(Nearly) 30 Days of Blogging

I did it!!  It's the last day of my little self imposed thanksfest.  I'm glad that I did it because I need to remember to be thankful for all that I have.  Sometimes, I find myself so frustrated over the simplest and I know that it's a tiny bit overly ridiculous when I forget about my many blessings.

Curious to remember all that I thought was important to blog about, I thought that I would recap what I'm thankful for.  
I've been thankful for...

  • twice for music 
  • two uplifting sayings 
  • eight crafting/inspirations 
  • remembering my blessings twice 
  • friends three times
  • easy dinners 
  • warm car
  • yoga
  • bedtime
  • thrifting
  • hulu
  • cheap chocolate advents
  • and not surprisingly, my family 19 times  (funny because right now, they are fighting like mad and tattle-telling on each other.  They'll get over it, right?
All day I thought it was December 1st.  Obviously, it's not.  I've been working on my Christmas tree with the help of my (long distance) sister.  Why is she not my neighbor again?  With decorating, working on a billion Christmas banners and such, it feels like it should be way into December by now.  Before I know it, Christmas will be here and we will be surprised at how fast it flew by.  Here's to a fun and festive December! Hear! Hear! 


Ingrid Michaelson

Today, I'm simply just grateful for some good music.  I've had this song stuck in my head since an email to my sister last night.  She mentioned that she was longing for triplets which she would name Ruby, Violet and Hazel.  It reminds me of that song in which she has three girls, with strawberry curls, name Ella, Nelly and Faye.  I love my sister with all my heart.

Ingrid - source 
I like Ingrid and her little tunes. Which reminds me that I would really like to get myself something decent to listen to in my car and upstairs.  Any suggestions for some good tunes?  They would need to be acceptable for children to hear too.


Always, Always, Always


This saying pretty much summed up my month.  I'm thankful I did it and pray that I can continue to realize my blessings! Just a few more days left...
We've been putting up the Christmas tree this weekend.  I'm having a really fun time thinking about making a new look for the tree on a small, little, tiny budget.  I'm hoping to have something fun this year! 


Christmas Pillow Inspiration

So far, I've made a Halloween pillow (not blogged about) and a Thanksgiving pillow  so I'm feeling crazy consistent and think I'll make myself a Christmas pillow too.  I found this free graphic the other day on The Graphic's Fairy website.  I'm thinkin' that it will look great for my Christmas pillow.

The site even gives the graphic in reverse which is fantastic.  Especially since I have yet to figure out how to reverse my images.  I'm sure if I sat and actually tried to find how to flip them, I could do it, but so far, my images haven't really needed it.  Yes folks, I'm all about the doing the bare minimum.  I'm thankful for Graphic Fairy and her free images.  Now off to decide my fabrics!


Christmas Planning

Organizing is not my forte, but, I like to pretend that I'm a little bit organized.  Knowing what I to get my family for Christmas ahead of time always helps.  (As does buying it ahead of time.  Sometimes it happens (and it's delightful when it does) but often it doesn't.)

As I mentioned yesterday, I did some Black Friday shopping.  I was able to find most of what was on my shopping list.  My shopping list was just a quick jotting down of my thoughts and my thoughts can be pretty unorganized.  When I got home, I physically wrote out what I got, for whom and who it's from.  (Whom is such a funny looking word.)  I like using a Christmas planner to make it more official.  Of course, I have to put that planner under lock and key, buried in the backyard so the kids can't see it.  This year, I used this free printable Christmas planner.  I've also used in years past Flyladys' Christmas Control Journal.  Both work just great.

I'm thankful for free Christmas planners.  Are you?  Do you write down everything down or remember it all in ye' ol' noggin?  If I did that, Christmas might be pretty interesting! I've already got some readjusting and returns to make.  That is if I can bring myself to return them and not just buy something else to even it back out.  :)

*Tonight is our first Christmas performance for Flautissimo!  Tis the season!


It's Black Friday, Have You Been Shopping All Night?

Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving?  We did.  It's always a small get together on the in-laws side since most of the family lives a few hours away.  Since we have the only grandkids, we get to be spoiled and have Gram, Gramps, Aunt Dee!Dee! and Uncle Matt all to ourselves.  We played games and ate good food and enjoyed ourselves very much.

free printable found here
Are you a big Black Friday shopper?  I'm not really a fight the crowds kind of a gal but I sure like a good deal.  I left this morning at 7am and was able to get everything but one thing on my list without any lines.  (In fact, the longest line was for Krispy Kreme doughnuts as payment for my oldest to watch the kids this morning.  It was crazy busy and if I hadn't of promised it, I would not of waited 30 minutes for them!)  And even though that one thing is out of stock everywhere, they are still easily orderable (makin' up words here) for just a few more dollars.  Win, win on my list!  I truly enjoy Christmas shopping, just wish I had a much bigger budget!  But honestly, don't we all?

My kids have written out their Christmas lists a few days ago.  They constantly remind me about their list.  There are quite a few things that I won't be able to do, like laptops and a real pet monkey.  But others on the list,  I found for a great deal and I know they will love them!

I love that everything is so magical for them still.  I hope to keep it that way!  Keeping up a positive attitude is one the most important parts.  That is why I dedicated November to a thanksfest.  To remember to look for my blessings.  I'm so thankful that I did this because now I feel a bit more mindful.  I know that continuing to remember my blessings and doing our daily Christmas scripture read will bring a warm, festive feeling to our household.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I thankful it's Thanksgiving today!!  Looking forward to good food and good family time.  Hope you have a wonderful day! 


Christmas Book Advent

I've been collecting vintage Christmas Golden Books over the past year in hopes of doing a Christmas book advent with my children.  So far, I was able to find nine different books (plus a few duplicates tee-hee ).  The goal was to find 12 different Golden Books but I haven't found any since.  Luckily for me, I have a retired school teacher for a mother-in-law and she gave me a load of books.  Now I have more then enough for the full twenty-five days.  Here's what I've have from her:
  • The Biggest, Best Snowman
  • Clifford's Christmas 
  • Clifford's First Christmas
  • If You Take A Mouse To The Movie
  • The Night Before Christmas - a lift the flaps pop-up book
  • Gingerbread Baby 
  • Welcome Comfort 
  • Snowmen At Night 
In my Christmas bins, I have a nice book about the Nativity, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Christmas Orange plus a few others I can't quite remember.   I also found Santa Claus Comes to Town book and record in my collection.  I've got more then enough to do the countdown and look forward to trading out with age appropriate, nicer books as the time goes on.  I'm thankful for for mother-in-law today.  She's so generous and fun!  



Have you seen the new issue of Gifted?  It's a free, online Holiday gift giving guide.  It has so many pretty colors in it!

That's just naming a few of my favorites in this beautiful publication.  I'm always thankful for pretty inspiration! 


Yet Another Little Advent

Obviously, I've got advents on the brain.  I also like this little advent that I saw today on OH HAPPY DAY.

Little muslin bags are always super charming.  I'm still working on having a pleasant holiday.  I'm thankful that this week is Thanksgiving.  The kids only have two days of school this week then we off!  Over the hill and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go!  Gram makes the best. turkey. evah.  Seriously.  She has the roaster that is a miracle cooker.  What are your plans for Thanksgiving?


Saturday Morning Cartoons

The Saturday morning cartoons have bombarded my kids.  I can home from flute rehearsal and they have a crazy long list for Santa.  They excitedly were trying to explain to me these awesome slippers that when you walk, the eyes open and close.  Luckily, the commercial came on again and they disappoint!

 Stompeez.  Pretty fancy! 
They truly are slippers with personality!  

I'm thankful for the wonder that my children feel towards Christmas.  I remember that feeling.  I tend to feel grinchy and stressed about it since I don't have a budget to work with for Christmas.  This year, I vow to regain that feeling of wonder and awe and excitement again.


Magazine Inspirations


I've fallen in love with this dress from jcrew after I saw it in December's Better Homes and Garden.  Can't find an image online, but she was wearing it with a skinny black patent leather belt, long beaded ball necklace, sweater tights and fun heels.  I really loved the pop of bold color for winter (that was not red) that winterized great.

It was on blogger Joslyn Taylor and her Simplicity blog that chronicles that she will end the year with less then she started out with.  The idea is to buy quality, timeless pieces that you love and can wear for at least the next five years.  This outfit came in at nearly $500.  Yee-ouch! Obviously, not in the budget for me but lovely nonetheless.

Thankful for inspiration because now that I know that I like this look, I can try to find budget pieces and use what I have to pull it together.  Looking at her blog, it's obvious that she has some money to work with.  All of her pieces are beautiful yet expensive.  I'd take each and every one of them for my wardrobe.   Does anyone know where I can get myself one of those beautiful vintage Indian dresses?

Although she can have a lot more fun making thoughtful purchases then I can, I still can do the same on a much smaller scale.  Which makes me realize that I have got to do something about that closet of mine.  It's pretty small and neglected.  Not a whole lot in there that is wearable since I did clean it out a month ago.   I need to figure out what I need but more importantly, what look I'm trying to achieve.


Thankful for Preschool

This litte guy loves preschool!  His teacher is wonderful and I hope that we can get a good start on kindergarten because of her.  Every preschool morning, he patiently awaits his ride.  He's always out the door the second he sees her driving down the road.  I love that he is so excited to go!

Today he is wearing his Dad's old bomber jacket that his Mom saved all these years.  Isn't that fun?  It is his coat of choice when his monkey coat is in the wash.


Thankful for Girls Night Out!

Tonight is our GNO and I'm super excited to see my good friends.  Some have moved away.  Some I see everyday.  But nonetheless, I'm super excited to see them all!  We're headed out for an early showing of Breaking Dawn and dinner at Iggy's.  Mmmm, chili water and bread.  They are too good!

Hope you have a great night too! 

*Update:  Honestly, the only way that I can handle Twilight movies is with my friends.  Breaking Dawn was a little laughable, but even better when in good company and fun to have my sister-in-law there too! 


Thankful for Our Neighborhood

Sometimes, I completely forget how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful neighborhood.  We have friends  for everyone on every street! My kids have oodles of friends to play with! When we sold our first house and  looking for our second home, all I wanted was a family friendly neighborhood.  Our first home I actually liked quite a bit.  It was small but efficient.  It had a great little orchard in the backyard.  But it really, really lacked the family friends we were looking for.  Thankfully, this neighborhood made up for it with an abundance of friends not only for my kids but for us as well.

These boys love hanging out with the girls.
Two little sweeties
Red Neck Swimmin' Pool

My all time favorite picture.  Add twenty years and it could be at her wedding.
I went searching for pictures and I don't have many!  It's a goal now to make sure to take some pictures of these sweet friends.


Thankful for Easy Dinners

Oops!  I missed yesterday.  That's what happens when I get into a new book and can't stop reading then I have to rush and hurry to catch up.  Have you ever read "The Maze Runner"?  It has taken me a bit to get into it, but now I can't quit.  Days like these, I'm thankful for a quick and easy, comfort food dinner.  Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Yum.
cutest little grilled cheese and tomato soup for sale here

I'm almost done with the first book so maybe I'll have something more to say later!


Thankful for Art

Today, I'm thankful for the watercolor set that Gram gave li'l missy last Christmas.  It kept all three kids happy and getting along for quite a while today.  And now we have some new master pieces to add to the mix!

I'm off to toot my flute again tonight.  The holiday season keeps me busy with that.  Have a good night!


Autumn Letters

I found a post today that I had forgotten about. Since I loved my Summer letters so much, I decided to make myself a set of Autumn letters.

Unlike my September wreath that is full of color, this one lent itself to be more neutral with shades of brown, copper, and cream. Mmm...I love ribbon.

It's a toss up on my favorite paper on this.  Either it's the "M" or the "A and U".  Depends on the day,  but the "M" has had the upper hand for a while now.

I have officially decided to make them for each season but I can't help but itch to make something with richer colors for November.  Monthly words is something that I don't really want to do but somehow, it keeps creeping up in my mind.  Halloween needed "Haunted". (I guess I never shared those either.)  Christmas will want something different, why not November too?

Today, it doesn't feel much like Autumn.  I took the kids to the movie this afternoon and we came out to a huge snow storm.  Now they are enjoying the snow and I'm enjoying the warmth of my house.  That is what I'm thankful for today.


A Tip

Here's a tip for the day:
When thrifting for Christmas books to do for a Christmas countdown, it's a good idea to write a list of all the books that you have, otherwise, you'll end up with a few duplicates.
I know.  I'm giving you gold today.

I thought I would check out my stash of vintage Golden Books to see how many more books I need and that's when I realized that I had a few duplicates.  I do have a great assortment but I have to laugh at all the duplicates I have.  I've collected:

  • Jingle Bells
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • The Littlest Christmas Elf
  • The Nutcracker
  • Santa's Surprise Book
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Santa's Toy Shop (2)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (2)
  • Twas the Night Before Christmas (4! Including a really cool book that has golden pages)
I thought I was doing great to get at least the 12 books.  Now it looks like I have a little more hunting to do! Today, I'm thankful for thrift stores that have charming vintage Golden Books for me to hunt through.  Sometimes, it's just so fun to do!

*Oh!  Happy Veteran's Day and Happy 11-11-11!  What a day! 


Thanksgiving Bunting Fabric Banner

Continuing on with the monthly bunting fabric banner tradition, here is my Thanksgiving bunting for November.  I love the rich colors and the generous dose of vintage pom-poms.  I'm laughing at this picture because it was freezing cold outside so I ran out and took a few quick shots.  This was the only one that went but you get the idea.  Happy that it's been up since Novemeber 2nd!

Here is my October Halloween banner , September Fall banner and August Summer Banner .

Today, I'm thankful for a good friend that got me caught up in the monthly banner fever.  Even if I didn't think that I wanted to bother with so many banners, it's sure has been fun!  She finds some great fabrics and I can't wait to see the next one.


Sometimes You Don't Realize It

Somedays, you don't realize all the little things that you are thankful for.  Today was one of those days.  I have a whole list of little thanks today.

  • I'm thankful that my littlest guy has learned numbers well enough to call his Gram's home.  
  • And he thinks it's super awesome to call her.  A lot.
  • I love hearing him giggle and giggle because he thinks he is sooo hilarious.
  • And I think it's hilarious that he puts it on speaker phone and lounges by me so I can hear his conversation. 
  • I also find it funny that Gram and Gramps think that I don't know he is calling them. 
  • I love that he will declare the day a Grandma day and Gram always agrees.  
  • I'm thankful for Grandparents.  Fantastic, spoiling grandparents. 
  • I love hearing about his Grandma days even though I really miss him during the day.  (What am I going to do when he goes to school next year?)
  • And I love that he wears the top of him monkey costume as a jacket.
  • I'm thankful for my husband.  
  • And the fact that he just bought himself some microwave pizzas but shared them with the kids so I didn't have to make dinner. 
  • And that he can always make a witty little comment on just about anything including said microwave pizzas.
  • I'm thankful it's almost bedtime. 
  • I'm thankful for prayer.
  • And that there is a new episode of "Once Upon A Time" on Hulu.
  • I'm thankful for my daughter and other son too, but that will have to wait until tommorrow because this list is long and I've got to get these kids to bed and watch my show! 


More Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

I thought I would do a little more hunting for some more advent ideas.  


I love the display of this one.  This tutorial has some great ideas for daily activities. 

The Christ book.  I think that this would make a nice gift too.

My kids would love this gum advent!  Be sure to check out the tutorial on this one.  It would make some fun little Christmas gifts for my kids friends too. 

This flip book would be a great space saver.  I love the design of it.  

Today, as silly as it seems, I'm thankful for Pinterest.  It's the quickest place to find a lot of great (p)inspiration!


Christmas Advent Calendar Ideas

As much as I don't like to admit it, it's that time of year to start thinking about making an advent calendar.  This year, I'm digging:

Pottery Barn inspired ornament countdown.  This is the one that I'm hoping to recreate this year.
Little presents all displayed sweetly in a box.
source unknown
Unwrapping and reading a Christmas book each night.  I've been collecting vintage Golden Books Christmas books all year.  I don't have enough for every night yet.  I hope to find a few more to finish up the books.  I also want to add a scripture to each night.  Here is a great source for a list of scriptures and questions to ask.

Simple bags that have a little ornament you move along each day. 
Love the little gnome and the red and linen color scheme of this one.
A simple DIY envelope display that you can list some Christmas activties in. 

Prettied up paper cones strung on holiday lights. 

So many ideas and not enough time or space!  I hope to chose a new one to make this year to add to the book tradition that I've been working towards.  I do have to admit that I'm thankful for the cheap chocolate countdowns that you can buy at the grocery store.  My kids LOVE these!  

So, what about you?  Do you like advents?  Any new ideas?  Check out my advent idea list from 2010 here.


This Time Four Years Ago...

I was looking through my posts of Novemeber 2007 when I found this picture of my littles.  I can't believe how big they are now!

It makes me laugh how fat my baby was!  He's now the age of my daughter in this picture.  If you look carefully, you can tell that he just spilled a full sippy cup down his shirt because I failed to put the stopper in properly.

His funny little squinty face and his fat rubber band wrists! 

He still looks so much like this.  Just an older version with the same loud enthusiam.

And little missy is still as sassy if not more!  Her little baby face kills me.

My oh my how they grow up too fast! Obviously, I'm thankful for my little ones but I'm also thankful for my good friends that took the time to take their pictures for me just because.  What are you thankful for today?


Thankful for Music

I just remembered tonight that I'm doing a thankfest!  Is it silly that I forget so fast and easily?  You may not know, but I play the flute.  I've been playing every since Vanessa Constance talked me into joining band with her in 7th grade.  I joined the dozens of other flute players and just went with the flow.  By 9th grade, I was really serious about it so my Mom signed me up for flute lessons with a teacher that made me love it even more.  She was extremely talented, but not pompous.  One of the groups she played for was Kairo by Night and I thought it was so cool.  I would still love to learn that genre.   I practiced hard and was looking forward to playing in an elite band that I auditioned for at Skyline High school when everything changed.  My parents decided to move just two weeks before school was supposed to start.  Growing up in a big city and then moving to a small town was kind of a shock!  Thankfully my involvement with music brought me many new friends and opportunities.

Today, I'm thankful for my ability to play the flute.  I'm thankful to belong to a  wonderful, local flute choir, Flautissimo (even though I have a love/hate relationship with it come early Saturday morning rehearsals).  I'm thankful to have the excuse to play (even though it is Christmas music we are rehearsing right now) and thankful that it will always be there for me even though I don't take the time out to practice.  (Go ahead and have a little giggle over our group picture.  We don't enjoying taking them that often.)


Thankful for Monkeys

Yes, that's right.  Today I'm thankful for monkeys.  Specifically this little monkey who helped me rake the leaves AND gather walnuts for our family AND helped bag them up.

And I'm sure it's not the last time he'll happily help me.  We've got billions more leaves to go.  yay.

Today, I'm also thankful for my Papa who is turning 78 today!!  We are headed over there to take him a homemade lunch which will involve cake.  I love me some Papa birthday cake!


Thankful To Be A Craft Hoarder

Last month, I made a Halloween pillow that I really liked.  After I packed up Halloween, I missed it so I decided to make a Thanksgiving pillow.   I'm loving these iron on images that are quick and simple to make.

I still think this pillow needs a little somethin' somethin', but for now, it will due.
Today, I'm thankful for Etsy and this fab turkey image.  I'm thankful that I'm a crafty hoarder that had all the supplies on hand.  I'm thankful for vintage pom-pom trim. 

What are you thankful for today?


Thankful People Are Happy

Is it weird that I already forgot that I committed to a November thankfest?  I'm having a really hard time remember things lately.  I'm classic for that.  I miss meetings, rehearsals and have to rewash the laundry all the time because I just forget.  Thankfully, my memory was jogged this morning by something that a friend posted on Facebook.  It's exactly what I'm looking forward to gaining this month.  Here is what she said:

source Carry (Corry?) Murphy Photography
November - the month of Thanksgiving.
Of being and showing and living Gratitude.

"Giving thanks to God is what ushers one into the very presence of God.
And this is why He asks us to always give thanks. He comes to those with the open, grateful hands." ♥
-Ann Voskamp

If you haven't already - begin a Gratitude Journal today. Record even the smallest of things that you feel grateful for. And at the end of the month, you will discover something...but I can't tell you what that is. You will see what it is on your own : )
Today, I'm grateful for:

  • yoga
  • good friends to go to yoga with
  • checking off a November project already 



I admit, I'm very thankful that Halloween is over and done with.  For some reason, I fussed and worried way too much about it this year.  Now it is November, I thought I would take the opportunity to give myself a challenge.   In November of 2007, I did NaBloPoMo which is blogging everyday for the month of November.   NaBloPoMo (which is really hard for me type btw), gives you a topic to write about each day, but I'm feeling a bit rebellious and think that I will take the challenge for myself to be a little more thankful in my life.  After all, it is month of Thanksgiving.

Today, I'm thankful for a warm car to drive my kids to school in while it was raining cats and dogs.  And, I'm thankful for the sweatshirt that I stole from my husband to keep me warm and dry while I ran them out.  Oh, and I am thankful to take down my Halloween decorations!

Care to join me for this thankfest?  I would love it if you do!
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