Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

the first Thanksgiving


Posted by Rebecca, November 26th, 2010

Our first Thanksgiving went off without a hitch.  My tablescape was threatened Wednesday night when the Macky Monster woke up and discovered what I had done….

Of course he went straight for the twigs, which was okay because a) they are fully organic and can’t hurt him and b) they were free.  If he chewed them off I’d just go pick some more!

But surprisingly, he investigated for a few minutes and then walked away, TABLE UNDAMAGED.  It was a Thanksgiving miracle! Even throughout the night, the table remained perfect.  This gives me hope for future decor…as long as I manage to set things up while he’s not around.  Once things are up he generally doesn’t care, but if you’re doing something and not paying attention to him? He will do his best to wreck your plans. Such a puppy.

Thanksgiving day was also our first snow while living here.  It did snow on the house once while it was being built, but that doesn’t count, right?

It started off as small flurries, so small that I thought I saw a single flake and told Mike, then I was like naaah, probably just something falling from a tree.  But then we started getting big flakes that were blowing about.

Here’s our kitchen in the midst of the Thanksgiving chaos, before dinner. Since we’re vegetarian and I really did not want to touch a turkey, my mom brought it.

Much to my delight, the centerpiece was not only pretty, but functional.  I kept it low enough that it managed to stay on the table all day, and is still there! Here’s the table right before we ate, made a little more functional with one of the table extensions in, placemats (to protect our solid wood, non-glossy Ikea table), napkins and utensils.  We put all of the food out on the island, buffet style, to save room.

And then I stopped taking pictures.  Until I sat down with my plate and thought MY GOSH THAT IS A LOT OF FOOD. This was taken with my iPhone, because nothing ruins a meal like getting up and being like wait, wait! I need to get my giant camera to take pictures for my blog!

Mixed in that plate there is… sweet potato casserole, stuffing, spaghetti squash, corn, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli and carrots au gratin. Yes I ate the gravy, it’s once a year and I can’t turn down my mom’s homemade gravy on my potatoes.  Not included in this picture is the cranberry sauce, appetizers or desserts.  Oh and the lasagna we ate before this meal.  I will never be able to button my pants again.

That being said, we have enough leftovers to last a lifetime. I realized this when I opened my fridge this morning.

We completely emptied our fridge before Thanksgiving, so all of those containers have leftovers in them.  We tapped into some of them tonight.

We will never go hungry again.

I hope all of you had a happy one!

a Thanksgiving table


Posted by Rebecca, November 24th, 2010

I always wanted to do a fancy table setting, then last week Mike randomly told me I should try one of those fancy table settings, so I considered it a challenge. Up until about 2 hours ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I went to Michael’s earlier in the week and grabbed a few things, but they were mostly for Christmas. I was planning on just winging this.

So I began by cleaning out some old, reliable vases we have that got very cloudy from constant use (note: I use these 2 vases to decorate A LOT. My parents got them for free when they took home a centerpiece from a wedding)

I peeked out our kitchen window and had a revelation… I should go get some sticks!

So I went outside, with no jacket or plan in mind.  It was freezing out there, but our yard is very sticky…

(That sign on the tree way back there is a no hunting sign.  I’m glad there will be no bullets flying in my animal loving yard.)

In the midst of my stick search, I heard my neighbors come outside.  I am now the looney chick who picks sticks with one hand, holds camera in the other. Great.

My gatherings…

(another note: In the midst of taking these pictures, I complained to Mike about how the kitchen appears so orange when I take pictures.  So he showed me how to adjust the white balance on the camera, genius! From this picture on, the colors of the countertop/backsplash are much more accurate!)

We also had a bowl of apples from when we went apple picking in September. They’re not good enough to eat but they’re good enough for props!

And my vases are now sparkling!

So still, no plan.  But I began to throw things in this square banana leaf basket I got at Michael’s and things just sort of took off. Pine cones are from Michael’s, mini-pumpkins we had, apples we had and sticks from the yard…

That’s a napkin in there, it was all looking too brown so I had to improvise.  Then I stuck it on the table, on a ramie runner I picked up at Target.

The vases? They got filled with apples and sticks (oh yeah, I had to go back outside and get more sticks!) Then I wrapped a sparkly brown, thick ribbon that I bought for Christmas around them.  I taped the ribbon so that it comes off easily and stuck them on our buffet.  Oh and on the bottom is a mini-wreath from Michael’s, also bought for my Christmas decor.

Here’s my Crate & Barrel pumpkin I bought a while back, on a “mini-runner” of two napkins…

And the completed table, assembled mostly from stuff I had…

What, the heads of your table don’t get their own special wooden bowls? Okay we only have 2 of those, but they’re too great to leave out!

Mission accomplished! Luckily, Macky was sleeping throughout this process, so he still has no clue of what I did.  I tiptoed through the house so I wouldn’t wake him.  Not to shabby for our first Thanksgiving and it was lots of fun.  Now on to some cooking!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂

next on the list


Posted by Rebecca, November 18th, 2010

After our garage project this past weekend, our office seemed to become even more cluttered…

(I know my husband is cringing at the lighting in these photos, but it’s 10pm, I left the house at 7:30am and I clearly missed the opportunity to take pictures in natural light)

A good amount of the boxes in the garage belonged in the office.  Since we didn’t have a “true” office area until now, we held off on unpacking any of our supplies.

Apparently, when I’m away from the house for as many hours as I was today, the kids suffer. They must have been very excited to see me because they seized any photo bombing opportunity they could get their paws on…

“Hi Momma!”


Attempting to circle her birthday on my new calendar.

Due to the bad lighting in the office and the presence of photo bombers, I decided to take my party to the kitchen.  Hence the out of context pictures that are coming.

So Saturday, as we were cleaning the garage, we ran to Walmart to get some more garbage bags.  In passing I spotted these great desk organizers…

I picked up two of these, it’s hard to tell but they’re a dark purple color and have my current favorite pattern on the inside…

I also picked up an organizer with cute little compartments on the inside (which are removable)…

I have mentioned before that the lighting in my kitchen appears orangish in pictures.  So yeah, moving my new office organizers there wasn’t my brightest moment. Someday I’ll learn how to control for that.

Anywho, the moral of this story is that the next item we are tackling on our pre-Christmas list is #4: finish organizing the office! Hopefully we can do it in one day and the furry party crashers will be on their best behavior! 🙂

the 6 weekends of Christmas


Posted by Rebecca, November 11th, 2010

I mentioned in my last post that we are trying to not attempt any new projects before the holidays, as we have so many cans of worms we’ve already opened.  We have 6 weekends before Christmas (since Thanksgiving is like, 2 weeks away, I know that goal is totally unattainable) so here is my wish list of things to finish in that time….

1. Finish Unpacking.  Yes we officially moved in here almost 7 months ago and unpacked hardcore for a few weeks.  But once the spring came along, we decided to enjoy our time here and not stress about getting every single thing unpacked.  Fast forward 7 months when winter is quickly approaching and we’d like to be able to park our cars in the garage if it snows….

But this heaping pile of stuff is in the way.  No one has ever seen this.  People aren’t allowed in the garage.  It looks like a garage sale because we often pick through the boxes and containers of things in there.  It’s really not as much stuff as it looks like, as nothing is consolidated.  I’m an all or nothing type of person, either it’s organized and color coordinated, or I wait until I have the time to do so.  We have this project planned for Saturday since it will be nice out, wish us luck.

2. Caulk and paint new trim upstairs. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Paint this little spot. We had a curtain rod, then decided to go with roman shades and never finished it up.

Btw, that is our formal living room area.  Those shades are about all that is in that room.

4. Finish organizing the office.

That picture is the current status, as of like, 10 minutes ago. We haven’t worked on it in a few weeks and it could use some love.  And organization.

5. Hang items already purchased, yet never hung.  This applies to two things I can think of.  The  arrangement of frames in our family room…

And the shelves we purchased months ago to hang on this dining room wall…

6. Grout backsplash.  That pretty little backsplash that shows up in my cookie jar pictures? Though we had it tiled by a professional friend about 2 months ago, he didn’t have time to grout it and we figured we could tackle it on our own.  We just haven’t done it yet…

Sidenote: I’ve been told that pictures make the backsplash look way more gold than it is.  I think it’s because of the under cabinet lights.  It’s not goldish like it looks in the second picture.

7. Plan out some holiday decor! I’ve mentioned my desire for a runner and table scape, but it is also our first Christmas in the new house, so we need to figure out where to put things.  Including a tree… oh and we have an entire outside of a house now.

Images via this post from Hooked on Houses.  This was funny because I did a google image search and noticed a blog I read came up in the results.  I had to use these pictures after reading the awesome post about the Christmas Vacation house and the entry linked in there about the house from Home Alone.  What kid didn’t dream about living there?

8. Work out a solution for family room window treatments. Seriously, this situation has gotten beyond ridiculous.

Crinkled paper blinds.  ‘Nuff said.

9. Learn how to be Martha Stewart.  I bought a cookie cookbook because I have always wanted to try some different cookies for Christmas.  And I suppose this could go under #7, but I want to figure out how to make a wreath out of ball shaped items…

I found directions here, though it’s not exactly what I had in mind, the assembly should be the same!

I suppose this is what a Christmas list looks like when you’re an adult….

thanksgiving prep


Posted by Rebecca, November 10th, 2010

On Friday we had some friends from college over (Hi Lindsey and Jon!).  They brought us these cute little birch votive holders from Crate and Barrel…

Which go so nicely with my little Crate and Barrel pumpkin-scape

My favorite part of these candles is that they’re stitched up the back, corset style…

I put the candles with the pumpkins, which are all still on my buffet since I tried setting the table on Halloween and Macky highly disapproved.

And by disapproved, I mean he rolled all over my clean table cloth then proceeded to knock coasters off the table. He also apparently tried to carry the mini pumpkins off the table, as evidenced by this bite mark I just noticed in one of the pictures…

You know the book/movie Marley & Me? I think I better start writing Macky & Me.

Okay enough with being photo detective and back to my fall table! We have some place mats and I recently picked up a brown table cloth, but I would like a runner.  Our dining room chairs are shades of browns and blues, so anything too holiday themed isn’t going to compliment the room.  Which is probably good, because I’m not into typical holiday colored things.  So I was excited to see this runner that I could use year round and also goes with my little pumpkin/candle accessories…

It’s the Eastleigh Green-Teal Runner from Crate and Barrel.  My only problem with this is a) aren’t there enough things from Crate and Barrel in there?  I know I love the place, but I’m looking borderline obsessed and b) it’s pricey considering I’d probably need the largest size with both extensions in my table.  So chances are, I’m going to pass on the C&B runner, but I figured I’d share it until I find an alternative 🙂

ps- please excuse the lighting in these pictures… the dramatic lighting in the dining room doesn’t make for the best photo ops!

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