Monday, September 24, 2012

Shutterfly Photo Book Giveaway

Last Spring, as Andrew's elementary education was coming to a close, I found myself reminiscing and comparing his kindergarten year and his 6th grade year

As the school year wrapped up, summer began and we still didn't have the class yearbooks purchased through school.  I actually spoke with the gentleman putting them together over the summer and was informed that the yearbook committee dropped the ball. 

There were minimal pictures. Zero photos of 6th grade end of year activities and graduation.

In addition, since they were delivered after the kids started junior high, there was no signing of yearbooks to be had of their elementary classmates. 

Disappointing, for certain.

Lucky for my son, he has a sentimental mama who is putting together his own photo yearbook from his final year in elementary school to accurately capture the year. I mean, come on, who doesn't want a picture of the best Halloween costume captured for life as part of his final parade!

Here we are nearly a month in to 7th grade. New school. New responsibilities. New memories.

Rest assured, I have decided that I will make his own personal photo yearbook in addition to the school offered yearbooks to ensure he has his own lasting memories. His wife will thank me some day. :)

I think Shutterfly photo yearbooks are a great idea for a class gift! You can order them in bulk at a discount just for your child's classroom. Such a special gift for example, for a kinder class or 6th grade class to commemorate starting and ending elementary school.  I still have 3 more years before Lily starts kindergarten, but I have this idea filed away in my memory for when she does for her whole class!

I have been using Shutterfly for my photobooks now for at least 4 years. The ability to customize exactly how I want them to be is what drew me in. The quality and customer service has kept me loyal.

You can find and follow Shutterfly:
            · Instagram: Shutterfly

I lovelovelove Shutterfly photobooks and  I am super excited to be able to offer one of you a hardcover 8x8, 20-page photobook including shipping!!

**To enter:  {leave a separate comment for each} ~ Can do

~Follow me via gfc, email or rss and leave me a comment telling me what kind of book you'd   make {an annual, a birthday, Halloween, a child's year etc.}
~Like Shutterfly on Facebook and tell them "My Not So Little Guy & My Little PunkyPie" sent you

~Like me on facebook
~Tweet about this giveaway and include @littlepunkypie and @Shutterfly in your tweet. {tweeting can be done daily ~separate comment each day}

The deets:
Contest ends: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 11:59pm. EST. {open to U.S. and Canada}
Winner will be chosen via and notified via email and updated on this post.

Share the Shutterfly love!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Shutterfly. All opinions are 100% my own

And the winner is........



Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Day Trip

I have a very hard working husband.

I'm lucky.

He works long hours in a physically demanding job to take care of our family. Sometimes there are days when we don't see him much. I try to keep my emotions in check about that because it's a sacrifice he makes to allow our family to be blessed by my being home with Lily and for Andrew and Reagan when they are home.

Yesterday, he took a day off to get a few things done. One of those things was to drive up to camp and pick up the boat to bring home for the winter.  We decided that Lily and I would tag along and take a little day trip just to spend the day together. 

The Outlaws were back in Pittsburgh, so there was no drama to be had as in Lily's first visit to camp. We actually didn't go all summer long simply because we wanted a peaceful summer that we'd worked very hard over the last 5 years to find. Our early trip this year in April was our only visit this year which was a perfectly happy time.

Lily was set for the ride with lunch, snacks, books, her baby and blankie. She happily chatted with both her parents and kept us laughing until she took a little snooze. We didn't listen to music...we just talked. About some important stuff and some nonsense. We reminisced about making this trip for the first time more than 5 years ago. It was nice simply being together instead of passing each other while we remind of schedules and handing off one to three kids. 

Once we arrived at camp, Lily needed to run off some energy. While Daddy got the boat prepared to come home, Lily ran in the grass next to the house. She is always full of nonstop go go go!

She decided to walk along rocks and feel her newly growing hair blow in the breeze.
Sometimes she stops to take a break.

She and I had a lot of fun and it always makes me happy to hear her laugh so hard! "Run Run, Mama!"

It was a short little day trip, but an enjoyable day as our party of three and much, much needed time together. ♥

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Free Thank Yous!

Tiny Prints 10 Free Thank You Cards

I am still working on Thank Yous for Lily's 2nd birthday... better late than never!

Even if you're not late on the draw like I am...

You can get:
10 FREE thank you cards from Tiny Prints. All you pay is shipping (as low as $3.50).

These cards can be completely customized and personalized to your tastes. Choose from
thousands of designs, add pictures, change the text, the fonts, the colors. You get to make these cards uniquely you.

Just use the promo code FREETHANKS when you check out and pay the shipping and Tiny Prints will send the 10 cards right away.'s up to you to use them!

Let's start a Thank You Revolution!
Visit Tiny Prints now to take advantage of this incredible deal!

Super deal from one of my favorite companies!!!

**Hurry offer ends 9/19 at 11:59pm (PT)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spray Park Playdate

**Be sure to check out and enter my current giveaway...going on now through noon Wednesday!!

One of our playdates this super hot summer was at a local spray park! There are only 3 of them around the Pittsburgh area and we decided to hit one up with all the kids!  It's always good when the big kids are around to help and this was one of the rare times Andrew was home in between his trips this summer!

Lily wasn't so sure about it at first and just ran around the outer edge of the spray pad and would take off towards the park. 

Like I said, having the big kids around totally helps! Tracy and Stef's boys stayed with her on this park escape.

Eventually and with her big brother's coaxing, she was right in the middle and having a ball!


It was a busy day at the spray park and between the 10 kids {of ours}, there were a lot of things going on at one time!

Not to be held back because he's two and the biggest boys are double digits, Logan does everything the biggest boys do.

It was a super hot day where everyone played together, enjoyed cooling off in the water and had a great time!  I always think it's super fun to see all the baby girls together interacting. There's always a lot of laughter on the mom end.

 Lily going in for the side "huggin"

There was resting and eating going on throughout the day as well.

As the day went on, Lily definitely was happily splashing and playing in the water without Andrew to help her anymore.

This was one of my favorite playdates this summer! Lots of fun, sun and friends.  Lily and Andrew both slept all afternoon, but not until after we stopped at Sonic for a slushie on the way home. ;)  It was a happy summer day ~ one of the few days with Andrew home in the early part of the summer!

Just Between Friends Pittsburgh Giveaway

When I first found out I was pregnant with Lily at the end of 2009, I started looking at baby items...cautiously. The price of diapers, clothes, the baby items available, you know, pretty much everything.

After we'd found out she was a girl, I was super excited to start my bargain shopping for this precious little one! One day that Spring,  I was driving and saw a sign for a Just Between Friends {JBF} of Pittsburgh consignment sale and decided that was a perfect place to check out some deals for this new baby we were expecting.  This was my first consignment sale in Pittsburgh~Spring 2010.

I checked out the website at home and signed up for the presale as a newly expecting mama. It was perfect and thus began my love of consignment shopping for the last few years! The quality of items consigned is excellent and the quantity of items available still shocks me! There is so much available and it's really good stuff.  Let's face it. Kids outgrow their clothes so quickly, so it just makes sense to essentially share with other people. Consignment sales are genius!

The Fall season consignment shopping is just beginning and lucky for you I've got two passes to give away for the JBF Sale that begins this week! Not only for the sale...but the presale Thursday night going on from 5pm-9pm!

Here's how you can win! 

~1.Make sure you leave a blog comment telling me what you're shopping for!
~2.Follow my blog publicly.
~3."Like" my Facebook Page and share about this giveaway on Facebook.
~4.Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

Leave a separate blog comment for each of the above. {link to share/tweet}

Contest will run through Wednesday, September 19 at NOON. Winner will be picked via and notified via email.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Little Sunday Night Blurb

Before I get back into summer catch up, I figured I'd blog about the haps now while we're currently watching the Steelers game.  It's truthfully a pretty boring one. After a disappointing Arizona State loss at the end of the game last night and an exciting Cardinals win over the Patriots today, this game isn't holding my interest much. 

It's almost time for Lily to go to bed, but she's sitting next to me doing flashcards on my phone.  Because of those flashcards, she insists that the box of corn muffins in the cabinet has a picture of mangos on it and will be sure to let you know she is right and you are not.  I love listening to her say new words all the time and this week my favorite thing she says is, "Thank you so mush, Mom."   I've got a whole list I've been keeping to share soon.  I lovelovelove language development. Andrew said to me the other day, "Lily is the funniest person I've ever met, Mom."  That pretty much sums up how much we are all enjoying her personality and language right now.

Andrew's been super busy with hockey, school and band and has officially decided that he wants to join marching band next year when he can. He had the game winning goal in overtime during his hockey game the other night! He also had the assist to tie the game in the last 4 seconds to GET to overtime.
After his game winning the genuine look of pride and happiness!

 I love this shot!! He's #77 in maroon and gold trying to get out of the line of fire on his opponent {and friend's} slapshot

Reagan's been doing well with school and her new custody schedule and starts with Brownies this week both her meeting and their first event. She's excited!

Tomorrow I have a giveaway for locals, so be sure to check back! It's a goodie, but a short one too!

George has been working a lot, so we don't take our time home together forgranted. We miss him...
Today is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. They spent 22 1/2 years married together on earth. I asked my mom if she felt old enough to be married for 40 years, she said yes then asked me if I didn't feel old enough for them to be. I don't.    Today is also my Oma's birthday. She would be 98.  She and my dad both died in the spring of 1995, four weeks apart. I sure hope they celebrated today!!

It took me nearly 2 and a half interrupted hours to write this.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Each year, my husband, son and I spend hours watching the 9/11 coverage on the History Channel, Discovery and every other channel you can find a different "story" or perspecitve on.  George and I tend to reflect on where we were in our lives moreso than physically where we were. Andrew always likes to hear the story that he and I were watching Blues Clues when my friend Genevieve called and asked if I was watching tv and told me to turn it to the news.

Andrew's, 22 month old, choice of words for the day was "dammit," that he'd colorfully express upon seeing the repeated coverage of the planes hitting the building. 

From a 12 year old perspective, I'm guessing his fascination is that it wasn't part of history BEFORE his life, but rather during his life.

In April of this year, Andrew and his Scout troop went on a trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Valley Forge and the September 11th Memorial in Shanksville. He said the Memorial was his favorite part of the trip. He read a lot of the information there and shared when he returned home. 

These are some of his photos from that day:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Arizona Here He Comes

Andrew and I were up at the crack of dawn for an 8:40am flight just less than 24 hours after he returned home from Scout Camp.  He was heading to Arizona to visit Oma {my mom} and aunts, uncles and cousins for two weeks. Yay for him!

Bags RE-packed with clean clothes and we were out the door. Lily stayed home with Daddy~ they were both sleeping when we left.

 Fortunately, although he is no longer traveling as an "unaccompanied minor," they allowed me to go to the gate with him to wait until his flight left. We had an easy go through security and not long lines at all. I'd guess due to the early time. ::yawn:: 

Andrew was happy that since he's still a kid he didn't have to remove his shoes through the security line. It's the little things.

Once we headed through security, we were off on the tram to get over to the gates. He enjoys the tram...not so much the pictures, but definitely the ride. Luckily he appeases me.
Pictures with Franco are a tradition...and everyone who comes to visit us does them too!
 Since he is not one to eat when he first wakes up, but that he'd be on a 4 hour flight to Phoenix and there wasn't anything along the way, I promised him a sausage biscuit with cheese {can't forget the cheese, Mom} when we got settled at the airport. Clearly, he was happy.

As we waited for him to board, I went over my list of reminders and quiz questions of "what do you do if..." until he'd had enough and I was satisfied he'd know how to handle himself in a variety of situations. 
I let the woman collecting boarding passes know that he wasn't an official unaccompanied minor, but was traveling alone.  She told him to just make sure he let a flight attendant know if he needed anything.   A hug and a kiss, some tears on my part and he was off.

This flight was a special trip as it was his first time back to Arizona since we moved in 2007. He was looking forward to it and I was for him!


It was not in my life's plan to have a child in a divorced situation where he'd have to fly across the country therefore having my son be seasoned in flying alone. He is seasoned, however.
So for all the judgey mcjudgersons who say "I'd never put my child on a plane alone," --while I may cry every single time he's flown and pray nearly nonstop for the duration of the flight, there are things you have to do that you never planned on doing as parents.

1st plane ride alone
{was excrutiating to send him}