Shannon’s 2016 Highlights

As another year comes to a close, I love to look back at the moments that made 2016 special. Today I would like to share with you my 2016 highlights! January- I have two highlights from last January. First, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the kids and I met my sister and her kids at the Point Loma tide pools. If you are ever in the San Diego area and want a fun outing, Point Loma will not disappoint! These are not the most active tide pools I’ve been to, but the rocks are so fun to play and explore on and the views are amazing! Just be sure you go when it is […]

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My Favorite (and least favorite) Books of the Year

This year I read just shy of 50 books. For some people, that’s a ton of books. For others, that’s as much as they read in 3 months. For me, that’s right about average. One of my favorite things to do is go back over the books I’ve read and remember what I liked and didn’t like about them. I won’t list all of the books I read, but I thought I’d share some highlights…and a few lowlights. Book that made me laugh the most: The Martian by Andy Weir; It is rare that a book actually makes me laugh out loud. This book did repeatedly. I loved it. The movie was good, […]

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December Birthday Problems

My middle one turns 7 today. I can’t believe he is 7! We made a big deal last night about sending our 6 year old to bed for the last time and I know he is excited for today to arrive, but honestly, it stinks to have a birthday this close to Christmas! Despite my best efforts, his birthday always seems like an afterthought. I usually end up buying him birthday presents the day after Christmas. It’s hard to think of enough things he wants or needs in addition to Christmas, so I am always scrambling. Not only do I need ideas for myself but his grand parents always need ideas for his birthday […]

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Christmas Firsts

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmases past and our “firsts” with Christmas. Such as… Our First Christmas together               Our First Christmas being married               Our First Christmas as parents               Each one has been so special, and I love remembering them. This year will be our First Christmas in our own house with just our own little family. Normally, we spend the holiday at either my parents’ house or Devin’s parents’ house. Since we live so close to my parents, we will still go to their house for dinner with my them and […]

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My Christmas Wish List

As mentioned in previous posts, our family has tried really hard to focus on the Spirit of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas this season. That being said, we do, of course, exchange gifts on Christmas day and enjoy picking them out for each other. When my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, I could only think of two things, both of which were kind of expensive! I tried to add a few more realistic and reasonably priced items to my wish list. Here are the things I wouldn’t mind opening on Christmas day! Tickets to see the Backstreet Boys in Las Vegas – No shame! This was the first […]

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“If You’re Missing Baby Jesus”

Book reviews are usually under Katherine’s field of expertise, but this is one sweet little Christmas story that I truly love and need to share. “If You’re Missing Baby Jesus” is a true story written by Jean Gietzen. The story is told from a child’s perspective and is set during a bitterly cold North Dakota winter in 1943. That Christmas season, the narrator’s mother bought the family a little nativity set from the local five-and-dime. However, they quickly discovered that the set had two baby Jesus figurines so they immediately began their search to find who was missing a baby Jesus. In their effort to find the rightful owner, the mother posted a sign on […]

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On My Mind Monday: Luminaries

Last Monday Katherine posted about her family traditions and a new tradition she started this year. Today I would like to share with you one of my most favorite Christmas traditions that we have been able to pass down through the last three generations. My father grew up in El Centro, California. For those of you who are familiar with the roads between Phoenix and San Diego, you may recognize this little town by the giant water tower marking your elevation as below sea level just off the freeway as you pass through. Many years ago, when my dad was growing up there, his neighborhood started the tradition of luminaries on Christmas Eve. Luminaries are […]

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Blender Salsa: Best. Salsa. Ever.

As a resident of the southwest my entire life, I have had some serious exposure to salsa. So you must believe me when I tell you this is truly the best salsa ever and it is not just me that thinks so! Every time I make this salsa, people go out of there way to tell me how amazing it is. In fact, most people don’t just tell me how good it is, but go so far as to say it is the best salsa they have ever tasted! You must believe me. This salsa is so good and the best part is it takes just a few minutes to make because it […]

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My Favorite Lunch Recipe

I always struggle with lunch. It is kind of boring and kind of a hassle. Usually, I make lunch for my kids and then get distracted doing something else while they eat. So I end up grabbing a handful of almonds and an apple or something like that and call it good. When I find something I really enjoy for lunch, I eat it for several days in a row – either until I’m sick of it or until I run out of ingredients. This spinach salad is my current obsession. I have eaten it for lunch four out of the last five days. On Sunday, I made this for my husband. After eating […]

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Giveaway with Purdue Avenue

Congratulations to Sheri Edler, the winner of the sign by Whitney Daynes Designs! We had so much fun with last week’s giveaway that we wanted to do another! This week our giveaway comes from Erin of Purdue Avenue Shop! Erin is an incredibly talented and creative person. Not only does she have this amazing shop (I’m dying to get my hands on one of these darling pillows!), but she also teaches Photoshop courses and does photography. In fact, she just took our family pictures last weekend! She has so kindly agreed to giveaway a JOY gold foil canvas bunting banner and a JINGLE 16×24 pillow cover to one lucky winner! You can earn up […]

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