Monday, December 31, 2018

Best of 2018

2018 was a year! I love reflecting on all the memories made with my family. Let's get to it!

Mia experienced more firsts in 2018. January gave us our first Savannah Snow for the first time since 1989 so Mia was able to see snow! All the kids had such a fun two days playing in it!

Mia also celebrated her first Valentine's Day, Lunar New Year and Easter!

We celebrated lots of birthdays, too! 

Ava turned eight (8) and she had an epic slime party! She loves to make silly music videos and binge Fuller House on Netflix. 

Lily turned seven (7) and we hosted an awesome slumber party. She loves to play outside and is obsessed with LOL Surprise dolls. 

Levi turned three (3) and we celebrated with him at the Jacksonville Zoo. He loves super heroes and is the funniest kid! 

Mia turned ONE (1)! Her birthday theme was georgia peach because she is so sweet! She is by far my easiest baby. Except when you ask for kisses, she'll say no and laugh. But I steal them all the time! 

2018 was filled with fun! 

-Levi was potty-trained successfully! 
-Ava, Lily and I had fun screen-printing tees! 
-Took the kids strawberry picking this summer
- We had fun at the pool, beach and even in the sprinklers! Mia is a water baby like the rest of the Cruzan crew. 
- Ava and Lily spent two weeks this summer in Virginia with their aunt/uncle and cousins!

- Ava discovered Harry Potter! 
- We visited family for Fourth of July! 
- For mother's day we had a special photo shoot on the beach! 

-Levi and Mia enjoyed Halloween this year going door to door to trick-or-treat
-Mimi came to visit since she moved back to Virginia
-Daddy traveled alot for work, but we (I mean me) survived! 
- I went to my first ever blogging conference and saw Taylor Swift in concert! 

-Daddy gained a Panthers fan!
-Noah and I celebrated 10 years of marriage! 
-Ava met her best friend, Addison! 
-Lily learned how to ride a bike without training wheels! 
-Noah and I traveled to New York for our anniversary trip! 

-We enjoyed a date night and a concert in Charleston! 
-We traveled to VA for Thanksgiving!
-Levi visited the dentist for the first time! 
-Ava joined her first school club and had a couple of McAllister Musicians performances! 
-Mia learned to walk! 

2018 was a ton of fun! My life may be crazy but I would not change it for the world. 

Happy New Year and I wish you all a wonderful 2019! I cannot wait to see what it has in store for us! 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Past and Christmas Present

I was asking my sister the other day about what she remembers most about our Christmases growing up.  We grew up in a very Catholic family and we remember dressing up for midnight mass. We reminisced about my grandfather's colorful tree and decorations. I always looked forward to spending time with all our cousins and opening up my favorite present- these surprise packs from Sanrio that contained Hello Kitty stationary. Now, I know where Lily's obsession with blind bags and LOL Surprise Dolls comes from.

I don't remember stockings or leaving cookies out for Santa ever. I don't remember even having a Christmas tree every year. I think one year my parents put lights on our fake orange plant in the living room we were never allowed to play in. I do remember always having a manger scene in the front yard and in our living room.

I don't remember the presents all that much. I mostly remember opening up clothes, or items we needed on Christmas day.

We didn't have matching pajamas or sprinkle reindeer dust in the front yard. We didn't have a little elf doll that moved around the house each night. Our tree was not Instagram worthy. I'm pretty sure the tree I have up this year is not Instagram worthy.

I remember the smell of roasted chestnuts that my mom would bake. She loved fruit cake and cherry cordials too.

We did get to open presents after midnight mass. I think, only one though.

It was not about all the details of Christmas that I remember most. I hold on to and cherish the joy I felt. We were surrounded by love and family, always.

I think we can get caught up in the details and chaos of having to do it all. I know I am guilty of it.

But as we build on our traditions each year as a family, I want my kids to really remember the love and the joy of the season.

What do you remember most about your childhood Christmases?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Casual Cozy Holiday Look

My two favorite winter words to describe my preferred style is casual and cozy.  Don't get me wrong, I do love an occasion to get dolled up. Those occasions just aren't that often.  Comfort is key for me always! 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cruzan Crew: Fall Recap and Life Lately

It has been awhile since I wrote a post about what's going on with the Cruzan crew. My last recap was back in the summer! I love writing these recaps because it brings up all the family memories we have made so far. Plus, I'm super forgetful and this is a nice way to remind myself what we've been up to!

While it is fall for most places,  Savannah holds on to summer as long as it can. We finally made it to the beach! We didn't go all summer so the kids were super excited for a beach day. We are very lucky to live so close to one. It was Mia's first real trip and she loved it. She wasn't scared of the waves at all and kept running into ocean like she knew how to swim!

I survived a weekend alone with the kids. Noah typically travels during the week and is home on the weekends. While he traveled for work a ton this fall, the kids and I kept busy. My weekend alone was jammed back with trips to the farmer's market, running through the sprinklers in the park, baking and movie watching! 

There was no pumpkin patch trip this year but we did manage to get pumpkins and carve them.

Mimi moved back to Virginia so we were super excited for her to come back to visit us this fall. She arrived just in time for Halloween and Levi's birthday. The kids loved having their Mimi again. It's been a hard adjustment for everyone because we are used to seeing her on a daily basis. 

This year for Halloween we met up with friends to trick-or-treat. Levi had more confidence in going door to door even though he thought he was supposed to give people candy instead of receiving it! Mia was not too interested as soon as she got that first piece of candy. The wagon came in handy. 

Noah and I took advantage of Mimi in town and we actually had a date night! We traveled to Charleston for the night for a concert. Date nights are rare for us so any time we get to spend time together I cherish them! 

I'm proud to say, Ava has discovered Harry Potter! I have been a fan from the beginning and it's been so fun to have her join my nerdom. This fall we went to Frogwarts, a HP-themed event at the Savannah Railroad Museum. It was a super cute event and we had so much fun even if Ava got sorted into the Slytherin house! 

Ava is in third grade and joined her first club! It's called McAllister Musicians and is like glee club. She has come to love music and theatre like me and last month she performed for the first time for the Veteran's Day program. They sang a medley of patriotic songs and she loved every minute of it! 

Our Levi man turned three years old on November 9th! He is such a big boy now. He quickly conquered potty training! He is all boy- loving all things ninja turtles, super heroes and mickey mouse! He is very independent and competitive. We race almost everywhere we go. That includes at home when he has to go potty. But, Lordy, for everyone's sanity please let the kid beat you! He doesn't grasp the idea of good sportsmanship just yet.  He has introduced us to so many things because all we knew before were girls. Levi is silly and his laugh is the best! Well, actually we love his Darth Vader and Chewbacca impersonations! 

To celebrate Levi's birthday we spent the day at the Jacksonville zoo. 

For Thanksgiving, we traveled to Virginia to visit with Noah's sister, mom and family. During that trip Noah and I finally celebrated our anniversary by spending a few days together in New York early in the week. We had a great time exploring the city and just getting some alone time! 

Thanksgiving break was so nice. I took the whole week off and it was good to spend it with family. The kids had so much fun with their cousins. We squeezed a girl's night in to watch the Fantastic Beast movie and went to the National Zoo for their Zoolights event. 

Mia has been growing so fast! We just had her 18 month well check and she's still in the 6th percentile in height! She will definitely be petite! She is so smart for her age and she holds her own in the house with her siblings! She continues to be the easiest baby! Her little face melts our hearts every time! 

Levi's first dentist visit was a success! I was so proud of him! The tooth fairy has visited our house lately quite a few times. Between Ava and Lily we have lost lots of teeth! Lily is now missing her front two teeth, just in time for Christmas (all she wants is her two front teeth, get it?) 

Speaking of Lily, she will be celebrating her birthday soon! This angel will be turning 7 on December 12th! She is so excited too, counting down the days! She's one of my biggest helpers around the house and has the heart of gold. She is constantly thinking about her siblings and gets her sensitivity from me. We call her dirt ball because she doesn't care about getting messy or dirty! She loves LOL Dolls and we will celebrate her with a fun sleepover this coming weekend! 

I love writing these posts! It's fun to look back at our adventures. It's also a little bittersweet because they will never be that young again. They grow up so fast and I try to just soak it in! Sometimes time doesn't even allow you to do that. It just keeps passing by too fast! 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Have Yourself A Cozy Little Christmas: Cozy Sleepwear

I noticed the other day I could use some new sleepwear. Do you know what I sleep in most nights? Random tees and sweat pants. Sexy, I know.

But, let's be real. I do not sleep in cute silk teddies. Well, not since I became a mom. I am all about comfort these days and that's perfectly okay with me.

But comfort doesn't mean it can't be cute, right? So, I've rounded up some super cozy sleepwear options I've added to my Christmas wish list. I've got all the heart eyes for those chenille leggings!

Where are your favorite places to shop for pajamas? What do you go to bed wearing? Tell me I am not the only one in my husband's old tee and sweats!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Teacher Gifts: DIY Christmas Hand-Painted Clear Plastic Ornaments

This year I wanted the kids to be involved in their teacher gifts and I thought it would be fun to make our own Christmas ornaments. The ornaments turned out so cute and I really hope their teachers love them.

I love homemade ornaments from the kids because they are always adorable, make great keepsakes and we make great memories doing them.

I headed to Michael's and the Dollar Tree for supplies and used some supplies we already had around the house.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Holiday Gift Guides for Her & Him

Hello December! I cannot believe it is already upon us and the count down to Christmas is on! Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? I know some people that are already done! But if you're like me you still have some some shopping left to do.  Today, I am sharing a couple gift guides for all those special ladies and gents in your lives. I hope these guides will help you! I actually love seeing what everyone else has on their gift guides because I am always looking for gifting inspiration.

Bonus: Below I will list some of my favorite shops for stocking stuffers. I have so much fun picking small items for my family's stockings!

1. Printed Scarf // 2. Erin Pelicano Jewelry, click here for their ultimate gift guide, Use code GlitterJ for 15% off or 14kGlitterJ for 10% fine gold) // 3. Cozy Socks // 4. Faux Fur Slippers // 5. Velvet Hair Clips // 6. Kendra Scott Gift Set   Check out their gift section for more ideas! // 7.  Bearpaw Liberty Slides // 8. White Barn 'Tis The Season Candle (my favorite holiday scent along with Fresh Balsam

Other Gift Ideas for Her: Cozy Throw, Phone Accessories, Coffee Mugs, Wine Glasses, Shoes, Fragrance, Make-up, Nail Polish, Lip Gloss/Lipsticks, anything personalized...

Other Gift Ideas for Him: Nintendo Switch, Printed Boxers, Fun Socks, Travel Toiletries Bag, Passport Cover, Tennis Shoes, Phone accessories, Video Games...

My favorite places to shop for Stocking Stuffers for the family: 
Target Dollar Section
World Market
Five and Below 
TJ Maxx

Stocking stuffer ideas (especially for kids): bath bombs, hair ties, lip balm, nail polish, small candles, candy, favorite snacks, small toys, art supplies like pens or markets, stickers...

Thank you so much for reading my post! If you still have no idea what to get for someone in your life, feel free to shoot me a message in the comments of find me on Instagram or FB and I'll be more than happy to provide any suggestions! 

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