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Friday, October 29, 2010

To Card or Not to Card?

To card or not to card?

Christmas cards, that is. I've been really sporadic about sending out Christmas cards since I got married. I'll do it for two years and then decide to skip it for a year or two. Then I'll find the perfect family photo, and I'll order up 100 cards for my closest friends, family, and random acquaintances. This year is Cooper's first Christmas, so of course I'm determined to send out the perfect card.

I turn to Shutterfly for all my photo printing needs. Earlier this year I made photo collages and greeting cards for Father's Day that were a huge hit. I've always used Shutterfly for my Christmas cards and general photo printing, and I have nothing but praise for the company's great products and superior customer service.

It is really important to me that my cards reflect the real reason for the season - Jesus. That's why I'm so excited to see so many cards offered that state "Merry Christmas" instead of just "Happy Holidays." I love anything and everything damask, so this card is high on my list.



I also really like the idea of a Christmas letter! It gives you a little more space to share what is new with your family.


I love collage style cards! I can use more than one picture of the boy, and it has a monogram. Y'all know this Southern girl loves her monogram.


All Shutterfly holiday cards can be found here.

Shutterfly is also offering custom gift tags. How cute would you presents look under your tree with this tag? Loves it! Shop all Shutterfly gift tags here.

I think photo calendars are the perfect gift for dads (from your children) and grandparents. I make a calendar for my grandmother every year and she loves having see our pictures every month. This gift is always a big hit!


Will you be sending out Christmas cards this year? Do you opt for photo cards or traditional cards? Do you think Christmas cards are a thing of the past?

**I was not paid for this review. However, I did review free Christmas cards in exchange for my review. All opinions stated in this post are my honest opinion.**

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday: Halloween Crafts

Today I’m linking up to Top 2 Tuesday, hosted by The Undomestic Momma. Today’s topic is:

Top 2 Halloween or Fall Crafts, Decor, or Party Ideas

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I made these tombstones a couple of years ago – and by made, I mean spruced up $1 tombstones purchased from The Dollar Store. A little white paint and you have awesome spooky decorations for your yard!

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This was my very first attempt at a wreath, ever. I could probably do it better now, but I don’t think it is too bad for a first try!

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I made glitter pumpkins a few years back, but I can’t find the pictures on my computer.  Who doesn’t love Martha’s glitter pumpkins? You MUST use Martha glitter for this project, by the way. Martha glitter is the bomb.com.  

Next year I’m planning on trying my hand at making a Pottery Barn knock off of these spooky houses. They sell cardboard houses at Hobby Lobby, and I think they could be easy spookified, don’t you?

How about you? Have you attempted any Halloween crafts this year?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friend Makin’ Monday: Holiday Traditions

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Happy Monday, friends! This week I am hosting Friend Makin’ Monday for my lovely bloggy friend, Kenz at All The Weigh.

What is Friend Makin’ Monday? Well, it is a linky party/blog hop that was created to help bloggers make new friends. Anyone is welcome to participate! If you’d like to participate, simply write a blog post on the topic below. Come back to my blog and link back to your specific blog post using MckLinky. After you link up, visit the other blogs participating to say hello. Other bloggers will then visit your blog and leave you comments! It’s a win/win for everyone!

Disclaimer: Please link to your specific blog post, NOT your blog. Please only link up if you participate in FMM. All other links will be deleted.

Today’s topic is:

What are your holiday traditions?

What holidays traditions did you have as a child? Did your family do anything specific or special during the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter – any holiday!)? What traditions would you like to implement with your own family or your future family?

Halloween

RaggedyAnneThat’s me as Raggedy Andy!

Growing up, my mom made all my Halloween costumes. What a labor of love! I don’t have the mad skills that my mother does, but I hope that picking out costumes will become a fun family event for Cooper as he gets older. This year we went to the pumpkin patch so I’d like to continue that every year as well!

Thanksgiving

My mom did something pretty unique when I was growing up. She got tired of fighting over who spent what holiday where, so she brought together my dad’s side of the family and her side of the family to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Every year both sides of my family come together to eat Thanksgiving dinner. It is so wonderful to have everyone in one room!

I haven’t really decided what exactly we will do, but I’d like to do some sort of gratitude tree/board/advent calendar with Cooper. If you do something similar, share in the comments! I need some ideas!

Christmas

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Growing up, I got to open one present on Christmas Eve. It was always a pair of pajamas from Santa. My parents also got myself and my brother one new ornament for the Christmas tree each year. I will continue these traditions with Cooper.

When I was little, I would bake and decorate sugar cookies with my aunt. It is such a special memory! Baking for others is one of my favorite activities of the season.

I’m planning on reading Cooper The Night Before Christmas and the story of Jesus's birth every Christmas Eve.

How about you? What are your traditions?

Thanks for stopping by, and if you are new here I hope you will return soon! Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday Lovies: Drugstore Dupes

I loooooooove makeup. I pink puffy heart love it. Not only does it turn my hideous splotchy skin into a luminous, perfect mask but it is also fun to play around with! I remember the first time I stepped into a Sephora – I asked Jason to “wait outside for a quick minute while I check this store out.” He found me covered in 20 shades of blush over an hour later.

I am such a product junky. There was a time period when all my free money was spent on makeup products, and as such I’ve amassed a huge collection (two large traincases and a dresser drawer). Two years later, I prefer to spend my money on the baby but I still looooooooove makeup.

I don’t discriminate when it comes to makeup. Some people find a brand they love and they stick with it. Some will only buy expensive department store makeup, and some just grab whatever drugstore products they find on sale. All makeup is good, y’all. There’s wonderful mascara out there that costs $30 and there is wonderful mascara out there that costs $6. A lot of people won’t try drugstore makeup because they think it is cheap and poor quality. Well, there is some truth to that statement but just as there is $30 mascara that flakes , there is also $6 mascara that wears like iron.

Today’s edition of Thursday Lovies will focus on drugstore dupes. Dupes are less expensive versions of popular products that you love. Give it a try – drugstores are our friends!

One of the most hyped blushes out there is Nars Orgasm. If you’re a fan, get the same look from Milani Luminous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wet n’ Wild Mega Liner is a dupe for MAC’s Liquid Eye Liner. I actually like Wet n’ Wild’s version better. It wears like iron, and there are a ton of colors to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC Fluidline is a great product – it does not budge once it sets. Get the same look for less with Loreal HiP Cream Eyeliner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC’s Tendertones lip conditioner is very similar to Loreal’s HiP Jelly Balm.  Neither last very long color wise, but they feel good on your lips and add a slight pop of color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAC Creamsheen glosses have a dupe in NYX Gloss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve heard (but haven’t personally tried) that Avon’s concealer stick is a dupe for MAC’s Studio Stick Concealer.

I think that’s all for today! Let me know what you think about today’s post – if you like it, I’ll post some more on this subject!

What drugstore products do you love?

Adventures in Picture Taking

In yesterday’s post, I shared how increasingly difficult it has become to take pictures of my boy. Getting him to sit on one place is impossible. Trying to make him smile? Whatever. Photo shoots involve hard liquor (for me) and tons of patience (which I lack). Don’t believe me? I have the pictures to prove it.

I take his picture every month to document him becoming a month older… these are his 9 month pictures. The shirt was made by She She Made and says “Cooper” on his behind. So cute! The hat is from Etsy.

IMG_1887 Cooper: What’s that over there? Is that a stuffed animal? I think I can reach it. (Takes a flying leap off the chair.) Thank goodness the hat covers up the mark on his forehead.

IMG_1916Cooper: I don’t even know you exist. Are you talking to me, mom? Lalalalala. 

IMG_1913 This one will be shared in his high school yearbook.

IMG_1914Popeye the Cooper Man. 

We gave up for the day, and the next day I redressed him and tried to get some decent pictures.

IMG_2130 Cooper: Just you listen here, woman. NO PICTURES. Papa-papa-paparazzi!

IMG_2138I resorted to popping George up in the chair in hopes that Cooper would be entertained and smile, but no. He’s trying to go all Cruella DeVille on poor George. 

IMG_2141 It always ends in tears.

Later that same day, we headed to the pumpkin patch. I thought for sure we’d get some good pictures there. Not so much….

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IMG_2072 Sometimes candid pictures tell the best stories anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

There’s no rhyme or reason to this post… just a bunch of random thoughts I want to share.

I complained for months that Cooper hadn’t started crawling and now that he is I wish I had kept my mouth shut. My days are spent getting him out of all the stuff he manages to get himself into. His first day crawling he managed to knock over one of my terra cotta pots and break it. Let the baby proofing commence!

My post-partum depression/anxiety/funk is really getting the best of me. I’m so stressed/ frustrated/anxious/upset/mad all the time. I was taking Wellbutrin but I couldn’t deal with the side effects, and I really wanted to snap out of this without having to take medications. I really don’t like the person I’ve become. I don’t like the way I feel overwhelmed 90% of the time.

I seriously need to do something about my weight. I haven’t worked out since I had Cooper. Who am I kidding – I didn’t work out before I had Cooper! I lost 30ish pounds after I had him and I’ve gained about 15 back because I’m eating too much of the wrong foods and not being active. Ugh! I saw some candid pictures of myself from this weekend and was absolutely appalled. I am the type of person who needs to follow a specific diet because I need a list of what to eat. Suggestions?

Yesterday I found a small leak under our kitchen sink. It was easily managed by putting a bowl underneath the pipe. When Jason came home from work, I had a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, a full sink, and dinner on the stove. He proceeds to take apart the plumbing and announce “I can’t fix it. You’ll have to figure it out tomorrow.” Y’all, I was furious! At this point I can’t wash dishes or even turn the water on because it is now pouring water when you do. I don’t understand why he couldn’t have left it alone. Why mess with something you don’t have any clue how to fix? What really made me mad was that he dumped everything on me – I had to figure out how to clean up the kitchen and I have to get a plumber in to fix things. He knows how stressed out I’ve been lately but instead of doing what he can to make my load lighter he makes things worse. His response to my frustration is “you are the problem. You stress out and make things harder on yourself.” Which may be true but NOT HELPFUL, BUDDY.

JC & George are going to be submarines (yellow!) for Halloween.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to take pictures of Cooper. We take his monthly pictures in the same chair, and lately he wants to launch himself off the chair for funsies. We took 300 pictures this weekend, and the only one that is decent is one of him screaming. And it is only decent because it is hilarious.

I have total T-Rex arms. I pray my son doesn’t inherit them from me.

I put on deodorant like a monkey. I apply it to my left armpit with my right arm. For my right, I bend my right arm down to apply. Seeing me apply deodorant gives Jason great joy.

Being a mom is seriously the best, more rewarding thing that is ever happened to me, but it is the toughest thing I’ve ever done.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday & Tuesday at the Table

Today I’m linking up to Top 2 Tuesday, hosted by The Undomestic Momma. Today’s topic is:

Top 2 Favorite Old Pictures

I don’t have many old pictures scanned to my computer, so I’ll just share what I do have.

BabyBikini

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Left: baby picture of me. Love the pink bikini! Right: picture of Coops. What do you think – does he look like me? 

RaggedyAnne

Isn’t this Halloween costume adorable? My mom totally made it herself. I wish I had these mad skills. 

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Me in high school, far left. Rocking the perm… not. 

WeddingEars

2003, on my honeymoon at Disney World. 

All the small stuff Tues at the Table Red Gingham_edited-1

 

I’m also linking up to Tuesdays at the Table, hosted by All The Small Stuff. I’ve got a yummy recipe this week… Mini Taco Meatloaves!

 

 

 

 

This recipe was actually an accident. I had planned on making Mozzarella Stuffed Mini Meatloaves, but I made realized after mixing everything together that I had used taco sauce instead of marinara. Oops! I decided to just go with it, and improvised from there. It turned out really well. This dish freezes beautifully! (Who came name that movie?!)

Mini Taco Meatloaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce
  • 6 string cheeses, cut into thirds
  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream

Mix together hamburger, turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, and taco sauce. Lightly grease a muffin pan. Take one third of a string cheese and form a ball of meatloaf around the cheese. Place each ball into the muffin pan and flatten. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Top with salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

Marinated Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Zucchini
  • McCormick Grill Mates seasoning

Cut ends off zucchini. Slice front and back of zucchini to make a flat surface for grilling. Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a zip lock bag and shake to combine. Marinate zucchini for 1-2 hours. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side.

What’s for dinner in your house this week?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Videos Galore

I’m such a bad mom! Not only did I post Cooper’s 8 month post over a month past the time that he actually turned 8 months old, but I also have been extremely slack with the picture taking and video-ing of my little man. I got a Flip video camera off Woot! awhile back and I have made a few videos. Check it out!



When my parents were visiting in September, Cooper surprised us all by doing his version of the worm. Well, it’s either the worm or he’s humping the floor. I prefer to think that he’s practicing his 90’s dance moves. All those repeat plays of Bust A Move have inspired my boy!



Here is Cooper’s attempts to crawl. He had been rocking for about 6 weeks before he actually took off.



We have a crawler! Forgive me if my commentary is insensitive. Cooper’s crawl is a mixture of an army crawl and a strange yoga move.



If you want an example of how Jason and I are bad parents, check this out. I know… it’s awful.

My Chihuahua Bites! youtube channel can be found here. Check back often for Cooper and JC/George videos!

8 Months Old!

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You are 8 months old! I say this every month, but I cannot believe how big you are! It seems like just yesterday I was getting your nursery ready for you to come home. Now I’m baby proofing the house and making plans for your first Christmas! I wish life had a pause button so I could slow down and spend even more time with you.

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You look like such a big boy now! You weigh about 20 pounds, and you are wearing 6-9 months clothes and size 3 diapers. You are such a wiggle worm – you definitely do not like getting your diaper changed or having clothes put on you.

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You are a big boy who loves to eat! For breakfast, you have rice cereal with fruit and a yogurt. For lunch you eat fruit and vegetables, and for dinner you eat more rice cereal, fruit, and vegetables. You are starting to become more independent when you eat. You love to feed yourself puffs and yogurt melts. When we go out to eat, you chow down on sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes. Yum!

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You are getting ready to crawl for sure! You spend lots of time up on your hands and knees, rocking back and forth, but you haven’t taken off just yet. Why should you, when you can get wherever you want to go by rolling? You roll all over the floor, angling yourself to whomever or whatever you want.

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This month you got your first two teeth! You had been teething for months, but one day you tried to gum on my finger and I felt not one but two sharp teeth! Your middle bottom two teeth came in at the same time. You are such an overachiever!

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This month you started a new daycare. Your dad and I were really upset that things did not work out with Mrs. Bri, but we really feel we have found the perfect place for you. Mrs. Susie loves you so much! You are the youngest child at your daycare, so you get lots of love and attention. When I drop you off in the mornings, you are excited to start your day with Mrs. Susie! It means a lot to me that you are so happy there.

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You are such a sweet, loving boy. This month you have started hugging people – it melts my heart when you wrap your arms around my neck and lay your head on my shoulder. Mrs. Susie tells me all the time what a wonderfully behaved little man you are. She says you never cry… I tell her you save your tears and screams for your mom & dad!

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This month we did lots of fun activities! You played on the swings for the first time. You loved it! We went to the pool for the last time before it closed. You are a little fish and you love the water! Your Ana also bought you a new toy. You love your Jeep walker! One day your Papa will buy you a real Jeep to drive, but for now the walker will have to do.

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We wrapped up the summer by going to Edisto for a couple of days. I love the beach, and I hope you do as well. We spent lots of time with Ana & Papa, Aunt Deb & Terry, Marilyn & Cricket, and Mrs. Martha. You were the center of attention and you sure do love it when that happens! While the adults got some sun, played games, and ate (and ate and ate), you tried to eat all the sand on the beach and took naps in your stroller. That’s the life!

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My sweet Cooper bear, you are such a joy and blessing. I thank God for you every day, and I pray nightly that He will help me to be the best mother I can be to you. You are loved!

Love,
Mommy



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