Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! Today, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings series.

This month’s topic is Valentines/Love.

Let me just say that I like Valentine’s Day, but it’s certainly not a holiday that I feel deserves the hype that it gets. It’s a commercialized holiday, and I feel that you should show the ones you love your love all 365 days of the year.

Of course, I’ve been blessed to have had the same Valentine for almost 20 years, but I guess I didn’t start making a big deal about V Day until I had kids. Now, it’s an extra day where I focus on them, make them a good breakfast, and buy them a few gifts.

Showing Love/Love Language:

I think I show my love by writing notes. I also love receiving notes, so I guess I assume others like them too. I also love cooking and baking for others to show my love as well.

Now, as far as the five love languages go, I think my language must be “Acts of Service,” because I love nothing more than someone else unloading the dishwasher or making the bed. πŸ˜‚

Valentine’s Day Traditions:

As far as traditions are concerned, Travis and I usually find a time sometime around Valentine’s Day to go out to dinner. That’s typically our gift to one another because we often don’t have time to go out when it’s just the two of us.

Since I love receiving cards, that’s a part of the deal too. A card is all I need.

Once the kids were old enough to understand Valentine’s Day, I started making them a nice breakfast on February 14th and buying them a few things, so that’s one of our traditions.

Ever since the kids were little, I’ve ordered Valentine’s Day cards from Shutterfly to send to family.

This post reminds me that I need to order our 2021 card!

Here’s last year’s card:

{front}

{back}

Valentine’s Day Memory:

I don’t have any memories that stick out to me. I do remember loving Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school. It was always fun to make our Valentine’s Day card boxes, give cards to classmates, and enjoy tons of candy and cupcakes!

The kids love their Valentine’s Day parties as well. I know some of the excitement wanes as they get into the upper elementary grades, but I still hate that they are missing out on their last Valentine’s Day party of elementary school.

For laughs, here are the boxes they made last year:

Hadley loves details, and Hayden takes a simpler approach!

Through the years, Travis has upped his card game, and always writes my name in bubble letters. πŸ˜†

Valentine’s Day Treat:

The past few years, I’ve ordered cookies from local small businesses for the kids and Travis to share.

Valentine’s Day Fashion:

Well, since they were little, I’ve had Hayden and Hadley wear some kind of heart or red/white clothing for their Valentine’s Day parties.

Here are a couple pics from years past!

{2011}

{2015}

{2016}

I’ve already shared this in pervious posts, but Hadley loves her new Valentine’s Day sweatshirt that I got her this year from MelandMae on Etsy.

Valentine’s Day: Love, Like, or Hard Pass?

I like Valentine’s Day. I enjoy creating a special day for the kids and for Travis.

Romantic Song:

Someone Like You was our wedding song, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Dine out, Carry out or Cook?

Like I said before, Travis and I usually go out to dinner around Valentine’s Day.

Last year, Valentine’s Day was on a Friday, so I actually made dinner at home for everyone. I used a few of our house decorations to make a cute centerpiece, and I ordered paper hearts, plates, napkins, and straws from Amazon.

I also ordered the cardstock hearts, and I wrote each person’s name on one as a place card.

**I kept the extra plates, napkins, straws, hearts, and place cards in a tub, so I can use them again this year.

Pink or Red?

I think I’m more of a pink girl…or rose gold!

Flowers or Chocolate?

Both?! haha I do love flowers and the little boxes of chocolate are just perfect to satisfy my sweet tooth!

So, those are my thoughts on Valentine’s Day! I’m glad it falls on a weekend again this year. Maybe we’ll have a special Valentine’s Day brunch!!

Here are the topics Patty and Holly have thought of for Monthly Musings 2021.

Weekly Recap:

This has been a doozy of a week. I’ve been pretty tired and busy with school and the kids’ activities. So, I think I’m going to take tomorrow off from blogging.

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one:

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! It’s the last Thursday of the month (How is that even possible?), so I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings link up.

This month’s topic is Halloween and Fall.

Favorite Fall Tradition:

Hands down my favorite fall tradition is going to the pumpkin patch. When the kids were little, they’d run around and play. We always snap a few photos, pick out our pumpkins to carve, and bring home lots of apple cider donuts! My fave.

Pumpkin patch through the years…
Last year at the pumpkin patch!

Favorite Halloween Tradition:

My favorite Halloween tradition is getting together with friends, trick-or-treating, and having dinner while the kids sort all their candy! We’ve been getting together with the same core group of friends for about ten years! Through the years, we’ve added some more friends and neighbors to the mix. We always have so much fun.

lifelong friends

Halloween this Year:

This year, hopefully Halloween will look quite similar. While scrolling Facebook, I saw a post that the CDC put out their recommended guidelines, but I haven’t read the article.

So far, Halloween hasn’t been cancelled. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Favorite Fall Recipe:

My favorite fall recipe is Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta. I got the recipe years ago from a Kroger coupon packet. I think I’m going to make it next week!

Last year, due to weather, trick-or-treating was moved from Thursday to Saturday afternoon. Usually, we’d have our friends over and have chili (which we did on the Saturday night). Since we were home for Thursday night Halloween dinner last year, I made a quick and easy “spooky” dinner for the kids after seeing Andrea share about her Halloween dinner for her family.

My kids loved this! I’ll need to remember to do it one night leading up to Halloween this year.

Favorite Fall Fashion Staples:

I love fall weather. You’ll most likely find me wearing a light-weight sweatshirt with shorts or a turtleneck sweater with leggings. Those are my fall staples for sure!

Using this pic again! Used it in yesterday’s post too πŸ˜‚

Favorite Halloween Costume:

I’ll admit that I’m not big on Halloween dress up as an adult…but Halloween costumes for my kids are a must (of course!) My favorite costume combo that my twins have worn was in 2013 when they went as Batman and Robin.

I clearly remember Hayden saying he wanted to be Batman…and Hadley very sweetly said, “Well, I’ll be Robin!”❀️

Every time I see this photo, I crack up at her in her mask.

Here are their other costumes through the years! I loved last year when Hayden was a Ghostbuster and Hadley was a nerd. πŸ˜‚

Favorite Halloween Candy:

For me, nothing beats a miniature Snickers bar. I definitely love other chocolate candy like Twix or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Hayden said his favorite candy is peanut M&Ms while Hadley says she loves Tootsie Rolls!

Favorite Family Halloween Movie:

Every year, I DVR It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and we watch it as a family. I love that tradition.

Scary Movies. Yes or No?:

Scary movies are a hard no for me! I don’t need that stress in my life πŸ˜‰

Favorite Fall Beverage:

We all love apple cider in the fall, and I love a glass of Pinot Noir on a cool fall evening.

What are some of your favorite fall traditions and foods? Next month’s topic is Thanksgiving Preview.

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

Posted in Monthly Musings, Travel

Monthly Musings

Hey! Hey! I’m linking up with Holly for this month’s Monthly Musings post all about Summer Vacations & Staycations.

Top 5 Items to Pack:

  • Well, I can’t leave home without my Kindle or a book, so that’s the first thing that popped into my mind!
  • Workout bands. I try to at least workout a couple times while on vacation whether it’s a walk or using my workout bands.
  • Sunglasses. I need to have a pair or two on hand.
  • Face wash, Toner, Moisturizer. I try to keep up some kind of skin care routine even if I don’t do all the steps every morning and night while on vacation.
  • A hat. I always have a ball cap on hand or a beach hat if that’s where we are headed.

One more “must have”…

  • Melatonin – especially if I can’t pack my weighted blanket πŸ˜‚
Pic from my Let’s Look (at what’s in your carry on bag.)

Packing Cubes. Yes or No?

Yes! Packing cubes are life changing for packing. I’ve been using these for a couple of years and love them. I use them to keep my items organized, but I also use them for the kids…especially if they share a suitcase. Besides helping with organization, they do condense what fits in the suitcase. I actually need to buy a few more as I only have two colors and I’d like to have a third for each person to have their own color. Trav is on his own when it comes to packing πŸ˜‰

Warm or Cold Destinations?

I’d probably have to say warm destinations, but that’s because most of our vacations are beach vacations. That being said, I love to visit the mountains in Asheville…especially in the fall when the weather is cooler.

Isle of Palm, SC

Favorite Vacation Destination of All Time:

San Diego/Del Mar is my favorite place to visit.

Lake Tahoe is a solid runner up!

Staycation Tips:

  • Learn to love where you live.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Hike at a park you usually wouldn’t go to.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go for ice cream before dinner (which is something we sometimes do on vacation)

The kids and I visited McConnell Springs Park this summer which was a first for us.

Camping, Glamping, or Uh No?

Travis and I went camping in 2002. He was testing our relationship πŸ˜‚

Last fall, we went glamping in Asheville with our friends. Overall, we had a great time…but I still prefer a cabin in the woods with a cozy fire…and tv…and cell service! πŸ˜‰

How Many States Have You Been To?

I did a quick count, and I actually think I’ve been to 22 states? Of course, some I’m counting like Missouri where I’m from and Kansas where I visit family. One family vacation when I was in high school, we knocked out three states for one vacation: Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Also, places like Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee are near Kentucky and we’ve visited for both day and overnight trips. We’ve been to California a few times, and then places like Florida and South Carolina many times.

Still…22 states blows my mind. Also, while we love the beach and going to places we know, I’m glad that we are purposeful with planning other trips for the kids like our Grand Canyon/AZ/California trip. We try to plan a spring break trip to visit somewhere new…It doesn’t always work out that way, but we try!

Have You Ever Traveled By RV?

I have not, but definitely think it could be a fun way to travel and see many parts of the United States.

Most Random Place You Have Been To?

This one stumps me…I can’t think of anything off the top of my head…

I keep asking myself, “Have I been to an alligator farm?” or “Have I seen the world’s biggest ball of paint?”

and those answers are “no” and “ball of paint is in Indiana.”

I need to branch out more, I guess!

Check out the highlighted tourist attraction in your state with the link below. πŸ˜‚

First Place to Travel to After Pandemic?

If I could hop in a plane and go anywhere at any time, it would be southern California. That being said, we were supposed to spend Spring Break 2020 in New York City with the kids, so that’s where I’d head first whenever it’s safe to travel and sight see.

Vacations are always fun to think about…and I actually love a good staycation too.

Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out Holly’s post as well as other bloggers’ posts who linked up as well.

See you back here tomorrow for What I’ve Been Reading: July.

Posted in Me, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings and 20 Questions

Well, today is a two blog posts in one kind of day. I wanted to link up with Holly for her Monthly Musings post last week, but I already had my Lake Tahoe post planned.

Then, over the weekend, I saw Trista post about her 20 Questions link up, and just thought I’d put both ideas together for one post.

Monthly Musings: Summer Kick Off

Lake or Beach?

I’m definitely a beach person, but I certainly love the lake too. I grew up going to The Lake of the Ozarks, and we sometimes are able to live the lake life in Kentucky every once in a while.

That being said, there’s nothing like an ocean view or a beach sunset. So, if I had to choose, I’d say I’m a beach person.

Ice Tea or Lemonade?

I don’t drink either very often, so it’s probably a tie. Both beverages are very refreshing.

Favorite Summer Vacation Memory:

Well, I just love a vacation with my family. Thankfully, as the years have gone on, going on a vacation with the kids actually now feels like a vacation πŸ˜‰ Anyway, the first thing that popped into my mind was last year’s vacation to Siesta Key because Hadley and I went the first few days just the two of us. Hayden had baseball games, so he and Travis arrived a few days later. Of course, we were happy when the guys arrived, but it was just a nice couple of days with Hadley that I hadn’t planned on when we planned the trip.

Favorite Summer Destination:

Siesta Key, Florida is typically our “go to” spot.

But….we also love South Carolina. Last time we went was fall break 2018, but we usually get to SC every couple of years.

Go To Favorite Summer Fashion Item:

Honestly, if I’m at home, I’m in comfy clothes. That being said, I do like easy, flowy dresses in the summer. I love these two Target dresses…

and I have three different colors of this Amazon dress

Have You Ever Been Water Skiing or Jet Skiing?

I have done both, but it’s been a long time!

Favorite Summer Movie:

Dirty Dancing and Parent Trap were the first movies to pop in my mind! The Parent Trap is my favorite movie of all time. Also, a few years ago, we went to Lake Lure in NC and saw where some of Dirty Dancing was filmed.

Goonies, Grease and Sandlot also remind me of summer.

Song That Makes You Think of Summer:

I’m the worst at knowing songs and who sings what but…School’s Out for the Summer is always played on the last day of school πŸ˜‰ and then Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince) always reminds me of middle school and high school.

Lately, on Instagram Stories, Sunshine and Summertime (Faith Hill), Summertime (Kenny Chesney) pop up as good summer song choices.

Best 4th of July Story:

I don’t have a specific story, but…

I’ve always loved the 4th of July. I remember as a kid spending time with extended family, grilling out, and watching fireworks.

I always wanted to get engaged or get married on the 4th. I thought it would be fun to have sparklers and a few fireworks at the reception. I don’t think I ever told Travis this plan…as we got engaged in May 2004. πŸ˜‰

Fireworks:

We are definitely fireworks on the 4th type of people. I love a good fireworks display and we have a great tradition of where we watch fireworks in Lexington.

20 Questions…

with The Classy Chaos

  • 1. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert …for sure…
  • 2. Favorite movie? The Parent Trap (1961)
  • 3. Arrive early or late? Arrive a few minutes late…but not too late
  • 4. Last book you read? The Simple Wild
  • 5. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving (followed by the 4th of July)
  • 6. Pet peeve? Slurping
  • 7. Food you refuse to eat? Mayo!!!!!
  • 8. Favorite fast food chain? Chick-fil-A
  • 9. How do you keep fit? Well—“keep fit” is misleading πŸ˜‰ I’m forever a work in progress but I like going for walks, Pilates, full body weight workouts, and HIIT workouts
  • 10. Morning person or night owl? Well, I’d say morning person…but I’m a morning person in the sense that I like 45 minutes of silence and not talking to anyone while I sip my coffee.
  • 11. Favorite drink? Coffee (wine and diet coke are close runner ups)
  • 12. Irrational fear? Falling (I hate heights)
  • 13. Go to snack? Cheezits
  • 14. Strongest sense? Hearing. My students (and my kids) are always amazed at what I can hear from across the room.
  • 15. Fictional place you’d like to visit? This one stumped me…I’m not sure.
  • 16. Kindle or actual book? Actual book (but Kindle sure does come in handy!)
  • 17. Last movie you went to see? I honestly think it was Frozen II with Hadley back in December?
  • 18. Favorite season? Autumn!!
  • 19. Beach or mountains? I really want to say a tie! Beach in the summer, mountains in fall.
  • 20. Favorite cereal? Lucky Charms

Whoa! If you made it to the end of this post, you learned a lot about me πŸ˜‰

Thanks so much for reading!