Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Great Festive Debate...

I have been struggling with this post all month... Don't get me wrong- I LOVE Thanksgiving and have so much to be thankful for... but I just can't find the festive spirit overload I can for other holidays. It's so late this year and leaves the least amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas in years.... which has brought the Great Festive Debate to our house....... and I'm sure many others as well.

I've decorated, tried to find tons of Thanksgiving PJs and books for little man but haven't had much luck. There is so much hype for Halloween and then retailers are a buzz kill for me after that - lacking all the decor, pj and book excitement I need to keep me going (for Thanksgiving that is- Christmas stuff has been in stores since like August LOL).

Here are a few of my festive Thanksgiving finds...

I mentioned in my Halloween post that I was using pumpkins everywhere for fall. Some have held strong and survived- bless their little gourd hearts. And here is the fake one I monogrammed for Easton's room I mentioned in that post as well.

I traded in my candy bucket on our entry table for a super cute stick turkey I found at Pottery Barn. So cute - and I threw some extra leaves I had from the mantle around it to make it a little more festive!

I think my favorite Thanksgiving item is this "Thankful" garland on my entry mirror.... I received it in a mail exchange I did to help with funds for an adoption. My exchange buddy was the BEST! She couldn't have made 2 more perfect pieces for me... she also sent a "Go Titans" garland that is hanging in our new bar in the basement. She has a shop on etsy -- the Thankful garland was so perfect for my mirror--- I'm having her make me a Christmas themed one and will probably be ordering more so I can have one up all year long. You can check out her shop here .... I'm also obsessed with her adorable "lump of coal" pom pom ornaments - I may have a few of those on the way as well hehe

I switched out my Halloween paper straws with Thanksgiving colored ones, turkey towels and of course my Bath and Body Works candles...

But sadly - this is about as festive as I could get. I just couldn't find much that I LOVE. So far... Thanksgiving has won out - but to be honest I'm not sure it's going to make it to the actual day. E's room is already covered in Christmas thanks to his little Elf who showed up early ;) and I'm itching to deck the rest of these halls!

What do you do to make Thanksgiving more festive? Or has Christmas taken over your houses?

I hope all of you have a very Happy and safe Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My city...

We had my annual birthday trip to Nashville this past weekend... This was my 16th celebrating with a Titans game and a few days in my favorite place on earth. I absolutely love everything about Nashville- the food, bars, shopping, music, boots, and most importantly the PEOPLE. I grew up a few years in the South so when I'm there - I feel at home! But as often as we are there I guess it pretty much is my second home hehe

In 16 years of complete Titan LOVE I had never met the mascot - T-Rac... It's been a continuous goal of mine - but no matter how many games or events I have been to there was never an opportunity. Until last Saturday =) a really good friend of ours is in charge of the Pro- Shop and made it happen- JUST FOR ME! I was so freaking excited I'm surprised I didn't tackle him. I was a little nervous about how Easton would react - he had never seen a "character" in real life before. But just like his mama.... he LOVED him! Smiled, squealed and couldn't take his eyes off of him. Made my heart burst! 

We had an unbelievable trip but little man topped it off with some pretty sweet hats and tons of giggles! He is usually a little ham - flirting with girls, smiling at strangers, life of the party but put a hat on him and it multiplies times a hundred. I cannot tell you how many people stopped us on Broadway, at the stadium, pointed, smiled or even snapped pictures of him. We also got the occasional, "he is the cutest thing I have ever seen" --- I thought it was just me hehe Crazy how much attention that boy can get with just a hat... We are going to have our hands full!

Sadly my boys didn't win but we enjoyed some yummy food, a few beverages, football, honky tonkin, shopping and of course some good 'ol Country music! Mmmmm now I'm craving fried pickles!!!! 

If you're looking for a fun weekend get away - head to "my city" --- I'll be happy to give you a list of musts! 

And --- if you're anything like Easton - throw on a hat and ham it up! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthday Perfection

Sooooooo, Saturday was my birthday and my husband did it yet again... I use to pride myself on being the most festive and "best present giver EVER" LOL.... He's learned a lot and quick and is now giving me a run for my money ;)

He went above (literally) and beyond! Let me give you a little background first... When I was Easton's age we lived in Dayton, Ohio. A park across the street from our neighborhood was a very popular place for hot air balloons to take off. There were a few that took off every Sunday and they would go up from there individually during the week. Over the years I became fascinated with a rainbow colored balloon that had a black stripe through the middle with "Houser Asphalt" printed on the side. Whenever we saw balloons taking off we would get in the car and "chase" them to try to find where they would land. Sometimes we would find them and watch them land and even help pack them up and other times we'd have to settle for defeat and go back and wait for the next time :) We found "Houser" several times and developed a "friendship" with the pilot and crew... I mean wouldn't you if a little girl were stalking you at such a young age? hehe

We moved to Florida for a few years because my dad was in the military. When we moved back to Ohio a local city had a small balloon fest every summer for a week. My mom, sister, brother and grandma would get up every morning around 5am and drive 45 minutes to watch them take off and chase them. Then go home and go back up every night and do it all over again.  One year they held the US Challenge and there were about 100 balloons. The Challenge lasted 2 weeks. It was AMAZING and one of the greatest things I had ever seen. They even had trading cards for each balloon so if we found where they landed we would get a small trophy for our achievement!!!!

Every once in awhile we would see Houser flying... he was our number 1 balloon to track down. No matter where we were or what we were doing if he traveled down wind from the Dayton area we dropped everything to chase him. The summer after 5th grade we tracked him down and the pilot remembered me. My parents planned for my mom and I to go up! It was a morning I will NEVER forget and a dream come true.

My grandma had a love for hot air balloons that was handed down to my mom and she has passed it on to us!!! I hope to keep it going with my little man! When my grandma passed several years ago - we kind of gave balloons up in a way. I would still get excited if I saw one but it was just too sad and too hard for us to chase them without her. But when Easton was born I think it changed things for us... We wanted so bad to share them with him and pass down all of our great memories! So, in July we headed back up to Middletown to see the balloons that still go up every summer. 30 balloons and just being there seemed right!

My mom and grandma always dreamed of going to Albuquerque, New Mexico in October for the International Balloon Fiesta. So in July on our way home from Middletown my sister threw it out there that maybe we should go. She researched and last month we made a dream of ours come true! It was unbelievable!!! 600 balloons of all shapes and sizes taking off at the same time is simply indescribable. And deep down I felt like my grandma was there with us. It was an unbelievable few days and we are already planning to go back. Plus after all these years they still make trading cards and Easton's collection is off to a wonderful start!!!

Okay.... so back to my birthday... I lost track of Houser in those years we didn't chase balloons and wasn't even sure if he was still out there... I mean it has been 20 years since I went up in him and around 8 since the last time I saw him. My husband surprised me the morning of my birthday with an "itinerary" for the day... It included a balloon ride. He waited to tell me that there was a very good possibility that it would be Houser. We couldn't go up that night due to wind but we were able to go up last night. Sadly the pilot passed within the last year but the balloon along with 6 other balloons belong to Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Rides. It's the 4th balloon in the Houser family! Words cannot describe how it felt to lift off into the air in a balloon that means so much to me, my family and my life!!! Just seeing those stripes brings love to my heart and tears to my eyes. Don't tell my husband... but he continues to make my dreams come true everyday!!!  Not the most festive or shortest of blogs but now you know about a VERY important part of my life! If you ever have an opportunity to go up --- take it!!! It is the most amazing experience and you will not be sorry!!!!

And I thought the fall leaves looked amazing when I was on the ground!!!

Our shadow!

Our reflection in the lake!

And then there's this.... how my love for balloons all began! I think he's already got it <3
Thanks for stopping by.... until next time!

P.S. Could these boots be any more perfect? Especially for my birthday adventure!!!! Thank you to my fabulous sister for getting them for me!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Festive and Spooktacular

Well... I tried to get a minute to blog this past week but we were just having too much festive Halloween fun!
The weather was horrible --- raining dragons, draculas and monsters oh my!!!! But we made the most of it and had an absolute blast.... How was your Halloween?

My husband said for the little family and friend gathering we had... everything I planned was overkill.... I told him that considering it was HALLOWEEN --- overkill sounded very appropriate.

I made a pumpkin out of veggies, an amazing 7 layer spider web dip, caramel apples, and my hubby made some incredible chili. Threw in some orange and black tortilla chips, glitter spiders and we were set....

I had the 2 cutest monsters I have ever seen!!! Easton is fascinated with monsters and absolutely loves them... It started with a little Taggie monster - we now have 8 or 12.... at least we have backup  =) I made a Monster Mash chalkboard and it was impossible to get his attention for a picture b/c he just wanted to stare at them =) and by the time we got him to look Bailey started busting out of hers. LOL oh well!

My sister and I made some adorable treat bags for little neighborhood goblins, my nieces, nephew and close family friends. Needless to say - if you braved the elements last night you could just hit up our house and be done!!!

I have to admit... I may have cried my eyes out last night that Halloween was over. We made sure to do everything we could to make it extra special for our little monster and I'm going to miss it all until next year... the books, pjs, decor.... to be honest - not really the candy - I'll be stuffing my face with the leftovers for days =) On the bright side... tomorrow is my birthday and then it's on to Thanksgiving and Christmas  festive fun!!! I can't wait!!!!