Monday, November 30, 2009

Frugalista Finds - Ends Tuesday ... Crazy Cheap Magazine Subscriptions from Amazon

Edit: The sale actually goes through Tuesday, December 1st.

I've been doing a little surfing on the sly today for Cyber Monday and wanted to share this crazy deal from

WARNING:  If you are related to me, i..e. one of my peeps ...  do not read further for fear of ruining your Christmas ... ha! :)

Through Tuesday, you can get a 1 year magazine subscription for $5.  Yes, you heard me right y'all.  $5!  Just click here for the link to

Here are some of the magazines that caught my eye:

Yes. $5 .... crazy!

$5 ... Uh Huh.

Yep.  $5.

That's Right.  Five Bucks

Other subscriptions are available for $10, too. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Update - It's finally Fall, Mama!

We had such a great weekend! We headed north to visit with Big Daddy's family for the holidays.  We drove up Thanksgiving morning and had the best lunch with family. The food was so good and I had two helpings of my favorite ... cornbread dressing!

Early on when Big Daddy and I were dating, this girl had to find out the answers to some crucial questions on "my list"  of requirements for that special someone.  "Do you go to church?"  Check.  "Are you close with your family?"  Check.  "Great sense of humor?"  Check.  And ... very importantly ... "What kind of dressing does your family serve for the holidays?"  Cornbread dressing. Check!

You might think I'm a little crazy, but that's a legit question around here.  My sister married into a family that doesn't make cornbread dressing and she's still trying to get over it ... 18 years later ... :).  Good thing my brother-in-law is a sweetheart! I know I'm being a little dramtic, but oh, how I love cornbread dressing.   I bet everybody has a favorite family dish for the holidays that just has to be on the table or the holidays wouldn't be the same!

One of the highlights of our weekend was my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law's engagement party.  It was so fun seeing them officially kick off their wedding plans.  We are so excited for them!

I spent two afternoons of our visit collecting pine cones in the woods at my in-laws.  I've decided not to put ornaments on the tree this year because of my sneaky little elf ...

So, I think I'm going with a "natural" theme this year.  I picked up four grocery sacks of pine cones and I'm going to use them on the tree and on some garland.  I'm sure my favorite duo, spray paint and glitter, will come into play sometime during this project, too ... ha!

While I was outside, Sister drew on the driveway with chalk.  She loves to draw and her favorite thing to draw is our family!

Here's Big Daddy ...

And Bitty Baby

I love the hair on both of these!

My in-laws' yard is always so pretty!  They have the prettiest Sasanqua that has grown into a tree, really. I think this is one of my favorite fall flowers ...

The Fall colors were really shining up there.  Big Daddy's family lives north of us, so their seasons are a little more definite than ours.  The trees were just so pretty!  

Sister was just amazed 

The leaves were falling from the trees and it was so peaceful.  As the leaves were falling, Sister started running through them, crunching and throwing leaves all the way, yelling ... "Mama, fall is FINALLY here.  It's FINALLY here!" So sweet!  

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Traditions - Nativity Advent Calendar

I am really excited about Christmas this year!  Sister is old enough to really understand Christmas traditions now and I don't think anyone loves this time of year in our little family more than she does! 

While both Big Daddy and I had Christmas traditions growing up, we wanted to start a couple of new ones for us.  And, we wanted those traditions to teach a little something about the real meaning of Christmas.

A couple of years ago, I ordered a Nativity Advent Calendar that I just love!  Since we're out of town, I don't have up close pics of it yet, but will add them later.

Each date pocket holds a "character" from the nativity story.  There are angels, wisemen, kings, shepherds, animals and of course Baby Jesus.  Each day, we wake up and Sister picks a pocket and adds it to the "story."  I also put a little treat in the pocket too, like a chocolate kiss or sticker. 

The only rule we have is that Baby Jesus has to go in #25 and in the manger.  I'm sure you're thinking ... duh, but things can get really interesting with a preschooler!

One thing we love about this advent calendar is that it opens up a chance for us to talk daily about the true meaning of Christmas.  So sweet!  It reminds us big kids of the story, too!  There are several options on the internet for ordering, but you can find the one pictured above here.

One of our other traditions is reading Christmas books during the holiday for bedtime. There are so many cute ones!!! Here's one of our favorites.


This is the sweetest book!  Little Cub asks his Mama "Who invented Christmas?" Little Cub asks more and more and more questions like little ones do.  And, this leads Mama to talk about God versus Santa and how Jesus is the best present of all.  Love this story!  You can find it here.

I love getting new ideas, so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's posts about their own traditions!    Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.    
Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Weekend Update - Curious George & A Great Sale

This weekend, we kicked off the holidays by heading to the country to meet up with one of our favorite monkeys - Curious George!

The event was at a local Christmas tree farm which was beautiful.  The farm grows Leyland Cypress, which are just gorgeous. 


My sister and her crew grab one of these beauties every year. And, after seeing them in their natural setting, we might have to reconsider our pre-lit tree!

Some of the trees were huge!

The event was after church on Sunday, so we were creeping into Bitty Baby's naptime.  She got very, very sleepy

At one point, we thought she might not last through much more of the fun

Bitty Baby's heading into "the two's" and she really started to "work it"


But, once we gave her a candy cane (her first ever) - she decided she wanted to stay :)


Sister wanted her picture made with Curious George.  This is a BIG deal, because she hasn't been a fan of characters ... EVER!  She was so excited to meet George, but it looks like she's passed on the "scared of characters" torch to her little sister.  Poor George ... I think half of the pics taken that day had a fussy little one!

The tree farm had an adorable Christmas store and we bought Sister a cute light-up Rudolph nose

The store had this funny sign outside that made us laugh!


I think the biggest hit of the afternoon was just running around the farm and playing in the Christmas tree grove.  Sister and I played hide-n-seek between the trees, which was so much fun!  I want to live on a farm now!


We played chase, too, even though I didn't have on the best shoes.  Next time, I'll have to remember to wear boots! :)


Sister's favorite part, by far, was being able to RUN


And run ....


And, run!


What a great way to kick of this special time of year.  I am so excited about Thanksgiving and have so much to be thankful for, especially within my family.  God is so good!

P.S. I received an email about a great sale and thought I would pass along the info ...

Remember Nguyen Children's Clothing is having a big, big sale this week.  I find some of my favorite frugalista finds for the girls from this place!  You can link directly to their website here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hello. My name is Little Mama. I have Mommy Brain.

I've been a Little Mama for nearly 5 years now, so I've had my share of mommy brain.  But, yesterday takes the cake!

I really think there are stages of Mommy Brain - there's pregnancy brain, then new baby brain, then nursing brain, then, at least for me with Sister, my brain sloooowly started to return when she was about a year old.

But, now with two little ones ... I'm a mess.  I used to be a color coded, list making, organized machine.  But, now, I can't even get organized enough to make a list!  I've been relying on my memory ... which is very, very dangerous ... yes, I've been living on the edge :).

Yesterday, I had to make some returns to Hobby Lobby.  It was just me and Bitty Baby.  We park.  I get out of the car.  I open the back of the car.  Ummm .... something is missing. Something is not right.  And, then I realize ... where is the stroller????

I start racking my brain ... where is it ... when did I use it last ... nothing, nothing, nothing.  Just Mommy Brain. 

Then, I remember that the girls and I ran an errand the day before ... yes, I think that's the only place we went.  We had the stroller in the store.  We had it in the parking lot.  Yes, I had both of my kids.  Yes, I loaded them in the car.

But, where is the stroller .... a hot flush starts moving over me as I realize that I must have left it in the parking lot.  I loaded up everyone and everything ... but, the stroller!!!   Oh, I'm just sick.  We have several strollers for different uses, but this one is my very favorite ... my very, very favorite.

I grab a cart, put Bitty Baby in the front, and make my returns.  I had a busy morning planned and had to be at Sister's school in an hour and a half for her Thanksgiving program.  My plans had changed.  Now, I was headed to the shopping center we went to yesterday to look for the stroller.

Maybe someone found it and brought it to one of the stores.   Or, maybe someone threw it away in a nearby dumpster.  Or, maybe, just maybe, it was still in the parking lot.

I called Big Daddy on the way ... I thought I was going to cry ... but I didn't.  He didn't say anything.  I'm sure he thought I was nuts ... but he just listened.  Just sweet ... and smart ... silence :).

So we get to the parking lot and I scan everywhere for my beloved stroller ... nothing.  I'm driving really slowly looking like a crazy lady, but still no stroller.  I drove behind the building and saw dumpsters.  (Now looking more crazy, BTW ... ha!) In fact, there was a long row of dumpsters.  Maybe it was in one of those!

I started to get out to look ... but drew the line.  I decided if the stroller had been in a dumpster all night, I would just leave it be ... who knows what would be on it.   And, being petite, I wasn't quite sure how I would get it out ... and, I definitely was not going to climb in! Yucky!

As I'm driving away, empty handed and heavy-hearted, I suddenly remember that I must have run over it while I was backing out of the parking lot.  Yes, that was it.  There was a thud and I am just now remembering it and that's what happened to it. 

Hopefully, it wasn't too damaged.  Hopefully, someone picked it up who might really need it.  Yes, I'd buy another one tomorrow ... hopefully I'd find one on sale ... or just get by with an umbrella stroller.  Yes.  That's what I would do ....

We head home and I need chocolate.  Or Chick-fil-A, or something really yummy!  I was a little traumatized, after all.  Yes, that would make me feel better!  But, I resisted and had a diet coke from McDonalds.  Deep breath.  Diet Coke. It would be okay!

We were supposed to have a garage sale this weekend, but the weather was going to be yucky, so we rescheduled.  I still had things in my garage and card tables in the back of the car. Plus, I had been parking in the driveway to make space in the garage ... so when I pulled up to the house, that's what I did.  I get out, get Bitty Baby ... and what do I see ...


Parked in the garage!  Huh? 

I was so relieved ... oh, but so perplexed.  I don't remember taking it out of the car.  I don't have any reason why I would have taken it out.  I start racking my brain .... nothing, nothing, nothing.  Just more Mommy Brain.

Maybe it's not Mommy Brain ... maybe it's approaching middle age, maybe it's too many diet cokes over the years, maybe I'm overtired from my new wake up time ...

No, no ... it's just Mommy Brain.

I don't have a name for this stage of Mommy Brain.  Maybe ... mom of two preschoolers brain.  Or, mom of a new walker brain.  Or, mommy trying to do it all brain.  I'll have to think on that one!

Can you relate?  Can we relate together? 

It looks like Mommy brain is here to stay ... for a least a while longer.  So, I'm going to SLOOOW down, pull out the highlighters for some good ol' color coding, and buy a super cute notebook for my to-do lists.  All, with a Diet Coke and a smile :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feeling Crafty - Turkey Hair Bow

It's almost Turkey Time, y'all!

The girls are ready with their Thanksgiving dresses, but I have been looking for a fun hair bow to match.

I saw these turkey hair clippies and thought it would be fun to try one on my own!  Luckily, I found great and better yet - FREE - directions here

This bow is actually my second attempt.  I made one following the directions exactly and used hot glue for all of the steps.  But, the ribbon I used is not very stiff and my glue gun is not the best.  As a result, the glue didn't hold like I had hoped.  In fact, Bitty Baby pulled on the first one and was able to tear it apart pretty easily.

So, on the little bow in the picture, I made the entire turkey step by step by tacking the ribbon as I went along with matching embroidery floss.  I already had the floss from an old cross stitch project.  Then I glued the finished turkey to the clippie.

This little gobbler can be worn a couple of ways - alone - or clipped to a small bow for a little one

Or, to a bigger bow for an older girl

Other ideas I've seen are to put googley eyes on the face or paint eyes on with acrylic paint.  I was tempted to do that, but thought I should stop while I was ahead ... can I just tell you how many projects I've ruined because I thought it needed just a little more?  Ha!

This project really is quick and easy!  In fact, I'm going to make a few more tonight for some sweet little turkeys close to my heart!  Gobble, Gobble!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Back & Staycation

Well, I'm back from an unintentional bloggy break!  The past couple of weeks have been nuts around here.  So, here's a completely random post about a random couple of weeks!

Bitty Baby was under the weather last week.  She's at that age where she's just picking up about every germ out there.  Well, my little sweet pea had Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  Isn't that the worst name?  Thankfully, she had a super mild case of it with no fever and no bobos in her mouth.  God is so good!

Big Daddy's family came in last weekend, so we enjoyed seeing everyone!  While we've visited them, it's been a few months since they've been able to come to town.  We had a full weekend of football and food, which is always a hit around here!

Speaking of food, I am determined to try and lose those last few baby pounds and start sooner than later.  I just have about 10 to go .. but geez, are they pesky!  My friend and I thought we would start "getting healthy" before the holidays so we might have a little more will power when all of the yummy treats start showing up.

We've even been hitting the gym at the crack of dawn ... really!  I think that's another reason I've missed blogging ... my new wake up time puts me to bed right after the girls.  Big Daddy keeps making fun of me and the fact that my alarm is set for 4:45 AM!  I hope I can keep it up!

Today was an absolutely beautiful fall day and I wanted to take the girls somewhere fun.  But, nothing was going on in town.  So,  we decided to have a staycation at the house and have a picnic in the backyard.  The girls really had a great time!

(P.S. - GiGi, if you're reading this ... yes, I realize it was cool today.  Sister dressed herself and fixed her own hair.  Nuff said :)  ).

The girls were so cute ... I think they were loving their girl talk ...

Sister was cracking me up, telling Bitty Baby a story with her hands!

And, Bitty Baby loved her new favorite snack, raisins!

The girls, loved swinging on the swing set.  They were concentrating so hard that they were BOTH sticking their tongues out, just like their daddy!  It must be genetic :)

Sister played "baseball" after lunch and I think her technique might need a little improving !  She hits the ball with her eyes closed- ha!

And, Bitty Baby worked on her driving skills.  She kept saying, "Bye.  Bye.  Bye."   Oh, how I'll need a box of kleenex when these sweet girls are really driving away and saying "Bye!"

I loved being outside, too and had fun checking out the few last signs of summer in our backyard. 

My shrimp plant still has a few blooms on it.  This is the neatest plant.  You can't really tell from this picture, but the flower usually curves over and looks like a shrimp!

And, can you find the nature's treasure on my lemon tree?  It's pretty well hidden!

Here's a closer look ... it's a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly chrysalis.  These host on lemon trees and it's really amazing to watch them go from caterpillar to chysalis to butterfly. 

This is a pic of one that hatched out last year ... so beautiful!

And, finally, I brought this Belinda's Dream rose in from the yard.  I love the "antiqueness" of it and I really love how easy it is to grow! 

Oh, it feels good to get all of that randomness out!  Now, I can hit the hay for my crazy wake up time! :)