Our first year with an Elf on the Shelf!

This is our first year with our Elf on the Shelf! It was only by happenstance that he came into our lives! 😉 My good friend was looking for one for her 2 boys and I happened upon one at a thrift store in brand new condition!!! Omg! I was so excited I had found one for her after she had looked forever! So I get ready to take it over to her and ended up getting on Facebook before I leave and see that she had already found one! Dang it…. So even though I haven’t been a huge fan of the Elf craze I decided to keep him. My kids were over the moon about him and enjoyed seeing what craziness he was up to everyday!

Unfortunately, I have a terrible memory!! I always forgot him! And if you’ve seen my previous holiday post I would make a mad dash down the stairs to find a new spot for him! On a few occasions I didn’t forget him and I was able to set him up nicely! Needless to say my kiddos loved it and even though it was irritating it was worth it to see them rushing around the house to find him! He even brought a few yummies and the new Secret Life of Pets movie!! I know my kids are spoiled! 🙂 🙂

Anyways here is a few pictures!!! Some of them were found on Pinterest! So if you do the Elf on the Shelf make sure to check out the great ideas on Pinterest! If you do Elf on the Shelf I’d love to see what you’ve done!! Or I’d love to hear your ideas, I’m stocking up for next year!! 🙂 🙂

 

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Our very first night with him!!! Can you tell? I actually put some effort into it!!! That makes me sound like a bad mom lol! 🙂

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This is one of those I forgot moments, what is closest thing that I can use to set him up!?!? On this morning there was my youngest’s Woody costume nearby! 

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We had leftover birthday cupcakes!! Of course Luigi had to have some too! 🙂

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“I was practicing for my race with Rudolph and I got stuck! Please Help!!!! (This was my hubby’s idea)

 

luigibedluigiWe even made him his own bed, blankets and a pillow. AND of course we had to have a stocking! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to seeing your Elf ideas!!!! 🙂 🙂 Hope you had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Holidays are CRAZY!!!!!!

So sorry for checking out on everyone!!

I love Christmas and everything about it, the craziness, the drunken family members and the uncontrollable laughter of 15 people celebrating Christmas together. I love the food, the trees, the lights and the fact that I get to have all my boys and hubby home together for a long Christmas break!! I get to sleep and finally get caught up on the honey-do list I have for my hubby 😉

But before this wonderful whirlwind started, it started off crappy!

So the week before our Christmas break was supposed to begin I ended up being so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed. I thought I had the flu but apparently I had a severe reaction to an antibiotic (Bactrum) that I was taking due to a sinus infection. If you are allergic to sulfa drugs, make sure you know!!! Lol….so apparently I didn’t know and it turned in to severe body chills (like teeth chattering and everything!), fever and a full body rash that felt like I was being eaten alive inside and out by a bunch of fire ants. I know that sounds dramatic but OMG…..it sucked!

So anyways…… following a steroid shot, a whole lot of benadryl and benadryl cream I finally felt like a human being again…..After being sick for an entire week I was thrown into a week long frenzy of school parties and Christmas activities. Unfortunately, for the first time in 7 years I missed my kiddos getting to see Santa. I was so sick, that I was stuck in bed binge watching Friends. It broke my heart! The good thing is that they barely noticed I was gone! My wonderful hubby managed to corral them enough to get them there and back! I am so thankful for him!! 🙂

Seriously, this time of year is so crazy hectic! We had two school Christmas parties, Boy Scouts Christmas party, Christmas Eve with my sister, Christmas Day at our house and trying to keep up with our own family traditions it is so difficult! I was ready to pull my hair out by the time it was all over. AND I was a crazy lady and started the elf on the shelf tradition, which my kids love, but OMG I was frustrated by that thing by the time Christmastime came around. I ALWAYS FORGOT ABOUT IT!!! It was always a mad dash down the stairs to throw him somewhere before the kids made it down for breakfast! 🙂

In all honesty I love this time of year! It’s a great time to celebrate family and I absolutely love having the extra time home with my kids and hubby! Even though I haven’t gotten a whole lot accomplished and the thought of having to wear jeans again on Tuesday just makes me cringe 🙂 sweatpants have become my friend! There has also been a lot of Pokemon Go playing 😉

I hope everyone has had a WONDERFUL Christmas and have a safe and happy new year!!!

 

See you all in the NEW YEAR!!!!

God Bless!

 

 

“Doodletopia Fairies” ~Christopher Hart~ Review

doodletopia

Synopsis:

An interactive doodle book of fairies and other fantasy characters from the best-selling art instruction author whose books have sold more than six million copies, pairing illustration tips with drawing, designing, coloring, and crafting activities.

For years, Christopher Hart has given readers the tools and techniques needed to learn how to draw and cartoon. With the Doodletopia series, Hart offers us a chance to practice and perfect our artistic skills. For this latest title, Hart returns to the lush, gorgeous, and mystical subject of fairies. Doodletopia: Fairies provides aspiring fantasy artists and fairy fans with activities to stimulate their creativity. After covering the basics of rendering these characters, Hart sets us loose to interact with the book’s many exercises and challenges. Pairing the informative content for which Hart is beloved with myriad opportunities for creative expression, Doodletopia: Fairies offers aspiring artists the next level of interactive art instruction.

Author:

HRISTOPHER HART is the world’s bestselling author of drawing and cartooning books. His books have sold more than 7.4 million copies and have been translated into 20 languages. Renowned for up-to-the-minute content and easy-to-follow steps, all of Hart’s books have become staples for a new generation of aspiring artists and professionals, and they have been selected by the American Library Association for special notice.

 

Review:

This is such a cute book! It is an awesome book that shows you in detail how to draw some really cute fairies and your own little backgrounds. I love art!! So I love this book and the ability to draw people have always evaded me but this has helped!! It has a great step by step and even a place to finish the drawings! Loved it and will definitely be looking into some of the other books by this author! I really enjoyed it and the little fairies are freaking adorable and now I can happily say I can draw a person 😉

Check it out! You will not be disappointed!!! I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Here is a couple pages for you to see! 🙂 🙂

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Available at

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

Beyond Suffering Bible~ Review

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Overview

There is hardly a person who doesn’t know someone dealing with a disability, disease, chronic illness, or other form of personal suffering. The Beyond Suffering Bible is the first study Bible to directly address those who suffer and the people who love and care for them. From bestselling author, singer, and radio host Joni Eareckson Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability, the Beyond Suffering Bible is filled with thousands of notes and features that invite readers into a conversation about suffering and its place in each person’s life. Each feature has been carefully created to provide readers with valuable information, meaningful encouragement, and challenging applications as they encounter God’s Word.

 

Review:

This is a really awesome bible! I love bibles, I have several already but when I see a new one to review I jump at the chance to do so! Bibles are amazing and honestly there are so many available these days that you can find just about any style you could ever want!

This one is a large book with nice size print. It has reading plans available and also has chapters laid out into handy little sections that refer to specific scriptures such as: how to seek God in suffering, trusting God, temptation, success and many others. It also has a nice introduction to the New Living Translation. There is also little connection points interspersed throughout the chapters that help connect what you are reading on that page to something you have already read.

It is a very nice bible! It also has a free resource website! beyondsuffering.com

I will be recommending it! I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Available at:

Tyndale

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme!! It’s amazing!

http://twistedfood.co.uk/monster-chicken-fajita-crunchwrap/

Had this for dinner tonight! AND it was amazing!! Could have subtracted the chips and it would have been great! I felt like the chips were almost a stale texture after being in the oven and it made it less appealing. I also only used green peppers (that’s all I had lol) and I substituted chili powder for the paprika. Also left out the spring onion and the fresh tomato (my hubby doesn’t like them).

Great meal and is definitely big enough for 4 people! My hubby and I ate it and could barely polish off 1/4 of it each. It is huge! It was so yummy though!!

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 large tortilla wraps
  • 1 small tortilla wrap (or an additional large wrap)
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced
  • mixed peppers, 3, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 handfuls tortilla chips
  • 2 tbsp spring onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh tomato, diced
  • sour cream and avocado salad, to serve
  • 2 cups cheddar, grated

How You Make It:

  1. Pop your chicken, peppers, onions, spices and seasoning on a baking tray and roast at 220°C for 2o minutes, mixing occasionally.
  2. Bring out and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Grease a large cast iron skillet with oil and lay down 5 of your tortillas, overlapping, in a flower formation. Pop your smaller wrap in the centre.
  4. Go in with your cheese, half your fajita mix, then a tortilla chip layer (crunch down to flatten). Top with the remaining half of fajita mix, spring onion, tomato then the rest of the cheese. Place a final wrap on top in the centre and fold the rest of the wraps over. Bake for 30 minutes at 190•C.
  5. To serve, flip the crunchwrap onto a board.
  6. Dig in.

 

There is an awesome video tutorial on the website!!!

“The Cottage” ~Michael Phillips~ Review

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Synopsis

Michael Phillips Continues His Sweeping Shetland Islands Saga

When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that “the Cottage” is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman–and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place–and the character of its most prominent citizen–that soon gets under her skin.

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whale’s Reef. David’s cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni’s hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni’s very life in danger.

The Author:

Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than 70 books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly 30 more books. Over the past 30 years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland but make their home near Sacramento, California. Visit Michael’s website at http://www.macdonaldphillips.com.

 

Review:

Great book! I love the fact that it is on a tiny island surrounded by so much history! This is my dream vacation spot!! The characters are quaint and a little saucy. I love the plot of the story but the overall writing was a little frustrating to say the least. I understand that the author was trying to convey to the reader the difference between the American lead character and the residents of Whales Reef but wow…. It was so hard to read the sections of conversations with the local residents. I stumbled through it, often times reading it more than once and found myself still not knowing what the heck they said. The accent was not necessary for the story to be understood.

This little snafu is the only thing I didn’t like about the book. It really made it so difficult to get the complete story because it wasn’t a fluent read. When I have to read over and over again snippets of a book, I tend to get frustrated and quit reading altogether. I did stick it out until the end on this one because it did have such a great plot but I will not be looking for more works by this particular author. I believe that the story would have been just as great with out the crazy writing to make up for the accent.

An example of what I’m describing:

“If ye be who I think ye are, ’tis right comical for ye tae speak o’ payin’ for the likes o’ a telephone call. Ye’re likely the owner o’ my daddy’s whole inn!” “Ye are the lassie frae the States, I take it, who’s come tae inherit frae the laird?”

Sooo yea….super annoying…. But anyways good plot, weird writing. If it’s up your alley, check it out 🙂 Won’t be recommending it. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

“Made Well” ~Jenny Simmons and Margaret Feinberg~ Review

madewell

Synopsis:

From the woman fighting cancer to the man who has lost his child to the girl sinking into depression, so many of us are engaged in daily battles as we long for healing. When he walked the earth, Jesus said to an unwell man, “Do you want to be made well?” His invitation stretched beyond physical healing–he sought to restore the soul. The same invitation stands for us today.

For anyone struggling on the journey toward wholeness, singer/songwriter Jenny Simmons offers a resting place and a friend along the way. With personal insight into emotional pain, she invites readers to encounter a God who is working out their restoration–often in surprising “half-baked” ways. Her humorous and inspirational prose lights a path toward wholeness. Anyone trying to find their way to spiritual, mental, and emotional healing will benefit from Jenny’s vulnerable and compassionate stories of being made well in the midst of a messy life.

 

Author:

Jenny Simmons is a dynamic storyteller and lover of people who sees God’s redemptive hand at work in the world around her. She is a sought-after musician and speaker who has garnered a devoted following on her blog (www.jennysimmons.com). As the lead singer of the former band Addison Road, she traveled the country performing alongside her husband, Ryan, for over a decade. Jenny and Ryan live in Nashville, Tennessee, with their daughter, Annie.

 

 

Review:

Wow! Just wow! If you are ever having a crappy day and just need a little lifting of the soul, you should read this book. This book has it all, it has personal stories, ones of sadness and triumph. AND makes us realize the fact that God’s got this even when we don’t. It is an amazing book!

It had me in tears, it had me laughing, it had me shaking my head yes and it made me realize that it’s OK to not have your life together. It’s OK because God’s got your back, he has plans for us and he wants to restore our souls, irregardless of what is going on in our lives. My favorite story was about the dead animal smell…. turns out it was food gone bad in a microwave that never got used. It’s the little things that make your life interesting!

The author is amazing, she is a relatable person and makes it an easy read! I flew through the book within a day and it is a book I will probably be reading again! I will be recommending it too!! I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble