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{Christmastime at the Millers}

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This post is going to be chock full of pictures. The weekend after Thanksgiving we decorated the inside of the house for Christmas. So far the tree is still in tact even if I had to jerry-rig it to fix the big hole Emilee made in it last year. I've only had to tell Gracie about 100 times not to touch things but considering I had to tell her about 501x last year, that's an improvement! I also hosted my first (and actually only - how sad!) party of the season on Friday. It was a Celebrating Home party and a Gold party. I got some cash for holding the Gold party and some free Celebrating Home products so I totally made out! :) Yesterday I let the girls build a gingerbread house. They were looking forward to that all week.

So, here are some pictures from all that.

Here are some of the goodies I made for my party. Chewy Caramel Bars (recipe will be posted at The Girl Creative tomorrow in participation with our Creating Christmas Blog Fest) and red velvet cupcakes.

Here is some bark I made with dark chocolate, white chocolate, walnuts and M&M's. Yummy! And some Walnut Brownie Tartlets.

Now onto the decorations. I made these Christmas Countdown blocks which I thought the girls would be super excited about. Turns out they're not, but I am so that works. ;)

Here is our tree. Not a great picture because after almost 6 years I still have not figured out how to use my camera properly!

And the newest edition to our living room is this little shelf that I got super cheap at Hobby Lobby as well as the tall candle holders.

I did bake so much more stuff but in all the fuss of the party and the set up I forgot to take more pictures. I made a to die for hot spinach and artichoke dip. I made this anti-pasta bread featured at Kevin and Amanda and boy was it good (picture is from!!!

Also on the menu was a cold anti-pasta, a bunch of M&M and Chocolate Chip Cookie and shrimp cocktail. I'd say the party was a success. Can't wait to do it again for Christmas. :)


Cooking Up Something Fun for the Holidays

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So, over at my other blog, The Girl Creative, we are cooking up something really cool for the holidays. We are still working out the details and will announce it officially soon, but I'll give you the inside scoop. We are going to have 5 days of idea sharing. Basically, each day we will have a new topic and readers everywhere can link up to one of their posts that pertain to our topic. For example: on day one we may have Favorite Christmas Recipes as the topic. You would link up over at The Girl Creative via Mr. Linky with a post on your blog showing off your favorite Christmas recipe. We are going to do this for a whole week. I'm so excited. It's a great
way to expand your readership as well as to find new blogs to read.

The idea came to me after I had written a post about creative gift wrapping. I thought that it might be fun to do a segment on various creative ways to wrap gifts this Christmas season. Then I thought why not do a whole week of fun posts like that. I won't give you all the details but in the next couple of days we should have it all worked out. Stay tuned!!

Oh, and since I know my sister, Kate, is going to ask who "we" are since she knows I pretty much blog alone, I'll tell ya. The Girl Creative has a team of creative chics that are regular contributors now. Yeah! Go me! lol You can find out more about them by going HERE and finding the "Our Other Playgrounds" title on our sidebar. :)


{One of Those Days}

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This blog post is for my sister, Kate. She thinks I've abandoned this blog but I haven't. We've had so much going on lately (I feel like I'm always saying that) and I have to be in the mood to blog. Today was definitely one for the books so, I'll blog about it.

Normally I'm a pretty happy person. I can pretty much laugh about (and at) anything. Not today. Oh no. I was Mrs. Crankypants for sure! The day just went from bad to worse and by the time I was able to just veg, I really just wanted to cry. I don't know what it is but the 2nd week into my cycle (TMI - sorry) I turn into Monster Mommy. I feel like a switch is flipped and I am nasty. There is no pretty way to say it. lol Today was just one of those days!

It began last night actually. Grace did not sleep well and was coughing a lot. By the time I actually got to bed for good, it was probably near 1am. Then Emilee thought it would be fun to wake mommy up this morning by blowing a whistle next to my head. It gets better. She woke Grace up like that too. What is Grace's payback (to me for some reason and I don't know what I ever did to her), she pees in her pants. Not once, but twice before I even got us all out the door to bring Emilee to school.

That just totally put me in a foul mood and I never really got out of that funk. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful until Emilee gets home and then the fighting begins. The fighting and the crying. The fighting and the crying and the yelling (the girls fighting, Gracie crying and me yelling).

Just before dinner I get a text from Tim that he's going to be late getting out of work. Normally I don't care. More time for me to loaf around on the computer (did I just admit that? lol) but tonight is Wednesday. On Wednesday nights we run children's ministry at our church. We were both teaching in separate classes. No biggie, I'll just combine the 2. We've done it before, it should not be a problem. Well, there was 25 kids in one room (one of which was Emilee who did not want to listen) and Gracie was across the hall screaming and crying. People were late, I was cranky. Still.

And just when I think my day is over and I can put it behind me, Gracie goes and pees in her pants again. Again. 3rd time today. Peed in her pants 3x today.

Did I mention I don't feel good? Yeah that too.

**Disclaimer: I'm fasting from sugar for 30 days and can not be responsible for the whining, crying, or crabby posts that may make their way to this blog over the next month. :)


{I think I'm going to do blog design again}

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So I've been doing some thinking. I've been wanting to get a part time job to help out around the house but with little miss Gracie still at home, it's kind of hard. I even actually applied to a couple of places and nada. I was kind of happy because as soon as the thought to go back to work came, it left. Not surprising. I'm a little flaky like that. lol Anyhow, I started thinking about blog design. I know how to do it. And people make money doing it. Why aren't I doing it and making money at it?

So, here we go again. I'm going to start blog designing again. I don't plan on making a fortune. I don't even plan on charging what some people charge. If I can make a few bucks and help out then yay!!

So, if you are looking for a cheap custom blog design, let me know. :)

Things have been a bit quiet on the homefront. Nothing too crazy to report. We did do some baking and painting over the last few weeks so I'll be posting those pictures soon. Emilee and Grace are both doing great in school and I couldn't be happier. :) God is certainly good!


{New Crafty Blog}

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When I originally created this blog it was meant to be a personal blog about my life with my hot hubs and my adorable daughters. Then I started blogging about craft projects that I found around the web. So, I decided to make a separate blog for my projects. Please follow and subscribe check out my new blog: The Girl Creative. On there I'll be posting tutorials on projects I've done around the house whether it be sewing or scrapbooking or what have you. I will also post links to cool projects that other bloggers have done.

So, if you don't mind, please go check out my new blog. :)

{Apple & Pumpkin Picking}

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There's a farm I heard about from my friend Jackie called Lawrence Farms. If you are from the Hudson Valley (NY) it's located in Newburgh. I've been meaning to take the girls there and thankfully Tim was off on Monday so I suggested we go. I'm so glad we did. We all had a great time. There was so much to do to keep the girls busy from the little village playhouses to hay mazes to apple and pumpkin picking to the general store to feeding the animals to...........well, you get the picture. :) Speaking of pictures, here are some from that day.

Here are the little villians in Jail. This better be the only inside of a jail they ever see! Aside from maybe visiting Daddy at work. lol

The Guest House

Daddy and his girls. It's so hard to get them to pose. lol You can rent the cool wagons for $5. The girls had a great time being pulled around by Daddy.

I think Gracie's face is so funny in this picture. It looks like she's about to sneeze but she never did. lol A little side note about this picture - see the cornstalks behind them (the one in the middle)? Well that used to be the back of some man. I "photoshopped"a cornstalk over him and added some pumpkins. Not bad, huh?

"Miss Thing"



{Returning the Cart}

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Almost every day I'm faced with a decision. Should I return the cart? Let me explain. Up near where I live, for some odd reason, to use a shopping cart at the supermarket and some other stores like Target requires putting a quarter into the cart to unlock it for use. I'm usually pretty good with making sure I have a quarter in the ash tray in the car. But, there are times when I get to the store and nothing but pennies. Ugh. So, I scour the parking lot looking for one lone wagon that has not been returned to the shopping cart parking garage (SCPG - no idea what they're actually called but this sounds good). I have to admit that if I do have a quarter I most definitely return the wagon so that I get my quarter back. I also have to admit though that I appreciate the lazy people who do not return their wagons back to the SCPG. What would I do without them? In fact, I sometimes am one of those people. Like this morning at Target, I was very happy to find a wagon that was not locked in with the rest so when I was done, I left it outside for some poor soul who does not have a quarter. I can just picture the excitement on their face as they see the loner just waiting for someone to come grab it and the excitement that they're feeling that today was their lucky day. lol

All that to say that I find myself faced with a decision each time I go shopping. Do I return the cart to the SCPG where it belongs or do I leave it inbetween parking spots when leaving the store? Sometime I feel bad for leaving them there when there's nothing wrong with my legs and I can easily return it. But since I appreciate the people who don't return their wagons, thus giving me a wagon to use when I'm quarterless, I find that I feel it's okay to leave a stray wagon for someone else to use.

So, there's a total random post without the "Just Another Random Post" title. :)


{A Few Steps Forward}

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I think one of the hardest things about blogging is coming up with a name for each post. I mean how many posts can you call "Just Some Random Thoughts" especially if you have a blog like mine? No real rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it's about my silly girls. Sometimes it's about the projects I'm working on. Sometimes it's about what God has spoken to me. Sometimes it a whole lot of nothing.

Anyhow, this past week I feel like I've taken a few steps forward in my life. They're all kind of small steps but at least they are steps forward and not back. The first step is with our finances. I use my debit card. A lot. I rarely keep track of my bank account so I never really know for sure how much money we actually have in our checking account. Well this week I decided to take out some cash (based on what was left after I paid most of the bills) and keep track of my spending. I have to say, it feels good to be in control.

My second little step is with my weight loss. In the spring I had gotten down to the lowest I had been since my wedding. I was down 96 lbs. Yeah, that's right. 96 lbs as in 4 lbs from 100. It was a huge accomplishment to get that far. I'm not done yet but still a great feat and something to be proud of. Then this summer we had a chemical pregnancy which completely threw me off the weight loss band wagon. I gained about 15 lbs. I struggled all. summer. long. trying to get my head back in the game. Trying to get back into tracking my Weight Watchers points and eating healthy. I had a few good weeks and then I would revert back to my old habits. Well, I'm back on track thanks to my hubs who has been supporting me through my ups and downs and to my BFF, Karen who is also a huge Weight Watchers success story. She's been on me like a fly on........well, you know what. lol I promised not to shoot her with all her checking up on me (like every. single. day.) if she promised not to shoot me if I have a bad day. Not a bad deal. lol Anyhow, I weighed in today and was down a half a pound. I consider that a victory. What I also did today was begin Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout. 30 seconds into the WARM UP I was hating Jillian. lol I may or may not blog about my progress because I tend to be inconsistent but I'll try. Pray that I stay focused and complete this 30 day routine. Oh, if you'd like to see my before picture, here you go.

It was good for me to post this. I have not looked at this picture in awhile and it's a great reminder of where I've come from and where I NEVER want to go again. Here is what I look like now (the pic is from earlier in the year but give or take a few pounds, it's pretty accurate).

So, those are my steps forward. I'm thanking Jesus that He's moving in these areas of my life. :)




6 enchanted replies
I'm in a funk today. It's Friday so I should be happy but I just can't seem to get myself going today. I woke up in a fine mood. Managed to get us all out the door in a relatively timely manner today and then it all changed. While walking Emilee to school this morning, I accidentally dropped my cell phone down the sewer. Yup. Right into the mucky muck that is town sewage. I manged to laugh about it because it could have been worse. It could have been my keys and with a husband that works an hour away from home, that would not have been good.

So, still an okay morning, I decide to go weigh in at Weight Watchers even though I really just wanted to crawl into a hole because I have not been able to stay focused lately. Out of nowhere Grace decides she does not want to get in the car. She's fussing and twisting and stiffening up as I try to get her buckles on. She's screaming her head off and starts kicking the seat in front of her. And then it happened. The shoes. She kicked the shoes off. That was the last straw. I turned the car off, got her out of her seat and went back inside to put her in time out. 10 minutes later, tantrum over but now I'm in a mood.

Yesterday out of nowhere, and after I had already begun the paperwork to dissolve the Emilee Grace corporation (I really hate Murphy and his dumb laws) , I get an order. We never get orders. Rarely. When we do, it's either someone we know or someone from, say, Denmark maybe. Totally random. My first thought is "Shoot. I hope they didn't order something we don't have stock of." Of course they did. They ordered BabyLegs. 2 pairs to be exact. One pair I have in stock and the other I don't. So, I send an email asking them if they'd like a different pair PLUS an extra free pair to make up for the one I don't have. So far nothing back. Then I decided to just take the loss and order the pair they really want from someone else who has stock. I'll pay full price but at this point I don't care. I just want to ship the order. Lo and behold, the address is an APO address. Couldn't be simple could it? No idea how the order got through on my site but I tried to order from 2 different sites (BabyLegs being one of them) and neither site accepts an APO shipping address. Grrrrrrrr..............

So, here I sit. I'm cranky. My kitchen is a mess. I have my Bible study that I've neglected that needs doing and I just can't get myself going. Soon it will be lunch time and then half my day is gone. I know this feeling all too well. Chaos. Overwhelmed. Stressed. And all because I don't prioritize. I hop on the computer first when it should be the last thing I do. Had I been doing things the right way all along, would my day have gone better? Not necessarily. I may have still dropped my cell phone. Gracie may still have had a tantrum. I'd still be dealing with this crazy order. But my attitude would be different. Sunday morning in church we were reminded that we are to dwell in the secret place. That it was not a place that we should just go to visit but it's someplace that we need to live. So, I plan on moving in. I need to. I don't want to live another day as a visitor in the secret place. To some this may make no sense. To others you'll be nodding your head in agreement.


{Creative Tuesday - Mod Podge File Cabinet}

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I'm linking up with Andy's Creative Tuesday over at Poppies at Play and Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog and I figured this would be the perfect time to showcase my file cabinet that I Mod Podged and made over. :) I got the tutorial from Mod Podge Rocks although I didn't go to the extreme that she did (I was too lazy!), I think it came out great. :)

Here is my old, beat up, dusty-lookin file cabinet BEFORE:Holy glare from the camera!


I picked up a really cool scrapbook kit from Walmart for $5 but didn't measure my cabinet before that. The drawers are 11x13. :( So thankfully I found coordinating trim in the kit for each paper and managed to cover the whole drawer. Could not figure out how to get my lock thing-y off so I had to go around it. Not easy. I actually kind of butchered it but thankfully my cabinet was black so you can't really tell. :)



{Quick Fix 4 Your Off Centered Blog Header}

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On my many many travels to various blogs here and there I've been seeing a recurring problem on many blog headers. I know that when I was figuring out all the ins and outs of blog design enough to get me by it would drive me nuts when things just didn't look right on my blog: not enough space between sidebars, my header being off-centered, borders in places that I didn't want them, etc. I imagine that I'm not the only one that is bothered by that stuff so here's a quick fix for one major blog design problem: centering the header.

I'm not sure if you can see it but the arrow on the left is pointing to a light gray border and the arrow on the right is to show you how the header is outside that border. Not good. Fixing this problem is actually pretty simple. The first thing I do is remove the border altogether. That's just a matter of preference really but since this is my blog, we'll do it my way. lol

Step 1 - Removing Border from Header
  • Go to your "Layout" tab and click on "Edit HTML"
  • Find this block of code:
#header-wrapper {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;

#header-inner {
background-position: center;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;

#header {
margin: 5px;
border: 1px solid $bordercolor;
text-align: center;

Anywhere you see border: 1px in this section, change it to 0px (that's a zero, not an "oh"). That will remove the border from around the entire header.

Step 2 - Centering Header (I got this information from this blog)
  • While still in "Edit HTML" mode, find this block of code:
#header img {
margin-$startSide: auto;

margin-$endSide: auto;


ADD THESE 2 LINES RIGHT BELOW margin-$endSide: auto;

position: relative;
left: -25px;

So now your code should look like this:

#header img {
margin-$startSide: auto;
margin-$endSide: auto;
position: relative;
left: -25px;

Here's the only somewhat tricky part and by tricky I mean you may have to play around
with the numbers a bit. See where it says -25px;? You may have to adjust the numbers
less than -25 or maybe more than -25 to get it closest to the center on your
particular blog. Make sure you "PREVIEW" before you save. Wallah - you're done. :)

Hopes this helps. If you use this tutorial, please be sure to let me know by leaving me a comment. :)

{What's In The Line-Up}

4 enchanted replies
I thought that once the girls were in school that I would have some time to work on all the little projects that I've found around the web lately. But so far, I'm wrong. Had to take Em out of school early on Monday for a physical then finally went back to Weight Watchers on Tuesday when Grace went to pre-k. Wednesday is always nuts because of church on Wednesday nights and then Thursday I kept Gracie home because she had a cold. Today brought us to the DR yet again so I'm wondering when I'm going to get the time to do the projects I'm dying to do?

I'm hoping next week will give me some free time to do these cool projects I've found around the web:

  1. Cuddle Cubes
  2. Fabric Pumpkins
  3. Mod Podge my File Cabinet
I think I'll tackle the file cabinet first because it seems like it would be the easiest choice. The Cuddle Cubes will definitely be next and then the Fabric Pumpkins. Can't wait to get going on those and then post about them. :)


{BabyLegs WINNERS}

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Thanks so much to everyone who entered the BabyLegs Giveaway. :) The 2 lucky winners are:

#15 - MandyMoo
#36 - Sibabe64


Please respond to the email I sent you with your mailing address and information. :)



{Free Behavior Chart}

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Princess Emilee had an okay first day of school. Well, it was her first half day. She begins her full day Kindergarten tomorrow. When I picked her up she was crying. Her teacher told me that she was upset because a girl in her class had gotten a sticker for exceptional behavior. Emilee does not notice that 14 other kids did not get a sticker. She only noticed that she did not get one. Then her teacher proceeded to tell me that she had a hard time following instructions and listening. :( We've had this problem in the past and I used behavior charts at home to help encourage good behavior. She did really well with them.

One of my biggest flaws is that I don't really follow through with much. I've started and stopped so many things so it was no big surprise to me that the behavior charts only lasted a few weeks. Well, here's to my second attempt!

I made this chart that I'm going to print out and hang on our kitchen wall under the calendar. I also made stars that I'm going to cut out. Every day when she gets home, if she had a good day in school, I will give her a star to put up next to that day. At the end of the week, if she has 5 stars then she will get a reward. This week I think her reward is going to be Baby Dora which she has been asking for for months. I think I'm even going to put velcro next to each day and then a piece on the back of each star for easy on and off. I'm hoping to be consistent with this and I'm really hopeful that she will have a great day tomorrow. I've been doing a lot of praying about and and thank God that He is concerned about everything that we're concerned about. There is nothing too big or too small. He cares about them all.

Please feel free to click the image, download the file and print out. Please share with your readers but be sure to direct them to this post to download. :)

**Fonts by Kevin & Amanda and Digital Kit by The Shabby Princess



37 enchanted replies
Now that the weather is finally cooling off I can't help but think about one of my favorite baby products. BabyLegs. Ever hear of them? They are baby arm and leg warmers. Well, that's not entirely true. They are not just for babies. Kids up to 12 years old can wear them and I've even known a few trendy moms to wear them on their arms. They come in a variety of cool colors and patterns.

Since the summer is over and I'm feeling particularly happy about the upcoming holiday season I figured why not give away some Babylegs out of my stock.

To win a pair of the featured BabyLegs, there's a few things you need to do to enter:
  • leave a comment on this post
  • earn extra entries by subscribing or following The Princess Escapades
  • blog about this contest
I will chose 2 winners 1 week from today. US residents only please. :)



{Easy Wall Art 4 Kids}

0 enchanted replies
**Edit: If you are visiting from Tip Junkie, please check out my creative blog The Girl Creative for more crafty ideas. :)

I am absolutely famous
for buying supplies for a specific project and never getting around to it. I have purchased 2 sets of wood letters spelling out my girls name over the years with high hopes of decorating them and hanging them above their bed. Ummm, never happened. Then probably about a year or 2 ago I found these awesome chipboard letters in Joann's for a buck each. They were all different pastel colored patterns. Each one was different. Very cute. I managed to pick up letters to spell Grace and I *think* I was only able to get the E-M and I for Emilee's name (at least those are the only ones I could find at home). Anyhow, now ready to finish this project, I went back to Joann's to look for the L-E and E to finish Emilee's name and no such luck. :( Figures. Good think we call her Emi a lot so at least I could put her nickname up on the wall.

This was probably the easiest project I've done to date and it was really inexpensive.

The Supplies
  • Flat thumb tacks
  • Chipboard letters
  • Chipboard shapes (flowers, hearts, anything you like)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon
  • String, yarn or ribbon (my shapes were actually chipboard buttons so I used the yarn to make them look sewn. Leave this step out if you have solid pieces to use.)
First I took some ribbon, thread it through the letters and spaced them out according to my liking.

Then I took my yarn and "sewed" my chipboard buttons. I used a toothpick to help push the yarn through the small holes.

Next I took my hot glue gun and glued the thumb tacks to the back of each of my chipboard buttons and let them dry.

Once they were dry I took the letters to my girls room and used the now decorated thumb tacks and hung the letters above their beds on the wall.

Piece of cake! :) If you use this tutorial, I'd love to see your finished projects. :)

*Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to photography so please forgive the horrible picture quality and lighting on some of the pictures.