How to Tie Bows for Presents

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every year i host a Wrapping Party for some of my close friends were we get together and wrap our Christmas gifts. it is one thing i look forward to every year. i like to make a nice dinner, we sit and chat for a bit and then get to wrapping…helping each other get all our gifts ready for giving. i usually end up with the task of the bows, i love making large pretty bows…i also think that gifts that look prettier are more fun to open.

to get ready for my party, i went over to Walgreens to stock up on wrapping supplies. i love having all the presents under my tree match, so each year i pick out a color scheme and buy 4-5 wrapping papers, ribbons, and tags that all match. Walgreens had all sorts of great items to create some beautiful and creative gifts. lots of wrapping paper choices…and they weren’t those cheesy grandma prints either.

i was able to find 4 different but matching wrapping papers, coordinating ribbon and tags…plus i found some great novelty items to top my gifts.

let me show you some of my finished gifts. for this one, i used sparkly fabric ribbon and red snowflake wrapping paper. to add a little bit of excitement, i attached this Santa hat ornament i found at Walgreens for just $1. it really made to present look festive.

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then i found this great polka dot wrapping paper and some red wrapping yarn. i also loved this “no peeking” gift tag.  adding a small novelty item on top of your presents can really make them stand out. when i saw these holiday gum balls, i knew they would look great with the polka dots. i really love how this present turned out.

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if you don’t want to spend a lot of time wrapping, Walgreens has these great large stick-on bows that are 7″ round. so much better than the little ones (however they have those too). i decided to use a hologram candy cane striped wrapping paper. i topped it off with this gigantic 12″ candy cane i found for just $1. perfect combo.

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using a red and green striped paper, i used one of those large stick on bows and a Santa tag for this present. i also added this cute mini stocking i found for a $1 and placed a gift card in it. i am really not a fan of gift cards because i like to spend the time finding the perfect gift, but adding a gift card to a gift is great. and the stocking made a great holder for it.

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these are just some of the many options i found at Walgreens. there was so much more….like this Hallmark line of holiday bags, wrapping papers and pre-tied ribbons.

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and it was even better that some Walgreens are opened 24-hours a day. i did all my shopping at 12 am.  i had a little too much fun…cheek it out.

now to show you how to make pretty bows for your presents. it’s pretty simple, and i am not an expert at it, but nevertheless, here is how i do it….

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first, you are going to want to tie the ribbon around your gift with a simple knot.  then cut the ends leaving 6-8 inch tails.  you can use any type of ribbon to do this technique, but I love to use wide ribbon (with or without wired edges) to wrap my gifts with.  i purchased the sparkly wired ribbon at Walgreens. beside being my favorite color for the holidays, i also love the glitter and wired edges because they help the bow stay big and full.

second, make the first loop of your bow. hold the end of the ribbon and fold it over to make a loop.

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next, continuing to hold the first loop, make more loops by folding up the ribbon back and forth and holding it in the center. you can make as many loops as you want or can hold. cut the ribbon after your last loop leaving an extra inch long tail. for this bow, i made eight loops….four loops on each side.

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now, place your almost finished bow on the center of your package on top of the knot you created. continue to hold the center of the loops.

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using the tails of the ribbon tied around your package, tie a knot around the center of your bow loops. your bow will now be attached to your package.

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trim the tails to look nice…either at a slant or a “v” like the photo below. you now can fluff up your bow by opening and rounding out the loops. continue to do so until your bow looks pretty and polished.

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i am thrilled with how my gifts turned out! thanks Walgreens for the great selections.

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Real Snow at Pretend City

let your kids enjoy real snow at Pretend City’s Snow Day this friday! who would have ever thought it would snow in Orange County. your kiddies will enjoy celebrating the snow with a day full of adventures.  they can experiment with footprints, build snow forts, create snow angels and make snowballs. don’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate the first day of winter! *pretend city guests will be provided with specific time slots for children based on age. only a certain amount of children will be permitted into the snow play area at once based on the discretion of Pretend City staff. 
wanna go? here’s the info….
Pretend City Snow Day
friday, december 21st, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Pretend City
29 Hubble Irvine, CA 92618
949.428.3900

December Pretend City Events

one of my kids favorite places in Orange County is Pretend City. and there are lots of fun events happening at Pretend City this month…even a day of real snow! be sure to check them all out.

Celebrate Hanukkah at Pretend City
Sunday, December 9 – Saturday, December 15
Monday – Friday 11:00a.m. • Saturday & Sunday 10:30a.m. 
special circle times will work to explain and teach your child about the Hanukkah miracle and the importance of many of the traditional symbols of the holiday. children can play games, finger play rhymes, art projects and enjoy activities about Hanukah.
Las Posadas Celebration
Sunday, December 16 – Sunday, December 23:
Tuesday – Friday 3:30p.m. •  Saturday & Sunday 2:30p.m. 
every afternoon your children can engage in activities that will help them have an understanding of the cultures that celebrate Las Posadas and traditions associated with the holiday. activities include “Bunuelos” cookie art, piñata party, glitter poinsettia art and the traditional Mexican game of domino trains. 
Christmas Countdown Time
Sunday, December 16 – Sunday, December 23
Monday – Friday 11:00a.m. • Saturday & Sunday 10:30a.m. 
the countdown to Christmas has begun! the week that leads up to Christmas is exciting and magical for children. waiting for Christmas Day can seem endless! this week’s daily morning activities will help to channel your young child’s anticipation into simple activities that celebrate the holiday. 
Festival of Kwanzaa
Wednesday, December 26 – Monday, December 31 
Monday – Friday 11:00a.m. • Saturday & Sunday 10:30a.m. 
Kwanzaa is here, and there are so many fun things to do! children will have the opportunity to participate in lighting another candle on the Kinara each day. we will celebrate the Kwanzaa principle of the day through a variety of activities, such as working at the family stand, making gifts for family and friends, playing African games, and even having a “feast”!
Baby Steps through Pretend City
Monday, December 10
2:00 – 3:30p.m. 
this program is specifically for the comfort of our 0 – 18 months infant guests. (no older siblings please) think you can’t do an art project with your baby? nothing could be further from the truth! baby steps event will focus on infant art activities with your little ones to help in their development, as well as fun bonding time with Baby and Me Yoga. make sure to visit the Art Studio, Beach, and Grocery Store to take advantage of this exclusive, infant and young toddler only time and engage in age-appropriate facilitated activities.
CHOC Toy Drive Pick Up
Friday, December 14
12:00 p.m 
join us for a special visit from hundreds of Harley Davidson riders as they come to Pretend City to pick up all of the toys we’ve collected for the children at CHOC Children’s Hospital. watch your child’s eyes light up as Santa comes riding in on his motorcycle. the sound of hundreds of motorcycles cruising around the corner is one your child will surely remember! they’ll even have a chance to come out and look at the motorcycles up close, with parent supervision of course! 
Snow Play Day
Friday, December 21
10:00a.m. – 3:00p.m. 
what’s in the forecast for Pretend City? Snow! that’s right, real snow. visiting the snow and experiencing a winter wonderland is an ageless, ever-magical experience, and one that is brought to life today at Pretend City. activities will be rich with the magic and delight of the falling snow. your children can enjoy celebrating the snow with a day of adventures–experimenting with footprints, building snow forts, creating snow angels, and making snowballs. don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate the first day of winter! *guests will be provided with specific time slots for children based on age. only a certain amount of children will be permitted into the snow play area at once based on the discretion of Pretend City staff. 
New Year’s Eve Party
Monday, December 31, 2012
10:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. 
this is one celebration you won’t want to miss. the day will include: Sensational Story Time: Twas’ the Night Before New Year’s will be the featured story of the day. little ones may find inspiration to stay awake until the stroke of New Year! Smart Art: New Year’s Resolution – a colorful art project that will be your opportunity to create a family New Year’s resolution. this might even start a new family tradition! Music & Movement: New Year’s Eve Countdown for the kids! Countdown the New Year and celebrate at 12:00 p.m. with a special rockin’ rollin’ dance party! streamers, blowouts, and noise makers will make this the party of the year for your little ones!

Dress Up with Children’s Place for the Holidays

we’re getting ready for the holidays next week! and i love to dress the boys up so they look cute in pictures.  we headed over to Children’s Place to check out their new holiday line up and i was thrilled to see so many great choices for boys.

i mean, Children’s Place has really done a good job with there holiday line!
i love the bright colors….

the adorable hats…..

and the fact that i can get the kiddies character shirts that aren’t cheesy. they have some great vintage styles and so many choices of my kids favorite action heros.

i had such a fun time shopping with my boys. especially this cutie. and i was able to get matching outfits for all three of my boys that were not so “matchy.”

i was thrilled! check out my quick little photo shoot i had with my boys in their new dress up clothes. all ready for the holidays. yes….they are a bit silly.
and the best thing about Children’s Place was the prices. i was able to outfit all three boys for the holidays, plus a couple sweaters, a pair of shoes and 3 shirts for under $100!



{disclosure: i received a gift certificate in order to facilitate this review. all thought and opinions are mine. this post was not compensated.}

Cookies with Mrs. Claus at Zoomars

have you ever taken your kiddies to Zoomars Petting Zoo?  every few weeks i take my youngest down to Zoomars to feed the rabbits and guinea pigs. i love it as much as him. well…this weekend, Zoomars is having a special event for kids. on Sunday, December 16, 2012, children will have some special time to sit with Mrs. Claus, share some of her delicious home made cookies and write one last letter to Santa before he takes off for his trip around the globe.

wanna go? here’s the info
Cookies with Mrs. Claus
Sunday, December 16th
10:00 a.m – 12:00 noon
Zoomars Petting Zoo
31791 Los Pios Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
admission is $15.00 and includes cookie decorating, Christmas craft and time with Mrs. Claus.
 seats are limited so please call ahead to make your reservation at 949.831.6550.
{ photos courtesy of Zoomars }