Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday - November Edition

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Hopefully you're off for the day like me & headed to join your family to celebrate the holiday. I have to get us all packed for the weekend, but I'm popping in for What's Up Wednesday with Sheaffer & Shay! 

1 - What We're Eating This Week... 

Since it's a "short week" in that we travel for over half of it, we're keeping meals really simple & cleaning out the cupboards. On Sunday, I made Copycat Panera Broccolli Cheddar Soup though & it was delicious! I'll probably cook the broccoli longer next time & use mild cheddar instead of sharp, but it's pretty close to the real thing! 

2 - What I'm Reminiscing About... 

I can't get over how similar Ella & Olivia look! I mean, I know they're sisters, but when I look back at pictures of Ella it really hits me! Check out the resemblance... 

3 - What I'm Loving... 

I found Ella's winter Santa hat from her first Christmas & it seriously makes my day every time I see Livy in it. We've started referring to her as Livy Clause. 

4 - What We've Been Up To...

November is a quieter month for us because the first week is off season for cheerleading, plus we have Veteran's Day off, followed by Thanksgiving Break. The main highlight has been putting up our Christmas decorations last weekend! 

5 - What I'm Dreading... 

Ugh. We had our first significant snowfall of the season Monday & there were accidents everywhere. I know it'll get better as people adjust again, but brushing off your car & sitting in traffic isn't the most pleasant way to start your day. 

6 - What I'm Working On...

My main project right now is Christmas shopping. I really worked hard this year to set a budget and stick to it. I love to give my girls gifts, but the reality of Christmas with three extended families is they get more than their fair share of toys and clothes. So this year, I've really reigned it in on buying for them. I was also very strategic about purchases for our extended families and have bought every. single. gift. on sale!

7 - What I'm Excited About... 

I'm really quite excited about tomorrow. Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house is just delicious! 

But I'm also excited about spending Friday with my mom, aunt & sister. Then we're baking cookies all day Saturday. So lots of family time in the coming days! 

8 - What I'm Watching... 

I know I've already mentioned this on the blog, but this past month I watched the entire season of Scandal. And I'm obsessed with it. I'm really struggling with the fact that I have to wait until February for it to return.

In the meantime, I'll be watching Elf... 

9 - What I'm Listening To...

My favorite holiday station is on repeat right now - Pandora R&B and Pop Holiday Radio! I've listened to it for so many years now that all of my likes are stored & it's the perfect mix of all my favorites. 

10 - What I'm Wearing... 

So I'm kind of failing on this one because mornings have been such a mess since the time change that I haven't done any #ootd pics. But I can tell you that I've been wearing a ton of blanket scarves, leggings, tunics, and sweaters. 

11 - What I'm Doing This Weekend... 

Since it's a long weekend, let me give you the run down...

  • Thursday - Family Dinner x 2 
  • Friday - Black Friday Shopping with my mom, sister, and aunt! 
  • Saturday - Christmas Cookies 
  • Sunday - unpack & do laundry
12 - What I'm Looking Forward to in the Next Month...

SO MUCH! We're taking the girls to visit The North Pole where we'll be visiting Santa Clause! We're also going to welcome back our Elf on the Shelf, Sprinkles, and watch all of our favorite holiday movies. The best thing though is that I get to spend a week and a half at home in the country with my parents, which just makes me incredibly happy. 

Bonus - What is your favorite Thanksgiving Recipe?

Four words - Bacon Wrapped Green Beans. They will change your life! I only make them for Thanksgiving, but I dream about them all year long.

**Side Note - I've tried to get this post to format correctly for almost an hour now with zero luck. It looks fine in edit mode, but as soon as I post it, it goes back to the way it was. So, sorry that some things look a little wonky today!**

Monday, November 23, 2015

Spread Love Not Germs This Holiday Season

Being a teacher, I have a lot of people in my life that I want to recognize during the holiday season. I work with over twenty individuals on a daily basis that make a difference in the lives of my students. These are hard working teachers aids, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, and secretaries that I depend on all the time. I'd love to buy them all gift cards to go out to dinner or a nice scarf to wear all winter long. But the reality is when you have twenty of those individuals & you yourself is working off a teacher's salary... that's not possible. That's why this season, I'm creating the perfect winter care packages with the Kleenex Winter Pack, available exclusively at SAMS Club

The Kleenex Winter Pack includes 3 winter themed canisters & 8 lotion boxes - all for only $15.96 per pack - and if you buy before November 20th you can save an additional $3 too! That brings the cost down to just over a dollar per pack - which makes it an affordable addition to any teacher care package. 

To put my gift together, I paired a box of tissues with a mini bottle of hand sanitizer, then tied it all up with a festive ribbon. For a finishing touch, I added a tag that reads, "Spread Love Not Germs". 

I just think that this is the perfect gift for any school professional because we can all use more quality tissues (aka - not the sandpaper ones you get from the nurses' office) and hand sanitizer as the cold & flue season approaches! I can't wait to pass them out to my co-workers & #SpreadKleenexCare.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

I know that we still have 6 days until Thanksgiving but I'm gearing up for my favorite weekend of the year people! It's time to deck that halls! 

I have a touch of OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder - that I've been reigning in as best as possible lately, but we have our living room furniture rearranged & it's time to put up the tree. (Please note that as I'm typing this, I'm singing "Haul out the holly, put up the tree before my spirit falls again...") 

In honor of these exciting festivities, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things about the Christmas season today! 

1 - My Tree 

please note that the hideous lace curtains have been replaced #thankgod
I just love having twinkly lights in the corner of our living room & decorating with Ella is so much fun! I try to collect ornaments that are special to us (like the ornament we got on Ella's first trip to Disney) so that they serve as reminders of all the amazing memories we've made as a family while we put up the tree. 

2 - Black Friday 

Black Friday is one of my favorite days of the year. Not because I love fighting crowds or because I love the thrill of a bargain, but because I spend it with three of my favorite people in the world - my Aunt Babs, my mom & my sister. We go out to lunch, hit our favorite stores, listen to Christmas music, and recreate a few scenes from Elf, just for fun. Last year Babs & I even wore matching Elf shirts for the occasion. 

 3 - Visiting Santa

Now if I'm being honest, visiting Santa is a little bit stressful at our house. Ella was oblivious the first year, but the past two years have been a challenge. She stands in line & thinks she's going to love it.

Then when we finally get up to the front, we end up with pictures like this... 

She's bound and determined that she is going to sit on Santa's lap & tell him that she wants a pony and to get her ears pierced. (I know, such realistic choices. Neither are happening.) I'll be sure to keep you posted on how it goes. 

 4 - Festive Attire

I just love festive outfits for every holiday, so the month leading up to Christmas is jam packed with seasonal cuteness! Of course you have to have Christmas PJs... 

And we all love a festive outfit too! 

I've ordered this shirt for myself this year! It's supposed to arrive on Saturday & I can't wait to wear it all December long! 

5 - Our Elf on the Shelf 

Last year was our first experience with Elf on the Shelf & we kept it pretty simple. Ella was little, so if we screwed up she didn't really notice. This year, we're prepping to step up our game! Sprinkles will be making his debut upon our return from Thanksgiving! 

So in case you couldn't tell, I'm just a little excited! As Ella would say, this next month is going to be fun-tastic! Poor Livy doesn't know what she's in for... 

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