Archive for 2017

Little Holiday Style

December 22, 2017

I’ve partnered with Cath Kidston for this post and can’t wait to show you their beautiful clothes!

It’s almost Christmas! I can’t even believe it. This month (and let’s be real, this whole year) flew by in a flash. I’m still pinching myself that these two little redheaded blue-eyed girls are mine. Belle’s first Christmas, and our first Christmas as a family of five is going to be one that I will remember forever. I’ve mentally been planning outfits for the girls for Christmas and seeing them both dress up in their adorable dresses just takes my breath away.

Right now is the perfect time to invest in a few new holiday outfits for your little ones! Between Christmas parties, class parties, and New Years celebrations, these two ladies are going to have so many opportunities to make all my holiday style dreams come true! These beautiful blue dresses are from Cath Kidston, a brand that celebrates the joy in the details.

And these details are totally worth celebrating. I love blue on my girls…it really makes their eyes pop!

Sadie is in love with her Cath Kidston dress…especially because it has “a pretty bow!!!” on it. She is wearing the Speckled Bows Girls Velvet Collar Dress and Belle is wearing the Baby Velvet Collar Dress. I just love this age and stage so much. Sadie prefers to wear dresses every day and typically asks for one as soon as she wakes up in the morning. The details on this dress were not lost on her and she LOVED coordinating with her sister. Please tell me they will always like coordinating their outfits together because it is probably one of my favorite things about having girls!

Cath Kidston has become synonymous with classic British design, and nostalgic style. The details are simply beautiful.

They offer a full range of lifestyle products including women and children’s fashion and accessories, in addition to homeware, in unique and playful prints that will brighten up your day.

Cath Kidston has the perfect picks to keep my kids looking cute and stylish for the holidays. I love the modern, yet vintage feel to their clothing and I know that these dresses are going to be pieces we cherish.

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Our 2017 Christmas Card

December 20, 2017

Our Christmas cards have all been sent out so I can finally share them with all of you! Our first Christmas as a family of FIVE. I still can't believe it. 

I LOVE getting Christmas cards in the mail every year. And my kids love it too! We hold on to all of them and go through them all daily. It's such a fun tradition and I love seeing how everyone's families have grown and changed over the year. 

I tried to keep things pretty simple this year with our card....but I'm a sucker for anything with glitter on it. So when I saw this Tiny Prints for Shutterfly card I couldn't resist. 

I love how they turned out! The little details are perfect. 

But the back of our card is my very favorite. This photo of the three kids all looking at the camera is nothing short of a Christmas miracle!

You can view all of the holiday cards by Shutterfly here. I'm always impressed with the quality of the cards and how easy it is to order them. They also addressed all of my cards for me (yes!!!) so sending them was a breeze. 

I wish I could send all of you a Christmas card! Thank you so much for following along with me this year!

I partnered with Shutterfly for this post but all opinions are my own. 

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DIY Handprint Plate

December 18, 2017

I started a new tradition this year and I LOVE it. A fun and sweet handprint plate. I plan to make one every Christmas so we can document how fast those little hands grow. I was surprised at how easy this was to make. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Here's what you'll need: 
White ceramic plate (I got my from the dollar store). You do not need a fancy plate for this!
Enamel Acrylic Paint (this is the exact paint I used) 
Paint Marker that works on glass (this is the exact one I used)

First, use a paint brush to put the paint on your child's hand. Then have them press down firmly and quickly on the plate. The good thing is that if you mess up, you can just wipe the paint off while it's still wet and try again. 

TIP: If you are doing multiple handprints on the plate like I did, let each handprint dry before moving on to the next child. That way, they don't accidentally smudge the previous child's handprint. 

I ended up "stamping" Hudson's hand three times and both of the girl's two times. 

Let your paint dry.

Then, use your paint marker to write whatever you like on the plate! I wrote their names by each print and the year. Then Merry Christmas....but I debated for the longest time about writing "Cookies for Santa." I'll probably do that next year! 

Let everything dry overnight. 

Then, put your plate in the oven and set it to 300 degrees. DO NOT pre-heat your oven (you don't want your plate to crack from the heat...instead you want it to warm up gradually). Bake at 300 for 35 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool. That's it!

I LOVE how it turned out! And it was SO easy! I kept my design pretty simple so that I can add a new plate every year and they will go together. 

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What's in My Stocking

December 15, 2017

Does your spouse fill your Christmas stocking for you? Or do you end up doing your own? I'm in charge of the kid's stockings and my husband's stocking....and he is supposed to fill mine. Except that time last year when he forgot. And I guarantee he will NEVER make that mistake again. This year he's totally taking matters in to his own hands...but that doesn't mean he doesn't need a little help from me!

I like to keep stockings simple, practical, fun, and with a little surprise at the bottom! I would LOVE something sparkly in my stocking....this year I asked for an initial necklace with an "S" for Sadie....I already have the "A" for Annabelle pictured here and I'm already obsessed. Another cute stocking stuffer idea (from my husband!) was to include one of my favorite headbands from Willow Crowns and a cute new mug (which I haven't seen yet, hence the "H" placeholder for this photo!). I also strongly suggested a roller ball fragrance! 

This year in my stocking I'm also getting Rembrandt 1 Week Whitening Kit, a Rembrandt 3 Day Whitening Boost Kit, and some Plackers Dental Flossers. I mentioned in this post that the kids are thrilled to get a new toothbrush and toothpaste in their stockings, so it's fun for them to see mom and dad get those types of things too!

I'm especially excited about the Rembrandt 1 Week Whitening Kit. Since becoming a mom I've noticed my teeth aren't as white as they used to be. This kit is perfect for me because it just takes 1 week to see full results! It's the same enamel-safe ingredients that dentists use, so I feel good about using it. I put the strips on my teeth twice a day...usually when I'm up early before everyone else and then again while I get ready for bed. Super easy. 

I haven't tried the 3 Day Whitening Boost Kit yet but can't wait to see those results! Just three days! Yes please. I'm saving them for the next time we have family photos and my teeth need a little boost. You can find the Rembrandt 1 Week Kit and 3 Day Boost Kit at Walmart. 

I'm also tossing in these Plackers Flossers for kids into Hudson and Sadie's stockings. They make flossing so much easier...and fun. 

My kids already use these flossers and think they are fun to play with. 

See what I mean? I'll take it if it means they don't mind flossing their teeth!

I'm enjoying my whiter teeth...and can't wait to see what else is in my stocking! Only 10 more days until Christmas!!! Do you put together your own stocking? Or does your spouse? Send your ideas my way because I'm struggling with ideas for my husband!

*This post is sponsored by Rembrandt and Plackers. 

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25 Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids

December 6, 2017

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This post is sponsored by Portable North Pole (PNP).

Christmas with little kids is simply the best. And now that we have three little ones it’s even more special! This is our first Christmas as a family of five so I want to savor every moment! This year I put together a simple advent calendar for the kids and I love how it turned out! It’s filled with fun and easy activities we can do together as a family and the kids are SO EXCITED.

One activity was a personalized video from Santa! We created a video thanks to Portable North Pole. More details on that below!

I found these cute little bags last year after Christmas for 75% off and knew right away they would be perfect for an advent calendar. I simply hung some twine under our window and used a clothespin to clip each bag. I picked up some simple gift tags and numbered them all….I told you it was easy!

Both kids RUN to it each morning and are so excited to see what’s inside that day’s bag.

So I thought I would share with you some of our easy advent ideas in case you want to make one for your kids! We do 1-25 as a count-down to Christmas, but you can start this any time! Some days there is just a little treat for each kid inside (like a small piece of chocolate) and some days there is an activity.

- Watch a personalized video from Santa (more details on how I made this below)
- Watch Home Alone and pop popcorn
- Write a letter to Santa
- Go on a jingle bell hunt (just hide little jingle bells around your house and have the kids find them. They think this is SO cool.)

- New ornament (I get my kids a new Christmas ornament each year to put on the tree in their room. They LOVE this)
- Make paper snowflakes

- Make candy cane hot chocolate
- Take a bath with glow sticks
- Make s’mores in the fireplace (my kids get a big kick out of this one!)
- Build a snowman
- Learn a new Christmas song

- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Pick out a present for the dog
- Have a birthday party for Jesus
- Make Christmas cookies

- Get hot chocolate and drive around at look at Christmas lights
- Watch The Polar Express in our pjs
- Have a pajama day and build a fort in the living room
- Pick out an Angel Tree gift for a child in need
- Treasure hunt for chocolate (I hide chocolate kisses around the house and they hunt for them)
- Donate towels and food to the animal shelter and visit the animals
- Make a mason jar snow globe
- Make reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer
- Decorate Christmas ornaments for the tree and to give as gifts

- Read the Christmas story

Pro tip: look at your calendar while planning your advent. Make sure you don’t put “make Christmas cookies” on a day when you know you’ll be busy. And, if you are like me, you’ll forget what day is which, so just try and remember to check it the night before. If you aren’t feeling up to the next day’s activity just switch them out!

This year we had a custom video message made for each child from Santa! My kids are a little scared to visit the real Santa, so this was perfect for them! Portable North Pole helps you create Christmas magic in the comfort of your own home!

Setting up the video was so fun and easy. It asked me my kid’s names, ages, and several questions about them. I also got to upload a photo of them, a picture of something they want for Christmas, a photo of our house, and more! The video was SO detailed! Hudson couldn’t believe it when Santa said his name and had his picture in his book. His reaction was priceless!

Hudson watched his video and Sadie’s video three times each. And he talked about it for the rest of the week! Santa even told Hudson to make sure he brushes his teeth every night (there are several options like that to choose from. Sadie’s video mentioned there was a new addition to our family and Santa also reminder her to “be nice to your sister” haha!).

You can also create a custom phone call from Santa! It’s such a fun activity to do throughout the month. I was seriously blown away with how detailed and creative each video and phone call was! There are several video options to choose from and each have a little story to them. I can see us keeping up this tradition for years to come.

Check out Portable North Pole to make your child a personalized video from Santa. I promise you it will be a HUGE hit! They also offer free videos (that are so cute!) and have been making magic for 10 years! The Portable North Pole also has an amazing Children's Hospital Program that helps to put smiles on the faces of children in need of extra cheer. PNP has partnered with leading hospitals around the world so that whenever you purchase a personalized call or a personalized video message from Santa, a portion of the sale is donated to the participating children's hospital closest to you. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Portable North Pole.

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Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids

December 5, 2017

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Do you know what you are stuffing your kid’s stockings with this year? I mean, do you know what Santa is stuffing your kid’s stockings with this year? I’ve partnered with Santa and American Dental Association for this post and I love working with the big man in red. Working with Santa to surprise the kids is one of my favorite parts of Christmas! It’s fun and magic and makes me feel like I’m reliving my childhood. And I absolutely love shopping around for fun things to put in my kid’s Christmas stockings!! We typically let the kids open their big Santa gift first, and then dive in to stockings…and it’s always so much fun.

I love to include a mix of fun and practical items in my kid’s stockings instead of just random junk they don’t need. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been told (by Santa of course) are going to end up in Hudson’s stocking this year:

- Movie
- Chocolate coins
- Water beads
- Squishy ball
- Socks
- Stickers
- Slippers
- Blind bags
- Big chocolate kiss
- Blocks
- Toothbrushes
- Toothpaste
- Bandages

And Sadie’s stocking:

- Markers
- Tights
- Stickers
- Christmas ornament
- Winter hat
- Bath Bombs
- Blind bag
- Small toys
- Bandages
- Big chocolate kiss
- Slippers
- Toothbrushes
- Toothpaste
- Chocolate coins
Both of my kids flip out whenever they get a blind bag…so I know they will be so excited to see these! Santa always knows the best ones to pick. And it’s funny, but my kids get just as excited over practical things like socks and slippers as they do the toys.

Hudson and Sadie especially love getting a new tooth brush and toothpaste. Isn’t that cute? I’d much rather fill their stockings with things that are useful!
I also include a little candy in their stockings, but not much. I stick to chocolate instead of harder candies because chocolate washes off of their teeth easier…and I want to make sure I take care of those sweet smiles! They really don’t even care about the candy really…they are too busy playing with all the other fun stuff!

During the holidays my kids are bombarded with sweet treats, so we like to practice moderation! Making sure my kids are healthy is a number one priority to me. And I especially want to make sure they take care of their teeth. We make sure they put those new toothbrushes to good use! We follow the American Dental Association guidelines by helping them brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Both kids visit the dentist regularly for a check-up and I’m so thankful they have healthy teeth!

Have you ever thought to include a toothbrush and toothpaste in your child’s stocking? Trust me, they will think it’s fun that Santa cares about their teeth too! You can learn more about the American Dental Association’s recommendations on their website.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Dental Association.

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