The Busy Giffs: 2013

December 31, 2013

Pink Blush Maternity Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for my review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

So I've hit the half way point of my pregnancy (well a week ago) which also means that about half of my clothes no longer fit. Waaah. But it means that a. I have another beautiful baby on the way and B. I get to go maternity clothing shopping!

I love maternity clothes because unlike normal every day wear, I don't need to care if it makes me belly look big, because well, it is! I'm much more likely to wear stripes, or patterns, things I wouldn't normally since if I look fat, I can just blame the baby!

Luckily, Pink Blush Maternity makes some trendy maternity clothes that a. don't make you look huge, and b. are ridiculously good looking.


I am obsessed with so many of these pieces.
I got to try out and review a dress, that is apparently no longer online so I can't link you to it!

Now I have to say, poor hubs tried to take nice outdoor pictures, but let's be honest... he sucks with a camera so sadly, these are the pictures you're getting!


The dress itself is so soft and so comfortable, but it was a bit short for my liking; call me too modest.
I'm not sure I have many places to wear a dress like this since I won't be able to wear it to work with the length, but both of the dresses I posted above have a longer length and would be much more appropriate.
This would be a great date night dress... if we ever got one.

However, my wish list is getting super long, I mean, c'mon, I showed you six things I'd like and that's just within a few minutes!

Pink Blush Maternity is being super generous and giving away a $25 gift card to one of my readers!
Use the Rafflecopter and enter below!

If you have hosted or won a giveaway from Pink Blush Maternity in the past 6 months you are not eligible to win, sorry!

December 30, 2013

New England Bloggers Holiday Swap!

The Northeast Bloggers Network hosted a holiday swap! You sent a package to one blogger and then received one from someone else so that you could get to know two "local" bloggers!
I sent a package to Melissa at Missys Product Reviews.
She has some amazing product reviews (duh) and is always offering up something as a prize! Definitely check her out and see what I sent her!

I got my package from Esther at Something About Esther! However, she's one of those really cool bloggers who does more than just blog for fun during her free time, she actually owns her own nail polish company! Philly Loves Lacquer is her nail polish line she started earlier this year! 
Cruelty free, vegan and handmade. Sold. 
I was thrilled when she sent me one of my colors and check out how amazing this box o' gifts is!

A great scarf from target, two nail polishes, Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Ghiradelli chocolate, and Tyler's first present- baby onsies!

Yes, I got super emotional when I opened up the first gift he's received.  And they are so stinkin' cute!

And can we talk about this nail polish??
I'm obsessed.
I'll be begging Esther to do a giveaway me until she agrees. ;)

If you participated in the swap, leave the link in the comments so I can go check out what you got!

December 27, 2013

Wine Bottle Sugar Cookies

I am loving this holiday season!
I love all the "holiday things", like playing in the snow, looking at Christmas lights, watching Christmas specials, and wrapping gifts!

I thought Emmalee would like decorating cookies so I figured I'd attempt making them this year so we could!
I scoured Pinterest and every recipe called for almond extract or other people had commented about how they "tweaked" them and I just wasn't comfortable with that. So like any normal human, I posted on Facebook that I needed help finding the most perfect fool proof recipe and a friend posted her recipe that she stole from a magazine years ago.  It's no where online and it was the easiest, most ridiculously delicious sugar cookie recipe ever so I need to immortalize it for all of you!

Oh, and they didn't have a name. So I have named them Wine Bottle Sugar Cookies. 
Why, you ask?
Because I apparently don't own a rolling pin (which is probably why I haven't attempted making sugar cookies since I moved out of my mom's) and a wine bottle worked just perfectly in its place! ;)

You need:
2 softened sticks of butter
1 8 ox softened block of cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter and cream cheese with sugar.
Add egg, beat until creamy.
Add dry ingredients. Combine.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. ( I let mine sit overnight).
Use LOTS of flour on the counter and roll out cookies, cutting desired shapes!
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

These are basically fool proof and took less than an hour to cut out over 4 dozen!
You can use whatever icing you'd like! I thought about royal, but flood icing and a two year old just didn't mix so we went with store bought frosting that we colored, and I pulled out all our sprinkles!
here's a few images from my NEW instagram account!


December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Words of Wisdom Style

Merry Christmas!

We're obviously spending the day wrapped up in the first Christmas that Emmalee "gets" but just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to all of you from all of us! 

and one of my favorite Christmas themed Words of Wisdom:

Have an amazing Christmas!!

December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve!

I don't think I have ever been so excited for a Christmas! 
The princess is finally old enough to understand the whole "if you're good, Santa brings you gifts" thing. 
She loves snow, and reindeers, and all things Santa.

The magic in her eyes when she ran up and sat on Santa's lap if honestly the most amazing thing I've seen in years.

I have a post scheduled for tomorrow but be sure to check out my NEW Instagram, and follow along with the holiday cuteness there and on my Twitter feed!

What will you be doing to celebrate?
Have a wonderful holiday!!

December 19, 2013

Sprout Organics

Have you heard of Sprout Organics?
They are wonderfully organic snacks for babies, toddlers, and kids and my daughter LOVES the Tropical Fruit and Pumpkin Crispy Chews!

Diane over at Dollops of Diane just did a great giveaway with Sprout Organics and the Princess and I were one of the lucky winners!

We only received the box on the 13th and all but one package is already gone-- Emma just loves them so much!

Thanks Diane and thanks Sprout for food my kid loves to eat and that I love giving to her!

December 17, 2013

Disney Movie Rewards + FROZEN

It's a completely FREE way to get access to great Disney things!
Have you ever bought a Disney movie and when you open up the DVD case, there's a little slip of paper with some weird looking code on it?
That code is good for anywhere from 50 to 200 points! And as your points accrue, you can trade them in for great prizes on the Disney Movie Rewards page!

And the prizes don't suck.
They can range from older dvds to a talking plush Perry the Platypus doll! Hubs often cashes his points in for Starbucks gift cards!
Last week, I wanted to send flowers to a family member and used my points to get a $15 gift card to put towards them from TelaFlora!

In addition to items redeemable for points, they often offer FREE prizes, like printable coloring pages or stickers!

However, I was thrilled when I opened up my account and saw that because I registered certain movies, I had been gifted 2 free passes to see Frozen!

I had been thinking about bringing the Princess anyways so it was perfect! 

Frozen was adorable! A little bit predictable but there was a HUGE twist on the whole "true love" idea and it was just the sweetest! It kept my two and a half year old interested and engaged the whole time! If anything keeps my daughter happy and quiet for almost two hours, it must be wonderful!

I highly recommend you go see it! And sign up for Disney Movie Rewards!

November 14, 2013

Registering for Baby #2 is TACKY. But I'm doing it.

Hear me out.

Registering for Baby #2 is tacky.
Unless it's been 10+ years since your first, you shouldn't.
But I am.

Not because I'm going to share them with anyone else.
Not because I expect a baby shower again (also tacky to ask for a second one).
Not because I think babies are an excuse for gifts.


I'm registering again for the golden completion coupon.
You know, that beautiful 20% off everything on your wishlist coupon? Ya, that.

After Emmalee we lived in a small 800 square foot apartment with few closets so we passed on a lot of our bigger stuff: the swing, jumperoo, Rock N Play... all things we will need again. I saved a bouncy seat, a boppy pillow and lots of Emmalee's clothes but we'll be lacking on stuff and 20% would be a huge help!

Anyone else ever registered for babies after the first, even if only for the completion coupon or the samples when you register?!

November 8, 2013

14 Weeks!

It seems crazy but this baby has already been cooking for 14 weeks!
Baby is now the size of a lemon!
And call me crazy but I'm pretty sure I felt some flutters!

Last weekend was extremely scary for us.
After a day full of vomiting, around 7 pm, I started bleeding.  First a few spots and then a trickle of blood and then full out non stop blood pooling in my slippers.
 Phone call after phone call to the doctor, we discussed the options and I chose to stay home for the night and go in first thing in the morning to do an ultrasound, check the baby, and see what was wrong.
If I was miscarrying, there was nothing we could do to stop it.

Saturday was an early check in to the doctors for an ultrasound, and there was our beautiful baby waving back at us. 
Baby was moving around, and most importantly, there was a heartbeat.
I was put on a modified bed rest, allowing me to go to work and class but to essentially be laying down otherwise. I am amazed at how much my husband took on for me; I really am just so in love with how well he takes care of me. 

The bleeding slowed but continued until Monday.
My follow up was on Wednesday and after checking in, doing the normal weigh in and checks, the doctor put the doppler to my belly. Nothing.
And more nothing. And more nothing. No noise, no sounds, no heartbeat.
So we rushed to the ultrasound room where once again, my small child was dancing around with a great heartbeat.

The doctor showed me a bit of scarring on the placenta where I apparently tore it from being so sick on Friday.
I am still on a modified bed rest, pelvic rest, and I need to be careful as the pregnancy continues, but my baby is currently happy and healthy. 

I am so excited to meet this baby in May, but if he/she is already giving me this many heart attacks, I am so screwed when he/she joins us! ;)

November 5, 2013

Dr. Scholl's Active Series Insoles Review

Disclaimer: I was offered this product for testing purposes from Influenster but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It's no secret that I adore the wonderful little packages that arrive at my door from Influenster, and this one was no different!

In this package, I got a wonderful package of Dr. Scholl's Active Series Insoles!

I know what you're thinking... Heather... active? Seriously? I laughed at first too. And then I tried them on.
I am by no means a runner... or even a walker but as a large pregnant woman in my (just about?) second trimester, having supportive insoles are amazing!

I can put them in my no support flats and feel like a million bucks after being on my feet teaching all day, or can put them in my riding boots and there's no calf pain when I get home after a long day.  

The insoles say they specifically target the heel, arch, and ball of your foot but my legs just felt better in general!
I love when a product can be MORE than what it's advertised for!

October 29, 2013

Ever happen to you? And Mini Luxe Nailpolishes!

Ever write a post, schedule, and then realize you scheduled it a year later than you planned?  Thankfully I had someone checking up on this post and I could catch my mistake before October left us!

A little more than a year ago, I got to go to a wonderful event at Mini Luxe hosted by Charlene of Charlene Chronicles. 
I was pampered and I am so excited that I have a gift card for another free mani from them from the Blog Better Boston event I went to.. it's heaven!

Mini Luxe was gracious enough to send me their two new colors!

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MiniCure a gorgeous pale pink designed to support the Ellie Fund Do Good Campaign’s effort to battle breast cancer.  All net proceeds from the nail polish bottles will go towards the campaign. 

The Ellie Fund is a non-profit organization that provides things such as groceries, nutritious meals, transportation to medical appointments, childcare and housekeeping all free of charge for over 500 breast cancer patients and their families across Massachusetts every year.

Luxe - Merlot.JPG
MiniLuxe in Lynnfield opened this month and its their first ever North Shore location! Right in the MarketStreet shopping area, MiniLuxe Lynnfield offers 8 manicure stations, 9 pedicure stations, 2 brow stations, and 2 private waxing rooms.  There is even a new fall color named LUXE Lynnfield to celebrate the addition of the 8th location!

Aren't they gorgeous colors?! And they look just as good on your nails!

Lynnfield looks more "wine" than red like I expected, and I adore it! This is 3 coats without a base or topcoat.

And seriously, this MiniCure color is the most perfect pink I have ever found. I just picture amazing french manicures with this. swoooooooon.

Get your butt to Mini Luxe asap since MiniCure benefits Breast Cancer Research this month!

October 21, 2013

The Best Banana Bread

I love banana bread, but it has to be perfect.  None of that yellow cake with the hint of banana flavor.
It needs to be perfect banana bread.

I found the most amazing recipe on via Pinterest

I legit make this at least once a month (if not more) and usually double the batch so I can tuck some away, without worrying about the hubs eating it all first!

Easy Banana Bread

(6 servings)    Printable Version

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 medium bananas
8 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream sugar and butter, mash the bananas and add to the mixture.

Beat and add the eggs. Slowly add the flour, salt, and baking soda. (If desired, fold in the walnuts at this point.) Pour into a loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes.

Easy Banana Bread

Cooking Notes:

This recipe makes one 9 1/2 X 5-inch loaf or three 6 X 3 1/2-inch mini loaves.

I never use walnuts in mine (no thanks), but sometimes I replace them with a handful of chocolate chips!

 Give it a try and let me know what you think!

October 11, 2013

My Pumpkin Confession

Let's be honest.
I'm already judged because I don't eat mac n cheese or drink coffee.
But here's a Fall kicker: I don't like pumpkin anything either.

I like pumpkin candles, but that's as close as I'll get. 
No pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, or pumpkin... whatevers.

Can it be apple filled September again?

October 9, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

I have an entire Pinterest board just full of my favorite quotes and while I love them there, I really do need to share them with the world!
So, I've decided every Wednesday I'll share a favorite!
If there's some interest, I'll make it a link up!

October 7, 2013

How We Broke the News: Baby #2 {A Giveaway!}

Last week we shared our wonderful news that baby number 2 will be joining us in May (assuming a healthy pregnancy!)!

It was a super huge moment for us, as we've been hoping for another baby for the past year.

With our first baby, we just blurted it out to everyone near us. Legit. Went to my mom's house and it was just word vomit.
This time, we wanted it to be a bit more of a reveal.
Every Fall, I host a shopping party and it seemed like the perfect time to share. Most of our female relative would be invited and everyone would be in one room.
The timing was perfect and after everyone arrived, I brought Emma to her room and changed her into her Big Sister shirt.

We went back downstairs and said hi to Mimi and her aunt, and suddenly the realization dawned on everyone.
There was a lot of hugging and crying and it was everything I expected.

I searched for weeks for a big sister shirt and I just wasn't in love with any of them.  I didn't want it to say "Going to be a big sister" because then she couldn't really wear it after the new baby is born.
I found Megan's Etsy site Kreations by Design and she is just a sweetheart! 
I told her my plan and she was totally on board!
More than that, she offered a $10 store credit to one of my readers!

Would you believe that ALL of these shirts are $10 or less?!
She has even more on the Kreations by Design Facebook page!

A 40 in 4 Update

Well I made it even farther on my 40 by 4 list.  Thanks to Covid and a pending divorce, I know a lot wont end up happening but that's no...