Minted Giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2015
This time of year, you know I am all about the tradition and Christmas cards are a big part of that in our family.  I don't know why they mean so much to me but they do.   I love getting them from all my friends and family members and seeing how everyone has changed (or not) over the years.  In fact, I save them all which is definitely a problem.

For that last few years, I have collaborated with Minted for our family cards.  I used Minted years ago when they first came on the scene and I have had the best customer service and love my cards every year.  So, this year, we are using Minted again.

Sometimes, I am on the ball and order my cards in September (not kidding) and some years (like this year) I still have not ordered them.  It doesn't matter.  Minted ships quickly and I always get them in plenty of time.  They also seem to always have a special or sale going on which I appreciate too.

This is our card from last year.  I love it.  I vary back and forth between these ornament types and the traditional ones.  But I think these ornament types are my favorite.

Minted has agreed to team up with me again this year to offer three of my readers a $100 credit.  I am so excited as the Minted site has so many awesome products now from stationery to art.

Here are just a few design from this year that I played around with....




To enter, go here and fill in your name and email address.
Minted will choose 3 winners after the contest closes and they will notify the winners.

Exciting news

Saturday, November 21, 2015
As usual these days, we have had a lot going on at our house.  It is prime gymnastics and swim season.  And it has been college application "season" too.  Will has applied to 7 schools.  We have heard from 3 of those so far.  I am proud to report that he has been accepted to Baylor, Colorado School of Mines and Texas A & M thus far.  And he was awarded the President's Gold Academic Scholarship at Baylor.  It is quite an honor and we are so so proud of him.  He is still waiting to hear from all the schools before he makes his decision but it is such a relief to know that he has three excellent options already!  I am really proud of him.



I also wanted to let you know of a few things on my "things I love" list lately.  I plan to post some each week for Christmas ideas.

Our house was broken into a few months ago and all of my jewelry was stolen.  It was devastating.  I was crushed.  The material loss was tough but the feeling of invasion and the loss of precious  memories associated with the jewelry is really what has haunted me.  There were so many things that were special gifts from Dave or the kids or passed down from his parents.  I have worked through it and know it is only "stuff" and that I have all the things in life that matter.  I have even prayed for and forgiven the thieves.  But, it still stings a bit.  Anyway, I am very slowly replacing some costume pieces as they stole ALL of that too.


This necklace is very versatile.  It adds sparkle without being overwhelming.  I have worn it with denim,  plaid flannel and silk shirts. It is on sale (code SHOPNOW) and it would make a great gift.

I ordered this cape on a whim because I had a birthday credit and I LOVE it.  It is so chic and the perfect weight if you don't want a heavy coat but it is still chilly.


I also wanted some plaid flannel pajamas this year. I almost ordered these as they are beautiful (and 30% off with code SHOPNOW). But they are a pretty thick, warm plaid.  Here in Houston, it is rarely cold enough for me to wear those. As much as I love them, I think I would be too hot in them here.  I was disappointed as I love them and Kate really wanted to get them for me for my birthday (last week).


But his week, I found these while shopping.  They are super soft and a lighter weight which is prefect for me.  And the price was great too.


And if you are looking for matching family pajamas at a great price point, they have them too.


I'll be back Monday with a great giveaway from Minted.
They are giving away 3 gift credits of $100 each to Three Peanuts readers.
Have a great weekend!

gymnastic season

Monday, November 2, 2015
Some of Kate's teammates and one of their coaches, Coach Andy!


At this level (4) Kate's competition season for gymnastics is from the end of August until about now.  She practices 4 days a week, 52 weeks a year though.  With the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving, they always have practice!

Kate trains about 16 hours a week in the gym.  She misses a lot of play dates and time with friends.  Most of the time that does not bother her but at the end of competition season, she starts to feel it. This is about the time of year that she gets overwhelmed.  Honestly this girl LOVES gymnastics but she is not super competitive.  She would do all of the training even if there were not meets or medals.

Last week was our  District Champs where Kate advanced to South State.  And this weekend was South State in San Antonio.   If you do well in that, you advance to State.

I probably should have done multiple posts along the way on the various meets but I have not had time.  So ---fair warning there will be too many videos and photos here but I am squeezing the whole season into one post;)

This season has been interesting.  Kate has had some of her highest highs and some of her lowest lows too. I would say that last year Kate was pretty consistent on all of the four events.  This year, Kate has two great events and two she struggles with.

I'll start with the good.  Kate rocks the beam.   Her highest score was a 9.825 and that landed her her on the top 100 list and she holds the record at her gym for highest bean score now. I so wish I had videotaped that one but of course I did not!  I think the fact that we have a beam in our front hallway has something to do with her success on the beam.  She says the beam is her home:)



Until yesterday, Kate had won 1st place on the beam at every meet this season.   The other parents at our gym started calling her "the beam queen."  She has looked beautiful on the beam all season (until yesterday). Yesterday the gym was freezing and the girls were nervous.  Kate did not give her best beam performance.  Usually she is rock solid.  Here are some photos and video of her beam this season.

Beam Galveston Meet 2015 from Kim S on Vimeo.






She is in the way back on this one and it is a little hard to see...

IMG_8300 from Kim S on Vimeo.

Her next best event is the floor routine. This is my favorite event to watch Kate compete.  The beam sometimes makes me too nervous. But watching her on the floor is like watching her dance. She is so graceful.  Kate has won 1st on floor and tied for 3rd a few times.  Her highest score on floor this year is 9.7.  Yesterday she won first place again on floor in the South State champs with a  9.6  That was very exciting.

Here are her videos of her floor routines.

Floor at Stars 1st place 9.7 from Kim S on Vimeo.

The one above is the one where she got  a 9.7

The one below has no music....

IMG_8295 from Kim S on Vimeo.

And some floor photos...





Next is bars.  Kate has done ok on bars but not great.  In past years she has done well on bars so we cannot figure out what is going on. She knows what she needs to do to get higher scores but it doesn't always happen. The best she has scored is a 9.0

Here is one of her bar routines..I think it was her first of the season.

Kate Bars meet 1 8-23-2015 from Kim S on Vimeo.

Some bar photos...




Finally, the vault has given Kate a lot of trouble this season.  Similarly the best vault she has done is  9.0 (6th place).  She works really hard at vault and bars but for some reason she is not improving the way she usually does.

IMG_8507 2


Kate has so much fun with her teammates.  She truly loves these girls.  They have become some of her closest friends.  They have a lot of fun at the meets and at practice too.  We hosted a Halloween party for the team last week since many of them missed Halloween due to South State State champs. I'll post some photos of that later.



They cheer each other on and I have not seen Kate ever get jealous of her teammates. In fact, Kate almost did not qualify for state this week. It was touch and go and even though she was not sure if she was going to make it, she was THRILLED for her teammates who made it. She did end up making the cut but she was fine ether way.


Our triple threat. These three swept 1st, 2nd and 3rd a few times on floor and beam:)





So that is the summary of Kate's gymnastics season.  She has one more meet in the Dallas area in a few weeks for State Championships.  

Giant Homecoming post 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

For about 6 weeks, our weekends have focused on Kate's gymnastics (I have been posting on IG and FB) but this past weekend was all about the boys.  It was homecoming at their school.  Friday night is the football game and Saturday is the dinner and dance.  We did not have a homecoming dance where I grew up (all girl Catholic school in PA) but it is a BIG deal down here in Texas.

So, Harry is a freshmen and this was his first homecoming.  Will is a senior so it was his last. I will warn you that there are tons of photos here.  Here we go....

Harry asked a friend named Kate to homecoming this year. This is them at the game.


I had to get one of Harry with his sister too.


Kate Swales had a great time at the game.  She loved watching the cheerleaders and she was so excited for Will's girlfriend, Elizabeth. Will nominated his girlfriend for homecoming court and she made it.  It was fun to go the game and sit with her parents and see the court at half time.  She looked beautiful as you can see.


The Dads escorted the girls onto the field.


That is Elizabeth in the pink.

Kate gave Elizabeth roses.


Elizabeth and her Mom and her sister...



These shots are kind of yellow from the football lights (and I am too tired to correct them in photoshop).

How cute are these two?


I love this shot of Will and his friends at the game.  They are such an amazing group of kids.


Saturday was the dance.  Before the dance, groups usually meet at a house for photos and then most groups go to a restaurant for dinner.  Harry's group was going to a restaurant.  Will's group has never done that.  My friend Cathy and I have alternated years hosting them in our home.  She did freshmen and junior year and Dave and I hosted sophomore and senior years.  We serve the kids dinner and all the parents usually stay and hang out in the kitchen and eat and socialize too.  We have LOVED this tradition for the past four years and we were honored that Will wanted to do it at our house this year.
BUT, it meant that I missed the group photos for Harry's homecoming group.  This killed me.  I hated missing it. The house was kind of far away and I could not leave.  Harry's date and her parents did come to our house for a few photos though which I really appreciate.


Harry's date arrived first with her parents.





Kate and her parents.


Me and Harry.  So grateful for this shot.

Dave and Harry goofing around....



As Harry and his date were leaving, I snapped one quick photo of the boys together.  I really wish I had taken my time and gotten one of our whole family.  This is the only year they are both going to homecoming.  Will will be gone next year at college.


I asked the Moms at Harry's photo house to send me some group photos.  I HATED not being there.  This was one of those times, I wish I could clone myself.

Harry's homecoming group

Harry and his date hurried off to the photo party and dinner and Will's friends and parents started arriving immediately...


Just had to post this one for the photo bombers (Kate and Nicholas)



Some of Will's friends and their dates.

Will's best friends...David and Caroline.

Audrey and Thomas

Nicholas and Meagan

 Jonathan and Paulina

Pierce and Lauren


Elizabeth with her Mom and Dad and her sister, Katherine.


The dinner was really fun.


Kate LOVES all the girls and they are very sweet to her.







We Moms got kind of silly taking selfies with the girls behind us.





These 3 boys try to recreate this photo from Freshmen year.  It cracks me up.  Will really needs a haircut but he refused to get one.  He is getting one today!



Here is the original one from freshmen year...


We all love this group of kids.

DSC_1655 asklfj'lassvfjl DSC_1663

It was a little sentimental watching them drive off for the dance.  Several of us stood on the front porch as they drove away almost unable to believe this is their last homecoming.  It really seems like yesterday they were those awkward freshmen with their head shaved.  All of the parents stayed and ate and had cocktails and socialized at our house.  We sat outside under the string lights that Dave worked so hard to put up this week.  It was a really special night.  We talked about how much we will miss these times together when they are off in college.

I know there are a lot more photos of Will and his friends.  I am hoping next year that Harry will let us host his friends;)