Viewing posts tagged decor

Our 2016 Christmas Celebrations

This year our Christmas celebrations were very low key and simple, yet joyous. Being in the third trimester I had to scale back a lot this year, and it still kicked my butt. Last year I wasn't pregnant, and I put up 7 Christmas trees and fully decorated the house in November. This year I struggled decorating the one Christmas tree that we put up, on midnight Christmas Eve. We almost came to the conclusion that we would have to skip Christmas this year, as we were all so sick. Me and hubby caught a bug from the kids that resembled the flu, and it affected me more as I already had an abundance of annoying pregnancy symptoms. All of us were stuck at home with fevers, sore throats and aches and pains. I vomited every day and had to go to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. Christmas almost didn't happen! BUT..... we toughed it out and I managed to decorate the tree, prepare a nice dinner, wrap the presents, and hubby put together the outdoor Christmas decorations, all just in time! I think I enjoyed it that much more knowing how hard me and hubby worked and pushed ourselves to make it special for the kids. They had the best time of their lives and that just made it so worth it for us. Hubby spent a lot of time and energy decorating our deck and turning it into a winter wonderland with lights! Every night the kids would run around the house super excited about the outdoor decorations. Valentino calls our huge inflatable Christmas bear "Mismis bear" and the snowman "owman" and the Christmas tree "Mismis tree"! Caspian's favorite thing to do is stare out all the windows to look at the lights, and he also likes to grab at the lights on the Christmas tree. He's so naughty. They melt my heart. 

Here's a peek!

outdoor christmas decoration ideas

leila rahmanian

family annual christmas card

caspian rahmanian

Christmas dinner table

Christmas table setting ideas

Christmas dinner ideas

Christmas table setting ideas

Christmas dinner ideas table setting

toddler Christmas crafts ideas

Christmas dinner ideas table setting

outdoor Christmas decoration ideas inflatables

outdoor deck Christmas decorations lights

Thanksgiving 2016

This year for Thanksgiving we celebrated by going out for brunch, and for dinner we celebrated at our house with our family and my mom and sister. My dad was at work, as it's one of Cafe Renaissance's busiest days of the year. We missed him and also hubby's parents who were there in spirit. 

Because I'm pregnant I wanted to make Thanksgiving as low key and simple as possible. No fancy feast for a ton of guests, and no killing myself to make the house look perfect. These days, being in the third trimester, AND running around after two toddlers all day make me feel like a zombie by the time 6pm rolls around. 

However I did last minute throw together a pretty Thanksgiving tablescape, and I made a DELICIOUS turkey. This year I made the turkey a bit different and made a CROCKPOT TURKEY! I honestly had no idea how it would turn out but oh my goodness it was really good and it's something that I'll be making on the regular from now on as it was super easy and quick to prep. I'll post the recipe another time though. The kids ate so much turkey that I literally was worried they might explode if they ate any more, and hubby begged me to make this ALL the time as he loved it as well. I have to admit, I've always liked the look of a whole turkey better, but cooking it in the crockpot tasted way better, and it was definitely easier and SO flavorful and juicy. 

The kids had such a great day. They loved eating brunch at the Marriott, and afterwards ran around the hotel lobby making friends with some Indian kids who were there for an Indian wedding. They were so fascinated with all their pretty traditional clothing. For dinner they were ecstatic to see grandma and their auntie, and by the time the night was over they were bawling their eyes out and desperately trying to postpone bedtime. They are the cutest. I am so thankful for my family. 

Thanksgiving tablescapes


kids thanksgiving table tablescape toddlers

Thanksgiving Westfields Marriott Fairfax Dining Room

Thanksgiving brunch

Caspian Rahmanian

toddler thanksgiving crafts

crockpot turkey recipe

thanksgiving desserts tablescape pictures photos

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Caspian's Nursery Makeover

Here is a look at Caspian's nursery. I'm about 8 months late on this entry, but better late than never right? I wanted it to have a soothing serene feel to it, and for him I liked shades of aqua and light blue. In the beginning I wanted a mickey mouse theme, but then I changed my mind as the room started looking tacky. 

Here are some before pics:

 mickey mouse nursery boy 

mickey mouse nursery before and after

To spruce up the room I just moved some furniture around, added some floating shelves, a rug and valances.  

Here are some after pics:

light blue serene nursery baby boy

baby boy blue nursery soothing

baby boy aqua nursery

rain clouds baby boy nursery blue

before and after light blue nursery

It's amazing what a difference adding just a few pieces can make. I felt like the whole room was transformed by adding a rug, valances, and a few pieces on the wall. Simple as that. AND i did it all on a budget. I didn't want to break the bank because I was simultaneously decorating Valentino's room. Click here to see how his room turned out.  

I used a lot of stuff that we already had, and I switched their huge stuffed animals. I put Caspian's huge mickey mouse stuffed animal in Valentino's room as he had a lot of reds, and I moved Valentino's big white bears to Caspian's room as it seemed to be a better fit. I also spray painted the big wooden letters hung above Caspian's crib. I made the pom pom garland hanging from the valances and sewed the little rain clouds hanging from the floating shelves. Yes, I actually sewed something! CLAP FOR ME!! You wouldn't appreciate my excitement about sewing something unless you knew the old me, who was so undomesticated that my cooking skills only went as far as boiling water. 

The valances, rug and little baby chair were purchased from Pottery Barn. The crib and furniture are all from Amazon, and the floating shelves are from Target. The baby lamp is from Babies R Us, and the wall prints are from Etsy. The glider was from Walmart and cost less than the baby blue chair from Pottery Barn. Crazy huh? 

Originally I wanted to find a big ancient map of the Caspian Sea and surrounding areas, frame it, and put it above Caspian's crib. However, that was impossible to find, so his name in wooden letters availed. 

And here is Caspian, just hanging out doing some yoga, enjoying his room.....

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had a ton of grand plans for Valentine's Day. I was going to do something fun and special for each day leading up to the 14th, but then we all got sick with the flu, and all my plans came to a halt. Me and the babies were miserable for pretty much the first half of February. 

But thankfully, we were all recovered by Valentines weekend. 

So we did some fun stuff,

like have a cupcake party.......

valentines day decoration cupcakes

valentine's day cupcakes party

And eat cake

valentines cake decorations party

And more cake.....

valentines cake ideas

Hubby surprised me with lots of flowers. Is there anything in the world prettier than flowers? I think not. 

valentines flowers ideas

With all these flowers I made pretty tablecapes. I love Valentine's Day because it's an excuse to go overboard on my favorite color: pink! 

valentines tablescape

valentines tablescapes

Valentino helped me make these little teddy bear favors for his classmates for their Valentine gram exchange party. 

valentine's favors school grams

In school, Valentino made a surprise for me and daddy for Valentine's Day. We absolutely loved it! Our little artist! 

toddler valentine's day craft

The kids had fun playing with a Valentine's sensory bin (they love this kind of stuff) and making Valentines cards for the special people in their lives. 

valentine's sensory bin toddler activities

valentine's day decorations toddler

Me and hubby had date night at home after the kids went to bed. Doing it this way is SO much better and less stressful than getting a sitter, rushing to get ready, then watching your alcohol intake because you have to drive, and then rushing back home to get back to the babies. All on the busiest weekend of the year for restaurants. 

toddler valentine's day craft valentine's date night ideas

So this year hubby was BAD and surprised me with a new purse, after me telling him a million times that I don't need anything and that we need to be more frugal. He's so bad. But it's just so pretty....... so I didn't complain too much. 

leila rahmanian

I love this purse because it's big enough to be used as a diaper bag, and has three compartments, which is perfect! One for me and one for each kid. It will soon be filled up with diapers, wipes, change of clothes, tissues, bottles and snacks. 

So that was a glimpse of this year's Valentine's weekend. Even though we didn't get to do all the things I was planning on doing with the family, it was still special. The kids loved it, hubby loved it, and that was enough to make me the happiest. I love them all so much. 

Our Family Christmas 2015

I absolutely love Christmas. I love the lights, the glitter, the gifts. I love how it's okay to wear big ugly sweaters or blinged out sequined dresses. I love the extra family time and seeing the kids's eyes glow with wonder and excitement when looking at the tree and opening their presents. I love everything about it. 

I love this holiday even though I am not Christian. I'm not anything really, but I think the message about love and peace and generosity and giving is a great thing. We should apply all that year round! I also love to celebrate any and every holiday. I totally can't wait until next year's Diwali, and no, I'm not even Indian. I'm also making the kids celebrate the Chinese New Year. It will be good for their Mandarin. 

I actually think the commercialization of the holidays are fabulous! Yes- I am that person who gets this warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I see Christmas decorations go up in the stores right after Halloween, and I do thoroughly enjoy a good Christmas commercial on tv. 

Anyways, I'm taking advantage of the kids's naptime to write this post and organize the milions of photos I've taken of our Christmas this year. Hubby took some time off work and we most definitely made the most of it. These past few weeks we have both completely broken our diets, had lots and lots of family time, and ended each day finishing a full bottle of wine. I would even spike our night teas. We both have probably gained ten pounds, but because we lost so much weight this past year I am not even going to worry about it. 

So we did lots of family fun stuff like decorating gingerbread, celebrating Caspian's birthday (he is a Christmas baby) multiple times, and just going out a lot. 

Here's a glance into our fun filled week:

frosted christmas tree

We took the kids for photos with Santa. Valentino obviously loved it =)

tysons galleria santa photos

I am so proud of my wrapping skills. I have to thank Estee Lauder (my college job) for that. They had me on my feet like 24/7 wrapping people's purchases. Super fun! No really, it was actually fun.

christmas wrapped presents

family christmas photo

Christmas Eve with hubby and the kiddos. I love to dress my boys in matching suits. I dress them better than I dress myself! 

Leila Rahmanian Salar Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian Salar Rahmanian

frosted christmas tree

Christmas day brunch. 

family christmas photo

Valentino Rahmanian

Caspian Rahmanian

family christmas photo

frosted christmas tree

How cute are these rascals? 

Last year I slept through Christmas morning and we had to open the presents at night (I was pregnant, not lazy) haha. So this year we thought we would do the same thing. I was hosting Christmas dinner and we thought it would be fun to open presents with grandma and auntie too! 

frosted christmas tree

I made the salmon and hubby made the turkey. It was fantastic. This is our fairly low-carb Christmas dinner (minus the crackers and mashed potatoes). 

christmas tablescape

christmas tablescape

salar rahmanian valentino rahmanian

I am so glad Valentino is a good eater. He devoured his food. He shoved so much turkey in his mouth that when it wouldn't fit he would just keep trying to shove it further back into his mouth.... and then I would panic over him choking, and then he would laugh at me. He's so silly. 

Leila Rahmanian Salar Rahmanian

christmas dinner tablescape

Caspian Rahmanian

Caspian Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian Salar Rahmanian

Santa was really generous this year.

Valentino and auntie Sara decorating gingerbread! Ok well Valentino was more interested in eating it, but he did help a bit too! 

decorating gingerbread house

Showing him the way

decorating gingerbread house

Valentino was proud of his work! Daddy kept stealing the candies off the gingerbread house and eating them. 

decorating gingerbread house

As the holiday season draws to a close I feel a bit of relief from all the hustle and bustle. No joke- I kind of busted my @$$ running around making sure we get everything done and making an effort for the kids to enjoy themselves. However, I will really miss all the family fun festvities. I cannot wait to see what the New Year has in store for us.