Memorial Day 2013

I have always tried to be vocal about my gratitude to the country that received me and my family almost thirty years ago – the country where my children now grow, where my dreams have come true, where I truly could do and be anything I wanted. My thanks extend to those who have given their lives so that I and countless others could live freely, and to the family and loved ones of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you, always.

Memorial Day printable from How to Nest for Less.

Feliz Navidad!

A proper Peruvian feast is not complete without a refreshing glass of Inca Kola. Seriously, best tasting soda EVER. My husband is addicted.

Recently we went to a restaurant supply place with his parents and they had trays and trays of lovely, golden, beckoning Inca Kola. My husband made a beeline for the shelves and picked up two trays.

To honor those Christmas Eve dinners of long ago, surrounded by my Peruvian family, I am raising a glass of Inca Kola to toast the family and friends I hope to see again someday.

Felices Fiestas!!!

And Happy Holidays to my non-Inca Kola-drinking friends, too ;D

The Christmas Serpent

Okay, so the title may be a little dodgy, but really, check out what my awesome husband made this time!

The inspiration was one of the structures at a local park, which does a great holiday lights display for people to drive by. Last year, my mother in law commented that she really liked their Christmas sea serpent and my husband, of course, said, “you want one?”

He cut out the pieces out of plywood, then my in-laws helped with painting, drilling EIGHT HUNDRED HOLES for lights to poke through, and painting.

It looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it??

Here’s Mr. Awesome checking out his masterpiece, on his parents’ front yard:

Hope your weekend is wonderful!!! I am off to see if I should change the name of the blog to My Husband’s Awesomeness ;D

Serenity Now blog

Two favorite holiday movies

A few years ago my husband and I went to see Love Actually:

and it has become our Christmas Day tradition. At some point, after everyone is gone and the kids are busy playing with the new boxe-, I mean, the new toys, we curl up on the sofa and watch it. It has many of my favorite British actors and sweet stories, not all of them ending happily, much like in real life.

My favorite scene? When the Prime Minister is singing carols and reacts to his bodyguard’s voice — I won’t tell you any more than that 😀

The second movie is another Christmastime set story, but of a much different tone. This one not only has wonderful actors I love, but it has a historical background – even better! I give you, The Lion in Winter:

As a complete peasant who loves Hershey’s kisses above most other chocolates and is very happy drinking $20 bottles of wine instead of Cristal Champagne (yuck!), I will admit to having watched the original movie and not liking it as much. It’s probably due to the fact that nowadays acting is not so grandiose and standing around declaring things to the audience. Now I think these great actors bring a more “natural” feel, which I prefer. Which is not to say that Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close do not do “grand” here, but I prefer their subtle kind of grand, I guess.

To complete your disdain for me, I watched the classic film “Anne of the Thousand Days” and fell asleep, preferring The Tudors — like I said, I am a complete peasant. I like what I like.

I just realized both movies came out in 2003, the year when we got married. Awwwwww. 😀

Puttin’ some flair out there

Our sweet little Christmas tree is now up and delighting my boys with the colorful lights:

But when it comes to the outside of our home, we like our lights clear and steady. No blinkin’ for us ;D

We got a few extra pieces, some to replace items that had gotten damaged over the years. Like these huge red ornaments, they look great against the white garage door!

Between our two windows, we place this lighted wreath, which I love.

The swirly drop ornaments are also new this year. I like the different textures on them; smooth metallic, glittery, etc.

Our entryway has a bit of whimsy with a hanging Ho Ho Ho decoration that Steve painted, and a couple of welcoming pieces leading up to the wreath on the door.

On the front lawn we have some candy canes and sparkly accents:

I didn’t notice my youngest’s big wheel until I was editing the photos ;D but you know, that’s part of our home’s charm.

Are you decorating outdoors for the holidays?

Final touches to our Insane Asylum

Thanks for the kind comments on our front yard Insane Asylum – we’ve been getting awesome feedback from the neighbors as well 😀

Steve added some final touches before starting his next project, our oldest’s Halloween costume (more on that in a couple of days).

Side fence is done, my contribution was to hold the wood pieces in place so that he could secure the fence itself 😀

A creepy touch near our front door is this dropcloth full of nice, welcoming sentiments, including Red Rum, which had to be explained to me since I haven’t seen that movie, and which are dotted with paint that will show up under black light.

You must pass under this sweet smiley face to get candy:

I noticed the shadows on my car and had to get a pic 😀

Finally, the windows seem to be getting angrier and angrier. Hmmm . . .

So, this is what awaits trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. We’re already thinking of what we (and by we, I mean Steve) will do for next year’s Halloween. It just never ends. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Leprechaun Trap!

Ah, the much awaited leprechaun trap. Last year my son was in kindergarten and I saw all the first graders proudly parading their creations — and now it’s his turn!

With his dad’s help, they created a seemingly innocent structure in friendly hunter green. A helpful ladder led to the top . . .

And what is that I see? A rainbow? And Lucky Charms?
Come on, little leprechaun, it’s only a few steps to the bounty!!!
Just ignore those lines of moss, they’re not hiding anything like cuts on the floor . . .

My sweet boy displaying his leprechaun trap.

I think they’re going to catch one or two greedy leprechauns, don’t you think?

A Valentine’s Day Exchange

I was thrilled to participate in a sweet gift exchange, hosted by the lovely Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects. She paired me up with Shannon from I’m Working on a Project – I was happy to discover that Shannon is a very talented quilter, which is the one craft I KNOW I have no patience for, so I am always amazed to see the care and time people spend to make their gorgeous quilts.

On Thursday the 9th I had just sent off Shannon’s goodies (bad bad blogger, I had meant to send them earlier!!!) when I came home to find a box waiting for me. It turns out Shannon is not only good at quilting with fabric but she does a mean paper weave too, check out this sweet card!

She was also thoughtful enough to send something for my boys – OMG, right??

My sons have never tried shrinky-dinks (and neither have I!) so I am totally looking forward to trying it with them.

This pretty bag — the blue is more turquoise in real life, she knows about my obsession with that color — is destined to hold my makeup 😀

Shannon also made me stationery in my favorite colors of turquoise and green:

My favorite gift (I loved them all, but check this one out) is this beautiful, quilted hanging piece:

It now hangs next to my desk as a reminder of the wonderful people I keep meeting online.

I am so thankful for all these sweet goodies, and for having met Shannon — if you want to see beautifully worked quilted pieces, definitely check out her blog – hope your Valentine’s Day is a wonderful one!

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!