Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back at 2013

It has been an incredible year in the blogosphere! I've been blogging since 2010 but kept it private and only shared it with close friends and family. I decided to take the leap and join the mom blogging community last year at about this time (you can see my first ever public post here). I am so glad I did. I have met some amazing woman and am now part of a community of moms who are supportive and honest, funny and real. It's been quite the learning experience but I've loved every minute of this journey. Here's a look back at my favorite posts from the year:

Thank you for following along and joining me on this ride! I am so excited for a new year filled with big dreams and adventure. Happy New Year! Be safe tonight!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Up-cycled Holiday Cards

I love getting all of the Christmas cards with pictures and updates of my close friends, family & colleagues. I always feel so bad getting rid of them after the holidays are over. There's something about throwing them in the trash recycling bin that just feels wrong. Some of the cards I get are very impressive and I can tell they cost a pretty penny. So I'm sharing with you an easy  way to preserve and cherish some of the memories by up-cycling them and creating gift tags to use for next year!

Here's what you'll  need:

craft punch (I used a 3 1/2")
string or ribbon
1 hole punch
painter's tape (optional)
holiday cards

Decide what graphic or picture you want to punch and use your scissors to trim it down. Then, using the punch upside down (so you can see exactly where the cut will be made) create your unique, one-of-a-kind gift tags! Attach string or ribbon and you're all set! You can tie onto gift bags or tape onto boxes when it is time to wrap presents for next year. Just make sure you pack them away with your Christmas decorations so you don't forget about them! 

Mini-me was a big help with this project. I let her pick the part of the card we punched out. 

Use painter's tape to label the back of the gift tags if you want to keep track of who gave you the card. It might be neat to send it back to them next year!

Photo cards turned gift tags make it easy for the recipient to know who the gift is for! And, what a neat way for parents to see how much their little ones have grown over the past year when they get the picture back! Better yet, keep them for yourself - they double as tree ornaments! 

You could easily do this project after any special occasion or holiday - not just Christmas. Think of all the neat birthday gift tags you could create! Happy crafting. . .

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Wrap-up 2013

Christmas with kids is a lot like getting married. Lots of planning, decorating, prepping and then just like that it's all over. You wake up the next day and think, "Now what?" I was determined to slow it down a bit this year. Santa left our stockings filled with goodies in our bedroom, which was perfect because it gave us some extra snuggle time before heading downstairs to see what was left under the tree. We took our time opening gifts, didn't get out of our PJs and stopped to play with every new toy. It was just the four of us so I did a pot roast in the crock pot so that it could truly be all about family time. It was the most perfect day! Here are some highlights of my favorite decorations and moments:

Santa actually brought the broom for Addie, but since he forgot to put a name tag on it (and our Santa doesn't wrap his big gifts), Mason made a beeline for it when we got downstairs...and he hasn't put it down since! Addie didn't seem to notice or care that it was supposed to be for her. Glad we went with green, not pink! 

I hope you all had a great holiday filled with family and fun! Does anyone have exciting New Years Eve plans? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays

Sean and I are both looking forward to some much needed time off of work to spend with our little loves. As of noon tomorrow we are both on vacation! We'll kick off the celebrations with our Christmas Eve tradition of getting into our winter jammies, making hot cocoa & popcorn, and hopping into the car to tour surrounding neighborhoods as we scout this year's best decorated home! Once the kiddos are sound asleep, Santa's elves can get to work prepping for Christmas morning!

I'll be taking the next few days off to enjoy my time with my family but will be back after the holiday with our family Christmas wrap up, an easy DIY activity using all of the beautiful Christmas cards you received this year, and fun & festive ideas for ringing in the New Year! Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2 Minute Nighttime Routine

By the time I'm ready to go to bed at night I am beyond exhausted and just want to drop everything, crawl under the covers and sleep. No matter how tired I am, though, I always carve out just a few minutes to brush my teeth (still no cavities, yay!) and wash my face. It is so important for me to make sure that the make-up, sticky kid finger residue, germs and whatever other harsh agents are out there that find their way onto my skin are removed at the end of each day. My nightly routine is super quick (2 minutes, tops!) but effective and it leaves my skin feeling & looking great! 

Step 1: I use these make-up remover wipes from Neutrogena. The calming scent is the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long & crazy day. A quick wipe down is all that it takes. These wipes get the tough stuff off but are still gentle to on the skin.

Step 2: I have been using this face wash from bareMinerals for a few years now. It costs more than your standard face wash at the drug store but one bottle will last me about 8-9 months! Just a small amount (1 pump) does the trick. Lather, wash & rinse!

Step 3: Finally, I take 1-2 pumps of Dr. Jart's Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask and rub gently into my skin.

What are your favorite nightly products? These would also make great stocking stuffers for the lovely ladies in your life!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

11 Months

Say it isn't so! My sweet baby boy is 11 months old. That means the official countdown to his first birthday has begun, yikes! Where did this past year go? Little man has been on the go & walking for a month now. He is all over the place and into everything.  He is all boy . . . and I love it!

There's only one thing that can cheer my up from the sad fact that my baby boy is almost one. You guessed it, time to plan his first birthday party! Of course I've had the theme picked out for months already! I can't wait for the big reveal next month! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


He's a twenty year straight get to work on time
He's a love one woman for all his life
He's a shirt off his back give you his last dime
He's strong

 He's a need to move something you can use my truck
He's an overtime worker when the bills pile up
Everybody knows he ain't just tough
He's strong 

 He'll pick you up and won't let you down
Rock solid inside out
Somebody you can trust
Steady as the sun
Ain't nothing gonna knock him off the road he's rolling on
He's strong 

It ain't what he can carry what he can lift
It's a dirt road lesson talking to his kids
Bout how to hold your ground and how to live

He'll pick you up and won't let you down
Rock solid inside out
Somebody you can trust
Steady as the sun
Ain't nothing gonna knock him off the road he's rolling on
He's strong

Like the river rollin
Gonna keep on going
When the road runs out
They gonna keep on talking about 
How he was strong

Everybody knows he ain't just tough

He's strong.