Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Lights: A Drive And A Little Inspiration...

Night #1 of this year's Tradition


Last night we decided that every Sunday night of this Christmas Season, we will take the kids for a drive to look at Christmas lights.

(Something that we're actually able to plan for under the circumstances this year.)

So we headed to a favorite local neighborhood to start the tradition off right.

The kids loved it!

I did too!

And, as always, this neighborhood didn't disappoint.

Here are some of our favorites:

It probably goes without saying, but these next two houses got the most

and ahhh's

from the kids...

We took a spin through our neighborhood before heading home to tuck the kids into bed and loved what was done on this house...

We spent the day after Thanksgiving putting up our outdoor lights.

Well, actually....

Will spent the day after Thanksgiving putting up our outdoor lights while I went through box after box after box of Christmas decor inside the house, but...

after seeing all of the lighted houses last night, we can home, tweaked ours just a bit, and we now have it exactly how we want it.

I just need to get the front porch decorated and then I'll show you what we've done.

So how about you?

Spot any good Christmas light inspiration of your own this year?

P.S. I am posting this as inspiration over at the DIY Show Off's Holiday Highlight's Party

and at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unique Gift Idea - SpoonerZ on Etsy

Who knew silverware could be so cute?

Look what I stumbled across on Etsy this morning...

How cute is that?

It's made from spoons!

Perfect for an anniversary or Christmas gift to celebrate your wedding date!

And this...

Made from spoon ends!

And this key chain...

So cute, right?

I'm so glad I found these!

Now...who to buy for?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure I'm Still Full...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We spent the day at my best friend's house with her family, and we couldn't have asked for a more relaxing and enjoyable day.

There were ten of us, including six kids ranging in age from 16 years to 3 & 1/2. Will and Owen have a blast with Luke and Kelly's son, Isaac, and their daughter, Miranda, so the four of them all but disappeared for the day. Their daughter, Alyssa, and Ellison are like two peas in a pod...

Ellison LOVES Alyssa and followed her around all day! We're so grateful that Alyssa loves her back and didn't mind the three year old following her around and calling her name when she couldn't find her. Ellison got the royal treatment - she got her nails and toes done, her hair done, and even got to wear one of Alyssa's shirts (as a dress) which made her feel so special. Needless to say, our little girl had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

We had more food than we knew what to do with and our eyes were certainly bigger than our stomach's, but it was a beautiful spread and almost everyone had a hand in preparing some part of the meal.

A true feast!

It just isn't Thanksgiving without

Sugared Pecans

so we made two trays of them on Wednesday night...

(it's a family recipe from my good friend down in AZ. I'll ask her if she minds me sharing it and if she doesn't, I will pass it along to you. Even if you don't like pecans, you'll like these!)

As a hostess gift, the kids and I made Mr. Turkey and filled him with assorted nuts and a nutcracker to give to our hosts to say

"Thank you for having us!"

Owen was bound and determined to make this after we found the idea earlier in the month, and I think it turned out absolutely adorable!

Speaking of the kids and crafts...

We made these for the boys' teacher's on Tuesday night for them to take to school on their last day before the Thanksgiving weekend...

This is about as easy as it gets!

I make sure that I always have a supply of handled craft bags here. They come in handy and can be dressed up, if need be, in a snap!

For this, I kept it simple.

I wrote our message right on the bag, so that the boys wouldn't have to be worried about losing a separate card...

We made two loaves of Cranberry-Orange Bread...

(very simple to make, but SO yummy)

I wrapped each loaf up in waxed paper and tied twine around it to look like a package...

Each loaf fit perfectly in the bag. I added a little tissue paper and a small bow made with a little more twine, and that was all it needed.

Just a little something to let their teacher's know how grateful we are to have them in our child's lives!

The day after Thanksgiving is the day that Christmas arrives around here!

So we spent yesterday doing this...

...and this...

...and this...

Today will be more of the same.

Decorating, listening to Christmas music and just being together.

My kind of weekend.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

P.S. I am posting this over at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

To Jump On The Black Friday Bandwagon...

We are offering FREE SHIPPING on our Riddling Racks

(to anywhere in the Continental U.S.)

If purchased from our Etsy shop between

Friday, November 27th through Monday November, 30th

That's up to a $60 value!

And don't forget,

they're not just for the wine lover...

Our Riddling Rack now hangs in our bedroom with glass jars hung from wire...

Filled with candles, it gives off a gorgeous glow at night!

Check out our Etsy shop for more details and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


Monday, November 23, 2009

All Dressed Up...

With only 3 days to go until Thanksgiving, I can't help but be drawn to images and memories of Thanksgiving's past.

For me, the table decor is most often about simplicity...

Easy on the eye, elegant and not at all overdone.

My centerpieces for Thanksgiving dinner 2007 were made by filling two identical vases with cranberries and flowers, greenery and berries from the local grocery store...

By using different shades of fall colors and adding hints of coral with the sprigs of berries, I was able to achieve the look I wanted. Using small vases that stand only 6" tall, meant that I could keep the centerpieces tight and compact so that our guests could sit at the table and still have a conversation at eye level.

I was happy with how they turned out and the best part was that it was accomplished on a very small budget!

I made our place cards by wrapping three cinnamon sticks with twine and adding a tag with each guests name handwritten on it. Set in the center of each plate, it gave off a natural and organic look, but even better was that it smelled wonderful as well!

We love hosting gatherings and Thanksgiving dinner 2007 was no exception!

Here is a little inspiration if you're still searching for the perfect way to get your Thanksgiving table
all dressed up...

So pretty!


Time for me to go shopping!

I have a list of items to get for Thanksgiving dinner as well as the ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bread that I am making for the boys to take to their teacher's on Wednesday. It is one of my favorite things to make during the holiday season.

It's delicious!

I'll be sure to share the recipe!

Three days to go...are you ready?

P.S. I am posting this over at Be Different...Act Normal. She's trying out MckLinky and is looking for Thanksgiving posts. Got one to add to the list? Head over and check it out!