Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Highlights

What a great week! We packed a lot into the last seven days, and I want to share our highlights.


This was one of those perfect moments that we were lucky to catch on film.

One of these is definitely going into a frame soon.

Last Friday night, I joined some of my good friends and my mom at a painting party! My friend Ashley organized the event and chose a blue mason jar vase as our masterpiece. I had never done a painting class before, and I wasn't sure what to expect. We all started with black smears, and managed to make something beautiful out of them :) We were there from 6:30 until nearly 11!

As perfectionists, I joked that I was going to take home my mom's painting, and she would take home mine because we wouldn't want our own. :)

Me, Ashley, and Heidi.

The finished products (though I probably could have stayed another hour to mess with it some more.) 

When I brought the painting home, the little boys were asleep. On Saturday morning, I woke up to Nolan at the side of my bed, saying, "Mommy, when you were at your painting place with MorMor, we really missed you! I went into the kitchen, and saw your painting, and it was beautiful!" Aww.

On Saturday, we partied with our 5-year-old friend Autumn at her adorable Mermaid Party :)

Wearing my LOUD Swedish clogs around the house.  :)

This week, I said goodbye to my very first car, my turquoise 1999 Chevy Cavalier Z24 that I got when I was 17. So many memories in the years I've had this car! It's been with me in high school in Nebraska, on first dates, in college in Chicago, our honeymoon to Cape Cod, and three different towns in Pennsylvania. I hadn't driven it in a long time because I didn't feel like the kids were safe in a tiny two-door. It was Steve's work car for a while. I wish I could pass it off to a new owner, but the truth is that it was towed away and scrapped for $75. It will always be worth more to me than that. #minivanmom

On Sunday, we celebrated Grandma Alice's birthday! We indulged in pizza from our favorite spot and ice cream cake.

This one is so cute! Grandpa Jack's birthday is the 18th, so we'll have a reason to do this again soon :)

On Sunday night, we went to a Superbowl party with friends from church. I had to snap this photo of Ephraim cuddling with Dale :) 

He's trying to figure out how to operate Netflix by himself. And he insisted on wearing big boy underwear outside his pants. :)

This week, we've been crazy about HEARTS!

I made the boys an early Valentine's breakfast with heart-shaped hard boiled eggs. The process looked something like this:

The eggs were freshly boiled and very warm when I peeled them. Then they went back in the egg carton with V-shaped pieces of cardboard on top and bottom. I added a bamboo skewer and a rubber band to add pressure, then in about twenty minutes (most) of them looked like hearts! :)

Heart-shaped donuts are the best kind!

And how did I never think to cut strawberries into hearts before??

Hope you enjoy this Valentine's weekend! We are looking at a high of 7 tomorrow--stay warm!

For more heart-shaped fun, follow along @rachel.zimm on Instagram!

P.S. Astleigh and I are hosting an Instagram challenge throughout the year. Each Monday a new theme will be posted. During the week, post a photo that gives your take on the topic. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! And on Fridays we'll pick our favorite and share it on our feeds! You in?! We'll be sharing next week's topic on Monday. And you've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "Valentine's".

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Decor

This weekend, I pieced together a Valentine's mantel that I love. It's so fun for me to decorate for different occasions and introduce Nolan and Ephraim to all of the holidays. And in a house full of boys, this is the only time it's appropriate to have so many pops of pink in our living room :)

If you have a Valentine's Decor post to share, scroll to the bottom, and feel free to link up with Astleigh and me today!

I'm not a big fan of red in our house, so I opted for shades of hot pink and white. I love how sweet and simple it looks!

Several weeks ago, I found this adorable "Be Mine" paper bunting at TJ Maxx, and I knew it was perfect to hang across the fireplace.


I printed this free design of the verse "I have found the one whom my soul loves." Song of Solomon 3:4, and framed it in white. (From Craftberry Bush.) 

Displaying pretty-colored M&Ms in a glass jar is one of my favorite ways to decorate!

With Steve's help, I made this classic white wreath on Saturday night. It's a styrofoam 10" form with white tissue paper hot-glued to it. It was a labor of love since it took a couple of hours, but I am crazy about it! The windows came from storage in Steve's parents' garage. We needed something BIG for our mantel after we took down our TV, and they fit the bill. :)

Wooden LOVE sign found at JoAnn's this week for 60% off.

If you've read my blog for long, you know I have a thing for paper straws. These ones have conversation hearts on them, and say things like, "I LOVE YOU", "U R SWEET", "SOUL MATE". Cute!

Flowers and candy--the basis for all things VALENTINE :)

Have you decorated for Valentine's? I'd love to see! Link up your blog post below, or follow along with me on Instagram @rachel.zimm for a Valentine link-up that Astleigh and I will announce on there soon!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Looking Forward Friday

Well, it has been a busy week! I'm not really sure where Wednesday and Thursday went, but I am still happy to see the weekend :)  I collaged a few of my favorite photos from the past few days, and I wanted to take a few minutes to write about the things that I'm looking forward to on this snowy Friday morning.

  • Tonight, I'm going to my first painting party. We are painting a canvas of a blue Mason jar, and I'm really excited to spend the evening with my mom and a few close friends!

  • Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, and I'm thinking of ways I can create some fun with the boys. I'm working on a few little crafts for my pink and white decor. If you blog, remember to link up your home's VALENTINE'S DECOR on Monday with Astleigh and me!

  • Once a month, I meet with a few leaders from my church to talk about how our congregation is doing in its ministry, and what more we can do to encourage a healthy and loving church. One of my assignments from the meeting last night is to dig into our church's rich 118-year history and put everything down on paper. I'm looking forward to learning more about where we came from, and seeing the big things that God will do for us in the future.

  • Though it might be cold and snowy today, we've had some really beautiful days that have me thinking spring. I'm so grateful that it's staying light out a little bit longer each night. I just can't wait to be outside again!

    What about you? What are some of the things you are excited for today?
Keep up with us on Instagram @rachel.zimm

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Groundhog Day in Punxsy

Groundhog Day is a new favorite holiday of mine. Ever since moving to Pennsylvania, I just eat it up. And now that I have a preschooler and a toddler, there is so much that we can do to celebrate on this otherwise ordinary winter day.

The night before, I drove out to my mom's house to borrow a couple of her Groundhog Day books. After breakfast, the boys and I read through them to get the gist of the folklore. We also watched a Groundhog Day episode of Max and Ruby where they are watching for "East Bunny Hop Bill's" shadow. :)

Then for our mid-morning snack, we munched on some chocolate groundhogs.

They were gone awfully quick. ;)

The little guys and I got dressed and packed up the car for an adventure.

We met Daddy (who had a couple of free hours at work) at "Punxy Phil's Cakes and Steaks". I'm certain it's this restaurant's biggest day of the year, but we didn't have trouble getting seated. We filled up on chocolate chip pancakes.

There's a groundhog mural behind me, and the windows have some designs too :)

After leaving the restaurant, we headed to Gobbler's Knob. I used to picture Gobbler's Knob as being in the center of the town square (like it is in the movie), but instead, it's a few miles out of town in the middle of the country.

Yesterday was the 130th Anniversary of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney!

Ice sculptures left over from the morning festivities.

 This is the spot where they announced, "There is no shadow to be cast. An early spring is my forecast!"

Before he made his national weather prediction, it looks like Phil was eating Ritz crackers and spinach leaves :)

We had the place to ourselves, which was kind of surreal because hours before from this vantage point, there were thousands of people, and it looked like this:

(taken from Washington Post)

From Gobbler's Knob, we drove over to the town square to visit the library where Phil lives for the other 364 days of the year.

Peering in at the groundhog.

Apparently Phil hadn't returned yet, but his wife Phyllis was cozied up in her nest. (Can you spot her?) We let Nolan and Ephraim believe that she was Phil.

Punxsutawney has around 30 colorful, themed groundhog statues. Nolan was so excited to spot some of them as we were driving. In this photo, he's telling me that he's counted SIX ;)

Getting a better view of Phyllis inside of the library.

On our way home, Ephraim fell asleep when we turned into our neighborhood. Then once I got him in his bed, he refused to take his usual 2-3 hour nap. So with him awake, the three of us did some groundhog coloring and crafts.

All in all, it was a very happy Groundhog Day :)


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