Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sharing a Favorite Cookie Recipe!

Were doing some baking today, with the idea of emphasizing giving this Christmas. Were starting with a favorite family recipe, posted earlier on this blog.


We like these because they taste good and because theyre good for us or at least better than most cookies can be!

Friday, December 14, 2012

ThredUp: $15 credit for new users – today only!

ThredUp’s great offer is back – today only!

Today is a great day to start using ThredUp, if you haven’t signed up yet. First-time users get $15 off their purchase today only! (That’s instead of the regular $10 credit for first-time users.) Sign up via this link and use promo code HOLIDAY15 during check-out.

ThredUp is an online consignment sale, offering gently-used brand-name kids clothing for amazingly low prices. If you’re new to the site, keep in mind that inventory changes constantly; you’ll want to check back often to see what’s been newly added!

I’ve personally been very pleased with items I’ve ordered through ThredUp. It’s been a great way to fill in gaps in my children’s wardrobes. I’ve even gotten several items new with tags – at 70% off!

If you’re not new to ThredUp, you can still get a good deal with free shipping – today only! Use promo code HOLIDAYSHIP at check-out. (Normally, there’s a $6.95 flat shipping rate – or shipping is free with orders of $40 or more.)

What are you waiting for?!

(You can read more about ThredUp in an earlier post.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cardboard & Paper Nativity Set

For years we’ve been concerned that our little people learn to give at Christmas instead of focusing on getting. Our “giving” ideas have included drawing pictures and baking cookies for extended family. So, we’re especially excited about this year’s project, highlighting the Reason for the Season:

Cardboard & Paper Nativity Set!

You can likely make this set with materials already on hand:
  • TP rolls (Yep! That means “toilet paper” rolls!)
  • construction paper (or other colored paper)
  • wrapping tissue (the kind that “fills” gift bags)
    (You could also use fabric scraps.)
  • colored pencils (or markers)
  • scissors
  • glue & tape
We used TP rolls of various sizes. (You could also use paper towel rolls, cut to desired lengths.)

To make the baby, cut a TP roll in half and then in half again and tape the new, small roll closed:

Draw “faces” on paper and trim to fit. Color the features and glue the faces on the cardboard rolls:

Wrap the baby in white wrapping tissue and fold long end back:

Trim paper “tunics” and “head-dresses” to fit Mary and Joseph. Attach the “clothes” with glue:

For the manger, cut a cardboard roll lengthwise and trim to desired length. Cut along the upper edges to give the look of straw:

Making this set can give great cutting, gluing, taping, and coloring practice to young students, too.

We’re working on a more elaborate version for one family member who collects Nativities. (We’re hoping that because she doesn’t use the internet very much, our secret will be safe!) Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe for Chocolate (Spinach!) Smoothies

We have a new favorite snack at our house: “Green” Smoothies, fondly referred to as “oo behpahp” by our two-year-old – his way of trying to say jugo especial (or “special juice” in Spanish). When the Little Man hears the blender, he races into the kitchen, exclaiming: “Oo behpahp! Oo behpahp!”
Our favorite is the Chocolate Spinach Variety. The “recipe” makes about four 1-cup servings and can be easily modified:
1 or 2 medium bananas (preferably frozen)
handful of fresh spinach leaves (I put in plenty: about 1 cup!)
1 Tbsp olive oil (to add a creamy texture)
1 to 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (important to help bring out the natural sweetness of the bananas)
1 to 2 Tbsp honey
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup almond milk (or whole milk)
6 to 8 ice cubes (optional)
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Using our Ninja Blender, we pulse a dozen or so times and then blend continuously for about 30 seconds.

This is a wonderful way to get little people to eat raw spinach! Our first-grader wants to try out the recipe on unsuspecting cousins: If you don’t know you’re getting a spinach smoothie, you’d probably have a hard time guessing it’s a main ingredient!

Ebates: Get $5 credit & a $10 gift card!

Have you signed up for Ebates yet?
Ebates is a great way to get cash back for shopping you’re already doing anyway – and there are currently lots of online sales with the holidays fast-approaching...
If you sign up right now, you can choose a bonus $10 gift card (to Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, or Macy’s). That’s in addition to the $5 credit you get for signing up.

I know Ebates works. I chose the $10 Target gift card when I first signed up. I’ve also gotten a “cash back” check and have another one pending – for shopping I was doing anyway! Those percentages “back” really do add up little by little...
You can sign up by clicking this link!