Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas friends! I hope all of you find yourselves surrounded by all the people you love, in close approximation to the dip and up to your ears in shiny new presents. Love you guys!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Mah Christmas House Tour

Well well well, it's almost Christmas, isn't it? All those plans I had for decorating and new Christmas craft ideas, and trust me, I had a freaking ton, well, they're out the window. It's cool though, I've been spending my time doing more important things like going to Sesame Place with the fam, baking cookies with Gigi and wearing out my library card. For the first time in my life, I did almost all of my shopping online and it has left me the most relaxed person ever.

Luckily I managed to drag out the boxes a few weeks ago and get the basics in place. My little helper was actually a helper. He handed me the branches from the box and was obsessed with the strand of lights. He was so darn excited, it made a normally tedious chore (the separating, the fluffing, etc) go quickly.


And that was it for about two weeks. I had plans to make all sorts of gray & white and woodsy ornaments to go along with my Scandi-Shabby Christmas theme but time kept passing, I wasn't making anything and my tree looked sad. So I went and pulled out everything I already owned (meaning RED) and loaded this bish up. And dammit, she is festive as hell. So what if she doesn't quite fit in with the theme, I've learned to get over it. I'm assuming you have too? Good.

Every year I pick an ornmanent for Gabe to add to his own personal collection but I try to make it mean something. You can see his gnome up there from last year but this year's was obvious...the dump truck. Luckily Gabe doesn't have any speech impediment when it comes to his favorite type of truck because that could get awkward.

Here's the rest of the room. I picked up a few cheapy wreaths from Michaels and hung them from the windows (I'll take Shannon implements Pinterest ideas for $1000, Alex).

Of course, in my sugar plum dreams, these wreaths would all have been boxwoods. But they are expensive, so they weren't happening. This does the trick.

I can't add much to the tables without it becoming thrown around but Gabe saw this musical angel in the box and became obsessed. He calls her Tootsie the Princess and she plays the guitar. And when I wind her up, he climbs up on my lap and says it makes him sleepy. Seriously? This is what it's all about. This angel that I grew up with is now Tootsie the Princess and she thrills Gabe. I love it.

Some random crap thrown together in a random vignette.

I was about to put a cloche on these deer that my mom gave me but they've become Gabe's little project. Sort of like Elf on the Shelf, we've got Deer on the Loose. Gabe moves them around every day to a different spot. No mischief, no piles of flour to clean up, just some deer in random places. Works for me.

Then of course, the breakfast room, which has already been done up all Scandi style...


If you missed the rest of it, you can see it here. Other than that, there's not too much else going on around the house that's new and exciting. Normally I go all out in my dining room, but with a Bottle Pop party on New Year's weekend, my dining room has been party central and there was no point trying to work around it. 

SO there you have it. I'm off to be relaxed some more.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#PACOI Holiday Link Party!

It's time guys! It's time to break out your cutest, cleverest, prettiest, funniest or most ridiculous cloche display and show it off. Michael and I blogged about ours last week if you need a little inspiration. Link up your blog any time from now until Friday and who knows, it may just get pinned onto our "i put a cloche on it" Pinterest board! Now let's see the goods!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Put a Cloche On It!

Remember back in May when I went to visit Michael at his B&B? Well during one of our late night, sangria-soaked nights on the porch, we found one particular idea awfully hysterical (you know how it goes). The idea was to Put a Cloche On It! We must have been discussing things like blogger and design trends and the ubiquitous Put a Bird On It and when we realized our mutual love for cloches and Put a Cloche On It was born. Cute stack of vintage books? Make it cuter and put a cloche on it! Trio of fancy candles? It'll be fancier under a cloche! You get the idea. Everything looks better under a cloche.

Now, if you're wondering what a cloche is, and I know some of you are, it's a glass dome, or bell jar. You can find them everywhere from antique stores to HomeGoods to the shelf of your thrift store, disguised as a cheese plate dome. They're everywhere. So if you're not in on the cloche game, there really is nothing stopping you. You want cute things to look cuter, right? Of course you do.

So here's what we're doing...or at least what I remember from our drunken conversations. Let's make Put a Cloche on It a thing. Or #PACOI if you're in on the Instagram or Twitter game. Go round up a cloche, pop it on something cute and show us all how much cuter your life now is. Michael and I are gonna have a link up on Tuesday 12/18 so make sure you get it done this weekend and come back to show everyone.

Now let me show you what I Put a Cloche on...

The milk and cookies set I DIY'd last week looks even better under a cloche and is now safe from toddler grabby hands!

You guys know my penchant for all things cute wrapping related, so the thought of hiding my ribbons and such away sort of disappointed me. So I rounded them up and covered them with a cloche. It looks cute plus they're protected from both toddler hands and sneaky cats.

Now if you didn't believe me when I said that everything, absolutely everything, looks better under a cloche, then I present to you....

Bills under a cloche. They won't go away but they'll look fantastic while they wait to be paid.

Annnnnd matchbox cars under a cloche. I mean, they're already taking over my house, I might as well enjoy them, right?

Okay, so you got it? Next week, bring your pretty things under a cloche, bring your funny things under a cloche, bring anything under a cloche. And tag the shit out of it #PACOI. It'll be fun, I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tell Me More About the Presents...

It's so weird, realizing that this child living in your house really has NO idea what the magic of Christmas is all about.  So yeah, you have to look at every little thing as a two year old. Christmas trees and lights are wonderful and shiny. Presents are wonderful, if not frustratingly taped little bastards. Santa is wonderful, mostly because he looks like Grandpa. Everything else? We're getting excited as we go. 

We're relying on Gigi to relay all of the Jesus is the Reason for the Season business.

We hit up the mall last week to see Santa for the third time in Gabe's little life. Since Gabe is a sassy little toddler who makes his opinions known, we figured we'd walk past Santa, say hey and if Gabe was into it, maybe go get a pic? So that's what we did. The place was empty so they were happy to let Gabe wander around Santa's workshop, checking out the tree and the presents. We asked him if he wanted to sit on Santa's lap. He replied " No Santa's lap". Well okay then. Santa offered to read him a story and if anyone's a sucker for a story, it's Gabe. Thus, our 2012 Santa picture.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Year's Wrap

Normally every year, I hit up Target the day after Christmas to scoop up all the wrapping paper for the next Christmas. I kinda let what they have determine what my wrapping theme is gonna be. I'm always drawn to the black and white patterns so I usually have a stash of that. This year though, instead of adding the red that I normally do, I'm adding the yellow paper I bought at Paper Source. I picked up a roll of plain black kraft wrapping paper at Michaels, a roll of brown mailing kraft paper at the Dollar Tree and added my stash of felt. A little glitter paper for accents and a roll of yarn later, we've got this year's scheme...

You have a wrapping scheme, right? I'm not insane?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pinterest FTW: Engineer Prints

You know those giant black and white engineer prints you see all over Pinterest? Well they really are worth the hype. I've done it twice now and have been happy both times. My most recent print was a 24" x 36" print of Gabe...obviously. This is actually the medium size that my Staples offers and it is $3 and change. There is a bigger version but that's like 7 bucks, so this one is plenty big for me. 

Their website isn't the most user friendly one out there but once you log in and upload your file, make sure you pick the size and paper weight you want and make sure to check the box to fit the print to the size of the paper. The cheapest weight was pretty nice. Then when you go to pick it up, it comes rolled. But don't worry, when you unroll it, it wants to lay flat. It doesn't try to roll back up, isn't that nice?

I picked up a 24" x 36" blank canvas at Michaels with a 50% coup and it was like $7.50. Now there are much more involved ways of attaching your picture to your canvas but dude, I'm lazy and impatient. So I dug up some heavy duty double sided tape and did it that way. It was then I realized that there was a small border on my picture and also that it didn't print perfectly straight. At that point, two sides were already stuck down so I was like eh, whatever. It works.

So like everything else in my house, it's not the most professional looking thing but I don't think anyone is noticing. It's a big impact for like 10 bucks. And by going the double-sided tape route, I can probably change my picture out if I get bored or it gets gnarly and spend only another 3 bucks.

I had also used the engineer prints for a favor I did for my friend Sarah. She is a college field hockey coach and she wanted to do something spesh for her graduating senior's last game. So I took all of their pics and blew them up, put a cute fringe tissue border on it and we hung them alongside the field. Presh. And spesh.

So dudes, if you were on the fence, do it, it's super easy and cheap and you'll look fancy.


Just an FYI, I've added a few things to my Shop My Closet page. Shop here!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gathering of My Peeps

In what had to be the most complicated gathering of all time, I managed to get the majority of my first cousins + their families together a few weeks ago. The plan was to have our portrait taken and give it to our grandmother for Christmas. If you know old ladies, you know they love this shit. So after convincing people to drive hours, to take off work, to wake up before noon, etc...we managed to meet up in a state park and mostly coordinate our smiles. (Gabe was not in any mood as seen below.)

However, what do old ladies love more than pictures of their grands and great grands? Yep! Seeing them! So I managed to lie to my grandmom and convince her I was taking her to brunch but instead picked her up and drove her to meet up with the fam. Cue the tears. She loved it. She loved the whole idea of it and seeing all of us. We actually pulled it off.

In other gathering news, I managed to score a dinner date with none other than Lizzie Beth. We live way too close to each other to see each other as little as we do but such is life. She grabbed her dudes, I grabbed my dudes and we met up for pizza and wine. It was the sort of dinner only moms of small kids can relate to: waiting too long for a table and walking laps around the joint, macaroni throwing, wine guzzling, emergency snack procuring, that sort of thing. But at least we were in it together. We'd both been there before and know that this is par for the course. Eventually the boys settled down, as did Gabe and Hunter (ba dum dum ching!) and we ate some good food and got to catch up.

Then we headed back to my house for diaper changes and some impromptu quad-riding...

 Yep, the power wheels quad that Gabe got for his birthday and that hasn't left our family room. Or had the battery put in....because I'm terrified of it. But the boys were all over it. And we were all over the fact that Hunter is pretty much the same size as Gabe, yet Hunter is over a year younger. A YEAR. I was kinda hoping it might make Gabe want to start drinking milk. Guess not. He's cool being in the 50th percentile.

So anyone else wanna hang? I'm free for dinners, drinks and general shenanigans.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dare to Give Handmade...Sharpie Mugs!

This week's Dare to DIY challenge is to Give Handmade. I've made my stance on handmade gifts pretty clear over the years...I moooostly don't do them. Except for a sundae in a box and some caramels. Wait, why are all my homemade gifts food related??? But anyway, this gift was born out of pure selfishness. I wanted it for myself and when it turned out kinda cute, I decided to gift one to my friend and her little fam. You can personalize that shizz too!

I wanted a cuter plate for Santa's cookies and a cuter cup for the milk. I actually told myself to do this last year. So I'm proud of myself for my follow-through. Anywho, I decided to do the ubiquitous sharpie on a mug/plate thing. You've had to see this all over Pinterest. However, once a DIY project goes viral, with it comes all sort of complaints about things not working and OHMYGODHOWWILLIWASHIT??? People need to 1) calm the eff down and 2) follow directions.

btw have you noticed that a chalkboard wall is pretty much the perfect background for everything?

Target has perfect little plates and espresso mugs for $1.99 each, which was the perfect price for messing up. I actually checked the Dollar Tree first but they didn't have anything nearly as cute. You also need a Sharpie fine point, oil-based paint marker. I picked it up at Michaels and it was right on the Sharpie endcap.

First, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees.  Then I sketched out on paper what I wanted it to look like. Then I just decided to go for it and free-hand write it on the plate. Luckily I didn't hate it. But honestly, I was sort of scared the whole 20 seconds it took me to do it.

Then I put the plate and mug into the oven, right on the rack and baked it for 30 minutes. Once the timer went off, I turned the oven off but left the plate and mug in there for a few hours, until the oven & the stuff were fully cooled.

Took it out, had a little photoshoot, ate the cookies and plopped both pieces in the dishwasher. Normally I'd just handwash it because this is a one-night-a-year thing and it's not getting that dirty. But since the internet crazies have to know all methods of washing, it made it through a normal dishwashing almost unscathed. Some of the paint came off but not enough for me to even care or fill it in. How about you just handwash them carefully? Good? Good. 

Go check out the rest of the handmade gifts and feel bad about your self! ;)


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