2015 - xoxo Rebecca

Top Fifteen Posts In Twenty-15

As we say goodbye to another year...we look back at what this year has provided for us. Some good, some bad....and we look for a hopeful new year starting soon.

Twenty-fifteen is about to end and we get to say hello to twenty-sixteen. I hope this year brings a lot of great joy and happiness as the past year was a rough one for the most part. Before the clock strikes midnight and I have my champagne glass in head and ready to get my New Year's kiss.... let's look back at the most popular posts that happened here on my little blog. 

And yet, some of the most popular this year, are from past years. This is what the world had to say that they made popular from the blog in 2015:


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can you believe this year is at an end and a new one is beginning?2016 will bring new changes for That Friday Blog Hop. Next week we will have an all new look and new changes happening. Welcome new year, new look, new blogging successes! 

Thank you all who have made this link up a great one year after year and we are excited to keep it going in 2016.

Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 

Style Your Prom

With the new year here, that means new beginnings, new adventures, and of course, new opportunities. These are some of the biggest things teens are looking forward to as they approach the end of their high school years and into adulthood. But that doesn't mean they can't have fun and be stylish.

Prom season is quickly approaching and stores are quickly filling their inventory of dresses for that memorable night that most teenage girls have been waiting for. Dinner, dancing, great friends and good memories will be highlight of this year at prom. Prom is special and one of the best nights of a girl's high school years.

Lights, Ornaments, Violins...Oh My!

Christmas is here and this is the first year we made handmade ornaments. It was really super easy and fun for the kids. My oldest daughter made the dough all by herself and I helped in cutting and prepping and the construction of the ornaments. She then helped with the younger two as well in creating their ornaments. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of work! We created so many. I'm only to to share a portion of what we did.

First off, I have to show off the tree this year. It's not as glamorous as it has been in the past. Now with the little ones getting more into things, they sure were having fun rearranging the ornaments and decorations we put up.

But none the less, it was a sweet little tree that they loved looking at and watching the lights.

This was also the first year I've been able to find and put up all three of their "First Christmas" ornaments, which I was really excited about. But scared at the same time since the little ones sure loved to mess with them. But so far, nothing has broken this year and I'm really happy about that.

It's a tradition that the children are not allowed to help decorate the tree nor help set it up. But after I was finished, I did allow them to put one ornament on each and some candy canes. They had so much fun doing that.

I took these photos with my new tablet. It surely isn't the greatest tablet for taking photos but I tried. I think I will be using my other camera device from now on mostly. But as you can see, the kids were all excited about the tree and getting all into the holiday spirit.

We made friends and family ornaments as I stated above. The ornaments are really simple to make. As I stated, it was so easy, my nine year old did this completely by herself. You just need:

1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Cornstarch
3/4 cup Warm Water

Mix all together in a pan on medium heat on the stove. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to form a "dough" substance. Remove from heat and let sit, stirring occasionally so it doesn't harden. Once the dough is cool enough to touch, remove it and place on parchment paper and start rolling out.

You can then either let it air dry or bake it in the oven. I did both. I let it air dry for a couple of hours and then placed it in the oven for 30 mins at 200 degrees. Then flipped them over and baked for another 30 mins. I then kept going back and forth with the process until they were hard and ready to paint.

Big sister is helping little sister roll out the dough to make our ornaments. Little brother really didn't care to be apart of it, but he did like making his in the end.

So here is what we created. I think they turned out pretty cute for our first attempt at these:

We made these snowmen first. Natalya cut out all the circles and molded the noses. After they were baked, we painted them with glitter and modge podge to give a "snowy" effect. She then painted on their faces and buttons and painted the noses orange. I then went ahead and strung the ribbon through each section and hot glued on the scarfs. We then wrote her name, age and year on the back and said it was made with love.

The Santa faces are both Reggie's and Larissa's hand prints since they have little hands, I thought this would be perfect, I just pressed their hands into the dough, one at a time. I cut out the shape around the dough with a knife and after they were baked, Natalya painted in the santa hats and I outlined the areas in black marker and added the faces.

We then wrote their names and ages on the back along with the year. I then tied a pretty red ribbon so we could hang them up.

I created this first one for my parents. It's all three of the children's handprints in one. It was a bit harder than I thought because Reggie and Larissa both are almost the same size and so is their hand. So it was a challenge trying to get theirs to show as separate. But I managed. I then painted each child's hand a different color so you could clearly see who's hand was who's. I then wrote their names, ages and date on the back.

The Ninja Turtle ones, Natalya made completely all by herself. I am so proud of her that she freehand painted these without asking me for any help. The only thing I did was hot glue the google eyes on them and tie the string through. She did a great job on these.

And finally we have the reindeer. Now these aren't ornaments exactly. We turned them into Christmas magnets. Which turned out totally cute. We also used a cinnamon salt dough recipe for these instead of the one I listed above we used on all the rest.

This way we did not have to do any painting. The reindeer were brown from the cinnamon and also smell lovely. I hot glued the google eyes on them. We found twigs from outside and glued those on as the antlers as well and then Natalya hot glued on the puff ball noses. I then attached the magnets on the back...and tada! Reindeer magnets for all year round on your fridge. So cute. I used ours to hang up our Christmas card.

They look adorable hanging from the tree. I was worried they would be too heavy but they aren't at all which is great!

Another exciting thing that happened was Natalya performed in her very first violin Christmas concert. As a mom, I teared up during the performance. I have no idea why I do this, but I do... what can I say? I'm such an emotional train wreck. Especially when it comes to my children's accomplishments.

She performed with all the students her teacher teaches at a retirement community here in town. She is the one in the black dress I keep zooming in on :)

The concert was an hour long but I cut down the video and only included the pieces she performed in. Being that she has only been playing for six months, she hasn't learned yet all the pieces. But she amazed me by learning as much as she has. The video is uploaded below.

And of course, Christmas wouldn't be complete without Christmas lights. We ventured over to one of the famous houses close by known for their lights. It was our first time going. I was really glad to see it was only 4 minutes from our house so it made it easy to get home with cranky little ones in the back seat.

This house is known as the "Candy Cane Crib" ... they even have their own Facebook page! This house was really cool in person. It has over 30,000 lights {making me immediately think of Clark Griswold} .... but they sure know how to rock out in the Christmas spirit.

When we went, there were a lot of people. It was crowded and hard to find a parking spot along the side of the street. But we did and I managed to take a few snap shots without too many people in the way.

I hope you all had a very merry happy holidays and I wish you all a bright and safe new year! And if you haven't checked out our Christmas cards from this year, head on over to do that. Leave me a link to yours as well if you posted about yours.

Merry & Bright {Our Christmas Cards}

I absolutely love Christmas cards. Every year, I get so excited to plan out and send our cards out to our family and friends. I know not many people do Christmas cards anymore and I for one, think Christmas cards are a timeless tradition. 

Each year with our cards, I always send out a little custom graphic of our family highlights of the special things that have gone on throughout the year. So I am going to share with you our cards this year as I am linking up with The Estes Family blog and showing off 2015.

This year I went with another foil card from Minted. I absolutely am in love with their holiday cards and loved the way ours turned out last year and decided to go again with them this year. I was not disappointed. I love the foil lettering! So shiny in person!

And I used Adobe Illustrator again to create our family highlight which I printed out and placed inside with the cards. Just a few things here and there about us to share with everyone from twenty-fifteen.

I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday and joy, happiness are in your hearts. May your days be merry & bright! Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Here are a few moments from our photo shoot for our Christmas cards. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the leaves and chasing around a cat that was photobombing our plans!

12 Days of Blogmas: Day Ten

It's Day 10 of the 12 Days of Blogmas and today is all about ME! That's right. I get to sit here and type up ten little random facts about me. I know you are all dying to know LOL ok, maybe not, but here they go anyway...

1. I love silence. When I have any "me" time, I refuse to have the tv on, no music, no noise at all. Just sit in complete silence. Even driving in the car, I love having it absolutely quiet!

2. I sleep with my face completely covered up. I have to have my face fully under the covers even when it's 100 degrees out.

3. I cannot put my hands in pants pockets. It freaks me out for some reason. I even tend to buy jeans with no pockets because I get freaked out if my hand goes near them.

4. I also can't have my food touching. So that usually means I need a separate plate for every food item I am eating for that meal.

5. I am a very superstitious person when it comes to numbers. I have this weird thing when it comes to even and odd numbers together. I know, I'm totally out there but you can read about what I mean here.

6. I grew up in Germany. No, I am not German. I get asked that a lot. But my mom and dad were both in the Army and we were stationed in Germany through almost my entire childhood.

7. I'm 5'7" making me the shortest person in my family. My mom nicknamed me "Christmas Elf" because I'm so short compared to everyone else.

8. We named our first daughter after a video game. Yes, we are those people LOL curious as to what game? Check out the post here.

9. When I was pregnant with my middle child, I needed to have my appendix removed during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Right after my baby was born, he needed to have his appendix removed as well.

10. I was born on March 21st. 3-2-1 {I think that has always been kind of cool}.

Men & Women's Holiday Party Style Guide

The holidays are here and there is also so much to do in so little time. Are you still trying to find that perfect outfit for your holiday party? Or even a wedding coming up? New Years Eve is the most popular day to get married! Whatever the occasion is this winter, The Black Tux has your man covered this year. Check out these style guides below to help you with some inspiration for looking your best, regardless how fancy you need to be.

Here are some looks I have styled and put together for each category for you to get a better idea of inspiration. I used the above guides to help me. Grab a cup of coffee and let's begin...

The Casual

The Professional

The Formal
Hopefully these lovely little looks I've put together give you a bit of inspiration for your own holiday party stumps. It's a little easier for us, as women, to be able to put our looks together and make something magical happen from nothing.

But men sometimes struggle and need a little help. Most women can pull that little black dress out of their closet but not ever man is "suit" ready. That is where The Black Tux comes in with their tuxedo and suit rentals. You can get your tux without commitment right from the comfort of your own home.

Seriously, it's that easy! Your guy chooses his look and adds in his measurements. The suit arrives about a week prior to the event. Have him try it on. If it's a perfect fit then you are golden. If not, give them a call and they take care of the issue ASAP. Once your event is over, shipping is a breeze with no hassles and no worries. And might I mention...Free!!!

And with their prices very affordable, you are sure to be able to have your man look his best for a price you can't say no to. So what are you waiting for? Log on now to The Black Tux and get that perfect suit without the commitment to buy one and just in time for that party you are looking forward to attending.

12 Days of Blogmas: Day Nine

Day 9 of Blogmas {hosted by The Petite Mrs and The Coastal Couple} brings us to our nine favorite holiday songs. Just like the movies, it's so hard to narrow down just a few out of the hundreds out there. So let's get down to the countdown!

TLC - Sleigh Ride

This is my favorite Christmas song of all time I believe. I love this song and have since it first appeared when I was in Jr. High. TLC has always been my favorite girl group and I was so excited to see they had a few Christmas songs. I remember being 14 and jamming around with my friends to this song, blasting it til the speakers blew out. Such great memories.

I love how they took a classic song and gave it their own R&B twist to it. Of course, no TLC song is complete without Left Eye rapping. It really gets me in the dancing mood and Christmas spirit listening to TLC's Sleigh Ride.

NSYNC - Under My Tree

NSYNC is my favorite group of all time. Yes, I am an Nsync-er for life. I was just as in love with them back then as I am now. Sadly, I own every single cd, even all the imports and singles...as well as the dolls, chapstick, beanie babies... you name it, I own it if Nsync is on it. 

I consider their Christmas cd one of he best of any Christmas album I have ever heard. Under My Tree is my favorite song on the album. Is it sad I always feel like they are singing it just to me when I hear it? LOL I guess I will never grow out of the 90's boy-band phase.

But it is a beautiful and really romantic song. It just makes me feel all lovey-dovey inside and perfect for a Christmas couple with that special someone. Yes, this one is totally on the top of my list.

BRITNEY SPEARS - My Only Wish {This Year}

It's Britney B*tch....her famous words. Oh of course, who doesn't love Britney? I really love this Christmas song by her. I was sad she never put out a Christmas album, and honestly a little shocked by it. But that is ok. We still love her. But I love this song. It's so up beat and makes me want to dance and sing all around my Christmas tree.

I wish I could have found the official video for it. It seems to no longer exist in the internet world. But that is ok. Regardless, I still love the song.

MARIAH CAREY - All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey is a legend in her own time. I grew up listening to her and still love her music. But this is such a great Christmas song. Upbeat, fun, romantic ... it's so girly, it's scary LOL ok maybe not scary. But it is a fun Christmas song...This is even my nine year old's favorite Christmas song. Everytime it comes on Pandora, she gets so excited, starts singing and dancing and bouncing all around the place. All ages can enjoy this one.

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite composers. His music is glorifying. I especially love this Nutcracker Suite. But the Dance of the Sugar Fairy is my favorite from the ballet. I fell in love with it more when I played it for a piano recital. It felt so awesome to play this piece. I just loved it more and more.

There really is something very magical about this Christmas piece. It's timeless and will never go out of style. Even my kids who think everything is boring, loves this particular piece.

GEORGE WINSTON - Carol Of The Bells

This song was not created by George Winston. I know... however, this is his variation of it and I have to say, from the moment I heard it back when I was in high school, I literally dropped to my knees. George's variation of the classic is breath-taking. Simply put. If you listen to it, you will be so amazed that it is just one man playing this piece on the piano. No duets, nothing. Just him solo. 

I have always been in love with the song since I was little. I then learned to play it on the piano for a piano recital as I did the piece I mentioned above. Learning to play this song blew my mind so much as I felt nothing I had ever felt before while playing this piece. For years, I wanted so bad to learn how to play this particular variation by George Winston but never learned. However, I listen to this cd almost everyday and it brings joy to my heart. Especially on Christmas.

GEORGE WINSTON - Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel

Another variation I simply adore by George Winston. This is from his December album, as is the song above. I love this video because you get to witness George himself playing the magic he created. It's so beautiful. 

I would actually sit in my room and listen to this song over and over again and it would bring tears to my eyes. It is a beautiful Christmas piece that does something magical to the dull of winter. It's like listening to a fireplace that is in your heart. It's incredible what music can really do to a person's emotions and feelings.

George Winston is my very favorite contemporary pianist. All his music is amazing, but his December album is my dearly loved.

ARIANA GRANDE - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I am actually not a fan of Ariana Grande. But my nine year old loves her. I find her overly annoying. However, knowing my next song choice was going to be Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, I have heard so many wonderful versions, I didn't know which one to go with.

I went through a few and came upon hers. After hearing her version, I really was impressed. I love the way she sang it. It actually sounded beautiful and made me think of Christmas. But regardless the singer, I love this classic Christmas song. I really enjoy playing it on the piano as well. I feel a sense of power somehow everytime I play this piece. It's beautiful.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC - The Night Santa Went Crazy

So last, but not least, is the Christmas song I loved as a child.....as messed up as that is LOL. This song is hilarious. I grew up in a house where my mom loved two things....The Beatles and Weird Al. So naturally I listened and loved his music from the day I was born.

He's so funny and this is one of those that just gives you a kick for a good sense of humor. Yes, it's pretty deranged, pretty gross, pretty vulgar. But if you don't mind that, it's a hilarious Christmas song about Santa going off the deep end and goes beyond insane. Killing everything at the North Pole.

I had to put this song because it was my childhood favorite. Though it's been a while since I last listened to it, the laughs still remain for a good old crazy Christmas.

Well there you have it, my top nine picks for favorite Christmas songs. Leave a comment telling me what you would put on your list? I love to know what everyone else likes listening to this time of year! Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Birthday Blog

Today is a pretty special day over here for my blog. Today is my Blogoversary! That is right. It is my blog's birthday and that is a pretty big deal to me. Can you guess how old my blog is turning today? I'll give you a hint...

Yes! My blog is five years old today. I don't even know how that happened? Never did I imagine that I would keep up with blogging for one year, let alone FIVE!!! It's pretty amazing if you ask me. It all started on December 19, 2010.

Blogging sure has changed since I first began this new journey that would lead to an obsession of being on the computer, wanting to come up with content that the world would come by to see. And little did I know that I would be introduced to some of my most best and trustworthy friends from blogging.

I have to give a shout out to those people right now. Without them, I wouldn't feel as special as I do in this big blog-o-sphere.

Destiny Rockin' Mama
Rekita Rekita Nicole

There have been a lot more amazing people. I still talk to them but they no longer blog. Or there are also those that I admired and considered a friend, but sadly, we lost touch with each other and they no longer blog.

I have been gracious to have met many other wonderful blogging friends through various groups recently as well. I love each and every one of you too. And also to all my wonderful readers who keep coming back to see what is going on around here. I can't tell you how much you all have meant to me over these last five amazing years.

When I first started blogging, I really had no idea what to do to get someone to see my blog other than family members. It was always a fail. Luckily, I found sites that helped me grab some attention and knowledge and of course, one really amazing blogger and personal friend who really took over and showed me so much about HTML and blogging than I ever thought could be possible.

When my blog turned one year old, I had
♥ 388 Posts

Today, my numbers are
♥  1,151 Posts

My most popular post to date is

The most searched keyword when finding my blog is
Friday Funny
Funny Friday Pictures
Funny Friday

Top Three Countries Viewing
♥ United States
♥ France
♥ Russia

Well, there you have it. A few things to celebrate today. Thank you to everyone in continuing this blogging adventure with me. It's a big world out there and I hope one day to be able to shine through. Until then, this is my little corner of being blog-famous! Cheers everyone!


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 

12 Days of Blogmas: Day Six

Today is going on the 6th day of Blogmas. In case you missed my previous posts, I also participated in Day Four and Day One. So we are going through today and sharing our six favorite Christmas movies.

This one is hard because there are so many great movies out there just devoted to Christmas time. How can I choose just six? But I think I was able to narrow them down. I chose the first six that popped into my head as ones I enjoy now or  as a child.

So let's get started. These are in no particular order...... Ok, wait!! So I lied, the first one is my absolutely favorite Christmas movie of all time. So this one had to go first. The rest are in no particular order. Maybe you have some of the same favorites as I do.

I had to start off with A Christmas Story. Hands down, this has been my favorite Christmas movie since I can remember. Who could resist Ralphie's desire to own a Red Ryder B.B. gun and the lengths he goes through to let everyone know it's his one and only wish that year.

And let's not forget Ralphie's annoying little brother. The scene where he cries because he can't put his arms down and his mother just basically tells him to just deal with it is classic. The kid just can't get a break.

And of course, the infamous leg lamp. Electric sex glowing from the living room {as Ralphie would put it}. Mr. Parker prized his leg lamp as if it were made of pure gold. That lamp seemed to be his everything.

And how Aunt Clara seemed to forget Raphie wasn't a four year old girl and made him the "pink nightmare" bunny suit. Poor kid. Though I would totally wear it.

And of course, how could we leave out Scut Farkus? Probably the ugliest kid I have ever laid eyes upon. So horrible to say, I know.. but he was just a bad, mean bully.

Christmas would just not be complete without Clark, Eddie, Aunt Bethany, poor Ruby Sue, Art as evil as he is, and Ellen. These guys know how to make a person go insane. This movie is classic as it is hilarious. 

Aunt Bethany as old as she is, pouring cat food on the jello, Eddie dumping his "toxic waste" into the sewer. Clark and his obsession to get those darn lights to work, and Art so greedy and stingy to his employees. This movie is great from start to finish. I can't say anything bad about this movie.

My favorite character has to be Eddie though. He is gross, unmannered, crazy...and all around, you can't help but want more LOL. He really makes me laugh through the entire movie.

This movie is always on the top of my list to watch over and over. I love Bad Santa. He's such a real turd but you can't help to love him or hate him...and mostly... just hate him. He does everything wrong and is not what anyone would consider Santa. But he somehow has a change of heart at the end to his hellish ways.

Posing as Santa and an elf just to rob stores on Christmas sure beats a 9-5 for Willie and Marcus. They seem to have it down to the tee. And it's pretty impressive just how good they are.

I always felt bad for Thurman {or The Kid}, because he gets picked on so bad and has no one there to help him stand up for himself...until Bad Santa that is. He teaches him the ways of a man..when he's not passed out from all the alcohol he's been drinking.

I love the nasty humor and vulgarity of this movie so much. It's so bad, it's good! I don't think I would ever want Willie to be my Santa, but he sure makes this a bad boy of a movie.

This is my oldest daughter's favorite Christmas film. Who couldn't love Tim Allen trying to do everything in his power to hold Frosty hostage and ignore the Christmas spirit? Not I...this movie is as cute as it is funny. Trying to cancel Christmas and spend a week on a cruise instead? I have to say, I'm a bit jealous as I would love to be able to drop everything and go on a cruise myself instead of Christmas. 

I think my favorite part of the entire movie is when Jamie Lee Curtis is running around the grocery store looking for her Hickory Ham. And bribes the people at the check out to buy it off of them only to watch it roll away into the parking lot and get smashed by a truck. The look on her face is priceless and makes me laugh every time. Is a ham really that serious? I guess so. 

And Blair has no idea anything is even going on which makes it even more interesting to know whether or not they may just pull off Christmas..or cancel it for good.

"We top flight of the world, Craig. Not just the city, the world!" as Day-Day would say. This brings out the ho ho ho and all that jolly cheer in a bad boy way. Hands down, I have this movie memorized. Sad but true. 

One of the best trilogies of a series and it does not disappoint. I can't stop laughing throughout it's vulgar humor and cast of new and old characters. From a crazed, hyper rent-a-cop to a wannabe pimp....this comedy has me on the floor like I'm "between a pimp and a hard place"..as Money Mike would say.

Being poor and having Santa rob you is pretty rough. But when you are Craig and Day-Day, that is only the beginning of your adventure to save Christmas...and your rent money. What could possibly go wrong as they try to protect the shopping center on Christmas Eve? A whole lot of hot mess!!! That's for sure.

Last but not least, is The Nutcracker Prince. This movie came out when I was eight years old. And since that time, I have loved this movie. I had always had a love for the Nutcracker music and ballet. And when this came out, it was no surprise it would become a favorite as well.

I love this version of the tale of how the Nutcracker came to be and how Clara has to help break the spell to bring him back to human form again and not the Prince of the Dolls. I love the time period this tale is set in and how it brings the romantic music to life in a children's story.

The other night I found the full movie on youtube and put it on for my own children to watch. It was a hit and my oldest kept asking to watch it over again. So we definitely all agree on this movie as a Christmas favorite.

What would you say are your top six favorite Christmas movies? Do we have any in common? Also, if you want to link up, head on over to The Petite Mrs or The Coastal Couple and join in the fun.