Monday, 25 December 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS!




Hope you're all having the Merriest Christmas with your loved ones!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING


We're slowly checking things off our list this holiday!

We've decorated gingerbread houses each year since Ben was a little toddler. And each year it gets more and more fun.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

2017 CHRISTMAS CARDS!



Each year we do our annual family photos in the summer and use them for our Christmas cards we send out to family and friends.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

HOLIDAY PARTIES



Christmas is truly the season for so much Joy and I love celebrating with friends and family! We had a group of friends over for a pot luck dinner this past weekend and the girls and I decorated our dining area with a few simple holiday items.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

STOCKING STUFFERS!

Stockings are my absolute favorite to fill up for Christmas. I always loved opening my stocking on Christmas morning. It wasn't always filled with big gifts, but it had lots of little things I loved to receive!

When Josh and I first got married, we started filling up each other's stockings with some fun little items. They weren't exactly big items, but fun little goodies that showed we were thinking of each other. I've loved doing that with him ever since!
And now 3 children later, I love filling my children's stockings with little treats and activities for them. It's so much fun watching them open it up. I think often the stockings are even more fun than than the bigger gifts.

I always think stockings should have a few new little toys, but also treats and some practical things they are able to use as well. (I'm the girl who even loved receiving lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste in my stocking!)

Here I've put together a little list of things I'll be putting into my own children's stockings and items I've used in past years also.




BOWS (Because, really, can you ever have enough?)
HAIR TIES (These are so perfect because you can use the as bracelets and hair ties when your kids need it.)
NECKLACES (becuase dress up and lookin fancy is so fun!)
BRACELETS (my girls looove bracelets and feel so fancy when they wear them!)
BEADS FOR MAKING NECKLACES (I get mine from the dollar store and then repackage them in a little dish or fun bag. They only cost a few dollars and keep the kids happy for SO long!)
STUFFIES (we have an endless amount already, but the girls love them so much and play with them all the time that I keep getting them! The TY brand are their favorites!
JAMMIES (Christmas jammies are always my favorite! I can never wait that long and always bring them out earlier. Gap is always a favorite. But Carters may have topped them because they make jammies up to size 12 which is perfect for matching for all the kids.)
SOCKS (Adorable animal and holiday socks...need I say more?)
ART SUPPLIES (Pencil crayons, pencils, erases, paints...they love em all!)
COLORING BOOKS (Princesses and animals are their favorites)
STICKER BOOKS
SMALL PLAY FIGURINES (We have a large collection of small princesses already, but they love to mix and match their outfits and offer hours and hours of play time when we are out. They're worth it! We also have My Little Pony and Minnie Mouse that they like too!)
DVD'S (This year we got them Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. We use these for long drives in the car too which is great!)
BOOKS (Books are one of my favorite gifts to give! The girls love to read and look at the pictures.)
HATS/MITTS (We seem to need new hats and mitts each year and I love throwing them in)




I love filling my son's stocking each year and I get to put lots of fun little items in. Ben is so different from the girls and doesn't always need lots of little gifts. But I love spoiling him a bit!

Here's a few items that will be going into the stocking this year! (And some from the past that may give you some good inspiration also!)

LEGO KEYCHAIN ( love adding little keychains - although we are far away from giving him a key to our home, they are perfect for personalizing a school bag on the zipper!)
GIFT CARDS (It always seems like a fun little treat to get some gift cards. He loves to pay when we go out and gets so proud! Some places I know Ben would love to receive cards from are Starbucks, local coffee shops, and Mc Donald's)
SOCKS
HATS/MITTS (Each year we end up with single mitts and so this is the perfect time to grab a few extras. We also usually include snow mitts which they love!)
TRADING CARDS (We are ALL into Pokemon still, so I've rounded a few packs for Ben. But hockey and sports cards would also be great!)
BOOKS (One of my favorite gifts hands down. And Ben loves books so much and can easily read them anytime by himself now also. This year we got him a set of Hardy Boys, Captain Underpants, and Dog Man. For his past birthday we got him a set of Roald Dahl and he read them over and over again all summer long. Those books are amazing if you have a reader at home!)
BALLS (Small bouncy balls and balls that are easy to throw around are always a hit)
ACTIVITY BOOKS (More complex coloring books, crosswords, Word search, color by numbers, Sudoku are always a great idea. They are perfect even to leave in the car for when you need a distraction)
GAMES (This year we got him Sushi Go, as set of Jacks
PLAYING CARDS (Uno, crazy 8's, Go Fish, Rummy...my son loves ALL games and if there's someone who will play with him, he's more than happy to play all day long!)
MAGIC CARD PLAYING CARDS (I saw some for clearance at Michaels and thought that they would be so fun for a boy to learn some fun magic tricks! I hope I don't regret it! Haha)


Sunday, 10 December 2017

GIFT IDEAS FOR BOYS

Buying boy gifts is something that I've been having to learn along the way. Growing up with a sister, I was never exposed to any typical boy toys. So this has been a fun journey for me!

This year we are getting Ben a few gifts as there's no one really 'big' gift he wants.

But he's a boy who loves games, puzzles, challenges and also using his hands. (We also got him a Nintendo system for his birthday, so he really loves that too!)



Here's a list of some great boys gifts that I know my son would approve of!

MARBLE RUN (This looks like so much fun for a boy! I love that it promotes building and problem solving - and so much fun to watch the marble go through the track!)
BOOK BOX SET (Earlier this year we got ben the Roal Dahl box set and he absolutely loved it! This year we're getting him Captain Underpants and Dog Man)
STAR WARS FIGURES (I love these Playskool sets becuase they don't look too realistic, but they have the fun element of what the characters look like.)
MONOPOLY (One of my favorites games to play with Ben becuase it's pretty fun for kids and adults! I love that it helps with thinking stragegies and with math when thinking about the rent and giving change)
CATAN JUNIOR (Ben loves this game - it's really fun collecting resources to build ships and castles)
TRADING CARDS (Ben loves pokemon cards and loves trading with his little friends)
SUSHI GO (We love having sushi out for lunch and dinner and this card game seems like so much fun!)
LEGO (Lego is seriously so timeless - Ben can still play for hours on end)
KEVA (These building blocks are SO great. Ben has spent so many hours building structures and runs...his only complaint is that he needs more. Haha. We're adding a second set this Christmas for him)
STUFFIES (Although Ben doesn't really play with stuffies that much, he still likes to have one or two for sleeping. Bats have been a favorite animal for a while, so this seems perfect!)

GIFT IDEAS FOR GIRLS

I have to admit that I truly love ALL things girly. And having two little girls in our home makes it ever so fun! I'm really excited to share this gift guide of all things for little girls. I know I would loved to have received any of these things when I was younger.

This year we ended up getting the girls one big gift - a Frozen castle dollhouse. It's really really big and I cannot wait to give it to them. They love all things Elsa and Anna (along with all the other princesses) and I know they are going to be so excited. We ended up actually getting ours for a steal on Craigslist, but I've linked it below. (And I really love getting second hand toys that are in good condition. So much less waste and it gets loved for so much longer!)

They are each getting a few smaller gifts as well, but their main gift will be the frozen dollhouse.



FROZEN DOLLHOUSE (I am so excited to gift this to the girls!)
PRINCESSES (We play with these all the time and they have lots of little parts for them to change their outfits and accessories. They are great!)
FROZEN MICROPHONE (Ellie loooooves this microphone and sings with it constantly! It plays 2 songs - Let it go & Summer. If your daughter loves to sing, it's such a great investement!)
PLAYFOOD (The girls play with their toy kitchen ALL the time, and these little add ons are their favorites!)
CALICO CRITTERS (The girls loves these little adorable animals and play with them alot! They have a really sweet vintage look to them and are pretty cute)
CALICO CRITTERS TREEHOUSE
PRETTY DOLLHOUSE (We got this dollhouse for Maddie last year and she loves it.)
WOODEN PETS (These pets have been the biggest hit! They love that the pets can live in the dollhouse with them)
LEGO (My daughters both love Lego and I love that it helps them with their small finger motions. And they love playing with their older brother too!)
BARN AND ANIMALS (Maddie is probably one of the biggest animal lovers I have ever met...and she's been asking for a little barn for SO long! I love that this one is made of wood and it looks very real!)
STUFFIES (We really don't need any more stuffies but they bring so much joy! This year we got them medium size ones and little ones so they can pretend to be a mama and baby animal family. And isnt this little french bulldog SO cute?)
BOOKS (I love getting books and one of Maddies favorites is Gaston. This year we're getting her Antoinette - the little follow up book to Gaston!)
LITTLE PEOPLE HOUSE (Ellie loves Little People and this dollhouse was on sale a few weeks back. I love that it folds up to tuck away and you can use it for travel also!)

If you have any other suggestions for little girls, I'd love to hear!

HAPPY SHOPPING!


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Hosting a cookie exchange!




This past weekend I hosted my first cookie exchange! I invited 8 friends and their daughters over for a fun night of snacking on cookies. The little girls loved tasting all the cookies (my favorites were the ones who took one of each cookie to try...their plates were piled high with cookies!) and had such a fun time playing afterwards.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Planning a Cookie Exchange Party!


Each year I love throwing some sort of Christmas holiday party. Last year we invited some friends from my kids school over and we asked them to bring a gift to donate to our local charity.

This year, I decided to do a cookie exchange party! While I've never hosted or been part of one, I was up for the challenge. We invited 8 ladies and their sweet daughters over to share some delicious treats and exchange some cookies! I thought it would be such a fun way to mingle and take home some delicious baked goodies as well.

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