Friday, November 21, 2014

Make Your Elf on the Shelf Bendy! A Quick and Easy Tutorial

Reese, has been practicing Yoga, while on his extended vacation. He has to be in tip-top shape, if he wants to pull off all of his tricks and adventures.  His favorite poses?  --> Quarter Dog, Open Triangle and Warrior

I've wanted to make Reese more flexible for a while, but only found tutorials involving a snip of the Elf's hands and feet, or an invasive needle and thread operation.  Well, guess what? I can't sew, in fact, I wouldn't be able to reattach a button to a shirt, if it came to it. 
When I took out Reese the other day, I inspected his seams and found an easy way to insert bendy wires into his limbs, without cutting or sewing him back together.   

Check out my other Elf posts, for printables, calendars, and ideas:




Make Your Elf on the Shelf Bendy! A Quick and Easy Tutorial {by Domestic Femme} #modify #customize #bend #bendable #flexible #pose #poseable #posable #put #wire #in #tutorial #how #to #no #without #sew #sewing



Instructions:


1. Take floral wire (any gauge) and gently insert into your Elf's arm, between one of the seams - just poke around until you find a looser area; I had the best luck at the end of his hands.

2. Once you thread the wire through and hit the Elf's shoulder, pull it back out a bit.

3. Snip off the excess wire, and gently push it all the way in, using either your finger or scissor tips. Repeat these steps on the other remaining limbs.


Make Your Elf on the Shelf Bendy! A Quick and Easy Tutorial {by Domestic Femme} #modify #customize #bend #bendable #flexible #pose #poseable #posable #put #wire #in #tutorial #how #to #no #without #sew #sewing


Like how he resembles one of those arm flailing, inflatable tube men? Enjoy your more lifelike elf!



Make Your Elf on the Shelf Bendy! A Quick and Easy Tutorial {by Domestic Femme} #modify #customize #bend #bendable #flexible #pose #poseable #posable #put #wire #in #tutorial #how #to #no #without #sew #sewing

How did your Elf turn out?


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elf on the Shelf 2014 Calendar (25+ NEW Ideas!)

Thanksgiving is almost here! That means a few things in our household:
1. Delicious, delicious foods will be enjoyed
2. Browsing through Black Friday ads and the start of Christmas shopping
3. Reese, our Elf on the Shelf, is returning!!!




Elf On The Shelf 2014 Calendar (25+ NEW Ideas!) with FREE Printables  #Nice #Naughty #Good #Bad #Boys #Girls #Printable #Calendar #Calendars #Picture #Pictures #Photo #Photos #Pets #Christmas #Holiday #Holidays #Traditions #Tradition #Elves #Activity #Activities #Puzzle #Puzzles #Word #Search #Food #Top #Best #Cheap #Fast #All #Time #Funny #Hilarious #Kids #Mischievous #Mischief #Reindeer #Pet #Pranks #Xmas #Magic #Kids #Toddlers #Quick #Easy #Younger #Older #Arrival #Hiding #Departure #Christian #Jesus




If this is your first time visiting, be sure to check out my other Elf post --> 50 Elf on the Shelf Ideas, where you'll find last year's calendar and additional inspiration & printables for elf antics.  

For those of you who've had an elf for years, I don't know about you, but it's starting to get a little tricky, coming up with new ideas that the little ones haven't seen. I've been pinning ideas for several weeks on my Christmas with the Elf on the Shelf board, and finally managed to compile a final list for this year. All printables, including a new calendar are available at the bottom of this page. Here's a glimpse of the 2014 calendar! 
 

Elf On The Shelf 2014 Calendar (25+ NEW Ideas!) with FREE Printables  #Nice #Naughty #Good #Bad #Boys #Girls #Printable #Calendar #Calendars #Picture #Pictures #Photo #Photos #Pets #Christmas #Holiday #Holidays #Traditions #Tradition #Elves #Activity #Activities #Puzzle #Puzzles #Word #Search #Food #Top #Best #Cheap #Fast #All #Time #Funny #Hilarious #Kids #Mischievous #Mischief #Reindeer #Pet #Pranks #Xmas #Magic #Kids #Toddlers #Quick #Easy #Younger #Older #Arrival #Hiding #Departure #Christian #Jesus



1. Elf has arrived, but hasn't finished enjoying his Thanksgiving meal - Check out Norene's Thanksgiving Buffet and Turkey Dinner tutorials for details! You can create a mini elf feast, using graham crackers, shaved almond slices, and few other food items you probably have in your pantry.

2. Surprise! You've been gifted an Elf Pets Reindeer! Each one comes with a book, and plush reindeer for your little one to *touch* and love on.

3. Laundry Day - our Elf got a new wardrobe this year, thanks to all of the amazing little outfits that are now available.  He is discovered in the laundry room, with his clothes hanging on a line to dry.

4. Elf brought an Advent Calendar!

5. Everyone knows an Elf's diet consists of sweets. Your Elf is found in front 
of a half-eaten bag of Oreos, with all of the filling (his favorite!) scraped off of the cookies.

6. It's a major award! The Elf brought you A Christmas Story Nightlight, and is found unpacking the "Fraa-gee-lay" lamp .

7. Elf is found in your freezer, hanging out on a frozen "pond", with his new ice skates and a scarf.

8. You like puzzles? The Elf brought you a Christmas Word Search (see bottom of post for printable)

9. You did such a great job on yesterday's puzzle, that the Elf thinks you're ready for an "expert" level jigsaw puzzle - fill a small bag with sawdust, shredded paper, or confetti (see bottom of post for printable).

10. Elf had too much coffee - big googly eyes, while enjoying a cup o' Joe.

11. It's snowing! Elf strung up multiple strands of fishing line and cotton balls.

12.We're low on sweets! The Elf created a sugar-filled grocery list for you. (see bottom of post for printable)

13. Let's play some mini golf! (cut out a putting green from paper, and use a mini candy cane as a golf club)

14. Elf left you some "snowball" (cotton candy) treats (see bottom of post for printable)

15. Thirsty? Elf is found up high, with multiple straws connected and looped, down to a cup of milk.

16. Your scout Elf thought he'd be of some help and strung up some Christmas lights (only he's kinda sloppy)

17. Elf made you some chocolate covered marshmallow snowmen! (stack three on a stick, dip in white chocolate, and decorate)

18. Oops! Elf was enjoying a drink and spilled "milk" (draw out a "spill" on parchment paper, using liquid glue.  Once it dries, gently scrape it off and it's ready to use).

19. The Elf baked you some North Pole Nibbles -- check out Nikki's "Boo Bites" recipe; use red & green sprinkles (see bottom of post for printable)

20. Elf made an igloo! - Cut out the bottom out of a plastic milk jug and make a hole for a "door", and then glue on packaging peanuts -- see Susan's photo, if you're a visual person.

21. Ready for some more sweets?! Elf made red, white and green swirl cookies -- see Amber's "Swirled Sugar Cookies" recipe, and use Christmas colors/sprinkles instead.

22. The Elf played dress-up with your mom's jewelry!

23. Who's ready for a vacation? --> this elf <-- He's found laying out on a "beach" (brown sugar or sand filled pan). Use your imagination for his beach props or activities :)

24. Elf made some angel wings for himself, out of paper.

25. Look out below! Elf is found climbing down from up high, using linked candy canes for a rope

26. Sweet! Elf made a birthday cake for Jesus -- stack together two Oreos, cover with frosting and decorate with sprinkles.


If you post Elf activities on social media, be sure to give me a shoutout - I'd love to see them! Follow me on Instagram and "Like" my Facebook page, if you'd like to be included on Reese's daily adventures, this holiday season. I will be posting daily pics!    




If you're looking for items mentioned throughout this post, or other Elf related accessories, check these out!




Get your 2014 Calendar and Printables here:


2014 Elf on the Shelf Calendar

Elf Grocery List

Elf Word Search 

Expert Puzzle Topper and North Pole Nibbles

Elf Snowballs (Cotton Candy)




 

What Elf antics are you most looking forward to, this year?


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Making Lunch Fun: Valentine's Day

How was your Valentine's Day? And your Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year's Eve?  I took a little break, of sorts - no reason in particular.  I just wanted to enjoy the holidays with family, and then afterward I found myself a bit unmotivated.  
Wanna know something really spectacular that happened while I was away?  Domestic Femme blew past its 100,000th visit!!! I think I'm getting the hang of this SEO thing :)

Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap
I kinda like to do special lunches for the little guy, on certain days of the year (See: Easter, Birthday, 1st Day of School).  I did this last year, for Valentine's Day:
Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap
  
The containers were spotted within the Valentine's Day section of my local grocery store.  Cool, huh?

This year, I covered up his lunch in some wrapping paper, slapped on some fun stickers, and topped his drink with ribbon.


Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap

Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap

Voila!


What fun lunch ideas have you created?  Did you do anything for Valentine's Day?


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Favorites: Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Few flavors epitomize the Fall season quite like pumpkin.  It's E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E right now: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Bread.
This pie is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread, topped with whipped cream.  Ditch that canned pumpkin, roll up your sleeves, and let's start baking!

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake #Instructions #Dessert #Desserts #Fresh #Menu

Fresh Pumpkin Pie {adapted from Ruth and Beth's recipes} Printable Recipe
makes: 1 pie


Ingredients (crust):

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup shortening
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup water

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake

Directions:

1) Cut the butter into small slices.

2) In a mixing bowl, blend together the flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar.  Add in the butter, shortening, egg, and water. Mix until well blended **Note: if the dough easily sticks to the side of your bowl, add more flour {a little at a time}, until it pulls off of the sides**.

3) Cover the dough and refrigerate.


Ingredients (filling):

1 sugar pumpkin
1 (12oz.) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2) Cut the pumpkin in half and remove all of the seeds.  Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it {I usually need 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil}.  Place the pumpkin halves open-side down, onto the foil.

3) Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Cool until just warm enough to handle, and use a spoon to scrape out the pulp.  Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake #Instructions

4) In a blender, mix in 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, milk, vanilla, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, flour, eggs and salt.  Blend for 1 minute.

5) Take the pie crust out of the fridge, and roll it out, into a pie pan.  Pour in the pie filling and place the pie in the preheated oven.
Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake #Instructions #Dessert #Desserts #Fresh #Menu
6) Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Cook for an additional 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Allow the pie to cool a bit, before transferring to the fridge, to cool overnight.  Enjoy with your favorite whipped cream!

****Pro tip: If you want to decorate the top of the pie with crust cut-outs, bake them separately, and add them after the pie is completely cooked.  In the photos below, the one on top had the crust cut-outs added toward the end of cooking.  When the pie cooled, the cut-outs caused cracking.  It definitely didn't look as good as the one shown on the bottom, wherein I waited until the pie was completely cooked, before adding them.****

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake #Instructions #Dessert #Desserts #Fresh #Menu

Some kitchen favorites, that were utilized during the creation of this pie:



What's your favorite pumpkin treat?

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Pecan Cream Cheese Ball

Do you always buy your cheese balls from the store?
STOP IT!
There are too many great homemade recipes out there for you to be buying a prepackaged, mystery ball.  This appetizer is SO good and perfect on top of your favorite cracker.

Pecan Cream Cheese Ball #Recipe #Recipes #Appetizer #Appetizers #Creamy #Parsley #Lemon #Cheddar #Garlic #Chives #Worcestershire #Worcester #Holiday #Holidays #Christmas #Eve #Idea #Ideas #Menu #Menus #Thanksgiving #Get #Together #Togethers #CheeseBall #GameDay #Game #Day #Days #Easy #Snack #Snacks #Football #Super #Bowl #Superbowl #Finger #Food #Foods #Crowd #Party #Parties #Potluck #Potlucks #New #Year #Years #Crackers

My mom makes this every Christmas Eve.  In our family, there isn't an actual meal served on Christmas Eve.  We simply fill up on Summer sausage, cheese, crackers, this cheese ball, and shrimp cocktail.  Hoosiers... ...  


Pecan Cream Cheese Ball {courtesy of my mom} Printable Recipe
makes: 1 ball

Ingredients:

2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Pecan Cream Cheese Ball #Recipe #Recipes #Appetizer #Appetizers #Creamy #Parsley #Lemon #Cheddar #Garlic #Chives #Worcestershire #Worcester #Holiday #Holidays #Christmas #Eve #Idea #Ideas #Menu #Menus #Thanksgiving #Get #Together #Togethers #CheeseBall #GameDay #Game #Day #Days #Easy #Snack #Snacks #Football #Super #Bowl #Superbowl #Finger #Food #Foods #Crowd #Party #Parties #Potluck #Potlucks #New #Year #Years


Directions:

1) Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chives, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, milk, and 1 cup of pecans.

2) Stir remaining pecans and parsley together in a medium bowl (these always come in handy).  Form cheese mixture into a ball, and coat with pecan/parsley mixture until well covered.  Serve with your favorite crackers.


Pecan Cream Cheese Ball #Recipe #Recipes #Appetizer #Appetizers #Creamy #Parsley #Lemon #Cheddar #Garlic #Chives #Worcestershire #Worcester #Holiday #Holidays #Christmas #Eve #Idea #Ideas #Menu #Menus #Thanksgiving #Get #Together #Togethers #CheeseBall #GameDay #Game #Day #Days #Easy #Snack #Snacks #Football #Super #Bowl #Superbowl #Finger #Food #Foods #Crowd #Party #Parties #Potluck #Potlucks #New #Year #Years

What do you traditionally eat on Christmas Eve?


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles

The holidays are quickly approaching and I'm SO excited to start baking!

A couple weeks ago, Jhanis teased her fellow Instagram followers with a pic of some Chocolate Crinkles.  She totally sold me, once she explained that they were soft, chewy chocolate cookies, covered in powdered sugar.  
OH. MY.
  


Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge




These taste like devil’s food or soft brownies, and are a perfect remedy to your chocolate craving or cookie exchange.  I triple dog dare you (oh, yes I did) to eat just one!



Chocolate Crinkles {adapted from Ingrid's recipe} Printable Recipes --> (regular) (mint)
makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8  cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 drops black food coloring
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (if you're making the mint chocolate crinkles)
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Cookie Perfection:  Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #



Directions:

1) Mix together the cocoa powders, sugar and oil.  Add in the eggs, vanilla, food coloring, flour, baking powder, salt, and peppermint (if you're making the mint version). 
Cookie Perfection:  Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #

2) Cover dough and chill for 2 hours.
3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour powdered sugar into a small bowl.
4) Scoop dough into one inch balls, and generously coat them in the powdered sugar.  Place them onto the cookie sheet.
Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge

5) Bake for 11-13 minutes, and allow to cool for a few, before transferring to a cooling rack.

Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge


Which version did you make: regular or mint?  What are your favorite holiday treats? 
 
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