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HJ was lucky enough to score 2 snow days this week.  I was lucky enough to score one.  Every now and then, it’s nice to be “trapped” in the house.

During the afternoon, I suggested we get HJ’s valentine box ready for school.  His school asks that all the kids bring in a decorated box.  I much prefer them doing it at school…

I asked HJ how he wanted to do it, and he instantly responded with PIKACHU!

I should have known.

I thought up a few ideas, and we started running around the house gathering materials.  We grabbed glue, construction paper, scissors, and round items to trace (like a marker lid, shot glass, etc.).

I started by tracing yellow rectangles to cover the box entirely, while HJ cut and glued them on the box.  Then, I had HJ trace circles for the eyes (2 black, 2 white), and red for the cheeks.  While he cut those, I free cut the two ears.  Once the ears were cut, I had HJ color in the black while I cut out a little oval for the nose.  HJ also decided he knew exactly how to make the arms and tail.  So while he cut out an elaborate zig zag tail, I cut out the hearts.  I had HJ write his name on a heart, so everyone would know it was his valentine mailbox.

HJ and I both think it turned out cute, and he can hardly wait to bring it to school for the Valentine’s party.

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The text from my mom read:

Dog food makes HJ throw up

Naturally, I immediately called my mom.

My parents had been watching my sister’s pup.  She had given them a gallon Ziploc bag full of food.  On this day, my mom fed the dog, the phone rang, so she set the bag of dog food on the kitchen table to grab the phone.

HJ walks by the table, notices the bag, and is instantly excited that nana has cocoa puffs.  He reaches his hand in, grabs a few pieces and puts them in his mouth.

And then throws up.

*He still refuses to talk about it and gets mad if I tell anyone the story

I love finding inexpensive ways to replace products I currently purchase.  Even better if they are all natural.  And I absolutely love when it leaves the carpet smelling like lemonade.

Between the dog and a kid, my carpet gets wear.  I feel like vacuuming just isn’t enough, so I also sprinkle over a carpet refresher.  The one I typically would buy is by Arm and Hammer, and is good for pet hair.  However, it has a strong scent.  And I would go through it quickly.  So I did what I do best, and searched pinterest for a solution.  I came across the same recipe time and again.  And I had everything on hand to make it.

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I put 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of borax in a jar.  Then I added in 20-25 drops of lemon oil.  On the mason jar lid, I drilled some holes in the top so I could sprinkle the powder throughout the house.  It was simple, smells great and inexpensive!

I love finding natural cleaning solutions, what do you use in your house?

Every now and then, I search craiglist for random furniture to makeover.  I was pretty excited when I came across this table for $4.

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I have been wanting a end table for my living room for quite a while, but just had not came across anything that would fit.  When I saw the $4 table, I figured even if it didn’t fit, I could make it over and find a spot for it.  I chose an almost white color in chalk paint, removed the hardware and got to painting.  Painting all the curves and grooves added in more time then I thought, but luckily it wasn’t too chilly outside yet.

While painting the outside, I thought I would leave the inside alone.  It was a really nice wood, and the doors will always be closed…but then I decided a pop of color would be more fun.  I went through my paint stash and came across a fun deep turquoise color.  Instantly, I was excited about this choice.  I added on a few coats of the turquoise, and it was almost done.

The last step, I chose to spray paint the hardware with a rustoleum in antique bronze.  Once it was all dry, I put it back together and found it a cute little home next to our living room chair.

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Oh yeah, it has also proven to be the perfect storage table for our games, I can’t believe how much it holds!

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Have you found great craigslist finds?

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Every December, I am amazed at how quickly the month goes by.  It is a month filled with excitement and love, preparing for the big day.

As a 6 year old, HJ takes all things related to Christmas very seriously.  You MUST let Santa know what you want.  The elf MUST be found first thing in the morning (and do not touch him).  You must wrap presents, and get gifts for family, and continuously count the presents under the tree in case an extra one appeared.

This year, we had 3 days of Christmas.  The first one was at my parent’s.  The kids ran around, shrieking about presents, and finally got to open a few things.  HJ was very excited about a Paw Patrol playset from his cousins, and a very fast remote control car from Nana and Papa.  The next day, was Christmas at my grandma’s house.  It was hard to celebrate at their house without my grandpa, and I can not even imagine how my grandma felt.  But the kids all had fun running around, and it even started snowing while we were there!

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Christmas Eve, we went to a candle light service.  During the story of the birth of Jesus, HJ looked at me and said, “Is this fiction?”.  The pastor also talked about how Christmas is a hard time for a lot of people, especially those who had a loss in the past year.  He himself had lost a son and 2 grandchildren in a car accident this summer, and was struggling.

After that, we went to a neighbor’s to end the evening.  We came home to frost a few cookies for Santa and read The Night Before Christmas.

That night, Santa delivered HJ a very special gift…a Wii with a handful of games.  We have both become good bowlers (he can beat me), and are getting better at Mario Kart.  We had my parents and grandma over for breakfast, and made sure to open all of the new toys.  Tyson even got a candy cane bone!

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and can not wait to start off 2016!

Every year, I get an ornament for HJ that symbolizes something about the past year.  He hasn’t seen these ornaments, they are hidden away.  Each ornament has a little note attached to it saying why that ornament has picked.  The plan for the ornament box is that when HJ moves into his own house with a tree to decorate, I will give him this gift of meaningful ornaments.
IMG_3508-1400x1050This year, I picked an art theme.  HJ can sit and color and draw for hours.  I am amazed at how much better he has become at coloring in the past year.  He even asked for a sketch book for Christmas.  That is why I went with this ornament:

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And who knows, maybe he will get a sketch book for Christmas!

What Christmas traditions does your family have?  Does anyone else do an ornament box?

Like most families that celebrate Christmas, we have an elf.  Mr. Bo Jingle Jangles came to us a few years ago, and has graced our house throughout the Christmas season.  According to HJ this year, our elf is “lazy”.

Thank you, over achieving parents.

Our elf arrives the day after Thanksgiving.  He brings a pair of Christmas PJ’s and a movie (he also brings Santa’s key on Christmas Eve morning).  Then, he pretty much sits in random places throughout the house.  The first week this happened, I would lay down in bed and instantly think, “SHIT! THE ELF!”.  I would get out of bed, move the damn elf to another location and go to bed.

After that first week, I set a reminder on my phone.  At 10 pm, my phone beeps and says “move the damn elf”.

HJ was content the first few days.  Oh, the elf is on the counter.  Oh, the elf is on the shelf.

Then he went to a friend’s house.

Their elf had written all over the bathroom mirror and was even holding the marker!  Another friend’s elf was playing with the toys.  While another had got out milk and cookies.

What the heck parents!  Can’t we all agree to do as little as possible?  Of course not…There are even calendars on pinterest to help you with the daily placements.

I don’t know how people have enough time to get the elf all set up.  All my creativity shuts off at 9pm.  Mr. Bo Jingle Jangles is lazy.  Sorry kid.

Tis the season to do some shopping….fa, la, la, la. la…

This time of year is my favorite.  I love seeing the feel good Christmas stories.  I love seeing the excitement in HJ’s eyes.  And I love finding the perfect gift for my loved ones.

When picking out a gift, I try to stand by the theory that you get something they want, but won’t get for themselves.  you know, splurge a little!  You want a new pair of slippers?  Don’t get them at Target, splurge and get the most cozy pair at the department store (my sister spoiled me with UGG slippers one year, and I don’t think I can ever go back).

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One thing I rarely splurge on for myself is sunglasses.  I lose them, or sit on them.  My next run to Target consists of me trying on 13 different pairs while frowning in the mirror before ultimately spending $12.99 and then having the frame fall out 2 days later (true story).

Now that I know how wonderful a beautiful pair of sunglasses can be, I will probably have to get them all from the Frame Boutique.  They have so many to pick between, and a price to fit every gift giving budget.  I spent a while browsing all the lovely shades before settling on this perfect pair.  Amazing.

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The sunglasses were delivered quickly, and the packaging even had lens spray and wipes.  Something I am always missing in my handbag!  Who wouldn’t love a pair of beautiful new sunglasses wrapped up under the tree?

Just before Hj turned the big “6”, we had his pictures taken.  I had cute sweaters picked out for the fall day…and then we had a freak-ish heat wave that left us with 85 degrees.  So a quick trip to Old Navy and Target, and we had new tops!

The weather actually turned out perfect,a s it was early evening when we went to the photographer’s farm for our pictures.  HJ loved running around her land and playing with the dog and cat.  He was obsessed with the dog and cat, and I am not even sure how they are not in every photo.

Here are some of my favorites!

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