Holidays

Pumpkin Patch Visit

Hi there my friends! How are you? I hope you are enjoying Fall. We have had a glorious, sun filled October, so of course, a visit to the local Pumpkin Patch was in order! I captured some shots of Claire among the piles of pumpkins. The autumn light has been so very pretty! Grace, thankfully, jumped into the last one too! (She was very busy visiting with all the animals on location so it was hard to pull her away!) pumpkin5 edit

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"I want this one!"

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After a little hunting, we found four lovely pumpkins. One for each of us. Of course, we also managed to go home with fudge, fresh pumpkin donuts and homemade berry jam. Yum! I didn't grow up going to a Pumpkin patch for Halloween but I'm happy this has become a sweet tradition for our family.

What traditions do you have in your family for this time of year?

Enjoy the rest of the week.

xo,

Ivy

P.S. I am still working on my Brené Brown homework. I will be sharing it with you soon, I promise. By the way, her book = TOTALLY life-changing!

Face painting...

Okay, I had to share all these beautiful painted faces from Grace's b'day party...they are too cute! Such lovely princesses were in attendance! Of course, the birthday princess decided she didn't want her face painted! Perhaps, she felt it would have detracted from her tiara...who knows? I thought it best not to argue with her. She seemed to just love watching her friends have fun.

Her pre-school set up the most gorgeous tea room for her. Unfortunately, I forgot my bounce flash so the photos turned out terrible. So sad. Instead of looking at my blurry photos (I have SO much to learn!) let's take a peek at this gorgeous princess tea party...wow...

Do you have some birthday parties to throw this Spring and Summer? If so, head over to Kara's Party Idea blog for more of these stunning images!

xo,

Party idea images via here.

My pretty Valentine

It's sunny here and so pretty out! The whole city comes to life when Mr. Sun decides to hold court in our Northwestern skies. I love it. To celebrate, I decided a good dose of pretty Valentine pictures were in order. I've been collecting them from all over the internet for my Pinterest board. Enjoy...

Hope the sun is shining in your world too.

xo,

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Valentine's Day Cards

Grace is thoroughly excited that V-day is just around the corner. Everyday she comes home, goes straight to her craft table and draws a million hearts in every shade of the rainbow. As she rushes by me in a blur of pink and white, I ask, "What are you doing?" She puts yet another Valentine day card on the fridge and says over her shoulder, "Mommy, I'm getting ready! Don't you know that it's Valentine's day soon!"

The girl just can't get enough of those hearts.

So, here's what I usually do for the Valentine's day exchange in her classroom...the night before, I drag myself to Walgreens, buy the super commercial Valentine 24 pack , usually with some sort of Disney princess on it...grab a bag of Hershey's kisses and call it a day.

Does it get the job done? Yup.

Is Grace excited about her generic Valentine cards? Yup. (You could put a Disney princess on an old shoe and she'd like it!)

BUT... is this method creative? Does it show that I want to be involved? well....not so much. For a busy mom, this works great...but since I'm not really that busy...I think I could do better right? I mean, I didn't go to four years of art school for nothing. So this year, I have decided that we will be making our Valentine Day cards. Me and Grace. Our little project. So, I'm sure you are wondering what we are doing? Well...right now...I have no idea. So I went on a hunt for inspiration!

I love the idea of cutting out hearts from fabric scraps. The quilting shop near us sells baskets of scraps for just a couple of dollars.

With Grace's cupcake obsession we have no shortage of these liners. A little glue and some pretty hearts and voila! Easy!

I just adore this idea! Get some cute stamps, a black ink pad and a stack of paint swatches! Just ignore the strange looks at Home Depot...

So sweet. I don't have a sewing machine but I think you could tape the edges too. Pretty tape would work even better!

Tracing her hand is one of Grace's favorite things to do so this one would be right up her alley! Nice personal touch.

If you are just not feeling the crafting vibe this year...forgo the store-bought cards for these really cute free printable Valentine's....

Click here for the download link.

Do you have any Valentine traditions? Whatever you do for V-day...have fun and indulge in a little chocolate!

xo,

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Hello my beautiful tree.

After a teary eyed day, picking up all Sydney's toys and cleaning out her food bowl...I needed something pretty to work on...something to cheer me up. On Saturday, Chris brought home the most beautiful tree for us. It's our first real tree! I haven't had one since I was a kid. The whole house smells amazing!

I set to work decorating it...

I kept it super simple using only silver and white ornaments and paper snowflakes. Instead of a star I crowned the tree with sparkling branches.  It was an honor to adorn such a grand tree and I often just sit in the living room and smile up at it. I'm still missing my kitty but this gorgeous house guest brightened my day. Thank you tree.

Have you decorated your tree yet? How did you do it?

xo,

Christmas around the world: Paris

I miss our Vicarious Vacations. Do you? I do love to research new places and although it was hours of work, I miss that feeling of discovery. So...I thought I would start a new little series celebrating the holidays. These journeys won't be as thorough as the VV's, but I couldn't resist hunting down beautiful images of places around the world and how they look at this special time of the year. I asked Grace which city I should begin with and of course she said, "Paris!" Together we perused Flickr, finding the prettiest pictures of Paris during Christmas.

Here's what we found...

The City of Lights certainly doesn't disappoint. It would be truly magical to stroll the Parisian street during Christmas. Maybe one day we will...

Want more? Check out this video tour...featuring some of the elaborate window displays on show this season...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLU_qjTSYbU&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

What is your favorite city at during the holidays?

Hope you have a lovely Monday.

xo,

Photos via Flickr 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

All wrapped up...

To be honest, I'm not the best at wrapping gifts. In fact, I usually let my super perfectionist hubby do it. He has a way with paper and creases...me...not so much. I end up squashing down the ends, slapping some tape on and calling it good.

However - I am a newly evolved, crafty, inspired person compared to the Ivy of Christmas past, SO this year I'm going to really try. Really.

I went on the hunt for inspiration and finding it via this down-under mag comes as no surprise - Aussies are geniuses after all! Look at all the pretties!

Gorgeous right? I can only hope to achieve such results. But hoping is good...

How do you like to wrap up your goodies? Any tricks or tips to share? Trust me I need em'.

xo,

All images via homelife.com.au