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Happy 2nd Birthday Butler Twins!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today is my daughters' second birthday. Two years ago today, I went through a very rough labor which ended in an emergency c-section, followed by a month long NICU stay. But in the end, we were blessed with two beautiful baby girls.

Life these last two years has been HARD, incredible, life altering, full of tears, snuggles, milestones and so much love. I never knew how much my heart could love until the day I met my baby girls.

Sutton you were my first born and you have become such a bear cub (our nickname for her). You are quiet, but you let out some mean roars when you are upset or don't get your way. You are so nurturing. You love your baby doll and caring for her. You also take care of your sister and love bringing her her paci and blanket to help calm her down. You are obsessed with your blanket and paci, but only at home. You are such a big girl at daycare.

You are showing signs of being a lefty just like your mommy. Your vocabulary has exploded in the last couple of weeks and you are finally not getting as frustrated when trying to tell us what you want. You are extremely cautious when it comes to trying anything out. You usually let Avery try something first (food or something to do) and then will try it after you see what she thinks about it.

You give the sloppiest kisses and the best hugs. You love to brush mommy's hair and sit in my lap. You hate getting your diaper changed or getting dressed. You would rather be playing.

Sutton you are very fierce and full of so much love. Mommy and Daddy love you so.

Avery you are my goofy little princess. You love laughing. Your laugh is infectious and we can't get enough of you when you say Heeeeyyyyy. You are very talkative. If you are not saying real words, you are babbling. But your vocabulary has exploded and you are talking up a storm. You recently learned your sister's name and it is so sweet to hear you calling for her.....Suuutttton.

You love watching out for your sister and you always come to her when she is crying. You help her up and hug her to calm her down.

You are very adventurous. You love climbing on everything, testing boundaries and trying new foods out. You still don't like fruit, but put a plate of Mexican food in front of you and you will go to town.

You know all of your body parts and love when I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to you. You could sing that song over and over. You love your Wawa, mommy, daddy, sister, papas, gaga and grandma so much. You are so sweet and full of sass all at the same time.

Avery you are so full of life and so full of love. Mommy and Daddy love you so.

Happy Birthday Avery and Sutton!
Left: May 2016 (one year five months) Right: November 2016 (one year eleven months)
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Christmas Weekend


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas weekend was one for the books. The girls had the best time and everything went as smoothly as it could. We had very few meltdowns and the girls were soooo spoiled.

Get ready for picture overload.

Everything started off on Christmas Eve. I was beyond busy in the morning. Between making cinnamon rolls, going to the grocery story and cleaning, I did not sit down until 3 pm when we headed to my in-laws house for dinner.

The girls tried some egg nog and were not fans of it.
Christmas twins

We opened some gifts.
Christmas twins
 These were rocking horses that the girls are afraid of.
Christmas twins
 North Face snow boots
Christmas twins
Sutton showing off her boots

The girls had a blast opening presents. This was the first time they really got into it.


After opening presents, we had some appetizers and lite some fireworks.
fireworks

Then we had the best ham dinner followed by a yule log.
Yule Log
Yule Log

After dessert, the girls were getting fussy, so we packed everything up and headed home. Once we were home, we put the girls to bed and started setting up some of the girls gifts and setting out cookies and milk for Santa.
cookies, milk and scotch for Santa
 Cookies, milk and scotch
twins 2nd Christmas
twins 2nd Christmas
twins 2nd Christmas
 The stockings were hung.
doggie Christmas stocking
Walter's stocking

Once everything was set, we watched some tv and went to bed.

Christmas morning came fast and we got up, built a fire, and got the girls up. They were very excited to see that Santa came. They immediately started playing with their art easel and sitting on their new couch.
Twins 2nd Christmas
 Obsessed with this couch.
Twins 2nd Christmas

The girls received a ton of presents and would open a present, play with it some and then move onto the next one. And they had to sit on their couch the entire time.
Twins 2nd Christmas
 Playing with their Kids Kindle Fire while sitting in their Land of Nod teepee
Land of Nod teepee
Twins 2nd Christmas

I cooked some bacon, poured some mimosas, heated up the cinnamon rolls and we had Christmas breakfast. The girls LOVED their cinnamon rolls.

We played for another couple hours and then put the girls down for their nap. While they napped, I prepped the prime rib, showered and cleaned up a bit.
5 Rib prime rib
5 rib Prime Rib

Family arrived at 3 pm where we had appetizers, opened more gifts, worked on dinner, had some drinks and had the BEST time. It felt so nice to hang out with family and have everyone experience Christmas with the girls. 

The girls opened so many gifts that evening. They received clothes, so many toys and baby dolls with strollers. These have been a hit for the girls. They love pushing their babies around, brushing their hair and carrying them around. 

The prime rib came out perfectly. I was so nervous to cook it in our new oven, but it came out beautifully.
Prime Rib

We served dinner of prime rib, roasted potatoes, salad and rolls. Between 9 of us, we ate almost the entire prime rib (the girls didn't have any). Everything was soooo good. Awhile later, we had some apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.

We put the girls down and everyone got ready to leave. It was a very successful night. 

We cleaned the kitchen and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Monday we played with all of the girls toys, ran a few errands (big time sales on Christmas stuff) and headed to families house for dinner. We had another big meal of beef tenderloin, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, kale salad and bread. 

Tuesday we had to go to work, but we had a date night with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law at Campo as our Christmas gifts to each other. I skipped out on meat as I have had so much red meat in the last weekend.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend and one that I will be remembering for a long time.

How was your Christmas?
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Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

I wanted to pop in to wish you all, A Very Merry Christmas.


I will be back on Tuesday recapping our Christmas weekend!
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Friday Favorites and Happenings


Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Friday which means Christmas weekend is finally here and I couldn't be more excited. We have a lot planned this weekend and have been looking forward to it for weeks. I want to savor every second of it.

ONE. I am ways on the search for a new book and this week I got several recommendations. I added them to my list, but immediately downloaded What She Knew. Emelia at Dream Big and Buy the Shoes recommended it and she read it in one day. Sold. I can't wait to dive into this book. I love a good thriller.
What she knew

TWO. I didn't get to participate in the ornament link up I saw earlier this week, so I wanted to share some of my favorite ornaments now. And this is just a few of them. We have so many that I adore and each of them have stories.
Wedding Invitation Ornament
 The year that we got married, I wanted to do something fun with our wedding invitation. So I searched Pinterest and found the cutest DIY. It was super easy to make and it is one of my favorite ornaments.
1st year married ornament
 I took a work trip to my favorite city, NYC, and had to pick up an Our 1st Christmas ornament while there.
Babies first Christmas Ornament
 I picked out this ornament and the following one for my girls for their first Christmas (last year). I absolutely love this one because it has all of their stats (around the ornament) and even has a place for Rory and I as their parents. One for Miss Sutton Kira.
Babies first Christmas Ornament
 And one for Miss Avery Madison.
Old fireplace ornament
I have had this ornament for as long as I can remember. It is a delicate ornament and one that I always look forward to hanging. You put a light into the bottom and it projects the light through the fireplace.
Scotland Christmas Ornament
Lastly, I included my newest ornament. I got this at a Christmas shop in Scotland and LOVE the pattern and the memory of my amazing Europe trip.

THREE. Yesterday I wasn't going to be able to see my baby girls because I had a doctor's appointment in the morning (so I didn't get up with them and got to sleep in!) and dinner with my friends in the evening. I couldn't go a day without seeing my baby girls, so I stopped in at daycare on my break and surprised them. Avery was more than happy to take a selfie with me while her sister was getting her diaper changed.

FOUR. Kitchen Update. I am finally ready to share some photos and a post on our kitchen renovations. While they are not fully complete, they are complete enough where you (the reader) won't be able to tell the flaws/fixes that need to be made. It has been a never ending project and we hope that the last small bit will be complete in the next week or two. Let's just say my cabinet people messed up again and have to come replace a drawer and bring in two cabinet doors that they mis-measured.

I plan to have a post up the first week of January since I know most people won't be around next week. Stay tuned.

FIVE. My sweet baby girls turn 2 next week. How is that even possible?

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and lots of family fun this weekend. See you next week. Tuesday likely as I will be busy with family through Monday.

I am linking up with April, A Little Bit of Everything, Karli, Meet @ the Barre and Cup of Tea.
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Teacher's Gifts: Mistle Toes


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sutton and Avery have recently been moved into the toddlers room at daycare. This transition came late because their teacher didn't want to give them up just yet and there was a lag of when new babies were going to start. So the girls spent part time in the toddler room and part time in the baby room. They mostly just napped and ate in the baby room, but did everything else in the toddler room.

When it came time to think of Teacher's gifts, I scoured Pinterest for the perfect idea. I showed each of my favorite ideas to Rory and he didn't like any of them. He wanted me to make (get a free printable) a cute card to go with a gift card like we did for Teacher's week in May. But I wanted to do something different. After searching some more and proposing an altered idea to Rory, he got on board.

We decided to go to Bath and Body Works and buy some of my favorite lotions, pair them with some of their lip balms and order my favorite Butter socks from Nordstrom. Then I found a free printable for the tags and their gifts came together so easily.
Teacher's Christmas Gifts

There is no rhyme or reason as to who got what sock with what lotion. 
Teacher's Christmas Gifts

Note that I finally found Champagne Toast lotion in my local store. And you better believed I scooped two bottles up for myself.

Teacher's Christmas Gifts

I had never smelt Magic in the Air or Pink Cashmere, but I was sold on them once I did.

Teacher's Christmas Gifts
Teacher's Christmas Gifts

I searched online for a Mistle Toes printable and found the cutest one (here).
Teacher's Christmas Gifts
Teacher's Christmas Gifts

I packaged them up in Christmasy bags, added the tags and sent them off to school this morning.

I am super happy with how they came out and I really hope the girls' teachers enjoy them.
Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas

Bits of Cheer

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Stocking Stuffers for Her


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We are 5 days away from Christmas and hopefully you are done with your Christmas shopping, but if you are not, then here are some helpful hints at Stocking Stuffers for Her.

Stockings are always the hardest part for me. Especially when you are helping your father pick stuffers out for your mother. I never know what to put in there or how my mom used to cram so much stuff in ours. But I sat down and came up with a list of things I wouldn't mind to see in my stocking.

Stocking Stuffers for Her

Sandals | Bracelet | Tumbler | Lip Gloss | Necklace | Beauty Blender | Champagne Gummy Bears | Gloves | Nail Polish

Ok, let's talk about a few of these things. That lip gloss is in Mocktail Hour and it is sooooo good. It smells heavenly, looks perfect on everyone (believe me my friends and I tested it out) and doesn't break the bank.

I am in love with that tumbler. My friends and I were talking about a tumbler that one of our friends drinks her coffee in. It said, This isn't my first rodeo. We all said it should have a saying on the other side that says wine may or may not be in here. Then I saw the tumbler above and wanted to get one for every friend that was there Sunday night. They are perfect and sum up of lives. Ha.

I always love jewelry and that bracelet sums up my life. Everyday. It sums up life with kids completely. And the mountain necklaces are just too cute.

I am a fan of Butter nail polish but only own a bottle or two of it. I saw this red glitter polish and wanted it for my upcoming pedicure. It is perfect for Christmas, New Year's and for a fun pop to your toes.

We all know my love for champagne gummy bears.

And those Ugg gloves look so cozy and comfy. If they are anything like my Ugg sheets, then I wouldn't want to take them off. Plus they work with your phone, so you don't have to take them off when using your phone outside.

What's on your Stocking Stuffer list?
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Recipe: Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

One of our favorite pasta dishes is, Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta. I found this recipe a couple years ago while browsing Pinterest. We make this at least once or twice a month and we always have leftovers. This isn't my recipe, but I am sharing it with you since I love it so much. I made a few tweaks to the originial recipe.

SPICY TOMATO CREAM PASTA
by Christin Mahrlig (Spicy Southern Kitchen)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

INGREDIENTS

- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or a few swirls around the pot)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves (2 - 2 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic from the jar)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
- 1 24 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound angel hair pasta

Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta ingredients

MAKE IT

1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent.
2. In another pot, heat water for your pasta.
3. Add garlic, basil and red pepper flakes to your onions and cook for 1 minute.
Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta

4. Add spaghetti sauce (I used Rao's Marinara since it is our favorite), heavy cream, salt and pepper. Turn down your heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta
Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta

5. Cook your pasta according to the box and then drain it.
6. Add your pasta to the sauce and let it simmer for about 2 minutes so it incorporates.
Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta

7. Serve. You can add on some fresh parsley at the end.
Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta

Enjoy!
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Weekending


Monday, December 19, 2016

And just like that it is Monday again. But it's a good Monday since we are 6 days away from Christmas. We have a lot planned this week between seeing friends, appointments and spending time with family. Bring on Christmas week,

But first, let's recap this weekend.

Friday after work, Rory and I headed out to lunch since we got off in the middle of the girls' nap time. We grabbed lunch and then went to pick the girls up, but only one little lady was awake. So we slowly got everything ready and waited for Sutton to wake up. Once she was up, we headed out to Bath and Body Works. I needed to pick up some lotions and things for the girls' teacher gifts. Plus they were having a sale on lotions for $3,50. It was a steal.

After BBW, we headed to Total Wine to stock up on wine, get drinks for our Christmas party and search for the beer I had at our friends 40th Birthday party two weekends ago. It was a beer with cranberry and ginger and it was heavenly. Luckily, we found it there. Total Wine was insanely packed for a Friday at 3 pm.

Once we were done, we headed home to hang out, build a fire and relax.
Christmas twins

Saturday morning we got up, got dressed and I had the girls pose for pictures. I am trying to them prepared for Christmas photos and all the is to come for their birthday party.
identical twin toddlers
identical twin toddlers

We grabbed our coats and headed off to breakfast. The girls were very excited for their monster pieces of bacon.
identical twin toddlers
identical twin toddlers

After breakfast we headed home to take a nice long walk. But since it was only about 30 degrees outside, we all had to bundle up. We took a nice long walk and then I headed out to grab more stocking stuffers and to be officially done with Christmas shopping. Thank goodness. Once I got back, the girls were in bed for naptime and Rory headed out to finish his Christmas shopping.

After naps, we headed back out to get Walter some toothpaste, treats and a toy. We also went out to dinner and then to Baked Bear for dessert. I have been dying to try Baked Bear since they opened up a few months ago, but we never ventured out that way. Well we had their amazing ice cream sandwiches (everything is homemade) and were beyond stuffed. So stuffed.
Baked Bear ice cream sandwiches
Funfetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Ice Cream

We looked at some Christmas lights on the way home, but not too many as the girls were getting pretty tired.

I watched Alligent while Rory promptly passed out on the couch. I had ate so much food that I couldn't sleep, so movie time it was.

Sunday morning we got up and I headed out for coffee and bagel sandwiches. Then at 9 am, my in-laws came over to watch the girls, so Rory and I could go snowboarding. The skies were blue and it was very cold (about 14 degree with winds that made it feel like 6 degrees), but we had a great time. We got in 8 runs before we were wiped. Rory dropped his snowboard off to get his edges sharpened and his board waxed and then we headed back down for some lunch.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe

We got home when the girls were napping and just hung out catching up with my in-laws. I then showered and headed off to Whole Foods for some grocery shopping. It was chaos at the store, but luckily I didn't need too much as we have very few nights at home this week.

When I got home, Rory took Walter for a walk and the girls and I played. And this happened. Silly girl.
identical twin girl

Silly girl took her shirt off and wanted her robe on. Then she only wanted it part way on and was walking around with her drum on her head. I had to get a picture.

After the girls' dinner, we bathed them and then I headed out to a friends birthday dinner. We had so much fun talking, playing darts, eating and taking way too many pictures.

I headed home around 9 pm to the fire still roaring and football to end the evening.

How was your weekend?

I am linking up with Biana.
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