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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

JOY to the World!

I would have liked Santa's elves to sneak into my house the day after Thanksgiving and give it a Christmas makeover -- BUT since that didn't happen, I'm trying to get my Christmas funk on, all on my own.
I started simple -- with my old-window-turned-chalkboard.
(You can see the original post on this little project HERE, but this month, I've switched up the message...)

I love my old windows.  :-)
And speaking of old windows ... I'm in the process of making over another of my former window projects for our new family advent calendar.
I'm hoping to show that to you tomorrow ... but here's a sneak peek!
Enjoy your last day of November! :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Randomness

Yep, just randomness ... that's all you're getting.
Mostly, I just wanted to let ya'll know I'm still alive and kickin'.  
These last five days have been BUSY.  
We hosted Thanksgiving dinner, so that pretty much explains what I was doing from Wednesday night through Thursday night.  
Cooking.  Cleaning.  Dishes.  Cooking.  Cleaning.  Dishes.  
You know, something like that...

And then "Black Friday", my mom and I always go shopping .... and no, we did NOT go anywhere at midnight -- or worse yet, 9:00 p.m. Thursday night!  (Sheesh!  What is wrong with people, anyway!?  Can't we all just enjoy THANKSGIVING first -- and let everyone else do the same -- before expecting people to be at work with the psychotic pepper-spraying, swear-word ranting lunatics!?)
My mom and I greatly enjoy getting a good night's sleep, getting up early, and arriving at the stores AFTER the crowds.  No lines.  No lack of parking spaces or shopping carts.  No crazy lunatics.  (Well, maybe one or two - haha!)
And the best part is ... we got most of our shopping DONE!  Woohoo!

To wrap up the weekend, the hubs and I got to go on a date to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!
Have you been to their concert???  Do you know their music???  (Well, I bet you do, even if you don't know you do!)
Here's just a little clip of what their concert is like.  
SO.  DARN.  AMAZING.  
See?  Told ya'.
And if that wasn't awesome enough, we also got to go to The Melting Pot!
Fondue and I are BFFs.
Bec is to fondue as peanut butter is to jelly.  
I was one hap-hap-happy camper! :-)

And now .... here it is, Monday night, I haven't blogged in days, I've got nuttin' to show you, and I am once again feeling behind the blogging holiday curve.
I'm lucky I've got my pumpkins and corn stalks put away.  (Barely, I might add.)
But new creations made for Christmas?  Halls decked?  Tree up?
Nope.  Not this girl.
{Sigh.}
One of these days, I'll get with the program.

OK, no I won't.
But hopefully you're OK with that.
And now ... back to working on my advent project -- gotta get it done before Thursday!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Lovin' ... Advent Calendars!

Whew!
Now that Thanksgiving is (practically) here, it is REALLY time to get into the Christmas spirit!  
One of the things I'm anxious to start at our house this year (in addition to my 12 Days of Christmas Kindness!) is an advent calendar.
With Lucy being a "big" (or not!) three-year-old now, I think she is old enough to get the idea -- at least, for the most part -- and I look forward to beginning this new tradition in our house!

Problem.
I don't have one, and I don't really want to buy one .... so I went lookin' for some inspiration.
And PINspiration - haha! :)~

Check out these beauties I found ....
Love this adorable little Christmas matchbox garland from Etsy shop MerryMatchboxes!
 LOVE this simple flash card-style advent banner, featured at Country Living online.
 Love this cutie-pie little sock version, featured at Bloom!  
(And this one would be REALLY simple, too!)
 Totally LOVE these little tins that Jessie from Friendly Badger made (and Narrating Life posted)!!!  
Ohmygoodness, how CUTE are these!?  
I bet it must have taken a good long while to make them this ADORABLE, but well worth it!
 Mmmmmm.... .good ol' Pottery Barn.  
How I love thee.  
(Unfortunately, this was from a previous year , and not available to buy now .... if only I could sew!)
{Sigh.}
 Well, anyone who halfway knows me knows I L-O-V-E me some old frames .... 
so I'm totally diggin' this advent project from Fiskars!
Perfect for a "Shabby Christmas!"
 I just think this next garland is beautiful ... 
This is from the HGTV website, which would further explain why I LOVE it!  
Just adore all the beautiful details!  
 And finally ... 
I absolutely LOVE this cute Christmas tree advent idea!  
There's a treat hiding inside each one of those cuties!  
Pink Suede Shoe will show you how ... with diagrams and everything! 
Now to figure out what MY advent calendar will look like ....
I'll be sure to keep you posted and show it off when I figure it out!
*You can find these and other great advent ideas on my Merry Little Christmas Pinterest Board!
** Linking up to WILW at This Kind of Love & Oh, How Pinteresting! at The Vintage Apple today! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fingerprint Indian Corn .... Cute Fall Project for Kids!

Check out this adorable Indian Corn art project I did with my kindergartners last week!
I just cut out the corn cob shapes and the kids added their fingerprints with colorful paint (or ink!).  The husks are just a large oval shape, cut in half -- and then the green is "painted" on with plastic forks!
Super easy and way cute!
We hung them up on "stalks" on the bulletin board in the hallway ...

Makes for a cute hallway outside our classroom door at school ....
but I bet these would make cute decor around your Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, too! :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I have (last year's) Family Fun magazine to thank for this idea ... or most of this idea, anyway.

SO SIMPLE.
But I love it.

All you need is ....
-jars (I used a variety of shapes and sizes)
-sticks (again, variety of shapes and sizes)
-card stock - cut into circles, markers, Distress Ink and glue
-hazelnuts - or filberts, as we like to call 'em around Little Lucy Lu Land (OR you could use cranberries, dried beans, etc. ... I think Family Fun used split peas?)
-hemp or twine

The rest is pretty self-explanatory, don't you think...? :)~
 Yes, the letters could have looked more impressive if I had one of those fancy cutting machines (will SOMEBODY puh-lease get me a Silhouette for Christmas one of these years already!?!  Sheeesh!!!), but actually - I kind of like the organic quality the good-ol' hand-written ink gives them.
And I like how the distressing (courtesy of Distress Ink Walnut Stain) makes them look almost like wood circles! :-)

*Note:  I have the WORST dining room IN. THE. WORLD. for taking pictures.
Or for ME taking pictures, anyway ... which is probably more the problem than anything else.
Dark, red wine-colored paint on the walls, muted lighting, wraparound covered porch outside - which means not a lot of light coming in from the window .... ugh!  Somebody help me!

But despite my less-than-ideal pictures, I hope you like my Thanksgiving table!
Can't wait until it's covered with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin deliciousness!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bubba ... and Photo Swap Sunday

In case you're just tuning in, let me introduce you to my main equine man ....
This is Bubba.
Well, his name is actually Laredo .... and I have absolutely no idea why I call him Bubba, but I do.
(And if you want to get technical about it, his real name is actually a bunch of words, with Laredo somewhere in the middle .... I don't know where people come up with some of the registered names they give to their horses!)


No, I didn't get to name him.

I've owned him since just after his third birthday ... seven years ago!
Bubba has a nice side ....
 .... and he has an evil side!  
HA!  No .... he doesn't really have an evil side, personality speaking .... but don't you think the right side of his face makes him look like a big ol' meanie!?

In all actuality, Bubba thinks he is (and therefore, acts like) a dog.
No kidding.
I am 100% sure he would crawl into my lap and sit down if he would fit.
Ask anyone who knows him and they'll tell you the same thing!

He is a talented guy, and he loves to play "tricks" ... he can zip and unzip my coat with his teeth, enjoys turning the lights off and on, can escape from his stall if it's not locked with a special (Bubba-proof) lock, "helps" Scott fix fence (by carrying all of his tools away with his teeth .... no, Scott does not find this entertaining), and has tried to climb into the wheelbarrow a time or two.
He is the BEST horse, in just about every way possible, and I am SO thankful to have him.

I'm especially thankful lately because Bubba got into some trouble a couple of weeks ago.
Truthfully, I don't even know what happened, but I do know that I arrived home to find his back legs soaked in blood.
I don't do blood, by the way.
(...Well, that day I did!)

Long story short, somehow he got the back straps on his blanket caught on something(???), and the buckle acted like a knife and sliced into the artery in his right hind leg, way up high in that big muscle -- lots of open flesh - ugh.  ick.  yuck.  
...and HELP.
It may have been a blessing that no one was home to witness this whole catastrophe, because otherwise, the blood that was gushing from his leg may not have clotted (because I likely would have been attempting (note:  I said attempting) to doctor it, which may have kept it from clotting).
Who knows.
All I know is, thank the Good Lord, it had clotted and (mostly) stopped bleeding by the time I got home and saw it.
He had to have lost an enormous amount of blood though.
And if the buckle would have sliced across the artery (rather than along the artery), he almost surely would have bled to death.
(DEEP BREATH)
SOOoooooo glad that didn't happen.

In fact, his wound is already (mostly) healed up -- and Lucy and I took him for a ride the other day!
He was good as new.  :-)



By the way .... 
Have I ever told you how it makes my heart sing to see my baby in a saddle?  
Oh .... I have?  
Well, now I'm telling you again.  
Sorry.  
I just can't help it.  
There is NOTHING better than this sight!  

Meanwhile ...
Bubba got a new blanket (or jammies, as we call them!) out of this whole ordeal. :-)
I cut the remaining leg strap on his other one in a moment of panic/fear, vowing I would never let this happen again.
....And then I realized the straps are kinda -- um .... there for a reason.
Yeah.
They pretty much help keep the blanket ON the horse.
Minor detail.
But his new one is pretty darn cute, dontcha think!?  (It's a Landa Freestyle from WeatherBeeta ... and it's been put to good use already, with the lovely NW rain - and now freezing temperatures that have begun to make their appearance the last few days.)

But Bubba is perfectly happy in his new jammies .... eating the day away.
(It's what he does best!)

 
Happy trails to all of you this week!  :-)
*Linking up with Sara at Sweet Little Gals for Photos Swap Sunday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Old Sewn New ... new Etsy shop!

My last post .... (you know, the one about the best ugly Christmas sweater source around!?) reminded me about another shop I've been meaning to tell you about.
A long while back (like last Spring?), this lil' old blog reached 100 followers.
At the time, I promised to feature whoever signed up to be my 100th follower .... only problem was, she didn't have a blog (or shop) to be featured .... until now!
Kristy takes the damaged vintage dresses and coats from Rusty Zipper and gives them a new job!
The vintage (mostly polyester) fabrics like this ....
 ... become pillows, grocery bags, totes, and more!
This tote, for example ....
.... was made from the sleeve of an old coat (you can totally see that fabric in an old coat, can't you!?)
What a great way to repurpose old clothes!

Old Sewn New .... go check it out on Etsy and add it to your list of favorites! :-)
And thank you,  Kristy, for being my 100th follower!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Sweaters ... ugly, uglier, and ugliest!

Yesterday, I told you about a few Christmas party ideas I'm contemplating .... one of those being an UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER PARTY!
(You've all been to one of those, right?!?)

And while writing yesterday's post, it occurred to me that I know the ULTIMATE place for all of your UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER needs.  
It's a groovy online vintage clothing shop called THE RUSTY ZIPPER.  
They have been in business for 16 years and have become the go-to place for all of your vintage clothing needs.  (They've even clothed celebrities!)  
The coolest thing?  I actually know the owners! -- I was fortunate enough to teacher both of their (awesome) children.  
Believe me when I tell you, there is not a cooler, more down-to-earth family out there -- so I am THRILLED to be able to tell you about THE RUSTY ZIPPER.  

They have ... get this .... over 5,000 ugly Christmas sweaters to choose from!!! 
Sweaters for men, sweaters for women, sweaters for kids, sweatshirts, sweater vests, sweaters that light up, cardigans, pullovers .... even Cousin Eddie leisure suits! 
Clark:  Can I refill your eggnog for you?  Get you something to eat?  Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie:  Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.
Bahahahahaha!
(And now I must go watch Christmas Vacation!  Love it!:)~

Here are just a few of the stunning, knitted beauties you can find at the Rusty Zipper:

Christmas goose, anyone....?
.... Or maybe a pyramid of bears is more your style?

Gotta love the sweaters with dangly doo-dads hanging off of them!

A sweater VEST would be lovely with a holiday-printed turtleneck, perhaps? :)~


Tacky, cheesy, and -- well, just plain UGLY.  
You are sure to find a "WINNER" for your Ugly Christmas Party at The Rusty Zipper!  

*PLEASE NOTE:  They were recently contacted by The Today Show .... (yes, the REAL Today Show) about doing an Ugly Christmas Sweater segment.  I have a feeling their selection may not be as HUGE after they've been featured on a nationally-televised morning show!  EVERYBODY's gonna want one of these babies after that, so get over to RustyZipper.com SOON to order your favorite sweater! 
** Tell them Little Lucy Lu sent you to get $3.00 off each sweater you order!  
And if nothing else, you just gotta head over there to check out their groovy selection of vintage clothes .... it's seriously awesome -- and entertaining! :-)  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Lovin' ... Christmas Parties!

I am love-love-LOVIN' all the Christmas stuff popping up all over the place!
(And the fact that TWO local radio stations are already playing Christmas music 24/7.)

All this Christmas cheer is getting me in the mood for a Christmas PARTY!
For the first time in five years, I won't be hosting my staff Christmas party at my house this year, so I'm feeling the need to throw a Christmas party!!!

Here's some of the FUN STUFF that's inspiring me .... maybe you can help me pick a theme!?

How about an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!?  LOVE this!  Such a fun idea!
(P.S. If you're in need of an ugly Christmas sweater, I have the PERFECT source to tell you about tomorrow!)
{source}

(super cute invitation HERE)

 Or a Cookie Exchange & Decorating Party?  
Yummy AND fun!
{source}

(another super cute invitation HERE)

And another fun, yet PRACTICAL idea for a holiday party ...
a Gift Wrapping Party!
(I BIG-TIME LOVE this idea because I HATE wrapping presents and always wait 'til the very last minute ... but if I turn it into a party?  Awesome!)
{source}
(You can check out some beautiful ideas for wrapping on my Merry Little Christmas Pinterest board!)
What do you think...?
Which party idea is your favorite???

(Real-life friends ..... who's in?) :-)


*Linking up with This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

12 Days of Christmas {Kindness}

Christmas posts already???

Let me explain ....
Since the "12 Days of Christmas" happens to start about one month from right now, I thought I would show you what we are going to be doing around here in case you want to join in on the fun -- (and this gives you a whole month to think about it!) .... The 12 Days of Christmas Kindness.
Ideas for Christmas random acts of kindness are popping up all over blogland and Pinterest, and this is just my version.

These are 12 things our family plans to do in the 12 days before Christmas (although a couple of them might need to be done before then - and I'm not necessarily promising to do one a day ... there might be days (like the weekends!) when I do three or four on one day!).
Several of these ideas are things I've done before (or do often - like paying for the Starbucks customer behind me in the drive-thru, which is so fun!), and some of them are new ideas from Pinterest -- or my own imagination. :-)
I would love it if you would jump on board, make your own list .... and leave a comment, telling me all about it! :-)



 It might look like this is going to be VERY expensive .... but first of all, the holidays are all about giving ... and I figure we might as well make our giving fun and memorable!  And second, the gift cards (for the shopping cart, the grocery store clerk, etc.) will be for $5.00-$10.00 -- pretty reasonable.
Will this be a bit of a sacrifice for our family?  ...Yes.  
Will it be worth it?  ...Definitely yes.  
And I plan to do this every year from now on .... I think it will be even more fun as Lucy get older and can really help me plan and execute the ideas!
What a great way to teach her about the spirit of Christmas!

It is my hope that we can - in big and small ways - share the love of Christ and the JOY of this CHRISTmas season .... Lord willing, especially to some people who are in need of an extra-special blessing the most. :-)
Have fun with this!  I hope it inspires you to kick of the season with a spirt of kindness!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11

1. First and foremost ...

THANK YOU to the men and women of the armed forces - past, present, and future.  May God bless you and your families.

2. It has looked like this....

almost every morning this week.  I kinda love fog.  It just says Fall, don't ya think?  I especially love it when it burns off and turns into a beautifully crisp, sunny day (preferably by no later than 10:00 a.m.)  That, however, does not always happen 'round here ....

3. I {heart} three-day weekends.  I think they should be a weekly requirement.  Amen.

4. Anyone else watching The X Factor and LOVING it!?  I am finding it SO hard to choose a favorite though!  I love all of the girls (Simon's group) - and then there's Chris ... and Josh .... and.... well, I really just love them all.  Who's your favorite...?

5. Lucy got this magic wand for her birthday...
(Thank you Uncle Wes, and Sarah, and family...)
She L-O-V-E-S this thing.  Me...?  Not so much.  It makes a lovely magical sound every time you push the button ... and the lights are pretty cool to look at .... but I get to hear that sound approximately 5,295 times a day.  I think the magic wand might need to "get lost" soon ....

6.  There are 43 days 'til Christmas, and I haven't even thought about buying a single present.  Ugh.  I have the hardest time with Christmas shopping!  I always want so badly to get everyone the perfect gift, but I can never seem to come up with that perfect gift idea when I really need to!

7.  My friend and her twin daughters came over for breakfast this morning, and one of the things I made was this....
(Thank you, Pinterest!)
Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake from Alexandra's Kitchen.  It was a WINNER!  Super moist, perfect amount of blueberries (I like that there are almost more berries than cake), and altogether yummy.  Highly recommend.    

8.  I am no longer a hunting widow.  Hallelujah!

9.  I am dying for this Marc Jacobs bag. 
   
Divine.
The price?
Not so divine.
If any of you have connections with Santa, I'd appreciate you dropping the hint... :)~

10.  I may or may not have eaten an entire (large) bag of these in the last two days.
Why do they have to be SO DARN GOOD!?!  

11.  And last but not least ...
I did this this morning .... and I'm planning to do it again in a few hours.  (Do you think that means I will have double the wishing power...?  I sure hope so...)
I figure it's worth a shot, right?  
Here's to hoping all of our wishes come true!