Friday Wrap: Feeling Thankful

This has been a whirlwind of a week – in a positive sense. I have been overwhelmed by the support of so many friends and readers of the blog as I branched out in to completely new territory. Let’s dive right into the deets of the week, shall we?

Blogged while sipping on bordeaux. It was a long day.

{ONE} My first official giveaway!

Qostr giveaway

I’m teaming up with my friends at Qostr to give away one free set of designer coasters this week!

This is my first foray into giveaways, so I know it’s not perfect. In fact, I would love and appreciate any feedback on what you would change, add or keep. I’m using Rafflecopter as the platform for entering.

Anyway, my goal is to introduce you to new companies that have fun and beautiful products I think you’ll love. These coasters are one of them.

The giveaway is still on, so be sure to enter by 7pm Central tonight to get your name in the game!

{TWO} The Neat Nook Facebook page

The Neat Nook Facebook page

I went round and round over whether or not I should create a dedicated page for The Neat Nook. I was leaning toward a “yes, just do it already.” But I hadn’t set the time aside. I’m sure it was self doubt wondering who would even care, so why put time into it? That left me posting updates on my personal page from time-to-time hoping my friends would amuse me with all the Neat Nook talk. And they did. Because they’re sweet like that.

When it came time to launch the giveaway, though, I discovered I needed a fan page to promote things on Facebook. There was my answer and motivation. A fan page it is!

It launched on Tuesday, and I already have such wonderful feedback and many “likes”. It’s so encouraging, and I appreciate each and every one of you who took time to stop by and give me a shout out. I take it all to heart!

{THREE} The first blogiversary – coming soon!

first party

I swear, I blinked and whole year flew by. I’ll be celebrating my first blogiversary on October 20th. This endeavor has proven that I can stay dedicated to a hobby longer than 10 days, which is my usual attention/interest span for things. I really do love this. And I hope to keep sharing good and thoughtful ideas with you all. You deserve it. Especially if you’re reading every word of this post. You get bonus points for perseverance.

As for the celebration…I’m still planning a virtual party of sorts. All ideas are welcome. If you’re a fellow blogger, what has worked for you?! I do know part of it will include a special planner giveaway. Watch for more details next week!

{FOUR} Last soccer game of the season


Life beyond the blog continues, and I can’t believe my two little bears are already finished with their fall soccer season. Weren’t we just in swim suits – like a few weeks ago? It feels that way, anyway. Thank goodness Evan still has a few weeks left, but the clock is definitely ticking.

Oh, and I have to share that Brandon received 100% thumbs up on his coaching skills – as voted by his players. He pretty much rocked it.

I know there are soccer mom jokes out there, but I wear the title with upmost pride. I think the sport is awesome for kids – and I love watching them play.

{FIVE} Rosemary gifts


In the midst of total busyness this week, I was honored to have had a personal conversation with a new friend. As we both paused from our work, she shared with me that this week marks the eighth anniversary of her brother’s death.

She went on to tell me a little about his life and the impact he had on others. What struck me was the way she lovingly spoke about him and held back her tears. He’s still very much alive in her heart and spirit. It was beautiful to see, and it provided some much needed perspective. We never know when our time will come.

I wanted to comfort her in some way, so I did the only thing I knew and went to my garden. My mom taught me that rosemary is a symbol of love and remembrance, so I snipped a few sprigs and added some white coneflowers to the mix. After I delivered the bundle to my friend, I realized she was actually the one who had given me a gift this week. She opened up her heart and reminded me to “never give up” on anything in life – because it’s painfully too short.

Here’s hoping you make the most of today. It’s a beautiful Friday, after all.

Love and hugs,




My First Official Giveaway! 10/14/15 – 10/16/15

Friends, I have exciting news to share!

An extremely talented designer and friend of mine is part of a company called Qostr, and we’re partnering for my official first giveaway. This is before my planner giveaway, which is still happening in honor of my first blogiversary. Stay posted for that announcement in the coming weeks.

So what’s Qostr?

Qostr (pronounced “coaster”) is your go-to source for custom and designer coasters. It’s a product of Matchstick Studio, and they’re the perfect way to personalize any party – or even day at the office. Our coffee mugs deserve a fun place to hang, too. Right?

Imagine the kind of coaster you’d find in a bar or restaurant, but printed on FSC-Certified eco-friendly paper. That’s what we’re talking about here.


I love their Instagram coasters. You can turn all of your exotic vacay pics into party props.


So what’s the fun giveaway, anyway?!

My friend has graciously offered to giveaway one free set of coasters (shipping included) this week! You have from now until this Friday at 7pm Central to enter. Details below.

In addition, anyone can order from the Qoster site right now and get 20% off using The Neat Nook promo code of OCTOBER20 at checkout. This code will be good through October 31st.


Ta-da! These are the beautiful ampersand gold coasters we will be giving away this week. There are 8 coasters to a set.

(For anyone who saw my wish list for home office updates, don’t you think I need to get some of these for myself?!)

Now for exciting news, part two! The fun doesn’t end with one giveaway.

Qostr will be offering a custom design exclusively for The Neat Nook each month. I will be hosting a giveaway of these awesome coasters, and sharing a new monthly 20% promo code to all of my loyal readers and friends.

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you something special like this each month. I promise to keep looking for other fun new partners, too, so you can learn about new companies – and get some great products along the way.

Be sure to enter below for this month’s giveaway! Remember, you have from now until Friday at 7pm Central to enter to win. The best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday Wrap

It’s Fri-yay! I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and digging in the dirt this weekend. The garden needs some TLC – only because I’ve been up to fun activities like pumpkin hunting and fall food eating. (I know my priorities.) Here are my five faves of the week.

Blogged while listening to my puppy, Leo, snore during his morning nap. #puppylove

{ONE} Mimi’s Punkin’ Patch

The kids and I headed up to my mom’s abundant garden last weekend. We love our visits to Mimi and Pappa’s house. There’s aways a soft hug and fresh batch of gluten-free peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies waiting for us. This time there were also pumpkins!! The kids (and two of their sweet cousins) had a chance to pick their special treat right from the vine. It was a great experience, and the weather was darn-near perfect.

mimis pumpkin patch

{TWO} Pumpkin Dessert Squares

Speaking of pumpkins, I read on Skimm there will be a shortage this year. Uh, oh. Apparently there was too much rain in places like Illinois, which produces 90% of US-grown pumpkins. Who knew?! It’s compounded by the fact that there’s such a pumpkin craze these days. I mean, there’s this and this.

All of that to say, we need to stock up on all things pumpkin while we can, friends. My problem will be trying to portion it out until Thanksgiving, especially when recipes like the Pumpkin Dessert Square enter my life. This originated from William Sonoma, which is your go-to place for Muirhead Pumpkin Pecan Butter. It’s de-vine!

{THREE} Not Your Father’s Root Beer Float

A friend of mine from Kansas City recently introduced me to Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Have you tried this stuff? If you like root beer, you will love this spirited version. It’s pretty sweet on its own, but I couldn’t resist adding a few dollops of vanilla ice cream to make one heck of an adult-beverage dessert. Cheers to that decision!

not your fathers root beer

{FOUR} Pickup Groceries

I must be going through a “growth spurt,” as I say to my kids. I’ve been all about food this week. Good thing I found THIS glorious service.

Walmart started offering pickup groceries at our Neighborhood Market a few weeks ago, and I have already used it so many times the manager knows my name. Lol! I can honestly say this has made the chore of grocery shopping actually enjoyable. They don’t even pay me to say this.

The only downside I’ve discovered so far is ordering the wrong size of things. You have to look carefully at the description online or you could end up with a jar of tomato sauce the size of your head. This actually happened. It’s all good, though. Spaghetti, anyone?

Walmart Pickup

{FIVE} 2016 Planner

Earlier in the week I was contemplating my next planner. I had some great responses on Facebook and even had two more suggestions: the Mom Agenda and Erin Condren’s LifePlanner. As I researched these, I discovered Erin is a Delta Gamma, which is near and dear to my heart. I might have to go that route just for that reason.

I’d love to hear from you, though! What planner have you found to be the biggest life saver? Once I make a decision, I will host a special giveaway for A FREE 2016 PLANNER to celebrate my first blogiversary. (See, it pays to read this whole post!!) The official date will be 10/20, so more and exciting details to come.

That’s a wrap for now. Let’s go have a weekend worth remembering!