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100 Things to do before Christmas

4 Dec

Better start now. 🙂

xoxo,

T.

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Easter Punnies…Baskets, Decor, Eats and Puns!

3 Apr

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As promised, this is a Good Friday to post a blog about all things Easter!  Tis the reason for the season!  You shall find Easter basket ideas, decor ideas and fun things to eat!

A Virtual Cornucopia of Easter Basket Ideas – showing lots of options, lest you need any last-minute ideas!  Which reminds me of the year Kevin went out on Easter Saturday night, to get my Easter basket… literally came home with a Huge laundry basket filled with just about anything a girl could want.  Wish I had taken a picture. #SizeMatters

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Using a Beach Towel as an Easter Basket.  Love this idea!

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Beach towels with pool noodles. 🙂

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Frozen, Frozen, Frozen…if you haven’t had enough.

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Easter Decor Ideas – fun to do with the family.

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Obsessed with Glitter Eggs.  Absolutely Obsessed!

Easter Eats

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Custard and Fruit Pie

 

 

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Pastel Colored Deviled Eggs

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Just about the cutest little cupcake that I ever have seen!

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Strawberries dipped in orange-chocolate
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Brilliant!  Using Peeps in the fruit kabobs!

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Another bunny shaped fruit salad.

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Making these on Easter…but No Nuts!

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I am Trixy Sprinkles

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Easter Puns

Here are some messages that work for all sorts of peeps, whether they’re chicks, bunnies, or one of the many other shapes that are available these days.

General

To one of my favorite peeps.
It’s Easter, for Peep’s sake!
You and I are like two peeps in a pod.
I heard you wanted to see a peep show.
Hope you enjoy this peeps offering.
Power to the Peep-le!
To a real peep-le person.
I do want to hear another peep out of you – keep in touch!
Our friendship is growing by peeps and bounds!
Hope you enjoy this tongue-in-peep gift.
I never get tired of hanging with my peeps.
I heard you like hanging out with your peeps.
Without you, I’d go off the peep end!
All I am saying, is give peeps a chance.
To a person with real peep-le skills.
Wishing you peeps and happiness this Easter!

Chicks

When most people think of peeps, they probably envision the little marshmallow chicks that made them famous. Here are some funny/punny sayings that go with this type of peep.

Why didn’t the peep cross the road? Because it was a little chicken.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get by your side.
Hope you enjoy this cheep gift.
For one of my favorite chicks.
To a real cool chick.
To the hottest chick in town.
You’re a big clucking deal.
I heard you get all the chicks.
I heard you were looking for some real sweet chicks.
You might not be a spring chicken, but you’re pretty sweet.
You and I are birds of a feather.
Don’t you hate candy gifts with fowl puns attached to them?

Bunnies

Another classic peep shape is the bunny. Here are some hare-brained puns to accompany a gift of bunny peeps.

For some-bunny very special.
To my little honey bunny.
I heard you wanted to dye your hare.
This peep was sent by hare-mail.
I heard you like hip hop.
You make me want to hop up and down.
Take one of these when you’re having a bad hare day.
For my sweet funny bunny.
Hope you have a hoppin’ good Easter.
I heard eating these can cure your receding hare line.
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Song of the Day – Build Me Up Buttercup, by the Foundations.  For all my Wisconsin college students and students to be!  Go Badgers!  I believe this is the 3rd of 4th time this song has been the featured song of the day. Should tell you something!
Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby
When you say you will (say you will) but I love you still
I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darlin’
You know that I have from the start
So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, don’t break my heart

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Happy Easter Birthday Lora!!!

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#NoFilter.  Kidding… Totally used a filter.  🙂

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So, This happened this week.  I was driving with Mer in the front with me and my sister, Megan in the back, on our way to lunch.  A guy in a car (not nearly as sassy as my new, white “sports car”) passed me and cut me off.  Whatever.  We then turned the same way, and when we got the the light, he was in the lane next to us, and flipped us off.  It was a Hard, F-off.  Directed at my daughter.  #Unbecoming.  He then, BACKED up and rolled down his window and yelled, “So when is passing a car against the law”.  I gave him a look that said, without speaking, “what in god’s green earth is wrong with you”.  Meredith’s look was an explanation point to my look.  He then yells, “You’re lucky we are in the suburbs, if we were in the city, you’d be shot”.  Seriously.  I have no idea what his problem was, but lunch was Fabulous.

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Have I mentioned I love the bitmoji app?

Happy Easter! 🙂

xoxo,

T.

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Oldie, but Goodie!

 

Dressing your Holiday Porch

15 Dec

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In case you haven’t gotten enough inspiration for decorating for the holidays…here are some ideas, for the Porch.  The entry to your home.  While we have our tree up, as last week’s blog would indicate, I still feel compelled to do more, in terms of decorating my porch and entry.  It’s never too late to do some tweaking!  Some of these are extravagant while some are more simple.  I like simple.

We have gone without all the outdoor lights, which, in the past, we would have over 60,000 lights strewn through our trees.   It became an electrical nightmare when it would rain, and Kevin would spend hours each night, trying to get that back in working order. We have determined that I am certainly Not up to that task, hence no 60,000 outdoor lights.   This year we have 12 wreaths on the outdoor lights and pillars and a large wreath above the front door.  Large glass ornaments piled in the front planters with some holiday greens and I call it a festive holiday entryway!

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Call me crazy, but totally loving these nutcrackers!  I have a thing for holiday nutcrackers… and received my 3rd one this year.  They don’t come life-size, otherwise I’d put them on my porch.  #sizematters

img-thingBack to porches

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Christmas Porch Decorating Ideas

Inspirational Ideas For Your Christmas Porch

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Found some of these pics and this little blurb on http://www.styleestate.com.  Referral link at end of blog.

Welcome your friends and family to your home this holiday season with festive décor that anyone can create. Event planner Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event shares tips and photos from a family Christmas Eve party she planned for a client in the Chicago area. “It is so much fun to decorate this time of year because you can start in November and continue adding special touches for more than month,” she says. “Little extra touches help make the holidays a special experience, and guests notice and enjoy the extra touches too,” she says.

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Dress up your front porch and yard with these holiday outdoor decorating ideas that last from the first days of fall through the New Year.

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“M” for Murphy

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One of the simplest ways to dress up your porch…and one of the prettiest.

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Loving the ornaments in the lantern
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Make the outside of your home as festive as the inside with these fast, simple holiday decorating ideas.

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Loving how the rug matches the decorations!!
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This would be super simple… Use pinecones, some greens and ornaments.
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Wrapped presents add fun flair.
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See how it looked better with the matching rug, as shown a few pics above?
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My mom’s initials. 🙂
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A perfect winter cabin.
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I love symmetry.
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Love this, but I highly suggest shoveling the stairs! 🙂
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Looks like it would be in NYC
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Holiday Movie Suggestion: Keeping with the holiday spirit, Mer and I watched the movie, The Holiday… not the first time we’ve watched it…and will not be the last.  #lovinit
Our Festive Bar Cart
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Meredith dressed our bar cart for the holidays.  We’ve moved it from the dining room, where Patrick put the Christmas village, into the sunroom.  A fun, impromptu place for a holiday cocktail, or two. She did a magnificent job. ❤
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Murphy picture of the day…Murph and her boyfriend, Sampson.  Loving Murph’s holiday bow.
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Song of the Day:  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Ella Fitzgerald.  I do love the Judy Garland version from Meet me in St. Louis, but the Ella version is from the movie, The Holiday, and I like the “snappy jazzy feel” to it.

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xoxo,

T.
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 love in the room (1)
Source:  http://blog.styleestate.com/christmas-decorating/2011/12/4/a-whole-bunch-of-christmas-porch-decorating-ideas.html

Dressing our Christmas Tree

5 Dec

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Trimming our Christmas tree can be an ordeal.  In my mind, it’s supposed to be about hot chocolate, cookies, White Christmas playing on TV in the background, all while our family sings christmas carols and happily assembles and decorates the tree.  #notsomuch.  We have a 14-foot, artificial tree, that is Not pre-lit.  Meaning, we have to assemble it and put the lights on before we hang the ornaments and the garland.  One word.  Ordeal.  And, if history is any indication of what this process entails, a good time is Not had by all.

Kevin and I have never argued much, per se…but one of our first arguments as a married couple was putting up a christmas tree.  We had a live tree (actually, since it was chopped down, not sure it’s called “live”, but stay with me here) and we were placing it in the stand and it was my job to hold it up.  Kevin forgot the #1 rule of his wife.  Doesn’t like carrying things that are heavy…or holding up things that are heavy.  As a typical over-achiever in life, one would think I could handle that task.  Again, #notsomuch.  It fell over and that did not go over well.  At all.  One would have thought I backed the Escalade into the gates.  Oh yeah, I did that as well, but I digress.  The tree actually fell over probably 5-6 times that holiday season.  I remember that each and every time I decorate our tree.  Kevin also forgets the #2 and #3 rules of his wife.  Forgets nothing.  Remembers everything.  #bestwifeever #Imasaint

Fast forward to the holiday season, 2014.  We assembled the tree on Saturday.  Took probably 2 hours.  We put the top on (3-foot section), which we keep decorated with ornaments and lights, then put on each row of branches, row by row.  There are 20 rows, after the top 3-foot section. Then we light each section as we go. #efficient.  This year, Patrick had the honor of standing on the ladder.  #kevinnolongergoodonladders #itiswhatitis

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This just needs the garland…and some vacuuming!

Sunday, we invited Mary to a tree-decorating party.  Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies and Christmas music playing in the background.  Meredith and I put Bailey’s in our beverage. #shoulddothateveryday.  It was the best tree-trimming ever.  At least in the O’Brien household. Murphy hung with us and it really was delightful.  At least it was for me, and at this point, isn’t that what matters?  Kidding…I do think Mary, Patrick and Meredith would agree.  Hanging Christmas ornaments is not typically on the O’Brien family’s bucket list of fun…but it was this year.  And the finished product…Not so bad. 🙂

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Took a village…or at least 4 hard-working elves.  ’twas worth it, because looking at me makes me happy.

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Song of the Day:  Christmas Canon, by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Chicago Bears… well they are just that…a team that one can hardly Bear to watch.  So sad, but I am still a fan…and still love going to the games!  There’s always next year and I am confident we will make the playoffs for the 2015 season.  It’s all about the Power of Positive Thinking!

Murphy picture of the day…Featuring a girl and her puppy

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Enjoy the season.  I have lots of fun holiday-themed blogs in the works!  Yes, quite exciting…and one in regards to “You’ve Got Mail” and raunchy Christmas sweaters.  #cannotwait  #callingyourbluffmrbice

xoxo,

T.

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Dressing Your Home for the Holidays

21 Nov

I love the Holidays and love decorating for the Holidays, but get discouraged and anxious when trying to figure out exactly what goes where…and if I can replicate exactly how I loved it the year before.  Did I pack up the decorations with care the previous year, and how do I remember where everything belongs?

Even though it can be lots of fun when you first pull your decorations , (and see  all the things you’d forgotten you had)  it can also be really nerve-racking if you aren’t properly organized with a plan of what goes where.  My friend Carolyn shared this tip which she learned from a friend…The simple solution is to color code each box and label each with the location in which it had been placed. Also, keep a notebook of Christmas decoration inventory to make things easier.  This is also a good way to begin to sort which items need to be tossed.

Keep your decorations bundled together and boxed by Room.  And when your room, powder room, foyer, buffet table, etc…is decorated exactly how you like it, take a picture, and post it on the box where you store your decorations.  Also make another copy and put it Inside the box.  This way it makes it easier, each year to not only decorate, but dismantle!  A place for everything, and everything in its place!

Additional Holiday Organizing Ideas:

Decorating your home for the holidays isn’t much fun when ornaments are broken and light strands are tangled. What to do? The best way to ensure that it will go smoothly next year is to take care when “un-decorating” your home this year.

Replace worn-out storage boxes

Sturdy, well-designed containers for ornaments, lights, and other decorations are available from home improvement stores, as well as online retailers like ornamentsafe.com, ultimatechristmas.com and ornamentbox.com. For a terrific wreath container, go to thehomemarketplace.com. Store items that don’t fit easily into ornament storage boxes in a plastic bag or cardboard box.

Containerstore.com carries a good assortment of wrapping-paper organizers that can hang, stand, roll, or slide under your bed. You may want to invest in two organizers—one for holiday paper and one for everything else.

Label every container

The label should be as specific as possible. For example, instead of several boxes labeled “decorations,” you might have one for “glass ornaments,” another for “handmade ornaments,” another for “lights,” and so on.

Sort through decorations before storing them

If something no longer suits your taste or brings you joy, discard it. Ditto for items that are broken. Hold on to anything that has sentimental value.

Create a written plan for next year

Get out your smart phone, and indicate the date on which you intend to decorate your home—and the date on which the decorations will come down. 

 

Holiday Decorating Tips:

1. Stay with one theme and style  for your holiday decorating. It makes shopping for decor easier and makes your space feel professionally finished. (Do not be afraid to throw away, or donate, older decorations.  It’s truly impossible to keep everything you have, but hold onto those items with a “sentimental value”.    It feels wonderful to give you and your home a thorough holiday cleansing).

2. Let your nose know it’s the holiday season. Place potpourri and scented candles near your entry and throughout your house. Or, better yet, bake some cookies shortly before guests arrive. (Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes a house smell better than fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies).

3. Choose two to three colors for your holiday palette and keep it consistent. Multiple color palettes can be too distracting. Try silver, blue and white or red, gold and brown. (Silver and blue, as shown in the ornament tree below, is beautifully elegant).

4. Create an inexpensive family tradition that involves the kids. Purchase a ready-made wreath of greens then gather items to decorate it. Use pine cones, ribbons, crystals, feathers, beaded garland or homemade paper snowflakes. (The ornaments the kids made through their childhood are always the favorites on our Christmas tree).

5. Give your space a different look and feel for this special time of year. Rearrange your furniture so the focal point is the fireplace or wherever you hang stockings. If you don’t have a fireplace, arrange the furniture to create the best layout for cozy conversations. (we used to hang our stockings on a railing off the dining room, since we didn’t have a fire-place.  When Kevin and I got married, even though we had a fire-place, I still hung the stockings on the railing, as it felt like a family tradition).

6. Colored lights can be costly if you change your color palette from year to year. Stick with white lights; they can be used with any color scheme. (I think white twinkle lights can also be used year round, especially for an outdoor summer party).

7. Start investing in a collection – something that can continue to grow through the years and can be passed on to the next generation. Check out online auction sites for vintage decorations. ( My mother started us on a collection of snow globes.  Every time we bring them out, I think of my Mom). 🙂

8. Use lots of candles. Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight. (Caution…do not put out too many candles…this is an occasion when too much is truly Too much).

9. Bring the holiday celebration into every room. Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to put scented candles and smaller seasonal knickknacks.  (I put decorations in my master bathroom, and in the kid’s bedrooms as well.)

10. The holiday season is definitely one time where “less is more” does NOT apply. Have fun and do it up big. (I don’t necessarily agree with this tip, and each year try to put out less and less, while still trying to achieve a festive holiday home).

These Bonus tips were found on www.mrsfields.com

If pulling out your holiday decorations usually results in pulling out all your hair, don’t despair. Whether you’re decorating your table for Thanksgiving or your house for Christmas, here are 10 tried-and-true tricks to getting it right.

1. Less is more. If you’ve been collecting holiday decorations for more than a decade, you’ve probably got a parade of 18-gallon plastic bins that come down from the attic. Don’t feel like you have to display every decoration every year. Choose and use your favorites and leave the rest in storage. Next year you’ll likely have different favorites. Chances are, you’ll feel like you have fresh decorations every year and the process won’t feel so overwhelming.

2. Replace the space. Holiday decorations can sometimes look cluttered. A great tip is to replace your regular decorations with your holiday pieces. Instead of placing the nutcracker next to the globe on the end table, put the globe away for the season. Use the space in your empty bins to store your regular decorations. You’ll be pulling the bins out again after the season anyway.

3. Groupings are great. If you’ve got a hodge-podge of small trinkets, try displaying them as a group instead of placing them randomly around the house. Clear a space on a bookshelf or tray and place them in an interesting grouping. Look for similarities in color, size, or category and put them together for a bigger impact.  For example, pair snowmen with snowmen or wooden trees with wooden reindeer or red decorations with other red decorations. They will look more cohesive and can be appreciated as a collection.

4. Look in your own backyard. If you’re sparse on decorations, you don’t have to look much further than your own backyard for inspiration. Clip some branches from a low-hanging tree and arrange them in a tall vase for a centerpiece. (Spray paint them a festive color for added impact.) A shallow bowl or basket full of pine cones looks beautiful next to the fireplace. (Add some cinnamon sticks for a great aroma.) Build a garland from pine branches and floral wire.

5. Find new uses for old things. Raid your kitchen cupboards for interesting containers and textures of every shape and size. Fill a glass canister full of red and green candies for a simple, cheery decoration that also serves as an emergency snack. A beautiful salad bowl full of brightly colored ornaments looks great on a coffee table. Your crystal goblets make great vases or candle holders. The possibilities are endless if you simply look at your old stuff with new eyes.

6. Tea lights are tops. Everything looks more festive when you add candlelight. Simple tea lights are one of my favorite decorations and the easiest way to dress up any occasion. Arrange them in a set of glassware, a grouping of empty jars, in a line down a skinny tray, or in paper luminaries (glorified lunch bags). They give a warm glow to everything and are incredibly inexpensive to buy in bulk.

7. Food as decoration. Nothing is more beautiful than a bowl of bright green apples, zesty oranges, or interesting gourds. Plus, you can change it up all season long as you eat your way through each display. For a more lasting decoration, press whole cloves into the rind of oranges in interesting patterns. The smell is amazingly festive and the natural preservatives in the cloves will keep the oranges fresh for weeks.

8. Don’t forget the mistletoe. Fresh (or silk) mistletoe is easy to find this time of year and adds a fun spark to your doorway. It’s becoming an out-dated tradition that needs a revival! Don’t you agree?

9. Make room for the tree. If you display a Christmas tree, put it in a place where it can be the focal point with easy access, especially if it will need watering. Rearrange the furniture if needed. My favorite spot for a tree is near a window. You get the fun of appreciating it from inside and outside too. Plus, the lights look beautiful reflected on the glass.

10. Keep the music playing. Call me crazy, but I think of holiday music as part of the decoration. Put it on as you decorate and keep it on all season long. Music is shown to calm nerves and soothe the spirit. We all need that during the holidays, right? Plus, music is strongly associated with memories. It’s almost impossible to listen to holiday music without remembering special holidays of years gone by.

Happy Decorating!

xoxo,

T.

JAYWATCH – my ongoing musings of my favorite QB Jay Cutler…While Patrick and I had a fabulous time at the game vs the Chargers  (though this picture clearly doesn’t depict the happiness POB clearly feels while partaking in a Sunday afternoon gridiron game with his old Mother)…I was extremely disappointed to hear my spunky QB has suffered a broken thumb.  Ugh!!  The Bears had finally gotten into their groove!!  The only good news is we have Oakland, Kansas City and Denver, before the last game of the season at Green Bay…and what a wonderful Christmas gift that would be to toast the Packers on their home turf!!  And here’s hoping when they say “Jay is out for the season”…that does NOT include the Post Season!  Go Bears!!