Wednesday, November 27, 2019

This & That: Thanksgiving Prep

We're a day away from Thanksgiving but we're all ready for Christmas over here.  We never decorate early but did this year and I've really been enjoying it - might have to be a new tradition.  We still have to get our real tree and do a few more things this weekend.  Tatum loves turning the lights onto the trees each night.

While we're in the Christmas mood, we're still excited for Thanksgiving.  We're hosting but each my mom and mother in law are bringing items so the actual food prep isn't too hard.  I have the table set, serve ware out and Tatum helped get things ready - next year hopefully he'll be setting the table for me.

To get ready for the season of giving, we did a family trip to the grocery store to load up on items to drop off to the food bank ahead of tomorrow.

We also had fun putting together and dropping off our Operation Christmas Child boxes - this always sneaks up on me each year!  I'm looking forward to next year when Tatum will understand a little bit and can be a little more help in picking things out and putting them together.

Last night we put together our gingerbread turkey set from Trader Joe's and I'm so excited that this is the first holiday season that Tatum sort of gets and enjoys activities like this - he loved putting the candy on... Will definitely be looking forward to gingerbread house making.

Happy Thanksgiving! xx 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Toddler Gift Guide & Stocking Stuffers

Happy Monday!  I probably won't get to too many gift guides this year - times flying by, there are tons of guides all over the place and they take a lot of time to put together! Toddler toys are easy though - there are so many of them and they're fun to look at.  

Anything I shared is a mix of items Tatum has and loves or are on his list.  He got a version of the cozy coupe last year and loves it.  The food cart he got for his birthday last year and still always plays with it and the tool set is a favorite from his most recent birthday.  Little people and mega blocks are always a good go to.

Putting together stockings is such fun - at Tatum's age I look for mostly little toys to fill it.  We like doing crafts so I thought a smock and paint would be a good idea.  Tatum has a few Playmobil 123 items on his list this year and this truck is small enough to fit inside the stocking.  

The dirty dogs bath toy is his absolute favorite - he loves it!  The magnetic toys are great for learning and playing too - another hit in our house.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Christmas for Littles (Toys, PJ's, Books)

Happy Monday!  We were supposed to be out of town this weekend but decided to stay home so with little plans we got out the Christmas stuff early!  I've always been a week of/weekend after Thanksgiving decorator no matter what and we still have some things to do like get our real tree but I love having everything out early.  

We've been getting into Christmas pj's early, reading Tatum's books early and got his little nativity set/tree out yesterday too.  It's nice having more time to enjoy it and not rushing it all in the one month.

This year a new item to our collection is an advent calendar!  We got the Step2 Advent Calendar and while Tatum won't totally get it this year, I'm pretty sure after the first day or so each morning he'll remember to run right over to it and be excited about what he gets.  The Gingerbread Playhouse is 40% off right now making it just $13 so I grabbed that too and I think our elf will bring that for him.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Derek and I left Tatum with my parents and made a quick adults only trip down to Dallas this weekend.  Our flight left late morning and with Dallas being an hour being us, we arrived mid afternoon there.  We settled in at the hotel then went over to the Reunion Tower to take in view over looking the city - something we'd never done before.  We walked around to a few sites downtown after that we hadn't done in a few years.

We got freshened up and headed out for a date night!  We chose one of Derek's favorite steakhouses, Nick and Sam's for dinner.   It's such a fun setting, always totally packed and delicious food (but huge portions!) 

Sunday morning we slept in and loved every second!  We got a small bite from room service then headed out to explore a little bit.  We've been to the Arboretum a few times but had never seen the Christmas stuff.  They'd put up the "12 Days of Christmas" display the day before so we picked to spend our morning checking that out - I wish the other Christmas things had been up!

We went over to Highland Park Village after to browse around and had lunch at Mi Cocina - we lucked out with a table outside since the weather was so nice.  The weather was low 70's so when we got back to the hotel we went to the pool for a little bit to read and relax - once the sun went behind a building it got a little chilly so we went back to the room to start getting ready for the game.

Sunday night we were going to the Cowboys Sunday Night Football Game against the Vikings.  The game wasn't until 7:30 but we left for the stadium a little before 5.  When we got there we spent a bit of time out in the party plaza watching performances, grabbing a drink and bite to eat.

We went into our seats early to watch warm ups and the pregame stuff.  The game was a good one and we enjoyed our night out.  The Cowboys ended up loosing right at the end, the play was right in front of us but we still had fun.

We didn't end up getting back to the hotel until late on Sunday night so we slept in on Monday.  We got a notification that our flight was delayed an hour so we took our time packing up then went downstairs for some breakfast before getting over to the airport and heading home.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Disney Q&A

I can't believe our Disney trip started almost exactly a month ago... I'm still having withdraws!  Tatum has been playing with Mickey, Minnie and all the other "friends" he brought home since the day we got home - he loves them.  I'm sharing my final experiences and things I learned during our magical Disney days... 

Tatum's Favorite rides?
It's a Small World
Peter Pan's Flight
Buzz Light Year's Space Ranger Spin
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

What souvenirs did you buy?
My two favorite keepsakes are a handout custom silhouette of Tatum and a Mickey Christmas ornament.  The silhouette we got down a small alley on Main Street - it was only $20 including a frame.  We let Tatum pick out a few toys - including a plastic set of Mickey & friends, a medium sized Mickey and Minnie and a bigger Pluto to add to his set.

Where did you stay?
We stayed at the Grand Floridian and couldn't have loved it more.  It's right on the monorail line - the first stop after the hotel is the Magic Kingdom so it's great when you're rushing out in the morning.  There are a bunch of restaurants and Tatum loved the pool - we didn't even make it to the main pool since he loved the one by our room so much.

Favorite meals?
Our character meals were hands down everyone's favorite!  Since Tatum is young, it was the easiest way for him to quickly interact with the characters.  The buffet meals were even better - not having to wait for food to come when dining with a toddler is the best.  My favorites were 1900 Park Fare (we did breakfast and dinner since it was at our hotel) and Chef Mickey's!

Are extra magic hours worth it?
100%!  Nobody in our group wanted to spend a long time waiting in lines and Tatum would not have handled that well (especially since you park the stroller before getting in line).  We knocked out about 5 rides during the extra magic hours and a few more quickly in the first hour the park was open.

What was in your park bag?
Honestly, a lot of stuff I never touched!  I had a change of clothes for Tatum in a plastic bag (in case anything was dirty or wet), his iPad, bandaids, extra phone batteries, etc.  The items in the bag that we used were snacks (I did overpack them though), diapers/wipes, sanitizer, autograph book and sharpie.  I kept items for Derek and I like sunglasses in the outside pocket.

What would you do differently next time?
Not much!  I loved how we broke up our days by doing the park early in the morning and having a nice long break in the afternoon.  For really little kids I'd make sure to break up Magic Kingdom into two days and pick one other park - since we already did Epcot, next time I'd probably try Hollywood Studios.  Depending on how long you're there or if just two days, maybe just do two MK days. 

Until next time... 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Halloween 2019

Happy Monday!  These pictures might look like a Christmas photo shoot but today I'm sharing about our Halloween.  Tatum went as Santa and Derek and I joined as Elves and Stella as Rudolph.  I figured I could only get away with this costume being cute while he was two or under and next year he'll also probably want to pick his costume.

We had a great year this year - Tatum was at an age where he loved trick-or-treating.  He'd speed from house to house and grab candy (not that he knew it was candy which was good!)  We had some treats for him to eat instead.  We had a little party with a bunch of his friends before then trick-or-treated as a group before doing a little bit by ourselves.

It was rainy all day but dry for trick-or-treating hours so we lucked out - it was weirdly warm, in the lower 70's though and a couple hours after trick-or-treating we had a tornado warning and the craziest storm.  My brother handed out candy for us at our house and Tatum loved showing off what he got when we got home.

I had chicken tortilla soup going in the crockpot so we enjoyed a late dinner and watched It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown before Tatum went to bed quite a bit after his bedtime!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pumpkin Carving Party

Halloween Eve Eve we had our usual Pumpkin Carving Party with family.  We did four pumpkins - carved by the guys and Tatum wanted so badly to help out.  We brought in a plain little pumpkin from the porch and his little tool set and he "got to work!"  He also used his Halloween stamps to decorate it.

We got some catering from on of our favorite local places plus some cheese and crackers and funfetti cupcakes and it was an easy hosting night!  This is always such a fun night during Halloween week and I'm glad Tatum enjoyed it as much as he did this year.

Happy Weekend! xx