Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

we have a new family tradition!

First.. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Our family was truly blessed to have celebrated Thanksgiving with family three days in a row! Our tummies are full and we are ready for the Christmas holiday "madness" to begin!

Our family has never been one to get a Christmas tree anytime before early, or even mid-December. I just do not like rushing out and getting a tree when it is still November. However, we have now turned into "one of those" families! In an effort not to drive myself completely crazy this holiday season, I thought it might be best to go ahead and get our tree going a little earlier this year. So, we did it... TODAY! It is not even December, that's just craziness to me!

Our original plan was to actually get the tree locally yesterday. Mother nature did not cooperate with that plan, and I am so glad it worked out that way. Since it was rainy yesterday we put the tree plans on hold until today. So, yesterday I mentioned something to Doug about driving to the mountains and actually going to a tree farm for our tree. As the day went on, I was loving the idea. And, after today, I think a new Koehler family tradition has been born! Not only getting the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, but driving to the mountains and visiting a tree farm for a "cut your own" Christmas tree!

The boys loved the idea of going to the mountains and picking a tree. Bryson kept asking if we would be "climbing" the mountain to look for our tree. We truly did not know what to expect or exactly where we would go, but it all worked out. We ended up (randomly) in Roaring Gap, NC at a place called Montsinger's Tree Farm. Really cute place! The farm (there is actually two) is gorgeous! The photos do not do it justice, it was beautiful. Along with the fact that the weather was perfect, the tree farm was fantastic. We were greeted at the entrance with a man playing Christmas carols on a saxophone, warm cider, and rows and rows and rows of fresh Christmas trees! It was the best experience!

And so there you have it..... the Griswald, oh, I mean Koehler family Christmas tree on it's way back to 2203 Baycourt Trail!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the thankful jar

About two weeks ago our family started a thankful jar as a way to get "prepared" for the Thanksgiving holiday. I think this is something we should keep going year round in our house! The boys seem to "look forward" to writing down their "thankful" item and it makes us all really think about what we are grateful for in life and what is important! It is a bit fuller now than this photo, and has turned out pretty special!

If you are interested, the label I used came from this site. Although they were designed to use as a thankful chain, I printed them and then cut them for our jar. I printed one and layered it on cardstock and then tied with ribbon! Voila!

pilgrims and indians

Yesterday Bryson's preschool class celebrated Thanksgiving by dressing as either a pilgrim or an Indian and enjoying a "feast" with the parents. Our Thanksgiving feast was complete with turkey sandwiches and homemade (by the children!) pumpkin cupcakes and turkey cookies! Too cute!

As you may have guessed, Bryson chose to dress as an Indian! We took a moment after eating to snap a photo in the tee-pee on the playground!

a fall afternoon in the park

Last weekend the boys and I spent a gorgeous fall afternoon in the park! Thought I would post a few photos from the day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

dear santa...

I have long been a fan of Daninotes ,as many of you know. And one of my favorite products she has is the melamine plates and platters. But, this little guy has to be one of my favorites! The idea is to take your child's (or children's) letter to Santa or holiday wish list and turn it into a keepsake plate! What a clever little idea for the holidays! Details are here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

how about this for breakfast thanksgiving morning?!

Pumpkin French Toast

2 large eggs
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbs granulated sugar
4 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, crushed
Eight 3/4-inch thick slices of day-old French bread

1. In a low-lying, flat bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
2. In another low-lying flat bowl, place crushed cereal.
3. Heat skillet to medium-heat, brush with butter. Quickly dip bread on both sides into the egg mixture, then cover both sides of the bread with the crushed cereal. Place in hot skillet, reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Heat 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining bread.
4. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
Servings: 4
Yield: 2 slices per person

***photo curteousy of justcookalready, receipe curteousy of recipegirl.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

this sounds soooo yummy!


2 sticks butter (1 cup), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice

1. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time until incorporated.
3. Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar in a small bowl.
5. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbsp.) or a large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they’re coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a nice, flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls.
6. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
{tip: immediately transfer your cookies to a cooling rack. most people don't know that they'll continue to bake on that hot pan and often burn the bottom of the cookie!}
Yield: About 3 dozen

*photo and recipe found on this fantastic site for recipes called "Just Cook Already" A great blog to check out!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

ahhh.... the wonders of fall

It is amazing to me how much joy a leaf pile can bring to the faces of anyone under age ten!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

a perfect place setting

So, we all know Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Check out these two ideas for a nifty little table setting. This first one is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens. I just love the simplicity of the color palette!

And, this satin ribbon napkin holder is a bit more elegant, but so much fun! From Country Living.

How will you set your Thanksgiving Day table????

another holiday love!

Ok, you probably remember me using these bags for Bryson's Dino Party and for the boy's Halloween treats this year. But...LOOK! Perideau Designs has them for the holidays too! I love these little bags! If you hurry you can get 20% off the new holiday items. The promo ends November 12th, so hurry!

stocking stuffer idea?

Look at how cute these are! They are zoo animal shaped post-it notes!! Darling!!! You can find them for sale here. Uponafold is an Australian company, so be advised that the price shown is in Australian dollars! So, with shipping costs, they are not cheap....... but, oh, so cute!

Monday, November 8, 2010

santa....please add this to my christmas list!

Could someone please call Santa and tell him to add this to my wish list!?!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

turkey day plans?

Well, we just finished Halloween... and now Thanksgiving will be here before we know it? Isn't this always the way it is????

I just sighed over how cute this children's Thanksgiving table looks on One Charming Party. I love the idea of having children color on a craft paper covered table before or after the meal. And those corn husks are actually made from paper that, when opened, contain little "treats" for the kids! How sweet! You can see the entire post here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

sooo excited once more!

After yesterday's "sooo excited" post, I got another email saying that Bryson's dino party would be featured on Party Perfect also! Now, I really am soooooo excited!!

I "heart" parties!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

i am in love

....with this! I came across this wonderfully unique gift packaging idea and I knew I was in love! Had to have some!

The owner/designer's name is Jennifer and she has an Etsy shop found here and an online shop found here. I am placing my order tomorrow! Can you just envision the most adorable holiday gift packages, or little treat boxes for neighbor's gifts, or little goodie boxes for classmates for Valentine's Day???!!!!

These are paper ribbons and are not adhesive. They can be wrapped around almost any package and then use a label (hers or your own) to adhere the ribbon. Each box of ribbon contains 7 yards. Again, endless uses! And so cute!

soooo excited!

Ok, to anyone else, this is not a big deal... but I was quite excited to get the email about it! Bryson's dino party is featured today on LittleSooti. You may notice it on my blogroll to the right of my posts. It's a great little blog about parties and children's decor! You can see the post here and follow the blog yourself if you would like!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

planning for 2011...

If you are in need of a new calendar for next year, check this little letterpress number out! They are individual letterpress cards that you could pin on a corkboard or tie from a ribbon and hang. Love! It is from Linda and Harriet Letterpress. You can find details here.