Friday, November 30, 2012

Kids Activitiy Binder




I sometimes find it hard to keep my older grandchildren occupied while I am busy with the younger children. One day I found some free kids printables online and printed a few things out for them to do.....things like dot to dots, hidden pictures and mazes. Soon, they were finishing them before I could get the next one printed out. That could get expensive fast not to mention it was becoming wasteful



I printed out several different activities in a variety of skill levels and marked each level by number, with a #1 being the easiest. Then, I put them into protective plastic sleeves and placed them all in a binder. Armed with a washable marker the kids can find an activity for their skill level, complete the activity, and then the markers will wipe off  for the page to be used again. No more wasted paper and printer ink, no more keeping grandma running to the computer to print one more thing.


Our binder has grown to over 100 sheets now with educational activities added too; pages for practicing writing and number skills, tic tac toe games, etc. The binder could be divided up into individual activities or skill levels with tabs; though this Gramma has yet to find the time for that. It's nice for the kids to be able to take it outside on a quilt to work on, or to use while sitting quietly when Gramma is busy or just needs quiet time (or to finish a blog post ;) It will pack up nice for car trips too. 

Here's a good place to get started with your activity binder printables. Do you have any suggestions for additional activities I can add to my Activities Binder?


 I link at these parties.

I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Comes Color Palette


 Winter Comes Color Palette









I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wow Us Wednesday

Hello all. Good to see you back this week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; we stayed in town and went to my sons home. It was very nice and always such good food and a lot of it! Just finished the left overs on Monday. I could eat Thanksgiving Day leftovers for weeks and not get tired of it! So good. 




Twelve0eight gives a tutorial on making a Burlap Christmas tree. Other fabrics could be used too. 
Second Chance to Dream reuses and spruces up her old Christmas ornaments.
Sow & Dipity uses saw dust in her garden. Very creative!



Table for Seven has a wonderful easy recipe for Farmer's Casserole. 
Alderberry Hill has really cute and easy Paper Tree Ornaments.

The most clicked on link was.....Crafty Journal who shows us how you or the kids can make a Shrink Dink bracelet.

Button pic 9



If you have been featured, please choose the button you like best.
Wow Us Wednesday is a linky for:
  • All items, projects or ideas made by you.... crafts, art, photography, furniture re-dos, organizational feats, recipes, money saving tips, decorating ideas, party plans, you name it! Please don’t forget to link back with text link or button!
  • Please consider following me, and visit some other linkers and comment there too. 
  • Link up to three post and please do not re-link ones from the previous week. Link to the specific post, not your blog home page. No Etsy shops or giveaways, please!
I would love to feature projects I choose and share them the following week - by submitting a link to this party you are allowing authorization for your project to be featured with a photo from your post. Featured links will include a photo and a link back to the originating site.

**I have a Mason Jar link up in the Pantry there in my right column. Please also add your post using Mason jars there. **


I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scripture Ornaments




This is an easy and fast yet lovely Christmas Ornament that you can make with the kids. I call them Scripture Ornaments because I used a page from the Bible about the birth of Jesus as my back ground. But if scripture is not your thing sheet music is nice or make up your own verbiage. These would make great gifts or tweak this version to make gift tags.
Here’s how I made these. 

**Update** PicMonkey has started charging for some of it's features though most features are still free and very useable for this craft. I will be checking out other free sites to see what they have to offer and let you know what I find. In the mean time, a good free site is Ribbet and Fotor.

Before we get started, I want to tell you that while there are a lot of popular crafting projects that use old book pages, I cringe whenever I think of old books being destroyed for the sake of crafting! Old books can be very valuable so please do a Google search to find out about yours before you start cutting it up or use cheap paper backs. I scanned the pages I wanted to use into my computer…… I can reuse that same page over and over without destroying another Bible or book! If you don’t have a scanner, try taking a photo of the page. Ok, on with the tutorial.


Upload your image to PicMoney and size it appropriately. I choose to make mine 8x10. Then I choose overlays-geometric-circles. I played with the placement of the circles so I could get the size I wanted and carefully placed them. I wanted them to be uniformed because I would be printing both sides of the card stock and wanted my Monogram to be centered on both sides. Once I had the circle the size it needed to be, I faded it so I could see the words underneath and duplicated it. (duplicate by right clicking and choosing duplicate overlay)

Next I choose ‘P’ (text) then choose a font I liked, and sized the letter to fit the circle appropriately. I wanted the letter to be black and choose not to fade the color. Next I duplicated my letter and placed one in each circle. Then I went back to each circle and faded the color completely out. Now I saved my image to my picture files. 


 I printed my image onto card stock that I had cut down to regular printer paper size. I marked a corner of the page with an X so I would be sure to reload the page for printing on the other side correctly. After the page is printed, find something to trace a circle with that you can see through; I am using a small mason jar lid. Trace your circles and cut them out. 


Punch a hole for hanging in the top; roll them first into glue then into glitter. 


Let them dry and add your string or ribbon for hanging. 


I used twine that I unraveled using only a single strand. If you want these to last year after year, a coat of Mod Podge will be helpful.


This is a great project to make with the kids, it’s easy, fast, and the final product is very good even in the hands of a six year old! My oldest grand daughter and I made these together and she chose to cut hers out in the shape of stars without the monogram. She used a star stamp to trace around. Instead of using ribbon or twine for the tie, she used chenille stems. She could manage the chenille stems but couldn't tie the twine; also I think she liked the pop of color.





Please feel free to save and use my scripture image to your computer to use again and again or upload to PicMonkey, you can do that by right clicking and choosing save image.  If you would like to print this image as is, click here. You can find vintage sheet music at Graphics Fairy. 


I link at these Parties. Please join me on Wednesdays for Wow Us Wednesday.


I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 26, 2012

Do You Really Know About Car Seat Safety?


What do you know about car seat safety? Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in children from age 3 to 14 years of age? That is an  unbelievable statistic and yet something we can take a precaution against. I hope you will join me in making sure your precious children are as safe as they can possibly be while riding in a car. Below I have listed some links for you to have a look at but right now I want to tell you about a product that is very helpful to all of us (grandparents too) with new babies. 

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 accommodates the new guide lines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation of staying rear facing for two years.  Graco, the baby gear brand that customers have trusted for 60 years recently introduced the first infant car seat that can keep baby rear facing for two years – it’s the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40, the only true newborn to two years old, four to forty pounds, car seat on the market.  They are 5 times safer rear facing! 


Here's our Itty Bitty in the Graco SnugRide...can you see that other car seat in the background? It is tight against the seat with no leg room. But not the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40, there is room to kick! 

Let me tell you a story…. My oldest grand daughter was born pre-mature and stayed in the hospital for an additional three weeks after mom was released. It was touch and go for a while but the time did come for her to go home; she was going to make it! In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit you learn about dangers to a new born that you never dreamed about! We began to see possible dangers at every turn! 

I waited at my son’s home for him and his wife to arrive from the hospital with that tiny, precious, little bundle full of promise out there in the big world of automobiles! That precious baby had her other grandmother and I to welcome her home; we were excited and yet tense at the same time! You see we needed her to get home safe!

Car seats or booster seats are so important to the safety of our children no matter how big or little they are! With auto crashes at the top of the list for child accidental death, I hope you take your child’s car seat very seriously! If you have a child over the age of one, you probably know that as they grow, car seats can become very uncomfortable for the kids. Their legs are growing and they are all bunched up with the car seat tight against the back seat. Often the children will fuss and cry while riding in the car because they are uncomfortable. Yes I know this from experience! Let me tell you, we grow children tall in our family and often the car seats get turned around to front facing before age two because the child is so large and uncomfortable rear facing; that's not safe!



But I am happy to tell you that the new Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40, allows a child to stay rear facing up to two years old without the discomfort of their legs being all bunched up! It is the only true newborn to two years old, four to forty pounds, car seat on the market. Let me show you how that works right here with two very informative videos.

I have to tell you, I love this car seat! Can you tell? The first thing I learned about it is that I can install it myself! That was a huge deal because the other car seats I have took my fireman son in law almost thirty minutes to install correctly in my tiny compact car. With the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40, it is simple and straight forward to install; no major muscle needed! 


Once the base is in, all you need to do is sit the carrier on to the base, be sure you hear a good click, and you are ready for your baby to go for a ride.


When adjusting the straps to the child's size, it was very was easy to do also. The head rest easily adjust to the height of the child’s head and the shoulder straps do not need to be re threaded. Be sure the middle buckle is in the right position and tightened to the proper fit! This car seat will quickly adjust from a reclining position to sitting up too. Then, there is this nice foot rest that you can pull up that also protects your seat from dirty little shoes. All this makes it so easy to use this seat with different sized babies, newborn to two years. (Do you know what a proper fit is and were the buckle should be on your child? Did you know that you should use the correct angle of reclining for your child's age so that the child's air way stays open? Nearly 73% of child restraints are not installed or used correctly.)

Many grandparents are the primary caregivers (as I am) for babies, and yet they are not knowledgeable of updated safety guidelines (because they change so frequently), including the AAP’s rear facing regulation. 

Look at this handsome guy! See where his feet are?

In our family among our adult children, we have nurses, an orthopedic technician, elementary school teachers, and a fireman. Between them there is a lot of knowledge about safety and dangers for kids. While they are all up to date with the latest information, sometimes it doesn't get passed down to this grandmother. I must be responsible for educating myself and not rely on them to pass on that valuable info. I hope you too will research on your own and learn about the dangers as well as key safety issues while children are riding in your car.

Photo courtesy of www.Graco.com. What a good looking car seat! Very sturdy, great quality too! 

One more thing I would like to tell you about the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 is that while you can purchase additional bases to go in grandma and grandpa's car, you can also purchase a stroller that the carrier snaps or clicks into. With this stroller as the base for the carrier part of the car seat, they can quickly and easily go from car to the stroller. 

I placed this car seat into three different vehicles to check on the installation process and fit of each. I have to tell you that while this car seat fit perfectly in an SUV and a mini van, it did not work so well in my Hyundai Elantra, a very small vehicle. When the car seat is adjusted to fit the larger child, it required the front passenger seat to be push way forward. It is doubtful that any adult in my family could comfortably sit there; we are all tall. Yet the car seat did fit in the back, rear facing. 

Yes I am a safety nut, I can imagine all sorts of hidden dangers everywhere; and while only a small percentage of possible dangers ever actually happen, there is no reason you cannot keep your children as safe as possible while riding in a vehicle. Are you convinced? Are you going to check out the links and take time to be educated about car seat safety?  Okay, let me hear about it! I love my new SnugRide Click Connect 40  from Graco, a trusted provider of baby gear for over 60 years, and so do my grand babies and their parents! Now we just need a new crop of babies around here ;) 


 * Disclosure: I received a Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 for purposes of this review; but the opinions and information given are completely my own! I AM NOT a car seat safety expert! Please check your states laws and regulations and be sure to follow your car seat owner's manual to make sure your car seat is installed correctly. Many states have car seat safety check events or places you can go to to have a professional make sure it is installed correctly. Call your local car seat merchant or look online to find one.

I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grandparent's Say It Saturday

Hello everyone! I do hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day. I surely did, though we had a smaller crowd than usual. Still the food and the company were wonderful. It has been a relaxing time too and there are lots of family activities going on around here. 

Last  evening we stopped in at my daughters house to visit a bit. We were met at the door by the youngest, a 3 yr old girl with lots of long curly red hair (who I have nick named Merida now, because she is just like her :) Both girls were excited to see us and want to make sure we had plates full of goodies, put a movie on for us to watch (Brave) ran to bed rooms to bring us the latest toys and started wrestling with Papa. And that was the first five minutes! 

How did you spend your Thanksgiving this year? 




I'm so glad you stopped by!

Button pic 9

Please link up to three post, not to your home page, and link that back to Family Home and Life. While you are here I hope you will visit the other linkers and come back to see who links up later. We all love comments! No Etsy shops or giveaways please. This link closes on Monday night. 
I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 23, 2012

Choosing Eyeglasses Online

Sponsored Post

I have worn eyeglasses since I was a kid. I wore contacts lens for a lot of years but as I have grown older, glasses are just more comfortable to wear than contact lenses. And these days, glasses are really a fashion statement too. But with the high cost of purchasing eye glasses, it’s not all that affordable to have more than one pair.  I recently found out about GlassesUSA.com, an online glasses company that offers very affordable and very fashionable glasses.

Before you think that you would never want to order glasses online; think again! Actually it is really easy to order at GlassesUSA.com, and should you need additional help, it is available through email or with a phone call to an 800 number, as well as a helpful FAQ page. I spent some time at Glasses USA.com and played around with their different options for choosing a frame as well as the checking out the ordering process. There are a few different ways to find the perfect online eyeglasses at GlassesUSA.com such as the option ‘Find Your Perfect Frame’ where you enter information about your glasses needs then all the possible options are given to you; but the option I really loved would have to be their ‘Try Before You Buy’ virtual mirror! Oh my goodness was that fun! I simply uploaded a photo of myself then with a click I choose different frames to try on. You can easily adjust your photo size to the glasses and move the eyeglasses to sit them perfectly on your face. 



Besides their high quality frames and lenses, they offer a 110% lowest price guarantee and a 100% satisfaction guarantee along with a generous refer-a-friend program. Additionally, you can stay up-to-date on all GlassesUSA.com happenings through their Facebook page and on Twitter. 

Take 15% off your entire order amount + FREE shipping (orders over $50). Code: FS15
Take 10% off any order of prescription glasses. Code: Blog10




Well, you can see I had some fun with all the different frames types, styles and colors to choose from and these are only a few of the ones I tired on with the virtual mirror! What do you think? Which ones do you think look the best? Maybe I'll pick a few more....

* Disclosure; while this is a sponsored post from GlassesUSA.com, the words and opinions are my own.

I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Fall Color Palette PicMonkey Scrapbook Sheets

I made some Fall Colors Scrapbook pages to use for myself and want to also share them with you. I'm kinda late getting them out, I'm sorry! Perhaps you can use these to showcase your Thanksgiving pictures. I'll try to post a Christmas palette soon to use.




On my copy of this scrapbook page, I have the family names on labels underneath each photo. I used PicMonkey to first create the color palette using my inspiration photo. Then using that color palette, I made these scrapbook pages and here is the tutorial for that. Yes they are virtual, but they can be printed out. Re-size them to fit your printer paper. They are fun to use to make your own scrapbooks to save to your computer or online. You know what I like best about that? It is all free...nothing to buy and or store!

**Update** PicMonkey has started charging for some of it's features though most features are still free. I will be checking out other free sites to see what they have to offer and let you know what I find. In the mean time, a good free site is Ribbet.

If you don't want to make your own  please feel free to use mine. You can right click and save them as images to your computer, then upload them at PicMonkey to place your photos where you would like them.





I often save my work without merging it. That way after the save I can perhaps change a few things to make a new page without having to recreate it all. 

To make the plaid, I choose 'overlays- geometric- rectangle', then sized and tinted to make the strips. I alternated layers horizontally and vertically. For the floral, I choose 'overlays-floral'. The polka dots are simply font that is enlarged, duplicated and tinted, then moved into place.


Full size Fall page with place for photos, Happy Fall Y'all!

Your can save this (above) page to your computer, and upload it to PicMonkey. Then choose 'overlays-your own', and select the photos you want to place on there. You can turn the photos to fit how you want. Then have some fun and add wording, or banners, labels... anywhere you would like. Then re save it all. Enjoy!





 8 x 10 sheet Happy Fall Y'all! This is a nice printing size.






Full size plain scrapbook page, Happy Fall Y'all! Decorate this one yourself or leave it plain.
Email me for the stripes, plaid or [polka dot pages if you would like them.

I link up at these parties.

I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope your day is filled with things to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving all!




I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wow Us Wednesday

Thanksgiving is here and I will be enjoying the day with my family and friends. I hope you are too. Thanks for taking time to stop by today, be sure to check out the features!


Lemon and Lime Thyme has the most delicious looking Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Slabs.
DIY Dreamer has a easy project for Christmas ornaments; the kids could do this one.
Sewing Barefoot uses erasers to make stamps; a great idea if you can't find what you need at the store too. She also has a super cute knit cactus you should check out. 




Love Bakes Good Cakes gives us a recipe for something I use to make when all the kids were home; One Pot Goulash, yummy!
Organized Living Solutions showed us her simple and sweet apple wreath.
The Stonybrook House shows us her DIY  Barn Style Door.


House Honeys has a wonderful post about aprons and all the ways our grandmothers used them. Lovely read that brought back memories of my grandmother.


Most clicked link was Michelle Muckala post DIY Shiny Silky Hair.


Button pic 9



If you have been featured Please choose the button you like best.
Wow Us Wednesday is a linky for:
  • All items, projects or ideas made by you.... crafts, art, photography, furniture re-dos, organizational feats, recipes, money saving tips, decorating ideas, party plans, you name it! Please don’t forget to link back with text link or button!
  • Please consider following me, and visit some other linkers and comment there too. 
  • Link up to three post and please do not re-link ones from the previous week. Link to the specific post, not your blog home page. No Etsy shops or giveaways, please!
I would love to feature projects I choose and share them the following week - by submitting a link to this party you are allowing authorization for your project to be featured with a photo from your post. Featured links will include a photo and a link back to the originating site.

**I have a Mason Jar link up in the Pantry there in my right column. Please also add your post using Mason jars there. **

Thank you so much for linking up with me. I'm sorry that time has not allowed me to stop by and comment on each link. Please know I appreciate you all!




I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saving Money on Spices



Herbs and spices can make or break your meals and baked goods. A bland meal can be a great one with the addition of the correct seasonings. It can become expensive though when you use spices purchased in the spice section of your grocery store. 

This time of the year, we all tend to buy a seasoning or spice that we only need a small amount of. Then the rest sits in the back of the pantry until it is thrown out.




Buying herbs and spices at stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts is my favorite way to buy seasonings; at a better price than the spice section of typical grocery stores and they have a huge selection of quality herbs and spices. Locate the spice or herbs you need sold in bins or jars, and fill a little bag with the amount you want. This is great if you just need a small amount for a recipe you only make a couple of times a year, or one you are trying for the first time. 

Its fun to try new spices! I get a little silly in the spice section, because I want to have a sample of them all! Last week I purchased Cardamon, Ground Cloves, Nutmeg and Star Anise in small amounts as that's all I needed, and it all came to under $2.50....yes you read that right! Why would I ever want to buy a bottle of spice for $6 that I'll only use a couple of times before it needs to be thrown out? 




Skip the spice section at your grocery store and look for packets of herbs and spices in the ethnic foods section, or Hispanic foods section. You will find many different seasonings sold in little cellophane packets at low prices. I have used spices and herbs sold this way for years.

There are also the warehouse clubs that sell large quantities at a fraction of the cost of super markets. I buy certain seasonings like granulated garlic, Italian blend seasonings, and seasoned salt there; also real vanilla extract. Some things like cinnamon for example I will purchase too because the price is so great, but there is no way I will use it all before its flavor starts to fade. So I share it with my family, passing out little containers of it when ever I buy a new bottle. An even better plan would be to find someone to split the cost and contents of these large containers with.
You will need to have containers to put your spices in at home unless you don't mind having them in little plastic bags; I use baby food jars, very small mason jars, and jars I bought at IKEA. 



Thrift stores often have really nice and nearly new spice racks with spice containers (sometimes with the contents still in them! Don’t use it though, throw it out!)  Wash and dry them thoroughly and enjoy!

 


*This is a re post with a few changes from last year.*
I link at these parties.



I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved