It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Monday, November 30, 2015

So, Friday morning, I woke up and immediately checked my e-mail to see which of my favorite stores were doing the best Black Friday sales. After placing a few orders on my phone, I looked at Brian wide eyed because it hit was also decorating for Christmas day!!! I jumped up and started bouncing on the bed, "You get to get our decorations down from the rafters so we can decorate today! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!" 

True story. :)

My whole life I have loved decorating for Christmas. There is just something so warm and cozy about coming home to a Christmassy house. Now that we have Baylee, having decor up is even more fun, because she notices the changes and gets so excited! Bless my tired girls heart, she was so worn out from Thanksgiving and a little morning Black Friday shopping that she took a 3.5 hour nap on Friday afternoon! So, Brian and I had ample time to get all the decorating done before she woke up.

This year, I decided to go with the "less is more" route and actually kept a lot of my old decorations in their boxes. Our house is on the small side, so it's easy to make it look cluttered by putting out too much. We started with our tree and mantle. The tree has a lot of basic bulbs (plastic ones near the bottom for little curious hands of course!) and all of our sentimental ornaments that we've acquired over the course of our relationship. We have a tradition of picking out a new ornament from Disneyland every year, so we will add one more ornament to the tree in a few weeks. I love our lights that we used because we found some that are only red, green, and white...I feel like it's so unique looking!

Under the tree sit my beloved stuffed Rudolph and Clarice. They were gifts from the company one Christmas when I worked at Build-A-Bear and I have cherished them every Christmas since. 

I'm so happy with how my mantle turned out this year! I put up some simple garland with white lights and then found some amazing wooden snowflakes that give it just the right touch. We also invested in some new stocking holders (15% off on today!) and new stockings from Hobby Lobby for Baylee and me. I love how the plaid and wood all look cabin-esq. (Totally a word.) Brian, of course, has his Marine Corps stocking proudly displayed.

As usual, I made a new chalk board picture to display on our half wall between the family room and kitchen. Totally didn't even realize I did the same quote as last year, but I'm sticking to it because I like the way it turned out. :) Keeping with the "wood" theme, I found some wood gift tags and tied them to some twine to make a banner to hang underneath my chalkboard. On either side I have Chesapeake Bay candles in pine that I snagged from Target for only $3 a piece on Black Friday! They smell amazing too.

For the dining room table, I went simple this year and filled one of my nice bowls with pine cones and bulb ornaments. I added my candlesticks to either side and boom! Instant centerpiece. I set up my Nativity scene on the corner of the booth this year, and it fit perfectly. This set was a garage sale find from last year. Brian happened on a lady who collects nativity scenes and was selling a bunch of them for cheap. She claims this one was purchased in Italy, which, if it's true, if pretty dang cool to this Italian girl! I love the way a simple Nativity scene helps keep Christ in Christmas. 

Another great Target find this year was this twine and clothespin kit to hang Christmas cards with. I never know what to do with all my cards with what little space we have, so this is a perfect way to display them as they come. We even received a few this year already!

I'm so very in love with our little Christmas house this year. When there is a fire in the fireplace, this is my view, and it makes me oh, so happy. :)

When Baylee woke up from her nap and saw all the decorations she about flipped her lid. She was screaming and pointing and giggling, and it made our hours of hard work so completely worth it! I think she already has this Christmas thing figured out...she gets it from her Mama. ;)

Oh, and an honorable mention, Brian put Christmas lights up on the house over the weekend as well, and they turned out fabulous! He even managed to string the lights out to say "HO HO HO" on our fence. My Christmas joy must be rubbing off on him. You think I can get him to make it say Merry Christmas in cursive next year? ;)

Until next time! XoXoXo

Thanksgiving Recap!

Friday, November 27, 2015

After a long day of shopping and decorating, hubbs and I are now sitting by the Christmas tree with a fire roaring in the fireplace. So cozy. :) I love this time of year so so much!

  I've been going through the pictures from Thanksgiving yesterday and it reminded me all over again just how very blessed I am to have such loving people in my life. This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving over at my grandparents' house. It's been quite a few years since I have been able to spend Thanksgiving with them, so it was really nice. 

We started cooking in the morning with aprons on and mimosas in hand, because there's truly no better combo. ;) Even Miss Baylee got her very own apron!

Isn't my Nanny the prettiest ever? :)

While we cooked, Brian and my Papa hung lights on their house. They have the cutest house for lights, and it turned out so pretty. They may have even had a little helper to help tangle untangle all the lights! Hehe.

While the turkey was setting, I got Baylee dressed and we went outside for a little photo shoot with my sisters. She looked so adorable in her little chambray dress, tights and moccs! I totally wish I had bought her dress in the next size up so she could wear it again this spring.

Baylee was a bit of a grump at dinner, because she was exhausted from not getting a very long nap, but she stayed happy long enough to try a little bit of all the delicious food. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce,  and, of course, pumpkin pie and spice cake cupcakes for dessert. She seemed to like what we could get her to try, and we all ate until we were more stuffed than a turkey! Thank goodness for stretchy jeans! 

After dinner, we sat around the living room and talked and played with Baylee. I taught her how to put olives on her fingers and it was like instant good mood after that! I wish I had thought of it earlier! It was so nice to just relax with family and actually get to spend some quality time with my husband. We really don't get that enough these days. My Christmas resolution this year is less hustle bustle and more time for snuggles. :)

I hope you all had as wonderful of a Thanksgiving as we did! 

Now, may the Christmas season officially commence!

Fa La La La La La La La La!

Until next time! XoXoXo

Baylee's Christmas List: Ideas For 1 Year Olds

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! We are in full Turkey Day prep mode, and I can't wait to enjoy family and good food tomorrow.  Also, this weekend is the kick off to the most wonderful time of the year and my heart is bursting with excitement to share all our fun traditions with Baylee and to start some new ones too. :)

We took Baylee to meet Santa last week. She looked absolutely adorable, but in true 16 month old fashion, she was terrified of him. We calmed her down with a candy cane and managed to get the cutest pouty picture ever.

Seeing Santa had me thinking about Baylee's Christmas list! She is at one of those ages where it's a little difficult to decide what to get her because she's too big for baby toys, but not quite there for a lot of the big kid toys yet. So, after some research, I compiled a list of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for 1 year olds this year.

I loved my Magna-Doodle so much, and it made me so happy that they still make them! This is a perfect mess free art toy for little hands...and mamas who have a doodling problem. ;)

This is a perfect age to start with peg puzzles. I know Baylee would have so much fun matching the animals to their spots, and it's a great way to learn animal sounds!

This is one of the gifts that Santa is bringing Baylee this year for sure because I fell in love with it! My kid loves music, so I know she's going to have so much fun playing the keyboard and singing into her microphone. I can't wait to see her put on a show!

I love the minimalist gift giving idea of "something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read." So, this year as her something to read, I would love to get Baylee this Little Golden Book of all the stories I grew up with! Little Pokey Puppy is my fav!

Little people are great for this age because they're tiny and chunky for little hands, but not small enough to be a choking hazard. Baylee has the Disney Princess Little People Castle with Snow White and Cinderella, so she will be getting all the other princesses and their friends for Christmas. She is going to be stoked! 

Now that Baylee is a walking pro, pushing around a stroller will blow her mind! I am so excited to take her on walks and let her push her little baby. :)

What's a stroller without a brand new baby doll to push in it? This year, Baylee will be getting her first Cabbage Patch baby! I love how timeless Cabbage Patch is, and she's going to love how soft and huggable she is. We are getting her the newborn, and you get to pick the name and birthdate for the birth certificate! Too cute.

We are still undecided, but I would love to get Baylee a play slide like this one or something similar for her to play with in our yard. I know she will enjoy it, especially this spring and summer when we play outside a lot!

I hope this helps you get started for some gift ideas for your littles! :) 

Have a blessed Thanksgiving filled with love and lots of pumpkin pie!

Until next time! XoXoXo

Friday Favorites: Shop Small!

Friday, November 20, 2015

With the Christmas shopping season going in to full effect starting with Black Friday next week, I'd thought I would post a few of my favorite "Small Shops" for some gifting ideas! I am definitely a supporter of a lot of name brand goods, but I have a special place in my heart for small shops and handmade. A lot of the shop owners are SAHMs, just like me, and decided to use their talents to make a few bucks. So, when you shop small, your money isn't just going to a huge corporation; it's putting Christmas dinner on the table or buying christmas presents for the kids in these families. :)

I don't get to shop as often as I would like to at these shops, but when I do, their products never disappoint! Here is Baylee at Bass Pro last night rocking her moccasins from Wright Design Co. They are my favorite shop ever for baby moccasins and have a lot of cute colors to choose from! (And you seriously can't beat the price!)

For knotted headbands (for baby and mama!), I love Mint and Arrows. The headbands I have ordered from them are top quality and they have the cutest prints to choose from!  Here is Baylee modeling her pink polka dot headband when she was 9 months old. (Um, baby fever much?!)

I have a few favorite shops for graphic tees. Sweetees is where I got my favorite "Minnie is My Homegirl" shirt for Baylee, and we get compliments on it every time she wears it to Disneyland! They also have a bunch of other cute slogans, and you can get them on raglans and hoodies as well. 

Glitter Ever After has the best Disney shirts for mamas and minis! I am dying to get the mermaid shirts for Baylee and I to wear to Disney this spring/summer. Another fav for the Holiday Season, "Reindeers Are Better Than People." Heart eyes!

Hello Apparel has shirts, sweatshirts, and onesies for the whole family to match! Their "I'm So Tired" for mama and "I'm Not Tired" for baby are the cutest twinsie set ever. :)

Loved By Hannah and Eli is who carries my beloved "Mama Bear" shirts. They also have "Papa Bear", "Baby Bear", etc. I could seriously rock a "Mama Bear" shirt all day every day!

Here is Bay sporting "Minnie is My Homegirl"

I adore the onesie, baby leggings, and bow sets they have at Three Sweet Limes. You better believe if we ever have another baby girl (God willing!!!) she will be getting a set for all of her first holidays.

Free Babes Handmade has the most precious handmade bows I have ever seen. I need to get Baylee some of the pigtail sets for her ever growing piggie tails that I am in love with! You can get all of their bows either on a clip or on a headband for little babes.

We're not going to be able to afford it this year, but either for her birthday or next Christmas I want to get Baylee one of the handmade dolls from Sew Many Pretties soooo bad! I think they are absolutely precious, and I know she would just love her to pieces. :)

Of course, I have my favorite shops for gifts for all the lovely ladies in your life too! Candelles makes the yummiest smelling soy wax candles ever and they come in the prettiest labeled jars. (And they have a scent called "Santa's Cookies"...just sayin'...)

 Twinkle Twinkle Lil' Jar has coffee cups, wine glasses, and mason jars with fun sayings and lots of glitter. Love them! I need the "I Run on Coffee and Kisses" mug in my life for sure!

I hope this guide helps you get started on doing some small shop shopping this year. Next Saturday is Shop Small Saturday, but you don't have to wait until then...a lot of these shops are having sales and deals going on already that you really can't beat! 

Comment if you have any favorite shops of your own! I love finding new ones!

Until next time! XoXoXo

Today With Bay!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

8:00 Good morning Baylee!

 8:02 I confiscate the paci stash. 

She always has 3 or 4 pacis in her crib at night. I have to swipe them and hide them in the morning or else she will find them and try to have one in her mouth all day. I don't think so kiddo.

8:05 1/2 Caff

I'm really trying to cut back on my caffeine intake. Trying.

8:15 Kissy comes to breakfast. 

Kissy is Baylee's stuffed dog that she is obsessed with. Recently, he goes everywhere with us. She hasn't started trying to take him to bed with her yet, but if she's awake Kissy isn't far away.

8:20 Peach oatmeal! Yum!

8:25 Five bites is enough, right mom? 

Someone got distracted by "Milnie" (Minnie Mouse) and decided breakfast was overrated and that playing was more important. 

8:40 Protein shake for Mama!

8:45 M-I-C-K-E-Y 

While I drink my shake, Baylee watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In this picture she is telling me that she sees "dubbles" (bubbles) on the TV. And she's absolutely correct. ;)

9:45 Outside time!

After running around getting both of us ready for the day, I let her play outside for a bit before we went on our errands.

10:00 Mama's shopping buddy! Let's go!

10:20 Hobby Lobby 

11:00 Babies R Us 

Wait...what's missing?

11:03 Found Kissy in the parking lot.

He must have heard there was a Petsmart in the shopping center. 

12:30 Nap time=prayer and reading time!

Once we got home, I gave Baylee a bottle and we watched "Up" for a little while, then it was time for nap. I try to read my prayer book during nap time every day. It's relaxing to have a little quiet time with God, and more often than not the reading of the day is just what I needed to hear. :)

2:30 Baylee wakes up to a fresh and clean Kissy!

3:00 Lunch! 

I've been trying to fit Baylee's lunch in before her nap lately, but with how busy we were this morning it just didn't happen. So, late lunch it was! Today we had grilled chicken, green beans, and string cheese.

3:45 Playing at the park!

The weather was very nice today (about 70 degrees) so, after lunch we played at the park. I've been wanting to take Baylee's picture in this Baby Gap dress for forever, so I let her play with pine cones and we had a mini photo shoot! How I love taking pictures of my girl!

4:30 Tar-jay!

Our park is right across the street from Target, so after we were done playing we did our daily weekly Target run. ;)

The big white tree with all the silver and gold ornaments calls to me.

Oh, and I am completely obsessed with all the little felt ornaments this year! Heart eyes! Am I the only one who puts decorations on the little fake tree displays?

5:00 I literally went just for milk and Shout.

Oops. Don't tell hubby. 

5:15 Playtime in Baylee's room.

I watched her play while I put away laundry and set up our Hobby Lobby finds. Brian's rule is that I can't put up any Christmas decorations in the house until the day after Thanksgiving, but I figured Bay's room doesn't really count. Right?

Is this not the cutest mini tree ever?!

And we got a new Christmas book! I can't wait to read it to her.

The title is my sentiments exactly. ;)

6:15 Din din!

Mama got lazy and heated up more green beans and chicken. Baylee didn't notice.

6:45 Rubber Ducky, you're the one!

7:00 Happy Feet

Complete with a paci and a penguin to cuddle. :)

At 8:00 we read "Goodnight Moon" and put this day to bed.

Goodnight noises everywhere.