Monday, November 28, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Let's start off this Holiday Season with a giveaway, shall we?  This festive time of year brings lots of holiday parties for us - plus recitals, performances, etc.  I start stressing about what I'm going to wear before Halloween. Lucky for you, Shabby Apple is offering a giveaway today and I think the francine skirt is perfect for the office party! It is no surprise that I LOVE Shabby Apple.  They have a fantastic selection of women's dresses, maternity dresses (which I've got my eye on for Christmas), accessories and more.  The dresses are unique and beautiful.  I own this skirt in a different color and LOVE it.  It has a high waist, which helps give me the illusion of a slim waist and a little bit of hips.  It is gorgeous and I promise you will get lots of compliments!

Here's how you can win this skirt:
  1. Be a follower of Ducks in a Row and leave a comment letting me know (I know the follower thing is a little finicky - you can always be a subscriber and let me know).
  2. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know.
The giveaway will end Sunday, December 4th.  Good luck!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grateful Sunday

Source: via Laurel on Pinterest

If there was every a week to be grateful, this was the week for it!  What a fantastic week!  I am grateful that  Tom's sister and family were willing to make the drive here and for the week we were able to have together.  The pie party was fairly small this year compared to year's past, but that was probably perfect for us this year.  I'm grateful that I get to be a mommy and have my dearest friend as my partner and that I find such joy in my family. I know that doesn't come easily to some women.  I am grateful for my testimony everything that goes with that.  I am grateful for YOU!   I love this blog and all the fantastic people I have "met" through it and all the opportunities it has provided me with.

I have a fantastic giveaway planned for tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Past Thanksgiving Ideas

The past Thanksgivings, there have been a couple of things that have been my favorite and they've stood the test of time - or at least a couple of years.  I've posted them here in one place:

This is by far my most popular Thanksgiving post and the one that we love to get out!

Cooking the dinner might be my favorite part and I always wear this apron.  In fact, I pack it up with all of our fall decorations so I have it for the next year.  I also have made my daughters their own aprons.

These did get quilted and monogrammed and we get them out every November 1st.

We just made these this weekend.  We've been making them forever and we love giving them!

We've got family in town, our annual Pie Party and then Thanksgiving - have a fantastic week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh Baby!

We've been keeping a secret - a 20 week secret:

Another baby is joining our family and we couldn't be more thrilled.  I am more than slightly embarrassed that I am actually posting these pictures (and I don't know if it is because of my bump or because of the fact that I was washing linens during this), but I know that Grandmas want to see.

We have hit the half way mark and are smooth sailing so far!  Thanks for giving me someone to share our fantastic news!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude Pin Board

Dare to DIY

It is time for one of my favorite blog parties of the year.  NewlyWoodwards is again hosting a Weekly Dare to DIY Blog Party.  This week is Dare to be . . . Thankful.

I had an old glass-less frame in my basement.  This never happens.  I'm not the type of person to just hang onto something in case I might need it someday.  I usually am always purging.  It was very random that I had a frame lying around.  Lucky for me, but I doubt it will ever happen again.  I've had plans to make this into a pin board forever and this challenge was just the push I needed.

Tom cut some sound board for me to fit into the frame for me.  I was determined to use things I had, so I went to my fabric stash.  I had burlap, which happened to be the right size and match my walls perfectly!  I covered the board and stapled it into the back.  And, because I am super classy - I taped it to the frame.  At least I used striped tape because that ups the class, right? 

Next, my mother cut some leaves out of construction paper for me - helps having an elementary school teacher mom who has access to all the die cuts they have.  I set out the leaves and told my kids they could write what they are thankful for on the leaves.  I even gave them permission to use a Sharpie - all the incentive my son needs to write.

We just pinned them on using dressmaker pins.

We will keep doing this throughout the season and hopefully fill this up.  The book sitting in front of the pin is our Book of Thanks.  We set it out for our annual Pie Party and guests write down what they are thankful for in it. 

We are very blessed and I love being able to find ways to show we are grateful!

also linking to:  Serenity Now, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Naptime Crafters, Be Different Act Normal

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for:
It is November, which means it is officially Holiday time!
I've started sewing gifts.  My machine is busy and I couldn't be happier.
Family will be here for the holidays.
Warm socks and cozy blankets.
Being able to cross things off my checklist.
Tom is an emotional rock, and while I seem to be all over the place lately, he is strong and steady.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rainy Day Play from Rosie Pope

 I got a chance to interview Rosie Pope, of Rosie Pope Maternity and Bravo's Pregnant in Heels, a while back.  Recently, I was able to pick her mind a little bit about kids, specifically ideas for keeping them busy when you are forced to be inside.

  This is Rosie's Rain Day Plan:
Creating a masterpiece with your wee ones

1. Get a large art board (they can be ordered online or from any art store e.g. pearl paint).

2. Buy glitter, post paint, finger paint, sprinkles, anything creative that comes to mind (we’ve even used grains and large stencils…it is great to let the kids search for unusual things to use)

3. Let your wee ones go nuts painting all over until they lose interest. The key is to then keep it and then bring out the next time it is rainy and then let them pain again. They can use their hands, paintbrushes, sponges and learn about making different textures. I of course always put down a lot of paper to avoid mess and have a lot of wipes on hand! Best though just to let them get really into it before cleaning up.

4. Over the course of months they will create a completely amazing canvas that you can have framed and put up in your apartment.

*I have three – we’ve worked on one every year since my eldest son was born

Yesterday was the type of day where all M. wanted to do was stare at a screen - computer, ipod, TV, movies, etc.  So, we got out some larger paper and different mediums.  She started using oil pastels and switched to water colors.

This is all we've got before a friend came over, but we'll save it and work on it a little more.  I've got sprinkles and glitter that she will be pretty excited about!

Thanks Rosie!

PS - Happy 11-11-11

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yarn Covered Monogram

Source: via Laurel on Pinterest

Yarn covered letters - not a new idea, huh?  Before someone asks and comments - the picture above is my inspiration - I did not make them, but I do love them.  I love the colors they used and the type of yarn they used.  I know they have been around forever.  I bought a cardboard M months ago thinking I would cover it with moss (remember that trend).  That never happened and finally I just decided I had to do something with it.  The yarn covered route seemed the way to go.

I totally underestimated this project.  It was a little more complicated than I thought.  It included trying to figure out angles and busting out the glue gun.  I used yarn left over from the Rapunzel hair I made for Halloween.

I love the texture it gives - it seems cozy and perfect for fall and winter, well, and spring if you live in Colorado.

Caption for the freako in the mirror?  Anyone?

I stuck it in the back of my niche, AKA my nemesis.  I really don't like these and they seem very  popular around here.

After living with it for a couple of days, the M has become my favorite thing back there.  It was inexpensive, cozy, only took a couple of hours and looks like it was made for there.  I think next I'll tackle a wreath - no angles on that one!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mini Bobbles - Getting Kids to Drink Water

So it is a week after Halloween and we haven't made a dent in all the candy that we got.  To combat all the consumption of candy corn, chocolate, caramel apples and gummy snacks this Halloween season, I have been strongly encouraging drinking water.  You know how I feel about drinking water when I wrote about it here.

Bobble gave me the opportunity to try their mini Bobbles to help encourage these healthy habits.  My kids are having a great time with them - they are called the "watter bobbles" at our home.  I like the size - easy to throw in my purse and easy to grab.  If the bottles get too big, my kids don't like to carry them!  I also really like that these filter as you drink!  No more standing by the refrigerator waiting for the water to come out!  Bobble filters should be replaced after 40 gallons, or 150 liters, of water passes through them. This typically equates to two or three months’ use per filter. Users fill bobble with municipal tap water; schoolchildren can easily refill it from hallway water fountains or from their home’s kitchen sink. Bobble’s filter makes that water taste better by removing chlorine and organic contaminants from it. Chlorine is common to tap water and tends to impart a slightly sour aftertaste. Bobble eliminates that aftertaste. Bobble water instantly tastes cleaner and more refreshing.

Its smaller size, design by Karim Rashid and multicolored scheme were created to make water consumption more attractive – to encourage kids to prefer water to sugary sodas and other unhealthy drinks – which is imperative during this unhealthy holiday! Bobble is a vehicle to better health habits for children of all ages.  My kids love them.  I didn't think it would be a big deal because they drink so much water anyways, but they really do love them - and that is all ages of my kids that like them!

This post was sponsored by bobble which gave me an opportunity to try their products.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Office Drapes

I did add some drapes awhile ago in the office and it has added exactly the touch I was looking for.  When I moved the slip covered love seat in, there was space between the couch and the bookshelves.  I just wanted to fill in the gap with some pretty fabric.

Since my husband would kill me if I actually screwed anything into the shelves, the rod is a tension rod that I screwed really really tight.

It took me about 6 months to find a fabric that I loved and I eventually ordered it from Joann's, of all places.   I added the stripe fabric because I had been watching so much Sarah Richardson and felt a need to mix patterns.  I can't believe how well they go together and how much I like the two patterns.  Baby steps, I'll be able to mix and match soon.  Who knows, maybe I'll even start adding trim!

This half of the room makes me smile every time I walk past it.

It helps me forget about the two gigantic blank walls, the lack of a light fixture, and the need for a cool office chair.  Also, Tom uses this office regularly and there is a desk that is beginning to look like his desk at work - piles and piles.

I lined the drapes because I think drapes hang better with a little bit of weight.  Also, if I'm going to spend the time and money to get something - it's not much more to just do it right. 

Just another little step in our office story  . . . .

linking to Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Just a Girl

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011 Successes

1.  We had a pirate - with his costume patterned after his favorite Lego guy. That's what he wanted, to look like a Lego guy, with feet and a real head.

2.  Rapunzel actually wore her costume and her hair.  It took three tries to make it long enough for her.

3.  After wanting to be a surfer girl, Amelia Earhart, I. finally settled on Hermione Granger - and was perfect!

4.  Baked Rig-a-boney.  Takes forever to put it together, especially when you are making a gluten free version as well as a regular version.  I make it every Halloween.  Full bellies went out trick or treating.

5.  4 1/2 Costco size bags of Halloween candy were given out this year.  Someone told Tom that it takes a commitment to live on our street on Halloween.  Our street gets very into holidays.  Plus, it was a beautiful night!

 5.  I copied the door I found on pinterest - helped us look a bit more festive.  I used butcher paper from the elementary school which made this little addition free!

6.  M. came home early and spent the next half hour parked by the door waiting for trick or treaters.  I told you our street takes it seriously - the longest you wait is about 30 seconds!


7.  I made 6 batches of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies this month - and have requests for more!  I promise you, they are the best.

8.  I'm on the lookout this week for the grapevine pumpkins with lights - but I only want to pay after season prices.  I'm hoping that is a success.  If you find them and live around me, let me know!!!

9.  Time to start Thanksgiving - which I love more than Halloween. The Advent Calendar I made 2 years ago is still a major hit! 

10.  I think I'm living my dream - being a mom during the holidays!

How was your Halloween?

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