful Goldfish crackers and some construction paper.


This is pretty self explanatory...

Fill up the fingers with the colorful cracker of your choice and then fill the rest with popcorn!

Add some hot glue to the googly eyes and then cut out some construction paper.  Don't forget to tie the bag and then...


This was the quickest little snack project!  It'd be fun for the ride to the Grandparents' house, a class party or while waiting to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Who's getting excited!?  I can't wait to stuff myself silly!

Marie :)