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Category Archives: Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day Traditions: Leprechaun Footprints


Coolest Family on the Block

In 2011 we had a leprechaun visit our house for the first time. We woke up to find that he had left green leprechaun footprints all over our kitchen and laundry room, he’d turned the toilet water green, and made our milk turn green in the glass! The following year on St. Patrick’s Day I had a one month old baby and I’d ask Santa Claus (head of all legendary figures) to please keep the leprechauns away. Last year the leprechaun was back to his old tricks again!

Leprechaun footprints

The leprechaun entered magically through the back door and then made his way into the laundry room where he hopped from the floor, to the washer, to the dryer, to the toilet, to the floor again, to the sink, and back out into the kitchen. Did you know that leprechauns hop? Well, they do. In fact they can jump really high straight up into the air making it easier for them to get into mischief.
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While hopping around the laundry room the leprechaun left his green footprints everywhere…including the toilet seat…and grabbed onto the toilet paper to tp the house!
Leprechaun footprints

The leprechaun had unrolled the toilet paper all over the kitchen!
Leprechaun footprints

When he left the laundry room the leprechaun hopped onto the highchair and over to the table where he must’ve dropped some gold coins out of his pockets while running in circles. Next he hopped down to the floor and onto the wall!
Leprechaun footprints

The leprechaun’s next stop was the playroom.

Leprechaun footprints

We have tables lined up along the walls where the kids can sit and read books, build with blocks, or play with play sets. The leprechaun ran across the play tables to the art table.
Leprechaun footprints

The leprechaun unraveled paper onto the floor and scribbled a picture.
Leprechaun footprints

Next the leprechaun slid down the roll of paper and hopped onto a table in the middle of the room before going back to the kitchen where he left through the back door.
Leprechaun footprints

The kids were excited to see that the leprechaun had visited, especially since he had dropped some chocolate coins. Jon didn’t even bother to take off the wrapper before shoving them in his mouth! 😉
Leprechaun footprints

When the leprechaun visited 2 years ago I was stuck cleaning up the mess. The good thing about a 3.5 year old is that they think cleaning leprechaun footprints is fun, so I gladly let Adaline do all of the scrubbing 🙂 It wipes up as easy as Crayola washable fingerpaint! 😉
Leprechaun footprints

(**Click the image below or watch the video for details on how to make leprechaun footprints!**)
How to make leprechaun footprints: video tutorial

You can see the mess that the leprechaun made in 2011 and all of the mischief he got into by clicking the photo below.
2011-03-17 Leprechaun Trickery 00txt

Has a Leprechaun ever visited your house?
Let me know in the comments!

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Free St Patricks Day PrintablesApril Fools Pranks to play on your kids


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Making a Preschool Classroom Valentine


Preschool Classroom Valentine

For Adaline’s Montessori Preschool class each child has to make one big Valentine to bring to school that their classmates will sign rather than bring in individual Valentine’s for each student. Honestly, I think that’s a GREAT idea and I’m so glad that she won’t be coming home with 25 different lollipops with eyes glued to them! 😉

I filmed the creative process of making “The Adaline Flower” with a 4.5 year old. Watch and be amazed!
(Video here)

(I post a lot of funny vlogs on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to follow along!)

To make the classroom Valentine for preschool we
-Cut a heart out of red poster board
-Colored craft sticks and glued them around a photo to make petals and a stem for a flower
-Made leaves out of fuzzy sticks
-Made a sun out of construction paper
-Made a pom pom lady bug
-Used glitter glue around the edges to make it shimmery

It was tough to reign in Adaline’s creativity. She LOVES art and wanted to draw all over the Valentine but she needed to keep it blank so that her classmates could sign it. I have a feeling her friends are going to end up with quite a few drawings of hers on their Valentines.
Preschool Classroom Valentine

The pom pom ladybug was Adaline’s favorite part.
We used a black Sharpie marker to make dots on a pink pom pom, used a smaller black pom pom for the head, added googly eyes and adhered it all using craft glue. Adaline drew wings and legs around it onto the poster board.

Pom Pom Ladybug

Does your child’s school allow individual
Valentine’s or one classroom Valentine?
Let me know in the comments!


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February Holiday Traditions


Holiday Traditions for February

Can you believe that January is more than halfway over already? February will be here soon, so it’s time to start planning your holiday traditions! Here are some ideas for family traditions for February Holidays. Okay, well, mostly for Groundhog Day. I have some kind of weird crush on Groundhog Day, I have no idea why.

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*Fun Ideas and Traditions for Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day traditions

*Groundhog Day Goodies
A round up of 50+ links to groundhog themed snacks, sweets, and treats!
Groundhog Day Goodies

*How to Make Shadow Puppets
Learn how to make shadow puppets with your hands, shadow puppets with paper (some free printables), and a diy shadow puppet theater! A round up of 30+ links!
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*The “I love you” Shadow: A Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Tradition for families
I Love You Shadow

*Valentine’s Day Link Love
Links to free printables, crafts, and more!

Valentines Day Links

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You still have another 2 years to plan your next Leap Year celebration!
Celebrating Leap Day

Which February holidays does your family celebrate? Do you have any special traditions? Let me know in the comments!


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The Noon Year’s Eve Celebration (that wasn’t)


Noon Years Eve for Kids

Below is a picture of my sister and I banging pots and pans at midnight for New Year’s when we were just 1 and 2 (I’m the super cute one on the right that appears to have no nose). No doubt this was my dad’s idea and I’m sure my mom was thrilled with the idea of having 2 toddlers up that late at night. Thrilled. 😉

1982 New Years Eve

Unlike my father and my long-suffering mother, I have absolutely no desire to have my little ones up past 8pm, let alone midnight. So, last year I set up a New Year Tree in preparation for a Noon Year’s Eve Celebration with my children and my nephew.

New Years for kids

BUT…I never finished the tree (nor was there any party) because I got the stomach flu. Then Adaline finished off the New Year by waking up puking in the middle of the night. All three kids continued to be some version of sick on and off for over a week. I finally gave up the idea of having a party, took pics of my kids in their tuxedo shirts and took down the tree.

I decided to share my party plans with you anyway (complete with pinnable images that don’t tell the whole story) because the concept is still good…if you’re not puking. Or maybe I’m just a poser. Either way…

Dollar Store New Year Tree

I got all of these “decorations” at the Dollar Tree half-off (December 2012). There are silver, gold, red, and green tinsel ornaments of various shapes, and while they’re kinda tacky, I really love their almost vintagey look. I also added some beaded necklaces and party blowers from the Dollar Tree. I was going to add balloons, paper clocks, and top it off with a sparkly top hat but I never got the chance before I got sick 😦

Here’s what it looks like in my mind (thank you, PicMonkey):
(…and yes, in my mind the paper clocks would’ve all been set to the same time and have an incorrect amount of dots rather than numbers. Shut up.)
The New Year Party that wasn't

To countdown to noon, I was going to write various times on the balloons and put a piece of paper in them with an activity written on it. Every hour (or half-hour) we would pop a balloon and then do an activity on that balloon.

Here are some of the things I planned on doing:
-Fill out interview sheets and/or do a video interview for a time capsule
-Make handprints to put in a time capsule
-Have a Dance Party
-Fun with Glow sticks
-Fun with Bubbles
-Fun with Silly string
-Bubble Wrap Stomp
-Balloon Drop at noon

Other fun things:
-Wear tuxedo shirts
-Drink apple juice in plastic champagne glasses

I wanted to keep the “activities” simple but fun. Also, my nephew likes to move around and I didn’t want to plan a bunch of crafts that he would quickly lose interest in. The kids were 3.5 and younger last year so simple things like bubbles and glow sticks were would’ve been a lot of fun to them.

New Years Tuxedo Shirts

I thought it would be fun to “dress up” for New Year’s Eve/Day by sporting some super classy tuxedo t-shirts. Classy, fancy, funny! 😉
Top hats, tiaras, and boas would also be fun!

Apple juice in plastic champagne glasses is a “big deal” for my kids because they almost always drink water, so juice is a treat. Although the entire idea is a tad ironic considering that we adults don’t drink alcohol at all, so we don’t even own real champagne glasses. I actually have two child sized champagne glasses that were given to me and my sister when we were flower girls in my aunt’s wedding. We were always so excited when we got to drink out of the “fancy” glasses and I look forward to when my kids are old enough to be trusted with them too.

Will there be a Noon Year’s Eve Party for 2013-2014?!
No. Luckily we’re all puke-free, but my nephew got sick again.
Maybe we’ll try tomorrow. Or next year. Or when they’re in college…

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How does your family celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Let me know in the comments!


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Merry Christmas 2013


Merry Christmas from The Cool Family!


Merry Christmas 2013

Santa came to visit us and left his dirty, sooty boot prints everywhere again! And we were lucky enough to catch another photo of Santa in our home!
2013 Christmas

I’m really excited about our new Christmas stockings. I asked my grandmother to crochet some Christmas stockings for the kids. I love that they’ll be able to use these stockings every year and remember their great-grandma, “Nunny” 🙂
Crocheted Christmas Stockings

Our gift wrapped doorway was a bit anti-climactic this year. Our dog, Muppet, ended up pushing through first and loosening one of the sides, so the kids just sort of pushed the paper aside and walked under it like a curtain. Oh well.
Gift Wrapped Doorway

Opening up gifts and playing with new toys!
2013 Opening Christmas Gifts

Oh, and hey, Happy Thanksgiving, because I apparently forgot to publish my post last month. Oops.
2013 Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!


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Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree 2012


Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block

Tis the season for Ugly Christmas Sweaters! In 2010 our family started a new Christmas Eve Tradition: Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree (which is a longer way of saying “ugly sweater contest”)! These are the sweaters from 2012. Which one would you pick as the winner?

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I always like to start things off with a photo of the one and only “Cool Family”. Jonathan was lucky enough to miss being in these photos because of his early bedtime. This year he may not be so lucky.

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First of all, settle down. I know that you are really excited about the awesome Santa hat that I’m wearing (and you should be), but this is sweater time.
(Okay, I got the hats on clearance at J.C. Penney’s a few years ago. That’s all that I know. Get off my back.)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

For my sweater I decided to represent the lyrics of the Christmas song “Winter Wonderland”. It looks odd and unChristmas-y from afar, but it is really a masterful work of creativity. So there.

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening? In the land snow is glistening.
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
Gone away is the blue bird. Here to stay is a new bird.
He sings a love song as he goes along. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
In the meadow we can build a snowman. And pretend that he is Parson Brown.
He’ll say “Are you married?” We’ll say, “No man. But you can do the job when you’re in town.”

Later on we’ll conspire. As we dream by the fire.
And face unafraid, the plans that we made. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
(Click then click again to enlarge. “Face unafraid” is my favorite detail.)
Winter Wonderland Ugly Sweater
In the meadow we can build a snowman and pretend that he’s a circus clown.
We’ll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman until the other kiddies knock him down.

In the snow, ain’t it thrillin’? Though your nose gets to chillin’.
We’ll frolic and play the Eskimo way. Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
Winter  Wonderland Ugly Sweater
Okay, I’m done photo bombing this post with my sweater. Moving on…

2012 Cool Daddy finally went with a theme other than “creepy uncle”.
(Do you remember the mustache of 2010 or the underwear of 2011?
Or were you lucky enough to have Will Smith drop by and “flashy thing” those memories away?
).
I present to you: “Feline Navidad“…
Ugly Christmas Sweaters

A Fancy Feast for the eyes, Cool Daddy’s wearable interpretation of “Feline Navidad” begins with a festive green sweater vest and ends with a cat tail made of red foil garland. Five stuffed cats of various colors are the focal point while the added details of cat toys, a pink cat collar with bell, and a package of cat nip bring this sweater to a whole new level.

A year ahead of the times, the back features an en-wreathed cat head, rivaling Miley’s 2013 “Space Kitten”. For those not quick to recognize this brilliant theme, colorful foam letters spell out “Feline Navidad”. A row of kitten quints inside of red handbags hang playfully above the aforementioned shiny, red cat tail. This ugly sweater is the cat’s meow!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

My brother-in-law, Matt, is sporting a cardigan with a print that marries southwestern with ski resort. The back boasts a rustic heart shaped Christmas wreath complete with wooden gingerbread man, just like those worn by the southwestern ski bunnies of yesteryear. He accessorizes with a necklace/belt combination made from hoops and paperclips, while a mistletoe headband adds a touch of whimsy.

My sister, Jess, is a maniac, maniac on the floor and in this Solid Gold inspired ugly sweater. Shining, shimmering, splendid, this sparkly gold sweater has fringed sleeves and mid-drift. Plain green garland gives a belt-esque look, while a be-belled stuffed Santa corsage prepares you to “jingle all the way” this season.
(You have my permission to add the words “belt-esque” and “be-belled” to your vocabulary. You’re welcome.)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

After taking a year off to reflect upon his ugly sweater goals, U.A. teamed up with his son, Ben, (2011 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion) to bring us “The Two-Headed Ski Resort”!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

This Ugly Christmas Sweater has everything: a Popsicle stick ski lodge, a child performing a marriage ceremony between two snowpeople, sparkly green pine trees atop a snow-covered mountain, a ski lift with a tiny skier aboard, and two grown men wearing mountain hats.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Last but not least, Aunia is once again confused by the concept of making an ugly sweater. Complete with pleated skirt, her sweatery “rendition” of Waltz of the Flowers is a series of lovely flowers, charming bumblebees, and delicate musical notes. Who wore it better, Aunia (on the left), or her brother, Ben (on the right)?

Those were the 2012 contestants of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition. Before you scroll down to reveal the winner, who do you think deserves the Ugly Christmas Sweater Trophy of Awesomeness?

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules

Announcing the 2013 Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Winners…

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

The collaboration paid off! Father/son team Ben and U.A. were named 2012 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champions, enabling Ben to hold on to the title for a second year in a row. I was given the title of “Overall Most Festive Attire”, and because everyone in the competition had altered their sweater and she was the only other person wearing a sweater, Grandma was given the title of “Most Naturally Ugly Sweater”.

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I can’t wait to see what kind of sweaters everyone creates this year!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Which Ugly Christmas Sweater was your favorite?
Does your family have an ugly sweater tradition?
Let me know in the comments!

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