Monday, December 19, 2011

Kids Meal Holder for the Car

_2011-12-19 13.09.33

So, I’ve seen a few times on Pinterest, a kids meal holder someone built out of a plastic caddy. Clever idea, but I thought – I should really post what I do in the car. I never seem to get around to it, though.

Today I dragged my kids around town on errands and we finally stopped at McDonald’s and I thought – I’m just going to take a quick picture or two with my phone.

_2011-12-19 13.34.58

So, here is my easy (and free!) car tray for kids:

*Get the milk, poke a hole in the lid with your car key, push the straw through. (My kids destroy fast food drink cups. They pull out the straw, pull off the plastic lid. It is a major mess every time. Get the milk.)

*Ask for a drink carrier (or two or three, one for each child). Squeeze ketchup (or other dipping sauce – my kids are all about the ketchup) into the middle. You’ve got four other spaces you can put stuff in– this one has apples, french fries, chicken nuggets, and milk.

*The best part is, when they are finished, you can throw the whole thing away!!  I keep thinking I should ask if I can get a whole stack of these to keep in my car.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Visiting Teaching Message

The December visiting teaching message can be found here.

Christmas Tags

I’ve finished handouts for my ward:


If you want to make your own Christmas tag, download the file here and then:

1. Print the jpegs as 4 x 6 pictures at Costco or your favorite photo processing place.


2. Glue to a 4 x 6 piece of white cardstock to reinforce the photo.

3. Cut the photo in half to give you two 2 x 3 tags from each photo.

4. Then, punch a hole at the top (insert an eyelet if you’d like), insert ribbon, and add to a plate of cookies or a gift for your visiting teachees.

Christmas Card

I also made a Christmas card with the message. I was originally going to do these for my ward, but then thought of doing a tag.


1. Print the document available in Word or PDF. The document is black and white, but does need to be double-sided. I printed mine on a piece of fancy cardstock called Green Heather.

2. Cut 2.5 inches off the bottom of the page. (You will be left with a 6 inch by 11 inch piece of paper.


3. Score the document 4 inches from the left edge and 3 inches from the right edge.


4. Fold the card.


5. Glue the 4 x 6 card front to the front of the card. You can download the photo front here.


6. Mail or deliver your finished card to your visiting teachees.


Christmas Snowball

For my visiting teachees, I will be doing the Christmas snowball that Inkablinka posted. Go to her site to find a free printable and directions. I did change it up a little bit, so I thought I’d post my changes.

For the center of the snowball, Inkablinka used a box with candies inside. I didn’t have any small boxes on hand, but I did have balloons:


It’s hard to tell scale in this picture, but I just barely blew the balloon up.

Also, I couldn’t find the gift-wrapped chocolates she used, but I did find some Hershey’s miniatures that were wrapped like presents. Then I printed up a sheet of labels to stick on the back of each one:


Inkablinka included a marking pencil but commented she wished she’d found something smaller. I found these scripture highlighters at Deseret Book for $2.39 a piece. They are shorter than the marking pencils.


Another idea I had to go with studying the scriptures daily was scripture ribbons. You could make your own (directions here).

For strengthening families and homes, Inkablinka used a Hershey’s candy bar for a foundation. I found some Ghiradelli’s chocolates on sale and used those.


For the yeast (represents magnifying callings), I found individual packets – they came in a 3 pack, I cut them apart and I found them in the baking section at Walmart.


For seeds (like faith), I used these dark chocolate pomegranate seeds from Costco. Love these!


I still need to make my white-chocolate covered pretzels (prayer) and my world ornaments (I found some old maps at DI), and then I will post a fully assembled picture.

Thanks to Inkablinka for such a great visiting teaching idea! Be sure to go get her free printable and directions here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Card


I finally decided to use this birthday card idea I saw on inchmark.

Free Printable

I created a Word document for this. I believe the other ones I’ve seen on the web have used sticker letters.

If you decide to use my Word document, here are a few tips:

First, change the text to meet your needs and print. I printed on white cardstock.

Now cut .5 inch off the right side (so your document will be 10.5 inches long instead of 11 inches long).

Next, cut the document in half, each half will be 4.25 inches.

Then score the document every 3.5 inches.

Finally, glue or tape the strips together and add the loot.

What I Used

1 Paper doll with stickers, found these in a pack of 8 at Walmart in the party aisle.

2 hair clips, buy them or make your own.

3 scratch and sniff stickers

4 jolly rancher chews, similar to starbursts

5  pairs of stick-on earrings, I cut these out of a larger sheet that I also got from Walmart.

More Ideas of things to Use

Candy: starbursts, laffy taffy, sweetarts

Money: Coins like quarters or silver dollars, I also considered cutting a slit in card for five and sticking in a 5 dollar bill.


Sticks of Gum


Character band-aids

Hair elastics or bows


Erasers in fun shapes

What other things can you think of?

Cards for the Military

I'm in a card club, each month we meet and exchange cards. This month, we decided to do something different.


All cards – 108 of them – went to Operation Write Home, which sends them to deployed service men and women so that they can send beautiful cards home to their families.

I had worked with Operation Write Home once before. When I was asked to put together a short activity for a cub scout night last year, I took paper, stickers, and markers and had them make letters to thank the service men and women. Since then, Operation Write Home has added some printable coloring pages that would make this so easy!

Here are the cards that we made (mine is the shining star one):




Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Candy Sticks


These are so much fun to make! I used a regular package of M&M's and picked out the reds and the blues. Then, I topped them with these little pumpkins.


I cut the pumpkins with my Silhouette. I made them by creating 3 ovals, merging two of them. Then I stapled the merged ovals and some green ribbon to the top of the candy sticks and used a glue dot on the remaining oval to cover the staple. I’d be happy to share my file for the pumpkins, leave a comment if you are interested.

October Home Teaching Treats


The home teaching message for this month is President Monson talking about the Precious Promises of the Book of Mormon.

He specifically calls out 8 promises from the Book of Mormon. I created a file to look like the inside of a Dove Promises candy for each one. (Note: I was disappointed because the promises chocolates I bought don’t look like they used to. Here is an example of the old style.)


Then, I attached a Dove Promises chocolate to each card with a glue dot, put them all in a sandwich bag, and topped it off with an orange label.


Book of Mormon Promises Cards

The promises cards are available in pdf. I recommend printing these black and white – gold tinfoil is what I had easily available and I didn’t take the 5 minutes to turn it to grayscale.

There are 4 cards per page, 2 pages in the file.

I created these in Adobe InDesign. If you have Adobe InDesign and would like a copy of the file, I’d be happy to share. Wouldn’t these make adorable seminary handouts?

The finished cards are 4 inches by 4 inches. The cutting is a bit tricky, you are better off lining up your cutter on the edge of the picture and cutting than trying for exact measurements.

Treat Bag Topper

Treat Bag Toppers are available in word or pdf. If you just want to print, I recommend printing the pdf file because your Word and printer settings may (probably will!) make the word file print differently on your computer. I cut these by:

Cut 3/4 inch off each side (left and right)
Cut 1/4 inch off top
Cut every 2 1/2 inches from top

If that didn’t work for you and you are printing from pdf, check to make sure that your page scaling setting (in the print dialog box) is set to none.

You could staple this to the bag and be done…. Or, if you decide you must hide the staples, you can cut a piece of cardstock that is 5 inches by 7 inches. Fold in half (so you have 2 1/2 inches and 2 1/2 inches. Staple onto your bag, then put the treat bag topper front over it to cover the staples (you can use glue dots or another type of adhesive).

I printed mine on orange cardstock. You could print them on any color or you could use cute Halloween bag toppers, like these or these.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Visiting Teaching Message

The October visiting teaching message is here. The message is If We Do Not Doubt. It focuses on the need for us as women to live our covenants and draws heavily from the story of the Two Thousand Stripling Warriors. I have two handouts to go with this message.

Handout #1: Message Booklet
Available in PDF or Word

First, I put together a file that has the complete message (well, most of it, I did cut a teeny bit to make it fit). This is the cover:

Microsoft Word - Oct2011VT

I printed mine in black and white and on orange paper:


If you print the pdf file double-sided, you should be able to cut the file exactly in half and then fold each half in half again. That will give you a finished card size of 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches. These will fit in an A2 envelope, too, if you want to mail them. I’m also sharing the Word file. Printer settings can vary, so if you just want to print, the pdf file is the one to download.

Handout #2: Measuring spoons available as a Silhouette print and cut file

Sister Beck talks about the need to live our covenants with precision. I put her quote on these measuring spoons, ending with D&C 25:13


If you use these, you could always incorporate the story of the
Two Thousand Stripling Warriors as you talk. The written message is very heavy on motherhood and for some sisters, focusing more on the covenants aspect and less on the motherhood aspect might be appropriate.

Here is the Silhouette print and cut file. Note: You will need the Silhouette software to open this file.

I did find a fun punch art tutorial for making measuring spoons. If you like this idea, but don’t have a Silhouette machine, you might take a look at this.


One other idea I had for precision was this tape measure card. I didn’t create a file to go with the message, but if someone is feeling creative, I think it could make a cute lesson enhancer for this month! If you do, I’d love to see how it turns out!


I have a fun home teaching treat/lesson enhancer this month, too, so be sure to check back for that. I hope to have it posted by the end of the week.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

General Conference with Toddlers

The LDS General Conference is this weekend. I am excited to hear our prophet speak to us. I've been getting ready, trying to figure out what to do with two toddlers as we watch 8 hours worth of general conference over two days. So, here is what we've done to prepare:

*Family Home Evening: Monday we talked about General Conference and what would happen. We posted the picture of the prophets and apostles from last conference's Ensign on our wall and we've talked about it every day this week.

*My daughter loves her Gospel Art Picture Book. I'm hopeful that we can use that during conference. Perhaps have her listen for words and try to find a picture that matches (like, He's talking about Jesus. Can you find a picture of Jesus in your book?) or us finding a picture of a story that's being told so she can look at it.

*Each of my girls has a lap table. I hope this will keep them sitting while they do their activities. (Okay, I know that's very optimistic... I don't expect them to sit for two hours... maybe 15 minutes at a time, though. )

*I love this conference baggie idea. Janna puts a picture of each of the apostles on a different treat or game. When that apostle speaks, her children get that treat. Love the idea, but my oldest is 3 and the only one she recognizes is the prophet. So, I adapted it slightly. I have a bag of treats. Each time she sees a member of the First Presidency, she can pick a treat from the bag. I'll also have her repeat their name. My goal: By the end of conference, I'd like her to be able to recognize and name each of the three members of the First Presidency. Snacks in our bag include:
-Capri Suns
-Fruit snacks
-Hard candy
-Cheerios (with dental floss to make them into necklaces)
-Yogurt-covered raisins

*I have another bag full of (rather) quiet activities. As the kids get antsy, I can pull out a bag and hopefully entertain them. Our quiet activities include:
-A set of magnetic fishing poles and fish
-A set of lacing beads
-A set of tupperware containers the girls can push pom poms through. Idea from here.
-A pair of balloons we can blow up
-A new coloring/sticker book

*And my favorite idea for watching conference with toddlers..... I traded babysitting with a non-LDS friend earlier in the week in exchange for her watching my kids during the Saturday afternoon session of conference. Two less hours that they have to sit quietly and at least my husband and I will get to listen to one session uninterrupted!

I'll be back after conference to post my thoughts and the answers to these questions.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Toddler Treat Boxes

I keep seeing treat boxes like this one popping up on the internet. It's such a cute idea to fill a craft organizer with treats, but my children (ages 3 and 1) are a little young for it. It would make a gigantic mess because they'd open the box and stuff would fly everywhere.

So, I set off in search of something that would work. Disclaimer: Use this idea at your own risk.

I found....

Pill organizers! See what I mean about use at your own risk? They work well for us, but use your own judgment about whether this is a good idea for your children.

If you get the extra large size (referring to size of compartments not number of compartments), they fit snacks and little fingers perfectly. The best part about it is that only one compartment is open at a time so you don't have to worry about everything spilling. Bonus: We can work on letter recognition.

This one worked the best for my kids. It's a 7-compartment organizer with standard lids. My 3-year-old can pop them pretty easily and eats one compartment at a time. She does eat through the compartments rapidly, though, so two or three of these are better than one with more compartments because I can give the boxes at intervals. My 1-year-old can't open the lids so I'll open one, she'll sit quietly and happily eat her goldfish or cheerios and then bring it back to me when she wants the next one opened.

This was my next choice. It has 14 compartments and locking lids. Neither of my children can open it, which gives me a little bit more control.

This one has arthritis-friendly lids that are very easy to open. I didn't like it because they got bumped in my bag and spilled.

We've used these for church and in the car and my kids have loved them. I'm excited to take them on our plane trip in November. Here are a few ideas of things to put in them:

Goldfish crackers
Dried blueberries
Hard candy
Fruit Snacks
Yogurt-covered raisins

So, after trying out a variety of containers, I liked this style (less than $3 at Amazon). Here is what worked for me:

*an extra large pill organizer was the perfect size for little fingers and snacks

*seven compartments was the right size for us (for most things, that was plenty of snacks, but for very long trips two or three of these were better than one larger organizer)

*the large letters for the days of the week were nice because we could work on letter recognition

*2 kinds of snacks (like goldfish and cheerios) worked better for me than filling every compartment with something different

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank You Card (CAS Sketch 158)

Here is my card for Clean and Simple Sketch 158 using leftover scraps. I have about 40 of these little cards with this flowered paper on them (leftover from my purse cards). This card turned out okay, but I think I'll keep looking for a design to use for the rest of them. If I could find a cute design or two, I'd package some of these up for my ward's service auction that is coming up.

Halloween Cards (CAS Sketches 156 & 157)

I made some little Halloween cards using leftover scraps. I am planning to tuck these into little envelopes (the cards are 2 inches by 3.5 inches) and then package them up in a cute box. I'll come back and post pictures of the boxes when I get them done.

I love Clean and Simple sketches. I did two sets using Sketch 157.

...and one set using Sketch 156.
I think I'll take these to my ward's service auction that is coming up. Wouldn't these be adorable attached to some neighbor treats or tucked into a lunch box?