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For those of you who have just joined us here at 3 Winks Design, you may not realize that the reason we started this blog is because of this little creation of ours called Hot Cocoa Bombs! They are the most delicious and excitingly fun way to drink Hot Cocoa! This is the time of year when I get in full Hot Cocoa Bomb mode, making them like crazy for an annual craft show. The craft show has changed this year, but we are still doing one and I have been busy making them again. It never gets old because:
So, for Friday Faves #80 today, I thought I would do a throwback to some of our favorite Hot Coca Bomb posts and ideas! You will notice how our blog has evolved over these past 4 years as well!
If you want to make your own Hot Cocoa Bombs, you can go to the above mentioned tutorial and video. We have also published a Hot Cocoa Bomb Book that will help you with how to make them, the flavors and ways to decorate them!
If you are in Phoenix on December 1st, join us at the Merry LIttle Christmas Boutique! Stop by and have a Hot Cocoa Bomb! If you mention that you saw this on our blog, I will give you a 50 cent discount! It is going to be a lot of fun and great place to get some Christmas shopping done! Be sure to put it on your calendar!
**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. All opinions are my own.
I absolutely love being a grandmother. My husband and I have 10 grandchildren and they are the best in the entire universe! My heart nearly explodes when I think of each one of them and there is nothing I want more than for them to grow up happy and healthy and good. They all have good parents to lead and guide them. (My wonderful children and their spouses) But, I feel like as a grandmother, I can be a loving and good influence in their lives. I didn't ever really know my own grandparents. They all passed away when I was very young. I know other people have related to me how important their grandparents have been in their lives. I want to be important to my grandchildren. I want them to know that I am here for them and that I will always love them, no matter what!
For almost a year now, I've thought about writing a little book for my grandchildren called, "What Grandma Wants Me to Know." I considered a board book but I wasn't sure about illustrations. Maddy didn't have time to do them for me. Then, I discovered Mixbook! Their photo books are beautiful and completely customizable! The photos of my grandchildren could be my illustrations! So, I teamed up with Mixbook to make my first photo story book for my grands.
I had already come up with a list of ideas that I wanted to include in the book. Some of them were simple joys, like baking cookies and swinging. Some of them were deeper and more meaningful, like learning to love to read, and realizing that God loves them. When you think about it, you can make a list a mile long that covers the things you want your children and grandchildren to know. You can customize this idea for your own family! Since I had my list, I went through the pictures that I have and started to match them to the topics I wanted to cover. It was so easy to upload them to Mixbook. Then, all I had to do was choose my cover and design of my book. There are a ton of great templates and sizes to choose from. I decided to start mine from scratch and make it a totally custom creation. I easily arranged the pictures and the texts where I wanted them to be. Mixbook would give me a hint if a certain photo needed to be resized for the best appearance in the book. Not only that, but I was unable to finish the book all in one sitting, so it was saved to my account until I could come back and work on it again.
Not every page in my book had photos. I included some text of poetry and "words of wisdom." There are also choices of fonts and stickers available to add interest to your pages. The entire process was a lot of fun.
Now, here are some of the best parts!
I've only had the book for a couple of days. I plan to keep it out at my house where I can read it with my visiting grandchildren whenever possible. There is a possibility of printing one for each family, but right now I love seeing how much they enjoy seeing themselves in the book when I read it to them. I feel like I am sending them a message that they will one day get as we share this book over the years. A message about how special they are and about what marvelous potential they have and that there are cheerleaders all around them, including me! Who knows, there may be multiple editions as they grow and I think of more that their grandma wants them to know!
Here is another great deal:
This post contains affiliate links. We will be compensated for purchases made through those links at no extra cost to you. All views expressed are our own.
I think I may have mentioned a time or two that I love Christmas. I love the magic and the decorations, the giving, the food and the fun. Most of all, I love the reason for the season, and that is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Consequently, I love Nativity Scenes. I have a few of them that I put up each year, and some of them have special meaning for me. One ceramic set I have was painted for me by my sister. Another Nativity was painted for me by Maddy when she was very young. She had solicited help from her dad to make it a hinged piece that I absolutely love.
Because I want my children and grandchildren to remember and know the true reason that we celebrate Christmas, I gave each of my children’s families a Fisher Price Nativity last year. It was great to give them a set that they can touch and learn the true story from the New Testament and retell themselves. I know that some people make it a tradition to get a new Nativity each year, whether big or small, a stand-alone set or an ornament. I am toying with the idea of doing that for my grandchildren, just as a reminder that we can feel the Joy of Christmas, and joy and hope in every part of our lives because Jesus Christ was born.
Do any of you collect nativities? Which ones are your favorites?
I have come up with a list with links for you of some of the nicest Nativity Sets for 2018. Some are very reasonably priced and some are a little pricier. I hope that you find it useful as you prepare for Christmas with your family and if you are looking to add a beautiful reminder of whose birth we are celebrating.
Kid Friendly Nativities:
Melissa and Doug Wooden Set This is a colorful, durable wooden set with 11 figures and a 4 piece stable. On the package is a retelling of the Christmas story. (Or, you can turn to Luke 2 for any of the sets!)
Delton Felt Nativity in a bag I love the cute lamb in this set!
Fisher Price Nativity The LIttle People are always so cute and easy for kids to hold. This is a smaller set than the one I got for my grandchildren.
Another Fisher Price, This is the set I got for my grandchildren. It has a few more pieces. I love that the star lights up and it plays "Away in a Manger."
Wall hanging with moveable figure If you don't have a lot of table space, this could be a great solution. It has 18 figures and a pocket in the back to store them.
Peg Doll Nativity is from LittleBlackMarketCo on Etsy. It has 9 peg dolls in a stained box that has a stable scene on the inside.
Nativity Advent Calendar This instant download from TimeSavers on Etsy is a digital download advent and Christmas Story.
Snow Globe Nativities
Dollar Tree Snow Globe If you have a lot of people to give them to, you can't beat $1.00! If you order them online, there are 24 in a case.
This one Plays Little Drummer Boy I found it amusing that someone only gave it one star because they had never heard of the song!? Otherwise, it had high ratings.
San Francisco Music Box Company Beautiful work on this globe. It plays "Oh LIttle Town of Bethlehem."
Peanuts figures I have a soft spot for the Peanuts Christmas Special. I have always loved how Linus recites Luke 2 on the TV special. This snowglobe is a sweet reminder of that.
Precious Moments I am also a sucker for Precious Moments figurines. This one plays "Oh Holy NIght." (One of my favorite Christmas songs!)
Large Statement Nativities
This 17.5” 3 piece Nativity makes a beautiful display. It has excellent reviews and would definitly become a family keepsake.
The largest piece in this set is 5.5”. It comes with 11 figures.
I absolutely love this Thomas Kinkade Nativity Tree. It is a beautifully handcrafted 16" tree with over 40 figures on it. It plays Silent Night. This picture is too small to appreciate it. Click on it to see how beautiful it is.
Here is another Thomas Kincade Nativity. It moves and plays 4 songs!
Driftwood Creche 14”x8.5” This is another beautiful table top set.
Here is a cute pattern for a Crocheted Nativity pattern. It is from AmigurumiBarmy on Etsy. If you are a crocheter, it looks like something that wouldn't be too hard. What do you think? Do you think you can get it done by Christmas?
If you feel like you need something a little smaller, here is a smaller felt option I found on Craftgawker, who got it off of Wild Olive. .
If you really like the Peg Doll idea, here is one you can make yourself! It is called Made-by-Me Peg Doll Nativity.
This link will take you to the popsicle stick nativity figures I made for a 3 year old class at church! It was easy and fun to make and the kids loved the sets I made for them.
There's my list of favorites! Whether you buy or make a Nativity for your family, or have one that you already have passed down through the years, I hope the Christmas Story is a part of your Christmas every year!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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