Tagged: family

Oh, Christmas Tree

Is the Christmas tune in your head now, too? As long as I can remember, my family always had a real Christmas tree when I was growing up. There is something about the smell of a real tree and the way it fills the house that I just love.

When Nick and I moved into our home, we got a great deal on an artificial tree and ever since I have been just a little sad when putting it up. While I love not having to vacuum up all the pine needles and having to worry about remembering to water it, the smell is so worth it.  I also love that we don’t have a real “theme” with our tree ornaments. It is a great collection of ornaments we have gotten each year from kids to adults. Each ornament is a memory and story so it is fun to stand and look at them and reminisce.

Murphy Tree

Luckily my dad has continued to buy a real tree even after I moved out. My dad grew up with small trees so he always finds a tree that is too large (channeling his inner Clark Griswald) and cuts off the top creating more of a Christmas bush rather than tree. I love it. It is such a fun tradition and this year Ashley got to go help Grampy pick out his tree. We put it up this past Friday and Ashley loved the lights and I loved the pine scent.

Ashley Tree

What about you? Do you have an artificial tree or a real tree at Christmas? Does your tree have a theme?

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it’s been a minute…

Where have we been? For the last year or so, I took a slight break from blogging with many new and exciting changes in the Murphy house.  We were married last September on a beautiful fall day.

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Being married has been so great – love having such a wonderful husband and all the fun we have together! Last December we found out we were pregnant – more exciting news!

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This past August (8/20/13 to be exact) we welcomed a beautiful little girl into our family, Ashley Rose. And then there were 4 in our little family – Nick, Jenny, Ashley and Amy dog!

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So it isn’t a good excuse to not blog, but that is what we have been up to – with lots of DIY projects including a backyard deck and Ashley’s nursery in the mix.  I am back and hope to keep you all updated on what you missed and what is to come for the Murphy family.

So much can change in a year. What have you been up to? Any big changes in your life?

entertain me

Happy Friday! My parents are having their annual “luau” party tomorrow and it got me thinking about parties and entertaining. Here are five questions I want to know from you about entertaining:

How often do you entertain for family or friends?

We are new to entertaining having not been on our own long, but so far we have had a big party each year we have lived in our home.

Do you have a favorite theme when throwing a party?

I don’t have a favorite yet, but I definitely can appreciate the effort it takes to pull a theme together. My friend had a roaring 20’s theme for her husband’s 30th birthday and it was a lot of work!

Is there a go-to dish that you bring when attending a party?

My go-to treat lately has been cupcakes! I love finding new and fun recipes to try out. For my parents party, I am going to be attempting pina colada cupcakes! (I’ll share how they turn out :))

What is your favorite time of year to entertain?

I think my favorite time would have to be the summer. We have a pool and Nick has set up the backyard really nice, so it is fun to be able to swim and entertain when the sun is shining!

When is the next time you will be entertaining at your house?

We will be pretty busy during the next few months with our upcoming wedding, but I am throwing around the idea of having a New Year’s Eve party at the Grove Pointe house this year!

Can’t wait to hear all of your responses!

the fourth

This past fourth of July, we decided to invite our friends over for a pool party at our house.  It was going to be a casual party, but I knew I wanted to do a few things to decorate and create a theme for the day.  Naturally, I went with a nautical theme and it was super cute and easy! Here are some of the things I did to embrace my theme:

I made cupcakes and thought that sailing flags would make a cute touch. I was able to do a search for “sailing flags” and find some images that I printed and then wove through some toothpicks:

Next I decided to make some beach ball signs that said “dive in” to place in the different dips and appetizers.  It was really simple to do and it made a big difference when everything was set up. You can see it here in the marshmallows of my “smore station” (which was a hit when we had our bonfire!):

I also made navy and white striped place cards that had creative names for the different treats. Here you can see the “catch of the day” (goldfish crackers):

One treat too cute not to share, was the “shark attack” fruit salad that our friends Lon and Paula brought. It was a perfect addition to the party theme:

Last I decided to make a banner of sailing flags to hang over all of the treats.  It was really simple to make and tied the look together:

Of course we were sure to carry the theme outside and added these little guys to our bar area that is on our deck:

So there you have it – our pool party with a few cute nautical touches. It was a fun way to add a little flair to the day and a theme I am sure we will use again.  Have you tied a simple theme into a get together recently? What was it?

grove pointe love

What better way to keep track of all the things happening in our crazy life than to start blogging about it, right? Aside from our wedding which is close to two months away (wow, time flies!), we are doing a lot of things in our “new” home.

So who are “we”? My name is Jen and my fiance, Nick, and I have been together for ten years – we started dating in high school.

awkward prom photo:

and here we are now:

We moved into our first house together in March of 2011, and it has been quite an adventure.  We spend our weekends working on different DIY projects and hanging out with friends. During the week we try to enjoy our evenings after work trying out new recipes, taking our dog (Amy) for walks, and just being out and about in our city.

Hopefully you will find this blog a fun one, as we have gotten this far by being able to laugh at ourselves and the mishaps that our adventures can sometimes bring.

On the radar this weekend – painting and putting up trim in our bedroom! I finally convinced Nick that the beige walls in our house are ready to be updated. (BIG win for me!)

-Jen