Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall is here and flu season is on its way

I don't know about you, but the thought of getting the flu really makes me cringe.  Given that we have three children, it doesn't take long for one of us to get it, and then pass it to the next and the next, and well you get the picture.  This did happen a few years ago, and well I will be doing everything in my power to help keep us flu free this year. I would love to share some tips that I have found to really help in keeping our household happy and healthy.

First thing is so basic, but I just can't encourage it enough.  The one thing that we saw on our cruise were signs that hand washing for atleast 30 seconds with warm water.  I really encourage all of the children to take their time and wash their hands really well. 

Next thing that is to remember to keep sanitizer with your diaper bags, purse or vehicle.  While nothing replaces traditional hand washing, sanitizing when there is not an opportunity to wash also helps kill germs.   When shopping, touching shopping carts, door knobs and other commonly touched items can pass germs from one person to the next.

Another thing that I enforce in my home are strict bed times.  Keeping the children's bodies well rested will keep their immune system strong and will help them fight all of those germs that they are encountering at school.  This is actually a great recommendation that we all could work on.  I do get the children to bed at their appropriate times, but I can't say that I do the same for myself.  I really can be better about going to bed at an earlier and waking up at the same time every day. 

My last recommendation is to keep vitamins and oranges handy.  I really try to encourage the kids to eat an orange rather than drink the orange juice but either way they are getting the vitamin-c to help fight those cold and flu germs.  Not only do the kids get all of the basic vitamins and minerals that they aren't getting through their diets, but also they are getting and extra dose of the ones that they do.  It is a win-win all around!

Do you have any tips to keep your kids healthy?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Struggling to get organized? Especially in the kids room!

If you know me, one the biggest challenges that I have in my house is space.  We really don't have large closets or large pantries.  No crawl spaces or basements, we pretty much have a coat closet that holds maybe 10 coats and everyone's shoes, one storage closet and a very very sad pantry.  Well since that is the case, I really need to research and see what others are doing to help organize our house.  Since we have three children, all different ages, it can be tough to keep things in their place.  Here are my organizing tips that I used for my daughters room.

1.  Use your vertical space.  We have a net posted up in the corner of the room that helps hold all of my daughter's stuffed animals.  It keeps them out of the way but if she wants to play with them, we can get them down easily.

2.  Use the "under the bed" space.  Clear plastic containers are your friends.  These long narrow bins are great for board games.  The kids can take them out and put them back as they please.

3.   Chalk board paint on the walls will all your children to express themselves, but will get rid of that big bulky easel in their room.  Sell the easel at the next garage sale or donate it to another child in need!

4.  Bins are great!  Ikea has some really fun colorful storage bin organizers for kids and they hold plenty.

5.  Ziplock bags are not only sandwiches.  I buy the freezer bags in a variety of sizes to try to keep all of the pieces to each toy together.  Freezer bags cost a little more, but are much stronger and will last alot longer.  The zipper bags are great and easy for little fingers to open and close.

6.  You can also use a six shelf organizer which hangs in the closet.  The nice thing about these are that you can plan a weeks worth of outfits and not have to worry about what they need to wear until next week.  Also this allows you time to get rid of any clothing that doesn't fit and get it donated.

 7.  Bookshelfs are a wonderful tool.  Encourage reading by having one shelf dedicated only to books and use baskets to fill the second shelf for sock or underwear.  Always remember to anchor these to the wall so that they don't fall over.  Very Dangerous!

8.  Use a closet doubler!  Since children have smaller clothing, you can really expand our their closets and put all of their clothing hung up.  Amazon has a great one here for only 11 bucks!  You can't beat that. 

9.  A great way to organize all of those bows, hair things and costume jewelery is by hanging a jewelery organizer on the back of the door.  Plenty of pouches with a clear lining will allow your daughter to see all of her fun clips without having to dig around looking for matches.

10.  My last tip is to just constantly purge and donate.  We have so much stuff in our home, that we have a donation bin going at all times.  I also love knowing that I can help others in need as well.

Do you have any tips?  Post em!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Temps are cooling off, time to get outside!

After a record year 100 degree plus days, I am super excited that things seem to be finally cooling off.  I tend to keep the kids inside more during those super hot days with the exception of taking them to the pool.  I find it is just too hot here in Houston to take them to the zoo and places like that.  Now that fall is coming (which is my favorite time of year) we can start doing all of the fun things that we had missed out on all summer We are a pretty active family.  We all enjoy football games, fishing, bike riding, playing in the park.  We play games like ladder ball and horseshoes. 

A year or so ago we actually tackled a new game that really we really enjoy.  We are learning how to play Frisbee golf.   This encompasses everything that I love about being out with my family.  Ironically enough there are frisbee courses all over the place.  And just like golf, each course seems to have its own personality complete with obstacles, but since it takes place in the woods, you also have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty around you.

Another new thing that we tackled this year was camping.  We took all three children to the Sam Houston National Forest and this was a wonderful experience for everyone.  The kids got to fish all of the time, cook out on an open fire, set up camp sites and swim.  Needless to say that I was in desperate need for a washing machine and my own toilet, but well eventhough we all got dirty, I feel that it was a great experience for the children and I believe something that they will remember.

Speaking of dirty,  Clorox 2 is doing a promotion encouraging families to get outside and get dirty.  If you take their "Pledge to Play" you will also be entered into a sweepstakes with some pretty fantastic prizes.  Haven't you always wanted to take the kids to Yosemite National Park?  I can tell you that that vacation is already on our wish list and well if Clorox 2 wants to send us there, I would be nothing but thankful.

Here it the link to the contest:

So I encourage all of you to check out this awesome giveaway and get yourselves outside.  If you have a moment, I would love for you to share with me, what your family's favorite outdoor activities are.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Day Baby was Born

 We just celebrated my daughters third birthday party this weekend and it really makes me sad to think about how old she already is.  I realize now that I missed out on documenting some of the amazing moments in my daughters first years of life.  My daughter was born well before I even had a facebook account.  I read my girlfriend's updates about their process and I really am bummed that I wasn't able to share each step of my pregnancy online.  I wasn't able to update my facebook account when she was born and given that I am such a huge fan of social media, I feel like I missed out.  I have family all over the country and my mom is in Florida while I am in Texas.  I like anything that will help me keep in touch with them. That is when I discovered this amazing application called  The Day Baby was Born.  Here are the different functions that this app does depending on how much time you want to spend on it.

Basically what you are able to do is create a storybook of the birth of your baby.  The more work you put into it, well the more amazing your book will be.  What I would give!  
  • Facebook Wall comments and well-wishes by friends and family through pregnancy and birth announcements
  • Your pregnancy journal from each week of the journey to the birth day
  • News, facts and information from the day your baby was born
  • Your personal story and letter to baby to preserve forever the feelings from that day
  • It’s is a simple way to create a beautiful record of the world at the moment your baby arrived
It really helps document all of the great things that you have going on.  Given that as sad as it is, my daughter's baby book is empty....ugh....well this would have definitely helped me keep on track.  So are you wondering what this app looks like?  Well I think that it really has a nice look to it.

Check it out for yourself by clicking here.

So what do you think?  Isn't this the neatest thing that you have seen in some time?  As many of you know, I am in a HUGE play group in my neighborhood and well people are always getting pregnant.  I just can't wait to share this tool with them.  I wouldn't change a thing about my daughter.  I love every hair on her beautiful head, but I wish I would have been a better documenter.  She is most likely going to be my only one so I won't be able to go back.  All I can do now is try to capture as much as I can moving forward.  If you are in a similar issue that I am, well just start now!

I would love to hear what you think!  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of this super neat application.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tommee Tippee blogging contest for a chance to get a gift pack worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    My Little Diva

    As many of you know, I have a toddler who is going to be turning three in just a few weeks and lately I have been noticing some changes in my little girl.  She has recently started twirling her hair, standing with her hand on her hip and picking out her own clothes to wear.  The funny thing about this is that I have never twirled my hair and I don't think that I pose.  Where does she learn these things?  My little princes not only has her own little attitude but I am finding that she also has her own sense of style.

    My daughter seems to gravitate towards anything that has butterflies on it.  She loves bright girly colors like pinks, yellow and oranges.  She won't leave the house without her Sketchers Flip Flops that light up.  She loves the flashing look of them.  In fact she has gravitated toward anything "blingy.' What I can say about my daughter is that she loves to stand out!

    Samantha picks out clothing that is always on the rack.  She really enjoys shopping with mommy in the store and when I am looking for my clothing she will tell me that it is Sammie's turn to shop and we immediately have to go to the toddler section.  She really enjoys wearing clothes that have her favorite characters on them she prefers stores like JCPenney's and Kohls because there are lots of these types of outfits there.   Some of  her favorite characters are Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Elmo and Dora.  When she isn't looking for certain people, she gravitates towards the outfits that are very colorful and coordinated.  Her favorite outfit was purchased from JCPenneys and is a purple tu tu sparkly skirt with a fun purple spray painted looked shirt with hearts on it.

    I look at my little princess and see how she is the complete opposite of her mother.  I was always a tomboy complete with a plain t-shirt, jean shorts and a pony tail to keep my hair out of my face.  I always wore gym shoes and usually was playing dodge ball with the other boys in the neighborhood.  Samantha loves tiaras, accessories and looking pretty.  She demands to wear hair bows and they must match with a color that she is already wearing.  She loves bracelets, necklaces and purses and enjoys dancing.  She has her own style that is uniquely hers and I truly enjoy learning about preferences and passions daily.   I think she is growing up so quick and well in a few weeks my two year old will be three.  God really blessed me with a little angel that is the highlight of my life.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and jcpenney blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Surviving the School Year

    Can you believe that back to school sales are already showing back up in our mailers?  Well even though I minds might still be on summer vacation the calendar shows the beginning of school is only a month a way.  Now that I have three children that will be going to school this fall I really need to figure out how I am going to get everyone everywhere then need to be and on time.  The best piece of advise that I can give both parents and students alike is to plan ahead.  Pick out outfits the night before, get all of the lunches set and ready to be assembled and get all homework, projects, band equipment, backpacks etc, all by the front door and ready to go so there are no last minute running inside.  Master Lock also has some fun going on to help out students and family members alike.

    Master Lock® has hired a new specialist on student life to help students safely and securely navigate this school year in style. The Master Mind, a suave and funny college grad, is staring in a humorous online video series on in which he, along with his clever Little Sister, are setting out to answer students’ most frequent, awkward and perplexing questions on

    Check out this really cute video from Masterlock that might help getting some of your college students ready for their college experience and remember some important dates.

    I have been using Masterlock since I was in junior high and playing sports.  I have to say that I am super excited about their new line.  They actually made a padlock cute and fun!  Take a look for yourself!

    I wrote this post because I am entering a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Chili's Triple Dipper Review and Giveaway

    Sometimes I think that I have some strange palate but I love to make a variety of combinations on one plate.  When I was given the opportunity to create my own dream plate, I really had to sit and think about it.  I mean think of all of the amazing combinations of delicious food out there.  I think that if I was able to choose a plate of all of my favorite food it would consist of one part lox and bagle, one part dragon roll and one part teriyaki steak.  It may sound weird to you, but well these are some of my favorites.

    Have you been to Chili's lately?  I am a HUGE fan of their fajitas.  Most of you know that I live just outside of Houston and we have more Mexican food in this town than any other restaurant type and still my favorite fajitas here come from Chili's.  Well they have a new opportunity where you can choose your own three favorites and put them on a plate.  It is called a Triple Dipper and being a 'tapas' kind of person myself, the thought of eating three different appetizers for dinner sounds heavenly.    There is a large variety of choices that you can choose to create your own little piece of appetizer nirvana.    I ended up ordering the Big Mouth Bites, Southwest Eggrolls and Boneless Buffalo Wings.

    I love that you don't have to choose just one.  You get to try a variety and the portions are plentiful.  I was super full and ever kept part of it for tomorrow's lunch.  My buffalo boneless chicken wings were just so juicy and the burgers yummy!  We always order the southwestern egg rolls.  They are kind of a "Chili's Treat" in our house.  Now on to the fun part.  Would you like to try your own Triple Dipper?  I have a 20.00 Chili's Gift Card to giveaway so that you can try your own Triple Dipper.

    Mandatory Entry - 

    Go on the Chili's Website and tell me one what three items you would choose.

    Extra Entries

    • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
    • Follow me on twitter  
    • Like Chili's on Facebook
    • Follow me on Networked Blogs
    • Follow @ShoutOut2EatOut and @Chilis on Twitter
    • "Like"  Homemaker in Progress on Facebook
    • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Blog about this giveaway and post the link on your blog  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Tweet about this giveaway and post the permalink in your post.  Feel free to use the twitter link below this post.
     This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. However the thoughts are my own. I was given a sample of this product in exchange for my opinion

    One winner  will be randomly selected from all valid entries using, and that winner will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification.  If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be selected.  Contest ends July 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm CT.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Time is precious! Save some with my top ten tips!

    Moms are busy.  I don't think it matters whether you are a stay at home mom or a a mom that works outside of the home.  We have grocery shopping and cooking and transporting to do.  We pick up our husband's dry cleaning and make our children's lunch before school.  We do alot and even though it may not be noticed, I am a firm believer that our families appreciate all of the hard work that we do.  I wanted to take a moment to write down my time saving tips and hope that maybe one or two of them might resonate with you.

    1.  Cook larger portions of staples and save them for later.   For example I love cooking up a large batch of ground beef with chopped onions. From there I can take a portion and sit aside for a later meal.  From one large batch of cooked ground beef and onions - I can make chili, shephards pie, sloppy joes and add some to spaghetti sauce.  It takes the same amount of time to cook a small batch as a large batch so why not?

    2.  I have all of my snacks hanging inside my pantry door in a shoe organizer.  This way all of the available granola bars, bags of cookies, breakfast bags, chip bags are visible and can just be snagged in a moment.  This also helps me fit more into my little pantry.

    3.  I buy in bulk and make my own snack bags.  Not only does this save money but also time.  I do a bunch ahead of time and the kids are able to grab what they want and I can make sure they are exercising portion control.  I decide how much is in each bag.

    4.  I do make the children lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to bed.  That way I am not messing with one child that can't find socks when I am ready to walk out the door.

    5.  I use my DVR. If you don't have one of these, well you really should.   I can knock out my favorite shows all at once while doing the laundry and my daughter is napping.  This is the only time I get to watch what I want so I really try to take advantage of it.

    6.  I am a new member of Netflix.  Netflix is a wonderful tool.  They have so much programing available right at the touch of a button.  I no longer purchase DVD's only to have my daughter watch them a few times and want something else.  Any time I can save a trip to the store, well that is just heaven to me!

    7.  I shower while my daughter bathes.  Sometimes it is hard for us stay at home moms to get twenty minutes to take a shower.  Now that my daughter is old enough and enjoys playing in the bath tub, I let her do it in my master bath while I take a shower.  I only recommend doing this if you can do so safely.  My shower has clear doors and is literally attached to my bathtub so I can get out in an instant if need be.

    8.  I check my emails from my cell phone.  I am a smart phone fanatic.  I love having access to my email whenever I need to.  I have been able to communicate with clients while sitting in the doctor's waiting room or waiting for a prescription.  This just saves me from having to do this later once I return back to my laptop.

    9.  I order pizza.  I know it sounds crazy but sometimes you need a little time to yourself.  On days when I just want to take an hour and have a nice hot bath, I order my family pizza and eat on paper plates.  Letting someone else do the work and having it ready whenever I need it puts a little bit of me time in my back pocket for later.  Plus there are no dishes!  Oh wait...are those angels singing that I hear?

    10.  The last that I do to save time is use apps on my phone.  Target texts me coupons so that I don't have to clip them.  They just scan the coupons from my cell phone.

    Starbucks has a great one for Blackberry, Android, iPhones and iPod Touches that allows you to do the following:

    • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations.  Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
    • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
    • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
    • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
    • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
    Saving time is worth its weight in gold.  I hope that I have given you some tips that you can use to help make your day go smoother and less stressful.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Parenting other peoples kids

    Do you ever feel the need to do this?  I really had a mom moment the other day when I found one of the children screaming bloody murder because she had a non-existent boo boo and instinctively I kissed her elbow and she stopped crying, smiled and went about her way.  Now this should drum up two questions.  One where is the mother of this screaming child?  And two, should I really be kissing another kids elbow?  Probably not on the second question but the more obvious first question has me thinking.  How far is looking out for other peoples kids versus just enabling them to engage in social time rather than watch their kid?  I typically don't make waves at play dates.  I want my daughter to interact with the other kids and have a great time.  I don't want to feel awkward or start any of the inevitable drama that goes along with large groups of women.  I may like to hear the gossip on occasion but not necessarily spread any of it.  So is it my responsibility to go up to that mother and say something?  The old me would have in a heart beat.  I called a spade a spade with absolutely no filter.  I guess having Samantha has softened me a bit.  So instead I take the approach of keeping an eye on my child, and those of my closer friends and well let everyone else deal with their own.  Part of me would love to go up to these women and say, WATCH YOUR KIDS! But well even when you do that, they tend to disagree and tell you that they had been watching them the whole time.  I don't usually rant but well somethings just have to be said.  Do you all have similar issues like this?  How did you handle them?

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Ipad or Bust

    So I never considered myself to be someone who needed the latest gadget.  My mom friends have camera based baby monitors and well mine was probably 12.99 at Toys R Us, and I am fine with that.  Some people have diaper pails, I have a trash can.   So why oh why do I want an IPAD so badly?  I laugh because I often dream of all of the wonderful apps I could finally get if I only had one.  How I am missing out on this or that because I don't have one yet and how I am secretly jealous of my recently tech savvy mother who not only just got hers but also beat me on to facebook.  How many woman do you know in their 30's whose mother was on facebook before they were?  Yeah that would be mine.  And don't get me wrong, I think it is awesome, but I think this is one place where I just can't settle.  I have never had an ipod nano, or mini or whatever they are called, never an ipod touch either.  Though I would like an ipod touch as well, my sites are currently set on an ipad.  The only thing I wonder is that if there is another tablet that is better?  All of my research says no, but you never know right?  So I will be saving and hopefully getting one soon.  Have you ever had something that you just wanted so badly?  This is the first thing that I have wanted in quite some time...

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Little Looster Review and Giveaway

    So as many of you know I have a two and a half year old and well she seems to pick up everything quickly.  Well except one thing.  Potty training.  We have been dabbling in potty training for the past few months now and though we haven't been super successful, I am pulling out all of the tricks.  I have learned that Samantha plus princess potty equals a mess on my floor from the sink because she only uses it as a step stool instead of of a potty. When I was given the opportunity to review the Little Looster, I was thinking...YES!  ANYTHING!  I thought that maybe if Samantha saw what I was doing, she would try it herself.  So what is the Little Looster?  It is a horseshoe shaped step stool that wraps around any toilet.  It is perfect for little ones to help them climb up on to the big potty.  It encourages them to use the potty like a big boy or girl.  The way that Mommy and Daddy does.  It also is wraps around so nicely that when I use that same toilet, I didn't need to move it.  I was able to keep the little looster in place.  I really liked that given that my bathroom is quite small. 

    So how did it work for me?   Well she did climb up on it and she was able to reach.  Now as most mothers know that potty training is a process, and well we haven't mastered it yet, but my Little Looster is still in place.  I am a big believer in this product and feel that even though my daughter hasn't yet completed her potty training, that this will definitely assist her in using the potty when she does. 

    Now on to the fun part.  I didn't want to make you all wait until Samantha is potty trained before I give you the opportunity to get one for yourself!

    These are a great deal at 34.99 and can be purchased here on their website.  I was also given the opportunity to give away one of them to my readers.  So make sure you do the mandatory entry, and after that do all or none of the extra entries.  Good Luck!

    Mandatory Entry - 
    Go on the Little Looster Website and tell me one thing that you had learned.

    Extra Entries
    • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
    • Follow me on twitter  
    • Like Little Looster  on Facebook
    • Follow me on Networked Blogs
    • "Like"  Homemaker in Progress on Facebook
    • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Blog about this giveaway and post the link on your blog  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Tweet about this giveaway and post the permalink in your post.  Feel free to use the twitter link below this post.

    Disclosure Statement

    This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. However the thoughts are my own. I was given a sample of this product in exchange for my opinion

    One winner  will be randomly selected from all valid entries using, and that winner will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification.  If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be selected.  Contest ends June 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm CT.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Keeping safe out there...

    As many of you know, I am a part of a family of five.  My husband and I have three childen, three cats and two dogs.  When we travel, we have to go by car.   Airline tickets are just to pricy when you have larger family.  Even most cruise boats only are equiped for a family of four rather than five so when we travel we typically drive to our destination.  That being said, it is really important to be safe when traveling so far with loved ones, there for I have my list of ten tips for keeping safe on the wide open road.

    1.  Let someone other than the driver manipulate the GPS.  Any small distraction like that could really cause an accident.

    2.  Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.

    3.  Scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.

    4.  Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process… A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.

    5.  Make sure that you get an oil change and have all of your tire pressure checked.  Under-inflated tires not only use more gas, but are also dangerous. 

    6.  Don't wait until the last minute before getting a refill on gas while out on the road.  Running out of gas is a highly preventable hazard by filling up when there is more than an eighth of  a tank left. 

    7.  Replace your windshield wipers before leaving out on a long trip.  Driving in the rain is its own hazard.  Don't make it more difficult but limiting your vision.

    8.  Remember to bring your sunglasses.  Driving in direct sunlight not only gives you a headache, but also lowers your visibility because things become too bright.

    9.  Try to time out your driving.  Avoiding rush hours in big cities make save time and frustration by avoiding traffic.

    10.  Lastly, remember that unexpected things happen.  Try to roll with the flow rather than getting completely frustrated.  Frustration may cause you to drive more aggressively than you normally would which increases your possibility for having an accident.

    About Safelite AutoGlass:
    Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.
    Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you’ll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.
    More info:
    Follow Safelite on Twitter: @safelite

    I hope that these tips help you stay safe this summer.  Keep your cool and stay safe.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Free Bowling? Summer? Air Conditioning? I am in!

    So I had to share with you this amazing deal that AMF is doing this summer.  I can guarantee that we will definitely be taking advantage of this the whole summer long.  Our family loves to bowl!  Even the little one.  We use the ramps for her and she gets to push the ball and it goes all of the way down...most of the time.  Take a look at this great deal! 

    Fun. Active. Social. Local. 

    AMF's Summer Unplugged
    is this summer's best bowling deal!

    Zip, Zero, Zilch for Kids 16 and Under

    • At select AMF centers, two free games of bowling per day for kids 16 and under. (Shoe rental not included, but they’re worth paying for.)
    • Time: open until 8:00PM, 7 days a week.
    • Dates: Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day) through Monday, September 5 (Labor Day).
    • Parents go to to select a participating center (over 200 locations) and complete a simple registration form.
    • Free game coupons emailed every Sunday starting May 29 for the following week – it’s that simple!

    • Share the fun and save!
    • For families of registered kids, a one-time payment of $27.95 buys 2 games per day for 4 people all summer long – it’s the AMF Summer 17 Plus Pass. (Same dates and times as above.)
    • Less than $7 per person for 2 games everyday all summer.
    • Available online at
    • Kids combo meals all summer for $2.99.
    • Pin decorating contest:
      • Most votes on Facebook in each of 4 age divisions wins a $2500 scholarship prize
      • AMF donates 25 cents per vote up to $10,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
    • Schedule of learn-to-bowl and fun competitive sessions.

    I am totally going to share this with my play group!  I think the kids will love it! 

    I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing.  All opinions stated in the post are my own.

    I am dying to get Verizon FiOS in my home

    So I have been patiently waiting for it to be announced that Verizon FiOS is available in my neighborhood because I think their service is fantastic.  There are so many reasons to have this service that I can barely count so I will just share a few with you.  I just verified on their website this week that we are still unavailable, but lots of communites each day are being able to get this option for their every day programing.

    The first thing that I find really neat is that they have something called "flex view."  This is really neat because it allows you to watch any of your on demand programing from your television, your computer or even your cell phone.  I day dream about this feature everytime I have my two year old in a waiting room.   If I could just have her favorite episode of Dora or Chuggington, well then we would both have a pleasant waiting time.  Instead I am constantly chasing her around the office, trying to get her to sit quietly and failing miserably.

    The also neat thing is Verizon FiOS uses fiber optic technology that lets you watch HDTV with less interruptions, pixelation, or weather interference.  I have noticed here in Houston, that with both my cable and my satellite services go out with a good gust of wind it seems.  FiOS is more weather resistant and more durable than the copper phone lines or coaxial cable.  Sometimes my daughter and I have an agreement that we can watch one more "Gabba Gabba" and then it is nap time.  Can you imagine if the cable goes out?   No naptime for mommie?  Yikes!

    Being a blogger and well self proclaimed social media guru, I love the fact that they have "TV widgets".  I know sounds like those story problems on standardize testing....I mean really what is a widget anyways.  These widgets allow you to update your facebook page or even send a tweet straight from your television.  Every week the biggest loser fans tweet all about the recent episode.  Now you could do that right from your couch and your remote!  How fun would that be?

    Now I know that we had chatted about all of the neat things that FiOS does, but I figured that I should add just a quick note about speed.  Verizon FiOS is super fast.  FiOS Internet gives you the fastest upload speeds and amazingly clear streaming video.  FiOS doesn’t let up during “peak” hours like when the kids come home from school when some cable services slow down due to increased usage.  I get so frustrated when my internet slows down just because the children have all jumped on when they got off.

    If you are in the market for a new programing / internet service, take a look at Verizon FiOS.  I would have it if I could, but hopefully it will come to my neighborhood soon.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS blogging program for a gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Five summer getaways that every kid should experience

    With Memorial day weekend coming up, Alamo Insiders came up with a great topic for my next blog post.  I was super excited when Alamo Insiders proposed a great question.  They wanted to know about five different summer getaways that every kid should experience.  I couldn't wait to weigh in on this topic given that one of the my answers, I am actually sharing with my family this weekend.

    So given that getaways can be expensive I wanted to share some budget friendly options as well as the pricier choices too.  First is a super budget friendly option and that is exactly what we are doing this weekend.  We are taking our first camping trip complete with tents, smores and sleeping bags.  I think this is defiantly a great option because it forces everyone to spend some time out in nature.  There are no televisions, video games or electricity for that matter.  The children will find joy in fishing and reading and spending time as a family.  We are staying at a national campground and the best part about that was the price.  For sixty dollars you can spend three nights on a holiday weekend.  I really can't wait to introduce kids to simpler forms of entertainment and show them that there is a life outside of television and video games.

    The next one that I think is a great option is a trip to San Antonio.  San Antonio has great food, great entertainment and the Alamo.  You can not only show the kids the amazing theme parks like Sea World and Six Flags, but you can teach them about US history over at the Alamo. 

    I also love bringing the kids on Galveston Island, TX.  Even though this city was hit by a hurricane a few years ago, there is so much fun stuff to do there.  The city has almost rebuilt itself and is in a constant flux of renovation but is the home of beautiful beaches, cruise ports and Moody Gardens.  Moody Gardens is a learning mecca of fun.  There is an aquarium, rainforest, 4D movies, a beach and pool area.  There are loads of things that you can do there and all are reasonably priced.

    The next place I love is Edisto Island, SC.  This is a beautiful little island that has some beautiful quiet resorts and miles and miles of beaches.  The best part about his island is that there are very few people that live there.  There is never a problem staking out a great place to just enjoy the beach.  There is also golf courses, driving ranges and cute little restaurants. 

    Lastly of course is Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL.  Since I used to work for the mouse, I really can't wait to bring my daughter there and share with her all of the amazing things that Walt Disney World has to offer.  We are planning our trip next year and staying at the Campgrounds in one of their amazing cabins.  The kids are looking forward to not only going to the parks, but the different activities that you can do right on the resort. 

    I could write all day about WDW, but I will save that for a later post.  What are some of your favorite places that you like to take your kids?  Share with me! I am always looking for new ideas.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Italian anyone? What's your Pasta Personality?
    So did you hear that Carabbas has a fun new quiz to determine your "Pasta Personality'?  Well I am a sucker for all of those fun quizzes in the magazines so I figured that I would share my pasta personality with you.  Here is the deal.  They have five questions about you and you choose the answer that suit you the best.  I had to laugh when they chose mine.  I was spaghetti and meatballs and I found that funny because we love that meal in my household.  Here is what a "spaghetti and meatballs" personality means:

    You’re genuine and well loved, like Carrabba’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. Your warm and comforting personality makes you everybody’s best friend. So go for our equally popular hand-prepared meatballs over perfectly cooked imported spaghetti.

    I was laughing because well I do try to be a genuine person and try to have a warm personality so I thought, well I guess they had gotten me right.  If you want to check out your own "Pasta Personality" well then go ahead and click here and then come back and let me know what your personality was!

    Since we are talking pasta, I figured I would share a common recipe in my house.  This dish is special to me because it is something easy I can make and EVERYONE in the family will eat it and go for seconds.  No complaints and requests for more?  Heaven!  This is a recipe for Baked Penne with Italian Sausage.

    • 1 (12 ounce) package dry penne pasta
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic
    • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
    2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Place sausage and onion in the skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Pour in wine, and cook for 1 minute, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with cooked pasta, and place in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle top with mozzarella.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
    Totally easy and everyone loves it.  Give it a shot.  Also if you want to skip making the sauce, using a store bought spaghetti sauce works fine.

    If you don't feel like cooking then check out some of Carabbas limited time special offers.  They all sound delish!  These are available now through July and are only a couple.  You will have to go in and see what else they have.  I am getting hungry just thinking about Carabbas food!

    Parmesan-crusted Chicken – Topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a hand-prepared lemon vinaigrette, served with choice of side. Substitution of wood-grilled chicken also available. Pairs well with Estancia Pinot Grigio.

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Three pork tenderloin medallions wrapped with prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce, served with the vegetable of the day. Pairs well with Coppola Pinot Noir.

    And for desert...

    Limoncello Bread Pudding – Back by popular demand! Brioche bread pudding made with fresh Madagascar vanilla beans and a rich custard, served hot out of the oven. Topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Carrabba’s homemade Caravella Limoncello liqueur sauce.

    They also have a new Peach Sangria that just sound so yummy!  So if you haven't been to Carrabbas in a while, I would totally recommend checking them out before July and you miss out on some really amazing dishes.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    San Antonio - My favorite drivable vacation destination!

    We all have our favorite destinations for vacations.  I have two absolute favorites and one is Italy and the other is Vegas.  I mean really who doesn't love Vegas right?  We can't always fly across the world or even across the country so when I was asked where my favorite road trip destination was, I have to say that it is San Antonio.   Since we have three children, putting them on a flight for every vacations would really be very expensive.  Instead we try to find places that we enjoy that we can drive to.  San Antonio has everything that I love about a vacation destination.  They have amusement parks, great food and drinks and shopping of course.  San Antonio also has alot of history which I find really important.  I like that the kids can learn something while we are having fun.  San Antonio also looks nothing like Houston which makes me feel like we are way further away than we really are.

    According to family travel expert Emily Kaufman, “The Travel Mom,” families are starting to think past the backyard “staycation” and are rediscovering the freedom of the open road. Kaufman shares the following tips for a fun and safe family road trip:

    • Create a boredom bag. Convert a hanging travel cosmetic case into a case full of fun and hang it from the seat back in front of the kids’ seats. Consider creating fun works of art with Twizzlers
      Pull ‘n’ Peel
      Candy before snacking on them!
    • Take your trip “online.” From GPS systems to phone applications, trips are no longer a navigation nightmare.
    • Think through the snacks you pack. Avoid packing snacks that are easy to spill like juice boxes or snacks that melt. Try plastic bottles with sports tops and bring along Twizzlers Candy or Twizzlers Nibs Candy – they are easy to share and don’t melt, making them the perfect car ride treat.
    Emily definitely has it right.   Twizzlers don't melt and are not messy in the least which makes them awesome treats to bring with you car ride.  Check out this awesome work of art that is made from Twizzlers.

    Well I am not that talented by my children might be.  We are going camping in a couple of weeks and I am totally going to try out some of Emily's ideas.  Hopefully it will make for a happier road trip.  If you would like to check out a bit more about twizzlers, go to their website ( by clicking here.

    I am posting about my favorite destination to enter a contest for a Twizzlers Landmark Summer promotion prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Camping anyone?

    Ok so I haven't been blogging as much as I have wanted to because I have been doing a writing job.  It is great, but focusing on that has caused me to lapse in my blogging time.  I am really excited that I just booked a weekend at a campground about an hour away.  There are still things that are yet to be determined about this trip.  One how I am going to get all five of us plus camping gear into one idea.  Also have you seen how much "stuff" you can buy to make camping more comfortable?  What do you need?  What don't your need?  I am like a kid in a candy store.  I mean i have never gotten excited about salt and pepper shaker but not they have a compact cute one for camping, I am all about it.  LOL Also the thought of three days without my bath tub is a bit concerning.  I think Samantha will have her first shower while camping.  Also we will need to pack a whole lot of food....I think I need to start listing...what do you think?  Any avid campers out there?  Best camping tips?

    Friday, April 29, 2011

    Naps are for mommies!

    Today has been a whirlwind of activity rounded out by a quick, not so painless trip to the grocery store.  We have had a turn of cooler weather and well I figured it would be a sin not to bring Sam to the playground.  So after a few loads of laundry, alot of writing work and pulling out food for dinner tonight we venture out.  I still have a small dog walking business and had to walk on of my dogs so I did that first and we headed out to the park.  It wasn't long before Sam's diaper leaked and we had to leave.  I needed to pick up some things for dinner so I stopped by Kroger where as we are trying to check out, Sam has a total meltdown.  The poor kid behind the counter made her a balloon to cheer her up and she just continued to scream.  Finally we make it home and I just put her down for her nap.  The house will be silent for the next 4 minutes until Jake gets home.  So for the next four minutes I might have peace....oh wait, no groceries to put away and laundry to do....forget that thought!  LOL.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Have you heard abou GiveBack's 100 Days of Giving Campaign?

    I am always looking for ways that I will be able to donate to causes that I am passionate about.  Earlier this year I won a sweepstakes that allowed me to give a 1000.00 donation to the charity of my choice.  Boy was I stoked when I found that one out!  Well I found this new opportunity that I wanted to share with you.

    On GiveBack's site, every day for 100 Days through July 16, 2011, one GiveBack member will be randomly chosen to win $1000 which will be contributed to their personal foundation.  They have also created an Impact Points system to track members who spread the word about GiveBack and get others to join.  At the end of the 100 Days of Giving campaign, GiveBack will award a $50,000 prize for the member who has earned the most Impact Points. Winners will have the money deposited to their GiveBack account and can then donate it to a charity or charities of their choice.    

    These were the numbers after just four days!  Now it has been nineteen and they have increased substantially!

    How to Earn Impact Points on GiveBack:

    1. Log into
    2. Create an account (if you aren't already a member). It's totally free and you can even do it with one click through via Facebook.
    3. You'll see your personalized link on your home page.
    4. Share your personalized link with friends via Facebook, Twitter, email or any other social media sites.
    5. Earn Impact points when your friends join using your link and when their friends join, and when their friends join!

    Not only are you doing good, but you're also increasing your chances of winning more money for your foundation

    Promoting this cause just makes me feel good!  If you want to feel good to, go ahead and GiveBack!

    I was not compensated for this post, but did post because I am a member of One 2 One Network and will be entered into a drawing.

    Don't Fret The Sweat!

    Do you have tweens or kids who are quickly approaching tween years?  If so you know how critical self esteem is at this tender age.  Unilever, the makers of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorant offer support for these difficult times.
    The tween years are full of changes.  Whether or not parents are ready, their kids’ bodies are trying to tell them something. Increased hormones are causing noticeable differences like growth spurts and strange new odors. But don’t let the unexpected stink scare you; it’s just a sign of great things to come

    Unilever - the maker of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorants - wants to ensure parents and kids remain cool, calm and confident throughout the day - especially during those sweat-inducing moments.
    Check out for money saving offers and expert tipstools and real life stories about how parents are communicating and transitioning their tweens into confident and self-reliant teens.
    I published this post in order to participate in a partnership with One 2 One Network and Unilever.  I was not compensated for this post, however will be entered into a drawing.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    YAY! Easter is almost here!

    I would have to say that I just feel like a kid again every year that Easter rolls around.  I took Samantha to our Easter Eggstravaganza here at the neighborhood and just love the petting zoos and the Easter egg hunts.  I also love that we have created a tradition to go out for brunch on Easter, so I don't even worry about cooking.  I love the dresses and the pastels and hopefully the cool weather is still here.  Well it was 90 today but we aren't going to think about that.  I just did the children's Easter baskets and have those ready now me even though the religious meaning of Easter is way more somber, I just think it is so much fun.  My daughter is two and half this year and even though she got into it last year, I just can't wait for her to get into it this year.  She fell in love with the baby chicks and baby ducks at the petting zoo.  This is just a great time of the year.  I guess I really have nothing profound to say!  LOL  Happy Easter to you all and I hope that you truly have a moment to enjoy your family and cherish these special times.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Cooking with Coke!

    There really is something fun about cooking with ingredients that you really wouldn't think of adding into your dinners.  Now that Easter is getting closer, I know that I start thinking of my sweet and sticky glazed ham.  You know what my secret ingredient is?  It is Coca-Cola Classic.  The sweetness of the coke makes this delicious sticky glaze on the outside of my ham that my entire family finds addictive.  Isn't that what you want your food to be?  Addictive and craveable?  Well that is what my ham is and it is super easy.  I have to admit that I do cheat a little.  I only buy a spiral ham.  Yes they are more expensive but the fact that I do not need to slice it, well that is just worth the extra price.

    I start preparing my ham by packing on some brown sugar on the outside of the entire ham.  I then take spiral ham and cover it with pineapple slices.  The easiest way to do this is to grab a can of the sliced pineapples and they secure them to the ham using toothpicks.  I don't use the capers or the maraschino cherries because I just don't care for the taste.  Once I have both my brown sugar and my pineapples on the outside, I take an entire can of coke and pour it all over my ham.  I make sure that the coke gets into the creases and crevices of the different slices of ham.  That way when it cooks, the sweetness is infused through out the entire ham and not just on the outside.  I warm it in the oven according to the regular directions of the ham and when it comes out a few hours later it is a sweet and delicious dinner for my entire family and then left over sandwiches later.  If you have never tried it, you would be shocked at how juicy and wonderful it comes out.  They have all kinds of neat recipes on Coke's new website I can't wait to pick out my next delicious "go to" recipe.

    I love cooking with coke because I love the flavor of coke.  I remember when we were kids how my mom would buy an eight pack of coke bottles.  It was such a treat to have her go and get the bottle opener and let us drink one on a hot day in the summer.  Also if we were really lucky she would take us to the local 7-11 for Slurpee.  My sister always got the cherry one, but to this day mine has always been the Coca-Cola flavored ones.  On occasion if I happen to see the opportunity to get a Coke Slurpee I will get on and I am transported back to those summer days as a kid.   Does drinking an ice cold coke remind you of anything nostalgic?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola® blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, click here.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Have you heard about the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest

    Pillsbury is looking for original recipes that taste and look delicious, are easy to prepare and that families across America will love to eat. Consumers can submit recipes in one of four recipe categories:

    • The Breakfast & Brunches category includes casual brunch or weekend family breakfast ideas. For example, sweet rolls, pull-aparts, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes or breakfast sandwiches.
    • In the Entertaining Appetizers category, entrants can submit appetizers and snacks to serve at casual gatherings with family and friends or for holiday entertaining. For example, bite size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia.
    • The Dinner Made Easy™ category encourages home cooks to create easy-to-prepare main dishes that will delight your family. For example, pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, soups or savory pies.
    • Quick and easy treats for anytime celebrations can be entered into the Sweet Treats category. For example, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies or bars.
    Entries are being accepted online between now and April 18, 2011, at One hundred lucky finalists will compete for a chance at the grand prize during the contest finals, which take place March 25-27, 2012 at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida. You’ll also find contest details, including eligible products, prizes and the official rules, on the web site.

    The recipes will be judged for 1) taste, 2) appearance, 3) creativity and 4) consumer appeal. All entries must meet the requirements of the recipe category and appropriately use two of the eligible products in at least the quantity specified.

    Wanna participate?  Well MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury has provided me with some goodies to get me started and they have also set up to have an addition one sent to one of my readers!  All you have to do is enter and you could possibly win
    a Pillsbury Bake-Off® gift pack that includes a Pillsbury Bake-Off® apron, recipe book, pen and notepad.

    Mandatory Entry:

    What do you think goes into coming up with a winning recipe?

    Additional Entries
    • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
    • Follow me on twitter
    • Follow me on Networked Blogs
    • "Like" Homemaker in Progress
    • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Blog about this giveaway and post the link on your blog  (attach the link in your comment post)
    • Tweet about this giveaway using the tweet below.   (Max 3 entries per day at least one hour apart.) 
     "I entered the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest on Homemaker in Progress and you should too!  #Myblogspark"

    One winner  will be randomly selected from all valid entries using, and that winner will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification.  If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be selected.  Contest April 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm CT.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

    Yanni's newest word....enlightening!

    By nature I am more of a rock and roll kind of gal, but I was given the opportunity to review Yanni's new album.  It is named "Truth of Touch" and I am not sure if you have every had the opportunity to listen to his music but I found this album truly enlightening.  The music was anything but sleepy.  If anything I found it motivating and energizing at the same time.  This is Yanni's first instrumental release of original compositions in over eight years and is a return to the genre Yanni helped create and advance.  I found this music perfect for well writing my blog of course, but also doing housework and paying bills.  I almost feel that I had gotten more done because I had it on.  If that isn't a recommendation, I am not sure what is!

    On March 22, Yanni launched a 40-date tour of the US. The tour will take him through theaters in major cities across the US including Radio City Music Hall in NYC and the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.  I was really excited to see that he will actually be visiting Houston on his tour.  I think it sounds like a rather romantic evening with the hubby, don't you?

    Here is a link to his tour dates:

    The album is already available for purchase.  If you would love to check it out, click on it's picture!

    I am working with One2One Network on this campaign and all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.  

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    With Easter coming soon...what memories are triggered?

    Being a mom really brings out my memories of childhood.  At Christmas I think of when I used to set up the Christmas tree with my mom, while I am showing my daughter how to hang up ornaments.  When it is Halloween time, I am thinking about the costumes that my mom made for me, while I am shopping for my daughters newest
    costume.  (My mom is much more talented behind sewing machine than I am so in my house costumes will continue to be purchased until my skills improve.)  And so now that Easter is on its way all of the Easter egg hunts that she used to bring to memories are flooding back.  What is the first thing that makes me realize that Easter is upon us?  Well the Peeps start hitting the shelves!

    I am at CVS and find the shelves lined with pink, yellow and purple versions of the marshmellowy goodness.  Little rows of chicks and bunnies line the shelves and I am instantly transported to when I was seven years old and just realized that it was Easter morning.  I wake up and decide that I am still tired and roll over to go back to sleep, when all of a sudden I realize what today was!  Then I am mad at myself for wasting so much time laying in bed when there is a basket left behind by the Easter Bunny.  What on earth could I have been thinking!  I creep out of my bed and open my bedroom door only to notice that I am the only one awake.  (Thinking back it was probably like 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday so of course everyone is sleeping.)   I creep and go to the stairs overlooking the living room because I want to make sure that the Easter Bunny hadn't forgotten about us and there they are.  Three big and beautiful baskets filled with all kinds of goodies that I needed to see up close.  So instead I run into my sisters room and wake her up and we go and jump on my parents bed to wake them up.  Finally we get to go down and open our baskets.

    Inside there are Chinese jump ropes and stickers and yo-yos, but besides all of the little toys there are always two items.  I large chocolate bunny and some Peeps.  Now the chocolate bunny had to wait, but my mom would sometimes let us eat the peeps before breakfast even!  What a treat!  So when I see the Peeps, I always think of the anticipation of the Easter Basket goodies and the early morning candy.  What else could a kid want?  It wasn't until I was way older when I realized that my favorite Easter treat was also fat free.  Talk about heaven!  Do you have any memories of peeps like mine?  What are they?

    Also if you like Peeps as much as I do, check out this great promotional code:

    SMSPRING11 for 20% off all of your purchases until 5/4/11 at

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and PEEPS blogging contest, for a chance to get a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Little Switches Make a Big Difference!

    So now that my husband and I have been married for some time now, we have finally been blessed to have somewhat of a routine.  If you happen to know anything about our first year of marriage, well lets just say that it was a whirlwind of activity.  We celebrate our anniversary every March and at every anniversary I pray for the same thing.  A "boring' year.  With three children and a husband, my life is never boring but we like it just not super eventful these days.  So since we are enjoying a but of the solitude that comes from a stable income and healthy children we may tend to come complacent.  Sometimes you need to add a little spark to 'switch' things up. 

    I do confess that both my husband and I do enjoy watching television.  Usually there is some sort of sports on the television.  Well as I had noted in an earlier post, that I had purchased a trailer for my daughter to ride in while we ride our bikes.  This little switch gives us the ability to go out bike riding as a family.  We are able to get to the pools here and not have to use the truck which is excellent.  It basically makes going to the park that much more fun because getting there is now part of the activity.  I think that this little switch has brought us all together more as a family and I am sure there will be more family moments like that this spring and summer. 

    Another little switch that we my husband and I have made, was to make some more nights out for the two of us.  We met playing cards, so now we try to make it to a local lounge to play in a free texas hold'em tournament.  It is fun because we can do something together that we did before we were married with all of these kids.  There is also another bonus.  If you win the tournament, you actually win money to pay for your food and drinks which was great!  I actually won the last time we had gone and we literally had a free night out!  You just can't ask for better than that!  Blowing off a little steams makes us happier in the long run.  So tell me, do you have any little switches that you do that make a huge difference in your life?

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.