Goals for 2012

Our project list for 2011 was about 90% done by the end of the year.  The main item that was left undone was canned lighting on the kitchen ceiling – our budget called it quits and it was a cosmetic want as opposed to a need, so we decided to let it go this past year.

We did get handles for the kitchen cabinets, make fancy new pillowcases, get a new fence for the backyard, plant tons of veggies and fruits in our backyard, revamp my little office area, celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary, transform a coffee table, made a lavender wreath, build a shed, build a new mantel, made a super cheap fall-themed door wreath, get a new toilet, make a fabulous Godzilla costume, re-floor the bathroom, processed our first canned goods, and I turned 40!

For 2012, these are some of our goals:

Have a bigger and more productive veggie garden
Can, dry, and freeze more homegrown food
Take better pictures
Get canned lighting installed in the kitchen/dining room
Re-paint living room/dining room/kitchen
Re-paint master bedroom
Re-think living room art/decor (we’ve had the same art on the main wall for 8 years)
Go through all my craft stuff once and for all
Streamline my office area
Streamline my closet
Convert my husband’s old desk area into media center/storage/charging center
Plan more road trips with the boys

and on the Only-If-We-Win-The-Lottery Category:
Deal with decking outside master bedroom (either enclose it or rebuild it)

I wish you a wonderful New Year, may it be filled with hope and happiness, health and joy, and may you be surrounded by those you love throughout the months.

We will be celebrating 2012 with a New Year’s Day brunch – our last event this holiday season.

See you next year!

Our Christmas

My oldest decided to use a whole jar of sprinkles for Santa’s cookies ;D

it was all about quality, not quantity because the rest of the batch was deemed not worthy of decoration.

The key words this year were “super hero” for my oldest, and “Godzilla” for my youngest, so most of their considerable loot was in one of those two camps.

I love little-boy bedhead!

My husband did an outstanding job with dinner, again, with a few dishes made by mom and me. We made the little Santa hats that were all over pinterest.

All too soon, the festivities ended, mom went back home, and we got some much-needed sleep. In a few days we will host the last of our holiday season events, a New Year’s Day brunch. We are doing it potluck-style, with us providing coffee/tea and pancakes/waffles, and everyone else bringing other items. So far, our response list is looking scrumptious!

2011 recap

I realize it is still a few days until the year is over but I saw this adorable idea and had to make my own — I saw it on pinterest but I do not know where the original link is from — if anyone knows please let me know so I can give proper credit, or if it is something for sale I will remove my post. But for now, here it is, a review of our 2011:

I also made one in Spanish – so if you habla español, here is that one:

I made it in Photoshop, it was pretty easy, and it would make a great newsletter as well – have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Christmas lights

This is what one side of the house looks like at night:

I would show you the other side but cars are parked in front ;D

The wreath looks so festive with the lights – all white – and in front there is a net of lights thrown over the ivy bush so the elephant on the ball can rest there. My boys were obsessed with all things elephant and we just had to get that decoration for them. They also love the snowman and little elf next to the elephant.

You can barely make this out but it looks so cool in person – to the right of the windows you may see some large snowflakes falling on the wall. My husband found this projector years ago that has disks for every holiday – hearts for Valentines, pumpkins for Halloween, etc. – that we project at the appropriate time of year. It adds a little flair to the outside of our house. We don’t have a porch, just a little entryway that is pretty dark so most of the decorations and lights are on this side of the house.

Things are ramping up to our holiday weekend, we’re visiting with friends and relatives and I am enjoying seeing this wonderful time through my boys eyes. That’s truly the best gift of all.

Taking a moment

We’re going full throttle around here. It’s the holidays — there are things to do, things to clean, things to make, things to buy, things to cook — and life is busier than ever. Which is why it’s important to me, in the midst of all this wonderful chaos, that we take time to simply be.

As much as I love Starbucks’ Caramel Brulee Latte, I’m not willing to plunk down $4 every morning, so I’m using our Caramel and Vanilla Torani syrups to make a reasonable copy. Then my darling husband got me this and I’ve been LOVING my morning coffee:

It’s non-alc, yo, so don’t freak about my driving the boys around in a Real Happy mood ;D

Always – ALWAYS – dreaming of my favorite city in the world. I’ve been here a few times, never when it’s snowed, though, so when one of my favorite bloggers posted this today I just had to snag the pic:

I mean, seriously. Wrapped up in a (faux) fur jacket, walking arm-in-arm with my sweetheart, then ducking into a cozy cafe for some warming up and people-watching. Someday.

I recently gave in to my tingling little hands and grabbed some beads. I used to have a jewelry business and although I do not have one now, once in a while I feel the urge to make something pretty. So I made something with this:


I’ll show you in a few days ;D but how perfect is this? A pendant with a map of Paris, in turquoise. Hello?!?!

Enjoying a few days with my mama, she’s spending some time with us and we’re having a great time. It would be better if I hadn’t been sick most of the week, because this nasty cough and sore throat thing is annoying me to no end. At least the stomach thing is over. You really don’t want to know.

Enjoying my family. The boys are off for two weeks as of this afternoon so I mean to take lots of pics, do lots of crafts, and just spend lots of time hanging out with them. I love that my youngest is a total snuggle-bunny, and my oldest, although a self-proclaimed big boy, is still sweet enough to want to cuddle with me. My husband and I have some alone time planned as well, nothing super romantic but just being able to hang out and talk without the chaos of life is gift enough.

So, I hope you have a great weekend, and I hope I get rid of the last of my germies, too!

Delicate ornamentation

My friend K recently gave me these gorgeous little ornaments – aren’t they sweet?

They are laser cut wood and very delicate and pretty. I debated whether to spray paint them but decided to leave them in their beautiful natural state and just added a little rhinestone for bling.

I hung them above the entry from the living room to the kitchen, since the red background would make them pop.

I spent A LOT of time in the kitchen watching dishes so I can just look up and see these beauties.

Some of them twirl back and forth and look so lovely.

Thank you Kat — I love you and my ornaments!!!

Corner bookcase all decked out

We have a little bookcase in the dining room – it has most of our cookbooks and fits perfectly in a little corner. I decided to jazz it up with some holiday goodness this past weekend:

To the left are the doors going out to the side deck, but our avocado and pear tree block most of the light. Since this corner can get a little dark, I chose some bright accents in gold and white.

First is a beloved picture of my boys. I’ve had this frame for decades but it’s usually on one of the living room bookcase shelves. Now it gives some much needed glam to my little bookcase. The floral fabric is from a runner my mom made — she made a few some years ago and I love to add them throughout my house. The red and green candle holder is cute but gets lost in the larger decorations so I put it here.

Then comes another candle craft I made with candy canes, this one in a mason jar. I added a taper, taper ring and glittery bow.

Last are my white lantern from IKEA and a rustic gold star I got at Pier One.

The bookcase looks so cheerful now — I am very lucky to have so many little areas to decorate. Hope you like my corner bookcase!

Candy cane candle

After seeing this idea on pinterest, I decided to make a couple of holiday crafts with some candy canes – that’s right, Christmas candle crafts with candy canes. It’s all about the alliteration.

I have a couple of glittery white candles, one of which I chose for this project. The easiest way to keep the candy canes under control was with the help of a rubber band:

Once all the candy canes were secured, I added a pretty bow to cover up the rubber band and give the finishing touch:

Simple, but so pretty and colorful:

Hope you enjoyed this little craft!

Thursday Favorite Things

Fashion Friday: Get ready to Tango in Tangerine in 2012

Pantone has announced THE color for 2012 – Tangerine Tango — I have to say, I am happy this is a color that me and my Latina complexion can embrace ;D

It’s a warm red, much like many lipsticks I found during my quest for the perfect bold red lipstick. This shade of red can be worn now, for the holidays, to add a pop of color in winter, in a bright spring outfit, through summer, and combined with more earthy hues for fall. I came up with a few ideas:

tangerine tango

Will you tango in Tangerine next year? I’m off to find some nail polish ;D