Dec 082014

The year I was born I became part of a very special family tradition.  That year my Grandmother gave me my first Hallmark Keepsake Ornament.  Each year after that I received a new one; some years she selected one for me, some years I was able to share a little input on my favorites.

Our family Christmas tree decorated with Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

Fast forward 36 years and those ornaments – including that Baby’s First Christmas one – grace my tree.  And in addition to capturing special moments and interests from each year, that was the goal.  That by the time I (and later my brothers and cousins) grew up and moved out on our own we wouldn’t have a bare Christmas tree. Continue reading »

Dec 032013

I received Elf Magic Christmas Elf to help start a family Christmas tradition.  All thoughts and words are my own.

I think establishing family traditions is really important.  It’s something that bonds your family together and gives you situations you can look back on over time and recall together.  Growing up my parents provided us with lots of special family traditions, especially around the holidays.

Many of those traditions I’ll be continuing with my own family in years to come, but Bubbles is on the young side to understand or appreciate most of them.  I did think it would be fun to invite a Christmas Elf to visit us as a way to help her understand the Santa-side of Christmas.  When I saw the Elf Magic Elves I thought their soft, huggable bodies made them the best choice for introducing a Christmas Elf tradition to a toddler.

Start a Christmas Tradition with a Christmas Elf - Elf Magic Elves #ElfMagic

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Oct 272013

This sponsored post on self esteem is sponsored by Global Influence.  All words and opinions are my own.

One of the things I started to think about when I found out that I was having a baby girl was how to make sure she developed a good sense of self esteem.  Girls are notoriously hard on themselves for how the look, what they weigh, if they’re as pretty as the person sitting next to them.  It doesn’t help that  as women, we are often each other’s worst enemy when it comes to self esteem and self-confidence.

Teaching Bubbles Self Esteem #GirlsUnstoppable

I work every day to give her the confidence she’ll need to navigate through those tween and teen years of who is wearing what and playing down your strengths to fit in.  We encourage her to try new things and praise her efforts, all while giving her the space to problem solve and learn from mistakes.  Most of all I try to be a good role model; negative self-talk is a learned behavior, so I work to ensure she doesn’t pick it up from me. Continue reading »

Oct 152013

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

It’s always interesting to me what memories you carry with you in life. Some of them are big, like your first trip to Disney World. And some of them are more mundane, like your favorite snack.

We recently were visiting my family in Maine, and we created a number of new memories. Bubbles reminds us frequently of some of her favorite moments from the trip: visiting the pumpkin patch, playing with her young cousins, and the little gift that my Mom would leave on the table for Bubbles to open each morning when she woke up.

Share What's Good: Four Generations #ShareWhatsGood

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Feb 042013

So God Made a Farmer – and a Grandfather

Last night’s game started off rather boring.  The commercials weren’t really doing anything for me, either.  Then the Dodge Ram ad came on and there was silence – and a few tears – in the room.

See, I grew up on a farm.  My paternal grandfather was a farmer, my maternal grandparents were farmers, and my parents helped out on both sides.  And while I listened to Paul Harvey’s voice share all the special characteristics of farmers, I couldn’t help but think especially of my maternal grandfather who passed away a few years ago.

My grandfather worked hard.  Farmers’ days don’t start when the sun comes up and they don’t end when it goes down.  He would be up and out to work many times by 4 a.m. (a schedule that my grandmother, who is in her 80s, still often keeps).  And that was after getting up in the middle of the night to go stoke the fires in the potato houses so the harvested crop wouldn’t freeze in the middle of sub-zero Northern Maine winters. Continue reading »