New Header Love

I had a little fun the other night and made myself a new header following Mrs. Masterful Mama Monsters little tutorial.  I like. You like?  We all like together!

Just as the tutorial says, I made this header in ten minutes using this vintage wallpaper pattern that I turned black and white.  I think I spent more time looking for a paper that I liked then the actual time making it. 

pretty vintage wallpaper...I like it in color and in b&w
Rounded the colors and made the font color like my shelf.   I'm loving gray, white and chartreuse right now.  Oh and gold.  Lots and lots of gold.

I felt it needed a little pizazz so I added the stamp because I thought it looked kind of snowflakey-kindofsortof doilyish. 

I likey, like it.  (Sorry for the loopy talk.  I take after my Dad and when I get tired and/or sugared up, I start talking loopy.)

It's so simple, it will be fun to change up here and there.  Eventually, I would love to learn some real header making skillz, but in the mean time, this suites me just right.  So go on, make yourself a new header for the new year!  And come back and tell us about it too!


Neon Pickle?

I'm pleased as punch to have finally finished the painting in the kitchen!  It's only been three years of procrastinating for only a few hours of work.  Mental note, next time, just get 'er done! Front room accent wall is done too, just a little more painting in the hallway and I'm done!  Pat, pat, pat...pat myself on the back. 

Feeling victorious, I decided to take on the bookcase that I've been wanting to paint since the day I brought it home from the thrift store "last night".  "Last night" as in the way my three year old explains time.  Example:  "That Valentine's party we had last night was fun."  Apparently, I need years to complete simple painting tasks.  'Nuff said. 

Smartly, I used child labor encouraged my childrens' creative side and they primed the bookshelf while I primed the kitchen walls.   And they did a good job!  My little guy there had the whole side done in no time at all.  Maybe I should employ their help more often?

I thought and I thought and I thunk some more and finally, thanks to my friends fun color choice, found a color for the bookcase.  What does one call it?  Chartreuse?  Yellow-green?  Grellow?  At first, I wasn't so sure of it since at night it was kindly referred to as neon-pickle colored. 

oooo! neon pickle!
Stay tuned to find out what I did do with this neon pickle shelf.  Dun, dun, duuuunnnn.


All I Want For Christmas...

Dear Husband,
If it's not too late, I would love a kitchen like this for my Christmas gift. 
With lots of loves,
Your honey
photo from Caitlyn Creer
The darling Caitlin is at it again.  I love all the transformations that they have done in their new home, but the kitchen is the icing on the cake.  I ripped out a page from an old Martha Stewart magazine years and years ago that looks just like this.  White cabinets.  White subway tile.  Marble counters.  So pretty, fresh and clean.  These pictures prove to me that modest little homes can be super stylish and functional. 

picture from Caitlin Creer
Beautiful work!  Find all the details about it here.



Merry Christmas!

I'm so happy to announce that I'm all ready for Christmas!  Presents are wrapped and ready to go.  I even had time to help a friend finish making her gifts.  It was fun to do!  Now, we are enjoying each others company, watching holiday movies and playing in the snow watching it rain.  Looks like we won't be having a white Christmas this year but rather a really wet, muddy and leaves strewn about Christmas.   So festive!

Since posts aren't fun without pictures, here's some photos of some of the Christmas tassels I made this year.   Photos aren't great since I always am hurrying to finish them up before they are due, but still I thought they turned out pretty cute.  (Hah!  These are the only photos I have of the ones I made this year.  If you are reading this and you bought a new tassel this season, will you send me a picture?)

doesn't he look like he's popping out the chimney?

custom made to hang on a festive cross stitch
I hope your holidays are merry and bright!  Merry Christmas!


Holiday Favorites

Since I drastically cut down on my decorating this year, I thought that I would document what made the cut this year.   

Something old:  These little Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers were my Grandmothers.  They were given to her by my brother and I when we were too little to know better.  I even have the box that was given to her. 

Speaking of Grandma, all these elf ornaments were hers.  This year, I decided to showcase them on their own little tree.  I think it would be really fun to add to this collection. 

And an original Elf on the Shelf that was also Grandma Retas'.  (Interesting what I took from her belongings after she passed away since I was only 12.)

Something sparkly:  My three favorite silver trees given to me by my brother-in-law that I'm pretty sure really came from my fabulous sister-in-law.  And the wooden "Merry Christmas" blocks made by me a few years back. 

A large sparkly, jingle bell snowflake hanging from my armoire.

And something new:  This adorable paper wreath designed (which she taught in Portugal no less) by my ever so talented friend Tiffani.  We had a good time staying late after work putting them together.

Of course the kids favorite stuffed Santa.  He's played with constantly and is happily resting now on Daddy's old rocker enjoying the soft light of the tree and smiling at wrapped gifts eagerly wrapped by the children of the home.

All that was decorated in the family room was the mantel.  One of the only Santa decorations I kept made it along with a pretty metal tree that has a tree tassel hanging on it that I made just this year. 

I still really like my banner I made for this spot last year even though I didn't bother to iron it.

And that, my friends, is it.  Much simpler this year which has been so much better!  

Merry Christmas!


Same ol' story

We all know that this time of  year is busy, busy, busy.  Of course, this year is no exception.  With holiday parties, holiday work hours, a birthday for my littlest, dance recital, choir concert, deadlines, my work closing (sniff), working overtime, motherly duties and never ending housework, time just flies by.  Doesn't it know that I need more time this year?

And even though my days are busy, I still wanted to approach my Christmas a bit differently this year.  I'm not in any hurry this year.  Simplicity was desired, if not completely needed.  I cleaned out my Christmas bins and donated a trunk full of decorations that weren't loved like they should be.  I only put up what I loved and didn't put it out until after the 4th of December.  I completely changed my tree without spending any money.  I put out my decor in different places.  I made a point of making sure a Nativity was out. 

My goal is not to be tired of my decorations by Christmas day.  And even though there are few decorations that I know will be put away the second the day is over, I am in love with the simplicity and warmth of my home.

Walking down the stairs to the front room at night, I am greeted by this inviting, softly lit view. 

I love my tree this year.   It's soft and neutral adorned in champagne, brown and a touch of weathered silver.  The tiny glittered birds, my metal silhouette ornaments of my children, the champagne glittered sprigs and weathered silver locket are some of my favorites about my tree.

My children helped decorate the tree and the front room.  I love this little tablescape that my oldest boy put together.  He was so proud of himself and I think it's adorable.  Those nesting Santa dolls get played with everyday.

Our book basket is full of Christmas books, some still waiting to be read.  Our sofa is full of soft pillows that are welcoming.  We are almost ready for Christmas and that is okay by me.  In the meantime, I think that I will enjoy the warmth of our room with my littles all snuggled around reading a Christmas story together.  Of course, it's not perfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Happy Holidays to all from my home to yours.


Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

This would be a dream come true for my little family!  TodaysMama  and GameStop  are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

This year, my wish for my family is that they can feel the joy of giving and feel the real spirit of Christmas.  That magical feeling that I felt when I was little. 

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?

We line up from youngest to oldest before we go down and check out what Santa brought us.  A picture is a must!  It's something that I've done all my growing up Christmas's too.
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

A new kitchen!! 

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

We enjoy listing to holiday music while making salt dough ornaments.  Holiday movies are top on the list too!

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

I remember when my older brother got a Nintendo 64.  It was so cool!

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

On Christmas Eve, the kids each get to open a new pair of pj's.  Then we snuggle in to read the story of the birth of Jesus, hang our stockings and then send the super excited kids off to bed.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?

Hmmm....good question.  I think that a snuggly warm and cozy cabin would be delightful.  With access to snow runners and skiing and good home cookin' food. 
8. Check out GameStop  and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

We would love to have DSi's for the kids, a Wii and the Kinex looks like a lot of fun too!
Crossing my fingers and hoping for good luck because any one of these prizes would make my oldest son so excited, over and beyond the moon excited!


Advent Calendar Ideas

Why is it that I always find myself on December 1st without an advent calendar?  I'll tell you why.  It's because I don't want to think about Christmas before December 1st and even then, it feels a bit early.  Yes, I'm one to go about happily ignoring the Christmas in the stores that have been out since August.  I just don't want to think about it any earlier.  A hefty dose of good ol' procrastination.  Consequences are, no handmade advent, yet again.  Curses to my procrastinating ways! 

There are so many darling advent ideas out there.   Here are a few that stand out to me. 

Pretty layered stamped snowflakes and numbers make this festive paper envelope advent.  I admit, I would love to be the lucky recipient to eat all those yummy looking chocolates packed inside.

How cute is this house

birdie advent simply adorning a pretty branch.

This pocket advent would be simple and quick.  And even cute made out of festive scrapbook paper. 

I regret missing out on the advent calendar sew along that homemade by jill has done. My favorite is the wreath.

I've loved this envelope advent ever since it first came out in 2007.  That's the year that I first discovered blogs. 

I realize now that if I don't make it now, it's not going to get done next year either.  Tis' the season to last minute craft! 

But do not fret that my children aren't enjoying an advent!   This year, I'm happily indulging my children with their own classic chocolate advents.  Proud of myself for buying it ahead of time so they could enjoy it from day one and dare I say that possibly, they'll love it even more then something I made.

Soooo....did you get an advent made this year or are you a procrastinator too??
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