Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentines_Day

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” -Winnie the Pooh

These two and their daddy….they have my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! I hope you are surrounded my those you love today. Speaking of LOVE, we began the day at Chick-fil-a eating heart shape biscuits and BIG Valentine plans tonight. Heart shape pizza, with heart pepperonis! 

You may have seen on Instagram, but I think Chickadee’s Dinosaur Valentines turned out really great. I will do a crayon melting/molding post soon. It was a hit and the kids were able to be pretty hands on for the entire process. Chickadee came home with the cutest valentines from her friends, the preschoolers are really stepping up their game.

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I wanted to share one more thing before I sign off. For the past few years we’ve been giving Chickadee and Sprout a book for Valentines Day. Inside of the cover of each one, we write a list of all the things we love about them at this age. It currently means a little more to us than them right now, but I hope one day it’s a great keepsake. Last year we gave Marianne Richmond’s You are my Heart and Nancy Tillman’s I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love. This year we gave The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin and I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

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I hope you have/had a love filled Valentine’s Day!! <3

Rainy Day Family Fun

I hope no one minds too much, but I plan to get back to a few personal posts intermixed with the recipes and DIY. Blogging about our family is where this little blog started and over the years it’s been lost a little along with my passion for blogging. I’m hoping sharing a little bit more about our life with you along with the DIYs and recipes will help reignite that love of keeping in touch!

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The weather here in Atlanta has been all over the map lately. We were in shorts about a week ago, but this weekend it was cold and rainy so we spent our Saturday morning hanging out inside. It was kind of nice. We had gone out to dinner Friday night to celebrate III. After putting in months of hard work he was rewarded with a promotion. We are so proud of him!  Saturday morning we slept in (until 7:45!) and cooked breakfast at home. (I am LOVING these new Pioneer Woman bowls from WalMart!)

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Since it was raining we spent time int he playroom and Sprout pulled out one of his FAVORITE books as of late. 

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Have yall read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with your little ones? It’s a sweet story of 5 siblings ad their dog who head out on a fun adventure to find a bear. It’s got repetition which kids love and lots of fun onomatopoeias! I strongly recommend adding this one to your library if you haven’t already. The kids do happen upon a bear in a cave and things get exciting.

The cave prompted our kids to want to build a pillow cave or fort (which Chickadee calls a “fork”). Also one of our favorite to do when it’s cold and rainy.  III love putting on his architect hat to help them build quite elaborate caves.

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We all played in it for a while before I mentioned to the kids that we found the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt turned into a sweet little video on Amazon Prime. Did you know you can watch thousands of things on your television as part of your Amazon Prime membership? If you want details, read a little more about it here

It was SUPER cute and the kids loved watching in their own cave. Between reading the book, building and playing in the cave and watching the video we were able to pass over an hour of our time stuck inside on this cold and rainy morning and more importantly enjoy time as a family! You could of course also go on your own bear hunt as well. Maybe hide a teddy bear, turn out the lights, and use flashlights to see who can find the sneaky bear!

Hope you have a fantastic week! I’ll try and stop back by later this week to share a fun little Valentine’s craft for the kiddos. 

A Year of Dates | Valentines Day Idea

 

***This is a recycled post from when only my mom and sister were reading my blog and III and I were still giving Valentine’s gifts :/ Now six years and two kids later, I’m realizing we need more date nights in our lives. Anyone want to come babysit our crazy crew for us?

These are good ideas though, so I wanted to share it with all of you who have joined in the journey lately Hope you don’t mind the recycle!

. . . . .

III told me that I couldn’t spend a lot on our first married Valentine’s because he was planning on using ALL of the February gift budget….what fabulous anticipation this brought to my life! He has always been great at date creating, my favorite is when he gives clues that lead to the fun. I can’t wait!

Spending little money on 02.14 proposed a conundrum….so, I put on my creative hat and came up with this…

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I present… a bag full of dates!

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There are 12 of them. One for each month between now & next Valentine’s day. I put a personal spin on the dates, to make them special for us. None of them are very expensive, most involve food, and all include spending time doing things we love.

Here are a few of my ideas:

Creating a tent in the living room & roasting s’mores over a warm fire; movie night, Redbox anyone?; recreating our “first date” for our one seven year anniversary; going to the park to fly kites & wrapping up the day with a picnic; hiking a nearby mountain; March Maddness night…including all his favorite appetizers…

There are obviously a few more; I think I’ll have him open each month’s envelope on the first day of the month. It might look like this…

We’ll pick a date, & I’ll do all the work. It will be a nice change of pace since he is usually the planner in the date department. Hopefully, it will be a hit! Shhhh, don’t tell III!

Happy Valentine’s Day (a little early)!

 

Gain Financial Confidence in 2017

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“Happy 2017! I feel so old thinking Y2K was 17 years ago…goodness. How was your Christmas? We traveled some, ate a lot, and spent so much quality time with family! This year I think my favorite moment was baking a birthday cake for Jesus with Chickadee. She has really gotten into celebrating people this year, especially around their birthday. So it was really special for her to want to go all out for Jesus’s birthday party! It’s sad to think the Christmas season is once again 11 months away. However, just because the holiday season is over doesn’t mean a season of giving cannot continue! 

I am once again teaming up with SunTrust and their #onUp movement to talk about financial confidence as we raise a family on one income. I am happy to say that we stuck to our Christmas budget as we shopped for those we loved this December. As we begin a new year, finances are again on our mind as we plan out house projects, preschool, family trips, and other changes coming in 2017. III and I sat down during naptime today to talk about what we need to do to hit our savings goal for 2017. What is a reasonable about to spend on groceries? How much will preschool cost if we send both Chickadee and Sprout? Is it a reasonable decision to buy a new car? So many things to think about in the new year. Thankfully, SunTrust is again here to help.

First, take this Mental Wealth Quiz. I just completed it, and I’m feeling pretty good about the results. One suggestion SunTrust had about my mental wealth was to “step back from your financial flow and examine what matters the most to you.” I agree. Prioritizing our spending is important. They also suggested writing down a “long-term savings goal & one thing that we aren’t doing that we could to start achieving that goal.”

One goal that we have for our home is replacing the flooring downstairs with new hardwoods. We need to have an estimate done so we know exactly how much money we need to save. Then maybe we can designate a specific part of our savings to this project, making sure we don’t dip into the money we are saving for other purposes.

A few other areas we are planning to start saving for are college funds, adoption, a new car, and retirement. Financial resolutions are part of the top five of resolutions every year. Let 2017 be the year you reach those financial savings goals! Need more direction for where and how to start. Let SunTrust be your guide by using their TOOLS page. Here you can crunch some numbers and assess your money choices. Start making a difference today!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  

The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.

Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.

Join the movement

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

 

Best Kept Secret in Christmas Cards!

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Do you send out Christmas cards? This time of year I absolutely LOVE going to the mailbox each day and finding love sent from friends near and far. I love seeing how they have captured their family during the year. How far away friend’s children have changed. It brings me so much joy each day.

I’m really proud of myself this year. I actually ordered our Christmas cards BEFORE Thanksgiving and was able to address them as we travel. Granted I didn’t make it to the post office for stamps until Thursday, but they are in the mail now and have started arriving in mailboxes.

I’ve ordered my cards from several places over the years, but a few years ago I found a hidden gem. WALMART. Did you know Walmart prints stationary stock Christmas cards for more than half less than traditional Christmas card sites (and no they aren’t paying me anything to say that!) This year I ordered 75 stationary stock 5×7 cards for $45.00 including shipping. I consider that a STEAL! There are pictures on both sides & they added my return address to the envelopes!

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Just wanted to share. If you haven’t ordered your cards, it isn’t too late! If you have…tuck this little nugget away for next year :) Merry Christmas!