Gift tags, socks, party planning and cute Christmas trucks

Last weekend I made gift tags from last years Christmas cards. They turned out really cute. I blogged about this last year. But I still love this idea, it’s resourceful, recycling and cuteness all rolled into one.

gift tags

I finished my son’s socks that I was working on. Remember how I told you I picked the yarn out 5 years ago? It felt really good to finish them up last weekend!! I tried to take a photo of them. Here they are and then he took off!!!


We’ve gotten to visit Ft. Worth for the first time recently and I have to say it is a fun place. Lots to see and do and eat – even if you are the littlest of hipsters!


We’ve decided to have our New Year’s Party again and so my mind has been in party planning mode. I think this year I’m going to keep it more simple than last year but we are going to have a children’s toast again this year. We had a toast for the kids a few hours early thinking some people would want to go home early with their kids but everyone stayed!
We did a balloon drop and bubble wrap pop at around 9 pm. It was tons of fun. I couldn’t believe how long it took the kids to pop the bubbles!  I thought they would all be popped in seconds!


I brought out a big sheet of bubble wrap and we did a count down.  At the same time we dropped balloons down on them and they got to jump up and down on the bubble wrap.  It was a fun time so I’d definitely like to do it again!!

And last but not least, I received the cutest ornament at a recent ornament exchange and ironically it was something that has been on my brain lately.


This is my favorite cute symbol of Christmas time.  I had even found cookie cutters that you could order.  And I also saw the cutest red truck in our hometown Christmas parade.  Funny how things get stuck in your head and then you see them everywhere!
So what holiday thoughts are swirling around in your head?



A Few Words About San Francisco Real Estate

Every once in a while my husband threatens to find a job in the San Francisco Bay Area. I say threaten because for a Midwesterner like me, the San Francisco is insanely expensive and while I’m a liberal at heart, maybe the whole area is just a little too far West for me. Well, a few weeks ago we finally went to San Francisco mostly for vacation, but the trip was also part reconnaissance mission. What is San Francisco real estate like? Would the lifestyle be a good fit for us?

Here are a few pictures and my thoughts of our San Francisco experience (I took the pictures with my phone and I only cropped the images).

Alcatraz building

Bay views are essential and apparently a roof will cost you extra.

living roof top

Environmentally conscientious Californians like a “living roof”. This one made me think I was in The Shire.

crooked driveway

Street parking is tricky and there are always tourists to deal with.


Curb appeal is important, so some sort of quirky sculpture is recommended.


Gates will keep the tourists farther away, but it won’t stop them from taking pictures. In fact, it just makes them wonder even more about what is inside.

no trespassing

If you cover the side of your building in a beautiful flowering vine you must, absolutely must, post a No Trespassing sign to keep tourists from getting any closer.

jail cell

Efficiency apartments are super tiny and only rented to arts and crafters.


One animal skull on the wall isn’t enough.

toilet fountain

The plumbing is confusing.

jail shower

The trend toward larger showers with multiple shower heads has gotten extreme.

hanger chandelier

Bay Area homeowners are so broke, they’ve resorted to making their own chandeliers.

family portrait

Some selfies are under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

lily pond

Your backyard pond must have lily pads.


Don’t forget the pagoda.

painted ladies facelift

The postcard perfect Painted Ladies are not always camera ready and need a face-lift every now and then.

zen garden

Everyone has their own private Zen garden.

There you have it. While I doubt we’ll be moving there any time soon, hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration on how to live like a San Franciscan. For now, I’m grateful for the roof over my head and that I don’t have to park on Lombard St.

Remember Wren Field Trip: Part 2 -The Exploratorium on Pier 15

One of the highlights of our trip to San Jose was getting to visit San Francisco.  While we were there we went to visit the Exploratorium on Pier 15.  There was lots to see and do for both children and adults alike.


All of these photos come from the Tinkering Exploratorium section of the museum because it was my favorite part.  On the top right you see the wall they made listing the materials they used to make each block.  Look, they even pulled out the bedazzler!  So, how do you like the coat hanger chandelier?  I think I would like it better if they had taken out the hooks from the hangers, but then you wouldn’t be able to tell what it was made of and that is half the fun.  In the bottom right photo is a display that was in the works.  They had made a sewn circuit with metallic thread.  Is it science or is it art?  Hmm…


In the photo on the left are scenes from around San Francisco made entirely out of toothpicks.  It took 37 years to make!  It is made like one of those Mouse Trap games where the marble has to go through all those obstacles.  Except this one was made for a larger rubber ball.  You can see the ball in the top right photo.  It actually worked!

I loved peeking into the Tinkering workshop.  This looks like a place I would love to work.  How fun would it be to come up with ideas for things to make all day?  I’m sure this actual job requires an engineering degree, but I can dream!

So that is my short and sweet tour of the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  Anybody else a fan of children’s museum’s?  Have a favorite one?