Thursday, January 17, 2019

Christmas Break Recap

We felt so lucky to get two weeks off for Christmas break this year.  Olive and Kevin's breaks overlapped.  It was so nice!  We had a busy week of Christmas followed by a slow week to just enjoy some time off together.  I realized I never got my act together to get a post up about it so today's the day to recap Christmas break.

The fun started with Olive's class Christmas party.  It was pajama day so that they could take a ride on the Polar Express. Santa and Mrs. Claus came to her classroom and we had a great time partying.  I was in charge of the craft.  I made ornament kits for each child.  They decorated the trees with stickers and the teacher complimented the craft.  Which is always a good sign when you're planning a school party :)  She came home from school and we kicked off Christmas break!



 I love being in her classroom!

My friends and I got together for a fun, KID FREE Christmas lunch.  Two babysitters corralling kids meant that we got to enjoy some uninterrupted delicious food.  We just love this local pop up restaurant.

We did Christmas with friends.  I was asked to bring fruit so here's my fruit tree tray :)

Santa happened to be in our neighborhood a little ahead of schedule (wink wink he manages to come to our house early every year) and we had a great Christmas celebration.  The kids were thrilled with their gifts.


When Santa brings you EXACTLY what you asked for - you JUMP FOR JOY!  Fletcher got the Paw Patrol firetruck and Olive got a Barbie Dream Camper.

Christmas Eve at Kevin's parent's house.  We opened gifts, ate delicious food and had a fun night.  We also celebrated getting engaged 16 Christmas Eves ago.  We've lived a lot of life together :)

Christmas Day we headed to lunch at Kevin's grandparents.  They go all out with their decorations and the kids love it.  Dancing with Santa is a must.  Meals on TV trays.  Tinsel covered tree and spontaneous sibling snuggles.  Melted my heart.

Olive became super interested in checkers over break.  We played lots of checkers.



Christmas Day dinner at my parent's house.  My sis and my mom :)

This picture makes me so happy!  All the kids and cousins gathered around.  And my parents went all out decorating their house this year.

We had a yummy BBQ baked potato bar for dinner.

Austin had a policeman party to celebrate turning 5.  Obviously these guys were excited :)

The kids got some Christmas money.  They loved shopping for themselves.  I learned that I do not care for LOL dolls - any other moms feel that way???  So many tiny tiny parts.  Fletcher grew his fleet of construction and emergency vehicles.

My Dad's police department moved into a new building.  We headed over for a tour.  The kids love talking about bad guys/playing policeman and seeing Papaw in uniform.



These two nuts pretended to be Christmas carolers again and again.  Their play list was pretty minimal sticking closely to Jingle Bells and Rudolph.  Give them a door bell and an audience and they'd sing all day.

My brother invited us to visit him at work.  He teased the kids and told them he worked at a beard factory.  They thought it was hilarious and couldn't wait to see where beards were made.  Turns out that's not his job, but it was really cool to see what he does all day.  Keep up the good work, Ty!

Kevin's brother, Kyle, helped the kids build elaborate train tracks.  They loved it and were thrilled when Kyle gifted them all the trains to take home.

It was PJ Day at church the Sunday after Christmas.  The kids had been looking forward to it for weeks.  It was really sweet to see all the kids show up in pjs.

More trains.

More adventures.

Basically, my house looked like this for a solid week.  Toys everywhere.  Kids snuggling.  Kids fighting and lots of relaxing.  Good thing they're old enough to help clean up now.  It was a really great Christmas break!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Winter Wardrobe Tips & Tricks

I'm giving myself a winter outfit challenge.  My hope is that I'll start wearing more things in my closet, find new favorite outfit combinations and keep myself from getting bored with my clothes.

It can be tempting to just buy new things every season.  However, that's not realistic and it'll leave you with a ton of clothes.  My game plan is to pick up a few new things every seasons that I love and avoid the temptation to BUY BUY BUY.


First, I made sure that all the things hanging in my closet were things that fit, things that I loved and things that made me feel good at the beginning of winter.  I sold, donated or threw out the items that didn't make the cut.  I can't tell you how much better I feel about getting dressed in the mornings knowing that I could wear any combination of clothes hanging in my closet.

Before/During & After:
Kevin's stuff on top.  Mine on the bottom.
A bit of a train wreck + a cat.

All white hangers.
Only hang up clothes for the current season.
Tops all together sorted by types.
Vests, sweaters, cardigans and pants on the other side.
I love this set up!
Off season clothes neatly folded and stored in the top of the closet along with off season shoes.

Second, figure out a formula to making outfits you love.  I love skinny jeans, booties and pretty tops.  Throw on some leather earrings and I'm set.  This type of outfit work for me in all types of settings for my mom life - library, church, appointments, Bible study, errands, etc.

I'm currently loving these distressed Rockstar skinnies from Old Navy and my new Lucky booties.  And floral print is always a favorite.

Outfit #1

Thanks to my sweet hubby for always snapping outfit pictures for me.  I love this picture of these three cuties!

Outfit #2
I have five or six plaid flannels that I love to wear.  Most are either from GAP or Old Navy.  I love the lightweight, soft ones the most.

Outfit #3
I also love a bold lip with any outfit.  Isn't this mauve color so pretty??

Outfit #4
Is pattern mixing still a thing??  I don't really care - I love it!


Outfit #5
Third, if an outfit makes you feel good, wear it a lot!  I love this top and blazer combo.  See what I mean - I love these jeans - so much that they made it in every outfit picture I snapped this month - ha! 



Last, Pair down your accessories.  I've gone through my coats, scarves and shoes.  I only kept the ones that I really love wearing.  I need to go through my necklaces next.  I rarely wear a necklace so it shouldn't be too hard to weed some out.

FYI I've been living in my Walmart puffer jackets this winter.  They are so warm.  I'm still in shock that they were under $20.

What wardrobe challenges are you facing??  Could your closet benefit from a clean out?  I love projects like that and wish I could come help all of you organize your homes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snow Much Fun

We woke up to about 8 inches of snow on Saturday!  It was WONDERFUL!

We all love snow, winter and were so excited.

I had prepared with hats, boots, gloves, snow pants, coats, sleds, shovels and snow toys.  We were ready to have some fun.  It was probably the best snow we've had since we moved back to Indiana.  Kevin was home for the day and we made a game plan to get out and play.  No one cried while we were bundling up - which felt like a big parenting WIN and then we played outside for a long time.  We made two snowmen, went on sled rides, played games and Kevin shoveled the driveway.

Keep reading to see our new favorite snow day toy, our recipe for snow ice cream and cute kids :)


Olive drew up her snowman plan.  She wanted to make four.  We made two huge ones and called it done.


 They mastered the art of snowball making AND throwing this year.




Kevin gets all the credit for building.

I get all the credit for accessorizing.


These color squirt bottles were a fun after Christmas clearance purchase from Meijer.  I think I paid under $3 for each one.  You just mix the color powder with warm water and let the kids squirt.  My kids LOVED this.  I'm sure you could easily make your own version of this - just make sure the bottles are small enough for little hands.

Fletcher LOVED the snow this year.  He cried when we made him come in.  It was so fun to see him making snow balls, squirting the snow and running around and loving the snow.



Saturday snow days are the best!!





 Snowy head shots:




Our biggest snowman ever completed just before dark!

We made sure to gather a big bowl full of snow when we first went out so that we could make snow ice cream.  It's so easy, so fun and really kid friendly.  Here's my SNOW ICE CREAM RECIPE.  We added chocolate syrup this year.  Both kids loved it.

Played SO hard... 

These kid sized snow shovels have been so much fun.  We got them last year and the kids have a ton of fun shoveling.  I love that they are neon orange which makes them super easy to spot.


I refilled those color spray bottles several times.  Both kids loved them.  I think you could fill them with kool aid or food coloring too.



Whew!  That was a fun, snowy weekend!  We played outside several times and are ready for our next snow storm :)

We kicked off the week with a 2 hour school delay yesterday and there's more snow in the forecast for next weekend.  Bring it on!  I'll be sure and head to the store later in the week to stock up on essentials like everyone else.  Although I might do grocery pickup because of ALL THE GERMS.

Are you a fan of snow??