2014 Christmas Gift Ideas (Things You Can Actually Afford)

It’s that time of year again. Yep, time for all of those cute, carefully planned, over-the-top, nothing we can afford, Oprah-like gift-guides.

You know the ones – with the adorable cashmere sweater at the ask-your-mom-for-Christmas price of $1,200? And the cute little journal for $250 to stuff in your stocking? And let’s never forget the million dollar Victoria’s Secret bra that we’re dying to rush out and purchase for our BFF. Wait, do they still do that? I can’t remember the last time I looked at a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

(I’m talking to you Gwyneth Paltrow. Have you seen this year’s Goop Gift Guide? Let’s just say Gold Juicer for $4,739.00. Really?)

I don’t know about you guys, but in this real world I’m living, we don’t have that kind of budget for Christmas presents.

So in an attempt to keep it real, and think of things you’d actually tell your spouse, mother-in-law or sister that you want for Christmas (when asked of course, one never just drops hints, right?), I’ve recruited several other bloggers to create a Pinterest board of 2014 Christmas Gift Ideas. Just click on the image below to see the board – and be sure to follow as we add new items each week!

2014 Affordable Christmas Gifts

2014 Affordable Christmas Gifts

Interested in joining our board? Drop me a note or leave a comment and I’ll add you to the board as well!

A Recorder Rendition

I’m all about music in our schools. And if you have an elementary child, chances are you’ve encountered your fair share of fun with the recorder.

Walker informed me last week that he told his music teacher that he didn’t have time to practice the recorder because of basketball practice. His father was silently cheering inside, but me being someone that 1) believes extra-curricular activities aren’t the only thing that gets you into college 2) cringes at the thought of what that teacher thinks goes on in our house that my son thinks this way and 3) actually appreciates musical abilities since I took 7 years of piano (but still can’t play a dang thing and my mom is basically self-taught and can open a hymnal and go to town on the keys) immediately jumped on the “oh no you didn’t” wagon, and got that recorder straight into his hands ASAP.

Well, believe it or not, he really started enjoying it. And last night, he couldn’t stop playing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, which is his most recent assignment. Turns out they have to memorize it and play it when they visit the NC Symphony.

Lucy was so enthralled with the music, she decided to sing along. Only after she picked herself up, moved to the other side of the room (but not out the door) and positioned her back to us.

Enjoy the musical renditions of Walker and Lucy:

Ghosts of Halloween Past


The Golden Years

Girlfriend is getting old.
First, reading glasses. Next, botox.
Such a diva.

Lucy the Golden



On Friday. October 3, my sister, Stephanie, lost her husband, John, from a massive heart attack. He was 42 years old and showed no signs of heart problems prior to that day.

His son Gavin, 11, and step-son Steven, 18, will now step up to take John’s place and weather the storms of this overwhelmingly sad time together.

The days after John’s passing, Stephanie’s house was flooded with friends and family providing them food, comfort and support. From mowing the grass, to painting the shutters, everyone chipped in to help where possible.

No, money cannot bring him back, nor buy happiness, but death does bring a financial burden that can be helped. We cannot take away the sadness, we cannot take away the pain, but we can help in other ways.

Please consider giving in memory of John – for Gavin, for Stephanie and for the future they now face without their father and husband. And please pray for comfort and strength during this time.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.