Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Finding Little Ways to Celebrate Your Husband

My husband is the It has been a stressful week for our family yet he is so kind, patient, and fun to be with. He does so much for our family and goes above and beyond in carrying for my son and I so any opportunity I get to celebrate him I'm all about. Yesterday the little guy and I had a fun idea to celebrate my hubby by picking up two of his favorite treats for him on our way home and had them set out for him as a "happy" when he got home from work. 

We stopped by WALMART to run an errand and their new cute Coke/REESE'S cup display caught our eye. You are all probably familiar by now with Coca Cola's "share with a friend" campaign in which you can find Coca Cola 20 oz. peronalized name bottles to share with those in your life. You might not yet be aware that now REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups also have fun words to describe special people in your life such as Epic", "Fab!", "My Fav", etc. I thought that these two products would make a fun combination to surprise my hubby with just to let him know how much we appreciate him. 

He was so excited to be appreciated and surprised and it turned out to be such a fun and easy treat to purchase and way to bring a smile to his face. You can check out Coke's website for some other great ideas on how to share a Coke and enjoy REESE'S. You can also visit this website to find your name and create a virtual bottle. How fun is that? 

What fun ways do you have to celebrate your husband/wife/friend with a Share a Coke and Reese's? 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of SoFab for this post. I received compensation to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation. All content and thoughts are my own. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Curious George 1st Birthday Party & Making Your Home a Welcoming Place for Guests

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All content and thoughts are my own. #tweetfromtheseat

It's hard to believe that our little guy is already one years old! Time is flying! This past weekend we had his 1st birthday celebration and so as promised I am following up with pictures and tips on how to ensure you think through ALL the details to make your home a welcoming place for friends and family. 

I started planning the party several months ago. I did a large majority of my shopping online and then hit the store this week after work to stock up on the food and entertaining essentials. While shopping I made sure to grab Charmin toilet paper along with other household goods such as the cups and ice and hand soap so I could be sure that my guests would be thinking about the phenomenal party and not about a clogged toilet. Let's face it, for anyone who can speak out of experience like myself, the last thing you want to be faced with while hosting a party is a clogged toilet or guests not having TP when they need it. Charmin's clog-free guarantee (Charmin and Roto-Rooter, America's largest  provider of plumbing and drain services, have teamed up again this year to remind consumers of the clog free and septic safe guarantee that only comes with Charmin) ensures that your plumbing will run smoothly so you can focus on what really matters...spending time with your family and friends! I keep at least three rolls of toilet paper in a pretty basket the back of the guest toilet to ensure their is plenty and you don't have to re-stock during your party. 

The cakes for little guy's party were made especially by my mom. She did a fantastic job as always! I keep telling her she needs to sell her cakes cause not only do they look awesome but they taste even better! She made a Curious George monkey cake and monkey cupcakes for all his friends and a Curious George smash cake for the little guy. 

To drink we offered sweet tea, water infused with lemon and mint, and "Monkey Juice" which was basically a melon koolaid with lemon. 

I decorated the mantle with photos I had taken from birth-12 months (one a month) and used a letter E to frame the center of the mantle. I used a wagon to hold all the gifts.

Since he is one and let's face it...all he will remember of his party is the pictures and what we tell him about it I purchased a Curious George birthday book and set up a station to have all the guests sign his book so he can remember who is there. I also had Curious George fruit snacks set out for all the guests to take as favors. 

I decorated the highchair with red and yellow streamers and a banner I made with this name on it. I then tied a Curious George balloon to the top of the highchair.

Honestly I think the goody bags for the kiddos might have been my favorite part. They were super easy but turned out really cute. I used brown paper bags and cut out a George head to attach to each bag. Each bag was filled with various Disney treats for each child that was gender and age specific. 

I'm so upset but I forgot to get a picture of the food table with the food on it. I used all white dishes and the food included apples, carrots, chips, salsa, 7 layer dip, buffalo dip, corn dogs, pizza bits, etc. 

I attached a Curious George stuffed animal with a balloon to the front door. I had other plans but it was pouring outside so this was plan B. 

Here are some other fun photos from the day.

All in all it was a very fun party and I think everyone had a blast! And there were not clogged toilets with the thanks to Charmin! ;) 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 123rd week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'
Meet this week's co-host:
Rachel @ Life as Rachel
***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
...on to the Winner!
Reviews, Chews, and How-tos
Hi friends! This is Chelsee this week. I am constantly looking for new recipes for Taco Tuesday, because let's face it...eating the same boring tacos every Tuesday does get old. In last week's hop I came across this post from Reviews, Chews, and How-tos! I just knew I had to try this recipe and thought that my fellow Taco lovers would enjoy this as well. I have added this to the list of recipes to try and I plan on making this soon!
This blog is made up of a team of authors! Make sure you head over to Reviews, Chews, and How-tos to see what other great things Jackie is cooking up in life!
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

It's almost time for that special day of the year when we honor our daddies. This year I get the privilege of not only honoring and celebrating my own awesome Dad but my incredible hubby as well as we celebrate his first Father's Day! The only negative is that means I have two incredibly hard guys to buy gifts for...lucky for you I have racked my brain and put together a Father's Day Gift Guide to help! 

1. Top Golf Certificate: If there is one near you this is a great gift idea. We have one in Atlanta and I know the guys in my life love it! 

2. Life is Good All Fired Up Towel: perfect to keep connected to the grill to wipe off dirty hands and utensils while grilling. 

3. Life is Good Coolest Dad Ever Frame: cause what dad wouldn't want a manly frame such as this one with a picture of their little one on their desk?

4. Life is Good Lawn Mower Bottle Opener: this is a perfect one to keep him the garage so they can pop open their beer while mowing their lawn in style. 

5. Life is Good Coolest Dad Ever Leather Coozie: what dad wouldn't want a stylish coozie to sport? 

6. Monthly Beer Club: just google it...there are lots of them out there. The above "Malt of the Earth Club" sounds like a fun idea where your dad can try a new beer each month. 

All Life is Good products can be purchased from your local Hallmark! And you can pick up some awesome cards for the dads in your life while you are there! 

Hope some of the above help with gift ideas for your dads!

Thanks so much to Hallmark for providing items for review to make this post possible. All thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The BIG Announcement: My Pregnancy Story

“I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

I have to say finding out I was pregnant was one of the most exciting times of my life. I am surprised that up until this point I have not shared my pregnancy story or journey with you all. Probably because it feels so personal and private between my husband and I and compared to many others we had a relatively easy time getting pregnant. 

That being said here is our story. On our second wedding anniversary my wonderful husband wrote me the sweetest poem about how he was ready to have a baby. I was also ready and excited to grow our little family. We decided to start off by not preventing it. Some time passed and we started really trying. We calculated ovulation days and tried and tried and tried.  It took us about four months to get pregnant but after hearing many other stories apparently that is relatively fast. 

I realize that four-ish months to get pregnant is really not long at all in the grand view of things but let me tell you. During those 4 months it felt like forever. The second we started trying to get pregnant I began acting like I was. I cut out all alcohol, all roller coasters, all deli sandwiches, all queso. I now realize that this was a bit extreme but I was a first timer and thought "I could be pregnant and not know it and I do not want to risk ANYTHING." I think the strong passion and desire I have had to be a mom since as young as I can remember had convinced me that I was not going to be able to get pregnant or that if I were, something was going to be wrong with my baby. I have always been very pro-adoption and very intrigued and interested in adopting myself and pretty much convinced myself that God had put that desire in my heart because I was not going to be able to get pregnant. 

I also must note that my cycle has never been normal. Because of this I have been on birth control a very long time and really can't gauge much of anything by my normal cycle. 

So with each passing month I would take a pregnancy test and each month I began to feel more and more deflated. Then one day I went to work and my co-worker was eating a greek yogurt. I remember saying, "my gosh that yogurt stinks! It must have gone bad. I would not eat that if I were you." All my co-workers looked at me like I was crazy and told me there was no smell from the yogurt at all. I went back to work and a few minutes later ran to the bathroom to throw up because the smell made me so sick. That night I took another pregnancy test. It was negative but I was not convinced. I just had this huge gut feeling that I was indeed pregnant. So the next morning I took another test. It was negative. That night I went out to dinner with some girl friends to ironically celebrate one of their pregnancy announcements. I ordered a steak (I don't eat beef). Weird right. Then a few hours later I got sick again. Another test. Still negative.

Several days went by and I continued to take at least two tests a day. One in the morning and one at night. This was really getting to be expensive so I started getting the cheap tests at the dollar store since they are only $1 each. All were negative but I just knew I was pregnant. I got sick again and again. I was eating things I normally did not like and smells were really bothering me.

Then one glorious morning I woke up and took a test in the guest bathroom while my husband was in the shower and getting ready for work. And just like that two little lines appeared. I did not believe it. So logically I took another test. This time I splurged and used the 'quality test' I had been saving under my sink. It too came out positive. I can not even begin to describe the emotions that swelled up inside of me. I started crying, laughing, and then crying again. But I couldn't mellow in my joy for long. I had been planning how I was going to finally tell my hubby I was pregnant for months and I had decided on what to do and needed to ask fast. I grabbed the red lipstick I had been saving in the guest bathroom for this very purpose and quickly took off my shirt and drew a heart around my belly bottom. I used the red lipstick to write about the heart we love you, Daddy and headed back to the master bath just in time for my hubby to be out of the shower and putting on work clothes. I walked in to the bathroom tears streaming down my face. This was the moment I had envisioned for such a long time. He was going to scream and we were going to hug and it was going to be the best moment ever. Except in the mirror of the bathroom he couldn't make out what it said and saw me standing in the bathroom crying at 6 AM in the morning and so naturally assumed I was bleeding and had some how injured myself. So it didn't go down exactly has it did in my head but once I explained we did finally get to have that hugging both joyfully crying moment were we wallowed in the joy of what little we know of what was to come. It it a moment that I will never ever forget. 

However, there is one thing I will do next time...I will not be cheap and will use a better pregnancy test. It took forever for a test to finally show up as positive from when I know I knew I was pregnant and I am convinced that had I of used a better test that would not have been the case. Throughout the years, pregnancy testing has changed drastically. From analog to digital tests, and detection after your missed period to before, the advancements are numerous. First Response now has an Early Detection Pregnancy Test that will help answer your "I think I'm pregnant" questions much earlier than tests use to allow. This FDA approved test can be used any time of the day and  includes features such as: 50% wider tip, longer handle, a curved shape designed to fit a women's hand that most importantly detects pregnancy as early as 6 days before a missed period! With two pink lines to indicate you are pregnant the easy-to-read results are ready in 3 minutes with over 99% accuracy from the day of the expected period. This test is now available in all major drug stores and won't break the bank with a Retail Value of $8.99 - $15.99.

Well folks. That's my story. And now here we are two years later about to celebrate our little guy's first birthday. Unbelievable. God is amazing. 

What is your story? Would love to hear your pregnancy story and how you shared about your pregnancy with your spouse.