The Life of Jennifer Dawn: November 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Sale

I'm having a fabulous BLACK FRIDAY sale in my shop...
Look for new items to be added throughout the sale!
Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fall Mantle

When my sister and I were kids, my mom had a rule--more of a guideline--that the Christmas decorations, books, movies, and such were not to be brought out until after Thanksgiving was over.  She wanted to give Thanksgiving its due course.  On Thanksgiving Day, the house would still be decorated for fall.  We ate one of her made from scratch pumpkin pies for breakfast.  The air would be filled with all of the Thanksgiving deliciousness baking, simmering, and bubbling in the kitchen.  Childhood memories are so magical...

In keeping with her guideline, my own mantle is still decked out for fall...
My sister who is hosting Thanksgiving this year, shared her own fall decor on her blog the other day...
Take a peek.
My mom is at my sister's house now, helping her prepare the meal and teaching her how to cook her first Thanksgiving turkey.  This day holds so many traditions and memories for us all.  It was one of my dad's favorite holidays.  He would step right in and whip up the creamiest mashed potatoes I have ever had.  The turkey carving and prayer were duties that went to him as well.  Holidays are hard without him.  I can't help but think that he should still be here celebrating with us...
I have much to be thankful for though.  Family, friends, memories, and blessings...
My three biggest blessings (Lydia Grace, Eli, & Caleb who is sick right now), my husband, and I are about to head over to my sister's house to spend this day in celebration of something to truly be thankful for--family.

And so, dear friends, I end this post with a heartfelt wish that you too find much to be thankful for on this special day...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Educational Thanksgiving Activities for Little Ones

Our theme for "Mommy School" this week is T is for turkey!  Here are a few printables that I made using PicMonkey!  Feel free to use and enjoy them with your own little ones...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Master Bedroom Makeover

When I first started this blog, Tim and I had been married for nine months. I was six months pregnant with our first child. We had just moved out of a cramped apartment and into our first house four months prior to that initial post being sent out into the bloggy universe. 

How things do change! One thing that hasn't changed much over the course of the last five years is our master suite. Well, until recently...

I just couldn't stand that dark, drab room anymore.  I tried to be positive and call it "a start", but after five years of remaining in the starting position, it was time to move the master along.  Isn't your bedroom supposed to be a happy place?  A retreat?  A place you want to tuck yourself into after a long, hard day? Now it's finally getting there...

We still have the same furniture that belonged to the hubby before we got married, but some new pieces have been added.  I hate to get rid of things that are still functional.  I have plans to someday paint the old furniture.  I did go ahead and add new hardware to the old dressers, and for now that's enough.  It truly amazes me what some new bedding, curtains, and pillows can do!  The room is brighter, lighter, and happier!  Come take a look...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Carnival Birthday Party

I was flipping through pictures on the computer this morning and came across the ones from my sweet Eli's birthday party. He turned 2 on September 29, and I realized that I hadn't posted any pictures of the event here on the blog. I know. I know. I am WAY late on posting these, but they are just too cute to not at least share them with you now. My sister was a huge help in turning carnival party plans scribbled on index cards (We do our best thinking on paper.  At least, I do.) into a reality. She even did the face painting on the day of the party, as well as, convince her husband to be our carnival ringmaster. I couldn't have done this party without her!  Before you look at the pictures though, I have to confess a few things...

* The Duck Pond Game was a mess. And not the good kind of mess where the kids get a little wet.  The sweet little ducks just wouldn't float and the inflatable "pond" was deflating right before my eyes. Oh well!  It can't all be perfect--says the perfectionist.
* Our idea for displaying the cotton candy was also a bit of a failure. The humidity began to cause the soft confection to harden. Being a momma has taught me to always have plan B. We had to break out the unopened tubs instead of using the cute little paper cones of cotton candy that I had worked so hard to put together. For any of you plan your own carnival party, please note that cotton candy and a humid day in the South are not a good combination.
* This party took so much planning and work that I don't even want to think about planning another party. I'm partied out--at least for now. I guess we will see how long that lasts.

With all of that being said, it was all worth it to give sweet Eli a fun-filled day. Sinking ducks or little guy loved it! It really was a cute party despite the minor flaws mentioned above. Again, I couldn't have done it without my sister. Eli had a blast! There was cake, candy, fun, food, tickets, prizes, a balloon dart game along with several other games. Who wouldn't have fun with all of that?! (Maybe I should have started with all of the good points.) Let's just get on with the party!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

"It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas" in my Etsy Shop

Did you know I have an Etsy shop?  You actually may not have known that.  I haven't really done a whole lot with it.  Well, not as much as I would like.  It is Bluebird Cottage Designs.

Now that I do not have the demands of a teaching career, I've decided to put a little more effort into the shop rather than just letting it sit idle in Etsy oblivion.  I recently heard about a local craft fair and with my newfound gumption for BCD literally just threw everything together that I could in one week to prepare for it.  Luckily, I had a ton of cabochon pieces that had never been photographed or posted on the shop site that were ready for display.  I had never set up at a craft fair before, so the booth setup was just thrown together too from things I was able to find during my one week of preparation.  My mammaw would be so pleased because I even used her vintage lace tablecloth.  The booth had a cutesy cottage vibe to it--a trove of assorted treasures!
(Please excuse the photo quality.  There wasn't a shred of natural light in the whole place.)

My sister, mom, and a friend were a tremendous help!  Overall, it was a great experience.  Am I ready to sacrifice all of my weekends to do craft fairs?  Not a chance!  But it was something fun to do.  And now I can say that I've done one.  In my rush to get ready for this Holiday Extravaganza, I sewed some cute holiday outfits.  Want to see?
Here they are...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shabby Apple Dress Review and Giveaway

 When Shabby Apple contacted me about reviewing one of their dresses, I was thrilled!  I've admired their vintage style clothing for years.  For me, ordering clothes online can sometimes be a bit intimidating though.  When I can't try things on before  purchasing, I find myself wondering about the fit, quality, and customer service.  This company has won me over though!  Here I am wearing the Bianca Dress with the sash tied in the back.  Since it's fall, I also paired it with a thin, rose cardigan.  That is what's perfect about the dress though--it can easily be styled for any season or occasion.  The dress is well-constructed from a gorgeous textured dot material.  By following the sizing guide, I was able to select a dress that fits perfectly!  Although I'm still losing some of the baby weight from having Caleb, I feel very comfortable in this beautiful dress.  My favorite things about it are the textured fabric, its versatility, and the sweet collar that gives it a lovely vintage touch!