Giving the Gift of Reading

Giving the Gift of Reading

This holiday, we wanted to give more thoughtful and engaging gifts to the kids. One way we are doing this is gifting “experiences.” We came up with a few different “experiences” for the girls – tickets to a musical, a special day out with dad and a trip to a favorite place with mom. We hope that they will understand and appreciate these gifts just as they appreciate and love the tangible ones. Another engaging gift we are giving the girls this year is giving the gift of reading. We are delighted to work with Amazon Kindle for Kids Bundle today to share how a new Kindle for our girls has been such a hit.

Giving the Gift of Reading

Kindle for Kids – Unleash the Imagination

Ok, a few things we love about the Kindle for Kids Bundle :

  • It’s not screen time, it’s book time. The Kindle is an e-reader, no internet browsing, games, or distractions. It is all about reading!
  • Learning features – there is a built in dictionary and a vocabulary builder.
  • Track reading – parents can track the kids reading and even set reading time goals.
  • Bundle – makes it easy! Kindle + kid proof case + 2 year warranty. Done!
  • Battery life – it lasts for weeks!

We were so excited to give the early Christmas presents to Harper (age 9) and Calla (age 7). They are both absolutely obsessed with their Kindles. Harper (age 9) has been reading hers constantly (when she wakes up, while eating breakfast, in the car, etc). I am so excited for all the books she will be reading on the long flight this holiday. We are already feeling like we truly gave the girls the gift of reading! Melissa and the girls were stuck on the runway for two hours yesterday and Calla’s Kindle definitely came in handy.

giving-the-gift-of-reading-1

One of our favorite things about the Kindle for Kids is Amazon FreeTime. Kids can read books in a simple, fun, and safe environment. Parents can have peace of mind that kids won’t access inappropriate content, or accidentally make purchases. Kids are rewarded with achievement badges when they reach their reading milestones, and a progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading and books read.

Giving the Gift of Reading

Giving the Gift of Reading

Photos by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon. all rights reserved.

This post was sponsored by Amazon, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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I’ll have a Blue (and White) Christmas

One Kings Lane Mudcloth Tassel Stockings: Habitation Boheme Etsy Shop Savvy Southern Style Style At Home Navy buffalo check napkins (Etsy / Amazon) / Brooklyn D. Photography in Rue Mag Skonahem Country Living Happy Monday, friend! How was your weekend? I can’t believe we are less than a week away from Christmas, can you? I wish I was all ready, […]

This article I’ll have a Blue (and White) Christmas is from The Inspired Room Republishing this article in full or in part is a violation of copyright law. © 2009-2013, all rights reserved.

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DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament with Esurance

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament

Whether it’s your very first car as a teenager, or your first car as a married couple, vehicles play a sentimental role in our lives. We’re celebrating those cars with a DIY silhouette of those all-time favorite vehicles. Make a DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament like we did, or create a stunning piece of wall art that makes the perfect gift.

We’ve teamed up with Esurance today to share some stories of our favorite cars, along with our silhouette tutorial that turns some of these favorite tales into art to remember forever.

Read more for the DIY tutorial and a favorite story about our beloved Land Cruiser…

My favorite car that I’ve had as an adult has to be our 1988 grey Land Cruiser. My husband was a bit obsessed with these cars and searched the state for the perfect one. After finding it, we hit the road in our Land Cruiser for camping trips, road trips to visit friends or driving across the state for concerts. But my favorite road trip has to be when we loaded up the rig with our beloved dog, Chuck, some fancy clothes, and drove from Colorado to Northern Wisconsin for our wedding 11 years ago.

I’ll never forget sitting in the back of the Land Cruiser putting together our wedding programs with Chuck dog at my side. The hours on the road gave us the opportunity to fine-tune our wedding ceremony, work on our vows and daydream about what our wedding was going to be like. Planning a wedding from afar, it was harder to actually visualize how it would all come together.

There was so much excitement as we pulled into the lakeside resort where our friends and families would soon join us.

After an amazing wedding weekend, we spent a week catching up on sleep, spending time on the lake, and driving around Northern Wisconsin looking for items for our new house we were building in Colorado. The North Woods has some fine antiquing I must say.

We bought ourselves a wedding gift – a Morris chair – that somehow fit into the back of the Land Cruiser. From rugs to wooden crates, we crammed the car full to the brim. We even loaded an old barn beam on the top of the Cruiser that we used in the house as a post in our kitchen.

That trip is one that will always stay with me. Driving 1,500 miles to your own wedding was worth every mile.

Check out Esurance’s tools to help you save money and protect your favorite car so you can create memories on the road too. They work hard to make insurance easy with a seamless online and mobile experience.

What are some of your most favorite memories on the open road? Did you ever name your car?

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament 

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament

Supplies

photo of car

black card stock paper

scissors and x-acto knife

glue

patterned paper

wood ornament

cording

DIY Car Silhouette Ornament

Steps

  1. Print a picture of your car and size to 3.5 inches x 2 2 inches. Cut out the shape of the car, including the windows.
  2. Trace the car onto a piece of black card stock paper.
  3. Now cut the car shape out of the black paper – including the windows. I used an x-acto knife for this part.
  4. I wanted to add some interest to the plan wood ornament so I cut the circle ornament shape from a piece of black and white patterned paper. Glue onto the ornament.
  5. Glue the car silhouette onto the ornament.
  6. Glue or tape cording to the back side of ornament.

You can also use this same technique to make a piece of custom wall art. You could print the car image larger – cut, trace, cut and glue onto a canvas, piece of wood or even fabric. So many possibilities to display your fond memories of your favorite car.

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament

DIY Modern Silhouette Car Ornament

photos by Melissa Fenlon and Sara Albers. all rights reserved.

Thank you to Esurance who sponsored this post and thank you for supporting the brands who support Alice & Lois.

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Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe

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Love making our Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe.

Tis the season for cocktail parties! We’re always looking for a simple, yet delicious appetizer recipe and this has become our Favorite Chicken Satay Recipe. What’s not to love about a savory and a bit spicy appetizer that you can eat on a stick? We teamed up with got milk? today to share not only our favorite chicken satay recipe, but also two fun ideas for milk mocktails that go perfectly with the flavors and spice of this chicken satay. Mango milk lassis and honey cardamom milk both are big hits with these skewers. The sweetness of the mango pairs so well with the deep flavors of the satay, and of course the color of the mango is just beautiful. There’s a reason we love it. Serve the lassis in some gorgeous drink ware and your guests are ready to eat and drink in style.

Read more for all the recipes…

We love making this Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe.

Chicken Satay Skewers

1 lb chicken breast, sliced into ½ inch thin strips

3 Tablespoons tamari

3 Tablespoons fish sauce

3 Tablespoons water

1 t cumin

1 t coriander

1 T peanut butter, natural

1 teaspoon Sriracha

1 t minced fresh ginger

2 t minced garlic

2 T minced shallots

2 T honey

1 T freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix and marinade chicken strips in it in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Soak your bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Slice the chicken into thin (1/2 inch thick) strips. Combine all of the ingredients to make the marinade. Place chicken in marinade, then place in fridge for 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from fridge and thread chicken onto each strip – one-two pieces of chicken per skewer. Heat grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken for 4 minutes on both sides until brown.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

2 Tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

one garlic clove, minced

Combine all of the ingredients in a small blender and serve with satay.

Delicious recipe for mango lassis

Mango Milk Lassis

Fruit from 2 mangos or 2 cups of frozen mango

1/2 cup of yogurt

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons honey

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and mix on high until completely blended. Pour in glassware and serve. Put ground cardamom on top and serve.

We love making this Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe.

mango milk lassis recipe

Honey Cardamom Milk Mocktail

2 cups milk

1 Tablespoon honey

ground cardamom

Serve warm or cold. If warm, warm milk and honey on low heat and serve with ground cardamom on top.

We love making this Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe.

We love making this Favorite Chicken Satay Appetizer Recipe.

photos by Melissa Fenlon. all rights reserved.

Thanks so much to got milk? for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands who support us!

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Festive Christmas Treats for Gifts & Celebrating

Some of you asked about the adorable gingerbread cookies in my Christmas house tour. We haven’t been able to do any holiday baking so far this Christmas due to not having an oven, so receiving those cookies as a gift was a real treat! 😀 If you want super festive cookies and treats for a hostess […]

This article Festive Christmas Treats for Gifts & Celebrating is from The Inspired Room Republishing this article in full or in part is a violation of copyright law. © 2009-2013, all rights reserved.

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DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Holiday Garland and Modern Blanket

We are back today sharing another way to create a thoughtful and personalized gift for a friend this holiday season. We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind design project for our dear friend. We adore her and her sense of design. So, Melissa created a modern black and white design for us to make a unique gift. When we saw the fleece sherpa blanket on CVS Photo we knew that was the perfect thing! We are delighted to be partnering with CVS Photo today to show you how you can make a personal gift for someone. This blanket is truly unique, soft and warm with a modern black and white print. And guess what? You can download the design right here to make your very own blanket! Nothing ordinary about this gift. And the blankets are 40% off right now (through 12/17)!

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

Now to add another special element to this thoughtful gift – we made a simple DIY Modern Holiday Garland. This garland is so easy to make and can be used as the ribbon on the gift wrap, and even better, you can hang it up on the wall as well! We wanted to mimic the modern triangle vibe of the blanket we made, so we used green triangle shapes and threw in some red circles to mimic holly.

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Modern Holiday Wool Garland

Supplies:

wool felt

sewing machine

scissors

Step 1. Cut green felt into triangles (mine are 2 inches). Cut red felt into circles (mine are 1.5 inches).

Step 2. Start sewing the triangle pieces first. Feed the felt and leave a few stitches in between each felt piece. You can make the garland as long as you like. I used 42 felt shapes that made 9.5 ft garland.

Wrap the garland around the gift box as a special added touch to the gift!

We know our friend is going to love this one-of-a-kind blanket. Now we’re dreaming up new designs for more blankets and wouldn’t an old black and white photo work really well on one too?

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

DIY Wool Garland and Modern Graphic Blanket

Photos by Sara Albers.

I’m proud to partner with CVS Pharmacy for the Bring Holidays to Life campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS Pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

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Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

How do you make a gift special and personalized for your family? Do you make a scrapbook? Or frame a family photo? Every year we like to create a gift for our parents that incorporates a family photo or a shared family memory. So far we have kept things simple with a grandkids photograph or a photo book. This year, we have teamed up with CVS Photo to share a few holiday photo gift ideas that are anything but ordinary. We are so excited to share our ideas with you today and tomorrow. CVS asked us how we “Bring the Holidays to Life?” Photos, artwork, stories and collections are all things that bring the holidays to life through thoughtful gifts that celebrate family. CVS Photo makes it so easy to make unique and meaningful gifts.

Read more to see just how we did it!

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Our mom has been collecting Christmas tree figurines for years. She lines them on her beautiful window ledges in the dining room that overlooks the lake out back. She must have over one hundred little trees of all shapes and sizes. So needless to say, we have gifted her many trees over the years. This year we wanted to somehow tie in her grandkids and the tree collection. I asked my sister and sister-in-law to have the kids draw a christmas tree for Gram and take a picture of their image and text it to me. I saved the photos to my phone and uploaded to CVS. I had the kids draw the trees on white paper with black marker. I wanted the tree images to be black and white. You can edit the images to be bright and white (on your phone or in a photo editing software). I added the tree images to the Photo China Plates on CVS.  The plates came out absolutely darling. Now our mom will have each grandchild’s tree drawing on china plates for years to come. Merry (early) Christmas, Mom! The photo plates will be a treasured addition to our mom’s tree collection year after year. And how fun for the kids to see their artwork displayed every Christmas on beautiful plates.

Check back tomorrow to see what else we made with CVS photo! There are so many wonderful photo gift options – photo pillows, ornamentsmatte posters and more.

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Holiday Photo Gift Ideas

Photos by Sara Albers.

We are proud to partner with CVS Photo for the Bring Holidays to Life campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS Pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

 

 

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