Monthly Archives: January 2016

Valentine’s Day Ball Jars

We decorated for Valentine’s Day this weekend.  As much as I love my January/winter decorations, I must say that I am really over winter this year (even though this winter so far has been a walk in the park compared to the last 2 winters), so switching to Valentine’s Day decorations felt like a breath of fresh (and not frigid, shiver inducing) air.

As a result, I was motivated to put out more Valentine’s Day decorations than usual.  These Ball jars were one of my new additions this year.  I saw the idea for these cute jars on Pinterest.  All I did was get a white doily for each jar and attached them with glue dots.  I punched hearts out of red card stock and used glue dots again to stick a heart on top of each doily.  Then I took red and white bakers’ twine and wrapped it around each jar a few times and tied it in a bow on top of the each heart.  I finished the jars off by filling them with conversation hearts and tulips – my favorite flower for Valentine’s Day.  I even made a mini version with a heart on the lid to complete my collection.  I love them – they make me feel happy and warm like spring is just around the corner… Come on Groundhog!  Don’t let me down!

January Card of the Month: Balloon Birthday Card

January’s card of the month is a birthday card.  As I have mentioned before, I like to make several cards at a time assembly line style, and January is a good time to make sure I have a good chink of the birthday cards I will need throughout the year ready to go.  Besides, making cards is a good inside activity, and I have been too cold lately to want to leave the house at all.  Building up my birthday card inventory inside where it is cozy and where there is college basketball on the tv is a much more desirable option than venturing outside in the bitter cold for even just a few minutes and then spending the next 6 or more hours trying to stop shivering.

I rediscovered this balloon birthday card while looking through my card files.  The colors on it reminded me of January so I decided to use it for the January card of the month.  (Although any color scheme would work of course!)

January Card of the Month: Balloon Birthday Card

January Card of the Month: Balloon Birthday Card

I cut out 3 balloon shapes using my Cricut.  I used some fun papers I had in my paper scraps bin.  One was a green velum and one was a pearlized pale green – both perfect for balloons!  The third was a coordinating green and blue stripe.  For the background I chose a light blue card stock that matched the striped balloon.  I cut it to 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ and folded it in half.  I attached strings to the backs of the balloons using glue dots.  Then I attached the balloons to the front of the card with adhesive.  After the balloons were positioned and attached the way I wanted them, I tied the 3 strings together in a knot at the bottom of the card.

Balloon Birthday Card Inside

Balloon Birthday Card Inside

For the inside I stamped some Happy Birthday balloons with light blue on white using a very old Stampin’ Up stamp and matted it with the green vellum and pearlized green from the front of the card.  I finished it off with photo corners punched out of the green and blue striped paper.

A cute card and a fun way to use up extra bits of paper and experiment with different color and pattern combinations.

Snowman Cheeseball

I found the cutest snowman cheeseball on Pinterest.  I simplified it a bit (even though it was already really simple) and made it for a New Year’s Day lunch with my family.  It was so cute I just had to share.

I used 2 boxes of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  I rolled each block of cheese into a ball.  Then I rolled both of the balls in shredded mozzarella.  I put a few toothpicks sticking out of the top of the bottom ball for extra support and then placed the other ball on top.  I added a tiny carrot for the nose and peppercorns for the eyes, mouth, and buttons.  So easy and super cute!  Perfect for any type of January or winter party – or just to make an ordinary dinner more fun!

January Poem of the Month: Winter Haiku

January’s poem of the month is a winter haiku.  Haikus are poems that have a total of 17 syllables – 5 in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line.  They are really good to do with kids because they help with practice finding syllables in words as well as solving a math puzzle in order to make the lines have the correct number of syllables.  When I do them for January, the kids must write about winter topics.  Traditionally haikus are supposed to be about nature, but our winter haikus have covered everything from cold and snow to snowmen to hot chocolate.  Here is one about snowmen by a third grader:

I like snowmen lots.

Snowmen are like snow people.

Snowmen are so fun.

After copying their final copies onto light blue construction paper, I had kids decorate them with white construction paper snow and winter stickers before displaying them on our poem of the month bulletin board.

New Holiday Storage

Last week it was time for one of my least favorite jobs – taking down Christmas decorations.  I must say though – the new and improved storage space for holiday boxes in our new house made the task much easier and enjoyable.  And I’ll admit, putting everything in nicely sorted and stacked boxes does appeal to my penchant for organizing.  Instead of having boxes stashed in every random nook and cranny like at our old house, now the upstairs decorations all live in an upstairs closet and the downstairs decorations all live in the downstairs coat closets (who needs coats, right?).  This saved so much time since we didn’t have to carry any boxes up and down the stairs.  I also thought (unfortunately after the fact) to take pictures of where the boxes were positioned in the closets so they would be easier to put back away.  Note to self – next time do this before taking everything out of the closet!  Oh well, at least the pictures will be handy for the next holiday!  Speaking of the next holiday, be sure to organize the boxes in the closets with the boxes for the next closest holiday on top and the boxes for the holiday that just happened on the bottom.  My last tip is to always use box labels that can be peeled off and repositioned so that you can make sure they are easy to see from their spots in the closets.  It takes a little effort but it’s totally worth it.  Container Store has fabulous labels that you can easily take off and on.  Love starting the new year off so organized.  Bring on all the holidays of 2016!