Post Christmas Shopping

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Every year I wake up early the day after Christmas and I head to Target. I don't do the whole store hoping, I just go to Target. I grab a few items I had my eye on during the holiday season, and I quickly put them away so I am not tempted to put them out or use them this year.

Then every Christmas I have something "new" to decorate with! It's like a surprise every year! This year I walked away with a few great finds. I only picked two pieces, but I got a great deal on them, and I will be really excited about them next year!

#1. My new cashmere fir tree ...

I am starting a new tradition next year. Since the kids don't really get to help me set up our Christmas tree in the family room [too many breakable ornaments] I got them their own Christmas Tree. Every year I'll let them pick a new ornament or two to add to the tree!

#2. Iced Grapevine Balls ...

I have been eyeing these for a while now, I want to use them on my tablescape for next year. The picture shows a regular grapevine ball, but the ones I purchased are iced ... so pretty!!

Did you all find any great deals? Better yet, what did you all get for Christmas?


Christmas Traditions

Saturday, December 24, 2011
Post from Last Year ... Christmas Traditions ...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the family traditions that have been passed down, and new ones we're creating with our own family. It's something to look forward to the entire year, even the kids are starting to remember them.

For documentation purposes, here are some of our family traditions:

1. In early November, all of the women on my mom's side (really we take our kids too so there are guys there) but we all gather and bring TONS of cookies for our cookie exchange. This year each of us made 4 dozen per person ... yeah, add that one up :) This way we do not have to bake very much during the holidays and we have an assortment of cookies. We also make my Grandma's famous sugar cookies there, so the kids can cut them out and frost them!

2. Every year, a week or two before Christmas, we pack up and head to KC for my mom's side of the family. It's our "Steak Fondue" Christmas celebration. Have you ever had Steak Fondue? It's SO yummy and unique. We all are able to sit around the table, talk and cook our own food. It allows for a longer dinner, which is wonderful when you haven't had a chance to catch up with family for a while.

3. Of course we always take the kids to see Santa sometime between Thanksgiving & Christmas, it's always funny to see how they will react. I love it! Lately, Bass Pro has offered FREE pictures at their locations, so we don't have to go to the mall and pay a ridiculous price for their pictures, which are bad quality too! Plus, who doesn't love to walk around Bass Pro, we all think it's fun!

4. Christmas Eve is a big day for us. You can usually find me in the kitchen baking something for dinner that night. The kids are off playing, and Ryan is usually putting gifts together that need to be assembled before time. We all go to a Christmas Eve service at our church just down the road, and afterwards head to Ryan's Grandma's house for dinner. This is not just any dinner ... this is Surf n' Turf Dinner ... complete with steak and king crab legs. Seriously, my favorite meal of the whole entire year! What's great about this dinner, is it's Ryan's family & my family ... now how many people can say that? It's great to have us all under one roof. After dinner the kids get to open some gifts and we all sit around and relax and the men indulge in some Crown. AND after all of that, we head back to our house, and throw some cookies dough (made that morning) into the oven for Santa. Baths are taken and we all curl up and read The Polar Express. Nothing is better than that!

Christmas morning we all wake up and enjoy our family Christmas with all the Santa gifts as well. Eat a good breakfast and go crazy with excitement! This is one of my favorite times! Once we all clean up and shower, we head over to Ryan's parents for gift giving, lunch and just relax.

Christmas evening we head over to Ryan's Grandma's Sisters, where the whole extended family is for food and games. Usually the women are upstairs playing board games and the men go downstairs and play poker. It's a great way to end the Christmas day. And as you can imagine, we are all EXHAUSTED afterwards!

What are some of your family traditions?


Presents are Wrapped/Table is Set

It's the night before Christmas Eve. Up until today, our lives have been ciaos, but tonight, it's calm! Kids are asleep, presents are wrapped and the table is set. All that's missing is a little snow on the ground!

I have to say, Christmas has really snuck up on me this year. It really doesn't feel like Christmas will be in 2 days, but I am so excited for our family get-togethers. Tomorrow afternoon my Dad is coming down to visit and have our own little Christmas with the kids. Tomorrow night we'll attend our Church's service and then head over to Ryan's Grandmas for our annual Christmas Even surf n' turf. Christmas morning we'll have our own family traditions are our home, head over to Ryan's parents house and wind up at my Mom's house Christmas night. It will be a full 2 days, but I couldn't be more excited.

When you're a kid, you live for Christmas, but as you grow up, it looses a lot of the hype. Until you have kids. The joy on their faces Christmas Morning is the best in the world!

Hope you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 22, 2011
As Christmas comes closer, I thought I would show you what our Christmas tree looks like. I am in LOVE with it this year.

So here's the deal, I LOVE me a flocked tree. So before I place any decorations, I flock the absolute CRAP out of the tree. It's pretty much a white tree when I am finished with it, only because I know a lot of it will fall off as I am decorating the tree and as time goes on.

My color scheme is simple, white, silver and glitter. I have everything from glittered pine cones to ostrich feathers. My absolute favorite tree ornament this year are my glittered birds with a white feathered tail ... gorgeous! My tree also only has white clear lights, I'm not a huge fan of colored lights for some reason.

So, this year I did something that was CRAZY and the verdict is still out. After flocking my tree, I took a TON of silver glitter, and while the flock was still wet, I threw glitter all over. Yes ... I am still picking it up and finding it in weird places, but it does make the tree look super cool!

What does your tree look like?


DIY: Reuse Broken Ornaments

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Raise your hands if you have ever broken a glass ornament? Now raise your hand if your kids have ever broken one of your glass ornaments? It's bound to happen. It happens to me EVERY year, something happens, always an accident of course, but something always breaks. This year the culprit was our dogs tail, and I noticed the broken silver glass ornament looked pretty. As weird as it sounds, the silver shattered glass was pretty.

Since I always like to reuse objects in different ways, I started thinking about how to incorporate it in my other Christmas decorations. I already had 2 boxes of clear glass, DIY, ornaments from last year. So I wanted to see if I could use the broken glass to display in the clear ornaments. I tried it once, and after I liked what I saw, I went to get more supplies!

First up you'll need clear glass ornaments. You'll also need GLASS ornaments to "break" or you can use already broken ornaments. I got really lucky. I found silver glass ornaments at Goodwill for 95 cents! I also got another box of broken ornaments at the same place for 20 cents since they were damaged. Little did they know I would be breaking them anyways!! I used a couple of walmart sacks, but you'll need a safe place or bag to fill with ornaments so you can break them without hurting yourself. I used a hammer. Afterwards, you'll fill the clear ornaments with the shattered glass and you're done! I added a ribbon to the ornament before I placed them on the tree. What do you think? Now you have a way to reuse your broken ornaments!

Here is the ornament on our tree!


Hospital Sleepover Weekend

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Well, I can't even begin to explain the crazy weekend we had here. I will have to say it was one of the scariest experiences I have had as a mother. Bayler has been pretty sick for about a month now, just off and on, nothing too serious. He started daycare about a month and a half ago, and if you have kids, you know they are bound to get sick left and right in the beginning.

So I started noticing the last few days of last week he seemed to be acting differently. He was really achy, didn't play very much, and was stiff. Especially if I needed to pick him up or change his diaper. I am telling you, on Thursday, I went to lay him down to change him, and he screamed, had to roll on his back, and couldn't sit up without rolling on his side, that's how much pain he was in. I felt SO bad. I immediately called the doctor, and they were able to get in the next day at the office. SO, overnight was terrible. I really thought we would be okay with Tylenol, but his lymph nodes began to swell. When he finally arrived at the doctors office, his nodes were past his cheeks. The doctor looked at him for about 30 seconds, checked his throat, and said "I am really uncomfortable with what I am seeing, he needs to be emitted immediately to the hospital, and there needs to be blood work, IVs and a CAT scan done." WHATTTT. You can imagine how scared I was. It was so serious, they would not let me run home to get his blanket or his comfy clothes, they told me I had to drive right there. AHHH.

We got him there, and I was thinking they would give him a strong antibiotic and we would be there for a few hours ... little did i know, we would be there for 3 straight days. It was awful. He was so tough though. THANK GOD it turned out to be a sever infection, but when we got there we had to talk about the possibilities of a mass or obstruction behind his tonsils. They also were throwing around the possibility of blood cancer, so I am SOOOO thankful this holiday season that Bayler is doing MUCH better, and he just needed to get that IV antibiotic.

I managed to take a few photos of our stay at Saint Mary's ... poor guy even had to wear a babies hospital outfit, had a "cast" like IV, and was pretty much bed bound. UMMM, has anyone tried to keep a 2 1/2 year old in bed for 3 days straight?

Did I mention that Santa came to visit Bayler twice? AND brought gifts. I am so thankful that someone took the time to do that for not just Bayler but the other kids, it's such a pick-me-up in the hospital!


Christmas Bokah

Thursday, December 15, 2011
I have been playing around with my new lens this past week ... and I like what I see :) I wasn't really planning on loving it as much as I do, so this turned out to be a pretty expensive "hobby!"

It's kinda fun playing around with photography :)


{Photo's with Santa}

Monday, December 12, 2011
We finally got around to take the kids to see Santa this weekend, and I have to say, they were much more interested in the Bass Pro games then seeing Mr. C in person. In fact, it was almost a chore for them to wait in line to sit on his lap, rather than being overly excited about it. Not really sure what to think about that.

Braeden was his usual self, he acted goofy the entire time he was with Santa, telling him everything he could possibly want for Christmas. Bayler on the other hand ... was HIS usual self. He didn't want to have anything to do with him, and screamed for me the entire time. Whew, so glad we went :)

At least we got some memorable photos of the kids, at least they are story's we can laugh about later :)

Happy Holidays!


{Imhoff Family Christmas Tree 2011}

Friday, December 9, 2011
Next week I am going to post all about Christmas and share number of photos, but I thought I would leave you with this photograph of our Christmas Tree this year. It's my favorite yet, complete with ostrich feathers, glittery pine cones, and DIY ornaments. Enjoy!

I took this photo using my new lens, which allowed me to create the "glow" you see. This technique can be found here.

But in case you just want to stay on our page to keep it easy, here is what I did. I turned my fstop WAY low, I think it was at 1.8. My aperture was at 1/30 and my ISO was at 1600. This creates the "GLOW" effect and makes Christmas lights shine!


The Bridal Solution on Today's News

Thursday, December 8, 2011
If you aren't busy tomorrow {December 8th, 2011} please check out KOMU U-News with Sara Hill at 4:00 PM. The Bridal Solution will be on the show tomrorow speaking about Bridal U, and just giving the viewers a bit more information about the event itself!

If you do not live in Mid-Missouri, and would still like to watch, pleae visit KOMU News's website here, and click "View Live."

For additional informtation about the Bridal U, check out our website here!


{From the Desk of The Bridal Solution ... PR Release Dec. 2011}

Monday, December 5, 2011
Would love to share with you what The Bridal Solution, llc is up to lately ...


For Immediate Release

Natalie Imhoff
The Bridal Solution, llc.

The Bridal Solution and UMC Students Launch Bridal U to Educate Brides

“Providing Brides the Knowledge to Plan the Perfect Wedding”

Columbia, Missouri – November 30, 2011 – The Bridal Solution’s Natalie Imhoff and University-of-Missouri Students in the Hospitality Management Program are fusing education and inspiration in a new event their calling Bridal University. This one-day intensive conference style affair brings together The Bridal Solution’s top wedding professionals and brides who are looking for that extra help planning their special day. This informative planning series will give couples the expert guidance, tools and resources they need through the entire planning process.
“There is very limited information about the logistics of planning a wedding,” say’s Natalie Imhoff, owner of The Bridal Solution, llc. “Every bride can use some guidance when planning their special day.” Couples will be able to hear and talk to experts in all different fields, allowing them to receive customized advice without the high price tag of hourly consultations. Those in attendance will be able to sample amazing cuisine and desserts prepared by Fresh Ideas throughout the day and tour the tablescapes full of design inspiration for the 2012 bride. Brides who attend Bridal U will have the benefit of hearing wedding experts in their current market speak on topics like menu planning, photography tips, and the importance of having an on-site coordinator.
Bridal University will be held at the Kimball Ballroom on Stephen’s College Campus, and is scheduled for February 19, 2012. Brides are encouraged to register early to receive a discounted ticket price. All brides who attend Bridal University will receive a complimentary gift bag and Bridal U t-shirt. Attendance is limited. For more information regarding Bridal University, a list of our top wedding professionals, sponsors and course schedule, please visit

About the Company
The Bridal Solution, an award winning, wedding and event planning firm in Mid-Missouri, focuses on bringing fresh design inspiration to the modern day bride. Natalie & her event team are available to assist brides through the planning process with as much or as little help as they may need leading up to the big day. Whether they are in the beginning stages or final stages of the planning process, the Bridal Solution prides itself on working with brides on all budgets to give them the wedding of their dreams, stress free!

The Bridal Solution is also available to plan non-wedding related events, such as parties, galas and fundraisers.For further information, please visit us at or on Facebook at

Natalie M. Imhoff
The Bridal Solution, llc.
405 Mesa Avenue
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101



{Thanksgiving Menu 2011}

Friday, November 25, 2011
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was unique for sure, but it turned out great! More importantly ... what was one every one's menu? Monday I'll be sharing our tablescape, but for today, I'll show you our menu ... I made it totally last minute, but I think it turned out great!

Anyone else create a menu for Thanksgiving? Wish me luck, I am leaving the house at 12 AM for some holiday shopping with friends ... better yet, pray for me :)


{Halloween Trick or' Treating 2011}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Can not believe that I forgot to post about the boy's Halloween. Let me first say that my kids were the cutest on the block ... ok, proud mamma here, and I am allowed to say that.

Every year I struggle with the kids costumes ... what will they be, will they wear it, are they going to be too cold, etc. This year was no different. Let me backtrack ... My son Braeden is obsessed with super heroes ... something I really despise. So it wasn't a hard decision for me to ban them in our household after he started acting them out, and having trouble at school. That being said, did anyone happen to notice the trend in kid costumes this year? ALL SUPER HEROES ... are you kidding me? Where are the cute costumes for younger boys? Do they all really need to be fighting costumes? I was a little disgusted to be honest. And to be fair, I almost let Braeden be Spiderman this year, he saw the costumes everywhere and didn't understand why he couldn't dress up as him. But I stuck to it, and decided I would start talking up "real heroes." Yep, REAL heroes are the men and women who protect our country and community. Like Firemen, Policemen, Soldiers, etc. It caught on pretty quick and it was long after there school had "Fire" week where Braeden was talking up Fireman. "Stop, Drop & Roll!" So I ran with it. I found the BEST fireman costume online that was an exact replica of our community ... it was the bomb!

Now Bayler is still at the age where he can be talked into anything. The only problem that I may face was him wanting to be the same thing as Braeden. He LOVES animals, especially dogs, so I started talking about dog costumes with him and showing him ones online ... he loved it! SO of course I had to get the Dalmatian costume to go with his brothers ... the cutest costume ever! Seriously, he was the cutest little puppy I have ever seen :)

So there you have it ... for Halloween this year I got one handsome fireman and one cute puppy ... couldn't have worked out better! They had SUCH a fun time too. It took Bayler a little while this year to get used to his costume, he would put it on, but would want to take it right off. That was until he realized he got candy for wearing his costume ... I didn't think I would ever get it off of him! I can't tell you how many people stopped us either. They were the perfect combination. And the number of Fireman that wanted to buy Braeden's costume from me was unbelievable.

Hope everyone had a GREAT Halloween!!


{Fall Cleaning}

Monday, November 21, 2011
Anyone else go into full nesting mode when the leaves start falling? It's like that first Spring like day where you open up all the windows and start dusting and ti dding things up ... but in fall. The leaves start changing and the feeling of being trapped inside the house for months overcomes you. I for one start throwing things out, putting things on craigslist, and just have an utter dislike for things in my house. I think it's my bodies way of telling me "It's almost Christmas and you have NO WHERE for the new toys to go .... time to start purging." Which I guess is a good things since it's true.

It's not only getting rid of items in the house, but cleaning is in full effect. Yesterday I took every single mattress off the bed, cleaned under the beds, put a mixture of baking soda and lavender all over the mattress and vacuumed them entirely. I told you it's like nesting ... but I promise I am not prego... PROMISE this time :)

Many of you asked me yesterday about the baking soda and lavender mixture ... so I thought I would let you in on my little secret for "Deep Cleaning" those mattresses ... which by the way, should be done at least twice a year!

Go to the store and buy the large box of baking soda ... you'll need it if you are doing multiple mattresses. Then purchase some lavender oil [really any nice oil will do, but I use lavender because it technically means "clean" and lavender helps the body fall asleep.] I will add 2 cups of baking soda and about 10 drops of lavender oil to a food processor. I use a processor because I like it all mixed together really well. Once everything is mixed, apply it to your mattress. It should be applied to the mattress itself. Now, let it sit for an hour. This will take out all the moisture and bacteria. While you are waiting, wash all of your sheets, you don't want to put on dirty sheets to a clean mattress :)

Once you have waited and cleaned the sheets, bring in your hand held vacuum and clean up all of the baking soda. You're room should smell fresh and clean! Make sure to get it all! Afterwards, put back on your clean sheets, and get really for a peaceful nights sleeps! This also takes care of bed bugs,etc if you have a problem with those!


{Little Bit Funky's Open Letter ...}

Friday, November 11, 2011
I found this open letter yesterday on Little Bit Funky's Blog. Isn't it funny how you can just sit there and relate to every single word she is saying? This particular open letter is to new moms. Although I am not a "New Mom" anymore {at least I was told I could no longer park in the new mom spot at the mall... rude,} I still related. I also have a TON of new moms in my life. All of them are fabulous women, and I think to myself ... they are going to be wonderful moms! BUT ... there are some things they should know after birth, and this is an excellent open letter to them!


So here is an open, honest letter to all new moms out there addressing some of the things that no one ever tells you. From a mom who had a pretty run of the mill birth and normal little babies.

Dear new mom,

The first thing you should know is that you are normal. Everything you are feeling is normal. Millions of women have been in your shoes and for some reason just don't ever talk about it.

It is OK to feel happy, elated, sad, weepy, angry, frustrated, exhausted, energetic and all that in a span of 10 minutes.

It is OK to question your choice to have a baby in the first place. Every mom has those moments. The whole "what have I gotten myself into"? feeling is normal. It's a HUGE change. YOU CAN DO THIS.

It is OK to have moments where you don't like that baby. It's true, hard to write and read but so very true. You are learning to take care of, and anticipate all the needs, wants and desires of a whole other person. On top of your own. It's only natural that you have moments of annoyance or anger towards the person who is demanding so much of you. That does not mean you love them less, it just means you are a human learning to do a HUGE task. It is OK to put that baby in the crib, crying or not and walk away until that anger passes. It will get better. It is OK TO TALK ABOUT THIS TO SOMEONE!!!!!

A crying baby will be fine. No baby is allergic to crying.

Please say OUTLOUD the ways that your husband can help you. Do not assume that he will magically read your mind. I bet he really WANTS to help you but he feels as lost as you. A simple kind suggestion to what you need or want done can go a long way to making everyone a little bit happier. Talk about how hard it is to be a parent!

You will feel like a crazy person. You have insane amounts of hormones literally raging through your body. You will literally, simultaneously say something that sounds like a deranged woman is talking WHILE hearing your inner voice yell "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING YOU CRAZY WOMAN?". Take a deep breath, say "I'm sorry" and move on. Don't beat yourself up over it. It will get better.

You will leak milk at the least appropriate times. You will probably expose yourself to a stranger at least once. Don't worry, you WILL get the hang of it. When it's all said and done you may end up with less cleavage than you started with. Sorry, it can be true.

If you are going to breastfeed please try for at least a month. I hear SO many people say "I tried for two weeks and quit" gets SO MUCH EASIER after two weeks. It really, really does. Your body needs at least that long to adjust to this strange new thing that you are doing.

Your hair will fall out. Not all of it but a lot of it. All the hair that you didn't shed while pregnant. Pony tails help.

Your bladder will never be the same. Go when you need to, don't wait.

Mylicon is a lifesaver. There are a million uses for plain cloth diapers that don't involve using them as diapers. When trying to decide what you NEED for a baby think about life on the prairie and how little they needed and had then. A bed, some clothes, some bottles/boobs and diapers are all a baby needs. Don't give into pressure to buy it all.

Attending to things other than baby does not equal neglect (like taking a shower or eating or washing a dish). It is also OK to skip all those for a nap. Take a nap when you can. Sleep changes everything. EVERYTHING. If you nurse in bed, do it knowing that you will probably fall asleep...adjust baby accordingly.

Your baby will probably fall off the bed. At least once. You may also drive without having them buckled in the bucket carseat (unintentionally), baby talk to your husband and your once amazing memory will start its exit routine.

You will regularly have in depth conversations about poop. When, where, how much, texture, color...all of it. And it won't feel weird until you do it in front of non-kid having people.

You will be pooped on, puked on, spit-up on and drooled on. Oxiclean will take care of most of it.

Don't ever thank God that the baby is finally asleep.
Somehow that is code for "please make him cry right now!".

Middle of the night bargaining never works.

Never say anything that starts with "My kid will never...".

Most of all, I want you to know that you can do this. God chose YOU to be the mother of HIS sweet precious baby. You were handpicked by the creator of the universe to have your own little disciple to minister to. Admit when you have made a mistake, ask for forgiveness from God and that baby and keep trucking on. You are stronger than you know and before you know it these days will be in the distant past.

Find someone to talk to, email me if you have to.


Love, Been there and done that.


Pretty dead on right? Loved it! Head over to Little Bit Funky's Blog and check her out!


{Family Photos 2011}

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Ah, what can I say? A few weeks ago now, we met up with SilverBox Photographers to take some family shots. It has been a year since we really sat down and took some decent photos, so I was super excited to get this done. The boys are at the best ages to capture, and I just want to remember these days forever!!

I personally think they turned out great ... I am in love with them :)

Thanks Kim!!

Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design