Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Olivia!

Happy Friday everyone!! And a very Happy Birthday to my little girl!!! Olivia's birthday isn't actually until tomorrow but I'll be busy with her party so I am sure I would forget to post so I figured I would do it today.

Here are a few photos from Olivia's initial birthday photo shoot attempt. I had envisioned her running through a vast open field with a large bunch of balloons but after these initial shots, she wanted nothing to do with the balloons. Ugh! Well at least these came cute.

So the other morning I attempted to do some photos indoors. I figured another outdoor session was out since it was only in the teens outside. Olivia actually wanted to take photos so I hurried and set up and grabbed my camera and got these great photos.

So since things went so well, I decided that after our parent/tot class, I would pick up some balloons and put Liv's "two" shirt on. Then maybe I could get at least a few balloon photos. Yes, I know I have an obsession with balloons. Anyways, apparently my daughter doesn't share that obsession. She did not want to cooperate but I managed to get a few.

Well, I promise to share tons of party pics on Monday. I cannot wait to throw my girl an awesome party, she deserves every bit of it. She is truly the greatest gift. Below is that blessed day two years ago.

Have a fabulous weekend!!! xoxo

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rock 'N Roll 3 Year Old Style

I wanted to share some photos from one of my more recent sessions with you. I have had the joy of photographing TJ since he was born for many of his major milestones and a few weeks ago I took photos for his 3rd birthday. His mom came up with the fabulous idea of bringing his drum set and guitar to a local lake for the session. It was indeed a great idea and the proof is below.

Is he not just the cutest rock star ever??! He was so cooperative, it made me extremely jealous that I cannot get photos like this of my own daughter because she hates photos. Grrr...Although she's a bit younger, just turning 2.  Below are a few of my other faves from the session.

Hope you enjoyed the photos! I hope to have some of my daughter to share later on in the week! Wish me luck!! xo

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Need To Get Out More

Being a mom, I don't get to go out and party like I used to. Saturday night usually consists of watching Disney Junior until my girl falls asleep and then the hubby and I fall asleep getting caught up on TV. Exciting, I know! Since we lead such an exciting life, I was pumped to go to an engagement party Saturday night.

Me and the hubby at the party...

Well, maybe I was a little too pumped because was knocking back vodka cranberries like they were going out of style. I definitely had between like 8-10 drinks in about 3-1/2 hours. Yikes! Scary part is I felt fine the whole time. Or so I thought until I checked out the photo gallery on my phone this morning and found a few gems.

Gorgeous face!

Why do I look so surprised, I am obviously taking the photo?!
Oh geez....
 Needless to say I obviously wasn't "fine." I remembered taking the photos once I saw them but boy oh boy was I wacked. I can only say that I don't get to party often so when I do I feel this need to make up for lost time. Need to fix that. Well, I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous selfies. You're welcome.... xo

Friday, January 24, 2014

Totally Awesome Valentine's Giveaway!

We’re spreading the love with another totally awesome giveaway just in time for Valentine’s Day! This month we have two awesome prizes up for grabs -- one winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card and a second winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.  

For your chance to win, just use the Rafflecopter form below. There are a lot of entries to choose from so take your pick… or do them all! And don’t forget that we also have daily entries, so bookmark this page and come back everyday. Good luck!

Prizes: $500 Amazon Gift Card & $100 Amazon Gift Card or cash (via Paypal)
Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 2/14 and is open worldwide.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join an awesome group of bloggers!

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back In The Grind

I've been so sick for over a week and it really threw me off my game. So unproductive and no time for the blog and much social media but today I got back in the grind and was quite productive. I got all the decorations and paper good for Liv's 2nd birthday party which is only one week away, I registered Liv for nursery school for the fall (OMG! When did she get so big?!), I made some accessories for the newborn photo shoot I have on Monday and I am writing this post. Woohoo! Go me!

Not only that but Olivia and I had craft time. We made some adorable butterfly pictures out of foam heart stickers. Check out the fun below!!

"Can we just get started already?!"

The supplies...Found these hearts for $1 at Dollar Tree
Hard at work..

Liv's masterpiece

Mommy's masterpiece

I am pumped to be back in blogging land and excited to say I have a lot of exciting posts coming up in the next two weeks including: a book review, an accessory shop review, a DIY, tons of photos to share from recent photo shoots and a MASSIVE giveaway that will kick off tomorrow! See you all then! xoxo

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meet Betsy!!! And.. A Giveaway!!

  It's that time again! Time to meet another awesome individual in the world of blogging, Betsy from Musings Of A Museum Fanatic. So after you get to know her a little here from our Q&A post, make sure you head over to her blog to get to know her even better.

1 - What inspires your blog?
Hmmm that's a good question ... and a vague one haha.  I had been thinking about starting one for a while and had done the whole online journal thing way back in college but need a good kick in the pants.  I started out hoping to have it be an outlet for my love of museums and other related things but as we all know life gets in the way.  I don't think it's a bad thing that I've somewhat changed the focus/inspiration.  People change!  Hopefully I can get more of that inspiration going in 2014 though : ) 

2 - What can we expect to see on your blog?
All sorts of different topics from cultural type things to recipes to DIY to reviews.  I have so many different interests and loves why limit myself?

3 - What is your fave TV show and why?
These days I tend to love a little bit of everything from Real Housewives of everything, Chopped and Iron Chef, Project Runway and whatever full season of something i can find on Netflix.  The two shows that I try and watch every week when it's a current season is NCIS & NCIS:LA.  I used to be a big fan of shows like Law and Order and CSI but for some reason they got to violent and bloody more often, which I don't like but the NCIS shows are witty, good guys usually win fun with usually very little of the gratuitous blood and guts.  Plus Tony and Dieks are so cute!

4 - What television character can you most relate to?
 Not gonna lie this question gave me some trouble!!  Life changes so at various times I feel like I relate more to some characters more than others.  Right now I can definitely relate to Jim and Pam from the Office and their seemingly never ending issues with Michael haha.  Let's just say I can relate to upper management craziness at the moment!!

5 - Tell us one of your fave travel stories.
Most of my travel stories are pretty tame, we go we see everything we come home.  Probably the most interesting one was the school trip right after my senior year of high school to London.  Since 18 was legal drinking age we decided to imbibe and ended up a little less than sober.  Our hotel was a converted row house and the rooms/floors were all wacky and were definitely not in nice straight floors.  Let's just say three less than sober girls had a lovely time trying get from the "4th floor" back down to our basement room.  There may have been the three of us sitting on the steps up to a random out of place room for a good half hour!

6 - What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would have to be something like an 80 days around the world type trip.  Maybe not by balloon though!  There are so many place in Europe, Africa and Australia I want to see sooo much on each continent that it's hard to pick one.  

 Isn't Betsy fabulous?! Well, I have another surprise for you this Monday morning. I am part of a group giveaway to win some pretty great stuff. Make sure you take the time to enter below:

BEEautiful Blessingsthe thing about joySilly socks n things + Dancing with a dolly
SeraheShoes  +   Living La Vida Holoka   +   Rachel's Country Roots   +   Amber Nicole
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Friday, January 17, 2014

What To Do When Your Best Friend Is Dying

I have unfortunately lost two best friends in a span of 5 years. Hasn't been a good few years. One of my friends lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis and my other friend lost her battle with Breast Cancer.  They both were already diagnosed when I met them so I did not have the difficult task of figuring out what to say when diagnosed but I do have a little insight on how to treat a friend who is terminally ill.

 This post is going to focus on my friend J who passed away 5 years ago in June from complications of her Cystic Fibrosis. When I first met J I had no idea she was sick, she was so vivacious and full of life. She came to my job after not working for a while and I thought it was just a case of someone who quit and then after regret set in asked for her job back. We instantly related and were constantly in trouble for talking too much. Hello high school! Haha.

After a few weeks I learned that she didn't work for quite a while because she was sick but at that point I still didn't know quite how sick. I finally found out she had Cystic Fibrosis but still had no idea what that meant exactly. She finally explained to me that she was dying. The life expectancy of a CF patient was mid twenties and she was now in her late twenties. She told me about a party she had had because she had 6 months to live and how that was two years ago. She was defying the odds, I mean she rode a motorcycle for Christ's sake, how could she be sick?!

I actually moved in with J for a short time after her lung transplant and all this girl wanted to do was party. She was a fire cracker! Everyday she was ready for an adventure and I was lucky enough to go along for the ride. I feel that people who are terminally ill fall in one of two categories: those who are to depressed to live the life they have left and those who are going to get every bit of fun they can out of the time they have left. J was obviously the latter. Don't get me wrong she would get depressed once in a while but then again who wouldn't.

We would talk everyday and I did a lot of bitching about our job, which she was no longer at for health reasons. One day while complaining about my manager I stopped myself and said "I am so sorry, here I am complaining about work when you had an important doctor appointment today." She then said to me: "That is why I love hanging out with you. You don't treat me any different. I feel normal when I am with you. I don't want people feeling sorry for me, I want people to talk to me as if I was completely healthy."

We didn't talk about her sickness often because I don't think either of us wanted to face the fact that our fun together was limited but it worked for our relationship. Don't get me wrong, I visited her in the hospital and would always ask for updates on her health but then it would be on to normal bitching, complaining and talking about the next party. So many people focused solely on her because they didn't want to seem selfish when she had much bigger problems than all of them. All those people meant well, they truly did but it just made J focus on her illness when all she wanted to do was lead a normal life. I was her normal.

It's never easy when a loved one is dying but the only thing I can say is be there for them, give them help but also remember to treat them as if they were healthy as much as possible. They want to hear about your problems and triumphs, they don't want to feel as if nobody wants to share anything with them. And of course, my experience isn't everyone's experience but this is what I learned along the very difficult road.

In memory of J 2/28/78 - 6/18/09

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Am I Boring??!

I have to admit some of the most entertaining blog posts I have read have been about the key words people use and whose blog they find. Case and point: Karly's Keywords: (Creepy) Vans . This girl is hysterical. Anyway, after reading posts like this I was curious about what key words brought people to my blog and I have to say I was underwhelmed.

There wasn't anything crazy or random, just things like: DIY wreath, X-Factor,  jewelry creations and Alex & Sierra. No creepy vans or funky smelly clowns. I suppose I should actually be happy about that but I cannot help but feel a little disappointed. I want to look at my keywords and laugh and say "what the hell?!" Everyday I check the list and cannot help but think: "am I boring?" I need to start posting some random wacky posts once in a while and maybe I will get the exciting key words I want..I am officially on a mission.

Anyways, have a good night and here is a little something that is not boring: my girl's interesting outfit choice for the day.

Got to love her style!

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Obsession & $300 Kate Spade Gift Card Giveaway

Before you scroll down to enter to win an amazing $300 Kate Spade gift card, I have a question for you: do you watch Dexter?!! It is my newest obsession! I just finished season 1 on Netflix and I am obsessed. Such a great concept. Initially when I heard about the show and learned the main character was a serial killer, I thought how could I be invested in this character but boy I was wrong. You really don't understand until you watch so if you need something to watch, Netflix has eight season of Dexter to devour!! Okay now you can go enter to win that gift card!

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Helicopter Hover

Hello darlings! I hope everything had a fantastical weekend! Mine was alright. Saturday was so rainy and dreary but the hubby and I had an epiphany and we are going to be quite rich. Haha. We are taking on a new business venture and I am sure it will be a success. It is a shop but I am not sharing any particulars until we are up and running which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.

Yesterday we attempted to do Olivia's 2nd birthday portraits and I was a bit disappointed. I had dreams of her running through a big open field surrounded by woods with a big bundle of balloons but what I got was: "take those balloons aways!!" and "no balloons!" Argh!! The first 5 minutes of the shoot she was good so I got  a few good shots but a disaster after that. Guess we will need to attempt this another day.

We actually were going to have Liv take a break and play on the playground for a bit and then give it another go but the eeriest thing happened. We were in a huge state park and being that it is the middle of January and cold there was only like one other car in the parking field. Anyway while we were walking from our photo session site to the playground we noticed a police helicopter do a lap over the park. No biggie, didn't really think much of it.  We got to the playground and the thing was still flying around. I walked to the car while my hubby and daughter played and the helicopter followed me! Then it was hovering over my hubby and daughter! It flew away but was still circling the park. They were looking for someone and I was definitely getting creeped out. We were in a huge park with lots of wooded areas and nobody else was there and apparently the police were on a manhunt. It was time to leave!

We took a break to get lunch and went to the beach by my mom's house to attempt photos once again but no luck! Although, my daughter managed to have a blast on that playground and here are a few shots of her and the hubby having fun. I am waiting to share the actual 2nd birthday portraits until it gets closer to her birthday. ;)

Okay,'s just one preview of round one of Liv's birthday photos....

Mommy-To-Be Essentials Giveaway

Having a new baby seems to always come with an endless list of things you need! Enter to win this gift set we handpicked to make the new baby stage a little easier and to pamper one lucky mom. Our Mommy-to-Be Essentials Giveaway features a variety of fabulous items from many great brands!

Yummi Pouch - Reusable Food Pouches

yummi pouch reusable food pouches
Yummi Pouch Brights & Minis - Retail Price: $30
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches encourage healthy snacks for active kids. Our eco-friendly food pouches are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and can be filled with healthy blended snacks and easily taken on-the-go, no spoon required. Our vision is to help moms and dads prepare healthy snacks for their active kids. Yummi Pouches are perfect to be filled with nutritious smoothies and purees prepared in batches, frozen or refrigerated, and easily consumed on-the-go. For more information visit

Guava Family

guava family crib
Lotus Everywhere Crib - Retail Price: $249.95
  • 15 Second set-up, backpack portability, fits as a carry-on, use it EVERYWHERE
  • Breathable ClearView Mesh allows for full airflow and an unobstructed view of the child, even when the side is zipped up. The mesh sides go all the way down to the mattress to create a safe, breathable sleep environment.
  • No PVC, Phthalates, Lead or PBE/PBDE Flame Retardants. ASTM F406-11B approved.
  • 42" x 24" mattress, 25" deep. 11 lbs crib weight.
  • Fun side door makes it much more than a's a perfect, fun, comfortable play area for your little one.
For more information visit

Willamy Collection

willamy bracelets
1 Bracelet of winner's choice with name personalization option - Retail Price: $116
The Willamy Collection features handcrafted, leather wrap bracelets made with genuine leather, quality beads, crystals and stones for women, men and kids. Worn by Hollywood celebs including, Nancy O'Dell (ET), Paige Hemmis (Extreme Makeover, Home Edition), Mary McDonough (The Waltons), Billy Ray Cyrus, Maksum Chmerkovsky (Dancing With The Stars) & Dean Cain! For more information visit


moraki cloth diapers
1 Cloth Diaper of winner's choice - Retail Price: $27
Moraki offers premium cloth diapers consciously made in the USA. Our true One Size diapers, with 4 rise settings, fit babies 7-40+ lbs. Available in All-In-Two/Pocket, Organic All-In-One, or Stay Dry All-In-One. For more information visit

Eco Vessel

eco vessel insulated sippy cup
Insulated Sippy Cup - Retail Price: $19.95
You and your little one will love this sippy bottle! Easy to drink, easy to hold, easy to clean - and water, milk or juice will stay cold for hours. The Insulated Sippy is made with two layers of vacuum sealed #304 food grade stainless steel – no BPA, no phthalates, no liner. Enjoy!

Our products are developed from safe, sturdy, sustainable materials while offering innovation and practicality. Our complete product line provides options for everyone from toddlers to adults. You can feel secure knowing that our water bottles and food storage containers are made of high quality, non-leaching materials and are designed for your safety, ease of use and convenience. For more information visit


Babiators baby sunglasses giveaway
2 pairs of Regular Collection Babiators - Retail Price: $40
Babiators™ is on a mission. We are in the business of protecting children’s eyes and image with products that can withstand the rough and tumble daily activities of adventuresome young aviators. Babiators sunglasses protect our children’s precious eyes from harmful UV rays with a durable rubber product – without sacrificing style! Babiators is the first brand designed to stand up to the sun, teething, and playground fashionistas – all with a single purchase. We believe in being safe, looking awesome, and having fun – all at the same time! For more information visit

Merle & Velma

merle and velma pillow giveaway
Personalized Keepsake Pillow - Retail Price: $89
New parents will flip for our double sided personalized pillows! Each pillow measures approximately 16" x 16" and is digitally printed with baby's information with water based inks on organic muslin. For more information visit
  • Printed on off-white organic cotton muslin
  • Double sided
  • Measures 16" x 16"
  • Personalized using water based dyes
  • Made in USA
  • Please don't place in baby's crib. They are meant for display pieces only.

Posh Play

Posh Play mat giveaway
1 Posh Play Mat in Orange, Turquoise, Grapefruit, or Eggplant - Retail Price: $98
Posh Play mats are Eco-friendly, reversible play mats made of PVC free faux leather. Indoor/Outdoor use. Portable. Wipeable. Great as a play mat, splat mat, picnic or field blanket. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Measures 50" x 45". For more information visit


Posh Play mat giveaway
Hulabye Diaper Changing Helper - Retail Price: $36
The Hulabye Diaper Changing Helper keeps little ones in place while mom and dad do the dirty work. The safe, gentle vest design prevents rolling and flipping making diaper changes quick & easy!
Choose from 4 cute and contemporary prints made of soft, breathable 100% cotton flannel. The comfy fabric vest adjusts as your baby grows, so one size fits all. Made in the USA of imported fabrics, the Happy Changer™ is machine washable/dryable…and as you'll soon discover, indispensable. For more information visit

Mama B's Sweet Peas

Mama B's Sweet Peas giveaway
1 Sterling Silver Sweet Pea Pendant, with 1-5 "peas" in the pod - Retail Price: $33
Personalize your colors based upon your child/children's birth stone colors, or the birth months of the whole family. See color options.

Mama B's Sweet Peas -- a unique "twist" on Mothers' Jewelry -- think peas in a pod! Every hand-crafted Sweet Pea is made unique for each Mama, so no two are just alike. Mama B's Sweet Peas is owned by North Carolina artist and work-at-home-mother to (soon to be) three babies, Stevie Ballinger. For more information visit

Enter to win this Fabulous Gift Set! Retail value: $739

Mommy-to-Be Essentials Giveaway brands
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