Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables

Happy December!  We are bustling around trying to finish the decorations and start planning for the holidays.  So far, I’m ahead of the game….my to-do list today includes sending out Christmas Cards!! {Yes! This year you’ll get them before Christmas!}  family-with-frameSo once again, I want to share with you the Holiday Planner that I created a couple of years ago.I’ve used it two years in a row so far and it has been a life saver.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  And when it came to Christmas cards, I needed a place to record who I’ve sent to in the past, and who I received from.  And, {don’t tell my family!} I also keep track of presents as I buy throughout the year too!Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized! Palmettos and Pigtails

****Disclaimer****

Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

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An Unplanned Wedding

My baby sister finally got married! We are absolutely thrilled for her and her new hubby, Doc.  And her wedding weekend was absolutely perfect, and just her style.She stressed me out a bit with her “unplanned wedding.”  As a Type-A personality, I couldn’t fathom not planning every second of the weekend, but a laid-back event was just up her alley.  Once they finally picked Labor Day weekend for their wedding date, they decided to keep it to just immediate family.  They’ll have some separate celebrations with their friends later on.  As for the weekend, we were able to relax and hang  out with our “new” extended family.Our side of the family decided to rent a property in Fort Myers.  It was perfect because it had just the right amount of bedrooms in the main house, plus an adorable 2 bedroom guesthouse that our little family {we had the only kids} could invade.  The main house also had a huge living area and a nice pool, perfect for entertaining.
My mom took over the hostess role by opening up the main house to Doc’s side of the family too.  On the day of the actual ceremony, she hosted a brunch and pool party so that the two families could bond a little.The ceremony was held at a property that’s right by Loo’s apartment, right on the water.  There was just enough indoor area for us girls to get ready for the ceremony there.  Jayna and Millie loved getting their hair done professionally, and the flower crowns were perfect for my little flower girls.

The wraparound porch had a bar, some tables and a bluegrass band that played during the ceremony as well as the reception.  And although the girls were disappointed that the band didn’t know “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” the music was fantastic and fun to dance to.

Millie had the official job of throwing the flowers.  And she took it VERY seriously.

Lincoln did great during the ceremony too; he cheesed the entire time, and got in every.single.one. of the family wedding photos after the ceremony! The ceremony itself was gorgeous.  Overlooking the water at sunset, the ceremony was performed by a good friend of the family.  And since there were only immediate family members there, we all got a front row seat!Congratulations Loo and Doc!

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Camp RaKuhn

If you didn’t already know, I am kind of a dork.  The only jokes I know are cheesy.  I can recite random lines from movies.  And I love me a good mash-up of two names.  So when I randomly tried to get the attention of my kids as well as my friend Betsy’s….it came out “Ray-Kuhn kids, let’s go!”  And, Camp RaKuhn was born.  Complete with a raccoon mascot, of course.We normally go somewhere to see each other every summer {either Montreat, NC or West Jefferson, NC}.  So when Betsy and her crew decided to come to our house for a week instead this year, the pressure was on to create the same kind of memories we do each year together.  Crafts galore, outings, porch sitting, splashing in creeks.Too bad all of our bodies of water have gators, we literally could not fit all 8 of us in a single vehicle for outings, and our porch is hot and dirty.  I was feeling discouraged.  I was worried Camp RaKuhn at our house was going to be a bust.

But, with a little last minute prep from Dave, we were able to transform our back porch into a lantern-lit, canvas-curtained, coffee-cozy retreat that Betsy and I were able to sit on while the kiddos came and went.  It was a great in-between for yard play and house play.We managed to get a couple of outings in over the week.  The big trip was to Bee City, our favorite little local petting zoo.  The price is right, the animals are so sweet, and there is something new every time.  The kids had a blast!I’m not sure if you can count the grocery store and the pool as outings, but we sure were a spectacle while traveling.  One mama loaded up with all 6 kids under 7, plus supplies….and the other one laughing and posting to Instagram….The nice thing about being local for our staycation is that Bets and I were able to sneak out  for an afternoon alone, thanks to a babysitter and naptime!  So naturally, we went to Walmart and Hobby Lobby.Our final group outing was to Cracker Barrel in town, where we had a lovely last-brunch before Betsy and the girls hit the road to head back north.  And just a few more photos….after all, the kids were sporting their brand new Camp Rakuhn tee-shirts!The tee-shirts were SO easy to make.  We worked on them a little each night {we had 6 to make after all!}, and customized each shirt with different colored lettering.  I’ll show you how we did it in another post, but we were able to find numerous images of the same cute little raccoon doing different things, so we’ll have shirts again next year!!Overall, I think Camp RaKuhn was a hit, and as soon as they got here and the kiddos all just jumped right back where they left off last year, I stopped stressing about activities.  One day, they literally entertained themselves for 45 minutes making the babies run back and forth between them!Upcycled Sock Donuts using Puffy Paint, Felt and SocksThey were more than content to just play with each other…although the Sock Donut Shop was also a hit!  Betsy and I got many hours of coffee and catching up, as well as out fill of crafts at night.Til next year, my dear!

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First Day of School Jitters

Whelp, here’s the obligatory “First Day of School” post.  As if you didn’t see enough of my kiddos on Instagram and Facebook this week!  The past few weeks have been a blur of busyness, school shopping, and sibling nit-picking.  Pretty typical for the end of summer in most houses, I’d like to think.

But now, the school year has officially started, and all three are in new classes and new schools.

Jayna and Millie started 2nd and Kindergarten at a brand new school up the street.  It was a little dicey whether it would open on time, but we had Meet the Teacher on Sunday afternoon and the kids were ready to roll on Monday morning.First Day of School 2016They hyped up the new school opening with a balloon arch, a “photo op” backdrop, and their own hashtag!  The girls were more than happy to pose with their best friends while we waited for the doors to open for the first day of school.Rockstars on the First Day of SchoolI was a little nervous about Millie’s transition to “Big School,” especially since it was a completely new environment {she had at least visited Jayna’s old school a few times}.  And the school itself was only about 80% done by the first day of school…safe for kids, but not as inviting as an established building with cubbies and colorful bulletin boards.  But I know it will get there, and I’m just happy the school opened on time!!The First Day of School (and Kindergarten!)Millie’s teacher, Ms. Miller, is a veteran teacher, and happens to be married to one of the developers of the new development where the new school is located.  So she’s familiar with the plan for the new community, and felt like she was meant to find a home in the new school too.  She seemed truly excited for the school year, and I found it endearing that she still gets choked up meeting her new little ones even after teaching for 20-some years!First Day of School and 2nd gradeAgain, it might be just because the school barely opened in time, but Jayna is in a Big Kid classroom this year.  No carpet squares.  No colorful calendar for Circle Time.  Real desks instead of tables.  Jayna’s teacher, Ms. Cushman, transferred over from our old school, but we don’t know anyone that had her….so it’s a blank slate!  Jayna is thrilled to have a neighborhood friend in class with her, and can’t wait for Reading and Writing time {surprise, surprise….}.First Day of School in the Two Year Old ClassLincoln had his Meet the Teacher on Monday, after his big sisters went to school.  My little guy had no problems acclimating, making fast friends with another handsome blondie, and mastering the peg puzzles that were out on the floor.  He was ecstatic about the dress-up clothes, which should please Dave because there were waaaaaay more Firefighter/Doctor/Superhero outfits than Princesses!  And I am thrilled that his teachers, Ms. Lianne and Ms. Christy, are friends of mine from when Jayna was a baby at CDC too!I took the traditional “before school” picture, that I have taken with all the kids each each they start CDC.  And I managed to dig up the girls’ pictures from their first day of the 2-year old class.  It’s fun to see them when they are all the same age!It's always reassuring to get a mid-day pic of a smiling kid on the First Day of School! #teacherwinI have to say, as a parent with a Little at school for the first time, it was so reassuring to get a {SMILING!!!} picture in the middle of the day.  Linc barely kissed me goodbye at drop-off before he ran over to join friends.  And when I picked him up, he didn’t want to leave!  He even told me in the car that he was going to “take a nap and THEN go to ‘cool again!”.  Needless to say, I think they ALL are going to have a fantastic school year!

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Weekend Wedding in Atlanta

Last month, we went to one of Dave’s cousins’ wedding in Atlanta.  We had a blast….and took ALOT of pictures.  I’ve been editing every night trying to get this post out to you!  Dave comes from a HUGE family, most of whom live in the Atlanta area.  So when his cousin Abby got married, we packed up our clown car and headed west.

We don’t get to see everyone very often, but Dave has a bunch of cousins that are our age, and then all of our kids, who are about the same age as well.  It’s amazing how kids who haven’t seen each other in years {or ever!} can pick up immediately and become best friends…at least for the weekend!The girl cousins pose before the wedding in Atlanta!We started the weekend hanging out with the family at one of the Aunt’s houses.  The girls hung out with the bride and played piano, the bigger ones played board games in the basement, and the boys rough and tumbled all over the house!  And the adults talked…and talked…and talked…

Friday, we had kind of a free day as half of the cousins went to bridal luncheons and hair appointments.  So, naturally, we went to the mall.  And immediately spent way too much money on the first thing that we saw….trampolines.  We harnessed the girls up and video-taped their every jump for the next 10 minutes.  Millie enjoyed jumping all over the place, and *ahem,* trying to flip. Jayna caught on to the flipping right away, and I got dizzy just watching her!

On Saturday, we spent the morning napping and swimming…my perfect vacation!  And it was a good thing we rested up, because the reception turned out to be quite the party.

The reception was held in this old converted train depot…huge chandeliers, exposed brick, and the wood bathroom stall doors were even gorgeous!Our weekend away for the wedding in Atlanta! Cousins, dancing and a Photo Booth of course!And the groom’s cake was so cool, featuring a Georgia Tech stadium complete with a real jumbo-tron!The traditional cake, and the groom's "cake" for the wedding in Atlanta....a Georgia Tech stadium with truffles as spectators and an iPad Jumbo-tron!But the highlight of the wedding in Atlanta was the Photo Booth.  I just can’t.  The kids were so stinkin’ adorable in that booth!  And it was set up in a way that I was able to sneak behind the camera and get some priceless shots!Our weekend away for the wedding in Atlanta! Cousins, dancing and a Photo Booth of course!These three were immediately pros…especially when it came to silly faces.  I guess all 4ish year-old kids are naturals when it comes to silly faces.Our weekend away for the wedding in Atlanta! Cousins, dancing and a Photo Booth of course!Little Lincoln {in his adorable bow-tie!} spend the evening with a full dance card….all the ladies wanted to boogie with him, but his favorite was “Princess” Abby!Our weekend away for the wedding in Atlanta! Lil' Man has a crush on the bride! Everyone had a blast dancing the night away!  We can’t wait to hang out with the whole family again soon!

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A Little Free Library Ribbon Cutting

The Little Free Library- An adorable free program for neighborhoods...take a book....leave a bookI LOVE our neighborhood.  Not only do we have fantastic neighbors, sidewalks that go for miles and a resort-relaxing pool, but our community events are to die for.  In a couple of weeks, we’ll host the Southern Flame BBQ festival….blue grass music, picnics, and BBQ contests.  Last weekend we had a ribbon cutting ceremony for our newest neighborhood amenity.This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!This neighborhood had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party for their Little Free Library unveiling!This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!Down by the treehouse, next to a bench nestled in some flowers, is a Little Free Library.  It holds about 25 books for children that are rotated out occasionally.  The kids can ride their bikes through the neighborhood and to the farmhouse {our community center} to borrow or return a book whenever they’d like.  Or they can sit on the bench and read while siblings play in the massive treehouse that is also there.This neighborhood had an adorable ribbon-cutting ceremony {complete with oversized scissors!} for their Little Free Library unveiling!Checking out the bench by the Little Free Library in the neighborhoodOn Sunday, our neighborhood had the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Little Free Library.  We arrived early, so the girls got chosen to use the ginormous scissors to cut the ribbon.  They were thrilled!  And because our Little Free Library has been registered, we are now apart of a huge community of neighborhood and local Little Free Libraries...very cool program, that anyone can participate in.  Check out all the different types of structures on their Pinterest Page.This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!Since we have several parks and green spaces in our neighborhood, I wouldn’t be surprised if more Little Free Libraries started popping up all over!  I’m hoping for one with adult fiction next.Neighbors and local businesses donated books to be borrowed at this adorable neighborhood's Little Free Library. So cute and such a great idea!Natalie Daise from Gullah Gullah Island told stories and sang songs at this precious neighborhood party celebrating their new Little Free Library!Our Community Association did a fantastic job with the reception following the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Chick-fila was sweet enough to provide some yummy snacks for everyone, and Natalie Daise from Gullah Gullah Island on Nick Jr. came and told some fantastic stories. It was a lovely was to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon!Chick-fil-a donated goodies and lemonade for this adorable Little Free Library unveiling party!Oh my goodness, I wish I lived in this neighborhood with sidewalks, green grass and farmhouses!!!

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Mom Hacks You’ve Never Seen Before

Parenting isn’t easy.  Between tantrums, gum in hair, back talk and lost homework, it can be a downright nightmare.  Luckily, we are all in the same boat, and willing to help each other out!  Here are some of the neatest Mom Hacks that I’ve seen in awhile.  Sure, there are a ton on Pinterest, but these are some ones even I haven’t seen before!Mom Hacks : A New Collection of Genius Ideas to Save Your SanityIf you have kids under the age of six, you know the love-hate relationship that us moms have with markers.  Sure, they make it easy for the little ones to color, but for some reason, more marks end up on their hands than on the paper!  And Heaven-forbid they get their little paws on permanent markers!  But if they do {and somehow bypass the walls for their skin…} here’s how to clean permanent marker off of skin courtesy of Kids Activity Blog .Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean permanent marker off of your kidAnd while we are talking about grubby little hands {and germy little mouths!}, let’s think about all of the plastic toys you have with intricate parts.  The crevices of Legos are impossible to wipe clean….so why not throw them in the washing machine?  Getting’ By tells you all the details on how to de-funk the millions of blocks that you’ve accumulated.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean mass quantities of small plastic toys.Whether its specific chores, their library book, or to brush their teeth, kids forget a lot.  I love this idea for reminder bracelets from Kids Activity Blog.  I think my kids would have bracelets up to their armpits….Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Reminder bracelets to get it done!There is nothing I dread more than the words “cup or cone” in front of my kids.  Inevitably, they’ll want the cone.  But thanks to the buffet of toppings that are now offered at most ice cream places, odd are that a marshmallow will be available to stuff down in the point to prevent drips and make ice cream a little less messy.  Thanks One Good Thing by Jillee!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Marshmallows are good on top of OR underneath ice cream!I’m not sure why broken crayons are so elusive, but they manage to avoid being cleaned up at all costs.  They somehow roll under tables, against baseboards and into piles of other toys, hiding out where no one can find them.  That is, until your TWO YEAR OLD enters the room and immediately spots the broken blue crayon and proceeds to color on every surface available.  There are lots of ideas out there for crayon removal, but The Prairie Homestead posted the first one that I had seen using essential oils.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! An all natural way to clean off crayon!I LOVE this idea for kids when they get in trouble.  And the combination of chores as well as kind actions is fantastic.  A new way to ground your kids from Lynette’s New Hobby.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Discipline your kids while cleaning your house!This tip is actually an oldie but goodie for our household.  Since we love going to Disneyworld, we have used this Liquid Band Aide Tattoo idea from The Paper Mama several times.  In fact, I need to add it to my all-inclusive Disney packing list for our next trip!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Use liquid band aide to protect an emergency phone number on your child.I feel like sparklers are not just a 4th of July or New Year’s Eve novelty here in the Lowcountry.  It seems like every backyard get-together, every beach bonfire, every block party that we’ve been to, have kids making their mamas nervous with sparklers {it’s not just me, right?!?!}.  I love this idea to protest little hands from sparks from I Love to Dream, Do You?Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Because kids love sparklers and moms don't need any more gray hair....I regularly soak and disinfect our bath toys.  The idea of the inside of them never really drying out totally grosses me out.  But We Love Being Moms hot glues the holes in her new toys closed, so that water doesn’t get inside in the first place!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! A no-brainer for keeping your bath toys safe!I have been lucky enough to have avoided splinters so far, but with three active kids, it will inevitably happen.  This tip from Pop Sugar‘s roundup is definitely one to save!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Getting splinters out without a fuss!I spotted this photo from @mcgaritydotme on Instagram , and was enthralled.  What a simple way to keep toddlers entertained while you cook dinner.  My almost two-year old loves sticking them through the holes, but is equally enthralled with the pipe-cleaners bending and staying in that shape.  Just keep an eye on the ends of the pipe-cleaners though, as the wire is a little sharp.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to keep your kid busy for more than three seconds.Have you ever wondered why there were folds around the necks of infant onesies?  Or did you just assume {like me} that they were to accommodate your big-headed kid?  This genius video from Tiaras and Prozac shows you exactly why they are there….and then you will wonder how you’ve survived every diaper blow out up to this point.  Mind. Blown.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! The Onesie trick you never knew about!So there you have it,  some new Mom Hacks to make life, just a little easier.  Got any other ideas?  I’d LOVE to share them, so leave a comment {or even a link to your post or picture}!

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{From the Archives} Swim Lessons for Little Fish

Happy Thursday!  I thought I’d do a little throw-back today in honor of Spring Break and our pool opening!  I stumbled across this post from July of 2012, our first summer in this house, with a community pool…and the first swim lessons for Jayna!

It’s amazing to look at how empty the pool is in these pictures as well…we only had about 30 houses in the neighborhood back then….we have over 300 now {with only a fraction of the neighborhood built out so far!}  Needless to say, the days of having the pool to ourselves, is over.

So enjoy my little trip down memory lane….

As y’all know, Mom Mom has been with us for the past week.  We had a wonderful visit!  It’s always such a treat to watch the girls interact with her.  Even though she lives a gazillion miles away (Jayna’s measurement!), each time she picks up right where she left off!

This week was no exception.  Mom Mom was able to step into our routine right as Swim Lessons were about to start!  Actually, I believe this is the fourth week of lessons, but Jayna has really been hit or miss with them.  She loves the water and desperately wants to know how to swim….she just can’t relax and get out of her head enough to actually do it!  Until….this week!  Having Mom Mom around to “show off” for really made a difference in her confidence levels.A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!She is in a class with four other kids about her age, and they have Ms. Phoebe (the instructor) and Mr. Aaron (a high school helper) showing them how to correctly do the strokes.  And they do it in the deep end with noodles!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!Since the start of swim lessons last month, Jayna can swim under water, with freestyle-stroke arms for about three strokes before popping up for air!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!And Ms. Millie is right behind her…. I discovered this week that Amelia loves to swim in the pool too!  She kicks her legs and only drinks ‘some’ of the salty pool water….A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!And she loves “jumping” in from the side of the pool!  I count to three and she takes a deep breath….and dunk! She comes up smiling and says “Tada!” everytime!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!She made the funniest faces when she took her big breath on the count of three!
A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!And then she would ask for “more.”  Over. and over. and over…A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!We love that Mom Mom was able to capture all of these pictures (usually I’m by myself at the pool with them, so no time for pics!).A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!We loooooooove the pool!A #TBT to the girls' first swim lessons....and the pool to ourselves!

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Holiday Recap 2015

Happy New Year friends!

I know I was MIA over the holidays….but hopefully you were too busy with your families to really notice!  We hosted Christmas at our house again, with both Dave and my families coming into town for a few days.  The week was a blur of wrapping paper, Christmas cookies, giggles and snuggles….couldn’t have been more perfect!  So here is my little Holiday Recap:Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsWe held our annual Christmas Eve Brunch for our friends again this year, down at the Farmhouse {our community center}, and once again, Santa made room in his schedule to squeeze in one last visit.Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsLincoln was pretty tolerant of Santa, but this was the year that Millie was really intrigued by him.  Santa always sits the kids down and tells them the story of Baby Jesus’ birth and how Santa plays a role in Christmas too.  Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsHoliday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsAnd sure enough, it didn’t take long for Millie to make her way up and stand by Santa’s side for the rest of the story!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsBut the highlight of our party this year was that we were able to get a ton of family here in time.  In addition to my parents and grandma, we also managed to get about half the cousins on my mom’s side of the family in one big picture too!  Hard to believe that this is only half of us!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsChristmas Morning was delightful when the girls realized that they lucked out with two American Girl dolls each!  Santa brought them new ones, and Mommy and Loo Loo also gave them the dolls that we had as kids, including their whole wardrobe!  Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsSo we spent the morning unwrapping, and undressing, and redressing, and combing and playing with the American Girls.Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and Pigtails And as for Lincoln, he was more interested in the fruit and cracker tray that was put out for breakfast than toys, but he lucked out with a bunch of new balls and a push mower from Santa!  The kiddos loved spending time with all of their grandparents, and we loved having a full house again!

My parents took the girls for a couple of days so that Dave and I could renovate the playroom {and make some much-needed room for dolls!}….it turned out beautifully, but I still have a few finishing touches to make on it before I can show it to you…that’s on my to-do list for this weekend.

On Tuesday, we swapped out the girls for Lincoln, and my parents whisked him away to FL while the girls, Dave and I made the trip out to the Smokies for New Year’s in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We’ve visited Gatlinburg several times now, both as a family {before Millie was born!} and with friends {to ride the Polar Express!}…but nothing like this!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsThirteen families from our neighborhood all rented one ginormous house and partied all weekend!  A total of 57 people in one house! We celebrated New Year’s together {at 8pm too for the little ones!}, watched Clemson rock the bowl game together, and spent time snow tubing and shopping together. Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsYou can see more highlights from our vacation if you check out {and follow me on} my instagram account.  Needless to say, it’s back to the real world now…the laundry is mountainous, the Christmas decorations are still up and I am still recovering from the late nights on vacation.  So, these have to take priority for the rest of the week while we get back to the grind.  And as for the first part of the year?  It might be a little slow for me here on the blog as I’m once again really going to concentrate on increasing inventory for Flowertown Festival and Etsy.  And since I’m doing some appliqué and embroidery now too, I’ve got my hands full!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and Pigtails

So hang with me this year, as I get back into routine.  Be sure to subscribe by email so you’ll know when I post, and follow me on Facebook and other social media to see more of my day to day life…it’s way easier to update that than write a whole post!  As for us, we wish you and your family a blessed 2016!!

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A Friendsgiving Celebration

We are transplants.  Dave and I both grew up elsewhere and moved to the LowCountry as adults, so we are considered transplants…and most of our friends and neighbors are as well.  So with most of our family living far away, we rely heavily on the support and love of our local friends…our little “village.”  So important and so appreciated!

So, we were thrilled when a small group of our friends decided to have a little “Friendsgiving” Celebration right before the Thanksgiving Holidays.  We ended up traveling to Florida this year, but were happy to help throw a small potluck together at our neighborhood’s Farmhouse, and just love on our Framily a little….ok enough of the portmanteaus and mashups….on to the pictures!

Potluck Friendsgiving Dinner

Our decor was simple…a few of us brought some of our Fall-themed decorations {pumpkins and bunting and such}, for a little effect….but we wanted the emphasis to be on each other, not a Pinterest-worthy party.  For a table-cloth, we used a roll of brown butcher paper.  We set out Sharpies for the adults and crayons for the kiddos to decorate.

A couple of turkeys at our Friendsgiving Dinner

All of our kiddos were 6 and under {Jayna was thrilled to be the oldest…which obviously made her the bossy babysitter by default!}, and were so, so easy to entertain while the adults socialized.  I brought some toddler toys {Duplos, trucks and balls} for the littles, and glowsticks for the “bigs” who just wanted to RUN outside!

A bunch of turkeys at our Friendsgiving Dinner

I also found these cute coloring pages that turned into funny turkey glasses.  I think everyone {including many of the adults!} made and wore them!

Dave smoked 3 turkeys for the crowd, and everyone else brought side dishes and dessert to share.  I made Mulled Apple Cider in the crockpot and couldn’t pour it fast enough after dinner…so I packaged up the spices and sent some home with everyone.

A little jar of Mulling Spices for Hot Apple Cider was the perfect party favor for Friendsgiving Dinner

 It was a hot mess of hot cider, ladies’ laughing, pecan pie, kiddos running around and the men huddled around the fire pit.  It was perfect!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature