a gift for the hubster

Hey y’all, I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  We went and visited Branden’s family in Wyoming for a few days and had a blast!  While we were there, we also got to do a show!  So exciting, Wit & Folly on the road!  Everyone seemed to enjoy it and it’s awesome just building relationships with people and churches!  I’ll post a few pictures from the show soon, but for today, I wanted to share a sort of tradition that I started a couple years ago with the hubster.  I did a post about it last year that seemed to be pretty well received, so I thought I’d repost it today :)   Enjoy!


Every year Branden and I hand make a gift for each of the boys (a tradition that was born out of necessity a few years ago and now is just sweet!)  Last year Branden and I decided to include ourselves in the diy tradition by adopting a “buy one gift, make one gift” idea.

 I wanted to make Branden something really meaningful but also that he would love.  So I did my own twist on the 12 days of Christmas!  Starting on December 14th (twelve days leading up to and including Christmas), I wrote Branden a little note every day and stuck it into a numbered envelope.  On one side I wrote a few sentences telling him something that I love about him. (Who doesn’t need a few words of affirmation, right?)  On the other side I wrote something intimate for us to do/try.  (You can see why this quickly became what he called his “favorite gift of all time!”)  He loved it so much, I’m doing it again this year :)

Okay, so if you’re on a budget and want to make this super meaningful and awesome gift for your hubby, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 envelopes
  • 12 index cards (or any other paper you want to write your notes on)
  • pen
  • fine tip sharpie (optional)

Step 1 ~ Number your envelopes from 1 – 12.

I used a fine tip Sharpie and my fanciest handwriting, but feel free to bedazzle your envelopes any way you’d like!  I’m sure the envelope isn’t what Branden will be paying attention to, but hey, presentation is important right?

Step 2 ~ Make two lists

The first list is for the twelve things you love about your husband.  Think here ladies.  What words of affirmation would bless your hubby the most?  In what ways does he serve you and your family that you really appreciate?

My list included things like: Branden’s work ethic, how he is a dad who teaches and plays with his kids, how attractive he is to me, how his priority is to take care of us.  You get the idea!

The second list is equally important :)  Write out 12 intimate things for you and your hubby to try.  Be creative!  I won’t tell you what’s on my list, but remember that this is a gift for your husband!  What kinds of things would he want on that list?

Step 3 ~ Write on your index cards

I wrote the “I love you because” items on the lined side of the card and the intimate items on the other side.

Step 4 ~ Starting on December 14th, give your hubster one envelope a day

Last year I gave Branden his notes as he left for work in the mornings.  It was awesome knowing he was starting his day with some affirmation and also thinking about me all day!

Alright, go grab those envelopes and index cards!  I promise this will be a gift your husband will remember!


our advent calendar

One of the things I love most about this time of the year is traditions!  It’s the stuff memories are made of!  I know everyone does it a little differently (which is awesome!) but I remember some of the things we did growing up.  For Christmas, our family tradition was to all stay up together on Christmas Eve, singing Christmas carols and eating (something included in every Filipino tradition!), and enjoying each others’ company.  Once the clock struck midnight, we would open all our presents!  It was Christmas!!  Once the presents were all opened and hugs and thank you’s were exchanged, we’d all crawl into our beds and sleep well into the morning.  The next day we’d enjoy a big family brunch together and stay in our pajamas all day.  It was the best!

I want my kiddos to remember happy Christmases together too.  I know when they grow up, they’ll probably start some sweet traditions with their own families, but for now, I love that we’re enjoying these ones together!

A couple of years ago, we made an advent calendar.  Nothing too elaborate, just an envelope each day with an index card inside.  Each card has something for us to do together to celebrate the season.

Branden made me this frame when we first moved into this house.  It is backed with chicken wire and perfect for hanging things up with clothespins :)

There was a tutorial I had found online to make these envelopes out of scrapbook paper, but I looked for it last night and couldn’t find it :/  Maybe I’ll recreate it for you someday :)  For now, you can find a lot of great tutorials for making your own envelopes online (thank you Pinterest!), or just go pick up some cute ones from the store that are already made!  #easypeasy

I used some stamps to number the envelopes 1-25, wrote out a card for each day, placed them into the envelopes, and hung up them up in order with some clothespins.  Each morning we took down an envelope and enjoyed the activity together!

Here’s what’s on our calendar:

  1. decorate the tree
  2. watch the movie “elf” (my favorite :)
  3. buy family presents (just for the four of us)
  4. wrap family presents
  5. make christmas cookies
  6. put up the nativity set
  7. hang stockings
  8. make a gift for daddy
  9. watch the veggie tales movie “saint nicholas”
  10. read “god gave us christmas”
  11. make homemade ice cream
  12. read “a charlie brown christmas”
  13. hang mistletoe
  14. learn about and eat candy canes
  15. drive around and see christmas lights
  16. make a gingerbread house
  17. drink caramel apple cider
  18. make paper snowflakes
  19. make another present
  20. make christmas pancakes
  21. watch a christmas movie
  22. drink hot cocoa
  23. go sledding
  24. read the christmas story
  25. celebrate jesus’ birthday!!
We’ve done our calendar for two years now, and our boys ask about it all though out the year!  If you’d like to do your own, feel free to use any or all of the activities on our list or substitute with your own special traditions!  Either way, have fun celebrating Jesus and the season together!
Oh, and here is a picture I took of our boys a couple years ago while Branden was stringing lights on the tree.  It’s still one of my favorites!

kale chips

kale chips

You know that thing my mom people said to you about when you turn 30?  That you won’t be able to eat just whatever you want?  That things will start to “stick” and your body will basically begin the downhill slide that comes after the “peak” formerly known as your twenties?  Yeah, I think it’s happening :(

So we’re trying a new thing around the Treu house.  Being healthier.  I’ve heard good things.  I’m not talking go crazy and stop eating all processed food (maybe one day :)  But we can do A LOT better, just be smarter about what we’re putting into our bodies, into our kids’ bodies!  I know as far as food, I’m pretty much the ring leader of this circus, which means a lot of it is my fault responsibility.  It also means the changes will start and stop with me and that my kids will learn to eat the way they see me eat.  So, it’s time my friends, time for a change.

Right now I really just want to be intentional about what we eat/what we don’t eat.  So far it’s been kind of a slow start.  I’ve stopped buying a ton of processed food.  And I’m trying to substitute good stuff for the not so good stuff we’re so used to.  I’m also wanting to try new things.  That’s not always easy, old habits die hard.  But right now my kids seem somewhat adventurous with new foods, and they get excited about making food, so it can be fun!

The other day I made kale chips.  Yup, I took a green leafy vegetable and made them into chips.  And you know what?  The boys LOVE them!  And what’s better, they were really easy to make and are a great substitute for pretty much any other kind of chips we might buy at the store.

Okay, if you’re wanting to try your hand at making a batch, here’s what you’ll need:

  • kale (You can buy them bagged like lettuce or by the bunch.  I actually had 1 bunch left over from a different meal, so I used that)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • seasoning of your choice (we used this)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Take the kale (if not already off the stems) and pull off the leaves into bite sized pieces.  (Kids like to eat stuff they helped make, so let them help where they can!  Pulling off leaves?  They can handle that!)  Drizzle a little olive oil onto a baking sheet (we needed 2 baking sheets for our 1 bunch of kale).  Spread the kale pieces out on the baking sheet.  Turn leaves to lightly coat both sides.  Sprinkle with seasoning.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy!
I think they turned out pretty good actually :)  They almost tasted like potato chips, but the texture was different.  Like I said, the boys loved them.  I’m glad we’re trying new things.  I know some things will be an adjustment and we just have to open to that, even if it takes time.  I don’t want to write things off because it’s not what we’re used to or we don’t love it the first time.  This is important, right?  I want to teach my kids that we need to be committed to the right thing, even if it’s a challenging thing :)
Okay, go make some kale chips!

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