Well, I went back to work yesterday so I feel like the Christmas holiday is officially over and I’m ready to share some of our fun. I know it’s not over for my girls – they still get to take a fun trip to their grandparents’ house before they go back to school, but we have plenty of fun to share now.
We all enjoyed spreading out Christmas fun over 4 days, especially since it meant the girls got to open gifts every day without even begging me to open some of their presents from us.
First up, my parents arrived on Saturday, followed shortly by my brothers’ families and my brother- and sisters-in-law. It was a fun crowd. My parents surprised me by getting me an awesome new camera that I couldn’t be more excited about! They brought it in for us to open right away so that I could start charging the battery.
Jenny was very happy to get her Nook from Grandpa and Boo-boo! She told me she was going to ask for one for next Christmas because she really didn’t think she’d get one this year. Now she never has to stop reading.
On Sunday we exchanged gifts with Lee’s family while my family was off watching the Steelers game. We got two awesome photo albums full of old pictures from Charlotte – we both love that sort of thing so much, so it was perfect. And another perfect gift from Justin and Nicole!
We followed up that fun with a delicious dinner at the Japanese steakhouse, followed by Brinky’s birthday cake (finally).
He was really focused on eating that cake.
On Monday we said goodbye to my parents and Justin and Nicole as they headed out for their next holiday destinations. And we had a fun Google hangout with Lee’s brother Marcus and his wife Jodi Ann since they couldn’t be here. I made the girls wait to open their gifts from them while they were watching. It was a fun way to spend time together even though they weren’t physically here.
We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve meal including plenty of food for vegans and non-vegans and then broke out the one Christmas Eve gift I give – Christmas jammies!
Finally, Christmas day!
Once they came down, they went straight to work opening their Santa gifts and gifts from us, along with gifts from Uncle Mario and Aunt Nicole who were still here celebrating with us.
Jenny studied the gift certificate for books on her Nook that Santa brought her.
Jenny got dressed so she could wear her new boots. She’s still going strong with that vest my mom gave her that she loves. I tried to say that she may not want to wear it every day, but she disagreed.
We also squeezed in a couple more fun family movies like Step Up Revolution and Inception. Perfect for the holidays, right? We packed a lot of fun into four days.
I’m following up my Christmas roundup with this week’s Celebrity Roundup at It’s Blogworthy tomorrow! Don’t forget to check it out (I’ll probably remind you.)Read More
Now that Cyber Monday’s done (sort of – every email I’m receiving seems to say it’s been extended), I thought it would be fun to share some fun gift ideas I’ve found. It seems fitting to start with etsy ideas on Giving Tuesday since shopping on etsy supports smaller businesses. I have so much fun at the holidays searching for unique gift ideas. I hate giving the same old gifts, and an easy way to get one-of-a-kind – or at least items that aren’t as common – is to check out etsy. A few things I love about shopping on etsy:
- I like knowing that I’m supporting small businesses or individuals.
- I like that I can find almost anything related to very specific interests.
- A lot of handmade items can be found for a lower price than a bigger retailer offers.
- I love the search function – and the filters that let me limit by price or other criteria.
Here are a few cool items I’ve found this year. While these are customized to some of my family’s interests, you may see something you like! And one of the benefits of etsy is that you can almost always find something else perfect for your family.
1. Custom Made to Order Comic Book Letters – Seriously, these are so cool. We’re a comic book loving family, and I could easily picture these either in Lee’s office or in Brinky’s room when he’s a bit older. I love them!
2. Personalized Hand-Stamped Christmas Ornament – We get new ornaments every year – one for each child, and one for the family. I love getting personalized ornaments for the family ornament, and something like this would be a perfect addition to our tree.
3. Personalized Journal – I really want to get each of my girls a new journal to try out Galit’s awesome idea of mother daughter journals, but I want each journal to match my girls’ personalities. This one seems like it would be great for Jenny – a little grown up, but still fun.
4. Greek God and Goddess Buttons – Both my girls are obsessed with the Percy Jackson books right now, and I could easily see them loving pins like these on their backpacks.
5. Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! T-Shirt – I don’t want to forget about Brinky’s interests. He loves Wow Wow Wubbzy right now – one particular episode actually. And I think it would be so cute for him to wear this t-shirt.
7. Vintage Star Wars Glasses – Do you remember these glasses from Burger King? I know we had some in my house growing up. I think it would be so cool to have them again, and love that you can find vintage items like this on etsy.
8. Personalized Tumblers – Cups with lids are always a good idea for kids prone to spilling (not that I have any of those), and personalization helps prevent fighting over whose is whose. My girls would both love these.
9. Our Anniversary Journal – I love this idea, too! It’s a little too late for us since we’ve been married 13 years now and would have to skip a few, but would be perfect for a newly married couple. We have some of those in our family this year!
10. Personalized Owl Journal – This goes alone with the other journal that I said would be a match for Jenny. Reagan loves owls right now, and I think this one would be perfect for her.
These are just a few of the many holiday gift ideas I’ve found on etsy this year.
Have you found any that you’d like to share in the comments? I’m always looking for new ideas.
Have you heard about treat? Treat is a new greeting card website (from those trusted people at Shutterfly) that allows you to make one of a kind greeting cards – and mail them directly to the recipient. How cool is that? Especially because you can include your own pictures on these one of a kind cards! I love the idea of sending an actual paper card to a friend or family member for a holiday or birthday or just for fun. And they’re actually cheaper than a lot of the greeting cards we buy so often – and customized!
This week, for instance. We will be enjoying Thanksgiving here at our home. Just my wonderful little five member family. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be thinking of those family members who won’t be here with us. How fun would it be to send a fun Thanksgiving card like this one, just to remind them we’re thinking of them?
With pictures of my own kids, of course.
Or for Christmas, I could send a customized card with some of the 100 leftover pictures that didn’t make the standard card to someone who deserves a special greeting all their own, like the grandparents.
How much would Jenny love to get a fun card like this one on her birthday, when she’s feeling so grown up?
I can think of so many times I’d love to send cards like these. And you can join the Card Club and save a little by buying several cards up front and receive reminders for upcoming birthdays (not that any of us busy moms would ever, ever forget a birthday!).
I’m thinking of picking out a card to send to someone with this picture of Brinky from this weekend:
Wouldn’t you smile if you got a card with that picture in the mail?
So do you want to try it out? For FREE? Today (November 19) and tomorrow (November 20) only, you can create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat for FREE. Try it out and create your card and use the code TREATBLOGR to get it for free!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Treat. All opinions are my own.Read More
Brinky’s been having trouble going to sleep at his regular bedtime lately. So sometimes we have some late evening fun. He was being so cute Jenny grabbed the camera and asked me to take some pictures.
Isn’t he so pretty?
Look at his little curls.
I didn’t even care that he was supposed to be asleep.
This girl was playing with him, too. And trying to avoid the camera that she brought into the room.
I love this picture. It just makes me smile. So does this next one.
Do you like his attempt at smiling for the camera?
I’m having fun with Essence of Now again this week!
We were travelling over the weekend for a wonderful wedding. (Very alliterative, right?) So I didn’t plan for a Monday Listicles post at all, and I have lots of wedding pictures to share. So, I’ll share 10 of my favorite pictures from the day today.
1. A pre-wedding sneak peek of the beautiful bride, my now-official sister-in-law Nicole.
2. And a pre-wedding sneak peek of Jenny. Isn’t she pretty?
3. Brinky the terrible, sitting in the elevator before the wedding.
4. Justin, Nicole, and Icarus.
5. Lots of pretty siblings.
6. More of the wedding party, in all those shades of green, plus cute kids.
7. The kids walking into the wedding (a little out of order – I’m tired, okay?)
8. I know this one’s blurry, but it’s the best one I got of all my kids with Justin, and Brinky was being so cute giggling. Lee was tossing flower petals in the air to make him laugh so hard.
9. I’m pretty sure this is how I looked most of the time – hot and tired with a giant sleeping baby .
10. Justin, taken by Jenny.
And one secret bonus picture of my brother-in-law Zero with Justin’s friend, Matt Lauria, who just so happened to be on the best show ever, Friday Night Lights. Cool, right?Read More