Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Thank you to the four small shops who helped pulled my vision together. 

This year some of my best friends and our two year old daughters had a gift exchange. Us mamas exchanged gifts and so did our little ones! So cute!

I was the one to host, and while the plan started with some soup and wine for dinner and a simple gift exchange after dinner, my party planning quickly snow balled (pun intended!) and I had a dessert buffet and hot chocolate bar, along with the soup and wine. (I just really can’t help myself when it comes to me hosting something!)

Pretty much every item shown, is something I already owned. The few shops that I worked with had the BEST stuff and the best part, it was all printable here at home.

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Domestic Travel: NYC at Christmastime!

A few years ago I surprised my mom with a birthday trip to NYC. She had always wanted to both go to the City and see it at Christmastime. This worked out just perfectly since her birthday is in December!

Honestly, I had a pretty tight budget to stick to at the time (hello teacher salary), but I surprisingly had no trouble doing that. Thankfully, I was able to save lots of money on travel because we were able to stay at my aunt’s house in New Jersey and take the train into the city. We kept it at a day trip so we could visit with family while up North! Plus we took one of the earliest trains there and one of the latest train back so we really got in just as much time as we would have had we woken up there!

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Guest Post – Joy Will Come Again

I can’t believe the “I Have Something to Say” series ends tonight. Back in July I never could have dreamed how much it could have touched me. It has been such a blessing. And not only to me! I have had so many people reach out to me about the pieces these amazing women have shared. I am so proud to call them friends and family of mine. And I am SO blown away by their abilities as writers. I have been drawn to my computer writing so many of the pieces again and again and again. So without further ado, here is this week’s piece and the final piece in this series – Joy Will Come Again, a post by my best friend, Cara. 


My husband and I met, dated, got engaged and married within a year. Like many couples, we thought we’d start a family when we were ready and when it made sense. Growing up I never saw myself as a career woman. I wanted to have babies and be a stay-at-home mom. I’m the youngest of four kids and I’ve watched 8 (soon to be 9) children, over the past 13 years, be brought into this world through my siblings. So, when my husband and I started trying and got a positive pregnancy test within a couple months, I was thrilled! Continue reading

11 Carry-On Must Haves for Moms

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive compensation if a purchase from one of the below links. 

Today I’m rounding up a list of goodies I couldn’t have lived without on our trip half way across the country…and some I wish I’d thought of!

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As many of you know, back in May my one year old daughter and I flew to Continue reading

Guest Post: Transitions

The “I Have Something to Say” series continues this week with a post from none other than my birth doula, Amara. 


Life is full of transitions. I have watched transitions for years in my work as a doula, serving women as they move from one stage of labor to the next, transitioning from woman to mother. But the notion of transition has been all the more clear to me in recent days as a mother myself, who also happens to be tripping her way through a nest that is emptying. Continue reading

Guest Post: The Crooked Path to Faith

The “I Have Something to Say” series continues today with a story that had me in tears. Sometimes we have to walk through grief to see the beauty on the other side!


I was always the type of person who had every little detail of my life planned. Meals were written down, I knew what I was going to do each weekend as predefined on my calendar, and I had the typical 5 year plan after my husband and I were married. We both wanted to start a family immediately after we got married and we were fortunate to have our first daughter 10 months after our wedding. Life was perfect, or so I thought. Continue reading

What It’s Really Like Being a Working Mom

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Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

I have now been a working mom for a little over a month. I have woken up and showed up for work for 33 days. And I have gone into work not seeing my daughter beforehand every single day (well, minus two weeks when my husband was out of town). I have also gone 48 hours without seeing her at all, due to meetings I had after work.

And I’m exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Continue reading

Guest Post: My Momma Always Said…

Woo hoo! The “I Have Something to Say” series continues this week! Tonight you’re hearing from Sarah. 


“But we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4. We all go through seasons of affliction, big or small, and I’m thankful we have HOPE through it all. (Ya like that rhyme? Hahaha)

I also believe challenges & afflictions change our perspectives Continue reading