A little Christmas Tour- Christmas Tree and mantle bow tutorial

I am not even going to PRETEND I made the bow on the top of my tree.

BUT...I will tell you I cried when my HUSBAND put it on top of the tree! (yes loves he made them!!)

Love the turquoise and the gold angel!

I couldn't go all red and green because my newly recovered fabulous couch and rug would clash. So I did and little red on the mantle but the rest purple and turquoise.

My sister is a model so she was showing me how to make my arm look thinner. Not sure it worked! LOL.

Anyhoo, if you want to make the bow of your dreams just watch this bow tutorial!

Christmas Traditions To Love

Every year I look forward to some fun holiday festivities. Makes the whole Christmas Season so exciting for the kids!

1) Teddy Bear Tea-

This year my parents were in town so they came along!

The kids get sweet treats, hot cocoa and a marionette show!

2. Breakfast With Santa-

Our club does a very small and very sweet breakfast with Santa. The kids really have time to talk to Santa and enjoy their pancakes!

3. Aladdin And His Winter Wish at the Pasadena Playhouse-

Last year it was Snow White with Ariana Grande!

This year the Aladdin show blew the kids away! 

4. Nutcracker!

The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is gorgeous. I love to see the costumes, the staging, the ballerinas, and the wonder on our kids faces!

5. Christmas Lunch at Villa Blanca-

It's gorgeous and sparkly and fun to do our White Elephant!

What are your traditions you love?

Christmas Menu Ideas

I am busy butting together my menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas!

I am loving this recipe for Coffee Rubbed Beef Tenderloin from Guru To The Outdoors:

We had this last year and it was amazing!

And bring on the Scalloped Potatoes PLEASE! Martha Stewart has a great recipe!

I thought this would make an amazing appetizer:

 Scallops with cucumber and jalapeno from Fine Cooking. I get a lot of great recipes from them!

and I'm gonna try this as a side dish. Broccoflower and Crimini Mushrooms.

And I may attempt this for dessert!!!



Am I yelling? Its from Hugs and Cookies.

What's on your menu?? DO TELL!

I'm Getting To Know Landon's Arm

I'm getting to know this arm.

That sounds kind of funny but, it's true. This is not the arm I dreamed of for my son. This is not even the arm he was born with. Today Landon's arm looks like this.

We're getting to know each other, this arm and I.

I realize I have tried to hate it. The torture it puts us through. But I also realize this arm is attached to the greatest human being I've ever met. A human being that needs to grow up at peace with this arm, not hating it. I need to be grateful for this arm, the arm that was saved by god.

God has a plan for this arm that I cannot even fathom. This arm touches people, makes people talk, makes them grateful. This arm is everything. So when I care for this arm, rather than cursing it, I am going to bless it. As it has blessed me.
It's hard to see your baby in pain. It's even harder to explain it. Through all of this my inspiration and strength comes from Landon. He wakes up everyday with hope in his heart and joy all over his face. 

This Christmas I find myself living for the joy that he is feeling. Every little thing he discovers is full of wonder.  By the time we get this contraption removed it will be February. I know there will be hard days ahead, but this Christmas I feel nothing but LOVE all around this arm. And that, my lovelies, is a Christmas Miracle.

Friday Five! My Top Five Favorite Christmas Gifts For Boys!

Here I am again with the best Friday Five yet! Of course I am linking with lovely ladies like Carolina Charm, A Liz Adventures, Hello Happiness and The Good Life Blog!

Here are my top five Christmas gifts for boys!

1) Hot Wheels Mega Loop Mayhem Track Set- (ages 5-12 years)

This thing moves like you cannot believe. Landon literally screams and howls with delight when he plays with it!! Hours of fun!

2) Melissa and Doug Stamp and Sort Mailbox- (ages 3 and up)

In the age of emails, this is the cutest thing ever! 6 letters, 6 removable stamps. I love it.

3) Just Dance 2014- (ages 4-44!)

This sends me into hysterics watching people (myself included) try to keep up with current dance moves. My girlfriends and I swear that we're gonna have a Moms night featuring wine and Just Dance!!!

4) Magnetic Story Board By Lakeshore- (ages 5-11years)

This is going to save me. It comes with boards to use but the fridge works too. This helps kids develop sentence skills while having fun!

5. Pop Out Vests (ages 2-14)

These are all the rage in LA. Even Tori Spelling herself instagrammed the other day! They are flannel lined vests with cut outs of guitars, dragons, boom boxes etc! The guitar one is even cuter in person!! You can get them here.

My Top Five Christmas GIfts For Girls!

Christmas is well on it's way and I have been a busy bee shopping for Miss Coco and her cousins! Here are my top 5 girls gifts this year!

1) Pop Out Vests- (ages 3-14)

Love these. Lined with flannel and so cute!!!!!! Coco is getting the unicorn!

2) Barbie Jam With Me Guitar- (ages 36 months-6 years)

It's back lit and has built in songs. So fun.

3) Sofia The First talking doll (ages 36 months to 9 years)

Read on!
  • This Sofia doll can recognize and talk with three of her best animal friends: Clover the Rabbit, Robin the Robin and Mia the Bluebird
  • Bring each animal close to Sofia's amulet and watch as Sofia can recognize and talk to each beloved friend with unique response in return

4) Peignoir set- Lavender or Pink from CWD kids- (ages 2-8)

Every little girl should have one. It's so sweet!

5) Disney Sing It- Family Hits (wii, Playstation, etc) (ages 4-44)

Sing along with your favorite Disney songs! Look what it says on amazon:
  • Sing along to 30 songs and music videos from classic and contemporary Disney favorites
  • Easy to follow karaoke gameplay with full screen videos from original Disney movies
  • Play with up to 8 players in family fun mode where everyone can sing along together or pass the microphone
  • Sing It Encore mode enables players to play back their performances and add fun voice effects
  • Learn vocal tips and exercises from The Princess and the Frog?s Anika Noni Rose.

Landon's Doing Well- but it's a long road

Landon sailed through his surgery and the recovery process. I am amazed at his strength. The night before his surgery he asked why this was happening to him. I told him I believed God has a special plan for him. That God must believe he's very special to require him to have such bravery. I truly believe that.

The night after the surgery was tough. He was in A LOT of pain. My heart hurt for him. You don't want to see your baby in pain. I started to ask myself if we had done the right thing....but the next day he was suddenly back to his old self. Smiling away. I was amazed. This child has resilience I could never have!!!

For the next 6-8 weeks I have tons of fun (non physical) plans for us. We are feeling the spirit of what Christmas is really about.

Thank you for your healing prayers for Landon. They're working.

Prayers for Landon- Bone Lengthening Surgery

Like my new blog look? It was time for a FACELIFT! Make sure you check out my new "about me" page because I love it!

As many of you know, our sweet Landon was born with right arterial thrombosis (blood clots in his right arm). He's been through so much trying to make his special arm the best it can be, and we've made great strides. Every year we have surgery to make room for his arm to grow. Scar tissue tightens the arm and tendons. We release these contractures through surgery and skin graft to make more room.

This year however, we had to be more aggressive. His arm is not growing at the rate we would like, and, in order to avoid a huge discrepancy in the length of his arms, we are doing bone lengthening surgery.

We have really involved Landon in this process and asked him if he wanted to do this. He does, but what it entails is going to be really tough on him. He will spend 6-8 weeks with pins and a bar on the outside of his arm, that need to be turned 4 times a day. Then he goes into casts for another few months to protect the length we've gained. All in all a 6 month process. He's scared. We're scared. We all want this to be as calm and painless as possible.

We would love your prayers as we go into surgery tomorrow. I will document how he's doing from time to time. This is the bravest guy I know. He's been through so much and he's still so happy and sweet. My heart breaks for him but I have to be strong. I know we will be glad about the sacrifices we are making now later on.

Please keep us in your thoughts tomorrow.

Order Your Christmas Cards in November! Paper Court Press Card Sale!

Seriously you'll be glad you did!

For YEARS I have been using Courtney from Paper Court Press to do my Christmas cards. She is a genius and always gives me EXACTLY what I want!!

I chose color and style and she goes to town! Remember last years? Orange and navy was the theme.

 This year we are doing navy and pink and it is looking amazing!!!!!!!

She's having her HOLIDAY sale right now! 20% your order of $100 if you use the code HOLIDAY. If you don't see something you like on her site just email her info@papercourtpress.com and design your own!

Now go order! This is part of the Christmas Pledge! Now please excuse me I have to go wrap some stuff!!!

The Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes From Proud Italian Cook

Thanksgiving is here people!

We are going up to Lake Arrowhead for Thanksgiving with a bunch of family. It will be fun!

Every Thanksgiving I can HARDLY WAIT for my Mothers Broccoli Casserole! I had posted the recipe before so just click the link!

I think Proud Italian Cook has some new, interesting and YUMMMMMMY sides she's suggesting for Thanksgiving. (I'm obsessed with her posts. Cannot wait to get them each week!)

1. Cippolini Onions Bathing In Creamy Parmesan and Thyme:

Are you DYING? I am!!! This is a MUST MAKE and I am adding it to my yearly traditions!

2. Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

This looks so light and yummy it would even be good for a lunch after Thanksgiving with turkey sandwiches!

3. Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash and Ricotta.

I mean please. I am about to jump through this picture! Delish! Proud Italian cook ROCKS. All her recipes are available at the link above. Of course I have already pinned them to my Pinterest so you can repin there as well! What are your favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes?

The Christmas Pledge

Have you heard of the Christmas Pledge?

So many things are going on over the holidays it's hard to really enjoy it and really feel what it's all about. The idea of the Christmas Pledge is so brilliant I can't take it. The idea is by The Art Of Doing Stuff but I read it on: 3 Peanuts.

You do the WORK of Christmas in November so you can ENJOY CHRISTMAS! WHAT A CONCEPT!!!

I am doing my best to get EVERYTHING done in November, attacking a little day by day. The wrapping will be my toughest challenge to make myself get done but I need to do it so the gifts look amazing. Sometimes at the end of my marathon, end of December wrapping sessions things look nutty! LOL

How about you? Want to take the Christmas Pledge? How do you handle all of the holiday craziness?

The Best Thanksgiving Ideas From Pinterest! My Friday Five!

On to the next Holiday! RIGHT? (right about now I am dreaming on January where there is NOTHING TO DO).  I thought my Friday Five should have a Thanksgiving Theme!! I know Carolina Charm will love it. (Isn't she the cutest pregnant person!?)

Anyhoo....Here's some things from my PINTEREST board: "Thanksgiving Fabulous" that I am loving:

 1) I love to make my Mom's pie crust but my friend at Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes took it to a whole other level!

Don't you love the acorns!!

2) This pumpkin roll by Homemade by Holman looks amazing.

3) Might have to try to find this shirt on Etsy for Coco!

 4) I want to make these hat place cards for this years meal. A pilgrim hat place card holder from Tip Junkie!

5) And.....I am so doing this veggie platter this year!!! Gobble Gobble!

Feeling Fallish at Underwood Farms! (even though it's 80 degrees)

One thing I will say about Los Angeles, we just press on with fall despite it being 80 degrees! We try to "dress" for Fall to feel the part. We trek out to Underwood Farms because it's simply the best!

I love this picture. She really loved this tractor! Does she belong on a farm?

I love the "cow train" and I love the view.

These were too good to believe....

As were the pig races! (who's head is that!)

A great fun family time!!! How's your Fall going?

Veterans Day Kid Activity- Write a Letter!

Don't we always teach our kids to say thank you? Well no better person to thank than a SOLDIER! Operation Gratitude has a flyer to show you how! I think this is the perfect Veterans Day Kid Activity! Please pass this on to friends and family.