Thursday, December 30, 2010


I heard from my friend Lacey (who lives in Nebraska) a couple of months ago who is opening a store of her  very own.
She's my age and going to own an artsy store.
Can we say d-r-e-a-m-y??

She asked if she could sell some of my things. 
Obvious answer: yes.

So, like I said, this was a couple of months ago, but I got very sidetracked with making Christmas gifts and getting into a whole new world of crafting that I never knew existed...and just this week got around to painting some things for Lacey and have been working like crazy.
Every single precious second of nap time and evenings have been spent working on some new pieces. I decided to incorporate all of my new obsessions lately:
fabric, flowers, mod podge, paint, wreaths, buttons, old frames, birds, and on and on. 

And here's what I came up with:

I'm constantly changing my "style", but this time I think I'm really on to something.
For one, I'm enjoying the whole process. A lot of times when I just paint, I have many moments during the project where I want to quit and forget it.  This gives me a chance to move from one medium to the next without getting too bored. Super fun.

I know. 2 posts in one day! But I really needed an excuse to sit down and take a break before I finish a few more, so here ya go.
Happy Thursday, everyone!

Christmas 2010

What a lovely Christmas!!
We had our little family Christmas Thursday morning.
The kids had so much fun opening presents from us and each other. 
And I was surprised with a present that said "you get a juicer!" 
(which we bought a couple of days ago. I'm lovin' it. More on that later.)
And now, pictures....

Harper's big present was a little people doll house. So cute. She also got her first baby stroller from her grandma and now she plays with her babies more than ever. Seriously cute.

Henry's big present was huge set of Thomas trains and a track. It was a hand-me-down from his big cousins and he looooves it. (and I love that is was free. :) Thanks, Erica!)

After our family Christmas we decided to head up to my parent's house early to beat the snow so left at bedtime Thursday. Of course the kids stayed awake the entire time. Crazy.
Friday we enjoyed a quiet house and got lots of things ready before the rest of my family came. 

We had a birthday party planned for Henry and he requested a Spider Man theme so I did these:

4. Can you believe he's turning 4?!

 Saturday we all waited for everyone else to arrive.
I caught my dad snoozing while cuddling with Harper.

More stockings Christmas morning, of course!

I had my friend Jessica make this dress for Harper with some vintage Christmas fabric I got at a garage sale this summer. Isn't it adorable?

 Henry was so excited by the time his cousins arrived, though you can't tell by the look on his face....

Me and the kiddos.

After presents and our big Christmas meal, we had Henry's birthday party for dessert. 
Oh, Henry. This picture is classic.

And a shot of all the cousins.

Sunday we headed straight east to celebrate with both sides of RJ's extended family. It was a lot of running around, but so much fun.
Here's our sweet little nephew, Simon.

And almost all of the 2nd cousins.

Henry and one of his favorite buddies, Asher.

It was great to see all of RJ's aunts, uncles, and cousins. He's got a great family.
Then back to our house with RJ's family.
The Charlton cousins, minus Simon.

Everyone stayed until Tuesday and we had a great time. Now we're just trying to catch up on things and get back to normal. It was a wonderful Christmas season this year. Lots of family and friends and reminders of all of God's blessings. What a joyous time!

Wow, aren't you all relieved now that you know everything we did for the last week?
Hope you all have a great week and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I had the day off from Biaggi's and woke up with determination to get my pants to the dry cleaner's. I only had one pair of nice work pants and they were dry clean only, so I was running there a lot. I practically went in my pajamas thinking I would see no one I knew, and after all, I was only 22. Who cared? I got back to the apartment (I lived with my bf Alisa), walked in, and there was RJ. In my apartment. Bright and early in the morning. There were a bunch of roses on the table and he had brought over an assortment of breakfast foods. So sweet! I figured he had the day off for some reason and we'd get to hang out. (He had a job laying carpet for the summer and got random days off every now and then) Then he had me sit down on the couch and he had some gifts for me . One was some soap. Interesting.... He put the soap in a bowl and washed my feet and told me how he had plans to always serve me. How awesome?! My next gift was a bottle of silver nail polish and he painted my toe nails. Seriously! He was just the best. Then.....all of a sudden he got on one knee (I don't know how, but I seriously did not see this coming....) prayed for us, and then asked if I would be his wife. WOAH. Of course I said yes, and cried, and kissed him, and cried, and squealed, and looked at my ring. :)

It's so fun to think back to that day. It was 8 yrs ago this past August 1st. And tomorrow is our 10 year anniversary of our very first date. Where it allllll started. We're going out on a date tomorrow night (thanks to a good coupon, of course!) and I can't wait.

I just love him.

and I'll probably have to delete this once he reads it, so enjoy! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

80's baby

My favorite childhood Christmas gift:

The Barbie Hot Dog Stand.

So fun! In fact, I'm very tempted to bid on Ebay for some right now....
Not for me, but for my children. Of course!

Rainbow Brite Color Cottage
This thing was the bomb....with my Patty O'Green, of course.

Oh the simplicity of being an 80's child....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We survived our second round of pukes with Henry getting sick Tuesday night, but it was over fast and was back to normal by morning...thankfully because RJ had taken Wednesday off. (and today too!)
We just relaxed as a family and had a lot of fun. 
Tonight we finished it off with a family meal, Jolly Holiday Lights, and The Charlie Brown Christmas. 
But first thing this morning we took the kids to get their pictures taken. The usual painful experience, but at least got one good shot so I guess we could call it successful. 
When we got home I wanted to snap a quick shot of them. 
I think at this point Henry was saying, "cheeeeeeEEESE."
And he was not smiling.

We have a quiet weekend ahead and I'm mucho looking forward to it. 
Hope you all had a lovely Thursday!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

We made some Christmas ornaments last week:

They were super fun and super easy. 

(from Wall Candy)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • about 4-5 tablespoons cinnamon (the original recipe called for much less but I just dumped a bunch in there to make them smell good!)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the water slowly. I needed a bit more water than what it called for because I added so much more cinnamon :). The dough should be not too sticky, and not too dry...a good medium. Cover and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Then roll it out on a floured surface and cut it into shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw or something similar to make a hole at the top of each for stringing ribbon through it. Bake them at 325 for about an hour.
*we just added some sprinkles before they baked, but once they dry you can paint them and add glitter or anything you can think of!* One of my favorite parts of this project was that the dough was not even tempting to eat. :) The kids loved doing it though and the ornaments looks adorable on our tree.

Then it was on to some edible cookies.  My awesome friend has perfected this recipe and I have been looking forward to trying it for a long time. (last year I just used the Wilton cookie recipe) The recipe comes from Amanda at I Am Baker. It is delicious. Both the cookies AND frosting. Just delicious.

We had a family Christmas on Saturday with my Bloom family who just so happen to be Swedish. My mom brought me a Swedish Dala Horse cookie cutter from a cute little shop in my hometown, which proudly boasts the logo "Albert City - How Swede it is!".
It's an enormous cookie cutter so I just made 4 of them and lots of little ones. 
I used a little ornament I have to use as inspiration for decorating.

It was so fun!

Our family Christmas was a lot of fun and Harper got to meet her Great Grandpa Bloom for the very first time. He shared a grape with her so she sat on his lap and finished them for him.

My cute nieces Maggie and Elise.

It was great to see our family and the kids traveled really well considering we just took a day trip and were in the car for 5 hours. But along with our first Christmas came our first case of the pukes. Harper was sick when she woke up yesterday, but thankfully is fine today and *so far* everyone else is too.

Hope you all have a beautiful Monday!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My kiddos are constantly playing with pots/pans/canned goods. It keeps them pretty happy and they are fairly nice to each other while they play.

Today in our advent calendar we pulled out a piece of paper that said, "make homemade cookie ornaments with mommy". I got the recipe from this gal (look around at her's adorable!)
So hopefully it's a fun project!

Speaking of projects....I have been super busy making Christmas gifts this year. One of my friends and I have gotten crazy into hand stitching anything you can think of. We slave away. Our kids play together.
It's been so fun! 
So here are a few of the things I've done:

The owl scarf that took me 9 hours to do. Oy.

This scarf took only a few hours and I'm going to have my mom sew on the backing with a MACHINE.
(oh yeah, mom, will you do that when I bring them home for Christmas??)

Then there's this little thing that I'm kind of in love with. It will be a little hard to part with her:

It's a little owl purse for my niece.

Check out the caboose!

My head is swimming with ideas of more purses for little girls. Or young-at-heart-women. It's been a blast making Christmas gifts this year! I'm probably about 50/50 handmade/store bought, but once I figure out what to make for 9 and 11 year old boys I may go 100% handmade. 

Hope you all have a lovely Thursday!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had such a lovely Thanksgiving this year. So much fun and SO much to be thankful for. 
My parents came down Thursday morning and we ate "the meal" after the kids got up from naps.
I have visions of Harper helping me cook when she is older and it makes me smile...

And here's the turkey! It was delicious thanks to Tyler Florence's Ultimate Turkey. I mean, how can you go wrong with shoving butter and fresh sage under the skin? 
You can't. 
Ultimate is the perfect word for it.

And no Thanksgiving meal is complete without name tags.

The whole set up. Yes, we put up our tree before Thanksgiving. I know. I know! Some people have some rules about that, but I do not. I looooove decorating for Christmas early and it has never made me forget about Thanksgiving. It just makes it prettier! :)

And that's all my Thanksgiving pictures. RJ and I did go midnight shopping. It was fun being out on a date with him, but not sure we'll do it again. Unless it's to stay at Wal-Mart when the clock strikes midnight to see everyone grab for the merchandise they have been waiting for for hours. We did get the one thing we went for though, so it was fun. And crazy! And cold.
My sister and her family came down on Friday and stayed at a hotel so the kids got to swim and stay up late and have fun. 

So, back to the Christmas tree. I saw a little picture of this cute garland on this blog and loved it. I just took a bunch of pages from an old book, cut, and hot glued them together. It really didn't take too long and I love how it turned out!

I also made an advent calendar this weekend. I first got the idea from this blog, and then can't remember where, but saw the idea to use a mini muffin tin. Since I've used my mini muffin tin about 2 times in the past 5 years, I figured I could sacrifice it. 
I gathered old Christmas ornaments, fabric, and ribbon and of course, the hot glue gun.

I cut some squares out of cardstock and a thin cardboard and glued them together so they were a little more sturdy.

Then cut out circles of paper to fit inside the tins.
(the small side of a cup from children's pain reliever medicine is the perfect size.)
I started with 25, but now realize I should have had 24 be the first number. 
Oh well!

On the back of the squares I glued magnets. Unfortunately I started by putting pieces of a thin magnet all the way around. When I went to put it all together I realized they weren't strong enough, so I used the heavy duty circle ones. If I had started with this, I probably would have saved myself an hour...

Then I started gluing on the ornaments. I have a special place in my heart for tacky Christmas decor.

And almost done.

(this ornament is my favorite)

And then I glued little garland all the way around, and it was done! It took a little longer than I thought it would, but it was fun.

Hope you all have a lovely week!!


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