Friday, November 30, 2012

The Rewind


1. By day three of our trip Jackson was a professional traveler. 2. Priceless handholding on our long drives between SC and TN. 3. I still can't get over how cute and big J looked this Thanksgiving. 4. Oreo Turkey. Need I say more? 5. We went to Shrek the Halls. You should too. 6. The Husband and I managed to sneak away for a date night at our old favorite spot. 


1. New Christmas Ornament; Similar to the one we received as a wedding gift. Makes my heart happy 2. Oh hai, Christmas Mug a la Kroger. 3. Preparations for our very first North Pole Breakfast are underway!
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With Thanksgiving 2012 officially in the books, I cannot wait to welcome Christmas with open arms this weekend! We'll be decorating the tree tonight, hitting up the city's Christmas Parade and Holiday Market tomorrow....and then Sunday we'll welcome our Elf with a North Pole Breakfast! Yes, I think this house will be bursting with Holiday Joy come Monday morning. 

Also, I know you're still searching for some Holiday swag! Don't miss out on my current giveaways by clicking the photos below!



One last super sweet favor to ask of you lovely readers this Friday...spare a vote? 

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!
Just click the banner above then the owl to the left :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blessings & Leaves

My camera is typically attached to my hip on any given day, but on holidays it seems to be put aside, especially on those holidays we're out of town. Last Thanksgiving I didn't even come home with a picture of anyone


Clearly, that couldn't fly this year. So, as everyone finished preparing for Thanksgiving lunch, Jackson and I took advantage of my MIL's many, many leaves.


It's funny how children make you see simple things in such a miraculous way.

A yard full of fallen leaves left stars in my baby's eyes. You'd have thought those leaves were covered in gold the way he threw them in the air full of joy.



I'd say our Thanksgiving went better than expected this year and much of that had to do with this green eyed boy.  He slept 99% of the total 14 hours car drive, he babbled and wooed every grandparent and he stayed on a fairly regular sleep schedule.

Basically, this guy? Is a rockstar. 


As we tossed those leaves around the yard, I saw so many blessings beaming through my lens. The simple pleasures of my child and family tend to have that effect on me. I mean really though, what did I do to deserve this handsome tot as my everyday bit of sunshine?


My heart has been overflowing lately and our little weekend away only cemented that even more. 


Forever and always, this kid will have my heart. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shrek The Halls

Spending almost every Holiday Season with Brandon in Nashville, I’ve become accustom to our traditions revolving around Opryland's Country Christmas. However, the hotel was still under construction our last season living in Nashville. All this means, it's been several years since we've enjoyed the lights at Opryland.

My plans for taking Jackson to experience the grandeur of Opryland’s Christmas have been in the making since before he was even born. So, as we made our way to Music City for Thanksgiving, I informed everyone we'd be taking Jackson to Shrek The Halls. His first ever Opryland Christmas event!


You begin with a “short” video which in Mommy/Toddler world was no where near short. However, the other 20-month-old running around justified my crazy kid. Thankfully, the video ended with snow flurries, putting Jackson on cloud nine {as is clear above}.



Just as I thought, he ran through the many rooms of sculptures, peering up to admire their height and many colors. I think it's safe to say he was officially in awe...


Oh and did I mention there’s an ice slide?


Yeah, it was pretty sweet. Except, this kid took like a year to get to the bottom. We’re still working on the whole theory of lifting your shoes when sliding, but that’s a post for another day.


Despite some setbacks in actually getting our family to Opryland that day, it was worth every penny, smile, giggle, tumble and terrifying realization my toddler might have tried to lick the ice sculptures multiple times.


In the Nashville area for the Holidays? Find more info on Opryland’s County Christmas and plan a visit for yourself! And, be sure to look around town for discounts on your tickets to Shrek the Halls.

*disclaimer: this post is in no way affiliated with or by Gaylord Opryland. These opinions are based on my personal experience. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kicking Off The Season Properly


The lovely November Sponsors of The View From 510 have come together to give one lucky reader a $25 Starbucks Card, $25 Erin Condren Gift Card and a Mint Teardrop Necklace.

Good luck and Happy Holidays everyone! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

iPad Mini Giveaway

We're an Apple household. Just walking into our house on any given day you'll most likely find two Macs, two iPhones, an iPad and an Apple TV. And it's been this way for years. In fact, it's been about four years since we made the conversion to Apple and we've not looked back. 

All this to say I have been squealing with delight over the last month knowing I'd be sharing this amazing giveaway with you all just in time for Christmas!! 

iPad Mini Giveaway Event

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The iPad Mini has a beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless, and over 275,000 apps ready to download from the App Store. The iPad mini is an iPad in every way, shape, and slightly smaller form. Easy for on the go with that same great Apple power punch!

Motherly Expectations are Rarely Met

There's a build-up in every mom's mind as to how family outings will run. Typically these daydreams are filled with giggling toddlers perfectly posing for photos and Dads who act as our assistant in capturing said moments.

In reality, kids run wild, Dads are actually on the search for their own pumpkin and mamas are left snapping a million photos of the back of her child's head.


Essentially, everything is more interesting than playing with mom:

Pots hanging from a chain...


Corn-hole....


And yes, even the pumpkin patch will entertain those Toddlers more than a silly mama and her camera. So let's say you put that camera away? Yeah, that Toddler is still going to be more interested in tasting the dirt than running hand in hand with you through the corn maze.


In fact, that corn maze you'd been scheming as the ideal Fall activity was a complete bust. Who knew the thing was going to be a million acres long!


The good news? The pumpkin patch will assuredly be stocked full of some seriously great pumpkins, a place for your child to run out their energy {with or without you} and one more activity to cross off the Fall bucket list.


Just one day left until we'll transition from Fall to the Winter holidays and I must say I'm pleased. We've completed our entire Fall Bucket list with the exception of two items, one of which is still in the works.

To that I say, bring on the Holidays!

*linking up with Naptime Momtag, Project Alicia

iPad Mini F7

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Preparations

Days before we'd leave for a trip, you'd find my mom scrubbing every toilet, dusting every counter top and vacuuming every single room. She always said, "Heaven forbid something happen then my obituary might read: She left a loving family, dishes in the sink, one too many piles of laundry, and a gaggle of dust bunnies."

That would not be her! And now? Not me either. 


More cleaning in this house is done 48 hours pre-vacation than any other time. It's now a proven fact.

All this is to say, I have a list of chores awaiting me!
T Minus 22 hours until we're on the road to Nashville!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Yours Truly

Hello ladies and potentially also gentleman currently reading the lovely Miss Erin's blog! My name is Chelsea, and I am the blogger and blog designer behind Yours Truly. I blog often about fashion/style (on the cheap of course!), design and other random stuff. I am super excited to be hanging out on Erin's sidebar for a while and am even more excited/honored that she's having me take over her bloggityblog today. Yep, I said bloggityblog just then. Deal with it. OKAY, anywho! Today I wanna have a quick chitchat with you about the small things.


A wise Mother Theresa once said, "...do small things with great love."
Dang, she is a clever one. We live in a busy world. A busybusybusy one. So sometimes, the little things don't get the acknowledgment that they deserve. Or we don't make the effort to do the little things in the first place. 

We tend to live days on fast forward, trying to be super-student, super-mom, super-worker or whatnot and we forget about the little things. Sometimes we don't bother showing our appreciation for eachother because we can't think of or don't have time to do something extravagant. Well my friends, Mother Theresa and I are here to tell you that the little things count. 

When my boyfriend comes home with a chocolate popsicle for me, I am the happiest girl in the world. He knows that when I'm really grumpy, a sugar donut will brighten my world (I'm food-oriented, so what, haha). Those little things show me that he cares & he pays attention to what I love and that means more than anything to me. 
source

Show someone you love them today. You don't need to buy them a bouquet of roses, you don't need to shout from the rooftops (although that does sound pretty fun and movie-esque). Send them a quick text that you're thinking of them, write them a little card of the things you admire about them, leave a little note beside the coffee in the morning for your hubs or roommate. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, just do small things with great love.

Thanks very much to Erin for having me today, and I hope some of you new readers will come say hi and introduce yourselves on my blog! I love to meet new people. xoxo

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What a beautiful post! Happy Friday everyone! Be sure to stop by Chelsea's blog, Yours Truly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm Here


Ok, fine. If we're being honest, most of it wouldn't quite be described as bliss; but these days, toddler love is abundant in our home. Consistently, I find myself looking over our family seeing so many sweet moments.

Motherhood is something the pre-mom me was terrified of. In fact, I was down right adamant against the idea of children. The snot, the screaming, the tantrums. It wasn't really appealing.

Over the last 19 3/4 months, many days have fallen in the "non-appealing" category. Because let's face it, those bits and pieces of motherhood you see out in public are real.

The tantrums, the screaming, the snot. It's there and it is also abundant.

What the pre-mom me didn't see when judging that mom in Target with that toddler is the love he shares with her the moment they step foot out of the store. Or the kisses he'll plant smack on her cheek as they snuggle before naptime. Or the days he grabs his favorite toys, stacks each of them in a pile in his room, grabs her hand, drags her into his room and belly flops on those toys only to look at her belting the deepest belly laugh known to man.

Those moments, those personal, parenting moments are what round out long days days and short months. They're what make even the non-appealable days blissful.

We're just a week from hitting the 20-month mark, and bliss is overflowing from our home. I've been stuck in a whirlwind shuffle of love and learning as a mom the past month and couldn't be more thankful for where I find my life as we embark on our second holiday season as a family of three.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

25 Before 26

1. Find a balance in contentment and aspirations.

2. Take Jackson to the beach.

3. Embrace my quarter-life crisis.

4. Be better about writing thank you cards.

5. Go to a blogging conference.

6. Finish decorating our house.

7. Complete Project PCOS.

8. Support a charity.

9. Run a 5k. I'm thinking the color run.

10. Travel with my husband.

11. Have a day in Charleston with my mom.

12. Take a professional leap of faith.

13. Have a girls night with my best friend.

14. Be in a city I've never been to.

15. Step foot in an SEC football stadium, during a game.

16. Learn not to linger on my mistakes.

17. Meet a blog friend in real life.

18. Read at least three books.

19. Build a playground in our backyard.

20. Visit a vineyard.

21. Go to a concert.

22. Spend a weekend away just the three of us {and maybe the dogs}.

23. Splurge on a beautiful purse. Not a diaper bag.

24. Take too many photos.

25. Give it to God. All of it. The bliss, the battle, the faith. 

10/6/12-10/6/13

Monday, November 12, 2012

Domesticated

Despite the madness of life lately, we had a moment to slow down this weekend.


Nothing out of the ordinary occurred. Just time spent with family, a bit of cleaning, cooking and SEC football. But in the midst of our average weekend, I found my heart fuller than it's ever been.

Toddlers have a funny way of overflowing your life with laughter, love and a messy house to show for it.


Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. -MLK

Friday, November 9, 2012

BRAVE: Jackson's First Movie {Review & Giveaway}

I've been hesitant to watch a movie with Jackson. I mean, let's face it, toddlers aren't notorious for their attention spans and when mama sits down for a movie she'd like to actually watch the movie!

That being said, when we received Disney-Pixar's Brave in the mail last week I couldn't wait to see how Jackson would do when we watched it. He's hit an age where if the entertainment is good enough, he'll stick around.


And stick around he did!

Jack could not get enough of Merida, her stunning red hair or loving family. The first few times she whisked across the screen we heard him exclaim "whoaaaaa" in the cutest little voice there ever was.  My husband even joined in for the movie as it's not just for the kiddos. We enjoyed it just as much as J {ok fine, we probably enjoyed it more}!

Havent's seen the movie yet? Well, here's a quick overview:

An original and thrilling journey set in the ancient and magical Highlands of Scotland, "Brave" follows the heroic journey of the headstrong, young adventurer Merida. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida confronts tradition and defies an age-old custom that inadvertently unleashes chaos, and forces her to discover the true meaning of bravery.

Tuesday, November 13, you can snag your very own copy of the Brave 5-Disc Set including a Blue-Ray 3D disc, 2 Blue-ray discs, 1 DVD and 1 Digital copy. The digital work done in this movie is outstanding, you're going to want to watch each and every disc :)

The good news? I'm giving away one 5-Disc Collector set to a lucky reader!

Just enter below to win your own copy of Brave! The giveaway will end tomorrow at midnight, so get those entries in! Good luck!

*I was given a copy of this movie to review. As always, all opinions are mine.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

5 Things Moms Should Know


1. Before you leave, hug them even tighter than you really should. You will miss them more than you imagined. It'll be ok. I promise. Now, go have a glass of wine. 

2. Remember to pack extra Advil. When you have one too many glasses of wine you'll realize hangovers are much worse than you remembered. 

3. When you return from your time away, your child will not run to you. Let that sink in, and don't convince yourself otherwise. They.Will.Not.Run.To.You.

4. Do not spend your rare moments of child-free mess worrying they're getting off schedule. There is no doubt those Grandparents tossed your notes aside the moment your car pulled out the driveway. You should be more concerned about the level of smothering happening at home than the routine. 

5. It will take a day (or so) for your little one to come around to their usual daily routine. Those days will be awful, and you will reconsider if that bit of vacation was worth it. It was. Stay calm and give it 48 hours. The toddler you know as your child will return and with an extra sloppy kiss to spare just for mama.

Happy Travels, y'all! I'd love to hear what you've learned in traveling sans baby as a new parent!

*linking up with Mommy-Brain Mixer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Must Try Apple Recipes of the Season




Praline-Apple Bread :: Taste of Southern





Crockpot Apple Butter :: Barns & Noodles






Apple Fritters :: Seemingly Greek





Apple Streusel Cake :: Chef in Training






Caramel Apple Cake :: Charm of Home





Apple Nachos :: Real Mom Kitchen



Source: busy-mommy.com via Erin on Pinterest


Apple Cider Cups :: Busy Mommy





Caramel Apple Scones :: Created by Diane


Snicker Apple Caramel Pie :: I Heart Naptime



Apple Crisp Pizza :: The View From 510