Tuesday, November 26, 2013

{Christmas bucket list}

I'm determined to not miss a beat this year and do as many fun Christmas things as possible with the boys. If you read yesterday's post this won't come as a surprise to you. :)

So I put together a fun little "bucket list" of Christmas activities I want us to do. It could have been much longer and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but I think this is a good start...

We have already done a few of these...like put up the boys' tree in their bedroom, read some Christmas books and paint pottery gifts, but that doesn't mean we can't repeat some things too!

I'm really excited to make paper advent chains with them because that is a fun memory from my childhood. And I think it will be fun to let them make some wrapping paper with plain kraft paper and stamps, stickers, markers etc. Last year we took them shopping separately to buy gifts for each other and that was really special so I'm very excited about that as well.

Do you have a "bucket list" for the holidays? What is on yours?

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Monday, November 25, 2013

{5-year-old magic}

"Is Santa Claus real Mom?" 

The question came without any warning...no time for me to come up with a response that wasn't a lie but didn't tell him the truth either.

We sat snuggled on the couch, coffee in my hand, soft fleece blankets wrapped underneath our feet, The Polar Express playing on the TV.

That question hit me like a ton of bricks...THIS might be THE Christmas.

The most magical one we'll have with the boys. The wonder is still there...Santa is still real to them. Listening for the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof on Christmas Eve. Looking up the chimney to see if a pair of black, soot-covered boots are dangling down. Using Santa as a reason for them to behave extra-well in December. I know we aren't the only ones that do this. 

Next year all of that might be stuff for little kids. They will be 6 and maybe too grow up for Santa and all of the Christmas magic.

I'm hoping we might be able to squeeze out one more year...but just in case I'm going to soak up every single minute of it with them this year.

We went shopping for Christmas craft supplies over the weekend. Snow globes and pipe cleaner ornaments are on the list. We watched Christmas shows and I sorted through all of their books to make a pile of Christmas favorites.

Last night we read The Grinch and I think I enjoyed it even more than they did.

And we put up their little tree next to their bunkbeds. {Still adjusting to THAT.}

The fact that they are taller than their tree now isn't lost on me...

The ornaments of their tiny two-year-old hands...

And then for an hour after decorating their tree, they took turns playing Santa, wearing Landon's astronaut suit. Apparently Santa is from outer space. One of them would act like they were sleeping and the other would bring in a toy and give it to them. Then they would hug and say thank you. Can you say precious x 1,000,000?

I really just want to bottle up this magic so I can save it for the Christmases when this childlike innocence is long gone, and take a few sips each year to remind myself of this five-year-old Christmas and how special it is. There is nothing like it in the world. And I am blessed for getting to experience it.

{And if you are wondering...I never answered his question.}

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{playing dress up}

Hi friends!

So sorry for the blogging silence...yet again. Life hardly gives me time to pause lately. I'm not complaining about that because my minutes are filled with good things, but blogging has certainly taken a back seat.

I still post a ton to Instagram though, so be sure to follow me over there if you want a daily Mandy fix. ;)

I've been enjoying my fall/winter wardrobe lately, especially my sweaters and boots. Wearing them just makes me feel at home, happy and comfortable.

I took both of above photos in the bathroom at my local coffee shop...it has a great vintage full-length mirror. I have no shame. :)

Cardigan, denim top, ring and flats above are thrifted

I recently started following artist Kelly Rae Roberts on social media...her art is SO inspiring to me, and she shares the cutest outfit photos...her wardrobe is so fun. She blogged here about what she calls "the wear your joy project." She posts her outfits on Instagram and uses the hashtag #thewearyourjoyproject.

Here is an excerpt from her blog post that I love:

"Style isn’t superficial. It’s the call of your heart, made visible — and wearable." 

That really speaks to me because sometimes I feel like I'm being too superficial/materialistic about wanting a new sweater or piece of jewelry, but most of the time it is because wearing it will make me happy and feel more like me. If that is your intention when you get dressed in the morning, in my humble opinion, you are doing it right.

If you post your outfits on Instagram, be sure to use Kelly's hashtag and let's start wearing our joy! :)

{you can follow me here}


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Monday, November 11, 2013

{Instagram Giveaway}

When I started posting on Instagram back in the spring of 2012 I had no idea what an amazing community I would experience. I have found so many wonderful and supportive friends through Instagram, and also have it to thank for my doodling success these past few months. 

A few days ago I hit a really fun milestone...

1,000 followers! Say what?! {that doodle image is SO appropriate, right?}

I decided I wanted to give away some fun prizes to say thank you to all of my Insta friends...
So head on over to my Instagram, follow if you aren't already, and enter to win some really great stuff!

Love you all!

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Friday, November 08, 2013

{raising a creative soul}

"Can I get this Mom?"

His hand stretched out, holding a small, black leather journal.

Benny and I were in the stationary aisle at TJ Maxx last night and he found a treasure that he absolutely couldn't live without.

"Let's tell Santa about it and maybe you'll get one in your stocking!" I told him.

Of course I wanted to throw that $3.99 gem into our cart and continue on our way, but I had to keep to our rule of "we're not buying any treats on this trip." Darn self-imposed parenting rules.

Of course I'll be heading back very quickly to snatch it up and put it away for "Santa" to give to him.

My heart fills to about bursting when he asks for items that foster and nurture his creativity. All parenting/budget rules are out the window for me when it comes to art supplies.

And the fact that he wants a journal?! Well just stick a fork in me.

This kid...

How did I get so lucky?

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