Monday, December 10, 2012

{the simple things} puddles

One month? Really? It's been one month since I managed to post last? Exactly where did that month go? I mean, I sort of know where it went. Into a new job that has been keeping be busy, and into lots of holiday to dos. Even though we're busy, I still try to do as many homemade gifts as possible. I even took photos of some of them, with plans to post about them. Haha. If I keep going at this rate I might show them to you around Easter.

Oh well.

Sometimes some things just have to give. And so, there aren't many posts. We only did two batches of cookies this year.

But we did take full advantage of the puddles around the neighborhood.

And there are lots of puddles, mind you.

What is it about  boys and puddles, by the way? Mine can't stay out of them for even a nanosecond. You'd think they'd be tired when the come back inside. Nope. Instead, they keep running around, chasing each other around the dining room table.

Boy, I could really use some of that energy!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

{the simple things} sometimes I want to be a cat

Really, sometimes I look at my cats with a tiny bit of envy. No matter how busy and loud things are around them, it doesn't faze them the least bit. Well, at least one of them seems to have mastered that Zen-like ability to relax in the middle of the biggest chaos.

See what I mean? This cat is the most relaxed being on the planet. He actually likes being in the middle of everything, boys running around and screaming, riding bikes. Maybe that comes from being able to just leave when it gets too much and go to sleep at any time, any day. Ahhhh, can you imagine? No wonder he's relaxed!

Sharing with Rebecca's simple things.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{the simple things} Halloween witch

Hello everyone - just checking in very briefly. Why, you ask? Well, because it's November. November, folks! And that means I'm right in the middle of my holiday plan - by calendar week, that is. Yep, I have a plan of all the to dos until Christmas, by calendar week. And top priority right now is to complete the second half of our annual family photobook, which is the traditional gift to the grandparents and usually gets sent to the printing service by November.

So, for this week I'm just posting a little picture from Halloween.

Linking up with

How about you? Anyone else started making gifts and working off their to do list yet? Or am I the only crazy person here?


Friday, November 2, 2012

A baby party and way too much fun with cupcakes

A good friend of mine is expecting baby number three these days (well, practically any minute now...), and it's a baby girl after two boys.

So of course we had to throw a baby shower. Now, that is a fairly American thing, so we changed it a bit. Made it smaller and more relaxed, oh, and minus the gifts (we're saving those for the little girl's arrival). We just wanted a simple afternoon for the girls, so the mommy to be could relax and have nothing to do at all except for chatting and eating some cupcakes.

And since I have two boys, I went all out on the lavender color scheme she had chosen for the nursery. I made a cloud mobile with little hearts - unfortunately that is the only photo I have, sorry for that.

Then I made some bunting with the leftover fabric and bias tape. I love it (just don't look too close. Let's just say the bias tape and I had some disagreements...)

Oh, and cupcakes. Did I mention cupcakes? I used the Hummingbird Bakery's recipe for chocolate cupcakes and made one batch each of the chocolate and vanilla frosting, tinting half of that lavender. I had way too much fun with the frosting and all those pink and purple sprinkles. But hey, I don't usually get to make girl cupcakes, so I really took the chance to indulge in this!

Now we're waiting for the baby girl's arrival...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Simple DIY string lanterns

We seem to have a thing for fall lanterns here (see last year's version here). Could be something about days getting shorter and the way that makes lights glow at dusk. The urge to make your home cosy when temperatures start to drop.

In this case, we also needed a quick and simple table decoration for a neighborhood get-together this week, and preferably a low-budget version. Did you see Sophie's DIY yarn wrapped painted jars last year? I really loved the look of them, but was way too lazy for spray painting. Yep, that lazy.

What we ended up doing was to take simple large pickle jars, wrap some string around the top and then some across the lower part, wrapping some leftover leaves from big brother's homework.

There were easy and we quickly made 12 of them. Best part? They fit the bigger tea lights so they should last the evening.

Already thinking about re-using them for my Christmas table - what do you say, with stars instead of leaves maybe?

Make yourself cosy,


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{the simple things} boo!

Things are busy around here, but not so busy that we didn't take the time to carve our pumpkins on Sunday.

Big brother made a cat pumpkin. What else.

Starting with a blank canvas, uh, pumpkin.

Big brother working on his pumpkin.

Hmmm, now what?

Don't you just love pumpkins?

This year I really love the green and white ones, they make the bright flesh really pop.

Daddy helped with the cutting part, much to big brother's disappointment.

Then he started working on his own pumpkin. Can you tell what it's going to be?

Yep. It had too much beer. Lovely. My mom hates it, but I do think it's funny. I mean come on, it's Halloween.

Here's the gang hanging out on the deck, waiting for the dark.

What do your pumpkins look like this year?

Happy Halloween!

Linking up with the simple things sunday.


Monday, October 22, 2012

{the simple things} feeding the deer & fun homework assignments

Today was the first day of school after a two-week fall break.

It felt very early this morning. And it also felt very dark this morning. But once we managed to get out of bed, get dressed, have a quick breakfast and make it to school on time, we got rewarded with an absolutely beautiful day. Blue skies and the air warm enough to leave the jacket at home.

The best part? Today's homework assignment was to collect leaves. So what better day to take the boys for a walk, hunting for leaves, feeding the deer along the way and finally manage to take some fall photos this year?

We found some really pretty leaves...

... and some not so shiny ones (which I still like).

The boys fed two big bags of bread to hungry deer.

Well, some of them weren't all that hungry apparently!

Others couldn't get enough.

This one was funny, looking straight at me and posing until I pressed the shutter.

The little one was so cute!

We also found some mushrooms along the way (not so yummy).

Time to head back home, but not without stopping at big brother's best friend's house for an impromptu playdate. They're in the same class, so he and his mom joined us for homework today.

And we worked on that assignment all afternoon... sort of.

Linking up with Rebecca's simple things today. And, as I just noticed, last year feeding the deer was my very first time linking with the simple things sunday! 

Hope you all have a great and sunny week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sewing some little gifts

Ok, I give up. It's 9:30pm and I have started this post four times, deleting the first paragraph every single time. What can I say, these days my brain just has a tendency to shut off as soon as I sit down at night and open my laptop. On good days it can handle editing photos. Or reading blogs. But somehow writing doesn't seem to be such a good idea lately.

Luckily, I just wanted to show you some simple gift I've been making. I don't get to my sewing machine as much as I would like,  but when I do it's usually during the two mornings I have off, so my brain is actually working. Somewhat.

Apart from lots of kids' hats and scarves, I've made these:

Simple sets of tissue pouches and keychains, all done with things I've had on hand.

They might be not the most advanced sewing project, but I can get them done in one morning and still have time to straighten up the house a bit, run a load of laundry and maybe even drink a cup of coffee before it gets cold.

Meanwhile, I'm working on two other projects for my friend, who is expecting baby no 3 - a little sister to the two boys she has. Can't wait to show you, but it might be a good idea to get them done first... oh, and wait until her baby shower is over.

Any sewing projects you started lately? What do you do when you have little time for projects, tackle bigger ones little by little or make do with some smaller ones instead?

Happy sewing,


Monday, October 15, 2012

{the simple things} orange? green? white? picking pumpkins

Ahhhh. Fall in New England.

Sigh. Long time ago.

I can still picture that little blond toddler running around the pumpkin field on a beautiful fall day, picking a pumpkin. The bright orange against the clear blue skies.

Just to put things into perspective: these days that little toddler is going to university. Not sure if he's still picking pumpkins.

So while that was ages ago, some things remain. Such as getting pumpkins every fall, and carving them for Halloween. Even when it seemed that nobody around here did that.

These days, my boys pick out the pumpkins. Unfortunately, there are no pumpkin patches where we live, just farms that sell pumpkins from their stands. Well, better than no pumpkins at all, if you ask me.

At least it's quite a selection of colors and shapes. We let both boys pick out a pumpkin for themselves to carve (well, the knife part is left to mommy, but they do help draw the face and scooping out the seeds), so we try to steer them away from the bigger ones.

Little brother checking out a green one.

Big brother preferred the traditional version.

It was a difficult decision, after all. So many to choose from! White? Yellow? Green? Orange? And so many shapes!

This year, I was drawn to the green ones. We had white and orange last year. That green one in the center below would make a great Frankenstein - or is that just me?

These are the ones we ended up taking home. A huge orange one for daddy, two green ones for mommy (yes, I do get two), a smaller orange for one for big brother and the white one for little brother.

Can't wait to see what kind of faces are lurking inside those innocent looking veggies... 

Where do you get your pumpkins? Any color preferences? 

Linking up with the simple things sunday.

Happy Sunday!