Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happily Ever Watson

We have officially moved and renamed the blog on over to happilyeverwatson.blog


RaisingAveryMae has been great to me- but I am ready for some change coming into the new year with a new blog to represent all the fun things to come for our family. 
Thank you for following along with us and I hope to see you follow our new journey :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Four DIY Christmas Gifts

We love making DIY gifts around here. It saves some money and it feels extra special to give a gift you've taken the time to make yourself- made with love.


I put together four of my favorite DIY's for this year. Two of them are perfect gifts for a toddler/child to help with. Grandparents love homemade gifts from those grand-babies! 


First. DIY scarf. Has anyone else heard of arm knitting? I might be the last to know, since it's all over Pinterest these days. I finally learned and I am obsessed! I watched SimplyMaggieblog Youtube channel and learned how to knit using my arms or fingers. Naturally I went out and bought a ton of yarn. So far I have made a few scarves, an ear warmer and am working on a blanket. It's so fun and would be the perfect gifts for basically any girl in your life! 



I made a double wrap purple infinity scarf and then a little chunkier single wrap red scarf. So cute, warm and fun! 

Second. Sharpie mugs


Also all over Pinterest. We've made these before and they were a hit, so this year Avery made them again for her Great Grandparents "Ninny and Papa". Just grab silicone mugs, sharpies, I wrote their names on the front and let Avery scribble away- then it was her idea to trace her hand on the back of each mug, pop them in the oven for half an hour and it's good to go! 






If you didn't want to gift a scribbled on mug you could also draw on a picture or even write in a quote or something funny :)

Third. DIY candles. The candles aren't DIY but the pictures can be! All you need is permanent markers, wax paper, white tissue paper, candles and a lighter or blow dryer. This is fun because you can design the candles with whatever design you want or let your kid draw whatever they want! Again, Avery took it away with scribbles.



-All you do is use the permanent markers to draw whatever design you want onto the tissue paper
-put the tissue paper onto the candle, cut off the excess paper so it fits on the candle and wrap wax paper around it
-Use the lighter or blow dryer to melt the tissue paper
-Lift off the wax paper to reveal the picture transfer. 



Fourth. Christmas ornament memories. This is definitely the easiest. You buy a pack of Christmas ornaments and a permanent marker and they write in monumental things that happen within that year to hang on the tree, then carry it out for years to come. We are giving this gift to someone this year who purchased their first home this year so we started off the ornaments by writing "our first home" on one of the ornaments. We got this as a gift a few years ago and I loved the idea! The person who gifted it to us wrote in a few of our special memories for us and we have added new memories since then! 


Does anyone else love DIY gifts? Only nineteen more shopping days until Christmas! 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Traditions

It is officially December. Which means it is basically Christmas. Avery's memory is amazing, she is already asking about things she remembers us doing last year that she is eager to do again.

I say this every year, but every year just seems to get better & better! Now that she's old enough to truly participate and appreciate all of our traditions has me extra excited.

The presents are exciting, but it's all of the fun leading up to Christmas that I look forward to the most!

I put together  list of our favorite must-do Christmas traditions.




-Decorating the tree is an obvious one.
-We made gingerbread houses and sugar cookies every year when I was a kid and I love carrying that tradition with Avery.
-Christmas movies all of December are a must! The cheesier the better.
-Homemade ornaments are the best and so much fun to make with Avery.
-When I was a kid, my whole family would get together and go to some popular local places to go look at Christmas lights. We have one particular street that is full of lights. So we would park the car and we would all just walk down the street admiring the lights. Another tradition we have carried on with Avery. In the same spots I used to go growing up. This is usually followed (or accompanied by) hot chocolate ;)
-Christmas parades are the...best.. 
-Wine/present wrapping night. Clearly this one is for the parents. I love taking a night and dedicating it to wrapping presents, usually with Netflix or a movie and drinking some wine (for me, beer for Garrett) and gushing over how excited we are to watch Avery open her gifts.
-Advent calendar and seeing Santa. Also a must.
-Christmas Eve is just as good as Christmas if you ask me. It's the day my entire family gets together. We give Avery a box every night on Christmas Eve that usually has new pajamas, slippers, a Christmas movie and some type of treat. I have also taken a picture of Avery sleeping on Christmas Eve night every single year. I can't believe this year will be the fifth!


We also do the Elf on the Shelf. Even though I fail miserably every year it's another fun tradition. A wrote a post last year about my thoughts on our little month long house guest you can check out.

We already crossed off decorating the Christmas tree. I would've had the tree up after Halloween if I had any say in it but Garrett made me wait until after Thanksgiving. So it of course went up right after Thanksgiving. I couldn't wait any longer!

Holding her "first Christmas" ornament from 2012


I'd love to hear what your favorite family traditions for Christmas are.
Happy December, let the Christmas count down begin!







Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Perfect Party Appetizer

Here we go. Thanksgiving is tomorrow. WHAT?! 


Then Christmas will be around the corner and New Years soon to follow.

Time for lots of time with friends and family, parties and food

I started making these sausage balls a few Thanksgivings back and have made them most family gatherings since. 



All you need is-
Sausage
Philsbury biscuits
Ranch 
Cheddar cheese
Melted butter and garlic


These are so simple to make, even I can do it ;) Now I am definitely no food blogger, but here it goes!

-Start by cooking the sausage until browned. 



-Drain the grease (seriously. I skipped this step once and ended up with grease bombs).
-Mix in the ranch and cheese. More cheese the better. Basically my life motto. 
(I also like to add garlic salt)



-(Now, at this point you can either go straight to rolling into the biscuits or you can freeze the mix until you're ready. It is easier to roll into balls when frozen.)

-Take the sausage, ranch and cheese mix- roll into little balls and then wrap in the biscuit dough. I cut each biscuit in half.



-Then I brush each with melted butter and garlic then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

-Put on a pan, cook according to biscuit instructions. Then, boom. Done!   



These get swooped up so quick at any gathering and someone is always asking me how I made them. 

Since we have a few vegetarians in my family, including myself, I usually make a vegetarian appetizer for Thanksgiving but also like to accommodate to the meat eaters! I love that I can easily skip the sausage and just stuff some cheese in the biscuit and have a veggie friendly option! 


The Hubs is also obsessed with these and even asks for them for dinner, basically once a week. 

Now I will be going to whip these up for our family party tomorrow!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with friends and family and delicious food.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Avery Is Turning FOUR!


At this time, four years ago I was doing everything I could to get ready for Miss Avery Mae's arrival. I had an induction scheduled for early the next morning, on October 12th and I was preparing myself (as much as I possibly could) for what was ahead. The fear subsided and I thought I was ready. Really, nothing could have prepared me for the crazy amazing experience of becoming a Mother, and the roller coaster of events and emotions of raising a baby into the little girl she is becoming. Avery has taught her Dad and I so much in such a short amount of time and continues to keep us in check anytime we think we are prepared for the next step (haha). I cannot wait to watch her grow even more and watch all the ways we grow along with her.



To Avery, I realize your childhood years are going to creep by for you. You remind me that daily when you annoyingly ask me how much longer you have to wait until you can drive a car. Or get your own cell phone. Or even when you tell me you are going to gobble down all your vegetables because you just want to be big. I want to tell you to slow down. Or to enjoy being a kid while you can. Hell, who am I kidding.. I do tell you that. But I understand. You finally grasp the fact that you are your own person, who every day gets a little bigger as you are making your way into adulthood. And you can't wait. The next fourteen years will crawl by you as you wait to finally be a "grown up".

However, for your Dad and I, it's going to fly by. Just as it already has.  It's tough yet exciting watching my baby become this amazing little person. Since logically I know I can't deprive you of your veggies in hopes that you'll stop growing (I hear that doesn't work, anyways.) I am enjoying every moment watching you grow.

I hope to continue to make your childhood nothing but joyful. From now all the way through adulthood, where I will continue to be there for you- always.

Happy almost Birthday, baby cakes.


Friday, October 7, 2016

We Are Married! Honey Moon Post

WE ARE MARRIED!

We have officially been married almost three weeks!

Our wedding was beautiful and perfect and SO much fun.

I will definitely be posting more about the wedding, but not until I have more wedding pics to share :)
Until then, I will talk about our honey moon.



We went to San Diego for five days and it was perfect. We weren't sure if we were going to take a honeymoon- for multiple reasons. One it came though, we were SO thankful we did.

We left the Monday morning after the wedding and luckily hit zero traffic. Which was a miracle. Garrett drove the entire seven hours there (and back haha) but since we got there a lot faster then we thought we would, our hotel wasn't ready yet when we arrived.


We drove around San Diego a bit then went back to the hotel to explore and have a complimentary drink at their bar. We started to get frustrated because our room was taking much longer to be ready then they originally told us. Later, we felt bad- because it turned out it took a little longer because they upgraded our room for free, since it was our honeymoon AND set up some honeymoon gifts.




We stayed at the LaFayette hotel and it was amazing. It's an older historic hotel that is sort of old hollywood themed. Totally beautiful with unique touches- oh and a full service restaurant, bar and pool.

We loved the life sized chess game the hotel had. We played every night when we got back to the hotel, before going to our room.

I was beyond obsessed with these umbrella lights!

It was a perfectly relaxing week of just kind of "going with the flow". Our whole trip we explored all sorts of parts of San Diego. We took some suggestions from friends and family for places to go but mostly we just wandered around seeing what we could find.



I am slightly bummed because I didn't get many pictures from our trip. My phone was away most of the time. I was kind of just enjoying the moment.


I would like this picture a lot more if my shoe didn't still have the Ross price tag on it. HAH! 

We had lots of beach trips, lots of exploring bars and restaurants and even a baseball game. Garrett is a huge Giants fan so we had to take advantage of the Giants being in San Diego playing while we were there. It was fate.


Admiring our new rings ;)
We did spend quite a bit of time paddle boarding which was a blast. I love the beach but I really dislike being in open water. But I loved being out on the paddle board. I just stayed a bit closer then Garrett did. He laughed because every time I got to far past my comfort zone I just sat on the board and paddled myself back canoe style.



And a few random selfies. Because I have a ton of those.






Once we got home Avery was extremely excited to see us and we got right back into the normal life, but as an official married couple!

Cannot wait to share wedding pictures and post about our special day.

Happy Friday!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Bridal Shower Brunch

Apparently planning a wedding is a lot of work. Oh and you know, life. Who knew?!

Really, everything has been pretty much non stop around here these days. I've also been living, breathing and eating wedding planning.

Here I am bringing myself back on over to the blog with a little wedding update.

We are less than FOUR weeks away at this point. Is this real life?




A few weeks ago my Mom, Grandma and bridesmaids threw me a beautiful bridal shower. I knew I wanted my shower to be a brunch, because mimosas, duh. Besides that I had nearly zero part in the entire party planning.



It was a beautiful day full of food, mimosa champagne drinking, games, gifts (some practical, some inappropriate), dancing and laughter.








The funniest game was the toilet paper wedding dress. Everyone got into teams and picked a model to put a wedding dress made of toilet paper on then we put on a little fashion show. Everyones dresses were hilarious.

all of the models doing their engaged pose. Because there was an engagement photo of me posing like that, hah :)

and the winner

Funny side story. After a few too many glasses of mimosas okay mostly champagne. I was making my way out to the restroom (the party was inside a boat house in a park, so the restroom was shared with everyone at the park) and I am standing outside talking and notice everyone at a little kids birthday party staring at me, so I whisper to my cousin that I felt like everyone was looking at me. Then, she points at my necklace I was wearing. One of my aunts got me an, inappropriate, candy necklace. That I still had on. Walking through that poor childs party. Hah. My bad, kid :)

Also, the creativity on this gift wrapping was spot on.




And last, but not least, my Mama and my awesome bridesmaids. Because nothing would be as beautiful or awesome without them.