Monthly Archives: November 2011

I Remember When…… #PreservingMemories #CBias

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..watching more family videos! Okay, last month when Amanda and I zipped over to the UPS Store to drop off some of our family videos, I had no idea that I would fall head over heals in love with my family all over again! I snagged 10 video tapes from when the kids were little for this grand experiment, and now I am so sorry I didn’t send in every, single last one. The whole process was so simple; using the iMemories program through the UPS Store, I was able to convert our various and obsolete 8mm and VHS tapes into fabulous digital media.


If you are interested, you can read all about our experience dropping off our tapes last month, by visiting my earlier post:


Otherwise, I can bring you up to date right here, right now.


The whole process was really easy. After I searched every nook and cranny in our home, I found our family videos in their various incarnations. To give the iMemories program a try, Amanda and I chose 10 videos to convert into digital media. Then, we stopped off at our friendly, local UPS Store at 2206 N. Main St, Wheaton, IL. While there, owner Sunny Patel helped me package up my videos and send them on their merry way to the iMemories factory.


Shortly thereafter, I received an email that changed my life; it was from the nice people at iMemories providing me with a link to view all of our videos. After dinner, I poured Chuck and myself a glass of wine, scooped a bowl full of ice cream for Amanda and we huddled around the computer like folks used to sit around listening to the radio!


Nick and Amanda were adorable and Chuck and I looked so young! We watched as they learned to walk and talk and become the people they are today; Nick rollerblading in our driveway and Amanda cart wheeling in the front yard. After several evenings, we finally made it through all of the videos.


What was amazing to me was not only being able to watch the videos, but also having the ability to manipulate and edit them. I was totally anxious to give it a try, so Amanda and I decided to create a Christmas compilation DVD. It was sooo easy. All we had to do was drop in each clip, in order, frame by frame, and the video was complete.


Last night, our UPS man made his way to our front door, despite Wrigley’s incessant barking. I couldn’t rip the package open fast enough! Inside, there it was; the Holy Grail of family memories.


We are so in love with our video! After she finished her homework, Amanda started uploading all of the family videos we have on our computer to our iMemories account. I am planning to drop off the remainder of our videos this week, and in no time at all, we’ll finally have every last memory preserved as digital media. I can’t wait!!!


To view all of the details of my iMemories experience at the UPS Store, please check out;


More memories, more family videos, more iMemories at the UPS Store, more celebrating family moments…..


To schedule and Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at more is


This shop has been compensated  as part of a social shopper insights study for #CBias This experience and these memories are all my own.


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Things That I Am Thankful For…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more giving thanks! This week, I was especially thankful for my eight hour, round trip, road trip on Tuesday to snag Nick for Thanksgiving break (I’d gladly walk over hot coals to be with him). Wrigley was “Wrigley excited” when we got to campus and after much badgering (from me….who is the grown up here?), Nick finally relented and allowed Wrigley to take the grand tour of his dorm and check out his digs. The scent of smelly boys was, apparently, spectacular!

There was a lot of fun to squeeze into a few short days.

I’m thankful that over his 19 years, Nick has developed rich and rewarding friendships. He made a bee-line for B-Dub’s (aka…Buffalo Wild Wings) to meet up with his high school pals. Wednesday was devoted to a brother/sister outing with Nick’s oldest friend, Miguel, and his kid sister, Mrs. McGoobles (who happens to be one of Amanda’s nearest and dearest’s), with the evening reserved for a visit with Chuck’s parents; pasta and looking at family pictures. It was perfect.

I’m thankful that while dragging a teenager out of bed in the morning is never an easy task (particularly on a holiday), Nick was remarkably agreeable in joining me and my girlfriends for our Turkey Trot. There’s nothing quite like starting the day with a 5 mile run! The rest of our morning was spent over breakfast and the most recent episodes from our favorite TV program, Modern Family. Thank God for the DVR! Later, we stuffed ourselves with turkey and all the fixin’s with my family. We were especially thankful that Wrigley managed not to swipe a single item off the dinner table. Not because he was good, but because he was on a very short leash (we of little faith).

 I’m thankful for moments spent with my best gal. As it turns out, Amanda is sometimes her mother’s daughter. We rolled out of bed at 3am to hit the Black Friday sales with a trip to the outlet mall. There were people EVERYWHERE! The wait to get into the Coach store alone was an hour and twenty minutes, at four in the morning. Talk about shop ‘til you drop!

I am thankful for the world’s greatest mom and most generous step-father. In celebration of George’s 70th birthday, it was my pleasure to do the cooking as they entertained 40 friends and family in their home. We feasted on shrimp cocktail, crab bisque soup, smoked salmon and caramelized onion dip, steak crostini’s, chicken Caesar salad spears and gourmet pizza. The most touching part of the night was when Nick and Amanda spoke about their Boppa and lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of Cole Porter’s You’re the Top!

I’m thankful that the five of us had part of a quiet day together Sunday morning. We watched old family movies, snuggled with Wrigley and had lunch together before we loaded Nick and his laundry back into the car, headed for College Town, USA.

I’m thankful that Chuck took one for the team by attacking the round trip road trip, because there is little worse than leaving Nick behind at school.

However, I’m most thankful that we’ll all be together again in a few short weeks for Christmas!

More time together, more Modern Family marathons, more turkey with all of the fixin’s, more reasons for Thanksgiving……

To schedule and Interior Design appointment or Life Style consultation, or for any comments or questions, please email me at

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Holiday Decorating Inspirations at #Kmart with #CBias

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more decorating for the holidays! Christmas truly is the most magical time of year. There is just something really special about family traditions, whether we are sipping hot chocolate, driving around, checking out our neighbors Christmas lights, making gingerbread houses with our dearest neighbor and friend, Mrs. Hobbs, picking out new ornaments, wrapping presents (when the kids were little, my mom and Nurse Terri would help me wrap while we sipped champagne) or enjoying a great big meal on Christmas Eve (last year we ordered out Chinese ~ just like in The Christmas Story ~ and it was fantastic!).

I love decorating for the holidays; after all, more of everything is always better! This year, I was pretty excited when I was invited to check out Kmart’s Holiday Department. Always up for a challenge, I was delighted with the opportunity to shop at Kmart with $150.00 to spend decorating for Christmas.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Holiday inspired décor, vignettes and tablescapes have been on my mind, as I was the featured speaker at an event at the Arlington Design Center in Arlington Heights, IL last week. There I shared some of my professional Interior Design tips and inspirations for entertaining for the holidays.

Cruising the aisles at Kmart was so much fun; inspiration was around every corner. With so many beautiful ornaments, sparkling and glittering accents, ribbons, greens and decorations it was hard to decide where to look first. As I made my way down the aisles, I came across a gorgeous collection of Christopher Radko ornaments at a completely unheard of price; $9.99 a piece!


Sometimes, ornaments can get completely lost on a great big tree. These ornaments were special, so I knew they needed to serve as a focal point. I selected my four favorites; two Santa’s and two Snowmen and I picked up four 12” artificial pine wreaths (I love real, but they tend to shed and get kind of tired). Kmart had a HUGE selection of beautiful ribbon to coordinate with any décor, though I chose to use a simple and classic red ribbon.

I thought the ornaments would be a lovely and elegant touch strung through a strand of ribbon, nestled in a wreath of pine, hanging in my dining room and kitchen windows. The best part was that the whole look only took a few minutes.


I measured how far down I wanted the wreaths to hang (14”), cut a piece of ribbon (28”), threaded the ornament through the ribbon, nestled the ornaments and ribbon into the top of the wreath, then, with push pins, I secured the two ends of the ribbon into the window casing, and voila…..I had a tasteful and elegant focal point to my windows.


The Christopher Radko ornaments and wreaths took up a significant part of my budget (though they were totally worth it!). I still wanted to add a few festive touches, so I had to get creative.


Candy confections, like visions of sugar plums, danced in my head, so I snagged a few bags of Holiday M n M’s, peppermint marshmallows and candy canes. One of my most favorite home décor staples are my apothecary jars. They always look great filled with seasonal treasures. However, to achieve this effect, you don’t need apothecary jars, any clear cylinders will work. I simply filled the jars with candy and placed them on my island. They are cheerful and whimsical, which is something holiday decorating should be.


Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to scream Santa and his reindeer. I thought I would create a little vignette for my kitchen table. To start, I took two basic hurricanes that I had in my personal inventory (in fact, for my #KmartHalloween #50ftParty I had them filled with candy corn!), filled them with faux snow and chose two fabulous, pine scented candles to place inside. These will absolutely last throughout the winter season to bring a little sparkle to the long cold months ahead.


With a few dollars left to spend, I decided to soften things up a bit and bring an organic quality to the table. I have a darling birdbath, but you can do this with a shallow footed bowl. I simply took a stem of artificial pine branches, removing the wire pick with my small wire cutters, and created a little nest for my birdbath. I then placed two glass ornaments inside; a caterpillar (because I adore bugs!) and an acorn. The ornaments were from the Jaclyn Smith holiday collection. It is too cute for words!


Rather than place these items at random on my table, I chose to give them more importance by corralling them on a tray. I also added one tall pillar candle holder to give my arrangement a little more height and visual interest.

I am thrilled with the elegant, festive touches that I have been able to add to my holiday décor…..all thanks to my visit to Kmart!

To check out all of the great items I found at Kmart, by clicking on the link below to my Google+ post

 You can also see Kmart’s Holiday Collection my visiting their website:

More whimsy, more Christmas celebrations, more traditions, more festive holiday décor….

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, or for an questions and comments, please contact me at

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias. All ideas, opinions and experiences are my own.


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Sending More Cheer to Military Families With the Help of #Cheerios #Walmart #CBias

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more spreading the word; sending CHEER and ThanksGIVING to our nation’s military families!


Last week, my mom and I headed over to Walmart to check out the General Mills/Cheerios Send Cheer campaign. The whole idea is really pretty cool. Simply purchase a box of Cheerio’s, cut out the postcard, outlined on the front of the box, and share your thoughts and warm wishes of ThanksGIVING with a military family. While we are celebrating Thanksgiving with our own family and friends, this week is the perfect opportunity to share our gratitude with the military families that make such personal sacrifices for our country.

The rest is easy. Simply put a stamp on the postcard, drop it in the mail and the USO does the rest by forwarding your message to a military family. The best part is that for every postcard the USO receives, General Mills/Cheerio’s will donate $1 to the USO!

While we were at Walmart, we bought 10 boxes of Cheerio’s. Why should we be the only ones to feel good? I thought it would be great fun to spread the word and share this fantastic opportunity with our own family and friends this weekend at my nephew’s birthday party.

Rather than just hand over the box of Cheerio’s, I thought it would be so much more festive if I tied a great big bow around each box. I wanted everyone to really see what a special moment this was; a chance to share with another family how thankful we are for their personal sacrifices and their dedication to keeping our country safe.

This weekend, while Amanda and I were running our errands, was the perfect opportunity to pay-it-forward. We popped in on some friends to bring them a few boxes of Cheerio’s to spread some ThanksGIVING Cheer.

Here, Amanda is explaining to her little cousin how General Mills/Cheerio’s is working with the USO to spread holiday cheer!

Expressing our gratitude doesn’t have to stop at a postcard! At this time of ThanksGIVING, why not send a care package to a soldier that is deployed and away from their family and the comforts of home? What are the little things that remind you of the holidays with your family?

Chuck, Amanda and I sat down to really think about what makes us so thankful. We are grateful to the military families who keep the home fires burning for their loved ones. What a sacrifice to be without your son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, mother of father. There are all of those moments that we share as a family that we take for granted; eating dinner together, looking over our children’s homework, cheering the kids on at their favorite activities, driving them all over creation, witnessing family milestones. These amazing military families and soldiers sacrifice these precious moments for the sake of serving our country, keeping us safe from harm and preserving our freedom. I don’t actually think there is nearly enough room on that little postcard to express our gratitude and warm wishes for a happy holiday and the safe return of their loved ones……but it’s a start.

Why not head over to Walmart and check out General Mills/Cheerio’s send cheer campaign? It’s easy! You can also learn more by visiting;

More generous military families, more sacrifices, more gratitude………

Please feel free to send me any questions, thoughts or comments at

This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias All thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

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Send Cheer to Military Families with #Cheerios #Walmart and #CollectiveBias

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….sending more CHEER this holiday season! When I was a little girl, one of the first songs I remember learning was the Marine Corp Hymn. My dad served in the Marines his first three years out of high school and he is still very proud of the time he spent serving his country, though he was extremely fortunate not to have seen any combat. Early on I understood the value and importance of serving in the military.


At this time of ThanksGIVING, I was really excited to hear about the Send Cheer to Military Families initiative sponsored by General Mills/Cheerios and Walmart. The idea is really pretty genius. You don’t even have to personally know someone that is in the military to send your warm wishes and gratitude. Cheerio’s makes it easy. All you have to do is head to your favorite Walmart and purchase a box of Cheerio’s.


Cheerio’s are my family’s all time favorite cereal, which may have all started when the kids were babies. I mean, really, I doubt there is a family in America that hasn’t been addicted to and thankful for, Cheerio’s. We used to find them everywhere; stuck to the high chair, on the floor, spilled all over the diaper bag, in the kid’s hair, smooshed into the seats and carpet in the car. Nineteen and sixteen years later, the Cheerio’s actually make it right where they are supposed to; into their mouths!


Sending CHEER to military families couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is purchase a box of Cheerio’s. Outlined right on the outside of the box is a postcard size cut-out. Simply cut out the postcard that is already addressed to the USO and jot down your thoughts of thanks and gratitude to the families that make the greatest sacrifice; time without their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. All you have to do is stick a stamp on your postcard, drop it in the mail and the USO does the rest by matching your letter up with a military family.


General Mills/Cheerio’s is doing their part too. For every postcard received, they will donate $1 in support of the USO. How awesome is that?!?


I’m actually pretty excited. I’m heading to Walmart to buy a bunch of boxes of Cheerio’s. I’m planning to bring them to my nephew’s birthday party this weekend, pass them out and spread the ThanksGIVING Cheer! I can’t wait to let you know how that all went next week.

To learn more about how you too can join in on giving thanks to our nation’s military families check out both;


More generous military families, more sacrifices, more gratitude………


Please feel free to send me any questions, thoughts or comments at


This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias All thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

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