One thing I’m feeling extra grateful for right now is a visit from my parents. My mom and dad really wanted to make a trip up here to see the boys and do some holiday things together before Christmas and when they said they wanted to come in town for the weekend, we were all for it! We are also hoping to head back down to Florida the day after Christmas to celebrate Christmas 2.0 with my sister and her family and my parents but when they arrived in town yesterday afternoon for a little pre-Christmas visit, the boys were so excited!
Even Rhett gave Mae and Pop some of his best little baby grins!
We don’t have anything big on our agenda for the weekend other than some cookie decorating and piling into the car to see Christmas lights, but I’m looking forward to unplugging and enjoying family time.
And now it’s Things I’m Loving Friday tiiiime!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Family Photos + Holiday Cards
Late last month, we got some family photos done and loved them so much we used them for our holiday cards this year! I used the same photographer we used the last time we had family pics taken (the talented Katie of Tripp Photography) in 2018 and she managed to capture photos of the boys I will treasure forever.
As for our holiday cards, I was excited to partner with Minted this year, as we’ve ordered our cards from Minted ever since we started doing family holiday cards the year Chase was born. The quality is fantastic and I love they way they partner with independent artists to create stunning designs for so many of their holiday cards. This year, I selected the Christmas Eucalyptus Foil-Pressed Cards and love the way they played off the moody colors in the family photos we had taken at a local park.
And I can never resist adding a few words to the back of our cards every year! Love them! Now I just need to get my act together and actually send them out. I’m a weirdo and really like holiday stamps on my holiday cards and haven’t had any luck finding them at the post office (sold out!), Publix, UPS, Walgreens, Office Depot or CVS. I’ve been told Costco has them so I may have to check there next!
I love the look of painted nails but I rarely paint my nails because they take for-ev-er to dry and the likelihood of a kid or baby not needing me for the time it takes my nails to dry isn’t worth the risk and effort of painting them. I’ve mostly been using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish since it dries so fast but I hated feeling like so many of my favorite nail polish colors were sitting in a closet untouched. On a quick trip to CVS earlier this week, I saw Essie’s Quick-E Drying Drops and it instantly caught my eye. I brought it home and gave it a try with one of my favorite sparkly holiday nail polish colors and it blew me away! Adding a couple of drops on top of each freshly-painted nail made the polish dry in a flash. I am so darn excited about this purchase because I feel like I just got a bunch of my favorite nail polish colors back since this will allow me to do more super-speedy manicures in the future.
Annual Ornaments for the Boys
Ryan and I are hoping to begin a tradition where we gift the boys an ornament every Christmas that reminds us of them each year. Ryder and Rhett’s are still on their way but Chase’s arrived extremely fast and I love the way it turned out! (I ordered it from the CustomGiftsNow store on Etsy.) Of course Chase’s ornament had to pay tribute to Creature Man, as he was all about creatures this year. I cannot count the number of hours we spent searching for butterflies, toads, ladybugs, slugs, worms and more, and Chase’s passion for finding and learning about creatures is something I know I’ll never forget.
When I shared a picture of Chase’s ornament on Instagram Stories, I received quite a few DMs from people whose parents or grandparents did this for them every year and then, once they were adults and living on their own, they had a whole little collection of ornaments to use on their own tree. I love thinking of my boys one day hanging these special ornaments on their Christmas tree, should they become something special they cherish, too!
Making these deliciously sweet and salty holiday pretzel treats is a tradition around here during the holiday season and I whipped up several batches with the boys earlier this week as neighbor gifts and add-on teacher gifts. (We went the gift card + a few extra small things route for the boys’ main teacher gifts this year.) I am not sure what it is about these pretzels, but they’re so darn good and so addicting. I am 99 percent sure we’ll be making another batch or two before this holiday season is over.
Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine (The perfect festive drink for the holidays! The best part? It’s very easy to make and super hands-off so you don’t have to worry about it and can just enjoy!)
Peppermint Oreo Desserts
Because I’m a huge sucker for anything peppermint + Oreo this time of year, here are a few of my favorite peppermint + Oreo desserts to keep on your radar before the holiday season is over:
- Oreo Peppermint Icebox Cake (If you loved whipped cream + Oreos, this is a must-try)
- Peppermint Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream (A new favorite this year)
- Oreo Peppermint Ice Cream Dessert (Only 3 ingredients!)
Question of the Day
- What is one thing you are smiling about this week?