Saturday, December 26, 2015

reading | watching | listening

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Here's a quick little slice of random: 
what I'm reading, what I'm watching, and what I'm listening to....lately. 

// r e a d i n g //

Oh man. So many great books sitting on my nightstand just begging to be cracked open. Ever since attending Allume Conference, my "to read" list has gotten so long it's comical. And because I can't pick just one to read at a time, I end up reading about five at once.  

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch. I'm on the launch team for this book and I'm just getting started on it. After my two mission trips to Thailand, I have a new perspective on this subject, and I'm really excited to hear this mom's wisdom. (Available for pre-order here, with some extras included)

Simply Tuesday by Emily P Freeman. I love Emily Freeman and everything she writes. I'm not very far into it yet, but it's definitely making me rethink the small moments of my day. 

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. I recently bought several different books on writing and this was the first one I picked up. It's all underlined and highlighted and dog-eared. 

Moms On Call: Toddler BookMoms on Call books are my favorite parenting books, written by moms who are also Registered Nurses. They have a simple, common sense approach to help you understand how to parent with confidence, from new baby care all the way through handling your "threenager". (They have books for 0-6 months and 6-15 months as well.) These are all quick and easy reads that you can even use as a reference by topic without sitting down and reading cover to cover.

// w a t c h i n g //

In the name of transparency, I should let you know that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse currently rules our tv. But besides that, I have a handful of shows I like to keep up with right now. 

P.S., promise not to judge? kthanksbye.

Right now, like at this very moment, I'm watching The Family Stone which I watch every holiday season. It's sad and crass and funny and did I mention sad? And the acting is great. 

Fixer Upper: NEW SEASON! This might be my favorite show and by that I mean it IS my favorite show. Chip and Joanna = relationship/life/parent/career goals all piled into one. 

Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars (remember that promise that you made? Well you can go ahead and engage your non-judgement now). This show is just one big hot mess but Catherine & Sean Lowe are on are Honey Boo Boo's parents. Enough said.

Jill and Jessa Counting On: I'm so intrigued by their family and how they are handling everything that's come their way lately. I'm especially appreciative of how open and vulnerable they are being on this spin-off, which I don't really remember seeing before.

Kate Bryan's hair tutorials (The Small Things Blog): honestly, I need help with my hair, and she knows what she's talking about. Just go watch and see. My hair thanks you Kate. 

// l i s t e n i n g // 

First, Christmas music, OF COURSE. I lovvve it so it's playing constantly, and even though Christmas is now over, I'll listen as long as the radio keeps playing it. Yep, I'm one of those people. :) (here's my favorite new song from this season - BREATHTAKING) 

Lauren Daigle: I only recently "discovered" her but she is probably my favorite singer. I have yet to hear a song of hers that I do not like. I especially love listening to her music for my quiet time. This is one of my favorites. 

Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour Podcast: She talks with a different woman every week about life, faith, books, favorites...anything that would come up during a normal girl chat. Fun!

North Point Community Church Podcast: I like hearing Andy Stanley's messages, and I just finished a great series called "Crazy Like Us" about generosity. 

I know that was a lot to take in, but I like to share what I love! As a complete aside, thin Oreo mint cookies are basically my new drug of choice and you should just avoid them at all costs (aka drop them in the mail to me). 

Hope you had a magical Christmas! We definitely did. 


Monday, December 7, 2015

christmas traditions: tree hunting

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to head to a local Christmas tree farm and pick out a tree. It's the cutest little family-owned farm, and we've been going there for the past few years. 

This year, Brandon brought along his handsaw instead of relying on the chainsaw at the farm because apparently "real men cut down their own trees." Okay, honey.

It was slim pickings at the farm even though we went earlier than we usually do. We walked all over the property, stopping every few feet. 

Brandon: "How about this one babe?" 
Me: "No, that side is all funky, and besides, it's not speaking to me."
Brandon: "Speaking to you? That's just weird."

Two minutes later.
Me: "Hey babe, this one is speaking to me! I love it!"
Brandon: "Too small."

Aven brought along her little Minnie ornament to help us "test" the tree we picked and make sure it was a good one. Just, adorable. I can't take it.

I also feel like I should document that Aven has started calling Brandon "babe" because that's what I call him. It is hysterical. Especially when she's looking for him and yells "baaaabe, are you?" 

F i n a l l y  we settled on one that didn't exactly "speak" to me, but it was the right size for our house and it wasn't ugly. So down it came.

And if you're wondering, yes, Brandon cut it down but had to borrow a better handsaw. :)

It sat bare for a few days before we adorned it with lights and ornaments. And I'm pretty sure we only use about 19% of our ornament stock....are we the only ones who have far more ornaments than will ever fit on a single tree?

What's your Christmas tree tradition? Real or fake? Cut your own or pre-cut? 

Oh, and we also left the farm with one more thing. 


While we haven't officially committed to keeping her....she's still here. And she's been named. So there's that. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mickey & Minnie Gift Roundup

*Affiliate links used in this post. Thank you for supporting the writing here at Beloved Nest!

Our girl is infatuated with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Infatuated, I tell you. No lie, the first word I hear when I lift her out of the crib every morning is "Mickey?" And while playing with her toys she randomly breaks out in a sing-song voice exclaiming, "Oh toooodles!" This is a real situation, people. It's as if they've cast a spell on her with their "Meeska-Mooska-Mickeeeey-Mouse!" chants. 

But who am I to keep a girl from her true love? So of course I've been searching for some cute (read: non-cheesy) Mickey and Minnie gifts for Christmas and her upcoming February birthday. And since I know a lot of you have little Mouse-lovers in your home too, I thought I would share my favorite finds with you.

o n e  //  Minnie Mouse Lights & Sounds Scooter
This is a touch too "grown" for my girl, but I love the three-wheel feature. Might be on the list for next Christmas.

t w o // Mickey Mouse Tee 
This is actually a boys tee but I bought it in Aven's size because it was too adorable to pass up. 

t h r e e // Mickey Mouse Chevron Sheet Set 
Seriously love this pattern and how it isn't overtly Mickey or cartoonish.

f o u r //  Delta Children Club Chair - Minnie Mouse 
We have one of these, and it's as cute as it looks in the picture. It's inflatable with a washable cover and is the perfect spot for Aven to hang out while she watches tv (can you guess her show of choice?), eats a snack, or reads books.  Sometimes I catch her turned around facing the back of the chair so she can "talk" to her friend Minnie or give her kisses. That alone is reason enough to own this chair. Just the sweetest thing you've ever seen. 

f i v e // Girls Minnie Mouse Pullover Shirt
Although this sweater is a few sizes too big for Aven right now, with that cute Minnie face I almost want to snag it now and hold on to it for later! 

s i x // Minnie Mouse Toddler Ballet Flats 
If we owned these, I guarantee you my child would insist on wearing them every day. 

s e v e n // Minnie Shopping Cart 
Aven is getting the CUTEST vintage-style kitchen for Christmas, so she would flip out over this shopping cart to use with her kitchen. 

e i g h t // My First Library: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
For every day leading up to Christmas, I'm going to have a book for her to open. This is a set of 12 books, so that covers about half the days! I'm excited to see my tiny bookworm's reaction to these. 

n i n e // Delta Children Mickey Mouse Easel (Double Sided)
We have an easel similar to this and it is one of her favorite things to play with, especially the chalkboard side since the cold weather is forcing us away from our beloved sidewalk chalk. 

As I wrap up this post, I am incredibly tempted to break out in the "Hot Dog" song and dance, but I will spare you. Just know that it's on repeat in my head right now (and always, actually). I'm sure you can relate! 

I hereby grant you permission to give in to the Mouse obsession. Welcome to the clubhouse

*Disclaimer: We received the Delta Children Club Chair for review as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scout program. All opinions are my own!