Archive for December 2017

Decking our Halls

December 22, 2017

Our home is finally ready for Christmas! Better late than never right? It makes me so happy to sit by the glow of the tree in the evenings while we wrap presents and watch Hallmark movies. We completely re-did our living room this fall and have been slowly adding to it, finishing up just in time for the holidays! 

Back in August we painted and changed our walls from a dark brown to a bright white while Jacob was having a sleepover at his grandparents. A few weeks later we swapped our old olive couch for a new slate sectional and got a hand me down console that fit the new room much better. Just a few weeks before thanksgiving we finally got a rug and a coffee table and last week we finally got a shelf and some art up on the walls. Minted has the most amazing art selection (we hung their Pines print on our gallery wall) that it took me forever to choose. I finally picked the Lake View print to tie in the blush and navy tones in our gallery wall and rug. 

One of the first things I did once our shelf was hung was head out in search of fresh garland. It took a few stops but Tree Towne came through for me. Even better our garland is white pine from Michigan, which feels like a little piece of home hanging in our house for the holidays. I hung our stockings from the shelf as well, and then added some decorations on top - Jacobs nutcracker, a few bottle brush trees, a snow bird (it's our little Florida inside joke) and a chalkboard print. I wove twinkle lights throughout the garland which gives us a little extra sparkle for fun. 

This year is our first year having a flocked tree and we love it. Jacob loves rearranging the decorations on a daily basis so we made sure to only hang unbreakable ornaments. I used white lights, a jeweled garland, and added a Moravian star on top. 

Our couch has about 50 blankets folded on it, and just as many pillows. If you guessed we spend a lot of time here you'd be absolutely correct. We love curling up with each other to watch movies or even to take a nap! 

We do most of our wrapping down here so I filled a basket next to our console with all our wrapping paper to keep it at our fingertips. Jacob's Christmas truck and our peppermint woolie ball garland sit on top of the console and I even remembered to switch out the Thanksgiving art work on our gallery wall for a pretty print with lyrics from O Little Town of Bethlehem.

And that's it! Yup, this is pretty much the only room we've decorated besides a few touches in Jacob's room. (He loves his Santa sheets!) Next year, we'll have to work on a few other rooms now that this one is pretty much done. Next on our to-do list is our office/playroom area that is adjacent to the living room so I'm sure next year that room will get the holiday treatment too. Only three more sleeps friends! 

Barefoot & Cozy

December 14, 2017

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And seeing it through Jacob's eyes makes it the most magical time of the year. Every time we see a bearded man he shouts "Santa Claus!" whether the recipient is happy about it or not. He's so into EVERYTHING. Lights, presents, reindeer, carols, you name it, he loves it. He demands Christmas songs every time we get in the car, and lucky for us that's not a hard request to fill this time of year. He wants to be right in the middle of the action of whatever we are doing, and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

We've steadily been checking things off our bucket list, a few at a time each weekend since our weekdays are go, go, go, right up until the days before Christmas. There's nothing we love more than a day full of festive fun. Here are just a few of our favorite traditions, we'd love to hear some of yours! 

1. Hanging lights outside. While we don't get that magical look of sparkling lights on fresh fallen snow here in Florida, we hang our lights just the same. There's something so welcoming to arriving home under the soft glow of the bulbs. Nothing puts us in a more festive mood. We get ours up lining the roof as soon as the Halloween lights come down. 

2. Putting up the Christmas Tree. We've always done a fake tree with the heat and humidity, but this year we got a new flocked tree. We had to set it up outside, since it shed quite a bit in the fluffing process. I don't think Jacob was expecting the fake snow! Once we got it inside Jacob was all about helping with the lights and ornaments, the latter of which he hung all clustered on one branch. And I think we might just leave them that way. 

3. Movie Nights. We try to sneak in one of these every weekend. We curl up on the couch with one of our big, cozy blankets and turn off all the lights. Then we watch a Christmas movie by the glow of the tree. We pop popcorn and snuggle up all together. We try to cycle through all the classics, plus catch any new originals on Hallmark or Freeform. The Grinch is Jacob's favorite, Home Alone is mine. 

4. Light Tour. We try at least once every year to get out and see everyone else's lights. We take a walk around the neighborhood, pulling Jacob in the wagon, or we make a trip out to our local gardens where they cover the grounds in twinkling lights. We take a mug of hot cocoa or coffee and let Jacob run around while we take in all the lights. I love that it's something special that you can really only do this time of year. 

5. Gingerbread Houses and Cookies. We always bake a few batches of cookies and decorate a house each year. These are two of Jacob's favorite things to help with. He'll sit up on the counter in his Santa apron and pour in all the ingredients, mix it up, and then help me get the dough onto the baking sheet. Decorating with him is almost always a mess with icing, candies, and sprinkles everywhere, but he has a blast. 

6. Christmas Jammies. Every year we pick out a new pair of Christmas Jammies, and we give them to him on Christmas eve along with a new Christmas movie to watch, a mug, popcorn and hot cocoa. We call it our Christmas Eve Box and it's so fun to let Jacob open that one present on Christmas eve, to get him excited for the following day. This year I found so many cute pairs at OshKosh B'Gosh that I bought several and have already given him one pair. The other we'll put in his box. 

I get all the nostalgic feels buying OshKosh for Jacob because it's what my mom used to always buy for me. She LOVES when I send her photos of Jacob in his overalls, those were always her favorite to buy for me and my siblings. 

If you love OshKosh as much as we do you can save 20% on a purchase of $40 or more at your local store or online using the following coupon:

In-Store: 037264
Online: OKBG3418

The best part is, I'm giving away a $50 gift card to Oshkosh! Just click any of the links above to visit their website and leave me a comment with what you would buy! For an extra entry head on over to Instagram!

Gift Guide

December 12, 2017

It's always so much fun putting together a gift guide each year. Jacob's getting older and smarter and he loves learning new things. He still plays with some of last year's picks quite a bit, especially his micro mini scooter, his radio flyer tricycle, and his big train set. This year I searched high and low for educational toys that would challenge him. We also stocked up on some board games (we learned he likes those during the hurricane!), some warm clothes for our annual Michigan trip, books, and his big Santa gift - his tool work bench.


Less than two weeks until Christmas, and Hanukkah starts tonight! Happy shopping friends!!!

Investing in Our Boy // A Day at Legoland Florida

December 4, 2017

This past weekend we had the most wonderful family trip to Legoland Florida. We were invited by Vanguard to experience a day in the life of a long-term investor. Jacob is growing so fast and we are really realizing how much we need to seize these moments while he's still so small. People always try to warn you just how fast childhood flies by, but it's hard to grasp just how fast until you're in the midst of it. Planning for his (and our) future is super important to us, but we don't want it to take away from living right now in this moment. Legoland is only a 2.5 hour drive from home so we decided last minute to make a day trip. Vanguard clients don't live to invest, they invest to live! And that's just what we did. We lived it up, with our favorite boy, in his favorite place. 

Jacob was MORE than excited when he woke up in the morning and we told him we were going. We could barely get him dressed before he was trying to rush us out the door. We spent the entire ride listening to him babble on about how he was going to go on all the rides and see his Lego friends. The look of excitement when we pulled up was priceless. 

We made sure to grab a photopass on the way in to preserve our memories as much as possible, and we took lots of photos and videos too. We've made a few trips to Legoland before, but there were still quite a few first for us. It was the opening weekend of Christmas Bricktacular which made everything that much more magical. We got to listen to story time with Mrs. Clause, see the light show on the giant Christmas tree, and check out all the amazing lego displays.

Jacob was besides himself when we said we could get ice cream before lunch, and quickly picked out strawberry as his choice. His kids cone was huge and dripped all over the place, but his sticky smile was totally worth it. 

We also caught the pirate show for the first time and I'm not sure why we never made it a priority before. Our pirate obsessed kid was glued to the edge of his seat the entire show, and we must admit that their water skiing stunts are truly impressive. You can see some of their stunts in our recap video!

We hit some of Jacob's favorites - the Beetle Bounce, and Merlin's Challenge, but we also took some time out of our day to let Jacob play a carnival game. We've never done this before, but it was nice to take a break from rushing around to the rides. Jacob was over the moon when he won a giant dragon, and even insisted we strap it in next to him on the way home! 

Overall this was a more relaxed trip than our past ones, and it was so nice to focus on Jacob and what he wanted to do. He's growing so fast that we want to savor every last moment of who he is right this second. A recent study reveals that Vanguard clients spend 6 hours more per week with their kids compared with clients of other investment firms. I don't know about you, but I see that time as six precious hours we can never get back once the week is over. We're sure going to make the most of that time! 

See what makes Vanguard clients different here, and see if Vanguard is the place for you and your family! Have you started investing for the future?

The Where Investors Belong survey was conducted by market research firm Kelton Global in 2016. It polled 1,000 Vanguard clients and compared them with 1,000 clients of other investment firms. All differences between Vanguard clients and clients of other investment firms are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The parental stat refers to clients with children of any age who provided the number of hours per week they typically spend with their children or who, compared to other people they may know, believe to be more involved in their child’s life. . The experiences of these Vanguard clients may not be representative of the experience of other Vanguard clients and aren’t a guarantee of future investment performance or success.