Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

For The Love Of Blog Flash Back {May 1, 2008}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Another blast from the past with a sharing of my family blog. Way back when… Before the Dandy blog was even thought of!  Do you like that I’m sharing these?  Should I continue?  It’s all for the love of blog!  The way things used to be.  Life before the Dandy was still dandy. 

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

We Miss Gran & Boompa Already!
Banjo had such a fun time with his grandparents and he loves them so much! See how much?  You can also see some of our cute baby gifts in the background.  We are so loved!  My parents came into town the weekend before Banjo  was born and they were such a great help to us. They were a support to us at the hospital, got us all settled back in at home and even made our neglected backyard beautiful…just to name a few!!  My dad was able to stay for a week and my mom stayed to help for an additional week and a half. She just left yesterday and ever since Banjo has been wondering where she is! We can hardly wait until June to see them again.  Isn’t family the best?  Just spending time with family.  THE best.  Thanks again Mom and Dad! Mom and Dad, thank you for planting a garden and the yard decorations and making our home that much more dandy!  We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

So sad to leave Gran at the airport!

Baby News!! {For The Love Of Blog}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

Baby News!!

I know the count down to baby says that we have 23 days to go, but it’s wrong! Due to my blood pressure issues we knew that he would be born before 40 weeks, but everything was always still up in the air. Well, I saw the doctor today and we are good to go! Sunday evening I will go into the hospital to have the induction process started. So Monday (April 14th) will be baby day! I’ll post pictures of him as soon as I can…although I may be quite busy next week! And yes he is still nameless!
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That post takes me way back.  Back to the days when life seemed so much more simple.  But was it? Really?  Sure I wasn’t busy with children.  Sure I had a job outside of the home back then.  Sure I had time to go shopping and shopping alone.  Sure I didn’t need to worry about getting places on time because I was always on time.  (Children have a way of making you late.)  Sure I always wore the type of jewelry that I wanted to wear.  Earrings especially.  Dangly ones.  Ones that you can never wear with a baby around.  See?  The things that you don’t think about until they are gone.
Life back then was quite dandy, but would I change my life for the world now.  Never.  I love being a mom.  I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.  They are my everything and it’s even more dandy that life used to be.
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Speaking of things that are dandy…  Have you visited the Seeing Dandy lifestyle blog yet?  It’s a place to see all things that are dandy.  Because well it’s dandy.  🙂

GrooveBook {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I’m a picture taking fiend.  Okay I used to be.  Well, I still am…  Just in a different stage of life with my picture taking.  See back in the day I actually took photography classes.  I’m talking college level photography classes.  I used (still own ’em) fancy cameras.  As in plural.  More than one fancy camera.  There are even some fancy lens to go with those fancy cameras around here somewhere.  The Audi and I traveled to these exotic places.  To Belize.  To Europe.   And I took pictures.  I liked to photograph architecture.  Or beautiful scenes.  Not people.  I detested people pictures.  Well, then we had children.  Our exotic vacations became trips to a certain magical theme park.  Nothing wrong with that.  We are loving this time in our lives.  Our vacations are now magical, because our children are having a magical time.  Do I have time to whip out my fancy camera on our magical vacations?  No.  The kids are way too fast for that.  Who has time to mess with the camera of my dreams when the kids will bolt?  I have to snap pictures In. The Moment.  What do I always have on hand?  This:

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Pay no attention to the fact that I have a few text messages that haven’t been viewed yet.  Also, pay no attention to the fact that I have over 60,000 emails…

So now I take pictures with my cell phone.

Hey, it’s still fancy, does a good job, and I preserve the memories!  🙂

Before GrooveBook my photos would just hang out on my phone.  Until I had no memory left.

Now I get them put in a book once a month:

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What’s GrooveBook you ask?  Well, here you go…

 

The app is so easy to use.  You just upload your pictures each month (up to 100 photos) right from the convenience of your very own phone.  Then you get a dandy photobook instead of a full memory card.  Plus, each book is only $2.99 and that includes shipping!

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More?  A way dandy cover!

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I cannot wait to see which cover I get this month.

Try out GrooveBook for FREE!

Use coupon code ‘SMITH11’ and get your very own FREE GrooveBook!

Ready for the giveaway?  It’s a great one!!!  🙂

One very lucky winner is going to receive 12 months of GrooveBook!!!

An entire year of GrooveBook!!!  How dandy is that?!

(Enter to win on the Rafflecopter below.)

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 *This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, August 18th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by GrooveBook.  I received 12 months of GrooveBook for doing this posting and giveaway, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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O Eclectic Tannenbaum in July

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I call Christmas in July!  After all July 1st is tomorrow and it’s my blog, so I can do that.  Right?  Right?  *wink*  Plus, you all know that I LOVE Christmas.  It’s by far my most favorite holiday.  I do also really like Halloween, but I’m pretty sure you know that already, too.  There’s just something about the Christmas season.  All the Christmas decorations, Christmas smells, and ChristmasLightsEtc.com sales this month.  What’s not to love?  Anyway, today you are in for a real treat.  Are you ready for it?  I’ve decided that I’m going to share with you a part of my life that I’ve never done before.  I’m going to share with you something from my family blog.  A hush falls over the crowd and then…  The crowd goes wild!  Some of you may not know this about me, but before this blog I was actually already a blogger.  I had a little family blog that I maintained while we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Far away from family and friends.  I should specify that I mean prior friends.  We did make friends in San Antonio.  I’m not that anti social.  *wink*  We lived in SA for 6 years.  I started a blog to share our lives and growing family with loved ones who lived elsewhere.  My very first blog posting was on April 8, 2008.  This was exactly 6 days before Banjo was born.  So I have been blogging for quite the long while.  For my Christmas in July special I’ve decided to share with you an excerpt from my little blog.   And here it is…

Monday, December 1, 2008

O Eclectic Tannenbaum – I love Christmas ornaments!! I’ve always been fascinated by the way the glass ones glint and reflect the lights. My mom was always one of the room-mothers when I was in elementary and she would give out these great handmade ornaments at the class Christmas party. I have one creative mother! However, why is the grass always greener…or in this case someone else’s Christmas tree always greener? I will admit that while I was growing up there were some years I envied others’ Christmas trees. They were all fancy and put together right out of a decorator’s magazine. Our tree was always quite eclectic. We put our school made ornaments on the tree no matter how they looked! 

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My brother and I even had our own box of ornaments to place on the tree. These were random ornaments we had collected over the years; first Christmas, special ornaments, gift ornaments, etc. We had so much fun picking just the right branches to hang our ornaments! Looking back I wonder why I ever had Christmas tree envy??? We had a great tree and a great family tradition! One that I will always remember and hold close to my heart. My parents made sure that it was about us feeling special and included around the holidays. And the tree itself displayed how we had grown over the years. I’m so thankful to my parents for instilling in me these valuable traditions and for giving me the type of tree that I want my own children to have!

A Smith Family Christmas Tree
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Our tree has also become very eclectic. Anyone who comes over around the holidays will find that I just love Christmas ornaments in all their randomness! When Audi and I got married my mom sent us my ornament box. Every year we have even gotten more memory making ornaments as gifts from people; our first Christmas married, in our new home, etc. I can’t wait for Banjo to one day bring home his beautiful school made ornaments and store them away in his very own box! We also started our own tradition of collecting ornaments from the various places we have vacationed. It is fun to decorate the tree together every year and remember what we have done and where we have been throughout the years.
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*The End*
These days our Christmas tree still looks exactly the same.  With the exception of the additions of new ornaments from new travels and ornaments that Banjo has made.  Yay!  My wish came true!  I’ll have to share those with you sometime.  We’ve also embarked on the adventures of decorating the outside of the house.  I guess that comes from living in a more established neighborhood with children around.  Plus, we have to compete with all the St. Louis neighborhood light displays.  Not really, but we can try.  Or rather… dream, right?!  We still need to perfect getting the light strands to the top of the columns:
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That will come with time I’m sure.
Despite our failed column lights attempt…
We are so very grateful to finally live in a neighborhood that has a Christmas tradition of its own.
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Luminaries line our street every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
*This post was brought to you by MBN. All of the thoughts were completely my own.

Little Tikes Garden Chairs {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Can you tell that we like to read?

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Yes, we like to read lots.

All winter long and into the early spring we were shut ins around here.  So all of our reading took place indoors.  We didn’t even venture out to the library.  No siree.  Why is that?  First, it was super cold outside.  Second, it was super cold outside.  Third, it was super cold outside.  Okay you get the idea.  It was super cold outside.  Then… Don’t even get me started on the amount of snow that was dumped on us.  Loads and loads.  All winter long.  I thought that it would never end.  We even got a snow storm when I was postpartum in the hospital with Cache.  Oops. I think I must have left that out of Cache’s birth story.   Yes, I know that I forgot to put that part in.  Basically a HUGE snow storm decided to come rolling in the day after he was born and we weren’t sure if we were ever going to get to leave the hospital.  For some reason when it snows in St. Louis the ENTIRE city shuts down.  Does that happen in other cities?  Anyway, back to our love of books… Now that the weather is simply glorious outside (not too hot and not too humid yet) we can take our reading outdoors.

My friends over at Little Tikes sent Banjo and Ruby these adorable garden chairs.

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The chairs are the perfect size for their little tushies and are now their favorite reading spots in the backyard.

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I LOVE that my sweet littles LOVE books.

Now… for the giveaway!!!

The winner of this giveaway is going to

receive TWO garden chairs from Little Tikes

in the colors red and orange!

(Enter on the Rafflecopter below.)

chairs

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 23rd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Little Tikes, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium {Giveaway} – ENDED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Remember how back in April we went to the Kansas City LEGOLAND for Banjo’s birthday weekend extravaganza???  Well, we also went to the fabulously dandy aquarium right next door.

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Compliments of the Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium, of course!

 Hey, you only turn 6 once.

Not sure what we will be doing next year for Banjo’s 7th birthday, but we have A LOT to live up to.

Banjo has been obsessed with underwater sea life ever since first being introduced to that movie about the little, lost clown fish.  Okay, he used to watch that movie All. The. Time.  There was a point where it was a daily occurrence.  Seriously.  Now he hasn’t watched it in quite some time, but I just know that he still longs for those days.  I know that I do.  😉   My little boy is growing up!  These days he’s all about the educational aspects of things and learning all there is to know about sea life.  I guess kindergarten tends to do that to a little person.

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Our visit to the Sea Life Aquarium was the ultimate finale to our Kansas City adventure.  This place was amazing and definitely a place that we will return to.  Seriously.  We are already talking about when we will be making the trek out West to KC again.  One day soon.  I’m sure.

There’s an entire area for “meeting” and “greeting” some of the sea life:

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 Sea Life Kansas City is also the home to a Bow Mouth Guitar Shark.  That’s her up above.

Very unique addition to the aquarium, because there are only 8 of these in the entire country!

And what trip to the Sea Life Aquarium would be complete without…

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LEGOS!

There’s also a really fun quiz throughout and the kids are awarded a prize at the end.

They loved it!

The winner of this giveaway will receive FOUR tickets to the Sea Life Aquarium in Kansas City!

(Enter on the Rafflecopter below.)

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 2nd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by the Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Doubly Dandy Day

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Today is a doubly important kind of day.  One that definitely goes down as being doubly dandy.  Definitely dandy.  First, it’s Sunday, May 11, 2014.  Mother’s Day.  I have a very dandy mom.  Here we are when I was just a wee babe:

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Isn’t that 70’s sofa and pillow awesome?  Yeah they certainly don’t make them like they use to.

I’m so lucky to have this lady as my mom.  She has been a constant in my life.  Bottom line… Everything that I am I learned from her.  Although I didn’t retain all of the information.  I could only wish to be half as good of a mom as she is.  I try, but know that she’s really top notch.  I love her eternal.

Alright.  Ready for the second reason this day is doubly dandy?  At this fountain 12 years ago this guy asked this girl to be his bride:

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My answer is still the best decision that I have ever made.  Hands down.  He’s the greatest husband a girl could ask for and the best father.  I love him eternal.

 

P.S.  Does anyone know of any good photographers in the Springfield, IL area?  That’s where the fountain is and it would be wonderful to have an updated family picture taken in front of it one of these days.  This particular one is over 5 years old… As I’m sure you can tell, because Banjo is just a baby in it!  Where has the time seriously gone???  *sigh*

P.P.S.  Remind me to share with you the engagement story one of these days.  It’s quite the doozie. 

Monkey Face

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I’m so very glad that it decided to turn chilly around here again.  Not.  Will this winter ever end???  Okay so I just might be exaggerating slightly.  It’s not like it’s snowing outside or anything.  It’s not exactly freezing.  Okay it’s only in the 40’s right now here in St. Louis today.  But that’s cold, right?  It should NEVER be in the 40’s in April.  At least not in the Lou!  Good thing toADORN sent this monkey hat for Banjo.  He has been able to wear it.  In APRIL.

IMG_8966.pngIt’s super cute though, right?

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Here’s to hoping he won’t be wearing it in May.  😉

 

The deals at toADORN are major.  See for yourself.  Shop toADORN’s Featured Deal of the Day!

 

*This posting is part of my affiliation with toAdorn, but all opinions are strictly my own.

LEGOLAND Kansas City {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My Banjo is now 6-years-old.  It’s weird to think that my first born is that old.  He’s like a little man who is almost finished with kindergarten.  So very strange for me!  In past years we have always had a birthday party for him.  I was trying to be that mom who threw those big, fabulous parties with lots of friends invited.  Yes, that mom.  I even invited the siblings of the friends, because I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.  Is that a little crazy?  Maybe a little excessive?  (Now there’s nothing really wrong with being that mom.  There are plenty of moms who can pull it off and more power to them.  I’m just not good at being that mom.  For sanity sake I had to take a step back, evaluate what’s truly important, and just say no.)

This year?  No more.  We have three littles now.  All will have a birthday.  All will eventually want to have a party.  All cannot have a party in the same year.  That would be maddening.  I can’t plan for such things.  I can’t decorate for such things.  I can’t organize for such things.  I can’t do such things.  It’s just not going to happen times three every year.  Nope.  Not going to do it.  So I’m thinking that each child has a “friend party” every other year.  Maybe every 3rd year.  Just. Not. Every. Year.

That’s why this year we decided to take Banjo (and the other two littles) out of town for a surprise birthday weekend extravaganza.  Banjo expected to have a party.  We told him we had a special adventure planned instead of a party.  It was a weekend all about him, things he likes, and together as a family.  The best part of celebrating in this way?  Family time!

We went to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Kansas City!  LEGOLAND agreed on us coming for a visit, my doing a review on the blog, and giveaway away FOUR tickets.  You will find that giveaway below.  First, here are just a few of our favorite highlights from the place Banjo now thinks is the bestest birthday celebration ever.  At the LEGOLAND in Kansas City you can…

Find out how many LEGO bricks you weigh and your height in LEGO bricks:

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Travel to a distant land:

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Meet your favorite LEGO characters:

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Build and race LEGO cars:

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And just have a fantastically dandy time!

Of course you can’t visit LEGOLAND without getting some LEGOS.  Audi came out of the shop with this on my keys:

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He said it’s because I’m Wonder Woman.

As I already mentioned, the winner of this giveaway will receive FOUR tickets to LEGOLAND in Kansas City!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 2nd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by the Kansas City LEGOLAND Discovery Center, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Jungle Boogie

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

It was beyond beautiful outside yesterday.  Audi was in lectures all day and got out of work early at 3pm.  (Every so often he gets to spend all day in lectures on medical topics like:  Hearing loss, throat cancer, etc.  Exciting, right?)  So the kids and I picked him up from work and we headed to the St. Louis Zoo.  How better to spend a glorious early evening outside?

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Here in St. Louis we have one of the top zoos in the nation.  And…  It’s free!  That’s right there is absolutely no entrance fee to our zoo and that’s not just for residents.  If you come to St. Louis on vacation then you too can experience our zoo for free!  (Along with our free art museum and free science center.)  Thanks to the generous donations of so many wonderful, giving St. Louisans.

Every summer the zoo has bands perform in the evenings.  It’s always packed.  We of course picked to go to the zoo on band evening.  😉

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995415_10151478844235894_1370383550_n  The kids loved it!

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