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Our family loves popcorn. It’s a fun, easy and, can be, relatively healthy snack for almost any time of the day. Well, because of the holidays, one of the books I’ve been reading with my children is called Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia. We love it. What I did not expect is how much my daughter would talk about making popcorn balls, just like Amelia Bedelia! So after dinner last night, I thought I’d attempt a surprise pre-Christmas trial run of popcorn balls.
A Healthy Treat
I didn’t like the recipes I found online because they all included refined sugar. I did not want to add any refined sugar to the popcorn. So, I threw a couple of ingredients I feel fine about giving my children after dinner and, ta-da, we had popcorn balls.
Here’s what I did:
1. Pop your corn. Since this was a trial run, I only used a little bit. I probably popped about 1/4 cup of kernels and gave some of that popped corn to the children to eat so that I could work on the rest.
2. Set the popped corn aside in a bowl.
3. Then, I melted about one tablespoon of butter, a couple of tablespoons of honey and the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over low heat.
4. I had it simmer for a few minutes (but, I’m not sure how necessary that is. I may just have everything melt next time.) It worked fine. I’m just thinking about keeping that honey as close to a raw state as possible (for health benefits).
5. Pour the honey mixture over the popcorn and mix. A few minutes later, once it has cooled off, rub a little bit of butter on your hands and form the popcorn into balls.
There you have it! Easy, quick, healthy and even Christmas-y treats for the whole family! Who knows, we may make some to hang on our tree next week, just like Amelia Bedelia!
What’s your favorite holiday treat?
Starting on Thursday, my whole family will be together for 10 full fun filled days. Am I the only one a little stressed out about that? What will we do that doesn’t cost a lot? We already spent our monthly fun budget on presents so I am on the lookout for free/cheap family fun. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
1. Caroling. This is definitely a thing of the past that needs to come back! We actually already did this activity last night, but it was so great, I think we should do it again. We went to a local nursing home with some other friends and just sang Christmas songs. The residents loved seeing the kids. We didn’t do a lot of prep for it, we make some print outs of songs and went! Free and it totally warmed our hearts and got us in the mood for Christmas.
2. Sledding! I know a lot of our readers are in warmer climates, and for that I suggest ice blocking down a hill. All you need to do it buy an ice block and go flying down a hill. It’s totally fun! Ice blocks are crazy cheap too! For those of us with snow, we’ll be hitting the hills for real. Other than our one time investment in a cheap sled, that we already made, it’s free!
3. Decorating cookies. Sugar cookies and ornamental icing are super cheap to make, they take a while and your kids will love it!
4. Go look at Christmas lights. A lot of cities even have whole communities that decorate and go all out. If not, just look around. Turn on the Christmas music, bring along some hot chocolate and make some memories. My kids just scream “lights, lights!” It doesn’t get much better than that!
5. Go to a church play. Lots of churches put on plays for Christmas and most are free! The biggest church in our town does it and it’s SPECTACULAR. Call around, check with your local Chamber of Commerce or check out the events in your newspaper.
I just get so excited when I am crafty. I am especially proud of this project. The whole thing cost me less than $5 and it was so easy. For those of you who aren’t crafty, try this, you’ll impress all your friends!
Sorry for the bad cell phone picture
What You Need
Apple basket (this is the only way name I know them by)
Red paint (I just bought what was on sale and looked “santa-ish”)
Anything that will look like a buckle
What To Do
1. Paint the whole bucket and let dry with red paint.
2. Take your hot glue gun and glue the ribbon around the diameter of the bucket.
3. In the middle of your bucket, glue your buckle.
How easy is that!? And it’s so cute!
You can use your bucket to put Christmas ornaments in it or whatever you want that is Christmasy!
Christmas is just around the corner and we have packages being delivered daily. When you live thousands of miles away from your family, this is how it goes. However, we received our packages from my brother and his family recently and I just had to share how they did it. It’s such a Thrifty way of doing it. Shipping is done by weight unless you do the stuff it in a flat rate plan. That wasn’t an option for my brother so instead of buying boxes that we would most likely just throw in the dump, they put the presents in plastic storage containers they had around the house and wrapped them in brown paper.
This is genius! not only are your packages more durable, but now we have two huge tubs that are like a whole other gift. We use them around here frequently. Boxes will most likely be bought and thrown away. With this method, you get less waste and more use!
I think it’s fabulous!
How are you shipping your gifts?
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Finish up your Christmas shopping online this Monday!