Monday, November 24, 2014

Baby's First Christmas Ornament

If you've had a baby and are like me, then most likely you have a few mementos from the hospital just lying around. You tell yourself you will scrapbook them one day, but let's be real, how are you going to put those precious little hospital hats in a photo album? More importantly, who has time to do all of that?

After some extreme Pinterest-ing, I found the perfect way to showcase Charlotte's hospital bands and hat.....make an ornament with it! Imagine of all the other fun ornaments you could make with other precious items/memories you have lying around the house begging for a home.

 What you'll need:
Clear plastic ornament (got mine from Michael's for $1.75)
Hospital hat
Hospital bracelets for both baby and parents
Any other special keepsakes from the hospital

Simply take the top off the ornament and begin filling it with all your precious mementos from that special day. Arrange them how you want (this could take a while if you're anything like me), and pop the top back on. Now, tie a ribbon around the top or even write on the outside, and voila, you have the perfect Christmas ornament to remember that very special day by.

Friday, November 21, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's Friday and not just any other Friday, but the Friday before a holiday! Time to bust out the stretchy pants! Who's ready for Thanksgiving?
  1. These little easy bake cookies are my guilty pleasure. I try to only buy them a few times a year or else I would eat them all day every day. I made the mistake of letting Charlotte try one and now she begs for them.
  2. Our first Christmas decoration we put out was this adorable little Elf on The Shelf ornament I found at the mall. It was fate that they had her name, so of course it was purchased! And then I realized that this was her first ornament
  3. We went to a friend's house for dinner on Saturday and Charlotte might have partied too hard. As soon as we got in the car she passed out, hat and all.
  4. My friend took me to this adorable little bakery over lunch this week and I couldn't help but purchase a few festive cookies (I'm starting to realize that this week involved way too many cookies....oops).
  5. And of course, no weekend is complete without a few chores. On the plus side, this little Ninja Turtle makes doing laundry so much more fun. 
Time to deck the halls! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and the short week that follows! As always, I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My New Favorite Thing - Ebates!

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I just discovered this new amazing thing called Ebates! A friend had me sign up last year, but I never did anything with it and man, am I regretting that! Thank goodness I rediscovered this little gem just in time for my holiday shopping.

How Does it Work?
You simply login to your Ebates account and search for the store you want to make a purchase from. For example, I knew that Walmart had the toy I wanted to buy Charlotte for Christmas, so I searched Walmart from the Ebates homepage and then clicked "shop now". You will get redirected the Walmart homepage and anything you buy from that redirect, will count towards your Ebates account.

Earning Money
There are two ways to earn money via Ebates. The first is by shopping through the links and getting cash back from every purchase you make. For instance, right now, Kohls is offering 6% cash back on everything you buy. So if I spend $100 at Target, I will get $6 added to my Ebates account. It doesn't seem like much, but when you add up all the shopping you do in a year, it's quite a bunch! Plus, sometimes stores will offer up to 10% cash back. Just about every store I could think of was on here, so it really does add up quick!

The other way to earn is through referrals. Right now they are offering a great referral program that gives you $75 once 3 friends sign up and makes a purchase. To qualify for the referral bonus, they have to make a minimum $25 purchase before the end of the year.

Getting Paid
Every quarter you get paid. So if you sign up today, you will get a big fat check on February 15th. You can have it deposited into your PayPal account or have an actual check mailed to you. It's totally up to you!

I've become quite the little Ebates expert in the few short weeks I've been a member, so if you have any questions, just comment or email me and I'd be happy to help. And no, I am not being compensated in any way by Ebates for this post. I'm just a girl passing along a good deal to my fellow shoppers! Happy shopping!

Friday, November 14, 2014

High Five for Friday!

  1. A sweet and dear friend of mine sent me this picture from her baby's first birthday party. They had a professional photographer who managed to get some great shots of Charlotte. She knew I was having a rough week and wanted to see if passing along these pictures would help...yes!
  2. My hunt for Charlotte's first Christmas dress is officially over. I found this adorable boutique style dress at Kohls! It was marked down from $40 to $24, then 30% off plus $5 off which brought it down to $11! You can't beat that deal! 
  3. This smile is my favorite. I love how she scrunches up her whole face when she smiles. It can instantly turn a bad day good; for those few moments, nothing else in the world matters. 
  4. My brother-in-law's sister got married over the weekend so my sister ad her family came home from Texas to attend the wedding. I can't remember the last time the four of us took a picture together (matching was pure coincidental)! The original four!
  5. Charlotte has been a little under the weather this week so she's been fussier than usual. I stayed home from work on Tuesday since she had a fever and boy, was that hard work! Silly me thought I would be super productive, so when she finally fell asleep the dishes got done and all bottles got cleaned, I rewarded myself with a celebratory glass of wine. 
Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Charlotte's 10 Month Update

Double digits?! Seriously, where is the time going? I can't believe in just two short months, we will be celebrating Charlotte's first birthday! I guess that means I really need to start planning her party.

Eating: We officially ditched the baby food. With seven teeth, there really is no need for the pureed stuff; time for the real deal! Lucky for us, she loves everything we put in front of her. Sometimes the texture of a food may throw her off, but after a second or so of being unsure, she continues to shovel it in. There are some foods that she seems to prefer over others, such as pizza, bread and grapes, but the good news is she still manages to eat her vegetables, which makes me very  happy!

Sleeping: Charlotte's sleeping habits haven't really changed. She still goes down around 7 and is up between 6:30 and 7 the next morning (we were blessed with such a great sleeper). She moves around quite a bit in her sleep but never wakes up. However, nap time is a different story. We struggle on the weekends with a routine so she ends up taking a few short naps throughout the day instead of one long nap. We are fine with not sticking to a tight nap schedule as long as it doesn't affect her behavior. So far it hasn't, so we let her dictate her sleep schedule.

She becomes more active every day. Last month she was pulling herself up and standing while holding on to furniture and this month she is walking from one piece to the next holding on. She can even stand for a few seconds without holding onto anything! I'm curious to see how much longer we have before she starts to walk. With that being said, we've begun the baby proofing. Gates went up, cabinets got locked and electrical sockets got plugged since she is into everything!

We are working on the word "no"to teach her boundaries. So far she just laughs when I say no.....boy, are we in trouble!

This little baby girl has such a personality already. She is silly, playful, energetic and smart, and I can't wait to see how she continues to grow (I have a feeling she will be keeping us busy)!

Check out her other month updates here:

Friday, November 7, 2014

High Five for Friday!

  1. Charlotte's first Halloween was a success! Since she was Olaf (costume tutorial here), I couldn't resist being Anna. Even though we only went to a few houses, we still had a great time!
  2. My mom made me a fall table runner and I LOVE it! This picture doesn't do it justice, but it's absolutely perfect! Now I need her to make me a Christmas one just like it!
  3. Charlotte barely squeezed into her first Halloween shirt that I bought for her last year. Good thing we only had to wear it for one day. Silly me bought a nine month shirt for my nine month baby. 
  4. So. Much. Candy! My work collected leftover Halloween candy for the troops overseas. This was part of the 26lb stash we donated. I just wanted to swim in it! 
  5. Charlotte is spending more time on her feet than sitting or crawling and she gets stronger every day! Sometimes I catch her for about 5 seconds standing without holding onto anything. We are going to be in trouble when she starts to walk.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Treat Yourself to Some Downtime

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and PEOPLE® , and PEOPLE StyleWatch®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #MeTimeMags

Mom, wife, full time employee, seamstress, maid and the list could go on and on. Having multiple jobs and responsibilities is just a fact of life, but forgetting to take time for yourself doesn't have to be. In an age where our personal lives are no longer private, thanks to social media, we often get caught up in fabricating our lives to be more busy, more fabulous and more fulfilling than the next guy. How are you supposed to enjoy life if you never take a miniature to just stop and smell the roses?

Tonight I'm doing just that and I couldn't be happier. I find it so important in my busy schedule to take an hour a couple of times a week to do what makes me happy. Growing up, my mom used the phrase "me time" when she just wanted to slip away and not be disturbed for a little bit. Sometimes she would even tell me to take "me time" in hopes I would return with a better attitude. Needless to say, this idea of setting aside time for myself has always been a part of my life. 

Now that I'm a mom, I treasure my evenings as time to get caught up on everyday chores. However, sometimes I skip the chores, grab a drink, my People magazine and allow myself to get sucked into all the celebrity gossip. It's amazing how refreshing just 30 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time with your favorite magazine can make you feel. Before you know it you'll be ready to tackle those after dinner dishes and maybe even some laundry before it all starts over again tomorrow!

And when I want to get caught up on all the latest fashion trends, I will crawl into bed with my favorite nail polish and read my People StyleWatch magazine while my nails dry. I can quickly go from being in a fashion rut to suddenly having new inspiration with my existing wardrobe. 

You don't have to break the bank to enjoy your "me time". I think a lot of people define "me time" as getting out of the house and going on a shopping spree or pampering yourself at your local spa. But let's face it, we are all on budgets. So splurging on a a couple of magazines for hours of entertainment is totally feasible. And you don't even have to call it a splurge when you use this coupon at Safeway to get $1 off on one (1) participating magazine title PEOPLE, PEOPLE StyleWatch, Sunset, and InStyle available through the Just4U online portal 10/23/14 - 11/20/14 (while supplies last)

What better way to shake those Monday blues and stay warm inside on these cold fall nights than to cuddle up with a People or People StyleWatch magazine and leave the outside world behind for a little bit?