29 November 2009

my fantastical four day weekend~

Weekends in general around here are pretty fabulous. Time spent hanging out with five of my very favorite people always holds some adventure or another. However, having four whole days together really is a treat, and something that I don't take for granted.

Not only did we begin the weekend with a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with incredible food and even better company (my aunties and Gram), but it just continued to get better from there!

#s 1 & 2 went with me on our annual Christmas Tree hunt and we had so much fun! (okay, maybe it was that I had so much fun and they humored me, but really, we all laughed a lot, and does it really matter that we were laughing at each other...?)

After a delay in getting off of the property - remedied by a handy husband and some jumper cables to *help* the truck start, we were off. We probably saw every tree at least three times and as it was #2's first time with us, he quickly tired of #1 and I finding flaws in every. tree. we found. Thankfully, #1 was very patient with #2 and explained to him that it didn't matter if the first tree we saw was the best tree - mom had to see every. single. tree on the farm before a decision could be made. Thus, just hush and keep looking. The problem was, so many of them had needles that were already dying and I refuse to cut down a tree that is already on its way out. Again, I was thankful when #1 informed us that "he sees dead trees" and could pretty much call them a good 20 feet out...

We did however find the PERFECT tree! Well, yes, as a matter of fact it does only stand about 4 feet tall. And yes, it does closely resemble the tree in "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

Well, maybe you haven't noticed, but little trees are all the rage this year! I have seen them all over the internet, and now, lucky for me, I can see one every single day - in our living room! As soon as she is completely decorated, I will take some photos of her as, quite honestly, she is absolutely adorable.

So, after we became a family with a tree, there were still TWO days left in the weekend! Talk about gleeful~ We pulled out clay and had fun making all sorts of crazy/wacky/holiday creations. We watched movies - well, okay, maybe the males watched movies while I worked on other things. I really did want to watch Up with them, but I happened to come in at the half-way point and you really can't start a movie in the middle! Trust me, it is on my "to do" list as they all seemed to have loved it.

On top of all of that, we ate really well. Honestly, between our Thanksgiving meal, our fabulous day-after left-overs, and homemade pasta I feel like we were a bit glutinous this weekend. That being said, it was absolutely delightful!

I hope you too had a wonderful weekend and that your week is filled with festive moments that have you excited about this wonderful holiday season!


25 November 2009

finding balance

At this time of year, with all of the festivities, and the planning and preparation that goes along with them, I tend to find myself with endless "to do" lists that seem to grow longer rather than shorter.

Please don't misunderstand - I really truly love this time of year. I love the feeling of excitement and anticipation, I love the twinkly lights, the afternoons when my counters are covered with flour and sprinkles and three different varieties of chocolate. I also love the fact that there are drinks for every part of the day - Bailey's and coffee at breakfast, champagne and orange juice at brunch, old-fashioned mix cocktails at 3 pm, and a wonderful glass of wine at dinner. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

I also think that, even though people are busier this time of year, they are quicker to smile at strangers, they have a spring in their step, and they are more generous with those in need. That just may be my very favorite part of this season.

Alas, with all of the wonderful aspects to this season, my growing "to do" lists is always there, poking at me when I sleep, staring at me while I work on a project or catch up with my correspondence. Not to mention there are endless things that never even make the list to begin with! I also try and make time for blogging, for taking photos as that is something that nourishes me creatively, spending time with my boys doing what they like rather than keeping to my own agenda, date night when we are lucky enough to make that happen, visiting with friends, baking, sewing, spending time on the property in the gardens, and the list goes on and on.

One thing that I want to put more thought into this year is how to find a healthy, positive, satisfying balance when it comes to incorporating all of these aspects into this season. I would like to work on projects, but not lose myself in them (I wish you could hear my laughing hysterically at that one...). I would love to make each gift that we offer each other something meaningful, possibly something homemade, a letter written, a photo taken. I aspire to do more meal planning, more slow cooking, more eating seasonally, shopping locally. I love the idea of spending more time around the dining table and talking about what the holidays mean to us as a family. I want to find something self-less to do as a family, whether it is serving a meal or two at a local soup kitchen or something else along those lines. I want my boys to really understand what the holidays are truly about. And finally, I wish I could make time each day to spend even a few moments making each one of my five wonderful boy/men feel like they are the most important person in the world to me.

Do I think that this is all going to happen? Probably not, but there is something about writing it down, putting it out there, and acknowledging that these are the things I aspire to. This is the world I want to create for these boys to grow up in. I want to take the commercial, consumeristic, more is more attitude that seems to surround us these days and instead offer them an alternate holiday season. I want them to look out into this amazing world that they live in and ask themselves, what can we do for someone else to make their season better?

{this is #3 on the evening news donating money to a local food drive}

So, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I am so very thankful for my boys - all five of them. I am thankful to have such a wonderful family, my dear sweet friends - near and far, and those of you whom although I have never met many of you, touch me with your kindness, your thoughtful words, your support and encouragement. You truly make this journey one of bliss and joy.

Thank you so very much for that.

23 November 2009

bracelet {love}

Today there was a splendid surprise in the post box when I arrived home. Don't you just adore how sweet and shiny it is?

A few weeks ago one of my dearest friends somehow knew that I had been having a difficult time feeling a bit blue about something. She sent me a gift certificate to buy a personalized piece of joy as she had known how much I had wanted one with my sweet boys' names on it.

There is something about a friend doing something out of the blue and completely unexpected that sends me to tears~ Thank you once again miss lori!


22 November 2009

I missed my era...

There is something about the style of the 40s and 50s. I truly think that I lived there in my past life~ How I would love to live in such a graceful, stylish era~

Happy Sunday mes amies,

all photos found here

21 November 2009

mon anniversaire

As some of you know, this week, (ending tomorrow, officially) has been my birthday week. It truly has been fabulous. My boys have been incredibly accommodating - helping me whenever I have asked, spending more time with me than usual, and I really am charged up for yet another year of playing the part of the queen in our lovely home.

Yesterday began by taking my sweet Gram home after her week with us. I was sad to see her go as I would have liked her to have been able to enjoy my birthday dinner out with us last night. However, before she left, my handsome husband took a photo of the two of us which I love~ When we met my aunties - to do the Grammy pass-off - they gave me a wonderful trellis which will be perfect for planting sweet peas on next spring!

In the evening, hh and I took #s 1, 2, & 3 out for dinner to celebrate. (#4 is still under the weather and 6 pm is the witching hour for him on a healthy day - don't even ask what it is like when he is tired and not feeling great...) We had so much fun, the boys were wonderfully behaved, and I enjoyed a cocktail (or two...).

After dinner, my boys dropped me with with my girls - three of my dearest friends. After sorting out a *slight* mixup in plans, we spent the evening at the fireside bar of our local lodge which sits smack dab in the middle of our little wine country here (in case you are ever looking for fabulous accommodations to treat yourself - J & J, hint hint...).

When I arrived home last night #s 1 & 2 presented me with THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. letters that they had written me for my birthday. Yes, of course I cried! I will cherish them forever, and would share parts of them with you, but I really don't think it is kind to rub in what amazing kids I have. Really, it simply seems mean... :)

When I climbed into bed last night, I felt like an absolutely gem. I received so many birthday wishes yesterday, phone calls from a dear sweet darling friend in France, my family, and friends, and was once again reminded of what a wonderful family I have. I really don't know what else a girl can ask for~


19 November 2009

studio fabulousness

Yesterday I had the most glorious time with my sweet artist friend in her studio.

Her work space is wonderful - it is open, filled with natural light, and when you are there, you are surrounded by every creative, colorful tool you can imagine! If you aren't feeling productive when you arrive at Seahorse Studio, you will be the minute you step through the doors~

I brought various projects with me as I wasn't sure what I wanted to work on when I left my home. I was able to get a start on a couple of different things before I realized that there were so many photo opportunities - which of course I couldn't pass up!

this octopus is actually painted on gelatin!

You see, my friend is an incredibly talented artist - there really is nothing she can't do. Her paintings are amazing and as she is a scientist at heart, she always finds the craziest techniques for making her beautiful pieces~

18 November 2009

it's a give-away!!!

One of my very favorite blogs - Frenchie and Flea - is hosting a three week give-away and today is they are offering three lucky lovelies their choice of a print from my shop. I truly hope you will visit the gorgeous Allegra and Emily and put your name in for the draw~

bon chance mes amies!

17 November 2009

save the date!

I am excited to announce that Melaine from My Sweet Savannah will be hosting a holiday boutique in her beautiful cottage home. Please join us Friday, December 11th at 7 pm to enjoy some holiday cheer. There will be beautiful creations and flea market finds, perfect for making this a hand-crafted holiday! There will also be hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and desserts~ It is sure to be a festive evening for all!

If you have any questions or would like to be added to My Sweet Savannah's mailing list, please email Melaine at lakeliving4@msn.com.

Here are a couple of peeks at what I am working on...

16 November 2009

the holidays are coming!

please, oh please tell me where I found this~

There are so many times during the year when I feel like it simply must be my favorite. When autumn arrives, I love my need to nest - the cozy weather, the falling leaves, rustic breads and roasted vegetables. When spring peeks out from the cold, dark, wet winter weather, I rush to take photos of every bud and tiny bloom.

found here

However, the holiday season really fills me with great anticipation and joy~ The thought of baking endless cookies, bringing out decorations from years gone by, as well as adding to the collection, and getting a feel for this particular season and what it means this year - there are times when my head feels like it will burst with all of the thoughts and ideas!

found here

This year I am feeling strongly that less is more. I am also big on comfort. I am on board with the handmade holidays plan - I love the idea of crafting something for each person and giving them a little piece of myself in their gift. I also could spend hours on Etsy looking at the incredible treasures that others have created.

I am also enjoying my "grey" year. I don't know what it is, but for me, grey seems to have taken over - whether it is clothing, decor, or accessories, grey fills my heart these days. And that is certainly not a bad thing! Do you have any idea how many shades of grey there are ?!?

dave coote found here

This morning I am listening to the storms that are blowing through. The wind is howling - blustery does not apply here today... The rain is coming down, and it puts me in the absolutely perfect frame of mind for working on projects indoors. I have chicken stock on the stove, tea steeping, and cookie dough ready to bake when the boys arrive home from school. I think I will pull out my sewing machine and some of the soft, worn fabrics I have been collecting. Today is definitely a day for creating~

found here

Have a fabulous week my dears~ This happens to be my "birthday week" - something the men in this house simply do. not. understand. Week - you heard me - week...