Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday in a Rainbow of Colors

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and now well it's the day after and you know what that means.  Time to shop!!!!!
There is one gift that you can get for almost everyone on your list-Hunter Boots!!!
I absolutely LOVE, LOVE my Hunters!  I can not even tell you how much I wear them.  Living where the weather is rainy one day and snowy the next these are soooo perfect all year long!  I have the black hunters which I love for their versatility but the colors ahhhh so many fun colors!!!!  So instead of going for black on this Friday after Thanksgiving go for a fun bright color.  Such a great gift idea for Christmas.  My daughter got a pair last year and she can't wear them enough and now that it's cold outside, pair them with a pair of hunter boot socks.  Hunters for everyone!  
Grab your Hunter boots here at Nordstrom.
Check out the cute boot socks at Nordstrom here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Travels

It's the season for travel.  Long trips in the car and cross country flights-ahh sounds dreamy!  
For those of you who are off to grandma's for the holidays or anywhere for that matter I have some tricks that make traveling with little ones a breeze. 
We travel quite a bit for a family of six and in order to make the trip go smoothly we pack lots of tricks and plenty of treats.  

One of the tricks that works like a charm with toddlers is a snack box.  I use a clear plastic tool box and I fill each little compartment with small colorful snacks and treats.

This snack box is great for plane rides because it will keep your child quite busy for a long period of time.  I use things like baby goldfish, small cereal, raisins or crasins, tiny pretzels, fruit snacks, m&ms, nuts, tiny cookies.  Any sort of small, finger treats.  I also think a key component to its success is the variety and newness of the treats. 
Try to pick foods that your toddler doesn't eat on a regular basis.-Fun foods.  
Another version of this is the weekly pill box.  
Purchase a weekly pill container and place a sticker over each day.  
Fill each compartment with tiny snacks.  

Toddlers love to open each compartment and eat the surprise inside.  Fun for hours!  

I also bring individual snack bags for the older children so that each child is responsible for their own snacks.  I let them be the boss of their own bags so that I don't have to be in charge of their food during the flight.

Some other tricks that we always bring on trips:
Magnets and magnetic board
Books, books and more books
Coloring books, crayons and/or markers
Clip boards and paper
Stickers and sticker books
Post It Notes (toddlers can stick and peel these all over and they can be easily removed)
Match box cars and planes
Word Searches/Math Practice Books
Travel games
I pods-download games and movies

Hope these ideas help keep your kids busy on long trips.  I would love to hear your ideas!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Round Up

Do you have big plans for Thanksgiving?  
If you are hosting here is an easy, last minute table inspiration.  I used a neutral table runner from Pottery Barn.  A beautiful linen one is found here.  Also, brown butcher paper works and looks great and the kids can decorate it to keep them busy during dinner-wink, wink!

I collected gourds, pine cones and acorns from around the house that we used for Halloween decorating and placed them on a silver platter in the middle of the table.

I used mercury glass votives as well as our china and crystal to add sparkle to the table.

We used simple paper turkeys for place cards.

If you're hittin' the road check out our Thanksgiving Round Up for easy, last minute recipes and ideas to bring along.

Check out these links to the ideas above:

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Should I Bring?

Not hosting this year. If you are wondering what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner bring this!

Pumpkin Cake/Bread Recipe
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the pan with cooking spray. 
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  
In the mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter and mix until fluffy.  
Add the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin and mix well.
With your mixer running, add the dry ingredients a bit at a time.  
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap gently to even the mix.  
Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.
Easy Peasy!!

Crazy around your house like it is at mine!?
If you don't have the time or energy to make it from scratch then get a great mix.  

Trader Joe's makes a great mix.
 Pillsbury makes a quick bread version.

Here is a great bundt pan from Target and another one from Macy's.

Bring something different this year that everyone will enjoy!

I would love to hear what you are bringing to Thanksgiving this year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Thankful Tree

It's quickly approaching-The Holiday Season. -YIKES!!!!
It's easy to forget to be thankful.  With all of the running around and busyness that life brings it's hard to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
So this year on Thanksgiving Day have each guest reflect and write one thankful thing 
on a paper leaf and place it on your special tree.
The kids and I cut a few branches from a bush outside and stuck them in an old urn from Pottery Barn. You could use something like this or this.  Place the bare branches into the urn using floral foam to keep them secure.  Have your guests attach the leaves to the branches using a hole punch and a bit of craft wire. 

What kinds of things are you thankful for this year???

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Birthday

The month of November is nuts-o around our house.  Two birthday boys one week apart and Thanksgiving quickly approaching-yowzas!  Despite the mile long to-do list we always have time for a celebration and today it's for our big 5 year old Finn!  In honor of his special day we made birthday pancakes for breakfast!  

Birthday Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups boxed yellow cake mix
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk

Top with whipped cream

Mix dry ingredients together.  Add eggs, vanilla, melted butter and only 1 1/2 cups of the milk.  
Stir until smooth.  Add the rest (1/2 cup) of the milk if the consistency is too think.  
Add birthday sprinkles and fold into batter.
Preheat skillet on medium heat, add batter 1/4 cup at a time and cook until tiny bubbles form on top.  Flip and cook for about 30 seconds more.

Top each stack with whipped cream and decorate with remaining sprinkles.
Enjoy this birthday breakfast!

Five years ago today I held this perfect little baby in my arms and thought, "Cherish every moment.  Five years from now I will look back and think it's gone too fast."  And it has.  He has grown and I have grown-we have grown together.  Every day is a new day with new experiences and I feel so grateful that I have been blessed with four wonderful children.  On his birthday I feel that he gave ME the best presents, to be a mother for a third time and to be HIS mother.

Monday, November 18, 2013

So Salad

So this salad is out of the world yum!!!  It is one of those terrific, must make on a regular basis fall staples for lunch in our house.  It's very easy and doesn't take much time but the flavors scream Autumn and this recipe is a must make.  My favorite time to enjoy this salad is when the house is quiet in the afternoon during naps-BTW the only time during the day when this house is quiet! 

So Salad
50/50 mix of spinach and mixed greens
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of reduced fat crumbled feta

Favorite light vinaigrette mine is below:

So Salad Vinaigrette
1 small garlic clove
Juice from 1/2 a large fresh lemon
Splash of white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt

I also love Brianna's Home Style Real French Vinaigrette found in the aisle at your local grocery!  BAM!
An excellent, healthy, quickie lunch!

What's your go-to salad????

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lips Lifesaver

Well it started this week.  The colder temperatures and drier air means my lips are suffering.  I hate getting ready for the day and my lips are cracked and peeling-ick.  
I love to use an easy 3-ingredient all natural lip exfoliant that will help schlep off all of the yuck.

3-Ingredient Lip Exfoliant

1. White Sugar acts as the exfoliant 
2. Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants
3. Lemon Juice has essential vitamins and folic acid

In a small ramekin mix together a tablespoon of white sugar, one tablespoon olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Rub onto lips using forefinger.  MMM…tastey and leaves lips super soft!  
Now that's the stuff!

Now that we have our lips in shape it's time to bring out the big guns- These are four of my favorite lip therapies that will give your kisser a smoother, softer appearance as well as allow your favorite lipstick to stick around longer.  
So it's time to kiss the chapped lips good bye and try one of these.

1. Philosophy's Kiss Me Good Night is super rich and creamy.  A little bit goes a long way and your lips with feel healed almost instantly.-You can find this at Nordstrom
2. Maybelline Baby Lips is so smooth going on and comes in many fun tints.-You can find this at Target
3. Burt's Bees Lip Balm is all natural and works so much better than the petroleum based products out there.  It has peppermint oil which makes your lips feel refreshed.-You can find this at Target
4. EOS Lip Balm in Honey Dew is completely organic has a fabulous scent.  It leaves your lips smooth and kissable.-You can find this one at Target too.  Gotta Love Tar-zhay!

These are my four lip balms in my make-up bag that I can't live without. I'd love to hear what works best on your smackers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Root Beer Baby

Well, we had a bunch of rowdy eight and nine year old boys here last night to celebrate Jack's birthday. We had pizza, ice cream cake and root beer which were Jack's wishes for his big evening with friends.  Today, I thought we could use the rest of the root beer for a fun after school treat.  One of my favorite seasonal ice creams is Edy's Pumpkin Patch-it tastes like frozen pumpkin pie.-YUM!  So here we go……

Hope you give these a try before the Pumpkin Patch disappears and won't return again until next year.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Birthday Boy

Our second born, Jack turns 9 today!  Nine years have come and gone right before my eyes.  I blinked and he is a grown boy so smart and sensitive and caring and kind.  Here's to another fabulous year!!

Jack is our boy who loves sports!  Here are some great inspirations for sports themed parties that can be done right at home!
Love and Family has a great sports party HERE

Check out this party by Swanky Chic Fete HERE.

By Charn Event Design

The Hostess with the Mostess has a great party HERE

The Little Style File has a party HERE.

The Tip Junkie has great boy themed birthday's HERE

Hope you got some great ideas from these wonderful sites.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let's get crafty

Wow!  It's been a crazy last few days!  My girlfriend Holly, from high school and college was in town for a long weekend and we had a blast!!!  Dinners and shopping and hanging with the kids.  It was great to catch up as she lives in Denver so we only get together once a year or so.  So much fun-but I am playing catch up around the house now that she has gone.  

We are also getting our first snowflakes today as I look outside.  I'm not a huge fan of the white stuff unless it's winter and it sticks around for outdoor fun but never the less it is here and the kids are extremely excited to see it coming down.  
As we prepare for the winter months, one of the things I look forward to is saving some of the herbs from our herb garden.  I thought this year I would use all of the rosemary for a wreath that we can hang in our mudroom-right off the kitchen.  What a great way to preserve a little bit of summer for the upcoming holidays.  So festive and wonderful smelling!
I went to Michael's to grab a few supplies I used for the wreath:

First, trim a bunch of rosemary from your outside plant.  Our winters are very harsh so it does not survive outdoors.  This is a great way to use it before it dies during the winter. 
With the floral wire begin to place the rosemary sprigs around the wire frame making sure it is all facing the same direction.  Cut small pieces of wire to secure each sprig to the form.

This is what your wreath will look like after you have attached about 1/2 of the rosemary.
Continue to fill in the gaps until the rosemary is all secured to your wreath frame.
Add a beautiful ribbon to top it off and you are set with an beautiful seasonal wreath.

 The finished wreath.  I love the fact that we can enjoy this in the weeks and months to come.
Super easy!

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