Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Shows

Guess what we just tried to watch?  Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas!
Who doesn't love this show?
I'll tell you who... My kids.
I think a little part of me died inside when both of the boys said (almost in unison) that they didn't want to watch it after the first 3 minutes of the show.  The 'Ma-and-Emmett-singing-in-the-canoe' scene wasn't even over.
Clearly, they cannot be my offspring.

I just created this "Keep Calm" print.  After downloading a free "Keep Calm and Gobble On" print for Thanksgiving, I started coming up with all sorts of funny, festive, holiday ideas for these signs:  Keep Calm and Eggnog/FruitCake/Festivus/Kringle/Jingle/UglySweater/etc On.  They look so cute framed, and are so simple to make.  Sadly, I just came up with this one now, after I turned off the show.  Boo.

If you would like it, email me and I will try my best to send the adobe file and/or the JPEG.  I'm new to this digital sharing thing so bear with me.

I guess I'll just have to wait for my husband to get home from work. I know he'll watch it with me.
What holiday shows are staples in your home?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kids Say the D-ARRRRRR-ndest Things

Pirate Santa - photo by SincereCostumes on etsy.com
Me to Andrew: Do you remember what Santa Claus says?
Andrew: Yo Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
Do you think someone has been watching too much Jake and the Neverland Pirates?
(...and seriously, how cute is that pirate santa?)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Christmas Countdown

Remember my Counting the Days post last week?  I showed some adorable chevron bags and mentioned creating an Christmas Countdown, or Advent calendar of sorts.  I'm happy to report, Mission (finally) Accomplished!  With me pinning some of my posts on Pinterest, I thought I'd not only show the finished product, but a step-by-step tutorial so you could make one of your own, or something similar.

Step One: Get some adorable bags, envelopes or whatever that you can tuck something special inside.  I plan to put tiny candies, stickers, temporary tattoos, special messages, and special holiday-related task into ours.  I used these adorably sweet, medium-sized red and green chevron favor bags from The TomKat Studio.  These ~5x7" bags are simply the perfect size for the treasures I've just mentioned.

Step Two:  Cut numbers (mine came from a friend's Cricuit, but you can easily print and cut your own, or even just write the numbers).   I also cut circles in black and white.  The black circles were 4" and the white were 3.75" in diameter (Remember, my bags were 5" wide).  I'm currently not speaking to my Martha Stuart circle cutter.  If you saw my hands, you'd know why.

Step Three:  This step is optional, but what girl doesn't love a little glitter?  (Especially one living with 3 boys!)  Using a glue pen, I tediously put glue on each number and sprinkled on glitter.  Big. Gorgeously Festive. Red. Glitter.

Step Four:  Mount the white circles onto the black using good ol' Tacky Glue and once dry, glue them onto your bag.  Then, (using a toothpick to apply, if needed), glue your sparkly numbers onto the bags.

Step Five: Fill bags with item of choice.   I'm not making every day a "goodie" or "gift" day.  Some bags will just have something nice about remembering the spirit of Christmas, or even a holiday task to complete (ex:  Call Nana and sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to her.)  Some bags might even have a scavenger-type clue or hint, leading us all to a family holiday event.

Step Six: Attach bags to a ribbon, framed cork board or do what I did... I found teeny-tiny clothespins at the craft store and clipped the bags to some evergreen garland in my dining room.   

Step Seven: Instagram your finished product to brag about how crafty you are! (Hehe!)

...and here it is!  A home-made Christmas countdown!   I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out, and the best thing is, we can re-use it year after year.   We are making a new family tradition, here! Maybe next year I'll hang it a bit lower, but my 3 year old twins are still in the touch-everything-and tear-it-to-shreds phase.

How do you and your children count down the days until Christmas?  Leave your comments below.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My week on Instagram

I got this idea from a fashion blog I follow (I know... Me? Fashion?  Don't laugh.  I try...honest, I do.)  Anyway, I thought it was a cool idea to share the details of a few of the photos I took during the past week on Instagram.  Follow me along on the blog's sidebar, or look for me on Instragram: gritty49
There is definitely an autumn-y, Thanksgiving-y theme to this weeks photo collection.   
From top L to R, then bottom L and R...

1. Delaware Park. We've had unseasonably enjoyable weather this past week.  Crisp, cool and DRY (I despise rain!)  We took the boys out a few nights in a row to get some fresh air before the sun set.  Lots of room to run here and lots of leaves shuffle our feet through!  Dan and I even enjoyed fancy Starbucks drinks while following after the boys.
2. Beaver Island State Park. An adventure from a different day this week.  It was another perfect night for running up hills and rolling down them (Andrew's new favorite thing to do.)
3.  My Thanksgiving decor, part of a gorgeous printable freebie offered a while ago from...you guessed it, The TomKat Studio.
4.  Bird #2.  We celebrated this past Saturday with my husbands family, and this bird is for today's celebration with my family.  Brined, buttered and stuffed with sage.  Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Photo Outfits

Just another sneak peek from the boys' holiday photo shoot!   Here they are in their "holiday best" posing in front of our wood pile in the back yard.  We had the button-downs (bought a couple years ago on clearance!) and I found the ties (so tiny and so stinking cute!) for a super great deal at Gymboree.  I think they came to three bucks a piece with all the discounts I got!  How can you go wrong? (I'd never pay full price there...I wouldn't be able to if I wanted to!)  These v-neck sweaters from Gap were the perfect addition to their little outfits.  So handsome, don't you think?

{Freebie!} Treat Yourself

Treat is an exciting new greeting card brand that makes it easy for you to create and send one-of-a-kind greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for holidays, birthdays, congrats, thank yous and every occasion in between. It’s crazy fun and it’s super easy.  It's also totally personal!  I recently had the opportunity to create, order and receive 3 of their cards.  So cool - I can't wait to send them out. Really... You can use your own photos or own wording and they print the card to make it look like it was custom made just for you (well, technically it is, I guess!)

What's in this for you... Treat is giving you the opportunity to create and send a totally personalized greeting card for FREE. (That's right, FREE!) Whether saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat will let you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress, FOR FREE!  (They even have Honey Badger cards that I can neither confirm, nor deny ordering for my sister-in-law!)

Treat is offering one free Treat card to Double the Giggles readers, good only on Monday 11/19 & Tuesday 11/20!  Take advantage of this awesome freebie by going to their site, creating and ordering your card and using the discount code TREATBLOGR at checkout.   It's that easy!  So go ahead and Treat yourself!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Counting Down the Days!

I ordered these adorable (seriously, how adorable are these!) red and green chevron favor bags from my childhood bestie over at The TomKat Studio a few months back in anticipation for a Christmas countdown of some sort and am tickled to finally be starting my project! Last year, I had the boys decorate papers, we cut them into strips and then they each made their own chain...the 25 links until Chrismas sort of chain. I'm changing it up this year with these sweet little goodie bags.
I've cut and mounted black and white circles on the bags and am having my friend Robyn over at Robyn's Little Nest  Cricut-cut me some fancy numbers (...and maybe, just maybe Santa will bring me my own Cricut so I won't have to bug her again!)  I'm thinking of adding some sparkles to the numbers before mounting them on the bags.  Then... well, then I have two different ideas that I need *your* help with!
(Pretty please!)
Should I:
1.) Make an adorable banner using ribbon to hang the numbered bags.  I'll hide goodies (stickers, m&m's, special notes, special tasks or scavenger-type messages) in each bag as we count down the days until Christmas...
2.) Before we know it, Elfie will making her grand return to our home (that is, if we didn't permanently scare her away last year!)  I'm thinking maybe she can bring a bag each day (so we would be counting up instead of down).  I'm just going to have to remember to help her find a new spot each morning before the boys see her.  Elfie kind of got lazy last year and picked a new spot in our house every four or five days. Oops!
I love the Elfie idea, but think we can utilize this project as more of a "decoration" if it is strung up for everyone to see.
Stay tuned for the completed  project, but in the meantime, which idea would you go with?  A festive banner, or our "Elfie" on the Shelf bringing a bag a day? Please leave your thoughts below!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{Veterans Day} Shutterfly's Send a Hero a Card

Like most Americans, I'm pretty passionate about my love for this great country we live in, and and extremely thankful for the 1.5 million brave men and women who put their lives on the line every single day in honor of our freedom.  My grandfather was a proud veteran and my father is a proud veteran who is very involved in his local VFW and American Legion posts.  Myself, I'm not a veteran, however I am currently the Veterans Special Emphasis Program Manager for my federal agency's state committee (I know, it's a mouthful).  When this opportunity became available, I jumped at it in order to become more involved and to share what I've learned/conduct outreach. 

So...Just when you thought I was done proclaiming my love for Shutterfly, I'm posting about this amazing company again!  They re doing something AMAZINGLY GREAT and HEARTFELT leading up to this Veterans Day (so you must act quickly after reading this post!)

Many of our troops will be overseas, in harm’s way, and away from their families over this Veterans Day, as well as into and beyond the holiday season. Shutterfly's mission is simple—to send a thank you card to every American hero. How great is that?  To succeed they need our support. Just select a card from the 4 patriotic choices, add a personal message (and photo if desired) and click send. Now the GREAT part: Shutterfly will print and ship your card to the troops at no cost to you! 

I strongly encourage you to create a card for the troops, and if you can please share this link with your Facebook family and friends: https://www.facebook.com/shutterfly/app_525739750774135

Also... If you come across one, remember to thank a Veteran. Not just on Veterans Day, but any day. They will surely appreicate it.
My awesome dad!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{Guest Post} DTG at Robyn's Little Nest

Hop on over to my friend (and fellow twin-momma) Robyn's blog, Robyn's Little Nest to read my guest post on creating a yearly photo book gift for each of your kiddoes!  This simple, artistic gift is easy enough to do year after year, and it's something they can keep end enjoy forever!

{Christmas Cards} Ahead of the Game

Cheery In Plaid Holiday Card
Create custom Christmas cards this holiday at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Seriously.  How stinking cute is this card that is in the running to be chosen as our 2012 family Christmas card?  The bad part is that there are literally a BAZILLION awesomely fun, festive and fantastic card choices on Shutterfly.   How do I decide on just one card design?  ...and how many pictures do I use?  I can go with one or up to 10 photos!  Ahhhh!  Decisions, decisions!