Christmas Advent Calendar

Merry Christmas! I can officially say that now, even though I've been guilty of playing Christmas music in my house for a few weeks now. :)

Over the weekend, like many of you I am sure, we unpacked our Christmas decorations. If you've been around here for awhile, you will remember my Christmas advent calendar from last year:

I made it when I was 8 months pregnant last year, and I still love it! Each box opens up and allows me to hide a little treat for my kids for each day leading up to Christmas. Nina can hardly wait to dive in tomorrow. Henry doesn't care so much, but he will next year, I am sure!

I have a detailed tutorial from last year on how I made this, so if you feel like getting all messy and taking on another project this Christmas season, click here for instructions! Happy Mod Podging!


Thanksgiving Tree

'Twas three days before Thanksgiving, and all through the house
Carrie was using scrapbook paper and a glue stick...
So what else is new?

We are staying In Denver this year for Thanksgiving, and hosting a small gathering at our house. My friend Aimee does a Thanksgiving Tree every year, and I decided to copy her!

Here's the cast of characters:

Just get a glue stick, scrapbook paper, little tags with holes in them, and a cute paper punch-out leaf or other Thanksgiving-y shape.

Glue the cute little Thanksgiving shape to the tag. Be sure to leave some room for people to write.

Put all the tags somewhere your guests can get to them, and lay out a nice pen and some twine.

On Thanksgiving, throughout the day, people can come along and write down something they are thankful for, then tie it to the tree! We plan to read ours during dinner. I imagine some of them will be sentimental, some silly, and some just bizarre (if I know my family). Just the way I like it!

As you can see, I've already added one thing I am thankful for. Like it?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! I will be back next week to kick off the Christmas season!

P.S. To answer a few questions: the wire tree, I must admit, came from Goodwill. I'd been looking for one for awhile and one day I just stumbled upon it. As for the other materials, they all came from Hobby Lobby. My condolences for those of you who don't have one near you! :)


Lucky Winner!

I'm sorry, but even as I write this post I can't help but stop and think about how cute this little pageboy hat is. Seriously? I want one. For my head. Do you think she makes them in Size 33? As in, my age in years, not months?

Anyway, let's get right to the winner of this giveaway! It's Sarah, of Nesting in Pleasant View! Sarah, and sweet baby Anna Claire, you can thank my husband, who chose comment #3, which was you! Please email me at buzzingsofaqueenbee@hotmail.com and I will give you the details of how to collect your $20 credit to the fantastic Marili Jean!

And for the rest of us, there is more good news! Marili Jean has graciously allowed a 20% discount on all our purchases. How fantastic is that? Just enter "Holiday" when you check out on her website (click on the name Marili Jean to get to it!) and wait for the bargains to start rolling in!

I will be back next week with a few last minute Thanksgiving ideas. In the meantime, I will be crossing my fingers that Marili Jean starts an adult line of hats, just in time for Christmas. Mama needs some cuteness too!


Pageboy Hat Giveaway!

**Updated to add: Comments are now closed! Thank you to everyone for entering this fabulous giveaway. I will be back in the morning to announce the winner!

A few weeks ago my family and I went to a cute pumpkin festival here in Denver. We had a ball! Part of the festival was made up of some artists selling their truly adorable handmade things. I ended up falling in love with, and purchasing, one of these newsboy hats for Nina:

I fell so in love, in fact, that I did something I've never done before. I asked the owner of Marili Jean, the shop that sells these little numbers for girls and boys, if she would give one away on my blog!

I felt like a bit of a salesperson, and was afraid she would think I was some crazy lady just asking for free stuff, but luckily she gave me a chance!

all photos thanks to Kelly Anderson Photo Design

And so, today I am giving away a $20 merchandise credit to the adorable Marili Jean! Just leave a comment telling me what little person in your life would receive this gift. I will close the comments on Friday night at 10 p.m. and announce the winner on Saturday!

Here's hoping that my little Nina will be cute pageboy hat twins with someone in your life! Happy Ho Ho Ho!


My Little Plaid Turkey

We got more snow this weekend in Colorado! It was the perfect weather to sit and work on this little pillow that's been in my head for a while. (Actually, to be honest, I have had the little turkey cut out since last Thanksgiving. But never the motivation to finish the job!)

I thought it was a cute addition to the Thanksgiving decor around here. I am debating if this guy can hang around all year, or does he have to go into hiding after the fall? I just love the colors in the plaid.

What do you think?


Pillow Imperfection

Girls, this is not the place to find a sewing tutorial. Let's just say that right now!

However, I recently wanted to make some pillows for my new family room. And I wanted them to have zippers, because, you know. Kids. Husband. Barf. Me=Klutz. Hello, washing machine!

I felt relatively confident to try and make zippered pillowcases because this blue material was probably $4 at a garage sale. Love it! (And I washed it on a steaming hot cycle first, don't worry!) So if I completely messed it up, no harm done.

I think you'll agree that these zippers are not pretty. No one will be asking me to make their wedding dress anytime soon.

The houndstooth fabric was a little pricier. We bought extra when we got our new chairs covered in the same fabric. It was a little scary to sew it, but at the end of the day, what good does it do me if the fabric just sits in my closet? The zippers are far from perfect, but...

...who cares? They get the job done, and now I have pretty pillows in my pretty new family room! So if you're thinking about tackling a project, but are afraid to "mess it up," I say go for it. You know what The Nester says (and it is so true): It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful. Amen girl!


I Love Me Some Vinyl Letters!

Baby Henry was born 91/2 months ago. I can barely believe it. But back when he was a newborn, my blogging friends The Twins (like how that is their official title?) Fran and Fern asked to send me a gift for him. How sweet are they? Of course it took me about 6 months to get a post office box, and then another 2 months to get my act together once I received the gift.

Finally, girls, I did something with this wonderful gift! They sent me some truly adorable vinyl letters and other fancies. They usually go on the wall, but because my walls are textured, I was worried about that. So I decided to do something else!

See my new "Little Cowboy" sign? That's a cheap-o pine board from Lowe's. I painted it cream, and then just stuck the letters on. Worked like a charm!

Afterwards, I used some wood stain (Dark Walnut from Minwax) and also gave it a bit of sanding along the edges. My husband drilled a few holes and added the rope.

They also sent me this sweet little pony. I didn't have another pine board, but I did have an old piece of scrap wood from another project. Gave it the same treatment as above, and I just love it!

Can you believe how nice people are in this little blog world? A HUGE thank you to The Twins for their sweet gift. And I can highly recommend their vinyl letters if you are in the market for something unique for your home. Check out their blog, Twice as Nice, if you're interested!


Easy Holiday Potpourri

I meant to share this with you all last week, but the giveaway kind of took over! However, as I sit down to write, my house smells wonderful, so it's the perfect inspiration.

Next time you're at the grocery store, pick up these easy three ingredients: oranges (or little clementines work well too), cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves. Peel an orange or two and allow the peels to dry (you'll use the peels only, not the fruit itself). Put all three ingredients in a pot and cover them with water, then simmer on the stove. Sit back and wait for your house to smell amazing.

Bring on the holidays!


Hubby Picked Fifteen

Congratulations to Commenter #15, Janet of JBoo Adventures! She has won my giveaway for the Minted cards. Janet has an adorable daughter Maddy, and I've been reading her blog since my early days of blogging. Yippee for Janet!

Thank you all for participating! I will be back next week with some more fun stuff to share. See you soon!


Time's Up!

Ooops! I went out to dinner last night with my husband and forgot to close the comments at 10 p.m. Oh well...a few of you may have gotten lucky and snuck a comment under the wire. Good for you!

I will announce the winner later today and be sure to let the lucky girl know! :)


Stationery Giveaway!

Are you all ready for a giveaway?

Now that Halloween is over, I am all about Christmas ideas. I've been working with an amazing stationery company called Minted. Have you heard of it? They were recently featured in Real Simple, and with good reason. Their stuff is adorable! Check out a few of these kids' personal stationery lines that they carry.

Hello, adorable little girl flowers:

Or this dinosaur? Love it!

If Nina didn't already have some stationery, I would be all over this preppy little giraffe:

Do you want to see which one I chose? I picked something for Henry, because, you know, he sends lots of mail. How cute is their packaging?

I could not resist this pale blue and chocolate brown combination. And the little train at the bottom? Precious!

OK, now that I've convinced you of the cuteness of Minted, how about a giveaway?

Just head on over to their website (click here) and check out all the different options for kids' personal stationery. Then tell me in the comments section which design you like the best, and the winner will receive 25 free kids' stationery cards. What better Christmas gift for someone small in your life? (Or, let's be honest, for the mama of someone small...we are all suckers for cute stuff like this for our kids!)

So, go check out the cuteness of Minted and let me know which stationery line tickles your fancy! Wa-hoo! I love free stuff!

I will close the comments on Friday night at 10 p.m. and draw the winner at random. Good luck!


Still Recovering

It's Monday morning and I am still working out the kinks from Halloween weekend. How many of you spent most of trick-or-treat night trying to get just one photo where the kids are actually looking at the camera and smiling?

As you can see, my efforts were only partially successful. And yes, those were spots on Henry's little face. However, by the end of the night he looked more like a dirty hobo than a cute dalmatian puppy. And it was all we could do to convince Nina that elephants don't have whiskers. (Do they?)

This makes me very afraid for the Christmas card photo. Very afraid.