Blogmas, Christmas, Freebies, Holidays, Printables

Blogmas is here!

BlogMas 2017

Christmas is my favorite time of the year! It really is! I love the hustle and the bustle of everyone trying to find the perfect gift for those they love. I love watching the giving, the laughing and the singing that the season brings. I feel like there is literally magic in the air this time of the year…

With all of that though there is certainly the stress of the holiday season like trying to find the right gift for everyone on your list, trying to plan the perfect meal, trying to have  a Pinterest worthy house, trying to remember to hide the Elf everyday, and everything else that stress you out this holiday season! This year we wanted to make your life a little less stressful and share with you some great ideas this holiday season…

Welcome to Blogmas 2017!

What is Blogmas? Well, it is simple! Everyday we will share with you at least 1 great idea that will make your lives a little easier and less stressful this Christmas season! This year I have teamed up with some of the most awesome bloggers to bring you gift ideas, healthy tips, travel  tips, bucket lists, crafts and more to help you celebrate this Christmas season! So sit back, put your feet up, and leave the worrying to us as we bring you great ideas this holiday season, you won’t want to miss it!

Blogmas starts tomorrow, December 1st so be sure to stop by tomorrow, or better yet subscribe and they will get delivered right to your email!

To kick off the excitement, we are releasing our 2017 Christmas Bucket List for Families Today! Download it today!

Christmas 2017 Bucket List 

Christmas 2017 Bucket List Black and White version

Christmas 2017 Bucket List

Cheers to a stress free holiday Season!

P.S. Don’t worry! We will still post new awesome posts throughout the holiday season about Parenting and marriage, so stay tuned for those too!

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #12

Wandering Wednesday-2

Wow! What a week it has been! We had so much fun in California visiting my family last week, but I feel like I am racing to catch up and just getting further and further behind. Do you ever feel like that coming home from vacation?

Yesterday Ty had hip surgery… Which prompted my latest post, What if it’s the last time? It made me really think about the time we spend with our loved ones, especially our spouses!

With it being Thanksgiving last week, I was also able to guest post at my good friend Flossie’s blog Super Mom Hacks and talk about How to Teach your Kids Gratitude. True confessions happening over there as to how my life used to be while shopping with my kids before learning some valuable lessons!

And starting tomorrow we have something special happening on the blog! So be sure to come back then and see our big news; you won’t want to miss it… and I promise it will make your holiday season easier and a little less stressful!

With it being Thanksgiving last week we had a small link up, but not many people voted so we will just go ahead and start the blog party right now! So let’s get the party started right now! Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

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forgiveness, Marriage, married life, My Life

What if It’s the Last Time?

As I was sitting earlier today with my husband before he had surgery I glanced over at him in between coloring with Talie and feeding Tony and saw him just staring at me with the most loving look with watery eyes… I said to him, “What are you doing because you are looking at me as if you will never see me again?” He smiles and said, “Just looking at you…” As we (the kids and I) left the hospital (yes, I have some wife guilt not staying with him, but with so many kids at home some things are just not possible) I began to think to myself, “What if this is the last time I saw him, would he know… and so many thoughts ran through my head….”

I hope he would know just how much I love him and how no one could ever replace him. I hope he would know that I think he is the most patient loving dad I have ever known. I hope he would know that not a day would pass that I would not think about him and miss him tremendously.I hope he would know that he is the best thing that ever happened to me… I hope he would know…

I hope he would know-2

I then began to think about all the little things that I made into big deals like the toilet seat being up, the dishes he put in the sink right after I just finished doing all the dishes, and amount of perfection he has on every project we do therefore it taking 5x as long… And thought are these things really that big of a deal that I should have spent those moments complaining to him about, rather than loving him for who he is?

I then thought if this was the last time I saw him I wished we would have snuggled more, laughed a little harder together, disagreed a little less; compromised a little more, dated more after having kids, and really enjoyed our time together so we had so many memories to look back on.

Thankfully this not the end for us… I get to pick him up in a few hours, and we get to continue to make memories and learn from the past to make the future brighter together. We get that… I am lucky, some are not so lucky where the last memory they have of their spouse is the fight over what to watch on TV or who left the shoes in the hallway that they tripped over, or some other small thing they wished now they would have never brought up.

Do we Spend our time...-2When it comes to our spouse, do we give them our best or what’s leftover after everything else we have done that day? Do we make the most of our time together or do we make it about who can be the most snarky or sarcastic to each other? Do we spend our time wondering if our spouse loves us or spend it showing them just how much we love them?

Let’s make our marriages more intentional where we love more and get offended less so if it was the last time, we would not regret the memories we have together. So when we want to get upset or mad just think to yourself, “What if it’s the last time?”

 

 

What if it's the last time?

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #11

Wandering Wednesday-2

The hustle and bustle of getting ready for Thanksgiving is upon us! The pies are made… The rolls are rising to bake for tomorrow and I am about ready to open a Diet Coke so that I can make it through all the preparations of the day!

What are you doing today to get ready for Thanksgiving? After your preparations are done, put your feet up and enjoy some awesome blog post from our bloggers this week!

Our Featured Post

This week our Featured Post is 5 Gross Things I have Done as A Mom  by Sarah, from Organized as Mother!  Sarah claims to be no expert at being a mom, which I am sure we can all relate to! She has one child and works full time. She follows simple, yet effective steps each day to stay on top of everything from her house, to her daughter, to her mind and her work.

Go check out her post here because it is so funny and I am sure we can all relate! How many of those things have you done? Me personally, 4/5 (I won’t tell you, which one I haven’t done 🙂 )

Now, let’s get this party started! Check out the Party right here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #11”

Christmas, Decorating, Holidays, Uncategorized

Turn This… into That.. In Just 5 Minutes

Christmas is just around the corner, where did the time go???! Colby and I went to get some decorations the other day and I was appalled at the cost of garland, so we decided to make our own! We took our ordinary mantle into this in 5 minutes! Wanna know how? Well, great news I made this totally informal video to show you just how easy it is!

Let me know how your garland looks! 🙂 (By the way, why do videos pick the most awesome pose to freeze on?)

Turn this into that... In Just 5 Minutes-2

Sunshine in My Soul

There is Sunshine in My Soul #10

There is sunshine in my soul

With it being the Saturday before Thanksgiving I have really thought about the things that I am truly thankful for in my life! As I was trying so hard this week to get lots of tasks done before the kids are home all next week from school. I looked around my house and saw huge piles of laundry on the kitchen table (yes, that’s where I fold clothes), toys everywhere as well as stacks of books that Talie sat and looked at while I tried to get things done… Normally, I would have freaked out that the house was a disaster, but I thought to myself these are the moments I will miss this. There will be a point where my table will be empty with no clothes on it except for mine and my husbands; there will be a point where toys won’t be scattered around the floor because they will be too old for Little People and pushing pink shopping carts… and the books… the hours and hours that Talie spends “reading” to herself or begging someone else to read to her. I am so thankful to have a home that is lived in and loved…

Tony hit a big milestone in his life this week! We finally have a mobile baby… just in time to attack the Christmas Presents! He is rolling! It is funny… He has always hated laying on his stomach, so naturally one day as I was busy doing something else and I heard him screaming (crying really, but it is like screaming) and I rushed in there to find him stranded on his stomach… I wondered just how he got that way because Talie has been known to “help” Tony before, so I rolled him back over and lo and behold I saw it… My sweet little caboose rolled over! Of course, he cried again and wanted to roll back over… We repeated this process about a million times! He can roll both ways, but prefers of course to just scream on his stomach… It’s his way to let me know he is still there, I think ;). I am grateful for these memories…

We also had another milestone this week! My sweet husband turned 40! He might kill me for telling you all, but that is ok… It’s our little secret, right? 🙂 I am so thankful for him and the example he sets, the hard worker he is, and the amazing dad he is to our kids… I love him, even though I might get a little annoyed with him every now and again. 🙂

The boys leave today to go visit there dad and their other siblings… This is bittersweet to me because I love that they love to go see their dad, but I miss them so much when they are gone! They are such amazing boys!

We are excited to see Taya this week because we haven’t been able to see her since the summer because of school. I am sure we will get to do lots of fun things! She is so fun to do art projects with! I might have to recruit her to help me with our upcoming Blogmas! Oh, what is Blogmas you ask, well… I will tell you in just a few days, but I can tell you, you aren’t going to want to miss it! So if you haven’t subscribed yet… Be sure to do that!

What are your plans this week for Thanksgiving? Are you headed to family? Are they coming to you? Will it be a nice quiet celebration? Are you headed out and about for Black Friday Shopping? Whatever you do… enjoy the time, create memories that will last a lifetime and be safe!

 

Product Review

Sophie La Giraffe “Pinterest in a box” Review

I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest. I love the fact that I can find the perfect birthday party ideas, but I hate Pinterest (or myself) that I can never seem to find the right decorations to pull the party together. On top of the that I spend hours trying to find everything I need for the “Perfect Party.”

When Sophie La Giraffe reached out to me and said they had a “Pinterest Party in a Box” I had to try it out and see if it was what it was all cracked up to be. For $24.23 Sophie La Giraffe sends you a complete birthday kit. 

Kit Includes:

1 x Crown

12 x Plates

La Sophie Birthday Party Package

12 x Cups

12 x Straws

16 x Napkins

12 x Cupcake cases

12 x Cupcake toppers

1 x Cake decoration

12 x Invitation cards

12 x Envelopes

1 x Happy Birthday banner (2 parts)

6 x Balloons

All made from recycled paper.

 

Party Planning and Party

Sophie La Giraffe was voted 2017 Family Choice Award winner for this innovative idea! When my birthday kit arrived I was impressed by the initial overall quality of the product! It was so convenient that I could get the invitations sent out straightaway because everything was included.  

After sending the invites out, we planned what we would do at the party and waited for the big day to arrive! The night before, we put up the banners and I baked the cupcakes in the cute cupcake liners, after frosting them I topped them with the cupcake toppers. Easy peasy! And so cute!

Next, we blew up the provided balloons, which were a total disappointment. First of all,they didn’t match anything and second, the purple one appeared to be patched with a blue balloon patch. I quickly hid these in the laundry room so no one would see them.

 

La Sophie Birthday Party

The next morning we set the table for the party, with the cups, plates, and napkins and we were ready to go! Our friends arrived, and we played outside and then came in for cupcakes and to sing Happy Birthday. The moms loved the cute themed and thought it was perfect! I loved how the straws did not get soggy like some paper straws do! Our guests left and we cleaned up. This was by far the easiest party we have ever thrown because there was very little prep work involved! It was perfect for not wanting to spend a ton of time trying to pull together the perfect birthday party!

Disappointments

With all things, there are usually some disappointments. I wish there was some sort of table covering provided that matched the theme for even easier clean up. I also wish the balloons matched the colors. Yes, they had the characters of the plates on them, but the colors were all wrong and a major distraction that I hid so no one saw them. I also wish after you buy the original kit that you are able to buy additional pieces of some of the things a la carte. With 12 of everything it doesn’t really allow you to plan for siblings and more than one guest per invitation without going to the store to find paper products that coordinate! Lastly, the invitations were specific to a 1st birthday party; I wish this was more generic so you could use for other events or birthday years!

Overall

Overall, Sophie La Giraffe helps you throw a fantastic birthday party and saves you a ton of time at a great price! For more information or to order yours click here.

You can find Sophie La Giraffe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

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Sophie La Giraffe Birthday in a box was provided to me in an exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion. For more information please visit my disclosure

Divorce, Marriage, My Life, remarriage

The Forgotten Pathway and Remarriage

The Forgotten Pathway and Remarriage

15 years ago I was 19. I remember heading off to college with the hopes of getting
a college education, but more specifically a husband if you want me to be completely honest. While I was away at school I noticed something unusual when it came to dating, it was sort of non-existent. There were a lot of people hanging out, but no one was really going anywhere. Sure groups of us would watch movies and go out to dinner, but that was the extent of it. In the 6 months I was away at school (Yes, 6 months, that is a blog post all by its self!) I never once was asked on a date, nor had dinner bought for me, or anything else that remotely symbolized a date. I was confused, was I really not cute at all? Did I have a big zit on the end of my nose I didn’t know about?
It wasn’t until I returned back home that I realized the world is taking a whole new approach to getting married. I was apparently an “emerging adult”, someone who was no longer a child, but yet someone who was not married because we don’t have to deal with any of the commitments of marriage. These adults are more pessimistic when it comes to marriage, they want to get ahead in life before they settle down and get married, they would rather just hook up and hangout with no real strings attached, and they want to accept cohabitation as a form of making doubly sure they really want to live with and marry the person they have hooked up with. This was not me! I wanted to be married I wanted to have a family and I wanted to be successful with my husband, not before I married him! I then realized that I was on the forgotten pathway in the world. I was going my own direction towards finding a companion who would love me for who I was and who would want to grow old with me.
So how do you find a spouse in these challenging dating times? The first step is to prepare yourself for marriage! No, I don’t mean buy a house and have a six-figure income, but what I do mean is become the spouse you want to be. Do you want to be kind; do you want to be loving? Develop these qualities now. The question you should ask yourself is, “How can I be prepared to form and nurture an enduring marriage?” Next, we need to put our trust in the Lord. When we follow him and his teachings he will direct our paths. I understand it is scary to get married at times, you worry about the future, and you worry because everyone around you is getting divorced, but we cannot live in fear. Faith and fear cannot exist together. We must have faith that we have the ability to make things work. We need to develop the ability to love and learn how to express that love in meaningful ways. As we do this our mate will know the intentions of our heart. Learn to communicate. Learn to listen as you communicate. Don’t just hear the words, but listen to the desires. They will tell you what you need!
We then have to remember we don’t always choose the timing of things, and I have discovered the Lord has a sense of humor at times. This is why it is important to prepare for marriage now, so you are ready when the time is right. I was married in 2003 to which I thought I would spend forever with.  Unfortunately, 9 years later we filed for divorce and 6 months after that it was finalized. I had all the feelings of an emerging adult again. I didn’t want any of this to happen again. I was heartbroken, but like I said 1015712_10151424357036316_472262850_othe Lord has a sense of humor and within a couple weeks after my divorce was finalized I met a guy. I was like no way! Absolutely not doing it!  But he did everything I wanted! He dated me, he loved me, he communicated with me. I still was unsure of life because of the hurt that I had just overcome, but the Lord testified to me that he was the one.  I recalled the thought, “his way and in his time”

946609_10151480772036316_1278735238_n I wasn’t emotionally ready for marriage, but the Lord knew it was my time.  My sweet husband was patient, we dated for a year for us to both be ready and then we got married. We celebrated our year anniversary this year and as I look back I would not have wanted it any other way. He is my forever and I found him on the forgotten path, and I know you can find yours on this path as well! Just remember his way and his time!

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #10

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” Oh what? It’s not even Thanksgiving yet? I know… I know… but if you walked into my house it would certainly say hello Christmas! The kids begged me to please decorate for Christmas, so here we sit 41 days before Christmas is even here! They are wondering where Buster (the Elf) is because they are ready! Which brings me to our Elf… His name is Buster and you can follow him on Instagram after Thanksgiving at #WheresBuster.

Do you have an elf? Does he move everyday? Does he cause mischief? Do you need ideas for your elf? Well, good news.. I have a Pinterest Page completely devoted to the elf here! (if you want to be a contributor to this page, go ahead and follow me and let me know down in the comments!)

Don’t have an elf and want to buy one? Currently available at Amazon 

Well, enough about Christmas! This is about meeting some other AMAZING bloggers on our weekly link up party! But before we get started:

Wandering Wednesday-2

Our Featured Post

This week is a tie! Both of these amazing ladies have been featured before and we are so happy to feature them again!

Lori from Choosing Wisdom is a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.  She is a lover of learning, and often found devouring a book or writing. She enjoys biking and traveling with her husband as well as spending time with her grandson. Her adult kids are optional :). She wrote the perfect post called What Does Practicing Patience Really Teach Us?  Check it out!

We also have April, from Mojitos & Munchkin. April is a proud Iowan, who now lives in Minnesota with her hubby and their three cherubs. After nearly a decade teaching, she is on a break from the classroom and enjoying life as a work-from-home Mom. You can find her writing on Scary Mommy, Daily Mom, and her blog, Mojitos and Munchkins, that she uses as a creative outlet to escape the craziness that comes with life. She loves movies, cocktails, the color purple, homemade spaghetti sauce, day dates and sunny afternoons. She thinks the world would be a better place without temper tantrums, soup, the color navy, temperatures that dip below 20 degrees, and the distance between people she loves. Her insomnia allows her to pin things that she may (or may not ever) try. You can connect with her on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter. She is featured for her post Why I Let My Kids Destroy the Kitchen

Now, let’s get this party started! Check out the Party right here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #10”