Saturday, December 31, 2011



Friday, December 30, 2011

two at the zoo

I love throwing birthday parties for my girls.  And typically I go all out.  My mother-in-law still teases me about Brooklyn's first birthday party and how the live ladybugs got loose in my trunk.  It was a ladybug obviously have to have live ladybugs  for a ladybug hunt right?  Themes are my thing.  Handmade invitations, unique decor, hand cut banners, coordinating paper goods, homemade cakes and cupcakes, crafted party favors, (hours on pinterest)... you get the idea.

But I really reigned myself in this time. Simplified.  And it was totally great.  For Leighton's second birthday party, we had a two at the zoo party.  Just family, smuggled picnic lunch, and simple (and somewhat smashed) funfetti cupcakes.
 Did she feel ripped off, neglected, or overlooked?  Not for a second.  She loved it.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Happy Birthday Little Leighton...
Oh, how I love you so.

Leighton loves...
doggies and kitties
playing  babies
having everything her big sisters have
waking up Daddy
babas and blankies
riding in her "seat car"
going to the park
socks and shoes on
lip gloss and fingernail polish
giving hugs and kisses

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

christmas 2011

 christmas eve fire gazing

true christmas story reading

 early christmas morning finding

christmas morning eating

christmas dress wearing

 christmas gift wrap tearing

cousins christmas sharing

christmas duet playing

Saturday, December 24, 2011

a very merry christmas

Hoping your Christmas is filled with the warmth of home, 
love of family, 
and blessings of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Signs of the season...
carol singing,
gift wrapping,
sweet snacking,
Christmas crafting, 
hot drink sipping,
present shopping,
party planning,
baby Jesus worshiping,
each moment relishing.

a.  I'm back into embroidery.  Talk about relaxing.  I hadn't done anything since this and this, but am currently inspired and hoping to do more.  I'm picturing stitching by the fire with a hot drink every night this week!
b.  Made several of these signs as gifts for family and friends.  Way to use that old scrapbook paper eh?
c.  More embroidery...and my latest thrift store seal...the coveted plaid thermos (actually scored 2!)
d.  Felt wreath...lots of cutting for those scallops but much faster than the yarn wrapping for sure.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just like everyone else, our lives are busy and hectic as ever this season.  Compound every Christmas rehearsal, program, recital, choir, party, etc.  with a family wide severe cold and we've had quite a month already.  I am finally coming back to the land of the living after 10 days of suffering form every cold symptom imaginable. Anyway, despite all that, we are still getting into the Christmas spirit.  Especially little Leighton.  This is the first Christmas she has been able to understand what is going on and really enjoy all the special parts of Chirstmas.  She...
- sings (okay, mouths the words) and does hand motions to Away in a Manger
- loves Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
- tells you the angel said, "Fear Not"
- tries to open packages and then says, "It was an accident"
- loves the Snow Monster form Rudolph (maybe the only 2 year old in the world who does!)
- hangs (and rehangs) ornaments like a pro, saying "oopsie doodle"  when they fall off
- says "I don't like saving them" when we tell her she has to save her presents until Christmas
- has gotten very attached to her Nutcracker doll, thus detaching his sword, arm, and various other body  parts
- said, "mommy its so, so beautiful", when she saw lights downtown for the first time

And I am beside myself this year to see the girls open their presents.  I can't wait to see their little faces light up with joy.  I don't like saving them either, Leighton!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Krispy Kreme Kristmas

Our mid morning pick me up today was in the form of Krispy Kreme.  We have a local shop but don't go often because we get our weekly dose of Krispy Kreme at church every Sunday.  Plus its a little store and doesn't have the doughnut making apparatus that makes a trip to KK so thrilling.  But we ventured in today and found two things almost as thrilling as the hundreds of doughnuts on the conveyor belt.

#1 Adorable snowman doughnuts (not jelly filled- my kids and I aren't big fans of the fillings, doughnuts are messy enough alone, not to mention the ones with red goo oozing out of them from every angle).  Actually, I think the girls may bee happier with solid frosting doughnuts (as seen in exhibit D).

and #2  drum-roll please.......The place is actually a Krispy Kreme/Coffee Bean!  Now how I can be as big of a Coffee Bean fan as I am, and live minutes from one (inside a doughnut shop no less) without knowing is beyond me.  Who was holding out on me here?  I figured they just sold the plain old Coffee Bean coffee in Krispy Kreme cups.  But no.  I did indulge in my favorite of all time, vanilla latte.  Puts Starbucks to shame, hands down.   So thank you to the genius who brought KK to the west coast, and an ever bigger thanks to the even bigger genius who teamed up with the Bean.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

tiny dancer

Its that time of year again...ballet recital quickly approaching.  Dress rehearsal down...big performance to go.  Ellie is gorgeous in her costume and bun.  A perfect ballerina.  She had a completely different demeanor wearing it.  Very proper and princess-like (despite the complaints that her tutu didn't fit in her booster seat and she was NEVER going to wear it in the car again).   She even left her hair up the whole time... which is amazing for a girl who likes to wear her hairbands on her wrists more than she does her hair. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

sallted caramel goodness

Okay, since I've recently cut the coffee around here, I've had to get creative with hot drinks.  
When I'm good, its peppermint or chamomile tea slightly sweetened with truvia.  
When I'm bad, its this...salted caramel hot chocolate.  

You need all this good stuff, and hot milk (water just wont cut it here folks). 
Warm your milk (you know your grandma would do it on the stove, stirring it the whole time, but you can nuke yours).
Mix in the cocoa mix. 
Add a few shakes of sea salt and  a few squirts of caramel.
Load it up with whipped cream. 
Repeat caramel and salt. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Brett asked for a not-so-extreme office makeover.  
He wanted to cool-ize the place.  
(I guess this means he's planning on staying for a while right?)
I told him I'd do it up Manthropologie style. 

I got to work...
sewing navy and white chevron print pillows,
making a dictionary paper covered cork board,
and creating a wall of clipboards.

He got to work...
cleaning out a lot of junk paperwork, 
computer disks (yes, I said disks),
and VHS tapes.

We got to work...
painting walls 
and creating these...


Love these lyrics that have been floating around on all kinds of blogworld projects.
Perfect for that artistic at heart worship leader right? 
And my biggest compliment from one of the girls on his worship team...
It looks like Pinterest in here!
Mathro complete.

Monday, November 28, 2011

oh the weather outside is frightful...

I guess us southern Californians need to make up our own Christmas songs.  82 degrees and super sunny today.  Hot enough for these girlies to take a dip in the pool.  That's why they sell bathing suits year round down here. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

thank you black friday

I'd love to be a black Friday shopper.  
a.  I love to shop.  
b.  I love a reason to get up early (other than children crying to get out of their cribs).  
c.  I love the thrill of a bargain hunt
But at this point in my life, my only black friday shopping is in the comfort of my own home, in front of a computer screen.  No amount of savings is worth toting around 3 tired, grumpy children and subjecting them to waiting in lines longer than Disneyland, with much less of a thrill at the end.
I did, however manage to drag the girls out of the house for some Saturday shopping.  I figured these two places would not have the holiday shopping insanity that the mall would.  First stop, Dollar tree.  No black Friday sales there.   At Dollar tree every day is Black Friday.  Second stop, thrift store.  Not a lot of holiday shopping going on there either.  But what do you know, they did have a 50% off sale!  Who knew?  So...

I just couldn't...


 these beauties form Christmases long ago...
from my favorite hole in the wall thrift store...
for $3.25 total.
Thank you Black Friday for keeping all the other shoppers away form my store.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


giving thanks for so much today...

 And speaking of home...head over to Life Made Lovely and take a peek inside our lovely home...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I am blessed...



my girls, 
my man, 
my home.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

christmas in a jar

On my last sale table/window shopping trip to Anthropologie, I found some adorable, but not necessarily affordable, mason jar snow globes.  Of course my crafting wheels started turning, and I came up with a rendition of my own (for an absolute fraction of the price at anthro).  So if you want a project to kick off your holiday decor...look no further...

Gather up those mason jars you've got in your stash...or if you're not an obsessive jar collector like myself, head to Walmart and buy a case of 12 jars for under $10.  Micheal's also sells single mason jars in several sizes for $1-$2.  I started with wide mouth pint jars. The wide mouth jars give you more surface area on the lid to work with, especially if you want to use multiple trees.

 Give them all a good shine inside and out before you start working.

Now, head to your miniature Christmas tree farm and pick out your trees.  I had to get a variety pack because Michael's was all out of the small trees (probably due to all those Christmas nuts setting up their miniature cities already). Anyway, I got a bag of 21 trees, 40% off for $13.  They range in size from 3-10 inches.  The small and medium sized ones work great in the pint jars.

 Get your lids ready...

 Play around with the trees to find a set-up that suits you.  Make sure the trees will fit when you put the jar on the lid, and that they fit inside the rubber seal around the lid so it will close properly.  I did some with three trees and some with just one. 

And on to the messy fun part.  If you are glitter-fobic, you could do without... but come on, who doesn't love glitter at Christmastime?!?  Totally worth the mess I believe (as I walk around the house with glitter on the bottom of both feet!).  I'm sure there are lots of different adhesives you could use with the glitter, but I had mod-podge on hand (like every good crafter) so that's what I used.
Dab it on and shake away (the glitter that is).

 Let these sparkling beauties dry thoroughly before you go any further (I speak from experience here).
I went ahead and glitterified all my trees at once to save myself form another glitter bath later.

Use a hot glue gun to glue the trees to the lid.  Again, make sure to stay within the rubber seal, or the jar will not close.   And once you stick these babies...they're stuck, so take your time
(again, speaking from experience).

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how gilttery are your branches...

And since I'm already singing...
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....
After you've got your trees on, you can add snow to settle to the bottom (or top I guess) of the jar.  I played around with regular sugar, which made the glass kind of dusty (not good) so I ended up using these sprinkles.  You may be able to find something else cheaper than these (almost $4 a jar, and it only fills about 5 jars).  Anyway, fill the jar about an inch, screw the lid on, and carefully tip the jar to avoid getting too much of the sugar on the trees.  Give it a little tap and shake to settle the snow.

And there you go.  Christmas in a jar.

And if you really get inspired, you can use your entire forest in all different sized jars.  
Make some for yourself and make more for giving. 
Happy Christmas Crafting!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

get inspired!

I am super excited to tell you about an amazing online magazine I found.  It's called Inspired Ideas, The Christmas Issue and you must check it out.   They call it "a magazine celebrating the crafty life"...could it be more perfect?  The issue from last year, Christmas 2010 is free and has 172 idea packed pages.  I couldn't stop staring at all the loveliness.  You will be inspired to crack out those craft supplies that have been hiding out in your cabinets and get your craft on.  I'm chomping at the bit as we speak!  Enough talk...get crafting!

Don't think I wouldn't let you go without a sneak peek.....

 village houses (from cereal boxes!)

yo-yo tree (genius)