Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Favorites - December 30th

I can't believe it's the last Friday Favorites linkup of the year! So long, 2016!
Hello to 2017!

Favorite #1

This blog! Trina and I hatched the idea this year, and we had no idea how we would do it exactly. Or if anyone would read it. We are still learning, I think we have made a lot of progress but, I think we also still have a long way to go!  

There is so much to learn when you blog. I feel like we have reached only the tip of the iceberg! The more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn and so on. I am enjoying the challenge!

Also, without being too cheesy, I have "met" some really nice and supportive people! In fact, we are teaming up with A Gal Named Al next year to do a new monthly link up! Details below! We are excited to work with Allie. She is so sweet, smart and funny! We hope you fellow bloggers out there will join in on the fun!

Favorite #2

This one is an obvious one, that is probably all of our favorites...Winter Break! 

I am loving "sleeping in!" I know when I tell you I sleep in until 7:30, unless you are a mom, that is a sick joke. But I get up at 6am everyday, so 7:30 is nice. Bedtime is later and I get to hang out with my niece and nephew while they are home on break and have adult discussions after the 3 smaller kids are in bed.

I am also enjoying not having a rigid schedule. No homework. No super set meal time or bed time. The kids stay in their pajamas until late in the day, so late, they decide to just keep wearing them! It it just really nice to have a breather. I hope you all have enjoyed your break as well!

Here are a few of the things we have done so far...

Ugly Christmas Sweater Family Photo on Christmas Eve

Me and my bff...and a toy soldier!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas 

Christmas Eve Tradition...driving around looking at the lights

A really cool street in our city that has this pretty lighted walkway

Family selfie while out celebrating my niece's 21st birthday

Favorite #3

For you fellow hobby photographers out there, I got a big surprise on Christmas! My husband got a new camera body for me! I have been enjoying trying it out! I look forward to some free time when the kids go back to school to experiment a bit more with it. I mostly prefer to take pictures of people, but I do enjoy taking artsy landscape photos too. I have been kicking around the idea of taking family photos for friends in order to see if I would like to take my photography to the next level. If any of you out there have any advice for me, comments are welcomed!


Wow!  Where did the year go?  I cannot believe that we are about to start 2017!  

Favorite #1
I am going to copy Sara with this one and go with this blog!  I love being able to connect with people all over with our blog.  I hope that we will reach even more readers in 2017.  The blog has also been great because I feel like Sara and I are staying more connected and I feel like I know what is going on in her life even though she is miles away!

Favorite #2
I have loved being able to spend so much time with my family over break.  We are so scheduled during the school weeks.  It is nice to be able to wake up and say, "What do we want to do today?" My girls are also really into games lately, so we have had a lot of fun playing games together.  One game suggestion that I have is Uno Attack.  We have always loved regular Uno, but Uno Attack is even more fun!  

Ice skating

Christmas morning

Favorite #3
I have blogged before about how much my girls and I love to watch Dancing With the Stars together. They are coming to Richmond, and I got them tickets as one of their presents this year!  We are so excited to go!  The show is on a school night, so the next day at school will be interesting.  I think that it will be worth it!  Stay tuned....


We hope you have a safe and Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Favorites- December 23rd

Happy Friday everyone!! 

Favorite #1:Panera

Thanks, Panera for saving me the trouble of making Christmas morning breakfast. Everyone gets what they want without yours truly becoming a short order chef. You know, for at least one day of the year.

Also, that sounded a little like a Jimmy Fallon thank you note! But seriously, I love their bakery! And bonus they are going to deliver it to my house on Christmas Eve!

I don't know about you guys, but my very favorite treat from Panera is their chocolate croissants. To die for! Flaky, and buttery and chocolaty...oh my!

And my kids love these...

Except that it's called Chocolate Chip Muffie. Really? Couldn't it be a muffin top? Or does that automatically make you think of what you will develop after eating one? Or is it trademarked? I just can't even get the word, Muffie, out of my mouth. I choke on it everytime I say it. 

I say we rename it...Muffin Pillow? Muffin Pancake? I don't know, but just about anything is better than muffie. Ok. Rant over. ;)

Favorite #2: Amazon

In case you guys have not already noticed, I am an avid Amazon fan. I order from them year round. But at Christmas time they (and my UPS guy) are seriously better than my best of friends. Sorry, Trina! ;) 

They are efficient. They have great customer service. I love the Amazon Wish Lists. I love my Amazon Echo. I love Amazon Prime. They send me emails and texts to keep me updated on where my stuff is. I just love them. And this is just my opinion, unfortunately they don't give me any compensation for loving them so much. Maybe they should have a rewards program! I should've earned at least a TV or something from all the stuff I order.

And they have Amazon Smile, which donates a portion of your purchases to the charity/organization of your choice. I selected my kids' school!
And have you seen the video floating around social media about the Give Back Box? If you haven't, check it out below! It's a great idea and takes very little effort to make an impact.

Oh! And my kindle!! That should be Favorite #3! I have been reading like there is no tomorrow lately. I love the instant delivery and the many, many titles they have to offer. And mine is backlit, so you can read in bed without a book light! 


I love this time of year so all of my favorites this week are dedicated to Christmas!

Favorite #1
Every year at this time my family loves to look at all of the Christmas lights in our area.  We have quite a few of awesome houses that really go above and beyond near us.  This year, a house not too far from us actually won the grand prize on The Great Light Fight on ABC.  It was AMAZING!

On this night, we drove around and ate pizza in the car while we looked at the lights.  But, we had to get out to see this house up close!

Favorite #2
Like many other families, we love to bake during the holidays.  We have not baked as much as usual because we have been so busy with dance, but we did take out time earlier this week to bake sugar cookies and to make buttons.  (See the recipe here.  They are super easy and delicious!)  I always like to have extra treats on hand in case a neighbor or friend gives me an unexpected gift.  It is easy to put some of our cookies in a container and add a bow.  It is a simple and delicious gift!  We will be baking a lot more in the coming days.

Favorite #3
Our annual visit to Santa is one of my favorite things that we do because I know that our Santa days are numbered.  We have started going to "Legendary Santa" in our area the past few years.  He calls over the children by name and really takes his time with them.  It is wonderful and magical!  (We do have to wait in line for a while, but it is worth it!)

Favorite #4
I know that I have talked about our visits to Arlington National Cemetery in earlier blog posts, but this is honestly my favorite thing that we do this time of year.  It is truly an incredible experience that makes me appreciate everything that I have.  It is also wonderful to see people working together for such an amazing cause.  This year the weather was awful.  There was ice everywhere and accidents all over the road.  The event was almost cancelled.  However, since there was such a long line of volunteers ready to place wreaths on the graves, they decided not to cancel.  If you ever have the chance to participate, I promise that you won't regret it.  You can find out more information here. There are also other veteran's cemetery around the country that participate as well.

I hope that you are able to spend some time with your family and friends as well this holiday season. It is easy to get caught up in the "to-do" list, but sometimes you have to set it aside and spend time doing things that matter!


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