Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Bucket List

December hasn't even started yet and Tatum has probably worn about four Christmas onesies, picked out and decorated the tree and met Santa - as much as I already love this season, he's already making it so much fun for us.  In addition to usual things we like to do, I want to do so many more things this year - even though he has no idea, it's just fun for us to be parents and do them!

Baby's First Christmas: To be a mom at Christmas is the bet - I'm so thankful that we have our little six week old to enjoy this season.  The "baby's first ornament" is on the tree, I want to make one with his handprint, decorating his playroom,  reading him Christmas books, all the little pajamas and any crafts/activities we can do with him. 

Christmas Tree Picking: This is a new one! We've always done fake trees but Derek has always said when we have a baby he wanted to do real - we've already crossed this off the list - gone to the Christmas tree farm, explored Christmasland while we were there, picked our tree, came home and got it set up and decorated... four days later and have been enjoying it since!

House Decorating: This is our first year in the new house and I've been excited to decorate it since we created the floor plans - I'd been thinking of where to put the Christmas tree since the first round of house planning.  Our three fake trees, real tree and a bunch of decorations here/there - we didn't really decorate our townhouse outside so that's new too.

Christmas Lights Night: Driving around, listening to Christmas music, hot chocolate and now with a baby in the backseat and puppy in the front.  There's a little lit up Christmas Village in town that's always a stop along our way.

The Nutcracker: Adults only and I wasn't sure if we'd get to it this year but for our third year we'll head into the city, walk around to some of the Christmas displays, have dinner and see the show.

Santa: This is on the list every year but with Stella.  This year taking a baby will be so much fun and I can't wait to take him each year and see how it goes.  We'll go another time to "dog" day with Santa so Stella can still go too.

Gingerbread House Making: Making the houses, baking cookies, we want to have a full "gingerbread" night. Hoping to make this a tradition with Tatum as this is another new one on the list.

Local Activities: Santa parade, Christmas tree lighting, neighborhood party, Christmas train ride, etc. we'll try to fit in what we can of the activities going on each weekend.

Make Christmas Cheer: Our family Christmas drink, we make a few batches each year, let it ferment and then enjoy!

Christmas Cards: We could barely get around to taking our Christmas card picture this year with a newborn but I like to get these in the mail as early as I can - receiving them is just as fun.

Wrapping: I always joke if I could get a December side job wrapping at Bloomingdales, I would.  I love picking out my wrapping paper theme, making my own bows, etc.  I always set up a wrapping station and get to it.

Hosting: Christmas Eve Eve, an extended family Christmas dinner, a neighborhood party and any little happy hours/casual nights we can - I love having people in our home at Christmas time and while my hosting isn't quite what it use to be as I usually have a baby in one arm and one arm to work with - it's still fun.

Everything Else: 
Christmas shopping
Watching the Christmas movies... all of them
Annual family Christmas dinner
Angel tree gifts
Elf on the Shelf 
Christmas Eve breakfast 
Food bank delivery
Advent calendar

Have a great Christmas season! xx 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Tree Picking

December hasn't even started yet and I think we've already created one of my favorite memories for the season.  Derek's always wanted to get a real tree but I kept persuading him to stick with just our fake trees - this year we compromised both fake and real and it was the perfect combo.

It took us a few days to get going but the tree is in place and we decorated it last night - the lights are just about always turned on on it! 

Over the holiday weekend we set out to get our tree and it was such a fun outing.  We walked around the fam, explored and shopped at Christmasland then went out into the lot to pick our tree.  My dad was a little bit ahead of us and found us the perfect one. 

Before I knew it they were strapping the tree onto my car and we were heading home with it.

Good thing we had help getting it into the stand - it's fairly big and I just watched for moral support while everyone got it in place.

Even though it's not what I'm used to, and I think I find pine needles everywhere - this is such a fun new tradition for me - the smell isn't bad either! 

Holiday Weekend Scenes

Thanksgiving always officially starts for us the day before - we do a fun family night every year for Thanksgiving Eve.  We all got to my parents house just before dinner time for relaxing, cocktails and appetizers then a soup dinner - my mom had a few crockpots going for variety and I was in charge of the apps.  Tatum and I cozied up by the fireplace to work on our Christmas lists.

After a long day of traveling for day trip on Friday we dropped Tatum off at my parents and went out for a date night and by that I mean enjoying some appetizers for dinner and running in Target for Christmas lights and such.

Sometimes we just both get ready together... 

On Thanksgiving everyone brought Tatum a few toys that he could enjoy this season and each year to come so while he played on Saturday morning we got them set up in his playroom. 

Christmas tree picking! Mine and Tatum's first time - more to come on that fun day.

Saturday night we had a bunch of family over to watch the last Penn State game of the season before the bowl games.  

We set out early on the last day of the weekend to take advantage of a few sales and have lunch just the three of us.

A walk with both my kids - not the easiest handling both of them but we made it through and enjoyed the slightly warmer winter weather.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I had high hopes of sharing our Thanksgiving and our holiday weekend but mom life comes first and sometimes your computer doesn't work, you don't eat dinner until 9:45 and it's just one of those days...

Thanksgiving with a baby was amazing - Tatum has been our biggest blessing and reflecting on the past year we've been beyond thankful for so many things.  My mom jokes that it will take me a week to recap his first Christmas - he just makes the holidays even better! 

The day started off pretty early - as always! I was in charge of the appetizers, green bean casserole, stuffing, mushroom casserole (and then sides like cranberries and the bread) so I went ahead and got to work early.  I set the table with one hand and Tatum's help then we turned on the parade, went for a family walk and all got ourselves ready for the day. 

My family came over about 2:00 and we set out the appetizers, all grabbed a drink and settled into the kitchen for a bit.  My favorite part of this year was that it was so relaxing.  My mom and I got things ready in the kitchen, the four boys watched football and relaxed

Having a full kitchen on Thanksgiving is the best... 

We enjoyed the traditional menu - wine and appetizers to start - turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, mac n cheese and mushroom casserole. 

We didn't end up sitting down to eat until about 4:45 and Tatum spoiled us and had perfect behavior during the meal - he laid in his sleep n play between Derek and I and didn't cry until just about the last bite! 

After dinner and the Cowboys game I fell right asleep!  The nap was much needed but then we all dove into Christmas gear with Tatum - everyone had brought him a little something that he could play with this year and every year.  We finished the night off with desert and then more dessert at a neighbor's house - a very fun and memorable Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday + Gift Guide Part Two

Happy Monday! There are so many great sales still going on today - I didn't have much of a change to browse over the weekend so I'm hoping to get some online orders in today while Tatum naps.  I updated my full sale list from Friday here - some stores like JCrew upped the discount until noon and such so happy shopping!

I'm back today with my final gift guide an a little more specific - travel, cocktails, beauty, mom to be, monogram and athleisure...


Mom to be: