Here’s To A New Year

Have a New Year’s Resolution? Ready for a New Year, New You?

 Whatever it is, you got this!

2018 was a good year, but it can be topped. We celebrated our daughters first birthday and our sons fifth. We went on an amazing family vacation, celebrated our second wedding anniversary, and updated our home. Let’s just say buying a new oven topped the list for me. Oh, the little things.

But for 2019, I’m coming in full force. I want to make it a successful year and I want to look back 365 days from now feeling fulfilled. You would think that 365 days is such a long time to carry out your resolutions, but it’s not. It goes by so quickly, in a blink of an eye. So, make the best of it.

While I do have three goals going in the new year, my mindset about carrying out these goals will be completely different. Things won’t always go as planned. Mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, tears will be shed. Things will be broken that can’t get fixed. There will be fights and battles. You’ll feel like giving up at times and feel like the world is against you. But, positivity can go a long way and always remember you grow through what you go through and come out stronger than ever.

With that being said, here’s my three…

I want to visit places. I want to get away from Central Pennsylvania at times and explore. To start 2019 off right, we’re visiting Boston the first weekend in January. It was a last minute, spontaneous trip that I am so excited for. I also want to visit wineries, all over. If you already didn’t guess, I’m quite the wine drinker. I love wine tasting and exploring different flavors and makes. It can be day trips or weekend trips, but this mama is doing it.

Organizing is going to be a big priority this year for me. We have a nice size home, but not large enough for the number of toys these children have. 2018 ended with toys thrown in random bins, missing pieces to everything, and broken toys taking up space. That’s no longer the case. I’ve spend these past few weeks throwing away the old and bringing in the new. I’ve hung up an adorable dry erase calendar, to do list board, and mail holder. With t-ball, soccer, gymnastics and more on the agenda this year, a planner and calendar are a must in this household.

Remodeling the home is going to be the biggest project this year. We’ve recently bought new kitchen appliances and are installing a new kitchen floor as I type this. I’ve bought all new home décor and I can’t wait to get rid of these ugly yellow walls. We are painting the entire bottom floor of our home. We’re also hoping to install all new hardwood floors. Let’s just say, I’m ready for the change. It’ll be a long stressful process but so worth it.

New Year, New Home!

With those being the top on my list, of course I’ll stick to the basics too. Going places with my kids, keeping up with my exercising and eating healthy, getting outside more, having date nights. Those are a given and will be happening throughout the year. I’m not really the person to set resolutions, but I like to have a positive mindset going into the new year. If these ideas don’t get accomplished, so what. That doesn’t mean my year will be unsuccessful or that I can’t continue to push towards these goals for another year.

Happiness is most important. Positivity and kindness can go a long way.

I hope everyone has an amazing New Year.

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Keep That Holiday Cheer All Season Long; Less Stressed

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Maybe it’s just me (I doubt it), but stress during the holiday season is inevitable. There is so much you want to do in just a few short weeks. Decorate the house, cut down a tree, visit Santa, see Christmas lights. Trying to fit everything in can make you feel overwhelmed and sometimes we lose sight of the really meaning of the holidays.

This holiday season, I really want to slow it all down and soak up all the memories I create with my family so I’m trying to kick the stress out the door.

Here’s how:

Start Early. Who cares if you have your tree up before Thanksgiving, or your house is decorated right after Halloween. That just gives you more time to enjoy the holiday season before you take everything back down and get ready for spring. Decorating early means more time do the fun things, like drive around and see Christmas lights or snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

I’ve realized that decorating early diminishes the stress of trying to quickly get everything up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’d rather spend that time with my family.

Keep A List. My planner goes everywhere with me. Whatever I want to do during the holiday season, I write it on my calendar, so I don’t forget or overbook.

I also make sure to keep a list of everything my children see on TV that they want Santa to bring (so I can tell him of course!). List help me remember ever, because I am the queen of forgetting and stressing over how to fit everything in.

Rest Up & Pace Yourself. Nobody wants a Grouchy Grinch during the holidays. Make sure you get your rest. Don’t stay up until the crack of dawn wrapping presents. Take one or two, wrap those and do more the next night, hence the pace yourself.

Sleep is crucial for lowering stress, even when it’s not the holidays, so imagine not getting enough sleep this time of year.

Care A Little Less. Who cares if your gift wrapping doesn’t look perfect, the get ripped open anyway. Who cares if your decorating is not as good as your neighbors, you decided to spend that time with family. Who cares if your ornaments don’t match on the tree, your kids helped decorate it.

Just because something isn’t the way you expected it to be at first, who cares! The joy and happiness will still be there.

Your Family Photo’s Don’t Need To Be Perfect. I’ve learned to be real with my photos. There’s about a 13% chance that I’m going to get my children to smile together in a photo, and probably a 2% chance that my daughter won’t cry on Santa’s lap.

Let’s be real, if I was only 2 I’d think a big man with a white beard and a red suit was scary too. I’m not going to get myself worked up because the photos weren’t ‘picture perfect’. I’ll just laugh it off and hope for the best next year.

Gift Cards Aren’t A Bad Gift. I remember always saying that I hated giving gift cards as a gift because they won’t be as fun to open. I would stress trying to find the ‘perfect gift’ for every person I bought for.

But in all reality, gift cards are the perfect gift. You can use that little card to pick out your own perfect gift after the holidays and be happy as can be. Now-a-days, that’s what I’d prefer to receive.

 

Enjoy your holiday season!

 

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Holiday Traditions You Don’t Want To Miss Out On With Young Kids.

This holiday season I am really starting to focus on traditions I want to start with my little ones. My son is almost 5 and daughter almost 2. There are so many neat traditions floating around, and I wanted to share a few that I’ve come across that I have already started or will be starting with my family.

Family time and memories are cherished by me. Of course, I like to create memories all year long but there is a different vibe during the holiday season. The cold weather, the holiday music, the holiday movies, snuggling up on the couch while it’s snowing. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Let’s not forget the Starbucks holiday drinks that keep me from becoming a mombie all season long because we all know we stress over making the holiday season perfect for our kiddos.

Okay, so let’s get started. I’m the type of person who tries to enjoy Thanksgiving before I go all out for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll decorate early, but I want my kids to learn and understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving also. Not just go straight to wanting toys from Santa… but sometimes that inevitable. Let’s be real. But hey, a mom can try, right?

Thankful Pumpkin. I started this back in October. I bought each child a small, plastic pumpkin to list what they are thankful for on. Each day we write one thing we are thankful for and on Thanksgiving we will display them on the dinner table for all family and friends to see. I’ve really enjoyed this, and some of the words that have come out of my sons mouth about what he is thankful for his too cute.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since I was a young girl, I always sat and watched the parade while my mother prepped and prepared Thanksgiving dinner. The floats, the dancers, the music. I was glued for hours. It’s a fun way to start off Thanksgiving Day. In between cooking, my mom would come and watch some with me while we talked about our favorite floats. It’s something I’ll never forget, and I hope my kids won’t either. I’m 27 and still love watching the parade to this day.

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Breaking the Wishbone. Usually, with the wishbone you make a wish and whoever breaks the bigger piece their wish would come true. Hence the ‘wish’ part. My brother and I were always the ones to break it together. We mainly used it as bragging rights because we all know one sibling needs to be the winner with everything. It’s an exciting way to end a fun filled day. Plus, I always believed my wishes would come true when I broke the bigger piece… and I still do today.

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Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree. I am SO excited to start this year. My parents always bought a real Christmas tree for my siblings and I during the holiday season. We wouldn’t let them buy a fake one until we were old enough. But seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh cut pine tree in your home?! That’s one of my favorite scents. Now that both kids can walk, we are going to cut down our own this year and I can’t wait! Now I might regret the watering every day and the pine needles constantly falling, but my kids are going to love it just as much as I did as a child. Plus, it’s an awesome way to create memories and have some family time.

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Bake Homemade Cookies. My mother is the queen of making homemade cookies from scratch. Still to this day, she makes batches and batches of fresh chocolate chip cookies and I am always right by her side helping her. When I was younger, it was licking the spoon and eating her dough. Today, it’s helping her every step of the way while my kids eat the dough. I definitely want to keep this tradition going until my children are old enough to share it with their children. My mother always hid them from us also so we didn’t demolish them in less then a week. I’ll be doing that also. Maybe stash them in my room, so I can sneak one or two. 😉

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Donate Old Toys. My kids are spoiled. Honestly, who’s child isn’t? They have piles and piles of toys in their room, the living room, everywhere! They can never seem to have enough. Well now, we decided every year before Santa comes visit we are going to donate our old toys to places where they will be used. The kids are learning that Santa won’t come unless they share old toys that they don’t play with, because they need to make room for the new ones. Plus, it can help other young kids who don’t have many toys enjoy their holiday season.

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Go See Christmas Lights. One of my all time favorite things to do. We are fortunate enough that our area has SO many places to visit during the holiday season. We always visit a place called Christmas Magic and we take one evening to drive around our area to look at all the drive thru lights. I am grateful for the people who go all out during Christmas, because my kids LOVE looking at lights. They are always amazed by it. My son now reminds me that we must go see Christmas lights before Christmas day. It’s certainly a favorite of his.

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Christmas PJ’s and A Movie. On Christmas Eve, my little ones get to open one present. It’s always their Christmas PJ’s and a movie. My oldest is now catching on to the tradition and he’s already pointing out certain pajama’s that he would like for Christmas night. Once they are opened and dressed, we snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie before bed. We also sneak in some hot chocolate and a peppermint crisp or two, then we pour some milk and leave some cookies for Santa when we’re done.

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Santa Tracker. Now-a-days it’s so much easier to track Santa. Us adults download the app on our smartphone and the kids can check on where he is at. My kids really enjoy doing this and it’s a good way for them to learn other locations in the world. For an awesome mom tip, download the Santa FaceTime app. The kids think they are FaceTiming Santa and he helps them stay on the nice list because Santa is watching. Mom win!

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There are so many more holiday traditions I would like to try. This time of year is my favorite and spending quality time with my family means to most to me. I’d love to hear what you have in store this holiday season.

I hope you have an awesome one.

 

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Valentine’s Day 2018!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Although we show love in this house every single day of the year, we make Valentine‘s Day just a teeny bit more special. Hubby and I never really go all out, we know how much we love each other, so it’s usually flowers and fruit for Mommy and something little for Daddy. Kyle usually picks out something beer related, which of course happened again this year, lol. The kids picked him out a frosted mug for the summer time.

This year we’re both fighting off a bunch of sickness, so our Valentine’s Day dinner will most likely be soups. We’re totally okay with that. Getting dressed up and going to a nice dinner isn’t quite our thing. 

The kiddo’s got their little goodies which usually includes a small stuffed animal, a little bit of chocolate, and some small knick knacks. We never get too extravagant with gifts on smaller holidays. Christmas is when we usually go all out. Kyle and I also prepared his Valentine’s cards for Preschool last night. Paw Patrol of course. He’s super excited to hand them out, he loves giving to his friends in school.

One thing I did decide to do this year was get the kids some Valentine’s Day photos done. Once I saw how much my little girl loved being in front of the camera, I had to do it! She just comes to life and shows that personality like no tomorrow. I love it! Kyle on the other hand gets a little shy, but I am so proud of how well he did and how good he was with his sister during the session. Another huge shout out to Taylor Mrozinski Photography. You capture my children so wonderfully, I can’t ever thank you enough!

Here they are, my beautiful, spunky, crazy little babies. Of course Liliana needed a shirt to let all the boys know she’s never allowed to date, ever. I can’t wait for the first day a boy gives her a Valentine’s Day gift. Daddy is going to be all over that situation. I can see him now, sitting on his Harley, trying to scare the crap out of this poor young boy. Bless her heart, she’s in for some fun with him, lol.

Aren’t they just the cutest! I’m so over the moon with how these photo’s turned out. I have some happy, loving children.

Now go share the love, and sprinkle that kindness to everyone you see today!

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Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

Hey Everyone!

Valentine’s day is about a month away and I don’t know about you all, but I am terrible at picking out gifts for my husband. Women are a little easier in my opinion. Candy, flowers, a card. That’s all we really need. Men can be a little more difficult to choose for without spending a fortune. I decided to do some research to find some cute, inexpensive gifts for him. I’ve came to notice that a lot of these gifts require some DIY work which I think are way more sentimental than just purchasing something. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little crafty occasionally. I’ve come to really enjoy it. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a craft, and I’m way more excited to give the gift. So have fun with it!

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  • Homemade Card. This one of the easiest gifts you could make. Write a little love note in there, let them know how much you appreciate them. You can never go wrong with a personal note from the heart.

 

  • Bake Your Own Sweets. What man doesn’t like cookies or brownies? Go out, buy a heart shaped cookie cutter and make him up some heart shaped cookies and brownies. This is something you can do with your kids also, so I can be from all of you. You could even have him bake them with you, make it a romantic time.
  • Jars Filled With Candy. There are SO many ways to write cute little love quotes on mason jars with candy inside. I’ve seen numerous ideas on Pinterest lately. For example, fill a jar with Starbursts and write on the jar “You Make My Heart Burst” or fill with Sour Worms saying, “You’re My Greatest Catch”. I’m sure it’ll make him laugh a little.
  • Lottery Tickets. Everyone loves having the chance to win some money. Go spend $20 on some and shape them into a little lottery ticket bouquet and have him scratch away. If he wins big, make him take you to dinner 😉

 

  • Socks and Underwear. Believe it or not, my husband can always use socks and underwear and he surprisingly appreciates it immensely! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost a sock in the wash or found underwear that are starting to tear (and he continues to wear them). There are cute ways you can roll them up to look like roses or hearts. Get crafty with them!

 

  • Key Chain. Buy him a small key chain with your anniversary on it, or your kids birthdays. On Etsy there are SO many to choose from. They aren’t super big and bulky either, a simple leather one is perfect for a male! I’ve already bought my husband one before and he loved it.

 

  • DIY Coupons. Create a little booklet for him of some coupons he can give you at random times. Do one for a 30 minutes massage or an hour of uninterrupted video game time. There are so many different options with this one. Just create some that are suitable for your significant other!
  • DIY Beer Mug. I’ve made numerous DIY wine glasses at home and it’s an uncomplicated process. You get some paint, design away, and you can bake or let them air dry. There is SO many different options on Pinterest. If you have kids, let them do it! If your husband isn’t a beer drinker, make a coffee mug!
  • Car Accessories. You can go to the store and buy some air fresheners or cleaning wipes for his car. A lot of those products are inexpensive and they will definitely get put to good use if your man likes to keep him car clean and shiny.

 

  • Slippers or Pajamas. Men love being comfortable, so buying them something to lounge around in could be perfect. Plus, you can tell him he should wear them so you can have movie night or to binge watch some Netflix. My husband loves his slippers. He’d probably wear them to work if he could.

What do you plan on getting your man? I’d love to hear more ideas!

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2018 New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve honestly never truly been the person to have any resolutions set for the new year. Usually, if I want to change something I try to start it right then and there. This year is a little different. I decided to write myself a list on what I’d like to change in 2018 and I want to blog about it along the way. I want to be able to come back to this post one year from now and talk about my accomplishments. I have a few ideas on what I’d like to achieve. Some are simple and a few will take a good bit of dedication, but I’m excited to give it a go, and to share my journey along the way. My husband is surprisingly joining me with creating some resolutions, so I’m lucky enough to have him by my side to support me along the way. Our kids will be fabulous motivators.

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  • Save More Money. This is a very cliché resolution but it’s something I really want to do. From working full time to becoming a stay at home mom, I don’t have the income like I used too, yet my spending habits haven’t changed. Now I just use my husband’s money, which isn’t what I want to continue doing. I’d like to save that money for a getaway trip for the hubby and I each year. A well-deserved vacation to an island once a year is definitely something on our bucket list.

 

  • Control My Anxiety. I am guilty of always thinking the worst of a situation. I overreact over small mishaps and usually take it out on my husband. I’m terrible at “talking things out” when an issue arises. I skip the talking and go straight to anger and yelling. No matter how small the matter, my anxiety shoots through the roof and I never give myself time to think of a solution. I’d really like to work on staying calm and figuring out a solution for something because giving up.

 

  • Get More Organized. With two kids and toys starting to pile up, I have things everywhere. Kyle has random toys laying in boxes that I don’t even know what they belong to. Liliana has clothes still hanging up from when she was a newborn. It’s just piling up and I need to sort it all out. Pinterest is going to be my life saver for this resolution. I’m going to experiment with tons of organization hacks to do around my home. I’m sure I’ll be excited to share a few of these. I’d also like to partake in a few yard sales. It’s a good way to earn a few extra dollars and declutter my home.

 

  • Have More Patience. This is mainly when it comes to my children. I tend to lose my patience very quickly when it comes to motherhood. I overwhelm myself, huff and puff, or storm out of the room. I tend to think their minds are just like mine, but I need to remind myself that they are young. They don’t know what patience is yet. I want to find ways to calm my patience and teach my children the meaning of it also.

 

  • Plan More Activities. Now that I am home with my kids a lot more often. I’m going to create a weekly agenda of crafts to make, inexpensive trips to take, creating learning activities, etc. Liliana won’t be in child care, so I am going to be her main source of education until she starts Kindergarten. Luckily, she has her brother who is extremely intelligent to guide her along they way. She is a smart girl also, so I know she won’t have any problems learning with Mama.

 

  • Change Up My Fitness Routine. I am completely satisfied with my workout routine I’ve been using. I have made an unbelievable change since I’ve started and I continue to better myself each day, but I tend to hit a plateau at times which discourages me. I’d really like to try something new, maybe a keto diet or incorporating more weights into my routine, who knows! I’d really like to gain muscle and tone my body more. I’m excited for this one, I really enjoy sharing my weight loss progress and motivating others.

 

  • Learn Photography. I am the queen of taking photos. It’s a hobby that I really enjoy, but I want to expand it further then just using my iPhone lens. I do have a Nikon at home, and I’m going to start educating myself on photography and how to take stunning photographs.

 

Of course, you can’t leave out of the obvious resolutions; drink more water, get more sleep, relax more. I’ll certainly be keeping those in mind also. I’m not only making resolutions for myself, but for my kids also. My well being impacts them, and if I feel like I’m not being the best Mom I can possibly be then I’ll change what I need to so I can get there. This is going to be a good year for Cunningham family. We’ve overcame a lot this year, and of course brought a beautiful baby girl into the world. I’m not sure if we can top that, but we’re going to try our best!

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