Posted in Holidays, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: All About the Oaks

Hello!

Last week I mentioned that the first week in May is a busy and festive week around here.

I recently shared my Keeneland post, and today I’m sharing all about the Oaks.

Oaks is the day before the Kentucky Derby. Like Derby Day, there are races all day long, but the main race, the Kentucky Oaks, is for three year old fillies (girl horses).

For Oaks, many wear pink in honor of the breast cancer survivors who walk in the parade before the Oaks race. It’s such a powerful moment to see so many survivors walking together.

If I don’t find a pink dress, I will add a touch of pink with a fascinator. Years ago, if we went to Oaks or Derby, I’d usually wear a fancy hat, but I much prefer a fascinator.

My dress is from Nordstrom, and Amazon for the win for my pink fascinator. (I’d ordered a couple of them and also borrowed a couple from a friend, but Hadley helped me make the final decision)

Travis was already in Louisville, so once I dropped the kids off at school, I headed to pick him up.

I got to Louisville around 11:30, and we were at Churchill Downs by 12:00.

Upon arrival, I was handed the signature drink, the Lily, which was the perfect way to start the day.

For the second year in a row, the ticket was all- inclusive. So, any food or drink is included in the ticket price. Of course, there were still lines for food, but they moved pretty quickly considering the crowd. Also, there were fridges throughout with drinks like water and soda that you could just pick up as needed.

After the first few races, we headed to the paddock to check on one of Trav’s client’s horses who was running.

You have to be a horse owner to get into the paddock, and even then, the pass is for the specific race for your horse. The filly we were there to see was Kneesnhips. Any guesses what the owner does for a living? Then, we headed back to our seats to watch the race (and it was raining just a bit then). She placed 4th.

We stayed in our seats for a bit, but it was only a steady rain for about an hour.

Our seats were in a box (of 6, with friends) that was undercover right near the finish line which is always so fun.

Oaks and Derby make for great people watching, and we always run in to people we know. They said the attendance was at 100,000…and I believe it!

Of course, there are usually more celebrities for Derby, but Kirk Herbstreit (sports analyst) sat right behind us. Then, as we left, I saw Justin Harley (This is Us) walking out with his wife. He did the “riders up” in the paddock before the big Oaks race.

You may remember from my post on Friday, but I was very concerned about the weather. Friday’s weather actually turned out better that Saturday’s weather for Derby. It really just rained from about 3:00-4:00, and then again around 6:15 when we got in the car.

Thurby:

So, for years, Oaks was more for the “locals” (Louisville people) and the Derby was when so many from out of town would come. Quite a few years ago, they started having “Thurby” which is now when most local people go.

Travis and many of his Louisville friends now go for Thurby. Honestly, Oaks and Derby are big work days for him now, so Thurby is a bit more relaxed for him.

Derby:

With a post about Keeneland and now Oaks, it would probably be natural to have a dedicated Derby post. That being said, I haven’t been to Derby in years. Travis had a streak of almost twenty years of going to Derby. That streak came to a halt once we had kids (haha) who usually have activities that day. Plus, Thurby and Oaks are enough. I’m not saying we won’t ever get back to Derby, but he really does a lot for work that entire week, and now has the tradition of watching all the Derby day races on at home while also placing bets and working. It varies year to year, but sometimes we get together with friends. The weather was cooler and rainy this year, so we just hung at home.

My mom actually hosts a Derby party (in KC) every year that I know her friends look forward to each year.

Let me tell you the one person who doesn’t love a long shot–Travis. The horses that placed 2nd and 4th were connected to his farm. While those are pretty good finishes, Epicenter (who placed 2nd) was one of the heavy favorites. Like much of the world, Travis was speechless to see Rich Strike, with 80-1 odds, win.

A Few Derby Facts:

  • Derby is always the first Saturday in May.
  • The horses that run the race are all three-year-old colts.
  • There are 20 horses in the Derby race.
  • The Mint Julep is the signature cocktail.
  • It’s called “run for the roses.”
  • It’s the “most exciting two minutes in sports.”

One thing I wish Lexington would do that Louisville does is there’s no school on Oaks Friday. The city basically shuts down and traffic is probably extra crazy which is why that’s more of a necessity in Louisville than Lex, but it would still be so nice to have that day off.

I never realized until my kids were in school how much the schools (especially elementary) incorporate the Derby into learning and activities at school.

Schools in our district display their “Derby silks.”

There are fun Derby activities like hat making and…

jockey silk coloring.

Most of the elementary schools have activities like Derby races for the kids, learning about horses and jockeys, reading horse books, and more. One year, my kids’ teachers hosted a Derby breakfast at school.

Like most things, it’s fun to see the excitement of the week through a child’s eyes.

It really is a special time of the year. We had a great day. Let me know if you have any questions!

Posted in Holidays, Weekend Top 5

Hello Monday + {Easter Recap}

Hello and Happy Monday. How was your weekend? We had such an amazing one! Both Saturday and Sunday were super busy but in the best way!

I’m linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday.

Here’s what we were up to this weekend:

Friday, right after school I took the kids to their annual checkups! Hayden has caught up to Hadley on height, but was still disappointed that she’s officially half an inch taller than him still. haha I keep telling him he will pass her one day!

After their appointment, we got ice cream, per tradition! Then, we picked one of Hadley’s friends who came over before I took both girls to a sleepover.

Then, I went to Target, Ulta and Oldy Navy while Hayden and Trav went to my school’s Varsity baseball game. After my errands, I picked up Jason’s Deli for dinner and watched an episode of Real Housewives OC. I enjoyed a little “me time” before they got home and then it was time for bed.

I actually slept in a bit on Saturday. Hadley was picked up pretty early from the sleepover (after getting only a few hours of sleep!) and then went to church to help with the pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt for the younger kids. With the lack of sleep, I will give her credit for following through with her commitment to helping out.

After enjoying my coffee, I went to the gym to work out while Hayden had baseball practice.

Then, Travis and I went to Keeneland with some friends.

More on that tomorrow, but it ended up being a beautiful day, and we had the best time.

After the track, we came home and ordered carryout dinner. While Travis went to pick it up, I got everything set up for the kids to dye Easter eggs. I told them I will carry on this tradition until they are 18. Hadley said, “Well, what happens while we’re 19?!” I told her I’d be happy to have her dye eggs then too!

They did a great job, but always seem to end up fighting about who has dyed more eggs. You’d think it would be six each, but somehow one of them tends to end up dyeing one more! I’d make more eggs to dye, but I’m the only one who eats hardboiled eggs. 😉

They turned out so pretty.

Then, we watched some TV before bed. Guess who was the first in bed by 9:00….hint: the one who had two hours of sleep the night before!

Sunday, was, of course, Easter.

I woke up around 7:30, and then woke the kids around 9:00. I knew they needed to sleep in, but I also wanted to get in our Easter family time in the morning.

When they woke up, they found their Easter gifts and candy.

They each received clothes and a book. Hayden got another Gatorade bottle, and Hadley received some bracelets. Both seemed to love everything.

Then, it was time to find the eggs that were hidden (by the Easter Bunny?!)…which took two minutes!

Then, I made breakfast. I was going to make the cinnamon roll bunnies that I’d seen so many make, but that was a fail. Every time I tried to unroll the cinnamon roll, it fell apart. So, I pieced everything back together and just baked them in a pie plate like usual. I also scrambled some eggs and cut up some fruit.

Then it was time for church.

We enjoyed the lovely service, and then snapped a few photos. They looked so grown!

I always appreciate a family photo when we can get one.

Then, we went home to quickly change our clothes before heading to Elizabethtown to celebrate Easter with Trav’s extended family. It was good catching up with everyone, some of whom we hadn’t seen since Easter 2019.

We got back to Lexington around 6:00, and it was time to make a grocery list (because, again, I didn’t get my Clicklist order in for earlier in the weekend), do laundry and finish up this blog post. We had leftovers from Saturday night and wrapped up the weekend watching American Idol.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter. See you back here tomorrow.

Posted in Holidays

Easter Table

Hello! Last week, I shared my Easter decorations, and today I’m sharing how I decorated my kitchen table for our pre-Easter dinner.

Last weekend, my mom and Gma were visiting. After my Gma mentioned picking up a ham at Aldi, we decided to have an early Easter dinner.

Kind of like “If you give a mouse a cookie…” Well, if you give Jen a ham, she feels the need to throw together an Easter tablescape. So, I’m sharing what I got together pretty quickly to make a festive table for our dinner this past Sunday.

After Aldi, I stopped by Michael’s because I couldn’t find the craft paper at home that I used last year as a table runner. Well, Michael’s was out of craft paper, but I picked up these cute egg shell baskets to fill with decorative eggs.

While at Kroger, I picked up some flowers and put them in Mason jars. I cleared off the normal tray items (napkins, S&P) but kept my mini Antique Candle Co. candle out on the small white pedestal.

I pulled out some placemats and chargers that I’ve had forever, and added in the cloth napkins and napkin rings.

In April of 2020 when just the four of us were home for Easter, I traced the bunnies and glued a cotton ball on as a tail. I just tape them to the napkin ring. Last year, we hosted Easter, and I made a few more and laminated them before adding the tail. Now I keep all the bunnies in a baggie to reuse each year.

The table looked pretty and spring-like very quickly with just a few touches.

That being said, it was driving me crazy because I couldn’t find the craft paper that I used last year as a table runner. I’m not a big fan of tablecloths, and most runners and pretty small for our farmhouse table. The craft paper was perfect last year, but it’s still missing. {I’m going to buy more and make sure it stays with the wrapping paper which is where it should be anyway.}

Once we decided to have a nice dinner, I wanted the table to be special as well.

The menu:

We had…

  • ham
  • Bob Evans Mashed potatoes
  • bagged Caesar salad
  • Sister Schubert rolls
  • green bean casserole

Last year:

I’m sure I shared this last year, but here’s how I set the table in 2021 when we hosted Easter for Trav’s side of the family.

The kids’ table was cute too!

With Easter just a few days away, I’m hoping you’ve found a few ideas if you are hosting!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Holidays, Home Decor

Easter Decor

Hello! Today, I have a quick post sharing my few Easter decorations.

I don’t do much at all for Easter, but I love a few touches of bunnies here and there. Unlike fall and Christmas decor, my Easter decorations take me five minutes to put out. This past Saturday, I pulled out a few of my favorite bunnies…which is apparently the only way I know how to decorate for Easter.

This post probably looks pretty similar to last year’s post, but I still thought I’d share!

The chevron bunny door hanger is my fave! Changing the garden flag is always a quick way for me to keep up with the holidays.

peep Homer in the window

Also, once it’s April, I start buying fresh flowers on the regular from Trader Joe’s. Peonies are my fave, and I saw this miniature bouquet and knew it would be perfect on the living room coffee table. The turquoise bunny is another fave that I’ve had forever. My new Antique Candle Co (Country Pear!) candle arrived just in time for spring. It smells amazing.

Two bunnies and the egg plate are in the entryway and living room. The cottontail bunny next to plant was a cute find at Landyn’s store in Nashville that I picked up last Spring Break. I’m glad I got it when I did since she closed her store last fall.

The two bunnies in the eggs were finds at Kroger (grocery store) last year. I usually have faux plants that sit on those pedestals, but I swapped them out for the bunnies.

That’s about it! I love these little touches for Easter, and it was nice to be able to decorate in a matter of minutes!

Tomorrow, I’m recapping our trip to Asheville, so I hope to see you back here!

Have a great day,

Posted in Gift Ideas, Holidays

Easter Basket Ideas

Hello! I can’t believe it, but Easter will be here before we know it!

Today, I’m sharing a few…

For the kids’ Easter baskets, the bunny always leaves candy, and then I fill them with a few “wants” and “needs.” Easter baskets are perfect for flip flops, swimsuits, goggles and anything else the kids will need for summer. Through the years, I’ve also included baseball cards, nail polish, stickers, band aids, and more!

Honestly, I haven’t bought a single thing for the kids yet, but today I’m sharing some ideas for both boys and girls. Basically, I looked through my Amazon purchases from the past year, and these are some of the best purchases that my kids have enjoyed (and I’m sharing a couple of other ideas that will probably end up in their baskets this year!)

Boys:

  • Water bottle: We just had to buy a couple of new water bottles for track season. I’m not sure why water bottles are so hard to keep up with, but it’s a struggle around here!
  • Adidas slides: Since these Adidas slides have 114,000+ 4.5 ⭐️ reviews, I thought they’d be a good gift suggestion. My mom gave these to Hayden has a birthday gift. Hadley sometimes snags them for herself!
  • Glow in the dark net: This glow in the dark net was perfect for a stocking stuffer, so I’m sure it would be perfect for an Easter basket too!
  • Golf balls: These golf balls are great for any sports lover!
  • Theodore Boone books: Hayden LOVES this series. After I picked up the first book for him, he immediately wanted to read the second book. He checked the rest of the series out from the library.

Girls:

  • American Girl Doll “Smart Girl” books: Have you heard of these books? They are perfect for tween girls. We picked up The Care and Keeping of You book a couple of years ago. Then, Hadley has read the Middle School one along with Friendship Troubles and Babysitting.
  • Slides: These slides are SO good. They have 46,000+ four star ⭐️ ratings, and Hadley and I both have them. We wear them all summer long.
  • Bracelet stack: I’m thinking of getting this bracelet stack for Hadley. She loves bracelets!
  • Nail polish holder: How cute is this nail polish holder? It has 19,000 , 4.5 ⭐️ ratings and would be perfect in an Easter basket with some new nail polish.
  • Straws: Another surprising thing tween girls love? Straws! I ordered these and have been using them myself. Hadley has been using them too. (over 14,000, 5 ⭐️reviews)

Both:

  • Racko: I always like to give the kids a game as a “joint” gift. Then, of course, we can play as a family. I’ve seen this game shared a few times, and I thought it would be fun to play with the kids.
  • Bike wheel lights: I saved these bike wheel lights to my Amazon “kids” list for Christmas. I never ordered them, but they have 18,000, 4.5 ⭐️reviews. I think Hadley would think these lights are fun.
  • Bananagrams: I gave this game to the kids for Valentine’s Day last year. It’s so much fun to play as a family, and it’s easy to pack in my purse or when we travel on vacations. (17,000, 5 ⭐️ ratings)
  • Goggles: I’ve purchased this same two pack for each kid for two years, and will do the same this year. They are great quality. My kids end up losing goggles throughout the summer, so I always get the two pack.
  • Wireless ear buds: My mother-in-law got these ear buds for the kids for Christmas. Travis suggested them to her, and the are great quality. (44,000, 4.5 ⭐️reviews)

Here are the ideas I shared last year!

What are some Easter basket ideas you have? I definitely need to get a game plan and order a few things. That’s on my “to do” list next week over Spring Break.

See you back here on Friday!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Holidays, Weekend Top 5

Hello Monday

Hello! {Monday} How was your weekend? We had a nice three day weekend. All day Saturday I kept thinking it was Sunday. I was so happy to have that extra day. We had a mix of down time, family time, errands, athletics, and more.

I’m linking up with Holly and Sarah to share about the weekend.

With no school, we all slept in a bit. My dad arrived for a visit on Wednesday, so it was nice to have this day off. Per his request, we had breakfast at his favorite spot.

Then, we came home for a bit until it was time for me to take Hadley for a trim. She loves having longer hair and puts off getting a trim. I took advantage of being able to snag a daytime appointment with a recommended stylist. Hadley was pleased with the trim and styling! She looks so much older with straight hair.

We came home, watched basketball, and my brother came over for a few hours.

I actually got an afternoon nap before getting ready for Hayden’s basketball game.

It was the end of the season tournament this weekend, so Friday night was the All Star game.

After his game, we had pizza and watched more basketball and then it was bedtime.

Saturday morning we all slept in a bit. My first task was getting the corned beef in the slow cooker. I actually borrow my sister-in-law’s slow cooker each year to make double the food to feed us all.

I served the kids “Lucky Pancakes” on Thursday, but forgot to share on Friday.

Then, I watched some tv, cleaned up the kitchen, and my brother and nephew came over. Early afternoon, I worked out, and then went to Trader Joe’s.

When I got home, I had a quick lunch, and then went to Hayden’s basketball game. They won and moved on in the tournament.

After his game, we had to take the traditional front porch photo with the Major. #thisishishappyface 😉

I made two Irish soda breads, and they turned out sooo good. I need to make the bread more than once a year. We all love it. The corned beef turned out great as well.

For the kids, dessert was lime sherbet with some ginger ale. I could only find rainbow sherbet, and it was a hit too.

We all hung out and watched basketball. I was so tired, and in bed by 10. Travis and Hayden stayed up later watching all the games.

I heard my dad around 6:30, so I got up because the Major leaves early. He left around 7:00, and I took that extra quiet time to start laundry and do my Kroger pick up order.

The kids slept until almost 10:00. When Hadley got up, she wanted to make waffles. We all benefited from that!

Then, we went Hayden’s basketball game. Unfortunately, his team lost, but he had a great game. At least he was able to end the season on a high note. Now it’s time to juggle middle school track and spring baseball.

I went to Target to return a couple of things, and then I picked up my Kroger Clicklist order. Actually, as I was walking into Target, I got the substitutions text from Kroger. Thankfully, I was able to find what I needed at Target including almond milk, an onion, yogurt, and my liquid foundation.

Everyone helped me unpack, and then the kids headed to Countdown Games with youth group. They “saved the princess” with two seconds to spare!

Once they got home, I did some lunch prep for the week, and then made dinner. I made Andrea’s Creamy Beef Casserole which is a family favorite.

Then, it was time to get organized for the week. Travis helped the kids with math (#nothankyou) while I finished up this post.

It’s Spirit Week this week which has Hadley written all over it! My kids do have testing this week too. I know we will all be happy to see Friday afternoon!

My posts may be a bit more sporadic over the next couple of weeks. This is the week before Spring Break which always proves to be hectic at school. Then, we have next week off, so I will probably just see where the days take me!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Holidays, Meals and Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day Foods

Hello! With St. Patrick’s Day only a couple of days away, I’m sharing a few food ideas.

Listen, we take St. Patrick’s Day very seriously…I’m only like 2% Irish, but I can drink green beer with the best of them! #college

Seriously, I grew up knowing about my Irish and German heritage, but I finally took an Ancestry DNA test only a couple of years ago only to find out that I don’t have much Irish blood!

That being said, I still look forward to the traditional corned beef, cabbage, and Irish soda bread meal that I always grew up enjoying.

Breakfast:

Last year, I made the kids some green pancakes and sprinkled some Lucky Charms marshmallows on top with the syrup. I plan on doing the same this year as well.

Dinner:

I shared about our traditional meal last year, so make sure to check out that post again. I always use two slow cookers to cook two corned beefs because my brother’s family always comes over for dinner too. The Irish soda bread is probably my favorite part! It feels like it’s going to be a lot of work, but really it’s not…and it’s so worth it anyway.

Dessert:

Amy shared some fun St. Patrick’s Day ideas, and I loved the lime sherbet and Ginger Ale idea. I think the kids will love it, so I’m going serve that as an after dinner treat.

This year, I think I’m going to make the traditional feast on Saturday. We’re too busy on Thursday, and I’d rather choose a day where I know we can sit and enjoy the meal.

Go Green:

I guess it’s another thing they’ve kind of outgrown, but I always loved dressing the kids up in green (so they don’t get pinched, of course!)

2015

Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.” ~Irish blessing

Take care,

Posted in Holidays, Life Lately

Life Lately

Hey! I hope your week is off to a great start. Yesterday, I shared a Day in the Life post from Saturday, but we’ve had some other things going on as well. Here’s a look at Life…Lately.

Hadley is almost finished with her first season on the middle school dance team. She had a big audience last week when my brother and his family attended her halftime performance along with my mom who was in town visiting.

The same crew came to both of Hayden’s middle school games on Friday night.

Wyatt, Layla (and GG) are some of the kids’ Super Fans!

Then, on Saturday, we attended cousin Wyatt’s game. It was fun watching him shoot around with Hayden after his game.

I fondly remember Hayden playing in this same gym (and Hadley was on his team for one season!)

Since Monday mornings can be hectic, we celebrated Valentine’s Day on Sunday morning. And…by “celebrating,” I just mean we gave the kids a few gifts, and I baked some cinnamon rolls.

Maddie’s Cookie Co is the best, and I always try to order cookies from her for special occasions. She had some many cute options for Valentine’s Day this year.

Cinnamon rolls with Valentine’s Day sprinkles (and some strawberries) were the perfect easy breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast…I went to brunch with a bunch of my friends on Sunday. We went to Dudley’s, and the food was delicious.

Then, we headed to the Lexington Opera House to see Waitress. It was amazing.

While I was out with my friends, the kids were with my mom (and cousins) decorating cookies my mom had baked. Check out the ballerinas for Hadley and Layla and t-shirts that Hayden and Wyatt decorated for the Chiefs and UK.

We went to my brother’s house for the Super Bowl. It wasn’t the same with our Chiefs not in the big game, but we made the best of it. In a nod to our “favorites” dinner, I told the kids to choose their favorite appetizers, and I’d make them.

Well, Travis must have taken to heart my love language being acts of service, because when I came home from the musical, he was making cheeseburgers sliders for Hayden, and had picked up the frozen mini tacos from Trader Joe’s for Hadley. I was so impressed. Travis picked up wings (his fave!), and we took all that food to my brother’s. My sister-in-law made soup, and we all enjoyed the evening.

Then, yesterday morning, I woke up to find a sweet card from Travis. He’s known for his bubble letters! Twenty years of being Valentines, and I feel very lucky.

So, that’s a bit of our life…lately! I have a couple more posts planned this week, so I will see you back here soon.

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Gift Ideas, Holidays

Valentines Day Ideas

Well, with Valentine’s Day less than a week away, today I’m sharing with you a few Valentine’s Day ideas.

I’ve shared before that Travis and I typically make a point to go out to dinner around Valentine’s Day, and then we exchange cards. We don’t go over the top, but it’s nice to set aside some time of the two of us. We were able to go out to dinner on Friday while the kids had plans with friends.

Once we had kids, I started doing a bit more for them. When they were little, we’d do crafts or color pictures, they would have Valentine’s Day parties at school, and I’d get them a box of candy as a sweet treat. Through the years, I started buying cookies from local cookie decorators and pick up a few gifts as well.

I shared my Valentine’s Day decor post last week, but here are a few food, dessert, and gift ideas.

Breakfast:

For breakfast, heart shaped pancakes are always fun. I’ve also made cinnamon rolls and then added pink and red sprinkles. At the grocery store on Sunday, they were out of cinnamon rolls. I was trying to plan ahead for breakfast this weekend. I guess I will have to check back later in the week.

Lunch:

This was the first year that I did a Valentine’s Day lunch. I loved Andrea’s lunch idea, and I planned ahead a bit knowing that we may not have school at the end of the week last week. So, when I went to the store to pick up some items we might need during the ice storm, I had a few lunch ideas in mind.

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, and Mondays tend to be our busiest evenings, I thought we could have some family time a bit early (even Travis was home on Friday), and I put out a platter with lunch bites and candy.

We had:

  • PB & J heart shaped sandwiches
  • Chomps
  • Apples
  • Pretzels (and hummus)
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots (and Ranch dressing)
  • Pretzels with peanut butter
  • Turkey sliders

For sweet treats, I included:

  • Conversation hearts
  • Gummy X’s and O’s from Trader Joe’s
  • Birthday Cake Granola

I kept the table simple with a few decor items I already had out and put out cute paper plates and napkins for everyone to serve themselves.

The last few years when Valentine’s Day was on a the weekend, I made a point to make a special dinner.

We’ve also done “Dinner of Favorites” which included bacon cheeseburgers, tacos, and mac and cheese.

One year, I also attempted a heart shaped pizza!

Sweet Treats:

Trader Joe’s always has a great selection for every holiday season.

I picked up the gummy X’s and O’s as well as some jelly bean hearts the last time I was there. Also, I found the Safe + Fair brand and Kroger and the Birthday Cake granola is a family favorite.

Over the weekend, I made Shay’s Valentine’s Chex Treats.

They were a big hit with the family.

Gifts:

I keep things pretty simple and buy a few items I know the kids will enjoy, but maybe something that they also “need” (like a book! 😆)

For Hadley:

  • I remember loving Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I hope that Hadley will too.
  • I saw this bracelet in a Nordstrom ad, and thought it would be perfect for Hadley.

For Hayden:

  • I thought this book looked perfect for Hayden. He’s my reader, and I know he loves basketball. This book of letters looks to have great advice, and may be perfect for Hayden.
  • Travis ordered this reusable tournament bracket for Christmas. He thought it was clipboard size, but really it’s poster sized! haha I think Hayden can hang it in the basement by his basketball hoop and keep up with the bracket during March Madness.

I also picked up a sweatshirt, candy, and some cookies for both of them.

Valentine’s Day Card:

Every year, I get a card printed from Shutterfly to send to our immediate family. So many family members send the kids cards, so I want to send them something as well. I usually get ten cards for about $15.

2021
2020

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? Let me know!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Holidays, Home Decor

Valentine’s Day Decor

Hello! We’re home today due to the impending ice storm. The kids have an ortho appointment and then we will be inside for the foreseeable future.

It’s a perfect time for me to share with you some of my Valentine’s Day decor. I don’t go overboard with decorations, but I love to add a few things here and there around the house.

Outside:

I change my garden flag with the seasons, and the heart door hanger is one of my favorites!

I add this simple X O X O banner to the mantle every year.

It’s a cute little festive touch along with the wooden love sign.

The Hershey Kisses don’t last long in our house, but I refill the heart jar a few times. My friend made me the wooden heart sign a few years ago, and the conversation hearts are another family fave in the pink bowl.

The gold X O X O and white ceramic heart are TJ Maxx finds from a few years ago.

That’s about it for the Valentine’s Day decor.

Mix, Match, Move Things Around

Mid-September is when I put up fall decor followed by Christmas decorations. Every January I try to remember where my regular decorations go! I even take pictures, but then fail to look at them. I do kind of like moving things around until everything is “just right.”

I’ve tried to use what I have rather than purchase new when decorating. I’ve seen some decorate with a wooden tray to hold their cooking utensils. My friend gave us this personalized cutting board for our tenth wedding wedding anniversary in 2015. I use it often for charcuterie, but I thought it was the perfect touch for this corner of my kitchen.

I’ve had the “T” and “J” for years, and moved them to this little corner of our built in. Usually, I have a candle there, but decided I wanted these on display for now.

I also like changing out this frame of the kids. Usually, it includes a precious photo of them at the beach a few years ago. That being said, I will rotate seasonal photos as well to freshen up the frame.

If I buy something, even an inexpensive piece, I try to use it for a variety of seasons. I bought these these metal risers at Hobby Lobby in the fall, and have already used them to hold pumpkins and pinecones. I moved them to mantle and found these topiaries at TJ Maxx. I love the pop of green with spring right around the corner.

Lastly, I’m about to play “musical” wall art with a few pieces. I’ve had a family photo on this wall for years, but wanted something a little bigger for the space. This wooden arch has been on a wall in our office, and I’ve just propped it on our entry table for now. I actually purchased another one (on the half off week), and may hang both together somewhere. I need Travis for hanging things…otherwise, we end up with lots of holes in the wall!

I’m happy with how everything is put back together now that the big holidays are are over. I always feel better once I declutter after the first of the year, and I always feel like the house looks so much brighter once I get everything back in the right place.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites. In the meantime, I’m going to hunker down at home.

The governor declared a state of emergency, and this was Trader Joe’s last night:

No bread, no dairy, no produce, no freezer items, oh my!

Stay warm and cozy,