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Featured on Ruffled Blog!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Jasmine from Jasmine Nicole Photography, asked if I would be interested in doing a styled shoot with her (she a crazy good photographer). I was so excited to be asked (and a little nervous about screwing it up). Anyway, she let me know what she was thinking of doing and we met to discuss details.  Hopefully I will have pictures to show you all, but until then, you can check out the St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Shoot over on Ruffled Blog or on Jasmine’s blog.

Ruffled Blog Feature

12 Days of Christmas and Other Fun Things

12 Days of Christmas

This year I thought it would be crazy  fun to do a “12 Days of Christmas” for my incredible hubby.  He’s been working so hard for our family and taking care of us all, I wanted to do something to show him how much I love him and what he means to me. So Tuesday night I wrapped everything/finished creating things, and put it under the tree. (Need some ideas or an explanation? Check out Passionate Homemaking.)

Today was the first day. He opened his gift this morning.

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

On the 1st Day of Christmas

(on the left is a poem I found in the comments section of Passionate Homemaking explaining the 12 days) and on the right is a manly pipe pouch I found at Pottery Barn (it’s actually a cosmetics bag, but it works great for the pipe and tobacco!)

I also wanted to share with you a little something my hubby did for me for Christmas! He made a homemade advent calendar, filled with love notes and traditions/things for us to do together or as a family!

Homemade Christmas Advent Calendar

He hung it on the wall of our hallway (half on one side and half on the other.) It’s been so fun reading them everyday and discovering what we might be doing!

And for your viewing pleasure, a snapshot of  “the destructor”. Don’t let the smile fool you. He’s trouble!


12 Days of Christmas9

 

Christmas Traditions: Decorating Gingerbread Houses

I big-ol-heart Christmas. The month of December is one of my favorite of the year. I love the food, the gift giving, the decor, and the traditions. (Of course I feel I should add- the bestest part of Christmas is Jesus!)

Christmas at our house brings with it lots of traditions. Some of them are from our childhoods (like decorating houses!) and some of them are new ones that we started as a family.

This year, since Greg was serving at the church all day Sunday, Asa and I decided to invite a friend and his mom to come decorate gingerbread houses with us.

In the past I’ve made gingerbread houses with my dad, but we have ALWAYS had trouble with the icing not holding the houses together, and the gingerbread not being thick enough. This year I was determined to make it work.

There were three VERY important things I learned this time around.

1. Roll the gingerbread to 1/8 in thickness ONTO the cookie sheet (more on this later) and cut again immediately after baking.

2. The cheapest shortening is the best for houses.

3. Plan to work in three phases over three days. Bake, assemble, decorate.

PS- using cardboard- or an old pizza box- to make your templates, makes it way easier on your fingers when you have to recut the cookies immediately out of the oven. Oh! and use a pizza cutter to cut instead of a knife. Trust me- you’ll thank me!

There were a heck of a lot more tips I learned, but better to just send you to the blog I found all my tips on!

First, go and read Paula’s experience (and some tips!) at the Frog Prince Paperie. Then read Nicole’s (from TikkiDo) guest post on how to make a gingerbread house. Seriously, her recipes for both the gingerbread and icing are hands down the BEST I have ever used for a house.

The only other tip I would add is if you assemble the night before (like we did), place your leftover icing (because her recipe makes a TON) in an airtight glass lock/tupperware/whatever you use to store leftovers and place it in the fridge overnight. Take it out (with the lid on!) and let it sit on the counter about 20 minutes. Royal icing dries out fast so you don’t want to uncover until you have all of your decorations out and ready to go.

What Christmas traditions do you have at your house?

Where to Hang Your Stockings (When you don’t have a mantle)

Where do you hang your stockings when you don’t have a fireplace mantle?

The last few years we have placed our stocking holders on a bookshelf that was out of the way and the boys couldn’t/didn’t get into.

We use these stocking holders from Pottery Barn (I just love that we can change out our pictures every year! They were an investment, but I feel like they were worth it since we will be using them for the next 20- 50 years- once we get a house with a fireplace and mantle of course!)

Another shot.

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

This year we are keeping things REALLY simple since we are in the rental. Since half of our stuff is still packed up and in the garage we decided to only put up minimal Christmas decorations (hard since I LOVE decorating for Christmas!) We only put up one tree this year, pulled out the stockings and hung up a star. We also have a fabulous neighbor who kept asking if we were going to put up lights so we did that too.

But what if you don’t have stocking holders (or they are out of your budget right now? Or in our case, we didn’t want to take them out and didn’t have a good place out of the way of an 18 month old who’s nickname is “The Destructor”?) Well my friends, I’m going to share a little secret with you.

When I was growing up we had a fireplace but no mantle. My parents solved the dilemma of finding a home for stockings by being resourceful and using something they already owned. Enter the fireplace tool set. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Check it out! My parents would gather all of our stockings on the tool holder and every Christmas we would wake up to find them brilliantly displayed by the fireplace. If they were overly full we would find them on the fireplace bench. The great thing about using the tool holder is it can hold weight! It’s meant to.

Where does your family display the stockings?

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A Vintage/Anthropologie Inspired Little Man Baby Shower

I’m excited to share this vintage, Anthropologie, little man inspired baby shower with you all today!
Back in April a sweet friend of mine was going to be having a baby boy. I wanted to help plan/style the party. Since Tish (my friend) is a lover of all things eclectic, and is a photographer, it made sense to combine the two loves and create this dessert table.
We wanted to bring an indoor nursery outside and created a faux wall to help feature the desserts. We used family pictures, art, “G’ for baby Greyson, and a DIY deer head (my hubby made) to decorate the “wall”.
We served cookie cups, chocolate mousse, root beer floats (the momma to be’s favorite), fresh fruit and cake.
We used bow ties to add some whimsy to the cake stands, and mustaches to the drink dispensers in a nod to the little man that would soon be joining us.
We used a changing table for drinks and vintage children’s books for centerpieces.
The cake was amazing. Kim Garcia killed it.  Our inspiration was this fox and she made a HUGE edible version.
It was Ah-MAZ-ING. Inspiration found here.
Vendor Credits:

Amy Atlas Featured My Skippyjon Jones Birthday Party!!!

Amy Atlas featured my Skippyjon Jones Birthday Party! Oh man you guys. I am SO excited to share this with you. It’s been really hard to keep it a secret, but I now I can finally tell you! I submitted the boys Skippyjon Jones birthday party to the queen of dessert tables Amy Atlas, and they choose to feature my party! Whoo hoo!!! I would apologize for the overuse of exclamation points, but I’m that excited!

Anyway, you can go check out the feature here. I’ll have more on the party up a little later today. YAY!!!