Lifestyle, Our Nest

House Item Haul #3 // Christmas Edition

Growing up decorating for Christmas was never much fun for me, because it was always my mom’s decorations and she was very particular. Then I moved out and lived in multiple small spaces, so I never had much room to decorate. So needless-to-stay decorating for Christmas has never been very high on my list.

My mom bought me my first Christmas tree my senior year of college – it was a mini white tree and bright colored ornaments – my kind of Christmas decor. I decorated and displayed it on my time and my terms and it so much fun. When Jeremiah and I got married we lived in a small apartment and I just didn’t have much space to decorate, so I got him a mini green tree and traditional colored ornaments and we displayed his and hers mini trees, stockings, and lights. So this year I have been chomping at the bit to turn our new home into a happy Christmas wonderland… and that I did!

Hobby Lobby
  • ‘O Holy Night’ Wooden Sign
  • ‘For Unto Us’ Wooden Sign
  • Package of Vase Filler
  • Days Before Christmas Sign
  • Pom Pom Garland
  • Shimmering Mini String Lights
  • Wooden Nativity Scene
  • Angel Tree Topper
  • Doormat
  • Stocking
Michaels
  • Red Lantern
  • Merry & Bright Decorative Plaque
HomeGoods
  • Wooden ‘Happy Holidays’ Snow Globe Decoration
  • Christmas Dish Towels
  • Placemats
  • Tree Skirt
Target
  • Ornaments
  • C9 String Lights
  • Tree Stand
  • Tree Mat
  • Throw Pillow
  • Ceramic House Decoration
  • Stockings
  • Doormat
Amazon
  • Pillowcases
Walmart
  • Fabric Tree Decoration
  • Pom Pom Garland
At Home
  • Bottle Brush Trees
  • ‘Oh What Fun’ Garland
  • Tree of Tinsel Decoration
  • Throw Pillow

I opted out of attaching links to these items, because that is quite time consuming, but also because I want this to be inspirational and encouraging in your own home decorating endeavours. Walking down aisle after aisle and creating your own vision is half the fun. I hope you have as much shopping as I did. Happy Hunting! 🙂

Uncategorized

November Recap

By November, I am ready for fall to be over, so I am happy to report that it finally is – well in my book.

Goals

Rebuild My Faith

Still looking for a spark here. Right now the task is feeling very daunting and a bit overwhelming. With Christmas quickly approaching, I have found myself pondering the meaning of the holiday as well as thinking about how we will teach Hazel to celebrate, so a lot of thanking God for sending his son.

Birth Our Baby Naturally

Save More, Budget Better

So this is a yes, but also a so/so. We are still working on perfecting our budget and sticking to its confines, but we are saving quite a bit more. At the moment, we are saving in one area only to spend it in another, but we really are improving tremendously!

Exercise

Big fat zero.

Meal Plan & Cook At Home More

Happy to put a yes here! Meal planning is becoming more of a habit; sticking to the plan is still a work in progress, but we saved so much money in the past two weeks by not eating out. A week ago, we were $100 under budget which has us wondering who we are LOL!

Monthly Family Meetings

Not really, more like quick convos on the important stuff.

Read More

Yes! I finished the book on baby led weaning and have been making decent progress on Jodi Picoult’s latest book.

Buy A House

Love My Husband Better

I think so!

Write Often

Still lacking here. I haven’t really been feeling very passionate. I have lots of drafts up, but the words and thoughts just aren’t flowing. I did write more than last month, so there’s that.

Monthly Planned Date Night

Not this month.

Books Read
  • A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
  • Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett – review to come
Shows Watched
  • Parenthood
  • This Is Us
  • Friends
  • Bones – review to come
  • Blue Bloods
  • 7th Heaven
Movies Watched
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • The Santa Clause
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Noelle
  • My Santa
Places Traveled
  • Bowie, TX – post to come

Classic me, but I’m ready for a change. Hopefully winter will bring it!

Reviews, Shows

Parenthood Show Review

Cheesy. Unrealistic. Dramatic. Family. Count Me In!

Plot Summary

Parenthood follows the ins and outs of the extended Braverman family.

What I Thought

I tried to watch Parenthood back in high school a couple times, but always quit after a few episodes. A few months ago, it popped up on my “Picks For You” on Hulu and I decided to give it one more shot. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a grown-up or a parent now, but I couldn’t quit watching this time around.

This is not a binge-worthy show, but it is so classic 2010s that I ate it up. I think the major draw to Parenthood for me was how cohesive the family was despite their dysfunction. The siblings got along, fought, and reconciled. The parents dealt with real issues of growing old. The grandchildren ranged in ages, sizes, and personalities. Not every storyline was a good one, but the ones that were, really were!

One of my only complaints was how obnoxious and whiny and entitled the grandchildren were. Especially, Sydney. Another one of my issues was how they seemed to be made of money. Every time the show produced a money issue it was magically resolved with no realistic resolution. It was extremely irritating, because majority of the viewers are not rich and can’t just resolve their issues in a couple days.

I was pleasantly pleased with the ending – yes, it does get an ending – and I am not ashamed to admit that it actually made me cry. I’m kind of a mushy gushy human when it comes to family.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I am giving Parenthood 5 stars and I would recommend to those that enjoy ridiculous, mostly unrealistic family dramas. But this is not a show that I would ever watch a second time.

Have you seen Parenthood?

Lifestyle, Tennessee, Travel

4 Things To Do on a Quick Stop in Nashville, TN

yes, my child does have a pizza teether!

This year’s Grey Family Epic Road Trip was much more similar to the original road trip that started it all –> traveling to West Virginia to meet family. But this year instead of me meeting the family, it was Hazel meeting the family. We traveled with four adults and one baby on the ride there and four adults, one baby, and one kitten on the way home. Long story! Since we were traveling with my in-laws, I didn’t get to travel exactly the way I wanted – translated: no stops. However, I did put my foot down and claim “my car, my rules” for a stop in Nashville.

Now that you have some back story, you will understand why the pictures are so haphazard and rushed. So here are four things you can do if you have at least two hours in Nashville.

Night Train Pizza

It is tradition that Jeremiah and I eat pizza as often as we can on our road trips, so it was only fitting that we grab a pie on our only stop of this trip. Night Train Pizza was open late, so that is the reason we picked it, but don’t let that fool you – the pizza was absolutely delicious!! The service was good, the place was busy enough, the table was clean, and they offered gluten free options for my sister-in-law.

 

busted!

I Believe in Nashville Mural

The ‘I Believe in Nashville’ mural is probably the most iconic mural in Nashville, so naturally I had to get my photo taken with it. Now if I had my way, this picture wouldn’t have been taken in the dark, but we did the best we could with the little light we had and our photographer…

Falcon Coffee Bar

Per our other road trip tradition, I pick the destinations and Jeremiah gets to drink his weight in coffee. We didn’t plan this trip as well, so it was super late and a Sunday when we drove through, so Jeremiah had slim pickens – aka. one shop to choose from. But it gave him his caffeine fix and served craft coffee, so he was a happy camper the rest of the evening. [No picture, because I was in the car with the baby and Jeremiah doesn’t think to do that kind of stuff…]

Parthenon Replica

For any who don’t know, there is a replica of the Parthenon that is found in Greece. It’s pretty cool – or at least I have heard it is and it was from the distance I saw it. Sadly, it was pitch black outside when Jeremiah and I finally got to the right side of the pond to see it. Our tripod broke, so we had to selfie… we will be back someday to see it up close and personal!

So regardless of whether you have two days or two hours to spend in Nashville, you can make it worth your while! Not going to lie, I was bummed to only get a couple of hours, but the laughs and experiences were worth it!

Lifestyle, Motherhood

Life Update // A Condensed Six Months

So I wrote a life update post a couple nights ago and, well, after looking back on it, I realized how frustrated, stressed, and unhappy it sounded. I opted for a do-over since that isn’t the life update I have for y’all, but instead that was a day vent session. Yes, parts of my life are frustrating, stressful, and sometimes lacking in happiness, but that doesn’t come anywhere close to the joy that I experience every day and it definitely didn’t deserve a whole post!!

Besides having a baby, I don’t really have another excuse for being so absent. Before bringing the baby home, I had all of these ideas on what I was going to write about and all I was going to share and how I was going to bring the honest back to blogging and motherhood… but then we brought the baby home and it has been a non-stop rollercoaster ever since! I don’t say that as a bad thing, but babies are a lot of work!!

The first few months were full of adjusting to my new life and this new life that I was now in charge of. I dealt with breastfeeding choices, body changes, moving into a new house, being needed round-the-clock. Also I would like to note that Hazel was/is an incredible baby! She has slept through the night since the very beginning – would get mad at us for waking her up to eat – and has had such a happy, adventurous spirit that makes her so much fun to spend time with and get to know.

Hazel is six months now, so to recap the last three months, I went back to work at the office for the last three months, so I struggled with finding someone to watch Hazel one to two days a week. Work has had its ups and downs per usual, but has remained pretty stressful for the most part. Just two weeks ago I was cleared to work from home full-time. I thought that would be the answer to all my prayers and problems, but the truth is that working from home is not as glorious as it sounds. It has its ups and downs as well. It’s wonderful to get to stay in your pjs all day if you want and not miss a thing your baby does, but at the same time babies cry and eat as well, so there are plenty of major distractions, so sometimes you end up working later or more than you did before, because of all the breaks you had to take due to baby. So if anyone tells you that they work from home full-time and take care of their baby full-time, send a quick prayer up for them – trust me, they need it!

A little Hazel update. She can now roll over and almost sit-up on her own. She has a happy demeanor and loves to giggle, laugh, and smile, especially at our dog, Winnie. She sleeps eight to ten hours at night in her crib in her own room. She has gone on a 24 hour road trip halfway around the country at just five months old. She has started solid foods and really enjoys sausage and frozen strawberries, but likes to try anything. She holds her own bottle, because she plans to be independent. She is just a little bundle of joy that keeps me going everyday!

On a non-baby note, Jeremiah and I are taking a finance class and are making strides to pay off all our debt. It’s been quite a journey the past couple of months, but so far, we have paid off two things (birth related!) and it feels incredible!! We have been working on building our savings/money put toward debt through eating out less, grocery shopping with purpose, and learning to say no. We are still a work in progress though, but it’s the small victories.

We have been busy enjoying the fall season with road trips, pumpkins, and treats. So don’t worry, I’m still alive… and I hope to be able to be more active soon! ❤