The Busy Giffs: August 2013

August 29, 2013

11 Questions

Angie of My So Called Chaos tagged me in this cute little thing and I had to play along!

How did you get started blogging & what keeps you doing it? 
I started writing as an outlet, sorting out the emotions and keeping our family updated with our pregnancy.  I did a 30 day blog challenge to get myself started but it's taken off to very personal "diary" like stuff to what it is now.
I love writing, meeting other bloggers, trying out fun new products, and feeling connected to people that I never see face to face.

What do you think makes you unique?
I don't think I'm very unique, but I don't think it's a bad thing either. I'm a bit of a mommy blog, a bit of fashion blog, a bit of a travel blog... I just don't fit into any one category, and I'm okay with that.

What's your favorite thing about yourself?
My work ethic, hands down. And my ability to make people laugh. You have to know how to work hard, but also how to have fun. 

Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
I want to still be writing. 
I would love to be a brand ambassador for companies like Little Tykes, Disney, Fisher Price... brands that me and my family already support and love. 
I don't want to make millions, I don't want to write a book, I don't even want to be famous.
I just want to share my thoughts and feelings, meet other bloggers, and work with some great brands.

What's the best tip you've ever received about blogging?
The Boston Fashionista shared this tidbit at the Blog Better Boston conference and it really made a difference in how I write and what I write about!

How does blogging affect your real life and vice versa?
We get to do some really cool things through my blogging!
We'll be going to Storyland this summer because of a partnership. I've met other mom friends, other Boston blog friends, and have gotten some really cool packages in the mail from companies.
Blogging always take sa backseat to my "real life", but since I blog about life, it's easy to snap some pictures while we're already out and then I just write after the baby goes to bed!

What is something you're actively working toward and how are you getting there?
None blog related- my Masters.  I'm only 1 class away from having that expensive beautiful piece of paper in my hands.
Blog related- I want to be a Disney ambassador. I would love to be a part of such an amazing company.

What is your absolute beauty must have, and why?
Maybelline Mascara; otherwise I'm not really picky.
My "makeup routine" consists of eyeliner and mascara.  That's it so it's pretty important to me!

If money wasn't an issue, what would you run out and buy right now?
Easy. The XBox One for David, a trip to Disney for my entire family, a personal trainer... for life, a new house, and a few $1000 gift cards to Target. Like I said, I'm easy.

What is one beauty tip you feel that everyone should know?
Wash your face before bed?
I don't really know...

Who's your freebie (if you're married-the one person/celebrity you can cheat with without it being cheating) or you're single, your number one celebrity crush?

Hmph. I don't know.  Is it weird that I don't think about that? Maybe Adam Levine? Or Channing Tatum. how cliche of me.

August 28, 2013

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

School just started yesterday for my students, but my grad class starts again in one week!
If you know one thing about college, it's that books are expensive.

Thankfully, the wonderful people at can help with that problem.
Don't waste money buying books, rent them instead!

How does it work?:

Some perks are:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways-you can highlight in the textbooks-they offer flexible renting periods- donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

Even cooler, right now they are having a Fall Sale and offering $10 off of $90 with the code FallSale90

Not in the market for books this semster? Do you have a pile laying around from last semester? has a great new program called RentBack.
Rather than just making back a small amount during Buyback, you can rent it out each semester and make 2-4x more!

I priced out this semester's book at the campus bookstore:  $218
And on Amazon: $142
And on : $121

So what are you waiting for?

August 27, 2013

Get Ready for Fall with CT Handmade #Giveaway

Disclaimer: I was offered free product in exchange for this review and giveaway, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Today is my first day back at school with students sitting in my classroom!
I know it's still August but it definitely put me in the mood for apple picking, wearing my riding boots and putting on a bunch of layers.

When I saw CT Handmade's Chunky Cowl Neckwarmer, I knew I had to have it! It's perfect for that back to fall layering!

Gorg, right?

Everything Claire makes is hand made with a little bit of love so you know you're getting great quality every time!

She makes neckwarmers, cowls, tote bags, bracelets, infinity scarves...

and the most gorgeous zig zag crochet blanket I have ever seen.

The best part: She's giving away a $15 credit to her Etsy shop!

Giveaway runs until 9/6.
Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and will be notified by me.
Prize distribution is done by the sponsor.
CT Handmade does offer international shipping.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 22, 2013

Getting Organized for Back to School with Plum Paper

I am obsessed with planners.
Last year, I bought 3 because none were exactly what I wanted it to look like. 
I needed something that I could keep track of doctor's appointments, blog posts, family plans, and every planner was just not right.

I bought two, yep, not just one but two, Lilly Pulitzer planners last year. But they were too bulky for me.
Then I bought a skinny pink one at Target, but there wasn't enough room to write things in.
So basically I felt unorganized all year.

I love Erin Condren's Life Planners but I'm also cheap and $50 on a planner is a bit hard to stomach.

So I was thrilled when I found Plum Paper Designs on Etsy.
They are the Mac Daddy of all planners.
They have regular planners, teacher planners, student planners, wedding planners, meal planners, fitness planners, family planners, and all of them are totally customizable.
Did I mention they even do sorority planners and monograms?!

I was torn between the student and teacher planner but after seeing how small the Sat/Sun space is on the Teacher planner.. I'm getting a Student version!

I lesson plan a bit strange and need to do it linear, so I can use the top 4 lines for my classes lesson plans, and then use the bottom lines for family events, doctor's appointments and fitness classes, and blogging obligations. 

Looks like it will be perfect!
Now my trouble will be picking out a great cover! there are so many to choose from!

And here's the best part:
Plum Paper is offering a 10% discount for all of my readers!
Use BYTHESEA10 when checking out!

 I just know you're going to love this planner!

August 21, 2013

Mother's Therapy Organics

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

School is rapidly approaching and although it's hardly my first time, it will be my daughter's first time getting ready for September.
At just over 2 years old, she's going to her first day of daycare in one week!

Naturally, I'm a bit of a mess.
Not only am I nervous about her making friends and doing well, but what if she picks up things from the other kids... behaviors, or germs?!

Thankfully, Mother's Therapy Organics makes a great sanitizer that I can send to school with her.
Mother's Therapy Organics uses a natural alcohol, but includes moisturizing products like organic aloe, and lavender. It is ridiculously gentle on both mine and the princess' hands and it has a great light cucumber-like smile. 

IN addition to the travel size hand sanitizer, the company offers a larger size bottle (perfect for the classroom!), baby lotion, and hand lotion!

The products are sold exclusively on so head over and stock up before it's time to send the kids off to school!

August 20, 2013

Cutting Back

Sometimes blogging is hard.
Not because I don't know what to write about, I have like 7 drafts just waiting to be finished, but because it's time consuming.
I don't blog for money, never have, not sure if I ever will.

It was more of my "project", something to do when I felt like it was all falling apart.
I found support during pregnancy.
Shoulders to cry to during David's unemployment.
Friends excited to see the new princess.
Local bloggers who "got" why I wrote.

But it's seem a crazy summer.
Working two jobs, taking grad classes, going to a conference, trying to maintain a balance of mommy, and still having a bit of a social life.
The area hit the hardest was the blog.  I haven't posted since 8/12. Eight days. That's a long time for me.

So I evaluated my life. 
With the up coming school year, I know things will be just as busy.
Until recently, I was posting 5 days a week.
Come September, I will be cutting down to 3.
I promise the content will still be great, only you'll have to wait a day or two in between. 
Hopefully you'll stick around!

Ps. Did you notice I said September?
I've got a few great giveaways up my sleeve for before summer ends! ;)

August 12, 2013

Assonet - Freetown State Park Splash Pad

Summer is quickly winding down but that doesn't mean there isn't more time to squeeze in some more summer activities before it's time to lay out clothes and pack lunches again.

A favorite place of ours is the Freetown State Forest Wading Pool & Splash Deck.
Located on Slab Bridge Road in Freetown, Ma, it's open until September 2nd!

The Wading Pool and Splash Deck are open from 10- 6 daily and, my favorite part, there are lifeguards staffed!

The deepest part of the wading pool is only one and half feet and the entire wading pool and splash deck area are fenced in!
There is some grassy areas around the water to relax in a beach chair and have a snack, or you can pack a full picnic lunch and enjoy your meal at one of the picnic tables located outside of the fence!
There are also rinse showers at both kid and parent height if you're like me and need to get the chemicals out of your hair immediately.

And why is she smiling so big?
Because it's a completely cost-free activity, which means you have no excuse not to go.

August 9, 2013

An August Mantle & A Custom Printable Giveaway!

Now that July is over, it's time to take down the Red White and Blue Mantle decorations, but it's not quite Fall so I wasn't sure what to put there for the next few weeks.

Stumbling through Etsy, I found an amazing shop that had the perfect solution for my mantle.

I was able to hand pick the colors so that it looks great on my mantle.
Add a couple and knick knacks, and what do you think?

And how gorg are my anniversary roses from David?

Brielle, the owner of three eleven designs, is super wonderful and is offering a free custom printable for one of my readers!

To enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs from 8/9 until 8/16!
Prize is the custom designed printable, it is the winners responsibility to print it.
Good luck!

August 7, 2013

3 Years.

There's no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing but I can try for your heart
Our dreams and they are made out of real things
Like a shoe box of photographs with sepia-toned lovin'

Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart
"Why are we here?" and, "Where do we go?"
And, "How come we're so hard?"

It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing it's always better when we're together

Mmm, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at them stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

August 5, 2013

White Apple Designs Tote Bag #Giveaway


If you know anything about me, you know that I'm obsessed with anchors.
And practical anchors are even better.

White Apple Designs has the most adorable market totes, complete with a navy anchor design!
Not only are the bags absolutely adorable,White Apple Designs is an amazing company to purchase from.

- All items are handmade by the owners, Josh + Jennifer.
- All items are reclaimed, renewable, sustainable, or recycled or upcycled.
- White Apple Designs donated 1% off all sales to Earthjustice, an environmental law service group.

And since they are so eco-friendly, can you figure out what the market tote is made from? 
Recycled coffee bean bags and a fabric remnant! The bag is 90% recycled!

I've never taken any outfit picks but I decided the hubs needed to try just so I could get some good shots of this bag...

It's big enough to hold an entire semesters worth of book but comfortable to hold!
My daughter tried to grab it, maybe I should invest in another for myself...

but if you're smart, yous aw that I'm giving a matching tote to one of my readers!

To enter: 
(leave each as a separate comment for a separate entry!)

MUST DO 1 & 2.
1. Check out White Apple Design's Etsy page and comment with which item is your favorite!

2. Either favorite White Apple Design's Etsy Shop (comment with your Etsy user name) OR 'Like' White Apple Designs on Facebook (leave Facebook name in comment)

For Extra Entries:

3. Follow @heathgiff on Twitter (leave twitter handle in comments)

4. Tweet "I want to  a   market tote from  " and leave the URL in the comments!

Contest runs from 8/5 until 8/12!
US winners only.
Good luck!

August 2, 2013

A Trip to the Boston Children's Museum :: Photo Dump

I'm still working on our summer bucket list so when I had a Friday off, we headed towards the city to go to the Boston Children's Museum!

 How do you know you're in Boston?
Red Sox stuff all over the place. Everywhere. <3

I especially love the the Children's Museum has an "Under 3" room.  My kid can hold her own but when there's 13 kids from one field trip group playing with all 6 balls in one room and their camp counselors aren't doing anything to control them... well, that's when I'm happy there's a room those other kids aren't allowed in.

We don't watch Peep and the Big Wide World but we still had a blast in that section of the museum!

However, I grew up with Arthur and loved sharing Arthur's area of the museum with Emmalee!

Seriously kid, could you be any cuter?!

Between lunch in the cafe, and running up and down the 3 levels of play for 4 hours, by the time got to the car, the princess was exhausted.

At $14 a person (over the age of 1), it can get expensive with a larger family but we were able to use our local library's passes and get half price tickets! Even if we hadn't gotten the discount, the museum would be worth every penny!

We can't wait to go back!

40 in 4 : A New Update

With the big changes in my life, I've been able to knock off a few more things! 4. Buy a bicycle. I'm so excited about this one. ...


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