Rewind [Five] on Friday // All Things Halloween!

Friday, September 30, 2016

With October just one day away and our Countdown to Halloween link up starting on Wednesday, I thought I would share some of the fun things that we did last year to celebrate Halloween.


ONE. Pumpkin Patching.



TWO. Candy Corn Craft for Kids.



THREE. Decorations.






FIVE. Halloween!


***


Linking up with Beth from Our Pretty Little Girls, Meghan from The Adventure Starts Here, Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me, and Whitney from Work it Mommy.

Oh and a quick reminder... our Foodie for a Year link up is this Tuesday, October 4th!  This month's prompt is a slow cooker recipe - my FAVORITE way to cook! Don't forget to share a recipe with us on Tuesday!




Have a great weekend!





The Guys Behind the Blog -- A Big Announcement!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Well it looks like this week is full of announcements on my part! If you missed it, on Monday, I announced that I'm co-hosting a fun Countdown to Halloween link up during October and the first week of November. On Tuesday, I announced that I'm co-hosting a fun scarf exchange for the second year. And today... I have a big Guys Behind the Blog announcement!


As most of you know, Betsy from Heavens to Betsy and Laura from According to Laura Jean hosted a series on their blogs called The Guys Behind the Blog. I used to link up as often as possible ever since I found out about the series - I think I only missed one month in the past year and a half since I found out about it. I recently went back to Betsy and Laura's blogs to find out what the questions were for August only to find out that they weren't hosting anymore - July was their last month. I was SO bummed! I truly loved interviewing Seth each month and seeing what questions they came up with. So, I decided to email Betsy and Laura and see if they would mind if I continued on their series. Thankfully they said they wouldn't mind and would be happy to see the series continue on.



Our first official link up will be next month on October 27th and the questions for next month will be:

1 // What was your most favorite Halloween costume and why?

2 // Haunted Houses – love them or hate them?

3 // What is your favorite scary movie of all time?

4 // If you had to attend a mandatory dress up Halloween party this year what would you go as?

5 // Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?


November questions and November's date will be announced at the October link up, December's in November, and so on.

We hope to see you back here on October 27th to link up with us and share what your significant others have to say about Halloween! (Also, feel free to grab that first graphic to add to your posts if you'd like!)

***

A HUGE thank you to Evelina for these gorgeous graphics and an even BIGGER thank you to Betsy and Laura for letting Crystal, Evelina, Jamie, Jessica, and I continue on their series. It's an honor to be able to continue on what they created.

You can find the original series on Betsy's blog here and Laura's blog here.


[September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month] Noah's Bandage Project.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This post isn't something like what I usually share. I try to keep it light hearted around here, but this is just too important not to share.

A couple weeks ago, Brittany emailed me and a couple other blog friends to let us know about a project that her neighbor had put together. Here's a snippet of what she had to say:

... if you don't know, September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. Our next door neighbors lost their little boy, Noah, last June to pediatric cancer - but before he went to heaven, he sure left his mark on the world by starting something called Noah's Bandage Project (http://noahsbandageproject.com/). Quick background: at the young age of 6, while going through his own treatment, [Noah] quickly realized how un-cool it was to just have the boring skin colored bandages all over his body with all the pricks and pokes that comes with treatment for pediatric cancer. If he felt that way, he knew other kids did too. He started a drive to collect fun bandaids (that all our kids love) and distributed them to other kids at Children's Mercy Hospital in downtown Kansas City. What started as a small drive, turned into something much bigger. The KC Royal's got involved, the KC news, etc. While he did end up passing away in June 2015, his family and friends are working hard to ensure this amazing project lives on. 



And a little more information about Noah's Bandage Project from their website...

Noah’s Bandage Project has two goals – 1) to help provide cool and fun bandages to kids that need them, and 2) to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

As a cancer patient, Noah Wilson soon discovered that a bandage is a pretty significant thing. Often times, kids are allowed to hold onto a bandage during uncomfortable procedures, and when they are all done, they get to put the bandage on as a final sign of completion. Once the bandage is on, it means they are through – for the time being.

Also, Noah realized that hospital gowns all tend to look the same, and when the chemotherapy makes you lose you hair, even the kids start to look the same. But the bandages you are wearing, those are the cool things that you wear that lets you stand out. The plain old brown bandages get the job done, but they aren’t fun! Noah quickly recognized that the kids that are going through what he is going through, could really use all the fun they can get.

That is where Noah’s Bandage Project comes in. He thought, ‘Why don’t we ask if people would make donations so that hospitals could have more cool and fun bandages for more kids?’ So, driven by his new task, Noah created his first sign, got his first tub for collecting bandages, and got to work. Little did he know how big this idea would become.

Through Noah’s efforts, his bandage project has helped hospital administrators see the need and importance of increasing their supply of these cool and fun bandages for kids. He’s already helped to provide thousands of bandages to hospitals that were in short supply. These bandages have also been given to families to take home, free of charge! He also realized that these bandages could go to places other than hospitals as well, and has helped provide bandages to many organizations that support kids. With numerous TV, newspaper, magazine, and online interviews and mentions of Noah’s Bandage Project, his simple, yet pure hearted message of wanting to help kids like him have a little more fun in their lives has reached farther than any initially thought was possible. Noah also learned that when it comes to funding cancer research for kids, there is very little support. In fact, only 4% of our national cancer research budget goes to kids… 4%!! So, Noah wanted to help in this area too, and takes money that is donated to his project and turns it into grants for pediatric cancer research.

Would you like to help put a smile on a child’s face? Whether you know a child suffering from cancer or not, we would welcome you to make a donation today and join the mission to bring some smiles to some much deserving children.


***
Since September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share Noah's story here today in hopes that it would inspire some of you to donate bandaids (or even money) to the cause. Hey, if I can send a box of Finding Dory bandaids to put a smile on a kid with cancer's face, SIGN ME UP.

Once I read Brittany's email and read up on the project on their website, I knew I wanted to help. I mean what a simple thing I could do to bring a smile to a child's face. A child who is fighting for his/her life and most likely has such a positive outlook on the situation, in the face of something so horrific. So, I took Mason and we headed to Target. We picked a few of his favorites and a few of mine.






even adults like fun bandaids :)

mailing the bandaids!


It's just such an amazing organization to give back to. We all know how much our kids love bandaids, whether or not they even have an owie to cover, so think of how much a child that is undergoing cancer treatments will love it when they can have a Paw Patrol or Elsa bandaid instead of the boring 'ol tan one!

If you'd like to send bandaids to Noah's Bandage Project, here is the address where they collect them:

Noah's Bandage Project
119 N Parker Street Suite 110
Olathe, KS 66061


Because these are considered a medical supply - you aren't able to send the boxes directly to the hospital, so funneling them through Noah's Bandage Project is the way to go. And best part is... there is no cut off! They are always accepting bandaids so whenever you can, feel free to send them.

If you would rather just make an online donation to the project instead of purchasing and sending the bandaids - you can do that on their website as well. www.noahsbandageproject.com

Monetary donations are always welcome and just as appreciated as the bandaids. So far, they have raised $100K and that number continues to grow!

As if you need more reason to donate to this amazing cause, grab a box of tissues (literally a box, I used about 10 tissues myself) and watch this video. This little boy is seriously SUCH an incredible little boy and SUCH an inspiration.


You guys. This sweet, innocent, strong little boy was SIX years old. SIX. That is only TWO years older than Mason. TWO. I can't even imagine what these parents went through and what they're still going through. While we have our own struggles and challenges with Mason and his autism, I would do it 10 billion times over again for him to stay healthy. He is not sick. He just has some extra challenges. I am lucky enough to be able to spend my whole life with my son. These sweet parents are not. What they are doing to help other families with children with cancer is incredible and like I said above, if I can send a box of Finding Dory bandaids to a hospital to help put a smile on a child's face who is fighting for his/her life, SIGN ME UP. I will buy all the bandaids in the world.



Announcing... Our Second Annual Fall Scarf Exchange!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I love scarves. LOVE THEM! I think in another life I must have lived somewhere cold because I love scarves so much. In fact, I would totally wear them year round if I wasn't so afraid of passing out from heat stroke. But enough of this Summer talk... it's officially Fall now and in my book, Fall = scarf weather (regardless of what Mother Nature says!) and I'm super excited to announce that our scarf exchange is back for the second year! Scarves are TOTALLY my thing and when Whitney asked if I was interested in co-hosting a scarf exchange with her and Courtney last Fall, I was totally in. I'm so excited that the ladies loved it as much as I did and that we can host this exchange again this year!


The basic idea of the scarf exchange is simple - you buy a scarf for someone and someone buys a scarf for you! And then in a couple weeks, you join us back here and share what you got so we can all swoon over your new scarf and add them to our Christmas lists :)

Here's how it works :

Step 1: If you're interested in participating in the exchange (which we hope you are!), please send me an email with a subject line of "2016 Scarf Exchange". Comments below are always welcome but WILL NOT include you in the exchange. Please make sure you send me an email at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com if you want to participate. In your email, please include your name, your email, your blog url (if you have one), your Instagram name (if you have one), and any other social media links that you'd like to share with your partner. Exchange is open to US residents only - so sorry! 

Sign ups will close on Saturday, October 1st at 11:59pm Pacific Time so please make sure you email me by then.

Step 2: Partner matches will be made on October 2nd and emails notifying you of who your partner is will be sent that night or on October 3rd.

Step 3: Please make contact with your partner by Friday, October 7th. You guys can discuss things like what kind of scarves you typically like (infinity, regular, etc), any fabric preferences or allergies to fabrics, etc. You can even share a picture of some scarves you already have to give your partner an idea of what kinds of scarves you typically like. I would also encourage you to check out your partner's social media handles and blog to get an idea of their style as well. You will exchange mailing addresses at this point.

Step 4: If you haven't received any contact from your partner by Saturday, October 8th, please email me at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com and I will try to contact your partner or match you up with someone else.

Step 5: Mail your packages by Monday, October 17th. That gives you a little over a week or so to go shopping and get the package in the mail.

Step 6: Come back and link up your blog post with us on Thursday, November 3rd showing us your goodies! No blog? No problem! Share your new scarf with us on social media with #FallScarfExchange16


A little bit of additional information :

  • Please plan to spend about $20-25 BEFORE shipping on the scarf for your partner.
  • As mentioned above, the exchange is open to US residents only.
  • You do not need to be a blogger to participate. You can get to know your partner through email and social media.
  • Please make sure that you can commit to all the dates and the cost before you sign up. You don't want to leave your partner cold and scarf-less this Fall and Winter!
  • And please let me, Courtney, or Whitney know if you have any questions!

And in case you have any doubt about my love for scarves, I've rounded up a few of my favorites that I have on constant rotation throughout the Fall and Winter (and even Spring if I can get away with it).


My favorite place to shop for scarves is Nordstrom. You might think, whoa, that's out of my price range. But fear not! They have amazing, good quality, CUTE scarves for reasonable prices! A few of these I was gifted but the purple and the white ones I got there at the anniversary sale for less than $20! I also love Old Navy and Gap and some shops on Etsy have super cute ones too!

So, if you love scarves as much as Whitney, Courtney, and I, join us for our scarf exchange!





Announcing... Countdown to Halloween!

Monday, September 26, 2016



As of last week, it's officially FALL and I'm super excited to start celebrating. Mother Nature definitely isn't cooperating (it was 96 yesterday and is supposed to be the same today), but she can't put a damper on my fun. That being said, if we think about Fall and cooler weather, it will come, right? Ha! Just a fair warning, be prepared for pumpkin patch pictures in shorts and t-shirts!

Fall is definitely my favorite season and today I'm excited to announce that I'm co-hosting a fun Countdown to Halloween link up again this year with Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup, Jamie from Cocktails and Carseats, and Nina from The Joni Journey.



Starting with my birthday in September and ending with Christmas in December, the holiday season (yes, I did just refer to my birthday as a holiday) is upon us and I am so excited to celebrate! I always love Halloween and Fall but this year I am even more excited about it and can't wait to share all the fun we'll be having!

A few details about the link up:
The link up days will be every Wednesday in October as well as the first Wednesday in November.

October 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and November 2nd

The link ups will open on Wednesday and close a few days later so feel free to link up on Wednesday or anytime that week. No blog? No problem! Share in the fun by posting to Instagram using #cdtohalloween16

You can tell us all about the Halloween activities that you've been doing throughout the month or just tell us about what Fall fun you've been having. And it doesn't have to be a literal countdown (unless you want it to be!) - you can share what you've been up to all month or you can just share a couple different activities. Big or small, we'd love for you to share it all!

We'd be so happy if you'd link up with us and share your Fall fun every Wednesday in October. So start brainstorming and come back on October 5th and let us know what you've been up to! If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email or leave a comment below. 

Happy Halloween-ing!

Birthday Weekending.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Well. It's Thursday and I meant to get this post up yesterday. And I'm sure by now you're totally sick of me even talking about my birthday. But I wanted to do a little recap since I decided to make a looooooong weekend out of it and we got to do lots of fun things!

Technically my birthday was on Monday but I started celebrating on Friday. On Thursday when I was at work, last minute, I decided to take Friday off. First of all, I LOVE that I can do that. And second of all, it was much needed. I definitely didn't get done as much as I had hoped, but it was still nice to have a somewhat lazy day.

Friday was for...






- morning workouts
- manicures and pedicures
- Target, Ulta, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Home Depot
- writing a blog post for the Anaheim Moms Blog
- laundry
- eating free birthday bundt cake
- blogging - reading, commenting, responding to emails, and drafting posts
- getting my Young Living order and my birthday Stitch Fix
- celebrating my brother in law's birthday a bit early (he and I share a birthday on September 19th)

Saturday was for...















- waking up late
- Disneyland!
- Chick-fil-a

Sunday was for...





- massages
- donuts
- football
- playing with trains
- Costco
- more laundry
- celebrating my birthday with family at Woodranch

Monday was for...







- post office trips
- Starbucks
- work... and lots of it
- Mason's ABA therapy session
- birthday date night with Seth
- grocery shopping

Yep, you heard that right. I ended my birthday with a trip to the grocery store. Three cheers for being an adult and getting old! Ha. In a way it was a celebration because I didn't have anyone pulling extra items off the shelf and putting them in to my cart... though Seth did try to sneak a beer at one point ;)

Overall, it was a great weekend! Here's to 32!






PS don't forget to enter my birthday giveaway, if you haven't already! I mean, a Stitch Fix gift card, a Starbucks gift card, AND a Target gift card? Seriously. Can I win? Details in this post or enter the rafflecopter below!

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32 Things About Me on (the Day After) my 32nd Birthday + a Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For my 30th birthday, I shared 30 Things You May Not Know About Me on my 30th Birthday and then last year I answered 31 Questions on my 31st Birthday. This year I thought I'd go back to the list of things you may not know about me. If you've been following along for the past few years, some of these may be repeats, but if you're new, here's a little bit more about me!

1. I hate umbrellas. I find them extremely annoying and inconvenient. Good thing I live in a place where it almost never rains.

2. I'm obsessed with the Chick fil a sauce from Chick fil a.

3. I'm obsessive about expiration dates. If it's expired, it's gone (even by one day - nope, bye bye). If I think it's been in the fridge too long, it's gone. If I'm at all iffy on it, it's gone. Seth things I'm crazy. I think I'm cautious.

4. When I buy something really expensive (like a TV or when I bought my car), I have extreme buyers remorse, even though I know I love it.

5. I LOVE taking Mason to the post office and I love his love for the post office, but in general, it's not my favorite place.

6. I HATE shopping in real stores (vs online). It's not so much that I hate going to the stores, but with ebates and online sales and coupon codes, I feel like I always get screwed and end up paying too much when shopping in store. Plus I also like trying things on in the comfort of my own home, with all my other clothes to help me make outfits, which is probably why I love Stitch Fix so much also.

7. I'm very much an AC girl vs a windows down girl when driving in the car.

8. Speaking of, I have a sun roof (moon roof? the one that opens!) in my car that I never open. I open the shade so the sun comes in, but I don't think I've ever actually opened it to get fresh air since I got my car over 7 years ago.

9. I cry when I laugh too hard. It's kind of embarrassing.

10. I'm terrible at finishing drinks. I almost always leave a sip or two at the bottom of the drink, no matter if it's a hot drink or cold drink. I have no idea why.

11. I don't know how to parallel park.

12. I'm terrible at trying to park backwards in a parking spot or our car port.

13. I think I like the monster trucks from Blaze and the Monster Machines more than Mason and have an obsession with going to Target and seeing if they have any new ones that we don't have yet.

14. I am the most inconsistent blogger. In September, the first two weeks of the month, I think I blogged twice a week and in the last two weeks, I have a post planned for everyday. All I can say is... when I have content to share, I share! And when I don't, I don't!

15. I love scarves. Like LOVE. I wear one almost everyday. And not necessarily for warmth.

16. I love Starbucks. The obsession has gotten better but one time in college, my friend and I went 6 times in 5 days.

17. My top 5 most often used emojis are the eye roll, the crying laughing face, the heart eyes face, the thumbs up,  and the celebrate party horn thingy with confetti coming out. I don't use it THAT often but one of my other favorites is the "money flying away" (dollar bill with wings) emoji.

18. I hate talking on the phone. I'm not really sure why, but I much prefer texting (or emailing if I'm at work). Impersonal, I know.

19. Back in high school, I used to be obsessed with N*SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and all those other boy bands. I do have to admit that I still like Justin Timberlake -- I'm obsessed with that "Can't Stop the Feeling" song!

20. I love chocolate. If I were to suddenly become allergic to it... I would just deal with it. And still eat chocolate.

21. Two of my biggest fears in life are raw chicken and uncooked eggs. We cook them both a lot, but I literally obsess over the cleanliness in the kitchen if raw chicken is involved.

22. Some of my other fears are the garbage disposal (Irrational? Maybe. I know it won't turn on unless I flip the switch, but I have this fear that if I stick my hand/finger in there to get something, it will turn on by itself and chop my finger off. I refuse. And make Seth do it.), driving behind those huge car hauler trucks, and bugs - of all kinds, but mostly spiders.

23. I'm almost as obsessed with layering as I am scarves. I ALWAYS wear a tank top under my main shirt, no matter how hot it is outside.

24. Seth and I met at Barnes and Noble... when I was his boss and he was my employee...oops!

25. I hate nuts in my cookies or brownies or any baked good for that matter. I also hate root beer and will turn down a root beer float every single time I'm offered one. Coke float all the way!

26. In 8th grade, I first found out I needed glasses. I refused to wear them at first because I HATED them. I would rather squint at the board in school, looking so crazy doing so, rather than wear my glasses. I was stoked when my grandpa (my ophthalmologist) said I could wear contacts. And that's how it's been ever since. I have glasses but I never wear them. They are only in case of "omg my eye is going to fall out and I will go blind if I stick my contacts in my eyes" emergencies. Let's hope this day never comes.

27. I've never broken a bone. {knock on wood} And I'd like to keep it that way.  I've also never been stung by a bee. And I'd also like to keep it that way.

28. I love getting pedicures. I try to go about once a month because they literally last that long. I think my favorite part is the foot and leg massage!

29. I don't like Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I know, I know. I'm like the only one in the whole world but I don't like the spicy-ness about them. I do love a good Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks in the Fall though!

30. I fall asleep on the couch more often than I care to admit.

31. I can't cook. But Seth can and does. He can't bake. But I can and do.

32. I literally had this titled "31 things about me on my 31st birthday" for THE LONGEST TIME and then I realized... I'm turning 32. #fail. Guess 32 (or right before 32) is when your memory starts to go! Ha!

***

Oh and today, the fun doesn't stop there! I've teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers for a September birthday giveaway! Desiree from Macke Monologues had a birthday on September 16th, mine was yesterday, September 19th, and Courtney from A+ Life has a birthday coming up on September 26th! We'd like celebrate our birthdays with you buy giving away some fabulous prizes - a $20 Stitch Fix styling fee (essentially a $20 gift card to Stitch Fix), a $20 gift card to Starbucks, and a $20 gift card to Target! I seriously can't think of anything better to giveaway for my birthday because these are literally my favorite things!


Enter the rafflecopter below and help us celebrate our birthdays with you!

Giveaway is open to US residents only and runs from Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 12:00am PST to Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at midnight PST. All entries will be verified. Winner will be contacted by me.

Good luck!





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