Friday, December 21, 2012

Let it Snow!

These are from a no-kids weekend that we went on about a month ago, but I just wanted to wish everyone a happy winter break!

I'll be back once my kids return to school after the new year.

This is just to remind me what it's like to be in a *nice* hotel. And that next year I should also book a hotel for the mid-week before ski season starts, so that they will upgrade me to a suite again, yay! Seriously, the Ritz Carlton North Star, was the same price as a Hampton Inn. I've got to get better at finding deals like this when I actually need them:)

Hopefully we will have plenty of time to spend together, so much so that I'm totally over it, and ready to send them back to the phenomenal schools they go to!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thank you

I don't really have any new, fun news or projects to share, just a giant "thank you".

Of course, thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I would probably be writing this even without you, if for no other reason than that I hate scrap-booking and this is an easy way to document my family.

This was a horrendous weekend. Horrendous on a national scale, and just awful on a close-to-home, not-actually-awful, but *really* sick baby, overtired kid, and pseudo sick preschooler kind of way.

So after that, I just have a HUGE "thank you" to God. Thank you for giving me these children.

Thank you for my oldest who made us a family. I could stop there, but she is bright, and quick, and never-ending, and loves crafts, and is surprisingly not a mini-me at all:)

Thank you for my son, who is love personified. He is inquisitive, playful and snuggly, just what I need right now. He can never offer or accept too many kisses.

And thank you for our baby. Somehow, even as the 3rd, she evened me out. Put everything else in perspective, gave me patience, made me a better mother, and challenges me every single day to not "put baby in the corner". OK, sorry, too cheesy. Seriously, she challenges me to not offer black and white solutions, to look beyond the two older kids and see her for who she is, an individual, sent here to make us a family of 5.

I am sending my love and thank you's to all of our kids today.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Wear Your Wedding Dress: an Anniversary Party

Pretty much the day after I got married I knew I wanted to wear my wedding dress again.

Where could I possibly do that? I didn't want to dye it and wear it to a party, nope, I wanted to have an anniversary party where all of the women get to wear their wedding dresses again.

                           wear your wedding dress again for an anniversary party

And yes, I realize that could als be read as "get to", as in "no thank you I won't wear it/it won't fit/you've got to be crazy".

                         wear your wedding dress again for an anniversary party

Thankfully, my husband let me keep dreaming about this party. After 2 kids, I could fit back into my wedding dress for our 5 year anniversary, but our house was still under construction, the economy was in a massive recession (you remember 2010, right?), and it just didn't work out.

wedding dress and black tie for a holiday party theme

Enter my new idea, a 7 Year Itch party. 3 kids now, and the dress zips. Pay no attention to the back cleavage, you can't expect perfection after this long and this many kids:) Also, we were in Hawaii for another wedding on our 7 year anniversary. This is what we get for getting married on July 4th weekend, it's VERY popular for weddings:)

7 year itch anniversary party invitation

So I just punted, and decided to invent my own party. Come on in!

As you know, one of the very best htings about having a party is that your house gets all straightened/things thrown in closets, so it looks awesome:) 

simple anniversary party decor

I just bought armloads of white flowers at Trader Joes, and spread them around with some candles and 72 shimmery balloons and called it a day on the decorations front.

simple anniversary party decor lots of balloons

For an "activity" I set up a photo booth in the library with a tablecloth and streamers (from Amazon) as a backdrop, and my camera on a tripod with a remote.

                            diy photo booth for a party

diy photo booth for a party with props

I even provided a table of props, for some extra fun.

diy photo booth for a party

Now my sister and I got a picture of the two of us in our wedding dresses together! This would never happen unless we had some sort of Marcia and Jan Brady double wedding.

                           wear your wedding dress again party

                           wear your wedding dress again party

More gratuitous pictures of us:)

wear your wedding dress again party

wear your wedding dress again party

For food, since it was the first night of Hanukkah, in addition to a cheese plate, I made latkes with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and caviar, yummy:) 

latkes with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and caviar

Plus spinach deviled eggs, and little tomato soup and grilled cheese shooters.

                           Tomato soup and grilled cheese shooters

Obviously, since this was my party, there was a lot of champagne, sparkling water, and scotch for the boys. That my boy right there:)

anniversary party scotch tasting station

The next day, most of the balloons were down, which left something fun for our kids when they got back from their sleepover at Nana and Baba's house:)

anniversary party decor

Any other fun anniversary party ideas? 


I link to these awesome parties:

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

My mom bought a dish towel with this recipe printed on it, and it's phenomenal! Seriously, one of the yummiest I've had.

My biggest caveat is that this isn't an easy, do it in an hour, kind of thing, especially the boiling sweet potatoes, waiting for them to cool, pushing them out of their skins, then mashing. That's serious time.

I love how, post-kids, anything longer than 1 hour total is "serious":)

Sweet Potato Pie with Meringue Topping

I used this recipe for the graham cracker crust


  • 2 cups peeled sweet potatoes (cooked-cut in 1/3, boil with skins on, wait to cool, then pull off skins)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Mix in electric mixer (this part is easy)
  • Then add 1 cup milk (I used coconut milk to make mine non-dairy)
  • Pour into graham cracker crust
  • Bake for 35 min at 350

Meringue topping: (this is where it gets all fancy-pants)

  • 3 egg whites beaten to soft peaks
  • slowly add in 1/4 cup sugar
  • continue beating until glossy and stiff
  • Spoon onto pie, fluff up to form peaks
  • Bake 10-12 min at 350 until top is lightly golden (or tan, whatever you want to call it)


Thanks for stopping by! I love to keep in touch. 


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adding color and variety with lamps

Hopefully we never have to turn a light on around here, what with all the natural light and the crazy wall of windows, but sometimes, especially in the winter, I need some mood lighting to brighten things up.

StayatHomeista living room

That's my living room all decked out for the holidays.

See the side table on the left? That's where I need a lamp, to help balance out the varying heights in the room. Right now everything is a bit low. The sofa backs, the coffee table, even the line of the mantle is adding to the all-horizontal-lines look in there. The pendant lights that hang are helping, but a nice lamp would not only offer me light in my reading spot in the living room, but add some verticality to the space.

Color + Plus™ colored glass lamps are the right answer. You can order them in over 60 Pantone colors, which means you can match your decor exactly, or pick the perfect contrasting color.

I would love to have one on every side table, but I'm waiting til the my little muggles move past the pull-on-everything-til-it-falls-on-me stage.

made to order lamps in Pantone colors

I would take the yummy coral colored one on the right, or maybe the tiffany blue one on the left for contrast. Hmm, tough call.

Where do you need a pop of color and some additional lighting?


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective; the opinions expressed here are all my own. Pin It

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best Pinterest Boards for Moms

Sometimes I get offered a guest post with a topic that I just can't turn down. I'm totally addicted to Pinterest (follow my boards here), so I thought that this was especially appropriate.

With the Holiday season in full swing, I'm going to cut back a bit on my posts, put less pressure on myself, maybe aim for 3x a week. After all this blog is really just a hobby for me, plus a great way to connect with family and friends, and if it's going to stress me out and make me a worse mom, that kind of misses the point of writing about staying at home, right?


The Ten Best Boards on Pinterest for Mums

The internet is an amazing source of inspiration for mums. Whether you’re looking for something to keep the kids entertained or want to change their bedrooms you can find it all online. Now with scrapbooking site Pinterest all those great ideas are in one convenient location! Whatever you’re after, I’ve put together my list of the ten best boards on Pinterest for busy mums


Fellow blogger ikatbag is the queen of crafts and has peppered her board with some of her own creations as well as inspiration for others. Focusing predominantly on cardboard and wooden projects you’ll be amazed at what you can create from the humble cardboard box!

An eclectic mix of crafts! This pinner has included an assortment of activities that can be used for both a group of children or just one.


This pinner features an assortment of mind-blowing cake creations on her board. This is definitely the place to go when you need inspiration or want to show off your skills!

An amazing collection of cute creations and seasonal treats fill this pinner’s board. My personal faves include the grape snake and the sausage roll wreath.


You can never get enough inspiration for Christmas! I like the fact that this pinner includes a lot of gifts and goodies in jars – they’re so versatile and a great way to recycle.

This pinner has included some really sweet gift and decoration ideas on their board. The holly berry numbers look so effective and they’re so easy to put together!


This board is seriously cute. With vintage inspired pieces for boys this pinner channels a bygone era of all-American style. Who can resist the those mini bow-ties

Filled with some of the most adorable clothes for girls this pinner’s board will have you saying “awww” on repeat.

Childrens Activities

This pinner has brought together a great collection of simply activities for children. Perfect for winter days to keep the kids entertained indoors. Look out for the glow sticks in water ideas – ingenious!

Children's Bedrooms

Whether you’re looking to buy or just want to day dream, the bedrooms on this pinner’s board are like something from a children’s wonderland. There are so many lust-afters but my particular fave is the tree house bunk bed – do they make them in adult size?

Amy Boff works at Appliances Online, when she’s not pinning, tweeting or Facebooking you can find her walking her dog or relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine. You can follow her on twitter @AmyBoff
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Decor

silver and gold gifts on a mantle

In my head, I'm pronouncing it "holiday day-cor" like Sarah Richardson, one of my favorite HGTV designers, does.

silver and gold gifts on a mantle with a deer head

I think I missed the holiday decor bandwagon last year since Hanukkah was pretty much right after Thanksgiving. Its hard to go from Turkey and "autumn" to blue and white "winter" in less than a week.

Easy holiday decor with wrapped gifts on a mantle

This year, with a bit more time, effort, and motivation (what is a blog for if not to motivate me?), I managed to pull of something I'm quite proud of.

Easy holiday decor with wrapped gifts on a mantle

I wrapped all those presents last Wednesday night while watching a Hart of Dixie dvr marathon. I used up 4 rolls of silver and gold wrapping paper (from Target) with ribbons from Tar-jay as well:)

Plus, there are real presents in the boxes. I  didn't realize most people just wrap empty boxes!?! What fun is that?

Target wrapping paper in gold and silver

I have the adult-y, reminds me of a Neiman Marcus, gift display in the living room, and a more kid, generic-Hanukkah display in the kitchen.

Hanukkah themed mantle

I fully accept my husband's severe dislike of season decor, so I just layer things on top of our year round mantlescapes (ugh, I'm shuddering at that word).

Hanukkah themed mantle with gifts

Then I gussied up our console table between the dining room and living room by using some flowers and a strand of sparkle, Hanukkah garland.

holiday decorating in between two rooms

Boom, tablescaped! (shuddering again:)

Hanukkah tablescape with menorah and candles

Hanukkah tablescape with menorah and candles

The silver branches (which doubles as a menorah) is from West Elm, and I love-love-love it. We have other, more traditonal menorahs (or Hanukkiahs), but this one is awesome.

Hanukkah tablescape with menorah and candles

Apparently not everyone in my family enjoys having the gifts out. My five year old wants to know why the presents are out but not available for opening. Thank goodness I put them up high, I can't imagine what similarly-minded children do with gifts under a tree!


I link to these awesome parties:

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