Christmas Corners

Welcome to our little tour of Christmas decor! I typically use these posts to help me remember where I put decorations, but next year I guess I’m going to have to figure out all new ideas! I simplified quite a bit this year, I’ve been trying to organize boxes for packing and storage both as I put things up and take things down. While our twinkle lights may not have batteries in them and our only outside decor is a light up llama, our house is still spiritedly flocked for the holidays!

Our mantle and stockings with pops of bright colors:

Our kitchen hutch:

And the festive corner beside it:

Our foyer area:

And the boys’ bathroom (also where Link is hanging out today….which the boys’ denoted as “super weird, so I guess he won’t be back there):

Our kitchen table (the Southern Firefly sugar cookie candle smells amazing):

The boys’ reading spot:

And our coffee nook:

Finally, I think some of the boys’ favorite things are the wreaths on their doors and the trees in their rooms:

Happy holiday decorating!

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Boys’ Holiday Gift Guide

This is a gift guide of the boys’ tried and true favorite items. From tiny action figures to drawing supplies, these are ideas that have lasted them through the past several years and never get old. Even the Magnatiles J will get out while we are watching a movie or sports and build houses for his Tsum Tsums, action figures, and stuffed animals.

Lego sets. I especially like this creator one, that has a lot of quantity for the price (if you’ve never done a LEGO piece cost analysis, you’ve never spent a Friday night at our house, ha!)

Fortnite, Halo, or Imaginext, any type of small action figures are great for setting up battles, role-playing, or living in a Magnatile house.

All the colored pencils and crayons. These big sets are great for the boys’ bookmark creations, board game ideas, and MARIO maps.

Sometimes I have found things at PBTeen to be overpriced, but their Harry Potter throws are excellent quality and used often at our house.

The boys’ current small plush obsession are these tiny Russ petootie animals. You can barely find them online, but they are at lots of big box stores like Target, and smaller shops as well (I’ve found smaller shops have more unique ones).

The illustrated Harry Potter collection. I feel like this needs no other explanation.

We love board games around here, and this version of Ticket to Ride is a little shorter than the original, for nights where you can’t commit an hour and a half to a game.

One of the best recommendations I received in improving the boys’ strength in basketball throwing was a weighted ball. It feels unnatural to play with, but is good for throwing practice. We do monitor them when they use it, so they don’t rough house play with it.

All of the Wild Republic plushes are a favorite around here.

Of all the hot wheel sets they’ve received, this crash one still gets the most laughs and excitement.

A golf glove is one of A’s essentials for practice.

If you don’t have a Switch game in mind, Super Mario Maker 2 should be on your list. The boys have made many, many levels on it.

Any Stuart Gibbs books are enjoyed by the boys, a set of Spy School or FunJungle books would be a great start to his series.

Battlebots mini vehicles. Because playing a mini version of Battlebots is almost as fun as watching Battlebots on tv.

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My Favorites Gift List

These are some of my favorites and favorite items to request for Christmas. I’m all about leaning into the hygge methodology during the winter seasons and a lot of these are in line with that idea. Cuddle up with a good book, under lots of blankets in warm pajamas with a cup of tea.

1. A collection of Milk make-up brushes in a perfect travel container.

2. Leggings perfect for cold (but not frigid) hiking.

3. My favorite yoga candle.

4. I love that you can pick and personalize Glossier sets.

5. Bow headband for my top knot days.

6. My go to sweater. I can never have enough!

7. Any book from Reese’s Book Club.

8. A muffin tin because mine is rusted out.

9. Sperry boots for the winter that’s apparently going through be super cold.

10. Flannel pajamas, I live for the moment I put on pajamas on work days!

11. These throws are the favorites of the boys during winter.

12. The tea I bring to work in my yeti cup.

13. Seasonal polish.

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Winter Sweater Round-Up

Perfect for gifting, or just adding to your own closet, here is a round-up of some of my current favorite sweaters! Each of these are great for layering, perfect for our unpredictable southern temps. 

  1. Okay, this isn’t technically a sweater, but I love that it’s long-sleeves include a cute button detail, and it has a slightly higher neckline, but not turtleneck status.
  2. I love the ribbing on the edge of these sleeves, with a little extra detail.
  3. Perfect for layering with a tank top for warmer days or a long sleeve shirt for when it’s colder.
  4. I’ve been trying to incorporate a little more color into my wardrobe, and this reminds me of this outfit here.
  5. So comfy! I love that this is off the shoulder a bit, but not too much.
  6. An emerald green basic, perfect to dress up with a pair of velvet or sequin black pants for holiday parties.
  7. And finally, this is one of my favorite all time JCrew sweaters, navy with little gold stars, I love it with my favorite jeans and tan boots.

Happy sweater shopping and gift buying!

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Operation Christmas Child

I always feel like this day is the start of holiday season, as crazy of a day as it typically is. For the past several years my Mom, sister, and I load up all five kids and head to Target on Saturday to go shopping for Operation Christmas Child. It is usually slightly chaotic and the kids may have been trying to load almost life-sized stuffed animals into the shopping cart at one point, but it is a great way to teach them about helping others.

Here is an idea of what we typically pick out (go here for a full list of what you can and cannot pack):

 

We typically get:

– A stuffed animal

– Socks

– A bar of soap and holder

– Colored pencils and pencil sharpener

– Toothbrush

– Fun bandaids

– Uno Card Game

– Fidget spinner

– Small plastic animals

– Notepad

National collection week is this week! You can go here to find a collection spot in your area.

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‘Tis the season

While we are not putting up the Christmas tree just yet, I’ve been busy ordering some updates to our holiday decor. Last year I waited and almost didn’t get a few items I had on my list. I went back through my Christmas decor pictures from past years (because what is having a blog if not to keep a virtual scrapbook of things like this), and focused in on a few areas that I wanted to add some additional decorations or update items that have gotten worn looking. I also added several new holiday storybooks because one of our favorite parts of the holiday season is reading our collection of Christmas stories as many times as possible between the day after Thanksgiving and January 1st.

As per usual, Target doesn’t disappoint with their holiday decorations and I found quite a few items from their collections:

Including a tiered stand for our high counter, garland for the mirror over our mantle, and new plates for my plate rack:

A pom pom wreath, and cheery pillows:

A cozy throw, tablecloth, and wooden centerpiece:

And I always search for a few pieces from Anthropologie including little monogram ornaments to go inside the wreaths on the boys’ doors, a silly towel, and a stack of holiday coffee mugs:

And new Christmas plates, red plaid garland, and shams from Pottery Barn kids:

And our new stack of holiday books:

How have we not read The Best Christmas Pagent Ever? It’s been so long since I’ve read it, I’m going to read it first, and then pass it on to A and then to J.

Walk this World is a beautiful pop up book with Christmas celebrations around the world, the illustrations are lovely, and the boys love books that have facts woven in.

Construction Site on Christmas Night because we love Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and what’s better than construction vehicles setting up Christmas decorations?

And finally, The Nutcracker retold with illustrations from The New York City Ballet. I love The Nutcracker and the whimsy of the drawings.

And now I’ve just got to figure out where to store everything until after Thanksgiving!

 

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Favorite Christmas Corners

Our mantle and ever growing set of lighted animals:


Including a narwhal:

Our kitchen hutch with candies, popcorn bowls, and cocoa mugs:

Our Christmas tree filled with family ornaments:

Including my very favorite:

My little plant corner:

All of our Christmas books that we are reading:

And a sassy llama dressing up our front porch:

 

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J’s Christmas Party

This was J’s last Christmas performance in his last year of pre-K! Sniff. I can hardly believe it. I am so thankful for his wonderful preschool teacher, and preschool director who convinced him to actually smile for this picture:J Christmas Party

Because a lot of the pictures I got were more like this:

J Christmas PartyPensive stare in the distance, while he waits patiently for everyone to be served before eating his pizza.

And here is one from his singing performance:

Patiently waiting to sing “Up on the Housetop”.

Love this sweet boy and that I get to spend Christmas parties with him (especially this one because it only required bringing juice and showing up, ha!).

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