Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear {a night time walk}

First let me start out by saying that I am the. coolest. parent. ever. EVER. No, just cool for one night I guess. The promenade that runs through the middle of our neighborhood is lined with lit trees for the holidays and we took the girls out for a little stroll after dark to check it out.

We packed graham crackers, hot chocolate, and put on warm clothes (it was still in the 50s so the warm clothes were mostly for effect). I just kept thinking how neat I would have thought this little adventure was when I was a kid. And my mom did stuff like that with us a lot. At least the few times we did it were memorable enough that I thought it was a lot. Like "camping out" in the bed of my dad's truck to watch a meteor shower.

E ran in circles saying "wowa!" each time she saw the lights

Anyway, it made me realize that I wouldn't just have loved it if I was a kid, I was loving it right then. With my own kids and The Hubs.

G enjoying her hot chocolate (that we have to let cool for 10 minutes before she drinks it)

It was such a special little adventure that didn't cost anything or take elaborate planning. Just being together. Hope you can take a moment this year to take an midnight after dark walk and enjoy the company of your loved ones and some sparkly lights.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! {Turkey Hand Sugar Cookies - Sort of.}

Last year, we made turkey sugar cookies using the girls hands as templates. We put names on them and used them as placecards at the table. They were such a hit with the aunts, uncles, and grandparents!

This year, at the first mention of Thanksgiving, G said "Are we gonna make chicken cookies again?" How do you say no to that?!? So we traced our hands...

And here's where this little project gets tricky. Making the sugar cookies.

We opened some premade sugar cookie dough. Ha! You thought I was gonna share some secret, old family sugar cookie recipe. Really. Don't you know me better than that by now?

And rolled out the dough. Isn't my little helper a cutie?

The hand template really comes in "handy" here because G loses interest after the first couple. Plus, it would be impossible to get E to hold still for 5 cookies (The Hubs traced her hand for me). They look pretty good at this point but they'll puff up quite a bit so you want to spread the fingers out some if you can.

And here they are all baked and pretty.

We let them cool, then got to work decorating.

Last year we used cake icing and I added a teensy bit of milk to make it easier to manipulate. This year, I forgot that until we were almost finished so I made powdered sugar icing. Again, no recipe. Just a little powdered sugar, some milk, a splash of vanilla, and a little corn syrup to make the icing dry shiny. It worked fine and was easy for G to spread around. We didn't, however, make ANY turkeys. No cute little turkey feet or waddles. Boo. But it was still fun. I should have looked at the pic from last year before we started. Oh well. Live and learn.

A happy little accident occurred last year when I realized I had just made little handprints of my girls. I saved the hand templates and wrote "Thanksgiving 2010" on them. This year it was so much fun to get the smaller versions of the girls' hands out and compare. G's haven't changed as much, but my oh my, how my little E has grown! After we have a few more years behind us I might decorate a Thanksgiving tree with the hands or turn them into a garland.

So, here's to Thanksgiving baking, having fun with my baby girls, and new traditions and keepsakes.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My heart is full of love this year as I realize how much God has blessed me and continues to each day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Apple green it is! {bonus room paint}

We went to Lowes and got 4 color samples the other night, slapped some squares of paint up on the wall, and checked them out at night then again during the day.

After a little debate, G told us her favorite. It was mine, too!!!

Unfortunately for The Hubs, it was the only one he never pegged as a fave (he liked upper left and lower right at night, then lower left during the day). Oh well, he was outnumbered. Honestly, I think I would have been OK with any of the 4 colors, this one just had the most vibrant and fun feel (and its for a toy room so we're going for vibrant and fun).

We got Apple Green color-matched at Sherwin Williams (who by the way have a 30% off paint sale for the rest of 2011) then got to work while little E took her nap.

G was such a trooper and helped out for about 30 minutes before she lost interest and asked if she could "watch mine own show."

No complaints here. I'll happily let the boob tube babysit so we don't have to stay up past midnight painting. Yes. I'm a horrible regular parent.

It's actually all finished but I've got to hang some stuff, rearrange, etc. before the big reveal. And I've got a super cool Pinterest inspired project in the works that will go in this room. Have you done any painting lately? Made any bold changes in your house?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Color scheme {bonus room}

So, we won't be hiring a painter. Whop, whop. We bought a new mattress. A new, guccimattress that blew the paint budget. But, I'm picking out paint colors tonight! Here are a few of the color schemes I'm considering, all courtesy of Design Seeds. You'll notice that the common element in each is GREEN!!! I love green walls and this room is pretty self-contained so we're going for it.

Love these autumnal colors and the 4th shade is very similar to the paint in the hallway outside the bonus room. Plus, that dark, almost black, grey is super awesome!!! However, it might be a little "adult" for what serves mainly as a toy and play space.

I also love the greys in this scheme but our current sofa is more of a taupey beige and might not work with this. We were going to replace it but that aforementioned mattress ate that budget up as well (also some super-lame, and unexpected dental work I had done today). But its speakin' to me with those pinks which would be great for a play space for two sweet little girls.

And this one just makes me hungry. For some Italian. In Italy. Cinque Terre, anyone? Again, love the grey, the white is perfect for the Ikea Expedit shelving we got, and our carpet is a dark brown. Plus, red is a common theme in our house and that accent would give some continuity to this room from the other spaces in the house.

So, what do you think? Any one scheme jumping out at you? I'm leaning toward the the last one but we'll see. I think I'll do some fabric shopping after the room is painted and hopefully that will seal the deal for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So shady {lampshade love}

This lamp, on The Hubs side of the bed, has bugged me FOREVER. It was the first lamp I ever bought and I, for some unknown reason, thought this lamp shade looked good with it. For about 5 minutes. What was I thinking?!? It looks like a little kid wearing his dad's hat. Heck, it looks like a little kid with a ridiculous lamp shade on its head. You know the worst part? I'm pretty sure that when I picked this bad boy up at Target 9 years ago, the lamp had an "S" on it for small, and the shade had an very clearly marked "M" for medium. I guess I thought I knew better than those crazy folks at Tarjay (which G told me we should always call it instead of Target. Ooh la la.).

Well, when we moved time before last, this happened...

I hot glued it but when we moved this time...5 months later, and one year ago, the glue came undone. The lamp has been sitting next to the bed for a year looking like this. Not plugged in. Because I kept thinking I would replace the darn thing and why exert all that energy leaning over behind the night stand, using contortionist maneuvers to plug it in (Note to self: Sign up for yoga, you lazy fool!).

So yesterday, while at Lowes getting supplies for my latest Pinterest inspired project, I saw this little shade for only $10.

I had assumed I'd replace the whole she-bang, lamp and shade. But this little drummer boy (getting in the Christmas spirit, folks!) was perfect. And, while I still think the lamp isn't right for our bedroom, it looks so much better and can be transferred to the bonus room or one of the girls' rooms without me feeling shame for that shady, disgrace of a lamp.

I think I'll trim it with a little ribbon for some za za zing, but that can wait for another day. Oh, and paint for this room will be happening when we get the upstairs painted! Very soon!!! Followed by window treatments (which are done but I didn't want to hang them until we painted).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bonus Room {it's Go Time}

Now that we're back from our respective jaunts, The Hubs to Qatar and the girls and I to Missouri, it's time to get the bonus room (office, sewing, toy, and craft space) completed. I'll have a floor plan, some very scary before pictures, and my general ideas for you in the next few weeks. We saved up a little extra cash while we were away so we're hiring a painter! Yay!!! For the whole upstairs actually. We have to get a pro in here to do our double story entryway so we just figured we'd have someone else knock the whole thing out for us all at once. Cause let's face it, it would take us 2 months to get the job done with an hour here and there. So, here's the paint I've got picked out for this multi-purpose room...

Its from the Pottery Barn Kids Benjamin Moore Collection and called Central Park. I'll have it color matched at either Lowes or Sherwin Williams and probably go with a satin/eggshell finish for washability. I really feel like green is such a neutral. I mean, flower stems are green and God pairs every color of the rainbow with them so I'm thinking it'll be a nice color for adding some punchy, bright artwork, white storage pieces, and a neutral sofa (probably a sofa bed).

Can't wait to share our progress!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We had a wonderful night trick-or-treating. Although I do not recommend costumes with wings when two car seats are involved.