Join us for our Christmas Galore Link Party! Come share your awesome ideas for Christmas decor, party ideas, recipes, activities and anything else!!

While you're here, be sure to enter our giveaway for Shutterfly and Plum District Goodies! The giveaway has been extended to December 2nd and there will be 5 winners!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

I love, love, LOVE the Southwestern Egg Rolls from Chili's. In fact, that's the main reason I go there - to get those egg rolls. I've tried making copycat Southwestern Egg Rolls before and they've never turned out just right. I didn't want to put a lot of money into getting all the weird ingredients that the recipes called for. But that all changed...because of Pinterest! :)

About a week before my Shutterfly party, I was looking through Pinterest for some party food ideas and came across these Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls from Annie's Eats. They're made with simple enough ingredients and looked fairly easy to make.

The verdict? SOOOOOOO good! Seriously, if these could be considered a Thanksgiving food, I would have made these for Thanksgiving. And I've considered making these for dinner almost every night since the party too. It's too bad that I don't keep egg roll wrappers on hand! :)

So, since these are so absolutely delish, I just had to share the recipe with you! Pretty much everyone at the party agreed with me. I think the few who didn't don't quite share my love and enthusiasm for the real things.

Here is Annie's recipe with my variations. Annie made her's vegetarian, but I added chicken to mine. I also put out sour cream and ranch instead of salsa.

Ingredients for the Mixture:2 cups corn, thawed I (I used 1 can of corn because I was out of the frozen kind)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used about half of a 16oz package of frozen spinach. I was really tired of squeezing and chopping it, lol)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I just used colby jack - it's what I had on hand)
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken (I used some pre-cooked on clearance chicken breasts from the store)
Also Need:
1 package egg roll wrappers
1 slightly beaten egg - used to seal the wrappers

Mix everything together and start rolling your egg rolls! If you've never used egg roll wrappers, you want to place them so one of the points is pointed at you (so you see a diamond rather than a square). This is where my 3 years of rolling tacos at Taco Time came in handy! Add a couple spoonfulls (I used about 1/4 cup of the mixture in each rolls) of the mixture to the middle of the wrapper. Take the corner closest to you and fold it over the misture then pull back slightly around the mixture. Fold the side corners over and then start rolling towards the top corner. After rolling almost completely, dip your fingers or a brush into the egg and rub onto the corner of the wrapper to seal it. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees.

You could potentially fry these, but I wasn't about to attempt that right before the party. I don't have a deep fryer and baking was much simpler. And much healthier! :)

I didn't want the rolls getting soggy or sticking together, so made the mixture the night before and let it sit in the fridge. Then about an hour before the party I rolled them all and put them in the oven about 10 minutes before the party started so that they would be nice and warm when the party started.
There were a few leftover after the party, so I put them in the fridge and then reheated them the next day by putting them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Crispy and tasty just like the day before.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Share The Memories Freebie #2

I've got another fun digital scrapbooking freebie from My Memories! Remember that these freebies come with all of the elements, papers, etc that are used to create them. I just downloaded it myself and there were 22 pieces that came in this freebie. How awesome is that!

Also, remember that you don't need to have the My Memories software in order to use these freebies. The elements of the freebie pack come as .jpg and .png files so they're compatible with other scrapbooking and photo editing software.

However, if you're interested in using the My Memories software, you should know that they just released Version 3! I haven't had too much time to play around with it, but so far I'm loving it. If you want to give it a try, you can download a free trial of the software. As far as I know, you don't need to have a previous version in order to use this trial. If you want to go ahead and purchase the full version of the software, remember to use the code STMMMS51889 at checkout to receive $10 off the price of the software and $10 in free product from the store.

Now, here's the freebie. Click the link to the left or the picture below to be taken to the download page.

This freebie will be available for 1 week - through December 4th. So don't wait to download it!

Also, if you have any questions about the software or freebies, don't hesitate to ask. I'm not a pro, but I can either get your question answered for you or point you in the direction of someone who can help you!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Galore Link Party

Thanksgiving is over and it's time to start pulling out the Christmas decor and getting serious about the upcoming holiday. I thought it would be fun to host a Christmas link party so that we could all share ideas about decor, holiday goodies, gifts, and everything else that comes with this wonderful holiday.

*Cue Holiday music*

There are 2 categories to add your links to: Christmas Gift Ideas (for gift ideas - handmade or otherwise) and Christmas Galore (for everything else - decor, yumminess, parties, etc). Please be sure to link up to the appropriate category.

Just a few suggestions before joining the party...

1. We'd love it if you would be a LITM follower. You can join us through GFC, Facebook, Feedburner, or Pinterest!
2. We'd also really appreciate it if you would link back to us so that others can join the fun too. If you really loved us, you'd grab one of the awesome buttons from the sidebar :)
3. Remember to link to your specific post and not just to your blog. And please, no etsy shops or giveaways. However, Pinterest boards are permitted :)

Now, it's party time. Go on and get down with your bad self. (Could I be any whiter??)

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Galore


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving. No matter how you're celebrating or what you're eating, I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day! If you're hosting Thanksgiving, then I wish you all the patience and multitasking abilities in the world! We'll be enjoying some yummy food and fun family time at my Sister-in-Law's house.

Also, I just wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for some things. I hope no one minds. If anyone else wants to join in, I'd love to read what you're grateful for also! So, in no particular order....

  1. I'm grateful that my husband has a job. It may not pay so great, but it's a job and he works hard so that I can stay home with Andyroo.
  2. I'm so very grateful for my sweet little boy. He brings so much fun and laughter into my life. He's so caring and loving - full of hugs and kisses. I can't even imagine my life without that little guy.
  3. I'm also very grateful for my husband. He's always there to support me no matter what it is I want to do. He believes in me and loves me, even when I feel unlovable. I can't imagine my life without him either.
  4. I'm grateful that my mom lives 5 blocks away. She really has become my best friend and I can't bear the thought of having to move away (which we will have to do eventually) and not seeing her every week for our Sunday dinners and grocery shopping trips. I'm not gonna lie. It's going to be tough.
  5. I'm grateful for our little apartment. Yes, it's little. And it's cold. And there are spiders and other various bugs. And it's in the basement so we don't get lots of sunshine. But it is a wonderful place to live. We have wonderful friends and neighbors because of where we live. It may not be a house, but it's our home.
  6. I am grate extremely grateful for all of our friends. We're not very social people (it's sad, really), but we love each and every one of our friends. We're grateful for the support and love that each of you give us.
  7. I'm grateful for this blog. Writing is very therapeutic for me. It always has been. It's the only way I can truly express myself. I just end up stumbling all over myself and rambling on when I try and talk. I love the connection I have with other wonderful women in the world and the inspiration I receive each and every day from the awesomeness I see from each of you. Blogging provides not only an outlet for me, but it also pushes me to be better, to think bigger, and to create more!
  8. I'm grateful for all of our extended family - our brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, and all of the grandparents. We have such a strong family bond and they provide such a good network of support for us.
  9. I'm grateful for Facebook. This might sound weird, but it's true. Through Facebook I was able to reconnect with my best friend (love you, Heather!) and I can now keep in touch with all of our friends and family spread across the world. I know it's not as personal as phone calls or letters, but for someone as socially awkward (yes, I'll admit it) as I am, it's a wonderful way to keep in touch!
  10. I am grateful for all the modern conveniences that I have access to - the washer and dryer, running water, microwave, heating, plumbing, cell phones, etc. I would go crazy without them. There's no way I could have survived as a pioneer (or at any other time)!
  11. I'm grateful for my membership and calling in the LDS Church. It provides so much for us that I can't even put into words. I'm so glad to know that there is a God, that he loves us, and that he wants us to be happy. I so grateful for prayer and for the ability to be in communication with God and to know that he has a plan for us.
There's so many more little things that I 'm grateful for, but that will do for now. I also wanted to leave you with a few Thanksgiving funnies :) Enjoy!

Also, we'll be starting our Christmas link up party on Saturday the 26th after all the Thanksgiving and shopping madness have died down. Be sure to check back so you can link up all your fun projects!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yummy Dinner Rolls

These rolls are perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner - or any other dinner, for that matter! They turn out soft, a little sweet, and just melt in your mouth. The dough is very easy to work with and the recipe is pretty simple!

I came across this recipe on a message board that I used to frequent over on iVillage. Around Thanksgiving, we would all post our favorite recipes and this one happened to be posted. I was looking for a yummy roll recipe one day and remembered this one, so I tried it. It's now my go-to roll recipe. I made these for a Relief Society Enrichment one time and they were such a hit that I was asked specifically to bring these to the next 3 activities!

Unfortunately I don't have a picture right now. I made them for our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday with my mom, but totally forgot to snap a picture. I'm making them again on Thursday for Thanksgiving at my Sister-in-Laws, so I'll try and remember to get a pic then. I'm also going to attempt making the dough ahead of time, freezing it, then driving an hour and half with them to dinner, then baking them. We'll see how that goes!

1/2 c. warm water (for the yeast)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 c. milk, scalded
1/4 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
4-5 c. flour

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it proof for a few minutes (but it really doesn't need to double in size)

2. Scald your milk. You can do this by microwaving it for about 2 minutes. I saw a tip somewhere (sorry, I don't have the source) that said to save part of the milk - about 1/4 c of it - before scalding. Microwave the 3/4 cup and then after it comes out of the microwave, add the remaining 1/4 cup of cold milk. This will help it cool down faster so that it doesn't ruin the eggs, melt the shortening, or ruin the yeast.

3. While the milk is cooling down, add the rest of your ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add the milk and yeast to the rest of the ingredients and mix slightly. Then add the flour, 1 cup at a time. Do NOT add too much flour otherwise your rolls will be chewy and dense. 5 cups is the most I will ever add. I made the mistake of trying to make the dough resemble bread and added about 6 cups one time. Not a good thing. The dough will still be pretty sticky, but that's okay!

4. Let the dough raise for 1 hour. Be sure to cover the bowl with a warm towel.

5. Shape into balls and put into muffin pans. The dough will be sticky, but just use some flour (the extra here won't hurt) to keep them from getting too sticky. Instead of kneading, just work them a bit as you shape them. I also prefer to cook mine in muffin tins. I find they cook better and more evenly. When I tried placing them in pans, the outside rolls would get really crispy and the ones in the middle were still doughy. In muffin tins, they each cook perfectly! Also, these really get big both while they raise and when they start to cook. So don't feel like you have to make them big when you shape them.

6. Let them raise again. My notes say to let them raise again for 1 hour, but I never let them go that long. I've let them go for as little as 20 minutes and they still bake perfectly.

7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown.

8. Remove from the oven and spread some butter across the tops (Either paint melted butter on the top or rub a stick of butter across the tops). Enjoy!

These are soooooo good! If you try them, let me know what you think!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shutterfly Party Recap + Giveaway (5 winners!)

Winners have been announced! Be sure to see if you won!!

**UPDATE: Since there are so few entries, I've decided to extend the giveaway through December 2nd. Since all Shutterfly codes need to be used by December 15th, all the winners will receive their codes by email so they will be available for instant use! Also, I discovered that I have 2 extra Plum District gift cards instead of just 1, so we will have 5 winners!**

I had the opportunity to host a Shutterfly House Party last weekend (Nov. 12th) and it was so much fun! I absolutely love Shutterfly. For those who don't know about Shutterfly, they're an online photo company that does not only photo prints (in all sizes), but they also do photo cards, photo books, personalized calendars, and virtually any kind of gift that you could imagine that would use a photo. I really do love them. Their products are very high quality and their prices are very reasonable (especially since they're always running sales and emailing out discount codes)! I first came across Shutterfly about 6 years ago, shortly before I got married. The first Shutterfly project I ever made was a photo book of our wedding pictures - that pinkish linen book in the back of this picture.

I was hooked. I've since made all the other books above, plus a whole handful more that I've given away as gifts to grandparents. Photo books are, quite literally, the only way I've been able to keep up with scrapbooking Andyroo's pictures!

My favorite book to make was one that we gave to my hubby's Grandma. For her 80th birthday, her daughters (my hubby's mom) came up with the awesome idea to collect pictures of everyone and have all the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids send in a memory about Grandma. Of course, knowing that I've put all these books together, my Mother-in-Law nominated me to collect everything and put it together. It was such a fun project and Shutterfly made it SOOOOO easy! And it turned out beautiful - the large 12x12 size with a sleek, black leather cover. The pages were all very sophisticated and classy. Needless to say, it was a very special present and she absolutely loved it!

The photo calendars also make great gifts for grandparents. Especially since grandparents always seem to have everything they need. Why not make something personalized that they will actually use and enjoy! When you make the calendar, you can add in as many birthdays, anniversaries, and any other important dates that you want, plus you can personalize those days with a picture!

Besides photo books and calendars, they also have an amazing selection of photo cards. You probably can't see them all so great, but these are some samples that Shutterfly sent me to display during the party.


The photo cards come in all different shapes and sizes - 4x8, 5x5, 5x7, etc. And most can be done in flat or folded! My favorite card had pictures on the front and a shortened family letter on the back. What a great way to let everyone know what's happened and get out Christmas cards. It's like a 2-for-1, but much simpler than sending out a whole letter!

What's so awesome - or may not, because I'm having a hard time deciding - is that they have an amazing selection of cards! 1,004 Christmas cards, to be exact! There's a huge selection of cards for Christmas, but you can also make photo cards for invitations, announcements, and virtually any other holiday!

I love doing the Shutterfly parties because these aren't your typical house parties. There's no rep there to try and sell you on anything or push you into buying things. They're simply trying to spread the word about their awesome products! To do this, they find folks who love their products (like me!) and ask them to host a party featuring their products - and giveaway freebies during the party!!! How awesome is that - no one trying to sell anything and everyone gets a freebie?! That's my kind of party! I hosted a Shutterfly party last year and it was so much fun. When I saw that Shutterfly was doing the same thing again this year, I jumped at the chance to host one again.

So unfortunately for me, it was snowing that day and a few people weren't able to make it to the party, so I have some freebies left over. However, it's good for you because I don't want to keep them to myself and thought it would be so fun to use them as a giveaway here on the blog to help spread the word about Shutterfly.

Here are the little "prize packs" that I put together with the goodies they sent me.

3 lucky readers will receive one of these little packs that contain the following:
  • A code for 1 free personalized photo calendar
  • A code for 15 free holiday photo cards
  • Instructions to get free shipping (you have to tell 5 friends by submitting their email address - your friends also get free photo cards too!)
  • A Plum District gift card worth $10
I also have 2 extra Plum District gift cards, so two more winners will each receive a $10 Plum District gift card!

That makes 4 5 winners! How awesome is that!? The Shutterfly codes have to be used by December 15th, so this will be a fairly quick giveaway because I want you to have plenty of time to get your goodies created.

We'll keep this simple. In order to enter, you need to do the following:
  • Be a follower of Life in the Motherhood - you can do this on our sidebar!
  • Like Life in the Motherhood on Facebook
  • Share this giveaway through your blog, Facebook, twitter, etc (enter once per day!)
That's up to 9 chances to win! If you're already a follower or liker, then just leave a comment saying so. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to either leave your email address in your comment or enable email through your profile.

This giveaway will be open from Tuesday, November 22nd through midnight on Sunday, November 27th Saturday, December 2nd. Winners will be announced the morning of Monday, November 28th Sunday, December 3rd.

Please note that if you attended a Shutterfly House Party and received these freebies already, then you won't be able to use these codes. The codes were specific for the House Parties and you won't be able to use them again in your account.

What are you waiting for?! Go get entered!!!

The opinions in this post are completely my own. I was not told how to write this post or what to say. I really do love Shutterfly and wanted to share some of their awesomeness with you! Because I hosted this party, I also received the same freebies - a free calendar, holiday cards, and a Plum District gift card.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Awesome CHRIST{mas} Book

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I found a spectacular idea that I wanted to share with you all - and you might need some time to prepare it. A couple months ago I was surfing around on Pinterest and found this really neat book to help us put Christ back in Christmas. You've got to head over to Sew Dang Cute to check it out for yourself!

It's an awesome project called "The Christ Book"  that is meant to use in the days leading up to Christmas. The songs are more Christmassy, but you could use the topics and different songs for Easter or anytime you think your family needs to become a little closer to Christ.

This book is complete with pictures, songs, scriptures, etc. Everything you need to help your family have a more peaceful, Christ-centered Christmas. Go check it out!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Handmade Christmas: Gift Ideas for Neighbors & Friends

Alrighty folks. Here it is. The last installment of our Handmade Gift series. Today we're looking at gifts for friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, etc. Be sure to check out the rest of the series - Gifts for Infants, Gifts for Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gifts for Big Kids thru Teenagers, Gifts for the Husband or Significant Other, and Gifts for Grandparents.

First up is something that comes from our very own Heather here on this little blog - Homemade Facial Scrubs. Mix it up, put it in a small glass jar, and give it to all the women on your list. All of the ingredients are simple and natural - which is awesome!

I'm drooling over this Cookie Cutter Fudge, which comes straight from the Betty Crocker Website. Fudge is a fairly simple to make and so yummy. I love how they decorated it with other candies and goodies. It really ups the wow factor for this simple little gift.

This next idea is especially useful for teachers, but I'm honestly thinking about making this for myself. I use sticky notes all the time! Go check out Paper Wings to see how she made these adorable Post-It Stands.

Who doesn't love Hostess Ding-Dongs and Ho-Hos? I know I do! I would be thrilled to get this adorable little package of goodies from One of a Kind. Such a fun idea!

As a family (when I was little), we used to make up goodies and take to our neighbors for Christmas. And that's fun an all, but after you're on the receiving end of a couple of those plates, you find yourself swamped with treats. That's exactly why I'm thrilled with the idea of giving mixes or doughs so that the receiver can make and eat the treats whenever they're ready. Then the goodies stay fresh and can be eaten warm...instead of old and stale. :) Check out Blue Cricket Designs to see how she added a personal touch to store bought cookie dough! You could also mix and wrap your own cookie dough instead.

These Grinch Pills would be great to pass out to co-workers! Custom Creations by Tamara Bennet is offering the cut file for the box. However, even if you don't have a cutting machine, you could just cut the front of the box and either tape or tie it onto some tic tacs.

How about a gift that won't make your neighbor think about the calories? Today's Fabulous Finds has a plethora of gift ideas (under $2 - sahweet!), but I really got a kick out of this Dishtowel and Dishcloth gift!

This next gift is a little more labor intensive as it requires a little more work, but it is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family! Check out Family Bites to see how to put together this Ice Cream Sundae Kit!

Here are a couple of ideas that are more useful than yummy! Crafts re-Designed is offering a free printable to personalize hand soap and wrapping paper. Adorable!

I can't stay away from the yummy treats. How about Chocolate Covered Pretzels? Mmmmm :) Check out How Does She for a link to a tutorial and printable tag!

Thanks for joining us this week to take a look at some fun handmade Christmas ideas. As we get past Thanksgiving, I'll be putting up some tutorials for handmade gifts that I've made. But I'm a big believer in keeping Thanksgiving and Christmas separate. Be sure to come back next week for some Thanksgiving inspiration! 


Friday, November 18, 2011

A Homemade Christmas: Gift Idea for Grandparents

This is the 5th post in our Homemade Christmas series. Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series: Gift Ideas for Infants, Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Gift Ideas for Big Kids, Tweens & Teenagers, and Gift Ideas for a Husband or Significant Other.

In my opinion, Grandparents are the funnest to give gifts to. It seems to me that grandparents and great-grandparents, at least in our family, are always so excited to get gifts that revolve around their grandchildren. Makes gift giving super easy!

So, first up are a few ideas of projects that I've done in the past.

I actually made these photo blocks as Mother's Day gifts for my Mother-in-Law and myself last year. This is a picture of my own blocks. Obviously the blocks for my Mother-in-Law revolved around her family, rather than just our family. But the idea is still the same. Choose your photos and either print then crop or crop then print. Make sure to print on photo paper so that the ink doesn't run or smear. Cut to the size of the block, then use mod podge to put the photos on the blocks. Really, quite easy. I also painted my blocks black. The blocks were just cut down from a piece of lumber from Home Depot for around $4 or $5.

Another easy and simple idea is Photo Glass Magnets. I made these 2 years ago for Christmas for all the grandparents and great grandparents. Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures of the ones I made. So instead I found a tutorial from The Creative Place that has great pictures to show you what I'm talking about. I would recommend heavy duty magnets and heavy duty glue - something like E6000. I tried hot glue and the first time one fell off the fridge the magnet popped off. All the grandmas loved them - and in fact they're still on all of their fridges!

Here's another cute block idea from I {Heart} Nap Time  - Grandma Blocks! As she says at the bottom of her post, these can also be altered for a mom, dad, grandpa, etc.

Here's another super cute photo idea - Photo Key Chains! My Crazy Life as a Farmer's Wife has a fun little tutorial to make these. Pretty stinking easy and I know grandparents would just adore these!

I'm starting to send a trend here. For now, I'll stick with the trend and show you these Photo Coasters from Oopsey Daisy. Tiles, photos, and resin will make these cute and useful gifts!

I know this is a pretty short post, but most of the grandparent gifts that I'm coming up with or can find revolve around photos - and most are just variations of the above ideas. I would feel repetitive if I posted them all.

I'd love to hear any ideas that don't center around photos. Please feel free to share any other ideas. And come back tomorrow for the last installment of A Homemade Christmas. Tomorrow we'll be featuring ideas for neighbors and friends.


Extraordinary Women: Heather & Pleural Mesothelioma

I was contacted by Heather about a month ago asking if we would be willing to add some links to our sidebar or find some other way to help share her struggles with Mesothelioma. I had been considering starting a series about women who have a story to tell - women who have endured through and overcome great struggles. I guess I was looking for something inspirational that would connect us as all women. That was when this series was born.

So as the start to this series, I'd like to welcome Heather Von St James - a Mesothelioma survivor. Check out Heather's blog to find out more about her struggles. Without further adieu, here's Heather.

We All Need A Village

It takes a village. The saying is heard, quoted, and spouted all the time, but unlike other frequently used quips, this saying is no cliché. And I should know. My pregnancy would be considered textbook. Morning sickness wasn’t an issue, and everything was going along as planned. Yet when it was time for me to meet this new little person face to face, we found out the baby was breach. The decision came swiftly to opt for C-section. Minutes later, on August 4th, 2005, we met our beautiful, healthy baby girl. My parents, family, in-laws, and friends began showing up to meet Lily and see how I was doing. Life was great at that moment, but I had no idea what was coming. And I had no idea that I would suddenly view these well-wishers in my life as the village I needed.

Before Lily, I spent my days running one of three salons that I co-owned. With over 20 employees, I not only worked as a hairdresser myself, but I also managed the place. As a brand new mom, I found out that I would need to start managing a different salon. The workload would be easier but the initial logistical nightmare and the time away from Lily broke my heart.

A few weeks after returning to the full-time labor force, my health took a dive. I had no energy, I was out of breath, and my weight fell off at a frightening pace. By November, the doctor wanted a full work up. They discovered fluid around my lung, but worst of all they discovered cancer. Plueral Mesothelioma was the diagnosis, a cancer from being exposed to asbestos when I was a child. The prognosis was 15 months to live unless I did something drastic.

I flew across the country and went under the knife. Extrapleural pneumenectomy took out my left lung as well as the surrounding tissues, lymph nodes and diaphragm. Surgical Gore-Tex replaced my diaphragm and the surrounding tissues around my heart. While the doctor worked, a heated chemo wash was used to help my chances followed by two weeks of recuperating in the hospital and a mere two months rest before chemo and radiation.

Without our “village” surrounding us with love and support, it wouldn’t have been possible. Lily stayed with my parents while I was in Boston undergoing surgery and treatment. Without a “village” surrounding my parents, they wouldn’t have been able to continue their jobs and still take care of our little baby.

After those rough days, I chose to stay at home with Lily. Knowing first-hand the impact of generosity, giving to others is now part of our life. Because of the village, Lily is growing up to be a person with a kind heart. So despite the horrors of cancer, I now embrace life and the village around me. And for that, I am thankful.

Thank you so much, Heather, for sharing your story with us. I'm so glad that you have such a great support system - your very own village. Your words are inspirational! We wish you all the best! 

If you'd like to share your story with the readers of Life in the Motherhood, please submit your information. And even though this series is called "Extraordinary Women," you don't have to be struggling with something as serious as cancer to featured. Don't be shy - I'd love to hear from and feature you!!  


Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Handmade Christmas: Gift Ideas for your Husband or Significant Other

Here's the fourth installation of our Homemade Gifts series! Today we'll be focusing on our spouse/significant other. And, since most of the people who read this blog are women, these gifts will be focused mainly on the menfolk. Looking for other ideas? Take a look at our gift ideas for Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers, and Big Kids through Teenagers.

Does anyone else find it incredibly hard to make homemade gifts for the men? They definitely don't appreciate it as much as the ladies. Hopefully at least one of the ideas here will be something that would make him happy!

I don't know about you, but we don't go on dates nearly often enough. Despite the fact that Grandma lives about 5 blocks away and we have awesome friends who would babysit, we still don't go out on dates. Our "dates" are usually taking Andyroo with us to do something fun (for a 3-year-old). Bowling, kids movie, etc. To eliminate part of the reason for not going out, why not come up with 12 dates (or however many you want), get them all planned, and give that as a gift! My Mix of Six gave her hubby a Date Package complete with 12 dates planned and paid for. So easy! It reminds me of once a month cooking!

Are you always losing remotes like we are in our house? The most common place that we find them is tucked in the cushions of the couch. End the madness with this Remote Caddy from Sew 4 Home!

This picture for this next idea might say "Father's Day" but I think this would also work for Christmas! What a cute Father's Photo Collage from the kiddos that would let their daddy know that he's loved. Positively Splendid even has a printable to make it easier!

Is your significant other a coffee (or hot chocolate) lover? How about a cute little Reusable Coffee Cup Sleeve? The Cottage Home has a great tutorial on how to make your own.

Here's a twist on the remote caddy - a Remote Control Pocket Pillow! Check out how Blessings Overflowing created this handy dandy caddy. I think the hubs is definitely getting some kind of remote caddy this year (shhh, don't tell him that)!

Are you more of a gift card giver? How about sprucing up that gift card with a fun card? Holiday Crafts and Creations has a couple different versions for these Shirt Pocket Cards - a Shirt and Tie version (for an Office Max gift card) and a flannel work shirt (for a Home Depot gift card).

Looking for a way to show your hubby how much you appreciate him? How about an All About You Basket? The Dating Divas have some great ideas for making your own!

Does anyone else have any superb gift ideas for the men in their life? I'm always looking for ideas (besides video games) for the hubby! Please share!

Tomorrow we will be focusing on Grandparents, so make sure to check back for some fabulous ideas!

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