Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annual Dessert Party

For those of you just DYING to see what my dessert table looked like at our it is:

During this Christmas season, don't forget about those less fortunate than yourself. Here's hoping you have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Decor in the Maertens Household

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! It makes me so happy! I love to give gifts! I love to wrap gifts! I love to bake! Are you understanding all my excitement with my many exclamation points???

So Mitch and I have an annual dessert party with our friends and close family. We unfortunately had to skip it last year because our house and our lives were way too chaotic because of just getting married/settling in/not having a floor/not having an oven that baked know...the usual. So this year, I'm happy to say that we were able to start the tradition back up again! I was a baking fool and didn't take any pictures, but my dad at least took one of the dessert table. Unfortunatly he hasn't emailed it to me yet, so you will have to wait until the next post for that one.

Let's move onto home decor. I really love decorating and I ESPECIALLY love decorating for Christmas....because I kind of love the holiday...if you didn't catch onto that yet. So, here is the Maertens household Christmas decor:

Our newest furniture addition to our house. I am finally able to display our china and have it easily accessible so we can use it! I kept decorating simple on this. On one doorknob, I must a pearl letter "M" ornament and on the other doorknob I used some white ribbon to hang a berry wreath. And then you have my "Dr. Seuss" trees on the floor next to it. I call them that because they are curved.

I always LOVE to share when I get a good deal on's a downfall of mine. So I had been holding out for the Willow Tree Nativity collection. I fell in love with it, but I just couldn't afford it because it was almost $300 for the entire set. I had decided that I was just going to have to save up and buy it piece by piece. The reason I loved that particular set was because they are faceless and simple. I feel like so many nativity scenes out there today are glitzed out and I feel that that is no a correct representation of that night when Jesus was born. Anywho....long story, I know, Mitch and I went to Kohl's on Black Friday and I fould this almost identical faceless set for.............get ready for it..........only $28!!!!!!! What a deal!!!!

My brand new lovely mantle made by my husband.

Entryway table. That tall manzanita tree was actually a centerpiece at our wedding. I kept the hanging jewels on it and added tiny little glass ornaments. That framed printout came from Pinterest. The silver ball things in the glass jar on the right came from Hobby Lobby. The little sparkle balls around the manzanita piece came from Pottery Barn. I unfortunately DID NOT get a good deal on these. They were WAY too expensive, but I loved them so I splurged a bit.

These beautiful sparkly snowflake ornaments came from my new fav home decor place on Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, Charlie's House.


My sister got me this little metal tree from Target and the sparkly star things came from Pottery Barn.

This tree is one of my favorite decor pieces. It is the sparkliest tree ever. I randomly came across it at Marshall's one day and although it was a little pricey, I totally feel like it was worth it because it's beautiful. I wasn't sure what to cover the base with or what to put around it so for now there is a papertowel underneath it so it doesn't scratch our table.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little tour of our decorated home!

Monday, December 12, 2011

AAR Annual Installation Party

Every year my office has a fancy cocktail party for the installing of our coming years Board of Directors and leadership team. Our party was last Friday and we had a photobooth there for the first time! These are our pics from that. This is the event that Mitch and I met at 5 years ago, so it is kind of a fun tradition for us to attend every year!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Decorating

It's been a while since I posted, so I decided to show you all my fall decorating! I LOVE decorating and I am already so excited for Christmas! (I'm also mentally planning it that bad?) I give a shout-out to Pinterest for some of these ideas! :)


In light of my Christmas planning, I have been asking/begging my husband to do our mantle before then and that wonderful man of mine started on it last night! Its so beautiful already! I'm so excited!!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lots of Randoms

This post is going to be about a lot of random things because I'm behind a bit. A couple of weeks ago, we went to Napa for the first time. Neither Mitch or I are really big fans of wine to begin with but after an afternoon of tasting, I came to the conclusion that I just really don't like wine. There were a couple that I would drink if they were already out and available to me at a party or something, but I decided that I would never actively go out and buy these wines. Anywho, the scenary was BEAUTIFUL. The winery we chose to do our only tasting at was a castle! I think it was called Castelo de Amoroso or something like that. They had a drawbridge:

Beautiful view looking out over the valley

                                                                      The chapel

                                                                  Big dining room


In other news, we are in the process of rebuilding our and our neighbors side gate. These are the steel frames and post that will be the basic support of the whole thing. When finished it will be covered with wood, but we haven't had a change to get to that yet, so there are big sheets of plywood covering it at the moment.

Now that I have a functional oven, I've been baking......

We bought a dining set. When the leaf is in, it seats 8 people. The leaf is not in here. This is how it will look unless we are entertaining. I was going to post a before (with our card table and folding chairs) and after picture, but I came home from work one day last week and my wonderful husband had come home early and had already taken the folding table and chairs down and assembled the new table!

By the way, when we were in Napa, we stayed at the local Holiday Inn Express & Suites. I like staying at those hotels because I find them super clean and nice. Well this particular one had the most AMAZING creation automatic pancake maker machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Press a button and 45 seconds later, 2 fresh hot pancakes come off the conveyor belt. Oh man, I want one......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Mickey Mouse Fix

 No, this is not a post about a recent visit to Disneyland (although I wish it was). To be honest, I've never quite understood the term anyways. In case you weren't aware, in constuction terms, doing something Mickey Mouse is doing something haphazard and shoddy, which doesn't make sense. The Disney Mickey Mouse is none of these, so again, I don't know why the term means what it does. Anyways, I digress. So presently, we have a separate rangetop stove and oven:

On said rangetop, the lighter doesn't light. therefore, I have to use an actual lighter to light it. Also, in said oven, something is wrong with it and when I try to bake, the outside of things burn before the inside bakes. Since baking is one of my fav things to do, this is quite the bummer. I have avoided baking at all costs since we've lived in this house because of this confounded oven. Also, please note orange extension cord extending vertically to plug my microwave in.

Although we would LOVE to redo the kitchen completely before Christmas, in my heart of hearts I don't think that's going to happen because of the cost involved. Therefore, I BEGGED Mitch to at least put our new oven rangetop in (we already purchased a new one along with a new fridge and microwave hood because of a great deal we got). Mitch hates to do anything less than perfect when it comes to construction so this pretty much killed him to agree to this, but I told him he would benefit because I would be able to bake again. Therefore, he did this: 

 And this is what it currently looks like. Mitch will be putting shelves where the hole from the oven is. I will have to store pots and pans there because of the cabinet space lost, but I don't even care. I'm so excited to have our new oven rangetop in the kitchen instead of in the garage. Also, when we pulled the oven out, we found out that there was an electric outlet in the wall! Therefore, goodbye orange extension cord!

Also, as a side note, if you are wondering what 40 years of dust accumulated looks like, here is your answer:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our 1st Anniversary

I know......"Gosh, Stephanie. That took you long enough!" Our 1st wedding anniversary was July 10th and life's been way busy since we got back and although I did look at the photos I took, I just never got around to putting a post together until now. So as you may know, Mitch and I returned to Kauai for our 1st wedding anniversary. We were so blessed to be able to go 2 years in a row and we LOVED every minute of it. It was so amazing and beautiful there, just like it was on our Honeymoon! Here are some pics of the week. Enjoy!

While we were there, we drove around alot of "off the beaten path" roads and found this beautiful little fishing hole with a beautiful home in the background.

 We also did a lot of 4-wheeling on the many hunting roads that we discovered Kauai has

 Mitch was bound and determined to park as close to our condo as, meet curb

 Beautiful sunset

This beach (Tunnels Beach) has a reef so large you can see it from space. We spent most of the day here going snorkling.

Looking at the coast from our Na Pali Coast Dinner cruise we took

This tunnel was in Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Johnny Depp goes through it to finally find the Fountain of Youth. Our Captain said in another movie they actually flew a helicopter through that hole. Not sure how though.....

On our dinner crusise, we saw a school of dolphins!

The boat we were on

On the flight home, the pilot came in from the North and flew over California for about 25 minutes. Pretty dang cool.

Hope you enjoyed all the photos. We absolutely LOVE Kauai and the peacefulness and beauty that exists there. We were feeling so blessed to be able to go two years in a row and decided to take a break before trying to go back. However, we recently found out that we will be attending a wedding on Kauai next summer! Going for year 3!

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