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The Tobin Family Trip

Anybody ever watched Daniel Tiger and the “Tiger Family Trip”?  Well, we have (about 197 times) and if you have too, that title up there goes pretty well with the theme song.  Hehe…  We sang it about a hundred times before and during our little Christmas road trip. 

Now, I know how exciting it is to read about other people’s vacations while sitting in the comfort of your own home…not on vacation, so let me spice up your present state and tell ya about ours.  ;)

Last summer, we got this fantastic idea to go to through Nebraska to Denver for Christmas…and by go to, I mean D R I V E.  With four little kids.  23.5 hours.  3300 miles.  Yep, like I said.  Fantastic.

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Well, we were all gung ho and making plans when Thanksgiving rolled in and we drove to my sisters in Florida…a seven hour trip.  The drive was absolutely awful.  We’ve done it before and it’s never been the easiest thanks to some antsy pants in the backseat but this time was the worst.  Cecilia is a master road-tripper and will sit for hours on end with nary a complaint.  Seraphia always complains that her rear hurts about an hour into any drive and every hour after.  Sebastian asks the age-old question “Are we there yet?” about a thousand times an hour and Gianna just really doesn’t like to sit still for very long which leads to lots of strapped-in tantrums.  Fun, fun.

So as we tumbled, drive-worn, into our house at the end of the Thanksgiving trip to Florida, our feet got frostbite with the thought of doing a trip more than three times that long in a month.  Why would we put ourselves through that again?

Merry Christmas!

Happy 10th day of Christmas!!  Those Lords are sure a-leaping, eh?  And so is Santa me thinks… 

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I’m sorry I didn’t get you a virtual Christmas card sooner but we took a holiday trip to Denver (3300 driven miles!) and I didn’t spend much time on social media nor did I bring my laptop.  It was awesome to be unplugged and able to be fully present.  More on the trip later.  For now, Merry Christmas to you, all of my dear readers!  I appreciate all of the commenting, reading, and support truly, truly, truly…and madly and deeply too.  ;)  I hope 2017 was good to you, all of the ups and even the lessons and beauty in the downs and I hope 2018 is even better!

God bless you!

G’s Room + The Five-Minute House

Poor Gianna.  Her mother has never devoted her time and energy into making her space “her space”.  Her older three siblings all had those spaces though.  This was the twins’ room when they were just wee babes…hardware 014_thumb[1] 
and here it was when they moved into a “big girl” room after baby bro came along. IMG_6558
And that little bro?  Here was his space:sebsroom2 (4)

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But all Gianna got were seconds in the decorating arena.  Her big bro moved in with her two older sisters and she got his room just as it was…a “boy” room.

I did have plans to feminize her room, I really did, but then we decided to work towards putting our house on the market and other things came first with that in mind. 

So then we sold our house and moved and in she went to the smallest room in the rental houseIMG_8748

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She was perfectly happy and I really had no plans to do anything to change her room since this is a really temporary rental situation but then…I found some cute stuff and things just kinda snowballed.  I mean, kids’ rooms are so fun to decorate, aren’t they?  How could I resist?!

Here’s what her space looks like now:

Christmas Cards on a Budget

‘Tis that time of year again, isn’t it?  Yeppity yep!  And who has it together enough to get Christmas cards out?  I mean, first you have to actually take pictures, burn an hour of time picking the one with the most eyeballs and smiles, spend another half hour second guessing yourself, stick a design with it, print it, buy stamps, get any addresses you might need, and finally, hand ‘em to the snail but HEY, it’s easy right?

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That’s why I have zero side-eyes for anyone who chooses to forgo sending out Christmas cards and the utmost respect for those who send theirs digitally…smart!!

I like sending out physical cards when I can, that is, when all of the stars align.  Even then, they might make it out before Christmas.  ;)  However, they can get pricey, right?  I hate to break it to anyone and everyone but as much as we love getting the cards in the mail, they get hung until the last day of Christmas and then they get tossed into the recycling bin.  I always feel so guilty for tossing them because I know the work and a lot of the times, the $$ that goes into them but I just can’t stand clutter so, whoop, they go.  Sorry! 

With that, I also get that ours will probably also get tossed BUT I don’t feel so bad because over the past couple of years, I’ve wised up and made our own cards.  The cards, envelopes, and stamps cost us around $70 for 75 cards.  I know that’s not a drop in the bucket but, considering that you’ll pay double, triple, and quadruple that at some online stores, it’s fantastic.  I mean, I won’t name the popular store, but their smallest (4.25” x 6” postcard) holiday cards start at $1.30 per card ($130 for 100 cards).  Yipe!  That’s not even including an envelope (since it’s a postcard) and stamps!  You’ve already eaten up our kids’ Christmas gift budget with that! 

Here’s how we do it so affordably.  Hold on tight…we take a picture, put some words on it, print 4 x 6 photos of it, stick them in envelopes, and send ‘em.  It’s still a good amount of work but with not a lot of money. 

DIY Fur Infinty Scarf

I have to give myself a reality climate check every fall down here in the South.  It’s something like - H E Y, I know everyone and their cousin is posting pixels filled with spiced lattes and covered toes but you live down where it’s still, not technically, but actually summer.  The humidity is still here to slap you in the face upon the exit of any a/c-filled abode and building and, your deoderant, yeah, it’s still working overtime.  You’d think I’d be used to it by now but no, no, no.  I actually grew up in the midwest where fall really feels like fall and summer stays back in summer.  But, I’m not complaining.  Sure, I miss the snow but I don’t miss the months on top of months of it and it’s great to not have to dress the kids up with 75 layers and then their Halloween costumes every year…you know, so they can actually go out as a little butterfly without looking like a stuffed butterfly. 

Anyway, the past couple of weeks have seen a little bit of chilly weather (chilly as in under 70) and so I jumped at the chance to finish a little project had started last fall…and by started I mean, I pulled out the fabric one day, threw up an Instastory about it and then never got around to moving it to my sewing machine.  But, with Gianna and Sebastian doing their synchronized napping thing, I was able to whip this up in a half hour and get the regularly scheduled homeschooling in with the twins one day last week.  #werkit 

Without further chatter, let me introduce my new, faux fur, infinity scarf:

IMG_6217jacket:  hand-me-down, altered // similar
button-down:  Target via Dirt Cheap // similar
jeans:  Old Navy (I heard great things about the Rockstar Built-In Sculpt jeans from ON last year and was so excited to try a pair but when I did, I was sadly disappointed.  I felt like they smashed my rear end down and were really uncomfortable.  Darn.  When I returned them, I tried their Rockstar Super Skinnies instead and LOVE them!)
wedge booties:  eBay // Amazon (I bought mine new off eBay three years ago and they are still going strong.  They’re really comfortable too!)
 

Want to make a fur scarf of your very own?  You know you do!  And guess what?  You could hand sew one in under an hour, maybe even in under a half hour.