Friday, November 20, 2015

Oh Hey, It's Five on Friday: Visits With Santa Link-Up Announcement, New Advent, and a Break!

Happy Friday! This month has gone by so quickly I keep forgetting that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Today is Chris' Thanksgiving potluck at work though, so that was a friendly reminder that feasting is almost upon us. I opted for the random/non-traditional route and I'm sending in biscuits and gravy along with a chocolate peanut butter pie. Think they would notice if a slice was gone?

So, I haven't done a Five on Friday in approximately forever...literally since 2014. Today seemed like the day to get back on the Five horse.

ONE - Visits with Santa, A Photo Link-Up Announcement

It's that time of year when we go visit our favorite jolly fellow in the red suit and we take home festive memories in the form of one of those little candy canes (don't they all hand those out??) and a photo. Aria's first picture with Santa is one of my all time favorite pictures of her ever.

This one, right here.
Visits With Santa 2015
Adorable. If I do say so myself.

So, Jenny, Elizabeth, Sara, Stephanie, Laureen, and I decided to get together to host a link-up where we can all share those photos we get this year of our kids visiting with Santa. I just love seeing these pop up all Christmas long. A place to gather them all together is practically perfect in every way.

The link up opens on December 10th and will run through the end of the year. That way no matter when you visit Santa you will have a chance to share, and if you've already visited and posted about it go ahead and link that up as well. You can also use #visitswithsanta15 on Instagram and Twitter!
Sweet Turtle Soup

I can't wait to see all your Visits With Santa photos!

Two - Link-Up Reminders

If you signed up for the Secret Santa Mommy & Me Book Exchange...don't forget to please send your books to your partner by Monday, Nov. 23rd. It's just around the corner.

Sweet Turtle Soup

Don't forget that the next Teaching Together Blog Hop will be on Thursday, Dec. 3rd. Loving the great posts you all linked up with the previous two! I'll be sitting this one out but you can add your links on any of the other hosts' blogs.

Sweet Turtle Soup

And, if you didn't see yesterday's post Jamie, Elizabeth, Whitney, and I would love for you to share your favorite Christmas dessert recipes on December 3rd. Bonus points for pictures in your tacky sweaters!

Sweet Turtle Soup

Three - Books to Read with Christmas Spirit

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
My favorite time to curl up with a book is right now with the Christmas tree up. There is just something about it that makes reading a book more enjoyable. I'm working my way through The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer right now - and loving it by the way. But, I'd love any recommendations you have for books with a bit more Christmas to them. What should I read next?

Four - New Advent Calendar

Target Advent Calendar
I've had my eye out for an advent calendar for the past few Christmases. But, they were either much too pricey or not what I was looking for. Then I saw Ashley link to this Target one and I had to have it. It's similar to the DIY one I made last year except much sturdier and much smaller. I'm so excited to plan out our advent now, to go along with our book advent...because one advent just isn't enough.

Five - Blog Vacay!

And, lastly I'll be off the blog for the next few days for my annual end of November blog break. I always like to take a few days so that I can really enjoy Thanksgiving and prep for Aria's Birthday and Christmas. I also hope to squeeze in some extra reading time as well. Although that usually doesn't work out as planned with so much going on but perhaps this year it will.

So, I will see you after Thanksgiving...with another link-up announcement because four didn't seem like enough this year!

linking up with:
grab button for Cup of Tea

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters Link-Up Announcement!

Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters Link-Up Announcement!
We're back again this year with another round of Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters!

Jamie, Liz, and myself had so much fun with this link-up last year that we couldn't resist hosting it again this year. I mean just look at those fabulous sweaters above. If that doesn't put a Christmas smile on your face then I don't know what will. And, this year we are lucky enough to have Whitney join in on the fun with us too!

The details of the link-up...

Get in the kitchen and whip up your favorite Christmas desserts. Don't have one? That's okay. Try something new this year. Or, go the semi homemade route and decorate some store bought sugar cookies. Anything goes!

Take lots of pictures to share and if you are up for it, snap a picture of you in a delightfully tacky Christmas sweater showing off your dessert as well. Write up a recipe post so that we can all try it for ourselves, and then come link up with either Jamie, Elizabeth, Whitney, or myself on December 3rd. The link up will open on 6am EST on Dec. 3rd and close just in time for Santa to make his rounds at 11:59pm EST on Christmas Eve. You can also share on Instagram or Twitter with #sweetsandsweaters15.

Don't forget to make a little extra so you can share with Santa!

Not sure if you feel like shopping for a tacky sweater? No problem! Doctor up a sweater you already have, or take a whirl around a second hand shop to see what you can find. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, the point is to have a little Christmas fun with it. But nothing to worry about if you'd rather not, you can absolutely link up just a Christmas dessert recipe - no silly sweater required!

Not sure what dessert to make this year? Try one of these: chocolate chip snowball cookies, cookie dough buckeyes, gingerbread kiss cookies, red velvet sugar cookie bars, eggnog thumbprint cookies, or these super easy vanilla kiss cookies.

Sweet Turtle Soup

We hope to see all of your Christmas treats in two weeks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Aria's 3rd Birthday & Christmas Wish List - Toddler Gifts

3 years old, toddler girl gift ideas
[ 1-a,b,c / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5-a,b,c / 6 / 7-a,b / 8 / 9 ]

1. Books, books, books - You can never have too many books.

2. Magna Doodle - I think Aria would get some good use out of this on our car rides to Disney World.

3. Art supplies - We are big on making the crafts, so art supplies are always welcome.

4. Soccer ball - This is one of the few things I could get Aria to tell me that she wanted for Christmas. Plus, princesses.

5. Cool weather clothes & Pajamas - If you wear it the weather will come, yes? Aria only has a handful of long sleeves and not a single jacket to call her own. I also recently realized she outgrew her pajamas. Size 3T all around.

6. Duplos - It's time to graduate from her Mega Bloks to Duplos.

7. Kitchen Accessories - Aria plays with her kitchen on the daily so some new kitchen accessories would be well loved.

8. Water Pipes - Anything to make bath time more fun. Something tells me that mom would have just as much fun with these as well.

9. Family Games - Christmas is the best time to add a new family game to the collection.

What are you most excited to give your kid(s) this year?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015