Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Best of 2019

2019 has been quite a year for our family! We have experienced some lows and highs and everything in between. 

Our babies got a year older and we loved celebrating with each of them. 

Ava turned 9 in March. Her and I share March birthdays so we spent it at Universal Studios The Magical World of Harry Potter

Mia turned 2 in May and we had a mermaid themed party because she is water baby!

 Levi turned 4 in November and he had a blast at his party at the bouncy house- Monkey Joe's. 

Lily turned 8 in December and we celebrated with friends at the trampoline park! 

This year we experienced the scariest parenting moment to date. In May, Lily was diagnosed with an intercranial tumor. Thankfully, it was benign and the surgery to remove the tumor was a success. Lily amazed us all with her resilience and she continues to thrive. We are so grateful that through this scary ordeal our girl was all the strength we needed! 

Throughout the year we have had some amazing time with family. They all rallied around us and was the support we needed! Even when we could not travel, they came to us! 

In January, took our first and last trip to Ikea together lol, we traveled to visit Noah's brother (also known as Uncle Bubba), Jeremy and Monet and Ava and I had the best time on our mother-daughter trip to Orlando. I still owe a trip to Lily soon! 

The girls and Noah had fun at the first father-daughter dance at school and I had a fun time at my first instructor led DIY wood painting class. 

Noah and I both turned 35 this year and celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. 

The kids had fun with their cousins Easter egg hunting. 

Levi had a big hair cut. He went from a little boy to a big boy with one shave! 

We had lots of trip to the beach and pool before Lily's big surgery in July. Through her recovery we had lots of family visit including Grandpa, Mimi, Uncle Bubba and Aunt Sarah! 

Mia had so much fun at the beach this year! She was big enough to keep up with her siblings! 

We had fun at the county fair and we went to the movies (Aladdin, Lion King, Toy Story 4 & Frozen 2!) 

We had fun with our VA cousins at the beach and got to see the theatre production of Peter Pan with Aunt Seal and cousin Camille. 

We evacuated from another hurricane (that didn't end up to be nothing), but it was fun to visit family in Atlanta and visit the Georgia Aquarium! 

I snuck away for a girl's trip, my second trip to a blog conference and had a blast. 

We were there to celebrate my brother and Cassie get engaged! 

Noah became a Jeep owner again! 

The girls and I had so much fun being nerds at Frogwarts! 

Levi loved playing soccer with his daycare pals! 

He attended his first birthday party and had a blast! 

Ava and Lily finished 1st and 2nd grade and went on to have an amazing time in 2nd & 3rd grade. 

I helped co-host my best friend's epic Game of Thrones baby shower

The kids were adorable for Halloween. Ava was Seven from Stranger Things, Lily was a pirate, Levi was Maui and Mia was Moana. 

Noah got a new job and we visited him at his new office.

We started our good-bye tour by spending as much time with friends as we could. 

We took a trip to the Jacksonville zoo.

Mimi and the kids squeezed in some time with Santa before Christmas

We packed up our house to prepare for our move to North Carolina and we had our last day at daycare, school and work!

We said good-bye to our Georgia house and hello to our new North Carolina house! 

We definitely ended 2019 with a bang. We are so excited for what the new year will bring. 
Merry Christmas everyone, from our crew to yours!! 

We love you! 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Best Tips for Moving Out of State

If you have been following along, I am in the midst of a big move out of state. I have been through a few moves as an adult so far. First, it was moving to college. Then, I moved to VA shortly after graduating. Noah and I then moved from Virginia to Georgia shortly after we got married. We have also moved a few times since living in Savannah. None of those moves compare to moving a family of 6 out of state! We are currently moving our family from Georgia to North Carolina next week. It's been one of the most stressful experiences. So much so that I had to seek a therapist to get me through it (no shame here!) Did you know moving is one of the top stressors that a person can experience in lifetime? Right along with divorce, losing a job or loss of a loved one!

To help ease anyone that may be going through a big move like I am going through I thought I'd share some tips that has made this move easier. I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I'll try to answer them the best I can.

1. As soon the decision has been made that your move is happening, start decluttering. It can be overwhelming if you have to think about all the stuff during the packing process. It can be rewarding too. I started to think about big items in my house I didn't want to bring with me and sell what I could in Facebook market/yardsale groups. I would get hits within seconds, those items would quickly be picked up and I would make a little extra cash. I also donated a ton of gently used clothes, books, toys and home decor. Once you start to declutter and work with only items that you're taking with you, packing is so much easier.

2.  Start saving cardboard boxes and ask around in neighborhood groups, friends, etc. for moving boxes. Most people are offering them for free so this will save you money on paying for moving boxes.

3. As much as possible, try to fit everything into a box. We used a combination of cardboard moving boxes (for glassware and dishes) and plastic storage tubs. Whether you're using a moving truck or a Pod like we did, boxes will stack neatly and you are able to pack more effectively.  You can reuse those tubs once you move to your new house to organize your garage, store holiday décor, store winter/summer clothes, etc. They will come in handy again and even if there are empty, they stack easily and can be stored away to be used when you need them.

4. You don't want to pack everything in the moving truck/pod. Keep important documents with you (i.e. birth certificates, marriage license, social security cards, etc.) Also, we have one week in between our closing on the new house so I packed us up into suitcases and used two tubs for our bathroom essentials.

5. Research. I relied on lots of blog posts to research what I needed to start thinking about when moving out of state. There is so much information out there suggesting what to prepare for and when to start doing it and it eased some of my anxiety. For example. the girls will be transferring to a new school so I researched the enrollment process and prepared all the necessary paperwork so when we do get to North Carolina I will have them all set.

6. Divide and conquer. Noah and I split certain moving duties. He took care of shutting off utilities, setting us up for internet in the new house, and getting home repairs taken care of while I looked into switching home and auto insurance, setting up last minute dental/doctor appointments, and house cleaning services. Moving is definitely a marriage tester, but try to remember the end goal and work together.

7. It was helpful for me to have a moving notebook. I wrote list of things I needed to get accomplished and there is no better feeling than being able to scratch those items off your list! It is also helpful to look back on to ensure  things have been done. I also began preparing a furniture plan so I knew which items I wanted to take with me to the new house. I have an idea of where I want to put the current items I have. This will help when unpacking the moving truck/pod because everything will have a designated  place to go.

8. You do not have to do it alone. One of the biggest things for this move was asking for and accepting help. No one really wants to be invited to a painting party or a moving party so I hesitated at first to ask for support. However, I had friends offering to help in various ways and instead of declining we humbly accepted and it helped out so much! Not only does it makes the packing process go by quicker but it help my stress level go down knowing we weren't doing it by myself.

If you are preparing for a move, congratulations! I hope my experience with moving will help you prepare for your big move. And like I mentioned earlier, if you have any questions don't hesitate to comment below or shoot me a email!

Friday, December 13, 2019

My SheIn Christmas Wishlist

I haven't been able to shop since we are moving, but that doesn't mean I'm not creating a wishlist. SheIn has so many great holiday styles that are so cute and cozy! What is on your Christmas wishlist this year?

You can use my special code"glitterandjuls15" until December 31st for an extra 15% off your SheIn order. Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Simple DIY "Thanks A Latte" Holiday Gift and Other Gift Ideas

I always like a fun DIY gift to give as holiday gifts for the teachers. With 4 kids I can't splurge like I would want to so it's usually a thoughtful handmade gift or a gift card. Gift cards are always a top teacher gift when I have taken a poll.  But I don't like just stuffing a gift card in an envelope so I like creative ways to package them.

The idea was sparked when my office catered Starbucks coffee and there were holiday cups left-over the next day. There were enough for all four teachers so I saved them and found a cute printable from blog, Feeling Nifty!

I also picked up some candy and cards so the kids could each write a personalized note to their teachers. I think they turned out so well so I thought I would share how I put them together!

Below are some other great DIY gift ideas I've done in the past:
  • Cozy fleece blanke with gift tag "Have a Cozy Little Christmas"
  • Hand painted plastic ornaments as seen here  
  • Holiday socks and nail polish with gift tag "For your Mistle Toes"
  • Hot cocoa mix in clear plastic ornaments

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving and Life Lately

I haven't written a blog post in awhile. Life has been crazy around the Cruzan house and I just realized I really haven't shared too much about what's been happening.

The Cruzans are moving to North Carolina!! 

Back up to September... Noah accepted a position at a new company in Charlotte. During the summer, we almost moved there but with everything going on with Lily, we decided to stay put so we could focus on Lily's recovery.

Crazy enough this new company was still interested in Noah. This time, I thought "let's just do it". These opportunities don't come often and it was a great career move for Noah. I was extremely proud of him and he had moved to Savannah all those years ago for me. It was my time.

After we officially made the decision, it kick-started the next set of events-- Prepare the house to be put on the market, sell our home, find a job, look for a new home, MOVE....

We are in the thick of packing our house up now. We were blessed to receive an offer on our house within 1 month from putting it on the market and we just found a new house for us to move into in Charlotte.

Let me just say, moving out of state with four kids is no small feat! It is definitely not for the faint of heart. I've had my share of bad days where my anxiety takes over, but I can say things are starting to fall into place. With a solid move date now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have so much to be grateful for.... My mother-in-law did not hesitate when we asked her to stay with us to help with the kids through this move. She has been so wonderful. I got so lucky! My friends have been so awesome too. Just this week my best friend Amy spent her day off helping me with packing. We are so grateful for our realtor, Mark, for helping us sell our house and connecting us with folks in Charlotte. We have had the best guidance and we could not have done all of this without help! I am just so thankful to everyone for getting us through this!

In the next few weeks we close on our home here and also close on our house in Charlotte. It is starting to feel real and I am excited for this next adventure for our family. Wish us luck!

In between packing and preparing for our move, we squeezed in family photos. I am so happy we did because I cannot wait to print these to hang in the new house!

Happy Thanksgiving for my crew to yours! 

Photography by my talented friend, Kate :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

4 Ways to Support Your Blogger Friends for FREE

Blogging is not my full time job. Do I wish at some point it would turn from a side hustle to a full time gig? Yes, I would. I truly enjoy being a blogger because it's an amazing creative outlet for me. Blogging full time would also give me the flexibility I desire to be a more involved mom for my kids.

Currently, I've have been introduced to so many wonderful opportunities to work with different brands to promote products. In exchange for creating the content and spreading the word, I may be compensated.

It may seem like bloggers are always in your face asking you to open up your wallet. I feel the same way sometimes when I see my favorite bloggers. I understand not everyone is rolling in the dough and that is okay.

Another part of being a blogger is finding new partnerships and work. Although I have a full time job, adulting really sucks. Earning money through blogging helps my family feel a little less stressed by adding a little cushion.

Finding those new partnerships can be challenging because brands usually only work with bloggers with a big reach because they are looking for a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. This is where I could definitely use your support.

I don't think everyone realizes just how much the support you give matters. Every like, every follow, every comment, re-share, tag, etc. matters so much.

Did you know there are ways to support your blogger friends without even spending a dime? Let me share with you 4 easy ways to do it!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Baby is Coming: Game of Thrones Inspired Baby Shower

My best friend, Mandy is expecting a baby girl this Winter. This past weekend we celebrated baby Jane's upcoming arrival with the most epic Game of Thrones inspired baby shower. Mandy and I are avid fans of the show and even though the series ended we relived it in all it's glory during the shower. I co-hosted with a few of Mandy's close friends and we worked hard to pull off a very special shower.

You may have caught some of the photos I shared on my Instagram account (@glitterandjuls), but if you didn't I wanted to share them in a blog post too just in case others wanting to throw a similar theme could shamelessly steal the ideas!

There wasn't much out there for a Game of Thrones baby shower so we got creative! I loved seeing Mandy's initial reactions when she arrived! Let's get to the fun stuff!


Vani and Vanessa made Mandy her very own iron throne made with play swords, spray paint, paper swords and hot glue! It turned out amazing and it added a special touch to the decorations for sure!

Vani and Vanessa  also printed these "BABY IS COMING" banners and framed signs. 

I made this diaper cake for her! I loved how it turned out! It made for a great center piece! 

We had Game of Thrones tunes playing in the background and also had our favorite episodes playing on the flat screen. 

His watch begins.... Jon Snow watching over all the baby gifts!

Food + Menu:

I had such a great time coming up with a menu for this shower. I kept it in theme with some of our favorite Game of Thrones characters of course! 

Ugh.... Typo - it's supposed to say "Wildling" Wings

Our friend Cassie has some special talents we didn't know she had- creating these fun fruit and veggie trays! 

These beautiful cookies were ordered from a local Savannah bakery - go check her out at @thelittlehousebakery 

Check out the details on this cake! Also a local Savannah baker- @kmcakedesgin

Check out the mom-to-Khaleesi :) She was such a beautiful momma-to-be and I had such a fun time planning this fabulous shower! 

This shower could not have been possible without the other hostesses - Vanessa, Vani and Jenna! It was a blast ladies! A big thanks for Jenna for opening up her beautiful home to have the shower at! 

We even had a couple of friends really into the theme! I love it! 

Baby Jane is already so loved and she is so so lucky to have Daniel and Mandy as parents! We love you guys and cannot wait for the baby to arrive soon! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SHEIN Fall Picks

I did some online browsing last night to share some early fall picks from SHEIN with you guys. I have been shopping at SHEIN for a few years now and I love to stock up on my favorite fall trends. They are very budget-friendly (all these are under $30) and they have pretty fast shipping as well! 

Each of these picks are more on the neutral side, which makes them versatile. I love the detail of the cream sweater with the lace back! It's so feminine and pretty.

I love the pom-pom detail on the tan sweater. It gives the top some texture and it is a great neutral color too

I am usually one for sweater sets, but how adorable is the blush sweater and skirt set? It's under $30 too!

I am having a moment with blazers. The oversized cognac cord blazer is a great piece to dress up or down. I can wear it with a graphic tee and jeans or pair it with some black slacks for work.

The other blazer is one I cannot live without. The scallop detail is just so cute!

I need your help! Which pick is your favorite? Also, leave a comment below if you have any fall SHEIN recommendations!

Use code GLITTERANDJULS15 for 15% off your order! The code is good until 9/30!

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