5 on Friday | December – Week 3 – McKenzie’s Favorite Things Edition

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

I’m linking up with Darci and friends from the good life blog for another version of 5 on Friday! This week’s theme is McKenzie’z Favorite Things!  These aren’t necessarily things that she’s wishing for from Santa, but items that we have and love and think you should too!

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One.
Fisher Price Little People Christmas Story!
  This was actually an early Christmas present to McKenzie this year from her grandmother.  We wanted her to be able to play with the set and really enjoy it.  It was also a great time to incorporate the Christmas story in to her play-time. She loves the set and little animals and even says Jesus…well, more like Cheeze-us, but we know what she means!  If we ask her to find Jesus, she runs and gets the little baby in the manger!  So sweet!

Two.
Mr. Christmas Red Lighted Goodnight Lights Ornament!
 Kenzie received this little ornament as an early Christmas present, as well.  I had never seen something like this before, but thought that it was a novel idea.   The ornament is Santa holding a candle.  It has wires running down the back of the ornament that you run through your tree.  These wires are attached to a box that you plug-in to the electrical outlet.  One you hang the ornament and run the green wires down through the tree (just as you would your light wires), you plug your lights into the box and the box into the electrical outlet.  That’s when the magic happens.    The candle has a small pin-sized hole in the front of it.  If you want to turn the lights the Christmas tree lights on, you blow on Santa’s candle.  If you want to turn them off, you blow the candle out.  It’s adorable and McKenzie loves it.  She can’t walk by the tree without pretending to blow out the candle.    She doesn’t have the height or enough power, but it’s fun all the same!  Plus, Brian and I love it, because it means that we don’t have to maneuver around/under the tree to get the lights plugged in.   It’s adorable!  Check it out!

Three.
Highlights!  For those of you who grew up in the 80’s, you probably already remember this magazine.  I know I loved it!  There were stories, crafts and hidden picture puzzles.   My mom mentioned that there was a new version out for toddlers – Highlights Hello.  I was so excited!  We signed McKenzie up and she now she receives her own mail and magazine each month.  The books are amazing.  Toddler sized and printed on durable paper that can’t be torn and can be cleaned!

Amazing!  Printed with non-toxic ink, the magazine’s durability was even tested by being placed in a washing machine!  As good as new!

McKenzie loves the short stories, the songs and the hidden picture puzzles.  There are even tips throughout the book for parents on how to incorporate the themes, stories and songs into learning each day.  Plus, it’s one of those books that’s small enough to throw in to the diaper bag or purse and will keep her occupied forever!  Love!

Four.
Rileyroos!   These have been our go-to shoes since McKenzie started wearing shoes.  Sadly, her big feet no longer fit in them, so we’ve had to move on.

These shoes are developmentally friendly, with flexible soles and curled toes to provide leverage as your little one learns to crawl.  They are lightweight and perfect for providing the protection and traction that little ones need…all while imitating barefoot walking.  Plus, Rileyroos is  a local company from Baltimore – a win-win!  Kenzie literally had shoes to match each of her outfits.  I know…it’s an obsession!

If you’re looking for adorable shoes, that both you and your baby/toddler will love, check out Rileyroos!

Five.
Crochet Creations by Bibi!  Need a small gift that’s affordable, yet personalized for babies, toddler’s, tween’s or even adults?  Then check out my mother-in-law’s page!  She’s working on getting her Etsy page up, but for now, Facebook is it!  She has created some adorable hats and will work to create a personalized piece just for you!  Don’t see what you want?  Send her a picture with your request and she’ll create it for you!  What talent!   Hats range from $7 to $18 (plus shipping) and are completed within a few days!  Check out her page and let her know that you heard about her from Heartbeats and Little Feet.  There may just be a surprise in it for you!

Side note: Bibi is what Kenzie calls her grandmother.  Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law refused to pick their Grandparent names, so we chose for them.  It was a very scientific choosing. Brian typed Grandmother and Grandfather in to Google translate.  And there you have it…Bibi and Babu – Grandmother and Grandfather in Swahili.  I bet they wish they had thought that decision through! 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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Dear Life… Letters from a Tired Mama

Today, I am choosing to write letters of “concern” to the areas of my life in which I am struggling. Think of it as the angry holiday shopper, who is being rude to the store employee’s, demanding something or other at customer service and who is voicing their concern…loud and clear!  Yep…that’s me! That’s where I am!

 

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Dear Daylight Savings,
Give me my baby back!  I can’t solely blame it on you, but I will.  Ever since you appeared, McKenzie fails to sleep past 5:45 a.m.  We’ve been uber productive recently, but that’s because we’re up, fed,  and dressed all before 7.  Give me back my baby that used to sleep until 8:30/9.

Dear Sleep Regression,
I want my baby back as well!  You know…the one who used to sleep soundly throughout the night. This tired Mom needs a break.  I need the baby that would sleep 12 plus hours.  Not the one who now finds it fun to wake up any time between 1 and 3 each night to check in on me. The toddler that likes to be rocked, but refuses to fall back to sleep until 4:30, when my alarm goes off at 5.  At that point, if I’m lucky, I can get dressed in peace.  Most mornings, I have a sidekick. Drying and styling your hair with one hand (because someone needs to be held) is a fine art.   I’m begging, let my toddler sleep!

Dear Molars,
I believe you are breaking through.  I also believe that you are working hand-in-hand with Daylight Savings and Sleep Regression.  It’s not nice to gang up on people.  I don’t have solid proof of your arrival, (because checking could mean possibly having one less finger – due to a crazy toddler chomping down) yet I believe that you are here.  You, my friend, are a part of her moodiness and sleepless nights.  Just show up already so we can be done with this whole teething thing.  It seems as though you are also friends with Karma…because we basically survived all other teething sessions without incident yet somehow you want to really drive the point home with this one.

Dear Tantrum Throwing 19-Month Old,
Mommy loves you so much, but I’ve had enough.  I’m so thankful that you are a healthy and independent little person.  I love that you have found your voice, but the constant screams of “Stop!” and the screaming every time you don’t get your way has to stop.  You’ve made your point.  You’re mad.  I get it.  I still doesn’t change the fact that you have to get in to the car seat to get home.  Now let’s move on, so we can end our day – at home and preferably happy!

Dear Husband,
Thank you for sharing the duties with me and getting up with McKenzie in the middle of the night.  You’re probably doing this more for your own safety, because you’d truly have a crazy person to live with if not…but nonetheless, I’m thankful.

And in the true spirit of the holiday season…

Dear God,
Thank you for giving me McKenzie.  I’ll take the sleep deprived nights, the tantrums and the fits, because that means that I am blessed.  Please give me the strength and patience, and maybe even a few more hours (or minutes) of sleep each night.  Amen.

Merry Mail Holiday Exchange

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend! This week is my last full week of work before having some time off and I absolutely can’t wait!  Here’s hoping the week goes quickly!

Merry Mail Ornament Exchange Banner

Today, I’m linking up again with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for a Christmas Ornament Exchange! Kenzie graciously organized, grouped and distributed contact information for all those participating.   I was paired with Jess from Objessions and Kendra-lee Roger from Rogers Family Assemble. Without further ado – here are the ornaments that I received:

Jess from Objessions sent me this sparkly Santa belt ornament.  It turned out perfectly even though she was injured!  She cut her finger while making pies, but still managed to create this amazing ornament – even with a bandaged finger!

Love from Objessions!

Kendra-lee from Rogers Family Assemble  sent me this adorable felt Christmas tree! I wish I was crafty when it came to sewing, but since I went to a private school, home-economics classes were not a requirement – therefore I never learned how to properly sew!  It’s never too late, right?  Kendra even managed to do this with a 5 month old baby to take care of as well!  Love!

Perfect Tree from Kendra-lee

Although not assigned to my group, I realized that Jasam from The Opulent Owl was also participating in the swap.  We decided to exchange with one another as well!    Here’s the adorable gingerbread house that she sent me!  I slightly ruined the surprise when I saw a sneak peak on Instagram and liked it…oops!  So much better in person, now that it’s completely finished and on our tree!  I love it!

Love this little house!

Thank you all so much for participating in the Merry Mail Ornament swap!  I love these ornaments and they will be added to our family tree for many years to come!

Wondering what I sent them?

I wanted to do something different than the traditional ornament, so I re-purposed a spoon and created a snowman!

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I’ll check back in with a tutorial on how I made them!

5 on Friday | December Edition – Week 2 – Gift Edition

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Happy Friday!  Only one more Friday until Christmas!  I can’t even believe how quickly this holiday season has gone! This week I wanted to highlight a few gifts that I love this year!  Here’s hoping they inspire you for some last-minute shopping!

One.
Color Me Monthly!  

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If you or someone in your life loves nail polish, than this one is for you! Color Me Monthly is a box subscription for nail polish.  For $7 a month, a new color is delivered directly to your door step!  The colors are incredible and the nail polish is non-toxic and carcinogen free!  Plus, the polish itself holds up just as long…if not longer…then brand name polishes!  I absolutely love this and the surprise that each month brings when the box arrives!

Each month, a simple box will arrive.  Color Me Monthly believes in no-fuss packaging to keep their cost low.  Once you open your box, you’ll receive you nail polish and a Haiku to accompany your new perfect color!  What’s not to love!  You can sign up for monthly subscriptions or give 6 or 12 month gifts.  It’s a perfect gift for those teenagers and women alike!

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Two.
Alex and Ani

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Love, love love Alex and Ani.  I know that these have been around for some time now, but I absolutely love their bangle bracelets.  Each bangle comes with a charm.  You choose what represents you!  Currently, my bracelets consist of May’s birthstone, the letter ‘M’ for Mom and/or Megan, the path of life charm, and the key to my heart charm.  Each has a special meaning to me and each reminds me throughout the day of who I am and why I do what I do.

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Most of my charms are the Russian Silver finish, but I plan on adding some color in the near future!  I love these because they are a great reminder and piece of jewelry for me to wear each day without being over the top.  It goes great with my work clothes, as well as casual weekend wear – plus McKenzie loves playing with them!  Great distraction technique!  Plus, I get so many compliments on them!


Three.
Sloane Ranger

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Looking for the perfect crossbody bag, tote or weekender, then look no further.  Sloane Ranger has it all.  With a variety of patterns to choose from, these preppy bags are perfect for those with the need for style, yet functionality.  Printed on durable canvas, these adorable totes are as functional as they are stylish and fun!

Four.
May Books

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For those of you who love carrying a notebook with you (because inevitably you’ll always need to write something down!), then May books by May Designs are for you!  Completely customizable, these 5 x 8 canvas coated paper covered planner are amazing!  

You can choose to design your book online in real-time. You pick out your color, then choose your monogram, font and color!  Amazing!  You easily could spend hours on this site designing multiple books.

After you are done designing, you choose the kind of pages that are right for you.   There are 15 options that include planners, lined pages, blank pages, exercise journal, wedding and bump diaries and more!

Check them out today and have fun creating!  I’ve created one for McKenzie.  I was going to keep a written journal of each month’s milestone’s, but then have been doing so on the blog.  It’s new use will be to jot down all of the hilarious things that she says as she starts to talk more and more!  I can’t wait to fill the book as a journal to look back on as she grows!


Five.
Personalized Otterbox Cases
iphone cases

As Mom’s, we know that our phones no longer are our own.  Despite our best efforts, little hands grab our phones.  The same little hands also drop and throw our phones.  I’ve learned how important it is to have a tough case that can withstand all of the drops.  I love Otterbox’s but hate that they were so generic.  Well…problem solved!  Lipstick Shades offers customizable Otterbox cases!  You choose the color, the background, the monogram and more!  Amazing!  If you’re looking for a tough case with a feminine look, than this is the case for you!

Happy shopping and happy weekend!

Holly Jolly PJ Party

I’m linking up with DarciAshleyJennyJulie and Natasha for their Holly Jolly PJ Party Link-up!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many pairs of Christmas pajamas this little girl has.  Fair warning…picture overload.  I just couldn’t choose.  There’s something so innocent about a little girl in cute pajamas in front of a Christmas tree!  Some of these are my favs of the season so far!

Love how big her little belly looks in this one…although it’s really just the PJ’s

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It was even fun to decorate the dog! He’s such a good sport!

We didn’t get through all of the pajamas that she has, because I started taking pictures later than I wanted, but you get the idea!  Amazingly adorable!

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Happy Holidays and thanks for joining me for another amazing pajama party!

Fabulous Holiday Fun!

What a weekend!  Busy yet so much fun!

Kenzie is in love with Christmas lights.  She ohhh’s and ahhh’s as we pass houses with lights.  She points out her window and giggles.  As more and more people are putting their lights up,there’s even more to look at.  Friday night after dinner, we decided to drive to the Herr’s Factory to look at the light display that they put up.  It was a great night, filled with Christmas music on the radio, and pretty lights to see.  Kenzie loved it!  It was raining, so we didn’t get a chance to get out and walk around, but still so worth it.  Here are some pictures that we captured!

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Saturday, we spent the morning doing laundry and cleaning up the house.  We were hoping to get the outside decorated, but ran out of time!  We’re hoping to get it done some time this week so that McKenzie has time to enjoy them before the holidays are over.  As an aside, I have never been a fan of lawn decorations at Christmas and I refuse to get a blow-up one, but a simple light up snow man or reindeer may be in our future.  Kenzie would love it, since she’s obsessed with Frosty!

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A-Ra, Jessica’s Aunt, spoiled her by buying her every Christmas movie possible.  We’ve watched a few of them, but Frosty is her favorite!  She marches around the house they way Frosty and his crew marches around town.  Her stomping is hilarious…she only marches with one foot.  It’s adorable!

Saturday evening, we went to dinner to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  It was a great evening had by all and we are lucky to have her in our life.  After dinner, we stopped at a local creamery that makes homemade ice cream.  Kenzie’s patience was starting to wear thin, so I downloaded the JibJab Elf Dance App.  I quickly snapped pictures of everyone and created an elf dance sketch.  She loved it!  It kept her laughing for the rest of the evening!  Oh technology!  I highly recommend this distraction technique!

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On Sunday, we took McKenzie to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  From a distance, Kenzie thought Santa was the coolest.  She would point to him, smile and wave.  Up close, she didn’t care for him too much!  She didn’t scream, but was really unsure.  Look at her clenched little fists.  I think Mrs. Claus was our saving grace!  Very cute little breakfast put on by our local volunteer fire house.

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It started snowing around 11 yesterday and didn’t stop until the evening. Then we had bouts of freezing rain and sleet overnight.

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We spent the day making cookies with my Mother-in-law, Mom and sister.  It was such a nice way to spend a cold, winter day.  There is more baking in store, but we had to call it quits so that we could get home before the roads got too bad.

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Kenzie is currently spending the day at home with Brian and loving life!  I can’t even stand how cute these pictures are!

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Kenz Snow 2

Hope everyone had a great week!

To Switch or Not To Switch!? WordPress vs. Blogger

As I was attempting to update my blog to a holiday theme…you know, the sand and barefoot beach pic isn’t cutting it for the winter months… I became super frustrated with the limitations and restrictions that WordPress offers.

As I started researching and looking for alternatives, I’ve heard that blogger allows for more customization.  I’ve also been looking for a new blog design and many of the designers that I’m finding will only design and install on Blogger sites.    I’ve found a designer that I love, Megan from Yammering Yankee, and she’s almost convinced me to switch!

That’s why I’m coming to you for help!  Do you have any opinions on which is better?  Anyone make the switch?  Did you lose followers?  How did you alert them that your site was moving to a different URL?

Any help or feedback that you could give would be great!  I’m almost 99% sure that I’m going to make the switch, but am just terrified to make the leap!

Help a blogger out and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks so much in advance!