friday favorites

Happy First Friday of 2017! We're just coming off a much-needed holiday break, and it feels good to jump back into work and routine again. I'm trying to ride the wave of motivation that comes each January while it lasts, so this week has been very productive so far. Plus it's always fun to settle back into your own home after being on the road, with the added bonus of using up your new Christmas gifts. I hope everyone else's first full week of the New Year was just as happy and productive! 

Without further ado, here's what's making me smile this week!

1. Coffee Bar

We have been dreaming of filling this empty wall with a coffee bar ever since we moved into our current home, but could never find just the right piece on Craigslist. Do people even buy furniture firsthand anymore? Kidding...but we've had good luck with Craigslist and garage sale finds in the past, and were hoping to strike it lucky again. 

Thankfully we can stop scouring the dark net for used furniture from other people's garages, because my sister had Justin's name for the family gift exchange, and made us (I mean him) this beautiful piece (with the help of her husband I believe). We were also gifted a 2-way flex brew coffee maker by my parents, and some delicious Berres Brothers coffee from Justin's parents. Best Christmas ever! 

2. Comfy Maternity Dress

From this stage in the pregnancy until the end, I feel more comfortable in form-fitting clothes, as I feel they're more flattering on my body type. Loose, flowy tops and dresses end up feeling tent-ish. This dress was a steal at Target right before Christmas! I found it on clearance for 50% off the original price, with a Cartwheel coupon for 20% all clearance apparel - so I bought two! This one, and a sleeveless one for when the Florida "winter" is over. If this is all you see me in from now on, don't be at all surprised.

3. New Year's Day Seashell Hunt

Last year we began the tradition of driving over to the beach on New Year's Day for a walk along the ocean. The walk turned into a hunt for the finest seashells the Atlantic had to offer, so we decided to continue the tradition this year! Pippa filled her bucket to the brim with shells, then threw them all back into the ocean in a last minute act of compassion (the sea is their home), and Teddy spent the entire time chasing an innocent family who happened to make the mistake of bringing a football to the beach. It was bliss. I'm still so thankful to live within driving distance of the ocean! 

4. Water Wow Activity Books

Our whole family is obsessed with these books. (They're made by Melissa & Doug so of course we love them). A family member gave one of these to Pippa for Christmas, and we immediately hopped on Amazon to order 3 more. If you are trying to keep a child quiet during church, or occupied during a road trip or rainy day at home  -buy these NOW. Even I was mesmerized by the magic of the water turning colors. I may or may not borrow this when Pippa is sleeping. 

5. Christmas Memories

Sigh. Another Christmas has come and gone, and this one involved a whirlwind road trip to Wisconsin. We drove the 18+ hours overnight to arrive on Christmas Eve, and returned to Florida before New Years, but it was so worth it! We got to watch our kids bond with their grandparents, aunts + uncles, and play with their cousins. We make use of FaceTime a lot, but there's nothing like being there in person! Plus, I think my heart would break into a million pieces if I knew my whole family was sipping on Christmas coffee and devouring my dad's famous coffee cake while leisurely opening presents for 4 hours without us on Christmas morning. Having 5 sisters and a mom who is obsessed with Christmas means our holiday traditions are varied and strong - not something to give up easily! All that to say, it was hard to drive through the night twice in a week's time with a 1 and 3 year old while being over 20 weeks pregnant, but I would do it again in a heartbeat for the memories we got to create.

This week I'm linking up with:


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