2017 christmas around our home

January 8, 2018

We go quite simple in our holiday decorating, and since we got everything up so late, we went really simple this year. I know the holidays are over and done, and we only had our decor up for 2 weeks, but here’s a little peek on how we got festive for this special season (I meant to share it during the holidays, but we all got hit with the flu right after Christmas). Our faux tree is decorated with wooden and straw ornaments, elf stockings are hung the chimney with care,  there’s a dowel tree in our dining room, our felt pom pom garland tree in the stairwell, and a collection of large bottle brush trees on our piano. I love and appreciate homes that are super decked out for the holidays, but the minimalist in me loves keeping it restrained in our own home.

I feel like my decor doesn’t have a strong cohesive theme or color scheme, so that’s something I’d like to improve upon, but I never figure it out early enough, so year after year, we end up putting the same things out. Maybe Christmas 2018 will be when I have that figured out, as I’m a little ahead on the game, and already bought one of those light projections that light up the front of your home (bought on super sale from Michaels). I love classic white lights outlining roofs, but I know we won’t ever get that up, so I think a light projection will do for a little outdoor Christmas cheer, especially since the girls are requesting some decor outside. Do you have a theme for your Christmas decorating and do you decorate outside too?

o christmas tree

December 18, 2017

YAY! The Christmas tree is finally up! The girls were squealing in excitement as we were getting all the Christmas boxes out, and True was the leading the excitement brigade. We’ve been so busy with other things we simply haven’t had time. Another reason it’s taken us so long is that we really couldn’t access our Christmas stuff. My parents are remodeling, so we’ve been storing a lot of their stuff and it was blocking access. True was so gung-ho that she started moving all the bags of stuff by herself. After that, it was pretty easy to get all the stuff out. I put the tree together and they did all the decorating! With Christmas music on the record player, and happy little hearts busily getting our house all decorated, our house is on its way being decked out for this special season.

Holiday home tour coming up once everything is complete!

ben is 43!

December 11, 2017

His breakfast in bed is simple… a cup of oatmeal covered with soy milk, protein powder, a scoop of chia seeds, and a banana. This dietitian walks the talk. The girls showered him with lots of handmade gifts and some things they picked up for him from the “piano” store (at their piano recital, there’s a store they can “buy” things using their piano points). The biggest surprise was the large painting the girls made for him (later this week, will share a post about it). They were so excited to give it to him and he was just as thrilled (and in awe) about what they made.

His main birthday request was to get gardening time, so that’s what we did. We didn’t get as much done as we had hoped, but we’re very slowly putting our front yard garden together. For dinner, I made him some homemade nigiri (a bit about it here). The rest of the evening was spent all together watching Elf and True brought out the “fruit cake” she made. Our Papi is such a simple guy, and his birthday wishes are always his girls and garden time, we can easily (and very gladly) make that happen.

Happy 43 Benny B! We love you so much! 

soul’s mellow yellow 8th birthday

December 8, 2017

Yellow is our Soulie’s favorite color, so when she left it up to me to pick the theme for her birthday, I came up with a “mellow yellow birthday.” Of course, that means our playlist for that weekend was topped by Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow.” Her two birthday requests were to “chill” and see “cool” things, but before we officially did that, we had ourselves a mellow yellow birthday party at home. I got a bunch of yellow decor from Michaels and made her a lavender lemon cake (recipe here). Her favorite part of the party was the  piñata. We used the lemonade piñata I made for my sister’s baby shower and we filled the inside with her birthday presents. They all took turns hitting it in the garden, but of course, we made sure she had the last hit that would reveal her special birthday treats.

We conquered the “chill” and see “cool” things part by doing a quick birthday getaway to Palm Springs. Chill involved watching movies and swimming. The cool things were trying new to us Italian ice place, Vinny’s, and she picked mango and lemon ice. Next, we stopped by the Saguaro to hunt down a yellow wall (see photos from when we came here for her 6th birthday here and here). After, we went to the Ace Hotel for photo booth pictures (must do this always whenever we’re in Palm Springs). Finally, we headed to that Instagram famous pink door (pink is her second favorite color). Her 8th birthday wishes definitely came true. Ben and I love these intimate celebrations and being their fairy birthday granters.

Birthdays also call for homemade birthday dresses, so hers is very similar to True’s drop waist dress, but with sleeves. Soul wore it with the yellow beret from her Grandmama and with some cool clogs from Lotta From Stockholm (here’s the silver and the pink). It’s not an all yellow dress, but there are hints of yellow on it.

Every birthday we put together a specific playlist, so when on that trip/weekend (because usually we go out of town for birthdays) those songs sort of “imprint” on us, and every time we hear it later, it reminds us of that special time. It’s one of our favorite things to do for birthdays and roadtrips. Here is the playlist we made for Soul’s:

1. “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan
2. “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles
3. “Parachutes” by Coldplay
4. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” by Brian Hyland
5. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John
6.  “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando & Dawn
7.  “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by Mitch Miller

Happy 8th birthday dear Soulie! We are most encouraged by how you’re growing in your desire fight sin and be obedient to God. We are so thankful for your combo of sassy and sweet!

soul’s 8th birthday breakfast in bed

December 4, 2017

It’s tradition and so Soul just had her 8th birthday breakfast in bed! My pancakes and French toast didn’t come out as planned, so she got tiny little, mishmosh stack. Of course, part of that tradition is a fruit/veggie animal on the tray, and made this cute pup from an old banana. Our little cutie was so excited her birthday was finally here!

We use this book for ideas on how to make our fruit/vegetable characters.

england news & beyond // halloween 2017

October 31, 2017

This year the girls decided they wanted to do a news story with their different characters. They’ve been making news videos on their iPad and their show is called “California News & Beyond,” so the new video is a play on that. Brave has really gotten into Harry Potter series (have you seen her Harry Potter birthday?), so of course she wanted to be Hermione Granger. And if you’re a legit Star Wars fan, you love Debbie Reynolds too, so True wanted to be Kathy Selden from Singing in the Rain. Soul decided early in the spring that Paddington is who she wanted to be for Halloween, and Glow loves Ash from Sing. She loves singing “Set It All Free” all the time, and quite loudly too (though you get a tamer rendition in the video, must have been a bit of stage fright). With all their random choices, they thought it would be best to present it as a news story, with each character getting its own segment.

The girls take care in planning their characters, costumes (and what needs to be made), and how they will bring it all together. They have so much fun prepping for Halloween and doing creative projects like this. In fact, they’ve started discussing their plans for next Halloween already. It’s been a busy month, so the video didn’t get done until last minute (yesterday), and I’m rusty on editing (miss my sister and her skillz, she made last year’s video), but I hope you enjoy the news show we put together!

Get ready for your Tuesday briefing…

Have a look back at our past Halloween stories…
2016: Cutthroat Kitchen: Bratcher Edition
2015: The Mystery of the Missing Leia and Yoda
2014: The Zookeeper’s Wild Day
2013: The Mystery of Pinkie Pielilocks and the Three Bears
2012: The Adventures of Spider-Girl & She-ra
2011: Barbershop Quartet
2010: The Three Little Piggies
2009: Hannah and Gretel
2008: The Untold Story of Oz
2007: Little Red Riding Hood

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. Instructions on how to make the Ash porcupine costume will be shared soon.

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