Thursday, February 28, 2013

Little Letters

Dear Mother Nature, Really?  Did you have to dump another huge chunk of the white stuff.  Isn't it nearly Spring? BUT, thanks for stopping so the Disney on Ice field trip with the daycare isn't cancelled!
Dear kids, Mommy really missed you while she was away.  Thanks for welcoming me back with open arms, sticky fingers & marker on the TV stand.
Dear community, thank you for rallying together and keeping our elementary kids in THEIR school.  I couldn't be more proud!
Dear February, couldn't you find a way to squeeze in an extra day here & there?  I could really use the extra hours this month!
Dear Big Brother Canada, these are the best contestants you could get!? Eesh. I will not be watching.

So that's it for today! I spent last night off the grid, so to speak, & didn't have the chance to prepare anything else! I'm off to see Disney on Ice with Ruby & her daycare group today, and right now we're arguing about what she should be wearing. Are all 5 year olds this fashionably argumentative? 

I'm hosting a super fun blog hop tomorrow, so be sure to stop by & link up!

Today I'm linking up with The Freckled Fox!

Don't forget to enter my $50 Shabby Apple Giveaway!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This week marks a first for me.  It's the first time I've had to leave on a ''business trip.''
There is a new program being implemented & some changes being made in my department.  I had to leave for 2 days of training... out of town.  3 hours away.

I have to admit... sitting alone in a hotel room, far from my family is a little depressing.  I miss the "life" I'm used to... noisy.  It's so quite here!  And the bed seems so empty.

But it's not all bad... check out my digs:

My co-workers and I were able to relax after a day of training with good food a little shopping... so overall, Mama was pretty happy for the experience!

I'm on my way home today and can't wait to see the kids... talking to them on the phone isn't the same as hugging & kissing them goodnight!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

$50 Shabby Apple Giveaway

With Spring right around the corner, I am craving literally starving for some bright, retro & unique prints to fill my closet.  The retro A-line skirt above is a perfect example!

If bold blouses, sailor suit dresses or retro pumps are your thing... then you're in luck.
Shabby Apple is helping one lucky Lena B reader add a little oomph & va-va-voom to their Spring wardrobe by offering you the chance to win a $50 gift card!!

They have everything to make your summer wardrobe sizzle from gorgeous maxi dresses, striped skirts & seersucker jackets to the most adorable flats & wedges!

For all our expectant mommies out there, they also carry a line of maternity dresses that are the.bomb.

If you can't wait to see if you're the winner, you can use code
lenabactually10off for 10% off your order, within the month!  They have tons of ongoing promotions, so take advantage of it!

We're kickin' it old school and entries will be counted as comments here on the blog!
Remember to leave separate comments for each entry!!
Please be sure to add your email so you can be contacted!

Mandatory entries:

1.''Like'' Shabby Apple on Facebook 

2. Leave a comment here with your favorite item from Shabby Apple

Extra entries:
3. Follow Lena B, Actually via GFC or Bloglovin (let me know how)

4.  Blog, Tweet, Instagram or Facebook about this giveaway & leave a link to your post

Feel free to use
"@lenabactually is hosting a @shabbyapple giveaway and some lucky lady will win a $50 gift card! Hope it's me!"
and hastag

Winner must have a US mailing address.
Giveaway will end at midnight, Tuesday, March 5th

Good luck!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Photo An Hour :: Typical Sunday ::

I've been wanting to do this post for such a long time!
I love getting a sneak peek into what REALLY goes on in someone's life... and these are some of my favorite to come across on the web.

I finally decided to do it.  I had my camera on hand to take a photo an hour for entire a day.
We had no real plans, so I thought it would best reflect what a typical Sunday would be like... apparently, pretty boring! Ha!  But, this is MY life... and here is YOUR sneak peek!

The morning started off with me rolling over to find my baby girl curled up next to me...
a bowl of honey nut cheerios for breakfast... and then an hour or so of quiet web surfing & blog reading!  I had a burst of energy and decided to go through my closet.  I pulled out 20 items or so that I will either sell or give away (you can shop my closet via Instagram @lenabclosetsale... check it out!).  Lunch was grilled cheese & some veggies!

By 1:00 p.m., Memphis was still in his pajamas (we all were!) and flopped over the couch playing on his tablet.  Typical.  By 2:00, I finally decided to get dressed since I had to run a few errands...
Groceries.  Then the hubby made a delicious supper!!
After supper is bathtime, Sunday night means hair gets washed, nails are trimmed... all those things the kids hate to do.  'sigh'
I found an awesome grey desk on a online yard sale site & it was delivered. I love it!!
I finally got my bags packed... I'm off on a 2 night business trip and managed to fit everything I'd need for the next 3 days in 2 bags!

That was my day.  What did you do this weekend?

I love helping out new blogs & shops... right now, I'm hosting a little giveaway on my FB page that I'd love for you to check out here!! A big thank you to Laila's Charming Pieces for hosting it... check out her page too!!

linking up for miscellany monday

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fun in the Tub: Glow Sticks!

Pretty sure I've shared this on the blog before, but it's one of my favorite FUN & cheap things to do with the kids!  THEY LOVE IT!

Had a long day?  Kids driving you crazy?  Draw a bath, add a few glow sticks & voila!  Their moods are instantly uplifted & it's a fantastic way to end the day!
Adult supervision is required, of course... never leave the children unattended in the tub... duh! 

Tuesday's Tips, Crafts, & DIY

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Friday, February 22, 2013

What to do in Chicago! A guest post by Betsy!

Happy Friday, friends!
I am so excited to introduce a new bloggy buddy of mine.

Betsy is talking all about Chicago in the Spring!
*Ah, Spring, where are you & why are you taking so long to get here!?*

I've always wanted to visit the windy city, have you ever been!?

Betsy is also giving away a coin wallet & some awesome ad space as part of my February Group Giveaway, so be sure that check that out!!


Hello! I'm Betsy from over at Musings of a Museum Fanatic.  First I want to say thanks to Lena for letting me hang out on her sidebar this month and for letting me guest post today!

I'm from the Chicago area and supposedly we're getting a bunch of snow tonight that's coming from the west.  All I can think of is that I'm soooo incredibly ready for spring it's ridiculous.  Especially since the weather keeps getting up into the 50's ... I mean come on weather pick a season already!  So since I was ready for spring in January here are some of the things I'm looking forward to doing/seeing in Chicago this spring. 

1.  Taking in a baseball game.
I haven't been to a game in a number of years and it would be so much fun.  I'll admit baseball isn't my favorite sport (I find it kinda slow at times) but any game that you can be outside enjoying a cold one with friends on a beautiful day is ok in my book.  Maybe I'll even get some friends together and we'll go to one of the many (and very controversial!) rooftop places overlooking the field.

2.  Walking by the lake
When I'm able to I love walking down the Chicago Lakefront Trail.  You get awesome views all along it of both the city and the lake.  It is most definitely a spring thing to do since in the winter waves can be crazy and not at safe.  

3.  Beer Gardens
So I was taking a poll with my friends while writing this for some of our favorite things and realized that we are all lushes!  This was definitely one of our favorites.  Beer gardens in the summer are great, you can just chill, no dress code and if you head to ones like the Landshark Beer Garden at Navy Pier there are bands!  While I do love going out to bars and dancing during bands sometimes it's just oh so nice to sit and enjoy it.  No need for sky high heels here!

4.  Outdoor seating
When visiting Chicago there are so many great places you can find with outdoor seating.  It's so much fun to people watch!  There is also no shortage of fun exciting places to try with fabulous seating.  For something where you can't get any closer to the lake without being on top of the water try Friendship on the Lake, this place looks awesome and I plan on trying it this summer.  Looking for fabulous seafood & steak with a great view check out Fultons on the River.  Heading up to the Lincoln Park area check out Galway Arms they have awesome fish & chips!

5. Lincoln Park Zoo
Now what kind of museum gal would I be if I didn't include at least one : )  I'm super excited for spring to come so I can visit the zoo!  It's actually been a while since I've visited so I'm definitely due for one.  Best thing about the Lincoln Park Zoo ... it's free!  It's right in the middle of the park and you can walk in and out as you please, so when you go visit the zoo be sure to pop out for lunch at the Galway Arms which is just a few blocks away!

For now I'll just have to tide myself over for spring by imaging and planning some of my favorite Chicago things!  Hope you stop by and say hi, I love meeting new people!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Currently :: couch potato edition ::

''THE FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States. What would happen if these killers had a way of communicating and connecting with each other? What if they were able to work together and form alliances as they left a trail of blood across the country? What if one brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer was able to bring them all together and activate a cult of believers following his every command?'' 

  Soooo addicted to this show, you guys! I'm a huge Kevin Bacon fan, and I kind of have a thing for serial killers/ crime dramas so when I heard about The Following, I was very excited!!  So far, the plot is interesting and things are moving at a fast pace.  It's definitely enough to keep me coming back week after week!  The endings always leave you wanting more.  The cast is great... how creepy is Emma!?  Sorry... no spoilers here, promise!!

"The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive."

 I got hooked on this show last year.  I picked up the first season on DVD because I had heard it was pretty cool.  I have to admit the first season {which is only 6 episodes} took me a while to get into.  1 or 2 episodes into the 2nd season, though, and I was in it for the long haul!  I've been watching the 3rd season on my laptop since we don't get AMC... whomp whomp
Anyone else watching!? What's with The Governor...?  Creep!!
Funny thing is, most people I know don't want to watch it because they're not into zombies... please help me change their minds!! It's about SO MUCH MORE THAN ZOMBIES!  The human relationships are what this show is really about!!

"This is American Idol - the hit FOX musical reality series.Four judges: Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban& Randy Jackson (II), along with host Ryan Seacrest search the US for the next American Idol, a pop star that truly shines above all the rest. Past judges included Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, & Steven Tyler. With help from the viewers, they will decide from thousands of participants who will walk away with a record deal and the fame and fortune that is sure to come along with it. It has since emerged as hit series in its own right, propelling FOX to the top of television rankings, inspiring various merchandise, and launching the careers of many hit-stars."

Every.single.season I swear I won't watch American Idol anymore... and every.single.season I get sucked back in.  There is always 1 or 2 contestants that keep me coming back week after week.  We're in the midst of the "sudden death" round right now, and the top 40 will be whittled down to 20 by the end of next week.  10 boys, 10 girls.  I'm thinking this is a year for the girls... they're sort of rockin' it... agree?  Have you watched Idol every year?  Who was your favorite Idol? Do you have a favorite this season?

And last, but certainly not least...

"Jess - a bubbly offbeat teacher who is known to burst into spontaneous song - catches her boyfriend with another woman, and needs a new place to live. She moves into a loft with three single guys she's never met before. Nick is a jaded law-school dropout, who usually just wants to be left alone. Schmidt is an flashy businessman, who believes he is a gift to women. Winston is a former athlete who doesn't know what to do, but really needs to win whatever it is. Can this dysfunctional group handle the "adorkable" new girl"

This is the new FRIENDS, people.
Seriously the funniest thing on TV right now.  The cast is great!  My week doesn't feel complete anymore without a little Schmidt thrown in!
Favorite new show to quote from... everything is pure gold.

So, there you have it! My 4 current "must sees."
What are you watching lately?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Style Inspiration :: Floral ::

Dress: Kintage // Shoes: ModCloth
I look for any excuse to pretend it's not still winter here...
Cold & snowy... I'm so OVER IT!

The best way to beat the winter blues is to grab the brightest dress from the closet!  Yesterday, I went straight for this Kintage dress!  I'm a sucker for a floral print, regardless of the season!
I paired this one with light pink tights & the cutest champagne-colored velvet pumps!

How do you do floral in winter?  Do you like the bright, obnoxious prints like me... or do you go for something for subtle!?

Wardrobe Wednesday, Rolled Up Pretty, Copy Cat Closet

don't forget about the $60 ModCloth Gift Card Giveaway!!

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