Raising Memories: December 2016
  

Friday, December 30, 2016

$125 Jo Totes Camera Bag Giveaway!

I've been spending a lot of time on Instagram this year. I love photography and I love meeting other moms- this is my favourite social media to use. It’s so fun to peek into some of the best (& craziest) parts of your lives, through the photos you choose to share there, and I love to read your comments on my posts, sharing your thoughts and experiences!

I was pretty excited when I reached 10k followers there recently and to celebrate this milestone, I’ve teamed up with one of my favourite photography-related brands, Jo Totes, to offer you a giveaway!


Their camera bags are gorgeous (if you read my blog, you know I’ve reviewed several of them & I’m a big fan!). They can be used for lots of things other than camera equipment, too. Pictured above is their Allison bag in butterscotch. I LOVE the colour and the size is awesome for everyday use!

I made a video all about it so you can see it up close and in detail:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016

While gathering the top 10 posts published in 2016, I noticed a theme. A lot of them are related to our trip to Florida in January! That may be because those posts were up the longest, so they had more time to get more traffic, or it may be because Florida and Disney World are pretty darn awesome. ;)  


I really hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season (it's not over yet- New Year's Eve is around the corner!) and that 2017 will bring fabulous things into your life! I wonder what the top posts for 2017 will be! :)

Click the "Read More" button below, to see the top posts on this blog from 2016!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Education Savings Plan Contribution- How to Make it a Fun Gift!

As Christmas time approaches, we're all thinking about how we can give to others. I see the malls fill, my shopping list grows, and I watch the traffic build on my Non-Toy Gift Ideas blog post! As parents, we know all too well that toys seem to have a way of multiplying! You start out with a small collection of baby toys in a little basket in the corner of your nursery, and then you blink and you've got bedrooms and playrooms bursting at the seams if you're not careful! I know parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends are looking for non-toy gift ideas this time of year, and today I'll share one with you that you may not have thought of, as well as some ideas for how you can make it a fun gift – even though it's meant for the future.



We've been talking about education savings plans on the blog lately. I've shared why I think RESPs are important and our experience looking for an RESP provider. So let's say you've decided to start an RESP, you've chosen a provider, and you're on your way to saving for your child's future education. Did you know that your friends and family can contribute to your child's RESPs, too?



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Eye Found It! Free Printable Christmas Game

Today I have a cute free printable Christmas game for you called "Eye Found It". This is another fabulous printable that was created for the #LightTheWorld Service Initiative (encouraging people to find 25 ways to serve in 25 days). This one was created by Sam from thekiwiintheclouds.com.

This would be a great gift for a child to give to another child, or for anyone to give to a person who they would like to spend some quality time with.  It's so simple to make- just print and cut out!


Instructions for how to play the game are included in the printable!

You can download this free printable kit here.

If you're interested to see how others are using this kit, LollyJane will be sharing some links to what others have done with it, as they are shared. You can also find more about the Worldwide Day of Service by visiting Mormon.org (where new content will be added each day in December).


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Friday, December 9, 2016

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Printable with Tags & Gingerbread House Box

I have another beautiful printable for you today as part of the #LightTheWorld Service Initiative (encouraging people to find 25 ways to serve in 25 days).  This free downloadable kit was created by Maria from www.designedbymaria.com. The kit comes with everything you need for a fun Gingerbread-themed family activity at Christmas time!


You can use the Activity Outline (included in the kit) for a family-friendly discussion and service activity. It doesn't take a lot of time, just pick one evening in the month of December to spend time together serving.

This Kit Includes:

- Activity Outline
- Printable Recipe
- Holiday Tags
- Gingerbread House Box
- Gingerbread Man Garland (blank)
- Gingerbread Man Garland (decorated)

The outline encourages you to discuss how Jesus served his loved ones. Each family member can share ideas of how they can serve. As they share, they can choose a gingerbread person to represent them or create their own. You can make a cute gingerbread garland by attaching the gingerbread people's hands together.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

8th Birthday Fun!

We recently celebrated Katrina's 8th birthday and I want to document it here, to remember some of the little things we did to make her day special.  I had been feeling sick for nearly 2 weeks prior to her birthday, so Ken was a huge help in making things happen for her!

Ken woke up early and made pancakes, including this special "8 Pancake" and we brought it to her in bed, singing Happy Birthday. :)


Katrina loves Pop Rocks candy. The day before her birthday, she solemnly told Ken that she was going to put her last package of Pop Rocks (from Halloween) in her lunch for her birthday. That night, Ken & I sat up, taping 100 little packages of Pop Rocks candy to a string, to hang on her "birthday tree". I love how it turned out and it was totally worth her reaction in the morning! :)  


Monday, December 5, 2016

Free Printable Christmas Thank You Cards for Kids & Adults

Christmas is a time for giving and there are so many things that we can give. No matter what you give to someone you love this year, no matter your budget, perhaps the most meaningful thing you can give is your true thoughts and feelings in the form of a note or letter. As part of the #LightTheWorld Service Initiative (encouraging people to find 25 ways to serve in 25 days), Melissa Esplin created these beautiful holiday themed thank you cards.


These are great for kids, because they have a blank area where children too young to write can draw a picture.  There's also a lined version with dotted lines for children still learning to print, and of course the blank one can be used for older children or adults to write a message, but that's not all that's included in this free kit!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 2016 Sharing Time


Welcome to the December Link Party!



See below for the Link Party and add your best posts, and check out the ones that are shared!

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