Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Deck the Halls for Baby's First Christmas

I know...I know...it's not even Thanksgiving yet. But today is the 25th which means there is ONE MONTH until Christmas! I am so excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior with our little guy for the first time this year!

Over our four years of married Christmases Josh and I have developed several traditions that we are so excited to get to share with our little guy. This weekend we got an early start by venturing out to purchase our Christmas tree. E LOVES Christmas lights and was engrossed in the entire process of setting up and trimming the tree. We have not gotten around yet to putting the ornaments on the tree but hey...the tree is picked out and trimmed (go live or go home ya'll) and the lights are on! And we have some really cute pictures to document the experience.

Some of our other fun Christmas traditions include:
  •  Watching all kinds of Christmas movies in front of the tree (Elf, Four Christmases, and Christmas Vacation are a must); plus I'm a sucker for anything that comes on Hallmark this time of year
  • Making hot chocolate and driving around the neighborhood looking at lights
  • Going on a hayride through a light show on Thanksgiving night
  • Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on Thanksgiving morning...when Santa makes his grand appearance we all know the season has finally begun
  • Reading the Christmas Story in Luke together as a family
  • Putting together Operation Christmas boxes to send to a boy or girl over seas and praying over our boxes 

And some we are excited to start this year with our little one include:
  • Visiting Santa
  • Elf on the Shelf (so maybe we will wait until next year to start this one but I am so excited)
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oh teething...

The dreaded words....my baby is teething! Thankfully we haven't yet started this phase but I know we are not far from it as little E is drooling and gnawing on anything and everything he can get his little hands on! That's why I am excited to try this new product for baby's called Baby Banana Brush. I will keep you all posted on our experience with this product and will even have one to giveaway after I try it for a lucky reader! 

Here is some more information on the product: Baby Banan Brushes are 100% silicone teething toothbrushes for infants through 2 years old. The family owned and operated company strives to make brushing fun (and safer) with their flagship product, the Baby Banana Brush, and their brand new product the Cornelius Teething Toothbrush! Baby Banana Brushes have been wildly popular online (currently the #1 baby product on Amazon) and your readers will be excited to learn more about the inventive teethers available for their little ones. Makes a great stocking stuffer for the Holidays!

In the meantime I want to know...what products worked best for your baby while teething? Should I invest in a Sophia? They seem to be super popular right now! I have purchased some of the soft clothes that you can soak in water or milk and freeze and he seems to really like those but what else can I do?

Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Minute Clean Makeover

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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Being the mommy to an active four month old, working full-time, and blogging make keeping a clean home very challenging but just because I am busy does not mean I do not want a clean and beautiful home! However, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that busy living means we have less time to clean. Upon recently coming to this conclusion my husband and I agreed to hire a house cleaner. We are thrilled and extremely thankful to have her but unfortunately she only comes once a month. That means that I have to do “touch-up” cleaning throughout the month to get me by to her month to month visits. Thankfully, Pledge® and Windex® products help me clean my house more efficiently with less effort. Thanks to these products I can touch up my home in as little as 10 minutes for an InstaClean look!

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Windex® and Pledge® help me feel more in charge of my home. I make sure to use both of these products in my weekly 10 minute cleaning spree by using the Pledge® on my hardwood surfaces such as my kitchen table, hardwood floors, and buffet. I use Pledge® Multi Surface cleaner on my shelves and household surfaces to remove smudges from wood, laminate, stainless steel, marble, granite, and plastic. This cleaner also removes dust and up to 90% of allergens found in dust! Finally, I use Windex® on my glass tables and mirrors.  These simple tasks although quick and easy are important because they help me maintain a sense of order in my home and keep my home looking tidy for guests and my family. A clean home equals a happy wife and a happy wife equals a happy life!

It truly is amazing how a simple spray of Pledge® on your wood removes any spills and adds that extra layer of shine to keep surfaces clean!

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All three of these products (Windex® Original Glass Cleaner, Pledge® Multi Surface and Pledge® Lemon Clean) can be purchased at Kroger. I purchased all three for under $15! Make sure to check out the Buy 4 Save 4 Mega Event going on at Kroger and Kroger Affiliate stores!  
**Mega Event for Windex® is 11/3-11/15 and the event for Pledge® is 11/10-12/27)

**Kroger Affiliates Include Baker’s Supermarkets, City Market, Dillons Food Stores, Fry’s Food And Drug, Gerbes Super Markets, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, Owen’s, Pay Less Super Markets, QFC, Ralphs, Scott’s, Smith’s, Fred Meyer, and Food 4 Less.

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Thanks to CollectiveBias for making this post possible!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates

Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch. 

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."

Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....

Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies. 

My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates 
use promo code: usfamily2014 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Annual Pumpkin Carving Competition

October is my favorite month for many reasons! October is the month my husband and I started dating (8 years ago today) but it also means fall which means bring on the pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, haunted houses, costume parties, October skies, and of course pumpkin carving! 

Every October we get together with some of our brothers and sisters and friends and have a pumpkin carving competition. I am married to an extremely competitive guy and when you throw in his brothers, who are also very competitive, pumpkin carving gets taken to a whole new level. Let's just say your typical jack-o-lantern is not going to cut it in this competition. 

I thought it would be fun to share with you our pumpkin from this year and some of the years past. This year we actually won first place! Whoohoo! Go team Chelsea/Josh. Without further ado here is our winning pumpkin from this year:

Any Breaking Bad fans out there? We binge watched the entire season this summer so we felt it was appropriate to carve Walter White. For those of you who do not watch the show here is the inspiration:
Here are the other contenders...(can you believe someone else did Walter White as well?!? What the what?)

In keeping with the TV theme here is our pumpkin from last year, 2013:

Here were that year's contenders...the tiger won!:

And our 2012 pumpkin:

2011 pumpkin:

Here were some of the other contenders from that year...ET won:

And then I have to share with you my hand's down favorite pumpkin we have ever carved...this was in October 2009...no competition but clearly if there was this year we would have won!  This was the year of Knowshon! Any Dawg fans out there? 

What is your favorite pumpkin we have carved and what is the best pumpkin you have ever carved? Any ideas for next year?