Updates, Changes, and the Link Party

Hello, my lovelies. How is everyone doing as Christmas season heats up? I’m planning to spend the weekend with my littles making Christmas ornaments for their tree. (Actually, they’ll be crafting and I’ll be drinking wine and supervising.) Yup, we have two trees. Because of my OCD ornament hanging issues and all. The sexy tall white tree is all mine and they can hang pretty much anything they want on theirs. They are thrilled.


If you’re hear looking for the link party, I’ll explain about that in a minute. Otherwise, bear with me. It’s been a long couple of months.

For those of you that are new here or don’t know our story, I’m the foster/grandmother to two wonderful little boys with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD). My guys are 4 and 5 and while they are a delight and I love everything about being their “forever mom”, there’s often a lot going on behind the scenes.


I’ve been teaching four college courses…which I totally love but it’s been far more time consuming than I would have believed. Duh, right? I’ve also taken on some part time working doing clinical investigations for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. Love. But still….kind of time consuming sometimes. And the boys have regular medical, OT, speech therapy, physiotherapy, and all that good stuff.



Along with all of that, I’ve been in battle, once again, with the child welfare agency who is the technical guardian of the children. This time it was over school and it has burned me out. We won the battle to allow the boys to stay in daycare until they’re actually ready and to ensure the agency continues to fund daycare for working foster parents, but, truly…..I’m wiped out. Like, lay on the floor with a cloth over my eyes exhausted. Which I’ve tried but the boys keep jumping on me lol. #humantrampoline



And, finally, I’ve been struggling with insomnia off and on for the past couple of years but it’s been awful since the end of August. As in, I haven’t slept through the night since then and I’m really, really tired. Mostly I just flop around like a beached walrus looking for the magic sleep position. I haven’t found it yet.


Which lead me to having to take a look at what I’m able to manage around here. I love this blog and I’m not quitting. But I’m taking a few steps back and in order to figure out where we go from here. Things have become a little unmanageable lately. This year, I’m not doing a ton of DIY Christmas projects and you’ve probably noticed that. I don’t trust myself with a glue gun on this little sleep. I will continue to post and share as I can this season and on an ongoing basis but I’m taking a little break from the link party until after Christmas when I know what I can reasonably manage with my winter courses and work load.

If you’re looking to link up, please visit my lovely co-hosts who have been very supportive over this much needed break. They will continue to party and I’ll continue to tweet, pin, and share your links from their sites.

Cindy, Little Miss Celebration  |  Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+
Amy, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes    Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest  |  Instagram
Ginnie, Hello Little Home | Facebook |  Twitter Pinterest|   G+   |   Instagram
Paula, Virginia Sweet Pea | Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+  |  Instagram


Have a great weekend, everyone. If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here not sleeping… 😉


Best of The Weekend- 11.25.16

Hey, everyone! No party today because of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. And honestly, work. I’m super tired and just need a day off.

Check out our Black Friday sales here and be sure to visit the other hosts to link up for the regular party.



Cindy, Little Miss Celebration  |  Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+
Amy, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes    Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest  |  Instagram
Ginnie, Hello Little Home | Facebook |  Twitter Pinterest|   G+   |   Instagram
Paula, Virginia Sweet Pea | Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+  |  Instagram


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



The Ultimate Kitchen Gadget Gift List

I consider myself a bit of a cook. Not a chef or anything like that because, you know, the hat would ruin my hair and all. But I’m a pretty good down home kind of cook. With two picky eaters, I cook a lot less than I used to. Because one kid is addicted to PB&J sandwiches and it’s not worth the argument. But soon….soon, I’ll head back to the kitchen and, then…watch out!

So when a friend asked me what to get her sister-in-law who loves to cook, I kind of couldn’t stop with the suggestions. As in, text her 5 or maybe 10 ideas all day long. Maybe a few more actually. Which is why I’m sharing this gift idea list. So I can stop bothering Lisa with all my brilliant ideas.

The Ultimate Kitchen Gift Guide for Serious Cooks #giftideas #kitchengadgets 24 cottonwoodlane.tom


Mix masters come in all sorts of colors…I’m loving that turquoise blue! And how about that spiralizer for those low carb folks? #notme #eatallthecarbs Personally, I would love to see that deep fryer under my tree. Hint, hint.

Kitchen gadget gift guide #sprializer #deepfryer #mixmaster #immersionblender # mandoline #ricecooker
deep fryer || sprializer || mandoline || stand mixer || rice cooker || immersion blender


Could someone grab me that electric wine corkscrew? Because sometimes I forget to buy wine that doesn’t have a screw top. And maybe the egg poacher since I’ve never mastered the art of poaching an egg. Life is hard.

Kitchen gadget gift guide for the serious cook- #christmastgiftideas #kitchengadgets 24cottonwoodlane.com
milk frother || sink cutting board || electric corkscrew || bagel cutter || coffee grinder || egg poacher


That french fry cutter will go perfectly with that deep fryer!

Kitchen gadget gift guide for the ultimate cook #3. 24cottonwoodlane.com #giftideas #kitchengadgets
fat separator || sushi kit || french fry cutter || batter bowl || raclette party kit || crepe pan

Omg….I would breakfast sandwich all the things if I found that baby under the tree.

The Ultimate Kitchen Gadget Gift Guide #4 #kitchengifts #giftideas
salad scissors || pizza stone || rotary cheese grinder || mason jar blender kit || breakfast sandwich maker || mortar and pestle


This was so much fun to prepare, that I’m thinking of doing an entire gift guide series. Stay tuned.

Pin it for later!

Kitchen gadget gift guide for serious cooks. #giftideas #kitchengadgets 24cottonwoodlane.com

Black Friday Sales! Our Best Finds, Steals, and Deals.

I know. It’s not really Black Friday yet since we haven’t exactly made it through Thanksgiving. But if you’re ready to do some online shopping a little early, I’ve combed through all of the best deals and I’m sharing them with you today. I mean if we can see Christmas decorations in October, then what’s wrong with Black Friday sales starting on Monday? #amirite


Pre-black Friday sales. #giftideas


First of all, Wayfair has had their Black Friday sales up and ready to go for the last week. I appreciate that they can understand my inability to delay gratification.  Some of these deals are pretty amazing.



Area rugs– 70% off

Black Friday sales- 50% off area rugs. #bluerug #vintagerug
Click to shop


Stock the bar with items up to 50% off.

Bar carts and accessories #barcart #blackfriday

Seriously, pop over to Wayfair when you get a minute. They have pretty much everything on sale. I’m a big fan since they also ship to Canada and have always been happy with everything I’ve purchased from them. And, it’s a lot.


Who doesn’t love DOMINO?

domino - Bring Your Style Home

Save 20% off site wide at Domino, including decor essentials, gifts, furniture and more.

If you can wait until Cyber Monday, you can save 30% site wide.


Modcloth’s sale doesn’t start until Wednesday but it’s worth waiting for. Find gifts for everyone on your list. Use the code FRIDAY40 for 40% off $200+, FRIDAY30 for 30% off $100+, & FRIDAY20 for 20% off EVERYTHING on the site.


Minted has gifts, including gorgeous art pieces for just about anyone you need to shop for. Including yourself.

Gift guides #art #christmasideas

Minted also has holiday cards on sale at 15% off until November 22. Use the code HOLIDAYS15 at check out.


Walmart already started on their pre-Black Friday sales as well.

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC


And where in the world would we be without Amazon? Tons of pre and post Black Friday sales.

I’m loving the Amazon Echo. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love to see this under the tree. Particularly great for hard to shop for dudes or so I’m told.

Amazon echo #giftguide #mensgifts #giftideas



Finally, you don’t want to miss the sales at Zazzle this week. They have something for everyone, and lots of great kid ideas.

Black Friday Week Sale on Zazzle

Happy shopping!

Best of the Weekend Party and Features – 11.18.16

Welcome to Friday and our Best of the Weekend link party and features. If you’re new here, this party is hosted by five bloggers and when you link up with us, you’re posts are seen on all five of our blogs. Each week we feature the most popular link along with a few of our own favorites.


Cindy, Little Miss Celebration  |  Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+
Amy, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes    Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest  |  Instagram
Ginnie, Hello Little Home | Facebook |  Twitter Pinterest|   G+   |   Instagram
Paula, Virginia Sweet Pea | Facebook |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  G+  |  Instagram
Jenna, 24 Cottonwood Lane | Facebook |  Twitter | PinterestG+  |  Instagram


Last weeks most viewed link was from Gluesticks Blog who shared a yummy Christmas cherry loaf recipe. Baked in the shape of a candy cane, no less!

Best of the weekend features- 24cottonwoodlane.com #christmasrecipes Christmas Candy Cane Shaped Cherry Loaf


Here are a few of my favorites from last week.

Christmas wood slice art from i should be mopping the floor.

Best of the weekend features- 24cottonwoodlane.com Wood slice art #christmasideas #diychristmas


Grinch hot chocolate from Cooking with Curls.

Best of the weekend features- 24cottonwoodlane.com Grinch hot chocolate #christmasdrinks


Modern rustic buffet from My Love 2 Create

Best of the weekend features- 24cottonwoodlane.com modern rustic buffet #farmhouse #rustic #diyfurniture


Little boys bedroom reveal from One Thousand Oaks

Best of the weekend features- 24cottonwoodlane.com Woodland boys bedroom reveal #boysbedroomideas #woodland



Please take some time to visit with others and share the comment love. Not a blogger? No problem…you’ll be inspired either way. Have a lovely weekend, y’all.