Family

Hazel’s First Easter Basket

Last year I totally dropped the ball on Easter. With the pandemic being on the rise and not being sure what our holiday plans would look like, Easter just snuck up on me. But this year, I was set on not missing anything and of course I lost track of time, but I did get the basket together.

I was excited to start doing Easter baskets this year, especially because Hazel is a little bit older and will actually be excited about some of the goodies. I figured I would do the baskets like we did in my family growing up, but as I started thinking about it, I could not remember any of my Easter baskets as a kid, so I set to Pinterest. That was a mistake as some people apparently spend hundreds of dollars on their kids’ Easter baskets. That just isn’t something I could do this year, so I just started with the few ideas I had and went from there. And I didn’t get everything I planned on, but she will enjoy it just the same.

Goodies in the Basket

  • Stuffed Narwhal
  • Sidewalk Chalk – Sticks
  • Sidewalk Chalk – Eggs
  • Ring Toss Game
  • Board Book

Not sure why I decided to get two things of sidewalk chalk, but it will be Hazel’s first experience with chalk, so I am really looking forward to a family day of decorating our path up to the front door and seeing if Hazel enjoys it or not. I also think the simple ring toss game will get a lot of use and be a fun way to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

I had hoped to put some spring pajamas and bubbles in the basket as well, but ended up not wanting to wait till Easter to give Hazel some new pjs and couldn’t find any bubbles I liked.

How Much Did I Spend?

Because of how overwhelmed I was with the budgets on some of the Easter basket inspiration I found online, I wanted to be completely transparent with how much I spent on Hazel’s basket. I didn’t set a specific budget, but I wanted to keep it close to $30.

  • Stuffed Narwhal – $12 (on clearance at Target)
  • Sidewalk Chalk – Sticks – $1 (dollar section at Target)
  • Sidewalk Chalk – Eggs – $1 (dollar section at Target)
  • Ring Toss Game – $5 (dollar section at Target)
  • Board Book – $5 (Marshall’s)

I spent $24 on the goodies in the basket and $10 on the actual basket, so $34 in all.

All in all, I had a lot of fun putting together Hazel’s Easter basket and am happy with how it turned out. I am looking forward to watching her “unbox” it this weekend.

Texas, Travel

Independence Day Eve // Lewisville, TX

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and on unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
-Harry S. Truman

The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday. When I was a kid, we would always travel about an hour and a half (but felt like forever) to the town of Granbury where my Grandad lives. There was always a parade and for a few years, my brother and I got to be in it! My Grandad collects and rebuilds classic cars, so we would get to ride in the back and toss out candy – those were some fun memories! After the parade, we would always go swimming at the local swimming pool then play card games, ride the lawn mower, take a nap. There would always be a cookout and then once it got dark, we would light off fireworks. Shooting off fireworks with my family was always the highlight of my year! I can feel the rush of energy you get when you run up to a firework, light the fuse, and run like heck turning just in time to see it light up the sky. I’m smiling just thinking about it. 🙂

Well now that my Grandad is old and not in the best shape, he doesn’t allow us to come over on The Fourth anymore. Not going to lie, it breaks my heart. As much as I miss our Independence Day traditions, it breaks my heart more that I don’t get to share them with Hazel. But life goes on and I am having to adapt to creating new traditions.

Since moving to Lewisville, I have decided to get involved in our local Fourth of July festivities. They hold a little festival on the third. Last year, Jeremiah had to work, so I showed up with Winnie right as it was getting dark to watch the fireworks. He was able to escape work for a bit to watch them.

Well this year my favorite cousins are back in town and I knew that it would feel more like normal if we celebrated together, so I invited them to come to the festival with me. And it was a blast! Not the traditions I know and love, but a new tradition that we can make just as fun and exciting.

We arrived just after the festival started. There was live music, rock climbing, bounce houses, food trucks, and more. We found a shady spot to set up our chairs and then headed to find some fun. Starting at rock climbing, the only boy of our group conquered the wall! Then we all decided to race each other through a bounce house maze – I still feel young, but it was a struggle. We were exhausted after all of the running and cheering, so we looked for something to eat. There weren’t too many options, so the kids opted for snow cones instead.

Once we were hyped on sugar, exhausted, and hot, we settled into our spot to watch the fireworks. The show was great this year – especially the finale! One of my favorite parts was when they had I’m Proud to be an American playing during the show and they turned it down during the chorus to hear everyone singing and when they turned it up we were all like a verse ahead!

So there might not have been a parade or us shooting off our own fireworks, but there was family, fun, and fire, sooooo I’d say it was a successful celebration of my favorite day of the year!!!

Oklahoma, Travel

Festival of Lights // Ardmore, OK

Earlier this evening, I took Jeremiah on a surprise date to Ardmore, Oklahoma to see their huge Christmas light exhibit. I am always looking for spontaneous date ideas and this one hit the mark with it being a mini road trip + holiday themed.

If you’re looking for a fun, low-key holiday experience, the Ardmore Festival of Lights might be what you are looking for.

A Few Things to Note Before You Go

  • The light exhibit is free – but donations are appreciated.
  • Ardmore is approximately an hour and 45 minutes from Lewisville, Texas.
  • You are not allowed to park or leave your vehicle at any time.
  • The local radio station playing holiday music is 107.1.
  • The light exhibit is 1.5 miles long.

Our Favorite Light Arrangements

There were quite a few light arrangements to look at while you drive through, but since you have to keep your car running and moving, taking photos can be kind of difficult. We managed to snap a few shots of some of our favorite arrangements…

A Few Suggestions From Our Experience

  • Bring your own holiday music – the radio station they encourage will mainly play commercials during your drive.
  • Grab some hot chocolate before your enter & roll your windows down – this will help create a winter atmosphere and avoid pictures through dirty windows.
  • Research other area attractions – the drive only takes about half an hour, so if you are coming a ways, you will want to make the most of your trip.
  • Don’t plan on a photo opp – although some of the light arrangements are funny and/or pretty, you can’t leave or stop your vehicle to get a good shot, so if taking lots of pictures is your main goal, look for lights elsewhere.

This was our first time visiting the Ardmore Festival of Lights and we had absolutely no expectations. We felt like the attraction went by pretty quickly in comparison to the drive to get there and that the lights were very spread out. It would have been nice to have a parking lot, so guests could get better pictures of some of their favorite light arrangements. I can confidently say that this is a great local attraction for people in and around the southern Oklahoma area, but that it is definitely simple and low-key… remember that it is free and to have fun!

Uncategorized

Cozy Christmas Party // First Annual

It’s never been a secret that Christmastime is not my favorite time of the year, but since meeting Jeremiah (who absolutely loves the Christmas season) and starting our family that has slowly started to change. I think being so close to someone who gets so giddy and excited about all of the fun holiday festivities, it gets me more excited. Crazy enough, it was me this year who got our box of Christmas decorations and miscellaneous stuff out of the top of our closet and initiated decorating and holiday music on Black Friday.

Now that we have a little one on the way, Jeremiah and I are constantly throwing out new traditions that we can start and carry on throughout our children’s lives. This year, we decided to start with what we called a Cozy Christmas Party. We wanted to be able to get together with some of our close friends before the new year started in a relaxed, low key environment with no expectations other than some holiday fun. We were willing to supply everything and in return just asked that our friends brought their favorite comfort food.

Remember that we rarely never host events, so we were just winging it. Since we already had a decorated apartment, we just went from there. We set up a hot chocolate station with festive mugs, hot chocolate packets, cool whip, and marshmallows. Our kitchen was transformed into a little buffet set up with all the comfort food options + dessert. All the gifts we planned to give out that night were placed in front of our entertainment center. Lastly, we set up enough chairs in the living room, so everyone could congregate in one area. Honestly, we were pretty proud of ourselves!

When the clock struck seven-thirty, our first guest arrived and our party began! With it being our first time really hosting anything, I think that it went really well and we had a fantastic time. The food was delicious, the conversation was fantastic, and the company was best of all. We talked, we laughed, we drank hot chocolate, we exchanged gifts… I would say we successfully threw a holiday party!

Best of all, Jeremiah and I learned so much! We took notes on what aspects of this party we want to keep and do again next year and new ideas we want to incorporate. It was such a relief that our party wasn’t a bust, because now we are more excited than ever to continue to put ourselves out there and try new traditions no matter how out of comfort zone they might be.

Actually, best best of all, one of my best friends asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding! ❤