Building Our Story: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work It Wednesday: Weight Watchers Begins!

Time for Working It Wednesday!

 

Make sure you link up too!!

Alright – last week I announced that I would be starting Weight Watchers this week, well I did! I stuck with my plan and went with my good friend last night to my first meeting.

So today is my official start date! I have my points I know I can eat and I have a ton of fruits and veggies to hold me over throughout the day at work! I am excited!

So far what I love about this program is the great online and phone tools. It will be so easy to stay on track with my phone app and online tracker!

From pictures you can probably tell I have a lot to lose but at this point I am just focusing on 5 pound increments! Let’s do this!! :O)

 Next Wednesday I will have a lot more to talk about, hopefully! As for actually working out – um yeah, that is a whole other issue! LOL Baby Steps my friends!

Happy Hump Day!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review #4: The Hunger Games

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Well the year 2011 is winding down and I have read 4 books so far.  I am proud of that but next year my goal will not be 11 or 12!  It was a big goal and I think by December 31st I will have read at least 5 books.  Again, very proud!  

So for book number 4 I dove into a book that is slowly becoming like Twilight - I had to figure out what everyone was raving about.  

The Hunger Games is book #1 of 3 in the series written by Suzanne Collins.  This book is geared towards the young adult reader so it made for a fast read for me.  Love that!  I was pleasantly surprised and even found myself not being able to go to sleep at night - couldn't put the book down!  

This book reminded me of "Brave New World" and even "The Giver".  
When you first start reading you find out some important information about this “World”. North America as we know it has been destroyed and is now divided into 12 districts, ruled by a domineering government located at what is called the Capitol.  Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, takes her younger sister’s place as one of 24 “tributes” selected every year to participate in the Hunger Games at the Capitol.

Suzanne does an amazing job of helping the reader visualize the transformation and experience that Katniss has while trying to stay alive during the Hunger Games.  What a world to live in.  A world that watches their own children fight 'till the death all televised publicly in the 12 districts.  What a heartless thing for the government to do.  I was hooked from the first page of this book.  

Like I said, this is book 1 of 3 so you better believe I am reading #2 now!!  

Just like the Twilight Series, The Hunger Games will be out in the movie theater soon too.  I saw the trailer and I am excited, it looks like they did a great job following the book. 

Overall, this was a great book - I recommend it to anyone who wants to escape from reality for a couple of days.  :O) 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Melissa & Doug's Cyber Monday Event!

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 Cyber Monday is Giveaway Monday on Melissa & Doug's Facebook Fan Page! 

 “LIKE” us on Facebook to be eligible to win! Answer the active giveaway’s question, to enter that giveaway. At least one random entrant will be chosen to win each giveaway. 

 JOIN US BEGINNING at 8am EST for the FIRST GIVEAWAY…OUR TRAIN TABLE! 

 We’ll be giving away terrific educational toys from 8am EST, right up until midnight! 

 Check out Melissa & Doug's Terrific Twenty Holiday Toys to see some of the great prizes we’ll be giving away!
 Giveaway event ends midnight EST 11/28/11

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rumour Has It. Giveaway

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 My good friend Kassi is the owner and creator of a great shop named Rumour Has It.  
 Rumour Has It is a shop with baby, toddler and adult size crocheted handmade hats made with love and care.  

Kassi uses her creativity to design great hats for every age.   The embellishments that she adds to the hats make them all one of a kind.  
She created an adorable Turtle Hat just for Jude - it is perfect {would be even more perfect if Jude wanted to wear a hat!}!  :O)  Silly Boy!

Kassi started Rumour Has It after having her adorable son.  Now she is a Stay at Home Mother and loves every minute with her son and her crocheting!  I am so glad that she took this opportunity to be a Stay at Home Mom - with her talent it was EASY to quit her day job!  The quality and love put into each item can be seen when you browse her shop.   

Kassi has graciously given me the hat pictured below to give to one of my LUCKY readers!  This hat is perfect for a little boy in your life.  This Crocheted Mustache Toddler Hat will make you smile and melt your heart.  

Thanks Kassi!  




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Source {Rumour Has It. Facebook Page}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers! 

 We hope that your day is blessed and full of love, family and happiness.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless {ful} Wednesday: Hello Santa

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This weekend we decided to head to the mall and use our Groupon for a visit with Santa.  Yes, I realize that Thanksgiving is tomorrow BUT we decided to hit the mall before everyone else does.  Best idea ever.  NO line!  

Jiude did great too.  The picture is adorable, even if Jude decided not to smile (REFUSED)!  Hey, at least he wasn't crying!  

The holidays are here!  I love this time of the year!  

Will you be taking your kiddos to visit Santa this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Call for December Sponsors! Paid or Swap?



Do you want to drive more online traffic to your business site, increase your following and/or get your name out there?
Are you a Mom-preneur? Are you a small or large business owner? Are you an up-and-coming blogger? Do you love interacting with great people?


If any of these things fit your needs maybe using Building Our Story for Advertising is just what you need!



2 Deals for you to browse for the month of December!


Deal #1


Monthly Options/Packages


Sea Turtle Package ($6) – 1 Month
~Ad Banner/Button on right-hand sidebar (125x125)
~Monthly Sponsor Post containing information about your business/blog/button – this will be done the 1st week of every month.
~Four (4) Twitter mentions – if not more. Twitter Handle = @censiej
~Three (3) enthusiastic wall posts on my Facebook page = http://www.facebook.com/BuildingOurStory


Tortoise Package ($12) - 3 Months
~Ad Banner/Button on right-hand sidebar (125x125)
~Monthly Sponsor Post containing information about your business/blog/button – this will be done the 1st week of every month.
~Fifteen (15) Twitter mentions – if not more. Twitter Handle = @censiej
~Ten (10) enthusiastic wall posts on my Facebook page = http://www.facebook.com/BuildingOurStory


If you need more information on advertising on Building Our Story or are interested in purchasing a package, please contact me at zippinviolet01@gmail.com



Deal #2:
I'm looking for some bloggers and businesses who want to swap ads for the month of December.


All you have to do is post my ad in the sponsor section on your main blog or page and I will display yours - with no charge to either of us. Great deal right?



Please email me a button or clip art of your blog or business in the following size:

125x125


Your button/link will run on my blog space for the whole month of December and your blog/business will be included in the monthly sponsor post.



If you are interested in this fun ad space swap please e-mail me at zippinviolet01@gmail.com !



There is a limited amount of space so get that email sent ASAP!!


Disclosure:
Building Our Story reserves the right to be discriminatory about the ads that are displayed on the blog. Building Our Story reserves the right to change the pricing of current advertising packages as our following increases. All payments will be accepted via PayPal, and must be paid in full before your ad is displayed on the blog and the inclusion in the Monthly Sponsor Post. Building Our Story has the right to cease and remove your ad/button if your content becomes offensive, unethical, or not part of Building Our Story’s comfort level.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the eccentric mind

Time to introduce you all to Jeremy's (my hubby) new project.

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the eccentric mind is the name of his new Art Shop.  Jeremy has always loved painting and drawing and recently he decided to join a local art gallery to showcase his work.  The sharing part is new for him.  Art has always been a personal thing for him but something changed.  Time to open up his work to others to see, buy, and share!

Below are some of his newest creations that will be on show in December at the local gallery.

He would love for you to support him in his new adventure:
the eccentric mind on Facebook
the eccentric mind Etsy Shop

Please share with your friends!  

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Once he gets this project up and running Building Our Story will be working with him to giveaway a FREE painting of your choice!  Stay tuned!!

Comment away!  He would love some advice, thoughts and comments.

As always, thanks for your support!  We LOVE our readers!!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shabby Apple Review: Bordeaux Necklace

I recently found The Shabby Apple shop online and fell in love with most of their jewelry!

Dresses from Shabby Apple


The necklace that caught my eye and I HAD to have was the Bordeaux necklace.  I decided to buy this necklace to wear for our family photo shoot next week.  When it came in the mail I was thrilled!  Beautiful!!  This piece is so great.  I cannot wait to wear it.  

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The rose is so interesting and different than any piece of jewelry I own.    

The Shabby Apple  is a great shop that you MUST check out if you are a jewelry lover but also if you want something unique for your holiday party wear!  


Dresses from Shabby Apple

I can already tell you that I will be buying more accessories from Shabby Apple!



Disclosure:
**All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.**

Saturday's Top 5 Laughs: Blog Hop

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I am linking up with Melissa at The Mommyhood Chronicles with my Top 5 Laughs of the last week!
Happy Saturday! 

Ready for this?

5.  Went to an inside play area with Jeremy's cousin and her 2 year old son.  Great time and lots of laughs BUT we all laughed the hardest when Adler (2 year old) ran into the kitchen/cafe area.  He was sure fast - we thought they were going to put him to work!  lol 

4.  So we have the new car.  The Pilot has an automatic calculation of your MPG.  Well now it is a challenge between Jeremy and I.  Who can get the best  MPG!  Now driving in the Pilot has been pretty silly.  Constantly looking at the gauge!  Good times!

3.  Jude is really talking and finding his words.  A recent word is "Ow".  He knows what it means too!  This sounds bad but we both laughed when he was crying (I warned you) in his crib and kept saying "Ow" because his molar was hurting him.  I know we shouldn't laugh at him but oh my gosh talk about CUTE OVERLOAD!  He knows what it means and he uses his cute little voice so it made me smile.  STUPID TEETH!

2.   Another Jude talking laugh.  Turkeys have taken over our Pumpkin decorations and Jude know says "Gobble Gobble" when he sees the Turkeys around the house!  So cute!  He makes me smile and laugh every day! 

1.  Jude is always the one that makes me laugh, as you can see but on Tuesday night when Jeremy was playing with Jude in his playroom I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes!  They were playing "chase"  this means there is a lot of laughs and screaming.  This night was different though.  Jude was laughing so hard he was slapping his knees - like he couldn't believe how funny this was!!  He was cracking himself up!  I love that kid!!


Well there you go - my laughs are mostly about Jude!  ;o)  We have one special little man.  

What did you laugh about this week?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jude's Wish List

We all know that Christmas is just around the corner. Yikes! Which means lists are popping up everywhere for everyone!! 

 Well, I thought today I would share what is on Jude's Christmas Wish List this year. Okay - really it is MY list for him! Whatever... 

 Jude's BIG present from Mommy and Daddy this year will be a "Play Kitchen". We haven't really decided on a particular one just yet but I do know that I want a good one for him. Not some dinky one that isn't "life size" for him now.

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Something like the one pictured above would be great! Along with the kitchen he has to get play dishes, pots and pans and food! So exciting. I think he will really enjoy this present - well at least I hope so! ;o)
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Next on his list is a Turtle hand puppet.  So cute.  You all know that Jude's nickname is Turtle so we love getting Turtle items but this is something he doesn't have.  Puppets are great for teaching and playing so what more could we want?!!?  Love us some Turtles!!
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Jude LOVES saying "Cho Choo" and also loves watching trains on TV and in person so we started looking at the Melissa and Doug (LOVE THEM!) website and found this great wooden train that will be perfect!  A train and building blocks!  I love these toys that encourage using imaginations - there are so many toys out there that just dance or sing but forget the learning and playing!  Simple!

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Also from Melissa and Dough.  Wooden Puzzles!!  We have a couple of these already and Jude really likes to play with them and he is finally getting the hang of putting the pieces into the right spots.  

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Well this probably won't end up in Jude's playroom but like I said - A WISH LIST!  I have been eyeing this toy since Jude was a baby and we were wandering around Babies R Us.  I saw this FAO Schwarz Noah's Ark Plush toy.  Okay, from the maker you can tell this isn't a cheap toy but maybe is Santa finds a coupon this will be Jude's on Christmas morning!  

I would say those are our big ticket items.  Other things that we have put on his list are bigger, winter PJ's, stickers (his new favorite thing) and BOOKS!  Lots of Books!  This kiddo loves to read.  I love that!  

So what is on your kiddo's list?  I would love some more ideas just in case!

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lovable Labels Review/Giveaway

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There has been a lot of blogger buzz recently over Lovable Labels so when I first found out what they were all about I got pretty excited to work with this company.  

Let's start from the beginning.  Lovable Labels was all started by a mother who had a huge job to do one day - label ALL of her child's belongings for Day Care.  Seriously, that is a huge job for anyone but even bigger for a busy working mother.  She recognized that there was a need for personalized durable labels.  

Lovable Labels has been around since 2003.  The continue to change, upgrade and add products to their store because the needs constantly change as well.  

Now, Jude doesn't go to a Day Care yet but in a about a year we will begin the process of part time Preschool *tears* which means we too will have the HUGE JOB of labeling all of Jude's belongings.  I know exactly who I will be ordering from.  :o)

I was so pleased with the Holly Jolly Holiday Pack of labels that we received in the mail.  First of all the shipping time is amazing!  So fast!  Thank you for that!  The second thing that I noticed was the quality of labels.  These sheets of labels aren't your cheap address label type of item.  Nope these are quality!!  I know that once we stick these labels on items they will STICK and not rip.  And the third thing I noticed was how freaking cute they all are!!  The labels are just cute!  I love seeing Jude's name on them.  He is all set now.  Below is a picture of the size and types of labels that come in the Holly Jolly Holiday Pack.  

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 We already have one of the Mini Metal Tags on his backpack that we carry around with us.  We decided on  the Train (or Cho Choo) for our icon.  Like I said before - CUTE!!  There are almost 50 different icons you can choose from all of them are great, I had a hard time choosing!

Some great specs of the Lovable Labels:
~ Dishwasher Safe
~Microwave Safe
~UV Resistant
~Easy to Use
~Waterproof
~Sweat Guard
~Stays PUT!
~Washer Safe
~Dryer Safe
~Bleach Safe

Over all, this product and this company really hit home for us!  We are a on the go kind of family and I do not see that slowing down or changing anytime soon.  Labels and Lists are some of my favorite things!  Lovable Labels makes it easy and fun!


Lovable Labels has generously supplied us with a pack of "Holly Jolly Gift Pack " for one lucky winner!
Thanks, Lovable Labels!


***Disclosure:  The products in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.  


Use the Rafflecopter Entry form below to enter this giveaway.  *Must be a GFC follower of Building Our Story to enter this giveaway. 







Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award!

I Received the Versatile Blogger Award!

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I am so honored that Melissa from Glimpses of the Good Life put me on her list of bloggers she loves! Thank you so much Melissa! I am so happy that she thought of me when she was picking her top 15 Versatile Blogs. So much fun! Make sure you check out Melissa too! You will really enjoy her “ramblings” as she calls them. ;o)

So here are the "rules to accepting the award":
• Tell 7 things about myself
• Pass the award along to 15 bloggers that I feel are deserving


1. My name is Censie which is said like “Kenzie”! Something different I know!
2. I am adopted. I was adopted at birth, I only know my parents as my parents. End of story. No Bio verses adopted!
3. I work for a non-profit in Colorado and I love it. We serve abused and neglected kiddos.
4. I love blogging! My blog began as an outlet or journal and now is something bigger and I love it! I love sharing my family with my readers. I look forward to blogging now.
5. I LOVE Starbucks – I wish I could afford to go there every morning before work. But I can’t so I don’t! lol ;o)
6. I love being a mommy, it is so much fun and a lot of work but so worth it! I smile when I think of my Jude. He makes my day!
7. I honestly wish I could make enough money blogging so I could stay at home with Jude part time though…I like having my time as a Working Mom too! ;) Social life is nice sometimes!


Now I get to pass this fabulous award along to 15 blogs of my choice, so here is my list!


Please make sure you start following these bloggers!  They are all amazing!! 

Work It Out Wednesday - Week 1

Something new around here!  
From now on, most of my Wednesday posts will be about getting my arse back into shape - or at least some sort of update on me and my health.

I am linking up with Shannon at The Family Szem - if you are interested in staying motivated, helping others, or losing weight - make sure you link up too!  

Today is a new beginning for me.  I am starting over.  If you are a long time reader you know that I constantly struggle with losing weight, working out and eating healthy.  I have tried a lot of diets and work outs but basically I give up.  Well this time I am going to start with smaller goals.  

My first goal is...

Working out at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.  

What I need to do this:

Energy!!  By the time I get home from work, cook/eat dinner and then play with Jude until bedtime I am tired.  I just want to sit on the couch and veg but this isn't healthy for me or my family.  Instead of sitting for an hour and a half after Jude goes to bed I will ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes!  Easy enough right?  

I am hoping it will become a routine!

Updates to follow!!
Link up here!

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caseworker of the Year 2011

Time to brag about my husband again!

 I recently told you that Jeremy was chosen as Caseworker of the Year, well the award ceremony was held on Saturday. It was a great evening. This gala was full of great social workers, police officers and detectives. We had a fun time getting all dressed up for the evening and enjoying a great dinner and event. 

 The best part, well besides Jeremy getting the award, was that Jeremy and I were joined by my parents and Jeremy's parents. Talk about some very proud parents and parents-in-law! 

 Time for some pictures!!

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Jeremy with his award and him receiving the award!

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Our salad - the bear cut out is the "Mascot" for stopping childhood sexual abuse. Very cute way of keeping with the theme.

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Us - all dressed up! We had a great time.

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Jeremy with his parents and his co-workers. Lots of smiles!

Over all it was a great evening.  It is a lot of fun to get dressed up and hit the town but it makes it even better when my amazing, caring and hard working husband walks away with a fantastic honor and award!  

We love you Jeremy!! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stepping Out - November 12th 2011

Saturday November 12th we got dressed to the max to honor Jeremy at a Gala! Here is what I wore!

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 Dress: The Dress Barn
Shrug: JcPenny
Shoes (not shown): Famous Footwear "Hot Kiss"


 

Book Review #3: Room

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Book #3:
Room by Emma Donoghue

I had never heard of this book but when I was in an airport bookstore it caught my eye.  I picked it up and read the first couple of pages and decided I HAD TO BUY IT!! 

I am so glad I did.  This book really got me interested because of my background in psychology and work with children.  Especially with the recent breaking news stories on women being held captive and forced to bare children.  The unthinkable!  Makes my skin crawl!

The narrator of this story is also the main character of this story.  Jack is a 5 year old little boy being held captive, along with his mother, in a 11x11 room in the backyard of a home.  Jack tells the story of HIS world - which is really only this tiny room.  He knows nothing else.  His mother keeps him safe in this Room but knows the danger that they are in every day as well.

Ma was once in the Big World but was kidnapped.  While I read this  book I felt for this woman, she knew what was out there, she knew that there was so much more they could be apart of, she knew she was probably going to die with her son unless they escaped.  

As a psychology buff this book kept me interested the entire time.  The interesting routines that they had every day was one of the things that really stuck out to me.  Ma had every day planned out.  There was a schedule.  This got me thinking, was this for Jack's well being for her our sanity - can you imagine going from a normal young adult life in the BIG world to this tiny 11x11 room, living in constant fear?  Also the dialogue that they used, it truly showed the isolation that they had in this tiny room.  For instance, Jack called the room - ROOM.  He called the lamp - LAMP.  He called the bed - BED.  He called the table - TABLE.  Why did he do this?  For one he was a bit delayed in his education, even though his Ma tried really hard to teach him daily, but also why if you only knew of 1 bed or 1 table would you call it THE TABLE - it was the only Table so TABLE it was.  Oh my gosh!  To be the therapists who got to interview this child!!!  LOL  of course, I know this is fiction but still!!

To not give much else away, they come together and plan their escape!  This is the part of the book that I could not put down!  Intense!  

This is a must read for anyone that finds psychology interesting but also for those that are intrigued by the recent kidnappings.  What happens in those rooms, how does one get through the torture, or the redundancy of the days passing.   

Thanks for reading my review!!  :O)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Proud Wife and Proud Sister

Today I am both.

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My amazing husband is being awarded and honored this evening at a gala for the award of "Caseworker of the Year"!  Tonight we will be getting into our black tie cocktail dress with my parents and Jeremy's parents (yes they came from Arizona to celebrate with us!), drop Jude off at a friends, and head to a Gala.  Should be a very exciting night.  Jeremy works so hard at what he does and he is being honored in front of his coworkers, family, peers, and friends.  We will take a ton of pictures and make sure we enjoy the evening of fun.

On top of Jeremy being awarded my little brother (not so little) is also being awarded tonight.  Unfortunately he is being awarded in Wisconsin so we cannot join him.  He and his girlfriend will also be attending a nice dinner and ceremony as my brother is awarded for being "Employee of the Year" for his agency.  I am such a proud sister today.  I know he works hard at what he does as well and this award is well deserved.  

We hope you are having a fun filled weekend with your family and friends.  I know I will be having fun - time to be a Proud and Excited Wife of the Caseworker of the Year!!

Congratulations to Jeremy and Jarrin!! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! 

Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

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If link doesn't work please click here.  VOTE

Jude loves all of the Melissa & Doug toys we own and we have a lot more on our list that we want to purchase.  These toys are different - not the usual talking, singing, and lighting up toys.  These toys require Jude to actually have an imagination!  Perfect!!  I hope you take this opportunity to receive a discount from this amazing store!



Y3W: New "Mom" Car!

That's right folks - we are the new owners of a "Mom" car! 

 We have been talking about purchasing a new bigger car for the last 6 months or so. 
 Our 2 choices were the Honda Pilot and the GMC Acadia. After some research and number games it was decided the our best option was the Honda Pilot. 

 The Pilot is a HONDA (duh) which we love - basically we are Honda people. It also has 3 rows of seating. Yes! It isn't a van! ;) Not a van family. And it is easy to drive (although I am still getting used to parking this beast!)

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We decided to go with a brand new 2011 because the financing was better and we were able to leave the dealership with a 1 year old car that only had 103 miles on it! YAY!! 

 The Pilot is the dark blue that Jeremy also has on his civic! lol When you open our garage you would be bored with blue cars! Just a coincidence not planned! 

 So far I love my new Mom Car! Jude seems to like it too! 

 We are set on cars for a LONG time now.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Perfect Gift: Toddlerhood

Recently I was asked this question:

What's a great present under $30 for a baby under 18 months old?

I started thinking about Jude's playroom, this room is full of books, blocks, cars, stuffed animals, and musical instruments.  Nothing really stood out as his favorite toy until I asked Jeremy, he immediately said "Scout"!  Oh Scout - of course!  Jude loves his "Woof" named Scout.

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This Leapfrog toy is a lifesaver and has brought a ton of smiles to Jude's face.  Scout is so custom, which makes it even better and so worth the $23.00!  Scout spells and sings Jude's name and even lists Jude's favorite food (raspberries), favorite color (Green *we guessed lol), and favorite animal (Dog).  Jude cuddles and plays with Scout on our road trips to the mountains, this little dog helps Jude get through the 2 hour car ride with no trouble!  Oh and lets not forget the songs that Scout sings - oh man those songs make Jude dance around holding Scout in his hands - ADORABLE!

The set up to make Scout "custom" was so easy to do and fast too!  We had Scout up and running within 10 minutes!  Scout was ready to go and play with Jude. Most parents know that the worst part of talking or singing toys is the obnoxious noise and loud songs BUT one of the best things about Scout is that the noise level isn't crazy!  Like I said before, this toy was used in a 2 hour car ride and we were still sane after we arrived to our destination.  

We have bought this toy for a couple friends already and it is one item that I will always keep on my "gift list".  Scout has provided us all with smiles and fun!  

How would you answer the question?


 

Thankful Thursday: Adoption Awareness Month

November is a month that a lot of bloggers do daily posts about what they are thankful about, I am not doing that this year but something that I am thankful every day is the awareness of Adoption during November – what a great month for Adoption to be on people’s minds!

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November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care.   This month always brings me many thoughts.  Some of my readers might already know this, I am adopted. 


Background:
I was adopted at birth by my parents, I think of my “adoptive” parents as my ONLY parents.  My adoption is a closed adoption so the necessity or want of knowing who my biological mother and father are hasn't really ever been an issue.  What I do know is this; my bio mother was a 14 years old when she gave birth to me, she was not married, her parents decided it was best that she follow through with the pregnancy but use adoption in the end.  I was in foster care for a couple weeks as an infant.  My parents adopted me 3 weeks after I was born.  I have been their daughter ever since.  
My little brother is also adopted.  He too was adopted just weeks after birth.  He, like me, has always thought of our parents as his ONLY parents.  He also had a closed adoption. 


Awareness:
National Adoption Month is especially for adoptions with in the foster care system but is also for awareness for those babies like my brother and me.  There are thousands of children of all ages that need a “forever family”.  
Thankfully it isn't just social media, family groups or social services getting involved in sharing the awareness.  This year the word is getting out about adoption!  Last week, President Obama issued a proclamation in recognition of National Adoption Month that clearly expresses his belief that adoptive families come in all forms.  It also represents his belief and ours that adoption decisions should be based on the best interests of children and that all qualified caregivers should be allowed to serve as adoptive parents. 


Your Part:
Now of course adoption is not for everyone; it is a hard and long process for everyone involved but I encourage you to look into your family dynamics and see if adoption is right for you and your family at some point.  I know, sounds weird coming from an adopted child who has a biological 16 month old son who plans on having another child soon BUT that being said adoption in the future is not out of the question.   

So back to Thankful Thursday!  
I am so thankful for the decision my biological mother made at such a young age.  She went through a pregnancy and in the end made the best choice for the baby and mother involved.  I am thankful for her parents and support system that helped her get through those 9 months of pregnancy and then helped her “hand” her blood to Lutheran Family Services.  I am thankful for my Mom and Dad – they changed my life timeline when they signed those adoption papers!  I often think back to what my life would have been if I would have stayed with my biological mother or for that matter bounced from foster home to foster home.  Thankful really doesn’t sum it up! 

So when you think about something to be thankful for in the following days of November, think about anyone you know who was adopted.  Be thankful for their story or for the part they play in your life! 

Who are you thankful for?  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy's Shoes

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Jude decided he was ready to "head to work" on Sunday morning.  Don't you think he looks ready to bring home a paycheck?  And those shoes aren't THAT big on him!  Adorable!  What a little man!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time in the Snow!!

We have had 2 big snow storms so far in Colorado this Fall.  We decided it was time to bundle up and introduce Jude to the world of SNOW!!

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After we got Jude all bundled up (doesn't he remind you of The Christmas Story boy?) we headed outside and let Jude check it out.  He had a hard time walking in his new boots and snow suit but I still think he liked picking up the snow and checking it out.  

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We cannot wait to have more sunny snow days so Jude can get more playtime in the snow. 

When is it time to teach him how to do Snow Angels?!?!  :O)  Can't wait for that day!!

Winter activities are a lot of fun, even if it is cold out!  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boresha Coffee and Tea Review/Giveaway

When I was contacted by Renee McLaughlin about reviewing a fat burning coffee I immediately responded to her with a happy “YES!” I am a full time working mother and I love my coffee and occasional hot tea as well, so I was pleased to get this opportunity to work with Renee. 

 I was sent 3 different products to review from Boresha. All of these products have been FDA and FTC approved after many rigorous scientific studies. 

 The first was a thermogenic coffee that is called BSkinny Coffee – cleaver name right?!? ;) BSkinny Coffee helps with the following: fat burning, balanced energy, patented hunger control, and combats stress-related eating. The BSkinny Coffee was easy to make, just like any other coffee you would make – it has a great coffee aroma and tasted great.
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For those of you that know me in real life you know that I love my flavored Starbucks lattes! Yum!! So tasty and SO FULL OF FATTENING SUGARS!! I have a hard time giving up my Starbucks runs but using these products has really curbed my daily sugar intake. I am not a fan of just BLACK coffee so I was really excited to try the Fat Burning Chocolate Raspberry BSkinny Latte. Now this was a splurge for me! But like Renee explained - not a real splurge on the hips! “Instead of adding fat, this chocolate flavored latte BURNS FAT, and provides sustained energy for hours!” I would have to say that this product was my favorite. All you have to do is add hot water and you have your healthier latte treat! Oh so good!

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 Now for the tea. Like I said I do like my occasional tea so I was happy to receive this as well. Nuvo Gene Tea is a tropical flavored tea, not too strong but just enough flavors and taste. This tea is a powerful, all natural appetite suppressant too. I started drinking a glass of this during the afternoons at work, it helped me get that sweet taste but not reach for a cookie or candy bar at work. I do usually like hot tea but this is meant to be a cold drink so it was perfect for an afternoon snack. 
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I have to say I was a little skeptical of these products but when I actually took the time to follow the plan – drinking the drinks, adding more water throughout the day and just eating healthier I was pleasantly surprised. The days that I drank the teas and coffees I felt better. It really shows how much sugar can play a role in your day. I would estimate that lost a total of 5 pounds while using the program and products. If I could just stay away from those sugar filled lattes I would be golden!

 Maybe this isn't a product that is going to make you lose 50 pounds BUT it is a product that will help you be healthier when you drink your morning coffee. Less sugar = less weight! Renee is an uplifting and fun health coach, she has been great to work with! 

 Links that you should visit: 

Giveaway Details: 
Renee has graciously given me 2 prize packs to give to my readers. Below is a Rafflecopter entry form that is easy and fast so please enter to win either a BSkinny Coffee Prize Pack or a Nuvo Gene Tea Prize Pack! You can do your own 10 day trial and see what you lose!

Click the "Read More" link to find the Rafflecopter Widget.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Y3W: Our {2011} Halloween Recap

Be warned - picture overload!! 

 The weekend before Halloween we had a ton of activities planned. Some with Jude and some just us (DATE NIGHT!!) 

 First on our list of things to do was heading to the Denver Zoo for Boo at the Zoo with family and friends.

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We had a lot of fun watching Jude with the other Trick or Treaters. He really didn't understand it but it was a beautiful Fall day in Colorado so we soaked up the fun and the sun. 

 Next on our list was going out for a Date Night to celebrate my friend's birthday. Thankfully my brother and his lovely girlfriend watched Jude for the evening for us! Thank you!! 

 We went to a Mystery Dinner Theater for the birthday celebration. I was so nervous - I am not a big theater person but I am so glad we went. It was a ton of fun and I laughed so much. These actors were so great and made the evening something to remember. The ladies in our group got all dressed up in costumes too. I was a Glittery Peacock! Don't you love my mask? 
 Happy Birthday to Courtney and Thoa!!

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 One really funny thing about this evening at the theater was that one of the actors actually found out our names and sung a song about me and Jeremy! ;) It was so much fun. If you are ever in the Denver area look up the Lumber Barron Inn and Gardens. Great Bed and Breakfast and entertainment! 

 Alright well that was Saturday. BUSY!! Sunday was busy too and another fun Halloween event - I am bad and I didn't take any pictures but we attended a 5k event called The Halloween Hustle that benefited the agency I work with (Tennyson Center for Children). We went for a nice walk and had a fun time dancing to an 80's cover band with Jude in his Woof Costume! I am telling ya - that 12 dollar Target Costume really got its wear! Worth 12 dollars for sure!! 


 And now for the 2011 Halloween Pictures!
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 Jude really had fun watching us carve Pumpkins! He really liked his little Jack-o-lantern. He gave it kisses and hated to see it be put outside. So cute!! He was so good he even sat in his high chair while we carved our own pumpkins. Halloween night we went to a few houses around our area and he had a good time I think he was finally getting the hang of it by the time we headed inside. He was one cute little Doggie and I am so happy that we choose that costume. 

 I hope everyone had a fun and candy filled Halloween! And now...Thanksgiving is around the corner - OH MY GOSH! 

 Happy Friday!

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