Santa Lucia 2021

Wednesday, December 15

If you've been following my blog for a time, you would know that I LOVE traditions and I LOVE my Swedish heritage. So any time I can find a new Swedish tradition to celebrate in my home, I'm all in!! (You can see the last 2 years of celebrating Santa Lucia here and here. As well as our Swedish midsummer parties here and here!) 

On December 12th, the kids and I baked up a storm. We baked the traditional pepparkakor and Lussekatter buns to celebrate Lucia day. All December I've been reading them a kids book called Lucia Morning in Sweden which is just adorable, and explains how a typical family in Swedish celebrates Lucia day. 

I love Celebrating Lucia day because it is a beautiful opportunity to talk with your children about the real St. Lucia and the way she gave of herself for others. It also illustrates the how Christ is truly the light that came in to the darkness. In the morning, when Avonlea puts on her Lucia crown, the light fills the darkness and demonstrates the power of light:) 

On the morning of the 13th, Avonlea and Everett and I woke up early and put on their costumes...Avonlea was Lucia in the white gown and crown of light, and Everett was Star Boy. (Ollie was a last minute star boy too hehe). I filled Avonlea's tray with pepparkakor and lussekator and then she ascended the stairs singing the traditional Lucia song (we learned it in English from a lady on YouTube here)

Kevin kindly pretended to be asleep (haha), and the kids "surprised" him with their tray of goodies. We hung out upstairs, and then went down to Yukino's room (our exchange student from Japan) to sing to her and bring treats. 

We then headed to my parents house to sing and bring treats. My dad is Swedish, so it's a lot of fun going over there! Then, the rest of the afternoon Avonlea and Everett and I went to different widows houses that we know. We had such a lovely time surprising them with Santa Lucia treats and a song:) 

Enjoy the pictures! xoxo 

Before & After of my dining room Buffett

Monday, October 18


A fun little "before" & "After" of some thrifted furniture! As we've been putting our dining room back together after the kitchen remodel, I've tried to keep it minimal (which for me is HARD! haha). However, I did want to find a long and narrow buffet to add a little more storage to our space for the kids crafts (easy access next to the dining room table!). I had seen an inspiration pic on Pinterest that I liked, and kept my eyes out on FB marketplace. 

One day, as I was looking...I saw this piece! It had great bones and fit the bill for the space! I did have to drive a little further to get it, and it was covered in these huge nasty big spiders (which deterred me for like two seconds, but I had already driven 30 minutes so wasn't turning back haha!) I carted it home and then decided to paint it white, so I picked up my favorite chalk paint from Home Depot and went to town! 

I love using chalk paint because I'm not a perfectionist and I hate prepping things (ie: sanding, etc). So chalk painting allows me to just do a quick dust and then start painting ASAP! (a quick dust and a few minutes to spray and kill all the spider, ewww!) 

I really loved how it turned out. It's a nice addition to the room, and now provides awesome storage for all our kids craft bins! Woo hoo!! 

Happy Fall Ya'll!!! A fun little snippet of Fall ideas, recipes, books & decor

Sunday, October 3

Last week, Avonlea looked at Kevin and passionately declared,,,

“Dad, it’s not fally enough. The leaves aren’t changing, they aren’t falling off the tree, nobody is decorating, we’re missing all the parties, we’re missing all the groups over. It’s just not fally!!!”

Kevin and I almost lost it laughing, we were just so caught off guard at her impassioned speech! 

So, we realized we needed to up our Fall game with this girl (who by the way, is a total season loving, decorating girl after my own heart! Made me so happy to hear her declare she needed more decor and parties haha!). 

So, the first order of business was to decorate our house! I had been so inspired by a staircase I saw on Pinterest that was decorated with pumpkins, so knew I wanted to try it on ours. Because I'll probably decorate like this every year, I decided to do a mix of real and fake pumpkins. Hobby Lobby was having a great deal with 50% off Fall decor, so I bought a larger fake pumpkin for each step (I tried to find the most real looking ones I could!). Then, we went to Trader Joes and bought about 2 small pumpkins for each step. I also bought the real flowers at Trader Joes too:) 

Then Avonlea and I had a decorating date! I let her arrange the pumpkins on the stairs (and explained to her to mix up the whites and oranges, as at first she grouped them all by color haha! so cute!). Then I snuck the flowers into her pumpkin arranging! What fun we had together admiring how "Fallish" the staircase looked! 

Next, I told Avonlea we could have a Fall party. I texted a few moms with friends Avonlea's age, and told them I'd have chilli for dinner, along with Fall crafts for the kiddos. The night of the party, I served hot chili and apple cider, and had apples and Carmel dip, as well as brownies with orange sprinkles for the kids. I had also bought small pumpkins for them to paint, as well as little wood leaves and pumpkins for them to color (got those at the Dollar Tree! win win!)

I also have collected Fall books to pull out each September for the season...these are our favorites: 
Sharing the Bread (an old fashion thanksgiving poem which I adore!) 
Cranberry Thanksgiving (this was one of my favorites as a kid, but its kind of strange when I read it as an adult...anyone else? haha) 
The Pumpkin Parable (my kids LOVE this one, and I do too!) 
Give Thanks to the Lord (this is probably my other favorite Fall book, I LOVE IT!) 
Thanksgving is for Giving Thanks (a very sweet one where kids talk about what they are thankful for) 

I'd love to hear what your favorites are!! 

Some of my favorite Fall meals right now are: 

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner Recipe (oh my goodness, I love this one! I use chicken breast though) 
Paleo Zuppa Toscana Soup (I make this once a week in the Fall & Winter...soooo good) 
The Spatchcock Chicken from Trader Joes. It is a whole marinated chicken and I put it on a tray with chopped carrots and sweet potatoes and roast for an hour! mmmmmm.... It's literally the easiest dinner and looks so fancy! Perfect for company!! 

We are working on our halloween costumes and I'm so excited for it. This will be our exchange student Yukino's first Halloween, and she's excited to dress up which makes me happy:) I just love dressing up! 

Would love to hear how you are celebrating and ringing in this new season:) xoxo 

Swedish Midsummer Party

Thursday, August 26

 Our second Swedish Midsummer party is in the books! Being half Swedish, and having celebrated midsummer with my Swedish family IN Sweden, I felt it was high time to throw my own American Swedish midsummer party. So last summer I looked up what was needed for a proper midsummer and I patched together what we had to make it work haha! (You can see last year's party here). 

This year we seemed to have the odds against us in having this party. During late June, when Midsummer is actually celebrated, my kids had hand foot mouth, soooo we clearly had to push it back. Then, come August when we rescheduled,  our party got moved to indoors as the wildfires were raging here in Northern California (we ate inside, however snuck out for a bit to do the traditional dancing and take a few pictures...). Even though we had to eat inside, we still had so much fun dressing up and wearing the traditional Swedish flower crowns! And please check out how adorable my parents are in their Swedish clogs, hahah! 

I've memorized exactly one Swedish midsummer song (SmÃ¥ grodorna) about a little frog, complete with hand motions. I taught it to everyone last year, so we brushed up a bit on our Swedish and our hand motions, and danced around the pole a few times to the song haha! 

We at the traditional food of fish, potatoes, and the delicious strawberry cake! (If you need an amazing salmon recipe, this one is THE BEST, for reals!)  Kevin even made some elderflower mules for everyone which was a fun Swedish touch! I love my heritage and adore celebrating new traditions!! 

Do you have any traditions from your heritage? xoxo