Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekending, Weather, and other stuff :)

"I'm dreaming of a wet and mild Christmas..."  Except I AM NOT!!  I am 100% a cold and snowy Christmas kind of girl!  Every time I look at the forecast for Christmas eve, it gets warmer and warmer! As of right now, they are forecasting 72 degrees.  In upstate NY.  At the end of December. This is wrong people, very wrong!

Yes, I know...lets focus on the real reason for the season.  The weather has nothing to do with why we celebrate Christmas.  But still, I want my snow!!

OK, enough of that.  I'll put on my big girl panties, or rather my shorts and T-shirt, and bask in the 72 degree December weather.  It will be great to have my windows open and um, stuff like that.

Despite the abnormally warm December we are having, we did have a very festive weekend!  Friday night was Santa's Magical Express where we helped save Christmas!  If anyone reading is a fellow upstate New Yorker, you should definitely do this next year!  It was so much better than the Polar Express and cheaper too!

It was actually cold on Friday!!

Saturday Nick and the hubs put together a giant Star Wars lego that Nick received for Christmas from his aunts.  Meanwhile, Alec and I ran out and did errands... oil change (sooo much fun with an almost 3 year old, especially when they are yelling "GET ME OUT OF HERE" over and over and over), Target run, and a stop at the library for some new books.  We scored some very cute new Christmas books, although we were sad to send our Pirate book back.  Saturday afternoon I made some peanut butter cup cookies (wish I had made that for the cookie swap instead of that nasty orange snowball cookie!) and in the evening we watched The Polar Express.  Sunday morning we went out to a brunch with Santa and then attempted to decorate gingerbread houses in the afternoon.  I say attempt because about 1/2 way through Nick decided he was done decorating and just wanted to eat it.  So that's what he did.

These were AMAZING!

Today was a fun day for both kids.  Alec had a PJ party at daycare and the kids exchanged gifts and made cookies.  Nick had a special breakfast at school (just for the kindergartners) with a visit from Santa himself!  Then they played some fun holiday games and made crafts.  Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kiddos and also my last day of work till next week... woo hoo!  

This will probably be my last post before the 25th, so I just want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!  Enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends.  Be a little kinder.  Offer forgiveness.  Mend fences.  Open your heart and let that Christmas magic in!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas card link up!

One of my favorite things about the holidays is sending and receiving Christmas cards!  It's the only time of year I am actually excited to see what's waiting for me in the mailbox!  If you read my Friday Favorites post this week, this is no surprise to you.   I also mentioned how fewer and fewer people seem to send them each year and it makes me sad.  :(  So when I heard about a Christmas card linkup, I was all HECK YES!

This is the first year the hubs and I actually made it onto the Christmas card.  I have always just used pictures of the kids for our cards, and before our kids, it was our pets!  But since we had professional family photos done this year, I decided it was time to show ourselves!  hehehe

This year I decided to do our cards on Shutterfly and I just love how they turned it!  They are surprisingly large, but I've decided that's part of their charm.

So without further ado, here is our 2015 Christmas card...

Back of the card

Linking up with:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Favorites- 1 week til xmas!

One week till Christmas!?!  Seriously, how did that happen??  My shopping is done but I still have a TON of wrapping to do (yeah, my goal of gifts wrapped by Dec 1st didn't happen).  And I also want to cram as much holiday fun as I can into this coming week!

OK, so let's get to it... Friday favorite time!!!

Number 1: Christmas cards!
I love how our cards turned out this year (thanks Shutterfly)!  I also love getting cards from my bloggie friends (like Amanda over at A Brownie World)!  I feel like Christmas carding has become a lost art...Less and less people send them out each year and it makes me sad.  Send out those cards people!!  Everyone loves getting some tangible and fun snail mail!

And speaking of Christmas cards... have any of you heard about Sa'Fyre Terry?  This little girl is local to me, but her story has gone national and is all over Facebook.  Sa'Fyre lost her father and siblings in a fire (arson) 2 years ago.  She was very badly burned over 3/4 of her body.  Well, Sa'Fyre's Christmas wish this year was to fill up a metal card holder her aunt had bought at a thrift shop with Christmas cards.  Her aunt posted her request on Facebook, and it went viral.  In a little over a week, Sa'Fyre has received 430,000 letters/cards and 10,000 packages!  How amazing is that?!  With so much bad going on in the world recently, this truly restores my faith in humanity!
If you would like to check out Sa'Fyre's facebook page, click HERE
Or if you would like to send her a card, you can mail it to:
Sa'Fyre Terry
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady,  NY 12306
She is an AMAZING little girl and I am so happy her Christmas wish has come true (and so much more)!

Number 2: Special Gifts from friends
A special gift was handed to me at work the other day.  My lovely friend Sommer has been giving me personalized Christmas ornaments since Alec was born.  This is the one she gave me this year.  Such a sweet and thoughtful gift!

Number 3: Date night
The hubs and I got a date night!  We went out for a nice dinner and then got coffee and drove around looking at Christmas lights.  A simple but lovely evening. :)

"Turn the flash off!"

Number 4: Cookie baking/decorating with the kids
Cuz baking is fun and cookies are delicious!  

Number 5:  This random funny
Total cheeseball but it made me laugh!

Tonight we are going on Santa's Magical Express.  Then the rest of the weekend is wide open!  Maybe brunch with Santa, maybe Holiday Lights in the Park, maybe an all day Christmas movie marathon with popcorn, maybe something I haven't even thought of yet!!
The next 2 weeks are going to be jam packed...  Christmas, Alec's birthday. my birthday, New Years Eve, my birthday trip... maybe I should just relax?  Nah...that won't happen!

What will you be doing this last weekend before Christmas?

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Friday Faves- A little Christmas

'Tis the season!  Today I'm sharing some of my Christmas favorites!

Favorite New (to me) Christmas Book:  
We found this book at the library last weekend and Nick has asked me to read it to him every single night since.  It's super cute (especially if you have kids that are fans of pirates) and I can't believe I haven't heard of it before!

Favorite Christmas Song:
My absolute all time favorite is O Holy Night.  The beauty and love and power of this song- it brings me to tears every time I hear it.  I dare you to listen to this version by Celtic Woman and NOT get goosebumps!

Favorite Christmas cookie:
Hands down- sugar frosted!
Like these beauties right here!  And they go great with coffee for breakfast (or am I the only one??)!!

Favorite Christmas Memory:
Christmas mornings at my Grandmother's house.  
The entire family would come for breakfast and the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through her house was delightful.  After breakfast I would sit impatiently in front of the tree waiting for the adults to finish the dishes so we could open presents.  It was almost unbearable!  The presents, the tree, the stockings (always filled carefully and lovingly by my Grandma) many wonderful memories.  I miss my Grandma all the time, but especially at Christmas.  I wish I could taste her bacon and eggs one more time.

Favorite Christmas Meal:
Back in the day, we always had Roast Beef for Christmas dinner.  I am not a fan of Roast Beef (well, unless we are talking Arby's roast beef... then I am a HUGE fan!).  As I got older and traditions changed, we started doing more of an Italian type meal.  Now either on Christmas eve or Christmas day (whenever we get together with my parents), we have Italian!  Lasagna, stuffed shells, spaghetti with my dad's homemade sauce.  This is a meal I LOVE and look forward to right after Thanksgiving is over.  Oh, and cheesecake for dessert! 

Christmas isn't complete without a Junior's cheesecake!

Favorite Christmas Movie
OK, I can't pick just one.
Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story (do you want the 24 hour marathon??  We do!)
Just Friends (I think it qualifies as a Christmas movie)

Put your arms down when you get to school!

So what are some of your favorites???

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Friday favorites
Why Girls are Weird

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday- Christmas Decorations!

I'm so excited to link up with Andrea today for Show & Tell Tuesday.  Today we are showing our Christmas decorations!  I don't know if I'm more excited to share my decorations or see everyone else's!

I love decorating the house for Christmas.  It just makes it feel so festive and cozy inside!  We don't do anything too fancy, because with 2 little boys and 2 dogs, know how it goes!

So here's a little peak into our Christmas home... Oh, and in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have taken my pictures at 9:30pm at night!  Sorry for the poor lighting!

This year we did 2 trees. One in the living room which is "my" tree.  Lots of reds and golds, gingerbread men and candy canes.  It also has some very special ornaments from my childhood.  I like to decorate this tree all by myself.  I guess I'm selfish that way.  Or maybe just OCD.  Probably both.

The second tree is in the dining room.  This is the tree that I let the kids decorate. It has special ornaments from years past (like our 1st married ornament from 2002), ornaments the boys have made, and personal ornaments they have received.

Living room tree

Dining room tree- John the Elf was hiding there today!
Next up is the fireplace mantle.  I have done various things with the mantle.  Most years I do an evergreen garland with red and silver Christmas balls but this year I decided to do something new.  I like that the garland and the trees are more "wintery" as opposed to "Christmasy" so I can keep them up past December.  The stockings are not the ones that Santa will fill...I picked them up this year just for decoration.  This picture of the mantle does not do it justice.  It's much prettier in person.

I also have my dining room hutch decorated.  I love my little santas and trees!  And poinsettias of course!

Our stockings that Santa will fill. 

And just a few more....

I tried really hard to get a good outdoor picture, but it just wasn't happening.  I was able to at least get a picture of our doorway though.  I also have candles in all the windows, and a colored light tree in our big upstairs window.

Well, that's about it folks!  I have a few other touches here and there.. our entryway table, bookshelf in the living room, cute soaps and towels in the bathroom, some little Santas in the kids rooms, etc. but I figured this post was long enough!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our Christmas decorations!  :)  I'll leave you with this picture...because it makes my heart happy!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Friday Favorites-A great week!

What a fun week!  
My absolute favorite part of the week was my trip to NYC to see the Radio City Christmas show!  It was a rainy, cold and dreary day, but that did not damper my spirits one bit!  NYC is truly magical at Christmas time!  I would love to live there just for the month of December.  

Anyway, the show was AMAZING and I can't believe I've waited this long to see it!  And...on the walk to Radio City, I just happened to walk right by Michael Buble coming out of the theatre that the Tonight Show is filmed in.  Oh, and did I mention I also watched Brian Boitano warming up at the ice rink at Bryant Park?  Yup!  It was such an awesome day!

My next favorite is our North Pole breakfast.  If you missed my post, you can check it out HERE.  Our elf John returned the day after Thanksgiving and brought with him a sugary breakfast and gifts (monogrammed "elf" PJs, an elf PEZ dispenser and an ornament). This is only my 2nd year doing the North Pole breakfast, but it is already one of my favorite new holiday traditions!

Have you heard of LuLaRoe?  I discovered them over the summer when a friend of a friend had a party.  Well, I am now slightly obsessed with their butter leggings.  They are SO soft and comfy!  AND... they came out with a Christmas line!!  Check out the ones I scored (I got the elves and the snowflakes in blue).  LuLaRoe Christmas leggings are definitely a favorite!

A simple, but absolute favorite this week, has been relaxing by the tree with a cup of cocoa or coffee.  The lights and decorations just make me happy :)

Today my team at work went shopping for the family we adopted for the holidays.  This is definitely a favorite!  It makes me happy to know that I will have a small part in making a family's Christmas a little brighter.

So how was your week?  What do you have on tap for the weekend?  We have a holiday party Friday night and a fun Christmas activity at the library on Saturday.  Then Sunday I'm going to a cookie swap.  Anyone want to come over and help me make 7 dozen cookies?!?!
Have a great weekend!!

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

North Pole Breakfast 2015!

This is one of my new favorite holiday traditions!  Last year was our first North Pole breakfast and I hope to continue it for years to come (like, even when the kids stop believing in Santa).  It is so much fun to put together and the kids get so excited when they come downstairs and see everything set up.

This year John the Elf (we are so original with our name, right?!) arrived on the day after Thanksgiving.  Besides a delicious sugary breakfast, he also brought a few small gifts... PJs, an elf PEZ dispenser and an ornament.  The boys immediately wanted to put on their new PJs and I happily obliged (are these monogrammed pajamas not totally adorable??  If you want a pair of your own next year, check out Honey Pie Accessories on Facebook.  Elaine does great work!).

Most of the table decor and decorations came from Walmart and the dollar store.  I wanted it to look cute and festive, while keeping things simple and not spending a lot of money.   For the food, I just did donuts, milk, and hot cocoa.  Last year I did more, but the kids really only wanted the donuts.  So I decided to keep the food simple this year too and save myself some time!

Do you have a special way/tradition to welcome your Elf, or the arrival of the Christmas season in general?  If you do, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!