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Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry CHRISTMAS EVE!

I wanted to send all my love to all of you today and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking precious time out of your day to visit my tiny little corner of the internet.

And since I couldn't send all of you a Christmas card...I thought I would share it with you here on the blog!

Here's what I would love to leave you with today, as we enter into the days of celebrating Christmas:

"What it comes down to is this: True joy is not found in anything of the earth. No money, no connections, no power, no pleasure, no position, no worldly sense of freedom can take the place of the happiness of knowing God." Claire Dwyer

 “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Wishing you all the most beautiful days with your loved ones as you celebrate Christmas. My hope is that no matter where you are this holiday season, you have a peace and joy in your heart, that can only come from knowing God's unending love for you.

Merriest Christmas to you!!!
And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Catching Up on All Things CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 23, 2019

FRIENDS!!
Happy Monday!
How are you doing??

Phew. I totally did not mean to only post once last week!!!
I had several things I wanted to share...but with it being the last week of school for my kids and having to coordinate 5 different parties, performances, teacher gifts and what felt like to be 45 sign up geniuses the good ol' blog got neglected!!

Anyway...I wanted to share some "Christmasy" things with you before I sign off for the rest of the week to celebrate Christmas with my family!

Aaron and I went to his Christmas party 2 weeks ago and it was such a fun time!
I love an excuse to get dressed up and go out with my favorite person. 
I have absolutely no shame and made Charlotte take about 25 pictures of us while our babysitter just watched us act like fools. HA!
This past Tuesday was the ONLY open day on my calendar- so I stocked up on all my baking supplies (Aldi is my favorite place to get everything I need to bake!) and Marshall and I had a baking day!!
It was seriously the sweetest day and was MUCH needed for my heart. I have felt pretty weary in several areas of my life, including parenting- so to have a fun, easy day baking with my "baby" truly felt like the BEST Christmas present!
(P.S. How funny is our elf in the picture?!? HA!)

We made "cowboy cookies" - you can find the recipe HERE, triple chocolate chip cookies- you can find the recipe HERE and sugar cookies! 
My secret "weapon" for sugar cookies is Alid's sugar cookie mix!! I put a thin layer of my homemade cream cheese icing on them and Christmas sprinkles to make them extra festive!
A couple weeks ago, I stopped by a local store to pick up a hostess gift. They were having a half off sale on all of their Christmas items- so I picked up these two Christmas fragrance oils. FRIENDS. They smell SO SO good. I am totally obsessed with how delightful both smell! I just put them in my diffuser like my other essential oils I diffuse!
They are from the brand Bridgewater Candle Company and you can find them HERE on Amazon!! 
And finally, I wanted to give a quick little Christmas house tour with ya'll!
A lot of our decor is the same from last year..but I have added/switched a few things up and wanted to share it with you!

This is our front entryway! I don't think it is a big enough space that I can call it a porch :)
Same decor as the last two years...I love how simple and cheerful it is!
 
Our sunroom is also decorated the same as last year. I put wreaths in all our windows- which is my FAVORITE!
Our sunroom Christmas tree is the "fun" tree. The kids decorate it all by themselves and it has all of their handmade ornaments on it. I LOVE it!
Moving onto our dining room!
I added two 7.5 feet skinny-ish trees in here this year! They aren't flocked...but they have a slight flocked texture to them. I just wanted something super simple and wintry and these trees fit that criteria perfectly! 
Here's how I have our dining room table decorated for Christmas! I had some silver deco mesh in one of my Christmas storage bins and used that as a table runner. A couple days ago I picked up some garland on SUPER sale at Michael's and also got some flameless candles. I added a few mason jars and I just love how it all turned out! 
Right now, our Advent wreath is in the middle- but for Christmas day dinner, I plan to put a couple silver sparkly Christmas trees!
And here's the dining room all lit up at night! I love how cozy the trees make the room feel!
Another new addition to my Christmas decor this year are these driftwood trees I picked up from Walmart!! Aren't they neat?!?
 I put them on either side of my mantle and I love how they look!
I also did my piano a little differently than I did last year!
I used to have the mini Christmas trees on my mantle- but I moved them to the piano this year!
The wooden arches and white antique window is from my entry way table. 
I love shopping my house and moving around decor!
I got this rustic, wooden nativity scene at Kirkland's this year and I have it behind our stove top. You can see it as soon as you walk into our home and I just love it!
Another fun addition to our Christmas decor is the fun pom pom trees the girls and I made together! I shared about these a couple weeks ago!! We have them on our bookshelf in our reading nook and they are just SO festive and fun!
And finally...our big "fancy" Christmas tree! 
I decorated in the same as I have the last 2 years....but- I feel like it looks totally different against the new addition of the shiplap wall Aaron did this past June!
I use only gold and silver ornaments and it has a very "winter wonderland" feel :)
And here is our tree all lit up at night!
P.S. Would you believe we got this tree at Salvation army for 70% off and paid $15 for it?!?
It is about 15 years old and is SO sturdy and well made!!

And there you have it friends...all the Christmas I can cram into one post!!

I will be back tomorrow for a short and sweet post to share our Christmas card and then plan to take a little break to be with my family while we are on Christmas break!!

I sure hope you have the BEST day and the most wonderful rest of your week!

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!

A Few Fun Walmart Finds!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Hey friends!!

Happy Tuesday!!

I actually meant to get this post done on Sunday night so it would be ready to go on Monday morning...but..Aaron asked me if I wanted to have an at home date and watch "Love Actually." Um. DUH. YES!
So- the computer got put to the side and I snuggled up with my cute hubby and watched my FAVORITE Christmas-y movie!!
And now here we are...the last week of school for my kiddos before the holiday break! Things are pretty NUTTY as I am sure they are for you too!!
We have lots of parties, gifts to bring to teachers, and A LOT of other things I have signed up to do. I just keep checking my planner to make sure I am not forgetting something! HA!

In the midst of all the fun Christmas "to-do's"- I have managed to get over to my Walmart several times over the last few days and have picked up a few cute things I wanted to share with you!! 

First up- this cute plaid sweater!!
It has yellow and black going through it- so it doesn't necessarily scream CHRISTMAS- but I definitely think it's festive!! It is a regular length sweater (it hits me right below my waist) and I would say a little more fitted. I got my regular size small- but if you like a bit more relaxed fit- definitely size up!! I have worn it with black jeans and I know it will super cute with regular jeans too!
It's $16.96 and you can find it HERE online!
I think I will be wearing this on Christmas day...it's festive, comfy and I feel put together in it without having to get super dressed up!
Next up are these cute festive leggings!!
Walmart has a BUNCH of adult sized FUN Christmas leggings. I liked this pattern because they had more of that ski lodge look versus Santas and Christmas trees :)
I found these in the women's area and they were only $6.98!
And to wear with my festive leggings...I picked up this top! It's just a super simple tunic style, kind of flowly long sleeve top- but it's perfect for leggings!! FYI: In the store- this top is $11.44- but currently online- it's only $9.00!! It comes in several different colors and it is just a really good staple piece to have in your closet! I got in black and gray!
It's lightweight- so perfect for layering under a cardigan...but also- when the weather is warmer- it's perfect on it's own! 
You can find it HERE online!
I found these little canvas sneakers and just thought they were so cute. They are black with a little bit of sparkle and only $9.96!! I have been wearing them with my festive leggings and my girls were SO impressed with them. HA! They thought they were super cute and a nice change from my New Balances :) 
The only downside to these cute little sneakers is they are definitely not a shoe I could wear all day. They don't have a ton of support- but I feel like that makes sense for their price tag...you know what I mean?! 
Speaking of super cute casual shoes- I also picked up these mettalic quilted slip on sneaker style shoe. They didn't have my size in the store- so I went online and ordered them!
I love the metallic gray color! And while I only had them on for a minute while trying them on in the store- I can tell you- they felt REALLY comfortable! Bonus- they are on sale right now for $9.50 from $14.88!! You can find them HERE!

Not clothing related- but still super cute and festive are these little individually package holiday mini chocolate chip cookies! I picked these up to put in my kiddos lunch as a fun little Christmas surprise! :) I found them over in the special baking area- 
where they have A TON of fun Great Value Baking mixes that are special for the holidays!!
So there you have it- a little random mish mash of my recent Walmart finds :)
Have you picked up anything fun at Walmart recently?
Tell me!!

Alright...off to the gym with Marshall and then it is Christmas Baking Day at my house!
I have 3 different types of cookies I hope to get baked today!! The rest of my week is crazy- so today is THE DAY to get my baking done!!
I am excited...I plan to blast the Christmas music, drink way too much coffee with peppermint mocha creamer and I am sure Marshall will help me make a really good mess of the kitchen :)

Hope you have the BEST day!

And even though I am a day late...I am still going to link up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!





Friday Favorites!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Hi friends!!

Happy Friday friends!!!
How was your week been??

Are you limping across the finish line...or are you running on Christmas adrenaline?!? HA!
I feel like I am a little bit of both. We had a really full week- but we have a super fun weekend ahead of us with 2 Christmas parties to attend. 
I have just ONE more thing to buy and one package to ship and then I am DONE with all things related to Christmas presents/cards/packages!!

It's Friday- so I am checking in today to share a few of my FAVORITES from this past week!!

Let's start with this magic long sleeve top. Okay. "Magic" might be a bit dramatic but I really do love this shirt!
I am ALWAYS cold- so just wearing a sweatshirt or sweater in the winter doesn't usually cut it for me. I love to layer a thin, long sleeve shirt- but have trouble with the length of most shirts because I am tall-ish and have a super long torso. These shirts are the PERFECT layering weight, completely cover my booty, look SO cute layered and have just the right amount of stretch in them. I have already asked Aaron to order me another one of them, in a different color, for Christmas!
I will be honest- they are definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum at $39. BUT- I have literally worn mine almost every day since I have bought it. I might be a bit obsessed. HA!
Anyway- it's not a super cheap top- but for the amount of wear I am going to get out of it- I consider it a great staple wardrobe item!!

Here's one way I have been wearing it- layered under a comfy sweatshirt with leggings!!
I am also loving mixing it with other patterns like this animal print sweater!! 

I found This top from Nordstrom via the recommendation of Laura Godfrey who is a super fun and cute fashion/lifestyle blogger/Instagrammer!

New FAVORITE picture of me and my kiddos!!! Last Friday we went to a fun little Christmas event in our cute downtown area and went on a "Jolly Trolley" ride. I had all of the kids piled on top of me and I LOVED every second of it!
I shared on Instagram a little earlier this week about my FAVORITE gift to give teachers. I get a bunch of Bath and Body Works soaps when they are on super sale and then I get several different kinds of holiday hand towels- in the past I have gotten them from Walmart- but this year I went with Target! 
These towels came in a set of two and they are such GOOD quality! Super soft and thick. They are currently on sale for $3.00!! For a set of two towels!! That is a steal!!! You can find them HERE!
We give each of the kids' teachers 2 hand soaps and a set of hand towels. 
It is my "go-to" Christmas present and our teachers always love it!!
These towels would make such a lovely, inexpensive hostess gift or even a fun little gift to give your girlfriends, mother, or sister!! And who doesn't love Bath and Body Works hand soap?!? It is definitely my FAVORITE! :)
Um. This is my FAVORITE. How funny is this?!? HA!!
This is on a billboard at one of our FAVORITE restaurants in Austin, TX- which makes me love it even it more!!
And in case you missed my other posts from this week- you can check out Monday's post about giving the gift of time- HERE and a few things I am loving lately- HERE!

What are you up to this weekend?
We have a church Christmas party tonight and Aaron's work party tomorrow night. We don't really have any plans tomorrow during the day- which I am VERY excited about :)
Sunday, after church, the girls and I are going on a special Mommy/daughter Christmas date! 
I hope whatever you have going on...you take just a little bit of time to enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and just look at the beauty of your Christmas tree with all of it's twinkling lights...that's absolutely one of my FAVORITE things to do during this fun, special season!!

I hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and the most WONDERFUL weekend!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella,and Katie too!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!




What I am Loving Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Hi friends!!

Happy Wednesday!!

How is your week going so far?

It's been full and fun for us so far. Aaron works out of town every other Monday and the kids have A LOT of activities on Monday afternoon/evening...so I always do a nice big EXHALE when everyone is finally in bed on Monday night. HA! Yesterday, my youngest daughter had a Christmas music performance..so that was a sweet time. My oldest daughter had piano lessons- so Aaron took her and kept the boys. It was just my daughter and Cora at the performance and I loved getting a little special one on one time with her!

And here we are. Middle of the week!!
Because I am super random and most of the time all over the place..I just wanted to share some things I have been loving lately.

First- I wanted to share this fun craft I did with my girls. I shared a little bit about it on Instagram stories a couple weeks ago- and we were finally able to finish it up this weekend!

Quick little back story- we came across these adorable cone shaped pom pom trees at Hobby Lobby about a month ago and for two of them it was going to be $50 (on SALE). 
My girls and I decided we could make them ourselves- for MUCH cheaper! 
 I got the two cones on sale at Michael's for $4.50 each and then got the pom poms on sale at Hobby Lobby. I had to pick up an extra bag of glue sticks because we didn't have enough to complete the project. I don't know the exact amount- but we spent right around $20 to make both of the pom pom trees. Definitely not a SUPER cheap project- but much less than if we had bought them! And we had a lot of fun making them- so that is a BIG win!

Aren't they so neat?
And I love the endless possibilities with these!
You could do a monochromatic color scheme...rainbow colors...all sparkly pom poms!
 And here's how they look on top of our book shelf in our reading nook. 
I mean how cute are they are?!?
So whimsical and festive. We just love the way they turned out!!
I am a MAJOR words person. I am constantly taking screen shots of things I read...I have so many open browsers on my phone of things I have read and loved and refer back to...I LOVE words/messages/quotes.

So of course- I had to share a few of my favorites I have come across this past week!

If you are a mom- do you not FEEL EVERY BIT OF THIS!?
I know I do!!
 And this. HA!
We are working VERY hard on first time obedience at our house and you can imagine how delightful of a task that is. HA!
I sent this to my husband and he asked me to change our letterboard to this. HA!
This one spoke to me on so many levels. Spiritually, personally, in regard to my health!
And finally- the prettiest and cutest little makeup gift set!
Friends- I am LOVING this lipgloss and cream blush/highlighter from NARS.
My sweet daughter got this for me for my birthday last week and I have been using it nonstop! It is currently $18 at Ulta and I think it would be the best present for a babysitter, a teenager girl in your life or a sister or friend who loves make up! It’s also the perfect stocking stuffer… Or maybe you just need to get it for yourself! :)
You can find it HERE at Ulta.com!



That's all I have for today...a whole lot of random...pretty normal for me! HA!


Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay today!

Giving the Gift of TIME

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hey friends!!!

Happy Monday!!!

How was your weekend?
Is your week off to a good start??

Okay. I don't know about you- but I really struggle with being "interrupted." 
Not like someone interrupting me when I am trying to talk (while that's definitely not a favorite of mine...HA!)- but more like- I have an agenda. I have a to-do list and basically nothing else matters until I get every darn item on that list checked off.

Anyone else out there reading this feeling like we might have some things in common?!
HA!

Anyway...I have definitely become more flexible in my agenda...especially as we have grown our family- so I have an understanding that some things just aren't going to get done.
BUT- it doesn't mean I like that.

It doesn't mean that I don’t get a bit cranky with my kiddos and husband if I have to be doing something for them instead of working on MY "to-do" list.
It doesn't mean that I have to constantly SLOW MYSELF DOWN and not only be okay with my list of things to do not getting done- but also not find my IDENTITY in what I accomplish.

The past couple of months, especially as we have entered into Advent, I have really been hearing God tell me- "It's okay to be interrupted. It is actually GOOD for you to be interrupted."

So I have really been leaning into that message, praying about it and REALLY working on being interrupted. Whether that means answering my phone when I really don't want to talk, initiating a conversation with someone I know will want to spend some time talking (even though I really need to go do a bunch of other things), pausing in my daily household duties when one of my kids wants to talk, bake together, show me a picture or just NEEDS me to look at them and feel seen. 
It's feels pretty vulnerable to share that this is something I need to work on and that God has asked me to focus on...but I find a lot of freedom in "exposing" the not so pretty parts of myself....because I know God loves every single part of me- and I hope that maybe one of you might not feel so alone in an area where you are struggling.
SO.
Long story short...I need to be INTERRUPTED.
HA!

And the way I have been practicing that is looking at my time as a GIFT and working on freely giving that gift!
I don't know about you- but I am DONE with all of the sales and the buy this! Swipe up!

Don't get me wrong. I love a good deal and I do LOVE to shop. BUT- there's a reason I get my shopping done early. I start to almost feel taken over by all the STUFF.
Especially when I feel like we all know...in the end- none of that matters.

With all that being said- I wanted to share a gift guide of sorts- with the focus being on TIME.

Like I said- I am a HUGE work in progress in this area- but I have really been trying to practice being a "happy giver" when it comes to my time.

Here's just a few ideas I have been doing or want to do- not just during the Advent/Christmas season...but all the time!

1)  Schedule a hot chocolate/hot tea/diet coke/coffee date with someone. It could be one of your kids, a friend, your husband- anyone in your life that you always say to yourself- "I wish we had time to talk/get together!" Make the time and do it. 
Also- since a lot of my friends and my family do not live in the same town as me- I have thought about doing a Facetime date. A virtual coffee date- wouldn't that be fun?!

2) Bake with your kiddos when they ask. UGH. This one is hard for me. BUT- I have been saying "yes" to this request and it has been SO good. I have found what works best for me- is to have a couple cake mixes, brownie mixes and cookie mixes on hand. It is much more manageable for all of us when we have to add just a few ingredients to a mix. I have also found that my kids aren’t necessarily concerned with the "act" of baking but more with me saying "yes" to their request and the end product of having made a treat :) 
3) I am going to leave this as vague as possible since this is a public blog and anyone can read it.....make TIME for your spouse (if this applies to you :)
Take the time to know his love language and love him in that way. 
That might mean scheduling a date, doing an at home dinner after the kids go to bed, or making time for other things ;) I am leaving that there :)

4) Talk to the person in line by you at Walmart, the post office or the grocery store. You are waiting...why not take the time to talk with someone instead of looking at your phone?!

5) STOP and HUG one of your people. Look them in the eyes and tell them you LOVE them, you are THANKFUL for them and ask them if they need to talk about anything?

A just a few ideas that apply specifically to Christmas-
1) Gather up some Christmas books, put a blanket in front of the Christmas tree and have a book reading date with one or all of your kiddos!
2) Invite a friend over for a festive coffee/tea and an hour to chat.
3) Schedule a night to make some hot chocolate at home and go for a Christmas lights drive!
4) Re-evaluate all the festive parties/activities/events you have planned and cancel one of them. Use that open afternoon/evening and ask your family what they would like to do with that open block of time!

Obviously there are sooooo many ideas out there. I guarantee you can find lists upon lists on Pinterest :) These are just a few that have been on my mind.

I would love it if you would share an idea of how you like to gift your time in the comments! 
The more ideas the better!!

Here's to being INTERRUPTED.
Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!

 
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