The Busy Giffs: December 2017

December 31, 2017

The End of Another Year

Can you even believe another year is over? Sometimes the days seem so long, but then, the whole year is over and you're wondering where all that time went.

I always like to take today to pause and reflect back on the year. It's a good way to remember joy in the ordinary things we did.

It snowed so much.  We spent a lot of time inside, playing with snow, baking, and watching movies.  We visited the American Girl store with Mimi and Aunties and even drove to New Hampshire to see Elsa's Ice Castle.

Another cold month with more snow! But we spent time at the Cape Cod Children's Museum, spent my 31st birthday night down the Cape at a hotel and found the best donuts on Cape.

We celebrated Dr Suess Day at school, spent time volunteering at Gifts to Give, and David had surgery to correct his deviated septum.  I spent the night with some favorites seeing Simple Plan!

And it started to get busy again! It was finally warm enough to be outside so we went to Buttonwood Park Zoo and the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum.  Emma got bit by the comp bug after cheering on her friends.  We went to P-Town for our annual trip and discovered the daffodil fields in Dartmouth.
We celebrated Easter and Dave and I even got a date night at Foxwoods, complete with a trip to the Sugar Factory!

May is always a busy month with 2 birthdays! Tyler turned 3 with a Chuck E Cheese birthday party and David turned 34! Emma discovered Sephora and we made our first macarons!

The busiest month of the year! We got to see my baby sister graduate from high school, Emmalee turned 6, and she was invited to join her competitive dance team! We spent a weekend in Newport and a month of playgrounds, ice cream, and beach trips was wonderful, but Emma's favorite trip was to Alice in the Village tea shop!

Another super busy month- we really love summer! We spent more time at the local zoo, plus we visited the Museum of Science and another zoo! We celebrated the 4th with fireworks, family, and sparklers. I attended Blogger Bash in NYC and found the ever elusive to me Strawberry Fields and Central Park Castle! I went to the top of the Empire State Building and found the super trendy cookie dough store!

Our last of summer consisted of the annual lobster boil, Emmalee getting pink hair, me starting my MONAT business, and a trip to Disney! Our trip was quick but so much fun! We hit all 4 parks in 2 days, complete with Early Morning Magic hours at Magic Kingdom and the Star Wars Dessert Party! We rode every ride we wanted to and still had time to sit and enjoy meals with characters! I found out that I had an underactive thyroid and was finally able to start medicating properly!

Emmalee started 1st grade and Tyler moved from daycare to preschool! We spent a weekend in New Hampshire with cousins and visited my favorite spots in Maine from when I was a kid. We were invited to HasCon to check out the cool toys for Christmas. Went apple picking and spent even more time with my siblings and mom. I even had a girls day at King Richard's Faire!

Emmalee attended her first dance convention and learned so much, while Tyler discovered video games and became obsessed with Disney Infinity. We made a big deal of the My Little Pony movie coming out and had a girlfriend day, complete with make up and manicures. Emmalee lost her first tooth and I fell in love with Rae Dunn. Of course, Halloween, but we were so busy the kids went trick or treating 5 times!

Another month that ended up being much busier than expected! We started the month celebrating my grandmother's 80th birthday with a surprise party! The we went NYC for PlayFair and Emma was in a Shopkins fashion show! We stayed local to meet Anna and Elsa at the mall and went to the wrong night of a fundraiser at Chuck E Cheese. We went to Heritage Gardens to see the lights and met Mrs. Claus. Emmalee and I went back to NYC to see the Rockettes and visited the American Girl Store, after our car blew a tire on the side of 195. We took family pictures and celebrated the engagement of my brother and future sister-in-law. The kids met Santa when they went out for a night out without me!

And just like that, the year is over! We had time to squeeze in another trip to P-Town and some gingerbread decorating. Emma danced at nursing homes with her dance team and we had an elf at our house for the first time! We spent Christmas Eve at my grandmother's and then relaxed all day in our pajamas at home on Christmas.  For the first year (probably ever), we had no plans or tickets for vacation week and just enjoyed being home with each other!

I love looking at pictures of how much the kids have grown over the year, but it's a good reminder that I've grown so much too.  So many people will complain about 2017 and the dumpster fire that it was, but I choose to find the joy in each month, in each moment.

Here's to new adventures and more joy in 2018!

xo, Heather

December 27, 2017

Goodbye Christmas decorations... Hello New Decor

Anyone else love the satisfaction of cleaning up after Christmas?

I love Christmas, I really do... but there's something so satisfying about everything being put back in order. As a teacher, I capitalize on putting it away early, which gives me more time to enjoy my clean, well as clean as it will ever be with a 3 and 6 year old, living room before it's back to school time.

So because I cleaned, I'm obviously dreaming of new furniture and new spaces for the new year. I find myself repeatedly going back to my mantle for inspiration.  After the Christmas stuff has come down, it's very winter-y and exactly the feel I want for my house...

Blues and beige, with natural wood, a little bit of sparkle, and the feeling of being near the beach...

I love this color scheme and love that it can spread through the whole year, with some yellow and white flowers added in for the Spring, or some deeper browns and maroons for the fall. I have a few favorite pieces that have been sitting in my online carriages, just waiting for me to push the "Submit Order"...

Sofa: Ektorp from Ikea / with Chaise
Sideboard: A TV stand from Walmart in weathered or blue / White from IKEA
Dining set: White set from IKEAHoney Wood Set from Walmart
Rug: White Wool from Target
Desk: Weathered Wood from Wal-Mart

I think they'd look so amazing in the house!

Anyone else find they want to rearrange everything and order all new furniture after you take down the holiday decorations?

xo, Heather

December 14, 2017

Give Drinks! Easy and Inexpensive Boozy Gifts [21+]

How adorable are these?

A post shared by Heather (@heathgiff) on

It's not always easy to have an on hand gift or to have something for your 24 cousins when you head to your grandma's for the holiday, and since I'm not made of gold, I thought these would be an adorable and easy way to gift everyone!

You only need a few items:
 Mason jars (I love these ones with handles from Amazon #affiliatelink and you can't beat the price!)
Mini soda cans - or Pineapple juice cans! (Buy them from Amazon #affiliatelink or at your local grocer).
Paper straws (also available on Amazon #afflink or at the Target dollar spot!)
Twine or ribbon

I had to think of a few favorite combinations but I'm always known to go for a Malibu and pineapple juice or a vodka and sprite so those were first on my list! David is a Bacardi and Diet soda fan, and who doesn't love a Jack and Coke? A few dollars at the packie and I was set to assemble!

After all is said and done, it cost me roughly $5 each, and honestly, I'd rather get this than a $5 gift card to the convenience store down the street! What other combinations would you gift?

xo, Heather

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