30 November 2011

Thanksgiving and more

Thanksgiving--we have so much to be thankful for! Not the least of which was this year's Turducken!


The girls each wrote down their Thankfuls each night in November on a thankful chain. Bella wrote down every friend and family member she could think of, and the last night wrote "Momm Kisses." *poink* I just keeled over from cuteness. Mimi was thankful for variations on candy every night--chocolate, pumpkins that you put candy in, candy that you bring to drive-in movies, etc. Except for one night, when she said Colleen, her favorite teacher at her old school. Awwww!

We have a very fun post-Thanksgiving tradition--going downtown! We have done this different ways over the years, but this year we decided to do it up right and spend the weekend.

Our Holidazzle Tradition!

We saw Santa at Macy's. How great is that guy? So super great.

Bella and Santa


How crappy is Macy's photography? Geez people, my iPhone would have taken a better picture than that!

We toured through the Day in the Life of an Elf show, which was the same as usual. YAWN!
BUT, an important part of the tradition, none the less.

Life of an Elf Show

We got gingerbread boys from Mrs. Claus' bakery. Mimi likes to talk about the buttons before she goes to sleep now. "I wike the buttons! I don't wike the eyes! I wike the buttons!"

Gingerbread Boy

We watched the new Macy's Moose puppet show, which has muppets  mixed with marionnettes in a singing dancing puppetstravaganza. The "storyline" was a little strange and I felt a little on edge that one of the star muppets had this threatening Joe Pesci voice. I'm fairly certain neither of the girls had a clue what was going on.

We wrote letters to Santa.

Dear Santa

Santa Mail

Then we found fountains to throw the pennies we brought into.

Gavidae Fountain

Gavidae Fountain


After a nice Panera dinner and a rest in our luxurious downtown Residence Inn, we bundled up to watch Holidazzle! Brrrrr! Why weren't we there on Friday night when it was 50 degrees??!

Mimi fell asleep as soon as we walked outside. She woke up when the Peter Pan float went by. How surreal must that be?

Holidazzle Parade

Holidazzle Parade

Candyland Caramel Corn--a delicious tradition.


Then it was so nice to snuggle into our hotel room with treats and a movie. Kung Fu Panda was on.

Caramel Corn and Kung Fu Panda

Then we finally tucked everybody in and we all fell asleep except Mimi, who I think just danced around the hotel room with her fiberoptic wand until about 2 am.

Fiberoptic Wands

The next morning we got up, ate a great breakfast at the hotel (make your own Belgian waffles!!) and puttered around downtown a little more. The girls got their Christmas presents for each other--an adorable adventure in secret shopping (not so much!).

We had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday full of turducken and traditions. Turditions?

I hope you did too!

14 November 2011


I present to you...


Living Room

I know. You totally just saw this like two weeks ago. But Now... With More Fireplace!

New Fireplace

I also believe I have finally discovered the secret to that "old house" smell that I love. I'm pretty sure that it is oil trim paint! Which I will now be keeping in my Scentsy warmer to make our house smell, well, old and oily. I always thought it was Murphy's Oil Soap, so give me some credit I was on the right track.

Here's a before picture, just for dramatic effect.

Fireplace: Before

We had the nicest woodworker. Didn't he do an awesome job? I was all vague and indecisive about what I wanted. "Can you picture a Swedish Martha Stewart?" and he suffered through a lot of whining about the odious task of finding a marble guy.

New Fireplace

Here are Ursula and Koko the train having a picnic while I take these pics. Koko brought blueberries and Ursula brought salami. I do love my little shadow, she just plays wherever I happen to be.


While I was painting the fireplace, both girls sat on the floor and watched. This made me very nervous since last time I was painting something white with Mimi around she hurled a large quilted pumpkin at it. Why? Why would she do that?! Why hurl a pumpkin decoration? Why hurl it at the wall? Why hurl it at THAT wall? I have no idea what goes on in their brains. So I ended up panickedly asking Brent to bring out "The Cage!" this big mother of a play yard thing, and he fences off the whole fireplace painting region into a cross between a pasture and the Thunderdome. Pasturedome! Two cows enter, one cow leaves. Anyway, where was I. Keeping an eye out for projectiles and huffing paint fumes, I think.

I can't wait for Christmastime to hang our stockings.


Burn baby burn!

11 November 2011

Making a Photo Shadowbox

Photo Shadow Box

Seriously. How cute is this? SO. CUTE!

I was inspired by this one:

 Want to make one? It's pretty easy! I got the 12x12 shadow box frame at Target. I think it was like $10 or something. We got it the same trip that we went to buy Mimi her new fancy underpants. Fancy Pants. Literally! And the checkout girl, who is like 15, says to me (not Mimi), all casual, "Just buying some new underpants, huh." And I just found this hilarious. Let's make some small talk! About Minnie Mouse underpants! It makes me want to go buy weird things and see what she says. "Just buying some adding machine tape, huh."

Anyway, back to the project. I picked out 36 digital photos and used Photoshop to size them into 1-1/4" circles. I chose all photos of our family and friends, which actually took a little concentration, since my natural instinct is apparently to just fill out the whole frame with baby pictures of the girls. I also went ahead and changed all the photos to sepia (although it just looks black and white in my pictures, I guess it is kind of a black and white sepia).

Photo Shadow Box

{Junior Mints: best candy ever.}

Then I sort of eyeballed the layout, using a 1-1/2" border.

Photo Shadow Box

I did this while drinking coffee and eating junior mints. Sooooo they didn't exactly turn out straight the first time. At least it wasn't Bailey's and junior mints, right? The point is, a good time was had by all.

Photo Shadow Box

A couple close-ups so you can see how they stick up all dimensional and stuff. I think that really makes it look cool.

Photo Shadow Box

I hope I don't wake up in the morning and find all the dots laying in the bottom of the frame. I'll keep you posted.

Photo Shadow Box

07 November 2011


Halloween 2011

I'm a cawot.

Princess Bella

Mimi chose to be a carrot again this year, despite all my desperate efforts to get her to be a marshmallow. But she is such a cute, proud carrot! "I'm a cawwot!"

Bella chose a Princess Tiana costume from Costco. She likes me to spray it with my vanilla-rose perfume. Then she dances around like a ballerina. Before tearing around the neighborhood, lapping the little carrot several times.

Hope you had a happy Halloween!