Flowers, Fuse Beads, and Chicken Wings!

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. Last week/weekend Jordan and Jasmine both were sick. Jordan had to miss school for a few days so we were lounging around the house a lot. Everyone is feeling better so we are thankful for that. Since Jordan was housebound and missed his Valentine’s Day party at school I ordered these fuse beads that I remembered doing as a kid. He loved them! He made one right after another. All the kids sat at the table for hours on the weekend making them.

So we recently got an air fryer (this one was on sale a few weeks ago) because everyone loves the chicken wings when we order out pizza so I thought I would try to “re-create” the wings. I am not sure I have accomplished that, but all in all, we are very happy with the air fryer. It heats up quickly and gives your food a much crispier texture and it’s a healthier way to cook! I am still in the preliminary stages and am excited to try new foods in the air fryer. I will share what we are loving soon!

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! Have a wonderful week. XO

Valentine’s Week

I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I always enjoy the month of February and love to have special heart-shaped treats and make fun Valentine’s crafts with the kids. Spreading the love this time of year is especially important given the fact that it has been a challenging year so why not overdo it on the love!

We took the kids to a trampoline place over the weekend and they were so grateful to get out of the house and have some fun. We ate at everyone’s favorite burger place (In-N-Out) on the way home and everyone had a smile on their face. Moments like these are much more noticeable since we haven’t been out much in the past year.

Valentine’s stickers old from Target similar here /

What are you planning for Valentine’s Day this year? XO

Weekend Overview

Happy Monday! We have had quite the week last week. The boys were hardly in school again because we got a ton of snow. Their School was canceled two days last week and they had two-hour delays every day that school was open. We had slow mornings, played in the snow, and did lots of coloring and puzzling when we were inside. The boys also went sledding at one of the High Schools nearby our house, they have the perfect hills for sledding!

Sunday morning the sky was so pretty at sunrise. I love waking up and peeking outside to see the mountains covered in snow and watch the sun come up. We had French toast sticks for breakfast and I happened to look out the window and saw the most chubby, darling bird sitting on our basketball hoop. Once the sun came out a bit more Jasmine and Jordan went out back and attempted to build a snowman. He didn’t last long as his head kept falling off, but the kiddos had a fun time.

Large coloring Poster / Maps book

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and if you have snow where you live hopefully you can enjoy a few snow days! XO

2021 Update

Hello friends! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year. After the Holiday’s we took things slow and needed to catch up on doctor’s appointments etc. The kiddos went back to school and then had to quarantine for two weeks while their entire school had to shut down. So the boys’ were on distance learning which is always a struggle for us, but we managed to get through it again and they are back at school, Yay! However, this week was their first week back and we have had some really cold temperatures with snow so they have been on a two-hour delay each day this week and we are supposed to get a big storm tonight so I am thinking it is most likely going to result in a snow day!

With the kiddos having to be at home so much again we have added a few activities that they like to bounce from one to another. First up is the Paint by Sticker. Jordan and Jasmine loved doing these. Jasmine needed my assistance, but honestly, I enjoyed doing them with her. Jordan would complete one after another so I will be getting more of these to have on hand. Next up is this little jigsaw puzzle, this was more suited for Jasmine and she would complete all of the animals (the mouse is her favorite) and have such a sense of accomplishment on her face. The next busy/stem activity is the wooden geoboard. Jonathan and Jordan enjoyed this as it was a bit too challenging right now for Jasmine. I love to have things in the house that all the kids can enjoy and when one tires of one they can pass it down the line. I find activities that take them away from their screens are much needed since we are at home pretty much all the time.

So far this year I have been trying to do more reading, staying healthy mentally and physically. I just finished Educated and enjoyed it so much (highly recommend reading this memoir). Mainly, focusing on the things that are truly the most important which are my family and our health. Another thing that I want to try to do is just spend more time outside. I notice a huge change in everyone’s overall mood when we get outside. I know the winter months are challenging, but it is something that makes us feel better. Lastly, I made homemade bacon fried rice the other day and I have to say it was a close runner-up to take out. I used this recipe but tweaked it slightly as I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. I feel in such a cooking rut at times so I enjoy trying new recipes occasionally. I would love to hear what you are cooking this Winter?

I hope you all are staying healthy and having a wonderful start to 2021. Have a wonderful week! XO

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve friends! We have been busy crossing off things from our Holiday bucket list. We made gingerbread houses (that we hot glued first because in years past it has caused a ton of frustration) and decorated them, baked sugar cookies, and ate almost all of them already! We plan on baking Santa some chocolate chip cookies for this evening. We have been reading Christmas stories and added 5 more Sleeps ‘Til Christmas to our book collection this year (thank you Mimi), it is very cute and the illustrations are adorable! We drove around and looked at Christmas lights the other evening and Jasmine was so cute in the backseat, she was amazed by every house that put any lights up! The kids are excited for Santa to come tonight and we plan on soaking up all the Christmas magic.

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday! Sending lots of love, light, and happiness! XO

Holiday Scents

’Tis the Season friends to embrace the most wonderful time of the year. I know this year has been extremely challenging for everyone. Some have been hit much harder and I am praying for everyone for better days, but one thing that I have always loved about this time of year is the smell of this season. I mean it could be a comfort meal you always make this time of year, baking all the cookies and having your home smell like a warm sugar cookie, a real Christmas tree that fills your house with its aroma. All of these scents scream the Holidays and I love to associate scents with memories.

A few ways to get your home smelling like the Holiday season is by diffusing essential oils. I have been using oils for almost a year now and love them. Christmas spirit is so festive and smells so good! This has been in our diffusers all month!

Another way is making a dehydrated orange garland. I grabbed a couple of oranges, slice them about 1/4 in thickness, place them on parchment paper, and put them in the oven at 250 degrees for 2-4 hours. Once the oranges started browning I took them out. Tie them on some twine after the oranges dry, you can add a cinnamon stick to them or stick cloves in the oranges and hang it on your tree, above a window, or on your fireplace and it’s a pretty festive garland that smells so good!

Happy Holidays friends! XO

Christmas Time

Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season. We have been slowly getting into the Christmas spirit and still have lots to do on our holiday bucket list. The boys will finish their last day of school on Thursday and will be on Christmas break for two weeks. We plan on baking sugar cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, driving around, and looking at Christmas lights. We are crossing our fingers for some snow! We have had mild weather so far, but there is something so magical about snow falling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! There is nothing cozier than staying in your pajamas, watching all the classic Christmas movies, and sipping hot chocolate while it’s snowing.

The kiddos are all very excited about Christmas. They are on the countdown and I can’t believe that Christmas is next week! I am looking forward to having all three kids home together and Jasmine will especially love having her brother’s home for the next couple of weeks.

I am wishing you all good health, safety, and peace during this Holiday season! XO

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving will look different this year for many reasons. The obvious, the ongoing pandemic that we are all trying to survive and not having loved ones to celebrate with. Holidays are such a joyous time, a time of reflection of all our wonderful blessings, and reminders to be grateful, but they can be very difficult to get through when your loved ones are not there. This Thanksgiving will be especially hard, but as my Grandma did I will put on a brave face and show up for the kiddos. The boys have a short school week this week and will find out if they will be switching over to distance learning for awhile.

I like to have crafts lined up for the kids to do the day of Thanksgiving so that they can be at the kitchen table crafting, snacking, and just enjoying themselves before we eat our Thanksgiving dinner. Jasmine couldn’t wait to start coloring so I let her get a jump start since the boys are at school. We plan on making turkeys using cardstock, cutting out feathers that the kids can write all the things they are thankful for, and I printed off some Thanksgiving crosswords. If you need any Thanksgiving craft ideas search Pinterest!

Kids placemats old from Crate and Barrel similar here / Free Printable Turkey / Thanksgiving Advent Calendar old from Pottery Barn Kids / Stacking Crayons

I am so thankful for my family, friends, our home, and health. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! XO

Forever in my Heart

This past week my dearest Grandma passed away. She was 92 and spirited as ever. My Grandma played a huge role in my life and was always present. She showed up to all my sports events, we celebrated every Holiday with her (minus two Thanksgiving Holidays), and seen each other through the highs and lows. She was an incredible woman who endured many hardships but always wore a brave face. She was told she should never have kids due to her heart (she had five). She was strong and silent.

I have so many memories of my Grandma. She had the most beautiful touch on things. She always lived close to us growing up. I would go over to her house often. Her bathrooms were always my favorite, decorated in light pink and everything was elegant. She always had candy in her purse. She was an animal lover. We would always listen to Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, or Tom Jones on road trips together. I loved her baked cinnamon apples. When I was in High School my mother had to work graveyard shifts and I would wake up in the night and walk over to my Grandma’s, knocking ever so softly and she would always wake up and let me crawl into her bed with her no matter what time I came in the night.

When I went off to college my Grandma and I would write letters back and forth. I am so happy I saved her cards and letters. I love looking at her handwriting. During my second year of college, I was on a recruiting trip to play basketball at the University of Northwestern in Chicago with my best friend. We had just landed and met the basketball coaches that we going to host us for the weekend. I checked my cell phone and had several missed messages. I instantly felt something was wrong. I listened to the first message and began crying. I was informed my Grandma had a major stroke and they were uncertain of her condition. I knew I had to get back home immediately. I was at Northwestern for only a few short hours, but it felt like a lifetime. I booked the next flight out and traveled home to be with my Grandma. I honestly, had no idea what to expect but was frightened to think of my Grandma in any pain or affected by the stroke. After the stroke, it felt like a piece of my Grandma died. She was a different person. Her independent lifestyle was no longer an option for her. Once we knew that my Grandma would never live alone again (which she did for many years because her husband passed of cancer) my mother stated she would care for her. And that’s exactly what my mother did. She took care of my Grandma for seventeen years. She dedicated herself and made sacrifices in all areas of her life. My Grandma would not have lived as long as she did without my mother’s loving devotion to her. I am so thankful for these strong women that have influenced me in so many ways.

I have so many wonderful memories of my Grandma that I will cherish. I will miss you everyday. I will hold you in my heart forever until we meet again, XO!

First Snow of the Season

Over the weekend we received our first snow of the season! We had the most beautiful weather in October and it was starting to look like it would be that way for November, but we woke up on Saturday morning with snow all around and the Fall leaves still on the trees. Truly the most beautiful thing I have seen, fall leaves + snow! So magical.

The minute the kiddos woke up they immediately started to bundle up and they wasted no time heading out the door. They played outside all day. The boys attempted to make an igloo, they sledded, and made snow angels. We love snow days!

Have a wonderful day! XO