Thursday, November 29, 2012

CHEERS! {A Holiday Drink Recipe}

So if you follow me on instagram or twitter then you've probably heard me raving on and on about my favorite holiday drink, wassail. When I was a little girl, wassail was always served at family holiday parties and I always looked forward to it. About a week before Thanksgiving I decided I was going to make my own wassail for our family gatherings this year - the only problem - I don't have my family's recipe.


I scoured the internet and only had to try two recipes to find the perfect one. If you like apple cider, you will love wassail. It's got a thicker and richer taste than regular cider + bonus points, it's great when spiked! :) Give this a try y'all - I'd love to know what you think about it!

INGREDIENTS:

6 CUPS Apple Cider
2 CUPS Cranberry Juice
1 CUP Orange Juice
1/4 CUP Sugar
1 Medium Orange, quartered
2 Cinnamon Sticks
16 Whole Cloves

Optional:

1 CUP Rum or 1 tsp. Rum extract


DIRECTIONS:

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a crock pot and stir. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours. You can cook wassail on the stove - just heat until boiling. My preference is to let it cook slowly over a long period of time.

Enjoy!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Mia Mariu Giveaway Event! {BLOGGERS WANTED}

Mia Mariu Giveaway Event

Prizes: $300 Mia Mariu Shopping Spree & an iPad Mini
Event dates: 12/1-12/30

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

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Polish Swap Reveal!

Hey friends! Did y'all think I fell off the face of the planet or something? I didn't, but my little blogging break sure did leave me feeling refreshed!

I've been anxious for today to arrive however, because it is time to reveal my partner for the polish swap & the goodies she sent to me! This was my first ever swap and I was really excited to participate in the fun!


If you follow me on instagram you'll know how excited I was on Wednesday when I got a package from my polish swap partner, Julann. I was up to my elbows preparing part of our Thanksgiving feast but I couldn't help but rip into it, immediately!


Oh, my my, would you look at that! Can you believe all the goodies?! FYI - that red package is a Lindt milk chocolate bar. Listen, I've been eating the white chocolate truffles for years and have always been my favorite, hands down. Until I tried the milk chocolate bar. OH.MY.GOODNESS.  I think someone should start a chocolate swap and then one of y'all could send me a whole bunch of those chocolate bars! Wait...that's probably not the best idea. Anyway..

When I opened those THREE pretty pink packages, this is what I saw:


EEK! I love these colors! They are perfectly "me." Hey, Julann, you're awesome! How on earth did you pick such perfect colors for me when my "what I like in a polish" was so vague?! You did good girl, thank you thank you! You totally spoiled me!

If you'd like to see the polishes I sent to Julann, you'll have to head over to her space :)
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

With Christmas right around the corner most of us are probably feeling a strain on our budget. So...I thought I'd help y'all out a  bit! 



Happy Home and Family has teamed up with a group of the most amazing bloggers around to bring you this great giveaway to help you out with your holiday expenses!!

One lucky reader will be winning a $100 Amazon Gift Card! 

If you win the $100 Amazon GC, what would you buy?

BLOGGERS -ANSWER HERE

Special thanks to our co hosts - Capri's Coupons, My Mushings, Mum Writes, SaMie Designs
Giveaway Details:
  • One lucky reader will be winning a $100 Amazon Gift Code (or $100 cash through PayPal)
  • Giveaway is open worldwide
  • The giveaway will run from November 25 - December 15
Just enter the rafflecopter below! Good Luck Everyone!! 

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

iPad Mini Giveaway! {Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!}

Howdy my friends! How are y'all?! I'm wrapping things up in the kitchen tonight and getting prepared to gobble til I wobble tomorrow :) I hope that you and your families have a tremendous, joyous time of feasting and gathering with one another! 


I thought we could kick start this holiday off right with a little giveaway! You in?

iPad Mini Giveaway Event


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The iPad Mini has a beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless, and over 275,000 apps ready to download from the App Store. The iPad mini is an iPad in every way, shape, and slightly smaller form. Easy for on the go with that same great Apple power punch!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ooooh I love Vera Bradley! {Giveaway!}

Happy Monday friends!!! How was your weekend? I'm still exhausted from prepping, planning & executing James' birthday party this weekend! Today, I will be in recovery mode, i.e. in my pajamas all day! Anyhow, I have a special treat for y'all today so keep reading!

Vera Bradley Mandy Handbag & Turn Lock Wallet Giveaway

Welcome to the Vera Bradley Giveaway!

Hosted and sponsored by Giveaway Promote.


The busy holiday giveaway season has begun and this is a fantastic time to win some amazing prizes. To help you out, Giveaway Promote is adding tons of brand new giveaways to their site every day.
Don’t miss out on your chance to win!
As a subscriber to Giveaway Promote Daily, you’ll get all of these great giveaways sent directly to you via email.
You’ll also be eligible to win this giveaway for a gorgeous Vera Bradley Mandy Handbag and Turn Lock Wallet Set in the gorgeous Viva la Vera print!


About Giveaway Promote

If you love entering giveaways, sweepstakes and contests, you’ll find the latest and greatest listed on Giveaway Promote.
If you’re hosting a giveaway or are organizing a giveaway event, you can submit them to Giveaway Promote and they’ll promote them to their large audience of over 40,000 giveaway entrants.

Vera Bradley Mandy Handbag

A recessed zipper closure opens to reveal our latest pocket-happy handbag. Six interior compartments and a front slip pocket promise to contain all you wish to carry, while double quilted handles and channel stitching offer a stylish touch. Measures 12" x 9¾" x 4¾" with 11" strap drop. - Vera Bradley
Mandy Handbag Viva la Vera
Mandy Handbag Viva la Vera - Inside

Vera Bradley Turn Lock Wallet

Elegance doesn’t have to stop at handbags. For a high-style look from your clothes to your cash, this wallet is for you. Pair it with any favorite handbag style that incorporates silver hardware for a cohesive look. Unlock your style! Measures 7¾" x 4¾". - Vera Bradley
Turn Lock Wallet Viva la Vera
Turn Lock - Inside
The Vera Bradley Mandy Handbag and Turn Lock Wallet are both in the Viva la Vera pattern shown below.


Enter to win a Vera Bradley Mandy Handbag and Turn Lock Wallet in the Viva la Vera print.

Open in the United States and Canada.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on December 2nd, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers, we'd love for you to join an awesome group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.
If you'd like to hear about the upcoming group giveaway and hop events hosted by all bloggers who've submitted their events to Giveaway Promote, subscribe to Giveaway Promote's weekly group giveaway events and hops newsletter.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Birthday Boy

Hey y'all ! I think I have some sort of issue when it comes to blogging on Mondays. I typically don't blog over the weekend and if something does get published there is a good chance that it was written ahead of time. It's like my subconscious believes I deserve a 3 day weekend, every weekend. Which I do.

While I"m typically absent on Mondays, yesterday was special. My baby boy turned 3 years old yesterday. He is now a grown man, a big boy. He doesn't need or want his Momma anymore! Kidding, he is still, and always will be, a Momma's boy. Remember that future girlfriends.

You may remember that we like to celebrate as a family on the individual child's day of birth and then have a party after the fact (James' party is this Sunday - EEK, I'M NOT PREPARED!). So we spent Monday making the day extra special for our little man. I've decided to overload you on pictures of my sweet boy from before he even entered this world. I've tried to come up with words that describe how I'm feeling now that he is three but I can't seem to find the right ones. This little boy has my heart in the palm of his hands. He is just amazing in so many ways and he brings us so much joy.

About 6 months gestation!
My extra large pregnant self - the morning of delivery. 
My Newborn Angel
1st Birthday Photo Shoot
I couldn't believe he was 1 already!
James is 2! & To celebrate he gave himself stripes with permanent marker!

...and look at him now. A big 3 year old. Smart, funny, and stubborn as hell. He is the sweetest thing one minute and mean as can be the next. We love you son - Happy Birthday!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Birthday Biscuits
"I do work now?!" He was so excited.
Loving his little dragon cake! Make a wish!
He loves him some cake!
Awww! 
Alright, could we please not rush through this year? Slow down! 
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunday Social - All About Thanksgiving

Howdy friends! How's it going on this fine Saturday evening? I'm cuddled up on the couch at my mom's house with my brother, his friend, and both kiddos watch Secret of the Wings - the new Tinkerbell movie. Sounds amazing right? It's actually pretty nice.


I'm also resting up for The Color Run!!! It's tomorrow and I'm super excited!!!
Since I won't be around tomorrow, I decided to go ahead and link up tonight with Neely for the Sunday Social! 



1) What is one of your favorite Thanksgiving memories?

I don't have just one memory that sticks out in my head, but I've always loved Thanksgiving because I get to see all of my extended family that I maybe don't see much otherwise. Everyone around the table stuffing themselves silly with turkey and pie. It really doesn't get much better than that!

2) What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Okay, I have two. The first are my Aunt's sweet potatoes. She makes them with orange juice so they are sweet and tangy. Seriously so good. I should link a recipe here for you but I"m too lazy to look for one. Sorry.
Also, my step mom's grandmother's dressing - it is soooo good. My step mom says she can't make it as good as Mamaw but I think it's perfect and I look forward to it every year.

3) What is a Thanksgiving tradition you and your family have?

We don't really have any traditions other than getting everyone all together. However, last year my step mom and I ran the Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning and we're doing it again this year. I'm hoping that this will become our annual tradition - it makes me feel better about eating so much later in the day :)

Now that I've thought about this a bit more - there is a tradition that we kind of have at my Mom's. We hardly ever have turkey. She always makes something different and delicious - like a turducken, or lamb. We like to try something different and "out of the box." Mostly Mom doesn't like turkey :)

4) Show us your favorite Thanksgiving picture (or 5) from  years past. 

Sadly, I don't have any on this computer - as a matter of fact I don't think I have any pictures from recent Thanksgivings past. I will be sure to take lots of pictures this year!!

5) What are you  most looking forward to about this Thanksgiving? 

I'm looking forward to the Turkey Trot - I'm looking forward to my little brother planning our Thanksgiving menu - and I"m looking forward to being with my family.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Five Question Friday - Labor & Delivery Edition

Hi y'all! Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? I am, even though my weekend is going to be busier than my week was! I'm running The Color Run on Sunday!!! I've been waiting for this for months but it should come as no surprise to you when I tell you that I haven't prepared myself even one little bit! I'm not worried - it's going to be so much fun!

I love linking up for Five Question Friday so of course I'm doing it again this week! I never peek at the questions beforehand so I was surprised when I saw that today's questions are all about labor and delivery! I've never really talked about my pregnancies/labors/deliveries here so this should be fun! Ready?


1) If you had a c-section, do you wish you would have had a vaginal delivery, or vice versa?

I had a c-section with Addison and consequently had to have a c-section with James too. I could have had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with him but the only hospital that would do it is over an hour away from where I live and I just didn't feel like it was a good option. Back to the question - I was heart broken when my doctor told me I was going to have a c-section. Never once during my pregnancy did I even consider that I might have to go that route and it devastated me. I also think that he was just tired of waiting on me to progress and wanted to get it done and over with. In hind sight - my chubby cherub was way too big and there is no way she would have ever fit through the birth canal so the c-section was the right decision. There are still a few reasons why I wish it would have gone the other way though.

2) If vaginal did you do drug free?

Obviously this question doesn't apply to me because I had two c-sections but we're gonna talk about it anyway! I went to the hospital within a few hours of my water breaking when I was pregnant with Addison. Oh, how I wish I would have waited it out longer at home! I wasn't in any pain yet, but my husband was kind of freaking out - poor thing.  After my water broke I got up and took a shower, put my make up on, and fixed my hair before we left the house! I know that doesn't sound like a lot but I take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. so it was a couple of hours. Anyway, I wish I would have stayed home longer because when I got to the hospital they gave me pitocin to jump start my labor. JERKS. The pitocin brings those contractions on harder and stronger and y'all - it hurts. I dealt with it for a few hours until I was crying silent tears during each contraction and then I needed some pain relief. My point is - girl that did it without meds - KUDOS to you, cause I couldn't.

3) Did you have any complications?

With Addison my blood pressure went up after they gave me my epidural - and Addison's heart rate went down. I was turned onto my side and given oxygen. It was really scary. I remember lying there on my side with tears streaming down my face and not really understanding what was happening.

4) Who was in the delivery room with you?

Before it was determined that I was going to have a c-section with Addison, everyone was in there with me!! Of course at that point I was just laboring and not delivering! ha! For both deliveries my husband was the one in there with me.

5) Did you document your labor and delivery?

Absolutely no video - but some pictures! Here are a few from James' delivery. Pictures from Addison's aren't on this computer!

Waiting to for surgery.
Newborn James

Meeting his sister for the 1st time. Also his grandma & uncle.
1st Family photo - just missing sister. I'm totally drugged up here, so be nice. LOL

6) Pick the birth story of one of your children and tell us allll about it!!!

Well - since James' delivery was a scheduled c-section it was pretty routine. Go in, get medicated, get cut open, Hey Baby, tubes get tied up, stomach stapled back together! His delivery was easy and pretty painless! I remember how funny my anesthesiologist was though. I also remember thinking how unprofessional he was - making jokes like that while I was half naked on a cold steel table with my gut cut open!! I also remember being really sad because I couldn't see Addison until I got out of the hospital. The hospital didn't allow young children to come back into that area and my heart just broke not being able to be with her - she was so worried about mommy being in the hospital.

I was scheduled to be induced with Addison on Thursday October 4, 2007. My strong willed child had her own ideas though and in the early hours of Tuesday morning, October 2, I got up to go to the restroom to find that my water had actually broken. I was so relieved that it happened at home - I had heard some embarrassing stories about ladies' water breaking in public! Like I mentioned above, I wasn't ready to go to the hospital so I told my husband to go back to sleep and I took a shower and got myself ready for the big day! A few hours later my husband was growing impatient with me and he was ready to get me to the hospital, but I wasn't ready. I wish I would have listened to my instincts and said no, let's stay home awhile longer, but off to the hospital we went.

I don't remember all the nitty gritty details - how far I was dilated when I first checked into the hospital, etc. I do know that almost immediately I was hooked up to the pitocin to jump start my labor. My entire family showed up within a few hours and I remember being so grateful that they were all there. The pain was getting intense and I needed their support.

Once the pain got to be too much to bare I had my epidural. I was really really frightened about this whole process but it wasn't so bad! I barely felt even a pinch and it was all over with. Soon, relief! Unfortunately the epidural caused my blood pressure to go up and babies' heart rate to go down. See above. Everything got balanced out and was going fine but my doctor determined that I wasn't progressing fast enough and that I would need to have a c-section. I was so devastated and angry with him, but like I mentioned above, it turned out to be for the best.

The whole c-section thing is quite the experience. I'd never had surgery before and I didn't know what to expect. I won't lie, I was totally scared, but by 2 in the afternoon I had a beautiful baby in my arms and I had forgotten all about the other stuff. She was totally worth it.

What about you? C-section? Vaginal? Natural? Medicated? I'd love to hear your story!

Make it a great weekend!
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY Sugar Scrub


I wrote this post awhile back for mom it forward and I decided it was high time I brought it over here for you guys!


I'm a lady on a budget, so when I find a homemade fix for something I might normally have to pay big bucks for, I get really excited. I've been using this sugar scrub for several months now and I"m here to tell you that it feels and works just as well as any other big brand I've ever tried. If you are looking to exfoliate and soften your skin, then you should absolutely give this DIY sugar scrub a try.


Sugar, ball jars, and Dawn hand soap for sugar scrub

 How to Make a Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub


Ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Liquid Hand Soap (I use and recommend Dawn Ultra with Olay Hand Renewal in Pomegranate)
  • A cute vessel to store your sugar scrub! I used little Ball jars that I purchased from my local super store. They were just under $4 for 4 of them.

Directions:


This project is so easy and it will only take you a few minutes to complete. First, you will fill your container 3/4 of the way with sugar.

sugar in a ball jar

Next, fill your jar with soap!


Pouring hand soap into a ball jar

Once your jar is filled with soap, just give it a stir! I filled my jar about half way, stirred, then filled it the rest of the way just to be sure that I didn't add too much soap. You want the scrub to be a bit thick.

Sugar and hand soap mixed together

If you want to give this sugar scrub some extra moisturizing power, try adding some essential oils to it. You can usually find some in the health aisles of your local super store. 


I plan on making a lot of sugar scrub to give as gifts this holiday season.


Do you have a favorite DIY beauty item?


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ashley Madison Makes A "Family Man?"

So, right now, I"m seriously disgusted and this post might be a bit of a rant. Sorry in advance. Except, no, I"m really not sorry.

So I ran out yesterday afternoon - to vote, to pick up diapers - that type of thing. Of course I had my kids in the car; I have Sirius XM in my car and I decided to turn on MSNBC to listen to the Election coverage.  Within seconds of turning MSNBC on I hear a commercial for Ashleymadison.com. I'm not linking to it y'all - if you want to check it out - google it. It's complete sleaze. 

Anyway, if you don't know, that site is one where folks can go looking for other folks to have affairs with. For MARRIED FOLKS to look for other MARRIED FOLKS to have a secret rendezvous with. Now listen, I"m not stupid - I know this shit happens all the time. It's not my business what you or anyone else does behind closed doors. I don't care - until you start throwing it in my face and subjecting my children to this crap!


So, it's not so much the website that  is causing my uproar. I don't like it, but whatever...the radio ad that I heard is the problem.

My jaw literally dropped when I heard this coming through my car speakers:

"Ashley Madison Man, that's who I am. Workin' hard for my famileeee. Ashley Madison Man, does what he can. Ashley Madison, helps me stay at home. Now I can mix business with pleasure."

Wait, what the f&ck?

You've got to be kidding me.

A) Is this ad a total freaking joke? Who comes up with this crap? Guys (or gals!) - if you think cheating on your spouse through an organized website like Ashley Madison makes you a "family man" you need to seek help, immediately. 

B) Hello Sirius XM - I realize that you are private radio - because I pay a bill twice a year for my subscription. I would gladly pay more for you to get this scum off of your airwaves.

C) Don't advertise this crap during peak times when families are in their vehicles going to organized sporting events, running errands, church, etc.

I listen to my Sirius XM 99.9% of the time and I have NEVER heard this commercial until today when I tuned into MSNBC for the first time. I don't know if it is MSNBC or Sirius but either way, I'm disgusted.

I feel like this radio ad is a complete slap in the face. Ashley Madison's "family man" is working hard at cheating on his unsuspecting wife while she is at home busting her ass taking care of the kids, the home, and her "family man."

This radio ad is crap & I'm pissed at Sirius for running it.

Am I the only one who finds this absurd and insulting?

I'm pouring my heart out.
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