Santa's Message for KIDS - decoder rings, game night and joy of family time

I will start this post off with Santa's wonderful message this year because that is why I'm writing this post.


It's hard to get kids to remember that with phones and game systems they spend so much time on, it also takes away from quality time with friends and family. I know it's fun but with them growing up so fast I want them to remember good times with us too. 

Even though my boys are older and know Mom and Dad is "Santa" {{this has never been spoken but they know}} he leaves a personal message about their grades and manners. How proud and to keep it up. Oh and usually that Santa can not eat THAT many cookies. :)

We normally open presents and Santa leaves a clue to find his gift.

It's hard to find but our tree is blue and silver and his clue has a red ribbon. Usually stands out but he made it a little harder this year.

Why does Santa hide clues, you ask?

Many years ago we stopped having Santa leave the expensive or large toys/electronics. This was prompted with a wish list by my son that included a DSLR camera on it for me because "Santa will bring it and it's FREE!" :)" While it was super sweet of him to include me on his list, we wanted Santa's gifts to mean something more AND they are definitely NOT free.

The decoder rings were to up the level of difficulty. This was new this year and a huge hit. Now they had to figure out the clue and then figure out the message. 

Hey and Santa got them taking care of some chores too. Thanks, Santa!
one clue was on the bottom of the cat bowl but the clue only said to fill the bowl. Sneaky! 

The next two clues had spelling errors....Geez! Next year Santa needs to not stay up so late working on clues and check his work better.  He was called out on it by the boys. It did make for a good laugh.

Santa also has a sense of humor. 
This was the last clue and his gift was in the TV stand next to the Xbox stuff. Since November this is heard in our house, among other things. 

"What!? How did I not get him!?" 
"I'm lagging, it's so not fair!" 
"Step up if you want to get burnt" (That one is by a character but repeated often) 
"Early Christmas noobs!"
"Ahhhh....This match is full of spawn campers and glitchers"
"I owned in that match!"
"Dang noobs just shootin' each other on hardcore!"

Lots of grunts, protest sounds and sometimes I think someone just got hurt. Seriously, I've had to ask if they are okay.

Somewhat comical at times and if you have gamers you will totally relate. :)

Fun to watch them run around finding clues and decoding. Final picture with Santa's message which was found with a new board game.

My oldest had a card that made him laugh every time someone laughed and his fake laugh made us laugh even more. Such a funny game with silly things you have to do and say. "Obey the card" is the theme.

It worked and our Christmas day was filled with silliness, smiles and giggles galore. :)

Memories made. Success!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Holiday Office IDEA - FIREPLACE computer - cubicle - fun DIY Christmas decorations

How festive is your computer desk? As of today mine is a fireplace with stockings. 

{{insert happy squeal}} I did that happy squeal quite a few times with some random clapping for myself. What?! I couldn't contain my excitement. It turned out so super cute!

This was a very last minute idea after holding up a piece of paper to the computer earlier that day. Few seconds, two pieces of paper taped together and barely legible writing to measure the computer screen. I wasn't confident it would turn out at all. I actually envisioned a complete fail as I tried to decipher what "dest to soreen" meant. I couldn't even remember where I started my measurements and pretty sure this counted as eye-ing it vs. any chance of being accurate.

I had two pieces of foam core board leftover (from a GIANT kids game coming up on Thursday. I'll share pics soon) 
I started to mark my scribbles awesome measurements.

{{deep breath}} I made the cuts to trim excess and remove the "screen" area. I also slightly cut the areas I didn't remove but just folded. 

Well it basically looked like what I wanted. Yay!


So far so good. 
I found this paper at Micheal's craft store. Reg. $8.99 but I had a 50% off coupon. 

I love wrapping so how hard could this be!? 
 Wrap it like a present with no bottom. Like normal but not. 

I folded the paper in half and tucked the edges. (top pic)

Now for the sides. This will probably make no sense so look at pics. Push center of the paper down in the middle of the side and press remaining paper to look like flaps or wings. Oh geez! See!? Flaps and wings. What's bad is I'm hand gesturing between typing like you can see me. 

Now to cut out the screen

Cut out a smaller rectangle not too close to the edge.

Make cuts to all the corners. Fold paper and tape.

Now for the mantel.  I used recycled priority boxes that were mailed to the boys.

Wrapped in white craft paper.

Found a slim box for the chimney

Ooooh it looks so cute!!!

Packed it up for work the next day. 

Moment of truth......success or huge fail.......

SUCCESS!!! It turned out perfect!!!!

Whew! I didn't embarrass myself with it being too short or not wide enough. YAY!!!!

I even added the fire as the desktop photo. I attempted to move my icons to the other monitor but I did have to stop playing and get to work. You get the idea. 

Now I need to decorate the stockings and mantel. I'm thinking personalized names and maybe a little tree or battery lights or garland. :)

Thank you for stopping by!

Halloween Party Prep - IDEAS - Adult/Kid - Music, food, decorations, drinks, photobooth

FOUR DAYS until it's time to party! With that said, I'm a planner. No, not just a planner but a pre-planner. Okay, I'm a pre-pre-planner while making test runs of items so I can plan if I'm going to use them while planning the party. Get it? I'm crazy. 
So now I'm just putting together some final touches. SO EXCITED!!!! 
Zombies being freshened up since our last storm.

Music playlist selected. Some changes were made after pre-listening to the order and songs that would play. We axed The Munsters Theme since it plays twice, Thriller (club mix) and went with the original, still undecided about 2 and 9. Might go with Day O Banana Boat from Beetlejuice instead or maybe not. Still planning. Oh and we added another song called Calling All the Monsters. 
 This year for food I have a few new items and did a test run already. 
Zombie eyeballs: Deviled eggs turned green with an olive and bloodshot lines. After the test run I decided to use green olives with the pimento. 
Tutorial HERE
Raw meat or Red velvet rice crispy treats. Oh man. They were a huge hit for my trial run. Now I've made them twice and they are gross looking and delicious! PERFECT! Could be fun for April Fool's Day.  
I have also have few new drinks. This one is a party staple but molded into Brainsssss! Jello shot brains. 
I made these disgusting green slime looking shots and put in mini brain molds. Sour apple aka Zombie brain. I LOVE THEM!!!

I created a Horror Movie Trivia slideshow to run during the party. Just something for fun.
My house has tons of decor and almost completely done except for a few spider webs or roaches. 

Adding my last little touches to the photobooth and deciding what props to put out. I have mustaches, big red lips, funny faces but everyone will be in costume. Probably just the speech/talk bubbles and photo frame. I have a Polaroid frame but thinking of making an instagram one too. Hmmmm....maybe tonight project. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Easy HALLOWEEN food IDEA - Red Velvet Rice Crispy Treats RECIPE - party-kids- RAW MEAT?

I'm making my FAVORITE rice crispy recipe and tweaking it a bit for Halloween. I love themed food! We are not a "cutesy" Halloween family but more "gory and gross" Halloween family so these are PERFECT!

I made these tonight for a Halloween themed game night as a trial run for our big Halloween bash! They are AH-MAZING!!!! Huge vote "YES" from the family with some excited dancing and uuummmm's while eating them. The true test will be at the game night but I'm pretty confident these are a keeper. 

What is it? RAW MEAT, of course! 

Looks like it doesn't it? Crazy gross thinking of eating this but if they are brave it's a sweet surprise!

Recipe: (Sorry I don't have the cute printable feature but it's not that hard to remember)

8C - Rice Crispy Cereal
3C - Mini Marshmallows
1 Jar - 7oz Marshmallow Creme
1/2C - Red Velvet Box Cake (NOT the whole box)
1 - Stick of Butter
Optional - 4-6 Drops of Red Food Color

Low low heat (I use our MELT setting) add the butter until completely melted. 

Add mini marshmallows and jar marshmallow cream and mix well with butter. 


Mix often so it doesn't burn in the center. This will take a while but it will become completely smooth. 

Add red velvet cake mix and mix well. It will look brown and get a little hard to stir. 

It looked a little too brown but maybe it's old meat. I opted to make it a little more fresh.

OPTIONAL- Red Food Color

Add rice crispy cereal. It will look like it's way too much and no way enough marshmallow mix to cover it but it will. PLENTY! I promise.

Oh and mixing is kinda a super stick nightmare. You'll understand when you make it. Impossible to get all of it off. I used a spatula at first but then just used one hand. WHY? You need the other had to get it all off the coated hand. Seriously, use only one hand. It's crazy sticky.

Then transfer to a plate or ideally a rectangle white foam tray to really look like grocery store meat. I used parchment paper to press it firmly (it won't stick to the that paper) and kinda odd shaped it. I press firm since I want it to cut nicely to serve. I thought about putting it in mini brain molds but we already have too many brain theme food right now. 

Hope you enjoy! If I forgot anything just ask!

Thanks for stopping by!