Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A very Christmasy weekend

Last weekend I realized that it was our last weekend in Denver before heading to Iowa for Christmas so we had a lot to pack into the weekend! 

Saturday morning we headed to Bass Pro to see Santa. I love that you get a time slot there and don't have to wait in line forever. I thought we were doing pretty good and getting there at 9:20 since 10:00 AM is the first time slot to see Santa. Wrong. It still wasn't early enough and we couldn't get a time slot till 12:30! Insane.  But the kids still had lots of fun walking around and playing the different games there while Soren napped in the lillebaby, and then we walked across the street and grabbed lunch before heading back to see Santa. 


Tindra is Still not a fan of the man in red. I really don't know why! We talked about it before and she seemed fine, but kept saying she didn't want to sit on his lap. Then when it was our turn she clung to Jasper and even let out a tear but Did want to go see him, just didn't want to get too close. And she whispered 'a barbie pop up camper and a new bible' when he asked what she wanted, so that's progress!

After naps it started to snow, and we had planned to go to the Denver Zoo lights and didn't let the snow stop us. We just bundled everyone up in their snow suits and made lots of hot chocolate and off we went. We've never gone while it snowed before and I think it might have been my favorite year yet. It wasn't crazy packed like usual (guess not everyone is a fan of 18 degrees and snow) and the snow just made it more magical. Seeing these experiences through my kids eyes, there's just nothing like it. Even Soren was completely in awe of the lights all around him and he stayed awake the entire time even though it was 2 hours past his bed time. 

And then Sunday was Lucia at Swedish School. Another magical tradition. 

We couldn't find a day to squeeze in going back to the North Pole like last year, but we will be back next year! With THREE kids who can do all the rides! 

Monday, December 14, 2015


Ever since having my own kids, traditions have become so incredibly important to me. Traditions I had growing up, but more importantly, creating traditions for my own little family. Isn't that just the best? We get to decide!

I remember talking to Drew one year when Jasper was little and his family doing something a certain way, and my family doing it a different way and being torn about which one to do and he said 'We don't have to do either. We can make up our own, we get to decide!' I don't know why it took him saying that to make me realize. Like oh yeah, WE are the parents! We choose our own traditions! 

Some of the fun holiday traditions we have started. 

Book Calendar! Each year it's time to wrap up all the books for the calendar I get a bit annoyed at myself for starting this tradition. It's a pain! But then as soon as the kids see the books all wrapped under the tree and get to take turns finding the correct number to open and read each night, I'm grateful I did it. It's such a cozy way to end the night, reading under the tree. Tindra has especially gotten into it this year and always shouts "It's Christmas book time!" each night after she's gotten her jammies on and teeth brushed.

One new ornament each year! We started this tradition our first Christmas as a family of 3. We didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on Christmas decorations and had None, plus we were going to be traveling for 3 weeks over Christmas heading to Iowa and then North Carolina for Christmas with my family so it didn't seem worth it going all out, but we wanted something! So we bought our little fake 4 foot tree, some garland and red and gold balls and each of us picked out an ornament. Or rather we picked Jasper's out. But every year after he has picked his own! It's so fun to look at the ornaments each year and remember special interests each kid had. Like this year, Tindra picked a skull..odd choice right? Well earlier this year she picked out a toy with birthday money, it was a little dentist set for her doll house. With it came a little skull. She wanted to know what it was and became obsessed with looking at pictures of skulls on Drew's phone. Super random. But something I hope these ornaments help me remember.

Zoo Lights! Each year we go to the Denver Zoo Lights and it never disappoints. We drink hot chocolate while walking around at night looking at all the lights. So cozy. 

Picking a tree in the mountains! For the past 4 years we have gone up to the mountains to get a real tree. It's probably my Favorite tradition. This year we found a little Mexican restaurant and had lunch after, and I'm thinking that needs to be apart of the new tradition as well!

Lucia! In Sweden December 13th is Lucia Day, honoring Saint Lucia. All daycares/schools/towns have Lucia parades where they sing, pass out bullar (cinnamon buns and saffron buns) its such a cozy time and I'm So glad the kids Swedish school celebrates this as well. Yesterday they had their Lucia celebration and it was so adorable. Tindra got Really into it and couldn't wait to show off her white Lucia dress. (I'll share pictures tomorrow!)

Of course all the cookie baking, ginger break making goes on as well. And we try to get together with friends every year at some point and do a Swedish 'Jul Bord'- Christmas table, where we eat lots of delicious Swedish Christmas food. Also a favorite of mine! For obvious reasons.

Do you have any fun Christmas traditions you have started?

As Tindra gets a bit older, maybe starting next year, I'd love to do a mom/daughter date each Christmas season and go see the nutcracker! I think she would Love that. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Most wonderful time of the year

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySteamed #CollectiveBias

I mean it really is the most wonderful time of the year. At least it is since having kids old enough to really get into the magic of it all. But for all that wonderful Christmas magic to happen, this elf has to drive all over town running errand after errand, stopping at store after store. Not going to lie, it's exhausting! The other day while Tindra was at preschool in the morning, and Jasper was at school Soren and I did a bunch of shopping. After dealing with the craziness of the mall (all while lugging around a semi grouchy baby) I was very tempted to grab some fast food for lunch. But I stopped myself. I've been trying really hard to continue to eat healthy during the crazy holidays and I needed to stop at King Soopers for diapers anyway so I popped in to see if I could find something super quick and healthy. 

I found these Healthy Choice® Simply Cafe Steamers® in the freezer aisle and had to try them. I've been eating a lot of salads lately and knew my favorite, simple salad would make the perfect pairing. And I was right! I went with the Grilled Chicken and Pesto Vegetables, but the other meals ( Meatball Marinara, Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry, Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, and Lemon Herb Chicken) looked just as tasty. The whole dish had such great flavor. I'm going to start making pesto more, I forget how much I love it! I love how my entire lunch was packed with such delicious flavor but low on carbs. 

For my salad I started with a 50/50 blend of greens and spinach. 

Shredded a carrot to throw on top. 

And most importantly, a bit of cheese. These really make the salads for me. I mean, everything is better with cheese!

Lastly, a bit of ranch, but any dressing will do!

While I threw my salad together, I had stuck my Grilled Chicken Pesto and Vegetables in the microwave for 4 minutes, and when I was done with my salad, my Healthy Choice® Simply Cafe Steamers® was done! 

These are literally steamed (if you couldn't tell by the name) so be careful when you pull the film off because the steam makes it super hot. 

In 5 minutes I had a delicious and healthy meal, I mean that's probably less time than the fast food drive through would have been. 

If you want to try a Healthy Choice® Simply Cafe Steamers® (and you definitely want to!) here's a coupon for a dollar off! 

Have any tips to share on how you eat healthy during the craziness of the holidays? 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas (tree) in the Rockies

Last weekend we went up to the mountains (like we do every year!) to get our Christmas tree. We decided to make a little go pro video since I've used it exactly 3 times since I got it in August. So much fun! There might be more of these little videos in the future!