It’s not even Thanksgiving and I can already check ‘Christmas Cards’ off my list. Am I on a roll this season or what?
I took our Christmas photos early this year, with the idea that we may need to go a few rounds before getting that perfect shot. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but by ‘perfect’ I mean: everyone is smiling, in focus and looking in the general direction of the camera. My expectations have been rather low based on historical evidence (see last year’s outtakes). This year, I’m happy to report that our shoot went fairly well, and we ended up with quite a few adorable shots of this brother and sister duo. I’ll be sharing our cards (selected from the Tiny Prints holiday collection) along with a DIY project for displaying holiday photos on the Tiny Prints blog soon. In the meantime, here are a few outtakes:
Thank you, Tiny Prints, for our gorgeous holiday cards!
We made much progress on the holiday decorating front this weekend. Our successes were largely due to a visit from my mom, who arrived with a car full of great vintage finds, and styling assistance from my friend, Tara, who knew just want to do with said vintage greatness.
Have you started decorating for the holidays? We started the day after Halloween, and we’ve received a bit of criticism (via social media, of course) for what some perceive as an inappropriately early start to the holiday season. I don’t actually disagree, but we had our reasons. We’re hosting a holiday charity event in a couple of weeks. One thing I’ve learned: nothing makes your critics look worse (or apologize faster) than explaining that your actions have been put forth to raise money for those less fortunate.
What are your plans for the weekend? Me, I’ll be decorating … and scouring the web for inspiration. And speaking of inspiration, have you seen Lowe’s Deck the Halls Event? I need a little of that action at my house.
We had A TON of candy leftover from Halloween. This was our first Halloween in our new house, and we had no idea that only one group of kids would ring our doorbell for candy. Two weeks later and we still have bags of candy in our cupboards. So when I was assembling a s’mores bar for a party we had this weekend, an idea hit me: candybar s’mores! The mini Hershey’s bars are obviously perfect for this, but I also added peanut butter cups, Crunch bars and Kit Kats.
I completely failed to take any pictures at our party, but here are a few pre-party shots of the set-up. I think the Reese’s peanut butter cups were the party favorite. We’ll definitely be trying this again … especially since we still haven’t eaten all of our candy.
We’ve been making lots of progress on the house, so I thought I’d share a quick update today. The entryway is one area that I consider somewhat ‘complete.’ Here is how it looked just after we painted:
And here is how it looks today:
Since we have entire rooms that we didn’t have before (and need to purchase new furniture for those rooms), we’re almost entirely re-using pieces we already owned to decorate the entryway. The console table (identical to the one in our family room) and bench were purchased about 10 years ago from West Elm. The mirror is something I’ve had since high school (not sure if I can say that about any of the other furnishings in the house), and the yellow resin painting is by Sacramento artist, Kim Squaglia. Our only new purchases for this space is the striped rug from Crate and Barrel and a large glass jug, which I filled with all of the wine corks my husband has saved since we got married.
This weekend, we celebrated Jason’s 7th birthday with his friends at Legoland Discovery Center, probably one of his favorite places in the whole world. I love throwing birthday parties for Jason and Jenna, but this one was almost entirely handled by the nice people of Lego. In fact, both my husband and I had trouble leaving the house because we felt like we were forgetting something. This was by far the easiest of all of our kids’ birthday parties so far, and while I miss the fun of planning and creating, I also know that Jason could not have been happier with his party.
My only two additions to an otherwise ‘store-bought’ party were the very cute Lego-themed invitations from Tiny Prints and the party favors.
For the favors, I ordered a Lego stamp and created Lego-themed notebooks and carrying cases to hold the notebooks and a few other goodies. I’m not a big fan of giving (or receiving) favors that will just be thrown away, so I usually try to create something with a longer shelf life. Jason and Jenna are always packing up cases, bags and other containers with toys to take on the go, so when I saw these little suitcases at Target, I knew they’d be a perfect favor box.
The cake was provided by Legoland and Jason wasn’t too pleased when I wiped all of the dye-filled frosting off his piece. Sorry, Jason.
Our friend Dustin’s handmade gift-wrap has become a tradition at Jason’s birthdays, and this year’s design didn’t disappoint.
Happy Birthday, Jason!
One of the things that continues to amaze me about my kids is how they integrate seemingly unrelated elements into their games. At times it’s intentional – like when Jason told Jenna that they could play Star Wars birthday party in order to combine his interests (Star Wars) with hers (parties and cupcakes). Other times it’s seems more natural, like when Minions, Angry Birds and other characters inhabit Lego structures and drive Lego vehicles. My favorite combinations are those that involve the interpretation of a digital game in a non-digital format – like when Jason was grounded from the iPad and decided to make his own tablet … out of Legos.
Seeing their imaginations at work is pretty awesome, and every once in awhile, I like to attempt a toy mash-up of my own. So this Halloween, I converted Jenna’s dollhouse into a haunted house using toys and crafting supplies I had on hand. Jenna was pretty excited when she came home from school to find her dollhouse had been taken over by evil spirits. But she also requested that as soon as Halloween is over, we decorate her dollhouse for Christmas. Oh dear.