Friday, November 30, 2012

My Black Friday

Black Friday is a tradition in my family. We are not the push and fight for what we want. It's more how much can we get done in the crazy hours that we can shop. It's fun, bizarre, and tiring but I have always been very successful in getting most of my shopping done that day.

This year was proving to be a challenge. I was very nervous about being up late or very early (needless to say very little sleep) and having P all day Friday on my own. I was also irritated that the stores were opening so early on Thursday.

First - to anyone who works retail. I'm sorry that this thing that is Black Friday has encroached so heavily on your holiday. If I am allowed to shop at 9:00, then you have to be there plenty before that. I wish we could go back to the early Friday sales but that's for another post.

My mom and sister decided to conquer Walmart first. They were headed out at 7:00 for the 8:00 opening. There wasn't anything I really wanted there (and we hosted thanksgiving for J's family) so I decided to meet up with them at Target by 9:00.

I was out the door shortly after 8 and got in line, wrapped around the side of the store and waited. Target did a great job organizing the line, having info on where everything would be, and people to answer questions a head of opening.

Sadly I didn't really need anything so I was on the hunt for my family. They were able to get everything they really wanted - no shoving involved. I left without buying anything. Mom and sisters were off to the mall and I went home to bed. A little sad.

In the morning P and I ventured out to meet up with my mom and sister. I got almost all my shopping done (save gift cards) done. Yeah!  Other than shopping during normal hours - another total success!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

TAT: what do I do?

Beyond working, taking care of P, being a wife, and doing regular house stuff (gratefully shred with my DH), I have lots of interests. Here is what I love...

1. Making cards. 
It's been something that I got into post college. It's crafty but I don't have to come up with many ideas on my own. I was never good enough about pictures to scrap and I'd rather share my crafts than keep them. I like using stamps and my Cricut most. P has kept me away from this but I sneak some in every nice in a while. 

2. Knitting
This is relaxing for me. I have not done anything beyond blankets, scarves, and hats. But I like that it is mindless. And fun!

3. Making wreaths
I blame Pinterest for this. I do love having my door adorned and I always think that I can make what  I see for less. I have really enjoyed it. I'm even giving one to my grandma for Christmas this year!

4. Working
It's kind of a sickness. I don't like being off work. I teach but I have never truly taken a summer off. I have either taught summer school or been in grad school (while I worked in the afternoons). I also work several additional jobs during the school year too. I like to be involved and busy. I'd love to say in rakes in the dough but I haven't found that job yet. I am thinking about taking on a tutoring client or too as well. (Don't tell DH yet, it's just the beginning if basketball season!) 

That's my old lady habits in a nutshell. Link up with Melissa to talk about your hobbies at Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekly wrap up

What a great weekend!  I got a lot done and had a lot if fun!  Now the craziness that is basketball-Christmas-new trimester time really begins. I am going to try my bet to stick to my 3 posts a week goal. Fingers crossed that works!

Here's my plan for the week:
- TAT. I know I'll link up, I just need to look up the topic.
- I have my wreath to share.
- I will wrap up my holiday/shopping weekend.

I have some posts coming about cookies, surgery, and other randomness that is my life. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and got some shopping done. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am so thankful for my life. I am healthy. I have a great supportive husband. We have a beautiful daughter. Both if our families are close and caring. We are both employed and love our jobs. We have a beautiful home and food on our table. I am blessed.

Thanksgiving is a day I think of those in need or missing their loved ones. Being married to an Air Force brat, I am especially heavy hearted for our military families that are broken up by deployments or worse. I appreciate our military more than I will ever be able to show.

I am hoping that as P gets older, along with a great dinner with family and super shopping for Black Friday, I want to give back. We will volunteer somehow. Maybe a soup kitchen or shelter. Maybe a nursing home. Something. I want her to be grateful for what we have, not what we don't.

Enjoy your day, however you spend it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TAT: birth order

Toddle Along Tuesday is back and all about birth order. I am the youngest if three. Like Melissa at Growing Up Geeky, there are only girls in my family. I am not typical of youngest kids but lets start here...

PBS Kids says this about youngest children:

Here are some personality traits that are common in youngest children:
Persistent: When it comes to a goal, many youngests just won't give up!
A Great Storyteller: Whether it's true or not, youngest kids can spin a mighty good yarn.
Affectionate: Youngest children often have plenty of hugs and kisses to give out.
Now, the downside. Although it's fun to be in the spotlight, many youngest children find that their parents don't give them a lot of attention or praise during important first-time events like tying a shoe or riding a bike.

I would say that I am persistent but I cannot lie to save my life. How will I keep Santa from P???  I am affectionate but I think that is my family, not birth order. 

I would say that my attention getting was from being too good. I tried hard in school. Never snuck out. Not to say my sisters were bad (they weren't) but they definitely tried more than I did. 

I am most curious how P will be as an only child. Any advice??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly wrap up

First trimester at school (not pregnant - promise) is finished!  Whew!  I get a new and much bigger group of students tomorrow and basketball starts in 10 days. My time will be in short supply for a little while but I am going to try to post at least 3 times a week. I'll try ;)

This week my plan is:
- TAT. This will be interesting!
- a thankful post
- I have another wreath to share with you!

Sounds like a plan. I may try to squeeze in a Thanksgiving post but that may be next week. Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

20 months!?!?

I cannot believe my little girl is so close to 2!  Here goes the update!

Age: 20 months

Sizes: Still size 4 diapers.  I wonder if/when this will change. She s still teetering between 18 month and 24 month sized clothes. We are moving to more 24 month items as the cooler weather moves in but she still rocks 18 month pants better. 

Sleeping: Still good. She is having a little harder time napping at the sitters but its okay. She tends to make up for it on Saturdays with a longer nap. Works for us!

Eating: P has gotten a little more picky here but still doing well. I am trying to move to the point where she will eat dinner with us but she hasn't been into all of the main dishes I have made. I am struggling where and when to draw that line. 

Favorites:  She is still loving Minnie and baby. She also loves books, games on my iPad, and her bins of toys. She likes me to sing to her and walk outside. We got her some Colorwonder markers and veggie crayons and coloring has been fun too. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

I love this season!

I <3 and="and" but="but" come="come" cook="cook" eat="eat" exhaustion="exhaustion" family="family" fun="fun" gifts="gifts" give="give" have="have" holidays="holidays" i="i" is="is" it.="it." it="it" lights="lights" love="love" p="p" relax="relax" see="see" share="share" shop="shop" soooo="soooo" that="that" the="the" to="to" with="with" worth="worth">
I have three big favorites of the holidays. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas (eve and day - they count as one for me).

Thanksgiving is fun because Jeff and I started hosting for his family a few years back. I really love to cook and host so this is perfect. He has two sisters and they have kids but the crowd isn't too big. Everyone brings the sides, we do the turkey, stuffing, and dessert. Then we eat, watch football, and enjoy each other.


Meanwhile, I am also planning for the next best day. BLACK FRIDAY!!! I am cheap reasonable when I shop. I buy most things on sale or get a deal of some sort. Black Friday is nothing that we get freaky about. No pushing or shoving here. We do go out either VERY early (i.e. 2:30am) or start late, as Walmart has been pushing.
PS - Walmart - I do not like this AT ALL!!!

This has been a tradition for my sisters, mom, and I for YEARS. We love it. It will be rough this year with a 20 month old to take care of on Friday but I will pull through!  I am also learning to love Cyber Monday too.

Keep in mind that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is for small businesses.  Shop local as you can - support your small businesses.  I have gotten some of the best presents EVER there!

Finally, Christmas is the time that all my shopping is brought to justice. I love to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. I really enjoy giving gifts and seeing the look on the person's face when they see that I have been paying attention. I feel good!
I would love to do more for families in need and we do what we can, but I would love to do more. I plan to take P to soup kitchens and volunteer as much as possible when she is old enough.

Monday, November 12, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

I'm linking up with Melissa at Growing Up Geeky for another round of Toddle Along Tuesday. This week is what I want for Christmas. Somethings on my list are more realistic than others. But who knows what Santa can do!

1. iPod shuffle - since I back to working out, I need something small for some tunes. And it's cute.  And pink. 
2. Ann Taylor Loft jeans. After my hole in the rear incident, I realized that I have not bought new jeans in several years. It's time. 
3. Stemless wine glasses. Not that we are wine snobs by any means but the glasses we registered for (and were given) when we got married are past their prime and are very hard to clean. 
4. V-cups and storage drawer for my Keurig Vue. It's my new bay in the mornings and I need to keep my obsession going. 
5. Flat iron. I have no idea what brand but I need a new one. My $25, 3 year old one is ready to bite it. 
6. Dansko shoes. This is my dream item. We will see. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly wrap up

Busy weekend!  I have new info to share on the playroom but that will come later. In the mean time, this will be a light week for me. Exams are this week and then a new term and we host thanksgiving. I love it!

Here is the plan:
- toddle along Tuesday, of course
- holiday info, my perspective
-  P's's monthly update

Also, Lisa L won the Tutu giveaway. Congrats!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Check it out!

I am the only one that thinks of the wedding reception song that says that and then you clap your hands? Well, maybe...

But I have some fun stuff to share:

I did a guest post at Building Our Story!  Check it out here!

Don't forget about my current giveaway!  Check that out here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Autumn Wreath

Pinterest strikes again!  I saw a few really cute candy corn wreaths, but at The House of Smiths I fell in love.

I didn't have it in me to pin all the squares so I bought 4 feet each of white, yellow, and orange tulle and a wire wreath.

Then I cut strips about 2 inches wide and 5 inches long. To be honest, I didn't measure :). Oh, excuse my PJ pants!

I started tying them on. This was more time consuming than I had thought!

Finally I tied on a dark brown burlap bow.

I love it!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review and giveaway - Jen's Tutu Cute Boutique

My oldest sister really wanted a girly girl. She dressed her daughter in PINK (yes tat is different than pink), bows all over, hats, etc. this niece happens to be one of the biggest tomboys I know. My other sister couldn't care less about clothes or makeup and her daughter is the princess queen!

Needles to say I was very on the fence about all things tutu for P. Then I went to a craft show and won this:

I loved it the moment I saw it. The original prize was the wrong size for P, so Jen happily let me exchange it. She even offered anything in her store. Since I was planning for Halloween, my second choice was this:

Then, I saw this:

I realized that we could get at least a few wears out of this since P will wear it for thanksgiving too.

So here is P in her Halloween costume!

Jen has happily agreed to give one of my readers the chance to win a dress of there own. Here are some of my favorites.

Now Shop!
Everything there is really cute. Check out everything at

What can you win?
Now here is the best part of the post!  Jen has agreed to give my readers a chance to win an $18 credit to her store. This will get you one of her tutu dresses - your choice on style and size. 

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Click "Read More" below and then follow the instructions on the widget. Make sure to click "Enter!" after you complete each entry. All currents count! The giveaway is open to US Residents only and ends at 12:01am on Thursday, July 19th.

The first entry is mandatory - visit Jen's facebook page and leave me a comment telling me which item at her shop is your favorite! Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly review

Wow - this turned into an unbelievably busy week. I have a couple of posts started but not quite ready for posting and some great ideas brewing. This week will be more full - promise!

I have this planned:
- I have a giveaway for tomorrow!
- I have the guest post that I mentioned a while back coming up
- I will be showing off my wreath
- TAT, as always!

I have shopping, cooking, surgery, and cookies to write about in the coming weeks too. I also have at least one more giveaway in the works too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin patch fun

So I missed Wednesday but I'm saving our Halloween pictures for my next giveaway!  But we did make a trip to a local farm to get pumpkins. Here is how P did with it!

Walking up to the house

Petting the horses

This is the one she actually picked

Fun pumpkin faces