A Simple Winter Activity To Do With The Kids

A Simple Winter Activity To Do With The Kids

As we are still in a pandemic, a lot of the winter activities I would normally do with the kids are out (like going to the Discovery Center or Children’s Museum). I confess I’ve allowed way more screen time this past year than I normally would (we gotta keep our sanity somehow) but I also try to make them take breaks for some educational and creative activities.

I remember making simple bird feeders to help wild birds during the winter as a kid, and wanted to recreate this for my kids. It’s simple, fun to do together, and great for the environment.

What You’ll Need

Birdseed

Gelatin

Water

Straws

Parchment Paper

Cookie Cutters

Twine

Directions

Bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil

Add in one packet of unflavored gelatin and stir until dissolved (about 2 minutes)

Remove from heat and let cool slightly

Stir in 3/4 cup of birdseed

Place 3 cookie cutters on parchment paper and fill them with the birdseed mixture

Use a second piece of parchment paper on top to press the birdseed down firmly into the cookie cutters

Cut a straw into thirds and put a piece of straw into each filled cookie cutters to create a hole

Put the filled cookie cutters into the freezer for 20 minutes

Remove from freezer and allow to slightly warm for about 5 minutes, then gently push the birdseed out of the cookie cutters

Remove the straw pieces and thread the twine or string through the hole and tie into a loop

Hang outside and have fun bird watching!

My Go To Mom Winter Uniform

The one good thing about the pandemic is that leisure wear is now pretty much acceptable to live in. It’s safe to say I’ve fully embraced wearing sweatsuits as much as possible, but for when I step out to run errands I do like to attempt to look at least somewhat pulled together. Adding a minimalist pair of sneakers, a chic coat, and a tote make for a perfect transition from the couch to out and about. Today I wanted to share a few pieces to create this easy mom uniform to get you through the rest of winter.

Sweatshirt | Sweatpants | Coat (more affordable version here) | Sneakers | Bag

Sweatsuits

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

One & Two | Navy is one of my favorite neutrals but this set comes in a few other colors too

Three & Four | This set comes in several other colors but I love this camel color

Five & Six | This green is so pretty and unexpected

Coats

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

One | This coat is so sophisticated and can be so easily dressed up or down

Two | A little pricey but Vince always offers exceptional quality

Three | This coat is on major sale and is so classic

Four | Can’t go wrong with this $37 peacoat

Five | I love a good wrap coat and the color of this one is perfection

Six | Another great wrap coat option that is only $60

Sneakers

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

One | These minimalist sneakers are so popular right now and relatively affordable

Two | A little sportier looking sneaker

Three | Minimalist dupes for Common Projects

Four | Kate Middleton’s favorite white sneakers

Six | White sneakers but make them flashy

Six | I always love a pop of leopard and these are on major sale

Totes

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

One | Literally the perfect classic camel tote

Two | A designer tote that will never go out of style

Three | Giving me all the Bottega Veneta vibes

Four | This designer bag is so minimalistic chic

Five | For someone who loves a pop of color

Six | This popular and super affordable $50 bag is also reversible

Get Organized With These Calendars And Planners

As a busy mom juggling distance learning, therapy appointments, Taekwondo lessons, doctors appointments, and all of the other things that inevitably pop up – I have to keep everything written down. I’m someone that prefers things written down instead of using an app, plus having a calendar hung up in a central location for the whole family to see helps us all keep track of each other’s schedules. I’m using this last week of our Christmas vacation to take an afternoon to get started on filling out my 2021 calendar so that when school starts next week, I feel organized and ready to go. Today I’m sharing some pretty and functional calendars and planners to help you have your most organized year yet.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven

One | This pink and gold calendar is subtle and feminine

Two | This calendar is like a lovely piece of art

Three | Perfect for the minimalist

Four | A fun way to keep track of all of the silly daily holidays and give yourself a reason to celebrate every day

Five | Such a pretty and feminine planner

Six | I love that this pretty planner has designated spaces for goal planning, gratitude, and to do lists

Seven | Start your year of bright with this colorful calendar

Eight | This calendar has columns for each family member and also comes with some fun stickers and magnets

Nine | A chic faux leather in a pretty feminine pink

Ten | Just looking at this planner makes me happy and even includes some sticker sheets for more fun

Eleven | Perfect for the floral lover

Farewell Holiday Season! Storage Solutions For All Of Your Holiday Decor

This weekend I’ve been working on slowly putting away all of our Christmas decorations. It’s always such a big chore that it often takes me a few days to finish, but getting the house back in order really gives me the feeling of starting a fresh new year and I think we are all in need of that this year! A few years back I invested in a number of storage options for storing all of our holiday decorations, and it definitely makes the process of clean up a bit easier. Today I wanted to share some great storage options with you to help with your holiday cleanup.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight

One | I have and love this box for storing all of our tree ornaments

Two | I bought a hanging gift wrap organizer a few years back and it’s amazing for storing all of my gift wrap, tissue, and bows.

Three | Large bins are essential

Four | A good system for storing Christmas lights and keeping them tangle free will save you hours of frustration

Five | A figurine box for storing all of those breakable Christmas figurines

Six | I have a wreath storage bag like this that also fits garlands as well

Seven | Get rid of that old box your tree came in and switch to a bag to store your tree

Eight | Perfect for storing odds and ends like seasonal blankets and pillows

Ring In The New Year With These Party Finds

GOODBYE and good riddance 2020! I’ve never been happier to be arriving at the end of a year, and while we won’t be going out to celebrate, I still plan to have a little celebration at home with the kids. This year I’m planning on an evening of fondue, games, and mocktail/milk and cookie toasts. Adding a little decor will definitely make the evening more fun, and here’s a few ideas to help you ring in the New Year a bit more festively.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen

One | These scalloped plates are really elegant for disposable plates

Two | These festive straws are perfect for midnight milk and cookie toasts

Three | Fun props for an at home photo booth (there are some fun photo booth apps you can download to take authentic photo booth style pics – I like Pocketbooth!)

Four | These glitter champagne flutes are so pretty and no worries about kids breaking them

Five | New Year’s fortune cards would be a fun activity

Six | A pretty backdrop for your photo booth or behind your food/drink table

Seven | 2021 balloon decor

Eight | Some pretty gold and black noisemakers that match the decor

Nine | A New Year’s banner is a must

Ten | An escape room game that will be fun for the whole family and a good way to pass the time until midnight

Eleven | My kids love these mini sparkling ciders for making mocktails

Twelve | Temporary tattoos are always so fun for kids

Thirteen | These large party poppers look like a lot of fun

Fourteen | Rock candy is perfect for making mocktails a little more special

Fifteen | I’m planning on making fondue this year which is always a ton of fun for everyone

Sixteen | This New Years bingo game looks fun and even matches the decor

May 2021 bring health, prosperity, joy, and blessings. Happy New Year!

Snapshots From Christmas & The Sales I’m Shopping

Santa backdrop via Etsy

Our Christmas festivities have come to an end, but we made the most of this past week by celebrating with several Zoom parties, FaceTiming with family, and having a simple Christmas Day celebration at home.

My husband’s annual work party couldn’t happen as normal this year, so instead they organized a zoom “Santa-y Sip” where everyone was sent several bottles of wine for a virtual tasting. Prior to the party we were asked to watch Bottle Shock on Netflix which featured the Chardonnay wine we would be tasting. We were also asked to wear ugly Christmas sweaters with prizes for the best sweaters. The kids and I dressed up for the family portion where they had the ugly sweater contest and Santa even made an appearance! For the adult portion of the evening with the wine tasting, we had Napa Valley wine sommelier to walk us through which was really neat!

My Sweater | Evan’s Sweater (Target – similar) | Cole’s Sweater

Evan is part of an organization here in Boise for medically fragile children. They provide amazing support to families like ours and we are so thankful for all they do to make our lives a little brighter! Several weeks back they sent us a holiday gift, which included a golden ticket for the Polar Express and hot cocoa, marshmallows, and cookie mix. This week we got cozy in our pajamas with our cocoa and treats, and settled in for a virtual ride on the Polar Express with the train conductor who did a reading of the book.

Another really fun opportunity we had was a drive through Christmas Light show called Christmas in Color (they have several locations around the country). As it was all inside our car it was of course Covid safe (and also warm and cozy inside the car!). We bundled up in our matching pjs with a cup of cocoa and went to see the lights (we will probably go back this week because the kids loved it so much!).

The skies cleared just in time to see the Star of Bethlehem (the Great Conjunction) literally from our front porch. My camera even captured a few of Jupiter’s moons.

Cole got to do a really fun project for school. He made an “ugly tee shirt” to wear for his last day of school. He came up with the design and did it almost completely on his own. I’m still cracking up over what he came up with! His teacher also made the last day of school feel special for the kids by dropping off a “party in a bag” the day prior so the kids could have a virtual party together.

In the days leading up to Christmas we enjoyed many of our usual traditions. Gingerbread houses, cookie baking and decorating, and watching our favorite holiday movies.

Our Christmas Day celebration didn’t look too different from typical years. We usually have a simple day at home opening presents, spending the day lounging in pjs, and then enjoying a nice dinner.

My Pajamas | Headband | Slippers | Boys’ Pajamas
Santa brought him the hot sauce he asked for!

Christmas was bittersweet this year. I’m incredibly thankful that we are all here together. But it has also been a very hard year filled with a lot of difficulty. I admit I’m somewhat glad it’s over because the pressure to create all the fun and magic is now off, and now we can spend a few weeks just relaxing and having some fun together. In truth, the past few days since Christmas have been more fun than all the days leading up to it this year. We’ve been spending our days lounging in our pjs, playing board games, getting outside for some fresh air, and eating lots of leftovers. And I’ve been indulging in some retail therapy and taking advantage of the after Christmas sales! I wanted to share some of the things I’ve grabbed during the sales over the past few days.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight (also here) | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen | Seventeen | Eighteen

As you can see I’ve bought a ton of workout gear. Lululemon has SO many things on sale right now. This is a great time to stock up on new workout gear to help you keep your New Years fitness resolutions! I always find that cute outfits help motivate me to go for a run even if I’m not really feeling like it. I’ve been wanting to try out Sweaty Betty too for awhile, and some great sale prices encouraged me to order a few pieces. I bought a pair of their shine leggings in the blue pictured above, and another pair in a pretty dark forest green. I’m not sure how well they will work for running, but they will be cute for athleisure “mom” outfits nonetheless. I also grabbed a nice wool sweater that was half off that will be great for casual wear or skiing and their sale is definitely worth checking out for some amazing deals.

J Crew Factory is having some killer deals too (use code NEW4YOU to get 75% off all clearance). They are a go-to for great affordable basics for the kids and I. The tartan skirt I grabbed will be hopefully getting some use next year at the holidays ($10 with sale code), and the cute leopard skirt is a fantastic year round piece ($15 with sale code). No I don’t have anywhere to wear it this year, but the metallic blouse is a perfect NYE top (it’s under $10 with sale code).

I also grabbed a few great sweaters on sale at Nordstrom. Halogen cashmere sweaters are half off and are under $50. I already ordered the grey crewneck and the black turtleneck is sitting in my cart. These also both come in a bunch of other colors. The chunky Free People sweater is also a great buy under $50 and comes in a few other colors as well. I just received it (in the sandcastle color), and it’s definitely going to be a wardrobe staple for the remainder of winter.

A few other random things. Le Creuset is having a sale with some select items on sale. I’ve been amassing a bit of a collection during this pandemic and while I don’t need another casserole dish, I love the 2 in 1 pieces that you get with this set. Sephora is also having a big sale so I jumped on a OUAI set which was an additional 20% off with code MAJORSALE. There’s some really good things in their sale on sale, so it’s definitely worth taking a look.

What I’m Gifting For Christmas

Today I wanted to share what I’m gifting for Christmas this year, just in case you’re in need of some last minute gift ideas (some of these can still be shipped and arrive in time!).

Cole

Fortnite Nerf Gun

Tabletop Air Hockey

Clue

Ticket to Ride

Nerf Target

Exit Escape Room Game

Fortnite Tee

Pajamas

Money Maze Puzzle Box

Evan

Mega Blocks

Hairdresser Pretend Play Kit

Cubic Fun Car Toy Set

Magnatile Car Adaptors

Play Weight Set

Dinosaur Play Mat

Drawing Board

Hulk and Spider-Man Action Figures

Pajamas

Cole’s Teacher

Cosmetic Pouch | Mask

Jon

Sweats | Slippers | Car Vacuum | Cell Phone Cleaner

Merry Merry

I don’t know how it’s possible, but Christmas is next week! The time between Halloween and Christmas always seems to fly by. And despite Covid, our family has found some fun ways to celebrate and make the most of this holiday season.

A few weeks ago we had family Christmas photos taken. We normally get professional pictures of the kids taken with Santa, but since we couldn’t do it with Covid this year, our photographer found a fun way to incorporate a Santa photo into our family photos.

My Sweater | Skirt | Shoes | Similar Earrings | Cole’s Shirt | Cole’s Pants | Evan’s Sweater | Evan’s Shirt | Evan’s Pants | Evan’s Shoes (similar)

I had originally prepared the boys that we likely wouldn’t get to see Santa in person this year due to Covid. However we ended up getting to see him after all! Even though our visit with Santa may have been a bit different this year, we found a fun and safe way to see him. Some local businesses downtown Boise arranged a socially distanced, outdoor visit with Santa. It ended up being a lot of fun and the boys got to take a few pictures with Santa and tell him what they want this year.

Cole’s Sweater | Cole’s Jeans | Cole’s Coat | Evan’s Coat | Evan’s Jeans | Evan’s Sweater (Janie & Jack, old – similar) | Evan’s Shoes | My Sweater | My Coat | My Jeans | My Boots

This year 4th graders get to cut down a tree in the National forest for free through the Every Kid Outdoors program. With Covid limiting a lot of normal activities, this was the perfect year to spend a day in the mountains hiking and looking for our perfect tree. Our “perfect” tree ended up being a Charlie Brown tree, but the kids had an absolute blast and it was a fun way to make a special memory this year.

We attended a few local light shows as well. The Idaho Botanical Gardens is always a must do. They took extra steps to make it Covid safe and we spent a really lovely evening at the Gardens. The kids got to write letters to Santa and have some snacks from food trucks while we strolled and looked at the lights.

My Coat | Sweater (H&M, old – similar) | Mittens | Hat | Boots | Bag

We also went to Caldwell’s Indian Creek Plaza light show. It’s a really beautiful display along the creek and there is also ice skating. It was just far too crowded to really enjoy unfortunately so we didn’t stay long.

This is what I wore the evening we went to the Caldwell light show and I’ve been living in this festive turtleneck. I had a zoom meeting a few days ago working on some of Evan’s ongoing therapy needs and I wore this top with cozy sweats. (Perfect for anyone working at home!)

Turtleneck | Sweats | Slippers (similar)

Something else I’ve been living in lately is this “shacket” which is so on trend right now.

My Sweater | Shacket | Leggings | Socks (similar) | Boots | Beanie | Sunglasses | Bag | Evan’s Outfit | Evan’s Coat | Evan’s Beanie | Evan’s Shoes

Five Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

With our first (and hopefully last) pandemic Thanksgiving next week, today I wanted to share a few looks for a little holiday outfit inspiration! Like most people, our holiday will look quite different this year as we won’t be getting together with friends or family. However I still wanted to come up with some ideas for celebrating in style no matter what your holiday may look like this year.

Festive Casual

A bright colored top in a cheery fall color is sure to make you feel a bit more festive even if you’re staying in. And it will look really cute on those zoom family gatherings!

Top | Jeans | Booties (similar) | Bag

Outdoor Layers

Many people are moving their celebrations outdoors this year, which is significantly safer with Covid but of course may be a bit chilly. Keep warm with lots of layers and some cozy boots.

Sweater | Tee (similar) | Leggings | Boots | Hat (similar) | Bag

Cozy Comfort

A cozy jogger outfit with slippers seems very fitting this year, and it’s the perfect outfit for curling up on the sofa in and getting a head start on those Black Friday online sales.

For the Turkey Trot

If you’re headed out for a run, walk, or bike ride this is the perfect athleisure look to keep you warm and still look cute.

Classic Neutrals

This holiday may be a lot different this year, but classic corduroy pants with a cashmere sweater are always traditional.

Sweater | Pants (similar) | Shoes | Bag

Festive Thanksgiving Touches for the Kitchen

Just because large Thanksgiving gatherings may be a no-go this year, it doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is cancelled! I’m looking forward to celebrating with just my little family and will make sure that this year is still just as festive as always. I’m still going to cook our traditional Thanksgiving dinner and already have our house decorated with fall foliage and pumpkins. I’ve been on the hunt for some festive touches to add to the kitchen and our Thanksgiving table, and today wanted to share a few things I’ve come across.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve

One | These pretty spatulas will make Thanksgiving baking a little more fun

Two | This wheat bouquet is a pretty minimalist option for a centerpiece or kitchen counter

Three | These dinner plates are so elegant

Four | These napkins could be used all fall long

Five | A gorgeous piece of cookware to cook your Thanksgiving side dishes in

Six | This pretty plate could used as a decorative touch or a serving dish

Seven | This cute apron and oven mitt set is under $13

Eight | This cute (and so affordable) little trinket dish would be so cute on the Thanksgiving table

Nine | Festive dish towels are a must have

Ten | Make your pies extra pretty this year

Eleven | Festive spreaders are such a fun touch

Twelve | Such a cute pie dish/cutter combo