family life, holiday, home, kids, Uncategorized

Merry {day after} Christmas

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I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas yesterday!

We spent the morning unwrapping presents, building toys, eating our traditional cinnamon rolls, and laying around in pajamas.

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We were blessed to have my younger sister in town with her family, so we all planned to get together at my mom and dad’s house for lunch. Unfortunately, my older sister was very sick and her family was unable to come. We missed them a lot, but still had a lot of fun being together.

Scott’s mom and brother came over for dinner, and we had a relaxing evening. The girls were so excited to show their new presents to everyone.

We had a wonderful day, and today the Christmas hangover is real. One of our girls could not stay asleep last night. We are all tired and honestly, grumpy. The coffee mug my mom got me is very fitting today.

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In true Ashley fashion, I’m ready to take down all of the decorations and have a clean slate to ring in the new year.

When do you take down your decorations? I’m so curious to know if I’m the only one who enjoys taking them down soon after Christmas.

holiday, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Long (Exhausting) Weekend

Hello from the other side..

Last week was B-U-S-Y. I hosted our families for Thanksgiving. I cooked pies and cookies all day on Wednesday. I worked a couple of hours at the library and then came home and resumed chopping veggies. I cooked all day Thursday until everyone arrived.

It ended up being 15 people total; my mom ended up sick and I fought crying the whole darn time.

I literally took one picture on Thanksgiving.

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ha! I had never made sweet potato casserole before, so I looked up a recipe. I sent this picture to my mom before putting them in the oven. And, that is all I got a picture of. No pictures of family. None of the crazy arrangement to fit everyone in a seat. Sweet potato casserole.. There are sweet potatoes in there, but I had specific instructions to load it with marshmallows. I made one with pecans and one without. It was so delicious.

Everyone left after they finished eating to go “Black Friday” shopping. My sister and mom-in-law did the dishes for me, and I was so grateful. I was so tired, but my heart was so full. We weren’t really sure what to do since everyone left so quickly. Scott and I wrapped up pajamas and a new Christmas book for the girls to open Thanksgiving night. My kitchen was still a disaster, as you can see in the picture, but we were done for the night.

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These goobers. I love them.

Friday, I woke up at some terrible hour to go ACTUAL Black Friday shopping with my sister. We had a ton of fun and found matching Griswold hats. We tried to be good, we really did. But, we couldn’t resist the darn hats. Amy even played Christmas music from her phone because we are extra. This picture was after coffee. Bless.


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We basically were running or driving every day of the long weekend. We struggled hard on Sunday morning and didn’t make it to church. I have been battling some stupid sinus junk for FOUR weeks, and by Sunday afternoon my throat felt like it was on fire. I should probably give in and drag myself to the doctor, but I am stubborn and hate antibiotics.. I need to face the truth though.

I will resume my small shop spotlight tomorrow. Today, I am focusing on Cyber Monday deals over on my deals and steals page. (This is my favorite deal today!) I am truly so grateful to everyone who orders through one of my affiliate links. I have been able to make enough to pay for all of the kids’ birthday presents and a good chunk of Christmas gifts because of this blog! That is huge for us, so thank you thank you!!!! This is my small business, and I love it.

family life, holiday, home, kids, Uncategorized

The Great Conundrum

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I am really struggling with a great conundrum. Are you ready for it?

I really want to decorate for Christmas, but it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

Don’t throw stones at me! I’m not sure what it is this year. I am so ready to put up the tree. However, I am also hosting our families for Thanksgiving. Our tree will go up in our basement, which is away from where everyone will be for our Thanksgiving meal.

That’s acceptable, right?

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The kiddos are super excited for Christmas. Addi picked a Christmas movie when we were at the library this week. We have been watching a few Christmas movies here and there. Christmas music has been on since before Halloween.

There is currently 3 or so inches of snow blanketing the outdoors, which only adds to my strong desire to get festive inside. The snow looks so beautiful clinging to the tree branches and rooftops. It’s magical.

Pure magic.

If we find time, I think we will at least get our tree put up. Maybe.

Do you decorate before Thanksgiving, or are you a strictly after person?

deals and steals, holiday, home, recommendations, Uncategorized

Fall Favorites

 

Fall Favorites

\\ Hello Pumpkin Mug // blanket scarf // knit throw // slippers // nail polish //

twinkle lights // buffalo check rug // wreath // Pumpkin spice coffee // knit pillow //

socks // pumpkin //

 

I know, I know. Someone will say it’s too early for fall. Get that negativity out of here. You have to shop in advance, right? Preparedness is key. I love all things cozy in the fall. There are so many warm colors and cozy textures. I just love it all.

Today feels like the perfect day to share these favorites. My windows are open. There is a cool breeze blowing through. My kids are sitting quietly at the table doing school work. I’m drinking a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. Scott brought me a gift for the first day of school…  pumpkin spice coffee creamer. He speaks my language and I love him for it.

So, lets dive in. I love twinkle lights. I don’t really burn candles anymore because they are full of toxins. (I saw you roll your eyes.) I miss the cozy light though, so twinkle lights take their place. You can put them just about anywhere to get the cozy light. Wrap them around a wreath. Put them inside of a wicker pumpkin. Put them inside of a pretty glass vase. I also put Thieves oil or any other spice oil (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon) in the diffuser to get that wonderful scent.

Cozy slippers, socks, blankets, and pillows are also key for fall. Big chunky scarfs are a great way to layer some warmth without adding too much. Some people really struggle with blanket scarfs, so any cozy scarf will do. I also really love the buffalo check rug. You can layer your normal welcome mat over the top and it is so pretty. I want one in every room.

I also love a good fall mug and pretty nail polish. I can’t wait to have some real pumpkins decorating our house as well. We try to save those for closer to the actual season of fall though.

What are some of your favorite fall items or activities? Is it too early to even think about fall for you?

 

holiday, kids, recipes

Fourth of July Fun

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I love the 4th of July. I love dressing in red, white, and blue. I love doing fun crafts and themed food! I love holidays, and have passed my love on to my daughters. Addi has been planning cupcakes for what feels like months! Here is a round up of some fun things you can do or make for the 4th of July with little time to prepare!

 

Recipes

The easiest desserts are the classic bomb pops! They are so good, easy, and fun.

Festive Red, White, & Blue Bark

Firecracker Jello Snacks

Fourth of July punch

Tie-Dyed cake

Firecracker Popcorn

Berry Trifle

Cheese and Fruit Platter

 

Crafts

Patriotic Pom Pom Garland

Patriotic Ribbon Wand

Parade Wands

Slime

Paper Lanterns

Fairy Crowns

Patriotic Necklaces

 

Decorations

Painted Yard Stars

Painted Burlap Banner

Photo backdrop

Pool Noodle Firecrackers

 

Fun

scavenger hunt

Bingo

Bean Bag Toss

Squirt Gun Races

Tin Can Toss

 

 

Our local fireworks show is tonight, and we can’t wait. I hope that everyone has a SAFE and happy fourth of July. Remember that our freedom was never free.

 

baby, holiday, kids, recommendations

Holly Jolly Kids Outfits

Holly Jolly Outfits

Santa Hat Dress // polka dot santa dress // striped deer shirt and pants // knitted deer romper // You Serious Clark? // Fair Isle leggings and ruffle shirt // CC beanie // Dinosaur shirt // earflap hat // cloth diaper // Christmas socks // hoodie outfit // bandana bibs //

Hopefully there is something there for everyone. If that Santa hat dress came in my size, I’d wear it all December long.

Someone better put their babe in that YOU SERIOUS CLARK? outfit. Mine are all too big, and it’s too good.

Happy Wednesday!! We are halfway to the weekend!

deals and steals, holiday, recommendations

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

Lego sets up to 30% off

Instant Pot (I’d love to hear what you think if you have one.)

Kindle Fire 7 ONLY $29.99

Kids Kindle Fire  We are buying these headphones

Edifier Headphones (fit kids and adults)

Crazy Vitamix Sale

Nursery Items Sale

TOOLS— the easiest husband gift

Lightning deal on building discs (will run out soon)

Really great deals on Hasbro GAMES and toys

Apple Macbook

Melissa & Doug train set

Micro Mini Scooter

Cars track set

Interlocking builder blocks

 

cybermonday

 

Gathre mats 15% off and free shipping            Code: MONDAY

Free shipping on Nickel and Suede

Lily Jade on sale

Tubby Todd 15% off  SOO good for eczema

CUTEST mugs by Rachel Allene 30% off with code CYBER30

June and January

 

I’ll add more to the list throughout the day if I find more deals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

family life, holiday, story telling

Thanksgiving Recap

Isn’t Thanksgiving food just beautiful? I love making things from scratch. To me, it is really satisfying to see it all come together.

The day before Thanksgiving, I made a giant cinnamon roll for breakfast. (100% a tube of cinnamon rolls) The girls freaked out. I achieved cool-mom status for the first time ever probably. I put frosting on it and cut it like a pie. Sprinkles had to be added, of course. They gobbled the whole thing up leaving their poor cool-mom to starve. 😉

Cut to Thanksgiving, and all of its beautiful food. I didn’t get many pictures on that day. Scott and I really tried to soak in the goodness of having family around us… plus it was bananas. I took a few pictures while I was cooking. Cranberries are a beautiful color. They were frosted by the sugar and it looked like a Christmas decoration. They were SO tart, but yummy.

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My mom came over the day before, and we made pies together. She also helped me get sweet potato casserole assembled since I had never made it by myself. Mom made a really pretty apple pie that was equally as delicious. I also baked the rolls and heated them up on Thanksgiving so the butter would melt on them. (Note: this WILL dry your rolls out, even if you cover them in foil. Bummer.)

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This Thanksgiving was so bittersweet. It was our first big holiday without Jim. I think we all felt the hole where someone was missing. It was very sweet to be surrounded by all of our family that was in town. I really am thankful that God brought us back for this time. Everyone signed our Thanksgiving tablecloth with what they are thankful for this year. (Except Josh. Get your butt back here.) I think I will probably cry every year that I bring it out since it is so full of memories.

 

I also have to share this. When my mom came to make pies, she also brought a little something for the big girls. She made a carseat poncho for Harper, which we love. Chloe and Addi were jealous that they couldn’t wear a poncho.. which made me laugh. My mom, being who she is, quickly whipped up two more ponchos for the big girls. They were so thrilled, and it’s really cute to see them running around in them.

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Little stinkers.

 

I hope that you had a really blessed Thanksgiving.

holiday, Uncategorized

Our Thanksgiving Menu

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Do you have your menu planned for Thanksgiving? It’s always really hard to narrow down what exactly to cook. I have had our menu set up for quite a while, because I am a planner. If you need some inspiration, here you go!

Appetizers:
Little Smokies
Gouda and White Cheddar Cranberry cheeses
Assorted crackers

Lunch:
Turkey (One smoked and one baked)
Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Green Beans (for those who hate casserole)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Rolls from scratch
Fruit Salad

Dessert:
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Silk Pie

 

Tomorrow, my mom and I are going to be baking our pies so that the ovens will be free for the rest of the goodies!

 

I would love to hear what is on your menu!

family life, holiday, Uncategorized

Stocking Stuffers- $15 and under

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Camelback // Brain Quest // Band-Aid // Tubby Todd Lotion // Socks // Latte Teether // Wikki Stix // Lip Balm // Pocket Screwdriver

Sometimes I feel like stockings are the hardest to stuff. I am not a fan of the traditional candy or junk that gets put in stockings. My mom always made our stockings extra special, and I want to do the same for my girls. I tried to round up items for everyone; babies, big kids, husbands, wives. My kids are band-aid obsessed, so those almost always go into someones stocking.

I wish I had another baby because I would be buying that latte teether in a heartbeat! So much cuter than the plastic ones! Bonus: it doubles as a puzzle as baby grows!! So cute!!

How is your holiday shopping going? I usually am way on top of things, but this has been such a rollercoaster year that I feel like I am drowning in it. I have 4 gifts purchased, and have no idea what else we are going to do. But, I am so excited for Christmas!! It isn’t all about the presents anyway!! I can’t wait to bake Christmas cookies and put up our tree. Watching Christmas movies is another favorite. Hanging the stockings is always fun.

What are some of your favorite items to stuff a stocking with?