Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Party Decorations: Hand Stenciled Votive Holders

Austin's 16th birthday party went off without a hitch. We finished (well sort of) the bathroom renovation just in time. I even had a chance to make fall party decorations-stenciled votive holders out of repurposed glass candle and food jars. They lined the walkway to the front door and the railings of the deck. We had a house full of friends and families for great company and a menu heavy appetizers including cream cheese stuffed mushrooms, warm Reuben dip, sweet kielbasa and more.

White lights and candles lit the deck.
I was so busy that I let Landon take over the job of making the votive holders. They were very easy to make and are great because they can be customized for any occasion.

What you need:
Glass jars from the recycle bin
Spray adhesive
Spray paint

Landon cut A's (A for Austin) out of newspaper in various sizes. After spraying the back side of one paper A with spray adhesive, he pressed it onto the outside of the jar. On a protected work surface, he sprayed the jar with a light coat of paint. After letting the paint set for two minutes he carefully peeled off the newspaper A. Adding a candle was the finishing touch for an easy, personalized votive holder.

How to Manage Post Trick-or-Treating Halloween Candy

Can you imagine being a kid and getting a day pass to eat as much candy as you want from an endless supply? That's Halloween at our house-the one day of the year that the kids can eat as much candy as they want. The "all you can eat" method of Halloween parenting achieves a few goals.

  • The kids think we are the best parents in the world from the time they get home from trick-or-treating until they go go bed, making a fun holiday even more fun.
  • The more candy the kids eat on Halloween night the less there is the next day or week.
  • When they eat all the good candy on Halloween night the "leftovers" are less appealing, interest wanes and you can toss out or donate the rest without too much opposition.

So let the kids stay out as long as they can stand the cold, let them trade for their favorites, and let them eat to their hearts content so the major sugar high lasts one night instead of every night for weeks. Happy Halloween!

Is It the End of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic?

A Democratic Senator from MA, Katherine Clark, is proposing a bill that would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a media skills program in schools for kindergarten through high school. According to NBC News in Boston the program would teach students how to evaluate information from Internet and media sources, analyze how media messages including advertising are constructed and understand media messages, many of which are targeted toward children. It seems that Media Skills would be much more practical for today's students than learning to sew a pillow or bake a cake from scratch. Although I did find it adorable that Cal sewed me a leopard print accent pillow to display on my bed last year, in 7th grade.