Monday, November 24, 2014

Purpose.

Do you all know who Anne Lamott is? I first read one of her books (Bird by Bird) in a college course called teaching writing, back in 2003. It's one of maybe five books from my college career that I never sold back to the book store because I wanted to keep it. Bird by Bird is a book about writing, but y'all, it's so much more. Lamott just has such a beautiful way with words, that she inspires me to want to write and just learn more about myself and my place in the world. She has written many books on faith (Traveling Mercies is my favorite!) and she's just an all around unique human being with such a unique story to share. She is a Christian, but her Christian writing is unlike anything else I've ever read.

Anyway...now that I've rambled, let me get back to my point. I follow her on facebook, and she often writes these long "rants" but they're always filled with such gems. Last week, she posted this little blurb from an interview she did back in October. I love it...



I hope someone reading this could use this on their Monday morning. When I read it last week, it just really hit me, in a good way, and I felt like it was worth the share. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Perfectly Personal™ Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly // It's no secret that my favorite part of December is checking my mailbox everyday for Christmas cards! Is there anything more fun than seeing the faces of your loved ones in your mailbox on a daily basis? I think not! Growing up my mom made us take a family picture every year for our card, and while it felt torturous in my middle school years, I really do love looking back at those pictures and cards from over the years. Now that we have our own little family, I get such a thrill out of keeping up that same tradition with my family, and this is our seventh (seventh!) year that we've chosen Shutterfly to help us create the perfect, personalized card!

A few weeks ago I spoke with the great folks at Shutterfly about creating this year's custom and personalized card, and I swear y'all, every year they have more and more fun and personal options for your family's card! I was so excited that they asked me to review their products and share what neat things they've come up with for your holiday stationery this year.

There are so many great choices in their shop this Christmas season, but I decided to go with something simple and fun. I also knew I wanted a "vertical" card since the past couple of years we've done horizontal, so it was time to mix it up. My final choice was a card from their flat stationery cards. I went with Basic Bokeh card on their signature cardstock with scalloped edges.


How great did that turn out?! I'm so pleased with the final product and the quality, and as always, the customer service and shipping was top notch. The cards were on my doorstep in four days. So even if you don't have a great photo yet, no worries! Take one over Thanksgiving next week and you'll still have your cards in plenty of time. I really love that Shutterfly has so many ways to customize your card, whether that's with the type of cardstock you choose or the edge on your card. It's all up to you. Some cards even give you the option to choose how many photos you want on it or the color scheme. So many possibilities!


Another great feature Shutterfly offers is they allow you to design the back of your card for no extra cost. You choose which background you like and then can add a message and/or pictures. It was fun to go back through all of our pictures from 2014 and choose a few favorites to add onto our card.


In addition to their great flat cards and other card options (like these beautiful 3/4 fold cards if you have lots of photos you want to share!), you can order personalized postage stamps from Shutterfly this year along with fun personalized holiday stickers that could be added to presents, cookies for your neighbors, or even for the backs of your cards. So many fun things you could do with the stickers. Shutterfly really gives you the ability to design a full holiday Stationery Suite!



Whatever your needs are this season, let Shutterfly help you. I promise they won't disappoint. Whether it's cards, postage, address labels, stickers, or even party invites (don't forget about NYE!), they have you covered with the best custom options at awesome prices.

Thanks again to Shutterfly for asking me to partner up with them this holiday season!



Post sponsored by Shutterfly-  ALL opinions are my own! I received complimentary holiday cards and stationary this year in exchange for sharing them with you!  #ShutterflyHoliday

Monday, November 17, 2014

Picture Dump

Looks like I have let my blog slip past me and it's been close to two weeks since I last updated! I feel like we've been home just living life, but things are just busy! Between our weekly routine of music class and the library and playdates, and then just our normal old play time at home, it just feels like life is flying by. And on top of that, I've just had awful allergies this fall, like I go through 20+ tissues a day allergies, and that has made me extra lazy during M's nap times because I just feel rough. Hoping to be sniffle and sneeze free soon!

Anyhoo...in an effort not to just share the same old pictures most of you have already seen on instagram or facebook, I thought I'd share a few that have been sitting on my phone. Warning...lots of toddler pictures ahead!

One of her new favorite things to say is, "Laughing!" and then fake laugh really hard. Cracks us up. Also...we're super duper into ponytails right now.


Been going on on lots of walks (gotta get my fitbit steps!) when I can convince her to ride in her stroller. I usually bribe her with apple slices, which is funny because she's not that crazy about apples at meal times, but will eat 7-8 slices on a walk in her stroller. So weird.


Found my headphones (I've been doing a lot of listening to Serial). J calls her "DJ Happy and You Know It" since that's one of her favorite songs at the moment.


Big news! I removed our changing table from M's room! It used to be under this window. I feel like we gained so much space in her room by getting it out!


New favorite spot to sit in the living room when she watches her shows....


I love her coat and hat that my grandmother sent her for her birthday! Both are from Kohl's.


An finally, the other night I had my drying rack out with a cardigan drying on top, and M wiggled herself underneath it in her Elsa dress and proceeded to sing all of Let It Go and Snowman for us. Since then, she has wiggled herself back underneath the drying rack about five more times like it's this new secret hang out spot she has discovered. Once again...toddler are so weird and so funny!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oh to be two...

When you're two...


...you can wear your dress up clothes to help your dad make breakfast with your apron and sunglasses on, and that's totally normal.

....you can request any hairstyle you want from the minute you wake up, and know you look really good rocking it (even if it is a bow too big for your head, or four barrettes hanging off your forehead).

....it's more fun to take fifteen minutes going up the steps for bath time, because you realize this is the end! Once your parents get you in the tub, it's all over.

....you're too much of a big girl to ride in the stroller for walks. It works a lot better if you are the one pushing six baby dolls in a stroller.

....stickers are your best accessory!

...you can only listen to the Frozen soundtrack in mom's car. NOTHING ELSE.

....it's important to check out all public potties!

...the car cart at Harris Teeter is far superior to the regular carts, and you'll be sure to make sure everyone knows about this if you get stuck in a regular cart.

....you tell people your dogs' favorites colors are the colors of their collars "Rosie like orange! Layla like purple!"

...a helium filled balloon is as great a toy as anything from the toy aisles at Target.

....some days you just have to change your shoes eight times before leaving the house.

...seeing school buses and stop signs are two of the best parts about leaving your house.

....you need four songs sang to you, in the correct order, before your mom can put you in the crib for naps or bedtime.

...bath time can either be a nightly highlight or torture. Totally depends on the day.

...you can recite most of a book with 90% accuracy.

...you're certainly a busy bee and a lot of work, but you're also pretty darn adorable!

Oh to be two!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year was M's third Halloween, and it was definitely a fun year for her! Her first year she was 6 days old and slept and nursed all day long while Mama ate chocolate on the couch. Last fall she had just turned one and had fun, but had no idea what was going on. But this year she totally got what "trick or treating" was...well almost. She wanted to eat each piece of candy after our neighbors gave them to her. She didn't get that she was supposed to bring them home! We only went to a few homes, mostly friends in the neighborhood, but she thought it was great fun!


Let's discuss her costume for a moment. I decided months before Halloween that she'd be an especially cute tiger this year since Mr. Daniel Tiger is her favorite television program. When her costume came in the mail back at the beginning of October she told me "NO TIGER COSTUME" very adamantly for a solid 20 days. Didn't matter how I bribed her or what I said, she would run from me and yell "NO TIGER COSTUME." And then, a few days before Halloween, we offered her some candy corn in exchange for putting it on, and bam! Tiger costume was in business. And then on Halloween she practically begged to wear it all afternoon and evening. Toddlers. So strange and funny! Either way, I thought she made a pretty cute tiger!

So blurry, but I love it!


We went to a neighborhood party before the door to door fun began and she had a lot of fun watching all the big kids in costumes. J's parents were here too from Virginia, so it was fun for them to get to see her all dressed up. The highlight of the party for her was when they played "Let It Go" and all the Elsas and Annas (and a few Olafs) in the crowd sang their little hearts out.



And just for fun...for the last two years we've carved her age into her pumpkin. J told me she won't look so cute doing this when she's 13 and embarrassed by me, but I may just do it till she moves out one day!
This Year

Last Year


Hope it was a happy Halloween in your home!