Happy Holidays 2014!

You know those times when you think you are going to have some time to catch up on things so you start thinking “hey, I’ll just wait until then to do this,” but you end up putting WAY too many things on that list and then end up sick and wanting to do nothing but bury yourself under a blanket on the couch on those days? Yeah, that’s how my holiday “vacation” went.

I had grand plans of sewing and scrapbooking after shampooing carpets and cleaning out the garage, storage closet, and baby clothes. Exciting stuff, I know. I didn’t get much done on my personal to do list, but still did plenty.

We didn’t have any plans to go anywhere for the holidays so we tried to make the most of some local fun in Dayton.

For starters, I had the chance to start introducing my girls to the world of working for a dance company. It’s great to be able to share moments with them. I was able to bring my older daughter out to a matinee performance of The Littlest Angel by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. It was a gorgeous performance and my daughter really enjoyed watching the dancers. A week later, I ended up bringing my younger daughter with me to a master class at the studio that we were hosting. Kiesha Lalama was in town working on a piece with the company and taught a great class. I loved that my 1 year old not only wanted to watch most of the time, but kept wanting to join in, too.

dcdc kids CollageNext up, we started our many Santa sightings. We were also on a mission to see some Christmas lights displays this year. We went to University of Dayton’s annual Christmas On Campus event, said hello to Santa at the mall, and took our annual pictures with Santa (in the gorgeous Aby’s Kids dresses).

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We then attended an event at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium sponsored by USO of Central and Southern Ohio and Ohio Operation: Military Kids. For a great rate, we got to visit with the winter animals like polar bears and reindeer, have some dinner and make some crafts while meeting Santa and then catch a little of the Wildlights show. The lights were beautiful; I’d love to check it out again next year and hopefully my little one will be better with evening activities by then. An hour drive with a crying 1 year old can put a damper on the holiday spirit, but we still had a great time.

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If you are in Ohio with kids and connected to the military, go like Ohio Operation: Military Kids on Facebook for updates on other fun events – they have an aquarium sleep over coming up in Cleveland but my kids are still too young to participate and a family ice skating day.

We also still got to do some activities that have become traditions like putting up the felt Christmas tree for the girls, and making cookies for Santa. We made cookies in the morning on Christmas Eve which was apparently so much fun that they wanted to play making cookies with play dough in the afternoon. I just brought out the red and green play dough, a selection of stamps that look like cookie cutters, and thankfully had some play rolling pins and rollers for them to use. I also put a blanket down under the table to protect the carpet from little bits of dough getting mashed into it.

christmas prep CollageWe had a Cuban Christmas Eve meal complete with my first attempt at making flan. It was delicious! We marinated a pork roast in Mojo sauce and then let do it’s thing in the crockpot all day. We made some white rice, black beans, and this plantain recipe to go with it. Three of the four of us went back for seconds – there’s no pleasing my picky eating 3 year old.

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The girls had plenty of presents to open Christmas morning and then spent the rest of the day (and weekend) playing with them. It was a Frozen Christmas for my three year old with two different Elsa dolls, books, shirt, and other Frozen themed items. They are also given adorable stacking rings my mother-in-law made for each girl, so cute.

Christmas dinner was basic but tasty. We snacked on ham for the rest of the weekend and still had plenty to put away for meals in the future. We are still working through the freezer meals we made after Thanksgiving so, between stocking up for the two holidays, our grocery bill has been pretty small lately.

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We finished out our Christmas festivities by visiting an assisted living facility to do crafts with the residents the next day and then run around a local mall for a bit. There are lots more things we are hoping to get to do this winter or in future years as the girls get older but I like that we are starting some traditions while they are young.

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After by Anna Todd and Wattpad App

 

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She never thought she’d be an author but 25 year old Anna Todd, a military spouse who married her high school sweetheart, published the first installment of her novel, After, in October 2014 through Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Anna Todd used Wattpad, the world’s largest community of readers and writers, to write After. It has connected over 40 million people around the world who share a love of reading and writing. It makes writing, reading, and sharing stories mobile and social and best of all  FREE! Anyone can share an idea, a concept, or write a story one chapter at a time with millions of readers around the world.

Writing the majority of After from her mobile phone while in and out of appointments and running errands, Anna extended the After story world beyond Wattpad, a free social reading and writing app, using Instagram and Twitter to share photos, videos, songs, and art created by readers. By 2014, Anna’s story had over 1 billion reads and more than 6 million comments and the print edition is available in 26 countries.

The After series tells the story of Tessa Young, an optimistic freshman at Washington State University, and the dark, troubled British bad boy who has stolen her heart. You can purchase After from Barnes & Noble and for e-readers.

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You can find Anna Todd on Twitter at @Imaginator1Dx or Instagram at @Imaginator1D.

Learn more about After by visiting these links:

Cosmo: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/books/a32330/after-author-anna-todd-interview/

NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/business/media/harry-styles-of-one-direction-stars-in-anna-todds-novel.html?_r=0

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/07/25/anna-todd-interview-after-one-direction-fanfic/13116045/

Re/code: http://recode.net/2014/10/22/qa-with-anna-todd-the-breakout-fanfic-star-who-writes-everything-on-her-phone/

The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/18/7240113/small-empires-season-2-episode-4-wattpad

Deadline: http://deadline.com/2014/10/after-movie-rights-wattpad-book-anna-todd-paramount-852926/  

 

I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

https://members.one2onenetwork.com/embed/549584aa2ac13bde6addcd3d

Tea Announces “Citizen Blue” Collection (Plus Gift with Purchase)

Tea is excited to announce a new semi-annual collection you will love — Citizen Blue! Truly globally-inspired, the Citizen Blue collection revisits heritage Tea silhouettes and re-imagines favorite prints from places already visited while also celebrating the in-between places—the magical spots Tea stops at along the way to somewhere else. Grounded in rich indigo hues, the Citizen Blue collection is a new stylish assortment from not one place, but many, because sometimes the journey is the destination.

As part of the Citizen Blue debut, Tea is offering a free gift with purchase of $100 or more! Starting today (12/8), you can get an exclusive Tatcha Indigo Skincare Travel Set, while supplies last. Tatcha’s Indigo skincare line is inspired by Japanese samurai who, centuries ago, discovered that using natural indigo for soothing benefits protects, nourishes and replenishes skin. The partnership offers the opportunity for Mom to get a globally-inspired gift for herself too when shopping for her little citizen.

I like that you can pick individual items or a set. These were some of my favorites. Pick your destination:

Shop Girls Citizen Blue Styles at Tea Collection

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Shop Boys Citizen Blue Styles at Tea Collection

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Shop Baby Girls Citizen Blue Styles at Tea Collection

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Shop Baby Boys Citizen Blue Styles at Tea Collection

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

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Still need Christmas cards that don’t suck? These aren’t cards you can buy at the store. These are aren’t generic or boring. You can completely personalize the cards, upload your own photos, change the font and text, and make the cards uniquely YOU.

Did you know that this Sunday is the busiest holiday card shopping day of the year? It is…but you don’t have to wait until Sunday to take advantage of an amazing offer from Tiny Prints. For 24 hours only, you can get 40% off your order of ANY size plus get free shipping!

Here’s how to take advantage of this offer:

1. Go to Tiny Prints and select from hundreds of holiday cards.

2. Personalize your card with your pictures, your text, etc.

3. When you checkout, use the promo code TPCARDS40FS to save 40% and get free shipping.

This promotion is only valid from 12:00pm PT on Saturday 12/6 to 12:00pm PT on Sunday 12/7, so act fast!

 

Fine print: Offer expires 12/7/2014 (12:00 P.M. PT). Save 40% off and enjoy free Standard or USPS Shipping for Holiday card orders using the code TPCARDS40FS at checkout. Shipping offer applies to non-sample orders shipped to a location within the 48 contiguous United States. Shipping offer applies to Standard Shipping rates only. Offer applies exclusively to Holiday cards and is not applicable to previously placed orders, taxes, rush processing charges, foil stamped, letterpress, and laser-cut cards, calendars, photo books, gift certificates, personalized postage stamps and Erin Condren weekly planners. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Tinyprints.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

 

The Honest Company – Bundle & Save

Introducing The Honest Company
The Honest Company is the modern family’s trusted resource for unquestionably safe, effective, and beautiful non-toxic lifestyle goods. Their products range from diapers and childcare, bath and body, household cleaners, and health and wellness products – all made with safer and healthier ingredients. Customers can also save up to 40% by signing up for one of their convenient, completely customizable bundles where customers choose the products they need (and want) and decide how often they ship directly to their doorstep! All you have to do is Bundle & Save!

The Honest Company

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HOLIDAY DELIVERY
For holiday delivery by Wednesday 12/24/2014*, please make sure you place your orders by the following dates for the following services:

•Friday 12/12/2014 2pm PST for ground shipping
•Thursday 12/16/2014 2pm PST for 2 day shipping
•Wednesday 12/17/2014 2pm PST for overnight shipping

* These dates are estimates only, estimates not applicable for shipments to Canada.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Win a Penwizard Personalized Book!

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Sponsor: Penwizard

Host: Mom Powered Media

Personalised books are great for getting kids involved in reading. You Can choose from our range of personalised childrens books and see your child in the pictures and story of their own personalised book!

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Penwizard is an amazing company. They offer a wide variety of books for both little boys and girls. The nice thing about their books is that you can literally customize the books to fit whatever your child looks like AND put in their name! These books are so easy to create and order. They are also pretty reasonably priced. They range in the 14.99 to 19.99 UK (so about 30-40$ Canadian). Considering your child is going to be able to have that book for the rest of their lives thats a pretty good deal!

Check Penwizard out HERE

Penwizard has offered 8 fans a chance to win a personalized Peppa book for themselves (a 30.00 Canadian Value each!)

Rules:

    • Open to USA/CAN
    • 18+
    • ends Dec 9/14
    • one person per household can enter
    • Facebook, pinterest, twitter etc are NOT responsible or liable in anyway for this giveaway
Disclaimer: Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Penwizard will be responsible for product shipment to winners of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact natasha@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Shop Amazon Books – Gifts for Young Readers

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