A List Maker's Life: November 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What Would You Buy?

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday and I am all for getting my shopping done online.  In fact, almost everything I have bought so far has been delivered to my doorstep.  In hopes of getting some of Santa's shopping done tomorrow I had Gibson tell me about his Christmas wishes. Now I am super confused about what to get him.

fake outside car that works
toy shoes
fake ball that bounces up so I can catch it
fake paper - can I color? can you see it?
fake lights that don't work
a fake sink with no water
a toy person
a toy I can wear outside and inside
a thing that walks itself when you don't push a button
a toy thing that rides a motorcycle
one of these
one of those
...and that's it!

Anyone have any clever interpretations or suggestions on the perfect fake gift?  I'm thinking about wrapping up an imaginary friend.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

How Do I Teach Them of a Love Like His?

Our oldest two sat at the table dipping marshmallow, attaching them to biscuit crackers, and adding a jelly bean buckle to make them look like miniature pilgrim hats.  It's a simple tradition I started with Gavin when he was my only babe.  This year with all the instruction coming from him, the kids worked together and visited while I cut up piles of veggies.

Anne Hope ran out of the room to turn up the radio as one of our favorites came on.

Tell me what kind of God would choose to save
The bruised, the broken, the sinners, the runaways
How do you ever try to comprehend this love that knows no limit
I could try but I could not explain.

"I wonder why this is her favorite," she asked Gavin.

You know, it's about how God loves so much he sent his son to die so people could go to heaven.  Even the worst kind of people.

You mean like the kids that don't always listen to their moms and dads and tell too many lies and don't always treat their little brothers very nicely?

Yeah, Anne, that's what I mean. Like us. And he still loves us like crazy.

They were completely unaware of me standing there smiling at them with tears in my eyes.

They get it.  His reckless love. 
Of all the things I give thanks for. 
This. This makes me thank full.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A BeYOUtiful Banner

back story

My dreaming, scheming friend and I have been working on the details of a new adventure. It's about a little crafting, a little hosting, a little encouraging, and a BIG chance to build confidence within our daughters.  We think when it is ready it will be a BeYOUtiful event!

But, I will save the details of that for another day.

fast forward

The week we were working on a logo idea and a possible display set up for our event I was contacted by Signazon.com.  Their hope was that I would be interested in checking out their custom vinyl banners for review.  Perfect timing. Perfect product.  I was excited to put together a logo banner, pleased with the ease of the process, impressed by the customer service, and thrilled to have it delivered so quickly!
 {Hopefully, I will be able to post another picture of the banner in its' intended place soon}

I have ordered custom banners in the past, but this was my first experience with Signazon.  I was especially aware of their top notch customer service.  They stayed in communication with me throughout the process to ensure our banner turned out just the way we expected.  I also appreciate the sturdy grommets on each corner and in the middle of the top and bottom of the banner.  

Signazon provides options for creating a outdoor and two-sided banners. The online design process was easy to navigate.  If you are hoping to put together your design quickly there is an option for super efficiency using one of the MANY pre-made templates.  However, for those who like to start a design from scratch you will appreciate the freedom to create an image of your own and upload it to a blank banner template.

In our storage room we actually have a vinyl banner stand where we keep our banner collection safe and usually dry. Yes! I am a fan of using vinyl banners - to simplify decorating, enhance traditions, and  clean up and store easily.

You may have noticed in birthday party pictures posted in the past, we always hang a CELEBRATE banner to greet the birthday boy or girl when they wake in the morning on their special day. We also hang this banner every September for our Back to School Breakfast.

So, what might you make a custom vinyl banner for this November?  Here are a few ideas to get you thinking!

~Welcome the guests to your holiday parties with a custom banner
~Create a sign for a holiday craft show or gift gallery at church or school
~Make a birthday banner to hang on each child's special day
~Decorate for a New Year's Eve party or dance
~Draw attention to a Thanksgiving food drive

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Disclosure: Thank you to Signazon.com for providing me with a free customized banner of my choice in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Card Tricks: Tip No. 4

Hint #4: Explore the options for using promo codes and coupons.

Here are a few promo codes available right now for your Christmas Card orders.

Ink Garden

Ink Garden has a few different options available between now and December 13.  This is the first year I have used Ink Garden and I am quite excited about how our batch of cards from them turned out and how quickly they arrived!

  • Customize a Christmas gift tag and order 20 FREE using promo code: FREETAGS

Create a basic Christmas Card using Ink Garden's online service.  Order 10 FREE using promo code: WINTERCARDS

Upgrade your basic card creation with a premium shape (oval or ornate). Use the promo code: HolidayCards at check out to get your order for just $2 + s/h.  When I researched this promo code it mentions that the first 10 cards are $2 and the rest of the order will be billed at 40% off. However, I added 30 cards to my card.  After adding this promo code my entire order came to $2 (+4.50 for s/h).


Snapfish is a long time favorite for many in the world of online printing. I personally don't use their service.  I tried it once when I first created an account, but haven't used them again.  (Not for any particular reason).  Anyway...

Through this weekend (expires 11/13) all of their photo cards are being offered at 60% off using promo code : YIPPEECARDS.  I don't know anything about their s/h charges, but would be curious to hear if anyone tries this one.

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Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post or the text links within.  I am sharing this today in hopes of helping you make the most of your Christmas card budget.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas Card Tricks: Tip No. 3

I especially love opening the mail box when even the stamp and address labels on the envelopes inside are thematic.

Hint #3: Create personalized return labels to match the cards you are sending!

Some companies offer matching labels with your card order.  However, if the online printing service you have used does not offer this service, use a FREE service!  Vista Print offers freebies all the time and for this holiday season they have free address labels.  There are many holiday designs for you to simply plug in your address information and send to print.  If you are feeling ambitious (really it's not too hard), choose the blank "design your own" template and upload a picture or graphic that matches the colors and theme of your cards.  I used this deal to order 140 address labels for our cards.  I then made a second order of 140 where I replaced the address fields with a To:/From: to use for gift tags.  If I remember correctly the shipping came to about $3.50 on the order.  A great deal!

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Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post or the text links within.  I am sharing this today in hopes of helping you make the most of your Christmas card budget.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Free Christmas Cards: Tip No. 2

Hint #2: Quick head to Cardstore!  They are offering 10 FREE cards today only!

Cardstore is an online service for creating custom cards for all occasions.  They offer options for adding personalized text.  For an extra fee you can have your card sent directly to the recipient's mailbox (like the REAL one, not the email box)!

Consider using this batch of freebies to create a unique message for the teachers, nursery workers, school secretaries, and bus drivers that work with your little ones.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

~Your teaching is a gift
~Thanks for helping my children shine
~Teachers are like guiding stars
~Thanks for being so "deer"
~We are "Snow" thankful for you
~You deck the halls all year through
~Jingle Bells, the Nursery Smells ;) (kidding!)

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Monday, November 5, 2012

A Better Recipe

This fall has been many good things, yet much time away from home. 
Rushing and pushing. Meeting deadlines and making appointments. 

We have also been dealing with behavior. Attitudes that leave me feeling even more frantic than keeping up the pace of schedules for six. 

Tonight's calendar was clear. More than just shoveling in a dinner with our family loosely gathered around the table, we enjoyed a meal. We ate, visited, and stayed to keep the conversation going after the food was gone.  

The board game Gibson unwrapped on his birthday got the first go round. We built wooden block cages for all of his new animals and assembled a Hot Wheels ramp. 

Instead of the news blaring on the TV, the radio beckoned little booties to a lively dance party. 

The special family recipe Gramma Great recently shared provide an opportunity for measuring practice, apple slicing experimentation, and making the house “smell like Christmas.” With the promise of fresh apple crisp not a single child begged for another piece of Halloween candy.

We read bedtime stories. Not just the required homework book, but an entire pile of favorites.

Not so ironically, there wasn't a single behavior correction necessary. 
Not a single negative attitude to readjust.
Just happy hearts.

And with those happy hearts off to bed, my mind is free to wander. 
To settle. To reflect. To write something other than my to-do list. 

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