"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cloud Nine

I made some cards from CTMH's Cloud Nine card kit:

Fun and bright, right? And they come together so quickly, too! If you want to grab your own set to beef up your card stash, you have until the end of the day (Friday, Jan 31!) to check it out.

I love that these cards will work for gals and guys alike and I think the sentiments are super usable. Plus, the embellishments are dang awesome too. Gold is closing in on my top favorite colors!

Do you keep a card stash? What card sentiments do you find yourself using the most?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Real Tree

One new tradition we were excited to try out was getting a real tree. I know! Neither Kirk nor I had ever had a real Christmas tree in the history of ever. So. We remedied that, for sure. I loved having two trees to gussie up, and the smell was divine. And watering it didn't get terribly obnoxious and the pine needles on our fake tree are worse than the ones on the real tree if I'm being honest.

One of the best parts about Christmas is laying down and looking at the lights on the Christmas tree. This one brought loads of comfort and peace to our home, and all three of us enjoyed it...but, not enough to name it, and not enough to feel like getting a real tree is a must for us every year.

So what about you? Are you a real tree fan or a fake tree fan?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Wreath(s)

It was time to give my droopy little wreath a break. I've been thinking about it for a couple years but needed to stick to my budget. I was going to wait for Christmas things to go on sale after the holiday and make a great new wreath to use for the next year, but found a great deal on shimmery accents the week before, so I was able to festivize my door a week before Christmas. Perfect timing!


My favorite part is the focal of the wreath, the larger-than life pine cones. I snagged these huge beauties from my parent's yard and baked the bugs out. Then I coated the outsides with fabulous glitter glue and snuggled them in the wreath with lots of other delicious sparkles.

So, getting one step closer to a classy Christmas led from one thing to another, and well...

Yes, you counted right, I made five wreaths. There's no denying the fact. I found happy places for them all over our house and am excited to rotate them to the prominence of the front door depending on my Christmas mood. This Christmas creativity has been a-brewing for quite a while now, so it's no surprise it came out in a huge and glorious explosion of glitter.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Santa and Horsies!

We took full advantage of the magical spark kids bring to holiday season and did our best to ignite our girl's excitement. We tried out all sorts of new things this year to see if we wanted to keep them around for future family traditions. One such adventure was a trip to the Riverwoods in Provo to see the pretty Christmas lights, the big guy himself, and take a free ride around the parking lot on a horse-drawn jingle bell carriage.

Sounds fun, right? Guys. Here's the truth about that night: we hyped it up to outrageous heights and dragged a stubborn two-year-old around outside in the sub-zero temperatures. We put her mittens back on her "coldy hands" dozens of times (duh. stop taking them off if it makes your fingers cold), shied away from Santa after waiting in line for 15 minutes to talk to him, then got disappointed when he didn't give us a lollipop like Santa does when he's at the mall. We took turns trying to warm up an independent and resistant toddler while still trying to maintain some semblance of dignity in public, listened while she cried and pitched fits until the first horse carriage arrived 10 minutes late, then sat silently the whole ride long. It was exhausting for all parties involved.

Kirk and I both asked ourselves silently and out loud, "Was this hassle even worth it? What did we accomplish from this fiasco?"

And then the payoff arrived. As soon as we got home and could feel our toes again, our thawing Pepsicle couldn't stop talking about that evening...for days! In fact, she still loves gabbing about Santa and the lights, and riding the horsies, which liked to jump ("like this!" she says as she jumps as high as she can). Her favorite video to replay on my phone is the one with the jingle bell carriage pulling up to us with its merry cacophony. And, we discovered she already knew the word "nutcracker." Who would have guessed? It certainly didn't come from us! (We have since found out it came from watching the Barbie version of The Nutcracker. Nice. As long as Barbie continues to teach 2-yr-old girls 3-syllable words, I guess her eventually negative affects on body-image can be overlooked.)

But, that's not the point of this post. The point is that we thought the whole evening was a huge waste of time, despite our efforts to stay chipper and help one another stay happy through the frigid winds. We thought it was a bust. But it wasn't, and it ended up being one of the most memorable nights for our little family. All Pepper can remember are the good parts. She obviously doesn't remember that she cried pretty much the whole time we were there. So, I've been working on forgetting that part too and focusing on just remembering the great parts instead. Become like a little child, etc, etc, and all that.

So...maybe we'll try again next Christmas? We'll just have to see when we get there, I guess.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Cards

It seems that no matter how much I plan and prepare, we always seem to run a little short on our Christmas cards. Curses! Luckily, I had some card kits laying around and whipped up  the missing balance pretty quickly. Here's a little peek of what they looked like:


I know it's not the traditional holiday photo (it's from our awesome trip to the Grand Canyon in the fall) but the candidness is my favorite and I can't help but love Pepper's ridiculous cheeser.

Still. I swear on all that is holy that I will only make one kind of Christmas card next year. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Oranges

Around the holidays, we become inundated with ridiculous amounts of sugar from generous-hearted friends and neighbors. We like to share the love, too, but to combat the pure fructose with a little fiber, we decided to hand out silly oranges to our neighbors instead:


This is a great way to include the little peeps in your family. We colored oranges until there were no more within reach to decorate. All we did was hand Pepper a Sharpie, and she unleashed her artistic greatness on each precious fruit. Then, I turned her delightful scribbles into happy and silly faces. We enjoyed sharing and spreading the smiles this Christmas. I'm pretty sure we won't do this every year, but it worked out well for us this time around and will be a go-to activity in the future with little ones.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Decor

I know Christmas 2013 has now joined the multitudes of Christmases Past, but I have so many things to share with you before looking forward with bright eyes to the next holiday season.

I love decorating for Christmas! Crazy as it sounds, the minute Halloween is over, we pull out the Christmas goodness. There's just something about filling our house with beautiful smells and sparkles that makes the season even more cozy. Love it! This year I pulled out and fixed up these ornamental spheres I made a few years ago for a touch of Christmas color.


This first one was made with a styrofoam ball as the base. I simply covered the surface with red rhinestones. I did this in waves, laying down a thin layer of liquid glue in a small area, attaching the rhinestones, then letting that area dry before moving on to the next spot. Once the whole sphere was covered with rhinestones, I covered all the gems with another layer of liquid glue (also in waves) to seal them in. I finished it off by tying it with lace ribbon and a tag.

This next one was the most time-consuming, but I love the way it turned out. I cut out multitudes--yea, even legions--of paper circles, cut them in half, then glued each semi-circle into a cone of wonder. Then, I glued the cones together to create this sphere made entirely of bright stained glass paper, and attached a tag with some brown twine. Honestly, I was surprised that this ended up making such a nicely shaped sphere, but as long as the tips of the cones are lined up, a sphere it shall be. Also, I sponged the edges of all my papers before rolling them up and gluing them together, but I don't recommend it if you can help it. This takes up a lot of paper, y'all, so this is a good project to use for those bulk packs of patterned paper.

And last the best of all the game. This also uses a styrofoam ball as a base, but is covered with green buttons in all tints, thicknesses, and sizes. Same as the red rhinestone ball, I applied the buttons in waves. Once buttons covered the surface, I simply stuck some antiqued copper brads in anywhere I saw the white foam showing through. Then I gave the whole thing a hearty coat of liquid glue in waves to seal everything in.

Oh, shiny Christmas, thank you for making my heart so happy! Stay tuned for more holiday happiness coming at you this week.