Thursday, December 29, 2011

Around here.....

...our Christmas decorations are still up. I will take them down January 2 like I do every year.
Except for this one December, (1999 to be exact) when I took down the tree before New Year's Eve.
I didn't like it. No one did. The house had an empty sort of feel.

In early December the house always feels so cozy and warm all decked out with
fresh garland hung above the doorways, the lighted tree in the living room,
Christmas cards cluttering the outline of our kitchen entrance.

Then, a couple of days after Christmas I get into this cleaning mode.
I am consumed by the declutter- reorganize- repaint- rearrange bug.
And this bug does NOT like Christmas decorations!

This afternoon as I was dusting crispy pine needles off my hutch for the 458th time,
I was ready for the Christmas decor to be packed away!
But I didn't do it, I told myself.....Liz, you can't repeat 1999!

So up it all stays until Monday. =)


One of the gifts my mom gave to me for Christmas was this huge basket. I love it.


Jeff and the boys cleaned out our attic early this morning.
We have the best attic! There is a staircase in our hallway leading up to it.
Someday we plan on doing something great up there. Someday.

(For now, when the weather is not too hot, or not too cold, the kids will go up and play.)

During their cleaning escapade I saw five huge, black garbage bags being taken out.
I have no idea what they got rid of....and I don't really care. I'm thankful to have it cleaned out.

I have a roast and potatoes in the oven for dinner.
The kids are just coming in from playing outside.


I'm eating a piece of chocolate I stole from my daughter.

Hope you are having a lovely Thursday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Most favorite Christmas present?

My new purse. Given to me by my bestest friend. =)
It's made of lamb leather. It's soft and makes our coat closet smell wonderful.


*Interesting Jeff and Liz Fact #37 The way we purchase each other's Christmas gifts each year.*

We save change. Quarters and Dimes only. (Nickels and Pennies go into the kid's bank)
All year long we fill this little basket set on a shelf in our bedroom. Early December we cash in our change.

Whatever the amount is, we split it evenly. That is what we spend on each other! No more, no less.

This has been our tradition since the first Christmas we were married.
Our first Christmas we were young and broke...we had $24.
It was fun to be creative with only $12 a piece!

Save your change and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised how much it all adds up to in just a year's time.
Enough in our house that I was able to receive a Lucky Brand purse!

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, December 26, 2011


....we slept in after an incredibly busy and fun weekend.

.....all of the wrapped presents are gone from under our tree.


....we are being lazy and playing with new toys.
.....Jeff is home which makes for a near perfect Monday. only near perfect because I have a dentist appointment in just a little bit.
I do not wish to go but after having a bad toothache for the past week and a half,
I am thankful I live in a country where I have the privilege to visit the dentist.
Even though I don't want to...have I already mentioned this? ;)

Hope you had a Blessed Christmas.
Happy Monday.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fashion Tip Friday ~

Happy Day before Christmas Eve! I am so excited for this weekend.
As I type...
Flurries are coming down outside,
It's Christmas Eve at the Bailey's and George is yelling on the phone at Zuzu's teacher,
Allison and Sophia are making felt Christmas trees and glittering our family room floor. =/
(Someday I'll post about my obsession with glitter and Jeff's hatred towards it.
*Note to us* Run vacuum before Jeff gets home! =)
Almost all of our gifts are wrapped. Sophia went ahead and wrapped 9 of them while I was in the kitchen....
withOUT using tags.So what gift belongs to who???
It's a great mystery to us. We will be trying to decipher them tonight without having to rewrap.
Or...we may just leave them and my brother Caleb will perhaps open nailpolish and my niece will open up a gun. Ha!
Ok. Christmas Fashion Tip.
Watching old Christmas movies today,
(we started at 6am this morning...Holiday Inn, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life)
I noticed one thing...they were all dressed up!
Holidays were a special occasion.
A celebration to put on fancy clothes, curl hair and apply lipstick!
It's not everyday you can wear sparkles and high heels ya know.
Growing up, I always had a new Christmas dress to wear. New tights. Shiny patten shoes.
I Loved it. I couldn't wait to get dressed on Christmas.
My Mom always made sure we looked our best on holidays, because they were special.
We were celebrating something wonderful and she wanted us to look nice.
I do the same for my girls. (and boys)
When it's a holiday, whether they like it or not, they're dressed up. No exceptions!
Our country has become so casual. Thanksgiving dinner is eaten in comfy sweatpants and unbrushed ponytails.
It just shows how lazy we have become. We do not have the same respect for proper occasions as we used to.
Now I know everyone feels differently about dressing on holidays. Every family has their own way of doing things.
But I would encourage you to dress a little nicer...make it feel special,
even if it's just putting on some lipgloss or wearing a necklace. =)
Hope you all have a Very, Very Merry Christmas.
Remember the reason that we are celebrating this weekend.
I am so thankful for my Saviour coming into this world.
So thankful for my God.
Merry Christmas Everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Things.

I would like to place this chair....

into this living room.....

and have it be mine. =)

Happy Tuesday to you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We took the train this time.

Drew a picture of everyone riding in our car.


Rode up and down "alligators".


Walked along the Chicago River while it snowed.


Three million people in the city and we bump into Jeff's Aunt Jan. How crazy is that?


Visited Woody. (He's made from Legos.)

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We hailed a cab....because Jeff's wife spent a little too much time in a particular store on Michigan Ave.
Such a patient husband he is. ;)

We had a 40 minute walk to accomplish in 20 or we'd miss our train home.....
Sophia found us a ride. There's one! There's one mom.
And if you're wondering, yes, 7 people can cram into one cab comfortably just fine. =)

Hope your week is off to a great start.
Happy Monday.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fashion Tip Friday ~

Hello and welcome to Fashion Tip Friday,
where each week I share with you my supreme expertise on how to dress.
What would you do without me?

Happy Friday everyone.
We have sugar cookies baking, a piano playing and cleaning going on in our house right now.
Tonight is a play at our church. The kids will be performing, my sisters and I will be "Directing". =)

So let's get to the tip of the week before adrenaline starts rushing and
my "Hurry, we're going to be late mode" sets in.

Today is about jeans and boots and legwarmers.

Honestly....I am starting to tire of the jeans tucked into a tall boot look.
It's everywhere and kind of getting boring. So what can we do to spruce it up a bit?

Add legwarmers. They really add to the top of boots and tights.

{pulled this photo off my pinterest board}

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Legwarmers over jeans looks really cute too...
especially if the knees of your jeans are a bit stretched and starting to puff out.

Which leads me to a BIG Don't!
DON'T....I repeat Don't! Please don't wear puffy jeans tucked into your boots!
It looks terrible and also enhances the size of your thighs and backside.
(snowboots on a snowy day don't count ;)

Onto my next Don't.
{I think I've mentioned this in previous years, but I will continue to stress it since it's not going away}
....Leggings are NOT pants!

Have a little class ladies. It's rather disturbing to see a woman in tight leggings and a short shirt.
Leggings are to be worn with your bottom covered. Got it? Good.

And just in case you were going to ask....
Yes you can wear tight pants for running and yoga...but that's it! No grocery shopping in them.

{Another pinterest idea....cut the sleeves off of an old sweater to make a pair of legwarmers.}

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Alright. That's all I've got for today.
Busy next couple of days ahead. How about you? Big weekend plans?

Enjoy the last few days before Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We had..... early lunch of pizza made from bagels.

....story time this afternoon. The Candycane Maker's Gift.

...."fake" tickles for a staged photoshoot created by Sophia. Photographed by Allison.

{My mom taught Alli how to crochet this past weekend...
she made the pink headband/necklace in my hair}

....a good conversation about Jesus.

....a {Slow} Christmas present wrapping session. We're not finished yet.

....a chance to watch some of the Nativity Story..because we've only seen it 2,000 times. ;)
(My girls watch it just so they can see the babies! 2 hours to see 20 seconds of baby Jesus =) sheets put on the beds. This happens every Wednesday in our house.

....dirty laundry baskets carried downstairs by the boys.

.....a hero to kill the big spider in the basement.

....a "Fake" nap. (pictured below =)


...and then a short "real" nap around 4 o'clock. (not pictured ;) of Naked Juice, because it was on sale yesterday and we love it.

.....a couple of arguments about seating arrangements on the couch. We worked it out.

....a fuse pop because I left the heater on that I wasn't supposed to turn on in the first place.
(I forgot. Oops.) time to make chocolate dipped pretzels which was our advent calendar activity for today!
(Guess what we're doing five minutes from now? =)
...a Great day together.

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE homeschooling my kids? I do. =)

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Show and Tell of Sorts ~ Chicago Style....

(...for those who have never been. ;)

I absolutely love the city at Christmas time. Actually all year long I love the city,
but at Christmas time I love it even more.
The business, the lights, the shopping, the feels so Bishop's Wife.
(Which is a movie everyone Should! watch AND enjoy during the holiday season.)

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I'll separate this post into sections for you.

We'll call this one Transportation.
If you were coming in from the northwest....this would be your skyline view.
If you were coming in from the'd be in a boat. =)


To find a sign like this is a gift.
Parking is not cheap downtown. It's robbery! especially on Michigan Ave where we were headed.

However, for the past eleven years, Jeff and I have been parking in this hidden gem of a garage costing only $8 a day (on weekends),  not the usual $35 everywhere else.

Next section...

The Bragging Wife.
Should you ever find yourself on the corner of LaSalle and Kinzie, take a look into The Sterling.
My husband did all the woodwork in the foyer.
He also put the trim in each unit from the 10th to the 40-something-th floor?

(He doesn't like me telling people, I can't help it...I'm easily impressed by the man. =)

City Streets.There is much money to be spent fun to be had on Michigan Ave. (aka. The Magnificent Mile)
Lots of stores, lots of people, Water Tower, John Hancock.



And then there's State St. that great street that Frank sings about. ;)


Next we'll do....Things We Can't Afford in Stores We Love.
Super cute skirt... $579.00 (That's dollars, not yen =)
Super pretty dress... $1,200.00

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Moving on....

Food. There are so many good places to eat in Chicago.
The place we had our hearts set on Saturday night was closed for a private event.

When I tried to make a reservation, I told the man on the phone that I might have been invited to the event...
if he would just tell me what the event was. Through his laughter he said he wasn't buyin it.

Our alternative. A 9:30 dinner reservation at Wildfire. {Equally as good}


Bacon wrapped scallops in an apricot sauce. All I can say is...Wow.


It's perfect being alone with only my husband.
I am so thankful we are spoiled with parents willing to keep our kids for the weekend.
We very much love and appreciate them!

Hope your week is off to a great start.
Happy Monday.

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    The stinkiest thing in the world.

    For weeks we've passed by the small flat cans of low quality fish.
    For weeks Sammy has asked me to buy a can for him.
    They're gross I'd say. You won't like them.

    I told him how smelly they were.
    I told him how when I was young my mom would make my brothers eat them out back they were so gross.
    I told him how sardines smell up your whole house!

    This did not phase the squid loving, frog leg eating boy of mine.

    Today at the grocery store I broke down. I bought sardines for the first time in my life.
    89 cents of pure joy.

    Of course as soon as we walked in the door he wanted to crack them open.

    My brother happened to call at that moment. I told him Sam was about to eat sardines.
    You're not going to make him go outside like Mom used to make us do are you.

    I laughed...No, no, no. He can eat them inside.

    Ha! Once that can was opened up! Sam and his sardines were shipped to the porch!
    It worked out though. The neighbor boys also got to enjoy them. {Gag}
    And Allison...Oh where have I gone wrong?


    Do you know that if you put an open pine cone into water and let it soak....

    it will close up?


    When it dries, it will open again. =)

    Have I ever told you that my boys don't want me to buy new stockings?
    We've had them since we were can't change them now Mom!

    So Tigger, Winnie the Pooh and a Woody Boot hang from the fireplace mantle.
    Tradition. Just like the colored Christmas lights the family won't let me change to white. =)


    Ok. Off to light candles. Spray febreeze. Boil water with cinnamon sticks. Bake cookies.
    Whatever it takes to get us out of sardine-land!

    Happy Thursday to you.