Christmas 2019 Recap!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

I’m still having trouble believing that Christmas 2019 is already over! I feel like it was the fastest season we have ever had, and I truly was not ready for it to end! 

Brian ended up finding out about a week before that he was getting force-hired for Christmas Day, so we decided to hold most of our festivities on Christmas Eve! That morning, we went to Brian’s parents mountain home for brunch. It was so nice to have a quiet visit, and I made Rudolph pancakes for my girls and nieces!

After we opened some presents, we headed back to our house to have our own little Christmas with just us 4. We had an early dinner, then we piled all the presents for the girls and each other in front of the fireplace, and let them take their time opening and enjoying each gift. It was the coziest Christmas celebration I think we have ever had! We put milk, cookies, & carrots out for Santa and his reindeer, and then we tucked the girls in. 

After a few hours of eggnog, gift assembly, & watching Home Alone, my sisters and their husbands and my niece Kennedy all came to the house. We all went to bed fairly early because we knew it wouldn’t be long before little girls would be waking us up to see if Santa came!

Brian left for work super early that morning, and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to come down stairs to have my coffee and enjoy the quiet before the storm!

Baylee was the first one awake, so we got the little ones out of their cribs shortly after. Before long, paper was flying, and the girls had the time of their lives seeing what Santa brought! My dad also surprised them with a bike and a play house. 

We had our traditional cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs for breakfast and let the girls play with their toys until nap time. We missed our best guy, but we definitely made the most of the day! My sisters had to go to in-law houses for dinner, so I had a quiet dinner at home with my girls. I thought I would be sad, but it was actually very relaxing. There’s no doubt that being a mom during the holidays is pretty stressful, so having a quiet evening with my girls was a perfect way to end our Christmas! 

Even though Christmas was a little different this year, it was still an amazing one, and I’m already sad that it’s over! But this morning we woke up to 5 or 6 inches of snow, so I’m going to make the falalalala last as long as I can! ;)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, friends!

Christmas Pictures 2019

Friday, December 13, 2019

Now that most of my Christmas cards have been sent out, I can finally share our Christmas photo shoot with all of you! We reunited with our photographer friends Randi & Chris from Genesis Imagery, and it was well worth the drive to San Diego! We hadn't had pictures done with them since my maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Natalie, so it was so great to finally do a shoot with them and have both my girls there! :)

I am so obsessed with the light & airy feel our pictures have this year! Even though it was a chilly evening, Randi and Chris managed to capture us and our girls with so much warmth. I will absolutely cherish this shoot forever!

They also snuck in some cousin shots!


I love my sweet little tribe so hard!

If you are local to San Diego, and would like to shoot with Genesis Imagery, please contact them here!

Madame Alexander Under the Tree

Friday, December 6, 2019

This year, Natalie got one of her presents early. She's a sweet Baby Cuddles doll from Madame Alexander, and Natty is enchanted by her! This was Natalie's first baby doll of her very own, and I have a feeling she will be a favorite for a very long time. She immediately went in to little-mommy-mode pretending that her baby had a "boo-boo" and kissing it.

Madame Alexander is a trusted high-quality doll company that has been around for 95 years. They make everything from collectible fancy dolls to soft, cuddly baby dolls, so there is truly a doll for everyone on their website. We are officially hooked on their sweet little painted features and adorable clothes. 

Since Natalie is still a little young to name her toys on her own, Baylee and I decided to name her new doll "Faith" which is Natalie's second middle name! Faith is the perfect doll for toddlers and preschoolers. She's soft in the middle, but has a realistic face and hands. (With the most precious painted on features, and eyes that open and close!) She's a 14 inch doll, so she's a great size for Natalie's little arms to cuddle.

If you're looking for the perfect doll to gift to a special child in your life this year, I could not recommend Madame Alexander more! You will be so happy with the quality, you might even want one for yourself! ;) 

 **Paid partnership with Madame Alexander. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Pay It Forward This Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Happy Giving Tuesday! Every year I make a list of ways to pay it forward during the holiday season, so in honor of this day, I thought I would share my list with you! Also, I would love to hear your ideas, so I can continue adding to the list.

1. Leave treats and/or water in your mailbox with a note thanking your mail carrier for all their hard work.
2. Pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru.
3. Take blankets to a local animal shelter. 
4. Donate gently used clothes, books, and toys to a homeless shelter or goodwill.
5. Take a new unwrapped toy to a Toys For Tots donation spot. (Click here to find your local donation center) 
6. Bake holiday cookies and other treats, package them up, and deliver them to your neighbors. 
7. Participate in Operation Christmas Child by filling a shoe box with toys and toiletries. 
8. Pay a compliment to a random stranger.
9. Donate money to your favorite non-profit organization.
10. Leave a more generous tip than you normally would for your server at a restaurant.
11. Go out of your way to thank someone who is usually underappreciated (a grocery store clerk, custodian, garbage truck driver, etc.)
12. Donate food to a church food drive.
13. Hold the door open for someone, even if you are in a rush. 
14. Let someone go ahead of you in line at a store.
15. Take a "thank you" note and some treats to a local fire station or police station.
16. Leave a bag of quarters at a vending machine or laundromat with a note saying "This one is on me!"
17. Take a friend or relative out to lunch "just because".
18. Bring treats to a local hospital for the doctors and nurses.
19. Write a positive review for a small shop or business.
20. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump. 

If you do anything on this list, please let me know, I would love to hear your stories! Also, like I said, comment with your favorite random acts of kindness, and I will add them as honorable mentions to this list. :)  

December Bucket List

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Happy December 1st, sweet friends! The month we have all  been waiting for is finally here, and just like every year, we have a ton of fun things planned! Here is our 2019 December Bucket List!


 December Bucket List 2019

 1.Send Christmas cards to all our dear friends and family
2. Visit Disneyland to watch the Christmas parade and fireworks.
3. Bake gingerbread cookies.
4. Decorate a gingerbread house.
5. Host our annual Christmas pajama party.
6. Watch a Christmas movie every day.
7. Attempt a visit to Santa.
8. Read all of our Christmas books.
9. Have a Christmas cookie baking day and make at least one new type of cookie.
10. Make Rudolph pancakes for Christmas Eve breakfast. 
11. "Pay it forward" at least once a week.
12. Watch Baylee in her winter recital for ballet and hip hop.
13. Visit the mountains a few times to play in the snow!
14. Have a date night with Brian complete with seeing a movie and then Christmas shopping and coffee.
15. Do some Christmas crafts with Baylee. 
16. Drink hot chocolate by the fireplace.
17. Get fresh garland to hang on the banisters.
18. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
19. Put milk and cookies out for Santa.
20. Have a little New Year's Eve party for the girls. 

What are some things on your bucket list this year??

Christmas Gifts For Siblings

Monday, November 18, 2019

Every year, I love making some new gift guides here on the blog for you guys. This Christmas, since I not only have my two girls, but also my niece living with us, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas for gifts to give to siblings that they can share. It definitely keeps things more cost-friendly, and, at least in my experience, ripping in to a gift with your sibling can be so much fun! :)

1. Cassaro Wooden Rocker The girls just got this as an early gift, and they are obsessed with it. All three of them play with it at some point every day. It is big enough to fit two kids at a time, so there is a lot of fun to be had! 

2. Hooray Heroes Sibling Book We have the original Hooray Heroes sibling book, so when they released their Christmas book this year, I knew we just had to have it! It is so cute how you can personalize the characters to look like your kids, and pick which stories go in to the book! I know this will be a book we look forward to reading every Christmas! Use the code HOORAYXMAS15 for 15% off all of their books!

3. Kid Kraft Play Kitchen Baylee got this kitchen for her second birthday, and it has been played with pretty much every day over the last 3.5 years. Natalie and my niece Kennedy adore it just as much as Baylee does, and the three of them spend hours pretending to cook and play "restaurant". It's truly the cutest thing, and such a great investment!

4. Magnetic Tiles The girls actually don't have any of these yet, but they are getting some this year. Everyone I know raves about how much fun they are, and it's something they will definitely all get to play with together.

5. Melissa & Doug Easel Baylee got this easel for her third Christmas and it's still a hit! With two sides to use for coloring and painting, it's perfect for siblings to share so that they can work on their art at the same time.

6. Lego Duplo Blocks The little girls are still too small for regular Legos, so we have a ton of Lego Duplo blocks that they love to play with together. They're the perfect starter block for tiny hands, and a great tool for teaching about working together! 

Are you getting any gifts for your kids to share this year? 
Let me know in the comments! :)


Love List

Friday, November 8, 2019

It's been quite a while since I did a love list, so I figured there was no better time then at the beginning of the best season of all! For me, the holidays should always have a cozy vibe, so most of the things on this list are all about cozy! :)
1. Matching Jammies from Lazy One Inc. We do matching jammies every year, but these definitely are the most comfortable sets we have ever owned. I love how they're all a little different, but still the same print, and that you can get a matching set for your pup! You can save 10% off your purchase using the code: ASHLEE10
2. Christmas Sheets. I love having warm flannel sheets in the cold months, and a Christmas print just makes it so festive and fun! These sheets from Target are my favorite and they come in sizes Twin to King!
3. Christmas Crib Sheets. It never occurred to me until this year, that Target does not sell holiday crib sheets. A quick search on amazon, and I found a ton, and the prices aren't too bad! Click here to see some of my favorite ones.
4. Saranoni Blankets. I got my first two Saranonis right before the beginning of Fall, and you guys, they are the softest ish you have ever felt in your life. Buy all the blankets, I'm not kidding.  
5. Lillian & Co. Jewelry. If you are looking for a perfect gift for a lovely lady in your life, look no further! These bracelets are the cutest, so comfortable, and the price is absolutely affordable.  
6. Chase Those Rainbows. My girl, Cynthia, is launching her holiday line of girl's bows and accessories at 10:00am PST today, and you don't want to miss it! Use the code COFFEEANDGRACE to save 15% off your purchase!
7. King of Christmas. The prettiest artificial trees, wreaths, garland, and other Christmas decor around! A lot of places sell trees and wreaths, but I guarantee the quality does not even begin to compare. Click here to purchase your decor and use the code COFFEEANDGRACEBLOG to save 10% off your entire order! 
I could seriously go on forever with all my favorite things right now but I think this post is officially long enough! If you use any of the codes, tag me in anything you share! I want to see what you all got! :) 
Only 47 days until Christmas! 

Halloween 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019

October flew by so fast; I can hardly believe that Halloween is already over! We had such a fun month, though, and our amazing Halloween wrapped it up perfectly. Baylee had school, of course, and since her school does not allow them to have a Halloween party, I decided to send her with a festive lunch (which she loved!)

Once I got back from dropping off Baylee, I came home and made funfetti pancakes for Natalie and my niece Kennedy. They were so excited! We watched some Halloween cartoons, danced to some Halloween music, and played until it was time for lunch. I attempted mummy hot dogs and they turned out horrible (haha) but the girls ate them up!

We got a big surprise that Brian would be coming home after being on shift for 10 days due to the fires out here in California. Since we were saving his pumpkin just in case he made it home, he picked up Baylee from school a couple hours early so that the two of them could have time to carve it! Baylee was absolutely stoked that Daddy made it home in time for Halloween! 

After carving, we all got ready in our costumes so that we could take some pictures before we headed over to my cousins' house for their annual Halloween get together and trick-or-treating! This year, we were a family of vampires and a baby bat, which was so fun and easy! But I have to say that Kennedy dressed as Britney Spears stole the show! ;) 

At my cousins' house we had chili, cornbread, and salad for dinner, followed by so many sweets for dessert. I wanted to bring something completely new this year, so I made a graveyard trifle. It was an absolute hit, and so stinkin' cute! 

The kids all had the best time trick-or-treating! There was 6 of them total, and now that they are all old enough to run around and go door to door it's the most fun ever! It broke my heart a little that Baylee no longer needs me to hold her hand and walk up with her anymore, but I loved watching her have the time of her life. Natalie got the hang of it by the third house and was holding up her pumpkin bucket as high as she could to get her treats. Both Natalie and Kennedy were mind blown that we were letting them have candy...I think they have a new favorite holiday! ;)

And now the Halloween decor is all packed up and the Christmas decor is making its way in to my house! I am more excited than ever for this holiday season...I can't wait to experience it through the eyes of both my girls and my niece! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!