Friday, January 8, 2021

Five on Friday - Favorite Toys the Kids Received for Christmas

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I had yesterday and today's posts scheduled prior to Wednesday's events in our country, but I came back to edit this post to say a few things first.  Y'all know I typically steer clear of politics here on the blog because I like to keep things light and happy, but there are some things that cannot be ignored.  Unfortunately, I feel like I've had to give this disclaimer more than I'd like this past year as there have been so many of those things.

What happened on Wednesday was shameful.  It was a threat to our democracy.  It was a glaring example of white privilege.  It was sad, embarrassing, and terrifying.   And it was one of the darkest days in our nation to date.

Storming your own nation's Capitol and wreaking havoc does not make you a patriot.  It makes you a terrorist.  And I pray that every single one of those terrorists are hunted down and prosecuted for their actions to the full extent of the law.  

I also pray that Donald Trump is held accountable for his actions, and I pray that someone gets him the help that he so obviously needs.  A president's words and actions matter, and not only did he show a lack of leadership in a time of crisis, he added fuel to the fire.  

It's no secret that I was shocked and saddened when he was elected in 2016... I even went so far as to write this post.  But, I accepted the fact that he was our president, I gave him my full support, and I prayed for him to prove me wrong.  But he didn't.  In fact, he proved himself to be even more dangerous than I thought he could ever be.  

I'm welcoming January 20 with open arms and I'm praying that somehow, some way, our nation's parties and leaders can learn to work together for our nation as a whole.  We will never all be on the same page about the issues, but there HAS to be a way for us to unite for the greater good.  We haven't been united for quite sometime.

2020 was hard, and we don't need 2021 to be worse.  Praying so hard for brighter days.  It's been a heavy week.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post...


Happy Friday, y’all!  I feel like it’s been 84 years since I’ve done a regular Five on Friday post!  It was a strange couple of weeks since Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fell on Friday.  Before I get started, I wanted to mention that I did blog the week after Christmas, and the highlight of that week was An Ode to 2020… a recap of last year.  You can see it here in case you missed it.    

The kiddos got some pretty cool gifts for Christmas, and I thought I’d share my five favorites here today in case you need some ideas for the year ahead…

O N E – Garmin Vivofit Jr Fitness Trackers

Both kids have been begging for Apple watches ever since I received mine for my birthday back in April.  Obviously, we told them to keep dreaming since they’re so expensive and they don’t make kid-friendly versions.  We knew that we wanted to get them some kind of fitness trackers, though, so we researched several different ones and ultimately settled on the Garmin Vivo Fit Jr 2. 

Y’all, I wish you could have seen the expressions on their little faces when they opened them.  Both of them proclaimed that the watches were their favorite gifts out of everything they received this year, and we believe it to be true, as they’ve both been wearing them around the clock and obsessively tracking their activity ever since.

For Jacob, we purchased the Star Wars themed watch because of his love for Star Wars and the color red.  For Olivia, we purchased the Disney Princess themed watch because princesses are her favorite thing and pink and purple are her favorite colors.

Both watches are identical as far as functionality goes.  Both watches track their steps, active minutes, and sleep each day, and they both also have extra features such as reminder alerts and task timers.  The watches are swim-friendly and user-friendly (our 6-year old learned easily and immediately how to use hers without any help from us), and they come with a battery that has a one-year life.  I LOVE not having to worry about charging their watches every day… it’ll be so much easier to just replace a battery once a year or so when the other one dies.  No charging also means that they can wear them 24 hours a day, which they want to do since the watches track their activity as well as their sleep. 

The watches can be synced to our iPad and phones, and that allows B and I to assign chores to them and send rewards as chores are completed. 

The kids’ favorite feature is the game that comes with each of their watches.  Jacob’s is Star Wars themed and Olivia’s is Disney Princess themed, and each day if they meet their activity goal of 60 minutes, a new adventure is unlocked in their game… just another little incentive to get them up and moving throughout the day. 

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker for your little ones, we highly recommend these!


T W O – Super Mario Brothers Legos

Jacob loves Legos and he loves Super Mario Brothers, so we thought this Super Mario Brothers Lego set would be the perfect set to get him for Christmas.  This set, however, isn’t just like any Lego set, it’s a battery operated and interactive Lego set!  The set has to be built like any other Lego set, but then when you pop in the batteries, it becomes interactive!  When Mario is switched on, the course makes all of the iconic Super Mario Brothers sounds. 

You must have this starter course to begin, and then there are several additions that you can buy to expand your existing set and create an entire Super Mario World from Legos.  Just when you thought Legos couldn’t be any cooler, they came up with something like this!  It’s awesome!


T H R E E – Shrinky Dinks 3D Butterfly Lights

My mother-in-law gave this set of Shrinky Dinks to Olivia for Christmas and we had so much fun putting it together.  I did Shrinky Dinks way back when I was a kid, so this was incredibly nostalgic for me.  As with any other toy from the 80’s that’s been revamped for present day, they took it up and notch and… these were able to be made into a strand of twinkle lights!  I love when crafts end up being useful!  Most of the time after Olivia completes a craft, it just sits around taking up space, but this one can be used for decoration when it’s done.

Olivia colored each of the butterflies and I baked each of them for her as she finished.  Once all of them were baked and cooled, it was time to assemble.  We did have some trouble attaching the Shrinky Dinks to the light strand, but we made it work, and Olivia loves having her very own strand of twinkle lights cascading down her canopy while she sleeps… especially since it’s one that she designed herself!


F O U R – Animatronic Baby Yoda

It’s no secret that everyone in our household is obsessed with Baby Yoda (especially me and I don’t even like Star Wars), so when B and I saw this animatronic Baby Yoda at Target, I needed it.  Like NEEEEDED it.  It’s not just another plastic toy… this one is an actual animatronic (which does make it pricey), AND IT LOOKS SO REAL, Y’ALL!!!! 

When you pat his head, he does all kinds of movements – his head moves up and down, his eyes open and close, and the best part of all is that his little ears move back and forth, too.  He makes happy and excited sounds, he giggles and babbles, and he uses the force, plus he “goes to sleep” when you lay him on his back.

It is the absolute cutest dang thing ever and, I swear, it’s like having the real Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian in your house.  I told B I’m going to start carrying him around in my arm like The Mando does.  I also told B that after the kids tire of him, he’s mine, and I’m keeping him in my office.  Hahahaha. 

Apparently everyone else loved him, too, because he's currently sold out EVERYWHERE.  You can only get him on eBay now.


F I V E – The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be

Johanna Gaines wrote a children’s book, y’all, and it has the absolute sweetest message – that our world is a more beautiful place when everyone’s differences are celebrated.  I cannot think of a more appropriate time for this book to have been released after all of the things that happened in the world in 2020, and I think every household should have this book.  I know some adults who could benefit from reading it.  The first time I read it, it made me tear up.  It is a truly moving and beautiful story.   


Friday Funnies


That's what it's looking like.

Cheers to 2022 finally being our year!

I'd like a full refund, please.



On the Blog This Week

 A Complete List of Things to Clean Out in the New Year

What I Ordered from Amazon in December 2020

2020 New Year’s Goals – What I Accomplished

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 42 (Christmas Break and New Year’s)

Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.


  1. Those Garmins are so cool! And they seem so functional, too, with allowing you to assign chores, and the kids to do a game. Super neat!

  2. I want that baby Yoda! So so cute. I am obsessed as well. Your Memes are so good, I shared some of the same ones because let’s face it, Memes are life in these troubling times! Have a great weekend sweetheart!

  3. I feel bad that I haven't mentioned the mess on my blog, although I certainly did on Instagram! Sounds like the kids got some great gifts.

  4. Thank you so much for speaking on this!! Looks like your kids got some great gifts!!

  5. It's so horrible what happened, and embarrassing is right. I was really hoping he was going to prove me wrong as well and it's been the opposite. Let's all hope and pray that better days are on the way. We got Joanna Gaines book for the boys for Christmas and it's been such a sweet story to focus on. Hope you have a good weekend!

  6. The baby Yoda was a huge hit in our friends house too. My girls would love to have those fitness trackers. As for the state of this country, I am saddened by both sides. No one is being held accountable, people are choosing to riot and end up looking like idiots. I am so embarrassed for our country right now.

  7. I used to love shrinky dinks! We made our own one time too as a fun little science experiment.

    1. Oh that is awesome!! I loved them when I was little so I was excited to see they still make them!

  8. You wrote these words so well and I couldn't agree more. I'm so over seeing lists of all the good he's done for our country posted as if it excuses the bullying and egotistical behavior as okay. It's NOT okay! It's NEVER okay to be a bully who instigates this kind of fire and rage in people.

  9. I pray that 2021 is better. It has to be right?? On a lighter note, I loved shrniky dinks as a kid!! I bet Annabelle and Autumn would love them too!

    1. Gosh, I hope so. We are not exactly off to the best start, but I'm hanging on to hope that there are brighter days ahead. <3 And yes, I bet the girls would love them!


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