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.

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.

Mood-lites {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.

Happy Halloween! I loved Halloween as a kid–dressing up, trick-or-treating, eating candy, watching cheezy movies like Hocus Pocus (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at least once a year, every year, since it was released in 1993)–and of course all these things are 1,000 times more fun with kids of my own. Some things, however, like certain decorations, are not as fun with kids. We have a bin full of Halloween decorations that we inherited from my mom when I moved out. Most are pretty benign, but surprisingly, a few really freaked my kids out, like this giant spider:

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This is from when my son was a baby–it scared him for a minute and then he loved it! This year, my daughter was freaked out by it and wouldn’t even go out the door by herself where it was hanging for a few days! That said, we’ve had to figure out alternative ways of making our house look spooky without totally scaring our kids. Colored lights are a good way to do that!

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Mood Factory has created a line of colored lights that are perfect for decorating, enhancing moods and celebrating different occasions. Mood-lites come in eight different colors that correspond to different moods; yellow for Happiness, orange for Energy, red for Passion, light blue for Serenity, pink for Sassy, green for Renewal, purple for Creativity and dark blue for Tranquility.  As their website says, “Our first product lines are based on the sense of sight and how colors affect our moods.  We plan to teach about and engage the other senses as well.  After all, research suggests that the more senses we engage towards a desired state, the more profound affect on our moods. We encourage you all to Get Your Mood On.”

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Mood-lites come in several shapes and sizes. All of the colors come in standard 25-watt incandescent bulbs, 60-watt spiral CFL bulbs, a 2-pack of 25-watt candelabra incandescent bulbs, and 90-watt outdoor flood lights. All of the bulbs fit in standard light sockets and function just like normal light bulbs. But they sure don’t act like normal light bulbs! I was sent a package with a variety of lights, and I tried out the pink Sassy light and the purple Passion light.

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The Sassy light bulb was a welcome addition to our bedroom…and that’s all I’ll say about that because I know my mother-in-law reads this blog 😉 And the purple Passion bulb added to our Halloween decorations perfectly this year, casting an eerie glow on our front porch while still giving off light and not being too scary.

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We kept a green CFL bulb from the package of goodies and plan to use it on our porch during Christmas. Think of the uses these babies could have–sports team colors for game days, different colors to support health awareness (i.e. blue for Autism awareness month, pink for Breast Cancer awareness month, etc.),  pink or blue at a baby shower or to reveal the gender of a baby after its birth, orange (Energy) lighting where you work out–the possibilities are endless! Mood Factory is also great because they support several charities and causes. Twenty-five cents of each light bulb purchased is donated to i-Fred, an international foundation for research and education for depression.

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Mood-lites can be purchased at Lowe’s and Amazon.com for about the same price as a normal light bulb. But, lucky for you, one winner is about to get a whole package of goodies from Mood Factory by entering the giveaway below!

Win a box of Mood-lites from Mood Factory!

**Because I was sent the winner’s prize items along with my review items, the winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via PayPal invoice.

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of November 11th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Mood Factory, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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