Hello and Happy Friday! Even though this has been a “different” kind of summer with some extra downtime at home, I’m still looking forward to this extended holiday weekend.
As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.
With it being 4th of July weekend, I thought I’d share some of our favorite 4th of July traditions. The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays.
Red, White, and Blue
I don’t know how many years I have left (this is probably it ;), but I make sure the kids have some form of red, white and blue to wear. I usually look in their closet first to see what they already have, but, of course, places like Old Navy and Target always have cute options for very reasonable prices.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve made red, white, and blue waffles. It’s as simple as throwing a frozen waffle in the toaster and then topping it with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.
For Father’s Day, Hadley wanted to make Travis waffles from a mix using our mini waffle maker. So…we may do that again for tomorrow’s breakfast.
Last year, I bought Homer a red, white, and blue scarf. When I put it on him for Memorial Day this year, it was a bit tight. I ordered him a new one from Amazon to wear tomorrow.
I don’t really have anything for inside my home for the 4th, but I always put little flags in our planters and by the front porch. Then, I switch out my usual garden flag for my American flag.
Sparklers and Fireworks:
Some years we are on vacation, but the years we are home, I pick up a few sparklers, snap its, smoke bombs, etc. I definitely keep it simple and pretty kid friendly. I’m not trying to scare the neighbors!
I do love the sparklers at night! So fun and festive.
Then, when in Lex, we head to our favorite spot to watch one of the country club’s fireworks. It’s always an awesome display and in a pretty convenient location.
Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday
This is one of my favorite family pics from 4th of July 2015. We were settled in and ready to watch our favorite fireworks.
Hi~ I hope you had a great weekend! We tried to celebrate Travis as much as possible this weekend. Friday ended with Travis and Hayden having baseball, but on Saturday, the kids and I prepped for Father’s Day on Sunday.
Saturday evening, we headed out to dinner at one of our favorite pizza places. This was our first time eating out in Lexington since early March! We sat on the patio at Grimaldi’s and then walked around a bit. We snapped a couple of pics and then Travis and Hadley had popsicles from Steel City Pops.
Sunday morning, Travis woke up to a few gifts and some goodies. Hadley wrote on our chalkboard, I saw these cute (and delicious) cookies at Whole Foods and picked them up for us to enjoy, and each kid had picked out a card for Travis.
Every year I get on Pinterest and find a printable for Hayden and Hadley to fill out about Travis. Their responses have gotten more mature through the years, of course. I do miss the sweet little responses from when they were younger, but I still think it’s a cute sentiment.
Hayden and Travis had a 10:00 tee time, so I wanted to keep breakfast simple. I was going to make pancakes, but as I headed to the store on Saturday, Hadley asked me to see if I could find waffle mix. I just have a mini waffle maker, but I told her I’d look. I found some, and I’m so glad that I did. The waffles were perfect! Hadley made the waffles while Hayden fried up the bacon. Of course for Father’s Day, Travis had his breakfast on our traditional Red Plate.
After breakfast, my dad CALLED ME. He’s the only person I know who will beat you to a phone call that’s supposed to be a day about him. 😂
Hayden has been playing golf off and on since last summer. Yesterday, was his first time playing 9 holes. He was SO excited. I know Travis was too.
Boo was ready to hit the links! #Ithinkthatisagolfsaying 😉
For dinner, I picked up a few kabobs from Kroger. I got the salmon/vegetable combo as well as the steak/vegetable combo. We had watermelon, pasta salad, and I made one of our favorite side dishes: asparagus fries. We all love them, and they are so good.
For dessert, I tried Amy’s Lemon Freezer Pie recipe that she shared the other day. Hadley and I made it on Saturday to let it freeze overnight. It was so easy and so delish!
For fun, a little Flashback Father’s day photo from 2011. I love when this pic pops up in my Facebook memories. I remember taking this picture; it cracks me up every time I see it.
I hope Travis had a great day and knows how much we love and appreciate him. The kids hit the jackpot in the dad department!
Y’all, thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great week!
**I shared this post earlier in the week, but all of the items are my favorites and perfect for this week’s Friday Favorites. I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika, so check out their posts too!
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to go ahead and share some ideas. ❤️
I saw this meme on Sunday, and thought it would be fun to put together some gift ideas for mom. Also, these could be gift ideas for yourself (I do that sometimes…like every Friday after I’ve survived another week of home schooling 😉) or ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
When I saw this meme, I really did get sad for a second. I love when the kids bring home cute crafts from school for me and there’s nothing better than a homemade card! For Father’s Day, I always print one of those fill in the blank sheets “All About Dad” with Dad’s favorites, etc. The kids’ responses are always so cute.
Per tradition, the kids and Travis know all I would like for Mother’s Day is a card, two hanging ferns for our front porch, no fighting…and maybe an hour of peace and quiet. The past couple of years we’ve gone out for brunch…and I will miss that this year. Since I do most of the cooking, I do take a break on Mother’s Day, and Travis usually grills out or we get carryout from a local restaurant.
To be honest, Travis is a great gift giver. Most years, on top of the traditional gifts, he (and the kids!) usually come up with something special like a framed sign with a saying, a gift card to somewhere I’d probably never go on my own, or a sweetly completed craft project.
Pinterest always has cute craft ideas for Mother’s Day. One year, Travis painted a wooden crate, and then the kids put their names and hand prints on it. Then, they filled it with flowers. It was a perfect addition to our back porch. A framed photo is always a sweet idea as well. I think all moms really want is to feel appreciated by maybe sleeping in a bit, not doing any household chores, or getting to stay out of the kitchen.
I posted some recent favorites of mine last week, but here are a few more ideas that are extra special!
10. I have two pairs of these flip flops from Nordstrom. They are my faves and would be a perfect gift with some of mom’s favorite nail polish (I love OPI Bubble Bath and Funny Bunny!) or a nail salon gift card.
11. This “mom” ring dish (can be customized) is so pretty and perfect for mom’s dresser or jewelry drawer.
12. These vases from Rustic Roots would be a wonderful surprise for mom. Just fill them with flowers!
Y’all, mom doesn’t need anything fancy; she just wants to feel the love. Of course, I’m sure she wouldn’t be mad if she received something comfy, stylish, or sparkly to go with that sweetly signed Mother’s Day card.
I hope you find an idea or two for mom, for yourself, or for someone special.
P.S. someone may need to forward this to Travis. Just in case. 😉
Hello and happy Wednesday. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, our Easter looked a bit different this year (as, I’m sure, was the case with most everyone!) We did take advantage of beautiful weather on Saturday for an egg hunt in the front yard. Thankfully, it didn’t take much convincing for my kids to put on Easter clothes for some pics before the egg hunt. I guess I was technically bribing them with candy, and somehow taking the photos took twelve minutes longer than necessary! haha.
They certainly are growing up on me! I did ask them that morning if they even wanted to do an egg hunt…I just didn’t know if they were “too old” for that now. They both said, “We will never be too old for candy!” (And, bonus –a few eggs had a dollar bill or two in them!)
Before quarantine began, I had seen Erin post about this Amazon dress that she had bought for all four of her girls. I bought one for Hadley, and it’s so cute and such great quality…and only $18! She can definitely wear it more than just on Easter Sunday.
We usually go to Trav’s aunt’s house in Elizabethtown where there are lots of kids and a big egg hunt, so I thought the kids would still want to do that. I thought this activity would take five minutes. Well, it took more like 20 minutes because Travis did such a good job hiding them! On two eggs each, I put a star, a rectangle, and a circle and told them they could get one of each of those. Those were the ones with money in them, and the rest had candy.
Picture with Homer!
And, then…we had a pleasant surprise with a family friend stopping by as the Easter Bunny. We heard a knock on the door, and Hadley said, “Mom! There’s an Easter Bunny at our door!” It was the highlight of their Saturday.
After lunch, we dyed Easter eggs in the sunroom.
Then, we decorated Easter cookies. There are a few local ladies who have their own cookie businesses, and I love when they offer cookie kits. This kit came from One Smart Cookie here in Lexington.
We always leave the eggs out for the Easter Bunny to hide as well as some carrots if we have any. Then, this year, we also left him a cookie! As you would expect, Homer ended up stealing the cookie off of the plate, so I had to leave a different cookie for EB.
The kids know that the Easter Bunny hides the hard boiled decorated eggs and brings them some candy. The rest of the goodies come from mom and dad.
I try not to go overboard and thank goodness for Amazon and other online shopping. Every Easter, the kids get new spring/summer pjs, flip flops, a swimsuit and a few other goodies. I try to be practical and purchase things they will need for summer anyway plus a few other surprises.
After the indoor egg hunt, we had breakfast (pancakes & bacon) followed by a game of Jenga and then watched our church service online. Last year’s service was so beautiful; we certainly missed being there in person this year.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around. It was cold and rainy which was perfect weather for reading and movie watching.
We ordered Easter dinner from a local place, Minton’s, and it was so delish.
We had ham, potatoes gratin, brown sugar glazed carrots , brussel sprouts, and cheddar biscuits. For dessert, we had graham cracker pudding cake (I will share the recipe tomorrow) that Hadley helped me make.
We pulled out our China for dinner…& by that I mean that I had to go find the other place settings besides the two I have on display in my cabinet. 😂We found them in the garage, so clearly we don’t use them very often.
Once I put the napkin rings on, I wondered if I could make a cute name tag. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a little bunny tag, took white paper and put it up to my computer screen to trace the small bunny. Then, I outlined the bunny using black marker, and used some raffia to tie a bow. Hadley wrote our names and glued a little cotton ball to the tail. Then, I attached them to the napkin rings with a small piece of tape. Quick project that turned out so cute.
Using what I had, I made a quick centerpiece using the tray from our coffee table, candles and holders I keep in our cabinet, one of my bunny decorations, grass from the kids’ baskets and some of our dyed eggs.
I love trying to use what I already have in my house to add little touches here and there.
After dinner, we played a couple more rounds of Jenga, enjoyed our delicious dessert and headed to bed pretty early since Hadley had woken us up at 6:50 ready to start the day 😂(which is very unlike her! She tends to sleep in!)
Of course, we missed being with family on Easter but it was also nice to just be home as a family…since holidays usually have us driving here, there and everywhere.
See you back here tomorrow with a delicious dessert recipe.
It’s time for another Let’s Look link up with Shay and Erika; make sure you check out their posts too.
Well, needless to say, Easter will look a bit different this year. I’m actually thankful this post came around when it did to remind me of some of the traditions and activities that I still do have control over right now.
Here’s a look at what we typically do for Easter.
Well, of course, the kids have to wear cute Easter outfits every year. Shhh! Don’t tell them, but I’ll probably ask them to put on some nice clothes this year to at least get the cute Easter pic. Plus, I’d hate to miss out on the tradition of fussing at Hayden because he doesn’t want to wear nice pants! 😉
Here are some Easter outfit pics through the years.
When I was kid, we always dyed Easter eggs, and left them for the Easter Bunny to hide. Then, my brother and I would search for them throughout the house. We do the same now with Hayden and Hadley.
Here are some pics of the egg dyeing through the years.
Only within the past year and a half have we found our church home…so a new tradition for us is the pancake breakfast and egg hunt at church. Also, attending Easter service has become a new favorite and important part of our family tradition. It’s difficult that Easter does look so different this year, but we will make the most of it.
Before bed, we leave the eggs out for EB to hide as well as some carrots if we have some (and a cookie or two!)
In the morning, the kids see what the Easter Bunny has left them and search around the house for the eggs.
I try to make a special breakfast on Easter morning. Cinnamon rolls, a breakfast casserole, etc. One year I made these cinnamon sugar bunny rolls for Easter breakfast.
After church, we head to Elizabethtown for Trav’s side of the family get together. The kids are always excited to see their cousins. Travis has a very big family with plenty of cousins, himself!
So that’s a look at Easter at our house…
Next month’s topic is Let’s Look At…Your Weekend. Why do I have the feeling my post will be about how my weekdays and weekends look quite similar these days?! I’m hoping we are somewhat back to normal very very soon.
Happy Monday! There is seriously nothing better than a 3 day weekend (and no school on a Monday!) I’m combining two posts into one and sharing some funny memes and a few details from our Valentine’s Day.
Fact. I hate to clean. (I don’t mind to tidy up). Fact. I love a good glass of wine! 😉
This literally made me laugh out loud. I love my weighted blanket more than I probably should. I seriously miss it if I’m away from home and don’t have it.
FYI I have this 15 lb blanket in taupe from Blanquil. (When I bought mine, it was close to $120…I used a code to get the discount)
I feel like I need at least three of me to get everyone where they need to be as well as get all the chores and errands accomplished…and I even have a very helpful husband!
I saw this meme on Facebook. Rang true with me! haha
Ok, for me not being a huge fan of Valetine’s Day, it may appear that I go all out for this Hallmark holiday. Travis and I have always been no gifts, give each other cards and try to go out to dinner…and that’s been our tradition for a long time. I guess once I had the kids, I stepped up my Valentine’s Day game, but I just pick them up a few things here and there in the couple weeks leading up to February 14th. That being said, I still usually follow the something they need, something to read, something they want + chocolate!
Each kid received a book, and some winter weather gear (gloves and ear muffs (Hadley))—because Target had everything on clearance…, a game (Hayden received a Mad Libs game that we played over the weekend–lots of fun (and great grammar practice!) and Hadley received a puzzle that we will do as a family). Lastly, Hadley needed new volleyball shorts and Hayden requested a video game. I ordered a Valentine’s Day plate/napkin set on Amazon and served them powdered donut holes for breakfast (w/ some strawberries), and they were excited.
I did break my “no gift” rule for Travis and bought him a new wallet…since his old one has been #homered. Found out yesterday that wallet #2 has already been #homered as well.
When the kids were little, I started taking their pic and ordering 10 cards on Shutterfly to send family. It’s an easy and cost effective way to spread the love…as well as one stop shopping.
I always look forward to the bubble letters Travis writes on my cards. #eighteenyearsandcounting #bubblelettersaremanly
In all honesty, we usually don’t do much for dinner on Valentine’s Day because someone usually has a practice or somewhere to be. Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday this year, leading up to a three day weekend….AND we had no plans!, I decided to decorate a bit for dinner. The paper hearts and straws also came from Amazon, but the other decorations I already had around the house. (I plan to save the extra plates, napkins, hearts, etc to use next year if needed!)
Travis did decide to pick up steaks on his way home…and we already had Bob Evans mashed potatoes (Hadley’s fave!) in the fridge and cheesy broccoli in the freezer…So steaks were a “fancy” element to our dinner (and Trav’s fave) and the potatoes and broccoli were easy element to heat in the microwave.
In 2008, Travis and I went to Napa Valley with some friends. One of our favorite vineyards was a small vineyard someone recommended while we were out there. So, it was an unplanned pit stop to Anomaly. We love their wine. We brought a few bottles home and saved them for special occasions. In December of 2009, after Hadley arrived home from the NICU, we opened one of the bottles. Then, we took a bottle with us to Charleston, SC when we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary in June 2010. The last bottle we actually took with us to Lake Tahoe in the fall of 2015 when we celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary. Y’all know I love my wine, so the fact we hung on to those for so many years (and even when we moved houses) is a big deal 😉 That being said, the wine isn’t cheap, but it’s so worth it…& perfect for special occasions.
We loved the Anomaly experience and scenery so much that Travis took one of the pics I took while we were there and had a family friend paint the picture as a gift for me; it now hangs in our living room.
Some friends recently gifted us another bottle as a thank you, and I was going to open it for my 40th birthday, but as I’ve mentioned, I came down with the flu. We decided to share that bottle Friday night–and I joked we could celebrate my 40th, the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.
After dinner we played the new Mad Lib game…we had a great time and everyone was in bed by 9:30!
Besides basketball games, Travis and Hadley went to the Dad/Daughter Dance on Saturday night and then yesterday we went tubing at Perfect North with friends. (I will probably post about both of those fun activities later this week 😀)
I hope you had a great weekend. The sun finally came out and it looks like the temps are on the rise again! It almost makes me wish it was spring…but I’d love at least one more pretty snow (and snow day!) before everything starts to bloom.
Once I take down my Christmas decorations, I love the fresh look of a clean house. So, when February rolls around, I tend to keep the Valentine’s Day decorations pretty simple. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite decorations with you.
I picked up the XOXO at Home Goods last year, and it just sits on our living room bookshelf. The painted heart pallet is one of my faves! The stand in the corner of my kitchen usually holds a cookbook, but for fall, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, I use it to hold some sort of decoration. This heart pallet was painted by one of my friends.
Lastly, in another corner of my kitchen, I place a little heart dish with conversation heart candy (The candy never seems to last long!)
I replace my regular winter wreath with this cute heart door hanger that I got from an Etsy shop a few years ago. I love the simplicity of the white ceramic heart that I add to my entry way table each year.
Lastly, I keep the mantle simple with the XOXO banner.
I’m very aware that I treat Homer like the third child I never had. I’ve bought him a few scarves, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to purchase a heart scarf for him to wear. That being said, he doesn’t keep scarves on very long, but I figured maybe as the years go on, he will tolerate them?! Homer, AKA Pookie/Buddy/Biscuit, is a lover not a fighter! (unless you are Trav’s wallet or one of Hadley’s stuffed animals, and he will rip you to shreds!)
Two of my favorite valentines….
I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Travis knows that all I would like is a card and then we usually grab dinner out when we have a free evening. This weekend, my mom will be visiting, so she will watch the kids one evening while we go to dinner.
For Valentine’s Day, I usually pick up a few things for the kids. They like the heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and I always get them a book and another small gift or two. (I guess I should go ahead and figure that out!)
Since this year Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, I thought about putting together a little dinner for the four of us. I was thinking about asking each kid and Travis what their favorite meal would be and having a mix and match dinner of everyone’s favorites. Or, I may do breakfast for dinner or get carry out from somewhere, but eat on actual plates! #pretendtobefancy
What are your Valentine’s Day plans and/or traditions?!
Happy day after Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.
Our Christmas routine was a little different this year. We usually write a note to Santa for Red (the elf) to deliver asking Santa to come a few days early since we usually go to Louisville to see Trav’s family and then on to KC to see my family. This year, we decided to stay home rather than go to KC. I rarely miss a Christmas there, but having some down time at home was needed and we were just there for Thanksgiving.
Anyway, my brother and his family were going to KC, so we had a Cousin Christmas before they left. We had them over on Saturday night for apps, lasagna/salad/rolls, and then cookie decorating.
Hadley helped me set the table which I really appreciated.
We just buy gifts for the kids, and they are always excited to open up the gifts!
After dinner, we decorated cookies. There are so many talented cookie decorators in town, and I tried a new one…8 cookies with icing and sprinkles for $15 from One Smart Cookie.
They had fun decorating with minimal fighting over the icing and sprinkles!
Every year, we make a calendar for family members, and we always get a Christmas pic for December. Now that the family members have received their calendars, we can share these pics that we snapped all the way back on December 1st!
All the kids are getting so big!
On December 23rd (Christmas Eve Eve), we went to Louisville for Trav’s family Christmas. Here are all the cousins and Trav’s mom.
On Christmas Eve, we headed to church. After church, we drove and saw a house that goes all out on their lights, and then came home. Once home, the kids got in their pjs, exchanged gifts they picked out for each other, and put cookies and milk out for Santa. Then, they went out in the front yard to sprinkle reindeer food, so Santa could find his way!
Christmas morning, the kids were up at 7:00. Hayden was up first and then woke up Hadley. We opened presents, had breakfast, called family to wish them a Merry Christmas and hung out. Santa brought Hadley a bike that she was dying to try out, so we took Homer for a walk while the kids rode their bikes. The 60 degree day was perfect for bike riding and walking Homer.
For dinner, I made my first ever ham, and we had green bean casserole, twice baked potato casserole, and rolls. Then, for dessert, I made Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake. So delish!
While we missed seeing our KC family, we had a nice day and evening at home.
Elf on the Shelf Part 2
After I posted about what our elf, Red, has been up to, Red was #Homered. Hadley screamed so loud, I thought Homer either brought another dead bird in the house or he had Red. Well, he had gotten ahold of Red. Hadley cried and was afraid he wasn’t going to be able to fly. Hayden remained calm. haha. The next morning, they were pleasantly surprised that Red’s elf friends helped him feel better.
Red also played Hangman, got stuck in a lantern and decorated it with stickers, drew on our family photo,and left snowmen donuts for breakfast.
The last few evenings with Red, he left the reindeer food, the book The Night Before Christmas and then sat in the tree, so he could watch the kids open presents on Christmas morning.
It’s always nice for Red to pay a visit and keep tabs on behavior, but I’m sure he’s always happy to head back to the North Pole when Christmas is over….especially for the fear of being #Homered again. haha
I’m going to enjoy the Christmas decorations for a couple more days, and then it’s time to get the house back to normal.
I hope you had a great Christmas. As always, thanks for reading!
A few of our neighbors got together recently, and I wanted to try a new appetizer recipe. I searched Pinterest for phyllo shell/goat cheese bites and found this awesome recipe. The touch of pomegranate and sprinkle of thyme helped make it a festive dish to share.
My brother and his family came over for a little pre-Christmas get together, and I served an easy (and one of my favorite) drinks. I’m no bartender, so it’s a splash of this and that.
Fill your glass with lots of ice, two glugs (told you, I’m not a bartender) of vodka, fill the rest of the glass with Cranberry Ginger Ale (some years I can find the diet kind…but not this year), squeeze of lime, and cranberries to garnish.
In warmer months, I often do ice, vodka , lime, and Fresca. So refreshing.
A night or two before Christmas Eve our elf brings the kids some Reindeer Food for them to sprinkle on the lawn Christmas Eve night. This way, Santa will know the way to our house! I think our elf found this poem on Pinterest years ago, and he attaches it to a bag of reindeer food (oatmeal + glitter).
Yeah! It’s Friday. Today is my last day of school for a couple of weeks…which definitely makes today my favorite day of the week.
A favorite holiday tradition is giving and receiving holiday cards. Unfortunately, I do think it’s a tradition that’s on the decline. In the past, annual holiday cards were a way to keep up with friends and family. Now, we have social media to take care of that. I hope this is a tradition that never truly fades and maybe hits an upswing again in the future. That being said, I thought I’d share our holiday pics and card for this year.
Every year, I think I will have my act together for a family photo for our holiday cards. I’ve always wanted to go to a Christmas tree farm for a family pic, but time escapes us. So, instead what happens is I use my phone to snap a few photos while crossing my fingers that the kids cooperate. This year, Hayden insisted that we include Homer. Surprisingly, we were home in thirty minutes or less and everyone (mostly) behaved.
Here are our holiday pics this year!
One of our holiday cards this year! I usually have two types printed because it’s always so hard for me to choose!
T E N years ago, this was our Christmas card. I can’t believe it. (I still have these ornament boxes, but I don’t make the kids lounge in them anymore. haha)