Wednesday, November 26, 2014

twenty-four little surprises

Every year my children look forward to their Advent calendar. But why should the fun just be for little ones?
So this year, we decided that they should make Advent calendars for their grandparents!

Since my parents live an ocean away, we have already finished their calendar and it will hopefully be arriving in their mailbox in the next few days.
My daughter and I cut out 24 stars and she numbered them all in her pretty handwriting. It would ruin the surprises if I gave away all the gifts but I will share that some of them are little messages. We searched for lovely Christmas quotes and the children copied them in their best writing.
I think in the age of e-mails and instant messages, there is something deeply precious and personal about a handwritten note.
I love crafting and wrapping gifts and am glad my kids do too!  A pot of spiced tea and scented candles made the "it's-not-quite-Christmas-time-yet" atmosphere more festive and cozy.
We added gold to the edges of the stars and attached them to the gifts with double-sided tape.

When the calendar arrives, my parents have the assignment of finding a pretty tray or bowl in which to display their 24 little packages. Of course they also have to be sure to open their gift every day!
This weekend we will make another calendar for my husband's parents. It will look different and I promise to share it here!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall is the best

Love love love fall!
I've noticed so many bloggers feel the same.
This vibrant season is so alive and stimulating to all the senses.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower".
-Albert Camus

(If you think about it - that's a lot of flowers!)
I love walking through the crunchy leaves.
I delay sweeping and raking a tiny bit - not because I am lazy - but because the ground just looks so beautiful.
My children love carving their jack-o-lanterns.
Life is an adventure!
We enjoyed a lovely fall break on Lake Zurich and in the Black Forest and Alsace, forest and mountain hiking, eating well, city shopping, discovering, reconnecting, hanging out with friends and family. We visited rushing waterfalls, an adorable waffle cafe, and a farm with a huge selection of pumpkins and apples.
Our family spent a few nights in a very small apartment and honesty, we got on each other's nerves. At certain moments I vowed this would be the last family vacation with teenagers, but in the end, everyone agreed we all had fun! I think we all felt incredibly re-energized when we got back home.
So much harvest produce and fabulous pumpkin carving art at this Swiss farm!
Sunshine and mountain air and pretty Swiss flags everywhere.
Life is back to normal and the skies have turned gray and rainy but that is fine with me. I am happy to be in my cozy studio making, sewing, crafting, dreaming! 
Happy November!