about me, Christmas

Getting Jolly – Christmas Traditions

Do you guys follow Alexandra? She is the sweetest and has been doing a Live Your Best Life link up the last two months and I have really been trying to incorporate some of her prompts into my life. Well, today she has a Christmas traditions link up. I just love Christmas time and hearing about what other people do for the holidays, so I thought it was the perfect time to link up for some holiday fun!

Growing up, my parents worked hard to give us the best life they could. We didn’t have a ton of money, and at one point my dad was working three jobs to provide for us. My sister and I never knew the difference though, because my parents spoiled us rotten at Christmas!!! There were always so many gifts under the tree, pretty much everything we asked for and then some. My mom always had lots of fun things in our stockings too. We watched all the Christmas movies, and there were several years that my dad really went all out with the outdoor decorations. He even made a custom Grinch scene for our yard. I know that presents and decor isn’t the important meaning of Christmas, but it is what made the season feel extra special to us as kids.

I want to carry on my mom’s tradition of doing fun stockings with my family.  My mom always baked a lot of goodies around this time of year, my favorites were her iced sugar cookies. Hers are the absolute best!!! I want to introduce Zoe to that recipe and get in to the habit of making them each season with her. Baking always brings back such fond memories of just being in the kitchen, talking, goofing around, listening to Christmas music.

Another tradition I would like to start next year is the advent calendar. There are so many fun ideas out there for them. I really like the idea of having a little celebration each day leading up to Christmas.

When we lived in Pennsylvania, my parents would drive us past the Overly light display every year. It started out at the Overly house and then it moved to an amusement park one year, and now I think they do it up somewhere big like the fair grounds or something. Anyways, I used to love seeing all the light displays and drinking hot chocolate. I hope to find something like that to do with Zoe next year when she can see better out the car window!

As far as decor in our home goes, I like to keep it fairly simple with a fake tree and clear lights. I am not too big into the colored lights. That is just my preference, nothing wrong with them. I always hang stockings over the fireplace and we have some garland as well. Chris and I love Snoopy, so we have some Snoopy Christmas decorations as well, though I didn’t get it all out this year. I also have a pink Disney Princess tree that my mom bought for me a long time ago that I have now designated as Zoe’s tree. I even had it set up in her nursery for her last year before we welcomed her into the world.

I remember my mom buying us ornaments each year to save for when we were older. It was always whatever we were into at the time. I have Care Bear, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Bright, Smurfs, Blues Clues, Lady and the Tramp, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh, Snoopy, Scooby….so many different things that I was into over the years displayed on my tree  now. I plan to do the same thing with Zoe! Last year I bought her a 2016 ornament for her birth year. This year I am on the hunt for the perfect unicorn ornament since that was the theme for her first birthday. I want her to have these special memories every year when she puts up her tree, just like I do.

Each Christmas, we must watch Elf, The Grinch (both the cartoon and the Jim Carrey version), Home Alone, Home Alone 2, The Santa Claus, The Santa Claus 2, A Christmas Story and Bad Santa. I really love Miracle on 31st Street and usually find time to watch that at some point as well. I haven’t always watched Rudolph and Frosty as an adult, but I plan on introducing Zoe to them as well as Frozen.

Hard to believe these were from last year!!!

In the past, we always went to Chris’s parents house on Christmas Eve, his sister’s house Christmas morning for breakfast and my mom’s house Christmas night for dinner. This year we are doing things  a little differently and we have moved dinner with my mom to the Saturday before. We also plan to host it at our house this year. I am not quite sure what will be on the menu just yet, but I do plan to make my homemade lasagna.

Sometimes traditions change over the years, and I think that is totally fine. You have to be willing to adapt to different situations. But I firmly believe in keeping at least a few of the same ones alive year after year! So tell me, what is your favorite tradition each year? What is your most fond memory from Christmas when you were a child?

book review, books


Linking up with Steph and Jana to share my books for the month. Between being home with a sick Zoe for a week early in the month, and Thanksgiving at the end….I didn’t get nearly enough reading time in. Honestly, I only finished two books. But they were both good ones! So here we go….

Beartown by Fredrik Backman


I feel like I am the last one to read Beartown. I really enjoyed A Man Called Ove, so I was excited to try this one. It took me awhile to get in to, to be honest. People kept saying its about so much more than hockey, and there is a lot of hockey talk. And I feel like you really have to pay attention because they will make references like “there is a man in a sabb” or “there is a mother at the kitchen table” and you might miss which man or mother they were talking about at first if you aren’t 100% focused. However, the deeper I got into the story, the more I was intrigued and then about 60% in I couldn’t put it down. And I will say it, this book is about so much more than hockey.

Bottom Line: I would recommend the book. It was something different and a really good read. It had all the makings of small town politics and sports, lots of dysfunctional family dynamics and imperfect people.

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

This is another that has been on my TBR forever. I feel like it got a lot of hype a few years ago, and usually those are the books that I stay away from for awhile. I completely forgot what it was even supposed to be about until I picked it up. I didn’t really like it at first, but once I was about an hour or two into it….I couldn’t stop. I started getting invested in the characters and needing to know what happened to Bernadette.

Bottom Line: This ended up being an enjoyable read! I felt like it was well written, and once I was settled in to it I was hooked!

Currently Reading

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Where We Belong

I just started this one, I think I am in Chapter  7 right now and all I can think is….I want to be reading my  book! So that is a good sign. What are you reading?

weekend shenanigans

Winter Wonderland Weekend

You guys! My heart is so full of joy this morning. We woke up Friday to see that the snow had started coming down. We had started out with a 2 hour delay at daycare and it turned into a snow day. Hurray! Zoe was so excited to see all the snow. She kept going to our back door and looking out on the deck and pointing and squealing with delight. We went out together for a little while just the two of us, and then again when Chris got home from work. We had so much fun and got so many cute pictures!!! It snowed just a little last year, so this isn’t technically her first snow…but it was the first time she got to go out in it and have an official snow day.

Zoe pulled all the clothes out of her bottom drawer of her dresser and laid down on them for a few minutes, clearly the snow wore her out!

I seriously cant believe how much it actually snowed and for how long. This has to be a record here for as long as I have lived in the south. It was the perfect powdery wet kind too and the roads were pretty decent because we didn’t get a ton of ice like we usually do. We got to make snow cream and watch the Grinch.

Saturday, we headed out early to Bass Pro Shop to get our pass to stand in line and see Santa!!! This is Zoe’s first time meeting Santa too, I felt like she was too young to take out last year. She did so well and didn’t cry at all!

I loved that the snow still hung around on our drive to see Santa. It was soooooo pretty!!!!

After Santa, we headed home for lunch and a nap because we new we were going to head back out to meet up with Laura, B and Sheffy! We ended up at CommHouse. We had the best time just hanging out and watching the kiddos be totally adorable. Clearly they have plenty more play dates in their future!

We enjoyed snacking on the totchos, wings and Kung Pao Cauliflower. Zoe ate a lot of the totchos. She loves carbs.

Saturday night I got the Christmas tree up and partially decorated. I need to finish the rest of it this week and get the one up in Zoe’s room!

Sunday, we headed out early to Target to get our grocery shopping done. We stopped at Casa Fiesta for lunch, and then headed over to 280 to Best Buy and Bargain Hunt. We didn’t get home until close to 3pm. We settled in for lots of Christmas movies (Badder Santa, Elf, The Santa Claus, Santa Claus 2 and Home Alone) and I made some bacon pasta. (Recipe to come later!)

And just like that the weekend was over and it was back to work! Oh, it needs to be noted that Zoe had her first tacos on Friday. And then she ate some at Casa Fiesta Sunday too! Obviously, she loved them. I mean, she is my kid!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Linking up with Biana.

favorites, gift ideas, Wish List

Christmas Wish List

I love making a Christmas Wish List every year. It is just fun and I usually end up coming up with a few gift ideas for others while I make my own list. You know, one for me…one for you. What is on your list?

//I am obsessed with my Kendra Scott Elisa necklace and wear it more than any other piece of jewelry I own, besides my wedding rings and Zoe’s  birth stone ring. I have wanted the Rayne Stone Tassel Pendent forever. It would go with so much!

//How gorgeous are these Kendra Scott earrings???

//I hit pan a long time ago on my UD Naked shadow color in my palette and I really need a replacement because it is my absolute favorite color.

//I have had my current cell phone case since I purchased my phone, I think it is time for a new one! How cute is this??

//I really need a purse that I can put over my shoulder to make things easier when I have Zoe. I really love this Michael Kors Saffiano Leather Tote!!! I also love the structure of the Michael Kors Selma bags. With those you can carry on your wrist or wear the longer strap on your shoulder. Or this gold Tory Burch tote! I don’t have any Tory pieces, but I think her stuff is great.

//I have wanted a pair of the Spanx Faux Leather leggings for years. I am not sure why I never pulled the trigger on these? I heard that they make you look and feel amazing, and I think I need that right now.

//I really love the cut of the Leith Easy Circle cardigan. I need a few more nicer sweaters for work and I think this would be perfect! I also have my eye on this cozy looking Free People cardigan.


//I have heard amazing things about Sara Happ products, and this gift set has all three items I want to try!

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.

about me, currently


Linking up with Kristen and Gretch today for another installment of What’s New With You.

Reading: I just started reading Where We Belong by Emily Giffin yesterday.

Where We Belong

Listening: Christmas music all day every day. One of my most favorites.


Watching: All of the Christmas movies!!! Or, at least trying to! We watched The Grinch at least three times this past Sunday alone. Zoe is obsessed and it couldn’t make me any happier to see her get so in to that movie.

Image result for grinch gif

Eating:All of the things. Haha! This week we had a lot of food from Zoe’s party left over to snack on. For dinners this week it is turkey burgers, taco bowls and stuffed pepper soup.

Buying: Christmas shopping this year has looked like….

But in all seriousness, I have a good chunk done and for the gifts I don’t  have yet….I know what I need to get so there isn’t much guess work left. Yay!

Working: I need to get our Christmas tree up this weekend so that I have enough time to enjoy it before it needs to come  back down. I don’t think I am going to bring out alllll the decor this year. Our house just gets too cluttered with it. But I cant not put the tree up!

I also have been slowly getting the office cleaned out. I packed up all of Zoe’s baby gear on Friday last week and sobbed the entire time. Now I need to get another container to store the rest of the clothes she grew out of. It is crazy seeing how small some of the stuff was that she was wearing just six months ago.

Sending: I need to get my Christmas cards ordered and sent out! If you want to exchange Christmas cards this year, let me know and let’s share addresses. If you were on my list last year, you will probably get one again this year assuming I haven’t lost your address.

Feeling: Thankful and festive. There was a time when I let the holidays stress me out a little bit, but that time is long gone. Now I just soak up as much of the joy and activity that I possibly can. This is my most favorite time of the year, and I want to be present in it and make as many memories as possible. I am hoping to get a gingerbread house kit to do soon, bake a fun holiday treat, watch many more Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, maybe go look at some Christmas lights, take Zoe to meet Santa Claus and any other things I can squeeze in to this month! What is your favorite holiday tradition?


Image result for a guy in my office is shaking his protein shake and this woman

Funny smalltalk pie chart


Crossing my fingers

Morning Funny Picture Dump 37 Pics