DIY Easy Halloween Décor: Yarn Tassel Ghost Garland

I have bags and bags of yarn in my closet. If you ask my husband, he’ll probably tell you it’s way too much. However, when you love yarn, it’s never enough! I love making crafts with yarn, even though I don’t do them as often as I would like. I’ve made yarn garlands made with tassels, pumpkins, and of course, pompoms. For our Halloween décor this year, I made this beautiful garland made of yarn tassels turned into little ghosts!

Here’s what you’ll need
– yarn of color(s) of your choice
– black paper for eyes and mouths
– glue
– yarn needle or hook
– scissors

If you need to buy some yarn, you should go to a Dollar Tree store. They usually have yarn in smaller skeins, plus it’s cheap, and they usually have a ton of colors available. I could definitely share some of mine, to be honest, haha! The “mold” you’ll need depends on what you have at hand. I’m going to use a small notepad since the tassels I’m making are small. If you’d like longer tassels, you could use a book, a notebook, a thin box, cardboard, etc.

First, think about where you’d like to place your garland, and measure the length. Now that you know how long it’ll be, divide the length in segments of 3 inches each, and count how many tassels you’ll need approximately. I usually make a few tassels and start hanging them to see how the garland looks. This helps me make sure I’m making enough for it to look cute.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard about 50 times (if you think the yarn you’re using is too thin, try wrapping it around a few more times). Slide out the piece of cardboard and keep the loops together. Cut another piece of yarn and tie it around the top part, and make a knot.

Then, cut another piece of yarn and tie it about an inch below the top. This would be the little head of the ghost. Cut the bottom part of the looped yarn, and even the ends if you’d like a neater look. Yay! You have made a little tassel!

Keep going and make a few. Thread them in the garland holder (which is just more yarn) using a yarn needle or a hook. Add either googly eyes to each ghost, or just cut out black paper circles. I used a whole puncher. Use glue to place them on yarn. Tacky glue works well, but you could also use a hot glue gun carefully.

Tie the garland where you’d like to decorate, et voilà! You’re done! 👻👻👻

I hope you make this cute ghost décor! You can switch it up and just keep the tassels without turning them into ghosts. Tassel garlands make great décor for any season or holiday!

 Michelle | con limón, please

Here you can see other yarn projects I’ve worked on. I have a thing for yarn.

For more things Halloween and Fall inspiration, go check out what my blogger babe friends are making:

Cómo hacer una piñata en 5 pasos

¡Las fiestas están completas cuando hay una piñata! Soy de México, y crecí yendo a fiestas o alguna otra celebración donde había piñatas. Durante una celebración de cumpleaños después de que todos cantan feliz cumpleaños, todos nos juntamos para quebrar la piñata. Tradicionalmente se llena de dulces, pero le puedes poner lo que sea que pueda sobrevivir la caída cuando la piñata se quiebre y caigan volando.

Piñata de Antonio número 2. El tema era verano.

Mi familia y yo vivimos en Chicago. Trato de enseñar a mis hijos mi cultura en nuestra vida diaria. Cuando he sido anfitriona de sus fiestas de cumpleaños, me gusta hacerles piñatas para ellos y sus amigos. Las piñatas son parte de nuestra cultura y herencia mexicana, y ¡puedes hacer una piñata de lo que sea que a tus peques les guste, y lo que tu creatividad te diga!

Ponte creativo si no encuentras un palo para piñata. Cualquier palo de escoba funciona, o como aquí que estamos usando la macana de mi suegro

He hecho piñatas formadas de números mayormente, pero estas instrucciones te pueden ayudar a hacer lo que sea que estes en tu mente, o cual sea el tema de la fiesta. Usualmente uso bandejas de cartón donde vienen los 24 de latas de LaCroix (o latas de lo que sea) cuando se acerca un cumpleaños. La mayoría del resto de los materiales los compro en el Dollar Tree.

Aquí está lo que necesitas:
2 o más bandejas de cartón (usualmente guardo las de 24 de LaCroix)
Pegamento en barra
Cinta gruesa para empacar (duct tape)
Tijeras filosas
Tiras de papel crepé en colores de tu elección

NOTA: la manera tradicional de hacer una piñata en México incluye la técnica de papier-mâché. Esta mezcla de hace con harina y agua tibia creando una pasta un poco líquida que se usa como pegamento. Aquí puedes encontrar un tutorial.

Las bandejas de cartón donde viene los 24 de latas hacen una piñata fácil. La altura de la caja de convierte en el grueso de la piñata.

1. Usa tachuelas para sostener el papel en el cartón. Traza el número o la forma que deseas.

2. Corta el diseño dejando el mayor número de solapas que puedas (orilla de la caja). Usa el mismo molde para el otro lado de la piñata, pero voltéalo. Traza y corta, o salta el trazado y corta la caja. Recuerda dejar tantas solapas como puedas ya que estás te ayudarán a conectar las dos piezas de tu piñata.

3. Utiliza cinta adhesiva para unir ambos lados. Usualmente no hago la técnica de papier-mâché cuando sé que quienes van a romper la piñata son peques. Cuando lxs niñxs se van haciendo más grandes, entonces sí no lo debes evitar. De lo contrario no todos van a alcanzar a golpear la piñata.

NOTA: no olvides dejar una abertura para poder rellenar la piñata

4. Cuando la piñata esté lista para decorar, corta las tiras de papel crepé como fleco casi llegando hasta el otro lado. Deja 1.5-2cm en la parte de arriba, ya que esta será la sección en donde se pone el pegamento y se pega a la piñata.

5. Comienza de la parte de abajo. Usa pegamento en barra para pegar el papel crepé. Repite cuántas veces sea necesario yendo alrededor de tu piñata siguiendo el patrón que deseas. Cuando hago números usualmente los hago de un solo color, aunque la última que hice le puse colores pastel de arcoíris.

Usualmente le pongo varios cinchos en la parte de arriba de la piñata para que sea por donde pases la cuerda para colgarla y que los peques la golpeen.

A esta le puse más cinchos después de asegurar el área con varias capas de cinta adhesiva

¡Puedes ir tan lejos como desees cuando hagas una piñata! Deja que tu imaginación, el tema de la fiesta, y el tiempo que tengas te guíen.

Michelle | con limón, please

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Aquí puedes encontrar algunas de mis ideas para hacer que tu fiesta de cumpleaños sea especial. Puedes hacer tus propios cake pops, bolsitas de regalo inspiradas en piñatas, o una opción de piñata equitativa.

5 Steps: How to Make Your Own Piñata

Fiestas are complete when you have a piñata! I’m from Mexico, and I grew up going to fiestas or other holiday celebrations where there was a piñata. During a birthday celebration just after everybody sings happy birthday, we all gather to hit the piñata and break it. Traditionally it’s filled with candy, but you can fill it up with just about anything that can survive going flying to the ground after the piñata is broken.

Antonio’s piñata for his second birthday party. The theme was summer!

My family and I live in Chicago. I try to teach my kids about my culture in our everyday lives. When I host their birthday parties I like to make piñatas for them and their friends. Piñatas are part of our Mexican culture and heritage, and you can make a piñata about anything your little ones like, and what your creativity tells you!

Get creative if you don’t have a piñata stick at hand. Here we’re using my father in law’s cane and baton

I have made piñatas shaped like numbers mostly, but these instructions can help you do whatever it’s in your mind or theme of your celebration! I usually save the cardboard trays of LaCroix when a birthday is approaching. Most of the rest of the materials I get them from the Dollar Tree!

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 or more cardboard trays or (I usually save the ones where the LaCroix comes)
Glue stick
Duct tape
Sharp scissors
Crepe paper streamers in color of your choice

If you want to papier-mâché your piñata you’ll need:
White glue diluted 50% with water
Newspaper

NOTE: the traditional way to make papier-mâché in Mexico is done with a flour mix. Mix flour and warm water until you create a runny paste. Here you can find a tutorial.

The cardboard trays where cans come are really good for making an easy piñata. The height of the box turns into the depth of our piñata.

1. Use drawing pins to hold a piece of paper on the cardboard box. Trace the number or whichever shape or object you want your piñata to be.

2. Cut out the design. Use the same mold, but flip it, and hold it in place on the new box using drawing pins. Trace and cut out, or skip the tracing and start cutting. Leave as many flaps as you can from the sides of the tray, as they would help you connect the two pieces together.

3. Use duct tape to put it together. I usually skip the papier-mâché technique when I know it’s just little ones hitting the piñata. As kids get older, you do need to do it. Otherwise the piñata will get broken so quickly and not everyone would get a turn.

NOTE: don’t forget to leave an opening big enough to fill the piñata!

4. Once your piñata is ready to decorate, fringe like cut the crepe paper streamers almost all the way to the top. Leave a 1/4 inch withouth cutting, as this would be the section where you glue it to the piñata.

5. Start from the bottom. Use a glue stick to paste the paper, and repeat as many times as necessary following the pattern you’re trying to accomplish. When I do numbers, I usually stick to one color. However, the latest piñata I made had a pastel rainbow pattern.

I usually loop a few of zip ties to the top of the piñata which will help hang it for the kids to hit it.

I added more zip ties on this one after securing the cardboard with several layers of duct tape

If you want to do papier-mâché, you need to glue strips or pieces of newspaper using the flour mix or glue mix. Make sure to add glue on top of the paper as well. Let it dry and add another layer.

You can go as far as you want when making a piñata! Let your imagination, theme, and time guide you!

Michelle | con limón, please

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For birthday party inspo, visit my friend Nicole Rose’s post Video Game Truck Birthday Party!

Also, here are some of my ideas to make a birthday party special. You can make your own cake pops, a punch piñata, and even Mexican fiesta inspired goodie bags!

How do I do that? No-bake cake pops

I loved making the yummiest and cutest cake-pops! We celebrated Robbie’s birthday twice: once in school, and once more with friends. Robbie loves eating cake pops, but he never finishes a cupcake. This gave me the idea I needed to make them for his birthday celebrations!

It’s so easy to make these pops! You won’t need a mold, or one of those fancy special cake pop makers. However, you’ll need to have a cake. Bake your own cake from scratch, from a box, or you can buy a cake from your favourite bakery.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– cake
– cream cheese
lollipop sticks
– almond bark for melting (or your choice of chocolate)
– sprinkles (I used nonpareils)

First of all, you have to remove the crust of the cake. Then, put the cake in a big bowl. Mash it with your hands. Add softened cream cheese to the cake and mix it. Mix it well, and make a small ball to make sure it’s sticking. If needed, add more cream cheese.

Once your little pops are done, melt some chocolate in the microwave in 15sec intervals (or instructions for that particular brand you got). Dip each stick in it, and stick it in the cake pop. Once you’re done, refrigerate them for at least 20min before covering them.

Melt more chocolate, enough to dip the cake pops. Dip each cake pop and roll the stick in between your fingers to help with dripping the excess of chocolate. Add sprinkles immediately after. Place the pops in a pop stand for a cleaner look. I bought a few at Walmart, but if crafty, you can try making your own. When done, place them in the fridge. If you don’t mind or it’s hot where you are, start putting them in the fridge as you go.

They’re ready to eat as soon as the cover sets! Enjoy!

NOTES:
– don’t skip removing the crust of the cake, as it will be easier to have a more homogeneous mix
– add more cream cheese if needed
– keep the chocolate or bark runny for better and easier coverage
– make a bread pudding with the scraps!

I hope you make them!

 Michelle | con limón, please

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For more yummy recipes, who check out what my friends are doing:

Leftover chicken recipes by Stephanie

Homemade Spaghetti-O’s by Danielle

“MOM! The Meatloaf!” Sandwich by Alexis

Cooking with toddlers! by Annika

Comfort Foods by Kimberly

Planning The Perfect Spring Picnic by Cameron

4 Delicious Fresh Juice Recipes by Nicole

4 eco-friendly switches to a sustainable household

Our planet needs us to do more for it. It’s our only home! I love taking care of it by buying pre-loved items, picking up garbage on walks, and trying to use more sustainable items in our daily lives. It definitely is tough to make the change and go zero waste. A good way to start is to change the way you do things at home, and the products you use as well.

Tru Earth is a Canadian company with a small team. They started their company with the belief that they were going to help people make better choices and help our planet in the same time. They now serve 40 countries! The company goal that most resonates with me is that they create products that empower people to choose sustainability without compromising convenience. Pretty neat!

Here I’ll share my four favorite products from Tru Earth! I’m happy to have added them to our household in order to achieve more sustainability, to reduce waste, and to help save our planet even by taking small steps.

Laundry

Laundry detergent
I’ve been using Tru Earth laundry strips for a while now; it’s been almost 2 years! I’m pretty happy with them. They’re phospate-free, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and the packaging is free of plastic. My favorite ones to use are the Baby eco-strips! They smell so good.

Wool dryer balls
Ever since I moved to the US, I’ve been using a dryer machine. We would always buy dryer sheets. Even though I would reuse them after they were in the dryers, I was always worrying about the waste. I’ve been using Tru Earth wool dryer balls lately to get rid of static in our clothes and to leave them softer. I had to get a new pack for when I do more than one load at a time.

Wool dryer balls replace dryer sheets & liquid fabric softeners, which ultimately help you save money. There’s other plastic dryer steamer balls on the market, but wool balls are eco-friendly and they’re a petroleum-free alternative!
TIP: You can add some drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball before each use.

Self care

Reusable makeup remover pads

I’ve been using reusable makeup remover pads for over 3 years. It was time to get a new set, so I went ahead and got the ones from TruEarth. Their bamboo rounds reusable makeup remover pads come with a reusable cotton laundry bag.

They come in a set of 14. You can use them either with water or your favorite makeup remover. I use micellar water since I wear waterproof mascara.

Photo from TruEarth.com

Kitchen

Swedish dishcloths

By using TruEarth Swedish dishcloths you can replace the use of paper towels! It’s kind of crazy to think, but one of them replaces up to 17 rolls of paper towels!

They’re made of cellulose-cotton blend, and they’re 100% biodegradable. They’re super absorbent, and to clean them you can either pop them on the top rack of your dishwasher, or you can put them in your washing machine. Eventually, by purchasing and using this set of 6 Swedish dishcloths and replacing your paper towels, you will save about $180 dollars, and 102 roles of paper towels!

Go to TruEarth and check out their amazing products to make true lasting change that helps save our beautiful planet.

By switching little by little to using eco-friendly products we can help save our planet. These are only 4 ideas. What else have you been doing for our planet?

Michelle | con limón, please

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How to make a punch piñata

Piñatas are so much fun! In Mexico all the little ones get excited about breaking a piñata and of course getting goodies that come out flying to the ground! It’s all fun and joy until there’s a little one who didn’t get anything, right? I have this DIY so that you make a piñata with a more fair fun!

I was looking for ideas for my son’s birthday celebration at school. I got so excited to know piñatas were allowed in his school! I was browsing on Pinterest for ideas when I saw a post about how to make a punch piñata by Gray House Harbor, and it hit me! I’d seen them already, but I couldn’t remember much about them.

I decided to make my own in order to ease Robbie’s teacher’s mind as she wouldn’t have to deal with children crying or being sad because they didn’t get anything from the piñata. With this piñata, each kid would get the same amount and type of goodies. Here is the list of things you’ll need and the instructions for you to make your own!

This is what you’ll need:

– a long rectangular cardboard box (I used two LaCroix boxes)

– poster paper

– sharp cutter

– tissue paper

– paper cups

– duct tape & masking tape

– small goodies for the cups

I went to my local Dollar Tree and got most of the materials, and even the goodies! Their sharp cutter is actually really good! So if you don’t have one, you know where to go.

First, if you don’t have a long enough box, put together cardboard boxes and paste them using duct tape. Draw as many circles as you’ll have guests. I used a lid of a mason jar to draw 19 circles. Cut out the circles using a sharp cutter. Don’t forget to add some cardboard on the bottom to avoid scratching surfaces.

Wrap the cardboard box using wrapping paper or poster paper. Then, score the paper in each of the circles like a pizza. The paper will work as flaps when we insert the cups.

I used paper cups with small goodies in them. I covered each of them with tissue paper and I used some masking tape to keep the paper in place. I used 3 layers of tissue paper, as it tends to be a bit translucent.

Here you can see how I stuffed items in cups, and covered each cup with tissue paper. The masking tape worked great to keep the cover in place!

The goodies I included in each of the cups were a small activity book, an eraser, a Lego like person, and some Pop Rocks candy. I found most of these items at the Dollar Tree store. The little activity books were a Facebook marketplace find we got for free!

Back of the piñata

TIP: you can reinforce the cardboard boxes using duct tape.

The kids had a lot of fun! Each of them got the same amount of goodies, and it was overall such a fun time for them! A win!

Robbie getting ready to punch his piñata

I hope you like this idea!

Michelle | con limón, please

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Screen-free fun with The Adventures of Cairo

Motherhood has me always thinking of ways of keeping my children entertained; specially my oldest son, Robbie, who is 5 years old. When my son is not in school or it’s the weekend, I always try to keep him entertained with screen-free activities. I like activities where we can all be together and participate in them, and that actually make us interact more as a family. Listening to podcasts has been the answer! Ever since Robbie started getting interested in them, we started looking for family friendly options. Today, I have a recommendation for you and for your little ones: The Adventures of Cairo, Wondery’s newest children’s podcast.

The Adventures of Cairo podcast

The Adventures of Cairo focuses on the life of Cairo Carter, a 7 year-old boy who lives in a big city. Each episode is filled with a life lesson, and day to day issues that little ones may face. There’s always a morale at the end, and you can find something to talk about with your little ones after listening to the episodes. The life of Cairo revolves around his family, friends, school, and exploring and learning.

The podcast episodes are well done. They do a great job with sound effects, the music, and each of the characters has a different voice. Children can start identifying the voices of characters, which I think it’s great!

What do we like about the Adventures of Cairo?

My favorite part about this podcast is that the situations are very common. Cairo has an older brother, Omari, and they live with their parents. Their dad works at the airport, and he has night shifts. It’s really cool that they give the dad a night shift, isn’t it? On another note, representation matters, and for me having my sons see and hear different people from different races and backgrounds is really important. There’s a little Latino boy named Enrique! The music is so fun! Every time we play the episodes, baby Antonio, who is 18 months old, starts dancing to the beat.

My son Robbie said when I asked him what he thought about it that the episodes have very normal situations, haha, that’s how he described it. However, after listening to them, he likes to go deeper in the topic. For example, we talked about bullies, what to do, and what not to do when being bullied, and so on. I think he really likes it!

New episodes are released every Tuesday, and you can listen to this family friendly podcast on Apple Podcasts, the Wondery app, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Listen to the Adventures of Cairo

I hope you and your little ones give The Adventures of Cairo a go, and let me know what you think about it!

 Michelle | con limón, please.

DIY biodegradable St. Valentine’s garland

Valentine’s Day is such a lovely holiday. In Mexico we call it Day of Love and Friendship. I love hearts and all the décor that comes with it. However, many of the décor is disposable, and even most things you can basically only use them once. I wanted to create something either made of paper, or even something sustainable and biodegradable! I saw this cute idea from Valerie Garcia back in December. She used orange peel to make gift tags! So I thought I could follow her lead and make a dry orange peel heart garland for Valentine’s Day!

You’ll need:

  • 4-5 navel oranges (big oranges work better)
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter
  • Jute cord or cotton string
  • Cooling rack and baking sheet

Preheat oven at 200°F (90°C). Cut the ends of your oranges, and slice the peel lengthwise. Peel it off carefully so that the peel stays as whole as possible. This way you’ll have more area to work with.

Place the orange peel with its inside up on a cutting board. Use a sharp cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes. Press hard with your palm to get an even cut. Place the hearts on a cooling rack on a baking sheet, or on your baking sheet using some parchment paper.

Place the tray in the oven, and bake for about 2h.

Remove from the oven, and use a needle and jute cord or cotton cord to string your hearts and form a garland as long as you need it. Et voilà! Your garland is ready to make your place look more charming!

NOTES:
* I recommend using bigger oranges so that you get more material to work with. Even bring your cookie cutter to the store, and buy some that are good for its size
* Don’t be tempted to add more temperature to the oven
* If you don’t have a cooling rack, don’t forget to use parchment paper on your baking sheet so that the shapes don’t get stuck on it
* Play around with this sustainable idea! You can buy grapefruit, red oranges, or even limes!

The best part about this DIY is that it is completely sustainable, biodegradable, and you get to eat your oranges! Click here to see what I did with mine. Also, you can totally adapt your garland to any other holiday. And even make ornaments and gift tags for Christmas!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Michelle | con limón, please

Some other garlands I’ve made before:

St. Valentine’s Day date idea at home

St. Valentine’s Day snack idea: St. Valentine’s popcorn

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For some more St. Valentine’s Day craft ideas go see what my friends shared!

Valentine’s Day Craft: Thumbprint Tree by Ally

DIY Valentine’s Day banner by Cammie

Simple Valentine’s Day Toddler Craft: Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies by Kirsten

Colorful Heart Garland for DIY Valentine’s Photos by Amy

Valentine DIY decor by Kimberly

Valentine’s Day Craft by Christa

Valentine Love Wands by mamallamallama

Yarn Crafts Valentines Edition by Stephanie

DIY Valentine’s Day Tree Decor by Alex

Valentines Day Craft for Kids by Alexa

Valentine’s Day Activities for Toddlers by Surabhi

5 easy ideas to start the New Year off right!

The New Year is upon us. Whether you’re gathering up with family or friends, or staying at home with your family or alone, I have these ideas ready for you to start the New Year off right. Sometimes thinking about writing down resolutions gets boring and stressing even, right? Well, these 5 ideas are different, and I’m excited to get to them!

1. 52 week envelope challenge
I’m really eager to try this idea along with my husband this year. You need 52 envelopes, 1 for each week of the year, and you need to label them starting with $1, and all the way to $52. Each week you’ll grab the envelope that you feel comfortable adding that amount of money in it. You can start with the $1 envelope, or whichever you can afford to save that week. Once the year is over you would have saved $1378!


If you’d like to save twice as much, grab two envelopes each week. Reuse them after you’re done with the 52 envelopes and you’d have saved $2756.
Adapt this challenge to your currency of use. You could also skip the envelopes and download a free printable to the 52 week savings challenge.

printable of a 52 week challenge
Download this free printable for keeping track of it on a piece of paper.

2. Play the 30-Day Minimalism Game
Living a minimalist life is honestly hard. Doing this 30-day minimalism game helps you achieve a ton! The Minimalists came up with this challenge. We’ve done it twice at home. Joshua and Ryan, the minimalists, laid out this idea which helps you get rid of 465 items! On the first day you get rid of one thing, on the second day two things, and so on. As The Minimalists say: anything goes!
You can donate, trash or sell the items. The first couple days are easy, but as the month goes, it gets harder. Stay in track! I’ll be sharing my journey on my Instagram stories.

How to play the 30-day minimalism challenge by The Minimalists

3. Set reasonable goals
Shor term goals are much more manageable. If you’re thinking about a long term goal you’d like to achieve, break it down into smaller goals that would ultimately help you achieve that bigger goal of yours. Setting goals that we know that we’re most likely to achieve them gives us a different mindset. For instance, I’d like to stay more organized this year, so I’ll start with our house, and aspects of my life that I can actually control. I’m getting a planner this year!

4. Create routines
It doesn’t matter if it’s something small that you do for yourself, or for someone else. Setting up a routine helps us achieve goals, as well. For daily routines they can be as simple as trying to achieve a movement goal, a certain amount of steps (if you have a tracker), clean your kitchen every night, and so on. These routines can be divided into health, mind, family, friendship, personal development, and anything else you can come up with. Focus first on routines you actually need, and then routines you want.

5. Drink more water
Self care is so important. Here I am telling you about it and ignoring a lot of the times my needs. Well, drinking water is the most basic form of self care. Water delivers oxygen throughout our bodies, and it boosts skin health. Our digestive system depends on it, and water helps our bodies flush waste! Here you’ll find a great article where you can read 15 benefits of staying well hydrated.
I have an app on my phone that sends me reminders to drink water every hour, and you can also track how much water you’ve drunk during a day. Click HERE to check out the app I use. It’s really easy to set up, and you can even access it on your smart watch.

Starting a new year sometimes can be overwhelming. Seeing everyone else with their list of goals and resolutions laid out can be intimidating. Following one or all of my ideas this year can give you a great start to new beginnings. Most importantly, keep in mind that you don’t need to start on January 1st! Take as many days as you need so that you start off right.

What else would you add to these 5 ideas? Share in comments!

Happy New Year!

Michelle | con limón, please

Our Top 10 Christmas Traditions

It’s the holiday season! I love how the holidays make us feel joy and warmth even when it’s cold outside. In our home we celebrate Christmas, and I’m so happy that our little family has some traditions already! I hope some of these inspire you to add one or more to your list!

1. Get a Christmas tree
We buy our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving, and we like to decorate it as a family. We always buy real trees, since we believe it’s more sustainable, and better for our environment.

2. Send Christmas cards to our loved ones
This year we got a little better at it. We took the photos earlier, and we were prepared to have our cards printed out and sent. We worked with Nations Photo Lab. We got the cards printed on bamboo paper. I’m really happy with them! I always like to leave them blank and personalize each of them! By the way, it’s not too late! You can still get some printed and send them as New Year’s good wishes (just as we did last year!).

3. Make ornaments
I enjoy making sustainable ornaments for our Christmas tree. We usually make dried orange ones, like we did this year. Click HERE to see my blog post with instructions to my method. Salt dough ornaments are also so fun for the little ones! It’s like making cookies, and they can later paint them when dry.

4. Write letters to Santa
Even if Robbie doesn’t know how to write or read yet, we always write a letter to Santa where we either draw or paste cutouts of a toy my son would like. I don’t know about you, but our sons just get one present from Santa. We put the cards in envelopes and set them on the Christmas tree for some days before “mailing” them to the North Pole!

5. Decorate a gingerbread house
We’ve decorated a little house two years in a row, and I love the idea of making it one of our traditions. They’re so much fun! Robbie did a lot this time, and I can’t wait for next year when Antonio can join in the fun without trying to stuff his mouth with all the candy. Take a look at how we built our most recent one HERE!

6. Set up our Nativity
We got a little Nativity set that has been my husband’s for years. We teach Robbie and Antonio about it while we set it up, and along the way.

7. Advent calendar
This year having an advent calendar is really a game changer. Robbie gets a clearer idea about how far Christmas is! Last year we used one with Mexican candy. This year I didn’t have time to go over that, so I put together one using one of our letter boards.

8. Do volunteer work
We try to volunteer each year towards something that would be helpful for our community. This year my husband is helping out with a coat drive for a local organization.

9. Make Holiday cookies or dessert
Every year we make some Christmas cookies, but this year I got a little bit more creative with my favorite dessert. I made sourdough cinnamon rolls, and turned them into cute little Rudolphs!

10. Drive-in cinema
Thanks to COVID-19 we’ve been able to add this activity as a tradition. In Chicago you can go to ChiTown Movies. We’ve loved the experience, and you can get a gift card for someone as a present, and even find great discounts through Groupon!

There are other little tings that we try to squeeze in during this season. We go on walks around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights and décor. We also check out Christmas books from the library in addition to the ones we own. When it’s too cold out there we get in the car and we drive to see the lights. We also play Christmas songs in Spanish or English. And of course, we watch some Christmas classics on weekends, too.

I hope my list inspires you to add some to your list of traditions. I also hope that if you were thinking about one already, that you feel motivated to add it!

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

 Michelle | con limón, please

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Some of my blogger friends also posted some really neat Holiday ideas and traditions. Check them out!

Memorable Christmas Traditions to start with Toddlers by Surabhi

Christmas Joy: My Favorite Memories, Celebrating Jesus, and Santa by Amy

Christmas Traditions Old and New by Nicole

5 Easy Holiday Traditions You Can Add To Your List by Alexa

Celebrating Nochebuena by Kimberly

Christmas Traditions by Stephanie

Host a Gingerbread House Contest by Alex