A weekend of Christmas sounds and treats

Christmas Hot cocoa bar for music recital. Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Our weekend was filled with live Christmas music & baking!

Friday we had our family pizza night in listening to music, baking pecans, and playing our new favorite game, Ticket to Ride

Saturday we baked holiday treats with the kids (including a favorite from my Grandparents' recipe from their Bohemian bakery that I'll be sharing this week) and then Hubby and I attended a friend's surprise party!  I love a good surprise, as long as it's not for me :). 

Sunday we attended a Christmas concert that my son's guitar teacher is the band leader for.  The music was heavenly!  It was special for my son (and the rest of us) to see his teacher on stage performing.  Then we hosted that same guitar teacher's students at our home for their annual guitar recital.  I say it often, there's nothing like a party at home.  We needed a large enough space for seating 40-50 people so we held the party outside.  The temperature was in the 50s, therefore, we provided hot cocoa and lots of blankets and our guests commented that they felt cozy and comfortable.  Everything about this evening made this season feel complete.  Friends and strangers and music filled our home.  I mostly stood in the back of the crowd because I wanted to take in all the magic that surrounded us.  Little and big ones snuggled in close and one little one fell asleep on his mama's chest.

Outdoor Christmas music recital. Lovely Matters by Heather Walker
DSC_1648.jpgChristmas Hot cocoa bar for music recital. Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

I framed Christmas sheet music to decorate the hot cocoa table for this special event.  This is the original sheet music that my Grandparents played on the Organ every Christmas as we sat beside them singing along as children.  I love decorating with a memory!

Christmas Hot cocoa bar for music recital. Lovely Matters by Heather Walker
Outdoor guitar recital.  Lovely Matters Blog by Heather Walker

We had some extra time while putting together the hot cocoa station so we quickly whipped up these treats that the kids will share with their school friends and neighbors.  I was excited to find these wooden spoons on Amazon because I didn't want to dip plastic in melted chocolate.  I did the dipping in the melted chocolate and then let the kids top with their favorite mix-ins.  Easy and fun!

DIY Hot Cocoa spoons. Class Christmas gift idea.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Here's how I packaged them for my little one's old's preschool class.  The others I'll have the kids write their names.

DIY Hot Cocoa Spoons.  Great idea for class gifts.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Shouldn't every night in December end like this - sleeping beside a Christmas tree on top of a Christmas book.

sleeping child beside Christmas Tree. Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker

This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  Learn more here.  


Christmas lights activity

Christmas activity looking at lights.  free printable.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Last Thursday our "Gifts of Togetherness" was looking at lights and leaving little notes (below photo) at our favorite decorated homes in the neighborhood.  The kids had so much fun running door to door giggling as they hung candy canes and messages on doors without getting caught.  My friend sent me a funny video from her Ring app that caught my kids in action.  

Christmas lights activity.  Handmade notes for decorated homes.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker

Since then I've had several friends mention that their kids now want to do this.  To encourage this I've created a printable for the little ones who can't write their own notes, or maybe those who would like to simplify this activity.  I created it with the ideas that the lights could be colored.

Click here to print your Christmas lights note cards! 

christmas activity while looking at lights.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

I hope you are enjoying this special time and are finding the time to create memories with your loved ones.

New Note.jpg

Dear daughter, my deer.

DYI Deer Halloween costume.

Here's an easy DIY Halloween costume that took me 5 minutes to make.  My daughter was in need of a last minute costume for dance class yesterday.  After pulling out my felt scraps all I had to purchase was the $3 faux fur square from Hobby Lobby.  The rest we already had and she picked up the twigs on the way home from school.  

When looking for a DIY costume the best place to start is your home.  Step into your closet and maybe you'll be inspired!  My daughter found the vest she's wearing in her closet and then decided not to wear the fabric piece I cut for the belly (see below).  I used the scraps left from the belly on the ears.  The belly would be cute if you had advance notice to find a brown fitted shirt.

DIY Halloween Deer costume

I especially love a DIY costume if there's no sewing involved.  I used over a stick of hot glue to keep the felt (notice tabs on ears so they easily wrapped around headband) and twigs in place (glued behind the ears for extra support), and the project was done.  

Halloween prep tip: always keep a quality face paint on hand - not a year goes by that someone's costume isn't in need of it.  The cheap ones not only have dangerous ingredients but are cakey and disappear quickly.

lifestyle blog: Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Have you seen my dear daughter series on Instagram?  Someday I plan to print my daughter a book of the collection.  If you are my friend, you know I'm always referencing the "energy" within us.  My energy and my consciousness of other's energy is so often on my mind.   A lot more on this to come.

less effort and more love in party planning

simple and thoughtful party decor. lovely matters by Heather Walker

My daughter had a very belated birthday celebration because she wanted to wait for our backyard renovations to be done.  I know it's so hard to keep a guest list short, but with parties, less is more.  In most situations.  I also love a big bash with lots of mingling but, in my experience, the host tends to not enjoy themselves as much.  The benefit of an intimate party is you have room to add special touches and sit around the same table sharing the same conversation.  I adore this special touch my daughter added to the table decor.  She wrote each of her friends a personal note telling them what she loved about them and how blessed she was to have them in her life.  I took pictures of each note and sent to her guests.  I watched as each sweet friend found their seat and gushed over the words Addi Mae left them.  My husband and I made them a homemade meal and we served them as they simply chatted about their lives.

Intentionally blurred table for my daughter to keep her personal notes to her friends personal.  But you get the idea.

Intentionally blurred table for my daughter to keep her personal notes to her friends personal.  But you get the idea.

This party was planned with one trip to target and a quick amazon order. 

Party animal napkins are from dollar section at target.

This paper table runner is something I always have on hand for multiple purposes.  

The cake pops are from Mon Aimee Cake Pops  and the best I've ever had.

These sharpies take writing to a whole new level.  And who doesn't want gold cutlery every once in a while.

The only other decor item I purchased were these that gave the pool house just enough of a party vibe.

Have you seen the saran wrap game played at parties?  It was a hit!  Target dollar section for the win again.  

pool house.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

I've had a lot of questions about these chaise lounge chairs!  Love them.  Highly recommend!  And yes, I plan to do a full backyard tour soon to share how we renovated and decorated the space!