Christmas Cookies, Anyone?

The countdown is on. Is anyone else running behind on holiday plans?  Like me?   The decorations are up, dinner has been mapped out and most of the supplies have been purchased.    But, guess what's missing?  Dessert!   It's OK, though.   I'm so happy to have spotted some super easy cookie decoration ideas.  I think these would be PERFECT.  

If you decide to make these, let me know how they turn out!

Making Thanksgiving YOUR Way

I decided a few years ago to actually enjoy the holidays - in whatever way holds meaning for me.   That means that I will do a certain amount of running around and cooking and shopping.  But when I'm done, I'm DONE.   I want absolutely nothing to do with the soul-sucking compulsion to run non-stop.   In fact, this year I'm not even the one hosting my family's Thanksgiving meal.  How did I manage that?!    Anyway, I'll take it.   I'm sure I will more than make up for it at Christmas time.

But for those of you who are still looking for some Thanksgiving meal inspiration, check out these sassy soul food dishes from Mommy Week.    Enjoy!

Check out Everything You Need for a Soul Food Thanksgiving
by Mommy Week {Ashley} at Mode

Family Pre-Halloween DIY Preps

Is anyone else getting ready for Halloween?   We are!   Besides the fact that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I also enjoy the weather and creativity that inspire me this time of year.  I'm thinking of making my son's costume by hand this time around, so I was happy to see this video showing us how to make a monster costume out of a hoodie.

Looks like fun!  What do you think?  Are you getting into the Halloween spirit this year?  Tell me how!  

Keeping Your Cat Busy When You're Not Around

Many people think cats don't need much play and interaction.  Those people are WRONG.  If you're a fan of the popular Animal Planet show "My Cat From Hell", you know that lack of stimulation is behind many cases of frustration and misplaced aggression.  Once those owners start to ensure a certain amount of play for their animals, the issues usually improve.   

So, let's switch gears to talk about a furry member of our family who doesn't get mentioned as much as everyone else here on my blog.  I'm talking about our cat, Irving.  He's had a great time with us this summer.  And since he needs a lot of play and stimulation, we've tried to include him in as many activities as possible.  But with fall on the horizon, things will change.  Kids will be going back to school, and parents will be focusing more on work.   So here are some of the products we've either been using or plan to purchase to keep the kitty active when we're not around.   

Check out Toys to Keep Your Cat Busy This Fall
by EricaThompsonBriggs at Mode

What do you think?  Does your family pet have favorite toys?  

My Favorite Websites for Artsy Back-to-School Clothes for Boys

As a mom who works full-time, I have no shame whatsoever about the fact that over 75% of my family’s back to school shopping this year will be done online. I actually feel very comfortable about it. Afterall, why run around chasing the latest local sales just to find a picked-over selection when I can order from almost anywhere and get the sizes and colors I (I mean, my son) will want?

The secret to doing this successfully takes planning and organization, though. I sign up for emails from the places we like best and I keep a Gmail folder of notifications about sales. In all honesty, I’ve been doing back to school shopping throughout the summer. I know my son’s measurements so it usually works out very well. But of course I will still need to pick up more things as we close in on the start of school.

 The only issue is my son’s tastes which, like mine, run a little edgy and interesting. As a blossoming artist he loves all things graphic. Some of our favorite online shopping destinations fit him to a tee (pun intended). In addition, they won’t break the bank – especially if you’re taking advantage of coupon codes and sales. If you’ve got a kid who doesn’t mind standing out just a little these might work for you (but feel free to supplement these with mainstream staples!):

Little Boy Chic

Little Dudes Only

Crazy 8

Tea Collection


And the ever-popular Mini Boden. Sure, it’s always a mom’s favorite but it also has some interesting finds.

Also, don’t neglect to check into Threadless for graphic tees for kids. Great sales and one-of-a-kind designs.

I’m telling you, I’ve gotten nearly everything done as far as clothes shopping for now – just from honing in on what we can use from a few websites. Again, you can absolutely do this too if you so desire. Here are some tips:
1) Know your child’s measurements and sizes in different items of clothing.
2) Focus on a handful of favorite websites so you don’t get overwhelmed.
3) Keep track of when sales begin or end. Sure there’s always another sale around the corner but it’s helpful to know which ones work with your own deadlines – such as the start of school.
4) Feel free to focus mostly on the clothing your child will need at the beginning of school but remember to pick up items you’ll need later in the year, such as warm clothing, when you see great deals.

So let’s talk about where I plan to do the other 25% of our back-to-school clothing shopping. This is where I will hit the stores and (ugh) malls for things that my little one will need to try on such as shoes. I’m a stickler about shoes that fit well. Some of my favorite brands for my kid’s feet are Merrell, Skechers, Teva, and similar makers. These fit his artistic style and last for a long time. If anyone has any ideas about how to make this even easier please let me know in comments below!

See some of our favorite from around the web below.

<blockquote id="mode-widget" lang="en"><p>Check out <a href="">Shop Edgy Back-to-School Clothes for Boys from Your Laptop</a></p><p> by <a href="">EricaThompsonBriggs</a> at <a href="">Mode</a></p></blockquote><script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src=";colid=6571683:Collection:9741598;authorid=6571683:Yuser:2827144;userid=6571683:Yuser:2827144;es=2;"></script>
Blog Widget by LinkWithin