The Conclusion of 24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 19-24

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These last few days have been busy around here. So much going on for the holidays: baking, present wrapping, last minute present making, etc. With that, the advent calendar has been sort of on a back burner. I haven’t even been able to update the blog about it until now! Three of the days I gave my grandma chocolates, because we were too busy to do any extra activities. But we did get a few fun things done.

Since I’m covering six days in this post, I’ll skip Days 19, 21, and 22 because she only got chocolate those days and there isn’t much to say about it other than that.

Day 20


On the 20th we made a cute Christmas paper garland kit that I found in the dollar section at Target. It came with stickers, little ornament shapes, and some string. Grandma helped me place the stickers on the ornaments and then I strung it up in our living room.

IMG_5195Day 23

Yesterday we worked on decorating some sugar cookies! I’ve always wanted to try royal icing for cookies but figured that it would be too complicated for my grandma to participate in, so I opted to frost the cookies with canned frosting and let her sprinkle things on them. I also decorated a few since that’s my favorite part of baking.


I used a Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix for this project to make things quick and simple. They turned out fairly good. I might have made them too thin though, because they are a little crunchier than I like. One thing I thought was interesting is how different each batch baked. The first batch was cooked on a pizza stone, and the dough didn’t change its shape much but took way longer to bake. I baked the second batch on a baking pan lined with a silicone mat and they expanded much more than the first cookies and were done at least 5-7 minutes sooner. Of the two, I think I liked the pizza stone cookies more since they still resembled their original shapes.


I found that detailed decorating with frosting is not very easy, this is probably why people use different icings on cookies but I think our cookies turned out pretty cute.

IMG_5225Day 24

Today we are going to watch another Christmas themed movie as our final advent calendar activity. I chose Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer this time. It’s a Christmas classic. I remember one time while watching this movie about 20 years ago, my family’s old grandfather clock that hadn’t worked in years, decided to let out one bong out of nowhere. It’s was really odd. That memory has always stuck with me. Maybe it was Santa letting me know he was on his way.


I hope my grandma enjoys watching this with me today.

Well, that ends the 24 days of Advent Calendar Fun. I hope you had fun following us on our Christmas adventures this year, and maybe even tried some of the activities yourself. Have a great Christmas tomorrow!

If you’ve missed any of the previous days, here are the links:

You can find instructions for how to make this advent calendar at Holiday Crafts and Creations.

**The snowflakes in the title image are from and**


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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 17-18

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IMG_5179Today’s post is covering Day 17 and 18 in the Advent Calendar of Fun. Yesterday was a mellow day and today was a fun one.

Day 17

I gave my grandma more candy yesterday so not much happened with it other than that.

Day 18

Today though, was “Have a Christmas Cocktail” Day! Whoo-hoo! My grandma loves alcohol or as she calls “kick-a-poo juice.” Doesn’t matter what kind: wine, beer, mixed drinks, etc., it’s all good. So I knew she’d appreciate a day where our activity was drinking an alcoholic drink.

It’s a bit cold here today so I chose to make Hot Buttered Rum for us. Never made it before, but now I don’t think I could live without it. I used, I believe, a Rachael Ray recipe from the Food Network website. It was delicious. Although I don’t know how spices, butter, rum, brown sugar and honey couldn’t be delicious. It’s a tad strong (although I did put a little more rum than called for because my bottle was almost empty), so if you don’t like strong drinks, add less rum. I also chose to substitute dark rum for the spiced rum. It should be good with spiced rum too but dark just sounded better to me today.

IMG_5170I didn’t have glass mugs so I used my dad’s beer steins. Doesn’t matter what you drink it out of, it’s going to be good.

I used slightly less honey than was called for and it was still pretty sweet. I might leave out some of the brown sugar next time.

IMG_5167In the next few days we’ll be baking again, so don’t miss it!

If you’ve missed any of the previous days, here are the links:

You can find instructions for how to make this advent calendar at Holiday Crafts and Creations.

**The snowflakes in the title image are from and**


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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 12-16

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IMG_5153Hello, folks! It’s been a few days since I last updated my Advent Calendar of Fun, but I had good reason. My birthday was on Saturday, and I was busy with that, other holiday activities, and the actual advent calendar activities, so I didn’t have some to write the blog post until now.

We did quite a few things these past few days. We made treats, watched movies, and my grandma got a few little trinkets on days 12 – 16.

Day 12

I let my grandma open this a day early, because I gave her some felt tip pens, but forgot to give them to her before we wrote her Christmas cards up on the 11th. Silly me.

Day 13

For lucky Friday the 13th, I just gave her a chocolate marshmallow snowman candy since she hadn’t received candy in a while.

Day 14

Since this day was my birthday, and I knew I’d be too busy for an activity, I gave her a pair of fuzzy warm socks that have anti-slip rubber nubs on the bottom. These kinds of socks are great for her because we don’t want her to slip and fall which is easy to do on our faux wood floors.

IMG_5128Day 15

Yesterday we made mini pie bites with my Babycakes Pie Pop Maker. I love the line of Babycakes products, but sometimes they can be a little out of my price range. I found this Pie Pop Maker at the discount store Big Lots for $10 about a year ago but hadn’t used it much yet. What better time than the holidays to pull it out!


I usually don’t use the pop sticks because it seems wasteful since I usually eat 4 or 5 mini pies at a time. The size of these treats is perfect for desserts or appetizers. It also comes with its own dough cutting tool so that the crust fits perfectly into the machine.


For the fillings I tried two different flavors. I always like finding ways to use my IKEA lingonberry jam, so I made half of the mini pies with the jam filling and the other half with Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Spread.

IMG_5143Both flavors tasted great! I would definitely use these again. The thing that’s great about the Pie Pop Maker is that it only takes about 2-4 minutes for each batch of 6. I wish I could make more at a time but since they cook so quickly, it didn’t take long before we had a plate full of delicious mini pies.

IMG_5145For the last two pies I made, I put both fillings into one and it was pretty darn good too!

IMG_5147Day 16

Today her advent calendar activity was to watch a Christmas themed movie. She also received a roll of Santa Bubble Tape gum. I haven’t had any of that type of gum since I was a kid.

For the movie, Grandma chose to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas. This is one of my favorite Christmas movies from my childhood and I can’t wait to see it again. I guess today’s calendar mitten inadvertently had the theme of my childhood.


I can’t believe Christmas is almost here! I look forward to this Wednesday’s activity. You’ll have to come back to find out what it is.

If you’ve missed any of the previous days, here are the links:

You can find instructions for how to make this advent calendar at Holiday Crafts and Creations.

**The snowflakes in the title image are from and**

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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 9-11

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IMG_5060Days 9 through 11 of our Advent Calendar are done and the results were great.

Day 9

On the 9th, I made it easy and gave my grandma a bottle of nail polish. She loves to have her nails painted, so I added another color to her stash. This one is called Mistress. How scandalous!

IMG_5055Day 10

Day 10 was a fun activity. We made a popcorn and cranberry garland for our Christmas tree. I’ve never really made a popcorn garland before and found that it’s trickier to do than I had expected. You have to search through the popcorn to find the right kind of puffy popcorn to string, otherwise they break apart easily.

IMG_5035I used fishing line to string them on, because I figured it would tangle less than thread (which was the case), but it still would get tangled every few minutes or so. If you make one of these, plan to devote a lot of time to it and have patience. You’ll need it.

IMG_5036It ended up looking really pretty though. I think the added cranberries make it look a little classier than a normal popcorn garland and the cream and dark red colors are very nice against our tree.

IMG_5046It even makes our new Martooni ornament stand out nicely.

IMG_5041This activity was a fun one, and my grandma was able to help me by pulling the popcorn and cranberries down the string and keeping them untangled.

Day 11

Today was dedicated to getting Grandma’s Christmas cards written up and mailed. Over the years she’s received a bunch of cute Christmas card sets from organizations she’s donated to so we picked a few cards to send from her stock.

IMG_5051The closer we get to Christmas, the more excited I get! Check back in a couple of days for another installment of 24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun!

If you’ve missed any of the previous days, here are the links:

You can find instructions for how to make this advent calendar at Holiday Crafts and Creations.

**The snowflakes in the title image are from and**

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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 7-8

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Days seven and eight of the advent calendar were successful! We did activities for both of the days.

Day 7

On day seven I had my grandma help me color an ornament of a framed picture of Martooni, our cat. She was able to help me out a little bit on this one, but she had to strain her eyes to see the lines on the ornament, and so I took over after a while.

IMG_4992I think this is a great addition to our tree. Martooni is wearing an elf hat in this picture. I’m so glad this cat puts up with my crazy ideas, even though I don’t think he likes it so much.


 Day 8

Today we made brownie pops! I love brownies. I think I love brownies more than cupcakes. Maybe this blog should be called Shane’s Killer Brownies.


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24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun: Days 5-6

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Here is your next installment in my 24 Days of Advent Calendar Fun! I’m going to focus on day 5 and 6 today. One thing I learned in the past couple days is not all activities and ideas go as planned.

Day 5

Yesterday our activity was to make a stocking for our cat, Martooni. He’s a rambunctious two year old tabby we picked up at the local SPCA this past summer. This is his first Christmas with us, and what better way to make him part of the family than make him a stocking? I’m a crafty girl, so I pre-made parts of the stocking and planned to have my grandma help me put it together as her advent calendar activity.


I went a little overboard and decided to embroider his face! This took forever and was the first time I’d attempted “drawing” with thread. I made the face, a bow tie, the green stocking foot, and the red cuffs ahead of time and figured my 93 year old grandma could handle tacky gluing the face, bow tie, and cuffs onto the stocking and I’d hand stitch the rest together. Unfortunately the tacky glue was not working very well and it kept falling apart, so I ended up having to sew it all instead. I could have used hot glue, but I was afraid my grandma would get burned. I’ve had plenty of hot glue burns (and blisters) over the years, and I’d never wish that on my grandma ever.


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