Brain Potpourri and Christmas at my House

I’m sure there’s lots of teaching related items I could blog about tonight, but I’m just not feelin’ it.  So here’s just a little brain potpourri for the night…

1. I went and had my hair done today.  First time in TWO years.  For real.  Actually, 2 years and 3 weeks, but who’s counting?!  It was LONG overdue.  I even got some color.  First time my hair has ever been colored!  I’ve got a nice crop of gray hair that I color in each morning with dark eyeshadow & a brush :)  I figured it was time to get something a little more “permanent”…or at least something that doesn’t brush off by noon.  I LOVE IT.


I know the difference isn’t TOO noticeable, but my LAWD.  I can tell a difference and I guess that’s really all that matters?!  But now that I’m looking at a side by side, I’m wishin’ I would’ve gone about a shade or two darker…with some light brown mixed in.  I’m thinkin’ that coloring your hair is like the tattoo effect.  When you get one tattoo, all of a sudden you want about 5 more.  When you get your hair colored, you want to go about 5 shades darker…or lighter…the next time you visit.  Does that even make any sense?!

2. I had two little photo shoots scheduled for yesterday and today.  I was rained out BOTH times.  Did I mention that it NEVER rains here?!  As in, we’re in a Stage 3 water restriction right now.  Serious drought.  And then both of my sweet families were totally rained out as we were shooting!  Thanks Texas.

3. I started the South Beach diet about 2 weeks ago.  Not necessarily to lose weight, just to make more room in my Thanksgiving pants :)  Actually, I’m hypoglycemic and I’ve been suffering from serious dizziness and bouts of lightheadedness in the last few months.  Scary.  The South Beach diet is a low glycemic diet and I swear it’s cured me.  Symptom free for the last few weeks and I haven’t felt this good in forever!!  An added bonus is that I’ve lost a few nagging pounds of baby weight that wouldn’t go away since baby #2 was born.  {By the way, can I technically call it ‘baby weight’ if my “baby” is already 2 1/2???}  I’m ready to gain it all back on Thursday…CAN’T.WAIT. 

4. Does anybody else brave the crowds on Black Friday??  My mom and I do every year.  It’s a tradition.  We wake up late, go eat lunch, shop around, go eat again, shop a little more, and eat another late night “snack”.  Can you see a little pattern here?!  Our Black Friday is all about eating and getting good deals, but we don’t necessarily get any Christmas shopping done :)

5.  I used to be one of those people who liked to celebrate one holiday at a time.  And I swear I still am.  But I’ve now turned into the person who takes down Halloween on November 1st and immediately puts up Christmas {Christmas music included}.  My house is officially…and *almost* completely decorated for Christmas.  And it has been for the last two weeks.  Annoying, I know.  But we don’t have any lights put up outside, so it doesn’t make me feel as bad. 

6.  Mr. Spouse made me put up a “fun” tree this year.  He said our living room tree is too formal and the boys needed something for themselves.  I didn’t argue.  I’ve had this “extra” tree since college and I like to call it my Charlie Brown tree.  It looks pretty scary right now…still got some work to do!!  HA!


My boys pick out their own ornaments every year {I want to have a collection to give them when they get older}.  This is one of the ornaments my oldest picked out this year…


Ummmm.  Really?!  Trust me when I tell you that he had a great reason.  The dang donut in the middle. Little stinker.

This is my living room tree.  Nothing fancy, but I loves.  And I tried a spray on the top this year instead of a star.  Does it look wretched??  Too much??  Tell me, please.  I *think* I like it, but I could just have my mommy goggles on :)


7.  I have a serious Santa obsession.  I can’t stop collecting.  I’m like the crazy cat lady, only with Santas.



Speaking of Santa, this is my FAVORITE picture of all time.  This was my boys with Santa two years ago.  BEST.PICTURE.EVER.  I totally made this into our Christmas card that year.  I still have it hanging on the fridge :)


8. My favorite Christmas decoration is this nativity.  This is NOT Mr. Spouse’s favorite.  Not because it’s a nativity, but the Willow Tree figurines creep him out because they’re faceless.  Bless him.  I think he’s slowly warming up to it a little bit more every year. 


9.  My favorite Christmas song of all time is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Leon Redbone & Zoey Deschanel.  It has to be THAT version though.  Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” ranks a VERY close 2nd.  I’ve recently discovered Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” and let’s just say that it’s quickly climbing the charts.  Mr. Spouse is NOT impressed.

10.  My favorite Christmas movie is Elf.  Ohmiword.  Absolute favorite.  It makes me cry EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I watch it.  Let me also tell you that I can’t start the season withouth Miracle on 34th Street {the newer version}, Family Man, and Home Alone.  Oh, how I LOVE Home Alone.  My sister is obsessed with A Christmas Story.  Can I tell y’all that I’ve NEVER watched that movie the whole way through?!?!?  Am I really missing out?!?!?!

I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know.  Kudos to you if you made it this far!  HA!


  1. The Santa picture is a classic. So made me
    SMILE, even though your boys weren't.


    Yearn to Learn Blog

  2. That Christmas picture is hysterical!

    And I LOVE your tree! I've never seen something like that for a topper but now I want one!

  3. You look terrific and so does your house! I have a Santa ornament obsession so I can relate. That Santa picture is priceless!
    Finally in First

  4. hahaha- Cara- I think we'd be BFFs if we knew each other b/c all of your Christmas favs are mine as well! =) I love the new hair color! It IS addicting! =) And as for the tree it looks beautiful! I love the sparkly stuff at the top! =)

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! You deserve it!

  5. wauuu nice...have a nice time! greetings from Italy

  6. The richer/deeper hair color looks fantastic!!! It is addictive, but fun!

  7. You're absolutely darling!! Love the new hair! (The old was great as well.) Christmas time is so fun. I've been sneaking in a Christmas song every day for the past month. Michael Buble's new Christmas album is a winner. Check it out.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Sara Beth

  8. Cozy and creative decorating, Cara! Your hair looks great,too! I also love the tealish color on your walls in your hair shot.(Can you share the name of that color?)

    That Santa photo with your boys is so sweet, and classic. What a great candid shot. My girls never loved the idea of sitting on Santa's lap at that age, or any age, now that I think about it :)

  9. The Santa picture is classic! Loved it :) Your hair looks great. I absolutely agree with you that coloring your hair is addicting.


  10. Love the darker hair!! Your tree looks great with the spray and that Santa picture is hilarious. Love this post!!

  11. Your house looks so beautiful! I love all your Santa's! My mom has a huge collection as well and I hope to start collecting some as well. I think your hair looks great and yes coloring your hair is super addicting! Elf is definitely my favorite Christmas movie. Hi I'm Buddy the Elf what's your favorite color? Oh he cracks me up every year! Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with your family!
    Rambling About Reading

  12. My Willow Tree Nativity is my favorite too...I love how simple it is! HAVE to watch A Christmas Story! It is so funny. I'm with you on Home Alone...we taught my 17 mo. old niece how to make the Home Alone face this year!

  13. Your house and hair look great! I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year so, my dining room is decorated for turkey day and my family room is all decked out for Christmas...ha! I'm with ya, i just couldn't wait!

  14. I love your hair AND holiday decor! Santas are my favorite and I'm envious of your collection. Where did you purchase the shelves on your wall? I've been looking for some and love the design of yours!

  15. First of all, THANK YOU guys!

    @Sarah Beth...getting ready to download the Michale Buble cd right now!!

    @Primary Practice...the name of the color is EMPEROR. It was a Ralph Lauren paint color, but I had Lowe's mix me the same color in their Valspar line...LOVE IT! husband made the shelves!! He used this tutorial:
    I think it cost us a whopping $70 total for all the supplies!! I LOVE them!!

  16. Cara- You cracked me up all the way through this and to top it off I was thinking we must live close to one another... really!!! I am in SA (kinda..really Universal City but saying SA is easier) Oh and I think ALL of your FAVES are mine too... music YES (for 1st and 2nd and Justin... I was telling hubs about the Justin song and he asked me how old I was LOL) and I LOVE Elf and not so much Christmas Story!!! by the way coloring your hair is like crack (not that I have ever had crack or plan on having crack but it is addicting)
    and YOU LOOK marvelous and YES it is OK to say you lost baby wt. I am still holding on to my baby wt and I adopted LOL
    hope you have a GREAT THANKSGIVING
    and let's try to get a Texas Teacher Blogger meet-up together!!!

  17. Loves the hair, dear friend! And the house looks ah-mazing. Mine is covered in dust...hopefully we make it home on time for Santa!!!

  18. 2 years! Ah! I go every 4 weeks! hehe! This girl was not meant to be a brunette...honestly! Wish someone would decorate mine. Looks amazing-we do the ornaments each year too. I got mine from my momma just a few years ago. She didn't want to let go

  19. I havent gotten my hair cut in a about a year and 3 months… and it is time! You have inspired me to call and make an appointment this week! I have never died my hair yet either, just for the simple fact that I know its like shaving your legs, once you start… you can NEVER go back ha! So I'll hold off on that!

  20. And by the way… I love the new hair! I think the color is a perfect shade for you!

  21. Everything looks amazing. Your new name is Energizer Bunny. I don't know how you do so much, especially with two little ones. If you ever head up towards Tennessee you have to check out the Inn At Christmas Place. Santa greets you at breakfast then sings every Friday night with milk and cookies for the kids. It is a beautiful place to visit(one of our favorites). Also where did you get your C on your wall and what is the wall color behind it?

  22. A Christmas Story is awesome! It was filmed in Cleveland (I live in a suburb of Cleveland). It is televised non-stop for 24 hours on Christmas Day. It is a family tradition to watch it.

  23. You are way too cute! The house looks awesome and so does your hair! Where did you find the window that sits on the table? I've been looking for one for a few months and find either waaay ginormous ones or ones that have stained glass {and I would have to kiss my son's college education away for what they want}.
    Anyway, have a fabulous Thanksgiving feast!
    Ms. Solano's Kindergarten

  24. I love the topper on your tree, it gives it a cozy, country feel.. Your pics inspired me to do more trees in my house too. I'm plotting at this very minute where I can put them and what themes I could have. Should have a tree for each of my children too, is it too late when they're 14, 21, 23?
    Love the hair and decorations! You have tons more energy than I do!
    Happy Turkey Day!

  25. Unrelated post here, but wanted to let you know I awarded you with the Sunshine Award!!

    And I say YES, you can still call it baby weight ;-)

    ❤Mrs. McKown
    Little Literacy Learners


    Passed out the Sunshine Award to you. Thanks for bringing me sunshine, messages, and motivation!

    1st in Maine

  27. I just awarded you the Sunshine Award! I love your blog AND hair color!


  28. I teach Kindergarten and have loved your blog for many months for all your great ideas, but I loved this post the most!

    I had no idea you loved photography and vintage decor! I am a part-time photographer who also likes to decorate her home w/ old window frames! I also used to be a one holiday at a time person...until I had children. Now Christmas starts appearing on November 1. Something about having children just makes me want to celebrate Christmas and the feelings of love, warmth, and gratitude longer (Christmas season now includes T'giving. I've lumped them together in my brain).

    Feel like I've met a kindred spirit! Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. Love your hair! I can tell the difference.

    Tree is cute! Very classy with the spray.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  30. Minus the Bieber love, I LOVE everything that you shared! Including A Christmas Story, the silly humor is wonderful.

    Your hair is fab! There are times that I go a year or two without a cut or color!

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities with your family and your Black Friday eating day with your mama!

  31. You are too, too cute!!!!!!! Your house looks amazing and I LOVE the hair!!!! You are totally right, once you dye you never go back! haha

  32. I love your blog! :) I hope you don't mind that I became a follower of your blog! :) Erin

  33. You AMAZE me and you continue to motivate me, so I'm giving you the SUNSHINE award. Hop on over to the Corner on Character to grab the jpg and all of the details and have fun paying it forward. I LOVE your enthusiams and ideas and am grateful to you for sharing them with us!

    The Corner On Character

  34. Santa picture I love it! :) I like the spray on your tree. I do a big 'ol bow! :) I really like the idea of letting them pick out 1 ornament a year...very cute! Thanks for sharing!

    Kindergarten Korner

  35. I enjoyed reading your post! It made me smile and laugh. I love the idea of your kids picking out a Christmas ornament every year. Great idea!


  36. Hi Cara,

    Just wanted to let you know that we've awarded you the Sunshine Award. Thanks for always sharing your creative ideas!


  37. You look great! Love the hair:)

  38. happy thankgiving to you!!

    love your christmas pics and your hair look fabulous!

  39. Cara, as always I was totally inspired by what you are sharing on your blog...SO...I decided today I would tackle did NOT turn out like yours!!! I blogged about it and mentioned you of course. btw-Can you believe the Texas heat??? Putting up Christmas just didn't feel quite right with the shorts and flip flops.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

  40. Yes, you are missing out on "A Christmas Story"! I think you'd love it! Watch it this year!!!!

  41. are going to die when I tell you about this window. We have these third Monday trade days here in town and there's a vendor there that sells the old windows...for $18 a pop!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? I couldn't resist!! I'm thinking about going back next month and getting a few more! HA!

    @Farley...YES!!!! A Texas meetup is in the works...think DECEMBER!!! Right before Christmas! Hope I get to meet you!!!

    @Tammy...I *think* the color on our walls starts with something like "Saint..." or "San"...I can't remember! I'm almost sure it was a Behr color from Home Depot. I got the "C" at Hobby Lobby a few years ago, but I'm pretty sure they still carry that style!!

  42. Hey! Love your decorations! I love to do that kind of stuff too! I also LOVE the movie ELF. Watched it again last night. By the way, we are giving you the Sunshine Award because we love your blog :)
    Fun for First

  43. I like the ornament (spray)on top of your tree...very unique and good style. I haven't even started decorating our house for Christmas, so you inspired me!

  44. Oh myyy! Love the hair. (:
    What kind of camera are you using here? I've been trying to narrow my choice down before Christmas, and my time is running out!

  45. I LOVE the hair!
    Your tree is pretty awesome too..
    Let me know about your cyber Monday finds!
    (i kinda like black friday better myself)
    Stop by!

  46. I love your hair! I have long medium brown hair too, and I've been thinking about going darker also! I'm totally planning on it now! Thanks for the before/after pics. And, I just saw the Willow Tree nativity set and it's at the top of my Christmas list! Thanks for sharing!

  47. I love your hair and your tree topper. I have a similar Santa photo of my older son, too funny!

    What kind of camera do you use? The pictures on your blog are stunning!

    Thank you!

  48. No kidding, $18????? I'm glad I was sitting down when I read that! SOOOOOO, if you do go there next month, will you get the contact info for the vendor? I would love to contact them to see if they ship! Like I said, big money here {more then my hubby will let me spend on a window}.
    PS how did you organize the meet up? I've been trying to get a kindergarten group together up here in CO, not a lot of response though...I'm not giving up!
    Ms. Solano's Kindergarten

  49. I found myself reading this post and nodding my head! I love Elf!! I watch it over and over and over. My daughter and I always watch Miracle on 34th St. together.

    I also have the Willow Tree nativity set! I LOVE it! It was a gift from my husband a few years back! It is the first thing I put out each year!

    I love your blog and all your cute ideas!!

    Live Laugh and Love to Learn