Category Archives: Holiday

Fall Pumpkin Toddler Craft

If you’ve seen my post about toddler cards, you know that this mami doesn’t want to put a lot of work into a craft that’s supposed to be done by a toddler. So when I saw a cute little fabric pumpkin at Target I thought to myself, “this would be perfect for Cupcake to decorate – with minimal help from me!”

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I love this project because it is good for almost all toddler development stages & even older! Toddlers (ages 1-3) run the gamut from just starting to walk to almost ready to read, but if your kid can hold a marker, they can decorate a small pumpkin. It doesn’t even have to be a fabric one like this – it can be a craft pumpkin or even a small real one! Just use an appropriate type of marker for whatever the surface of your pumpkin is.

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Cupcake had so much fun coloring all over her pumpkin. She loves when I let her play with markers. She particularly enjoys putting the caps back on.

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You’ll notice I gave her permanent and dry erase markers (which won’t wipe off since this pumpkin’s fabric). Her washable markers are still in some box around here…

The bright side is that her art work is permanent! ūüėČ

The only input I had was giving her the markers one by one & pointing out white places on the pumpkin for her to color on some more. After she was done, I took that permanent marker & wrote her name & the date. Then we went outside for a little photo shoot!

You can kind of see that the leaves are actually changing color around here! Just a few more weeks until cooler temperatures in Georgia. As a Floridian, I am nervous & excited!

This cute little pumpkin is going on our bookshelf. Having just moved, I wasn’t going to pull out much of the fall stuff we have stored in the garage. I’m happy to have a little pumpkin flare around the apartment & it’s extra special that it was made by my daughter.

Fall Pumpkin Toddler Craft

  • small pumpkin (fabric, craft, or real!)
  • markers (I suggest fall colors like green, brown, and orange, but if you want a rainbow pumpkin that sounds fun, too!)
  • adorable toddler
  1. Supervise your toddler while they color on the pumpkin.
  2. When they’re done, write their name on it if you’d like. Done!
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Hispanic Heritage Month

¬°Hola amigos! Today marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month goes from 9/15 – 10/15. I’ve always said that Hispanics are so extra that they couldn’t just pick a calendar month – hahaha, I mean, jajaja! I actually just recently learned (thanks to a post by Spanish Mama) the reason behind the dates. It was first National Hispanic Heritage Week starting in 1968 under President Johnson. It was designated as the week to include 9/15 & 9/16 because several Latin American countries celebrate their Independence Days then. In 1988 President Reagan made it a whole month.

That means that Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, too!

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Maybe it’s being in Atlanta away from the Caribbean bubble of South Florida, maybe it’s missing my Mami, or maybe it’s the fact that Cupcake looked at me the other day & said “I don’t want any more” instead of “no mas”ūüė≥, but I want this Hispanic Heritage Month to mean a little more to us as a family. Usually it’s like October 3rd (another important date, lol) before I’m like ‘oh wait, isn’t it HHM?’

So let’s have some fun this year. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Latin recipes this month & invite you to share yours with me!

¡Hasta la próxima!

 

Toddler Cards For Any Occasion

Cupcake’s birthday is in January, so last year she got to enjoy all of her first holidays in order. This means that I got to do all of the fun handprint/footprint crafts for with her.

Footprint Valentines day heart? check. Footprint Father’s day craft? check. Handprint turkey for Thanksgiving? check. Handprint AND footprint clay ornaments for Christmas? check.

Now that she’s no longer an infant, I just don’t find it as cute. Let’s face it – the gift recipients know who really made those things. ME. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really cute ideas on Pinterest. But most of them are just work for mom.

Cupcake is 17 months old – old enough to want to do things on her own, but not old enough to really understand that we are making a gift for someone else. So even if I wanted to, it’d be pretty challenging to get her to give me a handprint or a footprint this year. So strong willed, & she’s not even 2! Say a prayer for me.

For Father’s day I searched for ideas of something she could make her daddy that was minimal work for me while being a little more thoughtful than just her scribbling on a piece of paper. I didn’t really come across any ideas I liked, but inspiration came from Cupcake herself.¬†She likes to color & paint all by herself (heavily supervised, of course!) & her absolute favorite thing in the world right now is stickers. That gave me an idea.

It sounded too simple, but what if Cupcake really could make a card for daddy by herself with minimal guidance from me?

Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Sometimes, the K.I.S.S. principle really is the best. Keep it simple, silly!

Cupcake had a lot of fun painting this card for daddy.Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Once the paint was dry, we added stickers. I let her add as many hearts as she wanted before giving her the sticker letters, one at a time in order, to spell DADA. That’s really all of the involvement I had, minus making sure she didn’t get paint everywhere! Oh, and writing her name & the date on the back!

This craft is so easily adaptable for any occasion! Use different colored paper, paint, or markers depending on your target audience & time of year! It’s infinitely customizable. You can let your toddler add as much or as little embellishment as you wish. The only ‘must’ is sticker letters. As long as your toddler has the motor skills to put stickers on a paper, they can do this craft!

Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

My hubby really loved receiving this card from our sweet daughter. She handed it to him herself! It might sound silly, but the fact that he can tell she really made it (as opposed to mommy) makes it more special!

Toddler Cards For Any Occasion

  • card stock – any color!
  • paint, crayons, and/or markers
  • sticker letters
  • optional: more stickers, glitter, paper scraps, or any other embellishment you can trust your toddler with, plus glue if necessary!
  1. Have your toddler paint or color on the piece of card stock. If you use paint, you will have to factor in drying time. (I used paint & had it be a 2-day project. Twice the fun!)
  2. Have your toddler stick on any other embellishments. I gave Cupcake heart stickers, since this was a Father’s Day card & she ‘hearts’ her daddy. Use holiday themed stickers to be extra festive!
  3. The last step is to give your toddler sticker letters one at a time & in order of whatever word(s) you are trying to get them to spell. I minimally guided Cupcake on putting the DADA stickers next to each other. I suspect that in another month or two, I wouldn’t even have to do that! Then, write your toddler’s name & the date on the back.
  4. Have your toddler give the card to loved ones & watch their heart melt!

 

Hello 2018, The Year Of Openness!

Happy New Year to all!

And Happy Blogaversary to me! 3 years! It has been a great 3 years indeed.

If you’re a fan of The Middle on ABC, you’ll remember that Sue Heck always themes her years. As does Crystal from Money Saving Mom! I’ve never tried it before, but looking back on 2017 one word definitely comes to mind:

Change.

A LOT changed in 2017 for me. Here’s a list:

It might not seem like a whole lot written out, but it sure feels like a lot.

I’m not complaining! 2017 was a great year. But my ‘year of change’ was not intentional.

Neither was my coming up with a theme for 2018. I didn’t set out to do it – it just happened! Divine intervention, as I say.

My theme for 2018 is openness.

OPENNESS

I want to make a conscious effort to be more open. I want to raise my arms in worship without hesitating. I want to talk to strangers & make new friends without holding back. And most of all, I want to be open to childlike joy. I want to be open to making messes. I want to be open to new ways of doing things.

I want to be open to being led by the Spirit of God.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Romans 8:14

God has done great things for my family in 2017. He can do even more in my life, and yours, in 2018 as long as we cling to Him.

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Homemade Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas!

In my house, Christmas doesn’t truly end until Three Kings Day.

Granted, it’s not quite as magical anymore after the 25th. Also, Cupcake’s birthday is before Three Kings Day, so we do want to pause Christmas & give her her own special day. BUT STILL – Three Kings Day marks the “official” end of Christmas around here. (Also, it really is the end of the 12 Days of Christmas!)

One of my Golden Year Bucket List things was to hand-make most of my Christmas gifts. I can now officially cross that off my list!

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Here are the gifts I made for my dear family:

Snockerdoodles

These cookies were gifted to my brother. I used this recipe to make a cakey crackle cookie (say that 3x fast!) with a whiskey kick!

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Baby ‘Print Ornaments

The grandparents (plus Auntie Tina) received ornaments made from Cupcake’s handprint or footprint. I also helped my niece make some to give as her gifts!

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Inspired by these Pinterest posts.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I really wanted to give a jar gift to my sister-in-law & when I saw the taco seasoning on this post I knew that was it! I deviated from the original recipe a bit & I think it came out great! My favorite part is the decorations on the jar.

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Fruit Cake Biscotti

These fruit cake biscotti turned out even better than I could have imagined! I tweaked this recipe a bit & the results were fantastic. I feel inspired to make more biscotti!

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Did you make any of your Christmas gifts?

 

Operation Christmas Child

It’s National Collection Week!

OCC National Collection Week

This is my 8th year participating in Operation Christmas Child.

I love this practical & hands-on opportunity to give back. When you pack a show box, you don’t just give a child material goods. You give them the gospel.

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You give them Hope. Capital H Hope. God’s Hope.

This year, my husband & I took our 5 year old niece, L, & Cupcake with us to the dollar store to buy the items for our boxes (one for a boy, one for a girl). We showed L this video before we left so she would know what to pick out.

She did a great job! She understood the concept & picked out great things for the kids. She was really fair & made sure that both kids got the same number of items. When we got home, she drew a picture for each kid. We had a lot of fun packing the items in the boxes, & Cupcake had fun watching us.

Then we gathered & prayed over the boxes. That’s the most important part.

We prayed for a better world for the children that are receiving these boxes, but we also prayed for better hearts for us senders. That we may be generous with what God has given us everyday.

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 L had fun marking the label. I always make sure to include the donation for shipping. It comes with the added bonus of being able to track the boxes.

In 2016 our boxes went to Angola. I look forward to finding out where they’ll end up this year & looking up that country with my niece.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have more to be thankful for than ever!

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I’m so thankful for my family, especially my baby girl!

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Less than 9 weeks left to go!

I thank God for all these blessings & hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with love. ‚̧

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

It’s National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child! This year it’s from Nov 14 – Nov 21. Check out our shoe box packing from last year below!

Mrs. Dessert Monster

Today kicks off National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

National Collection Week is November 16-23

6 years ago the church I was a member of while in college introduced me to Operation Christmas Child.

What is the mission of Operation Christmas Child?

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This ministry collects shoeboxes ‚Äď or really, shoebox sized containers ‚Äď filled with gifts & essential items for needy kids around the world. Once the boxes are packed, shipped, & distributed, teams from Samaritan‚Äôs Purse get with local churches to distribute the boxes to the kids. During that time, the Gospel is presented to the kids in their own language in a fun way. Aside from providing presents¬†& necessities such as toiletries, these kids get to‚Ķ

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Easter Cake

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday!

Easter came early this year, which happens from time to time since its date is the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring.

Maybe that’s why this year Lent has seemed a little less Jesus-y for me than in years prior. We just celebrated Christmas & here is Easter already.

Nonetheless, just like Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season.

My coworker is throwing her annual Easter picnic & egg hunt. Last year I made a bunny cake & brought my niece with me to the egg hunt. It was a lot of fun.

This year I am so over all the bunnies.

Easter isn’t about bunnies &¬†egg hunts. It isn’t even about family & good food. It’s about Jesus.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

With that being said, Easter is a celebration! Up from the grave he arose! So it should be bright & fun ūüôā

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I hope I captured that spirit in this cake.

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Funfetti cake with crushed M&Ms in the center, cream cheese frosting & malted eggs for decor.

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Easter should be fun, especially for children. But it’s that cross in the center that is the most important piece of this whole weekend.

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Happy Easter! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Three Kings Day!

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Feliz Dia De Los Reyes!

Also known as Epiphany or Theophany, Three Kings Day¬†celebrates the revelation of¬†Jesus Christ as God’s son. Wise men/magi/kings traveled from the East, following the star of Bethlehem, to find the child Jesus & worship him. (Matthew 2)

This article¬†explains some of the traditions associated with this day. One of the more iconic traditions is¬†putting straw in your shoes for the wise men’s camels. Kind of like putting out cookies for Santa, right Frank?

Today marks the last of the 12 days of Christmas, & is the end of the Christmas season for many (though Orthodox Christmas is tomorrow, Jan 7).

I still have all of my Christmas stuff up around the house, but come tonight I will do as the Relient K songs says.

Take it all down, Christmas is over
But do not despair, but rather be glad
We had a good year, now let’s have another
Remembering all the good times that we had
Oh no more lights glistening
No more carols to sing
But Christmas, it makes way for spring