Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Early Christmas Gift


This week we've started putting up Christmas decorations!  Of course, this made the children deliriously happy and excited for the month to come.  Grace had an early Christmas present that she gave me so that, "I could enjoy it the whole season."

I will admit that I got a little teary when I opened it.  This girl has such a good heart and she LOVES making and giving things to others.  Since September she has been working on cross-stitching a towel for me for Christmas (with her Grandma's help).  It's absolutely beautiful and simple and perfect.  I love it and I love my girl.


 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Favorite Thing #25



A couple of months ago I started using a new laundry detergent, Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda.  If I'm totally honest, I was first attracted to the packaging, the detergent is in a cute vintage looking tin.  However, I had wanted to try a powder because I was frustrated with the big plastic bottles and goopy mess that they leave behind (at least in my laundry room!).  After reading glowing reviews of the product I decided to try it and have been very pleased.  It has gotten our clothes clean and fresh without having to do pretreating.  I also like that the soda has no perfumes in it or fillers.  In addition, I appreciate that it's all natural and environmentally friendly.  I would highly recommend trying it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

To Table


When Bryce and I were first married and began to "set up" our kitchen we stocked it with two sets of metal mixing bowls which we have used often!  However, I found myself wishing for something that was a little nicer looking for those times that the bowl went directly to the table for serving.  Enter these Jadeite bowls that I found at a local antique store.  I purchased two and have been surprised at how often we use them.  It turns out that we grab them with much more frequency than the metal bowls and use them even when they aren't going to be used for the table.  From Saturday morning pancake batter to a small dinner salad they are really getting a lot of use!  I think that the reason they have become the favored bowls is because of their beauty, feel and usefulness.   Don't we all gravitate toward things that are lovely to use?  


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and an Easy Cake Bunting


We had a really great Thanksgiving!  How about you?  We had a perfect mix of family, friends and good food!  I typically really love Thanksgiving because we don't make a huge deal out of it.  We watch the parade, cook our traditional foods and spend time with those that we love.  I don't fret over how the table is set (though I did use the china!) or what we have for a centerpiece (Harris made ours!) but I do concentrate on good food.  We had a farm fresh turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, my Mom's famous sweet potato souffle, green beans and stuffing.


For dessert this year I made a  pumpkin bundt cake that was really good-I think it's a keeper for sure. I made it look fancy by attaching these printable cake bunting to a little bit of rafia using double sided tape.  The whole thing took about 10 minutes to put together and I love how it turned it.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful


Today, as I've been cooking for tomorrow's feast, helping the children work on some Christmas elfing, running to the store to get a few last minute items and fretting about exactly how I'm going to make a certain Christmas decoration, I've been overwhelmingly grateful that this is my life.  I'm so very thankful for my husband who supports my staying home with the children even though those children are both in school.  I'm thankful to be Grace and Harris' Mom and Bryce's wife.  I've got so many wonderful people and things in my life but these three are the heart and soul of it.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dinner and a Movie- The Wizard of Oz


We recently read, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, as a family (another book to check off!).  It was a perfect book for this time of year as it involved magic, witches, wizards and fantastical places.  This weekend, to cap off the story, we had a family dinner and a movie night!


I always have fun preparing themed food for our movie nights!  For our Wizard of Oz night we had broccoli soup (the Emerald City), yellow rice (the yellow brick road) and rainbow bread.  Unfortunately, the rainbow bread in no way looked like a rainbow but nobody seemed to care in the least!



For dessert, we had Dorothy's house (a cupcake) on top of the witch's legs.  Lifesaver candy canes worked perfectly as the witch's legs/tights and tootsie rolls slightly warmed in the microwave were easily molded into boots.  I dipped them in a little sugar to make them silvery!  I had completely forgotten that the shoes were silver and not ruby colored as in the movie!



P.S. Here, here and here are some of our other dinner and movie nights!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Halloween Ornaments 2012



My Mom has finished the Halloween ornaments!  As always, they are adorable and perfect in their miniature form!    




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh, the irony!


Six years ago I bought my dining room chairs off on ebay.  I love them despite the fact that the springs are bumpy and lumpy and they are covered in white fabric.  When I purchased them I was unsure how the white was going to work since I had an almost five year old and a three year old at the time and we eat at our table, in these chairs, every single night. 

Surprisingly, the chairs have stayed relatively clean!  Turns out that our children are pretty neat eaters and the white has stayed white for all these years of use.  Of course I assumed that when they did get a spill or two that it would be the children's fault.  Wouldn't you know that it was me that delivered the death blow to the chairs? And not just any stain would do, oh no, I managed to make a spectacular spill of red wine all over two of the chairs (there was a grand sweep of the hand involved)!  I'm fairly sure that those that were sitting at the table all said a silent prayer of thanks that it was me and not them that spilled the wine!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Apples

Weeks ago we went on a trip to the apple orchards and the children picked a ton of apples!  I spent weeks trying to use up all of those apples.  

Harris was my official apple peeler and he was delighted to do it.


I made apple pie pockets, which I left as a little treat for the children when Bryce and I went on a date night.


 

Of course, I made apple pie which I served with Susan Branch's cinnamon ice cream (I use whole milk instead of half and half and it is still awesome).  Have you ever had cinnamon ice cream?  It's really, truly amazingly delicious and the perfect fall/winter ice cream treat.



I also canned a few batches of spiced applesauce!  I'm so excited to have them tho break open during the holidays!
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Snow

Last week we had our first snow of the season.  Snow makes everything look beautiful, don't you think?  I thought that we should celebrate the day with a little something special so I made these doughnut hole snowmen for an after school treat.


Also, Grace made her snow loving Grandma a special treat too!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visitors



Marilyn and Al (my in-laws) recently left after a three week visit and wouldn't you know that those three weeks were perhaps the craziest three weeks out of the whole year!  All sorts of crazy things were happening during their visit: hurricane Sandy, followed quickly by a nor'easter, Halloween, Harris' birthday and his birthday party!  In addition, Bryce's Dad and brother were in town for a day (they had to leave early due to the storm) and we had a rare moment where all the children's grandparents were in the same place!


Of course, the children loved having their Gran and Grandpa here and you wouldn't believe the sort of stuff that got done around the house!  Projects were worked on, games were played, lists were crossed off and time was spent together!  



Friday, November 9, 2012

Baseball Party- Part 2

Part 1 is here and invitation is here

After the boys finished the baseball game we walked back to our house for lunch, cake and the pinata.  I kept it simple by serving hotdogs and chips in red baskets.


Grace made the baseball cookies!  We used an edible marker to draw the laces in. 
 
  

My favorite part about planning a party are the details.  Even though nobody noticed the little baseball tablecloth weights, they made me happy!    They took about 4 minutes to piece together and since it was actually very windy they were quite handy to have. 


The baseball cake was perhaps the easiest cake we have ever made.  We intended to ice the cake underneath the baseball green for grass but we decided that we preferred it to evoke a pitcher's mound. 



After cake, the boys all took swings at the baseball pinata.


Each boy was given a bag to put their vendor treats in, the candy from the pinata and a pack of baseball cards to take home.


This party was easy to put together and it was so much fun for Harris!  It was cold on the day of his party but he, nor the other boys, seemed to mind.  They just enjoyed playing ball and being together!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Baseball Party - Part 1

On Saturday, Harris celebrated his birthday with 9 of his buddies.  From the very beginning of birthday party discussions he was very clear that he just wanted to play baseball with his friends - and that is exactly what he did!

We met at a local playground that also has a baseball field.   We kept decorations simple with two balloons and our happy birthday banner.  Marilyn and Al made an adorable pitchers practice board that was a big hit for pitching practice.

Grace acted as a vendor for the players!  She made programs for all the players and she and her Gran made the felt pennants for the cheering fans.  She was the cutest vendor ever.


The items in the vendor basket were Big League Chew, chocolate baseballs, BBBats taffy, and circus peanuts (since Harris can't have real peanuts we went with pretend peanuts!).  We also served hot chocolate and small bottles of Gatorade.
 
  

Two of our good friends were kind enough to come and help do drills and warm-ups with the children.  Tucker and Tim were great with the children and helped to make it fun for all.  Tucker's son, Toby, even helped us out by being catcher.  It was awesome.


 
 



 
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