Friday, December 16, 2011

The Art of the Shot . . .

Ok, so here's my second day of Christmas! 

I am not a great photographer but I do enjoy taking photos. Most importantly, I like taking photos of my girls and of course, taking the requisite photo for our annual Christmas card. Taking photos in the "ye olde days" was so much harder. Remember taking pictures with film?? Then you rush your film to the local photo shop and pray you got a good picture! If not, get another roll and start all over!! Nowadays, the "digital age", you can take hundreds of photos, load them onto the computer and delete the bad ones, email the good one to the photo shop and Voila! However, there are still bad photos but some are real funny! Last year, I decided to print out some of the bad ones and hang up for a fun and whimsical photo collage.

Here is the result! I ran a ribbon behind the frames and added a large bow on top. I think it came off looking great and  I always get a chuckle when I walk by it!

My girls started out cheesey!
We thought we would have them open their annual Christmas jammies.
They got a little too involved!
The girls are starting to get punchy!
Here's a winner!
So not every shot is a Kodak moment but I think this is really a fun, different and memorable way to remind us how much fun our Annual Christmas Photo Shoot is (well, not every year was, but I choose tonight, to look on the positive!)! So I'll touch base later, but that's for another post!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holy Holiday Season . . .

Ok, so had this great idea to do the 12 Days of Maselli Christmas and share 12 posts leading up to Christmas of fun things happening around our home. However, I just sat down and realized that Christmas is in T-E-N days!! So much for that plan.

So, here starts the 10 Days of Maselli Christmas! I will start in our family room. It's attached to the kitchen and as most rooms in our home, needs a Christmas tree.

It's small, only about 6 1/2' but smells delish and looks perfect in that corner!! In this part of the house, I love red, silver and lime green decorations so I use those colors for ornaments on the tree.

This is a handprint wreath my youngest daughter made for me in preschool. I love it when crafts are made that are quality and something you can really hang onto for years to come.

This is one of my favorite decs. I tie a big red ribbon onto the curtain rod and hang a beautiful hand-painted ornament with some solid colors as well. Yes, you can't close the curtains but that's ok because it looks great! I do this in both windows and it looks pretty from the front of the house too.

Just add a matching ornament on a bed of "snow", hang a metal sign and add a fun ribbon to jazz up a wreath and light the best smelling Peppermint candles ever! Put them on red mercury glass candleholders and Voila! Looks great!

LUURVE my three Pottery Barn ledges! This year, I went with inspiration from Pinterest and made it all red, white and silver. I bought inexpensive ornaments in the dollar section of Target and filled up my milk glass and white containers ( I cheated with crumbled up paper in the bottom to take up some room). I then glittered two styrofoam trees with silver on one and red on another. If you do it, use Martha Stewart glitter. It costs a little more but you use a lot less. She has the best colors and quality! Thanks Martha for making me want to glitter everything!! I put the red glitter tree on a brass candleholder I bought at Goodwill for change and spray painted a glossy white. The other piece I made is the snowflake wreath hanging above all the ledges. That was a trial and error. The Pin I got the wreath idea from said to use a styrofoam  wreath. I found the snowflakes at the Dollar Tree (the dollar store that actually charges a dollar for their merch; not like $4 at the fake dollar store!) Once I put it together, I didn't like the looks of it. So back to square one (or circle one in this case - I know, lame joke!) I found grapevine wreaths at the Dollar Tree (yes, they were a dollar each!) and spray-painted them white. Added the snowflakes and STILL didn't like it. I have a lot of time already invested in this Dollar Tree wreath! I then bought some white grosgain ribbon, wrapped the grapevine, hot-glued the snowflakes on and finally had something I liked! I added a red ribbon and then topped it with a white one. Looks good!

I actually put a coat of white spray paint on the snowflakes because I didn't want them sparkly (which is the way they came from the Dollar Tree). I liked the way they turned out because it added a layer of texture and made them look more snowflaky (is that a word??)!

Here's my hutch. It's a bit cluttered by I use the all the items in here so want them for quick and easy access when cooking and setting the table.

On my chandelier, I add a green bead garland and hang some glass ornaments.

Add a jingle bell wreath above the door. Why above the door, you ask? The wreath use to hang on the door but it was annoying to hear it jingle ALL the time. I know I sound like an old lady complaining but the older I get, the more quiet I like!!

Hang your holiday aprons on the side of your armoire for a splash of color and this room is ready for the holidays!!

More of our home to share but that's for another post!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to CVS ...

Actually, it happened IN CVS. Ok, so my youngest daughter, my husband and myself ran to Target to pick up some last minute items for Christmas decorating.  We get almost everything we need except we forgot one item.

While sitting at the light waiting to turn, the Toys for Tots motorcycle ride was passing for about 15 minutes, we remembered we forgot to get nails.  Lo and behold, there is a CVS at the next corner. My husband runs into the store and asks the man behind the counter where the nails are. He sends him to Aisle 3.

Here's what my husband sees:

Not just nails, Hello Kitty nails!

After finding the right nails, hammer and nails, not polish and nails, my husband and the man behind the counter had a good laugh!! We are not real sure as to what vibe my husband gives off but it did make for a good laugh!! We did finish our Christmas decorating so I will get those pictures to you but that is for another post!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Tis the Season to Give . . .

Ok, so I totally can't believe it's been 20 days since I last blogged!! I really couldn't believe it when I actually checked the date or that tomorrow is December 1. Now I am sitting in pretty good shape for Christmas. Half my gifts have been purchased. I just finished making (yes, you read that right!) our Christmas cards (blog post to follow this month). 95% of our Christmas decorations are up (uh, ok maybe 85%; make that 80%!). Both trees have been purchased and are in their stands, no lights or ornaments though but we are well on our way.

Once the turkey has been eaten and a crazy shopper has pepper sprayed other shoppers during Black Friday (seriously people, is this what we have come to?? So glad I no longer work retail!), the holidays hit us hard. One big sign that the holiday season is here is the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. They are out in front of every store!! Does anyone feel guilty every time you walk by the bell ringer without putting some money in their bucket? I know I do but I can't afford to give money every time I pass one (does this mean I need to get a job or go in stores less?? Hummm?)! My girls also like to give so we came up with what we think is a great solution! A roll of quarters!

Now, this little roll has a lot of power. When my girls were younger and we took road trips, we gave each girl a roll of quarters at the start of the trip. If they misbehaved or asked "are we almost there?", they lost a quarter. When we reached our destination, they were able to use the money they had left for their souvenirs. Genius, I know (I think I stole this idea from Family Fun magazine but don't quote me on that!).

For the holidays, I give each girl a roll of quarters on December 1. They keep their quarters in a coin purse in the back pocket of the front seats of our car. That way they are out of sight but the girls know where their money is at all times. Then they have the power of the of giving - and they love it! Anytime they want to give some money to a bell ringer, they can. They can give it all to one person (I do try to discourage that though) or spread it out for the holiday season. This way, they are not asking me for money in front of the bell ringer (especially embarrassing when I don't have ANY money in my wallet, which is more often than not!) and they feel like they are also giving back. At the end of the holiday season, we have given $20 to a great cause (in addition to our yearly charitable contributions) and the girls feel like they were a part of it. Just had a brainstorm while typing - maybe have the girls earn their quarters. I like that! There are already pine needles all over my house and they are not going to sweep themselves!

Well, off to work on that other 20% of our holiday decorations. I won't wait so long to blog next time and will start posting Christmas decorating photos in the next week but, that is for another blog!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where Does All the Time Go . . .

Ok, I have all these grandiose plans to do all the little projects in my house before the holidays hit. I see ideas on-line or in catalogs and get SO inspired. They are all great and would look perfect in my house. The problem is . . .  I am so busy pinning items on Pinterest, I don't leave myself anytime to make/do/cook any of my pins!! It's so addictive!

Every time I log on to Pinterest, I feel a little giddy. There, categorized in fabulous categories, are all my favorite things (insert obligatory except for husband, kids and family - yada, yada, yada). My eyes light up when my boards pull up. I feel proud when someone Repins or Likes one of my pins. I like to see what my followers are repinning. It's like Disney, the happiest place on earth!

So, here are some of my favorite pins for the upcoming Christmas season, pins I AM GOING TO MAKE THIS SEASON (one hand on the keyboard, one raised in my Girl Scout promise sign!):

1.  It's so simple but I just love the look of this. Now I just have to find the snowflakes!

2. I have been wanting to make something cute for the teachers so going to make this over Thanksgiving break so they can have in their classrooms during the holidays.

3. Must print this off and put in my craft room. I love Elf, it's the first movie our family watches during the Christmas season.

4. Every year I host a Cookie Exchange and I have this year's theme all planned out (for a future post!). I really like the looks of this. Mine won't be exact but I will use the basic gist for my party!

5. This has a nice, clean look. Can't afford fresh carnations for the wreaths but will come up with an alternative. I plan on using my milk glass and ornaments and recreating this feel.

Ok, there are about 50 more ideas I want to make/use but I have to set some realistic expectations!! Of course the only way I can actually make it all happen, is to log off my blog, kiss Pinterest good-bye for the day (parting is such sweet sorrow!) and get off the couch!! I will share all my projects come to life, but that will be for another post!

P.S. If you want to make any of the above ideas, click onto my Pinterest account, under my board labeled Christmas (real creative title, huh??)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turn Out the Lights . . .

Halloween is over and ALL packed up! Yes, I said it. I worked like a mad woman yesterday and packed, stuffed, and shoved all my Halloween and now it's neatly put away!! Yeah!! It's nice to have a sense of accomplishment!

Now, the big question in our family is . . . do we put Fall/Thanksgiving up or go straight to Christmas? For the past two years, we have been in Italy over Thanksgiving break. Yes, we ate pizza for Thanksgiving and loved every minute of it! This year, we will be home but not celebrating at our house.

So what's the big decision? We decided to forgo Thanksgiving decs, hold off on Christmas and use those few weeks in between to finish ALL the projects that have been on my "To Do" list.

So here's the plan:

1. Olivia's Room - Remember this makeover? This room needs valance/curtains, finish the shower curtain turned closet doors, fill frames and recover and paint bench. (Note: the pink Olivia is now a matching green).

2. Playroom to Craft Room Conversion - The painting is done but nothing has been hung on the walls! Organization needs to be done. Curtains need to be sewn. New bedding needs to be ironed and put on the bed. Oh, did I forget to add on my To Do list, clear all the clutter or as my husband calls it, crap!

3. Caitlin's Room - Fill frames with new photos, hang Ikea desktop (converting to vanity/dresser), find cool nightstand and refluff room!

4. Caitlin's Bathroom - Organization. Organization. Organization. Lots of ideas pinned on Pinterest. Time to make them happen!

5. Girls' Office - This room is getting close to being done and has been used a ton! We need to add some more color with fabric. Going to recover those lovely pink chairs, add a curtain/valance above the window, repaint the door, organize the girl's school supplies, add some shelving by my desk, and rework the bookcase.

Those are my big ones, in addition to making some Christmas crafts and starting Christmas cards. I got a lot to do and a short time to get it done but it will be nice going into the holidays organized, all those little items checked off my To Do list and the house looking guuud (head bob up and down)! I will keep you updated on my progress but that will be for another post!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween . . .

Ok, so I can't believe today is Halloween and I haven't even finished the tour of my spooky home! So here it is - enjoy!

My ode to Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven.

The perfect spot for a wicked cocktail.

My little witch vignette. Sorry the picture is so dark.

I love staining cheesecloth and hanging it everywhere.
This one, the girls and I ripped holes that had ghostly faces.

I love my mantel!
Last year, I bought a lot of old, generic frames from Goodwill, painted them black and pulled out the Cricut. The frames with the photos are those that change from a normal photo to a ghoulish creature. I got those this year at Michaels.

Here's some close-ups:

This is the Pottery Barn Skeleton Drink Holder.
When not serving drinks out of it, I put this cute Jack-o-Lantern in.
This is where I hang my broom!
I plan on making a cape one year to hang here.

So that's my spooky house. Here's hoping the rain passes so we will have a nice, dry evening for trick-or-treating! Happy Halloween!