Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday!

I can't believe it's already December 9th! This month/season is flying by, yet I still feel like we are having time to enjoy the little moments. This weekend we plan to visit Santa and hopefully make some cookies! My shopping is done (don't hate- I had to mail a bunch of gifts to CA and I wanted them mailed out early!) and most presents are wrapped. I have been enjoying focusing on little moments with the kids each day. This past week we made a gingerbread house  Starbuck's cafe, had a picnic dinner by the Christmas tree, decorated the front door, and wrapped up our Angel tree presents. I love that Hayden is really into the festivities this year. (Side note, he comes down each morning to check our Christmas Countdown Calendar and when he finds out what activity we are planning, he says, "Oh, what excitement! What fun!" I'm sure he heard it somewhere, but it's so funny coming out of his mouth.) 



A couple of blog updates... I changed the template because I had problems with the mobile version, so if you are reading this on your phone and it doesn't work well, leave me a quick message so I can get it straightened out! Also, I have created a Facebook page for the blog. I'd love it if you follow along there as well!

On Monday we woke up to snow (albeit a very small amount). Hayden was excited about it, even though it melted quickly. I realized that I can't find half our snow items from last year (those mittens have a way of disappearing...). So I did a quick Amazon Prime order so that I'm prepared for the next snow. #Californian
This six pack of mittens on strings is great for ensuring that we always have at least a couple pairs on hand!




TV update: I like to pack in as many holiday movies this season as I can, but we still make time for some current TV shows... We just finished Westworld (so good) and started Narcos (so far really interesting). I also -of course- watched Gilmore Girls (twice!). What else is good right now??









Thursday, December 8, 2016

Our Holiday Card

We sent out our Christmas cards last week and I love how they turned out. This year we ordered them from Snapfish since the price is great and they ship so quickly! I love the tradition of holiday cards but I know they can be one more thing to add to the to-do list. Here's a few tips that make getting cards out on time more manageable. 

1. Take pictures early: Fall provides such a nice backdrop for easy outdoor photos. I took these back in October.
2. Keep an address book on your computer. I have all our addresses in a google doc which made it easy to print out all the envelopes.
3. Enlist your kids help: Licking envelopes, stuffing cards, sticking stamps or stamping your return address- all things that kids will be enthused about!  

Here are a few more pictures that I love but didn't quite make the Christmas card cut.










Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Favorite Holiday Gifts


For the past few years, we've subscribed to the 4 present guideline for our kids. Each year, we give the kids, something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Some of the gifts overlap (like our kids might need some winter gear which also works for the something to wear category). I love keeping this in mind as I shop for the kids. It forces me to be very thoughtful with the kids' gifts and not overload them with presents. In our experience, the kids get overwhelmed with too many gifts anyway so it's easier just to have 3 or 4 things to open on Christmas morning.

I love giving gifts that we will be using for a long time and that can be used creatively. The following gifts are ones that we either own already or are giving our kids this year.  Marble Run: Hayden got this last summer from my brother and it has been the most popular toy in our house for months. We are constantly rebuilding the marble run in new shapes and I got a box of 160 marbles on Amazon for $8. It's easy to buy another set to double your fun. Charlotte loves it too, though she's not quite at the building stage yet.

Magna Tiles: Hayden has these at school and is obsessed! They are really cool and there are tons of brands that are all compatible with one another. He may just find his own set under the tree this year...

Melissa and Doug Dollhouse: This is actually a gift we got for Charlotte's birthday (right after Christmas) and I can't wait for her to open it. She already loves  playing with doll houses when we see them in stores or the library.

Radio flyer scooter: A favorite outdoor toy that gets lots of use by both kids. It's a great first scooter and pretty inexpensive.

Doll: Charlotte is our resident animal lover and doll lover and is always trying to carry around at least two dolls or stuffed animals anywhere in the house. This one is so cute!

Play kitchen: A bit more of an investment, but I don't think you can go wrong with a play kitchen. It was the kid's gift last year and gets played with daily in our house. I'm always being served cappuccinos, pizza, cake, and toast by my sweet little chefs.

Brio: We have quite a collection of train tracks in our house and this is fun to pull out on a rainy day and take over a room. Both kids love it and there are so many brands that are compatible so it's an easy gift to add to year after year.  

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