Gingerbread Houses {Pattern and Recipe}

Are you shocked?!  Here I am--sharing a bonafide tutorial.  Besides my craft room, the garage, and the basement, our house is looking surprisingly "together."  I feel justified in spoiling myself with a little blogging time today.  I have missed it!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses.  My Mom and Dad actually started this tradition while they were dating and have carried it on year after year for 32 years!  We save our stale candy all year long so we can bust it out to make gingerbread houses!  We are so anxious to display our houses that we usually make them the day after Thanksgiving so we can show them off as long as possible.
Now I have made gingerbread houses in many, many ways.  But if you want a house that looks better than the $20 gingerbread house kits you can buy, you are going to love this tutorial!  And no, I am not tooting my own horn--this is all my Mom's ingenious idea!  I am going to share her recipe and her pattern today.
Start out by mixing up the gingerbread according to the directions in the recipe.  Cut out according to the pattern, making sure that the edges are straight.  After baking, give these plenty of time to cool off and "glue" the pieces together using burnt sugar.  We hold each piece in place for about 1 minute to secure it and then let the whole house sit for 24 hours.  Trust me when I say--it will be rock solid.  (You can find all of the pattern and recipe downloads at the end of this tutorial.)
Using the frosting recipe provided, we fill up pastry bags and get to work!  We also water down the same frosting and use brushes to glaze our houses for a frosted, snow-covered look.  We lay out bowls of unwrapped candy for easy access.
This year we got together and made four houses.  Yes, that's right--four houses!  Each one of  the kids in my family decorated their own gingerbread house.  We like to joke that we are all perfectionists and we all have minor cases of OCD.  Even though we rushed ourselves to finish in just 1 hour, I think we have lots of beautiful results to show off! Here is some more "eye candy":
I love a good roof!
Yes, we even decorate the back.
This was our family's gingerbread house last year--I think it's my favorite one yet.  We created a chimney (Oreo's), a surrounding fence (stale granola bars), a snowman (marshmallows), and Teddy Gram cars.
The Twix in the back are supposed to be firewood.
We display our houses on a cardboard circle covered in aluminum foil.   You can also put your house on top of a lazy susan so it rotates.
Although every ingredient is edible, we only attempted to eat our gingerbread houses when we were quite young.  They get a bit...tough.  Plus it's too painful to eat such works of art!  Now let me share some more of my Mother's genius with you...
You can download your own gingerbread house pattern here.
You can download the gingerbread, frosting, and burnt sugar recipes and directions here.
Happy gingerbread-house making!

Christmas Tree Countdown

Alright, it's Black Friday, and now I can officially welcome in the Christmas season!  I try to save my Christmas celebrations for the day after Thanksgiving.  So now that my favorite time of year is here... bring it on!
Anticipating a special occasion is half the fun--am I right?!  I think I own at least 3 Christmas advent calendars--so you will see more ideas!  But today I want to share the tutorial for making my latest and greatest countdown.
Come along with me and see how I made this sweet lil' Christmas tree countdown!
I had the opportunity to decorate this Christmas tree from Say It With Letters.  There is something about unfinished wood that is so exciting to me--all those possibilities!  I was so excited when this package arrived in the mail!
As soon as I saw this tree, I knew I needed to go shopping at my local scrapbook store.  I cut strips of the new My Mind's Eye Christmas paper and used my Fiskars scallop punch on some of the strips.  I overlapped the paper strips and mod-podged all of the paper onto the tree. I covered both sides of the tree and even the edges.  Then, I trimmed it all up.  I even sanded the edges so there were no sharp paper edges.
I decided that this tree needed some BLING.  I gave the tree a thick coat of mod podge and started dumping on the glitter!  Next, I added red sparkly ribbon and green sparkly ribbon stripes.  This little tree definitely shines!
I decided that it would be fun to use this tree to count down the days until Christmas.  So I found some glittery snowflakes at Hobby Lobby and used E-6000 to secure magnets to the back of each snowflake.
Using my Cricut, I added vinyl numbers to the snowflakes so we could count down the days until Christmas!  You could also use paper numbers.
Using chipboard letters, I made the "days" sign, mounted on more scrapbook paper.  I also distressed the edges.
I just glued 2 magnet tape squares onto the tree so that the snowflake numbers would stick.  Then I topped the tree with a big red ribbon bow.
I glued these fun epoxy buttons all over the front and back of the tree as ornaments.  (This is the back side.)
I found this cute star box and spray painted it red.  Then I mod-podged paper and ribbon around the box's edges.  Now I can use this box to hold the extra snowflake numbers!  I am excited to start counting down the days until Christmas!  Here are a few close-ups:
I can't wait to see all of the fun Christmas crafts this year!!
Merry Christmas!!

Tons of Turkey Ideas!

I hope you're gearing up for Thanksgiving!  I am trying to... but in the mean time, my hubby and I are celebrating our third anniversary tomorrow.  We're leaving on our first couples getaway without Little Man!  I'm excited for some much-need relaxation.  
This is just what I needed--the chance to sit back and enjoy YOUR great ideas!  There are tons and tons of turkey-licious ideas linked up!!  Here are just a few:
This is so stinkin' cute--a turkey photo holder!  It couldn't be any more perfect.  You can find this and more cute ideas at Crafty Girls Workshop.

My Balancing Act started a fun new tradition in her family!  She created this fun little thankful turkey using styrofoam balls, yarn, and felt pieces.  Each year, her family is going to add feathers describing what they are grateful for.  
You can play a fun number-recognition game by downloading this Roll a Pilgrim (or an Indian!) game.  This is one of many fun printable activities at 2 Teaching Mommies.
What a fun decorative piece!  Somewhere in Craftland created this fun printable, and then turned it into this fall window pane.  Gorgeous!
This has got to be my favorite boys' Thanksgiving shirt I've seen!  Can you believe how perfect that turkey looks?!  My Little Mello Family created this fun shirt!

Are you STILL short on turkey activities?  Well, Tons of Fun can help!  She shares lots of fun learning activities for the fall, including this button turkey.

I couldn't decide which turkey snack I liked the best--the turkey sandwich or the fruit snack turkey, so here's both!!  You can see both of these at Mom Endeavors.

I've always been crazy for wood crafts, and I love this little corn stalk!!  I love the little jewels used as corn kernels!  Great job, Green-Eyed Girl Crafts!

Awesome ideas!!  Thanks for making Oopsey Daisy part of your day!

Fabulous Thanksgiving ideas featuring YOU

Thanks SO much for the moving well-wishes.  I think I now have most of my boxes unpacked, and I am now battling the ongoing task of organization!  Plus there is plenty of space to decorate--something I am not quite used to!  But slowly we are getting things put away and our house is feeling like a home!
I am LOVING all of the fabulous ideas linked up to my Thanksgiving Feast.  Not only is it fun for me to come see your blogs, but I am really and truly inspired!  I am finding so many ideas that I want to copycat next year or modify in some way soon!  
One of my favorite bloggers ever, Tammy from She Wears Flowers, created this amazing cloth thankful book!!  Sometimes we have to teach our kids what to be thankful for, right?!  I love how personalized this little book is, and it's sure to please the kids!
Today's Fabulous Finds created this gorgeous framed Thanksgiving subway art.  I LOVE those burlap flowers!  You can find lots of colors choices... plus, she turned them into cards, too.  (Janet also has a great Christmas giveaway going on!)
Wouldn't this be a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving table?!  My friend Michele from The Scrap Shoppe created this stunning pumpkin vase.  You have to read the whole story in her post.  She is hilarious, and always teaches me something new!
You know how passionate I am for a good learning activity!  Heather from Mommy's Little Helper shares all kinds of turkey-themed activities!  I actually browse her blog each time I create my units.  I love the flannel board stories she shares plus this cute count the feathers on the turkeys activity!

Although I am slightly afraid of chopping off a finger, I have always wanted a jigsaw.  Especially after seeing this adorable jigsaw turkey at Next 2 Nothing Crafts.  I love all of the patterns on the feathers, and that turkey face is just too cute!

Hurry!  It's not too late to have your kids make pine cone turkeys like these ones from A Pumpkin and a Princess!  These would be fun to add as Thanksgiving favors or as a learning craft.  

Is there anything that Allison can't make with a toilet paper tube?!  My friend from A Glimpse Inside designed this whole turkey using t.p. tubes!  Love that lil' gobbler!

This is one of my favorite ideas yet!  Cleverly Inspired keeps a thankful book for her family.  Every year, they bring out the thankful book, and she urges her kids to write down what they are thankful for.  I love this family keepsake!  You can add to it each year and see what you wrote in years past!  
Oh, the talented Bev from Flamingo Toes!  She constantly inspires.  It can be a challenge to keep the kids entertained at the Thanksgiving table, but these chalk placemats are sure to keep the kiddos busy!  They can actually draw on the placemats to show what they are thankful for!
One final idea for your Thanksgiving table:  How about these clever turkey napkin rings??  Darling!  These come from Houseful of Handmade.  This would be a fun way to involve your kids in setting the table!
I am still visiting blogs and will spotlight some more ideas soon.  You can still link up at our Thanksgiving Feast link party!  Come join in with your own juicy addition!

Thanksgiving Link Party (and thank you’s!)

In the midst of unpacking, loads of laundry, and shopping till I drop (one thing I DO love about moving!), I just had to give a shout-out to YOU.  
To the amazing people who choose to read this lil' blog.  
To the sweet readers who take time to leave gracious comments.  
(And yes, even to the blunt readers who leave the occasional unwanted critiques!)
To the truly thoughtful readers who even send e-mails out of the blue just to say "thanks." 
To my fellow bloggers who share my ideas even when they are WAY more talented then me!
To the people who have never even left a comment, but choose to follow my crazy ideas.  
To all of YOU--thank you!
Thank you for understanding that although I love blogging, it can't be my #1 priority right at this second.  And thank you for reading!!
I have debated the best way to handle blogging in this crazy junction of moving and holiday madness.  I'll pop in as much as I can, but for now, I want to get to know YOU.  I had some readers share some very cool ideas with me.  
Super Mom Moments made this fun printable "Color Me Thankful" Thanksgiving dinner invite.  What a fun way to involve your kids in Thanksgiving!  
Happy Home Fairy (what a fun name!) also e-mailed me with this fun idea.  She created these clever Thanksgiving love notes to share with her husband. I love a good pun, so these are just perfect!
And now it's your turn!  I want to come see what YOU are up to!  Let's be honest, there is no shortage of linky parties in blogging land.  I am honestly just doing this Thanksgiving link party because  I realize that so many of you have fabulous ideas, and I may never have even visited your blogs.  So I want to come pop over and say hello!  So here's the deal:
* Link up any kinds of Thanksgiving projects you have blogged about.  This could include a yummy recipe, a fun craft, ideas for teaching kids, and more!  
* My goal is to spotlight some of my favorite ideas.
* You can keep linking up for the next week, on Thanksgiving night!
* So let's feast on YOUR ideas this Thanksgiving!  I can't wait to come see YOUR blogs and get inspired for when I have all of my crafting boxes unpacked!


More Thanksgiving Preschool Ideas

Well, we made it!!  

The moving truck only needed to take 2 trips to bring all of our stuff over to our home!!  (And we had a GIGANTIC moving truck plus we'd taken over 20 car loads ourselves during last week! We have lots of stuff!)  It's an exciting but overwhelming process to get unpacked and settled in.  The blog may suffer a bit as we just try to get laundry done, dishes cleaned, and boxes unpacked!  I am just trying to keep Little Man fed at this point!  But I feel so blessed to finally be here!

Today, I just wanted to share some fabulous blog finds from last week.  As you are making your own Thanksgiving-themed Mommy School plans, I would like to direct you to some talented bloggers who have come up with their own amazing Thanksgiving packets and printables.  Seriously.  These bloggers are so generous to share!

First of all, my gal Daphne at Moo Moo's & Tutus is a former kindergarten teacher.  She is amazing!  We've decided that the two of us would make excellent "team" teachers because we are so much alike.  She has developed her own "Tiny Teach" program that is very similar to my Mommy School!  She has shared a 32-page Thanksgiving packet that you can download here.

Musings of Me has tons of incredible Thanksgiving printables.  They are so stinkin' cute!  Some of my favorites include the T is for Turkey magnet page, a Thanksgiving pie lacing page, Thanksgiving trace & make cards, Thanksgiving memory, a "pin the feathers on the Indians" clip game, tracing pages,and a Thanksgiving colors book.

Delicious Ambiguity shares a free Thanksgiving poem and song booklet.  It's a one-stop for me to find tons of adorable songs and poems! I know you'll love this!

Mrs. Home Ec. is one of my absolute favorite sources for preschool ideas!  I have already printed off her Thanksgiving activities!  She graciously shares a "Don't Eat Tom" game, Turkey Bingo, and Turkey Memory.  All are absolutely genius!

A while back, I stumbled across the cute blog, 2 Teaching Mommies.  They share free printables all the time, and they are real jewels!  Check out their turkey printables here.  I love this little build a turkey!

Another fabulous homeschooling blog, 1+1+1=1 is sharing a Thanksgiving Preschool Pack.  Lots of cute stuff in this packet like this Turkey "color by number"!

I downloaded these ladies' fabulous work last week and hurried and printed off all this before moving, disconnecting the printers, etc.!  Now I'm all set to teach Little Man about Thanksgiving!

Enjoy teaching your turkeys!

Giveaway WINNER!

Wow!  I felt a lot of anticipation with Random.org selecting a winner for the L. Ann Photography giveaway!  At a $100 value, this was a big one!  A big thank you to all of you who entered!!  It was fun to show a little Colorado lovin' and offer a giveaway for Colorado readers, too!  
 
Random.org selected #15 as the winner of this giveaway.  #15 is...
CONGRATS!!  You have 24 hours to e-mail me to claim this amazing prize or a runner-up will be chosen!!  You can e-mail me at oopsey (dot) daisy (at) yahoo (dot) com.  Please e-mail me with the name and contact information so I can pass it along to Lindsey.  
Thanks!  

Handmade Christmas at Creation Corner


Today I am over at The Creation Corner sharing ideas for a handmade Christmas.  I will be sharing my patchwork ornament along with tons of ideas for variations.  Come by and say hello!  Tasha has a wonderful roundup of homemade gift ideas!  It will definitely give you a jump start on your OWN handmade Christmas!

monogram

T is for Thanksgiving


I DID IT!!   I surprised myself!  I really didn't think I could finish a Mommy School packet in time for Thanksgiving.  But the moving truck arrives tomorrow, and I have this done and ready to share!  I am really quite excited about this T is for Thanksgiving packet.  My Little Man has been gobbling like a turkey for months.  (Funny thing--he also associates "Gobble, gobble" with garbage because one of his books described a garbage truck gobbling up the trash!)
In this packet, you can find:
* Ideas for Thanksgiving games and activities
* Ideas for Thanksgiving art, science, and math
* Ideas for Thanksgiving food crafts
* Thanksgiving book ideas
* Thanksgiving songs and fingerplays
* Ideas for teaching the shape of the week (triangle)
* Ideas for teaching the number of the week (four)
* Ideas for teaching the letter of the week (T)
* Tons of corresponding visual aids and printables.
I am super excited about these fun "T riddles" in the packet.  You can use these as riddles or as flashcards.  Here is the turkey riddle:
In this packet, you can also find a Thanksgiving colors book.  It is a little poem that describes 5 different colors you may see at your Thanksgiving feast!  Here are a couple of pages:
There are TONS of ideas packed into 56 pages--there is definitely something for everyone!  Be sure to review the credits on the last page for more great ideas!  BUT... my friends, I am just not sure if I can justify spending 12+ hours on creating these packets every 2 weeks.  I do want to share my work and make it available for our kiddos.  However, I am considering creating packets in the future with all of my own work and charging a simple $0.99 download via Paypal.  The L, H, and T packets will remain free... but with my husband's urging, I've decided to consider this.
Please read the following before downloading:
* I am forever grateful that DJ Inkers allows me to use their fonts and clips to create fun learning packets!!   Clip art designs &/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers.

* This download is in PDF format.  I receive a lot of technical questions that I am definitely not equipped to answer!  Just be sure your Adobe is up-to-date so you can download it easily.  

* Please understand that I cannot e-mail you this download in your own specific format or send you modified versions of any parts of the packet.  If only I had all the time in the world and all the computer skills under my belt.  I can only offer this one format, but you are welcome to tweak parts of it as you wish.  Thanks for understanding!

* Please use this packet for personal use only. 

*If you download and use this packet, I would love to hear about it! You have no idea how it makes my day!  The comments I receive about Mommy School touch me more than any others.  I love the collaborative feeling of Mommy School. 

With all that business taken care of, you can download your own T is for Thanksgiving packet here or here on Scribd

Enjoy your lil' turkeys this Thanksgiving!
I will be chasing my lil' turkey around our new HOUSE!

Hand Print Turkey Applique

Another short and sweet post today!  I wanted to share this hand print turkey applique onesie that I made last year for Little Man.  I just traced his hand (this can be a little tricky with a baby!) and then used this as a template to cut out the fabric.  I added a felt eye and a gobbler and sewed it all on to a onesie!  Wouldn't it be cute to hand stitch legs for that lil' turkey?!
I had hoped to make a new handprint turkey applique shirt this year, but it will have to wait!
Don't you love how Little Man was a bald little baby?!  He was bald forever!
Gobble, gobble!
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