Friday, December 31, 2010

Inexpensive New Year's Eve With Your Family

 This year I wanted to still make the house look festive and like a party without spending any money at the craft store or party store. I had saved the hats and glasses from the years past and decided to keep the theme similar to our past traditions.
 I used white drawing paper that we had as a table runner. I then used markers to make a "timeline" on the night's events and activities.
 8 p.m. Dinner
 9 p.m. I bought Table Topics. These are cards with questions and conversation starters. You can find them at This was my favorite gift this Christmas for some family members!
 10 p.m. Time for the annual reading of our "Blessing Jar." Throughout the year we all right blessings, a things we enjoyed and are thankful for. It is so much fun to read what each other wrote. A good suggestion is dating your "blessings." We have a jar that was a gift, but you can use anything to start this great family tradition.

We the plan to write our "Goals and Wishes" for 2011...
 11 p.m. time to melt chocolate and dip strawberries and marshmallows for a sweet New Year!

Also time to look through our favorite photos of the year past.
 Midnight...time to ring in the New Year with a toast for good health, love, prosperity and happiness!

 Note: this beautiful banner was made by my daughter...this was her idea and beautiful addition to our New Year Table!
 How cute is her drawing! I love it!

Happy New Year's to all!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Ugly" and Tacky Christmas Party 2010

 Once again we had our annual Ugly/Tacky Christmas Family Party!

 This is a perfect way to celebrate with your family or friends (or both!)....We had a table set up just for Christmas Cookies and desserts
 Thank You Aunt Jenny for the delicious Cake Pops!
 Once again we wore our Ugly Sweaters
 Now for the ideas to help make your Party Special...

Gift Card Exchange

We had a gift card exchange this year.
We had everyone bring a $25 gift certificate (from anywhere...we asked everyone to be creative), we had a separate exchange for kids and adults.
We drew numbers and made it a "Dirty Santa Game", like a white elephant exchange...that way there was switching and stealing  of the gift cards.

Gag Gift Exchange

We then asked every one to bring a gag gift, and played "dirty Santa" with the gag gifts as well!

Next came a new game....

"Left, Right, Left"

To begin everyone stands in a circle.  I gave out small bags with silly inexpensive gifts inside (i.e. candy, small toys, hand made gifts...), the bags were sealed and everyone wondered what was inside. I then read the story. When I said the word RIGHT, you hand the bag to the right, and when I read the word LEFT, you pass the gift to the left.


The Right Family Christmas Story Christmas was almost here and Mother RIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking. Father RIGHT, Susie RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT returned from their last minute Christmas errands. "There's not much LEFT to be done," said Father RIGHT as he came into the kitchen. "Did you leave the basket of food at Church?" asked Mother RIGHT? "I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to," said Billy RIGHT." "I don't have any money LEFT." The hall telephone rang, and Susie RIGHT LEFT to answer it. She rushed back and told the family, "Aunt Tillie RIGHT LEFT a package for us RIGHT on Grandma RIGHT's porch. I'll go over there RIGHT now and get it," she said as she LEFT in a rush. Father RIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas Tree. By the time Susie RIGHT returned, Mother RIGHT, Father RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT had begun trimming the tree. The entire RIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating. Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family. Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that's all that's LEFT of our story, except to wish you a Merry Christmas, isn't that RIGHT?

We then drew numbers again and let everyone, steal and switch again!

Next we had a Trivia Contest
I found questions on the internet and read the questions and had a silly gift for the winner....Trivia Questions are always a big hit....

 a huge hit was Christmas Snuggies (found on sale last year the day after Christmas!)
 These  are  a couple pictures from the gag gift exchange...Nothing says christmas like suspenders with shot glasses...
the Grand Finale....Kazoos!
Yes, Christmas songs with everyone on Kazoos!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

24 days to Christmas "Good Deed Jar"

24 Days to Christmas
Good Deed Jar

This is what we are doing in place of an Advent Calendar. We are counting down to Christmas by doing "good deeds".  This is a list of 24 simple acts of kindness we plan to each complete prior to Christmas.
Each day we will complete an easy task, then  write down on sheets of paper the deed we completed that day and place the paper in the jar. 
On Christmas Eve, we will place our "good deed" jar under the tree as a gift for Santa.

Here is a list of our 24 "Good Deeds":

24 Days til Christmas
Good Deed Jar

1. Tell someone you are proud of them.
2. Send an encouraging card to sick child through
3. Smile and say hello to a stranger
4. Buy a co-worker lunch, coffee or a snack (or bring a friend a snack at lunch)
5. Recycle
6. Drop some extra change in “give a penny, take a penny jar”
7. Write a co-worker or friend a handwritten thank you note
8. Give someone a hug
9. Send a Thank you note or card to someone in the military
10. Leave 50 cents in a vending machine
11. Give someone a compliment
12. Forgive someone you have been holding a grudge against
13. Open the door for a stranger
14. Pick up liter on the ground
15. Drop an anonymous “Have a great day” card in a neighbors mailbox
16. Let a stranger ahead or you in line (driving, store, school, anywhere)
17. Leave your mail carrier or garbage man a thank you note
18. Say a prayer for people you know who are sick or hurting
19. Give an extra large tip to a waiter or waitress
20. Give away books or magazines to a charity or hospital
21. Clean out toys or clothes to give to a charity
22. Spend extra time playing with your pets
23. Surprise someone in your family with helping with chores, cleaning or just a note of thanks
24. Call up a relative or friend just to say “hello”

“Today give a stranger one of your smiles….It might be the only sunshine he sees all day….”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Science Party

 Warning:This is going to be an extra large post. I gave my nephew a "Science Party" for his 11th birthday. After hours of research, it came out amazing! I hope this posting will help anyone plan  a "cool" party for boys or girls (including adults!)
 Welcome to "Trevor's Mad Lab" do need to be organized,  I recommend the dollar store for the tinfoil tins and other goodies
 the dining room area was the "Lab Cafeteria", I found sticky skulls after Halloween and put them on water bottles
 This was our "Sugar Molecules" or sweet table. the cake was from the Family Fun site, 2 bundt cakes with a glass flower vase in the middle. When we sang Happy Birthday, I added water and dry ice to the vase for a smoking beaker cake.
 Most of the candies and sweets were found after Halloween on sale!

 In our family room, I took down all photos from the shelves and hung reusable hooks and displayed the "lab coats" and goggles. Goggles were bought from
Lab coats were extra large t-shirts cut down the middle with name tags.
The Mad Scientist names were: Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Hyde, Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Einstein. Dr. Evil, Dr. Doofenshmirtz.....have fun with this!

 This was a great touch...I hung in all the doorways a clear garbage bag shredded to divide the "Lab"
 the Lab decorations were ball jars with dye and dollar store bugs, etc.
Note the "Haz Mat" red bags, I asked my doctor for the bags!

 Halloween skull came in handy!
 Halloween Stickers were perfect for this party!

 First experiment: Screaming Balloons
 We made Lava Lamps

 Insta Snow was amazing and a huge hit! (Ordered this)
 Atomic Slime another hit!

 Now it was glow stick science.
 Next came "Dry Ice Fun"

 This was great. Dry Ice Bubbles

 Time for explosions...
 A must do...Alka Seltzer rockets! (had to order the film canisters!)

 Last, but not least, diet coke and Mentos!
I recommend ordering the Mento Geyser packs from

 Time for the Cake....just add dry ice! a smoking cake....

Happy Birthday Trevor!