Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Christmas Mantel!

Been going hard at decorating for Christmas since FRIDAY... hey, it's hard with a 2 & 4 yr old (and yes, I would like some cheese with that 'whine'!). Plus last year it was the first year in our house and since we road tripped for 12 days during the holidays, I didn't give it as much thought. This year, it'll just be us here. I want to be able to revel in it, and hopefully make it a little magical for the boys.

As always lately, the goal was just to use what we had. Which is fun, but sometimes frustrating! Our "theme" is just your traditional ole family christmas ;) We saved our money to splurge on garland for the entire staircase and upper balcony/hall. Hope to be showing that soon! I'm almost done, I need some ribbon to finish up a few things.

Again, remember our fireplace is very odd... there's a window above it. Thinking we need to trim it all out so it looks like part of it, like an overmantle. (Item #2167 goes on the to-do list!) You can also see it here in it's fall get-up :)



As with all my holiday decor, gotta have a kids bucket filled with holiday books and toys! Need to find some fun tiny things for the advent box, thinking some days will just be something fun/thoughtful to do written on a piece of paper. Now, apparently the boys didn't get the memo that that berry tree is NOT a horn! Maybe it didn't have a cover sheet! ;)

Some other shots...

I love these snowflake stocking holders, got them 50% off at Hobster Lobster a couple years ago. Nothing like family planning based on your stocking holders purchase! We knew we'd be having #2... but Greg just HAD to throw a fifth one in the cart... so I guess someday they'll be a #3??
Man, we're some "interesting" people I tell ya!

Just stuck in a little bit of this & that throughout the garland! The pinecones are from our walks around the neighborhood, just like in our Trash to Treasure Front Door Wreath!


Oooo! A sneak peek of the tree!


A pinecone in a coffee cup? I really have no clue, but it fit and I liked how it looked!

Hmmm, just noticed that you can't see the sconces on the wall flanking the fireplace very well in any pic. The ones I took where you can, the pic was too blurry. Anyway, those are flameless candles in there. CVS had a 3pk on sale for $9.99 and I had $5.50 in extra bucks... so I got them for under $5. I wasn't sure what I'd think of them. I like them though, the timer function is great. You just flip them to timer when you want them to come on, they're on for 6 hrs and then come back on the same time the next day!

See you soon for some more Christmas Decor, and maybe someday I'll finally sew those curtains I've been talking about! It would be a Christmas Miracle! hee hee!

P.S. Will of course be linking up to The Lettered Cottage's Holiday Home Christmas Mantel party, go check it out! Take a gander at some creative stuff!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trash to Treasure, our front door Christmas wreath!

Upon getting out all of our Christmas decor I found our tired beat up wreath. We used it when we lived up north, the winters were brutal on it (and me! hence why I love living in Texas now!) and it shows. Greg took one look at it and said... "Do you want me to throw this away?". "WHAT!?" I exclaimed, "No! I'm going to bring it back to life!". He set it down and gave me that 'sure honey, whatever you say' look and went on his way (nice guy, but so not subtle, hee-hee).

We went to the ole Hobster Lobster today and I know there are some goregous wreaths out there, but I will be revamping this one for many reasons!

So I started out with this (wow, you can barely see it due to my countertop, sorry!)...


Via hot glue (the glue gun is seriously old, back from when I was craftin with my wonderful Aunt J as a kid! Just a tiny Black & Decker, still working great!), added some pinecones (that I spray painted a clear gloss on first) from one of our family walks (the boys had so much fun doing this!)...


Drank a glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio while creating....


Added in some other odds and ends collected over Christmases past (the little balls are silver, not white, again sorry - not sure if I'll ever be a good photographer). Probably good I stopped, I was eventually going to start gluing anything I could find on it...


Then put it on the front door (we haven't even started decorating outside yet, but our unplugged lighted topiaries are out waiting for other christmas friends!). Twelve lords a leapin! It looks so much better...



The reason I needed a glass of wine while doing this? I tried to get a Christmas card pic of the boys earlier... let's just cut to the chase and say it didn't work out (they kill me ;)). I was aiming for something like "sweet wishes or 'visions of sugarplums', 'sampling the sweets of the holidays', or something (something being the key word here)....





Not bad, not bad at all (forgetting the christmas card photo shoot ever happened)! Yay for a little revamp and a glass of wine!

P.S. Going to be linking this little holiday before & after up to share! Click below and check out some of the other neat things going on!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Even the blog gets decorated!

Thought I'd change up the blog for the holidays as well! Don't be surprised if you find it in some "off" state while I play around and figure out how I want it ;)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cloche you say?

I mentioned a couple months ago that I was inspired by all these cloches I'm seeing (Yah, I know, I'm a little behind). What's a cloche you say? Good question. Simple answer: pretty much like a cake/glass dome on a pedestal of some sort. You can put seasonal decor under it for a little glamour and pizzazz. The long technical answer? I'm not sure, have fun googling ;)

When I went thrift store shopping a couple weekends ago I found the pieces to make my own! I've see quite a few posts about this... like here and here. I did make a mini one (Ipod next to it for size comparison) for fall with a random candle base thing and a butter dome. Seriously tiniest cloche ever!


Both pieces I started out with are shown in this picture here:


Once I got all the tape off the glass dome I noticed that it doesn't fit the base! Ugh :(  Jury is still out on whether it's because the wooden base is as warped as Amazon.com selling a pedofiles how-to guide (yes it really happened, I heard it was finally taken off, but still!!!) or if the dome never actually went with it in the first place. It looked good when it was all taped up though!

So I filled the groove with wood filler, hoping that if it was more flat with no grooves to catch the glass dome, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. That took awhile. I would use caulk if I could call a mulligan on it though. It was too much/deep of a groove for the ole wood filler.

Then finally spray painted the first coat black. Put the pedestal (pretty sure it's an old hurricane/candlestick base) and the base together with gorilla glue. Then applied the last coats of paint. Being the frazzled mother, million-things-on-my-mind DIYer that I am... I left it outside not once but twice and it got rained on. So that probably affected the results a bit. However, for what it is, I rather like it, am pleased with the results and will use it. You can still notice it's warp (seriously, how did I NOT see that at the store?) but if you postion it just right you'd never notice it on a galloping horse!

I might do a clear gloss coat, or perhaps a coat of black semi-gloss. Haven't decided, going to wait a bit, live with it for a bit, and see what it starts to tell me. Because inaminate objects DO talk to you too, right??? ;)

Here it is doing some modeling ...

As just a pedestal (for something, anything!)


With the glass dome (oh look a pumpkin snuck in there before getting packed away tonight)


With the white plate I talked about last week



Then I remembered this beautiful pedestal piece from Southern Living at Home that I oogled over last spring. Kinda sorta reminds me of it (if I tightly squint my eyes).


Or here it is with both for an interesting combo!


Also occured to me that if all else fails I can turn the glass dome upside down, remove the white tart dish, for a spin-off trifle goodness. Like so...

glass fruit pedestal trifle bowl

I'd show you more ideas with some decor and whatnot, but gotta tell ya... I started this post earlier this week and it's taken me forever to get this far. Just want to get it posted and see what you think. Not to mention, had a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast with friends and am totally crashing due to carb/starch overload. Sure was tasty though :) Now off to bed, dragging out the Christmas stuff tomorrow!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Linking up to some Linky Parties... check them out and see some of the cool stuff people are doing!

Chic on A Shoestring Decorating's Flaunt it Friday

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite Things

I've been seeing some "My Favorite Things" posts and thought perhaps I should do my own. So I decided not to read any others, as to not cloud what first comes to mind for me. I don't know... are they talking cool products? Being all smart and listing books? Being touchy feely and showing family members and pets? I don't know... after I finish my post I'll go see ;) I'm leaning more towards the non-touchy feely side right now... cause of course I love thing1, thing2, and their daddy! But I'm feeling a little me-me-me today.

Without further due... here are some of my favorite things off the top of my head.


Totally YUM-tastic. Seriously. Try them!



And there's more books than just these. LOVE. You totally escape when you pick up one of these books.

Paul Mitchell - Tea Tree - New Formula - Special Shampoo 10.14 fl oz (300 ml)

My hair & scalps favorite thing with all this humidity!

METHOD PRODUCTS INC.                               All Surface Cleaner, Pink Grapefruit, 28 oz., Bottle - MTH00010

Best.cleaner.ever. It's also green and non-toxic, and has a great scent!

Lipton Green Tea, Mixed Berry, Tea Bags, 20-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)

I don't drink coffee. This is what starts my day!

sudoku Sudoku Dungeons!

An addiction can be a favorite thing, right? I love that it's an app on my phone, saves paper! Speaking of which....


Yep. Love at first sight. I know, I know, I didn't see it coming either.

Old Navy Womens Lightweight Ruffle Scarves
Right now I'm totally crushing on my scarves. I wish this was one of them.



Still loving when this beautiful bird flitters into my life!


I suck at cakes, I really do. The bundt pan also for me to make pretty and EASY cakes now!












'Nuf said. Just make sure it's Santa Margherita pinot grigio.

Some of my other favorite things are things like... sleep (oh glorious sleep! Wish I got more!), a notebook (I'm lost without mine), shrimp & fish tacos, a good margarita, dinner with friends, a walk with the hubs, cuddle time with the whackadoodles, sunshine, Dexter, crafting, spray painting, being remembered, window shopping, my blog (and those who read), etc... etc... how blessed am I to have such a long list of favorites!

Linking up to 320 Sycamore's Favorite Things party... go check some other fabulous favorite things!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do you have one of these? Perhaps you should!

I simply cannot remember the site I was browsing one day when it said the same thing. "If you don't have one of these, you really should get one. It's a very versatile piece!"


I forgot to include this little versatile lovely in my picture from my thrifting last weekend, it was in the dishwasher! It was $1.99, when I got home I saw the price was written on it in RED permenant marker... I thought it was a wax pencil. Oh no! Is it ruined already!? But wait, they wouldn't really mark up stuff that would ruin every they sell. So I got out the good ole Goo Gone, it worked! Woo-hoo!

I happily placed this in my serving dish cabinet when it was nice and sparkly clean. I started thinking then, it really is a versatile piece. Let's see how...

My Grandma uses hers to hold her fruit.


Cookies would be good too!

How about a grouping of candles?

Or what about OUT of the kitchen? Like in the bathroom to hold your lovelies? 



Some other non-pictured ideas... crackers & cheese, a charger for under a short full potted plant for a centerpiece, or if I got on the ball and started making my own bread it would be beautiful all pre cut and sitting in here waiting to be eaten!

Last but NOT least... these two that have nothing to do with that piece (except maybe they'll break it in their future) crack me up like no other! :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

200th post!! Scarves & thrift store finds!

My blog is really an eclectic assortment of topics! That's just me, I just bounce around and depending upon the amount of motivation (or energy) I often switch gears.

The other day I was reading about this design blogger and her outfits. Scarves included and some neat ways to tie them! I've acquired 3 scarves now, and find more and more catching my eye!

When I was up north last month I got use out of them, yay fun! And it's starting to be in the 50's here now so I can bust them back out. So I tried one of the ways she showed, it worked AND I liked it very much! It was comfy and laid well. What do you think??

(oh! With the first scarf she tied and pinned with a flower pin, I was totally thinking of my girl Ellie's creations from Rose is a Rose Designs!)



I wore this out to breakfast with some gal pals yesterday. Afterwards, I went thrift store shopping. The last few months I've been immersed in design blogs, especially those about working with what you have and decorating on a budget. Since then I've started my own little projects and have loved the results. For my home and for myself. Being a SAHM isn't a real productive job... I mean of course I DO a lot all day long and my kids are growing like unruly weeds. However, nothing I do stays "done"... meals are baked, cooked, eaten and leave a huge mess, dishes get dirty again, so does laundry, as does the boys, not to mention the house. Anyway, long story short... it's been a nice creative and inexpensive outlet for me.

I went to a GoodWill and a local ministry thrift store. I totally did NOT luck out on any furniture finds (looking for a few things for upcoming projects) but I did score some other little things... all in all I spent $20 total. Take a gander, but be sure to put on your "see the potential" glasses for some of them. If there are some items you're wondering... what the heck? Just wait and see, just remember I'm slow! :) The frog picture for the boys bathroom got cleaned off and hung asap! As much as I want to keep scouring thrift stores, I already have a backlog of projects... so I should just finish the ones I start first (my Achilles heel I tell ya!).


Okay, my friends, humor me... in honor of my 200th post please leave me a comment (if you don't have a google account just post under anonymous and sign your name)! Please? Even if it's just to say hi! Or if you want, here's a cute pic of the boys playing yesterday,  if you just want to comment on them (since half this blog is all about them anyways!). The pic is blurry but I love it... Evan was covered from head to toe in stickers that Jake was putting all over him. He wore them until bathtime!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Eek! In over my head!

So when I last checked in I was all in a dither and running of a high of being home. That's when I posted my to-do list... I was so gun-ho.

As you guessed, I totally crashed! Not just me either, the boys did as well. Their routine was all shades of messed up and their sleep has actually been worse since we got home. No napping, waking early... so we're just all a mess and it's taking longer than expected to get back to normal  (not that we're THAT normal to begin with, lol!).

I'm overwhelming myself with thinking of ALL those things on my list! So, time to break it all up into teeny tiny pieces. Hopefully in doing they'll be easier to tackle and so my motivation will gain some momentum! Have any tips for tackling a HUGE to do list with 2 rough and rowdy boys and no energy? ;)

Here's some another snippet from our trip! We had a family Halloween party at my Grandma's... Evan was a black cat, Jake a puppy, so I was a vet! Neither wanted ANYTHING to do with a taking a picture, as you can clearly tell ;)


Here's a group picture! Everyone really got into the spirit, my Grandma was a vampire (behind me) along with my aunt & cousin. My Great Aunt and her husband dressed as each other! That super tall death/grim reaper in a top hot is my brother.


Now I should run, still have suitcases to unpack, a house to clean, etc............. Hope to have a fabulous project to show soon, but gotta go do the other not so fun stuff first.

A Pox on Priorities!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things to do! Projects and more!

I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment. Woo Boy! Thought perhaps if I put my to-do list out there, it'll help keep me in line and accountable.

THIS WEEK: Unpack, laundry, put stuff away (we came home with christmas presents from others for us, so gotta find a good place for them), CLEAN THE WHOLE HOUSE (oh my! is all I have to say about that), put away halloween stuff (leaving the fall stuff still), pot mums in my window box, and grocery shop. Not to mention a couple playdates, and a Moms night out dinner and a breakfast! Oh and I need to email the neighbor ladies and see if they're all interested in doing a Christmas "Parade of Homes" on our curve. Thought that'd be fun to do, spend about a 1/2 hr at each persons house, where they serve a drink (hot chocolate, cider, eggnog), appetizers, finger food, cookies, dessert, candies or whatever floats their boat! I have a feeling if I suggest it, I better be prepared to organize it!

BEFORE THANKSGIVING:
-Make curtains (already have the fabric, thanks Kate!) for the kitchen and the laundry room.
- Paint my china cabinet black (it did not get done while we were gone - trying not to dwell on it)
- Look for a dresser to paint and put in the coat closet,
- Organize the junk drawers for once and for all (yes, we have more than one, we're so proud)
- Start christmas shopping (I'm really overwhelmed this year!), get plans all set for the holidays (man, it's all coming at me in full speed!), and of course gotta do some Thanksgiving Feast shopping as well ;)
- Also need to have our family picture taken for our christmas cards.
- Not to mention, I want to do some Goodwill & Thift store hunting for some other home decor to makeover. I daresay, I missed spraying something this last month!
- OH! And I want to make a cute little "Thankful" pennat banner I've been seeing out in the blogosphere... also saw some at the Covered Bridge Festival up in Indiana as well!

I see lots of projects posts in my future! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
-Obviously, decorating and putting up the trees! Gotta time all this to link up to some fun linky parties like I did for the fall decor and the white cabbage!
-Clean up and make nice the guest bedroom, my yardsale ruined that room - it was my "prep" and "stash" room for a couple months! Greg's sis is coming to visit after Christmas and I'm pretty sure she's not going to want to sleep with a bunch of rubbermaids and crap!
- Finish shopping for & ship all presents up north!
- Hoping to get the laundry room finally made over (yah it didn't get painted while I was gone either - really, don't ask! grrrr!) along with the coat closet for once and for all.
-And if that's not too much to bite off, I'd like to get the Master Bedroom Closet good to go. It would be nice to have that space functional and nice to start the New Year off with a bang.

Somewhere in the middle of all these lists I need to start making exercising a scheduled part of my life. I've been lucky enough to be able to not blow up due to being so busy with the boys and too cheap to buy too much junk. But, I really need to make it a part of my life NOW. I've never really enjoyed exercise, but lets face it, I'm not getting any younger... and it's going to HAVE to be done! Plus, I gained 5 lbs eating all my grandma's cooking in it's massive helpings followed by yummy desserts and sweets! Oy vey! What was a girl to do? I simply had to eat it all!

So anyway, can I do it!?!?! Guess we'll see! ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

WE ARE HOME!

Can you hear angels?? I sure can! It's glorious! We went on a 32 day cross country road trip, visited family, celebrated some birthdays, received some loot, had a halloween party, scanned old family pics, and pretty much ate the rest of the time!

Gimme a day and I hope to be back to some blog worthy material :)

I just need to shout from the internet rooftop.... WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Starting our trip back home!

Sorry for the break in blogging. It was just too much to keep up on with everything and traveling. We've put on 2,000 miles thus far!

I see I've lost some followers. Kinda makes me sad and a makes me wonder if I should just stop blogging. It's hard to me to think that some must find me boring or just not their cup of tea.

But I can't wait to get home and get back to normal. Including blogging! Among a ton of other things. It's been a good trip overall, but a month from home is a really long time. Really long.

I have a huge itch for some home decor/organization projects AND not to mention decorating for Christmas is just a few weeks away! Woo-hoo!

We leave my hometown tomorrow and head to St. Louis for Greg's Gma's 90th birthday. Then Sunday it's Texas or BUST!

Would love to show some pics, but I've been using my phone as my hotspot to hook up to the internet and do not have much usuage left on my data plans. Downloading pics really eats it up! The boys are still cute & ornery and they've both grown at least an inch... if not more for Evan!

See ya soon!!