Author Archives: TwinkieTotMom

Elf on the Shelf & my thoughts this year.

Yes, we’ve got one. His name is Steve. He’s set up shop since Thanksgiving Day when he arrived at my parents house (yes, they have a “Steve”, too. When we first started this thing two years ago, the kids spent half their time over there since my mom watched them and we figured it was only fitting).

But, this year just seems different to me.

I can’t seem to get behind it all. You know, the whole commercializing of it (I know, I know. That’s how it started in the first place). But come on, reindeers for pets now? And whole entire wardrobes?! And gifts given to the kids from their elf almost every single day?! Nope. Not doing it.

I was almost tempted to not even put Steve out this year, but the kids love him. & they are still just 5 and 7 and believe in the magic of it all. I can’t deny that.

Our elf though? He might pull a few tricks here or there. He will wear a sweater with an S sewn onto it that my mom crocheted for him last year on those days when the weather decides to drop. Maybe he’ll show up with a little something for them before the big guy arrives. & by little something I mean, like a new coloring book or some Christmas socks.

& just in case you wanted some ideas on how we do Elf on the Shelf around these parts, here you go.

elf on the shelf chalkboard wall fun


Steve likes to do fun things like this, from last year. Maybe he’ll drum up some new chalkboard wall fun this year, too!

The American Girl Store: every little girl’s dream.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to attend a preview of the new American Girl Store opening up at the Florida Mall in Orlando. The girls don’t have an American Girl doll yet, but they pour through the catalogs every time one arrives in our mailbox (and I usually have to find someone-usually a mom of all boys who happens to get one delivered to her house-to give us another one so that the girls can each have their own to ooooh & aaaaah over).

I knew the girls would love a sneak peek at this new store, and it would just make their want for an American Girl doll that much more (good thing they are getting them for Christmas from nan & paps!).

I didn’t even tell the girls that we were going until the day of. I actually let my mom tell them, because it was on a Wednesday afternoon when she usually picks up the kids to spend a fun afternoon with her (since it’s early day) and I knew if I let her tell the girls that we were going somewhere special, they wouldn’t be so sad that she didn’t take them to the park like she usually does on a nice Wednesday afternoon.

My friend, Melissa, and her daughter, Emma, actually tagged along, too. It was a nice girls’ night out and the girls were in heaven the whole time. When we entered the doors of this store, we stopped at every single display and oooooh’d and aaaaah’d over everything we saw (much like the girls do when they get the catalogs in the mail). It was like a living, breathing American Girl catalog. I couldn’t even believe it when we walked up to one display that had a doll sitting in a wheel chair, wearing a cast on her leg, wearing a cast on her arm and wearing a finger splint! I mean, come on, they think of everything!

american girl store orlando

The girls told me everything they wanted for Christmas (pretty much every single thing in the store) and picked out the dolls they wanted to tell nan & paps about. Lexie wants Kit (OMG, she’s the cutest thing ever!) and Lilah wants Julie, the hippie doll that we thought Lexie would have wanted since she is our living hippie (but Lilah loved the long blonde hair and braid, of course!).

new orlando american girl store

american girl store orlando

The girls all walked away with a goodie bag of books and magazines and even an American Girl tshirt for their future dolls. We loved our time there and the girls cannot wait to go back. What we loved even better? Two days after we were there was the Grand Opening, when an expected 10k+ people were there, waiting in long lines and not getting to shop as leisurely as we did probably. Win for us.

new american girl store orlando

I was not compensated for this post, we were invited to the preview and the girls received their goody bags, but all opinions are 100% my own. 

The holiday we aren’t skipping over.

You know, Thanksgiving. The one that comes between Halloween and Christmas. Even though, according to stores (and many people out there nowadays) this holiday seems to not be on the radar for as long as it really should be.

In our house, we give Thanksgiving it’s time to shine. I decorate the house right after Halloween and I don’t take our Thanksgiving decorations down until Black Friday. That is our tradition and it’s not going to change.

I read a blog a few weeks back, where she shared that the reason she decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving is to give Thanksgiving it’s time to shine. She said she can sit back and enjoy it more because she’s not running around trying to get ready for Christmas in her house, that because it’s done before Thanksgiving she’s more ready to celebrate the ol’ turkey himself. I think that just sounds a little absurd.

I just can’t imagine celebrating Thanksgiving with a Christmas tree up & decorated. It’s like you are just celebrating Christmas twice, just minus the presents and Jesus’ birthday one of the two times.

So, since I will be decorating my house in just a few days for the Christmas holiday, I figured I needed to show off our house at Thanksgiving before this holiday is over. Oh, and you might see a little sick Lilah in a few of these pictures. I took them the day she stayed home from school and couldn’t help but taking a few shots of her sleeping off the sickies.

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My daughter the diva & a little wiww.

This girl is just too much. I seriously need to get her into some sort of modeling (although, that would totally go to her head). These poses were done 100% on her own when I asked her if I could take a few pictures of her wearing my scarf. She then proceeded to put onContinue Reading

On turning 30…

The first real memory I have of finding significance in turning another year older was when I turned thirteen. I mean, I have memories of birthdays from before then, but thirteen was a birthday that I couldn’t wait for. It meant I was a teenager and I thought with it came everything you read aboutContinue Reading

It’s starting to feel like fall, according to my #wiww.

    When you look at what I’ve been wearing over the past week or so, you can see that it’s starting to feel like fall here in Sunny Florida. All I can says is, heck yes!   Looks like my fall style so far is pretty muted as far as colors go. Cream, navy,Continue Reading

A peek into the making of our backyard oasis.

A peek into the making of our backyard oasis.

Last weekend we started a big project for the kids. This new clubhouse has been our favorite part of after school during fall since it’s been built. Yes, in just a week, we’ve decided we love it so. This weekend, after Tucker’s soccer game, we headed to Home Depot again and picked up paint, mulchContinue Reading

My saving grace.

The kids used to have one of those prefab wood playgrounds. It was something my inlaws had gotten them one Christmas at our suggestion. It worked out well for a while, a slide, a few swings and a little “clubhouse” feel to it. This summer though, we realized it was on it’s last leg. MikeContinue Reading

RaceTrac’s #CrazyGoodCoffee and a giveaway.

Ok. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest RaceTrac. Over the summer they hosted the ever popular SodaPalooza and they’ve got something else up their sleeve now that it’s fall. This week (October 12-18th) you can grab FREE coffee, any size, any kind, without any coupon or any purchase. Cha-ching. Money in your pocket and crazyContinue Reading

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