Christmas Bathroom

That’s right – around here we decorate just about everything.

Last week I went to my favorite paper store, Paper Source, and got a few seasonal papers. Paper Source has no idea who I am or what I do, or that I worship their papers, so this is all my opinion about products paid by moi.

Now gentlemen and little men can look at this as they go about their morning business. Well, part of their morning business. Part number 1, as it were.

On the opposite wall are these three frames, which usually sport botanical prints, but now have these quirky sweater prints and a fun animal print in the middle to tie the colors together.

Poor Fleur is still lonely up there:

I really must get her some company soon. The holidays should not be spent alone.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

New Christmas stockings on the mantel

I recently had a gift card left over from my birthday loot and decided to buy new Christmas stockings for our family. I think it’s the second thing I’ve ever bought from Pottery Barn because their prices are usually ridiculous, but these were super reasonable – $9 for the little ones, and $16 for the large ones, embroidery included and free shipping.


I like how they coordinate and look cohesive. I didn’t want anything fancy or with any designs, just our names. My husband and I had made stockings for each other when we were first dating, but we never made anything for our boys – I know, right, bad parents! – they had stockings but they were just plain. If you look at my oldest’s stocking (third from left) you will see a tiny stocking hanging from the same hook. He has a stuffed toy elephant that he loves so I bought a mini stocking and added an elephant pin in honor of Soft Elephant.

Our old stockings are hanging around the house – the boys’ plain stockings are hanging on their doors, mine is up by my desk, and my husband’s is by his desk.

Thursday Favorite Things

Lush table decor

There is a little table in a corner of our house that got some glam treatment recently:

D’oh! A little elf got in the picture!
My son saw me taking photos and decided I should take some of him, too 😀


It is layer upon layer of holiday items surrounding a huge hurricane vase we used at our wedding.


The table itself is from IKEA; then comes a folded table runner my mom made a few years ago. Then you can see the wreath we last used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece. A beaded garland sits on top of the wreath, then I stuck in some large silk flowers with their foliage. I placed the vase in the center and had no idea what to put inside, and my husband added a candle, which I now love because the glow from this little table is just gorgeous.

 

The Lettered Cottage

Positively Splendidfive days five ways christmas linky party | because every day is different

My glam office shelf

I was at Michaels the other day and saw a few ornaments I had to have, in my favorite colors of 2011 – turquoise and olive green. I added some items I had at home to complete the look.


From left to right: IKEA vase with Christmas greenery from Michaels clearance last year, Noel ornament and scroll ornament from current Michaels selection. I don’t remember where I got the snowman!!!
Target frame from 2009. Eiffel tower ornament from Pier One.
Cupcake pedestal, gift from my dear friend K, with garland we’ve had for years and glittery white candle. Little Christmas tree my husband put on my desk, it changes colors ;D Green lantern from IKEA.
Candlestick from Goodwill, spray-painted ORB with plan taper and the most fabulous peacock ornament, again, from Michaels. Their ornaments are 50% off so each of the three ornaments I got were $2.50 – $3.00 – score! LOVE print from Made by Girl.

So there you have my sparkly glam shelf – full of items that mean a lot to me (mini tree from my hubby, pic of my boys, gift from a dear friend) and items that make me smile, with the most beautiful sentiment of all, LOVE, as the background. Hope you enjoyed the peek into a corner of my world. Have a great weekend!

Christmas inside and out

My two oldest men took on the task of putting up Christmas lights a couple of nights ago. My youngest decided it was too cold and went back inside with his mama.

Our house is all prettied up now – good job, boys!

We set up the tree a few nights ago, with my oldest son being the main decorator. I should have gotten some video. “I can’t find the perfect place for this one, mama. It just doesn’t make sense here.” Mm-hmm. I helpfully said, “just put it down and leave it for later.” He glared at me.

I think he did a wonderful job:

The little village underneath has been collected over the years and adds a sweet touch. My boy took these pics:

We like to turn the tree on and enjoy the sparklies. I light my candles and sip a bit of cocoa — my boys do not like hot chocolate for now — and we snuggle in the cold California evenings. Laugh if you will, but it is 45 degrees out there as I am typing and we do not turn the heater on in the evenings.

I am waiting for a couple of things before I show you the mantel – but for now I hope you enjoyed seeing our outside lights and our tree. It’s fake, because the cats can’t help themselves.

The Bathroom Saga: Medicine Cabinet

Just as exciting as The Twilight Saga. Not. The acting’s a lot better, though. Because Kristen Stewart . . . okay, I’m not even going to go there.

Someone who lived in this house long ago – two owners ago, I think – was a DIY-er who really should NOT have been DIY-ing it. Floors are not complete, i.e. there is an inch missing from a plank; they installed a microwave on a hole in the wall, when there was a perfectly good microwave in the kitchen 10 feet away; five or six layers of wallpaper in the dining room; an expansion built with no heating or A/C (or permits). Let’s just say that in the past 8 years I have done my share of fist-shaking at this person whose projects have given us so much grief, years later.

One such detail was getting a sunken-in medicine cabinet — and simply attaching it to the wall. I don’t know if you guys can see that it sticks out all the way, instead of just the doors sticking out:

I did not take a before pic. Bad, bad blogger.

My awesome husband decided enough was enough and sunk in the thing, so now it is at it should have been all along.

That red thing on the wall is my all time favorite ornament. Ever. In the history of ornaments. Well, except for whatever my kids make. 1) It is red. 2) It is a fleur-de-lis. and 3) It is glittery. It usually hangs above my monitor but now that ornaments are acceptable again, it being late November and all, I decided to put it in the bathroom. Although, it looks lonely. Maybe there are other glittery fleur-de-lis ornaments out there that want a wall-mate.

I am a girl on a mission.

I’ll show you some of our Christmas decorations in the next post ;D

Swedish baby shower

Over the weekend, I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law, K. Her husband is from Sweden, where they live, and she’s visiting for a couple of weeks, so it was out only chance to get together and celebrate. I keep referring to her baby as baby Thor or baby Freya, but no, those are NOT the names they’re considering 😀 In fact, some of the names K likes for a girl (they don’t know the gender yet) are the ones I would have given to my child if I’d had a girl. I would LOVE it, if K’s baby is a girl, for my new niece to have those names I love, so yes, I am a little biased in what I hope she has.

Since we don’t know the baby’s gender yet, I decided to do the shower in the colors of the Swedish flag – blue and yellow:

I even learned to make pompoms!

Some of the wine was renamed with the names of Swedish places and the mommy- and daddy-to-be’s last name.

My husband did an amazing job decorating the house for Christmas, it looked beautiful!

I came up with a few games, including a crossword puzzle:

I had a blast planning and hosting the shower and even got gifts from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for hosting! My husband was a fabulous assistant, he took many photos, helped set up, kept people fed and with drinks, he made my job so easy. K said she had a good time and was very thankful, which means the world to me. I am so excited for baby Thor or baby Freya to arrive next spring!!!

Our 2011 Thanksgiving

Our thanksgiving lunch went beautifully; Steve and I planned, made lists, set up a schedule, and with some help from our family, we had a great time.  I printed the menu and set it up in the dining room:

My father-in-law showed up early — he was in charge of the turkey — and also helped out with the rest of the cooking. He and my oldest had a blast peeling potatoes:

Soon my boy was a potato peeling expert!

I had told my husband that I’d seen (can’t remember where!) an idea to use a wreath as a centerpiece and he came up with this:

Isn’t that cool?

Soon the rest of the family showed up and we started doing the oven-revolving-door dance. Dishes would go in, in twos and threes, and something yummy would come out. Soon our dining room table looked like this:

This was about half of the food we made. The wine took up one of the hutches ;D and the desserts people brought took up another.

Here is some of my wonderful family.

The little cups hold the butternut squash bisque, which was DELICIOUS – Steve made it from scratch and I am so happy there is some left over, because I’m having some of it for lunch!

One of my favorite moments was when we all shared what we were grateful for and my oldest said he was grateful for “the colors of autumn”, I thought that was so unusual and sweet.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and if you don’t celebrate it, then I hope today is a great Friday and I wish a wonderful weekend for everyone! I’m going to leave you with the menu we had for our Thanksgiving Lunch.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thankful for feasts and festivities

This holiday season we are hosting SIX events at our home. I know, we’re crazy. But I love it. I love going to other people’s houses, too, but then I’m always thinking about the boys. If they’re home I think about what they’re doing or if they’re driving Gran nuts or if they’re eating or or or. If they’re with us, I think about them knocking things over and playing nice with others, etc. At home, they’re in their turf and I can relax more.

The first event was the get-together we had for my 40th. My husband and his parents did 99% of the work so I just enjoyed everyone’s company and the great food. My mom made two flans, those things are so rich and delicious, and were definitely enjoyed. Here’s a funny bit about flan.

The second event will be Thanksgiving. We sort of stole it from my mother-in-law since she got her new dogs. I would walk in her house and within 15 minutes I’d be sucking on my inhaler. I’m not allergic to all dogs but the longer-haired ones do give me trouble.

The third event will be a baby shower. I am so psyched. I am planning lots of sweet things, or rather, “Swede” things, since it will be a Swedish baby 😀 (flag pic from Facebook).

The fourth will be a family dinner. We might have some guests from out-of-state and we had such fun last time they were here that we would love to host something for them. It’s still a maybe so we’ll see. (pic from The Martha)

The fifth will be Christmas breakfast and lunch. Again, stolen from my mother-in-law. The boys open the avalanche of gifts – we really do have generous families and friends – and then they go play with the boxes (ha!) while we eat breakfast with my in-laws. We do a quick dishwasher load and get things ready for lunch, which is when most people show up.(pic from The Martha)

The sixth will be a New Year’s Day brunch. We are not planning on going out this year so we invite friends and family to get over their hangover or to start the New Year with us.(yep, again – pic from The Martha)

So this is our plan so far, lots of friends, lots of family, lots of good food and wine, lots of wonderful memories being made — that’s what holidays are all about for me. Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful, and if you do not celebrate, I hope you have a great rest-of-the-week!

The Bathroom Saga – Sink and Faucet

The last time y’all got a look at my bathroom was when my husband re-tiled the floor.

We had previously painted the walls, changing them from white to Ralph Lauren’s Chamois.

The next part of the ongoing transformation was to replace the sink and faucet.

When we moved in, the sink was already in poor condition. It was still working fine but it was rusted and stained. Over the years, it kept rusting to the point that there was a hole in the sink, so water could fall through into the cabinet. This is how it looked when removed:

Ew, right?

I wasn’t a fan of the banjo-shaped counter or the marble itself. It is apparently really pricey and top of the line, but as I’ve said at the beginning of the year, I am a complete peasant and I like what I like, regardless of price or trendiness.

I wanted a plain, white sink, so we went with this oval one from Lowe’s. For the faucet, I went with the Caldwell by Moen. They look so good together.

Uncle D was there to help my husband, Steve, and answer any questions – the amount of knowledge Steve has gained from Uncle D is truly invaluable. Here he is in action:

The coolest part, though, was when Steve couldn’t find his level and Uncle D downloaded an app on his phone and had a level ready to use in 19 seconds. No, we don’t have iPhones. Yet.

Here is the new sink in place

Isn’t it lovely, all that clean, sparkling white?

The faucet is gorgeous, too

I’m off to get more of the Chamois paint to touch up the areas that got messed up during the removal of the old sink. I am so happy with the way this bathroom is (almost) looking. My hubby went above and beyond and repainted the door back to its original white loveliness, too. Once the paint is touched up this bathroom will be ready for the next few gatherings we’re hosting. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post. Happy Monday!