Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas vacation

I am SO exhausted tonight! Graig and I have been busy working on our sunroom because we are updating it a little bit by redoing the hardwood floors and painting the walls and trim.  It's a small room but it's been a BIG project with lots of mess and I can't wait for it to be done!!  I used the nester's svelte sage and I LOVE the color!!  It looks so pretty and I think it looks good with the white and black trim that I have done in the room. 
Right now the room looks like this, it's a HOT MESS!! 

This is part of my wonderful painting job-ha ha!I do love this color and I like the contrast of the black trim around the windows and the white baseboard trim. 

On Christmas eve we went to church and Ava wore the CUTEST dress!  She and her American Girl doll had matching dresses on for church, they were so sweet! 

Here was our tree on Christmas morning after Santa visited!

One of the Christmas presents that Ava got was an American Girl Doll.  She got Chrissa who is the 2009 girl of the year.  Ava has been wanting her all year.

As our family gift we got this big, ugly TV that takes up WAY to much space in our living room.  We all really love it!  Our old TV which is now in Brock's room was Graig's when he was in college, so it was time for a new one!

One of Brock and Ava's gifts this year were new area rugs for their rooms.  We have hardwood floors in their rooms and I didn't want to have carpet installed so these area rugs are perfect, and they were only $110 each! 

Brock got a khaki color and you can also see his "new" entertainment center in this picture that came from our living room.  On Christmas morning Grandma Jan and Graig moved HUGE entertainment center from our living room on the first floor to Brock's bedroom on the second floor.  It was SO heavy and bulky to move. 

Brock also picked out this comforter from Target for his room.  I told him it had to have a little navy blue in it to go with his roman shades and this is what he picked out, I think he did a good job! 

Ava chose a hot pink rug for her room, it makes her room so much more cozy.  I am so happy that we found this pink color!  It is perfect for her room!

They both have been spending SO much more time in their rooms which I LOVE!! 

Tomorrow I am going to an exercise class with my friend and then we are off for a day of shopping!  We hope to find some good after Christmas sales!   On New Year's Eve we are going to a hotel that has an indoor pool/hot tub with 2 other families, we are looking forward to it! 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends, and fun!! Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two days before Christmas!!

Today was my last day of work and Brock and Ava's last day of school until January 4!  I am so happy that we have a little break from our hectic work and school lives!  Tonight Graig is having a poker night with his friends, usually they have it on Thursday nights but since Thursday is Christmas Eve they are having it tonight instead. 

While he is doing that Ava and I are going to make Christmas cookies (the break and bake kind-ha ha) we still have SO many cookies from the cookie exhange party that we went to on Sunday night but Ava really wants to make cookies tonight so we will make some!!  We might even make some more no-bake cookies, I  posted the recipe here they are Brock's favorite and SO good!!

Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve  Brock and Ava each get to open one present!  Ava is going to open her Christmas dress, I LOVE it so much!!  It looks similar to this one and even came with a little dress to match her American Girl Doll!!  The best part is was only $22 for both dresses!!  I got them at Burlington Coat Factory. 

Brock's Christmas Eve gift is a comforter for his bedroom.  We are going to let him pick it out and we will order it on Christmas eve.  JC Penney has a TON of great options for tween boys so we are going to have him start by looking at that website.  We are re-doing his bedroom over the Christmas break and we are finally putting a TV in his room (actually he is getting our old one and we are getting a new flatscreen tv for our living room as our family gift)  Graig and I have looked at so many different TV's over the past few days, we finally ordered one yesterday.  I also am going to paint Brock's room and his attached bathroom over break.  He is going to pick out the color and I am a little nervous about that-ha ha!
Here are a couple that I think he will like.  It will be fun to see what he decides!

I am WAY less stressed out about our holiday meals this year because I put Graig in charge of Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day lunch!  I think he is actually excited about it!   He is going to take the kids grocery shopping after work today to pick up stuff for both meals.  My only request is shrimp cocktail.  I LOVE that and so does Grandma Jan so I told him to not forget about the shrimp.   He's a good cook so I trust him to make two delicious meals!!  I am still going to make a breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast.  We do that every year and I like that little menu!  Ava can help me make both of those dishes tomorrow.

We are going to Christmas mass at 4pm tomorrow, Ava is going to be one of the dancing angels!  She did it last year and it was just precious!!  After church we will drive around and look at lights and go home and eat dinner and watch movies and wait for SANTA!!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting to know me-Christmas style!

I saw this on another blog and I thought it would be fun to do this! I can't believe Christmas is two days away!! Christmas is my favorite time of year, I can't wait to start celebrating, we all have work/school tomorrow and then our Christmas vacation starts on Christmas Eve! We can't wait!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I prefer to use gift bags but Graig loves to see the kids unwrap their presents on Christmas morning so we use paper.
2. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial, I have 5 of them up in our house. You can see our trees this year here.
3. When do you put up the tree?
I like to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, this year we traveled to see my family on Thanksgiving so I put my trees up the weekend before Thanksgiving! It was SO nice to come home and have everything already decorated.
4. Do you like eggnog?
No, blech I hate it!!
5. Favorite gift received as a child?
My cabbage patch dolls and a set of twin dolls that came in a wicker basket with extra clothes, bottles, diapers, etc. I LOVED those twin dolls!!
6. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, I have several but I only have one out this year. I rotate them. I also got a new one this year when I was visiting my family in Illinois!
7. Hardest person to buy for?
My Dad! My sister and I usually go together to get his gift. Last year we got him a GPS and this year we got him an engraved pocket watch.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My sister Shelby!! We have similar tastes so she is SO fun to buy for!!
9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail!! I LOVE getting cards in the mail!!
10. Favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas Vacation is SO funny!! I watch that over and over during the holidays!! It's a great movie!!
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I shop year all year round when I see things I think people will like.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
I love going to parties and eating all the appetizers that everyone makes, I also love Christmas cookies!! Umm, no wonder I ALWAYS gain weight during the holidays-ha ha!!
13. Clear lights or colored lights on the tree?
I like clear and Brock and Ava like colored so we have both!
14. Favorite Christmas song?
Silent Night
15. Travel or stay home at Christmas?
I like to stay home on Christmas; if we travel we usually go at Thanksgiving. I think it's important for Brock and Ava to be at home on Christmas morning.
16. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
I think so...of course Rudolph is my favorite!!
17. Angel on tree top or star?
We have a star on top of our main Christmas tree
18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Morning?
We open one on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning!
19. The most annoying thing about this time of year?
I think that people always seemed stressed out (including me!!) We should all relax and enjoy the holiday season; it only comes around once a year! The Shabby Chic Cottage had a great post on this topic today
20. What I love most about Christmas?
I love EVERYTHING the lights, the parties, the presents, going to church on Christmas Eve, being so excited about seeing Brock and Ava open their presents on Christmas morning that I'm usually too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve, Christmas music, Christmas crafts, Christmas cookies, Christmas movies... I could go on and on!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who does this??

Christmas is a week away and we have a ton of things to do this weekend and tonight after work I decided to start painting our Sunroom!  We are going to move our furniture around in our house because our big family Christmas gift this year is a big flat screen tv.  The couches that I am moving to our sunroom are red and our sunroom is painted red so I need to paint the sunroom before we can move our furniture.  I got one whole section of the room done tonight!  I decided to paint it Svelte Sage which the Nester talked about on her blog. It's a beautiful color not too dark, not too light and I think it will really warm up our Sunroom! I use Behr paint at Home Depot so I went there tonight after work and they were able to match the color exactly!  I got their paint and primer and one and I LOVE it!!  I don't think I will ever go back to regular paint-ever!!

Here is a sample of the color, I will show the room when I am completely done, I hope to finish it up this weekend!

Tomorrow is a busy day Ava and I are going with our neighbors to watch the Nutcracker in the afternoon and then tomorrow evening we have 2 Christmas parties to attend.  The first party is a Cookie exchange it's at my friend's house and it's going to be HUGE, 90 people are coming!  Children are invited so some of those 90 are kids but still that's a TON of people.  After that party we are going to another Christmas party, so it will be a fun filled Saturday before Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Yesterday after work I took Ava to gymnastics practice.  While she was there I started wrapping her "Santa gifts"!  I am going to wrap a few each time I am home alone so we aren't stressed out on Christmas eve wrapping a bunch of gifts.  I am almost officially done shopping!!  I am SO happy.  I have to get my Mom's birthday present (her birthday is on Christmas day!) and I have to get one more present for a friend.

 I am completely finished shopping for Brock and Ava!!  Things have been a lot easier this year for Christmas.  Graig and I are not exchanging gifts instead we are getting a big flat screen tv for our living room.  We are re-doing Brock's room as his big gift and Ava wanted American girl doll stuff so I ordered that online.  I exhanged gifts with my side of the family when Brock and I went to Illinois for Thanksgiving and Graig takes care of his side of the family. 

Last night after I picked Ava up from gymnastics we went to meet my interns for our end of the semester dinner.  We had a great time.  They have worked SOO hard this semester so it was nice just to be able to relax and share a meal together!  They got me some nice gifts which I was not expecting at all!  They are really sweet!  I took some pictures from my i-phone, sorry about the terrible quality

My interns Amanda, Jason and Sami with Ava. 

They got me some berries and cinnamon sticks so I put them in this candle holder.  They smell SOOOO good!!

They also got me some adorable boxes which I put in our living room!  Yes those are Roman Shades and yes they were a part of the huge recall, I counted and we have 20 of them in our house!  I am going to have to call and get that repair kit soon!!

When we got home I spent a little time organizing my make-up (exciting life I lead, I know-ha ha) I use Bare Minerals and they are sooo messy!!  My sister got me this cute Longaberger basket as part of my Christmas gifts this year so I am going to keep my bare minerals make up in this basket. 

And since I was taking pictures here is Ava with her American Girls Dolls Emma and Allison.  She loves them so much!  They go everywhere with us!  You can't tell in this picture but they have little Ugg boots that I got at a craft show for $5 each, they are adorable!!

Tonight I am going to watch in his last 7th grade basketball game and then I am going out to dinner with some friends!  It will be a fun night!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Candles and Ava's cookie party

Sunday Ava had her cookie party!  This is the second year she has had one.  Last year I went all out with cute cookie containers and fancy sprinkles and other cookie decorations.  You can read about last year's cookie party here and here.  This year we invited more kids and siblings of her friends so we had way more people but it was less fancy.  I think it was more fun this year!    I did make some snacks but we also ordered pizza for lunch.  I only took a few pictures of the party this year but you can see Ava and her friends had a great time!

I also took out the ornaments that I had in these glass hurricanes and added fresh cranberries.  I got the idea from another blog and I did a post about it here. I had fresh cranberries in another candle that I had out last Christmas and they lasted a long time so I think these will last until at least New Years and by then I am sure I will want to change them again anyway!

I also love these little snowflake candle holders that I got from Crate and Barrel. I think they look so sweet on our dining room table.

And last but not least a picture of our dog Cotton!  Ava took this picture and I found it when I was uploading pictures.   He looks so handsome in his little sweater.  He wears this all winter because he HATES putting clothes on-ha ha!  So he will wear this until spring.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Ava LOVES to wear her hair wavy like me but the poor thing has stick straight hair, it has no wave to it at all.  I told her that she is SO lucky and that people pay big bucks to have their hair straight.  She always wants me to make it wavy which is quite a process.  We have to put foam rollers and she has to sleep in them.  Since she likes wavy hair she never complains.  While she was sleeping last night I took this picture of her, I thought she looked so cute in her shower cap that she wears over her curlers.  So sweet!!

While I was busy curling Ava's hair Graig was busy playing with Daisy.   He loves hanging out with Daisy!!

Tonight when I got home I did this quick Christmas project.  I saw it on another blog last year ( I don't remember which one-sorry!!)  Anyway, I already had the letters which I just painted and then I put red and white scrapbook paper in the frames and took out the glass.  I put the finished product in our sunroom.  I really liked the way it turned out!

Happy Monday!  This week is SO quiet at work because finals started today.  We had our finals lunch with our students which was really fun, I ate WAAAAY to much!!  I also picked up our Christmas cards today and started working on mailing those out.  .They are so cute this year!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour!

Today I am doing the Christmas Tour with the Nester  today!!  I did this last year too and it was so much fun to see how everyone decorates for Christmas!  I LOVE decorating our house, I put up our decorations the weekend before Thanksgiving because I love having them out.  I think they make our house look so warm and welcoming, I like to have them out as long as I can!

We will start with our Christmas trees, we have 5 in our house!  They are ALL artificial, I hate the mess of real trees.  I do spray the balsam tree spray from B&BW everyday because I love the Christmas tree smell!

Welcome to our Christmas home tour!

Let's start in our living room we have our biggest tree in there.  I get SO many compliments on this tree so many people think it's real.  I got it last year at Wally World. I have white lights on this tree, I don't do theme trees I just like using lots of different ornaments that we have collected over the years.  My favorite ornaments are the ones that Brock and Ava have made at school and church!

Also in our living room is our fireplace and mantle, Ava wanted to use colored lights on our mantle this year so I got some colored lights this year!  We also put our Christmas cards on our fireplace, it's fun to see the different ones that we get each year!

I got these glass jars this year from Ballard Designs this year, I love changing the stuff inside of them for the different seasons.  I got all of these ornaments (and more!) at a garage sale last summer. I love the shape and color of them!

Poinsetta in our living room that I bought right after Thankgiving at Wally World, I got the sign at Gordman's when we were in Illinois for Thanksgiving.  I wish we had a Gordman's here!  I LOVE that store :)

The Christmas village that my Dad collected and then gave to  us, Ava loves helping me put this out every year.

Christmas candle on our entertainment center

Another Christmas candle on our mantle (can you tell I like candles-ha ha!)

Brock and Ava LOVE colored lights so in our office we have a smaller tree with colored lights.  They love it!

In our Dining Room we have a small tree and some other cute Christmas decorations

My friend bought me this snowman at a Craft show, I LOVE it!

Snowflakes hanging from our dining room light

Our dining room cabinet, I like changing this out for the different seasons too!

I don't have a tree in our Sunroom but I do have a few festive snowmen!  I like getting a new snowman every year.  I haven't gotten one this year but I'm sure I will at some point!

Brock and Ava have little trees in their rooms too!  Ava likes helping me decorate her tree every year.  Brock likes the tree in his room but he doesn't like decorating it (umm, he is JUST like his Dad!!)
Ava's tree is pink with green, bright pink, and ice blue ornaments and ribbon

Brock's tree is navy blue with red and silver ornaments and bows. 

I hope you liked our Christmas tour!  I love looking at how other people decorate their houses for Christmas and I can't wait to go through all the houses to see how everyone decorated this year!
Have a good week!!