Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas part 2

Christmas morning the kiddos slept in big time! I was surprised, usually, they are up at the crack of dawn on a regular day, earlier on Christmas. Not this year! We did presents lickity split, Santa brought Callie a sewing machine and Kellen a ball pit! Brien got me a big jewelry cabinet! He received a new coat and wedding ring, since his was lost in the backyard this summer!

After presents on the homefront we headed to grandmas to eat breakfast and open presents there. Then we feasted on yummy Christmas food (ok it's the same as Thanksgiving food, but it's still delicious!) I perfected my pumpkin pies and added chocolate pie to the mix, recipe to follow soon...

So the holidays this year have been a little out of sorts. On Christmas eve my grandpa was taken to hospice. It has been really hard to watch him get worse and worse, but On Saturday night he went home to heaven. Now he is not worrying or in pain and it's a relief. My family has been doing well so far and the service is next week. More about that later too.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014 part one

This year has been an interesting Christmas to say the least... Brien had off with me the whole beginning part of the break, which has been so nice because usually I am in a rush to get everything done. But, alas, I had help this year. We were able to get our shopping done, presents wrapped and everything went fairly smoothly! We saw santa and Kellen loved him! I was shocked, I think he was fascinated but him more than scared, yay!

We went Christmas light lookin' in all of the old neighborhoods where my parents used to take my brother and I when we were kids. They were not nearly as great as I remember them, but Callie loved it and Kellen oohed in the backseat, so I guess it was a success!

We came home that night and watched Christmas movies and had a sleep over in the living room!

The next day my Mother in law, sister in law, My nephews, Callie and I headed down town to see The Grinch! It was so fun! The play was awesome (a little long for little ones) and Callie decided that she could get a good job and live in Denver when she was big.

 We spent Christmas eve day with the Wood's and it was such a nice and peaceful day! The kids had so much fun playing together, getting loaded up on sugar, doing grandma's scavenger hunt. It was a blast. But our poor nephew Christian (Kellen's partner in crime) was sick and wimpy, so his parents took him to urgent care just to get him checked out. Everything was fine and festivities commenced!
Grandma has the best toys!

My loves!
Callie hi-jacked the camera!

Scavenging for presents... 

These clues are confusing!

Grandma and her babies!

The tumbleweed snowman! We had no snow so we had the brilliant idea of making one from tumble weeds. Sounds easy right? Wrong... Tumbleweeds hurt and it was cold. Poor uncle Zack took this one on by himself after the kiddos realized how much work it was!

Finally, present! These kids were excited!

The bigs all snuggled up in their jammies!

We ended up driving home that night to sleep in our own beds and wait for santa, Callie was so excited she even wrote him the sweetest card with her cookies and milk and was out like a light, while mom and dad frantically wrapped presents again, (I think we will never learn to get it done earlier!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What I wore Wednesday

Just 3 more days of school and I can finally get some things done! I have so much shopping to do. The other day I saw an ad for"Last minute Christmas gifts"and I was thinking "Last minute!?! I haven't even done first minute!"  Thankfully I have a job where I have a whole week off before Christmas and even though I hate to procrastinate and feel panicked, I know it will get done!
Tacky tights! I actually love these tights. I ordered them last year online, thinking they would be super cute for December and then I got them and they are CRAZY colors, bright orange and green, so I try to tame it with something more neutral.
Dress: Target
Cardigan: Target
Tights: very jane
Boots: Kohls
Necklace: Very Jane

Saturday Casual, I thought I would be Christmas shopping, but it became my lounging around the house and waiting for Brien to come home, outfit, instead.
Sweater: American Eagle, thrifted
Tank: Target, old!
Denim leggings: Target
Red flats: Target

I wore this to church on Sunday, another wonderful day with the little ones in Bible class!
Dress: Target
Long sleeve tee: Kohls
Tights: Very Jane
Scarf: Macy's
Boots: Target
Belt: Target
My ugly Christmas sweater! We celebrated our ugly sweater day at school on Friday, but I did not wear this ill fitting sweater around anyone but my family.  When my students asked me where my ugly sweater was, one of my sweet girls said "Guys, Mrs. Wood doesn't wear ugly things." I love her!
Sweater: GoodWill
Tights: Very Jane
Long sleeve tee: Kohl's
Boots: Target

It was chilly on Monday, so I busted out the another great sweater dress!
Dress: Target
Long sleeve tee: Target
Tights: Very Jane
Boots: Target

Today we started making gingerbread houses in my class, as a technical writing piece of course! Gotta keep that rigor up, especially before Christmas. I needed a comfy outfit that I wouldn't get too hot in, running around my classroom, checking how-to's and getting supplies, this fit the bill!
Sweater: Target
Tank: Target
Black skinny pants: Target
Leopard flats: Target
Necklace: Very Jane

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas cookie party

This weekend went by too fast and I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to! But I did manage to bake 7 dozen amazing cookies and have a fun book club get together with the girls! Every year for our December book club we all get together and read a Christmas-y book and trade cookies with each other. Everyone makes a dozen for each person attending, then you trade and end up with dozens of everyone's favorite cookies! It's my favorite book club of the year!

This time read we read the BEST book! It is...
I know what you are thinking.. Santa Claus?? What?! But it is really such an amazing story! It is extremely well written historical account about Santa's life. It answers pretty much everything that you ever questioned as a child and finds a way to explain all things Christmas, like where do stockings come from? How does Santa get toys to everyone? How do reindeer fly? And, what happened to Amelia Earhart? Such a cool story and I can't wait to share it with my kids when they get too big to "believe"!

Besides a wonderful book, my sister in law made yummy chicken and gnocchi dumplings and it was all snowy and cozy! Such a great way to spend a winter day!

Now for the good stuff... Cookies! Every year I end up bringing some kind of minty yummy cookies. The past years I have made Andes Mint Fudge  , Andes Mint Cookies , last year chocolate peppermint oreos were easy and delish! This year was another minty treat,  mint chocolate chip cookies! 
 These were pretty easy, but lets be real, baking 80+ cookies is time consuming. The original recipe is here. I did some serious modifying and they came out super yummy.

You need:
For the record I tripled the recipe and ended up with exactly 84 cookies
1 box of white cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of melted butter
4 oz of softened cream cheese (I used 1/3fat)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of peppermint extract
1/2 bag of mint chips (in the holiday section)
1/2 milk chocolate chips
8 crushed us candy canes or peppermints.

1. preheat to 350
2. Combine; cake mix, egg, butter, cream cheese and mix in the Kitchen aid. I suppose you could do it by hand, but why?
3. Then add in the extracts
4. Now, by hand, mix in the chips and candy.

5. Chill for at least 30 minutes, the fresh made dough is super soft and hard to scoop.
6. After they are cool and a little more firm, then scoop onto a cookie sheet. I used my little pampered chef cookie scooper thing. It's great, seriously! No need to grease with all the butter, they come right off.
7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Then let the cookies sit on the pan and set up for about 2 more minutes. 
8. Flatten out slightly with a spatula (They are pretty puffy) and let cool on wax paper.

They are pretty, festive and tasty!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I wore Wednesday!

This week has been great so far and hey, just in case you were counting that's 7 more days of school until Christmas break!
The blanket scarf in action! It was pretty warm this day... so I did a 3/4 sweater so I didn't melt and I still almost did!
Scarf: Target
Sweater: BCBG, thrifted
Black denim leggings: Target
Booties (still hate that word): Target
Bracelets: Very Jane

Running errands this weekend!
Sweater: Old Navy
Vest:?? Gift from Callie's grandma
Grey jeans: Old Navy
Leopard flats: Target

Church on Sunday, our first week teaching was amazing! I love those precious 1st and 2nd graders!
Sweater: Target
Floral "dress": Forever 21, Thrifted
Tights: Very Jane
Flats: Amazon

I love this sweater!! I can't wait to mix it with something else for this coming weekend!
Sweater: Target, clearance baby!
Gingham button down: Old Navy
Pants: Loft, Thrifted
Nude heels: Target

I was feeling festive this day! My students asked me is I was going to wear this for Christmas.
Sweater: Old Navy, old
Pants: Express, Thrifted
Tank: forever 21
Patent heels: Target
Flower pin:??

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Decorations

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. Probably one of my favorite things, ever! When I was a kid we always had to wait until after my dad's birthday on the 7th. But, now as a grown up, I can do it whenever I want to and Thanksgiving night has become our tradition!
So here is the Wood Holiday house!
Our super tacky white tree! Callie and I picked this out before Brien and I were married, so it's our special little tree! Notice the bottom has no decorations due to crazy baby and hungry dog. I hope that next year they are both over attacking the tree!
Callie's tree! She has been dying for her own Christmas tree, so I finally broke down and got her one, she even has cute little purple cupcake ornaments on it! She was very proud of how it turned out.

The Armoire, the sign is a vintage find from Callie's grandparents! I love it! My mother in law found this super cute marquis light star. I might just leave this up for fun after Christmas!
Holly berry wreath. It's hard to find cute stuff to match your tacky white tree and green garland looks baaaddd, so red it is! I found this sweet deal at Target the day after Christmas last year for $6!
Mistletoe ball. Callie insisted on this! She calls it the "kissing ball". Another after christmas bargain for $2.
Also on the top of the fridge we have some of Callie's cute Christmas crafts from her pre-school years!
Christmas pillows to keep us cozy. I scored these at Hobby Lobby last year for $12 each. 
Even the dishwasher got a make over for Christmas. These giant magnets were a gift from Callie's grandparents last year.
I love this sign! I found it last week in the dollar section at Target. Plus our glass snowman, my mom got for Callie. She has the knack for finding tacky decor, I must get it from her!
Yay! I finally have the mantle decorated. After years of being naked at Christmas I finally found cute matching stockings and hangers that didn't cost a fortune. The stockings were $4 at Hobby Lobby and I put and iron on monogram on each of them. The hangers are cute little sleigh bells that came in a four pack for $20! The garland is green, I realize this, but it's in a totally different room, so it's fine right? 
I made this wreath last year for $2. I had an old grapevine wreath in the basement and I found some sparkly red ribbon from the dollar store and hot glued away. I think it came out pretty cute!

We still have a few crafty things to add to the mix later this year, sparkly candles and popsicle stick snow flakes are on the list for this weekend, but I like how everything came together this year, even with the crazy baby!