the last couple of years i have done a christmas book countdown & it is one of my favorite parts of christmas. definitely one of my favorite traditions we have started with our little family. it was something austin's family did every year & we have carried it over with our kids.

before december i wrap 24 different christmas books & keep them in a basket. each night before bed i let the boys pick one book to unwrap & we read it that night. they can pick any book they want, but we always save the poler express for christmas eve. the books are a mixture of new & old, some are books that i grew up reading with my family during christmas, some are books my husband grew up with & some are new, so it's a good mixture. we have been given a lot of books in our lives, so we own all of the books we use, but it's also fun to get different books from the library if you don't have enough or just to switch it up.

the christmas book countdown is truly one of my favorite parts of christmas. i love seeing how much my boys love the stories & i like hearing cedar talking about the christmas books months later. it builds a lot of anticipation for christmas eve too, to read the last book. definitely one of the best traditions.


a holiday playlist for you to enjoy while you read through my gift guide & while you shop you heart away. 

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i know, i know. thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet & this is my second christmas post. but what can i say? i've just got christmas on my brain guys. i think it's something to do with being a mom. i've totally got to prep in advance otherwise it all of a sudden is christmas & i haven't done half the things i wanted to, or i don't have enough time to buy & wrap gifts because i keep thinking it's far away. but it's not! anyways... i don't know about you but buying gifts for my husband & sisters/brothers/in-laws is always a tricky thing for me. i'm not quite positive what to get them, so when i was shopping i made this gift guide of gifts anyone is sure to looooove. at least, i hope they do. let's do a quick run through.
1. convenient little folding knife, cause what man doesn't like a good pocket knife?
2. yeti tumbler. if you haven't tried one, you need to. they are the best. they keep your drinks cold or hot for hours & they don't sweat, which is the worst part of water bottles in my opinon.
3. handsome & cozy, what else does a guy need?
4. these vans are the best. they're all terrain & made specifically for cold, wet climates but still have the same great look of the beloved hightop. 
5.  the cutest little matchstick holder. or anything small holder.
6. crudes wash is by far the best bodywash. both my husband & i swear by it. it smells amazing, doesn't strip or dry out your skin & can double as a moisturizer. it is the best.
7.  cable knit sweaters are a must for winter no matter where you live.
8. the wanderlust book has so many dreamy photos. it definitely makes you want to get out & see the world. perfect coffee table book. 
9. star sign cuff, need i say more? anyone who resonates with their sign will love this.
10. barr-co moisturizer is so rich & creamy, it feels like a dream when you lather it on. plus the smell is heavenly.
11.  cozy, wool throw, it's exactly what everyone needs in their homes this time of year.
12. lined chelsea rain boot. i love chelsea rainboots, they are so easy to wear & not nearly as bulky as your regular rainboot. adding a lining to them make them perfect.


are you the kind of person that starts gearing up for christmas before thanksgiving? or do you wait it out? i am a total before-thanksgiving kinda person. i can't help myself. all the christmas-y treats & decorations in the stores, the music, the movies.. everything just gets me so excited! i swear every year i start celebrating christmas earlier & earlier & this year was no different. i couldn't wait to use our holiday cookie cutters from sugary charm when they came in the mail this week & cedar couldn't wait either.

one day during milos nap cedar & i spent some time, just the two of us, making sugarcookies & he was totally loving it. in our sugary charm package came a delicious sugar cookie recipe that was so easy to make & for cedar to help me with. he loved rolling it out & smashing the cookie cutter into the dough was is favorite part. every week while milo is in his swimming lesson & cedar waits for his turn, he gets books from the waiting area to me to read to him & he always brings me the gingerbread man. he loves the story of the gingerbread man so he was especially excited when he saw we got a gingerbread man cookie cutter.

i've never made cookies using a cookie cutter. i know, super weird of me. but i really loved doing it with cedar & love that we are starting these traditions & experiencing everything through their eyes. it is so much fun. if you don't have your own cookie cutters, check out sugary charm. they are so easy to use & they have so many different options, it was hard for me to pick just four!


i love halloween every year & this one was so good. we kicked it off by going to a trunk or treat for our church where they had games, costume contests & a spook alley. cedar requested to be a skeleton for the trunk or treat, which i was thrilled about, so we went as a family of skeletons. it's crazy how much can change in just one year, i remember last year when cedar was so scared of going in the spook alley, i had to bribe him with candy! but this year, he was sooo excited to go. it was so cute to see how brave he was!

on actual halloween he got to wear his costume to school & they did a costume parade for all the parents & kids to see everyones costumes which was so fun. he was so excited to show everyone his pancake costume. yep, he was a pancake.back in september i asked cedar what he would want to be for halloween & the conversation went a little like this:

"cedar, what would you like to be for halloween this year?"
 "a superhero!"
"a super hero? but you don't really play superheroes..."
"oh, yeah, you're right. mmmm a pancake!"
"a pancake? are you sure? why a pancake?"
"yep. i'm sure. a pancake. they are my most favorite food."

& that was that. i asked him multiple times afterward & each time he said he wanted to be a pancake, haha. the kid loves his breakfast food. i really wanted to double check because i truly thought he would change his mind to a dinosaur, but he stuck to his guns & we got him a pancake costume & milo a egg & bacon costume. since i knew a month in advance what the boys we're going to be i had these big plans to make austin & i really great costumes to go along. austin was going to be a mug that said something cheesy like "number 1 dad" & i was going to syrup! buuuut time got the best of me, like always, & the night before i found myself making us a fork & knife costume instead & it turned out pretty good! cedar especially loved that we were a fork & a knife.

we went over to my brother & sister-in-laws for halloween night where we had pizza before going trick-or-treating with a group of family friends & then went back for the kids to play & have ice cream. i loved watching the boys trick-or-treating. cedar is a total kid these days & he & his little friends we're always running up ahead of us, trying to get to the next house as fast as they could & little milo was taking his sweet time & loving every minute of it.