Our 2015 Word of the Year

As I alluded to last week on Instagram (btw, are we friends on Instagram???  It's by far my favorite social media and I often use it in place of my blog when I don't have time...so hit me up!), we've been working on implementing our family's word of the year for 2015.  GIVE.

While "giving" will serve as a general theme for us Jansens, we decided to start off this month by giving gratitude.  We have so much to be thankful for and as a mother, I want my kids to be aware of all the little (and big) blessings of which we have to be so very grateful!  One way we're doing this is through a "thankful journal".  We got these cute personalized ones from Tiny Prints, completed with our family name and the word "Give".  At different times, whether it be at the dinner table or during family night, we plan to occasionally ask our children what they want to give thanks for...and jot it down in this handy notebook.  This can also serve as a prayer journal in that way, too!


Another way we're "giving" gratitude is through thank you notes.  While there seems to always be a reason to send a thank you note (because of a gift or something of the like), less often are notes sent in thanks...just because.  Tyler Bree wrote one yesterday to our neighbor in thanks for supporting her in her pig showing endeavors and I plan to write a few this week to friends thanking them for being such great examples to me.  When a handwritten note is something rare these days (don't even get me started on cursive no longer being taught), what a great thing for our children to learn and make a habit of doing, especially on super cute stationary!  I know for me personally, nothing can brighten my day more than a thoughtful note...even better if it's one of gratitude.  It makes me smile to know that our "giving" this month is in the form of thoughtfulness and love.



>>> So I'd love to know...does your family do a word of the year???  If so, please leave it in a comment!


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My {Permanent} Hair Removal Process

Happy Monday to ya'!  Gosh, can you believe this is the last week of January!?!  I'm actually looking forward to the end of the month...with the stock show, heading up a 5K race (this week), homeschooling, all a million other things...February promises a bit more relaxation and free time in our schedule.  Hopefully.

Speaking of time, I've always been one that hates taking the time to shave (especially when I'm in a hurry), but kind of always thought hair removal wasn't an option for me because of my blonde leg hair and light skin.  My SIL did it and swears it was the best things she's ever done.  I've heard success stories from several other people as well....so when I was given the opportunity to review the Veet Infini'Silk hair removal system, I jumped at the chance!


^^^ right after it arrived in the mail ^^^


The Veet Infini'Silk uses intense pulse light (IPL) to gradually reduce hair growth over time.  So I just did my first treatment this past weekend and will do my next in another week...the full process takes a few months.  I treated my underarms, my legs, and my bikini line, and I'll tell you what...this was the most easy, painless, no-brainer process I could have imagined.  I've always heard that permanent hair removal is pretty painful, so I was expecting some kind of sting, but none so far.  All you do is place the Veet on your skin and a flash of pulse light happens almost immediately...then you move it to the next spot.  Moving forward, you can increase the energy level as needed.  My whole idea that my skin and hair is too light was not an issue, as the Veet has a sensor to detect skin color compatibility and will not emit the pulse light if it won't work for you...how cool is that?

I'm excited to post again in a couple of months to give you an update on how it's going!  Let me know if you have any specific questions about the Veet Infini'Silk that you'd like me to answer along the way!


^^^ the easy-to-use product ^^^




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Fist Pump Friday

I'd like to start a new series on here called "Fist Pump Friday"...

Which will basically be a blog post about what I'm fist-pumping about lately...because you know, that's such a lady-like gesture.  Picture more Kathleen Kelly rather than Tiger Woods.  So here we go...

My Friday Fist Pumps (round one):




1.  After-Christmas Christmas Tree:  When we moved last spring, we decided to throw out our sad little hand-me-down Christmas tree thinking "Oh, we'll just buy a nice tall one for our new high ceilings.  Well, when November came and I was shopping for a new tree, I quickly realized it wasn't in our budget...especially since we were about to go on our ski trip.  So then I resolved to just wait (yes, you read that correctly...we didn't have a tree this year, except for this itty-bitty thing we "placed" gifts next to) until after Christmas.  Couldn't find ANYTHING ON SALE!!!  Until one day after Christmas perusing Target (as I generally do every other day of the week), and I get offered the 10.5 display tree for $100...with ALL the ornaments included.  Stupid me walks away from that deal and calls Blake, who promptly told me to march back to the salesman, apologize, and tell him I'd be happy to take it off his hands.  The End.  (Oh and there's no box, so we bought this thing.)  Can't wait to put it up next November 1st...fist pump!!!!

2.  Disney Cruise:  Our kids had a pretty minimal Christmas this year...besides the new sibling gift tradition we started and some Christmas jammies, Santa gifts were all they got....because after it was all over, we sent them to our study to watch a video.  I'll save you the viewing, but basically, Blake and I made a video of us talking about our last Disney cruise, showing pictures, etc...then talking about this new year and what it might hold...and then I "surprised" him with news that we're going on another Disney cruise this spring.  I thought we were so creative and fun, but the kids' reactions were less than impressed.  I don't know if they were expecting something like that, or it just took a while to sink in...either way, I'm not letting it deter my own excitement!  Fist pump!
p.s. Read my Disney Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean post HERE.



3.  Bootcamp:  I've only been meaning to get my butt in shape for like EVER, and now especially with the cruise being only a few months away...so I was so pumped when the perfect thing came my way.  "Perfect" being used loosely, as I actually do not enjoy a torturous bootcamp, but my body hopefully will thank me later.  I've started at Camp Gladiator (they have locations literally everywhere), and I really like it so far!  Blake says I need to work on my arms...curls for gurls boy.  My first day I only felt like I was going to puke 4 or 5 times...I'll go ahead and fist pump for that!

4.  New Wheels:  Right before Tyler Bree was born, we bought a crew cab truck that served as our "family car" until Riley was born.  Blake has driven that huge Ford truck ever since and I can happily (and bittersweetly) say that "Old Ruby" was sent off to find another home...and has since been replaced.  This will be the first time since Blake was 15 that he didn't drive a truck....definitely the end of an era for my country-boy husband.  Fist pump for a new family car that holds ALL of us!  (And yes, we still have the 'burb.)


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A New Family Tradition

Oh my heck...this is me starting the year off strong blogging.
(nice going, Kristen)

A little delayed, but better late than never.  I wanted to share something new we did this Christmas that I think our kids are finally old enough to accomplish/appreciate.  Leading up to Christmas, Blake took each kid (separately) to Target to pick out gifts for their siblings.  We had a rough monetary limit on them, so the gifts were nothing grand...yet, the thought and effort that went into picking them out was not lost on either side of the fence when Christmas morning came.  I'm positive this was my favorite part of Christmas this year...watching my kids open up something (that may in normal circumstances be unimpressive) which made their eyes light up and squeal with delight.  

And the hugs were the BEST...even my non-hugger hugged it out....voluntarily!


What a blessing to me and Blake to witness our children understanding the joy of giving.  It made my heart smile to see the appreciation for the gifting, as well.  Even though taking each child to pick out gifts (some take longer than others) isn't the easiest thing in the world, we'll most certainly carry this new tradition throughout the future of our family!  It was well worth it!


Does your family practice this tradition?


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Why the Eve to an Eve is the Best Day

Happy New Year's Eve-EVE!!!!  I heard Kelly Ripa say that the eve to an eve is much more exciting than the actual eve itself because there are two days more to look forward to.  Does that make sense?  Well it certainly did to me, as I wholeheartedly agree with her!  Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year, but I almost love it so much I don't want it to end...therefore, Christmas Eve-Eve leaves that anticipation fresh and exciting without the taint of bittersweetness at it's soon-to-be end.

Can you tell somebody is having a bit of post-Christmas depression?

In going through all the Christmas pictures I took, these are some of my favorites from Christmas Eve...we celebrate every year with my dad's side of the family and I just love them all to pieces!

^^^ What should have been our Christmas card.  ^^^ 


^^^ My aunt and uncle still live in the house I grew up going to as a child...I have such fond memories of playing there will my cousins and it was great seeing all the little cousins playing in that same house. ^^^ 


^^^ It's not Christmas without a prom-posed photo with your brother. ^^^ 


^^^ My mom brought back Scottish berets from her trip this past fall and I've been wanting to get a shot of all of them....Christmas Eve was the day!  Such cute little lassies and laddie! ^^^


I have a few more Christmas posts coming up...and maybe a NYE one depending on how wild and crazy we get...because if Blake and I are ANYTHING, it's definitely wild and crazy.  whoo-hoo.


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BEST Peppermint Oreo Balls {No-Fail, No-Bake Recipe}

I've got the easiest, tastiest, festivest, bestest EVER dessert recipe for you today!  Whether you're still racking your brain on what to take to your family gatherings or maybe you just want to whip up a batch of these babies for Santa, you'll be sure to come back to this simple recipe every holiday season...because they are just so darn DELISH!


Ingredients:

1 pkg Oreos
1 pkg cream cheese
1 tsp peppermint extract
3 cups (possibly more) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup crisco
5 candy canes

To make:

-Empty the entire package of Oreos into a stand-up mixer, along with the package of (softened) cream cheese.  Mix well....it should resemble dark gray mush.  If you still have chunks of Oreo, mix some more.

-Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract into the Oreo mixture and mix again to combine.  Taste test it here to see if more peppermint needs to be added, as this is really the star of the show!

-Place mixing bowl in freezer for 1 (or more) hours.

-Unwrap the candy canes, place in a gallon zip-lock bag, and go to town crushing them up!  It's all up to you how fine or chunky you want the mints.

-In a microwave safe container (I use my Pampered Chef micro-cooker), combine chocolate chips and the crisco.  Heat until chocolate is melted (about 1.5 minutes) and you have a nice, creamy consistency.  Be careful not to overheat...chocolate does funny things when it gets too hot.

-Remove Oreo mixture from freezer and begin your assembly by rolling the mixture into 1-1.5 inch balls.  Oh yeah, remove rings prior to this step...stuff gets pretty messy.  You can either roll all the Oreo mixture at once, or one at a time until it's a completed Oreo ball.  Or better yet, put your kids to work and have a whole family assembly line!

-Dip the Oreo ball into the melted chocolate making sure it's completely coated.  Place on wax paper and promptly sprinkle with candy canes.  (Since the mixture will be cold from the freezer, the chocolate will harden quickly, so you want to make sure to get the candy cane on there while they're still wet.)

-And there you have it!  Make sure to refrigerate the Oreo balls if you're not eating them right away...but of course, sneak a few for yourself!

Happy Christmas cooking!!!!!

xo,
The Mrs. & The Momma

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Merry Christmas!!!!

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  I might blog (or I might not) this week, but I wanted to make sure I took a moment to wish everyone peace, love, and joy this Christmas.

Thank you for reading/supporting my blog....I truly appreciate you!  May we all enjoy the next few days in remembering the birth of our Savior and King.


Because He is what it's all about!



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