Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deep thought thursday...


p.s. I loved this bit on second chances and wanted to point it out to anyone who hasn't seen it. Also, this SNL skit on going home for the holidays cracks me up!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wandering Wednesday: Leila comes to Denver!

^^ those cheeks! so good! ^^
^^ miss this lady so bad ^^
^^this cousin encounter was the sweetest sight ^^
A couple months ago my sister, niece and brother-n-law came to visit me in Denver! It was super special and meant so much to me that they made the effort to get out here (with a 4 month old flying for the first time, eek!) Little Leila has grown so much since the last time I saw her and her cheeks, don't even get me started on her cheeks! We had a really casual weekend going to some of our favorite neighborhood places. Kate and Mike still have a lot of friends and family here in Colorado so it was important for them to reconnect and show everyone the baby. Sunday Mike's parents threw a 'Meet the Baby' brunch party which ended up being a perfect way to get everyone together!

I am off to Tennessee Friday for the holidays and can't wait to see these girls again, along with the rest of my family and my other adorable niece! Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wandering Wednesday: Holiday Markets, Tree Decorating and Cooking Making...

Once Thanksgiving was over I completely gave in to my domestic desires and went all-out Christmas decorating mode. It gets a little crazier every time. I have this box of ornaments in storage that keeps growing. I finally took it out last week and it was a really cool moment. A lot of the ornaments I have were made by my mother when she was my age. She is such a creative inspiration. And many of the other ornaments are ones we had on our tree growing up which makes it even more special. I am starting to understand my mom's ornament addiction more and more as I get older (she probably has around 200 no joke). So the tree is up, the village of terrarium globes I made last year, lights, candles, the works. Tasteful, but not totally modest. Once the burst of cold came through last week, I was aching for a good cup of hot chocolate and a viewing of Love Actually (this, btw, cracks me up). What can I say, I'm a total sucker for all the cheeseball holiday stuff I can get my hands on.  
Last weekend Aly and I spent a few hours at the Horseshoe Holiday Market. I had pretty much been locked in my house most of the week since the weather hadn't risen above the teens so it was good to be out and about. So, so cold though. The market was downtown this time, which was nice because I never really venture over there and it was fun to see all the lights and buildings decorated. The market was of course inside, thank goodness, and was lovely as usual. I came home with a few Christmas gifts and a little something for myself. Success. 
Sunday we baked cookies. I love, love, love baking sugar cookies. Growing up, I always looked forward to making and decorating them with my mom. She goes all out for even the smaller holidays like Easter and Valentine's Day so it's no surprise that it rubbed off on me a bit. Thanks mom. So, this year the ladies baked cookies while the boys watched the Broncos game. I hate to say that I'm totally fine with that but I am. We also chatted, drank spiked hot chocolate and listened to guilty pleasure Christmas music like Mariah Carey. Damn I love the holidays.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MAKE: Felted Acorn Ornaments

Wool Roving 
Felting Pad or Sponge
Acorn Caps
Drill and 1/8 in Drill Bit
Glue Gun and Glue

The wool roving can be found online or at your local craft and supplies store. For you Denver folk, Fancy Tiger has a lovely selection of colors. Probably the hardest thing about this project is finding the acorn caps. I looked far and wide for mine back in the fall. If you do go on the hunt here are some basic tips: there are quite a few varieties acorns but they always grow on Oak trees-- to learn more about identifying Oak trees and the types of acorns that might be falling in your area this field guide is very helpful! Or just take a might get lucky, the best time for seed collection is during the months of September and October! And of course you can buy them online too, because we have everything at our fingertips these days, but what's the fun in that?! Unless it's 5 degrees and the ground is frozen--then you have an excuse.
Start by rolling the wool roving into a ball, this should be a shape similar to the size you'd like your acorn to be but don't worry too much about this because you can reshape it once you start the felting process. Using your felting needle work into the wool until it starts to harden and form shape. This video is ever so helpful if you are not very familiar with needle felting and also does what pictures can't in terms of seeing the whole process from start to finish. Once you have your beautiful felted acorn bottom you need to find its acorn cap mate! Before assembling the acorn, drill a small hole into the top, loop a piece of string through and secure with a knot-- cut off any excess string with scissors. Push the acorn into its cap and finish shaping if necessary. Remove the cap and add a bit of glue. Done! 

I like to make several in my favorite fall colors and put them on the tree as a set. They also serve as festive decoration if you want to skip the last few steps and just sprinkle them on your Christmas table, place them in a bowl, or use them to wrap presents