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December 2016

Merry Christmas! | Our 2016 Christmas Cards

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Hey guys!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We headed south yesterday and are spending 2 weeks down here in Florida with my family. We’re super excited to escape the cold for a bit and get some vitamin D. As usual I was waaaaaaay late to the game with my cards this year. And so it goes every year but at least I got them out and they are so cute! We teamed up with Minted again this year because we just LOVE their choices and quality. I honestly can tell every Minted card I get it mail from friends before I even turn it over. If you ran out of time this year there is always 1. New Years cards. We did that one year and I really loved sending out a little surprise after christmas to friends and 2. next year, right? Don’t let yourself have guilt over it. Some years it works out and some there is just no time. I hear ya!

We’ve done little booklets in the past but this year we went with the standard card format. I love the foil-pressed options Minted offers. They’re so festive and pretty! We left a blank spot inside the cards so that we could write a personal note to everyone. At first it felt totally overwhelming (and like the wrong choice) when all 125 cards showed up with that blank spot starring at me. But a few good christmas movies later, I was so glad we had taken the time to write something to everyone that means so much to us. And let’s talk about how cool it is to create your own personalized stamps!!! The girls thought that was by far the coolest thing ever. Thanks Minted for making ordering Christmas cards a breeze and even letting me keep my entire address book online and print out all the address right there on the envelope for me. Boom.

Sooooo a little story about our pictures. I drive by this abandoned tiny, old church when I drive Rowan to school. I’ve always loved it from a far as I drive by. When we were deciding where to take out pictures, I was all like “what about in front of that church?” The bad part is it’s obviously on someone’s property and there are no trespassing signs up. However, it’s set off the road and no one can really see if you drive up there so… shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. Rowan, our dear first born, extreme rule follower did not like this idea. She had to be bribed out of the car and even then was on high alert for getting caught and in trouble. NO harm, no foul though, right? I did picked up the trash around the church before we left.

Well, we wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday! Merry Christmas from us to all of you!!
xoxox

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A Birthday Weekend in Montreal

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Back in October, we headed the quick 3 hours north to Montreal to celebrate Kev’s birthday. This was our 3rd time visiting and every time, we fall in love a little bit more. What a crazy cool and beautiful city. There is soooo much to see and do! We never get to do it all, but it always makes us excited to come back the next time. Whenever we travel with the kids, we pack the stroller and just walk around as much as we can. The kids are pretty used to it by now, and have become quite the little explorers as well. We do cycle through the stroller quite a bit. Each one getting a little rest while the other one walks or gets held. It’s a big team effort!! The bummer was that it was pouring rain one of the days we were there. We made the most of it though and checked out the Biodome (is anyone thinking of Pauly Shore now?). It was such a cool place! The kids had a great time! You get to walk through all these different ecosystems and see animals and really great exhibits about each one. Totally worth a trip if you are visiting!

The fall colors were really putting on a show for us that weekend. It was gorgeous! I could wander around all day there. Every turn is another charming little street to walk down. Have you ever been? What are you favorite places to go, see, eat?? Always looking for recommendations for the next time!

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15 Books That Spark Curiosity In Children

When we started homeschooling this year, I knew our library needed a good jump start. I went on a hunt for all the beautifully illustrated, full of information, awesome kid books. I wanted to fill our school room with books that sparked their interest and imagination. I wanted to have books there and ready when they asked questions about all the different things we would be learning. Oh man, there are sooooo many wonderful books out there!! My amazon cart is always full with new ones but here are our top favorites so far this year. If you have any in your own collection that aren’t on this list, please let us know! I would love to keep adding more!

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1.Smart About Sharks by Flying Eye Books
2. The 50 States by Wide Eyed Editions
3. Cabinet of Curiosities by Gordon Grice
4. Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska
5. Timeline: A Visual History of Our World by Peter Goes
6. The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
7. Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature by AJ Wood and Mike Jolley
8. Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen
9. Wild Animals of the North by Dieter Braun
10. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
11. Atlas of Adventures + Atlas of Animal Adventures by Rachel Williams
12. Animalium + Botanicum
13. Diary of a Time Traveler by David Long
14. The Wonder Garden by Jenny Broom
15. Nature Anatomy, Food Anatomy and Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman

My Everyday Style | #StepForward

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I’ve always been a bit of a fitness hopper. Never really finding a perfect match that I felt super passionate about. Yes, I run (ran) a lot, but it’s mostly just to complete races. I love the accomplishment of finishing a race. I love that medal, but the training is always challenge. I would feel so exhausted by the running schedule, that I wouldn’t put any other effort into cross training. My legs would feel strong but nothing else. After Orion was born, I really wanted to find something that helped me feel like my best self. I didn’t have a weight goal in mind but just wanted to feel healthy and strong. In between my pregnancies with Finley and Orion, I started going to a hot yoga studio. I had enjoyed it but hadn’t been very consistent. I figured I would start there!

Guys! I can’t not express how much I LOOOOOOOOOVE going to my yoga classes. You can totally do yoga at home but there is something so rejuvenating about getting out of the house by yourself, to a dark, hot room and sweating it all out. Ahhhh my soul! I count down the days until I get to go again. It’s been such an awesome journey to work towards. At first I know it can feel so awkward! You don’t know the names of the moves or the flows and you may feel super inflexible (hand held high here!) or even the teacher may not be a great fit. I challenge you to stick with it! To ttry different classes, teachers, etc… till you find something that fits. Every week I am trying to step forward, to dig deeper, to stretch further (I want to do the splits!) to be open to correction and to learn more. Step by step, right? I love it so much that I’ve even been thinking about taking my instruction training certification. 

No matter what the scale says (I say we all throw our scales out!) if you feel strong and healthy on the inside, I promise it just oozes it out of you. Confidence flows into every part of your life. A bonus for me is that I can model joy, passion and a healthy relationship between food and exercise to my girls. 

Where are you trying to #StepForward in your life? Exercise? Eating? Organization? Minimalism? Patience? Generosity? There are so many areas we could all be working on. I would love to hear about it in the comments below or over on the Famous Footwear Instagram

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Adidas Women’s Neo Baseline Sneaker : Famous Footwear

Black wide leg pants: Madewell

Plaid Jacket: ASOS

Crop Top: Madewell

Hat: Target

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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