Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Game Time

The holidays are officially in full swing with Thankgiving coming up in a few short days and the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday.

I, personally, hate Black Friday and the madness it ensues. No amount of discount is worth the lack of dignity. I don't get it. I love shopping and I love to shop, but no amount of sales will get me out into chaos with swinging punches.

However, I LOVE some Black Friday sales...


It's game time.

I get 80% of my Christmas shopping done online, usually during Black Friday and with ALL the doorbuster deals that people stand in freezing cold lines to get it.

Silly people.

I just woke up, sipped my coffee and clickity-clicked my doorbusters right into my checkout cart and was done.

Simple as that.

So, here are few tips and tricks that I use when I nab all my online shopping spectacular.

USE EBATES. No, seriously. Use Ebates. Here is a link if you don't subscribe. You get money back just for clicking through their website. Simple and easy cash. Plus, right now there are lots of double cash back deals.

If you are subscriber to Lucky magazine, sign up for their rewards program. They tend to have cash back on clothing retailers that Ebates does not carry, like 5% back at Anthropologie.

Kohl's has it's Black Friday deals online NOW. Their 19.99 doorbuster toys are available. You can get 6% cash back via Ebates and use the code GREETING15 for an additional 15% off your entire purchase. Shipping is free for orders of $50 or more. They are giving out Kohl's cash as well. So for ever $50 you spend, you get $15 Kohl's cash for use the first week of December. I made my order and all but finished the kids Christmas gifts this morning. My favorite item? Discovery Kid's digital cameras for the boys. Normally $69.99, I got them for $17.50. You just can't beat that.

Target has some of their Black Friday deals available now online. If it is out of stock, you may be able to do in-store pick up. This year, Target is offering free shipping and free returns for the season. A nice bonus for sure!

Walmart is having a special a day and you can order online. I did the ship to store feature last year and it was a nightmare. Long pick up lines, items that did not get there and so forth. So, proceed at your own risk with them.

Anthropologie usually has some sort of discount on Black Friday (though nothing huge, as it is Anthro) They will be doing a fun popper in store for all those that make a purchase. It can hold gift cards,  discount codes, housing gifts and other fun items. I have had their poppers before and they ARE fun:)

A few years ago, I bought a few electronic "door busters" from Best Buy online. Shipped for free. Used Ebates. It was a win.

Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic also do their door busters online. They are all part of the same family and use the same checkout cart. $50 is free shipping and returns for all 3 stores (plus Piperlime and Athleta) so you can combine purchases if needed.

Whatever store you love, I would check them out online first.

So, relax people. Spend time with your family. Give thanks for all the multiple blessing that you have. Rest. Converse. Laugh.

Save the crazy ladies punching each other for another day.

Boycott Thanksgiving Day shopping.

Get up on Friday, drink your coffee and find your favorite deals.

It really is the only way to do it.

And today, I am thankful for the internet and it's highway of shopping glory.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

October Bits

October has come to a close as the the cold winds of November are blowing through.
Most of our leaves have now fallen, along with the temperatures.

Fall is swiftly moving towards winter, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming right around the corner, much is still to look forward to.

But for now, let's look back on some of my favorite bits of October.

These boys. Such great friends.

My man holding our girl at the pumpkin patch.

This pretty much sums up their response to the pumpkin patch. Macy kept losing her shoes in the pumpkin vines and had a hard time walking. 

Just reading her book on a Sunday afternoon.

Preschool picture day! He wanted to wear a tie like Daddy and than Colin spent the afternoon at his Dad's work. Ya know...working... in his tie.

We were able to dedicate Macy the same Sunday that my little nephew Elliot was dedicated. The whole family was able to be apart and we were so blessed to be able to have our family with us.*

She was a tired, but cute little lady.

We also celebrated my niece Audrey's 2nd birthday that day! 

They mustache you a question.
Who is the silliest of them all?

The tree in our front yard turns a fantastic shade of yellow. Fall colors are my favorite.

Baby girls playing with leaves are also a favorite.

Silly big brothers that want to take pictures in the leaves...most definitely a favorite!

As we close out the fall and prepare for the upcoming holidays, I hope that you are able to stop and savor those around you.  All those people up there?
They are my favorite.

*All photos are my own, except for the family dedication pictures. Those were taken by my sister's friend and photographer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Fall: Soccer!

The cool mornings now come with a frosty grass coating. Leaves are changing and gently dancing their way down to the damp earth. Your warm breathe turns to a cloud of steam as you exhale.
Little boys layer up as they pull their oversized jerseys down.
Soccer season is coming to an end.

 Daddy and Macy cuddling to keep warm.

 Jack the goalie, ready for anything.

Happy boys with their soccer metals.

Great season, Cardinals!

This picture is the essence of preschool soccer. Everything that you need to know about preschool soccer is summed up in one single image.

Colin on the move.

Everyone needs a water break.

Good game, good game.

Great season, Volunteers!

While our Saturdays are now open, and the frantic rush to get everyone dressed and piled into the car by 8am is now over, we will miss spending our mornings on the soccer field.

It was a wonderful first sports experience and the boys both are looking forward to playing in the spring.

What a fabulous fall!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

8 the great

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband.  8 years!  It doesn't seem like it has been that long, but when I look around me and see these little people that are the fruit of this relationship, time has an ever-growing face.

We are spending the evening home, feasting on fresh pasta, cannolis and pumpkin cake. A pretty mellow anniversary, but we are hoping to get out this weekend to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. My husband lucks out and we usually only celebrate the birthday and he gets a pass for the anniversary.

I am happy to say that we are just has happy now as we were when that picture was taken. Our love has grown and deepened over the years and I look forward to spending many more years together.

If you are interested, you can read about our story here.

 Thanks for walking through life with me, babe. I love you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back That Thing Up

Let me tell you my story of woe.

Deep, sad computer woe.

You see, computers do not last forever. They break, they are defective and sometimes, you even get a brand new, very bad part.

And if you are like me, you have many valuable things on that working mechanism that can connect you to the information super-highway.

Valuable things like pictures of your daughter's birth. Videos of your son saying adorable things like "Nanni" for the cat and every animal noise imaginable. Video collages that you created that celebrate the life well lived of your beloved Grandmother. Things more valuable than money, than the status symbol of a glowing apple icon or the allure of a new computer.

Things that can not be replaced.

So, back that stuff up. Back it up, back it up, back it up.

Go to Best Buy, invest in a good hard drive (between $50-100 and with a full terabyte worth of memory), plug that little wonder machine into your computer and back that stuff up.

You do not want to spend 2 weeks regretting not just doing it when you thought about it a few months ago. You do not want to shed tears over lost images. You don't want to think about not getting those back.

You just want to back that stuff up!

While my story of woe turned around, thanks to some hard, long work of my IT specialist at my office, their praise can be somewhat diminished. They installed a bad hard drive (not their fault) but deleted all my stored files after only 3 weeks (NOT a wise idea) so after lots of trials and tears(mine, not theirs) and work, they were able to restore my computer and images.

Do you know what I did when I got my computer back?

I backed that stuff up.


So, take this public service announcement and BACK UP your stuff!

You can thank me later.

Because this picture was brought to you from a found file that is now backed up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

10 Ways I am Ruining My Daughter's Life

Inspired by a friend on Facebook who photographed her daughter crying because she would not allow her to drink her coffee and a few memes I have seen on Facebook, I paid attention to what was upsetting Macy one day.

It was a rough day. Teething is no joke, add in a small cold and you have recipe for disaster.

 So many "No"s. So many tears.

So I give you 10 ways I am ruining my daughter's life.


1. I would not let her chew on electrical cords.

2. I would not let her put her banana in her bouncing hippo to watch it jump and bounce.

3. I wiped the snot running down her face.

4. I would not let her eat raw eggs.

5. I would not let her put Legos in her mouth.

6. I would not let her carry my water cup around...which she has already broken.

7.I would not let her eat her brother's fruit snacks.

8. I changed her diaper.

9.I would not let her take the eggs out of the fridge.

10. I only showed her the pictures on the wall 100 times and not 101 times.

It's a hard life for a baby. A hard knock life.