Sharing the Tradition of Cutting Down a Real Christmas Tree 2013 #happilyblended #family

Christmas has come and gone so quickly, even the 12 days of vacation from school that my children had just flew by too fast. I wanted to share our Christmas Tree story because, well it’s a bit late but a fun story to share.

Oh Christmas Tree

For years my children and I, up until last year, my ex husband was included too – we go and cut down our Christmas Tree. It’s a family tradition. Last Christmas (of 2012) was the first year my ex husband and I did things separately, as our youngest was starting to have issues realizing Mommy and Daddy are not together even though we do a lot together as a “family unit”. The traditions of our prior family had to stop being shared together as adults, but separately with our sons for each household. It was important for us to do that for our sons to move forward.

So this Christmas, 2013, was the first year we celebrated with my fiance and his children. The kids and I really want to make the fiance and his kids realize that they are a full part of our family here, the children of my fiance now have two homes – one with their Mom and one here with their Dad and me. It’s important to everyone here that the children feel at home while they visit every other weekend. Sharing our picking out and cutting down of the family Christmas Tree was important.

Little Human Christmas Tree

We all headed out in two vehicles to the place just near our house to get a tree. Basically this place cuts the tree down for you and the five kids and us walked around until we found a tree that we wanted.

Human Christmas Tree

You see picking out a tree was half the battle, getting it into the house and on that little human tree stand was another story. The boys and my step daughter had a fun time being all cute pretending to be the real Christmas Tree.  We did finally get that tree up on our tree stand and it was ready for the annual tradition of Brandy and Kiara to go at it while attempting to put garland and lights on the tree… now that was entertainment for the remainder of our family.

Christmas Tree 2013

It all started when Kiara felt the need to report that I totally suck with winding of the garland and/or lights. Each time I attempt to wrap anything like she does in the picture above, I end up with tangles and knots. She is great at this  …. I am not. I am simply a pawn waiting for Kiara’s next command, or idle threat of hoping the garland is around my neck as she pulls to wrap it around her arm. She’s a sweet child, I promise!

Happily Blended Tree Cutting

Then the arguing commences over who wants what where and why. This is ridiculous to me, but the five children placed various decorations on our first time Blended Family Christmas Tree with little mishaps. Us adults, had the job of cleaning the decorations because my over 10 year old candy canes melted and got all over the decor leaving us with no candy canes on tree this year.

Christmas Tree Tradition

Finally our first Christmas tree together as a family was complete and we enjoyed looking at it every night until about 2 days after Christmas when I had enough and took it all down! It’s important as we plan for a 2015 wedding that we remind our children that all 5 of them are our family, together always. They are all to be included, loved and made to feel a part of our lives whether with us or the other parent. We love our five combined children and would do anything for them! I was a merry, happy evening this particular evening and it’s a memory I will hang onto for years.

Adorable Summer Headbands and Hair Things for Little Girls Andrea’s Beau #ad

Free Product

I am a huge fan of hair things for girls because, well, I am the mother of a beautiful daughter who loves headbands. Andrea’s Beau offers a wide variety of hair things not only for young girls but for woman as well and today I am sharing with you the most recent headband from their Summer collection that was sent to us for review.

Andreas Beau

Kiara loves this headband, while she was a bit upset that I chose it, usually I allow her to pick for reviews but I was not able to connect with her before she went to her Dad’s house. This is the Posey Flowers Headband in Pink.  Andrea’s Beau is run by the daughter of an artist, her mother taught her to take love in the arts and with that came her creating beautiful hair accessories for women and girls. Whether you are in the market for a new look for Summer for yourself or your little girl Andrea’s Beau has something for each of you.

As a way to help share the love of Andrea’s Beau, they have asked that I mention and share their giveaway that they are currently hosting on Andrea’s Beau facebook page, you may use the Rafflecopter form below to enter or head over their Facebook page to enter. New fans on their Facebook Page get 15% off their order too, so keep that in mind!

I also have a discount code that you can use now, this code is active for two weeks with an expiration date of July 11, 2013. Simply visit Andrea’s Beau website, have a look around and enter HappilyBlended for the discount code to get free shipping on any US order.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Checking out New T-Shirt Options from T-Shirts.com @tshirtscom #spon

Free ProductI was able to surf the website T-shirts.com to see what shirt I may want to review on my site here as a way to introduce you all to these funny, vintage, band and other cute t-shirts that T-shirts.com offers. My choice? After looking on T-shirts.com and thinking about what shirt I wanted to share with you all, I finally chose Thing 1. Yes, good Ole Dr. Seuss because I love Dr. Seuss rhymes, books and well Thing 1 is what my Dad called me growing up and occasionally still calls me. My little sister was always Thing 2, yes they have a Thing 2 shirt as well.

Thing 1 shirt

The thing I was not anticipating with this Thing 1 shirt is that it wouldn’t fit me correctly, I have an issue with certain t-shirts really fitting my body style. The good news is that my daughter wears this shirt, all of the time. No kidding, she loves it and she is my first born as I am to my parents so why  not have the nickname pass down to her? This shirt is high quality, I have washed it, I have dried it, and I have not shrunk it. Kiara enjoys wearing this shirt because 1) it has Mama’s nickname on it and 2) it’s soft and comfortable yet light enough for the 80 degree temps we had last week here in NH.

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T-Shirts.com offers such a wide range of tees that anyone would be able to find a t-shirt for this Summer weather that they love. Getting a t-shirt for your favorite band, maybe a funny saying t-shirt that shows who you are as a person without opening your mouth. There are so many unique T-shirts on T-shirts.com that I cannot wait to go back to that site to order some for my sons as well as my daughter. The sarcasm on some of their funny shirts are too perfect not to get.

Check out T-shirts.com on Twitter and Like T-shirts.com on Facebook to keep up to date with their latest news, happenings and if you purchase a shirt, tell them – show them a picture. It’s always nice for a company to see people wearing their stuff!

What t-shirt would you get if you ordered from T-shirts.com?

Free Product

Upere Wedge Sneakers for Tween, Mom and Woman #stylish #review @upereltd

Product provided for free. All opinions are my own.

My daughter is at that age where style is important, the thing is that she isn’t meaning style as it pertains to outsiders, it is style as it pertains to her unique personality and in all honesty that may mean the girl has high chunk platform boots on with sweat pants type shorts and a fancy tank with her big sunglasses to boot. It’s something that makes peoples heads turn for sure and makes me wonder why in the world I encourage her to be creative, independent and unique.  The daughter’s most recent obsession is a pair of Upere wedge sneakers in black and made of suede that really were meant for me, she has confiscated them and loves wearing them.

 upere wedge sneakers

Shown here, Miss Kiara is wearing her Upere wedge sneakers with her skinny jeans she recently found after cleaning her room by taking care of her clothes. These pants are her favorite to wear with the Upere wedge sneakers but she does also wear them with other pants as well as shorts. These are stylish sneakers for her as well as comfortable, she loves that the inside has a hidden heel – this means she is nearly as tall as me with the wedge sneakers on without feeling as if she is going to topple over from having a heel on.

upere wedge sneaker hidden heel

Features of the Upere wedge Sneakers Suede in Black -

  •  Suede upper
  • Black Tongue
  • Oval toe cap with three Velcro straps
  • 50mm/2 inches hidden heels
  • Anti-slipping Rubber sole

I can say that the anti-slipping rubber sole works great, Kiara has worn these sneakers on gym day at school, while taking walks with the family and while I don’t know if I would personally wear these wedge sneakers for such activities, she was not slipping at all. I personally have loved seeing how much of a boost these sneakers have given my daughter between having a style that none of her friends have and simply being taller without the visible heel. I don’t allow her to wear visible heels to school normally, so this is something she can essentially “get away with wearing” because it’s more supportive than any other heel shoes I have seen her attempt to wear.

Discount to save 15% off you purchase is UPERE. Use that code when checking out where it requests a discount code and you will save 15% off of your Upere order. *I am unaware of when this code expires.

If you want to learn more about Upere and all of their products they offer, you should connect with Upere on Facebook as well as Follow Upere on Twitter. Also, if you are a Pinterest addict like me then please follow all of Upere’s boards on Pinterest.

Product provided for free. All opinions are my own.

School House Rock Live Jr at Opera House

My tween is in her first show, a real show. Not that of a school play but a real life Opera House production … School House Rock Live Jr and the shows are this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That means … she has five shows over a three day period of time. Not to mention the endless evening hours she has spent at rehearsals. It’s been an experience for her and me, to say the least.

I am happy to say that once this show is over, she has firmly stated that she is not to do any activities for a while. Kiara just wants to be done with this show and enjoy down time being a kid and having family fun. Perfect timing too, because hopefully warm weather will come and we can do our evening walks again or something together. I love mother/daughter time, and so does she.

Mother Daughter Time

With two rowdy boys, it’s no wonder I do not like taking this tween of mine to rehearsals because they are usually 4-6 or 5-7 which is right smack dab in the middle of my normal dinner time and bedtime routine for my two sons. I am extremely strict when it comes to my night time routine with the boys and they must be silent and asleep by 8pm 7 days a week, yes even on non school days.

While I am so proud and happy that Kiara will be in a live production, she is making it hard for me to be super happy because she is having major nerves kicking in. Kiara wants me to be at the show but has requested I bring no one. Not her brothers. Not her Grandmother. Not her Great Grandmother. Not her Grampa. No one but me.

I honestly had to question if she even wanted me there, not that it would matter, I would not miss this first production for anything, even if she was convinced from nerves she didn’t want me there. So I am prepping for a crazy busy weekend but I will do it with a smile upon my face because I am just happy to have kids who want to do various things and learn what it is that they enjoy in life!

My job is Mom, tax driver, cleaner of home, holder of hearts and encourager of everything. I love my job.

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