Archives for November 2016

Thanksgiving Countdown Day 3: Table Games (Free Printables)

Hello and happy Thanksgiving Eve! Here’s one last post for you before the big day arrives in just a few short hours…

I created two fun activities for our family this year and I thought I might share them with you. Both of these activities are a fun way to keep guests at the dinner table just a little longer. They are super simple and easy. A way to connect and learn more about each other, reflect on what we’re thankful for, create quality conversation, and have fun.  Turn off the football game for just a few minutes and try out one of these activities. I don’t think that you’ll regret it!



There are two ways to play this game…guests can write down things they are thankful for starting with letters A-Z or things having to do with Thanksgiving. You can set a time limit if you’d like. Once finished, have everyone cross items off their list if someone else wrote the same thing. The person (or people) with the most words left wins! Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the free printable version.



This activity is self-explanatory. You can set out a conversation card at each place setting and answer them over dinner or you can put them all in a basket and pass it around while guests are munching on dessert. You can even read the question and have each guest answer before moving onto the next one. Lots of ways to play! It’s a very fun way to learn about each other and focus on what Thanksgiving is truly about. Scroll to the bottom to find 6 printable pages…24 total questions.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving filled with friends, family, and special moments! There is truly so much to be thankful for!

Click below for FREE printable versions! Enjoy!








Thanksgiving Countdown Day 2: Place Settings


As some of you get busy planning your Thanksgiving festivities on this blustery and cold Monday morning, I thought I’d provide some table setting inspiration for you! Many of these ideas I’ve used in years past and some are new ideas I’ve found from other creative bloggers. I tried to pick simple designs that need little expertise and materials…something you can easily conquer while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or maybe while listening to Christmas music on Thanksgiving Eve. I hope one of these 8 ideas inspires you to bring a little fun to your table this year! Enjoy!

1- Childhood Pictures


I created these for our family Thanksgiving table about three years ago! It’s very easy, an extra fun way for guests to find their seat, and a great conversation starter! I found or requested childhood pictures of everyone attending our Thanksgiving meal and then printed them on photo paper. (although you could easily use plain old cardstock, too!) Then I cut and glued them on some dark colored paper. This is a great option if you need something quick and easy but still makes an impression and adds some fun!

2 – Thankful Booklets

dsc_0393  dsc_0399

Pardon the quality of the photos…I actually had to dig into my “memory box” to find my own thankful booklet from a few years back! This is by far one of my favorite ideas. Each person gets a booklet with their name written on the front. First, use them to help guests find their seats. Then, at the end of dinner, pass the booklets around the table. Each person should write down something they’re thankful for about the person whose name is on the front. Keep passing until the booklets have made it all the way around the table! At the end of the evening, each person gets to take home a special keepsake full of kind words about them.

3- Burlap & Glitter


Super simple to make yet bringing a touch of the season and glitter (who doesn’t love glitter?!) to your table! I love this idea from Just cut a few squares of burlap, trace leaves from a leaf template (just google leaf template and you’ll find yourself with plenty of free options!), and clip them together with a glittery clothespin. Click on the picture to go the original tutorial!

4- Thanksgiving doodles


How fun is this idea from Clarita over at Skies of Parchment? Just buy some kraft paper and either cut out some placemats or use a long piece as a runner on each side of the table. Use a sharpie to create a space at each setting for guests to write down things they’re thankful for! You can even write the guest’s name somewhere on the placemat. Provide pens, crayons, or colored pencils. Fun for kids to doodle on, too, before or after dinner! Click on the image for more details.

5- Golden leaves


This idea is perfect if you’d like to add a touch of beauty and elegance to your Thanksgiving table that will wow your guests. (it’s okay, we won’t tell them just how simple they were to create!) Find some pretty leaves in your backyard or buy fake leaves at your local craft store and spray paint them with something metallic. She uses gold but silver would be equally pretty! Use a paint pen or sharpie to write your guest’s name once the paint has dried. See the full tutorial over at Wendy’s blog by clicking above.

6- Something Sweet


I used this idea from Good Housekeeping a few years ago! These double as a place setting and a goody for your family to take home! Just whip up a batch of your favorite sugar cookies and cut out pumpkins (plain old circles or squares work, too). Use some royal icing to cover the entire cookie and then, once dry, pipe your guest’s names on top.

7- Painted Pinecones


Check out this idea from Just paint the tips of pinecones (send your kiddos out to collect some for you or buy a bag at your local craft store) with some orange, yellow, and red paint. Stamp, write, or print the names of your guests onto tiny slips of paper and stuff into the top of each pinecone. I love this woodsy look! Click the image for the full tutorial.

8- Cornucopia Treats


You can grab everything you need for these delicious treats when you’re out grocery shopping for your thanksgiving meal! All you need are ice cream cones, chocolate chips, and some fall candy to stuff inside. Once again, these double as a favor for your guests to take home. You can attach little place setting cards with a some chocolate on top if you have assigned seats or just set one at each plate without names. See the details from caramel potatoes by clicking above.

Happy Thanksgiving day planning! Check back tomorrow!

Thanksgiving Countdown Day 1: FREE Printable

Goodmorning friends! It’s so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less then one week away! I have to say that this is my most favorite holiday of all. I love Christmas, of course, but Thanksgiving day marks the beginning of all things Christmas and, as a result, all of my favorite things! Christmas movies and music, family time, shopping, traditions, holiday lights and decorations, and on and on the list goes. There is just something so fun and special about this time of the year and it all begins, in my opinion, on Thanksgiving day!

To celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, I’m kicking off a Thanksgiving Countdown. From now until Thanksgiving day, I’ll be featuring 3 posts about Thanksgiving…ideas, crafts, recipes, activities, and even some free printables. Get ready!

Today, please enjoy this free digital print. I hope that it brings a little Thanksgiving cheer to your home. I recently came across this quote and I just love it. It perfectly encapsulates what this season (and every season, hopefully) is all about. Both being grateful to God for His many blessings and giving in return. Giving back to God with our obedience, our time, and our possessions. Giving to friends and family to show our love and appreciation. And giving to others to show them the love of Christ and to make their holiday just a little bit brighter.

Just click below to save and print. Enjoy! Don’t forget to come back and check out day number 2 tomorrow! Happy weekend!


B’s Nursery Reveal


It’s only taken me six whole months to reveal our little guy’s nursery! Better late than never, I guess! I love the way it turned out and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. It’s not anything elaborate (and most of the ideas came from Pinterest, anyway, so I can’t take much credit) but my hope is that it gives you a little inspiration if you’re thinking [or dreaming] about creating your own nursery. Goodness knows I was saving nursery ideas long before I was even married. Please tell me I’m not crazy.


Originally, I was set on doing a gender neutral room so that we could use it again for our future babies. I decided on yellow, teal, and gray and set off to find the pieces to put it together. My mom started crocheting a blanket for the baby in those colors and I used the yarn colors as a starting point. I quickly found out that I just couldn’t find anything I really loved in those colors. It was the wrong shade of green, the wrong style, too girly, too expensive. Then one day, my mom mentioned that she was going to start over  and crochet the blanket with a different design and “was I 100% sure of the color choices?” before she did so. My escape! I threw all my original plans out the window and decided to go with a boy-themed, navy and green nursery. I figured we could always replace the green with pink if we have a girl someday.

The first thing I purchased was a green wooden “B” to hang over the crib from Pottery Barn Kids. They were running an awesome online sale on their wall decor so I snatched it up. Then I set out to find matching green and navy fabric. People looked at me like a crazy person as I wandered through the fabric store trying to match fabric to a giant letter B in my cart! I had absolutely no luck finding the shade of green I wanted, so I ended up repainting the letter to match the fabric I found. I also picked a navy fabric with a simple white design.

dsc_0271           dsc_0263

Lowe’s paint matching service is awesome. They matched the navy and green fabric swatches I brought along perfectly. I used the green to repaint the letter and the navy for one wall in the nursery. We painted the other walls a simple gray.

We decided that we wanted to go with white furniture. I remember walking through BabiesRUs very early in my pregnancy and being amazed at the prices for nursery furniture. There was just no way we could spend thousands of dollars for a crib and a changing table. So, in typical Jess-fashion, I went home and researched (and researched) the best crib for the lowest price. I found one I really liked on Amazon with free shipping, so we checked that off the list. My very handy husband sanded, repainted, and replaced the hardware on two old dressers. We found one at a reused furniture shop and the other through an online yardsale site.



And then came the fun part…all the finishing touches! My grandma sewed a crib skirt and beautiful curtains for the windows and closet. My husband built an amazing closet. We hung shelves from ikea and found bins, baskets, and picture frames from various stores. After much agonizing, we decided to splurge on a glider from Target. And I’m so glad that we did!





I felt like the nursery was missing something…like it needed a theme or a special touch. I had seen a lot of  the woodland theme recently pop up on Pinterest and thought it was adorable. (and, as it turns out, that was the surprise theme of my baby shower!) My very talented sister created some beautiful woodland artwork for the room. It was the perfect finishing touch!





I hope you enjoyed the little tour! Thanks for stopping in!

Here is a list of my sources:

Paint: Lowes

Crib: Amazon

Letter B: Pottery Barn Kids

Glider: Target

White Shelves: Ikea

Blue bins in closet: Amazon

Picture frames: Hobby Lobby

Green book bin: Home Goods

Mirror: Hobby Lobby

Wire Baskets: Hobby Lobby

Arrow on Peg Board: Hobby Lobby

Peg Board: Lowes (painted white by my husband)

Wooden Blocks: Amazon

Stuffed Fox: Amazon

Stacking Toy: Amazon

Gray Crib Sheet: Carters

Curtains & Crib Skirt: made by my grandma, fabric from Joanne’s Fabric

Artwork:  my amazing sister

Changing pad cover: Target

Lamp: Target


%d bloggers like this: