Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Posts of 2013

Where has 2013 gone?  It seems like yesterday I was rocking a baby to sleep as it turned the midnight hour and 2013 came calling.  It has been a busy year and since I started this blog in September, a wonderful journey that I can't wait to continue in 2014.  When I sat down and started looking back on my blog posts, I came up with a few of my favorites.....drum roll.....and let's go....

Looking forward to a fantastic 2014 and many more posts to come.  Thanks for following along..


Linking Up Here:

The Girl Creative

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I know it is a few days late to wish everyone a Merry instead I will throw out a general Happy Holidays to everyone!  When I started this blog back in September, I never imagined I would receive so many wonderful comments on many of my has been a joy so far to share with all of you!  I look forward to continuing and growing in 2014 and I hope you all will stay tuned for much excitement to come.

As you can see from above, my life is filled with the chaos and joys of 3 boys!  I absolutely adore this wonderful family photo taken by the talented Kerri Gibbs over at With Love Photography.  Kerri did an awesome job dealing with the joys of a toddler, freezing temperatures and 3 boys!  Thanks again for taking the time to read my posts, pin my projects, and follow along our crazy adventures.  I hope all of you enjoy the final few days of 2013 and look forward to an amazing 2014!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Favorite Christmas Books

One of our favorite holiday traditions is reading the pile of Christmas themed books that are scattered throughout our house.  Each year, our boys pick a new favorite it seems and we also grab a new book or two while out and about shopping.  It really is fun to put away the normal bedtime storybooks for a few weeks and imagine a world of candy canes and sugar plum ferries.  Here are the current favorites in our house!
The Story of Christmas
This is an excellent version for young children to understand the true meaning of Christmas.  Our older boys loved how our Elf, Jingle Bam, was reading this story to our Little People friends one morning. 

The Night Before Christmas
As our boys have gotten older, they look forward to this story more and more.  Of course, it is a definite read for Christmas Eve.

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
This was the new book our boys selected this year.  We are big Pete the Cat fans and enjoy all of his books.  Definite must have addition to your holiday library.

The Polar Express
Another favorite for our young boys.  They love this story just as much as the movie!

Snowmen at Christmas
We own quite a few of the Snowmen series books and this is a great picture book and adventure for young readers.  Between this and Frosty the Snowman, I think our boys often wonder if their snowmen come alive at night. 

The Gingerbread Pirates
If you have boys, especially ones that love pirates, then this book is for you.  I bought this book when my oldest son was in kindergarten to read as the guest reader and all the boys were tuned in for the adventure.  Our boys have decided this year they want to make gingerbread pirates of their own.
What are your family's favorite holiday stories?  I can't wait to hear what you share and hope to find some amazing new books for next year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last Minute Gifts Ideas for Those Men in Your Life!

I'm usually not a huge procrastinator when it comes to gift giving but at times, the holiday craziness gets the best of me and I put off some gifts to the last minute.  Although my husband and I usually don't buy huge quantities of gifts for each other, our kids magically find a way to shop (mostly online), wrap (in beautiful paper and ribbon) and pay for some pretty nice gifts for mom & dad.  I guess it must be some of that Christmas magic, right?
So, if you are looking for some options for those special men in your life and are approaching the midnight hour, here are a few suggestions for can thank amazon later!

My husband received this as a gift from a work conference and this is one of my favorite hot holiday gifts right now.  This tiny speaker is easily portable and has a great sound.  My kids have been rocking to Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Album quite often lately!

Is my husband the only one that loses his charger or forgets to charge his phone?  Since he travels often for business, this will make the perfect little companion when an extra battery is needed.  Plus it can charge multiple devices at the same time.

My husband will attest to not being a reader at all; however, he has definitely gotten into the Dan Brown books and this one does not disappoint!  I highly recommend any of his novels!

The Robertson family is taking the nation by storm and my brother is a huge fan of the show.  I am sure this collection would be a welcome present under the tree!

If that man in your life is always looking for a cool notebook to jot down the latest and greatest information, than this awesome edition by Moleskin will be sure to please!

Of course when all else fails, gift cards do make the perfect option!

Happy last minute shopping!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Christmas Wish List

Every year my husband and I say we are not going to give gifts....but that never happens as somehow our "boys" manage to drive themselves to some pretty nice stores or shop online, pay for all these gifts and magically wrap them!  Now if my three boys were in their teens I could see some of this coming true; however, my oldest is only seven and I am sure he would just wrap up a pearler bead project if that was the case!

So, what are some of my wishlists items for this holiday season..

I adore this movie and loved seeing it live on stage in London before it closed.  As an added bonus my kids also love singing along to "Just a Spoon Full of Sugar" and another one of my favorites: The Sound of Music! 

The banana bread recipe I use is from this amazing bakery in Boston and I would love to whip up some new treats from this awesome cookbook!

This has been on my wish list since last summer....I love a pop of teal every now and then!

I love Mercury Glass and have the perfect spot waiting in my dining room for these beautiful candlesticks!

And the ultimate wish list item!

My old PC laptop died about 2 years ago so I've been using my Ipad and our every so slow desktop since then....Maybe Santa will be nice to me this year?


Monday, December 16, 2013

Ho Ho Ho Snack Mix & Free Printable

Looking for a quick & easy yummy gift.  Maybe you need something for your babysitters, teachers, neighbors or just because...well this super simple snack mix is the answer for you.  As an added bonus, you can also download the labels to add to your packaging.

What will you need?

3 Simple Ingredients
Popcorn:  2 bags: Anytime I make popcorn mixes I use this natural popcorn without butter
Candy Melts: I love the coloburst brights version but plain vanilla will also work
M&Ms: plain or pretzel are my favorites!

Step 1: Pop 2 bags of popcorn and remove all extra kernels
Step 2: Melt white chocolate candies and pour over popcorn mixture
Step 3: Add M&Ms
Step 4: Spread out and allow to cool onto wax paper sheets
Step 5: Package and attach Ho Ho Ho Snack Mix labels!

I usually package my popcorn gifts in either clear cellophane bags or mason jars!  Either way these HO HO HO Snack Mix Labels will be a perfect addition to your gift.

Either click the link above or go HERE and download them today!

Hope you enjoy! 


Linking up here:

Sweet Bella Roos
domestic superhero

Our Bright & Cheery Living Room Mantel

Our house has a huge formal living room space and one that we currently use as a home office/piano space.  We are also fortunate enough to have 2 fireplaces in our home although we do not use the one in this space for actual fires at this time.  So, when the holidays roll around I love decorating this mantel with a bright and cheery theme to match our tree in the room.  This year I added a few new touches....

When I walk by this room each day I just smile because I love how bright & cheery this fireplace looks right now! We bought the garland last year at Target and used 3M hooks to attach it to the top and sides of the mantel.  The stockings also came from Target last year.  The 2 big silver trees were Homegoods finds and the 3 glitter presents are from Pier One.

The holiday chevron art was my creation this year and I love how well they turned out.  You can read the quick and easy tutorial HERE.  

The Santa was another Pier One find and the glitter trees are all from Hobby Lobby.

I added a small vase of Christmas ornaments with fake snow for an extra pop of color!

Don't you  just love how festive it looks!


Linking up Here:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Savvy Southern Style
Sweet Bella Roos

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Chevron Art

We have two fireplaces in our current home which means two mantels to decorate at Christmas!! This year I was looking for a new addition to our living room fireplace and decided to take my love for chevron and create some new mantel art.

I am in love with this new pop of color! It was very easy to make and ended up being a quick evening project after the boys went to bed one night.

2 16x20 canvases ( I already had this size laying around but you could substitute)
Frogtape Shape Tape Chevron: purchased at Lowes
Gray/Silver Acrylic Paint purchased at Michaels
Red Chipboard Glitter Letters purchased at Michaels
White paint for touchups

 Step 1: I measured and taped off the chevron lines using the chevron shape tape.  I basically used an extra piece to space the lines evenly. 
Step 2: Next, I used a foam brush to paint on the gray paint and removed the shape tape as soon as I was finished painting
Step 3: I touched up with white paint and a small brush
Step 4: Waited 15 minutes and attached the chipboard letters! You may need to use some additional glue to stick to the canvas
Step 5: Display!  I will be showing additional photos soon of the completed fireplace look

Hope you've enjoyed this quick & easy chevron art tutorial.

Linking up here:

By Stephanie Lynn
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Savvy Southern Style
Sweet Bella Roos
domestic superhero