The Baby’s Portrait + Ramsign Winner

Do y’all remember back in September when I dolled up the baby for his three year formal portrait?  Well, Mother and I picked it up last week and I am just speechless.  It perfectly captures his precious personality and fleeting innocence, and I can’t help but smile every time I walk past it in the dining room.  We’ve been anxiously saving his spot for three years!

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John’s portrait was done at the very same age, in front of the very same fence, in a very similar outfit (I wanted them to each have one to pass down) three short (but so long in many ways) years ago.  I will treasure these.  Always.

And while I have the baby on my mind, I have to share an exchange from earlier in the week...  While he was cutting paper at the kitchen table (a "job" he takes very seriously and performs so many times a day that it's a wonder I have anything left to write on), I reminded him that we need to clean up the play room before bed.

Photo: On telling Whit we need to go clean up the playroom before bed... "Mommy I very busy and I not a octopus."

To which he replied in his practiced and most authoritative voice "Mommy I very busy and I not a octopus."  And I'm outsmarted by the baby.  Again!

Lastly, I want to thank everyone that entered my Ramsign giveaway!  I loved reading what numbers you'd choose and what styles were your favorites.  So, without further ado, the lucky winner (by way of random number generation) is... drumroll please...

Christine of Sweet Girl Design!!  It just so happens that I adore her choice (not that it's binding or anything) "Love the Metropolitan - that blue is gorgeous! I would get "4" for my 4 boys - it would be terrible to leave such a pretty sign behind if I ever moved!! :)"  

CoNgRaTs!!!  Look for an email from me lickety split!


Making Spirits Bright

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Pretty happy to have dropped these in the mail.  Merry Christmas, y’all!


Birthday Cake Popcorn

Right up until the eleventh hour, the PCP had requested rice krispie treats for his birthday snack at school.  And then, at the very last minute, he decided that he “actually” doesn’t like rice krispie treats (huh?  I’m questioning his parentage right about now seeing as Honey and I can tear through a pan in about twenty minutes flat.)  Instead, he wanted to take popcorn in for his class.  (This is the same child that took yogurt in one year.)  As soon as he said it, I remembered a birthday cake popcorn I read about a while back and I couldn’t wait to re-create it!  I'm also thinking this could be a great alternative for kids with allergies!

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Birthday Cake Popcorn (24 servings)
5 - 3oz. bags of microwave popcorn, popped.  I went all out here and bought the kind with so much faux butter that it pops yellow.
white chocolate candy melts – I used an entire 12oz. bag plus about half of another bag that I already had open
a little canola oil (or whatever you have…except probably olive as that just sounds wrong)
yellow cake mix
mini m&m’s

1. Melt your chocolate in the microwave according to the package directions.
2. Stir in a tablespoon or two of oil to thin it out some.  Then stir in 8 tablespoons-ish of the cake mix.  Try to get most of the lumps out.
3. In a large bowl, dump in your popcorn, a bunch of m&m’s and the chocolate mixture.  Stir well.  I had to do mine in two batches.
4. Spread the popcorn out in one layer over waxed paper.  Add sprinkles.  Let cool and then crumble into pieces.
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I had just enough blue paper cups left over from some party or another so I printed out large circle labels to decorate them and then loaded them up with the popcorn.

Easy peasy, pretty darn tasty and SO very cute!!  Oh, and rave reviews from the seven year old set… not that they’re really all that hard to impress.



Those fleeting moments at twilight, lit with the sparkling white lights of the holiday season, are breathtaking and magical.  And I try to soak them up in the generally hectic minutes between homework and suppertime for our family. 
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Christmas music plays in the den… (I’d love to light the fire but somebody has jammed the key hole full of mini lego pieces?!?!?)
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Honey and John ran out to throw the football mid-chess game…
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The little manger was one of my first holiday decorations ever purchased, probably fifteen years ago now.
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I love this room.  The littles tear through it on a daily basis in pursuit of something or each other but I’m the only one that ever sits and enjoys.
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A roaring fire awaits us on the porch…
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…and the hot chocolate station is at the ready…
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What you can’t hear are the joyful squeals of my boys in the yard, the crackling of the fire outside and the Christmas tunes playing on the porch.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

PS. Approximately two hours after these pictures were taken a pipe burst in the basement and we spent another two hours cleaning up the mess.  Ahhh…I got jolted back to real life so quickly I’m pretty sure I got whiplash :-)


Seven Years Young

It sounds cliché, but it seems like yesterday that I was at Emory Hospital birthing eight pounds of joy two weeks before his scheduled arrival.  I marvel each and every day at how on earth I could be so lucky as to call this child my own.  It is such a tremendous gift to love him, protect him, dote on him and to show him the ways of the world.  He’s precious, he’s as smart as a whip, he’s strong willed, he’s abundantly self confident, he’s a loyal friend, he’s energetic (bordering on wild), he’s dramatic, he’s a leader (or ringleader as I like to call it these days), and I love him with all my heart.  I have enjoyed these last seven years more than any in my life, and I pray that I am blessed with at least seventy more with him :-) 
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The birthday boy awoke to a bunch of balloons tied to the end of his bed.  I love for their first waking moments on their special days to be special!
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We started our day at the crack of dawn with our requisite birthday pancakes (Honey makes their name and age on their birthdays) and hot chocolate from the hot chocolate station.  Per usual, I read from his Happy Birthday book and we had a grand old time before the sun was even up.
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Now, this is the first year that the PCP’s big day has fallen on a school day and he was BEYOND ecstatic!  The baby and I were also pretty thrilled to cart these birthday cake popcorn cups off to school.  The recipe is coming very soon!
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We had so much fun watching the class sing to John in their special tradition - Mrs. B does the conductor arms and, at the birthday boy’s request, they added in “cha-cha-chas” and an “eat more chicken”.  Afterwards, they enjoyed the popcorn on the playground at recess.
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At the birthday boy’s request we enjoyed a special dinner at the Japanese restaurant.  He was mighty proud of himself for catching the flying egg before anyone else at the table!
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And we ended the day by adding a SEVEN YEAR OLD mark on the growth chart.  I love this nook in our upstairs hallway and all the ages and stages it represents.
I think the PCP would agree that it was one pretty fabulous day.  Happy birthday, baby!


Ramsign Giveaway

Y’all, I am so excited to be hosting a Ramsign giveaway!  I haven’t done one of these in ages!


Ramsign’s classic hand stenciled signs are gorgeous and would be a fabulous addition to any decor.

There are so many possibilities…from your house number to any other important number or date!

highlander 20

One winner will be invited to choose any house number sign with 1-5 digits (not name signs or address plaques) in any of Ramsign’s 5 design styles.

metropolitan 11

The giveaway will be open through Friday November 30 at noon EST! 

Lighthouse 13

Here’s how to enter:
  • Go to the Ramsign website and check out the five sign types: Metropolitan, Highlander, Arrowhead, Lighthouse and Engelhardt
  • Post a comment on this post letting me know which style you’d choose or what number you’d pick! 
  • For an extra entry or two, follow me through GFC, an email subscription or both!  Post a separate comment for each.
  • And for a final extra entry, like Ramsign on Facebook.  Post a comment letting me know that too.

That’s it!  I’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon!!

This giveaway is now closed.  The lucky winner was...
Christine of Sweet Girl Design!!  It just so happens that I adore her choice (not that it's binding or anything) "Love the Metropolitan - that blue is gorgeous! I would get "4" for my 4 boys - it would be terrible to leave such a pretty sign behind if I ever moved!! :)" 


Christmas on the Porch

Once I got my inside holiday decor figured out on our first Christmas in the house, it really hasn’t changed much and I have only purchased or made a couple of new things to add each year.  Since this was our first year with the porch and since we use it every.single.day, I wanted to deck it out for Christmas! 
The littles helped me plant white pansies in the pots on the stairs.
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I added a white fur pillow and fleecy throw (both things I already had) to the sofa. 
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Sister helped me trim the tree in burlap ribbon (Hobby Lobby), clear glass ball ornaments (Michael’s) and oyster shells (left over from the DIY chandelier).  The baby fell in love with the tree topper at Hobby Lobby and I couldn’t say no.  He clutched it in his arms the whole way home :-)  I put mini lights and large lights on the tree and it looks gorgeous at night.
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Our hot chocolate station gets daily use!  The jars with chalkboard labels are from World Market.  I bought them for the baby’s room but didn’t end up needing them.  The paper coffee cups and lids are from Party City and are perfect for a hot drink to go!
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I lined the oyster shell centerpiece with garland clippings and then filled it back up with pinecones, oyster shells and antique fishing floats.
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Sister also helped me with the mantle.  Everything was purchased half of at Hobby Lobby.  I used two swags, a bolt of burlap ribbon, two bags of large pinecones, a strand of mini lights and a strand of larger lights.
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The glittered reindeer is from Target.
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The glittered monogram canvas was a quick DIY project.  See how here!  The stockings are by Mud Pie.
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I used the vintage refrigerator basket, found at Habersham Antique Market earlier this year, to hold our firewood.
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We’ve already spent many, many nights out here listening to Christmas music, sipping on hot chocolate and roasting smores in the fireplace.  It’s truly become our favorite room of the lot!

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