Friday, November 30, 2012

Twas the Night before Advent

Twas the night before Advent, time to fill the little house
I was cuddled on the couch, watching football with my spouse.

The kiddos were nestled, all snug in their beds
I wish I was with them, all resting our heads.

When what in my wondering head should appear
An idea that uses leftover candy we've had for a year.

I ran to the pantry and tore open the door 
Pulled out the candy and dumped it on the floor.

Mixed together M&M's and Skittles, no one will know
Placed in two cello bags and tie with a gold bow.

In door number one held the littles' delight
Few that was close, I bought myself time till tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deer Hunting

I try hard to reuse the same Christmas decorations year after year. This year though, I had to get my hands on a couple of deer figurines that are gracing homes all over the blogosphere. Thinking this would be relatively inexpensive was my first mistake. And then thinking it would be a simple task was my second.

A google search turned up a few results with pretty steep price tags (well maybe not steep, just more than I was willing to pay). So a trip to Home Good & Hobby Lobby were the next in line. Taking three kiddos to the store at 3 pm should be a breeze. But when said stores are JAM packed with Christmas shoppers (apparently all shopping for Christmas decor) things get a little hairy.

At Home Goods we struck out, but at Hobby Lobby we hit glitter & gold! I proudly brought home 4 deer to try out & have found a home for each one of them. To boot, they were each 50% off and cost a whopping $42 total. That is a little over 1/2 the price of 1 online deer. I am one happy huntress (on a side note, this is as close to "deer hunting" as you'll ever see me get).

This buck found a home on the living room coffee table

This is one of a pair of Deer on the family room mantle

This glittery man greets visitors in the foyer

A few more projects to finish & then my Christmas decorating will be complete & ready to share.
How is your decorating coming along? Any Christmas decor bandwagon you had to jump on?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

9 months old

Nine months ago I held my precious Bear for the first time and that moment seems like both a minute and a lifetime ago. Hubby & I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into with 3 kids. It has been at times exhausting, exhilarating, and exacerbating. But I would not change it at all. Bear is the sweetest baby, patient and loving...smiling and good natured. He has completed our family in a way that has far exceeded my dreams. Thank you God & thank you Bear for blessing me with the chance to be your Mommy.

XO Always

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Protein Cappuccino

I love a cup of tea and regularly drink at least a pot a day. But lately the caffeine in tea hasn't been making the cut and this guy has been working overtime.

Coffee is ok but cappuccino makes me giddy. Aiming to fulfill my need for caffeine, protein & calcium in the morning I whipped together this little number. To my surprise it is actually quite palatable.  And for all you wondering one cappuccino has 20g of protein & 30% of your daily calcium requirement....not too shabby!

All you'll need is a cup of coffee, protein powder, milk, and a blender.

Start with a cup of coffee (I brew mine directly into the magic bullet container)

Add vanilla protein powder (1 scoop)

Blend for 45 seconds 

Pour into cup

Add milk to your taste  (sometimes I warm it before adding)

Garnish as you wish

The longer you let the drink set up the thicker the foam will be.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

This morning was certainly a Monday! Here are a few photos of our Turkey Day festivities.

The photo Mom wants.

The photo the kids want

Add caption

Belle with Theo N showing off her Turkey Trot ribbon

Turkey veggie platter.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Evergreen Urn/ Planter Tutorial

Earlier this week, I posted my Christmas urns. 
Here is a quick tutorial for those of you who might want to give it a whirl. I am not a florist/ trained designer. This is just a documentation of my trial & error building arrangements (ok done with my disclaimer).

Phase One: Building your Base
I purchased a 30# box of mixed evergreens and was able to do all the arrangements pictured.
First you need to decide on the shape of your arrangement. I wanted something with height and triangular.

 I placed the tall white pines first and then the bunchy juniper to fill in the gaps. Fir branches were laid across the bottom.

Once my back pieces were in place (pine & juniper in my case) I removed the fir branches and added sand followed by water to help hold the branches.

This is what I ended up with at the end of phase one.

For the shorter arrangements I filled a smaller pot with soil. 
Placed it inside the decorative urn. 

Then I filled in the smaller pot with a 
variety of greens. I also gave it the sand and water treatment.

Here is a shot of the group after phase one:

Phase Two: Making It Pretty
Now the fun starts, add and edit till the arrangement gives you the look you're after.
***For a frame of reference, the four arrangements featured took a whole package of curly willow, and 8 berry stems.
You will want to include and item or two of each of the following: 

  • textural 
  • vertical 
  • pop of color 
  • reflective (shine or glitter)

The curly willow is both vertical and textural while the ornament provides a pop of color and shimmer.

The berries and ornaments add visual interest from afar. Colored curly willow would be more visible from
the street but since I am hoping to use these arrangements all winter, I felt silver, gold & white
would be too Christmasy after December.
A few other helpful tips:

  • You may need to cut the branches you have to achieve the look you are after.
  • More structured arrangements can benefit from chicken wire/ florist tape grid to hold branches in place.
  • If you feel stuck, walk away from the arrangement for awhile and come back with a fresh set of eyes. Google images of urns/planters for inspiration.
  • Enjoy decorating, don't view it as a chore. It is meant to bring joy to both you and others. 
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Girl's Best Friends

The B Family before Bear's baptism this summer.
I think about how blessed I am all the time. I have a husband who adores me, laughs with me, tolerates me and most of all helps me be a better person. I have three beautiful children who think the world of me, love me unconditionally and truly believe I can do no wrong. I have supportive, amazing parents who mean more to me with every passing day. And a charismatic, passionate brother who is starting a new amazing chapter in his life and I couldn't be happier for him .

Today though I want to write about three special women in my life. On nearly a daily basis I think how thankful I am to have besties H & B. We met each other 6 short years ago in a Mommy & Me music class and as the years pass we've grown closer and closer. We've seen each other through blessings like new babies, new homes, and new jobs. And though times such as the loss of beloved family members, miscarriages, and the trials and tribulations of marriage & motherhood. I honestly can say these two women are rocks I depend on time and time again. And the most amazing part about our friendship is that it there is no jealousy or competition amongst us. We delight in one another's successes and don't let petty things cloud our relationship. Around here, that is a rare find...a true diamond and one I hope to have for a lifetime. Thank you B & H for being such genuine friends.

Bestie B, Me, Bestie H

Now I simply couldn't talk about my best friends without mentioning my bff since 6th grade, J. She is a single gal in the big city, while I'm the suburban, stay-at-home mom...our lives couldn't be more different, but our bond is unbreakable. She is my most trusted confidant, loyal beyond belief and the most courageous woman I know.  J is an inspirational reminder to make your life what it is you want it to be no matter the cards life deals you. And perhaps most important of all, she has a heart that is made of 100% pure gold...I kid you not! When I saw this quote it summarized our friendship to a tee:
Source: pinterest
And here she is with Bear at his baptism:

So this Thanksgiving I am beyond grateful for the life long gift of true friendship. A true diamond, and after all that's a girl's best friend!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best Laid Plans

My plan was to only post once today but look what happened as we unloaded our Thanksgiving goodies at YiaYia & Bopi's house:
Against my better judgement, I let Peanut (attempt to) carry the plate in from the car.

Yep, those are the acorn doughnuts from this afternoon's post.

All that work into the garbage. Poor Belle cried.

And here is poor Tom after the 10 minute car ride in Belle's care.
His once flawless complexion is battered and bruised, an eye is missing and beak half broke.

Oh well, there is always next year:) I'm off to ebay now to hunt down a replacement for the brown toile plate that housed the acorn doughnuts. It was part of a set that was handed down to me from my grandma...saddest of all to see that broken. It could have been worse though. Anyone else had a day like this?

Thanksgiving Prep.

Operation Turkey Day Prep has commenced. Here are a few photos from our goings & doings this morning. We are off to YiaYia & Bopi's house for cooking, baking & merry making this afternoon. Happy Pre-Turkey Day:)
Yes crazy me went to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving with 3 kids.
 I then had to return to said grocery store upon discovering I had left my wallet at home...way to go me.

Back home we made doughnut hole acorns & I quickly (5 minutes tops) whipped up Tom the Turkey from Bear's old Halloween pumpkin and half a pear.

My aren't you observant. Yes, that is Christmas decor in the background. 

Tom is such a handsome fellow. Grape kabob feathers, 1/2 pear head,
broccoli eyes, cheddar beak & carrot wattle.

Acorn doughnut holes: glazed cake doughnut,
melted chocolate, chocolate sprinkles & pretzel stick.

Loved having Belle & Peanut home from school today.

I'll be back tomorrow with a post about something I am whole-heartedly thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I added fresh berries, ribbon and a large bow to the faux
pine wreath that greets guests at the front door.
I know Thanksgiving hasn't come yet, but the weather has been unseasonably warm (coupled with the fact that the cleaning lady was here  & it is easier to have the kiddos out of her way when she cleans) so I headed out front to tackle our Christmas floral decor. I wanted the arrangements to last till March/ April so the focus was on an assortment of evergreens, red berries and natural curly willow. The shatter proof ornaments can easily be removed in January & swapped out for snowflakes & then large red hearts.
Four urns flank the front door.
And some close up shots to see all the textural loveliness.
Small, front urn: fresh pine, juniper, firs, curly willow & a glittery ornament

These berries make the peppermint ornament pop.

The fountain and mailbox also received the seasonal treatment.
I removed the 2nd tier of the fountain before adding the greenery.
The bow is adhered with a command hook.

Large shatter proof ornaments are wired to the greenery underneath.

The berry swag is faux but the greenery underneath is real
tricking the eye into believing the berries are too.

We picked these up at Costco a year or two ago. I like how they fill in
the empty landscape perennials occupy in the summer.
Hubby has the lights all set, so I'll be back after Friday with some night pictures. Now I need to get cracking on my inside decor, not a thing is up and the natives are getting restless. I'll end with a picture of one of the natives. Happy decorating everyone!