Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Getting Dolled Up For The Holidays

So, two weeks ago we went to my mom’s for Thanksgiving. This past weekend we went to my mom’s for her Christmas party. In two weeks my oldest daughter will be here and we’ll be here and we’ll be back at her house! There’s nothing better hanging out at my mom’s! She’s got the best house to have a party in!

This past weekend was a bit of a dress up affair. That meant bringing more stuff than usual with me so I had to pack more than one bag. Usually the boys and I are able to fit all of our stuff into one bag. I have a feeling I’m going to have to get the boys suitcases of their own soon. In fact, my oldest son is getting an electric shaver for Christmas so I was also thinking about getting him his own “cosmetic” bag. What do you call that for a dude?

A photo posted by Mimi B (@mimibakermn) on

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but do you take along several outfits to wear because you’re not sure what’s going to look right even though you’ve worn the same outfits numerous times? Yea, that’s how I felt at mom’s party. Dress with a scarf, without the scarf? Dress with the boots, without the boots? Dress with leggings, without the leggings? I was driving myself crazy.

I also had to make sure my hair looked half way decent because my mom’s stylist was coming to her party and he’d just done my hair the week before. And when I say, “did my hair” I mean, he cut it. I couldn’t let my hair go like I do every other day of the week because he’d probably cry if he saw the state of my hair. Yes, I may have taken a bit of time getting ready. lol More than usual.
A photo posted by Mimi B (@mimibakermn) on

In the end, I ended up borrowing a necklace from my mom because I was sweating with the scarf on. Turned out I forgot socks to wear with my boots so I walked around barefoot. lol Thankful my mom is ok with me only being partially dressed up. Turned out not everyone who came to the party was really dressed up either. I guess I was in good company.

This is our second year going to my mom’s big shindig. She’s been having these parties for years, but being that we were always in Minnesota, we never were able to make them. It’s been so nice living in the area driving out there helping my mom out to help get the party put together. I think my mom has loved having us around for that. My youngest son does the cheese/meat/cracker trays and my oldest son does a lot of other manual labor.
Mom had an amazing turn out for her party. So many people brought a ton of food and my mom had so much fun catching up with everyone. Most everyone there was used to my brothers being around so were surprised to meet me. Last year I saw a woman I hadn’t seen since I was a young girl. This year I had a really cool experience.

One of mom’s old friend’s showed up with her daughter and grandson. Turned out my mom and I would spend a lot of time at her house when I was a baby. Back in 1993 I saw her and her mom when my girls were just toddlers. It had been 21 yrs since I’d last seen her. She introduced me to her daughter and found out she gave her daughter my first name as her middle name. How COOL is that?! I did apologize to her because only my family uses my given name. lol I was very honored in truth.

Most of the people who came last stayed several hours and after everyone left I cleaned up as much as I could so mom could rest. Then dad, the boys, and I watched a movie to end the night. It turned out be another success and I loved it. I can’t wait to get back at Christmas to spend a few days there again. Have I mentioned I just love my mom’s house?

Do you attend any fun parties during the holidays?
*This is not a sponsored post. Just sharing about mom’s party. In fact, the products you see in the photos are being donated to our church.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Jesus Calling For Adults & Children

Earlier this year, I asked on Facebook a suggested devotional. I had finished a Beth Moore study at church and wanted something to do until the next one started. Everyone kept recommending Jesus Calling. I had heard about it, but hadn’t looked into it. I kept it in the back of my mind.
Not long after that, an acquaintance at church started texting a group of us a devotional every morning. I enjoyed it and thought she was sharing so much insight. At one point someone asked her where she was getting her devotion from and she shared that it was Jesus Calling. It was so cool. She was getting it from someone else as a text and she was in turn sharing it with a bunch of us.
When Family Christian offered to let me review Jesus Calling and my son (and myself) to review Jesus Calling for Kids I was thrilled! I was excited to have a devotion the boys and I could do together and at a level we’d all enjoy. The boys have spent the last couple of months memorizing Matthew 5 with their dad and it’s been a cool thing to watch.
Jesus Calling for Kids and Adults
One of the things I’ve struggled with is finding time to do our devotions together. We all seem to have one thing or another going on. I know that we’re told that we can’t rely on the church and children’s programs to teach our children, it’s supposed to be us, the parents at home teaching our children about deepening their faith.

For both devotions, I love that they’re short and easily digestible. You can read the devotion in a few minutes and spend time in the Word afterwards. This gives the boys and I an opportunity to dig into the Word together. My favorite piece of these books is how positive and uplifting the devotions are. We are reminded to find our joy and strength in God. He is where we should always turn our hearts and minds.
Jesus Calling
If you are looking for a devotion that will digging deeper into the Word, give you time to study what God has for you, then you will want to add Jesus Calling to your nightstand. Add this also to your child’s reading list and they will be uplifted and encouraged in their walk with the Lord.

What is one of your favorite devotions?

The Perfect Dessert For The Holidays

One of the desserts I love for holiday get-togethers is cheesecake. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I even thought about a pumpkin flavored cheesecake. Can you just picture how delicious that flavor would be in a cheesecake form? So, when Eli’s Cheesecake hit me up to review their Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, how could I say, “no.” I couldn’t.


The cheesecake was my contribution to the Thanksgiving dessert table. Only a few of us in the family are cheesecake fans, and we dove into the slices as soon as dessert was served. My brother and his girlfriend shared a slice. He was so funny because he took his first bite and all he did was make sounds like he was loving it. Kid you not. His girlfriend turned to him asking him if he was liking it. He just kept nodding and gave her the thumbs up. Next bite went in and another thumbs up. It was rather amusing to watch.

Eli's Cheesecake

She and I were next with our bites. As always, Eli’s Cheesecake has a rich, creamy texture. The pumpkin flavor was spot on and you could definitely taste the spice. Now, for me, I wasn’t a fan of the spice. I do have to say for the record I’m the same way with pretty much every pumpkin spice recipe. I like straight pumpkin flavor. Now, if you like all things pumpkin spice, think PSL, then you will have to get your hands on this cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you’re planning on bringing a dessert to a party during the holidays, snatch up a cheesecake! Of course, they don’t only have cheesecakes. They have pies, cakes, and tarts as well. I’m most interested in trying their Apple Bavarian Tart. The apples look so amazing in it! Now, if you’re Vegan or have Gluten issues, they’ve got you covered on that front as well!

It's time for dessert! We're having @elischeesecake pumpkin cheesecake! #sp #HappyThanksgiving!

A photo posted by Mimi B (@mimibakermn) on

Do you have a favorite dessert for the holidays?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Family That Plays Together

Are you a gamer? No, not THAT kind of gamer. I mean board games. We love board games. Ever since my kids were little we’d play board games as time would allow. As they grew up, we went from playing Hi Ho Cherrie-O to more complicated games. The transition was a fun one.

We don’t only do board games, the boys have a love for Chicken Feet which they learned from their great grandma. Pull out some Dominoes and it’s game on!

When we moved to Virginia to live with my parents, playing card games became the norm. Almost every weekend you’d hear my boys asking grandma and grandpa if we were going to get to play cards. If the extended family came over, you better believe at least one game was on the agenda.
My brothers introduced the boys to some board games that I don’t even remember the name to. So you HAVE got to believe that if the brothers are around, my boys will badger them until they give in. My boys have grown up to be big gamers.
When we lived in Minnesota (how often do I say that?) my youngest was in AWANA. He has the gift of memorization and remembers so much from the Bible. I had thought about entering him into some competitions, but we left before I had the opportunity. Then earlier this year I saw that the American Bible Challenge was on tv. I was SO bummed that it wasn’t on a channel we got with our provider. Yes, I was a sad panda.

A new game night came along for us when we were able to review The American Bible Challenge board game. Oh my gosh, you think you know things in the Bible until you realize you DON’T! There were questions about where you find a scripture in the Bible, who said something from scripture, putting 5 books of the Bible in order, and spelling words from the Bible.
We weren’t sure if it was going to be a “fun” game or too focused on doctrine. Does that make sense? I tell you what, we had such a great time! In fact, when we did the charades type challenge, we were laughing so hard. Buddy wanted to keep getting it to make Fred act out the challenge! For real, watch this video on Instagram. lol Honestly, I wish we’d had a lot more people over to play with us. Any time we have game night as a large group, we’ll be bringing this game with us.
Of course, no game night is complete without some good pizza. We made a homemade pizza. We don’t usually make our own pizza, but I wanted to add another fun element to our night. One side had pepperoni and the other side had pepperoni and mushrooms. Mushrooms are new to me and I’m putting them on everything. I wish I had a mixer because I would’ve loved making my own crust. One day, right?
Game Night Pizza
You are going to want to add this game to your game shelf! With that in mind, enter to win a $25 Gift Card from Family Christian and you could put it towards the game if you want!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Football Fan In The House #HollyJollyHolidayGG

Holly Jolly Image
I think I’ve mentioned it a few times that we love football around here. I guess that would be putting it mildly at best. And one day, we’ll join all 3 of our teams with Fred’s 1 team. That should be and interesting time in our house throughout the football season.

I have a pipe dream of one day making one of our rooms into a football themed room. We’d have to find a tasteful way to combine the love of the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburg Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. With all of those colors, I wonder if that’s even possible. We’ll have a big screen tv to invite our friends over to watch a game or two. Who knows…like I said, I can dream!
We won’t have an entire room, but the decorating will start with Doodle’s room. This was his first year that he and his brother made Fantasy Football teams so it’s apropos that I start the decorating with him. He’s the Falcons fan. Where that came from I don’t know that I’ll ever know. I don’t think eve he knows, but he’s stuck like glue to them now.
Atlanta Falcons Fathead
Atlanta Falcons Helmet
For our Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway, I partnered with Fathead…YES…Fathead! They sent THE coolest Falcons Fatheads! Here’s what’s funny, while we were at my parent’s last weekend we kept seeing commercials for Fatheads. My dad didn’t understand what they were. That of course means I’ll need to get him one for the pool room downstairs. Yea, I’m a cool daughter like that. Doodle kept saying how much he wanted the Princess Sophia Fathead. Wouldn’t it be epic if he came home one day and I had them all over his room. That would make my life just that much better. Again, winning with being a cool mom like that!
Fathead Falcons Room
Now, I can see my oldest son would go insane and probably spend his paycheck on every Star Wars, Marvel, or DC Comics Fathead. No, I’m not kidding. He would go nuts. You’ve never seen a kid so passionate about something unless you talk to him about any of those categories!
Fathead Collage
And as much as my boyfriend and his son love their Pittsburg Steelers, they love soccer just as much. I’m not sure which one more. I know his son would totally go crazy over any of the soccer player Fatheads. I know Fred likes Barcelona, but I have no idea who M-boy likes. So much we’re still learning about each other.

If you could have a Fathead of anything you or your kids are fans of, what would it be?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Delivering A Get Well Basket

About a month ago it seemed like everyone had kids dropping like flies from being sick. Facebook was chalk full of status updates of parents being home with kids. I thought we’d been able to avoid it until about a week and a half ago when Doodle woke up saying he felt like he was going to get sick. I tell you what, I was thankful I had the opportunity to work with Smiley360 to do a review of Children’s Mucinex. It was good timing, unfortunately.

A photo posted by Mimi B (@mimibakermn) on

Ugh, poor kid. Have I ever mentioned how thankful I am to be a work at home mom? I was able to send him back to bed to get more rest with a water bottle and a puke bucket.

He woke up a couple of hours later looking miserable so I sat him in front of the tv for him to watch Frozen. We had just gotten the DVD and hadn’t seen it since it was in the theater. He cuddled up in a blanket and chilled out watching the movie.
Get Well List
While he was laying there, it dawned on me how nice it would be if someone knew I was home with a sick kid to bring us a little Get Well basket. It’s nice to be able to stay home with a sick kidling, but not so easy to get out and leave the sick one home.
Gift Basket

Knowing how my kids are when they get sick, I put together a little basket I knew would come in handy for other parents with their own sick ones.
1. Children’s Mucinex
2. Tissues
3. Tea Tree Oil
4. Lip Balm
5. Toothbrush
6. Movie
7. Water Bottle
8. Blanket
Get Well Soon Basket
We always keep tea tree oil around because when my youngest and oldest get sick they both usually end up with ear infections. We’ve found the oil helps either keep the ear infections at bay or helps lessen them. I learned years ago to change out their toothbrushes when they’re sick so that when they’re better they’re not brushing their teeth with a nasty, germ laden toothbrush. I also like having a water bottle with the child who’s sick and a second one in the fridge. The Children’s Mucinex helps give relief of stuffy noses, cough, and congestion when our kids have cold symptoms. Be sure to use this $2 coupon http://bit.ly/ZoUtYh to save!

What do you keep on hand for when your little one gets sick?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tervis Tumblers For The Holidays #HollyJollyGiftGuide #HJGGG

One of our favorite travel cups that my son and I have are our Tervis tumblers. They’re perfect for on the go! I’ve been thinking about how I could personalize the holidays with my family members and Tervis is the way to do it. I know that you can go out and get friends and family some humdrum gift, but that’s where these tumblers make a difference.

When you know what your friends are into, whether it’s sports, hobbies, seasons, locations, I mean, anything you can imagine, you can get it for them in into a Tervis tumbler. I know that owls are really popular right now and that’s why when I was given the option of reviewing a couple tumblers, I chose the Woodland Owls wrap! It’s so stinkin’ festive! I also loved the colorful Festive Ornaments because to me, it could be used in the summer and no one would look at you like you were whacky. =) Unless of course it’s me then they already know I am, no matter what season.
Tervis Tumblers
When we went out to my mom’s for Thanksgiving, I took my tumblers with me because I wanted her opinion on who to give the two I received to. I have two sisters-in-law who I thought would like them, but wanted mom’s help figuring out who get which one. Of course, then we talked about all of the other options that the guys in the family would like. We’re not sure when it happened, but the ladies are seriously outnumbered by the guys these days. We need my girls around to balance things out. lol
Tervis Collage
I think the favorite for our family will always be the football themed wraps. I think we could each get a tumbler for every holiday and feel like we never have enough. That’s because we’ve got pro and college football lovers in the family and only a couple of us (extended family-wise) like the same teams.
Tervis Lids
So this year we’ll be giving Tervis out to the family. The next step is to decide if we’ll put them under the tree or if they’ll go into the stockings!
Tervis Tumbler Options

What’s your favorite Tervis for the holidays?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday Hello Kitty

Tervis Logo
I grew up thinking Hello Kitty was so cute! I wanted it to be on everything I owned. I had no idea that this November was Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday! Just a little younger than me! I know that Hello Kitty hasn’t lost it’s charm. It’s still loved worldwide!

We love Tervis in our family and found out that during the month of November, you can find a special commemorative cup for the occasion only in their stores or on their website.
Have you ever owned at Tervis? We have a couple from the Tailgate Bash I hosted last year. My son and I still love using them all the time. Some of the features and benefits:

o Made for LifeTM Guarantee
o Keeps hot drinks hotter and cold drinks colder
o Safe for microwave, dishwasher and freezer
o Reduces condensation
o BPA Free

Tervis has thousands of designs to choose from, including 60+ license agreements:

o All Professional sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, plus 100s of colleges
o Brands: Disney, Marvel, Warner Brothers, Dr. Seuss, Nickelodeon, Hallmark, Fiesta, Hello Kitty,
o Pink Ribbon designs – Year round, Tervis donates 5% of sales to breast cancer research
o Patti Gay’s Two Can collection – Year round, Tervis donates 5% of sales to Autism Awareness
  Harley-Davidson, Margaritaville, Real Tree, Romero Britto, Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, and more!
Hello Kitty

If you could own your very own Tervis, what would it be?

*I have not received anything for sharing this post

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Meet Peru: Our Family Dog Rescue

For about a year, Fred and I have talked off an on about getting a dog. Lots of talk for a while and then not any talk, and then more talk again. He really surprised me about a month ago when he talked about wanting us to go look for a dog together to get it by Christmas. I was totally blown away. Usually it’s me leading the march for something like this.

Peru American Bulldog

I knew he wanted a greyhound, so regardless of what the kids wanted, I wanted him to have a greyhound. He always puts aside what he wants for what everyone else wants. So, I started sending him pictures from greyhound rescues. We stopped talking about dogs for a couple of weeks when a week or so ago he sent me links to a list of greyhounds and then to the spca.

Both of our oldest kids have mentioned wanting either a bulldog or a boxer. Fred’s kids have two dogs at their mom’s house and we have our two cats. I didn’t really have a preference other than having a dog we both could agree on because then our kids would come along with us.


He saw an American Bulldog/Boxer mix at the SPCA in Annapolis named Chloe. I was pretty excited to go see her. When we walked in, I wanted to look at every dog, which I did. We found another Chloe who was a 6 mos old pitbull. She was beautiful, but rambunctious. Exactly what you’d expect for a puppy. There were so many dogs I fell in love with. Had their been an adult or senior dog that grabbed us, I would’ve been happy adopting them. I’m finally in a place where I’m ok with NOT having a puppy.

We came to Chloe and she was so sweet. The worker came and took us out to the yard. She was beautiful, pretty mellow, and we were smitten. I instagrammed her, and I couldn’t stop talking to Fred about her. Two days later we went back to drop off the application to adopt her and to spend more time with her. I’m glad we did. We went out to the yard and she still had no interest in us. Fred tried playing with her and she clamped down on his arm really hard. I tried not reacting because I wasn’t sure if Fred was in control or if she was. Turned out she was. He came away with a pretty nasty mark on his arm. With 4 kids who will want to play with her, we knew that would be no good. She also seemed to be extremely aggressive towards other dogs that either walked by her or she walked by. In fact, the trainer was outside with a dog and said if she let the dog go, Chloe would’ve been aggressive. Needless to say, we knew she wasn’t the dog for us and we were really bummed.

I suggested we go walk around again just to see if we liked any other dogs. I actually didn’t expect to find anything because we’d been there two days before.

Family dog Peru

Well, we walked around to the back wall of dogs and there she was…Peru. P-E-R-U! If you recall, I went to Peru a year and a half ago with Fred on my first mission trip. He’d also been to Peru the year before. I wasn’t even sure I was going to GO to Peru until I was flying back from my work conference and right there in the travel magazine was a two page layout of Peru.

Turns out, she had just come back into the kennel after being gone for two weeks. After she arrived she got sick and then had kennel cough and she needed to be spayed. It was apparent that at some point she’d had puppies. We asked to take her outside and I actually hovered over her door because there were so many people there. lol I tried being all nonchalant about it, but I didn’t want anyone else to look at her before we had a chance.

The gal came back and we went outside. She was definitely interested in all of the smells in the yard. She came to both of us and sat between our legs. She was pretty lovey when I tried kissing her by her face. We tugged her ears, tugged her tail and played with her. The worker got her to sit and to shake her paw. Fred played around with her and although she would jump up, she never once used her mouth. Not only that, she would stop playing and just sit as his feet. It was awesome! We knew we were changing our papers to her.

Peru is an unpapered purebred (I take that with a grain of salt) American Bulldog. We have no interest in having a purebred, we just wanted a family dog that fit our family. She’ll be two in January. When we read her paperwork it said a couple of times that it would take time to have her warm up to someone. We were shocked. That wasn’t our experience at all. She was right there, in our faces almost immediately.

Of course, I instagrammed her as well. What else was I supposed to do? lol We thought we had found our newest family member. Warning, our Instagram feed will be filled with all things Peru. There were so many people there, we figured, almost hoped it would be a week before we heard back. Why did we hope? Because Thanksgiving we’re going to my mom’s and with just transitioning her into the home, we weren’t sure how she’d be with my mom’s dogs. We wanted to get her after the Thanksgiving weekend. Wouldn’t you know it, a couple of hours later, Fred got the call that he was the proud new owner of Peru! Squeeeeee

We have a plan on how to surprise our kids. We’re going to take a picture and send it to them every day for a few days before the Sunday after Thanksgiving when they all get to see her for the first time! I’M going back to see her today (Sunday)! I went out and bought her dog bowls, a leash, a collar, and some toys. I’m going to take them and one of our blankets to her after church!

Have you ever rescued a dog?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Berries & Moss Holiday Wreath #HollyJollyHolidayGGG

Holly Jolly Image
I don’t know how you decorate for the holidays, but most of my stuff is premade and lit up like a…well, like a Christmas tree. All of my stuff is still in storage for the holidays unfortunately. It’ll be nice to go to my mom’s for Thanksgiving where my dad will take my boys to go pick out a Christmas tree! Meanwhile, mom and I will pull out all of her other decorations. She does it big time! No, they’re not the Griswalds, but they have a festive house.
Creekside Farms Wreath
This coming weekend we’ll do Thanksgiving at mom’s and then head up to PA to spend Sunday with Fred’s parents and his kids for a second Thanksgiving. I’m hoping we’ll have the chance to do some decorating at his house. As for our house, right now I have a wreath.

I’m sorry, I don’t just have a ‘wreath’, I have a gorgeous, live wreath. At this point, I don’t care what else I come up with to get into the spirit of the holidays. This wreath has me completely satisfied. It’s absolutely gorgeous! I saw an email come through from Creekside Farms about their wreaths. I’d never considered getting a live wreath. Honestly, I didn’t know what the big difference was, but figured now was as good a time as any to learn. I emailed right away asking if I could review one and add it to our holiday giveaway.
Creekside Farms
My Berries & Moss Wreath arrived mid week last week. Let me say, I’ve been educated…liberated. I don’t know that I could ever go back to an artificial wreath. When I opened my box, it had the best fragrance! Nothing compares to that aroma at the holidays! I’ve heard of people getting something like a bouquet of flowers in the mail and them not looking at all like what they saw online. I can tell you for sure and for certain that the wreath I received is exactly how it looked online!

The Berries & Moss Wreath is a blend of fresh fir and seeded eucalyptus. Pine cones, moss, Artemisia, and pepperberries surround it as well. The moss is so squishy! I think it’s my favorite part of the wreath. Yes, I received my wreath the week of Thanksgiving. Yes, Christmas is a month away. Not a problem with the Creekside Farms Wreath.Once their wreaths are dried out, they’re supposed to last 6 months to a year!
Berries and Moss Wreath
Now, I have to admit, and my boys have caught me doing this, every time I go outside, I breathe in the fragrance of the wreath. Really, not kidding it smells that fabulous! Trust me, you wish you had smell-o-vision. Maybe scratch ‘n sniff. I’m really happy to have this up on our front door. Makes me wish I had one of those grand, red doors on the front of the house.

The wheels in my brain have already been spinning as I looked through all of the wreathes. One to welcome spring, for the 4th of July, and maybe one day, one for a wedding! Hey, I’m allowed to dream. =)

Have you ever had a fresh wreath?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts Partner For #GivingTuesday

Tonight, Friday, Fred, Doodle, and I along with a group of other church members delivered Thanksgiving meals to 80 families in the larger Annapolis area. Now, I know it’s not Giving Tuesday yet, but today was a day for us to do our part for Thanksgiving.

I know the frenzy of shopping comes the day after Thanksgiving. We’re out getting things for family and friends while people around us are struggling to put a meal on the table. For me, things have improved, to a degree, with my job. I still struggle to make ends meet and try to be as careful as I can with my money. I’ve never been as bad off as some people, but I’ve never been in a place where I didn’t worry about my finances.
Hope Kit
In fact, there were numerous times I’d have to go to the food pantry at church to see if they had food we would use. At Thanksgiving I would hear a knock on my door and guess what? Someone from church would show up with a bag or two of food even though I hadn’t signed up for it. Pride gets in the way quite often, especially in a church where everyone knows you. Of course, that means they know you well enough to deliver you food because they know you won’t ask for it.

When World Vision reached out to me asking me if I’d partner with them for Giving Tuesday, I couldn’t say no. I actually wanted to do this post without receiving anything because this is such a personal topic to me, but I was told they were already shipping me a package. What they sent is absolutely beautiful and the idea of them partnering with Thirty-One Gifts warms my heart.
Hope Kit With Bag
So, what are they doing? On December 2nd, the third annual Giving Tuesday, the first 3,100 donations made by phone (1-888-511-6588) or online to World Vision, Thirty-One Gifts will donate a Hope Kit tote filled with hygiene supplies to a woman or girl in need in the U.S. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian agency and with this partnership, they’ll make twice the impact by combatting poverty in one of the 100 countries where World Vision works and helping a woman/girl in need here to get back on her feet with a Hope Kit.

Did you know, 1 in 3 American women – 42 million women, plus 28 million children – either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it. I know that by the standard of living here in Maryland, my boys and I are living close to the poverty line. If it weren’t for my parents, I wouldn’t have a car to drive. My boys get reduced lunches. That’s different than the past year where they’d been receiving free meals. I work full time at a good job, but because of life’s circumstances, don’t receive child support right now. Life doesn’t always go the way you expect.
Thirty-One Gifts Hope Kit
Thirty-One Gifts Giving
I know that receiving a gift like the Hope Kit would’ve touched my heart going through those tough times. On top of that, they put in a note of encouragement in the Kit as well! Such a sweet blessing!
We haven’t made our donation yet to World Vision and this is the nudge I needed. We order from them every year for my daughter anyhow, so what better time to do it than the Tuesday after Thanksgiving? I would love to encourage you to multiply your charitable impact this year during the holidays!

You also have the opportunity to win a personalized Handle-It Cosmetic Bag in either Paisley Day, Black Chevron, or Plum Chevron from Thirty-One Gifts! Oh, and did I mention, I love Thirty-One Gifts that I already have a personalized Cinch Sac for my youngest son hidden under my bed for Christmas!
Handle-It Cosmetic Bag

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Roaming Reindeer For The Holidays #RoamingReindeerBlogTour

Holly Jolly Image
I’ve heard all about the Elf…you know the one that shows up and does it’s crazy thing all the way up to Christmas. I think it’s time for a change. We never did the Elf anyhow. Let me introduce you to a couple of reindeer, Gus and Sam. They’re a couple of Santa’s reindeer who pitch in to help report back who’s naughty or nice. When I was contacted by PR By The Book, to review this awesome set, how could I say no?
Full Kit Image 1
It’s always good to have helpers. In Roaming Reindeer, the reindeer have to work together, but they realize they can’t get to all of the children so they call in the reinforcements of other reindeer friends. Each of the reindeer are sent off in pairs to check in on whether the kids have been naughty or nice. Reindeer #1 reports back to Santa which child has been naughty and Reindeer #2 will stay to watch the child(ren).

You can see how this might work with the kids right? Putting the reindeer where your kids will see them encourages good behavior. They don’t want to see Reindeer #1 missing. If they work together, both of the reindeer will stay at your house and Santa will be sure to visit with presents! Christmas Eve both of them leave to help Santa deliver the presents.
Roaming Reindeer
Building teamwork with your kids, especially before the holidays is a great idea for the entire family. Who wouldn’t want unity when the kids are all focused on themselves and the presents they want?
If you’re ready to start a new family tradition, be sure to use the discount code that will be active from November 17-November 27. The code ROAM2014 will give $5.00 off the regular price, making it $29.95! The set comes with the hardcover book, Reindeer #1 and #2, and an awesome keepsake box. You can let you kids name the reindeer and put them in charge of keeping an eye on both of them…especially #1!
Roaming Reindeer Book
Not only can you use that discount, you can enter to win the book at our Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway that’s going on now through December 10th!

What are your favorite family holiday traditions?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway 2014

Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway Hop Button

It's Time! It's Time!

The Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway is LIVE!

Welcome to the Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway hosted by Mimi, of Woven by Words and Kay, of The More The Merrier.

Christmas is a time for love and sharing. Mimi & Kay love their readers, and they wanted to find a way to give back a little something. They have decided to do a few of these giveaways through out the year, so you can look forward to more wonderful, huge giveaways just like this one!

Mimi & Kay collected over $750 in prizes to give away to one very lucky winner!

Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway Image

Please visit our Sponsors!

Eli's Cheesecake - $34 ARV * TrackR with App - $30 ARV
Minted - $100 Gift Code * Old Factory Candle Gift Set - $25 ARV * SOL Republic Headphones - $80 ARV Viatek Plush Pal - $30 ARV * Libre Tea New Life Glass - $27 ARV * Jamberry.com nail set - $25 Gift Code Tervis Tumbler - $20 ARV * FamilyChristian.com - $25 Gift Code * Fathead.com - $100 Gift Code Sports Chocolates Stadium - $35 ARV * The Roaming Reindeer Deer & Book - $35 ARV * Hallmark Ornament - $30 ARV Sunday Drive Designs Tea Towels (2) - $30 ARV * Nice by Design (Goldie Cablekeeper) - $13 ARV * Creekside Farms Wreath - $79 ARV * Zingermans $65 ARV * Redmaster Fusion LLC Lotion & Candle $17 ARV *

The Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway runs from midnight November 17th to midnight December 10th, 2014. Open to the US only. Distribution of prizes is the responsibility of the sponsors. Neither Kay (The More The Merrier) nor Mimi (Woven by Words) are responsible for the distribution of prizes.

Now go to the Rafflecopter and enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If It’s Tea You Want, It’s Tea You’ll Get #HollyJollyHoliday

Holly Jolly Image
There are two people in my life who are over the moon about tea: mom and Smooch! Mom has loved tea since before I ever showed up on the scene. She got it from my grandma. My 2nd daughter drinks the stuff like it’s going out of style! I think he job fed into her love for it! I was SO excited when Kay told me that Libre was going to work with us. Smooch will get to use the Starburst Loose Leaf Tea Glass on a daily basis. I already know this will become her main stocking stuffer…when she comes home.
Libre Tea Starburst
So, this year the holidays will be very different for our family. It’ll be our first year that I can remember where we don’t have Smooch with us. She’ll be on her World Race still. In fact, when Thanksgiving gets here, she’ll be finishing up her time in India and when Christmas shows up, she’ll be in Nepal!

I’d never actually used a glass like this so I watched the video on how to use them!

Pretty amazing isn’t it? This is why I know my daughter will love this when she gets home. Of course, I have to figure out how this works myself! Knowing I have tea lovers in my life, I keep around spare tea just in case. I know not everyone is going to love a cup of coffee like me.
Starburst Collage

This tea glass was so much easier than I expected to use. I like that it can be used two ways: with open tea leaves and with tea in a bag. This way my daughter can enjoy it either way.
PicMonkey Collage

If you’re a tea drinking kind of person, then I would definitely check into Libre. They have a 6 pack available so you can get them in all three colors. They’d make an amazing Christmas gift for the tea lover in your life. You can also try winning one at our Holly Jolly Gift Guide Giveaway that starts tomorrow!

What’s your favorite way to drink tea: loose or bagged?

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.