Friday, November 28, 2008

Cool Christmas DVD Bundle at MOMDOT

Hi Ya'll,

Check out MOMDOT for a uber cool Christmas DVD bundle giveaway!!!
5 People will win this cool bundle!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas of Dreams - Day 12 (LAST DAY)

Day Twelve Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Georgie Tees and Mutsy.

I Thankful for...
1. I'm thankful that we made it through the past year, as it's been one of the toughest
years I've had to deal with.
2. I'm thankful for my husband and 2 beautiful boys.
3. I'm thankful for the home we are able to live in.
4. I'm thankful for my job that helps to pay our bills.
5. I'm thankful that "we" are all healthy (WE=my family)
6. I'm thankful for my friends.
7. I'm thankful for the internet (it allows me to work from home full time)
8. I'm thankful for our kitty Bama, who provides us with unconditional love.
9. I'm thankful for my boy's teachers and schools.
10. I'm thankful to be me.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I've enjoyed being part of MOMDOT.COM's
Christmas of Dreams. It's been fun answering the daily questions and reading
everyone's blog updates. Thank you for the inspiration MomDot!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas of Dreams -- Day 11

Sponsors: Day Eleven Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Shishu Style and Mimsi Bags.
If you could only pick one food to eat on Thanksgiving, what would it be? I know, pure torture! Do you have a home-cooked meal or eat out? Does your family dress up?
One food -- PECAN PIE -- hands down! It wasn't that hard to choose..
I grew up eating home-cooked meals. My Grandmother cooks up a MEAN Thanksgiving dinner! It is truly the BEST! Ask my brother, he would agree.
I bet she's cooking right now. Unfortunantly, she lives in NC and I live in AL.... AND I'll be staying home for Thanksgiving this year. I'm sad that I'll miss seeing my family this year, but I'm also happy to stay at home with my boys! I'll be doing a home-cooked meal. I'll be making some of my Grandmothers recipes. (Like Sweet Potato casserole and Asparagus Casserole).
Growing up, we would dress up a little to visit Grandmama, but not too formal. Since we are staying home.. I'm sure it will be jeans and a sweatshirt. Nice and comfy!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas of Dreams -- Day 10

Hosted by:
Sponsors today:by Organic Blankees, Huddy Buddy, and Baby Legs.
Do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have a themed tree? Share pics! Do you think there is such thing as OVER decorating?
Do I decorate, why of course I do. I love pulling out all the red and green and silver decor! I love putting up a fresh green Christmas tree decorated with white lights and tons of mix match ornaments. Yes, we have a theme... it's call Eclectic Christmas. We do have lots of Santas to decorate with... Not sure why I love them so much.. I just do.

About over decorating... I have seen a couple houses that are a tad bit over decorated on the exterior... You know what I'm talking about.. That house you can see a mile away as you drive down the street. It lights up the night sky... and burning through electricity like it's free. So I guess the answer is YES, there is such a thing as over decorating IMO.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas of Dreams - Day 9

Wow, we are already into DAY 9!
Here's our wonderful sponsors of the day:
jaC Jewelry, Cutie Covers and Sassy Baby

What is the most unusual gift you’ve received? It doesn’t have to be bad, just unusual.
What was one of your favorite gifts? Do you think re-gifting is OK?

I have a couple I think were kinda unusual.
1- Chia pet from my grandmother.
2- Box of candy from a student.
Here's the story behind that one: After college I accepted a teaching position
in Bowman, SC. If know anything about Bowman, well I'd be surprised! Anyway, it use
to be quite rural...and I was in the minority....
Anyway, I taught kindergarten and one of my boys students brought me a box of
Christmas candy as a gift. Well I opened it and it was half gone... he said that he and
his older brother ate a piece or two on the bus ride to school. It was really funny!
3- One other. We had a gift exchange at a restaurant job I had one year... it was at
the Christmas party that we exchanged gifts and I got a freaking ham Bone! LOL!
IT was so freakin' gross!
It was one of those gift exchanges that everyone brings something and you pick the gift
you want under the tree... I picked that bone! LOL! (It was in a very pretty bag... I guess that's where the gifter spent the $5.00)

One of my Favorite gifts....
An Indian style gourd bowl that someone made for me while I was teaching.
It's beautiful!

Regift.. I don't usually. Opps! I take that back... I have once! I won a prize at a baby shower and it really wasn't my style... so I gifted it to someone who really LIKES it. (and I knew she would)
There is NO way she'll ever know that I regifted it. LOL!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I {HEART} Etsy

Really I do!
Here are a couple stores I ran across this AM.
Check them out!
1- Xoelle
Adorable Christmas stockings thathave been created from recycled
sweaters and other items.

2- EarthSteps Cathy and Bill make up the team at EarthSteps. They pull their crafting skills together to make beautiful lanterns, silk printed prayer flags, and adorable nightlights.

3- MaJentaDesigns Adorable little shop with Asian-inspired jewelry and magnets.

4. RubyFantastic This shop is full of fun and creative items. Anywhere from jewelry to adorable coasters to cute baby items.

5. MudPuppy Michael, the artist of MudPuppy crafts the cutest little owls, I just couldn't resist sharing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas of Dreams - Day 7 and 8

Opps ... so sorry I missed Day 7 yesterday. Life got in the way and I just couldn't find time
and when I did have a little extra time, I needed wine. SO the wine won, and I enjoyed every little sip!

So Day 7
Sponsors: Brought to you by Sillymonkeez and My Baby Bump
Question: Tell us who is on your naughty list? Who is on your nice list? Why?
My Nice List:
Jacob (Oldest DS)
Lukas (Youngest DS)
and a couple other people I love!

My Naughty List:
All my customers.
Believe me, they don't read this so they'll have no idea they are on my "naughty" list!

End of discussion.

AND Day 8
Sponsors: Day Eight Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Koshas, Leapfrog and Soda Club.

Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you finish all your shopping on that day? What’s the best deal you have found? What’s your shopping strategy?

I usually don't shop Black Friday. However, this year I will be hitting CVS cause they are practically giving stuff away.. and I can go on Thursday!
I'll also buy a couple things online on Friday... If you shop, they are having a 20% off sale. Not much, but when the prices are fairly low already.. you can't beat it. I like to buy used books for my DH (he doesn't mind) and used movies for my boys (they don't know the difference). Everyone is happy, and I've saved some money!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm sorry Lukas!

I'm sorry Mommy got so mad at you this morning. Sometimes you just drive me crazy. I really wish you would just put your cloths on without a fight. It's getting chilly outside and we don't live in Florida anymore. Pants are a MUST. Long sleeves are a MUST. Jackets are a MUST. You poor little thing, I hope you start understanding soon, or Mommy will have a FULL head of grey hair before we know it.

I love you with all my heart!

Christmas of Dreams - Day 6

Day 6 (Hosted by MomDot)
Sponsored by Flying Colors Baby, Uncommonly Cute and Lollipop Book Club.
VIP BLOGS to visit are
Parent Reviewers , Mom Most Traveled, Mommy Zabs, MomStart, HipposToes, Run DMT

Question of the DAY:
What is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood?

I know this MUST have been a dream, but my favorite memory was
back when I was around 4 years old. It was Christmas Eve and everyone
had gone to bed for the night. I woke up in the middle of the night
and tiptoed down the hall from my bedroom headed for the living room.
As I reached the living room, I saw Santa unpacking his bag in front
of our Christmas tree. I remember seeing him leaning over placing my
new gifts under the tree. I don't remember seeing his face.. but I do
remember running back to my bed as fast as I could.
Ok, so now that I'm 38, I've figured out a thing or two. I know this
isn't a real story but it's been in my memory bank for many
years and I've never told a soul!
I even remember when I was about 7 or so, where my friends were talking
about Santa not being real. Well, back then I knew the truth! He was real alright and I saw him with my own two eyes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas of Dreams - Day 5

Hi all,
We are in Day 5 of the Blog party hosted by

What do you do to give back during the holidays? Do you volunteer your time? If so, please tell us where. What do you do to teach your children the true meaning of the holidays?

There are a couple things we do to "give back" during the holiday season.
1- We fill 2 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
(these are collected at the preschool my son attends)
2- We give our gently used toys to Toy drives. (held in Nov)
3- We give canned goods to food drives hosted by the schools.
This year our donations were given to the Bay Area Food Bank.
4. Something new, I donated a bunch of handmade ornaments
and stocking stuffers to a Medical Unit serving overseas. (hosted by
a fellow Soldier's Angel.)
5. I'll be sending a box of goodies to my adopted Solider in the next 2 weeks.

I truly wish I had more time to volunteer. I do work 40-45 hours a week to help
keep my family afloat, so time is precious. Maybe once my boys get a little bigger we can all volunteer our time helping others.
(Which reminds me. I saw a great photo in our local paper a few days ago, where there was a group of random teenage kids putting together boxes at the Bay Area Food Bank. It was great to see all those young faces working together to help others).

What do I do to teach my children the true meaning of the holidays?
I try to be myself! True meaning of the holidays.... I know what it's suppose to be! Isn't is something we should practice all year long? I mean... family... thankfulness... giving back... all those things... Why do we have to wait until the holidays to do those thing? The way I teach my children about the true meaning, is to simply do the things I do all year long.
Make family time special...
Let my children know how much I love them...
Give back year around...
Be thankful for all that I have...

There's a lot more I have to say about this subject... but remember the lack of volunteer hours? Well.. I better get back to work!

Thank you to the Sponsors for Day Five of the Blog Party Baby Pop and Chic Covers

VIP BLOGS to visit are Parent Reviewers , Mom Most Traveled, Mommy Zabs, MomStart, HipposToes, Run DMT

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas of Dreams - Day 4

Welcome back from a great weekend!
Today is Day 4 of the Christmas of Dreams Blog Party hosted by

Sponsors: Day Four Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Bottlewise and Glow Mama

What is your favorite Holiday recipe?
This one is from a "Scrappin_Fun" friend (Michelle)
They are SO easy and everyone loves them.. Including ME.

Cheesecake Cupcakes

Whip with Beater:
1 lb room temp cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
in 24 muffin pans- use liners, place 1 Nilla Wafer in each. fill 3/4 full with mixture. Bake at 375 for 10 min. Chill and spoon cherry pie filling over each. 1 can is usually enough.
Two things with this recipe, make sure all lumps are out, that's why the cream cheese needs to be room temp, and don't overbake. They are delicious and pretty!

Describe your Holiday table.
It's round and made of wood! (I know, a real wiseass, huh?)
Around the holidays I do throw on a Holiday table cloth that I bought a few years ago.
It's a beautiful deep red with embossed leaves.. I really love it! BUT it usually
gets washed about 15 times during the holiday season. (Messy BOYS!)
On Christmas Eve I'll put out some tall lit candles and lots of yummies to enjoy.
(not much else though, those boys do not help in this department)

What is your biggest Holiday cooking disaster?
Which one isn't? I'm a horrible cook so there's almost always
"something" that gets ruined. Cookies, breads, rolls... something along
those lines. BUT I keep trying!
I really can't think of my Biggest Disaster... just a bunch of little ones.
(but my family is use to it, it happens weekly!)

Anyone else have a yummy recipe to share?
How about a funny cooking disaster?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas of Dreams -- Day 3

Sponsors: Day Three Blog Party Question is Brought to you by

We are now at Day 3 of Christmas of Dreams hosted by
Bridgette has reminded us that we are only 40 days away from Christmas. Crazy!
Today's Question:
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you budget for the holidays? Do you always stick to your budget? Share with us any budgeting tips you may have!
Started? Heck, I'm almost finished. I started shopping back in the summer. I hit Target for their "end of Summer" sale. We are on quite a tight budget, so I had to start early. This year I've tried "earning" extra $$ for Christmas by selling off some things on Ebay, by doing surveys, working a little overtime, and submitting for rebates.
Right now the only gifts I need to get are for the men in our family as I always find them hard to buy for. So if you have any good ideas for a highly intelligent 10 year old, a 70ish grandpa; I would love to hear your suggestions.
BTW, all gifts are being paid with cash or they are homemade. I can't tell you too much about the homemade gifts in fear that one of my family members might find actually read my blog. HA!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas of Dreams -- Day 2

We are on to DAY 2 with Christmas of Dreams
-- hosted by Blog Party.
Sponsors today are La Plates and Let's Go Strolling and Natitys Design!
Check them OUT!
Today's Question is:
Traditions, what are some of your favorite family traditions? What are some traditions you want to begin?

I'm going to make some list to share my "family Traditions"

List 1 - Melissa's "Past" Traditions

(this is a list of traditions from my childhood and early adult years)


1. Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandmama Smiths house.

2. Papa telling the same stories he told the year before. LOL! (I wish I had listened closer)

3. Lots and Lots and Lots of food.

4. Watching football after dinner.

5. Always had the following:Turkey, Ham, homemade rolls, Sweet Potato Casserole, Asparagus Casserole, Fruit salad with coconut, the best green beans in the world, relish tray with canned pickels.. and much more.

Now on to Christmas Eve

1. Another big dinner at Grandmama Smith's house on Christmas Eve.

2. Open gifts (AND there were always a ton. NO toys though.. just clothes and things we needed. This would take hours.. as Papa or Dad passed out the gifts and we watched as each person opened their present. This is on my Dad's side where the family is quite small. So we have Grandmama Smith, Papa Smith--now in heaven, Aunt Suzy - the BESTEST Aunt in the whole wide world, Uncle Dennis, Mom, Dad, Jason - my brother and myself.)

3. Mistletoe over the dining room door. (Papa always wanting to be the first to get a Christmas Kiss. I would give him a million kisses right now if I could... I miss him so)

4. The Christmas merry-go-round that my Grandmama and Papa Smith made to use as a Christmas decoration. Only brought out at Christmas time. Had elves riding reindeer and candy cane poles, played some Christmas tune ... I can't remember. And the top was the best... a cone shaped top with LOTs and LOTS of silver glitter.

5. Who ever says "Merry Christmas Eve Gift" ... would be the first to open a gift. (after dinner of course).

6. I just remembered something... My Papa would give my Grandmama $$ every Christmas.. Always hiding it someway or another. One year he hid it in her perfume package that he had given her. One year I helped him roll up $20 bills and place paper clips on them and we hung them on the Christmas tree.

Now for Christmas Morning

7. We would wake up (my brother and I) and check out all the cool gifts Santa left for us. Nothing was wrapped.. just all sitting pretty under the Christmas tree.

8. We would play and Mom and Dad would make a big breakfast.


9. Around lunch time we would head to my Grandmama Pattersons house. A whole different experience. Larger family as my mother has 2 brothers and one sister... and they all have children.. We would draw names and get one gift from the person we drew and one gift from GG Patterson.

10. Dinner would usually be pick-up foods. Including Shrimp cocktail (as that was a super special treat) and Shelby, NC BBQ (OH YUMMY!)

11. We would hang out, visit, laugh, and have fun together.

Melissa's "Present" Traditions

A lot of that stuff above still happens but I've moved away... My Family lives in NC and SC and I now live in AL. Everyone once in a while we'll visit over the holidays.. but not that often.

Now I'm married and have children my time is spent a little differently during the holiday season. Here are a few traditions I've started with my boys.

1. Stockings get filled and placed at the foot of the bed after the children have fallen asleep.

2. We do my version of "Elf on a Shelf" (my mom gave me 2 little elves and I use the tradition story of the magical elf, but we have 2 and they are much smaller and easier to hide.

3. We bake cookies every year and hand them out to our neighboors.

4. We have Pick up foods on Christmas Eve and we'll open any gifts that were mailed to us.

5. Our gifts from Santa arrive wrapped... so the boys have fun unwrapping on Christmas AM.

6. We make a big Christmas breakfast. (which is mostly done by DH.. which I LOVE)

7. We usually put up our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving and we always get a REAL tree. None of that fake stuff for us. However, I do have a little fake pink tree I'll be setting up this year in my "work at home" office. (oh I'm excited about that!)

8. Oh, the boys always get new PJs on Christmas eve. Steve has already picked out the PJs for this year. Star wars with a light up chest.. They'll love it!

9. Now each year we watch Polar Express on Christmas Eve... Oh such a sweet movie!

10. We do watch all the TV Christmas shows thorugh out December. I love them ALL!

11. We make reindeer food with oatmeal and a little glitter... and throw it on the lawn for the reindeers on Christmas Eve. The KEY here is to make JUST a little for each child... and very little glitter. Don't need those little buggers checking the lawn the next day to make sure the reindeer ate the food. (last year we just turned on our sprinkler to wash a way the "food".

Melissa's "Future" Traditions

I really don't know what my future traditions will be but I'd like to add a few. I like the Spider story... I need to see if I can find a book or something on that.... I'll add as I find new ones that are do-able for me.

BTW, if you took the time to read all of this... I owe you a Beer or a glass of wine or whatever you prefer. LOL! thank you!!!

Christmas of Dreams -- Day 1

Hi Ya'll

I'm going to "attempt" to participate in MomDot's Christmas of Dreams party.
If you're interested you can find more info about this BLOG PARTY at

SO, today is the first day and here is the Question:

"Introduce us to your family and share Holiday pics of years past"

So here goes!
My name is Melissa and I've been married to my husband Steve for almost 8 years.
We've been friends for almost 15 years. We have 2 young boys. Jacob is 6 and he is currently
in kindergarten. Lukas is 3 and attends preschool.
We recently relocated from the Tampa FL area to Mobile, AL. We are loving it!!!
I've put together a little Flick created at Picture Trail to share a few photos from
last year's Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Sponsors: Day One Blog Party Question is Brought to you by La Belle Toile and This and That by Randi

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