It’s Christmas card time again

I might have said this before, but for most of my life I couldn’t have cared less about holidays. Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and yes even Christmas didn’t get much acknowledgment from me. I would tell people “Happy insert holiday here”, but I didn’t decorate much or really go out of my way to celebrate. When people would ask about my apathy I would tell them that when I had kids I’d care, but for now I just don’t have it in me to give a crap.  And you know what? I was right. Now I’m all about making the holidays great for Lil.

We paint eggs and do the whole hide and hunt thing for Easter. We make little turkeys out of toilet paper tubes and say what we’re grateful for on Thanksgiving. And then there’s Christmas. We hang lights and decorate the trees and we put little nick nacks around the house and I take tons and tons of pictures. Some of the pictures are just for fun, but some of them are for our Holiday Card. I love the beautiful colorful picture cards and we’ve done one each year of Lil’s life. Well not the first year when she was only 3 days old on Christmas, but every year since and it’s one of my favorite things.  We put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, it was in my opinion a much better way to spend black Friday, but to each their own. While doing the tree and then after it was complete I took pictures and some of them I just love and may have already found our card picture.

This year I’m loving all the cards from Minted. There are so many to choose from that I don’t know how I’m going to narrow it down, but it’s going to be a fun task.

Traditionally I’ve gone for cards with multiple pictures, I like being able to really show Lily off. This year however I think I’m just going to find a card with one picture and really showcase that one great shot.  I guess we’ll see how it goes since in the end it’s really all about the card that speaks most to me.

Some of my current favorites are:

I love that it’s a ornament.  It’s just precious.

With this one you can change the edge shape (awesome) and the color combination.

Oh, I just realized that you can change the edge shape on almost all of the cards. What a great feature.

What a cute card for newlyweds. I love it and wish Waldo and I had done something like this when we first got married.

I love this design for multiple pictures.

There’s just something about the light strand that does it for me.

If you get a card from me don’t be surprised if you see one of these designs in your mailbox. Oh and by the way it will probably arrive sometime in January because that’s just how I do things.

*Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everyday Life – Laundry

I don’t have issues with laundry like a lot of people. I can admit it’s not my favorite thing in the world to do, but I don’t hate it like some people do. I would much rather do laundry than mop floors any day of the week. Gah, I hate doing floors.

Laundry, much like just about everything else in our lives I have worked really hard to make it as natural as possible. I searched high and low for good laundry soap. I have a hard time with soap because I don’t want my laundry to smell. Keep your flowery scents, your outdoor, cotton, fresh linen or what ever else you can think of scents, I don’t want them. I want my laundry to smell neutral and it’s hard to find. We have used a lot of different soaps and detergents over the years and have settled on Cal Ben 5 star soap.

I stopped using fabric softener years ago. Partially because I’ve heard it was full of nasty chemicals and was really bad for you and partially again for the smell thing. To make up for the lack of fabric softener liquid or sheets I add vinegar to my washer during the rinse. It really helps, but it’s not perfect.

A few months ago I read a blog and the blogger is a cloth diaperer and she uses wool balls in the dryer to help with the drying. I have heard of dryer balls before, but hadn’t put much thought into them. After reading that blog I started to really pay attention to dryer balls. A few weeks later I was offered the chance to test out some Woolzies wool dryer balls. They claim to help with static and wrinkles and to cut drying time by 25%.

I’ve used the Woolzies for about a month now and I have to say that I don’t really see the shortened drying time, but I have noticed a decrease in static and wrinkles and I so appreciate that. At first I didn’t think that I noticed any difference using the Woolzies so I did a few loads without them and that was when I really could tell the difference. I am now a wool dryer ball believer and use them every time.

I was sent a set of Woolzies wool dryer balls for free, but the opinions are all mine.

Thinking about Holiday cards already (and a giveaway) Closed

I’m usually such a procrastinator that it seems almost unrealistic that I’m thinking about holiday cards at the end of October. I guess the fact that I had such a good experience with Shutterfly last year for my holiday cards helps, and since they offered to do a giveaway with me that really gets me to move.  I love everything about the whole process of making and sending out holiday cards. I love finding Lily the perfect outfits, I love setting up a great holiday backdrop, whether it be a tree and presents or something more outdoorsy.  I love getting Lily to play and have fun, especially in a way that makes for great pictures.  I really love finding my favorite pictures and then finding the perfect card to show them off.

I have some criteria for a great holiday card that I use: For one, I prefer a flat card over a folded card. Flat cards are easier to put on the fridge or hang on the wall by my desk. Since that is what I like, I assume everyone likes that too.  🙂

I also like cards that have a number of pictures on them. I guess I just like being able to see a lot of Lily pictures.

I try to stay away from cards that say “Merry Christmas”. My Mom celebrates Yule, so she doesn’t really like getting Christmas cards and for me the card is more about the Holidays as a whole more than Christmas anyway.

I think those are pretty much my rules for cards, they aren’t hard and fast, but they are my guidelines.  One of the things that I love and hate about Shutterfly is that they have such a huge selection of cards that it’s hard to narrow them down to “the one”. For right now I think I this is “the one”, but we’ll see how things look tomorrow.

(Photo credit:

Now for the giveaway:

Shutterfly was very generous and offered 3 readers a certificate for 25 free Holiday cards of your choice.  To enter just leave me a comment answering the following question:

Do you have any criteria for holiday cards that you use?

Or just tell me Hi, or what you are making for breakfast. What ever floats your boat.

The giveaway ends on I will use to select the winners on November 11, 2011 at Noon.  I’ll use to select the winner and email them.  Please be sure to leave me an email address.  If the winner doesn’t get back to me in 3 days I’ll choose another winner.  Open to US residents only. Sorry everyone else.


Disclosure: Shutterfly compensated me for this review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Baby gear I loved

A few weeks ago we welcomed a good friend into the wonderful world of parenthood.  I am so happy for them and wish them all the best in the world.

A few months back the excited Dad to be asked me if I had any baby info for them.  I told him how I think breastfeeding is one of the best parenting decisions I ever made, I shared how easy making baby food was, how I love sharing my bed with my baby and how I love babywearing and cloth diapering.  I meant to make a list of my favorite, most useful gear but neglected to do that until today.

You can go to almost any Mommyblog around and get their list of their favorite baby gear so this isn’t anything new, but these are my favorites.

Cloth diapers: bumGenius3.0.  I love the diapers but next time I’ll go for snaps over velcro, the velcro on Lil’s died after a year and a half of use.  I also have a few other kinds of cloth diapers including some Bum Genius Flip diapers and some other diaper covers.

some of my cloth diapers

Some of my Bum Genius diapers


Lily in a Bum Genius Flip diaper


Babywearing: Ergo.  I put off buying an Ergo because of the expense.  Now that I have it I love it and feel it paid for itself within a month of having it.  In all honesty I love my Ergo and can’t live without it, but I also have and love a Kozy Carrier Mei Tai and a great Comfy Joey ringsling.  I can tell you for sure that I will want a new lovely ringsling when we have baby #2.  My current one is great, but it’s kind of a scratchy cotton and I will want to upgrade to a better material.  I haven’t tried them but I’ve heard great things about the slings from Sleeping Baby Productions.


Us using the Ergo

Me and Lily

Us using the ringsling


Swaddling: Miracle Blanket and Aden + Anais blankets.  I loved the Miracle Blanket for when Lil was small.  Once she got too long for the MB I started using a Aden and Anais blanket.  Don’t tell anyone but I swaddled Lil till she was 17 months old, it worked really well for us and I saw no reason to hurry it to be over.

First time on the swings

The Aden and Anais blanket can be used for lots of things. Including swing cover.

I swear she loved being swaddled. She just wanted to be picked up and not photographed right this second. Again in her Aden and Anais blanket.

I swear she loved being swaddled. She just wanted to be picked up and not photographed right this second. Again in her Aden and Anais blanket.


Breastfeeding: A good bra, a Boppy and a Nursing Cover.  I have never bought a nursing bra better then a Target bra and I wish I would have spent the money on something nicer back when Lil was tiny.  My bras wear out really quickly and most of the time aren’t ever super comfortable.  Do yourself a favor and buy a good bra. I loved my Boppy and used it all the time when Lil was small.  Waldo used it all the time too.  The Boppy was also great for propping Lily up.  The Boppy was also great for using as a photo prop.  I have a ton of pictures of her on the blanket covered Boppy.  I have a nursing cover and use it on the occasion that I nurse in public.  Lily hated it, but I think that was partly because I only used it occasionally so she never got used to it.

10 weeks old

There's a Boppy under that blanket.


Pouty Lil on her Boppy


Car Seat:  Because Lil was so darn small even the head cushion that came with her car seat was useless so I looked around and found the Kiddopotamus Snuzzler from Amazon.  I was so happy when we got it.  It is nice and soft and kept Lil from rolling around in her seat.  We also got her a Car seat swaddler for a couple of reasons. Firstly, she was born in NW Montana in December and no matter how many blankets I put over her I always felt she would be cold. Secondly, she was not a fan of being in her car seat, but she loved being swaddled so I hoped that being swaddled in the car seat would help. It didn’t really but I felt she was warm so that’s something.

Holding on tight

Sleeping in her seat with the Snuzzler

Swaddled and snuzzled

Swaddled and snuzzled


Bath time: Lil wasn’t a fan of getting a bath when she was little (do you see a pattern here? She wasn’t a fan of anything that wasn’t my arms). Because she wasn’t happy, she was very wiggly and I never felt comfortable giving her a bath in one of the hard plastic baby bath tubs. Amazon to the rescue again. I got her a Safer Bather Infant Bath Pad. It made all the difference in the world. Oh, she still hated her baths but I felt they were safer. For the record, I started taking a bath with Lil and things drastically improved.

bath time

Cool baby bath mat thingy


Baby Monitor:When I was filling out my baby registry I added a normal old school audio only baby monitor.  People told us we’d want a video monitor, but I doubted it.  I knew Lil was going to sleep in our room so I figured she’d be out of our sight for such short amounts of time that the expense of the video monitor was just too high and also it seemed silly.  Did I really need to watch my kid sleep through a tiny monitor, I thought not.  Boy was I wrong.  I won a Summer Infant Handheld Color Video Monitor from Metropolitian Mama (I love Steph) and she told me that I’d love the monitor and Steph did not lie.  I love the monitor and it is the greatest thing ever (or close to that). Because Lil is not the greatest sleeper, it is great to have the video monitor because I can tell if she’s really awake or just tossing and turning.  With the audio monitor I’m sure I went in and woke her up at least a few times because I thought she was awake but was just turning or something.

I’m sure there were other things that I loved and kept me sane with a infant but these are the most important things.  Tune in soon for part 2 for the baby things I hated and could have lived without.

Again, congratulations to Jesse, Jamison and Teagen.  Much love!!


I paid for all of the items listed here except the monitor.  Some of the links are for my Amazon Association and I guess if you buy something from the links I might get a penny or two.

Christmas Cards, left till last minute of course

I have a terrible relationship with cards; Christmas or other wise. I’m trying to change that but it is a very old relationship and those are the hardest to end. You see, I know that someone’s birthday is coming up or that December is looming near so I add cards to my shopping list. If I’m lucky I find the perfect card on the first try if not it probably won’t get bought at all. I will totally forget to add it to the next week shopping list or I will forget to look for it when I’m at my computer. Lets say that the stars align and mars is in the whatever house,  I will actually get a card home; my desk pile will be its final resting place. I almost never remember to send the cards out. When we were packing to move I found at least 7 unused cards; which is sad because I am a pretty good card picker. Now that I live within 35 miles of 95% of my family I have managed to give out a few birthday cards but usually very late.

Anyway this year is no different. Here it is December 7th and I haven’t ordered our Christmas cards, heck I haven’t taken our picture yet.  To save myself a few bucks I decided to join the bloggers reviewing Snapfish, in return I get 50 free cards. Here are a few cards that I will consider once I get that perfect picture taken.

I like the colors and the words ring true for me

Simple and sweet


I love all the designs that you can choose from, and such a great price range.

Snapfish also offers all types of other photo products.  I wish I hadn’t ran out of time to get invitations to Lily’s upcoming birthday party, I totally would have ordered these for her Snowman party.

They offer photo wall calendars.  I have always wanted to make one of these up.  I can just imagine how cute a Lily calendar would be.

They also offer great photo books.  My cousin’s wife made one for my aunt and the book is just beautiful.

If you are a blogger you could get 50 free Christmas cards if you write a blog post about it.  Way easy.  But hurry because like everything else in my life I’m almost too late for this too, the deadline to register is December 10th.  Hurry.

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