Holiday Open House: A Glimpse into My Life (Hint: This is the GIVEAWAY post to $2000+) **CLOSED**

During this Holiday Open House Event, I wanted to give you a glimpse of our family during the holidays.  So I contemplated doing a recipe post, but I didn’t want to just have another old recipe.  I didn’t want to do cleaning post either, because we’ve already done that.  This “self-realization” post was actually harder and scarier to admit to on “paper” than I thought it would be.  Let me tell you why…

Though I love pretty things, I am not good at anything creative or decorative.  I can’t draw, paint, color in the lines (or have patience enough to do so), cut a straight line, decorate a cake, or even sew a button (much less a dress).  If I took art classes, I am certain I’d fail.  Horribly.  I’m not even good with presentation when it comes to meals, though they do taste good the majority of the time.  It takes every ounce of my being to do anything creative I devise (no-sew Halloween costumes, decorating cookies, decorating my house for Christmas, etc.).  And then my husband still has to rescue me from my big plans and “fix” things up a bit. (Thanks, Honeybaby.)

Ideas and vision I have, but ability I lack.  What I am good at is cleaning, planning and organizing (or “geeky” things like numbers and science).  That’s what I know.  I have always envied those who had an eye for decorating or that artist’s touch.  You Martha Stewart types who can decorate cakes and parties for your child’s birthday with the slightest of ease, how do you guys make it look so easy?

I don’t even entertain much during the year.  As my friends can attest, most of the time, if they want to see me, they must invite themselves over to my house.  And I really don’t mind that they do, as I am a social person.  But I was never one of those girly-girl types who needed to have “girl time” or Girl’s Night Out or even join a sorority.  (I know I am probably missing out on something huge by not doing those things, but oh well.)

And unless I am hosting an actual party (have I ever even done that?), I may forget to offer you a drink or something to eat.  I guess I just lack that “hostess gene,” although I do prefer to be the hostess of get togethers, Bible studies, play dates, family holidays and such.  (Maybe it’s because I like to stay home?)  But feel free to make yourselves at home if you ever do invite yourself over.  Seriously.  I don’t mind. Watch our TV (though, at the moment we lack actual channels since we purposefully turned off our DirecTV subscription). Eat our food.  Use our washer.  Play with our toys.  And don’t worry about cleaning up – I’ll happily take care of that for you.

Swing open our front door (just don’t ring the doorbell between 1 and 4 pm, as it’s nap time).We like to decorate early, so during November you will likely see this:

It won’t win any awards and won’t even be the brightest lights in the neighborhood (though I do have big dreams), but you’ll be greeted by these happy faces:

The atmosphere is casual.  Very casual.  I will forget to use the good china, and I may even have my holiday pajama pants on (oops, I am already wearing those as I type this post).

The Christmas music (compliments of Pottery barn) will be playing in the background, and I will probably have some apple pielets or a butternut squash pie ready.

Once I attempted to make these with my best friend (who can attest to my very uncreative nature).  These William Sonoma ornament cookie cutters were actually a gift from her, and a fool-proof (almost) way to get cute decorative cookies if you aren’t the artist type.  I will probably attempt them again this year, in case you want some. But you better eat them quickly, or my husband may beat you to it.

Then hopefully remember to offer you some of my orange cranberry mulled cider or extra chocolatey and creamy hot chocolate made with milk – not water (just the way I like it) – and extra marshmallows (my husband’s touch).  If not, you know you can help yourself.  The cups are on the cupboard to the right.

We can play some family classics like 42 (domino game) and French Bridge or Hand and Foot (card games).  Or you can listen to my son “show off” playing his array of instruments (some real, some imaginative) for the hundredth time.  If you bring your purse, he may even charm you into giving him some gum.

If it’s Christmas Eve, I’ll probably make something atypical (since I’m not really a lover of turkey) that I saw on a cooking show long ago when we had satellite.

And if you spend the night, I promise everything will be super clean in your room.  I will make your bed extra cushiony and warm, and carefully place matching towel sets in your room.  I’ll even have mini-sized toiletries in baskets for you in the bathroom if you don’t want to bring yours along (or if you forget your own).

But make sure to keep your doors closed or you’ll likely be greeted by these two faces in the middle of the night:

My husband will make his famous crepes for breakfast, maybe even some holiday french toast (oh, I should post that recipe this month) in the morning.

I promise everything won’t always be merry and bright, but what did you expect with 2 small children and 2 crazy labs?

And now you have a tiny glimpse of our family, our home.  Welcome!

Now, are you ready for the Holiday Open House Giveaway Event?  I thought so!  I will be revealing the prizes one day at a time right here on this post, on FaceBook and Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled and keep coming back.  So far on the list of prizes:

  1. Oreck Edge Vacuum ($800)
  2. Oreck Air Purifier ($400)
  3. Mabels Labels Combo pack of 52 spice, 16 canister, and 30 bin labels ($39)
  4. $15 GC to the Etsy shop studioahimsa
  5. $25 GC
  6. 24 Cupcake toppers from Two Savvy Sisters

In order to WIN the $2000+ in prizes (ONE WINNER TAKES ALL), you must CAREFULLY follow the following instructions:

  • You must publish your own holiday post* (anything holiday goes, even a recipe) on November 1-10th.
  • Make sure to include our giveaway event button and code below in your post.
  • Then enter the DIRECT URL to the post* (NOT your homepage) in the “Mister Linky” below (Note: It may take a while for the green “Mister Linky” logo to come up, but when it does, click on it to enter your link.)

  • If you do a holiday post* every day during November 1-10th, each one gets you an extra entry (limit one per day) – up to 10 entries!!


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Again, please ENTER THE DIRECT URL to YOUR Holiday Entertaining post* (post must include our giveaway button in it)  in the link up below  for YOUR chance to win the over $2,000 in prizes** – all chosen to make you the Holiday hostess with the MOSTESS!!


*Questions have been asked about our non-blogging readers… Unfortunately, this particular event is only for bloggers.  Our other Giveaway Event, Help for the Holidays, is open to non-bloggers.  However, starting a blog is free and easy at or  You can even start one just for the sole purpose of writing this holiday post and entering this giveaway.

**All links must link directly to a winter/holiday entertaining post. Links to main pages will be deleted. All linked posts must include our giveaway button. Any posts without our button in them will be deleted. Winner will be chosen using from all eligible (remaining) links and announced on on Nov. 11, 2010 and winner will also be contacted via comment on winning post.  Winner will then have 72 hours to submit their contact information to in order to claim the prize package.  If not claimed, a new winner will be selected from remaining eligible links.


  1. 3

    I keep it simple and we have some similarities in our personal style. Except that meal you have photos of far exceeds anything I have whipped up. AND< so far I have not had to do the main meal in all my 37, or I am 38??, years! I love it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. 4

    Awww… I love the glimpse into your home! Sounds alot like mine around holiday time, except that I’m usually the one telling everyone how and where to place the decorations. LOL

  3. 5

    Now you are tempting me to host a cookie deco party so that I can drag you out of your house and you can get tips from us Martha Stewart types. (Though I still deny I am an MS type. I’m more of a Rachael Ray-Julia Child smash-up with a big helping of HGTV.)

  4. 6

    Simplicity is good! What great pictures, thanks for sharing your traditions with us! What adorable doggies too!

    I would love to invite you to come and visit our open house too! 25 Classy & Cheap Holiday Entertaining Ideas


  5. 7

    I agree simple is the way to go. I’m trying to get thgough the season w/o buying anything new.

    I’m also a BlogMania 2011 Dream Team member stoping by to say hello and I’m following you!


  6. 8

    Mmmm… shared my Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. They are so delicious. I will put pics in the post later tonight when my DH brings the camera back! Lol. Can’t wait to see what others are posting.

  7. 9

    Thanks. I’ll be over to see everyone’s posts today.

  8. 10

    Ha! Then you’d see firsthand how REALLY un-artsy I am. I am more of the Giada De Laurentis type but without the chopping skills and less of the beauty. :) Not that I am anywhere near as talented as she in cooking, but that’s just my style, I guess.

  9. 11

    Um, that meal looked better than most of my meals do because:
    A. I tried REALLY hard.
    B. My grandmother is ALL about presentation and was with us and kept frowning every time I didn’t use the “good stuff.” She even bought us a table cloth, runner and centerpiece (very unlike me) and folded up our napkins all nice.
    C. It only looked good because the ingredients made it appealing – not really my doing.

  10. 12

    posted my mom’s wasil recipe=)

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  11. 13
    Lauren Foster says:

    I can’t get the button to post on my blog… it’d driving me CRAZY!! I”m going to keep working on it…

  12. 14
    Lauren Foster says:

    Ok I think I got it! thanks for this awesome event!!

  13. 15

    day 2 post about traditions and ornaments!

    still having button trouble. it looks like a broken button currently.

  14. 16

    This is so much fun!! WOW, great prizes too!! I can be the host with the most;)haha

    Thanks so much for the chance! I, too, had trouble with the code, but tweaked it and got it to work!

    here’s my entry for today:

    This is the code that I used(hope it shows up-if it doesn’t, just email me and I’ll send it to ya.


  15. 17

    First, I’d just like to say thank you for having this giveaway and second, I am new to blogging to I hope I did this entry correctly. Third, Is this judged? Oh dear, I hope not. LOL
    I added to Mr. Linky. I hope it went through. Also, the button is not linking for me and I do not know very much about HTML (yet) I used the code below the button AND the Update code. Neither one would work for me. I tried to improvise by adding a link to this page.

  16. 18

    Posted today’s installment! I have dug out my current Holiday crafting projects. Now I just need to finish them. Lol.

  17. 19

    Laura, RELAX. You did everything right! :) And no, it’s not judged. The winner is picked at random through! :) Come back and try again tomorrow with a new holiday post or recipe!

  18. 20
    JoeyfromSC says:

    Thanks for the shout-out about me fixing the code:) lol

    I am self taught on HTML and learn more and more daily!! Glad to help:)

    Also, I re-read your post..I LOVE my hot chocolate made with milk too!! and with marshmallows!!

  19. 21

    I did a holiday post and linked it to the Mr. Linky thing.

  20. 22
    I am back and so sorry that I can not get the Holiday button to post. I did on yesterday’s entry but I have copied and pasted for over an hour now trying different things and it always comes a box with a red X or an error in my post and won’t save it. Any suggestions, please? I sent o Mr. Linky (cute name) but the button is not on my Holiday Story. Will I be DQ’d?

  21. 23

    posted again today =)
    sorry the button is still not working for me, either. i did the image and a link right under it, hope that is ok!

  22. 24

    Stacy, we are still working on getting it fixed. However, the photo with a text link is perfectly fine! :)

  23. 25
    JoeyfromSC says:

    WOW, that button is not playing nice! lol

  24. 26

    I’ve entered on the Mr. Linky page but wanted to let you know that the button was still not working. I simply placed a link below the button to your page! Hope that works. Great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win.


  25. 27

    Hello there. no worky linky again but the pic and link is on my post.
    You can find it here
    Mr Linky took my entry.
    I just want to say that I have already won in this contest. Being new to blogging and somewhat frustrated b/c I don’t “get it all” yet, this contest has made me go try and write and post on my blog in the last few days. (that’s a win in my book) Good practice!

  26. 28
    well, here is today’s entry, however, I made a boo boo. On Mr. Linky when I entered the URL, I just put my blog URL. (Instead of the direct URL to the post) So, I tried to redo it and ended up with 2 posts. Can one be deleted? The second one is correct, but the first one just takes you to my blog.
    Sorry. I do apologize. I know, I am a pain in the neck. I’m a BB (beginner blogger)

  27. 29

    great!(button with caption link being ok) sorry it’s being such a pain. though i am glad it isn’t just me being slow! =)

    posted again today- can’t believe i missed yesterday! and i agree with laura, i love the encouragement to post every day. AND it’s getting me in the holiday spirit. win/win, even if i don’t ‘win’!


  28. 30


  29. 31
    JoeyfromSC says:

    I’m having a great time blogging about the holidays!! Can’t wait to see who wins!!!:)

    Thank you for inspiring me to blog more with this giveaway!

  30. 32

    posted- its been fun, guys! thanks!!

  31. 33
    JoeyfromSC says:

    Just posted my final post! SO much fun! thank you for the chance!

  32. 34

    my brother in law want to become a farmer & want to purchse agriculture farm for him, he & his father have no farm in past. please advise how he is become a farmer.

  33. 35

    This works.i have noticed it on some of my niche sites but i dont do it consistently on all my sites.thanks for pointing it out

  34. 36

    YoU pEoPlE DoInG A GreAt JoB….. !!

  35. 37

    Thanks again? Scott I see the Headway brand now.I was looking at a few others.My e bike only goes around 14 to 16 mph on the level street (However pedaling up a hill this kit helps a lot makes it easy) .However this 250 watt motor might be adequate for my needs.I don’t desire to go above the Federal,State limit of 20 mph (I have to keep it street legal and need it for in city travel needs).Thanks for the controller tip too.

  36. 38

    You definitely understand what you are referring to.< Icannot wait to browse more of what you have got to talk about.

  37. 39

    I was so shocked to learn that my neighborhood had a score of 46! I like fairly close to the city and it sure feels like everything is walking distance. Great find and thanks for sharing. I’ll be using this to help me find a more walk-able neighborhood.

  38. 40

    If you run the battery to cutoff each time, it’s life expectancy is exponentially shorter than if you only take it down 80%. So if you have a battery with 10AH that just gets you where you need to go, it’s not going to live anywhere near as long as a 15 or 20AH battery used for the same distances.? Plus the larger capacity battery won’t get as hot under load.

  39. 41

    i love this kid!!


  1. […] Air Purifier (along with $800 in other prizes) will be given away to ONE person during our “Holiday Open House.”  And then we have another giveaway for another $400 Oreck Air Purifier during “Help […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by A Nation of Moms and A Nation of Moms, A Nation of Moms. A Nation of Moms said: Holiday Open House: A Glimpse into My Life (Hint: This is the GIVEAWAY post) via A Nation of Moms […]

  3. […] children participate and have fun, not to mention a way to avoid lattice tops and fluted edges (I’m not artistic, remember?).  We chose some small cookie cutters and stuck to a theme.  This time my son wanted Christmas, […]

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