Della Devoted!: December 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cleaning Up Christmas

Christmas is officially over and I always hate to see it go. Now it's time to start cleaning up the dreaded mess that Christmas left behind. It's always a major task to start the clean-up but add a toddler to the mix, then you have a recipe for a disaster that may call for back-up help. I always get overwhelmed with so much that needs to be done after Christmas has passed. I often relax a few days before tackling the mess. By now, I'm sure most of you have made a dent in your Christmas clean-up but if not here are some great tips that I find helpful. 



1) Start with a Plan - Don't tackle everything at once. This will wear you out and not much will get accomplished. Decide what is most important on your list to clean-up first.

2) Boxes- Dispose of all the boxes. Boxes take up twice the room and just makes the place look more piled up.


3) Totes- Purchase a tote or totes I should say. These are perfect for toy and ornament storage. They are perfect for any storage really.


4) Toys- Go through all of the toys that do not get played with. Donate or sell them. This makes room for the new toys that Santa brought and declutters the house.


5) Clothes- Go through all of the clothes that don't fit or get worn and donate or sell them. Closets can only hold so much! Make room for new clothes. Also make an effort to hang up all new clothes. Don't let them pile up around the home.


6) Organize- I can't stress this one enough. Organize the toys. I put toys in totes and bins throughout the house in different rooms instead of piling them up in one place. This way no matter what room Raylan is in, he will have something to play with and toys don't have to be dragged throughout the house. Organize your bake and cookware. Organize jewelry, clothes, books etc. Don't leave it laying around. I like to call mine an organized mess. 

My plan for Cleaning Up Christmas was spread out over a few days. I refused to tackle it all in one day. I was able to relax and still have a tidy home. Cleaning up after Christmas does not have to be stressful and tiresome. 

So if you're still cleaning up or haven't started yet, please take my advice for a more easier way to organize your home with less effort. 










Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas has come and gone once again. I always hate to see Christmas go. I just love Christmas. I love the peacefulness and beauty of it. I wish everyone would have Christmas hearts all year round. People generally seem to be more caring and nice during Christmas. If they were always like that, the world would be a much better place. 
We had a wonderful Christmas! We are truly blessed. Isn't God good! I love family gatherings and getting to spend quality time with one another. That needs to happen more often than just the holidays. I told my husband that I wouldn't care if I ever got another gift because seeing Raylan's eyes and face light up was better than any present I could ever receive. He had so much fun! I truly enjoyed every single moment with him. He is to the age that he can really have fun at Christmas and that's just what he did. Here are my favorite Christmas photos...

I love love love this photo of us. We were all looking and smiling. It's just priceless!

My dad, my brother, Raylan and I 


Justin's parents with all of the grandkids


Raylan with his cousins 


I absolutely adore this one with Justin and Raylan!


And this one. I took a photo of Raylan by Justin's truck and framed it. I wrapped it from Raylan to give to his daddy. Justin loved it!


I also framed a photo of Justin's race car with some of his best time slips also in the frame. The car enthusiast in him really loved this one. I love giving thoughtful gifts that come from the heart. 


Raylan was super excited about his bike that his Popaw got him. He loves it!


And he loves his car that his Meemaw got him. 

My dad giving him his stocking 

Raylan and my brother trying to sing karaoke 


These are the rest of my favorites of Raylan...





This year we didn't spend as much on Christmas. I decided to make some homemade gifts and baked some treats for friends. It was less stressful and more heartfelt. I decided to focus more on spending quality time with one another. These precious moments with family and friends were just so wonderful. Raylan truly made Christmas so exciting. The best gifts that I have ever received was Salvation and Raylan. What more could a person ask for? I am a blessed woman! My cup runneth over!

I would love to see your Christmas photos! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It's not about the presents but everyone's presence. God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Adventures with Santa

This year has been so much fun with Raylan during Christmas. He loves looking at the Christmas tree and all of the lights and decorations. He is to the age that he can really enjoy things and also understand things. Last year he really didn't understand what or who Santa Claus was, however this year it's a different story. He has seen Santa three different times. The reason being is let's just say the first time didn't go so well. Here is proof...


He was terrified of Santa and kept reaching for me and trying to run away. Poor Baby :(  In his defense, I would probably be afraid of a big bearded man too that I didn't know.


He finally calmed down long enough to get a decent picture, but sitting on Santa's lap wasn't happening. He also had to have his dinosaur with him too. This was as close to Santa as he was getting.


So after that horrifying experience with Santa, I debated on whether or not I should take him again to see him.  I was afraid that he would be scared again, but I also wanted him to get used to Santa. The second attempt went much more smoothly.


This time it was all smooth sailing but no smiles. He still didn't seem to be thrilled by this big burly man.

We hit a rough patch again for just a split second on the third visit with Santa. 



He was trying to wiggle his way loose again and take off until Santa gave him his stocking...


but once he got a better look at his stocking, his mood instantly improved. Great Idea Santa!

I'm glad I took Raylan to see Santa on three different occasions. I don't want him to stay afraid of Santa like a lot of children are. I want him to have good memorable experiences. I think he is finally coming around to liking Santa. He points and says Ho Ho whenever he sees him on TV or in a picture. 

I thought these photos were too cute not to share. They are such funny moments that make for great stories and memories. My friend Tif @ Bright on a Budget is also sharing her funny Santa Moments so please visit her blog as well. Her photos are hilarious!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a very Merry Christmas! God Bless You!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Perfect Christmas Earrings from Brandzaffair

*The earrings in this post was provided to me by Brandzaffair in exchange for  sharing my shopping experience with their website.  However,  ALL opinions are my own.

It's the week of Christmas and I couldn't be more excited! I just love Christmas and everything about it, especially celebrating Jesus who is the Reason for the Season. This also means finishing that last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping the gifts and preparing all of the food. Not to mention, planning what you will wear for the big day. 

  I love choosing my outfit for the most important day of the year besides Easter and the accessories that I will wear with it. This year I have decided to wear these beautiful Kendra Scott "Lee" Drop Earrings in Rose Gold that I ordered from Nordstrom via Brandzaffair. Brandzaffair features a variety of different brands and stores on their website. It aims to make online shopping a more social experience as you can use screensharing, video, and chat to shop each brand or store, like Nordstrom, from where my earrings were ordered. For each brand/store, they also feature Brandzaffair Bargains, showcasing what's on sale. You can click on a certain brand name and see all of the items that are on sale throughout the internet without having to open up separate searches. It lets you find the best deal which is always an advantage. A good deal always makes me HAPPY!  It makes your online shopping experience so much more enjoyable and definitely much easier. 




To see how I styled The Leopard  look with these earrings click here 


Click here to see the second look that I paired with these earrings

These earrings are by far my favorite earrings. I love the fact that they are small and can be worn with almost anything.  The Rose Gold is the perfect color to be worn all year around especially during Fall and Christmas. Gold is the IT color for Christmas this year. These earrings are just gorgeous. I will most likely be wearing Red for Christmas and these earrings will add the perfect touch to my outfit. If you are still searching for that perfect gift for that special someone in your life, then these earrings are just perfect for Christmas. I can assure you that no woman will be disappointed with these.

My experience with Brandzaffair was wonderful. It made my shopping for the perfect pair of earrings so much easier. When I placed my order, these earrings came in less than a week. Brandzaffair made my shopping experience quick and convenient, which makes me one happy lady. I was able to find the earrings that I had longed to find in just one quick search. 

What accessories are you planning to wear on Christmas? Any certain color theme that you are going with?

Check back soon to see How I Styled these Rose Gold Earrings for Christmas! Merry Christmas Everyone!


Disclosure: Products were provided via Brandzaffair.com. The opinions  are those of mine and not indicative of the opinions or positions of Brandzaffair.





Friday, December 18, 2015

H54F- Favorite Christmas Traditions

Hello everyone! Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday linkup hosted by Tif@ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of Tea, Caitlin  @ Coffee With Caitlin and myself. We're glad you're here!



This week's featured blogger is Tabitha from A Hundred Tiny Wishes.  Tabitha is a Lifestyle and Beauty Blogger. She is a wife and a mom. Tabitha also is an Etsy shop owner. She recently shared a post of her Favorite Christmas Cookies and Candy that looked amazing. Now I'm hungry lol! You will definitely want to check that post out if you are looking for some dessert inspiration for Christmas.  Please stop by and say hello to Tabitha. 

This week on High Five For Friday I am sharing with you my top 5 Favorite Christmas Traditions. I would love to hear what yours are:


1) Going to see Christmas lights- We go look at lights every year but this year was so much fun with Raylan. He loved them and kept saying Awe!


This year we decided to take our family Christmas photo in the park as we were looking at the lights 

2) Seeing a Christmas play- I try to watch one every year. Raylan was too wild to be in one this year. He wouldn't sit still long enough to participate lol. Last year he was a donkey. 

3) Making Cookies for Santa- This was one my mom always did for my brother and I. Even when we got older she still made us cookies every Christmas Eve. This is one I want to continue on with Raylan. We did a mini photo session here at home. I can't believe I caught the milk in action as he was pouring it out. This photo was too cute not to share. I love capturing these little moments. 


4) Watching Christmas movies- I love love love Christmas movies. My absolute favorite two are Frosty the Snowman and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Justin and I always watch National Lampoons together. 

5) Last but certainly not least is baking- Growing up, my parents and I always baked several goodies for Christmas. One of my favorite memories is when my mom and dad got me an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. That really set my love for baking in motion. To this day, I still help my dad bake for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. It's a lot of work but I truly enjoy it and making wonderful memories. 

Thanks for linking up! High Five For Friday will be back the week after Christmas. We will be taking Christmas off. Have a very Merry Christmas! I can't wait to hear all about everyone's Christmas! Don't forget to keep Christ is Christmas for  Jesus is the Reason for the Season. God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Remarkable Woman

Today is the day that I dread all year round. It's the anniversary of my mom's passing. Today makes ten long years since she has been gone. On this day ten years ago, I not only lost my mom but also a best friend.

My mom was truly A Remarkable Woman. She was such a godly woman. I considered her to be a Proverbs 31 Woman. She  had the strongest faith of anyone that I know. She faced a tremendous amount of trials and tribulations with open heart surgery and cancer, yet she still kept the faith.


My Mom taught me all about Jesus at an early age. When I was only one week old, she had me in church. Even as I got older and tried to come up with excuses as to why I didn't want to go to church, she still made me go. I'm so thankful that she did. She was so dedicated to God and going to church. No matter how sick she was, she hardly ever missed church.

My Mom instilled in me so many morals and values that I still hold onto. She taught me to love and be kind to everyone. She also taught me to not pass judgement for that is only God's place to do that. She taught me to always lend a helping hand and to help those who are in need when I can.



She had such a beautiful soul. She was a friend to everyone. Like I said, she was my best friend. She passed on her love of drinking coffee, baking and reading down to me. She especially loved to read the Word of God. She was everything and more that a mom should be.


So today I will have a cup of coffee and try to think of only the good times that we shared. I will remember all of our wonderful memories. I will try not to dwell on how Ovarian Cancer took her away from my dad, my brother and I. For I know that she is in a much better place than we are. She is healthy and is sick no more. She is rejoicing with the angels and I know I will see her again. I just only wish she could have seen her grandson. She would have loved Raylan. However, she lives on through Raylan. I see so much of her in him.  I was truly blessed to have my mom and now I truly believe that God and my mom blessed me with Raylan. I was blessed to have a remarkable woman for a mother. She was a Godly woman that I can only hope to be like one day.



In memory and In honor of my mom, I try to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer. It is such a gruesome disease that no one should ever have to endure. Please help me spread awareness too. Let's make Cancer a thing of the past. Cancer needs to be no more. If you would like to help raise awareness please click here. I promise you won't regret it! I even raise awareness on my Christmas tree!



Thanks for taking the time to read about my mom. If you would like to learn more about her and the battle that she fought, you can do so here


Before you leave I want to share with you my mom's favorite Bible Verse. We even put it on her headstone. She quoted this verse more than any other verse. 

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:8



This verse is a good reminder to not be sad, but to rejoice for she is with the Lord!

Thanks for stopping by! God Bless You!



Monday, December 14, 2015

Gingerbread Dip

Can you believe Christmas is almost here? I sure can't! I feel like this Christmas Season has been rushed since Thanksgiving was so late in the month. It's time to get those last few Christmas Parties in order or time to fix your favorite Christmas desserts. If you are looking for a delicious yet easy dessert for an event or just for yourself, then I have the perfect treat for you. Just about everyone loves Gingerbread, especially during Christmas. However, I have a super easy way to enjoy your gingerbread. I present to you....Gingerbread Dip!


What you will need:


1- 8oz container of Cool Whip
1-3.4 oz package of Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
Graham Crackers or Vanilla Wafers

Directions:

First, Mix Pudding according to package directions.
Next, Add in Cool Whip and mix until Cool Whip Thickens
Then, Add 2 tsps of Ginger
Last, Add 1 tsp Cinnamon
Mix Well until the dip is somewhat thick.
Refrigerate for an hour or so until the dip isn't runny and is good and thick.

Don't forget to add your favorite Christmas Sprinkles! 

Serve with Honey Graham Crackers or Vanilla Wafers

Enjoy!




I'll be the first to admit that I'm not usually a Dip person, but this dip changes that. It is so delicious and tastes just like Gingerbread. It's a nice way to enjoy your gingerbread without having to fire up the oven. It's perfect for any event or even for the Christmas Family Dinner. It's so simple to make and it's sure to be a crowd pleaser. It's my new favorite way to eat Gingerbread!

Friday, December 11, 2015

High Five For Friday - Christmas Parties and Santa

Hello everyone! Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday linkup hosted by Tif@ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of Tea, Caitlin  @ Coffee With Caitlin and myself. We're glad you're here!



This week's featured blogger is Bri @ School in Our Slippers. Bri is a wife and a mom of 3 who home schools her children.  She blogs about her life and she posts some delicious recipes. I truly enjoy reading her posts and learning more about her and her family. Please stop by and say hello to Bri.

This week has been a great week. Christmas festivities were kicked in high gear over the weekend and they are still continuing. I love the Christmas Season. Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

1) Last Friday We had our Ladies Christmas Party at Church and of course Raylan tagged a long too. He's my little sidekick. It's a nice little annual event where the women get together, have dinner and exchange gifts. I truly enjoy attending this every year.



I love Raylan's shirt that I found @shoptaylortots Jesus is the Reason for the Season

2) On Saturday, Our Relay for Life team hosted a Photos, Crafts, Cookies and Face Painting Event with Santa. Raylan had so much fun all except for the Santa Part.  He did enjoy the crafts and face painting though. We made some special memories here and the event was a success.

 We were making an ornament here. Raylan really enjoyed this part


This was the ornament. He painted and did the glitter all by himself. He did so well. I'm proud of my baby boy.


However, he did not enjoy this part. He had to have his dinosaur too. He didn't like Santa at all and didn't want anything to do with Santa lol. 

3) Did you get the chance to read Monday's blog post titled Christmas Cards for Blaine? If you haven't read it, please do. It's about my brother. He truly enjoys receiving cards in the mail. It makes his day. You can read his story here

4) I put together a list of the Top 11 Women's Gifts for Under $25. You must check it out. These gifts are sure to please any woman. There is something for all ages. You can view that guide here

5) I asked Santa for a new mixer for Christmas because mine kicked the bucket. Well when I woke up yesterday  morning my dad called me to come up to his house. He said I have something I want you to see. Bless his heart he had gotten me a new mixer. I love my sweet precious daddy. He is simply the best and always so thoughtful.


I was one happy lady. I have always wanted a kitchen aid mixer.  Let the Christmas baking begin!

Well that's a wrap for me. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. May God Bless you!











Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Top 11 Women's Gifts for Under $25


Christmas time is almost here. With just a little over two weeks away, we are down to crunch time. We have to get that last minute shopping done. However, it's hard knowing what to get people especially other women. It's hard to determine what they like. If you're like me, you like getting nice gifts but don't want to break the bank. Well fear not, I have compiled a list of my Top 11 favorite gifts for under $25. There is something for all ages on this list that any woman is sure to love.


Top 11 Women's Gifts Under $25

To purchase any of these items just click on your item of choice and the link will re-direct you to checkout. 

Top row: left to right-
Leopard Clutch - Purple Peridot $ 24.99
Turquoise Pendant Necklace - Charming Charlie  $15
Open Cable Cardigan - Target $14.99
NYX Matte Lipstick set of 3 - NYX Cosmetics -  $12

Middle row: left to right-
Women's Infinity Scarf- Old Navy $8
Spiced Apple Toddy 3 Wick Candle - Bath & Body Works - Currently $12
Charmed Perfume - Rue 21 - $9.99
Travel Size Be Joyful Gift Set - Bath & Body Works - $15

Bottom row: Left to right -
NYX Eyeshadow Palette - NYX Cosmetics- $22
Giraffe Trinket Dish - Anthropologie - $16
Maybelline Nudes Eyeshadow Palette - Walmart - $9.98

This list is currently all of my favorite things, especially the scents. There is something for the beauty lover, the fashionista, the jewelry collector, those who love to wear perfume, the candle collector and the busy women who like to keep it simple yet stylish with a clutch. 

I hope this list has been beneficial in your search for the perfect gift for the women in your life. Have fun and good luck shopping. God Bless! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cards For Blaine

This is my brother Blaine. He is 23 years old. He was born premature when my mom was only 7 and a half months pregnant. At birth, he only weighed 1lb and 7oz. He was 8 inches round and 12 inches long. He was so tiny. He had to spend 5 and a half months in the NICU. He was on life support several times. The doctors gave up hope for him but my mom never did. She put her faith in God and she knew that he would see my brother through. Isn't God good! He has overcome so many obstacles in life. My brother has had to endure many health and mental issues throughout his life but that does not define who he is. He has a heart of Gold and is so loving. He sees the true beauty of life and finds happiness in everything. He teaches us what life is truly about. He is my brother and my best friend.


Every year my brother gets so giddy when Christmas time is near. He loves everything about Christmas.  He loves checking the mail to find a card addressed to him. Each year he makes a big display to put his card collection on.  If you get the chance could you please send one to my brother Blaine. It would really make his day. His hobbies include listening to music especially Country Music and Collecting Key Chains.  Below is his address...

Blaine Adam Setser
PO Box 898
Inez, Ky 41224

Thank you in advance for any cards that you may send. I know he will be so excited. Thank you and May God Bless You! Merry Christmas!


I'm linking up with Rachel @ Garay Treasures and Becky @ Bybmg 

Friday, December 4, 2015

High Five For Friday- Favorite Moments and Things

Hello everyone! Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday linkup hosted by Tif@ Bright On A Budget, Katie @ Cup of Tea, Caitlin  @ Coffee With Caitlin and myself. We're glad you're here!



This week's featured blogger is Tanya @ Prairie Girl . Tanya is a wife and small town girl who loves her cats and loves to travel. She blogs about her traveling adventures, her favorite recipes, beauty and DIY projects. She has a really great blog that I know you will enjoy reading. Please stop by and say hi to Tanya. 

This week has been a slow week which is exactly what I needed and for that I am thankful. The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Black Friday wore me out. Sometimes we need a little relaxation and that's what I did this week. Anyway let's jump right to my favorite moments and things from this week.


1) Did you see the post I did on Monday of my Favorite Children's Christmas Books? It's packed with book ideas to read to your child during Christmas or get as gifts. Giving the gift of reading is always such a wonderful gift. 



2) On Tuesday Justin and I started our countdown to Christmas with Raylan. We found this adorable little Mickey's Christmas Countdown Chalkboard at our local dollar tree. It was too cute to pass up.



3) Raylan and I jammed out to Christmas Carols and made Christmas Cookies one night while Justin was at work. Raylan is such a good helper. He always has a ton of fun helping mommy in the kitchen and I have just as much fun with him if not more.



4) I purchased this adorable Christmas Red Floating Locket with Christmas Charms. I'm in love!


5) I'm so glad to know that I don't always have to make Raylan's cookies. Usually if he eats a dessert, I'm the one who has fixed it. Loft House cookies are made in a Peanut and Tree Nut Free Facility. So if you have children who has a peanut or tree nut allergy or know someone who does, these cookies are a good and safe Christmas treat for them. Food allergies are so hard so it's always nice when you run across something that makes your child's life  and your life a little more easier. Needless to say, my day was made when I saw these.



As you can tell, I'm like a kid myself. I get so excited for Christmas. We are getting ready for Christmas and enjoying every little moment. I want to carry on and start as many traditions with Raylan as I can. He is only little once so I want him to have magical experiences during this joyous Christmas season. 

Everyone have a safe and wonderful weekend. God Bless you! Thanks for linking up!