One of our December must do activities is making gingerbread houses as a family. A few years ago, we kicked it up a notch and decided to make a simple healthier gingerbread (graham cracker) cottage – you can find the how-to tutorial here. And another year I stuck with my healthier cottage theme and the mister and Eben decided to try their hand at a pretzel log cabin. All of our ingredients were organic & free from toxic chemicals too.
I think they turned out to be pretty cute! The log cabin is definitely my favorite – I love the way the mister and Eben used coconut to make snow on the rooftop and Eben created the fun, festive wreath above the front door! This is an activity that takes all evening to complete, but it is always worth it. We had a blast listening to holiday music, sipping cocoa and giggling when things didn’t turn out!
Do you have special holiday traditions that you enjoy with your family in December? I would love to hear – please share in the comments section below.
Did you plant your pumpkins and gourds last spring? If so, you should have a bounty of them to use for decorating and baking this fall. If not or if you live in Florida like me, that’s alright, you can find lovely organic pumpkins and gourds at your local organic farm, farmer’s market or organic grocer. Do you need help locating great organic pumpkins in your area? Check out Local Harvest to locate a farm in your area, and enjoy autumn!
Where do you get your pumpkins?
Do you purchase local organic ones?
P.S. My favorite place to pick pumpkins is in the North Carolina mountains at the New River Pumpkin Patch. Hurricane Irma made it possible this year! We happened to be evacuated at the time and were able to stop by before heading home!
Are you getting excited for the holidays? I know my family is! We all love the extra time we get to spend together, the fun seasonal activities, and delicious foods that come along with the holiday season. Of course, there are some additional stresses at this time of year—party planning, attending events or taking your kids on various outings, finishing end-of-year tasks, preparing to host family, and gift shopping, to name a few.
If you’re anything like me, coming up with gift ideas ahead of time takes away some of the pressure surrounding the holidays and makes everything more enjoyable. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a great gift idea for the kids or other families in your life! You may have seen me talking about Blue Orange Games before, because they’re a great company and their games are always a hit with Eben and Mr. Sweet Greens. With a chance to win a game from them in this blog post, hopefully they’ll become a favorite with your family, too!
Why Blue Orange Games Make Great Gifts These games get my seal of approval for gift giving for many reasons. The games produced by Blue Orange are heirloom quality, so you can pass them on to younger generations in the family when your own kids outgrow them. These games are also eco-friendly, made from high-quality materials that gets replenished by the Blue Orange Games commitment to plant 2 trees for each one used in creating their products. That kind of commitment to sustainability and keeping the planet green for our kids and grandkids makes you feel good about buying their games as gifts.
Beyond the basic facts of sustainability and good design, these games are my favorite ones to play with my family. They’re fun, they make you think, and they’re a convenient length to squeeze in between homework and dinner, or in between activities on the weekend. Many of the Blue Orange Games are also designed with families in mind, being fun to play with a small but flexible number of people; often 2-4 makes for a great gameplay experience (it’s great too because Eben and I can play together when Mr. Sweet Greens is at work!) Plus, they work on your cognitive skills, memory, creativity, fine motor skills, and more, so you’re getting some real benefits from playing!
I purchase a handful of these games every year to gift to Eben and Mr. Sweet Greens as our family gift. I always pair it with some of our favorite organic snacks and hot cocoa. It gives us something new and fun to play as a family during winter break, and is a really positive way to spend some of the extra time we have together. This year, I am also giving Blue Orange Games as gifts to my sister’s family, I’m hoping that her and her family will love them as much as we do!
Enter the Giveaway Want a chance to win your very own game from Blue Orange Games? I’m happy to be able to give away a copy of Flash! to one lucky winner. Flash! is a super quick and exciting dice game with multiple play variations and 8 challenges to complete. It has a fun element of competition and is great for all ages, from 7 to 97! It is a huge hit in our home and it will make a great holiday gift for your family.
Leave a comment below to enter. Tell me which game you’re most interested in, or what your family enjoys doing together over the holiday break.
For extra entries, follow Sweet Greens and Blue Orange Games via your favorite social media platforms and leave a separate comment for each!
A few years ago, we wanted ghosts that we could hang on our front porch that will blow in the breeze. How fun and spooky, right? Eben and I had a super fun time making the 4 large ghosts, it is a really fun memory! They only cost us $5. We had everything to make these, except the white sheets which we paid $2.49 each for at the thrift store. Want to make ghosts with your little goblins? Read on to get started.
Here is what you will need to make 4 ghosts:
2 queen or king sized white sheets or bed skirts
Wire or twine
Any type of plastic bag
What to do:
Cut the sheets into 4 large pieces, cut the edges so they are jagged
Stuff fabric scraps into a plastic bag and tie it around the top of a hanger
Hold the ghost by the neck. Eben thought “choking” the ghost was fun and made gagging noises while he did it. This is when I wrapped wire (or you can use twine) around the neck.
Insert a piece of wire at the top of the head for hanging.
What do you think of my upcycled flying ghosts? What is your favorite Halloween memory?
Every year when doing my holiday shopping, board and card games are always at the top of my list. Even as Eben gets older, I have found that playing a round of cards or a quick board game with him after dinner is a great way to bond. This year, I headed straight to my favorite eco-friendly game shop to stock up! Blue Orange is my favorite because all of their games are super well made with heavy-duty pieces that will not fall apart. These are games that you will pass down from generation to generation. They are come packed in fantastic tins which is perfect for keeping all of those pieces together. Blue Orange Games also respects the environment and understands the need to work towards the preservation of our planet. Here is a peak at some of the games that Eben will be receiving this year from Blue Orange Games.
This game has it all! Everyone loves a great game of War – this version included an epic battle between rivaling rat clans. Both players have a hand of eight cards, numbered 0 to 7, with each character on the card possessing a special power. In a calculated duel, both players reveal a card. The victory goes to the higher number, unless the special power overrules. The first player to win four rounds claims the kingdom for their clan. This minimalist wonder plays in just minutes but packs rich game play and plenty of suspense.
Eben is obsessed with everything Japan, so Niya should be right up his alley. On each turn, players replace a garden tile with one of their clan tokens. The next player can only exchange a token for a garden tile that has an element in common with the previously chosen tile. The first to position their clan in a row, square, or blockade will win control of the garden…and power at court! A simple yet sophisticated abstract strategy game, Niya captivates players young and old.
Spot It! Holidays
What stocking would be complete with out a Spot It! game? This year we will be playing Spot It! Holidays while hanging out as a family. This is a quick fun game that you can leave on the dining room table for a fun after dinner duel. It comes packed in a great tin that makes clean up a breeze. I can barely wait!
What is your favorite family game?
Full Disclosure: I partnered with Blue Orange Games to share some of their amazing games. However, we already own a lot of Blue Orange Games and I buy them as gifts, so I would have shared them with you anyway! Thank you for supporting these fantastic eco-friendly companies.