Archive for the Holiday Category

Dec 1 2016

Christmas Advent Calendar

Hello December!

This month is a special one for many reasons. First and foremost it’s the month in which we celebrate our Savior’s birth! It’s a month full of traditions and celebrations, including my daughter’s first birthday….I can’t even believe how quickly this year has gone by and that I’m going to have a one year old!

I want to savor each and every day this month with my family, soaking up the sounds, smells and tastes of the season!  One of my favorite traditions and ways to make this month special is by creating an advent calendar.  When I was younger we’d always have one, whether it was one of those cardboard houses with the chocolates behind each window or one made from strips of construction paper to make a chain.

Keeping with tradition, I put together a new advent calendar for this year. I wanted to keep it simple and neutral, and that’s just what I did.  It was super easy and I know it’s already December 1st, but it’s not too late to make one yourself!  Just take a quick trip to the craft store (don’t forget your coupon!)

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Here’s what you will need:

  • 24 muslin drawstring bags (found in the wedding craft aisle at Michael’s)
  • 1 star Christmas ornament (roughly the same size as the bags)
  • 25 mini clear Command hooks/strips
  • Stickers numbered 1 through 25 (or stencils or stamps and paint)
  • List of activities and small goodies to fill your bags with
  • Large chalkboard, canvas or wall to attach your bags to

You may find, like I did, that the muslin bags come in packs of 12.  I only needed 25 and wasn’t about to buy a third bag just to use one from it.  I decided to use a star Christmas ornament for Day 1 of my advent calendar.  You’ll then place stickers 2 through 25 on the muslin bags.  Attach command strip hooks to your chalkboard/wall/whatever surface you choose.  I decided to arrange mine in the shape of a Christmas tree.  My bags came with the strings tied in a knot.  I untied them and tied a bow keeping a small loop between the bag and the bow so I could hang from the hooks.  Also, this way the bags didn’t hand so low from the hooks.  Fill each bag with a fun activity to do that day of December or with a small little candy or gift.  For larger items, add a clue for where to find the gift in the little bag.  There you have it, and pretty inexpensive too!

Make this your own, keep it simple and work with what you have. If you have a bulletin board, hang the bags with push pins, or run strips of ribbon on your wall or backdrop and attach the bags to the ribbon with small clothespins.  You can see the advent calendar I made last year here.

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Here are some ideas of activities you could include in your advent calendar:

  • Decorate Christmas Tree
  • Visit Santa Claus
  • Go For a Drive to Look at Christmas Lights
  • Decorate a Gingerbread House
  • Make Christmas Cookies
  • Watch a Christmas Movie – Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.
  • Pack a Shoe Box with Gifts For a Child In Need
  • Make Hot Cocoa
  • Go Christmas Caroling
  • Deliver Candy to a Neighbor

Can’t wait to experience the magic of Christmas through this little one’s eyes! She is excited for our Christmas Advent Calendar.

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Wishing you the Merriest Christmas Season!

Signature - Alisa

 

 

 

Nov 28 2016

Our Etsy Shop!

Hello Everyone!  It’s been such a long time!  We have missed this space and all of you!  We hope that you all are doing well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  A lot has happened with both of us since we’ve updated you last.  We both had baby girls who are now one and almost one, both of us moved into new homes which with kiddos is no small feat!   Last year, after both having baby girls six months apart we took a little break from blogging, as you probably noticed. We have continued to find ways to be creative, and that’s how our new business, Alivia and Lillie, was born… Inspired by our sweet girls we started making headbands and bows.

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We were excited to formally launch our business at a Holiday Open House a week ago and were so grateful for the wonderful turnout!  We’ve been working hard to get our Etsy shop up and running in time for the holiday season.  We are excited to say that it is now open!

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Our headbands are one size fits most and made with a nylon band that is very comfortable on your little ones heads.  Our Christmas prints are perfect for upcoming Christmas photos or for stocking stuffers.

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My Lillie girl is modeling one of my favorite bows….the Lillie bow!  This soft pink looks so darling!  And sweet Alivia is modleing our Cora bow.

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We have so many cute patterns! I’m loving this sweet pink and black and white combo!  Mix and match and create a fun color combo to add to your little one’s collection!

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We would be so honored to have you all check it out and if you have any feedback we would welcome that as well.  If you would like to email us your thoughts that would be wonderful!  Also, go check out and please like our Facebook page, so that you can be the first to know news about our Etsy shop! We are also on Instagram as well @alivia_and_lillie. We would love to have you follow us on our new adventure!  We are offering 20% off any purchase today for cyber Monday.  Enter coupon code CYBERMONDAY20. And we would love for your to share us with your friends!  We are so thankful for your continued support and encouragement.  We hope you have a wonderful week!

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Nov 29 2015

Christmas Card Wreath

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful joy-filled Thanksgiving with your families.  We are so thankful for each and every one of you that read our blog, send us emails and leave sweet and encouraging comments.  You all are the best!

Today we are participating in a Creative Christmas Craft Blog Hop and we have a super easy and inexpensive Christmas craft to share with you.  Let’s face it, you will be getting a ton of Christmas cards in the mail these next coming weeks and you only have so much room on the fridge or mantel to display.  So, why not make a Christmas card wreath to display your cards!

DIY Christmas Card Wreath

Materials Needed:

  • (1) 14 inch embroidery hoop
  • (9) mini wooden clothespins (1 3/4 inch long)
  • Wood glue
  • Ribbon
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Christmas Card Wreath materials

Instructions:

Step 1: Using a ruler or sewing measuring tape, space out your clothespins evenly around the embroidery hoop.  You will want to alternate the clothespins so that every other clothespin opens in the opposite direction (1 inward, the next one outward).  Start with the clothespin at the very bottom of the hoop and position in in line with the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop.  If the hoop was a clock, the bottom clothespin would be at the 6:00 position.  Space 4 clothespins evenly to the right and left of the bottom clothespin.

Christmas Card Wreath Step 1

Step 2: Use a pencil and carefully mark the placement of each of your clothespins, in case they move before you secure them.  Carefully attach your clothespins to the embroidery hoop using wood glue.  Again, make sure to alternate the clothespins to that every other one opens in the opposite direction.  You can use a glue gun, however they will not be as secure as when using wood glue and may fall off when opening and closing the clothespins or when storing your wreath after the Christmas season.

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Step 3: Once your wood glue has dried (may take a few hours), tie a ribbon around the top of the embroidery hoop, covering the screw.  You will want to leave room between the hoop and the knot of the bow so that the bow doesn’t sit directly on the hoop.  This allows more space for your Christmas cards.

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Step 4: Tie a piece of twine to the ribbon to use to hang your wreath.

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Step 5: Clip your Christmas cards to your clothespins.  Instead of cards you can also use to display cute Christmas themed scrapbook paper or notecards!

Christmas Card Wreath by All In Good Twine

Christmas Card Wreath

There you have it!  Super simple right?  Now you have somewhere to display all those Christmas cards that will be pouring in soon!  Get creative and put your own spin on it: paint the embroidery hoop or add washi tape to the clothespins.  To hold even more cards, you can add more clothespins, or attach a second or third embroidery hoop to the first one.  You could even do 3 different embroidery hoop sizes to resemble a snowman.  You could use this same concept to create an advent calendar; instead of displaying Christmas cards, clip envelopes with numbers 1 through 25 and fill the envelope with an activity to do as a family.

Hope you try this out and make your own!  How do you like to display your Christmas cards?

Also, check out how to make our DIY Advent Calendar here!

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Be sure to check out the rest of the crafts in the Creative Christmas Blog Hop by clicking on the links below!


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Nov 6 2015

Christmas! {An Advent Book}

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe we are into November already!  Christmas is right around the corner and I want to share with you a wonderful Advent Book that just came out this month!  It’s called “Christmas! The whole story of the God who loves” by Natasha Metzler.  This book is wonderful for the whole family and I love that it tells the story of Jesus’ birth starting at the very beginning in Genesis!  For each day, there is a very short (one minute) Bible story and a gorgeous illustration to go with it.  Below are some sample pages of the book.

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Kids will love hunting for a little bug that is hidden on each page!

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It reminds me a lot of the Jesus Storybook Bible that my family loves to read.  I really love how the author of this advent book shows how each story, even in the Old Testament, points back to Jesus.  The one word titles are very powerful.  I also love how every time the author mentions when God speaks she adds “Really great things happen when God speaks.”   I can’t wait to do read this advent book with my family this year, especially with how much my son loves Bible stories and is understanding more and more.

Here are some ideas I have for ways to incorporate this advent book into your Christmas season with your family:

  1.  This is a great supplement to an advent calendar.  It really puts the focus on Jesus.  Read the story first and then do your advent calendar.
  2. Read the day’s story at the dinner table before or after the meal and start a discussion with the family.
  3. Make a craft or activity to go with each day.  You can find lots of crafts to go with Bible stories through Pinterest.  We have really enjoyed these file folder games for preschool age kiddos.
  4. Act out the story with your family.
  5. Discuss, with your children, how the illustration on each page helps to tell that day’s story.
  6. Before reading the day’s story, show your children the illustration from the previous day and recap what happened.
  7. Use water colors to recreate the picture for each day or create your own picture to go with what stood out to you in the story.
  8. After reading the day’s story (for older kids) use the titles to say or write a summary or for younger kiddos, draw a picture.
  9. Each day when you read the story work on memorizing all of the titles of the chapters in order so that at the end you have a 25 word summary of the Christmas story.  This would be really cool to recite on Christmas!

Christmas!” is now available on Amazon.  Go buy a copy so you can start on December 1st!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

*affiliate links used.  Thank you to the author, Natasha, for providing me with a copy to review.  As always all opinions are mine.

Signature - Marissa

Mar 9 2015

Mommy Monday: St. Patrick’s Day Fun For Kids

Today I want to share some easy projects you can do with your kiddos for a little St. Patrick’s Day Fun:

1.  Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt– When I taught third grade I would do this every year and the kids loved it.  I left a little note sitting out that was “from the leprechauns.”  Each clue led us to a new hiding spot with another clue and then finally to the treasure which can be anything from a special treat, a book, play gold coins, etc.

2.  Rainbow Counting Book– I recently shared this fun project and thought you could tweak it to be more for St. Patrick’s Day by doing rainbows, leprechauns, pots of gold or shamrocks as the counting objects.

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3. Make Chocolate Mint Trifles Together–  Alisa shared this recipe a while back and I think it would be great to make with your kiddos.  Brownies, pudding, whipped cream, and cookies…what’s not to love!!

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4.  Learn about St. Patrick– We went to our local library and checked out a couple books with the St. Patrick’s Day theme and read them together.  You could also google videos about St. Patrick for kids.  (Make sure to preview them first 😉 )

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5. Do-A-Dot Rainbow– To make this rainbow we used the Do-A-Dots that can be found here.  We counted the dots as we made them.  Then we glued cotton balls for clouds at the ends of the rainbow.

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6.  Go on a Green Hunt –  Go around your house looking for things that are green.  Collect them in a basket or spot in the house and then count them, categorize them, and talk about what letter/sound they start with.

7.  Have a St. Patrick’s Day inspired snack/lunch– some suggestions would be to have green food such as kiwi, green jello, green grapes, zucchini, green apples.  You could get a shamrock cookie cutter and make shamrock shaped sandwiches for lunch!  Involve your little one in thinking of things to eat that would go with your theme.

*affiliate links used

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Signature - Marissa

Feb 9 2015

Mommy Monday: Simple Valentine Activities for Prescholers

Happy Monday All!

I hope that you all had a great weekend!

Today I wanted to share some simple Valentine activities that you can do with your preschoolers.  I have lots of ideas about all the fun themed crafts and activities I want to do with my little guy as I comb Pinterest, but to tell you the truth sometimes all those amazing pins just overwhelm me.  They involve too much or they aren’t “two year old friendly.”  So today I wanted to share some activities that I did with my little guy that were not too involved and were at his ability level.

1.  Valentine Cards

I took some cardstock paper folded it in half and let my son draw on it with red and pink crayons.  Then I helped him glue some construction paper hearts and doiley hearts on.  We also added glitter because what else is better than glitter to a two year old!

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My son’s sweet little friend was over (she’s 3) and she had a blast making cards for her mommy and daddy too.  She dictated what she wanted written on her card to me and I wrote it on and she decorated the rest.

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2. Toilet Paper Roll Heart Painting

I had seen this idea on Pinterest and knew it was the perfect way to use up some of the toilet paper rolls I had been saving for crafts.  You simply push on the toilet paper roll in one spot so it caves in and makes a heart.  I put some non-toxic finger paints on a paper plate and let the kids dip their toilet paper rolls in it and stamp it on their paper.

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And of course we added glitter to ours!  This went really well and the kids loved it.

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3.  Heart Hunt

I took some heart cutouts and hid them around the room (I just taped them on furniture).  Then my son went around and found the hearts and put them in a basket.  We then counted the hearts and sorted them into colors.

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Do you have any favorite Valentine activities that you do with young kiddos?  I’d love to hear them!

Check out other Mommy Monday posts below:

DIY Child’s Prayer Book / It’s The Little Things In Motherhood-Kermi / Kid’s Train Birthday Party / Busy Bag Swap  

Sorting Colors Activitites / Beginning Preschool Activities / Lessons From My Little One / It Takes A Village / Themed Play Date Ideas 

 DIY Paint Chip Color Book / 5 Fun Toddler Activities / 5 Fun Toddler Activities / 5 Fun and Free Toddler Activities

Hope you all have a great day!

Signature - Marissa

 

Jan 21 2015

Valentine Printable: Vintage Blooms

Have you all seen the HGTV design show Fixer Upper?  I’m pretty much obsessed; I’ve watched from the beginning and have never missed an episode!  Hosts Chip & Joanna Gaines finds, renovates and decorates old homes for their clients in Waco, Texas.  Season Two just recently started and if you haven’t watched, you are missing out!  I always get so inspired by seeing how they decorate the homes.  So what does this have to do with a Valentine printable?!  In one of the recent episodes they were helping a cute young couple look for their first home.  The couple had this saying “Grow old along with me the best is yet to be.”  Joanna (the host and designer) had a metal art piece made for their home with this saying on it.  I just thought that was the sweetest saying and was my inspiration behind this Valentine printable.

The best part about this printable is that you can keep it up all year long if you wanted to, since it doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day!  The vintage blooms remind me of those vintage Valentine’s Day postcards.   You can download this printable by clicking on the link towards the bottom of this post.  You can print the download in any size you’d like.  Below I’ve shown you some ways to display printables.  You can also print out and use as a Valentine’s Day card for your loved one, by writing a message on the back. -just saved you $4.00 right there 😉

One of my favorite ways to display a print is with washi tape.  The nice part about washi tape is that it doesn’t ruin the wall/surface after you remove the tape.  The print displayed below is an 8×10.

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Another way is to display your print in a frame.  The print below is a 4×6.

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Or, just cut the print to size and prop it against your favorite piece of decor.

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Marissa shows another adorable way to display your printables in this post.

I’d love how to see how you display this printable. Share your pictures on your Instagram with the following hashtag: #allingoodtwine and tag me in your picture: @alisambloom

Download Printable Here

The colors are a lot more vibrant in the image below, but I kind of love how mine printed.  The colors are softer and muted, almost vintage like, which is the look I was going for.

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a wonderful week…the best is yet to be!

Signature - Alisa