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 wonโ€™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.

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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

The Cutest PJs For Halloween (And A Cute Breakfast Idea)

While Halloween is going to look a lot different this year, there are still so many holiday traditions that we can keep and make it special for the kids. One of the simplest yet one of my favorite ways to observe any holiday is festive pajamas. And I love that Halloween pajamas are seeming to grow in popularity as there are so many cute options these days. This past weekend we filled with a lot of fall and Halloween (socially distanced) activities, which was made even more fun by coming home to festive jammies and cuddling up on the couch to watch spooky movies. I also put together a simple Halloween themed breakfast for the kids one morning, which would be a perfect way to make Halloween morning feel a bit more special this year (and could be made all fall long!).

My Pajamas | Evan’s Pajamas
Boy’s Pajamas
Boy’s Pajamas

For our breakfast I just whipped up some cute pumpkin shaped waffles using Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffle mix and topped them with Trader Joe’s maple butter (this stuff is heavenly!). I served them with cute Halloween themed plates and cups and we had apple cider to drink. This would be a super cute breakfast for Thanksgiving morning as well.

Mini Waffle Maker also available here

Halloween At Home

Halloween At Home

Certainly nothing has been normal this year. Covid has been rough for everyone and it has been extra difficult for me to find any joy in light of Evan’s horrible brain injury he suffered in March. While he is making great progress every day, our lives have been changed drastically and it will be a long time before we will be able to return to any semblance of normal. Halloween and fall is always my favorite time of the year…but this year I’ve had a hard time finding the enthusiasm and energy to recreate our favorite traditions. This has been the first year in my life that I debated not even putting up the decorations. But I knew it was important for the boys, so last week I turned on a Halloween movie and got the decorations out. I know that it has brought a really important sense of normalcy and the comfort of knowing “life goes on” for Cole, and Evan has been so excited about the decorations. He’s constantly saying “it’s so spooky in here!” And I have to admit…it’s brought me a bit of unexpected joy too. We’ve spent several evenings cuddled up together as a family watching some of our favorite Halloween movies and forgetting (for a short time) all of the blows this year has dealt us.

Living Room Decor

Similar Gold Candlesticks | Black Candles | Bats | Mantle Scarf | Similar White Pumpkins | Similar Black Branch Wreaths | Similar Black Tree | Crows | Similar Velvet Pumpkins | Similar Skeleton Hand | Cobwebs | Skull Pillow

Entry Way Decor

Similar Candlesticks | Similar Spell Book Decoration | Creepy Cloth | Similar Velvet Pumpkin | Similar Skull | Similar Black Dahlia Flowers | Black Bats

Dining Room and Kitchen Decor

Similar Fall Leaf Vase Filler | Pumpkins | Similar Halloween Sign | Similar Wreath | Similar Pumpkin Dutch Oven | Similar Spiderweb Bowl | Similar Pumpkin Filler | Candle | Similar Countdown to Halloween Sign | Wooden Sign | Similar Candy Jar

Soaking Up The End Of Summer

Well…it’s official. The end of summer is here. For me, Labor Day really is the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. This has been such a weird and difficult time in our lives. While we had some fun moments, much of this summer was spent hunkering down at home trying to avoid exposure to Covid, and spending hours upon hours working on Evan’s rehabilitation and recovery. It’s been hard, but the one thing that has gotten me through has been gratitude. Gratitude is key for surviving hard times and it’s something I have had to work extra hard on every day these past five months. There’s days where I struggle and feel a sense of despair, but I swear God finds a way to remind me of my blessings in those moments. I will hear a story of a family who has gone through the loss of a child or spouse, or Evan will do something new as he continues to improve – and I reflect on the realization that our outcome could have been much worse and Evan is continuing to get better daily. These times have also required me to dig deep for faith…faith that Evan is going to recover. Faith that our family and loved ones will stay healthy during this pandemic. Faith that one day life will return to a happier place. One thing I tell myself over and over is “this is just one chapter of our lives. Yes it has been hard, but we don’t know how the story ends. I can choose fear and worry, or I can choose to rest in God’s grace and firmly believe that we will have a happy ending to our story.”

One thing we did this summer to create a little escape for ourselves was to spruce up our patio area and make it into something special. A place we felt we could go and just connect as a family and not focus on Evan’s recovery, Covid, and all the other stresses and worries. We could just go live in the moment and enjoy some lighter times. Good music, good food, and good movies outside under the stars. It has been our little escape, and I’m hoping we can continue to spend as much time out there as possible as long as the weather cooperates.

PatioLaborDay2020-2
PatioLaborDay2020-3PatioLaborDay2020-4PatioLaborDay2020-8PatioLaborDay2020-9PatioLaborDay2020-10PatioLaborDay2020-13PatioLaborDay2020-14PatioLaborDay2020-15PatioLaborDay2020-18PatioLaborDay2020-19PatioLaborDay2020-20

Sofa & Table Set

Pillows (here & here)

Blanket (HomeGoods – similar)

Ottoman & Table Set

Black Lanterns (old – similar)

Bud Vases

Rug (HomeGoods – similar)

Bistro Lights

Silver Lanterns (old – similar)

Outdoor Candles (here & here)

Dining Table

Dining Chairs

Dining Table Lanterns

Screen

Projector

Distance Learning Adventures

Distance Learning Adventures

Cole’s Tee (J Crew Factory – similar) | Shorts

School started here in Boise a few weeks ago, and due to high community Covid spread, classes are currently being held online. Kids may be able to return to the classroom eventually (with rotating days and masks required), but for the foreseeable future we are 100% online. Due to Evan’s brain injury and long road to recovery we will be holding him back a year and doing an extra year of preschool. He may go back to in person preschool later this year should it become safer, but my plan for the time being is to work on a bit of homeschool in addition to his busy rehab schedule. Times are certainly tough these days, with so many hard decisions for parents! If you are like me and will be homeschooling or overseeing distance learning this fall…then this post is for you. I wanted to share a few tips that have helped us find a routine and some supplies to make the best at home learning environment possible.

Create a designated space for learning

I think this is one of the most important keys for successful at home learning. It’s hard enough at it is for kids to try to focus on a computer screen, so having them trying to learn in a high traffic, loud part of the house will be even more difficult for them. We’ve set Cole up with a desk in our office and can keep the door closed while he’s in class. The room is also very well lit with big windows which I think is also important! Wherever you can find a quiet, well lit place in your home – this is a great place to make your child’s learning spot. Their bedroom, a spare room, office, or even a nook in a quiet area of the home can all work great. For Evan’s homeschool preschool, we’ve set up a folding table in the dining room that is perfect for withstanding paint and messy crafts.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-1Desk | Similar Chair | Chromebook

Schedule your day like a typical school day

Although we are at home, it is important to me that Cole treats the day like he would any other school day. We get up at our usual time and have breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, comb his hair, and make sure he’s logged in on time. I don’t want him rolling out of bed last minute and showing up in pajamas because I feel that getting into that typical routine will help him be more productive with learning. Evan’s preschool day is significantly shorter, but we still get dressed and ready for school, and start and end our school time at the same time every day.

Make sure you have all of the school supplies on your school’s list

Cole’s school year has begun with all the assignments the kids would have done even if they had been in person. Some of the assignments are paper assignments we have to pick up at the school and complete at home – and these have required colored pencils, notebooks, and pencils. Even if you’re online, be prepared with all of the supplies your school had on your school supply list.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-4Cole’s Tee | Shorts

Be prepared to help with technology struggles

Cole is frequently coming out of the office and asking me to help him figure out something the teacher has asked him to do on the computer. And I often hear kids telling the teacher they can’t figure out what to do and she asks them to get a parent to help. Yes – we parents often don’t know how to do it either and it’s frustrating at times…but being prepared and available to help out will make your child’s school day a bit easier.

Get organized

Although a designated desk for your child isn’t required (any table space can work!), it has certainly made things a lot easier for Cole. His desk was super inexpensive (under $50!) and is really small (it could fit almost anywhere!), but it has a few drawers and shelves that help him keep his schoolwork and supplies organized. I hung a few clipboards on the wall above his desk so he can hang up papers he needs to keep track of and be able to quickly access like completed homework and password lists. A whiteboard has also been helpful for writing reminders or for jotting down quick notes. And a small desk clock is a must for helping him keep track of recess breaks.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-2Similar Clipboards | Similar Whiteboard | Clock | Similar Pencil Holder

Make the best of it

This hasn’t been easy. It’s far from ideal. But it’s an opportunity to teach your kids to weather the storms of life and make the best of tough times. Cole has had an incredibly tough year with his little brother being so sick and now missing his school, friends, and extra curricular activities. But I just keep reminding him that this too shall pass and things won’t be this way forever. And we are all in this together. Cole wants to go into computer software or engineering as an adult, so I also remind him that this year of online learning will be helpful for him one day and give him a bit of an early start to working with computers. Attitude really is everything and if you can look for something positive to focus on, it will make a big difference in tackling this whole new experience! We’ve also tried to keep the fun traditions intact like the first day of school pictures…and we’ve also added some fun things like having some of the kids’ favorite foods for lunch outside and playing laser tag during recess.

img_6817Cole’s Tee

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day By Making It With Your Kids

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day By Making It With Your Kids

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Did you know that this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day?! What better way to celebrate than by making this simple version of homemade ice cream and having a little ice cream party with your kids.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 sandwich ziplock bags
  • 1 gallon ziplock bag
  • 3 cups crushed ice
  • 1/3 cup ice cream salt
  • Toppings of your choice
Directions

Put first 3 ingredients in one of the small ziplock bags and tightly seal. Then double bag that inside the 2nd small bag (this is to ensure none of the salt gets in – you don’t want salty ice cream!). I also recommend using high quality ziplock bags.

Put the ice and rock salt in the large gallon size bag, then add the smaller filled bags. Seal the large bag.

Squeeze (or shake!) the large bag for 10-15 minutes until ice cream is thickened. You will want to wear gloves or pot holder mittens for this!

Remove small bag, unseal, and serve!

img_6277IceCreamHomeParty7-15-20-5img_6279img_6280img_6254

Here’s a few other really fun tools and ice cream accessories if you want to get even fancier with making homemade ice cream…

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

One | This is just like Coldstone where you can mix things into your ice cream

Two | This mini size ice cream maker is perfect for kids and small portions – and won’t take up much cupboard space

Three | This ice cream making attachment goes right on your stand mixer

Four | If you make large portions, you’ll need a tub like this to store it

Five | A glass ice cream bowl makes you feel a bit more fancy

Six | I love the idea of making homemade ice cream sandwiches

Seven | A sleek looking ice cream maker

Eight | Such a fun topping mix

Nine | A good scoop is a must

Ten | This ice cream cone cake pan would be so fun

Eleven | Perfect for a kids ice cream party

Twelve | This little bowl is so neat – you can roll up your ice cream or cut it into shapes

Grilled Brie With Berries

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While summer is in full swing, we are trying to make the most of our quarantine at home with lots of time spent on the patio. And of course that includes lots of grilling and enjoying meals outside. Today I wanted to share a simple summer appetizer that can be whipped up in minutes!

Grilled Brie With Berries

Ingredients
  • Cedar plank
  • 1 – 8 oz wheel of Brie cheese
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Optional: Crackers, grilled baguette slices
Directions

Soak cedar plank in water per package directions (most are around 30 minutes)

Heat grill on medium-high heat

Place cedar plank on the grill and char for about 5 minutes

Flip cedar plank to place Brie on the charred side of plank. Pile berries on top of Brie (some berries will fall down onto the cedar plank). Drizzle honey over the berries. Reduce heat to medium, close the lid, and grill 8-10 minutes. (You want the cheese soft but you will want to take it off the grill before it starts oozing)

Remove Brie from cedar plank and serve on cutting board or platter along with crackers or grilled baguette slices.

Cedar Plank | Similar Cutting Board | Similar Monogram Cheese Spreader | Towel

Scenes From The 4th…

How was everybody’s 4th of July?! Ours was very low key as we are continuing to quarantine at home as much as possible, but it was still a nice day spent together as a family. The weather was actually not as hot as it typically is here in July, so we were able to spend much of the day outside. We had a patriotic pancake brunch, and for dinner I put together an all-American hot dog bar! Today I wanted to share a few snapshots of our holiday…

img_5865img_5870July42020-1July42020-6July42020-7Table | Chairs | Similar Runner | Placemats | Plates | Plastic Tumblers | VaseJuly42020-2July42020-3July42020-4July42020-5Galvanized Tray | Similar Galvanized Flag Tray | Stars & Stripes Dip Bowls | Galvanized Utensil Caddy

Signature

Ideas For A Fun 4th Of July At Home

Ideas For A Fun 4th Of July At Home

My Romper (old – similar and also love this similar blue option!) | Sandals | Bag | Sunglasses | Boys flag tank

Like many places, Covid cases are rapidly accelerating here in Boise and new restrictions have been reimplemented banning groups larger than 50 people. Which of course means no annual parade or fireworks. While we will miss these fun traditions this year, I’m all in favor of prioritizing keeping our family safe and healthy! That said, I still want to make sure we have fun celebrating the holiday even if we will be quarantining at home. Today I’m putting together a list of some activities you can do at home with your kids to celebrate the 4th of July this year.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ HAVE A BIKE PARADE ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

BikeDecorations

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While we may not be able to attend an actual parade, we can still have our own! I thought it would be fun to have the kids decorate their bikes and ride around the neighborhood…and even invite other neighborhood kids to join in (safely socially distanced of course!)

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ WATER FUN ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

WaterFunOne | Two | Three |ย Four

With no local pools open, we will opt for some water fun at home! We were gifted a huge inflatable pool when Evan got home from the hospital, which we are planning to fill up for the holiday. We can also get our water guns and water balloons out for even more fun!

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ HOT DOG BAR ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

HotDogBarOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

An all-American hot dog bar is the perfect easy and patriotic meal for the 4th of July

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ MAKE PATRIOTIC SHIRTS ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

ShirtsOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

There are so many fun ways you could create a patriotic shirt – from painting your own design, to tie dye, to bedazzling…this is sure to be a fun activity

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ BUCKETS OF FUN ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

BucketsOne | Two | Three | Four | Five |ย Six | Seven |ย Eight

Putting together a bucket of activities and treats to keep the kids busy all day is sure to make the day a bit more special. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, sunglasses, glow sticks, tattoos, cracker jacks, and pop rocks would all be fun options

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ WATCH A PATRIOTIC MOVIE OUTSIDE ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

MovieOne | Two | Three | Four | Five |ย Six

Set up a projector and screen, and watch something patriotic. My pick would be Hamilton on Disney+ which is coming out on July 3rd!

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ FIREWORKS ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

FireworksOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

While we may not get to see the big show this year, we will still be able to have a few small fireworks at home. My kids especially love pop its – which are super fun and safe for the little ones. You could also do some non firework festive options like silly string or confetti poppers!