Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favorite Beauty Products of December 2011

If any of you are familiar with any beauty gurus on YouTube then you know that many of them will post a video of their favorite beauty products for each month.

Well, since I am a total girly girly when it comes to makeup and stuff, I decided it would be fun to share MY faves from December. I, being the creep that I am, love reading about what products others use, especially other moms. One thing I always do every single day (well ALMOST every day), no matter how tired I am or how much I have to get done, is take a shower and do my hair and makeup. When I feel I look my best I have more confidence and I am more productive then if I were to stay in my jammies all day. I feel ready to face the day and handle whatever challenges are thrown my way. Plus, you never know you may run into or what oppertunity will arise. Many people ask me why I bother to get all gussied up if I am going to be in the house with the kids all day. The answer is simple: I don't do it for other people (Well, I don't do it ONLY for other people) I do it for myself. Taking a half hour each morning for myself makes me happier, thus making me a better mommy. Now when I say I get done up, I don't mean that I deck myself out in my best dress with a full face of makeup every day. Some days it is just a dusting of  powder on my T-zone, a swipe of mascara and a dab of lip gloss. But it is always something. And my look is never complete without a spritz of my favorite perfume (which varies month to month). So, today I am going to share with you my favorite products of December, the ones that I cannot live without and use pretty much everyday. I will try to include the product prices when I can. Here we go!


Favorite Foundation-

  My current fave foundation is Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in #4 Light-Nude. When it says on the bottle "Airbrush Finish" they really mean it!! It goes on so incredibly soft and smooth and covers EVERYTHING. Plus, it gives a nice matte base, not shiny or oily looking like some other foundations. Retail: 12.99$ at all major drug and department stores.

Favorite Powder-
My fave powder is NYC (New York Colors) Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder in Translucent. I have always preferred loose powder to pressed powder because I find it gives a more natural look, while pressed powder can look cakey. This powder is great for setting your foundation or used alone to control shine. It doesn't add any color to your face so it doesn't throw off the color of your foundation. Plus, it is SUPER cheap!! Retail: 3.99$ at most major drug and dep't stores.

Favorite Blush-

I have two favorite blushes at the moment. The first is Covergirl Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush in 240-Sophisticated Sable, Retail: 6.99$. I love this trio and frequently use the lightest shade as a highlighter for my cheekbones, brow bones and tear ducts. My second fave, and most often used, blush is Clinique Soft Pressed Powder Blusher in New Clover, Retail: 27.99$. This blush is pretty pricey but it comes in the most adorable pink and white floral compact, along with a mirror and brush. This is my go to blush for day to day. I love it because it shows up as a nice dusty rose color and has no shimmer, which I prefer for daytime.

Favorite Mascara-

I ALWAYS use two mascaras together. Ideally one should be lengthening and the other volumizing, but I just use my two current faves. The result looks like you are wearing falsies, and if you know me you know my lash motto is Go BIG or Go home!! The first is Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express Mascara in Black Drama, Retail: 7.99$. The second is Covergirl Volume Exact Waterproof mascara in 125-Very Black, Retail: 6.99$. I always put the Maybelline first then follow with the waterproof CG one to seal it in and prevent streaks.

Favorite Eyeshadow-
This doesn't really count as an eyeshadow since it is really a pallatte of 12 shades (as well as a mirror, eye liner/brow pencil and brush), but I absolutely could NOT live without it. It is the only eyeshadow(s) I need. It is the E.L.F Beauty Eye Manual Natural Eye Edition in The Natural Look, Retail: 5.99$. It is the perfect nude palette and it makes it easy to go from daytime to an evening look by adding darker shades on top of your daytime look. My most used shades are the third, fourth, eighth and number twelve. It also includes a daytime and smokey eye tutorial on the inside flap. What a great deal!!
My other fave eyeshadow is Maybelline EyeStudio in Carbon Frost. It is a duo of sparkly black and then this crazy shimmery blue/purple/pink swirl of colors on the other side. Sounds crazy but looks awesome!

Favorite Lip Color-

My favorite lip colors du jour are Covergirl Outlast Double LipShine in shades 285 Coral Shimmer and 215 Rose Quartz, Retail: 12.99$ each. All I'm gonna say about these is they really do last ALL. Freakin. Day. You will need a makeup remover to get them off. I am also loving Covergirl Outlast LipStain in Bit of Blossom, Retail 8.99$. I love how it goes on matte and soaks right into your lips. I don't wear lip color that much but when I do I reach for one of these.

Favorite Lip Gloss-

I am a lip gloss junkie and wear it all day, every day. I just love how it makes my lips look so plump and luscious. Right now the lip gloss I am OBSESSED with is Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Apricot, Retail: 13.99$. It is THE prefect nudish-pink lip gloss and I can't live without it. It goes on so smooth and isn't sticky or gooey. It makes my lips feel sooo kissable!

Favorite Eye Pencil/ Liner(s)-

I have three lip liners in rotation at the moment. The ones that I use most are my L.A Colors Auto Eyeliners in Black, AE661and Navy, AE664. They are the perfect eyeliners, they go on super smooth and dark, you don't have to sharpen them and they are CRAZY cheap. They retail for a measly 1.99$. The other liner I like is CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in Starlighting, Retail: 5.99$. Very pretty shimmery silver, love to use on lash lines, includes smudge tool, no sharpening required.

Favorite Nail Polish(s)-

My favorite nail polish shades right now are Nicole BY O.P.I in Respect The World, Retail: 7.99$, which is this awesome turquoise/jade green color that I am wearing in the picture (although it looks more blue on camera). It looks wicked if you put a black Crackle polish over it. (I ran out of mine *tear*) and it dries super fast. My other fave is L.A Colors Color Craze Nail Polish in Live, NP409, which is a cool silver color and retails for just 1.99$.

Favorite Perfume-

My favorite perfume right now is one I got from my sister for Christmas ,called Love Wishes. It is an Eau De Parfum and I have no clue were it was bought or how much it is. I tried Google but came up empty handed. It is such a romantic, girly scent and I LOVE it. I really wish you could smell it because you would fall in love too!! I am pretty sure it is a cheaper brand of perfume but it still smells heavenly.

Favorite Hair Products-

I have super long (to my a$$) and curly hair, so putting some type of product in it is a must. However, my go-to hairstyle is a simple messy bun because it is just too annoying to have it down with kids yanking it and such. Usually I just scrunch it with some gel and a tiny dab of smoothing serum then pile it all on the top of my head, pinning the front back into a little pouf. My fave hair gel right now is Dippity Doo Sport Pro Styling Gel Concentrate. I use a LOT of hair gel in the run of a month so I do NOT want to be spending an arm and leg on it. This gel works great and is just 2$ for a 175ml (5.7 fl oz) tube. I also always use a touch of shine serum to tame all the frizzys that pop up, especially along my hairline. My fave serum right now is Got2B Smooth Operator Smoothing Satin Drops, Retail: 6.99$. It gets rid of flyaways and smells ah-may-zing!!Plus, the bottle has these cute little charms dangling from it:)

Fave Body Wash-

Right now I am LOVING these adorable little body washes I got for Christmas from my Mama. They are by Beauty Insider and have the cutest names such as Berry Flirtini, Blue Lagoon and Lime Margarita. It comes in a box of four different scents, 100ml's each. I absolutely HAVE to find some big bottles of them because they smell delish! I'm not quite sure of the retail price but I am guessing around 10$ for all four.

Fave Feminine Care Product-

I hesitated before including this category because it isn't a beauty product, BUT I just had to show someone because it is just so dang cute. For around 5$ you get a pack with two little boxes like the one pictured. You get one small box of Regular absorbancy and one box of Super absorbancy, each containing ten OB tampons. Now, normally I use tampons with an applicator but this box was so cute and the perfect size to throw in my purse for emergencies. My periods are so effin' random I never know when it's coming until BAM!    Okay,TMI...Sorry.                                               

Favorite Makeup Bag-

I made this category because I absolutely HAVE to show off the adorable makeup bag I got from my Nanny for Christmas. It is by Clinique and is just so cheerful looking with its bright pink, orange and purple blossoms. It is large enough to fit all the makeup I just showed you plus a bit more, but still small enough to throw into my purse. I think it may have actually been a free gift my nanny got with a purchase. Either way I LOVE it!

Since this is a Mom Blog I figured I should include SOMETHING baby/child related, so I am going to share a few of my favorite baby/children's products really quickly.

Favorite Baby Wash:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I absolutely LOVE Johnson & Johnsons Vanilla Oatmeal Baby Wash, Retail: 6.99$. I use it on both of my kids every bath and it leaves their skin so soft and smells incredible. Seriously, I can't stop sniffing them afterwards, It makes me wanna snuggle them all night. Confession: Sometimes I use it too!!

Favorite Baby Shampoo:

Johnson's Extra Conditioning 2 in 1 Shampoo, Retail: 4.99$ is the ONLY shampoo I use on my kids hair. Both of them have curly hair like me and this makes it smooth and great smelling while being super gentle on their eyes. No More Tears!!

Favorite Diaper Rash Cream:

Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Cream, Retail: 14.99$ for 454 g tub. This is by far the best and most effective diaper rash cream I have used. I got a huge tub for free with a coupon I had on the recommendation of the pharmacist when my daughter had a gnarly rash and it worked like a charm. It is 40% Zinc Oxide (double the amount of most regular strength creams) and is super thick. It does NOT come off on the diaper, you gotta scrub this shit off.

Favorite Detangler:

Until just a few weeks ago my son had long, super curly hair (It was a big curly, shaggy afro but we cut it short) that I could not get a comb through without using conditioner and a few tears. I grabbed this L'oreal Kids Tangle Tamer Spray in Burst of Sweet Pear scent, Retail 3.99$ and tried it and it works great. I still use it on my daughters hair and sometimes even my own. It smells awesome and you can use it on wet or dry hair.

Well there you have it!! You now know my favorite, can't-live-without items of the past month. So tell me, what products can you not live without? Do you do your hair and makeup every day? What are some of your fave baby products?

Paper Bag Rudolph Puppet

Okay, I know I am a little bit late on this one but it was so adorable I couldn't pass it up.

Plus, I had promised my kids we would do a Christmas craft and they bugged me every single day so I couldn't say no. I don't really consider the holidays done until after New Years Eve anyways. That is when the tree comes down, officially marking the end of the holidays, so we are still allowed to do holiday projects until then.

Don't worry, I confiscated those scissors he is swinging.

While perusing the web for Holiday crafts that were easy enough for my kids to do and also did not require a lot of costly supplies, I stumbled upon this adorable little project. It is super easy for even very young children to do. My two year old had a blast making it although I did have to assist her with the cutting parts. My five year old did the whole thing no problem without assistance. If you have younger kids I would pre-cut everything beforehand so that they can do the whole project themselves.


-Brown paper bags (the kind used for lunches)
-Construction paper of various colors. (We used yellow for antlers and white for the eyes).
-Pompoms (Red if you are making Rudolph, black or brown for other reindeers)
-Glue sticks
-Markers (Pencil crayons or crayons would also work)
-Small bells
-Any other embellishments you wish to decorate them with.


Step 1: Trace you child's hands onto construction paper (whatever color you wish the antlers to be)and cut them out.

Step 2: Glue the cut out hands on each side of the backside of the paper bag, to look like antlers.

Step 3: Cut out two circles from white construction paper and glue onto the front of the paper bag (On the piece that would be the bottom of the bag if it were opened) for eyes. Then create irises by either cutting out smaller circles from black construction paper and gluing them on the middle of the white circles. You could also just draw them on with a black marker.

Step 4: Glue a red pompom onto the paper bag underneith the eyes for Rudolph's nose.

Step 5: Now you can add further embellishments if you wish such as a ribbon color with bells on it. For the younger children simply allow them to decorate their Rudolph puppet with markers or crayon. The possibilities are endless!!

Step 6: Now for the fun part!! Open up your Rudolph bag puppet and put your hand inside.The kids will have a blast making their Rudolph puppets "talk" and putting on a puppet show. If you are feeling particularly inspired you can create a puppet for all of Santa's reindeer!! Maybe even a Santa puppet!!

Coder was super proud of his Rudolph!! I made one to and it was actually pretty fun. The kids love arts and crafts so this was a hit with them. Here is what the finished product looked like.

Nelly's (left), Mommy (middle), & Coder (right)

Do your children enjoy doing crafts? What types of crafts do they enjoy the most?

This post is linked up at the Today's Creative Blog Tuesday Crafty Linky Party. I encourage you to link up your projects as well:)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Holy, Mouse Infestation!!

So you know how I moved into a new place a few months ago? Yeah...

Well, I found a place that was not only (seemingly) perfect for my family but also available immediately at a really great price, so of course I snatched it up. Well, for those reasons and because I was staying with hubby's sister and her FOUR children...All boys...while I house shopped and one week into living there I was seriously considering throwing myself out of the third story window. Seriously, I have had my own place since I was 18 and I cannot...I repeat CANNOT..stay with other people. I am weird like that. I don't even like sleeping over at my own mothers house. So anyways, for those reasons I took the place immediately. Of course I went to look at the place first and it seemed perfectly suited for my family and our needs. Let us review the pros and cons.

-Three large bedrooms so the kids can each have their own rooms (at our old apartment the baby slept in our room).
-My OWN washer and dryer (It was coin operated at out old place, 2.25$ per load..and trust me with two kids it adds up FAST).
-Large fenced in backyard (The yard at our old place was non-existent).
-Large baby barn for storage
-Very reasonable rent and security deposit

-No garbage bin so raccoons keep ripping the garbage open and throwing it all over my deck. Not fun.
-Infested with mice. Yeah. You heard me.

Apparently the landlord either didn't notice (and I find that hard to believe since the place was empty for a while and I am SURE there would have been droppings when he went in to get it ready for me to move in) or he simply omitted that little piece of information, but as I quickly discovered we were not alone. The very first time I had an encounter with a rodent was while I was home alone with the kiddos, while daddy was at work, about a week or two after moving in. I was sweeping the floor while the kids sat on the couch watching cartoons when I saw something out of the corner of my eye beside the shoe mat. I tiptoed over to inspect further and there. It. Was. A freakin' mouse, just chillin' inside my shoe. In my shoe! Needless, to say I screamed my head off and jumped up onto the couch, scaring the ever-loving shit out of my kids and causing them to both burst into tears. I realised I had to either catch the mouse or it would be roaming my house freely. "Stay on the couch until my Mommy's says, okay?" I ordered the kids. They both nodded their heads, eyes wide with fear. I grabbed a pair of hubby's old work boots and put them on. (When I told hubby about this later he laughed until he cried. "What were you gonna do step on it?" He asked. Uh, no, I just didn't want it to bite my toes, duh. *eye roll*). I looked around for something to trap it with and settled on my sons Lego box since it had a lid I could put on it. This all seemed totally reasonable at the time. Fear makes you do illogical things. Let me paint a picture for you: Me wearing a housecoat and size 11 work boots, trying to tiptoe (not an easy task in steel toes) around the house, with a Lego bin in my hands. The kids must have though I had really gone off the deep end this time. Well, I spent a good hour or two rooting through every closet, piece of clothing, under every bed, inside every cupboard. That little fucker was gone. I don't blame him, I screamed loud enough to wake the dead. After I calmed down a bit and my breathing was regular again I reasoned with myself that it was an old house, it had been empty for a while and it was totally understandable that a mouse would find his way inside out of the cold. I mean it was just one tiny mouse right? WRONG!

After that incident I was on hyper alert for mice. Suddenly the clues were everywhere. How did I not see the signs?! While watching a movie, hubby and I would hear them squeaking and rustling around from what sounded like behind the cupboards. After a few nights of this I was at my limit and made hubby investigate. After listening intently we decided that it definitely sounded like it was coming from behind the fridge. I got hubby to pull the fridge out and sure enough, this is what we found:

This is a mouse hole..
Those are mouse holes in case you were wondering. Like fuckin five of them! I almost died right there. Hubby, being a man, immediately ran for his pellet gun rifle. Like he was actually going to shoot a mouse. He camped out behind the fridge for a good hour with the gun aimed at the holes, trying to coax the little hellions out.Yeah, they never came out.

I emailed the landlord the next day and explained my findings and assumed he would take care of the situation. Well what does he do? Drops of one measly mouse trap. Just one. Ummm, I am no expert exterminator but one would assume that when there are, like, ten mouse holes in the very first place you look, you probably have more then one mouse. Well, we set the trap and snuggled up on the couch to watch a movie later that evening. We weren't even past the previews when SNAP! The friggin trap went off. Well, that was quick! Of course I sent hubby to investigate and sure enough we had bagged our self a huge mouse. It was still alive when we looked and I honestly felt really bad because it was caught right by its little pink nose. Hubby wanted to just leave it to die but I just couldn't bear to watch this little guy suffer so I ordered him to let it go in the field outside. He refused and said that it would just come back inside. Well, I was almost in tears at this point so hubby finally caved and just let it go outside. I am now sure that it ran right back in by whatever little hole it got in by in the first place, laughing all the way.

Gotcha, Sucka!!

 Later that night, your never going to believe this, when I went to bed I put my brand new 60$ purse beside the bed, as usual. Well, when I woke up in the middle of the night to grab my puffer out of my purse and reached down to pick it up I was left holding only the straps, no purse. The little bastards chewed the straps right off my freakin' purse!! Un-fuckin-believable! This kind of bullshit went on for another week or so. Well, fast forward to about seven mice later that we have caught. Lets just say I am not so soft hearted anymore. Now I sit there and giggle,  watching the little fuckers suffer. "Just DIE you little bastard, DIEEEEEEEEE." I called my landlord back to let him know that I didn't think one mouse trap was gonna cut it since I already caught seven with just one trap in like a matter of one week. What does he do next? Call an exterminator? Nope...That makes too much sense (actually I just think he is too cheap). No...He shows up at my door with a bottle of Rat Poisoning. Ummm, yeah, I have small children so I don't exactly feel comfortable scattering poison around my house. Plus, I read online that if you use rat poison they just die in the walls and shit. Not exactly the desired outcome. I was so pissed I called him back and told him to just bring me more traps. Honestly, if you want something done right you really do have to do it yourself.

So that was almost a week ago since the rat poison incident and we have still been averaging at about one mouse per night. We've been catching those fuckers left and right. Just last night while watching TV we saw one run out from behind the entertainment stand. Once again hubby grabs the pellet gun. WTF? Friggin' men. The thing kept poking his little nose out from the drawers of my entertainment stand over and over. I thought hubby was just waiting for a good shot, but when I gestured towards where it was peeking from he was just like "What? *Blank stare*. He didn't even see the fuckin' thing! Once again if you want something done...I snatched the gun from him and got into sniper position. I was NOT fuckin around anymore. Unless these little fuckers were gonna pay rent they gotta beat the feet. I already have enough mouths to feed. Well, I never did catch the mouse we saw that night so I know there is at LEAST one more mouse roaming around. Though there are probably wayyy more. I don't think I have to emphasize exactly how PISSED I am over this shit. I read online that mouse shit releases toxins that can affect your breathing. Well, since we moved in here my asthma's been acting up hella bad and both my kids, who have never really had breathing problems, are prescribed puffers. I initially thought this was because of winter being here and all the flu bugs and such floating around but now I am not so sure.

Anyways, I plan on emailing my landlord back and telling him either he calls an exterminator or I am going to be calling the Board of Health. I pay money to live here, I have small children, I am not a fuckin exterminator. It isn't my job to catch these nasty little creatures. If something doesn't get done I am going to have to move. Seriously, I am on a year lease and I am not putting up with this shit for a whole year. It is, for one, disgusting. Number two, it is a safety hazard. These fuckers obviously chew everything, judging by the wall behind my fridge. Well, if they are living in the walls what stops them from chewing on structural beams or wires? Nothing. How do I know my house isn't going to collapse as a result or burst into flames? I don't. Number three, I have kids and everyone knows that mice are filthy little, disease ridden animals. God forbid one bites my child and catch a disease or something. I would be out for blood . Anyways, I am going to give him until the end of the month to resolve this issue or I'm bringing out the big guns. In the meantime, I will definitely keep you all updated on this shitfest of a situation. So tell me...Have you ever had a problem with mice? How did you get rid of them? Any advice or tips?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

OOTD: Mommy and Baby version

So I have noticed that pretty much all my favorite mommy bloggers have started doing the Outfit of the Day feature. I personally love seeing what other mommies where and where they buy it, how much it cost, etc. I also love seeing how other mommies dress their children and I got the idea to do an OOTD for my daughter from Mandy over at The OMG Mom, who did an outfit post of her daughter on her blog, which you can view HERE.  So, since there are some days when I have absolutely nothing even remotely interesting to blog about I decided to jump on the OOTD bandwagon. I will try my best to include prices and where I got each item but some things I have had forever and I have a hard time remembering what I ate for breakfast, let alone where i bought something three years ago. Alright, enough of me rambling on, lets do the damn thing.

OOTD: Mommy Casual

This was worn to basically bum around the house and for a quick grocery run.

Sweatpants (12.99$) and Hoodie (18.99$) from Giant Tiger
White tank under sweatshirt (10$) from Urban Planet
'Guess' necklace was gift but similar styles are online for between 40-60$ (See closer pic below)
Cupcake Slippers (12.99$) from Wal-Mart

 OOTD: Toddler Edition-

I decided to do this outfit because I LOVE it on her. It is two pics because I wanted to show it her outfit without her coat and then with it. These were both taken at the same time though.

Shirt (19.99$) from H & M
Black Leggings (12.99$) from H & M
Brown Riding Boots (24.99$) from H & M (Closer pic below)
Coat (Reg. 54.99$ on Sale for 34.99$) from Old Navy
Hat and Mittons (9.99$ each...Sold seperately) from Baby Gap

Cutest. Boots. EVER

Thursday Tidbits: Gingerbread Fun!

With so much going on during the holidays we hadn't got to decorate our gingerbread house until Christmas Day.

I hadn't planned on even buying a gingerbread house kit because last years attempt went horribly awry. The walls and roof kept collapsing, there was much frustration and a few choice words on my part and we ended up throwing in the towel and just eating the pieces as they were. However, while shopping at Giant Tiger a few weeks ago with the munchkins I saw that they had gingerbread houses marked down from ten bucks to two dollars in the clearance bin. The best part? They were "PRE-ASSEMBELLED" houses, with all the fixings to decorate it included. (Second best part? A free pair of New Year's margarita-shaped, glittery eyeglasses with purchase!) It came with a bag of gum drops, a bag of colored candy beads, two bags of white frosting, and some candy canes. The house itself was already put together so all we had to do was decorate it. I figured it would be a fun little activity for the kids to do together. I kept putting off actually doing it because I was either to exhausted to bother or I just didn't want to deal with frosting everywhere and the sugar-induced craziness that followed.

Finally, on the afternoon of Christmas Day the kids asked me if they could decorate it. Since the holidays were almost over and the house was already a mess from that mornings festivities, I didn't really have any excuse for saying no. I sat them down at the coffee table with aprons on to protect their new clothes that they insisted on wearing. Chanel had not only her new clothes on but also her new coat from Old Navy that she absolutely refused to take off. I figured icing couldn't be too hard to wash off and was for the most part right, although I learned the hard way that once icing has hardened it is not so easy to get it off of a microfibre sofa. I armed them each with a small bag of icing and some candies and let them go to town.                           

An untimely demise...
 Coder had a blast decorating it and had the most adorable look of concentration on his face the entire time. He had his tongue sticking out of the corner of his oh-so-serious little face, trying to line the candies up just so. Nelly, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less. She was concentrating purely on ingesting the decor. All in all, I would say that the gingerbread house was a success. There were no tears and barely any fighting (except when Nelly would eat a candy that Coder had just painstakingly applied) and the end result was totally cute. We displayed it proudly on the kitchen counter for all of one day until Nelly decided she wanted to relocate it and dropped it trying to pull it off of the counter. There were tears for a minute or so until they realized the could eat the candy now. It was a fun activity that kept them for the most part entertained for half hour or so and it was sweet to be able to display their handiwork, but I think I will skip the gingerbread house next year. It is a little to annoying for my liking, what with the candies repeatedly falling off and trying to get them to decorate with them not eat them. I think next year we'll do gingerbread men instead. Less room for error that way. So what kinds of activities did you do with your children this holiday season?

Monday, 26 December 2011

A Very Merry Christmas 2011

Phew! Another Christmas has come and gone.

I feel like the past year has just flew by so quickly. This Christmas was a great one and I am sure my kids will agree! I won't lie, I am a little sad that it is over. There is just something so magical about the holidays. Everyone just seems a bit more cheerful. With all the Christmas lights and the choruses of "Merry Christmas" from passerbys and neighbors, it is such a joyful time of year. Now that it is over I am a bit bummed, although we still get to relax and spend time together as a family for another couple weeks. Coder doesn't go back to school until the tenth of January and I must say I am thrilled. Because hubby leaves for work at 7am and I do not have my drivers liscence (I wrote my test once...and failed by one measly point...but thats another post) that means that I have the ever-so-fun task of bundling up Nelly and walking Coder to and from school each day. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE walking, just not in minus 30 degrees celcius (that is -22 F in case you were wondering). I feel bad waking up the baby and dragging her out into the cold every morning..but it is my only option at the moment. We are too close for Coder to be a bus student yet just far enough to be freezing by the time we get there. So yes, I am  beyond phsyched to have a two week hiatus from freezin my ass off twice daily.

Anywho, back to Christmas...We spent a lot of time with our families, drove around oohing and ahing over Christmas light displays, built a snowman, feasted on turkey dinner, decorated a gingerbread house, and of course opened a TON of gifts. On Christmas Eve day we spent the afternoon at hubby's grandmothers house with all of his family (his two sisters and their hubbys and children...six kids in total not counting mine)...The kids had a blast playing with their cousins while the adults sat around listening to Christmas music, talking and laughing at the kids antics.

Chanel enjoying some appetisers

The kids playing downstairs
After supper most of the party moved to hubby's mother's house where the festivities continued until almost 8pm.When we finally got home on Christmas Eve the kids were thrilled to find a note from Mrs.Clause on the bed along with a new pair of jammies for each of them.

I forgot to take a pic of the note but it basically said that Santa had left for his journey so they should put on their new jammies and get to bed...And not to forget to leave out milk and cookies. That was the most excited they have ever been to go to sleep. Well not so much Nelly, she didn't totally get it yet, but she was thrilled to put on her new jammies. Before bedtime we allowed them each to open one small gift. Chanel was thrilled with hers...Coder, on the other hand, was not. He opened a small one which happened to be a dollarstore toy four-wheeler and lets just say he was less then impressed. "I don't want this one" he whined as tears ensued. It was from Nana, who had also given them bigger gifts and tickets to Crystal Palace, but he didn't know that yet) I was so ticked off at his rude behavior that could have throttled him. After a breif lecture on why it isn't nice to say you don't like a gift and how some kids get nothing for Christmas and how it hurts peoples feeling, etc it was off to bed.
Kids in their new jammies
 At five in the morning Coder woke up bugging to open his gifts...I told him it was still nighttime and he had to go back to sleep for a little longer...Needless to say this elicited whines and cries on his part, thus waking up Nelly briefly. Thankfully, they both fell back asleep until almost 9pm (Thank god because mommy was pooped). I'm pretty sure that Christmas morning was just as much fun for me as it was the kids. I was so excited to see their little faces light up. Hubby and I woke up to choruses of "Mommy! Daddy! Wake up!!! Santa came!! He ate the cookies!!" I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled down the hall to see. Sure enough the milk and cookies were gone, as was the carrot left for Rudolph. There was also a rather charming letter from Santa.

Needless to say, the kids were awestruck. There was a crapload of gifts and they wasted no time tearing into them. I had to help Nelly because after she opened each gift she wanted to play with it, so it took a while to open all of hers..This did not fair well with Coder seeing as he tore through his in record time and then proceeded to try opening everyone elses. They both got tons of stuff, and the the hubs and I got some nice stuff as well, including a new pot and pan set, a knife block and knife set, an awesome red slowcooker that matches my other red pots and pans and much more.
Before the chaos ensued...

After all the gifts are open
I was running around like a crazy person trying to clean up wrapping paper and boxes, thinking about where the hell I was going to put all this new stuff. Then I recieved a call from my mom and her fiancee saying to come over for turkey dinner and that they had a bunch MORE presents for us and the kids. 'Oh dear god, now I'm going to have ten times as much toys to clean up. After all the gifts were opened and each was played with we all curled up for a nap until around lunchtime. Then we got up and played some more until it was time to go to "'Nother Nanny's." (The kids call hubbys mom and step-dad 'Nanny and Papi' and my mom and step-dad 'Nother Nanny and Gampy' in the other nanny and grampie.)
Ready to go in her new clothes...
 When we got to nother nanny and gampys there were a bunch more gifts for all of use from them, my sister and my grandmother. The kids got a bunch more toys including about a million Lego's...the REALLY small ones...I am not kidding like a HUGE storage bin FULL...I swear my mom did that on purpose to torture me. I got some really cute stuff to including some new perfume and an adorable hat and mitton set from Aeropostale (from my sister), a Tommy Hilfiger hoodie, a super cute Clinique makeup bag and makeup (from my grandmother), a 50$ Giant Tiger gift card (from my mom) and hubby got an MMA track jacket from my mom and an H & M hoodie from my sister. We got other stuff too but I am too lazy to list it all.
More gifts at "nother Nanny and Gampy's"  house...

One of Nelly's faves...Vtech Zebra 3in1 scooter/ride-on toy

After the second round of present opening we sat down for a delicious turkey dinner with mashed potatos, homemade stuffing and gravy. It was honestly one of the best meals I have ever tasted courtesy of "Gampy." He's one of the best cooks I know. We talked and laughed while the guys had a beer (Hubby was limited to one because he was driving us home later). A few hours later turkey burnout had set in and all I wanted to do was crawl under my covers. We drove the long drive home, carried two sleeping kids into the house, brought all the gifts inside and climbed into bed. Lucky for me I got to sleep in a bit because the kids were so preoocupied with all their new toys the next morning that they left me alone for a while. Unlucky for me I awoke to what looked like a tornado had crashed through my home.
Boxing Day morning...they only LOOK innocent
 The last few days were full of fun and laughs and memories that I will always cherish, and while I am sad to see 2011 come to a close, I am also excited for the future. Who knows what 2012 will bring..I am sure there will be struggles and challenges but I also know there will be triumphs and milestones and overcoming obstacles. I am looking forward to a clean slate and the chance to start fresh in the New Year. A chance to both grow as a person and also watch my kids grow even more. What did you do for the holidays? What do you look forward to in 2012?