Free Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar

I think just about everyone by now has heard about this whole Elf on the Shelf trend, right? Where you get an old-fashioned looking elf, tell the kids he’s there to watch over them and report to Santa whether they’re being bad or good, leave treats, and get up to silly shenanigans during the night? Everyone I know is kind of 50-50 on how they feel about this tradition; it’s definitely a love it or hate it kind of thing. Personally – I love this idea. Anything to bring more fun and wonder to the holidays for my little girl is a win in my book. But, we went with a different type of elf…

Elf Magic - alternative to Elf on the Shelf [Read more...]

signature

Celebrate the Dads Who Care

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland Father’s Day is almost upon us. A time to think about all of the fathers who have made a difference in our lives – our own, friends, or our kiddo’s dads. As much as us women kick butt on a daily basis, there are some amazing men in our lives that need some appreciation too, right? :)

Disney with Mike

One dad that I want to talk about is my Mister – we’ve been together for almost 9 years. He’s the best dad to Abby that I could ever ask for. He works with me in my online business, he does almost all of the cooking {and even the dishes!}, and helps and supports me so much. Love this guy – we make a great team. <3 The picture above is from when we visited Disneyland for the first time, for #DisneySMMoms – it was awesome to have my family with me at an event. And Abby had the most fun I think I’ve ever seen her have! During conference day, he and Abby got to spend a lot of father-daughter bonding time, riding the rides and seeing the sites. It was so great seeing them both smile so much!

So to celebrate all of those real amazing dads out there, and recognize all the ways that they show that they care -Dove Men+Care has launched a really moving new campaign. Check out the video below…

[Read more...]

signature

5 Epic Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I have been compensated for this #GreatestDad Father’s Day gifts idea post in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I would share a photo of here of my Mister, but he’d kill me. He might let me photograph an arm while it’s showing off a recipe he’s making on the grill. Maybe a foot that accidentally gets into the photo. But he’s not much of a fan of fame, lol. So – instead, I’ll just have to tell you about my favorite guy, and some of the awesome gifts he helped inspire as I put together this epic Father’s Day gift ideas list.

Epic Father's Day Gift Ideas for the Entertaining Type Dad

There are a lot of different types of guys – gizmo gurus, fitness fanatics, memory makers – but my Mister falls into the entertainer category. We don’t go out much, and have been working on creating some pretty awesome spaces here at the house, since we entertain a lot. We’ve got a bit pool, a sweet patio space, a huge “man cave” style shop where he and his friends work on race cars, and a giant back field filled with a garden and kids play area. And I’ll admit it – while I want to get him a Father’s Day gift he’ll love, I want to spend my money on something the rest of us will enjoy too :) So here are a few of my FAVE gift ideas, and why. And I’d love comments later on which one you think I should get – it’s such a tough choice when I shop at Best Buy, seriously.

BeerTender

Krups BeerTender: This would be the perfect addition to my Mister’s “Man Cave” out in the shop, for just a little over a hundred bucks. And, it would be super fun to bring out when we have pool parties, BBQs, and… well, any other darn time we entertain. It has an LED temp indicator to let you know when your beer is frosty cold enough. The sleek design works in your kitchen, den, man cave, movie room, anywhere. And it fits perfectly with DraughtKegs you can buy at most stores. [Read more...]

signature

How to Find Your Christmas – #MyChateau

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith… I love this quote. It’s one of those things you read that really help you remember to stop and slow down for a minute. The holidays are such a crazy-busy time of year for most of us – there is just so much fun to pack into such a short time. Parties to host, events to attend, holiday attire to shop for, gifts to buy, relatives to visit, trees to decorate, cookies to bake… But along with all of that fun can come a lot of stress, as you strive to do everything you feel you “have to” do, and attempt to create the “perfect” Christmas. But like the quote says – the most important part of the season is to feel Christmas in your heart. What does that mean? Well, it’ll be different for each person… For me, it’s remembering what I’m thankful for. Counting the blessings we’ve had this past year. Taking time to do good, give back, and donate gifts to the less fortunate. And to take the focus off of buying and spending and let myself just enjoy the little moments – snuggling on the couch with Abby to watch old Christmas cartoons, or watching the snow fall late at night while enjoying a glass of wine – peaceful.

Holiday countdown calendar

Another thing that’s been helping me slow down and savor the season is this super fun holiday countdown calendar from Chateau Ste. Michelle. Each day you get a new idea that encourages you to take time for yourself, do something fun, and remember to enjoy the holiday craziness. A few of my favorites this week….

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel [Read more...]

signature

Elf Magic and Seahawks Christmas Lights Make the Season Bright…

I’m sure everyone by now has seen some version of the holiday elf, right? Well, in our house we have an Elf Magic elf. Her name is Molly, and the kids get suck a kick out of her – even my oldest nephew, who at the totally mature age of 10 is getting too cool for most of the silly traditions that Abby and I enjoy. {That crazy kid even tried to tell his little brother {7} that Santa wasn’t real. I mean, seriously? Of course Santa is real. I still believe – so end of story :)

[Read more...]

signature

Give Gifts that Don’t Scream “Last Minute Shopping” – #PCHoliday

I received a complimentary package of products from Personal Creations to create this post abotu personalizing your holidays. All opinions are 100% my own, as always.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Andy Rooney… I’m pretty sure I’ve told you before, like, maybe 200 million times, how much I love Christmas. It makes me feel like a little kid again – I seriously get so excited. And, I love to surprise people with the perfect gift. Seeing even the adults in the family light up when they get something special totally makes my holiday complete. That’s why I work on my holiday shopping year ’round, to be sure I’m not just buying a “something, anything, whatever I’ll just grab this and get out of here!” kind of gift at the mall, last minute. And my favorite gifts are things that are totally personal for the person receiving them – I hand-make a lot of presents, I love to create photo cards and gifts, and one of my more recent personal favorites this year has been choosing an item that I know the giftee will love, then having it customized with their names or family details. To give you an idea of what’s out there, I have a few of my fave gifts from this year to show ya….

Kickasserole dish

Ok, first of all, let’s talk about a little gift I bought for me. Yep, I buy myself gifts “from Santa” every year. Because really, don’t moms always seem to get missed a lot when it comes to gifts? This casserole dish is perfect for me – the thing that I’m best at in the kitchen is a casserole or baked pasta. TI think my casseroles are pretty kick-ass, no lie. [Read more...]

signature

Photo Editing Tips to Take Your Photos from Drab to Fab

With all of the junk mail, overflow of catalogs and sales flyers, and those dreaded piles of bills – isn’t it nice to get a personalized card in the mail? It’s kind of a refreshing break to open a beautiful card, see your favorite smiling faces, and read their heartfelt messages, any time of year. But, one of the big reasons I hear people say that they don’t send cards is because it’s too much work, or they aren’t creative enough to create great holiday or event cards. So, I’m here to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks with you guys. These work perfectly for Christmas and New Year’s cards, but can work year-round too, for birthday invites, baby announcements, fun thank you cards, or other celebrations. Check ‘em out, then leave your own fave tips in the comments too – I love hearing from you guys!

How to create showstopping holiday cards using picmonkey and tiny prints

Obviously, the first step is to pick photos. You can go with one great family photo, feature just a new baby {or toddler, like I did this year} – or if you don’t have a good family photo this year, choose a card design that lets you upload several photos, and use individual pics of each family member. And remember that just a little bit of photo editing can make a drastic difference – and you don’t need expensive or complicated software. I use PicMonkey, and love how simple and intuitive it is.

Photo Editing Tips [Read more...]

signature