Winner and Lemon Water

Thanks to everyone who entered the book giveaway!  
Here are the winners (picked by…

Winner of Deliberate Motherhood:

Jenny who said:

Oh my gosh, either one of these books could help me out in so many ways!!! I am a mother of 5 boys, two of which are disabled…. So being a good mom, keeping my sanity and staying organized are pretty much three of my top priorities!!! Great giveaway regardless who wins!! ;)

Jenny P. from Racine, Wisconsin

3 Winners of The Staying Organized Survival Guide:

Sue who said:

Hey, Erin! Hope you’re having fun with all your crew taking pictures instead of cooking (that’s how I weasel out of stuff I don’t want to do, I’m the self-appointed photojournalist!)
I’d love to win either of these books. Cokeville, WY. Can’t wait to see your weekend report!

Cathy who said:

I would love to win either one of those books for my daughter. I think she would really love either of them. 
Hope you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Ileana who said:

Love, love, love your blog! I would love to win the Staying Organized book!
Fairmont, WV

YEA and CONGRATS!  If you are a winner, e-mail me (erininsandiego at gmail dot com) and I’ll get the books to you!  If you didn’t win and still would like a book, I linked to them on Amazon in my last post.  They are both very reasonably price so pick one up for yourself for Christmas!  You deserve it.  :)


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Ours was wonderful.  Except that I was sick.  That wasn’t wonderful.  Kole and Ad are sick too so we are very much still in recovery mode around here.

My mom made me countless glasses of lemon water.  Heavy on the lemon.  Did you know that lemon water makes your sore throat feel better?  It really does.  Or maybe it was less about the lemon water and more about being taken care of by my mom.  I’m not sure, but sitting by her Christmas tree next to the cozy fireplace sipping lemon water was my favorite memory from Thanksgiving this year.  

One of my quartz samples made a perfect tray for my lemon water.  Still trying to find counter tops for my kitchen that look like marble but aren’t real marble.  I want my mom to be able to come and visit and squeeze lemons all over my counters and not worry about them staining.  I am a fan of lemon water.  And worry free quartz counter tops.   :)
Being sick over Thanksgiving certainly didn’t stop me from eating way too much food.  Kenny went on a strict pie diet while I devoured an unhealthy amount of turkey.  You all know how I feel about a good turkey sandwich.  
The two of us will be attempting to eat a bit lighter next week to make up for our incessant gorging.  
We’ll see how long it lasts before the Christmas festivities start.  
I might as well pull out the stretchy pants right now.
Any of you doing the same?

Thanksgiving Book Giveaways!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Popping in on turkey day for a fun giveaway!  I’m giving away two books and I’m so excited about both of them!

I’m grateful for a long list of things each Thanksgiving but motherhood is always at the top of that list.

Being mom to these three pretty much tops everything.  They drive me crazy on a daily basis and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And yes, I know I need a more recent picture of my three kids all together, but once Kole started moving we said good-bye to calm, posed family pictures.  Most of my recent pics of him now are of the back of his head running away.  :)  
The first book I’m giving away is all about motherhood.  In fact, it’s a book written by a group of mothers.  A group of wonderful mothers who all have such inspiring words to share.  
The book is titled Deliberate Motherhood: 12 key powers of peace, purpose, order and joy and was compiled by the women at The Power of Moms.  I’ve been to one of their motherhood retreats and learned so much.  I knew I would really enjoy this book.  Motherhood is such a journey of highs and lows and this book is full of wonderful stories and uplifting ideas from over 60 mothers.  I just received this book and have enjoyed reading it so much!  I started with the chapter written by my friend Sarah from Clover Lane and couldn’t put it down!  She is always so inspiring to me and so were all of the other mothers who’s chapters I’ve read so far.  I’m so excited to give one copy of this book away to one of you!  You can also check out 71Toes and MaisyMak (two other fun blogs) for another chance to win because they are also giving away one copy of this book.  SO fun.  :)  
OK – so if motherhood is my ultimate favorite topic a very close second would have to be organizing.  I know – this is not news to anyone reading.  :)  I’m so excited to give away three copies of this fabulous on-line book:
The Staying Organized Survival Guide.  You guys.  When Chloe wrote me and asked if I would do a giveaway for her book I told her that I needed to check it out first.  Obviously I’m pretty protective of my blog and only want to do giveaways for things I really stand behind.  (Which is why I politely turn down most of the giveaway offers I receive).  I was planning on just skimming this book to see if it would be a good fit for my blog and before I knew it, time had flown by and I had read the whole thing!  I loved it!  I felt myself nodding the whole way through and have blogged about a lot of the same things Chloe mentions in her book.  This book is great for someone who wants to be organized but doesn’t know how or where to start.  You will spend just 15 minutes a day for 30 days organizing your home and along the way you will learn strategies to help you get and stay organized.  What a great way to start out the month of January!  *You do need to have an Amazon account to get access to this book.  
I have truly enjoyed both of the books I mentioned above and think either one of them (or both!) would make a great Christmas gift for you or someone you know.  You can read more about Deliberate Motherhood here and you can read more about The Staying Organized Survival Guide here.  
If you would like to win one (or both) of these books, leave a comment below that includes your name and city.  Let me know which book you are interested in winning and I will pick some winners on Saturday.  YEA!  :)
I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  It crept up so quickly.  If you are planning on starting your Christmas shopping on black Friday good luck!  For those of you who are new to my blog (hello and welcome!), here are the links to some of our favorite toys and gift ideas if you need suggestions… 

I’ll be posting a few more fun gift ideas during the next month!
Happy shopping, good luck with the book giveaways, and have a fabulous Thanksgiving everyone!

Scentsy Giveaway!

***This giveaway is now closed.
Ok.  If you’ve read my blog for a while now you know that I’m a candle girl.  (Hello Fresh Balsam candle from Bath and Body Works – I am still obsessed.)  So when Megan (a sweet blog reader) contacted me about doing a giveaway for her Scentsy Wickless Candles I was excited!  I had never tried Scentsy products before and was curious about how they work.  For those of you who haven’t heard of them, Scentsy Wickless Candles are ceramic warmers that are a safe alternative to a candle.  With the warmers there is no flame, no smoke and no lead.  The ceramic warmers use a low watt light bulb that melts specially formulated scenty wax that creates a long lasting aroma that fills the room.  They are safe to use around kids, pets, and in your home, classroom, office, or anywhere.  
There are so many cute warmers to choose from and they come in a variety of sizes, ranging from plug-ins that are perfect for bathrooms and laundry rooms all the way to full size warmers that are perfect for any size of room.  

I chose the “Hampton” warmer since I’m kind of obsessed with all things Hampton and white these days.  (Is anyone watching the show Revenge?  Dream home!!)   Since I don’t live in the Hamptons, I figure the next best thing is my Hampton warmer.  :)  I love the way it looks on my counter!  Megan sent me several scents to try and I have enjoyed them all but my favorite so far has been the “Christmas Cottage” scent.  I know.  I’m wearing yellow and smelling Christmas scents in January.  I’m breaking all the rules and Ioving it!  :)  They have over 80 scents to chose from so you are sure to find something you love.  

I just placed a couple of little wickless bars in my warmer and within minutes they had melted and my house smelled so good!  One thing I noticed that was different with these compared to my regular candles is how the smell filled my whole house.  Usually when I light a candle I can only smell it in the kitchen where it is located.  I can seriously smell my Scentsy candle all over my whole house, including the upstairs.  I love that!  The smell is so strong that I only need to have it turned on for a little while.  Then I turn it off and enjoy!

One of my favorite things is to be in a clean house listening to the hum of my dishwasher with a candle burning (or in this case, not burning).  :)

Want one of these for yourself?  One of you will win a full size warmer of your choice and a scent bar of your choice.  And you will love them!  If you are anything like me and love to make your house (or office) smell fabulous.  Leave a comment on this post if you are interested!

Happy Wednesday!! 

A winner and a layout

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway!  It was fun hearing from so many of you!  I was going to have Ellie randomly choose the winners so tonight before I put her to bed I told her to pick a number between 1 and 219.  She said “eighteen hundred.”  So.  Not only did I realize Ellie wouldn’t be picking the winners after all, I also realized we need to set aside some serious time for number practice.  :)

I used a random number generator which selected #32 and #97.  Winners are….

Pam who said  “I would love one of those big summery tote bags! It would be perfect for schlepping all of our gear to the beach. Love your blog!”


ReenieK Designs who said “LOVE these bags ! How cute is that little carry all bag!! That’d be great to keep in the car for my daughters little toys!!”

Congrats to you both!  Just click on the “e-mail me” button on the side of my blog (top right) and shoot me an e-mail with your contact info.  I’ll make sure Mary Beth gets a hold of you!

Sharing a quick layout I did last week for Kole’s baby album…

Journaling: Your first summer!  2 months old and chillin’ by the pool in your shades.  You are one laid back, easy going baby!  And we can’t get enough of you!

Love this picture of my little dude!  I have to say though that I’m not making a lot of major progress on his book.  Just throwing a page together here and there when I have a minute.  I don’t know how to scrapbook for a boy.  I’m trying really hard to keep things plain and masculine.  I told myself I wasn’t going to use my standby paper flowers on any of his layouts, but then I caved.  Convinced myself they looked like sunshines and were ok… just this one time.  :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thirty-One giveaway!

SO excited about today’s post!  I’m doing a giveaway for a darling reader of mine who I have loved getting to know better.  Mary Beth Schindler, a consultant with Thirty-One, is sponsoring an awesome giveaway where two of my readers will win $25 towards any product they want in the current Thirty-One catalog!

Thirty-One is a faith-based company that sells all kinds of purses, totes, bags, kid’s items, and more.  I love their bags and especially love that almost everything can be monogrammed or personalized.  Check out their current catalog (just click on “View Our Catalog at the top of the page) and see what they have to offer.  So many cute options!  If you love everything, you can e-mail Mary Beth asking to be on her mailing list to get deals and specials.  She’ll also send you a paper copy of the catalog for you to flip through.  If you are looking for extra income she’ll also be glad to answer any questions about starting your own business with Thirty-One.

For the month of April, they also have a great deal going towards the All-In-One-Organizer:  Spend $31 and get this great organizing tool for only $9!  Or, use it as a personalized Easter Basket for your kiddos.  I need to check that one out because anything called an “All-In-One-Organizer” is right up my alley.  :)

These are the bags that Mary Beth sent me and I have LOVED using every one of them!

This huge bag titled “Summer Stuff” and a matching draw string bag have come in so handy!  I have had these two bags all over the place.

They have come in especially handy when we are heading to the park…

or the beach.  I fill them with toys, snacks, water, my camera – anything and everything.  They are the perfect size for hauling around all of my gear – and I’m a serious over packer!

When all I need is just a few snacks, I’ve used this cute little snack bag.  Perfect for some crackers, fruit and water bottles for my girls.  I learned quickly with little ones not to go anywhere without snacks!

Mary Beth also sent me these darling “littles carry all caddies” with an E for Ellie and A for Addison.  Aren’t they adorable!?  They come in so many fun styles.  My girls have LOVED these.

They are the perfect size for toting around all of their little treasures like their My Little Ponies or their Polly Pockets (along with several outfit changes because who knows what Cinderella will be in the mood to wear at any given moment).

They also have these fun little pockets on the back for additional “friends” to hang out.  :)

This was Ellie on her way to school one morning with her little caddy.  

She had it filled with her favorite toy dogs to take for show and tell.  :)
These are just a few of the fun bags Thirty-One sells!  So if you’d like to win $25 towards your own bag, purse, or tote, just leave me a comment on this post and I’ll pick two winners on Friday.  Now if I was a “real blogger” I’d throw in something about mentioning this giveaway on facebook or announcing this giveaway on twitter.   But since I don’t tweet and rarely visit my facebook page (wonder if it’s still there?) I won’t fake being a real blogger.  BUT I do really like Mary Beth and I do really like these bags so if you want to spread the word about this giveaway, that would be cool.  :)  

oh.. and p.s.  these bags have been kid tested and mother approved.  ;)