Saturday, December 31, 2011


happy new year, faithful readers!  

did you know that today is also my birthday?  'tis true.  i'm the big 2-8 this year...and in being true to my age this year, i'm spending it in a very low-key way.  home, on the couch watching a movie with the hubs and consuming an entire bottle of left over bubbly from our wedding.  sounds FANTASTIC to me!  

cheers to another great year in 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all....and to all a good night!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

five friday faves: christmas list edition!

dear santa,

i've been extra good this year.  i'd list the reasons why, but who am i kidding?  you know already!  here's a few things i'm hoping to find in my stocking or under the tree this year!

vanessa christenson's book!  i've had this one on the list since she announced on her blog that it was available for preorder!

 an iPad case from the pleated poppy.  or, really, just anything from the pleated poppy's shop!  lindsay has such an eye for combining awesome fabrics together on her products, i love them all!

these penguin rain boots in black.  {i told you i was obsessed with penguins.}

this kick-a mug from the warner brother's shop.  i love harry potter!  i won't lie, i also have this awesome t-shirt on my list...and the newest dvd.

and this kneadlessly simple no-knead bread recipe book!

what's on YOUR list this christmas?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

christmas quiz

christmas quiz
if you post your own q+a's be sure to let me know so i can check out your holiday answers!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? i despise eggnog.  like, i LOATHE eggnog.  hot chocolate is pretty good, even better if there is creme de menthe liqueur in there!  or buttershots.  YUM.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? growing up (seeing as how i don't have children) my mom wrapped our presents to each other and we opened those on christmas eve.  then, we got santa gifts in the morning, sometimes those were wrapped, sometimes they weren't.  my mom hates to wrap presents, so i was usually given the duty of wrapping everything except my own!  hah!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? growing up we had colored lights.  i get my type a-ness from my parents, so i always remember them being in the correct color order and everything.  if a red bulb went out, it got replaced with a red bulb.  and my dad put a clip on every single light to keep them straight.  this year, with the move and all, we don't have outside lights, but all of the lights we own for outside are white.  i'm a white light kinda gal.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up? usually the week before thanksgiving, but this year i did the weekend after.  again, because of the move.  and kyle was traveling out of the country the week before thanksgiving, so he wasn't home to help me haul everything out of the attic.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? hmmm...probably hash brown casserole.  or stuffing.  or pecan pie.  pretty much all of it, if i'm honest.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? i just always remember waiting until my dad got home from work on christmas eve, so i remember getting the dinner ready, wrapping presents and watching movies with my brother.  it was awesome.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? haha, my best friend growing up told me.  i never bothered to tell my parents that i knew, i wouldn't get presents then!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? ever since we started celebrating with both of our families, we've done christmas eve with my parents and christmas day with kyle's parents.  this year we are switching it up and doing the opposite days!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? we have two now, thanks to the kohl's after christmas sale last year!  our big one is decorated with our wedding colors (dark aqua and red with silver and white) and our small tree has my baby ornaments and ornaments that kyle and i have collected over our years together.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? love every second of it!

12. Can you ice skate? yes, we have a rink here in wichita, but i haven't been in forever.  i really want to go this year!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? i loved my cabbage patch twin dolls.  i also had a barbie ferrari and a barbie rv that were pretty sweet, too.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? family, friends and tradition.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? pecan pie!  and my cousin's wife makes the best pumpkin roll you've ever tasted.  SO GOOD!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? my family passes out our gifts in order of age.  my little brother goes first, then me and so on.  then we open them in age order, too!  i'm not sure i've ever heard of anyone else doing that, but i love it!  probably because i get to open the first gift every year!  the advantage of being the oldest child and marrying someone older than me.  ;)

17. What tops your tree? a glittery wire star on one and a lightblocks snowflake on the other.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? i love giving gifts!  i think it is so much fun to browse around and find something that you just KNOW someone will love!  that's why i christmas shop year-round!  you never know when you'll find the most perfect item!

19. Candy canes: yuck or yum? hate the peppermint ones, love the rest.

20. Favorite Christmas movie? ELF, a christmas story, christmas vacation, rudolf, frosty the snowman.  pretty much all of them.

21. Saddest Christmas song? most of the country christmas songs are really depressing, but that christmas shoes one is super sad.  not a fan.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? i love o tannebaum (in german, of course!), because of the memories of singing it in my high school german class.  which i had with my best friend and it was totally the best class.  ever!

Friday, December 9, 2011

five friday faves

yesterday's post displaying our christmas decor at chez shaffer and the weather this week (BRRRR!  it's COLD in kansas!), i'm in a WINTRY mood for today's five friday faves.  and something about winter makes me want to curl up with some hot cocoa, my hot glue gun and my sewing machine (whom i've affectionately named bertha) and craft the heck out of my holidays!  here's some inspiration i've gleaned from the never-ending crack called pinterest.  inPINiration?  PINspiration?

who cares, right?  let's get on with the good stuff.

Source: via Catie on Pinterest

Source: via Catie on Pinterest

Thursday, December 8, 2011

inspiration workshop with Gussy Sews: holday decor

This week's prompt is {HOLIDAY DECOR}:
MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS! Tis the season to deck-the-halls with your favorite HOLIDAY DECOR. Whether it be a tree for Christmas, a menorah for Channukah or a unity cup for Kwanza, there are many holidays around the world that can be celebrated in your home with HOLIDAY DECOR. While we encourage you to share an image of your HOLIDAY DECOR, this doesn't need to be decorating of your own doing, it can be a picture you are inspired by, a neighbor's light impressive {or scary} light display or a piece of HOLIDAY DECOR that excites you.


i'll be honest, i've had a really hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year.  i think it has something to do with moving.  well, i know it has a lot to do with moving.  i'm so used to putting all of my decorations in specific spots for the last couple of years that i'm having a really hard time finding places for everything in the new house!  for example, we no longer have a mantle (major bummer), so the stockings have found a new space to live.  and since our dining room is currently without carpet, i don't have my hutch to pretty all up this year!

you know, first world problems and all.

but, now that the weather has turned cold 'round these parts, and a with a little bit of help from pinterest, i'm OFFICIALLY getting excited for christmas!  sqeeeeel!

i'm still working on an overall "tour" of our new place, but you'll get a few sneak peaks in this tour of the holiday decor!  ;)

first off, we have a few inspiration images from pinterest...

i love that our wedding colors are christmas colors, too!

no mantle, no problem!


for my obsession with all things paper.

here's our tree, all did up!  we have dark aqua and red ornaments that a friend of the family bought for me when she found out what our wedding colors were.  we weren't able to incorporate them into the wedding decor, but i LOVE them on my tree!  i also have silver and penguin ornaments on this tree.

i collect penguins, and winter is the best time to bring them into the home decor!  both of these are decorative pillows from target, both presents from kyle.  middle pillow from ikea, black cubes from target, floating shelves not hanging on the wall yet are also from target.

my parent's used to own a hardware store, and these angel cheeks were a line that mom carried.  aren't they cute!?!  this was a christmas gift a few years ago from my parents.

my mother-in-law got me this cute penguin picture frame two years ago.  adorable picture of my flower girls at our wedding inside.  :)  apothecary jar from dillon's marketplace, tumbled glass inside jar is from world market.  vintage vase and spools are both thrifted and the oil lamp was a gift from kyle's grandmother.

atop our desk i have a milkglass vase (thrifted) from our wedding filled with faux boughs of evergreen (target) and white glitter berry clusters (dollar tree).  two (of the four) raspberry mercury glass ornaments from gilt last year.  the picture of the grapple in the background is a project kyle worked on when he was with caterpillar still, the candle stick holder is from world market, the crock with pens in it is vintage from kyle's grandparent's and i have no idea where the brass oil canister is from.  i think kyle found it in his old barn.  true story.

more glittered berry clusters from dollar tree!  i love them in my milkglass vases!  magazine holders from ikea, vases all thrifted, center dark vase made by me, white porcelain bird are vintage from my parent's wedding cake and were used as our cake topper as well.  ;)

please ignore the SO not organized bookshelves below.

our piano!  most everything is vintage/thrifted except for the bulbs in the hurricane vase (hobby lobby), red mercury glass candle stick holder from dillon's marketplace, the other two raspberry ornaments from gilt, two more faux evergreen boughs from target and the kraft paper initials (joann's).  the red angel was a gift from kyle's grandmother, the penguin i bought at walgreen's two years ago and the rooster is from the jackalope from our honeymoon.  christmas piano books were my mom's when she was little.

ornament wreath, made by me last year.

stockings from world market (the third one is for our pets....don't get any ideas in your head), lighted garland that i'm too lazy to find a cord for is from target.  the santa hat i stole from my mom, so i have no idea where it is from.  

our upstairs tree is tiny!  i took all of our ornaments that have been given as gifts over the years, including my baby ornaments and put them on this small 4' tree that i got on SUPER clearance last year at kohl's.  the tree skirt is from dollar tree and the "topper" is an ornament that was a gift from a rep at work.

in our guest room, i filled my pitcher bowl with shatterproof ornaments from hob lob.  charlie brown tree is from walgreen's and the reindeer frame was thrifted.  he's so cute!  and he was a buck.  a buck for a buck...dresser is vintage and belonged to kyle's great grandmother.

guest room headboard has a santa from dollar tree, a nativity i bought at a garage sale and another rep gift from work, the metal gold package.  random books from college, floating rose bowls are from indonesia (kyle has been three times for work) as are the granite eggs inside the larger bowl.  vintage cigar boxes were my grandmothers button boxes.  the awesome bedding is from india, purchased by my awesome (then boyfriend) husband.

up close shot of the cute reindeer.  i'm pretty proud of this snag!

our entryway "landing station" has a faux cranberry tree from target.  charging station from target, vintage books from my grandparent's house, black dresser from an antique store and refinished by me, the bulletin board is from target and the receipt holder (very top of picture) was made by me.

larger ornaments hang above the peninsula in the kitchen (which is so cluttered, i didn't even want to clean it off for a picture) and the paper ornaments on the window drapes were made by me.

on the kitchen window sill i have these joy snowmen (joy is my middle name, so i collect joy ornaments, etc) are from kohl's.  penguin plate, gift from kyle, is from target.  i have three of these!

another gift from my awesome husband, a penguin cookie jar.  he did great with this one!  from target.

paper ornament up close and personal.

and here's all the pretty paper in one shot!

wow.  that was a picture heavy post.

what do your christmas decorations look like?  link up with gussy and share!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

five friday faves RETURNS!

hip hip HOORAY!  it's time to get inspired again with one of the posts that i've ALWAYS looked forward to writing - five friday faves!

this is probably a bit of an odd thing to be inspired by, but hear me out before you write me off as a complete nut job!  ;)  {you wouldn't do that, would you?!?}  SO, our insurance policy is getting ready to change at the beginning of the year {SEE, i told you!  odd.}  and we're enrolling in a new program through kyle's work.  basically, it's a points program and really all you need to know is that you get "rewarded" with insurance benefits when you get in shape.  doing small things like recording our steps each day, recording when we work out and getting our BMI checked every year can help us earn points.  which is AWESOME!  and i fully admit that we are among the lucky to even have health insurance, so i'm more than happy to do a few small things!

so, that was a really long story to tell you that i've been focusing on getting health and especially targeting WHAT WE EAT.  it's no secret that my husband is a fan of hamburgers.  and i'm a HUGE fan of chipotle.  and that's fine.  in moderation, of course!  but, it was time to do something about our unhealthy diet.  food inc. changed my thinking when i first watched it two years ago {a bit, anyway.  i mean, i live in kansas.  in the country.  i see where my beef comes from every day.  that cow right out there.  see him?}  but i'm not stupid, i know mcdonald's doesn't come get a cow from across the way to butcher and serve up to wichitan's.

one thing i kept stumbling upon while researching healthy food and recipes was a concept called clean eating.  {and no, clean eating does NOT mean washing your food first.  i checked.}  the basic concept is that you eat WHOLE and unprocessed foods.  whole oats, whole grain bread, unprocessed sugar, grass fed beef, etc.  and i've found some wonderful sites that "clean up" food and provide some awesome recipes!  this weeks FFF's is a compilation of some that we've tried and a few i'm looking forward to trying and they've been BOTH catie and kyle approved!  that's saying something.  i'm picky and he's a meat and potatoes dude, it's hard to please us both, trust me.

this chocolate oatmeal sounds AHMAHZING!

strawberries are my very favorite fruit!

this site is one of my favorites! she has some awesome recipes! this was my latest trial and they were AWESOME! loved them.

i made this fried rice, but omitted the pork and added a lot more veggies. i was told to leave the sprouts out next time. kyle is not a fan. :)

and these turkey asian meatballs were fabulous. they will for sure be making an appearance in my kitchen again!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like

can you BELIEVE it!  in less than two months, CHRISTMAS will be here!

are you that ultra planner that already has their christmas shopping done?  or are you a black friday shopper?  or are you, like a certain man that i *cough cough* know pretty well, and do your shopping the morning before you open presents!  ;)

if holiday printables happen to be on your list this year.  {and really, they should be if they aren't...}  you're in luck!  i've just listed some new holiday printables in my shop!

and for $2.50, they are easy on the pocketbook, too!

but i'll let you in on a little secret....i LOVE black friday shopping!!  we're going to kansas city with my mom and brother (he lives there) to go black friday shopping as soon as we are done chowing down on some turkey!  let's celebrate with a special coupon code - BLKFRIDAY good for 15% off anything in my shop!  the code is good until november 26th!  that's two weeks!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

inspiration workshop with gussy sews: dining room!

This week's prompt is {DINING ROOM}:
The holidays are here! I can hardly believe it. Halloween has come and gone. And now it's time to prep our homes. No matter what holiday you celebrate, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas -- maybe you create a mash-up?, many of them take place in the DINING ROOM. Which is why I thought DINING ROOM would be a wonderful prompt for {almost} mid-November. What does your DINING ROOM look like? What does your dream DINING ROOM look like? Is there an accessory or piece of furniture you have or have been eyeing for your DINING ROOM? Is it china or a silverware set? A distressed hutch or an interesting table set? Centerpiece or curtains? Maybe it's a favorite restaurant's DINING ROOM {tee hehe}.


this week's prompt was perfect timing for our household...we're in the midst of ripping up the dining room carpet and picking out new flooring!  actually, it's the dining room, kitchen and entry way...for some reference, here's what we're working with:

there is fairly new engineered hardwood in the kitchen.  it IS still available for sale, but it's super expensive.

this lovely patterned carpet in the dining room.  please note that it matches the wall paper in the kitchen. 

and yet another type of hardwood in the entry.  it's not the original, but it also doesn't match what's in the kitchen.  sigh.

i just ordered a few samples online of what i've been rolling around in my head...which one is your favorite?

hand scraped alder in a warm red finish

hand scraped bamboo in an espresso finish

strand woven bamboo in a dark red finish (looks like brazilian cherry)

distressed birch in a warm brown finish

this gorgeous cork

i have no idea how to choose.  ironic when i do this all day for a living, but when it's something that i'm choosing for my own house, i'm too chicken to just pick one.  i think i'm worried i'll end up hating whatever it is later and just blaming myself.


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!