Monday, December 27, 2010

Time for a change

This is the time of year where most of us make New Year's resolutions.  We pledge to lose weight, get organized, spend more time with family, quit smoking or maybe get out of debt.  We go into the beginning of each year with a renewed spirit.  We are excited about our new goals and we REALLY plan to stick with it this year.  

Most years my resolutions have to do with organization and weight.  I really do need to get more organized, especially since I work from home!!  And I need to lose about 20 lbs, too - maybe not for health reasons, but for self esteem reasons for sure!!!  

Yet, I feel a reluctance this year in making a resolution.  I almost never succeed at them!  It's a lot of pressure when people ask you what you resolve to do and then they can obviously tell you haven't stuck with it.  In fact, I'm not really ready for a new year to start at all.  So I think I'm going on strike!  Anyone with me?1  I'm going to completely ignore the fact that 2011 is going to show it's face.  I have no doubt it'll be a good year, but I'm not going to accept it.  No resolutions for me!  I'll write 2010 on my checks (which I'd probably do for months anyway), I'll pretend my babies aren't growing any older, and I'll get to stay 29. (gulp)  In fact, I may just keep all my Christmas decorations up all year!


So here's to you, 2010 - you've been a good year to me and my family and I hope you'll stick around a bit longer!


You'll find me here today:

Sippy Cups and Cloth Bums


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giving Moms a Voice

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Charter. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

The Chief and Con-Man are in school most of the day, but I enjoy sitting down to watch tv in the mornings with Monkey-Man.  There are certain shows he just LOVES to watch - like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Go, Diego Go.  I have to limit tv time, of course so I use our DVR!  That way I make sure he can watch his favorite shows, but we don't have to be slaves to the programming schedule and he also doesn't get a case of the "gimmes" when he sees all those commercials!

What are your kids' favorite shows?  Do you have any tricks to limit tv time with your little one?  Or how to make it fair when you have 3 kids that all want to watch something different?

CharterMomsLogo

Charter Communications, Inc is a Fortune 500 company and the fourth largest cable operator in the US.  And they are giving us moms a voice!  Charter realizes that moms have a valuable voice in the online space and they want to know what we think about programming, service, entertainment, and what our kids watch.  They want to know OUR opinions.  

Charter has created the brand new Charter Moms Panel Facebook Page so we can tell them what they can do to make us happy!  Join the panel and voice your opinion!  You'll be one of the first to know about new services and programming!  So go "like" the Charter Mom's Panel Page and let your voice be heard!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wow, for the first time in FOREVER I got to sleep until 7am!  That felt really nice.  Then I stayed in bed, cuddling my little Monkey Man since he snuck in bed with us last night.  It's so great having the kids home from school!  Well, I say that now, ask me again Thursday when their fighting as reached an all-time high and I'm completely bald from pulling my own hair out.  Nah, this week I plan on keeping them busy!  A few extra chores, LOTS of games together, walks to the park, and maybe even a trip to the children's museum in Houston!  There will be a few little crafts thrown in, just because we love them.  I don't know that I'll really be able to post much of anything this week because I really want to make the most out of time with my kids this week.  But I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  I hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends filled with peace and joy!  

Here are some fun pictures of us!

This weekend I attended a really fun party - complete with ugly Christmas sweater contest.  So of course I had to make mine - that was the disclaimer so you don't think that is how I normally dress.  

Me and Santa's helpers


Me and Santa

Me and Santa AFTER he shaves

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Boudreaux's Butt Paste - Free Sample!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.


When I had just had my youngest son, I was pretty active in online message boards.  Every time someone one the boards would ask for a diaper rash cream recommendation, Boudreaux's Butt Paste was always the 1st one I saw!  With a name like that and so many recommendations, of course I had to try it.  My boys have been notorious for BAD diaper rashes.  I mean, to the point of bleeding.  It absolutely breaks your heart when your baby is hurting and nothing is working.  But then I tried Butt Paste.  I swear I heard angels sing.  Little Monkey Man didn’t have to suffer like his big brothers did.  I used it at the first sign of redness and the rash would go away.  I highly recommend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste - if you haven’t tried it, go to Boudreaux's Butt Paste and get your free sample!

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste was specifically formulated by a pharmacist with direction from a respected pediatrician to provide effective diaper rash care.  It goes on and wipes off easily.  There are several convenient sizes - 1oz, 2oz, 3oz, and 4oz tubes come with flip top caps, and a 16oz jar.  Boudreaux’s Butt Paste has a pleasant scent.  It has a skin protectant, too!

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste has been featured on:
Oprah Show
Tonight Show
Today Show
People Magazine
ESPN
While You Were Out TLC
Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Caught Santa!! Discount & Giveaway!




Are your kids looking forward to next weekend?  Crazy question, right?  Are they counting down the days until Santa comes?  I'm always telling my kids that Santa is watching so they'll be on their best behavior.  They didn't really believe me that Santa can see them all the time, so I showed them this picture:





Just a normal picture of the kids until I went to iCaughtSanta.com and added a little Christmas magic!

I simply uploaded it to the iCaughtSanta website, chose the Santa pose I wanted and then proceeded to checkout. Easy as can be!  You can prove to your family that you caught Santa in the act! There is even a video version!  

My readers will receive a whopping 25% off (regularly $9.99) when using the code SANTA2010 during checkout!

Want an even better deal?  I'm going to do a very simple and quick giveaway.  Go to iCaughtSanta.com.  Come back and comment here on your favorite Santa pose and give me your email address.  The first 9 responses I get will receive a code for a FREE iCaughtSanta.com picture!!!



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's Your Wicked Fresh Moment?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toms of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you heard of Tom's Of Maine?  They are a company that’s been around for about 40 years.  They are committed to supporting people, the community and the planet.  Tom’s of Maine specializes in products like toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, soap and deodorant.  

What really draws me to their products is HOW they make them!
*No animal testing or animal ingredients
*They share all the ingredients, it’s purpose and source
*They use sustainable practices in every aspect of their business
*No artificial colors, flavors, fragrance or preservatives
*They strive to maximize recycled content and recyclability of their packaging
*5% of employee time is spent volunteering & 10% of profits go to human and environmental goodness

I’m always trying to find products that are safe for my kids.  The idea of putting chemicals in their bodies that they don’t need and that could hurt them scares me!  

Tom’s of Maine has 14 different kinds of toothpaste, including one for kids.  My favorite for me, though is the Wicked Fresh!  It really does keep your breath fresh longer than my old big-name toothpaste.  It gives you good cavity protection and they only use natural flavor oils and botanical extracts!

We are also big fans of the Wicked Fresh mouthwash!   I love using a mouthwash, but hate the burn!!  Ouch!  But Wicked Fresh has NO burn.  Just clean feeling and good mint flavor.  

Share one of your Wicked Fresh moments for a chance to win Wicked Fresh! prizes at That's Wicked Fresh contest page  

Want to stay up to date on Tom’s of Maine?  Follow them on Facebook or Twitter @TomsofMaine!

Visit Sponsor's Site

CSN Giveaway!!!!

Winner did not respond to my email.  New winner is Dawn!  Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim your prize!




I can't tell you guys how excited I am to offer a $30 CSN gift certificate to my readers!  I bought several great gifts through them this year for my kids.  CSN stores have a ton of items, from luggage sets (one of the items I bought for myself!) to home decor to toys, lighting, and more.  They have 200+ stores all in one place. You just need to go and check it out for yourself.










Giveaway: Entering for this is simple! One, you have to be a follower of this blog. Once you're a follower, fill out the form below and click, "Submit." You're officially entered to win!

This contest will end on December 22, 2010 at 11:59pm (Central Time) and is open to US entrants only. Sorry! All entries must be in by then. The winner will be announced the following morning!


Search for America’s Most Amazingly Energized Woman - Contest!




As a mom, I know I often feel like I’m tugged in many directions - especially this time of year.  Women usually do all the planning, shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, class parties, office parties, gift wrapping, entertaining at home AND still take care of our families.  In the midst of that, we have a warm smile on our faces!  Well, someone is paying attention to that!
This holiday season, the makers of Centrum and Molly Shannon are in search of “America’s Most Amazingly Energized Woman” and they need your help!

You are encouraged to nominate someone who lives life and loves to the fullest during the holiday season while staying healthy.  (You can nominate yourself, too!!!)
Go to LoveFeelingHealthy.com to nominate someone.  Share her secrets to enjoying life and love to the fullest during the holidays.  Submissions must be 300 words or less about how she does it with a smile.  Nominations must be submitted by no later than January 3, 2011.  A panel of judges will select five (5) finalists and then the public will vote for “America’s Most Amazingly Energized Woman!”
Grand Prize: $3,000 XPERIENCE DAYS Gift Certificate.
Four (4) Runner-Up Prizes: $400 XPERIENCE DAYS Gift Certificate
While visiting the site, download a $3.00 coupon for Centrum Women’s or Centrum Men’s to help you achieve better health during this busy holiday season.

On LoveFeelingHealthy.com, Molly Shannon has given some tips on how to get the most joy out of the holidays by living to the fullest - be sure to check back often!

  • I am a member of One2One Network and this post is part of a member project where I am eligible to win prizing.  I make no claims about Centrum as a product or it's effectiveness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

100 Followers!

Yay!  We did it!  We hit 100+ followers this week!  

Just in time for a Christmas giveaway!  Prize includes a set of 4 handmade Christmas Coasters in your choice of design.  I'll also tuck in a few more goodies to surprise you!  Like I said earlier in the week - this giveaway will only last 2 days.  That way I have time to complete everything and get it shipped to you!  So enter below!  The only requirement is you must be a follower of For The Luv Of Boys!

Giveaway closed - Congrats to Liz Clearman, who won the Christmas Coasters!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Home Tour


This year there are so many beautiful homes decorated for Christmas.  There are a couple of amazing Christmas Tour of Homes going on at Nesting Place and Kelly's Korner.  I just LOVE seeing all the different ways people decorate.  I'm getting some great ideas! 

I figured I might as well join, so come on in!  Let me show you around.

First let me introduce you to my Christmas Caroling Snowmen!
These little guys sit on the bar between my living room and kitchen.  
Along with my cute little Christmas Countdown!

From this angle, you can see the snowflakes we've hung above their heads. 

Look at his tiny book - wonder what song he's singing?


 The back wall of my house has these big windows.  They needed something, so I added some milk glass and a wreath with gold and white ornaments.  


 Here is a closer shot of the milk glass bowl with gold ornaments.  I love the way the light catches the glitter at different times of day.

And here is a shot of the vase with glittery swirls.  This milk glass came from my grandma, so I try to keep it displayed all the time.

Now standing at those windows, if you were to turn around - this is what you'd see.
When I first came to look at this house, I saw those banisters and could just picture garland wrapped around them and hundreds of twinkling lights.  It actually brought tears to my eyes - that's how I knew this had to be our home!

Our mantel:
I wanted to keep our mantel simple.  I love the way my santa set looks with just a couple of candles and white ruffle trees the boys helped me make. 

Isn't that sleigh amazing?!

Love that Santa!  Hope I'm on that list!

And our tree!
 I posted before about my sad little tree.  Well, I decided I like it more than I thought.  I don't need a big, huge tree!  That just means more work for me, right?  So I brought this one downstairs - by myself, not an easy task.  I had to put the ornaments back on that fell off on the trip down. lol  And now the tree is getting a prime spot in our living room so we can enjoy it more.



*Note - I'm still on the search for a perfect Nativity scene.  If you see a great one somewhere, let me know.  And we can't hang our stockings yet.  Last year we had a few accidents when the kids wanted to try to hang ON their stockings and the heavy holders fell down on their heads.  Not fun.











Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dinner-time Conversations

Dinner time is supposed to be a great time to get the whole family together.  You sit around the table as a family, the children use their best table manners, you each take turns talking about your day and what's going on in the world and you come together as a family.  

ha ha ha ha ha!  Not in my house.  Don't get me wrong - I try!  I really try.  I have taught my boys manners.  They just refuse to use them.  And meaningful conversation?  That just doesn't happen often enough around here - it's more like trying not to raise my voice when I tell them for the 10th time to stop making gross noises and whining about broccoli.  

So here is where my good friend, Anna comes in.  She is one of those women that you just KNOW has a SuperMom cape hanging up in the closet.  I'm sure she has her off days like the rest of us, but I've never seen one!  She has GREAT, well behaved kids.  She does the most fun activities with them - and sneaks in Bible verses or other educational information.  I bet they don't even know they are learning; they just think they have a super fun mom.  

Well, she passed along this great idea to me and I want to share it.  It's called Dinner Talk or Family Preserves.  I think she said she originally saw it at Quirky Mama.  The idea is that at dinner time, when the whole family is around the table, you take out a question for everyone to answer.  It gets the conversations started and you get a chance to really get to know everyone even better.  I'll also share a great list of scripture verses - I'm making a jar of these, too so we can have some fun with memorization!  These are on my list of gifts to give this year - they are easy, fast and can be done low cost.  I'm getting my jars at the dollar store!


Dinner Talk Jar



What you'll need: 
Scrapbook paper - 4 sheets per jar
Printed conversation starters (links below)
Scissors
A jar
Ribbon


The first thing you want to do is print out your list of conversation starters onto your scrapbook paper (on the white side).  Choose a paper that matches your personality or the personality of the family you are giving it to.  If you don't change the size of the questions in the link, then you'll need 4 sheets of paper.  Print them all at the same time so you don't forget which ones you've done!

Cut the strips of paper out and curl.  You can curl with scissors or wrap them tightly around a pencil.  Make them look fun!


Use a scrap of coordinating paper to make the tag.  Attach with your ribbon and the jar is ready to give or use for your own family.


Want to make your own jars?  Here are the links!

I can already see how some of you could personalize these - vinyl lettering on the side, spelling out your last name maybe?  Favorite sports team paper to print on?  Or maybe your child's favorite character?  Have fun with this!


Find me here:

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up    party!



Friday, December 10, 2010

My Go To Store for Entertaining

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.


My “go to” for holiday entertaining
Pier 1 Imports has always been a “go to” place for me for home decor, gifts and entertaining!  Whether I'm going into the store or shopping online at Pier 1, I know I can find exactly what I need.  I love the variety of items and styles both in store and online.  I am planning a few get togethers this season, so I thought I’d show you some of the items I LOVE, some great deals they have right now, and even some unexpected things on their site!

My Must Haves For Holiday Entertaining:

This year, I’m really drawn to simple designs.  I am mostly decorating in white with splashes of red and some silver and gold here and there.   These are some of the items I have, or will be purchasing to use in the next few weeks.


This sampler set is a really fun way to make sure all my guests get to try a bite of everything!




  This Cocktail Shaker Set will be perfect for after the kiddos go to bed!  It even comes in a gift box - that would be perfect for giving to your hostess if you aren’t hosting your own event!


  This Red Etched Dot Stemware is so pretty, and is actually on sale now!  That will sure brighten up the table!

I’m also LOVING Pier 1’s Tasting Party idea!   Go here for different tasting party themes AND great recipes!!!

For my dinner party, my absolute #1 must have is probably the white divided serving dish
  I love it!  I have two - one will be used for veggies and dip; the other will be used for fudge, brownie bites and other small sweets.  You could also use it for nuts, chips and dip, or candies!


Pier 1 for holiday gifts - 

The last time I was in Pier 1, I saw several items that I knew would be just perfect for my girlfriends!  I don’t want to say too much, because I want surprises this year, but here are a few of my favorite items that may or may not be given as gifts this year. ;)

 These Rose Clutches are adorable!!!


  The Shopper Tote Key Rings are reusable shopping bags that roll up into the matching key ring!


Honestly, the website has so many gift ideas that I could spend all day deciding.  Want to know what’s on my wishlist?   I want one of these business card holders!   I want the zebra one!

My decorating style - 

Many readers know we just recently moved to Texas and have a bit more room to furnish and decorate.  Because of this, I’ve had to finally come to terms with what my decorating style is.  I’d say we are mostly traditional, but I like to throw a bit of something different in for fun.  Right now our furniture is all chocolate brown.  But you know what I think would be a PERFECT?  This  brown & white zebra print chair:


  I love it!  Of course, that would be MY chair - no boys allowed!  


Great Bargains Right Now:

Right now, Pier 1 is doing a Daily Deal - it’s a different bargain item each day.  It’s only valid in Pier 1 stores for one day only and you need to check back each day to find the new deal!

They’ve also got some special discounts here on all kinds of items - I see TONS of pillows I’d like to buy.

Want an even better deal?  Go the their clearance section to get BIG markdowns.  Hurry - I’m sure some of these items will sell out quickly.

During November and December, Pier 1 has been working hard to support Toys For Tots.  You can do your part by dropping off an unwrapped toy or make cash donation at register.  We all know the importance of Toys for Tots and the great joy they bring to so many children and families this time of year.  In fact, you can help spread the holiday cheer by liking Pier 1 Imports on Facebook.  For every new fan they get, they will donate $1 to Toys for Tots!  How easy is that?!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Sad Christmas Tree

You can see a new post on my other, more girly blog here: Fabulously Domestic

I've linked up to a Christmas Tree party and talk about my sad, humble Christmas tree, my tree envy, and my argument for a bigger, better version!




Our humble little tree.  


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Countdown Craft

I've  been looking for an easy, cute countdown to Christmas for a while now.  I've seen a lot that I love on different blogs and websites, but none that I could make right away with what I have on hand.  This time of year I'm SUPER busy making gifts and crafts with the boys, shopping, decorating, and baking.  So I needed something simple and fast that wouldn't make me head out to the store for more supplies.  

She always has great ideas that I want to try.  Today she posted a gorgeous Christmas Countdown tutorial.  
No need to post my own instructions - she did a great job showing all the steps here.  


Here are my final products - one is for me, and one is for a friend.


I did go ahead and put mine back in the frame - but only because BOTH pieces of glass had big chips in the corners.  :(  Apparently Kelli will have some ideas for what to do with the empty frames, so I'd say it would be ideal to follow her tutorial as much as possible.  I also put some shabby rolled flowers on one frame.

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