So it's that time of the year again. 6 days ago we were on the ball (yay) and pulled out the old wooden advent calendar to fill up. Ha! I make it sound like we've been doing this for years with my "old wooden calendar" comment but it did feel like we tried (and failed) for ever. Last year we decided to change that. We pulled it out early, bought all the items in one shot which I admit was a lot of fun (after our first failed attempt). You can read all about it here and see the kind of treats we got. When the season was over, I put it away on the top shelf of the pantry right next to the Easter eggs, snowflakes garland and Valentine heart decorations. It was a dead space turned Holiday decoration storage. No more looking around. It instantly made it easier for the future years.
Now here is a peek of what I added last night! I think I was more excited than the girls!
I will admit, this year I was a bit slow. I was busy with other pressing matters like renewing expired passports and recovering from a cold that slammed me. I succeeded with one but I'm still sick. It's a struggle. I decided to take it easy, cover a few days and deal with the rest later. On an errand to the pharmacy I noticed a sale for small Lindt chocolate balls. I decided to start with that and grabbed 2 bags (milk chocolate and white). Perfect! I also found forgotten sheets of stickers in the depths of my dresser. The girls never saw them, the stickers were bought on sale during the summer and were cheaper than the dollar store! I was going to surprise them with little love notes for their lunch boxes when September came. Sadly, I forgot. Making up for it now! :) They're loaded with cute critters. I also had some leftover stickers from last year's advent calendar and a few mini rainbow candy canes. All set! :) I will definitely make a run to the dollar store to get some cool washi tape, some candy rings, barrettes and stuff for crafts. Anything fun but cheap.
Most of all, I wanted to make a few handmade items to hang in the tree this year. For the hearts, the girls often commented on the pattern on my PJs. It's a simple pattern made of hearts shaped out of candy canes. I never really thought about it. They're just cozy flannels but the girls love the idea and I was reminded once more last night when we said goodnight. It inspired me to use our leftover candy canes for a cute idea I saw online. Easy! Heat the oven to 250˚F, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set your canes in a heart shape (I overlapped mine) put in oven for 10 minutes, take out, press together a bit to secure and voilà! A pretty thread attached to it turn it into an edible tree decoration! :) I can't wait to see their faces tomorrow when they find them.
The best part? They both fit in the little space of the calendar box! Woot! Meant to be!
I was pretty satisfied and ready go to bed but I felt like I was on a roll. So I tackled the second idea I had. Earlier that week, I was trying to clear up my dresser that collects everybody's clutter. I found a handful of acorns (souvenirs from a day at the park with their father) among rocks, feathers and twigs. 2 of them still had their little hat on so the idea just popped in my head. What if I drew a cute little face on each and tied a coloured thread to hang them in the tree? I got excited (always a good sign) and made a quick sketch on a list that was already made so I wouldn't forget. It sat there for a while waiting.
Last night my plan went into action. I was a bit nervous to ruin their acorns at first but honestly I know they forgot about them. They get lost. All. The. Time. This was a good idea and THEY TURNED OUT SUPER CUTE! All I needed was: 2 acorns, pretty thread (dollar store), a fine Sharpie (the same I used to fill those passport forms) and some paint to make rosy cheeks. A steady hand helped too.
Here the little acorns with the coloured threads. Blue for Évangéline and green for Geneviève. Their favourite colours. I tied a knot around each stem and used a drop of crazy glue to secure the threads on the stem of each acorn.
Then I made a happy face. The kind they like. A fine Sharpie made this easy. I might have to reapply and secure with varnish... Time will tell. A bit of white and red paint was mixed together and applied with a Q-tip for the cheeks. Pretty simple!
The photos were taken pretty late at night but I think the little acorns turned out pretty well! I even tested them out in our ficus tree. I think this will be a success and if not, oh well, I had way too much fun to regret it.
I plan on trying a few other things that won't require for me to shop. Most of all, I want to have fun with this. It's the kind of thing that relaxes me. So far so good! I loved the acorns so much I booted the candy hearts into the next slot and placed the cute little nuts there instead. We're decorating the tree today and this will be perfect for the girls to put in.
*UPDATE* the acorns were a huge hit! The girls kept cooing over them and kept thanking me. Tomorrow they will find the hearts. In the meantime, we're off to find a tree. Leaving you with more pics because it always looks better in natural light, the novelty didn't wear off for me and the girls are cute! Happy prepping!