Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Season at the Caldwell's

Once again it has been a whirlwind of a holiday season and Christmas is less than a week away! I feel like when I was younger the month of December went by a lot slower and Christmas day couldn't come soon enough. Now I'm on the other end and I could use at least another week to actually get to enjoy the season and finish everything I need to do!

Since we moved into the house the 1st of December I spent most of one afternoon the next week putting up the Christmas decorations for us to enjoy even though the rest of the house was barely in order. The only thing we didn't get to this year was putting up outside lights. Oh well, there's always next year. Our house will be pretty bare once Christmas is over since that is pretty much the only things is our front room and decoration for the kitchen.

So let's get to the little Christmas "tour" around our house starting with our tree.

 Most of you know Eric and I both grew up with real Christmas tree's and have continued that tradition since we've been married. The last 2 years we've been able to keep this tradition alive thanks to Eric's grandparents who found and cut us a tree down while they were getting their's and then brought it to us. They're pretty much amazing for doing this and we got a beautiful tree this year! I especially liked that we were able to keep the tree tall this year.

There's nothing like a real tree right in your living room :)

And for the rest...

I'm looking forward to the coming Christmas's in the house. I'm sure each year will be added upon :)

To finish I'm sharing this year's family Christmas card.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday's so far!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ikea Dining Table Makeover

This post has been a lot time coming. I started this project back in August and this is about as simple and easy as a project gets, but one thing led to another and I ended up doing each step about every other week and then didn't want to showcase the final product with moving boxes in the background in a dark basement apartment.

Just about every poor, newly married couple I know has this dining set from Ikea. When Eric and I got married we found this set on KSL for $40. For being poor it was a great little table, but one thing I never liked about it was that there was never enough room for more then 4 people and no extra for the food once you get all the plates on it. With a growing family and our love to entertain I wanted something bigger. After looking at new dining sets I came to terms with it not being in our budget to get a new one so I decided to give our current table a makeover as well as make it bigger.

My inspiration came from all the farmhouse tables floating around pinterest and many DIY blogs. I figured this would also be a great way to make my table larger in width and length.

The first step was to take off the table top by just unscrewing it from underneath. Then I lightly sanded the base of the table and painted it white. I did the same with the 4 chairs, expect I used a spray primer and paint.

For the table top I used 2x6's cut down to my desired length. I used six of those on the table going across. (If anyone wants actually measurements I'd be happy to give it you.) For the wood planks I first sanded them down and rounded the edges of each. Then I primed them with a dark walnut stain. After the stain was dry I lightly sanded the wood planks again on the edges to give a distressed look. This is where I really started liking the result! Lastly, I did 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic (water-based) to protect the wood from spills and general wear.

To assemble the wood planks I used my handy-dandy husband (thanks hun!) to screw them all together with 1x3s and then attached the whole thing to the table.

There is SO much more room on the table now and room for two chair at the end making it a table for 6 people! I got these upholstered end chairs from Target to finish it off.

The updated dining set looks great in our new dining room!

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Happenings Since the Last Posting

Has it really been over a month since my last post! I feel like only a week has gone by although a lot has happened since October...a whole lot! So just a warning now this could be a rather long post, but I'm planning on getting back on the blogging wagon so here we go...

We started off November 1st by closing on our house! It was an exciting yet uneventful day considering we wouldn't be moving into the house for another month. We did the whole process of buying the house without a Realtor on either end and for the most part I would say it was a good experience for our first house. The seller was great to work with and we were able to work everything out between us where we were both happy.

I spent the next couple of weeks packing our apartment along with finishing some of my online classes. A huge thanks to my mom who came out for a week and helped with the girls while I did this! During that time Mia got her first haircut at a salon. She was very nervous because there was a guy who cut her hair and she is in that stage where she is very shy of men. After a few suckers she warmed up to him a little and the end result was super cute!

Also within the month of November Livy started sitting up all by herself and eating real food. There hasn't really been anything yet that she hasn't liked. My baby is growing up! Not crawling yet, but I don't mind all that much.

So after getting everything packed and cleaned that I could we left for Oregon the last week of November to spend Thanksgiving with Sara and her family. We lucked out of having to make the long drive that we originally were planning to make since Eric had enough flying mile for us all to fly for free as well as a free car rental. (The perks of having a husband that travels a lot.) With the last couple of weeks being so crazy this was the perfect break before our big move. We had so much fun in Oregon and getting to spend time with Sara, Collin and Addie. We really miss having them so close by.

My parents and two brothers drove up on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the next day we all went into Portland to go to the Zoo and have lunch in downton Portland at the vendor's food carts. Before going to the zoo we asked Mia what animal she wanted to see. She said a pig. Sadly there were no pigs but she still had a good time seeing all the other animals. She wanted to pet all of them.

After lunch at the vendor's we split up while some of the adults went to Powell's bookstore and we took the kids to get some ice cream at a yummy place called "Salt and Straws". It was a fun and relaxing trip with the family and nice to get the kids out on such a beautiful, sunny day.

Sara and I had a good time preparing for Thanksgiving as we shopped and cooked. We also enjoyed a nice girls lunch out in Newberg while we chatting about plans of starting up a blog together after the new year. :)

Thanksgiving was a huge success. We decided to try some new side dishes and all of them were SO yummy. Definitely keepers! To save on the stress of clean up on Thanksgiving we did all plastic wear but it still looked fancy once the whole table was put together. I would highly recommend this to anyone!

We flew home Friday afternoon and got home just in time to put the girls to bed and finished getting ready to move the next morning. Needless to say Saturday was a long and busy day of moving out of one place and into a new one. We had a lot of help on both ends which we were super grateful for, especially Eric's family coming out to help. I was sad to leave behind newly made friends and a ward we felt a part of, but it's so exciting to be in a house that is actually ours and I know this is where our family is suppose to be and I feel like we've moved into a great neighborhood and ward!

It's been a week since we've moved in and so far we LOVE it! Mia has barely bothered me at all since moving in as she is so entertained with all the new space to explore and room to play as well as having window's to look out of. I've been worked in getting us all settled in this week (Christmas decorations included) and only have a few more boxes to go! Life is sweet!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Caldwell family!

I'll admit I'm not much of a Halloween fan so I've been dragging my feet getting costumes together for the girls, but after choosing a direction I wanted to go it came together to make one, darn cute Tinker Bell and little minion.

Livy's costume took no effort at all, which is exactly what I wanted. I just used this minion hat that I made Mia when she was a baby and put her in some overalls. Done! For Mia I had gotten this Tinker Bell outfit at Goodwill while I was in Oregon. Add some wings, tights and shoes with pom poms and it turned into the cutest thing. Not to mention Mia LOVED it!

For the shoes I just cut the pom poms off the top of some Santa Clause hats we had lying around and sewed them to some shoes she already had. It totally completed the outfit! It also worked out that Mia's hair is finally long enough to put up in a little bun.

Tonight we had a fun time taking Mia trick-or-treating. We went with a friend around the neighborhood. It was so stinking cute watching Mia and her little friend, Emma hold hands and walk up to the doors to get candy. 

Eric and I are now enjoying our night eating her "goods" now that she is in bed :)

Lastly, all Halloween things aside...Happy Nevada Day! Growing up in Nevada we always got the day of Halloween off to celebrate the day Nevada becoming a state. Most people see Nevada as a dry, ugly desert and pretty much recognize Las Vegas as it's only city, but when I think of Nevada I think of home, small towns, many adventures in the surrounding mountains/hills and family.

So to celebrate here's Nevada's state song sung by the Killers :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Playing, Giggles and Crafts

That pretty much sums up our last couple of weeks with the girls. But here are a few updates on these cuties anyway :)

Mia is always up to something and keeps me laughing now that she is talking more. She is constantly coming up to me pretending to be someone whether it's Tinker Bell, Cinderella, a rhino, King or whoever comes to her mind. She LOVES to sing. We are always singing and dancing, especially in the car. Mia also still loves books. We go to the library every week for story time and we always come home with at least 8 books to read. Speaking of books from the library, I have been trying to get books about Halloween to prepare Mia on what is it all about. We have further prepared in going to Cornbelly's a couple times as well as doing some Halloween crafts. Today we made these cute ghosts. I just cut a ghost shape out of card stock and Mia glued on cotton balls and the eyes and mouth. Its was a fun little craft perfect for toddlers.

Mia also painted some little pumpkins that we got. She has been carrying them all over the house with her. 

Mia's favorite thing at Cornbellys was this slide and after going down a couple times on our laps she wanted to try it on her own. She's our little thrill seeker.

Livy is my little sweet pea. As was with Mia, one of my favorite things is getting Livy in the mornings when she wakes up. She is so happy to see Mia and I. Livy is also SO close to sitting up. She sat all by herself today for 5 minutes without toppling over. She also finished her first jar of baby food this beans and she loved it! I can't believe she is almost 6 months old. That first year really flies by so very fast! She'll be one before I know it!

Livy has so much fun in her bouncer. She will spend a good hour or so just bouncing.

And as usual, I am still loving watching these two together. Mia is always making Livy laugh and Livy is always watching Mia play with wide eyes. You can tell she is very eager to jump in there and start playing princesses too.

Life is sweet :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trippin' to Oregon

So Oregon...I loved it! This trip won't have been possible without a free flight and babysitter all provided by my much loved husband. Everyone asked is Eric was nervous, but this wasn't his first time with the girls alone plus I knew they were in great hands!

My mom and I left for Oregon on a Wednesday afternoon and got to stay until Sunday. We joked that after spending the 3 days exploring we needed another day or two to hang out at the house and do some projects. As always we had way more planned that we were able to accomplish, but regardless I think we made the most of our trip! My favorite things included

1. Getting to see my sister and her cute family!

2. Taking the MAX into Portland and doing what girls do! My favorite place was our 3 hours spent at Powell's Bookstore, which is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. We would have spent longer in there expect we were buying too many books and didn't want to carry them all around Portland with us. We also had lunch at a huge block full of food carts. There were so many things to choose from and it all looked so good!

We also stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts that has been features on a couple food network TV shows. Mmmmm :)

3. Our sunny day at the coast. We were expecting a chilly day, but it couldn't have turned out more perfect. While at the coast we stopped at a lighthouse and had lunch at a restaurant looking out on the beach.

4. Tillmock Cheese Factory. If you want amazing ice cream in 30+ flavors in a delicious waffle cone then this is the place to go! SO so good! They also have a Tillmock smoke house up the street where you can buy really good jerky too. (This is where I got Eric's "thank you" gift for watching the girls and letting me have a little break.)

Sorry no pictures of this. We were too busy eating ice cream :)

5. Lastly, being able to go on this trip with my Mom. Usually she's the one watching our kids so Eric and I can go on trips so this will be something I got to share with her that I will always treasure!

Even coming back home and getting sick and Livy not sleeping well I didn't mind at all! It's amazing what a little break can do with helping you be a more patient and better mom! I can't wait to go back for Thanksgiving with Eric and the girls!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Favorite Finds #3

It's been awhile since I've done my favorite finds so I have a few good one's saved up! Check them out!...

1. Arizona Super Skinny Jeans from JcPenny's. I've never though skinny jeans were an option for me before. They never felt comfortable and I always had to go at least a size or 2 up to just get into them. My sister tipped me off about these. Not only are these the first skinny's I've tried on that are so comfortable, but I actually went down a size to have them fit better! They are also not super low rise which I love especially after having 2 kids. And lastly my most favorite parts are they come in multiple colors (I've bought 3 pairs already) and are only $19.99!

2. Our Best Bites: Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos. Need I say more, expect that they are simple and am-a-zing!

3. Come to me by Goo Goo Dolls. There is something about this song that I love and might have had it on repeat for the whole time I was typing this post.

4. Girl only Vacations! So this is one of those "not really a new discovery" finds but after a trip with my mom to Oregon to hang out with my sister last week it helped me remember how much I love them! Needless to say the trip couldn't have been more perfect and it was nice to have a little break to come home and remember why I love being a mom.

Just waiting for the rest of the pictures from our trip from my sister and then I'll update everyone about Oregon :)

Have a great weekend!
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