Saturday, December 8, 2018

Our 2018 Christmas Card with Tiny Prints

We're checking our mailbox daily.  Looking for the festive envelopes full of the smiling faces of our loved friends & family.  I seriously love Christmas card season!  I always look forward to putting together our card.  For the past 4 years, I have collaborated with Tiny Prints!  I am always so pleased with how they turn out, that I continue to go back to them year after year.  I also adorn my envelopes with the exact same washi tape every year.  I'm not a fan of change.  And I like what I like.  And I got a god thing going on with our Christmas Cards!

So this year, I was particularly loving the templates that allowed you to customize the foil!  We used the Brilliant Love template, and it was perfect!  I'm only kicking myself for not adding the year to it.  I typically like to do that so when we look back on old cards I know exactly what year it's from.  I like to display our old cards on our fridge during the holiday season.  Ooh & ahhing over how our little family has grown in just a handful of years.

I love how Tiny Prints allows you customize the back of your card, and you can add fun envelopes to your order.  And while I personally love hand addressing Christmas cards (regardless of the fact that my brother says I have weird handwriting...), I do appreciate being able to add our return address to the back of each envelope.  That little time saver is awesome!

Now off to check the mailbox with the boys again.  
Let's see how who is going to win the battle of getting to check the box first!

I received free product in exchange for this honest review.  
All thoughts, opinions, and love for this brand are my own!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Holiday Favorites

I'm just popping in for a quick hello and to share a few upcoming holiday favorites.  Each year I'm surprised at how quickly things seem to disappear off the shelves or sell out long before we're truly in the Christmas Season, so lesson learned.  Be on top of it!  If you see something you like, snag it!  
We're hosting Conor's family for Thanksgiving again this year, so I will be holding off on all decorating until after Turkey Day!  But... we did put the lights up on our house before any snow hits (they are staying turned off for now though).  And we may have busted out the Christmas jammies.  I'm holding onto their new sets for Thanksgiving night (our tradition), but last year's and all the hand me downs are in full rotation.  I used to be such a stickler for holding off, but I've realized that they bring so much joy to me and the boys, and the season is so short, so why not?!  I have also applied this thinking to Christmas music; Today's Christmas on Pandora is a top notch station (nd yes, I'm still on Pandora instead of Spotify because clearly I'm old.  I also still use PayPal instead of Venmo.  I don't like change.  Anyways, here are a few things that have caught my eye:

1 .  2  .  3  .  4  .  5  .  6

1.  I bought this sweater for Finn and am obsessed; he loves it too!  It also comes in red & navy blue. I wanted to get one for Liam as well, but unfortunately they don't go up to his size.

2.  We all the Construction Site books in this series.  This is the newest one, and I cannot wait to give it to the boys with their new Christmas jammies Thanksgiving night!

3.  I snagged these new jammies at Target.  I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the button up collar style, but I loved the holly print so so much!

4.  I am obsessed with these beanies!  I have one on my own Christmas list, and I still want to buy one for about everyone I know!  So many colors and styles to choose from!

5.  This is the most beautiful holiday red I have ever seen!  These hand towels are gorgeous, and I wanted one for all of our bathrooms.  Unfortunately they are only available in store now!  So if anyone can snag me 1-4 of these, that would be much appreciated!

6.  I love this sign so so much; I'm just unsure of exactly where I would put it.  But if I find a spot, it is definitely coming home with me!

Lastly, I wanted to remind you guys that if you are shopping small this season, you need to be making your purchases now.  Most shops have a cut off date for when they can guarantee Christmas delivery, and it is often that first week of December.  As small shops give out details about their black friday promotions, I will try to put a post together like in years past.  I love this time of year.  I love thinking of and giving to others.  I love supporting other families and small companies.  'Tis the season!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Kane Turns 1 (A "Blueberries for Sal" Inspired Party)

First birthdays are a huge milestone!  One in which I would want to celebrate with our family.  It's probably the one birthday that I miss living away from "home" the most.  I want grandparents to be there.  Aunts, uncles, cousins.  But since that is not our reality, we choose to celebrate with our closest friends here in Utah who feel like family.  The ones that were a big part of Kane's first year of life!

I wanted to keep things simple, just a backyard barbecue.  But I also love party planning and running with a theme.  Kane's most favorite favorite food is blueberries, so I took a little inspiration from one of our favorite books Blueberries for Sal and ran with it!  The cupcakes I purchased from our local grocery store (they are delicious!) and later added the blueberries and teddy grahams myself.  We filled berry baskets with blueberries and tossed them in some lemonade as well.  I had some blueberry beers on hand, which were surprisingly good (if you like beer, which I don't).  To add a few more bear elements, I cut our some PB&J sandwiches for those kiddos who wouldn't want a hamburger and had gummy bears on hand for a parting gift.  Just a few little touches that made the day feel a tad more special.   

Kane loved having all his favorite people around.  He spent the evening trying to keep up with all the big kids and getting his hands on every ball in sight.  Present opening was only slightly overwhelming, and that whole birthday song business slightly terrifying.  I love the progression of his expressions from fearful, to skeptical, to joyful.  He almost grabbed the flame before the song was over, and I was able to help him blow out his candle.  He took a few nibbles of the cupcake, but really just enjoyed squeezing it.

This first year has flown by fast; yet, I don't find myself mourning how quickly the time is going.  While I will always & forever love snuggling a newborn, it's incredible watching him grow and interact with us more.  He loves his big brothers and wants to constantly be with them, trying to do what they do.  We are getting these little glimpses of what life will be like raising three boys through their adolescence.  I can nearly see the days of no nap times & diapers.  There is so much fun to come, and I absolutely cannot wait to experience it with all these boys of mine!

Now that I've wrapped up the final of birthday of summer, 
I'm hoping to blog about a few fall things!

You know... before fall is over...

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Scavenger Hunt 6th Birthday Party

This was a fun theme to put together!  Since moving into the mountains, Liam has had his heart set on a scavenger hunt birthday party.  So even though the temps were in the 90s, and even though we had zero landscaping in our backyard at this point, I made a scavenger hunt party happen!  It was a super fun theme to play around with.  I always try to keep things simple, while still making them special for my boys.  Here is glimpse at some of the details.  

Each year I print out my favorite 12 instagram photos of just the birthday boy from that year via social print studio.  I love arranging them in the number for that year, and then tucking them away in an envelope for safe keeping.  We printed the scavenger hunt list right onto paper lunch bags.   You can find the link to that download here.  Trail mix seemed like the obvious choice for a party favor treat.  And mason jars are one of my favorite ways to package goodies, because they are reusable!  Tie something extra on top (this time stick pencils) to bring it all together.  We added brown paper to our kitchen table so the kiddos could color while they waited for and ate their food (pizzas!).  And the watermelon numbers are a tradition we have done every year for Liam's party (yay for summer birthdays)!

We did homemade pizzas for all the kiddos when they first arrived, filling their bellies before heading out into the heat for a scavenger hunt.  Some were more into it than others, but I loved seeing what little treasures they each discovered as Conor helped them check off their lists.  Then cake!  I wish I had taken a picture of it, because it was likely Liam's favorite favorite part!  He has been eyeing the cake catalog at our local grocery store for months.  Instead of making cupcakes like I typically do, Liam got to choose whatever cake he wanted.  Chocolate cake with a forest/trail scene complete with a four wheeler... Whatever makes you happy buddy!  Store bought cake that brings all the happiness in the world for the win!

This day and this party filled Liam will joy, which is all I ever want when planning a party for my boys.  Another huge success!  Now the party planning committee is onto Kane's big day which I am entirely unprepared for...

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Lake House

It's taken my over a month to get this post together.  The one of our trip up north to visit my parent's lake house.  And in that time, everything has changed.  I believe most of you follow me on Instagram, so you have seen that my mom was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Well for this trip, she was perfectly healthy.  She was our usual busy, overly helpful, never stops moving Nana.  And it was seriously the best summer vacation ever!!!

I'm so glad we had this time with her.  That we had two straight weeks of Nana (and Pops!) every day.  There were morning & evening snuggles.  Boat snuggles too.  Books were read, baths were given.  And that's just the daily routine stuff!  Our whole stay was epic.  From rope swings to maple bar runs, to the boys' favorite tradition: the water ballon fight.  I'm pretty sure we went through two costco packs of balloons in one sitting!

We celebrated the 4th of July.  Had s'mores by the bonfire.  Hiked.  Raspberry picked.  Napped.  Oh did we ever nap.  In the new bunk room where our whole family slept plus cousins.  Top bunk reigned supreme, and no one fell out.  Liam loved the individual lights and could often be found in his bunk cozied up with a book.  There was puzzles and dance parties.  Many many many party boat rides.  Sand box & treehouse time, complete with both of my boys falling through the trap door and the same time...  Garden snakes, bunnies, & deer.  Voles that were ruining Nana's garden and were disposed of.  Kayaking and paddle boarding.  Fireworks and lawn games.  And quite literally a different cocktail for every night.  Bird watching (baby swallows!).  A three lake tour of some of the finest lakes the PNW has to offer.  And one nearly 6 year old boy who was pumped about his new strong swimming skills, no lifejacket required.

I look back at this visit with such joy.  I'm so thankful for this time; such fond memories!  Now, a month later, my mom is recovering from extensive surgery.  It will be awhile before she has her energy back and is like her usual busy self.  It was incredibly hard to not be with her immediately upon the bad news, but somehow having just recently been with her helped soften the blow.  We had a lunch & shopping date just us!  And we also snuck in a cocktail hour that was just my parents, my brother, & I.  I rarely get that sort of time with them sans any kids.  So much quality time!  Her prognosis is good, so I look forward to many many many more trips to the lake house.  It's a place where everyone is their best self.  Always in vacation mode.  Livin' our best lives if you will!

Now, back to reality and the fact that summer is practically over considering Liam started school today.  Straight up crazy town.

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