Fun 4th of July ideas!

It’s the 4th of July this weekend!  So excited.  We have fun plans with family and I can’t wait to be together with everyone!  I made some 4th of July Pretzel Hugs a couple of weeks ago to get us in the mood.  Same Pretzel Hugs I’ve made for Christmas and Valentines Day for years.  I just switch out the m&m color.  Now there’s a versatile holiday treat!  :)  **Picture sources: scale is from Nordstroms – I can’t find it there anymore but their other home decor is adorable! Rolling pin is from Anthropologie, cake stand is from World Market – looks like they only have ivory left (kind of want this marble/wood stand too!). [Read more…]

Christmas card displays

I love Christmas cards.  Who doesn’t!?  They make the happiest mail.  Seeing so many pictures of people I love always puts a smile on my face.  So much so that I never take my cards down right after Christmas.  They usually linger until at least February or March.  
I used to tape all of our cards on and around the pantry door in our kitchen.
 Then last year I painted an old frame aqua and used it to display some of my cards.  

I started taping the rest of my cards to the wall next to the frame, but I was having a hard time getting them to stick on the wall so I never got all of them hung and I had to take them down early.  I was so bummed!

So this year I was prepared!  I bought painters tape (a suggestion from a few sweet readers!) and went to work.  I hung some of my cards on the wall and woke up the next morning to this —

 SO disappointing!  Kole and I just shook our heads.
I guess painters tape wasn’t the solution.  At least not for my crazy wall.  
I didn’t have many options left.  
So I taped my cards to the front door.  And good old scotch tape did the trick!  Not one card has fallen.  When I ran out of room on the door I started taping them to the wall next to the door and those are staying put too.  I’m not sure why.  But I’m not going to question it.  Kole and I just smile and call it a Christmas miracle.   

The last two years I have hung our past Christmas cards on our stair banister, but this year when I started hanging the garland, my two year old sidekick had other plans.  Pulling everything down was just too much fun for my little buddy so once again I was forced to mix things up.  Flexibility has become my middle name ever since a certain someone arrived on the scene.  :)  
 So our past holiday cards found a new home in my beloved aqua frame.  

And they were reindeer approved.   

 I’m thinking my door of cards will stay put for a while.  
I’m kind of loving it!  
At least until February or March.  
Or maybe as long as the tape holds.  
Or until a certain two year old sidekick (and his creative partners in crime) decide on something different.
What would I do without their help?

Christmas decor 2012

Popping in to say hello and share some pics of our Christmas decor this year.  I starting working on this post on Christmas Eve while Kenny, Kole and my dad were all taking Christmas Eve naps.  :)  But then the girls and I turned on It’s a Wonderful Life and the house smelled so good (combination of my candle and my mom’s cooking) that I was forced to close my computer and savor the day.  And now I’m posting Christmas decor pics after Christmas.  But I can live with that.  Hope you can too.  :)
I didn’t have a lot of time to be creative this month so my Christmas decor is very similar to last years.   
Stockings were hung on my hutch again.  Safely out of my little buddy’s reach.  :)

  I just tossed up white pitchers and some greenery – things I had on hand.  
I also added some of my glass bottles and jugs.   

The only new purchase was this fun little reindeer I found for a steal at Home Goods.  
I think he is simply charming and the two of us have become fast friends.  

Love seeing my kiddos’ stockings all lined up.  
The girls left the sweetest little notes in each of them for Santa and Mrs. Claus.  :)
Last year I decided to try out a more winter-y look with my mantel and stuck with a silver and aqua theme.  But I didn’t love the greenery with the blue and I felt like it was missing something.  RED.  
So this year I switched things around a bit and added a red wreath.  I found this wreath at Michaels for 4 bucks!  It adds the perfect pop of red I was looking for.  I love inexpensive wreaths like this because then I don’t feel guilty buying a new one each year.  It’s so fun to mix things up!  

After I hung my wreath I asked Kenny if it would look better with a red ribbon holding it up instead of a silver ribbon and without even looking up from his laptop he answered “that’s out of my skill set.”  
My babe.  What would I do without him.  

I tossed a few red, aqua and silver ornaments in my apothecary jars.

And added a little bling to reindeer #2 I picked up at Home Goods.  Because I was having too much fun with the reindeer on my hutch to stop there.

I think he looks regal.
He is so happy in his new home.

I had a few leftover ornaments so I tossed them in mason jars and added them to a few random spots around the house.  
Same winter-y frames from last year.  (Scrapbook paper project here.)
And I hung the same silver/aqua ornaments from our dining room light fixture.  

 (decor from 2010)
You’ll notice I had things on the floor and on low counters and tables.  
A sure sign of the “pre-Kole era” as we like to call it.  :)
This year tables stayed wiped clean.  I also swapped out my Merry Christmas quote for my red bird.  
Because change is a good thing.  
And then I called it a day and my 2012 Christmas decor was complete!  
Oh!  Except for my pantry door holding all of our past pics on Santa’s lap.  So fun to see how much my babies have grown each year.  This year there was hardly room on Santa’s lap!  
But I will keep taking them to sit on Santa’s lap.  
As long as I possibly can.  

Thanksgiving re-cap

Love my mom’s house and yard this time of year.  
Such a beautiful neighborhood.  

The kids were lots of help with the leaves.  Such a novelty for them.  Palm trees tend to stay in tact in our neck of the woods.  :)

My mom breaking the bread for stuffing in her pj’s on the phone.  Comfy multi tasking at its best.  

This table was taken over by the kids for coloring and crafts.  

Family bonding time.  We always end up chatting in the backyard while the kids play.  

They were outside all day long.  
Except for when they were inside on the computer.  Kole’s latest obsession – ABC Train on YouTube.  If you have a toddler, google it and enjoy four minutes of peace.  
You’re welcome.  :)
Enjoying time with Kenny’s fam.  This pic was taken while everyone was talking to his little brother on the computer who is serving in the military out of the country right now.  He was missed.   

Time for an Oreo turkey craft!  

These little suckers are harder to make than you’d think!      
Not Pinterest worthy, but El’s turned out better than mine did.  
Fun to make and even more fun to eat.   

My girls with Kenny’s sweet grandma.  Love this picture. 
My nephew in the leaves.  Also love this picture.  
And I especially love these pictures:

A great game of chase never gets old.  At least for a certain two year old.  I have to admit – it was nice sitting this round out for a change.  :)

A Thanksgiving Performance

Hello friends!  Slow week on the blog.  Like so many of you we are preparing for Thanksgiving and spending time with family.  Plus I got a nasty cold last weekend that has forced me to actually go to bed at night instead of staying up until 2 a.m. blogging.  My late night blogging habit and lack of sleep in general is probably the reason for my nasty cold.  Not that it’s going to stop me from blogging.  Merely a minor set back.  :)  But I need to get feeling better by Thursday!  I can’t be sick on Thanksgiving!  This time of year is the best.  My mom and I are laying the bread out to dry tonight so that we can make my grandma’s stuffing.  My mom always assigns me simple tasks to help with Thanksgiving dinner – break the bread, peel the potatoes, set the table, come up with a craft to keep the kids entertained…  she clearly knows my limits in the kitchen.  :)  My family was all joking tonight that next year we are having Thanksgiving at the new house and breaking in my new kitchen.  I said “NOOOOO!  I would love to have you all come and we can ohh and ahh at the new appliances, but we can’t actually use them!  We will call Claim Jumper and I’ll treat everyone to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner – Erin style.”   ;)

 Last week my toothless pilgrim put on quite a show for our school’s annual 1st grade Thanksgiving performance.  Ad was one of the few kids who had a speaking part and we practiced religiously all week to get it right.  She ended the show with “We hope you all have a groovy Thanksgiving!”  She was brilliant and will no doubt be making her debut in Hollywood or on Broadway.  It’s really just a matter of time.

I went to her classroom after and the two of us enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast together.  

Then we watched a slide show where the kids had all drawn a picture on the computer and shared what they are thankful for this year.  Addie’s was so precious.  Clearly she has mad artistic skills as well because our family has never looked better.  I especially love Kenny’s pink pants.  Super hot.

Watching the slide show reminded me of just two years ago when I was at Ellie’s 1st grade performance.  It also reminded me of what she was thankful for:

I accepted my “mother of the year” award shortly after her picture debut.    
Pilgrim #1 with mom two years ago.  
I can’t believe how fast my kids are growing up on me.  Ellie’s 1st grade performance feels like last week.  
 These two were so little two years ago.  Just look at all of those chubby cheeks!

Addison and her darling teacher who we both love.  She and I have become instant friends and Addison adores her.  We are so grateful for both of my girls’ teachers this year.  Good teachers make a world of difference.

Addison was anxious to change out of her pilgrim hat and put her headband back on.  She was supposed to wear all black to the performance but really wanted to wear her silver sparkle skirt.  I tried to convince her to wear black pants and to lose the big flower headband but she wasn’t having it.
I said –

“Ad – I don’t think pilgrims wore stuff like that and you are supposed to look like a pilgrim.”  

“Mom – the only reason they didn’t is because they didn’t have a choice.  If pilgrims had a silver sparkle skirt they would have chosen it over black pants too.”  

How am I supposed to argue with that logic?  So I didn’t.  I replied “sliver sparkle skirt it is!”  And she was one stylish little pilgrim.

I took countless pictures of her so that I wouldn’t forget our fun morning together.

 Until I started getting poses like this.  
That’s when I know picture taking time is over.  :)

And now we are ready for the big day!  Our house is decked in Thanksgiving decor (along with the beginnings of my Christmas decor) which makes it official.  Time to bring on the turkey!  We have so much to be grateful for this year.

If you are traveling, be safe.  I’ll be popping in tomorrow with a fun giveaway, but until then happy Thanksgiving week everyone!