Home for Christmas

I didn't post my house at Christmas last year and I was so bummed. It's not like it's something crazy special, but it is to me! It's home and at Christmas, it's my favorite. We mostly just have one room really decorated but this year it started spilling into the family room and kitchen. I almost feel like I want another tree for the piano or something. Oh! If you follow me on facebook, then you know I have these 2 HUGE snowflakes that a friend makes and sells at boutiques...I found a home for BOTH of them! So check it out;
 Christmas with the Gilletts.

The trees, and reindeer are from the dollar store! (SCORE!) The 'Let it Snow' sign and the garland with it are from Tai Pan Trading Co circa 2010. Stocking are from WalMart (2005) Target (2009) and Target (2014). My North Pole arrow is a combination of a facebook buy and some glittery red vinyl.

'Dashing Through the Snow' and my buffalo check Moose pillow are from Pillows4Everyone on Etsy You .see! WAAAY up there! My giant snowflake!

I printed the chalk printables a year or two ago. They were free but I can't seem to remember where they came from. I'll look into it.

This little Santa head is a new favorite of mine. I got him at Hobby Lobby last year and he is my FAVORITE!

This corner is probably my most favorite of all. Santa is from an old boss of mine when I worked at The Gingerbread Cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona. He was our Christmas gift from the owners and I cherish him. I was right out of High School and he was my first 'real' Christmas decoration. The little boy with the Christmas tree is also from there. I got him because at the time, he reminded me of my little brother. (he's now 21 and waaay taller than me). The Christmas Carol book that he is standing on is an Usborne Illustrated Book and it is B-E-A-UTIFUL!! The little tree with bells is from Tai Pan (2010). The Santa cookie plate and milk mug were inherited from my Grandma. We had one exactly like it growing up and this had been a gift to them from my parents. I was beyond excited when she gave it to me. The Christmas Carol book that he is standing on is an Usborne Illustrated Book and it is B-E-A-UTIFUL!!

This Bear Nativity and 'Twas The Night Before Christmas' book are also from The Gingerbread Cabin. I purchased the book so that someday I could read it to my littles on Christmas Eve. I do. Every year. The Hubs purchased the Beartivity for me our first Christmas together. If you know him, you know that it's completely appropriate.

This nativity is also a previous gift from my grandmother. I'm not sure how I got so lucky to get this, but I was. It also has a GIANT stable with animals and baskets and a well. It's amazing but I just don't have the real estate in my home to display it. Not safely anyway.

These 2 things are new additions this year. The Sleigh Rides sign was made by me with a stencil made by my neighbor's cousin and pallet boards that I stole from my other neighbor's pallet wall when they were moving out. It was just the top row. They never even noticed! ;) hahaha. Confession: she knew. HE didn't. The crib spring came from Sadie Mae's vintage crib that I just took down a week or so ago. I have seen people display several things on them so when I needed somewhere for incoming Christmas cards, I knew I needed to use this. I clipped the cards on with bow alligator clips because I already had them. They work great! The Merry Christmas sign is from Tai Pan 2010.

HEY!!! HEY!!! It's my other snowflake! My kitchen was a bit messy from dinner so I spared you the gory details and just took a picture of where Christmas is in it. 

My dining area got itself a poinsettia and some beads, from Hobby Lobby, for the chandelier. 

Despite the fact that the center of the tree has no lights on right now, I still love it. That little train has been with us through 10 Christmases and 2 little boys. When my "little" brother was 10, he saved and bought this for The Hubs with his own money. Who knew that it would be our dainty daughter that would annihilate it? (yesterday) The back wheel on both the caboose and the dancing Santa car are no longer working. :( Despite that, it still makes a great decoration and if we want it to run and sing, we can always run just the engine and the coal car.

So there you have it! I hope someone finds SOME kind of inspiration from my little home. I reminds me that I don't have to have a mansion with thousands of dollars worth of new decorations every year to love my home. As I mentioned before; it sure warms MY heart. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays! 

'Ello Love

To start out, this project was soooo easy! (After 3 hours of trying to figure it out on my own before I finally asked Andrea and she sent me the Silhouette file. Haha!) 
I wanted to follow her direct tutorial but when she mentioned that she cut it out by hand, I decided to "take the easy way out" and use a cutting machine. That being said, the machine was not mine and I have NEVER used one. K. Here goes. 
Andrea @ Pics-O-Andrea has a fantastic tutorial that works wonders! The freezer paper method works well! Here are a few tips if you're going to use a machine to cut it. 
1. Make sure you have the actual file for the cutting machine that you are using. 
2. Make sure you cut with the "shiny side" up on the cutting mat. 
3. Use the light blue blade if using a Silhouette and set it to the vinyl setting. 
4. Make sure you "mirror" the word in the Silhouette software. This matters because you iron the freezer paper onto the shirt "shiny side" down. So unless you want it to say "olle' evol" make sure you mirror it. 

 Iron it onto the shirt "shiny side" down. 
(If you're making it for an adult, be sure to not put it too close to the neckline of a crew neck shirt. You want it to start about 4" down from the neckline. Use a similar ratio when making for a toddler.) DON'T forget to keep and iron on the center of the 'L', 'e' and 'o'. 

With a piece of cardboard between the shirt layers, use a sponge paintbrush to stipple the FABRIC PAINT onto the shirt inside the stencil. It will take a few coats, so be patient. Let it dry a bit, but not completely. Then, simply peel the freezer paper from the shirt. Leave the piece of cardboard between the layers until it is completely dry. (I think the paint bottle says about 4 hours minimum.) Then, it's yours to enjoy! 

My Mother's Technique

I have an age old trick for packing that seems so simple, you would think everyone would do it for EVERY trip they ever took. My mother taught me this years ago by packing our clothes like this when I was young. It keeps things organized and hassle free. This weekend, my boys and I are traveling to a land far far away to spend time together and be one with nature. (In this family that translates to, "I have an elk tag a couple hrs away and will be gone until said tag is filled or I run out of vacation days." That's how we get our free range, hormone and chemicle free, organic meat.) Anyway... Little #3 will be spending the weekend at Grandma's. To help keep things streamlined and easy peasy for Grandma, I used my mother's technique.

A ziploc bag per day, jams, a caboodle and her (current) favorite toy. 

Each bag has the same items. A shirt, pants, shoes and a bow. 

Then each bag is marked with the day. Sunday has a bag marked "Sunday Church" and one marked "Sunday Play". This is so fantastic because Grandma literally just has to reach in and grab the bag of the day. No stressing about whether or not it matches or if it is what Mom would have chosen. At the end of the day, just return the dirty clothes to the bag! The best thing about it is that it ensures that you have packed enough clothes and have everything you might need while away from home. I hope this helps someone's life get a little easier the next time they travel. It's been a life saver for me! Thanks mom! 

Family Pictures: An Evolution

When we had our first baby, Hunter, the cool thing as far as family pictures goes was to have them taken in a Target Portrait Studio or something of the like. By the time the next one rolled around (exactly 53 weeks later) we had discovered the miracle of outdoor pictures done by a real life family photographer. We did those consistently for a few years and then all of a sudden, we stopped. Right when we had a great reason to keep getting them, we stopped. The birth of our baby girl sent us into family picture hiding. Well, almost 3 years later, we FINALLY had our beloved photos taken again and I could not be happier. We always seem to find a photographer that meets our exact need at just the right time. Here is the evolution of our family pictures.








It's fun to see the progression of our little family in pictures. They are my pride and joy. My life.

I really wanted our clothes to be subtle this year. Understated. Understated doesn't have to mean boring though. By adding patterns in neutral colors, it kept things from being bland. Stripes, gingham, and a subtle aztec pattern added just the right amount of depth to keep me interested.

Did I mention our photographer was seriously great!?! We had just met her and when she mentioned she was a budding photographer, I knew we had to take advantage of her talents before she took off back to Idaho. Boy am I glad we did! Seriously, if you're in Eastern Idaho, snag a slot before she's booked! Her info is right here

What We Wore 2015
The Hubs: Shirt-Old Navy (similar here) Jeans-Levis, Shoes-1901; Moi: Shirt-Loft (similar here) Skinnies-Old Navy (similar here) Sandals-Saltwaters, Necklace- Jungwha (3 rings for my 3 babies) Watch- Fossil (similar here); Hunter: Shirt-Target (similar styles here and here) Shorts- H&M Shoes-Children's Place (similar here); Nash: Shirt-Target, Shorts-Crazy8, Sandals-Saltwaters; Sadie: Shirt-Swallow's Return (my favorite shirt EVER) Bubble Shorts-Old Navy (similar here) Sandals-Saltwaters

Not sure if you noticed, but just about EVERYTHING is no longer availabe. Wanna know why!?! We already had ALL of it!!! I did not have to go out and purchase a single thing for our pictures this year! As much fun as it is to go shopping (believe you me!) it was FANTASTIC to be able to walk into each of our closets and find clothes that were picture ready! Give it a try. You might surprise yourself.

Photographers Over the Years
2009 & 2010- Cami @ Captivated Candids
2011- Aunt Nikki
2014- Bob Kaufman (also did our wedding photos 10 years ago)
2015- Melissa @ Melissa Hill Photography (was in AZ for a short while, but is back in Eastern Idaho. I'm hoping she comes back to us!)