Tuesday, November 30, 2010

pretty things

This image is from Design Mom. Yesterday she posted a DIY called "Bottle of Light." I am literally in a trance because I find it so beautiful. You can read the instructions here. I am really going to try to do this, but maybe with wine bottles or mason jars. Not sure, but so pretty!

By the way, Design Mom is having some amazing giveaways this week... they are kind of unreal. Maybe if you win you can send me something since I am sending you her way. After all, today's giveaway has 5 items and is worth over $1200. Wow!

last night

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Civil Forum with President Bush at Saddleback Church. Yes, I am a Republican and yes, I was excited to go. But, it wasn't a rally or a Republican convention type thing (although most people there were supporters of Bush). It was an honest conversation between Pastor Rick and President Bush about leadership, his book and his time as President. Now, I feel privileged because I got to go and all tickets were free for everyone, secondly I got an insight into the life of a president which is pretty intriguing, thirdly I got to see what President Bush is really like (he's pretty funny and really interesting) and fourth I got to hear about leadership from someone who had one of the highest positions as a leader. How inspiring! Honestly, I would go listen to any president speak. So here is what I took from such a momentous night in my life (I took brief notes, but could never really clearly explain what I learned):

1. As a leader you cannot have self-pity
2. A leader must have faith (in something)
3. You must act calm in a crisis, if the leader panics, everyone will panic. Wait and process what is happening before you make a rash decision
4. Surround yourself with good people
5. Creative differences in your team are important and essential, until they become destructive. You must know when to step in.
6. Let people pray for you
7. It's not about you, you cannot lead properly serving yourself and your ego

That last one is what I am trying to live by the most. I watch people constantly make everything about themselves. Someone passes away or are sick- and suddenly all the actions by others are self serving (to get attention usually). I think it's natural to do that. But when we react to things, I think we need to ask ourselves, are we making this about us? A friend is in pain and hasn't been treating you well at the moment. Do we react with anger because we are not getting treated right, or do we help our friend with the pain (because it was never about us)?

Do you know what else really bothers me? Last night two crazy women started shouting out (loudly, for awhile and at separate times) to disrupt the whole forum. I have no idea what they were saying (which proves how unproductive it was) but it was a little scary (you just never know) and really rude. I know that we all have causes that are important to us, but if you cannot be respectful to other people at a gathering where they want to be at, of the President (no matter how you feel about him) or in a CHURCH... well then I don't know what to say. I am constantly disheartened by the lack of respect people have for others- this goes back to the "it's not about you." I think about this every time I hear about murder, rape and other crimes committed against humans.

I know I'm rambling. When you leave such an amazing moment in your life... feelings run high! But being there was really special and like I said, I would go if it was Obama or even Clinton :) Have a personal look into a leaders life is always inspiring. Now go out and be a leader!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

baby baby baby

Here is Piper's new go-to Holiday Outfit! All from Baby Gap. Don't forget, if you shop there they hand out 40% coupons for one full-priced item, one day per week. I just got new ones for December. I buy one piece at a time to use the discount!

Ruffle Cardigan- $29.50
Tiered Tulle Skirt- $29.50
Sparkly Ballet Flats- $26.50
Tights- $12.50

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

the little things

When God blessed me with my last child....he added in all the last touches that I had always wanted in a baby. I guess he knew that I wouldn't be able to have any more (but that I would want more) long before I knew it. I always wanted a baby who could put his feet in his mouth, who would fall asleep if I rubbed his back, who would just sit in a stroller without crying all the time, who would nurse exclusively the entire first year and who let other people hold him without a fuss. My baby does all of those things and more....and I don't think it's by accident. I feel like I have experienced every little baby action and personality in my 3 babies. How blessed am I? I love how God touched their lives and made them perfect and perfect for me.

Friday, November 26, 2010


It has been 19 days since I have visited my friend Coca-Cola. I'm doing great! However, the first night I had the worst headache ever. And, whenever I get stressed I feel myself longing for one. But full speed ahead- I am kicking the habit! I have to say that this blog is what keeps me accountable. I don't want to let you down. I know I'm not ready for an occasional sip....so I'm sticking to my Coke-Free diet for awhile more. Want to give something up? We can blog about it here so you can stay accountable too. I'm serious. Email me at elhajs@aol.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I don't know how to explain how thankful I am this year for everything that surrounds me. I was trying to think of the top 3 things I am thankful for, and although on my true-but-funny list are things like Spanx and Toddler Wipes, really I am most thankful for the health of my family. We have been hit by a lot of sickness in our house the last few weeks, but I can handle that because I know that those sicknesses come and go. I am also thankful for a place to call home, my freedom to write my thoughts and a husband who never hurts me but always supports me. I am thankful for laughter from my children and the opportunity to help others, even when I think I have nothing to give. I don't know....I'm just thankful....for everything. I really mean that.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are and whatever you are doing.


this saturday

This Saturday is the 1st Annual Small Business Saturday so make sure you support your local small businesses! Go visit a mom & pop restaurant, go on etsy...or whatever! Check out the Facebook Page here!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

new fav

Our refrigerator is a little sick right now....when you press in the part to get water it sticks and water gushes out without stopping. It was really fun to discover that more than once. So until it "gets better" we bought a PUR Water Pitcher at Target. We kind of like it a lot! I swear the water tastes better and it's always really cold. I'm kind of obsessed with it (which is kind of funny). Our pitcher has a light that tells you when it's time to change the filter, but there is another pitcher where you can push a button to add fruit flavor. That's cool!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I got these Moccasin Slippers at Target for $16.99 and I love them! They are comfy...but not too plush (as slippers can be). They do their job so well, that I have left the house twice with them on. Once was for a haircut and a quick trip to the mall. Normally I would run home and change shoes as soon as I realized I was wearing slippers, but I didn't for two reasons. One, I knew if I went home during "me" time, someone would find a reason to keep me there...so that would be just plane insane. Two, they can almost pass for regular shoes so I hoped no one would notice. I love Fall/Winter!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

tis the season

I client/friend asked me to make a Christmas banner for her that said BELIEVE. This little banner JOY was my test. I love it and I can't wait to use it for Christmas decorations. I improved upon it for the BELIEVE one (I delivered it without taking a pic). But I am going to make a bunch more before Christmas. It took a lot of cutting, some craft glue, and some sewing...... but I think I was most happy that I just figured out how to do it after her request.

You too can make something like this! See something in a pic or magazine that you love, just try it! You will be so happy when you are finished! If I can do it, you can do it (and I mean that).

I am here and he is there

Do you know where my husband is right now? At a fabulous wedding that someone like me gets really dreamy about....no, not because it's for Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott's new show, but because it's a beautiful event that has all the touches I could only wish I could plan. Gold chairs, beautiful place settings, perfectly decorated grounds, white tent, chandeliers, and on and on and on. For an event planner like me, it's the tops. These are the only iPhone pics I could get from Mark's phone, they don't do the wedding justice from my vantage point. (Backstory- Mark's cousin won a wedding for this new show).

So you may be asking, why weren't you there? Now I'm not complaining, quite the contrary, I am just mentioning what every one of us moms knows about. I am home because I'm a mom. No kids allowed, I am still nursing, we don't have any more frozen milk (he's almost 12 months old, I ran out a long time ago), he hasn't taken a bottle in 6 months (why would I try again just tonight-you know he would refuse), it would be a 9 hour day away, and most of all, he's still pretty sick. It's just another day as a mom, another sacrifice, another story that people who don't have babies do not understand and so on and so on. And yes, I am the mom who is pretty strict about what I do and do not do. I am sure that I could have put myself first, not cared what happens or the consequences of the people watching the kids and could have gone. And, maybe it would have been perfectly fine or maybe I would have had to come home after an hour- who knows!

But in the end, it doesn't matter because I didn't even hesitate to make the decision not to go. Did I want to? Of course, just for the fact of celebrating Mark's cousin's big day because I adore her. But in my heart I have mom instinct, I know what is right, where I need to be and how things will affect my kids. And I make decisions based on that, we all do. And sometimes it means that we have to give up things that may be important to us.... but in the end I would do it a thousand times because after all....I get to be a mom. I know that at the end of my days I won't even remember that wedding that I missed, all I will see as my mind watches my life again are my babies and me. All I will be proud of is that I kept them safe and sound, I never harmed them, I loved them, I sacrificed for them and that I was a good mom. If that is all I have at the end of my life, I will be forever at peace.

You just can't explain that to everyone, can you? And, saying "it doesn't matter" isn't really fitting on an rsvp card (especially if you really want to go), but it's the truth. Just another day as a mommy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I love my blog, I love writing posts and putting them out there for other moms to see. But sometimes I feel like no matter how hard I try... things come in between my and my posts. See picture above- this week we found out someone is allergic to penicillin. He requires a lot of holding time. These hives are everywhere. So if you don't hear for me for a few days (and why I didn't post yesterday), that's why. Lots of TLC for my baby. But I'll be back this weekend for sure!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have a bookmark folder on my computer with about 40 blogs in it. I use to check them all the time, but now I have tapered off. I check maybe 2 or 3 and my friends' blogs to see cute pics of their kids. Why did I taper off? I'm going to be honest....they were making me feel pretty inadequate. Every blog made me feel like I was looking at the perfect mother. Their houses are amazing and decorated beautifully, there kids are always spotless and dressed to impress, they come up with crafty ideas EVERYDAY, their gardens bloom with ease and so on and so on. Geesh! Not only that but they have time to be witty, take their kids on the most educational and really cool outings and take great pictures while doing it AND are amazing businesswoman. How do they do it? I can't even keep my house clean, I don't know where a great vintage store or flea market is and I would love to bake every day but our waistlines grow quickly in this house. It's just too hard to try and catch up, and I did try.... but it was impossible from the beginning. Now many of these women are just that fantastic, I really think so! There is nothing I can do about that! For some others, well we can post all of our best days on our blogs can't we? And for me, I like being a regular mom and hope that as I age I can dabble more in things that interest me and maybe eventually be half as good at decorating with amazing flea market finds. But until then, it's peanut butter and jelly and a messy house for me.

Have you felt the same before, well you need to stop too!!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Design Mom has a post this morning linking to darlybird's dollhouse she made. Wow! I can do this too. I spent some time at Toys R Us looking at dollhouses and they are all so plastic and expensive. But you can make your own with cute papers and fabrics. I might not have time by Christmas, but definitely her birthday. Check out the whole how-to post here.

jingle bells

It's Holiday Card time! Go to my Creative Nest Designs blog to see all of my 2010 Holiday Cards and pricing. Also, don't forget that CUSTOM cards are my specialty.

*All photography by Whitney Hartmann Photography.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

presents galore

I know we haven't hit Thanksgiving yet, so I am sorry for all these Christmas shopping posts, but I am telling you that you have to pay attention to all the deals on toys right now. My kids made their lists today (pictured above), but I have been price comparing for a week or so now between Target and Toys R Us. I did ALL my Christmas shopping over the last three days. I went to Target for items less there and Toys R Us for items less there. I saved $93 by going to the cheaper store and taking advantage of their sales right now (and I used a 15% off coupon). I also got $20 in gift cards back at Toys R Us to use for future purchases. AND I got two extra toys FREE that were part of "buy this, you also get this" deals and those totaled $36. And I'm done because both places were stocked since it was so early. I know we are all on a budget so don't fret, just save those catalogs and research online. Totally worth it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

household tip.... or common knowledge

When our laundry cup gets really sticky, my hubby throws it in the laundry with the next batch of clothes and washes it. I think he is literally a genius for doing this. To me, it's like he invented the washing machine it's so amazing how it comes out perfectly and I don't have to wash it in the sink. Now.....I'm afraid to ask if this is common knowledge that I never knew about. Like does every person know about this and do it all the time? Maybe it's best if you don't tell me. I like that I think it's so amazing every time I do it myself. But for today, this is my fav household tip.


As a mom, do you ever really stop and think about how important your actions are for your kids? Of course we nurture them, feed them, teach them, clothe them, bathe them (you get my point). But we are really shaping their lives, piece by piece. We are creating their habits and their hang ups. Something as simple as the food we feed them, literally shapes their eating habits for the REST OF THEIR LIFE. Isn't that crazy? The way we talk, act, react and treat people will have a contributing factor in their existence. That overwhelms me to say the least. I don't want to hurt my children, I want to give them a great start to their future. If I am feeding them junk food all the time, I am starting that habit and should not be surprised when they are overweight, because I taught them it was okay. Maybe it's just me but I often think that we underplay our responsibility as parents. I know that our children will grow up to be their own persons and develop their own habits....but what I am wondering is, shouldn't we focus on the good habits that we really want them to have and try to instill it as best as we can? For me, I am realizing I want to focus on food, having good self esteem and being a good servant to others. I'm sure things like things are "duhs" to most moms out there, but I'm just really thinking about this right now.... kind of meditating on the power of our responsibility as parents.

free you say?

Were you aware of Free Shipping Day? I wasn't until I got an email about it. Free Shipping Day was created for people who procrastinate searching for last-minute gifts and need their gifts delivered by Christmas Eve (and don't want to pay shipping costs). This is the third annual Free Shipping Day and they already have over 550 merchants signed on. You can see the LIST and get more info here. Their media release says that 65% of participating retailers will offer free shipping on all deals. I hope to have all my shopping done by then, but just in case I will put it on my calendar!

christmas shopping

So our Christmas shopping has officially begun!! Three presents have been purchased, thanks to my kids saying "I want that" while watching commercials I know what they want. I have been doing price comparison shopping between Target and Toys R Us for their lists and Toys R Us wins 8 out of 10 times. Sometimes the toys are $10 less! I have also been using the gift cards I have been saving over the last 6 months, it's like shopping for free! Love it. We are doing our lists to Santa this week, it's early but I want to make sure Santa gets them what they want the most and then give the other parts of their lists to family. Start early if you haven't, there are good deals and I know that I won't have a problem getting the most popular toys of the season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

goodbye friend

If I can give up gossip sites, I know I am ready to tackle the unimaginable (for me). After listening to my pastor speak at church about how important your health is....I knew instantly it was time to give up my most coveted addiction...Coca-Cola. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or drink coffee.....but I crave and live on Coke. I love it. It makes me feel better (did I mention I'm addicted). So I am giving it up, not only for my health and for my body...but also to serve as an example that we can get rid of our vices. I will use the power of prayer and I'm not sure what else to get through it. Hopefully down the road I can visit my friend Coca-Cola occasionally, but for now I am going cold turkey.

What about you, is it time to give something up? Do it with me.

it's time....look what i have made for you!

Want a Calendar/Life Planner that is perfect for YOU!

Personalized Calendars
7x9 Weekly Calendar - $40
8x10 Monthly Calendar $30
8x10 Bi-Weekly Calendar (not pictured)- $40

Includes calendar and note pages. Includes cover design with pictures of your family or custom cover. They can also be personalized with any other items you want for a small cost (ex. address pages, information sheets, etc).

Email me at elhajs@aol.com to place an order or for any questions!

Front Covers

Inside Covers/Front Page

Monthly Calendars

Weekly Calendar

Notes Pages

Back Cover