Nolan’s Birthday | 10 Gift Ideas Under $100

Hello!

I am so excited to do this post, I actually wanted to do this last year but I wanted to make this more for other families who have a little boy around Nolan’s age range so what was suppose to help our families, can help everyone! You can purely look at this as a wish list for him but you could look at this as ideas for Christmas too, although most of the items are under $20–I didn’t plan on that, it just happened!–I went for stuff he would love for the summertime. Every item I talk about in this post is subject to change, but even if some of them do, it would still be under $100 on Walmart’s website!

Nolan has a lot of interests, and according to his babysitter and OT, he is very smart and has a good imagination! He is very busy but he loves to get cozy with his blankets, books, stuffed animals and watch movies. And like every other little boy in the world, he loves anything wheels… so he has over 300+ cars, tractors, trucks, and a single toy wheelchair that is affectionally dubbed “Meghan’s” everytime he finds it through the basket at our house! I tried to remember the main things I knew he would enjoy the most for when I was creating the post but I think it could work for any kid in his age range too.

Blippi: Let’s Look and Find Book – $8.08

This year, I think, the theme will be about Blippi because he is utterly obsessed with this dude! He doesn’t watch him at our house so I’m not exactly familiar with him but I knew if I didn’t add anything Blippi related I’d probably get in trouble with him, so I was very happy to find this book. To me, it looks like this generation’s “Where’s Waldo” and/or “I Spy” and I think he might like it for that because he’s always had an eye for finding things – when he was a baby, he could find holes in things like clothes you didn’t even know about at the time!

It actually looks pretty hefty which considering the rest of his boxes, he might be ready for these thicker ones now.

Pinkfong Baby Shark Ultimate Sticker and Activity Book – $5.88

Last Christmas, when he went to visit Brandon’s family, he came back with a sticker book that he thoroughly enjoyed and when I saw that they had one of Baby Shark, I thought it was too cute to ignore. Nolan enjoys singing along with the songs and even has Aunt Meg doing the hand motions with her feet (thankfully they’re very easy for me to do!) but nothing is more funnier than dad trying to dance and Nolan getting mad at him for not doing it the right way!

Marvel’s Superheroes Board Box – $10.47

Nolan is starting to fall in love with superheroes, and so far he likes Marvel characters. Although at first he was saying “Batman” but now he is obsessed with the Hulk and Spider-Man.

There is a show all about the Hulk and his mates on Disney+ and I think he started watching it with the bigger kids at the babysitters during the week because we didn’t introduce it to him. I want to show him like X-Men but I also don’t want to scare the little dude either so I’m trying to hold off on as much as possible.

So while looking through Walmart’s website I saw this box full of books about Marvel’s characters, even I became a little jealous! The site says there are 12 books included and considering how cheap the entire block is, that’s really nice! They also have Pixar, Paw Patrol and Frozen blocks as well.

Large Plush Sloth Toy – $10.00

Besides his Hot Wheels cars, he also has a large amount of stuffed animals. He has two of my Husky pups in his toy hamper at our house but he also has Mimi’s cow she use to have on the kitchen table too! So, it was only right to include another one of his favorite animals to the mix, which is a sloth. There were a lot of different sloths but this was my favorite because it looks so cuddly and cute. He really would love it to pieces!

Bubble Play 64oz – $14.99

Another one of his favorite things in the world is bubbles! He has always loved bubbles since he was itty bitty, and it is so nice to see that he loves them so much because it is something that I still love too, so I thought it would be smart to include it in the list too.

M&M Character Candy Case – $3.00

This one might be a little weird, but for the past six months, Papaw has been giving him a handful of M&Ms from his secret stash and for a while, it was the only chocolate thing he would eat, but we think because they were covered in various colors that he wouldn’t see it as chocolate because everytime we tried to give him ice cream with chocolate syrup or chocolate chip cookies, he’d stay away from them.

I was hoping to find M&M plush toys but I think I will have to go on Amazon for that but then I saw these and I was like, I think he’d enjoy having the figurines up in his room.

Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Train & Race Car Paint Kits – $13.40

One of things that Nolan has been really interested to do is paint! I have to thank his occupational therapist for this because he use to hate having his hands dirty, and considering his mommy and I use to spend most of our childhood digging along the sidewalk of our nana and papaw’s house was very odd. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind getting a little messy now!

What I really liked about these kits is that they are wooden, so they are sturdy (hopefully) enough to last through Nolan’s playing and can be packed up and stored somewhere after he has grown out of them too. I just thought they would be cute to do with him or he could do them with his parents!

Garbage Truck Toys – $30.88

I have not included a lot of cars and trucks into this post because he has his fair share of these items already but if you are looking for something that could keep your child happy with multiple toys in one present, this might be your ticket for a lot of excitement!

It has over 10 trucks included and they range of various careers like construction to farming, and I thought it was pretty impressive honestly. It definitely could be worth the $30 in the end, you never know!

Play Food – $9.97

My nephew still loves his play kitchen, unfortunately, it didn’t come with food and for some odd reason, he still doesn’t have any after two years! I feel bad for him because he still “makes” us things and will use his actual snacks in the dishes so I feel like the poor kid needs something and thankfully, they are incredibly cheap on the website so that’s why I decided to include it on this post.

Melissa & Doug’s Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles – $9.79

Another thing that he really likes are puzzles. My mom bought him this little tin of puzzles for Christmas but nothing is in English nor did it come with an actual picture of how it was suppose to look like after you finish! We’ve had to hide it from him because we still don’t know what to do with it.

Once I started searching for puzzles, I was very careful as to what I was looking for, easy for all ages and most importantly for the adults, the main language is English! And I found Melissa and Doug brand of puzzles and I thought these would be perfect as you get more than one puzzle and again, they are wooden so they will definitely last longer than any of puzzle piece I think. And of course, they are of various vehicles, so I think we have a winner here.

I really hope you find this post helpful for you, as at this moment, I will not be doing a post for toddler girls but in the future, if you would like me to do it for Christmas, please let me know and I will consider the option. For anyone who have used these products in the past or present, I would also like to hear your thoughts (both good and bad!) and will relay the information back to my family.

If you could, what is one item on this list that you would purchase for their little man?

Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.

How I Decorate For Autumn!

Hello!

I bet you’re confused–it’s Monday but I’m not publishing a music playlist! I still think you’ll enjoy the change though, especially if you love decorating as much as me.

In September, I was able to get some fall décor for my room and I said towards the end of the post that I was going to hopefully show you where each item would end up, byway of a little tour. I’m not yet comfortable showing off my entire room, instead I’m just going to explain my way of thinking (or at least try to!) into how I wanted everything to look in certain areas, plus share with you how everything started out and the changes I made throughout the dreary season!

Let’s start with my door, because I have the only thing that has never changed places since it arrived to our house, and it is the pumpkin styled wreath that has faux berries, flowers, and leaves placed in the middle of the structure. It gives you a little sneak peek into what you will surely see once you go into the room.

I have really enjoyed seeing this wreath every day, and will probably be really sad to see it go once we get our Christmas decorations out sometime this week. As of now, I do not have a Christmas wreath and I don’t know if I will have one at the moment, but if I do find the perfect one, I’ll be posting it on my social media for you all to see of course!

One of my favorite things about my room is that I have a space in between two of my large treasures that allows me to not only have a Christmas tree but a good size autumnal display as well.

My mom purchased this absolutely beautiful sunflower rug when we first moved in two years ago, because the rug next to my bed blends into the floor but when we transferred from the bed to the wheelchair or commode–because we tried both!–my feet were slipping and sliding all over the place! What was really funny about this, is that on the tag it says, “non-slip” and although the rug never moved, we knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to keep it there! The material is like velvet, so really fuzzy and soft but apparently not great for what we do in front of the bed, so it was moved by the window and would be used for decoration for all holidays.

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I have loved only having one window, in my room,. In our old house, I actually had two windows, but I only used one because the other was covered with plastic to keep out the cold in the colder months.

The placement is perfect in many ways, if you pay attention to my “Three Good Things” on Instagram and Facebook in the evenings, you know how much I like to bird watch as I have quite a few bird friends that live in and around our backyard, but it is also the best backdrop for décor and even for my blog photos!

I have a translucent curtain with orange-y sunflowers all throughout; once I found it, I thought it would be different from having the normal thicker and darker shades of fabric and the latest addition are white cord lights all around the sides and front of it, which makes you feel cozy like instantly. I cannot tell you how happy I am when it’s nighttime and see the whole room illuminate in this warm glow and I feel so safe inside compared to how I felt in our old house.

Anyways, I have always wanted to decorate that area for the holidays. Christmas is easy because it is the perfect width to support a tree that’s both small and tall as you’ve probably seen in my posts last year. However, for autumn, I wanted to create a little oasis, that would blend in with the curtain, lights, and rug and thankfully I found some stuff that was perfect to showcase my love of fall.

When the stacked pumpkins arrived at our door, I knew that they would be perfect in the space in front of the window, but finding something that would separate them a little was somewhat difficult. I have another faux flower arrangement in a basket, and I’ve had this for years and have used it as props for blog posts but never had a place where they looked like that on purpose so I thought of putting it in between the pumpkins and placing other autumnal things around them. It took me a bit to arrange everything together, but I did get it all together where I thought I was happy with, but then within a week after taking my pictures of the finished project, I was given even more stuff to spruce up the piece again.

This is what it originally looked like for a good week and half until I changed most of the layout.

So….

My mom went to work one day and sometimes, they do little games and she had won this beautiful plump black and white plaid throw pillow that is somewhat heavy to lift but has a nice design on the front: it reads, “Pumpkin Patch” in between a dark grayish truck full of pumpkins (my nephew is in love with the truck by the way!) and at the bottom of it, has the words “pumpkins, apples, and hay rides” and it is just the cutest thing ever! It doesn’t match anything in our living room, so mom instantly just gave it to me and I had it for one day before I came up with a brand new plan.

The day I worked on this, I was committed to take on the challenge of moving this pillow around and switching out various things by my window to make my vision happen. I kept my pumpkins the way they were, but moved out the flower arrangement and put the pillow in its spot. Now here was the tricky part. The pillow did not want to stay still once I got it in the right place. Thanks to the silky rug underneath it, all it wanted to do was slide down as I was moving everything around! It was annoying but I got through it in one piece! I ended up having to squeeze everybody together to make sure it stayed upright, and that’s why you’ll the pumpkins sitting very close to it.

The flowers I moved to the right side because on the other side I had another project that has taken me ages to finish, but it is very heavy and takes up quite a bit of room on that left corner so the only thing I had that could fit on that side was a witch figurine that my nana gave me a few years ago that has never had the best luck at finding the right home either, so it was amazing luck that everything worked great together and made the display even better than I had dreamed the night before!

And now I can show you the final result that is in front of my lone window.

During the week my mom received the pillow, we went up north to visit with family for a couple of days, and my cousin Amy, her wife Danielle and their kids came over on the second day we were there and they brought these cute wood cravings in different Halloween-y designs for everyone to do together. Nolan painted the cutest pumpkins ever and my nana and I worked on my witch, I did the sides in brown while I painted the front in this purple-blueish hue and added a lot of white dots everywhere! Inside each craving are lights that are battery operated and mine flicker with multiple colors at once and even though I was slightly angry I added so many dots, it actually worked out great with the lights in the background. We placed it in front of the TV because I don’t have a bigger space for it, maybe I can come up with a better solution next year.

The final item to arrive and put up was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever encountered while decorating and DIYing!

As I mentioned in my haul, I absolutely adore the moon. I have always wanted something that was moon related in my room, whether it was a poster or banner, I didn’t care. However, I found out through this, that it pays to look at reviews before buying because it was a disaster!

When it arrived, we opened the package and it didn’t come with instructions so we relied on YouTube for help, which was fine! The next part was getting them attached to their pedant and this was really irritating both of my parents and what made things worse was we had three that broke upon clipping together and then on top of that, you have one side that is very shiny gold and the back is grey and dull which at first, it was okay, until you went to put them on the wall and they were facing the wrong direction.

We were going to put it underneath my TV, because the base and we were hoping that the gold line would be able to fit across the mantle. We had made that decision after my mom lost the long cord, and after finding it back in the box it came in, we were back to my idea that was having it hang above my bed and it does fit between the long section of the wall and thanks to the Command hooks, it was easy to arrange it like a theater stage curtain with a rounded effect. You could easily have the two markers but I saw an image on Pinterest that had a third hook in the middle so it makes that loop design on each side and I really loved it that way so that’s what we agreed on!

Once we got it hung up on the wall, we kept it there for a bit before deciding on how to fix our next problem. The worst part of the whole thing, was ours had some type of red markings on at least four pieces! Since we were still painting pumpkins during this time, I was allowed to do a little experiment and use purple paint to hopefully solve our issue; and it happened to be the greatest thing because it didn’t matter if they were facing each other or not, at least they were one color. I painted 10 moon phases with two coats of a royal purple on both sides – while the middle moon was left out of the family day of painting and was only covered with one coat with the same paint. This one is more purple-y because of this decision but everybody is in agreement, it makes it look more unique because its the full moon.

Here was the before and after pictures of the moon banner!

In my mini haul, I said I had bought a throw blanket and a T-Shirt but I don’t have any photos of those things. I am hoping I will maybe do a OOTD for you but we’ll have to see what happens because December is coming and I have a lot of Blogmas and New Year posts to get up soon so I might have to do it on Instagram or something.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and got a kick out of what goes on in my mind as far coming up with a plan and fixing issues while decorating my own room! Again, I have no plans for Christmas décor, but will definitely work on a post if I do get some things soon!

Did you decorate your house/apartment/bedroom for autumn? What was your favorite item? And what was your most frustrating piece to put together?

snowflake

DIY: Last Minute Pumpkin Ideas!

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Hello!

We are two weeks out before Halloween (a week for those of you who will be celebrating 27th and on!) and after Monday’s post, I was really inspired to compile all of my favorite pumpkin crafts for you! I think crafting with pumpkins is a fun thing to do both as an adult and if you’re parent with young children! It’s like the seasonal coloring book you never thought you needed until later on.

For the most part, every post has a list of what you’d need and I have even done step-by-step photographs in case you get lost in my words which has happened before! I try to be very helpful in guiding you through all of the projects, some might be a little confusing and I do apologize for that. Sometimes we just made up the rules as we went along and that can be pretty fun too! You are welcome to interpret what you see into anything your heart desires as long as you enjoy what you’re doing and don’t stress about your mistakes!

  • The Pumpkins – I have many versions of how to melt crayons on pumpkins but this one is visually pleasing I think. The pictures turned out beautifully, so that is the main reason why I am sharing this one instead. 
  • The “America” Pumpkin – This is a clear example of a last minute pumpkin idea, my nana and I actually worked on this early November and I published the post later that month while we discussed what we were going to do for Christmas! This is probably the simplest one out of the bunch!
  • Awareness Glitter Pumpkin – I decided to include this one because October is the month for two very big things: Breast Cancer and Domestic Abuse. My Great Aunt Shirley is a survivor of breast cancer and my sister is a survivor of domestic abuse. So it has a double meaning for me!
  • Ophelia Pumpkin – I actually got the idea to do this after seeing it in the magazine Country Living and I guess I loved the idea so much that I ended up just doing it!
  • The Punk-y Pumpkin – This one is an older post, when we didn’t have anything for our crafts yet. However we made do with a least used nail polish and a tub of silver glitter! 

I am sorry that these are the only ideas I have on my blog, I actually have more but they don’t have any good photos and I’m pretty sure my writing in general is down right awful so if you want to check the rest out, go to my search box on the top right and put in “pumpkins” and it should give you all of the posts, plus a few other Halloween inspired crafts too!

Hope you have enjoyed this post!

snowflake

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DIY: Christmas Gift Bags!

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Howdy!

My nana and I decided to do our annual goody bags like we did last year, however We’ve added quite a bit of homemade things to the bags! First is our addition of a lone Holly ornament that we ultimately decided to include inside the baggies! I also wanted to do something else besides our normal Christmas cookies we do every year, so I thought about doing a chocolate bark. We made two different kinds of it and I will be publishing that post once January comes along! I figured if I included it into this post, nobody would want to read the post in general. I hope you understand!

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What you will need for this:

  • Brown paper bags
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Wax paper
  • Glitter glue (optional)
  • Tags (optional)

Now I have to say this before we start, my nana and I separated our family in two stacks. She decorated a number of bags and I picked out the ones I wanted to do. She went the simple route while I wanted to paint, of course! We also got each other! We also put regular tags on the bottom of each baggy so we could keep track of who we were decorating for and we just glued them with a regular glue stick, well I did!

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I had a total of 9 people I had to decorate bags for and I only had two designs that I was already sort of comfortable with so everybody essentially got the same thing but I did try to mix up the colors a bit on each one, so nobody would get jealous! I went with a standard Christmas tree and a snowman. I wanted to make it as easy on me as possible!

How I made the Christmas trees:

Something that my nana used while she was busy doing hers was she placed a sheet of wax paper inside the bags so the paint or glue doesn’t seep through to the other side and basically stain or stick together! After I completed each baggy, I removed the folded sheet and placed it inside the next one because I didn’t want to waste any more sheets at the rate I was moving!

Do you remember when we made those banners and I said I made circles in the middle of the paper plates so we would know when to stop painting? Well, I used this method for this project too! It seems to do me well to start out like this, so I grabbed a normal pencil that my nana had in the kitchen and started drawing a simple triangle and rectangle at the bottom the tree for the stump!

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I picked the darkest green I could find in our storage bin and I tried to stay inside the lines of the shapes and I used a medium size brush so it didn’t go too far out of the drawing and then after I was finished with the green (which was the perfect shade!) I switched brushes and color to a brown and it was called “nutmeg brown” but I was just happy that when I placed the first stroke of paint that it showed up–leave it to me to forget about the whole brown paper bag part!

When we went out for Black Friday, my Aunt Laurie found these specialty glue sticks full of glitter in different colors. She got two brands and they each had a tip at the end, so it was easy for me to squeeze the container and make the designs from there. For this bag, I used the gold for tinsel and tried to make an even line across and then I used both silver and red as the ornaments; this took a bit to master as I like to basically hold everything to a tilt and I noticed everytime I would do this the glue would drag and no longer look like a ball so it wasn’t until I straightened it up that it would just drip down nice and pretty without dragging along. Everyone is a beginner at something!

After each step and bag I finished, I would place the bags in front of her screen door because I thought the cold air would dry the paint and glue a lot faster than waiting an hour for each one. This actually worked a lot better than I thought it would, even my nana was surprised!

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How I made the Snowmen:

When I decided to make the snowmen, I sort of thought these would be easier to work on but that was not the case! It was fun, don’t get me wrong but I realized that circles were not the easiest to paint with a pair of frozen toes!

I did the same thing with the Christmas trees, I drew three circles on top of each other, starting with the smallest and working my way down. The middle sort of turned into an oval while I was both drawing and painting it because the center of the bag wasn’t as flat as I’d like it to be, but it was okay. When I started coating the white on it, I started to realize it sort of looked like a fancy dollop of whipped cream and this was my Uncle David’s bag and while we had pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, he gave himself a generous helping of whipped cream on top that you didn’t even see the pumpkin pie anymore!

Once the white paint was dried, I picked the red glitter glue again but this time used the green as the dots on his belly. I squeezed the container of red glitter across its little neck and made a swoop at the side to act like wind had blown it that way! I get really creative sometimes! When I started doing the dots, I realized I made its body too small so the last one is a little lower than I originally wanted it to be! As far as decorating its face, I had to use black paint because we didn’t have any glittery black which was fine, I don’t think my uncle would like that much glitter on his bag!

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How I made the Batman:

I had written on Brandon’s tag “Batman” because that’s what I tend to call him, but I went one step further when I thought about painting a Batman/Snowman on his bag. It started out innocently and then it somehow turned into a disaster!

I did the same thing I had done with the Snowman bags, I originally was going to give him a Snowman but I just added the bat ears at the top so I would remember to paint in that area too! This was actually fine, nothing went wrong here it was what happened afterwards when I went to put on its face and body. I could not for the life of me think of how to decorate him or what the bat symbol looked like so I improvised… I made the eyes yellow in arrows looking down and he has an aqua chest. It looks awful! I’m not talking in past tense either because I’m still not a fan of it!

Later on that day, my nana and I had to do some chores in the rest of her house and I had left my jacket on throughout the first half of the visit, even while I was painting because I was still located around her door, so it can get pretty chilly in that area so sometimes I just leave my coat on. When we went into her office, I had her take off my jacket and she started laughing and I couldn’t figure out why she was cracking up until I looked down at my chest and saw what I was wearing. I had my Batman shirt on and then I started laughing at myself because I knew I had it on but I literally forgot about it in that short time span!

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The Batman design wasn’t only the silly thing that happened. While I was working on my cousin Chris’s bag, which I wanted to make completely goofy but I thought I already ruined one bag, I didn’t need to do that again. Anyways, after I had painted the scarf and put on his buttons, I was moving on to his face and I saw this royal blue on the table so I grabbed it and attempted to take off the lid like I had been doing the whole time and I guess I flicked it open too fast or something because the next thing I knew my feet and half of the board we paint on top of was covered in this blue paint. I felt like Harriet in Harriet The Spy just felt disgusted being covered in paint and my nana was in the other room and I hollered for her with “uh, I am in need of your assistance!” I think I made her laugh more that day than I had in the last month or so!

I wanted to end this post with a simple message to everybody out there. Even if you didn’t celebrate Christmas or hang out with your family, I hope you still enjoy the day doing whatever you’re doing, whether if you’re at work or lounging around at home! I hope you have liked this post and are ready for the new year posts coming later this week!

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Now that both are finished, what do you think of the gift bags? Do you think this is something you might do for a birthday or next Christmas?

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