More Than Food?

It’s no secret that food is a big part of our lives. Not only do we love to eat, but we also love going to new places – whether it be a little hole-in-the-wall we’ve been dying to try or a fancy restaurant that we have to save up for – and one of our favorite pastimes is cooking or baking together. We love grocery shopping together, meal planning, taking food to friends, and baking for our neighbors. It’s just a big part of who we are and there’s something so special about our time in the kitchen together – both gathered around the table lost in conversation and stirring or flipping or sifting or mixing, up to our elbows in ingredients.

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Natalie Broulette is a writer, wife, and mom. She lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and dog. Her first children’s book More Than Food? is about two of her favorite things: food, and her little boy. In More Than Food?, a young boy questions how much his mother loves him, and she expresses her feelings through strawberries, potatoes, ice cream, chicken tikka masala, coconut cake, and more. A picture book full of charming illustrations and playful rhymes, More Than Food? explores the joy of food and language through the imagination of a child.

I love the darling story this book tells and the references to foods that Landon loves, like strawberries, ice cream cones, spaghetti with meatballs, and pancakes. The illustrations are adorable and as I read through, I always ask him to point out different items, which makes it so interactive and fun. This book is relatable and just flat out precious. It is sure to become one of the most reached for stories in your home and can be passed down for generations to come.

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You can find her darling tote bags here (she so thoughtfully sent me the “I love you more than coffee” tote, which couldn’t be more fitting).

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This book has quickly become a favorite in our household and Landon asks me to read it to him just about every day. He won’t reach up for me with his “bink” (favorite blanket) in one hand and a book in the other forever, so each and every time he does, I stop what I’m doing (if at all possible) and read my sweet boy a story. I hope he grows to love books as much as I do. Just as author Janette Oke (one of my grandmother’s favorites) writes in Love Comes Softly (which was later turned into a wonderful Hallmark movie), “When you read, you can have every adventure. In the pages of a book you can be anyone you ever dreamed of being… They can never tell you you’re too young to slay the dragon — because it all happens right here, where it’s safe.”

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Thanks so much to Natalie Broulette for the book and tote bag featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Christmas Traditions

Today, I thought it would be fun to share some of the little things we do each year to make Christmas an extra special time in our home. There is so much hustle and bustle around the holidays, but I think oftentimes the little moments are the things our children look back on and remember most fondly.

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Sure, there are special, bigger things we do sometimes that we won’t do every year (like last year, we went to The Polar Express train ride at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC) that are fun and memorable, but I truly believe that it’s the smaller, seemingly insignificant things that shape a child’s love for Christmastime and value of traditions.

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Pick out our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving in the mountains – you can read more about this tradition here, but this is really the event that kicks off the Christmas season in our home.

Go see Santa – this one can be tricky with little kids, because I feel like long lines and overstimulated children is just a disaster waiting to happen, but if you can find a special place to go see Santa that’s calmer and where more individual attention is given to each child, it makes this tradition so much more special.

Make Christmas cookies – my Mama usually makes her homemade sugar cookie dough and it’s so fun rolling out the dough, dusting the cookie cutters with flour, and sprinkling the tops with colored sugar.

Go on a little drive (almost) every night after supper to look at Christmas lights – we live about a mile from Christmastown USA (McAdenville, NC) so there’s no shortage of lights where we live. It’s so fun to just hop in the truck, oftentimes in our pajamas, and look at lights each night.

Make homemade fudge – this tradition goes way back and is a something I used to look so forward to doing with my grandmother each Christmas. I can still hear her say, “get ready, Punkindoodle, tomorrow we’re gonna make us some candy!”

Deliver doughnuts to friends on Christmas Eve Eve – this is a special tradition from Grayson’s childhood that we adopted the first year after we got married and have since loved sharing with Landon.

Watch Christmas moviesThe Grinch, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Elf, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, and A Christmas Story are just a few of our family’s favorites.

Read Christmas books – Obviously, the real Christmas story found in Luke 2 is the most special, but we have several illustrated children’s books that are also beloved in our home year after year.

Make Christmas crafts or homemade ornamentsthis post shows the ornaments we made last year, but this can be as simple as breaking out the Christmas coloring books.

Sing lots of Christmas carols – anytime we’re in the car from Thanksgiving until Christmas, it’s pretty much a given that the only thing we listen to is Christmas music and I usually have Christmas pandora playing while I cook dinner, fold clothes, or play with the kids. It just adds so much joy and it’s important to me that they know and love the Christmas songs from my childhood (and from my Mama’s childhood, too).

The Giving Manger – this is a new tradition this year (see this post for more information) but it’s already been a highlight of our entire year and I can’t wait to see how much more fun it gets as Landon and Harper get older.

Go to church on Christmas Eve – this is extra special to me and something I have looked forward to every year since I was a little girl. There are a thousand places you can be with your family the night before Christmas, but making the choice to go to church and hear the Christmas story and sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” with candles flickering all around is sacred.

I’d love to hear some of your family’s Christmas traditions so comment below and tell me what helps get you in the Christmas Spirit!

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You can find Landon’s outfit here and Harper’s dress here. These matching Christmas outfits are so soft and sweet, and the quality is just amazing. Eyelet & Ivy has beautiful children’s clothing all year long, but this year’s Christmas collection is really special.

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Thanks so much to Eyelet & Ivy for the matching Christmas outfits featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Mikarose

It can be so hard to find modest, beautiful dresses that are not only good quality but great prices, as well. Mikarose dresses are all that and more, and there’s a dress for every occasion!

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The dress I’m wearing here, the Lydia dress, has beautiful boho lace detail on the sleeves and hem and I love that it just slips right on with no buttons or zippers. It runs a bit small, so if you’re in between sizes, I’d definitely size up one. I love the timeless black, but it also comes in a pretty muted blue color. I love how it’s dressed down a bit with a hat and booties on the website, but can also be taken to a whole new level with pumps and pearls.

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A few other styles I love from Mikarose:

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Mikarose is offering a 20% discount for ya’ll with code “COFFEEDATEWITHKATE” now through January 31st, 2019. 

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Thanks so much to Mikarose for the dress featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.