Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a happy, have a happy....

have a hap hap happy new year!

Never been much of a New Year's Eve girl - too much pressure to "let's have fun!!!!" Tonight we are chillin at home with the kids, having yummy snacks and drinks, lobster for dinner, cheesecake for dessert, and a lot of wii after dinner. My perfect New Year's Eve!!

Speaking of drinks :) Here's the kid's idea of perfection

and here's mine!

On the menu tonight are Marco Polo Martinis. Put equal parts of vanilla vodka, liquor 43 (no clue, just do it) and pineapple juice in an ice filled shaker, strain, serve and enjoy!


ETA: The day after report - the martinis were deeelicious! So delicious I had 2 and might have been talked into a 3rd but had to stay serious for the wii tourney (I lost) An addition I plan to incorporate next time is a nice lemon sugar rimmer from the company Stirrings.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Organization Challenged

picture from a great "get your arse in gear" website

Will this be the year? The year that I get actually get my house organized and in some kind of order? The year I actually follow through doing over Caroline's room? I'm snooping around the internet and findind sites like this and this this and think it may just be THE year! I'm hopelessly optimistic but am bringing you all along for emotional support - I hope you'll join me :) Camera's charging and there's lots to be done around here! Stay tuned.... xo, Brie

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly

Been struck with insomnia which hasn't happened to me in a long while! I hate when this happens but at least I have plenty to do around here so I might as well make it work to my advantage by cleaning this place up for our company who is arriving today and with a quick post :)

Mr. KB usually puts up the outdoor lights but this year for some reason every weekend was so jam packed he never got around to it. The weather here in NJ has been bipolar so just last week when it reached almost 70 degrees outside (we now have about 8 inches of snow) I jumped at the opportunity to put up the lights. I was a bit of a disaster and I hope none of the neighbors were watching me! Tangled lights everywhere, me on a 12 ft wobbly ladder, dirty words a flyin - not a pretty sight.

The final results were not too shabby! I am quite pleased with my handy work!

I have never put lights on this bell before but had some extras laying around and I love it!

I love me a good spotlight on a wreath

The icicles were my nemesis that day - I love how they came out though

I usually put some greens in my window boxes for the holidays and then move them into the garage after Christmas to save on the wear and tear. They looked so boring at first and then I found some of those real looking plastic ball ornaments at walmart and went crazy with the glue gun! I love how they turned out!

All in all a success! I don't know what's going on around this neighborhood but nobody seems "into it" this year! The street is dark and gloomy and I don't like it one bit!

Presents are wrapped and tagged, house is almost all decorated, company arrives today so I am not sure how much blogging I'll get to in this week. You never know! In case this is it, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah! xoxoxoxo Brie

Monday, December 22, 2008

Love is in the Air!

I'm starting feel better, would really prefer to be napping but we have company coming tomorrow along with the cleaning ladies (thank God!) so there is soooo much to do!

Imagine my delight to find these happy couples upon entering the living room! Ms. C is playing matchmaker for anyone who is interested....

Are you a religious girl like Ariel here? A pewter Joseph swiped from our nativity scene would make a perfect mate! Shhhh don't tell Mary

For those who fancy a well dressed man shorter in stature like Belle, Treemont from the Family Treetots is your guy, his first wife Willow will not be pleased.

Snow White seems to prefer a taller more casually dressed man (who goes by the name of Daddy) who likes to ride horses all day (thus the wide stance) This guy is also spoken for - his unappreciated wife (aka Mommy) is somewhere in the playroom probably at the bottom of a tupperware bin.

For the girls who like the "bad boy" type like Cinderella - Mr. Gangsta Rat who I believe came from a happy meal is the perfect match! He even comes with a gold tooth and his own gold chains.

Let's hear it for the happy couples and matchmaker extraordinaire Ms. C! xo, Brie

Under the Weather

Feels like I may be paying this season for putting off lots of things on my to do list. Snowstorms and a nasty case of the flu have put all plannings and preparations on hold. I am feeling a little better today and am in need of a real POWER DAY! Sadly no serious blogging on the list :( Hopefully tomorrow. Stay well :) xo, Brie

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Store

The elementary school my kids go to has the greatest tradition each year. The first Wednesday of every December the gym is transformed into a North Pole shopping mall for the kids.

There is a full committee for this Christmas store who work all year long recruiting crafters for a handmade section and scouring the area for inexpensive finds to meet all the needs of the little shoppers. Pricing is incredibly reasonable ranging from .25 to 6.00 and all money made from this event goes into the restocking for next year's event.

The kids make their list and budget and have an allotted time to shop. My favorite part of the whole day is that the little ones get paired up with the older ones to help them along. It is really cute! The 8th graders do all of the wrapping and tagging so the kids come home with bundles of wrapped gifts to put under the tree with all the things they have selected themselves.

The selections are often hilarious! Kevin picks out a dazzling tie for my dad every year that tend to look something like this!

Monka is a great sport and wears it to Christmas dinner. The kids are really proud of themselves and this event makes them so excited about the "giving" part of Christmas. It's a great tradition! xo, Brie

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas cards have been mailed and received for the most part, so I can safely reveal my beloved card for 2008. I really love the way it came out and am most pleased with the absense of my annual holiday freak out to get a perfect group shot for the card. Hurray for tiny prints!!

Been running around NJ like a lunatic with shopping, decorating needs, entertaining needs, and Christmas concerts.... have been taking pics and will be sharing soon :) Steer clear of the impatient woman in the minivan (that'd be me) Big snow storm heading here tomorrow - yippee! xo, Brie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The winner is...............

Forgot to do the drawing last night.... I'm getting forgetful in my older age, just kidding - I've always been forgetful ;) Congrats to lucky number 7

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:7
Timestamp: 2008-12-16 14:24:33 UTC

That's Kathie at My Preppy Purse! Congrats and send me an email with your address to bridget at keeksandbrie dot com!

Here's how I'm spending my bday presently... cleaning my house and listening to Fall Out Boy at high volume! Who's jealous? ;) xo, Brie


Time flies when you're having fun. 38 today - yeehaw! Couldn't resist playing you one of my favorites :) xo, Brie

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blogversay, Contest, and a PSA

First off - It's my one year blog anniversary. I can't believe it's been a year... I've had a lot of fun doing this and of course meeting lots of creative, sweet, and funny people through this so I have really been enjoying myself!
Next up, the ornament contest. I am pulling the winner tonight before bed and will announce in the am. If you haven't entered and you like them, please do! Your odds of winning are quite excellent ;)

Lastly, will you just look at this? I got talked into buying this 30 dollar wreath from the boy scouts at church. We have a new storm glass door over our real front door which apparently doubles as a wreath oven. Learn from my mistake and hang the wreath IN FRONT of the glass, not behind it or you'll end up with this toasted delight. The only upside was Christmasy pine smell all through the house that day as it roasted and I had no idea where it was coming from! That was 30 dollars well spent ;) xo, Brie

Friday, December 12, 2008

Operation Ornament a Success!

The party was soooo much fun last night! Our hostess pulled off another fab party which was really no surprise - lots of great people, beautifully decorated home, yummy food, etc! It was an all ladies event and as an extra bonus there was beer! I like wine, but wine doesn't like me that much and 9 times out of 10 gives me the worst headache. The beer was a fabulous German beer hoegaarden (pronounced who-garden, but I think I prefer to call it ho - garden) and I am so happy to be headache free this morning!

I took extra care to wrap my gift pretty (chosen 6th out 40, thank you very much - so happy to not be in the lonesome loser crew this year!)

People did not sneer at the homemade purses thankfully and they even got swapped a few times so I was happy and relieved about that!

I totally scored on mine! Check this beauty out....

it has all the qualities I am looking for in a Christmas ornament - glass, round, bow, and GLITTER! Isn't she pretty?

I'll leave you with this question - is it polite to "steal" an ornament from the hostess of the party at the Yankee swap? My gut is no - but it was done several times last night. I honestly had never given a whole lot of thought to this until a few years ago when at another party someone stole the gift from the hostess - the lady sitting next to me whispered ( kind of loudly) in my ear that, that guest "Was not raised right"

TGIF :) xo, Brie

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ornament Exchange and a little Holiday Giveaway

Tonight I am going to a Christmas ornament exchange party hosted by my friend. She does a beyond fab job of decorating and hosting and it is always a lot of fun! Everyone pulls a number and then it's Yankee swap style on the ornament you get (you can either pick a new unwrapped one or steal from someone). One year I wrapped mine up in one of those cellophane bags and it was the last one chosen... I learned from that night on, wrap it pretty or you're the lonesome loser on the table :D

I usually make the ornaments and package them up in a group of three. About an hour before the party, I start having some serious regrets about going this route b/c it really puts you "out there" as in "what if everyone thinks this is a stinker ornament". In the past it has worked well, people seem to like them but part of me wants to make a mad dash to Pier One this second and buy an anonymous ornament that nobody knows it's from me :)

It's always a lot of fun and I'll share the ornament I win tomorrow!

So here is where the giveaway comes into play. Leave me a comment and you are eligible for a set of four preppy purse ornaments made by me :) Winner will be randomly selected on Monday 12/15 - my one year blog anniversary! xo, Brie
Here is one of mine at work on the tree

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Going Green

with the blog background for the holidays :) you like? This is as exciting of a change as you'll see b/c I stink at this stuff ;) xo, Brie

Handmade Advent

I love peeking into other families' traditions and styles especially during Holiday time! Jules so kindly gave us a glimpse into her home with her advent wreath, advent calendar, and two adorable boys yesterday!

Here is our advent wreath made with love from our preschooler Ms. C! Isn't it so cute? Completely handmade and made from some recycled materials (candles are old toilet paper tubes) and the base is a paper plate! The yellow construction paper flame is fitted into the candles and you can pull them up when it's time to "light" the candle.

I'm not going to lie to you - I have 5 of these from preschool past, I always save them but they never look so great when I pull them out of the box the following Advent season. This year, it is imperative that I pack this up with UTMOST care b/c this is my last year with a preschooler - I could cry!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a Keeks and Brie holiday giveaway I am planning (that reminds me I to charge up my camera!) :) xo, Brie

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Harry I love you....

One of my favorite Christmas songs - pure self idulgence here :) xo, Brie

Monday, December 8, 2008

I love Target

it's no secret and it's no shame... I LOVE Target!! How adorable is this over sized sweater I picked up for Ms. C this w/e? It's over sized b/c it is marked a size 10 (M) but that's all they had and that's how much I loved it! I took this picture 4 times this morning... a normal smile was not in the cards!

Here it is online available in smaller sizes which would have worked better for her but I am looking at the bright side... she'll enjoy this for years to come!

I'm off to clean that annoying smudge off of my camera lens now! xo, Brie

Friday, December 5, 2008

The fun continues...

I do realize I have an "elf yourself" problem.... THIS should have been the Christmas card! xo, Brie

Thursday, December 4, 2008

elf disco

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Happy Holidays Dance

This really never gets old for me - throw in some yearbook yourself fun and you've got yourself a HIT! xo, Brie

edit: what the.... the embed won't work. boo hoo - this 70's child could not resist the disco version :)

edit: finally got it to post above! Now how can I get a job as the dancing elves? Those are seriously all my signature moves!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today's my Anniversary!

14 years and 4 kids later.... really can't believe it!! Thanks Dad for scanning these for me :) xo, Brie

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tiny Prints to the Rescue - with time sensitive code

an old favorite from Christmas 2006

This offers expires TONIGHT (12/2) so if you are unorganized (like myself) and haven't coordinated a group pic of the kids just yet for the holiday greetings.... don't fret! I got lots of beautiful cards from a company called Tiny Prints last year and received my first card today from a friend (which threw me into a complete panic) which also happened to be Tiny Prints and was way cute!

Cards are ordered and I love them! Use code JOLLY15 and get 15% off your order over 100 dollars. Code ENDS at 11:59 TONIGHT so get crackin....

A few points why I really enjoyed this working with this company

  • tons of choices - I mean TONS and one is cuter than the next. I am sucker for the square shaped card but did resist the temptation b/c postal charges extra postage - one of life's great mysteries to me b/c it makes no sense!

  • they had the perfect card for me with 4 separate panels for each of the kids' pictures! No fretting over who blinked in one, who wasn't looking, who has red eyes, who was crying b/c mommy was yelling to SMILE AND SIT STILL etc etc etc ;) Just pick a pleasing photo of each child and drop and drag into the handy template

  • they also allowed me to adjust the pictures with zoom and left/right shifting in each picture and even let me change my color photo to black and white - I'm soooooo artsy!

They should be here between 12/12 and 12/16 - right on schedule!!! I have the whole address book on excel so I can print up my stickers, stamp and send!

One thing checked off my list.... only 546 to go :) xo, Brie

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stocking Stuffer

Kay went to a birthday party last weekend in the city and one of these was in her goody bag.... awesome doesn't even begin to describe how good this is. I am getting some for Mr. KB for his stocking b/c he is so hard to buy for! You can get some Here or if you are feeling ambitious, try to make your own with this recipe! xo, Brie

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Elf of the Shelf

My sister recommended this to me and now I am recommending this to you! It's a little a book called Elf of the Shelf. It retails for 29.95 (I got mine on ebay and it came with free shipping). The kit comes with the cutest rhyming Christmas story and a little elf doll.

The story is about this elf who watches you all day and flys home at night to report to Santa all your naughty and nice behavior. Each morning he is in a new place in your house and the kids find him in the morning. On Christmas Eve he flys home with Santa with promises to return next year around Thanksgiving.

Nothing like a mild case of paranoia to motivate good behavior! Whatever works :) xo, Brie

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After....

We are clearing out the kids' toy room. So many outgrown, broken, lost pieces everywhere.... it's gots to go! Should take hours (no kidding, it's really bad)... wish me luck and stay tuned for pics! xo, Brie

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Give thanks, eat lots, have fun! xo, Brie

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I love discount codes

A few people posted this and I want to keep it going.... who doesn't love a little percent off? xo, Brie

Vampires are having the best week EVER!

Keely and I went to see Twilight last night after our show. Holy smokes did I love it! I haven't even read the books, but now of course I will. Add this movie to your to do list!

Edward is Cedric from Harry Potter- so handsome... funny I never noticed that before! - the makeup was a touch distracting to me but all in all two thumbs up! xo, Brie

Friday, November 21, 2008

Guess What

I completely chickened out on the bangs..... but I did get my hair cut a lot shorter. I like it but I am still going through a little shock with the drastic change. When your 4 year old greets you at school pick up with a "you look weird" that tends to damage the psyche a bit. Keely is coming in tonight so I'll have her take a pic. I might go for the longer "side bangs" in January! xo, Brie
PS Kerry, you are the whole inspiration for wanting the bangs in the first place! Yours look great!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Time Waster to the Third Power

At least three people have recommended this site to me (knowing how easily amused I am :)

How awesome is this? I am now contemplating a whole new world of hairdos now! xo, Brie
Every time I look at these I get giggling. The top one is my facebook profile and somebody asked me today when I had that picture taken? I guess she thinks I am older than I am? Maybe I should seriously consider those bangs!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bangs or No Bangs?

That's a good question! I am seriously considering bringing the bangs back. I'm not the young filly that I used to be so they could offer some help in that dept. We went out this weekend to a bar that was carding - I honestly panicked a bit b/c I didn't have my id on me. That sent my husband and his friend into a fit of laughter. Needless to say we were waved right in with no id required. How sad!

On the other hand - I remember the pain in the neck bangs brought requiring frequent trimming not to mention the impulsive times I decided to take matters into my own hands and trim them myself (was not pretty!) I've never been a big fan of the "I just had my bangs cut" look either.

What to do, what to do. I have Friday to decide! Help me! xo, Brie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Archeutah :)

Guess who just bought David Archuleta's new single off itunes? That's right, me! I'm lovin it :) xo, Brie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A couple of tips for the Magic Kingdom

I have a huge show coming up starting Thursday and my head is still somewhere in Orlando. Forgive my blog neglect in both posting and reading, I'll be back on track soon!

Ms. C ready to hit the Magic Kingdom doing the stiff handed princess/beauty queen wave. Not sure where she learned this but boy did we all love it!

I wanted to share some HOT tips I found for the Magic Kingdom if you are planning a trip soon (I can't take credit for all of these b/c some are from Keely and my cousin Sara!)

  • If you have a little girl go to Costco or BJ's and buy them a princess costume dress BEFORE your trip. MANY of the little girls are wandering the park in these dresses and look adorable. Caroline was Belle (thank you Keely!) This costume cost 30 dollars at BJ's wholesale club and was 65 and up at the park. All of the park staff would greet her saying - good morning princess, hello princess etc - she loved it! One staffer even asked for her autograph in their book - she ate it up.

  • Go to the park in Sept, Oct, or Nov - the longest line we waited in was 25 minutes. We walked on almost everything (with the exception of Saturday which was noticeably more crowded)

  • If a ride offers FASTPASS - get one and don't wait in the regular line. This is especially true for Peter Pan in Fantasy land- that line is slow as molasses and they definitely "favor" the fast pass line.

  • You are only allowed one fast pass per time window per ticket so plan wisely! For example I knew some of my kids would do Thunder Mountain and others would not so we got 3 fast passes for that ride and Dave used the other 3 to get fast passes for Peter Pan

  • Do Dumbo ride FIRST - this ride has no fast pass and is S L O W to load and unload causing for longer lines

  • SKIP Stitch's escape. Seriously, horrible. The kids of all ages (including me) hated it.

  • Go to the library and or buy the Unofficial Guide to Disney. It was a fantastic resource FULL of awesome tips!

  • The kids loved having dinner at Pinocchio Village Haus with a table overlooking Small World. It's fast food but they loved waving to the people on the ride! It was a fun spot to take a break.

  • I hate those autograph books ... they totally slow up the character picture line but we broke down and bought 2 books anyway.

  • Disney's fireworks cannot be beat they are great, but NOT for everyone. Ms. C nearly had a nervous breakdown when they started - forcing us to flee from the park. They are beautiful but very loud.

  • Take full advantage of the ride switch if they offer it. Tell the staffer at the front of the line you want to ride switch and they hand you a fast pass good anytime that day for up to 3 people. Total score and won't interfere with getting another fast pass since the one in your hand wasn't dispensed by a machine and therefore not in the system.

Best Ride for the whole family (our kids scare easily) = Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Best 3D movie of all the parks is here = Philharmagic

Best parade - 3pm down Main St = Disney Dreams Come True. All your favorites are in this - it's really cute! Slip into the gift ship Emporium on Main Street (gets my vote for best gift shop btw) and out their side door for secret FRONT ROW seats :)

We also had a "magical moment" at the park which I honestly thought wasn't "real" but it is. Free ice cream for Ms. C! Thanks Mickey! xo, Brie

Coming soon - tips for Epcot and Hollywood Studios along with my review of the Nickelodeon Suites hotel

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back to the Real World!

Boy oh boy did we have a GREAT time in Disney! I have so many tips and tricks to share and I promise to dish it all soon - I have about a bazillion loads of laundry waiting for me upstairs and I wish I could wiggle my nose and make it go away.

In the meantime - check out a pic from our princess lunch in Epcot. I put this up on facebook and said it was me with the kids heading out to the park! xo, Brie

Monday, November 3, 2008

C ya real soon 8:)

It's vacation time and in usual fashion, I am scrambling last minute. I had big hopes of putting up some entertaining posts while I was away, but never got to it. Time is tight, I hope you understand ;) See you when we get back!! xo, Brie

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clock Work

Don't forget to FALL BACK and turn your clocks back one hour tonight! I am super psyched for the extra hour of sleep! xo, Brie