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Christmas at The Carters...part 2

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Hey there!  I am linking up with a fun blogger, Andrea, & sharing my Christmas decorations!  I love looking at other house decor - and ESPECIALLY during Christmas!  Enjoy!


I used to love anything and everything Christmas - and my house was a modge podge of Christmas decor.  Over the years I *think* I have toned it down a little (although the hubs would say 3 Christmas trees is not toning it down - ha!)  We have a huge tree in our front room that is my "Mommy tree" now.  All red, white & silver ornaments.  With corresponding wrapped presents. #recoveringperfectionist  It makes me happy.



Through the hallway is where I put our Christmas cards.  I hot glue ribbon to the top of the door (don't be afraid to hot glue stuff to walls or doors...it peels right off!) & then I glue on the cards when we get them.  I love having them all displayed where we can see them versus in a basket or bin like I used to do.  By the end of the month I usually fill up two doors worth …

Christmas at the Carters

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I heart Christmas.

Growing up, we had a lot of fun Christmas traditions.  We did the classic ones - Christmas light drive, visits to Santa, cookie baking, etc.  But we did some different things also.  On Christmas Eve my brother and I would make pallets on the floor at the foot of our parents bed & sleep in their room.  I don't know how they managed to sneak out for their "Santa duties," but they did.  My brother and I always had a pact to take shifts and stay awake to try & listen for Santa's reindeer.  Of course, one of us always fell asleep during our shift & was to blame when we both awoke Christmas morning and we hadn't heard those famous bells!  Oh, the magic of childhood Christmases.  
We also learned at a young age how important it was to serve others, rather than being served.  We were fortunate to grow up and not really want for anything, but I knew there were many people that were not as fortunate.  My mom always took us and a few friends …

All-American Chili

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Happy Monday!  Need a quick & cozy dinner for this week?  Try my "All-American Chili!"  It is a Carter family favorite + so easy!

All-American Chili
* 2 lbs lean ground beef (or turkey) * 28oz can diced tomatoes * 28oz can tomato PUREE (not tomato paste or sauce) * 1 can light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed * 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinced * 1 yellow onion, diced * 1 red pepper, diced * 1-2 t garlic powder * 2 T chili powder * 1/4 cup brown sugar * salt & pepper 
Directions: Brown your ground beef (or turkey) and add in chopped onion & red pepper.  Drain.  At this point, I add everything else into a crock pot, throw in the meat, and simmer on low for a few hours.  You could also put everything in your stock pot and cook on high until it is heated through.  We always top ours with oyster crackers, cheese, sour cream & green onions!  I like to serve ours with veggies & dip + a poppyseed mozzarella bread that I make.  YUM! Enjoy!  

Friday Favorites

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Three cheers for FRIDAY!  Linking up with some blogger favorites...here are some of my favorites from the week!




These bars.  Oh my.  I am a bit of a pumpkin snob.  I know every company from Pop-Tarts to Tootsie Rolls breaks out a pumpkin version for the Fall, but trust me - all pumpkin is not equal.  For example, I was so excited about some pumpkin english muffins last year, but they tasted like a cross between Windex & nutmeg.  Definitely not winning a gold medal at the Pumpkin Olympics.  However, my pumpkin radar was on full force in the grocery the other day & I saw these babies on sale.  I like the other kinds that Fiber One offers, so I thought I would "give 'em a whirl." (Home Alone, anyone?)  They passed my pumpkin test.  I guess I'll go stock up since they are out for a limited time.  Sigh.



Awhile back one of my favorite bloggers posted about this Evian facial spray & just raved about it.  You spray it over your make-up and it is supposed to set …

DotMom...recap!

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Last weekend was INCREDIBLE (caps totally needed).  

My friend and former co-worker (wah), Adrienne and I decided to head to Nashville, TN for a girls trip/Mommy conference.  Last year one of the bloggers we both stalk follow posted about a conference called DotMom that was a Christian based conference that focused on marriage & motherhood.  Not sure why it is called "DotMom"...it has nothing to do with computers or blogging.  But the decor is all dots & all sorts of cute, so I guess I get it now.  Anyway, we registered months ago and have been counting down the days for weeks.  Both of us were Nashville rookies...now how or why is still unknown.  Nashville is the Los Angeles of the South.  Being that both of us are obsessed with all things celebrity, it was the perfect location for our weekend away.

We kissed our babies & daddies goodbye & headed out Thursday morning.  Only 1.5 hours behind, but I call that winning.  We loaded up, grabbed Starbucks & got…

Show & Tell Tuesday...Who's coming to dinner?

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I am joining in this Tuesday's "Show & Tell" topic with Momfessionals!  A few weeks ago I joined in with "Who were you in High School?" topic & it was so fun!  This week's Show & Tell is What 5 people would you invite to dinner?


I decided to go with people who are all living for my dinner party.  I can immediately think of SO many non-living people I would love to invite, but no way I could narrow that down to 5.  I also went a little Hollywood with my choices - ha!

1) Kate Middleton
I mean, no brainer.  Is there anyone who is not a fan of Princess Kate?  Her style, her beauty, the way she carries herself, etc.  She just seems like an amazing woman to have dinner with!  Plus, I want to hear all the dirt on the Queen.  When she and Prince William were married my bestie Adrienne & I had a Royal Wedding Party and put our old prom dresses on (we served pizza, not exactly royal but whatever) and had the best.time.ever.  So, of course she would …

Toddler Snacks!

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Happy Monday!  In order to chase away the Monday blues, I thought it would be fun to talk about snacks!  Toddlers love snacks.  And mommies love snacks.  ;)  Dane is offered a snack mid-morning before lunch, and then when he wakes up from his afternoon nap.  Sometimes he eats it, sometimes he can't be bothered.  I mean - who refuses to eat a snack?? #toddlerprobs

We eat pretty healthy in the Carter house - or at least try to!  I would say that our meals throughout the week are usually on the healthier side, and then on the weekends we are a little more relaxed.  Dane has been an EXCELLENT eater so far, and I am really hoping that continues.  So with that, I try to offer healthy snack options...but keeping in mind that kids like kid food & sometimes Goldfish or a trip to DQ do the trick!

Below are some of our favorite toddler snacks.  Things that I know Dane will go for 80% of the time.  I would love to hear your favorite toddler snacks, too!  I am always on the lookout for v…

Friday Favorites

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Woohoo FRIDAY!  Here is what I am loving this week!



I mean, everyone loves Chick-Fil-A, right?!  #mypleasure  We really don't eat there much because it is expensive.  However, Dane and I stopped after a Children's Museum visit on Thursday and I was so impressed.  I was by myself with him, and after ordering I had about 3 workers follow me to the table, get a high chair, set out his placemat, put on his bib & deliver our food.  Definitely a Friday Favorites this week.



I snagged this little gem for Dane at Barnes & Noble the other day.  I was planning to wait and put it out with his Fall books, but I went ahead and gave it to him.  There is a series of these "First sports" books, and he LOVES this one.  The pages are simple with just one word and a photograph.  For example, "team" (picture), or "coach" (picture).  Currently Dane's favorite words to say are "huddle, coach, tackle, and football...so I guess the book is helping.  I a…

Show & Tell Tuesday....High School

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A few of my favorite blogger moms, Andrea,  Shay & Erika, always do a Tuesday series called "Show & Tell" and they have a different topic to discuss every week.  Anyone can join and post the topic on their blog.  I have never done it until today, but thought this week's topic looked fun...and hilarious too!

What were you like in HIGH SCHOOL?

 I graduated from Danville High School in 2000.  I grew up in Danville (a small town in the west side of Indianapolis) and attended school there Kindergarten-High School.  My mom was a Special Education teacher in the district, and Danville is the type of town where everyone knew everyone.  I graduated with about 130 students - so pretty small!  I loved high school & still keep in contact with friends through Facebook & even went to college with my best friend from high school, which was pretty neat!


I was a good student and hardly remember having much homework.  All of us girls would meet in the cafeteria before sc…