Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hand Print Tree Skirt

 Have you ever got an idea in your head and couldn't get it out? One night I had this vision of hand prints all around our tree skirt last Christmas. I was looking for the perfect tree skirt, and my mom actually bought it on clearance after Christmas! She is a great mom and gave it to me when I asked her for it because I knew just what to do with it!

 This is the first year that starts this tradition. I traced each kid's hand on felt and cut it out. I then hot glued it to the skirt. When I come back from vacation, Ill probably sew around the hands to make it look a little nicer. Trying to think of how I can write the kid's name on each hand without it looking tacky. Any ideas? I'm also going to have my aunt embroider our last name on it as well. Thinking I might do mine and my husbands hand print just this once. Then each year we will fill it with the kids and see how big they get!

 Not sure if I'm going to keep with green or some other Christmas colors. Your thoughts?  Another idea is to do painted hand prints. I think that's a little harder, because it has to be just perfect or you will have smears on it. Especially with babies hands. I always had a hard time doing those hand plasters, it would turn out like blobs.

 I'm just really excited to see my vision FINALLY come true! I look forward to pulling the tree skirt out every year and seeing my kid's hand prints on it. Years from now, my grandkids will get to put their hands on their parents hand prints. I love starting family traditions!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments

 Salt dough ornaments. They are all over blog land, but it's good. This is actually a new tradition for us. I remember painting plaster ornaments with my cousins when I was younger. As a mother, I look back on that memory and think, genius! I was a high schooler and my cousins were aged 1-7 years. My aunts just got a free babysitter for a couple of hours because I enjoyed painting!

 Salt dough is way cheaper then the plaster ornaments at the store. In fact, I bet you have the ingredients in your pantry right now. All you need is 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix it all together, roll out and cut! Don't forget to put holes through them before you bake them, to hang them up. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

 Then you can paint them! I've seen bloggers grab glue and sequins. Grab whatever you have in the house. We used Crayola Kids Paint and watercolors. I like the watercolors the best. The Crayola paint cracked when it dried. I liked the watercolor for Kora to use, lot less messy. She enjoyed painting, as you can see her concentrating with that tongue out. Then she tried to eat it.

 It's kind of an all day process. The kids helped out a lot and enjoyed every bit. The cutting out worked on motor development. It was actually hard for Brooke to push down on the cookie cutters due to the weakness in her muscles. It was nice to see Kaden cutting out the dough and transferring the cookies to the sheet. He really is growing up. (sigh)

Brooke sure did love the painting part of it. I love how she has it on her forehead. I actually didn't really get to paint. Making sure 3 kids have something in front of them to do is a juggling act. I guess my expectations were kind of high, I know better. I can barely sit down for lunch, just to get back up because someone wants more or is all done.
 I think they turned out great! We put ribbon through them and hung them on the tree. Kaden was really excited to hang up his ornaments. He wanted to hang them all up! We didn't have enough room on the tree. I would also like to see SOME of the ornaments we've collected through the years. The rest of the ornaments are sitting in a bowl, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. I'm thinking of using them as gift tags?

 Our pink Christmas pterodactyl. He is my favorite. Holiday tradition, check.

 Here are some sites to visit for salt dough ideas. I think I'm going to do hand prints next, when things slow down.
-Hand prints
-Lots of DIY ornaments
-Gluten free salt dough ornaments!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cards

  I really like being artsy farsty. You know crafty. I used to love making my own Christmas cards to send out. Taking the time to think about what I wanted and putting all the love into it. Then I had kids and all the love went to them. I just wasn't able to make Christmas cards a priority and it made me really sad, until this year!

 Kaden is at an age where he can help out, a lot. As you can see from this photo, he made our Christmas cards. Not only are we having fun, because he loves arts and crafts as well, BUT I get my cards done! Wahoo!! That's one of the reasons why we have kids, right? Help around the house? The older he gets, the more he is able to help around the house! I'm sure my husband will be thankful when Kaden will is old enough to start taking out the trash! They have to earn their keep, right?

 Now family and friends get to have a little bit of Kaden in their lives. Great handprint to hang on the fridge. It was pretty easy. Used kids craft paint, painted it on his hands and stamped! I'm sure I could of been a little more creative, but I'm just glad I have cards to send out this year. Now if only he could address and stamp them all.

 I really wanted to get Kora and Brooke in on the action. Then I reconsidered and knew I would be more stressed out trying to get a baby's perfect hand print. Besides, this was a great time to spend some one on one time with the boy while the girls were taking a nap.

 Making Christmas cards is a lot of work! So after he was done, I caught him playing with his super heroes in the Christmas tree. Man I love that boy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Essential Esthetics Giveaway (Closed)

 When was the last time you did something for you? Cause you know when you go to the store to get yourself some new underwear due to holes, you end up getting your kids cute clothes and forget to get yourself new underwear. You can get a couple more wears out of them can't you? Or how about those brows? Are they starting to meet in the middle? I finally pluck mine because I start getting looks. Who has time to do that, I'm keeping 3 kids alive here people!

 As you can tell, I don't take a lot of time for me. If I do, I have guilt. I'm REALLY trying to work on this because when I feel good about myself, my whole family is happy. I can also deal much better with the craziness and full blown tantrums.

 Richelle over at Essential Esthetics knows how to take care of momma. She is a mom herself to 2 sweet boys, so she knows crazy town. Richelle is offering a Restorative Organic Facial to one lucky winner. A 60 minute intoxicating, aroma-sensory journey designed to detoxify and enliven the skin to a healthy glow. *All facials are customized to each individuals skin type.

 I'll be visiting Richelle in the new year for a facial, so excited! I've visited her before to get my lip and eyebrows waxed, she did a great job. She runs her business out of her home and her room is just like walking into a spa, so relaxing. I love that I can make an appointment in the evening when my husband is home so he can watch the kiddos. Let's learn a little more about Richelle and get to the giveaway! I know you are itching to win something for you!

Tell us about you and how you started your business. 
 I started my business as a way to find some time for myself. I was getting the itch to go back to work but couldn't stand the thought of having anyone else care for my children. I love being a full time mom but I also missed a career that I got so much fulfillment from. I decided to go ahead and open an in-home skin care studio and just see where it went. What a great decision it was!!

What services do you offer and how do I make an appointment.
 I offer facials, full body waxing and lash/brow tinting. Appointments are available in the evenings and on weekends, I will go out of my way to accommodate whatever works for my clients schedules. I can be reached by phone, text or email anytime!

What do you love about Alaska?
 I love that Alaska provides my family such an amazing life and the people here are second to none. I have the most friendly and caring clientele. I am truly fortunate to be able to have the best of both worlds and I appreciate the wonderful people who trust me with their skin.

 Richelle is offering buy one get one facial 50% off till the end of this year! So if you don't win be sure to take advantage of this great deal! Visit her facebook page to learn more!

 So how do you win? Have you ever gotten a facial? Leave a comment as the ansewr with a way to contact you. You can also be entered 3 other ways by using the Rafflecopter login. A winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday night.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Alaska Zoo

 When I was a kid, I LOVED animals. I always wanted to own lots of them. I remember watching National Geographic as a kid and crying when the antelopes would get eaten by the lions. I KNEW it was going to happen! Yet I would still watch hoping they would get away.

 The animal lover has been passed on to my son. He is animal crazy more then I was! He is our little Mogli. You can find him reading books on animals or running on all fours throughout the house. He is pretty quick! With him being the animal lover that he is, we have bought a family membership to the Alaska Zoo two years in a row. I wish we would of started it sooner!

 The family membership costs $85. It includes parents, kids and grandparents admission for up to a year! Check it out, they have a new friend pass that is $150! It's basically the same thing as the family BUT the admission includes two adults from different households! You and a friend can split it, then visit together with the kiddos! Visit the annual passes page to learn more!

 I thought we would just visit in the summer. I was wrong. We like to visit in the winter time as well to get out of the house. They are always having events that pass holders usually get discounts on. We visited the Zoo Lights last year and loved it! My favorite part was walking under the lights. Brooke loved watching the lights that danced to the music.

 Okay, so the Alaska Zoo is not crazy, big like all the other big city zoos. You know, the ones where it takes ALL DAY to see and you actually miss some of the animals! We can usually walk through the zoo under 2 hours. I actually think its like the perfect hometown zoo. The trails are clearly marked and coral little ones. It is very stroller friendly, even in the winter time. I've even seen parents bring a sled to pull their kiddos in. There is a little shop that you can grab some hot tea or hot chocolate to warm up.

 I really enjoy the fact that all of the animals have been taken in due to being injured or orphaned. You can read each animals story by their cages.

 There are a lot of education events going on. For little ones, you can visit the Sing-A-Long, which is on Mondays at 10:30a or the Storytime, on Wednesdays at 10:30a.  There are Adventure Camps, field trips, lectures and talks, Outreach Programs and more! You can even hold your kids birthday there! I might be doing this for Kaden's birthday coming up in January.

 I highly recommend the zoo for all ages. It's a great place to get some fresh air and see some local animals! Our favorite animal to visit are the tigers and snow leopards. Don't call the snow leopard the wrong name or my 4 year old animal lover will correct you. He has done this numerous times to strangers.

 Be sure to like Alaska Zoo on facebook to be in the know with upcoming events and photos! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taiga Teethers Hazelwood Necklace Giveaway (closed)

 My son has had really bad eczema since he was a toddler. We've tried several lotions and cremes and it still doesn't fully go away. Winter time is worse for him. Scratching and itching. Last year it was so bad the rashes were bleeding. I was really worried so we took him to the doctor and he recommended bleach baths. We added a small amount of bleach into his baths and it still didn't go away.

 I've heard about these hazelwood necklaces that are suppose to help calm eczema and more. I actually got an amber necklace for my baby, Kora, to help with her teething. She is able to sleep at night and not wake up in pain. So I knew that seemed to work so why not try it for Kaden? It couldn't hurt.

 I was excited to see there was a new local business making these necklaces. Anna, owner of Taiga Teethers, made Kaden a "Spiderman" necklace. I really wish I took a before photo of Kaden's skin. The poor guy has it all over his arms, wrists, legs, and was starting to get it on his cheeks. I was putting some hemp lotion on him a little over a month ago. But when we got the necklace we used that alone with some California Baby sensitive skin lotion.

 His eczema is clearing up! It's been a couple of weeks of wearing the necklace and its not as red and scratchy as it used to be. It's not completely gone, but I'm thankful for the relief that he is getting. I'm hoping that it will all be gone soon! If you look in the photo below you can see the white spots where the eczema is gone and you can see some red spots where it still is. BUT its not inflammed and bleeding!

 You might be wondering, how does the necklace work? I took this from Anna's page, "Hazelwood helps to create an alkaline environment in the body which may prevent or reduce the symptoms associated with acidosis or the body being too acidic. When worn close to the skin, hazelwood works by drawing acidity out of the body and absorbing it into the wood."

 What about safety? The day I put Kaden's necklace on, he decided to take it off by pulling it off. Luckily I stopped him before he broke it. But with his little pulling, it was already detaching from the clasp. Anna did a test on how much tension it takes to safely break away from the child's neck. If you visit here, you will find the photos to show how it works. Just the clasp breaks and all the beads stay on the necklace!

 Guess what! Anna is giving a lucky reader a necklace!! You get to pick your colors as well! But first a little about Anna, cause I always want to know a little about the people behind the scenes.

 Tell us about your business and how it started.
 Taiga Teethers was inspired by our twins, Magen & Caleb. I used hazelwood teething necklaces on them and had amazing results. We went from using ibuprofen almost nightly during bad teething episodes to using ibuprofen almost never. My daughter had terrible burning diaper rashes with teething, I couldn't even use wipes with just water because it hurt her so badly to clean her. I resorted to letting her run around naked and taking the occasional accident in stride. Since using hazelwood she has had two minor diaper rashes that went away in one application of medicine. She had them back to back before hazelwood. When I wanted to get more necklaces a few months after I bought my first ones I realized that it is near impossible to find them locally and decided to do some research to find my own hazelwood beads to make my own necklaces. I am so grateful to be living in a state that takes pride in buying local, many people have sought out Taiga Teethers in hopes of buying locally made natural teething remedies.

Where can I buy these products?
 Our Hazelwood necklaces are being sold at the following places
-Birch Tree Baby
-Providence Nursing Boutique
-Coming soon to Blueberry Baby in Fairbanks, AK

What do you love about Alaska?
 I am a born and raised Alaskan and proud of it! I love the mountains, of course everyone does right? But we love to hike and ski and well we would be lost without our beautiful Alaska mountains! And I am missing them these days, it's kind of hard to go downhill skiing with twins.

 So want one? Leave a comment and a way to get a hold of you. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday. Also, Anna is giving away an adult necklace when she reaches 100 fans so be sure to like her Facebook page and comment on her picture!