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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

paper feather place cards {tutorial}

My rule: No Christmas before Thanksgiving. 
I make some small exceptions, usually due to scheduling, but we're pretty tough about it. No Christmas decorating, music, etc, until after we've enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.
And I'll be honest, y'all, its difficult. 

 Having said all that, the rule does really allow us to invest in Thanksgiving. We made a thankful tree this year and hung tags about what we're thankful for. Yes, Jake's tags were kind of hilarious at times {"oatmeal", "puddles", "the zoo" all made his list} but he really gets it. I love his sweet prayers every night as he's learning to thank God for all the wonderful things He's given us. 
We're also pretty excited about a day with family, yummy food and watching the Macy's parade. New float this year? Thomas the Train. Doesn't get any better than that for Jake. 

What about you guys? Are you prepping for a big Thanksgiving dinner? 
I think I got off pretty easy this year by hosting a brunch for my in-laws, then headed to my mom's house later for the main event.

But I did volunteer to whip up some place cards for the feast and I thought I'd share...

These were a great and simple design for the Thanksgiving holiday! 

Minimal supplies are also a big plus! I used brown craft paper {scrapbook paper style}, a little glue and string.

Start by creating you paper feathers. I used the same pattern from my feather garland to trace my feathers onto the craft paper. Then I made the little snippets into the feathers - no pattern needed there, just cut where ever you like!

Then I printed a page with all of our names on it. 
You're also welcome to hand write these! 
{the perfectionist in me would never allow that}

I cut these out in a banner fashion and then attached them to the feathers. A little stroke of glue stick helps keep the banners from flopping around and I added a sweet little string to make it pretty.

I love a pretty fall table! 
Soaking up this scene for a few more days!

A sweet little token to add to a great holiday! Can't wait to celebrate!

Friends, I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving day!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

our favorite picture books {the second edition!}

We first shared our favorite pictures books in a post a few months back. Jake is 2 1/2, with a huge vocabulary and a great grasp on so many things. I honestly give a lot of credit for that to all the reading he does.

 As he grows and discovers more and more, I want to keep sharing what we're reading! So here's to the second edition of Jake's favorite picture books!

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Where the Wild Things Are is such a fun book! Jake loves the story of the little boy that dreams of a whole new world where he's king of the wild things. "I'll eat you up, I love you so!"


The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear is one of Jake's favorites. He can recite most of the story by himself and always cackles at the silly mouse trying to save his lunch.


Otis was a bookfair buy when Jake and I visited my mom's school. We are all thinks truck/tractor/car/train so the moment I saw it, I knew it would be great. This is a sweet story of friendship between a little calf and Otis the tractor. And if your little one loves the first Otis book, there are several more in the series!


The Very Busy Spider is just one book in our Eric Carle collection. I can't say enough good things about his beautiful books and illustrations. {Remember that I was even inspired to create an Eric Carle nursery for Jake!} All of the farm animals wish to play with the spider and Jake loves to make the noise for each one.


The Little House is a beautiful story of an old house that watches time pass and everything change around it. Virginia Lee Burton always tells wonderful tales and her books have the sweetest illustrations {author of great books like Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, and Katy and the Big Snow}. Jake loves to look at each new scene around the house as the pages turn.


Big Red Barn is probably the most read book in our home. We've been turning the pages of this book since Jake was an infant. It's a perfect bedtime book, filled with gentle animals headed to sleep.


Oh the Places You'll Go is a great book about adventure and courage. It's great advice and encouragement for both little ones like Jake and even an adult! Jake loves the funky pictures and silly Seuss rhymes!


Madeline is the original story of twelve little girls in two straight lines, with the feisty Madeline bringing up the rear. Another classic story that Jake loves to recite as we read it.


The Little Engine That Could is a must-have not only for the train obsessed, but for any sweet kiddo. This precious story of the the little engine that says "I think I can, I think I can". Obviously a big winner in our house!

As always, our favorites are subject to change. I'm sure we'll be back in a few more months with some great new reads to share! 

What about you? What are your favorite picture books?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

toddler art tuesday {#10}

It's been cloudy, cold and icky for the last few days here in North Alabama so Jake and I have been hiding indoors as much as possible. Guess that means it's time for another...


Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, we took advantage of some fun turkey day crafts. 
This tree leaf turkey was a big hit! Jake loved picking out just the right leaves for his feathers. Bigger kids can add more and more feathers {leaves} for a huge fluffy turkey!

I cut some simple shapes out of construction paper for the turkey body and face. Jake was pretty psyched to get to use the glue stick to attach everything together.
{It's the little things, right?}

Jake was so proud of his turkey! He even named him "Gobble". That kid... 

Who knew construction paper would be so exciting?? Jake had so much fun scribbling all over his headdress piece, but the real thrill came when he put this on. 
He wears his thing every. single. day. {Indian dance and war cry included}

I cut out the feathers using the same pattern as my paper feather garland. And the strap is just brown construction paper that's made long enough to fit his head. I would think an older kid would have more fun decorating the headdress. Maybe use white paper for the strap and they can deck it out with drawings and sequins and whatever else you have on hand!

Chief Jake is a pretty happy dude! 

For more craft ideas to try with your little ones, click on the image below to see what Jake and I have been up to... 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

tassel keychain {tutorial}

While it's always the season for DIY anything, this time of year people get a little more hyped up. Any time you can create a unique surprise for someone else, it's all the more special. 
This tutorial is great for just you, but you can easily make ten more to give as gifts. 
All for under $10 total!

: :  Materials  : :

 - swatch of vinyl {at least 5" square}
 - super glue
 - scissors
 - key ring
 - bulldog style clip {mine was a chip clip}

A swatch of vinyl is an easy find in any fabric store. Most places have a cuttings bin that hold random yardage. Since vinyl isn't always as popular as the cotton fabrics, take this rummage through and see what you can come up with! I got a whole yard of this hunter green {enough for a bamillion key chains} for $4!

Cut yourself a 5" square  swatch. It doesn't have to be perfect so feel free to eye ball it.
Fold in half and use your clip to hold in place. 

Next you want to make the cuts in your vinyl. Try to keep the lines as straight as you can as you fringe from the bottom up. If its easier for you, fringe one side of the fabric and then the other. I left about an inch of uncut fabric from the top fold down. 

Remove the clip and lay your fabric ugly side up. Start rolling it as tight as you can.

 Once you get to the end, add a line of superglue along the edge. Use your clip again to hold the end in place as it dries.

 Almost done! As your glue is drying, cut one last small strip of vinyl. It needs to be about 5"-6" long and about as wide as your tassel stripes. I just cut right along the same edge as I used to cut out my original piece.

Once your glue is dry {just a couple of minutes} then fold your tassel in half over the keyring.

Put a dab of glue on one end, then wrap your trim piece around the top fold. Add a dab of glue to the other end as you complete the wrap. Feel free to use your clip again to hold it all in place as it dries.

And you're done! Now that you know what you're doing, you can easily knock out more in no time. 
I'll be turning on an episode of the Blacklist tonight to finish these for a few friends. 

Enjoy dears!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

a little gift of thanks {free printables}

Do you like to change out your artwork with the holiday seasons?

Sometimes I feel like I get so accustomed to what's hanging on my walls, that I forget the importance of why I stuck it there. Maybe it's a family verse or a beautiful print that gets forgotten in the scurry of life. It seems like decorating as the seasons change is a great way to appreciate a little change here and there in our homes.

So in honor of Thanksgiving and my thankfulness for you lovely folks, I'm sharing a couple of free prints!

{click to download}

{click to download}

Feel free to download one or both by clicking each image and following the link to print.
Send one to a friend. Hang one up on the wall. Get creative!

Don't let Christmas get the best of you just yet.
Feel free to hang out with me and enjoy this absolutely beautiful season of gratitude.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

things I love: slouchy sweaters

I love the little crisp of cool weather this time of year. In the South, we are so happy to see some lowered temperatures! I run into my closet and get so excited to wear jeans and boots and sweaters. Sweaters! I want to wear ALL THE SWEATERS. 

Slouchy ones this year. The over-sized sweater is my best friend. 
Comfy, warm, cute. What else can you ask for??

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6

The only rule to slouchy sweaters is to wear super fitted pants with them. Otherwise, you have no defined shape and you look like a crazy potato sack lady. Pair them with skinny jeans or leggings for cute, but super comfy look. 

And the boots. For heaven's sake, don't forget the boots. The fitted ankle boots aka "booties" are still in this year and I don't mind a bit! I've been eyeing these beauties from Nordstrom for quite some time. Feel free to drop a size 6 off at my door at any time, ladies!

Sidebar: My husband finds the word "booties" to be ridiculous. He refers to them as "bootlets". I keep telling him to stop trying to make "fetch" happen...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh! And now that we're prepped for fall, how about a fall giveaway winner?!
Congrats to Becca Gordan! She and her pumpkin spice latte were our random winner. 
Of course the pumpkin spice latte girl won. This is 'Merica, isn't it?


Send me a note with your address Becca, and I'll ship those fabulous goodies out to you!

Happy sweater weather, friends!