Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Favorites: Christmas Invites, Home for the Holidays, Free Books!

Happy Friday before Christmas!
We've been off since Tuesday, and I've basically thought that every day has been Friday.
I don't feel too bad because we were at a local candy shop yesterday and the lady there thought it was Friday too!
Our Christmas cheer is gearing up, and we're starting some Christmas activities this evening.
Dinner with friends and Christmas light seeking we will go!
As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

Christmas Dinner Invitation

We will once again be hosting Christmas dinner at our house. 
I used this template off of

 This year we decided to add in a gift card exchange. 
We are going to play this game that I found here.
Hopefully, it will be fun, and everyone will get a gift card that they can use!

Home for the Holidays

I attended an event with my mom a couple of weekends ago. 
It's a Home for the Holidays Christmas event. 
Longaberger is a small basket company that made it big many years ago. 
Thousands of people would flock to its headquarters and shop for baskets and pottery. 

Unfortunately, it has taken a dive for the worse. 
The homestead, where they had their main shops, is now closing and returning to its original building in town. 
This place was absolutely gorgeous!
It looked even more gorgeous with people. 
I remember it as a place that I went with my mom as a young girl. 
We enjoyed one last outing before they closed up. 

Free Books

I ordered some books from Scholastic this month for my classroom. 
Do you guys remember the book order forms? 
The paper ones that the teacher would give out and you could take home, pick out what books you like and then bring back in the order form to order them.
I recently started getting the order forms. 
The students don't order any books, but I've been loving the bargains that I've been getting from them. 

I was excited to get these free ones with my latest order!

What's Up Wednesday/On Hallmark

This week was our last What's Up Wednesday of 2017!
Who can believe that 2017 is almost over?!

My favorite part of WUW were my Christmasey outfits that I've been wearing to school.
One of my students surprised me with "You look like one of those ladies on the Hallmark channel!"
Head over to my WUW to hear my reply to him.
In the meantime, here's a peak at some of my outfits...

We've had an ongoing war of Christmas outfits, and some of my students have been running into the classroom just to check out what I'm wearing for the day.
Oh 13 and 14 year olds!
They will surely make you laugh!

Holiday Spa Day

Yesterday I shared our Holiday Spa Day last weekend. 

My mom, mother in law and I loaded in the car and headed to the city for a girls' day!
We had coffee/cocoa and a pastry to get us geared up and going. 
Then, we made it to the Woodhouse Day spa

We indulged in the tranquil atmosphere and relaxation that the day brought through head, neck and shoulder massages. 
From there, we headed for a bite to eat and some last minute shopping. 
We did get some shopping in, but that wasn't before we toured many many many parking garages to find a parking spot. 
Next year I'm thinking it might be a better idea to shop first and get massages second. 

Lots of great Christmas events are beginning to take place.
Just last night we hosted an impromptu Christmas dinner for Alex's side of the family.
Some of them came to town early and will be heading back out before our Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.
I love hosting dinners and was glad everyone could come, circle around the table and eat together.

Today I have a big appointment.
I'm hoping things go well there, and then we plan to stop by a little cupcake shop before heading back home to get a few more things done.
This evening we will be eating out with friends and catching some Christmas lights!

I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!
No matter what you are enduring right now, I pray that God will hold your family close and you will be able to feel His presence all weekend through!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Spa Day 2017

It's a Holiday Spa Day!

Last year I started a new tradition as a gift for my mom and mother in law. 
I pick a Saturday in December, choose a spa and some services that I think they would enjoy and we spend the day getting pampered!

This was a nontraditional idea that I thought they might enjoy. 
They both say they don't need anything for Christmas, so I thought why not do something out of the ordinary and have a relaxing girls day. 

Last year we went to a salon/spa nearby. 
We had a facial, massage and pedicures and then had lunch at a cute little shop. 

This year I decided to go BIG!

I made these cute little invitations. 

I picked them up and we stopped for some coffee/cocoa and a pastry. 
Then, we were on our way. 
I was a little worried about the weather because it was expected to snow at first, and we had a couple hour drive to the spa, but it was a beautiful day with sunshine and no snow or rain!

I wish I had captured a picture of the spa outside, but I didn't.

We headed upstairs to change. 
All ready for my warm comfy robe!

Such a pretty changing room with all of the amenities.

We headed to the quiet room where we relaxed and could have mimosas or wine. 
In addition, they had cucumber water or lemon water, apples and some trail mixes. 
I opted for the cucumber water and kept going back for more!

First up was our back, neck and should massage with essential oils. 
I opted for medium/deep pressure. 
My massage was fabulous!
I was most surprised that the masseuse worked on the right side of my neck for what seemed like forever!
It must have been so tight because I actually had to saw "Ow!" a couple of times. 
I never knew there was so much to massage in your neck!

 From there we headed back to the quiet room before our pedicures. 

On our way back down the elevator this serene little waterfall was sprinkling water on the rocks. 

What a great relaxing morning!
Both my mom and mother in law said they would go back!
They loved the massages, so I think that will be my focal point for next year!

From there we headed to lunch and then some final Christmas shopping. 
I'm not lying when I saw we spent 45 minutes driving around trying to find a parking spot. 
Mall parking was insane!
Thankfully, we finally found a spot and got in a few of our last minute gifts!

Only 4 more days!! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: December-End of 2017!

Hello there, Christmas vacation!
Today is Day #1 of our Christmas break. 
We got lucky last week and got a sweet taste of freedom with our snow, but now it's the real deal!

I have lots planned these next two weeks, and I'm starting off today with getting my cleaning out of the way!
By the time you are reading this, hopefully I'm done with a few rooms, so that I don't waste the whole day cleaning. 

Today is our final What's Up Wednesday of 2017!
The days are long but the years are short. 
I keep hearing that quote and boy is it ever true?!

At the end of each month MelShay and Sheaffer share 
What's Up Wednesday!!!
We answer a series of questions and one extra one special to that month.
This month we're answering...

Best Gift You've Ever Given a Guy

What we're eating this week:

Since there's only two of us, I've realized that we don't need something new each night. 
We're having poorman steak and hamloaf. 
We also will probably eat out one night and have taco stuffed shells. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

I can't help but think about all of the Christmases that I've celebrated in this house.
By that I mean all of the Christmases that were held here (in my grandma's house).
Christmas dinner was her specialty.

Thinking back on Christmases past fills my heart with SO much joy!
I wish my grandma were still here, and I wish the rest of my extended family still came home for Christmas.
Some years I only saw them once a year-Christmas, so it was such an enjoyable time.

My heart aches and rejoices at the same time thinking about those memories.
I know those memories will never be again.
Some of those people are no longer here on Earth, and we've all grown up and many of them have their own families, but I can't help but remember how much those Christmases meant to me!

What I'm loving:

Christmas Cut Out Cookies!
One of my co-workers made the first three cookies!
They were so so cute!
She and her mom had made about 70 dozen by this point!!

When I got home, Alex had brought these home from one of his co-worker's wives.
They are so pretty that I'm refusing to eat them!
Okay...maybe tomorrow I will cave but look how intricate that work is!

What we've been up to:


I made five different kinds of dough during my snow day. 
Our plan was to bake them that night, but we ended up with other plans. 
I'm just now getting around to baking them, but there are so many kinds and flavors that it will take quite a while!

No cut outs for me!
I can't compete with the fanciness pictures above, but I will indulge in lots of chocolatey/peanut butter ones!

What I'm dreading:

At this moment I'm currently dreading all of the cleaning that I have to do tomorrow, which is now today!
I love a clean house but thinking about everything that needs done sometimes gets me feeling a bit overwhelmed!

What I'm working on:

My cousin and I have a Christmas feud with a surprise present or some silly gift.
I'm currently working on constructing his gift.
It is Price is Right themed and includes cardboard, red solo cups, rubber bands and tissue paper.

Christmases past have looked like this...

What I'm excited about:


What I'm watching/reading:

I'm working on finishing Auggie and Me.

If you've read Wonder, you should read Auggie and Me.
It's three supplemental stories to the Wonder story.
One of my students had it, suggested it to me and even let me borrow her book!

I'm also working on starting and finishing Winter Solstice.

I've love, love, loved the other three in the Winter Street series, so I can't wait to start this one.
Every time I start to read one, I feel like I am immersed into the character's lives, just like I am there with them!
I've kind have saved this book to read right before Christmas, so I'm hoping that it pulls through for me!

What I'm listening to:

Christmas music/movies/tv shows!

I've been watching some Hallmark shows but not as many as I had watched at the beginning of the Christmas season. 
I'm also trying to be more intent on watching some of my favorite movies. 
In the next week I hope to watch some great holiday shows!

What I'm wearing:

Be prepared for lots of holiday outfits!

I think it was on this day below that my  students told me I looked like I belonged in a Hallmark movie.
I told them I took that as "I look like an old lady!"
13-14 year olds are blunt!
There's no beating around the bush with them.
From that day on they loved commenting on my holiday outfits!

 On this day they could not get over how unsymmetrical my shirt was.
The fact that it had a little ruffle on one side at the top and not the other was driving them CRAZY!

 They even came into the classroom on this day and multiple of them said "Do you have that weird shirt on again?!"
They were disappointed when it was a different shirt!

I ended our last day before Christmas in this Christmasey attire!
They reiterated the fact that I should be in a Hallmark movie but not as an old lady.
This time they explained that I would probably one of the young ones all dressed up, who falls in love and gets married and gets divorced and gets married and finds the perfect man!
Their stories are hilarious!

What I'm doing this weekend:

Alex has family coming in from out of town, so I think we will get together with them sometime throughout the week.

On Friday we plan to eat out and take in some Christmas lights with friends.

Saturday is yet to be determined.

Sunday will be filled with church, last minute preparations and my grandma's.

I still can't believe it's almost Christmas!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

New Years goals?!
I'm really not sure what goal(s) I will be setting this years, so I should get on that!
What goals are you all thinking of putting in place?

What else is new:

Life is pretty normal, which is great.

What's the best gift you've ever given a guy?:

I gifted Alex and all-in-one computer several years ago. 
For some reason I feel like he loved that gift. 
I'm not even sure that he did, but I think it was my best gift idea yet!

Happy last month of 2017!
Make it memorable and make it last!
Cheers to 2018!