Friday, November 30, 2012

{ right now and instagram love }

♥We are getting our Christmas decorations out and planning our holiday calendar.
♥Little Man is saying so many words.  It's like we have actual "conversations".  His favorite-
Me: Little Man, let's pick up your toys, shoes, clothes...whatever.
Little Man: No, you!  (with the finger point)
♥Queen B is preparing for her first ballet recital.  Color her stunned that she has to do it in front of "people she doesn't know!"
♥The sharing between kids is awesome.  Queen B has shared her snacks with both boys, Big G and Little Man both sat together and played games on several occasions and each has volunteered to go get something for another.
♥My new favorite show is Love you, Mean It with Whitney Cummings.  I laughed so hard the other night I woke the husband up.  Love her!


I am so ready for December!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{ 25 days of christmas - children's books }

In the last year I've started a tradition with the kids where we read books about the upcoming holiday.  A few weeks ago I listed the books we were reading for Thanksgiving.  Same concept for Christmas but instead of 10 books I'm upping it to 25 books and using it as a pseudo-advent calendar.

In the past I've just put them aside but this year I've seen the idea of wrapping up each book and then letting the kids "unwrap" their story.  I LOVE this idea!  Because really, what kid doesn't like unwrapping anything?
The Polar ExpressTurkey ClausCharlie and the Christmas♥KittyBear Stays Up for ChristmasLlama Llama Holiday DramaHow the Grinch Stole ChristmasThe Night Before ChristmasMr. Willowby's Christmas TreeHow Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?Snowmen at ChristmasThe Christmas Quiet BookDream SnowRudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerThe Night Before ChristmasThe Christmas StoryThe Night Before ChristmasThe Best Christmas Pageant EverA Christmas CarolClubhouse ChristmasSanta's Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First ChristmasWhen Santa Lost His Ho! Ho! Ho!The Biggest Christmas Tree EverA Wish to Be a Christmas TreeThe Mitten

Some are time honored classics and some are newer.  Some are movies and some are based on our favorite tv shows.  Either way all of them are a favorite and now I have another reason to look forward to bedtime each night.  Besides the obvious reasons at least.

What are your favorite holiday books?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{ loving lately... }

It's almost here!  My husbands not big on decorations so we compromise that I have have to wait until December 1st to put anything Christmas, but then I have free rein.  I have so many new ideas this year I don't know what to choose first.  Decisions, decisions...

i'm loving...gumdrop wreaths
I like wreaths that have lots of color and this is so colorful.  I can see all the glue gun burns in my future through.  

i'm loving...pretty christmas printables

I don't think I'll ever have to buy another gift tag again.  There are so many pretty ones online to use that I like much better.  

i'm photo challenges

I'm working on my December Daily foundation pages this week and I'm using this challenge as a guide for what I want to include.  Lots and lots of ideas.

i'm kid crafts
Source: via Brighton on Pinterest

I can see the boys spending hours playing with something like this.  I need to get started.

i'm loving...pretty christmas treats

These are so cute!  Who doesn't love candy canes?  Or chocolate?  I think I'm making these for the kids school parties!

Monday, November 26, 2012

{ blue bird giftcard giveaway - so pretty }

The holidays are pretty much officially here.  Invitations to Christmas parties and get together's are starting to arrive.  One of my favorite ways to dress up is to add a little bit of color and the colors in the jewelry from Blue Bird Bride are just my style.

Blue Bird Bride was started by the lovely Diane as a way to have some "me" time and it took off from there.  She believes that every woman should be able to look and feel great no matter her budget.  Diane says she creates all of her pieces are created so women can treat themselves to key pieces, as well trends, without worry of breaking the bank.

It's so hard to choose between all the beautiful designs and colors.

Black Bib Necklace

Crystal Drop Necklace Set

Enameled Turquoise & Crystal Necklace

But that's just the beginning...Diane is offering all Dear Brighton readers a sweet 15% off their order with code FALL2012.  Oh, and that's not all, one lucky reader will also win a $20 giftcard to Blue Bird.

Enter the giveaway below and then head on over to Blue Bird Bride to see all the great holiday deals she has going on as well.  I think I love the Crystal Necklaces the best...

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

{ the simple things }

I can't say enough about the crazy weather we've been having this year.  This week was another to the list.  It was sunny and 65' and we had our first snow of the season too.  And we had  fog.  Lots and lots of fog.
 There was so much fog that school was even canceled for the day.  The whole day!  The day before Thanksgiving no less.  That's what I get for procrastinating.
 I was waiting for a bunch of people in long black cloaks to walk through.  Or not.  That would have been creepy.

So I just went back to bed.  It's not like I had children to get off to school anymore.  

linking up with...
Show & TellTones On Tuesday, I Should Be Folding Laundry, Photo Friday,  Friday Favorite Things, Gimme Your Best ShotMiscellany Monday, Nihayoyall, Simple As That, This or ThatShoot Edit Submit, Fabulous Friday, Look Who's Snapping, & Your Sunday Best

Friday, November 23, 2012

{ diary of a wimpy kid: the third wheel review and giveaway }

In the last year and a half my oldest has learned to read.  She's know how to read for awhile but it's been in the last year that she has moved on from the picture books and Level One readers to book with "lots and lots of words" according to her.  It's been a long time since I've children's books and I had no idea what to buy for her. 

Not kidding.

It was one of the first times (and there have been many since) where I had that feeling that all parents get when they realize that their child is looking at them like they are so out of touch. Don't you know what's cool?  Sorry Sweetheart, Mommy still blasts Backstreet Boys circa 2000 when she feels old.

It was a lovely lady at a local bookstore store that directed me to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid section (Thank you Lesley!) and I brought her home the first in the series (because you should always start in the beginning?).  And just like that I was cool again.  

Of course it didn't last but for that moment I was in touch with the youth.  Or at least Lesley was.  

And that is why I was just as excited as my daughter when the most recent book in the series was released this month.  (Imagine the cool points I won when I told her that I was getting to review it early too). Queen B snatched it up and it didn't see her the rest of the evening.  She emerged from her room the next day to tell me she was finished and it was the best book yet.

What is The Third Wheel about?
Love is in the air—but what does that mean for Greg Heffley?
A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he’s worried he’ll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn’t have any prospects either, but that’s a small consolation.  An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who’s going to be lucky in love.

What did I think?
It's been a long time since I've been at the age where I worried about my first dance but this story brought it all back.  The book opens with new student council elections. It seems those students who were elected in the fall haven't been attending meetings. Oops!  Greg thinks he'd make a great politician (and actually has brilliant ideas) but you "must be in good academic standing" in order to run. Darn! 
During the election a promise is made to stock the student bathrooms with soft toilet paper but in order to do that though they must raise money, which isn't an easy feat for students who'd rather eat candy bars than sell them.  This also delivers one of the best lines ever; "lot of families like mine had to write a check to the school just to cover the cost of the candy bars their children ate."  I died I tell you.  (Sidenote: when my oldest starts selling those WFC Carmel bars I plan on just ponying up for the whole case up front.  No lie.)  The boys want a WWE/X-games event but the planning committee is all girls...who like the idea of a Valentine's Dance instead.
A stroke of luck and lots of advice from four-times married Uncle Gary who is living on the Heffley's couch gets Greg a "date" to the dance leaving Rowley in the wings.  But it's not all smooth sailing.  What do a booster seat, taxes and a state trooper (with handcuffs) have in common?  All things Greg has to survive before he even gets to the dance.  Watch out for Ruby Bird!

What will earn me cool points with you?  A giveaway of any Diary of a Wimpy Kid book!  Choose from any book in the series.  Yup, any book.  I highly recommend The Third Wheel or pick the one you're missing.  

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While we are talking cool I want to tell you about Wimp E-Books.  I am thinking about buying my little reader a entry e-book reader this Christmas and the Wimp E-Books are something I know she'd love to have.  Books #1 - #7 in the series are now available for download as Wimp-E-Books wherever e-Books are sold.  Wimp-E-Books carry their own name and logo.  

Author and illustrator Jeff Kinney was also involved in all aspects of the transformation of the Wimpy Kid books into e-book form.  I like his quote that “It was important to me to make sure the books look just as good on the screen as they do on paper. I’m thrilled at the way the books look on e-readers, tablets, and other devices, and I hope fans enjoy having them in digital format as much as they've enjoyed them as books.” I love authors that care about their readers.  Especially the young readers.  And the stories from the first three books appear digitally for free on the website still.
You can find all things Diary of a Wimpy Kid at the official website or follow them on twitter @WimpyKid.  

Good luck!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{ happy thanksgiving }

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Our dinner today is just us and we're taking the kids to see Wreck-it Ralph this evening.  It's our tradition to eat early and take the kids to a movie of their choice.  We don't really do big gatherings, mostly because it's just us anyway.  But it's our tradition and the kids look forward to it.  

And good luck to all your early shoppers tomorrow.  I'll be hitting Cyber Monday sales bright and early then!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{ resolutions in motion round 1 gfc hop }

This GFC hop is for anyone and everyone, and as a special surprise this week, Megan is giving away a featured ad space on her blog (Shaping Up To Be A Mom), as well as a pair of earrings of your choice from Cents of Style! This giveaway is open to everyone!
(Coupon Code "0512" for 10% off!)

Now on to the hop!

Please feel free to share this button:

Follow your hosts: 
Shaping Up To Be A Mom
Covered In Grace
Ramblings of a Southern Belle

Follow your co-hosts:
Just a Few of My Favorite Things
Squishy Cheeks & Cupcakes
Dear Brighton
Pretty Living PDX
Alys Hejl

Link up your blog, a specific post, a giveaway, or anything else you'd like to share!

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{ literary junkies week 1 }

Goings on in Texas

I am so excited about the new linkup that Taylor from Goings On In Texas and Lesley from By the Porchlight have started called Literary Junkies.  As if you don't know I love books.

The first book we will be reading is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This book is so far from what I've ever read before that I can't wait to talk about it.  I feel like I'm keeping a huge secret by not telling you how great this book is yet.

But before we get to that discussion we are starting off with a few questions.

1) What book are you currently reading? 
Besides The Night Circus I am currently reading A Political Affair by Mary Whitney.  It's a political/love story tale (obviously) between a Kennedy-esque Senator and his intern who is more than a decade younger than him.  It should sound trite and cliche but it's a very well woven story of their relationship from her first day all the way through to Election Day.

2) What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

Oh, wow.  This is like asking me which one of my children is my favorite. I've stared at this blinking cursor for a long time trying to decide so I'm going to go with the 3 books that jump into my mind first as memorable and I know that I've read countless (I really mean countess too) times as well.

3) What is your "approach" upon entering a bookstore? Where do you immediately head after entering through the front door?
When I first enter a bookstore I always head to the new releases shelf that's usually in the front.  I always like to check and see what's new and if they have any sales going on.  After that I head to the romance section and stay there until my husband says it's time to go.  If I have any of my children with me we'll make a stop through the children's section so they can choose a book as well.  
I don't go to the bookstore as much as I used to though.  I know it's because I have my Kindle and all I have to do is click a button and my choice will be downloaded in a matter of seconds for me to begin reading.  But nothing beats the atmosphere of a good bookstore.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

{ the simple things }

 I kind of consider this the last week of fall in a way.  Thanksgiving is this week and shortly after that I will take down all my fall decorations and switch over to Christmas trees and candy canes.  It really seems as though this year has flown by at an alarming rate.

The leaves looked like this....

And now they look like this.
  And the water that was so warm just a few short months ago is now freezing.

But I am so ready for that first snow.

linking up with...
Show & TellTones On Tuesday, I Should Be Folding Laundry, Photo Friday,  Friday Favorite Things, Gimme Your Best ShotMiscellany Monday, Nihayoyall, Simple As That, This or ThatShoot Edit Submit, Fabulous Friday, Look Who's Snapping, & Your Sunday Best

Friday, November 16, 2012

{ right now and in instagram... }

It's been a few weeks since I've done a Right Now and I think it's a great time to start again.  And I think I'm going to do it a little different.  I need to find my groove! 

Right now I'm listening... to kids running around and chasing each other and screaming.  Loudly.  

Right now I'm reading... The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern for Literary Junkies Book Club

Right now I'm watching... my own marathon of the Twilight Saga because there is no way I could sit in a movie theatre that long.  I'm way too old.

Right now I'm eating... cheese and crackers.  I found this lovely "cheesy" cheese at the local amish store and it's so good.  Soda crackers, chicken crackers, it doesn't matter.  It even makes Ritz crackers taste good.

Right now I'm over... stacking wood.  We didn't start cutting wood this summer because it was way too hot so now we have to do it every weekend so we aren't doing it in two feet of snow either.  I feel like Little House on the Prairie sometimes. 

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