Take a peek into the month of December and see what my family and I have been up to!

Diving Out Of My Comfort Zone

Tshanina and Leah at vendor booth

I kicked off the month of December by sharing a vendor booth with my sister. This was my first booth and I’m so grateful that she was by my side!

Thankfully she’s a pro at booths and had all of the beautiful decorations. The only thing I had to bring were my necklaces!

Talking to people isn’t a problem for me but I never want to be “salesy” so working this booth stretched me out of my comfort zone. And while I’m glad that I did it, I’m not sure that I would want to do vendor booths often. (Hey, you don’t know until you try, right?!)

 

Going Small for Christmas

christmas tree

Who says having a big extravagant tree every year is a must? Not me! (What can I say, I’m not always a rule follower.)

I decided to “buck the system” this year and simplify things. And I’m not a bit sad that I did!

When he first saw the tree Dalton did ask where the big tree was but then he quickly ran over to help me decorate the small one. (And loved every minute of it.)

I had to laugh when he called the garland garlic and asked why we had a blanket (tree skirt) under the tree.

Here’s another thought, if I get Dalton used to having a big tree every year he’ll expect it and I won’t ever be able to mix it up with a small tree.

 

December Reading

A Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman – This has been on my reading list for a while but I was waiting until Christmas rolled around to dive into it. Jake and Marlee’s marriage is about to end and just as they’re headed to sign divorce papers their lives take a twist that just might change their thinking.

This was an interesting read and I was perplexed until halfway through the book. (Probably because I was looking through the eyes of a divorcee and thinking that the storyline wasn’t realistic.) It ended up being a very thought provoking read.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ★ ★ ★

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin – If you didn’t guess it from the five star review, I absolutely loved this book! The book is based on Queen Victoria’s diaries which Daisy read when she was a student. The British monarchy has always intriguing to me and this book absolutely makes it come to life as it follows Queen Victoria’s first few years of becoming queen at 18.

Even though I already knew the storyline because I’d watched the PBS series that Daisy Goodwin also wrote, I still found myself becoming immersed in this read!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Merry and Bright and Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber – If you’re a sucker for a cheesy Christmas love story like I am then you’ll enjoy these fun little reads. I especially enjoyed listening to them as I was doing my Christmas baking!

Rating: ☆ ★ ★ ★ ★

 

Chad’s Winter Wonderland

christmas lights

My mom loves going to look at Christmas lights and asked if we would go with her. Of course we said yes!

We had quite a fun time and I loved listening to Dalton oohing and aahing over everything. (What can I say I was pointing out my favorites too! After all I’m a big kid at heart.)

As we walked into he house he asked if we could go again the next night.

trent tshanina candy and Trent in car

 

Christmas Baking

peanut butter balls

Whenever our family gets together I make it a point to ask if anyone wants me to bake anything special for them. I have fond memories of my grandmother making special treats for us so I want to do the same for them.

I had a hankering for these peanut butter balls so I made them for myself. (They remind me of my dad and I’ve been missing him especially this season.)

I’m pretty stoked with how they turned out and hope to share the recipe with you soon!

Here’s what else I whipped up while I was doing my baking.

Banana Bread 

Apple Brownies

Apple Pie (from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook)

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls (I adapted this recipe)

Pumpkin Roll

 

December Writing

open laptop

How Can A Busy Mom Find Time To Read More Books – Over the past year I’ve fallen in love with reading. And while I wish I could tell you that I sit and read books for hours at a time, that’s definitely not the case. It is possible to find time to read more books when you’re a busy mom and I want to show you how!

 

My Sweet Little Boy

note from dalton

Raising a little human is hard work but sweet moments like this one make the hard moments a bit easier.

I was working at my computer and when Dalton walked up to me and handed me this card and said, “This is special for you.” When I asked him what it said he said, “It says thanks for cooking dinner every night!”

 

Lots of Family Time

joel tshanina and cole

 

family playing card games 1

It’s not a family get together without playing Dutch Blitz. If you don’t have this game and you like fast-paced card games, it’s a must!

family playing card games

 

woman and little boys outdoors

I took these three exploring in a ditch by my sister’s house and they thought it was the best thing ever!

 

three little boys

My nephews like to have their hair spiked. Dalton decided he wanted to be like them and have “spikey-uppy hair” too!

teenager and two little boys

 

tshanina and annissa

One afternoon my sisters, mom and I went to see Mary Poppins Returns. Spoiler alert: It’s excellent and you need to go see it! (I can’t wait to see it again.)

dalton and leah

Dalton and his cousins cutout and decorated gingerbread cookies thanks to my sister Leah who has made it a Christmas tradition for them.

It was so sweet to see their excitement to pick out their cookie cutters and then their anticipation as they waited on the cookies to cool so they could decorate them. (If only we could bottle that up for when they’re older.)

I pray you had a fabulous December and that 2019 is off to a great start!