Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My Favorite December Things

As usual, my absolute favorite things on the weekdays is warm coffee and listening to kids play.

I totally missed sharing a Christmas list of must haves, but we've tried A LOT of new things recently. As it turns out, I'm not good at snowboarding. Regardless of the face plants, snowboarding was awesome. I loved it. We've loved a lot of things these past few weeks that have gotten us through these cold weather weekends during a pandemic. With snow storms in the forecast, along with many new face plants in my future, I'll share the things we love with you:

1.) We received (and gave) some great gifts from Bozz Prints and The Knotty Nail. Both located in Valley Junction, Bozz Prints has anything you'll need that's Iowa related and The Knotty Nail has everything from string art kits (my minis love these) to mugs (my shitshow cup in now one of my favorites) to wooden signs.


2.) Hot chocolate bombs are the bomb this year. I was lucky enough to be gifted homemade ones (and they were amazing!), but we turned to Beaverdale Confections to go in our Pandmic Gift Baskets for family.

3.) We've been on a breakfast pizza kick. Casey's, Fong's, Scornovacco's. Des Moines has some great options when it comes to this breakfast delicacy. Casey's is still my favorite.

4.) We've had plenty of time for movie and television viewing. Some of our faves to watch the last couple of weeks include: Prom, The Princess Switch (1 and 2), a re-watch of The X-Files, and HBO Max (WW1984 was a must watch, so we treated ourselves to a subscription to the streaming service).

5.) Since we did no big family gatherings this year, we wanted to bring just a little bit of the usual Christmas into our home. As a result, I've found myself making family favorite recipes passed down from my grandparents and great grandparents. Our Christmas Eve feast included homemade pork and chili with tortillas, tamales (from our favorite place in Des Moines), homemade salsa, and conchas. Christmas Day included ham, my grandma's Christmas potatoes, and bread pudding. All VERY rich food that somehow made it feel more like the holiday.

6.) The minis (and mom) were surprised with a Lazer Tag set from my aunt and uncle. We've had some VERY entertaining nights since Christmas Eve thanks to this set. It's so loved that I may order another one or two for daycare this summer!

7.) As we're in the middle of another snowstorm, brand new snow tubes and snowboards may have been my best idea yet. We need to master snowboarding (so far we've only mastered face planting), but both have gotten plenty of use so far and given us so much fun!

8.) Before this school year, I had always wondered how teachers can go through so many Expo markers. Now, I get it. Those things made their way onto my wish lists and Christmas lists because they're so used.

9.) The minis loved their tie blanket art classes so much in the fall that they made some for Christmas gifts. They watched numerous tutorials and tried different methods of the tying. YouTube tutorials of all kinds have been our go-to when we've tried new things this pandemic quarantine. 

10.) After a unit on the stars, planets, and constellations, star gazing has become a thing our family loves to do. Certified dark sky parks are the best places to look up and take it all in. We recently visited Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Said to have the darkest skies in Iowa, it's definitely a place we'll be visiting again (and likely hiking too!). 

11.) I'll be straight with you, while homeschooling is going better than expected, I've relied on Google A LOT. Especially with middle school science class. Apparently I needed to pay more attention! To help both the 7th grader and myself, I grabbed the Everything You Need to Ace Science, World History, and American History for the 5th grader. My kids read these for fun and it makes explaining things soooo much easier. Maybe my kids just have a lot of questions, but it's given my Googling a bit of a break!

12.) My husband handmade me a charcuterie board for Christmas. Now I'm having fun putting them together. Just for us because, ya know, we can't have gatherings, but hopefully I'll perfect my boards before we can actually have people inside of our home. 

13.) Despite getting a ridiculous amount of Harry Potter Legos this holiday season, my boys anxiously waiting to purchase these Harry Potter book sets.

14.) I happened upon these Virtual Tours on Facebook and it's well worth the money, especially since there's very little traveling happening right now!