Monday, December 30

Goals For The New Year

There's a lot of talk about goals with the new year coming, and like a lot of you, I've been thinking about my goals for 2014 and what I would like to accomplish this year.  This year I only have a few and I'm going to try really hard to stick with them.  I really overwhelmed myself with the goal-making last year, so I'm keeping it simple.

1.  Take 1 family portrait a month.  I believe I have 2 or 3 family pictures from all of 2013, so I'm putting this one first on my list.

2.  Learn to play slide guitar (particularly lap steel).  This is something I've wanted to do forever and I've actually already started, so I'm pretty pumped about this one.

3.  Focus on what I already do, and learn to do it better.  This is a big one for me.  I want to be good at the things I do... really, really good.  And I want to get better every year.

I'm definitely excited for the new year and I hope you are, too.  Do you have any extra special goals you'll be focusing on?  There are definitely lots more things I could put on my "list" but I think this is a really good start.  :)

Saturday, December 28


Just for fun... a little grouping of my most favorite gifts this year.  Black Hunter boots, pink faux fur collar, vintage dress and little vintage brooch, Datter hand necklace, and a little homemade pottery piece.  :)

Friday, December 27

Christmas At Home

As I've mentioned in the past, we always do our at-home Christmas a morning early.  It's important for us to have our own special family traditions, and this is a way to do that without sacrificing our traditions with the rest of our families.  Win-win.  :)

I kept calling this "a very photogenic Christmas".  Hope woke us up at 5:30 am because she was TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP (!!!) and even though we were a little groggy, opening gifts by the light of the tree was really magical.  So, thanks, Hope.  You made Christmas even prettier.

We only had 2 minor meltdowns during present time.  It's hard being a little gal when you're running on limited sleep and your sister gets a really cool toy.  ;)
I have to say, my favorite part of Christmas morning isn't the present opening.  After everyone has opened their gifts, I always make a big breakfast and we sit down as a family and enjoy our favorite meal.  Everyone is happy and giggling and we talk about all the Christmas secrets we haven't been able to share over the last couple of months.  Then I usually take a nap.  That's probably why breakfast is my favorite part.  ;))

I hope you all truly had a wonderful day.  I think I love holidays so much because everyone is happy and on their best behavior.  I guess that mostly applies to extended family gatherings, but smiles and thankfulness all around is so much better than everything else!  Merry, merry, friends.

**You can see our Christmas from last year right here.  Oh, baby Poesy...

Tuesday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

A very merry Christmas to all of you who will be celebrating over the next couple of days!

Monday, December 23

Gearing Up and Slowing Down

As we've been gearing up for Christmas these past two weeks, I've also been doing my best to slow down.  With all the handmade presents, visits to Santa, wrapping this and that, attending all the holiday parties, etc, I've also been enjoying earlier bedtimes, sipping a favorite winter beer while listening to Christmas carols and staring at my tree, and just ignoring some of the mess that will inevitably be there in the morning.  Our family Christmas is tomorrow morning and if I let ALL the things that need to be taken care of get in the way, there wouldn't be any time left to just sit and be thankful and soak up the specialness of the season.  We are so, so blessed!

I just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU, friends, for reading along this year.  Sometimes I'm on my blogging game and sometimes I'm off, but I appreciate all of your comments and insight, and I'm excited to do it again next year!

Thursday, December 19


I love that Poe is old enough to do really start enjoying some crafty things.  It's a fun way to spend time together that isn't playing My Little Pony guys (ugh)  //  We still love these DIY drums from last year-- how was that a year ago already??  //  A custom pup I made for a friend's mama-- getting plush pets to look like the real thing can be tricky, but you can totally see this pup's personality in his soft counterpart  //  Our gingerbread house this year  //  I love how much Hope loves books.  I know I probably sound like a broken record, but it's so special how much she enjoys reading.

As I've been trying to regain a handle on the tidiness of my house (bedroom, mostly), I've been cleaning out my closet.  If you are interested, I'll be putting some more stuff on Swapdom and doing a closet clean-out sale soon!

Wednesday, December 18

Weekly Wears: All Your Favorite Things

I used to do quite a lot of thrift shopping when I was a high schooler, and I had quite the sweater collection to show for it.  I don't know what happened to most of them, but I've kept this one around, even though I haven't worn it in years.  It's just one of those things that you don't really wear, but you don't want to part with... and then one year you find yourself wearing it over and over again.  Which is currently the case.  :)

Sweater: vintage;  Shorts: Lulu's;  Tights: Marshall's;  Boots: thrifted;  Necklace: c/o Shlomit Ofir;  Glasses: BonLook (La Marquise);  Coat: vintage

I'm finishing sewing up my last animal for the season for a local friend, and then this week and next will be entirely about soaking up every drop of the holiday season.  I'm looking so forward to baking with the girls (even though my KitchenAid mixer died!), wrapping up presents, and sipping hot cocoa.  Time for a little relaxing!

Monday, December 16

New Stuff on ABM!

I have a few new posts up over on A Beautiful Mess that I thought I would share here as well!

This wide headband tutorial is great as a last-minute gift idea!  Hope has already swiped all the headbands I made for myself.  ;)

Johnny and I worked together to make this sweet dollhouse for Poesy.  Last year I made the girls a play kitchen that they LOVED, so I'm hoping this special gift gets as much use!

This knot braid is one of my very favorite tutorials right now.  I'm going to practice making it into a crown for New Year's Eve!

Now to kick my last-minute Christmas shopping into high gear!  How is it getting so close already??

Saturday, December 14

Cold Weather Scavenger

We had a cold weather scavenger hunt a couple of weeks ago to get our bodies out of the house and back outside.  The girls loved watching the geese and squirrels, and basically just running around like crazy.  I want to get better at getting outdoors even when the weather isn't ideal for it.  There's so much we miss when we cage ourselves up indoors for months at a time.  This fun, happy (chilly) day was the perfect example of that!

Before we left we popped on our Minnetonka boots and shot some pictures for their new lookbook while we were out.  You can check out the lookbook here and see what we did with our scavenger hunt findings.  :)

Thursday, December 12

Weekly Wears: Party Time, Excellent

We have so many holiday parties coming up over the next several weeks, it's time to start getting excited.  One of my most favorite "hobbies" is browsing around for the perfect dress for a specific occasion until I finally land on one.  This dress from Everly is out of my typical comfort zone, as I usually shy away from tiger or zebra stripe anything, but I loved the sheer top and the teal velvet.  The tights have become an absolute favorite of mine-- I just bought my second pair!

Dress: c/o Everly;  Tights: ModCloth;  Shawl: vintage;  Shoes: c/o Bali ELF;  Astral Crown: Giant Dwarf;  Bracelets: H&M and Shlomit Ofir

I was so happy to snag this crown from Fab when Giant Dwarf was having a sale.  I've always meant to purchase one, I just never had.  After I decided on this one, I immediately went back and ordered an onyx (black) one.  They are the perfect fancy party accessory.