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An Old Town Christmas

I live about 15 minutes from the cutest little old town center in the world – St. Charles, MO.

St. Charles is the site of the first state capital for MO, and it’s also where Lewis and Clark Expedition had it’s first and last stops before leaving and coming back into St. Louis.  Because of that they’ve preserved the buildings along Main Street and converted them into the most charming little shops in the world.  They also have the coolest Christmas tradition ever.

They begin the season the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a parade.  During the parade you get to see all 40 of the Christmas characters that they will have roaming the streets for the next few weeks.  Among them are Santa’s from different countries, The reindeer flight instructor, Mother Goose, the Ice Queen and Jack Frost and many more.  But the best part is that each character has their own “playing card” that they pass out to all the kids when you meet them!  They also have bands preforming and all sorts of great holiday things (and they redo the parade every Saturday).  It’s super fun.  Abi was only able to collect 25 of the 40 so we’ve thought about going back one night to see the lights and collect the rest, but it has been a little bit colder than Abi (or I) want to brave.

So here are our photos from the day, photo dump style.  And if you’re ever in the St. Louis area for the holidays you HAVE to check out the Christmas Traditions in St. Charles.

Lewis & Clark

^^Captains Lewis and Clark and their trusty dog Seaman.^^

Decorated Homes

^^  I love that all the shops have decorated for Christmas!  Do you all judge a house on how it will look decorated for Christmas or is that just me? :)  ^^

parade

parade1

^^ Lewis & Clark Fife & Drum Corps // Father Christmas // Santa Lucia  //  WWI Santa ^^

parade2

^^ Christmas Angel  //  MacNicholas  //  Saint Nicholas  //  Frontier Santa  ^^

Parade3

Meeting1

^^  Reindeer Flight Instructor //  Frontier Santa  //  Civil War Santa  ^^

meeting 2

 

That time we were NYC tourists

Last month Brad and I celebrated our seventh anniversary.  Since Abi joined the family 5 years ago we have never spent more than a night away without her.  With New York City being only a 3 hours train ride away we decided to take advantage.

I had been twice before, but both times it was for the BlogHer conference so I was a little preoccupied and didn’t really get to do much site seeing. So I was excited to really see the city for the first time with my husband. We spent a whole 4 glorious days there.

We didn’t really have a plan going into it.  There were a few of the main touristy things that we wanted to hit and a few restaurants that we had to try out (I’ll talk about those a little more next week-so good!) but no real plan.  We woke up each morning and looked at our list and decided what looked fun that day.  I highly recommend traveling like that.  There was absolutely no pressure to do anything.  It was marvelous.  We just wondered around eating and gawking at everything.  So great!

Ready for a photo dump? Please excuse the cell phone pics.  I refused to carry a big heavy camera all week.
Train Ride

^^ Train travel is my favorite way to go.  And it’s even better when I’ve got that guy sitting next to me :) ^^

Times Square

^^ We visited Times Square once on purpose and a few more times on our way to other places.  It’s pretty great fro a few minutes, but don’t hate me, I honestly think it’s over rated.   ^^

World Trade Center

^^ The World Trade Center Memorial is pretty incredible.  I remember the day of the attack vividly and to see the site is amazing. ^^

Stock X and Bridge

^^ One day as we were wondering we discovered the Stock Exchange. That part of the city is crazy cramped.  The buildings are so tall and so close together.  It’s pretty cool.  Once we realized how close we were to the water we decided to head over to Brooklyn and hit up Grimboldi’s Pizza (that’s in another post).  We made it as far as the subway station nearest the bridge.  I literally did not think I could take another step so instead of walking across we took the train. ^^

NYC Streets

^^  I loved the street vendor and corner markets.  Such pretty colors.  The old painted advertisements on the sides of the buildings were pretty awesome too. ^^

Flat Iron

^^ I wanted to see the Flat Iron Building so one day we made sure to wonder past it.  Wouldn’t it be so great to have an office in one of those rooms on the end?  We also stopped to check out the art installation across the street at Madison Square Park.  So cool. ^^

FAO Schwarz

^^  Had to stop at FAO Schwartz and get a little something for Abi.  We ended up getting her a great stuffed tiger.  I wanted to dance on the piano, but there was a line and we were too impatient. ^^

Empire State Building

^^ Brad is a lover of chick flicks (don’t tell him I told you) and one of his favorites is Sleepless in Seattle.  So of course, the Empire State Building was one of the very few “must see’s” on our list.  The views were spectacular. ^^

Central Park Visit

^^ We walked though Central Park a few times.  On our last trip through we had to stop at the castle to make sure we got a picture of it for Abi. Since she’s a princess and everything. ^^

Movie Locals

^^ I’m sure you know at least one of those places, right?  The Seinfeld one is pretty recognizable, but the one on the left?  Any guesses?  The window is what helped me.  It’s the little shop around the corner!  You’ve got Mail is Brad’s favorite movie, and one of mine too, so we had to stop by. ^^

All Kids Are Artists

Did you see the cool new series that Melissa started over at her blog I Still Love You?  On the first Wednesday of every month she is hosting a “virtual gallery stroll” of kids art work.  This works out great since Abi wants to grow up and be an artist someday so our house is overflowing with masterpieces.  Now I have more of an excuse to share her work with you all :).  The series is called…

istillloveyou-melissaesplin-allkidsareartists-banner

The day after preschool ended for the summer I instituted a new rule at our house.  I started restricting screen time.  If I didn’t do something she would spend all her watching tv.  She is allowed to watch for an hour in the morning (because neither of us are morning people and we need some sort of buffer from each other while we fully wake up), then another hour at lunch time and the final hour after dinner and before bed.

It has worked out really well for us so far.  We get more chores done, more books read, more games played. Most most important – more pictures drawn.  But there is a point during the day – usually right before lunch – where action needs to be taken.  We need a real “project” to do, not just a coloring book to color.

Lately she has been obsessed with the little wood things you can paint.  The ones that are only a buck at the craft store.  So a few weeks ago I bought a bunch of those and we’ve been painting one every day.

Abi horse painting

Her favorite so far has been the horse.  She even decorated the paper :).

Head over to I Still Love You to check out the other great stuff linked up today.

Schools out for the summer!!

Today is the last day of school for Abi.  So late in the year, right!? And the preschool gets out a week before the rest of the schools.  It’s mostly because of all the snow days we had this winter. I took the last day of school picture yesterday in front of the school. Know what’s one thing I love about New England?  This little school house has been a school house since 1854. That means its been a school 42 years longer than the state I grew up in even became a state. Wild.

abi school day

I have no idea where she comes up with these poses.  So adorable!

But now that school is over we’re getting full swing in the summer fun game.  We only have two and a half weeks left here in Boston and then we get to explore St. Louis.  So I’ve been putting together a little bucket list to make sure we can fit it all in.  We’re excited to get going on it!

Visit a Childrens Museum
Ride the Train
Visit Plymouth Rock
Explore Boston
Play in a Fountain
Visit the Zoo
Build a Bear
Picnic at the Common
Swim in the Atlantic
Visit the St. Louis Arch
Pool Day!
Get a Shave Ice

How about you guys?  Do you have any fun summer plans?

A Visit to Mood & Purl Soho

Let me set the stage for a minute.  It’s 2004 and I have just started my first semester of college.  My roommate and I are spending almost every night with the guys down the hall playing poker.  One night we decide we need just need a girls night, so we lock our front door and turn on the TV.  What do we find?  A new reality show called Project Runway.  That night a weekly tradition of Girls Night (complete with eating brownies hot straight out of the pan) and an obsession with Mood Fabrics was born.  I didn’t feel my life would ever be complete until I had walked through that door.

collage pic ^^I tried to find a picture of said girls night, but this is the closest I could find :)^^

Fast forward to 2009.  I’m now married with a little one and have just discovered the blogging world.  One day I stumble upon the most cheerful, colorful & happy blog in the universe, The Purl Bee.  Then a while later I discover they have a shop too!  A real live shop.  In New York City.  The burning need to go touch the soft rainbow of yarn and felt entered my heart.

Well, last month my husband to me to NYC for our 7th anniversary.  We had no real plan.  Each of us just had a short list of places we wanted to hit.  And guess what was at the top of my list?  Bingo!

This just goes to show you that dreams do come true! (excuse the cell pictures – i refused to carry my heavy camera around the city)

Mood Fabrics

^^ I wish I had taken more pictures at Mood than I did, but there were a million people and I was on a mission.  A mission for some fabulous leather.  Which I found, along with the happiest ikat/chevron knit in the world.  I have plans to make a maxi skirt with it soon.

Purl Soho rainbows

^^ Everywhere you looked at Purl Soho there were colors. It was a serious mood boost and I couldn’t help but take pictures of it all.

Purl Soho Yarn Wall

^^ I just couldn’t get over that amazing wall of yarn. The most I know how to do with yarn is finger knit, but gosh it’s so beautiful! Someday I’ll be able to do a blanket like this one.

 

Easy Fathers Day Gift {that just keeps giving}

This year for Fathers Day the main man in our life will be out of town (in fact he’s out of town for the whole month of June. booo) so I can’t surprise him with some grand gesture*.  It has to be something small.  Something simple. Something that fits easily in the mail.  So what’s a girl to do?  Surf Pinterest of course. And that’s where I found this brilliant idea by the ladies over at The Dating Divas then got right to work.

easy fathers day gift main

Isn’t it so great?  Just grab a little 7 day pill box and some treats and you’re set!  Instead of one grand gesture he gets seven small, heart felt ones spread out over a week.

I made a few changes to their version though.  Since I would be mailing it I didn’t want to put any candy in it that could melt.  And I also wanted it to be handwritten notes (they have a printable available) so that Abi could help out a little and make it even more personal.  I really want to make sure he understands how much we love and appreciate him.

easy fathers day gift

Abi also helped me set up for the shot.  I was extremely impressed with her restraint with all that candy in front of her.  But then I got behind the camera and most of the pictures turned out like this.

easy fathers day gift outtake

The little sneak couldn’t keep away! Silly girl.

*like buying him at a date auction

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