Friday, December 30

Best Christmas Ever 2016

Christmas 2016
I have a ton of fond Christmas memories, but I'm pretty sure this year was my absolute favorite Christmas.  Because Christmas day fell on a Sunday and plans needed to be rearranged, my little family got to spend our VERY FIRST legit Christmas morning in our home.  Typically we spend most of this holiday (like many others) shuttling our crew to different family celebrations.  Of course we love seeing our families, but it leaves holidays feeling rushed and exhausting.  This year was different.  We went at our own pace.  We had all of Christmas day to play with toys and games and listen to new records and do WHATEVER WE WANTED.  We ordered delivery pizza and stayed in our jammies all day.  It was glorious.

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Like always, Hope killed it with her thoughtful, handmade presents.  I love that she's old enough now to search Pinterest all by herself and gather ideas that she thinks people will like.  She even had Johnny take her to the mall so she could shop for jewelry for me and then packaged it all clever in the gummy bear jar.  Awwwwwwwwwww.

Poesy was a hoot as always.  She screams when she's excited so you always know how she's feeling about something.  ;)  The thankfulness really does pour out of this girl.  She has a huge heart and her enthusiasm makes holidays so much fun!  I appreciate that so much.

As I said before, I loved this Christmas more than any other.  Johnny and I are very guilty of getting stuck in the rut of tradition because it's tradition, but I think we're finally to the point in our lives that we're prioritizing our own needs a little better.  We've been needing to take ownership of our holiday plans for quite a while, but never want to hurt anyone's feelings in the process.  I'm a naturally guilty-feeling person anyway, so reminding myself that it's OKAY do what's best for myself and my people is a step in a very good direction.  Yay for some self growth!

I hope you all had a really good holiday.  We're prepping for our big NYE concert for tomorrow night, so it's time for me to get back to studying all the new songs we've picked up for the occasion.  I'll be back soon with my GOALS LIST for 2017!  I can't wait to hear about yours!

Friday, December 23

Custom Embellished Stockings

Stocking Revamp
Every year I drool over all the beautiful stockings available.  Every year I promise myself that NEXT YEAR I'll spend the money on the quirky/classic ones we'll use for years to come.  Every year I say the same thing because... well... it makes the more frugal part of my brain hurt to think about spending $200+ on Anthro or Free People stockings.  I just can't do it.

Last year Johnny found these basic knit stockings at Walgreens and I snatched them up.  I knew I could do *something* with them to spice them up a bit.  Oh, and they were on clearance so I think I got the four of them for $20.  Ahhhh.  That feels better.

A little, simple embellishing goes a long way, friends.  I had some leftover trim from our bedroom curtain DIY and robbed some soft yarn and poms from my stash.  Here's a peek at where I started vs. where I've ended:

Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp
I spent several evenings customizing these guys into something that I think fits very well with the DIY aesthetic I have going on here at home.  I like that they are all slightly different, but work so well as a group.

Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp Stocking Revamp
I am pretty pleased with myself, I have to admit.  Adding the glitter letters I found in a wrapping section at the store really makes them shine.  *High five*

What are is your dream holiday decor like?  Is there one thing in particular that you obsess over?  Am I the only crazy person fixated on stockings?

Wednesday, December 14

Family Photo Time!

Family photos by Janae Hardy
Our lovely friend, Janae Hardy, met us last week for a mini photo session.  I'm not always great at getting our family dressed and out of the house for Christmas photos, so Janae stepped in to help.  It's been a good little while since we were photographed together (I usually rely on the family costume photos every year), so it's nice to have some more recent photos of our clan!

Family photos by Janae Hardy Family photos by Janae Hardy Family photos by Janae Hardy Family photos by Janae Hardy
Remember my family portrait challenge from a few years back?  I think I may need to start that up again in 2017!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, December 13

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
As I've mentioned many times, the holiday months are my favorites for baking yummy treats.  A few years back, the girls and I were doing a treat series called 52 Treats.  I found after the weather started warming, I was tiring of baking (especially since our old kitchen would get REALLY hot).  Maybe baking really is just a seasonal thing for me, but I find it relaxing and it's a great way to spend quality time with the girls.  Last night, Hope and I made a Shelton house favorite-- chocolate sugar cookies! We actually call these "chocolate pudding cookies" sometimes because they are so chocolaty and salty at the same time.  I originally found this recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine, but we've tweaked it a bit over the years and I thought I'd share our version.

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Also, I think it's charming how finger smudged our recipe cards have gotten over the years.  You know a really good recipe when it looks like it's been used many, many times.

Feel free to print out the recipe card.  Happy baking friends!

Wednesday, December 7

Our Kitchen

Today I'm excited to share our kitchen with you guys!  If you remember this kitchen as the ABM studio kitchen, well, you'll see that I really haven't changed much so far.  They did such a good job remodeling this room and honestly, I'm just super happy to have a functional kitchen these days.  Our last kitchen needed some serious love, so cooking and baking in here is just wonderful!

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The open shelving was a bit tricky for me at first.  I've never had so much open shelving before and I most of my dishes are a hodge-podge of this and that.  I guess I never realized that I have a "style" because when I started putting things out, everything kind of coordinated.  Ha!  Maybe I'm more predictable than I thought.  Whatever the case, I love getting to display our kitschy collection out in the open!

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(photos 1, 2, 3, 6, and 11 by Elise Abigail Photography)

I have future plans for this space, but I constantly have to remind myself that I'm guilty of being in perpetual "project" mode.  I'd like to replace the flooring and countertops one day, but that will come with time.  Easy, Katie... you can't do everything at once.  Even though you keep trying.  ;)

There you have it!  I wish I could invite all of you over for pie and crafts!  That would be some fun/interesting conversation, don't you think?  xo.