Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekending - SNOW! and Other Christmas Activities

What a weekend, y’all!!  It was a long one and it was a great one!

Friday B took another day off of work and he and I had yet another day date.  We dropped the kids off at school, grabbed some donuts, and then did a bit more Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s, and Target.  It was FREEZING outside, and it was also rainy, so after we met my father-in-law at Five Guys for lunch we headed back home where we proceeded to snuggle up on the couch and watch Christmas Vacation. 

Confession, I’ve never seen Christmas Vacation all the way through.  I know.  B wanted to remedy that, so we turned on the Christmas lights, I made some hot cinnamon tea (seriously, I cannot stop drinking that stuff), and we snuggled up and watched that.  It was the perfect afternoon for it, that’s for sure!

After the movie, we ventured back out, grabbed Jacob and Olivia from school, and then headed to Olivia’s Christmas program at school.  The kids sang their hearts out (and some cried and ran off the stage – LOL) and it was such a sweet way to celebrate the season.  When the program was over we headed straight to Cracker Barrel with my parents for some breakfast for dinner – eggs, grits, pancakes, bacon, and coffee! 

B and I put the kiddos to bed that evening with visions of snowflakes dancing in their heads because – we had a rare chance of snow in the middle of the night!!!!  B and I then built a fire and watched the last episode of Stranger Things and a couple of other shows that we were behind on before saying one last little prayer for snow and then calling it a night.

Saturday morning B woke me up eeaarrly by saying, “IT’S SNOWING!!” 

We all flew out of bed, and literally bundled the kids (and ourselves) up over their PJs as fast as we could so they wouldn’t miss it!  Olivia had never seen snow and we wanted so badly for her to experience it since it’s such a rarity around these parts.  It came down pretty good and we stayed outside for about 45 minutes before breakfast.  We ended up getting a good dusting, but it was nothing like the last time it snowed when I was pregnant with Olivia.  The kids had a blast catching snowflakes on their tongues and “making paths” (footprints) in the snow that accumulated.  And I’m sure our neighbors were thrilled to hear the nonstop squeals that were coming from our back yard at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday.  ;o)

A little after eight, we all headed back inside, Brian built a fire, and we all had a special “snow breakfast” of mini donuts, gingerbread men, and peppermint marshmallows AKA sugar on top of sugar!  But hey, it was a snow day and we just don’t get those around here often (maybe once every 4-5 years?  And usually in March.) so we had to do it right! 

After breakfast we all snuggled up on the couch under a blanket by the fire and we watched the Disney Christmas special that we had recorded from a week or two ago while the snow fell softly outside.  It was truly a magical morning.  Snow in December in Georgia is basically like finding a unicorn.

The sun came out late morning and the snow melted instantly, but it stayed freezing all day so we stayed inside.  I got a bit of photographing done for my Christmas home tour, and then in the early afternoon we headed out to pick up my car from the shop.  

I may have forgotten to mention that literally a day or two after I quit my job my brake light, my vehicle stability assistance light, and my air pressure light all popped up on the dashboard and my car also started making some awful humming noise at random moments.  #Typical

Turns out I needed full brake jobs on the front and back brakes along with several other semi-expensive things.  We ended up having to spend several hundred dollars even after declining several of the things that needed to be done – OUCH – which is about par for the course for 2017, I suppose.  Quit my job = something major breaking and us having to spend loads of unexpected money right at Christmastime.  Murphy’s Law, right?

After we picked up my car, Jacob and I played a few games of Guess Who while B and Olivia put together a puzzle, and then it was time to meet my father-in-law and the rest of B’s family for an early dinner to celebrate our nephew’s birthday.  We had dinner at Longhorn followed by gifts and a DQ Blizzard cake at my FIL’s house, and then it was home to get the kids bathed and in the bed early since we had early church on Sunday.

After B and I put them down, he and I built another fire and then had our annual viewing of Love Actually, my favorite movie ever of all time!!  Between that and the snow earlier, I went to bed feeling warm and fuzzy Saturday night, that’s for sure!

Sunday morning we were up super early to make it to 8 o’clock mass.  I had to give Olivia the “mom look” and squeeze her arm way too many times in that hour that we were there and I was thankful that we made it out of there without having to take her out.  Some weeks she’s an angel and some weeks… she’s the exact opposite of an angel.  Lol.

After church we stopped by Publix to grab some groceries for Sunday dinner and then we headed home so Jacob could do a little bit of homework and I could get caught up on my calendar/planner stuff for the week.

We headed to Panera for lunch a little after noon and then we took the kids to the playground for a nice long time afterward.  They had been cooped up most of the day Saturday and it was starting to show, so we braved the 45 degree temps to let them run around and swing and slide.

Sunday afternoon the kiddos baked cookies with B while I prepped for Sunday dinner, and then my parents, brother and his friend, grandmother, uncle and his girlfriend all came over at 5 to take family pictures for my parents’ Christmas card.  We all wore ugly Christmas sweaters and wigs so it should be a hoot to see how it turns out.  I’ll be sure to update y’all once my mom has the card ready.  ;o)

The rest of the evening was spent cozily indoors with Christmas tunes on the speaker and every twinkle light shimmering.  I made Perfect Parmesan Pasta, roasted green beans, and garlic cheese bread for dinner along with Christmas Cranberry Margaritas and then we had the homemade chocolate chip cookies that B and the kids had made for dessert.  Another great evening of family and fun and the perfect way to end a pretty darn great weekend!  It really couldn’t have been more perfect!  Wellll, maybe if Olivia had behaved in church it would have been a little better.  Oh, and not having to pay a bazillion dollars for car repairs would have been nice, too.  ;o)

Happy Monday, y’all!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for WeekendingMy Glittery Heart for Hello Monday,  More Pieces of Me for Hello Monday Linkup, and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Five on Friday – Faves

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Hello and happy Friday!  B and I are on another day date today so it’s going to be a great one!  More Christmas shopping, lunch out, and maybe even another movie are on deck for today and I am really looking forward to it!  Plus, the weather has finally cooled off and the high today is only 39 with a chance of snow flurries!!!!  If that doesn’t put us in a Christmas mood then I don’t know what will! 

But first, some faves!

O N E – Cold Weather Clothes

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, I am loving wearing all things cold weather.  My ruffled buffalo plaid vest from Amazon arrived and I have worn it a couple of times.  You guys, I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  Get yours here!

Another cold weather clothing favorite?  This toddler girlsdress from Target.  Y’all, it is so flipping cute!  Look at those sweet little sleeves!  I cannot wait to see Olivia in this and I SO wish that they had it in my size.  It is perfect for Christmas programs at school, Christmas Eve mass, and even Christmas Day!  Girlfriend loves dresses and pretty much lives in them so it’s a must to buy cold weather dresses when we see them.  If you have a little girl who doesn't like dresses there is also a top that is very similar and it's on clearance for just $8.48!

T W O – #BigBoyStatus

Jacob has reached a huge milestone… no more harness seatbelt in the car!!!!  For the first time in his life, he is rocking the adult seatbelt (with his car seat, of course) and he is loving this new freedom because he is able to get himself in and out of the car all by himself now!  He is a tiny peanut so we waited a little longer to make the switch, but now that it’s done we’re all very happy!  It also makes car line pick-up waaaay easier!

T H R E E – Being a SAHM

Can I just say that I am L-O-V-I-N-G being a stay-at-home mom?!  Yes, I miss interaction with adults during the day, but goodness gracious everything else about staying home is incredible… 

Early morning grocery shopping and having the store to myself.

Actually having time to browse at the grocery store.  Browse?  What’s that?!

Making coffee in my new Keurig and actually being able to enjoy it while it’s still hot because I’m not being called into some random meeting or being buried under a pile of work and forgetting about it.

Early morning workouts and being able to work out as long as I want.

Having time to get Christmas cards done.

Checking things off the to-do list that have been on the to-do list forever.

Not feeling like I’m constantly rushing all. the. time.

No more road rage because I now have the luxury of taking my time.  Well, mostly.  ;o)

Having extra hours with the kids in the afternoon and sitting down to enjoy a snack with them and discuss their day instead of doing all of this while trying to cook at the same time.

It’s just really, really great and I’m so blessed to have this opportunity.  I’m definitely not taking it for granted.

Now to figure out how to make money from home so I can continue staying at home!

F O U R – Gift Lists

Did you see my series of gift lists during these last couple of weeks?  Head on over if you still have some shopping to do!  There’s something for everyone!

F I V E – An Oldie But a Goodie

Anybody remember this post from last year?  It’s very popular on Pinterest right now!  Head on over to see how to make one for yourself!

Enjoy the weekend, y’all!  

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

My 2018 Planner with Plum Paper

*This post is sponsored by Plum Paper.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Lindsay’s Sweet World.

‘Tis the season for… planning for 2018!

The new year is right around the corner which in my book means… TIME TO GET ORGANIZED!! 

I have used a paper planner my entire life.  When everything went digital many years back I tried using a digital planner on my phone for a few months and nope, BIG mistake.  I dropped the ball on many things almost right away, so I immediately resumed my love affair with all things paper.  I’m a very visual person and I like to be able to see everything lying out in front of me.  I also like tangible things.  And highlighters.  And fun colored pens.  The digital way was just not for me, so yes, I am one of those weirdos that still carries a paper planner in 2017.

As most of you long-time readers know, I have been a faithful Erin Condren user for the last 3.5 years.  However, since the kids have started having different activities this year, I found that my ECLP wasn’t cutting it anymore, mostly because the layout no longer suited my needs. 

I started doing a lot of research on some of the other brands of paper planners, and the one that stood out the most was the planner from Plum Paper.  They have so many customization options, y’all!  It’s unbelievable!  I ultimately decided on that one and absolutely cannot wait to use it.

Want to take a peek inside?  You know you do!

The cover is very sturdy and also water resistant which is great since we have two littles, one who spills everything. 

When you open the planner there is a yearly calendar so you can see the entire year at a glance.  There are also very sturdy tabs for each month, similar to my ECLP.

Each month begins with an overview page where you can list goals, birthdays, events, and things to remember for each month.  There is also a plain lined page to use for whatever you want!  When you flip the page over, there is also a monthly view which is a must have for me.  I like to be able to see all of our appointments, etc. at a glance for the entire month.

Turning the page, you will see the individual days.  I chose the weekly layout and it is arranged very similarly to my ECLP in that there is a single column for each day.  However, the kicker with the Plum Planner is that they allow you to divide each column into however many sections you want AND YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE EACH SECTION.  Y’all!!!!  This was the absolute selling point for me.  It makes my Type A heart so flipping happy I can’t even take it. 

As you can see, I divided each day into the following categories:

Brian – tennis matches and practices, work trips, etc.

Lindsay – appointments, meetings, lunch dates, etc.

Jacob – soccer practices, games, notes for school

Olivia – future extracurricular activities, notes for school (no more forgetting to bring something for Show & Tell on Fridays – haha!)

Blog – post that’s going live that day, link-up reminders, things to do for future posts

Other – section for miscellaneous to-dos that day

Daily – what I’m cooking that day, exercise I did that day, etc.

And the columns have lines!!  #GameChanger

Y’all, I’m giddy.

Behind all of the months I opted to add some blank notes pages.  I will be adding tabs to these for budgeting, Christmas lists, party planning, and other blog stuff.

Behind my blank notes pages, I also opted to add some To-Do List pages.  I have no clue exactly what I’ll use them for yet, but they were so pretty I had to have them.  I love me some list-making!  I am the queen of lists!

Side note, Plum Paper offers oodles of different add-ons – wedding planning pages, budget planning pages… it’s amazing.

Finally at the back of the planner, there is a two-sided folder with pockets.  I typically keep my master to-do list folded up in there along with stamps, and some fun stickers. 

Y’all, I am so excited to get this new planner set up for 2018 and I’m even more excited about putting it to use in January!

I’ve had numerous people ask me to do a post about using my paper planners and I’m hoping to finally do this in the new year!  I will keep you guys posted!!

And before I go, let me know if you are interested in purchasing your own Plum planner... I can send an email to you for 10% off of your purchase of $30 or more!

*Linking up with Sparkles and Lattes for Confessional Thursday and Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fall Family Portraits 2017

As always, one of the things on our fall bucket list this year was to take some professional family portraits to use for Christmas cards.  Well, we were just so darn busy this year that our calendar didn’t really allow for us to meet with any professional photographers, so one Saturday morning we got up early, loaded up the kids and the tripod, and we took our own pictures at the park. 

It happened to be extremely humid that morning so my hair as well as Olivia's went a little bit crazy and my allergies were also acting up that day as well, so I have giant allergy shiners under my eyes.  #WhatCanYouDo  And since we didn't use a professional with these, they aren’t near as good as the ones that we got last year when we did use a professional, but these are good enough for me during this busy season of life that we are in… and it saved us a whole lot of money!  That’s the focus these days, after all.  Haha.

Without further ado, our fall family portraits… and as always, settle in because it’s going to be a long one!

Well, what did you think?  Not award-winning photography, but not too shabby either?

Now to get all of these Christmas cards mailed!

Happy Wednesday!

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.