Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

May your days be filled with Peace today and throughout the entire year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Perils of Christmas Movies

It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas movies have been playing since the beginning of November. Lifetime, Uplifting network, Hallmark and ABC family to name a few, have all been on a constant rotation of Christmas movies. Everywhere you turn, there is one on.

This can lead to a LOT of begging to watch the rest of a certain movie, or to have a movie night, whatever it may be.

My dearest Husband decided to share his childhood favorite with the boys. Home Alone.
This was not an action that happened while I was home.

Home Alone is a little boy's dream scenario.

Bad guys, bb guns, stunts and many,many ridiculous pranks and lots of slapstick physical humor.

We have had an influx of Home Alone, Elf, The Polar Express and so forth....

So, what's the big deal? It IS the Christmas season.  Yet, how do you know when it is just TOO much?


~When your 4 year old wants to write "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal" on his sweet preschool teacher's Christmas card.

~When he goes up the escalator in a split ala Buddy the Elf...every. single. time.

~When that one time at IKEA, he decided to climb up on the mattresses and jump across a solid 5 mattress before I could reach him and pull him down. That venture also goes to out to good ol' Buddy the Elf, as well.

~When you 6 year old almost breaks your bed from jumping on Kevin did in Home Alone.

~While fighting, your boys use words that they learned from Home Alone.  Not so nice words.Wonderful.

~Your 6 and 4 year old boys run around the house with their hands on their cheeks, screaming as if they just slapped aftershave on. This has now prompted their 1 yr old sister to do the same. When she wants a quick laugh, she just holds her chubby little hands to her round, dimpled  checks and smiles. (She usually gets the laugh)

What is a mother to do?

Ban the movies? Waylay the festivities with my cold, grinch heart?!

Probably not.

They are just too cute.

AND it just 5 days till Christmas.


Have a Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Favorite Things

Favorite Things by afedell featuring post earrings

With Christmas shopping in full swing and Gift Guids a plenty all over the internet, I thought I would share some of my tried and true favorites. Things I have bought in multiples and wear almost daily.

Old Navy Mid Rise Rockstar Jeans. These are my favorite jeans. They have a great rise that hold in all my baby "leftovers" and the stretch is comfortable and does not wear out after this first wear. I have a variety of rinses and colors. You can always find a sale at Old Navy and I have bought these for around $15 before. Never pay full price at Old Navy. Their stuff cycles through sales ALL the time. A word of advice. Size up. I wear a full size to two size larger in these. Swallow your pride, get a  larger size and a good fit and enjoy these comfy and flattering inexpensive jeans.

Forever21 Heathered V Neck Tee. These are the perfect tee. Soft, comfy and with just the right amount of drape. For $5.90, you can have a variety of colors and the perfect slouchy tee that can be dressed up with statement necklaces and a blazer or dressed down with distressed jeans. I took a large for a looser, slouchier fit.

Sabine via Piperlime earrings. Unfortunately, these exact earrings have sold out, but any type of fun, sparkly earring is worth grabbing. I get more compliments on these earrings than any other pair. Piperlime always have free shipping and returns and you can find great deals in their sale sections. Most of their sales are final, so double check all our measurement. Here are a few fun options here, here, here and here.

Smith's Rosebud Lip Balm. It is an old school brand that has made a comeback and now these are offered in a convenient tube. I have the Mocha, Strawberry and Mint and I love them all. Super moisturizing and smell fantastic. They are not sticky at all, and that is a huge bonus. I have these linked to Anthropologie, but you can also buy they at Sephora. Burt's Bees lip balms are another favorite, if you are wanting more color.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus lotions and body scrubs. I love this stuff. Their body and hand sugar scrub is fantastic. Right now, it is sold out at Target online, so I can't link it, but check your stores. It literally melts into your skin and leaves your hands and body so soft. The lotion smells fantastic and absorbs quickly. I love the story behind the brand, making it just that much better. I have not tried any of the other fragrances, but I want to. These would be perfect stocking stuffers (hint, hint hubby)

If you are interested, I could also do a kid's favorite things post.

What are some of your favorite things? Any tried and true item that you swear by?
Let me know!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bountiful Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. An entire day to contemplate your blessings, give thanks for what you have and {hopefully} be surround with those you love.

We have spent many years having Thanksgiving away from family and found much happiness and contentment with joining in with friends of all backgrounds and nationalities. We have also enjoyed Thanksgiving with our family.

Either way, it is a day to give thanks and to count your blessing.

Everyone has something to be thankful for. Everyone.

Blessings abound, especially when you are looking for them.

Did you get dressed today? Blessing.

Did you eat? Blessing.

Does it matter that it is not your mom's whatever recipe or that it is left over cold pizza? Nope.
You ate today. Blessing.

Do you have a roof over your head? Blessing.

Do you have someone you love? Blessing.
Tell them that you love them!

Did you laugh this week? Blessing.

While life is not a rose-colored garden and sad, horrible things happen everyday around us, the fact of the matter remains. We have SO much to be thankful for. It can be as simple as the air that fills your lungs, or the blood that pumps through your heart. You may have gotten to sleep in an extra 15 minutes or it was not your turn to change the diaper (that happens to be poopy). Whether trivial or impacting, life gives so much to be thankful for. So many blessings. Bountiful blessings.

So today, on this Thanksgiving day, let's embrace those around us, be thankful for all things and count our many blessings.

And don't stop today, this mindset can continue every day and beyond.

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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Firsts of Fall...

We jumped from summer and vacation into school and fall activities at full force.

Zero to 100 mph in a day.

It was crazy.

On September 2nd, Colin started his first day at preschool. 

Jack started his first day of First grade! 

Not only did they both start school, but they both started soccer! Our Saturdays are now filled with  cleats, shin guards and jerseys.  Colin plays on a co-ed preschool team, while Jack is on one of the boys' First grade teams.

Both the boys ended up being number 29! They are having so much fun playing. Colin absolutely loves it and will run and laugh and smile the whole time, regardless of what position he is playing or if he is winning or losing. Jack enjoys defense and taking big kicks up the field.

It's a whole new world now. School and sports with two little guys. It keeps us busy and we are just starting to get a rhythm now.

One thing I know for sure...

There are many soccer games in this little lady's horizon. Many a game...

Happy first week of fall!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Slipping away

As the first day of fall is coming to close and summer slowly slips away, let's just reminisce one more time about those warm, sunny days.

Quintessential summer. 

 Boys. Water.  Sun. Smiles

There is nothing better.

So long summer, you were good to us.

Welcome Fall.

We are happy you are here.