Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring It In

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Rules

Do you have established family rules in your home?  I believe in them.

Not in hard strict MUST-DO's (I said that in a really loud authoritative voice like King Tritan), but more in the sense of what our family stands for.

As Brecken grows up and we look forward to 2011, I thought it would be a good idea to write a couple things down.

I considered a constitution...
But I'm not that creative.

Then I saw Sassy Sanctuary's version and thought, "I can do that!"
So cute right?!

So to Picasa and Picnik I went.   

**PS, if you haven't downloaded these free softwares yet - DO IT.**

I knew I wanted it to be on 12x12 paper (because that is the size frame that I have the most of around the house), so I set the dimensions in Picnik to 1600x1600.  This way, the image wouldn't be distorted when it came time to print.
A billion fonts and some serious click and drag later, this is what I came up with:

Do you love it?!  Okay, I do, so hopefully you do too. :)

I decided that I needed it up on display in my house ASAP. Photocenter to the rescue!  They printed it SAME DAY (2 hours!), for a whopping $2.99.
PS I printed it in lustre not glossy.  Always the way to go in my book.
I switched out the 12x12 scrapbook paper in one of the 3 IKEA Fjallista 20x20 black frames I have in our family room, and got this:

It's not in the EXACT display that I ultimately envision, but I'm excited to have it up right now.  I'm thinking that a thrift store mission will be in place this week for something more ornate like this {sans (weird) Mona}:
Recent dollar store purchase.
If you have something like this already up - SHARE IT!  

I love to see the foundations of your family and how you display these.

Can't wait to share with you tomorrow another personalized piece of mantel art to reflect the upcoming year!!!

PS this was all completed during two naptimes - one to create and the other to display.

On a completely different note, 
Jake Locker and our beloved Huskies play in the Holiday Bowl tonight.   
Go Dawgs!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Projects of 2010

With so many new readers (I squeal with excitement everytime I get one!), I thought I'd join in on Southern Hospitality's Top Projects Party and give you a quick walk-through.

1.  Brecken's Nursery
From the inspiration (his bedding):

To the final product:
I still swoon everytime I walk into his room.  The two-tone greys, the vinyl...just LOVE it!

Master Bedroom Canvas Art
New bedding
Chair rail and two-tone greys
New Lulu jacket
Fav sweater of current
Obsessed much?  I think I'm in a rut....

This little doo-dad has changed our life and the way we do organization.  It's the hub for all things Carbonatto related and I LOVE it.  Plus, Bistro Markers are my new fav thing - I want them in every color!

4.  Adding a Third
Okay maybe this isn't technically a project, but it sure did feel like one!  2010 will always be the year marked by the addition of our first-born, Brecken Mathew.
From the showers thrown by friends and family:
To the loot received in anticipation of his arrival:
And the last pictures of us pre-baby:
A top list could not go without the mentioning of the joy of our life now:

We couldn't be more proud of our friends and family who came together to build a well.  {This is one of the best accomplishments of our lifetime thus far}.

and I can't wait to see the life change that comes of it.  Check out charity:water to see how you can get involved too.

6.  Family Rules

And a special thanks to my inspiration:
This blog wouldn't exist if it weren't for the creative...


reluctant entertainer
Without these women, my book page accessories would be nil in my home
I wouldn't know how to entertain my guests
Or how to embrace my own unique quirks.

{They inspire me to be a better wife, mom, entertainer, decorator and friend}.

For 2011, I still have TONS on my to-do list.

1.  Stenciled Wall:

2.  Organized Pantry
House of Smiths

 3.  Stairwell pizazz
cottage instincts
There you have it, top posts from this year, and anticipated fav projects for the year to come.  Inspired and excited!

Link up and share your top posts too!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Whew - the holidays are over!  What a fantastic season, but boy am I glad to be looking forward to 2011.  I absolutely LOVE hosting, but I feel like I've been cleaning my house for days and days....a million times over.  {But I so enjoyed decorating my home and preparing to share in these memorable times with our loved ones}.

Not only that, but I feel like I seriously don't need to eat until 2011.  We have had a {week o' food}.  It's one of the benefits of having 4 separate Christmas celebrations (in one week!) and marrying into a very traditional Italian Family (Blake's grandpa's name is Alfredo Guiseppe Carbonatto - I.TAL.IAN).

I thought I'd share with my fellow foodies some of the goodies that we devoured this week.

We had literally everything from a delicious build-your-own Taco Bar (one of the most genius non-traditional holiday meals EVER!), Prime Rib, Teriyaki Chicken Wings to my personal favorite - the Baked Pear French Toast. 
I borrowed the recipe from Reluctant Entertainer because it looked like the perfect Christmas Morning deliciousness, but added my own twist - about 1/3 cup of Light EggNog.  'Tis the season right!  It turned out SO yummy - although I must have a crappier oven than Ms. RE because mine needed to bake for a good 60 minutes instead of her recommended 40 in order to ensure non-runnyness in the middle.  Seriously so good though and will be officially added to our holiday meal collection of future. :)

The desserts were to-die-for as well, with primarily my mom to thank.  She made some sea salt caramel brownies.

Another night, we divulged on this goodness:
Congo Bars - yum!

I'm honestly full just talking about all the food we consumed this week.  I'm also really feeling like I need to go least to the mailbox.  Ha.

Check back tomorrow for some more Christmas highlights and thoughts!

Have you already taken your decorations down?  Does it depress you like it does me?  What deliciousness was on your holiday menu?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.  Rejoice, a Savior has been born.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Ever have people ask you: what are you like in a nutshell?  Hardest question EVER.  I thought I might try to tackle it though like my newest (virtual) friend...Ashley.

I'm a bandwagon enthusiast.  When something new sparks my interest, I instantly become obsessed with it.  Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it's bad.

Speaking of, I have a crazy fascination with the Kennedys.  If I wouldn't have married Blake, I'm convinced I would have moved to the East Coast so that I could find and marry one.

 I love all game shows.  It was a dream to be on one. Then it happened.

I've never clipped Brecken's nails.  I just bite them.  Toenails sometimes too.  Gross.

Sometimes I still wear my Bella band and pretend that I fit perfectly into my pre-preggo jeans.
I generally like most people named Ashley.  I lived with 7 of them in college.

I (accidentally) leave the toothpaste cap off every night, the top gets clumpy, I can't get anymore out, and then I just throw it away.  It drives Blake crazy.

I really want to go on a Mediterranean Cruise.  More specifically Greece.  Like bad.

I don't like circles.  The non-edge stresses me out.

I'm in a book club, (I decided to make it virtual too so you can read along) and have been for over 2 years.  I feel like a grandma sometimes when I say that. :)

Color scares me.  Grey and black feel much safer.

I have dessert after all meals.  I usually prefer a cookie or peanut M&M's.  I hate cake.

I'm addicted to Facebook and blogs.  I really shouldn't be.

I strive to be the best wife I can, and fall short regularly.  But have no problem telling my friends how they can be better wives. :)

I shudder in big groups.  I much prefer to hang out one on one.

I haven't worked out in 2 years. 

I used to be an athlete.  I'll get back to it someday.

I don't follow budgets very well.  That stresses Blake out.

I feel super underqualified to be a mom.

I LOVE my little boy.
He was a tiger for Halloween.  So cute.

I hope that we have 3 more boys.  Blake only wants one more girl.

Sometimes when I want to cry, I watch our wedding DVD, Intervention, or Teen myself.
At a buffet, I always go back for more salad after I've had dessert.  (Salad, entree, dessert, salad).
Yep, I like buffets.

I struggle with God's purpose for my life.  I want to change the world as a stay-at-home-mom....but don't know how.  It keeps me up at night sometimes.

I'm really stubborn, and generally think I'm right.  I need to work on that.

I (literally) pray that Brecken goes to UDub.  

If he doesn't, Yale will do so he can be a Skull and Bones.

I love blogging, and LOVE comments even more.

What are some of the quirks about you?  Have you checked off any bucket list items in your life yet?  Are we bff's now?  If you read this, don't be afraid to identify yourself. :)  Go here to link up your list too!
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