Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's the Holiday Season

We had a somewhat quiet, but still lovely Thanksgiving this year.  We missed some of our favorite people -- they were either far away or traveling far away.  But, we were still thankful for the yummy food and family that we did get to see.

I hope yours was an enjoyable one as well.

On Friday morning, Christmas decorating was in full swing in our house!  I woke up early with the kids, took down and put away all of the remaining fall decorations so I'd be ready for Ryan to bring up the Christmas totes!

I am about 90% done with the decorations we already have.  I have one tree (out of six!) and a new tree skirt to finish up and I'll be ready to share the photos of our holiday home.

Until then, here's our tree and mantel last year:

We ran into a few issues with two of our trees this year.  Those two trees were originally prelit.  I love a prelit tree when the lights are working.  When they're not, it's not so fun.  I pulled all of the little clips and lights off of one 7' skinny tree.  It took me an hour and a half and my hands were covered in tiny scratches that burn when I put lotion on them.

When the lights on our main (read, 7.5' 900 lights, pretty fluffy) tree no longer worked, I begged and then sent my husband out to buy a new, taller, unlit tree.  For now, a sneak peek from Instagram:

I'm also working on some new ideas for outdoor decorations this year.  We've done nearly the same thing since we moved in six Christmases ago -- wreath on the front door, lights on the bushes and a couple of Christmas pillows on the chairs.  Tyson is really into Christmas this year and keeps pleading for lights on the house.  We'll see what I can come up with :)

See you soon!

If you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm laura_holt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Family Photos

We probably take family photos a little too often.  :)

It's definitely my doing though and for a few reasons.  I'm never in snapshots that we take at home.  I know I could pass the camera off to Ryan, but I often forget or just don't think about it in the moment.  I also want to treasure the time when they're so little and I think photographs are a perfect way to do just that.

We had fall photos taken at the end of October with Tricia Forman of Tricia Forman Photography.  I actually won the session after entering a contest on Facebook.  I never win anything, but I am sure glad I did!

My kids can be terribly difficult to photograph.  Their current ages make it hard and it doesn't help that mama so often has a camera in their faces.  Tricia instantly made a connection with Tyson and he was smiling, big huge real smiles, right out of the gate.  That never happens with us.  Ever.

You'd never know that Quinn was in a challenging mood.  Or that she was freezing.  That alley was windy and coooold.

I am thrilled with Tricia's work and I would use her again in a heartbeat.  You can check her out on her blog and Facebook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Burp Cloths, version 2

When my friends have babies, I love to send a handmade gift along with a registry item or in the case of a second baby, a new sleeper for the new little one.

My high school and college best friend had her second baby, a boy, in mid-September.  I like to mix up the burp cloths I make, but the fabrics I had on hand wouldn't work for her little boy.

I grabbed some soft green polka dotted minky, some aqua ribbon and this fun blue, green and aqua chevron.

I love the way they turned out, and I know with my babies, I could never have enough burp cloths!

Even though I'm just a wannabe sewer, I just pinned a set of tutorials for a variety of baby sewing projects.  I have a few more friends having babies in the coming months and maybe I'll try something new.  We'll see!

Do you send a handmade baby gift?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pinterest Challenge, Fall Edition

My Pinterest Challenge project was my daughter's Little Red Riding Hood costume.

I saw this costume pinned on Pinterest over a year ago and couldn't get it out of my head.  Naturally, Quinn had to be Little Red Riding Hood this year.

This beautiful Little Red Riding Hood costume was created by Your Sparkle Box on Etsy.

YourSparkleBox on Etsy
I used her costume as my inspiration and came up with this version for my 17 month old daughter:

I used a crochet tube top, purchased from this Etsy seller, and my mom and I made the tulle skirt, using layers and layers of red tulle and a red and white ribbon to tie it on Quinn's waist.  I ordered the fleece cape from The Capery on Etsy.  I was grateful to have something so warm on such a cool night for trick or treating.

I have an apron that I made for her, but it kept slipping and bunching up under all of the tulle!  So, I scrapped it at the last minute and I thought her costume was just fine without it.  I just added a white long sleeve onesie, and red and white striped leggings (also for warmth).

I love the original, but I'm just as pleased with my DIY version!

I'm linking up!

Bower Power Blog's Pinterest Challenge

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 is in the books and we had a great time!   Being a parent makes every holiday so much more fun!

We're in central Indiana and were expecting some pretty cold temps for trick or treating.  We all bundled up, thankfully their costumes allowed for many layers underneath, and headed out.

For a minute, I thought I had a photo with both of them smiling at the same time.  Alas, no dice.  Thanks for the cheese-face Tyson!

My little pirate :)

My mom and I worked on his costume together.  She and I sewed the vest out of fleece and added some gold trim, his pants were just plain black sweats from Target and I found the shirt at Goodwill.

I coffee-stained the shirt, cut the collar off the neck, cut some of the length off and tightened up the cuffs on the sleeves.  I found an inexpensive pirate set with an earring (he wouldn't wear), an eye patch (it kept breaking) and the sword.  The sword is his favorite part of the costume! I added a tulle belt as a place to put his sword.  He already had the socks from last Christmas and I just stenciled the Jolly Roger on a canvas tote from Hobby Lobby.

Quinn, Little Red Riding Hood  :)

Quinn's costume was also a collaborative effort with my mom.  She helped me sew the tulle skirt on to a ribbon.  I added a crochet tube top that I bought from this Etsy shop.  We considered DIYing the cape, but in the long run, I decided to order one.   I purchased it from The Capery on Etsy.  I just used a white long sleeve onesie and some red and white striped Gymboree leggings that she already had.

The leopard print pink gloves were a last minute addition because of the cold weather!

I added some ribbon and fabric to a little basket I found at Goodwill.  It was the perfect size for her treats!

We had so much fun trick or treating.  Our neighborhood is full of families and many participate to make it fun for the kids.

Once Quinn figured out what was happening with this trick or treating business, she was all about it!

But she also tired out quickly.  We carried her for a lot of the block and then Q and I came home while Tyson and Daddy kept on going.

Halloween was a blast, even despite the cold!  We can't wait for next year!

Did your kids have a great time?  Are you in candy overload?

I'm linking up!

The 36th Avenue

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jack O' Lanterns!

Happy Halloween!

We carved our pumpkins last night.  Nothing like last minute, huh?

Our IU pumpkin :)  Go Hoosiers!

Tyson's choice, Lightning McQueen.  He required a bit of surgery.

Quinn's pumpkin, Hello Kitty.  More my choice than hers, but isn't she cute?

The pumpkin trio:

We're trick or treating tonight, but it's going to be frigid here.  Happy Halloween to you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kid's Halloween Party

This past Saturday, we hosted a kid-friendly Halloween Party!

We tried to keep it light and fun instead of spooky and scary.  I think the goal was accomplished and the kids all had a great time!  Some of our little friends were missing because of sickness, but the party went on :)

I also tried to keep the decorations simple, which for anyone that knows me, that in and of itself is a challenge!  I used some black and orange crepe paper behind the goodie table, a black tablecloth that I already had and some leftover fabrics from my son's Construction birthday party and my daughter's Bumble Bee birthday party.

I borrowed my mom's Cricut to make the bats and spiders and the word BOO and added a few silly spiders and a black cat garland, both from the Target Dollar Spot.

I filled up the table with all kinds of Halloween treats -- cheese balls, Halloween candy, goldfish crackers, Pirate's Booty, cupcakes, mellowcreme pumpkins, chocolate covered Oreos, Reese's Pieces and chocolate covered marshmallows.

We had quite a bit of food!  But hey, that's what a party is for, right?

We had fruit and veggie trays with dips, cheese, crackers and sausage.  My friend Laura brought the spider web taco dip and my friend Kathy brought the little chocolaty acorns.

We also served this chili, my favorite recipe, along with all kinds of toppings.  Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.  This stuff is amazing!

For drinks, we served apple cider, sodas, beer and Capri Suns for the kids.

There were 7 kids under the age of 4 and they all came dressed in their costumes.  From left to right: Elliott, a bumblebee, Morgan, the Coca Cola polar bear, Tyson the pirate, Luke the race car driver, Andrew, Lightning McQueen, Quinn as Little Red Riding Hood and baby Rachel, a clown.

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy

Photo by Kathy
Photo by Kathy

After all of the kids were fed, played and had a zillion pictures taken, we decorated Halloween sugar cookies!  Different colors of icing in squeeze bottles and loads of sprinkles and sugars for the kids to choose from :)

It was a great party and the friends that couldn't make it were missed, but we had a lot of fun!

I'm Linking Up!

Home Stories A to Z
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Mantel

I usually do a fall mantel, but I think this is the first year I've ever done one just for Halloween.  I love how it turned out!

Gourds, pumpkins, my tulle wreath and some little jack o' lanterns.

I made this tulle wreath last Halloween, inspired by a Pinterest find :)  I still love it!

I made these BOO funkins years ago and they still make an appearance somewhere in my Halloween decor.

This little raven was the lone new addition to my Halloween decorations this year.  I found it at Goodwill for 50 cents :)

We're ready for Halloween!

I'm linking up!

The DIY Showoff
Debbie Doo's
I Heart Naptime
The Inspired Room