Monday, December 28, 2015

Paper Magnolias

How gorgeous are these handmade paper Magnolias from Lia Griffith? 

I love paper bouquets because they will last so much longer than fresh cut do! When I want a floral aroma to go with them I just diffuse a essential oil blend with floral hues!

Find the Tutorial on how to make these gorgeous Magnilia inspired paper creations here.

Have an amazing day!

Live well, Laigh Often, Love Much
Be Titallyawake4-life

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Pancake Portraits

These are an awesome treat for either breakfast or lunch or a balanced snack leading up to the holiday or for Christmas morning ~ a gift left behind by your Elf before heading back to the North Pole ... we make them using our Grain Free pancakes ~ recipe can be found here

Elf Pancake Plate

What You Need
  •  Pancakes
  • Breakfast sausages or bacon would work too
  • Raspberries or Strawberries
  • Cucumber slices
What You Do
  • Cook sausage until well cooked through and set on paper towel to drain excess grease
  • Prepare your pancakes
  • Slice cucumbers and cut in half
  • Arrange food on the plate to resemble an elf and present to children!
Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Light Up my Life Craft

Everyone loves a little love note ~ having the crew create one by hand for mom and dad is always a hit specially this fun one where they get to make little fingerprints! 

What You Need
  • Washable Ink pads in various colors (tempera paint would work)
  • Fine Marker
  • Cardstock weight paper or construction paper in white and a Christmas color of choice
  • Computer and printer or a 'neat writer'
What You Do
  •  If you are not a neat writer yourself you can create a 'sentiment' for your project in WORD and print them out for the children on an 8.5x11 paper and than cut to size for your card front. We did 8 x 5 size for our white for our card front and insert and than folded a full size card stock for our base of the card.
  • Have children ink up their finger with color and make a collage of finger prints around their paper.
  • Wash fingers well when finished ~ great reason to do some water play to help soak off the evidence if it is going to be a surprise card!
  • If using tempera paint let the finger prints dry. When dry revist your project to draw lines to connect the fingerprints into sentiments
  • Children can write a personal message inside or draw a picture for loved one!

Like hand print crafts fingerprint art is always a fun and appreciated keepsake for loved ones that the children love to make!

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Handprint Christmas Tree ornaments

Ian the Elf brought the crew everything we need to make our annual hand print keepsake ornaments ~ this year we voted for a Tree theme! 
What You Need
  • Large clear ornaments ~ we get ours at Michael's
  • Acrylic paints ~ green and various colors for the 'lights'
  • Plastic disposable cups - to hold ornaments while you work
  • Metallic Marker
  • Hairspray
  • Glitter
  • Funnel
  • Soapy Warm Water and washcloth you do not care about 
  • Rubbing Alcohol
What You Do
  •  Wipe glass or plastic with rubbing alcohol to remove any oily residue
  • Paint childs hand and place firmly on the ornament ~ you can orient it either fingers up and closed or down and spread open for the branches we opted for up so they would fit on the ornament.
  • Place paint side up into a plastic cup to dry.
  • Once dry you can revisit and decoarte your tree adding lights with toothpicks or fine paint brush dots and tinsel or stars and whatever the child wants. Let dry again.
  • If using clear ornaments you can carefully remove the hanging top as they are fairly fragile and glitter them up by spraying the inside of ornament with hairspray make sure to direct spray to cover entire inside and than use the funnel to carefully pour in glitter.
  • Cover top with your thumb or return the top and shake to distribute glitter. Repeat as required to get full coverage. 
  • Add a ribbon to your hanger hook!
  • Wrap and put under the tree for the big day!

Hand print ornaments are always a hit with loved ones ~ something extra special about capturing their little hands for prosperity! If you missed our other post on the 10 keepsake hand print and photo ornament ideas you can view it here
Have an amazing day!
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Monday, December 21, 2015

Elf on the Shelf - Community Candy Canes

This year the program is closed this week but thought I would share a couple of Ian the Elf ideas from years past ... this one is a particularly fun one for the crew cause they LOVE riding the city bus as a treat. Sometimes we do not even have to GO anywhere afterward they are happy to just ride the route and watch out the big windows at all there is to see in the community and come back home! 

So this challenge is particularly fun for them because we do just that sitting at the front of the bus and passing out a Candy Cane to the riders as they walk past us after getting on the bus and signing some Christmas Carols while we travel around the route. Sometimes we get off at the grocery store or the mall and do our choosing of either the Food Bank challenge or Angel tree during this particular multi tasking challenge and than we head back home! 

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Elf on the Shelf ~ Random Acts continued

Everyone all busy shopping for the holidays is a perfect time for doing the pay it forward with the leave the correct change challenge! 

My daycare crew loves to do this one as well ~  they love the idea of being given money to be in charge of even if they are in charge of paying it forward to someone else! 

This is also an amazing act of kindness that is easy to do ALL YEAR LONG ... not to long ago I was struggling myself in a dark parking lot to get the correct change to get a ticket out of the machine getting a little stressed at running late to my appointment, being in a dark unknown to myself part of town alone in a parking lot and along came a guardian angel who put the proper change in the machine and went on alone there way! It totally MADE MY DAY a small act of kindness but a huge impact on my day.

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Play's Dr

 The warm weather this month seems to be wreaking havoc and creating some kind of super germ going through the community ~ our home has not been immune with both a stomach bug as well as a nasty cold hitting a few of us!

Breathe™ Vapor Stick
Ian the Elf with the aid of doTERRA has come to the rescue for us! 

One of my all time favorites is the BREATHE blend of oils which truly does open up passage ways and allow you to breath again! 

You can enjoy the convenience, quick absorption, and smooth application with the Breathe Vapor Stick. This unique delivery method of dōTERRA’s proprietary Breathe essential oil blend can be used anytime, anywhere ... toss it in your purse, diaper bag, backpack or briefcase! 

You can also create a natural alternative to Vick's Vapor rub by mixing a few drops of Breathe with fractionated coconut oil and rubbing it on feet, chest and back to help loose up congestion! 

While they are from nature ~ essential oils are still a natural medicine and must be used with CARE ... when applying topically make sure that you use the correct amount of essential oils for the age of your 'patient' so to speak! 

Below is a handy little chart to help with distilling essential oils to children specifically!

No time to rest but find yourself dragging during the flu season ~ pop the following into the diffuser for a pick me up to keep you energized ~ a drop of Breathe, 2 drops of Bergamot and Wild Orange!

Enhanced with the powerful respiratory benefits of Cardamom, Breathe is a remarkable blend of essential oils that help you breathe easier. This proprietary blend cleanses and soothes the airways and can be applied topically or diffused at nighttime, allowing for a restful sleep.

Bergamot is unique among citrus oils due to its aroma’s ability to be both uplifting and calming, while also cleansing the skin. 

 Wild Orange is one of dōTERRA’s top selling essential oils due to its energizing aroma and benefits. Wild Orange possesses stimulating and cleansing qualities and it can be used on surfaces as a natural cleaner.
In addition to making sure that you are eating balanced nutrition, sleeping well and getting exercise you can give your immunity a boost to help it fight off those pesky germs with the following diffuser blend 3 drops Arborvitae and 3 drops of Cassia ~ which is on sale this month!

Or you can diffuse the lovely OnGuard protective blend all one its own to help purify the air and distribute it's immunity supporting oils to loved ones ~ it is a refreshing blend  ... in addition to the essential oil two of my favorite products during cold and flu season are the doTERRA® On Guard Concentrate for cleaning surfaces and the On Guard Throat drops for soothing throats while adding an immunity boost! 

Sending healing vibes to you and yours this holiday season!

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Friday, December 18, 2015

Elf on the Shelf ~ Santa's Favorite Hot Chocolate

Elf on the Shelf ~  shared Santa's BEST Hot Chocolate recipe!

It has been an amazing month of Holiday Cheer
Santa could not be any prouder of you my dear
You’ve done every task of which Santa could think
So now it is time to sit back and enjoy my favorite drink
A cup of homemade hot chocolate that is so tasty and fine
It is a very delicious and dairy free recipe of mine
I am happy to share it before I had back to the North Pole
I cannot believe the time has come again for me to have to roll!
I will be back again next year at the start of December
With lots of fun tasks and Acts of Kindness for you to remember! 

 The kids were very excited ~ they wanted to make it for lunch however I persuaded them to wait until AFTER nap cause even though it is low sugar I would still rather have it right before we can run it off outside! 

Dairy Free Hot Chocolate 
Serves 1
What You Need
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened pure cocoa powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate square chopped
  • Sweetener of choice ~ we use either coconut palm sugar or organic Stevia
  • 1/8th tsp peppermint extract or essential oil
  • Optional: Whipped Coconut Cream 
  • Add almond milk to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once milk is heated through add the cocoa powder, chocolate chips and sweetener and whisk to combine.
  • Continue cooking on stove top until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
  • Lastly, add in your extract of choice – I think peppermint is truly unbeatable. 
  • Stir, and top with whipped coconut cream

This has to be my new all time favorite drinks ~ going to have to make an encore tonight and add a splash of Baileys! 

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rustic Christmas Tin Can Decor

Decorated Garland with Rustic Charm
I just love 'rustic' look ~ on my Vision board I have a big ole country ranch style farm house with wrap around porch and lots of garden areas and greenery that will be come to life at night with the twinkle of fairy lights! 

Inside it would be filled with Rustic charm of antiques and country decor all year long! Things like these gorgeous upcycled Tin Can Christmas garland that I made will adorn the big fireplace mantel and French doors.

These ones I made here are Christmas themed but you can totally create whatever you want for year round enjoyment both inside and out .... I think they would look lovely with Dragonflies and Butterflies around a country porch in the warmer months and one day when my country ranch farm home manifests and I have a wrap around porch to decorate I will so be making some more of these for outside! 

They are really easy to make! I made mine before I started the blog so did not think to take 'step by step' pictures so I apologize for not having my own work to share here HOWEVER cause I know many are visual learners I found this cool video that shows the basics although they draw directly on the can and than spray painted the cans to color them ~  I like the 'tin look' so I prefer to tape on a stencil because it leaves the 'clean look' with no marker left around the holes.

 Rustic Tin Can Home Decor

What You Need
  • Tin Cans - if you have anal spatial issues like I do choose ones that are the same size.
  • Hammer and long pointed end nails
  • Stencils of the designs you want ~ hearts, stars, words ... even saw a sample of Star Wars inspired tin can decor on Pinterest recently
  • Freezer space
  • Work space you do not mind getting 'wet' while you work
What You Do
  • Soak off labels and glue from cans so they are well cleaned.
  • Fill them with water and place in freezer until solid
  • Prepare your stencils ~ you want them to be on a piece of paper that is cut to the size of your tin can so that they can be wrapped tightly around and secured with removable tape so they do not 'move' while you are working.
  • Take out one tin can at a time to work with.
  •  Wrap your stencil around it ~ make sure you have the orientation correct! So if you are planning to have them 'sit' with a tea light than have your stencil top facing the top of the opening if you plan to hang them you want the stencil top to be facing the 'closed' end of the can.
  • Using the Hammer and Nail carefully hammer in holes along the stencil pattern at regular intervals about a 1/4 inch apart. 
  • If you are wanting to hang them from lights use the hammer and nail to punch a hole in the top centre of the can ~ you can make this opening 'larger' later once you remove the ice. 
  • Once you have your design perfected and are happy run the tin can under warm water until ice slides out and let it sit to air dry.
  • You can make your holes bigger now by gently pushing your nail through the tin can and wiggling it ~ you want to be gentle so you can do this without affecting its shape. 

Star Shaped Tin Can Decor
Snowflake Shaped Tin Can Decor
Words on a Tin Can Decor
Rustic Christmas Tin Can Decor
 What is YOUR favorite look for Christmas time? Rustic or modern colored or traditional red and green theme or the eclectic look of heirloom ornaments you have collected?

Have an amazing day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life