The Trouble With Texas { Mamavation Monday }

Is all of the food!

Now–I know what you’re thinking, and no, no one *forced* me to eat all the pizza, BBQ, fried chicken, ice cream, and peach cobbler. But when the ppl you’re living with buy and offer it to you on a consistent basis-well let’s just say will power has never been my really strong suite.

Seeing a *lovely* picture of my love handles posted on FB, however, shook me out of my comfort food coma and made me realize that staying up far past midnight, sleeping in late, not working out, and eating above delicious food is not a good combination for pictures or my sanity of mind. So this week we’re getting back into a routine and staying that way!

I actually haven’t gained all that much-I’m still hovering right through 135-138 like always but I can *feel* and see that a lot of that has transitioned from muscle to fat-and with the holidays and my brother’s wedding rapidly approaching I know I need to start good habits now!

So, here I am again-ready for action and needing more support than ever! 🙂

Linking back up with Mamavation!

Nicole Elliott

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Guide

I know, I know what you’re thinking! It’s not even Halloween yet and here I am fast forwarding ahead to Christmas. And to be honest–I’d rather not see the Christmas trees up in all the stores at least until mid-November myself!

 When it comes to gift shopping and holiday planning, however, I always love getting a head start on everything. By planning out gifts in advance I can not only get gifts that will really fit the person I can also relax and just enjoy all the festivities when December arrives!

Here are my top tips for buying Unique Holiday Gifts!

1. Add a little personalization in an unexpected way.

It’s hard to go wrong with jewelry when you know your recipients style. Rather than just a pair of earrings, however, try going for something like these beautiful Glass Birthstone Earrings. They don’t look like typical “birthstone” month jewelry-but it adds that little bit of special into the gift!

 2. Go with the Holiday

Even the person who has everything would be hard pressed to turn up their nose at a Christmas ornament-especially one that is gorgeous like these Recycled Glass Tree Globes. An added bonus is that they will think of you each year when they are putting up their decorations!

3. Give a classic gift with a twist.

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic gift like wooden blocks for kids-but why just go with the normal ABC variety? These from Uncommon Goods have the periodic table of elements on them-and are sure to get a giggle from the parents as well as the kids. They would also make an adorable and fun gift for a college student or as a high school graduation present!

What is the most clever gift that you’re giving this year?

I received the pretty earrings for review-all thoughts, opinions, and good ideas are my own.

Nicole Elliott

Getting Older

This year it hit me that at 27 I now fall into the “late twenties” age group instead of the “early twenties” one. I can hardly believe that Bob and I have been together for 10 years-or that I have a “baby” who will be starting “real school” next year!

As you know I lost my Grandpa last year-but I still have both of my Grandma’s and my Step-Grandpa around-and for this I feel so very blessed! When my Grandpa passed away I wasn’t involved in a lot of the details since I was down here and Texas at the time-but I talked to my mom about a lot of the things that were going on–including the hassles with the insurance company about life insurance for the elderly and discussions about AARP.

Although I kid about being “old” at not even 30 experiencing these things help me to look ahead to the future. As I’ve mentioned before I worked in a financial aid office in Washington DC and learned there how important life insurance is to have–and as much as you want to feel like you’re invincible-no one ever is. I’m thankful for having a boss who drove that into my brain when I was young so that I won’t have to learn the hard way some time in the future!

Written by Nicole Elliott

Moving & Car Insurance

Ever since we got married we’ve moved an average of once a year-all out of state moves too! With each move came all the typical moving things-packing, home hunting, deposits, etc. etc. etc. Changing our insurance around was always a big deal–because although you might not realize it if you compare vehicle insurance rates in Colorado to rates in Massachusetts, for example, you find out that each state has totally different rules and prices-it’s all a little crazy. When you move so often you definitely need a great insurance company to deal with all the crazy and help save you money-luckily we have one.

Before since we were doing all our moving within the military there were certain things that we didn’t have to worry about-like finding a new doctor or getting new license plates.

I just had to say goodbye to my Wyoming license plates–all this time I’ve truly been a “Wyoming Girl” because as a military spouse I was able to stay a Wyoming resident-so I could truly say that it was still my home-because technically even it still was!

There was something about switching out my old pretty plates for new ones that made me sad–they were great conversation starters out on the East Coast and I loved representing where I was from.

It’s not all sad though-part of me is really excited to perhaps, for the first time since getting married, really put down some roots–to stop hopping from state to state knowing it’s just temporary so not to get too attached, to finally feel really at home somewhere.

Maybe, just maybe, getting new license plates is a start!

Written by Nicole Elliott

Pre-Order Men in Black 3

 My first experience with Men In Black wasn’t a great one–it was going to see Men In Black 2 on a “friend date” (well-I thought it was a friend date-he thought it was a date-date, but that’s a story for a different day)

Neither one of us had ever seen Men In Black so we were totally lost in the storyline and the jokes went over our heads-afterwords he apologized and called the movie “lame”.

Fast forward a few years to me dating my hubby. Being a total Sci-Fi geeky kind of guy we were talking movies one night and he mentioned Men In Black. I said I thought it was a dumb movie and he was totally horrified. After digging a little deeper I admited to him that I’d only seen the second movie-to which he replied, “Well that’s why you think that then, you have to see the first one first, silly.” So then we had to watch the first one that night-after which I decided that I did, in fact, quite like the series!!

Fast forward–uh–a couple more years, and that brings us to yesterday–when I went in to Wal*Mart to pre-order MIB3.  Have you seen the previews yet? If not here it is!

I’ve never pre-ordered a movie before and I loved how simple it was!

1. First pick up this box in the new release section of Wal*Mart

2. At Home Open it up and follow the steps to set up your VuDu & Ultra Violet Accounts (took me about 3 minutes)

 3. Sit back and wait for them to mail the Men In Black 3 DVD/Blue Ray right to you! **Plus** you get to watch the digital copy through VuDu *before* it comes out in stores–pretty cool!! We’re planning on having a super fun Men In Black viewing party with my in-laws to celebrate (post on that to come!)

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sony #CBias #SocialFabric #SEEMIB3

Written by Nicole Elliott

Construction Vehicle Toys & Tyler

Tyler *loves* construction vehicles. Every time we pass by a construction site he starts hollering for joy-one of his very first words was “backhoe”. For a long time any and every construction vehicle was a “backhoe”  but now that he’s a little older he’s starting to point out crane’s and bulldozers as well-and he thinks that every big truck is “digging” (even if it’s an 18 wheeler-haha).

He loves them so much that when we went to the Franklin Zoo with my parents his favorite part was watching the bulldozer work on the new exhibit they were building, haha!

His love and obsession has made buying toys and books for him super easy! As far as books go we love Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Machines at Work. For toys I got him the little bitty construction vehicles above for his birthday and a little bit bigger one as well and the Grandma’s have also contributed!

Now that we have a great back yard and huge sand box I wanted to get Tyler a little bit bigger construction vehicle to play with–the Toystate Caterpillar Construction Job Site Machines: Wheel Loader is absolutely perfect for this and I love how with the lever he’s able to have the scoop really go up and down and pick up rocks, leaves, and-of course-dirt! Give him these, dirt, sand, sticks and leaves and he will play all morning long!

I just love that my little guy is just All Boy!!!

We were sent the Toystate Caterpillar Construction Job Site Machines: Wheel Loaderto review. All cute boys, dirt, and construction site discussions are my own.
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Written by Nicole Elliott

Fall Wardrobe Update with Cookies Kids

Here in Texas fall has finally arrived and I’m super happy! The 96 degree days we had when we first moved down here made me feel like I was about to melt away! Since the “cool” weather here has been into the 60s & 70s I knew that while I needed to switch out the kids  summer shorts their Boston fall gear would be too thick and warm for what we need here.

Girl and Puppy

While I was looking through the kiddos wardrobes it was clear that the thing that we needed the most was pants for Amber-all of hers had holes in the knees-as you can see above!

When I go shopping I always try to get the best deal possible-whether online or in store. I headed over to Cookies Kids because I’d seen from some of my other blogging friends that they have absolutely adorable Kids Clothes for great prices! You can view my entire fun shopping experience!

Cookies Kids Clearance

Tyler needed some new shirts as he’s starting to outgrow some of his-so I hit up the Clearance Section first to see what I could find. I found this adorable t-shirt right off the bat for only $1.89 WOW! I was instantly sold on this website and it is sure to become one of my go-to places for shopping from now on! Cookies Kids have 7 stores in the NYC area in Bronx, Brooklyn and Jamaica as well as online at – which is where I’ll be shopping! 

One of my Online Shopping Tips is to make sure you’re getting the correct size by paying close attention to the sizing charts. This is just as true for kids as it is for adults! I loved the handy little Alva Kids icon by the size option, once you click on an article of clothing. It helps you be able to tell what size your child wears in that particular item kids-super handy.

Cookies Kids Shopping Haul

I got so excited when my shopping haul arrived in the mail! My mother-in-law oohhed and awwed when I pulled my goodies out of the envelope. She couldn’t believe I got so many high quality pieces all for $34! I ended up with 2 shirts for Tyler, 2 leggings for Amber, and a full outfit for Amber.

Tyler is very much into “Thomas the Train” right now-and he thinks that *every* train is Thomas. So when I saw this totally darling Levi’s “Pioneers Railroad” T-Shirt I knew I had to get it! It is soooo soft and he went nuts when he saw it!

Mommy Tip: Buy one size too big when buying toddler shirts–they look fine a little big and it will double the time your kiddo can wear it for!

Coney Isle “Sparkle Anchor” 2-Piece Outfit

This Coney Isle “Sparkle Anchor” 2-Piece Outfit is now my favorite one of Amber’s! It’s so dressy and comfy all rolled into one-and I love the unique anchor and sailor vibe it has! Bob might be out of the Coast Guard now but our roots run deep-in my heart I’ll always be a Coastie Wife.

Girl Anchor Shirt

Mommy Tip: Transition a summer dress through fall by adding a fun, warm pair of Cherry Stix “Sparkle Knit” Leggings

Ready to go stock up on Fall Clothes for your little one?

For 10% off sitewide! Exp 11/30/12
Use Coupon Code at Checkout: wyominggirlcoastwife

For more great deals and adorable outfits follow Cookies Kids on Twitter and Facebook

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and #CBias #SocialFabric #CookiesKids

Nicole Elliott

Make a Wizards Hat with Bic Markers

We’re finally getting settled in here in our new home in Texas and trying to get into a routine of things. Over the past week I’ve started up doing preschool again with Amber & as the weeks go on I’m planning on using Pinterest to come up with all kinds of fun crafts to do since she *loves* craft time!

This past week we made this super fun, super easy Wizards Hat-just in time for Halloween! Although we’ve never been big on Halloween I do think that the costumes are fun and we enjoy the pumpkins each year.  The supplies we used were:

The first thing Amber wanted to do was color the spider with our new BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker and then we gave him a cute little smiley face (he’s a nice Spider you see?)

Then it was time to get our glitter on around the brim!

Next Amber wanted to decorate the ribbon. We’ve been learning about patterns for school so she did a dot-dash pattern all along it.

Tip: When using permanent markers always put paper between them and the table-if you *don’t* at first Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will take it right off of hard surfaces like kitchen tables!

Then it was my turn! I stuffed the hat  so that it would keep it’s form and I glued on the ribbon winding around the hat and added on our cute lil spider.

Ta Da! A fun craft that doubles as dress up-my favorite kind!

One lucky winner will receive their very own 36 pack of BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers!

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We were sent our uber fun and colorful BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers for free through All cute smiles, fun crafts, and adorable smiles are our own.

Nicole Elliott