Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Favorites 11.28.14

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and that the holiday fun continues all weekend.

I am hopping on board the Friday Five train a little late today, but better late than never!

{ONE} Black Friday Deals

I spent thanksgiving morning in bed shopping from my phone. I was able to buy both of the girls their Christmas presents and get some really great deals. 

The present Marissa asked Santa for

And Emily is asking for anything Minnie Mouse. 

I also picked up a copy of the Polar Express... in 3D!!

{TWO} Wish List

I posted my Christmas wish list this week just in case you need ideas for what to get me for Christmas... or my birthday (which happens to be exactly one month away) *wink*. 

{THREE} Button Swap

I am still on the lookout for bloggers to button swap with. If you think we would be a good match you can comment here or email me at

{FOUR} He's Back

Our elf Bob made his grand debut this morning. This year he arrived in an elf style hot air balloon. 

He isn't a naughty elf but he does get into mischief and keeps us laughing all month long. I can't wait to see the shenanigans he gets into.

{FIVE} Sisters

I love the bond these two girls already have. I love that they comfort each other, they giggle with each other and they understand each other.

I went to snap a Thanksgiving day picture and guess who got Emily to slightly participate.... it sure wasn't me. 

Linking up with


Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Wishing you and yours a
Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for...

* A husband who works so hard so I can live out my dream job.

* The privilege of being a homeschooling family, I get to be mom and teacher. This journey is so worth every sacrifice and more rewarding and difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

* A beautiful house that I get to call home. A home that I never imagined would be ours and the unexpected events that made that happen.

* A family that loves, encourages and supports me. From parenting, faith, home school and my even running. Having a good support system is huge. 

* Friendship in person and online. God has blessed me with some amazing friends.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Countdown To Christmas: Week 1

I can't believe week one of  "The Christmas Countdown Link-up" is finally here! After weeks of preparing, planning and promoting it is finally time to start. Before I get started I want to say I am so thankful for this link up and my co-hosts Danielle from Sundaes and Spaghetti and Kelly from Happily Ever Mock.

Week One

Week one at the Newman house has been all about preparations, decorating, and craft projects.

I decided that I would NOT let the Christmas season sneak up on me (again). I sat down at the table with my morning tea, and I made several lists.

Wanting to waste no time I immediately started working on those lists. 

I created and posted our 2014 Christmas Bucket List

I crafted more in a week than I did the whole summer.

And I decorated. Boy oh boy did I decorate. The husband even accused me of being excessive! 

Who, me?! I thought everyone had a Christmas tree in their bedroom. And we do ONLY have 3 trees. (I hope to change that to 5 next year *wink*)! I will admit when I decided to wrap the dining room canvases to look like presents on Saturday I was a bit worried about his reaction.

He didn't even flinch. Maybe he is coming around.... or I am wearing him down.

I started preparing traditions, new and old.

This will be our third year doing a  Christmas book advent and our first year including a more traditional advent calendar.

So glad the hubby and I were able to build this advent tree together.

Every bag has a scripture inside slowly taking us through the Christmas story. As a surprise, some bags have candy and some have fun activities to do as a family. I am very excited to start this new tradition with the girls. 

Even though we were busy with preparations we didn't forget to include some holiday fun.

We attended the Joplin tree lighting ceremony a family tradition since Marissa was 1.5. I will be the first person to admit it is a pretty lame event. But it is a tradition and they remember it. So we keep going. 

The tree may be less than spectacular, but the memories last forever.

City Hall

We were also invited to a friends house for their "Annual Viewing Of The Polar Express". The Polar Express has quickly became one of our favorite holiday movies. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I watched it for the first time last Christmas on Netflix. Sadly it isn't on Netflix this year, AKA we need to buy a copy of this movie pronto. 

Nachos, cookies, cocoa, a great movie and friends. It was a great night!

And that wraps up week one.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow and my naive feelings of being prepared this year, I am so excited to officially kick off the holiday season. 

Our Pretty Little Girls

I hope you'll grab our button, link up and join in the fun.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Mustache You...

If there is one kind of post that I love, it is a Q&A post. Recently Desiree from Macke Monologues (another Q&A lover) posted this one and tagged me to participate myself. 

Perfect timing Desiree. With several new readers I thought it would be fun to throw a Q&A post out there telling a little more about me.

Plus that ^ name. How could I not participate. 

Four names that people call me, other than my real name
  • Beth. My real name is Bethany but nobody calls me that.
  • Cookie. A childhood nickname.
  • Slide. A high school volleyball nickname.
  • Mom. Hands down best name ever!

Four jobs that I have had:
  • Candy packer. I used to work in a chocolate factory where I hand packed boxes of chocolates. Talk about staring temptation in the face all day long.
  • Telemarketer. "Would you like to upgrade your American Express card?! What, no.... okay" *click*. Yeah I wasn't very good at that.
  • Senior Warehouse Coordinator. That one sounds kind of fancy, it wasn't, trust me.
  • Stay at home mom. Hands down the best job ever!

Four movies I have watched more than once:
Since it's just about Christmas time let's do Christmas movies
  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. My husband and I would could watch this movie every day. Recently I was wondering how old the girls would have to be before I would let them watch it.... hhhmmm?! Safe to say we're still pretty far away from that day. 
  • White Christmas. An oldie but a goodie!
  • Elf. "Buddy the elf, what's your favorite color?!"
  • Polar Express .This one usually makes me cry, don't judge.

Four places I have lived:
Four?! I only have two. 
  • Baxter Springs, Kansas until I was 8.
  • Joplin Missouri for 22 years and counting. 

Four places I have been:
  • California on vacation as a child.
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Walt Disney World

Four places I would rather be right now:
  • Walt Disney World
  • On a beach
  • Running a race
  • Visiting Family

Four things I won't eat:
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Things that live in the water. No, never, not on my life.
  • Raw onion
  • Chicken Fried Steak

Four of my favorite foods:
  • Mexican food
  • Lasagna
  • Crab Rangoons
  • Cheesecake
Four TV shows that I watch:
  • House of Cards
  • The Voice (sometimes)
  • America's Test Kitchen or Cooks Country
  • State of Affairs, I watched the premier last week and I am currently undecided if I will continue watching or not. 

Four things that I am looking forward to this year:
  • CHRISTMAS! It really is the most magical time of the year.
  • New running goals. I am already signed up for 3 races in 2015, soon to be 4. 2 half marathons, a 25K relay and a 5K. I hope to add several more to my 2015 list.
  • Summer. Yup I said it. I am totally okay with it being Winter until January 2nd, then give me all the summer fun.
  • Hopefully taking some kind of family vacation in 2015.

Four things I am always saying:
  • GIRLS!
  • I am going crazy.
  • I made.....
  • I need to go to bed.

Four people I ask to join along in the Q&A's:
Tell me something random about yourself.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

My Christmas Wishlist 2014

I thought it would be fun to put together a little holiday wish list. I remember laying and staring at the toy catalog for HOURS circling every ridiculous toy I could find when I was younger. Kids can be so clueless when it comes to understanding how much things cost. 

As an adult making this list seems equally foolish. We just aren't gift givers in the Newman house. I think of the 8 Christmas' Russ and I have spent together we have exchanged presents once. And let's face it even if we did decide to exchange gifts the chances of me getting a few things on this list would be pretty slim. 

But just like the little girl with her red marker and toy catalog. A computer and Google 25 years later is equally fun. 

1. Garmin Forerunner 15

After a year of running I definitely envy Garmin wearing runners. I like the Forerunner 15 because it can serve as a running Garmin or a fitness band. Two birds, one stone.

2. Canon EOS Rebel T3I

Definitely a far fetch item. The thought of a DSLR has makes me giddy, but I just can't bring myself to pay that much for a camera. I have had my eyes on a Canon DSLR for about 11 years now. Maybe someday I will make the purchase. 

3. Lauren Conrad Slim Bootcut Jeans

Hands down my favorite jeans EVER. They fit me perfectly and I pretty much live in the ones I bought last year. Another pair would be great.

4. Plaid Infinity Scarf

I adore this scarf. SO cute and perfect for fall/winter. I would probably wear it all the time so maybe I should get a couple in different colors. 

5. Cow Creamer

Okay, I know this one seems a bit weird but I have wanted one of these goofy cow creamer things for years now. Why have I not bought one?! I have no clue, it isn't like they are expensive. It just seems like a silly purchase and I try to avid those. I think the only way I will ever get one is if someone else buys it for me. Kohls has them in some really cute colors like this yellow. 

6. Brown Boots

Yup, I still want a new pair of brown boots. Eventually I will cave in and get some. 

7. Purse

I have been purse shopping a lot lately. I know exactly what I want but I can't seem to find it and if I do I don't want to pay what it costs. That combination is like spinning your tires in the mud. You get no where. This one is pretty much exactly what I am looking for. 

So there is my 2014 Christmas Wish list.

What's on your list this year?

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites 11.21.14

We did it we survived week #15 of school! That means all of our hard work will FINALLY be rewarded with a week off. I am SO excited.

A week off school, a free schedule, and nothing to do most of the week except bake, watch Christmas movies and talk about Pilgrims. Sounds absolutely perfect to me

Onto this week Friday picks. 

{ONE} Christmas Link-up

Shameless plug #.... I lost track. 

But seriously, the link up starts WEDNESDAY. That is less than a week. So excited and encouraged by how many of you have made plans to join us. You can get the details in this post.

{TWO} Headband Tutorial

This week I posted a little DIY tutorial on how to make your own Athletic headbands.

I say athletic, but they are so much more than just an athletic band. Having a bad hair day, yup these work for that to. Sadly I have been sporting one almost constantly lately. I have A LOT of bad hair days. 

{THREE} Christmas Bucket List

I also shared my Christmas Bucket List this week.

I absolutely love making these lists, filling them with fun activities and being able to check the items off as we go. They have been so helpful with keeping me focused so we don't forget about any holiday fun. Let's face it the holidays are busy and it is so easy to forget about the little things that can make them so special.

{FOUR} Oh Christmas Tree

I did it, I put up the trees (all three of them ). It may have taken me two days but I am done. I can't wait to give a little holiday home tour soon. But for now I will just show you this (pardon the awful, grainy cell phone picture).

Now THAT is a Christmas Tree!

As soon as we decided our living room would have tall ceilings I imagined having a huge Christmas tree. So our first year here I asked for a 9 foot tree, for Christmas. Yes I know that maybe sounds a bit odd, but it works right?! Huge trees have huge price tags. Thankfully I received that gift early. Every year I put it up and think WOW that tree is huge then I grin and stare at it for about a month.

{FIVE} My Very First Giveaway

Yesterday I posted a book review of "The Waterlady" and launched my very first giveaway.

For your chance to win a copy of the book, and a $5 Starbucks gift-card check it out. 
Linking up with




Have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review "The Waterlady" & Giveaway

I was recently asked if I would like to review a book. My first initial reaction was, "Who, me?!" I still consider myself a baby blogger and let's face it, I am. But I quickly dismissed my surprise and jumped at the opportunity. 

I couldn't pass it up.

The Waterlady
An Ozark Tale

Seeing this is a children's book, I thought who better to help me with this review than a child?

"The Waterlady" is an enchanting tale of a mystical mermaid like creature who lives in a pond. She often finds herself lonely wishing for company. One day she just happens to get her wish.

After reading the book I asked Marissa what she thought. She smiled and said "I like it a lot". I then asked her what she enjoyed most about the story. She told me she really liked the waterlady because she reminded her of a mermaid. She also enjoyed the water ladies visitor, that was her favorite part.
This is definitely a book that a child with a whimsical imagination can get swept away in. That said, I believe my copy of the book was kidnapped by a certain little girl. It is safe to say that she loves this story and I am sure plenty of other children will to. 

Catherine's book is available for sale on Amazon you can also check out her blog along or find her on Facebook as well. 

Just last week now she asked me if I would like to add a giveaway to this review. Of course I would! I mean what good is a review without a giveaway, right?! 

This time of the year when I think about sitting down to read a book I imagine something warm to drink in my other hand. If that cup is red, that is even more exciting. She is supplying the book, I'll buy your cup of coffee all you have to do to win is enter!

See you tomorrow for my Friday 5!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's The Little Things: Snow Day

Sunday morning brought a small snow storm and the girls screamed with excitement at the huge falling flakes. On the way home from church the only thing they talked about was playing in that snow.

How could I say no.

We ate lunch, bundled up, dug the sled out of the attic and headed out.

The sled was a Christmas present, from last year, that I had to cut the tags off of. Last winter was a bit of a disappointment in the snow department. These girls were ready to finally put their sled to use. 

Never in my life did I ever imagine that I would be thankful for this hill. It is TERRIBLE to mow. I tried it once, almost ran myself over with the mower and swore to never do that again. Years of despise led me to this day when we finally had a sled and girls big enough to really enjoy playing in the snow. 

Not everyone is luck enough to have a great sledding hill in their front yard.

Fun for the girls, mom and dad! 


My pretty little snow angel.

And my ornery stinker who clobbered me with a snow ball. Next time, she will regret that decision. 

It's only mid November, technically still "fall", and we have already played in the snow. I am guessing this probably won't be the last time this year either.

And of course the best part of playing in the snow is coming inside for a cup of hot cocoa.

Linking up with Jess

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