30 December 2009

the big dig and a happy new year

oh my...i should have asked for ski's from the big man in red. kansas city was hit with a winter blizzard, starting christmas eve. and we woke up on christmas morning....wow was it beautiful! it snowed most of the day and it just added to an already beautiful christmas.
i have been busy transferring everything over to my new laptop as well as checking out some new blogs. l-a-z-y has been the word of the past few days. staying up late, sleeping in, staying in jammies, playing with all the new toys. i just don't know how we'll make it to school next week.
we're getting more snow again today, might have to bundle up and go build a snowman with the boys....i said maybe....i am such a wimp when it comes to the cold. we also need to get started on getting the christmas decorations down...ugh.
so i leave you with a wish for a happy new year, enjoy what ever festivities you partake in to ring in the new year! 2010?? really? where has the time gone?! ;)

24 December 2009

have yourself a merry little christmas

wishing all my blog readers a very merry christmas! thank you all for looking, lurking and for all the comments you have left. i read each and every one of them and feel blessed that you follow me and that i can inspire you from the comforts of my very own home.
christmas forecast for kansas city... snow!
so hang your stockings and say your prayers cause santa clause comes...tonight!
merry christmas!!

getting ready for santa

the boys and i spent some time yesterday decorating cookies for santa. if you like lots of sprinkles, then you would love these cookies! it was fun to see them being so careful and calm while they were decorating each cookie. then about 20 minutes after eating some of them things were back to normal around here....loud and crazy....just the way we like it! ;)

23 December 2009

love thy neighbor

i am lucky to have a street full of great neighbors. at christmas time i like to take them each something homemade from my kitchen.
this year i made them brown sugar banana coffee cake. white butcher paper tied with red ribbon is all you need to make them look festive. if also wrapped in cellophane, these would have looked like big jumbo pieces of candy! *note to self for next time: think of the cellophane before you get all the ribbons tied on.

i also will include the recipe for them because this is yummy stuff and they will probably want to make a batch for themselves.
it's not too late to whip up something from you kitchen. you neighbors would love it!

20 December 2009

we have a winner

thank you all so much for entering my giveaway. i so wish that all of you could have won.....but ....

63 total comments and the lucky number chosen by random.org was comment #57:

Ann On and On - "just in the saint nick
of time...simple and elegant...beautiful giveaway".

Please send me your snail mail address to traybella@hotmail.com and i will send it on to jamie at
allmodern.com. she will order and ship the pillow to you.

thank you everyone and thank you allmodern.com!

19 December 2009

a late night

i was up late thursday night...with 28 men.
all of them were happy to be hanging out in my kitchen. they all had big smiles on their faces, and little did they know what there fate was for friday.
on friday, they headed to the second grade christmas party.

i signed up for treats for the school party and all M wanted me to make were gingerbread cookies...with my giant cookie cutter! which required 4 batches of this yummy dough because i could only get 7 XL's out of each batch.
when i asked him if i could use one of my smaller gingerbread cutters, i could tell by the look on his face that he wasn't going to say yes. but i didn't know that when asked he would actually say "it just doesn't have the WOW factor" {ahem} i wonder where he got that??! ;)

so up late i stayed. With each pan out of the oven i added more men to my late night party, and fullfilled my 7 year olds request. when he saw all of the XL cookies in the morning, and a smile as big as these gingerbreads filled his face... it was so worth the lack of sleep. aaahhh, the things we do for our little ones.
this is a really yummy recipe. no molasses, and has butterscotch pudding in it. i found the recipe here.

16 December 2009

gift giving: to YOU

it is that time of year, time for gift giving!
i was contacted by jamie at allmodern.com to see if i would be interested in a giveaway to my blog readers.
i checked out there site and when i saw that they had modern bedding i knew i was in!
you see, i am a bit of a sheet snob. i am hooked on high thread count sheets...as in 1000 thread count! i also am always drawn to beautiful bedding and decorative pillows.
so thanks to allmodern.com i have this giveaway to offer to YOU! i have chosen the Unison Martin Rectangle Pillow in Stone. i fell in love with its simple design, 100% cotton fabric and feather-down insert and the fact that it is made in the USA. i think it would look great on a sofa or on a bed.

if you would like to win this beautiful pillow just simply add a comment to this post. please leave your name and be sure and leave your email in the comments so that i can reach you if you are the winner. if you post this giveaway on your blog, or add yourself as one of my followers, i will enter your name twice!
once we have a winner, i will get your address and send it to jamie at allmodern.com and she will ship your prize to you.
winner will be chosen by random.org
hurry! you have until sunday, december 20th to enter your comment. i will close comments at 8pm cst. (open only to my U.S. and Canadian readers, due to shipping)
good luck and thank you allmodern.com!

comments closed; see winner announced above. thank you to all that left comments!

15 December 2009

day trip

we took a little trip today. in an airplane. "buckle up before you go" C said. we went to paris...for a party. a birthday party where there was a red cake and lots of balloons. "bonjour" C said upon our arrival. the cake was one of the best red cakes i have ever had. oh, and we danced. we danced until we fell on the floor. exhausted from the party we headed back to our airplane. again i heard "buckle up before you go". and we were off.
hanging out daily with a three year old with a great imagination... priceless! ;)

13 December 2009

christmas packages

beautifully wrapped packages are one of my favorite things. i love to give them and i love to get them. i usually match our christmas wrapping with the color scheme of my christmas decorating. this year i went with my favorite craft paper in white and brown, some pretty cream ribbon....nothing too pretty, we do have all boys in this household, and because i have been a little crazy with numbers this year...number name tags.

the numbers correspond with the order of the family. mr. tray bella is #1, i am #2, M is #3 and C is #4. i wrote on the back who each gift was from. these are the family packages that get opened on christmas eve. santa's gifts are wrapped in bright papers and more child like.

if you have a unique way of wrapping your christmas gifts i would love to hear about it!

12 December 2009

cookie party

i some how deleted 3 photos from the cookie party, so i am able to only post what was left. another year of beautiful cookies, good friends and good food. thanks to everyone that worked so hard on their yummy cookies! extras were again donated to The Forum assisted living, they were so happy to receive a box full of beautiful cookies.

10 December 2009


we woke up to this yesterday morning,

it wasn't much snow, but enough to warrant an all day fire in the fireplace.

lots of just hanging out and playing,

the beginnings of a quilt for C who keeps asking "when will my cowboy quilt be done? it is freeezing". i hope to have it done and wrapped under the tree christmas eve. we'll see.

it was also a perfect day for homemade broccoli cheese and chicken soup topped off with some market bread.
hope you are staying warm and enjoying the season.

06 December 2009

home for the holidays

i enjoy decorating for the holidays. i used to take down all of my everyday decorations, and then put up all the Christmas ones. that was a lot of work. these days i keep it simple by adding to what i have.
lots of white, creams, browns and greenery again this year. i must say that using more natural colors in my Christmas decorating is my favorite. i hope you enjoy my photos....

i found this big brown bell at a garage sale a few weeks ago.....perfect!

paper cone packages for teachers at C's preschool.

dining room table centerpiece. start with a tray and start loading it up. you can never have too many candles and don't forget to add somethings shiny.

front entry table. love how this display turned out. i think it's all the layering that makes it. the cake plate, the silver plate, the snowballs, the greenery, the packages....

an easy and festive idea is to wrap small boxes with paper that matches your color scheme.

again, don't forget to add something shiny....one ornament will do the trick.

for this sofa table display i just added some extra beads and baubles to the boys photos.

the back mantel...everything was there, i just added the greenery, the sleigh with snowballs and the 'better not pout' garland.

some extra ornaments just added next to some candles in this small glass box.

aaahhh...my favorite decoration this year. this was the paper garland chain that we had around our tree last year. this year we cut it into pieces and hung it in the front window. i used a huge stick that fell from one of our trees to slide the paper garland onto. M made the paper snowflakes, we had a great time putting this together. again, use what you have... but in another way or form. it makes it so much easier....not to mention cheaper!

we went with burlap garland on the tree this year.

a large galvanized bucket holds the unsightly tree stand.

and how many of you have those old wood measuring tapes laying around? shape it like a star and ta-da a Christmas decoration!
my annual cookie party is this afternoon and i still have things to do to get ready. come back later for photos from the party decorations.

02 December 2009

weekend projects: completed

what a weekend. i am exhausted. between putting up the christmas decorations and revamping two, although small areas, has done me in. but WOW do i love the result! please, step into my entry....

this stone wallpaper really adds a warm cozy feel to the entry. my husband said "i feel like i am walking into a castle". i will take a comment like that any day from my husband....because if this is your castle, well then that must make me the queen! ;)

it looks really pretty with the wood floors...oooh i just love it. don't be afraid to commit to wallpaper. it really isn't that difficult to hang and it can make quite a statement.

the diamonds on the dining room wall are gone. and i really like the warm stone paint color. it is a pretty gray during the day, and at night it seems to change to a muddy browny, gray and it is beautiful.

the white legs on the dining table really seem to fit in better with the solid wall color. my collection of drawers have made their way to the wall to create little cubbies to hold small mementos.

i love the different finishes, colors and handles on them. i am on the hunt for one more, because i like things in odd number groupings. easy 'art' especially when you pick them up at garage sales or flea markets.

the shutters on the wall were a folding screen. i took off all the hinges and then just hung each piece on the wall. the clock hangs on a shutter for that layered look. if you are having trouble with decorating, try layering, i think it really adds something to the look. love the white shutters on the new paint color.

and ahhhhh. finally a new chandelier for the living room. my husband kept hitting his head on the old one, so i was on the hunt for a smaller one. i won this cute vintage french chandelier on ebay last week. it is so pretty in person, i absolutely love it.
up next: photos of my christmas decorations.

25 November 2009

weekend projects

a busy decorating weekend. but would i want it any other way?! of course not! we will crank the christmas music and put up the tree on friday.
highly inspired by a photo in french style at home i ordered some cool wallpaper to give my entry a french villa look. Since putting up real stone isn't even in the budget for this decided on a whim decorating project.

saturday i will paint the dining room and kitchen area with sherwin williams warm stone. and the brick/stone wallpaper arrived today so i will get that up on sunday. i did not even pay for two day shipping but the paper came within two days! so thankful for the postal service this time of year!
happy thanksgiving to all of you! thanks for checking out my blog on a regular basis. i will post photos next week of my completed entry and dining room/kitchen area. and promise to also get the basement remodel photos posted next week.

23 November 2009

40 minutes and some leftover paint

this is my dining room table. sorry for the bad glare from the window, but you get the idea. i loved this table when i found it...at hobby lobby about 9 years ago. at the time, i had no where to put it, but knew that someday i would so i bought it...for the clearance price of one hundred and twenty bucks! it is heavy, solid and i really like the carving on it. most people asked if i purchased this while living overseas because it is quite unique.
lately i have been still liking the table, but not loving it. i have been wanting a round table, i think it would fit the space better. but, since that is not in my budget i decided on a wee little change for the table.

like the title of this post says i literally had 40 minutes before i picked the kids up from school. leftover paint from the basement project...which reminds me, i don't think i have posted any of those photos here yet...i will ...soon! back to the table, i have also been inspired lately by lots and lots of blogs that decorate with all white. i went mostly all white in the basement and love it. that is slowly working it's way upstairs.

so this is the table with it's little 40 minute makeover. obviously i waited until the next day for the paint to be good and dry before i distressed it. i love the look! i am in love, again, with my dining room table.

i just had way too much brown on this side of the room. now it seems more balanced and i love how the table pops off the floor. before it just blended in. i purposely do not have a rug under the dining room table because with two little ones it is much easier to keep clean with out one.

so in true fashion around here, the decorating flood gates are open again. because as much as i love the table now... i am sick of the black diamonds on the wall! i have big plans for the color on the wall and for my entry way. stay tuned!

18 November 2009

just be

i do not sit still well. lately i have been running around like a mad woman trying to get everything done. an october sale, a basement remodel, a november sale, being a mom, a wife, you know the drill. though i know that i should, it is rare that i take a moment during my day and just be. but today, i did just that.
first i pulled this together on my buffet. it has been cold and rainy for the past few days and i just can not get warm. i pulled out the teapot and some tea, put it all together on one of my favorite trays. i also included my favorite leopard dishes that never get used. my hope is that each time i see this little set up that i remember to take a few moments to relax....and warm up!

so i had my cup of tea and relaxed. the laundry was done, the kitchen cleaned, C was napping and M was at school. it was silent and it was beautiful. i even enjoyed the misty gloomy day, it seemed so peaceful. i used to meditate on a daily basis. it has been awhile since i have done that but i tried again today. the hardest thing about meditating is clearing your mind, it usually takes me a good week to get into the groove of it. my mind usually goes to 'what's for dinner?' but since i have been meal planning and creating a menu each week....

the thought came to my mind and then cruised out because i have dinner covered for tonight. then i thought 'what am i missing on hgtv?' a favorite show? i also even thought of the quilt i should get started for C. i am making him a quilt by recycling some of the cowboy material that was used for his crib. my hope is to have it wrapped and under the tree by christmas eve. then the thought of christmas popped into my head....so much for meditating today. but you can be sure i will try again tomorrow. i think it is important to take a few minutes out of our busy days and ... just be. try it, and then let me know how it goes.

16 November 2009

how fun it was

the cure of ars gift gallery is one great show! they do a fantastic job at getting the people there to shop. and shop they did...we had a great day of sales! here are some photos of our space before the shoppers came. a full booth most of the day and even a line at the checkout? who knew so much of our stuff would fly out of there. loved every minute of it!
our space was in a corner, this set up was smack in the front.

the amount of furniture we took just for infrastructure seemed like a lot. but we needed it to show off all the fun things we had for sale. this old shoe rack held my trays.

shoppers were able to walk around the shutters and see this beautiful display.

trays, tuffets, lamps, flea market finds etc. all flew out so quickly that were constantly rearranging to keep the booth fresh. so thankful that we had cashiers to help us out. Thanks Jennifer and Olivia!

the petite gift bar was a big hit. lots of small gifts, all under $15 . perfect for teacher, hostess, girlfriend gifts.

everyday napkins for sale. great for being kind to the earth. so much better than paper towels or paper napkins and prettier to look at too!

more stuff.....

we also had a drawing for 2 hours of free staging services. we're so excited to draw the winner and start on that project. we'll contact the winner this week, but will wait until after the holidays to rearrange, using what they have, a room in the winners home.

thank you to all that came and shopped, commented how great our space looked, and to those dozen of you that asked "where is your store?!" we are certainly going to be on a high for a few days from this event.

thanks for visiting

for your listening pleasure

site meter