Monday, October 28, 2013

Pa 'in

Liam decorated his pumpkin (or as he calls it, his "pa 'in") this weekend.

I decided to go the easy route this year! Instead of using knives to carve his pumpkin - which would involve him sitting and watching me carve it + explaining how "knives are dangerous" while he throws a tantrum because he can't use the knife - I decided that paint would be the more fun option for him :)

The facial expressions that this little kiddo makes just cracks me up!

Liam, eagerly awaiting his pumpkin painting...

I just love his little hands and fingers...

Painting the pumpkin...

And painting the table...

Proud pumpkin painter...

And we added a face (also super easy - I bought the face at Hobby Lobby)...

Have a spooky, candy corny week everyone :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

80s flashback

This past weekend Liam and I took a little road trip to my mom's house.

Matt was out of town for the weekend. He had a work event in Florida (lucky duck). So I thought it'd be nice for Liam and I to "get away" as well. Although Liam and I did not escape to palm trees and warm weather and sunshine, it was still nice to see my mom and family.

Both of my brothers and their families were there as well. So Liam basically ran around with his cousins the entire time (which is awesome because it gives me a bit of a break)!

On Saturday night my sister-in-law, my nieces and I took a trip to Hobby Lobby (it's kind of becoming a tradition, since my SIL and I are both craft nuts), had a mom-made meal and watched the Badgers game on TV. On Sunday we bundled up the kids and ran around in my mom's yard, picked apples from my mom's apple tree, visited my grandma (who lives next door to my mom), watched the Packers game and enjoyed my mom's famous chicken noodle soup.


The highlight of my weekend was digging through my mom's basement and finding a ton of mine and my brothers' old childhood toys. I went into the basement to get my old Barbie dolls for my 5-year old niece to play with and I came across a goldmine of memories!!

I found my brothers' old Matchbox cars collection, a box of their Transformers and GI Joe guys and a box of Constructs. I found two bins full of Barbie dolls and endless accessories, a box of Trolls and a bunch of stuffed animals (my Cabbage Patch doll, my Minnie Mouse from when we went to Disneyland, etc.). I found myself immersed in a pile of childhood memories. And a cloud of childhood laughs. Oh my sweet, sweet childhood....

And the best part is -- my nieces and nephews and Liam LOVED playing with all of these ancient (ha ha) toys! It was like a little Jason and Nathan and Erin sitting on the family room floor playing all over again...

Of course I HAD to take some photographs of some of my favorites! They're not the best quality (I snapped them quickly on my iPhone) but you'll get the point. I wonder if any of you had these exact same toys??

The game of Perfection.
I'm not sure why they called it Perfection...has anyone in history ever conquered this game before BAMMM!!! the dang base pops up and flings your pieces everywhere?

The kids enjoyed it. And Nici.

Holy trolls! I can't believe my mom saved my trolls. who else had the exact same Barbie storage case? Or Barbie refrigerator?

Books  never get old. I swear I remember reading each and every one of these books as a child.

A cluster of my bros' dolls. I mean "super hero men." Heaven forbid if we called them dolls.

Matt had the exact same Matchbox case as my brothers. And his mom still has his too!

I used to play with these all of the time too. My favorite was the yellow Volkswagen Beetle.

Liam and Rylan picking out their favorites.

I played with this thing ALL of the time....

....and it came with this camper, which was even cooler than the truck.

Who else had this barn? When you open the left barn door it "moos."

My first camera.

I could have taken photos of more things, but I don't want to bore you too much :)

Did this bring back any childhood memories for you?

Thank you, mom and dad, for keeping so many of our toys!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So many buttons

October's Crafty Club was held at Stephanie's home last Wednesday. There are SO many awesome Halloween and Fall craft ideas out there this time of the year, so what a wonderful month to host a craft! 

Stephanie was a great host. She picked out a fun craft and made some delicious desserts that we all enjoyed thoroughly :)

The craft of choice was Button Pumpkins. She found the idea on Pinterest here.

I took a few quick photos on my iPhone:

Getting our drinks...I mean hot glue guns...ready.

S bought old frames at a thrift store. Then she primed and painted them white. We had the option of "shabby chic-ing" the frames with sandpaper if we wanted. I chose to do it and I love how it turned out. 

The ladies intently gluing on the buttons.

We cut out the shape of a pumpkin from orange scrap booking paper, then glued on the buttons.

S found jars of orange buttons at a local craft store.

Obviously I'm not consuming alcohol right now, because I'm preggers, but I DID pour myself a cold Amber O'Douls.

Here's my finished pumpkin. I layered the buttons to give it more depth.

We attached a dark gray piece of scrap booking paper behind the frame. Here you can see how I gave my frame a nice "worn" look :) 

Then we placed the pumpkin in the frame.

Then I added a green stem (a doorknob that S painted) and some curly cues (made from floral wire wrapped around a marker).

Finishing up our masterpieces.

 All done!

My finished pumpkin. I set it on a photo stand and have it on my kitchen island.

And here is a photo of my friend Joy's pumpkin. She placed it on a shelf in her living room.

Every year when I decorate for Fall I'll see this craft and remember the great time I had with my crafty ladies :)

Do you have any cool Fall or Halloween crafts in the works? I'd love to hear about them

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Use what you've got

Matt and I recently hosted a party at our home. And I just wanted to share my inexpensive tips & ideas for decorating our dining room table, and a few other tidbits from the party:

Everything that I used for the party I already had! I didn't buy a single thing to decorate. I was creative and used what we had around our home and yard.

The theme of the party was "Julia Child" so I automatically thought that the decorations should have a French flair. I went on Pinterest and searched under 'Julia Child party' and 'french party' and everything that came up was very frilly french (black and white color schemes, lace and old florals, eiffel towers, wine bottles and corks, fancy crystal glasses, etc). I respect that style, but it's just not really what I like to decorate with. 

I like bright colors (aquas, turquoises, greens, oranges, corals) and simple dinnerware, silverware and glassware. So I decided to use what I already had laying around the house, instead of going out and buying I'll-use-only-once-decor, and then added my own artsy Julia Child touches.

This is what I came up with -
Table runner: World Market (bought years ago)
Aqua colored water glasses: Pottery Barn (bought last year with a gift card)
Wine glasses: Williams-Sonoma and Riedel (wedding gifts)
Vases: Michaels and IKEA
Candle holders: World Market, Target and Pier 1
Candlesticks: Home Goods and Matt's grandma
White dinner and salad plates: Pier 1 (wedding gift)
Gold embellished dessert plates: I borrowed these from my mom :)
Pepper Grinder:
Silverware: Target (wedding gift)
Cloth napkins and napkin rings: Pier 1 (wedding gifts)

 I wrote the guests' names on old corks with a Sharpie marker for placeholders (no cost). And I printed my favorite Julia Child quotes (which I found online) and placed a different one at each person's place setting. As the night went on, each person read their quote out loud.

I used bleeding heart stems/leaves for the table's center vase, from our yard. They were simple, colorful, and I loved how they were changing from green to yellow due to Fall. I also placed some hydrangea blossoms in smaller vases on the table (also from our yard).

I lined up all of the drinks in a row on our bar. I think it looked pretty cool!

I have an assortment of vintage aprons from Matt's grandma. I let each lady pick out an apron of their choice to wear at the beginning of the evening! And the guys were offered chefs hats (which I got for $1.60/hat at a local party supply store).

Of course I added something to my nifty little chalkboard...

Oh...and one thing non-party related. I had my first ultrasound for baby Bremser #2 this week. The baby was healthy and very active :) We are so thankful.

Thanks for letting me share. Have a nice week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rain days

We had planned to go camping this weekend. But dear Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate with our human plans.

We made a reservation at one of our favorite state parks, Kohler-Andrae State Park, a few months ago. The plan was for Matt, Liam and I to camp on Thursday and Friday night, and then Matt invited some of his guy friends to camp with him on Saturday night.

We set up camp on Thursday night just fine. We put up our tent, put up the EZ-Up tent and built a nice campfire. Liam LOVED running around the campsite, collecting leaves and playing in the dirt. We prepared an easy campfire dinner and popped it over the flames.

We knew beforehand that the weather was supposed to be crap. The forecast for the entire weekend was like an 80% chance of thunderstorms. But we so badly wanted Liam's first camping trip to be cool!

But at 8:00 pm that night my mom called my cell and informed us that there was a tornado warning three counties away from us. I was like "whatever." We weren't too worried because it was a very slow moving storm. But the more we thought about it...we figured why would we want to spend Liam's first camping trip stuck in a tent with lightning and thunder?

So Matt, Liam and I ate our dinner by campfire/lantern light and then I took Liam home for bedtime. Matt stayed behind to watch over the site. I think we was excited to "man it" by himself for a night in a storm.

 Liam enjoying his first-ever camping dinner

Friday's forecast was worse than Thursday's, so we decided to skip the campground. We headed to Milwaukee to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum instead. Liam enjoyed....

...riding on a Harley Davidson... shopping...

...and broadcasting local sports!

Don't worry - Matt still got to enjoy his Saturday afternoon and evening with "the guys." The weather cleared up enough that they were able to play Beersby all night.

What did YOU do during the rainy weather??