November 29, 2015

Gingerbread House Craft Programs

Every year my kids make a gingerbread house (or houses) to display at home. Mostly we buy the kits, but we've also participated in a few programs where the kids made them there. One of these days I will bake and make a house from scratch though. Given how much mess the whole project makes though, I really do lie making the houses elsewhere. That's one reason why I wanted to highlight these gingerbread houses making programs. 

On December 5, at Michael's Crafts from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Join Michaels for some Gingerbread House building. Parents can buy the kit in the store, then join in the decorating with the supplies in the kit and other provided supplies. I personally think this is a great "keep the house clean" idea. My only concern would be transporting the "not dry" house home!

On Saturday, December 12 at the Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Branch) at 11:00 a.m. or at YDL (Michigan Branch) at 3:00 p.m., kids ages 2-12 can decorate a graham cracker "gingerbread" houses with icing and candy for a holiday decoration or tasty treat. Please register for either program on the YDL website, email: or by calling 734-482-4110 x1390. 

Want to go ahead and build your own gingerbread house at home MLive has 5 great tips to building a gingerbread houseor watch this easy tutorial on making a gingerbread house from scratch! Have you heard of other local classes or programs for making a gingerbread house? Be sure to share them in the comments below.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Returns to the Fox Theatre

Cirque Dreams Holidaze is "the perfect way to come in from the cold,
forget the holiday stresses and find the magic of the season"
proclaims The Oakland Press. 
Image the spectacle that 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers can provide and you can image seeing Cirque Dreams Holidaze as it returns to the Fox Theatre December 22-27. Ann Arbor Mom blog readers also get the opportunity to WIN (4) free tickets to see the show. Read on for more details!

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2015 holiday season when it returns to the Fox Theatre, after sold out performances in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. The show will transform the stage into a wonderland of fantasy and disbelief  for seven glorious holiday performances.  Tickets (starting at $29) are on sale now and can be purchased at, The Fox Theatre and at all Ticketmaster locations and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000.

Performance Schedule: 
December 22 - 7:30 p.m.
December 23 - 7:30 p.m.
December 24 - 3:00 p.m.
December 26 - 3:00 p.m. &  8:00 p.m.
December 27 - 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Many of these acts have been featured on America’s Got Talent and similar TV shows in other countries making Cirque Dreams Holidaze the greatest variety show on the planet! Witness snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, ornaments and of course Santa; with soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats, elaborate production numbers, imaginative costumes, illusions and more. The show also celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, original music and seasonal favorites all performed in a winter wonderland of amazement.

To win (4) tickets to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Tuesday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m., please describe to Ann Arbor Mom blog readers our favorite Christmas Ornament. One lucky winner will be drawn randomly from all entries submitted by midnight, December 5.

November 27, 2015

Free Tickets: Ariel, Zoey & Eli Concert

Win tickets to see the Ariel, Zoey & Eli concert at the Michigan Theater.

Want to enjoy a fun concert with the kids? The Not Just For Kids series is featuring Ariel, Zoey & Eli on December 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.

Emmy Nominees Ariel, Zoey & Eli (AZE) have spent most of their young lives performing either on stage or in front of the camera. With two national television shows, their focus has always been on music, empowering their peers and enjoying those they meet along the way. This special concert will include their favorite songs, music to get you in the Holiday spirit and a few surprises!

Tickets for the concert are just $12 and perfect for everyone in the family and are available for sale at Nicola's Books or at The Ann Arbor Mom blog has been given the opportunity to share with one lucky winner 4 free tickets though. Just comment below on the best way your family gets into the holiday spirit. A random drawing will be done of all entries on the blog by midnight December 4.

Elf On The Shelf Causes Nightmares

I'll admit, just a little, that I bought into the whole The Elf on the Shelf thing after my son was born. However I didn't have to "buy" into it, as I already had an elf I thought might do the trick. I brought out my elf. Told the Elf on the Shelf story. Then I waited. I only needed to go as far as to say the elf was watching for good behavior and reporting his findings back to Santa. I didn't need to move him. I didn't even need to help him get into mischief as many of my friend's elf characters are doing - Although with this specific elf that is terribly tempting to do!

Wanna know why?

Take a look at my elf, that will give you a really GOOD hint.

Evil Elf on the Shelf
The reason I don't need to move my elf is, well, because he's faintly evil looking! My son is moderately terrified of him, and even asked me not to bring him out this year. Now consider again why making my elf get into mischief might be moderately fun...

Child wakes up with elf peering at him...
Child finds elf sitting on the toilet in the middle of the night...
Take pictures of elf with sleeping child...

Yes I am a mom with a slightly sick sense of humor. I loved this other bloggers commentary on over-achieving mommies and their elf on the shelf antics too!

My elf, however, is comfortably nestled within the boughs of our tree, peeking out to report the kids good behavior to Santa!

Many of my friends couldn't believe I had an "evil" Elf on the Shelf, so I posted an image on the little guy on Facebook and received multiple comments about his "good looks". One friend said...

"Where are the flying monkeys?"
Some compared it to the Stephen King's movie about the scary clown!

That'll give you nightmares!
And yet others said my Elf on the Shelf reminded them of Chuckie the doll!!!

I'm not sure that it reminds me of anything more than my grandparents. They were the ones that gave the elf to me the year I was born. He certainly does have an oddly strange look about it,maybe he's about to spit something out of those overly large cheeks. I suppose though that says more about the late 1960's - So I can blame that on my parents generation eh?

Have you given into the Elf on the Shelf?

November 9, 2015

Win tickets to Fancy Nancy: Splediferous Christmas

Win 4 free tickets to see Fancy Nancy: Splediferous Christmas
when it comes to the City Theatre November 20-22.

Hello Ann Arbor families! Want to join Nancy in a very fancy holiday celebration? Then be sure to read on for a chance to win tickets to see Fancy Nancy: Splediferous Christmas plays at the City Theatre playing November 20-22.

Tickets are $25 general admission and can be purchased at, The Fox Theatre and at all Ticketmaster locations and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 313-471-3099. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

Want to know more? Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas is based on the New York Times bestselling picture book by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles - and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and can't wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don't turn out the way Nancy planned?

The showtimes are as follows:
Friday, November 20 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 21 - 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 - 11:00 a.m. and 2:0 p.m.

Want to know how your family can win free tickets? Well since the play is about Nancy's fancy tree topper, tell me in the comments below what your fanciest tree topper would be. A random winner will be chosen from all entries on the blog and on Facebook for (4) tickets to see Fancy Nancy: Splediferous Christmas on Saturday, November 21 at 2:00 p.m. All entries must be received by midnight on November 12.