Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas

I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away!  We are getting ready to head to Indiana to see my family for a week or so.  I'm not a fan of road trips but it's nice to go home for Christmas.  I hope we get some snow for Hayden to play in (after we get there, of course!)

Yesterday Hayden had a little playdate/Christmas party with his friend.  Another one of his friends was unable to come because she is sick and we missed her and her little sister.  So, it was just the two of them but I think they had a great time judging by the constant giggles and smiling faces!

I'd been seeing those adorable snowmen milk bottles all over pinterest and decided to make them.  So cute!  There were lots of sugary treats and even Hayden's elf, "Big H" was there. 

For the past several days I have been holding my kids a little tighter, hugging them a little longer, kissing them a little more and just being completely thankful for every moment I have with them. My heart has been so broken for those families that lost their children in that horrible tragedy and I am consumed with grief for them. I'm praying that God gives them a peace that passes understanding as they walk through this dark valley.

So lucky to be mommy to these precious kiddos!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yarn Ball Christmas Wreath

Wow, it's been a while since I posted.  I've been slacking lately!  I have seriously been the worst blogger this year :-/

Well, I have a Christmasy post today :)  I made a wreath for the front door again this year and have had a few people ask how I made it so I wanted to share it with you! 

I've seen my picture frame wreath from a couple years ago a lot on pinterest and it makes me happy to see that people liked it so much!! :)  This year I did something a little more whimsy.  It all started when I was black friday shopping with my sisters in law and saw a yarn ball wreath at Target.  It was adorable and $20.  I didn't want to spend $20 so I decided to make one.  I got my yarn at Joanns and used coupons.  Would you believe I got all this yarn for $7???
 I got the wreath form (18 inch but you can do any size) at the dollar tree (love that store.) So I had just over $8 in the supplies (less than half of the Target wreath!)

I considered getting styrofoam balls (they even had them in packs of 4 or 5 at the dollar tree) but I would have needed TONS and this would have made my cost in supplies way too much.  So, I decided to crumple up old magazine pages and wrap those with yarn to start my balls :)

I took these pictures when it was dark, excuse the terrible coloring...  Anyway, I added pages to make some bigger forms, tried to make a few different sizes. 
To start covering in yarn I just added a dab of hot glue to the paper and attached the yarn, started wrapping.  I tried to turn the ball continuously to get a more random/messy look so that the yarn wasn't all going in the same direction.  I just wrapped and wrapped.  Didn't add glue as I went along, just glued the end when I was finished with the ball.  They hold together fine. 

This was a bit time consuming!  I made LOTS of yarn balls....  LOTS.

I chose to do four colors and tried to keep the same number of balls in each color.  Then, I just started attaching.

I would suggest maybe deciding how you want to place the balls before you start gluing.  I didn't do this and kept having to even it up.  That was frustrating. 
I made tiny balls to fill in the gaps, add filler in spots that needed it. 
Just keep adding till it looks the way you want it.  I didn't take a lot of pictures of this process but didn't think it was necessary. 
Once it was done I added some plastic glittery snowflake ornaments (also from the dollar tree) and I think it really finished it off.

I love how it looks on my red front door :)

Merry Christmas and here's to hoping that I get better with this blogging thing :p
All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Happenings

A little look at what we have been doing so far this fall season!

Adding some fall touches to the house...

Are those pink pumpkins not awesome?  My mom and I spotted them while at Kroger last week and she got a few for the house.  I LOVE them! 

hello cute, pink pumpkin! ;)
Call me crazy but I'm keeping some seeds from these guys in hopes that I will be able to grow some for next year...we shall see how that adventure goes!!!

Speaking of my mom, she surprised us with a visit this past wednesday!  The doorbell rang and there was a pumpkin sitting on my doormat.  Hayden was pretty excited about the pumpkin that came out of nowhere but then grandma came around the corner!  She stayed till Sunday and we had a great visit!

And of course it's not fall without some festive treats...

Mom brought a recipe for these pumpkin cheesecake bites so we had fun making (and eating) those!  Then sunday I made these chocolate covered marshmallows to share.  The hubs made quick work of the ones I kept!

Baby girl was loving the pink pumpkin atop the kitchen table, it was too cute. 

Now before you start thinking I'm a bad mommy leaving her on the table, you should know my mom was sitting right next to her in a chair, see? ;)

I just can't get enough of all things fall!  Got my fall-ish scented candles burning daily now, hope they last till after Thanksgiving when it's time to get out the Christmas stuff.  What?  Can't believe it's almost time for THAT! 

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Mantel

My mantel was in need of some fall decor and yesterday it was dreary and rainy so I thought it was a perfect day to create a simple fall-themed mantel. 

The wreath I have had for years but I find a place for it every year it seems!  The window is a reoccurring part of my mantel decor...  Basically the only things I purchased for this fall mantel were the gourds which all came in one bag and the decorative wheat stems I used as vase fillers.  I picked both of those up at my local grocery store. 

I wanted to add a 'garland' of colored indian corn to the front of the mantel but I didn't want to spend the extra money so I left it alone. I may go back and add that later...we will see ;)

Anyway, it's simple but it adds a touch of fall to the room.  I love decorating for fall since it's probably my favorite season.  I'm still gathering things to add to the front porch and I've got ceramic pumpkins and fall-scented candles/air fresheners scattered through the rest of the house.  Can't wait to take the littles to the pumpkin patch (a favorite fall activity of ours!)  Happy Fall!

p.s. I'm linking up (suuuuper late) to Centsational Girl's mantel linky party!

And, here!

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Made with Love

Yesterday I made a batch of baby food for Ava Kate.  Since she started solids a few weeks ago, I have just been mashing up things like avacado and sweet potatoes, although I did blend up a quick batch of peas and those were quickly rejected...I also blended up some peaches to go with her breakfast.   Anyway, I knew that I needed to just make up a big batch of a few different foods and freeze them so I spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon doing just that!

If you are interested in making your own baby food, a great webiste and my favorite resource is Wholesome Baby Food.  It has recipes, tips and lots more! 

I made carrots, butternut squash, peaches and apples.  The peaches I purchased frozen since they are out of season.  For the carrots, I used organic baby carrots. 
 I like to use fruit in her oatmeal for breakfast and veggies for dinner (she isn't eating 3 meals a day yet, just breakfast and dinner.) 

I hope baby girl likes all of her new food :)  She had the squash for dinner last night and seemed to like it! 

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

1/2 a year baby girl is 6 months old.  I can't believe it!  It's amazing to me how fast time flies after the baby is born but seems to crawl when you are pregnant.  As much as I hate to admit it, my baby is growing into a big girl.  She is sitting up, eating solid foods, talking baby talk and getting sweeter by the minute! 
Speaking of solids, here is a look at her trying her very first food for the first time, avacado!  Believe it or not, she really does like it now even though she made some pretty crazy faces the first time ;) I waited till she was 'officially' 6 months to start solids and so far we have tried avacado, banana, sweet potatoes and peaches.  I make all of her food but I haven't made a huge batch yet since most of it is stuff that doesn't freeze well and mashes easily.  She didn't like the bananas but I think it was the texture.  And the peaches, I have just added them to oatmeal and sweet potatoes so she hasn't had them by themselves yet.   

Daddy giving her the first bite of avacado...

The reaction...
Ha!  And here is big brother trying his hand at feeding her

I just love the way he loves her :)  Melts my heart. 

So baby girl is about 15 1/2 lbs of pure preciousness.  I honestly cannot get enough of her.  I can't even remember how life was without her.  She fits so perfectly into our little family. 

(she refuses to smile for me whenever the camera is in front of my face. It drives me CRAZY!)

But she makes the cutest faces....

And she is the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen.

Idea I saw on pinterest (where else?)

Ok, there's a little smile. 
Daddy got that one out of her and usually when I take her pictures he isn't home, so I have tons of pictures of her not smiling...

like this

I had no idea the wonderful gift we were in for when they told us we were having a little girl.  It was so hard for me to imagine loving another child and looking back I think, what a silly thought!  I am so in love with this girl, more than I ever could have even imagined!!!  I tell people that she is the 'perfect baby.'  I'm really not exaggerating, she is wonderful.  I also say that she makes me want 20 babies.  If I knew that every baby I had would be just like her, I probably would have that many (well, maybe not since I'm not a huge fan of being pregnant and they grow up and turn into ornry 3 year olds....)

She's always happy and easy to please.  She looooooves to sleep (girl after my own heart) and when it's time for bed (or nap) I just lay her down, turn her sound machine on and she is good to go. If she does fuss, it's just for a few seconds, literally, and then she is asleep.  If she really cries, I know she is needing to eat some more or she just isn't sleepy.  And she does love her mama.  She doesn't really like for me to be out of sight during the day, or out of 'touch' rather....she likes to be held.  But, I don't mind it :)  There are times when it is inconvenient because I am trying to get things done but I just put her in the carrier and continue on.  I stay home with my kids to be there for them, not clean and do other things so if she wants to be held, I will hold her.  Soon she will be a busy toddler and she won't want me to hold her.  I cherish these days.  There isn't a day that goes by I don't consider myself the luckiest woman in the whole universe for getting to be this little girl's mommy. 


All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!