Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weekend Recap

Friday morning we met friends at the library to play and for story time. They did a cute craft, too:
Friday afternoon Ellie had a play date and Summer stayed at home with Nick so my friend and I were able to catch up over a glass of wine, which was so nice and relaxing. We left at dinner time and Ellie and I went to Zoe's Kitchen before going home. We had our first fire that night and I read the girls Christmas books and Ellie watched Toy Story 3 when Summer went to bed. 
The girls sat next to each other to watch the fire and Ellie put her arm around her sister. Such a sweet moment!
Saturday morning we decorated our Christmas tree and the girls were so involved. Summer and Ellie hung most of the ornaments and they did a great job. They were fun to watch as they helped each other and smiled and giggled. Not one ornament broke either (yet, anyway).
 I love all the different ornaments on our tree. They tell a story and there are so many memories. These were Ellie's hand and foot prints at 8 months old and Summer's first Christmas ornament below.
 Can you tell this is where the girls hung ornaments?
We used our tripod for the first time. The last one came out a little blurry, but it would've been a perfect family photo!
 Love this picture of Summer hanging an ornament:
Saturday evening we took the girls to a nearby neighborhood light display (we do this every year). Last year Summer was in the Ergo so it was fun for both of them this year. Ellie saw Santa from the edge of the driveway and pointed and shouted "Santa!" in delight. 

On Thursday morning Ellie has her holiday recital at school and party. I have to pick up gifts for her two wonderful teachers. Nick is taking off work to attend and we are seeing Santa in the afternoon. Ellie is asking for one more thing- a Rapunzel dress. Luckily, the Disney Store still has them in stock. My sister also comes home this week and we are so excited to see her (it's been a while!).

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas: Girls' Wishlists

Ellie was first asking Santa for just Strawberry Shortcake, then added a doll with clothes. We really don't have any dolls that you change their clothes and I found a new line at Target called Generation. The dolls are reasonably priced and have a variety of different outfits and accessories. We picked the Christmas edition doll dressed in a red dress with an outfit included. My mother in law is getting her a bunch of outfits, too. I think she will love her. 

I picked up Rapunzel and her horse before Black Friday at Toys R Us for half off. Ellie loves dressing up as Rapunzel and uses a piece of long fabric as her hair. I am also going to get her the matching Rapunzel dress since that is one she doesn't have.

I got her a Prince to go along with all of her Princesses. You can't forget about him and Ellie and I take turns acting as the Prince during her pretend play. Last night while shopping with Nick we picked up an Elsa doll similar to this one below since she has Anna already and always plays with her. JC Penney had them on sale for $10 (all princesses included). They have a great Disney section in their store.

Flynn Rider

And, this Minnie Mouse Bowtique. We don't have anything Minnie.
The most personal gift this year is a teddy bear to replace "Snowy." Snowy was her favorite teddy and went everywhere with her. He was washed so many times he was looking frail, but he became a member of our family. About a month ago I realized we hadn't seen him. I have no idea where he might be, but I searched our house and he is nowhere to be found. Honestly, I am sad about losing him. I was looking through old pictures last week and saw a picture of him and his tag, which was "Ganz." My husband and I called and searched the web looking for a replicate. He was given to Ellie as a Christmas gift two years ago from Hallmark. He had a black nose. We found a pretty similar one on eBay and bought him last week. We just received him and although a little larger in size, he looks almost identical. We both got a little emotional thinking about Ellie's reaction to him on Christmas morning and I'm sure I will cry, too. Here is a photo of Ellie with old Snowy and his replacement:

Ellie at 2.5 years old (November, 2013)
Summer was a little harder to shop for this Christmas since she already has so many of Ellie's toys to play with. She loves babies so Santa is bringing her a new one plus a package of baby diapers. She also loves to play with cars and trains and that's something we don't have many of so I bought her these two:

 Dump Truck:

She loves riding on this toy rocking horse at our library so I ordered it for her in pink. I think both girls will love it.

The other day in Home Goods Summer picked up this toy and walked around the store with it so I discreetly put it in my shopping cart. This one by Pottery Barn is very similar. Toys at Pottery Barn Kids today are 30% off!

 Push Toy
Every year the girls receive a couple new books. I love going to Barnes and Noble and picking them out instead of ordering them. I've heard great things about Pete the Cat so they will be getting this book for sure:

The girls are getting new art supplies in their stockings, princess wands, new hair bows, and a few other small things.
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I still have to pick up a few more things and wrap (something I love doing). I'm excited for Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Luscious List + Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

I can't believe there are only 2 more weeks till Christmas! I hope you've enjoyed my gift post for kids and stocking stuffers for him and her. My husband and I are going out tonight after the girls are in bed to finish our shopping. I will be posting the girls wishlists tomorrow and a few other gift ideas this weekend.

The girls had a gingerbread cookie decorating play date this afternoon with our neighbors. My friend has 4 girls so it was an all-girl afternoon filled with lots of dressing up and baby dolls. This was my first time making gingerbread cookies and it was so easy to make with my Kitchen Aid mixer. I used this recipe. I let the girls roll out the dough. I was able to do two batches of cookies- about 12 total. The girls used mini m&ms, assorted sprinkles, and white pearl sugar to decorate. 

I've been addicted to these cookies from Trader Joe's. I stocked up on the mint ones (I eat by the handful) and when I went back I got the shortbread ones. Both are delicious!

I finally caved and bought Ellie new Uggs. I felt bad she didn't have any warm boots and the rest of us have them. Plus, I know Summer will be able to wear them in a couple years, too. It's worth the investment, especially because she will be wearing them almost everyday.

I've spent two nights so far with my Nana helping her clean out her closet. She was feeling overwhelmed with all of her clothes and hadn't gone through them in years. We loaded up six huge trash bags of clothes that I went through to donate and some to consign. I am keeping a few pieces including this Elie Tahari tweed blazer. She has always had good taste and shops at high-end stores. It's been fun going through her stuff, but even more just spending time with her.

 The girls have really been into reading books together. Sometimes Summer will sit on Ellie's lap while she "reads" to her. I also just got out all of our Christmas books this month so we've had fun reading through them.
 At Barnes & Noble:


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Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gifts

Watch / Seasonings / Subscription Box
Coffee / Pen Knife / Gloves
E-Tip Gloves / iPhone stand / Hat 

My husband tried on this watch and it looked so sharp. Another idea is the GPS Garmin Watch- one of my favorites for running. The grill seasonings received high ratings at Williams Sonoma. I also thought this burger press was a good gift. I've heard great things about the Dollar Shave subscription box and would make a perfect stocking stuffer. A few gift card ideas are golf lessons or a round of golf, car washes, or tickets to a game. I'm always stumped on what to fill my husband's stocking with so feel free to share your ideas!

* Includes affiliate links

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gifts

Tea / Naked Palette / Hair Clip / Flip Belt
Clarisonic / Bar Tools / Necklace / Gloves
Gift Card / Socks / Lip Gloss / Hair Band / Candle Snuffer

I would love to get all of these in my stocking. They all make me happy. The socks from J.Crew are my favorite- they are so soft and comfortable. Makeup is always welcome and jewelry, too. I love the pendant necklace above- classic. The Flip Belt is a new running accessory my friend told me about that stays put during any activity and you can carry your cell phone, keys, money, etc without feeling weighed down. She also told me about the tea and I love the packaging- so pretty. The candle snuffer is random, I know, but I've actually been wanting one. I love gift cards and there are so many to choose from. Starbucks is simple, but you could be creative and do Etsy, yoga or a fitness specialty class (Barre, for example), tickets to a show, photo session, a painting studio, and so on. 

Next week I will be adding guys stocking stuffers and gifts!

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Holiday Gifts: Kids

Holiday Gifts for Kids

Apron / Snow Castle / Bean Bag Toss / Doll / Castle / Ice Cream
Etch a Sketch / Karaoke / Cupcakes / Magna Tiles / Frisbee / Tent
Bath Slide / Dress / Train / Bowling / Highchair

Sometimes it is hard picking one more gift for your child or buying for another child. The pink and purple castle was given to the girls a year ago and they love it. It's such a great gift idea. Another favorite is the etch a sketch by B. Toys. A great line of toys. It's a good size for toddlers and fun to use. Dress up is also a popular choice for both boys and girls. My nephews love superheroes and capes are a necessity! Ellie is getting the Generation doll above. She is asking Santa for a doll with doll clothes. This line is so similar to the American Girl collection, but more reasonable for a 3 year old.
Hope you enjoy these gift ideas!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday: My Favorite Sales

These pillows have been on my favorites list for a while now on Etsy and I am finally going to purchase a few with the 25% sale- today only- with the code "cyber14."

Francesca's is a chain boutique store and they sell everything from clothes and shoes to home decor. They also sell Jellycat and Ellie recently asked Santa for one since Summer one. She has been borrowing Summer's white bunny and they are so soft I figured I'd get one for her. I love the unicorn. You can save 30% off everything today. 

Also, love this clutch / Snakeskin Clutch

My number one wishlist item for Christmas (as previously mentioned) is the Clarisonic. I like the one from Lancome because of the additional products. Lancome is having their friends and family 20% sale, but if you order today you will also get a free eye cream and sample with a $95 purchase with the code "monday."

Another Etsy artist, Annie Flynn, is currently having a 20% sale through 12/25 with the code "holiday20." I love her colorful artwork. She offers prints, too, which are more affordable.

Don't forget to use EBATES to earn cash back while online shopping! You can make money by clicking through ebates first before being directed to the website. It's so nice to get a check in the mail after the holidays. Plus, most stores will do double or triple cash back at some point so check often!