Holiday Git Guide 2013 Gifts for Her

Gifts for Her

The Thickening Collection by label.m hair care makes a great gift idea for a special lady in your life.

Every woman should have a Coach handbag. Rakuten makes giving the gift of style affordable with the Julia Legacy Striped Swingpack.

Who doesn't love new sheets? Any lady on your shopping list would love to get the gift of the Easy Sheet.

The gift of art is one that keeps on giving. Gallery Direct has the perfect gift awaiting any special lady on your list.

A pair of Ecco Hobart Buckle Boots will make any woman swoon this holiday season.

This post will be updated so check back often to find more great gift ideas!

The Elvis Sandwich

My husband requested that I make him an "Elvis Sandwich" for dinner, being the awesome wife that I am I gathered the ingredients and honored his request. He came home from a long day at work to find these cute little sandwiches awaiting him. He was so impressed with the way they turned out that he requested I make a blog post about them so that other wives could indulge their husbands with a meal that is like dinner and dessert all in one.

For a Elvis Sandwich you will need:

1/3 of a banana, sliced
2 tablespoons of peanut butter, I used honey roasted
2 tablespoons of marshmallow cream
2 to 4 slices of bacon depending on your preference (you could leave this off if you are opposed to bacon but it won't be the same!)
2 slices of bread or a croissant

I used mini croissants which I warmed up in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes to give them a flaky texture. I sliced the croissants in half. I spread peanut butter on one side and marshmallow cream on the other. I made a layer of sliced banana on the marshmallow cream side. I folded the slices of bacon in half and placed them on the peanut butter side. I drizzled honey on top of the bacon and glued the 2 halves together.

This sandwich is unique. It is definitely a treat and not your average meal, but it is worth trying. I think most people are turned off by the bacon, but it makes the sandwich according to my husband.

Have you ever had an Elvis Sandwich?

Saturday #185

On Saturday #185 (#5 for Harper) Roo woke up early, that was okay with me as I had fallen asleep very early the night before and slept all night long while my husband took baby duty. After 8 hours of sleep my neck and shoulders were stiff, I was happy to get up and move around.

As we were getting up I reminded Roo to be quiet so Harper could sleep. My husband popped out of the nursery and told me she had been up since 4. After getting my son settled with breakfast I took over with the baby.

She was restless and fussy, but the moment I had her in my arms she sighed and stopped fussing, she was asleep within 2 minutes. She must have missed her Mommy, and although I needed the sleep I missed her during the night too. We sent my husband to bed for a few hours and got the day started. 

It wasn't the best morning we have had, my son is going through an acting out stage and after 10 days of it I felt weary. I tried to make the best of the morning, but it was a true effort. As soon as was possible I escaped to have a hot bath. When I saw my screeching grouchy son open the bathroom door I wasn't happy but I smiled at him and tried to talk to him. He came over to the tub and told me "Mommy Bath!" he gave me his rubber duckies, his hair and body wash and he chatted me up while I was soaking. It made the rough morning worthwhile.

We didn't have any plans for the day, but Roo really wanted to go "bye bye" so we headed out into the world. I really need clothes as I have lost weight and my closet weeps for the limited selection of outfits. I found a skirt and a few shirts that I liked so I was happy as was Roo.

I hadn't planned on cooking, I made a huge pot on shredded chicken in hopes of feeding it to my family for a few days, but the night before Roo had a bad dream and wanted me to lay down with him. I fell asleep and left the chicken sitting out overnight (oops!). I didn't feel like cooking and took the easiest way out, McDonald's. I had a happy 3 year old so that was the important thing.

It wasn't an exciting day, but we spent it together as a family. I hope you had a chance to spend time with the people you love over the weekend. 

5 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

 Photo Credit: Photos belong to their respective owners. All recipes are linked from the photographs – click on a photo to visit the creator’s blog and view the recipes. 

I just realized I am hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner in 3 days for my mother in law who has to work on Turkey Day. 3 Days doesn't leave me much planning time for the menu, so I have been hopping around looking for great side dish options. I found a few ideas that I wanted to share with you in case you are in a bind like me when the day of feasting rolls around.

My husband will love this one because he is crazy for mushrooms. I love squash, so this Sauteed Mushrooms, Squash and Zucchini side dish will be on our table!

Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without stuffing, but who wants Stovetop? Not me! Sausage Stuffing in Onions sounds and looks much more appealing.

Deviled Eggs are common at holiday meals for good reason. They are tasty! This year I am going to switch things up a bit and serve Deviled Egg Pasta Salad instead.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Patties are a healthier option that look divine! 

Asparagus and Carrots are 2 of my favorite vegetables, I don't know about the maple butter sauce, but I am willing to try new things.

Dear Weary Mom: Marriage

Dear Weary Mom,
Parenting is hard work. Mom is on call all of the time. Our days begin early, they are packed with work, chores, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring  and parenting. Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in 24 hours. In between the flurry of activity and the dream of being able to use the restroom alone, with the door shut, a woman has to find time to be a wife. Marriage is hard work too.

There are days that I don't really speak to my husband other than yes, no and I have no idea type of responses. There are days when I don't really look at him. Truth be told there are nights when one of us is so exhausted that we don't even kiss each other goodnight. Does this bother me? Yes and no. Yes, because I can recall being young and in love. 10 years ago we wouldn't have dreamed of letting that happen. We would wait up on each other to say our good-nights.  No because it becomes a matter of survival with a new baby. Sometimes the day has been so long that I nod off on the sofa and sleep the sleep of the dead. My husband wouldn't wake me up, he knows what a woman that is getting on average 3 hours of sleep a night is like (because he lives with me and that is the situation right now). Similarly I know he needs his rest as well. If he drifts off early I don't hold it against him. I just quietly crash too.

There are times when the day has been so long and emotionally taxing that I am not good company. After the kids are tucked in for the night, I just want to sit silently somewhere and let the quiet soothe my weary soul. I don't want to talk, I don't want to hug. I don't want to watch tv. I want to chill. There are days when I am so desperate for adult interaction that I barely let him in the door- I pounce on him and chat him up to the point of being borderline annoying. Do I run hot and cold? Yes, I do.

It took me a while to realize this, but even before the new baby came things were a mess with my husband. We allowed ourselves to be comfortable with each other, to stop trying. We have taken for granted that love between man and wife is not guaranteed forever. Unconditional love doesn't exist in marriage. You have to work at it to keep it going.

But, when your life is busy and you can barely find the time or energy to speak to each other how do you work on keeping your marriage healthy and strong?

We have tried a variety of things. We have scheduled time together. We have tried the kiss for 12 seconds technique. We have tried holding hands more, hugging and making notes for each other when there isn't time to talk for more than a minute. While all of those things are great and they do help reinforce a bond, they don't make it all better.

What does help a marriage stay strong and healthy? In my case busting out a board game once a week and having a friendly competition has helped immensely. We are able to relax and enjoy each other for a few minutes, this leads to conversation that is not about the kids, work or finances. Our bond is strengthened over a game of Bananagrams. Last weekend I stepped outside of my  normal bounds and shared a 6 pack with my husband (who told me how sexy it was to see me drink beer).

Drinking beer and playing bananagrams makes marriage better? Yes, it does. It is all about the little things. It is about stepping outside of your normal boundaries and keeping your spouse interested in you. In days past I had been wound so tightly, felt the weight of so much responsibility and been so overextended in my life that I had a routine, normal behaviors and a sense of predictability. When I started making time for a board game or a beer my husband was caught off guard. He couldn't read me like a book all of the time. I hadn't taken the time for play in years. He would have never expected me to drink a few beers with him on the weekend. He got to see me in a new dimension, a new element of me that reminded him of the girl I was before I became a wife and a mother. Realizing she is still there was good for me too.

Dear Weary Mom, how do you keep your marriage strong? How do you find time to be the amazing Mom that you are and be an awesome wife too? Don't you roll your eyes and discount yourself from the Amazing Mom/Wife title, (we all have those days where we feel discouraged!) because you are awesome. While women fulfill the role of wife and mother everyday, it doesn't mean it is easy work. It isn't. Mom is the glue that holds a family together.

If you had to give another Weary Mom one tip on how to have a great marriage what would you share? I say make time to play together! People seem to laugh a lot when they are having fun, and people that are laughing and smiling at each other tend to enjoy one another's company. I can't wait to hear your tips!

Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday 

and Thank you to our hosts 

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers

Woman of Many Roles

Pickles & Peppers

Giveaways 4 Mom

Our top 3 visited links last week include:

Organizing/ Storage Tips from Sweet Silly Sara (With special thanks to Saving For My Family for providing this guest post)

Operation Christmas Child- Saving for My Family

Dear Weary Mom- Sweet Silly Sara

Come link up your family friendly posts! DIY, crafts, recipes, you name it, we want to see it!

Please don't be a link and run blogger! Take a minute and visit a few other links.
We have a giveaway this week sponsored by the Soothing Company. One lucky reader is going to win a Cored Stone Tabletop Fountain valued at $65.99. Visit the Soothing Company  to explore their product line.

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Fail: DIY Sugar Scrub

I have a few beauty products I don't like to do without. Noxzema for my face. Enjoy products for my hair. Sebastian Signs Dream Spray for my bed. Oatmeal lotion and Sugar Scrub for my skin.

When I ran out of Sugar Scrub last week I weighed my options. Take 2 small kids out to get it or try a DIY recipe for Sugar Scrub... I am a DIY kind of lady sometimes and the recipe I found sounded easy. The recipe called for:

1 cup of coconut oil
2 cups of white granulated sugar

Mix the oil and sugar well and store in a container with an airtight lid.

I had both ingredients on hand so I got started right away. I could hardly wait to try this. I decided a warm bath was in order so I could put my handiwork to the test.

First off, this was just greasy. The coconut oil and my skin were not a good match. While the sugar did help to polish my skin, it was unnecessary after the oil came in contact with my skin. Within moments it became obvious the bath wasn't working out thanks to the DIY Sugar Scrub, a shower was in order. However using this stuff made such an oily greasy mess it became hard to stand in the shower without slipping and sliding.

This was a horrible recipe for a DIY Sugar Scrub. It was actually a dangerous recipe as it could result in someone falling in the shower. I would not recommend trying this at home. It would be a better idea to spend the $5 and buy a product that works without any element of danger.

Saturday #184

On Saturday #184 (#4 for Harper) the morning started off on not the best note. I was very tired, as is the norm these days, Roo and I had a spat first thing in the morning, literally within minutes. He would not take no for an answer over pizza for breakfast. Harper was not happy to wake up to her brother screaming over pizza. As I juggled the baby and a 3 year old that was throwing himself at my feet screaming "Pizza! Pizza!Pizza!" My cat opted to get involved and I tripped over him, after about 20 minutes of chaos I threw the cereal away and handed him a slice of cold pizza. I had wasted enough energy on trying to serve him a normal breakfast. The morning continued at a rough pace. The house was pretty messy... no, it was dangerously messy thanks to the pile of books scattered in my living room and puzzle pieces, action figures, matchbox cars and other kid crap that had taken over. I might be able to go with the flow a little easier these days, but when it becomes a matter of safety I lose that resolve in a hurry. 

My son was determined to make the morning drama filled, he is 3 and likes to get a reaction. So he tried his best to get a reaction from my husband, the dogs, his sister, the cat and myself... He tried so hard I am now hiding in a quiet room for a much needed Minute for Me!

We have no big plans today. I find that no matter how hard I try I can't avoid weekend shopping. This morning my coffee pot bit the dust shortly after my can opener stopped working... Perfect timing and both much needed items, so off to one of the retail giants to replace them I will go. That is really all I have in mind for this day. We might not all be in happy moods today, but we are all together... contributing the the grouchiness of one another. (Funny but true!)

I hope your family is in a better mood than mine was and you enjoy a great weekend with them!

Life With A New Baby

Some of you might be interested to hear how life with a new baby is going in my world, so I thought I would offer an update post.

Harper is sweet, she is cute, she is cuddly. She brings a smile to the face of anyone that sees her. She is tiny, still not at 8 pounds. We have a little joke that she is 1 pound of baby and 6 and a half pounds of cheeks as she has the roundest little face. She has grown, tonight her preemie sized pajamas were too small, but they fit just fine maybe 3 days ago. We are officially into newborn sizes and she is 5 weeks old.

Harper makes the best faces, as you can see in the photo above. She has us giggling daily with her funny baby faces. 

Harper sleeps well a few nights a week and keeps me awake a few nights. The long nights that she won't sleep without being held are totally worth it. The nights she sleeps like a log are odd, I find myself going to her room to check on her every hour or so.

Rolf is warming up to her. He will give her kisses, he strokes her face and hair and he has shown an interest in holding her a few times. The first 10 days were rough, he was jealous and he acted out a lot, but he is getting better with the idea of having a sister. I am relieved! I have made an effort to hold him, hold his hand, to tell him how special he is to me and how loved he is. When I shower him with attention he feels important and his outbursts are fewer and further between. I try to include him in the care of Harper and that makes life easier. He feels important when he is handing me a bottle, throwing a diaper away or bringing me a fresh one or fetching a blanket big enough for everyone to cuddle under.

Harper is starting to demonstrate her personality. She likes only one brand of pacifiers. She likes to be held but is not fond of being stroked. She wants to be held without any extra touching and she wants you to be still when you hold her. She doesn't like to go outside, she doesn't like to ride in the car. She likes her cozy house best.

Harper is fascinated with Rolf, she hears his voice and turns her head to watch him with big blue eyes. Rolf likes the captive audience and has no complaints. 

Since having Harper I have learned about slowing down, not taking on as much work and letting the house get messy. Before Harper I stressed about those things. I wasn't sleeping enough, I was over extending myself and I was obsessed with picking up the never ending mess. I have noticed that in the past weeks with my new found go with the flow attitude that I feel better about me. 

Life with a new baby has been good. The time has passed rapidly, but it has helped me to prioritize. Harper is all anyone could hope for in a baby. She is healthy, cuddly, sweet, adorable. She makes me very happy.

Pampers Giveaway

Another giveaway from the Woman of Many Roles blog. heck out her post about this giveaway here


Tell Me About It Tuesday Blog Hop

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday 

and Thank you to our hosts 

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers

Woman of Many Roles

Pickles & Peppers

Giveaways 4 Mom


Nap Time is My Time:

Strawberry Cheesecake Santa's- Raining Hot Coupons

40 Thanksgiving Activities For Kids- With a Side of Thriftiness

Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please. Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting! Please don't be a link and run blogger! The fun of these parties is to check out what everyone has been up to!

This week we have another giveaway for you! Someone will win a $10 WalMart Card for visiting the links in this party!

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Stress-Free Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

From cleaning the house and setting the table to prepping and cooking the actual meal, there’s a lot that goes into hosting Thanksgiving. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cut down on stress and get everything done more easily! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time host, the following five hosting tips are guaranteed to help you out this holiday:
Doing as much as possible ahead of time is far and away the best way to save time. Cranberry sauce can be made a few days in advance and stored in plastic food storage containers in the fridge, bread for stuffing can be cubed and kept in a paper bag, and vegetables can be chopped and diced a couple days before the meal. This way, Thanksgiving Day can be more focused on assembly than prep work.

Set the table as far in advance as possible so everything is ready to go on Thanksgiving Day. As long as your table decorations are inedible, you won’t have to worry about anything going bad while it sits out.

Be strategic with the dishes and utensils you use for your prep work. Instead of taking out a new bowl every time you need to mix something, simply wash one that you’ve already used. You’ll end up with fewer dishes to wash later on, which will save you time and effort.

Using disposable dishes is a great way to save time cleaning up. Plastic tableware, aluminum roasting pans and paper plates can all be thrown in the trash can after the meal is over, which eliminates the need to load the dishwasher or stand over the sink.

Out of oven and stove space? An easy solution is to brave the chilly weather and cook some of your food on the grill. With so many dishes to cook, using the grill in addition to your stovetop and oven will let you get more done at once.

A few simple shortcuts can save you a whole lot of time, stress and money during the holiday season. With a little planning and a couple of tricks, hosting Thanksgiving can be a breeze.

Saturday #183

On Saturday #183(3) Roo and I woke up later than usual. I felt well rested and ready to get the day started. Friday is my night to rest and my husband wakes up with the baby. It was the first time I slept all night long in at least 7 months. It was wonderful! Harper was awake within a few moments of Roo and I, and she was ready to be cuddled and fed.

We didn't get into a big hurry. We took the morning at a slow pace. Roo has been stuck in the house a lot with the new baby so we decided to take him to a movie. He was pretty good and watched most of the movie. Harper slept the entire time.

After that my son had $10 burning a hole in his pocket and he had his eye on a few Thomas the Train toys so we went to get one. He was happy to have another train and couldn't wait to get home to play with it.

I didn't want to cook so my son was happy to go to Wendy's for a kids meal. I wasn't thrilled with fast food, but I was pleased to not have to cook.

I started a project of cleaning out my cabinets. I collected 2 reusable shopping bags of groceries for a food drive, I gathered 3 boxes worth of odds and ends to take to the attic due to lack of space and I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer. I collected a bag of toiletries no one will ever use and found the courage to designate a pair of shoes from my collection to the "get rid of" pile. I felt great to have accomplished the tasks.

The day flew by, before I knew it the kids were in bed and I was nodding off on the sofa. It was a pretty nice day filled with family time, shopping, and organizing. I hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones over the weekend.

Saturday #182

On Saturday #182 (#3) my family slept in a little later than normal. What a treat it was for me to wake up at a few minutes til 8!

We took the morning at a slow pace. I wasn't frantic to get a lot of things accomplished. I watched cartoons with my son and I cuddled my daughter. Since Harper was born I have really slowed down and started taking the time to enjoy life more. I notice how much my son has grown, how fast time passes and how insignificant so many things really are. There will always be laundry to fold, dishes to wash and things to pick up. My kids won't always be small... that makes it easier to go with the flow of things.

My parents finally came to see Harper. She was a sweetheart as always. She is beautiful, cuddly and totally addictive. She stole their hearts as expected. They accompanied us to the West side shopping plaza for Trick or Treat with Roo who was fun. The first stop he made was priceless. As the lady put a handful of candy into his pail he broke out in a huge smile and told her "Candy? Happy!" We both had a good laugh over that.

We then stopped for lunch and went back to our house to visit with the family. Roo was great, he was fun, he was lively, he was singing, dancing, completely showing off. I loved to see him come out of his shell and not act shy around the grandparents.

When they left we decided to take our recycling to drop off, and it wouldn't be a weekend without a dash into WalMart. I had to stock up on newborn size diapers and wipes for the week. I had been prepared for a big baby, I have size 1, 2, 3 and 4 diapers in reserve for Harper, but wouldn't you know newborn is a size I opted not to get and we are going thru a ton of those!

So I grabbed the diapering needs and headed home for a relaxing evening with my husband. He convinced me to watch a Kenny Rodgers movie with him. I fell asleep within 30 minutes but that was okay, when I woke up I saw Adam was asleep on the couch too. Quality time together in dreamland.

The day was great. It covered the basics; sleep, candy, family, shopping, happy kids. I hope you had a chance to enjoy quality time with your loved ones over the weekend. It amazes me how fast these Saturdays pass by.

Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday 

and Thank you to our hosts 

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers

Woman of Many Roles

Pickles & Peppers

Giveaways 4 Mom

Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please. Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting! Please don't be a link and run blogger! The fun of these parties is to check out what everyone has been up to!

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