Taking Care of Yourself During the Winter

Taking Care of Yourself During the Winter

Sweater // Jeans // Boots // Coat // Sunglasses

One thing I love about Idaho is experiencing the four seasons, including winter. I’m always so excited for the first snow and the start of ski season, and I do genuinely enjoy the cold…for a few months that is. It’s at about this time every year, where I really just start to feel “over” winter and am so ready for spring. We’ve had an onslaught of snow and colder than normal temperatures over the past week, which is starting to get to me a bit. Today I’m sharing some ways to help feel your best to help get through these (hopefully) last weeks of winter!

HYDRATE

I do find its harder to drink enough water when its cold outside, and I prefer hot drinks like coffee (which is super dehydrating). I love sparkling water which helps me increase the amount of water I drink, and an infuser to flavor water can also help encourage fluid intake.

MOISTURIZE

My skin really struggles in the winter, so I really try to take the time to give it a little extra TLC. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin by working as a magnet for moisture and helps your cells retain as much as possible. I apply hyaluronic acid nightly, along with a moisturizer, and often include an extra hydrating step like a sheet or sleep mask. And even though it is winter, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! I also make sure to moisturize my whole body with a quality moisturizer, and for my feet an extra rich moisturizer. My hair also tends to get very dry, so I add moroccan argan oil daily, and use a deep conditioning treatment 1-2 times per week.

EXERCISE

I love running, but it’s very hard for me to continue to run regularly in the coldest part of winter. Of course warm clothes help, but sometimes I just find it too miserable to run. When I lose motivation to run due to the weather, I try to ski as often as I can and even just increase my walking as much as possible. An indoor fitness program can be a great option, or even just taking time for yoga or stretching.

EAT WELL

Rich, heavy comfort foods are really tempting during the winter, and it is super easy to pack on the pounds. Finding the balance of having warm foods that are still light and healthy (like broth based soups with vegetables), will help you feel your best! I also try to make kale smoothies several times a week. A vitamin D supplement is also very important during the winter!

TREAT YOURSELF

Treating myself some warm and cozy loungewear helps cheer me up a bit when I feel trapped indoors. My feet are constantly cold as well, so warm slippers and aloe infused socks are a nice treat.

SHOP THE POST

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Water Bottle Infuser // Hyaluronic Cloud Cream // La Mer Moisturizer // Water Sleeping Mask // Kiehl’s Moisturizer // L’Occitane Foot Cream // Moroccanoil // Hair Mask // Running Jacket // Vitamin D Supplement // Sweatsuit Top and Bottoms

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Snow Day Fun

Snow Day Fun

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you are probably hunkering down this weekend with the big storm we’ve been having! We’ve only received a small amount of snow here in Boise, but many areas around us are getting 1 foot or more! My kids absolutely love playing in the snow, and today I wanted to share some ideas for making the most of the snow and having a fun snow day!

 

WARM CLOTHES

Coat // Pants // Base // Socks // Boots // Gloves // Beanie

Kids Ski Suit // Mittens // Beanie // Boots

 

TOYS

Snow Stencil Kit // Snow Brick Mold // Snow Scooter // Snowball Maker // Snowman Kit // Snow Plow Toy // Tube (comes in 5 animal options!)

 

WARM UP INSIDE

Hot Cocoa Pot // Hot Cocoa // Marshmallows // Temperature Gauge Spoons // Peppermint spoons // Indoor Snowball Fight Kit // Cozy Blanket

Have fun!!!Signature

What To Wear To Disney World In January

What To Wear To Disney World In January

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine // Ten // Eleven // Twelve // Thirteen // Fourteen // Fifteen // Sixteen // Seventeen // Eighteen // Nineteen

When you plan a trip south during the winter months, I know there is always the assumption that the weather is going to be warm. However after living in Southern California for eight years, I am well aware this isn’t always the case. When we planned our trip to Disney World for January, I expected the weather to be cooler and unpredictable and packed accordingly…and am so thankful I did because we had a few days there where the temps were nearly the same as it was back home in Idaho! I met a few gals at our hotel who were visiting from South America and had only brought shorts, and were pretty much freezing and miserable. We had pretty wild temperature swings while we were there, and it could be anywhere from 40 degrees to 70 degrees, even on the same day! We dressed in layers, and carried backpacks to carry extra layers or shed them during the warmest parts of the day. I packed a mix of short & long sleeve tees, sweatshirts, and warm coats for morning & evening. We also made sure to wear comfortable shoes, because we averaged 7-10 miles a day walking through the parks! Our hotel had laundromats located throughout the property, so we washed & re-wore things several times to cut down on the amount of stuff we brought, and it also allowed us to dry wet coats & shoes. I also packed things all in the same color scheme, so I could easily mix & match – and it all coordinated with my red & black sequin Minnie ears! The day we took off from going to the parks was actually quite warm, and we were able to go swimming – so I would recommend bringing a swimsuit even during the winter months! I also packed gloves for the kids for the evenings when it was coldest. Even though the weather certainly wasn’t hot, we enjoyed the mild temperatures since we were so active, as well as the overall smaller crowds in January – and we would definitely go visit in January again!

img_1101img_0164My shirt // My jacket (I’m obsessed with this I.AM.GIA dupe and want more colors! Size up 1-2 sizes) // My jeans // My shoes (also love these, these, and these)  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (sold out, similar)  —  Cole’s shirt // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

facetune_27-01-2019-20-08-40img_1038Ponchos are an absolute must to have on hand! I packed some disposable emergency ponchos so we could just toss them & not have to worry about bringing them back home. Also this stroller is amazing – I even got stopped by a few fellow parents who asked about it! It’s super affordable and is very sturdy, plus it has great storage, a reclining seat, and a sunshade.

My coat // My hoodie is old but similar here & here // My tee // My leggings (these were great for a rainy day since they dried quickly!) // My shoes // My backpack  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s coat (similar) // Cole’s shirt //  Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

snapseedFor our day off from the parks I felt like dressing up a bit! This dress is a few months old from H&M, but this is similar. My belt is here, and my shoes are J Crew & a few seasons old but these are similar.

Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans  —  Evan’s tee // Evan’s jeans

img_0446My shirt (and I layered this tee underneath) // My jeans // My shoes // My bag  —  Evan’s sweatshirt // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

facetune_30-01-2019-23-42-36-1My tee // Not pictured but for evening I layered this cute Mickey sweatshirt on top (it runs small & cropped so size up!) // My jacket // My jeans // My shoes  —  Evan’s tee (not available online but similar) // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)  —  Cole’s coat (similar) // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes

img_1103facetune_31-01-2019-22-46-24My shirt is last summer J Crew but similar options here, here & here // My jeans // My shoes // My bag  —  Cole’s tee // Cole’s jeans // Cole’s shoes  —  Evan’s tee // Evan’s jeans // Evan’s shoes (similar)

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Our Walt Disney World Vacation

Our Walt Disney World Vacation

Happy Monday! We are all still a bit jet-lagged and tired today as we just got back from our first family vacation to Disney World! When we lived in Southern California we didn’t live far from Disneyland, so we did take Cole a number of times, but we had been hearing from friends for ages that Disney World is a completely different experience & we really needed to go! Before I share a bit about specifics of our trip, I wanted to share a few tips and recommendations should you be considering a Disney World vacation.

The My Disney Experience App is really key in booking all of your restaurant reservations and Fast Passes so if you are planning a visit, as soon as you book your hotel, downloading the app should be your next step! We booked our trip about 4 months in advance, and we were able to get dining reservations for everything we wanted but I’m pretty sure we were only able to do so because January is the off season – and we still ended up with meals at off times (like 4pm & 7pm). I would highly recommend booking at minimum 6 months in advance, and making all of your dining reservations at that six month point! Extremely popular restaurants like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Table are very difficult to get reservations for, so book as early as you possibly can! Fast Passes can be booked for guests staying on site 2 months in advance (only 1 month if you are staying off site), and popular rides get booked solid very quickly. We elected to stay on-site and it is definitely the way to go as they really do make things so simple for you. Disney sends you tags to place on your bags, and once you drop them off at the airport, Disney does the rest and delivers them right to your room! When you leave, they also check your bags into the airport right from the property & you can go straight to the gate without dealing with luggage! (Not dealing with bags was amazing and I’m now wondering why don’t all hotels do this?!) They also provide shuttle service to & from the airport, as well as to the parks from the hotels. You are given a magic band prior to your trip, which links to the app & you use it to scan in at rides for fast passes, link photos, make purchases with a linked card, and it also acts as your room key.

We chose to stay at Coronado Springs – which is a moderate resort at Disney. It is a convention hotel – which appealed to us since they have fewer park guests so the bus lines were very short and the pool wasn’t crowded. They also have a full service spa unlike most moderate resorts. Overall we were happy with our stay! The staff was super nice & friendly, the food was good, the beds were very comfortable, and the pool with water slide was a lot of fun for the kids. Housekeeping surprised us & spoiled the kids with balloons, birthday pins, and a stuffed Pluto & Goofy as we were celebrating Evan’s birthday while we were there! That said – if we go back I think we would choose a deluxe resort for a few reasons. One reason would be that several of the deluxe resorts have monorail access, which makes transportation to the parks even quicker & easier. The deluxe resorts also have bus stops closer to the park entrances, and more frequent busses for pickup so the wait is a bit shorter. Also the deluxe resorts have character experiences on site – which would be nice to enjoy a character meal right at your hotel & make for a bit more “Disney” experience without having to leave the resort every day. Also with two kids, a slightly larger room would be an added bonus as well. That said, there is a lot of value to be had at the moderate resorts with a pretty large savings, and you still do get the majority of the amenities found at the deluxe resorts.

We also opted for the Disney dining plan, which I highly recommend! We went to a number of character meals, and they are very pricey. A character meal for a family of four is in the $200 range, so having those included in your dining plan is fantastic. Also all of the cute snacks & drinks around the parks are included in the plan, so it really allowed us to feel free to indulge in the overpriced themed snacks as much as we wanted! With your dining plan you also get refillable mugs which you can fill with soda, coffee, juice, tea, and cocoa as many times as you want for free at any Disney resort throughout your stay. We also purchased Memory Maker, and with this, all of your photos taken by Disney photographers & on the rides are uploaded to your app for downloads. It is something I would absolutely recommend purchasing!

We spent our first day at Magic Kingdom, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. Our first day was a Saturday, and even though it was January, Magic Kingdom is always very crowded on weekends. We weren’t able to make it on as many rides as we wanted, and restaurants were pretty crowded. But we were able to snag breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest (which is a great value on the dining plan!) and this was our favorite restaurant from our entire visit! The Beast doesn’t appear at breakfast or lunch, but it’s such a neat place to dine with the whole Beauty and the Beast theme, and just the ambience alone makes it so enjoyable.

Magic photos are so fun and included with Memory Maker! And it’s always a fun surprise seeing what they added to the photo! This ride is an absolute blast, and also extremely popular! Early fast passes for this one is a must! The wait was consistently 2+ hours. The Mickey Ice cream bars are delicious!We ate dinner at Crystal Palace which is a character meal featuring the characters from Winnie the Pooh! The buffet was quite good, and the special friendship celebration parade with all the kids was just so cute! The characters at all of the character meals are just fantastic and make it so special for the kids.You can’t go to Disney and not take a ride on the Tea Cups! We also watched the evening firework show which was fantastic.

Our second day we went to Hollywood Studios…and we were not blessed with good weather. It absolutely poured. All day. I had been watching the weather, so I was prepared with ponchos for all of us. But it was pretty hard to completely avoid getting wet. Luckily many of the rides & experiences are indoors at this park, so we were able to dry off at each experience, before bundling up & heading to the next one! And the one big perk of toughing out the day was that there were virtually no lines at any of the rides and the park was pretty empty.

Our highlight of the day was meeting all of the Star Wars characters! The kids are still talking about this & saying it was one of their favorite things from the whole trip. The storm troopers were walking around questioning people, Kylo Ren was pretty scary, & Chewie was like a big teddy bear – and it just made for a super fun experience! We also stayed dry watching the Indiana Jones show which was a neat behind the scenes peek at how movies are made & they did some really neat stunts. My boys weren’t interested in seeing it, but if you have girls I heard the Frozen show was really neat! We also went on the Tower of Terror ride (it’s absolutely terrifying & I’m questioning my parenting that I took my kids on it), as well as Slinky Dog Dash which was an absolute blast! The Star Wars 3D ride was really neat & they change the graphics constantly so no two rides will be the same! We ate dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant & this was one of our favorite meals. You sit in a car and they show old sci-fi movies on a big screen. Unfortunately we missed the evening Fantasmic show which we had really wanted to see, because once the sun went down we were too wet and cold to stick it out at the park any longer. That’s something we definitely want to catch next time.

The next day we headed to Animal Kingdom! This park has a much different feel than the other parks and is more of a zoo than an amusement park. You definitely need to make sure to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari – it really is like going on a mini-safari and you get to see all of the animals in a more natural habitat.

The dinosaur ride was one of the kids favorites!

A few highlights of the day in addition to the safari were; Its Tough to Be a Bug (which is a super cute 3D show inside the Tree of Life), The Boneyard playground where they could dig up dinosaur bones, Dole Whips (it’s like a pineapple soft serve), and the evening water show was absolutely incredible. We ate dinner at Yak & Yeti, which was one of the more disappointing meals of our trip. We love Asian and Indian food so we were excited to try it – but the food was just very mediocre for the price, so I would try Tusker House next time!

On Tuesday we took a day off from the parks to rest a bit & we also booked brunch at Chef Mickey’s where we celebrated Evan’s recent birthday! The ambience at Chef Mickey’s was really fun. It’s really lively and the characters were absolutely fantastic! Mickey seemed a bit rushed, but all of the other characters were so playful and fun. I had pre-ordered a cake through Disney dining ahead of time so as we were finishing up our meal, they brought the cake out and sang for everyone celebrating birthdays! There was only one other person I saw celebrating, so it was kind of neat and felt really personalized! I had also pre-arranged to have balloons & a plush Mickey delivered to our table to be waiting for us which I purchased through Disney Floral & Gifts. Just a disclaimer on this – there is a $25 delivery charge (ouch!) to have them deliver a gift for you.

Chef Mickeys was really fun and I’m glad we did it. But you are paying for the characters and ambience. It is very pricey for what you get as the food is very mediocre and there weren’t as many options as I would expect from an expensive buffet. It is a part of the Disney dining plan, so it was a good value to use a dining credit towards. However I think if we went back, I would look into trying the dinner buffet instead as I felt that $60 per person for a somewhat limited breakfast menu was a bit steep.

After brunch, we spent the rest of our day swimming, and playing at our hotel playground and hotel arcade. For dinner we headed over to Disney Springs which is the shopping area on property. They have a lot of great shops including some of my favorites like Zara, Uniqlo, and Free People. My kids absolutely loved the LEGO store & they had a neat area where you could build LEGO cars and race them against other kids building them! We also grabbed some Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert!

On Wednesday we headed to Epcot! I am a total foodie, so Epcot was a lot of fun for me. We spent a fair amount of time just walking around World Showcase and sampling foods from around the world! We had breakfast in France at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie, lunch in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel, and dinner in Italy at Tutto Italia. Some of our highlights from Epcot; I absolutely loved the Soarin’ Around the World Ride while the kids loved the Test Track ride – in fact so much so that we skipped the evening firework show because they wanted to do that ride over and over! It was also just a lot of fun to walk around in all the countries and browse the shops where they had things from those countries available to buy! I ended up buying some Givenchy lipgloss in France as a little souvenir.

On our last day we went back to Magic Kingdom and after a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s, we had a marathon day of riding all the rides! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train were our favorites and we did several of these more than once! We also caught the afternoon parade which was really cute.

For our last night, we went to Be Our Guest for dinner and this was one of our favorite experiences of the whole trip! The food is actually impressively good, and the Beauty and the Beast theming is really fantastic. There’s 3 dining rooms; the Ballroom where we were seated which is huge & grand – and there is always snow falling outside the windows, the West Wing where the enchanted rose is (our table was right near the doorway so we could see the rose from our table), and the Castle Gallery which has a large figurine of Beauty and the Beast dancing as well as a number of large paintings of them. The food is French with a 3 course price fixe menu. I opted for the French Onion Soup, the Seafood Bouillabaisse, and for dessert you get a trio with a raspberry Macaron, a white chocolate “Chip” filled with the gray stuff, and a chocolate truffle. The gray stuff is incredibly rich…but it is in fact delicious! The kids dessert trio came with sugar paint & they got to paint their Chip cups and eat them which was darling! The Beast periodically walks through the dining area & then greets guests in his study where there is a photographer to take your photo with him after dinner.

And there you have it…a summary of our week at Disney! We aren’t huge “Disney people” so we were a little unsure of how fun it would be, but we enjoyed it so much I do think we will go back in a few years. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Disney and have any questions, please leave them in the comments for me! And because the weather was quite temperamental during our stay, I’m planning on writing a follow up post this week about what to pack & wear during a January Disney trip!

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Evan’s Pup-tastic 4th Birthday

Evan’s Pup-tastic 4th Birthday

On Sunday my little Evan turned FOUR!!! I can’t believe how quickly the past 4 years have flown by. I’ve been trying to convince myself he’s still my little baby, but he’s turning into a bigger and bigger boy by the day. He is such a spunky and funny little character, and brings so much joy and laughter to our family!

For his 4th birthday we celebrated with a simple little Paw Patrol themed lunch with a few close friends. As most kids around his age love Paw Patrol as much as he does, all the kids had a blast and loved all of the decorations! The party didn’t quite go off without a hitch…when I went to pick up his cake the bakery had forgotten to make it. They frantically threw one together for me, but the regular decorator wasn’t there, so the cake didn’t turn out as I had hoped. But at the end of the day, we ended up with a cake and a happy birthday boy so that’s what matters!

Instead of party hats we had Paw Patrol masks!The guests went home with a sticker activity set and some fruit snacks

For food we served pigs in a blanket from Trader Joe’s, fruit, chips, and two kinds of puppy chow – the Original version and a Cake Batter Puppy Chow.

Sources for all party supplies:

Happy Birthday Banner

Paw Patrol Balloons

Plates, cups, straws, blowouts, masks

Paw patrol candle

Sticker activity set

Dog bowls

Silver cake stand

If you decide to throw a Paw Patrol party for your little one, make sure to sign up at Nickelodeon for a birthday phone call! Paw Patrol made a special birthday phone call to Evan on the day of his birthday and it was so cute and special!

For his birthday gift, we gave Evan the Paw Patrol lookout tower…and when Evan unwrapped it, it was the hit of the party! My kids have both been playing with it together nonstop for 2 days now – it is a really great toy! We also popped into Build-a-Bear yesterday to get him a special birthday bear (make sure to sign up to take advantage of their count your candles pay your age program!) and he loves his new special friend.

Happy birthday my sweet Evan! I love your independent spirit, sweet heart, and funny sense of humor – and I’m so thankful to be your mama.

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Tips For Traveling With Kids

If you have kids, you know the nightmare that is traveling with them. The first few years are pretty brutal, but thankfully we are finally seeing our way out and it’s becoming a bit easier. Last summer we flew to Hawaii & we took our first red eye. Cole is at an age where he is overall super easy, but I was really dreading it and expecting the worst with Evan. But I prepared as best I could, and the trip really couldn’t have gone much more smoothly! We have a vacation coming up very soon, and as I’m planning and preparing to pack I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips I’ve learned over the years.

Bring a “go bag” I had a mommy friend, when Cole was a baby, who told me this was her name for a bag she would pack for her little one. As we all know, kids are most interested in new toys. So she would go hit up the dollar store, or the dollar bin at target, and fill it with all kinds of new, interesting goodies! The key is – don’t give it to them all at once. Let them pick out a new item from the bag every 30 minutes or so. I love Pottery Barn’s backpacks for kids!

Tablets I am a firm believer in do what it takes to keep your kids happy on the plane. If that means 6 hours of screen time – I’m all for it. I will often let them pick out some new games they want before the trip (don’t let them play them ahead of time!) so they have new games to play on the plane which they are really excited about. Also download a few favorite or new movies they haven’t seen from Netflix. If the airline has in-flight entertainment, make sure you download the airlines app prior to the trip so you will be able to access the service. I also make sure to bring headphones and chargers. And these iPad cases I have (this one and this one) are great for watching movies since they stand!

Get cozy I want the kids to be comfortable so I dress them as close to wearing pajamas as possible (without wearing actual pjs). Think sweatsuits, tee shirts, cozy socks and comfortable sneakers. Bring along a travel blanket, pillows, comfort items like a favorite stuffed animal – anything to help them relax and settle in. Also if their ears have trouble with the pressure, you may want to pack some gum or some candy they can suck on to help alleviate it.

CARES I’ve never brought car seats for my little ones on the planes (I just don’t want to deal with lugging it around!), so I’ve opted for the CARES airplane seat harness instead. If you do prefer to bring a car seat, there is this cart to help you transport it.

Stroller and buggy board This is my most used stroller and it is the perfect stroller for traveling! It is very durable & also very light and small at the same time. It also has a reclining seat, a storage basket, and even a small canopy. It is also an amazing price! A few years back when we went to NYC with the kids – we bought this buggy board for Cole to ride on as we knew he would get tired walking all over the city. This stroller is absolutely durable enough to handle pushing two kids!

Travel car seat As I mentioned above, I don’t like hauling car seats along with us on vacation, so I love this handy little portable booster seat! Evan is still a bit young for it so we still rent him a car seat, but this has been great for Cole.

Medications It’s always a good idea to keep some essentials on hand so you aren’t trying to run around and hunt down Tylenol or Benadryl at the airport or once you get to your destination should you suddenly need it.

A separate change of clothes I always pack a change of clothes in our carry on just in case someone has a spill mid-flight or in case our luggage gets lost! I once had bags get lost for the majority of my vacation (thankfully pre-kids) but I learned my lesson to always keep at least one extra outfit with me.

Snacks and disposable sippy cup I always grab a few snacks prior to our trip to keep in my carry on. Many airlines now charge for snacks, and my kids can occasionally be picky and not like what is available. I like to always have something on hand I know they will eat – and the airports/airline snacks are really overpriced. I also like to have a few treats on hand like fruit snacks and lollipops as rewards (or for emergency distraction should there be a meltdown)! I also always pack a few disposable sippy cups for my little one & I have the flight attendant put his drink in there rather than a regular cup which is way too easy for a little one to spill!

Antibacterial wipes and baby wipes I’m not a germaphobe at all – but airplanes really gross me out. I feel like they are soooo dirty, so I always wipe down our seats, arm rests and tray tables as soon as we board. I also bring a pack of baby wipes to clean up any messes/sticky faces & hands.

I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions or any tips to share, please leave them in the comments 🙂

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Ringing in 2019

Ringing in 2019

My pajama bottoms (old – similar), My sweater // Kid’s pajamas

Our Christmas vacation is winding down with the kids headed back to school tomorrow. It has felt like we’ve been on vacation forever, and also feels like it flew by at the same time! I confess – it’s been a super lazy and relaxing vacation with lots of sleeping in, lounging in pjs, and snacking on junk food. It’s been great, but I’m really ready to get back in a routine and get back to healthier habits!

Today I wanted to share a peek at how we rung in the new year! As I talked about in my last blog post, we aren’t really into going out to celebrate NYE and wanted to have a quiet celebration at home with the kids this year! We had a pajama party/game night complete with yummy snacks and a fancy drink bar. We set up a little photo booth area with this backdrop and also grabbed some props and hats at a local shop. We used the Pocketbooth app on my phone to create the photo booth photos.

We loaded up on glow sticks and the kids decked themselves out with them! I grabbed ours at the local dollar store. We also filled up about 30 balloons and the kids had a blast playing with them!img_8921

We also lit some sparklers outside! This was the best photo I could get – it’s super hard to get long exposures of kids who don’t hold still!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I found this printable online and grabbed the plastic flutes, plates, cups, wooden silverware, and noisemakers at a local shop. I grabbed the rock candy at a local candy shop as well (you can also find it online).img_8922

The full drink bar! I made crockpot hot cocoa and had an assortment of toppings.

We also made s’mores! This handy little s’mores maker was a hit and is perfect for cold winter nights.img_8932

And we capped off our evening with some sparkling cider with rock candy!img_8962

We actually made it until midnight, and we watched the giant potato drop here in Boise while popping party poppers and blowing on noisemakers. It was the perfect, low-key celebration with my little family!

As far as New Year’s resolutions…I’m not a big believer in them and don’t typically do them. That said, I do want to continue to improve on personal goals of mine/get back on track with healthy habits. My top 3 goals for the year are:

  • I want to commit to unplugging every evening for at least 2 hours to just focus on my kids. It’s so easy to get caught up with checking/responding to emails, scrolling social media, reading news articles, turning on the TV (not to mention all the household chores!) – and before I realize it, hours have passed! My kids are growing up so quickly and I really want to make sure to be more intentional about spending focused time with them everyday.
  • Get back to running regularly! I had a little health set back in November and completely fell off the running wagon. After I got feeling better, I had a hard time getting motivated again with the cold weather and feeling so overwhelmed with holiday activities. I want to get back to running a minimum of 4 days a week.
  • Get back to tracking my food. I did keto for nearly a year, and while I think it is a fantastic diet, its not something I personally wanted to stay on forever. But it was a great kickstart to dropping some weight and getting into healthier eating habits. My sugar intake has dropped dramatically & I often find things to be way too sweet now! One thing that also worked well for me is intermittent fasting & tracking what I eat. I do want to continue with a low carb diet (not as restrictive as keto), and be stricter with intermittent fasting and really being mindful of what I’m eating. I’ve been completely off the wagon over the holiday season, and definitely want to ditch the holiday pounds and get back on track!

As with any year there were some ups and downs in 2018. We moved into a new house (moving is always super stressful!) but we are thrilled with our new home and our new location. Cole started a new school, which was a huge change and also a bit stressful – but he has completely adapted and is much, much happier at his new school than he was at his last one! He had a pretty terrible experience at his school last year, and a big part of our decision to move was to get our kids into a really good school district this fall. It was a challenging & stressful experience for our family dealing with a pretty awful school situation, but we are now so thrilled that we took the leap as it clearly turned out to be the right decision and we couldn’t be happier. Evan also started pre-school, and it has been so wonderful for him in so many ways. We traveled to Hawaii for ten days and also spent a really fun week with Jon’s family this summer. I’ve been volunteering at the kid’s schools regularly which has been so wonderful. I’m thankful for all the memories made this past year, and am looking forward to what 2019 has in store!

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