Thursday, December 22, 2011

Editing your friendships

Today my best friend came down from Dallas to have a little Christmas visit with me and Alaina. We had such a fun time catching up...for almost 6 hours! Gee, I love her.


Hanging out with friends like her makes me realize, in my wise old age of 27, almost 28, that I place a different value on my friendships that I had in years past.

I no longer feel the need to "chase" friendships, you know, those "friends" that you put so much effort into calling, emailing and reaching out to with no reciprocation. G and I have been friends for almost 14 years and, as we say, have been long distance for nearly 11 years. Despite that, we remain connected. We call each other, visit each other and play an active role in each others lives.

Friendship is not convenient. But it is what you make it.

As I near my 28th birthday, I feel like I've come to a turning point. I'm deciding which friendships I need to invest in the most. Those are the friendships I count on to be there 25 years from now. I know, as heartbreaking as it is, that not all of my friends will be around in that time.

At this point in my life, I don't need an active social calendar with mundane, inconsistent friendships. I need and want those who want to be there despite any and everything. Sure, an occasional lunch with a friend or acquaintance is great!

I am willing to do what it takes to make those friendships work. I will not continue to call friends who don't return calls. I will not continue to throw showers and attend parties for friends who cannot bother to do the same for me, or at least to show up for my life's major events.

I'm too old and I don't have the time.

But I will go above and beyond for those who love me and support me. For those who are happy for me, I will celebrate in their every happiness.

The strange thing is, I am completely ok with it. I am fine with phasing people out of my life. Not to sound callous or snarky, or like an episode of Friends, but I am set to begin the official phase out.

So, what kind of friend are you? "Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them."

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Regifting...Yes or No?

Such an ugly word this time of year, but be honest do you regift? 


I will admit that I have. And I will again.


I think the trick to regifting is that the gift still has to hold meaning and be something that the recipient would actually want.


For example: My mom got a Chanel clutch from her well-to-do boss. My mom would prefer a power tool. Her daughter (ME!!!) was the proud regiftee. I mean, it actually came with a certificate of authenticity and everything! 


Technically this wasn't a regift as she just asked if I wanted it, but it would have made a wonderful regift, right!? Be honest, you would have accepted it in a heartbeat!


That said, I think that you should always  add a little something else to the item you are passing along.


I was give a bottle of perfume from Bath and Body Works, however, with a newborn, I'm not wearing perfume. So, for Christmas I put together a little "pamper" gift for my younger cousin who is in junior high and who I know would love it! I used the perfume, added two bottles of VS body spray that I purchased for her during the semi-annual sale, a brush, some girly hair pins, a lip gloss and a purse mirror all from Target...for less than $15.


See, it makes sense for the one receiving the gift.


Another thing I always regift is wine. I looove wine, but I am not a fan of Merlot or Cabernet. So, anytime I get a bottle, it often gets taken to other events as a hostess gift. 


Obviously, as a new mom, I recently had lots of baby showers. One of those showers was a diaper shower. I also recently hosted a baby shower. At my diaper shower I received a lot of Huggies diapers...which didn't work for us. For some reason, they never fit Alaina the way they should. We are a Pampers family. At the shower I hosted, the momma-to-be was requesting Huggies. So, I regifted a box of 96 Huggies. And diapers ain't cheap! However, I would never give her that alone. I also purchased her changing pad and two covers, as well as an outfit. So, for a $90 gift, I only paid about $60. Works for everyone, right?


So, yes, you should always be grateful for every gift you receive, and believe me, I am extremely grateful anytime anyone thinks of me, or my precious little one. But there is no reason for money to go to waste, right?


So tell me, do you regift? What are some of the things you have passed into better hands?


Don't forget to enter my giveaway! And be on the lookout for another one next week! :)



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Product Review and Awesome Giveaway!

Hey there friends and readers. If you've been reading my blog you know that I am a new mommy. Could it be more obvious? ;)

As a new mommy, I love documenting every second of my little one's life! I constantly have a camera in her face and I love sharing her pictures with others. I can be creative, but I am far from crafty. I am not a scrapbooker. In fact, I kinda hate it. I hate the mess. I hate the time it takes to put together one single page. It's not for me.

But I love working on the computer; I'm a fan of InDesign, Quark, iStudio...all of that wonderful electronic "stuff".  And I love taking pictures and I love being able to show them off. 

Well, last week I was asked to do my first product review. I was both excited and nervous. I mean, what if I hated the product? Well, I didn't! I love it! This product is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!

Have you heard of My Memories ?  To be honest with you, I hadn't. But girl I went to college with always posted digital scrapbooks of her and her kiddos and I always wondered how she could create such cuteness.

So, last weekend I downloaded a version of the program and got to work. 

Likes:
The program is a BREEZE to figure out. I am used to more complex programs like InDesign and such but this program would work for anyone who is a beginner to a more advanced digital design fan. A big perk for me is that I didn't have to read a lot of instructions to figure it out. I hate instructions. :)

I love that there a really cute, free downloads to create a scrapbook. Like I said, I am not typically a fan of scrapbooking and all of the work that goes into it but this makes it so much easier and quicker. There are also templates you can purchase but I appreciate, as someone trying to watch her budget, that they are extremely reasonably priced. I've seen some ranging from .99 to $2.99. 

You can also add video and music to your pages and the program is compatible with Mac or PC computers. Big time bonus for this Mac girl!

There are several themes to choose from and I love that you can use it to create other things like invitations.
I blurred our last name and church location for privacy.
I could have printed this page out on square card stock for at Office Max. Seriously. The last baby shower I threw, I spent $56 on invitations! This would have been a great cost saver...And the best part? It took me about 15 minutes to put this together. 

I also created a little starter scrapbook of Lainey.










I love that there are so many templates to choose from! You can also add music and video to your pages.

Dislikes:

Really the only things I disliked were
1) The program took forever to download. Like, so long I thought it would be one of those programs that freezes often. Rest assured, I've spent about 7-8 hours playing on the program and it has yet to freeze. The program is rather large so, if you purchase or win it, be sure you are in the best area of your house for internet connection and be sure to have your screensaver disabled. That tripped me up.

2) I could not figure out how to upload images from iPhoto. However, on the website there are "classes" you can take to get to know the program a little better...So, I'm signing up!

So...here's the good news for you! My Memories is offering one of my readers a free download of the full program! I am so excited to share this with you all because I know you will love it. No matter if you use it to document your kids, travels, college days, wedding, Christmas...it is an easy way to get professional-quality scrapbooking done by your own hands in reasonable amount of time. I am honestly so happy I was asked to do this because I can see it being used for lots of invitations in my future, not just scrapbooks!

If you would like to purchase this program...My Memories is offering my readers a discount. Just click the banner below and enter in my promotion code for $10 off!
STMMMS79657



If you would like to win your own copy of My Memories you must do the following:
1) Become a follower of my blog
2) Link this post to your blog
3) Visit My Memories and tell me in a comment that you have done #1 and 2 as well as what your favorite layout or paper pack is

For additional entries:
(doing each of the following will get you one extra entry for a possibility of 4 total entries.)
1) For one extra entry, follow me on twitter at stevycurbow

I will draw the winner next Tuesday, December 27. 


If this isn't enough...check out this awesome giveaway from a fellow blogger!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mommy Savers

As it happens in the celebrity circles, so it happens in real life as well. Everyone I know is either pregnant or has just recently had a baby! 

Even though I am a very new momma, I often get asked advice on my favorite products and things I enjoy and work for Lainey.

(And let me preface this by saying this is what works for our family, you may hate it.) 

So, I've decided to do a series of blog posts on our favorite things baby related. 

This week's edition: babywearing.

I am a  huge fan of babywearing. I didn't think I would be but thanks to a random girl in Target, I was talked into registering for the Moby. And I am so glad that I listened. 

When we first brought Lainey home, she was a fussbucket. I thought the child had colic. But with a little lovin' and a lot of wearin', she gradually became a much easier baby.

She seemed more relaxed and it was much easier to get her to sleep. 

Another bonus? No grubby stranger (or unwanted family) fingers all over my newborn. I love the bond it seemed to create. Since I had such difficulties breastfeeding, this seemed to help with the closeness we both wanted. 

Here are a few of the products we've given a shot:


Santa came early to our house with the Maya Ring Sling Wrap. It's chic when compared to other slings/wraps which can be bulky and plain ugly. I ordered the olive green sling and I like, not love it. 
 It may be that I am still getting used to it but the ring hurts my shoulder when I wear it for a while. It is very convenient though and very, very easy to use. I love this for trips to the grocery or to the mall. It is very easy to remove, put on, and get the baby in and out.

I also love that this can be used for twins, not that I have that challenge, and comes with a very detailed DVD on how to use the product in various ways.

The Maya Ring Sling can be purchased on http://www.mayawrap.com/ for $74.95. I purchased mine, new, on Amazon for $65 though.  Hey, I 'm a new mom and I gotta pinch pennies where I can.


The Moby. This was my lifesaver. I liked it so much, I went out and bought another one. The Moby is extremely comfortable for both Lainey and myself. She loves to snuggle up in it! 

It took a few trial runs before I felt safe putting her in it but let me tell you friends, this is safe! I couldn't get great details from the instructions that come with the Moby, but the videos on YouTube give great detailed directions. I watched several videos to learn several new carries to get us through the stages of growth that seem to happen way too quickly. 

The Moby is great for when we walk the dogs or when she was younger and we would have a particularly fussy day. This is a favorite because it is comfortable to wear over an extended period of time. It makes getting things done around the house possible. I also like that I can leave her legs and head out to get the cool air, or I can cover her head and legs to keep them warm and/dry.

The worst thing about it...This bad boy is a freaking sauna! It gets so hot! Great for the winter or cooler days...not so much for a Texas summer. Since it gets so warm, and I have a hot-natured, sweaty baby, I have to wash it often. Which is fine. I throw it in with her clothes and use baby detergent. Another down side, it's more complicated when running errands if you aren't comfortable with it. I can put it on quickly and easily now but when I first started using it, it took way too long!

The Moby will stretch as you wear it more and more but will shrink back to it's original size once washed. 

The Moby can be purchased at Babies R Us and Target and is about $35-$55 depending on the one you choose and where you shop.

This is the Infantino Balance ergo carrier. And this bad boy is complicated! I honestly have yet to figure out how to get it on. I know this is what I will want to use when we head to Costa Rica next year but I'm going to have to get the engineer husband to figure this one out. I seems very secure and like it would distribute the weight really evenly for comfort but Heaven help me if I can ever figure this out.

The Infantino Balance runs at $50 and can be found at http://www.infantino.com/product.cfm?product_id=1195 or at Babies R Us. 

A message from Lainey about babywearing:

 jn8hjhun lhhgn hhhv

Hope this is helpful for those of you considering babywearing. 


Check back tomorrow for an awesome giveaway!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Easy Peasy Holiday Treat

This is the easiest treat EVER...Yummy and quick. Give a shot and let me know what you think.
1 lb jar of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts
1 lb jar of unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 12 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 12 oz white morsels
1 lb package of white almond bark (this is where the hammer comes in)
Pour peanuts in the crockpot
Add morsels and vanilla bark (make sure you beat the hell out of the almond bark - because you want to break it up into decent sized pieces so it will melt)
Cover and turn on LOW setting for 1 hour and 15 minutes.....remember LOW.....go read a book, dust your baseboards, bath the dog.....and come back once your timer goes off.....stir with a large spoon covering all of the peanuts.....spoon out on wax paper and WALAH


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Also, I need to update my reader list...what is your favorite blog/blogs to read? Seems that a lot of the blogs I was reading have disappeared or haven't updated in like 6 months. So, send me on to your faves! 


The Rest Is Still Unwritten
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Freelance Writer. Online Boutique Owner. Mommy of a boy and a girl. Always stir crazy. A schedule hater and free time lover.

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