Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY: Paper bag Advent calendar

I have wanted to make an advent calendar for the girls for the past few years, but I never got to it.  This year, I was determined that in spite of Ava's birthday coming right on the heels of Thanksgiving, I was not going to miss out on another year.  So...yes...I am one of those people who have started decorating for Christmas before we have even enjoyed Thanksgiving- something I said I would never do.  I have to say though...I am pretty excited about how it turned out.  And it was super easy too!

You will need-

2 different sizes of paper bags
washi tape (various sizes and patterns)
black sharpie
2 sets of number stencils (in different fonts)
6 small nails

I found these two sets of numbers, printed them on thick card stock, cut them out, and used them as my stencils.  I used the first set on the smaller paper bags, and the second set on the larger paper bags.  

Once, I traced the numbers on each bag, I used the washi tape to decorate each one.  I found many different washi tape designs at Michael's, and they were half off too.

I did not want all the bags to be stuffed with candy, so I raided all the one dollar bins at Target, Wal-Mart, Michaels, etc. and found some amazing stuff- pencils, holiday crafts, ornaments, hand warmers, and the list goes on.

After stuffing each bag, I took the canvas ribbon, and created three swags above my mantle, each 12" inches apart.  I knotted the ribbon, and nailed it to the wall under the knot, so the nail was hidden. 

I then took my trusty clothespins and...

... hung the bags.  Eight bags on the first row, nine on the second and eight more on the third row. 

I really love the way it turned out.  And I have every intention of reusing them from year to year.

As each day goes by, I will let the girls get down one bag, and then we will fold it flat, and hang it back up.  That way, the calendar can be a focal point throughout the Christmas season. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving first : ) and a very Merry Christmas after that!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Saturday Song...

Less than a week until Thanksgiving, and it feels like every day is passing by quicker than the last.  When I need the world to slow down a wee bit...like I do today...I love listening to this song.

Here is a song for your Saturday...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend : )

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The Friday Five...

{ Found the cutest book- Me Without You detailing all the ways the world is not right without "you". 
Very sweet. }

{ Loving my new winter cabbage...Ava says they look like a sea anemone }

{ My little one brought home her first "weport cawd" !  Her excitement is contagious : ) }

{ Party prep is in full gear. Details...Details...Details... }

{ Shelves are up in the office!  All my paints, brushes...and pallets have a new home }

What are Your Five?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Have you seen this?....Amazing volvo commercial

I came upon this the other day and was pretty amazed. Yes, that is Jean Claude Van Damme you are seeing : ) If possible, he was able to make his trademark move even more amazing. 

This commercial was filmed in Spain, at sunrise, in one take.  Pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.

(via Cup of Jo)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Toddler napping with his puppy... I'm in Love!

Okay...so I may have a thing for babies...and puppies...and when the two are together...I lose my mind a little bit : )  I had to share this ADORABLE naptime series by Jessica Shyba, mother of three, who chronicled the most amazing friendship forming between her 23 month old son, Beau, and their newly adopted 7 week old puppy, Theo.  One pic was enough for me to say "Awwwww", but when I saw them all together, my heart melted.  So sweet to see the beginning of what will be a life long friendship.  

(via My Modern Met.  Check out more of Jessica's Shyba's pics here)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An Art Birthday Party Invitation

Ava's birthday party this year has an art theme inspired by her love of Pantone color sheets.  She HAS to pick up a handful every time we go to the hardware store.  A limit of five sheets per visit has be to be enforced.  The idea for the invitation came directly from her love of these color sheets.  

I first tried to use the sheets that are available at the hardware store, but they had way too much wording on them, so I decided to create my own.  I drew up the design and my amazing friend Carolyn made my idea come to life.  You may remember some of mine and Carolyn's collaborations- "vintage circus " invitation, "Alice in Wonderland" birthday invitation, "camping" invitation.  She always blows my mind : )  

I wanted the final invitation to look like a Pantone color deck, so I decided on three colors and used the three shades of each color to list the party information.  The information is placed on each color where the color name would normally be.  We also used the font used on a traditional Pantone color chip to reinforce the look.  

Once I printed the invitations out, I tried to cut them myself, but thought better of it after I realized that I needed them to match up perfectly, if I wanted them to look like an actual Pantone color deck.  I ended up taking them to Kinko's and they cut them with their industrial shear and it only cost $5.49.  Much easier and much quicker than doing it myself.  

To do the next part, I needed a pencil, exacto knife, a small hole punch, a punch guide (which I made myself), an eyelet, an eyelet punch and a hammer.

First, I used my guide to mark where I wanted the eyelet to be placed.

Then I used the punch which was a wee bit smaller than the size of the eyelet.

To make the eyelet go in easier and not tear the paper, I used the exacto blade by spinning it in the hole which softened the edges and made the eyelet go in easier.  

I put an eyelet through the three pages (yellow first, pink next, green last) and then...

 I used the eyelet punch and a hammer to tamp down the back of the eyelet. 

Afterwards, it looks like this-

The pages  slide easily back and forth and really do look like a paint deck.

And that's it!  Super simple and super cute!  Ava was ecstatic when she saw her finished invitations.  The excitement is definitely building at our house and the countdown has begun. 

These invitations are available through my friend Carolyn's Etsy site.  Check them out here.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Saturday Song...

Today is grey...and cloudy...and it completely does not look like it will be the 66 degrees the weather man promised.  No matter...a busy day and weekend is ahead of us.  I have two photo shoots today and Jason has some big plans for the girls...which inevitably will include climbing something : )

Here is a song for your Saturday...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend : )

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The Friday Five...

{ Seeing my grandfather receive the French Legion Medal of Honor on Veteran's Day.
This pic is of my grandma "congratulating" him : )  }

{ Been working on an advent calendar for the girls.  Can't wait to see how it turns out }

{ The girls are officially rock climbers now.  And I have to say...they are rockin' it!
Sorry...couldn't help myself  }

{ Had a blast during our annual Cookies 4 Kids Cancer girls' night!
We created 144 cookie jars to help raise money for an amazing cause }

{ Invitations are done!  Now...on to the party prep.  My baby girl is turning 8! }

What are Your Five?

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

This is straight out of "The King's Speech"...

My friend Abby shared this video on her facebook page the other day, and I had to share.  I think all of us can relate to just how hard and traumatic high school can be, but very few of us have such a hard situation to overcome as Musharaf.  Watch the video, and try to not get choked up.  I utterly failed : ) 


(via Up Worthy)

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Saturday Song...

The whole family is headed out to get a late breakfast and finally get started on the day.  The sky is blue, the sun is out and I see a beautiful weekend before us : )

Here is a song for your Saturday...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend : )

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