Friday, November 30, 2012

A Tree Skirt...That I made!

When I became a grown up, I inherited a few items from my parents to kick start my life...some furniture, dishes, and Christmas items.  Most of the things I inherited are long gone or tucked away high in a kitchen cupboard, except for those Christmas items.  A lot has been added to our Christmas decor over the years, but I still bring out those things I inheritered, most from my childhood,  that I love to display around our house.

Except for the Christmas tree skirt I inherited.  Up until two years ago, I loved it! The tree skirt brought back so many memories and I loved the old fashionness of it!  But, I began getting sick of seeing it and really, the tree skirt was not aging well.  Last year, after another Christmas of thinking how ugly that tree skirt was, I went on a mission to find the perfect replacement on clearance!

FAIL!  Could not find one I liked, so, I figured I would find the perfect one when all the Christmas decorations came out to the stores.  Fail again!

Hello my obsession Pinterest!  I found these inspirations

Courtesy of The Crafted Sparrow!  LOVE THIS!

And they were no sew!  Yes!  I figured I could recover our old skirt!  

So, off to Joann's I went and fell in love with all the fabrics and really want to start up sewing again and picked the perfect fabrics! I picked four fabrics, one yard of each, obviously any fabric and color combos work...the red, white and blue tree skirt had felt and she said that was hard to work with, so I didn't go with the felt.  Then, I gathered my supplies...

The 90's called, they want their tree skirt back!

The flip side, so outdated!

Say hello to my little friend!  WARNING:  A lot of glue sticks will be used! Is it sad I want more glue sticks for Christmas?  
Then I cut my fabric into strips, I just followed my tile table lines, seen above.  Very technical I know.

Very technical!

Cut up until all the fabric is cut, there will be extras and that's OK...I promise!  Then, glue away!  You might have a zillion glue strings on you, but that's OK too!  I just made the fabric into ruffles, I started off having the ruffles super close but a little further apart worked too, and I think looks a lot better!

The first layer!  Love it!

See...a little too close together!  Oh well, I seem  to like to learn things the hard way!

Second layer...this is what happens when you don't "exactly" measure everything the same! Good thing it's multi-layered!

The first two layers done!  Love how it looks!
 About halfway through, nap time was over, the kids were home from school, snacks, homework, and dinner had to be made, so I have no more pictures until the final...and here it is!!!
Yay!  I made it!  The top doesn't really lay flat, but it doesn't matter!

So pretty!

Around the tree!  It looks so pretty but wow, I need some pictures on my wall!

A close up!
Thank you Pinterest, The Crafted Sparrow, and my family for letting me finish and understanding that Buffalo Wild Wings served a better dinner that night!  What have you made for Christmas around the house?

Linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemons

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2012 was a success, especially because I had a stomach bug Tuesday and Wednesday...I managed to make the food, no one got sick, and I didn't get sick at all on Thursday!  Yes!

Eric's parents, sister Katie, brother Todd and grandma Mogo came, along with my parents, brother Matt, grandma Nita, Aunt Kim, Uncle Tom and cousin Chris came too!  Whew!  Big group, but a lot of fun!

Eric smoked a turkey and I cooked one in the oven, and both were delicious!  Eric's mom made her famous and delicious cranberry sauce...let's pause a moment to reflect on the wonderful flavors!  They the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving items, I think next year I might make a corn relish or mix in a new recipe!

Moving on...I only took a few pictures but it really was a fun day!

Dessert...Will and Molly wanted ice cream, why kids, why when there is pumpkin pie?!

Watching football or eyeing the dessert table, you pick!

Will with my only cousin Chris

I move chairs!

And Grandma moves kids!

Eric's brother Todd waiting on his turkey to smoke...he smoked a 22 lb. turkey so he could have his own leftovers!

Will asked for a bowl of cool-whip, how could I say no?
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  What a great way to kick off the Holiday season with great food, family, naps, and leftovers!

Happy Birthday Mogo!

Whew, what a crazy last few weeks but I love the holidays and having parties at our house!  We kicked off the holiday season early by hosting Eric's family for his grandmother's 86th birthday party!  Mogo, as everyone calls her, wanted to celebrate and have a big family dinner, but didn't think her house would hold several adults and children!

So, Eric and I said we would host and we are so happy we did!  Our house was full of great conversation, laughter, and family togetherness, plus we all got to know each other more because a few additions were made since the last gathering!

No family gathering would be complete without beer pong! 

Yay!  Mom finally let us play with the kitchen toys!

Starting them young...did Eric's mom win?!

BBQ, yum!  That's a lot of people in my kitchen!

Thanks Wal-Mart of the cupcake cake!  Adorable!

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Mogo!  Apparently no one wanted to be in the picture, but there were a lot of us, I promise!

Some excited kids!  And a handsome cake holder!  

What a special lady!  
After cake, we played Apples to Apples, such a fun game!  Eric and Jack rocked it!  I did not.  Such a fun night and we are excited for the next family gathering!

Happy Birthday, Mogo!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

So Thankful...

Welcome to one of my favorite weeks of the year!

Only two days of school and a FIVE day weekend!

Thanksgiving on Thursday!  What's not to love?  Turkey, potatoes, cranberries, green bean casserole, and pie!

Reruns of Friends Thanksgiving episodes, only the funniest show ever!

Lots of shopping deals, bargains, and crazy to people to watch on Friday (or Thursday night, whatever floats your boat)!

Christmas decorating!

Lots of time with family!

And can I add that the weather her is BEAUTIFUL!  60 degrees at the end of November, yes please!

I tried my hand at a Thanksgiving mantel this year, and I've seen some beautiful mantels on Pinterest or other blogs, and mine is not Pinterest worthy, but a start!

I found the banner at Target but I think I'll go the burlap route next year..we'll see!

The kids and I made a Thankful Tree and I love it!  We collected sticks from the bike trail by our house, put them in a vase, tied a beautiful satin green bow around the vase and attached "leaves."  The leaves are ones I cut out and the kids told me what they were thankful for and put on the leaves.

Molly is thankful for...

...Birthday parties, her preschools (old and new), making her bed, Princesses, and her alarm clock that lights up!

Will is thankful for... trucks, sharing a room "with my brother," and Miss Lisa and Gavin from speech!

Jack is thankful for...

...his new school and teacher, all of his friends, and our new house!

We are all thankful for...

....our friends and family, here in Kansas, in Texas and all over the world!

....Ethan, our neighbor across the street (we like the rest of his family too)!

....and celebrating the holidays closer to family now!

What are you thankful for?!

Friday, November 16, 2012


On Monday, we sold a chair and couch on Craigslist, yay to new furniture arriving next Tuesday and a huge room for the kids to run around in!  Our basement is open with one Elmo chair to sit on and it's not very comfortable to be quite honest!  Come on Tuesday!

Getting the chair out was super easy, the couch was polar opposite!  We had to take down the railings, all the light fixtures, and the walls were scratched going up...and eventually the couch was stuck in the stairs, so not kidding!  So, Eric and I would go back to the bottom of the stairs, start a new plan, with Eric saying, "this is going to work" and then get stuck again.  At one point, Eric was telling to just move the couch a little, "try turning it."  There was so way to "turn" the couch in the narrow staircase, so I reply sarcastically "you mean pivot?"  "Exactly!  This is going to work!" All I kept thinking was this....
Pretty much sums up our attempt to move the couch together, minus Chandler, I was more the Rachel (of course)!  When the guys came to move to couch they just stared between the couch and the stairs.  About an hour later, the couch was loaded onto their truck and if I truly knew how difficult it was to move the couch out, that couch would still be in our basement!  Not quite sure how our movers moved it down there but they did awesome!  Now, it's time to put the railings and light fixtures back on, speckle and paint and wait for our new couch!  We choose a couch that is a sectional and it will look fabulous in our finished basement!

And remember...PIVOT!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

St. Louis Weekend Fun!

Last weekend, we ventured on over to St. Louis, MO to meet my dear friend Betsy, her fiance Peter, and her son Brighton!  Betsy and I became instant friends when she started at my grade school in 7th grade in Davenport, Iowa.  Sadly, a year later I moved away to Kansas City, but we remained friends all these years!  The last time I saw her, I was pregnant with Molly, and even though we always talked about getting together, life happened...we moved to Texas, her life had a few ups and downs, but now that we live closer to her in Chicago, we decided to meet in St. Louis and finally meet each others kids and Peter (by the way, he was awesome, so happy they're getting married!  And I'll rock being a bridesmaids in their wedding, just like Betsy did in our wedding!  She had just had Brighton, her son, two months before and she looked amazing, so happy she was there with us!  I'll just be awesome, no baby or bump, just awesome, as usual!)

We left Saturday morning and of course had to stop for breakfast at Chick-fil-a, the kids were in heaven!  By the time we made it out of the Kansas City 'burbs, everyone was starving, of course!  Once they had their third meal of the day by 9:30 a.m., thank God for Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered pretzels, goldfish and raisins, our drive was pretty smooth, I even got to take a nap!

We made it to our hotel after eating lunch at McDonald's (healthy eating was NOT on the agenda for the weekend), the kids loved our view of the highway, really they just love Drury Inns!  After we destroyed our room, we drove to the St. Louis Zoo to meet Betsy, Peter and Brighton!

If you ever get a chance to go to St. Louis, it is a wonderful city for families, lots of free activities, museums and the zoo!  Free!  Well...mostly!  We paid to park because all of the free spots were taken and paid for the train ride!  It was a really busy day, but it was also 81 degrees in mid-November!   The best part, and so bummed I didn't get a picture, were the penguins!  Loved all of them and so did the kids!
Jack and Molly at the hippo exhibit, you can kind of see it between them! Those things were huge! Will freaked out when the hippos swam by, I don't blame the kid, from his perspective everything is huge!
Very hard to see, but that's Eric and the kids next to the zoo sign as we were leaving! The parking lot is right next to the highway, hence the huge semi!  Eric has the same picture with his sister and mom from years ago!
After the zoo, we headed back to the Drury Inn and enjoyed their free happy hour!  Hot dogs, nachos, chili, potatoes, and three free drinks, we'll take it!  We watched the Aggie's beat Alabama and enjoyed our yummy dinner!  We then all changed into our swimsuits and went swimming in the indoor freezing pool!  Molly, Will, Betsy, and I hung out in the hot tub while Brighton and Jack switched between the two!  Peter and Eric talked as though they were long lost friends until Eric took Molly and Will upstairs to our room for bedtime!  I stayed in the hot tub with Betsy and Peter and 100 preteens at the hotel for a sleepover, so not ready for Molly to get to that age!  They were so sweet and then so mean, trying to look like adults but so not ready to, yuck and got to know Peter and caught up with Betsy!  So great having a friend all these years like her!  

We finally went back to our room and Jack was asleep in 0.2 seconds, poor guy was so tired!  

The next morning we ate another free meal, breakfast!  Biscuits and gravy, eggs, waffles, doughnuts, yogurt, granola, Lucky Charms, pretty much anything one could dream of and we ate it all!

Waiting in the hotel lobby!  I think they're pretty cute!

We headed down to the Arch, which everyone in our family loved, Betsy's family was a little nervous by the swaying of the Arch on the windy day!  There was also a neat museum to look at too, a very fun experience for kids and grown-ups!
The boys and I outside of the Arch, Molly was jumping on the rocks near us!
Inside the capsules that take us up and down the Arch!  They LOVED it!
Inside the capsule going up to the top!
All three kids looking outside and down below...they loved seeing how tiny everything looked!
The Mississippi River and Illinois!  Eric has a great picture of St. Louis and Busch field on his phone!
Molly outside the Arch after our journey, she was holding the souvenir bag, two cups for her and Will, Jack decided on a pen!
Betsy and I, wish I could turn the picture the right way!  See you in July for a fun wedding! I'm so happy we finally saw each other after so many years!
After the Arch, we all had to head home, so we said good-bye to our friends, Jack's new best friend is Brighton, the two boys had a great time together!  We stopped in Columbia, MO to say hi to Eric's youngest sister who is going to MU (sad, I know).  She showed us her apartment, how to juggle, and we all hula hooped!  We finally got home and went to bed after a fun filled weekend! 

What a wonderful weekend trip!  We're excited to go back and see more of St. Louis!  Any fun weekend trips you have been on?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A small, tad, little fib...

I'll be honest, last weeks meals were all in good intention but I knew a few things while writing that post.

1.  We were going out of town all weekend and none of those meals were going to be made over the weekend.

2.  I knew that the meals for Wednesday-Friday were sort of/maybe going to be made but not sure.

3.  Not quite sure how people plan a whole month in advance for meals, so not that organized or on top of things!  Plus, we had a friend over on Friday night with her two kids and then my brother-in-law came over too, no way would one homemade pizza feed nine of us!  Enchiladas it was!

I'll get back to posting about our meals for the week most likely the week after Thanksgiving because we all know what I'll be serving next Thursday and the three days after!

Here are some meals I did make that the family loved and turned out awesome!  Thank God for buying meat on sale and deep freezers!

~Pioneer Woman Sloppy Joes
I may have a slight crush on The Pioneer Woman, as in I record her show and want to spend a week on the ranch with her, just eating all of her food and becoming her new best friend!  I eliminated the butter and replaced the green peppers with red peppers, odd but still delicious!  I also included homemade french fries, so incredible I have to arm wrestle Will for the last crumbs (and he usually wins)!  Just slice cover the pan and foil with olive oil, pepper, and seasoning, I usually use Lowry's Seasoning Salt but they are wonderful with Cajun seasoning if you want an extra kick!

~Red Beans and Rice
Speaking of kick and Cajun, I love this dinner, it's so homey and yummy, plus easy!  I just cook red kidney beans and smoked sausage, season with Cajun seasoning and put on top of rice!  A huge crown pleaser!

Another Pioneer Women (obsession!), but I didn't fry the tortillas, add butter, and I added a lot of black beans!  So.  Darn.  Delicious!  Love the kick of green chile's!  And I have leftovers!  I'm hungry now just thinking about them!

I'll be back on track the rest of the week!  Need to share our adventure to St. Louis and a funny story about a couch!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Kids New Rooms!

Sorry about not posting yesterday...woke up to Will's freezing hands crawling into bed with us at 6 in the morning, realizing that it was unusually cold in our house.  Yep, our heater ignition was igniting...didn't know that was possible but at 63 degrees in our house, it was a bit chilly!  Even though it has been gorgeous here, highs close to the 70's during the's cold at night and supposed to get down into the 20's by the weekend!  Yikes!  Turning into a long story, got the heater fixed but didn't have time to blog!

I did take pictures of the kids rooms!  Snaps for me!  The boys room is first...they decided to share which is going so amazing!  We have been so blessed that all the rooms were move-in ready and matched our things perfectly!  I really love our house!

Looking into the boys room from their door!  I love their big window that overlooks our front yard!

They share the dresser and their pennants nicely displayed, need to add a few more though!

Another view of their door and dresser, I will admit them sharing a dresser has made me become more creative with storage!

The bunk bed!  Jack sleeps up top and Will's on the bottom...Will needs a new comforter (hello Christmas!) and I would love someway to put their names up or add something to the wall, just not sure what!  And of course their closet, it's a work in progress!
Now for Molly's room...I actually wanted to boys to share her room because it is huge!  But, it's decorated for a girl, "This is a girl's room and I'm a girl, so this is my room!"  Was her winning argument!  And honestly, it's perfect for her and not sure how the bunk bed would work in there!  When showing her room to visitors, "My room is so adorable!"

A view from her door!  I love her room and can see her growing into a teenager here! 

She loves her window seat, looking for a pillow or cushion for her since she loves to sit here, reading and watching the world go by!  And yes, got her a new comforter set and the polka dots were all ready here! 

Another angle, the door in the middle is her closet and the door on the right leads to a little playroom...awesome! The boys gave up on the room because she said their Lego's could go in there!  
The walkway leading to the Lego room...and no pictures of this disaster, it's a nightmare! And there is small crawl space in this area too!  A perfect spot to display her artwork!

Looking from her bed, the small doors is another crawl space for...
...the dollhouse!  This is the cool hang out spot for girls and I would love to find more pillows for her and her friends to curl up with! A very popular hide-n-go-seek spot too! 
 Hope you enjoyed seeing the kids rooms!  With the boys sharing, that means we have an empty room ready to be turned into a guest room!  Any ideas for that?!