Sunday, January 30, 2011

Words + Cloud

From the dusty recesses of my memory, I managed to scrape away some cobwebs and pull a pretty cool website. I think word clouds are pretty cool and on this website you can pretty much enter any information, pick a shape, adjust your font/colors, and boom - cloud.

For my personal enjoyment, I selected my blog to be made into a wondrous cloud of superfluous lexicon. Then I picked a shape... a cloud. And here it was.

Now, I know you are thinking... holy cow, this is awesome. Where can I get such an incredible picture displaying any word I can imagine??

Well, I won't hold out on you....

go here -->

So go forth and create word clouds with my blessing. In fact, if you make one, show me!! :)


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last one! December 2010

December was a whirlwind. It always is with a certain little girl's birthday (I'll save that for its own post) and then of course, Christmas!

We finished decorating the house for Christmas:
(I love my Willow Tree Nativity)

(Madi was thrilled with the decorated Christmas tree.)

(And she enjoyed decorating her own little tree for her room.)

We got to sit in on one of Madi's ballet classes, which was so fun!:

Madi and I had fun making some Christmas cookies:


Madison performed in her first preschool Christmas program and we were so proud of her! She did a fantastic job and loved singing with her class. :)

We installed a fence in our back yard...

We built a playground (on the down low)!

We celebrated Christmas:

with one completely surprised little girl who got a swingset!

And wrapped up the year with a final trip to Sea World. Madi got a chance to feed the dolphins! It was so cool.

It was a great year. And God blessed us more than we ever could have imagined.

Stay tuned for some pictures from Madi's birthday!!

All my love,

Catching up some again- November 2010

Only two more months to catch up from last year! So, here goes the rest of the photo journal:

We invited all the family over for Thanksgiving:

(Mom looks like she's praying and everyone else is looking up at our not-working ceiling fan)

(Madi is stuffing her face)

(And a little family flag football to cap off the day.)

The next day we continued our tradition of getting our Christmas tree:

Then deccorating the outside of the house:

and the following week we made a gingerbread house:

It was another busy month. And all those Christmas decorations... it wasn't even December yet!! :)

CSN Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Katychick for winning the gift certificate to CSN Stores! And big news... they upgraded it to $20! Whoo hoo!

Please check your email and look for the gift certificate.

Thanks everyone for entering!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spice it up a little!

Josh and I have been reading this marriage book together. Not that anything is wrong, I am just of the mindset that what is great can always get better. So, anyway, its by Dr. David Clark (an invaluable resource on marriage and parenting, look him up!) and he says that spouses spend so much time bugging one another about cleaning the house, fixing dinner, working, taking care of their families, etc. etc. that they don't take the time to compliment their spouse.

Remember when you and your spouse were first dating? The compliments would fly off your tongue every thirty seconds!

"You're so beautiful"

"I love your eyes"

"That sweater looks great"

"Oh, the way you cut your chicken is fantastic!"

I don't know, you know what you said. Anyway, the point is that life bogs you down and you get distracted and you forget to take the time to encourage and build up your significant other. In fact, it's almost like all we do is ... and i can't stand this word... nag our husbands. Not intentionally, mind you! But Josh definitely hears, "can you PLEASE put your dirty clothes in the hamper!!" and "really, you couldn't dry off the counter after shaving?" a lot more often than a compliment. And the compliment can be anything. It kind of made me laugh but Dr Clark said that your husband is more likely to do the big things you ask of him (ie: putting his dirty clothes away) if you start complimenting him for the little things he does. Like - "Hooray! You got one sock in there!" Not really that, but its true... start with the small things. Like if he took out the trash or played with the kids so you could clean up the kitchen without interruptions, or gave you a look that said you were appreciated, tell him!

So in order to be more proactive with complimenting each other, I went to Target and found ....

a small mailbox (in the dollar bin!). It sits on our bathroom counter with a little stick note pad and pen next to it.

And a couple of times a day, or whenever we feel the need, Josh or I write a note to each other and put it in our mailbox. When the little pink flag is up... you got it. We've got mail. :)

It can be a thank you, a compliment, or even something a little more special than that. It's up to you. So bring back a little romance to your marriage. Get yourself a little "mailbox" and pass notes like you did in high school. Its actually really fun. And I can't wait to get home and see if I've got a note from my one and only.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank You Cards

I love mail. I can't wait to check the mail box each day. Most of the time all I get are bills (booo!) but every once and a while I get a card or a letter. In this day and age of email, texting, facebook, and cellphones, sending postal mail has become almost obsolete. So, here's my challenge. Think of a couple of people who you love and that mean a lot to you and write them a thank you card. Thank them for being there for you, for putting up with you, and for inspiring you. And don't just email them. Send it through the mail!

To help you do that, I have designed some adorable (I think) thank you cards. So, download them below, print, and get busy! You can embellish them however you'd like - round the corners, add some color, or just cut it out how they are and send it!

Floral Thank You Cards

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

GIVEAWAY!!! $15 to CSN Stores {{CLOSED}}

I am so pleased to finally announce the giveaway.

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish swing sets to cute cookware to chic lighting pieces! Their websites are fantastic. I could spend the $15 hundreds of times. :) CSN Stores has everything you can imagine from housewares to bedding to furniture to cookware on their many websites. Just looking over their home page I found several awesome products.

Look at this adorable apron:

or this Garden Play Tent

Madi could have a lot of fun with that!!

Click on the links above to take a look around and enter to win! The giveaway is available for readers in the United States and Canada.

To enter:

*Look around one of CSN Stores 200+ websites and comment on this post telling me what you would spend your $15 on.

THEN for additional entries (you can do any or all of these):

*Follow my blog/subscribe (or let me know you already do) and leave a separate comment.

*Follow me on Twitter (or let me know you already do) and leave a separate comment with your Twitter username.

*Follow @CSNStores on Twitter and leave a separate comment here with your username.

*“Like” CSN Stores on Facebook and leave a separate comment here (not on their Facebook page) with your Facebook name.

*Tweet, Facebook Status, or blog about this giveaway. Leave a separate comment with a link. Here’s a sample you can copy & paste: I just entered to win a giveaway from @CSNStores at You can too!

The giveaway ends January 28th at midnight. So pass it on!

Much Love,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


So, since I am so far behind in posting about 2010, I will just do a quick photo journal to end the year, one month at a time. October was fairly busy, as you can see from previous posts, we went on vacation, Madi started preschool, and I started working. Whew, it was a life changing month.

Where shall we pick up?

Oh yes, we picked out a pumpkin for halloween (or shall I say several pumpkins):

Then we took pictures of Madi to enter her into the Gap photo contest (she didn't win). I just had to share this one:

We had a fall costume party for all of Madison's little friends. How cute are they!?

Made a culinary masterpiece (ha!) with the help of my sister:

And Josh and I dressed up for the first time ever as Jessie and Woody from Toy Story (Madi picked the costumes):

For Halloween Madi was Cinderella. She was going to be Belle, but shame on me for not looking at the costume until the day of, and it was not pretty. So, luckily we had Cinderella on hand, glass slippers and alll.

And, because of making bad choices all day, Madi wasn't allowed to go trick or treating. But, it doesn't look like she minded passing out candy to whoever came to our door.

Well, October was definitely busy, but hang on to your hats, November and December were even crazier. But hey, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Quite frankly, its annoying!

What, you ask, is annoying? The fact that I so easily fall out of habits. That I get really going on something and then, in a fraction of a second, all my motivation and perseverance is derailed. It drives me nuts!

For instance, take last year, Josh and I were exercising for an hour a day six days a week consistently for almost five months... then life got a little hectic and we got off track. Do you think we picked right back up where we left off? Began immediately exercising again and regained our consistency? NO! We tried on and off to get our mojo back, but it was futile. It was gone. AND, when I first started this blog, I was doing great, not posting daily, but frequently and what happened? Life got busy and here I am not having posted in over a month and a half. For shame!

So, it really irks me that I am so easily swayed by the comings and goings of life. Sure they say it takes 12 or so times doing something to make it a habit? But what no one ever says is that it takes one time of not doing it to break that habit.

This year, I am making it a priority to stick to my stuff. If I commit myself, then by golly I am going to stick with it. So with that said, here goes to blogging in 2011 (wow, that looks weird). You might get annoyed because as a part of my blogging, I am going to catch up on the end of 2010... and it was a pretty insane end of the year. haha. Have fun!

But as a reward for sticking with me through my on again off again blogging, I will be hosting a giveaway in the very near future!!

I love you my faithful readers. Let's make this the best year yet!