2013Back Home Again: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What's Your Deal Target?!

Some of you may know that I worked at Target for about a year and a half when we lived in Pennsylvania. I despised it. It was supposed to be something to get by until I could find a job utilizing my degrees, a few months at most. I figured that we were right outside of Philadelphia and that it would be easy to find something using history and historic preservation degrees because it was Philadelphia, where our nation was born. Well, that was in the fall of 2008, when the economy was at its worst. I was looking for a job in the sixth largest metropolitan area in the nation, but so were so many, more experienced folks with my degree in the area. So, you can guess who got those jobs and my tenure at Target turned into much longer than I anticipated. 

IMG_2117
One of my favorite places in Center City Philadelphia.

I decided to try to make the best of my situation and if I was going to be there awhile, then I was going to work my way up and not be a lowly team member anymore. I was promoted to a Guest Service Team Leader and transferred stores from one 10 minutes from our apartment to one 1.5 hours away during rush hour. Was it the smartest decision? Not really, for a number of factors - the commute, the pay and the stress of it all being some of the major ones. However, I did meet some cool people at that store and I do miss them. Hard to believe it's been five years since I worked there! 

IMG_1518
Just something I used to see on my commute.

Anyway...on to the whole point of this post. What's up Target? First a 40 million credit card security breach over fourth quarter that includes PIN numbers and this morning I read that 40,000 gift cards that were purchased over the same period weren't activated. 

Not cool Target. Not cool at all. Luckily, I didn't receive any gift cards from there this year. However, my husband and I are definitely amongst some of the 40 million card users that likely had their data stolen. It's so much fun having to monitor our accounts for who knows how long to come. I do still love the store, but it definitely makes me think twice about shopping, not just there but anywhere using anything but cash.

But, with that being said, I feel so bad for those poor Target employees that have to deal with this in store. It's not their fault that these incidents happened, yet they're the ones that suffer the wrath of consumers. When I was a GSTL, it used to make me so mad that I had to deal with people who were angry about things that were completely out of my control and I couldn't say anything back to them about it (don't even get me started on that..). They're just the pegs in a much much larger machine.

So, if you're out and about tonight or in the near future, please be kind to your retail employees. I feel for them, I really really do. 

This Year Was...

...incredibly, incredibly fast. Seriously. Where did 2013 go?!


It feels like Cecily is still a tiny baby and Ewan is just turning two. I have always been told that once you have kids, time flies and it does. It really does. I thought that time sped up once Ewan was born, but with two kids it's going at warp speed. I really do get it now that I have kids. 


We had some lofty goals for 2013 and while we accomplished some, there definitely weren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. I guess 2014 will be the year for my herb garden after all, right Alan :-)

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Review

My good friend Rachel (who blogs here) always does this at the end of the year and I have started adopting it as well.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? I got to work for NASA...sort of

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did surprisingly. I make resolutions each year and will do so again...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister-in-law in February and my good friend Rachel in April, plus several other good friends from college.

4. Did anyone close to you die? My grandmother right before Thanksgiving, Alan's cousin right before Christmas

5. What countries did you visit? Just the US

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? A proper family vacation where we don't have to come back early, more vacation time in general, being able to take the week of Christmas off from work like the rest of the office.

7. What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 5: Ewan's second birthday and party 
May 5: Cecily's Baptism
May 30: My grandmother's 90th birthday
June 22-30: The vacation that wasn't.


October 21: Alan's 30th birthday
October 24-26: wedding anniversary, Cecily's first birthday and her birthday party


November 8: The day my grandmother died
November 16: Her funeral
November 30-December 1: Surprise birthday trip to St. Louis
December 5: My 32nd birthday
December 20: Josh's funeral
 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back to the weight I was the day I got married.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not paying off as much credit card debt as I'd hoped

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Pretty much the entire month of February

11. What was the best thing you bought? Our CSA membership

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? All the people who have made it a priority to spend time with me and make things special

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Not anyone specific but rude people and those who try to make you feel insignificant

14. Where did most of your money go? daycare, debt

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The prospect of being credit card debt free in two years


16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2013? I haven't listened to much music, at least anything that sticks with me

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner!!

iii. richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? enjoying the little things instead of focusing on the big picture

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? being angry

20. How did you spend Christmas? We opened presents at our house on Christmas Eve morning then we went to my in-laws again this year for Christmas. Had a chili dinner at my mil and fil's, then went to Alan's grandparents where we exchanged gifts with the extended family. Christmas Day we had a Christmas lunch then exchanged gifts with Alan's parents, brothers and their families. We will celebrate Christmas with my mom and uncle the weekend of Ewan's birthday in January.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? More in love with my husband and kiddos

23. What was your favorite TV program? Revolution, Downton Abbey, Blacklist
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No

25. What was the best book you read? Sadly, I only read one book this year, The Help. It was good though!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? As in a band? Umm...I like pretty much everything I have always liked. Even though a certain person in orchestra really grates on my nerves, I still really enjoy playing for the most part.

27. What did you want and get? A pressure canner, new digital camera

28. What did you want and not get? less debt

29. What was your favorite film of this year? I honestly don't remember what movies I have seen this year that are new...The Hobbit maybe?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 32 and on my actual birthday Alan took me to lunch, then after we picked up the kids from daycare we went to Kohl's so I could buy a new black purse. We then we to our favorite local pizza joint with friends. However, the weekend before, Alan surprised me with a trip to St. Louis.



31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
not worrying about debt

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Comfort

33. What kept you sane? Starbucks

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Timberlake. Wanna know a funny story? Alan had thought about getting my tickets to see JT in Louisville but then didn't because I made the comment that I wouldn't want to see him because there would be so many annoying teenage girls there...except that I only made that comment so that Alan wouldn't make fun of me for wanting to go!

35. What political issue stirred you the most? birth rights, gmo foods

36. Who did you miss? My grandma

37. Who was the best new person you met? I haven't met them in person but several bloggers who have become my friends. One of these days...

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013: Never take life for granted because it's short and can end in an instant

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: I can never think of a song lyric for this question. So, I guess I will say that the song Sentimental Journey pretty much sums it up. Because life is a sentimental journey you should never take for granted.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Just wanted to post a few photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas at my in-laws. Christmas Eve we went to Alan's grandparents where we had a gift exchange with the extended family. Christmas Day we had lunch and opened presents at Alan's parents with his brothers and their families.






Ewan got pretty much the entire line of Jake and the Neverland Pirates toys and Cecily has a ton of Fisher Price Disney Princess. They were both exhausted by the end, but overall did really well. They're currently at my in-laws for a few days since our daycare is closed. So, Alan and I brought most of their presents home and set them up for them...where I promptly played with most of their toys!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Days of Giveaways Day 10: Lugz Dahlia Zip Boot

Cute boots! Today is my mom's birthday...I wonder if she would like these... :-)



Sponsored by:

Hosted by:

Co-hosted by:

One lucky winner will win

Lugz Dahlia Zip boot for Women Black


Details:
Dates Dec. 17 to Dec. 31

US. Resident only

All entries are optional

We appreciate the support of our co-hosts, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: Back Home Again is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

Please check out Days 1-9 of the Ten Days of Giveaways - they end December 31st:
Day One: $50 Paypal Cash
Day Two: $50 to Amazon
Day Three: $50 to Toys R Us
Day Four: $50 to Walmart
Day Five: Sockadoodle Nursing Bra
Day Six: Oransi Ionic Fridge Purifier
Day Seven: $50 to Smart & Sexy
Day Eight: $50 to Victoria's Secret
Day Nine: 925 Sterling Silver Pendant from Kidz Can Design
 

Ch Ch Changes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate and if you don't, I hope you had a great day yesterday! We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with my in-laws, who spoiled all of us rotten. 

In the midst of the madness yesterday.
Since it will soon be the beginning of a new year, I have decided to make some changes to my blog in the coming weeks and months, ones that I hope everyone will enjoy.

I would really like to turn more of my "followers" into readers and lurkers into commenters. For that, I am asking for your help. What all would you like to see on my blog? Would you like to know more about me? Post more recipes or my attempts to be crafty? Please comment and let me know. I know that I am a "Mommy" blog and will probably never be super huge, which is fine. But, I really would like your input on what you think I can do to make my blog better. 

I have also decided to focus more on getting to know my readers. One way that I am going to do this is by getting rid of paid sponsorships for fellow bloggers. I am now offering an ad space giveaway each month to three lucky readers in which I will stalk you and get to know and promote you.

These are just a few things I have in store for the new year. There may or may not be ideas for a new link up and a giveaway that I'm super excited about, plus possibly a new blog design. 

If you'd like to be featured up on my sidebar for the month of January, please enter the giveaway below!





Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ten Days of Giveaways Day 9: 925 Sterling Silver Pendant from Kidz Can Design

Happy Christmas! If you celebrate and even if you don't, I hope you are having a wonderful day!


Sponsored by:

Hosted by:

Co-hosted by:

 lucky winner will win


You send the drawing and you will get the drawing on a 925 sterling silver pendant!



Details:
Dates Dec. 17 to Dec. 31

US. Resident only

All entries are optional

We appreciate the support of our co-hosts, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: Back Home Again is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

Please check out Days 1-8 of the Ten Days of Giveaways - they end December 31st:
Day One: $50 Paypal Cash
Day Two: $50 to Amazon
Day Three: $50 to Toys R Us
Day Four: $50 to Walmart
Day Five: Sockadoodle Nursing Bra
Day Six: Oransi Ionic Fridge Purifier
Day Seven: $50 to Smart & Sexy
Day Eight: $50 to Victoria's Secret
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ten Days of Giveaways Day 8: $50 to Victoria's Secret

I am enjoying the holiday with my family. While I'm gone, enjoy these giveaways!



Hosted by:

Co-hosted by:


Two lucky winner will win

Victoria's Secret $50 GC each

Details:
Dates Dec. 17 to Dec. 31

US. Resident only

All entries are optional

We appreciate the support of our co-hosts, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Disclaimer: Back Home Again is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

Please check out Days 1-7 of the Ten Days of Giveaways - they end December 31st:
Day One: $50 Paypal Cash
Day Two: $50 to Amazon
Day Three: $50 to Toys R Us
Day Four: $50 to Walmart
Day Five: Sockadoodle Nursing Bra
Day Six: Oransi Ionic Fridge Purifier
Day Seven: $50 to Smart & Sexy

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ten Days of Giveaways Day 7: $50 to Smart & Sexy


Sponsored by:

Hosted by:

Co-hosted by:


One lucky winner will win

$50 on lingerie from Smart & Sexy

Details:
Dates Dec. 17 to Dec. 31

US. Resident only

All entries are optional

We appreciate the support of our sponsor and co-hosts, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: Back Home Again is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

Please check out Days 1-6 of the Ten Days of Giveaways - they end December 31st:
Day One: $50 Paypal Cash
Day Two: $50 to Amazon
Day Three: $50 to Toys R Us
Day Four: $50 to Walmart
Day Five: Sockadoodle Nursing Bra
Day Six: Oransi Ionic Fridge Purifier

Outtakes

Believe it or not, but I just recently got around to looking at the photo cd our awesome photographer sent us. While I absolutely love our photos, I think some of the "outtakes" are utterly hilarious and deserve to be shared too. Enjoy!







Please check out Days 1-6 of the Ten Days of Giveaways - they end December 31st:
Day One: $50 Paypal Cash
Day Two: $50 to Amazon
Day Three: $50 to Toys R Us
Day Four: $50 to Walmart
Day Five: Sockadoodle Nursing Bra
Day Six: Oransi Ionic Fridge Purifier

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ten Days of Giveaways Day 6: Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier

 This would be awesome...no more baking soda in the fridge!


Sponsored by:

Hosted by:

Co-hosted by:


One lucky winner will win


Details:
Dates Dec. 17 to Dec. 31

US. Resident only

All entries are optional

We appreciate the support of our sponsor and co-hosts, please show your support by following them on their social medias pages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: Back Home Again is not responsible for the awarding of the prize.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com

Don't forget the other 10 days:
$50 Paypal Cash
$50 to Amazon
$50 to ToysRUs
$50 to Walmart
Sockadoodle Nursing Bra 
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