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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?

about me, currently

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?

Laughing:

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

Funny smalltalk pie chart

TRUE. KEEP AWAY FROM ME.

Crossing my fingers

Morning Funny Picture Dump 37 Pics

about me, currently

Currently

Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for a currently post!

Reading: The Marriage Pact I just started and am over half way through it already. It is so interesting and work and adulting keeps getting in the way of me finding out where it is all going!

The Marriage Pact

Listening: On November 1st every year, I whip out my Christmas music!!! I know some of you are rolling your eyes and groaning right now. But but but…Christmas music brings me joy and happiness, and why deny myself of that?

Image result for christmas music november 1 meme

Watching: I know I have mentioned it before, but I am loving that all the fall shows are back! Blindspot started back this past week, they did sort of a restart of the show. Good Doctor has quickly become one of my favorites. So good!!! Grey’s still has my attention. I am not sure how I feel about Olivia Pope’s new attitude in Scandal, it’s a bit much. Still enjoying the show in general though. I am ready to start watching Christmas movies!!!

Image result for blindspot

Eating:We have been making lots of soups lately. This week it is Spicy Black Bean. I made Peanut Butter Chicken last week in the crock pot and it was amazing!!!! The recipe I used called for 1 TBSP of red pepper, next time I will be reducing it to half that. It made my lips burn haha. But tasted and smelled sooooo good!!!! Plus it’s a crock pot recipe and super easy. Who doesn’t love easy?

I have gotten lazy for my work week lunches, mostly sticking to the Campbell’s Well Yes Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. Seriously you guys, go get this! SO GOOD!

Image result for campbell's well yes sweet potato

Working: I cleaned out our refrigerator and most of the pantry last weekend. I still have the bottom half of the pantry to clear out, but I got rid of a trash bag full of stuff so it felt good! I need to tackle cleaning out the rest of my office and getting walls painted in there. Why does painting feel like such a big task? I already have the paint and just need to do it! Perhaps it is because the room needs cleared out first, lol. Also, I need to cut the grass one last time for the year!

Drinking: Is anyone else super excited that the caramel brulee latte and peppermint mocha are back at Starbucks??? I really enjoyed the pumpkin spice chai latte, so much better than just the regular PSL….but caramel brulee is my absolute favorite besides the butterscotch one. I am loving their new cups too! People who get pissed about what their cups look like make me laugh. If that is all  you have to worry about in life, you should feel super blessed, you know?

Image result for starbucks holiday cups 2017

Planning:We have a birthday party to go to this weekend and Zoe’s first birthday coming up!!! I also have scheduled a family photo session for later this month! I am super excited to finally have some professional pictures done. I already regret not having newborn or maternity ones done. I want to make a goal to get professional pictures taken at least once a year, be it family or just Zoe. I will be attempting to do Zoe’s smash cake pictures on my own, wish me luck! Any advice welcome.

Excited: This is my favorite time of year with our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Zoe’s Birthday and Christmas all in a span of two months. I love all the holiday traditions, new and old, the food, the music, the movies, sense of togetherness. And the cooler weather! So I am just so excited and ready to just be present and enjoy the season. I cant wait to start some new traditions this year and make new memories!

about me, currently

Currently

Time to link up with Kristen and Gretch and share what we have been up to!

Reading: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

Listening: Seriously…I’m Kidding on audiobook

Seriously... I'm Kidding

Watching: Lucifer started back this week!!! We are also keeping up with everything that came back last week. Scandal will be on tonight, and Blindspot starts back later this month. So I am excited for those too. And when we aren’t catching up on all the fall shows, football is on.

Image result for lucifer

Working: Our kitchen has gotten out of control. Zoe’s bottles and food have taken over half our counter space, I don’t have any good cabinet space for her plates and flatware that we are starting to pick up. And our pantry and refrigerator have no rhyme or reason to how they are laid out currently. I am not sure how my OCD self has let this happen….but it is time to purge and organize everything! It gives me anxiety just looking in the room!

Planning: Zoe turned 10 months old yesterday. Shut up!!! I know!!! I can’t believe it either. I obviously need to really start planning her birthday party! I think I have the day and time picked, and I know the theme. I have napkins, straws and one cute decor item purchased. I need to get the rest!

I also need to start picking up Christmas presents. Usually I have a few bought by this time, and I only have some clearance clothes and two movies to start Zoe’s collection. I haven’t even started on anyone else.

Lusting:Since I want to finally make a homemade pie this year, I want to get a special pie pan. I am thinking something in a really pretty color like this one. Do you have a favorite brand for baking?

Quoting:

So true !!, #coolquote

Excited: My Godmother is coming to town this weekend for my mom’s birthday, and she will get to meet Zoe for the first time!!! She flew down here from Pittsburgh last year at this time for the baby shower and I can’t wait for Zoe to get to see her. My sister and I are going to meet up with her and my mom over lunch.

What have you been up to? Do you have any fall treats that you have to bake each year?

about me, fall

When September Ends

It is no secret that fall is my favorite time of year. I think I have only mentioned it about a thousand times. The temperatures cool down, all my favorite jewel tones can be found in stores, the TV shows start back, we have football every weekend, the leaves turn colors, the fall scents are everywhere. Do I even need to keep selling it??? Today I am linking up with Andrea for TBB Asks for some fall themed questions! (Yes, I know I am a day late. I always have this post finished but like to share it on Tuesdays since I talk about my weekends on Monday.)

Favorite Fall Sweet Treat? 

I have to say that apple pie is my absolute favorite fall treat. There are so many delicious things that come with the season, but there is nothing better than my mom’s homemade apple pie. It is my goal this fall for her to come over and teach me how to make it so that I can start a tradition for Zoe to have some every year.

When my sister and I were young, we had our very own apple trees in our backyard at our house in Pennsylvania. I remember going out there and picking lots of apples to bring in for my mom to make us pie. She always had leftover crust and would put it in a small pan and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over it and get it crispy and perfect and let us snack on that while we waited for the pies to cool.

Red, Yellow or Green Apples?

Granny Smith green apples are my absolute favorite, but I also enjoy Pink Lady, Gala and Honeycrisp.


Favorite Fall Sport to Play?

Me play sports? LOLOLOL


Best Drink for Fall?

Are we talking coffee? Alcohol? Let me share my favorites that I look forward to.

Salted Carmel Frapuccino, apple cider and pumpkin beers


Favorite Fall Activity?

Watching football. I want to start some traditions with Zoe like going to a pumpkin patch or fall festival.


Must have Fall Purchase?

Cozy cardigans and boots!


Pumpkins: Pick your own or store bought?

I don’t usually go pumpkin crazy, but now that we have Zoe, I would love to make it a tradition to go pick our own each year!

Real or Fake Pumpkin?

Real


Favorite Halloween Costume?

I don’t really dress up for Halloween anymore. In recent years, I did get a little festive when Chris DJ’d at an annual Halloween party, but it isn’t my favorite holiday. I guess it depends on how much Zoe gets into it when she is older.


College Football or NFL?

College Football is a must for us!! I think you all know that we are Alabama fans in our house. Roll Tide!!! I also pull for Georgia. I occasionally watch NFL and my heart belongs to the Steelers and the Falcons. Even if I don’t many of their games, I do keep up with how they are doing.


Fall or Halloween Decor?

I don’t go crazy decorating the house for fall, I save most of the energy for Christmas. I do plan to get a little more festive for each season when Zoe is older. I prefer fall decor over Halloween stuff.


Raking Leaves or no Leaves to Rake?

Nope. We don’t have a lot of trees in our yard so we just leave them. I love looking at them. And honestly, we still have to cut the grass after they start to fall, so the lawn mower takes care of most of them. We do have lots of woods behind our fence, but luckily the leaves stay back there.


Favorite Soup?

Chili


Favorite Fall Candle scent?

Marshmallow Fireside and Flannel. We have Marshmallow Fireside candles in our house year round and I have Flannel in my car right now. I also love Leaves.


Love or Hate Pumpkin Spice?

I enjoy a few PSLs every year, but I don’t get crazy about all the other pumpkin spice treats that come out. I also love to get one pumpkin scone.


Short Booties or Tall boots?

I love both, depending on the outfit. Though, I don’t wear boots above my knee because my calves are too muscular and they never fit right.


Favorite Halloween Candy?

Pumpkin shaped Reese Cups and candy corn


PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte): YES or NO?

Yes (but I love the salted caramel more)


Hayride or Corn Maze?

Hayride.


Favorite Fall TV Show?

I can’t just mention one. I live for fall TV! Our regular shows include Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order SVU, Big Bang Theory, South Park, Chicago Fire/PD/Med/Law, Modern Family, This is Us, Scandal, Jane the Virgin, Lucifer and The Good Place. I think that is all of them that come back?? I think we might try The Good Doctor too. And I kind of wouldn’t mind watching Will and Grace since it is coming back.

What are your must watch fall shows?