Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall Swag Swap Sign Up Day


Today’s the day to sign up for the Fall Swag Swap I’m co-hosting with these awesome gals!

Camo & Lipstick, Macke Monologues, and Beauty & The Baseball Coach

Rules are simple – have a blog, live in the U.S., buy a minimum of 5 items for a minimum of $20, and make contact with your partner within 3 days of the matches being sent out. 

If you’ve never done a swap before and you’re a blogger you MUST sign up for this! They are so fun, you meet awesome ladies and get some cool swag from them, let alone you get to shop and send them awesome stuff, too!

Shoot me an email with your name, blog address and the email address you’d like to use for communicating with your partner.

Matches will be emailed out Tuesday, September 2nd.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of School 2014 // End of Summer

I made it! I survived!  Some days it wasn't pretty but we are all still alive and kicking after a crazy, busy summer!

Today is the boys' first day of school!

Brennan was very excited, as most Kindergarteners are!  He had a lot of questions but said he wasn't nervous.  I told him I was going to miss him every day, he said he was going to miss me, too. 

Aiden was happy to be back around his friends again.  He's a pretty easy going guy, no worries from him and he definitely isn't going to be missing me, ha ha!

Looking back over our summer, it was a busy one.  We did a lot of running around.  We failed miserably in getting things checked off our Summer bucket list.  Can you believe we only made it to the pool 2 times?  I didn't want to take Tate much at the beginning of the summer, then when I felt he could handle being in the sun for a bit it was too cool to go to the pool. 

Our park visits were way down this year.  We have averaged at least 1 park visit per week over the past summers.  This summer, though, I can count on one hand how many times we went.  Sad. 

Andy didn't get the boys out fishing, but they did golf a couple of times.

There weren't nearly enough bike rides and walks.

No camping in the backyard this summer.

Those were our fails.  But our wins were pretty great.

Chicago, the county fair, the state fair, playing ball in the yard, playing with cousins, catching lightning bugs, having friends over, picking berries and veggies... we had a fun summer after all, even if it wasn't as full of activities as I'd hoped back in May.

Now a new school year begins, so full of excitement and promise!  I love a new school year, even if I don't like that it means my boys are getting older at a lightning fast speed.  Who doesn't love a backpack full of new supplies?  All that clean, fresh, white paper?  Those unmarred folders?  The pointy new pencils?  Yummy smelling crayons all lined up pretty in their box?  Exciting!!!

And what follows the first day of school?  Fall!  The colors, the smells, the leaves and pumpkins!  Perfect time for our Fall Swag Swap!  Sign ups start tomorrow through mid-next week!  Just shoot me an email if you want to sign up, are a blogger and live in the US. 

Here's to a GREAT 3rd grade and Kindergarten year! 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cork And Canvas


Fall Swag Swap

Just a reminder about the awesome swag swap I am co-hosting with these lovely ladies:

Candra from Camo & Lipstick

Des from Macke Monologues

Shelli from Beauty & The Baseball Coach

I’ve had a few questions about WHAT a swag swap is.  Well, you start off by following your partner’s blog and emailing them.  Ask a bunch of questions about their likes, dislikes, favorites, who they have in their family, what they do for fun, etc.  Follow them on social media so you can see them and be in touch daily.  As for what you buy your partner, that’s totally up to you as long as it’s Fall related.  Apple Crisp scented candles, a pretty burnt orange scarf, a darker shade of lip gloss, candy corn!  Anything you think they will like. Throw in one or two of your favorites, too.  Give them something they haven’t tried before.  Make it fun!  Remember, sign ups start Thursday!  Just email me your name and blog address –

Have any of you done one of those paint and drink deals at a winery?  I have been wanting to do one since I first heard about them a few months back.  They look like so much fun!  About a month ago a cousin sent an email out to the family asking if anyone would be interested in doing this.  I jumped at the chance!

We ended up having a group of 6 go down to the winery to paint.  None of us had done one of these before so we were all a bit nervous about the process.  We grabbed our glass of wine, filled our plates with the appetizers they provided and sat down in front of our blank canvases. 


Finally it was time to start painting.  The instructor called us over to gather around and watch Step 1, which was creating our base for the background. 


Step 2 was building on that base.  I was hesitant to do this step because I was happy with how my background looked from Step 1.  But once I had finished this step I was pretty happy with the coloring. 


Step 3 was putting in the tree canopy and shadows. 


Step 4 we put in the background trees and highlights (forgot to take a pic of this step).


Step 5, the last step, was painting the big tree in front, adding the ‘leaves’ and highlighting the tree trunk. 


Our group.


My neighbor’s painting – she was good!


I would love to do another one because now I know you have the freedom to be more unique in your color choices and how you layout your painting. 

cork and canvas

Here’s the ‘dummy’ we were going off of.


Like I said, I would love to do another one.  If you have the opportunity to do one of these Canvas and Cork deals do it!  You don’t need any artistic abilities, I promise! They take you step by step through the painting.  Just be sure to take a paint shirt – I didn’t and wish I would have!


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Monday, August 18, 2014

Fall Swag Swap


Fall Swag Swap

I’m excited to announce a Fall Swag Swap that I am co-hosting with 3 awesome ladies/bloggers/friends,  Candra, Des, Shelli.  Sign ups open this Thursday, August 21st.  You can just email me – – to get signed up with your name, email address you want used and your blog address.  Requirements are as follows:

  • You must be a blogger, because we will co-host a reveal post link up in October
  • U.S. residents only
  • There is a 5 item and $20 minimum

Partners will be announced Sept 2nd, you will have until September 5th to contact your partner.  YOU MUST CONTACT YOUR PARTNER BY SEPTEMBER 5TH OR YOU WILL BE BOOTED OUT OF THE SWAP.  Your swag will need to be mailed by Oct 3rd and the reveal posts will happen October 15th. 

I hope you can join in on the fun, starting Thursday!!!


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Ladies Night // The Family Version


Last night was Ladies Night. 

My cousin, who has lived in Nashville for the last 8 months or so, is back visiting for a few months before she makes a big move out to LA.  She came up with the great idea for us Marie women (Marie is my mom’s maiden name) to get together for supper to hang out, catch up and have some fun. 

We weren’t all there, unfortunately, but the group that did attend had a great time!  Lots of laughs, some memories shared, baby bumps were rubbed – it was great!


Starting in front on the left, that’s my Great Aunt Margaret (my Gpa’s sister).  She used to be a nun, how cool is that?  And she’s one of the coolest people I know!

Behind her is my aunt Jackie, she’s married to my mom’s youngest brother.  Then my sister.  My aunt Linda Sue (there are 2 Aunt Linda’s, so we use their middle names to differentiate between them), she’s one of my mom’s sisters.  Across from her is another of my mom’s sisters, Aunt Marsha.  Then the bravest girl I know, my cousin Katelyn (she’s the one who’s moving). She is Linda Sue’s daughter.  Next is my sweet Grandma Joyce.  Then preggo #1, cousin Meliah (she’s due around Christmas).  Then my mom, and last is Trista, preggo #2 who’s due next month and married to my cousin (Katelyn’s brother, Linda Sue’s son). 

I have so many memories of each of these gals, I could write post after post after post about them all.  Aside from Trista, who married in to this awesome family, I have been around these women since the day I was born or the day they were born.  They’ve just always been there and I can’t imagine life without them in it.  They make my life better by being in it.

I have to say I have the best family in the world.  These gals are always there with a hug and support when you need it, they are always SO much fun when we get together.  I love these girls so much!

And did you notice??  No sweet, cherubic little baby boy in this picture??  That’s because my awesome husband noticed I was about to lose my marbles and sent me on my merry little way without the sweet boy in tow.  I just said yesterday how I hadn’t had any time alone without him by my side and then bam!  I went out last night without him!  And guess what!!!  HE TOOK A BOTTLE FROM ANDY WHILE I WAS GONE!!!  5 whole ounces!  Down like a champ!  Guess who’s going out with her friend without a sweet, cherubic little baby boy in tow Monday night?  I’ll give you a hint – her name rhymes with ERIN!!!

Are you lucky enough to have an amazing family like me?  Do you get together with your aunts, cousins and grandma for Ladies Night? Can you believe Tate took a bottle??

Have a great weekend!

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