Happy New Year, sweet friends!!!!! We are just coming back to life after a very long and relaxing holiday break spent with lots of friends & family. It has been so restful and good for the soul!! I wanted to share a couple of my favorite photos from our Christmas, including the most beautiful snowfall earlier in December, our Christmas Vacation inspired outfits for our neighborhood holiday party & lots of favorite of the girls from Christmas Eve & Christmas morning!
I say this every year but the girls are at such fun ages right now, I never want to forget their cookie frosting skills, their sweet voices singing in church or their excitement on Christmas morning as they shuffled down the stairs.
We hope you had the merriest Christmas with the ones you love, cheers to the new year, may it be filled with hope, happiness and lots of new magical adventures!! XO
Where has this month gone?! November has been flying by and I’m convinced Christmas is going to be here before we know it. I wanted to share with you guys a few things we are planning before the month is over & thought they might be fun things you could add to your calendar as well!!
Plan Friendsgiving. I love Friendsgiving because it is so much more casual and less pressure than the official Thanksgiving dinner. Invite over your besties or your neighbors and eat all your favorite food together, doesn’t even have to be turkey!! It’s also so fun to have a kids table and a menu just for them, let them indulge and plan the menu themselves!! Picture the scene where buddy the elf is eating his syrup drenched spaghetti.
Make a holiday playlist. Then jam out to it allllll season long. May I suggest a little Kenny G. Our holiday playlist is coming soon!
Start your holiday shopping. It’s never too early to grab some gifts and start stashing them away for Christmas morning. Or do as I do, and add all your favorite things to your cart now and check out on Black Friday when they have the best deals of the season!! I’ll be sure to share lots of gift guides & all of my favorite sales right here!
Have a wine + cheese night and watch all your favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes. Fun to do alone, with your spouse or with your girlfriends!!
Go on a long walk with a podcast & a coffee. Enjoy all of that fresh Fall air before it freezes, this is my favorite time of year to be outside!!
Declutter & donate. It feels so good to do before the holidays & we love being able to donate to local shelters and community centers for those in need. And if you have the capacity, adopt a family this Christmas!!
Cozy up your home for cold weather. It’s time for all the cozy blankets, twinkle lights & diffusers!! I also love putting flannel sheets on all the girls beds!!
Try a new soup or chili recipe. We try to do this every Fall but this year it has truly just flown by too fast. We do make this white chicken chili every year and it is always a fave. Probably because we serve it with Fritos.
Plan an intentional coffee date or afternoon with a grandparent. Grandparents are such treasures & seem to only be in our lives for a short amount of time. If you still have a grandparent living, be intentional about planning time with them, you will be so thankful you did.
Host a “turkey & touchdowns” day after thanksgiving football watch party. Black Friday is one of the most fun days of the year, football on TV, leftover cold turkey sandwiches & online shopping in your pajamas from your couch! Why not make it an excuse to invite friends over to enjoy the fun.
My enneagram 7 is in overdrive during the holidays, can you tell? Ok you guys, I hope you are truly having the best November ever with your friends & family, tell me what fun things you are doing this month!!!
Our dining room table is covered with partially put together Halloween costumes, we have just pulled out winter coats in preparation for snow tomorrow, the kitchen counters are filled with treats to bring for this week’s class parties. I keep telling myself “as soon as this week is over, things are going to get back to normal around here!” But the truth is, this is our normal. It is always chaos in our house. We are well into the busiest time of year, which means time to pull out every trick in the book in order to keep it together, so I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite mom hacks & time saving tips to make the day to day just a little bit less stressful.
1. Making a weekly calendar + set alarms for everything. The first and most important alarm is the one that gets you up for the day before your kiddos, squeezing in just one sip of coffee before somebody is climbing on you or asking for something is always a win. My day gets away from me so fast, I set alarms to help me block time, remind me to prep for dinner, switch laundry, pick up the kids from school, etc. so I can stay as focused as possible while I am working. Brandon and I also use a shared Google calendar so we both know what is happening and we can stay organized. Except for when things get put on the calendar in the wrong time zone, then we forget to go to parent teacher conferences.
2. Let someone else do your grocery shopping. We started using SHIPT grocery delivery service around the time we moved into our house & it is hands down my favorite time saving hack EVER. You order groceries through the app from whatever local stores that the service offers (I do both Hy-Vee and Target) & your groceries are delivered by a SHIPT shopper in around two hours! We meal plan on Saturdays, and then I have all of our groceries ordered and delivered that afternoon. It gives me back at least two hours on the weekends, and I typically place a random order once or twice throughout the week as well if I forgot a few things. The best part, it is only $49 for the entire YEAR for unlimited grocery orders.
3. Meal prep & planning. We try to meal prep as much as possible for the week ahead every Sunday, cutting fruit & veggies for the girls lunches and making anything like rotisserie chicken or breakfast burritos that we eat during the week. Something that we have also found so helpful is just planning our meals around our weeknight activities, saving the meals that take the longest to cook for nights we are all home and quick meals (or plan to go out to eat) on nights we are out running errands for the kids activities. I used to just plan the week’s worth of meals but now actually figuring them out for each day ahead of time saves a ton of time & makes the weeknights flow so much easier. We are sad to say goodbye to grilling season but ready to bust out that slow cooker for all the cozy, cold weather nights!
4. Set out clothes the night before. Mornings are always a challenge, and even though we feel like our evenings are crazy, the kids are truly so much more cooperative about their clothes when we are getting ready for bed. They all put everything on the bench in the hallway so in the morning there is no question about their outfits, and we will have already settled the debate about why they can’t wear pajamas, gymnastics leotards or swimsuits to school.
5. Establish a wellness routine & get kids in bed early. Nothing sets you back or stresses you out quite like getting sick, or having a sick kid. The most important thing we can do during Fall & Winter seasons is to have a good wellness routine for our families & make sure everyone gets a good nights sleep. We are diligent about hand sanitizer, use essential oils for wellness & good sleep habits, take elderberry & vitamin d supplements, and try to get the kids in bed no later than 8:00 pm on school nights. Also, if any of the kids start to feel run down, I never hesitate to keep them home from school so they can refuel. Once someone is sick in the family, it tends to make it’s rounds, so getting ahead of it is key.
Do you find any of these things helpful? Would love to hear your best mom hacks, share them below for others to read if you have a moment! XO