Blog Feed

Friday Favorites: Holiday decorations

Happy Friday! We are in full on Christmas mode around here. We’ve seen Santa, the tree is up, we’ve bought our Angel Tree gifts, the kids have been working on their 25 days of kindness, and the house is decorated. (Also, #realtalk some evenings we’ve been tired with a side of grumpy…but we are working on it!)

I thought for this Friday Favorites I’d focus on some of my favorite holiday decorations around the house.

Let the record show (Travis, are you reading this?)…I did not buy a single new Christmas decoration this year. #itsaChristmasmiracle

Decorating takes a bit of time, but I love the extra cozy feeling that holiday decorations bring in combination with the subtle sparkle of the lights on the tree.

Here’s a peek into our home and some of our Christmas spirit.

After decorating for fall, I basically just swapped out where I had fall decorations on and in the buffet for Christmas ones. Tree plates, ornaments in the clear glass server, a Nutcracker, and some trees!

We bought the Nutcracker a couple of years ago at Home Goods. The kids saw it and said, “Let’s get a Nutcracker like Gma has!” Gma, my grandma, has tons of Nutcrackers, so this guy is a fun nod to her.

I love the flocked tree and tall Santa from TJ Maxx.

I’ve had this chest, a family heirloom, for many years, but this is the first year it’s been in our living room. The Merry Christmas sign was bought from a local store here in Lexington, Two Chicks and Co., a few years ago, and I’ve had the light up gift with bow from Kirklands for years. A tealight in a lantern that used to sit on our porch helps this corner of the living room glow.

I’m pretty traditional with red and green decorations, including stockings. The tray of trees is out in our sunroom. I don’t decorate that room much, but I accessorize the tray that always sits there. Fun Fact: the green felt tree is already in pieces in my backyard. It’s been #Homered. I’ve had little greenery and pine cone chair decorations for three years, and I hope they don’t get #Homered as well!

The fireplace and mantle in our kitchen is one of my favorite spots. We even bought a stocking for Homer this year…right now he’s on Santa Paws’s naughty list.

I’ve always loved snow globes, but I only have one…and this year I put it out on our built in with one of my fave Santa pics with the kids. Every year, when I pull out the pic of the kids under the tree for their first Christmas (they were one month old!), I can’t believe how quickly time is flying.

Our entryway hallway has a few decorations. I’ve had the light up tree for awhile as well as the little snowman. I always love seeing everyone’s holiday cards, and the little bucket is a good spot for them after we check the mail. Lastly, the Merry and Bright plate is one of my faves and made by a small local Lexington business.

I swapped out my pumpkin pillows for the Merry and Peace ones as well as a soft red blanket.

One of my friends made the Joy, Love, Peace, Believe, Christmas sign , and I display it in my kitchen.

Here’s the tree all lit up—but, we quickly realized that having Homer is like having ten toddlers, so all the ornaments are now up high on the tree! haha. Last year, I took some Amazon boxes and wrapped them in my favorite wrapping paper. While I’m pretty good about purchasing most gifts in early December, I’m a last minute wrapper. So, these stay under the tree to make it look less empty until I get the real ones out. Again, with Homer, who knows if I should even put real gifts under the tree at this point?!

He looks so innocent, right?

I don’t decorate much outside mostly due to lack of time but also because I tend to like cute decorations, and I never know how they will hold up in the elements!

I bought this door hanger from a local Lexingtonian a few years ago and have a few other door hangers from her! I love this one….especially because I love polka dots.

Some years we put lights around the porch…and other years we don’t, but I always stick my pre-lit trees in my year round planter boxes (and add on the bows!), change my garden flag, swap my pumpkin pillows for reindeer ones, and put lanterns and poinsettias on the steps. Every year, I say I want to get wreaths for the windows, and always forget…and tend to be too busy after Christmas to get the great deals on them. Maybe one year I will make that a priority.

I hope you enjoyed this little home tour. While I love the decorations for fall and the holidays, I’m usually ready to get everything back to normal inside the house in January. For now, the decorations help us get in the holiday spirit. Tis the Season!

What are some of your favorite holiday decorations at your house?

Don’t forget to check out Narci, Erika, and Andrea‘s Friday Favorites.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Visit with Santa & Tree Decorating

The transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas happened quickly on Sunday. Actually, before we left for KC, I put up my Christmas decorations, so all that was really left was to get a tree.

On my “to do” list for Sunday was to get the tree and have the kids see Santa. We crossed both of these items off my list within an hour!

In Lexington, there’s the cutest shop that carries pumpkins and mums in the fall, Christmas trees, wreaths, garland in December, and then flowers in the spring and summer. The Santa they have is simply the best, so if we have the time to go to Hillenmeyer’s Christmas Shop, we do! The Santa wait time varies year to year…a few years ago, before he was soooo popular, we walked right in to see Santa. A couple of years ago, we stood in line for an hour and a half, and this year we were near the front of the line with very little wait time.

The shop has a fire place to roast marshmallows as well as hot apple cider and a few animals to look at, so the kids are entertained even if we do have to wait.

This is our fourth year getting a real tree, and I do like that it’s now a tradition.

The inside of the shop is magical with hanging wreaths and even a chandelier or two!

This Santa is always so patient and has the best facial expressions. The kids were able to talk to him for a couple of minutes and get in all of their requests!

This year on Hadley’s list is a Tyler Herro Miami Heat t-shirt and a bike. Hayden would like more video games for his Xbox and a PJ Washington Hornets t-shirt.

Santa with his signature wave!

Such a cozy atmosphere ❤️

We got the tree home, unwrapped and put the lights on…but ornaments had to wait until Monday evening. I joked that I hope the tree doesn’t get “Homered.” He’s good at destroying things, and the last thing I need to see is my tree knocked over!

5 seconds later he yanked an ornament off the tree.

It’s truly a magical time of the year. I’m not sure how many more Santa visits we have left, but I love seeing the innocence that Santa brings out in everyone….and I will always love the twinkle of the lights on a Christmas tree.

Thanks for reading!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Thanksgiving in KC

Well, the five day break certainly flew by…& now just three weeks of school until winter break!

We traveled to Kansas City to see my family for Thanksgiving.

We headed out after school on Tuesday, made a pit stop in St. Louis and finished the drive on Wednesday morning.

We decided to bring Homer with us. He was awesome in the car and in the hotel overnight. (I joked with the kids that Homer won “best behaved” between the three of them 😂)

The rest of the fam went to eat breakfast at the hotel. I turned my back for a minute and found Homer living his best life on the hotel bed #baddog

Wednesday, we just hung out with family and had pizza for dinner…followed by early bedtimes for all.

Thanksgiving morning, we slept in and lounged around until Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house.

Snuggles with my mom’s dog, Gus.

I’ve always loved watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning & now my kids do too.

Ready to go — & of course, thankful for these two…

Thanksgiving on my dad’s side of the family is always fun. My cousin’s house is so pretty and the tablescape was beautiful. I loved the chocolate turkeys with our names on them for place settings.

After dinner, we always watch the Plaza Lighting ceremony on tv (& then we recreated it as we flipped my cousin’s outside lights on 😂)…Then, we usually play a game…This year, we played Empire, and had a great time.

Friday consisted of some online shopping , card playing, a nap…or two and turkey soup for dinner. My mom’s been making the turkey soup for years on the Friday after Thanksgiving. My grandma came over to have dinner with us.

I do not Black Friday shop…at ALL. I’m more of a Cyber Monday girl. Fighting the masses for things I can buy online has always sounded like 0 fun. I saw this on Instagram, & my 5w6 ring true!

Uno and coffee. Low key Friday
Hadley and Gma worked on their selfie game!
Both are so cute, right? 🙂

Saturday morning, we packed up, had breakfast at a local place, picked up Homer at my dad’s house and headed home.

Homer was our backseat driver!

I’m always sad to leave after a good visit, but it’s also always good to get home, get situated and ready for the week ahead…plus, we had a Christmas tree to buy and a Santa to see!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a great week.

Thanks for reading,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Kindness

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday…great food, time with family, and no stress about buying gifts!!

As I wrapped up my November book review on Tuesday, I said, “Tis the season (to be stressed, to be tired, to be over-scheduled, but to hopefully also enjoy the holidays with family and friends)…” December is stressful. I know it doesn’t have to be, but no matter how many lists I write or how on top of it I try to be, there’s the time crunch of gift purchasing, cramming in as many traditions as possible, as well as just regular routines like school, work, and activities.

So, a couple of years ago, I pieced together some ideas from Pinterest as well as my own ideas for 25 Days of Kindness. You can find lots of calendars and lists, but I knew if this was going to be manageable for my family, I had to choose pretty practical ideas while keeping kindness and being helpful to others in the forefront of my kids’ minds. For example, we may not be able to volunteer at the Humane Society this month, but we can certainly wheel the neighbor’s garbage cans up!

Every year, we buy gifts for kids on the Angel Tree, and I love that we have that tradition. The 25 Days of Kindness allows us to teach our kids that it’s not only about the big gestures but the smaller ones as well.

  • Day 1 – Give someone a hug or a compliment
  • Day 2 – Let someone in front of you in line
  • Day 3 – Buy a friend or colleague (or teacher!) a cup of coffee
  • Day 4 – Hold the door open for someone
  • Day 5 – Give a friend or loved one your full attention
  • Day 6 – Tell a joke to make someone smile
  • Day 7 – Do something kind for yourself
  • Day 8 – Hide a happy note for someone to find
  • Day 9 – Donate unwanted books, clothes, toys to charity
  • Day 10 – Tape some money on a vending machine
  • Day 11 – Smile at a stranger (or 2!)
  • Day 12 – Let a car in front of you in traffic (or a person in front of you in line)
  • Day 13 – Write or send a thank you note to someone
  • Day 14 – Tell someone you love them
  • Day 15 – Pay for a stranger’s coffee
  • Day 16 – Give your teacher a gift to show you care
  • Day 17 – Feed animals (bird, deer, etc)
  • Day 18 – Do something unexpected for someone
  • Day 19 – Give a treat to your postal carrier
  • Day 20- Do a chore for someone else
  • Day 21 – Clean up a mess you didn’t make
  • Day 22 – Introduce yourself to someone new
  • Day 23 – Pick up litter in your neighborhood
  • Day 24 – Call a long distance relative
  • Day 25 – Reflect and record how much joy this season brought you

Other ideas:

  • Fill a bag of books to donate to the library
  • Write a nice sidewalk message with chalk
  • Make cards for nursing home residents
  • Mail a postcard to a friend or family member
  • Make a card for a school staff member
  • Collect loose change and donate it
  • Draw a picture for mom or dad
  • Help make dinner
  • Take supplies to an animal shelter
  • Pass out stickers
  • Bring up neighbor’s trashcans

I’ve done this where both kids have same kindness opportunity each day, but last year I had the list and let them choose (and then had them cross it off as to try something new each day). Are there days when we slack off? Yes. Are there days when we commit two or three acts of kindness to make up for lost time? Yes. The point is, kindness is made a priority during the hustle and bustle of the season…where, ironically, there are so many Grinches. Helping others is a focus that I hope doesn’t stop in December…but will also trickle into the new year and on and on and on.

This year, we’ve added a new act of service to our list. Next week, we are ringing the Salvation Army bells for an hour at our local grocery store. We are excited for that experience. (Well, I am…my kids have no choice ;), but I hope they are excited too!)

Have a great weekend! Next week is December…can you believe it?

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

November Book Review

It’s hard to believe that we are almost to Thanksgiving and wrapping up November. November and December are so hectic for most, so I tend to have less time to read, but I did read three books this month….and I’m almost finished with a fourth book, but I will save it for next month. In November, I read The Affair, The 13th Gift, and I finished reading The Residence which I’ve been reading off and on over the past couple of months.

The Affair

I read this book on my Kindle, and it was a quick read for me. The plot centers around, you guessed it, an affair. Kathy and Robert have been married for many years and while she raised the kids, he ran the business. Through the years, she suspects him of cheating, of which he’s denied. She does some investigating and finds out the truth. The book is also about other family relationships, growing as individuals and what that may mean for a relationship. I liked that the story was told from three points of view: the husband, the wife, and mistress. There are a few R rated scenes which isn’t surprising given the title and topic. The story did seem to kind of wrap up quickly for me…but as a reader, I also knew there must be more….hence the follow up, The Consequences, which I’ve already downloaded to my Kindle for future reading.

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle

I loved this book. Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like random acts of kindness. In this true story, Joanne Huist Smith is struggling to find happiness and stay afloat after her husband’s death. She’s a full time working mom to three kids, and as the holiday season approaches, they are overcome with grief and wondering how they will get through the holiday while in their “new normal.” Then, twelve days before Christmas, gifts begin appearing on their doorstep each evening. As the days draw closer to Christmas, the family finds the spirit of the holiday and even come together to carry on traditions in the spirit of their lost loved one. This book was a quick read that just brings hope and restores faith in humanity!

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

This book is not necessarily something I would normally read, but I really loved it. I’m not one to read much about history, but the interviews and anecdotes woven through history made this book stand out to me. I did read this book over a couple of months…and not because I didn’t enjoy it. It was just easy for me to leave on my bedside table and read a bit at a time.

The Residence focuses on the service staff in the White House such as the butlers, maids, secretaries, and florists. The book provides the reader with insider information on the various Presidents and families who lived in the White House. I thought the traditions and relationships were interesting. For example, there was insight into the days following JFK’s assassination , how the family grieved, but also who the staff was there for them. Also, the protocol of moving one President out on Inauguration Day while moving the new President in was another great explanation. Also, the relationships between the staff and Presidential families as well as the formalities that come with living in the White House were all just very interesting. The reader learns about the Presidential eras of Johnson to Obama. While not usually a genre that I typically read, I’m glad that I took the time to read this book and learned quite a bit along the way.

Holiday Reads…

Last year, after reading one of Shay’s November blog posts, I decided to follow her suggestion and read holiday books in December. I’m doing the same thing this December, but thought I’d share my December list from last year.

In December of last year, I read:

  • Christmas Camp
  • Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
  • Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery

I kicked off holiday reading this year with The 13th Gift and I’m almost finished with the first book in the Winter Street series….Winter Street.

Also on my list for December are:

  • Winter Stroll (book 2 of 4 in the Winter Street series)
  • One Day in December
  • The Christmas Sisters
  • The Christmas Room

It may be wishful thinking to get four books read this month, but I’m sure going to try!

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! I will be back on Friday with a post about kindness. ‘Tis the season (to be stressed, to be tired, to be over-scheduled, but to hopefully also enjoy the holidays with family and friends)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Monday Meals

Whew! The weekend flew by…and thankfully, it’s only a two day work week!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my “go to” bloggers for recipe ideas is Shay at Mix and Match Mama. This past week, I made a few of her meals. I love that she posts recipes for Meal Planning Monday each week. I do my grocery shopping on Sundays, so I usually get an idea or two for the next week which makes me feel ahead of the game!

Last night, I made her Instant Pot: Chicken Tetrazzini, and it was delish!

The best thing about these ingredients? Travis made the trip to the store to purchase them…and not me! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • about 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (4 oz) jar of chopped pimentos, drained
  • 3/4 box of penne pasta (from a 16 oz box)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus a bit more to garnish
  • chopped parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Linked below

And we have enough for leftovers tomorrow night!

I’m also linking the other recipes of hers I made last week! All delish!

I know you’ll love all of these recipes! There isn’t a recipe of hers that I’ve made that my whole family didn’t enjoy! Have a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Friday favorites

We’ve made it through the week. The week started off pretty rough for Hayden who was sick, but thankfully recovered in time for their birthday (and school field trip!) on Wednesday. We need the weekend to continue recovering as well as prepping for next week. Thankfully, next week is a short one.

Here are a few favorites from the week.

Wednesday was the kids’ birthday, and I wrote a post all about it 🙂 As I’ve mentioned, I’m big on birthdays, so of course their birthday is a favorite of mine.

This is the third year I’ve had a local yard letter company (Yard Card Barn) decorate our yard with Happy Birthday. It’s a fun surprise for the kids…and it also means I’ve kicked my birthday celebrations to the next level. haha. We have a decent sized front yard, so amazingly, the letters fit for Happy 10th Birthday Hayden and Hadley.

The weather was dreary, but the yard signs brightened the day for sure!

Wednesday evening, we headed to the UK vs Missouri volleyball game. Hands down, volleyball is my favorite sport to watch…college basketball is a close second. Being in CAT country, I was low key will my allegiance to MIZZOU, but proudly wore my Missouri hat. Kentucky came up with the win, but it was fun to cheer for both teams.

A new favorite product I’ve been loving has been this brightening eye balm by Tula. I know little to nothing about cosmetics and products, and once I find something I like, I usually stick to it. Landyn showcased this product on one of her Instagram stories a little bit ago. I had to run to Ulta last week, so I picked it up. I put it on under my eyes in the morning, and I love that it’s cool and adds an extra layer to make your skin and eyes look a little more awake.

Thanks to one of the link ups with other bloggers, I stumbled upon Dwelling in His Richness blog, and I liked the way Jill approached her Friday Favorites with:

Favorite pic, kid quote, clothing item, food, moment, and Favorite mom meme. I thought I’d give that format a try this week!

FAVORITE PIC

See above 🙂 Birthday pics!

FAVORITE KID QUOTE

On Wednesday, after his shower, Hayden asked for the nail trimmers. I was taken aback with him being proactive with his hygiene (haha), and he said, “Well, mom, I’m sure I will be shaving soon!” oh my!

FAVORITE CLOTHING ITEM

Traditionally, one of the kids’ birthday presents each year is Christmas pajamas. Some years other family members buy them, but this year, I saw “Kids’ Plaid Holiday Tartan Pajamas” from Wondershop at Target, and I picked them up for the kids. I bought Hayden the two piece (button down top with pants) and Hadley the nightgown version. ($14.99 each! and great quality!)

FAVORITE FOOD

This week, I tried a new meal for the family: Mix and Match Mama’s Turkey Tortilla Soup. It’s a crockpot recipe, so it was easy and delicious.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Well, this week probably had favorite MOMENT(S)….with it being birthday time, we had a few extra things going on. Truly, it’s the little moments…like having lunch with Hadley on her birthday (Hayden was on the field trip) as well as seeing photos of Hayden on the field trip. He was so worried he’d still be sick, but I’m so glad it all worked out. While he was having fun, I ate lunch with Hadley and brought cookies she wanted to share with the class. And, don’t worry—her class went on the field trip on Thursday. For me, it’s the little moments like having lunch with my kids or receiving a fun picture that brighten my week.

Cookies for classmates and Field Trip fun!

FAVORITE MOM MEME

My mom sent this cartoon to my brother and me…it was true in the 80’s and still holds true today. haha.

That’s a wrap on this week. It was a busy but fun one! Don’t forget to check out Narci, Erika, and Andrea’s Friday Favorites.

Have a great weekend!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Happy 10th Birthday

Today’s the day….the T W I N S turn T E N! I can’t even articulate how quickly these 10 years have flown by. They’ve been the best, the hardest, and the most rewarding years of my life. I’m so lucky to be their mom.

Their due date was December 18, 2009. We knew I’d probably never make it to 40 weeks, and making it to 36 weeks was a blessing. I will never forget seeing their faces for the first time. The second they showed me Hayden, I teared up; he looked just like Travis. The nurse showed me Hadley for only about 10 seconds, so then my tears were for a different reason. During the pregnancy, Hadley consistently measured smaller than Hayden, but we were still surprised that she weighed in at only 4 lbs, and who knew the extra 7 oz Hayden was carrying would be enough for 4 lbs, 7 oz Hayden to come home with us after four days in the hospital. The NICU doctor told us Hadley would be in the NICU for 12-14 days. Well, day 13, she joined us at home.

The NICU nurses told us that premature baby girls tend to be more of the fighters compared to baby boys in the NICU, so I take it as a blessing and a sign that if one had to stay for a bit and one got to go home, the right baby stayed put to grow a bit more and the right baby got settled in at home.

It was tough being away from her while also juggling a newborn at home. When we brought her home, the NICU nurse said she’d most likely be the more independent one who wound fend for herself. Well, that nurse couldn’t have been more right.

These two captured our hearts from the beginning and certainly still carry the same qualities and features that they’ve had since the day they were born.

Sweet itty bitty babies…

Who turned into chubby cheeked toddlers and sweet spirited little ones…

who continued to emerge into the best little versions of themselves…

In honor of turning 10, I thought I’d share 10 things I love about each of my kids.

Hayden

  1. His love of reading. #hegetsitfromhismama
  2. His passion for sports. (any sport, all the time!)
  3. How he pronounces Hawaii “who why ee”
  4. He’s an introvert who pushes himself out of his comfort zone. #anotherattributefromhismama
  5. His attention to detail.
  6. He is a wonderful teammate. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him cheer on his team or high five a teammate.
  7. His inquisitive nature.
  8. That he says to his mama, “Give me a huggie!”
  9. That he is a creature of habit.
  10. That he is a homebody. (and proud of it!)
  11. B O N U S–he lets me call him Boo 😉

Hadley

  1. There is no bigger helper on this Earth than Hadley.
  2. She has the biggest heart and a knack for knowing when others need some extra love.
  3. She is a loyal friend.
  4. That she is the best mix of both tomboy and girly girl.
  5. She’s energetic times ten…always on the move and enthusiastic about life.
  6. That she’s outgoing as all get out. #didnotgetthisfromhismama
  7. Her ability to find the beat in any song and dance to it (as if no one is watching–but we are watching because she’s forever creating new dance routines to showcase for us)
  8. Her love of scrunchies and friendship bracelets #daugtherofan80sbaby
  9. Her love for little ones.
  10. Her bravery…(for example, sleep away camp for a week this past summer…) #shewasmuchbraverthanhermama
  11. B O N U S–she lets me call her Sis 😉

Homer says Happy 10th Birthday!

Hayden and Hadley,

I know you probably aren’t reading this, but please know…

You guys are the best and make us all so proud. Keep being kind, keep doing your best, and keep being there for each other …and we can’t wait to continue to watch you grow into the best big kids and teenagers (#prayforme) in the coming years. How are you already double digits?!?! #thetwinsturnten

Happy Happy Birthday.

I love you!

xoxo, Mom

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Weekend Top 5

Although, (per usual), we were busy this weekend, it wasn’t all about the athletic activities. We had a good mix of family time, down time, and even an adult night out with friends!

Friday evening started off with Hayden having an indoor soccer game against his bestie!

While Travis and Hayden were at the soccer game, Hadley and I went to the kids’ sitter’s performance.

Movement Continuum performed Neverland which also included aerialists. The music, the performance, and the aerialists captivated our attention the entire time! I’d never been to this theater and arts center downtown, and it was a special place to visit!

We’ve known our sitter since she was five years old, and dancing has always been a part of her life! Hadley was so excited to see her perform; she didn’t take her eyes off the stage for a second.

On Saturday, Hayden and Hadley celebrated their cousin’s 9th birthday! He’s one year and one day younger than Hayden and Hadley. Lots of November birthdays in this family.

Saturday night, we met up with friends for pizza and then went to an ax throwing place; it was definitely more fun than I thought it would be. We have some friends moving to Michigan soon, so this was a chance to get together with them and all hang out. Believe it or not, the guys organized this activity…haha…and someone suggested we wear plaid (flannel was a bonus) , and we were very committed to the Paul Bunyan lumberjack theme!

The ladies held their own!

I even got a bullseye! (It went downhill from there!)

I saw this idea on an Instagram story of a local cake decorator, and thought it sounded easy, fun, and delicious. I found the mini cast iron skillets on Amazon, and then just bought chocolate chip cookie dough to put in them and baked them for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, we added a scoop of ice cream to the top. The skillet cookies were a great way to cap off our weekend!

Bonus

The highlight of Homer’s weekend was that we took him to get a bath and have his nails trimmed. Hadley was in charge of the water for 30 seconds and more water ended up out of the tub rather than in the tub…just ask Hayden 😂

I hope you have a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Friday Favorites: birthday party part 2

Believe it or not, it’s already Friday! I posted about the kids’ 10th birthday party with their friends for Let’s Look on Wednesday. I thought I’d wrap up the week with a Friday Favorites post that focuses on party #2 (family party)…because birthdays are my favorite!

I figured while the balloons were still flying, we’d go ahead and host our family for a small get together for the kids.

After the slumber party cleared out, I threw a couple of meals in the crock pots. Both meals I made were from Mix and Match Mama’s Simmers cookbook. I made the Chicken Tortilla Soup and the Potato Soup. Both are easy, delish, and serve quite a few people.

I also made salami/cream cheese/pickle roll ups and spinach artichoke dip for appetizers.

We love Nothing Bundt Cakes, so I was going to pick up one of their bigger bundt cakes for the family party BUT we had so much cookie cake left over from the sleep over party, that we decided to serve that. I did take the kids to Nothing Bundt Cakes for them to each pick a mini bundt cake for us to put candles in and sing Happy Birthday.

Hadley’s always big help with the decorations. We already had the balloons, so she helped me put streamers up wherever the kids wanted them. She also helped me put up the birthday banner. I made the banner when the kids turned three, and we’ve been using it every birthday since then…not sure if this will be the last year for it or not?

Every year, I order the kids a new birthday shirt with their age on it (again, this is probably the last year for it, but it’s been a fun tradition!) I did a Flashback Friday Favorites post on it, and it’s sweet to see them through the years!

This year’s shirts came from a shop on Etsy called ShopPsychobaby. They were cute, great quality, and arrived quickly!

The kids are saving for electronic items we will most likely never buy them (haha), so we kept it simple with the family party, and they received cash and gift cards.

Traditional bday shirts and 1-0 balloons
The birthday banner is hanging on !
Homer was excited for cake. He was better behaved during this party and didn’t eat any candles or lick any icing off the cake!
Happy Birthday time!

We had family from both sides as well as friends who we consider family to help celebrate.

crazy and cute cousins

That’s a wrap on the birthday parties. Their actual birthday is next week, and there are a few more traditions and surprises up my sleeve… #thetwinsturn10

Don’t forget to check our Narci, Andrea, and Erika’s Friday Favorites!

Have a great weekend!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea