image via

I had planned on posting a few pictures... Christmas-tree shopping, mulled cider mulling...

I planned to do this last Sunday for Monday's post. 

Didn't happen. 

But decorating did happen- prior to '10:00pm'! (we intend to start everything early, but we tend to run behind)... drama-free! {SUCCESS!!}

Planned again to do it last night. A few more pictures to add to the mix... light-hanging, letter-writing (yep... those santa letters still happen!)...

Didn't happen.

But shopping did happen... and not only did it happen- it doesn't have to happen any longer, cause it's DONE. Hours and hours and days and HOURS later, but it. is. done. And wrapping did happen... prior to the usual hell that is us buried in unwrapped presents at the very, very last minute (Christmas eve)... cursing our way through... all the while trying to make them look festive... unique... creative... cute...

And this movie happened too. 

And arguments were forgotten...  undone tasks forgiven... 

Unshared pictures filed.


{my birthday is march 30th. fyi.}

{...& card available here. fyi.}


After seeing this simple brown-bagged advent calendar on one of my favorite blogs last year, I stored it away in the overflowing "next year" file. Thankfully, a year much less hectic than the past, in which one could find me scrambling to Party City to pick up a boxed chocolate-filled calendar (post December 1st), after finding that Trader Joes' were long gone (as they should be, because who would still be in need of one?).

We've gone through several 'calendars'... rustic & wooden... build-a-lego-a-day... but in the past few years, as life got a bit chaotic, we've resorted to paper-box-+-chocolate (usually generously gifted from grandma). 

And who am I kidding? As long as the kids get candy (their main mission in life, as rightly stated by Jerry Seinfeld... so funny), they could care less where it came from, & how 'Santa' delivered it.  

But this was really fun to shop for & simple to create (simple, as in- Ryan & I quickly painting, filling, & hanging on Sunday morning... thank God the kids sleep in!)... mostly filled with lots of little cheap goodies (not only candy).

Day #1 was Baci chocolate... others are Candy Cane ChapStick, gold coins, striped straws, hot chocolate packs, a red lifesaver... and a green in another bag... jingle bells to hang on their back packs...

But by far, the best part is seeing the huge amount of anticipation & JOY that such a tiny treat can create. 
{even in a teenager :)}.

{day 1~ reading their Baci messages}

{day 2~ very early on a Monday morning, after having been off of school for a week... & very blurry~ but it made me laugh- in the midst of major grogginess... holding up their bells}

{day 3~ this time we waited till after school (Jacob leaves at 6:50am for zero period, when Hailey is still sound asleep!)}

{day 4~ a little bit of cheer, in the midst of a whole lotta' homework}

{day 5~ wanna kiss?}

If you've read my blog for a while, you may notice a theme complaint of wanting-to-do instead of doing. It's my biggest 'area of opportunity' (as they'd say in the corporate world)... an area in which I'm working hard to surpass. So it feels nice to have a 'next year' item moved to 'this year'.

Time off.

started with a birthday cake & ended with a pie. {my kind of holiday}


{if you didn't get your homemade pumpkin pie fix- or even if you did- this is a good recipe.}


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{i was tagged by a gal who was one of the very first in this blogging/internet world to touch my soul, in a big way... thanks danielle :)}

and now, we're off... to a place where our hearts [glasses] are full & minds at ease... to celebrate ryan's #39!

i hope your weekend is filled with the best of... whatever your 'bests' may be...

Except accessories.

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As I find my way back to Pinterest (again), I stumbled onto a board created by my lovely friend, Melissa~ entitled, "less is more {except accessories}."

Not only do I wholeheartedly agree- but boards like this might just lure be back to pinning for good.

Weekend remnants.

Trying to spend our weekends doing more of what we love.

Now, to figure out how to do that on the weekdays.


She's got skillz...


{I'm diving into my feedly reader for the first time in far too long, & I wanted to take a moment to share a piece of Estelle's post {words found here}.

{relevant & true}

Put a cork in it.

an excuse to drink an extra bottle or two this weekend. 

your hair is worth it.

you are worth it.

{image via}

Our summer.

{since this is the blog is essentially my journal ~ or the closest i have to one ~ and since i have failed to post in this "journal" on a regular any basis, i'd like to share 'our summer' in a single post. in other words, i apologize for the onslaught of photos. ~unedited photos! *read this: paragraph #2.}

a garden, a graduation, a big-10-celebration, a few picnics, a "few" bottles of wine, 
family & friends, pierced ears & a clean shave, 
a well-checked list
& many, many memories.

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