Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Olivia's Christmas Photos 2014

I think it's about that time, time to share a few of Olivia's Christmas photos for this year. We actually had a 70-something degree day in November and I knew I needed to take advantage. So we headed to the beach and took advantage of the unseasonably gorgeous weather. I couldn't have been happier with the outcome because Olivia actually smiled and looked happy!! It was truly a Christmas miracle.


Well, thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed!! xoxo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When Life Isn't Stressful Enough...



This time of year is stressful for everyone. Christmas is 2 weeks away and we leave for Disney the very next day which is complete insanity to me. To make matters worse the hubby has been away for work since the end of November and won't be back until December 23rd. Basically leaving me alone to take care of all the Christmas shopping and vacation prep not to mention working and caring for Liv. I have literally been pulling my hair out which is why there isn't as much blogging going on as I would like.

Liv is a complete daddy's girl and has been missing him like crazy. Crying all the time and asking "when is daddy coming home?" It's breaking my heart. On top of it we had to put one of the house's dogs to sleep just two days before my hubby left and she finally realized the dog was "missing" about a week ago and didn't take that too well. Definitely been looking for ways to cheer my little 2 year old up. 

I have always wanted guinea pigs as a pet so my husband and I decided that after we got back from vacation we would look for a pair for Liv. Well, I work for a veterinarian and one of my co-workers knew someone who had two 8 week old males she was looking to basically give away. Problem? She couldn't hold them so I am going to pick up to baby guinea pigs today. Nothing like adding more to my to do list. 

I have never had guinea pigs so I am trying to research everything I need and how to care for them on top of everything else that is going on. I am certifiably nuts!! But Liv is so excited and not as sad knowing we are getting them today which makes it so worth it. But I need help with these little suckers. Anyone ever have them as a pet? Tips? Suggestions? Thanks a bundle!!! xoxo

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Green Scene Mom's Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway

Green Scene Mom's Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway features top picks for Eco-friendly and innovative Christmas gifts for moms, kids and babies! Each of these items inspire Eco-friendly lifestyles, learning, and creative expression. Check out Green Scene Mom's Gift Guides and enter to win these amazing prizes from our giveaway sponsors!

Giveaway Prizes

Buttons Cloth Diapers giveaway
Buttons Diapers - Diaper Cover, 3 Daytime Inserts & Flannel Wipes
Buttons one-size cloth diapers are soft, durable, and leak proof with double gussets around the legs. They fit babies 9-35 lbs and come in many colors and prints. The snap-in inserts are made from soft microfiber or a natural hemp/cotton blend, with a layer of soft fleece on top. Shop @buttonsdiapers.com.
Oogaa giveaway
Oogaa - Plate, Placemat & Spoon
oogaa designs and manufactures non-toxic feeding products for kids. Their award-winning divided plates are stackable, soft, durable and easy to clean. oogaa's silicone plane and train spoons make mealtime fun, featuring molded designs that kids will love using! Shop @ oogaa.com.
Yummi Pouch giveaway
Yummi Pouch Brights
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @yummipouch.com.
Artterro giveaway
Artterro - Collage Jewelry Kit
Embellish wooden pendants, beads and a bangle to create 6 gorgeous jewelry pieces, and proudly wear your own fashions! Shop @ artterro.com.
Pacific Baby giveaway
Pacific Baby - Natural Feeding Plate, Bowl & Cup - Green
Pacific Baby's all natural feeding bowl and cup is completely plastic-free and made from natural bamboo. It's strong, durable and dishwasher safe on the top rack. Made from biodegradable and compostable materials, this feeding set comes in several colors and is a stylish way to go-green at mealtime! Shop @ pacificbabyworld.com.
Austin Lloyd giveaway
Austin Lloyd - 1 Month Subscription Box
A 1 month subscription of engaging surprises from Austin Lloyd. Each box includes 3-5 toys and at least one book that are customized to the development stage of your child. Shop @ austinlloyd.com.
Preserve giveaway
Preserve - Mixing Bowl Set - Red
The Preserve Mixing Bowl set includes three nested bowls (2 qt, 3 qt, and 4 qt) made in the USA from 100% BPA free, recycled #5 plastic. Bowls are wide for comfortable mixing with an easy grip handle that aids pouring. Available in assorted colors. Shop @ preserveproducts.com.
Ubbi giveaway
Ubbi - Cloth Pail Liner
This Eco-friendly luxury liner is washable & reusable, pvc-free, waterproof, and odor resistant. Holds 7 gallons and closes with a drawstring. Shop @ ubbiworld.com.
pediped shoe giveaway
pediped Shoes - 1 pair boys or girls
Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort, and distinctive styling have made pediped the fastest growing children's footwear brand in the United States. pediped is sold in over 2,500 US stores and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 140 designs for boys and girls. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 36. Shop @ pediped.com.
MAM Holiday Pacifiers giveaway
MAM Holiday Pacifiers
MAM pacifiers are available in boy and girl holiday themed packages. Each pacifier is decorated with fun, seasonal designs and will help keep your little one calm during the year's most joyous festivities. These pacifiers feature an anti-slip silicone nipple and curved shield with multiple small openings to allow air to circulate and baby's skin to breathe. Shop @ shopmambaby.com.
Wobabybasics giveaway
Wobabybasics Swaddle Me Blanket & Sweet Dreams Nursing Gown
Whether it is for swaddling, cuddling, warming or playing, this soft blanket will be a perfect companion for your little one. The unique hook and loop strap allows you to secure a pacifier, toy or to transform the blanket into a cozy cape. Mothers will appreciate the convenience of the simple yet stylish, pull-down nursing gown. Wobabybasics provides easy-to-wear, comfortable and practical organic cotton essentials for children up to 8 years old. As the healthiest option for babies and the planet, only GOTS certified organic cotton textiles and chemical free dyes are used. Shop @wobabybasics.bigcartel.com.
Wishy Life Buddies giveaway
Wishy Life Buddies - Interactive Book Set
Children bring their 'Buddy' to life by naming him and sprinkling him with Wishy Dust. The book includes a 'Buddy', Wishy Stem, Wishy Dust and seven empty eggs that can be filled with stickers, treats and small gifts. Shop @ wishylife.com.
Wristy Buddy giveaway
Wristy Buddy - Teething Wristband
Wristy Buddy is designed for babies who haven't developed the motor skills to hold traditional teething objects. It is made of absorbent and non-toxic materials to help keep little faces and clothing dry. Shop @ wristybuddy.com.
Bert&Bratt giveaway
Bert&Bratt pure-Go Portable UV Sterilizer
Pure-GO by Bert&Bratt is a Portable UV Sterilizer for pacifiers, bottle nipples, small teethers/sippy cup tops. NO heat, water or chemicals required. Just push a button to eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful germs in 4 minutes. This small/light sterilizer is perfect for travel and easily fits in your purse or diaper bag. No more hassles to try to find soap and water or do the "drop and pop". Just grab a Bert&Bratt sterilizer to conveniently help keep your baby healthy. Shop @ bertandbratt.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States entries who have a US mailing address.
Green Scene Mom Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'll Remember

I have been keeping some exciting news all to myself and I am thrilled to finally let you all know that we will be heading to Disney World the day after Christmas!!!! It was a last minute thing, well last minute as far as planning for Disney goes and it's official we will be heading down to Florida on the 26th. Ahhhhhh!!! I am so excited especially since we got our magic bands today. Check 'em out!!



One thing several people have said to me when we were contemplating taking this trip is why don't you wait until Liv is older because she won't remember the trip at this point. For those of you who are new around here Olivia is 2, will be 3 in February. Now this is a valid point one that crossed my mind when thinking about taking this trip but here is why I still decided to go forward with planning.

I went to Disney when I was in 4th grade and I only vaguely remember it. I remember that I had a fantastic time but don't remember too many specifics. Of course there are a couple of things I remember in more detail than others but the fact that I was 9 didn't give me crazy memories of every thing that happened on the trip. And another plus of taking Liv while she is 2 is that she is FREE!! She gets into the theme parks for free and for all you who have been to Disney, you know this is a huge savings. And she'll basically be 3 when we go being that her birthday is only a little over a month after we go. Score!!

So okay, Olivia might not remember our trip years from now but while we are there I know she will be having the time of her life. Experiencing Disney through the eyes of an innocent and joyful child is something I will always remember. I will remember her jumping up and down when we see Cinderella's castle, I will remember her squealing with joy when she sees Mickey and Minnie, I will remember her singing "Let It Go" at the top of her lungs in the Frozen sing-a-long. Point is although she won't remember much I will remember experiencing true joy through the excitement of my child and that will make the trip more than worth it. xoxo

Monday, December 1, 2014

Never Too Late To Be Grateful

Hi friends! Since I haven't done a post since before Thanksgiving I found the need to take some time out to mention a few things that I am thankful for. I felt awful about the fact that I didn't have a Thanksgiving post but since I am usually am not organized enough to have my posts written ahead of time it wasn't in the cards for me. But I tried to look at this in a positive light because I decided to really enjoy time with friends and family instead of worrying about a blog post. Sometimes I think it is good and healthy to take a step back from Blogland.

Anyways, here are a few things that make me truly thankful.

1. My family.
My life, my world. Love these two with all my heart. Although, my daughter is a sassy little thing her spirit keeps me smiling and it makes me happy to know that she has enough spunk to get through whatever curve balls life may throw her way. And my husband works so hard to provide for us, his work ethic and family commitment is really something many men need to emulate.


2. Thriving businesses.
I may feel like I am losing my mind between all my holiday photo sessions and my Etsy shops getting slammed with holiday orders but busy is good. The fact that I have practically no time for sleep means I am doing something right and maybe next year I will need an assistant. We'll see!!

Here is my current sale!! Shop here.
3. My blog friends.
I love you guys who keep checking out my blog even when I am not posting regularly and not able to keep up on all my blog reading. My crazy season is September to December and I miss everyone from the Blogosphere during that time. I may not be reading and commenting on your blogs like I wish I could be during this time but I truly am thinking of you guys and it puts a big smile on my face when you guys stop by to leave me a comment. You are truly the best!

Lastly, I am grateful I just discovered Ember Grey's Grateful Heart Monday link up and think this post makes it perfect for me to join in the positive fun!

Ember Grey: Grateful Heart

Sunday, November 23, 2014

5 Reasons I Will NOT Shop On Black Friday



I'm getting old. One thing that reminds me of that little fact is the fact that I have no desire to participate in Black Friday craziness, unless of course it is online. Here's why:

1 - Don't want to get arrested.
People are down right rude and inconsiderate and now that I have gotten older I have absolutely no tolerance for it. I have no problem calling a b*tch out if they conveniently didn't see the line of ten people waiting to be rung up and "cut" everyone. I have no filter and will put someone in their place but usually these people won't go down without a fight usually a verbal altercation but I would not be afraid to throw a punch if necessary. Or those people that when you are patiently waiting for a parking space with your blinker on and they swoop in and take the spot. I will hunt you down and give you a verbal tongue lashing. So I rather not get an assault charge so I'll just stay home.

2 - Buying way more than I need.
Did I really need four of that sweater in four pretty ugly colors? Absolutely not, but it was only $10 so why not? Or did I need to pick up ten of that hot chocolate gift set that was 60% off? No but I'm sure I'll find ten people to give it to. The problem is these sales get us in a trance and we just buy, buy, buy and we end up spending more in the long run on unneeded or impractical items.

3 - Want to enjoy Thanksgiving.
I don't want to spend Thanksgiving sitting at the dining room table with the map of the mall or outlet center trying to plot the best Black Friday plan of attack. In addition I don't want to anxiety of the anticipation of one of the craziest days of the year tainting my meal.

4 - Better things to do.
Like anything is better than having my blood pressure skyrocket and having serious buyer's remorse.

5 - Cyber Monday!
Why push through crowds, wait on long lines and be disappointed when I can sit home in my PJs with snacks and a drink and do some serious sale shopping from behind my computer screen? Need I say more?!

What about you? Are you a Black Friday shopper? I used to be so I totally get why people do it but I've just grown tired of these shopping wars and rather sit home and eat leftovers. xoxo

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Photo Tips For Photos With Toddlers



This weekend I had many holiday photo sessions and many of those included at least one toddler. As we all know toddlers are unpredictable and not always the best listeners which can make photo sessions very stressful. I have compiled a few tips for helping the session go a bit smoother, albeit not perfect but any little bit helps in trying to get that perfect shot.

1 - Don't Over Plan. 
I have had parents come to me with laundry lists of poses and shots that wanted for their toddler and all this does is cause extra stress for the parents, the children and the photographer. While it is good to have a few ideas, parents need to realize their child might just want to run and not sit with his or her back against a tree. If we are so consumed with trying to make those photos happen we miss out on getting the carefree candids that were happening while your child was joyfully playing.

2 - Happiness Is A State Of Mind.
They smell your fear. If you are stressed and yelling and and freaking out over everything, they will feed off that and are less likely to cooperate. Try to keep it light and silly at least on the outside. If they see you are having fun, they will eventually want to join in the fun.

3 - Snacks (Okay Bribes) Are Good.
Do I believe in regularly bribing your child? No. But in some instances it can help. Many of the children I photographed today smiled when they were reminded they were being taken for icecream or lunch afterwards. If your child needs instant gratification, bring their favorite snack. Every time they sit or pose where they are supposed to they get some of their snack. This works wonders a lot of the time.

4 - Don't Be Afraid To Get Silly.
I had parents playing peek-a-boo behind me, others were singing their kid's favorite song, others dancing around like crazy and a lot of these tactics led to smiles.

5 - Go With It.
Photo sessions with toddlers are hard work and as I mentioned above, highly unpredictable so the best thing you can do is roll with the punches and do the best with that day's scenario. And I get it, that is easier said than done if your toddler is screaming his or her head off but what can you do?! You can get some crazy screaming photos and make a hilarious Christmas card. I swear the greatest Christmas card I ever got was two children screaming with a clever caption. Was it ideal for the parents? Probably not but I am sure they have a good laugh over it now.

I know there is no science to getting great photographs with your toddler but I am hoping these tips make things a little less stressful on your big photo day. Best of luck for getting great holiday photos this season!! xoxo