11.30.2013

30 Days of Thanks: Days 25-30

I am really not cut out for this whole blog everyday thing. And, I absolutely cannot believe that a. it's already day 30 and b. That Christmas is only 25 (and a few hours) away! Pinch me. 

Even the days I haven't written my thanks, I've still reflected back on the day mentally and I truly am grateful for so much. Most days, I could write out a million and one things I'm thankful for. The big things, the small things and everything in between. 

Now to the last few days..,Thanksgiving was awesome! We started bright and early with the Macy's parade, coffee and lots of cuddles. Thank goodness for technology because we were able to facetime with my parents and grandparents who were out of town. It was so cool for them to see Autumn! 
We got to Ernest's grandparents around noon, ate, looked through all the ads, watched Autumn bust a move and be a little ham. The food was amazing! Even better than that, we didn't have anywhere else to be the rest of the day!! I don't think this has ever happened!! Our families live about an hour and a half apart so we're usually shuffling between at least three houses. Not this year and it was glorious!! We were able to relax, visit and stuff our faces...twice at the same table. I know this may not seem like a big deal but Ernest and I loved every second! I think Autumn did too because she got in her regular nap. It truly was such a wonderful day. 
Friday Ernest had to work, so Autumn, Jack and I went for a walk with my Aunt Carol and Alan. It was beautiful but the breeze was freezing so we cut it short. It was still really nice to get out and burn off some of those turkey day calories! We did a little shopping for necessities but didn't get into the whole Black Friday craziness. It's just not my thing. 

Online is really my forte and I finally bit the bullet and got Autumn some Freshly Picked moccs for Christmas! Although, she'll probably wear them sooner cuz I'm anxious for her to sport them. 
Today we did some more Christmas decorating and just hung out at home all day. There was lots of eating, crafting, napping and playtime. Somedays it's nice just to be at home all day. I'm so thankful for our new house! It's so cozy and loving. Everyday I love it a little more! 
We also enjoyed the beautiful weather today. 
I truly have a blessed life and this 30 Days of Thanks has reminded me of all there is to be thankful for. Everyday brings another blessing and I am so thankful for everything in my life! 
P.S. On a totally unrelated note, we found out a couple hours ago that Paul Walker (of Fast and Furious) died today. I really liked him as an actor and he was so handsome! I'm sad for his daughter, family and friends. I pray for him and all his family. Tonight we had pumpkin pie in bed and watched Fast and the Furious in rememberence of Paul Walker ( the pie had nothing to do with him, haha). RIP Paul Walker :( 

11.26.2013

Day 26: Answered Prayers

Today I am incredibly grateful for answered prayers!!! Thank you God! 
And for seeing new things through Autumns eyes. Last night I put up the Christmas tree so when Autumn woke up the lights were twinkling (yes, we wake up before the sun). When she saw it all she kept saying was 'Oooo' and pointing. 
Just when I thought she had enough she would let out another big 'oooooo' and smile as big as she could. Experiencing the holidays with her this year is going to be magical! I cannot wait! 

Toddler Advent Calendar and Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I have always LOVED advent calenders! It's one of my fondest childhood memories. My mom would always buy me one and I would anxiously open each day. One year, my bestie Stacy and I split up the advent calender and left each other little gifts each day. This year, since Autumn is old enough, I cannot wait to share my love for advent calenders with her. I know she will love it just as much as I do. 

We have a big wooden advent calender with tiny doors for each day. I may need to get creative on how I place each gift (hello gingerbread house) haha. Some will be bigger gifts, some little, some sentimental and some just for fun. You can also bet I'll be hitting up the Target $1 section too! Here are some of the ideas I have for the 24 days.
And some of my favorite Advent Calenders out now:
I can't wait to see Autumn open up each day! Only a few more days...




11.22.2013

Thankful for days 19-24

This whole blogging everyday thing is much harder than it looks. I'm a few days behind, oops. #idowhatiwant
So here are days 19-22...errr, 24. Started writing this Friday but got sick and didn't finish. 

It seems like the last few months have been jam packed with birthdays, parties, pictures, moving, unpacking, more parties, etc. etc. etc. Every.single.moment of every day has been filled with something to do. I hate to sound complainy about that because all of those things were so fun and filled with so much joy. But sometimes, it's nice to not have to do anything.

I've enjoyed a week filled with only stuff I wanted to do...like playing with Autumn until bedtime, knitting, sitting on the couch watching TV (this almost never happens anymore!), and enjoying solo time with Ernest. It's been a blissful week!
I am also thankful for my loves. They surprised me the other morning and sent flowers to my work. I arrived Thursday morning to some beautiful 'Autumn' roses. Such a wonderful surprise!
Friday we had our annual work Thanksgiving pot-luck. Last year I missed the pot-luck because I was on maternity leave. The day before, I was released to drive by myself so I packed Autumn up and we came to work so I could show her off. This year, I participated in the pot-luck, brought some cheesy potatoes and ate my weight in food. It was such a wonderful meal with great co-workers. I'm so lucky to work for such a great company! I hadn't been feeling good all Friday and all that food didn't help. Unfortunately I must have caught some sort of bug and was so sick the rest of Friday. Good thing my Dad was watching Autumn so I was able to rest. 
The rest of the weekend...had dinner with some old girlfriends. It was great catching up! Even Autumn had a blast gabbing with the girls and eating spaghetti off the table. 
Satruday Ernest and Autumn had some time together while I had a movie date with my mom to see Catching Fire. It was awesome!! Although, I was super distracted by all the amazing knits that Katniss was wearing! I know, double nerd. Then we went shopping and had lunch at my favorite hole in the wall. 

Saturday night we all snuggled by the fire and had some sushi! I don't think it gets better than that! 

This morning Autumn woke up at 5am! Maybe she was so excited it snowed?! From there, she was busy dancing, singing and screaming the day away! Girlfriend loves to bust a move and it may be the cutest thing ever! 
Tonight another cozy fire, tons of giggles, singing and dancing...our house is a happy home. So much to be thankful for everyday. Life is good great!

11.21.2013

A Woodland Baby Shower

This past weekend I threw my besties baby shower. Stacy and her husband, Brad, will be welcoming a baby boy at the beginning of the year (or December 31st if Brad gets his way! haha). Stacy let me have full reign over the theme and everything else. Naturally, I went wild!
I wanted a theme that was masculine without having blue everything. I'm so in love with all the woodland creatures that have been filling the stores and thought it'd make the cutest boy baby shower theme. I started with this simple and cute invite from Etsy.
Via
From there, I went all Pinterest crazy and pulled some of my favorite ideas with a few others from around the web.
{food/drinks}
I wanted some simple but good food that would be easy to re-fill and wouldn't get cold.We had some sandwiches, Chick-fil-A nuggets, crackers and dips, pasta salad and other small appetizers.

Some mason jars, washi tape, water and fresh cranberries created the perfect accent to the food table
 And a 'moss' ball. A green onion cheese ball covered in parsley. It was delish!
For drinks, I made this drink we always have at family parties, it doesn't actually have a name, but it's just lime sorbet with Sprite poured over it. It's so simple and absolutely delish! It foams up when the Sprite is added which went perfectly with the woodland theme.

We also had a hot cocoa bar! This was one of my favorite parts of the party. I used a CrockPot recipe for the actual hot cocoa. (A note to this recipe, it takes far longer, about double the time, for the chocolate to melt than the recipe actually calls for. I also added more milk because it was too rich.)
I used these super cute tin buckets with chalkboard labels and some glass bowls with chalkboard labels I added to set out the crushed peppermint, candy canes, marshmallows and straws. There was also whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, oh my. The cups were just simple ones from Party City so I fancied them up with a fox stamp. It added just a little something more. The birch straws went perfectly with the decor too!

{desserts}
There were two types of cupcakes...lemon with blueberries and red velvet, both with cream cheese frosting. The red velvet cupcakes were made to look like mushrooms by adding a white chocolate chip upside down. The other ones were an earthy green with some pine cone toothpicks. We also had chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. Simple but oh so yummy!
 {decor}
I really lucked out in the decor department because all the woodland decor was already out! Most of the woodland creatures were from Target. I also used some burlap, mason jars, kraft paper and bunting leftover from Autumn's birthday.
I made some bunting of the babies name and another banner with some prints I did. I found a plaid pattern, the deer head and made this 'Oh, Boy' banner. I love how it turned out!

One of my favorite pieces are the baby's initials 'C.P.J.' covered in moss. I bought the moss and cardboard letters at Hobby Lobby and simply glued the moss onto the letters. The best part, these can be used in the nursery too!
 My mom made this adorable baby album (with a cute woodland print!) to add wishes for Baby Chase. All the guests filled out their wish list and placed it inside the book. Stacy did something similar for me at my shower and I LOVED going back and reading what everyone wrote. It was such a special memory from that day! (Somehow these pictures didn't download, I will update when I get pics).

{favors}
As a 'thank you' gift to all the guests, they received a mason jar filled with marshmallows, a Hershey bar and graham crackers to make s'mores.


I originally got the idea of s'mores in a jar from Jess at Little Baby Garvin. I then added a tag stamped with 'thank you' and tied on with twine. Another IG friend gave me the idea of adding heating instructions. I printed them with a plaid pattern and some simple heating instructions if you don't have a fire. Although, a fire is still the only best way to make s'mores!
In all our excitement of the shower, nobody took any other pictures! We have lots of gift opening and not much else. #oops

Taken after I had already changed into my scrubby clothes, lol
 We had a wonderful time with the mama to be, eating, visiting, laughing and celebrating Mr. Chase. I can't wait to meet my little 'nephew' to be!