Friday, November 29, 2019

Five on Friday - Black Friday Deals & Gift Guide Round-Up... Gifts for Every Single Person on Your List!

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I hope you all enjoyed your day yesterday with family!  Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s officially the biggest shopping day of the year!  While I love to shop and I love the hustle and bustle of stores during the holidays, I’m actually not one for Black Friday shopping.  Instead, you can find me curled up on the couch this morning, snuggling with my favorite people, and later, heading out to find and decorate the perfect tree, and relishing the fact that it’s officially the Christmas season.  <3

If you are one to shop today, this post contains several great deals that are going on today as well as a round-up of all of my holiday gift guides from earlier this month… I know many of you have already seen these, but in case any of you missed them, they're all in the post for easy access.  And if you prefer to see the longer versions of each gift guide with bigger pictures and descriptions of each of the items, you can click the links below.

Now for a few more deals...

Amazon will be having loads of deals today through Monday, so be sure to sign up for an Amazon Prime membership if you haven’t already and keep your eye on their huge list of HoliDeals here!

Carter's has matching family pajamas for just $5 for kids and $10 for adults with FREE SHIPPING WITH NO MINIMUM!!!!  I already ordered ours!!

Also, y'all know I'm a big lover of all things Emily Ley, including her planners.  Well, if you've had your eye on one NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!  They announced that their entire shop will be up to 50% off (including 2020 planners!) today, so if you've been wanting to grab one of her planners, grab one now here!  And if you'd like to see my review of the Simplified planner, you can see it here.  And you can see how I organized my entire life by using mine on a daily basis here.  

And finally, y'all know how much I love my fertility bracelet by Ava Women?  Well, they are offering $30 off today if you click here and use the code AVABFCM30!!  They rarely have sales, so if you're in the market for one, today is the perfect day to grab it.

Happy shopping!

Now for the gift guides...

O N E – For the Babies

3 // Sit & Spin 
12 // Talking Forky 

T W O – For the Big Kids

1 // Snap Circuits 
7 // Garmin Jr. 
9 // Spirograph 
11 // Unicorn robe
14 // Plasma Car 
16 // Kinetic Sand  
17 // Hoppity Hop 
18 // Lincoln Logs 
19 // Flybar 

T H R E E – For the Teenagers

6 // Donut Puzzle 
8 // LEGO Yoda 
11 // Hookey 
12 // Gaming Socks 
14 // Spikeball 

F O U R – For the Ladies

3 // Cozy Slippers 
5 // Pop Socket 
6 // Cozy Throw 
7 // Cute PJs 
11 // Diffuser 
12 // Yeti Tumbler 
13 // Cozy Socks 
14 // Pom Pom Pillow 
15 // Beanie 
19 // Latte Bowls 

F I V E – For the Guys

1 // Yeti Tumbler 
4 // Cozy Slippers 
7 // Copper Mugs 
8 // Apple Watch 
10 // Yeti Cooler
11 // Socksmith Socks 

Friday funnies…

It's the cat again!!!!  Hahahaha.

That's right, Tabitha.

This is hilarious.

I'm actually thinking the complainers are bigger babies than the elephants... QUIT TAKING AWAY MY JOY, KAREN.

Merry Christmas, kids, here's some electricity!!

ICYMI, this week’s blog posts…

Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favoriteand Della Devoted for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

The beginning of 2019 was hard, y’all.  There were many events that transpired earlier this year that brought on sadness, stress, and anxiety, and because of that, I’m more thankful than ever this year for the blessings in my life…

For a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally no matter what.

For a kind-hearted and smart little boy who keeps me laughing every day.

For the cutest little mini-me who loves fiercely and never ceases to amaze me with her intellect and wit.

For the sweetest little angel baby in heaven who watches over us every day.

For the best little doggie who gives plenty of snuggles and keeps my lap cozy and warm. 

For an incredible extended family who will drop anything to help us when we need it. 

For an amazing tribe of friends, old and new, who always have my back and never fail to be there for me when I need them the most.   

For good health.

For God’s endless love and forgiveness, no matter how many mistakes I make. 

And for YOU, my readers… I’m grateful to every single one of you who continue to come to this space day after day.  Your love and support is humbling and I’m thankful for every single one of you. 

I hope you all have the happiest day today surrounded by those who you love most!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Our Week - The One with Winterfest, Lots of Girl Time, and House Guests

Well, this past week was crazy but it was filled with nothing but good things!  I was able to spend so much time with many of the different girlfriends in my life, and time with them truly makes my heart feel so full.  More of this in 2020, please!

Monday, November 18

Monday was my only day that was completely free of obligations – no meetings, no appointments, and nothing at the kids’ school.  It’s SUPER rare for me to have a day like this these days so I used it to my full advantage.  I decided to skip the gym, too, so I could have a true “free” day and I drove myself straight home after dropping the kids at school and I got to work.  I worked on blog posts pretty much all day and I also started on some house cleaning since we had guests arriving later in the week.

Monday evening I cooked dinner for the four of us, and then right after dinner I let B take the reigns while I headed out to see the movie Last Christmas with my Momma, Aunt Joy, and cousin Shelby at the theater.  All four of us loved it and I’ll definitely be watching it again when it moves over to Netflix.  It’s a British romantic comedy and it’s done by some of the people who did Love Actually (my favorite movie of all-time!!), so it’s warm and hilarious and it has just the right amount of quirkiness to make it unique.  It was great.  And girl time with these pretty ladies is always a favorite!

Tuesday, November 19

Tuesday was another day of tackling blog posts, decorating for Christmas, working on house stuff, and running errands, and I also met my friend, Adrienne, for lunch.  We went to a local restaurant here in town that’s been around for a couple of years, but I’ve never had the chance to go.  I had the fried green tomato sandwich with bacon and ranch aioli and it was delicious.  Adrienne and I got to spend over an hour catching up and chatting and it was so good for my heart.  I swear, she and I are so much alike it’s scary sometimes – ENNEAGRAM 6s UNITE!  Love you, A, and I’m so happy that our jobs brought us together all those years ago!

Tuesday evening was Winterfest at the university here in town, so we grabbed Chick-Fil-A for dinner after B got off of work and then headed to the campus.  My friend, Jeannine, and her hubs and two boys met us there and we spent the evening together watching the tree lighting, watching fireworks, and letting the kids play in the bouncy houses, make Christmas cookies, meet Christmas characters, and slide down the big slide. 

The big slide was so popular that the line was crazy long and we ended up spending most of our evening (one hour to be exact) waiting in line for it, but we all made the most of the waiting and the kids were perfectly content playing and laughing and watching everyone ahead of them slide down.  All of the kids agreed it was worth the hour wait! 

Wednesday, November 20

Wednesday was more blogging as well as some errands, an appointment with the doc, and a hair appointment.  I had received a coupon for a free Peppermint Milkshake at Chick-Fil-A, so I decided to swing right in there and grab it after my hair appointment as a little treat.  Y’all, I’ve never had one prior to that day, but they are pure heaven!!  They are so dang good!  I have always been a huge peppermint lover and y’all know I love me some ice cream, so I have no clue why I’ve never tried it.  If you have a CFA nearby, drop what you’re doing and go grab one!  It’s perfect for this time of year!

Wednesday evening my bible study girls got together but I decided to sit that one out because Wednesday was literally the only free night I had all last week and all I wanted to do was get in my PJs and snuggle up on the couch.  And we did just that!

Thursday, November 21

Thursday was crazy.  I was all a flutter around the house getting it cleaned and ready for company, I managed to work on some blog posts for a bit, I ran some errands, and I also had Thanksgiving lunch with both of the kids during their respective lunch times during the day.

B and I both met there at 11 to eat with Olivia and then we hung out until 11:50 when Jacob came in for his lunch.  The school had prepared a Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, dressing, mac n cheese, and all of the other fixings, but our kids won’t touch any of that, so they ate the lunches I had made for them at home.  Haha.

Thursday evening after ballet, I made grilled cheese sandwiches for B and the kids and then I headed out to get together with some of my girlfriends who have kids at our kids’ school.  The five of us had worked closely together on the fall carnival and the carnival chair had arranged the dinner as a little thank you for our volunteer work. 

We met at a local Mexican restaurant and ended up chatting for over two hours over tacos and chips and margs and it was just the best evening.  As always, I’m so thankful that we can send our kids to such a close-knit school that feels like family.  

Friday, November 22

Friday I worked all morning to finish up all of the blog posts for this week as well as a couple for next week.  I was able to knock out every single post to keep the blog rolling along this week while the kids are out for Thanksgiving, and I’ll only have to do minimal maintenance.  It’s been a much-needed break this week so I can focus on the more important things in life like Brian and my babies and extended family.

People who don’t blog don’t realize just how much work it actually is to crank out each blog post – writing, editing, photographing, editing photos, creating graphics, linking items, putting everything into the post and then formatting it – it’s a huge undertaking, and each post typically takes anywhere from 2-4 hours for me to compose… and that doesn’t even include the social media/promotion portion of it.  I enjoy it, so that’s why I continue doing it, but every now and then it’s nice to step away for a week and recharge!

Friday afternoon was Olivia’s Kindergarten Thanksgiving picnic and performance at school.  We were allowed to pick up whatever we wanted to bring for lunch, so I grabbed Chick-Fil-A as a special treat.  Brian and I, along with my mom, all met in the hall in our church and then both of the Kindergarten classes sang several songs in their precious little turkey hats.  My gosh, I’m going to miss when our kiddos stop wearing handmade hats.  How precious is she?

The rest of the day was spent running errands, Christmas shopping, preparing for company, and organizing recent Christmas purchases and getting them hidden away.  Time flew by and before I knew it, it was time to grab the kids from school.  On another note, how beautiful is the view from my home office?   I never tire of those gorgeous fall leaves.

Friday evening, B and the kids and I all went out for Mexican and then we spent the evening in for the kids’ first viewing of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  I probably hadn’t seen that movie in, like, 25 years but it was just as good as I had remembered.  In case anyone was wondering, we are most definitely getting the most out of our Disney+ subscription!

Saturday, November 23

Saturday, our family of four was supposed to have gotten up early to head to Athens for the Georgia vs. Texas A&M game, but the weather was awful and it was expected to be awful in Athens all day, too, so sadly, we sold our tickets.  B and I have watched many a Georgia game in the rain, but when it comes to taking the kids to a game in the rain?  That’s gonna be a hard no for me, dawg.  Normally any of the grandparents would have been happy to keep the kids for us, but we’ve been using their care a lot lately, and we knew they’d all be busy prepping for the holidays, so we just didn’t have the heart to ask any of them again. 

We were pretty crushed that we didn’t get to go as this is the first time and the last time we’ll play Texas A&M at our stadium until Jacob is in college (is that not crazy?!), but mostly because Brian’s cousin and her family flew all the way from Texas (they’re A&M grads) to be at the game, too.  Such a bummer.  In the end, we were thankful we didn’t go because it rained buckets for the entire first half of the game.  I just know the kids would have been miserable and I would have been miserable knowing that they were miserable. 

Instead, we spent the dreary day at home, finishing up house-cleaning, washing sheets, and prepping for B’s cousin and her family, who were staying with us Sunday – Tuesday.  We watched the game at 3:30 (another nail biter, but we pulled out the win) and we had Five Guys delivered.  It was a pretty perfect day spent in PJs, so in the end, it wasn’t as bad that we missed the game. 

Sunday, November 24

Sunday was spent doing more prep for the guests – more laundry, tidying, baking a homemade chocolate chip bundt bake, and getting the rest of the house ready.  We stepped out for lunch at Panera and a Publix run, and then came home to wait for Heather and Mark and the kids to arrive. 

They arrived around five-ish and my father-in-law and sister-in-law and her family all came over to visit.  The kids played Cornhole outside while the adults chatted.  I’d never met this particular cousin of Brian’s before, and she and her whole family were just lovely… it truly felt like I’d known them forever.

I tossed a salad and set out some fresh fruit while B picked up pizzas for dinner, and we all sat around the dining room table for hours that night, catching up and getting to know one another.  My SIL and her family left around 9:30 since they had to work the next day, and then we stayed up for another hour or so chatting.  There were lots of smiles and lots of laughter and it was a really great night in with great people. 

By 10:45 the kids (and the adults!) were exhausted so we all called it a night.  We let Heather and Mark and the kids have Jacob’s and Olivia’s bedrooms so Jacob and Olivia camped in sleeping bags on the floor in our bedroom.  They were out like lights in seconds.

There’s lots more family fun to recap from Monday, but this post is already a book, so I’ll save it for next week’s recap!  Stay tuned…

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, y’all!!!!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What’s Up Wednesday - November 2019

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you're looking for a weekend post today, come back tomorrow because it'll be up then!  We were busy hosting guests the last few days so I postponed my weekly update to tomorrow.  Now let’s recap November…

What We’re Eating This Week

This week is going to be crazy – we’ll be having house guests the first part of the week and then it’s Thanksgiving so the only definite meals are our Thanksgiving celebrations.  Other than that, I’m not planning a set menu because I honestly don’t even know what to plan for just yet… 

Mon – Guests in town so not sure yet…
Tue – Breakfast??
Wed – Out maybe??
Thu – Thanksgiving feast with my FIL and my fam!!  Yaaaas!
Fri – Out?
Sat – Thanksgiving feast with my MIL and step-FIL!!
Sun – ?? 

What I’m Reminiscing About

I’ve definitely been reminiscing about Thanksgivings past.  It’s my second favorite holiday, but I almost love it as much as Christmas.  We get to spend a lot of time with family, we get to eat a ton of yummy food, and we get to go to bed that evening knowing that the Christmas season starts the next day.  There’s not a better feeling than that!  Christmas Day is wonderful, but it’s always a little bittersweet for me because I go to bed that night knowing that my favorite time of year is over.  On Thanksgiving we get to go to bed knowing that there’s still a lot of magic to look forward to!




What I’m Loving

Olivia is a writing and drawing machine these days, and I’m often stumbling upon her creations.  A couple of weeks ago she decided to write a song and it was about the darn cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  She wrote all the lyrics herself and she even sang it to a tune she made up.  To translate:

I am awakened.
I am awakened.
Oh the grass is tall.
Oh the sky is blue.
Tonight oooohhhh I am awakened.

Lol.  Y’all, she even put a breve over the “o” in tall to indicate that it was a short vowel pronunciation.  I cannot even deal with this cuteness.  And if you think this is cute, you should hear her sing the song!  <3

I also came across this drawing just after Halloween.  My mother-in-law always sends cards in the mail to each of the kids for all of the holidays, and Olivia had drawn her own version of the card.  So stinking cute.

What We’ve Been Up To

The question here is what have we not been up to?  Because we’ve pretty much been up to everything!  We had B’s fam over for my nephew’s birthday early in the month, Olivia got her ears pierced, B and I saw Alejandro Aranda in concert, we had the fall carnival at the kids’ school, we went to the Georgia vs. Missouri game in Athens, we decorated the whole house for Christmas, we’ve had a couple of movie nights in, I had a movie date with my mom, aunt, and cousin, we went to Winterfest at our local university, I went to a volunteer thank you dinner to wrap up the fall carnival, we celebrated Thanksgiving at the kids’ school with three different events, and we hosted Brian’s cousin and her family earlier this week when they visited.  We were supposed to go to the Georgia vs. Texas A&M game last weekend, but we decided to cancel due to the weather.  Whew.  Recaps are below for most of the month and our weekly recap for this past week will be up tomorrow!

What I’m Dreading

Nothing!  My heart is light because my favorite time of year is here!

What I’m Working On

It was another busy month as you can see, I’ve only been working on a few things outside of my normal day-to-day stuff…

  1. I spent the first week of the month prepping for the fall carnival at the kids’ school.  Lots of time was spent at the school pulling stuff out of our storage shed and putting it all together and then cleaning it up afterward.
  2. My main focus this month was to get the whole house decorated for Christmas.  I managed to get the kids’ trees up in their rooms, the tree up in our master bedroom, the tree up in my office, and I also put out all of the decorations in our main living area.  The only thing left to do is to put up our big tree in the living room and put out the outdoor decorations (which B will have to do).  We always do that the weekend after Thanksgiving, so it’s coming right up!
  3. I’ve also been going gangbusters on Christmas shopping.  I’ve already purchased gifts for many of the people on our list, and I’ve also bought a good bit of the stuff for the kids.  My goal is to try to knock it all out as early as possible in December so I can have more time to relax later in the month.
  4. I always tend to be the planner when it comes to get-togethers with friends so I’m currently working on planning our annual girls’ Christmas party as well as planning a Christmas dinner for all of my old co-workers who are now all scattered among numerous jobs.  We’ve been getting together every year for Christmas for 15 years and it’s so nice that we’ve continued the tradition all these years after so many of us have left the original job that brought us together in the first place.
  5. I’m also working ahead on blog posts for December so I can hopefully take it easy in late December.  My only problem is that there is so much stuff that I want to post in December that I’m going to end up posting pretty much every day Monday – Friday.  Face palm. 
  6. And as always I’m blogging away.  Here are some highlights from the month…

What I’m Excited About

I’m most excited about the official start of the Christmas season.  We have lots of fun stuff planned but this year I’m also hoping to put lots of padding in there for some serious downtime for Christmas movie watching, snuggling, and being lazy.  I think the thing I’m most excited about is Christmas Break and no more school for two whole weeks!  We’re all in dire need of a break from homework and lunch-making!

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – Pretty much the same as last month… college football, Gossip Girl, This is Us, A Million Little Things, Modern Family, and Shark Tank.  We finished Living With Yourself on Netflix and we just started a new Netflix original show called Raising Dion.  My gosh, I love Michael B. Jordan.

Reading – Nothing.  #AintNobodyGotTimeFoDat

What I’m Listening To

Um, Christmas music?!  Not much else I’d rather listen to this time of year than that!  That said, this year I’m particularly loving the Johnnyswim Christmas album that I downloaded last year.  It’s good stuff.

What I’m Wearing

All of my snuggly stuff – cardigans, sweaters, boots, scarves, and a whoooole lot of college football gear.  Ahhhh.  I swear, I was meant for this kind of weather.  I just love being cozy!!

What I’m Doing This Weekend

All of the Thanksgiving festivities!!  We’ll be heading to the country club for Thanksgiving lunch with my father-in-law tomorrow followed by dinner with my extended family at my aunt and uncle’s house.  Then Friday will be our day to go and get a Christmas tree, get it decorated, and get all of our outdoor Christmas décor up.  We’ll probably finish off the evening with a Christmas movie and some snuggles. 

Then Saturday we’ll be doing a big Thanksgiving feast at my mother-in-law’s house and then our family of four will be heading back home to watch the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game and be lazy at home the rest of the day.  Sunday I don’t know what we’ll be up to, but it probably won’t be much other than hanging with family and doing fun stuff!  Sounds like heaven!  Thanksgiving weekend is probably my favorite weekend of the entire year!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Everything – Christmas parades, tree lightings, our annual girls’ Christmas party, a work dinner with my old coworkers, Christmas movies, hot chocolate, driving around and looking at Christmas lights.  This time of year has always been so magical for me and even as an adult it’s still magical.  I know that’s not always the case for everyone, and I pray it stays that way for me.  December truly is the best month of all.  <3

What Else Is New

This year I started rounding up old photographs of family members from our past, and I framed them to create a collection on the DVD dresser in our living room.  So far I have an old picture of my grandparents on the beach when they were young, pictures of both sets of my father-in-law’s grandparents (so B’s great-grandparents), and a picture of my Dad’s father when he was young.  My Mama Cass (my mom’s mom) recently brought a copy of this gem to me to add to my collection and I couldn’t love it more!  It’s my Mama Cass’s mother and father on their wedding day on April 3, 1913.  So they are my great grandparents.  I cannot wait to get it framed and add it to my collection!

Today we’re hoping to take the kids to see Frozen 2 so wish us luck!!  I’m sure the theater is going to be a zoo!  I THINK I’M AS EXCITED AS THE KIDS ARE TO SEE IT!  Haha.  Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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