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Friday, November 29, 2013

'tis the season

Christmas season!!!!!

It's finally, officially here and I am so stinkin' excited! Today I'll be decking the halls and enjoying some time off work with my boys. 

J.B. and I sat down this year and made a Christmas to-do list of all the fabulous things we want to make sure we experience this year. Jake is at such a fun age and I can't wait to see what he thinks of Santa and snow and all the other neat things this time of year.

I hope you guys are have a happy and sweet Thanksgiving weekend! Beware the mall! :) 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

toddler art tuesdays {#3}

 This is easily becoming one of my favorite things to do with Jake. He loves colors and being creative {yaaaaay!!} so we both have so much fun. And as he's getting older, he's able to do more and more on his own. Double the awesome for this crafty momma.

Jake loved this one. He thought getting his hand painted was the best thing ever!!

I started with a dab of paint on each paper plate.  I used a sponge to cover Jake's hand with the color, then we stamped three hand prints on each piece of card stock. You can do more or less. I knew we wanted to make at least two turkeys so that gave us one extra hand print to spare.

While I cleaned up some of the paint, I gave Jake an extra sheet of paper to play with. This kiddo loves the paints. 

I finished out the rest of the turkey myself. I cut around each hand print. Then made a simple little turkey body with some construction paper. If you're kiddo is okay with scissors and a glue, he could do this himself as well!

This is also a great hostess give for wherever you might be traveling for Thanksgiving!
{yes, Mom, that means I'm bringing you one.}

This is a great craft for any time of year. And also one that I think older kids would love. 

You start by write your design {or secret message} in white crayon.

Then water color to your hearts context. The spot where you colored is basically water proof now so the design stays white.

I can't wait to start the Christmas crafts next week!!

For more toddler art ideas, check out:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

the fall kitchen

My kitchen has had a very unfinished feel for as long as we've lived in this home {almost three years now}. I think it was due to a big blank wall and my many attempts to try to decorate it. 

But I think I've finally settled into the room. I thought today would be as good as any to share it with you!

Around the the stairs sits our breakfast area...


My new recipe tin! I grabbed this little vintage jewel off Etsy and have been filling it with my own recipe cards! Definitely enjoying it!

Our table caddy. Crayons, duh.

And here's my new love! We picked up this antique window for next to nothing and its huge!! This 5' x 5' piece is a great fit for my blank kitchen wall. And I love that I can change all the decor on it with the passing seasons!

Pinecone garland for fall.

I love having my canisters on the counter. 
It provides easy access to so many great cooking items.
{well... obviously not the dog treats}

I think I'm really going to love my giant window!

Thanks for stopping by the house!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

operation christmas child

It's that beautiful time of year when we not only realize how blessed and thankful we are, but we also have an abundance of opportunities to pay it forward.

Operation Christmas Child is one of my very favorites. Check it out:

Samaritan's Purse {a nondenominational organization that provides physical and spiritual aid to those hurting all around the world} has done this amazing program since 1993. In short, they ask that folks prepare a shoe box container with Christmas toys for a child in need that would otherwise receive nothing for Christmas. Boxes can be packed with toys, school supplies and even hygiene products. Samaritan's Purse then delivers these shoe boxes to children all over the world for Christmas. It absolutely warms my heart to think of these beautiful little ones opening their shoe boxes and hearing a presentation of the Gospel.  

Our church has always been very involved in the shoe box ministry and this year, our goal was to put together 500 boxes.  J.B. and I decided that we could do eight of those. 

And boy was it fun! We went "shoe box shopping" as a family and came up with some fun things for our boxes. Jake make sure to inspect everything for the "fun" factor.

Samaritan's Purse has three age categories you can do {2-4, 5-9, and 10-14} and you also select whether the box is for a boy or a girl.
{We did ages 5-9, four boys and four girls}

After filling the box, tape the provided labels on top and take the box to your local drop off center. So many churches and community organizations are involved that I'm sure you won't have too much trouble finding on close by! The OCC website is also a great tool for packing tips, ideas and tons of other information!

This week is the national collection week for all of the Christmas shoe boxes and I'd love to encourage you guys to get involved in this fun charity. Grab a box and fill it up! I promise just as sweet of a blessing to you and your family as it is to these children!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

thanksgiving printables

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite heartfelt holidays. What a lovely reminder for so many of the simple things that we take for granted. And what a wonderfully focused time to thank God for all of the amazing blessings that He's given us. 

Printables are a great way to decorate your space, either permanently or seasonally. And I love how those reminders of our thankfulness make such wonderful art pieces. Frankly, leaving some of these up all year round might be a lovely idea!

I've compiled a few of my favorites to share with you guys today. Enjoy them! Go to the sites, print them out and hang them in your home. Be reminded of what a beautiful season this is!





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a little boy fashion show

Those of you that have little boys know the plight that talking about today. You know the fruitless searching. The jealousy. The endless frustrations and anger. 

That's right. Today we're talking about baby clothes. You laugh now. But I'm semi serious. The boy clothes versus girl clothes battle is a real war. Just think about it:

"Oh you have a girl? Well, here. Take a look over the spacious 3/4 of the department that contains clothing for your little princess. And here's ten thousand accessories. Just close your eyes and choose. Shoes? Oh don't worry, we have an infinite number of beautiful pairs for any occasion you could dream up."

// OR //

"Oh, you have a boy? Well, here. We have two sweaters this season for you to choose from. And some superhero tshirts, hope you like those. For extras, we have a lovely selection of white socks. And you can choose between a pair of sneakers and a pair of black dress shoes for your feet."

That's real life y'all. 

I get asked a lot about where I find Jake's clothes and how the outfits come together. It's no secret that I pretty much skipped the whole "baby" thing and I dress him like a little man. I love that he can have his own personality in what he wears, just like us! And now that he very clearly knows all of his colors and the items he puts on every day, he even helps me pick out his clothes {for the record, he's very into "yerrow" and blue}

Every kiddo is different. Jake is long-waisted and lean, so most of his clothes from Baby Gap, Old Navy, and Carter's. And ya'll should know by now that I'm a bargain shopper so I love to catch any of these places having a great deal. A few of my favorite tricks:

 - Buying a season in advance while items are on a final sale. i.e. summer and early fall items right now to wear when it warms up again. 
 - Sign up for emailed coupons to your favorite stores. 
 - Outlets are always great. Keep an eye out for their big season sales and you'll do well.
 - And good consignment sales are my kryptonite. You can get amazing {even new and never worn} clothes for next to nothing.  And since I don't have the space to keep everything, they are also how I unload a lot of the items that he's grown out of!

Listen Mommas of boys, they don't make it easy on us. We glance over at the little girls section and think, man, life must be so good over there. So in honor of the boys, Jake is putting on a little fashion show in the back yard today. 

scouting inspired henley shirt // OshKosh // {no longer available - consignment find}
khakis // OshKosh outlet // {similar here}
sneakers // Converse // {purchased here}

red long sleeved tee // Baby Gap // {no longer available - similar here}
puffy vest // Carter's // {here}
jeans // Carter's // {here}
red laced high top sneakers // Target // {here}

button up sweater // Baby Gap // {no longer available - consignment find}
yellow striped tee // Old Navy // {no longer available - similar here}
jeans // Carter's // {here}
sneakers // Converse // {purchased here}

white long sleeved tee // Old Navy // {here}
navy button collar sweater // Baby Gap // {no longer available - similar here}
jeans // Carter's // {here}
brown boots // Target //{here}

See! Boys can be cute and fashionable too!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

autumn giveaway winner

I hope you guys are having a wonderful fall weekend. 
I'm just swinging by to announce a giveaway winner.

Congrats to Beth Trice! These goodies are all yours! 
Send me a note with your information and I'll ship them right out to you!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

the faux fireplace

When we first moved into this home, I knew I would miss having a fireplace. And a mantle. Since adding a real fireplace and mantle wouldn't really be cost effective, I've been mulling over an idea to build a faux mantle and fireplace onto this long, blank wall in the living room.

This past weekend, Jake spent the night with his grandparents {exciting for everyone!} and J.B. and I pulled the trigger on this project.

Instead of just a mantle, we decided to board up a whole section of the wall to create more of a statement area.
I really really really love how it turned out.
{did I say really? really ya'll!}

So three years later, I finally have my mantle and fireplace. Well, faux fireplace. But you get it.

 I'm super thankful to J.B. for all his handy work with this! I seriously couldn't get anything done without my main man.

Want to see how we did it?

{Disclaimer: J.B. and I are probably the laughing stock of every carpenter. We have no skills. We literally make all of this up as we go along. Probably doing things backwards, wonky-jawed, and in many other ridiculously flawed ways. You've been warned...}

We started by removing a section of the crown molding and nailing up 1x2's to the studs on the wall. Since the mantle is mostly decorative it doesn't need a ton of support. But we still wanted to make sure it was nice and sturdy.

Then we nailed the boards down the wall. We used 1x6 primed MDF. The primed boards saved us a ton of time with painting. And the MDF was a little lighter than solid wood. 

The bottom edge is made from 1x6 boards as well. Three sides of a box that slide flush with the wall, then a 1x12 for the top ledge board.

We used 1x2's to frame the outside edges and inside of the fireplace. 
After filling in all the nail holes, it only took two light layers of high gloss paint to get this thing looking great. 

I decided to go very simple with the "fireplace" area for now.
I painted the interior with a sample can of black wall paint {Valspar's "Lincoln Cottage Black"}. I love that this little space can become quite versatile. Beadboard, chalkboard paint and even wood displays would all look great here if I want to swap things up.

The mantle is made out of 1x6 boards on three sides. J.B. cut some custom pieces for the ends and we added a 1x2 along the top edge for some depth. I stained it with Miniwax's "Special Walnut".

I can't stop staring at this space! 
What a lovely change!