Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Giveaway Winner

I'm a day later than I said I'd be posting the Fashion to Figure giveaway winner, but at least it's better than being a week late. Right?

Right.

So, without any additional preamble, the winner is...


Congrats, girl! Email your info to me at Ber611 at aol dot com and I'll get you all set up.

Thanks so much to the handful of you who entered! I still love my blog and everything that goes along with it, including giveaways, and those of you who continue to share it with me are very much appreciated.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Giveaway!

I have a little something fun for y'all tonight! Jessica from Fashion to Figure contacted me a while back to tell me about their site and I was immediately impressed by the cute choices and affordable prices. They carry trendy clothes for plus size women as well as fabulous accessories that fit any size. I was super excited when she asked if I'd want to do a giveaway and obviously my answer was "YES, please!"

How great are these??











I almost took Jessica up on her offer to do a review instead of a giveaway (but I love y'all so I didn't). If I had, I'd have asked if I could put my credit toward this beauty. It's so me.


I'm really excited to give one of you an item worth $30 or less from the Fashion to Figure site! Take a look around and comment to let me know something you might pick if you win. I'll announce the winner on May 14th. If you do win, I don't envy you having to decide what you want because there are so many great choices! (And also because I'm really bad at making decisions.) Can't wait to hear what pieces y'all like!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why I'm Smiling A Little More Lately

This blog has been a happy place for me for about 3 1/2 years now, but lately it's made me sad to visit it because I haven't had time to keep it up and to make my way around to all of your blogs. This is mostly because of my job. It's been draining my time, energy and emotions since I went back after maternity leave in August, just steadily wearing me down. And I didn't want my heaviness to carry over into my little happy place here.

Some of you may not know that I work in another city and my commute is at least an hour each way with traffic. Bad traffic. Sometimes an 18-wheeler will overturn, blocking and shutting down the interstate and it will take me almost 4 hours to get to work or back. (I wish I was exaggerating.) Jaxon is fairly content on my way to work and many times falls back asleep since we have to wake him up at 5:00. But oh my word. The drive home is often miserable.

My parents keep him most days and bring him to me after work. I kind of think he knows that when we switch him from their car to mine, he's going to be stuck there for a while. Recently, he's started melting down immediately and sometimes won't calm down until we get home. An hour later. This kills me. I hate having him upset and not being able to help him. To avoid this, my parents sometimes drive him from their house to ours, which is over an hour away because for whatever reason, he stays more content if he doesn't have to make the switch from their car to mine. It's such a sweet thing for them to do, but not fair to them to have to make that drive so often.

Once Jax and I are home, usually after 5:00, we play until it's time for bath, food and bed. Most nights he's asleep by 6:45. So I'm lucky if I get to spend an hour with my baby on weeknights before I have to feed him and start bedtime. This is not ok with me and has been eating me away inside. I've cried countless tears and beaten myself up for not being with him enough. I miss him so much it hurts, and feel like I'm missing out on some of the most precious moments of his life. Again, not fair to him or me.

To keep a long story short-ish, I went to my boss' boss and basically broke down crying in his office last week, on a day that it took me four hours to get to work. I'd been slowly cracking for months and just hit my breaking point. He must have taken pity on my sorry state, because he's allowing me to cut down to 32 hours a week!! That's a WHOLE DAY every week I get to stay home with my baby!!!!

This isn't the best case scenario for me (a part-time job in my town would be best), but it's definitely a welcome solution until something more perfect comes along. SO, I've been absent and I apologize, and I miss blogging and I miss y'all. My hope is that this day off every week will help me feel a little less stretched thin and maybe give me just enough relief to get back to doing some of the things that make me happy. Like this.
And some of the people who make me happy. Like you.

If you're reading this, thank you. For sticking around, and for still caring. I truly appreciate it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Specials

I couldn't let this month pass without telling y'all about the exciting things going on with Scentsy!

First, almost everything in the catalog is 10% off! This sale doesn't come along often so whether you've never tried Scentsy and are wanting to see what it's about, or are already obsessed with it (like I am) and are needing to stock up on scents, this is a great time to do it.



And speaking of stocking up, if you're a fan of the bricks (which contain a whole pound of wax), you'll need to do it now since they're being discontinued after Wednesday. With the 10% off they're only $18, which is an awesome price for that amount of wax! This is the list of the fragrances that will be discontinued in the next catalog. Some of them could come back in the Fall/Winter catalog but there are no guarantees. They could be leaving forever! If any of your favorites are on the list, grab them while you can.



Another really exciting thing happening this month is that everyone who becomes a consultant this month will receive not only the upcoming Spring / Summer testers but also the current Fall / Winter ones in their Starter Kit. This means that if any of the current scents are brought back later, you won't have to pay for those testers. It's a great value - you'll be receiving even MORE than what's pictured here! This includes everything you'll need to get your business off to a great start.





I'd love to tell you more about what a blessing being a Scentsy consultant has been for me and what it can do in your life.

Let me know if you have any questions about buying Scentsy or joining my team! Or if you're ready to make a purchase, you can do so here through one of my open parties.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend and plan to be back soon with Jaxon's 9 month update!


Friday, February 24, 2012

SHOUT-OUT

Plus two points to anyone who thinks of Al and J-Si on Kidd Kraddick whenever you hear that.

But even if you don't, I want to send a quick SHOUT-OUT and many thanks to my pretty Palmetto Belle for having such a wonderful giveaway (THAT I WON!!!) and just for being generally awesome.

I won a fabulous blog makeover from Utterly Chaotic. AND, as if that wasn't enough, I also won a Sephora gift card! A very generous one, might I add. This kind of  thing doesn't just happen every day! Not to me, anyway.

I plan to get this beauty with it. It's probably not a purchase I could have justified without a little assistance, so I am PUMPED that this is happening.





What do you think? Will this help to perk up my exhausted appearance?

I'm gonna go with yes. Because I NEED IT TO BE TRUE. We're working with 4:00 AM wake-ups lately and Mama don't play that game very well.

I also apparently NEED to slow down on the caffeine. There seems to be a lot of shouting going on in this post.

Anyhoo, if you don't know the Belle behind the Palmetto, head on over and check her out. She might just make it worth your while.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Month Eight

So, I'm back. For today at least. I can't tell y'all how much I miss blogging. Life (especially work at this point) is making it impossible for me to spend any time on the things I enjoy doing for myself (except for Scentsy- thank the Lord for Scentsy!). I'm hoping things will change soon. They need to change soon.

For now, here's Jaxon's 8 month post (he's 9 months old now). He had his first little accident at his granparents' so he has a scrape on his face in the first set of pictures. I guess that's life with a little boy!

Jaxon Abbott,

You need to slow down, son! :-)





No, not really- I love watching you grow but you do continue to amaze me with how quickly you're advancing! The day after you turned seven months, you pulled yourself right up to a standing position using our couch and you haven't stopped since. You're using things to "walk" around and crawling like a champ, getting into any and everything you can get your hands on. We're sure you'll be walking in no time.

You keep us on our toes and BUSY chasing you around and redirecting you back to baby-appropriate objects, and we wouldn't have it any other way.



You've learned how to clap, give high fives, and kind of sort of wave bye-bye (all of which are the cutest things I've ever seen). You love to make as much noise as possible- usually by banging things around, like certain toys on the glass part of our coffee table. Ear-splitting but, apparently, fascinating to you, so we tolerate it.

You're still a "talker." Sometimes you go on and on and on and we just have to laugh. We wish we knew what you think you're saying! Sometimes you keep going even after you've started to fall asleep, like you just need to get one more thing in before you go to bed. It's precious.

You are so sweet and laid back. Your daddy, grandparents and I constantly talk about what a delight you are. You're nothing but a joy, sweet baby. And you're joyful- full of life and happiness. I am so incredibly grateful to have you as my son. Sometimes I look at you and just start crying happy tears because I'm so overcome, knowing that you're mine forever. I don't know what I did to deserve someone as beautiful as you in my life, but I'm eternally thankful for it.



I only hope that I do you justice as your Mama. I hope that I'm able to teach you the important lessons in life, with both my words and actions. I hope that I'm able to live my life in a way that's worthy of being an example to you.



I hope, above all else, that I'm able to point you toward the One who made you, and gave His precious life so you could be with Him forever. Because as overwhelmingly much as I love you, it's only a dim reflection of the way He feels about you. As hard as I try not to, I will one day let you down and disappoint you, because I'm only human. But He never will. He has an amazing plan for your life, an incredible purpose, and I can't wait to watch it unfold for you.

You are part of His plan for my life and I can't imagine a greater blessing.

I love you, baby boy.

To the moon and back,
Mama


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Months Six and Seven

I feel like an awful Mama waiting until Jax is seven months old to do his sixth month update! I really want to try to get better with the timing of these. But I think I've said that every month so far and it hasn't happened yet, so we'll see.

(I actually started this post a while back but am behind on his pictures so have been holding off on posting it. Jax is now approaching eight months and is doing far more than what I cover in this post but I want to remember each stage, so I'm keeping it as is.)



Jaxon,

You are such a good natured baby. You love to smile and sometimes when you do, it's like your whole body lights up - like you're so happy you just don't know what to do with yourself. Your Mimi says, "the happiness just gets all over you." And of course when that happens, it makes the happiness get all over us too.

Even when you're upset, you try not to fuss too much. You start out with a little wimper or other indication that something's not quite right for you and give us a chance to help you with whatever it is you need. However, if we take too long for your liking, you let us have it! It's like you have a long fuse but once the end is reached, we better watch out! I'm very much the same way, so you come by that characteristic honestly. (Your daddy has the patience of a saint, which is one of my very favorite things about him.)

I say this every update, but it's so much fun to watch you learn and grow! You now have no problem getting wherever you want to go. You sit up by yourself with very rare tip-overs. The first time we really noticed you sitting for a length of time by yourself was October 29th (you were about a week and a half away from being six months). Now you go from sitting to crawling position and back, and you have your "army crawl" down to a science.

Daddy says you're crawling but I won't admit that you are until you get the whole hand/knee coordination down. At this point, you get on your hands and knees and rock, like you know this is supposed to get you moving somehow but you haven't quite figured out the logistics of it yet. After rocking for a bit, you usually flop down onto your stomach and drag yourself around at startling speeds using your forearms.

Your attention span varies, depending on what you're doing. You love to play with empty boxes (cheez-its, granola bars, whatever), beating on them and flinging them around (though we take them away once you go to put them in your mouth). Those keep your attention for a while. But if you're sitting on your activity mat with different toys, it's like you're thinking, "BASEBALL!!! Rattle rattle soft yum SOPHIE!! Squeaky chewy nom nom nom ROLLY BALL!!! Lights music tags ELECTRICAL CORD, REMOTE, DVDS!!! **Siiiigh** here comes mama, moving me again."

When you were five months old, Dr. Wood said we could start you on a little bit of rice cereal twice a day. You took to eating solid food like a champ!  At six months, you started eating vegetables. You've had a few different kinds and you haven't refused any yet. Since you were born, you haven't been too picky about what we feed you, as long as you get fed when you're ready to eat!

I can't believe how quickly you're growing. I also can't believe how my love for you continues to grow right along with you! I'm am forever in awe of the blessing and joy that you are. If I could've picked  a baby out of all the little babies in the world, I would've picked you. God knew exactly what He was doing when he made you, your Daddy and me for each other. The three of us are such an awesome team and I'm so thankful to be part of it!

I love you to the moon and back,
Mama



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To Santa Or Not To Santa?

JD and I have been discussing a certain issue recently. Basically, whether or not to "do Santa" with Jaxon. I personally have no use for Santa. Shocking, I know! A few reasons:

1) I never believed in Santa growing up, and still ADORE everything about Christmas. Not having Santa didn't change my feelings about (or enjoyment of) Christmas one bit.

2) I work hard and long for the money I make that's used to buy things for Jax. I don't want some fat fake guy and his funny-looking fake little people getting the credit for MY awesome present-giving skills!

3) This one's my main reason. If we decide to tell Jaxon there is a Santa, I'm going to have a really hard time repeatedly telling him something that I know is just setting him up for a disappointment later. I've heard people argue that it's not lying to your children, but can someone please explain to me HOW it's not lying? You're basically tricking them into believing, loving, and trusting in something that's not true! I heard of one family a co-worker knows whose child, when she found out about Santa, said something along the lines of, "Well if you've been lying to me about Santa, how do I know you're not lying to me about Jesus?" I just don't know if I can in good conscience take that risk with my children. Even if it's something that can eventually be explained, I don't want to be responsible for planting even a seed of doubt in their little heads about God.



So. Having gone off on that rant (and ducking from the tomatoes that I'm sure are being thrown), I'm asking for your input. Did you believe in Santa growing up (probably, because I realize I'm in the minority, having not believed in him)? Were you upset when you realized he's not real? Do you honestly believe that Santa had any kind of major impact on your Christmas experience? And am I a bad Mama to not really want to "do Santa" with my children?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! (And I hope we're still friends after I said I don't give a flip about the big jolly fat man.)

(Picture is the first one I found on Google. Sorry, that's the only credit I have time for at the moment.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Salmon Cove

Today, I have a new (to me, anyway) product line to share with you! I was excited to hear from one of the owners of Salmon Cove, Owen.
When he offered to send me one of their products to try out, I was even more excited.

Owen described Salmon Cove as a "classic apparel line," and I found that the website calls it a, "fun, distinctive, confidence-inspiring clothing brand that (will) stand the test of time." I continued reading about the brand and was particularly persuaded by the lines, "Like salmon that swim against the current to return to where they were born, Salmon Cove was founded on the idea that you can go home again. We make clothes to help you enjoy the journey, regardless of the current you are swimming against." Rather inspirational, no?

And with that, I was off to choose which product I wanted to try.
I initially planned to try this Long Sleeve Cove Collar shirt. Most of their collar shirts have contrasting trim on the inside of the collar. Super cute. So I headed over to the sizing chart to figure out what size I needed. Let's be honest, I'm completely re-learning my body and the sizes it needs post-baby. I realized that according to the chart, I was on the edge of two sizes and couldn't decide which to go with. Thankfully, I saw that there were customer testimonials that were available for, "customer insight on our sizing/fit." Except when I clicked the link, it brought me back to the product page. Not helpful. I pointed this out in a later email to Owen and he thanked me for the feedback on the sizing charts and said they would "take a look and refine them today." That was on October 31st and changes had not been made when I checked the site earlier today.



Since I wasn't sure which size to go with, I chose to review one of their canvas totes because, really, can a girl ever have enough totes?

Here's the website description:
"Our durable canvas totes comes in four different color options. Featuring a zip-close top, pockets and detachable Salmon Cove keychain. Dimensions: 12"H x 16" W x 5"D."




I guess I should have paid more attention to the description because I was surprised by the small size of the bag when I received it. Overall, the tote is nice. I like that it zips closed because I don't have to worry about items slipping out, and I like that it comes with a matching keychain. That part is really cute.

Having said that, I wouldn't pay $49 for it. That's a pretty good little chunk of change for me and when I spend that much, I want it to be on something that I love. One thing that bugs me is that random (thick) strings keep coming off on the inside. It hasn't seemed to affect the fabric or seams of the tote but it's kind of annoying to have to finish pulling the strings that come loose.

This won't keep me from using the tote (unless it eventually causes holes or weakness in the seams) but I was hoping for a better quality for the price.

I kind of wish now that I'd had the chance to review one of their shirts because I like to think I would have been more impressed with those.

If you're interested in checking out the company for yourself, you can use the code "xoxoamber" for 15% off. Or, if the total comes out better, I saw on Twitter that you can use the code "Holiday2011" for $20 off your purchase!

In other news, Jaxon turns seven months today and I never did his month six update! I do have pictures from month six so I'll just come back soon to combine the month six and seven updates in one post. Mom fail!

Note: The pictures are from the Salmon Cove website and as I mentioned, I was given a tote for my review.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Exciting News

I'm beyond excited to tell y'all about my latest venture. I recently decided to become a Scentsy consultant! Although I've heard a lot of buzz about the company recently, some of you might still be unfamiliar with it so I'll tell you a little about it.

I first discovered Scentsy products when I was looking for something to help keep Jaxon's nursery fresh. I didn't feel safe burning candles around him and was really excited to learn about Scentsy's flameless, wickless candles. Beautiful warmers use a low-watt lightbulb to melt scented wax and release the fragrance. If Jaxon somehow ever got his hands on these products, he wouldn't be burned - or burn the house down! The fact that the scents are so divine was just icing on the cake for me.

This one will probably be the next warmer I get. I love the idea of adding one of our pictures to it!



This warmer is my favorite one from the Holiday Collection. So cute!



This one's an example of a plug-in warmer for smaller spaces or areas that don't have a lot of counter space.



One of my favorite things about the Scentsy line is that the prices are so affordable. A scent bar lasts between 60-80 hours (depending on the scent) and only costs $5. A fun fact is that a bar can outlast a jarred candle that's more than 3 times its size!


In addition to the warmer and wax systems, Scentsy offers room sprays, anti-bacterial hand foam, travel tins, and more. One of my favorite products is the Scentsy Buddy, which is a collection of super cute stuffed animals that contain scent paks. I think this is a fabulous gift idea for a baby shower or child's birthday party! Each buddy comes with a registration number that can be used on a website to print an adoption certificate, play games and learn more about the Buddies.




These products are perfect for offices and classrooms since candles usually aren't allowed. JD has already put in a request for me to order a warmer for him to keep in the baseball locker room. He loves these products too, and it's the first time he's shown any kind of interest in a fragrance product that I've used in our home. And this was before I signed up to become a consultant! The fact that he seemed to love Scentsy as much as I do was one thing that helped me make the decision to be a part of this company.

If you're looking for gift or stocking stuffer ideas for the holidays, let me know and I'll help you come up with some ideas. There are options in just about any price range!

Have a look around my website and while you're there, sign up for my monthly newsletter. It will include promotions and announcements like exciting new products when they come out. The good thing is it's only sent once a month, so it won't clutter up your inbox.

If you make a purchase by December 9th through "Launch Party Open House," which you'll see on my homepage, I'll enter your name into a drawing for a door prize!

Let me know if you're interested in hosting a party or joining my team as a Scentsy consultant. One fabulous option for hosting Scentsy parties is what's called a basket party. You simply take a basket filled with mini-testers and some of our other small products around with you wherever you go for about a week or so. Show the products to your friends and family and take orders as you go. You earn the same hostess rewards as a home party without having to clean your house or buy and prepare food!

These products are so much fun to share with friends and family and I'd love to answer any questions you have about them! Have a look at some of the products and let me know what you think!