Category Archives: Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts & History

As you prepare to enjoy some St. Paddy’s Day fun with your family, it may be a good time to learn about the history of this day and why we celebrate it.

St. Patrick's Day Fun Facts and History

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts & History

As you prepare to enjoy some St. Paddy’s Day fun with your family, it may be a good time to learn about the history of this day and why we celebrate it.  So get your Irish on and learn something new.  Then, use what you learn to play trivia games with your family to celebrate your Irish ancestry.

Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Traditionally, the color green represents Ireland or the Emerald Isle. However, according to legend green also has the magical power to make people invisible to leprechauns or other fairy creatures. That means, wearing green can keep you from getting pinched by mischievous leprechauns. If you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, watch out, you’ll get pinched!

Why shamrocks?

shamrock-leaves_zJFlh4dO_LIn ancient Ireland, shamrocks were the symbol of the rebirth of spring and were considered a sacred plant. In the 1600s the shamrock became the symbol of Irish nationalism. During a time when the English were invading Irish land, people would wear shamrocks as a symbol of their heritage and loyalty to their country.

Where did the leprechaun come from?

lepThe leprechaun most likely originated from Celtic folklore and their belief in fairies— tiny men and women with magical powers for both good and evil. In Celtic tales, leprechauns were the ones who fixed shoes for other fairies. They were grumpy,  mean-spirited, and known for their deception and trickery. The leprechaun was never a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, but in 1959 a Disney movie transformed the leprechaun’s image into that of a cheery, good-hearted soul.

Who is Saint Patrick?

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but he was actually born in England. As a young man, he was taken prisoner by the Irish and held in captivity for six years. During that time he became a devout Christian. It is said that he heard the voice of God, which helped him escape.  Later, as the story goes, he had visions of an angel, who told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. It is widely believed that Patrick was the one who introduced Christianity to Ireland. It is also believed that he passed away on March 17, which is how St. Patrick’s Day came to be celebrated then.

Did You Know:

Initially, St. Patrick’s Day was observed as a religious holiday. Until the 1970s, all pubs were forced to close on March 17th out of respect for the holiday. Then, in 1995, the government of Ireland decided to use St. Patrick’s Day as a chance to promote tourism, which helped it become a world-celebrated holiday.

The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America happen in New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, and Savannah, Georgia.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

What to Buy Before Thanksgiving Week

If you are like me, you procrastinate what you need to do until the very last second. This means you wait until the week before Thanksgiving to do all your Thanksgiving shopping.

What to Buy before thanksgiving

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What to Buy Before Thanksgiving Week

Well, I am here to tell you that even though many stores mail out their ads for huge sales that week, it pays to shop for Thanksgiving dinner well in advance. You may still need to get items Thanksgiving week, but it is a quick in and out process. Here’s what to buy before the week of Thanksgiving:

Turkeys

The week before Thanksgiving, turkey may sound like it’s on sale. All the ads say they are having a sale. If you buy your turkey in September or October, you can get your turkey for as little as $10 instead of the outrageous $30. Buy your turkey a month or two before Thanksgiving and plop it in the freezer. You will be glad you did.

Ham

Some families have ham and turkey for Thanksgiving. Whether you do or not, Christmas is around the corner as well. Buy your ham a few months before Thanksgiving. Did you know you could get a nice size ham for as little as $8? Spend less and get it now.

Decorations

If you like to make your home festive for Thanksgiving, you want to buy decorations early. As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, everyone is scouring the shelves for the perfect decorations. Get out there and buy your decorations before the pickings are slim.

Canned Goods

You can stock up on corn, Yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, and any other canned good you can think of. This stuff really doesn’t go on sale, and you can get it for the same price most of the year.

Bakeware  You can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner without all the supplies. Bakeware tends to go up in price as Thanksgiving draws near. You can get disposable bakeware at local dollar stores, or you can buy glassware from box stores near you.

Breads and Non-perishables

Rolls, macaroni, and other non-perishables.You want to get most of your shopping list done and out of the way before the week of thanksgiving. Buy as many non-perishable items as you can.

Paper and Plastic Products

Paper plates, plastic forks, and knives. Cleaning up plates and glassware can get overwhelming if you have a large family. Instead, stock up on paper and plastic to use for your Thanksgiving dinner. You can find great deals on these at party shops around your area.

The Week of Thanksgiving

Of course, you can’t get all the items you need in advance. Sometimes you forget things, things get eaten, or you have to do some last minute shopping. Here’s a list of last minute items you may have forgotten:

  1. Butter:
  2. Eggs
  3. Milk
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. French’s Fried Onions
  7. Appetizers
  8. Salad or fruit trays

Being prepared and shopping early really pays off. Often you will have a better selection and you most certainly have less stress.

What other items do you buy before Thanksgiving week? Share your Thanksgiving shopping tips in the comments below for others to benefit!

Top Christmas Presents for Amazon Shoppers

Amazon Shoppersaffiliate_disclaimerTop Christmas Presents for Amazon Shoppers

Amazon is just amazing, and if you aren’t one that likes crowds, this is the best place to shop during Christmas. No matter what kind of gift you are looking for, you can most likely find it on Amazon. However, it’s always nice to know what’s popular this year. Here’re the top Christmas presents to buy on Amazon:

Fire Kids Edition Tablet

This is a full-featured tablet with front and rear cameras. Though real, it is perfectly equipped for parents to turn it into a kid’s tablet.

Star Wars Anything

Star Wars is all the rave this year. Both kids and Star War fans alike will love the Star Wars light sabers, games, and Legos.

American Girl Doll

Girls across the country love dolls. American Girl Dolls are big enough to dress, yet small enough to take along wherever your girl goes.

Fisher Price Power Wheels

Power wheels are just as popular this year as they have been in previous years. All youngsters like to drive just like mom and dad.

A variety of models are available along with a wide range of costs. Sure to be a hit under the tree.

The New Echo Dot

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-activated device that has a small built-in speaker. It is the perfect gift for your teen, for dad, or even for mom this Christmas.

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

With being able to get unlimited books every month for $9.99 on Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader makes the perfect gift for the book lovers in your family.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare

If you want to please the gamer in your life, there is no better gift than the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare game.

Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

With the new STEM learning in place, you can get your kids having fun learning the basics of science and chemical reactions while learning science vocabulary.

Cards Against Humanity

In a world full of serious adulating, sometimes the adults in your life need a little fun. With humor and fun, Cards Against Humanity is the perfect gift for any adult in your life.

Fisher Price Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar

Much like coding, kids connect segments to make their caterpillar go forward, backward, left, or right.

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

The PlayStation 4 makes the perfect gift for the whole family. From watching Netflix to playing games, everyone will find something they love about it.

Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk

Playing dress up spikes creativity and encourages learning. Of course, Disney Princesses are always popular among little girls.

WowWee Chip Interactive Robot Pet Dog

This smart, affectionate, trainable robot dog is the perfect “pet” for your kids. No need to clean up dog poop.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

No need to spend countless hours in the mall waiting for your kids to make their bears. Now they can “build a bear” right at home.

Remember, Amazon participates in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Keep an eye out to score killer deals on these 2016 Christmas presents!  Happy Shopping!

 

Kids Gifts to Promote STEM Learning

STEM education for kids has become very popular and is really good for a child’s development. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.  Learning gives kids a great head start and these STEM toys help them learn, plus makes learning fun.

Kids gifts

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Kids Gifts to Promote STEM Learning

 

Some parents may wonder how they can help their children to develop and grow in STEM fields. Well, there is good news for parents! There is a wide range of STEM-themed toys for children available all over the place.

With the holidays approaching, STEM gifts for kids is a wonderful choice for gifts. They can combine learning and education for a wonderful gift this year.

Puzzlets:

Puzzlets is really cool. It connects to a table or computer and teaches  children the basics of programming a computer game. Kids simply place puzzle like pieces into a board and see results. With game development being an ever growing field of work, this is a great skill for even the youngest of children to develop.

Kids simply place puzzle like pieces into a board and see results. With game development being an ever growing field of work, this is a great skill for even the youngest of children to develop.

Make a Robot with Spybot Kit:

Do you have a child that likes robots?  Or even a budding electrical engineer? Then this gift is perfect for your child.

This 223-piece kit contains everything needed to build a spy robot.  A programmable controller allows you to customize the shadowstrike with special features before starting on a mission.

A fun toy for all ages, though younger kids would need some help with the assembly.

Kano Build Your Own Computer Kit:

Kids love computers. They also love knowing how things are made. That is where this computer building kit comes in.

This kit not only allows kids to build their computer teaching them technology skills, it also teaches children how to code. Once the computer is built, it comes with preloaded educational apps!

LEGO Technic Mining Truck:

This truck comes fully loaded for all of your car lovers. Children are given 362 pieces. Combine pieces to make an entire vehicle, including a surprisingly detailed engine with pistons that actually move!

Kids can tear it apart and rebuild it in different ways, time and time again.

Bee-Bot:

Here is one to help toddlers learn the basics of command and coding.

The Bee-Bot has arrows on it’s back, which are easy for little fingers to press. Once the button is pressed, the Bee-Bot follows the command. This teaches little ones that once something is given the command, it follows it, providing the basic pathway for coding.

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine:

Have a little girl in your life that you would like to spark the STEM interest in? This brightly colored construction toy should help get them interested.

It comes with everything for her to build a machine and a story featuring a smart young lady. The Spinning Machine is part of a line of toys and books focused on teaching girls about STEM.

These toys are sure to be a hit with the children in your life.  STEM learning is fun!  There is a wide range of STEM toys that would make perfect gifts for kids. They can span so many different topics, such as building, coding, programming, and fun! So, if you know a child who already loves STEM subjects or even a child who you want to introduce it to, then these are the gifts to add to your holiday shopping lists!

“I’m an affiliate for things I’ve bought or used personally or items recommended to me. If you click through my referral links, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way.”

 

               

23 Haunting Halloween Decorations You Can Make

Halloween is a fun time of festivities and parties.  Trick or treating and haunted houses are traditions.

23 Haunting Halloween DecorationsAnyone who knows me knows I love Halloween Parties and decorating.    I’ve hosted many a party for family, friends, and my son’s classmates and friends.

While all the Halloween celebrations can be fun, it can also be expensive.  I have found many of the  things you want to use for decoration can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.

23 Haunting Halloween Decorations You Can Make

Here is a roundup list of 23 decorations you can make.  Some scary, some fun and all for a fraction of the cost of purchasing the items in the store.  Plus you and your children will have fun making them.

1. Jade Louise Designs – DIY Candy Feeder Dish

2. Design Dazzle – Whimsical Witch Legs

3. Family Thinking Outside the Sandbox – DIY Felt Ghost Bean Bags

4. Carolyn’s Homework – Halloween Scary Jars      This is one of my favorites!

5. The Nerd’s Wife – Melted Crayon Pumpkin   Great project for upper elementary students!

6. Tried and True Blog – Vintage Halloween Tassels

7. R and R Workshop – Burlap Boo Bunting

8. Design Dazzle – HWitch Crashing Decoration

9. A Pumpkin and a Princess – Halloween Apothecary Jars  Another one of my favorites, especially the glow in the dark slime!

10. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom – DIY Glitter Pumpkins  – Great for teens and adults.

11. R and R Workshop – Personalized Trick or Treat Bags (Picmonkey.com Tutorial)

12. Craftulate – Spider Craft for Toddlers

13. Design Dazzle – Mummy Hand from a Dish Glove  This is fun!

14. A Pumpkin and a Princess – Halloween Spider Pumpkin

15. R and R Workshop – DIY Halloween Shadow Puppets

16. Uncommon Designs Online – Treat Buckets

17. Taking Care of Monkey Business – DIY Monster Wreath

18. Typically Simple – Halloween Pillow Cover Using a Freezer Paper Stencil  I’m planning to make one of these.

19. Overstuffed Life – Tulle Halloween Wreath

20. Crafts By Amanda – Halloween Painted Jar Luminaries

21. Create Craft Love – Raven Inspired Porch  Love this idea!

22. Princess Pinky Girl – Tomato Cage Ghost

23. Tater Tots and Jello – Easy Black and White Topiary

Have Fun

I hope you found one or two to make and maybe you got a few new ideas of your own. These do-it-yourself decorations will certainly help you have a hauntingly happy Halloween!

Let me know which items you decided to make and if you know of any others, I would be happy to share.