I did a little guest post over on The Anderson Crew….she is sharing a few other ideas for gifts for the little men in your life. Go check it out!

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  • RachelC - Super cool. Love that manly craft box. Also…you should totally make that table tent. Your kids would love it!

  • Jenn W - Love the art box!!! My nephew has a birthday shortly after Christmas and it is always difficult to fnd something for him that he didn’t already receive for Christmas. I think this will be excellent.

  • graceybug - I love the boy crafts. I live with only boys and sometimes lament that I can’t make bows and can’t have girly movie nights. I love seeing fun things that I can make with my son. It inspires me and my not so crafty self.

  • elvis navarro - great crafts info

**Giveaway Day was Friday, but for those of you that were traveling or away from the computer

you have until tomorrow at 5:00pm to enter. Scroll to the next page to see them all.**


Sometimes I pretend I have 4 girls. Last week I thought I’d surprise my kids by covering the playroom in sheets and Christmas lights. I filled the floor with nearly every pillow and cushion in the house. I had visions of us sipping hot chocolate, watching a movie, laughing and cuddling in all that softness…we would lay under the lights and talk…the little girls in The Holiday did it. However, I do not have sweet little girls filling my house. Under our lights we did a lot of laughing and a lot of body slams onto the pillows. Oh wait, there were some wrestling matches and popcorn throwing too. I think I need to invite the daughters of my friends over for a movie night under twinkle lights.

Photo tip: I didn’t want to use my flash so I bumped my ISO all the way up to 1600, the shutter is slow 1/100 (hence the blurry action) and my aperture was f/2.8. I used Totally Rad Actions Pool Party & SX-70 in the processing.

Don’t they look like they wanted to lay down, cuddle and talk with me? Doesn’t it look like a peaceful, quiet evening?

We’ve enjoyed warmer weather too. We’ve also enjoyed our neighbor’s soccer field.

Yes, she is barefoot Thanksgiving week in a jacket. Yes, I was too. That is how we roll. We fight off winter as long as possible. We also don’t have soft feet. On a different note…check out her hairline, it just keeps getting stronger. Poor girl has no hope for bangs.

Good thing she wasn’t born in the 80s.

I like having babies & toddlers, but it is crazy how much fun it is when toddlers become kids. I’m really excited about a house full of teenage boys. Thanksgiving football games will probably become the highlight of the holiday for me. I have no problem taking one of my sons to the ground.

When I was pregnant with this little guy we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl until he was born. I remember a lot of well meaning comments from people hoping I’d ‘finally get my girl’. Well I sure am thankful their hopes didn’t come true and I got my boy. He is pretty rad.

I didn’t take too many pictures from Thanksgiving dinner. It is a family event full of cooking all day in grandma’s kitchen. Everything is made from scratch and is DELICIOUS. At the end of the day I told Chris that I think I will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner more in a few years when our kids aren’t so dependent on me for things. It will be an amazing experience to sit down for the meal and not take care of anyone else…just eat and eat and eat. However, right now I don’t pay attention to calories because chasing 3 boys and their sister burns more than I can consume. So maybe when they aren’t so dependent Thanksgiving dinner won’t be as enjoyable because I’ll have to care a little more about calorie consumption. Or not.

My 2 year old (pictured above) snuck a bit of butter. Why do kids like butter so much?

Sweet P & FireCracker showed up for dinner in the same outfit (unplanned).

FireCracker & Sweet P…fitting nicknames.

At the Christmas Gathering it was mentioned a new Halloween tradition is to make a booty print of a baby, draw a stem & leaf…and call it a “Crack-0-Lantern”. Well, back in 1979 my parent’s made a butterfly print out of my booty. Under it is written “The End.” It has hung in my grandparent’s dining room over Grandpa’s chair all my life. And just because the photo was also in the dining room…here is me at 4.

So that was a bit of our weekend. I’m grateful for so many things…too many to begin listing. I saw this video yesterday…and thought “yep, that pretty much says it all.”

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  • andy - love the baby booty print and calling it a crack o lantern and titled the end. what great humor.
    love the pic of firecracker and sweet p. she looks startled. all the pics are great btw. glad it was a great thankgiving. ours was pretty toasty too.

  • Danielle - I have done something similar. I made a tepee for my two ruffians thinking how much they would enjoy laying inside it looking at books and talking to each other…they ended up knocking the whole thing apart in no time.

  • Mariah - I love that scene in the Holiday… But alas, I will never play out twinkle tight cuddle fest either. And that is OKAY!!! I hated it when people acted like I should want a girl, or that I should dissappointed after my third boy was born. Three cheers for little boys!!!

  • Cate O'Malley - Love that scene in The Holiday too; heck, I love the whole movie. Your re-enactment looks just as special – awesome pics!

  • Cate O'Malley - Loved that scene in the Holiday – your re-enactment looks just as special – awesome pics!

  • Ruth - 1. the booty butterfly is a classic. 2. don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters, but sometimes little girls are overrated. After having a little boy guest at Thanksgiving, who said “I’m thankful for candy and mommy & daddy and IRONMAN!, my husband (who is so, SO done with the idea of having more kids after 18 months of terror from our youngest) turned to me and said, “maybe we should try for a boy.” There are only so many princess-fairy-pink-and-purple tea parties you can have before you lose your mind.

  • Sarah - FireCrackers hairline is a blessing in disguise. You never have to worry about hair in her face πŸ™‚

  • hearttypat - baby booty butterfly print is a great tradition! I need to think of something as cool as that too! New family, new traditions!

  • Trinity - Love it, as usual!!! For Hannah’s birthday party, we had a sleepover and made a beautiful spread on the floor with fruit and crackers and pretzels and marshmallows with chocolate and cheese fondue. We had 6 little girls and we had a wonderful evening of laughter with our fondue…your sheets and lights would have been perfect for that!!! Our fun evening did turn to pillow fights soon, but I’m sure it looked a lot different with 6 girls than it did with 3 boys! It is so funny how different boys and girls are!!!

  • Trinity - Love%20it%2C%20as%20usual!!!%20%20For%20Hannah’s%20birthday%20party%2C%20we%20had%20a%20sleepover%20and%20made%20a%20beautiful%20spread%20on%20the%20floor%20with%20fruit%20and%20crackers%20and%20pretzels%20and%20marshmallows%20with%20chocolate%20and%20cheese%20fondue.%20%20We%20had%206%20little%20girls%20and%20we%20had%20a%20wonderful%20evening%20of%20laughter%20with%20our%20fondue…your%20sheets%20and%20lights%20would%20have%20been%20perfect%20for%20that!!!%20%20Our%20fun%20evening%20did%20turn%20to%20pillow%20fights%20soon%2C%20but%20I’m%20sure%20it%20looked%20a%20lot%20different%20with%206%20girls%20than%20it%20did%20with%203%20boys!%20It%20is%20so%20funny%20how%20different%20boys%20and%20girls%20are!!!

  • Trinity - Sorry, don’t know how I managed to make it go crazy there!

  • jessica h - booty prints! I love it! We’ll have to pick up that tradition–after all, every mom knows there is nothing cuter than a soft little baby tush πŸ™‚ I can also totally relate to dreaming up cool ideas which are turned into riotous body slamming. I am a girlie girl; my boys are “all boy” too! They are, however only 1 and 2…I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in the near future when they are older & stronger & more imaginitive (and they are more of them??), but you are giving me a healthy glimpse πŸ™‚ I’m glad to hear you are also loving the toddlers-turned-boys stage!

  • hillary - LOVE the holiday!! those girls are so cute!

  • Anna - I love the tent scene in The Holiday…I have plans to make an awesome tent with twinkling lights too! Looks like you had a great Thanksgiving!

  • Philly - Your family is so beautiful. The time you dedicate to the kids and how you capture every moment. I could not be thankful enough for finding this blog for all the inspiration it has given me in life.

  • meg duerksen - that video is my new fave.

  • Lori - Love the booty print!! Adorable…love the vintage pics of you girls. I think that the tent idea would be great for all my girlfriends…let’s drink hot cocoa under the sheets with lights draping across and pretend to not hear our kids screaming…over our giggling! now, that is a Holiday!
    Pretty pics. love the aperature. ;0)

  • Sarah @ Comfort and Joy - Hah! I had a little snicker at crack ‘o lantern!

    I’m definitely going to do a little booty art with my firstborn. πŸ˜‰

  • Sophie - I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but being a real girly girl, I’ve always worried a little about if I have a lot of boys. Seeing how much fun your guys seem, I’m not worried anymore!

    And I love firecracker’s little outfit, she also looks a lot like you did when you were young! (:

  • margaret - What a cute post. I can remember sneaking butter while my mama was cooking when I was little. I don’t know what age kids get to when chunks of butter cease to be so enticing.

  • Kristen Haufschild - My hands-down favorite scene in that movie!! I have 1 girl and 2 boys, so I’m sure we would also participate in body slams and pillow fights. πŸ™‚

  • giozi - Yes we have so many thing for do thanks.
    I love the leave picture :), and your picture when you was a child, you don’t change anything !!!
    I don’t want to take picture with flash too, but my camera is simple, and I can’t use to much iso πŸ™
    There is so many things that I can’t understand too.
    Yesterday I did a leave picture too. πŸ™‚ is awful ha ha ha, a friend of mine said that velocity was slow, or something like this.

    I love your video, where did you get it?
    Did you see father loves letter sing by Brian Doerksen? I love it !!!.

    A big kis for each of your children, big hug for you, and happy thanksgiving, and thanks always.

  • Leanne - I hope that someday Firecracker will give you a little talk and cuddle time. Boys are so much fun and I love the booty print! so awesome.

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - I LOVE that scene from The Holiday [one of my favorite movies]. I can gather up a few of my grown up girl friends and come over, and we can curl up on that floor and talk. If you want.

  • Kristin S - My best friend from college has Firecracker’s identical hairline. She always battled it – even in the 80’s. But it is just her. I can’t imagine her without it. She’s given birth to five awesome boys and almost all of them have it too…. and a 12-month buzz cut.

  • Jeannette - Feel free to invite my daughter to your girls night – she would love it – you know she deals with all the boy stuff!

  • Micki - Hi there, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog the last few months. I have two boys (4 and 1) and am slowly giving up all the images I had before I became a mother of reading about fairies under shade trees and making flower halos. Instead my days are filled with a lot of rowdiness…all the time. I totally relate, and very much enjoyed the booty butterfly print. Was this your mother or father’s idea?

  • heather - we’re barefoot people, too. waiting til the very last moment when our feet are slightly freezing to put shoes on. πŸ™‚
    your take on the Holiday tent looks amazing. my son would go crazy for that!!

  • Tiffany - The booty print is priceless! Your photos tell such great stories πŸ™‚

  • Becka @ life as an artistpreneur - The bum print cracked me up. (HAHA, no pun intended!)


  • Seamingly Sarah - Okay – the butt print is pretty funny and cute at the same time. But what I really wanted to tell you is how on Thanksgiving day my 2.5 year old sat next to her great grandfather and he snuck her dinner rolls smeared with butter throughout the whole meal. (why do they love butter so? I’ve seen her lick it off toast before!) She has always been shy with him, but now he is her best friend. It was too cute to watch and I (the strict mother that I am) couldn’t bring myself to stop him. Although I did sneak in carrots once in awhile!

  • Jen - That tent is AWESOME. And so is (in a very different way) your “butt-erfly” print. Too funny!

  • Carron - I LOVE the butterfly booty!! & I’m definitely going to give it a try with my 3 kiddos tomorrow, we’ll try to add our own twist to it.

    I just started reading and following your blog & can’t wait to see what else I discover.

    I’m new at this but check mine out at www(dot)carronhefner(dot)blogspot(dot)com

Yeah for giveaways!!! Scroll down for individual posts for great giveaways from this month’s sponsors. The giveaways will all close on Tuesday at 5:00pm (since it is a holiday weekend and a lot you will be traveling). There are somre really great stores…enjoy!

If you are viewing this on Google Reader or a similar program, I recommend clicking over and reading the blog the old fashioned way for all of these posts.

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  • hearttypat - woah! this is A LOT of giveaways! woot! Thank you Ashley and sponders!

  • hearttypat - oops! I meant “sponsers”! Me and my butter fingers!

  • Alex - I love the owl and coral rose bobby pin set–so cute!

  • Kristin S - Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Alexandra S. - I love the goldilocks necklace! So precious!

  • Krista Burnett - I LOVE the mustard rosebud studs, the coral rosebud studs, the apricot ones, the charcoal gray, the ocean breeze, the bright white ones…I just love them all!!!! I LOVE the rings!!!

  • Krista Burnett - I love all of the earrings!!!! My favorite earrings are all of the rosebud studs and i love the mum earrings!!! I also ADORE the rings!!!

  • Mallory - I am really loving the sakura ring.

  • Aimee Gaston - Woah! Wow! Wonderful!!! πŸ™‚

  • Aimee Gaston - Wow!

  • Katie - Great sponsors, Ashley. You must feel so pleased.

    Confession: I accidentally entered the Bellalulu giveaway twice – I got an error message the first time, but apparently it went through regardless. I’m sorry I messed up your numbers.

  • Dawn - All of it beautiful!I LOVE the elegance each one has.But,the simplicity of the “icy pink rosebud studs”has got to be my favorite!One of the reasons I love vintage so much…the purity-

  • molly acord - Love the Take a Seat Necklace…her avatar is so cute too!

  • Shea - The giveaways are great! ALL of them are fabulous. Thank you for setting these up.

  • Adriana - All of these sponsors are wonderful!!!
    I like any of the rosebud earrings and the emerald necklace…im a sucker for emerald.. thanks so much for all these wonderful sponsors!

  • tasha roe - so much fun!!

  • Amnah - Woohooo, I love me some giveaways. Thanks Ashley!

  • Laura - Layered circle necklace… Great products!

  • tangie - thank you, Ashley!! what great giveaways, and such a fun way to meet some fabulous stores!!

  • AshleyG - Thanks for the extended time to enter. I never ever enter any blog giveaways but I’ve read your blog since close to the beginning so I felt like yours would be fun to start πŸ™‚

  • Lexie - Thanks for the great giveaways! These are great!

  • jen ship - O dear… the yellow flower earrings are precious! sunshine on my shoulder!!!;) happiness.

  • jen ship - … also luuuhhve the vintage bucket! hello fun storage!

  • jen ship - …and the charm necklace and leather bracelet! seriously, where do you people live, and can we be next door neighbor/best friends?!

  • jen ship - ok, by far the beer wooden crate is my fav on the bellalulu site! i have been looking for one, but have yet to find it! i have an idea for my kitchen and our cloth napkins….