Category Archives: SITS Girls

SITS Blog Critque


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Hi, SITStahs!

Is this awkward?  It feels like this might be a little awkward.

Is this awkward? It feels like this might be a little awkward.

I just got word that my blog is going to be critiqued today and I’m kinda sweatin’ buckets here! (Mmm, what a delightful thought!)

Back in 2010 when my blog was only a few months old I actually had my SITS day…except I thought the following day was going to be my SITS day and I was like, “Hey, why are all these people visiting my blog?” Then I had to scramble around to get a post up…and then another post.

I think maybe I talk too much.  Which is probably why I started a second blog, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. My blogs are wordpress.com because moving to .org is too intimidating. I scared!

Soooo anyway…I’d love to hear your constructive criticism on how I can improve my blog. I hope that it is easy to navigate and not too cluttered, but we’ll see. Do the polka dots cross your eyes? No. They don’t. You’re probably just mesmerized by my incredibly gifted blogging ability. Ahem.

Whatever.

Give me your worst. And your best. I’ll keep my eyes closed until you’re finished.

You can check out the critique over on the SITS Girls Facebook Page!


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10 Ideas for Your Christmas Pajamas Tradition


10 Ideas for Your #Christmas #Pajamas #Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)

Our family has many different Christmas traditions, but perhaps our most favorite tradition is receiving new Christmas pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. I dare say that most of you reading this have this same tradition. Today I’m going to give you some ideas to make an old tradition new!

1. Use your pajamas before Christmas: Unheard of, I know! In most families new Christmas pajamas are given and worn on Christmas Eve, but if you have small children that grow out of clothes quickly you might not feel like you’re getting the most for your money. You can solve this problem by handing out Christmas pajamas early in the season. Consider giving Christmas pajamas on Thanksgiving Day, on December 1st, or on December 5th (the Eve of Saint Nicholas Day) or you can have a spontaneous Pajama Day and surprise everyone with jammies on a random day.

2. Wear your pajamas for everything: If you give your Christmas pajamas earlier in the season consider wearing them for all of your Christmas-related activities. Wear them to bake cookies, decorate the tree, or watch your favorite Christmas movie. Just don’t wear them to bed…save them for bedtime on Christmas Eve! Wear your pajamas everywhere you go on Christmas Day. Wear them to Grandma’s house and to deliver cookies to your neighbor, but maybe not to church 😉

3. Have your pajamas delivered by Santa or an elf: What better way to receive Christmas pajamas than to have them magically delivered by an elf or Santa himself. If you have an Elf on a Shelf or an Elf Magic elf, they would probably be thrilled to deliver your Christmas pajamas. Christmas pajamas have been known to magically appear on the front porch, at the foot of the bed, by the fireplace, or under the tree. Sometimes they even magically show up in the car while your family is shopping or out and about! Speaking of elves, how cute would matching jammies for your elf be?!

4. Have a scavenger hunt to find your pajamas: Yes, do that. That sounds like fun 😉

5. Pair your pajamas with another gift: You can give robes, slippers, a sleeping mask, or a new stuffed animal. My favorite Christmas pajama companion is a new book. It can be a Christmas book, bedtime story, or just a book you know they’ll love.

6. Pajamas and Christmas lights: Wake up the kids and take them out in their pajamas to drive around and look at Christmas lights. Don’t forget to bring some cookies and hot chocolate with you and pump up those Christmas tunes! You might even consider a Random Pajama Gram…visit the house of friends or family then knock on the door in your pjs and sing some Christmas carols to the unsuspecting residents.

7. Use old pajamas to Countdown to Christmas: If you do a Christmas Countdown, such as unwrapping a different Christmas book each day, you can use pajamas from previous years as the wrapping paper! Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Advent, or the 12 days of Christmas, this idea will work. If your children have gotten to the age where they can wear the same size several years in a row they can wear their old pajamas on the day they are unwrapped.

8. New ways to wrap your pajamas: Put the pajamas inside of a pillow case and wrap a bow around it. Use the pillow case on Christmas Eve. You save on wrapping paper and a new tradition is born! Similar to the Countdown to Christmas you can use your old Christmas pajamas to wrap up the new ones or use the new Christmas pajamas to wrap up another gift you plan to give that night.
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9. Turn your old pajamas into a keepsake: For you crafty folks you can use your old Christmas pajamas to make pillows or save a square off of each pair to make a quilt. You want a tutorial? Too bad. I said you crafty folks…I don’t happen to be one of them. I just bring the ideas here, people. However, if one of you crafty people wants to volunteer to turn my old jammies into a quilt…you know where to find me 😉
Here’s someone craftier than me that gave the pajama quilt a try:
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10. Give pajamas to someone in need: There are few gifts you could give your children at Christmastime that could compare to the example of a giving spirit. Share your beloved Christmas pajama tradition with those less fortunate than you by donating pajamas. Purchase new pajamas to donate to a nursing home or women’s shelter. You could start your own “Jammie Drive” or give to an already existing pajama charity.

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Check out my sponsored post on behalf of Joe Boxer pajamas from Kmart!
Show Your Joe with Joe Boxer Pajamas from Kmart

What are your Christmas pajamas traditions?

10 Ideas for your Christmas jammies tradition

This post is linked to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop!

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10 Days of Christmas PJs!: Our Christmas jammies from the last decade!

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NOTE: When this post was first published in December 2010 it was my SITS feature day as part of SITSmas. The following was originally included at the beginning of my post.
Welcome, SITStahs! I was confused and thought that my SITS feature was tomorrow and not today, so I’m totally unprepared. You can read all about it here. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll take a look around and decide to stay 🙂 Now let’s pretend none of that ever happened and move on to the post that I’m supposed to have up for you…

Guest Post: Food as Tradition – Norwegian Butter Cookies


The following guest post is by a fellow Goose, Retha, from Mommy Bee Wisdom.

Growing up every Christmas Eve we went to my Great Grandpa’s house, where all of the family would be gathered. The table there is so large, you can fit around 16 people at it. But there were so many family members, and so much food that no one ever sat at that table. The table would always be covered with food from edge to edge. My dad’s family is Scandinavian, so I believe the word for it is Smorgasbord. We would have a turkey, ham, goose, and some sort of fish as the main meats. The sides would include stuffing, rice pudding with an Almond (the almond is a prosperous sign, and who gets it gets pregnant or married), potato sausage, pickled Herring, lufka (a salt cured fish of sorts), and several cheeses. The desserts would include pies, cookies, and breads. My favorite of all the cookies would be the butter cookie. Our family refers to it as the Norwegian Butter Cookie, but in all actuality the recipe is the same from Russia, to Germany, Poland, etc. These little cookies are a bright yellow, not very big, and so crumbly soft that you can’t just eat one.

This recipe is so very simple, only has 5 ingredients and such a big flavor they are always a hit!

Warning: DO NOT eat the whole batch yourself or you WILL get a tummy ache! Don’t ask me how I know this.

Ingredients:

4 eggs: Hard boiled
2 stick of softened butter (use real butter, margarine will not work right)
1/2 cup of white sugar (Splenda will work here if you need to use that, but add a dash of salt to it to stop the after taste)
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Almond or Vanilla extract (imitation will work, but the real is best)

Instructions:

1. Start by hard boiling the eggs. Try not to boil them for longer than 2 minutes. As you want a bright yellow yolk, a green yoke means you cooked it too long.

2. Once your eggs are cooled off enough to handle, separate the yoke from the whites, and eat the whites. There’s no point in wasting anything. And preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Cream (use an electric mixer or food processor) together the butter, sugar and egg yolks.
4. Slowly mix in the flour and extract.
5. Your dough will be quite thick and crumbly (almost the consistency of play dough) This is normal and don’t be tempted to add more liquid.

6. Take a soup spoon and scoop out pieces of dough, roll into a ball and lightly press on to your ungreased cookie sheet. These cookies will not expand, or change shape.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a light brown, and the tops look fluffy.
8. Allow to cool, if you can!

I can never wait for the first batch of these to cool, it’s like pulling Christmas out of my oven. And more often then not I am playing hot potato with a cookie. I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Retha Barton blogs at Mommy Bee Wisdom where she teaches other moms that living life from scratch isn’t as hard as it sounds. Retha shows you that you can make it without a lot of money and that sometimes doing things the old way can be more rewarding.

Guest Post: Traditions, Truces, and Cartoon Moments


The following guest post is by a fellow Goose, Anne, from Homeschooling 911

Traditions, Truces, and Cartoon Moments

Family traditions are important in that they give us a connection to our past and strengthen the family bond. However, when a couple gets married, traditions can actually become a point of contention. After all, you have two people, possibly from very different backgrounds, each having their own traditions, memories, and a lifetime of experiences – joining their lives together.

For instance, maybe you grew up in a family that bought their Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and had all the decorations up that weekend, while your spouse’s family never bought their tree until just days before Christmas (or even the day before like my husband’s family).

It may sound simple enough to adjust and make peace with each other’s traditions…if you don’t understand how humans really work!

After all, you went through the planning and execution of a wedding – hmm…maybe execution isn’t the best word – but keep in mind that infused in that event was a romantic element that helped to cushion some of the tensions.

When the day-to-day of married life hits and the holidays start to roll around things can take a turn…for the annoying or possibly for the comical!

When my husband and I first married, even though our background was somewhat similar, how our families approached and celebrated the holidays was very different. And it did cause some, uh, lively discussions in our home! After sharing this predicament with my mom she clipped a cartoon out of the newspaper that illustrated our dilemma perfectly, and hilariously.

The cartoon was titled “Cathy.” You might remember this comic strip – it ran from November 22, 1976 through October 3rd of this year. The comic my mom had clipped showed Cathy and her boyfriend Irving decorating for Christmas. The gist of it was that they both had their own ideas of how it should be done – and at the end of the strip Cathy is standing there with a tangle of Christmas lights all over her. It was perfect.

Over the years we adapted and called truces and found our way through the holidays. These days my husband and one of my sons decorate the outside of the house in style. The four children decorate the tree. I try to stay out of all the decorating if possible. Not my cup of tea anymore. But I do send out approximately 100 Christmas cards every year and cook a bang-up Christmas dinner.

So take heart. You too can combine those traditions that work for you as a couple and a family, as well as forging those special traditions that belong to your family alone.

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” (Unknown)

Anne Galivan is a home-schooling mother of four whose website www.homeschooling911.com is dedicated to helping prospective and current home-schoolers find answers to their questions about home education. Check out her website for home-schooling tips, curriculum reviews, and much more!

Halloween Crafts: Kleenex Box Costume


So there’s this awesome giveaway going on over here where you can find the best blogging tips. To enter you need to write a post about something you’ve created for Halloween.

I am not a crafty person. I don’t cook/bake. And we’re not really “into” Halloween. But I really want the camera!!! So, here’s what I came up with.

When I was in 7th grade I came up with the brilliant idea to be a Kleenex box for Halloween. While my mom did most of the hands on work, the concept was all mine. I’m going to tell you how we “created” the Kleenex box.

1. We got a large cardboard box (an appliance box for a refrigerator or stove). We turned the box upside down cut a hole in the top for my head and a hole on each side for my arms. We trimmed up the bottom of the box until I was able to walk in it without tripping.
2. We got contact paper and completely covered the box.
3. Using a real box of Kleenex as a guide we added a label/logo and price to the front of the box using construction paper, markers, and crayons. At the bottom edge of the box I put the information for the size of the box…just like on the real one!
4. Underneath the box I wore a white turtleneck, pants, and white tennis shoes. You want something that blends into the box well, but will also be warm and comfortable.
5. We took white tissue paper and stuck it out of the top of the box to look like Kleenex coming out. Looking back, if we would’ve been more ambitious, it would’ve been neat to fashion some sort of tissue paper hat to wear.
6. I carried the real “matching” box of Kleenex with me everywhere.

*Note that this costume was very difficult to Trick or Treat in because it was hard to get up and down the stairs. You’d need to cut the box up really short (possibly to the waist) to be able to move around easily.*

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of me wearing the Kleenex costume 😦 But, a year ago I was at my mom’s house and I saw something outside by the trash. I didn’t know that my grandmother had saved that Kleenex box all of those years and kept it in the basement. My mom finally discovered it and set it out with the trash. When I saw it I had to snap a picture of it. It was actually sitting in the grass upside down, but I turned the picture around for your convenience. It looks pretty beat up after spending 20 years in the basement…but hopefully you get the general idea.

Here are the only 3 photos that I have of my Kleenex Masterpiece!



If anyone ever decides to use this idea (or you already happened to have made a Kleenex box costume) I would love to see your photos of the finished product! If you’d like, I’d be happy to post the photos here and/or link up to your blog post about the costume.

So there you have it. My lame attempt at being crafty is to tell you about a costume that I made 20 years ago and then show you photos of garbage (literally).

To read a post about all of my childhood Halloweens and costumes click here
To see the “Halloweens Past” link up at SITS click here.

I want to thank the SITS Girls for hosting this giveaway. You can go to their website to find the best blogging tips. It’s also great if you’re looking for a way how to find blogs (Hmm, that wasn’t proper English). Also unicorns are real and Tiffany is pretty! (Hey, whatever I can do to get that camera, right?!)