Friday, December 30, 2011

* Can You See What I See? Toyland Express! Book Review and Giveaway

The girls and I love our collection of Walter Wick "I Spy" 
and "Can You See What I See?" books. 

"E" frequently reads her I Spy books as a way to wind down at bedtime. 
We were thrilled when our friends at Scholastic books and Walter Wick's office contacted
us to review his latest and greatest book,
"Can You See What I See? Toyland Express!" 

In Mr. Wick's eigth title in his bestselling search and find series, 
we follow the life story of a little toy train from it's beginning in a workshop, 
as a gift from a toy store, to a beloved toy and finally to the attic, 
only to be rescued at a yard sale and brought to life again in a new home.
There are over 250 hidden objects to find as the train transforms along it's journey.

"E" has always wondered how Mr. Wick makes his book 
and really enjoyed watching this behind the scenes video.

You may recall that we've tried to make our own "I Spy" books and photo shoots

"E" (age 8) and "C" (age 4) really enjoyed this book and some of the 
hidden objects really challenged them (as well as their parents)!

"E"s Grandpa D came over for Christmas and enjoyed the challenge of 
searching and finding the hidden objects in the book as well. 

So much so, that the girls are making him his own, 
homemade "I Spy" search and find book for his birthday this weekend.
(Shh... don't tell, it's a surprise!)

and...I have a surprise for you, my lovely readers, as well!

Two (2) of my (continental US) readers from my blog will receive: 
* Copy of "Can You See What I See? Toyland Express!"
* 5 Additional book titles from the "Can You See What I See?" series.

All you have to do is leave a comment below,
and make sure I have a way to contact you.

Look carefully, my "comments" section is tiny 
(and I don't know how to make it bigger)
just think of it as a little Pink and Green Mama blog search and find!

Two names will be drawn by random number generator on 
Sunday January 1, 2012 at 9pm EST.
This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be contacted via email. 

pink and green mama

All opinions expressed are my own, my family and I received a copy of 
Walter Wick's book, "Toyland Express" to write this review.  
We did not receive any additional financial compensation.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

* Toilet Paper Tube Craft: Homemade Angry Birds!

So this year, daddy's favorite gift was his set of toilet paper tube Angry Birds
that "E" (age 8.5) made for him with cut paper at Grandma and Grandpa's house a few weeks ago.

She and "C" did a great job keeping it secret and could not wait for daddy to open his present!

I had not seen them yet either and I was blown away.
Wowzers!! "E" did a fantastic job making these and I think
they look just like the characters from Angry Birds! 

Daddy can't wait to bring them into the office to display proudly on his desk. 

Here are some close up shots so you can see the details. 
She covered cut down toilet paper tubes with colored paper 
then cut and glued all of the tiny face details with bits of colored paper and a few
permanent marker details for things like eyebrows. 

I think her inspiration for this craft came from "Pinterest"
and she saw the painted TP tube angry bird set 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and shared some homemade gift love too!

pink and green mama

Kindly note that this post and my daughter's craft are not affiliated with Rovio Entertainment. 
Angry Birds™ is a registered trademark of Rovio Entertainment.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

* Christmas 2011 Highlights From the Pink and Green Mama Household

I thought I'd spend this rainy, gray morning sharing a few favorite 
Christmas weekend highlights from our family to yours.

On Christmas Eve, the girls made birdseed ornaments, 
(the ones that have been ALL over Pinterest) with gelatin and corn syrup. 
Can you tell what "E" thought of the smell? Hee-hee!

This little Etsy treasure was a gifty from my sweet hubby. 
He gets me. Mama's coffee is very cozy now. 

The girls painted a few of these sweet little wooden birdie ornaments
for our tree, here's my little blue bird friend painted by "E." So friendly.

This was "C"s preschool gift to mommy and daddy, of course she wrapped it in pink!
Love the little fingerprint ornaments on the homemade card. 

There were lots of fun homemade gifts this year.

Daddy enjoying his first back rub in his homemade back rub shirt from the girls!

"E" made these awesome toilet paper tube angry birds for her daddy,
all by herself - I'll post details later.

I made wooden fire and water stacker puzzles for the girls.

Snuggling my sweeties on Christmas morning in our PJs. 

"E" and Daddy assembling Lego Hogwarts.

Afternoon shadows in the playroom window.

Grandma and Grandpa spent the afternoon and evening with us,
so we decided to use my camera's timer to take a classy family portrait. 

Wishing you a happy holiday season from our family to yours!

pink and green mama

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

* Easy Holiday Kid Craft: Felt Candy Cane Mice

I remember making these felt candy cane mice once as a little girl
and when I saw them in Family Fun and on Martha Stewart Crafts
I knew they were the perfect Christmastime craft for my girls!
(My mom made even them with her garden club friends for their holiday party this year.) 

We made a couple of felt candy cane mice last week
 for "C"s preschool teachers as gifts and for a trial run.
Then "E" wanted to make them as gifts for her third grade classmates.
Umm.... okay, 30 more felt candy cane mice coming up!

So, mama got busy cutting out felt mice "parts"
using the template from Martha Stewart crafts here.

After I cut out all the bits and pieces, the girls helped match up
and assemble felt mouse ears. 
We used Aleene's tacky glue to glue the felt bits together.

I picked up some mini bottles at JoAnne's and I'll never buy the big ones again.
The tiny bottle is actually very easy to use 
and much easier to squeeze than their normal-sized big bottle. 
I plan to only buy the tiny bottle for the girls (and myself) from now on!

After the ears were put together we glued on tiny felt noses.

For the eyes we used black scrapbook paper punched out with a hole punch.
I added a "white highlight" with a Bic White Out Pen (office supply aisle at Target). 

Then, we threaded the candy canes through the mice and they're ready to go
to school tomorrow for the big third grade class party!

Happy Holiday Crafting!

Pink and Green Mama

Sunday, December 18, 2011

* Semi-homemade Teacher and School Friend Holiday Gifts

"C" had her last day of preschool on Friday. 
She is officially on winter break and home with me until 2012!
We were busy girls last week making gifts for her two wonderful teachers.

She's in the "Cardinals" class this year.
When I saw these adorable wooden bird ornaments at JoAnne's craft store
at Halloween time, I knew they would be perfect Christmas gifts 
for her classmates and teachers, so I bought a bunch. 

"C" painted two of them red for her teachers with watercolors
(with permanent marker for the cheeks, eyes and she added the eyelashes!)

Then, I typed up a little poem and bagged up an ornament for each classmate
to decorate at home. With the preschool class name and year on the back.

We made a little bundle like this for each of her teachers.
They included two (homemade by mama) stiff felt bird ornaments -
a white sparkly dove and a red cardinal.
(The felt birds are a MaryLea and her mom-modified version of this craft from Family Fun.)

They also got one of my felt poinsettia pins.
Remember these from 2009? I made and shipped 30 of them to my MIL's garden club
in Amarillo, TX and another half-dozen to all of my Aunts in Colorado!

The teachers also each got a wooden cardinal ornament painted by "C"
and a felt candy cane mouse (this craft from Martha Stewart). 

Now, we just have to finish "E"s school teacher and class gifts,
she has her big holiday party this week before her winter vacation begins.

So these are waiting in the art studio
for us to finish assembling after school tomorrow
for "E"s third grade class.

Can you tell what they are? 
I'll give you a hint - not a creature was stirring, not even a candy cane....!

Happy Holiday Crafting!

pink and green mama,

Friday, December 16, 2011

* Easy Kid Holiday Craft: Paper Chain Stair Garlands For Christmas

Do you remember how I said that we had a bunch of skinny strips
of scrap-booking paper leftover from our 
Homemade (Thrifty) Christmas Card project this year?! 

The girls and I (with some help from Grandma too) 
had a crafty play date and made Christmas paper chains
to deck the halls (and stairwell). 
(And yes...those are stuffed birds and fairy dolls sitting on the stairs.)

We had real pine swags (read: very Martha Stewart) 
but they were dropping pine needles left and right 
and Elly the Cat wouldn't leave them alone.

This is a much more cat-friendly alternative garland
and the girls had fun making it too! 

pink and green mama

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

* Cholula Hot Sauce Cap Decorating Giveaway

Look at what appeared under our Christmas tree last night!
These are my little Cholula Hot Sauce friends,
they might look cute and sweet but they're full of flavor and fire! 

My friends at Cholula Hot Sauce sent me this fun 4-pack
of hot sauce to celebrate the holiday season. 
The pack included all 4 Cholula flavors:
Original, Chili Garlic, Chili Lime, and Chipotle. 

Just what I needed to give my holiday cooking and morning eggs a little kick!

They are hosting a giveaway to let you,
 my awesome readers (and your kiddos!), 
show off your creative talents with a 
Cholula Hot Sauce Cap Decorating Contest.

I'll start by show and telling our own four cap designs. 
We started with the bottle of Original Flavor hot sauce,
it's plain wooden bead surface reminded me of our pine cone elves,
so we drew a little face with permanent markers,
added a felt hat and a fleece scarf!

Then, we made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Chili Garlic Reindeer:

We painted the wooden cap red with acrylic craft paint.
Then, made a stiff felt reindeer head with permanent marker and googly eyes.
Cut a star shape where his nose should be and slid him over the cap!

Then, we made this little Penguin in honor of my MIL who loves all things, Penguin.
We painted the Chipotle flavor bottle's wooden cap with black and white acrylic craft paint.
Glued on a black pom-pom head with a craft foam beak, felt wings, and mini googly eyes.

The Chili Lime flavor's green wooden cap looked like the Grinch.
So that's exactly who we transformed the bottle into...
Painted eyes, permanent marker details, feather tuft for hair, and a fleece scarf.

Now it's your turn to get crafty and show and tell. 
They're something good in it for you too....

A Cholula Cap Decorating Contest where families and individuals
may decorate their Cholula Cap for a chance to win prizes.

Prizes (provided by Cholula):
1 Winner - Sur La Table Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 
9-Piece Cookware Set valued at $279.96
12 Winners - $25 Sur La Table Gift Cards.

How To Enter (2 Ways):

1. Submit a picture of your decorated Cholula Cap to 
girlichef at girlichef dot com
(please include your name and email address for notification purposes)
With the subject line: "Cholula Cap Contest"
2. Follow @CholulaHotSauce and tweet your photo including
@CholulaHotSauce#cholulacap in the tweet. 

All submissions must be received by 
Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11:59pm EST
and is open to those with shipping addresses in the United States 
(including Alaska & Hawaii) only.
Winners will be chosen by Cholula as simple "favorites". 
Skill and creativity are noted by are not the sole basis of judgement 
as we encourage all ages to participate. 

Check out the Cholula Facebook Page
where Cholula will be promoting the contest and sharing the submissions. 

 Happy Decorating!

pink and green mama,

*Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Cholula Hot Sauce. 
I received no compensation (except for a 4 pack of hot sauce) 
for partnering with them to host this fun contest. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

* Re-Cycled Paint Stick Snowman Snow Ruler!

Here's a fun oldie but goodie, winter time craftivity!
Frosty the paint stick has made an appearance on the blog before 
but it's that time of year for him to come out again! 
"E" made him when she was 3 and-a-half or 4-years-old and I love him. 

Start with a wooden paint stirring stick from the hardware store
(or, if you're like me, from the garage box of misc. house painting stuff)

Let your kids paint it white (acrylic craft paint or house paint works best)

After it's dry, help your child use a ruler to measure 
and mark the stick with one inch increments
using a black permanent marker. 

Embellish and add "Snow Man" details
at the top with scraps of ribbon, fabric, or fleece for a hat and scarf.
A face can be drawn or painted on.

Or, raid some mini pom poms like we did,
or use googly eyes, dried beans, beads, sequins -- whatever you have around.

Carrot nose can be made out of paper, felt, or craft foam.

This is a fun and easy winter craft
and they make fun gifts for relatives, teachers, and neighbors as well!

Now you have your very own (adorable) way 
to measure the snow - just take your snow man outside
after it snows to stick in the snow and see how many inches you got!
(You can spray him with clear sealer if you're worried about his paint running)

Happy Winter Crafting!

Pink and Green Mama

Friday, December 9, 2011

* Budget Friendly Semi-Homemade Christmas Cards

This year we kept it simple and semi-homemade with our Christmas cards. 

I used a printing coupon from an online 
photo printing site to print a bunch of 4"x6" photos
of the girls from our trip to the beach this summer. 
We didn't have a family shot since we went by ourselves to the beach this year!
Next year we'll have to use a timer or ask someone to take a photo for us.

I cut up a bunch of rectangles of scrapbook paper
from a big Christmas themed scrapbook paper pack
picked up (on clearance!) last year from Michael's craft store.

Using glue dots from my friends at Elmer's glue,
I attached the photo of the girls,
then added a pre-printed white office label
with our holiday message/greeting on the back.

We put them in self-sealing envelopes from Walmart 
with address labels and holiday stamps.

We used 12x12 scrapbook paper from one of those big paper pad packs.
I trimmed down each piece to 5"x7" on my paper cutter,
so I got three cards out of every sheet.
(If you don't have a big paper cutter at home is there one nearby
at school or a church you could borrow?)
We saved our scraps to re-use as embellishment on the cards
and to make paper chains and christmas collages!

It was pretty easy and the girls were able to help me with the card assembly. 
Now that's off the to-do list,
 we can't wait to see all of our friends' smiling faces 
on our Christmas card bulletin board in the next few weeks!

pink and green mama

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