Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Halloween Mantle

We moved into our home a few years ago and lucky for me there wasn't a whole lot to be done to the house.  It has amazing finish work and colors.  As we have lived here for some time I have decided to make a few changes such as paint colors.  One thing that I absolutely love and would not change is my living room fireplace mantle.  It is a stone cast mantle done in a taupe gray color.  It is really beautiful and I adore dressing it up for every holiday.  With that being said I have to say that Halloween is probably my favorite! So I thought I would share with you today how I created this spooky look. I first started with a blank piece of cardboard that we had gotten from a furniture delivery.  I cut it down to size for a backdrop.  I then went to DI and found Steven King books and tore them out and stapled them to the board.  It was super easy and fast! After positioning it just right I started to add layers to the mantle with an old window, some antique silver I had picked up at thrift stores and old books with bindings that matched my color scheme. Inside the vase I have a creepy "flower arrangement." I actually spray painted some prickly weeds from behind my house (make sure to wear thick leather gloves). I just used a black spray paint.  I put moss in the bottom of the vase and then put the weeds over the top.  I think it added a cool effect!  I then added in a bird cage with a crow in it, a few skeletons and some lace for added spooky effect.  I topped it off with some candle sticks.  I love the way it turned out! It is definitely the focal point in the room!
 Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall is in the air...

Happy Monday Morning!! I can say that now that I've had my morning coffee. This Monday has me a little giddy as I looked outside to see cloudy skies and cooler temps. It's been so dang hot around here and today feels like fall. 
I'm slowly getting out my Fall and Halloween decor and I will share more as I get it up, but today I thought I'd show you these fabulous pumpkins I found at Target! The big one is wrapped in jute. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it and it was only 12.99!! The little one came with chalk so you can create any message you want and was only 5.99! I think they're perfect together and then add in fresh flowers that my hubby brought home and you have a great center piece! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Grandparents Day!

My kids are so dang lucky!! They had Grandparents Day at school today and we're blessed to have both Grandparents come.  My parents traveled from Boise to be with them today. And even though Mike's Mom is just down the street, they don't get to spend too much one on one time with her.   They were beyond excited, in fact, they were all up earlier than usual today!
Grandparents Day was always so special for me growing up.  I had an awesome Grandma! And still do, she will be 95 this year! My mom would get us dressed up in our finest dresses and do our hair so pretty. We did a big program every year and then they would come in our classrooms for some special one on one time and then my Grandma went the extra mile and took us to lunch and sometimes shopping.  We always went to our favorite restaurant, Plush Pippen.  It had my favorite minestrone soup and you were served your very own mini loaf of bread! Then we ended our meal with a big piece of homemade pie! I remember feeling so loved and special on this day.  I think memories and special moments like this one help mold us into the grown up people we are today.  I loved spending time with my Grandma.  She is a very special lady.  She's tough, spiritual, a great cook, and her fashion sense was and is still impeccable.  She had a way of turning ordinary into fascinating by the way she decorated or threw a party.  I do believe this is where I got my party planning skills from!  She loved having her family all together and creating a space of love and laughter for us all. My Granner was also a beautiful eloquent lady.  She had lived a hard life, losing her husband so young and raising two boys on her own.  She loved to dance and was very good at it.  She always had beautiful ball gowns that she wore and would get dressed up with my Grandpa Jim and go to the dance hall.  She wasn't as hands on in my life, but I knew she loved us.  I painted her a picture years ago and she hung it in her home and had it there until she passed away.  She was 98 when she died.  I am grateful for my children's grandparents.  They love my children in their own special way.  My children always feel loved and special when they are around.  They are good examples of doing hard things, strong faith, and unconditional love.

 This was last year's Grandparents Day! 2012 (Forgot to get one this Year)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Snowfall and Smoother Mornings

Wow, not even October yet and we have snow in the mountains this morning! I love fall, but definitely not ready for winter yet.  The air is crisp this morning and as the girls left for school  I couldn't help but think that I would rather be cuddled in a warm bed with the three of them.
That being said, our morning went a lot smoother today.  I think I stayed mostly calm for the hour that they were awake.  Cayden was a little grouchy this morning, but that can be attributed to late nights and being a teenager, right?
I really tried yesterday to show my children more love.  I am realizing how often I am distracted when I am with them, either on my phone, or talking to someone else or just my thoughts wandering while they are talking. I am trying to be in the present with them.  To focus on them and their needs when they are with me.  I started the one-on-one time with them.  I have to say, it was a little awkward approaching them about it, they kind of looked at me like, what?  But once I explained better they were all excited about it, especially the girls.  I told them that we would have 10 minutes of alone time to do whatever they wanted with me.  Brooklyn was first and she decided that she wanted me to teach her how to curl her hair.  She's been asking me for some time to help her with this, but I just hadn't taken the time to do it.  We had so much fun together.  I first explained to her the safety that comes with handling a curling iron and then showed her how to do it.  She tried it out on herself and then on me.  You could see the pride and excitement on her face as she let go of that first curl.  And of course it looked perfect, because she is so good with things like this.  I felt like it was a real bonding moment between us and it was doing something so simple, but in her eyes it was a grown up thing and I know she felt loved and respected.
Avery and I played Uno together.  We laughed and talked as we played.  Avery is very easy to talk to, and there is never a silent moment with her.  She loves to tell me about her day or what she is learning at school.  We played 3 times and she beat me every time!
I didn't get a chance to do 1on 1 with Cayden and Sophie yesterday, but I took Cayden to lunch on Tuesday and I had some time to just chat and be together.  And right now, Sophie and I get lots of time together.  
I really think this made a difference in how our day went yesterday and how our morning went today.  I can see how this will create a more loving, stable atmosphere and make the kids feel important and special.  It's only 10 minutes, but I feel like it speaks volumes to them about how much I love them, respect them and want to be with them.
With fall in the air, I thought I'd share a yummy cookie recipe. I made these last week before my kids got home from school and they were a hit! They have my new favorite food, Biscoff spread.  If you haven't tried it, you must.  I got mine at World Market, but I know Trader Joe's and even Walmart sell it.  These cookies would go great with a cup of warm apple cider!

Banana Biscoff chocolate chip cookies


2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Biscoff spread
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a mixing bowl, combine bananas, biscoff, and sugars. Beat until smooth. Add baking powder and salt. Stir until combined.
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. 
Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a  greased cookie sheet, or
covered in parchment paper.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. ( optional, but love the flavor it adds).

Bake for 11-13 minutes.  

*I think these would be great with butterscotch chips, toffee chips or white chocolate chips too!