A Pinterest Christmas – santa hat brownies & christmas cards

This is the final installment of A Pinterest Christmas, where myself and several other friends and friends-of-friends
across the country are making fun, Pinterest inspired (Pinspired) holiday decorations, treats, and keepsakes!

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The first (p)inspiration this week is Santa hat brownies!

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We needed to take a yummy treat to our annual Christmas Eve open house,
so we scoured Pinterest for fun ideas. Greg was excited about these brownies, so we headed out to get our supplies.

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We opted for the easiest ingredients possible.
Strawberries, brownie mix, and easy frost(ing).

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I was in charge of washing & cutting the strawberries, while Greg baked the brownies.

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We used a 9×9 pan, which turned out to be a great little round bite for the brownies.
With no round cookies cutters available, we had to get creative.
We ended up using a toothpick holder to make the round bites.

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The Easy Frost was just as advertised… super easy.
We frosted the brownie and put the strawberry on top, then topped off the top of the Santa hat.

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They turned out very well, but here are a few tips:
Allow the brownies to cool FULLY. We got a little anxious, so the icing melted a little bit.
We ended up sticking them in the fridge to help harden up the icing.

Once you wash & cut the strawberries, put them on a paper towel to dry them.
Along with not allowing the brownies to cool, the damp strawberries were sliding all over the place.

Having a cookie cutter would be much easier than using a toothpick holder,
but I think we get an “A” for effort, right?

I think they were a hit at the party. If nothing else, they were sure cute!

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The next two (p)inspirations are related to the many
Christmas cards we received from our amazing friends.

Cabinet Christmas card display:

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I opted to use painter’s tape on the other side of my cabinet to affix the ribbon,
because I do not think anyone will be looking at the inside of my cabinets;
and I will still be able to save the ribbon for next year.

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I found this ribbon at Target early this season.
I originally used it for a bow at the top of our Christmas tree,
but I was happy to be able to reuse it!
I also looked for it the next time I was at Target, so I could stock up,
because, everyone knows how much I love chevron. But… no luck, they were out.

Maggi also created another version of this (p)inspiration on her pantry door!

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The second Christmas card (p)inspiration comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley Ann.
I had every intention of doing this last year, but somehow in the midst of having a 2 month old,
it slipped my mind and by the time I remembered, I had tossed all of our Christmas cards. Drats.

I knew I would not forget this year, especially once I saw it floating around Pinterest.

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Um, hello! Genius!
Create your contact photos from their holiday cards!
Need I say more?

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I hope you enjoyed A Pinterest Christmas series this season.
Next year, we have already vowed to get a head start on our projects!
If you missed any projects this year, here is a rundown of what you may have missed:

DIY Pom Pom Wreaths
DIY Ornaments
DIY Yarn Trees
mistle toes

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts who participated in A Pinterest Christmas this season.

Amanda @ Without a Doubt
Sally @ Chacha and Mogo
Michelle @ this grey house
Misha @ emerald city diaries
Maggi @ Greg, Maggi & Rodney
Abbi @ The Peña Family

my christmas vacation in photos

since i haven’t had the slightest idea what day it has been for the last week,
i figured this would be a good way to recap our christmas vacation.
have no fear, the my weekend in photos series will continue next year.

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first happy meal at the airport!

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we headed to indiana in the middle of a snow storm after an hour and a half delay.
overall, kenley was so so good. and slept in the most awkward position on the flight.

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she was slightly confused to find a dog when she woke up the next morning.

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trying to stay warm with temperatures in the high 20s.

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check out that snow outside!

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we were able to meet brittney, patrick & will for lunch!
brittney and i have been friends since birth, so it was fun to see our babies together.
it was also will’s first birthday!

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katie & ashton were able to come play too!

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kenley and ashton are about three weeks apart,
and played together so nicely.

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it was fun to watch kenley open presents even though she wasn’t entirely sure what was going on.

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michael, rachel & arie

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we were so thankful that the peña’s braved the weather to come down to visit.
kp, jack & kenley… nothing but trouble!

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besties.

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cozy on the couch, all snuggled up, home for the holidays.

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reading my christmas gift on the way to the airport that inspired us to get to work when we got home.

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kenley trying to stay occupied on the way to the airport, too.

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yet another awkward sleeping position.

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more christmas presents once we got home to florida!
the little apron kills me.

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kenley and kyler have been enjoying christmas break.

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a trip to homegoods means lunch at which wich! so happy about both.

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and an ikea trip means frozen yogurt!

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four days worth of clean diapers and one cute helper.

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we had a wonderful trip to indiana and a great christmas,
and have enjoyed the extra days off to do several house projects,
which i am anxious to share!

how was your holiday? and weekend? (it is the weekend right?)

A Pinterest Christmas: mistle toes

Merry Christmas!
It’s week four of A Pinterest Christmas, where myself and several other friends and friends-of-friends across the country
are making fun, Pinterest inspired (Pinspired) holiday decorations, treats, and keepsakes!

pinterest christmas logo

I really enjoy making homemade gifts and I wish I would do it more.
Time is always an issue and homemade gifts are not always conducive for packing in a suitcase
to travel here or there for the holidays.
Last year, I put together a sundae kit for our neighbors and their kids.

With that being said, here is this week’s (p)inspiration:

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As soon as I saw this, I knew it would be perfect for the ladies in my office.
Of course, I waited until the last minute to put them together,
and I was worried they would be time consuming, but much to my surprise, they were not!

I didn’t have the supplies I needed on hand, but I had no issue buying them
because I know I will use them for future projects.
I purchased rubber alphabet stamps, a red ink pad, card stock, and ribbon
from JoAnn’s for around $15 after coupons.
Surprisingly, the ribbon was the most expensive! Thank goodness for a 50% off coupon.
The nail polish was obviously a tad more pricey, but I still chose to get Essie because it’s my favorite.
I cleaned out Target’s selection of red and got two shades: she’s pampered and fishnet stockings.

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I cut one sheet of card stock into four squares and hole punched two holes at the top.
I used wire ribbon, so it was easy to form and look pretty.
Stamp the phrase onto the card stock and put it with the nail polish.
It’s that easy, but also adorable and my coworkers loved it.

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Did you make any homemade gifts this year?
I’m going to make it a goal to do a couple more next year.
What do you think?

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Don’t forget to check out the other lovely ladies’ posts this week in A Pinterest Christmas:

Amanda @ Without a Doubt – Christmas Cards & Wrapping
Sally @ Chacha and Mogo –
Michelle @ this grey house – Sock Vase
Misha @ emerald city diaries – magazine bows & chalkboard art
Maggi @ Greg, Maggi & Rodney – Yarn Trees

14 Months!

14 months really snuck up on us. This past month has been insane.
Aren’t the holidays like that for everyone though?
With that being said, however, we don’t have any 14 month photos,
so you’re stuck with my grainy iPhone photos. Lame, I know.

14 months. Where to begin?
Kenley’s vocabulary has exploded over the past month.
She tries to repeat everything, even if you can’t understand it, she at least will get the right syllables down.
She’s very good at saying “please” and “thank you”, most of the time.
Greg said just the other day how funny it is when you can’t understand what toddlers are saying,
but we totally understand what she is saying 99% of the time.
I’m sure no one else does, but we get it.
She will randomly say words so clear, like apple,
which is her new favorite word. Any fruit other than a “nana” is an “apple”.

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Her latest thing is that she puts her lovie on the back of her neck when she sleeps.
We started noticing it randomly and then Greg watched her get comfy before a nap
and she wouldn’t stop moving until her lovie was in the right spot.
We think it’s because she sleeps with a blanket during nap time at school on her little cot,
so the weight of the blanket is right at her neck line.
She still doesn’t sleep with a blanket at home in her crib. Is that normal?
Should we be putting a blanket in there with her?

Speaking of naps, we are still moving towards one nap a day.
She is becoming less cranky when only napping once, which is definitely a step in the right direction,
but there are also days that she needs a second nap.
The one nap during the day is also getting longer, which is also awesome.

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Kenley can point to her ear, mouth, nose (usually sticking her finger IN her nose),
and most importantly, her belly button (or bee bo, as in the Belly Button book).
She loves lifting her shirt to show off her big belly and her belly button.
So much so, that her teacher made a comment on how much she’s pulling at her belly button.
We are still working on her eyes, head, and hair.

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It has been a little rough in the teething department.
Those back molars are not fun for anyone. We started working on teeth 9, 10, and 11
all at the same time. It seems like she constantly has her fingers shoved back there.
I had no idea how big those teeth were going to be, but dang, they are huge.
No wonder they hurt!

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It’s funny to look back on pictures of the little one when she was bald,
because it seems like she’s had a ton of hair forever…which I know is not true,
but it is just growing so quickly! And there are at least some curls, so that’s good.

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Obviously, the biggest change over the past month was the move into the new house.
I was worried about her, but she’s been a rockstar.
She had zero issues and actually slept better in the new house than she did
the week leading up to the move in the old house.
Greg worked hard to get her room done before we moved in,
to try to make the transition as easy as possible, so hopefully that helped.
I’ll be sharing her new room, hopefully after the start of the new year.
For the first two weeks, she pushed the laundry basket around nonstop,
I guess that was her way of exploring and the tile helps, too.

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I know I say it every month, but this girl keeps getting more fun by the day.
Happy 14 months Kenley girl!

A Pinterest Christmas: DIY Yarn Trees

Welcome back to week three of A Pinterest Christmas!
If you’re new here, myself and several other friends and friends-of-friends across the country are making fun,
Pinterest inspired (Pinspired) holiday decorations, treats, and keepsakes.

pinterest christmas logo

Here is the (p)inspiration:

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The supplies:
Styrofoam cones
Yarn
Pom poms (in various sizes)
Scissors
Pins
Hot glue gun & glue

Start the yarn at the bottom of your tree and have your pins handy.
Once you start wrapping around the bottom, pin the yarn every 2-3 inches to keep it in place.
I do not have a picture of this… fail.
After you’ve wrapped a few times, you can put the pins to the side,
because the yarn should stay in place.
Wrap the yarn around, and around, and around.

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Keep wrapping.

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You can choose to do these trees really any way you’d like.
Michelle went for a more whimsical look, while I did a more sleek look.
My way was a wee bit more time consuming.

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The top of the tree is a bit tricky, and this is where the pins come in handy again.
Wrap the yarn in a circular motion around the top and pin as needed.
Use just enough yarn to cover the top of your tree.
Cut your yarn and pin down the tail end.

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In the original tutorial, she continued to wrap her tree all the way down again,
but we decided to stop at the top and move on to the tree decor.

We used the hot glue gun to attach our little poms to the trees.

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I really love Michelle’s red & white tree and I have a feeling I may be making more of these.
They are super easy and really fun to do.
Even though it took us two separate days to complete them, I promise, they can be quick.

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Have you made any yarn trees? What did you do differently?

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If you’ve missed the last two weeks, check out my wreath and ornaments.
Don’t forget about the other Christmas projects from these awesome ladies:

Amanda @ Without a Doubt – Christmas Tree Forest
Sally @ Chacha and Mogo – A Stocking for Mogo
Michelle @ this grey house – Yarn Trees
Misha @ emerald city diaries – paper tree forest
Maggi @ Greg, Maggi & Rodney – odds & ends
Abbi @ The Peña Family – Yummy Treats

my [long] weekend in photos

Thank you so much for the sweet, congratulatory comments about the half marathon.
Ya’ll are awesome!

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our weekend began on thursday night as we headed to grammy’s house for an early christmas

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kenley and her cousins at grammy camp!

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no smiles from kenley and cullen. can you tell these two are related?

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it was a gorgeous friday & kenley loved strolling on the beach

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mama loved it too!

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kenley loving her present

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the other gilbertson kiddos

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testing out the new wheels on our way to breakfast

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my store!

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adventures in the wagon continued at the beach

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cullen teaching kenley how to play in the sand

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testing the water…which was freezing

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jumping off the dock!

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manatees in the water in the distance

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adventures in the wagon continued. dinner time downtown.

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my favorite niece

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we had a great, early christmas celebration at grammy’s house,
which is one of our favorite traditions.

now it’s time to unpack and repack!

how was your weekend?