Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Stressed Baker

Hello all and a happy Wednesday to you.  It's a little more busy here than ususal with Eldest Daughter turning 6 tomorrow and a few other things, but I really needed to post something today. 

I'm sure you've been able to see I've been under a great deal of stress -- lucky for my family!  Why?  Because, when I stress I bake.  So, my pain is well, there gain -- hopfeully not litterally!  Lately, I've been baking up a storm -- anything from good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles to Bananas Foster French Toast (a kid friendly version, I made up based on the Williams-Sonoma recipe).  For the French toast, I even made my own roll of French bread -- I do love my bread maker!  Even made a maccaroni and cheese lasgna the other night for dinner.  Boy, did that please the kids.  This morning, I've already made sausage balls for the Husband and am planning on making blueberry cookies (with the blueberries the girls picked from our bushes) in just a little while.

So, what do you do when your stressed beyond your limit?  How do you escape?  TTFN!



Don't Forget, today is the LAST day to enter my stationery giveaway!  The winner will be selected by the Birthday Girl in the morning.  Good luck to all who enter!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Busy, Busy

Hi all!  Hope your week is off to a great start!!  All is well here, just busy with Husband back in town, a few doctor's visits and Eldest Daughter's birthday on Thursday.  Other than that, I'm just relaxing! ;-)  Which reminds me, don't forget to enter my stationery giveaway which ends on Wednesday!  Eldest Daughter will draw the winner on Thursday.

Well, I must run and attend to four little people who all need me NOW!!!  TTFN.



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Words of Wisdom

Hi all and a happy weekend to you.  For this weekend, I thought I would leave you with these wonderful words of wisdom found on a billboard of a local business...

Don't steal, the government doesn't like competition.

Such sage advice!  If you haven't done so, please enter my stationery giveaway.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Stationery Giveaway Repost

Hi all and welcome to the end of another week!  Hope all of you have some wonderful plans.  Just wanted to remind you that my stationery giveaway ends on June 30, the day before Eldest Daughter turns 6!!  I've been looking over the entries and wanted to clarify the rules.  Not only should you leave a comment about why writing is important to you, but you must also follow me.  Please click HERE to go to the original post and enter the giveaway.  Good luck to all who participate -- sure wish I could win! ;-)  TTFN!



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lack of Communication

Hi all!  Hope all is with all of you!  It's crazy busy here and I have too much on my plate.  What's new?!  I have so much I want to talk about, yet I don't know where to begin.  Also, I was raised to not "air your dirty laundry."  While I don't actually have "dirty laundry" to air, I have a lot I need want to say, but just can't find the words.  Oh well, maybe someday.  Don't worry, nothing is truly wrong.  Just feeling overwhelmed, but know all will be fine.

Isn't that funny?  I have an undergraduate degree in Communications, am a blogger and on many social media sites, yet I don't feel comfortable being completely open.  Don't even think I'm completely open with any of my friends or family, probably not even myself.  Odd.  Wonder what I could discover.  Do I really want to know?

Boy, I sound like a lot of fun right now, don't I?  Sorry for this.  Well, I hope all of you can be better communicators than I am today and will make sure to enter my stationery giveaway.  TTFN!



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

King of the World

Hi all!  Since I've spent so much time focused on Eldest Son and my two princesses, today I thought I would share with you a picture of Baby Bubba.

He truly is king of the world here, as he conquered our backyard playground!  May you all accomplish such great feats!  TTFN.



Don't forget to enter my stationery giveaway.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

National Wear Your Lilly Day Recap

Hi all and a Happy Tuesday to you!  As you may know, Eldest Son has pneumonia and I want to spend time with him, so today's post is rather brief.  Yesterday was the first ever National Wear Your Lilly Day and the kids and I enjoyed taking part -- even at the doctor's office!!!  So here's photographic evidence, that even when sick, Lilly makes you better! :-)  TTFN!



Monday, June 21, 2010

Princess Camp Finale

Hi all!  Forgiveness for the hour please, but Eldest Son came home with more than great memories from camp.  He has pneumonia!!!!  Needless to say, his health has to come first, but I had just a few minutes and wanted to post these pictures of the princesses.  Princess Camp was such a success and the girls can't wait to go back!  Hope your day has been picture perfect!!

Don't forget to enter my stationery giveaway.  TTFN!



Saturday, June 19, 2010

He's Home!!!

Hi all and a happy weekend to you!  Just a quick post to let you know Eldest Son is home from camp and life is good!  Can't wait to tell you all about his adventures, but he needs to tell me more.  I will also post pictures from the girls' Princess Camp finale soon.  For now though, I need some family time.  I'll be back Monday.  In the meantime, don't forget to enter my stationery giveaway.  TTFN!



Friday, June 18, 2010

Some of My Favorites!!!

Hi all and Happy Friday to you!!  Eldest Son comes home today and the girls have a recital.  A busy but wonderful day!!  Before I move on, here are a couple of pictures of the princesses from Thursday...




Do you think they love each other?!



After yesterday's rather long rant post.  I thought today I would spotlight those who deserve the attention.  These are people who know what customer service means, even with a demanding detailed person like myself!

1.  2 Preppy Girls  I made a mistake when placing an order and they took the responsibility for MY error.  They have adorable preppy gifts. 

2.  Bleu Bird Formerly of Twirly Bird Lane.  She makes some of the cutest littel girl's clothes and is easy to work with.

3. Caroline Grace Jewelry Who else could put up with my precise, yet scattered visions for beautiful cuffs?!  Boy does she have patience.

4.  Goose Berry Lane Designs Formerly of Twirly Bird Lane.  Another one with patience for my "vision" of cute clothing.

5.  Ken Rada Photography The best photographer I know.  If you're in or around Destin this summer contact him for beach pictures.

6. The Pink Giraffe Some of the cutest and preppiest gifts ever.  They were SO helpful as I placed an internet order, while talking to them on the phone.

7.  The Pink Paddock I just love phone shopping with them.  I can call them and they tell me what I would want.  They are NEVER wrong.

I would recommend you use any of the above, as they know what it means to treat a customer well!  I love them all and hope you will, too! 

Also, don't forget to enter my stationery giveaway. TTFN!



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Extortion is the Worst!

Hi all and Happy Thursday!!  Tomorrow, Eldest Son will be home from camp!!!  I can't wait to see him.  Before I even begin today's post, just wanted to share this picture of the princesses from yesterday.

They so love Princess Camp!  I'm sure they are going to be sad when it is over.

Okay, so on to the "real" post of the day...

I was the victim of extortion in the worst way!!  Following is an excerpt from a letter I received from a photographer who photographed Eldest Daughter about three years ago for a children's boutique.  I positively refuse to name this photographer, as I don't believe his name should be uttered.  All I can say is I hope the $300 I gave him today will hold him over for eternity!  He will NEVER see a dime from me again!!!  Just to let you know, I have known said photographer for 10 years now and have used him on several occassions.  No, he's not my favorite photographer, but he ran a close second.  Well, until I received this...

After a short paragraph of when can I do a shoot of your family.  He proceeded with this:

"I also wanted to let you know that we have updated our portraits at (children's boutique) and the portrait of (Eldest Daughter) is on hold in our studio.  We currently have no display space, so before we discard the image just wanted to offer the portrait to you at the reduced rate of $295 and I will throw in the frame for free.  I will keep the portrait until June 30th so let me know if you ar interested."

Okay, I'm a mom, so what do I do?  Say, of course I want the now outdated, three year old picture.  I most assuradely don't want her in the trash!!!!  I call said photographer and say I will purchase, however as I'm not exactly next door, is there a way we can meet and exchange payment for the item.  Oh no, he's NEVER anywhere but at his studio, I guess!!  I drive the 40 minutes out of my way to get the portrait.

I have never felt so used in my life.  He knew darn well I would pay for the picture at his "reduced rate."  Why exactly is $300 a reduced rate anyway?  Again, this picture is three years old AND has brought him business, WTH?!

This is how not to do business!!!  Do NOT extort money from your clients, because I can assure you they will NOT come back.  Not ever!!! 

Okay, so I'm furious and just had to vent.  I'm sure many of you can understand.  By the way, the $300 portrait will be going in Eldest Daughter's room, as though it is an important part of her past, it's exacly that, a piece from three years ago, nearly half her lifetime ago!

Tomorrow, I will list some of the people who know the art of customer service.  They deserve the praise and need to be recognized for their good work!  I have wasted enough time on this photographer and wash my hands of him.  Good luck and God bless.  TTFN!



Don't forget to sign up for my stationery giveaway!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Princesses in Training and Giveaway Details!

Hi all!  As you know, the girls started Princess Camp yesterday and they really seem to enjoy it.  I was amazed at all they were able to do in just three short hours.  Of course, when the Fairy Godmother is in charge, a lot can be done.  Yes, you read that correctly, they are being instructed by  a "real, live" Fairy Godmother, as well as a couple of other princesses.   It's so sweet to see all the little girls in costume and, even more amazing, to see the instructors dressed for the occassion.  Here's what my princesses looked like yesterday:

Now, I know you are all wondering what will be included in my Stationery Giveaway (check the link for all the rules), so here you go:

A book of these:

These TDF markers!  Who can go wrong with a name like, flamingo or lime daiquiri?

This pack of 12 notecards with matching envelopes:

And this pack of 20 notecards with matching envelopes:

This Lilly Pulitzer pen:

This Lilly Pulitzer notepad:

This snickerdoodle mix:

All pacakged together in this Lilly Pulitzer bag and tissue paper:

Isn't it beautiful?!

So, there you go.  Hope to see you over at the Stationery Giveaway.  Have a royal day and don't forget to write someone!!!  TTFN!



Monday, June 14, 2010

Stationery Giveaway!

Hi all and welcome to the start of another new week!!  Hope all is well with all of you.  Well, here it is, the moment you have been waiting for... my stationery giveaway.  Still haven't figured out what all will be included, but suffice it to say, it will be enough to write several beautiful letters to your own mothers! ;-)  So far, I have gathered together the stamps and a set of 24 notecards with envelopes.  Still need to go through my Lilly stash to see what I have to include.  There will also be a snickerdoodle mix, as I believe these cookies will travel the best if making a care package.  That's exactly what I'm doing for Eldest Son, except I'm making the cookies from scratch, but didn't think you would appreciate me sending you either really old cookies or just a recipe.  So, by tomorrow I should have the bag together with a pretty picture for you to see.

Now, to the rules:

One entry for following me and leaving a comment about why writing is important to you.

A second entry will be given if you tweet this giveway and let me know (@4kidlets).

Another entry if you mention this giveaway on your blog or post it on Facebook, again just let me know.

So, you have a total of 4 entries! 

The giveaway starts today and will end on June 30 at midnight.  The winner to be chosen on July 1st by Eldest Daughter who will be celebrating her 6th birthday.  Please note, you do not have to leave multiple comments, as I'm going to let Eldest Daughter draw the name, I simply need to know how many entries.

Well, I must run and get myself organized!  TTFN!



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday, Sunday

Hi all and happy Sunday!  It's a beautiful, although VERY hot, day here!!  So how am I going to enjoy it?  Well, wait until you hear this...  I'm going to clean house!!!  Now, who says I don't lead a very glamorous life?!  I just have to get rid of some of this clutter before my cleaning fairies come next week.  I love my cleaning fairies and wish they could come every day.

Tomorrow starts another busy week here.  The girls will be attending Princess Camp during the morning, can't wait to share pictures from that,  with an ending program on Friday.  Friday is also the day to pick up Eldest Son from his camp!  I have also scheduled appointments for me that I normally wouldn't have, because I'll be down to only one child for a few hours.  That's going to be so weird!

Speaking of Eldest Son, his letters were very short, but I've heard from him and it sounds like he's having fun!  Even received a note from his camp counselor.  I truly did apprciate that, because we were able to get a little more insight.  All in all, Eldest Son is doing well and learning to be more independent. 

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to enter my stationery giveaway!  It will run through June 30, with the winner being chosen on July 1, which, by the way, is Eldest Daughter's 6th birthday!!!!  TTFN.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thank You Giveaway!

Hi all and a happy weekend to you!  Super busy here, but had to thank all of you for your supportive comments.  Since I've been obsessing discussing letter writing for what seems like forever, I decided y'all deserved a reward.  Starting on Monday, you can enter to win a a gift bag that will contain many of the writing essentials (some from Lilly Pulitzer) that I hold dear to my heart and all from my own personal stash.  Not exactly sure what all I'll include, but know I will be including a book of these super adorable stamps.

Well, I'm off to read the two letters that finally arrived from Eldest Son!  Wonder if he's going to be a man of many words?  Probably not!    TTFN!



Friday, June 11, 2010

Don't Blame Me, I'm a Mom...

Hi all and happy Friday!  I thank you for induldging me as I suffer through this ridiculous pitty party.  I promise today is the last post about missing Eldest Son, but must share this story with you.  While it deals directly with said son, it has far more to do with the camp he's attending.  Sadly, I don't feel comfortbale enough to tell you exactly where Eldet Son is, but wait until you hear how wonderful this place is.  If you are looking for a camp for your young ones, please feel free to email me and I will privately discuss the particulars.

As you know, Eldest Son has been at camp since Sunday and I haven't heard from him.  When, once again, there was NO letter in the mail from him today, I broke down.  I acted like a real mother!  I called the camp and pleaded, begged, asked them ever so kindly to have Eldest Son's counselor remind him of the importance of putting pen to paper and writing his mother!  They were so kind to me and assured me that I was not the first, nor was I going to be the last person to call about a child's writing issues.  Furthermore, they let me know that Eldest Son was adjusting beautifully.  I figured that was the end of it and went about my day.

No more than an hour later, I had a message on my cell phone from the camp letting me know Eldest Son had been sufficiently chastised spoken to about the importance of letter writing.  AND, not only had he written me a letter a few days ago, but one went in the mail today.  Can you believe it?  I'm really glad Eldest Son has been writing, but was really surprised about the camp's attention to my feelings.  I mean seriously, they had already made me feel better, and yet, they went the extra mile to follow-up with me, again.  Yay camp!! 

I thank you all for your supportive comments and wish a wonderful weekend!  TTFN!



P.S.  The new adventure for the day was getting invloved in my county's politics.  Husband and I have officially joined our political party's group in our county.  We have always voted, and let our kids know how important it is, but we decided we need to be more involved.

Also wanted to let you know, I'm participating in Maryland Pink and Green's Blog Hop.  Go check it out!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You Know It's Bad When...

Hi all!  Hope your week is going well.  Mine is moving too slow AND I still haven't heard from Eldest Son!!!  Thank God camp shares pictures every day, so I know he's still alive.  That being said, I've only seen two pictures of him and one was of his backside!!!  Oh dear me.  Please understand, this is the first time he has been away for this long and I HATE not being able to talk to him!!!  In case you haven't guessed, I have the gift of gab and a want, need, desire COMPULSION to communicate.  Any wonder my major in college was Communications?!

I keep telling myself I haven't heard from him, because he is too busy having fun and truly do believe it.  Still... 

Okay, so how do I know I've gone off the deep end?  At this very moment, I actually envy these two ladies, The Entertaining Mom and Bevy.  Go read their blogs and you will understand the depths of my craziness!  I misss the chattering bickering in my home and look forward to Eldest Son tormenting his little sisters.  He doesn't pick on the baby, yet!  Okay, when he does come home, I know I'll look back on this and ask "What the hell was I thinking?!"  But, until then, I will sit her missing my boy and looking at the world in a new way.  TTFN!



P.S.  In case you're wondering, one of my new challenges was allowing the three youngest to fingerpaint.  For me this a huge deal.  I don't deal well with messes and paint on hands with a 5, 3 and 17 month old is horrifying to me.  Isn't that why they have preschool?!  We did surrvive the situation, with Daddy's help, as I had to leave the room.  Okay, so I'm probably worse than Kate Gosselin when it comes to things like that.  Please don't judge me too harshly...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It Has Begun!

Hi all!  Hope your week has started off with all sorts of great opportunities.  I thought the three kids here would keep me so busy that I wouldn't have time to miss Eldest Son so much, but I was wrong.  Though busy, I miss him more than I could ever tell you.  I know he's having the best time ever, it's just strange not having him here.  I never realized how much I truly enjoy his company.  This is going to be a good experience for both of us, our first of a year of new adventures. 

I told Husband I wanted to try something new every day for the next year and made sure to tell him nothing crazy.  He simply asked if I was going through a midlife crisis!  To begin with, I still have a few more years before I even turn 40.  Secondly, my new experience today was helping him with his work.  The really crappy grunt work, at that.  Yes, a typical midlife crisis includes opening bags and undoing twist ties on your family room floor with you family!  Geesh!!!  Oh well.  I even considered putting aside this "crazy" idea, but realized this is too important to me. 

I've always been one to put off things or never even contemplate doing them for one excuse or another and I have regrets.  NO, I DON'T REGRET MY HUSBAND OR FAMILY.  There are simply experiences I wish I would have had.  Of course, having had them, I probably would have missed out on the life I have now.  A life I wouldn't change for the world!  It's simply time to expose my family and myself to what the world has to offer.

I told you yesterday, there will be no wild and crazy experiences for me.  I like to play things safe, but I hope to discover new things about myself and family as we embark on this journey.  I sincerely hope you will join us and support me through your comments.  If you have any experiences you think I may enjoy, please let me know -- I'll try to be open.

The year of firsts has begun!  Two days down and I've already realized that I love my family more than I ever thought possible and doing mind-numbing work with Husband isn't horrible.  At least it's time spent together reaching a common goal.  What will tomorrow bring?  You'll just have to come back and see.  TTFN!



Monday, June 7, 2010

A New Day... A New Idea

Hi all!  Hope your weekend was wonderful.  Husband and I took Eldest Son to camp (for the first time) yesterday, where he will be for the next two weeks.  Not sure how I feel about it, but Eldest Son couldn't wait for us to leave so he could start his new adventure!  I'm happy to see Husband and I have raised confident children.  Still a tear or two isn't too much to ask, is it?!  You see, I have had the same issues when Eldest Daugter and Ittybit both started preschool.  While most of the other little ones were crying, mine were busy playing with toys and not wanting to give ME the last little hug I needed to walk out the door without them! 

So, what am I to do with myself one child down?  I think I have an idea and would love to run it past all of you.  I think I want to write a book.  A book about all the things I haven't done, but will try now.  I would take the next year, and each day, try something new.  Nothing too crazy -- no jumping out of airplanes or eating live bugs for me.  Simple things, like rock climbing or trying sushi.  Maybe y'all have ideas I haven't even considered.  What do you think?  Would it be something you would read?  Should I blog about it?  Please let me know, I really do want your input. 

Well, while I may be one child down, I still have three kids who are five and under here, so I better get to their needs.  TTFN!



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Now Mommy's Got Shoes!

Hi all and a happy weekend to you!!!  Figured I'd keep going with the shoe theme and tell you about the sandals I just ordered.  No, these aren't your average sandals, these are Stephen Bonanno Sandals and they are custom made.  Go check out their site to see all the beautiful color combinations you can make for these wonderful monogrammed sandals.  Since I live in the South, I went with the chanel base and black whipstitch combination, so I can wear them most of the year.  Well, at least until my poor toes turn blue from the cold! 

Better still, I found them on sale at The Pink Giraffe in Nashville, TN.  (You can also find them on Twitter and on Facebook.)  In fact, ALL of their monogrammed sandals and flipflops on sale!!!  Even with shipping, I still paid less than retail price.  Yay!!  They were so very helpful when I called to ask a million questions and helped me to place the order via their online shop.  That way, nothing gets lost in translation.  Now, I just have to sit back and wait ever so patiently for the next four to six weeks and you know how patient I am.  When they come in, I'll be sure to post pictures.  Please do go check out this adorable find and let them know I sent you!!  TTFN!

Oh, just to let you know, The Pink Giraffe did not compensate me in any way for this post, I just wanted to pass on a great deal from a great store!



Friday, June 4, 2010

Baby's Got Shoes!!

Hi all! Hope your Friday is wonderful.  It's raining and dark here.  Boo!  I know I haven't been the best at keeping up with this blog, but I hope you'll forgive me.  I've just been so overwhelmed with all sorts of things.  Okay, enough of my pitty party! 

Last weekend marked a very serious note in a young person's life.  The baby finally got his first pair of shoes.  Okay, you know me, he actually got six pairs of shoes.  In my defense, some are for next fall and he does need dress shoes for special occassions AND his brother found him a pair of Timberlands that matched a pair he had.  So see, it IS NECESSARY. 

My fine looking men!

Hope all of you can find the simple joy, like that first pair of shoes!!!  TTFN!