Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Elf Day 17-19

Back by popular demand (by Higgins), obstacles in the hallway! I didn't want a repeat Elf visit (last time was crepe paper), so this time I did paper chains of snowmen, penguins, and snowflakes.

To make the paper chains, I used a roll of banner paper, folded it over multiple times and cut out the shapes. It was pretty easy to do, although it was occasionally challenging to cut through so many layers of paper. You want to make sure your shape touches both sides of the folded over sides of paper. It is also much, much easier to sketch out the shape on the top of the folded paper than to cut free handed. Trust me. The piles near the elf are my Oops! piles.
Design touching the folded edges

I think next time, I would make it so the snowmen were touching by their hats or sides, not top to bottom. I also wanted to get more obstacle chains put up, but it was already midnight by the time I was done with these, so I called it a night.

I also made some faces on one of the sets of snowmen. I think I may later add a game to it, something along the lines of find which one is different (Find The Snowman with the...). I have some with glasses, some with buttons, some with only one button, nose and no nose.

Day 18: He was in our bedroom last night, near hubby's side.
Day 19: Hanging out in a robe in the kids' bathroom.

I am running out of ideas and time to do something crazy fun with the Elf this year. He has been pretty tame this time, except for a couple of fun visits. I'm hoping to be more on the ball next year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Elf Day 14 to 16

Day 14: Higgins left his toy snake out last night. It seems like the Elf ran into a bit of trouble.

Day 15: Bernardo made such a mess of his desk, that our Elf decided to squeeze in and hide.

Day 16: Eugene hid on the railing this morning.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Elf Days 11-13

I've been wanting to put the Elf in a clear balloon for awhile. Our Elf has been really boring this year, so I finally decided to do it this year. I bought 18" clear balloons on Amazon. The balloons worked really well and the kids got a huge kick out the Elf Stuck in the Snow Globe.

Day 11: Snow globe
Day 12: Snow globe again. Kids had spent the night at Grandma's and the Elf didn't move.
Day 13: Bernardo had cleaned out his bookshelf and had put some books in a box to save for later. It was still in the hallway, so the Elf hid behind the box. Yes, my son may be a little bit like me and have a love for books. He labeled the box "Fragile".
Elf Snow Globe Directions: It was a little tricky to get the Elf inside the balloon. I would definitely recommend working with someone else, one person to hold the balloon open, one person to stuff the elf in. I tried using a glass to hold the balloon open and it broke the glass. Not fun! Once the Elf was in, I used a hole punch and made the snow for the globe and just placed inside the balloon. I cut a small piece of cardboard, wrote "Help! Stuck in a snow globe." and placed inside the balloon. I used a balloon pump to inflate the balloon. I found it pretty cheap at Target. I had crazy plans of making a type of seat for the Elf to be on inside the balloon (I had it set up as a soda bottle bottom, a bit of bating, and a white twist tie to keep the elf on the bottle bottom.) However, I did not manage to get it done by myself and I wanted to get it done before the kids got home from school. TIP: Do not inflate too much, the balloon may pop and it is really hard to tie! I used a styrofoam bowl, turned upside down, punched a hole in the center, and shoved the tied end of the balloon through. I placed a piece of packing tape over the end to help keep in place. I shook the balloon until I got the Elf close to where I wanted him in the globe. I then used a silver and red permanent marker to write on the bowl base of the snow globe.

There are also 36" clear balloons, if you wanted to go bigger or make it easier to get the elf inside the balloon.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Time Is Here Again!

Oh my gosh! Christmas is in a week! If you are running a little behind like I am, here is my list of Christmas themed fun, activities & crafts, food, elf, and gift ideas. I hope the Holiday season finds you all happy and well!

ACTIVITIES & FUN:


CRAFTS: 

ELF: Here is the link to my elf post. I update it when I get new ideas.

GIFTS:
  • St. Nick's Day was 12/6, but there are a lot of stocking stuffer ideas that will work great for Christmas!
  • You've Been Elf'd. Spread a little holiday cheer to your friends and neighbors. We also made and delivered cookies to our neighbors a few days before Christmas last year. They seemed to be a big hit! :)


FOOD:
     DRINKS:

     SNACKS & APPETIZERS:

      MEAL ITEMS:

      BREAKFAST:

   DESSERTS:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Elf 2017 Days 4 - 9

I may be a little behind updating the Elf. I am still baking lots and lots of cookies. We give them to the neighbors each year, hubby brings in platters to work, and we have them for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events.

Eugene moved most days, although he forgot twice. He also hasn't been extremely exciting this year. I have a few ideas for him, but haven't been able to implement them yet.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Elf 2017, Days 2 and 3

This Elf is a little tired, so no crazy shenanigans the last couple of days. We're working on the crazy amount of Christmas cookies we make every year. I'm also having a little hard of a time being creative with spots so far this year.

Higgins has requested that Eugene make the crepe paper barricade again this year, so that may make an appearance again this year. Apparently, it was his favorite Elf event. 😊

Day 2: Eugene hid in Higgins' wrestling mask on his dresser.
Day 3: Hid in Bernardo's room by the mini Christmas tree, Harry Potter tin, and the Cyberman paper mache head I made for his Doctor Who birthday party a couple of years ago.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elf On The Shelf 2017

Eugene arrived ahead of schedule. He normally arrives on 12/6 for St. Nick's Day, which is his anniversary in our house. He normally likes to do something big for his yearly debut.

This year, he made a paper snowman on the boys' bathroom door. (He didn't want any fighting over whose door the elf should have made the snowman, so he picked a neutral door.)

If you have white doors, it's even easier. Use the whole door as the snowman body. Cut out the coal for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Tape to door (brown tape or painters tape works best). Add a scarf (paper like mine, or ribbon) and a hat. I used construction paper to make the decorations and a roll of banner paper for the snowman body.

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Elf Time Again!

Our Elf is a little lazy and comes on St. Nicholas Day (tomorrow!), which is the day we originally got him. I am still coming up with this year's ideas for our elf Eugene. However, I do have some of his more exciting past adventures listed below. I'll update this post when I get new ones! (All of the Elf ideas, both boring and exciting, can still be found on the blog under Categories/Elf On The Shelf.)


Thursday, November 30, 2017

St. Nick's Day

I know it seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving, but St. Nick's Day is Wednesday 12/6! I have a little history about St. Nick's Day and some Stocking Stuffer ideas below!

I used to love St. Nick's Day when I was a kid. I remember waking up on December 6th, excited to see what my stocking of goodies contained. I later learned that not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in German and Dutch communities and in Europe. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college and they told her to put a shoe outside her door.

Who Was St. Nick?
St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls' future was bleak. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

How To Celebrate:
Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband's tradition was to put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other families put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!


Ideas from years past. I find lots of great items in Target's dollar section. Michael's also has some fun stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
  • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave.
  • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.) My favorite is the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops.
  • Small games or deck of cards.
  • Books or Comic Books.
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun pens, etc. The coloring book link is to Amazon, but Target and Michael's often have these Grab & Go packs for $1.
  • Small stuffed animals.
  • Grab and Go games. These fit in stockings and are great for car rides or while sitting in restaurants. Some of our favorites are ClueConnect FourGuess Who, Battleship, and Trouble.
  • Barrettes, headbands.
  • Hot chocolate mix.
  • Lego's (There's so many kinds! Ninjago, a box of Lego's,  Nexo Knights, Minecraft, Friends.) Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys loved them! The mini figure packs are also great stocking stuffers (Lego online or in stores carry these, as well as Amazon or Target. Sometimes even the grocery stores or Wal-Mart will have these.).
  • Small toys.
  • Art supplies (crayons, pencils, pens, drawing pads, paints, pencil sharpener, stickers...)
  • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
  • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one everyone.) They have ChristmasStar WarsAvengersScooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
  • Flashlight.
  • Stickers.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon, beef jerky, new phone case.
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss).
  • Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars.
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples).
  • Hexbugs.
  • Gum.
  • Compass.
  • Small Nerf Guns.
  • DVD: Target's $5 movie rack is a great place to find these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.
  • Advent Calendar. 
    • Kids: It's a little late, but they will like having a few days to open at one time! There is, of course, the normal chocolate calendar. (I found some at Michael's and at the grocery store.) There are also non-chocolate calendars: Lego, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels, PlayMobil, Play-Doh, Minions, Disney (Tsum TsumOlaf/Frozen) and even a bead craft option. There are also simple countdown versions. Note: Last year I had a hard time finding the regular Lego calendar, it seemed to be sold out everywhere! Most of the online ones for sale were people reselling it for at least $10 more than the normal price. I finally found on at a local Barnes & Nobles bookstore. Check online and in stores early to make sure you get the one you want for the regular price.
    • Adults: There are lots of adult themed Advent Calendars available too! Master of Malt offers many different alcoholic (especially whiskey and scotch) calendars. I bought myself a nicer chocolate Advent Calendar with dark chocolates.
       
LINKS
St. Nicholas, Wiki
http://www.stnicksday.com/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving

How is it possible that it is almost Thanksgiving? It feels like we just had Halloween! If you need any last ideas or some recipes, I have a few below. :)  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

FOOD:

CRAFTS:


ACTIVITIES:


BOOKS:

Thanksgiving Word Hunt

How many words can you make out of the word Thanksgiving? How about the word Turkey? I have some of the words we found under the puzzles.



You can print it or click on it to make larger. To Print: Right Click-Open image in new tab-Print or Ctrl-P. Or Right Click-Save/Save Image As/Save to Computer-Open the saved image-Print.

THANKSGIVING:

Ah     An     Ankh     As     Ash     Ask     At     Gag     Gain     Gaining    Gains     Gait     Gaits     Gash     Gat     Ghast     Gin     Gins     Gist     Giving     Gnash     Gnashing     Ha     Hag     Hang     Han     Hanging     Hangs     Hank     Has     Hat     Hats     Hi     Hint     Hinting     Hints     His     Hit     Hits     I     In     Inn     Ink     Is     It     Kin     Kings     Kings     Kit     Kits     Kith     Kiths     Knight     Knights     Knit     Knits     Nag     Nags     Nan     Nit     Sag     Saint     Sang     Sank     Sat     Shin     Si     Sign     Sin     Sing     Singing     Sink     Sit     Skating     Ski     Skiing     Skin     Skit     Stan     Tag     Tags     Tan     Tang     Tank     Tanks     Tans     Thank       Thanks     Than     Thin     Think     Thinks     Thinking     Thing     Tin     Tins     Van     Vans     Vast     Vat     Via

    TURKEY: 

    Key     Re     Rye     Rey     Rue     True     Trek     Try     Tyke     Yet     Yurt

      What words did you find? (It's almost midnight as I try to finish, so I'm sure I missed a lot. Please share what you found!)