Friday, December 30, 2011

Post-Holiday Decorating Slump

As promised, the tree and decorations came down on December 26.  I don't like looking at all of the Christmas decorations knowing everything is over (plus I'm neurotic), so it had to come down. 

Now my house looks bare.  For the life of me, I can't remember how I had things arranged before I rearranged them for Christmas. 

I've visited some decorating blogs as well as hit up some home stores around the area (there aren't many) and have come up with ABSOLUTELY ZERO inspiration.  It seems I'll have to wait another week or two for all of the Christmas stuff to clear out before seeing anything new. 

I would leave you with a picture, but I got nothin'.....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Week 2011

It's been a busy week! 

Last Tuesday, we went to Frank's parents' for a few days, something we do each year.  And each year we talk about all the time we'll have for visiting, relaxing, etc, but the time always flies by! 

We admired the pretty decorations;

We hung out with Brett (Jenna, unfortunately, came down with strep on the second day of our visit, so we didn't see much of her.);

Both of Frank's grandmas celebrated a birthday- on the same day!

And Frank's Uncle Jeff celebrated his birthday as well.

There were lots of cuddles

A little mischief

and a lovely family dinner.

We drove home on Christmas Eve and woke up bright and early on Christmas morning. 

(Stupid cat ruined my shot!)

 It didn't take long to open presents!

After that we were out the door again, this time headed to my parents'.  We took a quick picture in front of their tree.

Then Brian and I took a picture with our boys.

This picture looks so calm, but Caleb is still Jacob's sworn enemy.  I think the only reason Jacob looks so agreeable in this picture is because he stole Caleb's cat.

Dinner was eaten, and presents were opened.

And eventually a Christmas truce was drawn.

We had a great time celebrating with all of our family this year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Party!

On Thursday morning, Jacob and I went to a Christmas party at Kimberly and Jasper's house.  There were 4 boys total- three 3 year olds and Jacob, and one 9 month old little girl.

We enjoyed some yummy Christmas cookies and powdered doughnut holes.

(Not sure what the blur is about, sorry)

And made some Christmas ornaments and a glitter pine cone with Miss Kimberly.

We also played a game that was like the Grand Prize Game from the Bozo Show.

The older boys were good at it.  Jacob... not so much!

And of course, there was a lot of playtime while the mamas drank coffee and chatted. 

We had such a fun time, and their house was so festive!  Check out Kimberly's blog for a few more- and better- pictures!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Home Tour

I think I've shared my "more is more" philosophy on Christmas decorations. 

We've kept it relatively minimal for the past few years, and I finally decided it was time to kick it into gear a bit. 

My favorite new addition to our decorations is in the family room.  Ever since we moved here, I've been dreaming about garland on my stairs at Christmas and.... voila!

Love it!  It's not bright green pine; it's a little distressed and more realistic looking, I think.  The bonus is that it is the same type of pine as I used over the mantel.

I decided to play off of the gold in the ribbon with some big gold pinecones on the coffee table.

A little bling on the entertainment center:

Here's a quick shot of the kitchen.  You can barely see the little Charlie Brown tree by the sink, but it's one of my favorite things.  I've found a place for that little tree wherever I've moved. 

 And a close-up of a few of the other kitchen decorations, just because I think they're pretty.

Did you notice the kissing ball in the doorway?  Pretty sure I've gotten way more kisses from my kid underneath it than from my husband, so I'll have to turn that around in the next 10 days!

Our decorations upstairs are a bit more colorful.  On the upstairs landing, we have a little tree that Jacob loves.  Its base broke last year, so I spray painted a flower pot and used that for a new base this year. 

The craziness in the playroom deserves a post all its own. 

Jacob's Great-Grandma Marion gifted him with these Hallmark toys that each play different Christmas songs.  What was I to do but set them all out and string some colored lights around the table?!  It makes me laugh every time I walk in the room!

So I've saved the best for last. 

We kept our tradition of using a real tree, and this one is a Balsam Fir.  (I purposely cut off the bottom of the tree in this shot so you can't see the pine needles all over my carpet, though!)  There is no ribbon or garland and not even many ornaments because my kid is a climber.  But it makes the room seem super-cozy, and I love it anyway!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Today I'm linking up with Erin at the Blue Eyed Bride as well as Kelly at Kelly's Korner

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh What Fun It Is to Make Peppermint Bark

I'm not one of those girls who does "Christmas baking." (Much to my guys' sadness, I'm sure!)  All of the overly-sweet chocolatey-ness just doesn't appeal to me. 

One exception, though, is Peppermint Bark.  My Grandma K used to make this for our family Christmas parties, and it's the perfect Christmas candy!


  • 12 oz. of high-quality white chocolate chips or almond bark  (I prefer almond bark)
  • 5 regular sized candy canes, crushed up
  • 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract


1 Break up peppermint candy into little pieces.
2.Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (Or a very carefully-watched sauce pan, if you're me)
3.Once melted, add the peppermint extract and stir.
4 Pour the melted chocolate out onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and spread out with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle the peppermint candy chunks on to the chocolate.
5. Place in freezer for approximately 15 minutes or until hardened.  Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Today I'm participating in a holiday link-up party over at The Dutchess of Fork  Be sure to visit her blog to check out all of the other great recipes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week In Review (Picture-less)

  • I took one of those disposable cameras with us when we took Jacob to Chuckie Cheese for his birthday, so as soon as I get those pictures developed, I will share them.

  • I will say that Jacob LOVED Chuckie Cheese.  He got to drive a little red car with a plastic Chuckie sitting shotgun, and he thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Several times a day, he'll get his shoes, stand by the door, and ask, "Chuh Chee?"

  • My Christmas tree has begun the obligatory shedding of pine needles on the carpet.  Come December 26, it is out the door. 

  • My former boss used to say that your work will magically shrink or expand based on the time you have to accomplish it.  In other words, if you don't have a lot to do, you'll do it slowly, because you have nothing else to do once that task is finished.  (Conversely, busy people accomplish more.)  I'm feeling that way about my Christmas shopping.  You would think I would have had everything finished long before now, but it's coming down to the wire.  In my defense, Jacob isn't usually a good shopper and will only sit in a stroller or shopping cart for an hour, max.  He adds a whole new level of challenging.

  • Speaking of bosses, I spoke with my current boss at the university this week, and she invited me to become a visiting professor beginning in January.  I'm currently an adjunct, so this is a step up.  All it really means is that I will be able to teach more classes per year and may be asked to consult on course development, but it is a positive move for me.  Oddly enough, I still don't have a class for the Jan/Feb term but should be given priority by the March session.  That is definitely a good thing!

  • We took Jacob to see Santa on his birthday.  As he protested, we kept added more people to the picture to calm him down.  Our Santa picture this year features not only Jacob and Santa but me AND Frank AND MiMi, Jacob's stuffed dolphin.  We couldn't have fit anyone/anything more into the shot! Definitely a memorable photo!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Light of the Stable

Our church takes its music very seriously.  Each week is a production with lights and sound that rivals anything I've seen on TV.  This week, for the holiday season I assume, they had a choir and full orchestra, and it was absolutely spectacular. 

The first song they played was Light of the Stable, one of my new favorite Christmas songs.  Give it a listen... it's AWESOME!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Eye Candy: Christmas Decorations

I want to share some photos of our Christmas decoration soon, but first, let's look at some of my favorite Christmas decorations from the web...

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

Such a different twist on the traditional garland. 

I loved this tablescape!  All of the gold and glitter makes me so happy!

This would be a great arrangement in a kitchen.  Decorating with candy canes is cheap and festive!

Lights, and ribbon, and gold rope garland--- when it comes to Christmas decor, more is more!

I really, really want to live in this room. 
Source: via Lori on Pinterest

One thing I wanted to try this year (but haven't yet) is decorating with real cranberries.  Here they are hot-glued onto a styrofoam ball and then the balls are sitting on candlesticks.  Love it.

How classy is the burlap tree skirt?  And they even have the monogram correct in this picture, except we were Est. 2008!  This picture makes me seriously consider a burlap tree skirt. 

There you have it, Friday Eye Candy- Christmas Decoration style!