How to Host a {Stress-Free} Gingerbread Decorating Party

Hi Friends!

I’m sharing some holiday fun over on Orlando Moms Blog. I hope you will check it out πŸ™‚

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You can link to the full article HERE

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I am all about having fun with my kiddo at the holidays and making memories to last a lifetime. What I am not about, however, is stressing myself out in the process. One tradition we enjoy each holiday is getting together to decorate gingerbread houses. Over the years, we’ve perfected the process to make it as simple as possible, so today, I’m sharing my tips with you!

Happy Reading!

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It’s Christmas Time!

I just love this time of the year — the decorations, the music, the smells, the traditions ❀ ….now, if we could only talk mother nature into giving us just a tad bit cooler weather here in the sunshine state, that would be swell πŸ˜‰

As soon as we got back into town from my dad’s after Thanksgiving, we broke out the decorations & got busy making the house look festive. I have to say that having an excited 4 year old as a helper this year definitely made it extra fun πŸ˜‰ — I think I said his name Β & Β ‘careful‘ Β & ‘just a minute‘ at least 100 times as he helped me take things out of our storage bins. He is SO excited for Christmas this year! We had to explain what “Christmas time” meant and that we didn’t jump from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve in one shot. Ha!

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Placing the star on top is his favorite πŸ™‚

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Our tradition is to welcome back the Elf on the Shelf once our tree is up & decorated. So, Mr Elf did fly back from the North Pole last Saturday night, but more on that next time!

He also was thrilled to have his Little Peoples Nativity Scene back. He happily played with that for a majority of the afternoon. Made my mama heart happy ❀

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Early last week,Β Liam was over the moon to find a letter in the mail from Santa, himself! He danced all the way down the walk way & into the house!

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We headed out to Light Up UCF for an impromptu meet up with Mimi & Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra after school last week. Unfortunately, it was raining, so the lights were off…BUT, they had reindeer there that night!!! SO COOL!! — Did you know their coats are water proof??

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He also got to ride the ice slide. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. Not to shabby for our Florida boy πŸ˜‰

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Saturday, we were all excited for our 5th Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party! This has become such a fun tradition for us both as a family & for all of us as friends. LOVE IT ❀

For a look back at last year’s party, click HERE

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I asked him what his favorite part of the party was afterwards. He said “the candy” …..as in, eating it! Can’t tell, right?!?! Hahaha!!!

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All done!

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And, of course, let’s not forget what happened to poor last year’s masterpiece — lol!!

After the kids wrapped things up….the “big kids” (aka, Lisa & Stephen) went to town on their house. This has become these two crazies little tradition & let me tell you they take it pretty serious πŸ™‚

At one point, when Stephen was helping Liam, I suggested a few things to add & I was told, “no, we’re saving that for later” — wow!!!

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I am in LOVE with this!! ❀ ….We haven’t always been fans of Santa pics (it is kinda intimidating, right?!?!) but he did it this year! When he was done, he was so proud of himself & so were we for conquering something that he was kinda scared of. He even said, “that wasn’t bad at all!” Love that little dude so very much! We celebrated with hot chocolate!

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Until next time!

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Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you & your family had an awesome day with your loved ones and were able to reflect on the many blessings that we all have ❀

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We kicked our holiday weekend off with a super cute lunch at Liam’s school. Little man was thrilled to also see his daddy pop in to join us, as we thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it. It was a great time!

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We headed up to my dad & stepmom’s house in Jacksonville for a few days, so that meant a road-trip. Timber is not as great a traveler as he was in his younger days. So, below is how he rode for the majority of the trip….in Daddy’s arms. Not to mention the fact that our normal 2 hour drive literally took us FOUR hours….SO not fun with our whining fur baby & one impatient/excited 4 year old….but, we eventually made it up there & had a great time πŸ˜‰

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Had to start our Thanksgiving morning with Macy’s Parade, right?!?! πŸ™‚ ….I think I was more excited to watch this than Liam. LOL!

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I honestly didn’t snap many pictures throughout the day, but this was a cute one. Timber was unsuccessfully begging for a hand-out πŸ˜‰

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So thankful that this guy calls me mommy ❀

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Turkey time!!!

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Always the helper in the kitchen….potatoes may or may not have been dropped on the floor a few times πŸ™‚

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We took a trip to St. Augustine to see their “Night of Lights” …the city was all decked out in beautiful white lights. Β Liam was in awe & walked up & down the sidewalk singing Christmas songs to himself & us….cutest.thing.ever ❀

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We asked him to stand in front of the Ponce de Leon monument to snap his pic….instead, he thought it was the perfect place to make shadow puppets…hilarious & imaginative!!!

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Loved the tree in the town square, so we took a quick family pic ❀

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Here’s a look back on previous posts from Thanksgiving:

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It was a fun & relaxing weekend. So nice to spend time with family and also talk to those that we weren’t able to be with. Life may be busy & hectic, but when we take time to pause & reflect, we really do have much to be thankful & grateful for. Each day is a gift ❀

Until next time, friends!

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Happy 4th Birthday, Liam!

Happy 4th Brithday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

Honestly, I cannot believe how fast this last year has flown by. My mom jokes that we will be sending him off to college before we know it….I’m afraid to blink because she’s probably right.

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Here’s the latest teddy bear pic ❀

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics here.

Last year, we also started a new tradition of a BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. Let me tell you, this was hilarious to do with him again πŸ™‚ …definitely recommend to do with your kiddos! I found this free printable here via Pinterest that we’ve been using.

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Other notable things these days…

He frequently refers to me & Stephen as “guys” …as in “hey guys….” πŸ˜‰

He is a master at the iPad — absolutely LOVES to watch amateur videos on YouTube of product demos of toys & role play….there is an enormous amount of videos of Imaginext, which he has grown quite the collection.

Super heroes are everything — most days you catch him in a superhero shirt. I am hard-pressed to dress him in anything else, actually. He won’t have it. His room is superhero. His birthday party theme was requested to be that, as well.

While he didn’t mention it in his birthday interview, he is also quite fond of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

He loves going to “school” and next month he is starting Pre-K!! He knows this and he already says he is in VPK πŸ˜‰ …he also will tell you that next year he is going to “hildegard” (kindergarten …lol!!)

Dancing and music are also his favs! This little dude has some awesome moves of his own AND he knows most Top 40 songs by heart ❀

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Always smiling & always happy — BEST disposition ever!!

*However, I will add a side note & keep things real that I am predicting the asserting of independence, attempts of attitude, & pushing the boundaries to see what he can possibly get away with to be quite the test for us this next year…..all normal but we have definitely seen our fair share. He is a GREAT kid but he is kid and is learning….also, we are 1st time parents, and we, too, are learning along with him.Β 

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Words cannot express how much love fills our hearts for this little man. It is such a blessing to have him in our lives. He is truly a gift.

So happy to celebrate him today & everyday ❀

Until next time, friends….

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Star Spangled Fun

We had so much fun for our holiday weekend! For a look back on the last few year’s be sure to check out here and here.

On Friday, Stephen had to work so it was just little man & me hanging out. We are huge fans of the PBS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, so we caught a few episodes on Netflix while playing & cleaning up. I walked by Liam’s marker board at one point in the afternoon & he told me he drew O the Owl from the show…so cute!

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I couldn’t help snapping a pic of this one practicing brushing his teeth solo…we do it for him but we’re also trying to teach him how to do it by himself after we do it. This was cuteness overload for me.

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After we got ready for bed on Friday, we went out front to do a few small fireworks. Someone LOVES him some sparklers! If you didn’t see my latest post last week for OMB, be sure to check it out — HERE.

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All decked out in their RED, WHITE & BLUE ❀

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Before fireworks & fun-time on Saturday, we grilled up some deliciousness πŸ™‚

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Little dude had to grill up something of his own too….just.like.Daddy πŸ˜‰

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only one word for this —> YUM ….all about balance, right?!?!

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After dinner, we headed over to Lake Eola to hang out & catch some fireworks.

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This one gave us an awesome dance show while we waited for it to get dark…..note the shoes πŸ˜‰ ….I had taken mine off while we lounged on our blanket. He also took his off but then put mine on & paraded around. Hilarious!

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For a while, it looked like it might storm, but we got this awesome sunset just before nightfall.

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Fantastic show, as always, City of Orlando!!

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We had a great holiday weekend celebrating our great nation’s birthday! Hope you did as well!

Until next time, friends!

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10 TIPS FOR A SAFE JULY 4th

Happy July 4th EVE πŸ˜‰

Today, I’m over at Orlando Mom’s Blog sharing my tips for keeping your Independence Day safe & fun! Be sure to check it out before you head out for your holiday weekend festivities.

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You can link directly to the blog post HERE.

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Until next time, friends!

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