Monday, June 11, 2012

Picnic Memories

Good morning! I have another guest post to share with y'all! I recently asked JD if we could have a family picnic to celebrate my 30th birthday (which is today) so I thought it was pretty neat when Sierra contacted me about doing a picnic post. We haven't had my birthday picnic yet but I'm hoping we'll be able to do it soon. If we ever get around to it, I'll do my best to come back and share pictures. In the meantime, enjoy the ones Sierra's put together!

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Thank you Amber for allowing me to take over your blog once more! This time (Sierra from Ocean Dreams), I'm back to tell you about my summer memories of having picnics and also having a blast in the sun. After all, it's that time to have some fun outdoors! So now it's time to reminiscence of picnic memories from the past.

Isn't it the perfect weather to go on a picnic? I used to go on a picnic when I was a young girl. My mom would get my brother and I ready to head outdoors, but with one exception of course. We weren't allowed to roll in the grass! The reason why is because we were allergic to the grass, and still are. That didn't stop us though. We would be rebellious, rolling around in the grass and having a great time. Of course we would stop by the picnic basket and eat yummy food too. It was wonderful until we came home and broke out into hives. That wasn't fun. But I digress...

 
via seduce me with your eyes

Picnics only bring back positive memories for me (besides the hives, ha ha). Moments of nature, happiness, packing up delicious food to eat at the park, and checking out the ducks in the nearby pond. I even remember walking around the circle that surrounded the large pond area, checking out all of the nature and rushing ahead of my brother. It was pure bliss and I would trade those memories for anything.

 via Martha Stewart

Do you have any memories of picnics? Today I still have picnics, but they are a different kind of picnic. They are beach picnics!! BK (my boyfriend) and I pack up our mini griller and go to Trader Joes and buy hot dogs, chips, and desserts. Sometimes we even make burgers at the beach depending on our mood! We have a grand time at the beach and usually watch the sun go down. I especially love when BK brings candles and we light them once it gets dark outside. I don't mind the extra romance. ;)

 via Pinterest

For future memories I can't wait to plan a picnic with my kids someday. Especially now because there are so many Picnic Baskets to choose from! I would love to pack up my kids' favorite food and a comfy blanket. When we arrive at the park, seeing the big smile on their faces would be delightful, especially when we're sitting at the park enjoying our meals and having fun. I can see Amber doing this with her little boy and hubby too - picnics are wonderful for families!

 via Picnicfun.com

What do you think of picnics? 

I think they create wonderful memories and if you haven't 
done one this summer yet you definitely should!!

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.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guest Post: Create a Spa-Like Bedroom Using Your Sense of Smell

I'm happy to have Sierra back to guest post again today! I have a particular fondness for the topic of scent in your home, since it relates to my much-loved Scentsy. Thanks for posting, Sierra!
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I'm back and Amber was kind enough to let me guest post again, this time with an article from my Paige One business. Thanks Amber and this post definitely reminds me of your amazing Scentsy business! :)

A step to creating a spa-like oasis out of your bedroom is to think about your sense of smell. There’s a lot of psychology behind a person’s sense of smell- for instance, a scent can boost a person’s mood, bring memories to mind, or even conjure romance. Introducing aromatherapy into your bedroom is a great inexpensive way to improve your level of relaxation and reduce anxiety.
{via Amber's Scentsy page}

Citrus scents like those with orange notes are not only known to reduce anxiety, they have been proven to subliminally encourage people to clean or keep spaces tidy. Scents of cedar and lavender are known to reduce tension. The scent of vanilla is commonly used while medical tests such as CAT scans are performed to help people remain calm.  It has been shown that jasmine helps with a person’s quality of sleep and reduces their level of anxiety when he or she wakes up. 

Scents can be introduced to our bedrooms in many ways: flowers, candles, diffusers, incense. Candles add an extra romantic ambiance to a bedroom but are a dangerous way to maintain a scent around 24 hours a day. It’s okay to light candles in the evening and blow them out before becoming drowsy (or opt for flameless candles like Scentsy). To create a consistent environment, purchase a diffuser in a matching or similar scent to maintain the smell all day. 

{via Amber's Scentsy page}

Not only is it important to introduce scents into your bedroom that are inviting and relaxing, it’s also  important to prevent bad odors by sticking to a cleaning regiment. Obvious ways to keep your room clean are by routinely doing laundry and washing bed linens, throwing out trash and old flowers, vacuuming, and dusting. A less obvious way to preserve a spa-like atmosphere is to maintain the cleanliness of your bedroom by ensuring that your wall fountains are cleaned routinely. If you don’t clean your fountain regularly, white scale and algae can build up- not a pretty sight or smell. Luckily this process only needs to be done about once a month and the steps are pretty simple:
  • Be sure to turn your fountain off.
  • Remove any stones or erroneous pieces from the fountain for cleaning.
  • Remove the pump for cleaning.
  • Clean the fountain with mild soap or CLR; wipe or scrub until all white scale or algae is gone. 
  • Clean and rinse any cleaning product from the fountain and replace the pump (once you have cleaned it.)
With all of these elements combined you'll have the perfect spa-like bedroom using your sense of smell! 

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!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Post : Ways to Spoil a Working Mom

I'm excited to have my sweet friend Sierra guest posting today! If I can't seem to find the time to post on my blog, I'm happy to have a friend stop by and do the honors. And if they include pretty pictures, even better :-) If y'all haven't met Sierra yet, head over to her blog and check it out after you read her post. Thanks for posting, Sierra!

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My name is Sierra, from Ocean Dreams blog, and I’m so excited to guest post on Amber’s blog today. First of all, I consider her a lovely friend who I had the privilege to meet I think more than a year ago! { Wow – really that long ago?! } Second of all she is just the sweetest and her family is adorable too.

So I thought about what to write and the thought that came to mind is the fact that Amber is a working mom with the sweetest baby boy ever. I thought – if I was a working mom I would love to add a few d├ęcor pieces to my home that would help me unwind at the end of the day. Amber technically has two jobs – she works for a company and she’s a great mom as well. But she definitely deserves some TLC (aka tender loving care), of her own, am I right? So here is what I would suggest and get for Amber if I had an unlimited budget…

High Thread Count Sheets and a Cozy Bed

There's nothing better than a well rested night of sleep in amazing sheets. I realize that high thread count sheets are not all there is...but they definitely make sleep a lot better, at least for me. A mom who's on the go deserves to have a few nights where she can really catch up on her zzzzz's and what better way to do it in a comfy and cozy bed fit for a queen? A beautiful bed that's nicely decorated also decreases the stress level and is lovely to look at - I know my surroundings often make me feel better and peaceful feeling when the days get long.

 {via pinterest}

Pretty Lights to Light Up a Home

I know that beautiful lighting always puts me in a good mood, hence why I'm always anxious to check out the modern lighting on Lamplust's site. From Starlightz to solar lighting, Lamplust has it all. My favorite is the Starlightz because they are made of wood free paper and are printed, punched, and glued by hand. Not to mention the star illuminates with extraordinary beauty. I think this star would look beautiful lit up in Amber's room or a room that she likes to visit to get away and just enjoy some time to herself once in a while.

{via Lamplust}

A Cozy Library or Office Space

If Amber needs to work at home or gets the opportunity to read a good book while her little one naps, she'll need an amazing library or office space to enjoy herself at. From pretty decor to a nice sofa for her to sit back and relax on, I think a cozy library combined with an enchanting working space (aka office) is what every working mom needs. 

{via The Pretty Librarian}
{via Cozy Cozy}

So if you are a working mom as well, how would you like to unwind when time allows? Whether its a cozy library, nice and warm sheets, or pretty lighting, I think these are all ways that a mom can enjoy some time off either from balancing work and not to mention being a mom and wife. I know Amber is amazing at what she does and I'm so thankful that she's my friend!

Thanks for the guest post opportunity Amber! :) I hope you get some time to relax and unwind and have a great Mother's Day too!

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