Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Baskets

This years Easter Basket theme was flowers and pencils!  Grace has been very interested in all things violet, so she received seeds to grow violets, violet candies, violet hand handcream and a wonderful book about baking with flowers (it includes directions to make candied violets).

Harris has a fascination with really good writing utensils, so his basket contained the iconic Blackwing pencils, a really good pencil sharpener, a pencil holder for his desk and a book by a great writer.  He also got a chocolate bunny, but had eaten it by the time I took the picture :).


Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

I hope you all had a lovely Easter!  We went to a friends house on Saturday for an egg hunt and they had over 3,000 eggs!  It was crazy and so fun for all.

On Easter Sunday, we went to a sunrise service which was really nice.  I had never been to one and sort of loved the fact that it was casual (we sat on a blanket), not dressy (Harris wore a blanket) and focused on Jesus.  And then we had the rest of the day to eat lots of food, visit with family and go for a walk in the woods.  All in all, it made for a pretty awesome day.

(anyone know why the icing got splotchy after it dried?)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Little Story

This week, after I dropped Grace off at ballet, I ran an errand in an area where I had to parallel park.  When I came out of the store I discovered, much to my frustration, that my car wouldn't start.  Turns out the starter was bad, and I only mention that I was parallel parked because as it turns out, it's very difficult (read: impossible) to tow a vehicle while cars are parked in front of it and behind.   Luckily, the technician was able to get it temporarily started by banging away at something in the engine (super technical, I know).

Anyway, I was forced to clean out my car in a hurry before it went to the garage, and in doing so I found a little green notebook of Graces.  In this little notebook there were all sorts of little treasures in the form of stories that she's started.  My favorite one was about Father Christmas and a mouse.  I adore the last line and the accompanying picture!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Favorite Things #54

One of Bryce's Christmas gifts to me this year was an artists rendering of a favorite picture of the children and I.  The picture was from Mother's Day a couple of years ago and I love both the picture and the watercolor.  Having this moment in time with the children captured makes me so happy and I so enjoy it sitting on my desk.  So... maybe now is the time to give your significant other a little nudge before Mother's Day?

P.S.  I especially love how she gave me a much smaller waist than I actually have!

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Madness

You guys, I have felt the craziest I can remember feeling in a long time the past couple of months.  We seem to be trying to fit a lot in and in a very short amount of time.  There's so much I want to post about, but there just hasn't been the time, energy or even photos to do so!  Here are some things that are going on in this crazy season for us...

*We are getting ready to list our house and I decided that we should just stick a "for sale by owner" sign in the yard for a month.  Turns out this is pretty stressful!

*We are planning our cross country trip for this summer (more on that soon) and it's taking a tremendous amount of time.

*We are working with architects to make some changes to Frog's Hollow.  I thought we would be doing work by now, but everything is moving super slow.  However, I've made improvements to the cottage and will share soon.

*Grace is getting ready to graduate from Waldorf and there are lots and lots of things going on.  Plus, we have to decide on a high school!

*Harris is graduating from 5th grade to middle school!  Again, lots and lots of activities going on and we also have to decide on middle school plans!

*We need to pack, move and get settled in at the Hollow before our summer trip!

*Ballet is still going strong and baseball has begun.

This list isn't meant as a complaint in the least.  I feel so blessed, excited and lucky to be doing every one of the above things, but I'm working on making it manageable instead of overwhelming!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Initialed French Torchons

At some point last year I started collecting French linen torchons (better known as dishtowels)!  I read somewhere how great the old, thick fabric they were made out of was and how durable they were in a kitchen and I love how they add a little bit of stylish flair.

I picked the first ones up because they had my initials on them and then thought how fun it would be to have a towel with each of our initials on it.  Over the course of a year, whenever I would remember, I would do a quick search on Etsy and if I was lucky I would find some.  Oddly, it was Grace's that took the longest to find.

Recently, I found Grace's initials and my collection is now complete!  Also, I fully intend to use these so they won't look this pristine for long.

Monday, March 14, 2016

From Cub Scout to Boy Scout

Saturday night was our last Blue and Gold dinner for scouts as Harris "crossed the bridge" to become a Boy Scout rather than a Cub Scout!  This also ends the era of Bryce being the leader of Harris' pack.  I can't help but think that some day Harris will appreciate all the time and effort that Bryce put in with these boys over the past 5 years.  I know he would say that it was a privilege and honor to watch the boys progress and grow.... and that he learned a lot of patience!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

DIY Thank You Cards

I thought I'd share these cute thank you cards that Grace made for her thank you notes for birthday gifts.  I thought they were darling and super easy to make with washi tape!  All you need is washi tape, scissors, blank cards (Michael's carries them) and a pen.

Monday, March 7, 2016

48 hours in Nashville, Tennessee

I just got back from a quick girls trip to Nashville, Tennessee.  I had never been to Nashville so I had no idea what a fun and cool town it was!  Cathy and I met Kristin there and we spent 48 hours belly laughing, listening to amazing music, line dancing, catching up and eating delicious, southern food.  We went without any real plan or agenda and yet everything flowed beautifully.  It was the perfect weekend.  Here are some pictures...

The Ryman

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A (Teenager!) Bonfire Party

For her 14th birthday, Grace asked to have all of her classmates over for a bonfire at the Hollow.  In the four years that she's been at Waldorf, she has never had a party where she invited the whole class, but this year it felt right to do so.

I find teenager parties to be both exciting and scary!  It wouldn't be appropriate to schedule every moment, but it also felt like there needed to be some boundaries.  We came up with a loose plan of going for a winter walk in the woods, a bonfire, chili and music in the barn.

Grace and Bryce set up benches using tree stumps and old wood on the property.  It was rustic, but worked perfectly!

You guys, I could have taken approximately one million pictures because these children are just so photogenic, they look like J Crew models, but I was trying to balance the art of being present but not a nuisance.

Luckily, these Waldorf kids are used to being out in all sorts of weather so the freezing temperatures didn't seem to phase them at all.

We had a very general theme centered around the cold temperatures and the bonfire.  Grace hand lettered the hot chocolate blackboard.

I found this Little Brown Jug on eBay and it is now my new favorite thing.  I don't think it was ever even used (it came in its original box with instructions).  We used our favorite hot cocoa and a full gallon fit inside.  Also, it pours beautifully!

We also served some toppings and homemade marshmallows.

I made a s'more cake that tasted remarkably like a s'more.  The body of the cake was made with graham crackers with a layer of milk chocolate ganache.  We almost had disaster when the marshmallow fluff frosting I made was a total disaster, but a Martha recipe saved the day.  Bryce torched the cake and it looked fantastic!

Also, these blankets are ranking up there as new favorites as well.  Every time I thought about the party, I envisioned the kids having blankets to wrap up in.  However, new wool blankets turned out to be entirely too pricy!  I decided to buy vintage ones on eBay, but I set some parameters so that I wouldn't get carried away.  $15 per blanket was the max and it couldn't have holes, rips or tears.  I couldn't be happier with what I got; the blankets are thick and beautiful!  I have no doubt they will be used for many more bonfires!

We served chili and Fritos later in the evening and the kids moved into the barn to stay warm!

Grace has a wonderful group of friends and she thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with them!

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