What I read in December

December 31, 2020

No comments

December was for all the romantic winter books. I have long past my goal of 52 books and I wanted to disappear into some books that didn't require heavy thought. I just wanted to be swept away to a simpler world for a little while. And while all of these books didn't exactly tick the "simpler world" box for the characters, I loved them all anyways!

Winter Street The first in the Winter collection by Elin Hilderbrand. I loved this series and I am almost done with the last book in the series. The Quinn family reminds me of the family in The Family Stone and you just want to curl up in their inn and root for them! 

The Tourist Attraction Another series! This one was more of a romantic comedy set in Alaska. The books each focus on a different set of characters from the series. It was short, sweet, easy to read and exactly what one needs in the middle of December.

Winter Stroll The Quinn family trials and triumphs continued in this book and made me fall even more in love with the characters.

Mistletoe & Mr Right More Alaskan fun.. Another easy, short & sweet read with characters that are completely likable.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird I loved this one. Possibly my favorite of the month. It had depth and charm and a quality that I've noticed Josie Silver threads into her books. I loved the story and I couldn't help but hope Lydia Bird found her way through the story. 

Winter Storms The Quinn family members have found a solid place in my heart! I can't wait to finish the series.

I don't think I'll make another reading goal for 2021 but I will continue to share my monthly reads here on the blog. I think I'll share the kids' reads more often too! 

Here's to all the good reads awaiting us in the next year!
Read More

So this is Christmas!

December 30, 2020

No comments
2020 was such an off year, to say it nicely. But, Christmas 2020? It was a gem! 

It was deliciously lazy and stress-free. There were no utters of 'I'm bored' and we didn't change out of our jammies all day. There was no muss or fuss over a fancy dinner or setting the table. We did hibachi on the Blackstone and ate on the sofa watching The Mandalorian. 

Don't get me wrong, we love fancy holidays as much as the next person. But this kind of holiday was exactly what our souls needed. Twinkly lights, good food, no unnecessary pressure to make the day perfect. And imperfectly perfect it was!

Here's to the rest of 2020. I hope you find peace and magic and joy in the coming year, whatever else it may bring.
Read More

This Week's Dinners

December 28, 2020

No comments
It's the last menu of 2020. That feels so crazy to write! It's a short and sweet one. Using up some basics we already have on hand and making the meals easy classics. We leave for Florida on Saturday and I need all the mental freedom to get the house back together and pack our bags!

monday // pizza takeout

tuesday // lia's choice! it's her birthday and as of now, she's still debating! :) 

thursday // carne asada tacos

friday // burgers 

We don't usually eat anything special on NYE. Growing up, my mom always ate black eyed peas for good luck and wealth but I never got one board with that tradition. What are your NYE food traditions?

Read More

The Sunday Edition, 28

December 27, 2020

No comments

Christmas is over and we're in the weird time of the month where we don't know what day it is and the house is a mess and we're starting to think we should probably do something that resembles life and productivity again!

We let the mess sit for a couple of days. We binged watched the first season of The Mandalorian. We cooked dinner and ate on the sofa. Then, we cleaned up the mess and watched more of The Mandalorian. 

The next week will be a good mix of holiday laziness and getting things in order before we leave for Florida and celebrate the kids' birthdays.

For now, here's a little something that resembles life and a few things from around the web...

A really good chocolate cake recipe! I'm going to use it for Lia's birthday cake this week.

An oral history of The Family Stone. All the feels when I watch this movie. It's probably my favorite Christmas movie. And, it was extra feel-y this year!

The kids favorite gifts from Christmas morning // Harry Potter legos & a skateboard

Smashed potatoes! A recipe I tried this week that was a hit.

15 bingeable books to read over the holiday break! I need to find my next book to read and I think I'll start with this list.

A little shelf-inspiration. We're playing around with the idea of wall-to-wall floating shelves in L's walk-in closet and this post gives me all the shelfy vibes!

A phone case loop. I got one in my stocking and I am so excited about the style!

And, Five Nice Things - a dinner game that looks like a fun way to get everyone talking more at the dinner table!

Happy Sunday! 
Read More

Cheesy Holiday Movies

December 23, 2020

No comments
Winter break! We made it! All that's left to do is wrap a few more gifts, fill the stockings, bake cookies for Santa, and watch all the cheesy holiday movies we can.

I fully believe we all need to grab a bowl of popcorn and our coziest blankets and veg out on the sofa for a few hours over the next couple of days. So, I'm here to share with you my favorite must-watch holiday movies of the season!

Any of these movie are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit like a five year old two days before christmas. The excitement is real over here!

Read More

Gift Wrapping Ideas & DIY Tags

December 22, 2020

No comments
I decided to step up my wrapping game this year! In an attempt to slow down and find the joy, I started to turn wrapping presents into an activity rather than a rush of paper and tape at midnight on Christmas Eve. 

I'll be honest with you guys, I don't wrap the presents! I handpick the wrapping paper and I went to three stores for the perfect ribbon and twine and I designed the gift tags. But the actual wrapping is Manny's job. As OCD as I am, it doesn't translate to wrapping gifts...

So, we tag team the wrapping. I choose the paper and hand him the gifts, he wraps, then I'll add the tags & trimmings. 

In our house, Santa brings one gift that's something specific off the kids' letter to Santa Claus and the rest is from mom and dad! I pick out two wrapping papers and slip a tiny piece into each stocking so the kid's know whose gifts are whose on Christmas morning! Santa gifts are sometimes wrapped (with special paper) and sometimes not but they always have a special "Santa" gift tag.

This is actually the first year we had put presents under the tree early! I picked out a few more matching paper rolls and we wrapped all the kids' gifts from their aunts/uncles/cousins, etc. and put those under the tree. The kids will open them in the next couple days. 

I love the feeling of the kids going to bed to an empty tree and waking up to the tree full of presents that they haven't seen yet! 

And this year, I created some handmade DIY tags. They brought me such joy that I have to share them!

I was playing around with painting a wreath and a tree while the kids were making their christmas cards last week and I loved them so much that I scanned the paper into the computer and turned them into a graphic. I found some inspiration on Pinterest and Etsy and threw together a printable set of gift tags. 

Click on the tags below to download them! For personal use only, please.

Punch a hole at the top, add some twine/ribbon, maybe even make bows out of chunky yarn or fabric scraps. I just wrapped twine around the gifts a few times in no particular order! 

Pop in a christmas movie, grab your favorite beverage, and get wrapping.
Read More

This Week's Dinners

December 21, 2020

No comments
It's time for another holiday meal plan! Food is so closely related to holidays, don't you think? We create such beloved traditions with food during the holidays we celebrate. 

For us, years ago, we started a tradition of spaghetti & meatballs on Christmas Eve. I was very pregnant with Lia and the doctors that day decided I would go in to be induced the day after Christmas and we had planned to host a Christmas Eve dinner for Manny's family. The easiest thing to make for his large family was spaghetti and from there the tradition was born. We've had it every Christmas Eve since.

And a few years ago, we went to Savannah on the eve of Christmas Eve to finish up some last minute shopping and wander the twinkly-lit city streets and share a meal at our favorite cuban restaurant. Somehow, we did the same thing the next year and then the next and I realized we had inadvertently started a tradition. Christmas Eve Eve cuban!

monday // enchiladas

tuesday // grilled chicken cobb salad

wednesday // cuban at our favorite restaurant 

thursday // spaghetti & garlic bread

friday // hibachi 

saturday // chili

I typically only plan from the weekdays and we eat out or plan our weekend meals as they come up but this week I planned for the weekend after Christmas so we aren't scrambling with the last of the holiday crowds! 

Do you have special holiday meal traditions? I'd love to hear them!

Read More

Holiday Gift Guide // Stocking Stuffers

December 18, 2020

No comments
I'm sharing the last gift guide of the season with you guys today! And, it's probably my favorite. Christmas stockings have been my favorite part of Christmas morning since I was little. My mom took stocking stuffers serious and it was always so magical to see a stocking brimming with fun goodies when we woke up.

I have happily kept the tradition of overstuffed stockings going for my own babes but with my own touch! Because, as much as I loved stocking stuffers as a child,  as an adult I hate tiny junk that ends up everywhere or breaks two days later. It makes me a little crazy. So, I stuff their stockings to the brim with fun things I know they'll actually use with a few treats for good measure!

Other favorites...
Favorite candy/treats! My kids love fruit snacks and the tiny jars of Nutella. 
Individual packs of hot cocoa
Ornaments! I pick out a new one each year for my kids and stick it in their stocking. They are always so excited to hang it on the tree when the next Christmas rolls around.
Small toys of whatever they are currently into. Bakugan and Barbie for my babes this year.
Stickers for their water bottles or enamel pins for their backpacks/jackets
Card/dice games
Art supplies - markers, sidewalk chalk, paintbrushes & bottles of acrylic paint are all great ideas!
Cozy gloves
A new toothbrush

For her // phone grip, hair ties, crossword puzzle book, recipe cards, and pretty kitchen utensils (gold | black silicone)

Other favorites...
A paperback novel
Personal care items - nail polish, travel size products, her favorite makeup/makeup sponges
Her favorite treats
A small version of her favorite candle
Reusable straws
A pack of her favorite ink pens
Cozy socks
Hand lotion

Other favorites...
A bag of his favorite coffee
Enough candy to fuel those last few days of work
Lottery tickets! These are a favorite that I sneak into everyone's stocking.
Personal care items - deodorant, shaving cream, chapstick
A new wallet
Personalized keychain
Gift cards to his favorite lunch spots
Car air freshener 
A warm beanie hat 

Happy stocking stuffing, friends!

Read More

A Holiday Playlist

December 16, 2020

No comments

We're those people that have been listening to Christmas music since November and I don't hate it! The more the merrier, I say, so it's been almost nonstop. With the exception of the new album Taylor Swift just dropped, on my end. The kids couldn't wait and with 2020, all the cheer is needed.

This playlist is so good! I'm a holiday pop fan so there's a lot of that on here and, of course, a few classics that we love too. Judy Garland singing have yourself a merry little Christmas in that one cozy living room scene in The Family Stone where Susannah is watching Meet Me in St. Louis gives me all the warm, fuzzy feels every time! 

Anyways, we play our favorite songs during the holidays to spark cheer and this playlist does the job! I hope you enjoy it!
Read More

Holiday Gift Guide // For Her

December 15, 2020

No comments

This may be an unpopular opinion, but it gives me such anxiety when someone asks me what I want for Christmas. I never know! And, the idea of searching online for something someone can gift me isn't my favorite. 

However, if I had to come up with a list, this gift guide for her would be it!

First up, a daily memory journal. I find myself writing down little things the kids have said throughout the day and this canvas version is so good to jot those down in and remember them!

The gift of a plant, you can't go wrong. Just make it a faux for your non green-thumbed gals.

These golden hoops are my favorite earrings! Pair it with a fun, graphic tee and any mom would be set for the day.

I'm not so secretly getting a pair of these slippers in my stocking (and I bought Lia a pair too!). They are so cozy looking, I can't wait to lounge around the house in them

And, lastly, a puzzle! I love this brand because the quality and image is always on point. Nothing sounds cozier than settling in on a long winter day with a puzzle and a cup of hot chocolate!

Simple, thoughtful things that are sure to brighten up her day! 

Read More

This Week's Dinner

December 14, 2020

No comments

It's the last full week of school before holiday break and the excitement is getting real around here! And since we have a week full of fun christmas advent calendar activities filling up our evenings, dinner is all about comfort and easiness this week. Though, that's not far off from most of our weeks, if I'm being honest!

tuesday // homemade pizza

wednesday // lasagna

thursday // twice baked potatoes & salad

friday // chicken wings & carrot chips

Tell me, what's your favorite comfort food? Hands down, it's pizza for me!

Read More

The Sunday Edition, 27

December 13, 2020

No comments

Taylor Swifts' new album. Listen to it, then listen to it again, and embrace this holiday gift that has been dropped on our laps. It fueled me through a two-hour wait in the car and a Saturday morning full of cleaning this week!

Rom Com Your Way to Christmas Day. Yes, please! There's definitely a few of my favorites on this list with The Family Stone at the top!

A thoughtful gift guide based on self-care in the bathroom. Because self-care is 2020 in everything.

A new blog I am excited to dive into and check out. I've followed Baby Boy Bakery on Instagram for years so this should be fun!

And, a fun snow paint DIY from her blog!

And, on a totally different note, confetti holiday shortbread cookies that are finding their way to our Christmas baking day!

Lastly, a great DIY on how to create a gorgeous Christmas garland using inexpensive faux materials. 

Happy Sunday, friends. We're off to Michaels for crafting supplies and finishing up The Great British Baking show.
Read More

Favorite Holiday Books

December 11, 2020

No comments
Nothing spreads cheer in our house quite like a stack full of magical Christmas books! There's so many amazing winter/holiday books out there and I would spend all of my money on them, if I could.

Instead, a few weeks before Christmas, I curate a list of the perfect books. They must have a pretty cover (I totally judge children's books by their covers) and be a good story (unless the cover is so gorgeous then maybe I'll let a dud book slide...). Then, I put them on hold at our local library using their online system! 

Of course, we have a decent stack of our own Christmas books which I spread out between our basket by the fireplace and the kids' rooms. But, I always like to make sure their shelves have the prettiest selections. I have learned that putting their favorite books (or just a good selection of pretty books) on their open shelves guarantees that they pick up books more often. The key is the display!

Here are my favorite holiday book for kids!

Pick a Pine Tree, The Christmas Eve Tree, and Home Alone are probably our top favorites this year. Though, it's just not Christmas unless Pick a Pine Tree is up on their shelves! 

And, this year, we've been reading chapter books together for the holidays, and How Winston Delivered Christmas is turning out to be the cutest advent story. The chapters are short (we read just one each night) and the kids are always excited to crawl into bed together, turn on the twinkly lights, and hear more about Winston's adventure!
Read More

Christmas Tree Hunting

December 10, 2020

No comments
Picking out a Christmas tree is definitely in my top 5 favorite things to do in December. Followed closely by watching cheesy holiday movies, baking Christmas cookies, watching my kids' eyes light up when they see Santa, and driving around to see lights around town!

There's just something about a lot full of Christmas trees and twinkly lights though and I have special memories from every year we've picked out our tree. There's been years it was so hot we wore shorts. There was the time Nico peed through his diaper. And, the time it took us forever to find a tree because we had to take a bathroom break and then start the process all over! 

We started a tradition of cutting down our own tree at a small local tree farm when we moved to South Carolina. It's such a big part of our tree hunting memories. But, the past few years have just been weird or hard (tree shortage, miscarriage, Covid) and we ended up at Lowe's for our tree this year. 

We did pop by a smaller, local business that sets up a tree lot to snap some cozy, festive photos though. Our perfect tree wasn't there and I can't wait to get back to our usual "cut your own" tradition but memories were made, smiles were shared, and as usual, this year's tree adventure was perfect in it's own way!



Read More

Holiday Gift Guide // For Him

December 9, 2020

No comments

Men can be so hard to shop for! M and I don't do Christmas gifts for each other. We do fill up a stocking (my favorite!) for each other but typically, if there is something we really want or need we'll get it during the year or on other holidays (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). 

This year though, I've got a gift guide that is full of things great for the men in your life!

M got a Blackstone griddle recently and he's in love! I honestly didn't see the point of having two different grills (we also have a charcoal Weber that we have loved for years) but I'm fully on the Blackstone griddle train now. Burgers, hibachi, pancakes + eggs, it's all so good. And, what's better than a wireless smart meat thermometer for your tech-loving guy to go along with it!

A good shave is a seriously good gift. My guy loves the Harry's line of razors and face products. This nick stick looks like a great addition to any guy's daily shave routine, too!

Apple wireless earbuds are a must-have for my guy. This mini cleaning kit will help keep them at their best and combat daily wear and use.

A warm, fitted beanie and a pair of waterproof boots are staples in my guy's wardrobe. Pair them with some fun socks and you've got a gift guaranteed to bring smiles!

Happy merry shopping!
Read More

Santa Letter Printable

December 8, 2020

No comments
The kids wrote letters to Santa last week. It's always such a fun thing to capture and I love going back to compare past years lists. How the handwriting grows and the wishes change! 

This year, since Nico is officially writing (yay kindergarten!) and practices daily in his zoom classes, I thought it would be fun (and so much easier) to create a letter template where he could follow along on the line spaces...

It worked like a charm and even Lia was totally into the holiday spirit. She added some candy canes to hers and inspired me to go back and make some fun edits to the original and make it a download for you guys. I've linked them below and you'll find red and green versions with big spaces and small spaces between the lines. Perfect for all ages!

I hope you enjoy these. Please share in the comments or on my instagram if you use them. I'd love to see them in action, xo!

Read More

This Week's Dinners

December 7, 2020

No comments

We have a full week coming up and I didn't prep our meal plan until today! Which means, I feel a little scatterbrained and behind. It's not my favorite way to start a new week, but it happens.

So, I'm falling back on easy and delicious recipes that I can get on the table between L's multiple ballet rehearsals this week, holiday to-do's, and school testing!

Monday // pizza takeout

Tuesday // garlic ranch chicken & mashed potatoes

Wednesday // hibachi

Thursday // pepper steak & rice

Friday // tbd!

Here's to getting the fridge filled!
Read More

The Sunday Edition, 26

December 6, 2020

No comments

It's December, friends! I feel like we're entering the last stretch of the year but we still can't see the finish line. So, I'm filling up the month with lots of cheery and magic and trying to learn how to take things slow and breath and let go of the "extra" and the things that make me feel heavy with anxiety.

And here's a few things from around the web... all of which have made me smile, seem do-able, or have just made me sigh with relief.

Hibachi at home! We love doing hibachi in the kitchen with our countertop griddle and wok pan but we just upgraded to a Blackstone griddle and I cannot wait to start hibachi nights in the backyard!

Our nightly read-along with the kids this month!

A gingerbread craft I'm adding to our advent calendar!

I'm starting this series of winter novels this month and I'm pretty excited about them.

Some wise words while I, and I'm sure you guys too, are struggling with the decisions we find ourselves having to make.

'Tis the season for lots of Elf on the Shelf ideas. And yes, some of them are so basic making them right up my low elf-pectations alley!

A beautifully written article by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex after experiencing her miscarriage.

Santa mugs in different skin tones. Those are currently sold out but Target has a cute alternative! Fun fact, we collect one new Santa mug every year and eventually I plan to split the collect up with the kids when they grow up and have their own homes and families.

And there we have it. I wish you a sigh of relief on this Sunday!
Read More

Holiday Gift Guide // For The Kids

December 4, 2020

No comments
I'm so excited to share the first ever of my gift guides with you guys today! 

I have actually finished up the kids' Christmas shopping this year, the earliest I have ever gotten it done, so this list is filled with tried-and-true favorites and a few of the special things that will be waiting under the tree for my kiddos. 

Games are one of the things the kids will probably never tire of. Board games, card games, and dice games especially are hits with our crew. 

Lia has wanted a camera for a few years now. I actually haven't gotten her one yet. I'm torn between some type of digital camera and a polaroid. Polaroids are my favorite, so cute and fun! I just don't love the buying film part.  This one, though, seems to always get shared and is the top on my list of possibilities!

A classic favorite! This year is going to be a big one for the Harry Potter sets as Lia recently fell in love with the books. Nico is hoping for the Mario sets

Magnatiles have been another go-to toy in our house. We started the kids collection a few Christmases ago and they have remained a favorite.

I know, shoes for Christmas, sounds boring, right? But, our kids almost always get at least one thing that they need and it's usually shoes and they love shoes! Lia is into classic checkerboard vans at the moment and since Nico is also getting a skateboard (I'm equal parts excited and nervous about this gift!), I'm pretty sure he needs a pair too. We also love gifting them Crocs and Toms!

Books are the one thing that will be always, always be under the tree. I love large, hard cover books full of knowledge and gorgeous pictures like the Atlas of Adventures series and a good novel or two to balance out our beloved collection of picture books.

Ok, so many good things! I hope there's something on here that inspires you to find the thing you'd love to gift!

Read More

Holiday Home Favorites

December 3, 2020

No comments
Have you started decking the halls yet? Maybe you've trimmed the trees and hung stockings, like us. We needed an extra dose of cheer this year so we started last month! 

We keep it pretty simple with wreaths/greenery, little ceramic houses, bottle brush trees, and all the twinkly lights. I thought it would be fun to pull together some of my favorite things to decorate with and a few off of my wishlist too, in case you need a little inspiration or you're just obsessed with fun decor like me!

What better way to greet a holiday guest, delivery worker, or even, in this weird year, yourself than a festive doormat? Jolly Santa could bring a smile to anyone's face, a typography mat packs a modern punch, and this cheeky doormat is doing it's thing by cheering up our front porch!

Bright market dishclothes will make wiping down counters a little merrier and no baking session is complete without a festive oven mitt.

I don't usually stray from my favorite, capri blue volcano, but I make an exception around Christmas for tree-scented candles like capri blue fir + firewood and mahogany balsam.

+ ART +
Printables are the way to go with artwork - you can easily and affordably switch up your art! Quaint Christmas villages, modern typography, stockings, and a gingerbread house are my top picks.

A capiz tree topper, black ornaments, and a tree collar are a few of my favorite things... to decorate the tree with!

I prefer to add in a few festive touches to our existing decor rather than cram the house with all things holiday so bottle brush trees and small ceramic houses really help bring in the joy and keep it uncluttered.

I love a good wreath. A lighted one on the front porch and plain ones to hang on wall baskets or on doors for the indoors. They just make me feel warm inside! I usually go for faux wreaths but I add in fresh Christmas tree clippings or even eucalyptus stems to make them look a little more natural.

I'll be honest and say I wish I was the "change all the bedding for the holidays" kind of gal. The Christmas movies and Instagram-worthy bedroom shots get me every time. But, realistically, I probably won't spend the extra money to buy sheets for one season out of the year. So, enter throw pillows - the next best thing! Classic, trendy, and playful all work together to pop some cheer into your space.

Such cheery items are out in stores this year! Makes the whole dumpster fire that 2020 is a little merrier, yeah? 

Read More

What I read in November

December 2, 2020

No comments

I started the month off slow with Cleo McDougal (a decent read but nothing earth shattering) then didn't read another book until last week when I plowed through a few romantic comedies, more of the Mindy Kaling short stories (always good!) and All Adults Here (more enjoyable than I expected!).
I haven't read a rom-com novel in YEARS but Would Like to Meet and One Day in December were the perfect reads for the end of the month. Cozy, romantic, and perfect to snuggle up in bed with.

All Adults Here was about a mom questioning her parenting mistakes (how relatable is that?) and her life/choices alongside her now grown children and their life/choices. It was full of family, changes, acceptance, and love. I loved it!

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing hit the spot for a political novel with a female lead right in the midst of our very political month. Fitting with the rest of books I read this month, there was a little love mixed in but it wasn't a rom-com at all. It was mainly about motherhood, friendship, and owning up to oneself.

Mindy Kaling's short stories are short and sweet. Think 30ish pages of her fresh, fun, personality shining through the pages with a large dash of her real life.

Read More

This Week's Dinners

December 1, 2020

No comments

Now that we're settling into December and getting back to our daily school routine, it's back to simpler meals around the table.

I always throw the question "what do you want to eat this week" out to my crew as I'm making my meal plan. Nine times out to ten Lia asks for hot dogs and M asks for enchiladas and I started telling them that they are banned from those requests. Ha! This week L added in potato soup to the mix and she was so excited to see both of her picks on the menu. 

Monday // cheesy bacon chicken & salad

Tuesday // potato soup & sourdough bread

Wednesday // chinese takeout

Thursday // burgers & hot dogs

Friday // homemade pizza

Here's to a cozy week and good food!
Read More

The Holiday Weekend

November 30, 2020

No comments

Five days at home with no virtual zoom school and no real plans was bliss. We spent Thanksgiving day hanging out at home, just the four of us. We made monkey muffins for breakfast and snuggled up to watch the parade. And, we set out a new Christmas puzzle and worked on it all weekend.

It was a gorgeous, cloudy day so we pulled our dining table out to the deck and dined out there. The usual menu - roasted herb turkey, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes...and, a giant skillet cookie topped with ice cream to cap the night off.

The rest of the weekend was filled with family soccer games in the backyard, rounds of video games, tree trimming, stringing lights on the house, watching holiday movies, and visiting the big man in red himself!

There was also lots of errands and grocery shopping and loads of laundry. Real life sprinkled in amongst the magic and cheer.

Counting down the days until our next holiday weekend!
Read More
Copyright © KRISTY EVERYDAY. Blog Design by SkyandStars.co