Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Fun & An Upcoming Road Trip

Hi friends! I hope you have all been enjoying family, friends, and festive times! We have been busy in a good way over here, and soaking in every moment while we still have two little believers (I guess I should say one believer, and one mostly believer with a little skeptic thrown in there)! Christmas in KC is always fun. We have done some of the same, and tried some new things this year. And our December weather has been unseasonably warm - I love it! We are hoping for a few snowfalls this year though. It's not a midwest winter without a little snow!

We always see the Von Maur Santa. He is the best and the lines usually aren't very long! I guess they are getting too big for laps. Sniff, sniff.

A family pic from when we picked out our Christmas tree. It was the coldest day of the year and all of the trees were full of ice. We found a good one and have been enjoying it so much - and it still smells good!

I turned 36 big ones this month...officially on my way to a bigger birthday in a few years. I feel good about it. In my head, I still feel 25, and my 30's have been my greatest years to date, so I can't complain! I dragged my needle fearing hubby out to donate blood on my birthday. It's an important cause for me because I received blood transfusions after Kate was born. He was a first-timer and it was comical to say the least (see second photo)!  He survived, and I think I might have even convinced him to start going more consistently. Let's jus say he needed ice packs, sprite, and lots and lots of encouragement.  :)

We were able to sneak away for a little overnight date night with our best friends down on the Plaza for a little birthday/holiday celebration. We ate at Gram & Dun (outside by the fire!), strolled the streets, and enjoyed kid free time. Ever thankful for grandparents who watch our kids overnight.

We missed the holiday lights tour on the bus this year, but we did a tour of our own one night in PJ's with Grandma and Grandpa in tow. Christmas Place in Overland Park is a small neighborhood with a great display. This year they had a Salvation Army donation bucket in one of the cul-du-sacs. What a great idea!

We had never been to Union Station at the holidays and it did not disappoint in the beauty department. Union Station is one of the places that just puts off good vibes. I just love it.

That same night, we saw the Governor's tree at Crown Center. Our kids love busting out of the suburbs, especially this time year.

The boys in my life went to opening night of the new Star Wars movie. They both loved it! It is so fun for Steve to have a son who is just as into it as he was as a kid. I don't get it, but I love seeing them so excited. :)

And while the boys were at Star Wars, the girls made and served food at a local women/children's shelter. The shelter was hosting a Christmas party for their residents and we were lucky enough to share in their excitement by serving. Kate was a rockstar and is already asking when we can help again. This was my favorite thing we did this December. Our hearts are full.

And lastly, Kate was part of a trio/solo group at church this past Sunday. Here is just a small snippet.  Another favorite moment for me. For the record, I cried. :)


We also decided this month that we would be taking a 10-day road trip to California over Christmas break!! Our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes are heading to the Rose Bowl and we are heading there too!

My parents were already planning on it, so we decided to just make it a family adventure! I haven't been on a road trip with my parents in over 20 years! I am sure there is going to be lots of fun and exhaustion along with way, but I can think of no better way to make memories with our kids! I would love for you to follow along on our adventures on Instagram! xo

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

Welcome to this little blog and our home! It's been a busy few months around here, but our halls have been decked and our lights have been strung, and we are enjoying unseasonably warm temps here in Kansas City! I'll take it!

I am so pleased to be participating in this Christmas Home Tour with so many talented bloggers. A huge thank you to Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for organizing. The tour left off yesterday with Sherry from No Minimalist Here and you can find links to all the home tours at the bottom of this post!

I do say the term "home tour" loosely because I really only decorate a few rooms on the first floor of our home. It's where we spend the most time and where we entertain, so that seems like enough to me! I went very minimal this year and left much of our Christmas stuff in the basement. I wanted to keep our regular home decor at the forefront and supplement with festive and fresh touches. My husband and kids recently told me how much they love our home this time of year because it's so cozy. Creating a warm, inviting space for your friends and guests doesn't have to be time consuming or stressful! I don't decorate for the blog, I decorate because I love doing it. I also have young kids who won't remember a perfect house, but will remember time spent together. When my family feels cozy and at home, I have done my job. Sharing with you is just a bonus! :)

We installed a new front door this year (my favorite upgrade of the year), and it looks especially great with fresh garland around it! Can you find me?! Those container pots were a fun little DIY project this year too!

Our dining room is right inside the front door. I wanted to keep it simple and classic in here, so I jazzed up the bar cart, added a wreath to the large mirror, and added fresh greens.

We have a very open concept first floor, so our tree always finds a home right in between the living room and dining room. From here, it can be seen from every angle and room. We always pick out a real Frasier Fir, and the kids love decorating and pulling out the ornaments. Our tree topper is an inexpensive glitter bow, and our tree skirt is a $13 blanket!

Our living room is very neutral this year with fresh garland on the mantle, mixed metallics, and non-traditional pillows. The tree is the shining star in this room, as it should be!

More fresh garland, a DIY glitter garland, and a white poinsettia round out our eating area. Fresh plants/flowers/garland never disappoint. And pink is festive in this house all year long!

I added a fresh wreath at the kitchen window and decided to display our holiday cards on the pantry this year using pink satin ribbon and clothespins. It adds such fun color to the kitchen! You can see our chalk wall peeking out to the left.

We have made summer and fall bucket lists on our chalkboard, but this is the first year for a winter list. The kids love these and it keeps me from having to change the chalkboard too often! This chalk wall is one of my absolute favorite things in our home...such a fun conversation piece!

Thank you for stopping by our home! I hope you are enjoying this time with your family and friends and taking a little time to relax and give yourself a break!

Our home has looked different the past two years, so please check those tours out too!

The next stop on the tour is Eleven Gables. I hope you will check out all of these Christmas home tours and link up yours at the end of this post! I would love for you to start following along too! xo

Monday - Dec 7th
Tuesday - Dec 8th
Wednesday - Dec 9th
Thursday - Dec 10th

Monday, December 7, 2015

DIY Winter Friendly Container Pots + Holiday Home Tours

Hello and happy December! I've decked the halls and kept it pretty minimal this year with lots of fresh greenery inside and out. More to come on this as I am participating in a blogger home tour this week (see below for the line up)!

For the outside of our home, I decided I wanted to try to make some winter friendly container pots for the front porch using tree trimmings and things I already had on hand. Several of my friends and neighbors made some at a local nursery recently, but I wasn't able to go. They turned out very pretty and well done. Here is my late night, no cost, DIY version!

Steve was out of town, so I decided late one night to get started in the garage. I have no photos of the actual making of these because it was dark and cold and I was hurrying to finish! 

1. black pots (already owned)
2. tree trimming from our Fraiser Fir tree from Lowe's (they always have tree trimmings on hand you can get for free even if you don't get a real tree)
3. pinecones (had a large stash in the christmas bins from previous projects)
4. gold glittery branches (I picked these up last year from a craft store)
5. silver glittery sticks (picked up for $2 at Joann Fabrics)
6. red holly sticks (already had in stash)
7. red glitter sticks (already had in stash)
8. pine garland (picked up at Trader Joe's for $7)
9. rocks/pepples for weight

I basically ransacked my Christmas stash for anything that I could stick in these pots. I added some rocks/pebbles to the pots to weigh them down, about half way. I started with the tree trimmings and just started sticking them in. I then cut pieces of the pine garland to spill over the sides of the pot. Once the greenery was full, I added in all the glitter sticks and holly in random places. I topped them off with the pinecones for a little added earthiness and texture.

There is no rhyme or reason or strategy, just eyeball it and go for it! You could even use sticks form the yard! I know craft stores also sell birch sticks, but I was going for minimal cost here. These literally take 10 minutes to assemble and overall was a super inexpensive project. They are just the boost our porch needed this year!

I plan to spray these with water every now and then, just as I do the garland around the door. I'm not sure how long they will last, but hopefully through December! The home tour I'm participating in started today, and my tour will be on Friday!

I'm so pleased to have been asked by Marty from A Stroll Thru Life to participate in her Christmas Home Tours this year! I hope you will check out every home and get inspired! What I love about design and blogs and people sharing their homes is that everyone has their own unique style, and they are all to be appreciated. It's so fun to peak inside and see what people do with their homes at the holidays! Ive directly linked the home tours for today! xo

Monday - Dec 7th

Tuesday - Dec 8th

Wednesday - Dec 9th

Thursday - Dec 10th

Fri - Dec 11th

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