Christmas Playhouse

Sometimes the best of Pinterest intentions get you a cardboard box.

Granted, it is a sweet little box complete with shingles and pink gingerbread.

Keeping the tradition of making Mae a Christmas gift alive, I turned to this pin that I have been swooning over for months. It just looked so simple and sweet to pass up on.


So off to Staples I went for the foam board.  Our local stores don’t carry the right size so I had to place an online order.  No biggie, just had it shipped straight to my office…..Well, until it got here that is.  The damn box was so big, there was no way to fit it in the car.  So after a vehicle switch-a-roo with my mother, I was able to get the box home.  That was the only real hiccup with the supplies, unless you count someone (not me) placing a large box over the duct tape and exacto knife rendering them lost in the storage room forever.  Forever turned out to be right after Christmas….after I had replaced all the supplies.

I followed the diagrams to the tee but the measurements aren’t accurate.  I had to take the liberty of some customization but I finished up the paint touch up and duct tape reinforcement on Christmas Eve as Mae Mae and Daddy snoozed away.

(Eddie has taken up the bedtime reading task but falls asleep right along and even before Mae sometimes.  The other night, she came to my bed to tell me she needed to use the potty.  I asked her where Daddy was and she started making snoring sounds.  Daddy was out cold…..)




If you follow this pin please take the measurements as a general guideline.




A table for Christmas…

Technically a table for fall but since we are having our first extended family Christmas on this table in a few days, it feels like the inaugural meal.

Eddie built this table about a year ago from this plan and it has been collecting dust and piles of junk in the basement for over a year. The sanding was about half complete when crummy weather on the carport forced the project inside where it sat for an embarrassing long time.

After we wrapped up the farmers market this summer, Eddie got back to it. In an effort to keep the dust down, we loaded up the table and two benches and hauled them to the barn.



At this point, the table was still in very rough condition. Rough pine 2×4’s and 2×6’s from the lumber yard and I found it hard to imagine this table in an actual dining room.



Eddie put about 8-10 hours of additional sanding in at this point and it transformed this table.




Once home, I put about 12+ hours in two coats of gel stain and 6 or so coats of poly.




It really turned out beautiful. This was a labor of love for sure.  I have no worries about keeping this table in pristine condition.  Any wear and tear will just add to the patina.

What a better way to say, “Merry Christmas” than a big farmhouse table for all the family to gather….


Mae got right to the point during trick-or-treating. She held out that plastic pumpkin and said , “Treat!”.

No tricks here….just give me that sugar.



Little Minnie Mouse was so bundled up for the blast of arctic air we got that about the only thing you could see were her little ears sticking up out of her coat.   We had a blast anyway!




Here is a shot of Mae and Daddy’s first pumpkin carving experience.  Mae used her crayons and her butter knife to help Daddy do the carving.


Happy Chilly Halloween!


odd and ends

The farmer’s markets continue around here.  Each Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning you can find us (and I really mean Eddie) selling our veggies.  We are learning the inter-workings of the local farmer’s market community.  Not all niceties by a long shot but worth it.

the cutest farmer's market merchant ever.

the cutest farmer’s market merchant ever.


Plans for next years plantings and schedules are already in the works.  I know if seems crazy early but I feel like we are behind the eight ball already. Hoping to get broccoli, cauliflower and head lettuce started this week.

We kept the 4th very low-key.  A trip to the state park for Yaya, Mae and I in the morning.

Yaya rocking her new hairdo

Yaya rocking her new haircut


Naps, light house cleaning, dinner and small fireworks at the house rounded out the day.  We debated on driving to town for ice cream and the city’s firework display but the idea of battling the crowd with a cranky toddler after her bedtime wasn’t too appealing.

Since the small fireworks at the house were so tame, Mae had no fear and loved it all.

first sparkler

first sparkler


Hope everyone had a wonderful stress free July 4th!


Easter 2014 Tales


















I hope that it was a happy relaxing Easter for you all as it was in our home.



Play Kitchen Wrap Up!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Just wanted to tear away from all the fun to share with you what we have been hard at work on around the casa. Eddie and I re-worked an old nightstand into a play kitchen just in time for Christmas for little Mae Mae.  And by just in time, I mean that touch-up paint was still drying when I left for midnight mass on Christmas eve and the kitchen wasn’t brought up from the basement and staged until 6am Christmas morning.  By the hair of our chinny, chin, chin…….

Play Kitchen Before

Play Kitchen After

Originally, I thought we could leave both of the doors on and use them as is.  Turns out that due to the nice curved detail on this nightstand, it wasn’t possible to just switch the hinges from the side to the bottom.  So, both doors came off and a new drop down stove door was added.  Eddie used some scrap lumber lying around to build the divider wall and add the shelves.

The rack in the stove is a trimmed down to size cooling rack from the kitchen.  I borrowed the light in the stove idea from Young House Love.  It is just a small touch light and Mae can turn it on when she wants her stove to be on.  The plexiglass for the door cost $.43 at our local glass shop.

I whipped a small little curtain out of some pink gingham fabric.


The microwave was a surprise early gift from my brother and it just happened to fit in the bottom shelf perfectly.  We did use a little velcro on it as well so that it would stay put when Mae tugged on the door.

The stove top burners are just CD’s spray painted black and the faucet and handles were cut from scrap wood by Eddie and spray painted silver.  The sink is a stainless steel bowl and the basket on the side is full of play food.  The utensil caddy is a $3 flowerpot that I secured with velcro.



I am sure that more accessories will be added over time but I think we have a great start.  I am picturing a cute little teapot!

Cost – $80.  That is the cost of the nightstand at $35, paint and all accessories.

I know that pinterest is full of these play kitchens.  If you are interested in making one but hesitant to tackle it, just dive right in. There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Whatever you have on hand or readily available will do.  Even though the need for perfection gets to me just about everyday, don’t let it stop you from building/trying any crafty or pinteresty idea.  JUST DO IT!

Play Kitchen in Action

There will be hours upon hours of enjoyment!

Can you stand another Christmas Post?

In the middle of crazy christmas holiday party prep saturday we made a mad dash to town to ensure that little bit had her yearly awkward Santa photo. Our little museum in town does a fairly good christmas tree and model train display in addition to the Santa’s workshop.

Let’s start with last year’s picture…..I am ashamed to admit the amount of stress wrapped up in that cute little holiday dress Mae is wearing. Being my first holiday dress experience, I went completely overboard with the pressure I put on myself.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

Picture this. One trip to JCPenny’s and two outfits purchased. One trip to Kohl’s and another two outfits being purchased…..followed by too numerous to remember stops to find the perfect pair of dress shoes. Calls to my mother and sister and pictures sent of each outfit from the store to them both. I am not one to waffle around about clothes selection but the holiday perfection pressure got to me. On the car ride home I was sweaty, frustrated and completely wrung out. It wasn’t until a few days later that I could shake the stress and get a better perspective on the entire riduculous venture. All but one of the dresses went back and we skipped wearing the shoes that I had finally settled on. Mae wasn’t walking yet and they didn’t really fit anyway.

Flash forward one year later.

Wake up Saturday morning, remember that it is the 14th of December and that it necessary to track down a Santa somewhere. Yep, just as I thought. The only Santa available the rest of the month in a 35 miles radius is today from 1-5. No matter that we are having a large holiday party tonight at our house with lots of prep left to do and that we don’t have a holiday outfit. Let’s put on our favorite overalls and rubberboots and hit the road.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Mae wasn’t too keen on Santa but loved her first candycane!


Christmas in overalls and boots!

The entire experience was much more enjoyable without all the extra pressure.   We will have to repeat again next year!

On a sidenote, that is the same Santa as last year and I hope that it continues to be for the near future.  How great would it be to have pictures with the same exact Santa every year!!!!!

Tree has been Trimmed!

As I type the title of this post, I can’t help but wonder where the phrase, “Trim the Tree” came from. Did it literally mean to trim the branches in someway or did the “trim” have a different connotation as some point. Must make it a point to look that up…..

Our Charlie Brown Cedar Tree  Dr. Seuss tree has now been gussied up and ready to flaunt its fineness for all to see.  This posted is a little heavy on the pics.  Bear with me.

This is how we started.  A little bit of leftover dinner on your face is necessity to trim a tree.  Don’t you know?


Mae was big help with the lights……


Until she wasn’t……………..


Little Bit decided at some point a diaper was not needed for decorating…….


Homemade ornaments galore……What is tree without a light bulb angel?


This one gets a chuckle out of me every year……


Well..for a first time decorating event with 19th month old it didn’t turn out too shabby!


Eddie isn’t quite sold on the Dr. Seuss, scrappy cedar idea but I am in love with it.  There is nothing written anywhere that a tree has to be cookie cutter designer masterpiece.  The more character the better as far as I am concerned.

Did something a little different with the buffet this year.  Got the old burlap and white lights out and gave it a go.


Mae is pretty impressed with Santa!


Merry Christmas All!

Almost a successful sledding trip…..


This is how it got started.  Got Mae Mae settled in on the sled in her new muck boots.


Started to pull…..We are about 2 minutes into the fun at this point.


She is loving everything about this. Even the 19 degree temp isn’t slowing her down.


And here is where the pictures stop.  Mae tipped to the side and fell face first in the snow.  Poor thing had so many clothes on she just stuck there and couldn’t move.  I snatched her up and tried to brush off as much snow as I could.  That is when the screaming started.  She was so cold and shook up that we headed straight for the house to defrost…..

Hmm… so to recap……..It took twice as long to get her dressed for the snow than the time spent actually sledding!  Maybe next time.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Snow has arrived.  We had about 6-8 inches of snow at the tail end of last week that is still hanging around thanks to the bitter cold. Lot of schools and business closed including my office as it turned out.   Mae Mae and I used the time to put on the christmas music and decorate for the holidays. The Christmas spirit is running wild at our little house now!  The only thing left to do is to put up a tree.

Christmas trees in our area are good old eastern red cedar trees. Spruce, douglas fir or the likes are only to be found in christmas tree lots. And as far as I know, there aren’t any christmas tree farms left for at least 100 miles. So that leaves us with a cedar off the farm…..but this year they are starting to get a little sparse. We may need to hop the fence (with permission of course) to the neighbors next year.

After Mass on Sunday, we piled in the truck on a search for a Charlie Brown tree as it turns out. Mae Mae wasn’t due for a nap for a few hours but immediately got fussy and asked to nurse. She nursed and promptly fell asleep in my arms. The sound of the chain saw, slamming truck doors or heated debates over which tree made the best candidate couldn’t wake this sleeping babe.


I had visions of taking picturesque shots of Mae Mae cutting down her first tree with her daddy and sweeping shots of the snowy landscape.  A sleeping baby in your arms will limit your mobility a bit though.  So here are my priceless photos to document the time-honored tradition that Mae Mae slept right through.


There is Eddie on the far left cutting down tree number one.  When he got it back to the truck it didn’t wow us…so we headed off for tree number two.


This is the tree that I liked the best but Eddie favors the first one.  Both trees are sitting on our front porch hopefully drying off a little and shedding some snow.  We plan on bringing one in this evening to decorate.  There may be a tussle of which one though…the jury is still out.

Here is my shot of the beautiful snowy landscape truck door and all.  Be impressed!


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