Birdseed House

This time of year we always like to think of our fine feathered friends living out in the cold.

Mary, at Home Is Where the Boat Is, inspired our plans for National Bird Day next week on January 5th. Our bird neighbors will be getting this Gingerbread House built especially for them to celebrate the new year in style. Pop on over to her blog for the blueprints.

Bird Food

A few years back we surprised the birds with these easy to create treats. Join us Celebrate Celebrate with Your Fine Feathered Friends

Learn more about National Bird Day and what you can do to help!

 

 

 

santa-boxing-day

 

For some this day is bitter sweet. Ross, our customer care manager, tuned in his car radio to disappointment this morning. No Christmas music, it is over and so are the tunes. Personally, spending the long holiday season deep in retail, today is one that brings a sigh of relief, “it is over!”

For our friends to the north of us in Canada and those across the pond it’s Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday’s name is not clear. In feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would ‘pay’ people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes of practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.

Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.

So, if you did not get enough Christmas, or experienced too much of it, hopefully you will be wrapping up Christmas on a happy note.

Winter SolsticeHappy Winter Solstice!

Today, December 21, at 6:12 AM in the Eastern United States is the solstice, marking the sun’s southern most position in the sky, making this the shortest day of the year.

It’s well known that many rituals and symbols now used in the celebration of Christmas were adopted from pagan celebrations of the solstice.

This is a day I always look forward to. The winter solstice marks when the following days begin to get longer and the nights not necesarily warmer (for a few months), but at least bit shorter. We are heading toward summer!
So, what fun things will you be doing on the longest night of the year? We plan on having a jolly old time making Reindeer Root Beer for friends and neighbors.

All it takes is googly eyes, red pom pom attached with a hot glue gun and dark brown pipe cleaners to twist on top of the bottle. Then we enclose a message: with a message: We’re “rootn” that you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

We could not resist dressing the winter ale bottles for a cousins party Monday night.

 

 

Reindeer Pause……

Chocolate lovers at your house will not pause long before going for these Reindeer created by Betty Crocker Wannabe. She has very clear cut how to instructions for you.

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Reindeer need food and you can make this magic surprise.

It was a busy day for us making Magic Reindeer Food. We have it ready for all the good little girls and boys visiting Totally Kids before Christmas.

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright.
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam.
This will guide them to your home.

Eco-friendly Reindeer Food requires no cooking and only 2 ingredients.

Ingredients per bag:

1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal

2 T red or green sugar crystals (cookie decorating sprinkles)

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Parents love stairway bunk beds so much you’d think the stairs went straight past the top bunk and all the  way to heaven. Not only do they save space like standard bunks, but the stairs provide additional safety and for top bunk sleepers plus…additional storage is tucked under the stairs.

Tucked into this stairway bed, listen closely for the Reindeer, then in the morning, go out side and see how the Reindeer enjoyed the Magic Reindeer Food.

Have you tried this? Santa Claus and his amazing PNP (Portable North Pole) console will be online during the entire holiday season. With just a few clicks, this technological marvel will let your loved ones receive a personalized message from Santa Claus himself, sent directly from his village in the North Pole. It is not only very cute, but FREE. Give it a try, I tested this last year and must say it was a fun little video message that Oliver received from Santa.

Don’t forget cookies for Santa.  Help him get cookies at every stop;  share a jar with your friends and neighbors. Make It Do will show you how to craft the cheery covered jar and Bakerella has the recipe with the ingredients to fill the jar.

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Today we had a record breaking weather high of 51 degrees! Rain forecast for tomorrow. Not looking much like a white Christmas for Santa and his reindeer, but that can quickly change.

 

Once upon a time there was a little old woman and a little old man. The little old woman thought she’d make a gingerbread man. She rolled out the dough, and cut out the shape, and she put raisins for his eyes, and peppermints for his teeth, and put icing on his head for the hair. Then she put him in the oven, and when it smelled good, she opened up the door to take a peek and out jumped the gingerbread man.

Today’s Recipe for Fun is Gingerbread Crayons.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Start by removing all the paper from the crayons and chop them into small bits. Fill your mould with the crayon pieces and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until wax is melted. You can add more bits of crayon through the melting process so the moulds are completely full. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Then push out the crayons and they are ready to use.  Caution, don’t let them get away until you are ready to surprise some special kids.

“Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

This Recipe for Fun is from Torie Jayne.

How to disguise Gingerbread Men. Turn them upside down and look at the cute Reindeer cookies.

For a change of pace, how about baking up some Nijabread Men?

These Nijabread Men cookie cutters have been a hot item this season. Can you see them also as a Recipe for

enjoy

Vegie Lodge

Move over gingerbread, look what’s moving into our neighborhood.

Bring back your old Lincoln Log skills and you can easily build one too.

Materials List:
Six 8″- carrot logs -one for the front, five for back
Eight 5″- carrot logs – for the sides of lodge
Eight 3″- carrot logs – for the front
Eight 1 1/4″ – short spacer logs – by front door
Four 1 1/2″ – carrot logs – for creating side window opening
Three 7″ -carrot log rafters – the foundation
Sixteen 6″ – 7″ long stalks of celery – for the roof
The foam core board gable ends measure 8″x 6″ x 6″
The foam core board floor/base measures 8″ x 5″ – plus an extra on the back for chimney if so desired
The window is made out of a slice of turnip.
Toothpicks are recommenced, in addition to cream cheese mortar to fasten cucumbers and celery.
Bamboo skewers will be handy for stacking the chimney (mushroom) stones.

Photo credit and inspiration: Green Giant.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Christmas there are few little people on our list who will be getting this weekend DIY project. Magnetic states is an idea from Natalme and looks oh so easy to create.

We have a couple of jigsaw puzzles of the United States that will be perfect to upcycle. Next step is attaching pieces of magnetic tape to each state. That’s it, back in the puzzle box and what fun they’ll have putting the states on their fridges.

The United States has a vast variety in the traditions, however, most comes in the taste of the Christmas feast:

  • New England has Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust, filled with meats, onion and cinnamon.)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch serve Sand Tarts (thing, crisp sugar cookies)
  • North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes.)
  • Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions and carrots.)
  • Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie.
  • Southern states have Hominy Grits Soufflé and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
  • Louisiana’s treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters and crabmeat.
  • New Mexico has the Empanaditas–little beef pies with applesauce pine nuts and raisins.
  • Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked over an outdoor pit.   What is your favorite Christmas meal? Is it a traditional meal that you grew up with?

Goody goody gumdrops, it’s time for gumdrop trees!

This might bring back fond memories for some.

If you need a teacher gift or one for your friends and neighbors, give these a try?

This is a sweet classic Christmas project for kids of all ages and Bella Dia shows you just how easy it is in a few easy steps.

Look at the Dots Christmas tree – that’s a new one on me.

Gather the kiddos, and have some fun with this great recipe for fun?

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