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10 Homemade Family Board Games

With New Years Eve sitting right in our laps, you may be looking for a few fun family games to spend the evening with.  After all, what better way to ring in the New Year than with a resolution for a weekly family together night? I know I plan to do a little better this year with our family evenings.  I hope to get started with these personalized family games that would be perfect for some family together time.

1. 2012 New Years Eve Bingo free Printable.

2. Family Yahtzee by The Thrifty Chick.
4. Homemae Memory Game by Make and Takes.

6. Handmade Chess Set from Saints, Warriers, Tigers, Lovers Art.
7. Family Board Game from Delia Creates.

8. Pebble Domino Game Set by Super Mom Moments.
9. Family Guess Who Game by At Second Street.
10. Homemade Book-opoly Game from Young Homemakers.

2012 Year in Review Bingo Game Printable

With the end of the year, we find ourselves looking back at the highlights and low lights of 2012.  After taking a hard look, I noticed there was a lot of bad news that went on this year.  It was a little depressing, but I made a New Year's Eve Bingo game to share with you.  I tried to not have a whole lot of bad, so there are some strange news events in it.

Such as Wendy's becoming the 2nd largest hamburger food chain, The Lion King edging out Phantom of the Opera as the #1 Best Selling Broadway Show, and Gmail becoming the most popular free email service.

There are also sad things such as the demise of Hostess, Whitney Houston's death, and Representative Gifford stepping down from Congress.

I've included 10 sheets of 2 bingo cards, for a total of 20 cards.  Hopefully, that's enough for your New Year's group.  Plus, there are 4 sheets of 12 bingo tabs for a total of 48 news events.

Simply download the bingo game, unzip the file, and print onto cardstock for a fun way to review the year.  You can go to our 2012 New Years bingo game to print free!

New Years Eve Game Night

I've told you before how I HATE New Years Eve.  I'm just not a late night kind of girl.  So this holiday is not one that I usually celebrate with any kind of grace or style.  (You can ask my friends or hubby...I usually just sit in the corner and wish I was in bed.)

But this year, it looks like we'll be spending New Years Eve with family, and I'm a little excited.  Okay, a LOT excited, especially since I won another House Party!  It's a Hasbro game night party, so it's jammed pack full of fun new games for us to try.

So our New Year's eve party this year will be a little more exciting than usual.  To help me get moving in my planning, and to give you a few ideas for your own party, here's a Game Night Treasury from the small businesses of Etsy.

'Game Night' 

Enjoy a fun game night with friends using these party favors, decorations, and yummy treats!

255 Punched 1" and 2&qu...
Cake Balls: Bitty Dice
Set of 20 Chocolate PLAYING ...
Game Night Invitation- Print...
Reversible Quilted Cotton Ta...
Vintage Salt & Pepper Shaker...
Printable Lucky DICE Gift Bo...
Monopoly Themed Cupcake Topp...
Handmade Scrabble Score Shee...
Dominos wine glass charms ga...
Scrabble coasters, set of tw...
Pine Natural Wood Playing Ca...
MONOPOLY Board Game Journal ...
Playing Cards and Coins Pain...
Clue Game Collage Pocket Wat...
Bunco Nite Door Hanger

10 Fun Ways To Wrap A Gift

So I'm sure most of you have already got your shopping done, your presents wrapped, and are sitting back enjoying a cup of hot cocoa while your children play nicely at your feet.  Not happening?  Yea, not here either.  I think I finally have all my shopping done, but I forgot to buy tape, so I'll be wrapping as fast today as possible.

At least this is one way not to have my kids guessing their gifts already.  Usually, we have presents under the tree for days ahead of time, and the kids have figured out what they are getting by shaking and rattling the boxes.  I've had to resort to a few tricks over the years to keep them from guessing.  Most of the time, I don't add any names to the gifts.  Instead, I'll choose a color or theme wrapping paper for each child and wrap all their gifts that way.  Then, as we are opening presents, I'll let them know their color.  It adds a little to the excitement.

1. Use fun fabric like this Pinterest picture from Unknown.

2. Decorate with fun tape like this Washi Tape Wrapping paper by Poppytalk.
3.Let your kids get in the fun with this Purposed Kids Art Wrapping Paper by Martha Stewart.
4. Give a double gift with a new ornament like this Rick Rack and Ornament Decoration by Parenting.

5. Use fun stickers like this Mustache Gift Wrap by Fred Flare.
6. Use a little bit of nature for a big flare like this Cheap and Chic Gift Wrap by HGTV.
7. Use brown paper and alphabet stamps like this Simple Gift Wrap by the Haystack Needle.

8. Use family pictures for a unique, personal wrap like this Family Photo Gift Wrap by Sweet Paul.
9. Wrap your gift in money like this $20 Bill Wrap from Giftypedia.
10.  Use a Pop Top Can like this Cool Wrapping Idea from Happy Hooligans.

DIY Santa Cookie Plate

You all know by now how much I LOVE to make custom plates for each holiday.  Back here when I first showed you the idea on my Personalized Back to School Plates, I could only imagine where this new obsession would take me.  I now have plates for all types of holidays and themes and it makes setting the table so much fun for my kids.

While I have made a few Cookie plates for friends this Christmas, I haven't made any for our family.  I'll be honest, with all the kids' activities, working full time, and all the other responsibilities of the season, there just hasn't been a lot of time.

So when I saw these amazing DIY Santa Plates by Rachel at Sun Scholars, I knew I'd found my next plate project!  I love the idea of using a dessert plate and saving these through the years as your Christmas treat plates.  What a wonderful tradition to start.  I can only imagine years from now when the kids are grown with kids of their own, being able to eat off these memories.

I think I'm going to go pick up a set of dishes on my way home and have a family Quiet night tonight.  It will be a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of this week, and it will be one more memory to share.

UPDATE: We made these plates last first I had to force the family to join me, but after a few moments, even Drama Queen and The Perfectionist were having a good time, and the plates turned out wonderful.  This is DEFINITELY a new family tradition!

Last Minute Neighbor Gift Ideas and Printable

Christmas is right around the corner.
I'm super impressed with those of you who are already done and are sitting back sipping your hot cocoa laughing at me the rest of us right now.   If you're anything like me, you are scrambling around trying to finish gifts for teachers, classmates, neighbors, and friends (who didn't get a cookie plate.)

I thought I would throw together a list of last minute gift ideas to help us.
The great thing behind this list is that you can use items that you may already have around the house, or can easily find at the local store, to finish these off.  Add a fun tag, and BOOM! you're done.

Plus, I'm sharing a page of  free printable tags that you can add to a plate of sweets about 3/4 of the way down.  Hopefully that will make things a little easier on you!

100 Grand: Here's hoping you have a  Rich & Wonderful Christmas.
Almond Joy: You bring such joy to my life.
Angel: We hope you have a heavenly Christmas.
Apples: If friends (teachers, neighbors...) were like apples, I'd pick you
Bananas: If I could choose my friend, and I searched the whole world through, I'd simply go bananas trying to find a better friend than you!  You're the best of the bunch.
Basket of Bath items: When you feel like a basket case, take a break and slow your pace.
Berries: You're the berry best friend around.
Book:  I'll book you as my friend any day.
Bubblegum: May your holidays bubble over with fun.
Candle: You light up my world.
CD:  Just a note to let you know you're the best friend ever.
Chips/Salsa: You're one hot friend.
Chocolate Covered Cherries: Wishing you a very cherry Christmas.

Colored Candies: May your days be colorful and filled with joy.
Cookie Dough: Everyone needs a little extra dough for Christmas.
Gum:  By gum, you're a great friend.
Gummy Bears: I cannot bear to think what life (school, the neighborhood) would be like without you.
Gummy Dinosaurs: You're dino-mite!
Hand Lotion: A life richly blessed is one touched by a friend like you.

Hot cocoa: You warm my heart.
Ice Cream & Scoop: Here's the scoop, you're the best friend around.
Jolly Rancher: Hope you have a holly, jolly Christmas.
Juice Pitcher filled with Candy Canes: We pitcher you raising a little cane during the holidays.
M&Ms:  Wishing you a Most Merry Christmas.
Mints: I mint to tell you how much I appreciate you.

Notepad: You're a noteworthy friend.
Nutter Butter Cookies: There's nutter butter friend around.
Orange Sticks: I'll stick with you any day.
Pears: You and me make a perfect pear.
Pens/ Pencils: You have the write stuff.
Pizza: Warm up to a wonderful holiday season topped with Christmas cheer.
Plant: Thanks for helping our neighborhood grow.
Popcorn: May your holidays be poppin.
Puzzle: We go to pieces thinking where we'd be without you.
Rice Krispie Treat: You put the Snap! Crackle! and Pop! into our friendship.
Rocky Road: You make the rocky road of life so much better.
Ruler: You measure up with us.
Seeds:  The seeds of our friendship will last a lifetime.
Snickers: Don't snicker, just be glad you got something.
Soda: You make my day sparkle.
Soft batch cookies: I have a soft spot for you.
Soup Mix: You're a super friend.
Swedish Fish: Here's fishing you a Merry Christmas.
Tea: Life is full of simple pleasures, and you're one of them.
Tootsie Rolls: Rolling by with Christmas wishes.
Tray of Goodies: We tray-sure your Friendship.
Twizzlers: Twiz the season to be Jolly.
Whoppers: HHope you have a whopper of a Christmas.
Wisk filled with Hershey Kisses: We wisk you a merry Christmas

10 Christmas Cookies

Every year we spend the Monday before Christmas visiting dear family and friends with a plate of Christmas treats.  It's been a wonderful way to spend a few moments with those we care most about in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Plus, it gives me a chance to show small ways for my kids to give service and love.

As we are out and about with our "sleigh" full of goodies, I wanted to share with you 10 Christmas Cookie Exchange treats that you can give at your next Cookie exchange party or family Christmas treats.

1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from my Dear Hubby's favorites.

2. Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookies from Six Sister Stuff.
3. Black Forrest Cookies from Better Homes and Gardens.
4. Cinnabon Sugar Cookies from Inside BruCrew Life.

5. Hot Cocoa Cookies from Kuntal's Kitchen.
6. Candy Cane Fudge Brownie Cookies from Roxanna's Home Baking.
7. Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies from Quick Feet, Good Eats.

 8. Oreo Cheesecake Cookies from Table for Two.
9. Cheesecake Cookies from la receta De La felicidad.
10. Dutch Apple Pie-lettes from Food Pusher.

The Connecticut School Shooting

I had every intention of posting the results of my Christmas party tables on Friday. 
It really was a nice party, but seemed a bit unimportant as I heard the terrible news of the shootings in Connecticut.

My heart was broken for the mothers and loved ones who lost those sweet children and the brave women who sacrificed all that day

So instead of sharing my party post, I spent the day weekend holding my babies.
I picked up Mini Me for a dentist appointment that morning and kept him beside me all day.  I just couldn't bear to let him go.  Fortunately, he's a very loving child and loves to give hugs and kisses so didn't mind Mom's clinginess and random hugging.

I am so blessed to know that as bad as the hurt is for those families, I KNOW they will see their loved ones again.  I KNOW that families are forever.   I hold that knowledge to be one of my greatest and most treasured foundations of my life. 

I pray for the peace of the knowledge for the families touched by this terrible tragedy.
And for the rest of us, go and hold your babies and be grateful for every moment of forever with them.

Peppermints Everywhere!

Our church Christmas party is tomorrow night.  (Yea, don't even get me started on why its on a Thursday...) so I've been busy finishing up all my table centerpieces.  Since we went with a Candy Cane theme, I've been gluing candy canes and peppermint pieces to anything that will sit still long enough.

But I have to say I'm super excited with how cute all the red and white will be.  I'm hoping for an elegant but fun party.  We'll see how it actually all turns out in the end.  Hopefully I'll be able to show you pictures on Friday

But I thought I'd just show you a preview to make your mouth water as much as mine has.

10 Fun Cupcakes for Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, you're probably attending quite a few neighboorhood, church, office, or school parties.  With a lot of places to go, but not a lot of time, if you're like me, you're looking for an easy, but spectacularly fun treat to take. 

Cupcakes are super easy.  Hey, we've all got a box of some cake mix in the back of the cupboard, why not spice up your cupcakes with some of these fun ideas?

1. Easy Holly Christmas Cupcakes from Sweet Scarlet Designs flicker page.
2. Ornament Cupcakes from
3. North Pole Cupcakes from alisonsparksdecor Etsy shop.

4. Reindeer Cupcakes by With Sprinkles On Top
5. Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from JCCupcakes flicker page.
6. M&M Wreath Cupcakes from Unknown.

7.  Christmas Tree Cupcakes from Siukwan's Kitchen.
8. Starlight Mint Cupcakes from Hello, Cupcake!
9. Tangled Lights Cupcake from I Am Baker.

10. The Snowman Cupcakes we shared with you last year?!

GlassesUSA for Christmas

I admit it.  I'm no Fashionista.  You will never see a "What I Wore" post on this blog.  I just don't have a lot of style.  I think my sisters got all those genes in our family...or maybe they skipped a generation and went straight to my daughter.

 I will never spend hours at the store shopping for clothes, as my best gals can attest to.  Shopping for clothes is like pulling teeth for me.  So when it comes to dressing up for the holidays or a big party, I don't have a lot to work with.   But you work with what you got, right?

And since I was 15 years old, I've worn glasses.
I am almost blind as a bat, so I wear glasses from the moment I get up until I fall asleep at night.
Not a lot of fun, unless you have some super cute glasses.

I recently found and although, I've never bought glasses online before, I was pretty excited to have found them. They have a huge selection with lots of styles and colors at great prices.  Plus, there is a 110% low price guarantee and 100% satisfaction guarantee.  So I can't go wrong, even with my fashion sense!

And what was even more fun....I got to try them on...right from my computer.
How did I accomplish this amazing feat?

GlassesUSA has a fun feature on their site called a Virtual Mirror where you can use your computer's video cam to take a picture of yourself and try on all their eyeglasses.  Pretty genius if you ask me!

It was super easy to use and I got to see what I looked like in different styles and colors....something I'm a little nervous to do in certain stores.  (Hey, those ladies at Walmart can be a little scary, pushy, and judgmental about what glasses you try on!  Or is that just me?)

It was a lot of fun to try their Virtual Mirror and I can almost imagine myself actually looking like Tyra Banks as I "smize" and walk the catwalk in Paris this year...

okay, maybe not, but it was nice to find cheap glasses that actually make me feel like I look good when I go to Dear Hubby's work Christmas party.  

Heck, I might even get him a set since they even have multifocal glasses. (Yea, he's getting old and has gone down that road, but don't tell him I told you!)

GlassesUSA wants you to come try their Virtual Mirror and look good for the Christmas holidays too.  They are giving all of my readers 15% off your entire order, PLUS free shipping (for orders over $50) with code: FS15 or 10% off ANY prescription eyeglass order with code: BLOG10.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of GlassesUSA.  While I may have been compensated in some way for this post, all opinions are my own.