give thanks - This is our Bliss

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just popping in to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I hope you are surrounded by family and friends celebrating all of the wonderful blessings in this life.

I will be back again soon with some online shopping codes in case you plan to do a little of what I plan to do this weekend 😉

Now, I’m off to continue watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the fam and then we’re heading to my aunt’s for a yummy feast!

Enjoy!

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Happy 4th of July -- This is our Bliss

Happy Fourth of July!

Just popping in to wish you all a wonderful F O U R T H  O F  J U L Y  W E E K E N D ! ! !

Whether you are backyard barbequing, beach bummin’ or pool partying with family & friends, hopefully we can all take a moment to give thanks and appreciation for our rights and freedom as Americans. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of special activities, vacations or party planning around these historical holidays and lose sight of the true meaning behind them. I am trying to be better at remembering the why’s around days like this so we can teach our boys while they are young!

So, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, I hope the weather is lovely and you all enjoy your time together 🙂 Have fun & be safe!
Happy 4th of July -- This is our Bliss{Henry feeling patriotic while celebrating on 4th of July 2014 – the day before one of my best friend’s wedding!}

 I will see you back here next week!

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Holiday Happenings Recap

Hello & happy 2015! I am shocked that it is already the 5th day of the new year! After a crazy, fun-filled, super-busy 2 weeks of holiday & family shenanigans, we are back to our normal routine. We traveled to Central Illinois & then to Iowa over the week of Christmas and spent 5 days with both sides of our families. It was really special to be able to see everyone, but especially my husband’s aunt, who traveled to Illinois to visit from Qatar and then be able to have another Christmas with my grandparents. I was able to see all but one set of grandparents this year. All are living, but the extra added bonus, is that they are all remarried, so I actually have 8 wonderful grandparents in my life. My grandparents in Arizona were the only ones I didn’t see, but a trip down there is only a couple of months away 🙂

After the eating and drinking and presents and more presents over those 10 days away, we were fortunate enough to have Ted home with us all of last week! He works a very hectic schedule throughout the year, where 10-12 hour days are the norm and weekly travel to his second office located 2 hours south is a regularly scheduled event. Taking 2 weeks off at the end of December and having him all to ourselves has become part of our holiday routine and we loved every minute of it this year! We got home from my parents’ house last Sunday night, so last week was all about us – just the 4 of us! We filled our days with a trip to the children’s museum, lunch at a kid’s train-inspired restaurant, family movies & shows snuggled on the couch, more books & puzzles than I can count, lazy mornings in bed followed by leisurely sipping cups of coffee & yummy breakfast (compliments of the breakfast king himself), dance parties after dinner and a family-friendly New Year’s Eve at our friends’ house (see the NYE drink sticks I made to take with!). Ted & Henry also had a special “fun day” including a trip to Jump Zone and a lunch date, just the 2 of them. Oh! I almost forgot! We had a “date day” last week, too 🙂 Our sitter came to watch the boys while we went out to lunch, did some shopping, saw a movie (while lounging in those fancy leather recliners) and then out for dinner & drinks. A fabulous 8 hours away from home! must. do. again.

This past weekend we deconstructed the trees and sorted and packed away all of the holiday decorations. I also seriously dedicated a HUGE chunk of time to unpacking suitcases, shopping bags and boxes of gifts and then furiously plucking things out of the closets sack up and donate. With everything we brought into the house, we must send just as much OUT! Today was bittersweet. It was just me and the boys! Although it was nice getting back into the swing of things and finding our groove again, we sure did miss someone. Now that the house is returning to normal, I have started to put some serious thought into my goals for this year. What are my hopes and dreams? What do I want to do for me? What do I want to accomplish for our family? What projects am I going to tackle in our home? Where do I see my blog going this year? These are just a few questions I am asking myself right now as I start to compile a list of focus areas for the year. Last year was an incredible year and I want 2015 to be just as memorable, although I don’t think we will be having another baby this year, so memorable in different ways!!

Next, I will be sharing a 2014 Year in Review and 2015 Goals. Following that, I will share tips for de-cluttering & organizing different areas of the house, my plans for a couple of room “refreshes” and more DIY’s just about anyone can take on!

{A few photos to sum up our Christmas joy this season}

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Have you set your goals for the year? What is number one on your list? Please do share!
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you back here again SOON!

sig main 1P.S. I love how it was an ugly brown Christmas, although decent temperatures and now we have several inches of pretty, fluffy white snow on the ground! Why and how does this happen? Fingers crossed for next year!

Reflecting on the Road

We have spent the last five days celebrating the Christmas holiday filled with cooking, cousins, gingerbread house making, parties, shopping, wrapping, photo ops, Christmas jammies, gifts & more at my in-laws. Now that we are nearly finished with our 5 hour drive to my parents’ house with a stuffed to the brim car packed with no rhyme or reason, 2 little ones who didn’t nap, colds upon us & plenty more festivities to partake in, I am reminded that none of that matters. We had a wonderful 1st half of our “Christmas vacation” and am more than excited to finish the holiday season with my family back in my hometown. We WILL catch up on sleep. Our car & suitcases WILL regain their order. Our colds WILL pass. And most importantly, we are making magical memories with our boys. I am very thankful for all the blessings in my life and am reminding myself that the vast majority of the stresses at this time of the year are trivial matters, most of which we won’t even remember in a few days.

If you are like me, sometimes we need to stumble upon some words of wisdom to remind us to celebrate the season with a smile on our face instead of focusing on the stresses on our mind!

Wishing you & your family a very merry Christmas! See you back here next week 🙂

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Family & Fun & Food @ the Fair, Oh My!

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As summer turns the corner into August and is nearing its end, we always look forward to a few fun-filled days down at the State Fair.  My mother-in-law has been in the role as the Illinois State Fair Manager for 10 years now and is the longest serving manager in the 161-year history of the Illinois State Fair. She is also the first female manager in the fair’s history. Her year-round hard work and dedication surely shows over the course of the 11 day event each August.  It’s truly amazing to witness her ability to multi-task throughout all of the fair’s events.  I feel like she is able to be in 10 places at once, from press conferences & interviews, to judging different competitions, running meetings and the day-to-day oversight of her huge team and all of the tasks associated with running such a large event.  She has done a phenomenal job!

We have made a family tradition of going down to spend time with her and the rest of the family and see all that there is to see on the fairgrounds.  This year, my 2 aunts from Arizona flew in to spend a few days at our house and then we, along with my parents, sister and her friend all headed down to Springfield for the weekend to get our fair fix.  We overindulged in all things “fair”… lots of yummy food, kiddie rides, animals and 2 awesome concerts, complete with backstage “meet & greets” with the music artists before their shows.

We had the best time!

 IMG_5421Henry giving in to his Mini Donut craving 🙂

IMG_5444 IMG_5452 IMG_5439Horseys & piggies

It was so fun watching Henry take it all in this year!

IMG_5629 IMG_5577 IMG_5485 IMG_5506My mother-in-law sneaking in some grandson time in between events & interviews. My mom getting her QT in with Simon and all the girls hanging out on my mother-in-law’s deck at her home on the fairgrounds.  Last, but not least, Ted and I grabbing some fair food… the kind you can only eat once a year!  Believe it or not, I had never been to a state fair before my first trip down to Springfield while dating Ted in 2009.  I also tried my first corndog & lemonade skake-up that year.  They are now of course, fair staples. 🙂

IMG_5519 IMG_5561 fair 1Cruisin’ solo & then with his cousins.  Fast-forward 15 years and this could be reality!

fair 3 fair 2 fair pitbull fair FGLA few shots of our “nightlife”.  We got to meet Pitbull & Florida Georgia Line before the concerts.  So awesome!  A big thanks for my MIL for everything she did for us.  She made sure we had an action-packed weekend.  We loved every minute of it!

See you back here later this week with a couple of new projects – one from my recent Powder Room Refresh and then I’ll be revisiting Henry’s ABC & 123 party with a simple DIY decoration project tutorial. Thanks for swinging by!

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Celebrating 3 Years | Me & You {plus 2}

2 days ago, 7.30 was our 3 year wedding anniversary.  I didn’t blog on our actual anniversary and in yesterday’s post, I completely forgot to mention anything about it!  After all, this blog is not only dedicated to DIY projects and home decorating, but also to the every day things in my life.  I want my readers to know a little bit about me as a wife & mother and not just as a crazy crafting maniac.  Here is a little something I created in honor of 3 blissful years with my best friend.  He is my partner in everything and I am beyond thankful we found each other nearly 6 years ago in that little old office building.

Ted, thank you for all that you are to me and to our family.  You are my world and an amazing father to our 2 incredible boys.  I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to spend the rest of forever with you. I <3 you.

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Happy Birthday to my Firstborn

There are no words to describe what this big (little) fella means to me…what he means to our entire family.  2 years ago today, he became our new little everything. Every day since then he has brightened our days and world with his silly “scrunchy face”, his handsome smile, his shining baby blues and his evolving,vibrant personality. He now keeps us on our toes with his love for the alphabet and counting backwards! What an amazing journey he has taken us on as we’ve learned to embrace the role of parents.  I became a mom because of him.  He is teaching me to be a better person, a better teacher, a better listener.  I am learning to be a better friend to people of all ages, a better wife to my husband and mother to two little boys.  Henry was the start and I will forever be grateful he is in our life.  Like they say, he has us wrapped around his finger and I can’t deny he has me wrapped pretty tightly.

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Newborn

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h13Becoming a big brother in May

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Sorry!  No projects today.  This is our Bliss is not just about crafty projects and pretty room reveals.  It is about our everyday life too.  I don’t always share the personal ins and outs of our day-to-day, but my two sons and my husband are my world.  The DIY projects and decorating and RE-decorating are just little hobbies.  Something I can put my stamp on and help to pass the time during their afternoon nap.  I do enjoy sitting…on the couch… in silence… or catching up on my DVR (or my sleep 🙂 ) during naptime too, but there are also days when I like to be busy.  I have always loved making spreadsheets & to-do lists and sometimes I just want to make a big list and take a crack at it!  But above all else, my 3 guys are it for me.  

We are celebrating Henry’s 2nd birthday on Saturday, so I will surely be back next week with a Party recap post, the ever tardy Patio reveal (since it will finally be finished and ready for the party!), our Powder Room refresh reveal and my very first pallet project!  Thank you for stopping by today.

Enjoy your weekend, all!  

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Meet Simon, World!

Our 2nd little guy is here 🙂  Meet Simon Wallace Bliefnick.  He was born on Tuesday, May 20th at 9:28 am weighing in at 7 lbs. 11 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.  Needless to say, we are now officially a family of 4 and so in love with our handsome new addition!  I will let the photos do the talking in this post (a few from my iPhone & the rest from Bella Baby Photography in the hospital).  Hopefully they portray the pure joy and love we are feeling now that he has entered into our lives.  Henry is still warming up to him, but I am confident he is going to be an amazing big brother (one day)!

See you back here soon!

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Saturday & A Look Back

Happy Saturday!  This might be my favorite day of the week.  Sleeping in, snuggles in bed, breakfast & coffee with my husband, lounging & errands, etc., etc.  I love it all!  This morning we were out running errands, but for the afternoon… well… I am hoping it is a quiet one.  Tomorrow we are going to do a few small projects around the house, but nothing major.  However, I am sure there will be a little something to post about next week 🙂

Most of last week & last weekend was spent with family and friends, so thought I would share a few snapshots instead of a project post today.  In case you missed 2 popular posts so far this week, you can check them out here: How to Make Back Tab Curtains {DIY from bed sheets} and yesterday’s post on Pantry Overhaul!

Little man and I went to Chicago for the day yesterday to spend time with my sister.  She is the closest relative we have to us, but she is usually the one making the hour-long drive to our house.  She had the day off, so we thought we would stop by her apartment to hang out and then go out to lunch.  She asked me to help her hang some pictures and a shelf in her bathroom, since I had helped her hang a photo gallery wall in her bedroom a few months back.  I will post some pics when we are finished with the small makeover!

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Henry was amazed by the train.  It runs by behind her back deck… extremely loud, but I guess you don’t mind when you are young & single living with your girlfriends.  City life, right?

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Walking to lunch at City Dough ~ it was so good! Did I mention we had a fresh baked, warm chocolate frosted donut for dessert?  YUM.  Definitely check it out for breakfast or lunch if you are ever in the Lakeview neighborhood.

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Sitting like a big boy next to his Auntie… Dipping his French fries in ketchup.  I wonder where he got that from?

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And my favorite picture from swim class on Thursday night with his Daddy.  Pool buddies 🙂

Last, but not least, please check me out on Bloglovin’, a site where you can follow and manage posts from all of your favorite blogs!  <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11898911/?claim=y44h2m9x7jb”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Have a great weekend!!

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