Dec 21, 2012

Snow Day

Back in October I had this brilliant idea - I was going to organize a trip up to the high country, to see the snow, ride the Polar Express, visit with Santa, walk through a Reindeer park and, most importantly, to go sledding. Yep, I was going to plan all this plus I was going to keep it a complete surprise from the kids! Well, Chase figured out that we were going to the mountains earlier this week and I asked him to keep it a secret (which he did, the little sweetheart)  but Alaina had no idea what I had planned and just how many people were in on it until we were on the highway and nearing Flagstaff. 

On Wednesday morning, Alaina and I went into school together and on the way into her class she was kind of whining about all of the fun things that Chase's preschool always had planned. (I even heard a few 'it's not fair!') I worked for a few hours at school, told her not to worry that I'd think of something fun to do and I'd be back for lunch. Little did she know, I had already packed a suitcase, all of our snow stuff, a basket of snacks for the kids, printed off directions and hotel info and had thrown it all into the back of the truck. (Have I mentioned how much I love that Alaina is completely oblivious to everything around her, I think she actually had to step over the suitcase that morning to get into my closet and she never thought twice about it. -  It sure makes surprising her really easy!) After running a few last minute errands, Peter, Chase and I went back to her school to pick her up and head up North. I walked into her class, told her to grab her backpack and that I had thought of something fun to do after all! 

 She screamed when she realized we were going up to the snow, "I've never seen snow in my real-life!"  Jumped up and down when she saw that we were going to ride on the Polar Express Train, told Santa that all she wanted for Christmas was a sleigh bell from one of his reindeer's (which Santa gave her on the train ride). She fed lots of deer and even a camel named Gracie! Chase meanwhile was awestruck and his usual quiet self, except when it came to sledding - I've never seen him smile so big or scream so much!

Best "last-minute" mini vacation ever. Enjoy the photos, xo ~ Tara

Dec 12, 2012

a hazy shade of Winter

Want to see one of my favorite color combinations right now? :)

I'm not much of a purple kind of girl. I like it but I never seem to use the color in any of my work and it's not a color that I wear..... but this combination reminds me of Winter and January. What do you say, thumbs up or down to Purple?

 I have a girls day planned for Grandma and myself tomorrow, I think I may try to pick out something in an amethyst or lilac shade.... even if it's only a sheet of paper. I'm always up for a color challenge! 

xo ~ T

Dec 11, 2012

a Phoenix Winter

It's easy to forget that it's mid December when you live in the desert. Mother Nature seems to skip over us each year and instead of bringing snowy grey days, we get clear skies and lots of flowers. I can't really complain about either! The Great Grandparents are visiting this week from Washington (another reason to love the desert in the Winter time - everyone wants to come visit!) and on Sunday we went down to their Hotel (this particular Sheraton is one of my favorite places to stay in Scottsdale the grounds are gorgeous!) to hang out with Grandpa Howard and Grandma Judy, soak up a little sun, and take advantage of the pool..... in other words: the recipe for a perfect Sunday afternoon!  

I spent all of last week asking Chase if he knew who was going to come visit us, sometimes it helps to prepare him in advance for changes to his schedule. We also think it helps him to not be so shy and upset.  The first time I asked him, he answered Mickey Mouse?  *Laugh* and then at some point he decided that Grandpa Howard and Grandma Judy were just as good as Mickey & Minnie. He also decided they were coming here to celebrate their birthdays. So, we got to hear him practice his Happy Birthday song for his Great Grandparents for days! :)  


Hope you having a great start to the week! 
xo ~ Tara

Dec 5, 2012

Let it simmer, Home Fragrance recipe

Right now, you are only 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes from having a house that smells absolutely splendid this holiday season! I like to fill a little pot of this mixture put it on the back burner and let it simmer throughout the morning while we're getting ready for the day. About 30 minutes later my home smells warm and spicy just like a home should and that cinnamon smell will linger on into the evening... Yum!

Holiday Home Fragrance

 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
 the peel from one orange
 4 cups water

Combine all ingredients into a medium pot and place on the stove. Let the water come to a boil and then turn down temperature to just a simmer. Remember to check the water level from time to time and fill when necessary. 

I love simple pick me up's like this one and it's one from the 31 Things list I made for the month. The house still smells like cinnamon and orange tonight as Chase and I sit here playing the last game of Bingo before bed time. Now it's off to squeeze in a little scrapbooking time - I really need to get started on that December Journal I had planned! 

Thanks for stopping in tonight! ~ Tara

Dec 1, 2012

Hello December!

I was playing with some color combination ideas late last night, and what better way to start the weekend than with a little color. :) I have plans to wrap and ship out a few Etsy orders, some tidying up of the house (there is Christmas stuff everywhere!), a quick trip to the library this afternoon and playing with paper later on tonight.  Here's to carefree Saturdays!

~ Tara