DIY: How to make a festive party garland

DIY how to make a festive party garland

When my son turned one I wanted to have a colourful and fun party garland with which to decorate, and without breaking the bank.  I didn’t really like what I was finding so I decided it was time to do some DIY.  This garland is really easy to make, and it didn’t take very much time either.  Just follow these easy steps to make one of your own.

Supplies:

Supplies for DIY festive party garland

  • Colourful paper.  You can use as many or as few colours as you wish, I used cardstock paper since it’s a thicker paper that will hold it’s shape better.
  • Staples
  • Hole punch
  • String

Steps:

  1. First fold the paper in half, repeat this step 2 more times.  You should end up with a paper folded in the shape of an accordion.Step 1 diy party garland
  2. Next cut the corners off of each end as shown in the picture.Step 2 diy party garland
  3. Fold the paper in half.Step 3 diy party garland
  4. Staple in the fold.Step 4 diy party garland
  5. Spread the paper out to join the ends and staple each side.Step 5 diy party garland Step 5b diy party garland
  6. Cut two holes into the now star-shaped paper.Step 6 diy party garlandStep 6b diy party garland
  7. Thread some string through the holes and your garland is ready to hang!

    Step 7 diy party garland
    Finished product!

And that’s it!  That’s all there is to it.  It makes for a great party garland that can be done easily and in as many colours as you wish.  Give it a try for yourself and let me know how it turns out!

 

Boycott the New Year Resolution

Boycott the New Year Resolution

It’s that time of year again, time for the empty promises so many of us make year after year.  Now that Christmas has come and gone, all too quickly I must say, we turn our sights to ringing in the new year.  And as one year closes, the next begins with a clean slate and with all things seeming possible.  So we look back at the year gone by and take inventory of our lives, all in an effort to come up with some empty promises, aka “new year resolutions”, we make to ourselves and really have no intention of keeping.  Sound familiar to anyone?

Well how about we ditch this notion and simply boycott the new year resolution.  Why do we need a new year to start for us to commit to making a change in our lives?  If there is something you want to change, something you want to do, or stop doing, then just get on with it already.  The reason most people don’t keep their new year resolutions is because they’re not sincere about it.  Many of us make these promises to ourselves because we feel like we need to join in the tradition of making resolutions.  I say no more.  It’s time to boycott the resolutions!  Don’t wait for a new year to come around to try to better yourself.  If there is something that you feel needs to change then get started right away.  And mostly, be realistic.  Don’t make a promise to yourself that you know you’re not going to keep, that only results in disappointment and feelings of guilt.

As this year comes to a close I will take the time to look back on what’s transpired, and to be thankful for all of the blessings we have received.  It has been a fantastic year and I’m excited to see what will come in 2016.  So Instead of making empty resolutions I will mention what I’m most grateful for in 2015:

  • A happy, healthy little boy.  My son was born in December of last year so 2015 has been filled with milestones as we have watched him grow from newborn to toddler.
  • A great husband.  He not only is a great partner but now I also get to see him being a fantastic father.
  • Our health.
  • Our fur baby.  I’ll be forever thankful that I have my beautiful, loyal black lab by my side.

What about you?  What are you most grateful for this year?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Christmas is such a magical time of year.  As I take the next few days off from posting on the blog to enjoy the time with my family I would like to leave you with this Christmas wish:

May the joy of the season live forever in your hearts.

May your Christmas be blessed and filled with love.

May all of your loved ones, both near and far, be close in spirit.

And may you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Little man turns one

Little man turns one

Recently our little guy turned one.  It’s been a few days of lots and lots of emotions.  I’m overjoyed to see hi grow and discover the world, I’m in awe of what a blessing it is to have him in our lives, I’m excited to celebrate these milestone moments, and I’m also sad to see it all fly by so quickly.  I find myself smiling ear to ear one moment, and wiping away the tears the next.

On the actual day of his birthday we had a small family celebration and he had his first piece of cake.  To say he loved his cupcake is quite the understatement.  He devoured that treat like he hadn’t seen food in days, then he made sure to lick each finger clean!  Afterwards we helped him open his presents and that led t quite the energetic play session with a hilarious baby laugh attack.  And is there anything better than a baby laugh attack?  That night he slept like an exhausted little angel.

baby turns 1
Getting ready to eat his first cupcake.

On the day of his birthday party it was beautifully sunny, perfect for his party in the park.  Everyone who came out to celebrate with us had a great time and the toddlers made sure to take full advantage of their play time.  By the time people left, every baby was taken home already fast asleep, recovering from so much play.  The food and the decorations went pretty much to plan.  Little man had his second cupcake which he found to be equally as thrilling as the first time.  He was a bit impatient during the happy birthday song because he kept reaching out for his cake.  It was a beautiful day and a great way to celebrate his turning one.

bday details
Just a few birthday party details

All in all we are very happy with how everything went, his first birthday celebrations have been a great success.  The highlight of it all has been having a house full of family members who travelled to join us in our celebrations.  We are truly blessed to have this little angel in our lives and we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with him.

Now as the dust begins to settle we can turn our sights to celebrating the most magical season of the year, Christmas! 🙂

 

 

Why raising a toddler is like raising a puppy

Raising a toddler is like raising a puppy

It might sound odd to say, but if you’ve ever raised a puppy and a toddler then you’ve probably come to realize that there are some striking similarities between the two.  Here are just some of my favourite examples:

 

Excitement.  When they get excited over something (such as food), and go running (or crawling) towards you at top speed they often lose their balance and fall due to their extreme level of elation.

Debris.  You need to make sure to pick up anything that is within their reach unless you’re ok with it going into their mouths (and possibly being swallowed)

Teeth brushing.  If you’ve ever brushed a puppy’s teeth then you know what I’m talking about.

Discipline.  When disciplining a puppy or a toddler there is a frequent amount of repetition until they finally concede to the notion that you are the one in charge.

Forgive me eyes. When they’re in trouble they look up at you with their cutest, big beautiful “I’m sorry” eyes in the hopes that you’ll forget all wrong doing and just melt at the cuteness overload.

Raising a puppy or a toddler can be a chaotic stressful turmoil at times, but the joy and unconditional love that you receive in return makes it all undoubtably worth it.
Have I left anything out?  What other silly similarities have you observed?
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Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

Top 9 things I miss about a winter wonderland Christmas

winter wonderland Christmas

Let me start of by saying that I love living in the Caribbean.  I love that it’s never cold, I love that I don’t have to shovel the snow, or clear the snow off of my car.  That being said, there’s something magical about Christmas with snow.  As a Canadian expat I grew up mainly in the tropics, but we did spend most of our Christmas holidays in Canada.  Because of that there are certain elements of a winter that, to me, make Christmas magical.

Here are the top 9 things that I miss about a winter wonderland Christmas:

9. Tobogganing

8. Snow-ball fights, snow-angels, and snow-forts

7. Snow-men.  Although I have made sand-men before and that’s pretty fun.

6. The cute clothing.  That’s right, I even miss wearing cute boots and sweaters that I cannot use in the tropics because I’d probably suffer from heat stroke.  Of course that does not mean that I long for the scarves, and jackets, and mittens, and hats…especially not for an entire season.

5. Is there anything more adorable then a baby or toddler all bundled up for winter?  I think not!

4. The beauty of white fluffy snow

3. Street after street of houses beautifully decorated with Christmas lights.  In my experience, in Central American & the Caribbean, very few people decorate the outside of their homes.

2. Christmas stockings hanging from a beautifully decorated mantle.  Living in the tropics, most houses don’t even have fireplaces because we don’t need them.

1. Drinking a delicious cup of hot chocolate next to a wood burning fire.  There’s just something about the smell and sound of the crackling logs, paired with a hot cup of chocolate that just spells Christmas to me.

So there you have it, those are the top 9 things that I miss about spending Christmas in a winter wonderland!  Perhaps next year I can get my family up to Canada for a little visit and so that my son can experience the fun side of snow for the first time.  In the meantime I will dig my toes into the sand and continue to enjoy our life here on this gorgeous island with the turquoise water and white sand beaches.

Did I leave anything out?  What makes Christmas magical to you?

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Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

Christmas gifts: go all out or rein it in?

Christmas gift giving

The other day I read an article that challenges parents to save their money and give only 4 gifts to their kids for Christmas.  The author talked about how, in the past, she was accustomed to showering her children with dozens and dozens of presents, until she decided that it wasn’t necessary and was going to limit it to just 4.  Each gift would be from a set of categories; something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  After reading this article the first thought that popped into my head was “wow, it never occurred to me to give anyone 4 gifts for Christmas.”  It seems like a lot to me, why do you need to give several gifts to anyone?

The more I thought about it the more I realized, it really depends on how extravagant each gift is.  Something to read is an easy gift to agree with, books aren’t expensive and reading is always a great thing to encourage, plus they make great stocking stuffers.  But the other 3 categories can be tricky because each one could easily be something expensive and over the top.  For something they need and something to wear you can certainly make an effort to not go overboard, but how do you limit something they want?  What if what they want is a really expensive item?  I don’t know how the author of the article goes about selecting the want item, and I’m not saying don’t get your kids things that they want, I just think that it’s a potentially tricky line to walk if you set the expectation for your kids that they will receive several gift each year.

When I was growing up my parents always provided us with a great Christmas experience that included receiving a great gift.  In general, each year we would receive one main gift and several small stocking stuffer items.  And no we did not have huge oversized stockings, we had the standard size (actually they’re small based on today’s average) stockings that my mom would fill with candy and small items (this could be socks, a scarf, pj’s, etc.).  Of course, when we were really little, we had a gift from mom and dad as well as a gift from Santa, as we grew up the Santa gift naturally went away but the gift from my parents always remains.

Now that my husband and I have embarked down the road of parenthood we are faced with the question, how much is too much?  I’ll most likely take the example from my parents; my son will get one gift from us, one from Santa, and a few stocking stuffer items.  Of course the key will be not to go overboard on those two gifts.  And I’m pretty sure that this year he will only get one gift, no stocking stuffers or gift from Santa, I mean he’s only one so he doesn’t even know who Santa is yet.

So my question to you is how much is too much?  It’s easy to go overboard because we all want to spoil our kids, but how do you decide where to draw the line?

DIY Holiday Wreath

DIY Christmas wreath

With Christmas coming up fast we’re all busy decorating our houses to celebrate the season.  This festive wreath is not only joyful but quite easy to make, just follow these simple steps!

Here’s what you’ll need:

supplies DIY wreath

  1. A 14″ crafting wreath (I have chosen a styrofoam one, available at any craft store)
  2. Christmas tree bulb ornaments in an assortment of sizes and colours.  Choose the colours that best suit your style!
  3. Glue gun
  4. Ribbon

Steps:

  1. Fist I would suggest that you lay out an old table cloth or sheet in order to protect your work surface from any bits of glue that may fall.
  2. Wrap a small amount of ribbon around the wreath so that you can hang it later.  Make sure to take into account the length that you will need to hang it from your door.  Doors come in different sizes so it’s best that you measure the length based on your own door.  I find it easier to attach the ribbon before you glue all of the bulbs into place.
  3. Next, take the ornament hangers off the end of each bulb, these usually just pop right off.ornament hanger
  4. Begin by hot gluing the larger bulbs around the wreath.  If you’re using multiple colours you can select a pattern or simply attach them at random.  The benefit to making your own is that there are no rules, go with whatever inspires you!step 5 DIY Christmas wreath
  5. Continue glueing the large bulbs around the wreath until you have it mostly covered.
  6. Once all of the larger bulbs are in place start to attach the smaller ones, filling in the spaces that the large ones do not cover.  The idea is to fill in any of the visible gaps so that when the wreath is hanging you do not see any of the styrofoam underneath.
DIY holiday wreath
The end result is a beautiful wreath you can proudly display!

And that’s it!  It’s really quite simple and in the end you get this beautiful, and unique, Christmas wreak to hang on your front door or anywhere else you wish to display it.

Did you make one for yourself?  Send me a photo!  I’d love to see how your creations come out.

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Mami 2 Five