Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tree Chopping

For the past few years, we have cut trees from Worthington Tree farm. We have had great experiences there and would recommend it for anyone in the Middle Georgia area.

The plan was for us to drive back there and cut down our tree - if for nothing else for the experience and the hot chocolate. Then we realized that we had moved back to Atlanta to avoid holiday why strap three kids in the car, drive a round trip of four hours, spend gas money and the day to chop a tree? Also, having to drive on the traffic {as Annie M calls the expressway} for hours with a tree on top makes me a bit nervous, so why do all of that if we didn't have to!?

So we went to plan b. We were still convinced we wanted to cut our own tree down, but thanks to Mr. Google, we found a place much, much closer. Like 4.5 miles from the house closer! We spent the day that would have been spent on the road cleaning out and we went to a little neighborhood event and saw Santa and his reindeer. Just before dinner, we went to the farm, cut our tree and went out for a little celebratory Chick-Fil-A.

In case you want to know how tall our tree is, its about two feet taller than Brother Bear sitting on my shoulders! Its perfect! 

Also, should you want to know how I go out with three in public, if I don't have the stroller and Brother is being crazy, to my shoulders he goes. We have finished many a Target trips with him contently on his perch. 

I am sure people at the farm thought we were a tad crazy. We pretty much picked one of the biggest trees in the furthest spot possible, let two little kids handle the saw and then I carried them out on my shoulders as hubby attempted to drag a 11+ foot tree by himself. No idea what Annie M was doing this whole time, but I am pretty sure it had something to do with jumping on or stumbling over stumps and hubby and I yelling at her to settle down. 

We weren't too far on our million mile trek back to the car before strong brawny Christmas tree men came to our rescue. They took the tree from hubby and eventually he rescued Brother Bear from my shoulders. I would have taken a picture for you all but I didn't have enough hands. 

Anyhoo, the nice folks there shook off our tree, wrapped her and loaded it on our car! It was fun and simple. 

A few days later, it was up and the kids have enjoyed the lights and hanging ornaments on it. At first I was constantly telling Brother to leave it alone, but now he has hardly touched it. 

If he comes to your house and starts blowing though, it means he wants you to turn the lights on and off. We have a switch so we tell him to blow and we flip the switch on...then we are leaving or its time for them to go off and we tell him to blow and flip them off. Now he thinks every time he blows, lights should flick on and off! 

I blame that on my parents. I think they did that to my sister and I when we were young?? No wonder we turned out weird...anyway.  

Here is Annie M putting one of my favorite ornaments on the tree! Its my Alabama one! :)

Speaking of Christmas trees - or "Mith-muth frees" as Brother calls them, I have baked a few too! These were my favorite because they were fast, simple and cute! 

This little night light is in one of the kids rooms. I love the shape, the glow and everything about it, but I am major paranoid about leaving it on at night! It gets super hot so I turn it off before I go to bed! 

Everything through Thanksgiving and Christmas this year has been so fun and a bit odd. Hubby had time off {which has never happened in our almost seven years of marriage plus two of dating and engagement} and we didn't travel {again hasn't happened in seven years plus two!}. 

We got our tree up early, decorated early and really just enjoyed the holiday season thus far. I didn't feel like the kids were as off sync as we have been in the past and I didn't feel like we rushed up, stuffed our face with turkey, threw a tree on the car on our way back and then hit the ground running into Christmas. Its been nice and a great time for our little family to have quality time together and to make memories! 

**Side note. The tree we have is a Leland Cypress. The Fraser Firs do not grow here so those have to be brought in on a truck. We like to cut ours and I kind of like the "fuzziness" of it but its not the same species that lots of people get {or the Christmas tree lots sell}! 
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Monday, December 15, 2014

HELLLLLO December!

I am NOT real sure what happened between the end of Thanksgiving and now, but we've been busy!

Hubby and I went to the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech football game {GO JACKETS!}, we celebrated his birthday, we cut down a Christmas tree, decorated the house, had a few Stella & Dot shindigs and then the kids all ending up with the plague {or colds, croup and ear infections} and me with mastitis! Phew!

Sorry to leave you hanging the past two weeks, but we are rocking and rolling and I am loving being back home and close to family - especially now that holidays are here and with sick kiddos. My family has helped a bunch and we have enjoyed leisurely time at home versus being in the car travelling and doing post trip unpacking and laundry. Its been great.

This holiday season, we still need to make a trip to visit Santa, I need to bake some of Grandma's bread and I hope to soon make another batch of Grandma's fudge! I'll share that recipe too! :)

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me just wish you a happy December holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and show you the quick decorations I tossed up last week!

I love my random, eclectic Santa's!

A few trains, soldiers and the official countdown!
Added/switched out a frame for Santa on the gallery wall

This is kind of a current jumbled mess...and I am missing Moose's stocking. I need to rethink this and I need to make his, but time has been short so it got thrown up quick and called done! 

Christmas pillows are out and a few extra wreaths are hung too!

Upside down red, gold and white Christmas decor and pretty flowers and our place mats from my friend Amy's Etsy!

I love this little tree and it and a few towels and random signs hang out in the bathroom. 

More bathroom 

Here is our tree! Its nice and big and full and perfect!!! I am not 100% that I love it in this corner, but for this year it works. I was too tired of cleaning, rearranging and unpacking to think about moving stuff again for the tree, so here it went! You can also see hanging off of the china cabinet our Christmas cards! 

Here is the table a bit closer! 

There is your quick tour! I inadvertently left off the piano room decor, the outside of the house and a few other things I need to snap pics of but screaming children call! 

Be back sooner than later, I promise! 
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful + Winner + Boots & More

I am at a loss for words that effectively and fully convey how thankful and happy my heart is. Our bellies are full, the day was spent with family and friends and we are comfy and cozy with the kids and dog sleeping at home. 

We have much to be grateful for and this picture along with Psalm 107:1 say it all. 

"give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever."

I hope each of you had a warm and Happy Thanksgiving and that you filled your bellies full of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie...and fudge. Lots and lots of fudge. 

Speaking of fudge, I made lots of it last night. Like over 200 little squares of delicious, melt in your mouth, fudge!!! I usually just make yummy chocolate fudge, but this year I got fancy and made peanut butter chocolate, peppermint chocolate, heath bar and chocolate fudge. It was all delish. 

I will post the recipe soon as I had friends ask last year and it is just the easiest thing in the world to do! 

Also, I just got these fab Riding Boot's and I am in love. I have wide calves {man calves is what I usually say and my husband yaps at me for calling them that}...but they are larger than your average skinny person, leg calf and I have a hard time finding boots. 

I initially saw them on Nordstrom's site for $107. I checked and they were the same price but with the code HOLIDAY25, you could get an additional 25% off {shoes and handbags} and that brought them down to $85! Woo hoo!!! I have been itching for a new pair of Riding Boot's and the discount + free shipping was just the kick I needed to order them! They are comfy and have just the right amount of give and I received lots of compliments today! 

Speaking of shopping...I have not mentioned Stella & Dot in a long, long time! So sorry about that! Head over to my Stella & Dot site and shop away!!! Some of our sale items are 40% off and a lot of really great stuff!!! Its also the time of year that we do our "Dot Dollars." For every $50 you spend now, you will get a $25 coupon off of $50 to spend in a few weeks!! Snag a few gifts now, and shop for yourself with a discount here in a few weeks!

Email me with any questions and if you have an order over $100, I'll cover shipping! 

You must email me to place it and get free shipping -------> laurenbtrain{at}gmail{dot}com. 

LAST but certainly NOT least. Drumroll please for our Minted giveaway winner! 

Your Tweet won you the $150 Minted credit. 

I have emailed you so please respond within 24 hours so we can get you all set up! If I don't hear back from Lauren {which I am sure I will!} I'll select a new winner. 

The giveaway was super fun though! Maybe we will do a few more here in the next few days!? What do you think!?! If I can get my act together, I would love to do a 12 Days of Christmas Blog land style.....we shall see. Might be New Year style, with the way I roll. :) 

Happy Black Friday Shopping to all you crazy peeps out there! 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Flower Girl Diva

Have you entered my $150 MINTED GIVEAWAY yet!? Don't forget! Ends tonight!

I'm pretty sure that Kristin's wedding is going to be the most exciting day in Annie M's life. Granted, we love the groom but, AM is pumped about her dress, being the flower girl and all things wedding. Kristin needs to watch out, lest our little bride steal the show!!

I'll give you a run down of our wedding planning adventures in a sec, but first let me recap the morning.

It started early and we got the fam up, dressed and out for a quick photo shoot! It was fast and furious. The kids just wanted to run and the hubs tries to wrangle the dog {because I am the crazy that cant have a picture with out Champ in it} and I just yelled at everyone to SMILE LIKE YOU ARE HAPPPPPY!!!! and GET CLOSER TO EACH OTHER! Look at the camera! Where is Kristin!! Annie M are you looking!? Brother! Where is your happy face?! Moosey! Look!

Phew. Can you hear me yelling!?

Just typing that brought back the exhaustion from this morning. Can you hear me trying to get *the perfect* photo?!? What is perfect anyway?? These days its perfect if we are all in it and that was accomplished!! A few good ones is all it takes - and I am excited to see what Kristin snapped!!

I should mention here that I sent Kristin a text with the address of where we were doing it, but apparently that address was the top of a mountain. She called to ask me "if I really meant at the very tippity top because her and her Ford Exploder {as I like to call it} were there and waiting.

Nope. I meant the main, bottom, field. Ha. She made it back down as we pulled in so despite the miscommunication {Siri's fault}, we were still okay.

Post pictures, it was time for a little girls day filled with wedding dress shopping!!! The day before, Kristin wasn't answering her phone, so this was the text she got...

Just trying to live up to my reputation of "the bossy older sister" and so far, so good. ;)

Kidding. I am helping plan a few of the wedding things and Kristin would rather me make the calls and her and her pretty little self just show up. I handled it and just that we did! Annie M came with us and I send my boys home for nap time and guy time. 

Before I show you the pictures of my over the moon excited flower girl, let me just say that she did great! I yapped at her about a gazillion times about touching stuff, but who can blame her! Its like she has just landed in four year old princess heaven and the swarovsky crystals just beckon her. For the most part, she got out of the way when she was told, helped as she was allowed and tried on as much as we would let her get away with. She snacked on Mom's Tic Tac's and peanut butter crackers and was in her element. 

.....she has a thing for mirrors and clearly knows how to work it. 

Despite my coaching her that today was about Kristin - the bride, she did her darndest to convince me that flower girl details needed to be discussed and considered early on. Like today and now. I didn't fall for her trickery, but she was pretty cute - and almost convincing. By the end of the day, she understood that as soon as we found a dress for Kristin, we could look for something for her. When that time comes, she knows just what to do. 

She wants a veil, a pretty train and a perfectly pink sash - with jewels, please. She knows how to "fluff the train" and if you ask her if she will be ready to try on and model the dresses her response is, "well, of course, I will be happy to" in a serious but obviously delighted tone! 

At the end of the day, Kristin was trying on the final dress and Mom was getting in on the model action. She looked good up on the pedestal too. Lookin good, Marge. 

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party shoppe was nearby, so we scooted in there for a quick hot chocolate {Annie M} and Mocha {me!} before we headed home. Annie M and Gigi also played a few quick rounds of I Spy. 

Kristin looked gorgeous in a few of the dresses and while we loved a few, we aren't buying yet!! We have an idea of a few styles she loves and hope to shop a few more stores before making the final decision. 

I'm pretty sure I wont have to twist the flower girl princesses arm to come with us again for more dress shopping - assuming we'll be invited back! 

It was a fun day and we are excited as all of these wedding details start to come together and as Kristin's vision for her dream wedding all piece together. 

Have you entered my $150 MINTED GIVEAWAY yet!? 
Ends Wednesday 11/26 at 11:59 PM!
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