Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three glorious years!

G celebrated her 3rd birthday on the 26th. We had it planned for Christmas Day (her actual birthday) but by 5 p.m. that night she was too pooped for it. I believe the exchange went something like this:

Me: G? Are you ready for your birthday party?
G: Do we have to?
Me: We'll have cake and open presents!
G: Didn't we already do that???

So, the dreaded Christmas birthday is already a source of frustration and sheer bummer-ness. But, we'll figure it out and make it work. We had an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins (which I loved and thought I would hate... just what I need, another junk food favorite). And, she got all the goodies necessary to start dance class on January 5th: leotard, tutu, tights, and tap and ballet shoes. As you can see, she tried it all on right away! Plus, a book about a first dance class which we've already read 15+ times!

image from

Monday, December 27, 2010

4 months and lovin' life!

My tiny E turned 4 months old on the 17th and she is a definitely a true joy. She weighs in at a hefty 14 pounds, 6 ounces which is a change from the G-ster (who I call the white wisp because of her slight size and pale skin/hair).

I love using the chalkboard to archive this monthly milestone. I "borrowed" the idea from Shannon at Bless Our Nest. I've added a little drawing in the corner for each month (books and apple for Sept, jack-o-lantern for Oct, turkey for Nov, Christmas tree for Dec). Here are the previous months pics (posted to the old bloggeroo and I figure you all want to see my cute kid so I'll add them here).
I tried to find a cute little old fashioned chalkboard like the one used on the inspiration blog but didn't find one in time. A little chalkboard paint ($8) and an unfinished wooden plaque ($3) from WalMart, along with some brown craft paint that I already had did the trick on the cheap. Plus, E's big sis loves to play with it between photo sessions. Unfortunately, I had to give away the paint when we moved so it was pretty expensive for one-time use but I'll definitely be getting some more because I love how it turned out! I already have some ideas for how to use more in our new house!!! Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where, oh where have I been?

I'm so disappointed in myself. Two weeks with no posts. Blah. I'm going to blame three things:

• Christmas craziness!!! (the best kind of, parties, random merriment)
• the stomach bug (first G, then E, next moi, finally The Hubs (he was the biggest baby)
• and the worst of all...Online traffic school!!! Yes, I got a speeding ticket. I didn't know I was "exceeding the posted limit" and I'm not a fast driver so it was really a bummer. And traffic school was mind-numbing, poke-my-eye-out boring, and put-me-out-of-my-misery painful.

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope to get back onto the swing of things soon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Favorites: Fa la la la love it!

I just finished watching an Oprah that I DVR'd (is that a verb? I think so.). This is highly unusual for me because I don't like Oprah. Maybe its jealousy at her success or something but I'm just not on the O-train. However, this was a VERY special occasion. My two most favoritist Christmas music singers EVER did a duet together last week on her Favorite Things episode.

And these guys didn't disappoint! I have loved Johnny Mathis' renditions of holiday tunes since I was a little wee one and, HELLO, Josh Groban's voice was created for Christmas songs! So, this week I'm giving you a rundown of my fa la la la favorites.

1) Sleigh Ride Johnny Mathis

2) Little Drummer Boy Josh Groban

3) In the Bleak Midwinter James Taylor

4) Winter (album) George Winston

5) Let There be Peace on Earth Vince Gill

6) Do You Hear What I Hear (from an old record that my mom used to have which has now gone the way of our Fisher Price Little People camper and my first, lost)

7) Angels from the Realms of Glory (as played by moi on my mom's piano. It's like singing in the shower... if I had to do it anywhere else it would just be crap-ola but in our living room at home I sound like Mozart tickling the ivories)

8) Any "true" Christmas carols played at the church I grew up in on Christmas Eve or Day (not those Lutheran dirges that are in the section marked "Christmas" -- the REAL, well-known, don't-have-to-look-at-the-hymnal-to-follow-along, hymns)

I'll pretty much listen to anything festive except that I don't like it when pop stars try to write new Christmas songs or sing old ones all jazzy. Just be traditional for goodness sake...isn't that part of the Christmas experience!?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh Tannen "da Bomb"

'Tis the season and my tree is finally up! I'm pretty traditional when it comes to holiday decorating. I see other color schemes that are Beau. Ti. Ful. But none of that is really my style. Someday I'd love to have one tree for all my oldies but goodies and another more formal tree that is more trendy and "decorative." When it comes to my current tree more is definitly more and nostalgia rules the day! Most ornaments are in the red, green, white family. I have a mish-mash of ornaments that are more sentimental than stunning. There are also a few new ones and this one is a new fave. I think its meant to be painted but I like the rustic look of the unfinished wood. I have 5 that are similar, given to me as a gift last year, and I think they came from WalMart. I'm hoping to get a few more this season.

This precious little mousie is MY FIRST ORNAMENT EVER!!! See where it says '80 (guess I'm giving away my age but I couldn't not share)? Thanks Mom for saving it for me!

And here it is. Our noble fir in all its glitzy, glammed out glory. And, while I don't follow many of true decorator rules, I do faithfully adhere to one Martha Stewart philosophy when it comes to my tree. Years ago, I heard Martha say that 100 lights should be used for every foot of tree height. I look at that as a minimum requirement. Our 6 foot fir is dripping with 800 little glistening lights. Love it! Leave me a comment and let me know how you decorate your tree. Do you use the same ornaments every year? Go with a different theme or color scheme depending on your mood and the trends? How bomb is your tannenbaum? Don't forget to link to picks of your tree on your blog!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wrapping the rails

I wanted to put up a traditional garland on our staircase railing this year but with all the expenses for the house I didn't really want to spend the money buying the stuff this year. So instead I used some ribbon that I've had for a couple of years and wrapped the rail. What do you think? My favorite part (which is hard to see in this pick) is the red holly berries hanging beneath the bows. Super cute and I'm thrilled with my free splash of color and festive decor!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Favorites: Music to my ears

You saw these little darlings that I picked up at Pottery Barn in yesterday's post (see what I did with them here). It got me wondering what else was out there with a sheet music theme (besides the PB candles that have been around a couple years). I'm loving all of these great creations from Etsy. Wouldn't they make a fun gift for the music lovers in your family? They almost make me want to tickle the ivories. But, I'll have to settle for tickling my babies instead since there is no piano in my house!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thrifty Gifty

I am going to a little girly gift exchange Monday with a star theme. I picked up these sheet music cuties at Pottery Barn and wanted to spice them up for the lucky recipient. PB had a box of cute little cranberries that I thought would mix beautifully but the $14 price tag along with the price of the stars put me WAY over the gift price limit. So off to Michaels I went. And lo and behold, I got this strand of wooden cranberry-esque beads for only $2 (50% off! Whoop! Whoop!)

I just cut the bead string and with a little help from my favorite elf...

and a 10 inch vase...

I ended up with this! I love it and am very, very bummed that it is leaving my house. Boo. But, I always figure the best gifts are the ones that I also want to keep. Part of the joy of the Christmas season is sharing something lovely with others.

This is an alternate option and actually the one I ended up going with. I like that it looks a bit like a traditional holiday trifle. Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, gooooood.

Update: About an hour after finishing the project, I saw a little waded up pile of tissue paper in the corner of the room. Low and behold, there were extra stars and red beads under it. So it turns out I have a few to use for a project in my casa as well! Yay! Looks like my little elf is also a little hoarder.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holy backyard Batman!

This will be the first of many "house tour" posts. We moved into our new place a little over a month ago and are settling in! In a strange twist, the first "room" finished is the backyard. So, we'll start with that. Here is a shot from before the landscaping was done:

Just starting the concrete framing. Believe it or not, this is an improvement over how it was before they started. It was a dusty, rocky, desolate, little space.

Ta-da! The finished yard. I know, I know. You're shocked at how tiny it is. But believe it or not, this isn't a tiny yard for Las Vegas. We looked at another home in this neighborhood that had 3 feet between the back patio and the wall. Yikes! Also, yes, the grass is fake-o-roonie. That's right. Its turf. It took a little getting used to for me too but in the end, its so much better than watering a real lawn and seems to be pretty standard around here.

And, as you all know, no space is ever finished. We'd love to get a table (for the part you can't see up against the house. No pics of this for now because its littered with a certain kiddos toys) and add lounge chairs and a firepit in the bigger concrete space. I'll be sure to post pics once thats finished (not anytime soon with all the other projects we have in store). Who knew a brand new house needed so much TLC?!?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A random Tuesday

What a weird day to start a blog... Tuesday. There is no New Year's resolution to be made. No big event in my life. Well, check that, both my girls are asleep at the same time and all parents out there know that this is a BIG event! No business to bolster. Just a Tuesday. This is not my first blog. I started one in the Spring of 2008 with the hopes of sharing pictures and happenings of my family life with who else, my family. But, lo and behold my family sucks at reading my blog. Here I am over 2 1/2 years later with only 2 faithful readers/commenters and a mom and sister who are notorious lurkers (love you guys but come on!!!).

In an effort to gain some bloggy friends I am starting from scratch. New name. New URL. New plan of attack. I want this to be about more than my family. I want this blog to be about reaching out to people. We move a lot (6 times in 8 years) and blogging can be a great way to help those far away keep up with our life but if they're not reading it, I think its time to make some new friends. That's where you come in. Please leave comments. Even if its just to point out a typo. Let me know that you're out there! Please!!!

P.S. I think I should point out that I am well aware that my old blog didn't get/keep any readers because it was a dud. I know that it stunk. Smellier in fact than a packed diaper genie on a cross-country move (that actually happened to us!). Anyway, I will take all responsibility for the failure of that one (and this one, too although I hope thats not the outcome). I realized that I wanted to link some of my projects to other blogs and was embarrased to do so using my old page. It had no organization, no wit, and no cohesive theme. I started blogging before I read many blogs so I didn't know about all the creative chicks out there and their amazing blog-ilicious talent. Now I know. No more excuses!