Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adieu to you, 2009. Good riddance. 2010, you better be nice!

New Year's Eve is an interesting night in my book. I remember being younger and crazier, hard to imagine since I'm still crazy just not as young. Getting ready for a big party. Enjoying the process. Make-up, outfit, when do we arrive, when do we leave? It all used to be so fun and mysterious. Now....not so much. And I like it so much more. is the plan.

Snuggy pants. check.

Drink in hand. check.

People I love close and safe. check

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve dialed in and ready to rock. check. (Oh Ryan Seacrest, you media-whore you! and I hope Dick doesn't show up. It really brings me down.)

7 layer dip. check. (Ladycakes eats it like a starved child. Cotillion might help that.)

Resolutions. check. (All in my head and totally unattainable. Really Jen, debt-free in 2010?Are you high? 20 pounds lighter? Have another! Reading with your children every night before bed? Get a grip!)

However. I do know that I am lucky and happy. Faced with a few new things but that's okay. From pre-pubescent children to an almost Kindergartener. Old dogs who just keeping getting older and young dogs who act old. Household junk that needs to be handled and so not prepared to take care of them. Honestly, I missed the class on budgeting.

I love my husband. He is calm and in control. He keeps me in check. Ladycakes is lovely. Finding her way and becoming her own darling self. Someone I wish I could be. She will rule the world. Q is brilliant and funny and handsome and wonderful. Elvis. Oh Elvis. I am so glad I have you. I relish each and every moment with you. As my youngest, you remind to stop and remember. Don't just blow through it to get to the next, really enjoy it. No matter how rotten or misbehaved or gross it is.

Adieu 2009. I've had enough. I'm done with you. 2010. I love you. You are fresh and new and full of promise. Tomorrow everything changes.

Happy, Happy friends.

And because it is...just listen. Add this to my Life Soundtrack.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post- 40, Post -Christmas, Pre- New Year Rant

*This picture makes everything I say below go away. I love these boys. I love being their mama. How lucky am I? So f*^%ing lucky!

Life is all new for this 40 year old. I hate 40. I'll get over it. I'll be more positive. It's just going to take awhile. I was going to be that 40 year old who suddenly got it all together. She was physically-fit, financially-fit, emotionally-fit, creatively-fit, wake-up-in-the-morning-rocking-it-fit. I am SO not fit. On so many levels. It's pretty on the outside (okay maybe it's not) but inside, it's ugly. I'll take care of it. I take care of things. 2010. It's gonna be okay. I guarantee it. I'm working on it.

On a lighter note, we got great stuff for Christmas. Seriously great. The people in our life know how to buy gifts. It's something I wish I were better at doing. I make gifts. I'm that annoying friend, sister-in-law, aunt, sister, .....who makes gifts. I should stop. The gifts we got rocked.

Now, how do I get nine, eleven and four year olds to write THANK YOU notes? Threaten them with "Sit your ass down and write thank you notes?" They WILL write thank you notes.

*Mr. Handsome took offense to this, don't take offense, it's just a 40 year old spouting her mouth." Here it comes... super offensive.

It may kill this 40 year old but at least at my funeral, people will say "Her children wrote the nicest thank-you notes!" Did that offend? Hope not but if so, let me know. I can handle it.

This is my post-40, post-Christmas, pre-New-Year rant. I will be better, I promise. Much thanks to my new followers, my readers and my cute family. Thanks for tolerating me. I'm annoying, I know it. But, I've got stuff to talk about damn it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our wish for the New Year.

From our hive to yours. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

40 things.

The Goat - Capricorn explained.
December 22 to January 20

Capricorn Traits

Practical and prudent
Ambitious and disciplined
Patient and careful
Humorous and reserved

On the dark side....

Pessimistic and fatalistic
Miserly and grudging

I have a few things to say. I'm entitled. It's my birthday. I have 40 things I'd like to talk about. It may ramble. It may make sense, it may not. It's all important to me. Fasten your seat belts, it's about to begin. In no particular order.

1. I am really happy. Not every day, because no one is really happy EVERY day. But for the most part I am really happy.

2. My life has not turned out how I thought it would. I'm a dreamer, some things don't happen how we think they will.

3. I am still the same person I was 20 years ago, except I'm different.

4. I am silly most of the time. But I do get really serious and then it's.... well serious.

5. I have had my heart broken. Really broken. I think I'm lucky. When my children deal with this, I will understand.

6. I don't like to watch the same movie over and over. If I've seen it once, I've seen it. However, once convinced I will watch a movie for the second, third or fourth time.

7. I like fruitcake. I like my mom's fruitcake. She thinks I'm a fruitcake for liking her fruitcake.

8. I was a gymnast. I was a good gymnast. Then I was a swimmer, I was a really good swimmer. I loved being both. I loved being good.

9. Babysitter Casserole is one of my favorite recipes. My mom made it up. It involves ground beef, elbow macaroni and cream of mushroom soup. It is delicious and a family recipe.

10. I know my very best friend. Her name is Chris Brown. She is THE best friend I have ever had. And, I still know her. I met her when I was 5. 35 years ago. If I could see her today, she would make me laugh so hard I would spit milk in her face or out my nose. Either way, don't matter. I adore her.

11. I have been pregnant 4 times. The 2nd time was the worst. I didn't have a baby the second time. It broke my heart.

12. My brother is amazing. I have always been in awe of him. He is an amazing artist. Terrificly funny. Crack me up funny. He challenges our parents. I respect him and love him.

13. I love my sister-in-law. I know. Crazy, right? I love her. She is charming, beautiful and loves my brother. I'm lucky.

14. I love my other sister-in-law. She's married to my husband's oldest brother. I love her. She smart. She's funny. She respects me. I totally respect her. Together we will keep this thing moving. We will move mountains. She's amazing.

15. I love sour patch kids, hershey bars and twix. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy.

16. Movies I have enjoyed are, Nanny McPhee, Elf, The Hangover, Old School...... There have to be more, they'll show up late.

17. I wish I could sing. In front of a crowd. And dance.

18. I have danced, late at night with really good friends, to Madonna. And filmed it. And then watched it. And then laughed really loud. It was classic and fun and worth every minute of drunken-ess.

19. I know my sister. I don't have a sister. But I know who it would be if I had one. She is the most amazing woman I know. Her name is Geri. Her dad looks like my dad. Her mom is my other mom. I want to be Geri. I love her with all of my heart. She is smart, creative, generous and amazing. She is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

20. I LOVE MY HUSBAND! He drives me crazy, he makes me laugh, he loves me unconditionally, he gives me more than you can imagine. I LOVE HIM LIKE CRAZY.

21. I will eat cake batter out of the bowl. Without hesitation. Raw eggs. So what. I will eat cake batter out of the bowl.

22. Twenty two is my favorite number. It is the perfect number. I don't know why it just feels right.

23. Seagrams-7 and diet sprite is my drink of choice. I will also drink Bacardi and diet coke. Jose Cuervo and Crystal Light lemonade. Vodka and I don't know. I don't love wine or beer. But I won't turn it away.

24. I love the smell of lavender. I wish I could grow lavender. I live at high altitude. I can't grow lavender.

25. My children are my greatest achievements. I will not have a greater achievement. They are amazing. Every day they amaze me. They are smart, kind, beautiful and incredible. They will be outstanding adults.

26. I love my parents. They don't drive my crazy. I hope to be half the adult they both are. They have worked incredibly hard for what they have. I hope I can be like them.

27. I have no clue how to apply make-up. I so desperately want to have "smoky eyes" It just turns out a mess. Like rock star falls asleep in her make-up bad. Some day. Some day.

28. I have learned to hate. I hate that. But I do hate.

29. It takes huge effort to make me get out and do something. I throw a fit, find a bunch of stuff to do and then alphabetize something before I go outside and do something. Then I go outside and do something and I love it.

30. I am an enormous pain in the ass.

31. I rarely communicate with anyone from my high school years. I tried Facebook for a while. It did not bring out the best in me. It's ugly. It's silly. My husband brought that to my attention. See why I love him? He reminds me of the what is important.

32. I dream of being a farmer. I want to have chickens and goats and a garden of sorts. I cannot slaughter anything so I will have to be a vegetarian farmer or buy my meat at Costco. I would love to raise bees. I'm allergic to bees.

33. I buy things in bulk. Not just bulk but pallets. If I can buy a "lot" of something I will. A "pallet" bring it on. I should have been raised in another era or another religion.

34. My friend Laura, is remarkable. She is who I hope to be 28 years from now. I don't know how old Laura is so I'm assuming. You know about assuming. "It makes an ASS out of U and Me." I love what she loves, I love her. I feel really lucky to have her in my life.

35. I have owned quite a few pets in my life. From the pets at my house w/ parents...Samurai, my first cat that was mine. To animals we have owned into marriage and parenthood. I love them all. Jack, Sheba, Bojo, Hagen, Emma, Titus. Some are still with us, some are not. I hate losing them.

36. I have great friends. I have great friends who are parents to my kid's great friends. I score.

37. Hilary is adorable, loveable and smart. She has a great sense of style, I envy it. She is an amazing mom and SHE'S MY FRIEND.

38. LeeAnne is beautiful, fashionable and hilarious. She handles people like you wouldn't believe, she could be the First Lady. In fact, that's what I'm going to start calling her. She is an amazing mom and SHE'S MY FRIEND.

39. I'm crafty. Crazy crafty. I have a ton of craft material in my midst. I have pom-poms, fabric, glue, paste, adhesive, pins, thread, felt, paper, foam, paint, glitter, fringe, stamps, buttons, beads, you name it I've got it. And, by golly, I'm gonna use it.

40. I'm 40 and Holy Shit I'm going to shine. This is it folks. Look out. Here I come!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This could be your Christmas present, all you have to do is ask!

So, someone (like your spouse) says, "what do you want for Christmas?" And you just don't know what you "want." I know it gets hard, you stop thinking about what you want cuz you're too concerned about what everyone else wants. So? How about a class? A really fun class, with a really fun gal. She's the girl next door, the daughter you want your daughter to be, the girl your son has fallen in love with, the best friend you yearn for AND one kick-ass photographer! Check, Check, Check it! MEET JAMIE SAMPSON. I'm not yelling at you, I'm just getting your attention!
Wow, not only is the photography amazing but that child is beautiful

WHOA! What a minute, look at this one, clearly good genes going on here. That kid needs an agent. Anyone know where he could find one?

Here's the scoop in the photographer's words.... wait these are my words, her's follow. " She's awesome and you'd be lucky to receive this, even if you have to buy it for yourself?"

HERE IT IS! In her words.

"A full day with Jamie? Learning everything she knows? Interested?
The details: A full day including in-studio and on-location (natural light) shooting with models (lighting, posing, all the details), photo shop technique (how to get your colors to pop), marketing, learning how to interact with your subjects and getting them to look natural, have fun and be themselves, pricing, developing your own style and branding, the whole sha-bang. If you have questions, I will answer them. Includes lunch.
It is a one-on-one day of whatever you need. Teaching one-on-one allows the day to be customized to you, to work on what you need and the areas that you are interested in.
It is a chance to learn everything I have spent the last 8 years of my life perfecting. I wish I would have had the opportunity to learn from a pro in the business, it would have saved me hours and days of tears and frustration.
The investment: $800 (full day, 8 hours) or $1000 (full day plus 2, 10 hours)
The rules: Prices above apply to those who live at least 150 miles from Salt Lake. If you are local add $500 onto the prices above.
Interested or have questions, please email me at
****If you book your mentoring session for 2010 before Christmas 2009 save $150.****
Hubby’s…. mentoring makes a fabulous Christmas gift for your photographer honey."

My words again.
Think about it... it's worth the investment. Merry Christmas to you!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Seducing them with craftiness.

Ladycakes, Q and Elvis have some great friends on our street. Best friend kind of friends. We feel really lucky to live in a place where you can run down the block and play at your buddies house. We like spreading the holiday love here at the hive. We wanted to let our pals know we're thinking of them. However, I really like these kid's parents too. I want them to keep liking me. So instead of buying more crap that none of them needs, I'm seducing them with craftiness.

I mentioned that I am trying to use what I have, cuz I have A LOT! And I know I've brought up the puppets already. But look what I came up with. I'm quite pleased with myself.

With the leftover puppets, googly-eyes, pom poms, rick-rack, ribbon and fabric scraps, I came up with some kits for our friends to work on over the winter break.

Tucked into a nice plastic bag and the addition of some directions, these make a great little gift. I am hoping they can all get together and put on some sort of huge Gingerbread puppet play and we can film it. Then when they are all teenagers we'll bust out that video and humiliate the hell out of 'em!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Over-Achievers Unite! We will take over the world!

When Elvis's preschool director asked if I would be willing to help out with their Christmas program, what do you think I said? "Heck no, It's the holidays. Do you know how busy I am?"

Hardly, I'm ALL OVER this kind of stuff. In fact so much so, I couldn't run to my car fast enough to drive home and start to sift through my supply of cardboard.

She put me in charge of the fireplace and bed props for the "Twas the Night Before Christmas" extravaganza. I love that woman.

Here is the shell of the fireplace. Cut up the largest cardboard box I could find in our supply and gave it some legs so it would stand.

Next I busted out the SuperPaint. I know what you're saying. "Hey Jen, that's exterior paint, in fact isn't that the color of your garage doors? And does Mr. Handsome know you are painting that on your kitchen floor?" And I say back at you, "Just shut up and listen, it's for the preschoolers!"

So after a rough coat of paint, because bricks and fireplaces are never perfect. A little grout (buttermilk white paint) and a tissue "fire," I constructed the ideal fireplace for St. Nick to come down in a bound! I wrapped the legs in gift wrap and added some wire ribbon to give them a little dimension. It looks great!

Never mind that no one will actually see the fireplace because we will all be looking at our darling darlings performing their hearts out or totally melting down on stage. It will be magical, adorable or completely stressful. What the hell, it's Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Want an inexpensive, high impact gift? Look here!


For the rest of you (maybe 2 other readers, thanks for checking in btw) look at how cute these are!

Candles, World Market, they smell yummy and have great colors. Match boxes, grocery store. Paper, remember that supply of craft materials I told you about? Well, I'm putting it to use.

With the addition of some beads and glitter that I also have on hand, these silly store bought matches suddenly seem high society. They look great and have been personalized for each recipient (color and style-wise.) My Chattanooga readers, go to Sophie's, buy some candles and add your own matches. What an idea!

A little better view, pardon the flash. I matched paper to candle color. It was fun to work out who would receive what... this is what I love about Christmas.

Hilary, LeeAnne and Lisa. You looked. You aren't getting your presents. Shame on you! *wink, wink, kiss, kiss*

My fave Christmas Song. "Silver Bells" This is Donny and Marie style for my Utah crowd. Enjoy every minute of it ladies and gentleman. It's delightful.!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saving the world. One Pringles Can at a time.

Remember when I threatened you with a project involving Pringles and Hot Chocolate containers? It was at the end of this post. Well here it is, clearly not a new idea but a fun one nonetheless.

Here are the containers (check that fabric stash in the background!) TOO. MUCH. FABRIC!
The bees here at the hive do not recommend the Craver Onion Blossom flavor btw. Not to fond of those.
Here are the supplies you need. Careful with that Craft Bond, it is sticky. And the overspray is hard to get rid of. After a little measuring (Pringles cans require 10" x 15" of paper) a little gluing and patience to get the paper to stay smooth on the cylinder, here's what you get.

Cute for storing craft supplies. I refuse to buy anymore plastic bins. I would rather re-use what would become garbage. These could even hold gifts. I'm sure your best friend won't care that the great gift you bought her now smells like Pizza Flavored Pringles. If she does, get rid of her!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you ride the bus with Ladycakes and read this blog, keep this on the Down-Low!

So, Here at the Hive, we are low-keying it for Christmas. Really trying to only give what we need for Christmas or make fun gifts for each other. It's a bit of a challenge for all of us, I'll admit it. I'm the first to get caught up in the Holiday Frenzy of Consumerism. I'm a shopper.

In her Advent calendar, Ladycakes received those funny capsules that you put in water that dissolve and become foam creatures. She went through the motions and then just put them on the kitchen counter. I put them in her room. She threw them away. I freaked out because I had an idea. I dug them out of our BIG dumpster. When I have an idea, I like to see it through.
Above you can see that I have added googly-eyes and small pom-pom noses.

Then I went ahead and added a magnet strip on the back. Ladycakes is in middle-school, magnets are essential.

Here they are in their magnetic glory. Aren't they cute? She's gonna dig them. They will keep things hanging up in her locker. And every time she looks at them she'll say "My mom, she's SO cool!" N O T !

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm feeling the crunch and I'm not talkin' Ab exercises!

I'm trying to come up with ideas that utilize supplies I have been hoarding for a while and gifts that will be fun for some of the folks on my Christmas list. I have quite a bit of craft felt. I also have a supply of puppet forms I purchased from Oriental Trading. I had dreams of making puppets that I could use to tell goodnight stories to my children. I'm a dreamer. (That supply is going to another project, another post.)

So I used the puppet form and the felt to create more puppets (there is a method to this madness) and got a mad, crazy idea.
I have a heat-transfer machine. Oh yea baby, I do. I own one. You know, the kind they used in the kiosks at the mall in the 80's. You probably had a Wham! t-shirt made at one of them.

Or one of these, you still have it don't you, in your pajama drawer? (if you don't check where those take you, take a minute and then just go for it.) Here it is. In my garage. It's there because it blows the fuse box if it's inside and the fumes from the transfers are toxic. I'm sure of it. (Sorry for the garage picture, it's like flashing your dirty laundry!)
I have been wanting to use the transfers for something other than t-shirts, that just gets old. Fun, but I want to be more" outside of the box." Well these little robots seem like great characters for a story or two. I know a kid who has a super funny Dad, who, with these puppets will tell some MAD FUNNY tales.
I hope it inspires my little pal to be creative and his Dad too. I can't wait for them to video tape their tales and share them with me. It will be delightful!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I got caught crafting in public and I LIKED it.

Those of you who have been tuning in have noticed I enjoy craft blogs. Have you been wondering about my crafting skills? Have you been asking, "Does this woman have any creative abilities?" Well, I don't know because my self-esteem is not what it should be, but here we go anyway. Meet my sewing machine. It's a Pfaff 1222. I love this thing. It was my Grandma's. It's amazing. I think she would be proud that I use it.

Meet what I have been working on this week. Dog toys. I love dogs. I love to sew. I got caught crafting in public. Mr. Handsome tolerated me taking a bag of fiber-fill into a swim meet so I could stuff dog toys. He tolerated a conversation between myself and a voyeur crafter (some lady staring at me while I stuffed dog toys at the swim meet.) I will admit when it comes to being creative and talking crafts, I'm pretty passionate. Mr. Handsome has gotten used to this, he puts up with me. I think he thinks it's sexy. This is how my conversation went, in abbreviated form.

craft voyeur: "Excuse me, what are you making?"

me (a bit shocked): "Oh, they are dog toys."

C.V.: "I thought so, but then I wasn't sure. They're cute."

me (still a bit shocked): "Thanks, they are really fun to make. Do you sew?"

C.V.: "Yes, I do. I just finished hand-piecing quilts for my boys for Christmas."

me: "Wow, that's impressive. Will they like that for Christmas?"

C.V.: "I sure hope so."

me, thinking to myself: "My boys would be totally pissed if I gave them hand-pieced quilts for Christmas. Q would want to know how his Wii remote plugs into the quilt and Elvis would be looking for how it becomes a Transformer."

C.V.:"Do you sell your dog toys online?"

me (embarrassed because how many times has Mr. Handsome said, "you should sell those online"): "Oh no! I just have friends who buy them from me."

Mr. Handsome: SCOWL!

me: "Have fun sewing!"`

So after recycling Calvin Kleins that I have been saving since 1987. And loving every minute of it. Here are the personalized dog toys, complete with squeakies inside. The luckiest dogs in all of Oregon are receiving these as Christmas gifts because of my cute friend, Geri. And while we are at it. Meet the Wonder Dogs. Our dogs. We love them as much as we love our children. They are amazing.

Left, is Titus, the one-eyed Wonder or "That Naughty Dog (TND)". On the right is Emma or "TND's accomplice". She's as naughty as he is, only she comes off as innocent. Just like Mr. Handsome! TND is new to us. Adopted at 8 years old. We are just getting to know him. He LOVES to eat. Want to see what he loves to eat? Here we go.....

One bag of Generic Frosted Flakes. I buy bag cereal. It's cheaper.

Bread, any kind of bread. Bread off the counter is the best. White, wheat, rye. Doesn't matter.

A little frozen chili with some Ziploc bag to go with that bread? Even better. No matter that it's frozen. TND loves a challenge. He has also eaten 2 lbs. of raw ground beef with the styrofoam tray, 23 cupcakes and 18 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (That's a whole story in itself, Hey Jay!) I have a new list on my sidebar. It's what TND has eaten and survived. I love that dog so much I'm making him dog toys for Christmas. He'll probably eat them.

Let's sing one more round of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" everybody. And Cole stop touching Ethan!

Okay, so here's how the story begins. And not Twas The Night Before Christmas story, however that has something to do with it.

This morning I took Elvis to school. He was more excited than usual because I was staying for a little while. You see, since I am still in the running for Mother of the Year, I volunteered to help Elvis's class work on their lines for their Christmas Program. They are reciting Twas The Night Before Christmas. It's going to be a disaster. I'll tell you right now. 4 year olds trying to remember "kerchief", "coursers" and "bowl full of jelly." Honestly. But I agreed to help so I'll try to be positive.

Well, we arrived at school and the kids in his group were sitting in their circle working on the alphabet. We are always late. Poor Elvis is only going to know the last 9 letters of the alphabet. I sat down in the group and suddenly an announcement comes booming over the PA system. "We are now experiencing an immediate lockdown. Please begin lockdown procedures."

You gotta be sh*tting me! The teachers gather up 17 two, three and four year olds plus me and shove us into a 6 x 12 foot bathroom that is also being used as a teacher coat room and storage closet and shut the door. I was informed at this time that it was a "practice" lockdown and not to panic. Oh thanks for telling me cuz standing here with all these little guys thinking this was a "real" lockdown wasn't doing my already high blood pressure any good.

Needless to say folks, when they do a lockdown, all the rooms in the building must be checked and cleared before you can come out. WE WERE IN THERE FOR 55 MINUTES! Not kidding. We sang, read a book, played "I spy", recited the ABC's (Elvis was shocked to hear the 15 letters that come before the letter "R".) I think I heard the teachers say, "I know you are hot, I am too and please stop touching so and so" probably 15,000 times.

Elvis's teachers rock. They did the best they could in very tight quarters. If it was a "real" lockdown, God forbid, they would keep those little people safe. I am glad I was there for Elvis. It was scary. It's sad we have to practice these things. I would have much rather heard Twas The Night Before Christmas recited by 4 year olds. No matter how painful.

*Regarding the video above. It's totally amateur but cute nonetheless. I hope when Ladycakes, Q and Elvis are in their twenties they remember and appreciate all of our family traditions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My house smells like a pine forest. That's a good thing.

So as you can imagine, in between helping study for Social Studies, plowing snow off the driveway and "encouraging" the adolescent bees at this hive to CLEAN THEIR ROOMS (okay there was some yelling and threats of no Christmas tree) we managed to decorate the house for Christmas. I think I mentioned here that I just wasn't feelin' it. It's a lot of work and all I could think was "I'll be putting it all away in 3 weeks." I got over it and it was fun. Wanna see?

Here is Mr. Handsome opening his birthday present. Happy Birthday, honey!

The tree got some twinkling white lights, then I walked away and when I turned around the only lights that were lit were the bottom strand. Stupid Christmas. I figured it out. The strand right in the middle of tree died. So I just took it out. No big. Sorry Christmas, I like you again.

Here's the whole thing decorated. Now when we first moved the furniture around (this is a new spot for our tree) I began to shake, then I felt queasy, then I freaked out. Because this long, narrow room looked BAD! Seriously, making room for a tree in your house isn't natural. But after some shifting and one of Mr. Handsome's rum and diet cokes. I found that it actually looks good. And, because I can justify ANYTHING, listen to this. The space is very intimate this way, meaning there's not a lot of room to move around. Perhaps, because of this, less presents will actually seem like more presents. Are you feelin' me? Less is more. Less is more.
This is a little village I set up. A la, Alicia over at Posie Gets Cozy. For years, I collected birdhouses, including all the little birdhouses the children had painted. But then they started to bug me. I was just moving on from the birdhouse thing. So I put them all with the Christmas decor. They work perfectly with the little elves, snowmen and vintage chenille Santas I've acquired over the years.

Here it is in full and not lit. It really is pretty at night.

And this little fellow is keeping an eye out for naughty children. Won't find any here, Mr. Elf! **wink, wink**

And finally, the stocking were hung by the chimney with care. Note that Elvis does not have the adorable cross-stitched name "pillow" on his stocking. Poor child, he'll actually be the most well-adjusted of the bunch. He was my decorating buddy through all of this. He reminded me of how magical this season is through the eyes of a child. Every time we unwrapped an ornament from it's tissue he would say "Oooooh, this is soooo cute!" Seriously, everytime. Even when we opened the plastic Grinch in a sleigh, straight from a Happy meal ornament. It was awesome. Thanks for helping me find my Christmas spirit, Elvis!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

50-8=39( at least at this house) It's new math. All the schools are teaching it.

This week Mr. Handsome celebrated a birthday. It was his birthday that he celebrated. Not just some birthday at his office, which by the way are crazy ridiculous. They buy a huge sheet cake for the birthday person and the office goes at it like vultures who haven't seen carrion in six months. Then those who haven't fallen into a mid-afternoon sugar coma, sneak back in to grab any leftover cake to take home to their families so they can celebrate all over again at home. Gross.

Anyhoo, that's not where I'm going with this. I just wanted you to know that Mr. Handsome is very kind to always spend his birthday picking out our Christmas tree. It's our birthday/Christmas tradition. I think he likes it, but don't tell him I know. The kids really like it and by all means we live to please them! Our sacrifice is their reward, every single day!

We love Mr. Handsome here at the hive. Love him like the worker bee that he is! He's the best dad and husband this hive could have. We are so lucky! He's going to get his fair share of the honey! Eeewww, TMI!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Handsome.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hilary made me buy that! Really, she said I NEEDED it.

Check, check, check it! Look at these.... I mean, really look. These are why Advent calendars ROCK! Are you kiddin' me? Spongebob sweatbands! I'm thinkin' just regular sweatbands would have rocked Elvis' world but Spongebob? It's perfection. He wore them to swimming lessons. Not just TO swimming lessons but to swimming lessons. Like in the pool with his goggles swimming lessons. It's marvelous. You actually do sweat when you swim you know. For the picture, I made him wear them with Spongebob's face looking toward his hands. However, for real life wearage... he prefers Spongebob's face looking right up at his. They have a relationship, with that configuration they can communicate. It works for Elvis.

You'll be pleased to know Q opened his Advent calendar today and found........wait for it..............
Spongebob sweatbands! It's beautiful! Although Mr. Handsome immediately asked, "How are we going to be able to tell who's is who's?" That Mr. Handsome, he's a thinker, a worrier. So, what did Ladycakes do, you ask? Went lookin' for the box that was sweatband-shaped is what she did. It's not there! Oh no. Will there not be Spongebob sweatbands for Ladycakes? You'll have to tune in to find out.

In the meantime, we put up our Christmas tree. What do think? Isn't it gorgeous? It's a bit smaller than last year but we love it just the same. Take a look.

JUST KIDDING! Can you imagine? I don't have the energy to bring the Christmas stuff up! Maybe tomorrow I'll feel inspired. I just wish I could snap my fingers and it was done. I'll get into it, promise. And, I'll show pics. First, I want to show you a project with 2 pringles cans and a hot chocolate container. I know, it sounds like the start of a really bad joke. Maybe, it is!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jingle lingle ling!

Can you believe it's December? I mean really, December? Christmas is practically next week. I haven't done any shopping. NONE. First of all, there's no money left for Christmas so I am gettin' my creative on. Making socks, underwear and all the other necessities look Christmas-y is one large task! Okay, I do have a few special people on my list that I need to shop for. And, because I took the pledge (see my sidebar) I am sticking to handmade and hopefully local. I'm going for it ladies and gentleman, taking the challenge and running with it.

Here are the hot spots on my list for this weekend....please join me if you live in the area. If you don't, Salt Lake City is a Delta hub. Hop on a plane and join the fun.

Friday, December 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Allison Dayton Jewelry and Cherella USA is having a sale and it's their biggest sale yet. This is great jewelry, clothing and accessories that you can't miss out on. Look at this stuff, it's amazing! I'm going Friday. I'm going for the good stuff folks, step out of my way. This is going on Saturday as well. If you want directions let me know. I share well with others.

Saturday, December 5th Ladycakes will once again be working her little tush off selling those darling barrettes. Cute as a Button Barrettes will be featured at The Little Dickens Boutique here in Park City.

The Little Dickens Holiday Boutique

When Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Where The Park City Community Church - Fellowship Hall

4501 N. HWY 224, Park City (behind Park City Nursery)

Come on by and say hello. We'll be there all day. It's going to be fun. She's made some darling holiday barrettes that will look great with any holiday outfit.

Finally Sunday, December 6th. Come on down to this. This is one you can't miss, seriously. And, I really like the gals participating in this bad boy. I've talked about them before and here I go again. Nice, talented, local! Totally cool!

What: a 'Holiday Gift Boutique'
There will be some soup, lite snacks, tea and most likely some wine!

When: Sunday, Dec. 6th from 3-8 pm

Why: So you can buy locally made products, directly from the artist!

Who: Threadheads (me) - handmade hats, scarves, jumpers etc.
Ashen Moon - recycled sweater mittens
Katie Stelpflug - ceramist; coffee mugs, vases etc.
You've Been Framed - the coolest picture frames out west!
Brent's Bread- amazing, fresh breads and possibly some chutneys and/or jellies/ hot sauces etc.
Marcy Hacisavas - LMT offering gift certificates for tense loved ones:)

Where: My house 335 McHenry St.
Follow Deer Valley Dr. toward Snow Park
Turn right onto Rossi Hill Dr.
Follow Rossi around to the left then back right
McHenry vears off toward your left (dead end street)
I am the 3rd house on the right, with a for sale sign out in front
If you don't find what you need, you just ain't lookin'. As always, happy to help you spend your moolah. It's what I do!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! A must add to this month's Life Soundtrack. Excellent.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"I can afford to board a Chattanooga Choo Choo" Not really, but wouldn't it be fun?

Here's a peek of what's on it's way to Sophie's, a charming shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ladycakes' Cute as a Button Barrettes. Lots of lucky little girls and young ladies in Tennessee are going to be rocking some super cute hair accessories for the holidays and into the New Year!

Who wants to head South with me? I think a little shopping at Sophie's would be mighty fun before the holidays!

Anyone? Anyone? I know you are thinking about it! Let's go!
New song for my life soundtrack. Find it here.

Thanks Carol@ Songberries