When I bought our stockings last year I knew I was pregnant but for some reason I didn't buy a third one for the baby. I tried to find another one this year but no luck. Fortunately Steven's grandmother offered to buy Luke his stocking so I picked out this soft fleecy one from Pottery Barn.
The tree got decked out in the same lights and star as last year but this time I actually dug out our ornaments. We don't have that many - most of them represent our life milestones - so we'll build our collection as we go.
Also making a second appearance are the winter village houses under the tree. I love how they look nestled between the presents!
What about you guys? Have you decorated already? Or do you put up your tree on Christmas eve?
Picture it: a movie projected onto the back wall of the house, hot dogs and burgers on the grill, a tub full of frosty beverages, and all the tents, chairs and blankets we can fit in the backyard - and maybe a freecycled sofa or two, just for good measure.
I could do this all summer long, but I would love to do it in early fall so that there would be lots of fire-building, marsh-mallow toasting and blanket-sharing once the sun went down.
You're all invited, of course. What's your dream party?
I didn't get a picture of my old one before the hubby un-installed it, but it looked a lot like this one:
Just your basic white and brass builder ceiling fan. Was it hideous? No, but it didn't exactly go with the vibe I was trying to create. My new fan however...
... is just what the
doctor decorator ordered.
I figured I'd try my hand at making my own "Mom" necklace, and this is what I came up with:
What's that? It doesn't look like mom jewelry? Thank you, you are too kind. Don't let it's looks deceive you, this is one sappy necklace. Each strand is a message written in morse code. One says "Steven, my love" and the other says "Luke, my son." D'awww, isn't that sweet?
It doesn't look perfect, so I would like to re-do the beading, but I'm a busy gal and the odds of that are slim.
It's no secret that I'm not much of a cook. I don't enjoy planning meals and if it were up to me we'd probably eat macaroni and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches every night. Luckily, the hubby is a good cook and prepares most of our meals. Every now and then I'll make dinner, or I'll chip in if we're cooking a large family meal, but those occasions are rare.
If I do wander into the kitchen, I like to bake. I think I get it from my mom. She can make magic in the kitchen but she's famous for her sweets, particularly her cheesecakes.
When I chose to make a cheesecake for Thanksgiving I knew I had some mighty big
I would share the recipe with you, but I'm pretty sure my mom would kill me. Seriously. She gave me strict instructions not to give the recipe to anyone, and I think it's safe to assume that includes the internet.
What did you make for Thanksgiving?
For those of you who don't follow college Football:
A) What's wrong with you?
B) Stay put, this tip applies to other sporting events.
Once a season, the stadium passes out little towels to everyone - my fellow Wolfpackers know them as Howl Towels - so that fans can wave them whenever something exciting happens.
Lots of people throw them out or leave them behind after the game, but they shouldn't do that. Why is that? I'm glad you asked. There are so many ways to re-use them:
-house - they're great for dusting and cleaning counter tops
-shop/garage/gym - keep one handy when you're working to wipe the sweat from your (wo)manly brow
-car - de-fog your windshield, wipe drive-thru grease off your hands or dust a CD
-diaper bag - babies like to make messes, so it's nice to have something on hand to absorb stuff that you can
-tail-gate kit - they never seem to give out the Howl Towels the day it rains, so keep it in your bag to wipe your seats on a rainy day - it beats grabbing dozens of paper towels from the ladies' room
See, I told you they were useful. Seriously - I haven't paid for a household rag since I started going to football games. I challenge you sports fans - save some dough and keep those towels out of the landfill!
One that caught my eye was skinny jeans (cuffed) + fun top + ankle boots. I thought it looked cute, and I do have all of those items, but I was afraid the outfit was too rock-n-roll for me to pull off.
Then fate intervened. The next night I saw Liz Lemon, self-proclaimed schlump, wearing ankle boots with cuffed skinnies on 3o Rock. I thought, if Lemon can do it so can I.
So here I am. Cuffed skinnies, ankle boots and a sequined top. I threw on my cotton blazer for structure and warmth, then added a chunky black ring for some extra bad-assery.
So, that's the closest I'll ever come to looking like a rock star. Let's call it bad-ass lite. Is it the most figure-flattering ensemble I've ever worn? Probably not. But I'm proud of myself for trying something new.
Jeans - Old Navy, Sweetheart Skinny
Boots - Candies, via Kohl's
Top - BJ's, yes, BJ's
Blazer - Target
I was at Old Navy the other day (see, I told you my birthday money was burning a hole in my pocket) and I fell in love with the Sweetheart Skinny.
Most skinny jeans have a low rise. For all you childless gals, that look couldn't be cuter. But I'm a mom now and my firm baby bump has turned (back) into belly flab. That means low-rise jeans only lead to one place: Muffin-Top City.
Just because I push a stroller and drive a sensible sedan doesn't mean I'm willing to give up trendy pants. This is why the Sweetheart is so perfect. They're skinny jeans WITH A MEDIUM RISE! Pardon my enthusiasm, but did you just read that? I can wear skinny jeans without turning my midsection into a pastry!
I bought 2 pairs, but I left enough behind for you. What are you waiting for? Go shopping!
I was really excited about carving a pumpkin this year. The hubby and I were leaning towards a simple ghost design, but then our not-so-inner nerds spoke up and we were inspired to carve a ghost... being chased by Pac-Man.
It has been at least 10 years since I've had a jack-o-lantern and I was really anxious to get started. Perhaps too anxious. Notice how the ghost's left eye is smaller than his right one? That's because we carved the pumpkins a week early, not remembering how quickly they start to mold and wilt. Eh, live and learn.
Another notch for the bummer column - we ran out of candy by 7:30. Not wanting to disappoint the trick-or-treaters, I raided the pantry. But since I'm back on Weight Watchers, this is all I had:
However, nothing could truly bum me out because I got to play with this little munchkin all day:
Really, Luke, could you get any cuter?
Touche, Lobster Luke, touche.
Best picture of the night:
We didn't take him trick-or-treating (3 month olds don't eat candy) but we had fun dressing him up and seeing all the neighborhood kids in their costumes. Steven and I dressed up as chefs but we didn't get any family pictures because Luke tapped out for a nap before we could get that coordinated. Maybe we'll try again one night this week.
Tell me readers, what was your costume?
Today I turn 26 and my gifts are already burning a hole in my pocket! I whipped up a little inspiration board to help me decide what to buy for myself.
Black Flats - I have already told you guys how much I like my gray flats, and I am definitely going to get a second pair in black.
Ceiling Fan - Our living room already has a ceiling fan, but it is not my style - contractor standard brass and white, yuck! I guess I complained a lot about it because my mom offered to buy me a new fan for my birthday and I am loving the industrial feel of this one.
Leather Boots - At 26, it's time for me to invest in some black leather boots. I've had several faux leather pairs in the past, but I need to step it up a notch. These Frye boots are out of my price range, but a gal can dream.
Shower Head - I recently spent a few days with a friend and she had a rainfall shower head. I loved it and have been dying to get one ever since I came home.
Bralette - As a nursing mom I have worn nothing but boring nursing bras over the past 3 months. I want this sweet little lace bra to make me and my girls feel feminine and pretty. Plus, at $20 each, I might get more than one!
What would you buy for your birthday?
First, I brought my new casual jacket from Old Navy. It is soft and comfortable like a sweatshirt but has the structure and styling of a jacket. I have the gray one, but they don't carry it anymore. I snagged a pic of the brown one, so you'll just have to use your imagination.
I also packed the new Self Esteem flats I picked up from DSW. The grey wool looks super cute with jeans and skirts. But most importantly - fleece lining - I have found cute shoes that feel like bedroom slippers! The are so toasty I don't even need socks. I admit wearing socks with cute shoes can be a wee bit dorky, but my feet are always cold so comfort usually wins. In fact, I love these so much I'm probably going to go back and get the black pair.
She found it at an estate sale and thought of me. Wasn't that sweet of her? I am loving long, textural statement necklaces for fall and this piece is perfect. Unique chain, gorgeous leaf detailing and a semi-precious stone (malachite, I think). I can't wait to wear it!
I will wear my boots any way I can: under slacks, with skirts and tights or over jeans. There's just one problem. I hate how jeans, even skinny jeans, bunch up inside my boots.
Remember stirrup pants? Weren't they awesome for wearing with boots? Yes, but, did you ever try to get some extra mileage and wear them with other shoes? Yeah, awkward. Don't you wish there was a way to get the function of stirrup pants without the goofy side effects? Well, now there is.
This morning as I was getting dressed I grabbed some scrap elastic and a handful of safety pins and within minutes I had be-stirruped my jeans.
A few days later, the weed blossomed and turned out to be a morning glory.
As I stopped to admire the blooms, I noticed this little gold bug. Apparently he got the memo that metallics are on trend for fall.
I apologize for the blurry photo. This bug was tiny and testing the limits of my camera's macro setting.
I couldn't bear to let such beautiful fabric go to waste so I whipped up this cat toy with the Amy Butler strips and some jersey scraps. All I did was take 15 strips, of equal length, and braided them into 5 ropes. Then I used the jersey to tie the ropes together, and I had myself a cat toy.