Browsing Category

Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide For The In-Laws

I am coming at you with another gift guide today! Some people are easier to shop for than others, and I think finding something for the in-laws can always be challenging! I tried to include a lot of items in my holiday gift guide for the in-laws that are great for entertaining, or can play off on their favorite hobby. I rounded up some of my top picks below. As always, thank you for reading!

Holiday Gift Guide For the In-Laws

Charcuterie Set // Glass Teapot // Grilling Set // Gardening Set // Himalayan Salt Block // Ancestry Kit // Back Massager // Wine Refrigerator // Electric Grill // Oil Infuser // Breakfast Sandwich Maker // Monogrammed Glasses // Ring Doorbell // Oversized Dice Yard Game

Charcuterie Board

How fun is this cheese serving board!? I love that it has spaces separated out to more easily organize what you are serving, and different knives for different types of cheese/spreads.

charcuterie board kit gift idea holiday gift serving tray meat and cheese tray wine and cheese tray

 

Monogrammed Glasses

Everyone can use drinking glasses, and I love that these are monogrammed. Is it bad I am thinking of getting these for myself? 😉

monogrammed scotch glasses as christmas gift

 

Yard Game

This one depends on your family, but my in-laws LOVE yard games. Nothing brings everyone together more than a weekend day spent outside with a yard game and a drink! I thought these oversized dice look so fun, and it gives you something to look forward to after winter!

 

holiday gift oversized dice yard game

 

Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Maybe I am crazy, but I feel like kitchen gadgets always make a great gift. They are one of those fun items to have that people don’t typically splurge on for themselves. And who doesn’t love a good breakfast sandwich!?

sandwich maker for the in laws holiday gift

 

Grilling Kit

Men love to grill, right!? Not only does this kit have all of the essentials for grilling, but it also comes in a sleek case! In our house these items tend to be scattered all over the place, so a kit like this would be a great gift!

gift ideas for father in law grilling kit grilling tools

 

Gardening Kit

Another great item for someone who has a hobby of gardening. This is such a thoughtful gift that caters to their interests!

gardening kit gift guide gift ideas holiday gifts

Neck Massager

Trust me when I saw this-NO ONE will ever be sad to receive a neck or back massager! This one is heated and looks so nice. Perfect for the father in law! 😉
great gift idea heated back massager

 

Salt Block

I came across this gift while creating this list, and thought it was such a good item and so unique! We love having salt lamps in our home, and I love that this block can be used when preparing food, or for serving. Great for adding that flavor while also looking so fun!

himalayan salt rock for serving or preparing food

 

Oil Infuser

This item is one I want for myself! I always love going out to eat and having oils that are infused with herbs, they smell (and taste) amazing. I think this is such a fun item to have, and it is so so affordable, too!

infuse your own olive oil at home

 

Glass Teapot

How pretty is this teapot!? I think this would look lovely left out on the stove-top. I especially love the steeping mechanism in the middle. Perfect for any tea drinker!

classy teapot as a gift idea

 

Wine Refrigerator

Another item I think I may need for myself 😉 This wine refrigerator is more of a splurge, but if you know a wine lover, it is well worth it. I always struggle with storing my bottles of wine in the refrigerator; most of them are too tall with the cork! 

splurge gift idea for parents or in laws

 

DNA Kit

How fun is this gift!? Especially when you have married into a family, it is so thoughtful to show an interest in your spouse’s family history. I am always blown away by what can be uncovered by DNA kits-I have known people personally who learned SO much about their background!

dna kit great gift idea for parents

Electric Grill

This is another gift for the grill master of the family. Electric grills are great, and this one is clean and simple.

electric grill gift ideas for in laws

 

Ring Doorbell

I have yet to meet someone who has a RING doorbell and doesn’t love it. This doorbell allows you to see who is at the door, get notifications on your phone, and more. Another one of the ‘investment’ items on this list, but so thoughtful and great for making your loved ones feel safe.

ring doorbell gift for in laws

I hope this list inspired you and gave you some new ideas for gifts to give to your in-laws. Tell me-what are your favorite gifts for extended family members?

Pin the image below for later!

gift ideas for the in laws, friends, coworkers, or any of those hard to shop for people

Christmas Gift Ideas for School Aged Kids

Another day, another shopping guide! My hope in creating is that you all find these helpful. I know that some people can be so difficult to shop for! I already published my gift ideas for her and gift ideas for him, and today it is all about the little ones! My kiddos have no problem asking for things, but determining if it is something they NEED is another story. I tried to ensure that this list is all encompassing whether you allow electronics, want to avoid clutter toys, etc. Most of these items are ideal for kiddos between the ages of 4 and 10, but some of them could certainly work for kiddos a bit younger or older! Keep reading got see my Christmas gift ideas for school aged kids!

Christmas Gift Ideas for School Aged Kids

All of the items below can be clicked on directly to bring you to the website where they are listed! These are all items my kiddos would love. A few of my personal favorites, though, are they toy kitchen, matching game, hot cocoa set, and kids FitBit!

My kiddos have a toy kitchen, and despite being a boy mama, I can tell you it has been one of their most used and loved gifts! Playing kitchen is one of their favorite games-they make me new recipes and ask what I want for dessert. It is SO sweet, and is so great at teaching them the roles boys can play in the home! Along those lines, the hot cocoa kit is so much fun.

My son fell in love with a pretend coffee maker at daycare, so I knew this was a must! The matching game brings me back to my childhood, I loved Eric Carle and his images, and games like this are SO good for development.

And lastly, the kids FitBit is such a fun gadget. It is increasingly important to teach our children about healthy habits. If they have expressed an interest in steps to being healthy, this gift would be perfect!

Anywhere Chair Trampoline Camera Dress Up Clothes Microphone Stand Play Kitchen Build Your Own Fort Monopolgy Kids FitBit Pizza Play Kit Nintendo DS Microscope Play Road Mat Hot Cocoa Set Veterinarian Set Eric Carle Matching Game Radio Flyer Wagon
Anywhere Chair // Trampoline // Camera // Dress Up Clothes // Microphone with Stand // Play Kitchen // Build Your Own Fort // Monopoly game // Kids Fitbit // Pizza Play Set // Nintendo DS // Microscope // Road Mat // Hot Cocoa Kit // Vet Kit // Eric Carle Matching Game // Radio Flyer Wagon

Pin the image below to save this for later!

christmas gift idaes for kids ages four through tenAs always, thank you for reading! And for all of my holiday content, be sure to check out the Holiday tab at the top of my blog!

Retro and Vintage Inspired Christmas Decor

The holiday season is upon us, and I am SO excited. I feel like a broken record, but Christmas with toddler and school aged children is so magical. It is such a blessing to get to relive the magic of the season through their eyes! I have been trying to plan out all of my decor so we are ready to go right away this year, and I fell in love with so many things at Anthropologie! So many of their items have a retro and vintage feel, which I love. There is just something about that classic and old fashioned feel at Christmas, am I right!? Below you can see my top picks for retro and vintage inspired Christmas decor! Let me know your favorites, and as always, thank you for reading!

To see Christmas decor at Walmart, be sure to check out this post! And head to my Holiday tab for lots of other Christmas gifts, decor, and inspiration!

Retro and Vintage Inspired Christmas Decor

You can hover directly over the images in the picture below and click and it will take you directly to the product!

Faux Fur Stocking // Mini Flocked Trees // Faux Fur Tree Skirt // Colorful Garland // Champagne Ornament // Gingerbread Doormat // Star Tree Topper // White Pom Wreath // Advent Calendar House // Tree Pillow // Lighted Branches // White Beaded Garland // Santa Measuring Bowls // Santa Mug // Merry Christmas Banner // Snowglobe Ornament // Wicker Tree Collar // Green Glass // Santa Cookie Jar // Matte Latte Bowls // Tree Plate // Eucalyptus Wreath // Eucalyptus and White Flower Garland // Home For The Holidays Mat

Be sure to pin the images below to save for later!

white faux fur stocking flocked mini christmas trees faux fur tree skirt multi colored pom garland gold glitter champagne ornament gingerbread doormat star tree topper white pom pom wreath house advent calendar tree pillow lighted branches white beaded garland santa measuring cups santa mug merry christmas banner blizzard ornament wicker tree collar santa cookie jar red green and white latte bowls dessert plate green glass eucalyptus wreath eucalyptus garland home for the holidays doormat

santa measuring cups santa mug silver merry christmas banner snowglobe ornament wicker tree collar green glass santa cookie jar red green white late bowls chrismtas tree plate eucalyptus wreath eucalyptus garland home for the holidays doormat old fashioned traditional christmas decor and kitchen items holliday decor and christmas items to decorate your home with retro and old fashioned style

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this list. One of my favorite things is finding unique and out of the ordinary items. I love how Anthropologie always brings a classic touch to their items. They will last for years to come, and are absolutely timeless!

faux fur stocking mini flocked trees faux fur tree skirt rainbow pom pom garland champagne ornament glngerbread door mat tree topper white pom pom wreath advent calendar vintage tree pillow lighted pinecone branches white beaded garland
vintage christmas decorations faux fur stocking satna mug santa cookie jar gingerbread house door mat tree topper merry christmas banner

 

white faux fur stocking flocked mini christmas trees faux fur tree skirt multi colored pom garland gold glitter champagne ornament gingerbread doormat star tree topper white pom pom wreath house advent calendar tree pillow lighted branches white beaded garland santa measuring cups santa mug merry christmas banner blizzard ornament wicker tree collar santa cookie jar red green and white latte bowls dessert plate green glass eucalyptus wreath eucalyptus garland home for the holidays doormat

Our Christmas

I swear, the holidays just go by faster and faster every year. This year was by far the most magical since having children. Jackson really is starting to just get it, and while he may not be sure how he feels about Santa Claus, he was pretty excited that the big guy brought him some presents. Lincoln is just as cute as a bug and follows Jackson around, trying so hard to be just like him. So truly, watching those two brothers enjoy the magic of Christmas was one of the sweetest experiences I have had so far as a mother.
This year was the first year we really did our ELF tradition. A fun history; we had three elves in our house when I was a kid, and they magically moved and got into all sorts of mischief every night. We are talking two decades before the Elf on the Shelf trend, and I am forever a bit salty that my parents didn’t jump on that idea and create a money making franchise like some other person did 😉 So, instead of having the Elf you see in most homes, I was able to find the exact elf that my parents had, and love pointing out the my boys that our Elf is just like the one at Grandma and Grandpa’s. I feel like it will make it so much more special as they grow older! Our Elf was a relatively lazy guy, but he did get into some trouble a few times. My favorite was when he created a zipline across our kitchen!

We wore matching family pajamas, a Christmas miracle in and of itself. Mike is not the festive pajama type, but he got on board and Jackson thought it was the best!
I dressed Lincoln up a la Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, and probably got my favorite photos of him of all time. 
Merry Christmas, shitters full! 😉
We had lots of fun drinking coffee (or milk for Jackson) out of these adorable Santa mugs. I just love all of the festive little things that make Christmas so much fun.
We spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws, and I captured zero pictures. I am the worst at getting out the camera when we are in the midst of gift openings and family dinners. But trust me when I saw the boys had a blast!
On Christmas morning, I also captured ZERO pictures. But Santa surprised the boys with a play kitchen, and they have been living in it ever since! Lincoln takes it so seriously, placing items in a pot, and stirring it, placing it in the microwave..he takes it SO seriously, it is too cute to handle. We had breakfast and home and the boys spent the rest of the morning playing with all of their toys.
After naps, we headed over to my parents for Christmas dinner. Below is the one piece of evidence that my children actually received presents this year. I was so excited that Mike and I got a new camera-after permanently borrowing my sisters camera (seriously) for the past year, I think both she and I were pretty thrilled I finally had a DSLR of my own!

 The boys got a photo by the tree with grandma and grandpa, and as usual, this is about as good as it was going to get. Boys will be boys.

 Lincoln was so sweet looking at the candles in the front windows. I just love the magic in the eyes of children during the holidays.

 I mean, this picture just about does me in. I want to bottle him up and keep him like this forever.

Another family photo, but no one is crying so I call it a win. 
And one last shot with my love, because holidays are the one time that I can force him to take a picture with me 😉
I had the rest of the week off with the boys, but it was literally below zero every single day and FREEZING so we did a lot of laying low and playing at home. It was a great recharge week and I think that, while we were sad to see our mini break come to an end, returning to a schedule wasn’t the worst thing.
We rang in the new year with dinner at my parents and everyone being in bed by 9pm, because #adulting. We are ready to take on 2018!
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas, I truly love and appreciate every single person who continues to follow along our little corner of the world here at Stang&Co!

Weekending: 4th of July Edition

We are coming off of the most wonderful five day weekend! Since getting married, I aside from long weekends over Christmas I don’t think we have taken more than a four day weekend as a family, and it felt so good to recharge and spend quality time together! It is back to the grind of the work week today, but three cheers for a three day work week!
On Friday, Mike and I dropped the kids off with my parents in the morning and decided to have a golf date. I cannot golf to save my life, but I rode along with Mike in the cart, and just enjoyed the peace and calm of the early morning. I just love early mornings in the summer, they are so beautiful!

After our golf date, we ran a few errands (how does that always end up being what we do on our dates!?) and then picked up the boys around lunch time. Mike smoked a chicken for dinner, and we had my brother in law and his wife over for dinner. Her due date was last Thursday, and we are still waiting on the little man to arrive! So, we saw them plenty this weekend. I kept thinking maybe a full social calendar would cause the little guy to decide to arrive, but he is still snug as a bug I guess 😉
After dinner, Mike snuck off to my little brother’s bachelor party! I got the kids to bed, and just enjoyed some peace and quiet. I threw a frozen pizza in around 10pm, which I haven’t done in forever! There is something so amazing about late night pizza, isn’t there!? Mike got home while I was still up, so he shared pizza with me, and we chatted before calling it a night.

I snagged this sweatshirt from Old Navy and am kind of obsessed.

On Saturday, we were up and at em and Mike tackled cleaning out the garage. Especially since we moved last year, it seems like we constantly have boxes because we are constantly having to buy things, and the clutter just builds up so fast! It looks so amazing in there and feels so clean!
On a whim, I gave both boys some haircuts. Lincoln has the most precious curls, and while it made me sad to cut them, they were getting kind of out of control, and with putting sunscreen on nearly every day and all of the messes he gets into, his hair was collecting a lot of things! I basically just trimmed it down and he still has his precious little curls. He looks SO cute, I could eat him up!

I ran some errands with the boys, which resulted in Jackson skipping his afternoon nap after a five minute snooze in the car, which NEVER happens. Our afternoon was pretty uneventful as a result; honestly it was one of those lazy days where I can’t even remember what we did! I do know that Jackson played in his pool a little bit; the sun never really came out so the water was absolutely freezing! But he was as happy as could be. And after dinner, he crashed. I came down from putting Lincoln in his crib and he was on our ottoman like this.

It was only 7pm, and most nights we are lucky if Jackson is down and out at 8:30. We were so baffled with having both kids to sleep so early that we felt out of sorts! So I poured a drink, we watched the movie Logan, and had another late night frozen pizza in peace and quiet. I now know how much more sanity we would have if both kids would go to bed at 7pm, so if anyone has tricks to making our night owl go to sleep earlier, I am all ears!
On Sunday, we swung by to visit my in-laws, and when we left brought my nephew home with us while his mom was at work. He and Jackson played in the pool all morning, and had so much fun!!

Once Jackson went down for nap, I was able to bring Lincoln out in the pool. He loves the water, but usually gets overwhelmed by the bigger kids splashing and playing rough. So, he sat in the water with mama and had the best time!

I am so in love with Linky’s swimsuit; so precious!
After everyone had another round of naps, people started coming over for dinner. We made smoked pork, corn on the cob, and enjoyed more pool time and sunshine.

Lincoln’s first popsicle! We love Squeaky Pops-these are coated in chocolate but still come in at less than 100 calories and are made with such good ingredients. It took in awhile to get the hang of it, and then once he finished it he cried hysterically because it was gone 😉 You can find his rashguard here!
On Monday, Mike went golfing in the morning and both kids were..being kids. So once he got home, I ran to town solo with nowhere to be and nothing I needed..except a breather. 😉 After naps, we went over to my in-laws for yard games and a fire! Lincoln was pretty persistent about getting out on the court and helping daddy 😉

Melt my heart!

Seriously with this kid. He is getting so big so fast, and so darn handsome!

Linky took a dip in the pool, is there anything sweeter than a baby wrapped up all cozy in a beach towel!?

Anddd a bottle to relax in mom’s lap.
We grilled hotdogs and brats on the fire, and had fresh fruit and potato chips. The All-American summertime meal. I threw the boys into their PJs, and Lincoln once again tried to crash everyone’s games.

These may be my favorite jammies ever.

Jackson’s jammies are up there, too!

We made some smores, and made our way home around 8:30. Both boys went right to bed; these summer weekends are kind of the best, they wear the kiddos out!
On Tuesday, we once again spent some time over at my in-laws. It was hot and humid, and just kind of yucky outside despite the sunshine, so we played some board games inside, snacked, and took it easy. Lincoln vetoed his afternoon nap, so we decided to head straight to my parents for our 4th of July dinner rather than going home in between. Go figure, he was crabby as could be! We fed the boys, and the poor baby was literally sobbing into his food he was so tired. I layed him down upstairs and he rolled right over and zonked out, he was so relieved to shut his little eyes!
The guys played a quick card game, and we captured the obligatory family photos in our red, white and blue.

We made our way home around 6pm, and once again, Jackson crashed on the couch a solid hour before he usually goes to bed. Mike and I cuddled on the couch and watched The Office, and called it an early night with work the next morning. No worries though, our backyard neighbors set off big (illegal) fireworks until 11pm to keep us entertained 😉
I hope you all had the best weekend! Going back to work is never fun, but a three day week makes it a little big easier!

Memorial Weekend

Prepare yourself for a Memorial Day recap with just about zero red, white, and blue in it 😉 We had a low-key weekend around the house, but it was perfect and so nice to have some extra time together as a family.
On Friday, I worked from home as there was pretty much no one in the office (which kind of defeats the purpose of driving into the office). I don’t know if I would like doing it every day, but man it was nice to drop the boys off at daycare without having to get ready and dressed! In fact, I even had time before starting work to squeeze in a run, and it was amazing! I have missed running so much, but now that the weather finally allows me to get outside, I am going to try doing it as much as possible!
Once I wrapped up working for the day, Mike and I ran with my mother in law to a local nursery. Our Christmas gift before we even had our new house was to pick out some new trees once we had our new yard. Mike has been talking about a willow tree overlooking the pond since we bought our land, so while we looked at all of the options, when it was time to make a decision I told him, the willow tree has been your dream, and we are doing the willow tree! And so now we have a teeny willow tree in our backyard and it makes my heart so darn happy! We also looked at some of the blooming trees, and I saw the vanilla strawberry hydrangea tree (yes, that is a real thing!) and had to have it! We put it in our front yard so you can see it out of all of our windows, and when it blooms in late July it turns white, pink, and red. Our yard feels so much more like a yard now!
Once we picked up the boys, my nephew came to spend the night. We had pizza, watched cartoons, and had a lazy night.
Lately, Jackson’s first request on mornings at home is ‘Mickey Pancakes’. Daddy usually is the master of breakfast in our house, but I love that this is his request that he makes with mommy 🙂
The boys did a ton of yard work on Saturday, and while they worked, I ran to Target and Hobby Lobby with Lincoln. I needed to stock up on florals for my mantle to get going with a summer theme!
Of course, what is a Saturday morning errand run without coffee 😉
 Precious Lincoln was just wiped out after our morning, and I about died laughing over how he fell asleep in his carseat. There is tired, and then there is this. Sweet boy was definitely ready for a nap!
 We stuck around the house the rest of the day. It was one of those long, lazy Saturdays and I honestly cannot even remember what we had for dinner! We capped off the night with Jackson watching Wallykazam from up on the stairs. This has become his new little hiding spot to watch us from up above, and it is so darn cute!
 The boys got the cutest new rash guards from Swim Zip this weekend! Lincoln is very fair, so we know we are going to really have to watch him in the sun, so I love how protected he is in this! I mean, look at him, I could just eat him up!
We spent all day Sunday over at my in-laws house doing a Memorial Day get together (a day early). Jackson literally ran and played outside all day long, with his minions in tow, of course 😉 We had burgers and brats for lunch, and my brother-in-law made a brisket for dinner. Watermelon, strawberry rhubarb crisp, and yard games rounded out our evening. It was the perfect day to kickstart summer! 
 We both had Monday off for Memorial Day, and it was the laziest day we have had in ages. We all stayed in our pajamas, both boys took two naps, and we started watching Bloodlines on Netflix.
During Lincoln’s afternoon nap, I did venture off to the grocery store and brought Jackson with me. He looks so darn big in the cart! But I love little dates where I get one on one time with my boys, even if it is just running errands.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Weekend, and thank you to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation we are lucky enough to call home.
Linking up with Biana today!

Weekend Recap: Easter 2017

Whew, I am out of it getting our weekend recap up! We were all so wiped by Sunday evening, and then Monday was one of those days where I just felt happy to get to the end. By the time we got the kiddos to bed, I had zero motivation to pull out my laptop, and opted for watching a comedy special with Mike instead 🙂 I finally got my act together though, and got the details of our weekend pulled into a post!
When I got home from work Friday afternoon, I quickly threw together a batch of sugar cookies. I love making holiday themed cookies, and I just knew Jackson would appreciate some bunnies 🙂 Once Mike got home, we ran to get the boys from my parents.
Our weekend kicked off on a sad note, with the loss of our childhood dog, Annabelle. While I am so sad that she is gone, the poor girl was just not in good health anymore and she had such a good day Friday, and then her death came on out of nowhere. She went from running and playing to gone in a few minutes, and I am so glad that she really didn’t seem to suffer at all. Those pets just tug at every last one of your heartstrings, even though they drive you crazy half of the time 😉 We spent our Friday night at my in-laws for a fish fry, as it was the last Friday of Lent! My father in law makes the BEST fried fish, and I always eat way more than I should. I got Lincoln into his jammies while we were there, and put him to bed right when we got home. I spent the rest of the night feeling pretty sad about Annabelle, but hung out on the couch with Mike for a bit before calling it a night.
On Saturday, I ended up going down to the cities with my mom and sister to watch my brother’s fiancé try on some dresses! Of course I didn’t snap a single picture, but it was so fun to watch her try them on. She didn’t pick the one just yet, but she is going to be so gorgeous in whatever she wears. It was fun to spend some time with the girls and take a mommy vacation for the afternoon!
Once I got home, we were all pretty lazy. To be honest, I cannot even remember what we had for dinner Saturday night. I am racking my brain as I type this and I’m not coming up with anything. Clearly it was an eventful day, as evidenced by the photo below!
Lincoln did, however, get to enjoy his very own cookie when he woke up from nap. And he ate every last crumb! He is such a good eater, I have my fingers crossed it continues so we don’t have the battles another little boy in the house put us through..
 Once I put Lincoln to bed, I rallied last minute and decided I just had to live up to my mommy obligations and dye some Easter eggs. I didn’t end up doing the Cool Whip option I posted about last week, as I just didn’t have the time or energy. However, I did create our dye from scratch without having to buy a kit. It was actually SUPER easy and I felt good knowing I was in control of what I was exposing Jackson to!
 He was so excited to help dye the eggs! I am so amazed by the difference a year can make. Last year, while he helped, he really was not that into the whole process. But this year, he is so excited about everything, and acts like it is the best thing ever. My sweet boy.
 He was so excited to wait for the eggs to take up the color so he could put them in the bowl!
 I was so pleasantly surprised by how our ‘homemade dye’ turned out. So pretty, and honestly just as easy as the kits!
 His whale needed some water during the egg dying process, apparently.

 On Easter morning, both boys woke up pretty early. I had hid the eggs around the main floor, and Jackson was SO excited to search for and find them all! The worst part of his morning was absolutely when I took the basket to put the eggs in the refrigerator.

 The boys checked out the goodies in their baskets. I may have selected candy for Lincoln that I knew I would end up getting to eat 😉
Some days I cannot handle the sweetness of these brothers. Jackson really is such a good big brother, as long as he isn’t trying to push Lincoln over.

I got the boys dressed in their Sunday best. We failed to make it to church. To be honest, we haven’t been since Lincoln’s baptism. I know lots of people go to church with babies all of the time, but it just overwhelms me! We did decide the boys are finally at a stage that we will start trying to get there, so hopefully we can get back into that routine soon!
 I can’t with those little suspenders and that hat. Can I just keep him exactly like this forever?
 These brothers are the absolute sweetest!
 We went to my in-laws for brunch, and I managed to take approximately zero pictures. We changed the boys into some play clothes, and Jackson had the best time ever on an Easter egg hung outside. He became a pro at finding them with little to no assistance, and would proudly declare ‘I found one!’ It is so much fun watching him experience these traditions! Lincoln was just along for the ride, maybe next year, buddy 😉
My parents gave the boys some Easter gifts, and Jackson got a Buzz Lightyear. He brings it with him everywhere, sleeps with it, and brings it into our bedroom at 5am and wakes me up with the sound of laser beams. The joys of being a boy mom!
I also failed at getting any photos once we went to my grandparents for Easter dinner, but Jackson went on another egg hunt and both boys were shot shortly after eating. We came home, put them to bed, and relaxed before calling it a night!
 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. While I just recapped today, I am so happy we are already to the middle of the week and officially on the countdown to another weekend!

Our Valentine’s Traditions

I am so excited today to be participating in a link-up that a few of my favorite bloggers are all hosting! On the second Thursday of every month, we will be writing on a different topic, and this week, it is our Valentine’s Day traditions!
I will be honest, I have never been huge into Valentine’s Day. Back in my high school days, I had a boyfriend who took me out to eat, and I hated it! The lines were outrageous, the menu items were cut down to accommodate the busy kitchen, and we were rushed in and out so the next people could have our table. I found nothing about this to be romantic, and since have always stuck around the house for the holiday!
Due to our constantly changing family and housing dynamics over the past few years, we don’t really have any hard and fast traditions for Valentine’s Day. There are a few things I try to do every year, especially now that we have kids.
My absolute favorite thing to do during Valentine’s Day is to create cutout heart sugar cookies. A fun backstory, I found out I was pregnant right around Christmas of 2013. Of course, the news was fresh so we kept it to ourselves throughout the holidays, minus our parents. But, I hit that 12 week mark right on Valentine’s Day, so I figured it would be the perfect time to let the cat out of the bag! I frosted all of the hearts and made them look like sweetheart candies, and put a big white letter on each individual cookie before snapping a pic to share with our family.
Since then, I really look forward to making these every year, and cannot believe the time has flown so quickly and we will be able to start making our cookies with that little baby we didn’t even know yet in this announcement!
For other little traditions, when our kids and schedules allow, Mike and I have cooked meals together, which can be so much fun. Of course, we really aren’t in that season of life this year, so I am leaning towards perhaps a heart shaped pizza for dinner 😉
For the boys, I bought each a little gift and plan to give that to them on the day. Nothing big or crazy, but I did grow up always having even the little holidays recognized in some way, and I think it makes those little moments so special!
 
I can’t wait to see what everyone else does as their Valentine’s Day traditions!
 

Friday Favorites: The last of 2016

I cannot for one second believe that this is my final post of 2016. Where did this year go!? Time has just absolutely flown by. I have high hopes for 2017, and am praying it is a year of calm, cool, and collected normalcy! I can’t kiss this year goodbye without a favorites post, so adieu, 2016, and hello to 2017 and a whole new year of memories!

1. Garland
Okay. Please don’t hate me. But Target just rolled out their Valentine’s Day goodies! The dollar spot is now all pink, hearts, and glitter. And I am not complaining. I really dislike winter, but I enjoy that transition into February where the days start getting a little bit longer, and it is acceptable to cover everything in my favorite color pink. One of my favorite features of our new house is the mantle, and I have decided to have some sort of banner or garland hanging on it year round. Target has some of the cutest garland in stores right now, including pink and red poms, and some incredible tassel garland. We will be taking down our Christmas things this week, and I think we will have some pink in our house pretty darn soon!

2. Blanket Scarf
Obviously this trend is huge right now, and I love my classic blanket scarf that I have. I just snagged this berry one yesterday, and with the sales going on at Express right now it was only $14! I love the colors and think it is such a fun change of pace from the other colors I have seen. And I think it will go with so many things, perfect for accessorizing when the frozen tundra that I live in hits -50 degrees this winter.

3. Squinty Smiles
Lincoln is entering the sweetest stage (of course I am biased, because I basically think every stage is the sweetest). In the past week, he has started doing my all time favorite ‘ugly smile’ that Jackson used to do! He scrunches up his nose and closes his eyes like he just heard the funniest thing. And he will do it at everything, all of the time. The ceiling fan, characters on TV, his brother, the wall..it is so so cute, and brings back so many memories. It is one of the cutest little habits, so if you need to find me, I will likely be over here dancing and doing any ridiculous thing I can think of to coax one of his cheesy grins out.

4. Sweater
This is a total repeat from last week, but the Nordstrom sale is still going on, and this sweater is perfection! I wore it on Christmas, and it was so soft and cozy, and not one bit itchy, which is the ultimate deal breaker for me! The black/green option is marked below $25, and I snagged my red version for $26. Totally worth it, and such a great piece that can be dressed up or down!

5. Blog Projects
I have some changes and fun things in the works for the blog in 2017! I have put so much time into this little space and it has grown into something that I love so much. I am so excited to have some opportunities to make it bigger and better, and to broaden my horizons a bit. Look out for some fun posts in January and February!

Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for following along with my blog over the past few years, or for stopping by if you are new! I hope everyone has an incredible NYE. We will likely be snuggled up in pajamas and drinking mojitos by the fire before falling asleep well before midnight!

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days o’ auld lang syne!”



Christmas Card 2016

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. The front of our card is, in fact, the only picture we were able to capture with both Mike and myself looking at the camera 😉 Don’t worry, we made up for the lack of family shots (wrangling two little men for photos is TOUGH) with the adorable shot on the background. I love those sweet babies so much, they are so precious.
For the third year in a row, we went with Mixbook for our Christmas cards. They always do a quality job, their prices are fantastic, and turnaround time on shipping is amazing! I will say, my minor complaint this year is that these cards were advertised as ‘gold foil’, but they are not actually foil. I definitely had a sad moment when I opened the box and was not greeted with pretty gold foil, but rather a glitter print writing. False advertising is frustrating, but overall I do love the look of our cards and am happy with how they turned out! While I didn’t use the feature, they do offer to print your addresses on the envelopes for you, which I think I will most definitely be taking advantage of next year! I am always so on top of it when it comes to ordering our cards, but writing out the addresses seriously takes me days, I just cannot sit down and do it all at once! I love that convenience features like that are offered, freeing up those little bits of extra time to truly enjoy time with family during the holidays 🙂
I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas surrounded by loved ones, lots of delicious food, and a remembrance of the true meaning of Christmas!