The Busy Giffs: February 2017

February 19, 2017

It's Spring in February!

It's currently 50* outside and it's not exactly normal for February in Massachusetts.  It's got me thinking about all the things I want to do to our yard as it gets warmer...

Let's be honest, this is the dream... but we need a new house for this...

1. Clear out some of our woods.
We are at the end of a dead end road and I'd love to clear out some of the brush to make more room. Part of me would like to put a pool on that side of the house and it would be the perfect space once it's cleared!

2. Redo and finish our fence.
Our builder kind of sucked. Instead of doing a great job with our fence, he put it overlapping our neighbors fence, a foot away and about 6" off the ground so it serves absolutely no purpose, except to cover up our neighbor's fence. I want to pull it down and ask our neighbor about just having the one fence between our houses. Then I'd like to wrap it the rest of the way so our backyard is fully enclosed for the kids.

3. Buy a new Swing Set
Our Little Tikes swing set was perfect for two little ones but now that Emma is older and bigger, the small 2.5 foot slide isn't cutting it anymore.  I really want to get a big wooden swing set instead. I'm loving this one and this one, which would both be so affordable.

4. Raised planting beds.
Every year I say I want to do them but this year, I really do. Raised planting beds with things like tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, even strawberries... Maybe I just need to focus on it...

5. Build a low deck.  We currently have a high deck, but I'd love to build a secondary low deck to have more space to relax, especially for...

6. a Hot tub!
I really want one... ha. We have a pool that is waiting for the flat land but I really want to splurge on a hot tub. It most likely won't be this year but it's in my mind...

7. Plant more bushes.
The front of our house looks a little bare. We bought smaller shrubs and then planted perennials, but I think I want some bushes so it doesn't look completely bare when it's not flowering season...

Anyone else already dreaming about warmer weather?

xo, Heather

Florals for Spring

I love love LOVE florals. I've been wearing them throughout the Winter, but Spring is like the green light to go full out floral.
Here are a few pieces that I'm obsessed with right now...

I love that there are gorgeous one piece bathing suits, like this Mink Pink Strappy One Piece ($49.99),  the Senna Floral Lace Halter One Piece ($39.99), the Billabong One Piece  for $85 or the Black Floral Tankini (Top Only - $39.99), that I could mix with any black bottom.

Bedtime calls for this super soft Gillian O'Malley Pajama Set, only $19.99.

Work appropriate clothes call for a Pleated Skirt ($22.90) or this gorgeous Floral Crochet-Back Cardigan, only $21.99.

If you're going out, you can still incorporate florals with this super fun Wrap Front Romper ($39.95) or look fancy in a Floral Lace Body Con 2 piece Dress ($46.99).

Not everyone is confident enough to pull off full out florals, but this gorgeous Royal Garden Purse ($39) from Charming Charlie's is a perfect pop of flower without being too much!

I can't wait until the flowers start popping up out of the ground, but until then, I'll be fancy and floral over here!

xo, Heather

February 3, 2017

Big Game Snacks Thanks to Willow Tree Chicken Salad!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Willow Tree, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Willow Tree Chicken Dips make the perfect game day app for cheering on your favorite team (Go Pats!) and are so delicious! At this point in the season, every game is a must win so we threw a little party during last weekend's playoff game to cheer on our boys in red, white, and blue!

David is obsessed with Willow Tree Chicken salad, especially the Buffalo Chicken salad Dip.  Amazing served warm or cold, I thought I'd mix it up a bit for him! I bought a cheap package of egg roll wraps and made him delicious Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls. They were so easy! Simply drop a spoonful of the Buffalo Chicken Dip onto an egg roll wrapper, roll up, closing in the sides and sealing with water and then pan fry. 

David said they were delicious but he would have been just as happy eating it out of the container with some crackers!

Another great dip, that was new to us, was their Chicken Ceaser dip. The Chicken Caesar Dip combines premium all white meat chicken with the yummy flavors of Parmesan Caesar dressing and cream cheese. This is another one that is amazing served hot or cold.  I warmed it up and served it alongside some delicious whole grain crackers.

While everything was delicious, I have to admit, my soft spot is for their original Willow Tree Chicken Salad. I could literally eat it out of the container with a fork if that was allowed... but instead, I spread a nice helping onto some warm croissant slider rolls. Yum!

All of the Willow Tree Chicken Salad products are delicious (remember the Avocado Chicken Salad and the Sriracha Chicken Salad?) and make for easy entertaining snacks for the big game!

Willow Tree products are sold throughout the New England region at hundreds of supermarkets including Shaw’s, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, Walmart, Roche Bros, Hannaford, Big Y and Trucchi’s, as well as at the company’s retail store at 997 South Main Street, Attleboro, MA 02703. You can locate your closest retailer here.

February 1, 2017

2017 Goals Check In: January

It's been a month!

Let's see how I'm doing on those goals:

1. Log 250 miles of walking/jogging/running on the treadmill or at events (5Ks, etc).

I'm currently at 4 miles, which is super pathetic but my basement is cold and I know I'll put in the most miles over the summer. I need to remember that it's not much, but it's a start!

2. Go out with my husband 1x a month.

We had a great little date at a restuarant called Bailey's in Wareham, MA. Delicious food and huge portions! Seriously, I ordered a lunch size portion of chicken marsala and I ate it that night and for lunch the next day, plus there was enough for David to make a full meal!

3. Read 26 new books.

I've already started this too! 
1. The Girl On The Train - buy it from Amazon here (aff).
2. Salt to the Sea - buy it from Amazon here (aff).

4. Post to my Blog Facebook at least 2x per week.
Ehhh.... I got close-- I really need to focus on this...

5. Participate in a Blog Round Up, once per month.

6. Write a blog post at least twice a week.
I have a total of 6 blog posts this month, which isn't exactly my goal but I have 4 more drafts saved and ready to go next month so I'm still calling it a win.

7. Create a true crafting area and a gym area in the basement.

Hooray! I am so excited about this one! We already had an electrician come and give us an estimate on adding a few electric outlets to power the treadmill, Cricut machine, and sewing machine so that will be coming along soon! We now have an exercise bike, a treadmill and a rowing machine so I'm excited to use them when the kids are in bed.

The crafting area is also coming along, adding in some new cabinets and sehlves, plus a few new work spaces.  I love that where it is, I can see the whole playroom so both the kids and I  can be working at the same time.

8. Keep my car clean and get it detailed at the beginning of the season.
The kids and I did our own clean out. I really just love when it looks nice! I'll be planning on a real detail come April!

9. Have less stuff.

We started the year donating an entire van worth of things were are not using. I pulled apart all of the kid's outgrown clothes and seperated them by gender and size so that we can attempt to sell them in a consignment sale.  There's so much that I don't want to just donate it all but a handful of clothing has already gone to Gifts to Give, some to Savers and the rest waiting to be tagged and sold. My hope is to go through one area of the house every month and continue to get rid of clutter.  I have no problem holding on to things, but clutter is different. 

10. Stop comparing myself to others.

This one is especially hard for me. There is so much pressure as a mom to "keep up with" the others. I'm really working on myself, physically and emotionally, and can already feel the differences but I have 11 more months to go.

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