Friday, December 13, 2019

My Favorite Christmas Books

We have a little tradition that I've been doing since Campbell's first Christmas. It's really simple but I absolutely love it and enjoy doing it every year. We go to the book store and pick out a new Christmas book. Each kiddo gets to choose their own book and over the last 5 years we've accumulated quite a few! We love to read only Christmas books the whole month of December then after the holidays I put the books up until the next year. This way they feel really exciting and special when we pull them out again! I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Christmas books with you all. We all love and are familiar with the classics like The Grinch, Frosty, Rudolph and The Night Before Christmas. Here's a few that are a little less well known. We are still growing our collection into a bigger kid collection. We have a lot of babish Christmas books that we love but the big boys are growing tired of them and are getting old enough for bigger books now! We've added a few big kid books to our collection this year and they are so fun! I'll link them all with Amazon in case you're interested in adding some new books to your library!
I'm sure this is a favorite for most of you! I love the Little Blue Truck series. The end of the book has a twinkling surprise that never seems to get old!
Snowmen At Christmas
We love this series of Snowmen books! The illustrations are so beautiful and the stories are always entertaining! 
I'm pretty sure Bennett would declare this his favorite Christmas book ever. There are so many lift the flaps which he absolutely loves in a book. The story is cute and the drawings inside are fun! 
This is such a great book to help your kids learn the alphabet! The illustrations are beautiful and my kids thoroughly enjoy "learning" while reading this book! 
Several years ago I flipped through several books that told the true meaning behind Christmas and this one ended up being my favorite. I like the sweet way they deliver the story.
That's Not My Christmas Books
Perfect for the tiniest Christmas readers, I'm linking this set because we have them all and Wells LOVES reading them. He is so fascinated by touch and feel books so these are his favorite Christmas books this season! I love all of the 'That's Not My...' series and feel like you can never have too many. Campbell "reads" these to Wells and it's the sweetest thing! These books are a great gift for a baby for Christmas.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?
Well of course we have a dinosaur Christmas book and this one is so cute!! It's actually a pretty quick read which I appreciate when we're rushing to get to bed. The boys LOVE this book and I agree that it is really cute!
The Little Reindeer
The sweetest story with the most beautiful illustrations (can you tell I have a thing for beautiful book illustrations?!). This book makes me want to cozy up by a fire and read aloud to my kids. If you only get one new book this year, get this one! It isn't a board book but even a two year old would be captivated enough to sit still and listen!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Boys Meet Santa

This Sunday my boys got the chance to meet Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas! Campbell was SO excited to see Santa. He walked over to him with a pep in his step and smiled so big as he sat on his lap.
I had already been where Santa was for quite some time because I was having a mini Santa session. So Scott brought the kids for their chance to see Santa when I had a small break between clients. I got so tickled at Campbell because I told him to write Santa a letter but he took it upon himself to make it very official, sealed in an envelope and everything.
All Campbell wants for Christmas this year is chapstick in his stocking (his latest and greatest obsession) and dinosaurs. Seems like a pretty simple request that Santa will gladly take care of! Once Campbell shared his wishes with Santa, he gave him a big hug and was on his way.
Next was our sweet Baby Wells' turn to meet Santa! I wasn't so sure Wells would like Santa. He typically doesn't care for men in general and Santa seems so extra. But I think Santa was SO extra that it was intriguing to Wells....and he was way too interested in checking him out from head to toe than to bother himself with crying.
It was so funny and really sweet! Wells just did not know what to think about this jolly ol' fella. Santa told Wells that he had a feeling he was all set on toys but maybe he would get him some new pajamas and clothes and I told Santa that was a fantastic idea!!
It was such a fun little Santa visit and I'm so glad I was able to get some sweet little photos to remember it by! I love these photos so much and I'm thankful I've had the opportunity to capture my boys with Santa, with my own camera and my own vision of how I want our Santa photos to look, these last few years.
And if you're wondering where Bennett was, he was there--hiding--and terrified. For the second year in a row he has refused to see Santa or even get close to him. This is what he looked like the entire time. Bless.
I worked so hard to find the perfect coordinating outfits for them to all wear for these photos. Sigh....

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 9, 2019

My Home For The Holidays

I love seeing homes decorated for Christmas. It's so cozy and magical! My home doesn't really look any different this year than it did last year but I still wanted to take photos of it and share on here for my memories.
We got all new Christmas decorations last year for our first Christmas in our new house. We needed a bigger tree and I was ready for an update. I really loved how it all looked so I didn't feel the need to change anything. The only thing different this year is our extra stocking!
I don't do a whole lot in my kitchen. I always get poinsettias because I love them! I sprinkle a little bit of Christmas here and there throughout my kitchen but otherwise I leave it pretty simple.
One thing I did last year that I absolutely loved was I got fresh garland from my local nursery. I drape it across my mantel and it is so simple but looks so beautiful! It's also a really cheap way to decorate since they only charge $2 a foot. I wish there were other places for me to put fresh garland in my house because if there were I'd put it everywhere!!
I enjoy Christmas decorations so much! I find it quite delightful to sit in my living room in the morning (the buffalo plaid chair on the right is "my" chair) and drink my coffee, watch Good Morning America, and enjoy my surroundings. It makes me feel very merry!!
It feels like this Christmas season is going by too quickly. We got off to a late start with Thanksgiving being so late and I can't believe Christmas is just a little over two weeks away!! I'm squeezing in all the Christmas movies I can and trying to soak it all up! It will come and go before I know it.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Gift Guide Ages 0-6

My gift guides were super popular last year so I'm back at it this year with some ideas for your kiddos!! These are some of our favorite gifts and/or gifts I'm getting my own kids this year. Let's go ahead and get started!! Everything is linked with Amazon.

Playhouse Tent - We're getting this for our boys this year and I'm really excited about it! They are currently super into blanket forts and pillow forts. They like to build them then camp out underneath so I figured a pop up tent would be perfect. I did a lot of research because there are so many to choose from and I landed on this particular one. It easily pops out and stores in a small bag. I think they're going to love it! Also, this looks like a "big" gift and it's only $15. Score.

Camping Lantern - You really can't have a camp out without lanterns so I found these to go along with our tent! It's plastic and battery powered. These aren't technically "kid" lanterns but all of the kids ones I found were teeny tiny. These are the perfect size and weight and I know my boys are going to have so much fun with them! Plus, if our power ever goes out, these will come in super handy!

Les Papoum Pop-Up - Little Wells has all the toys he needs but I wanted to get him a toy to go with his new pajamas and yogurt melts that he's getting for Christmas. Ha!! This sweet toy is so adorable and looks so fun! I think he'll get a kick out of it!

Fisher Price Crawl Around Car - I think I shared this last year but this is literally the best toy we've ever owned so it's worth it to share again. Campbell got this for his first Christmas and every single one of my boys have LOVED this toy and play with it for several years.

Mickey Ride On Train - We got this for Bennett for Christmas when he was 18 months old and it was the number one toy in our family that year! Even 3.5 year old Campbell loved it. You can put it on the tracks or it can go without them. The train goes soooo slow but the kids don't seem to mind it one bit.

Classic Wooden Blocks - The most simple toy ever but all of my boys love playing with plain ol' wooden blocks. I think every child needs blocks so they can use their imagination to do all sorts of things with them!

Sticky Mosaics - Campbell got one of these for his birthday and he loved it. I loved it too! Toys that are crafty and one and done are the best, especially when you're overloaded on toys and don't need anymore piling up. There are several different designs for boys and girls.

Toy Story 4 Puzzle - Our house loves puzzles and Ravensburger puzzles are my favorite.

Disney Bath Toy Set - I am always game for new bath toys. They need to be traded out often. We love these Disney bath toy sets. They don't squirt so water can't get in them and make them gross. We have Mickey and pals, Toy Story, and Pooh. We use them for the bath and take them to the pool too!

Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Counter - The paci fairy brought this to Bennett this year and it is a hit!! Both of my boys play with this toy daily. It's so adorable and great for imaginative play!

Light Stax - My boys love these light up blocks. They're the same size as Duplos and you can create so many different things out of them. These are constantly being played with at my house.

Janod MagnetiBook - I had to throw in an educational toy! Campbell loves learning now that he's in school and he is anxious to know how to read and write alllll the words. This toy is fantastic for practicing so many skills and perfect for ages 3+.

Crayola Vintage Color Tin - My boys love to color and they're always searching for something creative to put all of their colors in and tote them around from room to room. This vintage crayon tin is perfect! My boys love little boxes to store treasures in so I'm sure it will be used for much more than just crayons.

Disney Encyclopedia of Characters - We received this as a gift and it's such a great book! We are big Disney fans around here and this book has fun facts, trivia and quotes from all your favorite characters. If you're going to Disney this is a great book to give to your kids so they can brush up on their character knowledge!!

Pet Vet Toy - We've had this toy for several years and it continues to be a favorite in our house.

Spinagain Toy - Six vibrant discs that spin down a corkscrew pole and is fascinating for those little ones to watch! Bennett got this for his first birthday and Wells loves playing with it now!

Kinetic Sand - It's really not too messy and it provides hours of entertainment for my kids. This kit comes with castle molds and 10 different colors which is a dream come true for my Bennett!!

Where's Waldo - We got this for Campbell for Christmas last year and he has loved his Where's Waldo books! Some pages can be a little tricky, making it extra fun!!

Moulin Roty Play Doctor Kit - This is the most adorable doctor kit. This brand of toys is so precious and would even make for cute decoration in your room or playroom!!

Janod Stacking and Nesting Blocks - Three out of three of my kids have been obsessed with stacking and nesting blocks. Someone gave us some stacking and nesting blocks when Campbell was about 10 months old. I never would have purchased them on my own simply because I would not have thought he would be entertained by them. Wrong. We have several now because they're such a popular toy in our house but these Janod ones are some of my favorites! If you stack them correctly, it makes a cool scene. My kids are between the ages of 10 months and just shy of 6 and they all three play with these.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Treats

The holidays are for baking! At least I think so. It seems like there's always an excuse to bake a sweet, holiday themed treat during the month of December. We love making sweet treats for Santa and desserts for all of our holiday parties. I never seem to mind going the extra mile during the holidays.....maybe I'm a little jollier, who knows! These are all so fun and cute and not complicated. The kids enjoy these delicious treats and I do too! Today I thought I'd share my favorites!

These are so adorable and pretty easy to make. You can get creative with what all you want to use to make the snowmen but you get the idea. So fun!
To be honest I could not get mine to look like this. Making them look like actual snowmen was too hard for me. I ended up just throwing christmasy sprinkles all over them and called it a day. These are SO delicious

So easy to make and the kids love them! I didn't mess with the peppermint stick but if you're feeling ambitious go for it!
LOVE this popcorn. We make it every year. It makes a lot so if you want to make treats for teachers, neighbors, co-workers or friends, this is a great option!
I made these for Scott and I for our first Christmas as a married couple. This was in ye olden days before good ol' Pinterest. I must have seen it in a magazine, who knows. These are cute, easy and peanut butter cookies with chocolate is always delicious!