Friday Favorites!!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hi!! Happy Friday!!!

I am feeling especially happy today because yesterday was my last day at the preschool I work at until JANUARY!! I love my job...but I also love NOT feeling like I am being pulled in 100 different directions. HA! Next week, Marshall is out of school, but the 4 big kids still have school. It's going to work out great...they all have so many programs and parties going on..and since I am not working..Marshall and I will be able to attend all of them!!! I am so excited!

Anyone else in a state of disbelief that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away? I am "physically" ready for Christmas (minus needing to mail a couple packages and get a few more stocking stuffers)- but mentally...I am sitting here thinking..."HOW?" A new year is just a few weeks away and it's just crazy how fast time flies by. 

Since it's Friday, I am sharing some FAVORITES of mine from this past week, including a few things that would be great gifts to pick up if you still need to finish up your shopping!

If you are looking for a great, inexpensive gift and USEFUL gift- get this SD card adapter!!
My beautiful friend April mentioned this on her IG stories and I promptly sent Aaron the link to it :) He got it for me for my birthday and I have been like, "Where has this thing been the last 8 years??" I used my "big" DSLR camera A LOT and it can be kind of a pain to always have to insert my SD card into my computer, upload the pictures and then send them to my phone. This little gadget, that is under $10 solves that inconvenience!! It is SO great! So glad April shared about it!! You can find it HERE if you are thinking you or someone else in your life could use of these little adapters!!!
On Wednesday, I gave a little virtual home tour of our house decorated at Christmas- you can check out the post HERE! This little area, on top of our piano, is one of my FAVORITE spots in the house. It's simple and pretty and I just love it! :)
(P.S. I got that little "Joy to the World" manger sign from WALMART! They have several REALLY pretty signs like that currently! I found mine in of the special, holiday decor aisles! It was $3.97!)
I know there are SOOOO many wonderful Christmas books out there. We have SO many and I just love all of them! But- if I had to recommend one to add to your library this year- it would be "Room for a Little One"
The illustrations are beautiful and it is the sweetest, simplest story of CHRISTmas. 
You can find it HERE on Amazon! And with a Prime membership- it can be at your house before Christmas!
A couple nights ago, I shared on my IG stories about what we are giving the kids' teachers for Christmas. It is my FAVORITE gift to give because who doesn't love smell "special" soap from Bath and Body Works and a couple festive hand towels??!? 
I wait until the soaps for on sale for $2.95 each and I stack that sale price with a $10 off $30 coupon. They go on sale like that about 2 times during the holiday shopping season and I always buy the maximum amount allowed when they run those sales! The hand towels are from Walmart and they come in a pack of 2 for $3.88! They have several different sayings and patterns...but this "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas" towel set was my FAVORITE.
I am all about giving thoughtful, yet functional gifts. The way I make the gifts EXTRA special is by having the kids write thank you notes to their teachers in a pretty Christmas card. I know their teachers love getting a nice gift..but I think more than anything- a handwritten note of appreciation means the MOST!
I just love this quote :)
This is probably our most "sparkliest" weekend of the whole month :)
Tonight, we have a Christmas party at church for all the adults who work with the youth of our church...they are providing free childcare for the kids- which makes the evening EXTRA awesome!
Tomorrow- Aaron is working all day- but when he gets home from the hospital- we are headed to one of our local nature preserves to go to Santa's Workshop!! The event is all outdoors and there are going to bonfires, hayrides, hot chocolate and Santa is going to be hanging out!
Sunday, Aaron is working (again ;) and we have church and then his work Christmas party in the evening. 
It's going to be a jammed packed weekend but I am looking forward to all the special holiday fun!

What do you have going on? Is it a "all is calm and bright" kind of weekend? Or more like a "rocking around the Christmas tree" kind of weekend?

Whatever you are up to..I sure hope it's lovely!


Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella, Whitney and Katie too!

Our Home at Christmas Time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Wednesday!! 
Hope you're having a great week!!

So excited to be "opening' our home to you today and showing you how we have it decorated for Christmas!!

Welcome!! Come on in!!
If you were coming over for a visit, before we started our home tour, you know I would pour you a cup of coffee with my FAVORITE holiday creamer!!
Let's start in the kitchen!

In our little "everyday" dining area, I have this "NOEL" sign up.
On our kitchen table, we have this little Christmas tree. We are doing this fun 25 Days of Christ activity and everyday the kids read a bible verse and hang out an ornament associated with the verse! This is our first year doing this activity and the kids are loving it!
Moving from the kitchen into the living room!
I love decorating the space on top of our piano!
On our mantle, I have some garland and then one of these little trees with gold and silver ornaments on both sides of the TV. 
From the living room, we're going to head out to our sunroom!
This is our "fun" tree that the kids decorated themselves and it is just a mish-mash of ornaments!! I LOVE this tree!
Fun, festive Christmas pillows!
I have always wanted a space where I can hang up a bunch of Christmas wreaths!! I was so excited to get to do this in our new sunroom!
 Leaving the sunroom, we're going to head upstairs!

This is the girls' Christmas tree they have in their room. They decorate it themselves and it is just the SWEETEST little tree!
 The boys have this tiny little Christmas tree in their room and SANTA!
We have a little reading nook at the top of the stairs and I set up all of our Christmas books in a basket and set out the kids' Little People Nativity scene for them to play with while they are reading!
The kids' Christmas artwork on display on top of the bookcase in the reading nook!
Now we're back downstairs!
We have our Advent wreath set out on our dining room table. I got this beautiful, simple Advent wreath from Dayspring last year and I just love it!
 And we're ending the tour at our gigantic "fancy" Christmas tree!
 And there you have it! This is what Christmas looks like at our house!!
I hope you enjoyed the tour!!

Hope you have the BEST day!

So excited to be linking up with Stephanie today!!

Also linking up with Whitney today!

Tuesday Talk!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Tuesday!!

Did you have a good weekend?
How is your week going so far??

We got a tiny bit of snow on Sunday morning...nothing but RAIN RAIN RAIN yesterday and then last night, I found out the kids' schools are operating on a 2 hour delay because of "inclement weather." The Northerner in me can't take this. HA!
I don't really know the reason we have a delay flooding?? 
Regardless...we have a little bit of extra time to chill this I will take it!

We had a fun, festive weekend!!
Friday evening, my friend texted me and told me about a fun event happening in downtown Greenville- so once Aaron got home from work, we loaded up the kids and met up with our friends for a fun night of seeing Santa, drinking hot chocolate and riding around town in the "Christmas Bus!"
It was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!
We got home and had $5 Little Caesar pizza for dinner and then afterwards, everyone got cleaned up, put on their Christmas jammies 
and we snuggled up on our new couch and watched Elf! 
Which by the way- thank you so much for all of your compliments on our new couch (I posted about it last Friday- you can check out the post HERE)!!

Sunday afternoon, the girls and I went to see the Nutcracker Ballet! This is our second year going and it is just SO special!! It was an absolutely stunning performance and I just loved talking with the girls about their favorite parts of the ballet. So grateful for such a precious time with my girls!
And then Monday rolled around and it was back to reality. And back to the gym. HA!
I work out in the morning on Monday's because I don't work on Mondays and I prefer working out first thing in the morning sooo much more than I do working out in the afternoon.

I took this incredibly awkward picture after I was finished getting ready- because I wanted to share this tunic sweatshirt I recently got from Old Navy. It is SUPER simple- but it is ridiculously comfy, covers my booty and is just really flattering (and SO easy to wear)!
You can find it HERE! Such a great closet staple!!
Speaking of the gym...I wanted to let ya'll know I created a new Instagram account where I plan to share about all things health and wellness related. If you would like to follow along- I would love to have you!!
My IG handle is: @fullhandsfullheart_fit4life

Alrighty....time to stop sipping on my coffee and pay attention to my crazy kiddos. We might be on a 2 hour delay today- but they still have to go to school and I still have to go to work!!


Hope you have the BEST day!

I am linking up with JohannahHeather and Lindsay!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Friday!!!
How was your week??

It's been a FULL and FUN week at our house!!

I am happy to be here sharing a few FAVORITES of mine from this past week!

We got our new couch delivered last Friday!!
So- we have been looking for a couch for about a year now...but just couldn't pull the trigger!! It's such a big purchase and we kept on going back and forth about what exactly we wanted.  Well, during our search I just kept thinking of my friend April - who has an insanely comfy sectional in her upstairs TV/playroom. It's called the Norfolk Sectional from Haverty's
So we contacted the Haverty's in Raleigh and had a salesperson send us some photos of the couch in the color we liked. We knew how comfortable it was from sitting on April's sectional and just decided to go for it!!
Here's the funny part- we didn't even sit on this couch (except for when we sat on April's) or see the color we picked out in person. HA! The salesperson we were working with gave us an incredible deal which included free delivery (and we got the extended protection/warranty on the couch because FIVE KIDS). 
Needless to say, while I was pretty confident I was going to love it- I was slightly nervous when the delivery guys showed up with it....I just really didn't want to have to tell them I didn't like it and that they had to bring it back to the store. HA!

GOOD NEWS: WE LOVE IT. Like we're obsessed with it. All I want to do is snuggle up on it and do nothing. HA!
Here's a picture of it!! The lighting isn't great and it's definitely showing up much darker than it really is in person...but you get the idea! :)
 And I just have to give a HUGE shoutout to the delivery guys- they were AMAZING and so kind and patient. As soon as they left my house- I called Haverty's customer service and gave them a glowing review.

Our friendly little elf, Theo, showed back up at our house this past Saturday!
This is one of the kids' FAVORITE traditions and I love using it as an excuse to get everyone new matching Christmas jammies. At our house, we don't do much with the elf, except move him around to a different location everyday (which I have forgotten to do EVERY SINGLE NIGHT so far. HA!). He doesn't keep track of the kids' behavior or anything like's just all about him being an extra little Christmas friend. While I love all the things festive and magical- the main focus in our house is to cultivate a season of joyful expectation for the coming of our Savior. Theo the elf, Santa and all the other stuff is just icing on the cake! :)
I sent Aaron to Harris Teeter last week to see if they had any Califia Farms Mint Cocoa Almondmilk creamer...and he came home with the last two!!!! YAHOO!! One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the fun, yummy seasonal coffee creamers...and when I took dairy out of my diet- I really missed them!! Luckily there are SO many good dairy free options (it's crazy how much more there is now than just a short 3 years ago!) and I can get yummy seasonal coffee creamer!! If you are dairy free and you love coffee and yummy creamers as much as I do- definitely check your local grocery stores to see if they carry Califia Farms Almondmilk Creamers. They come in lots of different flavors and I have loved every single one I have tried so far!
This past Monday was my birthday!! I wrote a post about my very normal, but fun and special day- you can check it out HERE! My sweet in-laws got me a gift card to treat myself to a few goodies and I happily purchased this festive, red plaid vest from Belk! I have had my eye on it since before Thanksgiving...but just couldn't justify buying it since it can really only be worn for a couple of months. Well- all I needed was for it to be 50% off, the last one in my size and I decided to go for it! I just love it and plan on wearing the heck out of it over the next couple of weeks!!! You can find it HERE on Belk's website!
We have a FESTIVE weekend ahead of us!!
We're going to have our weekly pizza picnic tonight and watch Elf!
Tomorrow, we are doing our monthly volunteering shift at our local food bank and then we're crossing our fingers Santa is available for a visit :)
After we see Santa, we'll be headed to bring some goodies to a gentleman that was part of our church's Angel Tree program. And if we're still standing after church on Saturday evening, we're going to hit up our town's Christmas parade!
Sunday, the girls and I are headed to see the Nutcracker and we are SO excited!!!
We started this tradition last year and I am thrilled the girls wanted to make it an annual event for us! 

What do you have planned for the weekend?? Lots of fun "Christmas" things? Or pretty low key with lots of coffee and online shopping from the comfort of your couch?? 

I hope whatever you are up to- you feel the PEACE and STILLNESS that comes from this time of waiting while we prepare for the birth of our Savior. It seems pretty counter cultural to be STILL and QUIET in this season of DO MORE! SEE ALL THE LIGHTS! BUY AND DO ALL THE THINGS!!! But I am here to tell you- there is so much JOY to be found in saying NO so that you can be MORE present. 
(I am talking to myself right now ;)

Hope ya'll have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL Weekend!

Have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella and Katie too!

THIRTY-EIGHT- Let's Do This!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Tuesday!! Hope your week is off to a great start!!!

Soo....I turned THIRTY EIGHT yesterday. Kind of sounds old, doesn't it?!?! HA!
I do NOT feel thirty-eight at am I closer to 40 than 30?? 

I am SO grateful to feel healthy, happy and just completely in awe of my life. 

I thought it would be fun to share a few pics from my was VERY normal...but definitely had little bits of "special" sprinkled all through out it!

We kicked off my birthday by taking a little trip to New Bern, NC on Sunday afternoon to walk around the cute downtown area New Bern has and look at Christmas lights. We popped into a neat little shop and Christmas music was playing and my girls and I were "oohhing and aahhhing" over all the pretty things and I just stopped right in that moment and said, "THANK YOU God for RIGHT now." 
We were walking down to the riverfront and it was sprinkling the TINIEST bit. We looked up and saw the MOST beautiful double rainbow...literally- RIGHT over our heads!!
Rainbows have a very special significance for grandmother passed away when I was 7 and it was a HUGE loss for our whole family. All through growing up, whenever we would see a rainbow, my mom would say, "Grandma is saying "hi!"
And still to this day...when I see a rainbow, I know it is my guardian angel, my precious grandma, saying hello and telling me it is going to be ok. There is NO reason we should have seen a rainbow yesterday!! There wasn't enough rain for one!! But Grandma showed up and it touched my heart BIG time!
After we strolled a little bit more around downtown, we headed back to Greenville to have pizza at Mellow Mushroom. Three cheers for not having to cook dinner or clean up!! That right there is the best birthday present ever! HA!

Yesterday morning (my actual birthday), the girls woke up SO excited and had decorated our dining room table with presents.
They also made snowflakes and hung them up in the dining room. SO CUTE!
(P.S. Don't you love James?!)
Charlotte taught herself how to play, "Happy Birthday" on her recorder and played it for me before we had to leave for school. I mean, how sweet is that?!?
After I dropped off the 4 "big" kids at school, Marshall and I headed to the gym. 
I got a great workout in and spent some extra time getting ready. It was LOVELY!
After we finished up at the gym, Marshall and I ran a quick errand and it was time to pick up James from preschool. We got back home and I rushed around doing all the things I do on a Monday because life goes on and lunches need to be made and laundry needs to be folded regardless if it's my birthday or not! HA! 

After I got all of my chores done, I warmed myself up a cup of coffee and started writing this blog post in my fun, festive sunroom :) Christmas music, coffee (in a Starbucks cup I saved- I KNOW. I am a freak) and 30 minutes of quiet time...another little birthday "gift!" 
My 30 minutes of "me time" flew by...OF COURSE...and it was time to go get the big kids from school. And then it was the usual after school craziness. Homework. Packing lunches. Dance for Charlotte. Laundry and picking out outfits for the kids' no uniform day. 

Obviously not the most exciting or glamorous birthday...but THIS IS THIRTY-EIGHT.
And while there are PLENTY of moments throughout my days where I feel like I am literally going to lose my mind...I truly couldn't be more thankful!
We ended the day with chicken nuggets for the kids and sushi for Aaron and me.
There were spills and screaming- which is dinner as usual for us :)
I got to open my presents and the kids and Aaron did such a GREAT job!! 

I think I am going to share them later on in the week in a separate post- because a few of the things I got would make great Christmas gifts (or birthday gifts)!

And that was my birthday in a nutshell! :)

So- here we go. Thirty-Eight. I have been blessed with another year and I am HERE for it.

On another note- did you happen to notice a change in the look of my blog????

One of my blogging besties, Johannah, totally gave it a makeover- JUST BECAUSE!
She is amazing with graphics and just totally designed this fresh, new look for my blog and I LOVE it!! She works full time, NOT as a blog designer, but I told her she might have to start up a little side business!! She is SO talented!!
Thank you again Johannah!!

Ok- time to go. It's a full day of work, school and a Christmas concert for two of my girls tonight!
Hope you have the BEST day!!

And a day late (AGAIN)- but linking up with Johannah, Heather and Lindsay!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Friday!!!
WOW. It's a been a WEEK.
We hit the ground running after our trip to Illinois last week and if I am being honest, I don't really feel like I have caught my breath yet!! HA!
Aaron and I both jumped right back into work- which has been busy for both of us (definitely MUCH more so for him than me) AND we've had a FUN + FULL week celebrating our oldest daughter's birthday. 
We're finishing up the week by having a sweet little party for her this afternoon- which will be a lot of fun!!!
I am crossing my fingers I get to sleep a little bit this weekend. HA! (I can tell you right now I need to let that dream go. HA!)

Ok. Enough it's time to share a few FAVORITES with you!! 

This past Sunday, I did my weekly grocery shopping at Aldi and found this fabulous candle in the seasonal aisle! I shared about it on my Insta-stories- but I also had to tell you all about here on the blog!! This candle is $7.99 and is TOTALLY like a candle you would find at Anthropologie! The scent of this candle is called Fir and Firewood...basically the perfect evergreen scent. They also have one that is JUST LIKE the capri blue volcano candle!
I picked one up for my friend and she couldn't believe how pretty much identical the Aldi candle was to her volcano candle!!! And then the next day, she sent me this picture of her totally stocking up on ALL THE CANDLES at Aldi for Christmas presents!!! 
If you are near an Aldi this definitely need to stop by and see if they have these candles! They are AWESOME!

A couple days ago, I shared about my new FAVORITE top. It's from Walmart- OF COURSE- and it is SO cute!

It is under $13 and I really think it would look SO good on anyone!! You can check out the full post about this fun top HERE!
And so fun...just a couple days ago, the fun account @whoawaitwalmart on Instagram featured this top!! 
It really is SO cute! Definitely be on the lookout for it this weekend if you happen to be at your Walmart!

I know many of you already know about this website...but I just wanted to share how great Teachers Pay Teachers is and let you know there are SO many FREE activities for kiddos that are not only fun- but educational!! And you definitely do NOT just have to be a teacher to utilize this website!!
This is my go-to website when I am looking for a new activity to do with my clients or if I am looking for a certain activity that will target a specific goal I am working on with a client. 
As a mom- I love printing off FREE activities like this Christmas following directions activity or these Christmas math games!! All I have to do is download them and print them out!! These free activities are super fun too if your kiddos enjoy playing school at home and want "homework" to give out!! If you've never been to the Teachers Pay Teachers website before...head on over and type in "Christmas Free" in the search box. You will have SO much fun looking at all the different activities you can print out for your kids!!
My least favorite part of my job is all the paperwork that is involved with it. I do my very best to try and get as much as I can done before I pick up Marshall from school...but some days- it's just NOT possible because I am seeing clients right up until the time I have to go get him. On those kind of days...I have to work while he's napping. Which is BLAH. HA! new FAVORITE place to work and get stuff DONE is my sunroom. You guys are probably sick of hearing about how much I love this room...but it is just so bright and cheery and it just makes me HAPPY! So while doing progress notes at home while my baby naps does NOT make me very happy (HA!)...sitting in my cheerful sunroom while I am typing said notes is my FAVORITE!

I just purchased this new book, The Advent of Christmas, written by Matt Maher and it was bundle sort of deal- so it also came with his new Advent/Christmas CD. If you like a mix of traditional and non-traditional Christmas music- GO GET THIS CD. You can get it right here on Amazon! And you should get the book too!! We LOVE celebrating the magic of Christmas in our house...but our MAIN focus is journeying through Advent and preparing for the coming of Jesus. This book has beautiful illustrations and is so perfect for teaching little kids about everything that happened leading up to Jesus being born!

Alright...time for me to go get myself ready for the day!!
I am taking Marshall to all school Mass this morning and then we are getting our new couch delivered!!! YAY!!

Charlotte's birthday party is this afternoon and we have a couple fun things planned for over the weekend. 

What's going on for you this weekend?? Doing anything fun and festive? Just going to lay low and enjoy some down time?? I hope you have a great time doing whatever you have planned :)

Have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella and Katie too!