Thursday, December 31, 2009

splurge vs. steal

So I went on a $100 gift card shopping spree and had LoTS of fun! I'd forgotten how much fun guiltless shopping can be!

First off, THE splurge:

To some it may be tacky looking but I love, love, love this necklace from Anthropologie.

And the STEALS (all from Target):

A couple of cute valentine plates for the kiddos This mini Strawberry Shortcake gift set which comes with a 10 minute dvd AND a tiny Custard, the pink cat, which Grace has been wanting ever since opening up her SS berry cafe at Christmas. {If you have any SS loving girlies you may want to check out this little gift set. It's on sale for $4.18 right now} This cute applique tee - can you sense a theme going on here? {in the big girls section starting at a size 4/5} I think I'll monogram it in lime green. This cute, cute, cute owl apron {dollar section}. And the boy loot...

A fun vintage retro Thomas tee that I think will look cute layered with a navy long sleeve tee underneath. THE cutest sock monkey PJ's for my little guy for next Christmas. A fun pack of Christmas trains! I'm thinking by next year, Hudson will really be into these and at 50% discount they were a great steal! {Why do these little trains cost so much???} So there you have it. One gorgeous splurge and 7 sweet steals, all for $100 buckeroos. THANK YOU Memema and Aunt Marilyn for my fun shopping spree!!!

And since this is probably my last post of the year, I better share a resolution or two. I'll spare you the boring ones (although those are on my list too!) and go straight for the fun ones. See that button up there on my sidebar way at the top?

Yep, not only is Cookie Mondays a fantastic blog, but Heather's button pretty much sums up my fun 2010 resolutions:

Create more.
Cook more.
Cherish more.

Happy New Year 2010!!!!
It's going to be a fabulous year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a little dollop of kitchen happiness

The other day I decided a little kitchen counter de-cluttering was in order. Funny how such a small thing can bring such great joy to a girl's heart.

I switched out my fancy fleur de lis glass canister set for these simple dome lid jars and filled them with some of my bAkINg PrETtiES, then added some of my favorite baking cookbooks next to them (sorry for the yucky lighting - I took these late last night with 3 of our 6 floodlights out to boot!). When the cordless phone stopped working completely, I tossed the whole thing out (can you sense a little frustration?) and lined up some of my go-to cookbooks. That darn phone only served to wake up my babies anyway.

The menu-planning binder got an uplift via cute mUshROom ScRApBooK tiDBiTS and the eyesore phonebook turned cinderella courtesy of a Martha shelf liner paper roll that sat in my linen closet unused for like 10 years. And I didn't really do much to my baker's rack (ssshhh, it's really supposed to be a potting bench), but it makes me happy, so I tossed it in for good measure. I couldn't get a good picture but can you see a tiny bit of that framed photo? That's the only copy of my grandma and grandpa's engagement photo (circa 1940s), meaning a photo someone took of them moments after my handsome (and I bet nervous at the time) grandpa proposed to my beautiful grandma. He even dedicated it on the back to her. Those two had the most beautiful and pure love affair I've ever witnessed for the entirety of their 50+ years of marriage. I love that photo! Just a few tiny changes but enough to make me love my kitchen that much more!

Now if I could only get motivated to take down the rest of the Christmas decorations...hmmm, maybe another day...I think I'd rather watch Julie & Julia.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

our official cookie bake day 2009

Our annual Bake Day is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I think it ties with our Baby Jesus Cake for most favorite tradition. Beware there is an obscene number of photos to document 2 hours of oOeY gOOey MeSSy fUn. Which reminds me of this little gem: I will fully admit that I picked up this book at Target for the adorable cover. I have yet to try out the recipes, but isn't that cover adorable??? I redesigned by little baking corner of the kitchen counter to take full advantage of this book's cuteness and the fun glass jars some sneaky elves got me for Christmas! (pics of that soon)

Pre-Baking we took this "official photo". You can't tell Grace is excited or anything, right? Now, Bake Day is a girls-only event, but who can resist that adorable little fella??? Not me!

Selecting your cookie cutters is serious business, you know? Finally! A gingerbread man wins the coveted spot for first cookie {Can you see the little pout? Grace was not too happy that we didn't have a gingerbread girl} - my lil' pumpkin princess, how I love you! Ready to get this show going! But wait. Heart shaped cookie cutters spotted. I spy trouble ahead for Mr. Gingerbread Man. All month we've been talking about Baby Jesus and his birthday and making him a birthday cake and as we're about to mix the dough, Grace says, "Next morning (meaning tomorrow) mama, I want to make heart ones for Baby Jesus' birthday" {melt my heart in one big swoop little one! tears are not supposed to be a part of Bake Day!} Mix, mix, mix... And fluff, fluff, fluff... A little too much fluffing and patting - flour was flying EVERYWHERE so we decided we better tie one on (an apron, that is :) I should've thought ahead and had matching ones or something, but oh, well I just grabbed the first ones I could find and that's why mine is an old one from an event I helped organize. Remember, "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle", well, this was, "pat, pat, pat, CLAP!" followed by flour flying everywhere! Such fun memories! I treasure moments like this. Time to roll, roll, roll... And then Grace decided we should all "play the drums" and CLAP! with our cookie dough! Fun times. Little hands busy at work. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this picture! We couldn't resist opening up the doors to this Girls Club for a certain sweet little rollie pollie! The shiny Gingerbread Man reaffirmed his noble position as first cookie cutter by a very unbiased source. Then Grace decided we didn't need cookie cutters after all - Hudson's footprints would make much better imprints! {Don't worry, we were very selective with our cookie recipients!} A few more cut outs... and then it was time to transfer our prized creations. Taking a little break while waiting on mama to finish the icing. Can I just say that even though I followed the directions to a T, our Royal Icing tasted YUK! Thank goodness for a can of cream cheese frosting in the pantry!

Time to decorate!!! {As you can see, that heart cookie for Jesus won out for first place and we had to use PINK frosting of course!} Sprinkle Time!!! Concentrating sooooooo hard on making that frosting come out! There. The old stand-by ziploc bag works much better. I love her excitement. Checking out the officially named "Grace & Noonie's Wiggly Tree" masterpiece! Bake Day is a HUGE MESS! But I wouldn't trade those ooey gooey memories for anything in this world! Go ahead, make a mess.
Your heart will thank you!

Monday, December 28, 2009

family is what it's all about

Lance and I are very fortunate to have our parents nearby so that they can be involved in our daily lives and see Grace and Hudson grow up firsthand. Believe me we don't take this for granted, we know this isn't the case for so many and we feel incredibly blessed. Christmas Eve we spent it with Mimi & Pop (Lance's mom & stepdad) then Christmas Day Noonie & Papa J (mine) came over and on Sunday we visited with Lance's dad Papaw & Mimsy, his grandmother and aunt.

When Noonie & Papa J came over for lunch Christmas Day we attempted a couple of pictures. Attempted being the key word because with two little busy bodies group pictures are far and few in between! This is the best family shot we got.

Can I just say that whoever invented the "cheese" is in my black book forever ;)

Grandparents & kiddos! That durn sun glare made everything look washed out :( Should've paid more attention to the placement of our tree. Will remember this for next year. Can't wait to try out that new 50mm lens - maybe my focus will be much better!

Just me and my munchkins goofing around. Lance is anti-posed picture. I don't blame him!

Someone likes my choo choo. A little too much. Glue gun, here I come! Again. ;) Let the fun begin! {What, you don't use your presents as rock climbing walls???} That art easel is going to be so much fun! Thanks Noonie & Papa J!!!

Pure Joy. A picture is worth a 1000 words. Grace is in love with this little praying dollie. Hudson loved this roly poly ball! He kept trying to catch it with his little feet and then kick it away. {Future Soccer Star!!!} As you can see he is having a blast playing with his tunnel gym. Thank you Noonie & Papa J!!! These two always have a blast together!

Winding down with Noonie while learning a new spanish lullaby "La Linda Manita". And then on Sunday - more family fun!

Here's Hudson flirting with Mimsy. He DOES have all the ladies wrapped around his little finger ;) Nothing wrong with mixing a little Mardi Gras with your Christmas festivities ;) Opening gifts with Papaw. The wrapping is THE best part of the gift! I hate that I didn't get any pics of the little munchkins with anyone else. A certain little someone was having quite the meltdown - too much excitement in just a few days? - and we missed a lot of the fun trying to calm down. That's okay, we'll get together again soon and I promise to snap away Memema and Aunt Marilyn!!

And just to wrap up our holiday...

Warm & snuggly. Even snugglier :) Hope you had a warm & cozy Christmas!