Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: My Christmas Wishlist

As cliché as it sounds and to be completely honest, the older I get, the less "stuff" I want and the more I desire for my kids to have a wonderful holiday, for my family to be together and for everyone to be happy and healthy. Funny how getting older will do that to you. 

This year I have honestly had a really hard time telling people (namely my husband and grandmother) what I want for Christmas. There just hasn't been anything that I've just been dying to have! But alas, I've come up with a few things that would be nice to open on Christmas...and the majority is stuff that I actually need more so than things I want! ;) 




one || two || three

four || five || six 

What about you? What's on your Christmas list this year? 


Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Christmas Life Lately

Each year we try to pack in as much Christmas excitement and adventure as we can, and this year has been no exception. We still need to do our annual "Jammie Lights," which we've been doing since we first married, make reindeer food, and have a fun cookie decorating get-together with friends this weekend...but other than that, we have checked lots of boxes on our Christmas Bucket List and can't believe our celebrations start next week! 

Here's a bit of our Christmas Life Lately: 

+ Seeing Santa at Bass Pro Shop {it's free!} 



+ Cookies with Mrs. Claus at the Gaylord Texan 



+ Christmas jammies + hot chocolate + a Christmas movie 


+ ICE! at the Gaylord Texan 




+ Decorating our Christmas tree 


+ Writing and mailing our letters to Santa 

Parents: You can have your kids write their letter to Santa and get a reply by sending it to: 

Santa Claus
P.O. Box 1
Santa Claus, IN
47579 

It's free, but the organization does take donations, so I like to slip a dollar in each boy's letter. It's so sweet: they mail back a reply on cute North Pole paper and the boys just eat it up! 




+ Visiting my mom's store for her annual "Shop Small Saturday" event 


+ Making tea cakes -- Brandon's grandmother's passed-down recipe!


+ Welcoming our elf on Dec. 1, who Walker quickly named "Mo." 



+ Seeing "The Star" with Walker's preschool {Knox's first movie!}


+ Enjoying chilly nights at home in Christmas jammies by the glow of the Christmas tree 



+ Dallas Arboretum's "12 Days of Christmas" exhibit {Yes, shorts in December -- welcome to Texas!} 



+ Pallets + the fire turned on + Christmas movies + that Christmas tree glow 


+ Polar Express + Christmas jammies day at preschool 


What's on your Christmas bucket list?


Linking up with Jenn and Jessi 
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Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekending

Happy Monday, friends! Can you believe Christmas is exactly two weeks away?! I'm so excited. 


We actually had our first low-key weekend in a long time -- and the last one we'll have for a long time -- so it was nice to enjoy. Here's what we were up to: 

\\ FRIDAY: 

+ We met my friend Sarah and her two boys at Play Street Museum, which is always such fun for the little ones. {And for the mamas to get together to visit.} 





+ Brandon and I had a very low-key evening: leftovers for dinner, a glass of wine and a Christmas movie. 

\\ SATURDAY: 

+ It was such a chilly morning and the perfect "do-nothing" day. Brandon took Walker out to get donuts...



+ Knox decided to find one of my hats in the closet and walk around in it nonchalantly, which just cracked us up. We've officially reached the point in December where I kind of feel a little like, "Do Not Disturb," too. ;) 


+ Then the boys cuddled up with their crocheted blankets (handmade by my aunt!) and watched an episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse". I just love those sleepy eyes, that bed head and cozy mornings. 


+ And then we had a little dress-up session. ;) 



+ We kept on our theme of a low-key afternoon and made tea cakes; our second time this season and I'm definitely not complaining! 


+ Saturday night was a company Christmas party for Brandon, and since it was family-friendly, we all loaded up and went for a little while. It was a late{r} night for our boys, so it was a quick bath, bedtime routine, and then I got in bed and watched Season 2 of "The Crown." 

\\ SUNDAY: 

+ Another lazy day for us, including a delicious lunch at Champps, which included a delicious Bloody Mary from their Bloody Mary Bar and a truffle mushroom waygu burger {worth every single calorie}; the Cowboys game {go Cowboys!} and precious brothers in matching Christmas pajamas {from Carter's but I can't find them online}. 



I hope you all have a wonderful week! 


Linking up with Biana 
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Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! 

-ONE- 
I absolutely cannot believe that we'll be starting our Christmas celebrations in two weeks. I just feel like the month of December absolutely flies by -- especially with all the Christmas parties for work and school, luncheons and events -- and I'm just trying to savor these last couple of weeks with this precious glow. There is truly nothing better than being a parent at Christmas and seeing this season through their eyes. 



-TWO-
Emily, Owen and I finished our Christmas gift guide series on Wednesday, and we just want to thank y'all for participating, commenting, sharing and joining us during the full series! Y'all are so awesome. You can view all of my gift guides here: Kids; Ladies; Men; and Hostess/Stocking Stuffers



-THREE-
Knox is still in a sleep sack at night and absolutely refuses to sleep with a blanket. He completely screams bloody murder if he's not in his sleep sack! It's so interesting to me because Walker was sleeping with a super flat pillow and a blanket right after his first birthday (and was transitioned to a big-boy bed around 19 months or so -- Knox's age now) and Knox just has zero interest. I know kids are all different, but it's just so interesting to me how Walker seemed so big to me at this age and I still view Knox as my baby. I guess I now have someone to compare him to, which I obviously didn't have with Walker. 

Anyway, I've had a hard time finding sleep sacks big enough for him that didn't cost an arm and a leg, but I finally found these in 18-24 months for $13.99 each. I'm hoping they'll get us through at least two years old...or when Knox hopefully decides he's done with a sleep sack! ;) 



-FOUR-
I found this Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet here and y'all, if you do the whole Elf thing, you need this! Ha! Brandon is pretty much in charge of that dang Elf in our house because I normally fall asleep on the couch and right as I'm walking back to bed I say, "Crap! We have to move that stupid Elf!" And he will go stick it on the mantle, in one of their stockings, on the Christmas tree, etc. 

These ideas are pretty darn creative and I applaud those of you who do this creative stuff every night! 



-FIVE-
I am so excited about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming nuptials! He seems so down to earth, kind and funny and she's just beautiful, also down to earth and I'm just so happy for them! Another royal wedding and another royal baby in the same year...2018, you're going to be a fun one. 

Also: I can't wait to see her style evolve and see if the "Meghan Effect" is going to happen like the "Kate Effect" has. (And I'm guessing so because that gorgeous coat she wore for their engagement photocall is already sold out!) 



-SIX-
Emily told me about this precious sweater from Target (!!!) and I had to scoop it up. It was sold out online, but I was able to order it in-store and have them ship it to me for free. (Thanks, Target!) They're sold out everywhere in the camel color in my size, which I'm dying to have, but I got the cream color (which looks much more cream in person) and can't wait to wear it.  


Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea, Claire and Katie 
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: My Favorite Christmas Books for Kiddos

We love reading themed books each holiday to help get us in the spirit, and Christmas is no exception. Each year I buy more themed books for Christmas and love reading them to the boys before they go to bed each night -- and often at multiple times during the day. :) 

Here are our favorites: 


The Classics: 

For Bigger Little Ones:

For Babies and Toddlers:

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Ultimate Gift Guides Linkup: Gifts for the Hostesses + Stocking Stuffers

Now that it's December, it truly really is feeling a lot like Christmas! And Emily, Owen and I are thrilled to be sharing our last installment of our "Ultimate Gift Guides Linkup" -- gifts for the hostess and stocking stuffers. Want to join us today and share your gift ideas? All you have to do is link back to us in your post, add our image to your post {below} and include your link at the bottom of this post to join us. It's a great way to find new blogs and get some great gift ideas. :) 



We all attend so many holiday parties this time of the year, whether a work function, church get together or even a Christmas-themed play date at a friend's house -- and I always like to give a little something to the hostess when we show up. Of course, a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers will always do, but I like to try to give them something a little different. These ideas would also be great for teachers, too! 





one || two || three

four || five || six 

seven || eight || nine 

And now onto stocking stuffers! These are some of my most favorite things to buy (and give). In our house, we mix big gifts {think perfume, a nice watch} with little tchotchkes, so it makes it fun knowing that Christmas isn't over until the last stocking has been rifled through. 

I broke these stocking stuffer posts into three categories: for kids, ladies and men. Because it's just too fun not to! ;) 





one || two || three || four

five || six 

seven || eight || nine || ten 





one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven 

eight || nine || ten 






one || two || three || four || five 

six || seven || eight || nine 

ten 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And finally, I just wanted to give a sincere "thank you" to everyone who joined us for this linkup this year. It means the world to me that you not only stop by this little blog to read it, but that you'd take the time to link up with us. It was so fun seeing everyone's ideas, and I just loved connecting with each of you. I hope you all found some great gifts to give this year! 

*Also linking up with Jessi and Jenn 


Monday, December 4, 2017

Weekending

Happy Monday! 

First and foremost, today is Brandon's 32nd birthday! Even though he doesn't really read here, I wanted to give him a special shoutout for all he does for our family. Happy Birthday, Brandon! We love you! 



So since it was his birthday weekend, we did a lot of fun celebrating -- and are still celebrating today since he's taken the day off (!!!). Here's what we were up to: 

\\ FRIDAY: 

+ Our elf had his inaugural visit to our house, and Walker quickly named him "Mo." (I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff! We don't get too crazy with Mo's antics, nor do we have a giant welcome breakfast for him, but we did let "Mo" add some sprinkles to Walker's pancakes and put the boys' breakfast on plates "Mo" found in Target's Dollar Aisle and "he" brought them some cute pajamas. 




+ The boys and I ran some errands during the day, and finished our morning with a little trip to the fire station...where the fire fighters quickly remembered the boys and their names. Think my kids are a tad obsessed with fire trucks?! 





+ Friday night was date night! We got the boys fed and bathed, then dropped them off at my in-laws' house, where they got to have a little spend-the-night. They were so excited! Meanwhile, we checked into the Hilton Southlake, grabbed a drink at their ice bar, then walked over to Del Frisco's for our dinner reservations. 

Del Frisco's was absolutely delicious!  We both got a filet (Brandon did his Oscar style); he got the sweet potato frites and I got the parmesan-roasted broccolini, and we shared the truffle macaroni and cheese -- which was to die for. They brought Brandon out a delicious coconut cream pie tart; I don't even care for coconut and this was so yummy! 

The Hilton was amazing and upgraded us to a suite, which was such a perk! We had such great sleep in that quiet, cold, dark room -- truly there is nothing better to parents than the gift of sleep! We were able to have a mimosa Saturday morning while we were getting ready; another great perk! :) 







\\ SATURDAY: 

+ We went to pick up the boys at my in-laws' on Saturday morning and then headed to go see "The Star" with Walker's preschool, and it was absolutely adorable! Walker loved sitting next to his teacher in the theater and even yelled out to the entire theater, "Mama, it's time for the baby to come! How does Jesus get outta Mary's tummy?!" 


+ The rest of Saturday was spent lounging around the house, lots of football on TV, a walk around the neighborhood and lots of fun next to the glow of the Christmas tree. 


\\ SUNDAY: 

+ My parents gifted us with a membership to the Dallas Arboretum for Christmas, but gave it to us early so we could take part in their special "Twelve Days of Christmas" event. So, we loaded up and headed to Dallas on a nearly 80 degree December day. The arboretum was gorgeous, as usual, and of course the exhibit didn't disappoint! We can't wait to come back and play in the Children's Activity Garden! 





+ After the arboretum, we went to eat lunch at one of our favorite Dallas Mexican restaurants, Desperado's! I told them it was Brandon's birthday and they came out with a sombrero for him to wear while singing "Feliz Cumpleaños" and bearing sopaillias. Mmmm! 





+ Sunday evening was filled with me getting stuff done around the house: laundry, ironing, gifts wrapped and then I put out this sign my cousin made for me plus some treats for our USPS, UPS, FedEx and Amazon delivery folks:


We are headed today to a Christmas luncheon and doing all the birthday things for Brandon! Have a great week! 

Linking up with Biana