Monday, November 19, 2018

7 Holiday Prep Tips

Hi Foxy Friends! Driving back from Arizona today, I think it's about a 6-7 hour car ride? I don't remember it being that long the last time, but I guess it was...when we got there last time we checked in and then went and ate dinner...anyway back to the post. It's another Monday and I'm linking up again with The Blended Blog for our Monday chats. Today's topic is Holiday Prep Tips.

| ONE | Sending Invites

Even though we invite only family, I like to send out snail mail invites. I usually wait for Tiny Prints or Shutterfly to give out free 10 cards, and get my invitations that way, so I'm only paying for shipping, which makes sending out invitations a low cost thing.

| TWO | Decorations

Always decorate the table a couple of days in advance. Usually my mom comes over to help me, since she always has a TON of decorations and likes doing that sort of thing. But we set the whole table up, from centerpieces to plates to napkins to place cards, that way we're not scrambling the day of trying to get the table done.

| THREE | Know Your Serve Ware

What I mean by this, you already know what food is being served, so have all of the serving platters out with little sticky notes of what food is going in what bowl or dish (in our case chaffing dish). That way if someone is helping you to put food out, you have minimal direction, as the dishes are already labeled with what you want in them. Cause we all know when food starts coming out of the kitchen, it's a mad dash to get things out and keep them hot!

| FOUR | Food Assignment

Typically in our family, the host family provides the main dish, in our case the meat, and everyone else provides the desserts, appetizers and side dishes. Before even sending out the invite, write a list out of who you want to bring what. Or a list of things you want to serve, that way people just pick from the list what they want to bring. People like being told what to bring, instead of  having to come up with something that will work for the dinner. If you want to give them a little wiggle room, assign them appetizer, or side dish, that way they have a category and can come up with something on their own, but you are still in control of what is coming to dinner.

| FIVE | Have Fun

Don't fret over the small things. If it's not done, it's not done, it's not going to ruin the holiday because rolls didn't show up. No one is going to remember that time you didn't have rolls with dinner. Have fun, and more importantly enjoy your guests instead of fretting around trying to do everything. Everyone always asks "how can I help" so let them and enjoy their company while you do, then you get to socialize while getting stuff done and your guests feel like they helped you out. Don't be the hero, it is family after all.

| Six | Food Timing

Don't forget about your timing. In our case, we need to try and get the temp of the meat closer to room temp than fridge temp. We typically will leave it out for 2 hours prior to cooking. Do the math ahead of time of when you want to eat, how long you need the meat to rest after coming out of the oven, and how long it's going to take to cook. That way morning of you know, at 10 I need to take the roast out of the fridge, at Noon I need to put the meat in the oven, etc.

| Seven | Party Timing

Have a loose plan of what you want to happen and when. My family typically runs 30 minutes late, so I sort of add that into my plans. We typically host Christmas, so we know we need to set aside some time for opening gifts. I like to have the kids open gifts as we are setting out dessert/eating it. I also know when I am trying to get dinner on the table, so I work towards that time goal.

In our case we also have to make time for Baby Fox's birthday celebration, a balloon drop is always fun for the kids.

So is a fun cake:

Related: How To Celebrate a Christmas Baby

Any cake ideas for this year? I had those three years planned out (literally, year one I already knew was I was going to do for the next two years) I am out of!

Here are the other topics if you want to join us this month! Head on over to The Blended Blog to see what Holiday Tips others have.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Favorites #186

Happy Friday Friends! Today we're family road trippin' it! Nothing like spending 6 hours in the car with your family.

In case you missed it this week:

Monday: 5 Pictures of Gratitude 
Tuesday: How To Talk About Adoption from an Adoptee
Wednesday: Softest Sweater Ever
Thursday: Emily Ley Planner Review

I also did a video on the Emily Ley Planner.

Last week I reviewed the Plum Planner, might want to check that out too if you are in the market for a new planner.

On to things that have been happening around here:

A couple of weekends ago I went to my 20 year high school reunion, when did that happen?! We all decided to leave the hubby's at home and make it a girls weekend.

Hey it's my brother and myself, senior year. Yep I had bangs, all through school.

I was also a cheerleader for 1 year, then decided  I would rather do band.

It was a fun night seeing old friends, the ones that you're friends with on facebook but never see in real life, but now I got to hug them, it was awesome. Apparently I took no pictures, oops!

Other random things:

We voted, I have no idea where she got that finger thing, she is so dang cute.

Took the kids to the dentist, no cavities, woo hoo!

I sit in an obscene amount of traffic each day, this was worse than normal, this was Friday at 1:30pm. Luckily I wasn't driving, phew! Thank you Mr. T.

Mini Fox's last game of soccer was Saturday.

My MIL and BIL made it out from Seattle for the game.

Had the team party. And she FINALLY got a trophy. This is her third season playing soccer and her first season finally getting a trophy. Her brother has played for 5 seasons and has gotten a trophy every year...

Baby Fox got another stripe on his belt. We're going to a tournament in a few weeks, it's a MUCH bigger tournament than last time, so it will be interesting how it goes.

Speaking of in-laws visiting, they were visiting because we had Mr.'s side of the family over for "Thanksgiving"...tacos. It was delicious. And I took no pictures. Finally got the hold this cutie.


We were finally able to give them our gift...we're hoping we can steal babysit the baby for an evening soon.

Here's some Friday cuteness:

Alright, that's all I have for today! Hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week! I'm hosting over on The Blended Blog for Wednesday fashion, prompt is cozy sweaters, so get your cozy sweaters on and start snapping away and share on Wednesday! Head on over to The Blended Blog and link up your Friday Favorites.

Linking up here

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2019 Emily Ley Simplified Planner First Impression and Review

Hi Foxy Friends! It's almost the end of the year, when did that happen?! And you know what that means right? Trying to get organized, or at least pretend to get organized. The last 22+ years I've bought a Franklin Planner (see post here), but this year I decided to switch it up. Last week I did a full review on the Plum Planner. This week I'm reviewing the Emily Ley Simlified Planner. I put together a video for those that like to listen.

Last month Lindsay mentioned that she had bought an Emily Ley planner, I love me a good planner, so of course I headed over to check out all of her stuff. I decided that one of my planners was going to be this Emily Ley Planner. What pushed me over the top? It was binded and no spiral notebook. Making it way thinner than all of my other planners. Since I have two planners, one for life and one for blogging and always carry them around, anything that gets the weight of my purse down I'm all over.

Things I love about it:

The re-enforced corners, they know that the corners are going to take a beating over the course of the year, so they re-enforce it for us, that's nice of them.

Here is what the monthly view looks like.

It also has re-enforced tabs for each month, so the wear and tear of turning to the different months over and over won't make it rip eventually. That's key.

The small size, it's thinner and easier to throw into my purse.

The note section in the back.

The daily view, it's the perfect amount of space for what I need it for. Plus I like that there is a list column and a notes column. It's like they are reading my mind. I hear that there might be a black Friday sale, so wait for then if you want to try it out! I did not do that, but you best believe I will next year!

So any other planners out there that I should try for next year? I love trying new planners and can't wait to start using these ones!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Softest Striped Sweater Ever

Hi Foxy Friends! Today I'm sharing with The Blended Blog a Stripes and Plaid look. Okay just a stripes look because I decided a bit ago, that plaid was not for me. I mean I've tried it here, here and here, but I never grab them, so I got rid of them, I have a few scarves, but again, not cold enough here to wear them. So just stripes it is.

I recently got this sweater from Jessica, who has a small clothing business, called Sweetly Striped.  I'd like to note, she has no idea I am writing this, I have not been paid and have not gotten any free product, I just really like to support small businesses. 

Sweater / Jeans (on sale!) / Boots (similar)

She hosts a live each week, showcasing all of the new stuff she's gotten that week. Plus if you are a part of her FB group, then you get first dibs on the new stuff coming in. Trust me, I waited till the next day and my size sold out, darn it! Since she is a small business, she can only get so many of each size and usually doesn't restock. So definitely get on it when you see something you like! I got a striped long cardigan on Monday, not yet on the site! So join her site so you can get in on the stuff before it goes on the web. I mean how cute is this sweater?

This sweater is so darn comfortable, I want to wear it all the time. She has another one that is similar, but different colors, go check that one out and see if she still has your size! Looks like she only has it posted in her facebook group, and it hasn't made it's way to the website yet. So join her facebook group so you can get in on the product before it hits the website.

Now go link up your stripes and plaid fashion posts over on the Blended Blog, and take a look at these lovely ladies too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How To Talk About Adoption - From An Adoptee

Linking up with Shay and  Erika for another random discussion. Last year they did a Workin' It them, and this year they are doing How We theme. I love it. This month they are chatting about talking to adoption to kids. Now I have no adopted any children...yet, but I do have some experience as I am ONE of the kids that has been adopted. I write a little about being adopted and my top asked questions here.

Meet my family.

Front row: Mr., Mini Fox, My Mom, Me
Second Row: Brother, Baby Fox, Sister, Dad

So today's topic is talking about adoption to kids, I thought I would share my experience as someone who is adopted. Obviously my parents couldn't hide that I was adopted...Hello I'm Korean, they are most definitely not. My brother and sister (if you have a question about that, I answered that question you might have here) are also adopted, my sister being 5 years older than me and my brother being 9 months younger than me. Yep my mom went from 1 to 3 kids in 6 months.

My parents were always open and honest with all of us being adopted. There was never a time when we didn't know. From babies they would talk about how we were adopted, even though we couldn't talk or fully understand they were constantly telling us how lucky they were to adopt us. All of my cousins knew too, it was something that we all talked about. We read Horton Hatches The Egg a lot. At the end, my mom would always say: see it doesn't matter that the bird laid the egg, Horton was the one who loved and cared for the egg. Even though I didn't carry you, I love you just as much even more than any mother/father could and am so thankful everyday to God for him sending us you. 

Now that I am older, we have always told Baby Fox and Mini Fox that I am adopted and so is Uncle M and Auntie N. We have told them that our birth parents couldn't take care of us and that they did the most selfless thing they could, and gave us to Nana and Ampa (Grandpa), so that they could love and care for us. That Nana and Ampa couldn't have kids of their own, and they wanted kids so badly so they adopted the three of us.

Also my parents were ALWAYS super open with us about questions we might have. Every once in a while, they would ask us, do you have any questions about adoption? Just in case we didn't want to bring up the subject. They would be super supportive if any of us wanted to find our birth parents, although in my sister and brothers case they know way more information than they do mine. That's their story to tell, not mine.

So that's how my parents told us we were adopted. I know this was sort of a prompted post, but any other topic of adoption you want me to discuss? I'm pretty much an open book and no question is stupid, seriously, if you thought it then I'm sure others have too. Ask away!