We love, Love.

I know that a post about our Valentines day a full week later seems silly but our decorating idea (I thought) would be fun to do again for birthdays, a random Tuesday, anniversaries, a good report card etc etc.
Sooooo here we are!

We started the night before on February 13th by having friends over to celebrate a birthday but also to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. We sat around the fire pit laughing for a long time and after the little ones were in bed I worked on their present/decorations as the night went on (a fairly decent display of time management if I do say so myself).

Before we went to bed we grabbed the balloons (hiding stealthily in the car) and then set to decorating. Everything looked so festive and lovely I’ll admit it felt like Christmas. Here’s the “how to”. It’s super easy but a little guidance never hurt anyone right?

“With love” balloon decor

You’ll need
•construction paper in a color of your choice
•metallic sharpies (or colored markers)
•small paper clips
•balloons filled with helium (quantity is up to you and you can pick either latex or Mylar) Dollar Tree and Party City sometimes have great deals.

Now. Assemble!

Step one: fold construction paper in half (unless you’re super talented and can cut your desired shape evenly proportioned). I made my heart shapes about the size of my hand. Make as many (or more) than the balloons you purchased.

Step two: take all of your cut outs and start writing your “I love you because…” On each one.

I wrote everything from
“I love your smile”
“I love the stories you tell me about your friends at school.”

Step three: use paper clips to affix the heart to the ribbon “tail” of the balloon.

Step four: If there are extras use them for additional decorations (windows, doors, mantel, etc)

The little mice loved it and while they didn’t tear around the room reading about how wonderful they are, I did catch them reading and smiling as each new one caught their eye.

I have seen similar projects using pictures and the effect is equally adorable. I would love to try that someday.

We lazed about all day, watching various Valentine Peanuts specials and concluded our day with a four course dinner at our favorite restaurant The Healthy Junk who had put together a beautiful candlelit setting that had our little ones especially impressed.

I must have heard “Which fork do I use?” At least four times.

After dinner we finally saw the Lego movie! It was very entertaining and as funny as I hoped it would be. Our youngest is still singing the theme song and it’s been DAYS.
“everything is awesome!”

All in all a day to celebrate not just romantic love but all forms of love is always an excellent idea. A feeling so warm and fuzzy that I’ve caught myself thinking of ways I could bring it to our everyday lives.












The easiest DIY ornaments ever

So in my last blog post

I mention trimming our tree with a collection of ornaments we’ve made ourselves (half of them we made ourselves the other half I think I got in a “guaranteed not to shatter” lot on eBay 10 years ago, we tend to break stuff)

Last year I had the bright idea of making ornaments only to discover they don’t fully dry right away see below for those. For this years project skip the paragraph below.

Here are the directions for clay ornaments:
•get air drying modeling clay from Michaels or any craft store.
•cut it out in circles (I used the top of a jar, like making biscuits), use a straw to make a whole in the top and stamp with something Christmas-y
•add hooks (which is another thing I forgot last year)

So we got to add last years project to THIS years tree.

Anyway, our DIY ornament making this year is terrifyingly simple.

•go to your craft store, spend $10-$15 on clear ball ornaments (you can buy glass or plastic, I got plastic because *all together now* “we break stuff”.
•go into your garden, your attic, your junk drawer, your craft box and pull out items or glitter or pictures you would like to see in your ornaments. Take of the top and put above mentioned objects in.
You can even go the extra mile and get spray adhesive, add glitter and shake for sparkly Christmas madness.
•We went the garden way. Kap and I went and chopped some lavender and stuck a long sprig, a short and a medium inside and then popped the top back on.

Boom! Christmas-ed!

Afterword: We had a smidge of condensation on the inside of the ornament the next day but it was dissipated by this morning. I think keeping “living bits” inside it’s a good idea to maybe keep them small and airy.





Quiet life holiday prep adventureday

Today was another of our quiet life adventuredays. This one focused around getting the house ready for Christmas.

We aren’t getting our tree till next weekend when the little mice are home but they got to help trim our halls today and our friend brought over her Nightmare Before Christmas themed tree that she didn’t have room for in her home this year, so by next weekend we’ll have TWO trees! Talk about a holiday festivity win.

The kids wrote their letters to Santa last night then we woke up to rain (a welcome sight in California) went outside to spin around for a bit (because that’s what we do) and decided to rouse the rest of the house.

Next on the list was a coffee run and game time. The kids played chess (they played checkers with me because I always thought chess was too pretentious, don’t worry I’ll learn someday) and took turns with plants vs. zombies on the computer…that’s a nice joyous theme right?

In the background we played some of our favorite holiday movies:
•Mixed Nuts
•A Christmas Story
•Simpsons Christmas collection (seriously)
•A Charlie Brown Christmas (I THINK that’s the proper name…it might be Merry Christmas Charlie Brown).

We decorated in between games, hung the garland, lights inside, arranged the nativity scenes and when our friend arrived started trimming what I’m so lovingly calling “the nightmare tree” sounds disturbing but it’s fun having a corner devoted to another of our favorite holiday films.

After the little mice left to visit their dad, Brayden invited his friends over and I had some of my favorite people over for some Dr. Who and World’s End viewing.

It was such a lovely day of laughing, creativity and quiet merriment. A wondeful start to the holiday season.