2012 D Spot in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 42,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals.

I took a look back, and it’s pretty exciting to see that in 2010 this blog had 2,700 views and in 2011 it had 22,00o views. I have one word to explain the huge jump in views — PINTEREST. I started pinning all the wedding, bridal shower, bachelorette party and baby shower posts and turns out people are searching for that stuff. Take a look and see if your shower made the top 5 most read list — chances are it did if your name is Jackie, Sara, Alex or Kacie🙂

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas is Love

happy-holidays1My Christmas cards have yet to go out, not a single gift is wrapped and our stockings are all empty. Those things aside, when quittin’ time comes on Friday I’m determined to channel my inner Mrs. Clause and ho, ho, ho my way through the next week. Err Wait, that came out really wrong…

Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and joyful Christmas and a safe welcoming of 2013.

 

 

Faith

heart-candle-image1I’m so sad about the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Ct. Every time I see the sweet faces of those children, or hear the heroic tales of the teachers who tried to protect them my heart just aches.

I can’t help but feel we live in a very scary world. And I worry that this is the world my future children will live in, and how if things don’t change they’re only going to get worse.

You may have seen this article making the rounds on Facebook, but I finally stopped to read it this morning and I’m glad I did. It’s a reminder of the beautiful things that are happening all around us too. Click to read:

26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

This holiday season I hope we all remember to love each other more, cherish the moments with family and friends and realize that, even in it’s hardest moments, life is truly a gift.

Thankful Wrap

peppermint-milkshake01It’s November 30 — yowza!! Another month come and gone, but how I do love December. So, two more “thankfuls” gets us to 30.

I’m thankful for seasonal flavors. My previous favorite being the peppermint mocha at Starbucks was replaced last year when I discovered the peppermint milkshake at Chik-fil-a! Yes, the temperatures may have been in the 30s but that didn’t stop me from back-to-back-(to-back) drive thru runs last year. I’ve been craving one all week, so might need to make it my “Congratulations You Made It Through Another Week” treat tonight🙂

To balance the frivolousness of that, I’m thankful for my life. Yeah, that’s a big one, but it’s easy to forget how truly blessed we are sometimes. My life consists of a wonderful husband, two crazy fur-children, amazing family members who love and care for us, a great job, a lovely home and a seriously awesome network of caring, supportive and unique friends. What’s not to be thankful for?

Happy Friday all!

 

 

 

Alex’s “Once Upon a Time” Baby Shower

It’s finally time to tell you all about Alex’s baby shower, yay! You know I’m a fan of themes, and nothing else felt more perfect for this former teacher and storybook lovin’ Mama-to-Be than a fairy-tale “Once Upon a Time…” theme.

I’m kicking myself for not taking photos of the invitations, but I choose these whimsical invites from Tiny Prints, and sealed each envelope with a blue wax “crown” seal seen here on Etsy.

As an activity for guests, we hung ribbon and asked everyone to write their “storybook wishes” for Mom and Baby (seen above), and hang them with a clothespin. Thanks to the ever crafty Christine for making all the adorable signs that matched our invites! Showers (whether baby or bridal) are truly a team effort!

My favorite piece from the shower was the “Little Prince” banner made from old storybook pages.I had a little too much fun a few months back in Philadelphia with my thrift store loving Aunt, and bought a mess of children’s books for so cheap that I didn’t feel guilty about sacrificing the pages for some decor. Other books were stacked on tables and topped with flowers as centerpieces. And my other thrift store score, the unicorn bookends!

These whimsical gems were white, but a quick coat of blue spray paint made them fit for a prince. We asked each guest to bring their favorite book to help start a library for baby boy, so the bookends were a perfect way to display these special gifts.

The menu for the day consisted of slider sized gourmet sandwiches and a couple delicious side salads from a local catering company. Drinks were your standard selection of water,soda and wine with a special “warm cider” drink as a nod to the holiday season. Alex’s mom also picked up a delicious cake from the Swiss Haus Bakery in Philadelphia, and had them decorate it to match the invitations.

As a game, we asked guests to guess the size of Mommy’s tummy, with the top two guesses getting a prize. Lets just say some of us, myself included, seriously overestimated!

It made for some good laughs though🙂 Finally, to round out our storybook theme, each guest received a chocolate cake pop in the shape of an apple as a nod to Alex’s favorite childhood book, “The Giving Tree.”

We displayed the cake pops with a little sign that said “The End” and a copy of the book that Alex’s dad gave her when she was born. Inside it says, “I give you the gift of giving.” So sweet!

And that, my friends, is how we celebrate our Mama-to-Be in true, memorable fashion.

The End.

(Click pictures to view them on a larger scale. See more photos from the shower here.)

Thankful for Traditions

This is our fourth Christmas in our house (which is hard to believe), and when I think about our Christmas Traditions it’s usually in the context of, “When we have a family, every Christmas we should…”

What I fail to realize when I look to the future instead of focusing on the present, is that organically over the past four years we’ve started some family traditions of our own. Like how at the end of every year we SWEAR we’re going to get rid of our worn out, dog attacked artificial tree and get a new one. But every year that tree ends up back in storage only to make another appearance next Christmas. And every year we put it up, decorate the hell out of it, and sit on our couch to proudly admire our handy work proclaiming that, “Ya know, that tree isn’t so bad after all.”

And when it comes to our outside lights, well that’s a whole other production. Every year it seems our tradition involves Joey picking the coldest night of the season to date, and heading out to the shed in an outfit that’s entirely inappropriate for the weather and/or yard work to rummage around for last year’s lights only to determine that several strands don’t work anymore. What follows is a late night trip to Ace Hardware, a dinner that will need to be reheated later, and me laughing as I sit on the couch watching girly tv shows while the dogs run from the downstairs windows to the upstairs ones desperately trying to figure out what Daddy’s doing outside. A couple of hours later, Joey comes in with a proud look on his face, I fake annoyance at having to bundle up for a trip outside when I’m perfectly content (and warm) inside, and then I get walked borderline execution style down our front path to the street where I count to three before turning around for a Clark Griswald style reveal.

Naturally, our outdoor lights end up looking awesomely ridiculous, we declare ourselves the unofficial blue ribbon winners of the non-existent neighborhood light competition, and then we call it a night.

I do love our little traditions.

Thankful x12

I’m thankful for…

1. Being home after 7 days away at the beach.

2. Time to unplug from work emails.

3. The ability to forget where I left my cellphone all day because anyone who was important in that moment was already with me.

4. Making a dent in my Christmas shopping.

5. Spending Thanksgiving surrounded by family, eating delicious food and watching the Redskins win!

6. Late night walks in crisp fall air.

7. Tired dogs.

8. Mother-Daughter time void of distractions and responsibilities.

9. Christmas music on the radio.

10. Family being there to help out when your truck decides to start having problems 2.5 hours away from home.

11. The sound of the ocean.

12. Amazing friends who show up to celebrate life’s little big moments.

Thankful Catch Up

Catching up from last week! I’m thankful for…

1. Ability to try new things: I took a photography class this past weekend and loved the opportunity to learn some tips from a pro. Looking forward to more opportunities to try new things and take better pictures.

2. A clean(ish) house: With some VIP guests on their way this weekend, it’s the kick in the butt I need to tackle those cleaning projects that always get put on the back burner for the more fun things in life😉 Hauling 4 huge trash bags to the curb last night was therapeutic.

3. My doggies: They’re so forgiving after long days home alone, and always give me the best greetings.

4. My Mama: She’s the best (probably should have put her before the doggies, huh?). I’m so grateful for her. Looking forward to some quality girls time over Thanksgiving.

5. Vacation: Taking off the entire week of Thanksgiving and heading to the beach! Seriously can. not. wait.

6. Laughter: I watched Funniest Home Videos last night. Totally true what they say about it being the best medicine! Oh, and people falling down just never gets old.