Wednesday, December 17, 2014

9 Christmas Traditions

The best part about having a young family is deciding what traditions you're going to do each holiday. Over the last three years Derek and I have had fun meshing his family traditions with mine, and it's made for some pretty great Christmases in my opinion. Also, it means you get to make up random traditions that never happened in either of your families, which is pretty great too!

Also, I need to take classes on decorating Christmas trees. So this "artistic" blurry picture of our tree is sparing you from what it really looks like... onto the traditions!

Christmas Pajamas- Derek's family does Christmas pajamas every year on Christmas Eve, and my family opens one random present every year on Christmas Eve... so we decided to do Christmas pajamas as the Christmas Eve gift! I'm still waiting for the year Derek lets me get all of us matching red and white striped thermal pajamas... but I won't hold my breath. 

A New Christmas Tree Ornament- Ornaments can get pretty expensive so we have some normal gold and silver bulbs from the dollar store, but then each year we get one new ornament, that paired with some family members gifting us a new ornament each year, we're slowly building a great collection. 

Neighbor Gifts- My family never did neighbor gifts growing up, but it's one that Derek's does. I'm planning on making one incredibly massive batch of fudge and then having them on hand when people stop by to give treats to us. I'm already falling behind and owe gifts to about 3 families. 

Cinnamon Rolls- Growing up my family had cinnamon rolls for breakfast every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter... Derek hasn't hated this tradition one bit.

Limited Gifts for the Kids- Growing up I remember being super greedy and selfish about Christmas gifts (or is that every kid?) we've been implementing the something to wear, something to read, something they want, and something they need over the last few years and it's been going really well, and totally simplifies the Christmas gifts. 

The Pickle Ornament- We have an ornament shaped like a pickle... on Christmas Eve you hide it in the tree and the first person to find it gets a random gift (bag of candy, small food gift card, iTunes card... etc...) We started doing this when I was in high school and I found it every year... no big deal.

Decorating Sugar Cookies- Everyone has to do this at least once per holiday season right?

Wrapping Paper- I'm pretty sure my OCD self just made this one up a couple years ago, but I like buying one wrapping paper per person. All Kyle's gifts are wrapped in green Santa paper... Derek's in red Ho Ho Ho paper, mine in blue with white snowflakes and Kinsley's in multi colored stripes. I'm convinced it makes the distribution on Christmas morning much easier, and it gives variety under the tree. 

Opening Gifts One at a Time- growing up we each had our pile and tore through them all in 5 seconds and then Christmas was over. Derek's family opens each present one at a time so we can all see what everyone got and it makes the Christmas morning last longer. I think this is a fun a less chaotic way to do Christmas morning. 

Read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve- In middle school I remember suggesting to my family that we should read the Christmas story in the bible. My mom thought it was a great idea and we all got in the living room to do it and then we all realized that none of us knew where it was in the bible... Therefore it was A for effort but never happened. Luckily after taking the New Testament at BYU I know where it is and we've been reading it the last three years!

What fun traditions do you do with your family?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Taylor Swift Inspired Street Style

Confession time: I'm obsessed with Taylor Swift and I don't care who knows it. I love her for her personality, her genuine desire to be a good person, and in recent weeks her call to action with anti bullying. She's just one of those celebs that really want's to do good. Another thing she's got going for her is her killer street style. Whenever I see celebrities wearing things that real, normal people would wear, I instantly like them ten times more. I mean just take a look at her... I want to live in her closet... and grow 3 inches so I can fit in her clothes too... And because I'm just such a nice person, I've scoured through for you, so you can get yourself some Taylor inspired looks on a budget! Just click the links below the pictures! You're welcome. 

Thank you Style Moi for sponsoring this post.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gift Guide for The Entire Family

Every year I have a hard time telling people what I want for Christmas. Mainly because I just have no idea. This year, I have a little bit better of an idea when it comes to things I would like, but it's also been a challenge to come up with things for the kids and husband as well. Hopefully some of these ideas will be able to spark something for you to pick up for one of your loved ones this Christmas! Obviously these are just suggestions to get your brain buzzing with ideas, and definitely don't think that I've gone out and got my family everything on this list... we're all rocking one Christmas gift this year... unless your Derek, then you got a bunch... but he did just finish his undergrad in 3 1/4 years. 


1. Conair Infinit Pro Curl Secret: I've seen a ton of Youtube vloggers rave about how much they love this curling iron. I actually bought it on Black Friday, and tried it out, (seen here), but on the highest heat and time setting  it only waved my hair instead of curling it, so I sent it back. But I'm mostly convinced that it's because my hair is naturally super fine, smooth, and straight, which means it will just never hold a curl. If you have normal textured hair, I'm sure it would work amazingly! Just search it on Youtube and you'll be amazed.

2, 3, 11, 14: A man's gotta dress himself, and that's that.

4. White Chucks: I've been wanting a pair of these for a couple years... maybe one day.

5. Urban Decay Naked Pallet: Every beauty blogger in the world has raved about this eye shadow, and Christmas is probably the only time of year anyone can really justify actually buying it!

6. A Backpack: We got Kyle an adorable shark printed back pack from LL Bean this year with his name monogrammed on it! There are a lot of great options for little kids!

7. A Slide: If you're going to splurge and get your toddler a big gift this year, a slide should be at the top of the list! If we weren't moving at some point in the near future we would totally be getting this.   

8. Board Games: I used to not really be that into games, but Derek and I have become obsessed with Settlers of Catan, and love Ticket to Ride as well!

9 & 10: If you have a small baby on your shopping list this season, I highly recommend the Infantino Play Gym (we bought it for Kinsley this Christmas)... a walker toy would be a great idea too!

12. Art Easel: Once again, if we weren't moving soon, this would have been another great gift for Kyle this year... we might have a second Christmas post move... don't judge. 

13. A New Purse: What wife couldn't use a new purse? I'm loving this simple black tote from Charming Charlie. 

15. Kiddie Games: I have a friend who said she was getting her two year old fun games for Christmas. It didn't even strike my mind that Kyle would be old enough to start playing games yet! Such a great idea! Hungry Hungry Hippos, Don't Break the Ice, or Elefun are all great ideas!

16. A Herringbone Vest: If there is a piece of clothing that gets the most trendy award for fall of 2014 it's probably going to be this vest. And don't judge, but this is totally what I got myself for Christmas because I L.O.V.E it. 

What are you getting your family this Christmas?

Nestle Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough

You might have noticed a lack of mouth watering sugar cookies over here throughout the years. That's because I'm not very good at making them. We all have our kitchen struggles and mine comes in the form of mixing flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla together while trying to make them into cute shapes. I'll never understand the people that can actually consistently roll out 1/4in dough. I use a rolling pin too, just sometimes my dough is as thick as a mountain in some spots, and is translucently thin in others. Sugar cookies are not my thing. 

It is for all of the reasons above that I was super intrigued when I heard about Nestle Toll House's new Rolled and Ready Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets. It takes the guess work out of sugar cookies, and you can go straight to having fun, and creating lasting holiday memories with your kiddos. I was surprised at how easy it was to cut out the shapes, remove them from the cutters, and bake them! And once they come out of the oven, you can actually tell what shape they're supposed to be... another thing I struggle with!

For more mouth watering recipes, and a $.50 coupon, head on over to Nestle's website to get some mouth watering Christmas baking inspiration

Thank you to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring today's post!

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Favorite Place to Buy Church Clothes

I know a lot of you have probably had some raised eyebrows lately at how much "fancier" my clothes have gotten. The truth is, I mainly only get dressed for church each week... so if I'm going to buy clothes, they better be something that I can wear to church, since that's where they're going to be worn most. But then you wear your churchish clothes in real life, and you look like you're trying just a little bit more than ususal... which is sometimes a good thing right? Right. I've recently come across a store online that has me feeling, "where has this been all my life?!" It's been hard to find good skirts since leaving Utah that cover everything just the way I want, that don't cost an arm and a leg. So when I came across Sheinside a few weeks ago, they instantly became my new favorite store! And score, these are all under $20 Holla!


I was given store credit to Sheinside for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are truly my own. 
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