Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wish I was here…

All White Bedding
First, a BIG THANK YOU to the Inspired Honey Bee for featuring our Christmas card in the Pinterest-a-thon #2! I am so touched and flattered to be chosen.

Second, I am ready for the New Year! I know, I know Christmas was just Monday but I have to say that I am one of those, that is all about it until the 26th and then it’s time to move on and focus on renewal and some calm. That’s probably why this year I am a little frazzled this week because I am not getting any of that “calm” thing…

I got a crazy hair up my ‘you know what’ Monday night and decided I needed to start taking down the holiday decorations. I was really crabby from a typical conversation I had with someone close to me so I channeled my crabby energy into something useful, I guess. We are going away for New Year’s for a few days and I dreaded the thought to coming home and having to worry about taking everything down. Now, it’s done and I can move on. It’s amazing that what took weeks to decorate can be taken down in a matter of several hours. So, now every surface is pretty bare until I figure out what I want to do. 

I am so restless right now…I am chomping at the bit to start on some long overdue projects yet in other ways I feel paralyzed on what I want to do. I am craving change big time right now because I feel unsettled.  I am just plain worn out from all the “festivities” and the to do’s, I guess. I just want to do nothing for a little while to settle the brain frenzy and to take some time to be inspired again because I can’t stay still for too long. :)
Don’t get me wrong, I just LOVE, LOVE the holidays, the entertaining and all the crafting, decorating, and cooking I sign myself up for, but I will tell you, by Christmas Eve I was mentally spent and I hate that! And the thought of having more still to do this week has just really taken a toll on me. I suppose you could say it’s self inflicted, but I so enjoy the many things I do around the holidays that I don’t know how not to get burned out.

I look forward to the days away to get a breather. I have a new book from the library, ‘A Thousand Gifts’ I am ready to dive into and some new digital magazine issues to read on my downtime when Reed is napping (no chores calling my name)or before bed, I can’t wait. I think this time will allow me to really focus my mind and make some goals for 2012. I do cherish this time of year-a new beginning!

Have you started thinking of what you want for 2012?

Focus on your health?
More quality family time?
New decorating projects?
A new hobby?

Yeah, that pretty much sums up the general areas I want, too! These are the type of topics that I will be blogging about in the New Year!

Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year!

Shaklee Hand on Grass_thumb[1] (1)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas recap & little gifts of appreciation

Hope everyone had the most joyous of Holidays!

Ours was very enjoyable! We had the “big” festivities on Christmas Eve and then yesterday was all about opening presents from Santa and then just playing, relaxing and just a little putting the house back together from all the cooking & present opening on Christmas Eve. We had our good friends over for casual snacks & winter Sangria (delish!) in the evening to get one last little low key celebrating in. We started doing this last year when we made the decision not to travel on Christmas so we can let Reed be at stay home on Christmas morning.

Here is our intimate Christmas Eve table for four…Christmas 2011 049
Christmas 2011 015

We were able to get a really nice family photo this year. Jeff & I hate looking at our last year’s picture since we have lost quite a bit of weight since then. :)
New Christmas Photo

The week leading up to Christmas I was busy putting together little gifts of appreciation.
First I ordered some local(I LOVE supporting little local shops), handmade toffee we ordered to hand out to Jeff’s team at work. Since they were already bagged at the shop, I just added a little note to personalize the treat. I had just received a customizable stamp kit from my mother-in-law when we celebrated Christmas the weekend before. This was a great chance to use it!
Reed Santa 013  Reed Santa 008

Then on Wednesday a good friend and workout buddy came over for our 2nd annual cookie baking night. We are very fortunate to have such great “teachers” that take such good care of our kids where we workout. Especially at Holiday time we like to show them extra gratitude by making them some yummy treats! Last year when we did this, they just gushed and gushed about it, so I don’t think it happens too much. What a shame!!!

This year, we made White Chocolate lollipops with cashews & dried cherries, Hot Cocoa Cookies and Shortbread dipped in chocolate with walnuts and then cut shortbreads into snowflakes drizzled with chocolate with crushed peppermints. The juxtaposition of mint with the buttery shortbread is really quite enjoyable!

I cut some greens from our yard and Kelly took them home and boxed them up with the lollipops on top. When we brought in the treats, we dropped the kids off to play for awhile and went shopping…(so much for working out) LOL!
It’s so enjoyable to do a joint effort!

So, one would think this week I can relax a little…but we are going out of town for New Year’s to celebrate with extended family so I have some more baking I want to do to give as gifts and I am ready to start my January pare down and cleaning!  I have already stripped our bed and have been washing every bit of it today. I LOVE starting fresh!

What are you up to today? Did you hit the sales?

Are you still celebrating or are you focusing on the New Year?

Are you ready to lose those extra pounds?

This has helped me lose weight & some serious inches and counting!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

A night to visit Santa

We went to visit Santa tonight. The hours for Santa this year just didn’t work with his afternoon nap, so we took Reed tonight at 5:30 since Jeff had the day off today. It was such an enjoyable family night for us. We are really making some great memories!

We parked then walked over to Starbucks(to take the chill off) and Reed got a apple juice box which is a REAL treat for him since his juice is otherwise extremely watered down. Reed decided to just climbed into one of the big comfy chairs to drink his juice box while we were waiting for our drinks. He is growing up so darn fast!!!

We walked a few blocks to wait for Santa. It was chilly tonight but he did so great waiting out in the cold for 35 minutes. He was just so pumped to tell Santa what he wanted this year. And, he actually did(you never know with a two year old). He was so grown up talking to Santa! He got his very first candy cane, too and he was darn excited about it!!! :)

Here is the big beautiful tree that is in the center of downtown next to where Santa is.
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Daddy & Reed braving the cold!
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    And the big boy sitting on Santa’s lap shmoozing him for what he would like for Christmas(since his parents waited until the night before Christmas Eve, it will be a “rush” order for the elves to make the two toys he asked for) including giving him a big hug!
Reed Santa 067 
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Reed Santa 074
Afterwards, he ate a little dinner in the car while we drove around to a few houses to look at lights all snuggled in his new snowman blanket he got for a Christmas present. He was so snuggly warm!

 Here is one of the houses we saw-quite spectacular! It’s one of those where the lights change to music!
Reed Santa 088

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy & healthy New Year!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Home Tour, Part II

Welcome to the second part of our holiday home tour. I just love putting little touches throughout our home to make it festive!

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Powder Room
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Dining Room
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More Holiday Decor 074
GreenWay Christmas 018
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For more Holiday Decorating:
I am linking up to:
 Shaklee Hand on Grass
All of us are trying to make positive changes in our lives, whether it is creating a cleaner, safer home for our families, getting healthier, losing weight and/or staying as youthful and vibrant as we can! I can help you with any of that.Shaklee provides a HEALTHIER LIFE for everyone and a BETTER LIFE for anyone!
I would love to share how Shaklee's products can make such a difference in your life!
Email Me:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Crafting

Hello all-how was your weekend? We had a great one! We hosted a Christmas for Jeff’s family. It was great to have all the cousins together. They burned energy in the bounce house, decorated cookies and of course played with the new presents we exchanged. It was a great day. We had just a little dusting of snow so it made the day feel so magical.
Do you think I took a picture of the tablesetting? Of course not! I was able to capture a couple pictures of some things I did do for the table.

Casual Holiday Table Crafts
GreenWay Christmas 171 GreenWay Christmas 170
I put a piece of scrapbook paper at each kid’s placesetting for them to decorate the placemat with Christmas stickers. What young kid doesn’t like stickers? The one above is Reed’s. In some of that trusty ‘ole scrapbook paper pad that I have been using for everything this year, they had “gift tags” that I used as napkin holder/placecard with the letter stickers that were in that pad as well.  I was going for a very casual, homey feel for our table.

Glitter Snowflakes
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I pinned this project on my Holiday Board on Pinterest. It’s not your grade school pasta craft!
I wish it showed more glittery in the pictures, but they are in person. You can follow the ‘how to’ from the pin. I need to make a few more. I lost 2 in hanging when they dropped on the table and I think 4 more would round out the “branch tree” better.

Letter Garland
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Remember that glittery eyelash yarn (Martha Stewart’s) that I created my tree garland with? Well, I told you I used it other places…I decided to use the individual strands for letter garland on the dining room mirror. I just love how feathery and sparkly it is!!!
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I used two different papers since you would see the back of the letters in the reflection. Double-side paper would save the step of cutting out twice and gluing. :)

So, those are the crafts I have been working on.

Do you do crafts this time of year? What are you working on?

Do you have a Pinterest account? Leave me a comment so I can follow you. Please come visit mine, here!

I am linking up to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesday's Treasures
Home Stories from A to Z Tutorials & Tips

Shaklee Hand on Grass
All of us are trying to make positive changes in our lives, whether it is creating a cleaner, safer home for our families, getting healthier, losing weight and/or staying as youthful and vibrant as we can! I can help you with any of that.Shaklee provides a HEALTHIER LIFE for everyone and a BETTER LIFE for anyone!
I would love to speak with you on how Shaklee's products can make a difference in your life!
Email Me:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I interupt all the decorating, wrapping, baking…

to talk about staying healthy this time of year.

I know, not a typical post this time of year and maybe not as “fun” as getting ideas to for decorating and baking, but I hope it inspires you nonetheless.  :) If we feel sick & run down, how can you really enjoy yourself and create the memories with your families, especially this time of year?

I have ALWAYS loved my sleep and usually get to bed around 10. The past few weeks, though I have been up until midnight or 1am doing things I love to do (I think this is only possible because Reed is sleeping until 7:30/8ish and then just plays in his room until I get up, rough I know). It dawned on me the other day that last year I wouldn’t of been able to hold this kind of schedule day in and day out if I wasn’t healthy. I have so much more energy and don’t feel like I need a nap all the time. Feeling great makes all the difference!

Here are the ways I have found to stay healthy & feel great:

Take great vitamins (Shaklee’s Vitalizer)

Wash hands often and always before eating.

Drink lots of water(except for my morning coffee & occasional wine with hubby) it’s all I drink anymore. This was huge for me, being a coca-cola addict!

Get enough sleep (yes, I am staying up late currently, but at least still  getting 7-8 hours)

Eating clean food-nothing processed and getting more veggies (eating this way doesn’t necessarily mean low fat, but just eating real food that you know the ingredients and you can enjoy because it tastes great).
Working out 2-3 times a week (cardio & weights)

Eating breakfast (I never have been a breakfast person-but now I drink a protein shake I really enjoy with 15+ grams of protein to jump start my day)

Losing weight (so far 22 lbs and 3, almost 4 sizes) are you curious how I did it? LOL!

Make it a family affair. Everyone in this house lives employs healthy practices.

What things do you do to stay healthy & feel great?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift & Tree Decorating Ideas

Wow, it’s been a busy week already. How about you? Are you getting all ready? Have you finished decorating & shopping?
We decided this year to do the twelve days of Christmas with Reed to spread out the gifts so it’s not so overwhelming getting them all on Christmas morning. He is almost 2 1/2 so I think he will get excited about opening a little gift each day. I don’t know how many years we will do this as the presents get more expensive as they get older…LOL! I started scouting out books, games and toys a few months ago as I saw them at Home Goods & TJ Maxx. They have different stuff than you find in the typical toy department and for really great prices.
In one of the Holiday paper pads, there was a sheet with numbers on them. They would be cute for an advent calendar too since it was 1-25. Obviously, we just used the 1-12 for what we needed them for. It will be fun to have him search for the number of the day we are on. Wednesday, December 14th starts day 1.
Christmas Tree 2 257 New Pics 013
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I promised Jeff last year as we were wrapping presents that I wouldn’t buy any more NEW wrapping paper until we finished what we had. See, every year I would choose a “theme” in which to wrap gifts so we had collected quite a mish mash of what hadn’t been used over the years. So, I fully intended on using the paper, ribbon, bows, gift tags we had until….
I saw the ribbons at Michaels this year. Have you seen them? So stinkin cute, I was giddy picking them out. I bought so many when they were half off. Most of them were .99! Even if I had too many, I knew they would get used for other things. I think the white pom pom might be my favorite!!!
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I put all the “12 Days” in the buckets so he doesn’t have to dig under the tree, plus I was looking for an excuse to use the buckets for presents. I am loving that look that I have seen in PB catalog & Pinterest this year. I added some sparkly ribbon and greens to dress the plain white metal tubs I have for summer parties. Had I bought them for filling with presents, I would of gone more aged...but it’s what I had on hand and I am not sure if I want to part with my “summer” tubs.
Here’s another way I decorated the packages with the “gift tag”. I cut out the receiver’s initial (and wrote the from on the back) from Holiday paper (I am glad I am getting good use out of those scapbook paper pads, LOL).
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Ever since I had to figure out how to photograph a tree in manual mode to capture the lights, I can’t stop playing with the different settings. Wow, natural light really is a photographer’s best friend. Centsational Girl had some great photo tips last week and natural light was one of them. To illustrate the point…
Here is our family tree during the day-
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vs at night-
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Bear with me as I play with my camera, just thought this was a pretty shot…although it’s at night.
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Even the “old girl” in our living room looks good during the day! Poor thing has lights out everywhere…
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I added a couple things to this tree because it was soooo lacking and it’s right when you enter our front door, so the poor girl had to try to be pretty. First I just had the red & gold beads already and it looked better with…but then I found some feathery, glittery yarn (Martha Stewart) in a gold/champagne color and knew I could quadruple the strands up and wrap them around one another to make a thicker soft garland. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this stuff. I want to use it everywhere And I may have, well not everywhere…LOL! Do you ever get like that? 
I don’t think this picture does it justice. It’s just so soft & pretty sparkling from the tree lights.
Christmas Tree 2 170

Home should be the safest place on earth…
Do you want your home to be clean yet non-toxic?  Shaklee’s products do just that. They are the BEST I have ever used. Try the Shaklee Difference for yourself!!!
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