Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our cozy Skandinavian Ski Lodge Christmas Mantel

I've been craving a lot of coziness this year :)

Lots of wood and wool and a big cast iron reindeer :)

And Dustin is Danish,so I figured I could maybe pull off a bit of Scandinavian Christmas decor around here...

Nothing too serious.....Christmas decor that the kids can enjoy...

I strung up a twine garland with a random mix of homespun ornaments.

Some little knitted mini sweaters that I found at Home Sense, reindeer cutouts from IKEA, little yarn ball from Michael's, and some homemade wooden ornaments that I bought at our local craft market for $0.50 each! (I can't understand why on earth the guy that made them would be selling them so cheaply...I couldn't help but buy a whole bunch of them)
And a somewhat creepy looking vintage Santa that Toby simply could not leave behind at the thrift shop.

And pinecones....lots of pinecones.

And I decided to leave the yarn ball wreath above the mantel.


There is nothing quite like a crackling wood fire.

We have one lit almost every evening and I just can't get enough :)


Especially on a day like this.

I love looking out our window at a winter wonderland :)


That's all for now......more to come soon :)

Hope you're all having fun decorating your homes! I can't wait to see them all!

I'm linking up to The Lettered Cottage's holiday party.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Advent Calendar Garland

So...I made a little advent garland for the boys...

Before you're wondering.......no...I didn't have the time to sew each and every little mitten and stocking :)

I found them at a store called Jysk for $1 each. 

How on earth could you justify making them for that?

I know...I know......it's much better to buy handmade!......

Or simply make it yourself....

But this mama just does not have enough hours in the day.

What I *did* do was cut out the felt numbers (I thought of buying the stick on variety, but I could only find them in packet sets, and I would have had to buy about 4 packs to get enough 1's!!)

I just cut them out freehand... threw out the ones that looked completely awful...and hot glued the ones that were somewhat readable.

I kind of like how the numbers look handmade and sort of "kiddish" :)

Then I strung up some twine and attached the little mittens, etc with clothes pins.

That way, I can hang them up high (where little desperately sneaking hands cannot reach!), and just take down the pouch each day to get the goodies out.

It works in theory.

I'll keep you posted on the advent raiding.

Now I just have to fill them all :) I've been stocking up for the last couple of weeks, so I'm getting there. 

I've been feeling like I wanted to start some little holiday traditions for our family, so this is a start :)

Anyone else thinking of doing an advent calendar?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A snow day

Nothing quite like the first snowy day of the season...

especially when you're, say, a "3 boy" or a "1 boy" (Toby's words). :)

Apparently, those types of boys like snow.

A lot.

Well, Finn wasn't so sure of it at first.....and those darn mitts......

How on earth are you supposed to shove a floppy, sticky little baby  hand into a mitt?


I actually resorted to socks on his hands, covered with zip-lock bags held on with an elastic around his wrist (Dustin's idea). I know....GHETTO. haha.....but it SO worked. They stayed on for our whole sledding expedition :)

This is what Toby does when I say "SMILE!!" 

This is at a local park that has an amazing hill for sledding. It was actually a lot of fun, even with the little bit of snow we had!

Yes...that's Toby....horizontal. 

Nothing quite like a snow fort to jump off.

Finny has inherited Toby's dorky hand-me-down snowsuit. 

It's like some sort of initiation.

I mean....c'mon.....is there anything funnier than a toddler with saddle bags?


So...since it snowed, I totally caved and did a full on Christmas decorating blitz last night.

Love it!

Stay tuned for a little Christmas cheer!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A cozy yarn ball wreath

So...umm....I've started a little "light" Christmas decorating :)

I just simply couldn't wait any longer.

I've been craving the cozy, warm (as in sit-by-the-fire), wintery holiday feeling...and for some reason I'm drawn to holiday decor that feels "cozy".

ie: anything made from wool/felt/pompoms, etc

I decided to roll with a red, white and grey colour scheme.

And I love it!!

I found the yarn at my local thrift shop, and the styrofoam balls and round brown cardboard (?) wreath form at the dollar store. 

It's easy to make.....well, slightly time consuming to wind the yarn onto the styro balls...but I did the whole thing in about and hour and a half after the kids were in bed :)

Now I just have to decide where to hang it....

On my chalkboard wall in the kitchen (I kinda like the look of the grey wool against the chalk board) [first picture]

Or on my black front door...

Or where it is right now...on my mirror above the mantel.

I made some make-shift tree stencils and sprayed some spray-snow on the mirror. 

I'm sort of loving the winter wonderland look, and how the curve of the mirror looks a little bit like a snowy hill.

If you want to try making a yarn ball wreath, there's a great tutorial over at Life through the Lens

Lanvin at H&M.....sigh.....

And the collection debuts on my birthday!!! (next week)

Does it get any better than that?

well...hehe....it *would* probably be better if I could have a few "solo" hours to head downtown and shop shop shop........sans boys ;)

I'm dreaming here....simply dreaming :)

But a girl (who, for the record, is not overly thrilled to be turning the big 3-0 on Tuesday) can dream, right? :)

Oh what I wouldn't give to get my hands on one of these frilly, girly party dresses.

Or a pair of these glam bow heels :)

Call me crazy, but even the hangers make me giddy!

If only I were this gorgeous fashion blogger (Chiara from Blonde Salad), I would then get these beautiful items....and many many maaaany more sent to me :)

It sure would solve all my shopping-with-two-boys problems ;)

Anyways......don't mind me....just craving a little glamour in the last week of my twenties! 

30 is the new 20, right?

C'mon...someone's got to agree with me :)

Images from Blonde Salad and H&M

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I heart custom Christmas cards! (thank you Tiny Prints!!)

I decided this was the year.

The year we start sending out Christmas cards.

I've always had great intentions.


But this time, thanks mostly to Tiny Prints, I'm following through!

So...a couple of weeks ago, I was perusing some photo card sites, gathering inspiration, and discovered Tiny Prints. Definitely the best selection of "non-cheesy" designs. Without a doubt.

Now....the problem was......how do I convince my husband that we *need* to order a beautiful stack of glossy cards?

This type of purchase is generally best left to the ladies :) Sadly....it's the man in this house that reads the  credit card statements ;)

Anyways.....as luck would have it, the next day I received an email from Tiny Prints!! (seriously....I'm not making this up).....asking if I would like to write a review, in exchange for a complimentary set of custom Holiday cards!

Did anyone actually think I would say no? 

I was just *meant* to have these cards! ;)

So....much quicker than expected, a beautiful box of cards arrived in the mail!

...and they are PERFECT!

(please keep in mind....my photography leaves something to be desired...and definitely does NOT show just exactly how amazing these cards are! The photos look grainy here, but they are anything but grainy in real life)

It was SO hard to choose a design....there are just simply too many great ones!

I decided on the tri-fold style...mostly just for something a little different, but I'm sure if I'd ordered any of these others, I would have loved them as well.

This is a better photo of the design I chose.

I chose the "semi-glossy" finish, for a little added glam...and I'm so glad I did! The cards are perfectly satiny.....not too shiny, but beautiful and vibrant. 

I was a liiiitle teensy bit worried that they wouldn't live up to my expectations, and then how on earth would I write a review??.....I don't know what I was worried about! 

They are simply amazing. Beautiful quality printing, great designs, excellent quick service (the cards arrived in Canada 2 days after I approved the proof, and that was 2 days after I sent in the order), and a super easy to use site.

Thank you, Tiny Prints! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A furry monster and his tiger sidekick throw a Halloween party!

Baby Costumes from CostumeCity.Com

So we threw a little Halloween party....

Did I mention that we're kind of party animals?


If party animals are in bed most nights before 9pm, that is ;) (and that's the adults in the family)

I added a few more hairy creatures to the mantel. Our little Finn loved it!

Oh...and rats. Toby is obsessed with rats.

And a few little bats that Toby and I made one day, while Finn was napping. 

Toby was better at making them than I was.

So, my wonderful friends were all asking what they could bring to the party, and I was like "Don't bring a thing...I'm just keeping it very simple"...hehe.....well, I *thought* I was keeping it simple until I got it all set out on the table :)


It all looks very complicated...but it really wasn't. I promise.

I made caramel/chocolate dipped apples...which I then sprinkled with coconut and dipped in crushed Reeses Pieces, etc. The spider crackers were Boursin cheese between Ritz crackers, with little pretzel legs hanging out the sides (Dayna came over before the party and helped me make those!). I made "witche's fingers"....they turned out really dry, unfortunately, but they looked spooky :). I also made chocolate haystack cookies (my fave!) and added white chocolate chips on top for fun. I cut up some string cheese to look like fingers and octopi (is that a word?)....I added a little cream cheese on the end to stick down the sliced almond fingernail.  We had some punch with plastic spiders floating in it...and that was about it. 

My little Tiger, eyeing up the food.

 As Tigers do.

So.....let me explain the wreath. 

I feel like I need to explain it.

Since it looks like something the cat dragged in. ;)

Toby and I made this wreath last year, just after Finny was born. It was our first little momma and Toby alone time :). He loved it so much, and just kept adding all sorts of feathers and bits of stuff. It was all I could do to sort of keep it orangey. :) 

This year, we added some cobwebs and crows.  I think it will evolve each year.

I like little traditions.

I like how every time I come home and see our front door, it reminds me of my little 2 and a half year old boy, who was so excited to spend time with me on his own :)

So....here are the hosts.

One "scary, but not too scary, and kind of cute very furry monster with four horns" (as requested by said 3 year old) 

and one small roaring tiger.

Have you ever tried to find a monster costume?

I should never have asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween! What was I thinking??

Anyways....I got me some black faux fur, a little bright green felt and my trusty glue gun...and went to work. 

I wasn't sure how it would hold up, not being stitched together and all, but it was perfect!! Stronger than an ox. Seriously.....I messed up one part, and tried to pull it apart, but ended up having to cut it off because it just wasn't going to come apart. 

ANyways....after about 50 bad glue gun burns, I had a very happy little furry monster :)

As for the tiger, I ordered this costume online and was sorely disappointed when it arrived.
It was thin and cheap and shiny.


So....I found an old quilted baby blanket and used it to make my little tiger a little "chubbier" looking.  I also had to sew the head piece to make it fit, since it was too huge and kept falling down over his eyes.

After all was said and done, he was cute as a button....cheap costume and all. :)

The guests arrived......our house was full of cute little zebras and pumpkins and ladybugs. Not to mention fairies and puppies and pirates and firemen and cupcakes. Oh and the cutest little skeleton you've ever seen.

This is a "dirty bad pirate" (as he referred to himself).

Turns out the dirty bad pirate was afraid of the black furry monster.

Poor little pirate.

And yes...that's me.

Toby wouldn't get into the photo unless I was there, so there I am. The "most beautiful ballerina princess in the whole world" (says Toby), sitting up with the kids, looking like a dork.

I love dressing up, so really, I don't care if I look dorky.

The little pirate and furry monster were bribed with chocolate dipped gummy worms for this picture at the right. It totally worked :)

Little Fenton was the cutest zebra ever. Hands down.

Isn't Molly's cupcake costume adorable? And have you ever seen a little ladybug look quite this cute?

Look at the booties! :)

Need I say anything?

A boy in his GLORY!

I always look forward to lighting the pumpkins. 

Isn't there something so magical about jack o lanterns?

Love them!

One curious little tiger who just simply couldn't stay away!

Toby was completely in love with trick or treating this year. 

This is a boy who doesn't get much junk food.

Can you tell? ;)

All in all.......lots of fun was had!

Hope you all had a great Halloween too!!

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