Sunday, November 29, 2009

Merry Kiss-mas

I am loving all things Christmas, right now. Like my new favorite combo: a Christmas-sy mug full of hot joe and some Hershey kisses... yum.
Big Sis skipped out on the coffee, but snuck some kisses.

Maybe she's more like me than I thought!

Dh let me sneak away today for a good ole' pedicure, and I made some progress on my advent calendar. Good thing, as I need it finished by tomorrow to get started on time! I'm loving the tiny little pockets and can't wait to string it up with some felt beads. My mantle is going to love it, and so will the girls...

Next up... a gingerbread house a la my little chickies!

Friday, November 27, 2009

*Swoon* for those three little words...

Pre. Lit. Tree.

Isn't it the most gratifying thing to put the pieces of the tree together, fluff the branches, plug it in and... tada! The entire tree is covered with twinkle lights that you didn't have to untangle or carefully place on aforementioned branches. Love it.

The holiday season is kicking off here at MNATO... I better get working on that Advent Calendar! And we missed our first reading of Elf on the Shelf as I was laid up last night, feeling like a poster child for Nyquil. Today, I have to work until 1:00 (healthcare never closes...) and I hope to come home to finish decking the halls later.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No, Thanks

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, I'm typing this at 5:30 in the morning... knowing I should be in the shower since I am one of the lucky people who are working today... knowing I'll have to make a trip to the grocery store later cause I waited until the last minute... knowing I won't have time to make the apple pie that I wanted to bring to the in-laws tonight... and thankful for one little word: no.

This holiday season, I'm not committing myself to bring delicious homemade goodies to all the family events and I'm not racing to find the perfect gift. I am embracing the power of saying no, graciously, so I don't feel overextended and exhausted. I am embracing the fact that a store-bought pie looks homemade when put in a pretty dish.

So, thanks no, for making my life a little easier...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It Happens

Do you ever wonder how your life became so chaotic?

Oh yeah...

Some days I feel like I'm always twenty minutes late, ten dollars short, and five seconds away from having a meltdown. Who is this frazzled woman I have become? Trust me, it's not intentional. I don't like feeling like I don't have it together and I hate always showing up to family events late. I wish I could better manage working 40-plus hours a week, taking care of two rambunctious girls, being a good wife, taking care of my home, and being active in my church and community so that I was always on time, gifts wrapped, not a hair out of place, with a freshly-baked pie in my hands.

But life happens.

Shit happens. (usually right when it's time to walk out the door)

And I happen to think that not being perfect is perfectly okay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to the latest member of our family...

She arrived last week, straight from the North Pole...
She's our very own Elf on the Shelf!
If you haven't heard of the story, click on the link to find out the little trick parents have been using to encourage better behavior during the holiday season. One of my girlfriends began her elf on the shelf tradition last year and had quite a bit of success with it, so I thought I'd try it too. I even ordered a little skirt for her, cause, you know, only a twirly skirt elf would do. She's not named yet, but that's a task I'll give to the girls once we read the story on Thanksgiving night. Then, the little deception, er, tradition can begin!
Of course... with cutie-pies like this, our little elf shouldn't need to report to Santa, right?! (This is the girls' latest superhero costume - captain pants-on-your-head!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Time's a Comin'...

And check out all of the great ideas for Christmas crafts!

I am SO making one of these:

a felt advent calendar garland!

And how about these?

a rosette Christmas tree!

string of light advent garland... and

gorgeous felt ornaments.

I find the more felt cookies I make, the more felt projects I want to start - what should I make first??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Handmade Christmas

I am in full-on crafting mode since I got my groove back! I'm still baking up some play cookies for the Etsy shop, and my brain is filled with ideas of other fun Christmas goodies to try. I've also been perusing all the wonderful tutorials that other bloggers have been kind enough to share, and I'm so inspired and ready to craft for my own Christmas at home! I've got to get in the shower already, so I'll be back later to post links. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grocery Bag Dispenser!

This project turned out great - and it didn't take a lot of time or materials to make since save for the batting, everything from fabric to elastic was from my stash! I got to try my hand at quilting and have decided that I need a stippling foot before trying that mess again (unless I'm quilting in straight lines). But the best part? Now, I've got this great little way to store my plastic grocery bags. (So much better than the previous overflowing basket at the bottom of the pantry...)

What's that? You need a plastic bag? Why, I just happen to have one right here...

Thanks Moda Bake Shop for a great tutorial!

Feeling Domestic

It's a dreary, gloomy day today that is forcing the fam inside and me to get in touch with my inner domestic goddess. Big sis and I have two chocolate cakes cooling, just waiting to be slathered in chocolate icing and Heath bar bits. The grocery bag dispenser is about to head to the dryer and then to my pantry for pics and grocery bag dispensing action. And... I'm whipping up a batch of cookies for the lollipop kids Etsy shop.

Life is good.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I've got my groove back

I've been having a rough time lately, feeling very disconnected from myself as my job slowly took over my life. Tonight I sat at my kitchen table, my hands becoming reacquainted with some old friends...

It was so calming and empowering making those tiny little felt cookies that all of a sudden, I felt it. I had my groove back. For the first night in many, I wasn't ready to fall asleep at 8:30 pm. I was excited with every blanket stitch...
Who knew this was what I needed all along?
And I didn't stop there - I started working on a cute little project that I spotted in the Moda Bake Shop some time ago - the grocery bag dispenser. How cute is that thing?! It's way better than the overflowing pile of plastic bags at the bottom of my pantry. One charm pack later, I had this:

I still have to sew the lining and batting and *gasp* do my first quilting ever. (Can I even stipple with a normal old Singer? Ack!) I think it'll turn out pretty cute... we'll see!
Oh - and if you're in the mood for some felt play cookies, check out my Etsy shop! I'll be cranking out the sweets for the holidays...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

What a fun Halloween. It's much more fun now that both of the girls are old enough to enjoy dressing up and raking in the candy! G was an adorable little kitty cat and I dressed up as Lucille Ball - mainly because it was the only costume in the Halloween store that didn't look like it should be worn behind closed bedroom doors. Seriously.
I actually saw young teenage girls shopping the "Dreamgirl" costumes with their mothers. Not that they aren't cute little get-ups... but when you have to decide if your costume is "too slutty" versus simply being slutty at all, that should be a universal sign for all mothers everywhere to get out of that section!
I digress. Dh was his trusty standby, the rodeo clown - a last minute costume shopped at Goodwill, none the less. And K was a bobby sox dancer, but ditched her cateye glasses and added a cowgirl hat once she saw her daddy. *sigh* Whatever makes her happy, right?
Here's to many more Happy Halloweens with my little "ghouls"!