busy, busy Christmas

And we wouldn't have it any other way. This Christmas we wanted to do as many family activities as possible so we started doing an advent tradition. 

Christmas bucket list for this year:
visit to Santa

drive around to see Christmas lights

put up Christmas tree

read the Christmas story as a family

read "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

send out Christmas cards

Make Christmas cookies and leave them out for Santa
didn't get a picture of the actual cookies but here is our set up
use an advent calendar

Make a Christmas wreath

make ornament craft

start out Elf of the Shelf tradition
we are probably going to do this next year

Our Advent Calendar
This year we started using an Advent Calendar. I found a list of verses to read each day from a friend and we would read a verse each day as well as do a family activity together (lots of ideas on Pinterest).
This year I typed up the verse and activity on one piece of paper, but I realized I had to change some of the activities around due to schedule changes. So I started making craft tags to use as our advent verses and activities so I can move the activities if I need. I am still working on finishing these up but they are pretty easy to create.
All you need are craft tags (at least 48), some markers or felt pens, then some washi tape. I wrote each verse on 24 of the tags, then wrote the activity of the others. I also wrote the number for the order of the verses on the opposite side. Decorate with washi tape. 
Lots of the activities are things you are already doing anyway but it makes it more fun to assign it to a day and make a point to do it as a family.
Some of the activities we did were:
read a Christmas book
watch a Christmas movie
make paper snowflakes
drink hot chocolate
wrap presents
wear Christmas pjs
drive around to look at Christmas lights
make an ornament

Our Christmas

We had a busy busy Christmas, lots going on. I have been meaning to post this recap for a while but I am just now getting around to it :(
We had so much going on but had a blast this year, especially now that Seth really knew what was going on this year... at least more than last haha!

Shopping for some wrapping paper, we love our Target runs!

playing with his new nativity

wrapping presents with momma

going to the Christmas Tree farm

family Christmas parties

Santa's Wonderland

Rockets Game

opening gifts

Christmas Day

Seth likes his belly shirts haha!

after Christmas day

More on our Advent calendar and our Christmas to-do list later

Toddler Chex Mix

Lately I have been looking for easy recipes for our little toddler. He is sometimes pretty picky but if I hide things I can get him to eat healthy things. The other thing I have a hard time with is snacks to give him that are easy for our fast-paced life. Today I wanted to share two different recipes I have made lately that our little one really seemed to love.

Fruit and Veggie Muffins

Go to the original site to get the recipe, I followed it pretty much exactly.
Seth really loves these and I love that I can get a lot of fruits and veggies into these muffins. Also, I love that you can freeze them for up to three months, although I don't think they will last that long!

Toddler Chex Mix
adapted from A Blessed Nest

What you need:
2 cups Cinnamon Chex
2 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex
1/2 cup Wheat Chex
2 cups Honey Nut Cherrios (I used the HEB brand)
2 cups Annie's Chedder Snack Mix
1/2 cup Tedder Grahams
add in Goldfish (optional)

To make:
mix together in a bowl
store in an air tight container
That's it!!

Book and Movie Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

This book was such a great read! I couldn't put it down, I wanted to know the next twisted thing that was going to happen. You might have seen the movie already and although there were some things that weren't the same, it was really close to the book which I love!

Normally, I don't read suspense novels, I'm not a fan of scary so I just don't read them just in case. But this one was not the case. At first it was difficult to read because the characters are such different characters than I am used to reading and you really need to read a few chapters to get used to their banter and quirks. And it is like everyone is saying, you have no idea who to believe and who to trust until the very end. The relationship of between Nick and Amy is so twisted. It seemed to me that Flynn was trying to exaggerate the way that sometimes couples can be, like playing games, becoming insecure but hiding it, losing interest. There relationship is just those things just exaggerate to a higher level, a murdering level.

The movie was just as great as the book. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike played the characters perfectly and they really made you think. I really loved how the movie had some of the smaller parts of the book and made them hit home, like his smile at the first press conference and her weight gain to hid who she was. There was some parts toward the end that were a little too much for me but it really showed Amy's character so well. 

I definitely recommend this book and movie!

annual weekend with my girls

Every year, my friends from college get together for a weekend trip some other than the town we all live in. We have gone to Fredericksburg, Wimberly, Dallas (it was busy year so that year didn't count with our rule), and Canton. We missed last year so this year was much needed, we decided to go to our old stomping grounds in Waco were we meet at Baylor!

We all got in Friday and had dinner. We tried to go to all our favorite restaurants while we were in town! Saturday we all did some shopping then rested and caught up. 

One of the other things we did was try to find some of the murals Waco is putting up throughout downtown to revitalize it.

It was a much needed girls weekend but I missed my boys. Can't wait to see my girls again soon though!!