Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: The Ultimate Stocking Stuffer List

Happy Wednesday! Christmas is just a little over two weeks away {eeeek!}; have you purchased your stocking stuffers yet? If not, I've compiled a list of my favorite stocking stuffers for women, men and little ones below. Aren't these always some of the favorite little gifts?!


For Women:



one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven || eight 

nine || ten 

For Men: 


one || two || three || four || five 

six || seven || eight || nine 

ten 

For Little Ones: 


one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven 

eight || nine || ten  


*Linking up with Jenn and Jessi

**Some affiliate links used 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekending

Happy Monday! We had a fabulous weekend celebrating Brandon's 31st birthday and doing some fun Christmas-y things, so let's recap it, shall we? 

-FRIDAY-
My friend Stacy and I took our kids to see The Trains at NorthPark, an awesome train exhibit whose proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House. The boys had a great time, and we will definitely be adding this to our holiday bucket list moving forward. 

After the train exhibit, we let the kiddos look at the ducks at turtles -- and slide down the sculptures like banshees -- outside Neiman's before grabbing some lunch at Chick-fil-A. 



These two boys were being so cute when we got home, so I had to snap a picture of them. 


We caught up on the latest episode of "This Is Us" {sob} with a cup of homemade hot chocolate -- with a few splashes of peppermint schnapps because why not? -- and then called it an early night. 

 
-SATURDAY-
It was nasty weather outside, but we decided to bundle everyone up and run a few errands. When it dips into the 40's here in North Texas, we pull out the hats...and gloves, in Walker's case. He kept asking me, "Mommy, where's the snow?!" Ha!  


We picked up a little $9 Christmas tree for Walker's room at Walmart, and the look on his face when he saw it was completely priceless. I'm definitely framing this precious picture!  


We did our annual tea cake tradition using Brandon's late grandmother's recipe, and I'm pretty sure Walker ate more than half of the dough. Let's just say he had quite the sugar crash a bit later. ;) 



Saturday night was Brandon's second company Christmas party...of the week. I was so tired that I completely forgot to snap a picture of us before we left. Thankfully, my amazing aunt came over to watch the boys while we went to the party. 

-SUNDAY-
We celebrated Brandon's 31st birthday all day! We started with giving him breakfast in bed; his request: scrambled eggs, oatmeal, toast and coffee, and then followed with presents. It was so sweet hearing Walker's sweet voice singing "Happy Birthday" to his daddy. 



We went to church, then came home and I made Brandon's favorite homemade Sloppy Joe's for lunch, and then we all took naps, which was glorious. 


For dinner, I made Brandon's request: beef tenderloin, marinated green beans, crescent rolls and homemade banana pudding with delicious meringue on top. We lit the "31" candles and sang "Happy Birthday" once again. As we were eating, we went around the table sharing what we loved most about Brandon. Walker said, "I yuv that you play wif me." So sweet! 


Once the boys were in bed, we capped off the birthday boy's day with "Christmas Vacation" and a glass of wine. Every year I crack up at this movie and this year was no exception. "You serious, Clark?" 


Linking up with Biana

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday: First One for December

Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with the usual ladies {April, Amanda, Andrea, Amy and Katie} to share a bit of what's going on in our world this week. 


-ONE-
Did you catch my ultimate gift guide on Wednesday? There's a plethora of ideas for anyone and everyone, so go take a peek! That was a fun post to write...and yes, my list has grown exponentially since I authored it. ;) 


-TWO-
I also blogged this week about our family portraits {read that here}, and so I couldn't wait to share our 2016 Christmas card today! As usual, Tiny Prints did such a fabulous job -- and I couldn't pass up their awesome Black Friday deal: 40 percent off my entire order plus free shipping!  


And just for grins, here was last year's card: 


Oh my gosh, how he has grown!!! {Wahhhhh!} 

-THREE-
Watching the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" Tree Lighting this week made me so nostalgic for that city, and I began reminiscing about our trip to NYC on this exact day last year. I'd give anything to go back; it was such an awesome trip! Have any of y'all been at Christmastime? Isn't it gorgeous?! 


-FOUR-
On the topic of Christmas, my fellow Texans need this book! Like "The Sweet Smell of Christmas" that I blogged about recently, I had this book when I was a little girl and vividly remember family members reading it to me throughout the Christmas season. Walker loves hearing my read it in a deep Texas drawl; it's so cute!  


-FIVE-
Earlier this week, Brandon had his company Christmas dinner at Ruth's Chris in downtown Fort Worth. It was a little different for it to be on a weeknight -- and this mama was worn out getting home after 10 p.m. on a Tuesday! -- but it was so nice to have some one-on-one time with my better half, sip some wine and have a delicious surf and turf meal.

And speaking of Brandon, his birthday is Sunday, so we'll be spending this weekend celebrating him! He's requested homemade banana pudding and homemade tea cakes, and I think I'll be able to oblige. ;)  


Happy weekend, y'all! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday: 2016 Family Christmas Portraits

Happy December, y'all! One of my favorite things to do each year is take family portraits for our Christmas cards. Every year, my amazingly talented friend, Liz, takes our photos and every year, I leave more impressed than the last. 

Here are some of my favorites from this year's photo shoot: 











And while we're on the topic of Christmas cards, I thought I'd share this handy guide to pluralizing your last name on Christmas cards! Nothing gives the journalism major in me the skeeves more than seeing people put an apostrophe in their last names, e.g.: "The Whitacre's." Eeeeekkk! No! It's should be "The Whitacres." Ahhhh, much better. 


Linking up with Annie and Natalie today! 


*Liz isn't currently booking for photo shoots

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: The Ultimate Gift Guide List

Can y'all believe tomorrow is December? Thankfully, we only have two more Christmas gifts to purchase in our household {and let me tell you, that was not the case last year!}, but if you are still struggling with gift ideas, I thought I'd compile all of my favorite gift guides from years past {and this year!} into one post for y'all! I'll be back with a similar post -- but with stocking stuffers -- next week. :)

Here are some ideas for y'all: 

For Women:


one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven || eight || nine

ten = Tickets to something! {A play, ballet, musical, or concert!}

For Men: 


one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven || eight 

nine || ten || eleven || twelve 


For Teachers:

one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven

eight  

For Two-Year-Olds:


one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven || eight 

nine || ten || eleven  

For Toddlers:


one || two || three || four || five 

six || seven || eight || nine || ten 


Learning Activities for Toddlers:


one || two || three 

four || five || six

seven || eight || nine 

ten || eleven || twelve 

Books for Kiddos:


one || two || three

four || five || six 

seven || eight || nine || ten 


*Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

**Some affiliate links used 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Extra Long Weekending: Thanksgiving Recap

Whew, sorry for the ridiculously long radio silence! We had a busy, fun last week, so I thought I'd recap it all here and link up with Biana to do so. ;) 

Over the course of this last week, we:

+ Kicked off Brandon being home with us for five straight days with a little Mexican food lunch before all the turkey.


+ Took loads of pictures of this cutie {and his brother} by the Christmas tree. I do have super adorable subjects who make that job pretty easy. ;)


+ Celebrated this cutie's six-month birthday! I can't believe he's already half a year old. Time, slow down!


+ Had Knox's six-month appointment, which was completed by five separate shots {#NIGHTMARE} and while we were there, I had the pediatrician check Walker out since he'd been coughing so much, and we found out that he had an upper respiratory infection and an ear infection, which required breathing treatments and an antibiotic, respectively. This has been an interesting November with sickness around here, that's for sure! I'm just ready for everyone to be well.


+ Brandon surprised me with a one-hour massage, and it was absolutely, utterly heavenly! 

+ Got the go-ahead at Knox's appointment to start solid foods, which we did, with oatmeal -- which he hated. {And it was hilarious to see his shudders after each bite.} He's doing better now, but the poor guy was not a fan at the beginning. ANNNNND I'm so excited that my best friend Lindsey's mom got me the Béaba BabyCook and I'm thrilled to use it to make Knox's pureés! So much easier than steaming on the stove, pureéing in my food processor and then freezing like I did with Walker's pureés. Love it!



+ Brandon got our outdoor Christmas décor set up, and I love how festive it is this year!

+ Celebrated Thanksgiving at my in-law's house with them, Brandon's brothers and their wives and kiddos. It was a fun time spent with family and lots of food...and the Cowboys' win didn't hurt, either! 10-1!

Our family of four

My two sweet turkeys
Bright eyes celebrating his first Thanksgiving
The three oldest cousins -- they're all three months apart: Brayden, Ellie Kate and Walker
All the cousins in birth order (R-L): Brayden, Ellie Kate, Walker, Caroline and Noelle (twins) and Knox 


Brandon doing the honors...in his Cowboys jersey. Ha!
+ Thanksgiving night, I pulled out the boys' Christmas jammies. 'Tis the season for them...and loving chokeholds. ;)

 

+ We did a little Black Friday shopping -- online, because I just can't with the craziness of the stores -- and I am only two Christmas gifts away from being finished, and I am so beyond excited about that! 

+ My friend Liz took our Christmas card pictures, and here's a little sneak peek. I can't wait to share them with y'all! I took advantage of Tiny Prints' Black Friday special {40% off + free shipping}, which you can do even if you don't have your photo yet! I was so surprised to find this out; you just order like normal, select "Designer Review" and call them right after you order and have them move your order to "Pending." As soon as you have your photo, you just call them and they'll put it in your card for your and send your order off to processing! How cool is that?!


+ After our pictures, we were heading to eat dinner with Liz and her family, and in the shopping village was none other than the Big Man himself, so of course we had to stop and let the boys see him. The following conversation ensued between Santa and Walker: 

Walker: "Santa, I've been *very* good this year! I want a backhoe for Christmas!" 

Santa: "Well, that's great! What does your brother want for Christmas?"

Walker: "Rocks." 

...we're working on sharing and gentleness of spirit. ;)

Knox was absolutely thrilled to sit on Santa's lap. I was prepared for a full-on meltdown, but he was so happy! Love this easy-going second child of mine. :)

+ Brandon and I caught the boys' yucky coughs and nasty noses, so we went to our local Urgent Care yesterday morning and each got a steroid shot, an antibiotic and cough syrup, and hopefully we'll be on the mend soon. 

I hope y'all had wonderful Thanksgivings; I can't wait to read all about them! I'll be back Wednesday with a big gift guide for all the folks in your life...stop by then to check it out! :)