Family Memory Packets - recording the year...& looking forward

This is an idea I have shared before but this year I have created the pages to simply print and fill in! 
Family Memory Packets

Free printable sheets HERE 
Fill out page 1 and also include a recent snapshot and/or trace their hands. Even the adults! :) It's fun to see how their hands change from year to year. 
Page 2 and 3 are self explanatory. If your kids are too little to write simple write down their response. 

Here's another great idea we will be adding to our packets this year! The How Does She blog shared a great idea - Yearly Video Interview! I love the idea of combining the video with the handwritten on paper journal type together! and capturing them doing their favorite thing - CUTE! I'll just have to make sure and create the DVD and slip it into the packet so all the "pieces" are together.

 If you are looking ahead at the memories you will make in 2012, this Time Capsule jar is darling! You drop in movie ticket stubs, photos, etc all year long! 

 AND if you are planning a fun family vacation or large purchase, a great way to get the family involved in the saving process a VISUAL way is this shadow box bank idea

 You could also easily put the visual photo into a jar instead of the shadow box! 

I hope you found some good ideas for capturing this past year and looking forward to the next! 
Don't forget to check out all of the New Years ideas I shared this week!

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Fortune Cookies

Who doesn't love a little good luck or fortune for the New Year! 
These are great for the surprise bags! they could be the activity if you wanted to make them all together and exchange fortunes or have them ready made!
There are 3 fun ways to make these cute fortune cookies:

Cupcake liner style - think of all the cute patterned cupcake liners available!

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New Years Eve shakers!!!

It's day 3 of New Years eve fun! Be sure to check out day 1 and 2 for some fun ideas! 

A fun way to celebrate New Years Eve and also have a crafting activity is to create your own shakers! These can be done is sooo many different ways. Gather up some empty water bottles or some disposable cups or any container and we'll upcycle it into a fun shaker that each member of your family can personalize just for them! 

container - cups, water bottles, canisters, etc
hot glue gun
rice, beans, popcorn kernels
colorful papers, crepe paper, garland, bells, paint, etc

For this tutorial I am going to use small plastic disposable cups. 

step 1: Fill one of the cups with rice, beans or popcorn kernels about 1/4 full. This is the stuff inside the shaker that will be making the noise.

step 2: Using your hot glue gun, run a line of glue around the top edge and place the other cup on top to seal shut. If you want to make extra sure it doesn't come apart, run another line of glue around the seam and place some ribbon or ric rac over the glue so it won't show. 

step 3: DECORATE! - adorn the outside of your shaker with stickers, papers, paint a design, etc. It's up to you! I like to add long streamers to the ends to make it more fun and colorful when they are being shaken!

If you are using an empty water bottle or canister simply fill it with some rice, beans or popcorn kernels and seal shut with the hot glue. Then decorate the outside to your hearts content!

Enjoy shaking these babies as you and your family ring in the New Year!!!

I will be linking up here

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Group game - Let's make a DEAL!

This is a great game to play with a group! and would make a perfect activity for Surprise bags!
I've played with with my daughter's 5th grade class and also at a family gathering. For New Years Eve it's a wonderful way to re-gift something you got for Christmas that wasn't quite your style (tee he hee) or clean out the clutter and giveaway something you don't need!

Let's Make a DEAL!! 

Just like the game show you have 3 "doors" of hidden prizes. Whether you supply the gifts or are doing it white elephant style fill each box with a prize without the "player" being able to see. 

For the "doors" I took 3 shipping boxes and pushed the top flaps flat against each side so the top of the box was completely open. I covered them in wrapping paper and turned them on their sides of the top is now the back and I could easily "fill the boxes" with the prizes. Then I added the numbers.

To get a contestant I asked a trivia question - whoever shot their hand up first and had the right answer got to choose a box ( I have done regular trivia that was age appropriate and have also done holiday trivia). 

Once the contestant chooses a box I give them 1 clue about the prize inside. They can then take the prize and sit down or switch and pick another box (note - I don't give a clue for the 2nd box if they switch). If they want to switch they have to do a challenge!

Challenge: - these are FUN!!! I have a bowl or container of strips of paper with different challenges written on them. Here's some ideas of what mine include:
1. Waddle like a duck around the room
2. Play basketball with an imaginary ball
3. Sing Happy Birthday to the person sitting next to you
4. Act like a gorilla for 10 seconds
5. Sing "I'm a little teapot" and do the actions
6. Sing the ABC's baby style
7. Do the crab walk across the room
8. Pretend you are watching a scary movie and are really scared
9. do the chicken dance 2 times while the rest of the players sing the song for you
10. Pat your head and rub your stomach for 10 seconds
11. Moonwalk across the room
12. Pretend you are underwater for 10 seconds

Of course all these challenges are done in front of everyone else which gets the whole room roaring with laughter!!!

Once the challenge is complete you can hand them their prize. The contestant sits down and the next trivia question is asked. Continue until all the prizes are given out and each person has had a turn.

tomorrow - we'll get crafty for New Years! 

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New Years Eve - surprise bags!

We did this last year and my family LOVED it! I loved it too - it spread out the fun, it made even the "regular" everyday things seem exciting and I knew we were going to have a fun family New Years Eve! 

Celebrate New Years Eve with SURPRISE time bags!

New Years is all about the countdown! So - countdown to the New Year with this fun activity!
The idea of the timed surprised bags is to plan an activity, treat, etc that will be revealed at the time listed on the front of the bag. Everyone can see the different times and the anticipation of what is coming next make it very exciting! You can start at any time you want during the day! Fill the bags with the activity or something that may represent the activity if it won't fit in the bag. Need some ideas of what activities to do? I will list some at the end but will also reveal some each day this week! 

Several bags (you could use lunch bags, small gift bags, decorative bags, etc)
Hole punch
glue stick

Step 1: You can add the time to the front of the bag anyway you'd like to. I chose a clock face in a black/white/silver theme. I cut out some circles from book pages and cut another circle slightly larger from tin foil! I also cut some long skinny triangles for the clock hands. 

Step 2: Layer the pieces and glue to the front of the bags. Be sure to place your clock face a couple of inches from the top of the bag. You want to be able to fold the top over to keep peeping eyes from discovering what is in there. Add your hour number ( I have a ton of rub on transfer so I just used what I had on hand!).

Step 3: Add your surprise activity, treat, etc. inside the bag - fold the top over - punch 2 holes and thread a ribbon through to top it off!

Place all the bags together on a table in a nice basket, etc. It may become one of your new favorite traditions! 

Need ideas of what to fill the bags with??? Here's a few but come back each day this week to see some of my favorites! 
1. Dance party! - Slip a CD into the bag with a note that says - family dance party for the next 30 minutes! Push the furniture to the walls and release your inner "Dancing Queen!" YES parents have to get involved to and let their hair down! We did this last year but as part of our activity we got "dressed up". 

2. Favorite movie and popcorn! - depending on what time of day you start going to a movie as a family or surprising them with one and some microwave popcorn is always fun! 

3. Make your own pizza night! - Dinner can be part of the New Years Eve fun too! Set up a bar of fixings and let each member be their own chef for the night! Get the whole family involved in the process - rolling out the dough, spreading the sauce, etc. 

4. Build your own cupcake! - Put some fun sprinkles and candies in the bag with the note announcing dessert! We have done this one was well and the kids love frosting their own and creating their own delicious treat (piled high with sprinkles and candies!).

5. Game time! Gather the family around for your favorite board games or do the electronic route and break out the rock band or something similar where family member can be involved. 

6. Treats! - Sometimes it's nice to just surprise them with a simple treat. Maybe it's a sucker or a candy bar. Each time doesn't have to big a deal - make it what works for your family!

7. American Idol/Who's got Talent! - Have a sing off! Set up a "stage" area, turn on a favorite song and perform as a band! Don't forget to turn on the camera to video the event! The kids will love to watch the playback! Or have a talent show - they could be real talents or silly ones! 

8. Photo booth! - Slip the fun photo props into a bag and get ready for photos! Set up the camera on a tripod and dress up your background too if you want! Let the kids snap the photos too! They will love being in on all the fun too!

The bag TIMES can be as frequent or spread apart as you want them to be! And don't get me wrong here - not every moment has to be scheduled. Once your activity is done, everyone can go do what they want until the next "time" rolls around. But trust me - your kids/guests will be watching the clock!

**Tomorrow - another idea for New years and you could include it as surprise bag activity! 
I'll be linking up and sharing HERE

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Merry Christmas!

I hope your weekend is full of magical Christmas moments! Thank you for all the support and interest I have received this past year. It has been a great year for Brassy Apple and I can't wait to roll out my projects and, ideas and new patterns in 2012 and see what else a new year will bring! 

From my family to yours.....Merry Christmas! ~ Megan

Stop by next week for some New Year's eve fun and ideas!

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Festive free Holiday Printables

Amy from the Thank you Card shop sent me a link to her free printables and I wanted to share them with you too! they are darling and will come in handy THIS season as well the next! This link is getting "pinned" for sure!

Her free printables include recipe cards, thank you cards, bookmarks, gift tags and more! You can also visit her shop and snag some of her great printable designs for a wonderful price! 

When you pop over to her blog be sure to tell I sent ya! 
Happy Printing!!!

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Ten 10 Minute Holiday Crafts

Amy from Overstock.com sent me this cute infographic and thought it would be fun to share it with you! We are getting down the wire - maybe these ideas will come in handy with time running out!
Ten 10-minute Holiday Crafts infographic from O.co
Shop for crafts
For more infographics visit the O.co Community

I totally love the chalkboard look! Happy crafting!!!

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Mom it Monday #11 - Snow Bucket

It's the week before Christmas and I can feel the excitement building! 
Before you link up your ideas to share here's one from me! 

Indoor Snow BUCKET! 
It's our new favorite thing to do this winter! We haven't had much snow yet and it's been FREEZING outside BUT my kids have still been enjoying the snow! 
Check out all the photos and details here or by looking below! 

now it's your turn! Link up your ideas! Crafting, parties, sewing, kids, family, etc.

1. snag and post a Mom it monday button or add the link back
2. direct links only
3. no selling or shops please! 
have fun! 

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Snow Bucket

This is our new favorite thing to do in the winter time! I originally saw a photo of the idea here and I ran with it!
This cost me $8.00 and has already proven it's worth over and over again! 

 We haven't had much snow yet this season but scooping it into this long, shallow tote bucket has been a novelty around my house! my little guy LOVES it! He gets to play in the snow without all the layers and the cold nose and toes! (throw a couple of towels over the table, fill the bucket and let them play)
 My older kids love it too! We've built tunnels, forts, snowballs, hideouts, etc for their small toys and action figures. I pulled out some of the shovels and other digging toys from the sandbox, throw in a few kitchen spoons and cups and they will create their own fun!!
We even had a "hot tub" in the snow for some of the toys! You know, PO needs a good soak after his Kung Fu fighting :) 

I'll be sharing my idea at these linky parties!

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More Neighbor gift ideas!

(hello to those here from my TV segment on the Daily Dish this morning!)
I've posted some neighbor gift ideas already this season (here and here) but I've come up with a few more! Here's my latest ideas all in 1 place!

If you are going to give the traditional treats why not do so on a great platter or container the receiver can use. One idea would be to buy a charger plate and add the saying in vinyl - "cookies for santa". The receiver gets some treats and a fun plate to use year after year. 

I always love a creative saying with a treat or gift! 
Grinch Cookies:

Stir up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, add some green food coloring and crush up some candy canes to add with the chocolate chips. Pop them into a cute box (boxes from Martha Stewart) and add the cute tag/poem - get the printable HERE

Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons:

Add some melted chocolate to some plastic spoons. (I found silver ones at the $1 store) You can use whatever chocolate you like - milk, dark, white, etc.  While the chocolate is still soft add crushed candy cane, sprinkles, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, red hots - whatever YOU think would be good stirred into some hot cocoa! Let them harden and then wrap them up and attach this cute card.

Reindeer Noses:

Buy some whoppers and a candy that is red and about the same size as a whopper. I used gumballs. Put 8 whoppers in a bag or small container and 1 red one (we can't forget Rudolph!). Print out the bag topper and attach. Then add a cute tag that says - Just 'brown nosing" our neighbors with a treat and some Holiday wishes" - attach a family photo and add reindeer noses, santa hats and antlers to the photo. OR If you are giving it to a teacher say - Just a little "brown nosing" from your favorite student!. Again, you can use a photo of your child on the card.

Sew up a Hot/Cold Therapy Sack: These can be made into a fun character for the Holidays

or with a great cotton fabric or sports themed for the man in your life! Tutorial HERE

and of course we can't forget New year's eve! Snag all the instructions and the printable for these fun photo props to capture your evening HERE

Happy gifting!! Have a great weekend! 

I'll be sharing my idea and linking up at these parties!

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Creative Holiday Family letters

Oh the family holiday letter! do you dread it? do you even include one in your Christmas Cards anymore? Do you look forward to sending out something creative and different? Some of these thoughts may be running through your mind so I wanted to share a few ideas to "spice" up your annual letter and maybe you won't dread it as much! 

"Life" Board game style - this one is darling and customized from an Etsy shop! 
Newsletter Style - look at the cute categories they included such as  "places traveled" and "top 4 most awesome things we did", etc

ABC's - we actually did this one last year thanks to a friend for the idea! Here's a sample from another blog. Just use the ABC's and find 1 thing you this past year that relates to each letter! 

Top 10 moments - Summarize your year with a classic countdown!

Newspaper style - the classic black and white and type script to express your press editor side! 

and if you are just itching for more ideas - Mormon Chic has compiled a whole list of creative holiday letters!

now - go get typing! :)

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