DIY Valentine's Inspired Throw Pillows

Note: Before you start painting slip 2 sheets of paper into the pillow case so the paint doesn't bleed onto the back of the pillow case!

I originally say {THIS} post on Along Abby Road and knew his was something I had to try! 
It really was easy! 

I decided since POLKA DOTS have been all the rage this season, I'd go with those! CUTE! And our last name happens to start with "V" so it doubled as a Valentine pillow and just an everyday pillow for our house! 

The whole project cost me $30.  So only $15 had you made just one pillow and you certainly could have made them smaller.

I used 2  burlap 18X18 pillow shams and inserts! I purchased everything at Hobby Lobby.

And you actually got a glimpse into my bedroom which I never do:)

The LOVE banner is always there!  

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Our Love Story: Part 2

So.......Where were we?
(Read Part 1 {HERE})

Ahhhhh.................yes I was balling my eyes out in the street saying goodbye to my best guy friend (now husband).

The next day my girl friend and I jumped in the car and moved to Santa Barbara. We lived 2 blocks off the beach. It was paradise. We loved it! 

I missed my now husband A LOT!!! In fact I missed him so much I set up a phone number that he and all my friends back home could use to call me free  of charge. I paid all the long distance bills at the end of the month.

Remember folks this is WAY before cell phones!!!! 
We probably talked on the phone a few nights a week for an our or two at a time. Yes, I was still in denial and thought we were simply close friends:)

He came to visit me in Santa Barbara with all his buddies from New Orleans and they stayed at our apartment. We had a BLAST together but the relationship stayed platonic.

After about a year of living in separate parts of the country we decided to plan a group road trip to Mardi Gras in his home town. 

So, I flew home and he invited to me to stay at his place. I was to be gone a total of just over 2 weeks so it was a long trip! When I arrived he was nothing but a gentleman as he had ALWAYS BEEN!!! He already had his bed all made up on the couch and had clean sheets ready for me on his bed. Such a sweet man! 

We were having so much fun together catching up and hanging with old friends. I think we had about 5 days in Santa Fe before departing for our Mardi Gras road trip with 3 other guy friends. 

I think it was on day 4 that  "IT"  finally happened! We finally kissed!!!!! 

We had been out on the town having fun with friends and we went back to his apartment together. We stayed up laughing and talking and I was REALLY hoping he would kiss me but he didn't try. 
He has always been such a gentleman.  Bummed out, we went to our separate sleeping quarters and after about 10 minutes of lying there alone, I couldn't stand it and yelled into the next room, 
"Are you going to come in here and kiss me or what?" 

Yes, I am serious!!!!
 Those are exactly the words that came out of my mouth! I was not always so gentle and tender. I used to be quiet the head strong, little rebellious girl! 

So he obliged!!! 
Poor man. How could he not after that?
Ha. Makes me laugh now how I bullied him into kissing me!

2 days later we left on the road trip to New Orleans. We had a blast at Mardi Gras and returned about 5 days later. The night before I was leaving we decided to go out to eat alone so we could "talk".

I was so Young and so immature. 
I wanted to make sure he understood that we were going to remain "just friends" despite the wonderful romantic time we had just spent together.


Because like I said I was young and immature and quiet frankly STUPID! 

I had such a horrible experience with my first boyfriend I was really jaded and angry. I had a very hard time with commitment and men. I was really a control freak about any kind of relations with men for a number of years.

It was so much easier and safer in my mind to push him away as soon as I started to feel anything or he started to get serious,  than to be vulnerable and get hurt again.  

So, We had the discussion and agreed to remain good friends but of course things had changed. Even if we wanted things to be as they were before, they never would be. 

So the next day he drove me to the airport and we said a difficult and strange good bye!!! 

About 5 weeks later I received a letter in the mail from said gentleman!!! (Remember this is also before email)

To Be Continued...............................................

Here we are at Mardi Gras 1998!  I was 19. He was 21. 

This photo is so dear to my husband that he keeps it in our safe deposit box at the bank:) 

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Hot Pink Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is totally a cheat post because it's from last year! But I loved this idea and wanted share all my Vday Ideas with you! 

I think there isn't anything  better than chocolate chip cookies EXCEPT..........HOT PINK chocolate chip cookies!!!!! 

You can use any recipe you like. I have added my favorite soft bake chocolate chip recipe below. Simply add 2 tablespoons of Pink Gel Food coloring. You can buy it at any craft store. The gel food coloring is essential. You will not get the same results with regular food coloring!

Happy Valentine's Day Lovelies!!!!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and hot pink food coloring. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

YIELD 4-5 dozen cookies!! I froze half or gave half away. I recommend halving this if you aren't feeding an army! 


Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway {HERE}

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Valentine's Day Heart Stockings

I LOVE the holidays!!! 

If for no other reason it gives me a reason to craft, bake and put together ridiculous amounts of fun stuff for the family! 

I think the kids deserve every chance they can get to have a little magic brought into their lives and I LOVE to be the one to give it to them! 

So I decided Christmas was way too far away and love the idea of the kids waking up to a fun surprise so I thought about Valentine's Day Stockings.

I plan to stuff them with stickers, a toy and, of course, a couple chocolates. 

These were seriously easy!!!!!! 

You will Need:
-a glue gun and some glue sticks
-some bakers twine or thick thread
-a needle with a large head to thread twine 
-4-6 felt squares in different colors

1. Cut out a large heart shape from the felt and then trace it onto a matching piece and cut. You will sew these two together to make your stocking.

2. thread needle and make large stitches

3. Be sure leave the entire top open so you can stuff it after your finished.

4. Next, simply cut out several smaller hearts from different colored felt and glue to the front with a hot glue gun

5. Now but 2 small strips, fold over and glue to make a hook for each stocking. 

6. flip stockings over and glue hook onto the back.


TA DA!!!!

I hope you make something special for your kids this year!!!! 

So beautiful to see their little eyes light up!!!! 


Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway {HERE}
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Date Night

The Hubby and I went on our 3rd date in OVER THREE YEARS last night!

Yes, 3 dates in 3 years....that's an average of one a year! That is seriously SAD!!!! 

I NEED to make this more of a priority. It's not that I don't want to go on dates. Of course I want to go on dates. It more complicated than that! We have  never left our children with a baby sitter. The only person who has ever watched our  kids is my mother, my sister, or sister in law and it;s always been for relatively short periods of time. My children have never spent the night without us, EVER.

So there are a couple things going on.

#1. Yes, I am very protective and generally don't like to leave my kids.
#2. We honestly don't have money to go on regular dates.
#3. We wouldn't be able to afford childcare that wasn't free so basically "beggars can't be choosers" I ask my mom to help us A LOT already so I feel guilt asking her come in the evening for us to go on a dates too. It just seems so trivial when I look at all the things going on in our lives.

But I am realizing that it's not trivial and maybe that is exactly what we need..........A little alone time to allow us to grow closer as a couple. 

Being married is hard! It's really hard! Especially when your financial dire staights and you've got 3 kids in 3 years and loads of personal problems heaped on top.
All the married folk I talk to says that is the #1 thing they didn't expect; the amount of work that a marriage takes.  But maybe it wouldn't be quiet as hard if we actually got to be together for more than 3 minuets without being interrupted. 

I'm going to work on making it a priority. It's important and I know it is! 

So, on to our date! 
It wasn't the most glamorous but I tell you what, after not going on but one date a year, I am not going to sneer at ANYTHING!!! 

We were given an Apple bees gift card as a baby gift and we decided to use it for our date night since our finances are so tight and I am SO GRATEFUL!!! 

We Laughed!!!

We Talked About our Kids and how CRAZY we are about them!

We reminiced!

We got to just "BE" together; alone; it's a rareity my friends.

We told each other how  much we loved one another! 


We ate way too much delicious food and went home happy to some wild kids who had demolished the house in 1.5 hours and exhausted their grandma. 

I though of this as our Valentine's Day celebration too since my hubby has to work and we won't have any time alone so I went ahead and gave him his truffles and his card! 

We had such a wonderful time alone together! WE decided not to talk about ANYTHING stressful; just light hearted conversation and fun stuff!

I actually forgot all my problems for a couple hours and remembered why I love my husband so much!!! 

I am so grateful to have gotten this special treat before the next kiddo makes an appearance!!! 

Have a great weekend Folks!!!
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I'm Wearing

It's not quiet spring but it's warming up here. 
I'm 9 months pregnant folks. 
36 weeks now and I'm not going to lie. It's a struggle to find cute things to wear.

Here is a great "go to" outfit for the changing seasons. 

A Maxi skirt, some boots and a gorgeous light weight scarf! 


10% off everything at {The Printed Palette} using code "BEB10" at checkout

Scarf: {The Printed Palette} 10% off everything using the code "BEB10" at checkout!!!
Shirt: Motherhood
Maxi Skirt: Target
Boots: Minnitonka

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!!!!! 

I'm going to delve into my "to do" list before baby comes!!!! 

And guest what? My husband and I are going on our 3rd date in over 3 years tonight! 
You want to talk about excited!!!!!!! 

I might just wear this!! We'll See!!!!

I hope you all go visit {The Printed Palette
Shop owner Alissa is extremely sweet and she sent me the gorgeous scarf in the photos above. It's super long and thin and made of the softest jersey material EVER!!!! 

Not to mention ridiculously cute!!!! 

STYLELIXIR Style Sessions
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My hospital Must Haves

As you all know I have been a tiny bit busy with my 2 toddlers and haven't quiet gotten around to packing a bag for the hospital or really getting much done around here in preparation for the new baby so I thought maybe it would help if I wrote a post about my "to do" list as motivation.

I was reading "The Vanilla Tulip" and I loved this post Ashley put together about hospital must haves and thought maybe I should give it a go. 

I wanted to have my first baby in the hospital. It was my first; I didn't know what to expect and honestly I'm really glad I did. You probably already know I like to go all natural with my births and going all natural the first time around is a little scary. I was glad that I was in a an environment that I knew if something wasn't exactly right, we had access to immediate medical interventions. Thank goodness I never needed any but I was scared with my first baby. The pain was pretty earth shattering and the whole experience was pretty intense. 

However, after my first child's birth I really didn't feel the need to be at the hospital, especially when having natural birth. I have always wanted to go to a birthing center but we don't have one in our city and my hubby isn't too happy about home birth:( BOOOO!!!! 

I'm a nurse and I work in the hospital. I always have. I have a lot of respect for our jobs in health care but when it comes to natural anything, I'm not sure the hospital is the best place to be. By default, at the hospital, they want to give you an IV and try to offer you pain medication and that's wonderful for people who want that but for people who are having natural birth it's more of a hassle in my opinion. 

Ginger, my second child was born exactly 2 hours  from my very first twinge of a contraction.  So by the time I got to the hospital I was already about ready to start pushing and every time I have barely, and I mean barely, made it into a bed before my babies come flying out. 
I'm always that crazed lady screaming and pushing as they wheel me down the hall in a wheelchair. In fact the nurses delivered Ginger because the doctor couldn't get there fast enough. 

My whole point is, I have never found the hospital a particularly comfy place to be and maybe it's because I work there. In fact, I typically cannot get out of there fast enough. I'm the mom who doesn't let them take the baby out of the room so it's not really a "rest" period for me. I am usually in such a big rush to get out of there that I never put a lot of thought into what to pack and what might make the experience better but maybe I should! 

So here goes with my Hospital must haves:

My hospital Must Haves

a good nursing bra, support is key after the baby, especially when your milk is coming in. I'm cheap when it comes to these. You can but 100% cotton ones at Wal-Mart for $10 bucks. I have about 4. 
a few good headbands. I need my hair out of my face, especially when laboring and caring for a tiny newborn. I always see these photos of mom's right after giving birth with their hair down and flowing and I can never understand it!
a good nursing top with easy access. You do not want to be pulling up your shirt to nurse one day after giving birth. Just trust me!
some very, very loose and comfy yoga pants
BOTTLED WATER!!! In between contractions all I can think about is water.
CHAP STICK. The only other thing I want between contractions.
A nursing pillow. A MUST if you plan to breast feed comfortably, specially right after giving birth when your back and lady parts are hurting.
Burt's Bees diaper ointment. I love this stuff. It's expensive so I only buy it and use it when the babes are really tiny but it is so much nicer on their skin than a generic diaper creme.

Goals to accomplish before Baby #3 Arrives:

Pack my hospital bag and find my breast pump (requires digging out of some closet somewhere?)

Clean the living daylights out of my bathroom. It needs to pretty much be sterile for when I get home with the new baby. I'm pretty sure I'll have to get on my hands and knees for this one.

Clean up the nursery a little bit. The baby will sleep with me in my room for a while but at the moment all of us rotate beds several times in any given day so the sheets need to washed int the crib and the queen bed that are in the nursery and it just needs to be picked up and vacuumed. 

Cook a couple of large freezable meals to prepare for the newborn madness phase when you can't get anything done, especially cooking.

Do one last thorough clean on the toddlers rooms including washing and changing their sheets.

I am trying REALLY hard at this point to never have more than 1 or 2 loads of laundry to do at a time. At this stage keeping up to date on everything is KEY!!!!!!

Get our double BOB stroller taken in to be fully repaired. New tires and a nice tune up so that I can hit the road with my 3 babies ASAP!!!! I CANNOT WAIT TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE!!!!

Wash all my baby carriers as they are my only saving grace while carrying for multiple small babies at a time. At least 1 of the 3 needs to be strapped to me at all times. I have about 5 different carriers but they have been in boxes and need a good scrubbing! 

I suppose that's about it!!! 
Well, wish me luck!!! I guess I better hurry up and get started because this is kind of daunting considering I Have about 4 weeks if I'm lucky to accomplish all this and everything else around here on a daily basis.

But I have faith......I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

What did I leave out?

By the way, I'm giving away a Kitchen Aid Mixer. You can enter {HERE}. Winner announced on Valentine's Day!

Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway

SOOOOOO.....................I Have decided to do another "Team Up" giveaway because they are so much grander and more spectacular!!!! 

Today I teamed up with another 30 bloggers to give you all the chance to win a Kitchen Aid Mixer!!! 

Yes!! That's right $299.99. 

About 10 years ago I bought one for my husband and had it on lay away for months paying it off  and we lost it in hurricane Katrina. WE MISS IT.....A LOT!!!!! 

Anyway, these mixers are pertty much essential and once you have one, you'll never want to be without one. I'll tell you that much!!! 
Anyhow, this is my Happy Valentine's Day gift to you all!!! 
Go on!! Go enter!!!!! 
Winner announced on Valentine's Day!!!! 

Hi friends! 

Do I ever have something special for you today!! 

To celebrate Valentine's Day, Newlywed Moments is teaming up with 30 other bloggers to give away a KitchenAid Mixer!!

Why? Because it's a newlywed must-have. 

I absolutely love my mixer. I can just leave it mixing while I finish up another part of dinner! It is so very helpful!

One lucky reader will win this white-colored KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, valued at $229.99! The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.

Rules & Information:
-- Giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.
-- The winner will be verified, so please enter honestly.
-- The winner will be notified by email on 2/14/13 and will have 24 hours to respond.

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Weekly *Snipits*

Fun at the Park with my kiddlets!!!!!

The Kids have been waking up earlier and earlier lately. It's pitch black when they get up sadly so I had to ease our sorry, exhausted selves with some homemade Belgium waffles and my antique waffle iron.

I L*O*V*E this thing; gift from my hubby 2 years ago Christmas!!!

I'm making Valentine's Day Stockings for my kids to open Valentine's Morning. I also have tiny little mail boxes I am planning to stuff with a love letters and some chocolates!!! 

I LOVE holidays. I always have. I used to do silly little things like this just for my husband before we had kids but now that we have kids it's SO MUCH MORE FUN!!!

My beautiful Girl!

The Hubby's Red Beans and Rice. Can't go wrong here!!!!!

The kiddlets; Too Cool for school!!

Our weekly M*I*R*A*C*L*E!!!!!!!
Thank you! Thank You!

 I have decided I am in love with Quinoa. 

You just throw anything on it or in it and it's amazing!!!! 
How can this be? I must try one million recipes SWEET and SAVORY!!!!

Couch Picnic including fresh popped pop corn and strawberry banana smoothies!!!!

Drinking milk......strangely enough.   I love milk when I'm pregnant but when I'm not it totally grosses me out and I never drink it.

Ginger loves to read. She loves books. It makes me happy! There is such a wonderful world of magic and discovery there!

Just a reminder!! Keep it Simple!!! 
Today I'm making a whole chicken in my crock pot. I have decided I need to get on the crock pot band wagon if I'm going to be having 3 kids 3 and under. It  might be the only way we survive. Plus as soon as I have the baby, I'll go gluten and dairy free for good breast feeding results so I need to start planning what I'm going to eat!!!! 

I'm also going to try some creamy mashed sweet potatoes to go with!! 
YUM, right? 

In between the cooking adventures I am working on sterilizing my bathroom before baby #3 arrives but because I'm so big, I get winded really easily so it seems everything is hard these days.   
Everyday I've been just a little. Like yesterday I cleaned the floor on my hands and knees. Today I'll start on the toilette or the sinks. I like to have things really clean and organized for when the baby comes! One step at a time! 

 NESTING....gotta love it!

NOTE: My new friend Morgan from {Mama Loves Papa} is doing a whole series on marriage this month and I love it!!! 

Today she is posting about the topic "friendship and romance"

Go check it out and join the Discussion!!!

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