Friday, November 29, 2013

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

Yes, we are big Elf on the Shelf fans at our house. We started the tradition last year and had so much fun. We didn't focus so much on the "you better not be naughty, the elf is watching you" as much as thinking of funny ways to set him up each night. He also isn't really getting into shenanigans as much as just playing around the house. Plus, I couldn't justify letting the elf come into our house to do all kinds of naughty things, but tell my daughter she has to be nice or he'll tattle on her to Santa. Why can't we just have fun with it?

My daughter loved waking up each morning to find Ollie doing all kinds of funny things, or just sitting in a new hiding place. I think some days I had more fun making up new scenarios than my daughter did finding him. Today I'm sharing all 27 ideas from last year (we moved him a couple of times on a few days) and they really are pretty easy to do. Nothing too elaborate.

Now, on to my 27 super EASY Elf on the Shelf ideas! (I apologize in advance for some of the not so great photos. I took them all on my cell, late at night. I wasn't originally planning on posting them, but obviously changed my mind)

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

1. Peeking out of a lamp
Just place the elf on the inside of a lampshade and have him peeking out for the kids to find.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

2. Sitting on holiday decor
Just prop the elf on some holiday decor. Ours got comfy on the "V" of my Believe Word Set. I especially love the reflection in the mirror.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

3. Sleeping in a tissue box
This one is really easy. Pull out a few tissues and fold them together to make a pillow. Put the elf in the tissue box, then use a few more tissues as a blanket.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

4. Have a pony parade around the tree!
Or dinosaur, or any kinds of toys you have, really. We just have a whole lot of ponies at our house, so we put them to good use. This one was probably one of our favorites.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

5. Elf in a wreath
Just place the elf in the wreath! Simple as that.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

6. Join the Elf club!
This one requires a purchase of some elf slippers (found these at Gymboree). You could always make your own out of felt, crochet, or even find elf shirts to wear. Maybe have the Elf bring an "Elf certificate" or something. Anything to help your child feel like an elf for a day.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

7. Elf in a jar
Place the elf in a jar of any kind and put on a shelf or mantel. We also have a reindeer hand puppet, so he got to sit in a jar, too.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

8. Elf coloring book
Find a coloring book (or get a brand new Christmas one) and have your elf coloring the picture.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

9. Elf on the clock
Just prop your elf on top of the clock!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

10. Cookies and milk picnic
Everyone knows that Santa loves a good dose of milk and cookies, so why wouldn't the elves love it, too? I set up the elf, his new friend, Zoe (any toy similar in size will do), and toy glasses of milk and pretend cookies. Any kind of treats/food would work just fine. Or set up a spot for your child to sit with them and use real cookies!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

11. Elf on the curtain rod
Just hang the elf from the curtain rod by his little hands!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

12. Elf & friends picnic
We put our toy picnic table to good use. Sat Ollie down and surrounded him by friends for a fruit snack picnic breakfast by the tree. They could also sit on a small blanket instead.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

13. Elf family movie night
Ollie brought a new Christmas movie (or pick out one you already own), popcorn, and some movie treats and already picked a spot on the couch. He's got the remote, all ready to go!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

14. Elf on the tree
Ollie was hanging out with the Christmas tree angel. She already had her arms out, so it was the perfect spot for him to sit. Don't have an angel? Just find a great spot for him to sit in the tree.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

15. Super Elf!
Get those tissues back out and tie them around the Elf's neck. Get a string (we used a small bungee cord) and attach him to the ceiling to look like he's flying.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

16. Elf in the....dollhouse
We were working on potty training, so it only made sense at the time to show that elves go potty, too. Gave him a folded tag as a magazine and propped him up in the dollhouse bathroom. If you don't like this idea, no problem. Just set him up somewhere else in the dollhouse.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

17. Elf in the pantry
We all know an elf's favorite food is syrup. So, we hid him in the pantry guarding the syrup. I knew my daughter would never find him in there herself, so he left a trail of Santa chocolates leading to the pantry door.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

18. Elf campout
Set up a tent with a small blanket or washcloth. Place the elf inside, and build a small fire out of leftover candy corn (or draw one on paper). Have him roast a small marshmallow or piece of candy corn over the fire.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

19. Snowball fight!
Get out those mini marshmallows, toys, and blocks. We put the elf toys together as a team, girly toys as another team, and paired up some Sidekix and other small stuffed toys as another. Give them all piles of "snowballs" and scatter some around like the fight had been going on for a while before your child found them. Want to get really fun? Lick one end of the marshmallow and stick it to any plastic toys to make it look like they've been hit!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

20. Elf puzzle time
Get out a puzzle and let your elf start putting it together. Could also be fun to set up a larger puzzle on a table for the whole family to work on together.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

21. Elf bubble bath
Your elf has been working hard, so give him a place to relax! Put your elf in a small container and fill with marshmallow "bubbles". We set up our iPod and earphones so he could relax in the bubble bath with some Christmas tunes on the bathroom counter.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

22. Hitching a ride up the refrigerator
We had the elf getting a ride up the fridge with some help from a monkey with magnetic hands and feet. You could also put something fun inside the fridge as a surprise.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

23. Elf wagon rides
Get out those trucks, cars, and attach something that could be used as a wagon (we used a toy baby carriage) and attach with a ribbon or string. Put your elf in the drivers seat, another toy in the wagon. Then, make a line out of the rest of the toys and add a sign for where the line starts.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

24. Elf in a vase
Have your elf peeking out of a vase. Easy peasy.

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

25. Elf wrapping presents
As it gets closer to Christmas, wrap a small gift (book, movie, etc) and have it look like your elf wrapped it up. Get out the scissors and tape, scraps of paper on the floor, and just for fun - have your elf get a little tangled up in some paper!

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

26. Elf ornament
Put your elf in the tree (again), but this time have him hanging on to an ornament. You could also use this as an opportunity to give the kids their new ornament for the year (if you do that tradition).

27 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas at artsyfartsymama.com #ElfontheShelf #Christmas

27. Elf sleigh!
This one took the most work and planning, but was so much fun and perfect for Christmas eve!! We made the sleigh out of a cardboard box and two candy cane treat containers (usually less than $1 a piece and you can find them almost anywhere). Use some string and yoke up some ponies (or dinosaurs, or any animal toys you have on hand). Our "Rudolph" was a brave Sidekix dragon.

This can also be a great time to have the elf write a good-bye note to your child (since he'll ride back home on Santa's sleigh when he comes to pick him up that night), and let your child give the elf a good-bye hug (our elf makes Christmas Eve an exception to the "no touch" rule).

And there you have it!!

The biggest advice I can give to those who feel overwhelmed about the Elf on the Shelf, or are thinking about trying it this year is to just have fun with it. Don't try to do more than you think you can handle. If you forget to move him one night, don't stress out about it. It doesn't have to turn into a big web of lies and something stressful. It might even help to write out a plan so you know what you need to do with the elf before you go to bed. But really, just keep it simple and fun, and enjoy the holiday season as a family. 

I've also had a couple of questions from people wondering if they HAVE to buy the original Elf on the Shelf. Personally, I think any elf would work just fine! There are all kinds of elf doll/decorations out there that would be just as much fun as the one in the little red suit. If you're feeling creative, you could even make your own. I think the point is to just be consistent and have fun with it.

I've got all kinds of ideas for this year, so make sure to follow on Instagram to see all the fun!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Silhouette Black Friday Promotion

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm excited to announce that Silhouette is starting their Black Friday sale TODAY instead of tomorrow and ends on December 8th. This is one of the biggest sales I've seen, so if you're in the market for a new Silhouette Cameo, Portrait, or Silhouette products, now's the time to buy!

Silhouette Black Friday Promo at artsyfartsymama.com #Silhouette

Silhouette CAMEO® Holiday Bundle: $229.99 You save $176.92 (43%)
  • Silhouette CAMEO® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 12 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • CAMEO instructional DVD
  • Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software
  • $25 download card
  • CAMEO dust cover
  • Silhouette hook tool
  • Silhouette scraper tool
  • Silhouette spatula tool
  • Silhouette pick-me-up® tool

Silhouette Portrait® Holiday Bundle: $129.99 You save $156.92 (55%)
  • Silhouette Portrait® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 8 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • Portrait instructional DVD
  • Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software
  • $25 download card
  • Portrait dust cover
  • Silhouette hook tool
  • Silhouette scraper tool
  • Silhouette spatula tool
  • Silhouette pick-me-up® tool

CAMEO & Portrait Holiday Bundle: $299.99 You save $229.99 (43%)
  • Silhouette CAMEO® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 12 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • CAMEO instructional DVD
       
  • Silhouette Portrait® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 8 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • Portrait instructional DVD
  • 2 $25 download cards

40% off consumable products at silhouetteamerica.com.
This excludes machines, subscriptions, download and gift cards. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Rain checks not available.

FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.

Silhouette Black Friday Promo at artsyfartsymama.com #Silhouette

Be sure to take advantage of these Black Friday Promotions starting today until December 8th, and use the promo code: FARTSY at checkout to get these prices.

**I also need to announce the winner of the Silhouette Cameo giveaway: Linda Harris!!**
Congratulations, Linda!!!


DIY Jingle Sign

I absolutely love decorating for Christmas. My color scheme I decorate with is not your traditional colors. I love using pinks, greens, purples, blues, and silvers. And lots of glitter (surprise, surprise, right?). I just love the way everything sparkles in the soft Christmas tree lights and it all looks so magical!

DIY Jingle Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #Christmas

I needed a little more wall art for my Christmas decor, so I painted over an old sign I made years ago into something I'm just in love with!! The original sign was a dark barn red, and the vinyl on it was horrid. So, I peeled off the old vinyl and gave the board a good sanding.

DIY Jingle Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #Christmas

Next, I painted 3-4 coats of Americana acrylic paint in . I let it dry in between each coat and gave it a light sanding to take out brush strokes. Next, I mixed up a little Mod Podge and purple glitter, and painted a coat on the board. Once dry, it has a nice coat of glitter that is NOT coming off anytime soon and the board was smooth.

Now the board is ready for some silver Silhouette Premium Vinyl! I love the shimmer it has to it without being too overwhelming, and it just looks so fabulous!!

DIY Jingle Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #Christmas

Since my board was longer than the 12" cutting mat, I decided to try cutting vinyl without the mat for the first time. I'm proud to say that it worked great! There are settings in the Silhouette Studio that make it easy to cut without a mat without any problems.

DIY Jingle Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #Christmas

It was honestly kind of scary at first as I imagined everything that could go wrong, but it really came out fine. "Weed" out the vinyl and peel off excess vinyl. Once it's all ready to go, add your transfer tape and apply the vinyl to the board.

DIY Jingle Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #Christmas

Just to make sure the vinyl wouldn't come off when the sign gets put in storage, I gave it a couple of coats of a polyurethane spray paint. Now it looks wonderful and I am getting anxious to get my Christmas decorations put up!

I was given the vinyl used in this post from Silhouette America. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hello Kitty Let's Play Clothing & KuKee App

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and KuKee, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

As I have mentioned in earlier posts and projects, we have a big Hello Kitty fan in our house. So when we saw Macy's Hello Kitty Let's Play clothing line, I knew she would love it. We're going to save them for her birthday, but any of the clothes would make a great holiday gift for any little Hello Kitty fan!

Hello Kitty Let's Play Clothing Line & KuKee App at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

We shopped at Macy’s for Evy of CA Hello Kitty Let’s Play clothing line for girls and had a lot of fun picking out outfits - though it was hard to choose with how many cute items there are in the clothing line. We ended up getting a Hello Kitty Let's Play allover print puffer vest, a pair of pants, and two shirts - which makes three separate outfits for around $50! The clothing is very affordable, and with the big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, you can get these clothes for AMAZING deals!!

Hello Kitty Let's Play Clothing Line & KuKee App at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

Not only are the clothes adorable and fun to wear, KuKee and Hello Kitty have made the clothes interactive with an app! The KuKee app is FREE, and available on both iPhone and Android. Once you have the KuKee app downloaded and opened, you can scan the cloth patch on the Hello Kitty Let's Play clothing and the Hello Kitty Dress Up experience will open. I'm sharing a mini tutorial below:

KuKee App Hello Kitty Let's Play at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

1. Download the KuKee App on iTunes or Google Play. Open the app and slide the key to unlock.

2. Scan the Hello Kitty patch (all of the Hello Kitty Let's Play clothing line will have these patches on them).

3. Once scanned, it will automatically open the Hello Kitty Let's Play Dress Up experience! Click "Get Started" to begin the fun!

KuKee App Hello Kitty Let's Play at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

4. Dress up Hello Kitty in different gowns, change accessories, and switch crowns! This was my daughter's favorite part. There are lots of options, and it's always fun to play dress up!

5. Once Hello Kitty is dressed up just how you want her, click "Next" to take a picture with your Hello Kitty. Just click the camera icon to take the picture.

6. Personalize your new picture even more by adding effects like jewels, crowns, wands, and even speech bubbles. So fun!! Save your picture when you're done and share with your friends!

KuKee App at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

You can also play the KuKee scavenger hunt to find all the different KuKee markers to play with in the app! The markers look similar to the one above, and will come in different colors: purple, orange, blue, green, and pink. Hint: you can find most, if not all, of the markers on the KuKee Pinterest board. They can even be scanned right from your computer screen!

Hello Kitty Let's Play Clothing Line & KuKee App at artsyfartsymama.com #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay #kukeeapp

So get to Macy's (or shop online) for the Hello Kitty Let's Play clothing line and get playing on the KuKee app soon! So much fun and will make a unique, wonderful gift for the holidays!

For more Hello Kitty fun, follow KuKee on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram


Monday, November 25, 2013

Disney FROZEN Toys & Books

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Disney FROZEN Toys now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

Disney's new movie, FROZEN, is about to hit theaters on November 27th. Being huge Disney fans, we can't wait to see it!! If you haven't heard about the movie, it's about Anna and her sister, Elsa, the Snow Queen. Anna teams up with mountain man, Kristoff to find Elsa and save their kingdom from eternal winter. Along the way, they encounter mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, and magic at every turn.

Disney FROZEN Toys now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

Even though the movie isn't out yet, we found all kinds of FROZEN merchandise in the Walmart toys section, and the prices are pretty affordable. I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to love the movie, so we made sure to purchase some of the dolls and books to save for Christmas and birthday presents. We had a hard time choosing what to buy since everything looked so fun! There are costumes, dolls of all kinds, books, and even a castle for the character dolls to play in!!

Disney FROZEN books now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

My daughter loves to read and have books read to her, so I made sure to grab a hard cover book with the whole story based on the movie. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is well written. Plus, we are starting to collect Big Golden Books, so this was a must-have! I was originally planning to save this for a gift, but we decided to read it together as a family now instead so we know what the movie is about when we go to see it in theaters.

Disney FROZEN Toys now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

I think the gift my daughter will be most excited for are the Sparkle Anna Doll and Elsa Sparkle Doll! She is just starting to love playing with these kinds of dolls, and I'm excited to make projects in the future to make playtime even more fun!

Disney FROZEN Toys now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

And of course, we couldn't leave out Kristoff!! I'm also impressed with how much they actually look like the characters (unlike some other kinds of character dolls I've seen). I can only imagine how much fun my daughter is going to have pretending to reenact FROZEN with these dolls!!

Disney FROZEN coloring books now at Walmart on artsyfartsymama.com #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

My daughter also loves coloring, but even more than that, she enjoys coloring books with activities. This coloring book not only has coloring pages from the FROZEN story, but there are matching pages, crosswords, and so much more - plus it includes crayons! This book would make a wonderful and inexpensive gift for any kid (I'm even excited to color in it!!).

If you are interested in purchasing FROZEN toys, check your local Walmart or shop Walmart toys online.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

40 Fudge Recipes

40 Fudge Recipes at artsyfartsymama.com #fudge #recipe

Holiday treats are the best, especially when they are homemade. Fudge has a reputation of being difficult to make, but today I'm sharing 40 fudge recipes that are super simple and sinfully delicious! Any of these flavors would make great gifts for friends and neighbors, or will make you the biggest hit at any holiday party!

40 Fudge Recipes at artsyfartsymama.com #fudge #recipe

1. Peppermint Fudge from Shugary Sweets
2. 3 Ingredient Mint Chocolate Fudge from Artsy-Fartsy Mama
3. Snickers Fudge from Somewhere in the Middle
4. Pumpkin Spice Fudge from Hip2Save
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge from Buns In My Oven
6. No Bake Reese's Fudge from Six Sisters' Stuff
7. Butterfinger Fudge from Crazy for Crust
8. Strawberry Shortcake Fudge from Parent Pretty
9. Peppermint Mocha Fudge from Home Cooking Memories
10. Root Beer Float Fudge from Shugary Sweets
11. Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Fudge from The Teenage Taste
12. Gingerbread Chocolate Fudge from Pint Sized Baker
13. Buttermilk Fudge from Thibeault's Table
14. Bubblegum Fudge from The Domestic Rebel
15. Cinnabon Fudge from Shugary Sweets
16. Eggnog Fudge from Chocolate, Chocolate and More
17. Brown Sugar Fudge from Farm Flavor
18. Banana Cream Fudge from Inside BruCrew Life
19. Samoa Fudge from Shugary Sweets
20. Pumpkin Chai Fudge from Premeditated Leftovers

40 Fudge Recipes at artsyfartsymama.com #fudge #recipe

21. Strawberry Pecan Fudge from Dear Crissy
22. White Chocolate Reese's Fudge from Lil' Luna
23. Peanut Butter Fudge from Bakerella
24. Cotton Candy Fudge from Hoosier Homemade
25. White Chocolate Cinnamon Fudge from Something Swanky
26. Nutella Caramel Pretzel Fudge from Lemons for Lulu
27. Cookies 'n Cream Fudge from Artsy-Fartsy Mama
28. Gingerbread Oreo Fudge from Chef in Training
29. Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge from Sweet 2 Eat Baking
30. Magic Bar Fudge from Cookies & Cups
31. Marbled Orange Fudge from Taste of Home
32. Layered Mint Fudge from Just a Pinch
33. Toasted Marshmallow Fudge from Morsels & Musings
34. Red Velvet Fudge from I Am Baker
35. Rolo Chocolate Microwave Fudge from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
36. Triple Chocolate Nutella Fudge from Chocolate-Covered Katie
38. Key Lime Pie Fudge from Sugar Cooking
40. Neapolitan Fudge from Inside BruCrew Life


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