One thing we did manage to do? Purchase furniture for our living room revamp! THANK YOU to those of you who weighed in on the white couch dilemma and highly recommend IKEA’s Ektorp couch to us. You immediately had me sold when you said the white cover is not only removable but you can buy a completely new one for $150 should something ever happen to stain it which, with two kids and a dog in the house, is a strong possibility. We actually ended up buying the two matching chairs as well and I am in love with the look of everything. Thanks for basically outfitting our living room for us, friends!!
And now I’m off to get this Friday rockin’. Some friends are coming over with their little ones this evening for a small Christmas pajama party and some cookie decorating. It should be fun!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead. Now for your usual Things I’m Loving Friday shenanigans…
Things I’m Loving Friday
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry (+ More of Our Favorite Holiday Books)
Thank you so much to blog reader Pamela for recommending this adorable book to me when I mentioned my love for holiday books on the blog. Our family’s Elf on the Shelf surprised Chase with Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree earlier this week and it’s quickly become a favorite! The story begins when Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree arrives but it’s too big to fit in his house. After cutting the top of the tree off, it’s picked up by more people and a bunch of animals, spreading Christmas cheer to a family of foxes, rabbits, bears and more. If you’re looking for an adorable story to add to your holiday book collection, Pamela’s recommendation was a great one!
And since I had a few of you ask about some of our other favorite holiday books, here are a handful of the ones we love: The Sweet Smell of Christmas (the biggest hit with Chase this year thanks to scratch-and-sniff pages), The Mitten (another one of my childhood favorites — this one is more of a winter book and not specific to Christmas), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (a classic for a reason) The Polar Express, The Spirit of Christmas, The Animals’ Christmas Eve (a fun counting book that is also great for talking about the true meaning of Christmas with your little one), Auntie Claus (beautiful illustrations but probably better for slightly older children — this was my sister’s favorite in elementary school)
Diffusing Holiday Essential Oil Blends
It’s that time of year when I find myself diffusing ALL of the holiday essential blends! I’m loving anything with the scent of pine, cinnamon, peppermint, cloves and orange and have loved creating my own blends based on the above graphic I found on Pinterest. I just makes me feel so Christmasy and cozy! My go-to brand for essential oils these days is Plant Therapy because they seem to have the widest variety of certified organic essential oils and they have an Amazon store, so they’re easy to find and purchase online. (I love their Top 6 Essential Oils kit!)
Also, just as an important aside, I am a firm believer in the power of essential oils and therefore very cautious about diffusing certain oils around the boys. I typically diffuse oils in my office before they’re awake or during naptime. (See this post to see which oils should be avoided around kids.) I also love that Plant Therapy has a Winter Playland line of kid-safe holiday essential oil blends, though I haven’t tried them out myself yet! And on the topic of kid-safe oils, I actually just ordered PlantTherapy’s KidSafe Wellness Sampler for our family (and my sister’s family — Christmas gift!) which includes Germ Destroyer, Immune Boom and Sniffle Stopper blends I hope will help keep all of us healthy during cold and flu season.
I am a weirdo who likes ice cream even MORE during the winter months than I do during the summer months. One caveat: I have to be bundled up and warm and cozy before digging in, but there’s nothing better than digging into a bowl of ice cream when I’m in my pajamas and all wrapped up in blankets at the end of the day. I stumbled upon a creamy frozen treat while shopping at Target earlier this week that tasted like the holidays on a stick: Yasso Peppermint Crunch Frozen Greek Yogurt. It’s peppermint ice cream peppered with crushed cookies and peppermint candies and oh my gosh it’s so good! Pick this one up if you’re a peppermint lover — trust me!
Biceps / Triceps / Shoulders Workout
On Tuesday morning, I completed this biceps/triceps/shoulders workout at the gym and LOVED it. I was in the mood for strength training but didn’t want to follow the usual 8-15 reps format and switched it up a bit with this tabata-inspired workout. The workout flew by and I timed everything using the Interval Timer app on my phone. I am saving this one to repeat again in the near future because I liked it so much! Oh and just a quick note, I definitely had to decrease the amount of weight I used in this workout from my usual weight for the noted exercises. Eight rounds is no joke! Phew!
Also, just in case you’re ever looking for workout inspiration, in addition to the Workouts page on my blog, I’ve also saved a bunch of the workouts I’ve shared on Instagram to the “Workouts” tab under my IG Highlights.
Holiday Pretzel Treats (Sweet and salty and the perfect edible gift to wrap up in a special mug, tin or gift box if you’re looking for a simple way to show someone you’re thinking of them this holiday season! Great for neighbors, coworkers, etc.!)
Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Oatmeal Cookies (Not traditional Christmas cookies but so good! They’re soft and pillowy and the chopped hazelnuts add the perfect amount of crunch!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you are loving this week?