Christmas 2018

We had a very blessed Christmas filled with lots of family time which was the best gift of all.  Scrolling through our pictures and I realize my Buffalo Plaid obsession is through the roof!  But you won't find me apologizing; I love it that much.  I handed Kevin his shirt before Christmas and told him it was to wear on Christmas Day.  He said he liked it a lot and then I told him we all had one.  Then I just got a look like, "Oh great, seriously we've become that family?!?!"  I laughed but again no apologies. 

'Tis the Season 2018

There's no denying I can't stand Winter because I hate to be cold but the Christmas season truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  I live for traditions and love getting to continue some and make new ones with our little ones.  This year was extra special because our Jack Jack was here to complete our family.  I also think it was due to having a newborn that I didn't feel like I really got to enjoy the season like I usually do.  It just flew by and never really felt like Christmas.  I blinked and it was over.  Regardless, we had a blessed season and got to enjoy the major annual traditions like visiting Santa (only 4 times), making a gingerbread house, Christmas performances at school, Polar Express PJ Night, decorating cookies for Santa, watching Christmas classics and dressing up in our best holiday outfits.

Winter Style for Little Ones with London Littles

I think the Winter months can pose a little bit of difficulties in the style department.  I love dressing up my little girls and it makes me giddy that they are little fashionistas as well.  However, when the weather cools down it can be a little harder to find cute options.  It's even harder when it starts raining.  So finding London Littles rain boots made all three of us super happy.  The girls love their boots and especially love wearing them with dresses and knee highs.  London Little rain boots are super functional yet also adorable; they add such flair to any outfit.  The girls are wearing the King's Cross Rain Boot which is a cranberry color with white plaid.  These will be wonderful all year round but was especially perfect for the holidays.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.

Gifts for Girls

My girls are 4 and 7 so these gifts ideas are geared for those ages but I think they would be great presents for any little girl ages 3 to 10.  I love giving experience gifts but let's be real there has to be a few things that a kid can open up and get really excited about.  These items are sure to put a huge smile on their faces.  I can just hear the squeals now when they open these gifts on Christmas morning.

Barbie Dream House - This is a great sister gift.  When giving larger gifts I suggest giving them as a group gift which makes your budget stretch farther.
Barbie Ultimate Kitchen - I love giving gifts that go together and build a larger theme or gift.  So this goes with the Dream House.
Barbie Fashionistas - Also to go with the Dream House & Kitchen.
Polly Pocket Sweet Treat Compact - Mini gifts are huge right now amongst my girls and their friends.
Lil Gleemerz - Responds to light and touch with 100 responses.  Named one of Amazon's Top 100 Toys of 2018.

Luckily all of these items are available on Amazon Prime so they will arrive just in time for Santa's delivery.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.

How to Create Beautiful Photo Christmas Cards with Postable

Now that I have three littles ones, one of which is an infant, I need ALL the help I can get.  The holidays have been overwhelming for me this year and I'm way behind where I usually am.  Luckily, I can honestly say that my Christmas cards were not part of my stress.  I enlisted the help of Postable to make and send our cards and I couldn't be happier with the time and anxiety they saved me.  I remember the days of stuffing the envelopes, making labels, sealing the envelopes and adhering all the labels and stamps and sending off hundreds of cards in the mailbox.  Those days are OVER!!!  

Can you imagine creating your card online and then doing nothing else?!?!  Postable takes over for you and stuffs, seals, labels, addresses, stamps and sends your cards for you.  It was such a breeze; very user friendly.  I've also used Postable for creating Thank You cards and I'm over the moon about this feature.  You can select a recipient from your Contacts and then type your message to that person.  If you are writing several different cards you can customize each message.  I have the worst hand writing so this is a game changer.  Not only do I not have to hand write the message I don't have to do another step after ordering.

You can use code FRESNO for 20% off your order.

Photo Christmas Cards

Photo Christmas Cards

Photo Christmas Cards

Only during December do I run to the mailbox to check the mail.  11 months out of the year the mail only consists of junk and bills but during December it contains cheer and love.  Who knew dozens of small rectangles could bring such joy.  Send your own bit of joy with Postable!

Photo Christmas Cards

These are my updated tips from years past in preparing for the perfect Christmas Card:

I believe it all starts with a theme.  Dive through Pinterest to get some great ideas or look through cards you've received in the past.  I wanted our Christmas cards this year to double as a birth announcement.  Once you have a theme you can start shopping in the stores or even your closets for your wardrobe.  I always start with what we currently own so I don't spend too much money.  If you don't have all the items try to work with a few items you have.  For example, if you have girls don't buy all new accessories; use what you have like bows.  I suggest using a variety of colors that coordinate. When you do your shopping buy options and bring them home and lay out the different options.  I take a quick photo of all the options so that I can look at them on camera.  Then decide what you want each family member to wear.  You can find more of my styling tips HERE.

When selecting a photographer you want to look at the past body of work to see if they typically shoot a style that you like.  Also have a conversation ahead of time discussing your theme and what you want to accomplish.  Do you want everyone looking at the camera and smiling or do you want action shots?  If you have young kids you should ask if the photographer has experience with children and getting them to engage.  

The next decision is location; do you want a spot that coincides with your theme or just a backdrop that you love?  Feel free to ask your photographer for a suggestion.  After you've decided on theme, wardrobe, photographer, and location its time to take the photos and choose your favorite ones.  The night before picture day lay everything out pressed and ready.  Take a tide pen with you to the shoot and bring hairspray and a comb if you have little girls.  I may or may not bring some bribing candy!  

The suspense of waiting for the photos just about kills me.  Once you receive them make your selections and decide which ones will make the cut for your Holiday Cards.  Sometimes the hardest part is narrowing it down to just a few. After looking through the gallery of photos pick your favorites and then start looking for cards that carry out your vision.  

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Zoolights

One of my favorites parts of the season are the activities that we get to do as a family.  We have several Christmas Season traditions and we've added one to our list this year: ZooLights at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.  We absolutely love our Zoo, it really is a local treasure and so we have an annual membership.  Even though we've been members for several years we've never attended ZooLights so it was loads of fun to go for the first time.  The Zoo turns into a magical Winter Wonderland with miles of colorful lights.  There is also live entertainment, festive treats, hot cocoa stations, crafts and even pictures with Santa Claus.

We walked around admiring all the lights but only after first seeing the big guy!  I recommend heading straight to take pictures with Santa before the long gets crazy long.  He is in Kopje Lodge next to where you order food.  After seeing Santa, children can do crafts also in the Lodge.  Emily and Madison loved making ornaments and taking them home.  We then walked around to admire all of the lights.  I want to forewarn you do not expect to see many animals (if any) since its dark and cold.  Instead of looking for the lions, tigers and bears you can grab a cup of hot cocoa or even roast a marshmallow for s'mores.

ZooLights was sponsored in part by Vista Energya national third-party provider of electricity and natural gas solutions.  During this festive time of year your energy bills probably go up just like ours.  Vista Energy is not only concerned about helping you save money on energy bills this holiday season but also wants to make sure you’re safely decking the halls by heeding their holiday electricity tips.  You can see those tips HERE.  The precautions we're taking around our home include making sure all lights are unplugged before going to bed and all candles blown out.  One way to make sure nothing stays on is to put your lights on a timer.  We also like to plug all the "extras" into a power strip for added safety.  We have a fake Christmas Tree which you want to make sure is certified as fire resistant.  If you have a real tree make sure you keep it watered so it doesn't get dry which is a major fire hazard.

ZooLights is running December 14th-23rd and 26th-30th from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.  Be sure to arrive a little early because the line gets very long.  We arrived just after 4:15 and there wasn't a line but by 4:30 people started to line up.  I'm giving away 3 tickets to ZooLights with the help of Vista Energy.  Enter to win on my Instagram.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.