Holiday Happenings {Metro Detroit}

Tis the season, right?

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We have been on the go the entire month of December and have experienced some pretty cool activities in and around Metro Detroit!

Bronner’s

We headed to Bronner’s Thanksgiving weekend and the babes each picked out their own ornament. Hubs and I have started an ornament collection for each of them since they have been born. Bronner’s is the LARGEST Christmas store in the world! People come from all over to experience all the different ornaments they have to offer!

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Frankenmuth

AKA Michigan’s Little Bavarian. The town is absolutely adorable to walk around during the holidays! We met Mike’s family there and enjoyed a family style dinner at the Bavarian Inn!

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Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad

An old village decorated to a tee with a real working train. We got train tickets for once it was dark out and enjoyed all the lights while singing Christmas carols aboard the train!

 

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Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

The grounds were lit up and we lucked out that the weather was so mild! They passed out hot cocoa and cookies and there was a bon fire to enjoy too!

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Somerset Santa

By far the most magical experience around! The staff is super friendly and doesn’t rush you along at all!  You can bring your own camera and take as many pictures as you’d like! After taking pictures each child gets 3 coins they can redeem throughout the mall!

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…we always make sure to get a selfie with Santa too!

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What did we miss? The Rochester Lights are always on our list but we only saw them from the car this year! Any other must have spots to visit during the holidays?

 

 

 

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It’s a Wonderful Life

Tis the Season to take a step back and reflect on how lucky I am. I have an amazing family, a solid career, and some pretty amazing friends. I thought it was fitting that for our Christmas card this year I chose the phrase

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

This year we had a mini photo session with Luna Signature to get some pictures for our Christmas card. We met with Aleksandra on a Sunday in October and LUCKED out. The weather was gorgeous and the babes were so cooperative! *Mental note to self, 4pm is the ideal time for them!

When I’m planning our outfits I always start with Giada! I had this Matilda Jane Platinum top that I knew I wanted to use. The colors were not traditional Christmas colors, but I thought it could work by adding some red accents!

I love mixing patterns and textures when I’m dressing our family for photos and using a variety of colors!

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What do you think?! I think the colors turned out great and Aleksandra did an amazing job of capturing our little fam!

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For the actual cards themselves I tried a new company and went with Mix Book. I ordered them on a Thursday, chose standard shipping, and they arrived the following Monday. I was SUPER impressed with that turn around time.

Here they are!

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Check out our previous cards!

2014

Making Memories; Easter Edition

I had 3 glorious days off work this weekend and we took advantage of every second!  I’m linking up with Momfessionals, Grace and Love, and A Little Bit of Everything to share my Friday favorites.  Any time I’m off work on Friday is a favorite for me so I’m sharing everything we did over the weekend!

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On Friday the babes and I were out the door by 9 am and off to 2 different playdates.

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The kids striped down to color some eggs and we thought it would be so cute for the shirtless little men to pick Giada up. She was fussing, but they obliged.  The second they got her in the air, though, they realized she had poop in her pants! The look on the boy’s face in the middle is priceless. I still cannot stop laughing over this! This will certainly be a picture to show her when she’s older!

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After laughing over that photo of course wine we had to pour up some wine for the mamas.

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Later that night we visited the Cranbrook Institute of Science with some friends.  The first Friday of every month is free admission from 5-close! The babes loved the museum–almost everything was hands-on! They even had a bat cave with live bats! One was the size of a cat! OMG!

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Saturday morning we attended another chilly Easter Egg hunt.  It was barely 32 degrees out and the wind made it feel even cooler. Needless to say we didn’t last long!

Saturday night hubs and I got away for a few hours to watch the Michigan State Spartans play in the final four. Even though they lost it was nice to get out for a little!

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Easter morning was great to watch Ari & Giada hunt for their baskets! They loved searching the house and were so excited for all their goodies.  Giada is all set for summer weather and just had to try everything on. I think her favorite item was her new necklace from AK’s Hidden Gems!

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Speaking of AK’s Hidden Gems I have a Giveaway going over on Facebook!  One lucky follower will win this Springtime necklace/bracelet set! Go follow me if you don’t already!

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I made these mini cheesecakes for Easter Sunday. They were SO yummy and super easy to make! I love making single portion desserts and snacks! So easy to serve to little ones!

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We visited family on Sunday and these two babes were spoiled.

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I always carry a spare cardigan of Giada’s. She wears it backwards to protect her clothes!

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What a difference a year makes.  Our little family one year apart.

Left is Easter 2014. Right is Easter 2015.

Whew. I think that’s it! What great memories we made!

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Our Tiny Prints Cards

Anyone else love getting Christmas cards? Like I mean really love it?  I think that’s one of my favorite parts about the holidays; checking my mail each day for photo cards from friends and family. Naturally I just love creating our Christmas card each year too.

This year we decided to use Tiny Prints to create our family’s card and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!

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The design we used was called Delightfully Merry and had them printed on Pearl White Shimmer paper.  The shimmer paper really enhanced the look of the cards!

I also wanted something unique for our address labels this year. Sooooo I got in touch with Nanico Studio and she created the most adorable cartoon of our family.

downloadfileShe sent it to me in digital form so I was able to use it for address labels and gift stickers!

Make it a December to Remember

 Happy December 1st!!

We are jam packed with parties and holiday get togethers but I wanted to take a moment to share some ideas to make this a December to Remember for you and your families! My husband and I just love this time of year and how magical it is for the babes. Although things may get crazy and everyone will be exhausted come January 1, it is so worth it to celebrate through the eyes of children.  Here are a few ideas!!

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Visit Santa! You may have to get up early. You may have to wait in lines. You may have to feed your children a million snacks to contain them. BUT it’s all worth it! We went over the weekend and although my youngest was not having it my son was just so precious to watch.  Before it was our turn he was just mesmerized by the Big Man.  Santa kept waving and giving a thumbs up to us. It seriously made my son’s day.

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Make Fake Snow! Whether it’s a white Christmas or not your babes can enjoy some fun white stuff without hats or gloves. Mix equal parts baking soda & shaving cream and let them go to town!  I found both items at the Dollar store!!

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Elf on the Shelf. I know I know this is obvious as EVERYONE is doing it. BUT this was our first year and my son (3.5) absolutely loves it.  He was shrieking with excitement when he found “Shimmy Coma” taking a bath in marshmallows over the weekend. He thought it was the funniest thing he has ever seen.

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Christmas crafts!  Make some gifts for their grandparents!  My babes LOVE getting their hands dirty and creating something special.

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New Jammies!! Our holiday jammies arrived the day after Thanksgiving. I wanted them to get a lot of use out of them! Plus, who doesn’t love new jammies?

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A few other ideas I have for making this a December to Remember:

-Make/decorate cookies

-Drive to see Christmas lights

-Read Christmas books and sing Christmas carols before bed

-Make crafts for neighbors & teachers

-Breakfast with Santa

-Donate old toys to families in need

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How are you making this  December to Remember? I’d love to hear!

 

10 Secrets to planning picture perfect outfits.

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Have you decided to bite the bullet and hire a photographer to take family photos of your family but you are lost on what to dress everyone in?!  It’s not the 1990’s and no you cannot all wear black and white.  Don’t worry, though, because I’d like to think that I am VERY experienced in the art of coordinating family outfits and  I am going to share my secrets with you!

Family photos are an investment.  Personally I feel like time with my babes just FLIES by.  In the blink of an eye they go from newborns, to babies, to toddler, and before we know it they will be grown up!  Once that happens, all we will only have are our memories and PICTURES of the time when they were small.  We try to take photos as a family every 6 months now that the kids are young.  Hiring a professional photographer isn’t cheap so I want to make sure that I get the most out of our bi-annual documentation of our lives.  Meaning we don’t just search the internet for the lowest priced photographer, show up in any old outfit,  cram in 30 minutes of pictures, and call it day.  These pictures are very important to me, so I plan them WELL in advance and take them with a photographer we LOVE and trust.

So here goes.  My 10 secrets to planning the perfect outfits for family photos.

1.  Pick a color scheme with 3 colors and try to mix patterns.  As you can see we are famous for having blue in our photos, but each time we have a 2 other accent colors.

2.  Dress mom and dad pretty neutral that way the kids can change outfits mid photo session and the parents won’t clash.  Same session below kids changed outfits mid shoot.

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3.  Plan who will be holding who ahead of time.  For us I typically hold my daughter since she is smaller and my husband holds my son.  See below my husband has on a mint shirt and my son is in plaid.  If my hubs was holding my daughter (also wearing mint), they would have clashed.  My daughter was in a pattern, so I was plain.

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 4.  Don’t be afraid to add color by using accessories.  Think bowties, hair bows, statement necklaces! Those are all ways to add color!!

5. Plaid shirts for boys!!  They are a nice way to choose a color scheme since there are usually 3 colors in them!  I usually put my son in a plaid shirt and choose complementing colors for my daughter.

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6.  Dress for the season!  Fall colors should be worn in fall, bright colors for summer, etc.  Take advantage of your background and plan accordingly.  For our Fall photos we tried to make use of the changing leaves!

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7. Bring your pets and dress them as well! They are a part of the family and wouldn’t it be great to document your child’s best friend!? My dog is HUGE so I buy him a little boys size medium!

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8.  Hang your outfits up on a neutral back ground and take pictures of the outfits ahead of time.  This way you can see how everything looks together and even ask your friends for their opinions on the color scheme.

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9.  Dress in layers.  That way you can take a layer off to get slightly different looks!

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10.  Look on the internet!!  If you search pinterest for “family photo outfits” you are bound to get SEVERAL results.  You don’t have to plan alone!!

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Happy outfit planning!!

**all photos were taken by our friend Kathy Davies at Kathy Davies Photography

Merry, Merry Christmas

I used to think Christmas was special.

But, I never knew just how special it could be until I met these two people.

Seeing their excitement is the best part of Christmas.  One of my favorite memories from this Christmas was when Mike took Ari out shopping just the two of them.  They went to Kohls to pick something out for Giada and I.  Mike told me that Ari was very excited to pick his gifts out and chose very carefully.    When they got home that evening Ari came in the door and was beaming.  He told me he had a special secret for me.  He just kept repeating “I have a SECRET mumma, I have a secret”. It was one of the sweetest things ever.  I cannot wait to see what he has picked out for me.  I’m sure I will love whatever it is!

1480741_10101954314315458_888503143_nI have been waking up early and staying up late preparing for Christmas and I cannot wait to see the looks on their faces when they wake up Christmas morning.  It will truly be something magical.

This year we visited Santa at Somerset and Ari was very excited.  Last year things didn’t go so hot so I was a little nervous.  He did great and told Santa that he wanted a Big, Huge Lawnmower.  He really is Mike’s son! LOL

Merry Christmas from the Muglia Family

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Getting to know me. 7 things.

I’ve noticed that the new fad on facebook has been sharing x amount of facts about yourself.  I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s lists and I thought I would join in on the fun!  Here are 7 things about me that you may or may not know!

1.)  I was not into dancing at all until the summer before I went to college.   Now?  Well you cannot get me off the dance floor.  I still can’t believe I was missing out all of those years!

2.)  Anything homemade trumps store bought in my book. Always.  Growing up my grandma was quite the seamstress and fostered a love of creativity in me. I was always amazed at what she could whip up in no time at all, at a fraction of the cost, AND to her complete specifications.   If I see something that I like, I am very determined to recreate it with a little bit of my own spin on it.  I like having unique items for my home and for my children that cannot be bought in the store.

3.)  Hosting parties gives me a high. I love entertaining and making people feel welcome in my home.  All of the little details that go into party planning are fun for me. Staying up late, cutting little decorations, or hot gluing centerpieces is very soothing to me.  After one party ends, I always find myself planning the next.

4.) I looooove having pictures of anything and everything we do in our lives no matter how insignificant the occasion.  I think that I am secretly afraid of “forgetting” certain details of life so I always want a reminder should I need it.

5.)  I still have 2 baby teeth…. for some reason I was born without 2 of my adult teeth! Fortunately I have been able to keep my 2 “babies” in tip top shape to keep them rather than replace em.

6.)  Actions speak louder than words.  If I say I’m going to do something, I try my hardest to do it. I absolutely hate cancelling plans, being late, or feeling like I let someone down.  Something MAJOR has to happen for me to do any of the above.

7.)  My kids are my world.  Becoming a mom has given me a sense of joy and accomplishment that I never knew existed.  I would do anything for these two perfect little people.

The Magic of the Season

I Could. Not. Wait. for Christmas this year!

There is just something about having kids that makes every holiday way more special than I ever used to think it was.   The holidays are not about me anymore, they are about the kids and the excitement and joy that they have with every new memory.  This is the first year that Ari really “gets it” and is excited for all things Christmas.  On Sunday when the newspaper came we gave him the toy ads to browse and within minutes he found the Big Elmo and was immediately calling it “ARI’S Big Elmo”.  His little hands were flipping through all the pages and he was excitedly pointing out all of the items that he knew and naming them off.  I loved every second of watching the simple joy he was experiencing just by flipping through a magazine.

That night he just had to sleep with the Target toy ad and a little while after I put him to bed I checked the monitor to see him still awake, sitting up, and shining his flashlight on the pages.   That excitement. That night.  That is what the Holidays are about.

Many people think I am crazy for getting my Christmas tree out on November 11, but it’s not about me. It’s about that little boy.  The one who runs to the family room each morning to turn on the Christmas lights.  The one who has to point out every tree we see when we are out shopping and proceed to “touch it”.  Christmas is about the little boy whose first official word  was “tree”.  If I can give him a couple of extra weeks of that pure happiness, so be it.  Because one thing for sure is that before I know it the magic will be gone.  He won’t be little forever.

That night Mike and I stayed up late listening to Christmas Pandora pulling out all of our Christmas decorations and looking at all of our old pictures.  This Holiday season in particular really makes me look back and see just how blessed we are.

I am SO glad we started the season early this year!

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Both kids around 5 months taken by my husband (https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Muglia-Photography/350396188411015)

Fall Fun!

Earlier this Fall we had our friend Kathy from http://www.kathydaviesphotography.com/ shoot some family photos of us.  We were armed with a wagon, a ladder, several blankets, changes of clothes, and PLENTY of Fruit by the Foot with hopes of getting some great images.   Per usual Kathy captured some of the best images ever and I am so thankful for her!

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Finding coordinating outfits was quite the task, but I am SO happy with it all came together!  Of course I needed to find a matching hoodie for the doodle! He wears a little boy size 10!

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With all the craziness of our lives these days, I am so glad to have these images of our family.

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Outfits: Mike: Shirt/Mustard Jeans (Kohl’s), Me: Dress (Old Navy) Boots (Kohl’s), Ari: Both Shirts (Target) Jeans (Old Navy) Shoes (Sperrys), Giada: Mustard Dress (Next) Star Dress/Cardigan (Target) Both Headbands (MyLilSweetieBoutique on etsy)