Wednesday, December 11, 2013

because I appreciate you...

Because we love to spread cheer around here, I want to give a little Christmas cheer to one of my readers. My gift to you. You all have been the best. You all have treated me with kindness and always offer words of encouragement and positivity. I wish I could give everyone I know a little gift, but I can't, so we'll have this giveaway instead, ok? :)

With only 13 days left til Christmas eve and 14 days til Christmas day, this giveaway will only run until Monday so that there is plenty of time for me to ship the prizes to the winner before Christmas!

Up for grabs is a copy of Susanna's Christmas Wish by Jerry Eicher. It's a cute Amish-Christian Romance story. You could head out to your local starbucks and enjoy your favorite cup o' joe or hot chocolate while reading this book because I am giving you a $5 starbucks gift card too! Oh and a little surprise will be included as well.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Please read the rules at the bottom of the rafflecopter widget.

Good luck & Merry Christmas, from Santa's little helper! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas party-time!

Over the weekend, I was delighted to be able to attend my ward's Christmas party. It was a great opportunity for me to wear my first ever vintage-esque dress from ModCloth (No I was not compensated for my thoughts on my modcloth dress, but if Modcloth reads this post, I'd be happy to receive product for an honest review lol)! I chose this evergreen frock and it did not disappoint. I loved that the material was thicker, which was great because it was cold outside baby!
The Christmas party committee did an amazing job. The decorations were awesome. I especially liked the white Christmas lights draped on the ceiling, plus there were lighted Christmas trees. I am lame because I totally forgot my camera as I headed out the door. Our taxi driver was being a little impatient (he arrived early) and well, I got distracted and left my camera, that was in plain sight, on my table. sad face. Photos from Amanda's phone will have to suffice.

There was also a table for decorating gingerbread houses and a hot cocoa table complete with all kinds of add-ins. Oh and dinner was delicious! We had prime rib, baked potato, caesar salad, orange slices and cake. The caesar salad dressing was divine! I could eat that salad everyday.

After dinner, there were wonderful Christmas musical numbers and in between each performance, a member of the bishopric read the birth story of Jesus Christ.

It was the perfect night to really getting into spirit of Christmas.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Wanderlust Print Co. + {giveaway!}

Why is etsy so addicting? I could spend hours on there browsing around for all kinds of wonderful-handmade-goodness! I am thrilled to be sharing a new etsy shop that I stumbled upon called Wanderlust Print Co.  Lauren, who is the beauty & brains behind Wanderlust Print Co., is so creative that you can obviously tell by the items she designs and sells. She takes ordinary travel maps and breathes new life to them with printed inspirational quotes! Ah-Mazing!

I love the quirky look to them. Plus, each print that is made is completely original because each quote is printed on a different piece of map paper. Cool, huh? Lauren also takes requests for custom quotes or different sized prints so you can get the art work tailored to your needs.

These would make one-of-a-kind, awesome gifts just in time for the holidays!! The traveler, music lover or artist in your life would surely appreciate one of these super cute + eclectic prints in their home or office! Or heck, get one for yo self!

I have a few favorites that I've "hearted" on etsy! Take a look:

who doesn't love "home"

i'll be home for Christmas

i love this quote!
Go on and browse Wanderlust Print Co. and let me know what's your favorite print because we are having a giveaway for a free print! Enter in the rafflecopter below and make sure to read the rules at the bottom of the widget. Giveaway is worldwide! Good luck!

If you want to do a little holiday shopping now, you can use code FREESHIP for free First Class shipping from the shop thanks to Lauren!! yay!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

what would you do?


Gather round kids, I've got an interesting story for ya.

I totally felt like I was in an episode of What Would You Do, hosted by John Quinones. Have you ever seen that show? I felt like maybe he was hiding in an unmarked black van in the parking lot outside. Maybe hidden cameras were disguised in Paradise Bakery registers or trash cans in the corner?

It was a typical shopping day for me at the mall in the early 2000's. I was on the upper level heading back toward the food court to get a drink refill at Chick-fil-a, where I approached a little girl, maybe 5 years old, unattended. First, I was shocked that she was just standing there alone with no adult in sight that could claim her. Then I got really appalled when I heard more distinctly what she was chanting so loudly, almost a yell. Racial comments about the black women standing in line at Chick-fil-A. There was this little blond girl, repeating the same phrase, over and over and sometimes pointing in the direction of the women.

I looked around and EVERYONE knew how inappropriate this behavior was and how crazy it was that she was there, alone. EVERYONE was whispering and shaking their heads as they ate their lunch, but no one tried to talk to the little girl, except me. I drove closer to her and said something like, "Sweetie, shhh. What you are saying is not nice. Where is your mom or dad? What you are saying can hurt people's feelings." I looked around feeling helpless, thinking, should I request security, as she kept opening her mouth. I seriously didn't know what to do.

This little girl started walking away toward her adults finally. I approached the women in line and apologized to them on behalf of the unbelievable scenario. It's obvious that this girl's guardians are teaching her to be this way and how sad that made me that day. Such thinking is learned.

I don't know why I this incident came up in my mind in the last week, but I thought it would be blog-worthy. It's just a good reminder to me to be more kind, to be more considerate, to stand up for what is right even if no else is and to love more. Wouldn't you agree those are important, especially around this time of year? Can you imagine how more postitively people would react? The world would certainly be brighter.

Like John would ask, what would you do if you were in a similar situation?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

this is happening.

Let the Christmas festivities officially begin!! Happy beginning of December!

Yesterday, my friend Cherilyn that I met in jr. high came over. I got to meet her dad, who is a painter. He painted a super cute Christmas scene on our living room window. It was nice to visit with them. They are so down-to-earth and friendly.

3 generations :) Before

Today, this is what was happening: writing out Christmas cards!
Oh yeh. I just made a dent in my list of who I send cards to. But hey, it's a good start!

Do you guys know Lena of Lena, B Actually?
She's so sweet and has always been great at reaching out and helping the "little guy". I've sponsored her blog before and loved it. You might be interested to link-up on her blog for Passion For Fashion as well. There a few more days left to link up your thanksgiving outfit or black friday outfit and if you don't have the time, no worries because she co-hosts it every friday. I'm helping Lena out with her blog today by guest posting because her & her family are having a bit of a stressful time.  Go check out my post for my thoughts on my favorite ways to communicate.

and don't forget this giveaway if you haven't already entered :)
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving recap + giveaway!

Just poppin' in this weekend to ask, how was your thanksgiving? and to share a bit about my thanksgiving.

My little friend P. was here, so we played with these leggo type blocks that she made into a van for me haha. I enjoyed some fresh air outside while she rode her bike. I called my mom and also talked to my grandparents (mom was at their house) and texted many friends and a few family members.

earrings:gift // shirt: target // skirt: target
(don't mind my pink chihuahua cup)
Around 4 p.m. everyone started coming over. I took some photos of Sandy slicing the turkey and Maria was helping prepare the ham. I thoroughly enjoyed green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Later that night, while I lay in bed, I started writing out my Christmas card list!

Now that this weekend is coming to a close, how about we have a little fun! Lookie lookie.........

I am so excited to let you all know that I am participating in a giveaway over at Life with a side of Coffee. Many thanks to Christine for putting together this awesome giveaway! Here's what is being given away: Taylor from Pink Heels, Pink Truck is giving away a month of Large Ad Space plus 5 tweets which comes to a total of $35 normally. Jennifer form Busy Being Jennifer is giving away $20 credit to her shop, Homespun Happiness. Britt from Sunny Tales and Happy Mail (that's me!) is giving away $5 to Starbucks and Christine? Well, she's giving away a free month of large ad space and $10 Starbucks totaling the Starbucks gift card to $15!