Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Take a Great Holiday Photo of Kids? ....Simple Bribery!

My kids are so overly's not funny. I've been pushing a camera in their faces nearly daily ever since they were born...documenting every detail of their little lives...but that doesn't stop them from acting up & not cooperating.

They are 2 and 4 after all...and it's in their nature to be restless! I'm just thankful they get along as well as they do.

You may ask how did I get them to behave so well? My answer is simple bribery! It works like a charm! I know what they like and dangle it in front of them like a carrot before a donkey!
The closeup of their faces shows what they look like, but I also think it's nice to show how big they've grown over the past I also like the standing poses. (notice how the tree only has ornaments up boy likes to play 'the grinch game' and un-decorates the tree...puts the ornaments in his toy shopping cart & runs off with them)

The photo of babygirl in the horse just tugs at my heartstrings because that toy was mine when I was her age...and I even remember riding in it reminds me of my Nana...who is no longer with us.
You can see in this photo.... the challenge I had to get them to behave...this is the 'behind the scenes' photo... where I'm scrambling to just get them to stand next to each other & have them both look at the camera at the same time!
I probably should put this one on my card...simply because it's how they 'really' are!
...And they are tremendous fun!

It's difficult for me as their mom to choose which one to go with for our annual holiday cards...because in my eyes they're all adorable... so I may have a few of each printed & mix them up for the different people on my list.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Looking for Super Fun Aprons or Kitchen Towels...then shop HandyJan's shop on Etsy!

Looky looky at what I bought from etsy seller & fellow Ohioan... HandyJan!
If you love fabrics with whimsical fun vintage flair & have a kid who is messy or need a unique teatowel to brighten up your kitchen... then I highly recommend you swing by her shop to see what else is in store! She even has purses!

Here are a few of my new personal favorites!

a super sweet every day apron:

a super sushi hand towel:

another whimsical hand towel for your inner rockabilly:

sweet vintage mexican purse:

Here is a convenient link to her shop for everything!

I had the pleasure of meeting her in person...she's so sweet & friendly...super customer service...the kind of person you would suspect is behind such fabulous handmade items! It was hard to pick just one holiday apron...but I tell you what...I'm going back for an everyday apron with Christmas money after the holidays!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Preschooler Holiday Activity Fun! Gumdrop Trees!

What you will need:

1 box of toothpicks
1 heavy duty pair of scissors
1 or 2 bags of gumdrops
styrofoam cone... purchased at any craft supply shop
1 enthusiastic kid ...if you have more than one child...then double the amount of cones & gumdrops!

Cut the toothpicks in half before child starts & put the scissors out of their reach. :^)

Show child how to stick the toothpicks halfway into the gumdrop & push gumdrop into styrofoam cone. THere are no rules on how the gumdrops are to be placed on the this is totally fun!

If your child is good at following directions & learning from example...then this is the perfect activity for them. Be sure to constantly supervise your child...for ages 5 and under...gumdrops can pose a choking hazard...not to mention trying to eat a gumdrop with a toothpick sticking out of please be a responsible parent! ;^)
Have fun!

Note that I did this activity with my four year old while his younger sister was sleeping...2 years old is too young.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nature is a Wondrous Thing....

These are a few photos of my father in law who is a falconer with his Harris Hawk, Tara. He has over 30 years experience in bird handling & has even saved Tara from West Nile disease.

Falconry is not for everyone...and his bird is not a 'pet'. If you think you'd like to do it, then you have quite an undertaking ahead of you to get yourself educated ...and would even have to apprentice with a seasoned falconer & get licensed to do so.
Here is an informative website on falconry & it's history:
...and a link to the National Falconer's Association here in North America:

It is simply stunning to see Tara take flight...a truly magestic graceful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making Lollipops!

Last week I made some lollipops using a family recipe...and it was nice to be able to eat my creations for a change!

The kids were especially appreciative!

First you boil water, sugar & cream of tartar together...
...then add colors & flavors & pour into molds.

Sassafras & Cinnamon are my favorites I think...but they're all good & I always add more flavor than the recipe calls for to give them that extra kick!

Words cannot describe how good it smells in the house when I'm making candy...but if you've ever passed through Bryan, Ohio...and have smelled the candy being made at the Spangler candy company...makers of dum dum pops & candy canes...then it's kind of like that....only better!

...It just smells like Christmas to me!

I love how the lights from this little tree look when reflected in the pops setting up in the molds.