Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October's Mom of the Month

One of my readers had a great idea for October's supermama of the month - recognizing all of the mom's who in some way or another are affected by breast cancer. How appropriate since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! 

hope
So this month we are recognizing the brave women who are currently fighting the fight. The women who wake up each day and do not give up, who do not lose hope. Who still put their family, and especially their children, before them. 

strength
We recognize the moms whose own mothers, or sisters, or daughters or friends are currently fighting this awful disease. We admire your strength and love and encouragement and support. 

celebrate
We celebrate the women who are living today.

remember

And we remember the loved ones we have lost. Who fought so bravely for so long. Your legacies will forever be a part of us. 






Family Getaway to Cape Cod

Unbeknownst to my husband, while I was busily planning, prepping and pulling off the Blog Launch Party last weekend I was also packing and planning for a family getaway to Cape Cod. One of the things I love best about living in coastal New England (my least favorite part is explained here) is how close we are to the mountains, the ocean, and the city. It is perfect.

It has been a little crazy these last few weeks so I decided we needed a little family R&R.  I booked us a room at a family friendly resort and had spent the week leading up to our departure packing bags and stashing them in places I didn't think my husband would look (like the laundry room!). 



Hubby and the kiddos came home at the end of the blog party and SURPRISE I told them we were leaving in less than an hour! Everyone was so excited - the look on hubby's and Addie's faces was priceless! We got to the hotel without a hitch and spent the afternoon trick or treating, decorating cookies and crafting it up (all pre-planned activities that the hotel had announced). We topped it off with a swim in the pool (both an indoor wave pool and heated outdoor pool!) and dinner at the hotel restaurant. We all fell asleep in our room with the Red Sox game and fireplace on in the background. B e s t. N i g h t. O f. S l e e p. E v e r. Or at least since Mason was born! Everyone was wiped and slept the whole night through and this mama got 12 hours of sleep, woohoo!

The next day we decided to make a little pit stop to the shore before heading back home. It was the perfect little getaway and just what we needed. Things can get tough sometimes - and with two little ones and our crazy work schedules Sean and I definitely don't always slow down to enjoy the little things around us, or each other for that matter. It is easy to lose sight of the things that matter most and even easier to take out our frustrations on each other. Our night away was the perfect reminder that life is good and family is great. We've got a pretty good thing going on and I'm one lucky gal! 













Have you ever just needed to getaway for one night? Where did you go? I'd love for you share in the comments below! And swing back here on Friday for my first ever giveaway compliments of Three Chicks Bakery, Hattie Designs & Tuppeware! Can't wait to see who wins!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preserving Family Memories: Shutterfly Infographic

I have been using Shutterfly for just about 10 years now as a means of storing all of my pictures, creating customized gifts and preserving family memories. It is so easy to upload your digital photos to create photo books, custom greeting cards, one of a kind photo gifts and more!

What I love most about Shutterfly is that I can easily create photo cards of the kids for every holiday and they take care of the printing, addressing, stamping & mailing. For a busy mama it's not a bad deal! I've also used Shutterfly to create monthly photo books of each of my little loves. If you are feeling creative you can choose the Custom path and create your own. If you're not the crafiest individual or just pressed for time, chose the Simple path and just insert pics - take the guess work out of it and allow Shutterfly to handle the design elements.

As you can see I'm a huge fan of Shutterfly. So when I was approached by Shutterfly and asked to share their brand new infographic about the digital footprint of a baby from birth to their first birthday I obviously responded with an overwhelming "yes!" Scroll down and take a look over on the right side of the page...it's pretty neat information!

How do you store & keep track of all of your digital pictures? Have you used Shutterfly for any neat photo projects lately?









Monday, October 21, 2013

Decorating on a Dime

It should come as no surprise to you that I absolutely love to decorate. I also love to shop. And if I'm not careful I could very easily lose all sense of self control in stores like Target or HomeGoods, especially around the holidays! While I love a good shopping spree from time to time I also think that it is easy to use budget friendly items, and stuff you already own, to create festive decorations perfect for any season.


One of my favorite go-to centerpieces this time of year includes a few floating candles, apples and a large bowl (or in this case my Pampered Chef trifle bowl!). You can substitute apples for mini pumpkins or do a combination of both!


Reduce, reuse & recycle those cans! They make a perfect vase. Play around with different sizes and label colors. Throw in some fresh flowers and you're good to go! If you have some, wrap the can in ribbon, burlap or twine for added effect.


Mini pumpkins and gourds are low-cost and long-lasting. I let Addie pick a bunch out about a month ago now and we are constantly moving them around the house in different bowls or as accent pieces. Here I have them in a bowl my dad bought me on one of his trips to Africa.


Venture outside and use Mother Nature as your design assistant! Addie and the hubby picked up some leaves and pine cones on their walk the other day. I used a cake stand, an existing candle and mini pumpkins to create an elevated table centerpiece in just a matter of minutes.


Don't forget to check your pantry! You'd be amazed at all of the things you can find that can be used around the home for decoration - coffee beans, pasta noodles and for my Pumpkin Carving Party last weekend, popcorn seeds!


Play around with different set-ups. I reused the decorations from the Pumpkin Carving Party coupled with coffee table books for a new & festive look in the living room.


What are your budget-friendly decorating tips?


P.S. Don't forget to email your nomination for Mom of the Month!

P.P.S. I apologize for the low quality pics this post...all of my computers are down so tonight's post had to be written using my cell. Grrr!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Creating Kid Friendly Spaces: Coloring Corner

I have found that it benefits everyone in the family to have an area in each of the main rooms of the house to be designated for just the kiddos. Creating kid friendly spaces in rooms like the living room and kitchen, for example, help deter little hands from getting into things they shouldn't but also allow for my little loves to work or play independently while I do things like cook or clean...or blog! It gives me peace of mind to know that I can keep a watchful eye on Addie & Mason and it gives them security because they are in the same room as mommy or daddy without being bored to tears by all of this grown up work!   


I recently created a kid friendly space in what has been a very bare corner of our dining area. We have an open floor plan on the first floor so the spot is perfect because I can see it from the living room, dining area and kitchen.



Addie loves sitting in her new coloring corner! She draws and practices her letters while I feed Mason or work on paying bills. Sometimes she even pretends to work on her blog! Love her!

This space was incredibly easy to create. We already had the table & chair set (similar one here). I picked up this shelf and hubby installed it for me in a matter of minutes. I sorted through the crayons, markers & colored pencils Addie has accumulated over the years and used plastic cups stashed in the pantry to organize them. To add some more pizzazz I used a few strips of Washi tape to decorate the cups.  The prints on the wall were one of the first things we actually hung in the new house and were a Homegoods find a few months ago. 


Have you created kid-friendly areas in your home? How do you balance having enough toys and activities at your little one's disposal without having their stuff take over the whole house? Leave a comment below!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Now accepting nominations for October's Supermom!

One of the biggest reasons I blog is to help build support & community for women. You can read more about that here. As part of that I feel it is so important to recognize the amazing women in our lives.

Do you know a super mama? Your mom, your wife, your daughter, your sister, neighbor, friend or colleague? You can nominate yourself! Be proud of the super mama that you are! Any mom is a super mom...there aren't any eligibility requirements! Are you expecting? Trying to conceive? Adopting? Share your story, submit some pictures, and be featured as Keep Calm & Mommy On's October Mommy of the Month.




Here is a look back at previous winners:







Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Carving Party


This past weekend Addie invited some of her buddies over for a pumpkin carving party. It was a neat way to celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank. I pulled together vases, baskets, trays and furniture from around the house for decorations. Picked up some pumpkins, apples, popcorn & cider from the local farm stand and made a quick stop at the dollar store for a few necessary supplies.

After a quick game of "toss the pumpkins" and some snacks the kiddos carved their pumpkins. The buckets from the game doubled as a way for the kids to carry their pumpkin, tea light, and apples home. I jumped on the washi tape bandwagon and used it to decorate the buckets so the kiddos could tell theirs apart. Centerpieces and accent decor was made simple with fresh flowers, popcorn seeds and candles.



 







This was such an easy little gathering to plan! Aside from picking up the pumpkins and food the afternoon before, the rest of the set-up and decorating I didn't even start until after my little loves were in bed. In just a few short hours I had everything I needed to be ready to go for the next day. You could host this or a similar party anytime during the fall months, not just for Halloween. I stuck with fallish colors (red, blue, orange, yellow) instead of traditional Halloween colors like black, orange, purple and green so that I could reuse the decor through Thanksgiving. Low budget, lots of fun!

Are you doing anything special for Halloween?






Sunday, October 13, 2013

9 Months


I say it every month, but I still cannot believe how fast this year is flying by! Mase is already 9 months old. He is standing, taking a step or two, getting a new tooth each week it seems (we're up to 8 already!) and eating me out of house and home!




I can't get enough of his cute little tootsies! I've gotta soak them up now...before he gets stinky man feet!


Mason, for the most part, has the sweetest demeanor. He is such a little love bug. But that doesn't mean that on occasion we don't have a mini meltdown. I happened to catch this one on camera. Even with a pouty face he melts my heart!



Nine months old already? Here's a look back at my baby boy...