Thursday, December 29, 2011

create a vision board

Here is a fun project for the kids on New Year's Eve of New Year's Day.  I have been seeing a lot of "buzz" about this simple activity.  There are lots of websites and apps to help you design one on the internet.  The funny thing is, my sisters and I used to make these with magazine pictures, glue, posterboard and our imaginations.

If you want to try this the way we did it in the "old" days, here are a few pointers.
Each family member can make their own and you can make one as a family.

You want to create a VISION.  Think of the things you want in your life, the things you want to accomplish, the things that are important to you. 
Use words that inspire
People you admire,
And goals to which you aspire!

The rest is easy, look for pictures, photos, magazine pictures that represent these things, cut them out and glue them on the board.  Find words that are important to you, cut them out and glue them on the board.  Personalize it with your name, glitter, stickers, scrapbook stickers, etc.

Put it in a place where it will be visible to you every day.

When working on a family vision board.  Everyone needs to be in agreement or willing to compromise.  Everyone should participate.  Focus on your family values and your dreams.

This can be a powerful tool and is so much more fun than writing a list of resolutions.

Thank you to all my readers in the last year.  I hope to expand and grow this blog in 2012.  Please send me your feedback and suggestions. 

Happy New Year, I wish you the very best in 2012 and lots of wonder and excitement~DV

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fun and Easy Appetizer the Kids can help make.

This is easy and fun.
Appetizer Tree
You can use any appetizers that can be put on a toothpick.
I used 3 different types of olives, gherkins, cheese, pepperoni.
You can use fruit, veggies, shrimp etc.
Buy a styrofoam cone in the Floral section fo Walmart.
Cover it with aluminum foil.
Use decorative toothpicks to skewer the appetizers to the cone.
Easy, Fun and eyecatching.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I believe in miracles. 

First of all, it is a miracle that we are all here, living on and sharing this planet at this point in time.
Whatever our differences, it is up to each one of us to create and live worthy lives.  Our lives should in some way benefit others.  Many people are doing just this.  This is a miracle.

The stars are a miracle.  The fact that they exist, that mankind has always been dazzled by them, and that they create all the elements that make up you and I is a miracle.  We are made of stardust so shine brightly.

The water cycle, the life cycle of a frog and a butterfly, the cycle of the seasons, are all miracles.  If you look at these cycles, you can see the sense in the saying "what goes around, comes around."  Cycles are miracles, so be mindful of what you put out to the universe every day, it may come back to you.

Happiness is a miracle.  Life doesn't guarantee joy.  So find the things that bring you joy.  Moments and memories, friends and family, holidays, hobbies, service to others.  I highly recommend service to others if your life is lacking in the miracle of happiness.  You will find it, if you give it.

Finally, Love is a miracle.  Give this miracle away to everyone you meet.  Lead your life by putting love first and you will spread miracles.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What I think Christmas is about

I was in my car headed home one day, Christmas music on the radio, not thinking about much.  The song "Do You Hear What I Hear?" was on the radio.  My nephew, Dylan had just had a birthday.  Our family had gotten together to celebrate my niece, Katelyn's birthday a week or so before.  And I was thinking about the upcoming Winter Break and the things I would do.

Christmas is usually celebrated as a combination of the following:
  • Jesus' birthday
  • St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)
  • Winter Solstice
  • A time to feast with family and friends
  • Gift giving
  • Crazy, hectic cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating, traveling, shopping, wrapping, spending
  • The stores, parking lots, roads, and post offices are crowded and filled with long lines.
  • Everyone talking about "Christmas Spirit". 

That magic that Christmas holds for children is the true delight of the holiday.  So as I was singing along to the Christmas music on the radio, the reason I think Christmas is meant to be celebrated came clear.  Maybe some of you feel the same way as I do, but I have never heard it expressed quite this way.

I believe Christmas should be a celebration of the child.  Every child who is born has the potential to be the next "savior."  Will this child be a peace maker, a teacher, a healer, a miracle worker?  It's possible.  With children, anything is possible.

So the giving of gifts should be thoughtful.  What gifts can you give that will help a child be the best he or she can be?  Your time, your experience, your wisdom, your love seem to be the most importatn gifts.  Find out what they are interested in doing, what talents can be fostered? Wrap up your experiences and give the children in your life the keys to develop into self actualized human beings with endless possibilities.

Every child can be the one who makes the world a better place, imagine if they all grew up that way.
That would be something to celebrate!
Enjoy the holidays with your family.  Be grateful, be centered, be present.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cake Balls are FUN!

This past weekend I had 9 students come to my house.  We made chocolate cover pretzels and Cake Balls.
It was fun for me to work with the students (who also helped me decorate my Christmas Tree!).  They were helpful to each other.  My nieces, Genevieve and Lily came as well as my nephew, Dylan.  I loved how Genevieve treated her younger brother and offered to help him when he became frustrated.  All the students shared and worked together.  It was a lovely afternoon and everyone went home with tasty treats.

In previous blog posts, I have posted my "kitchen rules."  Clean up is part of the activity and when students work together it can be lots of fun.

Here is the Cake Ball recipe.
1 cake ( made according to package directions)
1 can of Frosting
Chocolate Almond Bark or Chocolate Coating chips
sprinkles, coconut or other items for decoration
I use a large piece of wax paper for the students to define their workspace.  I also use 2 plastic table cloths for easy clean up.
Bake the cake and let cool completely.  Use a food processor to turn it into crumbs.
Add the can of frosting.  Mix well.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  It is easier to form the balls when the mixture is cold.

Using a melon ball scoop, form balls of the mixture.  Put on wax paper and freeze for a few hours.
When ready to dip, melt the chocolate bark in the microwave. 
Dip each ball in using a toothpick or plastic fork to hold the ball.
Keep some frozen while working on others.  Decorate with sprinkles, coconut or other fun things.
Refrigerate until coating hardens and enjoy!

We made 3 different kinds
Chocolate cake with chocolate mint icing
Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing
Spice cake with cream cheese icing.
Use your imagination,  Go wild in the kitchen.

But remember to clean up!