Thursday, December 22, 2011

Loving all this baking, decorating and gift wrapping!!!

My mothers amazing cocoa peppermint kisses!

The village on the mantel 

The most "snow" we've seen all year : )

Our little homeshrine forest

Free mugs from J.Crew made for some awesome teacher gifts at Isabel's school

All the teachers and therapists loved their homemade ornaments!

Getting ready for the children to decorate their gingerbread houses!

Isabel and her sweet friend at school after their Christmas concert

Trip to Chicago to visit the market in Daily plaza

Time for some gift wrapping!!! new favorite gift topper!

Everything is wrapped and ready to gift

Homemade glass glitter stars!

Still using some supplies brought back from Italy : )

Merry Christmas!

Along with all these fun festivities happening around the house, we've also been very blessed to have a wonderful parish that had 14 priests come and hear confessions in spiritual preparation for our Lords coming!  We've also been moving Mary and Joseph from room to room as they shelter seek for a place to stay for our Little Lords birth.  It's hard to believe that Christmas is JUST around the corner!!!  I know to some it may seem very last minute, but we just went today to cut down our tree!  Our family usually waits until later in Advent to get our tree as we hold off in anticipation for our Saviors birth. While a great deal has been accomplished in this past week alone, I know that there is still so much to do in these next few days..... guess I'm going to be drinking some strong cappuccinos!  : )  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sharing the Joy and Traditions of the Advent Season!

We thought this was going to be the one....

But then there were other prospects!

Yes, this was the one!

The perfect tree all trimmed and ready to go!

How beautiful is that??!!!

I loved how the light is just glowing!

And it looks antique from here.

Such a beautiful tree!

Growing up I loved the season of Advent as we prepared for our Little Saviors coming.  There were always cherished memories shared by my immediate family as we continued our yearly Advent traditions together.  A few of these traditions would include my dad reading a scripture meditation at dinner time while one of the children would light a candle in the advent wreath on the dinner table; putting sacrifice straws in a crib for Baby Jesus and shelter seeking with our Mary and Joseph statues from bedroom to bedroom. Along with these beautiful traditions and ways of preparing for our Lords coming on Christmas day, we of also always anticipated the long awaited moment when we could finally play Christmas music!  The very first Christmas songs to be played usually came with the first batch of Christmas cookies or, as in this years case, with the first Christmas crafts to be made (Yay for modern technology and Creature Comforts blog ~ the source of many cute projects this year)!!!  Now that I'm older, I've been thinking to myself that it would be fun to branch out and spend time relishing in the joy of these delightful holiday moments with a good friend.  Soooo, for the very first time this year (due to my first winter not in college : ) I was able to spend a wonderful Advent filled weekend with a dear friend in Wisconsin!  It was a blast joining in on the fun of hunting for her perfect Christmas tree, taking it home and decking it out in lights and ornaments!  Ooohh and of course we shopped for ingredients,  baked Christmas goodies, listened to Christmas music and then with comfy clothes on and warm cozy blankets we enjoyed a good movie while the Christmas lights sparkled all around.  It was also neat this weekend because as our families had shared some of the same Advent traditions growing up, it was fun to be able to share in our mutual traditions this Advent season!  Needless to say, it was a wonderful way to spend Gaudete Sunday weekend ~ a time of joy and happy anticipation!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peppermint Cocoa Winter Wonderland!!!

This year was the very first time that we ever attempted to make homemade marshmallows!  Needless to day they were a huge success and big hit in our house. : )  With these really cold days lately we've been making many pots of hot cocoa and topping them off with these cute peppermint marshmallows.  I first got the idea from a dear friend of mine down in FL of all places ~ yes, they even drink hot cocoa down there too!  I was amazed that you could actually make these and not only can you make them, but they are quite easy too!  

Our Fall Project!

This fall we had our family room carpet replaced with beautiful hardwood floors!!!  Another thing that I love in a house....dark wood floor.  Now it's time to finish decorating and changing the wall paint.  

My 2011 Summer Painting Projects!

I'm finally posting pictures of my late summer project!  I had wanted to change the brown trim in the upstairs bedrooms to a clean crisp white and over the course of the early summer months I began this exciting task of  transformation, first in the girls bedroom.  While my mother was quite skeptical of the projects resulting looks, I continued in forward momentum!  First thing I can say now is....I'm glad it's all over!!!  At least the process of sanding all the trim, doors and cuboards, which can get old quickly.  Also taking down wall paper and soaking off glue is therapeutic only until a certain point! : ) Many hours were spent with paintbrush in hand, coffee close by and music as my only companion.  But how rewarding it was to see those first layers of white go up.  Then before one knew it, the first bedroom was complete!  What was once the peppy pink colored girls room is now a fresh relaxing robins egg blue room with gorgeous white trim!  We all loved the new room so much, my mom asked if we could swap rooms????  Relenting this idea at first,  I gradually changed my mind at the thought of having an even bigger and more spacious room for all the girls.  Sooo there I was, starting the whole project all over again.....more coffee, more sanding, more paint, MORE windows, more music, more fun......till I thought to myself midway through.....WHAT was I thinking!!!????  Why did I ever have to think that white trim is sooo beautiful!!???  Well, in the long run I have to admit that it was all worth it!!!   (and what might be the random picture of food was actually delicious sustenance during this fun project!)