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Charlotte, Christmas, Family, Hadley, Holidays

Searching Out Santa

It’s an annual tradition in our family to head to Santa’s Village to see Santa. We like to go early in the season to avoid the crowds and to give Santa plenty of time to get those gifts made. The big kids were over the moon excited to see Santa this year which was a lot of fun. And Hadley didn’t seem to mind him either!



James wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap but he gave him a fist bump!

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We were the first in line to see Santa and went to explore the rest of the village after we’d met the big guy. Charlotte wrote out her Christmas list and then stuck it in Santa’s mailbox.

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(If you can’t read it she asked for art storage, a dolphin baby, a Santa baby, and a Rudolph baby. I’m happy to say that Santa came through on all of those requests.)

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The kids were mesmerized watching the trains and loved seeing the singing and dancing penguins.

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And Hadley was just happy to be there and that it was warm enough that she wasn’t all bundled up in her jacket!

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We ended our Santa’s Village night with our traditional feast at Commerce Kitchen.


Trips in previous years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Charlotte, Family, Hadley, Holidays

Gobble, Gobble

With barely the blink of an eye it was time for Thanksgiving. We started the festivities off by hosting Jason’s parents and brother and sister-in-law for dinner at our house.



Then on Thanksgiving morning the kids went and tackled Char Char and spent a little time with him.


It was then off to lunch with my Mom’s side of the family.



Hadley wore the same dress that Charlotte wore on her first Thanksgiving. I think they favor each other a little…


(Charlotte on left, Hadley on right)

Thanksgiving evening we enjoyed time with Dad’s side of the family at Mom and Dad’s.



We headed to Tuscaloosa on Friday morning but packed lots of family time and good food in before we left!

Gift Giving, Holidays, Shopping, TalesOfAPeanut

#CyberMonday Shopping Hints!

BOGO 50 Off Christmas 2014 Listing Image

I’ve got lots of fun deals going on in the shop through today, Cyber Monday! They include:

Bloomin Web

Buy One Get One 50% off Placemats – Choose any four designs!

Dizzy Dino 3 web

Buy One Get One 50% off Lunchboxes – Choose any four designs!

Ho Ho Ho Plate web

Buy One Get One 50% off Plates – Choose any two designs!

(PS TODAY is the last day to order plates with Christmas delivery without paying rush fees! The prices for plates will increase tomorrow!)

Tales of a Peanut_Acorn Tray2 web

Buy One Get One 50% off Trays – Choose any two designs!

Snowflake Web

10% off Christmas and Holiday cards! (Prices on all listings reflect 10% off of the regular price. Prices will go back to normal on Tuesday.)

Some other shopping suggestions to get great deals and support small businesses :

Mint Julep Monograms – last day for Christmas delivery is 12/1/14!

Three Bird Nest – use code CYBER30 for 30% until 8 PM PST!

Chloe + Isabel – some items 50-75% off today!

The Happy Cactus – save 30% off through 12/6/14 with code BLACKFRIDAY2014

Joy Merryman Store – use code FREESHIP for free US shipping!

GraceLaced – everything 25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY25

Lindsay Letters – everything 15% off today!

Hilary Butler Fine Art – 20% off all prints with code MONDAY20

Naptime Diaries – 30% off all prints and canvases with code BLACKFRIDAY14 as well as 12 Days of Christmas giveaways (you’re entered after any purchase of $25 or more)

The Canvas Shoppe (Paige Knudsen) – all canvases are 20% through midnight!

Shoppe Beloved

Red Clay and Cotton

And if you’re shopping big (which I do too, don’t worry):

(Please see link/review disclosures for more information on affiliate links which are below)

eBates is having double cash back shopping on Monday

Kiwi Crate has 60% off of your first month’s crate as well free shipping with code HOLIDAY60

Warby Parker has a free home try on program where you can try 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days 100% free

Blurb has deals for 30% off book orders $150+ (CYBER30) , 25% off book orders $100+ (CYBER25), and 20% off all book orders (CYBER20)

Charlotte, Family, Hadley, Holidays

Celebrate America!

We were celebrating more than just America this July 4th….we were celebrating that CharChar was home from California!

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The big kids had fun in the neighborhood parade! Charlotte scooted on her scooter and James walked with Jason!

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CharChar met Hadley for the first time!



Charlotte couldn’t get enough of CharChar and was so excited to see him.  There was lots of crying and gnashing of teeth when we left on Sunday.  Thanksgiving is a long time away!


Christmas, Holidays, House, Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life – Christmas Tour of Homes

I welcome you to our home in all of its Christmas finery.  I have had so much fun this year decorating a new home and finding new places to showcase my favorites.  I’m so happy with the way the house turned out and hope you enjoy seeing all the details!

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We have artificial greenery everywhere to prevent allergies and because I’ve sworn off real trees after our disastrous tree falling incident a number of years ago.  But I’m so happy with the pre-lit garland that I found at Trees ‘N Trends this year.  I accented with hand-made (and thus very NOT perfect) burlap bows and Charlotte and I used mod podge and lots of glitter to make these paper mache hearts from Hobby Lobby sparkle.  The effect at night is gorgeous!

If you turn to the left from the front door you’ll see one of my many nativity scenes (or activity as Charlotte calls them).  You’ll also head into the dining room.

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I kept a lot of the decorations real neutral and just added pops of color here and there.  In the dining room we have a gorgeous 9′ Blue Spruce tree from Balsam Hill.  We decorated the dining room tree with all of our nice ornaments — our Christopher Radko’s, our glass balls, our ornaments from trips we’ve taken, etc.  It sparkles insanely at night with all the glitter and glass and the color on the tree accents the neutrals on the table very well. You can also see our custom art from Kim Wheeler of Small Words Art hanging on the wall which definitely livens up the room.

If you turn to the right from the foyer you are in the study.

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We have the same 9′ Blue Spruce in the study but this one is covered with the kids ornaments and those special to our family — handprints, Christmas card ornaments, childhood ornaments from when we were little, etc.  This tree is very bottom heavy because we let the kids do a lot of the decorating but that’s one of the things that I love about it.  There are so many memories on this tree, not only for us, but for Charlotte and James too.  And I love that you can see both large trees out the windows from the street.  There’s lots of sparkle at our house!

And I’m so happy with the way the mantle turned out.  We’ve loved this mantle ever since it arrived last year and it works beautifully at Christmas time.  I’ve got to buy new stockings for next year and I’m sad to have to retire these burlap ones (from The Bobbins Nest) a number of years ago.  They are lovely and the contrast with the burlap and our pewter nativity that we got on our honeymoon is so neat to me!

When you continue into our home you reach the kitchen which we accented for the holiday season.

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There’s not a lot of Christmas going on in here, but enough to make me smile.  The real wreath on the window over the sink is the only real greenery in the house and I love it.  I also love the small artificial wreaths that I found at a shop around town.  Jason didn’t realize they weren’t real until I told him today!  I also made a big print to go over the stove and painted chalkboard paint on a cheap platter from Target to add some glamour.  And, as I’m sure you can guess, my favorite area in the kitchen is the collection of handmade items from the kids.  It’s amazing to see how quickly they grow.  We’ve got plans to make more art this week since school is out!

Across from the kitchen is the den with a little bit more of holiday cheer.

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It wouldn’t be a tour of our home at Christmas without seeing Frisbee our elf.  Although, to be honest, Frisbee has been pretty lazy this year, using the excuse of fog and rain to stay at our house instead of going back to the North Pole and then relocating a good many nights this year.

Of course we also have other touches of Christmas throughout the house, the kids Christmas trees, a small mini ornament tree in the guest bathroom, and others.

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In all the hustle and bustle of the season, we are trying to impress upon our kids that Christmas isn’t about Santa or elves or lights or trees or presents.  Christmas is about the gift that God gave to us in his Son, Jesus.  We love being able to reflect that in our decorations of our home and are happy to share our home with family and friends and with you over this season.

We wish you and your family many blessings this Christmas and always.  Merry Christmas!

Tours of our home during past Christmases: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (2012 we were building and living with my parents)

Crafts, Holidays

Buddy Valentine’s

In case you’re looking for a last minute “happy” to send with your child to school on Thursday, I love how ours this year turned out! An “I’m so glad that you’re my buddy!” card with a Buddy Fruit attached!