The Busy Giffs: December 2014

December 31, 2014

Edaville Festival of Lights



We were super lucky to be invited to check out Edaville's Festival of Lights this season. 
I have never been and with Emma's love of Christmas lights, it was perfect!


David had to work and my best friend was home visiting from Las Vegas so we met up to take the kids even though it was raining a bit.

We arrived just after 6 pm and were able to quickly walk in because the line moved super fast.
Our first stop was the carousel! The Princess just LOVES carousels!


A short walk led us to a building with a huge sign for Santa!
Inside the building they also had model trains set up, holiday decorations, and the second floor was full of carnival rides like another carousel, a ball pit, a car track, and a party room! They were even showing How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


We could have spent all night just playing on the second floor but the Festival of Lights train left at 7 pm so it was time to head down! We passed by more carnival games, a ferris wheel, lots of lights, and a couple of food vendors on our short walk to the train. 


We grabbed a brownie and some hot cocoa from the depot next to the trains and hopped right on!
The train ride lasted just about a half hour, weaving through lots of light displays.  My three year old would get excited and call out what was coming next before we even got there! She loved it!


Even with the rain, it was a magical night at Edaville Railroad!


I can't wait for Edaville to reopen in the Spring so we can go to even more events!


December 30, 2014

Suck Pads from Sew Sweet

I was provided compensation for this post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I'm not sure where you live but here in New England, we've been playing with 60+ degree temperatures and I LOVE it!
Global warming be damned, I love being able to run to the store in just my sweatshirt and being able to take the kids out without worrying about freezing.
The warmer temperatures have also allowed us to take a few more walks and that means I've been getting a ton more wear out of baby wearing!

I'm waiting for a new lillebaby carrier to magically find its way to my doorstep (which is super unlikely, but I can dream!) and in the meantime, I've been getting a lot of wear out of my mei tai carrier!
I bought it second hand for only $10 and I have TOTALLY gotten my money's worth out of it! I even met Honest Toddler's author Bunmi Laditan while using it!



Little man is teething and factor in second hand (even though I've washed it) and chewing, I knew I needed to find good suck pads to both protect the carrier and keep unwanted germs out of Little Man's mouth. 

I came across this picture while Google searching and knew I needed to know this company!



I was so happy to find it's a mama run company-- I love supporting little business!

Sew Sweet makes these amazing suck pads for soft structured carriers- perfect for the lillebaby I'm eyeing, but would work with all types! I love that each set has a ribbon loop so you could attach a toy or bink clip easily!



I love that the pads are reversible, offering two types of fabric.
We received these beautiful giraffe print pads that have the softest minky fabric on the back.  I liked how the grey minky matched the carrier so I flipped them "inside out" first!






But how cute are the little yellow and grey (gender neutral) giraffes!?


I love how well they are made, how soft they are, and that I can support a momma by purchasing!
 The best part is she's letting me give away a set of suck pads!

US Winners only- sorry!
Winner will be notified and have 48 hours to respond.  Prize fulfilled by Sew Sweet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


December 29, 2014

7 (and a half) Months

This is the most super late month post I've ever done... deal with it. ;)


Growth:

This kid won't stop growing! He's between 6 month and 9 month clothes and is becoming us a little person.

Looks:

He still is rocking his gorgeous red hair.  It's the first thing everyone notices at stores followed by how beautiful his eyes are.  


Firsts and Milestones:

A week before he turned 7 months, he had just started really crawling, moving one knee and one arm at a time. He was trying to pull himself up to stand.

At 7 1/2 months he is full blown crawling, pulling himself up to stand and beginning to move his feet while holding onto the couch!!  Yikes!

Sleep:

We're in the crib a whole lot more but still not through the whole night.  Nap times during the day are pretty regular with a long nap around 9 am and then a shorter nap around 2 or 3 when I get home and nurse him.


Food:

He loves food! Corn, puffs, yogurt drops, bread, pasta, turkey, chicken, spaghetti... I'm amazed at how much he likes to eat! And how much he eats! He took an 11 oz bottle the other day!

Language:

Still just shrieks of laughter when he's happy and lots of crying when he's frustrated (mostly when it comes to not standing anymore after he's pulled himself up). No words yet.


His favorites:

He LOVES the Little People Santa's Village that we have.  He also loves bouncing in his jumperoo and eating. Chasing the cat and Emmalee are enjoyable to him also. 

My favorites:

I still love the nursing snuggles, as I know they are short lived.
His snuggles into my shoulder when he is tired are pretty amazing too.


So we'll see you here in about a week for his 8 month update! Ha!



December 22, 2014

A 30 by 30 Update!


I'm happy to say I have crossed off 2 more items from my 30 by 30 list!

16. Adopt a family for Christmas

Every year we do a couple of shoe boxes full of toys for my school's project and buy for a few Salvation Army angels but this year we went above and beyond. We bought gifts for a family we were introduced to by a mutual friend and after hearing her story, dropped off gifts for both of her children and her.  It's tough to be a mom, tough to be a single mom, and tough to feel like you're not enough of a mom.  She doesn't know it was us and that's how I hope it stays. I don't want or need anything back from her.

22. Buy brand new furniture.

Granted, our new furniture is from Ikea but it is all brand new furniture, not hand me downs from anyone else! I just have this vision of what I want my living room to look like and I'm getting so close to having that vision realized!

New curtains and rug, and a couple of throw pillows and I'll have my dream living room!

28. Buy an original piece of art and frame it in our house

I was at a craft fair at my school a few weeks back and feel in love with two pieces of art that she had.  She had hand painted the images and then made prints.  The art pieces were far too large for what I wanted, but the prints were perfect.  I picked up inexpensive frames at the Christmas Tree Shop and I'm obsessed with them!
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So, here's how the list looks right now:

1. Be an English Teacher (have my own classroom)
2. Have baby #2.
3. Buy a house.
4. Own a pair of Manolos.
5. See a show ON Broadway.
6. Run a 5k.
7. Weigh 150 lbs again.
8. Get my Masters degree.
9. Do a photography challenge for a month.
10. Pay for someone else in the drive through behind me.
11. Get my palm read/fortune told.
12. Go to a blogging conference.
13. Re-learn how to sew and make a blanket from Em's old clothes.
14. Own a car that's less than 5 years old.
15. Go for a weekend trip to Martha's Vineyard.
16. Adopt a family for Christmas.
17. Buy a bicycle. A regular old fashioned bicycle.
18. Go to Vegas for my 30th! (even if it's only for 1 night!)
19. Start (and keep) a vegetable garden.
20. Spend a day getting pampered.
21. Learn to crochet or knit.
22. Buy brand new furniture.
23. Have dinner out with my husband at Top of the Hub or go to Blue Man Group (he's never been!)
24. Wear a bikini to the beach... no cover up.
25. Bring Emmalee to see the Rockafeller Christmas Tree.
26. Do a boudoir photo shoot.
27. Go to a group fitness class.
28. Buy an original piece of art and frame it in our house.
29. Go on our first family vacation (must be out of state, can't be CT)
30. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy.



December 13, 2014

Double Chins Are A Wake Up Call


A couple nights ago, my daughter took my cell phone and took a picture of me.  I saw everything that was wrong with my body in that picture.
My arms looked huge and flabby.  
My stomach roll was visible through my tshirt.
And I had a double chin.

So of course, I ran to the bathroom and started examining myself, moving my head in every direction, assessing how bad my double chin is. 
It's really not super evident otherwise but it was  punch in the gut.
I topped over my scary number on the scale and that wasn't enough to motivate me to do anything, but the double chin is.

I had been doing well right after Tyler but I let it all go.

"I'm too tired to pack them up to go to the gym"
"He's too young to bring to the gym"
"I've been at work all day; I don't want them spending 1 of the 3 hours I get with them with a sitter"
"I have too much to do around the house"
"I can always go tomorrow"
"I'll work out after I wean Tyler"

All excuses. Every single one of them.

I set a goal. And it was terrible goal.
I wanted to weigh 150 pounds again. But that's not a good goal because the number isn't important.  If I gain muscle, the number may stay but I'll wear a smaller size.

I don't want to say a certain size because once again, who knows. But I do have a goal. A real, perfect, doable goal.

In June, on June 24th to be precise, I want to wear a bikini at the hotel pool in Disney. 
That's my goal. 
7 months to feel really really fucking good about myself. 

Wish me luck.



December 12, 2014

Influenster #ModaVoxBox



I've written about Influenster before and I just LOVE the company.  I received their #ModaVoxBox in the mail and am just obsessed with what I got!


From Influenster.com:

resource® Natural Spring Water


refresh. revitalize. replenish. Discover resource® Natural Spring Water…it’s good for you and mindful of the environment. resource is a sustainably sourced 100% Natural Spring Water from carefully selected sources with naturally occurring electrolytes for a clean, refreshing taste. resource comes in a bottle made with 50% recycled plastic* and is 100% recyclable.  Thanks to your recycling efforts, resource can keep re-using your recycled plastic. refresh yourself with resource® Natural Spring Water.




Puffs SoftPack


Outside, its flexible design holds up better than an ordinary tissue box. Inside, it’s the soft Puffs tissues you love from the only national brand dermatologist tested to be gentle.




Rimmel London introduces new Moisture Renew Lip Liner, a totally clear lip liner that defines lips and prevents colour from feathering. The perfect liner for any shade of lipstick, Moisture Renew Lip Liner coats, primes and outlines your pout with a transparent moisturizing barrier - no colour-matching required! Result: your lipstick resists smearing and disappearing so you can wear all of the season’s most vibrant, on-trend shades with total confidence.



As honey coats to protect and apricot oil hydrates for softness, the Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask contains essences of these ingredients, conditioning and coating each strand to help repair and smooth the protective outer layer. The formula helps provides rich moisture protection from everyday styling for smooth, manageable hair while adding softness, smoothness and radiant shine.



Moisture Renew Lipstick by Rimmel London for lips drenched in moisture and a brilliant burst of rich, pure colour. 9 out of 10 Agree* Moisture Renew moisturizes without compromising on colour.


•  Intense colour pay-off
•  Ultra-creamy, soft texture moisturizes lips
•  Vitamins A, C, E help care for lips
•  Available in 24 shades



JERGENS® Ultra Healing® Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer

Repairs, heals, and deeply nourishes extra dry skin to reveal visibly luminous, healthier skin.

Best for: Extra dry skin, including heels, elbows, and knees.
Improves skin‘s tone, texture, and luminosity.
Contains a unique illuminating Hydralucence blend and Vitamins C, E, and B5. 
Heals dryness at the source by penetrating through five layers of the skin‘s surface.
Absorbs quickly and locks in moisture for up to 48 hours.




Scandaleyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara by Rimmel London.


Our first broken heart-shaped brush creates a fringe of big, curvy, rockin’ lashes. This cleverly-shaped applicator twists and curves to hug the lash line; the thin tip grabs hard-to-reach inner lashes, while the amplified base pulses lashes with incredible volume and curve. Lashes are plumped and lifted in one clean stroke.

Product Features & Benefits:
Delivers loud, curvy and rockin’ lashes
Our first broken heart-shaped brush curves to the lash line to grab your lashes and pump them up
Rockin’ lashes at a heartbreaking value
Red and black snakeskin colours will make you want to Rock Out!
Black, Extreme Black, Carbon Black

 
____________________________________________________________

The cocoa disappeared the night I got the box and I've been using the Rockin' Curves Mascara since I got it! I just love it!

Thanks Influenster!


December 9, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: Printables


This month, I've teamed up with more than 70 other bloggers to bring you TONS of holiday crafts this December!

You can check out all the other posts here:

Raindrops on Roses

But today I'm sharing 2 different EASY countdowns and a free printable letter to Santa!


My three year old is SO excited for Santa that we had to come up with something to get her to stop asking every day "Is Santa coming today?!".  I went on to PicMonkey and put together two super quick printables!

The first is so easy it's not even funny.

Print this out, put it in a frame and use a dry erase marker to X off each day as it goes by! When there are no more numbers to X, Santa is on his way!

The second one involves a little more crafting!

Print this image on heavy cardstock.
You'll want it to be on cardstock so it holds its shape better!
Then get 4 pieces of craft paper.  I used holiday craft paper but you could use red and green construction paper, or even just white printer paper if it's all you have!

I cut my 4 pieces of paper (in the long) direction multiple times to make 4 strips out of each piece of paper!

Using tape or glue (tape works faster-- just saying!), make a circle from one strip of paper.  Loop another strip through that circle and secure the second strip into a circle using more tape or glue.  Continue making this chain until you have enough "links" to represent how many days are left until Christmas Eve!

Hang it up and every morning have your little one rip off one "link". When there are no more links, it's time for Christmas!


And lastly, because it's not the holiday season without a letter to Santa, here's a quick one to print off and send! Isn't it cute?


If you have an awesome holiday craft, I'd love if you left a link in my comments so I can check it out!




December 4, 2014

United State of Pop 2014


DJ Earworm is back with his 2014 mashup of the most popular songs of the year.
I love it.  What do you think?


December 3, 2014

The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

I've put together a short list of some of the best holiday gifts to purchase this year!

Gifts For Infants

I find I purchased a lot of gifts that my 6 month old son can "grow into".  Anything by Fisher Price, VTech, and Infantino are always a good bet! These toys are all gender neutral too so they work both boys and girls!
I am excited to see my little man play with these toys for years to come!


Chatter Telephone  | Block and Stack Set  | Stride and Ride Elephant | Poppin Pals
Disney Little People |  Count and Color Sorter | Squeeze and Stack Blocks


Gifts For Toddlers
I could just keep shopping for my 3 year old, it is SO easy to find toys she will love! I always gravitate towards toys that will encourage pretend.

Gifts For Women
These gifts could be for any woman you know- a teenage daughter, a babysitter, a mom, or a wife! I know I'd love to get any of them!


 Slippers | Fit Bit Charge | Fancy Perfume
Lilly Pulitzer Thermal Mug | Blanket Scarf | Statement Necklaces | Kate Spade Purse



For Men
These could be for any guy you know-- your twenty-something son, your dad or your husband!


Homeowner's Tool Kit | Dress Shirts | Amazon Fire Tv
 GoPro | XBOX One | On Field Hat

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And to get you started on your shopping, the Montana Toy Company has graciously donated a $30 Stick Horse of your choosing to one of my readers!
Must be a US Resident. Winner must respond within 48 hours of being notified of win or they will forfeit the prize.

GOOD LUCK!




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