Thursday, November 15, 2018

Girl Chat - Tips for Juggling the Holiday Season

Today I'm linking up Danielle, Emily, Lindsay, Lizzie, Sierra for Girl Chat.

This month they're discussing, Tips for juggling the holiday season.

So, without further ado, here's how I go about planning for and juggling the holidays.  :)

Shopping online and shopping early!

I started to do some serious online shopping about a month ago.  I'd say the kids are now about 85% done!  WooHoo!

I still have some items to purchase for Jon, but it's always so difficult to purchase items for him since we share a single credit card and we also share our Amazon Prime account with his office.  I do have a PayPal that I'll use if possible and that tends to hide Christmas gifts I've purchased for him.  But, I must say, I'm <this close> to purchasing a gift card for myself for online makes me sad if he already knows what he's getting!  Suggestions on this one?

As for other family members, I haven't started with any of them yet, BUT the majority of the remaining gift-giving will be for my nieces and nephews, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

I'm hoping to have about 95% of all of my shopping accomplished by December 1st.

Then I can sit back, relax, get to watching Hallmark movies, drink hot cocoa and wrap presents without the frantic rush.


I was on the prowl to find a cute and smart way to document our Christmas gift lists and budget this year.  I happened to find this adorable print-off via Pinterest.

I love that, Sarah, from, didn't forget about stocking stuffers, too.  Those itty bitty items add up!

Go check it out, you guys - so good!

I've been trying to write down every single event in my calendar.

It's about to get cray up in here and the last thing I need is to be running around from place to place while pregnant and in the snow and ice.  I need to play it safe AND save myself the headache of not knowing what's going on so that I can be available and happy during this holiday season.

Okay, so I wasn't going to include this, but by visiting Lindsay's blog (check out her hilarious alarm setting over there) it reminded me that last year I wrote out a daily to-do list for our Elf, Elmer.

I've been working on a new one for this year, with a supply list, too!  Our Elf likes to get all kinds of ideas over here and searching for marshmallows in the back of my pantry in order to build an igloo  at midnight doesn't exactly sound like relaxed holiday vibe I'm striving for over here.  I do, however, enjoy the creativity the Elf brings to the table, so a supply list it is!

Stay tuned!

You can find some of Elmer's mischievous ways here.  :)

Let's be real, the holiday season is made up of a pretty lights, family, friends, snuggles and FOOD!

I'm on the hunt for some delicious side dishes, casseroles and desserts.  I'm been challenging myself these past couple of years by attempting homemade pierogies, homemade sweet potato casserole, my friend Sara's chocolate chip pumpkin bread and homemade pumpkin rolls (yet to be perfected).  This year I'd love to attempt my Mom's homemade mushroom soup.

These dishes look scrumptious, too!

Double Crumb Cake

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! It's easy. Recipe on

Cranberry Brie Pull Apart Bread - stuff with butter, brie, pecans and cranberries - bake, pull apart and eat! A total crowd pleaser! @

Pregnant or not, thank goodness for elastic pants, am I right?!

Here's to a happy and stress-free holiday season.

All hands in...1-2-3...LET'S DO THIS!!!

Marie :)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Five on Friday

It's Friday and I'm ready to paaaaaaarty - link-up party, that is!  ;)

Here we go with some Five on Friday fun!

Bump Update!

I feel like I should be doing these more often.  Hmm...

Anyway, here I am - just about to turn 22 weeks this weekend!

My skin is itchy (something I had never dealt with with my previous two pregnancies).  I'm applying cocoa butter like a mad woman, I wake up starving every morning, I crave Jimmy John's 24/7, I'm (TMI time) finishing off a round of antibiotics due to a fun UTI, baby is kicking on somewhat of a routine and I'm head over heels in love with this growing belly of mine!

You bet your bottom dollar that I'm scheduling one of those long dress whimsical type maternity sessions.  It's my last baby, so I'm going for it!

Find my maternity shirt HERE!
I soooo want to decorate for Christmas!

However, all of my Christmas decorations are in our crawl space at the moment and I'm guessing it wouldn't be too wise for me to haul them around myself.

While I've been anxiously awaiting for that husband of mine to bring the tubs out of hiding I've been pinning my little heart out and have been taking numerous screenshots over of Instagram of all of my favorite Christmas decor.  There's NO WAY I'm going to make it until after Thanksgiving, you way.

Here are a few pins that I adore!  I've included their sources, go check them out...well, after you're done here, of course.  ;)

Christmas Tree Advent Countdown tutorial via, or register to make your own at @HomeDepot's #DIHWorkshop #sponsored

Our Cozy Christmas Living Room » Kindred Vintage & Co.

I've made a few purchases this week over on Amazon and thought I'd share for no reason other than me thinking it'd be fun to share.  Haha!

This "light" circuit board is currently in Santa's closet, stowed away waaaaaay in the back just waiting to be wrapped!

Find it HERE!

Rumor has it that two of these arrived for the kids and are currently hiding out at Santa's workshop (AKA Jon's office ;) Ha!)

The reviews for these are great and you can't beat the price!

Find it HERE!

Eliza desperately needed a new hat.

She had been wearing the same adult sized hat for the last two years and it was one of those things that I vowed to change every month for the last two winters, but never did.  I finally pulled the trigger and she and I decided upon this one.  It comes with the scarf, too and you guys, it's awesome!  The quality is great and the fit is perfection!  She received multiple compliments on her first day of wearing it!  Seriously, so cute!

Find it HERE!

Okay, so this is also Christmas related, but I'll throw it down here in #4.

Have you guys seen these?

A friend of mine shared this on FB and it was just too adorable not to share.  Unfortunately I can't find a source. :(

So what is this, you ask?

They're presents wrapped up as snowmen!  Gah!  I just love them!

The bottom of the snowman is a toy, the middle is an article of clothing, the top is full of treats and the card is filled with money.  So cute, right?  I'm planning on doing this for my nieces and nephews, so Aunt Kimmy, if you're reading, now you know.  ;)

Lastly, and most importantly, Sunday is Veterans Day.

Thank you to all you Veterans out there!

Thank you for our freedom.

I make a point of thanking Veterans while out and about, especially in front of my kids.  They need to understand that freedom is not free and that there are men and women serving our country every hour of every day so that we may have the freedom to do as we choose.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!!!!

This morning Henry's school celebrated our Veterans.

It was not only adorable, but emotional...the pregnancy hormones may have kicked in a bit, too. ;)

Here are just a few highlights from the morning...

As the Veterans left the library, rows of children chanted, "USA!  USA!  USA!"

It was awesome!


Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great weekend you guys and remember to thank a Veteran!

Marie :)

A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals and Grace and Love Blog for Friday Favorites.  Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekend Recap

We had a super relaxing weekend over here.  So relaxing that I did my hair with nowhere to go, Eliza wore her pajamas the majority of the time (which by the way have lived their life - you'll see in a sec) and we, for the most part, stayed off of our phones/computer and just hung out.

Henry's been reading the Jack and Annie series and he just finished, Vacation Under the Volcano.  He asked to watch and learn more about volcanoes all last week, I mentioned to Jon that we should just run with it.  Jon, of course, was all in!

On Friday morning Jon and I went on our weekly breakfast date and headed to pick up the necessary materials needed for our volcano.

Volcano building commenced once the kids were home from school.

Not going to lie, as much as I thought the volcano was awesome - and don't take this the wrong way - but I couldn't wait for those obituaries to be covered up with some paint.  I usually pay my respects to those who have passed by reading their obits, but eating dinner with Lloyd was a little much for me... 

*wide-eyed emoji here*
*nervous laughter*

On Saturday the kids were up and already painting their little hearts out as I made coffee.

I told the kids not to wear anything new or nice as the paint was permanent.  Eliza wore her beloved Ariel nightgown, but as you can see - it's beyond time for a new one...see what I mean?

I enjoyed some morning caffeine...tea wasn't going to cut it.  Coffee it was.

I kind of got my wish of a day between Saturday and Sunday with the time change...well, one hour anyway.  I'll take it!  LOL!

Like I said up at the top, I did my hair for no reason.

I barely have time to put on pants lately.  It was fun to do a little curling.  Jon said he felt like he was with a different person.  LOL!  I guess that tells you how rarely I do anything with my hair!  No, it's not perfect, BUT it was a good hair day for me and it felt awesome not to have my hair up in a pony or a bun all day!

We snuggled on the couch and felt baby kicks together.  Eliza is the only one who has felt the baby kick, well other than me, of course.  Henry had the biggest kicks, but he said he didn't feel anything.  Gah!  Seriously, it was a huge one, but the seven year old sticks to his story...

I finally managed to get a belly/bump/pregnancy picture.  I'm at the very end of 20 weeks here...or 21 weeks...depending on what app I'm using.  ;)

Eliza wanted to be like Mama.  Not for 25 years, girlfriend!!!

My sweet thang...

We took the kids to the park after lunch and neither of us brought our phones.  Jon by choice, me by pregnancy brain.  It was awesome to just talk and walk and watch the kids and lose track of time.  It was a gorgeous fall day.  I was sad at first that I didn't have my phone to take pictures of all the trees and of the kids, but I quickly got over it and enjoyed the day the old-fashioned way...just by observing.  :)

We finally came across a clock in the park and realized the Michigan game was starting in ten minutes...yeah, that's how out of touch we were!  So great!

We rushed over to the car, loaded up the kids, loaded up their bikes and beelined it home.

Michigan won!!!

Oh boy, it's turning out to be a fantastic season!

On Sunday we all woke up early feeling renewed.

The boys came over and watched Jon add "lava" to the volcano.

As you can see, Eliza's wearing that nightgown again.  Oy.  Seriously love it, but Santa's got to bring something new!

Jon busted my grocery budget from last week.  If you follow along here on the blog you may remember my mentioning us not spending as much on groceries.  You guys, I managed to only spend $120 on groceries for the week (which for us is a deal)!  I was going to make it work, we were going to make it happen, darnit!!!

Then that husband of mine went to the store and bought all of this.  LOL!

In the most light-hearted way I voiced my opinion of why this stuff couldn't wait until Wednesday.  Jon, if you're reading this, I love you and I'm just giving you a hard time...still.  ;)

In all honesty, I guess toilet paper and toothpaste are probably necessities.  I came home last week with four rolls of toilet paper and told Jon to make it work...BAHAHA!

Until our next grocery shopping adventure...  ;)

The remainder of Sunday was spent cleaning, doing laundry and basically nesting.

Along the way I found these sweet notes in Eliza's room.  Love.

I also found these.  Someone from Eliza's school had made a sucker ghost for Halloween, so Eliza took it upon herself to decorate all of her suckers the same way.  She did all of this.  No help from me.  Girlfriend found tissues, found rubber bands and drew faces on the ghosts (we've been told that some are 'cats').  She's a hoot!

Aaaaaand to round out the weekend and this little post of mine - I give you Starbucks!  I had an unplanned OB appointment this morning (can you say UTI that started last night - yeah, not fun at all and NOT a fun night - at all).  So I decided that on my way home I deserved my first gingerbread latte of the season (half caff).  Oh man, it was delicious and it made the crazy start to the week way better. Don't worry, after my half caff latte, I consumed 30 ounces of water, drank some cranberry juice and started a round of antibiotics.

Here's to the week!

So let's do this thing!  Come on Tuesday, bring it! ;)

Marie :)

I'm linking up with Hello Monday, B Loved Boston and HoHo Runs.

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