Cookies for Santa

On our list of many preparations before Santa comes down the chimney is always baking some sugar cookies and decorating them for Santa. When I was growing up, we made a big deal of this every year. I always remember being so excited to decorate cookies. Many wonderful memories were made along with many very creative Christmas cookies. Since this was one of my favorite traditions, I wanted to continue to do it with my boys. This was the first year Jake could really do anything. Liam is still young but enjoyed helping bake and then eat quite a few cookies… hey its Christmas; it’s ok to indulge. At least thats what I tell myself. I saw and tried this new Velvety Soft Sugar Cookie recipe. OMG is it good! Delicious.

The boys always love helping me cook anything so the baking part was pretty fun as well.IMG_9324IMG_9336IMG_9348

 

Then its the cookie cutter time which Liam enjoyed throwing them on the floor but Jake really liked cutting the cookies out. IMG_9401IMG_9402And finally the decorating…IMG_9413IMG_9419IMG_9420

 

We only had the patience to decorate maybe a third of the cookies but thats is ok . They are delicious just plain too. Here are Santa’s cookie plate cookies as well as some other awesome cookies.IMG_9424IMG_9425IMG_9426IMG_9427It is an awesome activity for little guys even if it’s not Christmas. This Dump Truck and this Bulldozer cookie cutters could make for a fun cold and snowy January afternoon I am thinking.  And I definitely recommend trying this sugar cookie recipe. I am eating one right now! haha.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all around. Until next week, XOXO.

Hot Cocoa and Family Jammies

My best friend threw a Christmas Pajama themed Friendsmas party and I was sooo excited to get all my boys matching Christmas jammies. There were tons of cute family pajamas everywhere but I really love the classic buffalo plaid look so I got us these. They turned out so cute all together. We even got Emma a little doggy bandana… sorry Tiny cat but I didn’t see any matching cat shirts. IMG_9171IMG_9176IMG_9182IMG_9186I was a little sad after these festive pictures turned out so well that I already made and sent out Christmas cards. I will just have to remember this when doing Christmas cards next year.

I had made some snowflake marshmallows for some winter hot cocoa too. It seemed like a perfect thing to sit in front of the fireplace and sip hot cocoa in pajamas. The boys loved it. It was just a small thing to do that seemed so fun and special to them. I used this Martha Stewart recipe I found and they turned out really cute. While the marshmallows where sitting, I sprinkled some christmas sprinkles on some of them to make a little extra fun.IMG_9213IMG_9201IMG_9205

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IMG_9313It was very fitting that we had a hot cocoa day since this past Wednesday was national hot chocolate day. We just had so much fun. Today we are working on making some cookies for Santa and planning a fun week before Christmas full of Christmas activities. Cheers some hot cocoa and snuggle someone you love while relaxing and remembering the Spirit of Christmas this coming week.

Now where is my snow??!

Until next week, XOXO!

Winterlights at Newfields

This past weekend we visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art or what is now called Newfields (a little has changed since I last lived in Indy). They are showing a pretty awesome exhibit called Winterlights which we loved! Some very amazing decorations hard to capture in photographs. Everyone loved the over 1.2 million lights that made up the exhibit.  If you are in the Indy area, I totally recommend checking it out but make sure to buy tickets ahead of time online. Especially on weekends as they have been selling out. I have read that Santa is there on Tuesday evenings for the little ones or us forever kids as well as free cocoa and cider for kids. 20171203_20024720171203_19482720171203_19323920171203_19310520171203_19181120171203_191856Not only were the lights amazing that night, but it was a beautiful full moon too.20171203_195433^No not Christmas lights, but the moon!^20171203_19245420171203_192858The best of the family shots we could get…20171203_19394220171203_19385020171203_19381220171203_19381820171203_193751A couple selfie shots because why not.

They had this crazy cool giant tree made out of recycled plastic toys such as kiddie pools, sleds, etc. I personally thought that was so awesome since I have worked with repurposing used materials into artwork.

Throughout the lovely stroll through the lighted garden, are hot chocolate stations and girl scouts with smores at the end. Jake somehow heard about smores and demanded smores the whole time. He did not take a nap earlier that day and was Mr. Super Grump at Winterlights… you just can’t win them all. He did really enjoy it overall though.

Yummy!20171203_201349-220171203_201349I think these floating trees with the dangly snowflakes were my most favorite. How cool are those??!! Total Christmas Tree goals right there for me. Love it! Winterlights is such an amazing exhibit and lights display incase you haven’t realized how much I enjoyed it by now. I know I was way more excited to go then the boys… hopefully it’s an yearly event!

I have just been in heaven with all the fun festive Christmas events going on. Hoping to check off a Santa visit here soon and some Zoo lights too. Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season too. Until next week, XOXO.

*Meanwhile I am the one person praying for snow 😉 *

Thanksgiving…Thankful and Blessed

This Thanksgiving I feel so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends in my life. I am thankful to be close to most of them now and in a wonderful area to raise my boys. It has been a year of change (although isn’t every year?) and I will be missing my Grandfather this Holiday season, but I am thankful he is no longer in pain and depressed but up in heaven. I am blessed everyday with my wonderful boys and hubby. Sometimes I wonder when I am going to wake up from the dream because I certainly do not deserve them. I am thankful to be able to host a big family Thanksgiving this year. I love to host parties and I am just beyond excited. I have the decorations set, menu planned and boys outfits picked out 😉 … always important to me. I hope everyone is as excited as me to get all together. Family is everything.

I did a little mini trial of my place settings to make sure my chalkboard placemat craft looked as cute as the idea in my mind. I can’t wait to see it all together now. I thought I’d share some of the pics and a few other Thanksgiving ideas that I love. (I did forget to put silverware in my mini trial but you guys get the idea)IMG_8948I used these placemats I found on amazon and these chalkboard markers also from amazon to design the placemat boarder. IMG_8950IMG_8953IMG_8957Simple, easy and cute!

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving ideas I have seen that I maybe planning on doing as well.

This Thankful Tree decoration.5213117410_789aba8b48_o

This incredible looking appetizer tray.1448293915-cdc346866f73dbc781c27cf0933cabae

and this boy’s Thanksgiving tee.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and a chance to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. Until next week, XOXO.

Halloween Time!

20171017_165739-2Down the street from our house are the most adorable wooden Pumpkin decorations on the fence. I love it! What an awesome Halloween decorating display. Everyday that I had driven past them this month I had been thinking how cute it would be to walk down and take some festive Halloween pics. They even have a cute black cat right in the middle. (I did not get a picture of the whole set up unfortunately.) So of course, one very nice afternoon we walked down to take some pictures in our matching Halloween shirts. It was the perfect back drop. 20171017_165616-220171017_165617-2

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It is so hard to get them to cooperate for pictures sometimes but I do love these fun crazy pictures. It’s pretty much the most accurate depiction of my life. haha

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As many of my readers already know, I love Halloween! I don’t think I will ever outgrow the excitement of getting to dress up as a character I enjoy. We did Game of Thrones last year but we didn’t get much of a chance to show off our costumes so this year we decided to do it again (and get daddy to go along too)… and hopefully more people will be as excited as I am!

^such adorable little dragons 🙂 ^
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I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe time Treat-or-Treating or whatever Halloween evening activities you have planned. I am currently enjoying a bit of Stranger Things binging while writing this post 🙂 . Until next week, XOXO.

Happy Fourth Of July 2017

IMG_8605IMG_8607IMG_8608IMG_8617IMG_8620IMG_8621Anndd there goes the hat…IMG_8623IMG_8625There it goes again…IMG_8626IMG_8627^Caught him standing by himself!^IMG_8629IMG_8630IMG_8631Since I have been enjoying photography, I have liked to have little mini holiday photo shoots. I staged this little 4th of July mini shoot with the boys on the front porch. I realized that I didn’t get Jake a patriot t-shirt for the 4th this year when I was changing their clothes right before the pictures. I could have sworn I did too! But I figured what is more American than Cubs baseball anyway. So perfect. I had found some cute little decorations at Target and thought it would be fitting to have the little rocking chair on the front porch. This holiday photo shoot was a bit challenging with wiggly and moving Liam but I think I got some cute pictures.

Since we are finally in a nice schedule and sleeping all night regularly now, I have challenged myself to learn something new. I have decided to try my hand at editing some Go Pro videos. I have been interested in learning how to work with videos and recording some fun video memories with my family. So if anyone has and advice or suggestions on what software to use or which works best or some books or tutorials that are informative, feel free to leave any comments for me.

Hope you all get to watch some fireworks and celebrate our country’s Independence this weekend. Until next week, XOXO.

Father’s Day Painting

For Father’s Day we painted a cute little beer crate. I know painting can be super messy but with these Toddler Finger Paints, clean up is a breeze. Liam is still a bit small to enjoy the paints or use them without trying to eat the paint. Thankfully it is nontoxic. Jake really gets into the painting and all the different colors. He was so proud he painted all the screws in the beer crate for dad. IMG_8567IMG_8569IMG_8571

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After Liam failed at painting, he got put in charge of coloring the card the boys picked out. He also tried to eat the crayons too. IMG_8575IMG_8576IMG_8556IMG_8554

We got some balloons and Jake was sooooo excited about them. He even asked me to take his picture with the balloons. I knew he would be too excited about them to keep it a secret. 20170616_113218The Father’s Day pool party I planned got rained out but everything the boys and I made for dad was a big hit.20170618_153138Delicious mini cuban appetizers. 20170618_19462620170618_161543^It was starting to storm and Jake has been so scared of thunder lately. This ended up the best daddy and boys picture we could get.^20170618_185059

It was so much fun celebrating such a great daddy. Until next week, XOXO!

Happy Father’s Day

Since we could not make the trip back to my parent’s house for Father’s Day, I wanted to dedicate a special post to my own dad. He has always been there for me and is a great dad. I hope I can be there for him when he needs me as much as he has always been for me. Good dads always do so much for their families and work hard for them. He always has for us all. He is such a kind and joyful person and has set a great example for us all. And not to forget many words of wisdom he has imparted on me throughout the years… “To much is better than not enough.” (I def live by that one almost daily. haha) I love you so much daddy!

My boys tried their best to hold still and wish their Grandpappy a Happy Father’s Day. (Holding still is not one of their strong suits.)IMG_8581IMG_8595IMG_8589

WE LOVE GRANDPAPPY!!

I hope you know how much we really do love you! Happy Father’s Day daddy!

Until next week, XOXO

Mother’s Day Craft Idea

Last week we had a couple little craft days. I let the boys get super messy with some finger painting. Since they love getting dirty outside, I thought they would love being covered in paint too. And of course they did! I found the clay pots and thought it would be cool to have the boys paint them for their Grandmas this Mother’s Day. I wanted to include some flowers but I did not think they would ship well. I really love having the boys create gifts for all those special people in their lives. I am a big fan of homemade gifts. I think it makes everything so much more special even if its not picture perfect and it is so much fun to do together too. Here are a few snaps from the painting day. I had taken more (some cute ones when Liam was putting the paint bowl on his head) but realized halfway through I had forgotten to put a memory card in! But I still got a few pics of the painting.

Just a few plain unpainted clay pots. IMG_8377IMG_8378

Then it was time to do some painting. It was so exciting to see Jake concentrating so hard on his painting. He was working quite hard on making his pots pretty. IMG_8380IMG_8381IMG_8382

Liam needed a bit more help to keep the paint out of his mouth.IMG_8385IMG_8386IMG_8387IMG_8388

After the initial finger paintings had dried, I went back over the kid scribbles and added a little bit of painting details to make more recognizable pictures.IMG_8389IMG_8392IMG_8393IMG_8395

I thought the finished product was pretty cool. I hope all you mothers out there get to enjoy a nice Mother’s Day weekend with your families. Personally I am hoping Liam finally starts sleeping all night again regularly for me. I think we are stuck in a bad habit and I haven’t done a good enough job sleep training him. #momfail right?! Until next week, XOXO.

St. Patricks Day

This weekend we were celebrating St. Patricks Day with the boys in downtown Tampa. Nice weather and a green river made for a very nice afternoon walk. On Friday I got the boys some St. Patrick’s Day stickers which was alot of fun. They just love stickers. The hubby is not a sticker fan.

Then we had to complete the fun by putting all the stickers on little brother. Oh these boys!
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Off to Downtown… Cheers from us…2017-03-18 13.37.372017-03-18 13.39.512017-03-18 13.49.492017-03-18 13.49.532017-03-18 13.50.152017-03-18 13.50.572017-03-18 13.54.262017-03-18 13.57.122017-03-18 13.57.562017-03-18 14.03.462017-03-18 14.04.102017-03-18 14.04.31

“Jake come take a nice picture with me.”

Fine I’ll just take one by myself.2017-03-18 14.06.532017-03-18 14.09.42^At least hubby wanted to take a cute picture with me.^

We found this bench with a xylophone built in it. How cool is that?2017-03-18 14.32.142017-03-18 14.32.44

Hope everyone had a fun and green St. Patrick’s weekend!

Until next week, XOXO.