Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Countdown

There are tons of cute bucket lists out there on the web!

Sooooooo stinkin excited to get this Christmas show on the road!! I am a firm believer of enjoying the Turkey, but I'd be lying if I didn't start thinking of these ideas in early November!!  My goal is to have one new thing to do with Brooke every day before Christmas.  This may be in conjunction with her 'homeschooling' or totally different. I dunno yet!  I hope to introduce a new activity and obviously come back to it all throughout the month or winter, if applicable.

Our "official" Christmas Countdown:

1.   Paint wooden Christmas crafts
2.   Santa (paper plate cotton ball activity) & hang Santa window cling
3.   Go to our library for books
4.   Christmas tree felt activity
5.   Visit Santa for a photo
6.   Drink hot cocoa w/ candy canes by the fire.
7.   Color w/ markers holiday project
8.   Make Christmas drawings/cards for family
9.   Make a Gingerbread house
10.  Visit Barnes and Noble for a new Christmas book
11. Frosty-Song, book, video, Snowman felt activity
12.  Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights
13.  Christmas cookies--sugar cookie cut outs
14.  Make holiday pancakes
15. Cinnamon ornaments 
16.  Make paper snowflakes
17.  Buy and donate a toy for child
18.  Snow angels/play in the snow
19.  Make a meal and dessert for family or friend.
20. Foam sticker art crafts
21. Rudolph (baking idea) story, video, song
22.  Go sledding
24. Read Christmas books by the fire & tree
25. Enjoy Christmas Day!

I'm sure I'll randomly pull from other sites too that I have been perusing.  I'd be lying if I said I'll be able to stick to "one thing" a day… helloooooo, it's the most wonderful time of the year!!

100+ Christmas Activities for Kids
Montessori Christmas Activities for Toddlers
Toddler Christmas Activities

I will do my best to take pictures and keep track of what worked, what didn't, and how much fun we are having either way!  This is a great way for me to stay busy, while baby #2 does his final preparations before the big day.  

What's on your countdown this year?!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 {blessed}

Phewwwwwwwwww.   Thanksgiving 2014 is a wrap!!  We kept saying to each other, this is our last Thanksgiving with just us 3! How crazy is that?  I tried my best to keep up with everything I wanted to/had to do, but man let me tell ya, being this prego I am getting T-I-R-E-D very quickly.  I just keep reminding myself the most important thing to do is listen to my body and rest if I need to, even though that is so darn hard for me.

I was able to prep some of my goodies Wednesday, to make for an smoother Thanksgiving Day.  I will say, I have made a mental note, to prepare a breakfast casserole next year, and even for Christmas Day. There is nothing more annoying than having to stop and make breakfast, eat it, only to have a big old mess to clean up again, and then try to get ready and be out the door by a certain time.  And next year, we'll have two little ones, so I am sure that will not get easier any time soon!

Here is grandma's squash I was telling you about the other day.  Darn thing was so hard to cut open! Grams must've had super strength hehe

I think she'd be proud.  I am pretty sure she was with me the whole time.  Love you grams!

Cranberry bread.  Yummmmmm.

Thanksgiving Day she was just too cute! She loves stickers and her minnie.

I showed her to pose and say, "Fabulous" haha

On the way to my dad's, she was out. COLD.  We hated to wake her!

Here was my fancy cheese platter!

My step mom made some delicious shrimp, she poached in herbs, and my dad's cocktail sauce, certainly will clear out your sinuses!

A holiday cocktail, or in my case, mocktail.  Ginger beer, cranberries, ice, and they had spiced rum, I obviously did not.

Aunt Brianna!

My family <3

I love this shot.  My handsome hubby who is obviously partaking in "no shave November" and my cutie patootie tot who is so squirmy!  Not gonna lie, my sister made me feel good when she said my legs looked skinny haha!

And she thinks it's funny to suck her thumb and maybe go for the nose.  doh.

33 weeks and 5 days!

The bird!

Turkey butter that my sister so kindly stabbed.

My plate.

Brooke thoroughly enjoyed her meal!

Our niece came by just as we were getting ready to leave, and Brooke was SO upset to leave.  She wanted to stay and play.  Next time we will have to plan better.

Unfortunately our night did not end as happily as our day, with the niners and their terrible loss to the Seahawks.  That's about all I have to say about that.

Our Thanksgiving though, was so peaceful and quiet.  We all had a wonderful time and had so much to be thankful for.  Ok, time to bring on the holly!! Who's with me?!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baby Boy Nursery Sneak Peek

It is finally starting to come together, and not just in my head!! We started the transition of putting the crib into the nursery, and I was able to throw on the new sheets and set up a few things for baby boy.  I was on the hunt for an adorable little orange fox for Brad.  I found such a cute ballerina bear for Brooke while I was pregnant for her, and I just love seeing her play with it today.  I stumbled upon this Etsy shop, A Little Bit of Joy and just knew I had to have him!

He's homemade and so soft!! I couldn't be any happier with him!  The quality is on point and the material is so soft.  It was a pleasure working with Joy.  I can't wait to see baby boy snuggle and play with him one day soon.    If you are interested in checking out her shop, feel free to use code: "JENNSAVE10" for 10% off any purchase through the end of December.  

Orange Plush Fox Toy

IRL: 33 weeks pregnant, after a full day of running around with a toddler…this is what I look like!  VS sweats, an ON maternity shirt, and a messy top knot.  I don't care, I was excited to stand by my baby boy's crib!

We moved the glider into his room too, since Brooke just jumps on it and it won't fit come Friday, because her big girl bed will be here!! She slept just fine on the mattress/box spring last night and today for her nap, but I don't want to reveal until I can share how gorgeous it will be!!

Holly has always been a fan of this cozy chair, and I don't blame her.  I can't believe in under 2 months I will be falling asleep here, many a middle-of-the-night, nursing sessions and rocking baby boy to sleep.

I have cranberry bread and squash to make.  I should probably get on that, since Turkey Day is tomorrow!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day, full of grateful hearts.  We have so much to be thankful for, and are abundantly blessed. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Survival Kit & Man Crates

With the holidays right around the corner, I am starting to really focus on what needs to get done!! Being super pregnant, my "survival" kit looks a tad different this year.

Holiday Survival Kit

Holiday Survival Kit by jennifer-delle-fave featuring h&m leggings

1. Mac Book Pro- I love my laptop.  I love it even more, when I can purchase gifts online and not have to waddle around the mall wrangling my two year old.  I don't have a ton of people to buy for, but it makes life so much easier this way!  

2.  Cozy knit scarf. I have been running cold this pregnancy, so an extra layer to conveniently add or subtract is super helpful! If I do leave the house, my coats and vests don't zip, so a scarf helps keep me warm.  I love having one handy to wrap myself in, even if I'm siting in the living room too!  My mother in law made me a huge knitted blanket scarf, legit I can wrap myself, Brooke, Joe, probably Brad and myself in it! I love it! I will have to share that soon.

3.  SMILE.  I am making this my number one goal this season; I don't want to stress out and ruin the holidays for anyone.  I'm just going to sit back and watch my daughter's eyes and see the joy in her face in every new sparkly adventure!

4.  Winter leggings-because let's be real.  Pants are lame. That is all.

5.  Christmas mug- I need to find a cute one!! Whether it's holding my Spark, Coffeecino, or hot chocolate, I need something that is festive and fun.

6.  Lip gloss.  My lips get super dry and I just need a good gloss! Of course, I feel a lot more put together if I finish my look as well, so that's kind of necessary too. 

As for male shopping ideas?  If you have some tricky men in your lives, you know, the ones who have it all, perhaps check out this unique company Man Crates!  They have something for everyone.  I think the best part is that to open the actual crate, your man must do so with a crobar.  Wouldn't that be fun to get on video?  

What is in your holiday survival kit this year?  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving: Making Food and Memories

Thursday will be here in a jiffy, are you ready?  I absolutely love the holidays, no doubt.  One day I cannot wait to host my own Thanksgiving, with a big ol' turkey and all the fixings.  As for now?  I will respectfully attend my parents' house and bring what I can.  I just love being in the kitchen and cooking (and even baking) makes me happy.  I also know it's not easy to do with a tot who's not even two, and a bun in the oven.  I wanted to bring a few new items to share and some old standbys that are so engrained in our memories, that it is simply not an option to not have them be present at Thanksgiving.

We rotate my parents and Joe's parents, and this year we are at my parents.  It's a bit of a drive (45 mins) and I didn't want anything that required too much work at their house, since I know what the kitchen looks like as the main meal is coming all together.

We aren't going crazy with apps; you certainly don't want your guests to fill up on them!  But I know that it's important to have a little snack a few hours before sitting down to eat.

I'm not sure exactly what type of cheese I will use, but I want to incorporate grapes, a chutney, and some artisan bread.  I can't have goat, blue, or brie (any of the stinky delicious ones!) but I will figure it out.

I'm going to make a Fall salad because I do believe in the power of greens!! With all of the heavy foods, it's important to include leafy greens to help our systems digest everything properly.  I love the idea of pomegranate or orange slices in there to give it a festive spin.

Grandma's squash.  I wish I had written down the recipe, as for now it's all sort of taste and try to get it right.  I do know it was always our favorite and it was always piping hot; I'm talking, steam would be pouring off your plate because it was so hot!!

She used a buttercup squash, roasted it, scooped it out and then cooked it some more with something along the lines of, frozen orange juice concentrate, maple syrup, butter, and maybe even a little brown sugar.  Tastes like candy.

Grandma's cranberry bread.  I think us girls loved it so much because 1.  It's truly tasty and 2. We could help her make it very easily.  She always added fresh cranberries to the mix, which gives is an extra punch, which you can taste in almost every bite.  It may not be "homemade" but I make this every year, and only at Thanksgiving.  I make no apologies for this!

I already start to wonder what recipes my children will remember most about holidays.  Of course I cannot wait for some Turkey, stuffing, my dad's mashed potatoes and gravy.  Pumpkin and apple pie will be present too, I am sure.  I think the reason that food is so important with holidays, is because as life goes on, we don't have anything but memories.  Little bits of here and there; snapshots of what was, and what used to be.  I would love to have one more Thanksgiving, where Grandpa carves the turkey and Grandma makes her famous bread, squash and fruit salad--(my sister's got that covered).  But life doesn't work that way, and we must create new memories, with old traditions mixed in with new.  The most important thing we can do, is enjoy the time we have together and sincerely make the most of it.

I may have started listening to some Christmas music, and one line that gets me all choked up from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, "Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow."

Now, I am certain that it's mostly the pregnancy hormones I tend to blame a lot on them haha but in reality, this Thanksgiving, we won't see Joe's parents, so I know that's tough on them.  We won't see my mom, because she's down in S.C.  We won't see our step brother Tyler because he's in New Orleans.  So, really, we just have to make the most of the loved ones we can see and enjoy it.

As far as the food is concerned? One thing I've definitely learned is to taste just little bits, and I can always take home leftovers.  I don't really have much room to eat a lot being pregnant, but I know that you don't need to shovel all that food in, and make ourselves feel sick.  It's good to indulge every now and then, but more important to be honest with ourselves about when and what we are indulging in.  Just my own personal thought…

What are some of your favorite traditions, past and present?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Photo Dump

Happy Sunday!! I am enjoying this beautiful gray day! Ha.  It was a busy but fun filled week and I am thankful to have a little reprieve this weekend.  I was super excited to get my hair done Friday; I clearly couldn't contain myself from taking a post-blonde selfie to send to the hubs!  He was hunting at my dad's and got us a doe!  It feels really good to have a freezer full of organic meat to cook up for my family.

Thursday little miss rocked her pjs until after lunch.  She enjoyed some left over shrimp scampi, but it'ss safe to say she thought the Justin's almond butter was even better. #dontblameyasister

Saturday these LOVELIES were dropped at my front door. Holy. Smokes.  They are as good, if not better than I would have thought!! Don't get me wrong, I liked the pumpkin shakes, but these?! #hadmeatpeppermint

Apparently everyone else wanted them too, since they're TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK.  I only ordered 5 boxes #mybad and will be ordering more if and when I see that they are back!! Because you can't have cookies every day and be healthy, these will more than do the trick of satisfying my holiday sweet tooth! Hollah!

Speaking of cookies, Tuesday I decided to treat my hubby to some. I wanted to do something with Brooke and so we busted out the Kitchen Aid and legit made our first batch of homemade cookies together.  I am a firm believer in everything in moderation; of course I would love to bake and eat these bad boys on a daily basis, but I reserve them for special occasions or once in awhile.

It was time to show Brookie how it's done!

Baking is serious biznass.

Ok ma, this does not look like a cookie!

I don't know if it was because some of the flour mixture dumped on the floor (ahem, Brooke) or if I just let go, and let happen---I'm so type A I get upset over dumb stuff like that usually, but the point of baking these was to bond with my daughter, and enjoy time just the two of us…because I know that time is short and I want to savor it!

Either way, these were the BEST cookies I have ever made.  Even Joe couldn't believe how amazing they were.   I told him it was all Brooke's doing.


And later on, as I scratched my itchy belly, she gave baby brother a kiss.

Even though her temper has flared more often this week, and she refused to get in the pool swimming with Daddy, we know that she's still learning and just a little girl.  As my husband says, she's kind of like sour patch kid sometimes…one moment she's all up in a tizzy over something and then she's as sweet as pie.  I am sure it's mostly the pregnancy hormones, but I am certainly taking advantage of all the sweet moments and soaking them up as much as possible.  In 7 short weeks, baby brother will be here and her little world is going to change. I know she will be an amazing big sister, and it's not an easy role, lord knows I have first hand experience in that, but I know these two will be lifelong friends.  Joe and I will continue to work hard at our marriage, as parents, and continuously instill the importance of family and love.  The best we can do, is simply lead by example and show them how it's done.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Cards: Minted {review}

While we are starting to prepare the turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings for Thanksgiving, we must not forget the next big holiday right around the corner.  I cannot believe it is that time of year already!  Time to take some photos of our {growing} family and pick out some super cute holiday cards.  I have had a hard time choosing which direction I wanted to go in, when I was contacted by Minted to do a review of some of their holiday inventory, in exchange for credit to their site.  I had not heard of this company before, but after browsing this site, I can tell you that I am very excited to work with them!  

If you act now, you can take advantage of their 15% off + free recipient addressing just by placing your order by Tuesday.  You don't need to create your cards just yet, but simply by making your purchase, you can save.  How awesome is that?

Use the code: HAPPYHOL15

They offer traditional photo cards as well as some more modern versions as well.  How perfect are these designs?  

This first one gets that merry little tune stuck right into your head!

I love the added detail of the of the ribbon, and yet the simplicity of the card itself.

Perhaps the red and green, all is Merry and Bright?

I love the idea of creating a collage with several family photos and having it resemble a Christmas tree.  It's personal and something I've never seen before!

I am very pleased with their wide variety that they offer and there seems to be something that suits everyone's taste and style. 

They also have an Art Marketplace  where they are showcasing independent artists and their work.   I would have to say, this section really stood out to me and I was very impressed by the quality of the artists they share.  The designs would make excellent hostess gifts or add a thoughtful touch for those who are hard to buy for on your list.

Here are a few that stuck out to me.  Wouldn't this be adorable be by the fireside this holiday season?  You can choose from different frames, that would be suit your decor.

Or even some inspiration for our office; I am all about self-improvement and empowerment and find that it's so easy to get wrapped up with what others are doing.  A daily reminder of focusing on what's important [me] would be a perfect addition to my space.
You can follow them on Facebook  and Twitter for a daily dose of artistic expression and inspiration.

These are my own personal thoughts and opinions pertaining to this company.  I look forward to purchasing cards with use of a credit from Minted and doing a full on review of the quality etc. when I receive them.