Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blissdom Newbie - Whitney

Yay!  Our first Blissdom newbie guest post - welcome Whitney from Pretty Whitty!

Now show her some love! :)

Tell us about your blog in 25 words or less.
My blog is about my day to day life, stuff I cook, things I wear, and of course sports I love.

Why did you sign up to attend Blissom?
Well, my roommate Jennifer text me one night and asked if I'd go and be her roommate. I asked my husband, Brad, and he said "Yes". So that's why! I hadn't planned on coming before that. :)

What do you hope to get out of the conference?
I hope to build a lot of friendships that have already started through blogging and of course hope to get great ideas for my blog!

What sessions/tracks are you planning on attending?
Is it weird that I have not planned that out yet? I definitely want to attend the photography one! :)

Who are your roommates, and do y'all know each other previously?
I'm rooming with Jennifer from Life in the Green House and AP from I Love You More Than Carrots! We have not met before! We are all from different parts of the country!

What in the devil are you going to wear?!
Cardigans, blazers, jeggings, boots, cute shirts?! I don't know! This has been the hardest thing to decide! I need a new wardrobe!

How will you take notes? (i.e., pen and paper vs. laptop)
I'll be bring both pen/paper and a laptop. You can never be too prepared.

Who are you most excited to meet?
A lot of wonderful ladies. In particular my roommates. But if y'all are super curious then Erin, Nina, Molly, Jennifer (Knee Deep in Munchkin Land), and absolutely hope I get a chance to meet Lena! :) But I'm drawing a blank on other ladies coming! YIKES! If you're coming please hop over to my blog and let me know! I'm also on Twitter! @whitneymolder

When thinking about Blissdom, what makes you the most nervous?
The wardrobe! I'm not afraid of new people or anything like that. I just hope I have cute clothes. Lame, I know.

What’s the best piece of advice you have heard about Blissdom thus far?
Bring business cards! I'm so glad AP told me this. Otherwise I wouldn't have anything to give the wonderful bloggers I will meet!
Thanks, Lena for letting me be a part of this week! I can't wait to meet you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blissdom Newbie Series!

In case you haven't heard via twitter, I'm going to BLISSDOM!


I'm super excited (and even more nervous)!  I haven't been to a conference in quite a while, let alone a blogging conference.

I'm really excited to hopefully meet some of my favorite bloggers and also come away inspired and motivated about my very own piece of the blog-world!

I decided to pick 4 bloggers that I LOVE + know that they are a newbie a Blissdom.  Each one has a different perspective when it comes to Blissdom.  I asked them each a series of questions, and I'll be featuring one a day starting tomorrow!  I hope you'll come back to check each of them out!

Also, since this is my blog, and I'm also a Blissdom newbie, I decided to start the series off by answering the same questions I sent them!

Here we go!

Tell us about your blog in 25 words or less.
My blog is all about our daily joyful adventures - whether it be in parenting, faith, diy projects or just everyday happenings.

Why did you sign up to attend Blissom?
I had been hearing lots of buzz about Blissdom in the blogging/twitter world.  It looked like a very informative and fun conference, so I decided I would give it a whirl!  Plus, lots of the bloggers I follow are going, and I would LOVE to meet them all!

What do you hope to get out of the conference?
I hope to make some new friends, get motivated and educated about my own blog and come away with a fresh perspective!

What sessions/tracks are you planning on attending?
I haven't decided anything for sure - although, most of the sessions that I think I would enjoy are in the life/business track.

Who are your roommates, and do y'all know each other previously?
Since I pretty much live in Nashville, and my sister literally lives within 5 minutes of Opryland Hotel, I'm staying with her!  It's saving me lots of money (more $ for the handmade marketplace...can't wait), and I'll get to spend some much needed time with her, too!

What in the devil are you going to wear?!
Why, oh why am I fretting so much about this?!?  I have sort of thought about this in my head (plus been looking through pinterest for ideas) - I'm thinking lots of skinny jeans, cute flats, bright colors and cardigans/jackets (I always get so cold at these kind of events)...I'm trying not to stress out too much about this!

How will you take notes? (i.e., pen and paper vs. laptop)
I'll be mainly using old-fashioned composition notebooks & pen, although, I will probably bring our iPad, just in case.

Who are you most excited to meet?
Oh, geez...super excited to meet all of my guest newbies (I'll save those for a surprise), also excited to meet Heir to Blair, According to Nina, Blue Eyed Bride and too many others to list!  And if you're coming, please leave a comment or tweet me (lenawarnock), so I can find you!

When thinking about Blissdom, what makes you the most nervous?
I get the most nervous jitters thinking about meeting new people or feeling out of place.  I also hope that I don't feel insignificant among so many totally awesome bloggers!

What’s the best piece of advice you have heard about Blissdom thus far?
So far, I've heard to bring a tote bag (not a purse), snacks/water, tons of business cards, and I just recently heard about the whole bring a hole punch & keyring to hold all the business cards you collect.  There are lots of great posts going around with TONS of great advice!

So, there you have it...I hope that by reading these posts this week, you'll see that we're all kind of in the same boat!  I'm super excited to meet you all, and I cannot wait until Blissdom gets here! 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

V-day decorating!

I always get into this deep depression when Christmas is over.

I hate taking down all the decorations – doesn’t your house just feel so much cozier and warm with Christmas decorations?

Well, mine does. And I miss them.

So, this year, I decided to do it up for Valentine’s Day. Hey, it’s a “holiday” devoted to one of my favorite colors (red) and love. Of course, I love it.

Here are a few projects I did…

Hanging hearts from our kitchen chandelier

With every season/holiday, I have started hanging things from our chandelier.
For Valentine’s Day, I picked up some glittery foam sheets in red, pink and silver. Then, I just cut hearts out of them and glued them together so you could see the glittery sides. Then, I punched a hole in the top and tied cute ribbon on them to hang.

Valentine’s Day bunting banner

Another easy one – got a ¼ of a yard of 3 different V-day fabrics, cut several triangles (used pinking shears to give it a different look), then I sewed them together using binding strips! So cute and so easy!

Hearts banner

This would be so fun to do with your little ones…I bought a pack of pre-cut cardstock hearts (in red and white), then I glued pre-cut foam hearts (aren’t the patterns adorable) on top of them. I punched a hole on each side, and then strung a ribbon through it to connect them all! Cute, huh?!

Candy hearts

This is a pinterest-inspired project that was super easy. I just bought 3 of the wooden hearts (unpainted) from Hobby Lobby - they were less than $1.50 each. Then, I painted them with a couple coats of paint and wrote each of our names on them with a paint pen. Next, I hot-glued each heart to some wide, grosgrain ribbon and attached it to a command hook. I'm going to seriously love pulling this cutie out every Valentine's Day!

Well, that's it...and that's quite a bit! I've seen some really cute printables and things I would like to add, but I really don't want to over-do it! Ha, don't think B will be able to find room in the attic for everything! :)

So, I hope you’ll pull out your paper, glue and scissors and have some fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shower thoughts...

Do you do a lot of your thinking in the shower?

Well, I do!

It's where I think about my problems, my upcoming plans, finances, and sometimes, I just sob like a baby! I'm hoping to start posing more of my shower thoughts and make them somewhat of a regular post! Here's my first one!

1. We’ve been having abnormally warm weather for January. In fact, we really haven’t had much of a winter yet. There are pros and cons to this…I’m loving the warm temps and not having to worry about driving in snow. Yet, there are so many viruses and sickies going around – we really need a few weeks of super cold weather to kill all the germs!

2. Almost every morning, I spend 20+ minutes trying to wake B – it almost always starts my day off on the wrong foot. I’ve toyed with the idea of just letting him sleep and be late, but I don’t want him to be late every morning. What’s a girl to do?! Please-oh-please, dear hubby, wake up!

3. My family has become obsessed with eating clementines. We are loading up on the vitamin C – seriously, Annie Louise ate 3 of them for breakfast…and I think she would have eaten the entire box if we would have let her!

4. I'm debating on whether or not to send Annie Louise to an additional church preschool in the fall. Right now, she goes to a Tuesday/Thursday program from 8-2:15. I’m considering adding a Monday/Wednesday program that’s also 8-2:15. She’ll be nearly 2 at that point…is 4 days a week too much for a 2-year old? She loves going to school so much, and she’s learning a TON, I just don’t want to over-do it.

5. I tweeted this, but it really really bothers me when people don’t get stationEry/stationAry right.

Stationery = writing paper, writing materials (including notepads, pens, pencils, etc)

Stationary = standing still, not moving

I witnessed a large paper-producing company (hello, they should definitely know the difference) say their “stationary products” were on sale.

Oh, the horror!!!!!!

6. We are going through a bunch of stuff involving our house – a lot of unknowns and scary situations that I don’t like to think about. If you get a chance, please pray that we’ll see clear direction as to all the details.

7. I have started a weekly habit of painting my nails on Sunday night. I usually pick up a new color on Saturday, and I have LOVED painting my nails each week – the only problem is that now I have a bunch of nail polish! I wish they sold like a “sample” size or something like that….anyone want to have a polish swap?

8. B and I get asked this question a lot “so, when are you going to have #2?” While I used to think I wanted our children to be really close in age, I really can’t see myself getting pregnant anytime soon. I can’t imagine doing everything I do right now + being pregnant/having an infant. Now, God might surprise us at any moment, and I’m okay with that, but I am just feeling a lot of pressure to have #2. Am I a bad person for feeling like I want to wait?

9. I have started planning Annie Louise’s 2nd birthday party….wait, should I tell you it’s not until September?!? Am I crazy or what? I definitely have a theme down, now I’m in full-on planning mode!

If you have your own shower thoughts post, leave me a comment so I can read them!

Have a great Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tips for the working mama...

3 little words, my friends....


I can’t stress this enough. I am out the door (on time, most days) simply because I have my day planned out. My morning doesn’t change much, so therefore, most mornings run smoothly simply out of habit. Here are a few things I do to help:

​On Sundays, I pick out 5 outfits for the week, and I iron each of them. I pick out accessories for each outfit, and hang them with each outfit. This seriously saves me so much time each morning. I don’t have to fret about what I’m going to wear or try to quickly iron anything. I take about 30 minutes on Sunday night to do this – if you only take one tip from this whole post, do this! I also pick AL’s outfits out because B gets her ready every morning…more about this to follow.

​Wake up early. Yes, this stinks, but really….how can 15 extra minutes of sleep matter that much? Most mornings, I wake up at 5 a.m., and I’m out the door by 6:15 a.m. The other part of this is…go to bed early. Hard to do sometimes, but believe me, I’m paying for it the next day if I don’t get a decent night’s sleep.

​Pack or plan out your lunch. I don’t always pack my lunch the night before, because most days I just take leftovers from the night before, but this is a simple and easy way to save 5 or so minutes every morning.

​COFFEE. I love coffee, and I always have one cup while I’m getting ready in the mornings – I especially love my Keurig because it’s so easy and so fast, too!

​When I stayed home with AL, mornings were always my time to do the things around the house – like clean up and straighten up, do laundry, wash the dishes, etc – now I make sure all those things are done before I go to bed, or I use my weekends to do a good cleaning and just use the rest of the week to “keep up.” This one took a while to really sink in – for a while, I used to run around the house before I left trying to clean up. Now, I just save it for nights after AL has gone to bed.

​Plan out your meals. I am really a meal planner now – I use my Sunday afternoons to plan out 5 nights of meals for the week. Then, I make my grocery list and go to the grocery store. This has saved me a lot of time (and money) – I don’t have to worry about what’s for supper. I always know that I have something at home to cook!

​Let your husband (or any other family member or friend) help. Probably the hardest bit for us mamas to swallow. We want to do everything, and we want to do it perfectly. But who says that our hubbies can’t help? B has really stepped up since I started working – he feeds, dresses and gets AL ready every morning. Am I jealous? Of course! But I know that this is quality time that she is getting with her daddy, too! We have to learn to accept that we can’t always do everything. I’m still working every single day on this one…

The reason I plan and organize so much is because every spare minute that I have, I want to spend it with my doodlebug. Every little bit of time that I save is time I get to use playing with my precious daughter.

I also don’t want to leave every morning feeling stressed or under-prepared – I do this for my family and for my sanity.

So, if you're a working mama, and you have some special tips, please SHARE!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

16 months old!

16 months…and a few days!

I can’t believe how quickly each month goes by. I wish sometimes I could just freeze time, or at least make it go by more slowly.

Our Annie Louise is growing and growing by the minute.

I can’t believe how much she changes physically and developmentally each month.

When she returned to Wee School after their Christmas break, her sweet teachers wrote on her paper:
"Annie Louise grew the most out of everyone over the break. She’s no longer our baby."

And this, of course, made me want to lie down and cry a million tears.

But it’s true. She woke up one morning, and she was no longer a baby.

She was a full-blown toddler.

Too busy for snuggles. Too busy to sit still for me to rock her. Too busy to sit in my lap and let me read her book. Now, she wants to hold it and “read” it to me.

And speaking of reading, her vocabulary is almost growing as quickly as she is! New words this month include:
Nurner – this is AL’s word for our dog, Turner
Pwease – or please – she used to sign please all the time, now we are trying to get her to say it
Fish – for our favorite snack, goldfish
Nack – she says this when she wants a snack
Cookie – which is more like coooooookie, so cute!
Eat – are you seeing a theme here? All our words revolve around food!
No and more commonly, no-no (wonder where she hears that from?)
Bye Bye
Baby – this is my favorite, because it’s more like babeeeeeee
Night night
Boots – the child loves her some boots!

We have also started seeing more of her personality this month. And honey, we have a pistol on our hands. She’s strong-willed and has a temper like none other. When she wants something, she wants it now. We are currently working on trying to teach her patience and also trying to divert her attention when something gets taken away.

Yes, we do have a temper, but really, what toddler doesn’t at this age? It’s pretty hard for AL to tell me exactly what she wants (we are working on getting her to show us what she wants) – so, when I am not moving fast enough, she lets me know in the only real form of communication that she knows…the meltdown.

She’s also learning so much. We are working on counting to three – anytime we say one, she’ll most always following with the cutest twooooooo you’ve ever heard. Then, we’ll finish with three!

She’s also starting to sing her ABCs. Ever since she has had teeth, I have brushed them. And to keep her attention while brushing her teeth, I would almost always sing a song, and most times, I would sing the ABCs. Now, she’ll go get her toothbrush and toothpaste out of her bathroom drawer and bring it to me and says “A,B,C” – y’all, this just melts my heart. For 2 reasons, 1 – because it’s so cute. 2 – because I love the fact that she LOVES to brush her teeth.

We are also getting more and more interested in play. She got a new play kitchen from SheShe and PopPop for Christmas, and it has a little cordless phone with it. We get a lot of entertainment out of watching her with this phone. She has mastered the whole shoulder-to-ear-to-hold-the-phone-in-place move. And she just babbles and babbles. Usually, it’s a lot of “hello” – that’s the majority of the conversation. She loves to hand us the phone and for us to pretend to talk to someone. She gets the biggest grin on her face when we do this.

I will pretend like I’m on a purple play phone for hours just to see that little smile!

So, as you can see, we have had a busy month at our house keeping up with our little doodlebug!

We love you so much, Annie Louise! Every day is a new and exciting adventure with you!

Love you,
mama and daddy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The sickies.

Today, I'm at home with a puke-y baby girl.

I was literally walking out of the door, when Annie Louise thew up.

The first thoughts that went through my mind was "great. I don't even know if I have a sick day."

But this is B's super busy time at work, so there was no way he'd be able to stay home.

I've been saving my annual leave days in the hope that I might be able to attend the Blissdom conference here in Nashville. Please pray that I'll have enough leave to attend...please, oh please!

That's the thing with being a working mama - something I never thought about.
Having enough time to take off to be able to take care of my baby.

Thankfully, I work for a very easy-going boss, so there's no stress for missing days or work. And when I first started and had NO leave, there was always a family member or friend that would step in and help us.

I knew that when Annie Louise started Wee School, we would probably come in contact with more germs. I didn't know it would be round the clock.

I'm religious about cleaning. I wash everything that comes from school. I keep our house spotless.

Yet, the sickies still come! Darn you, sickies!

I know this is just a season in my life...sometimes, I just feels like I can.NOT get ahead. We had some other stuff pop up this week...heck, this month has just been hit after hit. I'm trying to keep my "chin up" as my mama says, but it's getting pretty tough.

So, even though my doodlebug has had a case of the sickies today, I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra snuggles...she's so busy now, there's not a lot of time left for snuggles.

Today, I'm not thankful the sickies...but I am thankful that I have enough time (even though it may be the last of it) to stay home with my sweet and cuddly doodlebug.

Just pray these extra snuggles don't make mama sick! That would be ROUGH!!!!!!

Okay, I'm done with my debbie-downer post for the day....

Here's to tomorrow and a day with NO sickies! And if you're a fellow working mama, give me your advice!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My 2012 goals guest post!

Check out my guest post at one of my favorite blogs, Our Love Nest!

I'm talking all about my GOALS for 2012...now go show me some love!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Say please and thank you!

The holidays are officially over and many of you are enjoying those fabulous gifts...
I know we are here at our house!

And I think it's very important to say thank you for all of those gifts, too!
It doesn't have to be an elaborate letter, just a simple note to tell the giver
that you so appreciate them thinking of you.
Believe me, there is nothing better than receiving a hand-written note in the mail.

Now, the basics...

I was re-organizing all of my paper items the other day,
and I decided to re-purpose an old utensil holder....into a stationery caddy!

It's the perfect item to hold all of the things I need to write my thank you notes!

Inside, I put a set of stationery for each of us -
one for LeeLee, one for B and one for Annie Louise.
I also stuck a nice ballpoint pen, a letter opener, our return address stamp
and some enclosure cards in the smaller spots.

I think it's important to teach our children to be grateful -
so even though my Annie Louise can't write her own thank you notes,
I write them for her, and when she's old enough, I'll help her write them herself.
And what a proud mama I will be!

I have to share my "nice" stationery. When I left my job at the stationery shop in August, my boss told me I could pick anything out our Crane stationery album for myself.
I don't think I have ever received a gift like that - it was almost too big of a decision!
I'm definitely a stationery "snob," so getting to pick from the best of the best was perfect!

I ended up choosing a white flat card with a yellow hand-bordered border.
I chose a bird motif for the top (as birds are my thing),
and my name is done in a lowercase script font.
It's actually the same font that I chose for my wedding invitation - so it's sentimental, too.

I only pull these out for special occasions because I don't want to run out of them!

So, have you been busying writing your Christmas thank yous? And how do you keep them all your materials organized? Do you have a method to your madness?

Do share!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Miss Era Dell's Chicken Casserole

I have to share this recipe with my readers - it's super easy and super yummy...
and I want you all to have it for your files!

A little history of this recipe...Miss Era Dell sat in front of my grandparents at their church for as long as I can remember. And whenever they had a potluck, Miss Era Dell always brought her chicken casserole.

When I got married, all the ladies at the church threw me a recipe shower. My Granny gave me a recipe book filled with all of their favorite recipes. It's one of the best gifts I have ever received...and if our house should ever catch on fire, it's one of the many things I would grab!

Miss Era Dell has since passed away, and I always tell people, when I get to Heaven, I am going to find her and tell her THANK YOU for her recipe! It's one of B's favorites, and I like to cook it when he's had a busy or tough week at work as a way to say "I appreciate everything you do!"

Anyways, here's the recipe...I hope you will make it and LOVE it as much as we do!

And if you have a recipe that's super special, let me know about it!

Miss Era Dell's Chicken Casserole
6 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
1-8 oz container of sour cream
stick of margarine

Cook chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces. Spray 9x13 pan with Pam. Crush up one sleeve of crackers and layer on the bottom of the pan. Mix up sour cream, cream of chicken soup and chicken pieces. Pour over crackers. Crush up the other sleeve of crackers and sprinkle on top of mixture. Slice margarine on top of crackers. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


From my kitchen to yours....

Annie Louise gives it 2 thumbs up!

Guest post at Mommy Musings!

I'm guest posting at Mommy Musings today...thank you so much, Mandy, for giving me this opportunity!

So, head on over and show me some love!


Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kicking and Screaming.

That's what I'm going to be doing tomorrow on my way to work. I have had such a nice New Year's vacation at home, and I really don't want to go back to work!

This has been the most successful break I've had in months. I had things in my head for months that I wanted to get done after the holidays, and by-golly, we did them!

Woot woot!

My mom kept Annie Louise one night, and B and I were able to get all the Christmas decorations down and begin our yearly "new year's organization."

Although, I will have to admit - this year, I had some pretty lofty goals.

They included:
-organize and purge ALL closets
-de-clutter drawers and cabinets
-go through our files and re-organize
-organize my car
-go through AL's toys and re-organize playroom

I'm too tired right now to post pictures, but I wish you could have seen the pile of papers we had - going through 5 years of paperwork = a lot going in the recycle bin!

It was touch and go there for a while with B (the boy hates to go through anything...he would much rather let the mess get out of control), but he pushed through with me and by Sunday night, we had most everything finished.

Anyways, I have so enjoyed my time off with my little family. I know this is just a season in my life (being a working mama), and I'm going to enjoy it and try and get the most amount of satisfaction knowing I'm helping provide for my family.

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures posted this week and maybe, just maybe, I'll give some advice for the things that work for us!

Here's to an organized 2012!