It’s Snowing Inside This Christmas and Glass Fish Net Floats are on the Tree

Before I share our Winter Wonderland and my craft idea with you, I should tell you that I received product from Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.
Obviously it’s not snowing inside because we do have a roof over our heads and I’m almost 100% certain it won’t even snow outside again this year. Galveston rarely gets snow and the last snow fall here was in 2004. Nope. Not a white Christmas for us…or so you would think!
But I’d like to welcome y’all to our Winter Wonderland. It’s not completely done yet, so hang tight for updates as we finish up, but we’re off to a great start with the help of Oriental Trading and the babies are thrilled. My babies want a white Christmas, and they deserve that, but Mommy needs to live in a warm climate so this is our compromise and it’s really fun every year.
The minute anyone enters the foyer, they are greeted with lights, snowflakes, lots of blue obviously, and loads of fun and festivity. I’m particularly fond of the blue lights hanging over our archway. And I love the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and the snowflakes on the window. Oh who am I kidding? I just love this theme!
As you know, I’m redecorating the house in blues and greens and everything beachy. The only way to tie in this Winter Wonderland was to keep with the theme colors which was easy with Oriental Trading’s HUGE line of holiday decorations.
This window treatment is Bubby’s favorite. I hung it in the dining room, right next to his count down til Christmas sign, so he can enjoy it during all of his meals. He likes the way it sparkles. Of course he does…he’s my kid after all.
We still have a few more snowflakes to hang and a couple of other decorating items on the list, but our house is literally a Winter Wonderland and our guests this weekend loved it too. It’s not just for the kids!
My tree fits my blue and green theme but I wanted to put some beachy items on there too. I ordered some clear glass bulbs from Oriental Trading and they inspired me. You see, every little shop around the island adorns those glass fish net floats and I love the way they look. I set out to make some of my own for our tree.
Glass Fishnet Bulb Christmas Tree Ornaments
What You’ll Need:
Glass Clear Ornaments
Regular School Glue
Food Coloring
Cupcake Pan
Patience and an Old Toss of the OCD Tendencies
Start by mixing regular school glue with water (equal parts) and mix in your food coloring of choice. Typically glass fish net floats are blue or green so this worked perfectly for me. Mix the 3 components until you have your color of choice.
Funnel some of the mixture into the glass bulb and swish around until it is fully covered inside.
Place a piece of tinfoil in each of the “cake” slots you’ll be using and place your bulbs in there face down. Bake on 200 degrees for about an hour.
When they come out dry, they may not be perfect (oh be still my poor OCD heart) but that’s OK. If you’ve ever seen blown glass, you know that no two pieces are alike and their imperfections are what make them unique and beautiful. Oddly enough, I like the more splattered looking one better. Put the stems back in the bulbs so you have a way to hang them for the next steps.
Tie one piece of twine around the neck of the bulb. Then cut 6 equal length pieces of twine (I didn’t measure them but make sure they are long enough to be doubled and hang well below the bulb – I’d say about 20 inches). Thread each piece through the anchor twine and knot them at the base. I just used a simple knot, I think it’s called an overhand bow knot (but don’t hold me to that).
Start knotting your fishnet. And here’s where those OCD tendencies need to be really tossed. They don’t have to be perfectly equidistant. The knots don’t have to be exactly the same. Have you ever seen a real fishnet? Yea, not perfect. Take one piece from one of your double strands, and knot it with one piece from the next double strand as shown above. Keep doing that until you get to the bottom.
Don’t flip out when the “net” starts crawling up the bulb and looks like it won’t fit because that’s all resolved at the end. Simply gather all of the pieces at the bottom, pull them tightly, and tie them off. And yes, I do need a manicure and my fingers are completely blue in this photo. Don’t judge.
Like I said, it may not be perfect but it fits perfectly with other items in my decor that use fishnet so I’m pretty pleased with the results. We’re enjoying our Winter Wonderland this year more than ever and I can’t wait to get it all finished before the Big Guy gets here on Christmas Eve. I want him to feel at home too.
For more decorating and craft ideas, be sure to visit Oriental Trading’s Christmas Store, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. They don’t only help with your holiday decorating and crafting either. Let them help you throw an amazing holiday party (at half the cost of your local party store) too!

Jake & The Never Land Pirates: Never Land Rescue Party

I really should tell you that I received the following DVD with bonus features and a party kit to facilitate this family movie night from Click Communications and their client. As always, all of the photos, ideas, and opinions are entirely my own.
Bubby loves pirates and watching Jake & the Never Land Pirates on Disney Junior every weekday is a favorite pass time. I think we all know that I’m on a mission to make Bubby’s life as happy as it can possibly be so when I told him we were going to have a Jake & the Never Land Pirates dinner party to celebrate the release of the Never Land Rescue on DVD, he was stoked. But you see, I planned to keep it simple…like I always do. But when he declared “This will be the best party EVER!”, I had to step it up. 
I was still able to keep it simple but thrill them beyond belief. All you need is a little Pinterest, a printer, the DVD of course, and some simple food supplies from your local retailer of choice. 
No pirate party would be complete without a “Catch of the Day”, right? Frozen fish sticks and shrimp (although not the healthiest choice of foods, but party calories and carbs don’t count) set the stage for the perfect dinner with a movie party.
Of course desserts and sides are a simple choice when you stick with the theme. I mean, seriously, how could you catch the fish and shrimp without bait right? Gummy worms are a snack all little ones enjoy.
While you’re in the candy aisle, you might as well pick up some shark bait too (Swedish Fish) so your kids can be ready for that next big catch.
Don’t fuss with side dishes for this. Fish (Gold Fish Puffs) and chips make a great snack food for your party plus you can mix them in an airtight container to keep for later.

As with most big celebrations in my house, this dinner and a movie party came with a message. The party kit I received included a Grow a Tree: Pinon Pine kit. When it warms up a bit again, the babies and I will be planting their pine and I explained how this will help the planet. They’re pretty excited about this part. 
Dessert? Another Pinterest-inspired idea that even I can handle. Cinnamon mini-donuts with printed “sails” placed with toothpicks in the donuts. And there ye go matey…Set Sail Delight. No mess, no fuss, just smiles. 
When everything was plated and the babies were eating, I popped in our new full-length adventure DVD with 4 bonus episodes. So what’s the movie about you ask?

“The fate of Never Land hangs in the balance as magical treasures are mysteriously vanishing: Jake’s sword, Izzy’s pixie dust – even the directions on Cubby’s map! To save the day, Jake goes on the “Forever Quest” to restore power to the source of Never Land’s magic, the legendary Forever Tree. Join him on a thrilling expedition inside an enchanted cave, under the sea, and all the way to the top of Mount Destiny! Jakes’ Never Land Rescue will make you believe in the everlasting magic of true friendship!”

The night was a big success. We had fun foods for our dinner with a movie AND there were messages on the value of friendship, team work, and the environment weaved throughout. I say that’s a win for all of us!

Be sure to head out and get your copy of this DVD today. It’s sure to be a new family favorite. Throw in a fun themed-dinner and you’ll be hero for a night. 

Don’t forget to like Disney Junior on Facebook, and follow along on Twitter to find out about all of the new releases available for holiday gifting and to get more simple party ideas.

Bento Boxes, Finials, Hang Outs, and 6" Ribbon Curls…OH MY! A Day in the Life of a WAHM.

It’s official. I’m a WAHM (work at home mom for those that don’t get the acronym). AND I’m officially a mommy blogger although I’ve tried to stay away from that niche. Tonight…I decided there was no denying it. The proof was in my life, my conversations, my actions…my everything. If you’re one of “me”, you’ll get this and feel my pain. If not, you might be amused anyway. 

I work from home. I work hard and I work a lot of hours. Today, I reviewed posts by others. I posted to a magazine. I prepared family meals…fixed breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I cleaned. I kind of, sort of, played with my kids (they were not on their best behavior so that is not entirely my fault). I supported my fellow bloggers. I ordered bottles for my soon to be grandbaby. I posted opportunities for other bloggers. And I realized that this online world I live in has finally taken over. I said Bento Box. Out loud. To my husband. And he tilted his head like a confused dog. 
Not the typical “pretty” Bento Box, but still…

This realization came at the end of a long day. I was cleaning up the kitchen and wanted to fix his lunch. 

“Where are the bento boxes baby?”
“The what?” *deer in the headlight look*
“The bento boxes? The Tupperware with compartments. Where are they?”
“Oh…one is in the dishwasher and the other is with Steve. But what did you call them?”

I called them Bento boxes. Yes, I did. And I found the one in the dishwasher and filled it. Then I made Bug’s lunch. And I thought back on my day, my week, my life. I’ve become that mom. I work from home, it was bound to happen. 
Yes, those are pipe fittings. I’ll show you when these are done.

Earlier in the week, as I was redecorating my home as I’ve already shared with you, my curtains were on the way. I had B make me stainless steel curtain rods at work. They needed “end caps”. I’m not overly crafty so I asked my crafty friends on Facebook. How do I make them? I want them beachy. I used the words “end cap thingies for curtain rods”. I was linked to countless “finials” by my good friend Amy from As the Bunny Hops. I had to ask. And then I Googled. A finial? What the heck?

Now less than a week later, what am I working on? A finial. 10 of them in fact for my homemade curtain rods. I’ve consumed hours on finials…and I didn’t even know what they were a week ago. Yes, this whole blogging world is taking over. 
6 Inch Ribbon Curls…SIX INCHES!!

Things are getting too crafty up in here for this non-crafty (once very business-oriented) momma. The kids wanted to hang stockings. They wanted to decorate for Christmas. I was busy. I stopped what I was doing to make 6 inch ribbon curls…SIX INCHES…to hang the stockings from the handrail in the stair well. So many questions come to mind here. Who has ribbon just sitting in a box somewhere that is suitable for 6″ ribbon curls? Who knows how to make 6″ ribbon curls? Why would anyone make this a priority? And yea, I did all of the above. They aren’t perfect ribbon curls, but the babies are impressed. 

And let’s get on to the BIG thing here. A few years back you couldn’t find me in my own bathroom without makeup. Two showers a day were mandatory. Dressed to the 9’s? You bet ya…at least in public. No one…and I mean NO ONE…not even my family…saw me at anything less than my best. Would I consider a business meeting in a ponytail, no makeup, and sweatpants? Absolutely not. But these days? Things have changed. I’m super busy and it’s not uncommon to get a G-chat asking if I have a second for a hang out (for those of you that don’t know, that’s a video conference call). I used to stress about them. Now I don’t even bother to check if my ponytail is on straight. It doesn’t seem to matter. They just want to know what I have to say. They don’t care about my face, my hair, my clothes. Just my words. 

That last part got me to thinking. I really love my life, and my job. Bento boxes are totally cool. I learned a new word (and I’m making my own finials because of that), my babies have their stockings hung with care, AND no one but me really gives a crap what I look like on video. 

Life is good people. Bento boxes, finials, 6″ ribbon curls, hang outs and all. You might not believe it, but I’m pretty much a work horse (from home) and I’m pretty proud and impressed by what I do. Discount the WAHM all you want. We can take it. We’re tough like that. But know that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover…even if you’re on a Google Hang Out with no makeup.