Gone Fishin’

Well, not literally.  My hubby has taken the week off of work though, and I have been absent from blogging.  I am terrible at blogging when he is home, I just want to soak up every minute I can with him.

So please forgive me.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I’ll see you when Abe goes back to work!

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Citrus Lane Sale!

If you have been thinking about getting yourself a subscription to Citrus Lane but haven’t done so yet, today is the day to do it!  They are having a great sale, a 3 month subscription for $65 (that saves you $10) or a 6 month subscription for $99 (that saves you over $25!)

If you are interested, click HERE and enter GET3 for the 3 month subscription deal or GET6 for the 6 month deal.

Gotta love a good deal!  🙂

Feeling Bratty

My kids are kind of awesome.  Here it is, the day before Thanksgiving, their first day on break from school, and their mama is sick.  Yucky stomach issues, just miserable.  When I was able to crawl out of bed to check on everyone, I saw this waiting for me on the counter:

 

A Get Well card, a bottle of water with a straw so I don’t drink too fast (Bella’s words), a cup of applesauce and a well done piece of plain toast.  (That is Tigger”s face on my toast, btw.  Awesome, I know.)

They prepared me a B.R.A.T friendly diet.  You know, that diet that you are supposed to follow when you are having tummy issues?  Short for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, all foods that are gentle on the rumbly belly.

Yeah, my kids are awesome.

Pinterest Made Me Do It

Okay, so, I saw a similar, adorable idea for a new way to make a hand print turkey with the kids on Pinterest and decided that I had to do it.  My original plan was to do it with both Noah and Sara, my 3 year old and 1 year old.  Yeah, I has the crazy.

While I was happily crafting with Noah, Sara was destroying the house.  Emptying book shelves, screaming, crying, all in all, just being a butt.  It was around the time I got a face pat from a tiny hand covered in paint that I realized the insanity of the situation and came to my senses.  We finished Noah’s turkey, but Sara?  Yeah, maybe next year.  The novelty has officially worn off.

Here are the pictures of our craft.  I think it turned out super adorable, regardless of the mess.

We started with a plain piece of paper and four different colors of paint.  Technically, I only had red, green and yellow, so that orange is custom made using my amazing kindergarten acquired color mixing skillz.  Impressive, I know.

The Noah smiles get weirder, just wait.

Basically, you paint the kiddos hand and plop it on the paper.

You are going for a fan shape, the hand prints are going to be the turkey feathers.

Yes, that’s the face he makes when we tell him to smile.  Well, it’s the most normal of the faces he makes when we ask him to smile.

After the hand prints are all in place, wait for them to dry before adding the embellishments.  I used scrap book paper and a paper bag for the body and head and I actually cut the feet, beak, and gobbler out of the ads we used for our drop sheets.  I’m a handy girl, what can I say?  We had the googly eyes on hand, but I think you could cut them out too.

How cute, right?  I added his name and the year, and I *hope* to tackle this again next year.  It’s not hard at all, it’s quick, but it is messy and near impossible to do by yourself with more than one little bit running around.  Just sayin’.

November Citrus Lane Box!

Middle of the month means a box of sunshine at our door, otherwise known as Citrus Lane!  For those not in the know, Citrus Lane is a subscription service that delivers a box of specially curated items for babies from newborn to age 3 every month.  Each month has a theme, and this month, unsurprisingly, the theme is “Fun With Food.”  Let’s dive in!

This month’s box was full of fun, food related goodies!

As always, each box comes with a sheet that explains each item, tells you where to find more, and often times includes some awesome, exclusive coupon codes.

Goodbyn Small Meals $6.49

This BPA free container is perfect for packing snacks for on the go and keeping them from getting all squished like they would in a baggie.  This one in particular also has two separate compartments, which is awesome for making a complete meal for your little one and easily toting it mess free.

Plum Organics Training Meals $1.49

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.  Yum!  This is a perfect way to start the day, keeping baby nice and full before a long car ride to grandma’s house for turkey and all the fixins!  I like to mix in some fresh fruit, upping the yum factor and adding even more nutrition.  No complaints from my kiddos!

Green Eats Set of 4 Snack Bowls $6.99

Just the right size for the Plum Organics oatmeal!  These bowls are actually made from recycled milk jugs!  Even better, for easy clean up, they are dishwasher safe.  Something to remember though, they are not microwave safe, so while they are great to serve snacks in, remember not to warm anything in these bowls.

Tiny Prints 20% off plus free shipping

Tis the season for fun holiday cards, and this coupon code is just in time for making some awesome cards of your little ones to send to friends and loved ones.

“Look Mommy!  Something for you!  In my box….”

Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer $9.00

Yes, included in this month’s box was a special treat for the mamas!  All natural, hydrating and full of antioxidants.  Great way to wind down at the end of the day, especially during all the chaos of the holidays!

Plan Toys Fish Castanets Set of Two $10.00

How stinkin’ cute are these?!  Two, very brightly colored wooden castanets, perfect for little hands and pleasant on the ears!  It is a soft, pleasant sound that these fishies make, and they are FUN to play with!  I find myself grabbing them every time I see them, clacking out a little beat before one of the kids steals them away.  Very well made and well loved in this family.

“Time for a jam session, Mama!”

Try out your very own subscription to Citrus Lane by clicking HERE.  Once you follow that link, enter coupon code 10TODAY to save 10%.  Or, enter code 10MONTH for $10 off one month.    When you subscribe for a full year, they also give you two months free.  Who doesn’t love free?!

We love Citrus Lane in our home.  As I have said before, the value of the products each month for the small price paid is just fabulous.  And much cheaper than a “quick” trip to Target for me.  I love being introduced to new brands and companies, and we have loved everything we have gotten so far.

Baby Spa

 

After a hot, dry summer, it is suddenly fall and fast approaching winter!  All the crazy weather and now the dry heat can really wreak havoc on our skin, especially on delicate baby skin.  If you aren’t already experiencing dry, irritated skin, then it’s time to be proactive and prevent it from happening all together!

I was recently introduced to the Baby Spa line of products, a brand that is 98-100% natural and absolutely 100% free of parabens, pthalates, SLS, PEGS and mineral oil.  Basically, none of the yucky stuff that could further irritate baby’s skin.

A unique feature of Baby Spa, is that they cater specifically to your baby’s stage, be it a newborn baby or crawler, to a walking baby, and preschool ages and beyond.

They also use something called ethnobotanicals, which are indigenous plants that have been traditionally used for medicinal and other beneficial reasons.

Baby Spa has a wide range of products, from shampoos and baby washes to diaper creams and even massage oils.  The lotions are creamy, not greasy at all, and have a very faint, pleasant scent.

Now is the time to stock up!  Prevent those precious baby cheeks from the dry winter months ahead!

 

Check out Baby Spa products on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Baby Spa on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Baby Spa on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

I received the samples pictured for review purposes, but was not compensated in any other way.

Speedy Gonzales

Rainbow bridge

I had a dream last night that my best buddy was still here on Earth.

In the dream, I had an argument with Abe, how out of character!, and was going outside for fresh air.  Upon opening the back door, there stood my best bud, my black lab mix, Speedy.

He looked a little older, had some more gray in his muzzle than I remembered, but it was him.  I remember gasping and running to him, calling for Abe as I embraced him, my mind and my heart at ease and overjoyed to have my fur baby back in my arms.

Abe ran out with the kids, as I started up the stairs with him, letting him in the house, thoughts racing through my head.  “I knew he wasn’t gone,” I said to myself as I hunted for the dog shampoo.

“We’ll have to watch him around the babies, ” I warned Abe.  He was not a fan of kids in general, but he was protective.

I remember smiling, kissing his soft fur and laughing.  “See?  He’s not gone!  He went on an adventure.  I knew he would come back!”

And all too soon, I awoke, reality set in, and now tears are running down my cheeks as I type this.  Speedy used to kiss away my tears whenever I was sad.  It’s hard to keep crying when you’re laughing from the tickle of a nosy puppy in your face, licking away the tears as if to say, “Stop it!  Let’s play!”

Speedy was 13 years old when we lost him, just a little over two years ago.  He was taken outside, and in the rush of everything going on, no one noticed when he didn’t come back in.  A short while later, when things calmed down and I noticed he was no where to be found, I was frantic.  I ran through the house, searching every hiding place I could think of, before running outside and screaming for him.

We walked through the woods, getting covered in seed ticks as we searched for Speedy.  Going to bed that night without him made me physically ill.

The next morning I printed out 100 photos of Speedy to hand out to the neighbors, feeling certain that someone must have seen him and just taken him in, feeling bad for him.

It wasn’t long after handing out a handful of fliers that we heard something disturbing.

A dog was seen wandering around, not acting well.  This was in August, but the temperatures weren’t overly hot.  Still, it must have been too much for him.  I think he was having a heat stroke.  Instead of trying to help, the neighbor called the subdivision manager to get him out of her yard.  By the time he got there, he had passed.

The manager then wrapped him in a trash bag and put him in the dumpster.  Threw him away like he was trash.  By the time we found this out, the dumpsters had been emptied, there was no way to be sure, there was no way to say good bye.  No closure.

The guilt of what happened, the shock of losing him, the loss of my friend…. I was a mess.  The grief overtook me.  Speedy was my first baby.  I remember telling Abe before we ever had any kids that Speedy would always be number one in my heart.  If he didn’t like our kids, tough for them, because Speedy wouldn’t be going anywhere.  Luckily for our kids, he tolerated them pretty well.  🙂

So did Speedy’s spirit/ghost/whatever you want to call it come to visit me last night?  Well, call me insane, but it helps my heart to think that he did so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

What I wouldn’t give for that dream to come true!  To open the door and see my buddy, just waiting for me, ready to step back in and take over where he left off.

It helps me to think that one day, I will see him again.  Have you ever read the Rainbow Bridge?  It is a poem that was written to help owners when their beloved pets die.  It is a tear jerker, that’s for sure, but it is also beautiful.  I guess I will end this with that poem and just say to Speedy, thank you for being awesome.  I miss you.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. 
Author unknown

Autumnal Candle Jar

I love candles.  So many candles come in really pretty jars these days.  It seems like a waste to just throw them away, so I decided to re-use one as a pretty, autumnal jar, to place an LED tealight in for a soft glow during the cool, fall months.  It is super easy, and I love re-purposing the jar.

Start with a clean jar, one with all the wax pulled out.  (You can freeze the leftover bits to easily scrape them out, if it’s giving you a hard time.)

Sometimes the labels peel off easily, but 100% of the time in my house, it’s a battle.  I peel off what I can and then use Oops to get the rest of the residue off.

For the next step, you need Mod Podge and I used some autumn colored leaves found at the dollar store.  I just pulled them off the stems and after applying a generous coat of Mod Podge to the inside of the jar, I placed the leaves pretty side down around the inside of the jar.  I wouldn’t use real leaves because I think they would eventually turn brown and ugly.  It looks a hot mess now, but wait until it dries.

Ta da!  A pretty, fall jar, perfect for a little flameless candle or even putting wrapped candies in.  Pretty spiffy, and it was made for pennies!

Black Friday!!!

Gift Wrapped – 20 Songs That Keep on Giving!

I won’t lie.  I love to shop.  Retail therapy is a real thing for me, and finding an awesome bargain?  Well, that is icing on the cake.  This time of year, the stores are gearing up for some of the craziest sales of the season, and I just love it!

I follow a website that leaks the ads early, that’s how obsessed I am.  This year, we have a pricey 3DS XL on Santa’s list, so I am really hoping that someone will have a nice bundle on sale.

I’m also trying to dial back a little on the gift giving this year because I tend to get a little out of control.  I made a list and am trying very hard to stick with it.  That’s easier said than done, especially with all the leaked sales coming out!  The problem is, Christmas morning is so full of gift opening, that lots of gifts get thrown aside to open new ones.  The kids get so many toys, they don’t know what to play with first.  The littles especially, even get tired of opening gifts!  Hello!  Time for a wake up call, mama!

I heard of this awesome old Victorian tradition of gift giving which basically consists of four gifts.  Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.  How smart is that?  A little bit of everything, and with less gifts, it’s so much easier to appreciate what is actually received.

Well, I already went over that four gift limit.  Not as badly as before, so I get points for that, right?  And I am sticking to the general rule of the four categories.  What really complicates things is when the kids get older and the items they ask for get so much more expensive.  The 3DS XL?  Yeah, without any games, it runs $200.  A game will be at least another $30.  That’s for one kid.  We have four.

Now, the other kids lists, well, they are all significantly less expensive.  They could get way more gifts for not even close to the cost of the 3DS XL.  But then, one kid is opening only a couple gifts and the others have a whole bunch?  That’s not fair.  Is it?

I don’t know.  I think I over think it all.

That is so unlike me.

Stop laughing.  Seriously.

It’s over!

 

That, my friends, is the face of a very proud little boy who was taken to our local polling place to watch the right to vote exercised in person.

The kids school did a mock election, which of course brought the children home with some very interesting views shared from their friends who were no doubt repeating things they heard their parents say.  It’s a fine line, trying to explain to them what each candidate stands for without tainting them with our opinions.  I think they deserve to make up their own minds, too many people automatically support who they think they should, as opposed to who they are more in line with.

How awesome it is, to live in a country where our say matters.  People give their lives defending our right to vote.  Whatever your political beliefs are, whoever you supported, I just hope that you voted and that you realize that every single vote matters.  We are a part of history, and our children are watching us shape it.

God bless America.  And thank goodness the mud slinging election ads are over!  Whew!  I have never in my life been so happy to see a commercial for toilet paper as opposed to another ridiculous political ad!

Thank you Charmin!