Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

We've been getting all into the Christmas spirit 'round here!  From festive hayrides and parties, to cookie decorating and ornament hanging, wrapping presents, and staring at the Christmas tree in all it's glory.... 
it's been one very merry month.  

{Ellie seeing cows for the first time - complete wonder and awe!}

Andrew loved picking out the (non-fragile) ornaments to hang on the tree, while lil sis Ellie mostly supervised in her favorite chair. Andrew also explained the glee and magic that Christmas morning holds. 

One of the best nights was spent baking and decorating sugar cookies with Andrew.  We made a giant mess, and were covered in flour and sprinkles by the end of it.  But oh the joy on Andrew's face (and mine!) was well worth the clean-up.  I can't wait to carry on this tradition for years to come.  

We've also spent a lot of the time under the tree, just looking up at it in wonder, checking out all of the wrapped presents, guessing what each could possibly hold, and just looking real cute in our Christmas-y outfits :)

And we can't forget that moment Daddy comes home from work - all is finally right in the world ;)

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful and joyous Christmas season. 
May the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, be ever present and near to your hearts, while we remember and celebrate His holy birth.  Love you all!

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Gift Guide - Baby's First Christmas

If you are looking for a last minute baby gift or having a stocking to fill for your wee one, I've rounded up a few of my favorite items!  Some I have and LOVE (the moccasins and swaddle blankets), and some I've fallen in love with from afar :)
Either way, there are some great presents to be found for any little babe.

Gift Guide- First Christmas
1- the sweetest first ornament
2- I love this adorable bunny doll!
3- the coziest zip up sweater 
4- a touch-and-feel nativity book - perfect for tiny hands
5- a painted wood nativity set - perfect for years to come 
6- this etsy store has the best wooden animal toys 
7- musical instruments are always a great gift! 
8- these are our favorite shoes - a must have for a new baby or toddler!  
9- this knit lamb rattle is just the sweetest 
10- a pewter rattle is a beautiful keepsake gift
11- my favorite swaddle blankets - in the cutest prints!

what's a baby gift you love to give?  
Or a favorite you've received?


(And because the post is about Baby's First Christmas, I have to include a few pictures of my babies' first Christmases!  The first one was a pretty special one, as we brought Andrew home from the hospital ON Christmas Day!

And here's Ellie below, at 2 months old :)

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Gift Guide - For the Guys

Alright - it's GUY TIME!  If you're anything like me, the guys are always the last ones I'm shopping for!  They aren't the easiest, and they always seem to just buy what they want throughout the year.  John's list is always empty at Christmas time, so I have to get creative and rack my brain ;)

Here are a few things I've found that I think would be great for guys - young and old!  
Some warm and cozy things, some classic staples, and a few fun things to make them smile!  

Gift Guide - For the Guys
1- a classic plaid button-down - always a great gift! 
2- this watch is simple and great for men young and old 
3- I know a fella who is getting this witty mug!  
4- this highly-rated versatile backpack is great for work or play 
5- for the beard-loving men, this grooming kit covers it all :)
6- these slippers are the very best slippers of all - a must!
7- love this mid-century bar tool set - a practical and nice gift
8- a Yoda alarm clock for your Star Wars fan- check! 
9- love this warm and cozy beanie 
10- a leather iphone case, with a card slot too! 

Guys are hard to shop for!  What's under the tree for the men in your life this year?? 

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Gift Guide - For the Kiddos

Back again with another gift guide!  It's time to shop for those sweet little kiddos!  If you're anything like me, your Amazon Prime account is getting a lot of "love" these days, and it's definitely a great option for kids toys for sure!
Here are some of my top kid gift picks - some from Amazon - some from other fun places too!  Most of these are either under our tree this year, or we have them and love them already!  Happy Shopping!
Gift Guide- For the Kiddos
1- I love the idea behind these customized books - so creative and perfect for learning names and letters
2- this doctor set is such a great kit for useful and imaginative play!
3- such a great deal on this teepee!  love the stripes!
4- andrew is getting this cleaning set for Christmas!  I love how they can be neatly tucked away on the stand! 
5- magnatiles are always the "it" gift to give/receive! 
6- these are the most adorable knit dolls - great for many ages!
7- the cutest little kitchen - we love ours! 

what are your favorite kiddo gifts??

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gift Guide - For the Hostess

We are back with another Gift Guide!  This one is all about that special host or hostess on your list!  Don't forget to always show up with something for your party-giver, whether it's big or small - they will appreciate it for sure!
I was just shopping today for a hostess gift for a holiday party we have next week.  And there are SO many cute things out there!  Anthopologie, Target, and Williams Sonoma are a few of my go-to places for hostess shopping.

And some of my favorite gifts to give (and receive!) are bar tools, candles, or festive cocktail napkins.  Also a bottle of wine is NEVER turned away ;)

Here are a few of my ideas, and of course the links are below too!

Gift Guide- For the Hostess

1- I absolutely love this marble coaster set, and the price too!
2- boxwood wreaths are always in style and so festive :)

3- a marble and gold cheese knife set? yes please! 
4- these espresso (or anything!) mugs are so cool. and on sale! 
5- awesome deal on this personalized wine bottle stopper. love the gold! 
6- a "wake me up" face mask, for the morning after the party!  
7- hello, prettiest cake stand ever! perfect for those holiday treats! 
8- these very popular candles aren't cheap, but split them up for 3 very special gifts!
9- you can never go wrong with a monogrammed kitchen towel.
10- these gold-dipped votive holders (set of 12) are so chic!  they're on my list!
11- you can put these fabulous gold stickers on anything. such a cool idea!  

Have you received a memorable hostess gift?  One of my favorites was a beautiful frame to fill later with a picture of the party we were having! 

Be sure to check out my Gift Guide - For the Girls!  

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Gift Guide - For the Gals

happy holidays, friends!

it's that time of year again where everyone is hustling and bustling to pick out the perfect gift for their loved ones, and celebrating all that our family and friends have meant to us during the year.  I absolutely love shopping for my crew, and watching them open up the gifts that I know will make them feel so special and loved. 

Now of course this isn't my favorite part of Christmas, it's just a special highlight.  The joy and expectancy of the season, the birth of our Savior, far outweighs the joy of unwrapping a coveted pair of boots or earrings.  It is a time to reflect the goodness, grace and love of our God, and the holy night he sent his precious Son down to Earth. So let us rejoice and praise Him first and foremost this season!

Every year, however, I very much look forward to sharing some of my favorite things to give and receive during this special time, and I love putting these little gift guides together for the blog!   How wonderful is it to give a gift you know your loved ones will absolutely adore?  

Here's my guide for all the gals in your life :)  

Gift Guide- For Her

1- my favorite candle brand - in a pretty trio!
2- love a good lip gloss set!  can also split up for 3 gifts! 
3- this barefoot dreams set is equally comfy and adorable  
4- I clearly have a thing for barefoot dreams... these socks look incredible 
5- who wouldn't love a pair of glamorous earrings?!
6- these slip-ons are on my wish list! a classic and chic sneaker style :)
7- the most adorable catch-all dish
8- this thermos is on my list every year - it's so cute!
9- these studs are simple and easy, but add a bit of sparkle, too 
10- a luxurious and pretty hand cream - something she won't buy for herself 
11- for the "girl on the go" :) love this cheeky notebook 
12- pom pom hats are kinda my favorite - love this one 

do you have a go-to gift for the gals in your life?

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ellie's Baptism

Last Sunday, we had the great blessing of baptizing our sweet Ellie.  It was a precious and wonderful day.
Filled with beautiful people, meaningful words and of course a few {happy} mama tears.
Ellie was a complete angel, wearing the gown that all 4 of her girl cousins have worn before her, made by John's talented mother.  She was quiet as a mouse as her grandfather sprinkled the water over her, signifying the most meaningful covenant promise we are given as children of God.

It was a day that will be forever one of my favorites.
We love you darling girl.  More that you can even imagine or dream.
Higher than the moon and the stars.  Deeper then the deepest oceans and seas.
And the best part of that God loves you even more.
Even higher, even deeper, even beyond those wildest dreams.
My prayer is that you know, feel, and cherish that love from your earliest of days, and every day after that.
Because it is truly the greatest love of all.

{beautiful cookies by my dear friend Sarah! Didi's Fancy Cookies}

"...Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds 
and glorify your Father in heaven."

 Matthew 5:15-16

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