November 30, 2011

{November} In A Nutshell

November flew right by me. I mean seriously, where did it go? We have been filling our weeks and weekends with all sorts of family things. We're definitely keeping busy and on the go. Which is kinda nice. We've been able to do more things as a family this year, which was one of my goals at the beginning of the year.

It's nice to feel that we're accomplishing that. Making memories together, and carving out intentional time. Here's some of the high lights from our month of November.

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Nov. 2, we celebrated my Husband's 34th birthday! He is not much of a party person, and prefers quiet at home celebrations when it comes to his birthday. I made him a cake {a tradition I've done since we got married} and we hung out as a family that night. Eating, and opening cards.

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We took Ava to the pumpkin patch later that weekend. This year was so much different than last year, it was fun to see her up and running around. She was interested in taking all the "punkins" home with her.

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Nov. 11th, that afternoon Ava painted her pumpkin. I thought this would be really fun for her and it was. She really enjoyed getting paint on it. It was fun for me to watch her dip her fingers in the paint and look at me the first time making sure it was ok. We tried to do hand prints all over it, but then she smeared them before they could dry so I just let her "paint" it the way she wanted to.

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Nov. 19th, Orion ran the Arizona Run for Rescue 10k! We woke up early that day and headed to Surprise for his run. He finished with a time of 59:09 and placed 7th in his age division and 11th over all for the 10k runners.

We're so proud of him! It's really fun to see him accomplish these goals and get to be there with him cheering him on at the finish line.

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Throw Thanksgiving in the mix and that's how our November was spent! I'm actually very much looking forward to the month of December. We're traveling home to visit family for the first time in three years, it's going to be one amazing holiday.

I'm excited to see our family and get to spend Christmas with them. I'm taking a whole week off before we leave to spend it with Ava, I can't wait!

{Bakerella} Book Signing & Blogger Meet Up

The best stories of success are those when people are just being themselves, doing their thing, working hard after their dreams and doing what they love.

Bakerella is one of those stories. Pursuing her passion led her to making some of the sweetest treats! {pun intended}

A couple weekends ago I attended a Bakerella book signing event, and met up with some other Arizona bloggers.

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She is sweet as apple pie and so humble! I enjoyed hearing her speak in person about her journey to blogging, and eventually writing a book all about cake pops! She's every bit as adorable in person as she is online. 

I love the way she took the time to sit down and talk with every. last. person. there! While she signed books and hung out with people.

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{me & Bakerella}

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{sharing all her secrets with me}

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{more secrets written on the inside of my wrist band}

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{i kinda wanna write a book just so i can sign it with a pink sharpie. no lie.}

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{my sweet friend Destiny & Bakerella}

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{bloggers waiting to meet her}

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A whole group of us AZ bloggers. It's fun to get together with these ladies. We all have a lot of the same desires, and interests. And, I admire what each of them is trying to do on their own blogs. Paving their own way, and pursuing their dreams. 

Meeting Bakerella was a lot of fun. I've been waiting for her to come to Phoenix for a while now, it was worth the wait! 

November 28, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: The Small Things Blog


Good, Morning! Have you fully recovered from your turkey coma?!

I've had the last few days off from work and they were awesome! I'll be sharing more about our Thanksgiving later this week.

First, I wanna share with you a great new blog this week. It all started with this picture:





Amazing hair right!?!!! And then I needed to figure out who and where did this gorgeous hair come from? Which led me here:



 
Allow me to introduce you to Kate from The Small Things Blog!
 
Her blog is amazing, and filled with all sorts of really great hair tutorials! She's generous enough to answer all your questions about everything hair & beauty related.

She also write about every day things too like outfit inspirations, her sister, and her Hubby!
 
She owns an Etsy shop with her sister and they together make some of the cutest jewelry. I already own two of their peices and just love them both. Go here to take a look!
 
I know you'll fall in love with her darling personality and her blog too!
 
And while you're there, check out some of her amazing hair tutorials.
 
Happy Monday!!

November 25, 2011

12 in 12: Book #11

For book #11 I read.......

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I'm probably the last person on the planet to read this book, but after watching the movie recently, I decided that I really needed to read the book. {you know since they often leave a lot out when making a book into a movie.}

And after reading book #10, I was on a kick to read more fiction.

It's been a long time since fiction has taken over my reading, I have to say that the book was a good read. I enjoyed it even more so than the movie. Author Emily Giffin does a great job of brining her charachters to life. I reall felt like I got this amazing sense of who these people were.

I like that it's about a realtionship that's a little unexpected. A little complicated too.

I found myself relating to Rachel and Darcy's friendship.

I found myself thinking, even though it was fictional. It was thought provoking.

I really liked the book, and the story left me wanting more, which is a good thing because now I'm reading this:
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{as luck would have it, there's a second book!}

Thank you Ms. Giffin, thank you.

What about you? Reading anything fun these days? I'd love to hear your book suggestions in the commments below.

{**** my rating}

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November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks



Today is Thanksgiving. I believe everyday we should be thankful and greatful not just on Thanksgiving. Everyday, we should be greatful to wake up and live the life we live.

Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues
through all generations.
Psalm 100:4
Each day I am so very greatful for small little things in my life. For, I have seen the other side of a lot in the last couple years and I am greatful to be in this place, this season where God has us. No, it is not always perfect or roses coming up daily. But, I am reminded of times when things were a lot worse. When the world around me seemed to crumble each day. And, then I remind myself just how far the Lord has brought us. How he has redeemed every. single. situation.

I am humbled.

I am greaful.

Greatful for this day to serve me, and do something important with this life I live.

Greatful for a new day to be joyful and share his love.

All month long I've been seeing strings of thankful posts on people's facebook pages. I haven't really chimed in at all, but there's a lot that I am greatful for this year. So, here's a small little list that I wanted to share with you today.

I am thankful for;

Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

My Husband and daughter.

My Parents, brothers and sisters and extended family.

My truest girlfriends.

Our jobs.

A warm home to live in, food on our table, and clothes on our backs.

God's provision to us in so many ways.

Our church, we have met some great people and are enjoying worshiping in such a wonderful church.
There's so much to be thankful for this year. I am greatful for this wonderful season in life.

I am thankful for YOU my lovely readers. Thank you for helping make this blogging this special and fun. And for sharing a small slice of life with me.

I hope you all are blessed today, and find goodness and JOY today.

What are you Thankful for today?

November 22, 2011

To {My Sister} on Her Birthday

Today is my Sister's 30th Birthday! She is my older sister, my eleven months. Throughout the years we have not always gotten along, we haven't always been close and I am reminded that we are very different from each other.

But, as the years have gone by we have become closer and closer. Loving each other more today than I can ever remember.

She knows me. And, in her I am reminded that people can change. Never give up on then because they can surprise you and relationships can become better. I am reminded that loving someone can help them become better.

There are so many things that I truly love about my sister, here are just a few;

She makes me laugh, and has a great imagination.

The way she takes care of the elderly and has a passion for them is pretty amazing.

She's a great Mom.

She made me an Auntie to these three littles.

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She's a great Auntie herself, and I know and see how much she loves Ava. It makes my heart happy.

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She took care of me after I gave birth to Ava, and was there for a lot of my first Mommy moments. Thank you for the advice and encouragement sister.

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Sister,
Today on your birthday I hope that you're reminded of just how much I love and care for you! I am so thankful that our relationship has grown stronger in these last few years. We are more than just Sisters, you have truly become my friend. And, even though we have walked a long road together. Not always understanding each other I am thankful that the Lord redeems all! He's brought us together again, and I am grateful. I wish you nothing but the best day today, and always. Thank you for making me laugh, for those late night talks. For the sleepovers, even though we're probably too old for them I will never take for granted laughing with you till all hours of the night. There's no other Sister I'd rather have than YOU!

Happy Birthday!

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I love you!

Annie

November 21, 2011

{Sponsor Love} Black Friday Deals with Tea & Layla Grace

Are you getting excited for Black Friday deals? Do you get up early and brave the crowds to get some awesome deals?!

I do. Last year I got up early baby & Hubby still sleeping and went to Target. The aisles were packed and it was nuts. I got in and out and home before they even woke up. When there's a great deal I don't mind getting up and braving the people. Especially since I always have a plan and get what I need, and then I'd done!

Today I wanted to share with you two great deals from our Sponsors! First up, Tea Collection! They are one of my faves. Ava has tons of their clothing, and it's so darn cute!




Ready or not the Holiday season is upon us! One of my favorite places to shop for kids’ clothes is Tea Collection! Tea Collection will be having a special Black Friday sale featuring $15 dresses for girls and $15 pants for boys valid 11/25 through 11/27. Here are some of my absolute favorite gift ideas:


For girls, I love the Pinata Stripe Dress! This dress was inspired by the brightly colored striped pinatas in Mexico. The dress is made of 100% cotton and machine washable and is sure to create tons of fun. The Ticking Stripe Pant for boys is definitely a staple item for any outfit. These stylish striped pants are 100% cotton, machine washable! Keep children dreaming with Little Citizens Pajamas. This adorable pj set is inspired by Mexico's famous Arbol del Tule. Not only are these pj's adorable but proceeds from your sale will benefit the Global Fund for Children and their work advancing the dignity of children around the world. I also love the Art To Go Deluxe Set. This is the perfect gift for the little artist whose creativity won't be contained--even on the road! Let their imaginations run wild!

Next up, faves from Layla Grace:


Layla Grayce is offering a fabulous Black Friday Sale! For four days only, save 15% off the ENTIRE site (some exclusions apply) with promo code LGHOLIDAY11 valid 11/25 through 11/28! While I certainly love all things Layla Grayce, below are a few of my absolute favorite gift ideas:


Do you always find it difficult to shop for the man in your life? Treat him to the Timeworks Clocks Round Aureole Wristwatch. Not only is this wristwatch beautiful it cleverly combines form and function. You never have to worry about him missing a meeting or a romantic date night because this wristwatch is equipped with an alarm clock.

Give the chef of the family a makeover this Holiday season with the Jessie Steele Apron Courtney Dotted Parlor Floral apron. This vintage inspired apron is simple with a few glamorous touches like a removable bow, defined waistband, bottom ruffle, and trimmed pocket for a flattering fit!

The Mirror Magnet Board is perfect for any co-worker! Let them re-decorate their office space with this adorable magnetic board. Five brass magnets are included so they can start hanging their memos and photos right away!

Happy Shopping!

What deals are you planning to score on?!

Blog Roll Monday: Bower Power





Happy Monday friends! Did you all have a good weekend?!

Um, can you believe that Thanksgiving is this weekend? I can't. Crazy, huh?!

My lovely Sister's birthday is tomorrow. {more on that later}

But, today I want to share with you a blog I'm lovin'.

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Bower Power

I find a lot of blogs via other blogs I already love, I found Katie via Sherry. They are actually BFFs in real life. They found each other through blog land and now are real life friends. Kinda like me and Destiny....yeah exactly like that!

One part home improvement.

One part parenting.

Lots of talk about bacon & her boyfriend!

Yup, a mix of just about everything and that's why I love it.

Kinda reminds me of my own blog in a way. And confirms to me that it's OK to talk about celebrities, crafts and parenting all in the same blog!

Jump on over to Bower Power and give Katie some love today. Tell her I sent ya! ;)

PS- she's super funny too! You'll love her and her sweet little family.

November 19, 2011

Fall Inspired Mini Donuts

This post was orginially written for a series on Mom Endeavors, but I thought I would share it here as well.


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A while ago I got this mini donut baking pan from the grocery store. I've had it for a while now, and was just waiting for a good excuse to whip some of these up. During nap time one day I made a batch and sprinkled them with some fun Fall inspired sprinkles.

They are so festive and fun, and my daughter was happy to be my taste tester once she woke up from her nap! These are a cake donut that are baked in the oven. Much more healthy than a fried version.

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Here's what you'll need:
1 1/4 c. cake flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 table spoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 4-6 minutes until the tops spring back when touched. Let them cool in the pan.

In a large mixing bowl blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Add buttermilk, egg and butter and stir until just combined. Fill each donut cup 1/2 full.

I put all my batter in a Ziploc bag and snipped the end of it and filled my pan. It makes it a lot easier to fill them with less mess.

Bake 4-6 min. Until tops spring back when you touch them. They will be golden brown on bottom.

Next I gathered my sprinkles and frosting. For the frosting I just used some store bought vanilla icing that I melted a bit and put into another Ziploc bag and snipped the end to drizzle across my donuts.

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Drizzle frosting across the donuts and then top with sprinkles as many as desired. Then you're done! So cute and simple! You'll wanna eat more than just one!

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How's your weekend so far? Last night, I attended the Bakerella book signing with some girlies. {more on that later}

Today, Hubby is running a 10K!
What are you up to this weekend?

Happy Friday!

November 17, 2011

Catalyst

cat·a·lyst [kat-l-ist] noun

A person or thing that precipitates an event or change.

This time of year brings a season change. Temperatures start to cool down. Schools reach their mid semester time. Kids start to get excited about a break, and the impending Christmas time ahead. Halloween leads to the excitement of Thanksgiving, and that eventually leads to the excitement of Christmas.

Isn't it amazing how smells take us back to a certain time or place. How a song on the radio can remind you of a special time in life. It's crazy how our brains work, holding onto images of those seasons in our life. And, how if even just for a moment when you think about those images you start to recall that time, or feeling like you are living it all over again today.

Still vivid in your mind. Emotions that you start to feel all over again. Good, bad, happy or sad. You can taste them, smell them, suddenly you're transported back to a memory or event in your life that changed you, made you who you are, and forever is apart of you!

A catalyst, if you will to the rest of your life.

The Fall always brings me back to that time. The time in life when everything I once knew changed. The time in life when I changed.

I remember that cold, wet, rainy day in October three years ago. I stood outside frozen under the awning as I said good-bye and handed over the keys to my office building to my boss. Clenching my box of belongings from my desk as I walked to my car I started to cry. Still confused, stunned and barely able to speak let alone drive myself anywhere.

I made the frantic phone call to my Husband, the kind where you're crying so hard the words don't make sense at all. Through the tears I muttered; "I just lost my job."

Without hesitation he said come to my work, I'll take you home. I drove the few blocks to his office building and stepped out of the card in the pouring rain so we could switch drivers. I cried the whole way home that afternoon, we barely spoke.

I got home that afternoon, and peeled the wet clothing and socks off and crawled into my bed and fell asleep. I remember waking up that evening in a fog, like I didn't know what just happened and I hoped it was some how a dream.

It wasn't. That day I got laid off from my job.

My world was rocked, turned upside down. My reactions led me down a road of bitterness, anger, hurt and depression.

I completely lost my JOY.

That season of life marks a time not only of job loss, but also at the same time consequently we also lost our home because of it. Our first home. The home I thought we'd be in forever, raise babies, and grow old in. One that we worked so hard for to obtain, was now gone. Just a memory.

These were also the events, that now define me.

They have changed me. They were the catalyst to the person I am now.

I wish I could say that the road was easy. That I didn't spend months angry at people, or hurt, or bitter. I can't. I wish I could say that I had a good cry and it was over, but I can't say that either.

I needed healing from my brokenness. I needed to forgive. I needed the Lord to do something inside of me, to heal me and take all those broken pieces and put them back together again.

My anger at those in voled kept me from this healing for a long time.

My running away to what I thought was greener pastures, and not dealing kept me from my healing.

My putting on a brave face, and not letting anyone close to me kept me from the Lord and all that he wanted to do in me.

I remember when I started going to see a Counselor, I remember sitting on that couch thinking in my mind how I was living some sort of movie.

Isn't this the stuff that happened in movies? It didn't happen in real life did it?

During that season of life my eyes were opened to a whole different perspective. Through all these trails the Lord has shown me his love, grace and mercy in a new way.

In a way that I didn't know before.

He has healed and redeemed more than I could have imagined.

You know why? Because I let him.

It took me a long time {probably about a year afterwards} to really let him start to heal the brokenness that I was in. But, once I made the choice to give all that pain to the Lord he started to show me things about myself, and things about my character. I started to heal.

Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heave for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while you made have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed!

1 Peter 1-7

This scripture is a beautiful picture of exactly how I feel today. My point in all of this is; God can redeem anything!

If you give it to him, he will! He will make something more beautiful out of your situation than you could have ever imagined. I am convinced that God is more concerned about our reaction to things that happen to us, than the actually event that occurred.

Because, it is in those moments of your reaction when you decide if this will draw you closer or farther apart from HIM.

My reactions drew me away from God, and people around me for a long time. Sure, I put on the bravest face and smiled to those around me but inside I was dying an emotional death, slowly that I thought would never end.

It didn't end until, I decided that I couldn't do it alone anymore. I needed to reach out to my heavenly Father and ask those around me for help. I needed to be honest with myself about my emotions, and where I was really at.

Today, three years later I can truly say that the Lord has redeemed and healed my heart. My brokenness, and my broken relationships.

These events are ones of definition. They are apart of me, who I am. Apart of my story of grace and redemption now.

When the Fall hits, the season changes, the temperatures grow colder it instantly takes me back to that rainy day in October, and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

They were the catalyst of what changed my relationship with the Lord.

Today, I am forever grateful for those times of trial and grief. For how the Lord has been able to use my situation, our situation to give others hope and encouragement.

I know that this is not light hearted stuff by any means, but this was on my heart today and I wanted to share it with you. I hope and pray that no matter what you may be going through today or in your season of circumstance that you turn to the Lord today.

He Loves you, beyond your situation.

Thank you for letting me share my heart today.

Joyfully,
Andrea

November 16, 2011

iheart: Video Beauty Tutorials


I love finding video tutorials on how to do hair and make up! There's so many great ideas floating around the Internet in the last few weeks I've been able to find some really great ones that have helped me look my best. I wanted to share a few of them that I really love, hopefully they inspire you to try something new with your look, and give you confidence.

This first one is from Michelle Money from The Bachelor fame. She's pretty funny, and has great video tutorials. This is how to curl your hair....it's changed my life. I wear my hair like this all the time! And I've finally mastered this technique! Check it!


Next up, make up! I always love finding great new tutorials on how to do make- up. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to make up so I love, love finding new videos with great explanations and deets on products. This one if from Becki at Whippy Cake. Check out her channel here, and watch the video below.


This is my second fave way to do my hair from Kate at The Small Things blog! She's awesome at giving all kinds of tips and tricks. You've gotta check out her blog, if you haven't already.


Do you heart beauty tutorials too? Tell me your faves in the comments below!

Ps- I announced the winners of the Shutterfly contest today on my Facebook page! Did you win? GO here to find out.


November 15, 2011

Just For You {Lifestyle Crafts}

This week Lifestyle Crafts released their Just for You new die cuts! I was sent some die cuts from this collection to try out, and make something fun to share with you.

Since, the holidays are upon us and I'm all about Christmas I decided to make some mini note Christmas Cards.

I used the Oh, Happy Day die cut, the cutest letters for the holidays. I also used the Paper Mini Folds for the card paper.

I found some old Christmas themed stickers in my scrap booking supplies to use.

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I really love simple sayings on cards, that speak volumes. I wanted one word on each. Using some green card stock I cut out my letters using the Letter press machine. Then I glued each of them onto the cards. 

Then I added the wording inside using the stickers I'd found. Simple inside too.

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Next, I added some glue to the edges of the cards on the front and sprinkled a generous amount of glitter on them and let them dry. 

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Here's one last look of them all together, I love how they turned out. 

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Lifestyle Crafts is still running some awesome contest & promotions on their site! 

Black Friday starts Nov. 23-28th! Score you're self some amazing deals!


And as always snag yourself some great products at 20% off using the code: WORLEYHOUSE at check out! 

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Wanna score some of these cute little cards for yourself? GO here to shop and get your own from my shop!

November 14, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: The Beauty Department



Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature here where I tell you about one of the blogs on my reading list and why you should be reading it too. For a complete list of all the blog I heart, click here.

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Hi Friends! It's Monday again, did you all have a lovely weekend? I hope so. Today's blog is all about beauty.

Allow me to introduce you to; The Beauty Department


Lauren Conrad got together with her team of hair and make-up people to bring you this amazing site full of awesome tips, tricks and tutorials! Weather you're looking for hair tips, makeup tips, or just a little inspiration they've got you covered!

Here's a few of my fave tutorials I've found on their site:









Isn't that fun! I know you're just itching to jump on over to their site!

Today I'm guest posting over at Mom Endeavors! Check it out here. If you haven't yet entered the Shutterfly giveaway, scroll down to the next post to enter!

Happy Monday! 

November 13, 2011

Shutterfly Give & Get Joy House Party + A Giveaway!

This weekend, I got to host a Shutterfly party sponsored by House Party! The awesome people at Shutterfly & House Party sent me some great goodies to share with my friends! I was able to share with everyone why I love Shutterfly and their products so much, and help them make photo books of their own.

It's a great way to preserve and share memories! Shutterfly is already my fave place to get photo books, and holiday cards. It's a lot of fun getting to share with someone who's never used Shutterfly before, and show them all the amazing things you can do with Shutterfly products.

We all know I love pictures, and taking them is like breathing almost! This was a really fun party to host!

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I set up a yummy coffee/ cocoa bar for guests.

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Made some yummy desserts! {recipe to come}

Shutterfly set me some great photo cards to use as examples. I also displayed some of my own photo books I've made through Shutterfly. 

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Each guest received a free 8x8 Photo book, 10 free holiday card + free shipping! They also received $10 gift card to Plum District and decoders to see if they won a chance for prizes at the House Party website!

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I had a really great time hosting this party. It was a blessing to bring friends together and share my love for an amazing product and laugh a lot! Thank you ladies for attending, I hope you're able to preserve some of your memories this way! 

Lucky for you readers, I have a few free swag bags left to giveaway! Each will contain the amazing products handed out to my guests! 

Wanna know how you can win?{mandatory to enter}

I wanna know what you're most looking forward to this holiday season?! Tell me in the comments below and be entered to win!

Want more entries? {1 entry for each thing you do}

Like Shutterfly on Facebook
Like House Party on Facebook
Tweet about this giveaway and link to @andreaworley so I can see that you did
Blog about this and leave me the link
Follow Shutterfly on Twitter
Follow House Party on Twitter

This contest starts now until Wednesday! I will announce the winner Thursday morning on my Facebook page If you aren't already "liking" my page sign up & hear if you're a winner! 

Have a great Sunday friends! 

This part was sponsored by Shutterfly & House Party. I received free product in exchange for hosting this event. All opinions are 100% mine. 

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