Jord Wooden Watches: The Perfect Gift, a Discount, and a Giveaway

Until a few days ago, I didn’t own a watch. I told time by the placement of the sun, or, more accurately, by digging my iPhone out of my giant handbag. There had to be a better way. That better way turned out to be this beautiful wooden watch from Jord. I have partnered with Jord to offer A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER readers a chance to win a $100 gift card. All readers are eligible to use a discount code to receive 10 percent off any order.

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You know I’m a sucker for cool packaging, and Jord’s packaging is absolutely perfect. My watch arrived in a sturdy wooden box, comfortably resting on an adorable burlap pillow. The box also contained a special cloth and cleaning pen for caring for the time piece.

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Jord offers a variety of watches perfect for men or women. They can be engraved and ordered to perfectly fit the recipient’s (or your own) wrist. The watch fits comfortably and is a classic design I’ll wear for years to come.

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My watch is the Cassia series Walnut and Vintage Rose. I wore it last Saturday on a dinner date with my husband. I love how it is versatile enough to wear to work or out on the town.

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There are so many stunning time pieces to choose from. They would make a perfect graduation or Father’s Day gift as well. Or, if you’re like me and are just tired of digging your phone out of your giant handbag to tell time, you could treat yourself!

To enter the Jord gift card giveaway and get 10 percent off any order, visit this link. The giveaway will be open until June 24 and the winner will be announce right here on A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER.

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Note: This post was sponsored by Jord, but all opinions expressed are truly my own.

 

 

 

 

 

All 50 by 40: Texas

My quest to visit all 50 states by the time I turn 40 has the self-imposed rule that airport layovers don’t count. This is why Texas remained on the to-visit list despite the fact that I have been to airports in various Texan cities several times. My husband and I decided to make this one a family trip and chose San Antonio for the history, River Walk, and abundance of kid-friendly activities.

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My three-year-old has flown several times and is a pro as well as a lover of all things vacation-related.

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This was my one-year-old’s first time flying and she didn’t take too kindly to it despite the happy photo below. I’m not giving up that easily, however.

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The grounds of the Alamo are beautiful and made for a great place for the girls to run around and experience some fresh air while my husband and I got our history fix.

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We explored all five San Antonio Missions, which were fascinating.

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We stayed at The Hotel Contessa on San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk. I’m working on a separate post just about the hotel, which was elegant, yet kid-friendly. This was a great location close to shops, restaurants, and, of course, a pink horse-drawn carriage.

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The below photo pretty much sums up the highs and lows of traveling with small children. There are smiles, fun, happy memories, mixed with occasional inevitable meltdowns.

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Sea World was a must and the whole family enjoyed our day spent there.

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The little one sampled the duck food. Gross.

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San Antonio is somewhere we’ll definitely revisit in the future. We will also continue to take family vacations at least once a year, despite the hiccups that accompany traveling with small children. In the end, the memories of their laughter while splashing in the pool and watching them experience something new will always overshadow the screeching, spilled milk, and flights with a squirmy, nap-fighting one-year-old.

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I have six states left to visit and tomorrow marks exactly five years to visit them all before age 40. I can’t wait to book my next trip!

The Updated List

Alaska

Arkansas

Michigan (I have been to airports)

Tennessee

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Springtime in South Dakota

When spring finally arrives in western South Dakota, often long, long after the actual equinox, certain signs fill the senses. The sight of an endless blue sky, the smell of green grass and branding smoke, the feeling of a light breeze through bedroom window at night, all combine to tell us winter might be gone at last. It is Mother Nature’s great sigh of relief.

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We praise God for cowboys, kids, baby bison, cookouts, afternoon rains, lilacs, and longer days.

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After a long winter, the trees have buds, though few leaves have presented.

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It is my belief every child should spend time on a cattle ranch, even if it is just for a visit.

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Sparkling water and the smell of pine trees bring joy to us on a Sunday afternoon drive through the Black Hills.

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It is also my belief that even my “town girls” need to experience a day now and then of getting the kind of messy that leaves the bath water muddy and dark.

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They need to smell like horses and have dirt under their finger nails.

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Then they need to clean up nice for church the next day and chase each other around after breakfast.

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We are grateful and blessed.

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The kind of sleep we have after a full day of fresh air is the most restful. It is the peace we feel after a hard day of work with family and friends. Spring is finally here in South Dakota.

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The Girl is One

It always sounds so cliché, but it’s so true: The first year of a baby’s life goes so quickly! Our youngest turns one tomorrow. We celebrated with a donut-themed brunch over the weekend.

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The bear cake, made by my mother, is a family tradition. I had it for my first birthday, as did my oldest daughter, my cousin (who is also my youngest daughter’s godmother), and my niece. The girl was really quite dainty about eating her cake. She didn’t even get frosting on her shirt!

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We had donuts, cake, and cupcakes. I felt a tiny bit embarrassed because our family dentist who is also a good friend was in attendance with his wife and adorable daughter. I apologized for the sugar overload (while stuffing my face with a sprinkle-covered donut.)

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Happy birthday to our sweet baby girl. You are a cuddly, entertaining, delightful soul. You are a terrific walker and say “mama” and “dada.” You love animals, your sister, and making us laugh. We love you!

 

 

Motherhood Should Come with a Lifetime Supply of Kleenex

She’s three, sitting there bravely waiting to have her ears pierced, and I’m digging frantically in my purse for one of the little packs of Kleenex I can never be without. They’re not for her. I look away, pretending to be interested in a display of tacky pink feather boas, hoping she doesn’t notice my tears.

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Her sister will be one in a week. Again, I am reaching for Kleenex as I put finishing touches on her birthday party plans and wonder where the last year has gone. I can’t help but think that motherhood has made me soft. But in reality, it has also made me incredibly strong because I know I can and would do anything for these two girls.

I kick myself for crying because, well, I’m usually a little embarrassed about it. But, when you think about it, maybe that willingness to be vulnerable and to love deeply is actually one of our super-hero powers as parents. Capes are the new mom-jean.

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I know reaching for those little packs of Kleenex is just part of my life now. I’ll be digging for them at first days of school, graduations, and wedding days, and all of the milestones in between. I wouldn’t change it. Motherhood is such a deep, consuming type of love. We can’t describe it, and we can’t contain it, so sometimes the only thing left to do is to invest in a lifetime supply of little Kleenex packs. We are going to need them, and that’s a good thing, because I really believe most of those tears will be the happy kind.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Recently my daughters and I were perusing our local library when the head librarian (who we know from church) approached us about the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. I was instantly excited! An excuse to make a list and read with my daughters? Count me in.

The 1000 Books Foundation exists to promote reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers and to encourage parent and child bonding through reading. I have read to both my daughters from the time they were tiny babies, but I am excited that this program will help me be more intentional in our reading choices. I think it will also help us carve out more time to read.

1,000 books might sound like a lot, but really, it is fewer than three books a day for a year. In our town, the program began April 1. Books can be repeated as your child requests and still count toward the 1,000. Information on finding a local program, book recommendations, and tips for reading with your child are all available at this link.

To get in the spirit of things, here are six current favorites in our household.

1. Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett. 2. Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz. 3. I Am a Warrior Goddess by Jennifer Adams. 4. Little Women: A Playtime Primer by Jennifer Adams 5. Found by Salina Yoon. 6. Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Product Review: Date Night In

It’s Friday and hopefully that means you have fun plans in store for the weekend. Last Friday night, my husband and I put the girls to bed early and opened up our first-ever Date Night In box. With two little ones at home, it is sometimes hard to squeeze in date time, so I was interested in trying Date Night In. It was so much fun! Our box arrived in the mail and sat on the counter for a few days until Friday rolled around. When we opened it, I was immediately intrigued!

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Each date also includes a menu for an easy-to-prepare, yet scrumptious meal as well as a complete grocery-shopping list. Our menu, courtesy of Marina Makes, included roasted walnut and honey bruschetta and a delicious penne bake with vodka sauce. I’ll definitely be making these again.

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Our date also included supplies and instructions for making yummy Oreo pops to snack on during the date.

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Then it was time to start documenting the “Story of Us.” Each Date Night In box features a unique theme designed to spark conversation. Ours even came with an “old-school” disposable camera.

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Our date required us to answer various questions about each other and our plans for the future. It also featured a photo scavenger hunt. We had a great time making our book and can’t wait to complete it when we get our photos developed this weekend.

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We were surprised how much the activities in the box really prompted us to talk about our wishes for the future and what we are currently so thankful about in our marriage.

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We reminisced about our first few dates and talked about some prospective travel plans, all with our little ones asleep in the other room.

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A Date In Box would be a perfect gift for newlyweds or parents with a new baby. We are definitely going to try another one. I love the element of surprise. I also look forward to trying a Kids Night In or Faith Night In.

For more information or to purchase your own box, visit this link. You can purchase a one-time-only box or a subscription for monthly shipments.

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Note: Date Night In provided a free date box to A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER for this post, but all opinions expressed are truly my own.