Printable Holiday Greetings

Remember the good ‘ole days when you went to your mailbox and discovered a handwritten note written in beautiful penmanship with thoughtful sentiments from a friend far away? Letter writing really has become a lost art hasn’t it? I am seriously considering bringing it back this holiday season. I’ve been playing with ideas for funny family photo ops that might make for a memorable pre-printed holiday card. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing says “I love you” more than Wal Mart one hour photo. But I decided to take a little time this morning to peruse some printable holiday greeting cards, and although this feels a bit like looking at presents before Christmas morning {because you just might find one of these in your mailbox from me}, I wanted to share them with you in the event you too want to bring back the handwritten greeting card.

Printable Christmas Card  by Mufn Inc. 

Bluebell Christmas Card by E.M. Paper’s Etsy Shop

Holiday Cards by Rosemary via Creature Comforts’ Blog

Happy Christmas from London by Hello! Lucky
{Ok, so it’s not a printable and I’m not from London, but if it were and if I was, this would be my holiday greeting of choice.}

Here’s one for the sassy holiday well-wisher…

Spiked Egg Nog Holiday Card by McKenzie Noelle Creative

And if you want to go the extra thoughtful mile, here’s a few added printable touches to put your holiday greeting over the top…

wrap-around Christmas card address labels by 517 creations

Holiday address labels by Iheart Organizing

Do you have a favorite?

Some of these are free printable downloads, which means I have no excuse for getting my handwritten greetings in the mailbox sooner rather than later.

I hope you enjoy the last day of November because it is about to get holiday crazy in the December blogosphere!

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A Touch of Mercury Glass

Last month, I stumbled upon this mercury glass lamp, and I have been swooning over all things mercury glass ever since.
Isabella Mercury Glass Lamp

And so has begun my mercury glass holiday wish list….

…currently obsessing over this teardrop mercury glass vase

Mercury Glass candle holders
I love this wintery table spread… Did you happen to notice the wine corks?

Mercury Glass chalkboard window
You may have already picked up on my affinity for chalkboard surfaces that double as interesting decor. This one takes the cake.
And finally… a little mercury glass to put you in the holiday spirit…

Mercury Glass Wreath

Autumn mercury glass display

Apparently, mercury glass costs a pretty penny. Good news for all you DIY-ers…Pinterest is replete with how to’s such as this DIY mercury glass tutorial on White Picket Bentz blog.

I can’t wait to attempt this. Do you think Clark would mind if I put a faux mercury finish on his telecaster?

Reading in Paradise

One wedding anniversary, an 8K road race, a 16 1/2 lb turkey, 3 parents, 1 husband, 7 children, one 3-year-old birthday party complete with a grown man wearing a cow suit, and all I want to do today is this…

Reading in Paradise

 

Jenga

This is a very big week in the Beasley household. Within these 7 days, we will celebrate, one 6 year anniversary,  one 3-year-old boy’s birthday and Thanksgiving. I love this week. I do. But no matter how much advance preparation I do for the aforementioned occasions, I inevitably face the tension of being stressed out over all that has to be done to make this week special on top of just normal life stuff. And then, just give you a tiny window into my neuroses, whenever there is an exceptionally stress-filled situation at hand, I tend to tack on more of the impossible. Like, oh, I don’t know, how ’bout we throw in a 10k, a never-before-attempted sewing project, a new house-hunt, and volunteering at a homeless shelter just for kicks. Chronic-overachievement is not a good look on me and yet, I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. And for what? So that last night while Mia is sitting in her high chair covered in buttered noodles making me FORTY FIVE minutes late for an appointment, I proceed to take out my frustration on life with my husband and my birthday boy all because of an unfinished budget, an unthawed turkey, and a few unanswered emails? Salem was still chewing his last bite of hotdog when we dashed out the door to make a 5 minute appearance at said appointment. And as I was busy explaining my tardiness, I found myself comparing our life to a game of Jenga. I hated Jenga. I still do. Whoever invented the game clearly has no sympathy for the walking anxiety-ridden. But our life has sort of become this intricate layering of schedules and menus and meetings, and for crying out loud, I have designated days for washing my hair {Wednesdays and Weekends…. Wash starts with “W”…. It’s an alliteration thing. Don’t look now, but I just blew that “tiny window” open wide with something gale force}. But that’s what I’m talking about….. I am so structured that when a gloriously “unstructured” opportunity comes along like a holiday or a special occasion, it tends to tap just the right block out of place and then my whole stack comes crashing down leaving me in a puddle of Jenga pieces moaning about what a failure I am because I haven’t started Salem’s college fund.

And so this morning, I am reminded once again…

Let’s all say it together…. “I CAN NOT do IT ALL

Who are we kidding. On days like yesterday, I can’t even do it a little. I trust a few of you Jenga-haters out there can relate.
This Thanksgiving, I am eternally thankful for friends and family who love me despite my failed attempts, my momentary melt-downs, and my seriously out-of-control alliteration fetish that one day someone will make pills for, appear on Dr. Oz, and rake in a fortune!

{Tune in next time for some more dignified thoughts on cupcake toppers and cranberry sauce.}

It Was an Accident

It’s Monday morning and time for our weekly Chic Fil A breakfast date with the fam. We’re up and at ’em with the taste of chicken minis practically in our mouths. Socks, shoes, diaper bag… Everybody in the van. Oops sorry, Mia. Mommy’s hand slipped and smacked you in the face while I was buckling you in your seat. It was an accident. Salem, say, “Sister, Mommy’s sorry. It was an accident.” Here Mia, you can play with Mommy’s keys so that forget about the shiner that I just gave you that was an accident. Oops. Forgot my purse. It was an accident. Close the van door. Up the front steps. Pass a groggy husband who says, “Who is in the car with our kids?” “No one, why?” And then it hits me. Beep beep goes the key fab. Kids are locked in the van, the fate of our morning left up to curious little one-year-old fingers and two parents playing charades outside the van window. “Push the button baby. That one, right there. That’s it push push.” Oops. She dropped the keys. It was an accident. Enter tears. Mommy stop crying and call AAA. “Help, I’ve locked my keys in the car along with my one and my two year old. No, I will not hold while you transfer me for the FOURTH TIME!” Ten minutes, $140, and one Thor-look-a-like-pop-a-locksmith later, we’re on our way to Chic Fil A. I guess we’ll be sharing an order of chicken minis after how much that little accident cost us.

Sounds like a case of the Mondays!

Happy Anniversary Do Da Do Da

This Sunday, Clark and I will celebrate our SIX YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! I had some fun this morning go over some of our more amusing engagement photos.

The hilarious thing about this photo is that it Clark wasn’t posing. This was actually his face after a long day in the Central Florida August sun taking engagement pictures. Classic!

He still makes me laugh like this.

 This weekend we celebrate our marriage making it to the first grade. We’re nearly ready to take the training wheels off, don’t you think?

Happy Anniversary to my Sweetheart. I would do it all over again.

 

Mothers Speak: the Mouth of Babes

While Clark was holding a band rehearsal at the house tonight, my almost-3-yr-old gave quite a performance of his own. In the course of 20 minutes, he had managed to serve up the entire menu of no-nos in the Beasley house including, but not limited to, slamming one door, screaming at a near deafening decible level, pushing his little sister, telling on himself for pushing his little sister, and then the big finish. During the .5 seconds I turned to tend to my second born, Salem was dumping full 10oz cups of bathwater onto the bathroom rug. By the time I got to him, we were both standing in a half-inch puddle of water. The only words I could manage to muster at this point was, “What is WRONG with you?!” As if he was actually might answer back, “Well mom, I thought the bathroom floor could use a good mopping. And while we’re at it, I despise the purple-hull peas you served for dinner, and have I mentioned I might never forgive you for ripping me away from Daddy’s band rehearsal telling me to come scrub my boy parts? As if that is supposed to be some kind of incentive?” Perhaps if he had been able to tell me how he really felt, I might not have been so prison warden with him at bed time. My vocabulary consisted of “you”… “bed”… “no”… “goodnight”. Any more wordage and I may have very well scarred him for life. As soon as I shut his bedroom door behind me and retreated into my bedroom falling facedown into a throw pillow, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps he was, in his own way, trying to tell me something by doing all of the things he knows will land him a one way ticket to Mommy’s bad side. So I conducted an impromptu experiment and crept back into his dark room where laid beside him in his new Big Boy Bed as he reviewed the jumbled sentiments of his day. First he asked me to scratch his back, so I did, while he proceeded to recite his most loved scenes from both Curious George and the Prisoner of Azkaban followed by the lyrics to his favorite Circa Survive song at the top of his lungs. And for dessert.. the plan of Salvation.

“Mommy, who can be saved? Say sawee for a sins. Twust in Chwist for sah-va-shun.”

I KID you not….. out of the mouth of babes, right?

And then I felt like a big jerk-Mommy. I laid there in the dark crying as he moved on to singing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Feet”, because I realized that even though Harry Potter and Eternal Life are both swimming around up there in the same head space, somehow in the course of Salem’s day I had hurried him from one activity to the next without so much as pausing for a moment to consider what was actually sinking in. And at the end of the day, all of this was rising up in his little spirit, and I nearly missed it because I was so worked up about him emptying half his bathwater onto the tile floor. Was all of that acting up his way of saying, “For crying out loud, will you just listen to me for 5 minutes?!”

Twenty minutes later, Clark had finished his rehearsal and found us both lying in the dark on Salem’s Big Boy Bed holding hands and singing David Gray tunes. We both kissed Salem goodnight, and within moments, he was asleep. That’s all it took. God, never let me be so absorbed in my adult world that I can’t listen to my son’s pitchy folk singing and faith sermonettes. His new thing lately is to watch himself on home videos. We have old footage running constantly on our living room TV and every time I walk his pre-school face looking at his baby face on the TV, I want to cry thinking of just how fast it actually goes. Everyone said so, and I just didn’t believe it was true.

Ugh…… I’ve had the Holiday DVD menu playing on repeat in the background while I’ve been writing this post, and now that the theme music has finally gotten to me, I’m sitting here crying all over my keyboard. CRY.ing! For the love of all…… maybe if I dance it out to the Killers like Cameron Diaz did in the cottage scene, I’ll get over myself.

Kids are asleep… husband is at Wing Night with the boys… Heart is full…Play Movie… and now to unwind…

Fabric Book Slings

I was Pinterlust Pinterist-ing before bed the other night when I came across these hanging fabric book slings on Ohdeedoh

That’s when I had one of those, “I can make that” moments and immediately plunged head first into my fabric scrap basket to see if there was any worthwhile yardage I could convert into book slings for Salem’s room. My kids are big book lovers. We have stacks upon stacks of books in every room of the house, and last week when I found Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance between my bed sheets, I vowed then and there to do something about the overgrowth of story books in our house. And then a sudden stroke of genius.

What do you get when you rip the stuffing out of the top of old crib bumpers?

Recycled fabric book slings

{You may be wondering why a fabric book sling is hanging from my kitchen window. The truth is that I have yet to learn my way around power tools. I know. It’s embarrassing. My handy-man-with-a-plan is at work today, and I was too impatient to see the finished product, so I opted for a pre-hung curtain rod. The good news is, no children were harmed in the making of this blog post.}

Back in 2008, I was so inspired by this Michael Miller fabric, that I designed Salem’s entire nursery around it.

I have never been a huge fan of “baby”-ish nurseries, so I went with a theme that perhaps could grow with him into his toddler and pre-school years. Three years later, I’m still in love with the color scheme and the guitar print, so I am thrilled that I can re-use his crib bumpers as book slings and hang them around his bedroom/playroom.

Last night, Clark put together Salem’s big boy bed from IKEA and he didn’t hurl any obscenities in the process… not one. If you’ve ever tried to assemble a piece of  profanity-inducing furniture from IKEA you can attest, that is the ultimate test of one’s character. I’m pretty sure when Mia brings home the man she wants to marry, we will first make him assemble a BESTA with nothing but a phillips head as we drill him with questions about his family values and personal history. Just kidding. Not really.

Last night was Salem’s very first night in his official big boy bed. {Tear tear…. sniff sniff}. At least I can hang on to his baby years a little while longer with his crib bumper book slings.

His toddler room is a work in progress, so I’ll be sure to update with more images soon. In the meantime, I am off to fish more books out from inside the laundry basket, underneath the dishwasher, and behind the toilet. I wish I was kidding.

Coffee House Humor

While I was sitting in a local cafe this afternoon sipping my Counter Culture coffee, this subtle message to parents caught my eye and gave me a chuckle.

20111115-174202.jpg

Just a little local humor for your Tuesday commute.

Sticky Buns and Big Boy Beds

Do you live near an IKEA? I have been blessed to live within 10 minutes of one in the last two cities that I have called home. As part of Operation: Big Boy Bed, we decided to skip the toddler bed altogether and opt for a Twin which meant a trip to IKEA for the very best in cheap furniture that Sweden has to offer. And for Heaven’s sake, why does the entire store smells like sticky buns? I was not only fighting the most intense sugar craving of my life this morning, but I soon discovered that the furniture and textiles aren’t the only things that are cheap. The shopping carts have no power steering, therefore making it impossible to push in a straight line. I literally had to steer my kids at a 45 degree angle just to keep them on the center aisle. Note: IKEA shopping carts are not for the faint of heart. I was sweating by the time we reached the check-out counter. That explains the sticky buns. Sweat while you shop and then reward yourself with sweets. Those Swedes, I tell ya. Brilliant marketeers.

 All of the stars must be aligned today because my little ones were complete angels in the store….

…which allowed me to take my time and notice a few things I’d like to gift to myself this Christmas. {Which let’s face it, won’t happen, but a mom can dream right?}

TROLLSTA Tray Table— $99

KOTTEBO Basket— $16.99

VURM Wine Rack— $9.99
{Now believe it or not, we are not big wine drinkers. I’m thinking of mounting these up in my craft room and using them to sort my yarn. Perhaps that will keep Mia out of my knitting basket once and for all!

IDGRAN slippers— $12.99

ASELE silver table lamp— $44.99

…which oddly enough looks much like this Isabella lamp I’ve been drooling over for $275 a pop!

And finally…

VILSUHLT Picture, London Bus— $49.99
Every time I go to IKEA, I pay a visit to my favorite print and promise to one day bring it home and give it a name. I don’t even know where I would put it, but it is London-inspired and therefore welcomed as part of the family.

And after all that, I managed to come home with this…

Sure, it doesn’t look very inspiring now, but just you wait. Operation: Big Boy Bed will end in sweet victory.

Sweet like sticky buns…sweet.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

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