Enjoying December

We’ve been busy enjoying December! From sipping on “Red Cups” to baking 10 different holiday treats!? (I accomplished my list!) to Pre-K cookie day, mama sneaking out for a red holiday mani and just having fun with “Buddy the Elf” aka Elf on the shelf.

Here are some photos of life lately!

Cookie Party 2019

Our (third with my kiddos!) annual cookie party!! I never know if *this* will be the last party at this house but I tried to capture more memories of it this year!

We all wore red!

Silly picture.

Gotta get Bailey in it.

And Holly too…

A lab and her girl.

Christmas angel.

My yearly 7 layer magic bar— always a hit!

Snacking away on all the yummy goodies!

Mom friends!

I just love a Charcuterie board.

We even had some introverts, who mingled sparingly but still enjoyed themselves!

Alison and I have been friends since we danced together back in what, 1997?  We were then college roommates and still remain friends today! She probably makes my favorite cookies–I don’t even want the recipe, she makes them perfectly every time.  Molasses ginger or something with a white dripping all over….yeah I want one now!

One of my newer mommy friends is my neighbor down the street Katie!  Her kiddos love playing with my kiddos and we have had many laughs, tears, and WTH moments together.  It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve got someone on your street who will care for your kids if you can’t (like getting them on/off the bus!)

More mommy friends!! In all stages of life, it’s so important to have some mama time!  Being able to share ideas, hear each others’ frustrations and realize you really aren’t alone, is so comforting.  We just need to be better about making more time for this.

As for the kids?? They’ve gotten old enough to realize how awesome the cookie party is and they’re even a little sneaky!  They had so much fun running around all together, everyone got along and played great.

Of course I could not get a still shot of these two.  All hyped up over having friends and sugar!

Grateful that my step-mom could come as well!  She’s been an OG since the first cookie party and she brought some delicious Chai cookies with Eggnog Frosting that are Taylor Swift’s favorite.  I think this may be the recipe here!

It’s funny how the kids really gravitated to playing upstairs and on the stairs.  Our little basement room was not the hotspot this year!

Cookies upon cookies!!

Joe gave me some fancy champagne flutes for my birthday and I haven’t gotten to use them…I was originally going to just use red solo cups but then realized THIS was a special occasion and time to break them out!!

I served Mango & Peach Mimosas.  It’s nice to have a glass and relax with the girls!

I love my outdoor fridge. Super classy.

I told the girls I may re-name the cookie party, “HOT MESS MOMS COOKIE PARTY” because I legit feel like one!! My driveway and walkway were covered in snow and ice and I had no salt.  My cookies weren’t the greatest and those that were, my husband ate most of them.  He even told me it was cute how nervous I get the night before–thanks babe.  I just want everything to go smoothly!!

All in all it was so much fun and still so crazy how much it’s evolved since 2009.  I had no kids and we used to bake all of the cookies at my house.  I don’t even have a double oven!  We then tried to just frost the cookies and it still was a bit much.  Now that I have two of my own, I love that we just exchange what we can (I encourage store bought if that’s all you have time for!) and just stop by for a hello.  During such a crazy busy season, I hope it sealed some beautiful memories in the hearts of moms and kids alike!

Meal Plan MONDAY

Happy Monday!

I am ready to eat super clean and focus these next few weeks on our health, as Christmas is fast approaching! We had our cookie party (blog to come!) and it was a grand success.  That said, I think everyone has a cookie/sugar hangover and this mama needs to up the fuits and veggies, lean proteins and push the water.

I also want to grab some more probiotics for the kiddos and some of this I do try to take a balanced approach, with mostly healthy food choices, but it isn’t easy.  My body does best with per meal- 70% greens/veggies, 20% lean protein & 10% complex carbs.  My *self control* has been a little, ok a lot off and my portions are out of whack. My husband however, can barely handle most fruits and veggies, so he needs a low fiber diet due to his Crohn’s.  My daughter will eat most things, and I have a fairly pick 4 year old who has been known to dramatically gag at the table.

This week I’m trying to use up some freezer items while still keeping it fairly healthy.  For things like the Cod, I plan on eating mine without the delish cracker crumbs and the shrimp scampi I will serve over cauli rice or zoodles!  I plan filling up on lots of veggies this week!

Garam Masala Chicken Curry 

Baked Cod w/ Ritz Cracker Topping

Easy Shrimp Scampi

Whole Chicken in a slow cooker (literally buy a whole organic chicken, sprinkle seasoning on top, add onion or garlic, cook on low for 6-8 hours until it falls apart!)

Drumstick Sheet Pan *Easy*

Pizza Night (Grab ready made crusts, I prefer cauliflower, and everyone makes their own pizza!)

Roasted Garlic Quinoa Mushroom (this will probably be just for me, but looks so yummy!)

Grape Kale Salad

What’s on your menu this week?

5 on Friday

  1. I have been really making efforts to eat more mindfully, intuitively, whatever you want to call it!! I also am really making sure I eat all the greens!  Have you tried Panera Bread’s Green Goddess salad?? It’s so good. I don’t get it often but I do dream about it and my neighbor has a copycat recipe she swears by!  I need to get that.

2.  I finished this book last week.  I had a lot of takeaways from it!  I loved starting my day with a chapter, or even just a few pages.  Lots of nuggets that stuck with me— he is very inspirational, shares lots of stories, and while the real estate investing tips are great, it’s not just about that.  His advice can apply to many occupations, parenting and being your best self overall.

3.  I have my cookie party coming up and I want to make this adorable platter!

4.  I cannot get enough of these two and their adorable holiday photo shoot.  My hearts!

5.  It’s about to get REAL messy in my kitchen and I am pretty darn excited for it.  ‘Tis the season!!  The recipes we like to do are these pretzel hugs,7 Layer Magic Cookie Bar,Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies in Chocolate, and of course good old fashion sugar cookies.

 

What’s on your agenda this holiday weekend?

Holiday Cards 2019

It’s the first week of December and that means Christmas is just a few weeks away!  I am making so many efforts this season to slow down and savor.  I want to make sure that the holidays are magical and beautiful for my family, but also for myself as well.  We can easily get wrapped up in all of the holiday stress, but it’s so important to set aside time for time honored traditions and allow ourselves to experience the joy of the season.

I know the hustle and bustle will be there, but gosh, it all just goes by so fast! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  The warm ember from a burning fireplace, the smell of sugar cookies baking in a busy kitchen, twinkling lights on a pine tree, the silver and gold sparkling everywhere, the slow melody of peaceful Christmas songs, and sending Christmas cards are some of my most cherished memories.  I always loved seeing all of the beautiful cards lining the doorway of our home, from friends and family.

I am teaming up with Basic Invite today to bring you some gorgeous holiday card options!  I am personally loving both of the vintage holiday cards and the retro Christmas cards. We are all so very busy, so their site is extremely simple and easy to navigate.  I was able to pull it up on my mobile device and create a stunning Christmas Card in seconds right on my mobile device.

 

SO many colors!! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. They have over 180 colors to choose from, which sets them apart from all of the other cart retailers online!  You can create your card and make it 100% your very own, by simple touches.

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Not sure if you’ll love it?  The neat thing about Basic Invite is that you can simply order a sample card before you order all of your holiday cards.  This way, you won’t receive 30 cards that you don’t absolutely love, you’ll know for sure that it’s perfect for you!

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Lots of colored envelopes! They offer over 40 different colors to choose from and all of them are peel and seal, which we all know is a major time saver for us busy ladies.

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They even offer fancy Foil cards! These come in gold, silver, and rose gold. Gorgeous!

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Need some more Christmas Card inspiration?  Feel free to follow Basic invite on all of their social media sites, via @basicinvite

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51  so be sure to check them out and share a beautiful photo of your family, pets, little ones or just a stunning photograph from your 2019 year.

Let me know in the comments your favorite Christmas tradition!