Christmas Dreams

I think my husband described our Christmas holiday perfectly by saying “Christmas through the eyes of a two year old was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen.  So much pure excitement on her face and so much love from family and friends.”.  It really was so special seeing the magic of Christmas unfold before her and to experience that with her and all our family was just perfect!  Here are some highlights from our holiday week plus the details on the craft project Gianna and I created that I talked about in my last post.

Oh! and on a side note since I’ve talking about miss G’s big girl room, here’s how it looks so far.

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Her bedding is from Land of Nod ( great kids décor!) and she is loving it!  She calls it her pretty bed and has been napping and sleeping in it for 6 days now!  Here’s how I caught her sleeping for her first nap in her big girl bed.

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We’ve since added a rack on the side as she did roll out the first night…. Thankfully I’d put down lots of pillows just in case and the short fall barely woke her.

Now on to our Christmas Holiday –

Cookie Decorating:

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Snowflake’s final appearance and a goodbye letter from Santa:

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Christmas Eve, Eve – Our gift exchange and Christmas celebration with our immediate family on Todd’s side:

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Christmas Eve at Home – G gets new jammies and a special Christmas book each year on Christmas Eve.  A beloved tradition I adopted from my parents.

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Christmas Morning at Home –

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Christmas Day – Celebrated with our whole family on my side at my Grandparent’s home.

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Mistletoes craft –

I saw this on Pinterest and had to try it for myself.  I followed the directions on this pin

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I added a glaze at the end that I did not bake on as it did not say to on the bottle.  I’m glad these turned out cute, but I found out I don’t know much about paints, glazes, brushes, etc…something to add to a list of things to learn more about in the new year!

Happy Holidays one more time and Happy New Year!  I can’t wait to share more with you all as our family grows and our lives change this coming year!


Christmas Prep

Over the last two weeks our house has been bustling with holiday prep.  We’ve been decorating, Elf on the Shelf-ing, shopping, wrapping, and even doing a bit of crafting.  I am so loving how into Christmas my girl is this year!  She points out decorations all over town and is into all the classic Christmas kid movies.  She has a few fave Christmas songs and can even sing most of them (although if I have to listen to “Frosty” one more time in the car I might go crazy!).  She loves her Elf, Snowflake, and looks forward to adding one more magnetic ornament to our Christmas tree count down calendar each day.  It’s by Melissa & Doug and it’s so cute, I hope it lasts for years to come.


Today I want to some Christmas crafts and some fun pics of our family enjoying the season.

Décor –

Holiday Trees:  I got this idea last year from where else…Pinterest.  Find the original pin here:  I got all my supplies from Michael’s craft store and went to town.  Here’s what you’ll need: Styrofoam cone trees (multiple sizes), decorations (tinsel, boas, feathers, holly berries, be creative), and silver spray paint. I started by spray painting all the cones to help fill in any holes or areas that could be seen through the decorations.  Then I pulled out my hot glue gun and got to work.  The tree wrapped in tinsel or a boa were the simplest.  FYI hot glue and feathers (the tall white tree) are a dangerous mix, but sure looks pretty.

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As you can see my trees turned out a little more Vegas, than vintage as in the original pin, but I love them, and let’s be real I live in a subdivision and don’t have tons of acorn caps etc. laying around my yard to craft with.  Just goes to show that Pinterest is full of great ideas, some you copy exactly and some are fun to make your own.

Christmas Wreath:  I can’t take credit for my holiday wreath this year, but it’s so pretty I wanted to share it.

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My mom made it for me based on this Pinterest pin: .  All you need is a craft letter, background paint, fake holly berries, a glue gun, and some pretty ribbon to hang it.

Comin in Hott!: The last craft I’ll share with you is the craft Todd and I are giving to our family and friends as this year’s homemade gift.  Gianna and I made a crafty gift as well but that is a surprise for some grandparents and great-grandparents who read this blog, so I will be sharing that after Christmas.   Anyways, this year Todd and I decided, after seeing a quick-fire challenge on Bravo’s Top Chef, that we wanted to make our own hot sauce.  We both love spicy foods and hot sauce and wanted to have something fun and homemade to give out to family and friends over the holiday season.  After some research, and a few trips to different grocery stores searching for ingredients, we got started.  The process took a few nights and there were a few bumps or I should say burns along the way.  One the night Todd de-seeded a few pounds of hot red peppers (gloveless) and ended up with burning hands and a few other body parts he inadvertently came into contact with during the process…  The other was the night we bottled the sauce and Todd tried to “slowly” pour a large pot of boiling hot, hot sauce into a small funnel that I was holding over the bottle we were pouring the final product into.  I ended up with a few instant blister burns, but got out of doing the dishes that night and took some joy in watching Todd ladle the rest of the sauce into the bottles as I had suggested in the first place.  All in all it was a fun process and we are so happy with our final product, a bit of kick with sweet notes as well.  Look for an exact recipe soon!

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Here is the rest of what we’ve been up to –

Elf on the Shelf:  A few favorites from the last week or so.  Follow me on Instagram to see what Snowflake is up to each day!

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8Last weekend I was so lucky to attend the San Francisco Ballet’s performance of the “Nutcracker” with my mom, sister and grandmother.  It’s a tradition we used to do when my sister and I were young and it was so special to go all together again this year.  I can’t wait to share that experience with Gianna in the year’s to come. photo 1I hope you all are able to take some time and enjoy the joys of the Christmas season with family and friends over the next week.  I can’t wait to share with you all of our Christmas week happenings as well.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Holiday Living

First I’ll start with a bit of an update/recap of the last few weeks.

– We’ve been busy painting and prepping our girl’s “big  room, girl” room.  So far it’s painted, and Todd did such a great job!  He loves when G says “Daddy painted my room, it’s beautiful!”.  Her bed is in, but we are waiting on bedding that she is getting as Christmas gifts to put that all together.  We purchased an old dresser at a consignment store and our amazing family friend is helping us sand and re-paint it to go with the grey and pink color scheme we have going so far.

photo 16  I’m now on the look out for fun knobs to go on it.  I also ordered spice racks from Ikea that I’ll be painting and using as bookshelves, an idea I’ve seen a few times on Pinterest (   So the room is definitely a work in progress, but the best part is how excited she is about it.   Every time someone comes over she says, “Follow me guys, see my new room!”.  We’ll see how the actual transition from her crib/nursery to a real bed goes, but my fingers are crossed.

– As far as pregnancy goes, things are moving along smoothly.  25 weeks in and really looking and feeling pregnant with a popping belly button and everything.  I can feel and see the baby moving and kicking all the time.  Although I often complain about the woes of pregnancy, the baby moving is by far the coolest, most exciting part and something I look forward to each day.  We are working on our name lists, and since we aren’t finding out if we are having a boy or a girl (we didn’t find out with Gianna either and loved the surprise) we have to come up with both.  We seem to be struggling a bit more this time with names, but I know something great will come to us sooner or later (I hope…).

Okay, now that your caught up on the big happenings in our house, it holiday time!


This year we are so grateful for our loving and supportive family and friends, good health, our beautiful girl and our new baby on the way!  We celebrated all we are thankful for with a weekend full of family, friends, great food and some old and new holiday traditions.

G in her Thanksgiving outfit – I took about twenty pictures and got one good one-

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The rest looked like this –photo 1

Food highlights included Thanksgiving morning breakfast bowls made by my mom.

*Breakfast Bowl recipe found here:

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Later in the day we feasted on the traditional and yummy Thanksgiving fare at Todd’s grandmother’s house.  This year I contributed a green salad that I’ve found to be a crowd pleaser year round.

* Corn Salad: Arugula, fresh corn off the cob, avocado, red onion, chopped marcona almonds, crumbled crispy prosciutto (broil on a baking sheet for 5 min) and shaved parmesan or manchego cheese.  Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, a drizzle of truffle oil, and salt and pepper.

Here are some pics of the rest of our weekend’s adventures.

Baking pumpkin pies with Gigi –

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The traditional Thanksgiving morning pic with my brother and sister (3 years running) –

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“Snow Flurries” at a local town tree-lighting event…she wasn’t loving them-  photo 3

More tradition with a trip to the Christmas tree farm –

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And finally a new tradition with Elf on the Shelf.  Here is her letter from Santa that she got with the Elf (now named “Snowflake”), and the first few days of elf mischief –

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I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and are getting into the spirit of the Christmas season.  Stay tuned for fun Christmas décor and craft ideas along with some great new family meal night recipes in the coming weeks.


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