Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My little helper

Ok.  What was up with that!?  I ask for your help with what to wear to my party and you all told me different outfits!  I was hoping there would be a clear answer but since it was so close the decision was back on me again!  Not cool.  Kidding!  Kind of.  ;)  I really did appreciate the feedback.  Black and purple shirt were almost tied for the most votes so I wore the purple shirt to the Favorites Party (just got back from it!) and I'm going to wear the black with the headband to a Christmas party we have this weekend.  I wore the grey with the white tank in our family pictures this year so there you go.  Everybody wins!  I'm a people pleaser.  :)  The party was so much fun and there were some GOOD favorites.  I made Ann take notes for me and I'll share them all with you next week!  Really fun gift ideas and a few things I'll definitely be adding to my Christmas list this year!  

I don't have a lot of time to post tonight because it's almost midnight and I'm exhausted from the party.  My throat hurts.  I think I talked too much.  Anyway - I have a lot of fun things to share!  I just need to find the time to post them.  This week is killing me.  School projects due, lots of activities going on for the kids, messy house (I still haven't finished unpacking from our trip!), appointments and obligations, half finished decorating, gift shopping (yeah - it was a nice idea to have things done before December - didn't happen) holiday parties, laundry piling up, and of course, I have so much help with everything I'm trying to get done...

See why I need to get to bed?  I need every ounce of energy I can muster.  

I have been getting some really great questions lately from some of you in the comments and through e-mail!  Your questions are great and a lot of times they give me good ideas for posts.  I try to answer questions back in my comments, but sometimes life gets in the way and I'm sorry if any of you have asked me a question that I haven't answered.  I'm going to do a question/answer post soon to get back to some of you so if you have a question for me, now is the time to ask it!  Although I already shared how I style my hair so there really isn't much else that exciting to tell.  ;) 

Have a great Thursday everyone!  I'm off to bed!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Slowly getting back into the swing of things around here.  Bags are still packed.  And my house is a disaster.  I wish you all could have witnessed my son at dinner time.  That boy can toss food like no one's business.  And scribble on doors.  And tear up homework.  He is trouble and I am tired.  I had so much on my to-do list today and I didn't do any of it!  Instead I spent the morning at Pottery Barn and the afternoon pulling out all of my Christmas decor.  Much more appealing than my to-do list which included things like laundry and scrubbing bathrooms.  No wonder I put it off.

The girls and I decorated the tree.  Our tree is quite a sight this year.  No decorations on the bottom half -  completely Kole proofed.  And the top?  Well.  Since I knew our tree would look a little off this year anyway I just handed the decorations to my girls and told them to have at it!  Ornaments are all clumped together.  Toys somehow made their way onto the branches.  Usually I let my girls decorate the tree and then spend the next week re-arranging everything so that it looks a little more put together.  Not this year.  I'm not even touching it!  We are going with the flow around here and embracing the CRAZY stage that is our lives right now.  Our tree seems to convey that message loud and clear.  :)

I am, however decorating a few spots in my house that are out of reach of little hands.  Our situation with Kole is forcing me to think out of the box with my decorations and I'm excited about a few changes I'm making to our normal Christmas decor.  Of course a little painting was in order to make some of the changes happen.  Bet you can't guess what color these are going to be.  :)

My mantel was my first priority today and I was in desperate need of the perfect candles to go on my aqua candlesticks.  Hence the morning run to Pottery Barn!

Aren't these just beautiful!?  Pottery Barn's Basilica Pillar Candle.  They are perfect!  Just what I needed to tie my mantel decor together!  The only problem was the price.  $13 for the short ones and $23.50 for the tall ones.  And that's on sale!  I thought ok - I can spend $30 on candles but $50!?  That's a bit much.  So I bought the short ones.  And they are beautiful!  And perfect!  Except they need to be taller.  Of course.  Still debating if I can go back and buy the big ones and slip this little purchase past Kenny live with the fact that I spent such a crazy amount on candles.  


Speaking of shopping and sales... my mom bought me this adorable little zipper pouch a while back (I think it was $5 bucks at TJ Maxx). 

It has become such a perfect way to organize all of my "extras" that don't fit in my wallet.  I know it looks like a mess, but it's actually quite organized.  Coupons are in the front opening.  SO many coupons this time of year!  I'm normally not much of a coupon person, but when the good ones from places like Banana Republic, The Limited and Gap kids start rolling in I'm all over it!  Receipts are in the middle.  I save all of my receipts.  Drives my mom crazy.  But you never know if you might want to return something later on!  I return about half of the stuff I buy.  That also drives my mom crazy.  Ok.  Not half.  But I have been known to return a thing or two when it doesn't work out.  Like my too short Pottery Barn candles.  Back to the organization.  Gift cards are in the back opening and change/cash is in the zipper pouch.  This has been so handy!  It helps me keep my purse organized and my wallet from busting at the seams.  


Remember last year when I posted about my friend Ann's Favorite Things party?  It was such a fun holiday party that we all decided it needed to be a tradition.  This year's party is this week and I'm so excited!  I got so many e-mails asking about this party and the items shared so I will take pictures and explain everything after the party this week.  Such a fun way to get gift ideas and share favorites with everyone!  Pretty easy to guess my favorite thing last year.  See the Conair curling irons on the front row?  Always a hit.  :)

I was wanting to buy a little something new to wear to the party, but don't think I'll have time to shop much this week (and I may be spending my clothes money on candles instead - HA!).  So instead of looking in my closet for what to wear, I looked back through all of my Fashion Friday posts!  Those posts are coming in pretty handy after all.  :)  We are having a hot week so I narrowed it down to three appropriate options and can't decide.  I'd love your opinion!  Which one should I wear?

Thanks for your help!  I love it when other people make my decisions for me.  :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Our Thanksgiving

{I'm warning you right now that this post is long.  I took way too many pictures and my indecisive nature causes me to just post them all instead of actually having to agonize over which ones I should cut.  You may want to grab some leftovers.  Or start a load of laundry.}  

Well!  Now that my warning is out of the way and you fully know what you're getting into, we're back.  Spent all of last week in Utah with family and had a great vacation.  The kind of vacation that is just such a bummer when it's over.  My kids had a fabulous trip.  My niece was at my mom's all week too and the three girls had a par - tay.  To say the least.  

They watched movies together on grandma's bed.  

Turned the back yard into their personal playground.

Created all sorts of interesting "soups" and "potions" out of vegetables from grandpa's garden. 

And out of pomegranates from grandma's pomegranate tree.   

They drove around everywhere on their fancy little scooters.

And were joined by their Uncle Austin and cousin Drew - Kole's mischievous partner in crime.  

They went on nature walks with mom and grandma and enjoyed all of the beautiful fall leaves.  

And the neighbors' Christmas decorations.  

They dressed grandpa up fancy.  

And enjoyed stories by Aunt Carly in matching Christmas p.j.'s.  

Realizing they had all of the adults in the palm of their hands, they got creative and came up with a little money making scheme.  Ellie led the charge on this one of course.

Who could resist buying this stunning turkey?  And for the bargain price of a mere $2.00!?  Those clever little illustrators walked away with pockets full of cash and smiles on their faces.  When we went shopping later, Addison was torn on whether or not she should part with her earnings to buy a stuffed animal.  Ellie said, "Don't worry Ad!  We'll just draw more pictures!"

The girls had their own Thanksgiving table for the big day.  I gave them some apples, toothpicks, and dots and told them to make their own turkeys.

And here are the finished turkeys.  The girls kept eating the dots and dinner was done before they had a chance to make the heads.  Oh well!  {I'd like to point out my mom's diet cokes in the background - she's seriously addicted.  Wouldn't be a trip to grandma's without a diet coke run every few hours.  I just felt that had to be recorded for our posterity.}  
Love you mom.  :)

The girls weren't the only ones who had fun.  I loved spending time with my family.  Parents, siblings, nieces and nephews - everyone was together and it was the best.  Totally crazy and loud and did I mention crazy!?  But the best.  We love to all be together.

This picture made me laugh.  My kids couldn't pull their eyes away from the TV long enough to smile for a picture.  Looks like Ellie at least attempted a smile even though her eyes are still glued to the tube.  I believe we were watching "Shrek the Halls."  That's right.  I only allow my children to view the finest in quality educational shows.  Last year at Thanksgiving I gave myself the parent of the year award when Ellie told her first grade class that the one thing she was grateful for was McDonalds Happy Meals.  Looks like that gold pleated trophy is mine again!

Here we are the night before Turkey day getting the stuffing ready and watching Gone With The Wind.  Because "after all, tomorrow -- is another day!"   Best movie ever.  They don't make em' like that anymore.

The girls.  

And the guys.  Who thought something on Kenny's ipad was a bit more intriguing than Scarlett O'Hara and breaking bread.

And if you aren't already super impressed with my mad bread breaking skills, I'll have you all know that I also cut the potatoes.  That's right.  And I wore my new anthro apron to boot.  Broke it right in cutting potatoes after Dayna peeled them.

Soon after this picture I took my apron off and decided I'd be in charge of the kids because, well, why push it.  I didn't want to actually spill on my anthro apron.  It is a crucial part of my kitchen decor you know.  ;)

Brother, dad, and sister.  Love these three.  And they love me.  Even if my idea of helping with Thanksgiving dinner is to prance around in a new apron rather than to actually help prepare the meal. 
 I'm lucky to have them.  

Also lucky to have these two.  

My mom and I made the executive decision that since we had six kids ages seven and under and since three of those six kids were one year olds that it would be ok to opt for paper plates instead of the fine china.  Nobody complained a bit.  Especially when it was time to do the dishes.

Yes.  It was a good vacation.  One that will be hard to recover from.  

Although some of us seem to be recovering better than others.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let Gratitude Be Your Attitude

My mom is a quote person.  She loves quotes and always has several of them written on post it notes attached to her fridge or inside her kitchen cabinets.  When my brother and sister and I were little my mom would make us memorize them.  My favorite quote (and the only one I still have memorized!) is "Let Gratitude Be Your Attitude" by Richard Carloy.  I thought it would be a perfect quote to share with you all on this special day.   

Let Gratitude Be Your Attitude

Every day of your life is a gift from God.  
Don't squander it.
Don't waste it by being angry with anyone.
Don't let it slip away by feeling sorry for yourself.
Be grateful for this precious gift of life and spend it by being as happy and as thankful as you possibly can.
Let your mind dwell on the good things which have happened to you.  
Let gratitude be your attitude.  
Think of your assets, and don't let anyone else spoil your day for you. 
Enjoy every day of your life to the fullest. 
Realize that you can add to the joy of each day by making someone else happy.

-Richard A. Carloy

I sincerely hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

(And for those of you who don't live in America and celebrate this holiday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with the ones you love!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving "Pinspiration"

Last week I shared some of my favorite Christmas "pinspiration" so I couldn't let this week go by without sharing some fun ideas for Thanksgiving too!  I feel like Christmas is a holiday that requires a little more planning and organizing ahead of time where with Thanksgiving (at least in my family) we tend to throw things together sorta last minute.  The meal is planned and thought out (thanks to my mom) but I'm always looking for last minute ideas for table decor or fun things to keep the kiddos occupied while the meal is being prepared.  So if you're like me and need a few last minute ideas, here are some of my favorites!

{Let's talk TURKEYS!}

This is so darling for a kids' table.  Cute centerpiece and then they can color while they wait for the food!

I'm going to attempt this.  Isn't he adorable!?

I love this art project.  Doubt it will happen this week but I am saving the idea for next year.  Those feathers would be so easy to make with random scrap paper and my kids would be all over stepping in paint for the foot print/body.

Seems you can make all of your appetizers turkeys with just a little creativity!

Fun for breakfast on the big day - or any day in November for that matter.  And so easy!

My sister in law just made these and they turned out adorable!  

I love this for a November snack/lunch for the kids.  Apples or peppers make great feathers!

Another fun and easy craft for the kiddos.

{Thanksgiving Decor}

The next three ideas are so simple and inexpensive.  Great ideas for last minute decorating!

Candles, clear containers, popcorn kernels, candy corns, nuts.  I can handle that.

Pumpkins are so fun to decorate with.  I know everyone is about ready to put pumpkins away but I love this farmhouse decor and plan to do something like this on my table next year.  When Kole isn't crawling  all over my table on a regular basis.

I thought it would be fun on Thursday to have my kids go in grandma's backyard and gather leaves and then let them hang them with clothes pins like this.  Very similar to my leaf banner we made last year --
I just cut out leaves and had the girls watercolor them and then attached them to a ribbon to hang.  Fun and easy.  Nothing says fall like leaves.  Whether they're real or painted.  :)

Here is another fun leaf display I want to try next year.

And one last fun Fall decor pic.  I love how all of the white makes those orange and red leaves just pop!

{Crafts for the Kiddos}

Just a few more fun ideas to keep the little ones entertained while they are waiting around for Thanksgiving dinner.  Q-tip art is great.  I always loved these kinds of projects when I taught school because they keep the kids busy for a really long time.  :)

This is another project that would keep the kids occupied for a while.  And use up all of those extra buttons you have laying around!

How cute are these Mayflower ships!?  Love the personalized sails.

Not in the mood to get creative with crafts this year?  Here are a few free Thanksgiving printables for the  kids to color.  Doesn't get any easier than that!

Visit Reading with Kids and Living Locurto to print them.

Happy Turkey Day planning everyone!