Saturday, December 5, 2015

More Christmas decor and the machine that will change my crafting life.

I was not quite done with my Christmas decorating until now.  I had a few areas to finish and I will show you what I have been doing...

I am always a bit stumped on what to do with the half wall behind the couch in the living room.  I had this partial pallet in the garage and knew I could do something with it.  So started but hanging it up on the wall.

Then it was time to embellish it.  I have been drooling over DIY JOY signs in Pinterest lately and I knew I wanted to make my own.  It was more difficult than I thought it would be to find the right letters but here is what I came up with...

I honestly cannot get the "dwell" off the wall, may need to paint over it at some point.  Also, these pics are crooked and I am too lazy to adjust them so you are just going to have to deal.  #bloggingnono

I found the J and Y at Michaels and spray painted them red.  I got the pom pom garland in the $3 bin at Target.   I had the wreath and lace trim laying around.  I lighted the wreath with a strand of the Phillips Dew Drop lights (which I cannot find in any of the Targets around here anymore unless you want the multicolored variety.  I already own 8 strands and it is not enough.  People are eating these up.  The secret it out!).

I added a little holiday cheer to the bedrooms in the form of mini tinsel trees and dew drop lights.  But I decided to add a bit more to the master bedroom.

I literally can't stop hanging things from these deer heads.  They are the perfect holders for banners.

I went with gold and green in here, kept it neutral.  I didn't take a pic of the tree on my dresser but it is gold as well.

 I finally hung those windows up on the wall.  I saw them on my way to work one morning on the side of the road.  Felt like I won the lottery:)

Here is the view from the hallway.  I had big plans to change out this light fixture since the day we moved in 10 years ago.  Clearly, that has not happened but I did remove the glass fixtures around the lights and hot glued the shade on there.  I expected it to stay up for a week, tops, until I could get to the hardware store and get the proper screws to keep it up there, but a year later, it is still holding strong (and I still have not gotten the proper hardware for it).

Finally, I have been doing some online christmas shopping (for myself) recently.  I have been eyeing up a Silhouette cutting machine for years now.  There was a black friday sale for 50% off the machines and I decided it was time to get one.  I could not pull the trigger on the more expensive, larger machine so I settled for the Silhouette Portrait machine after reading some reviews and doing some research.  It arrived yesterday.

Cue the chorus...

I set that baby right up.  I didn't have any of the fancy vinyl that Silhouette sells yet so I just used some black contact paper I have and made my first project...

Some antlers I stuck onto a mirror.  You guys, watch out.  The possibilities are endless with this machine and can barely even contain my excitement!  Probably going to start a whole blog series for Silhouette project, stay tuned.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I blinked and he is 5.

Dear Sullivan,

Holy smokes!  I blinked and you are 5!  FIVE!  

How is that possible?  Seems impossible but here we are.  Its where we are right now.  Of course it is.  It is not like we have not lived day in and day out that past 5 years.  No, we definitely have.  We have lived through the morning whines, road trips, vacations, holidays and all the mundane events of our daily lives.  Together.

 I have so enjoyed watching you grow and learn.  Your intensity for life and emotion can only be matched by a select few.  I am not going to lie, it makes parenting you a challenge sometimes.  You question EVERYTHING (as you should).  And you remember exactly what we tell you, your experiences and how you felt every step of the way.

But in turn, you have brought so much fun and excitement, adventure and magic to our everyday lives.  You demand that we live in the moment and have all the feelings.

And we get to see life all over again through your eyes.

You are now a whole hand old.  Because of you, we are living right in the heart of life.  The "sweet spot".  Still little but big enough to understand so very much.

Right now, it is all about experiences.  I can't tell you how enjoyable it is to experience life with you.

You do life with such gusto:)

But that is just your way.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I became you mother.  And I am glad I didn't know.  We have figured it out together (still are figuring it out).

Somehow your birthday turned into a 3 day birthday celebration extravaganza.

But thats ok.

You are only 5 once, right?

It feels like such a milestone birthday for me you.

Five is a pretty big deal.

And we run with big deals around here.  We do big deals BIG.  We don't shy away from big deals.

Because we love big.  Like 50 million.  I love you 50 million and that is big.

I love you to the sun and all the planets, because it is farther than the moon.  But you already know that.  Because we talk and talk and talk and talk about everything.  All the time.  Non-stop.

Keep talking, keep questioning and keep loving life.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas tour time!!

It is almost Thanksgiving which means it is time to get the Christmas decorations out, right?  I completely agree!  Also, bring on the Christmas crafts!!  I have been crafting and creating all weekend.  I.can't.stop.  Let me show you what has been going on over here.

Here is our dining/sitting room.  

This is the best spot for drinking a pot cup of coffee.

 See that wreath on the window up there?  Coffee filters, foam wreath form and hot glue.  That is all it took.  I LOVE it!  I think I am going to make like 10 more and that is totally doable with my little buddy helper that painstakingly hands me each and every coffee filter while I man the hot glue gun.

I rearranged our gallery wall.  I don't know if you have seen those wooden signs with all the reindeer names on them in those nice barn wood frames but I have and I wanted one SO BAD.  What I had on hand was a giant black canvas and a thrift store gold frame.  The canvas was not a chalkboard but after testing the chalk marker I knew I could make it look like one.

I rubbed the chalk over the canvas, wiped it off, wrote the white names in chalk marker and then used red paint for the Rudolph.  Yeah, my frame was too small for the canvas but that did not stop me putting the two together.

And because I am turning into a grandma, I had to display some doilies on some embroidery hoops and threw those up there too.

 Get to Target's dollar section and get yourself a $3 Noel pillow.  Now.

After moving the fireplace to this wall, it is like a whole new experience decorating this surface because it looks totally different!

 I have big plans for making this fireplace look more permanent and less just bought from the store and placed there, but that is for early 2016.  Dad, what are you doing in early 2016?  Just asking, no reason;)

Now, while you are at Target buying all the $3 pillows they have left, pick up some Phillips Dew Drop string battery lights with self timer.  These are AMAZING!!!  I plan on using them all winter even after the Christmas decor is taken down.

These trees are from the Target dollar bin as well.  I placed them in some tin buckets, strung them with dew drop lights and added "stars" with some little chalk board signs I also got in the Target dollars bins at the start of the school year.

Moving on to the other side of the room...

I tried to keep it pretty simple here and just did some garland I got from Hobby Lobby 2 seasons ago, glass + berries, milk glass, cake stand and chalkboard (of course).

The other side of the buffet I hung some of my vintage bulbs on drop cloth that I pinned over my huge coffee sack art.

I have a few decorations in the kitchen but that room is in such flux still, I am not going to show that room right now.

Lets head to the living room instead...

I FINALLY stopped stringing my lights on my tree like and amateur this year!  I am embarrassed to say I truly did not know that you should string it from "in and out" instead of "side to side".  You have to use a ton more lights but the effect is worth it!  I also added a string of bigger bulb lights.

Yes, we have some strategic placement of items around the tree for some gentle reminders for the blind dog in our house to  STOP and not run into the tree.  She is still getting the hang of this, poor girl.

And for my favorite spot in the house right now, the floating shelf above the TV.  I hung an old metal sled my MIL gave me up on the wall, put up some Craftshop signs, garlands + lights and a few other accessories and this is what I get to stare at when we are watching TV.

All time fav.

This holiday decorating got me taking a close look at some of my walls and I realized I have a lot of patching and re-painting ahead of me this January.  For now, I am just going to ignore the disaster going on behind the decor and enjoy the season by buying my family matching elf pajamas, secretly singing and dancing to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" and spiking my egg nog, heavily.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Holy cow, how is October almost over and this is my first blog post this month?!?  Oops.  Don't worry, I have not been sitting idle!  I am still training for my half marathon on November 7th.  But I sustained a second injury during this training period (weak legs) so I have to take it easy for a week.  Hoping to get a few miles in tomorrow and ease back into it.  Today would have been a perfect day for a run, but instead we headed to a local pumpkin patch.  This year, we went to Eplegaarden in Fitchburg.  

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, we got to listen to this one saying, "PUNKINS!"

 She was dressed in my most favorite outfit of hers right now.  Thankfully, we got some cute pics before she fell down like 147 times and got all dirty.

 The hubs, so strong.

 Obligatory family photo...

 The lighting was tough today.  Not easy to get good pics with noon sunlight.

 This guy.  I don't know when his smile started looking like he was in pain but that is what it is right now.

Obligatory cousin photo...

They had some horse drawn wagons there and Sully was brave enough to pet the horse with some help from cousin Ava.

Obligatory mother/daughter photo...

She was trying to slither away from me.  Sneaky little snake.

This lady has her "cheeeeeese" down pat:)

Obligatory father/daughter photos...

Auntie enjoying some baby Justine time...

My heart skips a bit when I see my nieces and nephews interact with my kids.  Especially the older nieces and nephew.  The kindness and interest they show in my kids are nothing short of amazing and I am so grateful.  They have no idea.  My kids are so very lucky to have such amazing cousins on both sides of their family.

Picking the perfect pumpkins...

Obligatory brother/sister photo (fail)...

Obligatory mother/son photo...

And lastly, me and my two "punkins"...

Now to finish making their Halloween costumes.  

I am done with the little lady's costume but possibly traumatized her when I put it on her.  It was TIGHT!  I had to cut it off her and add ties to the back so it is easier to get on and off, assuming she lets me put it on her again.  *sigh*  Pics to come!