Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flowers, Oh How I Love Flowers

1:32 PM 0 Comments
I love flowers and well, that's not really a secret is it? I post pictures of flowers here quite often. I'm a girly girl in so many ways and one of those ways is that I love love love love love (do you think I love it?) getting flowers. Heck, I even love going to the grocery store and picking up a couple of bundles and bringing them home and arranging them. Don't ask me how many vases I have because I don't even know! The entire area under my kitchen sink is full.

Now, I know that money is tight and that sadly, if you're like me, the flower budget is one of the first things that has to go. Which is why I was so excited when I was contacted by Valentine's Day Flowers. If you didn't know, they're a sister company of After seeing some of the lovely flowers posted here on the blog, they've asked me to pass along some discounts to my readers and how can I say no to that? I can't! So, if you're in the market for some lovely flowers, whether it's for yourself or for someone else, make sure that you click this link to save yourself some pennies!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Dreams

12:31 AM 1 Comments
When I was a little girl, I fell in love with the book The Story of Holly and Ivy. It's about a little girl who lives in an orphanage and when all of the other kids go off to visit families for Christmas, she says she's going to visit her grandmother. By the end of the story, she's gotten the best present ever, a new family. I used to dream that I was that little girl. Not because I wanted a new family, but because in the end, all of her dreams came true.

As an adult, I have new dreams. I have dreams for my own life and now dreams for my boys. I want them to grow up to be good men. I want them to find what makes them happy and to go for it. I think that's my biggest hope and dream for them. I want them to be happy. I know that true happiness comes from loving the person that you are and it's my hope, that as their mom, I can teach them how to do that.

As Christmas approaches, more and more I think about what it is that I can give to them. Yes, they'll have presents under the tree. They'll have the fun of tearing open packages and seeing what Santa (and mom) has brought them. I'll get the joy in watching their faces. There's something wonderful about watching a child open a present, knowing that it was picked out just for them. More than that though, I'll give them experiences.

Like many families, we have our own traditions. Every year, the boys get new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Every year, I wrap them and let them open them, even though they know what's inside. This year, I waited with tons of other people for the midnight sale at Walmart to begin. It was important to me that I be able to continue a tradition that they said they wanted to do still.

After they open their pajamas and get into them, we'll all cuddle up on the couch and read The Night Before Christmas together. I started reading it to them when they were tiny and now they read it to me. We'll put out milk and cookies for Santa. The boys have let me know that they think Santa wants chocolate milk and homemade cookies this year. Every year, I ask them what they think he wants and every year it changes a little bit. One year the poor man had to drink both egg nog and chocolate milk. After that, he let us know one glass of drink is enough to go with his cookies.

Do my boys still believe in Santa? I don't really know and you know what? It doesn't really matter. It's all part of the fun we share together each year. I'm sure in a couple of years I'll know for sure but I don't think that will stop us. I remember the first year I didn't get a stocking filled with treats. Even though I "knew" Santa wasn't real, it made me sad. So, we'll do stockings here until the boys let me know they don't want me to anymore.

As for me, I still believe in Santa and I hope that all of you do too. Imagine if we took the Christmas Spirit that he embodies and applied it year round. This world would be a much better place.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How To: 3D Snowflake

2:36 PM 0 Comments
Since I had a few requests on how to create the giant snowflake that's hanging on my wall, I decided to post the instructions. Since I didn't invent this, I knew there had to be instructions out there somewhere and sure enough....TaDa!

I do have to apologize for a) the length of this video and b) the fact that he has loud music playing the entire time he's creating the snowflake. For the abbreviated version, I suggest this video. He made me laugh.

Now, if neither of these works for you, I'd suggest this link. It has pictures and a video! If you do make one, please be sure to come back and link me to pictures! I want to make some smaller ones to go with the teacher gifts. I just have to find the time!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Is Coming

11:44 PM 2 Comments
Can you believe that it is now less than 3 weeks until Christmas? Where the heck has this past year gone? I'm not even sure where the last month has gone. I keep thinking I just wrote here and then I come over and bam! it's been something like three weeks. I need to do better. I'm doing pretty good with making the changes within the house and I'm going to keep doing that and I'm hoping to add in more blog stuff soon. If nothing else, I want to start doing my Wednesday photo posts again. Photos make me happy and happy is good. :)

Now, I know it's not Wednesday, but I just have to share some photos with everyone. I think I wait, maybe I didn't. Ok, I need to give some background here. I've been divorced now for about 4.5 years. About 3.5 years ago, I moved out of the "family home" and moved to Buffalo. I didn't put up a tree for the two years I was there or last year because the apartment didn't have enough room and this house was in total chaos at this time last year. This year, when I went looking for my bin with all of our Christmas tree ornaments, I was dealt a pretty harsh blow. It's gone. The tote that held all of the boys' ornaments and all of the ornaments that I've had since I was probably a toddler. They're gone. As you can imagine, insert devastation here. Then, I took a deep breath and said no, I'm not going to wallow in this. Yes, it sucks in more ways than a person can imagine, but it could be so much worse. My friend Jenny just lost her husband and is looking towards a Christmas without him. There are people who can't give their children food, let alone presents or a tree.

So what did I do? I put out the word on Facebook that I was looking for anyone's spare ornaments. My father's cousin and his wife went through their ornaments and found some for us. I went digging through my holiday totes and found some that I'd gotten last year at Goodwill. I think I'd planned them for a craft project, but now they're happily shining on our little tree. We didn't put up the big tree this year. This house just isn't made for a 6' tree. We did have a great spot for our little 3-4' tree though. Now, without further ado...I'd like to introduce you to our tree....

Tree Closeup

Finished Tree

3D Star

Yes, those are popcorn strands. I sat on my couch, watching the boys play games, smiled and fed a needle through hundreds of pieces of popcorn. I thought about how thankful I was to my mother for giving me her ancient air popper so many years ago. When I needed it, it was right there in the cupboard. I also made that huge 3D star. I had no idea it would turn out as big as it did, but we love it no matter.

As we go into the holiday season and the crazy rush that sometimes happens, I want to ask my readers for two things:

1. If you have leftover ornaments that you're not going to use or that you just don't love anymore, look for a family who can use them. As I've said on Facebook, our family is hosting the "Ornament Rescue Program" for this year. If you have ornaments that you would like to share with our family, drop me an email and I can send you our address. If you have some that you just want to share, check out your local FreeCycle group.

2. The next time you walk by one of the bell ringers outside of a store, drop in your loose change. You have no idea how far that change can go. If you live in an area where those people don't exist, look around online. There are so many charities that can use a helping hand not just now but all year long.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Hopefully I'll be back soon!


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