Family photos

By now, most folks I’ve sent these out to have received them (I hope…and, I apologize in advance about the mess that my cards will make in your house- my couch was covered in glitter after doing these.  Never again will I use a glitter card!!)

Anyway- about a week before B’s 1st birthday, I noticed a local photographer was offering one of her monthly photo mini sessions.  A friend of mine had used this same photographer for family photos, and I’d been drooling over them- Anna is super talented with her photography!!

The timing just happened to work out perfectly- I’d been doing B’s monthly photo shoots on the blanket I made him (I did actually keep up with doing them, I just didn’t keep up with blogging about them), and wanted his last photo on the blanket to be a professional one.  It was only fitting, seeing as his first photo with the blanket was also professional:


Photo by Bella Baby Photography

It was also a great excuse to get some really great photos of our little family of three!!  Anna is so super fast with her photo processing that we got the cd of all of our professionally edited photos within 2 weeks of our mini session (and Thanksgiving was right after our session- I am super impressed)  And you know what?  I love them ALL.  She captured our sweet, serious B perfectly.  So, thank you Anna!  Locals, if you need a photographer, check her out!!

Here are a few of my favorites (all photos by Anna at aicreative):

The Christmas card photo (I’m also using this, in black and white, for my DIY canvas trick)

The birthday boy on his blanket

Sweet B with his balloon

Nothing sweeter than a boy and his daddy…

Except maybe a boy and his mommy

love those blue/grey eyes

Standin’- what this boy does best!!

Beautiful right??  Maybe I’m just biased…but seriously.  I had a hard time choosing which ones to print, they were all amazing.

Happy Holidays friends- I’m going to be fairly quiet on the blog for the rest of 2013, spending some much needed down time with family who are in town.  I hope you are able to do the same!!  See y’all in the new year!

Deck the halls, inside and out!

Hey everyone!  I’m skipping my usual “Tuesday Tips” this week to show off our Christmas decorations.  I just love this time of year- it’s so fun to have our house all decorated, and to drive around and see all the lights up- it’s just so festive.

We managed to get all the outside decorations up during B’s nap on Friday- a true Christmas miracle.  Ha.  I’m really happy with how it turned out!


The giant ornaments are one of my favorite things:


Inside, I did our mantle like I always do- my Noel sign is probably my favorite thing up there


Why yes, that is a tool bench in front of the fireplace…just keepin’ it real around here!

We don’t have our tree up yet because we get a live one, and that sucker would be crispy by the time Christmas rolled around if we got it now.  So we’ll wait until the middle of December- I can’t wait for that fresh pine scent!  I do have a mini fake tree that I put up on the kitchen counter though- is it weird that I really kind of want to keep it up all year??


And our dining room table isn’t fancy- normally I do more than this, but B is so curious these days I figured he’d either want everything on there or pull a tablecloth off the table.  So I just put out some simple place mats and a centerpiece- the glass vase has a wooden nutcracker, a couple of mini fake trees and some epsom salt snow!


And that’s it!!

Have you decorated for the holidays yet?

Linking up to Dare to DIY at Newly Woodwards!

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Christmas Party!


ROAR…not just a Katy Perry song

B is 11 months old tomorrow (sob, where did my baby go??), and even though he doesn’t have the faintest clue what Halloween is, he will wear a costume tonight!  Don’t worry, we’re not going to take him trick or treating.  Our neighborhood is having a little trunk or treat get together for all the neighborhood kids, which should be nice to attend so we can get to know some other kids and parents nearby.

I wasn’t planning on getting B a costume, but then the trunk or treat event came up, and I wandered into a thrift store near our house one day and found him a costume, for under $5.  When I put it on him, I almost died from the cute (and I think he almost died from embarrassment/hatred):


Doesn’t he make the cutest lion EVER?  he he he.  We tried it on over the weekend (there are pants too) and, as you can see by the look on his face, he was less than thrilled about it.  This little boy hates wearing anything on his head right now, so wearing the fuzzy hood was practically torture in his opinion.  But holy cow is it cute on him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEspecially from the back- even with the blue pants.



It’s big enough that I’m hoping it will fit him again next year, when he will potentially be more tolerant of things on his head.  We will see if he is able to handle wearing it to trunk or treat tonight- if not, I have a back-up plan:


If he won’t tolerate being a lion, then he can go as Marshawn Lynch…in beast mode!  Go Hawks!

Either way- ROAR!!  Win win.

Happy Halloween y’all- have a fun, safe night of trick or treating!

Selbu modern

Wow- sorry for the un-intentional blog silence- technical difficulties with photos and an extremely busy week has left me little time for blogging.  I wanted to blog about a Christmas present (I know I know, Christmas is over and done with- boo!) that I made for my sister.  A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon the Selbu Modern hat pattern.  I immediately thought of my sister and knit her one with a grey background and white pattern (see photo here).  Apparently it’s become her favorite hat- and this year she requested a new one in a different color.  I was happy to oblige- this pattern is fairly easy to follow and the results are stunning.  I chose to make one with a white background and a burgundy pattern.  I really like Paton’s Angora Bamboo yarn for this pattern- it’s super soft and squishy, and I knit the hat on a size 2 US needle which makes it a nice heavy, warm hat.  The yarn does get a little halo about it when worked with, which was a little unfortunate for this hat because the red and white yarn made a pink-ish halo.  It doesn’t seem too noticeable, so fingers crossed it doesn’t happen more as the hat gets worn. 

Ok enough chatter- want to see the final result?  Of course you do!

The hat isn’t really that pointy- it’s folded in thirds for the photo to get the pattern to show up

A top down view- you can see the pink-ish halo the best in this photo.

And my sister’s response?  She loved it!  Hooray!!  Of course she does already own one, so I figured she’d like it!!  Just in case though, I stalked her Pinterest boards and got her a couple of things from there as well- such a handy way to get someone something they really like!!

Happy Friday everyone- I’ll be back in a day or two with a project we have going on here at home- now that the holidays are over, it’s back to work fixing things up around here!!

Dare to DIY: Christmas traditions and a tree!

It’s the last week of Kim’s dare to DIY link party- and this week it’s Christmas traditions! 

Our Christmas traditions have changed over the years- when we lived in the same state as our families, we’d split the holiday between our two sets of parents.  My husband’s parents are REALLY into Christmas, and he has a huge family, so the majority of the holiday was spent with them- we would go to their house for Christmas Eve and have a big dinner and open presents with his brothers/sisters/nephews/nieces.  Then my husband and I would actually stay the night at his parents (and Santa would fill our stockings!  Seriously this never gets old for me…) and open presents with them the next morning (plus have Christmas breakfast).  Then we would drive 2 hours south to spend Christmas day with my parents and sister.  My family is pretty flexible about when the holiday family time actually occurs, which is nice when you’re separated by a couple hour drive!

Now that we live all the way across the country from everyone, our traditions have changed.  We have 5 animals and it’s REALLY difficult to find a petsitter at Christmas.  So we’ve had to create our own Christmas traditions the past few years because we can’t be with everyone at Christmas time.  It goes a little something like this- Christmas eve I make a big dinner, usually a turkey, but I did make mac n’ cheese (from scratch!) one year so we’re flexible.  That way Christmas day all we have to do is heat up leftovers (and eat them for a week since it’s only the two of us!!)  We usually open a present or two on Christmas eve.  Then Christmas morning we have a big(ish) breakfast and open presents/stockings.  It goes very quick with just the two of us, but it’s still fun to have some sort of tradition.  We’re lucky in that my parents have decided they like visiting around Thanksgiving, so we do an early Christmas with them.  This year my sister is visiting right after Christmas, so we’ll do another mini celebration with her!

One of our traditions that we do regardless of where we live is to cut down a Christmas tree.  There’s just something about the scent of a live tree- I don’t know if I could ever do a fake tree, although they certainly are easier (and WAY less mess).  I also don’t like buying a pre-cut tree- I want to tromp through a field and pick out/cut my own!!  This year was no different, except that we were a little later in getting our tree than we usually are.  Want to see?

There’s even presents underneath already!!!

We do a mish-mash of ornaments- some are from my husband’s childhood, some are from my childhood, some are keepsakes that people have gotten us throughout the years and then there are lots of different balls on there to fill in the holes.

Here’s a look at a few

An early Christmas present from my husband- awww he’s so cute!

My mother-in-law gets me one of these ornaments/figures almost every year- I love them

My husband has quite the John Deer collection on the tree- we think he might need his own tree for them!

One very old one from my husband’s childhood

First married Christmas together!

I really like the white lights on the tree- that’s actually my favorite part I think.  My husband REALLY wants the giant old fashioned colored bulbs on the tree because that’s what he grew up with…uhhhhh.  I’m a little worried they might be a fire hazard since they’re outdoor lights…but maybe once our white lights burn out we’ll make the switch??

Here’s the tree at night- my favorite part

And in the room

Ahhhhh- so nice!!

And one more fun picture- I got all the “kids” (well, of the canine variety anyway) to sit for me under the tree.  It only took about 20 tries to get a good picture, and I think Ellie thought she was in trouble.  Oops.  But it turned out cute!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!  Looking forward to reading about everyone’s holiday traditions!

Deck the halls: Pinterest inspired

Whoops, I did it again…I made another Pinterest inspired craft!!!  I saw a bunch of people on the blog-o-sphere and on Pinterest doing snow globes inspired by Anthropologie…like these:

Adorable right?  I have several of those little bottlebrush trees (I never knew what they were called until I started seeing these snow globes) that are actually fairly old- they were my grandma’s and my mom grew up with them.  I never really know what to do with them and usually put them on the dining room table.  I didn’t even put them out this year, until I saw the snow globes and knew I could put them to good use.

I didn’t want to spend any money, so I used what I had- a vase, epsom salts (work great as fake snow- who knew?), 3 bottlebrush trees and a nutcracker.  I’m quite pleased with the end result!

Cute right??  My husband even walked by and said “oh cute!” which is two thumbs up in my book.  Let’s get a closer look

Yep- I’m pretty pleased with this free decoration.  All in all it took maybe 5 minutes to gather the supplies and put it together.  It’s sitting on our entrance way table.  I love it!

Stay tuned- we’re getting our tree this weekend so I’ll be back to share it once it’s all decorated!!

Deck the halls- outside edition

I think my favorite part of decorating for the holidays are the outside decorations.  I remember my dad decorating our house when I was a kid- we had a big light-up snowman, a couple of giant candles that said “Noel” on them, and a bunch of lights and garland on our front porch.  There’s something so magical about driving/walking up to your house at night and seeing it all lit up.  I’ve carried on the outdoor decorating “tradition” at each house my husband and I have lived in.  It varies depending on the outside of the house, but lights end up out there some where!!  And believe it or not, I do 95% of the decorating.  Yep, I get up there on the ladder and figure out what lights plug in where.  Don’t worry, my husband helps too- usually by holding/moving the ladder and handing me lights.  I think he enjoys helping, but is probably glad I don’t make him do most of it.

This year, of course, was no exception.  This is the 2nd time we’ve decorated the front of this house, so I’ve got it down, for the most part.  Here’s the entire front

Actually, this photo is from last year.  I don’t have a good photo of the entire front this year.  BUT, the garage looks the exact same this year, I’ve just changed some things about the front of the house.

Here’s a better look at the front (from this year):

Can you spot what’s different about this year??  If you guessed giant ornaments, you win!!

I think I made my garland swags bigger this year, because I mysteriously ran out of garland about 4ft from the end of the house- whoops.  So I stole one of the wreaths that I had hanging in front of the windows (made out of leftover garland from last year) and used that- which is why there are no wreaths in front of the windows this year.   When my parents were visiting, my mom and I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and came back with the giant ornaments (50% off thankyouverymuch).  I wasn’t sure where to hang them, as the original plan was to put them in a tree in the front yard, but I didn’t like the look once I got started.  As luck would have it, I had just the right amount to hang them from the garland- and I like it!!  So does my husband.  They’re shatter-proof so they should hold up, even if it gets really windy.  Also none of them are hanging directly in front of a window so we shouldn’t end up with an accidental broken window. 

I love having our house all decorated- I wish we could leave it up year round.  It makes me smile to see it all pretty and sparkly.

What do you think?  Do you decorate the outside of your home for the holidays?

DIY: Pottery Barn Noel sign (and some yarn wrapped trees)

Linking this post up to the Inspire Me Please link party over at House of Rose.  For those of you stopping by, I will have a new post coming out about how I made this sign very soon, so please stay tuned!!

Ahhhh- my favorite decorating time of the year is here!!  I typically don’t do a lot of seasonal decor, except for Christmas (and a little bit for fall).  Christmas I go all out- we have 4 giant Rubbermaid tubs devoted to Christmas decor.  This year we’ve been a little behind on the decorating because I was out of town and then sick.  But this past weekend I got a good start!  And I’m linking up a couple of crafts to Kim’s Dare to DIY party as well as Centsational Girl’s craft party- unfortunately these decorations were done last year, not this year.  But I haven’t blogged about them before, so that counts, right?

We haven’t put up our tree yet, but here’s our mantle:

yarn wrapped trees

I start with a simple lighted garland and then add a ton of other stuff- in the garland are Christmas ornaments, pine cones and decorated floral picks. The 4 stuffed creatures above each stocking (the stockings are mine, my husband’s, one for the dogs and one for the cats) were made by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law- they are (from left to right) a santa holding a snowman, a skiing snowman, a large snowman holding a “Merry Christmas” wreath and a penguin holding an “I love snow days” sign.  Everything else was made by me.  Let’s take a closer look:


These trees were pretty simple- I bought styrofoam cones at Hobby Lobby** and then wrapped them with twine and yarn (hot gluing the ends down as I went).  The white yarn at the top has sequins in it, which kind of makes it look like snow- right?  Then I got cardboard stars and painted them with gold craft paint, hot glued a straight pin to the back and stuck them into the styrofoam.  Easy!  A secret- the trees are sitting on soup cans which makes them appear to be floating above the garland- there wasn’t enough room on the mantle otherwise!

This wreath was another easy craft- I just wrapped a styrofoam wreath form with some red ribbon I already had on hand, hot glued some ornaments on and hung it with another ribbon from the mirror.

pottery barn inspired

Finally, the Pottery Barn inspired Noel sign.  I saw this on Frugal with a Flourish’s blog last year (see link here) and had to re-create it.  It’s cost at Pottery Barn? $149!  My cost? Right around $20.  I bought press-board letters at Hobby Lobby and stapled/hot glued them together (seriously, the back is a hot mess- you don’t want to see it).  Then I painted them with a combination of gold, burgundy and brown craft paint.  It’s propped up on a piece of wood so that it doesn’t disappear behind the garland- garland is great, it hides everything!!

There you have it- my Christmas decor so far.  What do you think?  Stay tuned for a peak at our outside decor!!

**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated in any way by this company for this post.