Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! It’s a new year with new Let’s Look topics. I’m excited to link up with Shay and Erika for the first Let’s Look of 2 0 2 2 !

This month’s topic is Let’s Look at…how you organize for the new year.

I’m not sure if I’m really any kind of expert on this considering I’m still looking for two pillows that go on my sun room sofa! (*insert all the frustrated emojis, here!*)

Organizing my house:

Step one of organizing for the new year is purge in order to organize my house.

This typically means “all hands on deck” as we move throughout the house and empty closets, toss expired spices, organize the junk drawer, make stacks of books to donate, and so much more.

Last year, I bought this three pack of storage boxes in order to organize my “off season” clothes. Since it finally gets cold after Christmas, I take out my sweaters from these boxes, put them in my closet, and then put my warmer weather clothes in the boxes until late spring. I tried for years to make everything fit in my small closet, and even just using these to move out a few things in the “off season,” does help so much.

Then, it’s time to put away the Christmas decorations. Last year, I bought these storage bags to hold my seasonal pillows. It’s a two pack, and I put fall pillows in one and Christmas pillows in the other one. They are perfect for holding my “regular” throw pillows from September until January.

{looks like these are currently be out of stock?}

Last year is also when I purchased my pencil tree, so I bought these bags. Since I bought another tree this year, I ordered two more. Now, two bags hold the two pencil trees, and the other two bags I use for the kids’ small bedroom trees and our two front porch trees. These bags are definitely life savers for organization.

Storage tubs for Christmas decor and the tree bags are the only things that we store in our attaic. I learned the hard way our first year in this house that the candles should not go up in the attic…they won’t survive the heat of the summer months. Now, I put candles in a smaller storage container with lid and leave them on a shelf in the basement.

Planning Meals:

Not to be cliché’ but January is always the perfect time to get back on track with meal planning. I always search Pinterest for new ideas that will get me excited about cooking. I plan meals throughout the year in order to ensure that we eat mostly at home during the week for dinner and to plan what I need to get to place my Kroger Clicklist order. That being said, I like getting organized with some new recipes to use and meal plan and prep for lunches too as a “fresh” start for the year.

Organizing my life:

Lastly, I always take the time to sit down and write down dates, upcoming practices, activities, to do lists, and even projects that we hope to tackle in the new year. Some of these things I do all year long, but January is always the perfect time to take a look at the upcoming year and plan accordingly.

I’m excited about this link up in 2022! The topics look like so much fun:

How is your week going? We are halfway to the weekend! I can’t wait.

Thanks so much for reading,

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! I love writing posts this time of the year because they are so fun sharing about all things holiday related! Reading about how others spend the holidays, what traditions they have, what they bake, and gift ideas are just so special during the holiday season.

In the spirit of the season, today I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for this month’s Let’s Look.

I haven’t been as consistent with my Let’s Look posts, but this year, I’ve shared:

  • Coffee bars (my favorite coffee mugs) in January
  • Love languages in February
  • The perfect night in for March
  • Outdoor organization (I shared my outdoor space) in May
  • Meal planning in September
  • Thanksgiving menu in November

This month’s topic is favorite traditions.

We have so many traditions, and I always enjoy the extra time with my family during the busy holiday season. I hope my kids look back on their childhood and enjoy the things we did as a family in the spirit of Christmas.

The Christmas tree:

We’ve started going to our favorite nursey to pick out a tree for about six years. We used to always have an artificial tree, but after the last one went kaput, we decided to pick one up every year.

The Christmas Shop is always beautifully decorated and has so many options for great trees.

There’s usually hot apple cider and marshmallows to roast by the fire. The floral arrangements and garland are out of this world. Also, their Santa is the best!

Of course, another tradition is putting the ornaments on the tree. It’s always fun to look back on some of the ones the kids made as well as other sentimental ones. My kids know to look for special ones like our wedding ornament, their first Christmas ornaments, the Santa that my grandpa carved, and my ornament from my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Overby!

It’s always a special few minutes when we hang the ornaments on the tree.

Santa:

We make a point to see Santa every year. This year, I wasn’t sure if we’d see him or not, but there he was right in the middle of Union Station in Kansas City when we were there for Thanksgiving. Start about starting the holiday season off on a good note!

2021

Last year, was the drive by with Santa at our club.

2020

Most years, we see our favorite Santa at the Christmas Shop.

Again, as the kids get older, I guess this is a tradition that may not continue. But, if the opportunity presents itself, I guess you are never too old for a photo with the big guy!

Christmas parties:

Christmas parties are another fun tradition, but they vary year to year. We always try to go to Trav’s work Christmas party. Sometimes we gather with friends or neighbors for get togethers as well. We’ve also done cookie exchanges and favorite things.

We love celebrating with friends and family throughout December.

2021
2017

Baking cookies:

We bake cookies every year. Usually, I just wait until we are out of school, and we bake a few cookies for Santa. We’ll share with neighbors and teachers too.

We typically do a sugar cookie, and then I always make the peanut butter kiss ones, and chocolate peppermint crinkle. Hadley and Hayden both help me, and now can even bake pretty independently on their own.

When we go to KC, we typically bake a few cookies with my mom, Gma, and aunt. Last year, my mom came to visit us, and we baked while she was here.

Holiday Lights:

I’ve shared before about growing up going to lights in the park, and once I moved to Kentucky, Travis and I made it a tradition to go to Southern Lights every year.

We also drive around and check out some of the houses in town that we know are always so festive.

Last year, we went to Mustard Seed Hill, and that was a really great experience too.

Christmas Cards:

We do Christmas cards every year. Hayden’s a big fan of this tradition. #sarcasm

The card is typically just the kids (and Homer!) because no matter how much I try to think we can get a family photo in the fall, it’s very rare to happen.

Thankfully, the kids dressing up and smiling has gotten a little easier through the years. I don’t feel like we get as many cards as we used to, so I know this tradition may be one that doesn’t hold year to year for all, but I truly love checking the mail in December and seeing what family and friends have been up to throughout the year.

2020
2019
2018
2015
2014

A few more traditions:

As far as traditions, we also buy for a couple of Angel tree kids every year. We always try to choose kids who are my kids’ age. You know I love Amazon, but I insist on us going to Target in person to have the kids choose the gifts. It’s such a meaningful experience, and very important to me that my kids understand the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.

I always buy the kids some Christmas pajamas for their birthday, and I love seeing them wear them throughout the winter months.

Another favorite tradition is taking the kids to choose gifts for each other. When they were little, we’d split up in Kid R Us and let them choose. We wouldn’t be in the car for two minutes, and they’d tell each other what they chose.

As the kids have gotten older, we try to find an evening when we can go get the gifts and then go out to dinner. Now, we even split up, and I take Hayden somewhere (like Bath and Body) to get a gift for Hadley while Travis and Hadley go to Dick’s Sporting Goods or a bookstore for Hayden. Then, we’ll meet up for dinner. We usually let the kids exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. It’s so special seeing them enjoy what they chose for each other.

Gift exchange in Christmas pjs

We also love the tradition of Christmas Eve service at church when we are in town to attend.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? I can’t wait to see what others have to share.

See you back here on Friday for this week’s favorites. It will definitely be a festive Friday themed post.

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! How’s your week going? I can’t believe it’s already the second Wednesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for Let’s Look.

I haven’t been as consistent with my Let’s Look posts, but so far this year, I’ve shared:

  • Coffee bars (my favorite coffee mugs) in January
  • Love languages in February
  • The perfect night in for March
  • Outdoor organization (I shared my outdoor space) in May
  • Meal planning in September

This month’s topic is Thanksgiving Menu.

I think I’ve shared in previous posts, but we are typically with family on Thanksgiving which means I’ve rarely had to do much cooking! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because there isn’t the stress of buying presents, the food is delicious, and I love starting my morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

For Thanksgiving, besides seeing family and the great food, I love a good table scape.

My cousin always knocks it out of the park with her holiday decor:

2019
Who doesn’t love a personalized chocolate turkey?

With the 2020 restrictions, last year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with only my brother’s family. So, we didn’t see extended family, but at least we were able to get together with nearby relatives.

My sister-in-law outdid herself as well with the dinner table.

I believe she got the place cards off Etsy, and then everyone had a delicious cookie on their place setting.

The only time I eat the school lunch is when they serve the Thanksgiving menu. It’s always a day to look forward to!

Thanksgiving Menu:

On the big day, we are pretty traditional with our Thanksgiving food:

  • 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 and pecan pie

Last year, we had a friend deep fry the turkey. Then, my sister-in-law and I split up some of the side items. I made sausage dressing for the first time ever, and it was delish.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite fall dessert. I actually plan on making one this weekend! Then, we’ll have one again for Thanksgiving. (Fun fact: I like my pumpkin pie served cold.)

So, that’s a look at our Thanksgiving menu!

Next month’s topic is: favorite traditions. Well, we have many! I can’t wait to share.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving menu item? I’ve seen this graphic shared before, and I’m definitely more Missouri than Kentucky! #givemeallthecarbs

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Let's look, Meals and Recipes

(Let’s Look) Meal Planning

Well, this four day week has apparently gotten me all messed up! I was off on my days and shared my posts on the wrong days (insert hand on forehead emjoi!)

Yesterday, Shay and Erika shared Let’s Look: Meal Planning, and I’m doing so today. #betterlatethannever

I was a girl who always needed a plan before I was ever a working mom with two very busy kids who most definitely needs a plan because…

There are mornings that my kids wake up and ask me what’s for dinner!

Meal Planning:

Here’s a little look at my process:

  • I have a paper calendar on the fridge where I write down all of our weekly activities. I sit down on Saturday night or Sunday to write those activities out and then I plan the meals accordingly.
  • Then, I make my grocery list before placing my Clicklist order. I can’t live without Clicklist. Sometimes, if I can’t figure out what I want to make, Travis just tells me he will go to the store mid-week for whatever we need. I act like I can’t go to the grocery store more than once in a week! 😂 . Honestly, for years, I did Clicklist pick up and that was it. As the kids have gotten busier and I can’t always plan the whole week, I will do grocery pick up on Sunday and then go to the store Thursday if we need something for dinner that night or if they were out of stock on something during my weekend pick up.
  • For me, Clicklist pick up is usually Sunday afternoon. Occasionally, I will do Monday pick up after school. If I do that, sometimes I will run to Kroger for whatever ingredients we need for Sunday night dinner.
  • I do try to cook Monday-Thursday, and my general plan is to make something on Sunday with leftovers for Monday. Mondays just seem to be the hardest day of the week, so I like not having to think about what to make for dinner. Then, Tuesday is either a slow cooker meal or we do rotisserie chicken with Bob Evans mashed potatoes and fruit (That’s what we had for dinner Tuesday night). For Wednesday, I often make a pasta that will make enough leftovers for Thursday night. Both Wednesday and Thursday dinners, I will serve with salad, broccoli, or green beans.
  • Like I said, once we went back to school in March and our lives started to be busier again, I at least plan for Sunday-Wednesday, and then pop into Kroger or Fresh Market for Thursday dinner if needed along with a few fresh items like strawberries or other fruit that we might want for the weekend. I’ve noticed I don’t dread going into the store if I know that it’s only for a few things.

Other Thoughts:

  • It’s easier to double up recipes in winter for things like soups, chili, and casseroles.
  • We grill a lot in the summer which is nice to only have to think about quick side dishes like baked beans, pasta salad, and watermelon.
  • I always forget about breakfast for dinner. We did that recently, and everyone was so excited for dinner.
  • I go to Trader Joe’s every other week or so. I might go once a week in the fall and winter when there are more seasonal faves that we might want more often. There’s not really anything that I buy at Trader Joe’s that I’d also buy at Kroger. For example, I typically get produce at Kroger and not at Trader Joe’s (unless we are out of something at the time). I go to TJ for Trader Joe’s only items like buffalo chicken dip, Chomps, my favorite Havarti/dill cheese, pumpkin bagels, and more!
  • If I can get organized, I prefer grocery pickup on Saturday. I’d love to get to the point where I pick up on Friday after school! I’d really be on top of my life if I could do that!
  • At least once a month, I try to just buy what we need for dinner that week. That forces the kids to finish up whatever chips we have on hand, eat the two yogurts that are left in the fridge, etc.
  • I’m not great about meal prepping for breakfast, but I did make an egg casserole a couple of weeks ago, and it was so nice to have on hand throughout the week. I tend to eat the same kinds of things for lunch or have leftovers from dinner the night before.
  • I do try to make one new recipe a week. I tend to do a really good job of this starting in January. I pin a lot of things on Pinterest and tell myself that if I have the time to do that, then I should make sure to try one new recipe a week.
  • I use my slow cooker at least once a week and even more so in the fall and winter months.
  • I have an Instant Pot and do use it but more so in the fall and winter months. If I had to choose, though, the slow cooker is my favorite!

What about you? How do you meal plan? I really enjoyed reading so many posts yesterday about how others meal plan. It’s amazing to me that those who meal plan/prep do so a bit differently.

I’ll be back tomorrow for Friday Favorites. I’ve lost track of time this week, but I definitely know that tomorrow is Friday!

Posted in Home Decor, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! It’s the second Wednesday of the month, so Shay and Erika are hosting their Let’s Look link up.

  • In January, we looked at our coffee bars (I shared my favorite coffee mugs)
  • In February, we looked at our love languages.
  • In March, we looked at the perfect night in.
  • In April, the topic was: fridge and pantry.

This month’s topics is: outdoor organization.

Well, kind of like when I shared my recent spring cleaning post, I should probably just let Travis write this post. I’m not sure the method to his madness, but he does have our garage and outside area pretty organized.

Today, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share our outdoor spaces.

Warning: photo overload. I will never have to do a yard post ever again 😂

We took this photo on Mother’s Day, and I love it because my Mother’s Day gifts can be seen. The kids and I are so far away that I joked with Travis that he wanted everyone to see the planter boxes he had made for my gift! Every year, I ask for a card and two hanging ferns, but this year, I got the bonus of the beautiful planters and flowers!

Here are the kids picking out my ferns last year:

Mother’s Day 2020

Someone at Trav’s work made the planters.

We also got new cushions for the front porch chairs. The front porch is great for sitting in the afternoon and evening.

I love the button detail on the back cushion, and the accent pillow is my favorite color palette. I found them at the At Home store….and I was lucky to find these because the outdoor section looked like a patio cushion graveyard!

(Do you spy Homer?) 😉

Every spring these pretty bushes bloom, and the flowers smell so pretty. I know nothing about flowers (again, that’s Trav’s expertise), but they are such a pretty surprise each spring.

Every spring, Travis plants New Guinea impatiens in the front. Last year, Hadley helped him!

2020

I have a feeling Travis will fuss at me for showing this area. Every year, he plants something new over here, and this area is just getting started for spring 2021.

In our backyard, we have our fire pit. When we moved in, we had a massive tree in the front yard that was dying, so we had it cut down. We used some of the wood from the trunk for seating around the fire pit.

S’mores roasting last spring…

2020

In June/July the day lilies bloom, and they are so pretty against our fence line.

2016

We try to use our patio as often as possible, and the lights make it feel extra cozy at night.

2019

Travis power washed the patio last weekend. I wish I had taken a “before” photo because the difference is always amazing!

Here it is freshly power washed with flowers and new cushions.

The Japanese Maple is one of my favorite parts of the back yard. The kids climbed on it each time we looked at this house when it was for sale.

They’ve continued to play in it and climb up in through the years…

2015
2016

These green cushions were on our front porch chairs. They are in great condition because our front porch is covered, so we are using them out back now.

While at the At Home store, I picked up the yellow pillows and the riser on the table.

The planters on each side of the loveseat are from Pier One and were on our 2005 wedding registry. They are perfect for the patio.

**We usually put a smaller pot of flowers on the bottom rack of each planter, but last year, Homer snagged the flowers and ran around the yard with them in his mouth! So, the small ones, in the white pots on the table, are going to be a test for Homer 😉

We’ve had this table and chairs since 2004 when we moved into our first home. This set has sat on three patios in the last seventeen years. The are black, and Travis just recently spray painted them to bring them back to life. I kind of rolled my eyes when he said he was going to do that, but they look so great! I can’t believe I forgot that spray paint can fix anything! haha

The seat cushions are new from At Home as well. All of our cushions were at least 5-7 years old, so we’d penciled in replacing them as a “to do” for this spring. Also, the ones before these, were just the seat cushion, and a few had been #homered over the past two summers.

My “home” flower pot is one that I ordered from Etsy last year. I’ve shared the shop in previous posts.

The pots are hand painted and so pretty! We’ve used them as teacher and birthday gifts in the past year.

Speaking of spray paint, this little table was from my childhood backyard. I’ve had it for years, and at one point, I spray painted it green. This year, I wanted to put pots of various sizes and flowers of various colors on it.

Besides peonies, hydrangeas are my favorite flower. We had a hydrangea plant at our last house, and Travis planted another one when we moved into our current house. Also, our hostas get bigger and bigger every year!

I love pink and purple flowers in the spring!

In one week, this will be my view as I sip my morning coffee! I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Next month’s topics is: summer bucket list.

Last summer’s bucket list included: baking, tie dye, vacation, going canoeing, drawing, and golf lessons. I guess I need to get the kids thinking about what they want to do this summer.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and reading today’s post! Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Take care,

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! So far this week, I’ve shared Hello Monday! and Tuesday Talk. Today is Let’s Look Wednesday with Shay and Erika.

  • In January, we looked at our coffee bars (I shared my fave coffee mugs)
  • In February, we looked at our love languages.

Today’s topic is: Let’s Look at the perfect night in.

Winter Months:

I’d say the “perfect night in” may vary based on the season. In late fall and winter, I love to have the fire going in the fire place.

Reading a book is always relaxing for me.

Playing games as a family is something we like to do. Our current fave is Bananagrams.

We will also watch a movie or do a puzzle!

Honestly, with the hustle and bustle of school and activities, just making the time to slow down and do something as a family is always fun. That being said, I also don’t mind a little quiet “me” time to enjoy a glass of wine and finish a show.

I also love cooking, but on a “perfect night in,” I’d rather have carry out with easy clean up afterwards!

Warmer Months:

During the warmer months of spring and summer, it’s fun to sit around with neighbors and chat and enjoy a cold beverage.

Sometimes, we’ll go for a family walk or a bike ride.

On weekend nights, Travis will fire up the grill for steaks, hamburgers, or chicken.

We enjoy sitting on our back patio. Sometimes the kids are running around or the neighbors join us (or we join the neighbors). Other times, Travis and I just hang out for a bit out here and catch up.

We use our backyard fire pit quite a bit to hang out, and we often make s’mores.

So those are just some of the ways we spend a “perfect night in.” What about you?

Next month’s topic is: Let’s Look at…your fridge and pantry. Our pantry is much like our coffee bar…non-existent! haha

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts! I hope you have a great St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! How is your week going so far? Monday was a little rough after going to bed a little later than usual thanks to the Super Bowl. Hayden’s still reeling from the Chiefs’ loss, but his attitude is improving a bit each day!

We have some winter weather on the way, so I’ve front loaded my week with errands and crossing things off my weekly to do list.

Today, Shay and Erika are hosting their monthly Let’s Look link up, and I’m joining in on the fun.

In January, we looked at our coffee bar areas. I don’t have a coffee bar, so I shared a few of my favorite mugs!

Today’s topic is Let’s Look: Love Language.

So, I’ve had this book for years…but haven’t read it. #andtravissighswithrelief

I know the Five Love Languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Well, since one of the love languages isn’t Amazon, I’m guessing Acts of Service is where I’m at in the “Love Language” department.

I guess just with the hustle and bustle of the day, I appreciate when Travis steps in to help with little things like unloading the dishwasher, doing the dishes, and even just bringing the laundry upstairs.

That being said, I love cards. Words of “written” affirmation must be one of my languages as well. I appreciate a sticky note with “have a good day,” and cards on special occasions (or for no reason!)

I don’t think Trav will mind me sharing this story, but I remember after we’d been dating for exactly one month, he bought me a card and just wrote a few words reflecting on our first month together. It was very sweet, and I think that’s when I realized how much a few written words or words of encouragement mean to me.

Travis “upped” his card game and at some point and started writing my name in bubble letters. While he’s no artist, I appreciate the sentiment.

I should probably dive a bit deeper into this love language business, but I’m sure Travis appreciates that I don’t. 😆 ! That being said, I do see the benefit in knowing and understanding your spouse’s emotional needs. Marriage is a journey, and the better you understand your partner, the better it is for everyone.

I still keep hoping Travis will master reading my mind, but until then, I guess I should remind him that acts of service is the way to go!

What’s your love language and how does it compare to your spouse’s language?

Next month’s topic is: perfect night in!

Thanks so much for reading. Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

See you tomorrow for a Three Things post.

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! It’s already the second Wednesday of the month which means that Shay and Erika are hosting their Let’s Look link up.

Let’s Look is a post where bloggers share a peek and their thoughts on a certain topic.

Today’s topic is…Let’s look at your…coffee bar area.

Well, y’all, this is it: This is my coffee bar area. 😂

The cabinet above, holds the coffee and filters…and that’s it.

Cream, No Sugar:

I quit sugar and Splenda years ago. Now, I just add a splash of creamer to the bottom of my coffee mug, pour the coffee, and I don’t even have to stir! Stirring is just to much of an extra step when I’m tired and just need my first sip!

We are basic with our creamers around here. Basically, year round, I use Sugar Free Hazelnut. In the fall, I use that creamer, and add a dash of pumpkin spice (and stir) for more of a fall flavor. Then, in December (and January if I can still find it), I use a splash of Peppermint creamer during those months.

Favorite Mugs:

Since my coffee bar is underwhelming non-existent, I thought I’d share some of my favorite coffee mugs!

Through the years, we’ve collected many mugs and they range from sentimental to funny to practical and more.

My most used mug since this summer is this one from Amazon. I love it so much that I’ve taken it on vacation with me, and I’ve given it to a few friends for birthday presents! I don’t use the lid often as it’s the one I use at home most mornings, but it definitely keeps my coffee warm the longest which is a must!

{Affiliate linked photo}

Here it is this fall with my pumpkin spice concoction.

This mug was a Christmas gift this year, and I use it frequently as well.

Other mugs in the rotation:

My Magnolia mug which I purchased a few years ago, the green mug that my mom brought me back from Ireland, and the “J”mug that a friend gave me as a birthday present a few years ago.

I’ve had the Starbucks KC mug for years, and then my dad gave me the KC Royals handcrafted one after the Royals won the World Series in 2015, and then my mom gave me the KC Chiefs one after last year’s Super Bowl win!

**My Royals mug is chipped, but I still drink out of it occasionally!

My “going back to bed” mug was my take away from a family white elephant exchange, and the “Hey, Y’all” mug was a purchase when we stopped in Paula Deen’s store while in Savannah, GA a couple years ago.

I love my Golden Girls mug…

front and back…

As far as sentimental mugs go, Travis and the kids gave me the “Thank you for being the greatest mom” for Mother’s Day 2020. The mug is black, and when you pour the hot coffee in it, the photo and saying magically appear!

The pink handprint mug from 2015 was the sweetest gift that the kids’ sitter helped them make. It’s seen better days, but I still use it. There’s one with Hayden’s handprint too…but I can’t find it! (Don’t tell him!). I’m wondering if it’s in Trav’s car…he tends to wander off with our mugs!

So, while my coffee bar sitch is lacking, my mug collection is thriving!

Next month’s topic is: Love Language. So interesting! I need to research this one…off the top of my head, I think my love language is “putting the dishes away” and “doing the laundry!” 😆

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts, and thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Holidays, Let's look

Let’s Look: Holiday Cards

It’s Let’s Look Wednesday! This is a fun link up with Shay and Erika where you get a little peek at a certain topic.

In 2020, 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
  • November: your holiday menu

Fun fact: My January Let’s Look post was (I think) my top viewed post of the year. Almost 700 people apparently wanted to check out my bedside table! 😀

This month’s topic is Let’s Look: holiday cards.

Well, my holiday cards haven’t arrived just yet, so I thought I’d share our holiday cards through the years.

Travis and I had some form of Christmas card off and on before we had kids, but once the kids were born, I did a better job of taking and saving photos, cards, and other momentos.

Here’s a little trip down memory lane…

2009:

The kids were barely a month old by the time Christmas rolled around in 2009. So, we combined a Christmas card with their birth announcement. I still have this Christmas storage box, and it sits under the tree each year until I start putting wrapped presents under the tree.

2010:

Well, here are the kids are in 2010, and they barely fit in the Christmas storage box anymore!

They also refused to sit still for the Christmas card photo! I literally remember sweating as I would get one situated, back away to take the photo, and then the other would move! 😅

I couldn’t find the card, but I know we used those pics!

2011:

In 2011, I put them in a laundry basket to sit still for the photo! 😂

Hadley’s signature move at that age was giving all the hugs…in a very “you have no choice but to hug me” way!

We included our dogs, Shiloh and Scout, in the card that year!

2012:

My brother got married in the fall of 2012 which provided the perfect opportunity for some memorable photos. Again, Shiloh and Scout made the cut again to be included on the card and the kids continued to make use of the Christmas storages boxes.

2013:

The card for 2013 was definitely a Pinterest idea, and it wasn’t a fail. I love this pic of Hayden and Hadley. So little and cozy in their jammies.

2014:

Again, for some reason, I can’t find our 2014 Christmas card, but my brother used his fancy camera to take these photos. This was our first Christmas in our current house.

I still have these individual photos framed, and they are in our gallery wall in our kitchen.

So sweet.

2015:

For the 2015 Christmas card, my brother took these photos as well. I remember it was pretty mild weather around Thanksgiving time, so I asked him to take a few photos of the kids.

They turned out so precious…

and the back of the card shows Hadley’s personality perfectly! 😂

2016:

This is another favorite card of mine that we shared with family and friends. You can’t tell from the photo, but Hayden was playing football with friends a few minutes before picture time and ended up with a busted lip! Of course he did! I made sure when I took the photo not to zoom in!

2017:

My brother helped me by taking these photos as well. Man oh man, I remember the kids acting ridiculous while he took some of these photos….especially Hayden. I had to be thankful for whatever good ones he got!

2018:

For fall break 2018, we went to South Carolina. One night before dinner, I told the kids I wanted to take their pictures by the water at sunset. Well, I ended up asking someone to take our family photo, and I couldn’t believe how great it was.

Once December rolled around, I was so happy to have a perfect family photo from one of our favorite places.

And, again, Hayden fell victim to Hadley’s silly and sassy personality…Hadley throwing up the peace sign behind him, and he had no clue.

2019:

The kids didn’t fight me on wearing nice clothes for the 2019 photo if we could bring Homer along for the photo. Well, this time, Homer stole the show! We got a great pic with him and the kids.

Even with Homer, this was one of our easiest photo sessions to date. I snapped a few photos with my phone, and that was all we needed.

2020:

As I previously mentioned, my 2020 cards haven’t arrived yet. I took a few photos of the kids the Friday after Thanksgiving…

…and Homer was invited back again for the photo sesh.

The Henry Clay Estate provided for the perfect place (with perfect weather that day) to take a few pics of the kids for this year’s card.

I can’t get over how big they are getting!

Until this post, I hadn’t realized how many times I’d asked my brother to take the kids’ photos. I should really get him a gift card or something!

Ironically, Trav’s brother is a professional sports photographer, but I don’t want to bug him like I bug my brother!

It’s that time of the year when the “picture perfect” cards start to roll in. Of course, I try to find the most perfect picture too, but I like to include an outtake or two on the back!

Behind every “perfect” photo, there’s usually a stressed out mom handing out bribes for the photo 😂 I’m forever trying to keep it real around here!

When my 2020 cards arrive, I will definitely share those closer to Christmas. I really do love giving and receiving cards. I’d say with all that’s gone on in 2020, I will appreciate receiving those cards more than in previous years. I hope sending Christmas cards is a tradition that never fades.

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

Thanks so much for reading.

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,