{Christmas} Outside Lights

A couple weeks ago while Doug was at work and Lily was at daycare, I surprised Lily by putting up the lights by myself. Luckily Nate was asleep inside, giving me a little extra free time. I wove the lights back and forth through the new fence in Lily's garden, across the arbor in the garden, and wrapped it around the columns on our house. It's not fancy but it'll do! 

This past week, we got some nasty ice but it made for a pretty photo op. The sun isn't shining much, but it's still fun to see the ice on things. Well, it was for a day, I'm done with it now. It can all melt. 

{Christmas} Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I had the kids' photos taken by a local photographer who set up a little Winter themed backdrop at a local shop. I love this photo! The individual one of Lily may be better but this one is just too cute. I'm definitely wanting to use the photographer again!

I hope you all have a great Christmas. I've been baking cookies (more on those later, I found some great recipes), rolls (my great grandmother's recipe), and a new recipe for crab dip. I also made a fruit salad but that's easy!

{Christmas} Cookie Decorating

I tried a new recipe for Christmas sugar cookies this year, trying to make them taste like Panera's (yum!). I think they taste very similar but mine weren't as thick, which is fine. The icing was a new recipe too and I realized that it is a pain in a butt to decorate sugar cookies, but my helper has been begging for days to do it, so I let her help me. Don't you love her decorations? I put a thin layer of white icing on top of them and added the outlines, she added the sprinkles. Some of the sprinkles came off, which is fine, but most stayed. My family will eat them anyway. 

(Ignore the piles of crap behind her, it's all in the name of Christmas decorating.)

{Christmas} Gingerbread Houses

Last year Lily and I went over to my parent's house to make cookies and we thought it'd be fun to do this year too. We both bought way too many supplies to make cookies and I found these gingerbread houses at Michaels (on sale!) that I thought Miss Lily would like. We actually ended up spending all day making them instead of the cookies. No fear though, we both ended up making enough cookies to feed an army. Or I did anyway...

Here's Miss Lily learning how to decorate! She did a great job by herself. I put the icing where she told me and she decorated it. 

My dad was home for the day. He's retired but works almost full time doing construction. It was a nice day with my parents and the kids. I'm sure they'd agree! 

Side note: Isn't their view amazing?! They own 80 acres and built their house a few years ago. It's nestled into the trees. My mom's Japanese inspired garden is below, you can see a pagoda right by my dad's right elbow. 

I bought two house kits and Lily and my dad got one and my mom and I shared the other. Below is my side of the roof. 

My mom went for the full candy effect on her side and ended up having to take off a few because it fell off at one point. You can see she wrote Lily and Nate on the side. Lily's green snowman (made from the green fondant in the kit) sits out front. Lily's is in the back. 

For 4 years old, I think Lily did a great job! I did the snow on the roof hanging down but she did the rest. 

I think we'll do it again next year and buy some more candies that may not weigh as much next year. I may start stock piling candy or just go to Mr. Bulky's candy store before hand. 

For those that don't know, I worked at a bakery throughout high school and most of college. I learned a great deal from my boss who is still working in the cake business. I left her shop knowing how to bake cakes, pies and cookies, and to decorate party and wedding cakes. I even decorated my own cake, 7+ years ago! This made me think of when we taught kids classes and made me miss the old job. Maybe some day I'll get back into it and sell cakes on the side. But my favorite may be chocolate creations but I didn't order the chocolate this year. I was a little preoccupied with Mr. Nate. Maybe next year?!

{Throwback Thursday} Christmas 2008

Hello! For this Throwback Thursday, I'm going back 5 years to 2008... life was simple back then... I was pregnant with Lily and just beginning to show... 

Here's the original post from an old blog that I'm about to delete. 


Thought I'd share some pics...

Me and Hubby (you can kind of notice my bump)

Someone made Zoey festive. She actually didn't mind it that much.

Another cute one of me and hubby.

My mom's place. Isn't it nice?

Doug and Zoey enjoying the wood stove heat, the sunlight, and a nap.

{Christmas} Lily's Tree

A couple years ago, I went to a local candy shop and fell in love with this bright pink and silver tree and knew it'd be perfect for Miss Lily. Over the years, Lily has picked out her own ornaments and this year was no exception! I believe her tree is FULL! And she loves it, which is all that matters. This year was the first year that I let her decorate it all herself and she went to town, adding a garland (that is shown here  not on her tree but this year she put it on there, along with her giant candy canes, snow flakes (yes, two identical orange ones are side by side) and everything else she's collected. This year we did have to buy her a new topper and she picked it out (from Hobby Lobby). 

So, I'll leave you with the pictures. Remember, a sweet little 4 year old decorated this tree by herself and I left it as is, even if I wanted to change it. She notices these things, so I let it be! 

{Christmas} Home Tour

Hello and Merry Christmas! 

When you enter our home, you come directly into our living room and that's where we have our tree. We may change up the color of the lights from  year to year and add a few new ornaments, but it's where all of our ornaments go - both handmade, gifted, and the sparkly kind I can't get enough of! 

This year I didn't get out of all of my ornaments and didn't even touch a whole box of my vintage ornaments. But, I did get out a few and Doug put them into this hand carved vintage bowl of my grandmother's. Lily likes to look but is old enough to know not to touch them. Next year may be different as Nate will be 14 months at Christmas.

See that big gift in the above photo?! It's for Lily and it's driving her crazy. She has told us many times that it'll be the first gift she opens. Little does she know that she has an even bigger gift coming her way (both are from my parents). 

Speaking of gifts, don't you love how Lily addressed this? She knows words go in a line but when there's not enough room, you make due! 

Nate's handblown glass ornament my mom gave me. Isn't it adorable? One of my mercury glass ornaments is in the background.

Another Santa to add to my collection, this one given to me by my mom. She finds the best ornaments! This Santa is another handblown version with adorable painted features on both front and back. He's hanging out with my "Peace on Earth" sign that's covered in glitter. 

A creepy (but fun) snowman box (the hat comes off) next to some vintage elves. I have one little pine cone guy, my mom has several. They are hard to find but we love them! And of course, my mercury glass candle holders that pretty much live on my mantel year 'round. 

Last year I went on Etsy and picked out these stockings, not knowing that I'd need a 4th (well, kinda, but long story...) for this year. Luckily the lady was still making them so I got Nate's this year. Lily's name is embroidered in pink, of course. 

Our Dining Room: 

My dad made Lily this easel for her a couple years ago. Isn't it great? Both sides have a shelf and the other side has a roll of paper for to paint/color on. She is definitely a painter! This side features a chalk board with a message left over from a visit from Isabella, our Elf on the Shelf. She was found hanging on the top one morning, visiting our vintage Santa. 

The buffet was in my grandmother's house and although it doesn't match the rest of our living room furniture, I like it! It holds a ton of stuff, which is much better than the last buffet. I may replace the fabric on the far right side with something but the rest is in perfect condition. 

It houses more of my mercury glass obsession - trees that my mom and Doug have bought me in the past, plus a tinsel tree I made, our Advent calendar (Lily loves it) and our tree forest in the old Pepsi crate. 

The large candle was in our wedding. It was hiding downstairs so I figured I'd put it to use. You can see it's only been used once, at our wedding, over 7 years ago. An old picture of Lily in a snow globe sits next to it. I need to update it with it a pic of both Lily and Nate (it's two sided). 

Our wine cabinet decor doesn't change much but I did find this cool glittery Santa at Marshall's a month or so ago and had to have him. He reminded me of a Santa I passed up years ago at a fancy art and antique store that even on extreme, going out of business, discount was too much. This guy? He was maybe $20. He hangs out with Doug's hippo collection (there's a teeny tiny little guy right next to the tray by the big yarn hippo). The tray got a little extra sparkle with a bunch of gold mercury glass ornaments. Yes, you're supposed to take them apart but I liked them group together so they stayed that way. The large chunk of coral was a great find from our Florida trip two years ago. 

A better view of the Santa. His jacket "fabric" is made out of old street maps. 

One last view of our living room from the dining room. 

Artwork made by Lily at preschool. I love this frame that can house her creations. I bought another one for once a little guy starts his own artwork collection. 

For more of Nate's tree, click here

And our last tree in our house (but certainly not least) is Miss Lily's festive pink tree, which you can see more of it here. 

Merry Christmas! 

For those wondering..I did not include our TV room, kitchen, bathroom or our bedroom because I don't typically decorate in those rooms. I may decorate in our kitchen once it receives a major remodel but time will tell on that one (and then I'd have the space to do so). 

For more of our house, check out the Home Tour page and be sure to check out our crazy Before Photos page

{Nate the Great} Christmas Photo Shoot

Oh my goodness, isn't he cute?!?! 

While going through these photos on my computer, Lily came in to see what I was doing and asked me "where are the photos of me?!" So, I'll be taking those soon. I did respond with "After your bath because you need one" to which she responded "Awww, man!" 

By the way, I have to say I'm in love with the black and white blanket. I bought it and the blue fleece (first two photos) to make a knotted blanket and have yet to do it. They are just sitting in Nate's closet so I felt the need to get them out. I've noticed the black and white everywhere in people's Christmas home tours and I love it all!!! 

{Nate the Great} 7 Weeks

After posting photos of Lily at 7 weeks, I had to include this cutie... 

He is all about the smiles whenever he's on the changing table! I think he likes to lay flat and it's soft. He'll do it to anyone too, so it's not just for me or Doug. I love the big, toothless, gummy smiles like the bottom one. He does it other places, and not just while he's getting clean, but these are some of the best! 

{Throwback Thursday} Lily at 7 Weeks


Throwback Thursday is going back to July 2010 when Lily was just 7 weeks old (the same age Nate is now). There are definitely some similarities between my two blue eyed babies!

I can't believe she's almost 7 weeks old! Time is definitely flying by.


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