Open Ended Melted Snowman

We recently took a little unplanned blogging break for the holidays, but today we are back with an adorable open ended melted snowman. We do not have a lot of snow this year, so it has been the only snowman made by our family so far!

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper (We used blue, White, Black, Brown, Orange)
  • Glue
  • Scissors

We started by cutting out shapes for our melted snowman. We cut out white squares for the snowman, black circles of various sizes for the eyes and buttons, orange triangles for the nose and brown rectangles for the arms. We always cut more shapes than needed so our little one can make the project her own. You can add more shapes if you’d like, but we decided to keep it simple.

After we did all the prep work, we let the little one place everything where she wanted it. We try to offer as little guidance as possible when doing open ended activities.

The end result will be as unique as your child!

Easy Ways to Save Money

Easy Ways to Save Money

We are totally not crafty people, but we are fairly proud of being thrifty people. Today, I thought I’d share a few ways you can save money every month!

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, for purchases made through our links. All opinions expressed are our own**

Shop Wisely

Each week, my family spends about two hours getting ready for our grocery shopping trip. We make our list according to what we can get on sale and try to combine sales with coupons. This saves us between $120 and $150 each month. We also buy certain items in bulk. We just recently started buying meat in bulk from a local butcher shop. Not only do we save money, but we also get to support a local business while enjoying high quality meat!

Get Rid of Cable or Satellite Services

We started by just downgrading our satellite services, but once our daughter was born, we needed the $80 a month we were still paying to put towards other things, so we cut it out all together. We have a Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime (it comes with lots of movies and TV shows), Disney Plus and a huge collection of DVDs. We do not even miss having a large bill for our TV entertainment.

Limit Take out and Dining Out

We rarely eat out. Even if we are going away for the day, we will try to take a lunch with us or plan our day around meal times. Mr.Not So Crafty also packs a lunch each day at work, which saves at least $40 a week since he usually works 6 days.

Buy Second Hand Items

We buy so many things used. We get a lot of clothing second hand, as well as some household items. As a bonus, there are many thrift clothing stores that will offer to buy your gently used clothing or items and then you can get something else you need.

Keep An Eye On Your Utilities

This is the tip that is the hardest for me to implement in my own house! We have energy saving lightbulbs and we keep our furnace lower during the day during colder months. We also unplug small appliances when we are not using them.

We would love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite money saving tip? Please share it below!

Paper Plate Christmas Bauble

Our Christmas tree is a hot mess full of love and personality. The only thing  missing was some hand made toddler art! Today, we had this paper plate bauble to fix that problem! 

Materials Needed

  • Paper Plate
  • Cut Up Tissue Paper 
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • Ribbon 
  • Tape 

We started by cutting out the center of the paper plate. If you wanted to use the whole paper plate you could do that, but it would be a bit large for most trees. 

Next, we put glue on the paper plate and let the little one glue on the tissue paper.  This part got  a bit messy. 

After the paper plate circle was covered, we let it dry. Once it was dry, we flipped it over and taped the ribbon on the back of the  circle.  You could use glue for this, but it would probably be super messy. 

Now this little bauble is hanging proudly on our tree. 

Super Simple Paper Tree

Christmas is just over two weeks away, so it is a busy time in our household. We still have wrapping to do. On top of that, we are under 80 days away from our next trip to Walt Disney World (Check out our guide to visiting Disney on a budget here), so we are in trip planning mode as well. Today, we wanted to do something that would entertain our little one for a bit, but also wasn’t complicated. This is probably one of the most simple craft projects we have done so far!


Green Paint

Paint Brush

White Paper

Green Construction Paper

Brown Construction Paper



We started out by cutting out a triangle from both the green and white paper, and a rectangle from the brown paper. The green triangle should be slightly larger than the white one. We made just a small tree, but you can make a bigger one if you’d like. 

Next, we had our little one paint the white paper green.

After what she painted dried, we helped her glue it onto the green paper. If your child is preschool aged, they can likely do this all by themselves with a glue stick. 

After that, we flipped it over and helped her glue on the brown rectangle. 

This cute little tree did not take much time at all. The most time consuming part was letting it dry! 

Family Christmas Fun at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

In our family, we absolutely love the Christmas season. We love fall as well, but there is just something about all the happiness and family time Christmas brings. Since I was a child, it has been a Christmas tradition to go look at Christmas lights. When I came across the website for Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, I knew we had to visit!

**We were given a free admission pass and in exchange, we are sharing our experience. The following post contains our honest opinion about our experience at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland** 

We live about an hour away from the area where Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is located, so mid afternoon Saturday, we headed out. Mr. Not So Crafty works on weekends, but my mom and step father (A.K.A Grammy and Grumpy) accompanied my toddler and I for some holiday fun. Before we left, our sweet toddler had to do a little pre-gaming by checking out Grammy’s holiday decorations. 

After stopping for an early dinner, we got into the area of the Christmas Wonderland at about 6:30. If you are going on a weekend, we highly recommend getting there much earlier. It is a very popular seasonal event and they get very busy on the weekends. If you can go during the week, there may be less wait time involved.  Once we got into the fairgrounds, it was certainly easy to see why so many people were willing to wait! It is just an amazing family experience. At just $25 per car (up to 8 people), it is a great deal as well! 

The very first thing we all noticed, even before we got to the admission both, was how perfectly the music synced up with the lights. The lights put on an amazing show.  

After riding through the beautiful lights that were programmed to move with music, we entered Santa’s Safari. This part of the light display had an adorable jungle animal theme! 

At the end of the displays, we stopped at Santa’s Village. Santa’s Village offered refreshments,a visit with Santa, rides, and shopping! It was really a lot of fun. It was decorated inside and out. Santa had a real beard and the packages started at just $19.95. The three indoor rides offered are just $2 each. 

We highly enjoyed ourselves and can not wait to go next year again! If you do not live near this particular location, you may still be able to get in on the Shadrack’s Christmas fun! There are also locations in Sevierville, TNJackson, TNBirmingham, ALCharlotte, NC, and Gonzalez, LA.

We would love to hear from you! Have you ever been to a Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland? What is your favorite family Christmas tradition? 

Open Ended Shape Snowman

Open ended shape crafts are a favorite in our house! Crafts like this encourage creativity and help with both color and shape recognition! 

Materials Needed

  • Blue or Black Construction Paper
  • Construction Paper Cut into a Variety of Shapes 
  • Glue

The aim of his craft is to encourage creativity, so we offered as little guidance as possible. We put glue on the paper and let our toddler pick shapes one by one. When she picked one, we would say things like “that is a white circle”.  If your child is preschool or early grade school age, you can give them a glue stick and let them do the gluing themselves. Our toddler is too young for that, so we did put the glue where we wanted it on the paper. 

The end product will be as unique as your little one! One of our favorite things about these open ended projects is how much the end result reflects who our toddler as a little person currently!

Paper Circle Candy Cane

Christmas is coming up fast! Candy canes were always a huge part of my Christmas growing up. Today’s craft is super simple and can be adapted for kids between one and five years old!

Materials Needed

  • Red, White, and Green Construction Paper 
  • Glue
  • Scissors 

The prep work for this one is very easy! We started by cutting out small circles from the red and white paper. If your little one is four or five, try drawing the circles and letting them do the cutting! We cut out eight of each color, but only ended up using five circles of each color. After the circles were cut, we put glue in the shape of a candy cane on the green paper and let our little one get to work. If you have an older child, you can make this a bit more involved by showing them a candy cane and letting them put on the glue to match the shape. 

From start to finish, this took about five minutes, so it is the perfect little crafty for busy days!

Gift Ideas For Children Under One

Last year was our daughters first Christmas. She was just under a year old.  We had to really sit down and think of things for others to get her. We have compiled a list of ideas for gifts to give children one and under!

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission for purchased made from our links at no additional cost to you. The opinions expressed are all ours.**

Stacking Toys

Stacking cups are amazing for developing hand-eye coordination and for building problem solving skills. As a bonus, once the little one gets closer to two, they can double as cups for tea and such in pretend play. At least one of our dolls gets the privilege of “drinking” from one of these cups several times a week. 

Sensory Toys

Sensory type toys provide colors and unique shapes that will intrigue infants. They will explore them more and more as they grow. 

Soft Books

Soft books are gentle on little fingers and safe to chew on! 

Music Table

Most music tables are safe for children six months and up. They encourage motor skills and many of them encourage language development as well.