Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making Christmas Shopping Easier

One of my strategies for saving time and money around the holidays is to shop year-round, especially online. I love finding the perfect present at the best price possible which is a little more time-consuming then just heading out to the mall and buying at full-price. One of my favorite online shopping meccas is CSN Stores. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish handbags, to counter height stools, or great cookware! I bought several of Jackson's Christmas gifts from their stores and I love how wide their selection is. Plus, they have super fast shipping and an amazing variety of brands to choose from! If you're looking for some last-minute Christmas gifts you should check them out!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Eyes

The Paper Mama

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New Holiday Traditions

I can't tell you how incredibly excited I am for Christmas this year! I haven't been this excited in years and I love it! Having a kid makes everything better, especially the holidays. I have so many wonderful memories of holiday traditions my parents did with us and I can't wait to pass these on to Jackson, as well as create some new ones. Here's a list of both the old and new that I plan on doing this year:

Oldies But Goodies
1. Baking and decorating cookies together as a family.
2. Driving around looking at Christmas lights.
3. Playing Christmas music and making a big to-do about hanging up all of the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving.
4. Hanging ornaments on the tree together.
5. Advent calendars.

New Traditions
1. Sprinkling "reindeer food" on the driveway to welcome Santa's reindeer.
2. Make a new photo ornament each year.
3. Make gingerbread houses.
4. Read a different holiday book each night before bed.
5. Take cookies to the local fire station on Christmas Eve.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Landen and Jackson

Here are some of the pics I took of Landen and Jackson for our Christmas card- I'll post the winning card a little later! :) Photographing a squirming toddler is quite the feat but his big brother was very patient and helpful! We got a few good shots out of the million I took and here are a few of my favorites.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carrie and David

I got the opportunity to photograph my sister and her husband for this Christmas cards this year and we had a blast! We went to our historic downtown and found some great backdrops to use and I think the pictures turned out pretty good for my first "real" photo shoot. What do you think?

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins and EcoMom Review/Giveaway

Have you heard of Eco-friendly Baby Products- EcoMom yet? If not you're missing out! This website is my go-to source for all eco-friendly mommy and baby products that are healthy, natural, and high-quality. They recently sent me a bottle of their SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins to try out. As parents, we're always looking for ways to keep Landen and Jackson as healthy as possible. In addition to eating as healthy as possible vitamins and supplements play a large role in this. We've found it difficult to find high-quality vitamins that contain all of the vital nutrients a growing child needs as well as the DHA necessary for brain development all in one vitamin. The geniuses at SmartyPants have found a way to combine all of this into one amazing little vitamin that contains multi vitamins, Omega 3 eco-friendly fish oils, Vitamin D, Choline and 12 other essential nutrients. Another thing that sets SmartyPants apart from other vitamins on the market is the lack of sugar in each serving. Most children's vitamins contain a LOT of sugar, but SmartyPants have 5g of organic cane sugar per serving, which is 80% less than a glass of unsweetened apple juice! So what was our young tester's opinion on SmartyPants? Two thumbs up! Landen faithfully takes these vitamins every morning without any nagging and says they taste amazing.

To make it easy on busy parents EcoMom has set up a wonderful automatic shipment program that will send you a bottle of SmartyPants vitamins every month before you run out! If you sign up for the monthly program you also save $4 on every bottle of vitamins too!

One of my favorite aspects of SmartyPants is that the company generously donates one bottle of vitamins to a child in need for each bottle you purchase! Through their partnership with Vitamin Angels they make a 1-to-1 nutrient grant to a child most in need. So not only are you helping to provide the best nutrition possible for your own child but you're also helping a child in need- what a great way to give back!

Head over to EcoMom and check out all of the wonderful products they have to offer, including SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins!

EcoMom has generously offered one of my readers a $15 gift card to use for anything on their amazing site!

You must be a public follower of our blog through Google Friend Connect in order to enter!
The mandatory entry must be completed first in order for any extra entries to count.
Please leave your email in at least one entry so I know who to contact!
Open to resident of the US and Canada

Mandatory Entry
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Giveaway ends Wednesday, 12/1 at 8:00pm MST

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review. I was provided a product upon which to base my review. All opinions expressed are honestly my own.

The Winner of the Motherease Cloth Diaper is. . . .


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Help Me Pick This Year's Christmas Card!

I LOVE picking out our Christmas card every year and this year is even more special with the addition of Jackson! I've been scouring different websites looking for the perfect card for our little family and stumbled upon Shutterfly's vast aray of gorgeous cards! They literally have a card for every taste and style. Here are some of my favorite photo cards:

How absolutely adorable are these ? I can't even choose between which one is my favorite!

Another amazing item that Shutterfly offers is their Tell a Story cards- they combine your photo Christmas card and family newsletter into one grogeous little package! I'm obsessed with these!

I also might spring for one of Shutterfly's high-quality canvas prints to hang in our den. I can't believe how reasonable these are and how amazing they look! I think it would be a great gift for the grandparents too!

So which card should I choose? With all of the great option Shutterfly has to offer I know it's going to take me a while to decide! 
Go to Shutterfly now and pick out your favorite holiday card! I'd love to hear which one you chose!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

A Walk in the Park

It's days like these where I feel so incredibly blessed to work from home. In my previous job it was rush, rush, rush everywhere we went. Rush to wake up in the morning, rush to get out the door, rush to make it through the work day, rush, to pick Jackson up from the sitter, rush to get home, and rush to make dinner. And then we did it all over again the next day. It was definitely not the life I had planned when I was pregnant. I wanted the life I had had growing up with a stay-at-home mom: homemade breakfasts, trips to the zoo, crafts, and just time spent hanging out. In all the rushing I felt my bond with Jackson weakening and it broke my heart.

In my new position I work from home and get to keep Jackson with me at least half of the week. It's the perfect balance between being a mommy and bringing home a paycheck. I love being able to take a trip to the park or the library before beginning my phone calls. I feel like I'm finally a mommy again.