Kids & Christmas

I have to say, I miss sitting in front of my PC to write down what’s happening around here… It’s been five days and I’ve been super busy – as expected. But not taking at least a few minutes to ‘reflect’ on the last few days makes me feel unorganized. Boy, but this week was packed! With my husband travelling one more time before the end of the year it’s been extra busy for me. It meant I had to be dressed and out the house with ALL kids by 7:30 am! I hadn’t taken the kids to school in a few weeks and didn’t realize how bad the construction on this relatively short drive had gotten. Oh, I so hope that everything will be fixed by the time school starts in January. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with traffic, construction etc. etc. on the road EVERY DAY! That can take a toll on a person.

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Once back home from dropping off the children, I had to tie all loose ends around here before they are off for the year tomorrow! All little packages have to arrive – now!!! Starting tomorrow afternoon I won’t have the freedom to spread out on the dining table and take my time wrapping gifts. Kids will be around and nosy!!! Last year I had to wrap the last packages inside of my closet. Trying not to let it get there this time. Talking about last minute gifts though, last night Seda’s present arrived in the mail.

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I ordered a photo book for her that I am so excited about. It’s pictures from six years of SEDA! All the cute faces she makes, all the fun places she’s already been to, all of the fun clothes she wears!!! Priceless. So far, my favorite gift under the tree this year. ‘The world according to Seda’. One page has all of the pictures she has ‘edited’ on my husbands Ipad. They are so funny. Makes me smile to look at them.

In other news, I am weaning off the baby. She’s 15 months now and that’s about the time I weaned her big brother & sis off as well. I really need to prioritize my sleep in the new year. 15 months of interrupted sleep cycles is wearing me down. The kids need me to be well rested in the mornings. I can’t justify coasting through the day. It’s been a couple of rough nights & nap times around here. But once this little munchkin finally settles down, she is so peaceful & I am so peaceful & PRODUCTIVE!! I just love my children – especially when they are asleep :-).

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Although, she is pretty darned adorable ‘awake’ as well! ūüôā

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Oh, and here is the pouch I’ve made my friend Jen on Saturday. They came over for dinner on Sunday. It was so good to hang out. It’s nice that all our children like to play together as well. PLUS: The men get along really well, too!!! Yeah!

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And this is the present we gave Seda’s friend Chloe for her 6th birthday yesterday. I had no idea how many birthday gifts I would be making this month. Foolishly, I had been focusing on Christmas only instead. Next year I need to take into account how many birthday gifts I have to make / buy for December friends, too.

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Chloe has gotten a violet & yellow combo doll quilt & pillow. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the ‘standard’ Yasemin Tea doll skirt. Instead I made the quilt extra large and also the pillow is huge & fluffy. Perfect for her American Girl doll.

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Unlike the other doll quilts I’ve made, this one does not consist of equal squares. I changed it up a bit. Each time I construct one of these little doll quilts the picture in my head of my king-sized dream quilt is becoming clearer & clearer… One day soon I wish to tackle this grand task of making a huge quilt pieced together only of my favorite fabric scraps. Some day in 2014…

On today’s to-do list: TEACHER’S GIFTS! I better get to them before my baby decides she has napped enough. Otherwise, I’ll be doing more of this:

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Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone. It’s almost Christmas!!

Love,

Yasemin

It’s beginning to look …

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We are only three days into December and I have decided that this is going to be a great finish to an already amazing year. I feel ahead of schedule in terms of gifts & Christmas related stuff in general. I decided that this year’s motto is going to be: Simply Christmas! Nothing too elaborate nothing too time-consuming or expensive, nothing that costs a lot of stress … Simply Christmas! I even purchased the kid’s advent calendar this year! I’ve never done that before. Usually these are the welcome opportunities for crafters like me to go overboard. But not this year. Not when Playmobil makes these cute boxes. At a price of $19.99 who has time & energy to make one? I don’t!

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Behind each door is a piece of the castle setting including princess bride & groom, king, armoire, a chest of gold etc. etc.

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And how about this little thing for a buck from Trader Joe’s? A tiny square of milk chocolate to sweeten each morning. Perfect!

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Oh, there is more: My friend Elke sent this cute card from Germany just in time to open the first door. Behind each door is a cute gingerbread ornament.

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I am liking the idea of keeping it simple this year very much. At first, my Christmas to-do list was long. I intended to make a whole set of fabric & felt ornaments. That’s why these guys have been hanging on my wall for weeks as a reminder.

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I even planned on purchasing some ornaments in the jazzy new colors that have been displayed in stores since October! But why? That’s not going to make our holiday any better. Not mine, not my husband’s (he is always happy to not have to buy anything anyway :-)). As for the kids? They don’t know the difference when it comes to old or new home decor in the first place. It saves me another long wait in line at the store which baby Stella is thankful for too! All around a good decision!! Pat pat pat …

This year I am using as much fresh seasonal greenery as possible. ¬†Add a couple of candles and voila! Done! The post-holiday clean-up at the end of the month will be so easy. Plus, I don’t have to store anything else which means less clutter!!! Amen to that! SIMPLY CHRISTMAS!

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As far as holiday cards? Done in 30 minutes at home!¬†I used this picture below that a kind stranger volunteered to take of us last week, put a little app magic to it (I used the free app Pic Collage & Over) and printed on photo paper at home! Sorry Shutterfly. You ain’t getting my money this year. I have places to go, people to see …

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Alternative card option:

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Regarding kid’s visit with Santa? We’ve already gotten that out of the way after Thanksgiving, too. We went to Watters Creek. No lines. No hassle. Kid’s had extra time to bond with Santa. So sweet. Isaiah asked for a LeBron James jersey. Santa couldn’t hide his dislike … he he he. After all, we are in Texas and he had to rub it in that he prefers the San Antonia Spurs. Dang Santa! What happened to being bias??? He almost blew his cover. I wonder how long my son will believe in the magic of Christmas anyway. Seda asked for an American Girl doll. So far she has (only) a bitty twin – Ciara. She had an unusually happy smile on her face – first time for her. Of course, if you get to ask this man in red for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL you better smile ear to ear.

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Not surprisingly the baby screamed on all but one picture. You can still see the little tears. I love this look though. It’s a classic one-year old meats the big guy kind of look. Precious.

In other news, I have absolutely NO IDEA what to give my hubby for Christmas. He is better at this than me. He always thinks of something that I don’t even dream of but really really love all the more. This year I got NOTHING! I know what I am not doing: clothes, perfume, hat, socks, books … I do that every Father’s Day, birthday & Christmas, too. He loves technology. But he is up to date on those. He doesn’t wear a watch and thinks those are obsolete which I don’t agree with but anyway. So what’s left? He doesn’t wear jewelry – obviously. He doesn’t craft or have any other handy hobbies. He could use a pair of designer glasses. Hmmm?? I am thinking… still thinking… I’ve done photo books which he loved. I’ve done a personal horoscope & analysis which he LOVED! Now what? Golf? Still thinking … Well, this might be THE ONE challenge for me this season.

I’ll keep thinking and leave you as usual with LOVE! This one’s in form of a banana peel courtesy of my 6-year old.

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She sees beauty & love everywhere. On that note:

Love,

Yasemin

 

Ahhh, one more weekend, one more birthday

photo 1 (3)Yesterday, we celebrated my baby’s first birthday.

Unlike her big sister’s birthday 2 weeks ago I changed it up a bit (last minute that is) and had everyone meet us at our local cafe studio ‘Dulce by La Duni’. I don’t know if it was because I was craving their delectable cuatro leches cake or was it because we just hosted a big party at home not too long ago and had another one planned for my son the following week. Either way, mommy needed a break from doing dishes, decorating the house etc.

La Duni is such a pretty place that it was easy to feel at home there. It felt intimate & personal without the hassle of pre- and post party clean-up. Plus, afterwards we all came back home for presents & mimosas. Since it was only our closest friends it was easy.

I have to say, if I had a choice I’ll do it this way ALL the time. But I know the older kids like having a house full of their friends running, jumping, dancing, screaming… I know I know … It’s just too much to do 3 of those in one month!

But back to drooling over how perfect of a place La Duni is … They even had coral-colored roses on the tables – same color as Stella’s top which happens to be my favorite color of 2013!

Stella knew this day was all about her. She truly soaked up in all the attention and clapped and smiled and gave kisses. I love  one-year-olds. This has got to be my favorite age. They still love to be kissed and carried around but try so hard to talk and be big kids. So darned cute. I love her to pieces.

 

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I also love these cupcakes ‘to pieces’¬†: Cuatro Leches!

Here is how they describe them on their menu: Layered Mantecado vanilla sponge cake, soaked in cuatro leches sauce, topped with
caramelized Swiss meringue and dotted with Arequipe reduction. Served with 3 leches sauce and Arequipe caramel! Ok, you had me at ‘soaked’ … Yummy!

That fluffy meringue topping is so much more delicious than icing! I love the caramel drizzle. The vanilla sponge cake SOAKED! in cuatro leches sauce – divine!

I don’t think it gets any better than this.

 

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Aside from all the sugar & caffeine (check out their incredibly extensive coffee & tea selection!) ¬†I have to say that the presence of only our dearest friends topped with an absolutely happy baby made this day so memorable and extra special for me. I can’t wait to celebrate many many more birthdays this way in the future.

To Stella : Just a year ago we just met you ‘little star’ now you are claiming your place in this world so gracefully. I love you!¬†Happy first birthday!