Santa Visit and Christmas-y Ideas

Thursday, November 26, 2015
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We did and I will post about it tomorrow. I tend to post a lot more this month because we have so many fun Christmas traditions that I like to record.

We typically go to see Santa the day before Thanksgiving but due to a fishing trip for the boys, we went a night earlier. This was a somewhat emotional trip for me as Will had promised me that he would go see Santa until he went to college.  That means this was the last year all three kids would go see Santa.  I know it is kind of silly but we have gone to see Santa every year since Will was born.  I LOVE going to see Santa as a family.  We always make a day or night out of it by going to eat and walking around window shopping and having fun family time.

Here is Will's first and second trip to see Santa.



You can see he was not too happy that second year.

And here are the photos from this year.  They are all iPhone pictures.


The kids goofing around






After we saw Santa we walked around and looked at the decorations and window shopped.  It was fun family time.  We played around in the Apple store and Brooks Brothers.  Then we went to dinner.  It was really nice.  I thought I would cry at Santa but the photographer lady (who was very nice) talked to me so much that I was distracted and not 100% in the moment.  I guess it was good because I did not get upset and my memories are more of the time we spent as a family that night.

Now onto some Christmas shopping ideas because after all it IS Black Friday!

So this summer I read a book (as did the rest of the US) about de-cluttering. The book is really good and I did a ton of de-cluttering. The book is called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  The key is to only keep things that bring you JOY.  I really ask myself a number of questions before I bring something new into our house now. The book has really been good for me.  It would make an excellent Christmas gift for someone who need to organize and de-clutter.


I mention the book because it has made me so much more intentional in what I purchase. So if I buy something, it was something I really loved and felt like I would use. I want to share with you some great deals I have found.

I like nice quality clothes and accessories but I also try to keep the "trendy" pieces on a reasonable price point.

This is by far the best thing I have purchased recently.  As I mentioned in my last post, most of my jewelry was stolen in a break in a few months ago.  I LOVE chunky fun jewelry and I had quite a collection of pieces that I wore constantly.  They were not worth anything to the thieves but I wore them a lot.

Anyway, this necklace is so awesome.  It arrived this week and I planned my Thanksgiving day outfit around it (but the weather did not cooperate). It is on major sale today so the price is awesome. I think I'll order another one to give as a gift.

I will admit that I am kind of addicted to plaid this season and I see everyone else is too.


I LOVE this tartan plaid pencil skirt.  It is on sale (30% off today) here and here.  I ordered one and plan to wear it to work and for some holiday occasions.


Keeping with the plaid theme.  I love this scarf (above) as it is lighter weight and the tassels make it really cute.

There are a million plaid scarves out there this year at every price point and I think they make a great gift for a woman of any age (teen to grandma) and one size fits all.  I usually have one or two on hand for last minute gift giving.  This one is a great price and would be a good gift for babysitter or teachers.


This one is a great deal too.


Another thing I wear all winter long is these vests.  I have one in cream, tan, red and olive green.  I bought the tan one first from a high end store and paid a lot for it.  Then I found these and they are just as nice at a fraction of the price.  They changed the pattern a little this year but I really like it.


This is THE best money I have ever spent.  I had heard people rave about these for years and I could not see the big deal.  Well, I finally bought one a few years ago and I wear it constantly.  I even found a kids one for Kate that she lives in.  We call them "our cozy."  In fact I have mine on right now while I write this post.  I wear one mostly around the house but I also wear it to barre class and running errands.  It is lounge wear technically but it looks like a sweater.  It is THE SOFTEST thing you will own  it feel like s soft hug.  It would make a very special gift for someone. it comes in lots of colors.  I am not a fan of the ombre ones.  I have either cocoa or pewter and it is super neutral. I also want to add that mine is not this long at all and I am rather petite.


Mine fits more this this.


And since I am on the "cozy" theme.  This is another really special purchase.  I had always wanted linen sheets but they can be very pricey for a king size.  So, when I saw these on sale right before my birthday, I knew that was what  wanted.


I LOVE them.  I wish I bought them years ago.  They are so soft but cool and crisp too.  Now I wish all of my sheets were this linen.

Each year, people ask me about the cute holiday dresses I buy for Kate.  Honestly, I start looking in September at local boutiques, places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Nordstrom.  As Kate gets older, it gets harder to find a few holiday dresses.  She wears them to The Nutcracker Ballet, The Teddy Bear tea, our Santa visit, Christmas parties, etc.  Each year I buy two and then she usually has a few that still fit from the year before.

I found these that I really like this year. I love this dress.  It is beautiful and it is only $26 on sale at right now.


It also comes in a silver metallic


This brocade fit and flare is on a greta sale too


This one is adorable and it comes in toddler, little girl and bog girl sizes.

This plaid one is really cute too.

This one is darling too.


And Kate has this gold lame dress and it is so cute. It is on sale right now.


I plan to post about our Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Don't forget to enter the Minted contest in my last post.  They are having great sales today too.  Click on the sale on my sidebar.

Disclosure Note:  This post contains some affiliate links and if you purchase items after clicking on links I will receive a small commission from the company (at no cost to you). I only link to products or companies I have used and loved. Thank you.

Minted Giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2015
This time of year, you know I am all about the tradition and Christmas cards are a big part of that in our family.  I don't know why they mean so much to me but they do.   I love getting them from all my friends and family members and seeing how everyone has changed (or not) over the years.  In fact, I save them all which is definitely a problem.

For that last few years, I have collaborated with Minted for our family cards.  I used Minted years ago when they first came on the scene and I have had the best customer service and love my cards every year.  So, this year, we are using Minted again.

Sometimes, I am on the ball and order my cards in September (not kidding) and some years (like this year) I still have not ordered them.  It doesn't matter.  Minted ships quickly and I always get them in plenty of time.  They also seem to always have a special or sale going on which I appreciate too.

This is our card from last year.  I love it.  I vary back and forth between these ornament types and the traditional ones.  But I think these ornament types are my favorite.

Minted has agreed to team up with me again this year to offer three of my readers a $100 credit.  I am so excited as the Minted site has so many awesome products now from stationery to art.

Here are just a few design from this year that I played around with....




To enter, go here and fill in your name and email address.
Minted will choose 3 winners after the contest closes and they will notify the winners.

Exciting news

Saturday, November 21, 2015
As usual these days, we have had a lot going on at our house.  It is prime gymnastics and swim season.  And it has been college application "season" too.  Will has applied to 7 schools.  We have heard from 3 of those so far.  I am proud to report that he has been accepted to Baylor, Colorado School of Mines and Texas A & M thus far.  And he was awarded the President's Gold Academic Scholarship at Baylor.  It is quite an honor and we are so so proud of him.  He is still waiting to hear from all the schools before he makes his decision but it is such a relief to know that he has three excellent options already!  I am really proud of him.



I also wanted to let you know of a few things on my "things I love" list lately.  I plan to post some each week for Christmas ideas.

Our house was broken into a few months ago and all of my jewelry was stolen.  It was devastating.  I was crushed.  The material loss was tough but the feeling of invasion and the loss of precious  memories associated with the jewelry is really what has haunted me.  There were so many things that were special gifts from Dave or the kids or passed down from his parents.  I have worked through it and know it is only "stuff" and that I have all the things in life that matter.  I have even prayed for and forgiven the thieves.  But, it still stings a bit.  Anyway, I am very slowly replacing some costume pieces as they stole ALL of that too.


This necklace is very versatile.  It adds sparkle without being overwhelming.  I have worn it with denim,  plaid flannel and silk shirts. It is on sale (code SHOPNOW) and it would make a great gift.

I ordered this cape on a whim because I had a birthday credit and I LOVE it.  It is so chic and the perfect weight if you don't want a heavy coat but it is still chilly.


I also wanted some plaid flannel pajamas this year. I almost ordered these as they are beautiful (and 30% off with code SHOPNOW). But they are a pretty thick, warm plaid.  Here in Houston, it is rarely cold enough for me to wear those. As much as I love them, I think I would be too hot in them here.  I was disappointed as I love them and Kate really wanted to get them for me for my birthday (last week).


But his week, I found these while shopping.  They are super soft and a lighter weight which is prefect for me.  And the price was great too.


And if you are looking for matching family pajamas at a great price point, they have them too.


I'll be back Monday with a great giveaway from Minted.
They are giving away 3 gift credits of $100 each to Three Peanuts readers.
Have a great weekend!

gymnastic season

Monday, November 2, 2015
Some of Kate's teammates and one of their coaches, Coach Andy!


At this level (4) Kate's competition season for gymnastics is from the end of August until about now.  She practices 4 days a week, 52 weeks a year though.  With the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving, they always have practice!

Kate trains about 16 hours a week in the gym.  She misses a lot of play dates and time with friends.  Most of the time that does not bother her but at the end of competition season, she starts to feel it. This is about the time of year that she gets overwhelmed.  Honestly this girl LOVES gymnastics but she is not super competitive.  She would do all of the training even if there were not meets or medals.

Last week was our  District Champs where Kate advanced to South State.  And this weekend was South State in San Antonio.   If you do well in that, you advance to State.

I probably should have done multiple posts along the way on the various meets but I have not had time.  So ---fair warning there will be too many videos and photos here but I am squeezing the whole season into one post;)

This season has been interesting.  Kate has had some of her highest highs and some of her lowest lows too. I would say that last year Kate was pretty consistent on all of the four events.  This year, Kate has two great events and two she struggles with.

I'll start with the good.  Kate rocks the beam.   Her highest score was a 9.825 and that landed her her on the top 100 list and she holds the record at her gym for highest bean score now. I so wish I had videotaped that one but of course I did not!  I think the fact that we have a beam in our front hallway has something to do with her success on the beam.  She says the beam is her home:)



Until yesterday, Kate had won 1st place on the beam at every meet this season.   The other parents at our gym started calling her "the beam queen."  She has looked beautiful on the beam all season (until yesterday). Yesterday the gym was freezing and the girls were nervous.  Kate did not give her best beam performance.  Usually she is rock solid.  Here are some photos and video of her beam this season.

Beam Galveston Meet 2015 from Kim S on Vimeo.






She is in the way back on this one and it is a little hard to see...

IMG_8300 from Kim S on Vimeo.

Her next best event is the floor routine. This is my favorite event to watch Kate compete.  The beam sometimes makes me too nervous. But watching her on the floor is like watching her dance. She is so graceful.  Kate has won 1st on floor and tied for 3rd a few times.  Her highest score on floor this year is 9.7.  Yesterday she won first place again on floor in the South State champs with a  9.6  That was very exciting.

Here are her videos of her floor routines.

Floor at Stars 1st place 9.7 from Kim S on Vimeo.

The one above is the one where she got  a 9.7

The one below has no music....

IMG_8295 from Kim S on Vimeo.

And some floor photos...





Next is bars.  Kate has done ok on bars but not great.  In past years she has done well on bars so we cannot figure out what is going on. She knows what she needs to do to get higher scores but it doesn't always happen. The best she has scored is a 9.0

Here is one of her bar routines..I think it was her first of the season.

Kate Bars meet 1 8-23-2015 from Kim S on Vimeo.

Some bar photos...




Finally, the vault has given Kate a lot of trouble this season.  Similarly the best vault she has done is  9.0 (6th place).  She works really hard at vault and bars but for some reason she is not improving the way she usually does.

IMG_8507 2


Kate has so much fun with her teammates.  She truly loves these girls.  They have become some of her closest friends.  They have a lot of fun at the meets and at practice too.  We hosted a Halloween party for the team last week since many of them missed Halloween due to South State State champs. I'll post some photos of that later.



They cheer each other on and I have not seen Kate ever get jealous of her teammates. In fact, Kate almost did not qualify for state this week. It was touch and go and even though she was not sure if she was going to make it, she was THRILLED for her teammates who made it. She did end up making the cut but she was fine ether way.


Our triple threat. These three swept 1st, 2nd and 3rd a few times on floor and beam:)





So that is the summary of Kate's gymnastics season.  She has one more meet in the Dallas area in a few weeks for State Championships.