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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The Great Tablescape

I love a good table setting. So much so, that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them. My favorite part of decorating for any holiday or party, is the table setting. I just think it’s a really easy way to set the tone for whatever vibe you’re going for. It’s also a fun way to bring out some of my favorite pretties tableware that doesn’t get to see the light of day all year round. This year however, I have not done any kind of tablescape for the holiday. I don’t know what my problem is. Maybe because we don’t have a formal dining room this year, or because my table has been present wrapping central, or because I’m afraid our curious little toddler will pull down any tablecloth or runner and everything on top of it down onto her. (Probably that last reason.) So right now I’m living vicariously through my inspiration boards. I love this modern, rustic design. I like the simple white dishes paired with the pine cones and wood chargers. The simple plaid, or buffalo check, really ties it together.

Of course I love anything gold. So this setting with a mix of gold, white and pink is definitely my jam. I like the height variation they have going on with the candlesticks, deer and trees. The white dishes and clear glasses really help everything else on the table pop!

This next one is pretty fancy shmancy, I’m pretty sure it’s really for a wedding. But how pretty would this be for a holiday dinner table?! I like the neutral color palette. Again, they used wood chargers (need to make me some of those) and just some simple greenery. The all white candles make it feel sophisticated and keep it from being too rustic.

This next one is my favorite. It’s the one my hubby would totally hate. But hello, it’s Kate Spade and it had me at the sequins tablecloth! Simple, sparkly, pretty….’nuff said.

This purple, blue and brown is really not something I would normally gravitate toward, but for some reason I really like it. I like that they used colored plates and tied it together with just some similar colored candles and ornaments. I love how they made a non-traditional holiday color scheme feel Christmas-y.

This one just looks like Christmas to me. I love the crisp, white tablecloth and plates. The all-clear, vases and glasses really help all of the red and green elements stand out. It looks simple and festive all at the same time!

This last one I could really see myself doing (maybe next year). I’m not crazy about the star pattern tablecloth, but I LOVE the monochromatic look. I like that the table is the real star of the show while the rest of the room is really simple with minimal decorations.

Looking at all these pics really make me want to host a holiday party! At the very least, they are inspiring me to clear all the clutter off of our table and use it for it’s actual intended use…eating.

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.