Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Tour 2014

Happy "five-days-til-Christmas-Eve!"  I don't think we could be any more in the Christmas spirit if we tried!  We've watched every Christmas movie we own (five times), baked over 10 dozen cookies (+ counting!), sang every Christmas Carol, wrapped every present, and we still have plenty of Christmassy fun planned for this weekend!  As always, I wanted to share some photos of our Christmas decorations this year.  As you know, we try to theme each room in the house a little different and although I'm missing some rooms this year (need to still take pictures of our Iowa State Cyclones themed basement tree + the girls' rooms), here ya go!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Santa, We know him!

Let me just start by saying that we had a MUCH better experience with Santa than we did last year!  Remember last year my no make-up, 3 week post-partum self had to make an appearance in the photo  because although Avery was talking a big game, at the last minute she decided she wanted n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do with the man in the red suit.  Thank you computer, for letting me crop myself out of this gorgeous photo.
But a new year, new Santa day!  This year we adventured to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, where they win my award for "Best Mall Santa Set-Up." 
Right before you meet Santa, you get to go into your own private Ice Castle, where not only did you feel like Elsa, it really snowed!  It was hard to pry my kiddos out of there!  Let it go my children!
 And VOILA!  Successful Santa picture! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's a Beaut, Clark!

Our Thanksgiving weekend continued with our annual trip to Williams Tree Farm in Rockton, IL, a farm that I've been going to since I was little to get our Christmas tree.  With a chunk of our crew taken about by the flu, my sister-in-law jumped at the chance to get out of the germ infested house to join us (don't celebrate for her just yet, she got sick on Sunday!)  It always takes me a little while to find the perfect tree, and this year was no exception.  After 20 minutes of wandering around looking, I finally had one of these moments - and it was pure magic!
I have to say, I am so happy with how our tree turned out this year!  Our real tree takes us residence in the family room and I went with an all silver/diamond/snowflake theme again this year!

 Leg Lamp Onesie from one of my favorite Etsy shops, HERE


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Let's Talk Rugs!

Now that I am almost back up to date with my posts, I wanted to give a shout out before the mass amount of holiday posts roll in.  Today - we are giving 2 tinsel-covered thumbs up to Rug Pad Corner!

A couple of years ago, my mom gave me some fabulous West Elm rugs for Christmas {which by the way are all 30% off until Sunday!}.  My mom also got me the recommended rug pads, and since I had no experience buying rugs, I had never even heard the word "rug pad" before.  Fast forward two years, two kids, 2 dogs later - the rug pads were so worn, so dirty, stuck to the floor and well, so useless!  I tried a couple of weeks without rug pads, but apparently my kitchen floor is very slippery, so stepping on our rug was like stepping on ice!
I am so impressed by Rug Pad Corner's pads.  First of all, they are THICK - probably 4 times thicker than my original ones   They do not stick to the floor, but stay in place.  Magic, I assume?! They are all natural, chemical free, and American made {always a plus in my book!} If you are in the market for rug pads {long lasting, durable ones at that!}, make sure to use REVIEW15 for 15% off every order! And at a time where a penny saved is appreciated, shipping is always free too!  The best part - their pads are guaranteed for 15-20 years, so you know what that means - not only are they 15% off with free shipping, you basically will never need to purchase rug pads again!
Post sponsored by Rug Pad Corner, but all opinions are my own! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

To say this Thanksgiving was one for the books is the understatement of the year.

Rewind to the Saturday before Thanksgiving - Nick + I were in Des Moines for a wedding, so my parents were watching the girls.  Harper started throwing up Saturday night {of course the one night we are away from her!} and with no other symptoms, my parents assumed maybe she ate too much or had a little tummy ache.  She woke up Sunday morning and all was right in the world. 

Fast forward to Tuesday morning at 2am when I was woken up by Avery crying.  She told me she was all wet and I assumed she had an accident until I quickly noticed vomit all over her bed, chunks in hair included.  Wonderful, I thought!  I took her into my bathroom to give her a bath and suddenly I do not feel well.  For the next 2 hours Avery + I took turns throwing up - one of those time we even got to do at the same time, great mother/daughter bonding.  We fell asleep on the bathroom floor and finally made it into my bed when Nick got up for work.  By noon, both Nick + my dad had gotten sick at work and were on their way home.  Nick's bug lingered a day longer than the rest of ours, but we decided to host Thanksgiving for 11 people on Thursday as planned, and 19 people for another family gathering on Friday.  By Sunday night, a total of 17 people got some sort of flu bug, including a hospital stay for my poor brother.  Needless to say, no amount of Lysol in the world could have helped this nasty little bug from spreading.  Looking back, we should have just cancelled Thanksgiving, but it had been over 48 hours since any of us had thrown up and everyone was feeling back to normal (except Nick, who was still a teeny under the weather).  So, our Christmas may or may not be very quiet this year as I can't picture any of our families wanting us over to their houses!!!!

But before we ruined Thanksgiving weekend for the world, we did have a really fun weekend! Some highlights:
* Watching every Friends Thanksgiving episode the day before Thanksgiving.  Just might be my new tradition!  
*Avery decided she wanted all of the girls at dinner to make/wear feather headbands, so "Design a Headdress" station was born ... I wonder where she gets her creative genes from?! 
* This year I was thankful that my office "desk" and kitchen table are just about the same piece of furniture, so we were able to push the two together for a makeshift table that all 11 of us could sit around! 
* My DIY gold leaf placecards (here's your tutorial - 1.  find leaves 2. spray paint gold 3. write name in sharpie marker) were a pretty addition to our table, but the fact that my 89 year old grandma took hers home and wanted it displayed "somewhere she could see it" in her apartment just made my heart melt!  Back in the day, she was quite the crafter, and I like to think I got a lot of my creative + crafty spirit from her.


And no holiday could be complete without a good ol' Pinterest fail!  Ladies + gentlemen, I give you my Cinnamon Roll Turkeys.  {and believe me when I say this was the best of the bunch!}