How To: Organize Your Phone Photos


Do you hoard photos?  Unload them all on your computer and then overwhelmed when it comes to printing, weeding through them, and backing them up?  I'm especially bad at this with my cell phone pictures..

I was so tired of seeing the dreaded "storage almost full" box pop up on my phone - I take SO many phone pictures because it's always on me and so convenient.  I was tired of missing moments because I haven't yet cleaned off my photos and my storage was full.  So I was on the hunt for a GOOD way to print those off and have them in our home to look at any time.  I mean, what good do they do if they're locked up on my computer anyway?

I've looked into so many photo books, it has made my head spin.  But then I heard about Chatbooks, and once I tried it was so ECSTATIC.. because it was easy, convenient, and I was finally getting all my photos printed.  Grab the app for your phone and you can make Custom Books or you can make Ongoing Series Books - I do the Ongoing Series.  I add in the photos as I go.  It's $8 for a 60-page soft cover book, or you can upgrade to a hard cover book for $13 and there's always free shipping.  It's a 6in x 6in book, and I love how the spine of the book has the dates on it.  Each page has the date of the photo on it also, so it's just a continuing book of your life basically.  ;)

Also, I keep ALL of my photos backed up in two different places (because I'm a freak like that and would have a severe meltdown if I lost them, ha) - I use an external hard drive and then I also use Amazon Cloud Drive because we use Amazon Prime and it comes with unlimited photo storage.. score.  :)  When I back up my photos I make a year (ex: 2015) folder, and then I make monthly subfolders and organize them that way.

I love that you write captions underneath the photos!
Once you reach 60 images, Chapbooks sends you an email giving notice that the book will go to print in 3 days.  In that timeframe you are able to edit the title, cover photo, edit captions, or delete images if you want to.  Then off it goes.  I love that automatically goes to press because then I won't forget to order, etc - it's all taken care of for me and in a couple weeks I'll have it in my mailbox.  Easy peasy.

They also have good customer service - which is a two thumbs up in my book.  All in all, I love them and am SO glad I found them.

Clara loves flipping through them and enjoying the memories - totally worth it to have them printed instead of just sitting on my phone or computer where they don't get enjoyed as they should!  Have you used Chatbooks?  Do you use a different photo book service, or how to use organize/print your cell phone pics?

My Favorite Thanksgiving Tablescapes


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wayfair. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

The holidays are my favorite.  And I especially love Thanksgiving.  Good food, good family time, good time to kick back.. relax.. and not have to rush or worry.  These days should be enjoyable and not stressful - but I still love to decorate and have things looking nice for guests.  That's why I like to keep it SIMPLE.

And these simple Thanksgiving tablescapes are some of my favorites...


What do you like to do for your Thanksgiving decor?  Are you a simple gal, or do you like to dress it up a bit more?  Either way, I guarantee Wayfair has what you need - I absolutely LOVE their decor selections!

Flavor on the Go {& a giveaway}


“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Folgers. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Coffee.  My BFF when I need a good pick-me-up.  In the mornings, in the afternoons.. coffee is always there for me when I need it.  ;)  I am the absolute worst morning person.  I've wished I was a morning person.. I hoped and prayed and tried and tried... but I'm just not.  Early days just do not agree with me, but somehow they're a little easier when I wake up to the smell of coffee laced with vanilla or caramel.  The smell is heavenly and instantly helps me perk up and get out the door a bit quicker.  The days when I'm out of coffee (heaven forbid) are the absolute worst.

Also, these little things are absolutely perfect to stick in your purse or diaper bag when you're on the go.  Take them with to a friends house, to church, or to work.. perfect for spicing up that coffee a little bit.  :)  My absolute favorite is the mocha.. what would be your go-to flavor?

Folgers knows each of us likes our coffee our own way—and they’re helping us brew exactly what we want. Folgers Flavors lets us customize our coffee any way we like it.  They have come out with four yummy flavor - vanilla, hazelnut, mocha, and caramel.  Making your coffee in the morning will be a cinch!  And they're great for on-the-go or taking to the workplace.  They require no refrigeration, so you can enjoy your coffee any time - just the way you like it!  And they come in a convenient, portable squeeze container. 

Visit Folgers on Facebook and Twitter.  And watch this hilarious #RemixYourCoffee video!  Visit Mike Tompkins YouTube page, too!  He'll put a smile on your face - just be careful not to spit your coffee out.  ;)

The best part of this whole thing?  One of you can win 2 bottles of Folgers Flavors!  US Citizens only, 18 yrs or older.  

“Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.”

Where would you take this?  Would you use it at home or on the go?  What's your favorite flavor?  Be sure to let me know in the comments - and tell your friends about the giveaway!

No Cord, No Bull - The Best Vacuum For Me


As you may (or may not) have known, after 6 years of renting.. we bought our very first home.  It was exciting, nerve-wracking, stressful, and fun.  We've been here a little over a month now, and I'm still trying to get everything in it's place.. but it will get there.. eventually.  Ha!

Getting all moved in was way more work that I had initially anticipated - especially with two kids.  I think sometimes I can be a little too ambitious for my own good, haha.  The house had been vacant for a few months already by the time we moved in, and it needed some real good top-to-bottom cleaning.  And there's one thing that needs to be REAL good in my cleaning supplies closet.. and that would be the vacuum.  With two kids, a dog, a husband.. I need a real good vacuum.  ;)

Enter the Hoover Air Cordless Lift Upright Vacuum.

This vacuum meets all of my requirements and then some!  It has a removable canister, powerful suction, reusable filters, easy to switch between carpet and hard floors, light and easily portable, and best of all... it's CORDLESS!  I've never had a cordless vacuum before.. but I know one thing, is that I never want to not have a cordless vacuum again.   No cord means you have freedom to move about your home with ease; no plugging and unplugging, no winding and rewinding and most importantly, no tripping, tugging, or tangling!

He's a mama's boy, so he's at my heels at all times.. but thankfully there's no cord for him to get into!

Guys, this whole cordless thing has me on some weird cleaning cloud nine.  I'm no longer trying to wrestle my baby away from the cord.. I can go from room to room in our new house without having to stop and plug in the vacuum in each one.  And Hoover Air Cordless Lift Upright Vacuum comes with two lithium batteries... so while you're using one, the other can be on the charge.  :)  The batteries last quite a while.  I was able to vacuum my whole house, plus take the canister off and vacuum out my car and it still had power left on it.  I'd say that's pretty good!  LithiumLife batteries have double the capacity of our standard 18-volt lithium Ion batteries which means longer runtime and fade-free power.

All in all, this Hoover does a fabulous job at cleaning up after our messes.. it's exclusive WindTunnel 3 Technology uses three channels of suction to lift and remove deep down embedded dirt.  It's so lightweight and convenient - definitely a great choice for busy moms and new homeowners!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Making Science Make Sense with Bayer


I’m partnering with Bayer on today’s sponsored post as a part of their company-wide, award-winning initiative Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS).

Science was always one of my favorite subjects when I was in school.  I was always pretty intrigued by it - and I thought it was fun (yes, I was one of those people who loved school)!  I had wonderful teachers, all through out middle school, Jr. High, and high school.. who encouraged me and helped me along the way, and for that I'm so thankful.

Clara is in preschool now and loves learning and going to school everyday... she's like a little sponge.. and I hope she continues to love it as she gets older, just like I did.  And every day I pray that she will have great teachers who will encourage her also, just as her pre-k teachers are doing!  I would love to say a HUGE thank you to her teacher.. for doing so much to help my little one grow.. and Clara would like to say THANK YOU too!

But it's important to keep the learning fun going, even when not at school.  It doesn't have to be complicated or intricate..  So parents, here are just a few ideas to have some scientific fun with your kiddos at home:

1.  Lay out in the back yard at night and do some star-gazing.  Learn about planets and constellations.  Then afterwards you can do a fun little art project, such as this Q-Tip Star Art.  

2.  Find a local science museum.  These are fun because kids love being hands-on.  Our local museum, the Museum of Discovery, is amazing, and Clara loves it!  There's always special events going on for kids and they have lots of fun things for kids to tinker with.  This would be great to do on a weekend or during a school break!

3.  Bake something!  This is a favorite in our house... because, yes.. baking is a science!  You could teach your child what baking soda does while making a batch of chocolate chip cookies (hey, and then you get to eat the cookies - yum!).

There are so many more things you could do - those are just a few ideas!  If you have any more ideas you'd like to share, just post them in the comments below!

Who sparked your scientific creativity, or your child's scientific creativity?  Was it a parent?  An Aunt or Uncle?  A teacher?  From September 9th to November 25th, Bayer is asking people of all ages to share a thank-you message to that person who has helped science make sense in their life.  Take a photo with a handwritten message, or a video and submit to and on social media with the hashtag #SayTkU.  For each thank-you message shared, Bayer will provide a child with a free admission to a STEM venue - such as a trip to a local hand-on science museum.  Bayer is committed to providing access to one million hands-on science learning experiences for kids by 2020.  How amazing is that? 

For more information, please visit their Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

Five Months


I'm a few weeks overdue on this one.. I did actually take the photos (kind of) on time, though... so that counts for something, right?  Ha!  I can hardly believe how much he has grown these past months.  He weighs 18 lbs.. the same weight that Clara was at her one year check up!  So it's safe to say that he's my chunky baby.. and I'm loving it.

He's rolling over.. I can't leave him alone for 2 seconds or he will be on the other side of the room getting into something he's not suppose to.. and he's SO close to crawling.  He will get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth.. he's just gotta figure out how to move those knees forward.   Soon, little buddy.. it will be very soon.. and then you'll truly be everywhere and into everything.

I adore that gummy smile of his and I'm soaking that up as long as I can.  He's definitely a Mama's Boy.. and it melts my heart.  He's going 5+ months strong of exclusive breastfeeding now and I couldn't be happier about it.  Goal is 1 year, so it's looking pretty good that we'll make it that far.  :)

Is it possible that my baby is already almost half a year old?  Oh Sam, we all love you so much.