We will be spending the day enjoying our little family at home then heading up north tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with my in-laws! I will post a full recap of our Christmas celebrations next week!
How is Christmas already next week??? Here I was thinking I was so prepared this year, I had a plan of what I was going to buy and what I was going to make and for who I was going to do what. I started buying a wrapping presents back in October to make sure that I would not be in a rush the last week before Christmas and yet here I am, amazed that it is already here and still not prepared. We are celebrating Christmas with my family this weekend, so that gives me even less time to be ready!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a lot already and am mostly prepared, but I’ve been slacking on the homemade gifts I had planned. So now, here I am rushing to finishing making everything that I need to by this Saturday. Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened to. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really left me much time for blogging, so I thought I would do a quick recap of what we’ve been up to this month.
First, we did decide to decorate our tree. I bought the shatterproof ornaments from Sam’s Club I mentioned in this post, along with some fun white and red glitter ribbon and we spent one evening making our tree pretty. In hindsight, we probably should have waited until Brynlee had gone to bed. Once we started on the bottom, she was taking them off faster than we could put them on. One thing to note about shatterproof ornaments, they definitely are shatterproof to an 18 month old slamming them down on the tile floor but their little silver tops where the hook goes, are not! Brynlee has broken most of them off by this point. Needless to say, we are very grateful for shatterproof ornaments and while the bottom third of our tree is looking a little haggard by this point everything is holding up fairly well.
*Brynlee pulling ornaments off.
All those presents I mentioned already having wrapped are not holding up quite as well as the tree… I was so excited to have already wrapped presents when we put our tree up. Usually underneath the tree sits bare until about 3 days before Christmas, but this year I promised I would be better about wrapping presents as I bought/finished them instead of doing one marathon wrapping day. I neglected to factor in Brynlee, after opening 2 of the presents I promptly moved them to a closet and have them hidden away until it is time to give them to the recipient. Maybe next year…
We took Brynlee to the Zoo Lights the other weekend and she had so much fun!! She absolutely refused to ride in the stroller, but surprised us by holding our handing and walking with us the whole time so we were okay with that. We did attempt to get a Santa picture at the zoo, but she was not about to let that happen! She went crazy, crying and screaming until we took her away from Santa. She did really love seeing all of the lights and looking at everything. Since it was dark we didn’t get to see very many animals, but the few that were out completely fascinated her. She had a great time, but by the time we were finished going through the park she was exhausted, all that running around did her in and we had to carry her the last little bit. She did sleep in the next day with was so lovely!! She’s been teething and her normal wake up time of 7:00 has been pushed up t0 4:30-5:30 each morning. Ugh!
*She loved seeing all of the lights.
Even though we tried for Santa pictures at the zoo, we had already planned on taking her to Bass Pro Shops for her Santa pictures. We went there last year and had a great experience. While it is pretty busy, if you go at the right time or get a “Bass Pass” you can cut down on your wait time. They have a beautiful set up and you get a free 4×6 picture, but you can also buy the digital download for only $10! They have additional packages if you want more prints, but we love getting the digital download, one so we can save the picture to our computer and always have it and two, so we can print as many as we need for family members. This is by far the best price we have found for Santa pictures. Plus, they have a whole winter wonderland set up for the kids to do crafts, color, play games and they even have a carousel, all of which are free. If you leave near a Bass Pro Shops I would highly recommend going there for Santa pictures.
*As you can see, we didn’t do much better with this one. Hopefully next year she will appreciate Santa a little more.
This past weekend, my sister in law had her annual ornament party. It is always so much fun to go to and now that there are a few of us with kids of our own (all girls) we decided to do a little gift exchange amongst them. We also do an ornament exchange “white elephant” style, everyone draws a number, picks a wrapped ornament, opens it and it can be stolen up to two times before it is done. Always a lot of fun and I love getting a new ornament each year.
We also did some work in our backyard, we are having beautiful weather, our highs are in the mid 60’s, so it was perfect for being outside. We finally got to pick all of our lemons. For our tiny tree we got so many, I was amazed at the amount! We’ve had our tree for almost 4 years now and last year was the first year it produced any fruit, about a grocery bag full. This year we got almost 4 times that amount.
I also had to prune our rose bushes, again! I’ve already done it 3-4 times, but our weather keeps fluctuating and getting warm again so they just keep blooming (I am not complaining, I love having the beautiful flowers!!).
*I just cut this yesterday.
I also started prepping my garden beds so they will be ready in a couple of months for our spring garden. Weeds had kind of taken over and I need to add some more soil to them. Brynlee had so much fun helping in the backyard. She has really come a long way in the last month as far as being a helper. She used to always go off and do her own thing when we were out back, which made it difficult if there was only one of us, we were constantly chasing after her to make sure she didn’t get into anything she shouldn’t. But now, she stuck right with me, helped pick lemons, dig in the garden and I could tell she had a lot of fun. I can’t wait until we actually get to plant the veggies together and when it comes time to pick them I know she will really enjoy it. I hope this will be an activity that we can do together and that she will enjoy when she gets older too.
Other than that, I have been busy at work on my Christmas presents and few things I having going on in my shop. Oh and I finished the custom nursery bedding for my sister in law. The nursery is coming along beautifully, I can’t wait until everything is finished so I can take pictures and show you. Anyone else making their Christmas presents? I would love to hear what ideas you’ve come up with!
When I first started thinking about the Blissfully Made Shop and what I wanted to do with it, I envisioned including 3 separate “shops” within it. I wanted to create things for us mamas, our littles and our homes, all of the things I am passionate about. While it’s taken me a little while to find something that I truly loved to add to the home section of the Blissfully Made Shop, I’ve finally done it! And I couldn’t be happier with the result. The best part, it’s coming just in time for the holidays!
This gorgeous, 6 foot long garland, is made out of beautiful cream colored yarn with gold accents. I can’t even express how this garland cozies up a space. I hand make each pom pom before attaching it to a braided line of the same yarn.
String a few of these together to add a lovely, rustic feel to your tree, or do like I did and add it to a stair rail.
This charming garland will extend far past the holidays, you can use it as party décor, for texture on a gallery wall or even as a table runner or centerpiece. The possibilities are endless!
Not the color or length you are looking for? Just let me know! While I plan on adding additional colors to the shop soon, if you need something in time for the holidays just ask, I love taking custom orders. You can message me on Facebook, leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These garlands have been added to the Blissfully Made Shop on Etsy, so hurry on over and get yours today!
Remember that time I quite blogging for a month and missed some pretty important stuff… Oh wait, that just happened. Well, in honor of TBT, I thought I would recap our Halloween and share the cutest little Minnie Mouse there ever was (okay, I might be a LITTLE biased).
First, let’s talk about Brynlee’s Halloween costume. I made her Bee costume last year and had so much fun that I decided early on I wanted to make her costume this year too. After realizing her love for Mickey Mouse, we decided that the only appropriate thing for her to go as would be Minnie Mouse so she could take her Mickey with her. Now, I have to admit that this was my very first attempt at making clothing, so to say I was a little nervous is an understatement. But it really wasn’t that hard. I started with a pattern and made a few alterations myself.
I found this McCall’s pattern M5791 and used the bodice from dress E and added the collar from dress A.
I wanted a fuller skirt that what this McCall’s pattern offered, so I made my own pattern for a circle skirt to add to it.
I thought the puff sleeves were going to give me a lot of trouble, that’s what has always stopped me from taking the jump into sewing garments before, but once I figured it out, the second arm was really easy and I don’t think I will have a problem sewing sleeves in the future.
Once I finished sewing everything together, I went back over all of the seams with my serger to make sure there weren’t any rough parts that would irritate Brynlee.
I love how it all came together and the ears I found at the Disney store match perfectly!
I tried it on Brynlee a few times before Halloween in hopes that she would be used to it by Halloween, but that didn’t work. Let’s just say Brynlee was less than enthused about being Minnie, she did not want to carry Mickey and she absolutely would not ride in the red wagon to go Trick or Treating… I tried getting some pictures of her in her costume, but these were the best I got. Oh and even though I had been putting those ears on her every day leading up to Halloween and it seemed like she loved them, on the actual day she wanted nothing to do with them.
*Trying to eat a lemon off of our tree
*”What do you mean I can’t eat the lemon???”
*How cute are those shoes!!! They are actually Aurora shoes from the Disney Store, but I thought they matched better than the Minnie ones.
My Mom, her husband, by sister and my niece all joined us for Trick or Treating and it was a lot of fun. Even though the girls wanted to be carried the whole time, about half way through they started enjoying themselves.
*This is the only picture we got the entire night that all three of us were looking at the camera and all eyes were open…
Once we got home, the girls were so excited to dig through their Trick or Treating booty. It was really cute to watch them, we really didn’t want Brynlee eating any of it so it wasn’t too long before we had to take it away.
Oh and the day before Halloween, Landon and I carved pumpkins once Brynlee went to bed.
*I just had to do a Mickey in honor of Brynlee’s costume
I did let her paint her pumpkin a few days before though.
*She was very excited about her pumpkin! #lolaphotobomb
I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving with their families and were able to get in some relaxation time this weekend. We spent our Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. My sister in law hosted it at her house and it was so nice to be able to stay in town for Thanksgiving instead of battling holiday traffic! As an added bonus, for Thanksgiving dinner I was only assigned a 2 pies, one pumpkin and one chocolate and my baked macaroni and cheese as a side. I wasn’t sure how busy our actual Thanksgiving day was going to be so I decided to make everything ahead of time. It turned out we had nothing to do until our 3:00pm dinner time so we spent a very nice, very much needed, quiet, un-rushed morning at home. It was pure bliss!
*Happy Thanksgiving from me and Brynlee!!!
On a side note, I made my pumpkin pie from scratch this year for the first time ever! And I couldn’t believe how easy roasting my own pumpkin was! I now have a whole freezer full of pureed pumpkin and butternut squash to use all winter long. I’ve been eyeing a pumpkin soup recipe and can’t wait to try it now. To roast a pumpkin (or squash), just preheat your over to 425*, place your washed pumpkin on a parchment lined backing sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Until it is easily pierced with a fork. Let it cool slightly then peel the skin off (it comes off so easily!), cut it in half and remove the seeds. So simple! Then I just diced it up, threw it in the blender and pureed it to make my pie. Either freeze it or you can put it in the fridge for a couple of days before you use it too.
Dinner was delicious, though I thought Brynlee would have eaten more of it. She enjoyed snacking on deviled eggs and mashed potatoes while we were finishing up dinner, but by the time we actually ate she was done and didn’t want to have anything to do with it and she especially did not want to sit in her high chair. She’s has a few teeth coming in right now and they are giving her a lot of trouble, so she has been really fussy and not eating much at all (which is very different from her usual). My in laws stayed with us on Wednesday night so they wouldn’t have to fight the holiday traffic rush on Thanksgiving and it was so nice to spend some quality time with them. Since having Brynlee, I feel like we are always so busy and don’t get to go visit them often and it was good for Brynlee to spend some extra time with Nana and Papa.
*Her one moment of happiness in the high chair and I actually caught it on camera!
We didn’t stay too long after dinner, Brynlee was tired and grumpy and ready for bed. Luckily she went straight down and didn’t try to fight it when we got home. Once she was asleep, I decided to head out to Target. I’ve always been a huge Black Friday shopper, but ever since they started opening on Thanksgiving I haven’t really been all that into it. It was always a tradition in our family to have Thanksgiving dinner then spend the rest of the evening around the table, looking over ads and planning our lists and routes. It was something my mom started when I was young and we were all pretty serious about our Black Friday shopping, we even had walkie talkies! Yep, we were those people! Lol! We would get up early Friday morning, grab out hot cocoa and head out the door into the freezing cold weather, but we loved it! Now, the fun has been completely taken away and I don’t even enjoy it any more. I hope that one day the stores will quit being so greedy, let their employees stay home on Thanksgiving and wait until early Friday morning to open. Sorry about that tangent, back to our weekend… I went to Target to pick up a few things and probably because I still have a little of that Black Friday must shop gene in me somewhere. Surprisingly, I was able to get everything I went for even though I got there 3 hours after they opened. The main reason I wanted to go was to get Brynlee’s Christmas dress. I feel in love with this one at Target and their Black Friday sale was 40% off all apparel so I just had to get it. I also picked up a few movies and some Christmas presents for awesome prices.
The next day we had another lazy morning and I finally talked Landon into going out to a few more stores with me to see if any deals were left. We made the mistake of going to Old Navy, I had a gift card and the whole store was 50% off so I just couldn’t pass it up. Or at least I thought I couldn’t, I took one look at the line to the register and walked right back out. It was so long and wrapped around the store so many times that those people must have waited at least an hour to checkout. I have a baby, she does not wait in lines for an hour and I really don’t want to either. It was crazy!!!
We also decided to get the Christmas tree out on Friday. I wasn’t sure how Brynlee would do with a Christmas tree and was a little hesitant to put it up for fear that she would pull it down on herself, but she’s actually been really good with it. She has definitely shown a lot of interest in it, so we decided to leave it ornament free for a few days to let her get used to it just being here now. That seems to be working, she is messing with it less and less each day. To further protect ourselves I picked up some shatter proof ornaments at Sam’s Club, they are on sale right now, 100 ornaments for $19.98. A lot of our normal tree ornaments are very old and have been in my family for a few generations and of course all glass, so I didn’t want any of those to get broken or for Brynlee to cut herself. I’ll keep you posted on if and when we decided to actually put the ornaments on the tree… And can I just add that it is very hard to get a non blurry picture of the always moving Brynlee these days, these were seriously the best ones I got and I took a ton!
*Brynlee trying to help Daddy fluff the tree
*Until she found the boxed and decided that was more fun!
*Then we turned the lights on and she was fascinated!
*This is her trying to “hug” the tree
*Still checking it out
*And of course, trying to pull the lights off…
Oh and even though Brynlee has no idea what Elf on the Shelf is yet, she did meet her new elf, Belle, this weekend and is totally smitten. We also watched the movie, but she only lasted about 5 minutes into it. Oh well, maybe next year!
*I know they’re not suppose to touch the elf, but how could you say no to this cute little face???
The rest of our weekend was pretty mellow, I went to Phoenix Flea on Saturday with a friend of mine and it was so much fun! They are supposed to do another in March and I really want to have a booth there. I highly recommend going to the next one if you like handmade or vintage goods, they had a lot of really great things there! Then Sunday was spent at home finishing decorating for Christmas and putting up our outdoor lights and just like that our long holiday weekend was over! I realize I don’t leave the house and go in to work every day, but it is very nice having Landon home for a few extra days to spend some quality time together as a family.
I hope you all had amazing holiday weekends as well! Did anyone score any amazing deals on Black Friday?
Hi there! It’s me, Cassidi, the voice behind this little, very neglected blog and the Blissfully Made shop over on Etsy. I’ve written this post over and over again in my head and each time nothing about it seemed quite right and that’s because it isn’t. A little over a month ago, my family faced and almost tragedy. I say “almost” because while my precious little nephew has spent the better part of this past month in the hospital fighting for his life, he has made some miraculous steps towards recovery. He still has a long road ahead of him, but he is quite the fighter and has a very supportive family that loves him dearly to help him along the way. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember when I posted his birth story, he surprised us all by being early and has continued to prove what a little miracle and blessing he is to our family. I am so grateful to everyone who has prayed for his recovery and ask that you continue to do so, last week he had a little setback in his health, but we are hoping he will get well soon.
When all of this first happened, I was beside myself. I couldn’t understand how this little baby, who has already been through so much, still has so much more to go through. The first two weeks I completely unplugged, everything on Facebook and Instagram seemed so insignificant and I couldn’t even think about focusing on my blog or my shop. I think all of my energy and brain power was spent trying to wrap my head around it all. Slowly I began realizing that there is a plan behind this horribly hard time for my family and there are and have been many lessons to be learned throughout this experience. As I started accepting this and looking for areas that I needed to grow in, I was slowly able to start to get back into my normal routine. I finally sat back down at my sewing machine last week and I can’t tell you how amazing that felt. Sewing and crafting have always been so therapeutic to me and it really helped me to work through some of the craziness going on in my head. And while I don’t feel comfortable sharing the details of this story, as it is not mine to tell, I still felt that it needed to be addressed. It has and always will be a very significant part of my life and I just didn’t feel I could continue posting about other things until I was able to get this out, I guess that’s part of the healing process for me.
Tomorrow I will return with happier things and hopefully get back to some sort of normalcy here on the blog. I have some exciting things planned for the Blissfully Made shop too, so stay tuned. Please keep sending your prayers Parker’s way and I will keep you posted on his recovery (or you can join the Facebook group Prayers for Parker to be updated immediately). Oh, he rolled over for the first time over the weekend, it’s very exciting and just more proof of how far he has come and what a miracle he is! So, I hope I’ll see you back here tomorrow and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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