Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Getting Organized- Calendars

So to bring in the New Year, I thought I would give you some goodies, to help you on your way. 
We ALL need to stay organized, some more than others (mostly me!). 
Here are some awesome calendars.....if you didn't already get 6 for Christmas.

Check these 8 fun finds from Etsy out...

3-D Landscape Desk Calendar. By Sky Goodies
This is a instant download, and you print it yourself, how fun is that.

Wall calendar with a to do list at the bottom. By Mademoiselleyo.
Because you can never have to many bird things!

Perpetual daily journal calendar, in wood box. By Java Jane Designs.
I love this, you can pick your ribbon and divider colors, and how great to keep track of whats going on in you  life throughout the year, for several years. It would be so fun to go back and read through is in a couple of years. 

Heavy duty 18 month wall calender. By Hippie Projects.
I love how big this is, just my size, for our life. 

Perpetual calender, birthday calendar. By Pera Press.
This is perfect for keeping track of all your family and friends birthdays, a must have.

Perpetual letterpress calendar wheel. By Dependable Letterpress.
I love the vintage feel of this, and it's fun too.

2014 Miniature Typewriter Calender. By Sky Goodies.
I know this is small, but it's printable, and so dang cute...you have to have it on your desk!!

Printable 2014 Weekly Calender. By List Lab.
For those of us who need ALOT more organization (ME).

Lots of great finds....
I hope this helps you get ready for the new year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Recovery

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, ours was a bit of a whirlwind! My parents and brother came in town for almost a week, but it went by in the the blink of an eye.
I think I spend so much time prepping for events and holidays like these, its hard to slow down to actually enjoy them. Chasing after 3 kids makes it a little difficult as well. 

We had a lovely time visiting, and playing games, and tons and tons of eating...my body is still saying I'm hungry, every hour ( um, yummy)!

 Me and my husband got to spend a whole 24 hours out! We have been away from the kids 3 times since my son was born, 3 1/2 years ago. So we needed a date night. We went to a movie, a fabulous dinner at Ruth Chris Steak House, and a nights stay at a beautiful local resort. My mom and dad, had an eventful time with the kids, they are awesome!
It was so strange being without the kids. At the hotel before dinner we just sat with the balcony door
opened (since it was like 70 degrees) and listened to a nearby fountain.... we laughed at how quiet it was.
I sat and just relaxed, no Christmas wrapping, or shopping for that matter, no work, no computers, just silence...aaahhhh. I would say we do this far to little!

Christmas Eve was spent with some family friends, and then building children's presents.
FYI, if it has more than 60 pieces, there's a good chance it will take more than a couple hours!
Good thing we had reinforcements......to bad I got stuck with the most difficult piece. 

Christmas day was wonderful, we spent hours opening presents, and throwing paper around. The kids were all old enough this year to really get into the excitement. Every toy had to be opened immediately after unwrapping...it was a long morning, but worth it.

The Christmas "carnage", as we like to call it, was unreal. By lunchtime, there was stuff in every square inch of my downstairs.

With 8 of us we had alot to recycle today. I'm embarrassed to say how much was sitting on the curb, but even more embarrassed, that it was still there after the trash man came!
My husband then, loaded up an entire car full of paper and cardboard, to be taken to and un-named location
Needless to say, even today, I'm still cleaning up the house.
 I feel like I'm making a dent, and then I look around, and its more of a pin-prick than a dent. 

I usually dread the new year, and I hate to make a resolution. This year though, I'm actually excited. This last year has been a LONG one. It flew by, but I was so super busy, I feel like I didn't really live in the moment. This year I'm taking a different approach. I'm filling my schedule a little bit looser, and making more time for my self, and for my family. 
One of the big presents I gave to my daughter this year, was about just that. It was inspired by something I posted about on my holiday gift guide recently. A monthly craft kit, by For The Makers. It was really for adults, and I wanted to do something that would be a bit more kid friendly. So I made my own. 
I made a craft package with all the pieces for one craft, to do one night each week, with my daughter, just the two of us....that's 52 crafts you guys!

Let me tell you this is alot harder to put together than it sounds. Alot of the stuff had to be purchased in multiples, or in packs, and got really expensive, but it could be put together a bit simpler, and cheaper. My daughter is about to be 12, so I tried to do things that would be relevant to her, and what she would want to wear, or make. My plan is to show you, once a month, what we have made for our weekly projects. I'll show you what we did, and where to find the supplies, and even a tutorial. 

Bringing in the new year also brings in a house load of cleaning, organizing, and redecorating. I think that's why I love setting up for Christmas so much, I know I get to take a bunch of stuff down, and move it around in the new year. I have lots of new projects planned for around the house, and new stuff needs to be bought. I wish I could make a website, for the remodel-aholic like my self, so when the new comes in, some of the old gets to a new home. Not like Ebay or anything, something just for homeless decor...I have boxes full of it. If the idea shows up online in a year or two, remember you heard it hear first!

I hope you all are recovering from a great holiday as well, and getting to sit, and relax a little while yourselves.
I have lots of fun ideas, and new projects to show you this year...So clean up the holiday decor, and get ready! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Covering Arched Windows

Covering windows can be an expensive process. Wood blinds, or custom blinds can be one of those expenses that you don't really feel the value of. They are of course, needed, but its like buying door knobs...blah....it isn't the fun stuff.  
Arched windows, need to be a custom made, and can be the most expensive piece. 
So I wanted to give you a little money saving tip.

This only works for white blinds, so if you have wood, you'll have to get a piece custom made. 

Here is the arched window we started with, this one is in my sons room. At nap time, this window lets in so much light, its hard to get to sleep. So it had to be fixed. 

I purchase these Ready Shade paper blinds from Lowe's, for about $5 each.
You'll need one for each window. I used a 36" x 72" for my windows. 
Here are the paper shades

These are normally used a temporary window coverings. 
Once they are on the window, it's hard to tell they are even made of paper.

To start, you'll want to measure the window width. 
I feel like holding it up to the window is the easiest, and we are going for easy here. 

Then, cut off the extra

Pre-fit the blind across the window. Cut a little at a time. If you cut to much it wont stay in place.
It should fit snug inside the window.

Next, fold the blind in half, marking the center

On the top of the blind, where you would attach it to the top of a window seal, is a sticky strip. 
Peel of the backing, leaving the sticky side up. 

Next, starting at the ends, fold the blind in half, joining the sticky pieces together. 
Staring at the outside end, will be the easiest way to get get them lined up perfectly. 

This is what it will look like when it is finished.

The last thing to do, is pop it in the window. 

You can attach it with sticky tape, but as long as you don't take to much off the end, it should hold tight. 
There are several versions of these paper shades, some have a room darkening material, but are usually in a grey color.

I did the same thing in my daughters room. She has been burrowing under the covers at nap-time, because of all the light that comes in her windows. 
This doesn't black out the room, but does block alot of the light, and for $5 it's worth it. 
No more burrowing!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Home Tour

During this time of year, everyone seems to be posting their holiday home tours, so I figured I'd share mine with you. I normally do minimal decorating, as we usually leave town for Christmas. 
This year we have my family coming to us, to celebrate the holiday, and a "Christmas Craft Party" with my gals this weekend...so I had to do it right this year. 
This of course meant shopping, which I'm a big fan of. Believe it or not, I pre-planned for this! Yay me! I bought before Thanksgiving even...If you don't know me yet, that's a big deal. I don't like to mix my holidays. I even have my Christmas cards sent out already. Writing a blog helps keep me on track I think too, despite my complete lack of time. 

I love decorating for Christmas, I love pops of red, and greenery is the best decorating accessory. My house feels so warm and lived in this time of year, it's tempting to keep it up longer than I should. 
Although it doesn't get super cold here in south Texas, we do light up our fire a coupe times a week, for ambiance, and lately, warmth. 

So here it is, my home for the holidays. 

Every year, I'm tempted to buy pillows to change out during the season, and this year I finally did it. I found these super cute ones at Target, and the go perfectly with my color scheme. 

My small white bottle brush collection, works great with cute little Santa. The kids tell him what they want every couple of days, just in case he can hear them. All sit cozy, in my red tray from Target.

Our fireplace mantel is usually dolled up with stockings, and glittery trees. This year I opted for simple. I love all the greenery, and wanted that to be the main focus.

 I left our mirror, but added a couple of sprays of pine branches. Adding the chevron burlap ribbon, brings  in the more relaxed version, of the holidays I was going for this year. 

The red candle holders were a find at Ikea. I loved the lace pattern, they had several styles of these in whites and reds. 

We have a gas firplace, and have no need for wood, so i figured, we mind as well make the wood look good. I found a couple sets of these birch logs at Micheal's. I think it's something that can stay out most of the year.  
The crock was something I had been searching out. On a trip last spring, to Round Top with my parents, my mom spotted this beauty. 

Filling lanterns with pine cones, berry's, or garland, is a great way to bring the holidays in, with out changing out all the decor. And of course, add birds whenever possible :)

We still have our tree from our last house. We didn't have a large space to put one in our living room area there, and decided on a tall and skinny tree. While that worked great for that house, it doesn't for this one. It looked so sad and lonely last year, and we had planned on getting a new one. But space still seems to be an issue here, we didn't want something sticking out so far you couldn't get around it, and I didn't want it in another room where you couldn't enjoy it. I  love the look of this fake tree too, some of the branches look a little fuzzy and and have little pine cones tucked around. "Next year", I keep telling myself...we'll see? 

Our tree skirt is very special, my mom hand sewed this for us a couple of years ago. It is full of felt designs, of Santa, reindeer, presents, snowmen, angels, and all things Christmas. In the next week or so, it will be covered by mounds of presents, as the family's packages start rolling in.  

Decorating the tree in my family holds alot of tradition. Every year we would all get together to hang ornaments, and watch "White Christmas". We've been doing this for as long as I can remember. I think I know every word by heart now, and used to dance around with my sister singing all the songs. It was one of my parents favorite movies. 
I love that my daughter loves this tradition too. I'm glad she appreciates the old movies, the way we did. 
And any excuse for her to sing, she loves!
We never do a themed tree. We have such a conglomerate of ornaments, dating back from the years we were born. I love them all, we talk about where they came from, or whose they were, and the kids always pick out their favorites to hang. I couldn't even put them all on this year, which helps my case for getting a bigger tree for next year. 
This year, all the kids were old enough to get in on hanging ornaments. It took alot of patience, and a good bit of sorting

If she holds the tongue just right.... 

I love this picture of Kiera, she  was so enamored by the tree. 

 Next to the tree was a large open wall, in need of a way to hang Christmas cards. I have 4 old shutters a friend had given me, and I knew they were perfect for the job.

I attached eyelet screws to the tops, and bottoms, of both shutters. Using dry wall anchors, and screws, I mounted them to the wall.

Since this photo, I have hung Christmas cards in the rungs of the shutter. 
Make sure you hang the shutters, so the cards will slide in the right way.

Years ago, my aunt Leslie (check out her blog  here), sent me a great advent calendar to do with my eldest daughter. She included a Playmobil nativity scene, and different projects, and verses, to do with the kids, to learn about the real meaning of Christmas. 

When it was just Ashlyn, I had little goodies, and a fun project, in each of 25 days. 
As the family has grown, and time has become a commodity, I have downsized to 12 days. 
In each bag, I put pieces of the nativity scene, a bible verse, or something to talk about at dinner, and a candy cane, that they can share. On the weekends days, there are projects we can do together, like building a gingerbread house, making snowflakes, cookies, and popcorn garland. They don't take alot of time, but get the kids to understand what the season is really about.

This year when I brought out the nativity pieces, my son was so excited, "to do the God thing", he said. He remembered what it was for, and what it was about. They are all looking forward to starting it this Saturday.

 I spiced up my wood tray collection with little Christmas goodies.

 The kitchen, already has the pops of red, with the island and decor (see it all here), so it only needed a couple things.

Two burlap wrapped pine trees, sit on either side of the window, along with a couple of may favorite, vintage glittered ornaments. 

The shade I made over the summer, needed some sprucing up. I love the burlap ribbon, and used that to draw up the shade. I plan on keeping this up after Christmas. 

I added a couple pine cones to the bottom of each side.

Kitchen table decor is hard to do at my house, the kids love to touch everything. 
So I had to keep it small this time, away from meddling hands.  I found this fabulous little guy, while visiting my sister, at Legacy Home Accents in Fredericksburg VA. 

 I put him on a cake plate with some branches, pine cones and berries. 

Since the dining room will be where we spend most of our meals at, this holiday, I kept it simple. 

The dining room had a book theme, with the walls being plastered with book pages ( the how-to, coming in January) , so I tried to keep the vintage books in the room. I used them to display my Creche. I mentioned before, how this was a pre-molded set, that my grandmother, and great-grandmother hand painted. I love all the detail put into these pieces. This was my part of Christmas to set up, when we were kids. 

My grandmother Tutu, passed away this past January, but having this in the center of the table, will keep her with us this holiday.

Christmas Poppers, another yearly tradition. They have silly toys, jokes and paper hats in them. We open them before Christmas dinner, and wear the hats all meal long. 

I kept all the decor from the room, and stacked it in the corner, adding some greenery to the lanterns. 

As children, me and my sister were given pieces to a holiday scene every  year. I have tons of houses, and lots of pieces to go with it. I don't have the room to display the whole thing, but I put out what I could,  on the entryway table. The kids love playing with the snow, and checking out the whole scene. 

Well that's all for my house, I don't have the patience to take the decorations up stairs, just one more thing I'll have to clean up.  
I hope you get to spend time with family, and loved ones this holiday season. 
We will be missing my sister, her husband, and their sweet new baby this year. My other grandmother, Nana, who has spent every Christmas with us since I was a young girl, will sadly not be joining us this year either. But I am thankful for those who will be here, and feel so blessed by those in my life! 

Thanks to C & C Paperie for making my cute card!