Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Hands

Every winter my hands get so chapped and dry.  They even start to bleed at times.  I know that was probably too much information but it happens.  I am in love with this hand lotion.  Yes, it is expensive ($19 a tube) but a little goes a long way and it keeps my hands in great shape all winter long.  Steve and I opened presents early this year from each other and this was in my pile of goodies from him.  Love it!  Just thought I would share in case you had some last minute person who you never know what to buy.  Steve uses some of their men's line too.  It's all around good stuff.  Check it out if you feel like pampering yourself or someone you love.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Wonder

Experiencing Christmas this year has made me feel like a little kid again.  This is the first year Ava really understands whats going on and I'm loving it.  We spent last night driving through Tilles Park to see thousands of lights.  The excitement in her voice as she pointed out everything she saw was making Steve and I laugh so hard and remember Christmas when we were little.  We then ate some yummy Greek food before we headed to Dan's Emerald Forest.  Dan's is just a house in a neighborhood that is pretty amazing.  Ava has been very into trains lately and this house has trains, lights, waterfalls and loads of other winter scenery throughout his entire front yard.  It was quite the site.  Ava was very excited for the entire night.  As we were driving home, she started to doze off in the back seat.  I asked very quietly if anyone would be interested in some ice cream.  She perked right back up and proceeded to eat over half of my mango frozen yogurt loaded up with fresh fruit from FroYo.  I think it's safe to say that she had a very good night last night.  Steve and I had a pretty amazing night, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread Playdough

Ava and I whipped up a couple batches of play-dough to give her friends for Christmas.  She helped with all the measuring, dumping and stirring while I did all the serious mixing on the stove.  These make quick, easy, cheap and fun gifts for all the little people in your life.  Not to mention that they make your house smell yummy while you make the dough.   We made a chocolate play-dough too but I wasn't as happy with the end texture so I'll work on the recipe and then post it.  

Gingerbread Play-Dough
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 Cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Spices--Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, Nutmeg
1 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium pot.  I started with a teaspoon of each of the spices.  I know I ended up adding more cinnamon to the pot though.
  2. Add wet ingredients and stir over low heat until a ball starts to form and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.  It will take a couple minutes on the stove to get to the dough to start forming.
  3. Remove the ball and knead until it is a consistent color and texture.
We "wrapped" the dough in plastic containers with a cookie cutter or two and tied with a pretty bow.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trafalgar's Square Giveaway

These prints just makes me smile.  I love all Kit's work.  I have 3 of her prints for Ava's room.  She's illustrating some children's books now that I can't wait to see.

Trafalgar's Square has all her items 15% off right now but if you're into freebies head over to her blog and leave a comment for a chance to win both of these prints.  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pajama Day!

I've been a little under the weather since Saturday.  The busy weekend just wiped me out.  When Monday finally rolled around I declared it a pajama day for Ava and I and we didn't leave the house.  I read most of Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games series, while she put together puzzles, played with play dough and built things out of her blocks.  It was a really nice relaxing day and I think I'm on the mend.  I'm savoring these days with only my little lady and me because before I know it there will be a new little bundle of joy in the house.  Hope all of you are staying warm and keeping healthy this holiday season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Club: Picking Cotton

Tonight is our book club Christmas party, and I'm really looking forward to it.  It's so fun to get a group of girls together to talk and stuff our faces :o) 

The book we read for this month was a memoir of a young woman who was raped and the man she wrongly accused of the crime.  Merry Christmas, right?  This story is interesting in the fact that it is told in 3 sections.  The first part is told by Jennifer the victim of the rape.  The second section is told by Ronald who was wrongly accused and served 11 years in jail.  You read that right.  11 years.  The final section is told by both Ronald and Jennifer.  There are no interesting or suspenseful plot twists.  The characters are real people with real feelings.  This book is worth a read though.  I found Ronald to be the most interesting.  He survived jail for years knowing he didn't commit the 2 rapes he was accused of and he forgave Jennifer.  It was a true story of forgiveness.  I know I've said this before but I love my book club for so many reasons but the top reason being it pushes me to read outside my norm.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Easy (& Inexpensive) Christmas Present

$5 from Lily Cards

$5 from Partysaurus

Both are $6 each from Print Your Party
I love that you can add your own photos to the bottom calendar.

$6 from Ali Design

Last year I bought the 2010 printable calendar from Lemonade Paperie to give to my mom, grandma and girlfriends.  These printable calendars are great because you buy it once and then print as many as you need.  With a little glitter, a corner rounder and some ribbon you have a really sweet and inexpensive Christmas present.  There are a ton of great choices out there on Etsy and all different sizes, too.  At these prices you can print out one for just about everyone you know!  These are just a handful of the calendars I like for next year.  Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus

Ava woke up from her nap the other day saying, "I want to see Santa and sit on his lap."  I'm thinking ummmmm, ok.  This was coming from the girl who takes a good while to warm up to people she already knows so the the fact that she brought up Santa and wanted to sit on his lap was huge.  After dinner we loaded up and went to Bass Pro Shop which has a great free Christmas village and a free picture with Santa.  We walked right up to Santa (no lines or time for her to change her mind) and he was amazing.  I can't stress how non-scary he was for her.  He talked to her and held her 2 little hands and then asked if she wanted to sit on his lap for a picture.  I know that again none of these pictures show big smiles but there were no tears and that was great in my book.  Her and daddy colored, played with rc cars and she loved the train.  I even got a little Christmas shopping for my dad done while we were there.  On the car ride home she announces from the back seat, "I love Santa."  That kid just melts my heart. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Elves are Here!

Ella and Emma Elf finally made it to our house.  A few days late but they did make it.  These two little ladies are admittedly not very elfish but more Christmas-y.  This was my first attempt at doll making of any kind and overall I am happy with them.  I used this template from Martha Stewart's website to get a rough idea of what I was doing but improvised a few things.  I learned a lot and will make a few changes next time.  I have a feeling that I will be making a few more of these but bigger and for everyday use like tea parties, hugging and reading time.  I've already got a gazillion ideas for accessories and hair for these little ladies.  

Every morning Ava wakes up and searches the house for the 2 elves and her wrapped book.  These 2 tricky elves hide in a new spot each night which makes our normal mornings a lot more fun.  She loves to hold them both while we read her the Christmas book that Ella and Emma have left for her each morning.  I cherish making these memories with our family and can not wait to add our little boy to the mix too.  

I'd love to hear about any traditions you and your family have for Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Free Holiday Tag Printables


Seriously cute *FREE* tags to print off at  Just in time for all that wrapping you have to do this holiday season.  I just started wrapping this past weekend and with a 2 year old helper it takes just a wee bit longer than usual.  Oh well, she's having fun wrapping and that's what matters.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chilly Day

Image: Pinterest

Our furnace stopped heating today so lets just say we are busting out the sweaters, warm socks, blankets, etc. until we can get it fixed.  If I had a sweater for our bun like this little guy I would have him in it.  Here's to hoping you're spending your Friday nice and warm! 

Go check out the cute little pig in red rain boots on Pinterest, too.  He made me smile.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family Pictures

I am in love with our family pictures this year.  Ashley and her sister of LeLe Photography work together and take amazing pictures from weddings to births to little ol' families like us.  After rescheduling twice due to weather and Ava being sick, we finally had a gorgeous day to take some pictures with Ashley.  Ashley was amazing with Ava.  She did a great job telling us how and where to look and smile. She even did a great job of not making me feel like the giant blob that I am right now!  Steve and I joked that she is now permanently on our calendar for at least the next 10 years.  If you live in the St. Louis area I would highly recommend these girls for your pics of any kind.  They were awesome!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freebie from Lemon Squeezy

Sharon over at Lemon Squeezy designed this adorable holiday card and you can print it out for FREE.  My kind of holiday cards!  Her style is always so clean and simple.  Love it!  

We're off for a play date and some mommy chat time.  Hope your Wednesday is off to as good of a start as mine is.  The little is spending the night at my parents house so the hubs and I are off tonight for a solo dinner and then Potter.  I'm so looking forward to it :o)

PS:  Our family pics are in and I am completely in love with them.  I'll post some of my favs soon.