HJ’s playroom is one of my favorite in the house.  It is full of little projects we did, and is bright and colorful.  One thing it had been lacking, was curtains.  When I decided I was sick of chevron, I knew the kitchen curtains needed to change.  The thing is, I like chevron in certain places.  So, I tried them out in the playroom.

HJ had a chevron blanket in his playroom, and I loved how it “popped”.  The chevron is the perfect playful accent, and I love how the curtains look in their new “home”.


To me, the room now looks complete.

The curtains, were plain white curtains from Target.  I bought the fabric at fabric.com and used heat bond to finish it off.


That’s right, no-sewing.  See the complete how to here.

Above the table, I made a ribbon chandelier.  I love how cute ribbon chandeliers are, and REALLY love how easy they are.


HJ’s cute table has always been one of my favorite DIY projects.


I stole this from my sister’s garage and gave it a bright and fun makeover.

The next corner of the room has the pull-out couch (instant guest room), some toys, and the mirror-turned-chalkboard


You can also see a bit of the diaper box I turned into storage containers.  I just glued the chevron fabric onto the boxes (there are 3 more in the closet filled with toys).

The last side is where the majority of the toys are stored and where the art work is displayed.


The art display is one of the first DIY projects I did in our house, and it is a fun way to show of HJ’s artistic side.


It’s been awhile since I have done a tour of the house and what we have been doing in it!  I think the reason I like this room so much is because it is filled with our personal touches, and things I actually made.

Can you believe it is only 5 days til Christmas?  Holy cow.  I feel like it should only be July.  But somehow, the end of the year has crept up on me.

I have always felt like an organized person.  Since starting my new job, I am learning I no longer have that kind of time.  I keep forgetting to do things, I don’t have time to clean the house, I have 34 unread text messages and my son put stickers all over the couch.  A week ago.  They are still there.  I HATE messy houses.  HATE it.  And here I am, typing on the computer while stickers stay on the couch, laundry sits in the dryer and God knows what is stuck to the stove.  I am not sure if I should make a resolution about being more organized or being more laid back.

I hadn’t put much thought into HJ’s teacher gift, until I relized he has 5 teachers (3 school, 2 daycare).  That’s a whole lot of gifts (ie, money).  I chipped into the school’s Christmas fund (they pool together money and divide it up into gift cards), but still wanted HJ to have something to *give* to the teachers.  I had him paint ornaments that we tied to mason jars filled with puppy chow.

PicMonkey Collage

HJ had fun shaking up the puppy chow, and was very particular over what teacher should get each ornament.

Have you guys read 30 unexpected things you learn in your 30’s?  It is hilarious, and so very, very true.  Check it out, and get ready for giggles.  The ones that hit a little too close too home: Your back will hurt for no damn reason, activities like apple picking and wine tasting will be your new weekend activites, hangovers are hell…actually, they all hit too close too home, so I should stop listing them 🙂


Still needing to send out holiday or New Year’s cards?  Check out Pikcal!


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Remember when I told you we are doing freezer nights at our local grocery store?  This is from there!

bourbon spiced pork

When freezing the meal, store the bourbon separate…it doesn’t freeze!  But remember to pour it in while the meal is thawing.  Also, one of my friends baked this in the oven, and it was still fabulous.  That way in case it’s to cold to grill, you can still have it!

I served the meal with steamed veggies for a side.  It was melt in your mouth wonderful.  Even HJ asked for an extra slice of the tenderloin!

What will you be making in your house for Christmas dinner?

I am a bad dog mom.  The pup rarely gets mentioned on here, so in honor of his 9th birthday, I thought I would do a post all about him.

I had received my first paycheck in the real world.  At the time, I didn’t realize how little it actually was.  I wanted a dog.  I was making money, and could finally afford it.  (So I led myself to believe). I have a special spot in my heart for rescue dogs.  Rescue animals of all sorts actually.  There are so many animals that need our love, I don’t know if I could get an animal another way.  I mean, my poor pup could have been put to sleep. Phew, sorry, rant.

Anyway, after receiving the first paycheck, I was browsing Pet Finder, and read about this cute pup that had been abandoned.  The breed was unknown, and he weighed all of 4 pounds.


Look at the cute little bub, how could anyone have abandoned him??  He was a snuggly lil pup who was a fabulous lap dog.  However, he grew.


My 4 pound lil guy turned into an 88 pound lap dog.  He had moments like all puppies do…

He tore up a bunch of feather pillows.  When I opened the door, they all went POOF and flew all around the house.

Every time my sister visited, he ate her sunglasses (only hers).

He ate a couch.  Seriously.

But he loves people.  He let my niece dress him up.  Granted, I did it every now and then too.


He was never a jogger, in fact, he likes walks, but only short ones.  He doesn’t like car rides, or water.  He dislikes other dogs.  A lot.  And is frightened of our neighbors cat.  He has lived in 6 different homes with me.  Two different cities.  He has met boyfriends.  One he clearly disliked only lasted a few weeks because of that.

He protects us.  Meaning, he sounds and looks tough, but it’s all an act.

He snores.  He slobbers.  He sheds.

His world was turned upside down when HJ came into it, but they are buds.


I can’t believe this sweet dog is now 9.  He has turned grey, but still bounces like a puppy.


And still sits on my lap.

I love my little rescue pup!

To kick off Friday, check out my new banner!  How cute and sparkly is that?  Vicki made it for me just because.  She is fabulous like that.


Two years ago, HJ and I did this cute Christmas project…


I want to do this again to see how much his little hands have grown.  If I was smart, I would have done it last year, whoops.


A convo HJ and I had last night:

Me-“I’m gonna tell Santa you’re being a sassy pants to your mom”

HJ-“Yeah, well, I’m going to tell Santa you’re being a sassy pants to your kid”

He was probably right.


Facebook is driving me nuts.  Do you guys follow me there?  If so, have you noticed you haven’t seen me in your newsfeed lately?  That’s because FB wants me to pay advertising costs for that.  Unless you click on my page a lot, I am most likely not in your feed.  It is crazy how much my FB stats have gone down…very frustrating.


Looking for a good read?  I recently finished “The Story of Beautiful Girl“.  I couldn’t put it down.  It was one of those books where I was sad when it ended, I wanted the story to continue.  Highly recommend!


This year, I ordered my Christmas Cards from Pikcal.  The cards were quick and easy to make.  On top of that, they sent me a personalized email letting me know when they were ready, and once they shipped, I was sent another email with a tracking code.  When they arrived, I was super impressed with the quality.  And how cute is the packaging?

photo (12)

And, Pikcal wants to offer all of you 20% off…oh, and they have free shipping!  For 20% off your Pikcal order, use coupon code: blogcard20  The coupon code is active until December 31st, so hurry on over to Pikcal now 🙂




Almost.  He almost ruined it.  Not just for us, but for a handful of children.

This past weekend, we went on the trolley ride to have breakfast with Santa.  While we were eating, a little girl in our group was clearly upset with having to get her picture with Santa.  HJ, thought it was hilarious.

I had a chat with him about how it’s not nice to laugh at people, and that it is much nicer to help them.  I told him he should let her know Santa isn’t scary, and tell her how cool he is…rather then to point and laugh.  He seemed to take this all in and agreed, so I patted myself on the back for being a fabulous parent.

Then, we got on the trolley.  HJ and I were seated away from the little girl.  He kept looking at her.  Suddenly, he says, “Santa isn’t scary”.

She didn’t notice, but he said it loud, so a few others started looking at him

“He isn’t scary, you don’t have to cry.”

She heard this.  And her parents.  I mentioned that he had noticed how upset she had been, and we all smiled at each other.  Good, right?

By this time our trolley full of people (about 6 kids, 12 adults), were all looking at HJ.  He spoke a little louder…


I quickly glance up and notice 12 sets of daggers being shot my way.  HJ has never mentioned this before.  He has never questioned anything about Santa.  Yet he proclaimed this  for some reason?!?  I am trying to think of what to say to make this a bit better.  I kind of stuttered out a “what?”.

HJ continued on (after a pause that was much to long and horribly uncomfortable), “Santa isn’t real like us, he is magic!”

Oh, thank God.

All the parents seemed to breathe sighs of relief and nod their heads.

HJ decided at this point he liked the attention and went on and on about how Santa is magic and lives at the North Pole.  And he hopes he gets a DS, but he has to be a good boy for that.  And if you aren’t a good boy, you might not get a good gift.  If you are grumpy, you get grumpy gifts.  And the elf and Santa can see you when you are sleeping and awake, which sounds scary, but it’s not, because they are magic.  HJ loves Christmas magic.

That’s when I remember, HJ was totally weirded out by the fact that the elf and Santa can always see what he is doing, even if they aren’t in the same room.  He was just laying it all out for the little girl.

Then the parents asked all about his elf, and he loved the attention.

I swear, he use to be shy.

When I say bundled up, the high temperature of the day was about 6…so yeah, it was chilly.

We arrived at the farm just before our reservations to take the horse-drawn trolley to a cabin in the woods.  These were our drivers…


The poor dears had icicles hanging from their noses!

We cozied up for a ten minute ride.


And arrived to Santa greeting us at the cabin!

The cabin was decorated floor to ceiling for Christmas and a pianist filled the room with Christmas carols (HJ requested Rudolph).


We were served cinnamon rolls and apples, and drank hot chocolate with marshmallows.


At first, HJ didn’t want to go over to Santa.  He kept his eye on him and eventually warmed up.


And once that happened, he talked his ear off.


He told him all sorts of stuff.  We learned that Santa has a bull mastiff and 3 boxers, in addition to the reindeer.  But the reindeer are magic.

After about 45 minutes, we took the trolley back to the barn. There, we were able to go on horse/pony rides.  HJ was excited to get on the BIGGEST one.


But when it was someone else’s turn, he was fine with the little guys.


We went inside the barn to warm up a bit, and were greeted by sweet mini-ponies with awesome hair styles.


As well as the cutest, tiniest goats and a couple of sheep.


HJ adored the bunnies and wanted to take this one home.



There was also a loft area with tire swings and hay to jump in that we played in for a while.  As you can see in the bunny picture, we were cold.  I think HJ would have loved to stay there all day, but we needed to get home so we could warm up!

I absolutely loved taking him to the farm to see Santa, and loved hearing how many families do this as a tradition.  There is a rumor this might be the last year Heritage Farms is doing Breakfast with Santa, but if not, we would love to go back next year!  They also have breakfast with the Easter Bunny we can check out!

Stop back Wednesday morning, I will be sharing how HJ almost ruined Christmas for the kiddos at breakfast, and why every parent shot me death glares.


Excuse me a moment while I get on my soap box…


Maybe it’s an Iowa thing, so going out with a non-Iowan brought it to my attention.  Or maybe (and I hope), it was just that guy.  I hope Chivalry isn’t dead.  Please, please tell me it’s not.

You see, I went out with this guy.  The first date, I noticed he didn’t hold open the door of a restaurant.  But maybe he was cold.

Second date, he picked me up.  He pulled into the driveway and shot me a text that said he was “here”.

Okay, maybe he wasn’t positive on the house.

Enter date 3, 4 and 5.


What the?  Is it so hard to get out of your car, walk to the door and escort a lady to your car?  I don’t think I have ever gone out with a guy who didn’t at least come to the door, and get the car doors for me.  And I have dated some real non-gentleman like men.

Also, I feel like the guy should pay the first few dates.  Or at least offer to.  Especially when it is obvious the man makes A LOT more than the women…why would they have HER pick up the bill 90% of the time (not just her bill….the WHOLE bill)?  ESPECIALLY when they know she is going home to pay a babysitter.

Luckily, this has been my first experience with a guy like this.  But, is this normal?  He happens to not be from Iowa, or even the Midwest, so it led me to believe maybe New Yorkers are just kind of rude like that.  Or maybe Midwest guys are sweeter (which I find hard to believe)?

For the record, if I ever hear about my son not going to the door to pick up a girl (friend, girl friend, whatever it may be), he will hear it from me.  A lady should not be treated that way.  My son will know what chivalry is.


I love sharing HJ’s yearly photoshoots with you.  Last year, he gave some sassy poses.  This year, he was silly and sweet and I loved how they turned out.  A friend recommend JDee Photography, and she was wonderfully patient.  She was able to get some amazing shots of HJ and myself.  If you live in the Cedar Valley area, I highly recommend her!

Here are some of my favs…

View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits

I know these will be plastered on my walls and given out as holiday gifts 🙂



Check out my newest sponsor, Pikcal!  They have tons of photo cards to pick from, and I am excited to make my own Christmas Cards.  And, Pikcal wants to offer all of you 20% off…oh, and they have free shipping!  For 20% off your Pikcal order, use coupon code: blogcard20  We’ll keep that coupon code active until December 31st, so hurry on over to Pikcal now 🙂