Countdown to Christmas | Advent Calendar Ideas

Hello Sunshine! A great way to build anticipation and count down the days leading up to Christmas is with an advent calendar! There are so many cute, fun ways to countdown Christmas. We have a wooden house advent calendar that has a door for each day. I fill each day with a small chocolate for each of my children with a sprinkling of fun activities throughout.


Countdown to Christmas
28 Advent Calendar Activity Ideas for Kids

  • CHOCOLATES | Give each of your kids a piece of chocolate every day leading up to Christmas. My kids love this!
  • READ A HOLIDAY BOOK | Over the years I have collected many cherished Christmas books that we look forward to reading. Don't forget your public library, they have such a great collection of holiday books. Just remember to reserve now as the demand will be high.
  • MAIL A LETTER TO SANTA | This is always fun for kids to not only visit but to actually write him a letter. I recently bought a felt envelop from the Target dollar spot to make delivering his letter that much fun.
  • WATCH A CHRISTMAS MOVIE | Movie night is such fun times for us. We make a special treats and play games. I think I love it as much as the kids. Here are a list of our favorite Christmas movies.
  • ATTEND A HOLIDAY THEMED EVENT | Gift the kids with tickets to an holiday event. It could be to a cookie exchange party, the nutcracker, the latest movie at the theater, anywhere. If you are in Nashville try ICE!, The Grinch Musical, or the Dancing Lights of Christmas.
  • MAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
  • COLOR CHRISTMAS COLORING BOOKS
  • PAJAMA PICTURES
  • CANDY CANE HIDE AND SEEK | Hide a bunch of candy canes around the house and have the kids try to find them!
  • LIVE NATIVITY | Every year we head to a local church that puts on a live nativity scene. It's a big ordeal and people come from all over to experience it. It's like you take a step back in time and you learn so much.
  • GIFT EXCHANGE | This is so much fun when done with a group of children, even adults. It can be with their classroom, neighborhood friends, church, or cousins. Set a price limit and pick names.
  • HOLIDAY SCAVENGER HUNT
  • GO ICE SKATING
  • PUT ON PJS + WATCH POLAR EXPRESS
  • READ ABOUT THE NATIVITY
  • MAKE PEPPERMINT BARK | Try this delicious recipe as one of your treats at your next movie night. It's really easy to make and is perfect to involve the kids. Get the recipe HERE.
  • GO TO A CAROL SERVICE
  • PICK OUT A CHRISTMAS TREE | For those of you who get a live tree, make a day out of it. Head to your local tree farm or nursery and search for the perfect tree. Don't forget to snap a photo in front of your tree. This could be a perfect Christmas card photo!
  • DONATE CANNED FOOD TO A PANTRY
  • CHOOSE 3 OF THEIR TOYS TO DONATE | I love to get organized and move old things out to make room for the new.
  • DONATE A NEW TOY TO A LOCAL TOY DRIVE
  • HANG STOCKINGS
  • VISIT SANTA CLAUS
  • MAKE HOT COCOA WITH MARSHMALLOWS
  • DECORATE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
  • PULL OUT SLEEPING BAGS + HAVE A FAMILY SLUMBER PARTY UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE
  • SERVE A MEAL AT A LOCAL SHELTER | This can be a great service project for your older children.
  • DELIVER HOMEMADE TREATS TO NEIGHBORS

What activities do you love to do with your kids during the holiday? What type of advent calendar do you use? See ya soon!

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A Personalized Gift + Hostess Gift Wrap Ideas


Hello Sunshine! Thanksgiving is a few short days away. We all will gather together for good food and even better company. Some of us will be headed to family or friends and you never want to show up empty handed. We often ponder what special trinkets, wine, or personalized gift we should bring.

When you come across that special thank you gift make it extra special with personalized gift wrap. The possibilities are endless but today I will show you two.


Flower Gift Wrap

The paper is a colorful sprinkle paper, tied with black and white twine, and topped with a handmade paper flower. The flower is a special personalized touch that is unique and will wow any hostess. The pale pink paper with black center pairs well with the colored paper. Get the free flower template here.


Fracture Glass Prints

Fracture glass photos make wonderful gifts. Now that we are in the gift giving season, show your special someone how much they mean to you with a sentimental, keepsake gift. They will take any photo and print it directly on glass.

It's too late to give one for Thanksgiving but Christmas is right around the corner! There are many sizes to choose from. They can even make a square glass print for your many awesome instagram photos. They are made to hang on the wall but you can opt for a stand to place on a table.

Consider Fracture when you are on the hunt for that perfect gift!


Leaf Gift Wrap
Red Mini Leaves Paper | Leaf Template | Black + White Twine | Square Box

My Fracture prints fit beautifully in a 8" square gift box. This wrapping is perfectly Fall from the vibrant leaf paper to the huge golden leaf tied with twine. I found a maple leaf printable online and printed it off on cardstock. Coat the leaf with a thin layer of glue then sprinkle with gold embossing powder. Using a heat gun transform it from a powder to a polished, shiny leaf.

No matter what you gift or how you choose to present it, always be thankful and full of gratitude!

Have a wonderful holiday week!
See ya soon!

This post was bought to you by Fracture. All opinions and photography are 100% my own!

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if you could...


Hello Sunshine! I'm introducing a new blog series that I feel will give my readers a chance to interact with me more. It's called 'if you could...' Every other week I'll post a new question that will not only be fun but thought provoking.

This week's question:
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Would it be somewhere exotic, a dream you had since you were little, or back home where you grew up?

I first posed this question to a few of my coworkers and I was surprised by their answers, which lead me to this new series. Some couldn't think of anywhere, anyplace that they wanted to live. One coworker said Singapore and told me how she had been there a few times and absolutely loved it. Another mentioned that she was happy right here in Nashville. While another would move back home to be near family.

For me I think if money nor family were an object I would be a nomad. I would love to live awhile here and then leave and live awhile there. I have a list over a mile long with places I want to visit. Friends, I want to see the world and everything she has to offer!

What about you? Where would you live?
See ya soon!

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Fall City Photoshoot with JORD Wood Watch + Giveway

"I tried to tie time down
By meticulously planning to manage the future
now
Still the present unraveled before my very eyes" - Jeremy Myers

Fall is a beautiful season full of blissful displays of colors resonating through every leaf. Our minds often drift to the countryside full of trees with leaves falling aimlessly. Even in the city autumn orchestrates its artistry with splashes of color and extravagant sunsets.

With beautiful weather and bright blue skies, we headed downtown Nashville for a fall photoshoot featuring a JORD Wood Watch. Nashville has that small town, big city feel with a ton of historical character charming its many visitors.

HIS STYLE
The best way to describe my husbands style is laidback. He is definitely a no fuss type of guy preferring comfortable casual over anything else, period. His typical outfit is a pair of chinos, polo, running shoes with a newsboy cap.

From season to season his look remains the same with only slight changes to his color palette. For fall he gravitates toward dark colors. He recently added camo unto the mix. It reminds him of his childhood growing up in the country spending endless hours roaming the great outdoors. Camouflage is trending this fall season with the look being more sophisticated and subdued.

Our Halloween Front Porch

Happy Halloween! Today I wanted to share some images of our kinda spooky front porch 2016. This is our second year decorating for Halloween. Last year I had the opportunity to participate in Home Depot's holiday style challenge and created our kinda spooky front porch. This year I switched things up a bit to give the porch a slightly different look.

I took the back drop of my fab fall home tour porch and layered in some spooky elements. I created a super easy striped rug, added my felt bats to an old wreath I dismantled, and draped some creepy cloth over our outdoor light. Yesterday the kids craved their pumpkin creations to add to the ambiance. They do so good with their pumpkins every year.

Our Halloween Front Porch 2016

My Top 10 Things To Do This Fall With Your Kids


ONE | PUMPKIN PATCH
Visiting a farm that grows pumpkins is a great way to spend any fall afternoon. Enjoy a hayride and pick pumpkins. Many pumpkin patches now are full of activities like mazes, zip lines, parks, farm animals, and delicious food.

TWO | CARVE PUMPKINS
Kids love to carve pumpkins. Oh the faces they make when they pull the first fist full of pumpkin guts up. The decision of what their pumpkin will look like; scary, cute, a bat or goblin, maybe a skeleton, or a worty witch. They will have a blast and their creations look amazing on the front porch. Just don't forget to roast all those seeds!

Reclaimed Barnwood Bench

Hello Sunshine! This weekend I experienced the Nashville Flea. As many years as I lived here I’ve never been to the flea market here. It was amazing and overwhelming wrapped up into one. I went with the sole purpose of finding a small bench to place under my oversized canvas art.

I’ve looked everywhere for a rustic bench. I searched craigslist, went to thrift stores and even did the slow drive by, of yard sales. The closest I came to getting that perfect bench (until this weekend) was when I spotted one in a neighbor’s yard. It was dusk and I couldn’t fathom knocking on their door so I waited until after work the next day just to find out it was gone. Insert crying sad face here.

Ok lets get back to the flea market. There were vendors from all over, hundreds and hundreds of them selling anything and everything your heart desired. My husband and I roamed around the endless sea of vendors. Every corner we turned there was something new to see. Furniture, candied apples, metal letters, signs, plants, wreaths, fabrics, books, coins, christmas, halloween, you name it we saw it. Even metal marching ants.
 
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