{Personalized Video Messages from Santa}

I pulled this from the archives because it's a true treasure…You should do this for your kids. :)

I'm always amazed at the awesome things I learn through the blogging world that I otherwise may have never discovered, and the talented bloggers out there continue to impress me on a daily basis.

One of my favorite bloggers is Ashley Paige, the talented author of I Love You More Than Carrots, and her blog posts and Instagram pictures always brighten my day.  Not only is she a great writer, she's also a mother of three precious boys.  I love connecting with fellow mothers out there, and her blog has definitely been extremely helpful to me.

One of the many fabulous finds from AP is the Portable North Pole.  As I was perusing Instagram the other night, the sweetest picture of one of her sons caught my eye.  He was watching a personalized video from Santa tailored especially for him.  I saw that twinkle in his eye, and I just knew I had to check it out.  Thank goodness I discovered this website through AP's Instagram picture because it is such a neat concept.
I immediately made a video for Kate, and the process was so quick and simple.  I actually got a little teary when I watched her special video, and I can only imagine what the experience is like for little kiddos. You can watch Kate's video below, and if you have young kids, check this out to make a video of your own.  I bet they will find it as magical as I did! :)

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{Gifts for New Moms}

I can't take credit for this specific list because I actually saw it on Babble, but I just had to pass it along to you because they really hit the nail on the head with this one.  As a new {to my second baby} mom myself, I would love ALL OF THIS.  As I was reading their post, I was saying to myself "Yep, I'll take that. And that. And that." :)

If you have any new moms to buy for on your Christmas list, grab something from here if you really want to make them happy.

1. A Must-Have Diaper
2. The Honest Co. Baby Arrival Gift Set
3. A Subscription Service
4. Engraved Necklace
5. A Comfy Sweater
6. Antimicrobial Phone Case
7. Essential Oil Starter Kit
Be sure to click over to the Babble article here…The description of each of these items really speaks to new moms.  Bravo on a great wish list…I'll take one of everything!! :)




{Cookie Trees}

'Tis the season for holiday parties, and I know we all love coming up with cute treats that are festive, fun, and easy to make.  I came across these adorable cookie trees, and I can't wait to make them for my holiday gatherings this season.  Not only are they easy to assemble, they are perfect for people of all ages.  Pop them on a pretty platter for your holiday cocktail party with friends or stick them in treat bags as goodies for your children's classmates and teachers.
They are so simple and sure to be a hit!! :)


- Lemon Tea Shortbread Cookies
- Snicker doodles
- Golden Oreos
- Nilla Wafers
- Nutter Butter Bites
- Green Sparkle Gel Icing
- White Sugar Pearl Sprinkles
- White Chocolate Chips

  1. Organize your cookies according to size.

  2. Place your shortbread cookie on your “cooking” surface.
    Squeeze a ring of gel icing on the outer top edge of the cookie.

  3. Press down the next cookie.

  4. Squeeze another ring and add your next cookie.

  5. Repeat until you get to the top.

  6. Top with a white chocolate chip as your star and let the
    icing set for a few minutes.

  7. Repeat with as many trees as you like.

  8. Now it’s time to add your ornaments. Wilton’s Sugar Pearl
    sprinkles are great because they really do look like little pearls. These show
    two rows of ornaments on the outer edge of the trees.

  9. You can also add red sparkle gel icing for additional color.

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{Life Lately}

Life with my little babies has been so wonderful…I really haven't had a free moment to sit down to type, but since both babies are asleep as we speak, I thought I'd share a few pictures from my life lately.

Although I'm exhausted, sleep-deprived, and more than likely wearing a shirt covered in spit up, I have really never been happier.  No matter what kind of day I'm having, I'm instantly happy, thankful, blessed, and content the second I look over at my two beautiful babies.

Kate is just the sweetest big sister, and she loves to rock her baby and soothe him with a paci the minute he makes a peep.  She has also started pointing out all of his delicate little features, which we think is just adorable.  Her favorites being his nose, "mouf", eyes, hair, and ears.  And my little Reeves…Well, every time I look at him I just don't know how I ever lived my life without him.  He has just started smiling at us, and his little coos are some of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard.

The holidays are so much more special with my little angels, and I plan on soaking up every sentimental second with them.  I hope y'all are enjoying this beautiful start to the season, and I look forward to lots of fun in December!




{Gold Table Decor}

In honor of a new month and the upcoming arrival of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some festive settings to brighten up your home for the holidays.  I fell in love with this Thanksgiving Inspired Gold Table Setting, and you can see all of the beautiful details here.
{via A Pumpkin and a Princess}
I love finding new bloggers who inspire me, and A Pumpkin and a Princess is full of amazing ideas.  You're going to be hooked on your first visit. :)

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{Holiday Spice Simmering Stovetop Potpourri}

Some of my favorite things about the holiday season are the wonderfully festive scents that accompany it.  Wood burning in the fireplace, a steaming pot of hot chocolate, fresh needles of Frasier fir Christmas trees, and this…Holiday Spice Simmering Stovetop Potpourri.  My mom always had this on the stove at our house around the holidays, and the smell of it takes me right back to my magical childhood. 
{Picky Palate}
  • 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange peel, quartered (fresh cranberries are also great to add as well)
  • 1 whole nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups water

  1. Place water into a small saucepan.

  2. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla bean, nutmeg and orange peels.

  3. Turn heat to medium until water starts to boil.

  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer as long as desired. Check water level every 1/2 hour that you have simmering. Water needs to be added as needed. Do not let water evaporate.

  5. Use potpourri for 2 days (adding additional water as necessary) then discard and make a new batch.
Makes 2 cups potpourri

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{Christmas Cookie Plates}

Hey guys!!  I hope you are all having a great week!  I just wanted to pop in today to tell you about a fun flash sale going on over at Emily Ley's site.  Are you one of Emily's fans?  If not, you soon will be. I've always followed her on Instagram, and her products are amazing.
As I was perusing my social media feeds during my late night nursing session with little Reeves, I discovered that her precious Christmas Cookie Plates are on sale today and tomorrow.  How adorable are these?!  I scooped a couple up for my little cuties, and you should hop on over to the sale here to grab some as well. Happy Shopping!!




{A Tribute to my Veteran}

As I sat down this morning to write about my hero, I couldn't help but reflect on past posts about Veteran's Day.  These words from last year touched me so much, and I just had to share this tribute again because it's exactly how I will always feel

Veteran's Day has always been a very special day for me.  For some people, the day may come and go without much thought, but for me, I think about my Dad from the time I wake up and every second of the day thereafter.  On this very special day, my childhood always flashes before my eyes, and it is so nice to relive my most amazing memories as the daughter of a United States Army Officer.

Some people may not know that there is so much more to me than what they see of the girl that grew up in Greenville, SC.  The prior part of my life, which is one of the greatest parts of my life, were the many years I spent living on military bases as the proud daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Peter A. Leventis.  I feel such great pride just typing his name preceded by a title that is so well-deserved.  When I look at my dad today, I can still see him in his Army uniforms, and I feel so blessed to be his daughter.

When I look at my Dad, I see the man who...

Always, always, always puts the well-being of myself, my mom, and my sister before that of his own…

Gave me a childhood filled with wonderful memories spent in so many cities across the nation...

Fought so bravely in the Vietnam War, leaving no man behind…

Saved a young boy's life by risking his own in rough ocean waters…

Taught my sister and me what it means to be an American…

Sacrificed so much so my sister and I could have the most special childhood…

Visited my schools every year to speak on Veteran's Day {I was so proud :)}…

Has given me the best life anyone could ever ask for…

Took our family across country, where we visited spectacular landmarks some people may never have the pleasure of seeing…

Showed me by example what a great husband should be by being the most amazing husband to my wonderful Mom for over 40 years…

Beams with pride when saluting fellow soldiers, standing at attention in front of our great flag, and holding his hand over his heart to sing the National Anthem…

Proudly served our great nation for 21 years…

This list is endless…I can't even begin to name all the wonderful things about my Dad, but this is just a start.

So today, with such great honor, I thank my Dad for his service and sacrifices made to defend and protect our country and our freedom.  He is the most amazing man I know and will ever know, and I am truly honored to call him my Daddy…My hero.  I will forever be thankful God chose me as your daughter.


** On this Veteran's Day, fly your American flags high, bow your head, or have a moment of silence to remember and honor the very brave men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and God bless you all.
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{Pumpkin-Sugar Body Scrub}

One of my favorite things to do during these cold Winter months is soak in a warm bubble bath with a big glass of champagne.  :)  In addition to the bubbles and the bubbly, I'm also pretty obsessed with sweet-smelling exfoliating scrubs.  I don't know about you, but this frigid weather mixed with strong winds always results in dry skin for this girl.  My solution?  This Sugar Body Scrub that's as sweet as pumpkin pie!!  You can make it yourself with just 4 ingredients and 2 simple steps…Here's how:
Pumpkin-Sugar Body Scrub
  • 1 cup course raw sugar or salt

  • 1/2 cup pure organic pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 Tbsp sweet almond oil
1. Mix sugar, pumpkin, honey and almond oil together in a small bowl until well combined. Add more or less sugar and oil based on personal preferences.

2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Note: This scrub will keep up to 1 week so it's best to make it in small batches.

Hope you love it!!


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{Baby Beverly has Arrived!!}

Good morning, sweet friends!!  I hope everyone is doing great and having a wonderful start to this new month.  We are all on cloud nine around here because we are settled in at home with the most precious new addition to our family.

It is with so much happiness and joy that we proudly announce the birth of our son, Forrest Leventis "Reeves" Beverly, 8 lbs 7 oz and 21.5 in. Our beautiful bundle was born on October 10th at 10:39 am, and he is a true blessing from above for our families.
The past couple of weeks have been pure bliss for me, and I've been soaking up all the newborn goodness that my boy has to offer.  He is the most lovable, snuggly, cuddly little angel, and I swear his chubby cheeks are just as sweet as sugar. :)

Our cute little Kate is just as excited as we are about the new addition to our family.  She has been the best big sister, and she is head over heels in love with her baby brother.  She's always blowing kisses, offering hugs, and she just loves helping with the paci as soon as she hears the first little cry from Reeves' mouth.

Our hearts are bursting with love for our precious Reeves, and we're so happy to introduce you to him.




{Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles}

We're still on baby watch around here, and I'm savoring every second with my little family of 3 before we welcome our baby boy next week.  Since I still have a growing to-do list to tend to before the baby arrives, I've been loving quick and easy dinners lately.

This is my Mom's delicious crockpot recipe, and it has always been one of our favorites.  I made it the other night, and Kate, Forrest, and I have all enjoyed many, many bowls of this goodness over the past few days. :) Check out how simple it is…

  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 4 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 stick of sliced butter (or less if you prefer)
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (or more depending on the size of your crockpot)
  • Wide egg noodles (as many as you desire)
  • 1 bag of frozen peas and carrots

Mix cream of chicken soup, butter, and chicken broth in crockpot.  Add chicken breasts and cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred chicken and add wide noodles and vegetables for the last hour, and cook until done.  Enjoy!!




{No-Carve Pumpkins}

I'm back with another blast from the past.  I'm starting to see the pretty pumpkins popping up on street corners around town, and I'm hoping to decorate a few before our baby arrives. To save a little bit of time right now, I'll be doing a few of these no-carve designs…Hope you love them!!

{Melted Crayon Pumpkins via The Swede Records}

{Jack-O'-Totem via HGTV}
{Metallic Herringbone Pumpkin via Lacquer & Linen}

{Color Block Pumpkins via illi style}

{Washi Tape Pumpkins via Real Simple}

{Glittered Pumpkins via Martha Stewart}
{Swarm of Bats Pumpkin via Spoonful}

{Metallic Pumpkins via Real Simple}

{Candy Corn Painted Pumpkins via BHG}

{Chalkboard Paint Pumpkins via Real Simple}

{String Pumpkins via P.S. I Made This