It’s Your Birthday

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 12, 2014

Hey Noah,

I’m not sure how it happened, but you are now SEVEN years old, and today we celebrate YOU!

It seems like yesterday Dad was rushing me to the hospital to deliver you. Just like so many times throughout your life, you were eager to show face. In fact, I almost delivered you in the front seat of our car!

You have brought happiness, laughter, and many moments of heart-swelling love to our family, Noah. Always the center of attention, eager to please, and often a little trouble-maker, you never cease to bring smiles to our faces and  joy to our hearts.

Happy birthday, Noah!

Dad and I cherish every day with you and look forward to watching you grow and mature. We know you were born to do amazing and wonderful things and can’t wait to see what is in store for you!

Happy birthday, little man!!

Lots of love,



Save More with Savings Catcher

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 30, 2014

I’ve been shopping at Walmart and telling y’all all about it for quite some time. Not much has excited me more than the latest news – You can now be certain you are spending as little as possible with as little work as possible! No more scouring circulars from each store in town to compare prices. No more worries about whether or not your corner supermarket has an advertised price on your favorite items that may be lower than Walmart. No more hassle. No more worry. Savings Catcher to the rescue.

Beginning on August 4th, Savings Catcher will be available nationwide, but I had the opportunity to use it already and Savings Catcher saved me $.75 on a single shopping trip! I know you will totally dig it! Savings Catcher Here’s how it works:

  1. Shop at your favorite Walmart
  2. Keep your receipt and when you return home log on to
  3. Enter your receipt number in the appropriate place in Your Savings Dashboard
  4. Walmart compares prices to fin find the savings difference on like for like advertised items
  5. You get the difference added to your e-gift card.

It really is that simple! savings catcher is easy to use   As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Summer Nails with Sally Hansen Triple Shine

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 18, 2014

I love having pretty nails. So does Julia. In fact, we have quite the colorful rainbow collection of nail polish. We were both excited to try the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color from Walmart. Of the 29 available colors, we were sent seven to try, plus a bottle of clear Top Coat to lock in the shine.

 Water to workout, day in and day out, nothing will dull Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color. The gloss is protected with the Ultimate Shield Complex, exclusive to Sally Hansen, designed to help polish withstand the wear and tear of everyday living for non-stop shine.

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color:

  • Daily defense from water and wear
  • Natural crushed pearl delivers high-impact, glossy color
  • Non-stop shine
  • Gloss is protected with the Ultimate Shield Complex

nail candy

Julia and I were thrilled with the colors sent to us and immediately checked out some new designs on Pinterest. We found a few that we loved, but in the end decided to do our own thing with the colors we had.

Splattered Paint nail art

I first applied a base coat with Dive In. When dry, I took a disposable mascara wand and applied Pixie Slicks in small strokes across each nail. I repeated with Lemon Shark and then Drama Sheen. I applied the Top Coat when all color coats were completely dry.

Triple Shine Top Coat

One thing I will note is that we applied an additional Top Coat every couple of days to protect the color. However, we were very pleased to discover that the shine lasted through days of wear – in the pool and out. At just $4.57 per bottle at Walmart, it just can’t be beat!



Archery: My New Favorite Pastime

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on June 22, 2014

I’ve shot guns since I was young. In fact, I bought my very first gun – a .22 rifle – when I was a teenager. My siblings and I would practice target shooting with my parents when we would hike through our property. But, I never imagined I’d take up archery. I certainly was never opposed to shooting a bow; I just never gave it much thought.

Not until I watched my good friend shoot her compound bow, that is. She and her husband have about 15 different animal targets set up in their backyard for practice. She’ll be out there shooting for hours, and has hunted deer and exotic game with her bow. She shot a Water Moccasin just the other day – WITH HER BOW.

Watch out, Katniss!

After watching Marti, I just knew I would love it. She has some extra bows, so I tried to shoot not too long ago, but the bow draw was too short and the sights were off, so she promised we’d try again after they adjusted it all for me.

Well, today was the day. Marti called me to let me know that Bill had adjusted the bow and bought me some blunt tip arrows with bright pink fletchings!

It took a little while to find my groove. Proper stance, my aim (adjusting the pin sight helped), and figuring out the bow release were all very important. Unfortunately, however, I just could not remember to turn my left elbow out so as to not let the bow string snap my forearm.

bow welts

Of course, Bill had me covered. After putting on the leather arm guard I was good to go. Well, until Marti noticed I was gripping the bow too hard. They tried to show me how to let it rest on my thumb in the palm of my hand, but I just wasn’t gettin’ it. Once I saw the wrist sling on Marti’s bow, I knew that was what I needed. It’s a mind game, this bow shooting thing.


I worked up a sweat, missed the target a few times, and muscles I never knew I had are so very sore, but I am so proud of myself for getting out there. Maybe it was just beginner’s luck, but I think I’m pretty good. Can’t wait to get the bow back in my hands. Bill and Marti have me hooked!

great shot

This post does include affiliate links, but it’s in no way sponsored.


Entertaining with Aladdin

April 14, 2014

I love a good party, and everyone who knows me knows this is true. Lately, however, the pressure of achieving entertaining perfection makes cuddling up with my kiddos and hubby to watch a good movie sound like the better choice! This is where the Aladdin Mason Entertaining Collection comes in incredibly handy for at least […]

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Letting Go

February 25, 2014

It’s incredible, this parenting gig, right from the start. Flitters of movement, seeing my precious babies for the first time, giggling and cooing, cuddling and snuggling, silly faces and goofy grins. Having heart to heart conversations late at night, hearing “mama” from my three year old right on up to my 13 year old, being a […]

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Read Across America with Dr. Seuss

February 23, 2014

Dr. Seuss books are some of my all-time favorites. In fact, if I remember correctly, Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham were among the very first books I ever read all by myself. When Ray graduated from UCLA, his aunt gave him Oh, the Places You’ll Go! with a beautiful sentiment written inside. […]

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A Real Look at an Afternoon Outing

February 10, 2014

Yesterday was one of those days in the Texas hill country that made me think that Spring was on it’s way. With temperatures in the low 70s, it was a perfect day for soaking in some sunshine. So, after church we drove down to Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. It’s looks like we had […]

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#SiennaDiaries Entry #4: All the Comforts and Conveniences

January 12, 2014

The Toyota Sienna was quite the posh ride. All of us were very comfortable any time we drove that vehicle anywhere. Here are some of the resaons why – Heated Seats – Need I say more?! Automatic Doors – With just a simple touch of a button, the automatic doors make loading and unloading super […]

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My {simple} New Year’s Look

December 26, 2013

One day I’d like to get all decked out in a fancy dress, with a romantic up-do, and dramatic makeup to celebrate a year gone and count down to a new one. But, alas, we have kids, and for now we stay in and watch the ball drop with them. Even though we will be […]

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Doing Good With #Toyota {#SiennaDiaries}

December 15, 2013

As part of my involvement with Toyota through December they gave us some fun money to bless others. How did we use it? We went shopping! Julia and I loaded up a Walmart cart with toys and filled the cargo space in our Sienna. We plan to donate the brand new toys to kids in […]

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“How many?”

December 11, 2013

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and I just couldn’t resist posting it here… No matter where we go, we are always met with looks, stares, and questions. I generally don’t give it much thought – I smile, nod, and answer the questions. But, sometimes… well, I can’t help but sigh and roll […]

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Smiling it Forward with Alyson Hannigan

December 9, 2013

Like most of us moms, How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan, loves sharing photos of her young daughters with friends, family and fans online. Y’all know how often I do the same! For this very reason, I have teamed up with Alyson , SheSpeaks, and Tylenol as a “Smile Squad” blogger to help spread […]

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My Afternoon With Garth Brooks Rocked! #BlameItAllOnMyRoots

November 28, 2013

I want to tell you all about Garth Brooks’ newest boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, due to release tomorrow, but will you bare with me as I gush about my afternoon with him first? When I started blogging, what seems like ages ago, I had not a clue that so many great […]

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Avoiding Holiday Kitchen Hazards {Home Safety Giveaway}

November 26, 2013

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen this week. Have you? Do you have a little one who may not be aware of the hidden dangers? I’ve teamed up with Safety 1st again this month to bring you some safety tips from Julie Vallese, Safety 1st Consumer Safety Expert. Check ‘em out… […]

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Mimi and the Rocket

November 11, 2013

We had the great privilege of being blessed with my mom’s company for the better part of this last week. It was the first time she had seen our new home, so we were excited to explore our new city with her and just hang out. (Well, Mom couldn’t help herself and she did a […]

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Nursery Safety :: #Safety1st

October 28, 2013

We don’t have babies any more, and to be honest, we only had a real nursery for the twins thirteen years ago. So much has changed since then, from baby monitors to child proofing products, but one thing remains – Baby must be kept safe! Your baby will spend a large amount of time in […]

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Sycamore Row by John Grisham – A Book Review

October 27, 2013

In his newest novel, “John Grisham takes you back to where it all began…” I didn’t read John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, but I did watch the movie years ago, and  I do know that it was one of the most popular novels of our time – anyone who enjoys legal thrillers knows the […]

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Turning Aggression in to Calm and Loving Responses :: A Lesson in Expression

September 8, 2013

Noah is all boy. He showed his aggressive nature quite early, and as soon as he could stand on his own he assumed an offensive football stance. He was born tough, has always been loud, and is afraid of nothing. Over the years I tried to work with Noah to express his frustrations in more […]

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B2S :: 1st Day

August 27, 2013

Sending five of my kids off on the first day of a new school year, in a new school, was bittersweet. This will be Noah’s very first year away from home, and I know I will miss him in a different way than I will miss the others. This morning, as I said goodbye to […]

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Summertime Fun At The Austin Ice Cream Festival

August 17, 2013

There are certainly no shortage of fun things for the whole family to do in Austin… We were excited to discover that this weekend was the 7th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival. Ray and I thought it would be a great way to spend one of the last Saturdays before school starts, so we decided […]

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#WordlessWednesday :: Texas Lightening Storm

August 7, 2013
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