Archive for October, 2010

Real Mom Review: Shutterfly’s Holiday Cards

October 30, 2010

You know one of the first things you’ll hear on Monday morning is something telling you how many shopping days there are left until Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even think about my shopping list until my Christmas cards are mailed out. It’s a good incentive to get that family picture taken though!

What, if anything, do you send out around the holidays? Are you a Christmas letter family? A traditional card sender? A photo card person? We favor the photo card, now that we have an ever-growing toddler who our families are constantly requesting pictures of. Last year I made our Christmas cards using some very basic photo editing software and uploading the image to Shutterfly. This year I’m going to let them do the work (and I have no doubt they will do a much cuter job than I did).

Here are a few of my favorite holiday photo cards:

The punchy colors in this one just scream holiday cheer to me.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not really a traditional “red and green” holiday person. The red/blue/white color combination in this card is fresh and bright, but still gives off a Christmas-y vibe.

Simple and modern. “Love& Family”. Isn’t that what the season is all about?

I’m thinking I might splurge this year and get some of Shutterfly’s Christmas gift tags too. They are adorable and it would be so much easier (not to mention time-saving) than making them myself. I know, I know, who does that? You’d think I have nothing but time on my hands. Thanks to Shutterfly, this year I really will! Now I guess I should get on that shopping list…

Week End Wrap Up

October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween weekend! What are you and your little gouls and boys dressing up as this weekend? My toddler will be sporting a sweet owl get up as we make the rounds on Sunday evening. If you want to get some more use out of those costumes, there are some Saturday events to sport them at. Of course, wherever the kids go with costumes this weekend will be adorable– even if it’s just to the grocery store.

Be safe on Sunday night and we’ll see you there! (And in case you were wondering, our house will be the one handing out the Annie’s organic fruit snacks…)

Do Something Good Tuesday

October 26, 2010

As we approach the holiday season (yes, I just went there) we are trying to be intentional in our house about teaching our toddler to be thankful and to “do something good” every day. I thought I would pass on a few ideas in the coming weeks to ESM readers. We would LOVE it if you would send us an email or leave a comment sharing your own ideas with ways to do something good. Share the love, East Sac Moms.

To get us started, here is a *FREE* way you can “do something good” and it literally takes 5 seconds: text the word “READ” to Target (827438) and the company will donate a book to our schools. Up to 1 million books will be donated, so take part and text away!

What would you buy?

October 19, 2010

Lets say a particular online store offered you $35 to spend at any of over 200 partner websites. The catch? You have to review the item you choose for the company. What would you spend your $35 on???

Would you use it toward a big family item, like a new drop leaf table for the dining room? Some new play food for the kids? Ballet flats for yourself (because there’s no more fighting the trend)?

CSN Stores is giving me the opportunity to try something out. What should I choose? Is there anything you’ve been wondering about and want to get a real-mom review of? Let me know!

Farm fresh and family friendly :: meal planning

October 18, 2010

Meal planning. Oh so fun. I know, I know. There’s something nice about deciding every day what to eat that very day. But really, who has the time? For one, you’d probably have to go to the store multiple times a week to supply the ingredients needed for spontaneous meals. And two, it still takes too much thought on a daily basis. So…yes, meal planning.

For years, my spouse and I have planned our meals in advance. Once we had kids and really needed to budget–and especially after I started staying home full-time and we became a one-income family–meal planning became a financial necessity. Going into each day knowing what we were having for dinner, greatly diminished our restaurant meals. Meal planning also cut down on the number of trips we took to the store, which–in turn–reduced our number of impulse buys (especially wine, beer, and ice cream).

At my personal blog, Urban Almanac, I recently posted about my family’s switch from weekly meal planning to monthly meal planning. Whatever method you choose, the process is the same. Pick a day of the week (or month) to sit down and think constructively about what you’d like your family to eat.  We have repeats and a general pattern. Fridays are homemade pizza night. Sunday’s are slightly bigger meals like a roast chicken or a beef stew. During the week, we try to find balance between easy meat-based dishes and non-meat based dishes, such as beans and high protein grains. Once  you sit down and do it, meal planning is easier than you think.

Please note that we’re not perfect. We still eat at Chipotle more than we should. And despite how well my pantry may be stocked and a meal planned, if I get home too late in the afternoon, I have neither the time nor the inclination to cook. So…if meal planning is new to you, be easy with yourself. As my son says, “practice makes better.”

In case you need a bit more inspiration, there are a couple of lovely posts about meal planning and Fields and Fire and Salt and Chocolate.


For more cooking and urban gardening ideas, trials, and errors, as well other things from the commonplace scene, please visit my blog at


Week End Wrap Up + a WINNER

October 15, 2010

First thing’s first, if you entered to win this month’s ESM giveaway (an awesome prize package from K-Y’s Kissable Sensations), you are a winner! K-Y Brands was able to provide prizes for all of our entries. Congratulations and enjoy!

Now then, what do you and your families have planned for the weekend? Here are some suggestions for fun, *FREE* activities and events in the East Sacramento area. Be sure to check out our calendar page for daily events and activities.

We’ll see you there!

CAP Center Launches ‘Vote 4 the Quotes’ Campaign

October 12, 2010

The Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAP Center) officially launched its “Vote 4 the Quotes” Campaign for 2010, which encourages the public to vote for their favorite quote that will then be featured on a chic new t-shirt that will be sold to raise funds to support child abuse prevention efforts.

 Everyone is encouraged to vote at Each year a new quote will be featured on the special child abuse prevention t-shirts.

 The top 3 quotes for 2010 are as follows:

  • “If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.” — Marian Wright Edelman
  •  “Life, love and laughter — what priceless gifts to give our children.” — Phylis Dryden
  •  “It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass

Cast your vote by clicking HERE and spread the word now through November 15!

Getty Owl’s Fundraiser Supporting a Local Family

October 11, 2010

Sacramento parents Kate and Mark took their daughter, Getty, to her routine 4-month pediatric appointment back in July and assumed that the most painful part of that trip would be the immunization shots that Getty would receive at the end of the visit. What they never imagined was that they would be told their daughter likely only had two years to live.

Getty was diagnosed with SMA1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, eventually leading to death. Infants like Getty with SMA Type 1 are born with very little muscle tone, weak muscles, and develop feeding and breathing problems over time. Weakness gets worse and will eventually become severe. There is no cure or treatment for the progressive weakness.

Since the condition is considered terminal a lot of the medical equipment that they will need will not be covered. In Getty’s honor and to raise money for the family, Mark and Kate’s friend, Stacey Ball, decided to organize a craft event.

The event will be taking place on Saturday, October 16th from 10AM to 2PM at Fremont Park at 1515 Q Street.  At last count there was 77 vendors participating.  There will be a raffle the day of the show and select vendors are donating a portion of their proceeds to the family.

You can find more information about Getty and this event at their blog:  They also have a Facebook event that can be shared at:

Please help support Getty and her family by attending the event, making a donation or helping spread the word to others.

We’ll see you there!

Week End Wrap Up + a GIVEAWAY

October 8, 2010

Happy Friday! After the cooler temperatures we’ve had this week I can officially accept that it is October. Time to decorate for fall and make a trip to the pumpkin patch. What are you and your families up to this weekend? Here are a few suggestions to get you inspired…

Now then, if there’s any chance your weekend will not include children at some point, this month’s giveaway hints at some suggestions for fun, *FREE* activities just for East Sac moms and dads…

K-Y Brands has generously offered Kissable Sensations for 5 East Sac Moms (or Dads). We were given a chance to review Kissable Sensations before agreeing to extend the giveaway to ESM followers (sometimes we have make sacrifices to bring our readers nothing but the best… 😉 Let me just say, you will thank me if you win. Here is a little bit from K-Y:

For more play during foreplay. Take time to explore and stimulate each other’s body. Enjoy the sensual, arousing pleasure of foreplay with decadent chocolate and refreshing strawberry sensations for the body. Together, share a fun, delicious, multi-sensory head to toe experience – Enjoy foreplay like never before. Shown in a clinical study to increase anticipation and desire for intimacy.

Let’s be honest, as parents we need all the help we can get. As I shared before, 5 commenters will win a set of K-Y Kissable Sensations. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question: What is one thing you make time to do when you are child-free? It can be for a weekend, an evening, or even an hour. Oh, and feel free to use an alias in your comments if that’s more comfortable for you (“June” is not my real name, after all). As long as you include an email address or a way for us to reach you, that works for us.

One entry per email address. Contest runs through 11:59PM on Thursday, October 14 and winners will be chosen at random and announced Friday, October 15.

Good luck!

Crocker Art Museum Grand Opening

October 7, 2010

After years of planning, fundraising and building, the Crocker Art Museum is finally ready to reveal its new look! Opening 10.10.10, you won’t want to miss all the fun, *FREE* festivities and a chance to check out the “new” Crocker.

From 10AM to 10PM on October 10, celebrate the grand opening of the new 125,000-square-foot Teel Family Pavilion with entertainment for children, families and adults. The all-day art festival will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with community and Museum leaders. Highlights of the day’s festivities include: 12 hours of entertainment featuring performing and visual artists on multiple stages; a global arts block party with food, beer and wine; a creative community center with hands-on art activities and performances by regional dance troupes, bands and puppeteers; artist demonstrations; roaming street performers and living history interpreters; swing and salsa dance contests; and much more.

The Crocker Art Museum is located at 216 O Street and for more information click HERE or call 916.808.7000.

We’ll see you there!