Sunday, December 27, 2015

White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Pie

Each year at Thanksgiving my sweet Mother in Law gifts all of the women in our family with a Southern Living Christmas Cookbook. I've been in the family since 2008 and I love getting the cookbook, it is the best little treat right before the Christmas holiday! 

This year I spotted the Peppermint Mousse Pie in it and knew I needed to make it ASAP. Sooo, I did. And y'all. It is TOTALLY the best mousse pie ever. Ever ever.

Not going to lie. It was a lot of work, but worth every minute. If you like peppermint, oreos and white chocolate. Get to work! ;)

While at Mom's I noticed these three gems hanging on her fridge. 
2013/2014/2015 Santa pics. 

Oh time, won't you please slow down....

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Cookies

On Christmas Eve (at my Mom and Dad's house) my Sister, Mom and I made cookies with Jonah and Korie, my sweet little niece. It was the first year for us to do this together and I hope it becomes a fun tradition each year. We definitely had just as much fun (okay, probably more fun) as the kids!!

I used this sugar cookie recipe again and they turned out perfectly (and tasted really good).

How cute are these little Christmas elves?!?!

My sweet Grandmother "Meme" stopped by to see the cookies and visit for a bit! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas 2015

This year Jeremy and I decided to celebrate Christmas with Jonah the weekend before Christmas in our own home. After much (and loooong) discussion we both wanted Jonah to have this experience at home as we would be traveling all week to both sets of Grandparents. Sooo, we started a new tradition and wrote a letter asking Santa to please make a special, early delivery just for Jonah.

Santa wrote Jonah back and told him that he would be delighted to make a special trip because Jonah has been so nice this year (wink), so on Saturday morning we celebrated as if it were Christmas Day!!

I've always been a huge (HUGE) stickler for celebrating holidays ON the actual event. In fact, Jeremy and I miiiight have gotten into several arguments about this over the years. I have just felt so strongly about it. But I reconsidered and am SO GLAD I did. Best decision ever, and Jonah could have cared less about it being on Christmas Day. The very best memories were made.

This year Jonah didn't ask for anything specifically. When he visited Santa at school he told him that he had enough toys, and every time I tried to pull things out of him he wouldn't offer up any help. SO. I used my special Mom-Santa powers and picked out a few things I thought he would love. He's really into space, and rocket-ships so Santa brought him an astronaut costume as well as the cutest back pack and lunch box. Santa also kindly dropped off a wooden food cutting set and Jonah and I are both obsessed with it. It makes the best crunching noise when you slice the veggies and fruit. This will totally come in handy when Jonah wants to help me cook (every night). Thanks, Santa! 


We had a donut picnic on the floor in the living room and made the very best memories!! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fancy Christmas Date

On Saturday evening we went to church (love that our church offers a Saturday evening 6pm service!) and then planned a fancy family Christmas date. It was my favorite thing we've done together this Christmas season. We got dressed up and were all so excited to go eat dinner at a nice restaurant. Jonah kept calling it "fancy dinner". And, he requested "ska-betti" so we went to Maggiano's by the Galleria for a late dinner. We had to wait almost an hour (even with a reservation) but he was SO good, and he looked adorable to boot.

While inhaling his dinner he told Jeremy with a grin, "Dad, I'm tearin' this ska-betti UP!!". It was THE CUTEST. He is such a little ham.

Making the effort (and it does take effort) to create special memories with Jonah and Jeremy is something I will never regret. These are really the special times in our life.

Jonah Knox- Christmas 2015- 3 years old

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pre-K3 Christmas Party

This past Friday, December 18th Jonah's 3K preschool class had their Christmas party. I was responsible for the party (my first!) and couldn't wait to come up with couple of fun crafts and games for the kids.

I ended up making each child a salt dough ornament they could paint and take home with them. For our second "craft" type activity I made homemade cupcakes with frosting and the kids got to decorate their own cupcake and eat it. Both of which are table/sitting activities and were really great to keep a handle on their rowdiness!

After the craft and pizza lunch, we went outside to play frosty relay (taking turns tossing "snowballs" into the cardboard Frosty the Snowman that I made) and then a fun put a bow on your teacher contest.

Overall it was a rousing success. The kids, teachers and parents all participated and it was loads of fun. Jonah was asleep before we even made it back to the house!!

We treated Jonah's teachers and friends to homemade M&M cookies (so, so good) and made Hand-print ornaments for his Grandparents later that afternoon. We made extra cookies and delivered them locally to our friends. It was a fun surprise to show up with warm cookies fresh from the oven!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Packing our Shoebox

This was our first year to pack a shoe-box for a child in need. Operation Christmas Child is an awesome charity that delivers the boxes to children that would not get Christmas otherwise. It was incredibly humbling to think that whatever we packed, would be a child's only Christmas. What an amazing opportunity to bless a sweet baby! 

I explained the process to Jonah and he completely got it. When Jeremy got home and asked what we were doing he said, "we bought toys for my new friend because his parents can't buy him Christmas presents". I loved that he was able to pick up the concept behind our actions. 

We selected a little boy that is around the same age as Jonah, 2-4 years old, and filled it to the brim with prizes and essentials. I let Jonah pick out some of the toys. He selected Ninja Turtle pjs, and tooth brush, a play dinosaur, suckers and matchbox cars. I also packed dove soap, a tooth brush cover, crayons, a crayon holder, a sweatshirt, socks, blow up balloon toys, and other fun things. Jonah painted a pretty Christmas Tree and we wrote a letter on the back of the painting. We also included several envelopes with our address inside the box so he can write back if he wants. 

It was such a fun project that I hope we continue to do each year with Jonah!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Follow the Star (2015 Christmas Program)

Last night was Jonah's pre-school Christmas Program, Follow the Star. It was such a cute little play and Jonah did a wonderful job. Jeremy and I were so proud of him!!

His class (three year olds) stood right up front and I was able to watch him in action. It was seriously the cutest moment when he spotted us in the crowd. He was waving and yelling "MOM!!! DAD!!! I'm right here!!". So precious. In that moment I thought, this is what parenting is all about. It is worth the hard and long days because it gives you this J O Y and pride that is so amazing. Right? I teared up watching him because he was so proud of himself, too. Love watching our boy shine!

Once the program was complete we vistited his classroom, he showed us a few things he's made and then we let him choose dinner. He selected Whataburger, because he wanted a grilled cheese, fries and fruit snacks. Duh! Saw that one coming. 


We are SO proud of you every single day, but tonight we are especially proud. You stood with your class and participated in your first Christmas program and did such a great job! We love your enthusiasm for singing, and you are an awesome student. Your teachers both complimented you on how well you listen during class on a daily basis and have the sweetest heart. Daddy and I love you to the moon, dude!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Cheer around the Casa

I basically started decorating for Christmas waaaay before it socially acceptable to admit. I'll leave it at that. Since moving back to Texas in early 2013, decorating has kind of been a sore subject with me. I'm a decorator. My degree is in Interior Design. I am passionate about interiors. And we lived in an old (but manageable. ha.) two story apartment. Interestingly enough, Jonah still talks about missing our old home. A child's perspective has a way of putting things INTO perspective, right? Anyhow, I have been on the struggle bus because the apartment wasn't permanent. I couldn't paint to my hearts content so I just made do. It was fine. But now that we own our own home again, I AM THRILLED. Yes. Loud voice. THRILLED to decorate for the season (really. ALL the seasons).

Here's a peek into our home during this holiday season. I've had such fun pulling out our Christmas treasures this year!!

I used burlap placemats from The Royal Standard, and layered them with my vintage (thrifted) china and vintage Shiny Brite ornaments. When we cut our tree I asked if we could keep the branches they trimmed off the bottom and I used them throughout our home. They make the house smell AMAZING and add a fun touch. Plus, they're free. Hollaaa.

The vintage ornaments I tied to our chandelier is my favorite part of our decor. I miiiiight leave it up after Christmas. Love it that much!

We made the felt ornaments hanging from the mantle garland in 2009. It was our second married Christmas together. It was such a fun night that I'll always remember. My Mom and Sister came over to my Mother in law's house and we had so much fun sewing the sequins on and stuffing the felt ornaments. Love making special Christmas memories.

I'll do another post about the Oh Holy Night painting on the mantle. I whipped that up one afternoon. It was my first time to try painting on a canvas. It turned out pretty cute (for a newbie).

The last photo is of our entry area. I really tried to use things that we already had this Christmas, in a new way to decorate for the holidays. The Farm Fresh memo board was hanging in Jonah's nursery, but I decided to use it for holiday cards this year. I also used the Celebration Tree for vintage ornaments my Great Grandmother's and Mom made through the years.

In our kitchen I tried to make little "moments" of happy using little ornaments, trees and vintage inspired Santa mugs. I spotted the mugs on a recent trip to World Market and I didn't get them and thought about them for a solid week. So, we went back the following weekend so I could bring them home with me.

When we walk into the house it feels SO cozy and festive! And seriously. I can't believe it is nine sleeps until CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Best Friends

These two are my favorites. Lately Jonah wakes up concerned about where his Daddy is, and in the evenings can't wait for him to get home so they can play. He loves, loves to wrestle with Jeremy. It can get a little too intense for me so I tend not to watch those wrestling matches. Jonah will ask Jer to come play in his room and I'll ask what they are going to play and Jonah says, "we're going to hit trucks and make them crash into each other". Uhhh. Okay. Y'all do that. They also "fix" a lot of things in his room (aka- they work on things that aren't broken). 

Being three years old is tough sometimes. Jonah has a really, really great vocabulary and can reason with me. His cognitive thinking skills are on point. He can follow plots in a story, and is oftentimes scared of kids movies because he understands motive. (We were watching Home Alone this past weekend and he got super scared when Kevin was walking home from the store, and the guys in the van were following him. He quickly covered his eyes, and said, "MOM! Why are they following him??" and understood that was scary, so we turned it off.) 

Jonah has gotten so independent. He is completely potty trained, and can pull his pants/underwear up all by himself. If he's hungry he asks for a snack and then gets it out of the fridge (his favorites right now are apples, cheese sticks, and yogurts) all by himself. It is wonderful and a little sad at the same time.

Jonah still falls asleep in between Jeremy and I, and then one of us takes him to his own bed when he's out. As of this past week he has asked to sleep in his own bed twice now without falling asleep with us.... I seriously wanted to CRY!

We are quickly heading to 4 years old, and I can't wrap my head around it. At times I feel like he's a big boy and then sometimes I remember and realize that he's three. Three little years old.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Tree Hunting

We went on the great Christmas tree hunt of 2015 last week. This is our first year to pick out a real Christmas tree as a family. I have been SO excited thinking about it!! It turned out to be the perfectly cold and dreary day!! It has been almost hot here in Texas so I'll take dreary and cold allllll the day long over hot. Hot just doesn't equate to Christmas cheer. Can I get an amen?!

We went on Sunday afternoon after we finished church and lunch. Jonah chose Whataburger, but who am I kidding? If you give him the chance and he will ALWAYS pick Whataburger. Homeboy loves him some grilled cheese's and white milk.

We went to several tree lots and ended up at a local place near our house. I had my heart set on a tall tree and refused to look at anything under eight feet. Thankfully they had tons of tall, stately options and we had fun picking the prettiest tree we could find!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with our families. We started off in Bryan at Ammy and Bacca's house and celebrated with our family there and then traveled back home and Mims, Papa and my siblings met us here in Houston for a fun weekend of food and football! I am most thankful for all of our family, and can't imagine life without them!

Jonah helped me make sugar cookies and we painted them together on Tuesday night. I also made mini pumpkin pies, and mini pecan pies (failed miserably at the mini pecans...they all stuck to the pan and I almost cried. true story) as well as the BEST garlic cheese grits casserole. The sugar cookies turned out so cute (and they were delicious!)...

I have such a good, and intense little helper! ;)

Ammy's table was set so pretty for lunch on Thanksgiving Day! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!