Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Today is Let’s Look!

This is a fun link up with Shay and Erika where we take a peek on an assigned topic for the month!

This year we’ve looked at:

  • January: your bedside table
  • February: your winter wardrobe
  • March: what’s inside your purse
  • April: Easter at your house
  • May: your weekend
  • June: what’s in your carry on bag
  • July: your summer wardrobe
  • August: your desk
  • September: your school pics
  • October: how you pumpkin

This month’s topic is holiday menu. Since it’s November, I’m thinking Shay and Erika meant Thanksgiving menu, so that’s my focus for today’s post.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It always has been. I’ve always loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade even as a kid. Also, there’s no stress of buying presents, and the Thanksgiving offers the best food you’ll eat all year!

I saw this graphic on Twitter recently, and thought it went perfectly with today’s topic. I’m from Missouri, and yes, I love all the carbs…including rolls. Kentucky’s most popular side is apparently broccoli casserole which would not be my vote for favorite side. #hardpassforme

We usually are in KC with family for Thanksgiving, and my cousin always out does herself with the table scape and decor.

And…there are always sweet little touches like these personalized chocolate turkeys.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always spent with my dad’s side of the family. Even now, when I go home, we still celebrate with that side of the family.

One Thanksgiving my dad visited us here, and my sister-in-law and I made the turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. It was quite a successful Thanksgiving, but it confirmed what I already knew….hosting a holiday is hard work!

For a couple of Thanksgivings we’ve gone to Trav’s side of the family in Elizabethtown, and the food is great there too.

We are now kind of on an every other year rotation with staying home or going to KC. We’ll be home this year, and I’m not exactly sure what our plans will be.

Thanksgiving Menu:

No matter where we are celebrating, the menu seems to be mostly the same:

  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Green beans or green bean casserole
  • Hash brown casserole
  • Cornbread casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Mac and cheese
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin pie + other pies for dessert

Turkey Soup:

For a tradition with my mom, we typically make a turkey soup with the recipe that I’ve had for years…. We got the recipe from my high school boy friend’s dad probably back in 1998(ish). 😅The relationship didn’t last but the soup tradition continues! 😂

It’s one of the best ways to use the leftover turkey, and I’ve even made it with chicken at other points in the year.

Ingredients:
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 4 cans water
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. shredded carrots
  • 2 c. uncooked rice + a little bit more
  • leftover shredded turkey
  • Creole spice (I usually have the Tony Chachere brand)
Instructions:
  • Saute the chopped onions in some oil.
  • Add in soups + cans of water and heat for a few minutes.
  • Add in the the turkey and shredded carrots. Stir to combine.
  • Pour in 2 cups of rice, and I add in a little bit more rice.
  • Top the ingredients with Creole spice plus a bit more. Stir.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

I make this soup every year whether I’m in KY or in KC. It’s definitely one of my favorite turkey day traditions.

Next month’s topic is Let’s Look at your Christmas cards!

I can’t believe that next month’s post will be the last Let’s Look for 2020!

As always, thanks so much for reading. I truly do appreciate it!

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts, and I will see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Take care,

Posted in Holidays, Home Decor, Let's look

Let’s Look

Today is Let’s Look!

The second Wednesday of each month, Erika and Shay host this link up, and it’s a fun way to get a peek at different aspects of our lives.

So far this year, we’ve looked at:

  • January: your bedside table
  • February: your winter wardrobe
  • March: what’s inside your purse
  • April: Easter at your house
  • May: your weekend
  • June: what’s in your carry on bag
  • July: your summer wardrobe
  • August: your desk
  • September: your school pics

This month’s topic is how you “pumpkin.” Well, we don’t mess around when it comes to pumpkins. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, fall is my favorite season, and I especially love the month of October.

Here’s a peek at how we “pumpkin.”

Food and Drinks:

Once October hits, I add a dash of pumpkin spice to my creamer and coffee. It definitely hits the spot on a cool morning.

We love the Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta recipe that I got off the back of a Kroger coupon pack many years ago. I make it a few times during the fall season.

The kids, with the help of my mom and my Gma, made the first pumpkin pie of the season a couple of weekends ago. I hope to make another one soon.

A new recipe we tried this year was Andrea’s Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. So good, and definitely a family favorite!

Decorations:

I’ve shared about the fall decor at our house. I think I love fall decorations better than Christmas ones because we get to enjoy them a bit more.

Pumpkins everywhere you turn!

Trader Joe’s came in clutch this year for my porch pumpkins because my regular place had hardly any of the fun fantasy pumpkins to choose from when I stopped by in mid-September.

Fall front porch, y’all.

Pumpkin Patch:

As I shared in yesterday’s post, going to the pumpkin patch is a family tradition. We were able to go last Friday to pick out our carving pumpkins, get some apple cider donuts, and enjoy the lovely fall weather.

Pumpkin patch pics through the years…

2019:

2020:

Homer:

We can’t leave Homer out of the fall fun…I’ve purchased him a banana the past two fall seasons. He tolerates wearing them for a bit.

2019:

2020:

2020

And…

Another family tradition for us is to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown together as a family. I need to be on the lookout this year for it, so I can record it for some forced family fun! 😉

Next month’s topic is Let’s Look at your holiday menu!

Thanks so much for reading this fun (for me!) post.

I’m going to take a little blogging break, but I hope to be back with a new post the beginning of next week or so.

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Have a great day.

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look: Your School Pics

I can’t believe it’s already the second Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for Let’s Look.

So far this year, we’ve looked at:

  • January: your bedside table
  • February: your winter wardrobe
  • March: what’s inside your purse
  • April: Easter at your house
  • May: your weekend
  • June: what’s in your carry on bag
  • July: your summer wardrobe
  • August: your desk

**I must have skipped March and July.

This month’s topic is: Let’s Look at …your school pics!

Of course, I immediately thought of my own kids’ school pics! Those are easy to find because I have a “Twice as Nice” frame on my bedside table which holds each year’s updated pic.

My kids know that on picture day, I’d like to have them look presentable and cute ;)…which basically means I’m asking Hayden to wear a shirt with no words or sports figures on it!

Each year, I’m always so pleased with their photos. It’s a fun surprise to open the envelope to see how they turn out! In 1st grade, the company the district uses started giving background options. So, they take one photo, but then have basic backgrounds as well as school related backgrounds from which to choose.

Here are their photos:

Kindergarten

Toothless photos are my fave!

1st grade

I clearly remember when Hayden saw his 1st grade photos, he said, “Mom, I look like the President!” (#flaginthebackground)

2nd grade

Second grade cuties!

3rd grade

Looking so big in the 3rd grade…especially Hayden with his glasses!

4th grade

I love the 4th grade photos so much…Both of them chose their outfits…and Hadley was really into the side ponytail last year!

Of course, this stroll down memory lane has me wondering about school pics this year. Hopefully, we’ll get back in the building at some point and get a keepsake for this year.

Blast from my past:

Of course, I know some will post photos of their own school pics…so I figured why not. I texted my mom to ask if she had any of my photos handy, and about 30 seconds later she replied with one photo of lots of school pics. I even replied, “Well, that was quick.” She so happened to be at my Gma’s who was sorting through photos at the time.

Anyway, the quickest way to humble yourself is to look at your 1988 permed hair 🤣

O. M. G.

I showed these to Hadley, and she said I look the most like the bottom row, peach cardigan photo. I think that was 8th or 9th grade. At least she didn’t say I still look like top row right… 😉 I think I look like little orphan Annie!

An of course, I had to share my 1998 senior photos! My mom gave me the trifold display of these a year or so ago. It now collects dust on a shelf in storage in my basement.

Listen, y’all, overalls were very in style …at least in Missouri!…and I’m guessing my suit was purchased at 5-7-9 in the mall! And…I’m sure I spent too much time trying to get those wispy bangs just right!

So, there’s a look at our school pics! Next month’s topic is: How You Pumpkin.

Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Let's look, School

Let’s Look: Your Desk

Hello! How’s your week going? I’m getting in the back to school groove myself this week (in a very 2020 way!) Y’all, today should have been the first day of school. Real talk: Hayden and Hadley aren’t mad about having a couple extra weeks of summer 😉

It’s the second Wednesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for their Let’s Look series.

So far this year, we’ve looked at…

  • January: your bed side table.
  • February: your winter wardrobe.
  • March: what’s inside your purse.
  • April: Easter at your house.
  • May: your weekend.
  • June: what’s in your carry on bag.
  • July: your summer wardrobe.

**I must have skipped March and July.

The topic for August is, Let’s Look: at your desk.

Of course, my first thought is my desk at school. On my desk at school, I have:

  • Files and folders with school info, lesson plans, committee notes, and more.
  • Desk calendar: My lifeline. 😉 I have appointment and meeting dates and times as well as things I need to remember to complete.
  • Supplies: Tape, stapler, paperclips, binder clips, scissors, and more.
  • MU pencil holder: This used to be my brother’s (I think!) and I’ve had it on my desk for many years. It’s where I usually keep extra pencils for when a student needs one.
  • Family photos: I like school to feel like home, so of course, I add a few pics of my loved ones. (Fun fact: that smaller photo of Travis has been on my desk for all 18 (this is year 19!) years of my educational career!)
  • Books: I keep a couple of my favorite books that I reference from time to time on my desk.
  • Inside my desk: I keep more supplies in my top desk drawers like: pens, my favorite Paper Mate felt tip pens, my hall passes, notecards with student names for easy group sorting or calling on students at random, sticky notes, Expo markers and more. In my larger drawer, I keep file folders with school and student information.

2020 at Home Desk:

Well, I’m going to be working from home 2-3 days a week, so I needed an at home desk situation.

We actually have a desk in our “office,” but it’s where we keep Trav’s work computer and the kids’ schoolwork and laptops. So, I try to move out the way and set up my own space.

When I sprawl out at the kitchen table, I have:

  • My laptop: of course, I need my laptop most of the day to check and respond to emails, complete work tasks, and engage in Zoom calls.
  • Pad of paper: I love colorful notebook paper. I usually use my blue one for meetings and notes and my pink one for my to do list or casual notes.
  • Paper Mate felt tip markers: I use the markers daily in my lesson plan book and for taking notes and writing down ideas and to do lists!
  • Pencils: I prefer to write in my lesson plan book in pencil (besides dates and appointments)
  • Sticky notes: These come in handy for quick to do lists. Once I have a longer list of tasks, I usually break those tasks down onto sticky notes for morning and afternoon.
  • Lesson plan book: As an interventionist, I don’t have my usual schedule of English 1 and English 2, but I still use a lesson plan book to keep a schedule of what students I need to work with, which teachers I need to contact, meeting dates, and my own kids’ activities.
  • Coffee mug: (or something to drink). Coffee in the morning and water in the afternoon. Maybe a Diet Coke as a treat!
  • Glasses: if my tired eyes need them.
  • Pictures: Like at school, I figure a few pics help my space feel more homey…even at home! (I probably won’t put the pics out every day, but it makes the space feel more official ) 🙂

I was able to unpack my room at school this week which always makes me feel better about the start of school. I sure hope I get to use it soon!

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts. Next month’s topic is Let’s Look at Your School Pics.

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day.

Posted in Let's look, Travel

Let’s Look: Your Carry on Bag

Last week, Shay and Erika hosted their montly Let’s Look link up. The topic was “your carry on bag.” I believe the topic changed, and I wasn’t able to link up anyway, but thought of the original topic as I unpacked my carry on bag this weekend. So, I thought I’d share that…

Y’all, I’m a chronic over-packer. Driving, flying, being gone for one night or seven, I over-pack. I’m not sure why. I’ve tried to work on it. Sometimes, my thought is if I’m driving and bringing a suitcase, why not just bring the biggest suitcase I have? Also, I hate packing. For being “Type A” and pretty organized, I wait until the last minute to pack. I’ve been using packing cubes for a couple of years, and those keep my items organized and condensed but that’s once I get to actually packing. haha

The point of telling you how I pack is that my carry on usually gets some of the leftovers. Also, items that may weigh down my suitcase are also perfect candidates for my carry on bag. For example, my tennis shoes, my Revlon hair dryer brush, or books would be items that I’d possibly throw in my carry on bags whether I’m driving or flying anywhere. If I’m driving and know we’ll make a pit stop, I will also throw in my pjs and few products like face wash and moisturizer.

Anyway, here’s a glimpse of my most recent carry on situation.

I’ve had this bag for about four years; I found it at Target. What I love about it is that it can unzip to expand. I always keep it zipped while I fill up the bag thinking I won’t have to unzip it #sillyme, but then I eventually unzip it for my space if needed.

Ball caps or beach hats usually go in my carry on. This way, the beach hat doesn’t get squished in the suitcase, but the ball caps also come in handy if I just need one because my hair is looking sad after traveling. My sunglasses usually go in my carry on or purse as well just so that I can easily keep up with them.

I keep all my necessary cords and chargers in a baggie. I also include my Kindle and carrying case in the carry on as well for easy access.

This little zip pouch includes band aids, aspirin, Chapstick, cleansing wipes for Hayden’s glasses, etc. Hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes were a travel companion even before Covid 19.

I read a lot on my Kindle, especially when traveling, but I also bring a few books. Sometimes I read one book on my Kindle while reading another hardback book.

I also pack some of my favorites in my carry on like my favorite coffee mug and slippers. I just think about my suitcase getting lost and losing some of my favorite things. Not that I want my suitcase full of clothes to get lost, but the extra items can easily fit in my carry on.

So that’s a little peek at my travel carry on. What are some things you include in your bag when you travel?

Next month’s topic is Let’s Look: Your Summer Wardrobe. I believe they ladies said they are doing that post a bit early and moving it to July 1.

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look: Your Weekend

Hello and Happy Wednesday. It’s the second Wednesday of the month, so it’s time for Shay and Erika’s fun Let’s Look link up. This month’s topic is Let’s Look at Your Weekend. I remember when I wrote my April Let’s Look post about Easter at My House, I wondered if, in May, weekends would still look like the week days….And…I guess they do…(minus the distance learning!).

An average Friday in the spring would have me running a couple of errands after school, going out to eat for dinner (or getting carryout), enjoying a glass of wine, and settling in for the weekend.

Most Saturdays would include neighbor kids playing, a baseball game or two…

dance for Hadley…

Meal planning and placing a Clicklist order for the week’s groceries…

followed by dinner out and some time on our patio…and maybe even hanging out with our neighbors. #Imissmyneighbors

Sunday would start with church, followed by grocery pickup, household chores and laundry…

and if time allowed, (and no baseball games) a trip to the pool (in late May-early September)

After the pool, we’d come home for dinner, showers, and prepping for the week ahead.

Weekends during social distancing/quarantine include some of the same. Of course, kids’ activities are put on hold, and I don’t run errands like I used to…but…

My people still need to eat, and thankfully Clicklist seems to now be at a reasonable turn around time! We are supporting local restaurants and picking up carry out, rather than eating there, on Friday and Saturday evenings.

While it’s not the same, Hayden and Travis play ball in the backyard while Hadley takes a few online dance classes a week.

Now, I have more time to watch some of the shows that have been on my list to watch like Little Fires Everywhere as well as other shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV.

I have a bit more time to read…although, for some reason, I’ve been watching more shows recently…

We have made time for weekly (or more!) family bike rides.

I’m continuing to make an effort to workout almost daily. In some regards, I was better at working out when I had to plan every second of my day. I’m not always as successful when I think I can get the workout in at any time.

I still do better if I can knock my workout out early, and now “early” can be 7:30 rather than 5:30 am. I’ve seen some discussion on how seeing the sunshine and getting some Vitamin D in the first 30 minutes of your day can help your mood and mental health. I’ve made a goal to walk every weekday morning from now until the end of the month/school year. Monday and Tuesday mornings this week, I had over 4,500 steps before 8:00 am and then still got in my regular workout for the day.

Yes, I still love my ear buds. I’m the last person on Earth who doesn’t own air pods.

We’ve had more time for house projects such as the master bedroom refresh…

and the sunroom update 2.0 with new furniture.

And, Travis, who does love to do yard work, has had the kids helping him mulch and plant flowers. With sports on hold, the kids are very available to help him with yard work…which they are super pumped about 😉

So while our action packed weekends seem to be a thing of the past for now, we’ve definitely gotten the feel for a slower paced weekend. We spend time as a family, we cross some things off our to do lists, we support our local restaurants, we enjoy the fresh air, and we find the time to do some of the things we don’t have time for when we are scheduled hour by hour even on the weekends. (Y’all, we also find the need to spend some quiet time apart as we are around each other so much…sometimes we need a break!)

Of course, laundry stops for no one and nothing…so it continues to be a constant in our my life too! Interestingly, for not leaving the house, Hadley has way too many dirty clothes and Hayden doesn’t have nearly enough!

There’s a peek at our weekends past and weekends present. I have a feeling we will be back to being over-scheduled before we know it, so I guess we should enjoy this slower paced time right now.

In June, we’ll look at your carry on bag.

Here’s a recap of my previous Let’s Look posts for 2020.

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look – Easter at Your House

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.

2010 is just the sweetest. First Easter (and they shared their candy with me!)
2011, 2012, 2013 (Sunglasses were all the rage then), 2014 (Hayden should be smiling bigger because it must have been warm enough for him to wear shorts!)
2015, 2016, 2017 (Poor Hayden was sick—we took the pic before Hadley had Travis left for family Easter), 2018 – braces 🙂
Easter 2019

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.

Pancake breakfast and egg hunt at church with cousins last year.

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!)

Last year, Hadley wrote EB a note!

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!

Cousin time!

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.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Clothes, Let's look

Let’s Look

Y’all, we’ve made it to Wednesday. It’s the second Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for this month’s Let’s Look.

This month’s focus is Let’s Look: Your Winter Wardrobe.

Well, until last week, it really hasn’t felt much like winter. Also, after the holidays, I eased up on spending money, so some of the clothes that I’m wearing on the regular are ones that I’ve already posted about. I thought I’d still share because I am still loving these “Winter Wardrobe” pieces.

The Zella Half Zip is a fave…I wear it going to the gym, with jeans, and I’ve even worn it to school with black pants. The one I have appears to be sold out, but this option looks quite similar and just as comfy!

I’m still loving the Longline Turtleneck sweater (I have it in pink and in gray) as well as the Thread and Supply Wubby Fleece Pullover. I have it in charcoal, but it also comes in a “milk” color.

Since we’ve had a pretty mild winter, I’ve gotten so much use out of my lighter weight coat that I bought in the summer during the Nordstrom sale. Again, this seems to be sold out, but I’m sharing because hitting up the Nordstrom summer sale for winter items always feels a bit odd…but I’m so glad I bought this Quilted Utility Jacket. It was regularly priced at close to $90 (I believe), but I got it for $60. I’ve worn it almost daily during the fall and this mild winter. My favorite part is the front two pockets—perfect for sticking my car keys and my phone in them if I don’t want to drag my purse place to place.

So, I’ve read Mallory’s Style Your Senses blog for quite some time (and I also follow her on Instagram as well). About a year ago, she started her Shop Style Your Senses shop. Business must be booming because after a few months, she moved from her home office to a warehouse…and then just recently shared that she now has an app for the the store. I’ve ordered a few dresses from her shop this past summer and loved them. Recently, she posted so many cute athleisure wear options…I snagged the Heather Gray Crew Neck Pullover, and I love it. I wore it a few days in a row last week. I also recently purchased these earrings and wear them daily! I know you’ll find something you love from her shop!

Speaking of winter wardrobe, it finally snowed in Kentucky last week. It was a pretty three inch snow. We were already out of school due to low attendance because of the flu, but since there was snow on the ground, I made my traditional snowman pancakes for the kids’ breakfast on Friday. We always have pancake mix on hand, and I tend to have the other ingredients in the kitchen because Hayden loves a side of bacon (the microwave kind!) with everything, and we are always fully stocked with mini marshmallows for Hadley to add to her daily hot chocolate. #theyliveablessedlife Also, #momhack but I often make more pancakes than we need and either put the leftovers in the fridge or the freezer for future breakfasts.

After pancakes, it was only a matter of time for me to get in my cardio (AKA helping the kids get on their winter weather gear!) They received new snow bibs for Christmas from their Gma. I was afraid they wouldn’t get to use them this year. Thankfully, we tend to be on a mostly every other year rotation–this year snow bibs, next year they will probably need boots, etc.

The kids lasted outside for quite some time with their friends!

Homer loved the snow! I guess he is part Husky. He had lots of fun running laps around the backyard! He enjoyed his first real snowfall!

About a minute after I took this photo, he snagged my slipper right off my foot and ran around the backyard with it for a few minutes #baddog

Next month’s Let’s Look is about the inside of your purse! Good, that gives me a month to get my purse organized! haha

Make sure to check out Shay and Erika’s posts as well!

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Home Decor, Let's look

Let’s Look

I always love the Let’s Look link up with Shay and Erika because it’s always fun to get a sneak peek into other people’s lives. For the first Let’s Look of 2020, it’s a peek at your bedside table.

I try to keep my bedside table tidy, but our master bedroom is pretty small, and there’s only a bedside table on my side. So, that means my things (books, phone, framed photos) as well as other items like coasters and tv remote occasionally pile up.

The Last House Guest and Meg & Jo are what I hope to read next.

It’s no secret that I love to read, so I usually have a couple of magazines and books as well as my Kindle on my bedside table. Every morning, I put my Kindle back in my purse for the day in case I have a free moment to read.

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give in hardback and A Woman is No Man on my Kindle.

I also have two picture frames on my bedside table that have been there for years and years. I have one of our wedding photos that’s almost 15 years old! I remember when the photographer told us to pose like we are, she said, “This pose will feel awkward and cheesy, but it’s always a great photo.” And…she was right! It’s always been one of my faves.

The other picture frame is a Twice as Nice frame that someone gave us at one of our baby showers over 10 years ago. Each year, I put the kids’ school pictures in it. I just updated the pics recently, and it’s always a fun walk down memory lane seeing pictures from when they were babies until now.

Books/Kindle, 4th grade school pics, and a framed wedding photo

I try to keep the bedside table tidy by putting the remote, coaster, and my ChapStick in the top drawer until needed. That being said, the two big drawers are a hot mess of pictures, kids’ artwork, cards, etc… Like many things in life…looks can be deceiving. Nice and tidy on the outside. Disaster on the inside. haha

Next month’s Let’s Look is about your winter wardrobe. I’m actually going to post a few faves in Friday’s upcoming post.

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts and have a great Wednesday.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Holidays, Kids, Let's look

Let’s Look: Birthday Parties- Part 1

This month’s Let’s Look is about entertaining ideas. Well, I just entertained twelve 4th graders last Friday for Hayden and Hadley’s upcoming 10th birthday….So…I thought I’d focus on that! haha

I still have one week to get used to the idea, but the twins are about to be 10…which I can’t even wrap my brain around. Where has the time gone?

I’ve always been big on birthdays, and I’ve always joked that my favorite holiday is my birthday (only to be corrected that my birthday is not actually a holiday 😂). So, with the kids, I have always made a big deal about their birthday. That being said, if I had two kids with two different birthdays or even a third kid, I probably wouldn’t have the energy to go all out like I tend to do. But that’s what moms do, right? Whatever makes the kids happy.

Once they turned three, I started hosting two parties….one for their friends and one for family. I just felt bad asking family to hang out at Chuck E Cheese as well as the fact that our house isn’t big, so having many adults and lots of kids, just didn’t seem like an enjoyable idea. Their friend parties vary year to year. With two very social kids (especially Hadley) who are involved in lots of activities, I’ve always had to cap their parties to a few friends. I’ve never been one to invite the whole class especially because they are in different classes…what would I do if 40 kids showed up?! haha.

I even went through a phase for a few years where I made homemade cakes for each of them…but that ship has sailed. Now, we order a cookie cake or ice cream cake and call it a day.

Shockingly, it was Hayden’s idea to have a sleepover, & Hadley wasn’t mad about the idea. Again, I always try to keep the number manageable and 12 kids wasn’t what I had in mind 😂 but the kids, and even Travis can be persuasive…and you know what? It all turned out just fine!

We ordered cookie cakes from Great American Cookie. Hadley chose the cutest cake with three girls in sleeping bags to stick with the sleepover theme. I thought for sure that Hayden would chose a cake with a basketball or soccer ball like usual, but he took one look at the cake with the white dog, and he thought it looked like Homer! They were very decisive about their cake designs.

Real talk: I took these pics before the guests came over. I like to have a little time with them before all the crazy ensues, and, yes…to get the cute non-chaotic pic too. BUT…good thing I did take the pics beforehand because while I went out to get pizza, Homer ate half of the ONE candle and we still can’t find the ZERO candle! Yikes.

Hayden wanted Homer to see a close up of his cake. Homer later took a lick off of the side of the cake while it sat on the counter (pushed back as far as I could push the cake…because we know how Homer can be!)

Kids are easy to please—pizza, chips, Capri Suns, and cookie cakes. I had picked up the T E N candles to use for the family party, and they came in handy as a back up.

After pizza and cake, we went to a local place called The Yard which is an indoor facility for baseball, soccer, and volleyball. I had never been there, but the kids have been there for indoor practices and sports evaluations, so Travis thought of the idea last week. It was a great way for them to burn energy. The girls passed the volleyball around while the boys played soccer. Then, Travis organized a few games of kickball…I was having flashbacks to elementary recess! Then, they all played one more game of soccer before we headed home a little after 9pm.

Fun crew!

Once we got home, the kids opened presents and then the boys went to the basement and the girls stayed upstairs. It must be all the rage to have a spa party in the 4th grade. Per usual, thank goodness for Amazon—nail polish, face masks, and eye masks, and the ladies turned back time and looked like they were 7 again!

Homer was the only boy allowed upstairs after 10 pm!

After the facials, the girls watched a movie while the boys stayed in the basement, ate chips, and watched a movie of the choice. (Pro tip: I put Homer’s bells that he rings to let us know he wants to go outside on the basement door handle…so I could hear the comings and goings of little people if they found themselves headed in the wrong direction!)

The kids were asleep around midnight and slept until almost 8! The girls would have slept longer had the boys not come upstairs. My friend texted me in the morning when I said they were still sleeping. She asked if I tranquilized them. haha…I told her I forgot to have the parents sign the waiver for melatonin! Actually, part of my strategy with the Friday night sleepover (plus taking them to The Yard) was I was hopeful they’d already be tired from the week!

Hadley’s sweet friend woke up as a 10 year old, so of course Hadley said her donut must have a candle!

Donuts, OJ, and apple juice for breakfast.

After breakfast, the girls painted their nails while the boys played football in the front yard…

Then, everyone gathered up their belongings as parents started arriving and I started prepping for the family party later on Saturday.

Overall, I’d say the party was a huge success…no drama, everyone slept at some point, and I think everyone had a good time! I sure hope they have wonderful memories of this sleepover party because it certainly won’t be an annual event! #thethingsyoudoforyourkids #thetwinsturnten

On Friday, I hope to share part two of the birthday celebration (family party!)

Don’t forget to check out Erika and Shay’s Let’s Look. Next month’s topic is Let’s Look At…gift wrapping station. (Not sure how much I will have to offer to that conversation as I am so unorganized when it comes to wrapping…and I don’t have a wrapping station!)

I hope you are having a great week!

Jen

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