Happy New Years Eve, everyone! I hope you all have the perfect plans for ringing in the new year! Whether it be at a big party or cozied up at home, do whatever your heart calls for. For us, we'll be cozied up at home, eating Chinese food, and having a game night. It's our favorite way to bring in a new year.
I've done a lot of "reflecting" on this past year this whole month of December. The best way to describe this year is that it was very complicated. It was the best year and the worst year. You might be asking, how is that even possible? Well I was blessed with the greatest gift of my life in 2018, the birth of Kai but was also stripped of one of the most important people in my life in 2018 by the death of my dad. If that doesn't make a year complicated, I don't know what does. The ultimate up and down. I've had many people say man you've had a rough year or this was the worst year ever, but I will never say that. Even though the passing of my dad was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through, Kai being born is still the biggest shining star of the year...my life really. So in a way, it's still the best year.
As much as I'm looking forward to 2019 beginning, I'm actually scared for it. New Years Day is probably my favorite day of the year. I love that feeling of new and fresh. You get to "start over," right? While I'm still so excited for that and all the new goals and accomplishments that will come in the new year, I'm also sad to leave 2018. I'm not ready to start a whole new chapter without my dad. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, we'll be in a new year where my dad will never be. But that's life. You have to roll with the punches and make the best of the situation you're handed. I'm trying to hang on to the thoughts that he's not going to be forgotten...ever. But it's still scary to think that a new year is starting tomorrow without him. It makes all this even more final. I'm so ready for the pain and hurt to go away from his passing, but I'm not ready to say goodbye. But life is forcing me to wave goodbye to 2018 and move on a little more.
The other thing that 2019 brings is Kai turning 1. Which is so exciting! But it's also another point of sadness for me. I plan to stop breastfeeding at the 12 month mark and for some reason this is so hard on my heart. It's such a special bond we have together. He's literally lived off of me for almost 2 years now and to think that he no longer will need that brings a lot of sadness to me. There is so much to look forward to with him turning 1, but on this last day of 2018, I am going to hold on to his babiness as much as I possibly can.
As for my 2018 mantra of going with the flow, I think I rocked this. I use to be such a stringent planner and I look back and laugh at myself. I started the year out real strong with going with the flow. I allowed myself to slow down, go in to labor naturally even though I wanted so bad to be in control and know when Kai would arrive. I went with the flow of that historic day in my life too of becoming a mother by trusting my body, my doctor, and the universe to safely bring Kai in to this world no matter what it took or how long it took. I allowed myself to enjoy his newborn stage so well and really bond with him with no expectations of being super mom or adventuring too much. I had a small hiccup mid-year with my bout of PPD, but I give myself grace when I think about this period because it's not my fault. My brain literally was not working the way it needed to in order to function properly and I needed help. Thankfully I got that help and was able to move past it fairly quickly. Most importantly though, I did my absolute best with my dad. I was there for him whenever he needed me, but I was able to keep rolling with life of being a mom, a wife, kicking ass at my job, and still took care of myself. I wouldn't have been able to handle all of it if I wasn't able to let go of things and go with the flow of each and every day. I didn't care if I didn't fold the laundry that exact day or if I didn't finish tidying up the house before bed. There is always tomorrow for those things and that mentality allowed me space for the things that really mattered. Kai, Caleb, and my dad.
I am very grateful for this year of growth and I am also thankful to all of you who are here. Whether you joined me on this journey in 2018 or if you've been here all along and stuck around through this complicated year. Thank you. I hope you all can look back on 2018 with a smile, too and I wish you all the best in the new year!
I hope you all are having a marvelous week! I'm almost done with Christmas shopping...talk about getting down to crunch time, huh? I'm so looking forward to this weekend and Christmas though. Our Papa Joe is flying in tomorrow to spend the holiday with us and tomorrow is my last day of work for the year, too! One more sleep and then it'll really feel like Christmas!
During the Christmas season, I bake ALL the cookies. I love baking so much so Christmas time is like an awesome marathon to me. One kind of cookie I've always struggled with though are gingerbread cookies. I love them but have never been able to get them quite right. I like cookies to be on the soft side and they always turn out too crisp for my liking. Well this year I finally nailed it! I tweaked my recipe a bit more and voila, the perfect gingerbread cookies came out of the oven! So here is my new and improved, delicious gingerbread cookie recipe!
Follow me on Pinterest for lots more yummy recipes, too!
Hey everyone, happy Monday! Apologizes for no Tiny Talk today. I've been battling a really bad cough the last couple of weeks and if I talk for too long I tend to have bad coughing spells. I'll be back with some really great chats though in 2019, so look for those in the new year! We had a busy and productive weekend mixed with some fun and relaxation, ha! So a little bit of everything. On Friday and Saturday we spent some time with our family because my dear great uncle passed way last week. Please keep us all in your prayers. 2018 has been quite the year for our family. Your prayers have been such a blessing though and have really kept us going. We did have some fun on Friday night, though! We went to our friends' annual cookie party where we bake a bunch of cookies and they deliver them to the Kellogg Cancer Center for the patients and the staff. It's a wonderful tradition we've done for the last few years and this year was Kai's first one! On Saturday, we finished up our Christmas shopping and had a fun night of baking cookies and watching Elf with my mom. And Sunday was just spent relaxing and baking some gingerbread cookies!
Every year I always buy a little advent calendar from a store and Caleb and I try to keep up with it during the Christmas season but we aren't very good about it. With this being Kai's first Christmas season though, I wanted to start a few traditions that would stick with our family hopefully. I've always wanted to make our own advent calendar whether it was something crafty or some form of woodworking from Caleb. Caleb's busy with a few woodworking projects right now so I decided to go the crafty route. I have a lot of red and green decorations around our house so I wanted to do something a little more neutral and found this idea of little craft paper bags to make a DIY advent calendar! It was a simple craft project and after I got all 25 bags stuck on the wall, I added little chocolates to each of the bags that Caleb and I take turns eating each day as we approach Christmas! I plan on taking it a step further in future years and am going to slip a little piece of paper in each bag that either contains a Bible verse or an act of kindness for the person who opens the bag to read/do in addition to eating the chocolate. I always want the reason for the season to be the most prominent part of the Christmas season in our home and I feel that honoring the birth of Christ by reading about it from the Bible and spreading kindness in our world are two of the best ways. So here's how I made this super simple advent calendar that is now front and center when you walk in from our garage!
I hope you all have a happy and blessed holiday season! What are some of your favorite holiday traditions that you do with your family? Share with me in the comments below!
Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you've kicked off this holiday season in the most magical way possible! Over the last week I've been decorating our house like crazy person for Kai's first Christmas. I truly love this holiday so much, and it's something I've been looking forward to sharing with Kai all year. In the end though, we celebrate for the reason for the season, the birth of Christ. I believe decorating our house all beautiful like we try to do every year is in his honor. We begin decorating the night of Thanksgiving by putting our tree up, drink hot coco, and watch all the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. Then over the next week or so we decorate the rest of the house and the outside. We then leave all our decorations up until the Epiphany, which is January 6th. I don't like to rush our decorations and I like everything to have sentimental meaning. So today, I am going to share with you our cozy holiday decorations all around our house! Welcome to our very merry home...
7.5 ft Pre-lit Christmas Tree - Target
6.5 ft Pre-lit Christmas Tree - Home Depot
Mantle Garland - Michaels
Stockings - Pottery Barn Kids (sold out, similar)
Fake Poinsettias - Michaels
Let It Snow Sled - Apple Holler
Large Black Plant Holder - Target
Gold + White Jug Vase - Target
Nutcracker - Gifted by my aunt, similar
Gold Tree - Target (old, similar)
Candle Sticks - White Barn Candle Co (old, similar)
White Rug - Ikea
Tree Skirts - Target
Red + Gold Ornaments - Target
Gold Stars - Target (old, similar)
Disney Ornaments - Gifted by my parents, other options available through Shop Disney
Name Ornaments - Bronner's Christmas Store
Stocking Hooks - Target
Joy + Bird Pillows - Target (old, similar)
Candy Cane Sign - Target ($1-$5 aisle, similar)
Nativity Scene - Michaels (old, similar)
Candle Lanterns - Michaels (old, similar)
Table Garland - Michaels
Pine Cones - Michaels
Gold Runner - Hobby Lobby (gold fabric cut to 120 in)
Red Chargers - Michaels
White Dinner Plates - Pottery Barn
Christmas Salad Plates - Pottery Barn
Napkins - Sur la Table (old, similar)
Napkin Rings - Sur la Table (old, similar)
Gold Flatware - Target
Hot Coco Sign - Michaels (old, similar)
Christmas Tree Sign - Michaels
Santa Pillow - Michaels
Letter Pillow - Michaels
Holly Bucket - Target
Holly Vase - Target ($1-$5 aisle, similar)
Sleigh filled w/ ornaments - Target (old $1-$5 aisle)
Letters to Santa Mailbox - Target
Wreath - Trader Joes
Wreath Hook - Michaels
Christmas Sheets - Target (old, similar)
Euro Pillow Shams - Pottery Barn
Quilt - Pottery Barn
White Duvet - Pottery Barn (old, similar)
White Cozy Blanket - Pottery Barn
Dr. Seuss Pillow - Porter Lane Home (old, similar)
Wood Christmas Tree - Le Marigny c/o
Wood Joy Letters - Nordstrom (old, similar)
Ski Mountain Lodge Candle - Bath & Body Works (sold out)
Candle Wreath - White Barn Candle Co (old, similar)
Pup - Not for Sale ;)
Hey there beautiful friends! I'm SO happy you're here today because today is a very special day for us...this little blog is ONE! I started this blog last November and it has truly brought so much joy and creativity in to my life and I have all of you to thank for that!
I've grown so much in the last year, it kind of blows my mind. To think when I started this blog I was still a mama to be is actually kind of unbelievable to me because I can't imagine my life without Kai and being a mom. I don't mind being defined as a mom at all. It is truly my calling and I honestly love who I've become in the last year. That's the first time in my life that I've been able to say that, I think. To be proud of who you are is so freeing. I start each day so full of happiness and am constantly motived to be the best version of myself possible.
Writing this blog, taking photos, connecting with all of you through social media, my Tiny Talks, and the Tiny Tribe brings me so much positive energy. I look forward to each and every blog post that I publish and literally get giddy when I hit the POST button. I've had the amazing opportunity to work with some incredible brands, too and thank all of them so much for recognizing the love and hard work that goes in to this blog. I joke that I have 3 jobs. My day job, being a mom, and being a blogger and I love all 3 of them so much. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world! I've put my hand at this blogging/website thing in the past (Yellow Mondays + This Boundless Journey, anyone? ha!) and I always get tired of what I'm doing long before this point. Tiny Dapper Fox though has not reached that point for me, and I am so grateful to have finally found my creative space that brings so much light in to my life.
Even though I've felt more joy in this last year then I ever have in my life, it hasn't come without challenges. I've certainly had my struggles, the two biggest ones being my postpartum anxiety and the loss of my dad. Life is not simply just happy or sad, it's so complex and learning how to deal with the ups and downs is just a part of it. When my dad got sick I was just getting over my crippling postpartum anxiety. For the last 5 months or so I've felt like I've been in a spinning vortex. I've been trying to climb my way out of it but life was spinning very very fast at some points that I just couldn't. This little blog and my family kept me from being lost though. Without you all, I feel like I would be numb and in the unknown. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being here. Whether you've been here the last year or even if you've just joined me, thank you so much for being a part of Tiny Dapper Fox.
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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