Saturday, June 25, 2011

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

I told you I would be back with more Thirty-One party fun:) 

Today I am going to highlight products that would  make GREAT baby shower gifts.  Seriously, there are so many options.  And I am smack dab in the middle of baby season in my life.  I have mostly moved past that time period where all of my friends are getting married, and now all of my friends are having babies.  (Which is so exciting).  Which, of course, means baby gifts. 

Let me show the multitude of products that Thirty-One offers for this very situation.

First of all, my favorite bag of all (which can be used for lots of things), the organizing utility tote.

This bag makes the perfect diaper bag.  Really.  I have three different friends who use this as their diaper bag, and I am hoping to get one for myself through this catalog party.

The organizing utility tote has 5 exterior patch pockets and two mesh pockets.  It comes in several different patterns, and, of course, you can get it monogrammed for only 6.00!!!  Obviously the pockets are great for bottles, puffs, pacifiers, mom's bottle of water, keys, etc. etc. etc.  And as a baby shower gift, it would be so cute stuffed with new mom necessities. 

Plus, it's only 22.00.  A great price for a diaper bag!!

Though that is my favorite baby shower item, there are several other things that would work great as a gift for a new or soon-to-be mom.

All found on pg. 43 of the catalog, which you can browse online.  Look for the square utility tote, the all-in-one organizer, and the collapsible cube--all great items for storing baby necessities in the nursery.  You know--diapers, lotion, desitin, etc. etc. 

On that same page, you will see the short and tall utility bins and the storage tote, which all make great (cute!!) toy storage bins.

On page 38 of the catalog, you will find other fun baby items, such as bibs, burp cloths, hoodie towels, pacie holders, and other things.  Check it out for yourself, and you will find so many great gifts. 

So, go to this link, click on shop now at the BOTTOM of the page (not at the top, or you will not be ordering under me), and start browsing and ordering!!!  All monogramming is 6.00, and if you have any questions AT ALL feel free to call Kate (my friend and thirty-one sales rep) @ 410-474-0559.  OR you can e-mail me at

AND if you order 31.00 worth of products, you can order the large utility tote (one of my favorite items) for ONLY 9.00 (instead of the normal price--30.00). 

Let me know if you have ANY questions.  Happy shopping;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm Having a Party

A catalog party that is.  A Thirty-One catalog party, to be exact.  And all of you are invited;)

I am guessing that most of you know about Thirty-One, but if you do not, you are missing out, and I am here to tell you all about it. 

I am sitting here looking at the catalog, and I am trying to figure out the best way to describe what Thirty-One is.  Mostly it's really, really cute and fun bags--the type of bags that would typically be found in a gift shop--but you order the products either online or through an actual party.  Are you following me?  It's like Mary Kay or Tupperware or Pampered Chef, you know!!

I have personally seen many of the products in person, and I LOVE them because they are cute and super practical.  And I own the thermal tote,

which I use to pack our lunch for the pool, or any other time I need to pack a lunch--obviously;)  I plan to get Ada the small thermal tote to use as her own lunch box for school next year.  She gets excited about anything with her name on it, and I think she will be excited to have her very own lunch box to carry that she doesn't have to share with John and me.

Right now I only own the thermal tote.  I WANT to own many more bags from Thirty-one, which is why I am hosting this online party.  Here is how it works.  Go to this link, (or the one linked above) browse through the catalog, and when you find something you want--which you inevitably will--place an order through my link, and I will get credit for it.  See how this works?  You will walk away with great products, and I hopefully will earn a few products all at the same time;)

I have saved the best part for last.  Right now, Thirty-One is running a special for June.  If you spend 31.00 (thirty-one, get it?), you can get the Large Utility Tote for 9.00, normally 30.00!!!!

A GREAT deal, and I LOVE this bag.  It is great for so many things.  It works really well as a beach/pool bag.  It's really big, but light weight, so easy to carry but holds a lot.  And it can be wiped clean, so it's okay if sunscreen or whatever spills inside.  I also want about two more of this same bag to hold toys--one for Ada and one for John.  Really, it's great for so many things.  For the college student moving into the dorm?  Great for carrying dirty laundry to the laundromat!!  It would make a great gift for a college student, filled with fun things for the dorm!!  And, yes there's more, monogramming is only 6.00, across the board.  So, one letter or lots of letters, it's still only 6.00 to get the product monogrammed.  So, enough reading, go check out the online catalog and get to ordering.  And feel free to comment and share what your favorite Thirty-One products are.  Also, there are lots of patterns to choose from, so you don't have to get the one pictured above.

I will be "hosting" this party for a week, so orders will be placed a week from today.  And, don't be annoyed, but I will probably be back everyday to talk about different products and encourage you to look around and hopefully order;).  You won't regret it.

Update:  When ordering, go to the link above, and click the shop now button at the bottom of the page to make sure that you order under my name.  AND if you have any questions AT ALL about your order, your monogram, patterns, etc. feel free to call my friend Kate who is the Thirty-One sales rep.  Her number is 410-474-0559.  (She told me to put her number on here).  And, to clarify, if you want the June special, you have to actually place your order for the large utility bag, the same as when you are ordering the other stuff.  Okay, feel free to e-mail me at if you have any questions for me, or you can call Kate.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thankful. #131-140

131.  My dad--such a great dad.

132.  Scott--such a great dad.

133.  The library open until 8:00 pm = a childless trip to the library this afternoon after Scott got home from work.

134.  Having four new Mitford books to read thanks to the trip to the library.

135.  Another run, another chance to "work out the stress."

136.  A new skirted swim suit ordered off of Zulily, using credit.  No money out of pocket!!

137.  Right after ordering the swim suit, receiving an e-mail letting me know that I have MORE credit on Zulily, thanks to someone signing up under me.

138.  The anticipation of a brand new niece arriving any day now.

139.  John's chubby, little finger pointing out, "John's nose," when prompted.

140.  Ada announcing that she wants to be a princess when she grows up, but asking that, "no mean guys be in it." 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thankful. #s 121-130.

121.  Feeling very loved and taken care of by my extended family--both my side and Scott's side. 

122.  The unexpected and much, much, much appreciated means to get the air conditioner in the SUV fixed.  So thankful.

123.  An appointment at Emory on Friday--thankful for all of the doctors that have been and are working so hard to get my skin situation figured out.

124.  John's little chubby feet stomping and splashing in the baby pool.

125.  That I will not be alone as I begin my first year of homeschooling.  Friends will be right there with me. 

126.  Fresh vegetables from the co-op, combined with the carrots and lettuce already in the fridge, to make a wonderful salad.  Perfect on a summer evening.

127.  That, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:16(?)

128.  Restored wireless internet, thanks to a friend of Scott's!!!

129.  A fairly clean house at the end of this day.

130.  A quiet house after the kids are tucked in.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Backwards


Backwards is apparently how Scott and I handled our finances.

What we wouldn't give to go back to that one person apartment in midtown, stuffed to the brim with two people and two incomes and hit the restart button on our finances.  It's a scary thing to figure out the answer to your financial problem when you're a mortgage, two kids, and one income in over your head. 

But, I suppose backwards is better than not at all.  Right? 

So, we continue on our s-l-o-w journey to financial freedom, backwards as it may be.  It's a stop. start. stop. start process, but we are plugging along. 

What we wish for is a really easy, painless, God-to-the rescue, and we are out of debt process.  But it is definitely not looking like that's the way it's going to be.

But, I am currently working my way through Proverbs, and Solomon doesn't beat around the bush--wisdom, he says, is better than jewels.  It's better.  And I really think that we are gaining wisdom in the process.  I really believe we are.  So, we lift our hands up in Thanksgiving, and we crunch the numbers, and we cut the coupons, and we work our way backwards to a place where we will feel so free.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let the Schooling Begin...

I have mentioned before that we are planning to homeschool Ada, and our journey officially begins in August when she will be a part of Classical Conversations--a classical homeschool group. 

I am so excited about this!!!  I think that we desperately need a homeschool group if we are going to "do this thing."  I need the accountability, and I think it will be fun for Ada to have an official "first day of school" and classmates and all of that.  You can read more about Classical Conversations here, but basically, we will meet one day a week at a local church, where the classroom tutor will introduce the week's material and review (?) the previous week's material.  I am not sure about the reviewing part.  But, anyway, for this super UNorganized mama, the actual reporting to someone once a week is a huge help.

I was going to go into all the reasons why we are homeschooling, but I decided I just won't.  Bottom line, it's what we feel like God is calling us to do, and as for the education itself, I absolutely, 100% believe in the classical model, so that's the why behind that choice.  If anyone wants to know more I would be glad to share, but that would take so long right now, and really I just want to blog about Ada's BIG accomplishment. 

Today...Ada read a book!!!!

We have been working our way through Phonics Pathways for a while now, but we haven't been able to move past the vowel sounds, which is driving me a bit crazy.  I don't know if it's a developmental thing, and maybe it will come with age, but Ada can't get all the vowel sounds right.  She knows the A sound without question, and she also does O fairly automatically, but the others trip her up a bit.  Well, yesterday, my BOB books (LOVE them) arrived in the mail, and I decided to just go for it with book 1--she only had to know four sounds to read it, and only the A vowel sound, so we tried it yesterday.  She read one word yesterday, and I was so excited, but she burned out pretty quickly. 

Well, we tried it again today, and today, I made her work through the whole book, and SHE DID IT.  If you can't tell, I am pretty fired up about this.  It's just so amazing to watch her sound out the letters and realize it's a word and then read this (SUPER simple) story all by herself. 

I should add, that after reading two pages, she decided she wanted to be done.  When I told her, "no mam, we have to finish the book," this was her reaction

So, it quickly turned into a discipline issue, but we eventually made it through the book. 

I am also slowly introducing some sight words--we are starting with just three--and she is doing fairly well with those.  She can recognize them on the notecard, but she doesn't seem to recognize them in the context of an actual book.  We just started the sight words today, though, so I assume that will come with time. 

So, here we go...we are official homeschoolers.  Yes, I know, mark us down as a weird homeschool family--we can handle the label ;)

Our other school related item of the summer is that I signed Ada up for the reading program at the library.  Now, when I was doing summer reading programs, I think that I got a free pan pizza from Pizza Hut at the end--am I right, mom? other "Book-it" alumni?  So, I pictured it being this big deal at the end of the summer where Ada got to go get her free pizza because we read so many books, etc. etc.  I think all she gets is a certificate.  But, we're doing it anyway, and it has made both of us remember to read books more.  She gets excited to write it down on her list, and, let's be honest, nerdy me also gets excited to write the books down on her list.

And when we're not doing all this "educating," (which takes up like 30 minutes of our day--at the most), Ada and John are busy making silly sounds into the box fan in the kitchen.  Classic summer entertainment.  Ann, don't you remember sitting in our bedroom in the house on Birchwood, making noises into the box fan?  John may not be able to say many understandable words, but he can make silly sounds and crack himself up with the best of them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Summer is in full swing here, and thanks to friends, we are often able to escape the suffocating humidity with mornings spent at the pool.

Growing up in small town Alabama, most of my formative summers were spent at the community pool.  I have such vivid memories of the chain link fence, the lifeguard's whistle, my mom's cooler full of lunch--because we certainly weren't allowed to purchase something from the snack machines (which I fully understand why now), and the drowsy heat of the station wagon as we drove home each afternoon. 

Then in Jr. High, I remember the pressure of buying just the right bathing suit and the relationship games that began when we were much too young to understand the consequences.

Because of those pool side memories, I have always loved the following poem.  It is summer to me.

The Summer I Was Sixteen

Geraldine Connolly

The turquoise pool rose up to meet us,
its slide a silver afterthought down which
we plunged, screaming, into a mirage of bubbles.
We did not exist beyond the gaze of a boy.

Shaking water off our limbs, we lifted
up from ladder rungs across the fern-cool
lip of rim. Afternoon. Oiled and sated,
we sunbathed, rose and paraded the concrete,

danced to the low beat of "Duke of Earl".
Past cherry colas, hot-dogs, Dreamsicles,
we came to the counter where bees staggered
into root beer cups and drowned. We gobbled

cotton candy torches, sweet as furtive kisses,
shared on benches beneath summer shadows.
Cherry. Elm. Sycamore. We spread our chenille
blankets across grass, pressed radios to our ears,

mouthing the old words, then loosened
thin bikini straps and rubbed baby oil with iodine
across sunburned shoulders, tossing a glance
through the chain link at an improbable world.

I know it makes me somewhat weird, but I have loved poetry since elementary school, so I sometimes feel the need to pass them along.  It is my blog after all, a sort of online journal, so consider this poem something I scribbled into my journal because it's summer, and it whispers of a life I once lived.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thankful. #s 110-120.

Oh this season right now in the Moore household is an uncomfortable one.  It pinches just a bit, financially, and we wish that God would reach down and just change that with one snap of his fingers.  It seems, though, that he wants to keep us in the pinching place for a little bit longer. 

Today I read this quote by C.S. Lewis, and it absolutely voiced my fears of late

We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be

So true, so true.

So, in this season of pinching, I take this moment on Monday evenings to reflect on all of the comforts in my life, these things that take the sting out of God's best ;)

110.  That here in Georgia, the sun doesn't set until 9 pm-ish, meaning I can slip out the door at 8 for a quick run .  Which is just the ticket these days...time to think, pray, drink in the dusky humidity...and then I come home with a whole new outlook. 

111.  That tonight on that run mentioned above, just the right music played on my Pandora station.  The lyrics speaking the exact truth that I needed to hear.  Have you heard, "What Do I Know of Holy?"  I had not until tonight, but it was the perfect ending song to my run.

112.  A fixed car.  No air conditioning for now, but that's what windows are for, right?  One car down, one to go.

113.  The daily conveniences--washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, ice maker.  These things make the day to day so much easier.

114.  Reading The Mitford Series again.  I feel like all of the characters are my dear friends.  Such a simple pleasure each afternoon during "rest time."

115.  Stove popped popcorn

116.  My house.  That I have a home.

117.  An evening with friends.  Spending time with my family.  Bottom line, not being lonely.

118.  Scott's job.  My tutoring.  Couponing.  The food co-op.  God's provision.

119.  An evening out with just "the ladies," a much needed break from life.

120.  Fresh from the bath children in clean pajamas.  Such a perfect way to end the day.

And Ada's list tonight--her three things before bed

1.  Going to the pool.
2.  Having a nice dinner [it was Burger King for dinner after spending the afternoon/evening getting the car fixed and then Target, so that's Ada's nice dinner;) ]
3.  Saying thanks to Jesus at dinner

Friday, June 3, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Everyday

Everyday is sippy cups and diaper changes and toast in the toaster at 7 am before I feel prepared to face the morning.  Everyday is cartoons and guilt over cartoons and toys everywhere, absolutely everywhere.  Everyday is more laundry and more laundry and folding and putting away.  And the dishes, oh the dishes.

And it sometimes feels so small.  So insignificant.  So worth the question that I heard once a few years back, and it rings in my ear to this day, "is this what you do all day?"  Yes, this, this mothering--this daily stuff--is what I do all day. 

But everyday, somewhere right smack dab in the middle of the mundane, (because it is certainly mundane, right?), I catch a glimpse of the extraordinary.  The little hands on my face at 6:30 am, asking, "can we get up now?"  John's toddler body, so quickly leaving babyhood behind, sinking into mine as I rock him before nap time.  And the way he loves to rub his cheek against mine.  Because as mundane as it is, it is equally extraordinary.  That I get to be a firsthand witness to these little people becoming.  Discovering.  Growing and learning and grasping.  That I get to be the mother in their everyday. 

It's a gift of the highest sort--this everyday.

And a few pictures from our everyday day today (lots of days in that sentence).  This summer's first trip to the pool and the sunscreen hair to go with it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Day to Day

One of my favorite times of the day is when this little guy is so clean and wrapped up in a hooded towel.  He smells so sweet, and he feels so cuddly.   

Last night Ada had her ballet recital at our church.  Here Ada is in the church nursery before the "show" standing still while Miss Anna put some make up on Ada.  Ada loves Miss Anna (a teenager in our church, and Ada's ballet teacher). 

Here Anna is putting make up on some of the other little ballerinas.  Some of my friends took better pictures last night, so when I get those I will post them and write more about ballet and the recital.

Today Ada received a package from Near--mostly it was things that we left at my mom's house (mom always has stuff that I left.  I am notorious for leaving my things behind), but it also included the book that mom made for Ada. 
And in other news, John is dealing with his first big disobedience issue.  It's the stairs.  The temptation is just too much for him.
We have blocked the stairs, but he has just in the past few days been able to "unblock" them, and he even fell down the stairs the other morning.  Which resulted in a breatholding spell, ending in his passing out, coming to, and then being so tired he went down for a nap.  This did not deter him, however.

It continues to be an issue, and as a result John received his first real spanking (actually several spankings over the course of a few days).  I will sit on the couch, he will stand where you see him above, and I will say, "no sir!" very firm.  He usually smiles at me, waves, and says, "ey" (hey), and then continues with his mission.  At which point, if he is able to successfully move the "obstacle," and begin his climb up the stairs, he gets a spanking.

 He is a determined little booger, and even figured out how to climb over the box.  This is a first for John.  Ada was a climber from the get-go, climbing long before she learned to walk, but John hasn't been a big climber.  Until now.  It's his first lesson in obedience, bless him. 
And those are the highlights of our week.