Down Time

This week has been nice. My hubby has the week off (for the first time since college, I believe), and we’ve been working on some projects around the house. We lounged at my mom’s house (and by that I really mean lounged…she waits on us, makes us fabulous meals, all the wonderful things moms do!) until Tuesday.

I’ve emailed some clients and announced my engagement session giveaway (if you know anyone engaged or about to be engaged in the Twin Cities area, let them know!!), I’ve read half of an e-book about quitting sugar (which my sis-in-law and I plan to do this winter). I’ve painted swatches on the freshly mudded and sanded walls of my laundry room and picked a light, creamy yellow inspired by this picture. Today we took the kids to a fun little place southwest of the cities where they jumped and ran to their hearts’ content. Hubby ran some errands this afternoon, and he brought me home some gorgeous flowers for no reason at all. LOVE.

I found some of the other pictures of my use-what-you-have wrapping and decorations from Christmas.

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And our funny little gingerbread house. After years of trying and failing with graham crackers, I bought this cheap little kit at IKEA. Best gingerbread house we’ve ever had, and so easy! The icing I made stuck really well, too. Most of it went in the garbage after we got home from Mom’s, but we had fun making it. 🙂

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What have you been up to this week?

I made some pillows

They are eventually for our master bedroom, which is in a sad, unfinished state, and may remain that way for awhile. But I have them in the living room now so I can enjoy them. I didn’t have a pattern but had seen several tutorials here and there that gave me a general idea on how to make them. I never have the patience to hand-sew the final bit together after I’ve stuffed the pillow in, so seamstresses who visit my house: no peeking at my seams!
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Christmas ‘Round Here

We’ve been battling sickness at our house for the past month and a half, but this past week was a very drawn-out stomach bug. Ick.

Anyway, all that to say that Christmas has snuck up on me this year. I have my gifts all purchased, goodies made, and the decorations have been up since November. But there’s no snow. It just doesn’t feel right. That said, I’ll post a few photos of my decor, some of which has been moved around and changed since. These are some of the first pics of the house I’ve put up since we have moved in, too (others have all been people-centric). It is far from “done,” but we’ve been living here almost 6 months, so “done” could still be a bit of a wait. 🙂 Our first fake tree. I miss the smell, but man, it’s nice not to have to water and vacuum!
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Living room view from the kitchen.
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Ignore the sewing machine between the couch and the tree. That’s not its permanent home, but for now it’s where I’m working on my projects.
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Some ornaments I found in my Christmas bins this year (must’ve bought them after Christmas last year on clearance). It was a fun surprise to have new things to put on my tree. 🙂
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I had purchased some gingerbread ornaments from IKEA, planning a more rustic tree, but after I found the other ornaments, I changed it up.
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Snowflakes that Anja and I cut and strung.
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A little vignette in our entry closet. This is kind of what the rest of the house was going to look like, but I stuck with the sparkles and lace everywhere else, too. I must have more photos on a CF card somewhere, so there might be more. What a silly post!
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My Girl

The other night I was carrying Markus around, singing “My Girl.” Without a second’s pause, as I got to the chorus (the part where you say “My Girl…”), he interjected, “Jesus!” Goodness, he makes me laugh.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
Jesus (Jesus, Jesus)
Talkin’ ’bout Jeeeesus (Jesus!).

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Snippets from Grandma’s

Anja was, apparently, VERY excited about her breakfast. Grandma does make good homemade bread. 😉
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We got the table set and enjoyed our day with family.
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The next day, following tradition, we picked out and decorated the tree.
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I think Markus looks like his grandpa Scott (second from right):
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(from my favorite Disney movie)
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Grandma decorated the rest of the house, too…
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And Uncle Jeremy was kind to bring our old rocking horse down from the rafters of the garage. So much fun!
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Later that night we decorated Spritz cookies, another tradition.
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Anja had much more patience for it this year, and was quite meticulous.
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Can’t say I want to ingest the cookies she decorated (gag. on. sprinkles.), but she was delighted!
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And before we left, both kids got to be “Little Drummer Boy.”
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Pinterested in some ideas?

To say that I enjoy Pinterest would be a vast understatement. In fact, after my first month of membership, I was fighting an addiction! I’ve gotten it better under control, but I still check it almost every day. I’ve found some valuable recipes, decorating/organizing ideas, and kids’ activities. Better yet, I’ve USED some of these ideas!  I’ll only link to things I’ve found delicious or helpful.  I’ve had a few pins deleted because of a less-than-stellar recipe.

Pumpkin Donuts (soooo yummy)
Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole (I’ve made it thrice–my family all loves it)
Freezer Cooking (made two of the recipes on this page–tasty and easy!)
Broccoli-Cheese Soup (I’ve made this 3 times, too–kids eat it up fast…unfortunately, I can’t find the link)

Made an “A” for Anja’s wall like this
Made these snowflake ornaments with Anja
Cut out snowflakes with Anja (best I’ve ever made thanks to some helpful patterns)
I’m crocheting this poncho
Made a ruffled pillow similar to these

Balloon wake-up for Anja’s birthday
Used this as inspiration for Anja’s ice cream social b-day
Made these streamers for her party
Made these crudites for a friend’s shower

Had my scarf-tying ways forever changed
Found outfit inspirations
Found hair inspiration

Am in the middle of making this wreath
Made swags similar to these
Got a few additional Advent calendar ideas here
Was inspired to do our Thankfulness tree by this
Found the idea for our Thanksgiving placecards
Got the idea for the handwarmers I made

And I have plans for much more!

If I could make one suggestion to the Pinterest team, it would be to add an option of making boards private.  If I were planning a surprise party, for instance, or a friend’s baby shower and using Pinterest to find ideas, I would like to be able to keep those plans secret until they are used.  Plus, now my mom realizes that I’m uncreative–I merely copy others’ ideas.  🙂  But other than that–it’s an amazing concept.

Happy. Simple.

Do you ever wish you could go back to the days when you didn’t have any stress (or at least, compared to now…), where the biggest decision you had to make was whether you should play with the red car or the blue car? Sometimes I do. But mostly, I’m glad to watch my kids grow and learn to make their own little choices, finding their way in this big, big world.

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Happy 30th, Old Guy!

Entering his 4th decade on earth is my fabulous hubby…


I picked him up at work on Friday afternoon for a surprise afternoon and evening away.  He only wanted to kill me for the first two hours (he hates surprises).  We got some gelato, checked into our hotel, went to the Holidazzle parade, ate at Zelo in Minneapolis.  The next morning we ate at The Original Pancake House (a family favorite) and went to the American Swedish Institute (we’re both mostly Swedish).  It was so much fun to have a special day away with him.