Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas Bucket List

This weekend marks the start of December and we are into the Christmas spirit full force.  Tatum is at a fun age so we're looking forward to doing a lot with him.  We have so many wonderful traditions that we look forward to plus a couple new ones this year.

Christmas Tree Picking & Decorating + House Decorating:
We've already checked this one off our list.  We went to a local farm to get our tree and got it in the stand with lights.  Tuesday night we finally decorated it.  It was a slow process but the house is decorated inside as well as out now too.

Christmas Lights Night:
I love the night we do this.  We'll either eat a fun meal at home or go out.  We usually stop by a local park that's all lit up and Tatum can run around and look then we'll drive through a few neighborhoods including our own!

Christmas Giving:
Tis the season for giving.  We enjoyed doing Operation Christmas Child for the first time - Tatum did four boxes.  We always enjoy donating to the food bank especially this time of the year.  We're hosting a Christmas Party in a few weeks and asking guests to join us in donating so we're hoping for a big drop off!  We always love shopping for our angel tree gifts at church, in fact we're doing that tomorrow.

The Nutcracker & Other Date Nights:
It's such a fun season for date nights and we have a couple good ones planned.  Like always we'll go into the city to see The Nutcracker and have a nice dinner - we'll probably spend some time enjoying the Christmas Village in the city before.  We're also going into the city another night to see The Grinch on Broadway and hoping to squeeze in a date night too.

Santa Visit(s):
We're taking Tatum for his official mall Santa visit on Friday but like last year I'm sure we'll probably see Santa a few other times.  We also take Tatum and Stella to a local Christmas Village in town on the "dog night" so Stella can go too!  Tatum has a brunch with Santa and a Christmas train ride planned too.

North Pole Breakfast & Other Kid Things:
This is my favorite because it's all new to us this year!  We had our North Pole Breakfast with our Elf already.  Tatum's room is decorated and he has a little play tree as well as the little people manger.  Tons of Christmas books and a couple interactive stuffed animals too.  We'll show him how to move the advent calendar each day, do some crafts - hopefully some for gifts and have a little Christmas movie night fun for him.

Gingerbread House Making:
This was new for us last year and Derek & I had such fun making the gingerbread houses.  We'll let Tatum "help" a little bit but he also has a Gingerbread Wonderland event at our country club too.  We never got around to making gingerbread cookies last year so we're hoping to do that.

Local Activities:
So many activities and we're hoping to pack in as many as possible - tree lightings, a live nativity, Santa parades, a caroling hayride, Christmas lights at the zoo, Longwood Gardens - a place filled with gorgeous flowers and Christmas displays... The list goes on and on.

Christmas Cheer & Cookies:
We'll try to space the baking out this year - lots of cookies to be made.  Christmas Cheer is our family's Christmas drink and it's delicious - I look forward to it each year.

Christmas Cards:
Our Christmas cards have arrived and it's time to just package them and get them in the mail soon.  I ordered a new card display holder this year to display the ones we get - I love checking the mail this time of the year.

Hosting & Such:
We have a fun Christmas Eve Eve dinner with family and it's probably my favorite day of the year.  Derek and I like to try to have an appetizer or take out night by our living room tree a couple times each season.  We'll be hosting a Christmas party and I'd love to have an additional happy hour or family dinner.  

I always look forward to our Christmas meals - Christmas Eve breakfast and dinner and same on the next day.  

New York City:
We skipped this last year because of Tatum but this year we're going to take him with us and I'm SO excited.  Taking him to see the tree, the newly opened FAO Schwartz, some good meals, a carriage ride and shopping are on the to do list.  

Everything Else:
Gift shopping, cookie baking, music & movies, family Christmas dinner(s), wrapping... 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

North Pole Breakfast

On Sunday morning, Tatum's elf came back from the North Pole.  Bernard joined us last year even though Tatum was less than two months old, we wanted him to have the tradition from the start.

Tatum had no idea what was going on but he had a huge smile when he saw the table set up so that made it all worth it!  We also set up his little Christmas tree and little people nativity set - it's going to be fun chasing after those balls on the tree all season ha!

After a little bit of playing we did breakfast and Tatum enjoyed his first powdered donuts - which he loved!  We also wrote his little list to Santa.  He's at such a fun age right now so I'm cherishing this Christmas season with him.

Christmas Tree Picking

The day after Thanksgiving we went to pick out our Christmas tree!  We have a couple fake trees from previous years but last year Tatum and I got our first real tree - a tradition that Derek had always done.  Seeing as we are new to this - it's always one of my favorite days of the holiday season.

 In addition to getting the tree, there's a "Christmasland" village with decorations, ornaments and tons of poinsettias so we got our poinsettias for the season and also an ornament for Tatum - a new tradition I'd like to do each year when we get the tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Holiday Weekend Scenes

We had a very low key long holiday weekend.  We kicked things off Wednesday - Tatum noticed to ornaments on our living room tree for the first time - luckily they are felt.  I finished some last minute setting up - the food table, the dinner table, cleaning, anything I could do before the holiday.

Late afternoon we picked up the turkey at a local spot ad well as the pies at a farm by my parents so we went over to their house to relax a bit and my mom made everyone a nice Thanksgiving Eve meal.

A lost Thanksgiving photo... That morning we had fun in the kitchen our little family - I prepared my sides, Tatum enjoyed some apple cider donuts and Derek had the music going before we went in to watch the parade.

After a lazy Friday morning of cleaning up and relaxing on the couch, late morning we headed out to the Christmas tree farm to get our tree... always one of my favorite days and more coming soon!  We got the tree into the stand and the lights on later in the day... Hopefully decorating it tonight!

Saturday we were lazy and it was wonderful.  We stayed in our pajamas late, I got most of the Christmas decorations out, Tatum took a very long nap so I also started a little bit of sale shopping.  We picked up a pizza for dinner and had a quiet night in since it was pouring outside.

Sunday morning Tatum's elf, Bernard came back from the North Pole!  More on that tomorrow but it was our first time to do the festive breakfast and he had a huge smile when he saw everything set up.

Like we usually do, we made a quick trip to the mall early to get in some sale shopping before things got busy.  When we got back and Tatum was napping the weather was nice so we tried to get most of our outdoor decorations set up.

To finish off the weekend we went into our little town for the Christmas parade - Santa rode in on the first float so we let Tatum watch a bit before sneaking out a little early to get home for dinner, early to bed and a Hallmark movie.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Monday!  We had such a nice holiday weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We hosted my family and Derek's parents then a bunch of aunt, uncles and cousins for dessert.

Derek, Tatum and I had a nice and quiet morning watching the parade, cooking and getting things ready for dinner.

We had appetizers in the afternoon and like usual had dinner a little later than we planned. Dessert was later into the evening with a full and fun house.

While this was Tatum's second Thanksgiving, it was his first time to run around in the kitchen and taste the food & dessert so we had a great time celebrating.

Tatum loved every bite on his plate.  He got to play a lot, stay up late and eat a ton.  We are thankful for so many things and it was wonderful to have so much family together - looking very forward to the holiday season ahead now...

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday Sales

Happy Black Friday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday - I'm so looking forward to this holiday weekend and getting ready for Christmas.  I plan to do a bunch of sale shopping (only online) and wanted to share a few of the sales... 

50% off everything with code... black friday

30% off... prices as marked

Buy more, save more on certain items... 15% off $100-$249, 20% off $250-$399, 25% off $400+

50% off everything with code... blkfriday + extra 10% off online only with code... treat

50% off everything with code... tgif

J. Crew Factory:
40% off site wide with code... add2cart

30% off everything with code... givecheer

20% off everything, 25% off $100+, 30% off $200+ (no code needed)

50% off everything with code... friyay

25% off everything with code... dealwithit

20% off everything with code... friends

50% off (no code needed)

15% off $200+, 20% off $500+, 25% off $800+ with code... more18

30% off $250 with code... thanks

20% off site wide, 25% off over $500, 30% off $1,000+ with code... gowild

and for the littles... Carters (60% off), Janie & Jack (30% off), Pottery Barn Kids (25% off)

Happy Shopping! xx 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Eve: This or That

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  The eve of the holiday is always my favorite - today we're running last minute errands for tomorrow and then it's our annual Thanksgiving Eve family dinner.  We've been busy the last week or so getting festive... 

Thanksgiving Prep:
We're hosting again this year and I'm very excited - last year with a one month old baby, I almost can't even remember the day!  I'm excited to enjoy this day with lots of family members and that I had proper time to prep for it.

I also threw together a couple flower arrangements last night to compliment one of the food display tables for Thursday. 

Thanksgiving Week Festivities:
It's been a fun week - we kicked things off with Friendsgiving on Friday at a friend's house with a fun group, we also gathered some items for the food bank and Tatum joined Mom and I on his first "Tuesday before Thanksgiving shopping trip" yesterday.

First Snow:
Last Thursday we had our first snow!  It was supposed to be nothing and a dusting then switching off to rain but it stuck and we got a couple inches.  Tatum and I had been running errands and stopped in the office in the morning but got home just in time - it was a little slippery getting onto our street. Luckily we brought home lunch and already had food for dinner so we were cozy and good to go!

Veteran's Day Parade:
Also last week we walked over from the office to our little main street in town so Tatum could see a little bit of the Veteran's Day Parade - my cousin was walking in it so we saw him and his school then went back to the office for lunch.

Christmas Prep:
Like I said it snowed last week, we were stuck indoors and it felt right to get a couple Christmas decorations out.  Since we're hosting Thanksgiving  I didn't want anything near the kitchen, dining room, etc. rooms where everyone would be so we brought up the living room tree and I decorated that room - it's my favorite room this time of the year!

Operation Christmas Child:
This is something that I've wanted to do for a couple years - I missed the deadline in the past and last year I was busy with Tatum but this year I was ready to start this tradition with him and can't wait to continue doing it.  We did four boxes for kids ages 2-4 (closest to his age) - two boys and two girls.   We had fun filling the boxes with stuffed animals, sticker, activity and coloring books, water colors, musical toys, card games, crayons, tic tac toe sets, toy trucks, footballs and helpful items like wash cloths, soap, toothbrushes, bandaids, tissues, etc.  Looking forward to doing again next year and if you haven't heard of this and want to join in next year, you can find more information here.

Cozy Nights:
We've been making an effort to be home, cozy and relaxing on weeknights recently.  October was ab busy month and around Halloween we were SO busy!  We're done our trips to Penn State and vacations in general for 2018 so we've been enjoying some downtime before the busy holiday season.

Wishing you the very best Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday weekend! xx