Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Candy Free Valentine's

It's not quite February yet, but we've already got all the heart eyes for what is in store for next month. We have a jam-packed schedule filled with fun ahead! From birthdays to our home team playing in the Super Bowl to winter travel plans, we won't have a moment to slow down once. 

So in a rare moment of planning way ahead, I am already on the ball for all things Valentine's Day. A few weeks ago I sat down to order some birthday party things for Cute and B.C. While browsing online, I noticed some adorable Valentines available - particularly in the candy-free section. Due to a few allergies in The Cutes classrooms this was the route I wanted to go. 

I grabbed The Cutes and asked them if they liked any of the cards that they saw for their friends. I was a little nervous knowing that Elsa and Captain America currently dominate our house, but they each quickly found something they loved. 


Cute immediately pointed out that he wanted these Mason Jar Bug Eraser Valentines. I couldn't believe it. They were adorable and totally not thinking what he would choose, especially when I spotted ones with ninjas, army men, and dinosaurs. There was even a nose picking sharpener option that I thought he would gravitate towards (I kid you not). But no - he was all about the bug ones. 

I asked why. His response was, "Because it has a spider and it's super cool. It will totally scare everyone!"

Ah, ever the romantic. 

Little Cute had a much more opinionated approach to her valentine selection, which consisted of continuously arguing why would people not want to have a candy treat. Finally, after much debate, we landed on something just as darling. 


Everything arrived quickly, and much to my excitement the valentines all arrived already pieced together! In year's past I've done everything from creating my own to purchasing the kits from the store, but this by far was the easiest option to date. No glueing, crafting, tying - or really any effort on my part at all - I'm in!


The cute little sayings on each of the four options are darling and I love that we can just flip it over to personalize - so easy!


L.C. ended up choosing these fun Silly Straw Valentines...


They are perfect for her little age group, and I like that they can have fun with them beyond just Valentine's Day. 


And - just like Cute's bug ones - these came fully assembled as well. 

If only everything in life were so easy! 

I can't wait for The Cutes to share their little valentines with their classmates and friends, and I am beyond relived to have this adorable task already off my list! 

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**These products were received as part of the Oriental Trading blogger ambassador program. All thoughts and awesome opinions are our own.  










Monday, January 30, 2017

DIY Tassel Bracelets for Valentine's Day

I know I've said this a ton of times here before, but I just love holidays and any excuse to decorate my house.  Over the weekend I pulled out my Valentine's Day bin from the basement and went through it.  It mostly holds left over Valentine craft supplies, books, etc., but I do have a few things I put around the house like this super cute hand hooked pillow. 


I also hang up my Valentine's Day wreaths on the front doors.  


Like I mentioned though, most of the Valentine's Day bin is stuff for the kids.  All sorts of cutout hearts, doilies, stickers and more.  This year I got some beading supplies for the girls to make DIY Tassel bracelets for Valentine's Day.  


They LOVED making the tassel necklaces a few years ago and still wear them all the time, so when I saw these Valentine tassels already made from Oriental Trading, I knew they would love them.  


We set up our bracelet making station in the playroom and got to work matching colors and trying to decide how their bracelets would look. 


We used this elastic cording to string the beads and one little tip that I will share that really helps from having the beads fall off as they are stringing is to tape one end of the cording to the table.  That way it is secure and no need to worry about beads rolling all over the table.  Then, when they are finished stringing the beads just tie it off in a few knots and they are all done! 


The girls were very detailed in their bracelet making and wanted them to look just right. I loved these sets because while the hearts and colors are perfect for Valentine's Day, they can also be worn year round! This Little Mama LOVES her some arm candy so I know she'll be putting her bracelets to good use.  


We were SO impressed with the way they turned out. I mean, so cute!  We all kept saying they looked like something you would buy from a store! :-)



They each made a few and then I got to try my hand at making one, too! 


I've linked all of the beads and supplies we used below, but there are tons and tons of options at Oriental Trading to create something similar to totally unique.  



While the girls were busy beading, Boo-Boo was digging through the Valentine's Day bin and found this awesome heart ring toss game.  


I bought this when Little Mama was in pre-school for her class Valentine's party and have used it almost every year since.  Being the room mom I'm often in charge of party activities and I have gotten my money's worth with this set.  Because it is wooden, it has held up year after year.   


As you can see, this guy had so much fun playing with it and the kids always do!  It was such a great purchase years ago and I just check and they still have it!  They also have an Easter Egg version that I also own.  When you find something that works and that the kids love, apparently you buy it for every holiday! 


Check out all that Oriental Trading has to offer for Valentine's Day HERE.  Including tons of cute Valentines to pass out to classmates.  Now that I think about it I should have gone ahead and ordered some. Please tell me I'm not the only one with very opinionated and indecisive children make that shopping task almost impossible!  

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I was given these beading product by Oriental Trading in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites: Six Things

Shout it from the rooftops...IT'S FRIDAY!!

Okay this is our first full week back to school since before Christmas Break. Crazy?!? - I know! 
However, that makes me especially thankful that is it finally Friday and the weekend is peeking at me around the corner!

A full week back, and I realize just how crazy our schedule is. Boo! 
Can I get another "snow storm" please? 


Despite it being a full week of back to the grind, it was a week filled with tons of fun moments - and some that will make my favorite list forever! 

As always linking up with some of our favorite bloggers for Friday Favorites...




This week Cute turned six. My baby's birthday will always be my favorite. Always. I can't believe how quickly six years has passed, and as each day passes I realize just how crazy in love I am with him. 

When I wasn't showering him with a million birthday hugs and kisses - or crying big ugly sobs over that big meanie that is Father Time - we were celebrating! 

Last weekend we had the fun laser tag/bowling Ninja Turtles party for him with a few of his friends, and this week we kept the party going. 


Then Wednesday was his actual birthday. He had school, but we made sure to make the day as special as possible. I think his highlight was probably Mr. Cute and I smuggling "outside" lunch into him. Thank you to the maker of large tote bags for our cover, and huge shout out to Baby Cute for the temper tantrum diversion in the front office - you both made all of Cute's birthday lunch dreams come true. 

(Side note: Maybe seven will be the year we return to taking photos where our tongues aren't out? Every. Single. Photo.)


Now we were only at the school briefly, but I felt that I should actually do my hair and put on pants with a button. I was super proud of myself because I also feel as though I wore an appropriate outfit...


24 Kindergarteners. One teacher.
BLESS. HER. HEART. 

Cute has a super sweet class - and his teacher is amazing - but that is a whole lot of five and six year old to control. 


So many teachers and fellow moms commented on the shirt while I was there. This is actually a Valentine's Day shirt from our friend Kathryn. She owns the cutest little online boutique, and I was so excited to wear this I couldn't wait. It is so soft and cozy, and she knows we are lovers of all things gold and shiny. 

Plus, what southern girl doesn't love the saying "Bless Your Heart"?  


And to put on those real clothes and do my hair, I have to shower. Showering is my favorite - as it should be for everybody. 


This week showering was even more my favorite because I was able to test run some Beauty Counter products that our friend Kristen shared with us. Let me just say...ahh-mazing!


I've been wanting to try Beauty Counter products for awhile, and can't wait give everything a go. Do you use Beauty Counter products? Which ones are your favorite? 



Allrighty, now that we've established that I bathed and chose not to walk around naked at least one day this week, I will move on to my next favorite..


Y'all. This drink. I was sitting in the waiting room at L.C.'s gymnastics gym, and was so thirsty. I had 40 minutes until my thirst would be quenched via anything at my house, so I made way to the drink machine for a water. 


No water. But this kiwi strawberry goodness was in there. I gave it a try and was instantly in love. 
And now thanks to the good people at Amazon and their prime shipping, I will be enjoying this beverage again somewhere around 3:30p.m.

I'm also intrigued by all the flavors available. I've never heard of this cane soda before, but I'll tell you now - I'm a fan!


Now that we are back to our full schedule, I've had small pockets of time at home where I can get a few projects done while B.C. naps, and the older Cutes are at school. I've been on an organizing frenzy! I've been taking that whole "consolidate" thing seriously, and it feels. so. good. 

One of my favorite quick projects for the week was figuring out how to organize all of Cute's sports medals. Trophies are easy because I can just place them on the shelves, but the medals were starting to just pile up in a blob on the shelf. 


I was excited to find this cute wall hanger. It is perfect, and has room to add more. 


I also must have been a little more on my game than normal because I had the foresight to go ahead and order one for L.C.'s room too. 


I love the "She Believed She Could, So She Did" hanger I found for hers, and love that I have a spot all ready to go for her medals after Spring sports are wrapped up. 



Speaking of exercise, I've been putting my favorite yoga pants to actual use this week. Seriously, I've probably logged more workout hours this week more than I have in the last few months combined. It's not due to some new resolution. Or revelation. Or even the fact that swimsuit season is staring me down each time I partake in Fiesta Fridays with a yummy cheese dip margarita combo. 

No. 

It's due to the fact that I became addicted to this show on TV, and I usually only watch shows when I workout. 


Victoria. I'm not sure what made me click on it because I still can't figure out our new cable system we installed a few months ago. But I am full on hooked. It is so good! It's like a historic romance novel brought to life.

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And I'm crazy jealous of all her sparkly things. I could totally rock a crown, and some gigantic diamond earrings. 

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Sparkles totally pair well with yoga pants. 

Between Victoria and my new found love for This Is Us, I should have eight pack abs and buns of steel by March. 

A girl can dream...


And that wraps up my favorites for this week!

 Now onto our weekend filled with a little more six celebrations, and some much needed down time. 

Happy Weekend Y'all!

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Little Love Notes

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and although we haven't even reached Feb. 1st yet, I wanted to go ahead and share this idea in case anyone else wants to use it this Valentine's season.

I love pretty much any holiday and any reason to celebrate.  I vividly remember being in 2nd grade and exchanging valentine's with my friends during our class party.  I came home and told my mom it was the VERY BEST DAY I had ever had in school so far.  I loved it that much.

Fast forward to college and my girlfriends and I went all out for our then boyfriends (who all became our husbands) on Valentine's Day.  We crafted all kinds of handmade gifts and even made crossword puzzles with clues about our relationships for them to complete.  Yep, that is a bunch of soon to be teachers for you.  When Valentine's Day came and went we were all a little disappointed because we got no creative, hand-made crossword puzzles back.  Ha!  And you know what we all discussed and realized after that?  We were all doing for them what we had hoped they would do for us. Most guys just don't think that way and while my Mr. can pull of some romantic gestures now and then (I am the proud owner of a stick he whittled for me in high school that says I <3 U) it isn't always the norm.

13 years of marriage in and I've given up on the romance part of Valentine's Day and instead now I love to focus all that love towards my kids!  There is no better time to tell them over and over not just how much you love them, but why!


I got this idea from my friend, K.  One time we were visiting them in February and I saw hearts all over her daughter's doors with little I love yous and reasons why she loved them.  It was absolutely the sweetest thing and I was so excited to do it with my own kids.  Only problem is that I always forget each year so this year I'm getting a head start and prepping this little activity before February 1st arrives.


I ordered this pack of DIY Fabulous Valentines from Oriental Trading to use.  It comes with peel and stick cutouts and letters to create your own Valentines.


I'm just saving those and adding them to the craft supplies in our playroom because I know my kids will put them to good use.  Then with the larger hearts I wrote out lots of different reasons why I love each of my kids.


Each night after they go to bed I'll stick one new heart on their door or somewhere in their room so they wake up with a new message from me each morning leading up to Valentine's Day.  I tried to come up with a list of things for each child that was really specific and unique for each of them. I'll use blue painter's tape to hold the hearts up so I don't have to worry about paint being peeled from the doors or furniture.  I put these up while they were at school today so I could show y'all, but I'll will keep them hidden and start next week!


We all love our kids. I just don't know that in between the rushing and the nagging to get homework done if I tell them enough.  I'm really hoping that this little activity will help build up their self-esteem.  I know it will make me so happy to see them beam with happiness as I share with them just some the reasons I love them and think they are so awesome!



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I was given this product by Oriental Trading in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.