Some Favorite Presents – Toddler Version

As the holiday season really kicks into gear, I thought it might be fun to showcase some of the presents we have received, to be able to share with those who are interested what things we were super excited about. Today, I am going to show a couple of Rudy Mae’s presents that she is really loving from Caleab and I.

These photographs are a mixture of two presents, both of them from the company Melissa & Doug. The first one we purchased at our local toy store here in Yellow Springs, Mr. Fub’s Party. It’s called “Pizza Party” and is a wooden play food set that the individual pieces stick together with velcro. The second is called “Wooden Kitchen Accessory Set” and we bought it on It consists of three wooden pots and pans with lids, two wooden utensils and an oven mitt.

Rudy picking a topping off of her pizza.

Rudy picking a topping off of her pizza. This topping we call “Veggie-roni” instead of “Pepperoni”.

Oven-mitt and 'za.

What Rudy really likes to do is take all of the pizza toppings and put them into the big red pot and stir it up.

What Rudy really likes to do is take all of the pizza toppings and put them into the big red pot and stir it up.

Pizza Topping Stew.


To Sir, With Love

A present.

I get so much incredible joy out of giving gifts. I love putting thought and love into each and every gift I give. I love to see the receiver’s reaction, especially, of course, when I’ve hit the nail on the head. It is most certainly my absolute favorite part about the holidays. (I really adore getting gifts, too, don’t get me wrong!)

To me, part of gift giving is the presentation. I really try to put some pride into my wrapping jobs. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or over the top. In fact, I feel like the more simple and classic, the better.

This year is the first year since 2008 that Caleab and I are getting gifts for each other. I am so excited about exchanging with him. This is one of my presents to him. (I addressed the gift tag with our middle names on this gift, in case there was some confusion as to the “James” and “Nichole” instead of “Caleab” and “Erica”.)


To you, from me.


Please excuse my lack of posting, most of the family, but most especially poor Rudy Mae, has been very sick the last week and a half. I’m just now finally getting a chance to make a fresh post and I must say that I am excited about it. We decorated for the holidays the Monday after Thanksgiving (I believe that was the topic of my blog two posts ago) but I hadn’t gotten the stockings up yet because we were trying to decide on the best place for them still. Yesterday as I was cleaning the heck out of our home, I decided to just throw them up myself and I am thrilled with them. I absolutely adore how they look and, yes, it made me even more excited about Christmas. (And you thought that wasn’t possible!)

I cannot wait to fill these beauties with goodies and see the faces of our children as they open them. Sometimes stockings can be more fun than presents!

A Decorating Tradition

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, the first available evening that all five of us can be together we reserve as “Decorating Day”. It takes a good chunk of the night, so it takes commitment, and some years the kids are more gung-ho than others. This year it fell on Monday the 26th. The success was mediocre, with Rudy Mae and Calum both falling ill right before we started, but our home still looks lovely and festive and has helped push me further into the holiday mood than ever.

Complete side note: I did a post a bit back about some vintage nativity pieces I found at a thrift store. One thing that I can say is really, really me is most things vintage-y, treasure-y, olden-days-y, etc. I don’t love things/possessions (okay, I might have a slight love-affair with my books, but I digress) but I really do feel like all of our holiday decorations, and home decorations in general, really reflect who we are. I am extremely happy with our collection of decorations and I hope my photographs have done them some justice.

My favorite decorations are those of the homemade persuasion. A tiny version of Calum.

Pasta ornament!

Ziven’s version.

Vintage Holidays

Ever since I can remember, my style has been of a very vintage quality. I credit that to my mother who has always had a wonderful sense of style, shopping mostly at thrift stores, slightly because that’s what we could afford, and mostly because one can find super awesome vintage things there. When I refer to “my style”, I am speaking of my personal style, my clothing, etc, but also my home decorating. One of these days, I will have to¬† document through photography some of my favorite vintage home decorations to give you a feel of what my personal taste is; I’m not tooting my own horn, but golly do I have some incredibly amazing house decorations.

As a person who loves to add personal touches through decoration in my home, I am very much in love with decorating it for the holidays. My holiday collection always feels to me like it is complete, until that day when I walk into a thrift store and see some vintage Christmas decorations screaming my name, which is exactly what happened last night. There were six figures and they were .99 cents a piece, which totaled $5.94. I had an internal debate for quite some time, that was a little hard for me to pay, but the more I looked at these guys, the harder I fell in love, and the more I knew that my house was the home they belonged in.

A Few Halloween Treats

We get pretty excited about holidays in our house, but for some reason this year, Halloween has seemed to have gotten swept under the rug. Oh, we have costumes picked out and a few decorations up, but usually it is all on a much grander scale. I did manage to catch a few things in photograph that had something or another to do with Halloween and I present them here for your viewing pleasure:

“You talkin’ to me?”

Just a Baby Spider-man browsing through the store, no big deal.


Rudy Mae thoroughly enjoyed these Spider-man glasses.

She really loves hats. She will leave them on forever.

Part of the costume we decided on. At that moment she actually did NOT love hats and refused to wear the gnome hat/beard that completes the look.

Yellow Springs holds an annual Zombie Walk every year. The boys have always enjoyed participating, but this year we took Roo up too. I’m not sure how she felt…(I promise, she thought it was fun. That zombie is my friend Natalie and Rudy knows her.)

Ziven opted to be a zombie hunter this year.

I just can’t ever be serious, and if there’s any time to be serious, it’s when you’re being attacked by a zombie.

Calum was your typical zombie and did quite a splendid job at it. Creep. (I cropped this photograph because two of Calum’s friends were in it and out of respect for them and their parents, I did not want to included them not knowing if they would be okay with it.)

They were setting off paper laterns at the Zombie Walk and in the midst of all the doom and creepiness, it was a rather lovely moment of calm.

Happy Halloween to you and yours!