Five On Friday: Christmas Is Almost Here!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

How in the world is Christmas almost here? I seriously feel like I might have been carving a pumpkin yesterday. I am not convinced I've listened to nearly enough Michael Buble Christmas or stared at my tree ornaments long enough. This season truly passes in a blink!

One tradition I've done the past few years is a Christmas Eve donut picnic breakfast at the foot of the tree on a blanket with the girls. I'm glad Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year so Daddy can join us!

Image result for donut quote

Speaking of traditions, we loved our trip yesterday with friends to see the huge gingerbread house at the Ritz and then visit the singing bears in Founders Hall. We have done this since Camille was just a small baby, seven months old!

See this red dress? My mom made it for my sister Laura! Seeing Camille wear it yesterday was so very special and heartwarming! And it is "twirly" so it earned her wholehearted approval.

My shopping is done, and I just have a little more wrapping. I've even jotted down on my calendar what gifts the girls have wrapped under the tree and which ones might be coming down the chimney from a certain jolly ol' fellow. Of course I ran out of tulle ribbon (FOR SHAME) so I'm feeling a little grinchy about that and will likely end up at a craft store today.

Later this evening I hope we can drive around and admire some Christmas lights near our home!

Last but certainly not least, we finally got our pictures taken with Santa! YAY!


That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!


10 Christmas Activities With Kids (Activities and Ideas!)

Christmas is amazing and seeing it through kids eyes is pretty darn awesome ... mainly because you can do all of the cheesy things without feeling like you're too old for it!

We made a gingerbread house the other day for example, only the second time in my life I've done that! Of course it was ALL FOR THE KIDS

(move over girls you're messing up my perfect icing application)

Here are some other ideas to enjoy this holiday season!

1) Vintage printable coloring pages! Free - just click here, and extra points if you print them off on your office printer and use company paper.

2) Portable North Pole.  FREE personalized message from Santa to your children, niece, nephew, whoever! HERE and worth the few minutes to create. We've shown this to the girls every single Christmas and it's magical.

3) Call Santa and leave a voicemail! Especially works if the kids are screaming in the car and you can tell them that you're going to let Santa listen in. //so I've heard// ;-)  (319)527-2680

4) Make a Christmas sampler platter for your kids of all of the holiday staples -- fruitcake, ribbon candy, egg nog, hot cocoa with marshmallows and a candy cane!

5) Make a handprint Christmas wreath! Idea and instructions HERE from My Name Is Snickerdoodle.

21 DIY Holiday Ideas like this beautiful HANDmade Wreath

6) Drive around in jammies and look at the pretty Christmas lights! We have a gorgeous home around the corner from us and they go ALL out, including Santa chatting with kids out front!

7) Make Christmas-themed slime. Recipe HERE

8) Choose a name from the Angel tree and talk about why Christmas is about giving and thinking about others. If this isn't an option, have each child pick out a few toys to donate and drop them off at your charity of choice. Jackets, gloves, and hats are also appreciated donations this chilly time of year. 

9) Buy a can of fake snow and paint your windows when the kids are sleeping. 

10) Bake cookies for neighbors and let the kids attach some art to the tin!

Would love to hear your ideas as well. Five more days!


PRIME That $&*#

I hope you're not offended at the post title but I just have to laugh every time I read it. I thought about deleting it just to stay a little more tasteful but then I looked at it and giggled yet again.

If you can't get a little silly over the holidays, when can ya?!

So today is for all of you, like me, who are still struggling to wrap up your holiday shopping and you're hearing the TICK TOCK TICK TOCK of that darn Christmas countdown clock.

So, passing along some ideas to you guys about some items you can quickly Amazon Prime in to save you from the last-minute panic.

2018 Daily/Weekly Planner 
On Amazon HERE
This is the exact brand of planner I love, and their cover designs keep getting prettier and prettier! I know there are planners out there that are WAY more expensive and probably more detailed as well, but I love about this one that it's simple and straightforward. No stickers, no goals/wishes/dreams categories, just what you're doing and when you need to do it.

Pros for me: Great weekly at-a-glance setup, full calendar pages each month that I use for tracking LipSense team notes, sturdy thick pages, and won't break the bank.

Essential Oil Diffuser 
On Amazon HERE
If you're still looking for a main gift for someone, I really do love our essential oil diffuser. We have this exact one, and I got one for my mother-in-law as well this year. It's sleek looking and has a built-in timer or you can just run it until the water runs out. We keep it in our den and my favorite oil to sprinkle 5-6 drops of in the water is Peppermint. Makes your entire room smell so fresh!

Mom's One Line A Day Journal 
On Amazon HERE
I've written about my journal like this before and I'm asking this year for the mama version. My sister gave me one years ago and I went in and out of being good about using it regularly, but I'm vowing to be better this time around because the next five years will hold so many changes for us! You are prompted each day to just write down one line. Way easier than full journaling. 

Cigar Minder 
On Amazon HERE
My dad (bleh) smokes cigars and while it's not my thing, he sure enjoys it. Well, lookie lookie what I found that you can have to your home in 2 days! Clips right on to your golf cart, and I'm sure my dad will find a place for it on the lawnmower, too. 

Maybe your father, father-in-law, or significant other enjoys a nice golfing stogie, or hey, maybe you like to light one up on the 3rd hole, I won't judge too hard! Less than $10 and a great little stocking stuffer. 

Nighthawk LED Golf Balls
On Amazon HERE
Speaking of guys and golf, we spent a weekend with some friends recently and one of the guys had these LED golf balls. I can just imagine Ian, my dad and brother-in law going out at night to practice some putting. We have THIS little faux putting green. The combo of the two would be a fun and creative gift!
4 Nighthawk Glow In Dark LED Light Up Golf Balls Official Size Weight Constant On

Play-Doh Ice Cream Set
On Amazon HERE
Camille received this for her third birthday and both she and Charlotte love playing with it! I know Play-Doh can be a pain, but I think it's worth it. A great little way of flexing that creative muscle! Plus this thing is like twelve bucks and can be at your place before Christmas. 

Bath Bomb Set
On Amazon HERE
Lastly, maybe a little something for you? We all need to relax and my favorite way to do that is in a nice bath with a bath bomb! I love how chic this set looks and ya know, Prime eligible. 

Alright, that's what I have for you this morning, guys! Happy last-minute shopping and think of how great you'll feel when you can say your shopping is DONE!

Direct links for your convenience are affiliate links. Thanks y'all and happy holidays!


Rosemary Sugar Cookies (Recipe Rewind)

Happy Monday all, and happy last week before Christmas! I absolutely can't believe it's around the corner. Truth be told, I still have a few items to be Primed in, but I did spend a good amount of the weekend getting gifts sorted and organized -- and of course, wrapped and under the tree!

Today I plan to make some Christmas cookies and they are of the EASY VARIETY. In fact, you may remember the recipe from a few years ago! It's definitely worth re-sharing especially for any of you who still have rosemary growing in your yard like we do.

So, Rosemary Sugar Cookies!

Step 1: (I told you this is easy)
Use a break-apart sugar cookie or sugar cookie dough as the base. Preheat the oven to the baking instructions on the package of sugar cookies.

Step 2: 
Roll each cookie into a softened ball. Slightly flatten. Dip the top of each cookie in sugar, and then top it with freshly minced rosemary.

Step 3: 
About 2/3 of the way through the suggested cooking time on the back of the package, open the oven door to add more rosemary to each cookie.

YUP, that's it, and they are so festive and yummy!

So happy cookie baking, and remember that even great cookies don't have to be completely homemade :)


Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Last night was our December get-together for Bunco and we decided to do a "Favorite Things" swap. I actually attended one last year that was SO much fun (recap here) but for this group we did 3 $15-20 gifts instead of 5 $5 gifts. Even though we spent more, we all wound up with some really nice presents! I received a Nest holiday votive and Kiehl's mint lip balm, a Bath and Body Works 3-wick candle and chamomile epsom salts for a truly relaxing bath, and a cookbook and non-slip headband! All of these things are some of my girlfriend's favorite things, and it was fun to go around the room and explain why we loved the gifts we brought.

If you're unfamiliar with the Nest Holiday candle, it's DIVINE. I have cheap candles I love and expensive candles that are so-so ... but I'm telling you that this is a (relatively) expensive candle that is amazing! Highly scented and just deliciousness. The large size is a nice "treat yourself" splurge, but even the votive at $16 puts off such a great scent and will fill the room.

Did you know there is a special line where you can call Santa? You will obviously reach his voicemail these days as he is extremely busy in the workshop. But, my friend Mary Ellen told me all about it, and she often calls to report good (or naughty) behavior on his voicemail.

We don't have an Elf On The Shelf yet, but it's nice to know that we can call Santa if we need or want to! It's (319)527-2680

Image result for santa on phone

We had an impromptu cookie making get-together on Saturday at my girlfriend's house, and it was such a nice time! Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the super-Pinteresty crafts that are way overwhelming, but all it really takes is some slice-and-bake cookies and a container or two of sprinkles (that you just need to know will end up on your floor) and -- ta-da, DAY MADE for kids.

More sweets updates, because it's Christmastime and we are all on a sugar high. On Wednesday, the girls and I decorated a gingerbread house I picked up on one of our last Aldi runs. I think these bad boys are like $6.99 and the gingerbread home pieces were obviously pre-cut which was so easy.

My two top tips:
1) give the house a full 15 minutes to dry once you've "icing-ed" the pieces together. Any additional weight on the pieces and it will go slip sliding. Then you can start decorating once the icing is dry and holding the home together.
2) the more candy and icing, the better. Pack it on and use it all up. We supplemented with white chocolate chips and sprinkles from our pantry.

Charlotte (20mo yesterday) is taking more and more independent steps and we are working on it every day! Thank you to all of you who have reached out with words of encouragement and support. We are working with some early intervention gurus that are part of a state-led program, so that's wonderful. We all think it is just a confidence issue -- she totally has the ability, but doesn't want to just do it solo until she knows she will master it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with her personality as she goes through school, and later in her career. She's such a snuggly sweetheart and her sparkly eyes light up the room!

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Top posts from this week:

That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!


Man Gifts. Christmas.

I think guys are fun to shop for. For like one or two years, and then after that it just gets annoying.

I mean, how many power drills can a man own? Or a spherical cocktail ice cube maker? I'm so over those. Does anyone actually use them more than once? We sure didn't.

So, buying for my husband typically has me getting a little creative but I did want to share some of the items that he loves and that have been "gifting wins."

I got this Magnogrip last year, eight bucks and Prime eligible, stuck it in Ian's stocking and it has been such a winner! We have been switching out all of the old yucky door hinges in our home and this thing has been invaluable. I highly recommend this as a stocking stuffer for the guys in your life -- your man, brother-in-law, father!

We had this FastTrack system installed in our garage recently, and I honestly thought it was sort of a waste of money UNTIL I saw every single thing we own hanging up and off of the floor! What a difference.

I once saw on Hoarders (no joke) that one of the best things you can do for organizing is get things off the floor. So, even your closets? Hang things up, put things in baskets, but nothing on the floor. FastTrack really helps us feel organized and it comes with all sorts of accessories and hooks to suit your needs (strollers, bikes, rakes, shovels etc).

Available at hardware stores or HERE with Amazon  and all of the fun hooks and accessories HERE

I bought this nice smoker for Ian two birthdays ago and he still loves using it! I bought the smaller one (14") which saves you $100 -- and it's plenty big.

Ian really likes the Kiehl's Age Defender line and I buy it for him at Nordstrom since they have the best customer service and always include lots of samples that I can add to his stocking :)

I think the black packaging also looks super tough and cool. Good for that manly man.

You can find the following at Nordies:


This year, Ian asked for this book for Christmas and I think it's a great snag for less than ten dollars! Ol' Lou is full of wisdom and humor.

I hope this helps you little sweet elves shop for the man in your life! I'm all ears if you have more suggestions!

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Thank you for your support of my blog.
Merry Christmas, y'all!


What's On My Christmas List

I still owe Christmas lists to my mom and my mother-in-law and ... I'm the worst at putting these together. I can pick out cutesy-wootsey things all day long for my girls, and I promise I'm not trying to be a martyr, but there's just not a lot that I really want for. 

I love my house. I love the way it's decorated. I love crafting and craft supplies but I like picking out my own ribbon. I love makeup and LipSense but I buy that for myself using my wholesale discount. I love clothes and jewelry, but I am also kinda crazy about wearing something until it's almost too far gone to donate. I'm not a "wear once" girl. And my sister Laura makes my favorite jewelry so I get a lot of my wishlist items from her.

So here's what actually made the cut this year -- maybe you have some ideas for me, too?

Swarovski 2017 Ornament
I've been collecting these since 2002 and I've amassed quite the gorgeous collection! I display them on a gold metal tree from Pier 1.

NOW ... super duper important -- I just spotted that these are the Amazon deal of the day which means that they are $27.50 down from $79! We spend $79 on these every single year (and my mom buys a few of them) so this is huuuuuge. Find the deal HERE. This would also be such a perfect keepsake ornament for anyone who had a big 2017 -- new house, new job, new baby, engagement or marriage!

Between The Tipsy Bunny hairbows I make and sell and LipSense products, I'm mailing out packages every single day. I have my computer and packaging supplies at the dining room table (sorry, Martha Stewart, but my Christmas tablescape leaves a little to be desired) and I run back and forth to Ian's office to print out mailing labels. It's getting a little old and I'm burning through his printer ink like crazy. SO, a $160 label printer isn't normally what I would get all of the heart eyes over, but I want this so bad.

HERE is where I need your help. I know there are websites out there to find the best deal online. I just know we can get this for less -- right? Does anyone have any insight into what website I need to track this on? 

This is the perfume I found out about from my brother-in-law's girlfriend and it smells HEAVENLY. You can find it on Amazon Prime and ever since I smelled it, I knew I needed it in my life.

Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca for Women By Guerlain Eau De Toilette Spray, 3.3 ounces

My girlfriend group-texted us about these jammies the other day and on my list they go! I recently bought these Santa pajamas in XS from the Target (PLEASE do me a favor and wash yours first in ice cold water ... I did not) and I do love them, but I want these to wear year-round. And of course I love the animal print tie at the waist!

YES I am asking for laundry detergent this year (and again I swear I'm not trying to be a martyr "oh I just need not a thing please just a little laundry soap for this dear girl would make my yearrrr" LOLOLOL).

But y'all, the ladies in a local Facebook moms group I'm in swear that this stuff makes your laundry smell amazing, and it's not something I would really buy on just a normal Tuesday. So on the Christmas list it goes. I won't use it for kiddie socks and Ian's gym clothes, but every time I run a load of MY laundry, you better believe it will get the royal treatment. 

Other than that, I just want all of the good holiday stuff. Egg nog and fruitcake (which I picked up Monday), Amy Grant Christmas music, some classic Christmas movies, and pictures of my girls on Santa's lap. 

Again -- if you can help me with what website I need to go to for tracking that Dymo label printer I'll be your bestie!

What's on YOUR list? 

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Thank you for your support of my blog.
Merry Christmas, y'all!


A Big Baby Blue THANK YOU

Oh my dear gracious, thank all of you SO much for your excitement over our growing family! It truly is such fun news, I mean ... overwhelming! Three kiddos 4 and under! But really darn wonderful and a true blessing in every sense of the word.

Camille is telling her age here, but I feel like it's an accurate representation of how I want to walk around as well!

SO, I'm due mid-June, feeling really great. So far it's been just like my other pregnancies -- feeling great minus a little bit of exhaustion, and I get out of breath pretty easily (like climbing the stairs, which is crazy). My tummy is already pretty large as you've maybe seen on Instagram, but I sort of love dressing a pregnant belly. Maybe it's just not having to suck in for 9 months that has such an appeal to me. 

I lost weight at the beginning like I did with Camille and Charlotte, but am pretty much back to my normal weight now, 14 weeks in. I'm probably eating more than I typically would, BUT since I had gestational diabetes with Charlotte (and likely will this time around, too) I am definitely trying to keep my diet in check and balance carbs with proteins. I am tempted to eat like a college kid for breakfast and lunch, but typically by dinnertime I'm "EHHH" and don't feel like cooking or eating anything. But ... I do ... or else I will feel sick and maybe even get sick. That's the only main difference this time around -- I never vomited with the girls but have done so a few times this pregnancy. 

We are going to eventually transition the girls into the same room and put baby boy in his own bedroom. Charlotte's current room. It's a lovely shade of light coral-pink now so it will need a new coat of paint and some boy touches here and there. Nothing crazy, just sweet and innocent boy style is sort of what I'm hoping for. 

We don't have a name. Not even close! Ian thinks all of the names I love are cheesy frat-boy names (eye roll). The names he likes are ... SO random. 

I know several of you that read here have children that are in middle school, high school, college, or maybe even be parents themselves now, and many of you have reached out saying that you love reading our family anecdotes (the good, the bad, and the ugly department store tantrums) because it takes you back. And I love hearing that. So I will keep sharing little tid-bits of our daily lives ... even the not-so-pretty but very realistic parts ... because we all enjoy a trip down memory lane from time to time. And just as you are thinking "Man, now that the kids are grown, I'd do anything to have them back at home!" then you can read a story about me being up six times in the middle of the night and not showering for two full days and think ... "mmm -- I'm good." 

Funny how that happens, right?!

Thank you again for your sweet words -- I still owe two of you a personal email reply back, but didn't want to rush through it -- and for the big virtual hug I felt from every single one of you! 


(PARTY OF) FIVE on Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Today my FIVE is announcing our news that in June we will be a party of FIVE!

O N E // T W O // T H R E E // F O U R // F I V E
Ian // April // Camille // Charlotte // Baby BOY!

I am due June 11, feeling totally great, he's a healthy little stud, 
and we are thrilled to welcome a whole new world of trains and trucks and BLUE!



Christmas Cards -- Check, Check, Check!

Hey y'all! I have ordered my Christmas cards! HALLELUJAH!

I PAID for them this year. Haha ... let me explain. For the past several years, I've always partnered with a stationery company for Christmas cards. And I've gotten them 100% free. It's awesome. Whatever card I wanted, gold foil, scalloped edges, printed return addresses on the envelopes, you name it! But here are the stipulations: 1) you have to be on the ball, get your family photos done super early, select/design/order your cards early, address and mail them early, so you can do your sponsored post early enough to still drive holiday card traffic to the company for card orders! Then you make your post, submit it for approval, publish it, and if you're really a great blogger, you'll write your company contact again with a link to the post, tell them how it was received (pageviews, comments, interacton, social media touts, etc), thank them profusely and say you'd love to collaborate again for upcoming events.

WELL let's just call a spade a spade. Ain't nobody got time. Or at least, not ME. Not this year. I decided it was well worth my own money to just remove all of that stress from myself and just order the dang things like normal people do.

I read so many great reviews about the quality of the Staples holiday card deal on Groupon and decided to give it a shot. For $25 I ordered 100 cards, paid $15 additional to have them printed on premium cardstock, mailed to my home, EXPEDITED, and come with printed return addresses on the back of the envelopes.

Selecting the card design was the hardest part because Staples shockingly had some really adorable designs! And we had really GREAT photos that we had taken recently using my friend Katlyn again, so that part was easy. These photos are adorable but aren't any of the ones that will be on our card. Although now I'm looking at the one below wishing I'd just done a single image like this with a big "Merry Christmas" at top. Classic and pretty!

Who did you use this year for your Christmas cards? And, because I know we are all a little nosy, care to share what you paid and how many you got? 


Our Stay At The Inn At Crestwood

On the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, Ian and I headed up to the mountains of Boone, NC with our girls and ... dropped them off at my mother-in-law's house.

We had a PARENTS NIGHT OUT complete with a resort stay! Praise hands! Sleep til 8am!

This all came about because I was perusing Groupon (which I way underuse) and saw that a local resort called The Inn At Crestwood a matter of minutes from their home was running a pretty good deal. For $90 the week of Thanksgiving, we got a night away from it all.

Let me be very clear and say that this is no Grand Bohemian or Grove Park Inn, and (if I can be super frank) we probably wouldn't stay there again. The lobby was cute but the rest of the resort was rather outdated and we got the impression they were on Groupon for a reason.


We got to treat ourselves to a parents night out!

We drove into nearby Blowing Rock, sat together at the bar at Blowing Rock Ale House and ended up chatting with the man himself who makes the beer (fascinating!) and then mozied over to Storie Street Grill for a really delicious dinner! I had the Horseradish Salmon which was divine.

And we woke up to a quiet hotel room!!!!

Breakfast the next morning was continental-style but they diddddd have a Belgian waffle maker so I was a pig in mud.

By check-out time, we felt ready to head to the house to see the kids and get ready for the arrival of five more family members for a good Thanksgiving. It was a really nice way to enjoy a quiet night out, a free babysitter (THANK YOU to my MIL!) and an easy morning!


Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Hello from South Carolina! I came down here yesterday with my girls and we are driving into Columbia today for the Junior League Holiday Market. I've been going for years now and it's such a fun way to shop for the holidays and just get into the Christmas spirit in general! They have the most gorgeous decorations and holiday music and childrens' choirs and performances.

The most important booth there is my sister's booth -- so if you're going, definitely scout out Laura Cox Designs!

I went to Old Navy earlier this week to find some matching shirts for the girls to wear under some jumpers. Found those AND also found some matching fur vests for them! Camille was actually the one that scoped them out and fell in love. We are def in the stage of twirly skirts, sparkles, glitter, fur, rainbows. It's awesome. So, I scooped up a 3T and an 18-24 months and I do think the vests will look so cute on them this holiday season!

Don't pay full price! 20% off with code SWEET.

product photo

I'm so happy to hear from some of you who have also had positive results from Monat! My distributor friend Stacey was so helpful in matching me up with the perfect line for my hair and hair goals. Contact her HERE if you want to hear about how to get it for less ... they also have free shipping!

I have to share the most beautiful-smelling perfume with you. During Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law's girlfriend came to visit and I met her for the first time. I didn't want to overwhelm her and be like "YOU HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT FRAGRANCE YOU ARE WEARING" but I wanted to.

Finally, my sister-in-law said "Who smells so good?" and I jumped in saying "It's Emily! You havvvvve to tell us what you're wearing!"

Well, she brought down the bottle, it's NOT expensive, and you can get it HERE on Amazon! I seriously can't explain how delicious it smells -- floral yet spicy, too. Ian's going to have it under the tree for me!

Lastly, a small thing but something I'm excited about ... I bought this sweet plaid fabric and my mom is going to make matching nightgowns for the girls! It's from Hobby Lobby if you are looking for a nice flannel fabric. We are going to pair it with some white eyelet and they will wear them Christmas morning. 


That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!

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