Love, Fun and Football

Dec 9, 2016

Traditions Old & New

I love hearing about other family traditions and learning what makes this time of year special for other people. Sure, we're all decorating our trees and watching holiday movies- but the unique little things that people love year after year are so special. Jared and I have been making new traditions together each year we've been married and I know we'll continually add to them as our family grows. Chelsea recently shared her family traditions and inspired this post :) So today's post is about traditions old and new!

Growing up my sister and I convinced my parents to let us open presents on Christmas Eve EVE one year and it just stuck. It actually made sense at the time... my dad was always working late on Christmas Eve and then we were rushing off to one Grandma's house that night and another Grandma's house the next day which didn't leave a lot of time for our immediate family to exchange gifts. So every year on December 23rd we got to open gifts from my parents and we'd just save our stockings for Christmas morning. My sister and I thought it was SO awesome to spread out Christmas for an additional day.

Since Jared and I got married we've started many of our own traditions. Every year we put up our Christmas tree and decor immediately after Thanksgiving (okay- except this year we jumped the gun and did it early hehe) and fill the whole weekend with festivities. We waste no time busting out the Christmas movies and Christmas pjs. Most years we see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and we always try to squeeze in a trip to our zoo's festival of lights as well- no matter how cold it is ;) And finally, we make it to a local church's huuuuge Christmas production every year without fail! Bonus points for it being a FREE show.

Now that we have T, I know Jared and I will want to add new family traditions with him- especially as he gets older. Even though he won't remember a second of this holiday season, I cannot wait to snuggle him up on Christmas morning while we open gifts in front of our tree and eat waffles. Well, Jared and I will be the ones eating waffles... still milk and purees for you kiddo ;) I love seeing him stare at our tree in amazement and can't wait for the day he'll be awake late enough to drive around and look at lights as a family. I look forward to a time when T's old enough to understand the importance of giving back and we can do something for a family or charity in need.

What traditions have you kept year after year? What new ones are you hoping to start with your family?

Dec 7, 2016

Currently {December Edition}

Joining in with Anne and her co-host Kellie for this month's edition of the Currently series! 

Doing- Too much online shopping. Not really too much, I guess, since everything I'm buying is a Christmas gift. It just feels like a lottttt all at once. I am just not someone who enjoys shopping all that much in general so if I can do it from my couch, you best believe I will! 

Enjoying- How festive and cozy our house feels. Those suuuper early mornings with T are a little bit easier when I come downstairs and our tree is glowing over in the corner. Because yes, I typically leave it on all night and day, 24/7. You only get a month of it after all.

Cooking- Jared and I are on a spaghetti squash kick lately and have been making it a variety of ways. It's nice that it's so versatile and that you can add meat to your recipes or it can be a great meatless option too. Anyone have a favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash that they'd like to share? We are always looking for new ideas.

Wrapping- Nothing yet! I am excited that we stocked up on paper, gift bags and bows after Christmas last year though. I saved money and it was a fun little surprise to get them out of the storage bins this month.

Playing- Sudoku on my tablet (Grandma status) and lots of repetitive "games" with T each day. It's both amusing and boring that he loves to hear/see/do the same things over and over again. He's very into clapping hands (with my help of course) and playing peek-a-boo these days. Ahh, the simple life of a baby.

What are you currently doing??

Dec 5, 2016

I Didn't Leave My House This Weekend

If that title isn't enough to draw blog readers from near or far I don't know what it?! ;) This weekend was all about recovering in our household. In the past week all three of us have gotten nasty colds that have lingered far longer than I'd hoped. Having a sick baby is pretty miserable, but having a sick baby while you're sick yourself? Woof. It's been an ugly, germy week over here that's for sure. Luckily, we're past the worst of it but it'll be a good day when we can stop using the NoseFrida. Y'all... that thing is disgusting but absolutely necessary. And as if that wasn't enough, T also had his 6-month check up on Friday but thankfully his post-shots tears were short lived. And our chunker is officially over 18 pounds. I better have some amazing biceps forming...

Since we were pretty much stuck at home for the weekend, Jared and I continued on with our old person status and started a new Christmas puzzle. White Mountain brand has SO many great puzzles, in case any other nerds are looking for some new ones. We always get ours on Amazon. Even though we didn't feel well and went to bed mega-early, it was relaxing to puzzle and listen to some Christmas tunes. My brother-in-law got us the Elf soundtrack on vinyl and we're pretty obsessed. I mean, anything Elf related is obviously awesome right? Unless you're an Elf on the Shelf. No, no, no. Doesn't that just take way too much work and effort people?! Just say no!! ;)

I'm trying to resist buying ALL THE THINGS for T's first Christmas. He will literally remember none of it. But of course it's special for Jared and I more than anything ;) We bought him some cute outfits to rock in the coming weeks and I'm still trying to pick out the perfect "1st Christmas" ornament for him. As a kid I always got an ornament every year from my parents and we want to start that tradition with T. I think this year I want to go with something really simple and classic like this one or this one. There will be plenty of years for fun character/hobby ornaments as he grows up.

In other randomness, I am also on the hunt for a cute, but affordable holiday dress for Jared's upcoming work party. My closet is lacking these days, especially in the dress department. I just don't have any! Now would be a great time to have friends nearby who wore the same size and would just open up their closet to me. I don't have a need for dressing up too much these days but I suppose having a nice little black dress would be a good investment. We'll see what I come up with... 

Last thing! Thanks to everyone who entered my LuLaRoe leggings giveaway and thanks again to Jen for collaborating with me and my readers. The lucky winner is TABITHA! I'll be emailing you soon to coordinate the shipping of your item :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 2, 2016

Uncommon Gift Ideas

I didn't say it yesterday so let me just say it today... HOW IS IT DECEMBER?! 2016 has been the fastest year of my life by far and Christmas is seriously sneaking up on me. Jared and I have actually done a good amount of our shopping already but there are still a few tough-to-buy-for people on our list. Uncommon Goods is one of my favorite places to shop so I was pretty pumped when they asked me to collaborate with them today and talk about some of my favorite Christmas gift ideas this year.

Some of the guys in my family are the absolute toughest ones to buy for, but I can always find something unique and fun for them from Uncommon Goods- they have a great selection of items for men. My brother-in-law is super into hot sauces and loves trying different ones everywhere he goes- so we are definitely getting him this "make your own hot sauce kit" How fun is this!?
Hot Sauce Kit
It's a running joke that we get both of our dads something from UG every single year- but it's the truth! They just have so many dad-ish gifts that I swear there is something for everyone's pops. Both of our dads are sports fanatics so some of our top choices this year include some football-themed books and for Jared's dad who works in aviation- this flight tie. I mean, where else would you find a unique tie like this? I'm telling you, Uncommon Goods has the best stuff.
Book  //  Book  //  Tie

And of course there are tons of goodies for your mom, sister and bestie. But since most of those people read my blog I can't divulge too many things I'm loving on the site ;) However, this journal is a great gift idea for anyone and they have an awesome jewelry collection too. I've been wanting some piece of jewelry with T's initials or birthstone on it and there are some serious contenders from Uncommon Goods. And this necklace below might just be the cutest necklace of all time. An elephants with her little "peanuts" Yeah, I need it.
Journal  //  Necklace

So hopefully I gave some of you a few new ideas for gifts- or at least somewhere new to look for gifts. Even if my picks aren't up your alley, I promise you can waste a lot of time on their site looking for stuff for your people and you WILL find a dozen things you want to buy! Something else that is pretty cool about Uncommon Goods is that they are all about protecting the environment and you can feel good knowing that you're buying from a company with high standards. About one-third of their products are made of recycled/upcycled materials too! Win, win!

There are so many great ideas that I might just need to start buying for MORE people this year so I have a reason to keep shopping ;) Happy Friday, and happy shopping everyone!

*I was compensated for writing/sharing this post, but I picked out all the awesome items to share and opinions are that of my own.