Checking In: Being Meaningful Within Your Means

Hey Friends! How is your holiday season going? Are you still full from Thanksgiving or are you charging full speed ahead to Christmas? Remember last month’s post sharing tips for how to keep Christmas meaningful within your means? Well, now that we are almost two weeks into December I wanted to check in and see how you are all doing? Did your checkbook survive Black Friday? Are you Spreading the Light to those in your community? Check out these 30 ways to Spread the Light this season if you are ready to start! I’d love to hear how everything is going!

As for me, I am definitely taking full advantage of the Holiday Budget Sheet. Before Black Friday struck I made a list of who we would like to give to this Christmas and set our spending budget for friends, family, and Christmas activities. I feel pretty good about our budget so far, but we still have two weeks to go! I’ve also read through this Holiday Planning Guide. SunTrust has provided great tips for online shopping, travel, and meal planning during the holiday season. One stat that stood out ot me was that FedEx would deliver 290 MILLION packages between Black Friday and Christmas Day. Talk about some awesome workers who we could SPREAD THE LIGHT to will a small gift card or thank you note! What do you say? Will you all join me in thanking those who brave the cold and traffic to deliver our packages so we can stay warm inside?

We are also working our way through this list of FREE family activities for the Christmas season. We made hand and footprint reindeer, Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santas just the other day that I hope to turn into gift tags…you can find those here on the blog!

So, let me know what you have been up too? I’d love to hear any stories you have about SPREADING the LIGHT & any other tips your have to being meaningful within your means this Christmas season! Make sure and check out the Holiday Planning Guide & Budgeting Sheet. Also SunTrust would love it if you shared with them as well. They have a entire page dedicated to their holiday mission to be meaningful within your means. You can share your ideas on social media by tagging @Suntrust or using the hashtag #holidaymeans. To see what others in the Suntrust community are doing visit their Holiday Means Website! Now go out and SPREAD THE LIGHT!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

To get started visit

Meaningful spending made easy with our holiday planning guide.  Download here

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.


Hand print and Footprint Ornaments AND Gift Tags


Yall, we have been having SOOOO much fun around here. Christmas with a little one is so magical and full of crafts, baking, and guarding the Christmas tree for inquisitive hands :) After a test run we decided to leave the bottom of our tree bare (except for lights) in fear of them not being around next year! But seriously, I love seeing all the fun through Chickadee’s eyes and I know the magic is going to grow and grow each year!

I have been making a list of Christmas activities I thought baby girl would be old enough for (she’s 14 months) and these hand print and footprint ornaments/gift tags were a must.


Looking at them they are pretty self explanatory, here are the supplies you will need kid safe paint, cardstock, foam brush, Sharpie, hole punch, ribbon or baker’s twine. And and few tips to keep in mind!



We had so much fun making these that when we had playgroup yesterday we shared the fun with everyone. Everyone’s art turned out sooo cute! I can’t wait to add these to our gifts under the tree! For those of you making them as ornaments make sure and write your child’s name and the year on the back so when they are 10 you will remember how little, sweet, and magical they were!

I’d love to hear what crafts are on your must make list this Christmas.


How to Make a Felt Christmas Tree for the Kids


Happy Monday everyone!! Did you have a great weekend?? Any festive holiday events? Did you do a little Christmas shopping? I tried to capitalize on Chickadee’s naptime and III being home studying for his MBA to stand watch and definitely crossed a few shopping items off my list!

I am sure you have seen these cute felt Christmas trees all over Pinterest…it’s not a new idea. However, it is new in our household and has totally mesmerized Chickadee. She will spend hours minutes (but like 20) putting up and taking down the lights, presents, and ornaments! 

I don’t think this needs a full tutorial, but I will share a few tips with you. First, just a heads up…felt sticks to felt so their is no need for attaching velcro, snaps or anything like that. Next, Michaels sells large 36×36 squares of green felt for $3.99. To make your Christmas tree fold the square in half and draw out 1/2 of the tree, like so


If you don’t like your first sketch try again, you can see I had to make some adjustments. Then cut through both pieces…when you open it up you’ll have the most fabulous tree! 

The lights, star, ornaments, and presents are all cut out of felt and embellishments are added with a little hot glue. Before I cut out the Christmas tree Chickadee had fun just stacking and rearranging all the parts on extra pieces of felt!




Now, I first tried to attach it to the wall using painter’s tape, but it just wasn’t sticking to the felt. So after testing it on the wall I moved on to duct tape. I used a little hot glue to attach the duct tape loop to the felt and then pressed it to the wall. It has been holding up really well as Chickadee pulls, and plays, and yanks! She really does love having this as an option to play during the day. I love sharing in all the Christmas fun with her and can’t wait until I she really understands how these little presents represent the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus!