Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of Warmer Weather

It has been so cold here in South Carolina.  We even had a white Christmas, which hasn't happened in over 45 years.  The snow is slowly melting away, but the temperatures are still pretty chilly.  I am ready to go somewhere warm, with beautiful beaches so I can get my feet wet in the ocean water.  I told Junior he needs to look into west palm beach real estate, not to buy anything, but to find a rental place where we could stay for a few days. Brandi has been asking for years to go to the ocean, and I think this year we might actually do it.  Well, I say this year, but I really mean next year, seeing as how there are only two days left in this year.

Either way, I am looking forward to some down time with my family.

On Company Time

Do you own your own company, and have company vehicles?  If so, you may want to look into vehicle tracking systems.  Knowing where you employees are while on company time can save you money in a bunch of different ways.   For one thing, gas prices are pretty high right now, and if your employee is using the company vehicle to run personal errands on company time, you have a right to know bout it so that you can put a stop to it.  Tracking your vehicles can also insure that your employees are being efficient. 

Some people may think this is an invasion of their privacy, but I don't agree with that.  If you are on the clock, than your boss has a right to know how you are spending your time.

Easy DIY Quilt For My Daughter

Guest post written by Tina Carlson

I love making things for my family and I think that they like the stuff I make them. It's not like I knit them embarrassing sweaters every year for Christmas or anything, but I really think about what they could use like a new pair of gloves or a scarf to match a new winter coat.

Right now my daughter just finished up her first semester of college and it's so nice to have her back at home for the holidays. I thought that I could make something really nice for her to take back with her to use at school. While I was online I came across a site with some internet packages on it and after I looked through them, I decided to sign up for one of them.

I decided to make her a easy DIY quilt that she could put on her bed in her dorm room and have as an extra layer of warmth in that drafty old dorm. I think that she'll like it, especially because I made it to match her bed's comforter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm A Charter Mom

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Charter. All opinions are 100% mine.
I just "liked" the new Charter Moms Facebook page.  This is a place where mom's can voice their opinions on all things Charter.  For those of you who don't know, Charter is the 4th largest cable operator in the United States, and just so happens to provide me with my cable, internet, and home phone.  I have been a loyal customer for many years, and overall, I have been very happy with the service they provide.
CharterMomsLogo
When I heard about Charter Moms, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.  I want to be one of the first to know about new programs and features that are available.  As a new customer many years ago, I didn't know about their on demand feature for several months.  Once I realized what it was, I could have slapped myself for not using it before.  I have almost every channel available, including all the movie channels.  I like watching movies on demand with the kids, because it gives me the ability to pause and even rewind if one of the kids missed a part.  I also love watching Victorious on demand.  I know, it's a show geared towards kids, but I really like it.  I have been known to watch it even when the kids aren't.
Don't judge me.  You know there are shows you secretly watch, too.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Four More Days!

I can not believe there are only four days until Christmas day.  This is the first year, in many, many years that we have not had to borrow money to get the kids their gifts.  Sure, it's not going to be a big Christmas, but each kid is going to get exactly what they asked for, which doesn't happen very often around here.

We have lots to do the next few days, too.  On Christmas Eve, we are going to visit some of my husband's cousins, and then we are going to my sister's house to exchange gifts with my dad.  Christmas Day will be spent with my mom, of course, which I am really looking forward to. 

I am also looking forward to seeing what Junior and the kids have for mt under the tree.  It's been many, many years since Junior and I have spent money on each other, letting the kids pick out gifts for us.  We decided that we will worry about "real life" stuff like car insurance and changing our cable package after the first of the year.  We have until February to pay for our yearly car insurance policy, and I think I have until March to decide about the cable.  It's nice to put those things on the back burner for the next week or so, and not worry about money.  Or even worry about anything.

We are dedicated to enjoying this Christmas, stress free. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shopping On Black Friday Is The Best

Guest post written by Rolf Tate

It's the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Stores put everything on sale at phenomenal prices. Okay, the traffic is snarled and the people are militant, but there's a reason for that. Women drive the economy; it's a statistical fact. It's women who shop on Black Friday and women who buy most of the Christmas decorations and presents. So you crawl through the crowds with your purchases clutched to your chest and actually make it to the checkout.

But I got the deal of the century on a new coffeepot. I was in Kohl's and saw a black twelve cup Mr. Coffee coffeepot for twenty dollars. The sale price knocked it down to fifteen. At the register, unbeknownst to me, was yet another discount and so I got a great coffeepot for eight dollars! I put the coffeepot in the car and went back in to get a gift for my three year old granddaughter.

I happened across a set of blocks with letters and numbers to help my daughter teach her to count and teach her the alphabet. The set was ten dollars but with the discount at the register, I got the set of blocks for four dollars! I just love Kohl's!

As I watched satellite TV that I got after seeing this Directtv comparison, I was very thankful to be home with few bruises.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brandi's Teacher's Christmas Gift

Did you follow that?  Since Brandi is my only kid who still wants to give her teacher a gift, I decided to make it special.  As some of you know, Brandi is in an all girl's class, and the room is done in pink and black prints.  This is what I came up with:
I know the picture isn't the best...my camera broke, and my mom left her's here over the weekend, so I tried using hers, and, well, it's not like mine at all.  That said, I think Brandi's teacher will like this.

DIY iPad Case

Guest post written by Sam Rodriguez

I kind of wanted an ipad for a while, but I broke down about a month ago and finally bought one for myself. I actually have gotten quite a bit of use out of it, so I'm satisfied that I'll eventually get the money's worth out of it, which is the reason that I put it off for so long.

But I still haven't bought an ipad case for it yet. I thought that could wait. I wanted to shop around for that anyway. When I was shopping around for one online one night, I actually found some information about Clearwire wireless internet systems and decided to change over my home internet access to that provider.

I found all kinds of great cases that looked like I could actually recreate myself, so I decided to just pull of an DIY ipad case. I mean, I didn't think that would be too hard to make. Now this way I could even personalize my case with my name and make it exactly how I want it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

DIY Ribbon Bulletin Board

Guest post written by Stacy Carlson

I'm so bad about forgetting to hold onto business cards or pictures or other little random things that people give me. I end up throwing a lot of them away or losing them under my couch, which can really cause problems when I try to find them later. But here lately, I've been trying to be a little more organized. I've bought a few different organizational things and everything. However, I still hadn't found anything that would be perfect to use to store all of that stuff while leaving it out for me to see and remind myself of what I do have.

I went online to try and find an organizational solution for that and actually came across some info about York Wireless internet deals and decided to order one of them to change over my internet access.

After a whole lot of searching, I decided that a ribbon bulletin board was exactly what I was thinking. I could easily make it and just stick cards or whatever I needed to hold onto it with the ribbons so that they wouldn't get ruined.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Ornament For Brandi

 I love the feet on this one!  And the googly eyes!

Getting The House Ready

Have you ever been the victim of a flood?  The way it was raining here last night I was convinced our little home would be swept away.  The weather men had talked about it snowing, but thankfully it was just rain.  Today is Brandi's birthday party, and if I had to worry about applied structural drying the party would be ruined.  


As it is now, the girls and I are trying to get the house clean and ready.  I am baking meatballs to go with my ziti, Brandi is cleaning the bathroom, and Kasi is working on the floors.  We have mostly hardwoods (the fake kind) and an area rug.  The rug seem to be a catch all for every piece of dirt in this house, and I hate having to drag out the vacuum just to clean it.  Most of the time, I just sweep it, but that just gets rid of the surface dirt.  I really need to look for some rug cleaning tips so I can get all the ground in dirt out.  I would hate to see what a carpet cleaner would pull out of it.  

If I had thought ahead, I would have looked up some do it yourself upholstery cleaning tips and tried to clean the couch.  Most of the time I keep a sheet on it, so it's not too bad.  It's just nice every now and them to do a little Spring cleaning, even if it is Winter time.



Do You Want To Be A Teacher?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of 2tor. All opinions are 100% mine.

For all you busy moms out there, going to school online is an easy way to continue your education without sacrificing time with your family. You can study on your own time, and work your school work into your own schedule.  Depending on what you want to study, there are several different schools that offer online classes.  If you are interested in becoming a teacher, you should check out the The USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT@USC program.  If you qualify, you can participate in their accelerated program, which you can finish in a little as 12 months.  You can take classes online and gain field experience in your own area.  Again, this is something you can fit into your own schedule.  They also offer tuition reimbursement and scholarships, which will come in handy with today's economy.    If this sounds like something you are interested in, you can check out the program information for yourself. 

I have been toying with going back to school for a while now, but I can't seem to make up my mind.  I need to find out about transferring my credits from when I went to college years ago, though I doubt many of them will be transferable.  I will most likely have to start over, which I don't really mind.  It's just that it can be expensive, and we are tight on money right now.  But, if I do go back to school, when I graduate, I will make more money, which makes it all worth while. 

Right?

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Ornament For Kasi

Here's Kasi's ornament for this year.  Cute, right?

Free Dating Site

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of luvfree. All opinions are 100% mine.

More and more single people these days are turning to the internet to find their soul mates.  There are so many different sites dedicated to helping a person find a compatible mate, it can get confusing trying to find the right one for you.  Some boast they can match you with someone who meets all your needs, while others leave it to you to browse and find someone yourself. 

On LuvFree, it's a little different.  The more time you spend on the site, the more matches you will make.  In fact, if someone is searching for a specific attribute that you possess, if you are online, you will be on the top of their match list.  You can video chat, view profiles, message people, and rate photos, all for free.  That's right.  One of the biggest things that sets this dating site apart is that you are never charged for any of their services.  There are no hidden charges, either.  When they say free, they mean free.

I am thankful that I am happily married, and not having to deal with being single.  It has been way too many years since my last date, and I would hate to have to do the whole dating thing again.  It's scary out there.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 Ornament For Ryan

Christmas wouldn't be complete without the kids yearly ornaments.  This year, Ryan ended up with a cute little tree, complete with snowflakes and berries.  Is it my most creative ornament ever?  Not even close.  But I have been so busy, he's actually lucky he got an ornament at all this year.

It's Beginning To Feel Like Christmas

It is cold today!  Our high is only going to be 40 degrees.  I was thrilled this morning when Brandi woke up still not feeling well, because that meant I didn't have to go to the bus stop when it was twenty something degrees.  She has been fighting a cough for a while now, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.  So, instead of school we are taking a trip to the doctors.  I'm hoping he'll be able to give her something to knock the cough out.

I have gotten used to the "not so cold" Christmas' we have here in South Carolina.  That doesn't stop the stores from decorating like we're living at the North Pole.  I love all the Santa villages and snowmen.  Whenever we go to a store or the mall, I always think to myself that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.  Now if I could just finish up my shopping, things would be perfect.  Kasi is the only one I have left to shop for, but whenever I try and find something for her, I find things I know Brandi would love. 

I found this adorable umbrella that I know Brandi would love.  I mean, it's a ladybug, and you all know about her ladybug obsessions.  She reminds me of myself with elephants.  Anyway, this is part of a Kidorable deal where they are offering this umbrella free with purchase until December 15.  I am hoping I can find something to buy for Kasi, so that I can get this free umbrella. 

If only I could find something for Kasi.  Who knew it would be so hard shopping for a 13 year old girl?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Almost Done

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last Friday, Junior and I ventured out to do a little shopping.  It was Black Friday, so we were hoping to find some good deals.  We didn't go out until after noon, so most of the great deals were long gone.  however, we were able to get most of our shopping done.  The only kid I have left to buy for is Kasi, and I just need to get her a few more things.  One of the things I want to find is a flat wallet, which seems to be a popular accessory these days.  The last time we were in our local mall, we found a kiosk that sells them, but they were $30 each.  I flat out refuse to pay that much money for one wallet, no matter how badly she wants it. 

I decided to look online to see if I could find a cheaper one, and I found a few that are pretty nice at Pier 1.  The best thing is that they are on sale.  I found these on sale for $3.98. 

That is a huge savings.  I also found these for $11.18, and I am thinking about getting her the zebra print one.  I bought her a zebra print purse she was wanting, and this would match that perfectly.

Pier one also has a ton of decorations for your holiday entertaining.  I know that when I step one foot into that store, I am going to want to buy everything.  I love Christmas, and even though we don't have people over to our house for the holidays, I love decorating it anyway.  The girls and I had fun putting up our tree last weekend, and I know all the decorations help to get them into the Holiday mood.

Pier 1 is collecting toys for Toys for Tots, so make sure you bring an unwrapped toy with you when you shop to donate.  You can also make a cash donation at the register.  If you are like me and running low on cash, you can always donate by going to the Pier 1 facebook page and "like" them.  For every person who does this, they will donate a dollar to Toys for Tots.  This is an easy way to give when you have nothing to give.

I'm off to go find a store in my area so I can buy Kasi that wallet.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Droppers ~ November

The following blog dropped here the most last month:

Comedy Plus ~ A place for a few laughs
 
Moonangelnay on Etsy ~ A contemporary handmade, fine art, photography, crafts, gifts, jewelry, fashion and Etsy focused blog, sharing weekly features, tutorials, original works and interviews of the new artists of Etsy.
 
my kids are my world ~  This is a blog about my life as a wife and mother of three kids, who are, obviously, my world.
 
Sparkle ~  Sparkle is the author of two cat-to-cat advice books (no humans!), has her own Muse Medallion-winning calendar and is one of the original cat bloggers - she has been blogging since January, 2003!
 
Random Ramblings ~ Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.
 
Technology News ~  All about Technology
 
Traders' Hub ~ My blog gives trading advice, makes critical reviews of related sites, and teaches trading techniques.
 
Confessions of a Fitness Diva ~ The Fitness Diva shows you how to be fit and fabulous while still indulging in some of the more "sinful" things in life. Tips on how to be decadent, but still smart enough to stay looking amazing!
 
Da Dude's BBQ Thought  ~ Da Dude's BBQ Thought & other things. The thoughts and rantings of a Barbecue God Wanna be!
 
The Sewing Mom ~ Personal blog showcasing my fabric creations. I also talk about family, friends, hobbies, cooking and daily life.
 
Thanks to all who dropped by!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Cross Magnets

Here are two more magnets that I painted.  I used the same purple/gold/black combination, and I think it worked just as well on these.  I love the hearts.  I am keeping these for myself, too. 

Quilted Christmas

Guest post written by Amelia Palmer

I've always love to quilt. My grandmother was always quilting when I was little and my mom always hated quilting I think because her mother was so gung ho about it. But over the years, I got better and better at quilting and have kept on doing it throughout my adult life. I sent my kids off to college with quilts that I made for them and on other occasions. It makes me feel like I'm there with them and I think that they kind of feel the same way too.

After all the quilts that I've made over the years, it never occurred to me to make a quilted Christmas tree skirt and then I got the idea a few weeks ago. So I went online to get a pattern for it. While I was doing that I saw an internet offer and after looking at it, decided to get clear wireless internet for our house.

I'm actually going to make a quilted tree skirt for me and then one for both of my kids to give them as kind of family gifts for Christmas. I'm so excited about them!

Cross Magnets

I bought these magnets with the intention of painting them and giving them away as Christmas gifts.  Once I painted them, however, I decided to keep them for myself.  I love the black/gold/purple combination.  I like the way they look with swapping out the gold and purple.  Don't you?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pretty Holiday Packaging

Guest post written by Ruth Wright

Gone are the days when my little girls insist on me wrapping all of their Christmas presents in tacky brightly colored wrapping paper covered in their favorite cartoons characters. I'm pretty grateful for that because I'm so sick of buying that stuff because it's more expensive and doesn't look all that nice with all my other Christmas decor.

This year I thought that I would come up with some more unique gift wrappings for the holidays, so I started looking for some ideas online when I came across some deals for an internet company and decided to CLICK and go ahead and sign up for one of them.

Even though it only lasts for a while, I think that holiday gift packaging is one of the best ways to get creative during the holidays. I love to flex my creativity and am thinking about putting all those scraps of ribbon that I have in my craft room to use on some bows for presents and then reuse them again for next year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Easy Come, Easy Go

I have a hard time making friends.  I happen to be really shy, and I always feel like I say the wrong things to people.  So, instead of possibly looking like a fool, I just keep to myself.

About a month ago, one of the moms at the bus stop started talking to me in the afternoons.  She is a big talker, so basically all I had to do was nod my head every now and then because she did all the talking.  It took her a week to tell me her entire life story, and trust me, there were things I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing.  I think she felt we had a connection because she had just moved to SC from Pennsylvania, and I am originally from New York.

One of the things I know about her is that she is a nursing assistant.  Several days a week she would show up at the bus stop in her scrubs, ready to head to work as soon as the kids got off the bus.  She worked for a staffing company in different nursing homes in the area.  I am familiar with a lot of them because my husband used to be a CNA when we first got together, and he worked for a competing staffing agency.  He didn't need to wear uniform scrubs, though.  He just needed to wear white shirts and pants. I think they should have been required to wear green scrubs or something, because the white always got so dirty.  He would come home with who knows what all over his clothes, and it took a lot of bleach to get them white again. 

Anyway, last week, my new friend moved across town, and her son will be going to a different school.  I am going to miss listening to her go on and on about herself at the bus stop.  Okay, not really.  I can now go back to reading peacefully while waiting for the bus, especially now that I have my new eReader.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Ice Cream

I know...there is no ice cream flavor that is purple.  But, it's my favorite color, so that's what it is.  I wish I could figure out how to add sprinkles to it.  I guess my next trip to the craft store will be a mission to find the perfect craft sprinkle for fake ice cream cones.  Any suggestions?

Catching Up With Old Friends

Guest post written by Heather Maness

My friend Melissa and I try to get together at least once every few weeks, if not just for a quick bite to eat to catch up. It's been nearly three years since we graduated from Penn State together and we've really tried our hardest to make sure life in the real world didn't stand the way of our friendship, so that's why we keep up the regular visits as much as we can. I actually went over to her place last night for a dinner-and-a-movie combo, which was a blast.

We made this great fettuccine alfredo meal - homemade alfredo and all - plus our favorite cheesy garlic bread from the grocery store. Making it all was so much fun! She also got to show off her new sears granite countertops, which she of course was excited to do. I'm actually thinking about having some installed in my place now, after working with hers for so long. Anyway, then we sat down and finally watched Dear John together - which we'd wanted to see in theaters but just never found the time. Every time I leave one of our hangouts I can't help but smile. It's great knowing I'll always have someone to kick back with, college-style.

A Piece Of Cake & A Banana Split

Brandi painted these.  Don't they look delicious? lol!  She is getting pretty good at staying in the right spots with the paint.  I think she is going to be crafty like me.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that her "chocolate" looks a lot like a pile of poop on top of that banana split. 

What's Your Wicked Fresh Moment?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom's of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

Christmas is a little over a month away.  If you are like me, you are worrying about finding the money to make those last minute purchases.  Junior and I used to love to go shopping the morning of Christmas Eve, when the stores were packed with shoppers looking for last minute deals.  We haven't done that in a few years, though, because we haven't had the money.

This year, I am going to enter Tom's Of Maine's That's Wicked Fresh contest for a chance to win a $500 Target gift card.  The contests ends a couple of days before Christmas, so if I win, Junior and I can venture out this year.  It's easy to enter, too.  All you have to do is go to the That's Wicked Fresh contest page and tweet your Wicked Fresh moment. (you also have to follow them on Twitter and for a bonus entry, like them on Facebook) You know you have a Wicked Fresh moment.  You can tell them about stealing a kiss under the stars from the person you love.  Or about the time you kissed your future spouse for the first time.  It could even be something as simple as a romantic night with your significant other.  I haven't decided what my Wicked Fresh moment will be yet.  I just know that it's going to be good!

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Butt Paste

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's been a while since I've had a kid in diapers.  (Thank Goodness!)  I remember how expensive all the supplies used to cost, from the diapers and wipes to the powders and diaper rash creams.  I always bought the cheapest diapers, wipes and powder, because let's face it, they all did the same thing.  The only thing I remember spending extra money on was the diaper rash cream I used, because it worked.  The funny thing is, they don't make it anymore. 

My sister has a little one who is prone to diaper rash.  She has always used Boudreaux's Butt Paste and she loves it.  I will admit that when I have changed the baby's diaper, the cream wiped off so easily.  Now, as a mom, I know this is really important.  When a baby has diaper rash, their little bottoms can get very red and raw.  ANY type of wiping hurts, so having to press hard to scrub off diaper rash cream is like torture.  The Butt Paste eliminates the need to wipe harshly, making diaper changing easier. 

Plus, it has a really funny name.  I mean, who wouldn't want to buy something called Butt Paste?

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ice Cream

The girls and I were bored last night so we painted some things I had bought a few months ago and forgotten about.  Kasi painted these two.  One is an ice cream cone (on the right) and one is a sundae cup (on the left). We still have a few more things to paint, too.  Maybe if we get the Christmas tree up early enough tonight we'll paint some more.  I still have to do the kids ornaments for this year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our New Abode

Guest post written by Edin Cransworth

Now that my husband and I are retired, we have more time to do exactly what we want. In fact, we're doing so much of what we want these days that a few months ago we made a somewhat impromptu move to Clearwater Beach in Florida. It wasn't that much of a trek from our old home in Georgia, but we've talked about retiring down here ever since we first got married so it's great that we're finally seeing that happen. We got our own little condo by the ocean life really couldn't be any better right now! My brother, who lives in New Jersey, has been telling me how cold it is up there too which I respond by telling him that we're still swimming and fishing down in the Sunshine State!


Our first project in the new digs is to re-do our kitchen. We like what's there now, but we really want to give it a little bit of flare. We're going to look into the sears kitchen counters Florida to see what kinds of options we have first and then base the redesign around that. Can't wait to see how it comes out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some Realistic Quotes About Life

Guest post written by Laura Peterson

You'll never see one of those posters with the cat hanging on a branch that says Hang In There in my place or in my office either. I'm not much for inspirational quotes, especially when they're paired with cute pictures of small animals. Even in college when my roommate tried to talk me into splitting the cost of one of those posters with people playing beer pong on it with a definition of Teamwork underneath, I told her I wasn't interested.

But when I was just browsing the internet last week I found some quotes that are actually worth writing down by Kurt Vonnegut. Right after I saw those I found the site clearwirelessinternetservice.com and decided to change over my internet company to it because I'd been passively looking for a new one anyway.

I even wrote down one of those Vonnegut quotes down on a post it note and put it up on my computer monitor at work. It might be a little cheesy, but that quote isn't cheesy, just putting it up at my desk.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Formula ~ Which Is Better?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

I think women all around the world know that breast feeding their babies is important.  A mother's milk provides all the nutrients a baby needs to grow up healthy.  But sometimes, breast feeding is not an option, and mothers have to rely on baby formula. 

Some women believe that the more expensive name brand formulas are better for their babies than the store brand formulas.  This is completely untrue.  Every baby formula has to meet the same nutritional guidelines.  The name brand formulas are given to hospitals for free and heavily marketed, which keeps their prices high.  Store brand formulas don't spend money on advertising, so their prices are lower.  In fact, some say that a parent can save up to $600 a year simply by switching from the name brand formula to the store brand.  In my opinion, if they are nutritionally the same, why spend the extra money?

All three of my kids were formula babies, not because that is what I wanted, but because I was unable to breast feed.  I did, however, pump my milk for the first three months for each of them so they did receive some of the benefits of breast milk.  I just wish I could have done it longer.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Taylor Ann

I finally finished my last name sign.  I did this one in blue and green.  Taylor shares a room with Teagan, so I put green on both to tie them together.  I also bought pretty white ribbon that has polka dots on it in all different colors...it's going to match both signs. 

I am thinking about making a sign for Brandi's teacher that says "Mrs. Blanton's Classroom", but we'll see.  She's the only teacher gift I have to do this year, so it shouldn't be too hard to get it done.  I hate that the older kids don't bring gifts to their teachers anymore.  I love making stuff every year for them...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Real Housewives DC

Guest post written by Amanda Toone

When I think about all the glamorous places to live, I don't really think about Washington DC but I guess with that being the seat of our government and all, there are lots of parties and charity events and goings on all the time there. Plus, a lot of really big politicians and famous people to rub elbows with on different occasions. So, I guess that filming a Real Housewives season there did make sense, after all.

I kept up with the whole season and watched all kinds of extra and deleted scenes from the show. When I was doing that and rewatching some stuff the other day online, I saw the site www.getclearwirelessinternet.com/4g-broadband/connecticut/new-haven.html and after reading through it decided to change over our internet service to it.

But even though I really ended up liking the show in the end, out of all the Real Housewives, I just couldn't stand Michaele. It wasn't just because she and her husband crashed the White House either. She was just one of my least favorites.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Writer's Block

Guest post written by Kayla Everett

I'm in college now to be an English teacher, but teaching isn't all that I want to do with my life. I want to also eventually publish some short stories and maybe even novels. So trying to write them makes for a nice distraction for me when I'm procrastinating or just taking a break from all of my school work. But it's kind of a problem too because then I stress out about writing my fiction instead of stressing out about school work like I should be doing right now as a college student.

I was online looking up advice for getting over writer's block, which I just happened to be experiencing at the time when I came across some info about CLEAR bundle deals and I think I may switch over my internet to it because a college student can use some extra cash all the time.

Just then I got the inspiration for a short story. It's going to be about, well someone that's like me, an English teacher that's wanting to break out and write a book. We'll see how it ends up.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Love Them!!!!!

I decided last week that I needed a little something for myself.  So, I scoured etsy and found these beautiful earrings in MAB Jewelry's shop.  Aren't they gorgeous!

I was also thrilled when the package arrived and inside was a surprise...a pair of elephant dangle earrings.  They are so cute.  I recommend this seller to anyone looking for unique, beautiful jewelry.

I Found A Great Deal

 I went to Walmart last night and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a huge selection of $1 items at the front of the store.  I'm not talking about the cheap, regularly priced stuff.  No, I am talking about clothes that had been marked down.  Twenty dollar jeans, toddler outfits, shoes, jackets, men's dress shirts, even a swim nappy.  Out of everything on the racks, I only bought one thing.  I bought my nephew's Christmas gift; a Toy Story shorts set.  Sure, he'll have to wait until summer to wear it, but for $1, well, I wasn't passing that up.  I wish they had things in my kids sizes, but the racks had obviously been picked over, and most of the good stuff was gone.  As we were checking out, the cashier said there would be new stuff out this morning, but we don't plan on going back.  I wish we could, though, because I could get a lot of Christmas shopping done.

I Wonder If I Can Still Play?

Growing up, I remember how much I looked forward to 4th grade.  That was the year in elementary school when I could finally join chorus and learn to play an instrument.  It was also the year the whole class got to do a play.  The year I was in 4th grade, we did Cinderella, and I was the evil stepmother.  I was a good evil stepmother.

Of course, I also joined the chorus and started playing the viola.  I was really good at that, too.  I sat first chair up until 10th grade, when I realized that there were more important things in life than orchestra.  I remember when I first started learning that I picked up on it quickly.  I was more advanced than the other students who took lessons at the same time, so my (male) music teacher used to put me in the supply closet to practice more advanced pieces while he taught the rest of the class.  I guess back then I didn't see anything wrong with that, but I think I would be a little ticked nowadays if a teacher put any of my kids in a closet, even if it was for a good reason. 

The thing is, the schools didn't offer my kids the opportunity to learn an instrument.  I have been thinking about letting Ryan learn the guitar, because he is really into 80's rock, and wants to play some of those songs.  (I don't think Guitar Hero counts as lessons, either) I was checking out Adeo School's Home Page and I think they offer exactly what I am looking for.  The Adeo School's Teachers record lessons and post them online for the students to listen to and practice. They then offer the lessons either in home or in studio.  You should check out Adeo School: How it Works for yourself.

I just wish we lived closer to Atlanta (where they are located) so that Ryan could go there.  I read on their site that they even offer viola lessons, which I would love to take myself. I wonder how much I still remember?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Of My Favorites

RememberRene is one of my newest favorite etsy shops.  Shari sells the most beautiful handmade jewelry.  This particular set is $33, with free shipping. 

I bought something from her recently, but I am giving it as a gift so I don't want to put up a picture of that until after Christmas.  But trust me...I will, because what I bought is beyond beautiful. 

If you are looking for Christmas gifts, check out her shop.  I am sure you will fall in love with her work, just like I have.

From The Book To Fangs

Guest post written by Lauren Thompson

Back when the movie Twilight came out, I had never heard of it before and then one of my friends dragged me to it. Well I thought it was okay, but it really wasn't my thing and I would have just preferred to have seen something that had some really intense vampires, like back when I used to love watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV. Then one of my other friends told me that I should start watching True Blood and I did.

But after this season ended, I just couldn't stand not being able to worry about what was going to happen between Sookie and Bill every week, so I went online and ordered a few of the first books with my clear wimax that the series is based off of.

I just hate it when shows or movies aren't true to the source material and that's not an issue with the True Blood story because it still has a lot of the Louisiana flavor in it, which I really love and think makes the show.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Watching A Sunrise

Guest written by our friend Ruby Holland

Watching a sunrise while on a camping trip is one of my favorite pastimes. Although I don't get to go camping very often, when I do make it, it's my priority to watch a sunrise each and every time, even if I get very little sleep during the night because of my fear of camping when it's dark.

I go camping for many reasons, but watching a sunrise while camping is one of the biggest reasons. There's something so reassuring and beautiful about a sunrise while free in the woods that is so much more powerful than watching a sunrise while in the middle of busy cities.

I'm comfortable when I'm camping because I know my home is safe. I always set my home security alarm from Adt Home Security prices before leaving for a camping trip so that I can enjoy the sunrise and everything else I'll be doing on my trip. It's just a great experience to know that I'll never have to worry about my home.

Camping will always be one of my most treasured activities, but watching the sunrise during the trip is my all time favorite thing on my trip. I do so in the safety of the woods, knowing that everything I do is a private moment for myself that I can remember forever. I can also share those moments with the people that I love the most.

The sunrise on a camping trip is unlike any other sunrise you'll witness. Give it a try and I think you'll agree.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Skating Mom

Guest post written by Rebekah Holt

Even though my kids don't play soccer, that doesn't mean that I don't constantly cart them back and forth to sporting events. My daughter figure skates and my son plays hockey.

I was online looking to buy my kids some more skates coming up for the holidays. They seem to go through them so fast! When i was doing that I saw www.clearwirewimax4g.com and it got my interest so I read through it. After that I showed it to my husband and we're going to switch over our internet provider to it pretty soon.

I think I found some skates that are going to work for both of them. But I'm prepared to return them just in case they don't fit right. You never can tell when it comes to kids! I think that will also give my daughter enough time to break them in before her skating competition. She is really nervous about it because she's never competed in a figure skating competition before, although she has some practice in the limelight from piano competitions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day

 It is beautiful outside today.  There is a chill in the air, and a beautiful breeze.  I wish I could open my windows and let all the fresh air in, but unfortunately, my windows do not have screens, and all the flies and wasps will come into the house if the windows are open.  For some reason, there are several wasps nests (or are they called hives?) along the roof line of our house, and no matter how many times we knock them down and spray, they keep coming back.  I am seriously thinking we may need Billy (the exterminator) to come take a look at our problem.  I know we have to do something, because I am ready to throw some shutters on the windows that will keep everything out, even the sun.  Of course, since this is a rental house, I would only be able to put up something temporary that we could take down should we ever decide to leave.  I am hoping that one day, someday, we will be able to get a place of our own.  but, for right now, I deal with wasps and bees by keeping the windows closed and the A/C on.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Top Droppers ~ October

The following blogs dropped the most here in October:

Moonangelnay on Etsy ~ A contemporary handmade, fine art, photography, crafts, gifts, jewelry, fashion and Etsy focused blog, sharing weekly features, tutorials, original works and interviews of the new artists of Etsy
 
my kids are my world ~ This is a blog about my life as a wife and mother of three kids, who are, obviously, my world
 
 Random Ramblings ~ Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things
 
Da Dude's BBQ Thought  ~ Da Dude's BBQ Thought & other things. The thoughts and rantings of a Barbecue God Wanna be
 
Traders' Hub ~ My blog gives trading advice, makes critical reviews of related sites, and teaches trading techniques
 
 Photography by KML ~ Photography by KML features the fine art and stock images of photographer, Kathy Libby. KML specializes in Landscape and Nature photos. The stock photos include concepts, food, backgrounds, abstracts, sports, architecture, transportation, and people
 
Technology News ~  All about Technology
 
The Sewing Mom ~ Personal blog showcasing my fabric creations. I also talk about family, friends, hobbies, cooking and daily life.
 
 Confessions of a Fitness Diva ~ The Fitness Diva shows you how to be fit and fabulous while still indulging in some of the more "sinful" things in life. Tips on how to be decadent, but still smart enough to stay looking amazing
 
Online Social Networking ~ Thought provoking articles on a wide range of social media, web marketing and PR strategies
 
Thanks to all who dropped by in October!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who Is The Superstar?

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PlayStation MOVE. All opinions are 100% mine.
Let me set the scene for you.

WHO: me, Junior, Ryan, Kasi, and Brandi

WHAT: family game night

WHERE: the living room

WHEN: at least once a month

WHY: because it's FUN!

Family game night is kind of a tradition around here.  It started a few years ago when we taught the kids how to play Rummy.  I would bake up all kinds of junk food and we would gather around the table and play and eat.  It was nice spending time with the kids, and they had a lot of fun beating Junior and I.  We have gotten tired of playing cards, so we recently started playing board games.  As much fun as this is, I want to start doing something a little more physical.  I want us to get up and move.

There is no better way to do that than with the PlayStation®Move. The Move is a special controller and sensor system that you can add to your PlayStation3 for only $99, and it adds the ability to be interactive with video games.  (think Wii)  I was searching for a game online that we could all play together, and I found one called TV Superstars, and I think it has something for each of us.

 In "Let's Get Physical", you can shoot paint cannons and perform stunts.  I can see Ryan playing this game, and doing really well with it.  I mean, what boy doesn't like performing stunts?

In "Frock Star", you can take center stage and model your way to stardom.  If you have met my children, you know this is right up Brandi's alley.  She already has the diva attitude down pat.

In "DIY Raw", you can paint, saw, hammer...does anyone else think this would be perfect for my husband?

In "Big Beat Kitchen", you can make over celebrity homes.  Yup, this one is totally me.

And finally, for Kasi, we have "Super Television Acting Agency".  She can perform and record her own TV commercials.

As you can see, there is a game within a game for every member of my family.  I am looking forward to getting both the PS3 and the Move so that we can enjoy this game in the future.
Visit my sponsor: PlayStation®Move

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lylah


Here's the one I made for my niece Lylah.  It's pink and brown, and I am going to try and find a pink and brown gingham ribbon to hang it with.  Maybe do a bow on each end instead of curly ribbon...I'm not sure yet.  I guess it depends on the size of the ribbon I can find.  (I love the dark shadows around the edges of the letters, but that's not really there...it's the sunlight playing tricks.  I wish it was, though.  It looks cool.)

Online Games

 I read online yesterday about this woman who killed her three month old son because he was interrupting her time on the computer.  Apparently she was playing Farmville, and the baby wouldn't stop crying, so she shook him to quiet him down.  I think the article said she hit the baby's head on something and he died.

Seriously, what is wrong with people?  I love my computer games, but there is no way I would put them ahead of my family.  I think there is a point when gaming becomes an addiction, and that is when you need to walk away. 

That said, there are some games on tower defence that look like they might be fun to play.  I limit myself to the games on Facebook and my personal cd's, but I am always willing to try a new game if someone recommends it.  You see, I am one of those people who become addicted, though never to the point of killing my family.  If I were to search out games to play on the internet, I might not ever get up from this computer.  It's all about limits and self control.

I know I need to work on that last one.

The Importance Of Halloween Safety

Guest post written by Julia Benton

Even though I love all the fake monsters and spooks that come out on Halloween, I'm kind of scarred for life because of Michael Myers in the Halloween movies. I know that it's just a story, but stuff like that does make you worry about crazy people like that in real life. So I'm a stickler for Halloween safety when it comes to my family.

I can't tell you how many times my kids have been mad at me for ruining their costumes by putting reflective paint and tape on them so that drivers can see them out in neighborhoods. So I was online this year trying to come up with a better solution to increase my kids' visibility when trick or treating and I happened to come across the site http://www.clear-internet.com and read through it. After doing that I decided that this was our solution to our problem with the bad internet connection we were having and switched over to it.

I finally did come up with a great idea for Halloween safety without making my kids' outfits less scary. So I painted their jack o lantern treat bags with glow in the dark paint so people will see their glowing bags.

Teagan

I have made name signs for all my nieces and nephews, but I have been a little behind.  So for Christmas this year, three of my nieces are getting them.  I sat and routed them all last night, and then painted two one them.  I still have one more to do tonight.  This one is for my niece Teagan (duh...obviously).  The letters are actually a deep purple, even though they look a little blue.  I am going to get some kind of ribbon to hang it with, and will probably curl some for the corners, too.  I'll post it again when it is finished.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Buying Quality Cosmetics

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of BH Cosmetics. All opinions are 100% mine.
My first date with Junior was almost 16 years ago.  In fact, on December 22 it will be exactly 16 years.  It was a blind date, so when he picked me up, it was the first time we ever saw each other.  I was wearing only mascara (makeup wise) and that was okay with him.  I know some guys like girls who cake on the makeup, but I have never been that kind of girl. 

That said, I got a lot of compliments on the makeup I wore the other night at Ryan's party, which got me thinking that maybe a little makeup every now and then wouldn't be such a bad thing. This prompted a little shopping trip, which quickly turned annoying.  I could not believe how expensive makeup has gotten, even at Walmart.  There was no way I was going to pay five dollars for one shade of eyeshadow.  So, I came home, and did a little browsing online.

I found a site called bhcosmetics.com, and I found some pretty good deals on eyeshadow.  They have these compacts full of different shades of eyeshadow at very reasonable prices.  I found the one in the picture for only $24.95, and it has 88 different colors in it that are "highly pigmented" with strong staying power.  I am not sure I will ever wear the yellow or green shades, but I like the rest of them. 

They also sell blush and lip palettes, which are also reasonably priced.  I would much rather spend my money on quality products that will work well than on cheap products that don't.
Visit my sponsor: Let your Beauty shine!

Office Warming Gift

Ever since Junior started going to therapy over two years ago, every six months he would get a new therapist.  The place he goes to is a teaching facility, so as students graduated the program, he would be shifted to new therapists.  I felt this was counter-productive,  because it seemed to me that as soon as he got comfortable with one therapist, and that therapist was familiar with his situation, we would have to start all over again.

Our current therapist, Elizabeth, has been with us for about eight months now, I think.  A couple of months ago, she told Junior that we needed to start talking more about his childhood, to see where his current issues have come from, but he was reluctant, because he knew our time with her was almost over.  I expresses this to her, and she said that she had already graduated the program, but was staying on as a fellow for the next two years, so as long as we felt we needed her, she would be our therapist.  I was so happy, because I honestly think she is the best we've had so far.

So, for the past few sessions, she has been telling us that she was getting her own office, and the things she was doing to make it feel "homey".  Last session, she finally had it all set up, so we did our session in there.  It was decorated in blacks and reds, which I love.  After we left, I told Junior that I wanted to get her a "office warming" gift, but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate or not.  I put a call out on one of my blogs and Facebook, and everyone agreed that it would be a nice gesture, so I went yesterday and got her a plant.  A cactus, because I think they are easy to care for and hard to kill.  I bought a clay pot and painted it black and white with some red thrown in.

What do you think?  Will she like it?

Movies

 Do you watch movies online?  I don't, but only because I pay good money every month for all the cable movie channels.  Plus, I never know which online sites are legal, and I am afraid of getting into trouble.  I know that sounds a little nuts, but that's me.  If you do watch movies online, using Rapidshare Search can make it easier to find the movies you are looking for. You can also use them to search for games and apps. 

I think I am going to go watch a movie.  I guess I am easily influenced, because writing about Rapidshare has put me in the mood to watch a good scary movie.  Or maybe it's Halloween that's doing it.  Either way, I am going to go scare myself a little while.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Are You A Dropper?

I have been using entrecard for a wile now, probably a couple of years.  Right now they are running a contest where you can win some serious credits for writing about the things you love (or don't love) about them.

I can honestly say that I have never really had a problem with them.  I find a lot of awesome blogs dropping every day, and many of those bloggers have become my "friends".  The basic concept is that you put a widget on your blog, and other bloggers stop by and drop their cards on your blog with the hope that you will drop on their blog in return.  Signing up is free, and you can drop as little or as many (up to 300) cards as you want each day.  The more you drop, though, the bigger the benefits.

So what are you waiting for?  Go join and get dropping!

I Forgot

 Have you ever had those moments when you think that you have done something, only to find out that you didn't?  I had that happen today when I received a letter in the mail informing me that they were going to turn off my cable.  I could have sworn that I paid that bill a couple of weeks ago, but when I called and had them look into my account, it showed that my last payment was in September.

Oops. 

Thankfully they are going to hold off the disconnection and let me pay the bill when Junior gets paid next Friday.  I am the worst when it comes to money.  I get phone calls from people asking me about Consolidating My Credit Cards, and I just laugh, because we don't have any credit cards. The last one we had i paid off years ago, and I really don't want anymore.  We have been living by the motto "pay cash or do without", and that seems to be working for us.   

Except when I forget to pay the bills.

My Little Witch

Look at those eyes!  Brandi was a cute little witch tonight at Ryan's party.  All the kids had a ball.  In fact, I was told by my friends grandson that it was the best party he had ever been to.  He's only 6, but I still took it as a compliment.  All I know is that I am exhausted, so it's time for bed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The last little bit

Guest post written by Patrick Dennis

We've been working on fixing up the pool house so it will look a lot better next summer and it's kind of a been a huge pain in the you know where. We just haven't really taken care of it over the years like we should and now we're definitely paying for it.

Now, it's not a very pool house and a lot of times we just mainly use it to store stuff in but it's also an eyesore in a place where we like to entertain people by our pool, so after we closed down the pool this year we decided to fix it up some. We've gutted a lot of the stuff inside of it and are re-doing it but we also wanted to work on the outside before it got too cold. Plus, we also want to be through with it by the holidays. So we got the people from homeproimprovement.com to put up some new siding on it, some that matches what's on our house now, so that it looks less out of place and like it belongs in our back yard.

They're almost through with it and I think it looks really great already.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Save Money On Clothes

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Liz Claiborne New York Outlets. All opinions are 100% mine.
 It's Fall.  Or at least I think it is.  I am not sure that Mother Nature got the memo, because we still have temperatures in the 80's here in South Carolina.  I am really looking forward to it cooling down, though, because I want to start wearing my cold weather clothes.  I used to be a sweatpants and t-shirt kind of girl, but ever since my breast reduction and weight loss, I have been trying to dress nicer.  And you know what?  The nicer I dress, the better I feel about myself.  Who knew?

I wish I could afford to shop at those really expensive boutiques, but I am on a strict budget, and that budget doesn't always include money for new clothes.  When I find I do have some extra money, I need to make it stretch as much as possible.  I have heard great things about Liz Claiborne New York Outlets, and decided to check out their website. Turns out they have an outlet store about four hours away from where I live.  The store is in Myrtle Beach, and we are planning a trip there after the first of the year.  Unfortunately, the store will be closing soon.  That means I won't get to visit, but you should find a store near you so that you can take advantage of the awesome sales they are having.  Everything must go, so everything is marked down 50-80%.  They even have their Fall fashions marked down.  I may have to talk Junior into driving to the beach a little earlier than planned so I can get in on those good deals.  I found these camis on their website, and I really want some.

 I have small enough boobs now that I could get away with wearing these under my tops as bras.  Or I could sleep in them, which would be even better.  If it ever does cool off around here, Junior will turn the heat on, and I am always get hot no matter how low it is.  I really do hate electric heat.

I also want to check out their selection of sweaters.  I don't have very many long sleeved shirts, and I don't think I have any sweaters.  I was never comfortable in them when I was heavier.  Now that I am a little thinner, I think sweaters would look nice on me.

All I have to do now is convince Junior to drive the four hours to get to the outlet store. 
Visit my sponsor: Calling all Fashionistas!

How To Eat Vocabulary Worms

As most of you know, Brandi is in a gift/talented program at school.  They are reading the book How To Eat Fried Worms, and the kids were given several choices of projects to do related to the book.  Each kid has to do three projects over the course of the next few weeks.  Tomorrow, the first project is due.  Brandi chose to make a game based on the vocabulary words.  I did not help her in any way, except to find the definitions online for the words.  She came up with the concept, and the board, and the design.

She has three different colored spaces.  If you land on a pink space, you pick a pink card, and then you have to use whatever word is on that card in a sentence.  If you land on a red space, you pick a red card and you have to give the definition of the word on the card.  If you land on a green space, you can pick either a red or a pink card.  If you can not give the definition or use the word in a sentence, you have to go back to where you were on the board.  If you land on a yellow space, you have to do what it says. (they say "go back to start" and "lose a turn")  I am so proud of her, and I hope the teacher appreciates all the work she put into this.

I Am Chef Extraordinaire

Guest post written by Sam Grenwich

Ever since I retired, I have been trying to think of some different hobbies to keep me occupied for when I spend a lot of time in the house. I determined that after many years of ordering out and heating things up in the house I would finally learn how to do a little cooking of my own. My wife Donna is an artisan in the kitchen and I’ve enjoyed her cooking for years, but now I want to do a little cooking of my own.

One of my first concoctions was the result of a recipe I found online for an Italian ziti dish like my mother used to make for my father and I when I was a child. With internet instruction, it really wasn’t too bad. Donna was there to give me a few pointers along the way.

Since the ziti dish turned out so well, I was looking for new recipes for the next day—then I saw an ad for Miracle-Ear.com , which reminded me of my much-needed hearing test I had to make before too long—what luck? Afterwards, I found a great recipe for a Red Velvet Cake. I’ll think I’ll make that one for Donna tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beautiful Jewelry

I have been thinking about Christmas a lot lately.  I have a few gifts for the kids, but not enough to fill beneath the tree.  I have a few things for my nieces and nephews, but there are still other people to buy for.

I used to have a few Jewish friends when I lived in NY, and I always loved the jewelry they wore.  I found a site online that sells Jewish Jewelry and the pieces they have are so beautiful.  I am not sure what this pendent symbolizes, but I would wear it. 
I also found this Five Metals Ring, and even though I read the description of the ring, I don't really understand it's significance.   I think it is supposed to bring success to whomever wears it.
I also found this very pretty Star of David.   They have one that has a purple stone in the center, too, and you all know that one would be my favorite.
Do you think I could give Jewish jewelry to my family for Christmas, or is that bad?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Made Chocolates!


Ryan's party is Friday night, so I have been trying to get things done early.  Yesterday I made some chocolate lolipops.  I know they aren't the best looking, but I am sure they will taste good!  I don't have the patience to brush the molds with chocolate to accent the features.  It was a miracle that I used two different colors on these.  I made some others, too, and I'll get those pictures up soon.  Check out how these look now that I wrapped them up:

Cottages

 For my mom's birthday last May, my sister's and I surprised her with a trip to Tennessee.  The four of us, and one of my aunts, paid to rent a little cottage for a long weekend.  It was the first time I have ever stayed in a house like that, and it was so much better than staying in a hotel.  We had full run of the place, using the kitchen to cook all our meals, and the kids had plenty of room to run around and play, without us parents worrying about how much noise they were making. 

One night, one of my sisters and I scared the snot out of my other two sisters and my aunt.  They were sitting on the front porch, and it was close to midnight.  My other sister and I sneaked around from the back of the house and made some scary noises.  They all jumped up screaming and ran in the house.  It was so funny.

I would love to be able to get all of my sisters to rent a holiday cottage this coming year so that we can all be together again.   Two of my sisters live pretty far away, and I usually only get to see them once a year.  I would love for us all to spend a weekend together, especially around the holidays. 

I guess that means I need to start saving my pennies.

Sheets

All summer, I had a heavy sheet covering the windows in my living room.  I finally took it down a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying the sunshine.  I get a lot of sunlight through those windows, which heats up the house quite a bit.  This was not a good thing when it was 100 degrees outside.  Now that it is getting cooler outside, the sunlight feels good.

Next summer, I want to find some Cheap Vertical Blinds to put on the windows.  I am hoping that they might keep out more of the sun.   As much as I loved the way the sheet worked, it looked ridiculous.  Whenever I took a picture of the kids inside the house, I always made sure the sheet didn't show. 

I spent years living with sheets hanging in doorways during the summer to keep certain rooms cool when we used window air conditioners.  When we moved here, I loved that we didn't have to do that anymore because we now have central air conditioning.  Then I had to hang the sheet on the window.  I don't want to have to do that anymore, either.

I want my house to only have sheets on the beds from now on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Fall Treat

Guest post written by Stephanie Harper

One of my favorite hobbies is to cook and bake all kinds of different stuff. I'm kind of known in my circle of friends for it so when everyone comes over to my house for something there are some big expectations that I always try to meet.

I'm planning a little get together just before Halloween with lots of yummy treats and I think that we're also going to watch some scary movies while everyone's here too. We're all big horror movie buffs, so a zombie movie isn't going to ruin any of our appetites, thank goodness.

I've been looking up a bunch of recipes to try out with my Clear Wireless Internet Service and I know that I have to have at least one thing that is pumpkin flavored. It just wouldn't be right otherwise.

I did find a pumpkin whoopie pie recipe that has the cream sandwiched right in the middle of it. I've made other versions of it before, but never one with pumpkin. I think it's going to be really great and I can't wait for my party!

A Heart Made Of Leaves

Brandi was raking leaves at my moms house last weekend.  She made this pile just for me.  I outlined the heart so you wouldn't miss it.  Of course, it didn't last long.  eventually, she was jumping into the pile.  I posted video here if you want to see.