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

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