Tuesday, December 18, 2012

B3HD the Early Days | Game On


We all know that there is going to come a time
real soon here
where I blog even less than I currently do.

In an effort to keep it keeping on here
and to free up some time to start another blog 

(yes, because I'm crazy like that),
I'm going to do a bunch of different series here.

This one - B3HD the Early Days - will be

full of posts from back in the day
that most of you never knew existed.

Because they existed on a totally different blog.
That was back in the day when we first moved in and were all in DIY mode.

Rather than just link up to those posts,
I'll go ahead and repost them here.


i collect vintage board games
but primarily just so that I can have their pieces
and score keeping pads
and colorful cards

I love vintage paper goods.

What is it that you collect?

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lane Bryant Giveaway Winners...AND... | sponsored

Though I may be down and out with the head cold of the season,
that doesn't mean you need to miss out on the Lane Bryant fun.

As promised, we have not one but TWO
winners of $30 Lane Bryant gift cards.


Before you have your little heart crushed 
in the event that you are NOT
one of the two,

please rest assured and keep reading.

Because I might know a little something something
about how your life COULD BE forever changed tomorrow
with a few little tweets in an epic twitter party.

First things first.
Drumroll please...

Winner #1 | Mary Happymommy
(LOVE the leather shimmer blazer on her board)

Winner #2 | Laurie

Tawny had some winningly hot looks on her board too.
I would TOTALLY pay her $30+ to be my personal shopper (smile).

Didn't win a gift card?  Never fear.

If you need a little fashion retail therapy for an upcoming holiday party
or some hot tips on how to keep your look fresh this season, 
then be sure to stop by and chat holiday fashion with our friends at Lane Bryant

Join the @LaneBryant “Holiday Fashion Fun” Twitter Party 
this Monday, 12/17 at noon PT/3pm ET! 
Fab prizes! 

RSVP to win prizes, including $30 Lane Bryant gift cards! 

Don’t forget!
Lane Bryant’s 12 Days of the Most Wonderful Surprises goes  until December 16
You can unlock a new surprise offer every day on the Lane Bryant Facebook page

It’s the perfect way to get your favorite must-have fashion items for the holiday season, at great prices.
Once More - The Details:
What: Lane Bryant “Holiday Fashion Fun” Twitter Party
When: Mon 12/17 noon PT/3pm ET
Where: On Twitter! CleverTweets: http://clvr.li/SYaCNf
Follow: Hashtag #LBHoliday @CleverGirlsColl @LaneBryant
Prizes: 18 $30 Lane Bryant gift cards

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective,
 and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Week 105 Random Pinehurst

Mary Christmas (smile).
One year ago, she joined us.

And now...


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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 104 Random Pinehurst

Time to make the trees up.


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Scroll down, join the site and become a follower!
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Shine So Brightly | Lane Bryant Giveaway | Sponsored

Thank you Lane Bryant for sponsoring this post!
Lane Bryant's 12 Days of the Most Wonderful Surprises
is the perfect way to get your must-haves
from Lane Bryant and Cacique for the holiday season.
Click here for surprise offers announced daily through Dec 16.

So the holiday season is upon us.

And wouldn't you know that being pregnant is the PERFECT

for going out clothes SHOPPING!

Conversations go a little like this
in my house nowadays

"You spent $97 at Lane Bryant??"
"Well, yeah."
"But didn't you just spend $126 there last week?"
"Well, yeah but you see, I outgrew those clothes already."


It was about time for my weekly trip
when I got an offer a curvy sister could not refuse.
Lane Bryant is sponsoring a little mini shopping spree for me
(and for you - we'll get to that).

In any event, I have a few different holiday parties to hit this year

so I figured I wanted to get a dressy top that would wow the folks

who would be gawking at my midsection all night anyhow.

One that immediately caught my eye was this one
as I channeled my inner Nene Leakes fabulous self.


Thing is, while I was convinced to rock a strapless gig for the best day of my life

I really REALLY think the girls would not be having it right about now.

So instead, here's the look I was working with.

I know some of ya'll are all

"GIRL - you gotta flaunt those curves!"

And I'm all "I know, I KNOW!"
Here's the thing. 
I'm finally (FINALLY!!) starting to show.
So that top, is all kinds of mysterious
"is she, is she not" awesomeness.
Not only is it comfy, but it is ALSO
sparkly and shiny for the golden child.

As for the other curvy curves, 

I'm gonna do it.

I'm gonna rock leggings!
Because really, leggings with bling are just such an obvious choice.

As to really highlight those sexy legs?

I'll try some sparkly rhinestone heels.

Who am I kidding?

They will come off, but I'm preggers and I get to do that kind of thing.

At least my toes will be cute coming and going.

As with any of my outfits, it is ALL about the accessories.

This ring or that ring (how about both?!)

and a cute pair of earrings
with a pair of aviators for the sun that never comes out here.

I also have some really awesome black Lane Bryant necklaces
from seasons long gone that I STILL (and what)
rock with. 

Come to think of it,
this look is high school Caperettes all over again.
Black and Gold forever!
Gooooooo Matadors!

And I still say, And what?

Show me what you're working with this holiday season!
I'm off to shop this afternoon after work because today's surprise offer is

Any black pant/jean $25 (In stores and online)
Sassy cotton panty - 6 for $32 (In stores and online)

Maybe I'll find some black velvet pants instead for my ensemble.

And now, you've made it this far and it is YOUR TURN.
Lane Bryant is totally one of my favorite things.
So how about we kick off some fun "favorite things" giveaways
with not one, but TWO $30 gift cards to Lane Bryant?

You should be screaming like you are on Oprah.
To enter, pin your fave Lane Bryant look 
(can be just an image from www.LaneBryant.com, don't have to go all Polyvore on it)
to your own Pinterest account (can be any of your appropriate boards)
using the hashtag #LB12Days.

Then leave a link to your pin in the comments section below.
If you're not the type to check back for your winnings,
then leave me an email address so I can contact you if you win.

You have ten days to get your sassy on.
Winners will be announced December 16th.

Go forth and pin!

Remember - there will be TWO winners.

So you Know (aka, the disclaimer): I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective,
and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And sometimes, I clean

I'm not the only one who has
very weird opposable personalities.

For instance,
when most folks come to my home,
they often remark on how clean it is.

Since our home includes MILES of hardwood

And has survived two black labs (at different times)

Who both had free range of the house

People are astounded and ask me what my secret weapon is.
After first giving them this face

and then assuring them that I NEVER touch this thing

as the closest I get to the bathrooms is an effort
to make my toilet paper stash look pretty
(yeah Costco! and your individually wrapped rolls)

I then take them to my fave spot in the house.

I love 

Most people think it is because it is a cozy place
to curl up with a book and read.


I LOVE this spot
because I get to do my two favorite cleaning routines
all in one place.

I get to dust stuff off
and vacuum stuff off.

So while cleaning grimy toilets totally puts me out,
seeing the instant gratification of a freshly vacuumed rug
is my version of heaven on earth.

I know some of you are all about the lines and runner marks
as a signal that your carpet is clean.

Not. I.

I like my carpet to look newly laid
and I'm not at all about throwing down stink pretty to mask smells.
Instead, I like my vacuum to get up the dirt (easily)
and to NOT make it obvious that I just vacuumed right before you came by.

Because, frankly, I might vacuum often enough
that you might think I have a problem if my vac left those tell tell signs.

All said, I already knew my husband was my soul mate.
But when he gave me a Dyson for Christmas, I about lost my mind.
I might have stopped opening presents and immediately
gone upstairs to my happy place.

I mean come on, I needed to vacuum the carpet (heaven)
AND the rug (thought it couldn't get any better, it did).

I can't even imagine what a Dyson Animal might do
even better during the shedding season.

A girl can dream.

I would go into my dusting issues too, 
but you probably already think I'm a bit nutty.

Let's not even talk about my Pine Sol addiction...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Duck® the Halls with Holiday Tape | Sponsored

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Well then.
I had a really witty post composed for you
on all of the awesomeness that is Holiday Duck Tape®

That cyber goodness was not to be.
So instead, I bring you eyecandy.
Some many moons ago, I was in Fred Myer with my better half
gawking at the awesomeness that was colored Duck® brand tape.
Last year, I was buying my very first roll of patterned Duck Tape®
This year, I was beyond delighted when I caught site of the wonderfulness
That is holiday 
Duck Tape® 
which you should totally become a fan of their page.

There are just so many projects you can do with this stuff.
I might actually have to do a few nursery projects on budget with it.
But in the meantime, here are some absolutely lovely Holiday projects
I would totally whip together with a few rolls of awesome in my bag.

I LOVE this poinsettia.
I mean, seriously.
I buy real ones each year on Black Friday and by the time Christmas rolls around,
they are long gone.
Never mind that I have wanted some non-fabric, but also not real ones
for my outside porch for a while.

Using the red and white candy striped version
with some red thrown in,
I would totally throw down on this project

Or, since we all know that me and the sewing machine
are becoming BFFs (not)
how about these stockings?
Or for the patient,
how about these amazing wreaths?
AMAZING photo and tutorial can be found at The Pixel Mom
As much as I love the reindeer print,
I think the simple red and white candy stripe
is my absolute fave.

If you are totally NOT in to crafting anything else this year
(it is the 4th and I'm tapping out)
then even simple ideas for using this would be awesome.
You can use it as a decorative "ribbon loop" to hand a wreath.
You can use it in small quantities to tape up a collage of holiday cards.
You can use it to tape your tree stand to the floor and ensure it doesn't go anywhere.
Okay. Maybe not.
But of course, most obviously, you can use it to wrap that gift
that you really DON'T want someone to get in to.
Whatever you do with it, I bet it will be awesome.
Have fun with Duck® Brand Holiday tape this season!

Working Mama Realities | Mary Mary Season 2!

You know, there is a whole lot out there about working mamas.
What there is NOT a lot out there about,
is being a working soon to be mama.

coming home May 2013

I might have a slight addiction to reality tv.
Most of it is really just not good for you.
So it was like a message from heaven
when I caught wind of Mary Mary's show.

image via here

Erica and Tina Campbell are the sister power duo
behind Gospel legends Mary Mary.

They have an awesome reality show
that is truly channeling a lot of my reality right now.
As an expectant first time mama,
I'm totally drawn into this season because the sisters
are on the road promoting their new album.

This is all happening 2 months (!!)
after Erica gave birth to her newest mini
and Tina is out there working it
in heels under hot lights
while expecting her newest.

image via here

SHE is working it.
I'ma be real with you for a hot second.
Watching these two work it like they do
pre and post babies as they are
makes me a little queasy to my gut.
Not at all jealous or trying to hate on the sisters
but really.

I can barely make it out of bed most mornings.
I have not worn a pair of heels in a year of Sundays.
I can barely get up to take a walk,
much less joyously give it to ya on stage.
These girls are DOING it.
And it makes me feel a bit inferior that I cannot
(or maybe it is more that I won't)
do the same.

During the first episode,
the sisters really struggle with career and family balance.
I am not joking when I say that just about every situation
is one that makes me squeamish about being a mama who works.

I am blessed beyond blessed
to have options in my life.
If I don't want to work after having my kid, I don't have to work.
If I need to take time off to rest before the mini us gets here,
I can do that.

But just like for the Marys, I often get this twinge
where I worry about what my identity will be
if I can't keep on being fabulous
with or without a kid.

In any event, I am so hooked on this show now.
Beyond the usual silliness of faked reality shows,
this show seems to hit closest to home for me.

They struggle with being away from home, hubby and kids.
So do I.

They struggle with wanting to give everything 100% PLUS.
So do I.

They have a mama who has their back and makes this all possible.
So do I.

And they struggle with being fabulous and regular all at once.
Well...maybe not the fabulous part,
but still trying to maintain on my front.
To that, maybe I'll have some divine intervention
as to how to really balance career and family and
when it all comes down to it
find a way to have it all.

Is that even really possible?

It's situations like these that the three-time Grammy® award-winning gospel duo
Erica and Tina Campbell face in Season 2 of WE tv’s hit series Mary Mary as they balance
being recording artists, mothers, and wives.
MARY MARY premieres Thursday, December 6 at 10|9c
and moves to its regular timeslot on Thursdays at 9|8c, beginning December 13.
Watch a sneak peek here!

Does your life feel like a reality TV show sometimes? Tell us about it!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WE tv.
The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Easy Forced Amaryllis Bulbs | DIY for Busy Gals

"perhaps, had we chilled them,
they would have bloomed in time.
 Paper Whites are so dang easy.
Especially given that last year's attempt
at growing Amaryllis, was an utter fail.

We (and by "we" I mean "I")
thought to myself
if these are bulbs that require
a chilling period, I am doomed.

And, I also thought I would start a lot earlier this year.
On both fronts.

There was no chill/deep freeze this year.
And I started these less than 4 weeks before Christmas last year.

Even the strongest grow light in the world can't help that procrastination.
Guess I'll be enjoying the holidays
long after they are over.

And this time, I won't do it with 
a fire hazard Christmas tree.

Just. Saying.

Another super easy project.
Especially if you buy a kit.

I did alter my kit supplies with my own clay pots
I don't know WHAT kind of moist peat they are trying to pull,
but my ONE peat pellet in one of three kits
was enough growing medium for three gigantic bulbs.

Really now.



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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 103 Random Pinehurst

The Countdown begins.


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

How to Decorate for Christmas 101 - The Details

it can be overwhelming.

You want your house to look perfect.
But as you look through the YEARS
of holiday decor packratted away in your
you wonder how to pull it all together.

As contrary as this may seem,
if you start with the details, it really can be tamed.

For me, it starts with three questions:

1. What color(s)?
2. What theme(s)?
3. How much?

My theme:
Last Year, it was Naturally Beautiful.
I wanted to incorporate nature, sparkle and I wanted it to be lovely.

My color(s):
Primarily red to play off all the green.
Also wanted the oppulence of gold.
And then I used different layers of green and brown to enhance the nature theme.
And bits of white here and there to make it all pop.

How Much:
Mid range. 
For me, that means multiple trees (three)
Some banister and tabletop decor.
But every surface doesn't have to ooze Christmas.
Matter of fact, I didn't decorate my mantels.

So let's see what I mean:

In these details, I used a homemade pinecone tree (tutorial here)
and placed it on my windowsill next to a sparkly Dollar Store tree find.

I love to use tall cylinder vases filled with randomness.
In this case, red and white bulbs,
some greenery
silver peace sign vase filler from @PotteryBarn.
I lucked up on all of the holiday colored dice at the Dollar Store.

A wider shot of the window sill
shows the faux kissing balls
and the supersized gold star that I picked up at the Dollar Store.

And of course, I like to sprinkle a bit of us throughout.
The white clay ornament is a paw print by Merry.

In this photo, even farther out from the sill,
you can see the mini trees in the glass hurricanes on the table.
It's okay that they overgrow the top.

I like to leave my tree with nothing but lights on it
when we first get it up.
The simplicity and sparkle is calming.

Keeping with our theme and colors,
the golden apple is geographically significant
(we live in WA state)

And one last unexpected detail on the dining room table
a pair of vintage white ice skates.

To dress up the chandelier
and keep with our theme
I just threaded some live greenery through the pendants.

Though I didn't decorate our mantel,
I did make sure that we had our white candles out
to keep with our color scheme.

On the banisters,
I used faux greenery, burlap garland, red wood bead garland and gold wired ribbon.
I also clustered a bunch of red bulbs midway up the stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs, on the posts,
I hung natural and faux greenery wreaths.
They were decorated pine cones and gold glittered birds.

Like with the first picture in this post and the last one,
if you think in details,
the rest will really start to come easily.

First photo: Domino | Scrabble tray purpetual December calendar
Last photo: Pottery Barn Advent Calendars, pine cones, glitter tree, greenery.

Happy decorating!


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