Friday, December 21, 2018

December Highlights

We've had a lot of fun doing Christmasy things this month.  We have loved doing things with family and friends to celebrate the Christmas season.  I wanted to share all the fun things we've been up to before I go on a Christmas blog break.  Kevin and Olive both have off a couple weeks from school so we are going to soak up all the family time we can.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!  See you back here in January!!

Our church is decorated so pretty for Christmas.  We're loving the sermon series right now and looking forward to the Christmas services.

Kevin surprised Olive with a box set of Ramona books to read together at night.  He actually surprised me, too.  He always puts her to bed and decided it was the perfect time to start reading chapter books with her.  This teacher mom was so proud!

I walked into the play room to find the kids like this... snuggling and watching a Christmas movie!!  Makes me so happy to see them being sweet to each other.  Especially since they definitely have their moments when they are not best buds.

We went to Kevin's Christmas party and had a good time.  Our kids are the only ones there so we definitely stand out.  The kids don't seem to mind and they loved that the house was fully decorated for Christmas.  Who knew there were unicorn decorations instead of deer this year!!?!

I made a couple boxes of Christmas Funfetti this week!  It was so fun and festive!

We had some friends in town for Christmas and I decided to do a PANINI BAR for lunch.

It was so much fun!  Everyone picked their bread, meats, cheese and sauces.  I grilled them all and then everyone went through the line to pick their own chips and fruit.  It was such an easy, fun way to feed friends.  I'd highly recommend it for any holiday gathering!

Cupcakes for dessert!

Topher was feeling extra friendly.
 Fun with friends!

 The weather in Indiana has been SO NICE this week!  We've gone on walks in the evening almost every night, played outside, did some yard work and enjoyed the fresh air.  There are definite perks to being on Eastern Time :)  Gorgeous!! 

 I just love coordinating sibling outfits for the holidays :)  This was for church on Sunday.

We've been baking a lot this week - chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, cupcakes and more.  Fletcher loves to help and sample everything we make.

This year we tried hard to learn the names of our favorite people at our favorite stores.  For example, Fletcher loves the ladies who work in the bakery at Meijer, the teachers at story time and his science class, the cashiers at Sams, the local firemen, etc.  We asked their names, talked to them every week and dropped off Christmas cards and cookies this week.  It was so fun to give them a handwritten note of appreciation and cookies.  We'll definitely be doing this again next year.

Olive's art teacher took the time to make a hand print ornament with each of the kindergartners.  They turned out so cute!!  I love having her hand print on our Christmas tree!

We went on a train ride through a local park to see the Christmas lights.  It just so happened to work out that we were going through the park when the train was open so we hurried and jumped on!  The kids loved it.  They were in no hurry to get off.  Can't wait to do this again next year.

Did you catch all the cute unicorn things that I posed about on IG stories this week??  This sweater was a really fun find!  It was just $1299, came with a headband and was so soft.  I love the look of it and can't wait for Olive to wear it.

Both of my kids seem to be much more musical than I am.  My dad's family was very musical, but it seems to have skipped me.  Both kids gravitate towards all instruments and music.  It'll be fun to see how that plays out as they get older.  This is Fletcher singing Christmas carols at our friend's house this week.

 Hope you've had a great week full of Christmas cheer!!  Merry Christmas to you!!

It's time to link up with my H54F ladies -- me, Becky, Della, Tif and Whitney P

Join us with some current blog posts and look around to find some new blog friends.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Merry Christmas from My House to Yours!

Did you send out Christmas cards this year??

I did.  I always have and always will.

Even as postage stamps get more and more expensive.  Ouch!

I grew up sending Christmas cards.  My mom would make my siblings and I pose for Christmas pictures and we were total punks about it.  I'm getting payback now trying to get pictures of my own kids.  She'd send off her roll of film and pray she got one good picture for the cards. She'd pick her favorite picture, glue it in the cards and then we'd all hand write our names in the cards.  We did that every year.  She still sends photo cards today.

So when people say they don't have the time or don't want to mess with Christmas cards I can't relate.  Haha!  It's one of the highlights of December for me. I just love going to the mailbox and seeing who I got cards from that day.  We had the cards printed at Sams because they're so affordable.  We send out a lot and I can't justify the cost of really pricey cards.

We got our pictures taken at a local Christmas tree farm this year.  It's a sweet place.  It was FREEZING that morning so we did our pictures in about 10 minutes.  The kids were super cooperative and it was our easiest family session yet.  We got lots of real smiles, good head shots of everyone and it worked out great.  We were happy with the pictures and happy with our card.  There was a little debate over which family picture was the favorite.  I'll show you all of our favorite pictures.  I can't wait to get them printed and hang them in our house in the coming year.

Wish I could send all of you Christmas cards, but since I can't, Merry Christmas from The Jordans!!

Cutest BFFs.

It's time to link up with my favorite Welcome Wednesday ladies.
Be sure to join us with some posts from this week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Last Minute Christmas Gifts that I LOVE for Under $45

How are you doing on your Christmas shopping??  Are you still shopping??

I think I'm done after a late night Amazon all the gifts to all the out of town friends session last night.  I used to buy gifts, package them up and then ship them off. Not anymore.  Going to the post office with kids is nuts.  The lines are nuts and shipping is EXPENSIVE.  So Prime to the rescue.

Let me tell you some of my very favorite Amazon gifts to get and to give right now.  These are all things I either own or have gifted to other people.  My very favorites!

I think all of these could arrive in time for Christmas if you shop SOON!

1. Galvanized Metal 3 Tiered Stand
Wouldn't this be so cute in your kitchen?  Or in your bathroom holding all of your makeup?  I'm tempted to get another one for hair bows.

2. CC Beanies
I love these beanies for women and for kids.  My kids have some really cute ones for winter.  I also sent an olive green one to a friend for Christmas this year.

3. 90 Degree Yoga Pants by Reflect High Waist
Hands down the best yoga pants I've ever owned.  They're thick.  Hold you in.  Are NOT see through and they don't pill.  They're such high quality.  I own the pants and the capris.  Can't sing their praises enough.

4. Make Something Good Today
Do you ever watch Hometown with Ben & Erin Napier??  I love them.  I love that they're in Mississippi (a place we LOVED living).  I love their accents and I love their story.  I got this book for my birthday and it's wonderful.  It's filled with charming stories, pictures and I think it's a book that everyone would enjoy reading.

5. Gallery Leather Planner
I have been using the same type of planner for over ten years.  I just love it.  It's simple.  Compact.  There's plenty of room for daily to do lists and it's affordable.  I am not a huge, spiral bound planner person.  This classic planner is more my style.

6. Kate Spade Studs
I adore these earrings.  I've been collecting them for at least 6 years.  I just love them.  They're such high quality.  I still wear the ones I purchased all those years ago.  They are a staple in my accessory wardrobe.  A good friend surprised me with some confetti ones for my birthday this year.  I love them!  Any lady in your life would LOVE these.

7. Picasso Tiles
My kids are getting a couple of sets of these for Christmas.  I can't wait for them to open them.  They play with them everywhere we go so it's going to be really cool to have some of our own.

8. Beer Bottle Opener and Cap Catcher
I got this for Kevin for Christmas last year and he loves it.  He hung it up right away.  It's so hand for him and for when we have guests over.

Happy Shopping!!

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Pepper Jelly Dip

I love to bring appetizers or dessert to holiday parties.  I usually try to do some kind of finger foods or things that don't require silverware to be eaten.  It just seems easier that way.  We went to Kevin's Christmas party on Friday night and I brought a yummy pepper jelly dip.  It was so easy to assemble.  It turned out really pretty and only required 4 ingredients!!  Sign me up!

Christmas Pepper Jelly Dip

Red Pepper Jelly
Pineapple Jalapeno Jelly
1 block of cream cheese
1 box of Wheat Thins

I picked up the jellies and cream cheese at Aldi last week.  The jelly is in the holiday aisle and was only $1.99.  The cream cheese was on sale for $0.89 I think.  

Cut the block of cream cheese in half and put on a plate.  Be sure to separate them a bit.

Scoop out half of the jar of pepper jellies into bowls and stir them.  This step helps smooth out the jelly and makes them really easy to pour on top of the cream cheese.

Pour the red jelly on one block and the green jelly on the other.  The red pepper jelly was the favorite.  Both sides got eaten, but people seemed to enjoy the red more.  I've always seen this dish done with just one type of jelly.  I enjoyed changing things up a bit and adding in a second jelly option.

Isn't it the prettiest Christmas appetizer??
I added a little candy cane knife and this dish was a big hit.

Enjoy!!  You just can't beat an easy appetizer that only has 4 ingredients, takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and is really good!!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Santa Brunch, Christmas Programs & Lots of Fun!

Happy Friday!  Hope you've had a nice week.  The time is just flying by and it seems like Christmas is right around the corner.  I've only wrapped a couple of things, but on the plus side, most of my shopping is done.  We packed a lot of fun into our week and the weekend looks about the same.  We have friends coming over for a Christmas play date, friends coming in town tomorrow and looking forward to church on Sunday.  We may even go out and look at Christmas lights in our area if the weather cooperates.

The best parts of our week were:

Christmas food!!  I packed Olive this cute lunch and she was thrilled.  Those holiday pretzels are her favorite and the Cadbury chocolates are mine :)  Our yumboxes have been going strong for a year and a half and we still LOVE them.  

Our gingerbread houses are under attack every day.  It'll be a miracle if they make it to Christmas.

My mini van got decked out for Christmas!  My kids think our car is the coolest and it makes me so happy.  Except trying to remember not to roll down the windows that are holding on the antlers is proving to be trickier than I imagined haha

Yesterday I shared a tutorial for a pom pom garland.  Mine turned out so cute and was really affordable.  You can beat a project that's inexpensive, takes less than 15 minutes and turns out great.  I think the big red pom poms really make my mantle this Christmas!

 My favorite shopping buddy.  I think Meijer is his favorite stop thanks to the horse rides, free cookie from his bakery lady friends and all his buddies there.  He makes friends with everyone.

We celebrated St Nick's Day.  Everyone woke up to find their favorite candies in their shoes.

Olive had her kindergarten Christmas program.  It was really sweet.  She LOVED being on stage.  Their hand and foot print shirts turned out so cute.  I helped stamp all the kid's shirts so it was fun to see them turn out so cute.

We crossed off some Christmasy errands and enjoyed a yummy drink together.

Olive surprised us at dinner on Saturday night by saying she wanted to get her ears pierced TONIGHT.  So we headed to the mall after dinner to check out our options.  We ended up at Justice and were pretty happy with the process.  She was SO brave and SO proud of her new unicorn earrings.  She's got her eye on other flower pair next.

Photo ornaments.  I found these cute frame ornaments at Hobby Lobby.  I put in Olive's school picture and a favorite picture of Fletcher.  They look so cute on the tree.

Santa Brunch.  We went to our 4th annual Santa brunch.  The kids loved it all!  No one cried or was afraid of Santa.  Fletcher wore a bow tie and looked SO handsome.  Olive insisted her Matilda Jane dress looked much better backwards and off we went.

The live reindeer always steal the show.  They're so cool!  

Both kids talked to Santa and happily hung out with him.  Olive asked for a snow globe of her own and Fletcher asked for every single vehicle he could think of to name.

We ate delicious food, hung out with friends and decorated cookies.

We haven't been to the mall in months, but somehow we ended up their twice this past weekend.  It was fun to stroll around and soak in the holiday spirit with everything looking so festive.

We gave Christmas cookies to teachers, bus drivers and friends.  I LOVE the box of Krusteaz snicker doodles.  They're so good.  We added Christmas sprinkles and Krusteaz featured my cookies on their instagram page!  I shared several good recipes for family friendly Christmas treats earlier this week.

Fletcher has been living it up going to Christmas parties at Chick-fil-A, the library, science class and with friends.  It's been so much fun to do Christmasy things with just him.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Welcome to the High Five For Friday link up team of me, Becky, Della, Tif and Whitney P

Join us by linking up no more than three current posts from the week.  Look around to find a new blog friend or two.