Monday, December 9, 2019

Our 2019 Christmas Card with Shutterfly

*This post is sponsored by Shutterfly and it contains affiliate links.

We have used Shutterfly for our Christmas cards every single year for the past eight years… long before we ever partnered with them for the blog.  They have always been my go-to for many reasons – they have a huge selection of cards (many of which include foil and glitter), the design process is easy breezy, the shipping is fast, their customer service is top-notch, and they also run excellent promotions to save you money.

In the past we’ve typically stuck with fairly neutral card designs, but I said last year that I was going to choose a colorful card for 2019 and I did just that!  I found the absolute perfect card and this year’s may be my favorite one ever! 

Per usual, I selected our card based on the colors in our family photo… I like to make sure that the design on the card compliments the colors in our photo so the overall look is pleasing to the eye.  The card I chose this year matches so well with the outfits in our family photo that it looks like it was made for us!

Without further ado, our 2019 Christmas card…





We opted for the “Whimsical Sentiments Holiday Card” with the “Christmas” greeting and “rounded edges” on the “pearl shimmer cardstock” and the end result is just gorgeous.  I’m telling you, if you want to take your cards up a notch, do spring for the shimmer cardstock.  It is stunning. 



We also opted to get envelopes with a festive design and we had our return address printed on the envelope because that’s way less work for me! 

Shutterfly offers tons of options for customization throughout the design process so you can create the perfect card to suit your needs:

-          Foil color
-          Design color
-          Font
-          Font color
-          Greeting (Christmas or Holiday)
-          Cardstock (signature smooth or pearl shimmer)
-          Trim (rounded, square, scallop, bracket, ticket)
-          The option to include one or multiple photos
-          Full customization of the back of your card (pictures, text, colors, etc.)
-          Envelope design
-          Envelope liners
-          The option to have your return address pre-printed on the envelopes
-          The option to have your recipients’ addresses printed on the envelopes
-          The option to order matching address labels
-          The option to order matching stamps

As usual, I ordered enough cards to mail to all of our family and friends, and I also ordered a few extras to slip in my keepsake box, the kids’ keepsake boxes, and our Christmas card display.

In eight years we’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences with Shutterfly, so as always, it is an honor to partner with them.  Thank you to Shutterfly for sponsoring this post and providing our family with the most gorgeous Christmas cards yet!


Don't forget to link up with HeatherJohannahTanya, and myself... just grab our new graphic and link up below!








You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, December 8, 2019

PSA... TODAY IS THE DAY!

*This post contains affiliate links.

I don't usually blog on Sundays, but when I do, you know there's going to be a good deal involved!  ;o)

Just wanted to pop in and let y'all know that Target.com has all of their gift cards 10% off TODAY ONLY!  You can spend a maximum of $300 and you can split them up into different amounts in case you want to use any for gifts.  

Click here to shop!

B and I wait for this day all year and we load up, save money, and then we use the gift cards on the things that we are going to buy anyway like toiletries and snacks and such.  

IT'S FREE MONEY, Y'ALL!!!!

Get you some!  And happy Sunday!



Friday, December 6, 2019

Five on Friday - December Goals

November was crazytown but I managed to be somewhat productive in the midst of all of the busyness.  Let’s see how I did on my goals… spoiler alert – there are a lot of NOs this month and I have no regrets.

As always, I’m using a Y for YES and N for NO to indicate whether or not I accomplished my goals.



November Goals

Personal

Y  Positivity, worry less, complain less, be kind, patience, relationships. – I feel like I made a pretty good effort this month, especially with worrying less.
N  Make it to as many weekly bible studies as I can. – The girls were only able to get together once this month and it was during a week that we had something going on every single night that week, so I skipped it.  I’ll have to get back on track with this in the new year.
N  Start reading a Christmas book. – Nope.  Forgot to order it, so I had nothing to read.  Haha.
N  Dinner with co-workers. – A few of the girls weren’t able to get together this month so we never had the chance to go.

Health

N  Drink 64 oz. water per day. – While I did meet this goal many days this month, there were a lot of days that I didn’t.  I blame Thanksgiving break.
Y  Continue quiet time/meditating. – I did stick with this most of the month so I gave myself a yes, but I totally fell off the wagon the entire week of Thanksgiving since everyone was home all week.  Let me tell you, I could definitely tell a difference when I didn’t do it for a week!  This will be a priority from now on.
N  Hit the gym at least 2 times per week (with the exception of Thanksgiving week). – I didn’t make it 2 times the week prior to Thanksgiving so I gave myself a NO.
N  Start using my stair stepper some of the days that I don’t go to the gym. – I did this once, but that just didn’t deserve a yes.  Lol.
N  Continue eating 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies and whole foods most days. – Nope.  I’ve totally been eating soup for lunch since it’s been cold and I also ate a ton of junk this month.  #YOLO 
Y  Schedule ultrasound follow-up to mammogram. (Standard for me… nothing is wrong!) – Everything came out clean and I’m cleared for another year!
Y  Meet with new doc. – Yes ma’am!
N  Get a therapeutic massage. – Nope.  No time.  Just gonna wait and do this in January.
Y  Check-up with my dentist about my TMJ/clenching issues. – Yep, and they extended my next visit by a few months.  Woo hoo!
Y  Bi-annual dentist appointment. – Yep, no cavities!

Family

N  Ride bikes, take 3. – Sigh.
N  Get Disney app set up and customize magic bands, take 2. – Double sigh.
Y  Continue Christmas shopping and tracking gifts on my spreadsheet. – Yep, organized to the max and almost done with all of our shopping!
Y  See Alejandro Aranda in Atlanta.
Y  Attend the school fall carnival.
Y  Attend the Georgia vs. Missouri game. – All four of us were able to go and we had so much fun!
N  Attend Home & School Meeting for November. – Nope.  I had too much going on that day/week so I had to skip it.
N  See Wicked at The Fox in Atlanta. – Nope, B and I decided to skip it since it was in the midst of a crazy busy week.  It broke my heart, but it was for the best for my sanity.
Y  Attend Winterfest at our local university.
Y  Attend all of the Thanksgiving festivities at the kids’ school.
N  Attend the Georgia vs. Texas A&M game. – The weather was horrible that day so we were forced to sell our tickets.  There was no way that Jacob and Olivia would have been okay with sitting in the pouring rain for four hours. 
Y  See Frozen 2 in the movie theater!! – Oh yes, and it was fabulous!  I want to go see it again!
Y  Celebrate Thanksgiving.
Y  Check as many more things off of our fall bucket list as possible. – Yep, we checked a few more things off.
Y  Have our 3rd annual North Pole Breakfast.
Y  Start listening to Christmas music. – This one was so easy!  It’s been on nonstop since 11/1.
Y  Start watching all of our favorite Christmas movies. – We’ve watched Miracle on 34th Street, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, and Noelle on Disney+!

Home

N  Start listing winter maternity clothes on Poshmark. – No time.  Probably need to wait to do this in January.
Y  Set up new planner for 2020, take 2. – It’s all done and ready to roll!
Y  Clean out, organize, and put away all fall decorations. – Got rid of some stuff we didn’t need anymore and everything is organized and put away.
Y  Decorate the whole house for Christmas. – Yes, and it’s my favorite year for décor yet!
Y  Start planning Christmas hosting duties. – Yep, got everything down on paper that I need to buy/do, so I’m feeling pretty organized.  Now I just have to buy/do those things.  Ha!
Y  Order Christmas cards and start addressing. – Check!  Now to finish addressing them and send them out…
Y  Do 3 things on Master To-Do list. – Yes!  I did 13 tasks but I also added 4 new tasks, so for the sake of whittling it down for the year, I basically only accomplished a total of 9 tasks.  However, I kind of cheated this month.  I technically didn’t actually do any of the things that were crossed off.  Instead, I went through the list and realized that there were several tasks on there that were no longer applicable, so I crossed them off and counted them as done!  #NoShame

Blog

Y  Complete 1-2 blog posts for December. – I’ve been working ahead so I can keep the blog rolling while I take some time off!
Y  Pitch to 2-3 brands.
N  Start planning/organizing 2020 goals. – Total fail.  Haven’t even had time to look.
N  Take photos for IG, take 4. – This just continues to be a failure each month.  Lol.

Summary

26 items accomplished
16 items not accomplished

Probably my worst month for the whole year, but all that matters is that the important tasks revolving around family time were the ones that were accomplished!  <3  #Grace  

Here are some pictures of my accomplishments...

Seeing Alejandro Aranda in concert

Attending the fall carnival at the kids' school

Attending Winterfest at our local university

Celebrating Thanksgiving at school with our girl

Celebrating Thanksgiving at school with our Boo

Tailgating before the Georgia vs. Missouri game

Celebrating Thanksgiving
North Pole Breakfast!

Now for the December goals… and please note that I’m keeping them light and broad this month because it’s December and it’s crazy and I really don’t care to be a slave to a list this month.  ;o)

December Goals

Personal

Positivity, worry less, complain less, be kind, patience, relationships.
Start reading a Christmas book.
Join Adrienne’s Book Club.  :o)
Dinner with girlfriends.
Dinner with old co-workers.

Health

Drink 64 oz. water per day.
Continue quiet time/meditating.
Hit the gym as much as I can.
Eat healthy when I can and indulge, too.
Follow up with GI doc.

Family

Help out with raffle ticket data entry at kids’ school.
Attend Observation Day at Olivia’s dance school.
Have a Brian and Lindsay Day o Fun... or two!
Attend the school’s Christmas program.
Do all the fun Christmasy things on our Bucket List!
Spend lots of time with those whom I hold most dear.
Celebrate Christmas.
Spend time with our friends who are back from Korea!!!!
Celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Home

Send out Christmas cards.
Finish Christmas shopping.
Photograph kids’ art from first 1/2 of year and file papers to keep.
Clean out, organize, and put away all Christmas decorations.
Mop, vacuum, and clean whole house before NYE.

Blog

Complete posts for Christmas Break.
Start planning/organizing 2020 goals.

Nice and light, y’all!

Friday Funnies

How I felt Tuesday night while I held Olivia's hair as she puked.  #Ugh

This could not be more true!  (Let's hope the second part ends up being true, too.) 
I'm a 6, by the way.

Me, the entire month of November... and probably December, too.

Y'all.  I can't with all these memes of the AU fans getting stuck in their shrubs while trying to rush the field after their win over Bama.  Did y'all see the video of that girl jumping down in the shrubs and going completely under?!  Bahahaha.
Damn right.  Tomorrow's a big day!  GO DAWGS!
(And y'all thought I wasn't going to post another cat meme this week... hehe.)

On the Blog This Week

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Our Week - The One with House Guests, Thanksgiving, and the North Pole Breakfast

It’s been crazy around here so I’m finally getting around to recapping our Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 25

You may remember in my recap from last week that on Sunday, Brian’s cousin and her husband and two kids had come into town for a visit.  They stayed at our house Sunday evening, so Monday morning we all slept in and then B and I made a big breakfast for everyone – eggs, grits, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, and coffee. 

After breakfast (or brunch, really), we all hung out in the back yard because the weather was so nice.  We had a Cornhole tournament and the kids played some other games, and it was a nice, relaxing afternoon.


After outdoor time, my father-in-law joined us and we all settled in the living room to watch Miracle on 34th Street.  I popped some popcorn and set out some leftover Halloween candy for everyone to enjoy.  We had soooo much candy leftover after Halloween since there were fewer trick-or-treaters this year due to the extreme cold, so it was nice to be able to get rid of some of it! 

After the movie was over, we all got ready and we headed out for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Heather and Mark and the kids had never been to our town before, so we wanted to show them around a little bit.  Since it was such a beautiful day, we took them straight downtown – we walked on the river walk, and we showed them the white water course and the zip line.  Our river walk is very natural and beautiful so we used the opportunity to take some family pictures.  We will cherish these!





Daylight was fading by the time we finished taking pictures and we had a 5:30 reservation at my favorite restaurant in town, so we headed back to our cars to make the short drive over.  We were seated immediately at the restaurant and then we spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing over filet mignon and chicken parm.  Yes, please!




After a nice, long dinner and lots of conversation we all went back to our house, got into our PJ’s, and we watched The Princess Diaries.  I’d forgotten how much I loved that movie, and I was so happy that our kids loved it, too!  I’m telling y’all, we are tearing Disney+ UP!  Haha.

Tuesday, November 26

Tuesday morning Heather and Mark and the kids had to head out early to catch their flight, so we all grabbed quick breakfasts and they set out to get ready and pack their things.  Brian had to work Tuesday, so he said his goodbyes early, and then the kids and I said our goodbyes when they left at 9:30.  That was the first time that I’d ever met them and their whole family was truly lovely and so much fun, and I just hate that they live so far away.

The rest of Tuesday was spent getting the kids’ bedrooms back in order and tidying up, and the kids and I also spent a good chunk of time in the back yard playing Cornhole and football.  It was another lovely (but too warm!) day!

I made chicken tacos in the slow cooker for dinner and then B and the kids and I all snuggled up on the couch for yet another movie night because we were all off again on Wednesday.  This time we opted for Mighty Ducks!!!!  Mighty Ducks 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time, so we’re going to work our way through the trilogy with the kids.  They both loved it and I loved seeing it again through their eyes.  Next up, D2… the best of the trilogy!!    

Wednesday, November 27

Wednesday morning, B and the kids and I all got up and got ready, and we headed out for a 10:45 viewing of Frozen 2 at the movie theater.  We’d all been dying to see it for months and we were all super excited about it, so we opted for the Imax version so we could experience it the best way possible.  We lucked out because the theater was only about a quarter full, so we didn’t have to worry about too many kids being loud during the movie. 




All four of us LOVED IT and I legit loved it even more than the first one.  It’s that good.  This second one is way deeper than the first one and there are some good life lessons that are taught throughout the movie.  The song that Anna sings towards the end is a good one for everyone to hear as it offers some really good life advice, but bring some tissues because it will break your heart.  Yes, I cried.  Disney just continues to put out fantastic content and I am HERE FOR IT.  I just don’t know how they do this time and time again.  We’ve already downloaded the soundtrack so we can relive all of the moments again!  GO SEE IT. 

After the movie, the kids wanted to play on the playground near our main public library, so we headed toward that side of town and stopped at our favorite little local pub for a quick lunch first.

It was another beautiful day, although a little too warm for November in my opinion, so we let the kids play on the playground for a good hour.  Olivia made a new friend and they played and played together. 



We arrived back home mid-afternoon and we had both kids do some reading.  Both of them do AR testing all through the school year and they both have to meet certain quarterly goals, so we had to stay on top of it during Thanksgiving Break. 

After reading time, B and the kids played video games – they’re still making their way through Zelda – while I got some things done around the house.  We had a light dinner and then Olivia and I watched Olaf’s Frozen Adventure on D+ while B and Jacob played Angry Birds.

Thursday, November 28

Thursday was Thanksgiving, one of my favorite days of the whole year!  I made homemade waffles for breakfast while B went out to grab a newspaper.  That’s been our tradition for years and years and B and I still love looking at the Black Friday ads the old fashioned way. 

After breakfast we turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  B and I snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and some cinnamon tea and Maui and we watched the parade while perusing the ads.  The kids watched some of the parade here and there, but they were more interested in watching shows on Netflix upstairs instead.  That parade was always one of my favorite things to watch when I was growing up, but our kids just don’t get quite as excited about it as I do.  Haha.



I turned the parade on in our room around 10:30 so I could watch while we got ready, and then we had to hit the road at 11:30 to meet my father-in-law and sister-in-law and her fam at the country club for Thanksgiving lunch.


We were seated at a nice round table by the window so we had a gorgeous view of the river.  We all dined on ham, turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potato soufflé, and so many other delicious things.  I may or may not have had three desserts.  #YOLO  Haha.  I knew we had to eat again with my family at 5:30 so I did keep the portions small so I could be hungry again for our second meal later.  I had to save room for my momma’s mac and cheese… it’s one of my favorite foods in the entire world!

After lunch, we stuck with our tradition of taking a walk on the river walk.  It was a beautiful, crisp, fall day, and the leaves were just barely past their peak, so it was quite a picturesque walk.  After our walk, we let the kids play on the playground by the river for a bit to extend the outdoor time.  It was just too pretty to be indoors... and what better place to be than outdoors in God’s beautiful creations on Thanksgiving Day?









We headed home after that for more Black Friday ad shopping while we finished the parade we had recorded.  I had to make my pineapple casserole dish for our family dinner, and then we headed to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving with my mom’s whole side of the family.

Her family is huge so there were probably about 35 of us there, and as usual it was super loud and a lot of fun.  I took not a single picture while we were over there, and I hate that, but it’s just a good sign that I was living in the moment instead of thinking of capturing it. 

We made it home sometime between 9 and 10 (I don’t even remember) and then B and I watched football and did some Black Friday shopping for the rest of the night after the kids went to bed.  We got some sweet deals at OldNavy.com for the kids!

Friday, November 29

Friday morning was lazy.  The kids played with Duplos and watched a movie and I settled in at the kitchen table with my 2020 planner and a cup of coffee.  It takes me some time to get my planners prepped and ready for the new year, and I got the whole thing done that morning!  On another note, look at this Santa that Jacob made!  He’s been really into making his own creations lately and it just blows me away how creative he is!



Later in the morning, B and I got the whole outside front of the house decorated for Christmas.  I put up the garlands and trees around the doorway while he hung the icicle lights and strung lights in all of the bushes.  Olivia was thrilled that our blow-up Santa was back and she wanted nothing more than to give him a giant hug when he was fully inflated!



We got the décor up in record time and then we had a light lunch at home.  After lunch we all got ready and headed out to run some errands.  I generally try to avoid all stores on Black Friday, but I needed some red bows for my outdoor wreaths, so we headed to Hobby Lobby.  Since it was already 3 in the afternoon I didn’t think it would be that bad, but my oh my, was I wrong.  The place was a zoo and the check-out lines were a mess, so what would have normally been a five minute trip in and out turned into a 30 minute trip because we had to wait in line so long.


We headed to our usual Christmas tree place to get a tree next, but for some reason their trees this year were really odd looking.  They were all disproportionate and they were all way too fat for their height.  In addition to that, there was not one single tree under $100 so we headed straight across the street to Lowe’s.



I’m not a fan of getting trees at Lowe’s, so I was pretty bummed.  Their selection was the opposite of the other place, and instead of being too fat, theirs were really skinny and not very full.  Their prices were way more reasonable, though, so we ended up getting one from there even though I didn’t love it.

We got the tree home and in the stand and then B turned on football while I worked on my least favorite Christmas task – putting the lights on the tree.  I absolutely dread that task every year.  I may or may not have grabbed a beer to make it a little easier to get through.  Haha.

The lights took forever as they always do, and by the time I was finished, it was time for dinner.  I pulled some leftover homemade White Chicken Chili out of the freezer and it hit the spot since it was so different than all of the other foods we’d eaten all day on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

After dinner, the kids helped me decorate the tree which is always so much fun, but also a bit stressful.  Lol.  We have so many delicate ornaments from over the years, so it’s always nerve-racking to let them handle them.  By the time we were finished with the tree, it looked beautiful.  Definitely not as tall or full as the ones we usually get, but it is still beautiful.  Sorry for all of the whining I did, Brian!  Haha.

Had to go outside and see all of the house lights, too!


By the time we were done decorating, it was late so B and I put the kids to bed, and then he and I watched Instant Family by the Christmas tree light.  I’d heard really good things about it, and it was cute, but I don’t think I loved it as much as everyone else did.  When it first came out I remember everyone just raving about it so maybe my expectations were too high.  I do love Mark Wahlberg, though. 

Saturday, November 30

Saturday morning, our elf, Cheek, came back and he brought lots of treats for the kids!  They were so excited to see him, but I think they were even more excited for donuts and candy canes and Christmas Dots for breakfast.  Haha.  Olivia has been begging for hot chocolate for a couple of weeks now, so Cheek brought some of that, too, along with new ornaments for each of the kids... a Lego Man for Jacob and a Hatchimal for Olivia.






We all headed over to my mother-in-law’s and step-father-in-law’s at 1 for Thanksgiving lunch.  They cooked a massive spread as they always do and every single bit of it was delicious.  We stuffed our faces one more time, and then we all sat around chatting for a long time.


It was another beautiful day, so after we cleaned up, we spent a couple of hours outside watching the kids play, and then B and the kids and I all headed home a little after four.  We had missed the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game while we were at lunch, so we blew through that and then caught up on the Auburn vs. Alabama game, which was crazy!!



B and I barely ate anything for dinner since we were so full, and I just gave the kids some canned Spaghettios since they were actually hungry.  Then the rest of the evening was spent watching football and being lazy.

Sunday, December 1

Sunday we were up bright and early for 8 AM mass and then we made a quick stop by Walmart on the way home for some more Christmas lights.  We wanted to beat the crowds, and we most definitely did by going at 9:15 in the morning on a Sunday!  It was nice!



B and I gave the kids their fun Advent calendars when we got home and they both went crazy over them!  Jacob loved his Star Wars Lego one and Olivia is completely obsessed with her Hatchimals one.  They are both so nice and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. 

We had Your Pie for lunch, and then we headed to get some new dress shoes for each of the kids.  They are both growing like weeds these days and we can’t keep them in shoes… especially Olivia!

When we got home, B and I opened gifts from each other because Sunday was our twelve year anniversary!  The kids read our cards to each other and helped us open our gifts and it was just so much fun to do it with them this year.  Usually B and I give our gifts to one another after the kids have gone to bed, so it was fun to include them this year. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, blogging, and playing video games, and then we headed to my parents house for Sunday dinner.  We hadn’t been over there in forever due to lots of different circumstances, so it was nice to be back in the Sunday groove.  Momma made a delicious dinner of pork chops, rice, peas, broccoli, biscuits, and leftover mac and cheese from Thanksgiving… my favorite!  We had some wine, and some Christmas tunes on the speakers and it was a cozy evening together.  I just love this time of year!