Friday, December 31, 2010

Boy's Cabinet

Well I know that Toni over at Bowl Full of Lemons hasn't officially started her 21 day challenge yet, but I couldn't hold off conducting a little re-org on the boy's cabinet in the kitchen.  It was driving me a little batty. 

My husband ran to the store this morning while I stayed back with the boys and cleaned in preparation for more house guests this weekend.  Well on his list was more baby food for T.  This little guy is a chunk. I don't call him my Chunky Monkey for nothing!  Anyway, the hubs bought several jars and the cabinet where we keep all of T's formula and D's cups was jam packed.  Like you have to duck-when-you-open-the-door packed.

Cups are thrown in, with the lids in one of 3, count 'em 3, baskets!  I mean seriously.

So I proceeded to pull everything out of the cabinet.  I hate to admit it, but some stuff has been in there since D was a baby (he's 3 now).

And this what it looks like now:

Top shelf holds straws, extra formula, vitamins and extra nipples (sizes the little man is not ready for just yet).

Middle shelf holds all of D's cups.  The blue bowl contains all of the lids for his sippy cups.  I used a small shelf organizer to help maximize the space.
Bottom shelf holds all of T's formula, baby food and spoons (because big man, D, uses big boy spoons and forks!).  And yes, of course the pink and purple spoons are showing.  We don't get too caught up in the fact that our boys are using pink and purple spoons.  They will never know....unless they read this post in the next 3-5 years! :)

Well off to finish some last minute picking up before the in-laws arrive.  Happy New Year to all!


Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Resolution

Well I am finally back!  Sorry for the long hiatus, but I ended up getting a bug, then it was Christmas, so needless to say, I didn't get around to posting anything new the past few weeks.

I wanted to tell you all about this new organizing website I found called A Bowl Full of Lemons.  Toni is the wonderful woman behind it and she is hosting a 21 day organizing challenge.  I totally signed up because after all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I have got to whip this house into organizing shape!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa's Cookies

I finally received my Silhouette on Monday and have been spending the past few nights just playing.  I have used this machine more in the past 3 days than I've used my Cricut in 2 years!  The Silhouette is so stinkin' cool!  If you don't have one, I am recommending you put it on your Christmas or birthday list.

My three year old asks me every night if we can make the cookies for Santa.  In my efforts to try to buy some more time, I made this:

Not Picasso, but I think it's cute for my first attempt at vinyl.

I am so excited for Christmas this year with my little guy!

I'm linking up to these parties:

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Are ya'll sick of the Christmas music themed titles, yet?  I hope not because I sure have more where that came from!

Tuesday afternoon I looked up from my computer to find it pouring down snow (that is if snow can actually come pouring down?).  I quickly grabbed my camera and took this shot from my front porch.

Kind of looks like a Christmas card. 

I decided to try playing with it a bit in (a poor man's version of Photoshop). 

This is what I got. It looks like a painting.

What do you think?  I like them both, but one of them will end up in my Christmas/winter decor somewhere.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Around the House

I'm back again!  You get a double dose of ALO today. Remember the faux mantel I talked about here. Well, I finally got it decorated this weekend. 

I painted this sign with stencils from Scrapping Along Craft Stencils.  It's painted on an extra piece of the barnwood from my great grandmother's.

Hand print and footprint of my 3 year old from a couple years ago.  I hot glued a small grapevine wreath around it- so cute!  Reminds me just how fast he's grown.

Sheet music mod podge is all over the blogs this Christmas and I love it so had to give it a shot.  I started with a paper mache tree from Hob Lob and Mod Podged some tea stained Christmas sheet music. (I need to do something about the brown at the bottom :) )  You can get free sheet music online.  I chose White Christmas and I'll be Home for Christmas, in case you were wondering.  These are the family favorites.  The little sled came from Kroger of all places.  It was just laying there begging for me to take it home.  I paid more than I care to admit, but I loved it so much that I had to have it.

I debated a long time whether I should replace the picture with a wreath, but I really love the picture and what it represents that I just couldn't do it.  See this picture is of a very special place.  The picture was taken of Hindostan Falls in southern Indiana.  They sit on the White River.  They aren't huge falls by any means, but when I was little, my grandfather, who passed away last September, took me there almost every weekend.  There is a huge flat rock that juts out into the river and gives you this perfect view of the falls.  We used to go and collect shells and admire the falls.  He always took me fishing, but we never fished from here for some reason.  Lots of people did, but we always went to a nearby lake.  I suppose this is where I fell in love with waterfalls. 
My parents found this picture in a local photography shop and gave it to me for my birthday in October.  It was meant to be because they just happened to be walking along and saw this picture in the window.  There was only a couple of weeks between my grandfather's passing and my birthday and they found this just a couple days before my birthday.  I think my grandfather had a hand in it!
So that's the story of this picture.  Christmas is all about family and since he is no longer with us in person, he is always with me when I look at this picture.

 Now onto the kitchen:
A little garland and red berry garland I picked up at Hob Lob this weekend and an old Christmas Oreo tin.  It's from the 1990's.  I have 4 of them.  This is my favorite because its of a grandpa reading a Christmas story to his grandkids.

The staircase:
 Just some garland that I tied a bunch of silver ornaments to it.

In the Living Room:
Another sheet music mod podge tree I made this weekend. (Ignore the red paint glaring at you from the upper corner.  We will be putting up some trim one of these days.)

I'm linking to the these parties:

Go on over and check out all of the beautiful decorating.

O Christmas Tree

This weekend was quite busy (just like every weekend around here).  Saturday we had our family pictures taken for Christmas.  It snowed so driving anywhere was a little more time consuming.

Sunday was a busy decorating day here at the ALO house.  We finally got the tree up.  Our three year old was super excited and jumped up and down the entire time the husband and I put the tree together and fluffed.  He had so much fun decorating the tree this year.  Most of the ornaments have ended up on the bottom half of the tree, but I love it!

My little helper.

Notice the train track on the bottom.  It's my little helper's Thomas train.  This track is over 4 1/2 feet!  It takes up most of the open living room floor.  This is one of the primary reasons we don't have a coffee table.  He has a toy room just around the corner, but the toys always end up in the living room.

I love the look of a perfectly color coordinated tree, but I live in the real world with kids.  I think my tree is just beautiful and is filled with memories.  Every ornament on the tree is one from my childhood, my husband's childhood or gifts for the kids.  We have a tradition in my family where every year St. Nick brings a new ornament for every member of the family.  Needless to say we have our share of cartoon inspired ornaments!

This is our main Christmas tree and typically our only Christmas tree, but this year we are starting a new tradition.  We just finished remodeling our basement so this year we bought a real tree that we're going to put in the basement.  Now this tree is even more special because he will be planted in the yard come Spring.  Maybe I can decorate this tree in perfectly coordinated ornaments.  I'll post pictures once we have a chance to get the basement cleaned up again.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Vignette

Well, I haven't been able to get my faux mantel completed yet.  I was trying to have finished so I could link up to Layla's Christmas Mantel linky party, but it just hasn't happened.  I WILL be decorating it and will post soon after, so check back.

Okay, now for my Christmas vignette.

This is the hutch that is in our living room.  I bought the hutch several years ago for a steal.  My uncle works for a furniture manufacturer in my hometown and they had a friends and family sale where they had TONS of furniture available because of minor scratches, dings or in the case of this hutch- a damaged box.  Crazy!  There was nothing wrong with this gorgeous piece of furniture.

Anyway, I always enjoy decorating it for the seasons. Here's a closer look:
This Santa picture was made by my grandfather several years ago.  I absolutely love it.  He passed away last year so it was a little bittersweet when I pulled it out of the Christmas box this year.  I still miss him terribly.  Okay, happy thoughts! :)

The glass bowl is my husband's grandmother's and I filled it with ornaments.  All of the ornaments were bought after Christmas in years past.  I use them EVERYWHERE!  The shot glass is from college and went with my red, white and silver theme and on top sits a baseball from my little brother's first home run.  Yeah, he gave ME the ball.  We are tight like that! :)

The rusty star candle holder was a gift I got in high school from a friend.  The Santa was from my sister-in-law.  The plate is from a local shop, I just love it.  The dolphins were a gift from my husband that he gave me back in high school.  It has nothing to do with Christmas, but I love dolphins and I liked how it tied in with the rustic-ness of this vignette.  And lastly, we have my IU snowman.  Again, another gift.

Everything from here was free also, all gifts.  The snowflake in the back came from Wal-Mart during an after Christmas sale.

Another Wal-Mart snowflake.  The beer stein is my husband's that he got in Germany.  I filled it with some icicle garland.  They stay in the hutch year round, I just fill with seasonal items.  The Santa snow globe was a gift too.

This is the top of the hutch.  The garland with the deer was made by my mother-in-law.  We always have deer in our back yard and my husband is an avid hunter, so it fits perfectly in our house!  The pottery is from Pottery Barn, but I bought it on clearance several months ago.  It was like $25 and it's huge.

Well, that's a little peek at my Christmas-fied hutch.  I'm linking up to Rhoda's Christmas Vignette party over at Southern Hospitality.  Such great ideas, be sure to check them out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I officially started Christmas decorating last week.  Silly me decided to drag everything out of the attic the night before we left to visit family for Thanksgiving.  (Couldn't help it, I was in the Christmas spirit!) I've been a little late in posting the pictures because we didn't get back until last night.

So without further adieu, I present to you the beginnings of Christmas in the ALO house:

In my curio cabinet.  I will post more as I complete it.

This is a little area above the entry closet.

Outside (yes, I know the pumpkins and straw bale are still there!)
Inside the front door.

So that's a little taste of the Christmas decorating that's begun!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Faux Mantel- Sneak Peek

Yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving and I'm already talking Christmas.  Well, I already have my Christmas decorations up outside.  I took advantage of the beautiful weather a couple weekends ago and put some of the garland up outside (I'll post pics later).

Anyway, I wanted to give you a little peek at my faux mantel.  We don't have a fireplace, but we do have this ledge as you walk downstairs to our basement.  It will be perfect to treat as a mantel. My wonderful hubby finished planing a piece of barn wood and staining it this weekend.  The wood isn't secured yet, but once he does, I'm all over decorating it! 

Isn't this barn wood gorgeous?  This was FREE!  It came from my great grandmother's farm.  And the picture, well there is a very special story behind it that I'll share later.

All for now!

PS- I'm entering the Silhouette giveaway at Tatertots and Jello.  Wish me luck! There are so many projects I have planned that could definitely utilize this little guy. You can find out all about it here:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gift Idea for Moms

With the official start to Christmas shopping on the way, I'm sure many of you are starting to make your lists and check them twice.  I wanted to pass along a quick idea for a new mom (or any mom) on your list.

I ran across this book several months ago and thought it was great.  It's called a "One Line a Day".  The premise is to write down one line a day, every day, for five years.  It's available several places, but I got mine from Amazon.
One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book (Five Year Memory Book)

I bought one for each of my boys.  Currently, I only write in my 3 year old's because even though the baby changes every day, I keep track of the major milestones (rolling over, crawling, etc) in his baby book.  I like having this for my three year old because he amazes me every day with a new saying.  For example, the morning he said "Let's rock 'n roll" as we got ready to leave the house.  Or last night when he told me that he "was going to find a girl like me when he got bigger".  I just love reading these adorable quotes.  And since our family lives 4 hours away, it's a great reminder to tell the grandparents when we have our weekly chats.

Another idea for this book (or a journal) is to start it freshman year of high school.  You can write down all the little accomplishments (like getting an A on a trig test, scoring a goal in football) as well as thoughts for the recipient, then give it to them as a graduation present.

There are so many possibilities for this book.  I love mine and I'm sure any new mom would love it too!