31 December 2014

My Goals for 2015


While I’m not a person who is big on New Years resolutions per se, I do believe in constant professional, personal and parental growth. To me, the name of the game is simply about daily self-improvement and finding ways to make my life, the lives of those I love and the lives of others around me a little better every day and on a consistent basis. I hate the term “resolutions.” I feel the word contains so much pressure and negativity as if life itself is doomed as we know it if you mess up or God forbid, don’t keep one.

No thanks.

The idea for me in 2015 is to enjoy a simple life. Most people will tell you that simple equals boring but I think they couldn’t be any further from the truth. There is something comforting and reassuring about living a peaceful, content life and while we can’t always control what happens to us, I firmly believe that we can always control how we react – the calm within the storm, so to speak.

So on the note of simplicity, other goals I have in mind for 2015 include:

·         Buy more good books and make the time to read them.
·         Try harder to find the best in people, especially the challenging ones.
·         Show more of the best of myself to others.
·         De-clutter and get rid of the junk I’ve been holding onto for years.
·         Do more volunteer work for organizations that are important to me.
·         Take more bubble baths.
·         Plan special mommy/daughter date days with Maddy.
·         Believe every day that anything is possible in my life.
·         Travel to one place I’ve never been before.
·         Make more time for me even if it’s only a quick trip to a coffee shop or bookstore.

So as you can see, nothing crazy. Just simplicity. What are some of your goals for 2015?

Happy New Year’s Eve, friends! May each of your lives be blessed and filled with joy for the upcoming year. 


30 December 2014

A Very Merry Christmas


Well here it is. The post I know you've all just been dying to read with baited breathe: Our Christmas vacation recap. All sarcasm aside, we had a very nice Christmas that was spent with my family at my parent’s home a few hours away from us. I could go on and on and bore all of you with endless paragraphs of details that I’m sure you don't care about so instead, allow me to hit the highlights and share some pics of our Christmas:

·         The Hello Kitty car was a HUGE success. So much so, that my own child tried to run me over in it while yelling, “Beep Beep Momma! I gotta goooooo!” as she drove over my foot and knocked me over.
·         Family game night once again proved to be a laugh fest.
·         The food was ballin.
·         Lots of naps were had by all.


So without further adieu, I give you our Christmas recap in pictures. I hope you all had a fabulous, relaxing, blessed and Merry Christmas! 
















How was your Christmas?










19 December 2014

Hello Friday!









ONE | Festivus
 

With Christmas coming up next week, it’s important to not forget the second most important holiday this year on the 23rd: Festivus. 
 
If you have no idea what Festivus is then that means you’re not a Seinfeld fan and we should clearly rethink our friendship because that’s just wrong.

Joking. 

Kind of.


TWO | Chickie’s BIG Gift
I always thought I’d have 13 more years to prepare myself for seeing my child behind the wheel of a car but Grandma Santa had different plans so this will be waiting on Chickie Christmas morning…


God help me. What do we think the insurance premium is for a 3.5 year old?


THREE | Wish lists

http://shirazinmysippycup.blogspot.com/2014/12/what-moms-really-want-for-christmas.html

Speaking of wish lists, if you missed my post this week on what moms really want for Christmas, you can check it out here. Needless to say that once Chickie sees that gift above, I won’t be getting any of these bad boys on my list.


FOUR | A Long Winter’s Nap
The university closes next week for winter break and I’m so beyond ready. My life will be my own until January 5th and I’m looking forward to some much needed downtime, relaxation and time spent with family. 

Oh, and food. Lots and lots of food. Let’s not forget the food. {Dear God, Courtney. Focus.}


FIVE | Cuteness Overload


Chickie has really been bringing the heat lately in the cute department. I mean, she’s got that shit turned up to warp factor 2,000. It’s nice and fun to see her starting to grow out of the constant toddler tantrum phase and transitioning to the I’m-three-and-know-it-all preschooler age. 
 
I kid, I kid. 

But really, she is growing up SO FAST and learning so many things. It’s like her little brain is a sponge soaking up everything around her and she surprises us constantly with the things she does and says. Just the other morning while we were getting ready for school, she happily declared, “Mama!! Life is good while I wear my cupcake underwear!!” {She has a pair of undies with cupcakes all over them.}

I mean, where do they come up with this stuff?? No clue, but I’m lovin’ the hell out of it. This little girl makes me laugh every day and brings so much joy into my life. Oh, how I love her!

Have a great weekend friends!







http://farmerbell.blogspot.com/2014/12/oh-hey-friday-its-christmas-practically.html
http://www.the-good-life-blog.com/

15 December 2014

Santa Made It Out Alive



This weekend was perfect, although it went by way to fast.


A little relaxation, a little productivity and a little fun.


Wine: the official drink of parents with children on the weekends
during the holidays everywhere.

Friday evening kicked off with lots of snuggles and Elf. Chickie also decided that she was ready to go and meet the fat man in the red suit which was somewhat surprising since last year’s visit included a sucker punch to Santa’s face while Michael and I laughed hysterically. In case you're new to these parts, allow me to bring you up to speed...


So, yeah.

At any rate, we woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Saturday morning and Chickie was still talking about going to see Santa.


So we loaded up and off we went. Considering how much of an epic fail last year’s visit went, I have to say that I wasn’t expecting much but wow! I was pleasantly surprised!

{No Santas were harmed in the making of this photograph.}

No one got punched and we all made it out in one piece!

The rest of our Saturday included a celebratory lunch at Chick-fil-A followed by a well-deserved nap and then lots of goofing around coupled with copious amounts of shenanigans and tom foolery. 
 


{I'm not really sure what's up with this dress. She loves to wear this thing all the time at home. -18 outside? Who cares! Let me wear a dress!}

Sunday morning after breakfast, we loaded up the car with a few gifts to donate to the University Police’s Toys for Tots toy drive and dropped them off with the help of one very excited little elf…


All week long, Chickie and I talked about donating the toys for the boys and girls in our community who may not be lucky enough to have toys for Christmas and what the true meaning of the holiday season is about. At three, she isn’t going to fully understand every nuance of the spirit of the season but she’s old enough to start learning so it’s important to me that she knows Christmas is about more than just Santa and gifts.
 
She was so sweet about the whole thing. All week, she asked, “Mama, are we going to give away my toys for other boys and girls?” in such an excited way. It was so cool to see her get excited about wanting to help others. I’m hoping to find other little ways for us to be involved in our community not only now through the holidays, but as a normal part of our day to day routine.

After a glorious three hour nap yesterday


We enjoyed a low-key evening of snacks and movies…


Well, some more than others.

How was your weekend? 



11 December 2014

Deck the Halls: Our Holiday Home Tour & Christmas Potpourri!



Today, I’m linking up with three great ladies who I love dearly in the blogging world: Jenny from The Chronicles of We, Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup and Beth from Our Pretty Little Girls to give you a tour of our home decorated for the holidays! 

My decorating style for the holidays is simple, classic and timeless. Most of my favorite pieces are the ones that have been handed down to me from my grandmother or mother and I hope to do the same for Chickie when she is old enough to have a family and home of her own. I know I’ve shared some snippets here and there on Instagram, but here they all are in one place. 

Welcome to our home, and Merry Christmas!

|| O CHRISTMAS TREE ||
Forever and a day before I had Chickie, I always had white lights on my tree however, Chickie really loves the color lights so y'all know how that goes. I have to admit, they have really grown on me and I love to see the joy in Chickie's face while she looks at the tree. In my mind, that's what Christmas is about - viewing the holiday all over again thru the eyes of our children. It's magical.

Our tree is pretty traditional in decorations - mostly family decorations with a few more modern pieces like the larger glitter balls {Yes, I'm snickering saying "Glitter balls" cause I'm just that immature, y'all.} I also have to brag for a hot second about our bow topper. I made it years ago and it still looks pretty fab. I'm proud of it. 


Growing up, we would spend our Christmas vacation in Nashville with my mother's parents. This angel hung on their tree every year and I loved it. When we would arrive at their house, I would race to the tree to see the decorations and would hunt for this little gem. Years later, my TuTu gave her to me and I love seeing her handing on our tree every year. 

The leg lamp is also a favorite!

I had some left over gold dot burlap from decorating last year so instead of doing the usual boring ol white sheet wrap at the bottom, I used the burlap instead. I think it turned out great!



 

 



|| OUR MANTLE ||
This year is the first holiday that I've had an actual mantle to decorate. Again, it's a basic classic style: lit garland, nutcrackers, and home made stockings. Simple. Classic. Perfect.


I bought our stocking from the dollar store and used good 'ol glue and glitter to make these babies. Even the pets get a stocking!




|| OTHER DECORATIONS ||





This copy of "The Christmas Book" dates back to 1930 and belonged to my grandmother before she handed it down to my mother and her sister. For Maddy's first Christmas in 2011, my mother and aunt gave it to her. I can't wait for her to have it in her home when she has her own children and family.

Aren't these candle holders just adorable?! I picked them up in the $1 bin at Target last year and use them all winter long. They look beautiful at night in the dark with a simple votive candle. So pretty.


I have these cute printables placed all over the home in different locations.


 
|| HOLIDAY POTPOURRI ||

The holidays just aren’t complete without the delicious aroma of Christmas. A stove top potpourri mix is an easy, inexpensive way to make your home smell wonderful in just a few minutes. 

 


Here's what you'll need:
{1} whole orange
{1/2} cup cranberries
{1} Tbsp. whole cloves
{3} sticks of cinnamon
A few drops of vanilla extract
A sprinkle of grated nutmeg or cinnamon

One batch of stove top potpourri will stay good for weeks {the mix will turn brown, but still smell delicious}. Just add water as needed to your pot and don't be afraid to experiment! Throw in berries, grapefruit, lemons or all spice berries.