Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Duke's First Annual Polar Express Party

A couple of days ago, prior to suddenly asking my sister and her family over for dinner, and just before the impromptu Christmas Dinner party (at which 28 people crammed into my home, more than half of them being under the age of 13!) I had suddenly decided to host a Polar Express party.

Initially, I was just feelin' jealous of parents I know with fewer than 4 kiddos who can just drive up to Colorado and buy a few tickets for the Polar Express train ride. Then I read an article about how we try so hard, as adults, to grasp the magic of Christmas. The excitement we felt as we went to bed Christmas Eve. The joy and surprise when we opened our present. The warm yumminess of traditions and objects that would become nostalgic to us later. The article's author discussed how it may be hard to catch that feeling as adults but that really Christmas is about creating that magic for the children in our lives. And so thus the grand idea of the Duke’s First Annual Polar Express Party began.

We played "Guess How Many Bells are in the Jar," drank cocoa (complete with a mini cocoa/marshmallow/peppermint bar), sang carols, played heads up 7 up, gave a bunch of mom's and dad's an hour off, and listened to the Conductor (my very awesome theatrically trained husband) read Polar Express to us! It was by far the BEST evening I’ve had all

december 23 Polar Express Party

december 23 Polar Express Party

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

daily december (14)

december 14

gingerbread cookie recipe

me and e on dec 14

me and e today I didnt start the day in this outfit. I was completely dressed in straight legged gray slacks, a geometric patterned blouse with a black undershirt and coordinated necklace. I just needed to slip my shoes on and grab a sweater.

However, I began to feel the pinch of the waistband around my middle and decided a bit too many cookies this month (+ a couple of sodas and a bucket load of cocoas with donuts sprinkled here and there) meant that I would need to pull out my most favorite comfy jeans. I've had them for about 5 years, they stretch more and more as the day goes on. The hems are frayed beyond recognition and in my skinny days these are too big for my bum... perfect! Especially since I planned on making (and eating) gingerbread cookies later ;)

E found me in the bathroom standing on the toilet (as usual) and wanted in on this picture thing. She had on the perfect mixed outfit too! Her t-shirt is a hand me down from a friend (belonging to our miss b)and the tutu is from Target last Christmas. It sparkles and twirls and both girls still fit into them. They wore them yesterday to church. E wore hers with stockings and her brothers Gap navy blue sweater with a big snowflake on the front that he wore 5 years ago! Both my littles have gotten away with wearing it and looking adorable!

On me:

my old reliable jeans
shirt: thrifted $5
purple t: Target
Cardigan: Target

my new Env3 with unlimited text and data plan
Coffeemate's Peppermint mocha creamer in plain ol' walmart cocoa
Christmas Classic station on Pandora
this gingerbread cookie recipe
Lain's 5 easy handmade gifts
oh and then there's this:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

me today dec 13

dec 13 Ah church, time to get everybody pretty while trying my darndest to keep the spirit with me. T went through 2 pairs of (dirty) pants and brought down the options of jeans of camo! LOL! The littles couldn't find stockings. C-bug did manage to get dressed in a cute outfit, realize her blouse had a spout on it and change into an equally clever outfit in 5 minutes flat... should have taken a pic of her cute outfit! (Imagine black flats, lacey type stockings, denim von dutch skirt, yellow v neck sweater with bright pink polo underneath! super cute!)

I knew exactly what I was going to wear today. I had looked though my Evernote notebook and was reminded of a cute boden ensemble I loved. Wish evrry day was that simple.

Today we did church, made this for dinner (yum!), and then went on our Secret Santa mission... rewarded with Krispy Kreme donuts (another yum!)

This is the outfit that ispired my look today. Ah to have a long pink velvet coat!

december 13


Saturday, December 12, 2009

december 12

busy day

december12a december12b

december12c december12d

december12e december12f

Friday, December 11, 2009

december 11


Dec 11 me standing on the toilet

me today Did I already explain why in all these pictures I am standing on a toilet with my head cut off?
1) It's the only place I can take a good full body (minus head) self portrait without setting up a tripod
2) Usually I like how the flash bounces off the ceiling in the bathroom
3) Once I am on the toilet I can't see my head in the mirror. If I bring my camera down low enough I can get my funny mug in the picture but it also means there is a very bright flash in my face!

thrifted cardigan 3.99
blouse: Target clearance >$5
jeans: Old Navy from my sister
boots: My newest treasure found at the thrift store $8!!!

Today my sista brought me Krispy Kreme from our newly reopened bakery. We ran errands and dropped our Christmas postcard in the mail. We ate zuppa toscano among other yummies for lunch. Later we're heading to the church Christmas dinner.... turkey dinner, I hear!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Daily December 10



dec 10

I was channeling axyl and stephen and my legs look funny

I could see it in my head last night. My comfy ripped jeans, an aerosmith t shirt and an off white cardigan topped with my red scarf. Unfortuantely, I had no aerosmith t shirt, no guns n roses, no classic rock t's, nothin. So the pic on the right is what I WOULD HAVE looked like if I had one.

I ran to the thrift store first thing this morning to hunt for one. I even convinced myself if I found one that smelled like it was washed I might actually wear it to breakfast with my photog friends without washing it first.... ewwww I know... but I was obsessed. Looking back, I am sooooo glad I didnt find one! haha! I did find an AWESOME pair of slate blue boots! I have been on the hunt for a pair of boots like them for a couple of months! Just trying to decide what I will wear with them... silvery gray leggings and a dress? black leggings with a denim skirt and grey sweater? I dunno, guess we'll see tomorrow!

black flast with buckle: Target
Jeans: Old Navy boot cut that is an old style of boot cut they dont make anymore
basic black t
thrifted gap cardi
yard sale banadana

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

dec 8 Our day started off at about 5 am. An ice storm ripped in and pounded our house with pellets. It began snowing in parts of town and then the thunder and lighting! Something like this inevitable means school would be affected some how. And though things were sunny in spite of the cold wind, our side of town was pretty decent. But a look across the river we could see snow and probably ice. So seeing as how our district takes up the entire city of Albuquerque and the buses park over on the other side of the river, our district gave us a 2 hour delay.

After finally getting everybody off to school I grabbed a load of fabric soon to be cute skirts for kiddos and drove up to my sister's. We ate some nummy chili, cut fabric, gossiped and laughed. We ran and errand and then the kids all came home. sigh

But I had cookies to bake and a cookie exchange to go to. Ah friends and sugar! Two of my favorite things! :)

Basic black t
new leggings form target
clearance target necklace
target flats
thrifted linen dress $6

Was told by my 13 year old, "CUTE!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

dec 7

the magic coat This is my magic coat! I bought it last year (or the year before?) on clearance at Target. Here is a classic story of why I call it the magic coat:

My 5 year old and I were on a shopping trip to Michaels. I was on a quest for the perfect trim for my ornaments for the swap. As I reach towards the silver braided cord a woman leans towards me and says,
"Your coat is beautiful!"
"Thank you, " I reply.
"Do you know that lady?" my little girl asks.
I tell her, "No. She was just complimenting me on my magic coat."
"Magic?!" she laughs.
I explain, "This coat is magic because anytime I wear it people say nice things to me. They tell me how beautiful I look, how they love my coat, or just other nice things. And so I call it my magic coat because it seems to cast a spell on people."

We approach the register as I finish my explanation. Suddenly my girl exclaims,
"Mama! That lady has your coat!"
Sure enough a lady checking out has the same coat draped over her arm. We look at each other and smile. I explain, "I was just telling my daughter about this coat being magic. Do people compliment you whenever you wear it?"
The lady tells us how she bought 2 of them. One was for a friend. She tells us that people love the coat and that she remembers seeing me at the post office a year ago in my coat! We chat for a good 5 minutes as the lady in front of me and then I check out. We walk out to the car with the other magic coat owner. I find out she is the owner of a local spa and her name is Monica(!!! in NM if you're monique you might as well answer to monica too!) She invites us to a big holiday extravaganza at her spa. Unfortunately, the coat's magic powers do not help with memory and I just remembered we forgot all about the party! Darn it! oh well, still magic.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

dec 5

brunch a.m. :
yellow cardigan: target
plaid top: thrifted (probably from khols?)
denim skirt: hand made
yellow flats: target

Out shopping p.m. :
yellow cardigan
dollar dress from walmart
green tank: target clearance
jeans: Old Navy hand me down form sister
thrifted old navy boots
purse: giani bernini thrifted $3! just found it on sale at Macy's for $50!!!
green necklace: made by my boy Tanzen for Christmas one year!
peachy and red dealio: Target clearance 2.44

Last night while doing a little shopping, I found these cute 3 dimensional layered stickers from K and Company (and Joanns) they were $4. I picked up an unfinished shadow box at hobby lobby for $4 +40% coupon. A little painting, some glue and cardboard, and now I have this cute shadowbox sitting on the front room table. I really should plan and host a craft night some year. Oh well!

shadow box crafting

Friday, December 4, 2009

dec 4



me todayHad such a busy day. So many errands. Too many kids (parent teacher conferences this week.)

After talking about my daily chosen clothes and saying something about putting more effort into what I wear... not the ordinary jeans and T, I suddenly had a craving for jeans and a T. I had a photoshoot with my nieces so I wanted to wear something comfy and functional. I dressed it up with my gap cardigan you havent seen yet, a hand knit navy blue scarf, straight legged jeans and some plaid tennies. I bought both tops at Walmart last year. I really really really try to stay far away from walmart clothes purchases because typically the quality isnt that great, walmart is an evil giant, sweatshops, etc. but this blue t is an organic one I picked up for $5! Could you pass up organic cotton for $5? I dare you! The red and white striped one underneath was a happy find. I hunted everywhere last winter for a red and white striped t after falling in love with one in the Boden catalog. I couldn't find anything under $30!!! Then happened across this one while picking up dog food for only $8. I am told I like to justify things often... oh well, I look cute ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3


So this is the ornament I made for Life in the Lyon's Den ornament swap. I hand crafted each paper house and used gumball machine containers for the domes. pretty nifty, huh?

ornament swap

And apparently getting dressed with the intention of wearing something nice (rather than the lounge pants or jeans and a tee, or mafia style jogging suit... well anyway, it's becoming a habit and a way to keep me on task through out the day.

getting dressed
This outfit is one of my favorite pairs of very straight legged baggy pants (reminds me of womens 1940s pants), a striped Old Navy T-shirt that my sis gave me after she accidentally ordered 2, a thrifted cardigan (about $6?) and a refurbished necklace made from a thrifted necklace and a big red bead from one of my other sistas.

This picture is a reminder to me to
a) clean my bathroom mirrors
b) get a pedi some time this winter
see ya tomorrow, I got to get back to posting a client gallery.

december 2


If you have a Macy's and kiddos in your care, stop by and drop a note to Santa... I almost did ;)

P.S. Couldnt find my copy of "It's a Wonderful Life" and really wanted to watch it tonight. You can watch it here

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thrifted Clearance outfit #2

Thrifted/clearance outfit #2 (with new shoes)
Here is the blue version of the previous dress, also $1 @ walmart. The cardigan here is a new with tags Old Navy one I found at the thrift store for 6.99. The shoes and gray skirt were bought brand new at target. Fun stuff!

On the tail end of a cruddy day. Have a ton of work to do and no motivation to do it. Must get done though. see ya!

Wardrobe Wednesday

my thrifted and clearance outfit today
ok I am not actually starting a ritual Wardrobe Wednesday, but this is one of a few things I actually loved today. (Wednesday is early dismissal for the elementary kiddos and it's smack dab when Little E needs her nap.)

I found this dress last night at Walmart. My first thought when I saw it was e-gads that is bright and hideous! Then I thought about how cute it would be with my boots and new cardi. Then I thought about how it was walmart and really made like crap in a foreign country probably by children. But then I saw the price tag $1! Sorry, couldn't pass up a dress for a buck!(or the similar blue one for the same price!!!)

The whole outfit with the exception of the shirt is either clearance or thrifted:
dress $1
boots: new old navy @ saver's thrift store last year 9.99
stockings: clearance $1
vintage pin (on waist): 1.99 @ savers
cardigan that I wore with it but not in the picture: NEW w/tags GAP @ savers $14! (original price tag said $45)

I LOVE clothes you wear in the cooler weather! Layers of tops, tanks, boots, leggings, sweaters. Best stuff! Some of my favorite style blogs:
Cardigan Empire
Have a Cute Day
What I wore
Some Girls Wander(of Black Apple fame... I'll take one of the cute necklaces from her shop!)

Oh, and yes, I stand on my toilet to do shots like this! Wanna make fun of me? meet you on the playground after school tomorrow! ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Digital December Daily


If you read my blog you probably know about Ali Edwards and her December Daily... just because I am crafty, ad you probably are so I assume you know what I am talking about. I am tooooo lazy this early morning to go and find a link for you so go ahead and google it if you need to... go ahead... I'll wait ;)

Last year I made an awesome book for my December Daily, but alas, scrapping in December (printing out the pics assembling pages etc) was too much for me and even though I took pictures every day I did fail to scrap the last 10 days or so. But I KNOW I can do this digitally. I LOVE doing digital scrapping... no mess to clean up, no supplies to buy, etc.

So all I have to do is make a list of things I definitely want to get to with my family and take the darn pictures!

On my list:
cookie making
one day of a big secret santa project run by a friend of mine
PJ pants to be sewn
cocoa to be drunk
parties to attend
but firstly get the tree up and finish the ornaments for Amy's swap(and send tomorrow!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Give Away at Cardigan Cake

Tulle Wreath tutorial and giveaway

Posted a give away on Cardigan Cake

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm in

Last year I made these:

Ornament swap

I THINK I know what I'll do this year???

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Movies to see

Just a list of trailers I stumbled upon and now want to have on my "to see" list.


dont laugh... but this is my type of movie... I loved "Something's Gotta Give" with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Was supposed to be

we had our pictures taken

Tomorrow is my 15th anniversary. We were supposed to be leaving on a plane to go on our first ever trip without the kids. But alas, did I mention the story of the broken down van?

Anyway, our day will come. Now I need to focus on working (one cute photo session tomorrow and possibly a last minute shindig to photograph.) And there is so much to do before Christmas, heck! before Thanksgiving.

Some things I want to get done soon:

Strawberry Kalaches

Kolaches in my future? Not unless I share them with friends. Wonder what apple would be like? or PUMPKIN BUTTER???!

Buy new typewriter tape. maybe I'll let my kids type up messages to santa? or maybe I'll just type in secret...after they are asleep...and not tell them the thing works again...

thrift find

I'll finish this after thanksgiving. I think I will make it a family gift to my family.

making a quilt

And clean the office so more moments like this can happen

B and the Lite Brite

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's not too early to enjoy peppermint, right?

December Daily: Hittin' the hard stuff

I just found the peppermint star marshmallows today! We LOVE them in our cocoa! Also, we love Coffee Mate's peppermint creamer in our cocoa... oh and bob's candy canes and brachs peppermint nougats. mmmm peppermint!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I noticed a facebook friend became a fan of this amazing photographer Wendy Bevan. Wendy's work is really lovely. I tried to replicate the effects on this portrait of C-bug I took last spring. Her work is tylish, vintage, artistic.

No wonder my fb friend loved it...(thanks for the inspiration Jenny)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's November... time to blog every day ;)


With 2 other blogs going on I am bound to cross post once in a while... this will be one of those times ;)

I found a huge stack of Corelle plates at Savers that I will be using when I host Thanksgiving at my house this month. I haven't quite decided on what to do for center pieces... maybe spray paint gourds in matching colors? make little velvet pumpkins? Do you have any ideas?

I have Christmas on the brain already, but with my business keeping me busy with Holiday Family Sessions I have to be in that mode mentally. I think I may need to construct some sort of Holiday planner soon! You know I'll share! maybe even make 2 for a give away???

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Disney Trip Giveaway!


2 fun Utah based blogs, Sweet Life in the Valley and Out and about with the Family are giving away a trip to Disneyland! Some of you may know that last spring husband and I were beginning to save up our money to make an anniversary trip to Disneyland together. We didnt have a real honeymoon and have never done anything aside from dinner and a movie for an anniversary. Unfortunately my van took a dive on a road trip. The money we had begun to save got us back to our home state. The van eventually was shipped out and underwent a full engine replacement. We're talking thousands of dollars that we are now in debt (to my dad, thank goodness and not a bank.) However, hubs and I have been trying to figure out any way for us to get to Disneyland in the next year (even after our anniversary in a month???) Wouldn't it be a dream come true if we won this?! (And we only need 2 tickets! I think I'd have to do a contest of my own to give away the other 2) Any how, it's worth the try.

Go enter yourself too at Sweet Life in the Valley

Photo by the wonderful Brianna Saban

Friday, September 11, 2009

moving... sorta


hi there blog readers. As I'm sure you can tell I've practically abandoned this blog. BUT you can find me at my photography blog. I use it for business but I am slowly trying to incorporate some of my crafty and home life into it. Please go read over there. I may be back here someday when I have a little more time. thanks for the love!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Disney Month of Fun!

Mickey Mouse Paper Cutting

The story is this: We went on a family trip to Disneyland this spring. We try to go whenever we have some extra money or have saved some up. We have a REALLY GREAT TRAVEL AGENCY we go through. They always have the newest ticket deals, offers for free nights at the hotels, send Disney pins, lanyards, and this time around little backpacks for the kids. We had a great time and the hubs and I decided that we would definitely save our money up for our first ever anniversary trip (we've never gone anywhere for our anniversary.)

And then fate threw a wrench into the works! Only an hour after leaving my aunt's house in CA our van broke down... the only car we have that can drive all 6 of us at the same time (husband has a 4 passenger car.) This month, the anniversary money will be going to fix the van. :(

But I had an idea! The company we use is amazing! They offer a referral program. I figured out that we only need 25 referrals to book for us to pay for our anniversary trip! I thought "there's has got to be 25 people out there willing to send me their emails to refer to this company!" They dont send too many emails (I swear! Like 1-2 a month?) They also book other southern california destinations, cruises, and Hawaii! We've been using them for 5+ years and have never had a bad experience.

But I couldn't possibly just beg for emails and vacation bookings without doing something in return. So this month, for as many days as I can, I will be offering patterns, designs, ideas for crafty projects with a Disney theme! Could you please spare an email and your home address? send it to mokistar at aol dot dom and I will love you forever!

First up the pattern for the above Mickey Mouse paper cutting. It's done on 12x12 paper. You can print it up and cut out the colored sections. Dont forget you can invert it to have him face the other way (I'm a sloppy cutter and had some lines left over on mine ;) Click on the picture to be brought to a larger size. Please only use this pattern for non commercial personal use. Thanks!

disney mm pattern