Monday, December 15, 2014

2014RE Week 2


Week 2 of the Blog Review Extravaganza (ganza, ganza)! I never get tired of announcing it. Remember, if you haven't yet linked up, you still can, and will be eligible for the prizes, just not the bonus points for linking up every week. Just do half a year instead of the three months for the post. Easy-peasy. Also, for info on the rules and prizes, go here.

Before I continue, I have to rant for a second. All of my beautiful photos have somehow been erased! I am not sure what happened, but I blame Picasa. When I have a spare moment, maybe on Christmas Day, or New Years Day, I will sit and pull out my backed up photos and see what a great detective I am to guess which photos went where. In the mean time, please forgive the lack of photos, I really am not sure what happened!

April was a great month. Of course, I say that about all the months. But really, April is when the living was beginning to happen. Our house was mostly unpacked, and we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves. After months of thinking about it, I was finally able to name our abode. Moon Hollow is our home's name, and I love it. It is so fitting.

April was the month that Faye took her first steps to becoming a Glam Rocker from the 80's. I blamed it on the eclipse, of course. Because all weird out of the ordinary things that happen are because of the eclipse, right?

Also, I learned that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a mother in possession of small children must be in want of a nap. Because babies contemplate concussing themselves, little girls decide to artistically express themselves with an orange Sharpie on anything they can find and then while preforming acrobatics, they like to cut their hands open. You know, just the regular stuff.

May is when my life became infinitely more busy. And my blogging decreased greatly. I was called to be the primary president and suddenly the rhythm I had just found in my life became increasingly syncopated. As a result, Faye imagined me being in primary with her was a perfect excuse to let her sass out full fling.

In the middle of May, I received news that makes my heart leap with joy every time I think of it. I re-encountered a man I had worked with as a missionary in California. He had been the ward mission leader for my last area, and he told me that a man I had worked very hard with and was very invested in had finally kicked his nicotine habit and been baptized, as had his sister. I grin from ear to ear every time I think of this, I kid you not, and though I had tried to keep in touch with him, I look with great anticipation to the day I will be able to meet him again and share this joy!

I did a lot of walking with friends in May, and one day we walked a trail near my house. While walking I was struck by the beauty of a single flower growing in the middle of a rushing stream. Despite pebbles bouncing against it and the constant pull of the current, that flower stubbornly grew, and it became a wonderful metaphor for my life.

June was all a bit of a blur, really. I didn't write much at all because of my new calling. I had great trials with a counselor, of which I wrote nothing because I didn't want to offend, but it was a hard time and so I was scarce in the blogosphere. I did make a confession, though. Caffeine was the only thing keeping me functioning at the time. I understand caffeinated mothers so much more now!

And that is my whirlwind of the spring time. I wish I could say things calmed down later, but I am still waiting for the eye of the storm. Something tells me it will only come once my children have grown up. Sigh. The irony of it all. Being a mother of young children is so exhausting and difficult, but when they are gone (as I am constantly reminded in the grocery stores) it is a time I will look back on with longing and fondness. Good thing I will have this blog to help me remember the chaos and love it even more!

Don't forget to link up so you can be entered for the prizes!

2014 Review Extravaganza

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MooshaBoom

While I was making lunch today, for a moment, everything was perfect.

The oven was on its self clean mode, so all the windows and the kitchen door were wide open, letting the unseasonably warm air waft through the house, dispelling that yucky oven smell and clearing out the must from the sealed up against the cold house. Except it isn't cold, which makes me both happy and sad at the same time. I love the warmth, but I am really wishing for snow right about now.

While the oven was cleaning, I made sandwiches for lunch. The girls were running in and out through the open door as the midday sun cascaded through into the kitchen, gilding everything it touched.


The girls laughed as they went down the slide, The Rat Pack crooned from my phone and as I stood there, putting lunch together, I was struck by the perfection of that moment. It was everything I had ever hoped for. A house of my own, happy healthy children filling the air with joy, a soundtrack from the 40's to symphonize our days, and the feeling that I am doing it right. It was so wonderful, that moment. I had yearned and dreamed for exactly that. It was like my daydreams had finally come true, and I couldn't be happier.

Soon enough, the moment was over and the smoke pouring out of my self-cleaning oven drove us outside. With stinging eyes and noses, we retreated into the mystifying spring like air, and while the girls ran around the yard, I cleaned out some of the rain gutters. We have huge poplar trees in our yard and so the rain gutters act like leaf treasuries. In the fall time they have to be cleaned out often. We played and I put up some more decorations and my heart was bursting with joy! I loved it everything about that afternoon. We frolicked and seeped in the fresh air until it was safe to re-enter. The good news is my pizza stones which were ridiculously dirty are like new now. I had put them in the oven to be cleaned while the oven cleaned itself, and they are gorgeous now!

After dinner, Jeffrey had to work on some homework so the kids and I talked about testimonies for FHE. Which turned into a talk about Lehi' dream. It was a great conversation we had, and I just love their thirst for knowledge. Especially Keith's. We then grabbed the stroller and headed to the park to look at the lights. Beth's face may have been the greatest thing out there tonight. She was so awed by the bright beautiful colors and the many displays that there were. For the first year ever, we walked through the park. Usually we just drive, but tonight it was warm enough to pull out the stroller, walk through the walk area, and then drive through just to get another look.



It made me happy to help the season be magic. We had stopped at the library prior to the park (it was on the way and as always, sucked us in with the book tractor beam) and I had found a big band Christmas CD that we listened to as we drove around. It just added a bit more magic to the moment, listening to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing their hearts out. We finished off the night with some banana cream pie I had made earlier in the day and hot cocoa.

Simply perfect.

I love Christmastime! I love the magic, the traditions, the beauty, and everything about this time of year.

I especially love how ideal today felt. Days and moments like the ones that made up today always make me thing of a song by Fiest. called Mushaboom, because it is so full of hope and longing and home. Dreams based on Norman Rockwell ideology, or Beaver Cleaver antics. Wholesome and wonderful.


MooshaBoom
Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born
Unpacking the bags and setting up
\And planting lilacs and buttercups

But in the meantime I've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old.

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done

How many acres how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbors and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old
Old dirt road
Rambling rose
Watching the fire as we grow well I'm sold

While we may not have all of our dreams yet, I am so happy that we have many of them and we are so blessed continually. It is the new way to acknowledge and give gratitude for all your many blessings. 

MushaBoom!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Review Extravaganza 2014 Jan-March


I am so excited to play along with the RE2014 this year! I love being able to look back on my year and see how much we have been blessed!  This year was especially lovely.

At the end of December last year we bought a house. January was basically spent moving in and unpacking boxes. I was still not sleeping much as my baby's sleep was very messed up by the move and she decided to get back at me for that. I kind of lived in a haze that month. A monotonous haze. That is basically all I blogged about; lack of sleep and unpacking. I am so exciting that way. I did get to get out and explore my new town, and fall madly and completely head over heels for it. I am a sucker for old school charm, though. And it is sort of pretty. Even in the dead of winter.



Then again, I am partial to it now.

February was much more exciting. For the first time in my whole married life I finally got a dishwasher. Yay! I cannot express the joy I get from that little inconsequential machine.


Although it is hard to say. The kids enjoyed the box possibly as much.

 I think the best part of the month came from getting hit by a little girl at a grocery store.

Now, I have to back story this a bit. And this back story isn't on my blog, because I didn't realize at the time how big of an impact that moment would have on my life until much later.

***Dream sequence fingers***

Nearly eight years ago now, when Jeffrey and I first got married we lived in an area where it was hard for me to make friends. I have no idea why it was so hard for me as this has never been a problem for me before, but it was at that moment of my life, and it was a very hard thing for me to grasp. I remember sitting in church, praying for a friend. Someone I could connect with and talk to and really get along with. There were plenty of women who were kind, and wonderful, but that connection was greatly lacking. And so I would sometimes cry during sacrament meeting because I was so lonely. I would cry and pray and plead that I could find someone to be my friend.

***Dream sequence ending fingers***

One day in February last year I was in the parking lot of my favorite grocery store unloading my kids and groceries from the cart. My kids were in the van already when I suddenly felt a little hand hit me. Long story short, a little girl had wanted my cart. Her mom came up, we talked, figured out we had lived in the same neighborhood (at the time) seven years ago and been in the same ward. We set up a play date, and Adrienne has since become one of my very best friends. I know, now, that she was the answer to my tear filled prayers eight years ago. Which is an awesome story, if you ask me!

Other great things happened in February as well, not to be overshadowed by meeting Adrienne. For example, the concept of a Viking Dinner which she introduced to us. The only rule during a Viking Dinner is there are no rules or manners.


The kids love when we do that! We also discovered Faye will sometimes sprint out of her room and down the hall while she is asleep. The first time it scared us, but we just laugh now. And finally, I had a realization that Doctor Who has some incredible advice for raising children. Don't blink! It is eerily similar to his advice for combating weeping angels. And there I just spilled my nerdom all over you. Bam!

Finally, we have my children's favorite month of all. March. They may not all believe in Santa Clause, but they all certainly believe in Leprechauns. Last year they set a trap for a leprechaun and caught his pants!


He did come and play pranks on the kids and leave some treats for them, though. Keith felt really bad for catching his pants because of it.


Throughout the rest of the month they entertained themselves, their cousins, the neighbors and most of all me with their continual hunts and incessant chatter about the wee men.  We love March. This was also the month I decided to tackle, and succeded in making butter from scratch.


It was surprisingly easy, though I did have some trial and errors. For example, don't try to make a gallon of cream into butter all at once. It takes way too long. But it was very tasty, especially on homemade bread. I felt like a culinary goddess that day. I was happy to have Faye helping me in the kitchen. She has been a great help, and one day I was just so overcome with how wonderful that girl is. I cherish the alone time we have together and so one day I just wrote her a letter. It doesn't really have anything to do with March aside from being the month in which I wrote it, but I couldn't help myself. She is simply wonderful!

Don't forget to link up your review! Although you only have until Friday the 12th to get yours linked up to be entered to win some great prizes, you do have all month to follow/like everything! For a refresher on the rules, click here.

2014 Review Extravaganza

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Adventures in Boxland and Ninja Mommies

After anxiously awaiting, the kitty litter box arrived today in a shipment of two very large boxes.

Watching my kids empty the contents of the box with little interest of what was in them, only eager to begin playing with the new giant box toy.


 It made me remember the magic of childhood and laugh along with them as they fought over the two boxes while I tried to put together the litter box.


But the thing is, Petco made a wonderful mistake. They charged us for one, but sent us 2, which means a box for each of the big kids. I called the company and arranged with them for me to return the extra litter box at the store for the sole purpose of keeping that extra box.  They did offer to send shipping things for me to send it back to them, but my kids had their hearts set on keeping their new playground.


Funny enough, the kitty loved it, too.  I put it together and she climbed in, made herself comfortable, and sat.

Beth tried to climb in to join her, but I am so happy that she is too big to climb in. 


Besides, Tai Li kept swatting at Beth every time she poked her head into the kitty's new special place. I only hope she figures out that it is for relieving herself rather than sleeping in.

And during the battle of the booda litter box wherein Tai Li had to put up a tough front to defend her bathroom, 


I could hear Keith and Faye exploring new moons and planets in their new rocket ship. They flew over volcanoes, shouting and laughing and narrowly escaping danger so often it would make a Victorian penny dreadful jealous. When the "rocket ship" lifted off, Keith held one box over them and they both shook tragically a la the early years of cheap sci-fi films. It was so funny to watch!


Bed time was, of course, the end of the world for them. That is until I found another use for the box.

It can be used in bribery!

I told them if they got ready for bed quickly, they could sleep in the boxes on Friday night. Records were broken tonight by my children. The Union for Children and Unrealistic Expectations are angry and will begin picketing our house soon, but the fact of the matter is they don't have boxes, and if they did, they would all just go home and be so happy and not care if little Timmy always brushes his teeth when he is told, and never leaves the toilet seat up, or kindly shares with his sister. They wont have to monitor. They will be having too much fun playing in their very own boxes.

To a child, yes, boxes are that wonderful.

Faye has become a ninja with her box. She does her training inside and then creeps around the house spying on people. If you see her, she will say "aw, man! pretended you don't see me. I wanted to be a ninja!" Somehow the topic of mothers came up and I asked Faye about the ninja moms.

"Psh, Mom, ninja's don't have mothers. Have you ever seen a ninja with a mommy?" She scathingly retorted while disappearing behind my closet door.

"Well now, Faye, I haven't ever seen a ninja mom, but that is because they are the best ninjas in the world. Who do you think teaches ninjas? Their moms. Moms are the best at everything!"

I love that she still takes my word as the gospel truth. For how much longer, though, I don't know.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The First Thanksgiving

This year was my first year ever of doing Thanksgiving.

My brother and his wife came into town and so we had a lovely family dinner on Wednesday, and Thursday I got to make dinner for my adorable little family.

Wednesday was simply divine. I was in charge of the place markers. By tradition my mother always made incredible cornicopias. She would make them out of ice cream cones and fill them with wonderful treats. It was my favorite. This year my mother asked that I make something different.




The kids and I made pretzel turkeys.


It was so much fun! Probably will be a tradition, now.



More than that, though, spending time with my family was the best part of that day.

Of course.

Thursday morning dawned, and I pulled out all of the advice I had been given over the previous week on how to cook a turkey, I sat down in the kitchen and went to town!

While the advice was all good, I had some ideas of my own. I rubbed the bird down with butter, and put a few pats of butter beneath the skin. I rubbed sage beneath the skin as well. I put a chopped onion, the celery leaves leftover from the dressing, and a cinnamon stick inside the fowl, along with some parsley, more rubbed sage, rosemary and thyme. Just like Simon and Grafunkel told me to. I then accidentally cooked the whole thing upside down. I put it in the oven at 450 for 30 minutes and then 350 for the rest of the time.

Can I tell you, I hate turkey. I always have. It doesn't matter who cooks it, how its cooked or any of that nonsense. I just don't like turkey.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when this turkey came out of the oven, it was quite literally falling off the bone. It was so tender and juicy and I am sure if I enjoyed the taste of turkey (which I still don't), I would have loved it. Jeffrey said it was the best turkey he had ever had. I don't know if that is him being honest or a dutiful husband not wanting to hurt my feelings. I was quite proud, though.




Then all the rest of the usual Thanksgiving foods. Dressing, yams, green bean casserole, corn, rolls, green jello with cottage cheese. You know, the usual. The kids loved it, Jeffrey loved it, but I was worn out. By the end of the day, though, I was so frustrated! My pie dough wasn't working, and I sat down, frustrated, so near crying. The wonderful kids rushed to my side and hugged me and told me that they didn't need pie, dinner was delicious.

My kids are amazing.

And so today,. Faye and I decided to try again to make some pies.


We first baked some bread, and then went to town on the pie.


Pumpkin of course.

I love spending time with that girl.

While the bread and pies cooked, the girls decided to play the piano, sing, and dance.




However, she has a hard time letting the pie cool. It is currently full of finger holes.

I love days like this, full of food and memories and fun!



Poor Keith, he isnt in a lot of my pictures anymore because he is always gone. I'll need to rectify that.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Indoor Arctic Adventures

When we went to sleep last night, the lightly falling snow seemed to be a wonderfully warm and comforting tuck in from the sky. There is nothing quite like the glow in the sky and the cozy blanket of fresh snow to make for a gorgeous night's sleep.

Nothing, that is, except the pitch black rude awakening of a dark cold house and three bodies shivering up to you while four ice feet and two cold footies are firmly placed on any exposed skin and determinedly leaching away any warmth left in your body.

All this because of a systems failure with the power company.

Today I had an amazing opportunity to count many of my blessings which I often overlook. The first being flannel sheets. I am so thankful for the extra warmth a set of flannel sheets provides. When the heatless air is nipping at my nose, I am happily snuggled to my neck in my superb sheets and blanket. When cold little Bobbins join me, they quickly warm up between the goodness of my sheets and the trapped warmth of our bodies.

google image
Building bed tents is not beneath me when all four of us are shivering from a power outage.

I am thankful for the excitement and sense of adventure that the ten year old in me nursed into a never-dying Olympic flame.The power is out? No problem! We will play and enjoy every second of that delicious dark day.



 Bust out the candles, cocoa, and roasting sticks! I love that my children didn't see the power outage as anything other than an adventure. I love that we were able to take a kettle and put it on the fire to boil water and make some incredible hot cocoa.

I love that the girls wanted nothing more than to sit in front of the fire and read stories. I love that all I have to do is say "it is old fashioned" and Faye is sold on whatever idea it is.


When we were house hunting, I was insistent on a fireplace. I am so thankful for that stubbornness now. Who knew it would come in so handy? While our fireplace is a gas fireplace, it is an old fashioned one that has to be lit with a lighter, but that came in very useful today. The fancy-schmancy ones that light with a flick of a switch wouldn't have worked without electricity to provide the initial spark, and mine worked just fine. Not only did it work fine, it really helped to heat up the house. I could absolutely feel a difference. Yay for fireplaces!

I am so thankful for my love and hoarding of candles. Not only did it provide us light, especially in the window-less bathroom, but it made my house smell really really good.

google image. Because we all want a bathroom that pretty.

What a blessing it is to have a water heater and running water completely independent of electricity! I was still able to wash the dishes, clean my kitchen, and shower while the power was out. And the water got so hot and toasty! I know of some people who have no water due to the electric water pump when their power goes out and I am so grateful for my non electric water source.

I am so grateful for the men and women who went out into the cold and worked on fixing the problem from 3:00 am this morning until power was restored at 3:45 this afternoon.

google image

I need to send the power company a card or something, because I really am thankful for them, freezing outside, just so I could have all the luxuries of modern electricity.

Also, I couldn't have done it without the wonderful pizza delivery guys in this area. I couldn't really cook anything for dinner since my stove is electric, and I had an appointment at 4:30 and didn't get home until 5:30 and then the missionaries were coming over at 6:00 for FHE.


Thank you so much, Pizza dude!
{If you get this movie quote, you are about a million times cooler than you were 5 seconds ago.}

I think mostly, though, today I am grateful for my heater. Not having it was rather eye opening, and every time I ran for another layer, or I sat in front of the fire until my back was summery, I thought about how spoiled I am. How good I have it to have a heater in my house which keeps the temperature at a very comfortable place. How wonderful is it to wake up to a pleasantly snug and glowing house? More than that, how easy is it to get out of bed when the air around is warm? How pleasant to walk in from the cold and have my glasses fog up from the heat, my nose to start rum from the sudden thaw, and my fingers and toes to tingle from the immediate heat. I love that! I love that I am so blessed in seemingly forgotten ways, yet ways that enrich my life so much!

While it is true we were a little chilly, it was nothing that a jacket and lots of movement couldn't fix. I think the thing I take most for granted is Thomas Edison and his advancements into the world of electricity as we know it. Seriously, who likes to sit in the dark? I mean, besides on occasion. Once in a while it is fun, although a little inconvenient. I am spoiled with all that I have, and it is nice to be reminded of it, and to help my kids see the blessings in their lives as well.


Because one indoor arctic day a year is enough, right?


2014 Review Extravaganza

We are so excited to announce the 5th Annual Review Extravaganza!  I cannot believe I have been doing this for 5 years now.  This year there are many new faces for co-hosts and a new group of awesome prizes.
2014 Review Extravaganza

What is the Review Extravaganza
  -It is your way to look back over the year and each week recap three months at a time of what happened in your life, your favorite blog posts, favorite pictures- whatever you would like to share. (Here is an example of one of EmmyMom's recaps from last year)

We would like to introduce you to this year's 9 amazing hosts!
2014cohostcollage
From Top to Bottom-Left to Right:(Click on the names below to get to their blogs)




How to Play
- Each Monday** in December link with your recap of 3 months at a time
    December 8th: Recap January, Feb, and March
    December 15th: Recap April, May and June
    December 22nd: Recap July, August and September
    December 29th: Recap October, November and December and 5 goals for upcoming year
** Posts do not have to be posted on Monday but MUST be posted by Friday to count for points.  So, the first week you can post Dec 8th through Dec 12th, etc.
The Rules
- Must link up a recap, not just a general blog post- please link to your actual post, not just your blog
- Must include the Review Extravaganza button in your post for your entry to count towards the prizes
- Must link up at least one week to be eligible to enter
- You will receive LOTS of bonus points for linking up all four weeks
- Anyone can recap with us-but you must live in the Continental US to be eligible to win the prizes
- We will be using Rafflecopter to keep track of entries and must use that form to get your bonus points
-There will be two winners this year, with a Grand Prize and a Runner Up Prize
The list of sponsors this year is amazing!  Such wonderful prizes that you have a chance to win. 
 
The Prizes
prize collage2014Final
Our sponsors are so amazing and we love all the amazing things they are offering for the Review Extravaganza.  This year we will again have two winners, one Grand Prize Winner and a Runner-up.  
Here are our wonderful sponsors (in no particular order)- please visit their sites and see what amazing things they have to offer.  
Power of Mom's- MOM Organizational System 
$75 Value
Grand Prize
1POM
Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.) is a mom-specific adaptation of David Allen’s best-seller, Getting Things Done®, designed to help you accomplish your most important tasks so you can fully enjoy your family.
In our simple online program, we’ll show you how to clear your counter of “the pile,” organize projects without the stress, set up an effective Weekly Review system, and keep up with the never-ending stream of emails, phone calls, and papers (yes, it’s possible!).
Find the Power of Moms Here: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Pinterest //Instagram
Little Blessings by Brenda Gift Coupon 
$75 Value
Grand Prize
littleblessingbybrenda
Little Blessings in Brenda specializes in hand-made children's clothes.  The winner will receive $75 in credit to Brenda's store.  She has some super adorable Frozen clothes that any little girl would love!
Special: Customers of Brenda's - spend $100.00 in a 6 months time period you can pick out a free embroidered T-shirt of any child size (newborn to size 12) of their choice. Or when they spend $150.00 in a 6 months time period they will receive $20.00 off their next order.

Find Little Blessings by Brenda at: Facebook//Etsy//Pinterest//


Printcess: 4 Hand-made Cruelty Free Eye Shadows
$24 Value
Grand Prize
Printcess offers handmade, cruelty-free mineral eye shadow that's inspired by novels.  The winner will receive 4 handmade, cruelty-free mineral eye shadows of the winner's choice, from Printcess.

Can find Printcess at the following: Website//Facebook//Etsy//Twitter// Pinterest
Centime $50 Gift Voucher 
$50 Value
Grand Prize
Centime Gift- Old-school values are our motto. We create timeless and universally appealing design, yet each gift is handmade and personal. We refuse to believe that a budget should limit your imagination. The winner will receive a $50 gift voucher for an item of their choice.

Find Centime here: Website//Facebook//Pinterest//Twitter//

Retro-Style Hand-made Apron by Kaleidoscope of Colors

$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
aprongiveaway
Amanda of Kaleidoscope of colors creates beautiful hand-made goods for you and your family.
This gorgeous retro style apron in a cream, burgundy, avocado print looks stunning in the kitchen while baking or cooking that special dish.  Winner will receive this hand-made apron.

Find Kaleidoscope of Colors at: Blog//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//
Tiny Wish Creations-Multiple Prizes

Custom Birthstone Necklace and Custom Birthstone Bracelet
$27 Value
Grand Prize

Custom Painted Wine Glass
$10 Value
Runner Up Prize
tiny wishes creations review giveaway
Tiny Wish Creations features hand painted, heat cured glassware and jewelry. Each piece of painted glassware is created for the buyer, and is custom made.  The Grand-prize winner will revive a custom birth stone necklace and bracelet.  The Runner-up winner will receive a custom painted wine-glass. 

Find Tiny Wish Creations at: Facebook//Etsy//Twitter//Instagram

Jamberry Nail Wrap and Application Kit
$27 Value
Grand Prize
wrapuptheholidays
Gone are the days of nails that chip and flake after a few days!  Jamberry nail wraps arm you with style and confidence while demanding very little of your time or money.  The winner will receive a nail wrap and application kit.  Mary a blogger and Jamberry consultant is donating this gift.
Can find Mary and Jamberry at: Website//Mary's Blog// 
Matte Black Tassel Bracelet from Early August
$20 Value
Runner-Up Prize
blackmatte2
Matte Black Tassel Bracelet from Early August. Chic and just a little edgy, this matte black bracelet can literally be paired with anything! The perfect bracelet that can easily be transitioned from day to night.  

Find Early August at Website//Facebook//Twitter//Pinterest
Hand-made Clutch from Oyeta
$30 Value
Grand Prize
Oclutch
Linen and Lace zippered clutch with hidden wrist strap. A lovely lace in floral embroidery covering a natural color linen. Perfect for a clutch or a wristlet to keep your small essential things like mobile phones, make up, etc

 You can find Oyeta at: Website//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest
Variety of Best Selling Books- from Midlife Guru
$50+ Value
Grand Prize 
Caryn, blogger at the Mid-Life Guru, is an authentic and trusted mid-life voice sharing her wisdom gained over the years. She is an avid reader and school board member and is sharing some of her favorite kid and young adult books.
The prize is three Children's and one Young Adult book all best sellers that are sure to be treasured by the children and young adults in your life. Perfect for holiday gift giving or sharing memorable moments.
You can find Mid-Life Guru: Blog//Facebook//Pinterest//Twitter//Pinterest//Instagram//

Shaggy Loops Bracelet from Shadow Rogue Original 
$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
necklacefromheather
Heather of Shadow Rogue makes hand-made jewelry with enchanting chain-mail designs with a modern twist.  This 7-inch designer bracelet would add an awesome pop of color to your outfit. 
Find Shadow Rogue at: Facebook//Etsy
$25 Visa Gift Card from Emily Kathryn Photography
$25 Value
Grand Prize
IMG_1420
Emily (our very own Emmy Mom) is a natural light photographer who specializes in newborns and families.  She loves capturing those little moments and creating art you will cherish forever.  She is donating a $25 Visa Gift Card.

Find Emily Kathryn Photography at: Website//Facebook//Instagram

Arbonne Sample Kit and $10 Starbucks e-gift Card
$20 Value Total
Grand Prize
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Arbonne RE9 Advanced Sample Kit | The RE9 Advanced set synergizes 9 age-defying elements and botanicals that are clinically proven to start working within 24 hours (value $10).  The winner will also receive a $10 Starbucks e-gift card.  These are being donated by Kenzie of Chasing my Extraordinary.

Find Kenzie at: Blog//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//Google+

Gold Necklace with Elephant Pendant from Made in Neverland
$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
Kenzie of Hello Neverland is donating a Gold necklace with a sweet mini elephant pendent on an 18-inch chain.  Would make a perfect gift!

Find Kenzie and Made in Neverland at: Website//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//Google Plus

Cleansing Face Oil from Stella Kenton
$17 Value
Grand Prize
An Organic Cleansing Face Oil with Rose Hip and Tea Tree. 
Stella Kenton's Rose Hip and Tea Tree Face Cleansing Oils contain a non-clogging moisturizing oil infused with Rose Hip Seed, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Orange Essential Oils. This is a cleansing oil; it helps remove makeup.

Find Stella Kenton at: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Etsy


Personalized Photo Charm Braclet from WiReD Boutique
$32 Value
Grand Prize 
charmbraclet

This personalized customized photo tile charm bracelet would make a wonderful gift!  This bracelet requires four photos from the winner that become part of the scrabble tiles under a polished coating.  It also includes four theme charms along with four birthstone beads of the winner's choice.

Find WiRed Boutique at: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Etsy//Pinterest//Google+

Party in a Box 
$20 Value
Runner- Up Prize
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Take the work out of planning your kid's next party. Party in a Box is a party rental service that comes with everything you need top decorate for your party.  The winner will receive a free party rental. 

Find Party in a Box: Facebook//Website

Spiked Layering Necklace
$20 Value
?? Prize
SpikedLayeringNecklace
Kelly of Your Charmed Life is donating a petite and simple Spiked Layering Necklace.  This necklace is made of pure brass and the chain is a small gold-filled chain.  The spike measures approximately 23mm x 5 mm and you get to pick your own chain size.  

Find Kelly at: Blog//Etsy//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest//
   

Handmade Apron by Grandma "Sew" Fun
$30 Value
Grand Prize
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These cute winter aprons are just a sample of the cute aprons that "Grandma" makes as part of her hand-made shop.  Perfect to keep your clothes clean of spills and stains and look great in the process.

Find Handmade by Grandma on: Facebook

Jamberry Nail Set
$15 Value
Runner-Up Prize
Jamberry
 Gone are the days of nails that chip and flake after only a few days!  Gone are the days of the single colored manicure.  Gone are the mani/pedis that take all afternoon and most of your cash too!  Jamberry nail wraps arm you with style and confidence while demanding very little of your time or money.   Layuah of Rose Gold and Ringlets is donating a nail set.

Find Layuah at: Blog//Website//Twitter//Instagram//Pinterest


Wow!  That is quite the list of prizes, in fact more than $600 in prizes!!! 
Please visit all of our great sponsors by clicking on their links, these are all shops we love and support. 
Get ready, as next Monday, December 8th this amazing extravaganza will begin! 
 Remember, the more you participate (hint recap all four weeks) the more chances you will receive to be one of the lucky winners.  Even if you don't win it is so much fun looking back and remembering the year, meeting new bloggers and reading other bloggers recaps.   Please remember you need to add the button to your recap posts to help spread the word; just copy and paste the code below the button to add it to your post.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and ask.  
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