Christmas Decor

Are you ready for this or are you over it? Doesn’t really matter, actually. Let’s go!

This year, I finally did outside lights for the first time. Ever. You guys, this is a big deal. I was intimidated because I wasn’t sure how to plug them in since we don’t have an outdoor outlet (something I’d like to change eventually). I ended up snaking the extension cord underneath the gaping hole in our garage door flashing (something that I’d also like to change eventually). I even used a timer and felt very smug about it.

I copied a friend and wrapped lights around the posts and called it good enough.

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I know, it doesn’t look like much. But when I’d sneak out for my morning run in the dark, they made me so happy. Lights are magical! Plus, I scored the lights on mega clearance last year so that’s secretly thrilling to me. I don’t love the silver ball wreath around the light but I couldn’t figure out where else to put it and it’s actually gorgeous at night when the light is on, so I left it.

I’ve been perusing clearance Christmas trees to fill out the front step – wish me good deal finding luck!

The boxwood wreath is from Trader Joes and it’s so fresh and pretty. I stuck a gold sparkly sprig in it and that was it.

wreath

I actually bought two more boxwood wreaths to hang on either side of the garage but the Command Hooks were out to get me so that didn’t happen. I felt defeated, I’m not going to lie. Come on inside, the Command Hooks got me in there too.

I like to decorate the hutch by mixing in a few holiday things among all of the white pieces:

hutch_full

Truthfully, I was going to clear out all of the toys for the picture but I thought maybe one day, I’ll want to remember what Christmas decorating with littles around is like. So, they stayed in all of their primary-colored messy glory.

The navy mercury tree was from last year when I lost my mind in the after Christmas sales. I scored it for cheap! I didn’t want it to happen but the Target Dollar Spot lured me once again this season. How cute are these ceramic houses and bottle brush trees!?

hutch1

You can even put tea lights in the houses, which I hope to do next year. I think they would be so sweet all aglow at night.

The left side:

hutch3

It’s a sparse, I should have crammed the bowl full of ornaments but I didn’t. Hey! Another sprig! I love that word, don’t you?

Moving over to the other side, Elf made her appearance again this year. She’s been with me for Christmas ever since I was a kid!

hutch

The couch finally -FINALLY- got new throw pillows.

couch_pillows

I’ve been hesitating to buy them because sticky fingers makes me think twice about buying anything to make the house look nice, you know?

I wanted to add some extra holiday cheer and this cozy bear and plaid throw seemed to fit right in:

holiday_pillow

Christmas pictures. I have a matching frame for Cade’s first Christmas but no picture printed yet. I need to do that. I need to do a lot of things but instead, I drink coffee.

xmas_pictures Also! “New” lamps that I intend to bore you with someday.

Moving to the kitchen. I strung our cards up here and added one of the rogue boxwoods that had no home. Two wreaths would have made this look much better. Maybe next year.

xmas_cardsNext year, I plan to do two strands for the card display. We got a big handful right before Christmas that sat in a pile on our table because I was zapped of motivation to hang them by then.

Of course, I plopped a few pretties in my tray on the kitchen table.

tray

I had two helpers with the tree this year. For the first time, Amelie was really into it.

sibs_decorating

Last year, I did it by myself. Amelie was too crabby so I put her to bed and I did the rest one-handed, holding Cade who was naked from the waist down because of some bad diaper rash. A lot has changed in a year!

And, Ta Da!

tree

One new thing I added this year, a step button to turn on the tree lights. Like, duh. It’s so amazing. I also added one strand of twinkling lights (clearance score from last year) and that was a fun change-up.

Originally, I planned to drape layered garlands along the window but my Command Hooks were not cooperating and I just gave up. I did manage to get the wreath up that MamaP bought me last season, so there is that.

The rest of the house got a sprinkling of cheer, starting with our downstairs bath:

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And my vanity, that I intend to tell you about someday too:

vanityIn Cade’s room, I thought the rustic mini tree would fit nicely since he has an “outdoorsy” inspired room:

cade_desk

(Hey, remember when this desk used to look like this?)

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I know. Even the drawers are organized. More on that someday…

Anyway, a closeup of that adorable fuzzy owl:

cade_tree

I also added these glitter trees from Target Dollar Spot. That place! Is the best. Isn’t it?

cade_room

The glitter trees are actually supposed to be paired with bigger trees but Amelie wanted those for her room. She even adorned them with ornaments herself:

amelie_roomSo sweet, huh? If you zoom out though, this is what her room looks like at all times.

amelie_room2

She is very busy during her quiet time. She reads out loud. She changes clothes. She does puzzles, builds train tracks, turns lights on and off, shreds paper into bits. I can’t complain though because she stays up in her room the entire time. She is amazing!

Did I lose you in the mess? I hope not. I decided to cut to the end even though I had a few more things to show you – holiday sheets for our bed (that is rumpled and unmade) and the gold tree for the playroom that I never managed to get decorated. Oh well, right? I can see that you’re tired. Me too, my friend.

It’s a lot of work to put up but there sure is a magic to it all, isn’t there?

cade_tree

I’m keeping the tree up for a little longer. I can’t say goodbye just yet.

The Tour of Christmas’ past: 2010, 2011, 2012 (we moved on Dec. 20th that year!), 2013 (Amelie’s first), 2014 (Cade’s first; he didn’t care because he was sleeping) and 2015.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

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Picture perfect, am I right?

Amelie figured out which presents were hers pretty fast. “A-M-E-L-I-E spells Ah-mo-me!!!”

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“Elsa” had a very good Christmas and yes, we are full on in Frozen mode over here.

elsa_dress

Cade loved his books, garbage truck and tunnel from Grandma. He exclaimed “Oh my goodness!” as he opened presents. It was so adorable, I almost fainted.

cade_xmas

We set out our stockings for Santa. Oh and I plan to do a Christmas decor post but you know how well I get things done around here.

treeOur considerate Amelie/Elsa/Ice Princess set out the treats for Santa and his reindeer:

carrot_cookie

Santa “filled” their stockings (he was stingy because they don’t know any better) but also brought them a new-to-them train table!

train_table

Man, that thing is huge and hard to vacuum around. The kids love it!

Christmas 2016 was magical and sweet but also, as always, real life things crept in like a flat tire, crabby kids, a PMSing Mom, and overeating bloat. I tried to savor the magic and ignore the other stuff but I didn’t do a very good job. Ugh, huh?

I hope you had a love-filled holiday and that the bloat didn’t get you like it did me!

If you are feeling nostalgic like me, a look back on Christmas 2015.

Christmas Salsa

I have hardly done any Christmas baking or crafting this year (or any year since having babies?) but I did manage to whip up some cranberry salsa to hand out as gifts. Ok let’s be honest. I started making the salsa but was running short on time getting myself together so Zack had to finish it for me. I am one of those thoughtful but inept types. Didn’t they turn out cute though?

christmas_salsa

I’ve been hoarding these little jars leftover from my MIL’s jam for a long while now; they’ve been sitting quietly in this cabinet ready to go. This salsa is a really nice alternative to homemade sweets but still feels “seasonal” with the cranberries and oranges. It goes great topped on chicken and probably pork too!

Eat and be cran-merry!

(Ugh, that was the worst).

Fall, y’all!

I’m back. Do not be alarmed!

It’s been quite a month, you guys. My kids have been sick, my husband has been sick, my cross country kids have been sick and I’ve been sick. A deep throat infection plus intolerable ear pain? Check. The stomach flu? Check. A bee sting and reaction? Check. A sinus infection? Check. “Just” a cold? Check. It’s been rough.

Until now, I’ve been limping through my most favorite season of all, Fall! Let’s skip and clap instead!

Admittedly, it still feels like summer around here but I pulled out the fall decor anyway. First up, my tray filled with fall; with my go-to gold-stemmed pumpkins, a gold candle (a Christmas gift) and a new ceramic squirrel from Target. Isn’t’ she cute?

fall_tray

The hutch adorned with a few clearance pumpkins from last year:

fall_hutch

and with my favorite picture of the kids ever:

fall_hutch_upclose

And lastly, Cadey-Cade and I picked out pumpkins and spruced up the front step while Amelie was at preschool.

front_step_fallI couldn’t bare to take out my summer flowers just yet; the geraniums and jungle grass are still so happy! We added a few real pumpkins to our fake ones, along with mums and pansies. On our To Do list. A new front door. Before the snow flies!

I have more Halloween decorations to put up now that it’s officially October. I plan to post about those too but then again, you know me better than that. Right?

 

Happy 4th of July!

4thofJuly

We had a sweet day starting with a big breakfast, then hiking, swimming, grilling out and finishing with smores!

Amelie is so excited to see her first fireworks tonight! I’m excited to hear what she reports back. She already told me her favorite one is the  “blue one” before she even headed out to see them with Dad and Grandma. I’m so thankful for our freedom and my little cuties!

Happy 4th of July!

 

Memorial Day

I’m forever grateful for those that sacrificed it all for our freedom. <3

memorial_day

I hope you had a beautiful weekend of remembrance and time with your family.

memorial_day2I’m so thankful to have this long weekend together; we enjoyed our kids, we got stuff done and we spent time with friends. My absolute favorite weekend combination!

Easter 2016

Easter was a delightful one. Well, mostly. I had laryngitis and completely lost my voice. That was kinda sad. I wanted to partake in all of the fun but I ended up being a silent observer. Which leads me to my pro-Mom tip: do stuff for holidays, like, way in advance. Luckily, I was overly excited and I…err…consulted with the Easter Bunny…and we put the kid’s baskets together weeks ahead of time. I’m so thankful because all I wanted to do the week before Easter was sleep. Then? A huge record breaking snowstorm hit. I’m talking an excess of 20″ of snow in one day. It was insanity. As you can imagine, helping E. Bunny fill baskets (ie driving to Target in blizzard conditions) was not an option. I spent all of my energy shoveling ourselves out of our driveway instead.

Anyway! The Easter Bunny came!

baskets

The baskets were a tad lop-sided but I’m sure next year, when Cade has an inkling of what’s going on, they’ll be even and fair.

The discovery!

the_discovery

Amelie got her first chocolate bunny! Oh how I loved watching their excitement. Cade didn’t much care but Amelie was thrilled!

opening_baskets

Of course, I decorated and have a dark photo of it to show you, duh.

decorations

A close up of my spring-y tray. I should have ironed the runner but eh, what’s a novice blogger girl supposed to do about it now?

decorations2

I wanted to show you my outdoor decorations but they were all buried in snow. Just imagine a herd (a posse? a family? a pack?) of bunnies staked into different parts of the front yard to accompany our egg tree and you’ve got it. It really wasn’t that spectacular.

Amelie’s best friend (and her family) came over for a snowy Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

snowy_hunt

That’s another thing I’m really glad the Easter Bunny did ahead of time – fill the eggs! A squirrel got a few of the eggs but overall, it was a success!

Amelie had a blast, blizzard and all. Cade was indifferent.

amelie_egghunt

And then, Easter was over. But, you bet your fluffy bunny butt I went to Target and Michaels and scored some serious Easter clearance. The end.

Easter Tree

Amelie and I got out the Easter bin and decorated a little. Oh what fun that bin was to open! I had forgotten about most of the goodies I had picked up after Easter on clearance.

The plastic egg ornaments I made last spring by hot glueing ribbon to the tops were in there and so we put up our “Easter tree” again this year.

amelie_egg_treeAnd done. So festive and a little bottom heavy…

egg_tree_decoratedThis morning though, it looked like this!

snowy_egg_treeIf you care, a look back to last year’s Easter egg tree.

Spring Treat Cups

Oh my, Easter is early this year! I love any excuse to pull out the bunny ears.

amelie_bunny

I mean, come on!

cade_bunny

Anyway, I put together spring/Easter treat cups for Amelie’s preschool friends. I’m sure this will get old quickly but for now, it’s something fun to do during nap time. I picked up some supplies for a few bucks at Target. Plus, I needed to use this grass washi tape on something and this was the perfect project. I had to!

treat_cups1

I taped a chocolate carrot to the Fun Dip and nestled it in shredded tissue paper. I added a pipe cleaner handle and a few stickers that I already had on hand. Here are the finished “baskets”:

treat_cups2

Crude but cute! I hope parents don’t curse me out for sending the kids home with more sugar. I couldn’t resist! I hope the preschool teachers don’t curse me either because I can see that shredded tissue paper being a problem. If Amelie’s tuition goes up, I’ll know why!

Hoppy Monday, bunnies.

bunny_kids

 

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

My little leprechauns.

photo 3

Cade’s only green shirt is in the wash because he wore it yesterday. My inept planning surprises even me sometimes. Also, Amelie is wearing bunny socks because you win some you lose some, you know? Also, an aside. Putting them on this bench was a mistake. It caused much drama post picture.

This morning. Cade with Daddy before work <3

photo 1

Annnd, a real crappy picture of me too. Yay.

photo 2

I should have done something fun with gold coins or whatever but we celebrated by doing Easter crafts with neighbor friends because I’m not on my game today. Maybe next year? Maybe.

Aww, remember Amelie’s first St. Patty’s Day?

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