Thursday, December 18, 2014

Unwinding with Netflix Over the Holidays

Well, look a there, somehow a week has gone by without posting?! That's what happens I guess when husbands who help a ton go out of town and sweet little crazy two year olds break your camera (and then catch a cold) and the hustle and bustle of Christmas hits full swing (we are going to FIVE parties this weekend). I may or may not have sobbed myself to sleep last night. Just too much! Loved hearing you guys weigh in on the notsofair dolling of responsibilities this time of year, but the truth is that I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being a big part of the sweet memories our family will treasure for ever. Come Christmas morning it will all be worth it! (below image found here)

So, about that unwinding. What are some of your Christmas traditions? Sam and I love a good binge session on Netflix because it's so rare that we get to do that these days! Would love your viewing suggestions as well. I like not too scary, funny, teenish, suspenseful, clever, etc. :) I am not crazy about overly vulgar or bloody. k thanks. Click through to see some candidates:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Few Gifts

It's that time of year... when I'm so thankful that online shopping exists. I seriously cannot imagine getting everything I need to get done without it. Best gift to mothers of small children ever. I clearly can't share everything I'm picking up but here are a few ideas plus a little wish list of my own! I truly love the art of a good gift.

For the hostess/teacher/neighbor:

+ This is the best smelling candle! You can reuse the little wine glasses after their done burning.

+ I love edible gifts like these bitters or some taffy (obviously anything homemade would be fabulous!

+ My friend Emily gifted us with some sipping chocolate... perfect for making this!

+ I like to pot fresh herbs and tie with twine.

+ A great bottle of wine or a bottle of good olive or nut oil is always a good idea!

+ We love these cookies.

+ Make bath salts, whipped body butter or linen spray.

+ Personalized wrapping paper. This is a HUGE hit!

Tons of great options at 200 Mill!

Some ideas for him:

+ Barware accessories

+ Tobacco scented beard oil (or make your own beard balm and/or oil!)

+ A magazine subscription

+ A great button-up

+ Amazing slippers

+ Craft coffee subscription

For the ladies:

+ Hunter Wellies in her favorite color choice.

+ A record player. I love this one.

+ Anything from here. Am I right?!

+ Some quiet time. This planner is so lovely and would be so fun to fill up with coffee dates + other relaxing things.

+ The sparkliest clutch for New Year's (Sam and I are celebrating New Year's together this year for the first time in a decade!!!).

+ The bag to wear every day. I do!

+ An essential oils starter kit (had to, but seriously... best gift ever!)

+ I am really loving these. Now I get what the fuss is about.

photo found here.

For little girls and boys:

+ Matilda just got invited to her first slumber party (!!) and I realized she really doesn't have an age-appropriate sleeping bag. This beauty is going right under the tree along with this overnight bag which I may borrow from time to time. ;) I always look for fun gifts that will last - no Elsa gear here.

+ The only thing Matilda asked for.

+ This beautiful canopy for my littlest princess.

+ This dress-up outfit + necklace after a pretty dramatic meltdown about not being able to wear what was in a coloring book. #halpmerhonda

+ We adore these books.

+ The prettiest little flower crowns.

+ Anything from seed factory (for boys too!).

+ Non-toxic nail polish.

+ Love these toys from Hape.

+ Favorite books for boys: here, here and here.

For the kitties:

+ They got the fanciest little box known to cats - BUT it keeps the pellets off the floor. Worth it!

+ Catnip in the cutest container.

Would love to hear your gift ideas as well!!

top image pinned here.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peppermint Sipping Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Milk

Yesterday I shared maybe one of my all-time favorite pictures of Bee and that I had found the secret to happiness, ok maybe not BUT this peppermint sipping chocolate should put a smile on your face.
This is perfect for bringing a little holiday cheer to your day and the kids will love it too. :)

Peppermint Sipping Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Milk

You will need:

- 1/3 Cup Almond Milk
- 3 T sipping chocolate mix from Trader Joe's
- 1 can Organic Coconut Milk refrigerated overnight
- Peppermint Oil (you can read about the oil I used here)
- honey to taste

Warm the almond milk over the stove. In the meantime scoop off the fat of the canned coconut milk into your mixer and beat on high. Add honey to the coconut milk to taste for the whipped cream.

Once your milk is warm, pour over mix and stir until dissolved. Add in your peppermint oil and then top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Heaven!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Motherhood Lately...

I haven't done a motherhood post in a while. Not really sure why, I think sometimes I feel overprotective and vulnerable because this is a public blog and sometimes I think about creepy people reading it, but you're not creepy right? :) I think that reading thoughts of other mothers has been great therapy for me, so here are some unfiltered thoughts of my own...

This time of year I'm always caught off guard by the feelings of overwhelm. I really wish sometimes that I didn't care, that I was super laid-back and casual. The truth is Christmas cards are important to me, even if it kills me this year to get them all addressed and out the door... it's happening! I love getting them too. I pray over the sweet faces and images of the cards sent to us from our favorite people. It's a big deal. So is getting my front porch decor right. It's not. It's about 80% done like most other things.

I had a minor meltdown yesterday. I feel like the weekends are never restorative. I just want to read a book by the fire but here's whats what. That laundry isn't going to do itself, I don't have access to one of those amazing home delivery services from Whole Foods and there are piles of "stuff" everywhere. I like order, but I feel like my fun time got all sucked up by it. I want my kids to have the happiest memories, not memories of me cleaning. I also want them to know reality and that their parents work hard. BALANCE.

Speaking of memory making. Last night Matilda was a sad little pup. "Mama, listen to what so and so's elf did last week and so and so's elf left cookie crumbles out and they had to find him! Why doesn't our elf do anything fun like that?!" I wrote more about that fun exchange here and you guys had me cracking up! The truth is, we barely remember or have the energy to be that fun and creative at 10 pm after all the other junk is done. Should we be more fun?! Her elf wrote her a note that night apologizing for the shyness right next to a pile of baking soda which was supposed to be snow but Matilda told me, "it's soda." Bahaa. Pinterest told me to! Guys. Help!

So, that's it in a nutshell. If you need me I'll be huffing oils + listening to this. XO

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Weekend Notes 32

I mentioned yesterday that I am trying to stay calm and underwhelmed during this season of peace and reflection. Wishing you all the same! We are in charge of our days and time and I think it's important to keep quiet time as a part of it so our systems don't get run down and exhausted. Can I get an amen? I feel very relaxed this year which is the complete opposite of how I felt last year. It was the heaviest, saddest Christmas I've ever had so I was determined to find so much joy this year. That's why I created a bucket list. :)

A few notes:

+ Sam has some gorgeous pieces at the 200 Mill pop-up this weekend. Come and shop!
+ I'm excited to dive into this book this weekend to get some good recipe ideas for a January cleanse      that I'm doing with my team.
+ Made this recipe (search comments) for dinner and it's a new favorite.
+ I'm busy making a list of gifts to give this year. The men always give me fits.
+ This looks and sounds sooo good.
+ The kittens are climbing our Christmas tree. Any tips? Ahhhh.
+ Everything on my wish list this year fall into the "keep dreaming" category. How gorgeous is this?
+ My friend Katie is teaching a really fun class on DIY Christmas gifts. I'm so excited about it!

Hope you all do something fun and exciting this weekend!! xx

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Bucket List

I just love a good bucket list. Here's ours for this Christmas season:

- Get our tree from Coker Family Farms (6 years running! check!)
- Decorate it! (check)
- Fresh greenery indoors and out. (check)
- Drink egg nog - our recipe: shot of small batch four roses whiskey + so delicious nog (amazing!!) top with whipped coconut milk and nutmeg and cinnamon (check!)
- Make Candy Cane Play Dough (check!)
- Drive around and look at the lights (we do this once a weekend :))
- Watch Elf (check), The Holiday (check), Love Actually, Rudolph (check), The Grinch (check)
- Do our Book Advent
- Listen to Bing, Merry Mixmas, She and Him Christmas (check)
- See the Lights at Life
- Visit Santa
- Make cookies (love these!)
- Make homemade gifts: beard balm, body butter, linen spray
- Make a gingerbread house
- Plant paper whites (check!)
- She Read's Truth Advent
- Make a breakfast casserole for Christmas Day
- Christmas pjs!! Going to give them to the girls on the second day of Advent. How cute are these?!

I'll probably keep adding to this. What are some of your favorite traditions?

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Christmas with Victory Blooms

It's no secret that I love Victory Blooms. Megan is a dear friend and just one of my favorite souls. She came over yesterday to truly make our house look the most festive. It also smells divine!!! Megan is going to be making + selling wreaths for this magical season. Make sure you check out her instagram for options!

I call Megan a "flower wizard" because she in one. Watching her effortlessly make the most beautiful swags and wreaths is completely awe-inspiring. I love being surrounded by my talented friends.

These pepper berries and silver bells add just the right amount of color against the greenery.

When we were designing our home one of the most important things to me was the staircase. I just think they are so romantic and I just pictured Matilda and Phoebe coming down them on Christmas morning with a beautiful garland alongside them. Truly a dream come true.

Thank you dear Megan! Your talents never cease to amaze me! xo
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