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.