Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday and cheers to the last Friday I’m in Love post of 2014! How is it possible that this year is almost over?! This week I’m loving ALL OF THE THINGS Christmas.

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Kenley had pajama day yesterday at school. There is nothing better than wearing pajamas all day, especially Christmas ones!

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Christmas cards! Getting the mail is the MOST fun during the month of December. I love seeing all these beautiful faces all month long.

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I am officially hooked on the Serial podcast! I was home sick this week (which was not so fun) so I literally laid around all day and listened. I am up to episode 7 and I am already plotting when I will be able to listen next. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out here. It’s so good!

What are you loving this week?

Don’t forget to head over to see what these other lovely ladies are loving too!
Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura

diy Christmas ornaments + decor

pinterest christmas diy

This week I’m sharing a hodge podge of different little crafts I did to decorate this season. You know how much I love to make ornaments, so I continued that tradition this year. After finding this adorable fabric scrap ornament, I dug up a pack of styrofoam balls that I had purchased way back for probably a very good reason, which I cannot remember now. I also had a little bit of scrap fabric left over from my Christmas garland I made last year, so this project was a freebie! I started with the ribbon and a stick pin so I could hang my ornament. I then cut the fabric into (approximately) one inch squares and started poking them into the styrofoam ball. The fabric stuck on its own, so I didn’t need any pins. I would imagine you could use any tool that has a sharp point. I ended up using a this little cleaning gadget that came with my sewing machine. I love how it turned out and I definitely want to make more in the future.

diy ornaments

diy ornaments

The other ornament I made this year was Crosby’s birth announcement ornament! Misha also made one for Eloise and did a little tutorial on it, so check that out here!

diy ornaments

This year I felt like I needed more festive decor for our TV unit in the family room. I had my eye on these waterless snow globes and felt like they would be perfect. I picked up a few extra Ball jars at Jo-Ann Fabrics (they also make smooth edge jars too!), as well as the fake snow. I found the trees on Amazon for $12. The small globes are candle votives that weren’t getting used in the house, so I decided to use them. I used the flat lids of two other Ball jars and attached them to the votives with spray adhesive. They look great from a distance, but not the best up close. I should have spray painted the lids white, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. They look great where they are!

diy christmas decor

Along with the snow globes, made a little festive vase. The (p)inspiration came from these JOY bottles and I just modified it a little bit. If Santa were to bring me a Cricut machine for Christmas, you will probably be seeing these JOY bottles again next year. For this project, I used one of the many frappucino bottles I have tucked away and painted it with the frosted glass spray paint. I put three rubber bands around the bottom of the bottle to make three stripes. I filled the bottom of the bottle with fake snow and put in two stem of cranberries.

diy christmas decor

Thanks for keeping up with our Pinterest Christmas projects this season. For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

2014 OUC Half Marathon {Race Recap}

I completed my third half marathon and second OUC half marathon on Saturday, December 6th. This particular race was my first half marathon back in 2012 after Kenley’s first birthday. It only seemed fitting to run it again this year after Crosby’s first birthday. At the time I registered, I didn’t realize I was going to get bitten by the race bug. I snuck in the Inaugural Lake Nona 13.1 at the end of October and I have already registered for two more for 2015. Going into this race, I was feeling pretty confident since I had just ran 13.1 miles six week prior. I had continued running with Kayla and our goal was to beat our Lake Nona time which was 2:30:27.

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It was a late start time of 7:30am, so I didn’t get up until 5am. Kayla picked me up and we headed downtown. During our drive, it was raining, so we were hoping that it would pass and that the roads would dry quickly. By the time we were in place at the start line, the rain had stopped and the sun had been up for a while. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but it was pretty warm. Two other gals from the MRTT running group decided to run with us on race day.

The race started and we made our way up to the start line. We kept with our plan to run intervals of 4 minutes, then walk for 1 minute. It’s always weird stopping so early in the race to walk especially when adrenaline is pumping and the streets are crowded with people. We made our way to the edge and got into our groove, alternating running and walking. The first few miles were very crowded so I was concentrating on not running into someone while also concentrating on not falling on the cobblestone roads. Our 5K time was 36:18, we were running around an 11:41/mile pace which was right on target. It was getting hot, so I was consistently drinking out of my Camelbak which had five packets of Cocogo in it (lemon lime). Around the 5 mile mark and about 45 minutes into our run, I had a GU (chocolate peanut butter). I’ve only recently started using these during longer runs and I do like them. I wasn’t very hungry at this point, but I knew that I probably needed it. It was only getting hotter as the morning went on.

We kept going and were making good time. Our 10K time was 1:12 and we were averaging 11:38/mile. I was feeling pretty good, but knew we still hadn’t made it to the halfway point yet. Each time we passed a mile marker, I felt like the miles were flying by. All of a sudden, we were at mile 7, then mile 8. Then, it started to get harder. Real hard. As we were passing Mills Market, the road conditions were less than ideal. My legs were feeling it from the cobblestone and it was downright hot and humid. I kept going on my Cocogo/water in my Camelbak. Our 15K time was 1:48, averaging 11:37/mile. We were definitely still on pace at this point. Kayla, Sandy, and I were still together, but Alyssa had dropped back a little bit. We passed a house that was handing out shots of beer. Part of me wanted one so bad but as we passed, the smell made my stomach churn. We decided to stop at the porta potty right around Lake Davis so Kayla could go potty real quick. I hopped up on the curb to stretch my legs and I couldn’t believe how tight my calves were. At this point, it was around 9:15am and the sun was just beating down on us. Did I mention how hot it was? As we started running again (up a hill, I may add), I could NOT believe we still have 3+ more miles to go. I had no idea what had happened, but I hit a wall. I knew I should have taken my second GU at this point, but I didn’t think I could stomach it.

We started walking a little more than our one minute interval called for and our pace slowed down. The three of us were discussing what we should do at this point. I wanted to keep running 4 minute intervals, but I knew I couldn’t keep our current pace, so I slowed down a little bit. As I kept running, I kept an eye on Kayla and Sandy who were a few feet back, but around the 11 mile mark, I looked back and I didn’t see them. My goal at this point was to just make it through 4 minute of running, then I could get a little break. Then the next four minutes, and so on. At some point, Greg had sent me a text saying they were on Rosalind Street and they would see me towards the end. I had NO concept of where we were at this point, so every street coming up I was so hopeful it was Rosalind. It wasn’t. The race atmosphere started to pick up a little bit around mile 12, so I was determined to finish strong as strong as I could. I started walking only 30 seconds instead of a full minute and I skipped a walk break entirely because I knew I would be seeing Greg and the kids soon.

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Finally, I saw Lake Eola and knew I was close. As I approached Rosalind I ran over to Greg and the kids. Kenley looked so confused about what was going on. I gave him my Camelbak because it was near empty at this point and there was no need for it. He asked if I was ok and I almost started crying. I could see the finish line on the other side of the lake, but I really didn’t want to keep going. Obviously, I wasn’t going to stop, but it did cross my mind. I had two right turns left to make and I was off. I ran past a couple and the girl shouted that she had just gotten engaged (!!) so, of course, I almost started crying again. One more right turn and there it was….the finish line!

My official time was 2:33:57. I missed my goal by four minutes.
After running Lake Nona, the OUC race is a more challenging course. The cobblestone roads and the rolling hills were very tough on my body. I use the term “hills” loosely, but I felt them nonetheless. The later start time was also a factor, especially since it was abnormally hot and humid for the first weekend of December. It was draining, both physically and mentally. My feet, ankles, calves, quads, and shoulders hurt for a couple days following the race.

2014 ouc splits

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At the end of the day, I ran my third half marathon and I am so proud of that accomplishment. This has been my toughest race to date and there were lessons learned.
Now, it’s time to get ready for Celebration, we WILL beat 2:30!

my weekend in photos

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thursday night i headed down to west elm for my second meet + make! it was great to see heather there too!

greg worked late on friday, so i ended up watching miracle on 34th street by the light of the tree.
i also wrapped some presents and stayed up way too late.

our advent calendar activity for saturday was to make & decorate cookies.
by cookies, i mean that i made a batch and we only decorated one.
and kenley also enjoyed some hot chocolate (or chocolate milk as she called it)
which was our activity we missed on wednesday.
regardless, she was thrilled.

greg and i snuck out of the house for a date night on saturday night and attended a surprise birthday party!

his first attempt at a spoon today.

i went to the mrtt holiday party today and our tree gained a new ornament. i love it.

just look at those boys. the cutest.
#kenleyandthepineappledress

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we had a great weekend! how was yours?

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday!

o n e

The Elf on the Shelf. I know there are a lot of haters out there towards the poor little elf, but Sprinkles is part of our family now. Sprinkles isn’t into all those crazy antics that you see on Pinterest. Kenley is happy just finding him in a new spot each morning, and I will relish in that as long as I can. In defense of the elf tradition, I really enjoyed this article this week.

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Sidenote: I’m also loving my JOY decor that I got on sale!

t w o

The weather this week has been amazing! It’s sometimes hard to get into the true holiday spirit when it’s 80+ degrees out, but this week it’s been in the 40s in the morning and 60s by the afternoon. I’ll take it since Christmas is less than two weeks away!

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Related to number two… I’ve been loving my new puffy vest this week. I forced myself not to buy black or grey and went with the mint color vest and I’m so happy I did. It’s very cheerful, if I do say so myself.

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First, if you haven’t seen Taylor’s Blank Space video, then you must watch it. It’s pretty amazing and I watch it on the reg. After you watch that, my favorite moms are back with yet another amazing parody.

f i v e

I attended my second Meet + Make with Sarah Hearts last night at West Elm. Of course it’s always fun to get out of the house with the girls, but hanging out with a lot of other crafty ladies is even better! We made an adorable monogrammed platter, perfect for the holidays!

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What are you loving this week?!

Don’t forget to head over to see what these other lovely ladies are loving too!
Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura

diy gift wrap cart

pinterest christmas diy

Leading up to Christmas, I had been wanting to get my gift wrapping essentials in order and under control. They were all thrown into our “junk room” and were in complete disarray. I would have loved to have a dedicated space in the house for gift wrapping, but I knew it probably wasn’t feasible, nor the smartest use of space since most of my gift wrapping happens in the last three months of the year. The inspiration for the gift wrap cart came from Pinterest, of course, and Ana White. I also found a similar cart sold at Crate & Barrel this season!

Greg had the day off on Friday, so he got to work on this project for me. He says that his way of relaxing and enjoying a day to himself is by building things in the peace and quiet, so I take full advantage of this! He followed the supplies list and instructions from Ana White and put it all together without any problems. Since he put it together, he has thought of some things that he would have done differently in the process.

diy gift wrap cart

 diy gift wrap cart

diy gift wrap cart

The top tray holds my scissors, tape, pen, and gift tags. The middle shelf holds the smaller gift bags, as well as tissue paper; and the bottom shelf has boxes and bows. Eventually, I may have him put another hook on the opposite side if I keep acquiring more gift bags.

diy gift wrap cart

I plan to keep the cart in our office, so I can swap out the holiday gift wrap for birthday and seasonal gift wrap during the year and have everything at my fingertips if I need it. You know how much I love organization, so now that this area is organized, I am thrilled!

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

my weekend in photos

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saturday morning started with my third half marathon downtown. as always, a full race recap is coming, but i will tell you it was a very challenging day.

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we walked around lake eola after the race. it was beautiful.

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after nap time, we headed back down to lake eola to celebrate fenn’s 3rd birthday! kenley had a great time seeing her friends.

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after the party, we headed down to disney to see my parents. we walked over to the swan & dolphin to check out the christmas festivities.

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we loved seeing mema and grandpa this weekend!

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i have no idea how i was able to squat down at this point.

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it started snowing by the giant christmas tree and the kids loved it! kenley also loved the train circling the tree that was carrying anna, elsa, and olaf.

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pointing at the snow!

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we took the ferry over to dinner where i enjoyed jumbo crab cakes and ice, cold beer which i had been craving all day.

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our advent calendar activities this weekend included driving around to see the christmas lights and making a gingerbread house! it was so fun.

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we had a busy weekend, but a fun one! how was your weekend?