Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My little girl turned 5!

How is it that one moment you are looking at a newborn and the next moment it seems you are looking at a 5 year old?? That is what happened to me on Monday. My oldest,  Rebecca, turned 5 years old.

What can I say about her? She is bright, funny, silly, wonderfully caring, sweet, very sociable, artistic, opinionated and just very lovable! She is a dream daughter--even with the opinionated part!

We had a birthday party for her on Sunday and it was a lot of fun.

She wanted a "strawberry Belle cake with yellow and pink icing." That was her request so that is what she got.


We had a lot of family over, as well as some close family friends. The girls (Rebecca, her cousin Lacie, and her friend Kimi) had a blast playing dress up and eating cake together!



She received many wonderful gifts, including clothes and toys. I just think she had a blast being around all the people who love her. She is blessed with many friends and family members who love her dearly.

On Monday, she went to school and got to wear a birthday crown all day and she took in ice cream as a snack for her class! Then I went and got her Burger King for dinner as that was her request. When I asked her if she had had a good birthday, she smiled real big and said it was "a GREAT birthday!" Yay!



The past 5 years have been challenging and rewarding as her mother. I never knew what unconditional love was until the nurses laid her on my chest for the first time on November 28, 2006. That day changed my life for the better and I am so blessed to have such a beautiful daughter. I hope she enjoyed her birthday party and her birthday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The truly AWESOME chocolate chip cookie by Kroger


As a Bzzagent, I have the opportunity to try out products and review them. This past week I was so excited to receive my bzzagent package for "The truly AWESOME chocolate chip cookie" by Kroger. Inside I received 2 boxes of cookies, my bzzguide, and coupons to share with friends and family.

Rebecca thought it was HILARIOUS that Mommy got boxes of cookies in the mail!
But she couldn't wait to try one. 


So we dived right in , after Daddy got home from work that is. Upon opening the package, I was a little disappointed that there were not more cookies in the package. (They come 8 to a package) But once I took a bite, my disappointment went away--mostly!


My impression was that the cookies were a great size. You actually only needed to eat 1 at a time to get your cookie fix. There was a nice chocolate chip flavor to them. In my opinion they were not as great as homemade, right out of the oven, BUT they are as good, or better than other packaged cookies that I have had in the past. Even my husband, who is a die-hard Chunky Chips-Ahoy fan, LOVED these cookies! In fact I had to hide the second box, because they were almost all gone within 24 hours!


This is one of the cookies next to an ordinary teaspoon to show the actual size.


  • Taste as if mom baked them herself, thanks to real, wholesome ingredients
  • Warm them up a few seconds in the microwave and they taste like they just came out of the oven
  • Free of added preservatives and artificial colors
  • Almost 2x the size of other chocolate chip cookies
  • Just hit shelves earlier this year
  • Come eight delicious cookies to a pack
  • Suggested to retail for $2.79
  • Exclusively available at Kroger, Fred Meyer and Ralph's stores (Kroger Family of Stores)
  • Sure to please and delight the entire family
Overall, my opinion is that these are great for a quick fix snack.They taste great and they seem to be healthier than other brands of cookies. However, if you have a family like mine that LOVES cookies these might be best saved for a special occasion as there are only 8 cookies in a package and are priced a little higher than other brands that have more cookies in a package. As for our house, I WILL be buying these cookies again, but for Hubby and myself. The kids can get other cookies!

Disclaimer:  As a bzzagent, I received these products and coupons free for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thanksgiving Recap...

Thanksgiving Day for us is about spending time with family and friends, watching football and eating LOTS of food. This year was special because it was my nephew Ethan's first Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day we spent the afternoon and evening at my Mom and Dad's house along with my sister, brother, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephews x2, and family friends and their kids. It was a BLAST! There was LOTS of laughter, LOTS of good food, and LOTS of great memories! I hope your Thanksgiving was just as great!

The Cousins coloring

Ethan's First Thanksgiving


Getting lots of yummy food

The kids' table

SOME of the yummy food

Good memories: My sister Mary holding our nephew Ethan for the very FIRST time ever!

The men watching football

Menu Plan for the week

Just a REMINDER that my 100 followers giveaway ends TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST.  Entries must be made on THE ORIGINAL POST!!! Thanks and good luck!

NOW ON TO REGULAR BLOGGING:::

This weekend was VERY busy, with Thanksgiving, cleaning, Rebecca's birthday party, etc. Couple that with Bill getting sick Saturday night and all day Sunday and yesterday, and Jacob being sick yesterday morning. Made for a rough, tiring weekend. I think I am finally getting back into the routine of life. I think....

That being said, one of the ways to stay in the routine is to make a menu plan....I try to get these done on Monday, but a day late is better than not at all....

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday: Birthday girl's choice---she chose Burger King

Tuesday: Chicken and Cheese casserole for Bill and I, hot dogs and baked beans (leftover from party) for kids

Wednesday: Manwich sandwiches, veggies

Thursday: Spaghetti

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Baked Fish (for Bill), macaroni and cheese, green beans

Sunday: Baked ham, julienne potatoes, broccoli

So there you have it. What are you eating this week?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Bucket List

I have seen several versions of "bucket lists" around the blogging world. I have seen fall bucket lists, yearlong bucket list, as well as several other varieties. It finally dawned on me that this was a GREAT idea, especially since I have been known to feel bad after a holiday or a season for not planning things that I had wanted to do with my family.

So I have decided that this year, I will create a bucket list for the Christmas season.



This will include all the things that I would like to do with my kids and husband this year. Most of these I would like to accomplish before Christmas, but if I have to wait until after the New Year to do a couple of them (especially the ones that have to do with snow) that is okay too.

So here is my 2011 Christmas Season Bucket List
  • Build a snowman with the kids and use our snowman making kit I bought 2 years ago
  • Have a family snowball fight
  • Host a Christmas cookie party (with coworkers?)
  • Hang up Christmas lights outside 
  • Make and decorate a gingerbread house with Rebecca
  • Have Holiday movie nights with themed desserts (eg. watch Rudolph, while eating reindeer shaped cookies)
  • Take the kids to our city's Christmas parade
  • Take pictures in the snow
  • Take kids to Dinner with St. Nick at Rebecca's school
  • Go see Santa Claus at the mall
  • Purge and donate toys
  • Read a Christmas themed book every night of December with BOTH kids
  • Put up and decorate Christmas tree
So there you have it. There is my families Christmas bucket list. I hope that this means that this Christmas season will be one to remember.

What are you planning on doing this Christmas season?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Today is a day where we take the time to say what we are thankful for. Today I am thankful for:
  • My husband and children--they are the light of my life and the reason I do what I do.
  • My family---although I don't always agree with their actions and/or decisions, they are my family and I love them all dearly.
  • My friends---I am thankful for all my friends near and far. Life sometimes gets in the way of spending much time together, but at the end of the day I am grateful that I have the friends that I do.
  • My job---In this economy, I am thankful that I have a job that I love and that allows me to still have time be mom and wife.
  • My blog followers--- I am thankful for each of you. Even if we have never met, you are a special group of supporters who remind me that I am not the only one going through life's challenges. Thank you.

What are some things you are thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Books that I have been reading

Although I haven't posted about my reading in a while, that does not mean that I have slacked off on reading. In fact, there are days where I will read a whole book in one day. That being said, here are a few of the books that I have read recently....







Have you read any good books lately? Let me know what they are.

Friday, November 18, 2011

100 Followers and a Giveaway!


Yay! I can't believe that I have 100 blog followers! That is so cool! Thank you to everyone of you! And a special thank you to my 100th follower:

Antie Eboo from My Life Journey!!

YAY!!!!

NOW ON TO THE PROMISED GIVEAWAY!!....

Because I have 100 FABULOUS followers, I will be giving away 3 great coupons to 1 lucky reader!


The coupons I am giving away are:
  • 2 -$5 off you next purchase of Del Monte Fresh fruits and vegetables coupons, including Avocados, Bananas, Melons, Fresh-Cut Fruit, Fresh-Cut Vegetables, Grapes, Pineapples and Tomatoes
    • These have an expiration date of April 30, 2012
  • 1 Free Any Bottle of Ken's Steak House Marinade
    • This has NO expiration date
So there you have it...a giveaway worth: $13.79! That would definitely help with the rising cost of food!

To enter:

Mandatory entry: You MUST be a follower on Google Friend Connect and comment that you are.
Extra Entry: tell me your favorite vegetable or fruit

That's all there is to it! This giveaway ends on Wednesday November 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. And I will pick the winner, using Random.org, on Thursday Morning, December 1.

Thank you again for following and good luck!

5 Question Friday--Its been a while

One of the things I like to read about online is other people's lives. Who are they? What makes them tick? Why do they write about the things they do? One of the things that I have seen on some of the blogs that I frequent is a link to the Five Question Friday blog hop, sponsored by My Little Life . This week I have decided to join in.....
 
 
1. Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood?
 
There are a lot of songs that put me in a good mood. It really depends on the time of year. Most of the year it is anything that is old school country---think Alan Jackson, George Strait, vintage Reba, etc. This time of year though it is Christmas music. I went to Walmart yesterday and just hearing the Christmas music over the store's radio system cheered me up!

 
2. Are you a real Christmas tree kinda person or do you go with a real fake one?
 
I like the idea of a real tree, but not the mess. So I am and will probably always be a fake tree kinda person.

 
3. What are you thankful for?
 
There is so much I am thankful for....including
  • My husband
  • My kids
  • a good ultrasound this past week
  • my parents
  • my friends
  • my blogging friends
  • my coworkers

4. Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?
 
There really isn't any that I wish that I could wear, although I will say that I love the 70s inspired shirts, especially now that I am pregnant.
5. Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
 
Personally it annoys me when the gas tank gets that low in my car. My husband lets it get really low, but I HATE that. It is a pet peeve of mine. I try to fill up when it gets to 1/4 of a tank during the spring, summer and fall. And I don't like it to get less than 1/2 tank in the winter. But that is just me.
 
 
So there you have it. A little bit more about me in 5 Question Friday hosted by My Little Life.
 
 
 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Right now I am.....

Right now I am....

--Looking forward to the holidays. I LOVE Thanksgiving and Christmas!

--Surprised at how tired I have been lately. I have been going to bed around 9pm every night, as soon as I put Rebecca and Jacob to bed. This pregnancy is definitely making me tired a lot more than my previous pregnancies.

--Hoping for a good doctor's appointment this afternoon. I always get nervous when I go to the doctor for a pregnancy check-up. I am hoping that this one goes well.

--Looking forward to having today off of work. I love my job, but this week the kiddos have been CRAZY! And quite honestly I need a break from them today.

--Wondering what kind of cake I should make my niece for her 7th birthday this weekend?

--Thinking that I should call my brother and find out what Lacie wants for her birthday.

-- Grateful for a wonderful, crazy, funny husband who is working REALLY hard for our family.



--Happy that I have 2 healthy, adorable kids and a husband that I love!

-- Laughing at my crazy kids!




--Wishing that I had more energy.

-- Feeling a little down this morning because I once again did not clean up the kitchen before I went to bed. I really need to not be so hard on myself.

--Remembering things that are on my to-do list.

--Hoping for a good day today for myself, my family, friends and all my blog readers!

This post was inspired by the The Frugal Girl's post on Right Now I am.... I would like to thank her for inspiration for today's post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: ultrasound pictures

As you can tell from my new ticker on my sidebar, my pregnancy is still going on...I am now a little over 18 weeks and feeling good. I had an anatomy ultrasound scan yesterday and we found out that we are having a boy! Yippee!



We are excited!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

I "had" 100...and a future giveaway!

A few weeks ago, before my computer decided to go on a sickness leave of absence, I was so excited that I had reached 100 followers on this here blog of mine. However, I was saddened to see that my absence meant that when I finally got back on here, someone had decided to NOT follow me anymore, so I was back down to 99....Boo!

But also thank you to the 99 who DO follow! It always amazes me that someone out there does read the stuff that I write and thinks it is important enough to care.....

But back to having 100 followers....In January, I said that my goal was to have 80 followers by the end of the year. Then in June, I said that I would like to have 100 by the end of the year. Now I would like to have 100 by the end of the month. I will be watching my followers and when I reach 100, I will be having a giveaway to celebrate! So stay tuned and invite your friends to follow!

Menu Plan

Here is what we will be eating this week:

Leftovers (spaghetti and shredded bbq chicken sandwiches), veggies
Hot dogs and macaroni and cheese
Lasagna
Whole chicken in crockpot, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
BLTs, chicken patties, veggie
Pork chops, julienne potatoes, corn

For more great menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions


I am not one who wears a lot of makeup...truth be told I think the last time I wore makeup was at my rehearsal dinner for my wedding back in 2005. That being said, I do try to take care of my skin! I usually use a daily facial wash and thought it worked quite well. I also know that sometimes change can be good. So I was excited to become a part of the Bzzagent campaign for the Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions Sensitive line of products.

According to Bzzagent, the Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions Sensitive line of products are:
  • Naturally gentle and skin-friendly for daily use
  • Contains Cotton Extract to soften and shield from potential irritants such as harsh soaps or cleansers
  • Is Fragrance-Free and Hypo-Allergenic
  • Is Dermatologist-Tested and Allergy-Tested
  • Can be found in mass retailers (like Target or Walmart), drug stores, grocery stores, and natural health food stores nationwide
  • Is 99% natural
When I received my bzzkit, it contained:



I received: a full size Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser, a full size Daily Moisturizer, bzz guide, samples and coupons to share with people.
 I took the samples and coupons to work to share. And I began to use the facial cleanser and the moisturizer.

According to Bzzagent, the nourishing moisturizer is clinically proven to moisturize sensitive skin without causing redness or irritation. Also, it:
  • Contains Rice Extract to moisturize
  • Contains Aloe to soothe
  • Is Non-Comedogenic (it won't clog pores)
  • Costs $14.99
In the past, whenever I have used moisturizer I was left with a greasy feeling on my face. Not so with the Burt's Bees sensitive daily moisturizer.  My face was left feeling fresh and clean and it did not irritate my face at all. It is definitely a product I will be using more often.

I also was excited to try the Burt's Bees sensitive facial cleanser, as my current facial cleanser was starting to leave my skin very dry and red. (Maybe this is because of the pregnancy hormones I am experiencing....) According to Bzzagent, This soap-free facial cleaner is clinically proven to moisturize sensitive skin while gently cleansing away dirt, oil and makeup without over drying or causing redness or irritation. Also, it:
  • Contains Quillaja, which is extracted from the bark of the Soapbark tree and provides a natural foaming lather
  • Contains Yucca, a desert plant high in saponins, which have traditionally been used in cleansing
  • Costs $9.99

The Burt's Bees sensitive facial cleanser is great as well! After using it, my face felt clean, not oily at all and not too dry.

Overall, I loved both of these products! I would highly recommend them to everyone!

Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are my own. I am a BzzAgent and did receive samples of Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin products to sample and to post my opinion on.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....at least in my head. As you can tell from my new blog design, (which by the way, what do you think?), I have had Christmas on my brain today. I have been thinking about the myriad of different things that I must do in order to get ready for Christmas.

One of the first things that I do every year is to pick out our Christmas Photo cards. I LOVE photo cards. I love receiving them. I love sending them. They are a GREAT way of catching our extended family and friends up on the growth of our kids!

There are two things that I am particular about though. First, although I like the photo cards that allow one picture, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the ones that allow many pictures! In our family, many of our relatives only get to see our kids once or twice a year and having more than one picture on the photo card allows them to see them as they looked throughout the year. And second, I must have our cards say Merry Christmas! There is nothing wrong with Happy Holidays cards, however my husband and I prefer cards that say Merry Christmas.

This year, I have decided to order our photo cards through Tiny Prints. They offer a HUGE selection of photo cards -over 400, priced as low as $0.06- $1.99 per card. That is a great value! What is great for me is that they offer 179 photo cards that allow more than one photo! And unlike other photo card sites, most of the cards offered by Tiny Prints have a matching background printed on the back of their cards to add an extra pizazz to the cards.

I had a great time browsing through all the cards and I think that I have it narrowed down to one of the following.... 



Christmas Cards Colorful Wreath - Front : Vanilla
Colorful Wreath Christmas Card


Christmas Cards Distinct Wishes - Front : Dark Gray
Distinct Wishes Christmas Card


Christmas Cards Motley Medley - Front : Siren
Motley Medley Christmas Card


Ornament Cards Berry Wonderful - Front : Cranberry
Berry Wonderful Ornament Christmas Card


Christmas Cards Lively Holiday - Front : Winterberry
Lively Holiday Christmas Card
 Do you send out Christmas photo cards? Which one is your favorite?
Disclaimer: This post was written as a review in exchange for a set of Christmas cards. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day


The Noble and the Brave:

A Veteran's Day Tribute

When America had an urgent need,
These brave ones raised a hand;
No hesitation held them back;
They were proud to take a stand.

They left their friends and family;
They gave up normal life;
To serve their country and their God,
They plowed into the strife.

They fought for freedom and for peace
On strange and foreign shores;
Some lost new friends; some lost their lives
In long and brutal wars.

Other veterans answered a call
To support the ones who fought;
Their country had requirements for
The essential skills they brought.

We salute every one of them,
The noble and the brave,
The ones still with us here today,
And those who rest in a grave.

So here’s to our country’s heroes;
They’re a cut above the rest;
Let’s give the honor that is due
To our country’s very best.

By Joanna Fuchs

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day


Today is Election Day!

Please get out and vote!

EVERY vote makes a difference!

And if you don't vote, please don't complain to me about politics. If you don't vote then you have no right to complain.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It has been a while...

Wow it has been a while since I have updated on here. There are several reasons for this:

First of all, our computer died. The ethernet card was fried and our motherboard was going bad. THANKFULLY I found our receipt from when we bought it and the 3 year extended warranty and there was still 3 months left on the warranty! YAHOO!!! So we had to ship the laptop off to Staples to get it fixed...When we did get the computer back a week and a half later, they had basically wiped everything off the computer and it took us (read my hubby) several days to figure out how to get everything working again. But we have finally figured it out! YAY!

Then I couldn't access my google account for some unknown reason. But as you can see I figured that out last night. YAY again for me!

Things have just been topsy turvy around here. And on top of it all I have a head cold that is kicking my behind.

Well I hope to get back into the routine of posting this week. It is a light work week and so hopefully I will have some time. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011