Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cotton Balls and Jingle Bells...

Date:  December 2013

As I've mentioned nephews are absolute joys in my life.   How fun it must be to have kids around Christmas time.  Just to see the excitement and anticipation of the holidays on their faces...getting to teach them all about your traditions and getting to share such amazing memories with them has to feel incredible.  I am lucky to get to spend time with my nephews.

On this day, Brady and his 2 aunties (My sister, Bri and I) did some Christmas crafts together at my house!  I picked him up after work and we went to my house for some fun, festive projects!  Brady sang Christmas carols, ate fruit snacks, glued lots of cotton balls and glitter, painted and had a blast! He made a big snowman to hang on the wall and he even made special mugs for his mom and dad for Christmas.  He also painted a special stained glass sun catcher for Grandma, too.

It was so much fun to see him so interested in this kind of stuff.  He was so proud and so happy.  I love that kid.

The year of burlap....

Date:  December 2013

There's not a lot of things I'm sure about.  I change my mind a lot.  I question my decisions all of the time.  But, there's one thing that's for sure.  I'm absolutely in love with my Christmas tree!  Ha!  It seems simple and not a big deal, but haven't you ever tried and tried to get things right in your life and just can't seem to do it?  I do.  I try to stay positive.  I try to keep my head up, but some days I just want to give up.  That's where little, temporary pleasures can come in and save your sanity.  I know I don't get much right....but I know I got this right.  Silly?...simple?...not a big deal?  Yes.  But, it puts a smile on my face every time I look at it, so that's pretty big to me.

My Christmas tree is a county/primitive style tree.  It's wrapped in red and white lights, quilted yoyo garland (alternating plaid, gingham, polka dot and Americana prints) and covered in big, red and cream colored gingham and plaid bows.  The ornaments range from sentimental, hand painted ones from San Francisco, Nashville and Disneyworld to the folk style, fabric hearts and stockings that are spread throughout.  It's not topped with an angel or star...but with a handmade, rustic Santa.  This year, I added something different.  Burlap!  I draped thick, long pieces of burlap down the front, back and sides.  I bunched it in places and let it add such character to my folksy tree.  I wish I could leave it up all year round. :)

Family and Food....

Date:  November 28, 2013

For a family so in love with can imagine how Thanksgiving is for us.  It's amazing.  The food is delicious and in large quantities.  The wonderful aroma in my kitchen, of the Butterball turkey roasting in my oven, on the morning of Thanksgiving every year makes the anticipation for dinner almost unbearable.  Mom mom, sisters and I always get together about a week before Thanksgiving every year to plan out the menu.  I don't know why we do's almost the same menu every year, but we love to do it!  There's just something about the days leading up to a holiday that are almost more exciting than the actual holiday.'s either that, or maybe it's the fact that we really just love to talk about food. :)  

Here was our Thanksgiving 2013 menu!

2 Turkeys, both stuffed with yummy stuffing with lots of raisins! 
Mashed potatoes 
Turkey gravy
Green bean casserole
Corn casserole
Brown and serve rolls
Sweet potatoes
Pea salad

Pumpkin pie
Sour cream apple pie
Caramel toffee cheesecake
Cranberry marshmallow salad
Cherry pie
Pumpkin bars
Chocolate and whipped cream delight

It was a great day with scrumptious food and loving family. :)

I made this little gift for Helen, our guest.  It's mini pumpkin spice candles in a mason jar.  Easy and adorable!
I started my morning off with some delicious pumpkin coffee and vanilla cream.
I bought the coffee from our local apple farm!  I sipped this and read my fall magazines while the turkey roasted.

Caramel Toffee cheesecake!  So easy to make!

My sister made the cutest little place settings.  They were little bags of Thanksgiving trail mix!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Festival of Trees

Date:  November 24, 2013

Lunch at the mall and browsing the local charity Christmas Tree display seems like a pleasant afternoon, right?  Well...experiencing it with your 3 year old nephew takes it to a whole other level!  It makes it an absolutely joyful and fun experience to see the happiness and excitement on his face. 
He adored each and every tree.  That kid is something else.  He is so full of spirit and passion....and he's only 3.  He loves beautiful and exciting things and he loves Christmas!
It was a fun and festive afternoon spent with loved ones. :)