Category Archives: Holiday Times

A Bit of Thanksgiving Cheer

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Hope you all had a good day!

And now, it’s time for my most favorite time of the year…

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Elisha’s Thanksgiving Feast

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Today Elisha had his Thanksgiving feast today at school. His little pilgrim outfit was a complete surprise along with all the other “pilgrims”, “Indians”, and “turkeys” for the parents and grandparents. Nana (my mom) and Granna (Matthew’s mom) got to surprise him by coming to eat at with him. Sadly, Daddy wasn’t able to come due to work but we do get him for 3 full days next week for Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Tea Tablescape Inspiration

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01) comes from The Country Basket which I think may end up being our main centerpiece for the table. Except instead of one main branch, we’ll have a vase of spray painted branches with gold ornaments hanging from them.
02) is by http://theslightlyobsessivebride.blogspot.com/ and is both ridiculously simple and a beautifully shabby chic accent. Simple pinecones gathered outside coated with metallic spray paint.
03) can be found on HGTV.com. I just want my entire house to look and feel like this.
04) is by Style Estate on their Top 100 Christmas Table Decorations, and could be easily replicated by painting or rolling candles in glitter glue, strands of metallic berries from places like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, and a value pack of metallic ornaments from Wal-Mart.

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05) is from a “Fairy Tale Wedding” compilation by Burnett’s Boards, but would work perfectly for our tablescape as well. Another shabby chic accent similar to the gold spray painted pinecones.
06) is by Bonjade‘s magazine post Christmas in the French Inspired Home. I have a smaller nativity that looks very similar to this one, which is why it caught my eye for our tablescape.
07) was taken from Radostina Bosseva’s flickr page, which is perfect for reusing/recycling those pumpkins we may have still lying around. Once again, gold spray paint and another shabby chic accent.

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Our Halloween, 2013.

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This year we celebrated Halloween at our house with Matthew’s sister, brother-in-law, niece, and mom. We ordered pizza and I made Halloween funfetti cupcakes with whipped icing that I had to employ all my willpower not to finish off when all the cupcakes were iced. (I succeeded and the remaining icing is safely chilling in our refrigerator.) After we ate, we got the babies dressed into their costumes and let Elisha watch What Does the Fox Say a few times to hype him up before heading out to trick-or-treat. We stopped at two of the local churches who were hosting trunk-or-treats and stopped by a few friends’ houses to show off the babies in their costumes.

Overall, the night was a success! Elisha and Shiloh scored a good bit of candy (that I may or may not have picked through already) and seemed to have lots of fun. I asked Elisha what he wanted to dress up as next year for Halloween, and without pausing for a second to even think about it, he said, “a hot dog!” Totally pulled that one out of the air…

Hope you all had a great Halloween! I’m still loving all the costumes floating around the blogosphere and Facebook.

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{DIY} Refashioned Toddler Fox Costume

I had originally planned for Elisha to dress up as a monster truck for Halloween this year. But in traditional Elisha fashion, he changes favorite things every week and his current “thing” is the latest YouTube viral video What Does the Fox Say?

Seriously. My almost three-year-old is obsessed with this song and video. He’s even learned a few of the dance moves and lyrics, such as “wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!” and “hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!” all while trying to levitate. So I couldn’t resist changing his costume to a fox. Luckily, I had recently bought him an orange long-sleeve t-shirt from Old Navy a few weeks ago that would work perfectly. For the rest of the costume I used an old t-shirt passed off to me from my brother-in-law and a cheap white hand towel from Wal-Mart.

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I started by cutting off the sleeves and all the seams (I forgot about the bottom hem before taking this picture), as well as the print on the back of the shirt to get as much solid orange material as I could get.

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Next, I laid out a pair of sweatpants of Elisha’s to use as my pants pattern, using this basic pants pattern (here). The brown pants are a little too long for him but fit him great in the waist, so the shortened length of the t-shirt ended up a perfect length for him once they were done.

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For the white fur, I used the t-shirt as a guide for the length and the neckhole to gauge how big to cut out the neckhole of the fur.

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Then I trimmed up the sides and rounded the edges of the fur. I ended up having to trim the sides down a few times. Once I got it right, I used safety pins to pin down the fur to the t-shirt and tried it on Elisha.

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He liked it. :)

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For the ears I cut off two triangles from cardboard (the corners off a diaper box) and glued triangle scraps from the pants material and triangle scraps from the towel onto the cardboard triangles.

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Then I hot glued the ears onto a plastic headband I bought a pack of at the dollar store. I also trimmed up the edges of the ears a bit to even them out.

P.S. Don’t you like my smudgy glass table top? A little #RealMamaLife for you there.

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Last, to make the tail, I used more of the pants material to cut out two longer length triangles and sewed the two longer edges together, leaving the shorter top edge of the tail open to stuff with material scraps from my scraps stash. Once it was stuffed, I sewed the top down onto the inside of the pants on the back.

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Then cut two more triangles from the towel to hot glue on for the white fur on the tip of the tail.

Stay tuned for the next post to see Elisha wearing his new fox costume, as well as Shiloh in her ghost costume!

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Pumpkin Pickin’ at the Pumpkin Patch

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Elisha’s preschool took a field trip out to the local pumpkin patch today! We rode on the hayride from the school to the patch, which I think was Elisha’s favorite part. Once we got out into the pumpkin patch I told him to pick out a pumpkin to bring home with us. At first he was all for it and checking out all the pumpkins, but once he realized he was getting dirty he didn’t want to “hold” anymore pumpkins. I kept asking him which one he wanted to take home or I would pick one out and ask him if he wanted that one, but all I got from him was “nooo…” Totally uninterested. But we finally succeeded with a pumpkin he could hold by the stem. No dirt, no fuss. Now his lovely little Elisha-sized pumpkin is sitting on the kitchen window sill with my repurposed baby jar vases (DIY posted here).

Beside the pumpkin patch was a yellow squash patch. Between the two there were hundreds of huge yellow flowers that I just couldn’t get enough of. Then Matthew informed me you could fry up the squash blossoms with cheese… I love squash and I love flowers and I definitely love cheese, but I am totally against cooking flowers. Seriously, food too pretty to eat. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you all get a chance to go to your local pumpkin patch soon!

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Father’s Day & CardStore

I failed Father’s Day miserably this year…

Matthew and I had date night the Friday night before, which was great as always. Saturday, we grilled out with Matthew’s parents, sister, and niece to celebrate. Sunday, we went to church and ate lunch again with Matthew’s family. Pretty much the same layout as most weekends, which always makes for awesome weekends just not a very special and memorable Father’s Day weekend.

No gifts (other than surprising Matthew with green plums and green tomatoes from the local market) and I barely managed to get a card in on Father’s Day morning. This was not entirely my fault, though… I had actually made Matthew a custom card from a popular card-service website using a promo code offered on Facebook. I had made the card in plenty of time for delivery and I was to receive it on Friday the 14th. Friday the 14th came and no card. Not a big deal, I still had Saturday. Saturday, no card. Sunday obviously we don’t get mail. Therefore, I was facing Father’s Day with no card for my awesome husband. Thankfully, though, the day before I had found the promo offer on Facebook for afore-mentioned delayed card, I bought a cheap-o Father’s Day card from the value section of Wal-Mart (only because I thought it was funny!!!!). Cheap-o card was my save for Father’s Day morning. I did explain to Matthew my dilemma and that I guessed his custom-made card had gotten lost in mail-land.

Now that you’ve got that whole back story, here’s where Cardstore comes into the picture. And before I go any further, I just need to say I wish I had gotten this e-mail just one day later because it would have saved me so much angst and guilt over being a crummy wife on Father’s Day. Matthew does get three cards out of my dilemma, though, so that makes it all worthwhile.

On Friday the 14th I received an e-mail from a super nice lady named Lauren with Cardstore asking if I would review one of their cards on All Glorious in exchange for a free one. Being the super-cardsy person that I am (I mean I bought a back-up card?!) and the type who finds any reason whatsoever to give someone a card, I gladly accepted. I initially planned to create a birthday card for my sister since her birthday is coming soon; but instead, what did I make? Of course another Father’s Day card to make up for the cheap-o card and the long-lost card! So I make the card and wouldn’t you guess the long-lost card comes in the mail the day after… I mean, really? Insult to injury.

And that, friends, is my tale of Father’s Day 2013. Now on to the precious Father’s Day card from Cardstore.

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From the start I was impressed with Cardstore’s card-making process.

I started off by choosing “Father’s Day card from Kids” and narrowed down my options to this cute card. The captions and quotes fit Matthew to a T and I knew he would love the sweet photos of him with our kids I was able to import. One thing I thought was really cool was the option to import your photos from Facebook (which for me narrowed down the billions of photos I would have had to dig through on my laptop). The photos uploaded can also be enhanced to black-and-white (which you can obviously see I did), sepia, a few other enhanced colors, or the original photo color. Another cool feature is the ability to scan your own signature instead of using a standard font. Seeing that my kids are below the age of three, I opted for a cute handwritten-style font. All texts are optional and fonts can be changed up to your preference. I always, always like my preference. Kind of like the whole “fake layering” deal with some clothing. Pretty sure I can just do that myself. The inside of the card is also optional. You’re able to add photos on the left side of the card or leave it blank, which I chose because I’m a fan of the classic look of most cards.

Once I was finished creating the card, I was given the option of having the blank envelope printed with my return address (for free!) or having it shipped to the recipient (with the additional cost of shipping). Setting up an account with Cardstore was also required before ordering, but it was super easy. Just my email address and a password. The form for ordering the card was also simple and auto-fill friendly (for you other Windows and IE users out there). I was also able to save my info for future purchases since I had an account already created.

The day after ordering I received an email letting me know my card had shipped via standard shipping (Wednesday) and it came in the mail Saturday.

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And here is where they completely won me over, other than their beyond-cute designs: You receive not one but TWO envelopes to mail/package your card. I cannot tell you how many times I have messed up the one clean envelope sent to me by other card-makers only to be left with either no envelope or a messy, crinkled, scribbled envelope. Props to Cardstore on thinking that one through.

So my review in a nut-shell:

  • user-friendly
  • more options available, because they are specific only to cards, invitations, and stationary
  • very, very cute layouts and fonts
  • more personalization options
  • extra envelope and sturdy shipping envelope

Friends, I highly encourage you try this site out if you like designing your own cards. They are currently running this special BIRTHDAY PROMO – cards $2.49 with code: CWG3249 valid thru 6/30/13. I may have already made a couple for two special ladies with birthdays coming next month.

**This review reflects only my personal opinion and experience with Cardstore. I was offered a promotional code for a free card in exchange for my personal review.

#RealMamaLife | Happy Memorial Day!

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Real Mama Life: No serious faces (Elisha) or ultimate serious faces (Shiloh). Add a super pollinated front porch that has been swept about 5 different times to no avail (anyone wanting to lend us a pressure washer or just pressure wash our porch/house for free??)

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day! We’re hanging out and grilling at Granna and PawPaw’s house to celebrate.

To all those currently in or previously in the armed forces, there are no words capable of thanking you enough for your service. Thank you so very, very much. My little family will always know about your sacrifice and to never take it nor their freedom for granted.

#realmamalife | Mother’s Day 2013

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Not only was Mother’s Day day a special day, but my entire Mother’s Day weekend.

Friday night, which also happened to be our monthly date night, Matthew and I met up with two of our best friends Adam and Em for dinner at our favorite Chinese buffet. Dinner with two adults instead of two babies: bliss. Don’t get me wrong, though. I did miss my kids. However, I was quickly reminded to be thankful for a peaceful night out after a large family came in with three small children, the middle in which who apparently loved to shriek at random times…

I was just thankful she wasn’t my kid.

Saturday, Matthew let me sleep in, then surprised me with a massive chocolate cupcake and two chocolate truffles from my favorite local bakery. We spent the evening with his mom, dad, sister, and niece and ate crock pot shredded pork barbecue cooked in root beer. Pork shoulder + root beer + crock pot. Serve with sauce on the side. Delicious. Seriously, you should give it a try, especially if you like to cook your meat in Coca-Cola.

Sunday, after a sweet Mother’s Day service at church, we met up with my mom, sister, and nephew for lunch at a local pizza buffet. Remember earlier shrieking child? That became Jackson and Elisha at said pizza buffet. Thankfully, it was one of those restaurants tailored to families and kids that plays loud music and has arcade games blaring over loud conversations, so they were just a mix to the madness. After lunch, they came to our house for photos and to let the boys burn off some energy outside. After they left, Matthew and I had an impromptu softball lesson because I will apparently be playing church softball this summer. No concrete memory of signing up for that… Here’s to hoping they don’t kick me off the team. Band kid, right here.

I did get a big Mother’s Day gift, but I’m still waiting on it… But stay tuned, “she” will get her own blog post to come.