Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Not Too Late!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions as a kid was making our gingerbread house each year with my mom and brother.  This is the third year I have made one with my kids, and although Christmas is just days away, it's not too late to make one!  
1.  Assemble your supplies:

Easy gingerbread:
2 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 C molasses
1/3 C brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 C oil
1 egg
Mix, roll out with a rolling pin, use some paper templates to make a front, back, two sides, and two roof pieces... here's where you can get as creative as your little heart desires :)

Bake pieces at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes

Easy Royal Icing:
3 egg whites at room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 lb. powdered sugar
use a mixer to really fluff it up, use icing bags with a simple decorator's tip to apply it to gingerbread (if you don't have these, a thick Ziploc with a tiny hole cut in the corner will work)... and although this icing is technically edible, it dries rock hard... perfect for gingerbread house glue!

2.  Assemble some adorable helpers

3.  Use the glue to stick on whatever candy you have... a great way to use up Halloween or Christmas party candy!

4.  Glue the pieces of the house together with the icing, and enjoy the finished house as part of your decor for a few days... and if your kids are anything like my brother and I were as kids, they'll enjoy prying off the stale candy after Christmas.  Man, kids will eat almost anything.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


{To My Sweet Boy on his Sixth Birthday}

Buddy Boy, you are a big personality. Nothing you do is small. You feel things deeply, experience things strongly, love completely, and generally live your young life to the fullest.

When you were just inside me, we knew you were going to be wild. When you were only a few weeks old, we knew you had a strong desire to be on the go. I cringed a little when, at three months the pediatrician commented on your remarkable strength, and warned us that you would probably be walking at eight or nine months. He was right. You were ready to run at nine and a half months. And climb. And climb. And climb. You still climb, and to be honest, it drives us nuts. We constantly remind you to only climb things meant to be climbed, like playground equipment, but it doesn't matter. When you were three, I turned for just a minute outside at church, and when I turned back around, you were halfway up the wall. You scaled a wall. Like Spiderman. Always keeping us on our toes.

You love others fully, and you are compassionate. Injustice infuriates you. You tell us you want to go to Africa when you are grown and tell everyone about Jesus, every single person. This makes my heart swell. I hope you travel the world and fulfill this purpose that God has placed in your heart. I will start praying now that I will be able to let you go. I love that a day does not go by that you don't tell your family that you love them. I love to hear your prayers when you thank God for the blessings in your life. And I love that you can recognize these blessings.

You are generous. You share with your sister all the time, everyday, without us prompting you, and often without any appreciation from her. You are a great big brother. Please continue to be your sisters' protector. When you are teenagers. When you are adults. When mom and dad cannot be there.

We pray that you will choose what God has planned for your life. God has gifted you with great intelligence, and a crazy memory. You are kind, you are compassionate, you want justice in this world. You have a great sense of humor, and you have an insane amount of energy. You really wear us out, but we adore you. We are crazy about you. You are a gift straight from God.

Buddy Boy, we celebrate your birth today! Happy Sixth!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Double Dream Hands!

I cannot stop laughing... but you at least have to give this guy credit for his sincerity.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Frosty {Ornament}

{This is an oldie, but a goodie.  I posted this quick and easy tutorial last year. If you're in a scramble for an adorable gift, this is quick, and so so cute!}

So if you're like 95% of America... you are in the process of switching over all of your household light bulbs to the new energy efficient CFL variety (if you're not... you should!). At our house, as the old energy guzzlers burn out, we replace with the new and improved. Well, this week the last of our bulbs finally kicked the bucket and that left me with supplies for this adorable little ornament, which will soon be sent off to live at Goofball's teachers' houses. Although, they are just so cute, I think I'll make an extra one for our tree, I just love snowmen!

To get started:

1) Gather these supplies: an old lightbulb, various shades of acrylic paint (white is a must, but the other colors are up to you), some iridescent glitter, modge podge (although this isn't mandatory as I discovered today), fabric scraps, tiny bit of orange felt, sponge brush

2) Paint a thin-ish coat of white paint on the bulb part only (leaving the top silver for now), and sprinkle on the glitter while the paint is still wet (this saves you a step and eliminates the need for modge podge). I found that sticking the silver end in the playdough freed up my hands while it dried.

3) Dab some dark paint for the coal eyes, mouth, buttons, add the tiny orange felt triangle (I used a hot glue gun)

4) Add a scrap of fabric for the scarf, add some detail by cutting some fringe in the ends, hot glue that baby on...

5) Paint the silvery top a color of your choice, wrap some ribbon around the the top, and you've got yourself one darling little snowman ornament... doesn't it feel great to be crafty AND green :)

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Friday, December 10, 2010

L'alfabeto Fan Page Giveaway

Are you a Fan of L'alfabeto on Facebook yet?  If not, head over and join the fun and stay in the loop about giveaways, sales, and coupon codes coming in January.

We had a giveaway for Facebook Fans this week when we reached 300 "Likes".  The lucky winners (yes, two!) of the custom wire monograms are...

Katie Tate Probandt and Kimberly Chris Holland.

{Winners were selected via}

Congratulations!  Please email me at to claim your prize :)
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun With Felt {Garland}

I love felt.  It is cheap and easy to use, and I love color.  Here are a couple of easy ideas for some festive felt garland.  All you need are some basic sewing skills, a few pieces of felt, and a night or two in front of  your favorite movie.

{Felt Garland #1}  
  *  felt in your favorite shade (or shades), I choose glitter white
  *  a sewing machine, or if you don't have one or are feeling super ambitious, a needle and thread
  *  a couple paper template in two different shapes, pictured are a circle and diamond, duh

Step 1:  Cut out a plethora of the two shapes.  Mine are about one inch each.  I used four 8"x10" sheets of felt, which yielded about 20 feet of garland (more than I needed)

Step 2:  Sit down at your machine and make one long continuous stitch through the middle of the alternating pattern of shapes

Step 3:  Decide where to hang the hand-crafted lovliness.  I hung mine in the opening between our kitchen and playroom, where I will hang all the Christmas cards we get in the mail.  Done and done.

{Felt Garland #2}
Materials Needed:
  *  Felt in a multitude of  fun colors, the more the merrier
  *  Embroidery floss in just as many fun colors

Step 1:  Using a paper template (I traced the top of a mini-playdough container), cut out a bazillion circles

Step 2:  Sandwich two of the same color circles together and sew together using your choice of thread colors using a blanket stitch (use {THIS} tutorial to figure what in the world a blanket stitch is, and how to do it)

Step 3:  Use a long needle, with tape over the tip so it is blunt, not sharp... string emboidery floss through the middle of each felt sandwich to create the length of garland your heart desires. 

I love the look of this garland because it reminds me of candy, and I do love me some sugar.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crazy Amazing Giveaway... Merry Christmas to YOU!

I'm participating, via my Etsy shop L'alfabeto, in the most amazing giveaway over at Laura Winslow Photography's blog.  There are over $2000.00 worth of prizes from over 50 vendors, all for ONE lucky winner!!!  How excited would you be to win some swag for yourself, and also some as gifts, making you the most favorite gift-giver come Christmas morning.  If I won, and wasn't already my parents' favorite child, I would most certainly secure that spot with some of these amazing prizes as gifts!

Go {HERE} for a sneak peek at all of the prizes, and for more information on how to enter!

What are you waiting for?!  This is nuts!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Elf On the Shelf

Reason #23 why my children may need therapy one day...

Also known as, "sadistic fun for parents"... we can't wait :)
If you haven't heard of this... google it.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Not Life's Necessities

I am so very thankful for my family, friends, the necessities of life that God so richly provides for our family.  But that's not what this post is about.  I'm going to list some things, that although are not necessary to live, they sure are pretty awesome.  And I am thankful.
1.  toilet paper (think about life without it, seriously)
2.  1 out of 3 kids who can wipe their own toosh
3.  the drive-thru at Starbucks
4.  family pictures
5.  razors
6.  the Chick-Fil-A play place
7.  Chapstick
8.  the bulk section at Sprouts
9.  grass in the backyard
10.  Christmas decorations, specifically our ornaments and tree
11.  good mail (i.e. not junk mail or bills)
12.  Pez
13. coconut
14.  gentlemen who hold the door open for females, any female
15.  date night
16.  new underwear
17.  not cooking
18.  sweater weather
19.  opportunity
20.  anticipation

Happy almost Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

'A' List {a wish list}

I'm in full on Christmas shopping mode and plan to be finished within the next ten days.  Why?  Not out of being super organized, but out of necessity.  I'm not about schlepping my newborn in and out of the mall during what I hope will be a stress free December.  99% of my holiday shopping will be done online, mostly through Etsy.  I love love love Etsy, and I love the convenience of shopping at 3am (or 4am, or 5am, or 6am... get the picture?) while the babe and I are awake.  

I am often astounded at the talent that I find on Etsy, and love giving (and getting... hint hint) unique gifts (and yet my favorite store is Target, go figure!).  Here are a few Etsy treasures that I have had my eye on for a while. 
{Custom i.d Tag by Make your Dog Smile}

Dog I.D. tag, for the four legged family members... well, just the ones that are on the "nice list"... my parents have a definite "naughty list" pooch, who if it were up to me, would get a lump of coal.  If it were up to Gary, she would get the "anchorman treatment".  But I digress.  

{Break Out The /fat Pants, recipe cards by Not Moira}

The best recipe cards that I will gift to my brother and his bride... pretty much everything in this shop is unique and fun (and totally cool!)

{Decadence headband by Adam's Blankie}

I am smitten with this headband, and pretty much want one in every color for Babycakes. I am already planning her outfit for my brother's wedding in May around this gem.  The model is pretty darn cute too, if I do say so (yep... our sweet new Babe!)

{Wooden Memory Matching Game, Robot Edition by Lemon Tree Studio}

Total eye candy over this sweet gal's shop, but I especially love this Robot Memory Match game for Buddy Boy's stocking.  She has a super sweet owl set too, that I want for myself Sweetpea.

Get shopping!
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Waiting Game

Looks like Baby Krull is waiting to arrive on Saturday.  The funny thing is, now that I have come to accept this, the waiting seems easier.  On the bright side, Saturday is also Grandma's birthday, so what better gift than a new grandbaby?!  I am, however, dying to know if it will be a baby girl or boy... the anticipation is killing me!

The weather has been beautiful out, so we've been spending as much time outside as possible.  I love sidewalk chalk almost as much as the kids do, so we've been making a lot of masterpieces.  It rained like crazy last night, and washed away the gallery in the driveway.  A great excuse to get out and do it again this afternoon.

The next post will be a baby announcement!  Have a wonderful weekend :)

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Still Here...

Still here.  Still pregnant.  But at least I'm graciously waiting for this sweet little one patiently with no complaining, right?  (You really think calling out a 10 month pregnant woman on this lie is going to end positively?!  I don't think so.)

My doctor assured me of medical intervention if I have not delivered this baby by Saturday.  So I wait.

In the meantime, I've kept busy:

1.  organizing the pantry and making new labels for it
2.  going to the library
3.  enduring contractions, that aren't "real" but certainly feel "real"
4.  preparing for Grandma's visit
5.  cleaning
6.  laundry
7.  walking
8.  delegating jobs such as installing the car seat and assembling the stroller to Gary
9.  catching up on this season's episodes of Teen Mom, a guilty pleasure indeed
10. baking
11. celebrating dealing with my 3.5 year old transitioning to no naps (super timing there, a week before we have a newborn in the house... )
12.  not sleeping

I hope that the next post I write is with exciting baby news.  Girl?  Boy?  Our household votes are split down the middle, and I'm so excited to find out!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Crazy Cake for my 3.5 Gal

Growing up, we always celebrated half birthdays.  It is still one of my most favorite traditions.  Even as an adult, on February 15th, my mom delivers half a birthday cake and frequently a gift card that is equivalent to my age (such as $31.50).  When I was seven, I got Valentine Barbie, which was pretty rad.

Today is Sweetpea's three and a half birthday.  We're having spaghetti and meatballs, her favorite, and we baked together today.  Have you ever baked with a three (and a half) year old?  Not the easiest usually.  However, today was an exception.  I let go of trying to make a "pretty" cake, because really I'm probably the only one in this household who cares how it looks, and went for fun.  We used this recipe from my friend Julie, who grew up making this with her family.  The best part about it?  Super easy, and only uses the baking pan and measuring cups... which makes for an easy clean up!

Crazy Cake (a la Julie)
You will need:
* 3 C flour
* 2 C sugar
* 1/3 C cocoa
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 2 tsp white vinegar
* 3/4 C vegetable oil
* 2 C water

In a 13x9" pan, use a fork to mix dry ingredients.  Make three separate wells.  In one well, pour vanilla.  In second well, pour vinegar.  In third well, pour oil.  Cover all with water.  Use a fork to blend.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

And done.

You probably have all, or most, of these ingredients in your kitchen right now!  When it's done, top with your favorite icing (we're using a simple butter cream) and enjoy!  And I forgot to mention, we threw in about half a box of junior mints right before baking, just because we're crazy like that.  So delicious!!

Happy Half Birthday Sweetpea!  You are so loved!
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FYI for those of you keeping track... still pregnant.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


So.  Still pregnant.  In the last week, I've vacuumed the walls (yes, the walls), washed all laundry (sometimes taking it off a family member while they were still wearing it), mopped, dusted, cleaned the blinds, assembled and set up all baby gear, packed the diaper bag, packed the hospital bag, made the numbered shirts for my soon to be brood of three (strictly for a photo op), cleaned every room, twice, washed my sheets, cleaned the bathrooms, and did some light yard work that included as much lunging and squatting as possible.

Now it's time to get down to business.  Tomorrow is my goal.  How cool would 10-10-10 be for a birth date?  So on my list of to-do's today?... planting a garden, going to my baby shower, eating some spicy food, and drinking this tea (among other tried and true methods for bringing on labor).  Wish me luck.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

ABC's- A Collection

I finally finished a project that has been on my to-do list for quite some time.  Months.  I stumbled across several variations of this around and fell in love.

I have quite the soft spot for unique typography, and thought this idea would be perfect for a huge, empty wall in Buddy Boy's room.  So, the hunt was on for letters on the cheap.  I spent the past few months using my Michael's and Joann's 40-50% off coupons, browsing ebay, and even making a few of the letters, to complete the collection below.  After I had all 26 letters, I went to town modge podging, spray painting, and overhauling almost every letter, then practiced arranging them on the floor before committing to holes in the wall.

And here's the finished product!  I love it, and most importantly, so does the boy.  I wanted him to take some ownership in decorating his room, so he helped pick most of the colors, and even painted the "N" himself on a small canvas.  I took color inspiration from these things in his room, and went from there:

Most of the letters came from Michael's or Joann's, with the exception of a few cool finds:
H:  made from a ripped children's book and a file folder, I just cut out rectangles and assembled a 3D letter with my hot glue gun

I:  an old wooden ruler

K:  a reflective letter from a highway sign, found on ebay for $7.00

P:  wire letter from Pottery Barn Teen, on clearance for $5.00 plus free shipping... although these are long gone, *these* cute ones are on clearance!

T:  a letter from an old marque sign, $3.00 on ebay

&Z:  this antique school slate was given to me by Gary's Grandma, and I've been wanting to do something cool with it ever since... it was hers from childhood!
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Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Only Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

This phrase actually came out of my mouth... about 2 minutes before Sweetpea sent her bedroom door (knob) straight into Buddy Boy's eye. No tears, he just wanted a picture of his first black eye.  That's my boy, I guess.


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