Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas at our house...

 Good bye Jasper.  I'll see your punk-ass next year.  
 I couldn't resist showing you how I really feel about you!
 Dino liked you too!
How juvenile am I that I set this scenario up while putting the kids presents out?
 A new addition to the tree this year!
 "The stockings were hung.....
 by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."

 These were the mutual gifts : )  (you know, like to share!)
 Lauren's Stash...
 Evan's Stash...
 The calm before the storm!
 Twister Dance Moves!
 Sissy helping Buddy out with this gifts...
 The aftermath!
Those tinker toys were scattered from one end of the house to the other!
 Lauren is helping clean up!
 A new basketball hoop for the basement until spring comes!
(and that will promptly be put outside!)

A sleigh centerpiece for Mom.
Good bye Christmas!  It's been exhausting.
It's been fun but I'll see you around.....same time next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve....

It truly is a Wonderful Life that I am leading.  Thank you for stopping by here every once and awhile and being a part of my life and this little blog of mine.  I appreciate your friendship and support!  Have a fantastic holiday weekend....
Love, T
Clarence said it best:  "Strange isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives.  When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ikea Stockpile...

Is it stockpiling or hoarding?  I have yet to decide.  As crazy as it sounds, I braved IKEA on Tuesday just for tea lights and ligonberries!  (I was in the vicinity of Ikea and I was pit-near down to my last tea light candle) I have a method of parking on the side of Ikea where there are a few parking spots but mostly big signs that say "loading zone" for all those people who are attempting to strap that disposable furniture to the roof of their tiny cars.  I then enter through the exit near the food court and walk over to the big bins near the check out and get what I need and promptly get the hell outta there!  It's been years since I've actually been on the other levels.  This is a good thing.  Ikea has that Target way about them.....I go in for tea lights and ligonberries and leave with $300 worth of stuff that I think I need.
 In my defense, I gave 5 of these away.  (100 candles come in each pack and I got 12 packs)
You can read all about the ligonberry here.  It's a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. We love it in our house.  We use it like jelly but have been known to put it on cereal, ice cream and especially rice pudding this time of year.  My mother has been know to eat a jar in a week.  Some of these are for her!
"Ligonberry jam has been popularized in North America by the well known IKEA superstores where it is sold in large quantities, including buckets."  : )

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elf Gone Wild....

My bestie and I had a little fun with the kids elf, Jasper, while drinking champagne and hanging out and relishing in the glory of the kids being in bed and the hubs travelling for work.  Basically, pretending we were ten years younger.  Man, did we rock it back in the day!  

Remember when you would go home from college over the holiday break and go out every night with all your high school friends at all the local hometown bars? Our favorite bar was called "The Oak."  My bestie Bobbi reminded me of this tonight.  They had the world's best bloody Mary.  The bar had matchbooks they gave away and the cover was purple with a gold oak tree on it.  (I think I still have one in my hoarder box of keepsake things.)  And you could smoke IN the bar people.  Like INSIDE inside.  Not that I ever did such things.

 Jasper, like any little good elf, likes a little nip now and then.
 My cousin Megan calls this one "Plank Position by Elf"!
 I call it passing out on top of the glass!
 This one is called "caught in a bun" on Bern's head....
 Plank on a bun anyone?
 Jasper got caught up in Bern's hair net.  As to why she wears a hair net, well, that's a different post!
Hangin' with my home cheese....
I know this may seem juvenille, immature and ridiculous, but we laughed our asses off at this one.
It's the little things people!
This was my little Jasper surprise last night.  I have far too many Christmas presents for the kids because I started shopping this summer at the peak of garage sale season.  I act like Jasper is helping Santa out and leaving little surprises for them.  I owe this one to my sister.  She is convinced that her kids appreciate a gift or two every few days leading up to Christmas and aren't so overwhelmed at a pile of gifts.  I agree.  Last year Lauren quickly opened up all her gifts in a frenzy and then seemed disappointed and really just wanted to open more gifts instead of checking out her new stuff.  
 So Japser cuddled up inside the sleeping bag he left for Evan and "wore" Lauren's hat.
There is just something about those eyes.  It's like he is looking at you no matter where you are in the room.  I can't decide if it's creepy or cool.  "Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."  Oh Jasper!  You won't tell Santa on us will you?  I keep telling the kids that adults are allowed to touch him and he'll still have his stinkin' magic.  GET A CLUE KIDS!  Mom makes ALL the f'ing magic around here!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Hosting.....

I hosted the Anderson Family Christmas on Saturday.  I prepped all my food/appetizers ahead of time and was organized, inspired and really had my act together.  I was fully prepared to sit back and relax and enjoy the party.  It was a good thought.  But that is not what happened.
Here is the "casual" table for those adults with small children who need assistance and the tweens. The white tablecloth is a vintage favorite of my Grandma Kushman's.  It has a few stains here and there but I adore it.  It's a Christmas treat to pull this out year after year.
Vintage red doily from my first trip to Sweden.  Vintage "Welcome" sign was my mom's from back in the day.  I remember this from my childhood.  The tall glass jar was in my bathroom filled with shells and beach glass and I emptied it for some Christmas balls instead.
The tree and great room before the chaos.
This is my vintage Moravian star that my mom had for a million moons and also a part of all my childhood Christmases.  She gave it to me years ago.  (do you see the pattern here?  She downsized her holidays and I got the goods!) Sadly, the material is literally peeling away from the plastic and it had a funky smell.  I need to get a replacement.  I found them on Amazon for around $29 depending on the size.  I'm hoping for an after holiday sale.
I am obsessed with these vintage Christmas tree balls that I found at a church thrift store for .25 cents a piece!!!  These are in mint condition and strung them all together on fishing line and hung them across the doorway.  These balls would cost a fortune in an antique store.  
I love how they look across the doorway!  I also love how everything is so perfectly set up and prepped.  The sight after the party made me want to lie down in the fetal position and cry.  
This is my new Cheese head nutcracker.  He makes me so happy! 
Here is a photo of our bar setup.  I bet no one even had a drink (besides wine) but this made me very happy to have a full bar!  This is the first time we set up shop in this "butlers pantry" area.  It worked well.  We even put out a pitcher of water here too so when anyone needed to refill their drink we just directed them to the bar.
This was our "elders table" setup.  We pulled out all the fine china which gets used once a year if we lucky.  The teak buffet that you see behind the table is where it is all housed when not in use.  I had to dig through all my other collectibles.  I realize I must stop buying!  I am running out of room!  I might be a hoarder.  I'm an organized hoarder.  That makes it better.
One of my favorite pieces of our fine China (Limoges pattern purchased from auction before we were married) is that gorgeous gravy boat!  The butter "tray" (silver and glass) was Grandma Anderson's.  The tablecloth is from Target but I found it new in the package at Goodwill.  The lace runner is vintage from my mom.  I think she got it from my Great Aunt Ruth's trip to Belguim.  (all these treasures make me so happy!)  So much history!  I don't have any good napkin rings so I used some skinny and glittery bracelets.  I contemplated some lovely red ribbon and a pine cone or something I could find around the house but at this point in the game I went for easy.  My mother in law did a napkin fold called the king's crown and I she showed me how to do it years ago.  These napkins weren't starched so it wouldn't work.
We set up another (plastic) folding table and chairs and continued the fine china.
I pulled out some individual lace doiley and put it over the top of a Santa runner with all my Kosta Boda candles.
This is a little cutesy vignette I set up on the shelves with family photos and Swedish themed items.
Mr. German Santa was a $1.00 find at the thrift village.  He's vintage coolness.
This is another $1.00 thrift village find.  A lovely little Swedish child pulling the bell on a straw heart.
SIGH~ 1968 copyright!  The Night before Christmas book in mint condition by Clement C Moore.  WITH velvet fuzziness on the clothes!  I can't stand it! I paid 99 cents!  They are going for $25 on Amazon!
This is a dark shot but I love how the tree looks.
Then I guess somebody decided to use a flash!  See how dazed and confused I look? 
This is Nathan and his mom Katie.  
Nathan is wearing Hannah Andersson.  
Here's Anna!  Also wearing a matching Hannah outfit to her brothers!
Evan and his buddy Nathan.
Nephew Konrad.  Coolest and nicest kid around.
Check out his cool hair! Way cooler than Justin Bieber's if I do say so myself!
 And now I present to you the photos Lauren took when she took my camera....
 A sippy cup....always a classic.

 The top of the sugar bowl...
 For the love of coffee....
And a kid finger to the left....

I am not sure why all my planning, preparing and organization skills (mad skillzzzzz yo!) did not enable me to relax, sit or enjoy the party.  I got second degree burns on my thumb and forefinger and felt like I was shot out of a cannon.  Hubs felt the same way and he only did half the work.  I sat on the couch the following day in my PJs and drank the leftover wine and wondered what the hell had just happened!  I love my family and love hosting because I feel I'm good at it.  I believe in the saying "love is in the details."  

Things other people probably don't even notice...I NOTICE.  I go the extra mile.  I Nate Berkus and Martha Stewart the shit out of things without spending a fortune.  I do it with love. I do it from the heart.  However, this year I think Mars was in retrograde or something because I was not present and I'm not sure I enjoyed the party.  I think hosting a big party is like birthing a baby:  It takes a year to forget the pain and then you can do it again!!!!!!!!

Luckily my bestie is in the house for the whole week!  We drank wine last night and watched RHBH and Watch what happens Live with Andy Cohen and played the drinking game.  (the word was GLEE!)  It was joyous.  It was a big Christmas present wrapped up in a velvet bow.  We also took photos of Jasper our Elf  on the Shelf.  I'll happily share those photos with you tomorrow!  That woman who writes the blog "People I want to Punch in the Throat" has got nuthin' on me!!!  (But that's a WHOLE other post)  I'm not sure I love her or hate her or want to punch HER in the throat, but one thing I will admit is that I'm jealous of her new found blogger stats and page views and facebook shares.  Like my friend Jen said, "Crazy sells."