Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!

 

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Kid’s Play Fridge/Pantry

Christmas is SO SOON!! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I’m so excited for Hollis to enjoy Christmas this year. I haven’t been this excited about the holidays since I was a kid. Hollis is 2 and she is obsessed  with all things Christmas. Santa, cookies, presents, carols, Christmas movies, ornaments, etc., etc. She  did the same at Halloween this year, just completely immersed herself in it and it is contagious. I find myself counting down the days along with her.  I think she is going to be really sad when it’s all over and the next major holiday is a few months away.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of Hollis’ Christmas presents was going to be a diy’d play pantry/fridge for her new play kitchen that she is getting from my parents. I originally planned on building one from scratch, there are a few plans on Pinterest, but ended up looking for a cabinet that I could make into one instead. I had seen someone take an upper cabinet, like one that would go above a fridge or stove, and turn it on its side to create a little play fridge. So I set my sites on that and headed to every home improvement store I could think of to find one. After seeing the prices of brand new cabinets, I quickly changed my mind. Then I remembered the Re-Store, they are full of used cabinets and other building materials from houses. As soon as I set foot inside the store, I knew I was going to leave with something that would work.

I found many small kitchen cabinets like the ones I had in mind, but then I stumbled upon a bathroom cabinet that I thought would work even better. It looks like a cabinet that you would hang above the toilet. Totally not what I envisioned, but once I saw it, I thought it would make an awesome pantry. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but after I considered how little work I would have to put into it, I felt better about the price. Literally all I had to do was paint it. Down the road I would like to add another shelf inside, but haven’t gotten to that yet.

IMG_2773I went with navy, because I love it, and also because her new kitchen will be navy too. The navy was a little too dark for the interior, it made it kind of hard to see, so I went with a light gray. The cabinet is solid wood and very sturdy, which was a big selling point for me. I sanded everything really good and gave it a couple of coats of paint.   IMG_2784 IMG_2786IMG_2787 IMG_2789 It’s really more pantry than fridge, but that’s okay. We desperately needed a place to house all of the play food and pots and pans. Before, we just had a small grocery cart to hold everything in. To find anything in it, Hollis had to empty out all the contents and usually I was the one who got to pick it up and put it all away….

IMG_2782Now it all has a home and we can close the doors and not see it! Everything is easy to find and messes still happen, but much less often. We ended up giving it to her before Christmas 1. because I’m terrible at surprises and 2. because I didn’t have anywhere to hide from her.

IMG_2801 IMG_2797So far she really loves it. The kitchen gets played with almost every day. She likes to rearrange all the things in her pantry.  Like I said, I think one more shelf in there would be really nice. There is plenty of room for it and there are already slots for adjusting shelves so it would be a really easy fix. I can’t wait for her to get her new kitchen to go with it!

 

 

 

Maternity Style: Holiday Party

I know outfit posts aren’t usually my thing, but when I am  seven months pregnant, what to wear is pretty much all I think about. Getting dressed is becoming a chore. Nothing fits right, I feel super fat in everything, and I’m very aware of all the ways my body has changed over the last few months. I get especially stressed when I have to find something to wear for a wedding or holiday party. So I decided to throw together a little style post that includes some of my favorite party dresses I’ve found. (All of these dresses are from ASOS maternity, they have an amazing selection!)

P.S. I promise I will get back to more DIY projects and posts after baby boy gets here. I just don’t have the energy right now while so pregnant and with the holiday hoopla.

Maternity Style: Holiday Party

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Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

Hope everyone had great Thanksgiving!

Ours was awesome, I think living away from your family makes you appreciate every minute with them even more. We traveled to Kansas City the Wednesday before, my plan was to come back the following Sunday. The weather here at home had other plans though. They had quite the little ice storm here so I ended up staying in KC until Tuesday because the roads here were just too icy to travel on. I grew up in the Midwest so driving in ice and snow is nothing new, but being pregnant apparently makes everyone question your driving capabilities! The good news is, I got to spend my birthday there and did some solid shopping. And by the time I got back here to the farm, the ice was almost completely gone!

While I was getting my shopping done, I mostly shopped for Christmas gifts (and some baby stuff too!) Picking out gifts for my family is no problem, but you know those awkward times when you need to buy a gift for someone you don’t know all that well? It could be a white elephant gift, a co-worker, a new neighbor, or an extended family member. This is where I hit a snag. I have a couple of gifts to buy for people that I just don’t know that well and it has been stumping me.

I love to buy gifts, but when it comes to people I don’t know very well, I tend to second guess myself. What if I buy a bottle of wine for someone who doesn’t drink? What if I buy a beautiful pink cardigan only to find out that the receiver of the cardigan HATES pink? What if I buy a cute little dog figurine for someone and find out they have a debilitating fear of dogs?  These are the thoughts that run through my mind all of December!  I know it’s the thought that counts, but I still don’t want to be known as the person who gives crappy gifts. So I decided to come up with some gifts that require little knowledge of the person receiving the gift.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

2015 gift guide

  1. Stumptown Coffee and Mast Brothers Chocolate Pairing Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?! I like this gift because it’s gender neutral and feels decadent.
  2. Fringe Colorblock Soap + Dish Set Everyone uses soap…I hope. And this simple gold and white dish would fit in with almost anyone’s decor, anytime of year.
  3.  Ceramic Ring Holder How pretty are these ring holders?! I love gifts that are pretty AND practical. I don’t know any gal who wouldn’t appreciate one of these.
  4. Color-Cut Cake Stand Again, this falls under pretty and practical. I also love that this looks much more expensive than it is. It would be a great gift for anyone who likes to bake or entertain.
  5. Urban Cheesecraft: Mozzarella and Ricotta This would be great for the foodie in your life. Or anyone who loves cheese….which should be everyone!
  6. Branly Candle Holders So these may be a little too funky for some people. But they are so fun and would be great for anyone you know who has great style.
  7. Gold Cocktail Shaker + Strainer This classic style shaker is great for anyone who likes cocktails. Even if they already have a shaker, this one is pretty enough to leave out all the time.
  8. Just Add Color Adult coloring books are so popular right now. I love this mid-century modern one would appeal to guys, gals, young, and old.

Happy shopping!

Holiday Gift Ideas: Toddlers and Kids

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week! Back in my single days, I’d be done with my Christmas shopping by now….sadly I’ve barely made a dent in my list this year. I’ve been online perusing ideas for gifts for the family. Of course the gifts that are the most fun to shop for are for the littles in my life. Now that my daughter is one and REALLY into toys, I’m finding myself looking at things that can grow with her a little bit so that she’s not bored with all of her gifts in a couple of months. She is also getting some diy/homemade gifts this year too, but I’ll share more on that later. Here is a list of my faves so far!

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1. I really want to get Hollis a dollhouse eventually and I’m leaning towards one like this Melissa and Doug Dollhouse . It’s so classic and would suit a boy or girl. Some dollhouses are covered in so much pink and purple, it’s nice to get a break sometimes.

2. Our absolute favorite toy at our house is a play kitchen our cousins so nicely handed-down to us. When Hollis is a little bit older I’d like to upgrade her to one like this. I like the simple design and, again, it would be good for a boy or girl to play with.

3. Has anyone else seen these placemat/bowls?! They are a plate and placemat all-in-one made out of silicone. My favorite part is that they suction to the table so there is no slipping and/or plate dropping. I don’t know about anyone else, but a lot of plate throwing dropping happens in our house.

4. and 5. I recently discovered Petit Collage and I love their toys and crafts. I love any toys that encourage imagination and creativity and their products definitely do that. The prices are very reasonable which make them great for gifts for all the kiddos in my life. These cute little woodland punch-out toys and memory game are adorable!

6. This little easel would entertain us for hours. One side is a chalkboard and the other side is a whiteboard. I love a good two-for-one deal!

7. If you ever get on Pinterest, then I’m sure you’ve seen an adorable teepee or two….or a hundred. Some of them are super expensive and some are amazingly diy’d. This one I found on amazon.com is a good mid-range option. (Although I still really want to make one!)

8. and 9. I love to get pj’s for Christmas. I think they make great gifts. Every kiddo needs a good set of jammies and they’re constantly growing out of them. (why won’t they stay tiny?…why?!) I keep trying to talk Hollis into stop growing, but she just refuses to listen to me. I will probably have a pair of pj’s or two under the tree for her every year! I especially love sets that she can wear all winter and not just around Christmas like this one and these.