Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I Made Wednesday: Santa's Bag

I'm so glad to be done with the shopping, wrapping, baking & the general hustle and bustle of Christmas! I love this time of year, but it seems like the to do list is never ending. And what do I do when that list is a mile long? I add another project to it!

(Sleep is totally overrated.)

Last week, I saw this Personalize Santa Bag on Pinterest and I pinned it to my Christmas board. After I was done making the ornaments for the boys' teachers last week, I had a bit of burlap left over. So over the weekend, I decided to whip up one of these bags for the boys.

I used my Silhouette to cut the words and the reindeer out of vinyl, then stuck them to the burlap. I used a paintbrush to stencil with black & red paint. Once it was dry, I peeled the vinyl off, then triple-stitched the panels together on three sides. I hemmed the top, tied it with a red ribbon & the bag was done!

I'm so happy with how it turned out & I can't wait to make it part of our Christmas traditions. We spent Christmas morning at home, then spent the rest of the day at my parents house this year-- a bag like this will be perfect to explain to the kids, "Santa dropped of presents at our house, but look! He dropped this bag off here, too!"

I posted a pic on Instagram a few days ago & had quite a few people say that they'd be interested in ordering one for their kids next year, so look for it in the etsy shop in the future! I just need a bit of time to recuperate from the holidays first.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

my heart.

This blurry pic brings tears to my eyes.
The two best things I've done in my life.
My boys. My heart.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Teacher Gifts 2012

Well, hello!

What do you think about the new view? I like it, but I'm not sure it's permanent-- the colors are so soothing, like a trip to the beach, but I'm finding the teal & gray hard to read, especially in the post titles. Anyway, it's a step in the right direction-- lighter, cleaner, brighter. Exactly what I need these days.

But, instead of this:

Here's more what I'm envisioning, with navy headers, links & post titles:

 Still simple-- just easier to read. The problem is, since I'm using a template that I purchased, the colors are all in the code-- no issues customizing my header in Photoshop, but I know almost nothing about HMTL. Luckily, my brother does & he's agreed to help me, so I may try a few things out over the next few weeks until I get it right. Suggestions welcome!

Today was the boys' last day of school until the beginning of the year-- we're sad for the break in our routine but we're so happy that the boys' awesome teachers get a vacation and get to spend time with their families. I love brainstorming ideas for teacher & class gifts-- here's a peek at what we did this year:

 I like to do something small for the boys' classmates & I saw these reindeer noses on Pinterest. I looked at FIFTEEN different stores to find round pretzels but had no luck. So I decided to go with 8 chocolate caramels and a cherry sour ball for my reindeer noses-- worked out perfectly. But the pretzels, I still thought sounded delicious so I've been whipping them up (on checkerboards) for our family Christmas party on Sunday.

When I saw these appliqued monogrammed burlap ornaments I knew that they'd be perfect for the boys' teachers-- they always love their appliqued outfits and I've even done some monogramming for them. I did each of the 4 teachers a red & white chevron burlap ornament with their monogram on them in lime green.

I saw an amazing sounding homemade spiked eggnog recipe on Pinterest, but I just couldn't spend the time making it from scratch. The idea stuck with me though, and I decided to use store-bought eggnog and spike it with Vanilla Vodka & Bailey's. (A perfectly fitting gift for preschool teachers, right?) I used the larger sized Starbucks Frapp bottles, spray-painted the caps, removed the labels and added my own:

The gifts were a big hit-- I hope these wonderful ladies know how much they bring to our boys' lives!

Now, to work on the million projects I have to get done before Christmas...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time for a change...

I've been itching to change my blog template for a while now... there are lots of changes happening in the Blakely house right now (more on that later) and I'm feeling like a blog facelift is in order.

I made the whale background when I found out that Liam was a boy-- previously when I was TTC, I had a pink & brown ribbon background. 

I'm longing for something a little lighter, a little simpler & a little more my style instead of the boys'.

So, don't be stunned if one day, you don't stumble upon this:

 Things may look a little different around here, but it's still  me!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Parade

Even though it's 70 degrees outside, we're trying to get into the Christmas spirit!

Last Sunday, my mom and I took the boys to their first Christmas parade--  they loved the band, the candy, the dancers & Santa riding on a fire truck!

Liam's favorite part was "driving" one of the vintage fire trucks after the parade-- We had a great day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Paying it Forward

This morning, I went through the Starbucks drive-thru as I usually do before work on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

When I pulled up to the window, the barista told me that the person behind me had paid for my order.

“Awesome-- Then, I’ll pay for the person behind me!” I said.

“You’re the 9th car in a row to pay for the next person’s coffee,” she told me.

How's that for a little holiday spirit?!