About tandem in love

this is about us, our love, our life, happy things, maybe sad things (because they happen), the wonderful people in our lives that help make the world go round. life truly is beautiful and it should be celebrated + shared.

ellie’s first haircut

ellie had her first haircut! {pre-shelter in place}

at 3.8 years old…girlfriend had her first cut! olive had hers at 5 years of age but things go so much faster when you have an older sister to inspire you!

olive had been wanting to get her haircut for awhile. she likes it long and her hair grows so fast, but it was getting too long and dried at the ends that it was so hard to brush! every time i brushed her hair, it sounded like a scene out of a horror movie and someone was getting axed to death. LOL

i promised her we would go to get it cut. week after week and month after month went by but it was so low on my priority list, i kept forgetting to make an appointment. i finally put a reminder in my phone and called the shop and secured an appointment for olive. while we were talking about it, miss ellie said she wanted to get her haircut too! i asked her repeatedly because there are so many times she tells me she wants to do something but it all ends up being a farce.

we arrived for their appointments and i asked ellie if she wanted to get her haircut. she said no. typical. i coaxed her and she continued to say no. when miss keisha was ready for her, she reluctantly went. miss keisha was super reassuring and enticed ellie with shows on an iPad and ellie gingerly got into the chair.

she started smiling, seemed comfortable and ready to get her hair chopped! miss keisha asked us how much we wanted to cut off and we showed her where. she measured how much we wanted to cut lop off and it was 7 inches! miss keisha got her scissors warmed up and off went her hair! ellie was quite happy and it looked great! oh, i really loved how it looked! her hair looked so short, cute and fresh!

afterwards, olive had her haircut and she cut off seven inches too! now they both have shorter hair and they both look adorable. i do love how easy it is to maintain the shorter do! the girls love it and olive is not screaming bloody murder when i brush her hair in the morning either! hahaha!

of course, the girls didn’t leave the ‘salon’ without lollipops and a toy! no wonder they love that place so much!

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[ready but not so ready for her first haircut!]

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[here we go!]

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[she cut off 7 inches!]

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[happy with the results]

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[my sweetie…super happy with her haircut experience]

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*****

O L I V E’ S  H A I R C U T

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[she had 7″ chopped off too!]

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xoxo

goldfish party

we had such a fun goldfish party at the elmhurst location {pre shelter in place}! they invited all social partners with the brand in the chicagoland area in, just to celebrate – it was so sweet and thoughtful of them! the kids got to swim with a ton of creative fun floats, take pics in a photo booth, eat pizza, down rootbeer floats, color, paint, and see the goldfish mascot! they put together a serious party! i adored how much effort and thought went into it and all the details were so festive.

again, i apologize for the picture quality, as i downloaded the wrong size and had no effort to re do. LOL

ellie had no interest in swimming and olive was ready to go. she had a choice to take the swim test and pass or just choose to put on a floatation vest. olive chose to take the test. the lifeguard had her do a series of different techniques and she…….passed! now, she isn’t the strongest swimmer and if it was all deep water, she would have a vest on but she was in an area where she could stand and hc had his eyes on her at all times too. they did have three lifeguards watching all the kids, which was fantastic.

while olive swam, ellie and i spent some quality time together having fun watching her or taking pics in the photo booth. they let the kids swim for 45 minutes or so and then called them out to get ready for some grub. they served pizzas and juice and everyone was happy except ellie. she doesn’t like pizza. at. all. so i offered to pay for a bag of pirate’s booty they had in their case and they so graciously gave it to us. so sweet of them!

while olive ate pizza, she painted and i chatted with all the wonderful moms i got to meet at the event! while they were serving pizza and juice, the goldfish mascot came out and ellie just about lost it. she cannot, cannot stand human sized characters. it just freaks the shiznit outta her. i asked the goldfish mascot to stay away from her, in which it complied. LOL

i continued to socialize with the moms while our kids ate and had fun. they were then serving up root beer floats and olive was in heaven. ellie consumed one right away and olive savored hers. it was hilarious cause olive was insistent, super insistent that i try one. she would not rest until i tried the delicious root beer float. she was like, “try it kiki, try it!” “did you try it yet?!” “it’s so yummy, try it…go get one!” LOL i then asked the server to fill it with paper and just put whipped cream on top to appease olive that i was having one. i was too full and could have told her that but just relented the easy way. haha!

everyone started wrapping up and of course, we were the last ones to leave! not without snagging some extra goodies for the kids, we grabbed some paint and paper sheets and balloons and headed to our car. the girls had a great time and we had a great time too. we were so pleased at how wonderful the party had turned out!

thanks so much to goldfish swim school family and sara at 2 moms media! we hope everyone is sheltering in safely and we send visual hugs and love to everyone!

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[the cutest table spread]

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[me and my babes]

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[olive is such a ham]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[seeing her in her goggles makes me laugh in a really goofy, sweet way]

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[my silly girl]

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[rootbeer float]

xoxo

lucky charms

holidays are so much more fun with kids.

i didn’t really celebrate st. patrick’s day before kids…being irish and all. LOL i don’t drink a lot and going out to crowded bars to get hammered drunk wasn’t my gig. so, now that my kids love anything fun, crafty, or sweet…going full force with projects and activities is my jam.

also, {side note} these pics are so small. i saved them small but didn’t realize they was so tiny! ha! i am way too lazy to re-download and upload again. so, to anyone who follows along on my blog…they will be this pint size until the next batch activities! LOL

we don’t do a whole lot for st. paddy’s day. we decorate, we make a few fun treats leading up to it, and the leprechaun visits the eve before the holiday. this year, i decided to have the girls help me make lucky charm rice krispy treats…they’re easy to make and yummy!

the girls first picked out all the marshmallows in the cereal. they found this so fun! i created a challenge for them…with each bowl, could the accept the challenge of picking out every single marshmallow?? no marshmallow left behind! when they felt that they had plucked every last one, they would call me over, anxious if they were successful. they were so determined and they succeeded! i know you can buy bags of similar marshmallows but as stated, it’s not the same! we need the rainbows and unicorns!

i melted the butter and marshmallows and the girls mixed it all together. they helped push it into the pan and decorated it with marshmallows. ta da! that was it! i love making these treats…so simple and so good!

the girls loved it! everyone devoured it within days!

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[helping her big sister pick out the lucky charm marshmallows…i heard that you can just buy a bag of that stuff?? but this is much more fun!]

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[stirring the marshmallows in]

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[the pan of goodies]

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*****
S T.  P A T R I C K’ S  D A Y

on st. paddy’s day…we always make green pancakes with green milk! the girls love it. it’s something special they look forward to and i love seeing their faces light up when it’s time to eat!

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[lucky charm green pancakes and green milk]

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[nom nom nom]

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xoxo

valentine’s day crafty treats

we love creating unique valentine’s day cards and gifts! it’s our jam!

ok, so it was in three parts…1) they made valentines for their non school friends 2) they made valentines for their school friends and 3) olive created her own valentine’s day mailbox to bring to school to collect said valentines!

ellie is finally showing an interest in crafting! a few times before, this past year, she’s not been interested. she enjoyed accompanying olive during the journey but she would eventually lose interest within 10 minutes or so. this time around, she’s participated in everything and has worked diligently along side olive in creating her own unique crafts! oh, so proud of my girl!

olive and ellie created beautiful works of art individually and we happily sent them out to our friends with an added extra jazz on each envelope. they seriously worked so hard on each of them! i was impressed by olive and ellie’s van gogh capabilities.

next up, class valentines. i did all the prep work and the girls assembled everything, including all the bags! they did such a great job inserting the lollipops into each card too…i was surprised because it wasn’t easy! way to go girls!

finally, olive created her valentine’s day mailbox {mind you, they did NOT do all their crafting in ONE day! LOL it was over the past few weeks!}. she was so excited to create something fun. she did all the work except handling the hot glue gun. she picked all the decor, assembled, and glittered! what a pro!

enjoy the pics below…the girls worked so hard and i course, i had to post a gazillion similar pics of them, cause those faces can’t be denied! LOL

happy valentine’s day!

*****

D I Y  C A R D S

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[working so hard on their cards for their non school friends!]

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[showing off their works of art]

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[the yearly shot over olive’s shoulder]

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[olive was sooooooo detailed, each card was so meticulous with artistic details]

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[working so hard!]

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[showing off her yellow crayon colored card…she’s just getting started!]

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[her face has really changed this year. – insert crying mom face – ]

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[van gogh…right?!]

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[showing off her card! i ripped the washi tape but she did everything else!]

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*****

 S C H O O L  T R E A T S

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[bath bombs]

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[ellie’s face…i love her!]

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[they are the sweetest]

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[stickers and tattoos]

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[inserting the lollipops into her cards]

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[ellie doing her best to insert the lollipop herself]

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[the finished product!]

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[she’s so proud!]

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[happy valentine’s day!]

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[class treats]

*****

V D A Y  M A I L B O X

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[creating her mailbox]

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[her finished project]

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xoxo

a day of chill

we had a long overdue date with dana and famille. it was a cold and dreary day in chicago which called for a cozy day date with this beautiful family. we traveled north to their abode to hang out, have some lunch and catch up.

dana and scott are pregnant with their second b o y! such exciting news…we are so excited for them and can’t wait to meet him. it’s pretty amazing to think about our journey together. i met dana yearrrrssssss ago…maybe 12 or 13 years ago? we were single or kind of single and years later, as the circle of life happens, we are married to wonderful men, and have the most beautiful children. we weathered good times and really bad times and have stayed close together through life’s crazy ride!

the girls were so excited to see the toys…LOL naturally! ellie loved rosie, the dog, and they settled in quickly as hc and i were happy to be there and spend some time with these two lovely people.

the boys grabbed some strong libations while us gals caught up with each other. after some time, we decided to grab some grub from a corner eatery down the block. we gathered everyone together and took a short walk to the restaurant to grab some food to go. we debated on eating at the place as it’s not spacious and there were so many individual people on their laptops scattered throughout the place, there wasn’t a conducive spot for  a large group like us. no matter…we were happy to go back to their place to eat and relax in a comfortable environment!

as we spent the afternoon at their abode, dana’s parents stopped by to drop off some things! we were so happy our paths crossed and we had a chance to say hello and hang out for a bit with the rubin’s!

after several hours of fun, we said our goodbyes and headed home to our sweet home. it was a perfect sunday spent with wonderful friends.

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[little abe]

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[love this family]

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[the girls loved abe’s toys!]

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[he’s so cute!]

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[the girls goofing around at the corner eatery]

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[scott and abe]

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[goofy girl]

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xoxo

NYE ‘19

well, gosh…at the rate i posted this nye post, it might as well be 2021! i legit forgot that i had this waiting in queue. LOL!!!!!!

per usual, we always do too much. between christmas eve and new year’s day, we hosted 4 events. yes, f o u r. as gwen said, ‘b a n a n a s’.

this new year’s eve was a bit more quiet as the 5 usual suspects that typically celebrate with us, did not celebrate with us this time around but we had two new comers!!! huy and tashina stayed in town and they were able to ring in the new year with us!! such a gift to have and we were so excited to celebrate with them!

we decided to do heavy apps and drinks…i am 100% ok with that, as i love grazing. my parents came over and they were legit like, “what?…there’s no real food?” LOL so we ordered chinese food for them to eat, in which everyone else ended up eating it too! hahaha!

kim made a burrata and buffalo chicken dip, we had flaky apps, onion dip, shrimp cocktail,  charcuterie board, and a few other dishes i can’t remember! we ate to our belly’s content, imbibed delicious beverages, and fire placed our way to midnight. or more so, 11 o’clock as we always ring in the new year on new york city time! but this year, we celebrated at 11 pm and everyone ended up staying until midnight {helloooo, we have kids!} and we truly rung in the new year in accurate fashion!

there were streamers and confetti everywhere…as a good new year’s party should have! now, everyone did trickle out and hc and i started to clean up. yes, we are too type a…we love to wake up to a clean house and just chillllllllll.

the next day, hc let me sleep in as i was beat down from the holiday season {i ended up having walking pneumonia, bronchitis, and a sinus infection that was formulating the whole week after christmas and did a smack down on me on new year’s day…ugh!} he did an amazing job prepping everything for us…honestly, he doesn’t get enough credit. this man works so hard to make us happy and it fills my heart with joy. he did a little extra cleaning, he started a fire in the fireplace, he got both girls ready, fed, and set for the morning and letting me sleep in was the best gift of all!

he then prepped breakfast and we enjoyed the entire day in front of the fireplace while the girls occupied themselves with toys and make believe.

it was a perfect evening and day to start 2020 with. i am so blessed and i could not have asked for a better way or people to ring in the new year. may God bless us all!

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[table centerpiece]

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[a little sugar sprinkles for the champagne]

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[disco balls, fresh garland, and noise makers]

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[ellie and uncle huy]

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[favors for the kids, popper, crackers, candy, glow sticks, and streamer!]

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[tashina and me]

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[photo booth]

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[new years day breakfast]

xoxo

true food experience

we were given the opportunity to try out the brand new true food kitchen in oakbrook center! we were excited! who doesn’t want to try out a new restaurant in the area…privately?! everyone within the restaurant was personally invited and we were treated like royalty! it was so fun and a wonderful experience!

the restaurant is fueled by the philosophy of food should make you feel better! they believe that nutrition and delicious dining should go hand in hand! the dishes are creative, beautiful, and flavorful. they use whole foods, organic, and partner with amazing chefs to creative delectable dishes at each location!

we started off with a herb hummus and edamame dumplings…both soooooo savory and delicious!! i also had the prairie mary drink and my husband ordered a libation just as tasty! hc ordered the unbeetable burger and i chose the korean noodles. hc loved the burger and i thoroulgly enjoyed my glassy noodles! olive and ellie highly recommend the grass fed burger and expressed strong opinions on how yummy it was!

we had such a great time chatting it up with everyone, learning so much about the restaurant, the history, and appreciating the passion behind the food. i feel that a lot people hear ‘organic, healthy, or whole’, it’s not going to be tasty or filling but trust me, it’s amazing! every bite, every morsel had my mouth singing!

i’m a fan, my fam are fans and i so positive you will be too!

come check out the new location at oakbrook center and find out for yourself! you will not be disappointed!

happy eating my friends!

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[we have fun together]

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[get yur drink on]

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[this babe is so extra]

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[spicy bloody mary]

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[this was sooooooo freakin’ yummy!]

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[my girl gang]

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[korean noodles with tofu]

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[goofing around]

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[dig in!]

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xoxo

christmas ’19

we did our usual…christmas eve at my parent’s house with my side of the family and christmas day at our house with hc’s side of the family.

for christmas eve, my sister kim, usually plans the main entree and we bring additional dishes. we all partake in the food and decor. we have always had christmas eve at my parent’s house our whole lives, so although we all don’t live at home, it’s only natural for us to host it there every year!

this year started very late for us as mass at st. mary’s was pushed back another hour, causing us to be a bit behind. our day flew by as we were trying to prepare for christmas day, eve, get ourselves ready, do odds and ends around the house prepping for our guests for christmas day.

i was hoping we could prep the salad i wanted to bring over before we headed to mass but we completely ran out of time. we hustled our way to church, attended a very beautiful christmas eve mass and came home to to put together the not so quick salad. ughhhhhhhh. we finally arrived at my parent’s house after 7! i believe that is the latest we have ever come over on christmas eve!!!

reagardless, the holiday spirit was in full swing. the house smelled yummy, the candles were lit, christmas music was blasting, glasses of wine were plentiful as we laughed, talked, cooked, and the kids played.

everyone was joyous and the mood was bright. as we sat down for dinner, olive helped my dad say the dinner’s prayer, and we all then tried pulling our christmas cracker with our neighbor. the trick was to make a wish and the person holding the longest end, their wish would come true!!! we all held crackers with each other and pulled and pulled. we were laughing so hard as some of us could not get our cracker to pop! LOL we were practically crying and then some of us didn’t even get the long end of the stick and we couldn’t stop laughing!

dinner was delicious and the kids could not wait to open up their gifts! per usual, we cleaned up, set up desserts and the kids started to open up their gifts. one by one, group by group, we opened up all our gifts. it was getting so darn late and ellie was becoming deliriously tired. she was not in a bad mood, grouchy, or anything of that sort but she was out of it!

i held her in my arms, like she was a little baby, and literally rocked her to sleep. her eyes rolled back and forth and i swung her and within a few minutes she was o u t. oh she was so tired. it was so cute and darling that i rocked her to sleep…i don’t think i have done that since she was a newborn!

there were so many gifts and the girls had so much fun. christmas eve was definitely a wonderful, enchanted success!

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C H R I S T M A S  E V E

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christmas day started out slow and, per usual, before i knew it…the deadline was approaching and i was not ready! i still needed to finish the table settings, i didn’t get everyone’s names out on place cards, i hadn’t set the flatware, i didn’t start the charcuterie board…shoot! shoot! shoot! i always wonder, where did the time go?!! LOL there was still soooooooo much to do!!!

but in the end..it all falls into place. the guests arrived early, per hc’ s whole side of the family and the festivities began with a bang. aunt wendy put together the drinks, his cousins and aunts brought sides and different entrees and hc was putting the finishing touches on the prime rib and ham.

everyone was in good spirits and the food prep was humming along perfectly. after an hour or so of warming everything up, it was time to eat. hc had everyone gathered around before food was served and proceeded to give a little speech. this was our first christmas without his dad and it was a tough one. hc tried to continue on with his speech but i picked up, in tears, thanking everyone for coming and that it was our first christmas without papa and we felt blessed that everyone was here to celebrate together.

that was pretty much all i could spit out. there were tears shed and lots of hugs given. what a heavy but heartfelt day. we miss him so, so much and it’s not the same at all. such a big void in the day that will never be the same but we continue to share all the wonderful memories of him and that warms our hearts and keeps us going.

overall, it was a very beautiful and wonderful christmas day with our family. the food was delicious, the decor was festive, and the energy was palpable.

we deeply miss you papa.

C H R I S T M A S  D A Y

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[sisters]

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[charcuterie]

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[danielle, daniel, and mark]

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[hc and jennifer]

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[with auntie missy]

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[me and hannah]

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[opening up presents from auntie missy]

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[family]

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[dinner by candlelight]

xoxo

gingerbread house ’19

typically the girls get to make gingerbread houses with their cousins but this year, my sister  kim suggested for us to participate in aster hall’s gingerbread house event but i couldn’t make it work so they went to that and i bought a house for the girls to decorate at home. was that a run on sentence?! LOL

i told olive that we were going to decorate a gingerbread house and the first thing she asked was if reagan and bennett were coming over to decorate. wah wah. i told her no and she was a wee bit disappointed.

nevertheless, olive was super excited and couldn’t wait to get started! i prepped all the details and did most of the frosting but she did the rest and she did a great job!! she was so detailed and particular with all the candy and patiently placed each one with deliberate intent.

ellie had absolutely zero interest. she played along the first few minutes and then she was like, buh bye. see ya suckers. LOL olive continued to work on the house until every last candy was used up. she must have been focused on that house for at least an hour. such determination! i continued to frost the house until even piece of candy was gone and olive was super satisfied with her work. once the house was complete, she worked on the gingerbread man and women, carefully frosting outfits on each cutout. she made sure to tell me that they couldn’t be naked. hahaha! ok baby girl…whatever you want for the gingerbread people.

once she completed them, i frosted their legs and attached them to the side of the house. well then. voila!!! her beautiful gingerbread house was finished and looking quite marvelous! well done miss olive…you are a true creative artist!

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[i can’t with these babes]

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[details]

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[they’re so silly]

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[she’s so diligent and precise]

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xoxo

a visit with santa

our seasonal visit with santa was a bit of an obstacle this year. every year, i will get an email stating when santa was coming to town and to make a reservation. every year, i do but not this year. i pushed it off and by the time i checked the site to make a reservation, the entire month was booked!!! whaaaaa?!

yes, and on the random days i checked in to see if they had any openings, they were booked. ughhhhhh. one day, we showed up, the girls all jazzed out for santa, and stopped by the place to see if there were any openings, nope. they were booked. extra yuck.

i was feeling defeated. i mean, there were plenty of options everywhere to visit with santa. it wasn’t like this was the only choice but i was a stickler for wanting to go there because it’s been the only place we’ve ever gone to for a visit with the guy in red.

sooooo, one day, i stopped by and they had open slots for visits {they apparently said the weekend before christmas would be open to walk in’s}, i put in our name and was super excited! olive had written a letter to santa weeks prior and it was urgent to get it in his hands!

the girls got dressed up and we had plans to hit up dinner at roka akor afterwards. we arrived at the santa station and it was a bit crowded. we checked in and there was a lot of commotion going on inside. people were irritated and annoyed with their wait times and reservations. right after i checked in, a girl came up to me and asked, “how did you make a reservation?”, i was like, uhhhhhh…i stopped in earlier in the day. there was a particular women there who was mouthy, rude, and obnoxious. she constantly got into the host’s face and had such attitude and was so angry at her because they had been waiting a bit to see santa. what a prime example of patience and kindness she was showing her kids! LOL there was such a negative vibe going on, it was almost unbearable!

i must admit, the wait time was way too long and i assume they overbooked people, causing all of us to wait longer than expected. our reservation was at 6 and we didn’t see santa until 50 minutes later!!!! there was no turning back…we needed to see the big guy but our restaurant reservations were at 6:45!

well, of course we didn’t rush our visit with santa. we walked inside the airstream and santa was just chilling. ellie freaked out and olive was so excited! immediately olive went over to sit with him. she spent a few minutes with him while ellie hid behind hc. when it was time for some pics, i literally had to peel ellie off of hc like she had the claws of life on him. it was funny. for us, apparently not for her. she resisted but i reassured her he was super nice. santa read to them and was super kind and patient. ellie was doing just fine, although still quite skeptical.

overall, i was so proud of both babes for being so good! i always say 3 is the magic number. olive was open but not keen on santa at that age and then the following year, she was a super fan! i am expecting the same with ellie…next year will be even better!

we literally ran to the restaurant after the santa visit! i had called to let them know we were going to be late and they were so gracious with letting us get there 25 minutes later than expected! the restaurant was so good and we had a wonderful experience.

our visit with santa ended being fantastic despite the horrible wait time and environment and our dinner as a family was just as fun and delicious! i would have to say it was a win win evening!

via tandeminlove. com

[ellie not impressed but olive enjoying reading time with santa]

via tandeminlove. com

[classic looks from my girls]

xoxo