Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016 Christmas Card

Everyone's mailboxes are filling up with Christmas greetings & wishes, and I simply love it!  Christmas cards have made me happy since I was a little girl.  I remember being ecstatic about sending out my own cards once I was married.  Here I am, 6 years later, and our cards just keep getting better & better.  Especially as our cute little family grows!


This year, we went the professional photo route, since I simply cannot say no to a Christmas tree farm shoot.  Our photos were taken in the last 15 minutes of daylight, that coveted golden hour.  I love the warm glow that gave our photos.  So shocking myself completely, I went with a gold theme this year!  Usually, I'm more of a red & white kind of girl, but I may be converting!


Once again, we used Tiny Prints for our cards, and I could not be more pleased!  They are always adding different fun options, making sure to stay on trend!  This year they added personalized foil options (although none worked quite right for our photo).  And even better, they now offer custom postage!!!  I did not know about this before I placed my order, because you best bet that I would have thrown our picture on some stamps!


So the details... Gold foil. Gold envelope liners. Gold glitter washi tape. Gold Sharpie. While glitter cards are another option, Conor is not a fan of glitter. It's the powdered sugar of the baking world. So no glitter card of us. But yes, yes I did sneak glitter washi tape on our card! And now there are little sprinkles of glitter all over our house. I win Conor, I win!


While Finn napped this week, I started addressing envelopes while blaring the Christmas music.  I know there are many more efficient ways to do addresses now, but I love pulling out my paper address book and flipping through it.  I love the nostalgia, the tradition of it all.  Liam colored next to me, and we discussed the excitement that is checking the mail every day now.  He also helped me put ours in the outgoing mailbox, putting them in one by one.  Oh how I love my little helper who is developing quite the affinity for all things Christmas, just like me!


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


*I received this product in exchange for a feature, but the handsome boys are all mine!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gift Guide: For Her

Here it is, the gift guide for all the ladies in your life!  All these items are things I already have or that are on my personal wish list.  I was really hoping to snag a Letterfolk (#1) during the Black Friday sale, but my fingers weren't nearly quick enough for that.  And their restocks are selling out quickly.  Check their website for the next one!  I'm in love with them all!  The grey, the white, the classic black... how to choose?!  While I'm waiting, I'll work on my wit... because that first letterfolk phrase needs to be epic! I also want a camera strap; and #2 is Conor approved, meaning he will rock it too!  The homesick candle is such a thoughtful gift for anyone missing home.  One of my sweet friends gave me one for my birthday.  The cosmetic bag (#4) is a splurge, yet beautiful.  I've always wanted a pearl ring (#5) but have had a hard time finding a simple one that I loved.  This one caught my eye immediately when I saw it in the Nordies catalog.  And finally, you can never ever go wrong with a MAC eyeshadow palette (#6).  My mom gave me one last year, and I still use it daily!


1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 .

I still have a few ladies left on my list.  I love putting lots of thought into each one, 
so often I am left scrambling at the end.  
The pressure is on!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and I'm enjoying each new day as we approach Christmas.  I don't necessarily have a cohesive post for you; but instead, plenty of little Christmas-y tidbits.  So far, we have just been decking the halls.  This weekend I think we finally have everything finished, and now just get to enjoy our cozy little home.  Liam has been such a helper and wishes we could decorate every day.  Really, he just wants to get on the roof to help with lights, but that won't be happening for many many years.



Christmas jammies are on regular rotation; Christmas music never stops.  Liam saw Elf for the first time, as we slowly make our way through all our favorite Christmas movies.  We've written a couple letters to Santa.  Our elf, Tinsel, has made his appearance.  And I'm honestly shocked how much Finn "gets" the whole elf thing.  He picks up on everything much sooner thanks to Liam.  We hear "elf" and "touch" often.  He knows not to touch him, and has only made that mistake once!  He's obsessed with our tree and spends most of the day removing ornaments.  Everything breakable is out of his reach, so the tree isn't exactly balanced this year.  But gosh, is she a beauty!  Quite possibly our best tree yet!  She sits about 10 feet tall, and there is just barely enough room for the star!  The good news is that Finn does leave the presents alone, so apparently he does listen to me sometimes!






The advent calendars have been opened, and everyone starts their day with a huge piece of chocolate.   Lots of chocolate in our lives right now, because hot cocoa is a necessity after an outing in the snow.  We've had a few inches dumped on us here & there, so our mornings & afternoons are now spent in full snow gear, shoveling, walking, & sometimes making our way to a playground.  Let me tell you... slides are wicked fast when they are wet with snow and your kids are in snow pants.  It's a seriously good time.  The temperatures are supposed to drop drastically this week (hello 9 degrees....), but I'm still hoping to get outside at least once each day.  We all need it, but especially me!





The yummy candles are burning.  The fireplace flickering. And the baby Jesus constantly missing.  I love watching the boys playing with our Nativity, and even though it is so not made for kids, I let them have at it.  So far, the camel is missing a rein & Joseph is without his staff.  Sometimes they leave it looking like a massacre has happened; sometimes, everyone is peeking in the stable.  And the commentary that goes along with their play is just priceless!



We have plenty of Christmas activities coming up, like a visit to Santa.  The North Pole Express.  Zoo lights.  Sugar cookie & gingerbread house making.  Sledding.  Ice-skating.  A holiday party sans kids!  We had Conor's work Christmas dinner last night, and we really let loose.  Cocktails, champagne, wine, & after dinner drinks were flying.  I ate four courses and didn't even feel bad about it.  Four hours of kid free bliss, while dressed up with my handsome guy!  I wore my tallest heals and literally had to dust them off.  So much dust.  I'm not sure I have worn them since before Liam...



The ski resorts are finally open here, so we're hoping to get the boys up soon!  We started Liam on skis at 2.5 years old, but we're feeling ambitious and will probably start Finn this year.  He keeps trying to put Liam's skis on, so I suppose that is a good sign that he is willing.  If Liam is doing it, he will be on board. We're only 20 minutes from Snowbird, so it's a quick ride up the mountain before we are on the slopes!



If you can't tell, Winter is my most favorite season!  I love the snow and totally embrace it!  We don't get nearly enough for my liking!  I don't even mind all the bundling up that needs to happen, and I'm getting pretty darn fast at getting the boys fully dressed to make it outside.  Sometimes even as the sun is coming up!


This week, I hope to finish my shopping!  I've already started in on the wrapping because I actually really love it.  Christmas movie, wrapping, & a cocktail.... talk about the perfect night.  In our family, all the stocking gifts are wrapped... so there's is plenty of wrapping to be done.  I made my own gift tags this year, which I'll share soon (hopefully).  And perhaps I'll even manage some pictures of the house all decorated.  But this was a big enough photo dump to get the season started!

'Tis the Season!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fri-Yay

It's December!  It's Friday!  Our ski resort opened today!  We have a busy weekend, so I'm not sure if we'll be on the slopes, but I'm hopeful.  Tomorrow night, we have Conor's work Christmas dinner that I'm so excited for.  Red dress, heels, & a night out sound so perfect.  Conor & I may even head out early to grab drinks just the two of us.  Wild night out in which we'll still be home to put our kids to sleep.  Then maybe some Christmas Vacation.  I can hardly wait!  Here's a festive roundup of Friday things for you:

-ONE-
I finally found some new Christmas jams for Conor.  These striped lounge jogger pants are perfect; throw a henley on top, and you're cozy & festive!


-TWO-
Hot cocoa post snow play is a standard in our house.  Our mugs are huge though!  So I love these little festive ones that are perfect for tiny hands (they have an adult size too).  I bought one for both boys; although, Finn has yet to discover the joys of hot chocolate, so just marshmallows for him!


-THREE-
How cute is this snowman stacker?!  Finn would love it, and it would be adorable as a decoration of sorts in their playroom.  Perhaps our elf, Tinsel, needs to bring this.  Or maybe a stocking stuffer.


-FOUR-
I recently discovered these gondola flannel sheets (and we all know Liam has a deep love for red gondolas)!  But he already has flannel sheets, so he doesn't really need another set.  The struggle is real...


-FIVE-
We took some Christmas tree farm photos a couple weeks back, and I am in love!  I already have a bunch printed to switch out our frames during the holiday season.  And of course, I put together our Christmas card!  Kali worked her magic once again; we love her!  I can't wait to share more, but for now a little peek...


TGIF friends!  Hope all your weekends are full of plenty of cheer!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gift Guide: For Him

Let's start with the men, shall we?  They are typically the hardest to shop for!  I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I'm nearly done shopping for Conor.  Just need a few more small stocking stuffers for him!  And those are my favorites to buy anyways; the small little things that sometimes the most thought has been put into.  Conor has (or is possibly getting) all of these items.  We use the pint glasses & chair frequently, whether it be camping or on the soccer field.  I love that the chair is a love seat.  Snuggles all around!  The Patagonia pullover is the newest addition to his winter wardrobe and is so soft & cozy.  You can dress it up or down!  Magnetic belt, with bottle opener on the buckle (#1) is on his wishlist.  And the magnetic collar stays are way better than the plastic ones that shirts come with.  Just don't forget to remove them before taking shirts to the dry cleaner!


 .  2  .  3  .  4  .  5  .  6

Now share all your best ideas for the men in your life!  
There are still a few others on my list..

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

On Turkey Day morning we woke up to snow, much more than predicted!  It was rather icy, so nowhere near snowman material.  But exciting enough to stomp around in and make sure the sleds were in working order.  Finn tolerated his hat & mittens just fine, which gives me hope for all future snow adventures.  I cannot wait for a big storm to hit, because sledding is going to be epic this year.  Thank goodness we already have ski helmets for both boys, because I'm sure they will be necessary!







After watching the sun rise, making all the snow upon the houses just glisten, we began our feasting with brunch.  Our neighbors brought over breakfast burritos, while Conor & I served up mimosas and homemade cinnamon rolls.  We made an overnight recipe, which turned out perfectly.  I must share in the future!  We tend to eat Thanksgiving dinner late, so breakfast is always always necessary.   The mimosas were tossed back during parade watching, and right when the buzz was hitting we were ready to get the boys outside again.



We have a tradition to take a long walk each year.  It's nice to have some fresh air & exercise before all the eating.  Finn was being a slow poke, and both boys really just wanted to play in the snow, so it was the shortest walk ever.  But it was also nap time, so no-one was complaining about heading home early.  Conor prepped & cooked the turkey while the boys & I slept.  I seriously woke up at 4pm, with guests arriving at 4:30!!!  But somehow we managed to pull it all together!




I kept the table simple, instead focusing on the food & drinks (priorities!).  And of course, I barely managed any photos, since it was practically dark out by the time I had pulled myself together for dinner.  We managed to snag one family photo, just as the sun was going down.  I always make sure to get a picture of the four of us on each of the big holidays.  I love looking back at how our family looked that year.  How we are changing & growing.  And three out of four smiles is always a win!


The food was delicious; the company better.  I love how our neighbors have become our family here.  I love how we can literally just walk next door whenever something is needed.  I love how well our kids play together, and the friendships forming there.  I missed my family tremendously that evening, but I felt so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people that are currently a big part of our lives.    

We ended the night with another round of drinks and the game Speak Out (or Watch Your Mouth, same game different versions/companies).  If you haven't heard of it, go to youtube immediately and watch some videos.  It's hilarious.  I was laughing/crying so hard.  This will be a big gift this Christmas Season I'm sure.  "The gift that keeps on giving!"

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