Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rough morning

Thank goodness for naps!! I can't say it enough. Today has been one of THOSE days.

This morning we headed over to a friends house. Kensie was prepped and excited to play with their new puppy, while I was planning to help my friend make one of those frames I made over the holidays here. It was a win-win in my book. I could get some craft/adult time with a dear friend, and Kensie could play to her heart's content in a different environment with an adorable little dog named Toby Mac.


Kensie DID love the dog at first. She's always been a dog lover--any shape, any size. It doesn't matter. But, today she began crying every time that cute little pup yipped or would get too close to her. She would run to my heals and beg to be picked up. After enough times we tried moving to the living room where Kensie could play with Lego's. The dog was separated by a gate in the dining room at this point. But, as soon as I left the room she would come running and beg to be picked up. I was sure if she got distracted enough she would play independently like she always does.

Anyway, to make a long story short....

I realized after feeling her gums 2 hours later she has 2 huge molars squeezing through those puffy red gums! Poor girl!! No wonder she has been so clingy the last few days. And the funny thing is, I've been PRAYING this would happen. I know, crazy right? She's just had quite the slowwww teething process. Only getting one measly tooth at a time. I joke with Greg that by the time she's done teething, baby Mason will just be starting! Ugh. The joys of motherhood. Anyway, I know she will be miserable for another day or two, but it will be so worth it in the end.

Why can't they just get them ALL at the same time??

I will say, I do enjoy feeling so needed by her. Nobody can console her these days, not even Dada (which is sad for him)...but hopefully she'll be back to her happy self soon. In the meantime, I will take all the cuddles I can get.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A berry quiet Christmas Eve...

After a busy week, and expecting another busy day tomorrow...I'm definitely enjoying today. A restful Christmas Eve. No plans. No schedule. Just some light cleaning and prep work, waiting for the hubby to get off work tonight and ready to enjoy some much needed family time. Just the three of us.

And even though this year the tree is not by the fireplace, I found a way to still make it just as festive.

Do you see a berry theme going??

I love the pops of red next to my favorite color green.

Hope you are all finding time to rest in the midst of the holidays! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feelin' it...

...the stress of the holidays that is.

I love Christmas. Really, I do. Decorating. Shopping. Christmas music. Celebrating our Savior's birth. The one day I know for sure my hubby doesn't have to work. I could sit at home all month with my husband and daughter with the tree lit, the fire a blazin' and a yummy homemade meal and watch in excitement as they open their presents. I also love having great friends for get togethers with no expectations other than enjoying good company.

But,'s the family parties that have been stressing me out. You've been there right? Good. Didn't think I was the only one. Well, am I ever there.

It started last year when Kensie was only 3 months old. As a new mom with the "first" grandkid, it was a BIT overwhelming. I couldn't have my baby sleep when I wanted or where I wanted. There was nowhere comfortable to nurse at any of the parties. And I felt so alone. Greg's schedule was absolutely nuts last year. And it just got to be too much too soon. (That's the short version). This year, I'm 6 months pregnant with a 15 month old....feeling like all I want to do is stay home in my candy cane PJ's, wrestle with my 1 year old and watch Christmas movies with my hubby.

When it comes to parties, Greg and I have very different views. Not bad, not wrong, just different. If there were 5 family parties on five different days in a row, he would go. He would be excited to go. For me...not so much. I look at the holiday season as a whole. One too many parties scheduled on the calender and I start to flip out a little -- namely extended family parties.

Anyway.....last night I think I cried for 30 minutes after going to bed. So bad in fact, that I came out into the living room and just sat there in the dark. Pitiful I know. Maybe pregnancy. Maybe stress. Maybe both. Or, maybe I just need to suck it up...

But, I would love to hear what your families do for the holidays. Do you go to BOTH extended sides? Do you reserve Christmas Day only for you and your kids? Do you rotate every other year? What has worked well, and what hasn't??? Any comments are welcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas cookie cutters!

Yesterday, I spent the morning baking 2 dozen classic sugar cookies {with frosting and sprinkles of course} for my first ever Christmas cookie exchange!

Yes, there's a first time for everything.

I would rather cook than bake--any day of the week. It's not my best skill.

Anyhoooo....this morning I came home with two plastic containers packed with all kinds of yummy treats ready to offer guests between now and the big day. Well worth it.

So, what did I do with the $5 bucket of cookie cutters from Aldi?

The same thing any "anti-baker who wants to look like she's Susie homemaker" would do....
I hung them in my kitchen!

These jumbo-sized guys are with the rest of the cookie cutter clan but, they made their debute on the side of the cupboard instead of the garland. It was getting a bit heavy.

So, even though it appears as though I unclip those darling cut-outs from that silky ribbon and bake all day and night throughout the holidays....
Really, I just think they are cute and festive...and why not appreciate them everyday instead of them lurking in the back of my cupbaord all season next to that ugly vase I can't seem to get rid of?
Do you like to bake during the holidays? If so, come over anytime.
Please and Thank you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cheese please...

The BAD NEWS is...

I am having a CHEESE fetish lately.

Sliced cheese

Mac 'n Cheese

Cheddar flavored chips

Melted cheese on tortillas, eggs, soups, sandwiches, pretty much anything



Notice how the last one ends in "zits"...also happening these days. Awesome.

The GOOD NEWS is...

I am a few days away from officially being in the third trimester! YES!!

This second trimester has gone by much faster than the first. Praise.the.Lord.

I am so thankful for the ability to carry another healthy baby, but I have to be honest:

I don't love the pregnancy stage.

My legs hurt. My back hurts. My brain is...uh...gone. I can't remember yesterday, what I just ate, where my phone is, if I shut the garage door, how old my daughter is or where she is......ugh!

3 more months....3 more months....3 more months....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A fun way to display your Christmas cards!

Here's a creative way to redo a frame and turn it into a fun way to display cards, pictures and your kids artwork...

1) I took the frame OFF this painting. This snapshot was taken last fall, and the painting has been moved to a new wall space since then. It's amazing how much a frame (or lack there of) can change the look of a piece of artwork. I love the painting so much more now without the frame.

Ok, moving on....

2) Paint the frame however you like!

I used my trusty crackle spray paint from Hobby Lobby. After each coat, I sanded it around the edges a bit to get the antique look I wanted.

3) I used tacks and pushed them gently into the backside of the frame. 5 tacks on one side of the frame and 6 tacks on the other evenly spaced. This creates the zig-zag look I was going for.

4) Next, I used my (seemingly endless) twine to create the zig-zag.
I tied off the first one securely and simply strung it back and forth around each tack until I reached the end--then, tied it off securely at the end.

(Make sure it's pulled fairly tight, so it doesn't sag when you add the clips and paper at the finish)

5) I bought some miniature wood clothespins (Hobby Lobby) to hang Christmas cards and some homemade snowflakes with.

6) Stand back and admire.....

I can't remember what blog I saw these snowflakes but, they are SUPER easy to make. All you need are pipe cleaners, pretty paper, a glue on jewel or button (whatever your taste), and some super glue! I made a ton to hang on the tree as well. These would be cute to put on a present too, don't you think?

I hope you find a fun way to display your Christmas cards! I can't wait to get more in the's always so fun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fabric Christmas trees

I found this really easy tutorial to make these darling Christmas trees...
Check out Shanty to Chic for directions.

I improvised a little, but all my supplies were from Hobby Lobby.
Minus the fabric--leftovers I already had.
My friend Megan had the idea to just glue the fabric to make it "look" ruffled, instead of using a machine to actually ruffle the edges. Thanks for the help Megan! I love them.

It's going to be hard to take them down after the holidays.
I may have to leave them up year round, cuz they are stinking cute!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Front porch and a snow munchkin

A neighbor down the street sold me this awesome cottage style bench for $60 last

Red star stuffed with greenery from Hobby Lobby.

Some large branches I shoved in a tin bucket and filled with some bush clippings I picked up on a walk one day. I just wanted something to hang lights on, and this was the perfect spot.

I usually use this garland indoors, but I really like it outside (again with lights).

Vintage sled found at an antique store for $25. The red broom was a white elephant gift several years ago...random to put it on the sled, I know, but it's the right color, so......

After knocking down the icilces. Now, I can walk out of my house without fearing for my life (or Kensie's)...those things were scary.

Now, for some utter cuteness:

I think playtime in the snow was a success...look at those red cheeks!
She took the BEST nap after this.
Stay warm friends!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Four things...

{1} Some seriously pretty (but deadly) icicles that need to be knocked down...

{2} I got myself an early Christmas present. Not something I would normally wear, but I love it! It was from a Premier Jewelery party, and I've had SO many compliments on this beauty.

{3} I FINALLY got my hair done. It's been 6 months. I had been looking for a new hair stylist that is close and affordable....harder than you think. But, thanks to FB--I found one and booked an appointment 4 days later! How much? $55 for all over highlights and cut/ style. I was so pleased, and only wish I could style it like this again...

{4} My Mom, sister Lauren, and I were able to enjoy a girls night in downtown GR that same night! It felt so good to dress up, have a fresh hairstyle, go to a fancy place for dinner and just enjoy some good girl talk. I love you beautiful ladies!

Stay tuned for front porch decorations and a little snow munchkin with some VERY red cheeks! We've been playing in the snow all morning...I think it's time to warm up with some hot chai tea.
Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow, snow and more snow....

It sarted snowing yesterday. It literally has.not.stopped. There's over a foot already, and we're still expecting more.

(view from the kitchen window looking at our invisible driveway)
Love it. Hate it.
All at the same time.
But, honestly we shouldn't complain AT ALL. We didn't see a single snowflake until Decemeber 1st. And if you are from the midwest-->you know that's amazing in it of itself, right?

And after 9 Christmas's with snow, I can't imagine one WITHOUT it. It just makes me want to sit by the fireplace with hot cocoa and a blanket while gazing at the twinkling lights throughout the house. warm.

That reminds's the mantel I've been meaning to post. A quick shot of it anyway...

(You may notice there are 4 stockings already. My loving mom has made all of them thus far...and she didn't waste any time in making one for baby Mason on the way!)
Now, back to the snow...
After living in Michigan for almost 9 years now (wow has it really been that long?), I have a much better understanding of the four seasons as well as the four letter word S-N-O-W.
California has a TON of stereotypes. Some of which I still have to defend....I'm proud to be a native Californian and will always consider myself a "West Coast" girl. But, I also see the beauty of Michigan, and think it will be a wonderful place to raise our family--despite all the bad stereotypes the Midwest gets as well. I'm sure all my west coast friends are thinking "But, WHY do you still live out there?!?"

It's not that bad. Really.
I may complain occasionally about the weather, but people make a place a "home". And this is my home now. And I couldn't be happier. So bring on the snow!
Just don't ask me in February if I love it. There will probably be some curse words coming out of an 8 month pregnant witch. Just sayin...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Entryway and tree decorations!

Ready for some super easy ways to make Christmas come alive in your home??

First, go outside! I found these branches right in our back yard!
Once I was happy with the arrangement, I tied them first with a rubber band, then added some twine for a real natural look. I first thought of hanging it above my front door outside. But, I like how it looks in the entryway. It brings more of the outdoors...well, indoors!

You could put them in vases and decorate with ornaments, above doorways with lights in them, even above a mantel or shelf.

The "Season's Greetings" sign was found right in the grocery store (Meijer)!
I used command strips to adhere it to the window.

But, how do you know what to put on a table like that Shannon?

Next, pull out all your decorations you already have.
Put them in a pile on the floor.

Sort out what you have by colors.
I wanted to go with white in the entryway, and I LOVE how it turned out!

They don't ALL have to be Christmas items. Take that white clock for example (TJ Maxx), I usually have it on the mantel, but it looks great here with all the other snow white items.

The mirror was left by previous owners, and I ALMOST gave it to the thrift store. But after a good coat of crackle paint, and it fits the room perfectly. The white wreath was a Pottery Barn purchase (gift card)...probably the only other thing I actually own from that store.

See that white frame resting on the ground to the right? It's a work in progress, but I will share the tutorial soon! You will love it.

...on to the tree!

Buy wrapping paper that matches your house, and use it as part of your decorating.
These are REAL gifts that I was ready to wrap. But, don't let that stop you! You can wrap "fake presents" and fill baskets, bins and shelves with them to look festive.

A mixture of homemade and store bought ornaments gives you the best of both without looking too cheap or over the top.
The "button garland" I made here.
The "sheet music bird ornaments" I made here.

A simple tree topper made out of an ornament and leftover ribbon from last year.

And what's a house without mistletoe?

This is the first year I've ever put a "kissing ball" (from Target) in my house, but I'm sure Greg won't mind :)

You may be wondering, what about the "Christmas room"? Why isn't the tree by the fireplace in the Christmas room?? Maybe a story for next time...let's just say the tree was a bit big this year. Nothing a pair of scissors and one marital dispute couldn't, THIS is where the tree ended up this year. But, honestly I'm so happy how it looks in this room. It really came together. It's good to be flexible right? :)