A Frozen Family

I’m coming back to the blogging world! Things have finally settled down and over the next few posts I’ll update you on all of our exciting changes.

We’ll start with Halloween 2016.

We’ve developed a lot of routines in our family. It’s good for the littles (and for the grownups too). Every Friday night we make homemade pizza and watch a movie, nicely dubbed “Friday Pizza Movie Night”.  The littles have only seen a few movies (Frozen, Sofia the First, and Little Bear) and the repetition doesn’t seem to bother anyone. By far, Frozen is the most watched of the three and Mila’s favorite character is Anna. So, naturally, when we started discussing Halloween costumes, she wanted to be Anna. And then very quickly decided that I should be Elsa, Jake should be Kristoff and Teegan should be Olaf. And that’s how our Frozen Family was born.

Childs Frozen Family

I’ve always had this dream of making homemade Halloween costumes for the kiddos, but reality makes that a bit unrealistic. I found Olaf, Anna and Elsa but couldn’t find a decent Kristoff costume. And surprisingly there aren’t any patterns for Kristoff costumes so I was forced to bring back some of my clothing sewing skills.  I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought some grey felt, fur trim and embroidery ribbon.  And voila!


Jake bought a wig and beanie hat online to complete the costume. I think I’m allergic to either the felt or the fur so after completing the costume it’s now been banished to the garage.

We met up with our neighbors (more to come about the big move we had this year) and went trick-or-treating together. Mila literally could not have run any faster from house to house, it was adorable.


When we got home the kids opened all their candy and luckily for us they didn’t like much (or really any) of it. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the “candy graveyard” where they discarded all the pieces they didn’t like.

(In case you’re wondering how we make our pizza on Friday Pizza Movie Night): A few years ago we started making homemade bread, and we consistently still always make our own homemade pizza dough using the recipe in this book. It’s SO easy and it is better than any other pizza dough we’ve had (including restaurants). The kids eat cheese pizza but I make a black bean olive pizza, so yummy. We use this dough whisk and this plastic tub.  Seriously, try it.


Christmas… in September?

Last year we had trouble with our Christmas tree. Actually for the past 2 years we have had trouble with our Christmas trees. It’s sad and hilarious at the same time.  (If you want a good laugh and reminder, read my old post).

Since we now know that I am allergic to Christmas trees, we have a fake Christmas tree. It is in a giant tupperware container in our garage, just waiting to be set up for Christmas. No, I’m not going to set it up quite yet (September is a little early), but I thought I would start now to make a Christmas tree skirt, some ornaments and some stockings. I always am overambitious about what I can complete so the earlier I start, the better.

I bought an assortment of fun Christmas prints and pulled out an old Christmas tree skirt pattern I already had. This morning I cut out the outside scallops.

(Sorry for the blurry picture, my iphone isn’t cooperating today)

Here’s where I need your help:

Should the center of the skirt to be white or linen?

Should I hand quilt or machine quilt it?

And if I hand quilt the center, should it be a pattern?

Should I use white or colored thread?

The original pattern calls to applique some holly leaves and berries in the center, but I don’t think I want to do that.




Jake and I went back to Minnesota for Christmas. We were really hoping for a WHITE Christmas.  I can’t remember ever having a BROWN Christmas in Minnestoa, but this year we had one. The weather was very mild, averaging around 45 degrees during the day. Crazy!

My family is German/Norwegian/Sweedish and we have had Lefse at many family gatherings growing up (thanks to my Norwegian/Sweedish side). My mom decided we would make homemade lefse on Christmas Day this year. She was able to get all the tools we needed (um, it takes a lot of stuff to make lefse).






I think my mom boiled about 30 lbs of potatoes to get the lefse ready. She used this recipe (but tripled it):

  • 4 cups riced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

We had lots of opinions on how to make the lefse: thinner, thicker, more flour, less flour… it’s definitely an artform!

Here is Jake making the lefse “balls”:

Weston and I were at the “rolling” station. The rolling pin is corrugated and has a sleeve on top. If the lefse dough got too warm or if the rolling pin didn’t have enough flour on it, the dough would stick to the pin and then wreck the lefse you were trying to roll out. We refered to it as “cancer”.

Then we had to pick up the lefse (using the long, wooden stick) and bring it over the the griddle. You have to be very careful during this stage because the lefse is VERY THIN. If you’re not careful it will break. Then you put the lefse down and roll it out using the long stick.

I’m not sure how people make their lefse round.

Then, top the lefse with butter and white or brown sugar. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas! What family traditions does your family have?


Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are not our forte — yet. This is our second Christmas together. Last year we were driving by a Christmas tree lot in Cambridge, MA when we decided to buy a tree on a whim. Out in the fresh air, the trees didn’t look so big.  But when that tree was home in our place, it was REALLY BIG. And if you buy a tree, you have to buy a tree stand. And ornaments. And garland. And a star.

We lived on the second floor and getting that tree up the narrow stairway was quite the challenge. Getting it down seemed an even bigger challenge. We got an industrial sized garbage bag and tried to put the tree in that, but it wouldn’t fit.

After a lot of careful planning, we ended up just dropping it down the stairwell and then running in our pajamas through the snow, because we almost missed garbage pick-up.

This year, we decided to get a smaller tree. But it was after a long day of errands. And we were tired. And it was dark out. They were selling trees at the local hardware store, and while Jake was inside paying for the tree the guy outside was telling me that our tree was essentially dead (it had come in a few shipments ago) and he was really hoping that our tree would make it to Christmas.

In the daylint, our tree was brown. If I breathed too hard or moved too fast, the needles would fall on the ground.

And then I started sneezing, and sneezing, and sneezing. I guess I am allergic to the “Douglas Fir”. So, I had to move it out of our living room. You cannot imagine the mess that the tree made.

So now we have a fake christmas tree. But it’s so weak on top that our star won’t stand straight up.

Seriously… Maybe we’ll get it right next year?


Xmas in Newport Beach

We recently had our Christmas photos taken. It might have been one of those days that nothing seemed to go right (nothing to wear, pimples, hair misbehaving…), but in the end, I think they turned out OK!

Next year, I definitely want to add some Xmas props (think giant candy canes, wreaths, reindeer antlers) so they don’t seem so much like engagement photos.


I’m actually starting to feel like Christmas is coming.