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Showing posts from November, 2012

Christmas! [plus free printables]

the Christmas season has finally arrived at our house! the tree is up, gifts are being wrapped, and the advent calendar is printed and hung!



the only thing i have left to do?
to give YOU a little gift, of course! 

FIRST: here are a few 5x7 [and 7x5] christmas printables for you. yay!

download and print without watermark here

download and print without watermark here



download and print without watermark here

SECOND: every order from the shop today through December 15th [the last day to buy for Christmas delivery] will receive this little extra (5x7) tucked in their order! so while you're buying gifts for family and friends, you get a little something free for yourself :) [of course, you could give this one away and keep another for yourself. i won't tell] you don't have to enter any code, it just appears. little elves or something, i guess

inspired by yesterday's post... and yes, i did a quick redesign in case you were wondering :)
and don't forget:
25% of all proceeds go st…

motherhood in the trenches

the night lingers on. each second crawling to the next in what feels like an eternity. a cruel joke, really. another sleepless night, up with the baby as she refuses to sleep anywhere else but in my lap, upright in a rocking chair.

exhausted and frustrated, i can't see beyond the sleep-deprivation toward anything worthwhile or meaningful. this will always be it. nothing to contribute to the world, no gifts to share, no lives to change. how can i? without a moment to myself to breathe, think, plan, move mountains? sleep?

but then a thought flickers that maybe, just maybe, there's the slightest chance that this is my contribution. these are the mountains moving. for this season, anyway. void of glamour, reward postponed until years later, the epitome of delayed gratification. this is motherhood in the trenches. 


besides, i wonder if maybe there is something, a selfishness, in me that needs to die. and maybe it requires the long and frustrating nights to starve it out, minute by …

exciting news!

so i'm not sure if you can tell, but i like to write. and lately i've been wanting to write a lot. i have countless posts sitting in my drafts, still more swirling in my head. there's a message i'm supposed to be sharing, and i want to share it here.

the coolest thing happened, and this wasn't on my radar at all. for one: it never donned on me that anyone would want to borrow my words for their own collaborative space. and two: i just wasn't seeking it out.

well, a few weeks ago, Nicole emailed me to see if i'd like to author for Fancy Little Things as they're planning a major re-launch of the site and looking for more contributors. hesitantly enough, making sure she had the right girl, i said... um, yes. i would love to.



sooo Fancy Little Things will be opening fresh on December 1 [it will be closed Nov 29-30] and my first post will show up on the 5th. i'll be writing for the "faith" team, which of course i'm thrilled about. i hope yo…

the no brainer blog [eBook tour & giveaway]

so i have something super fun for us today! do you all know Hayley, from The Tiny Twig? i'm sure you do, but if not, you have to hop over and check out her blog. she's the one who wrote "The No Brainer Wardrobe" last year that basically went viral? yeah, her. 
so, because she's pretty much the expert, she has released a new eBook called "The No Brainer Blog: casting your vision, defining your voice, and refining your space" and you guys, it's good. it's the all-encompassing handbook, the only thing you'll need to figure out how to make your blog work for you. 
just a few months ago i was wondering if i could really make this thing work. blogging, i mean. i figured there was probably an x-factor, you know? i knew there was a lot of work involved, but mostly just luck.
well, her eBook[combined with the mentorship group i've been participating in] has gotten me thinking: i can do this. if you need some extra confidence, some invaluable tip…

cyber monday [and christmas cards]

yep, it's like black friday all over again! just in case you missed it :) SHOP HERE
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
and also? i designed my christmas cards today, and uploaded and ordered through zazzle.com wanna see? this is a total spoiler if you're getting one from me in the mail... sorry :)
[can be purchased here]
because they're doing A M A Z I N G cyber monday deals on zazzle [that started today] remember how i told you about iPhone and iPad cases?  use code: 60ZCYBERSALE  for $10 off all cases and 50% off your Christmas cards
[and more deals, see here]

i have three cute little chalkboard designs for sale...
mine [shown above] can be purchased here

and these two:
found here
found here

and guys- these are SEVENTY FIVE CENTS per piece, using that coupon code 60ZCYBERSALE um, that's ridiculously cheap if you ask me? so head over and get your christmas cards if you don't already have them!!




*affiliate links used for zazzle products

black friday madness

40% off everything. today only. shop here.

today...

... may your holiday be filled with family, friends, food and fellowship.
and most of all, an overwhelming gratefulness for who He is and all He has done for us.
give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever...

* check back tomorrow for a fun black friday sale!

soo i have a new button

i must be in the christmas spirit, because this is what came out when i sat down to design a button. but it's cute and festive, so i'll keep it until christmas is over and then i'll make a new one.  who knows, there may be a complete blog/shop redesign coming after the new year anyway...  so for now, you can put this cute christmastime button on your sidebar  by copying the HTML in this little box under here [highlight, right click, "copy"]
<a border="0" href="http://blossomandvineblog.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb398/alyson_allen/blogbutton200.jpg"/></a>

and then by following this nice little tutorial i made for you :)





this is lavish blessing

i still haven't figured out why i always walk over there.

sure, i have to buy toilet paper and shampoo, but those are clear on the other side of the store. i try to give myself a pep-talk before i go in, yet somehow i always end up in the little girl's clothing section at Target. and every single time, i find about fifteen things that my daughter absolutely needs to have. and every single time, i walk away with nothing but an ungrateful and disappointed heart.

why do i torture myself so? good question. i really don't know why.

i do buy clothing for my daughter at Target. but it's when she has absolutely no clothes in her size for the new season, and it's after i budget a certain amount for the month to buy her new clothes. the weekly trips into Target for baby food and toothpaste? as much as i want to throw in a few extra things for her, i just can't do it in this season we're in right now. we're comfortable, we have plenty, but we don't get to buy …

this post is for you [some gift ideas]

i cannot believe it's already thanksgiving week. every year, it seems to sneak up even faster than the year before, doesn't it? well, i have something fun for you today.

if you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet, this post is for you.
if you have a few more people to buy for, but you're losing momentum, this post is for you.
if you're the kind who likes to tuck in a few little extras into someone's gift, this post is for you.
if you do lot's of stocking-stuffers, this post is for you.
if you're on a tight gift-giving budget this year [like me] this post is for you.

and since every one of you will fall into at least one of those categories... this post is for you:) i wanted to show you a few gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list this year. everyone's got one or two of those right?

first up, the obvious:prints from the shop!




second, i wonder how many of you know that you can get blossom & vine on other things besides pa…

because people are suffering

it's Thursday night and i just climbed into bed with my laptop. my sweet girls are all tucked in and sleeping soundly, bellies full. i have the heater going and extra blankets ready because it's finally fall here in San Diego, which means it may drop to 40 degrees or so. call me a wimp, but i don't know any different.

i look around at the laundry and the little toys scattered across my floor. there's a sink full of dishes downstairs and several messes that still need to be picked up. i know i'll have to deal with it in the morning but i'm tired now. we had a full day and i'll be up at 3am with the baby i'm sure.

i'm sitting here thinking about this: there are people - regular old American people just like you and me - who just happen to live on the east coast. and right now they would do anything to be experiencing everything i just described above. just to return to some kind of normalcy and familiarity. but they can't. the hurricane of the cen…

natural living : a peek into my pantry

i try to buy as many one-ingredient things as possible. that's a good gauge for me, as to whether i'm sticking to this natural eating thing or not. this means that i shy away from super processed foods and pre-made meals. we do eat them, just not for the bulk of our meals. in general, less is more when it comes to the ingredients.

here's a typical grocery list. this week's list, actually.

 i like having the menu in front of me when i'm at the store, just in case i realize i forgot to put something on my list,  or maybe they're out of something and i need to improvise a bit. it's just handy. 
you can see how i write everything out, and then put the little estimation of the price right next to it. this helps me stay in my budget. if i have to cut things out, i will. sometimes there's an item that i'm almost out of, but could maybe move it to next week if i'm over my budget for this week. for example, i had coconut oil on the list this week, but prob…

natural living : meal planning

i get really overwhelmed easily. i'm not sure what it is about me, but i have a million things swirling in my head at all times. to prevent from feeling overwhelmed, i have become a serial list maker. i have lists for everything. if it's not written on a list somewhere? i won't remember to do it. this has only gotten worse post-motherhood. if an event isn't written on my calender, i will not be there. i have to have my life and thoughts organized on paper or i'll get to feeling like i might implode. 
in light of this, every single week i write out a meal plan and grocery list. if i don't know what's for dinner ahead of time, i will start panicking by dinnertime. i'm not an improviser. i get stressed easily. and we all know about "the witching hour". that's no time to be unprepared. 
because i sit down on sunday evening to plan the week, all i have to do is look at the calendar and know what i'm making, and know that i'll have all …

natural living: the 80/20 rule

remember how i told you i'm sort of an all-natural gal? how i don't take medicine or use sunscreen or eat certain foods? well, since half of you think i'm crazy, and the other half showed tons of interest, i figured i'd expand on a few things this week. i'll mostly be talking about food.


i'm not a complete fanatic when it comes to food, but i do [very loosely] follow an 80/20 rule. basically, this just means that i make sure 80% of what i do and what i eat is one-ingredient, healthy, not processed, and super good for me, and the other 20% is free game. since i went on that cold turkey sugar fast a few months back, i don't have the sugar addiction i once had, but i do definitely indulge every now and then. 20% of the time, roughly.

why 80/20? why not 100% all-the-time completely and totally healthy? because i'm not sure there's any cause in life, besides Christ, that's worth 1)straining your relationships or 2)sacrificing your sanity. i don't…

a few exciting things

i have a couple exciting things to tell you about today. i won't keep you long :)
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first, the winner of your choice ofLeslie's darling fabric-wrapped frames? Kim. yay! 
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second, did you know about the Happy Day Project that Jeannett has been doing this week? 

well, i'm sorry i didn't tell you about it sooner, but the thing is, it's never too late to join in and spread some love. i'm saying that to myself, too, since i haven't been participating all week. anyway, today she's encouraging us to appreciate our service members. that could be military, police, firemen, etc. anyone who serves our community and country. bake them some cookies, package 'em up, and slap a little free p…

red cup love

we're gonna talk"first world problems" today. you know, the kind that really don't matter in the scheme of life, but we can't help ourselves?

i snapped this screen shot of the #redcup hash tag on instagram last week.


if you don't know what i'm talking about you're obviously new around here. and when i say "here", i mean 21st-century America. the iconic starbucks red cup for the holiday season that comes out the day after halloween? it's lovely this year.

but i'll tell you why i'm sad.

because i haven't walked into a starbucks for anything except one unsweetened black iced tea in over a month. and i'm a girl who frequented starbucks, and had a special addiction to chai lattes in the fall. sadly, i think i drank three total chai lattes before i decided to give them up. and i know you're wondering why, so i won't drag this on any longer.

i'm lactose intolerant. not horribly, but when i drink something like a latt…

Salvage 517 [it's a giveaway!]

this is my friend Leslie. 

 if you aren't reading her blog, stop right now, and go over there and click follow.  because you're missing out on some of the best stuff online. just trust me.
so Leslie is not only a gifted writer and teacher, but she's super creative too.  she recently opened an etsy shop called Salvage517, where she sells beautiful things,  all of which are made from salvaged materials

know what's fun? she chose you guys to have the chance to win one of her darling Vintage Thanksgiving Card Displays in the cutest fabric wrapped frames. seriously. you know you need one of these...

so, here's all you have to do to enter: 1) go to her shop and tell me what your favorite item is [leave a comment]
for a chance at extra entries: 2) follow my blog  3) follow her blog [leave a comment for each]

giveaway will be open through thursday night and the winner will be announced friday!  good luck! :)

because C.S. Lewis gets me fired up

in view of the election tomorrow, i wanted to expand a little bit on last week's post about having a pliable faith. you may want to head over and refresh your memory, but basically i urged us to accept God's Word as the standard for our beliefs, instead of creating our own version of Christianity by accepting the things we like, and ignoring the things we don't. as i wrote all that out, i was reminded of something that C.S. Lewis warns about in Mere Christianity[which, if you haven't read, you absolutely MUST. both christians and non-christians, i think]

anyway... brace yourself. it's about to get political up in here.

"Most of us are not approaching [politics] in order to find out what Christianity says: we are approaching it in the hope of finding support from Christianity for the views of our own party. We are  looking for an ally when we are offered either a Master, or a Judge." - CS Lewis

no matter how hard i try, i've never been able to boil down …

the low-stress way to throw a party

i'll be honest. that title is a bit misleading because i wouldn't actually know how to throw a party without stressing out. so i won't have any nuggets there, but i'll tell you what happened on Wednesday when we hosted our extended family for Halloween & trick-or-treating.

both my husband and i are procrastinators. not a good combo. i had already bought all the "decorations" and food that i needed, but everything else was left until Wednesday. Reese goes to preschool Wednesday so i figured it'd be no problem to get everything done. except that she's the easy one.

the baby decided she wasn't going to nap so i strapped her into the carseat and drove around the block a few times. she totally fell asleep, transferred perfectly... and woke up twenty minutes later. screaming and needing me to hold her.

the only thing i got accomplished during that nap? writing an email. completely unrelated to the party or anything else relevant.

so she was awake an…

to have a pliable faith

so true, right? not just "materials", but speakers, churches, friends, practices, etc. this quote is from Beth Moore's "Mercy Triumphs" study on James, and she goes on to warn how we can get to the point where we've created our own theology, instead of learning what God has already determined and set forth in His Word and following that.

it got me thinking: when we practice this kind of second-hand, "selective" Christianity, we run the very real danger of creating God in our own image, too. 
i used to be this person. i believed in a God who i thought was the God of the Bible. i held to a belief system that i thought was based on Biblical principles, and i lived a life that reflected all of this. as a result, i also practiced strongholds that were a consequence of this mess i didn't even realize i had made.
after years of picking & choosing and dealing with the consequences, i've learned that the Truth of the Word of God is the only sta…