Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Homemade gifts for the family!

Usually we buy all the gifts for our children but this year we're saving up for our trip to South Africa and really don't want to blow the budget, let's also not forget that every year we tend to overdo it in presents and half the time within a few days they're forgotten, just added to the toy boxes or shelves in their rooms, only to come out once a year if they're lucky enough to be played with.

So I decided that I would go ahead and make some homemade Christmas gifts for the kids and hubby. For Curtis I'm going to make him a basket with different snacks, beer, a movie etc. He loves playing computer games and he loves watching movies, so I think this would be the perfect gift basket for either one of those hobbies.
Since I know he doesn't read my blog now that he's back on the Flight Line, I can safely discuss here without ruining the surprise.

Here's two ideas for the baskets:
Movie Buff Basket

Old Movies that he likes - War Movies, Vampires, Action etc
20 oz. bottled soda - Root Beer or Coke etc
Gift Certificate for Blockbuster
Movie magazine

Gamer Basket

Computer or video games
Small bag of chips
Slim Jim pack
20 oz. bottled soda or even a beer
Gaming magazine
Gift certificate to a Gaming Store

The kids are each getting a Gift Basket too, Jasmine is into Fairies so I'm thinking a basket with:

Book on Fairies
Glitter lip gloss
Diary with lock and key
Tinkerbelle bookmark
Notecard set
Plastic comb and mirror set

Nicholas loves Scooby Doo, Dora, Blue's Clues and Toy Story so I'm going with:

A book on either one of these themes
Small stuffed toy
Craft or playdough set for one of these themes
Coloring Book

The possibilites are endless and it can even be items from the Dollar Store. I mean really, the kids don't care where it comes from!

For Jasmine and Nicholas I've also decided to give them each a few homemade things. Jasmine is getting a rag doll that I'm working on, Nicholas wants a Blue's Clues handmade doll, so we'll see how that one goes.
They're each also getting their own Hot Chocolate Mix and Cookies or Fudge, all with their own names and labels so there's no more fighting over who gets what or "why does he always have to have what I want?" whining. LOL

Oh Curt is getting some Fudge and Cookies too.

Hot Chocolate Mix

1 8-quart box powdered milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
15 ounces powdered chocolate drink mix
8 ounces non-dairy coffee creamer
Mini marshmallows (optional)

1. Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Use 1/3 cup of mix per 8 ounces of hot water.
2. For a unique taste, use a flavored coffee creamer, such as vanilla or Irish cream.

There ya have it, that's my ideas for some homemade gifts for the family, they're inexpensive and they're made with love, what's better than that???


We're also making some Reindeer Food to sprinkle outside the house on Christmas Eve, we have to make sure that Santa sees our house right???

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals (as used for cake decorating)

Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
On Christmas, Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way
And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morn on Christmas Day!

And here's some printable Magic Reindeer Food Tags. I use the small baby food jars for this, but I've also used little baggies, include the little tag and there ya go :)


I just started my new Madeline Hunter book "By Design" and I'm only about 5 pages in and already loving it. There's nothing like discovering a new author and then realizing that you have so many of her books to get through, it's like being a kid and being told that for the next year you can go into the candy store and try whatever candy you want. That's how I am with books, truly truly an obsession I have to say. Throw me in a book store and give me a cup of coffee and then let me be, I promise I will be the happiest person you've ever seen.

Here's some new books that I'm hoping Santa will bring:

Lori Foster - Servant The Awakening
I'm a HUGE HUGE Lori Foster fan, if you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I used to work with her by making graphics for her Cafepress store and Writers Get togethers etc. I love her work and now she's going a bit different, well actually a LOT different, she just published her recent work which is not a romance novel per say, here's what she says:

For you romance readers, yep, there's a romance. Even my dark side can't conjure up a book without some sexy romance in there. There's also fun banter, a hunky hero, and lots of excitement.

There are also paranormal elements and some gore, thus the L. L. Foster name. It's still me, just my initials.

Nicholas Sparks - The Choice

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Jan Karon - Home to Holly Springs

The beloved Episcopal priest returns to his childhood town of Holly Springs, Miss., where he reconnects with old friends and battles some old demons. The novel is thick with Father Tim's past, as Karon uses flashbacks to shed light on his early adulthood, especially his transition to seminary. In Holly Springs, his penchant for getting near strangers to open up to him—and his earnest, moving reflections on faith, prayer and the risks of love—are reassuringly present. His wife, Cynthia, is on stage far less than he, but when she appears, she is charming and insightful, as usual.


Finishing up the Jar Mixes
Working on Jasmine's Rag Doll
Sweeping and Mopping the Floors
Washing the bed linens and remaking the beds

A very cool Christmas - 1pm on Lifetime
Christmas on Chestnut Street - 3pm on Lifetime
Holiday Wishes - 10pm on Lifetime

Dinner tonight is Barbecue Ribs, Corn on the Cob and Mashed Potatoes.


  1. I love your idea of the baskets!! I need to try and do that for next years' birthdays. My husband would so love the gamers one...he just got his Nintendo Wii. I hope to see pics of your wonderful work when you are all done! Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog...I will have to let you know how the book reading is coming along. Enjoy your reading too!

  2. All your ideas sound great. The rag doll..I love this idea.
    Your watching Christmas movies all day......how nice.

  3. Great ideas! Dinner sounds awesome too....Can I come over??


  4. Love the homemade baskets. I especially love the dolls you are making. What precious keepsakes those will be for your kids.

  5. Those are wonderful ideas for homemade gifts. My kids are teens and I know they'd love their own jar of hot chocolate mix.

    We've done the "Night at the Movies" basket for my sister and husband. We tucked in a chick flick and an action movie with it. They loved it.

  6. Those are great sounding baskets. Thanks for sharing that tip.

  7. Thank you for going to Rose Michelle's blog... as one military wife, to another. :-)

    And now...

    You've been to my blog. But please read here and see why I can't comment in yours, for a bit. Yish...


  8. I really love all these ideas. I think I'll use the movie basket for Matt's brother. I heard this once before but totally forgot about it. Thanks so much for sharing Sandra!!

  9. groovy ideas Sandra...I know everyone will love their gifts..

  10. More wonderful ideas you have shared, loved everyone of them. I think my grandkids will love getting some baskets with their favorite things. I better get myself busy! Blessings, LeAnn

  11. What great gift ideals! We'll be doing the magic reindeer food...the boys will love it. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wonderful ideas! I'm sure they will create greatful hearts in your family also. Its touching the sacrifice you are making to go to South Africa.

    My oldest daughter Heaven has been accepted to go on a one month missions trip in South Africa next summer. When are you all planning to go?


  13. Girl, you are sooo busy:)

    Love the gift basket ideas! I think it is precious that you are making a rag doll for Jasmine...I so wanted a little girl to be able to do things like that for....Oh, well, it just wasn't in the cards for me, not that I am disapointed with my sweet son, he is the child of my heart:)

    Enjoy the new book.


  14. I think I'm going to have to look for the Father Tim book. The Mitford series was one of my all-time favorites.

  15. Reindeer food - what a cute idea! And I hope you get The Choice. I have all his books and just read this one a few weeks ago. You'll love it.

    The first book in Jan Karon's new Father Tim series is on my wish list. :-)

  16. Ah you are a genius! I'm going to have to steal your idea for the gift baskets!

    My dh loves games and movies too! I will definitely make him a gamers basket! They have some t-shirts online about gamers too -- maybe I'll get one of those ....hmmmm.....

    My Goddaughter just bought a car (she's 20) so I am going to make up a box with a steering wheel cover (she asked for this) and a hula girl for the dash (a MUST LOL) and other car goodies!



  17. those baskets are such great ideas!

  18. I love the gift basket so many treats I like it so much. Keep posting guys!


  19. Thanks for the nice post, its really information...!!!


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