Life... Health... Reviews...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas reflections and fun days

On Christmas Eve, I think I was more excited than the children. I really liked the gifts I had chosen for them and was happy I was able to get several of the things they wanted. Then there was the excitement I felt about the few surprises for my oldest daughter who I have a hard time surprising ‘cause I either let the cat out of the bag or she already knows for whatever reason.

100_5266But as I was placing the gifts under the tree I had a moment of trepidation. There weren’t as many gifts as the children had last year – would they be disappointed? I had already explained to them that if they wanted bigger (more expensive) items – like the Wii I got for all of us – then the number of gifts would reduce. I immediately pushed my doubts aside realizing I had done my best and was at least able to get them presents. There are many people who don’t have the ability or resources to purchase gifts. I also remember last year’s Christmas blessings (and even other years) when things were so tight that I wasn’t able to do much on my own and if it hadn’t been for others’ selflessness we wouldn’t have had anything at all.

Although my children are happy with the gifts they received two of them have said they don’t think they received enough for Christmas. When my 8 year old said that I explained to him why it was enough and told him the true meaning of Christmas. Once I finished talking he said, “I think you’re right. We do have enough.” Wow, he got it, I thought.

Now, my 4 year old isn’t quite as convinced and I know it’ll be an ongoing lesson I’ll have to continue to teach my three young children. Not to compare, but it seems as if my oldest daughter picked that lesson up very quickly when she was their age.  {Shrug}

Also, on Christmas Day, my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and my best friend – who is Amber’s godfather – came for Christmas dinner. I am normally a little anxious and stressed out about having guests, but I stayed relaxed and expected a nice evening. And it sure was. I love spending time with my family who I don’t get to see very often. Amber rocked the dinner – she is such an excellent cook – and we all raved about her mac and cheese, chicken, cookies, cake, greens, mashed potatoes, dressing and cornbread. I’ll just confess now, I only had one assignment: to make the juice, and do you know that I forgot about it? Amber had to remind me right before everyone came. What can I say? I’ve passed the baton to someone who enjoys cooking and is really good at it. (Yes, she cooks from scratch.)

So it was a relaxing and fun time with family and friends. On Monday the children left in the early afternoon to hang out with their dad and enjoy more holiday fun. That left Amber and I to relax on the couch and besides one brief outing that’s where we stayed. We watched movies, played Wii (great exercise!), talked, etc. I really love hanging out with her.

100_5254The children returned home early yesterday, but there was much of the same…. chilling, very little work, throwing in a load of laundry and watching movies. Spending the children’s Christmas vacation just playing and relaxing is a great change of pace. In addition to our regular family stuff, we saw Phineas and Ferb Live, went to my nephew’s graduation and enjoyed eating at Ruby Tuesday’s thanks to a gift card from my mom.

100_5258They even spent four days at their sister’s apartment. She took them to the park, let them play outside, made cookies and whatever else big sisters do with their siblings.100_5264

 

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Spending time like this, and knowing the children are having fun, makes one realize it’s the little things that can facilitate happiness. For me, I love spending time reading alone (in quiet!), playing games with the kids (can be hectic and annoying!) and chilling. Are there are things I’d like to do: probably. But I’m going happy with what I’ve been able to do. What about you?      100_5268 100_5269

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you like best about this holiday season? Tell me your thoughts, your ups, your downs and even your in betweens. Happy Holidays.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gray fascination

It’s an ongoing topic, I know, but I just can’t stop talking about my hair. I’m either having a love/hate relationship with it, changing my hairstyle, growing it out, braiding it up or any and everything in between.

This time I’m amazed by my gray hairs. They have grown quite a bit since I told you about them before and I think they’re so cool. Now, haters (LOL!), if you have more gray hair than I do don’t leave naughty, little comments of disdained ‘cause your hair is sprinkled with more salt than pepper. I am really chuckling now. Just let me enjoy my moment of fascination.

I’ve had the same gray hairs with the same length for quite some time and over the past few months I’ve watched them grow. I don’t mind if they show a little in the front when I style my hair, although I’m not sure how long I’ll feel like that.

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You can see about six hairs here and there is another one that sprouts from the center/top of my head. It wouldn’t show itself when I was taking pictures – it must be shy – but it’s there somewhere. I’m not sure about the back; my oldest daughter said she thinks there’s a small one back there somewhere.

I think they’re looking well; don’t you? I think so because my younger children haven’t noticed yet. As soon as they start pointing them out then I think it’ll be time to do something about it.

How are you feeling about your gray hair?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don’t miss Lauren Klein Jewelry promotions

 

I have admitted to you before that I have an addiction to women’s jewelry. In addition to trolling the Internet for deals and crafting some of my own pieces, I’ve found several sites that have become my favorites because of the gorgeous pieces, fabulous deals and awesome promotions.

Right now there is a Lauren Klein Jewelry promotion where if you show off a piece, on the Lauren Klein Facebook wall then you can get 15 percent off your next purchase. It’s the perfect promo because not only do you get a chance to talk about jewelry, but you get a great deal to use for yourself or to buy something for someone else. You’ll get your code emailed to you once your picture is posted. While you’re there “like” Lauren Klein and receive 15 percent off your entire order. And, if you’re a FB fan, you can get a special 20 percent coupon code for all kids’ jewelry by Lauren G. Adams.

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Touch a little girl’s heart with this
Pink Enamel Silver Heart Charm Ring
by Lauren G. Adams

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My brain’s Christmas vacation

As a work-from-home mom, I always love holiday breaks ‘cause I don’t have to get up and rush around from early morning ‘til late night taking care of little people. Yes, it’s difficult to get work accomplished, but I like the freedom of my days and the freedom of my brain.

I haven’t written many personal posts because my brain automatically takes a break when the vacations roll around. It’s as if I go into immediate vacation/relax mode and I can’t come up with any creative, entertaining or fact-filled posts about what my children are up to. So as Christmas draws closer, this year ends and another begins I’ll be mostly chilling and relaxing. I’m happy to have the special time with my children and even more time to myself as my little ones spend time with their big sister and visit their father.

This weekend I’ll enjoy watching them play with their gifts and try to relish in each wonderful moment despite the noise that I know will overtake my eardrums. The noisy toys, the loud talking, the rambunctious laughter… but it’s the pure joy that I’ll focus on. While I do that my brain will be gearing up for another year of writing as I make my New Year commitment to meet some personal writing goals.

How’s your regular posting going? Are you taking a vacation or plugging away?

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Make money online with your own site

A lot of people realize their everyday jobs are not enough to sustain the type of lifestyle they want, meet the goals they have or take care of their responsibilities. That is why they look for alternative means to make money.

Many individuals want to take their contractual and/or freelance businesses and services online, but they don’t know how to go about it. There are some good resources, which teach how to make money online by creating quality websites. The benefits of having your own site are numerous, let’s review a few:

  1. You will reach a wider audience: Whether you sell a product or offer a service you can offer it worldwide. Not only will you reach your local and national audience, but there is the opportunity to interact with international customers.
  2. It is easy to keep up to date: When you print brochures or catalogs you incur a specific cost per item, don’t reach the maximum number of people you can, and if you don’t use all of your material you haven’t maximized your advertising dollars. With a website you’re able to quickly and easily update it to match your inventory, announce deals and savings as well as connect with your customers through email newsletters and social media.
  3. Twenty-four hour access: Your customers and clients, especially if they’re international or across the country, will need to access your information at varying times of the day. With an online presence – as in a website – you’ll be able to easily meet their needs and stay in touch.

With so many variables in life it is a good idea to consider and implement alternate ways to make money; building your own website and making money online is definitely a viable option. Do you have a product or service you offer online? What are your tips for making money online?

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Schools’ holiday fun

Each year there is a flurry of activity as my children get more excited about holidays and their schools plan parties and programs. All of the activity means more mommy time; however, it also means more “awww, aren’t they cute” time. In the spirit of the holidays, I’m sharing some pictures of my little sweethearts. Please forgive the picture quality; they’re from my good ole cell.

Img_00414The second graders, including my son Andre, sang Christmas carols after the PTA meeting. It was the first time my son looked into the audience, smiled and participated. He used to be one of the shy ones lurking in the background with his lips barely moving and his head down, too shy to look up. Now he’s such a big boy… I wish I had my camera and could find my memory card.

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Then, the same week, we all went to Anna’s school to see her class sing during the parenting meeting.

Img_00450Img_00445This is Anna’s friend (on the left) who came to her brother’s birthday party in October. She’s one of the cutest, sweetest and most polite little girls. Anna is holding a purple maraca …

 

 

 

Anna was very subdued – and tired! – while performing, but she was still so cute. I was really proud of her for standing in front of everyone and participating; even if it was just a little. :-)

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Img_00447 Img_00448     Amareah and Andre really enjoyed watching their sister and her class. They even sang along and danced.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday was the last of the holiday fun at Anna’s school, at least for the parents, and I’m glad a break is just around the corner. What holiday and school-related activities have been going on with your children?

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sprint 3-Day Sale ends 12/14

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and the deals are in abundance. For a limited time, Sprint is having great holiday deals on Android™ powered EVO 4G or EVO™ Shift devices. Plus, you can get a waived activation fee for new lines of service and free shipping from Sprint. This three-day sale ends on December 14th so you better act quickly to get your Android™ powered EVO 4G devices.

How excited would your loved one be to look under their tree on Christmas morning and find the Android™ powered EVO 4G? With this phone, which has a large 4.3-inch screen, you’ll be able to clearly see what you’re capturing with the awesome dual cameras. This device has 32GB MicroSD card slot and web speeds so fast they’ll pop up before you can finish blinking. It is way more than a phone – you’ll have your hands on a Mobile Hotspot for up to eight Wi-Fi devices. And it’s your personal portable high definition media center. This top-quality mobile device features the Android™ 2.3, which is the award-winning HTC Sense™ experience. And don’t worry about staying connected because it uses the Lithium-ion battery that’ll give you up to six hours of continuous talk time.

With technology like this, talking on the phone just became an entirely new and fun experience.

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Why they’re called twins

There are 15 months between my two middle children, Andre and Amareah, but that doesn’t keep a lot of people from asking if they’re twins. In fact, every once in awhile I beckon them by saying, “Twins!”

Them now… They like to have “slumber parties.” That’s his hand on her face!

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This is them about three years ago… I don’t think either of them noticed me taking their picture. I used to love dressing them in similar outfits. Aren’t they cute in their track suits?

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Buckled in for a long ride. This was in 2006…

Jan-May 09 097  Funny how they leaned toward each other…

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Oh my goodness, they were the cutest little people. Well, they still are cute, but not baby cute anymore. :-)

Andre kissin' Amareah

Andre&Amareah awwwwww

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think, can they pass for twins? Do you have children close in age that look a lot alike?

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A new place to shop

Over the years I’ve developed obsessions with jewelry and deals, among other things. Now, if you combine the two – jewelry for a great deal – then it will take a supernatural act (or a low bank account) to keep me from making a purchase. One of my most recent purchases that I absolutely love is my MORELLATO Ladies Diamond Ring Designed in Metallic Base Metal. I really like it because I think it’s unique and because reminds me of charm bracelets, which I love.

image I bought the ring from Modnique.com, and it’s the first time I’ve made a purchase there. While I was scanning the deals one day I saw the ring and had to have it. It was priced at $25, but I had a store credit for $5 (first-time buyer credit, I believe).

Although the ring looked nice online I was not expecting it to be as top quality as it was. Obviously, I’m not familiar with the brand because it appears to be very high end. The ring itself is very heavy and has the brand name engraved on the outside of the band and it arrived in a gorgeous Morellato box with the tag firmly attached to the ring.

Img_00467The pictures below and left, which I took with my cell phone, do not do the ring justice. I had to use the phone because I can’t find the memory card to my camera!  Img_00468

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I wear this ring almost daily along with a charm bracelet I made… I think they compliment each other extremely well. If you’d like to checkout Modnique, please click the link as it is my referral link. I’d love to get a little reward if you make a purchase, and you’ll love to get some great deals on high-end goods. Take a look and let me know what you think.

You can read more about my jewelry obsession when you get a chance. And, if you’d like to get me a gift may I suggest jewelry. :-)

Img_00470Disclosure: This IS NOT a paid post. Just a little about my love of all things bling.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

My sweet grandmother

Everyone who visits my blog knows that I talk about my children quite a bit. You don’t often hear me mention other family members – that’s mostly because I don’t have permission. In fact, my mother has specifically requested that she not be included in any posts or anything on the Internet. No pictures, no references, no nothing.

Although I may not agree, I do respect her privacy and choices. As a matter of fact, when I began blogging I asked my oldest daughter Amber if it was okay to talk about her. It was after I had already started doing it (LOL), but had she been opposed I wouldn’t have continued. I also asked her permission for using her as the subject of my blog posts in Parent’s Perspective on Campus Talk Blog.

Today, I just couldn’t resist telling you about my sweet grandmother. My mom’s mother is the only grandparent I have left and I had a chance to talk to her today. She is 92 years old and she is the sweetest person I know. She’s vibrant, beautiful and touches my heart each times she thinks of me and the children by either asking my mother about us or sending us presents in the mail. I called her because when I checked the mail today I found three boxes she had sent; inside are Christmas  presents for the children.

That she took the time to have my aunt send the children some gifts is so thoughtful and sweet. We should be sending her gifts! Although I can’t include any pictures, won’t tell you her name or give you a lot of details it’s an honor to share about my grandmother… the sweetest mom mom I know!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writing around the web

It was about 1975 when I realized how much I enjoy writing. I like telling stories, relaying facts, entertaining and encouraging through the written word. I even prefer communicating via writing… yes, for the most part, I would rather text than talk on the phone.

My love of writing is what fueled me to begin blogging. (Long after my stints in print journalism – both newspaper and magazine.) In fact, many of you probably don’t know that my first blog is one called Single & Celibate. I stopped updating it quite a few years ago because I became a little bored and I got married. :-) Although, at the time, I still believed in being single and celibate my fire behind it dimmed a little. I still leave it out there because every once in awhile there will be a comment left by someone searching the web for information, confirmation or encouragement about being single and celibate.

Since I’ve begun writing web content, I’ve had a few things posted around the web and currently contribute to a couple of sites. Two of my favorites, which I currently contribute to on an infrequent basis, are Black Love Forum and Campus Talk Blog.

BLF is influential in the movement to restore healthy relationships in the black community, and they’re dedicated to being an agent of change through their website and online community, events and discussions as well as education and coaching. For me, it has given me the opportunity to meet a group of people who have the goal of better understanding and healing our relationships as well as presenting much-needed perspectives on a wide range of topics relevant to successful relationships.

On BLF my most recent post is How to Survive the (failed) Grocery Store Hookup. Although it could have been a vent about why some dude didn’t give me the time a day, it is a humorous account of that encounter. On CTB, I write Parent’s Perspective as the first-time college mom where I write about issues that first-time college parents deal with. Everything from saying good-bye to your student and “friending” them on Facebook to community service, disabled students and moving. 

One of the things I like about writing web content is the myriad of things I get to write about including a health essay at HealthyWomen.org and some erotica on a site that I’m not gonna tell you about. Yea, I have to have some secrets.

My love of writing continues and it’s my pleasure to share it with you. The ability to write is a gift and it’s made even better by the extreme love I have doing it.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Get a quote for windshield replacement

One of the best things about the Internet is being able to quickly find a reputable company that can handle the service you need. And when you find that company their website should contain complete information about their services including prices and experience as well as be easy to navigate. Windshield Replacement Phoenix has a site that meets those standards.

With a neat and visually-appealing layout, the site provides contact information in large letters at the top of the home page and not buried at the bottom or on another page like many companies have done. It also has the deals in a visible location as well as an additional link to other offers when applicable.

Visitors to the site can quickly learn about the company – which is family owned and operated, get their auto glass quote/free online estimate, review the Auto Glass Phoenix offers, evaluate the lifetime warranty and see what types of vehicles (all of them, by the way) that the company services.  Auto Glass Repair Phoenix does replacements and repairs throughout the state of Arizona and they make it easy to get the job done by offering free mobile services wherever you are located.

The company accepts all insurances and offers $50 cash back with any insurance-approved claim. That is a fabulous deal on top of their lifetime warranty on repairs and the top-quality automotive glass products that are used on your vehicle to ensure yours and your family’s safety while on the road.

If you have damage to your windshield and you are in Arizona then it would be in your best interest to get it taken care of before it gets any worse. You can check out  the auto glass repair website for more information or stop by their Randolph Road location.

Windshield Replacement Phoenix
3001 N. Randolph Road #GF4
Phoenix, AZ 85014

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday

 

I no longer edit my blog in Blogger, I use Windows Live Writer because I find it easier to manipulate the posts and photos. The other day I happened upon this picture, which was loaded into Blogger on December 17, 2008. It's amazing how little the children were just three years ago. Aren't they adorable?

My how they've changed:

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My gorgeous babies… :-)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There’s more than one place to call home

In 1995 I moved to Georgia to begin a new life. I was a new U.S. Air Force Veteran, a recent college graduate and a young single parent of a 4-year-old daughter. Sixteen years later I still maintain a home in this southern state. Now I have three more children and quite a bit more life under my belt. One of the things life experience has made me appreciate and desire is having a comfortable, stress-free, cozy and well-equipped domicile to enter into. My current residence, the fourth since I moved her, has afforded me the opportunity to alleviate the stress of home repairs, property upkeep and emergency expenses. Instead I have concentrated on making this home. (Have you seen my decorating efforts? Check out My new life, a post that features  pictures of my decorative touches.)

But it doesn’t matter how homey it is, I still have another home – two, in fact. The city of New Castle in Delaware is where I was born and raised and a small, but growing town in Maryland is where my mom still lives. Those two states – and a few surrounding ones – hold what makes them home: my family (98 percent of them), my friends and my memories. Like the carefree walks through my suburban Delaware neighborhood to the 7-Eleven around the corner and the city park that was up the street from my grandparents’ home. And the time a deer trotted inches from my new first car as I cruised the back country roads with the windows down. I could hear the sounds of his hooves on the blacktop road as if it were yesterday. I still remember the fast food joints where I worked and the places I explored my first experiences of pleasure. I can visualize the town before video rental stores, shopping centers and fast food less than 10 minutes away.

All of that makes both Delaware and Maryland, as well as Georgia, my homes. It’s not necessarily my physical location as it is the feelings, meaning and experiences behind these places. I guess that would make the saying “home is where the heart is” true.

I wish I could find pictures of all of my homes to show you, but someone – who shall remain nameless – has not figured out how to organize the thousands of pictures we have. Where do you call home?

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Self storage in the UK

The last time I moved from state to state I had to figure out where to put the items that didn’t fit into my apartment. A lot of people have the same problem, but there is a solution for that: Self storage Warrington. Safestore is the only self-storage company in the UK and it has nationwide coverage of more than 100 storage centers.

It’s the ideal place to store items that you still hold valuable and don’t want to get rid of.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

What will a future Thanksgiving holiday look like?

For the past five years – give or take – my now 20-year-old daughter has prepared the holiday meals. It started off with a few of the side dishes, progressed to the turkey then the side dishes, then everything with me having assignments and now she just takes over the entire meal. I just stay out of the way and keep her company.

DSCF5743It’s quite a treat. Not only am I proud of the fact that she’s a fabulous cook – thanks to the teachings of my grandmother through me to her – but she loves to do it. I, on the other hand, haven’t enjoyed cooking for a little over four years. It appears that my love of cooking is only present when I am pregnant. No more pregnancies; no more cooking love.

I was taught the old-school way: Everything from scratch. Now I barely chop an onion or wilt spinach. Thank goodness for the easy, quick frozen veggies that are already chopped or available for steaming, among other things. Yup, I’ve turned into a lazy cooker.

This year she prepared the turkey, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, spinach pie, broccoli casserole, greens, stove top sweet potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato pie, double chocolate cake, and we also had cranberry sauce and cornbread. (I think that’s everything.)

DSCF5745Thank goodness for Amber. That got me to thinking… What will I do when she has her own family?

Simple: We all will be going to her house every.single.holiday for dinner. Period.

In the future, I will be bringing home plastic containers and foil wrapped plates. And I’m so comfortable with that.

How was your Thanksgiving holiday? What do your future Thanksgivings look like?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Light up your home

One of the things I noticed with my first house-buying experience was ensuring that each room had adequate lighting. That experience was actually when my mother bought a house when we moved from one state to another. She didn’t realize there weren’t any ceiling lights in the bedrooms.

Once I went out on my own that was one of the things I noticed in each place I lived; there is always a need to add the right lightening. Not only to showcase photos or your home, but to be able to accomplish anything – cooking, reading, working – without having to squint.

When it comes to lighting an elegant dining room or a fantastic entry way, chandeliers are the way to go. There are all types to satisfy the style and tastes of every individual from crystal or glass to art deco or rustic. So when you’re decorating your home don’t forget the right lighting, and put your best shine forward.

 BuyBlogReviews.com

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Selling on eBay

I can not believe it’s almost the end of the year. Before I know it it’ll be time to make another commitment for the new year. This year I’ve been working on organizing and minimizing, and when I started this project I don’t think I realized how much of an ongoing process this would be.

As you recall, in January we moved out of my house and into an apartment. I’ve done some decorating and acquired things to make this more of a homey place for us. It’s going well as I just do a little bit at a time.

Once again I’ve found myself with stuff that isn’t being used or that I don’t need so I’ve posted some more things on eBay to sell. As I list each item I put it in a box. If the items don’t sell then they will be given to Goodwill along with other used and unneeded items. With Christmas coming, you never know who needs what so I thought I would share with you what I have on eBay. There are antique glass pieces, a Sleeping Beauty puzzle circa 1970s and I’m considering putting an antique doll in the mix that my grandmother gave to me.

If you’re interested, search WrightWriter on eBay and see what’s left to buy.

How do you make extra money or get rid of the items you aren’t using?

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Keep your lunch cold with PackIt

This post brought to you by PackIt. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the hardest things about packing a lunch for school or work is taking something that will endure the temperatures of the day. If you don't have access to a refrigerator, which is a problem most students have, then you often have to get creative or use those ice packs that only keep things cold for about two hours. Now, thanks to single moms Jeannette and Melissa that is not a dilemma anymore. They created the PackIt to solve the problem of keeping their children's lunches cool.

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AdvertisementPackIt stays cold for up to 10 hours and is perfectly sized for on-the-go. Pack your lunch, store it where ever you like and when you're finished fold it up for storage. Piece of cake! The PackIt, when open, is 8"  x 10" x 5" and when folded is 8" x 5" x 2". And it's more than just a lunch bag, you can tote baby bottles, use it for snacks at a sporting event and take it on road trips or plane rides.

I know what I would use it for or rather what my middle daughter would use it for: She really prefers to take her lunch to school and, at only 6 years old, she likes to pack different things that often include cold items. I have to remind her that whatever it is won't be cold or like she likes it so she has to change her choice. With one of the PackIt lunch boxes she wouldn't have to worry about that.

Now is a good time to purchase one too as a gift or get one for yourself because, for a limited time, when you purchase a PackIt for $19.95 you can also get one for FREE. Now you know I am down for BOGO.

What would you use your PackIt for? Leave me a comment and let me know then tell me why it might be better than the regular old lunch bags.

PackIt can revolutionize lunch, don't you think?

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Stop before someone gets hurt

How many times, as a parent, have you said, “Stop before you hurt yourself?” If you’re like me you probably can’t remember the number of times you’ve said it.

Lately my three youngest children have been “off the chain.” They have managed to do the opposite of everything I have said – especially the girls. Last night was no different.

I don’t know why, but the girls – 6-year-old Amareah and Anna, 4 – decided that everything they did in the shower was funny. They were showering, laughing, sliding and splashing. I said, “Stop before someone gets hurt” about three times. Not minutes after I said it the last time, I hear Amareah saying, “Anna, mommy said stop and calm down. Annaaaa…” Then Anna’s hysterical laughter stopped abruptly, there was a pause and a loud cry.

I wasn’t feeling that great so I was laying on the couch. For a moment I considered not moving from my spot. I figured that it was as usual: She bumped her head or scared herself and was just screaming. After Amareah said, “Anna what did you do?” about a thousand times getting louder with every instance, I thought that I better take a peek.

The scene when I walked into the bathroom was two naked little girls with shower caps on, one looked scared and shocked, and the other one had her hand covering her mouth. I zeroed in on Anna, got closer and with hands on hips said (still not wanting to think she was really hurt), “Where did you hurt yourself? Let me see.”

She removed her hand from her mouth and her entire mouth was filled with blood, and her two front, top teeth plus one to my left were pushed back. I put my hands on my head, which felt like it was gonna explode. And said, through clenched teeth, “this.is.why.I.say.listen.Why.won’t.y’all.listen!?” Thereafter I was a nervous wreck, with my emotions raw from not feeling well and the on-edge nerves from the rowdy kids, I was already emotional.

Tears fell and each of my children began to cry while running around trying to follow the directions I was giving. I quickly dressed Anna and my neighbor went with us to the ER last night.

This morning was a trip to the dentist. Now doses of antibiotics and pain medicines later, Anna will have 30 days of no biting into anything with everything cut into small pieces so she can minimize the use of her front teeth. (One is looser than the other) Everything is okay, so to speak, but she’ll have to be careful and I have to look out for any infection or something irregular that could result in harm to her adult teeth.

She’s excited about the goodies she’s allowed now: ice pops, Jell-O, yogurt, macaroni and cheese. Ut oh, forgot the applesauce and I should get some watermelon. She’s thrilled that she gets to do things that are otherwise frowned upon like pulling apart meat and cheese into small pieces. And she’ll get lots of soup along with extra personalized attention.

Needless to say, I have been a nervous wreck every time she moves… and she does a lot of that. Right now she’s napping quietly next to me on the couch and I’m thrilled to just gaze at her sweet face.. I’m just happy that she’s okay and hope to keep her safe while she heals. I better stock up on the wine because what 4 year old do you know that can be still?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where to Purchase Vintage Jewelry Online

Whether you are in the market for a brand new lapel pin or a personalized initial necklace, the current trend for most jewelry is heading towards vintage. Anything with blue sapphires, colorful pearls, and green emeralds is quickly becoming the hottest trend. Nothing will accessorize your favorite piece of business clothing and give it a quirky touch like a bold and beautiful piece of jewelry from another generation.

Vintage jewelry is so popular because it can stand the test of time. You can find it by visiting local resale shops, pawn stores, and even by routing through your mother's old jewelry collection. With the expansion of the Internet and millions of creative individuals coming together, finding vintage and vintage inspired jewelry through e-commerce sites has become relatively simple. Here are some of the best places where you can find quality pieces with a unique vintage spark:

Etsy

Etsy is the most unique online location to find vintage jewelry. Instead of relying on pieces crafted several decades or even centuries ago, the cooperative of artists who sell their goods through this web site come together in order to create new from the old. You can find items that are relatively cheap because the artists creating them are selling directly to you.

Israel Rose

While it may be expensive, Israel Rose offers classic vintage jewelry from several different golden eras. This website offers a chance to purchase expensive pieces of classic jewelry, but if you are truly serious about purchasing, you may want to consider actually visiting instead of checking out online in order to get a feel for how the pieces will fit you.

Mod Cloth

While not exactly vintage, Mod Cloth takes a modern spin on vintage jewelry designs and sells them to a younger, more diverse crowd of people. The best thing about this website is the low prices they offer on quality jewelry. Because the vintage trend is picking up so much steam throughout the design industry, more of the top names are making inspired pieces for you to choose from.

eBay

If you are at all familiar with online shopping, you probably already have an eBay account. If you're in the market for vintage jewelry, then you will be excited to hear that they have an entire section of the website dedicated to it. You can find vintage oval rings, jewel necklaces, and vintage animals, usually for pennies on the dollar because of the bidding nature of the site.

If you want to make yourself look as fashionable as can be without having to overhaul your entire wardrobe, accessorizing with vintage jewelry is the way to go. Remember that there are no wrong choices to go with whatever ensemble you choose to wear, you are only limited by your creativity.

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Mystery of the shower monster

My youngest daughter, 4-year-old Anna, has been potty trained since she was 2. Long before she was 3 she stopped wetting the bed at night and would get up on her own to go to the bathroom. Sometimes when she was smaller I could hear her struggling in the middle of the night to use her stool to get on the toilet or get her clothes down, and I would run to help her.

Now fast forward about two years later. Instead of going right to the bathroom on her own then getting back into her bed she has taken to coming to wake me up to go with her to the bathroom. Mind you she has to walk past her bathroom to get to my bedroom. After quite a few nights of lost sleep (I also have my own sleep issues) I became rather annoyed. So each night she’d get the “if you have to use the bathroom, get up, go to your bathroom then go get back into your bed.”

Sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t.

DSCF6044 Finally after much prodding I asked her why she doesn’t want to go into her bathroom. She said she is scared. I ask why is she scared all of a sudden. I got a week of “I don’t know” as the answer. Then I asked, “What about the bathroom makes you scared?”

“The shower.”

“Why?”

“There’s a monster in the shower.”

Of course I explained that there isn’t a monster in the shower and it’s just the same as it has always been. But, to help to alleviate the situation, I have put my OCD on hold and pushed back the shower curtain so she can see that there’s nothing in there each time she goes in at night.

Now, I don’t know where the monster came from, but I’m sure it has something to do with the kids walking around scaring each other every time they’re in the bathroom. The three monsters created their own monster making the littlest monster haunt me at night.

So far I’ve had one kid-free night. Wish me luck as I hit the hay tonight.

How do you get rid of the monsters in your house?

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Buy rose gold women’s jewelry for Christmas

I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a jewelry addiction. Luckily, I’ve controlled it a little by making some pieces for myself and I want to make some as Christmas gifts. I think my mom and grandmother would like pieces that are representative of their grandchildren. However, when I saw the rose gold women’s jewelry at Lauren Klein I decided that I suddenly need a new piece for the holidays.

image There are some gorgeous, dainty pieces – both rings and necklaces – but the ring that most caught my eye was the Floral Art Deco Rose Gold Ring. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I am not normal a pink-wearing girl, but this is so beautiful and unique that I would love to see it adorning my finder. And, you know what, the lady in your life would love to see something sparkly on their finger, around their wrist, perched on their ears or handing around their neck too. The holiday-buying season is here so go ahead and get started with your shopping. Buying women’s jewelry is always the way to go. ;-)

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

My son is really 8 years old

There have been at least three instances since October 20th when someone has asked me how old my children are and I say my son is 7. It doesn’t sound quite right coming out of my mouth, so I squint my eyes, review all of the ages and then it dawns on me my son is 8. Wow! That’s almost 10 years old.

(Isn’t it funny how are children turn a certain age and we see the future automatically?)

Well, he’s 8. And he’s growing into such a handsome and responsible young man. Such a cutie. He was really cute at his birthday party, which we had at Monkey Joe’s. Remember I told you about his upcoming events when I shared photos of our at-home celebration? Here are some pictures from his Monkey Joe’s birthday party:

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Personalized music and books for kids

About a week ago, I was strolling through Wal-Mart during a weekday morning when it’s quiet and less crowded. I relished in my personal space that went un-violated; that was until my ears were attacked by Christmas music.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmaaaas…..” The cheery music rang out loudly and I was astounded. Christmas? I sort of looked to the store ceiling and hoped that the music would stop. ‘Hump,’ I thought, ‘I refuse to believe it’s time for Christmas shopping; it’s not even Thanksgiving!’

My mental defiance didn’t work and before the end of my shopping trip I was bopping around, singing Christmas carols and thinking about what I would buy my children this year. They have already given me their Christmas lists, which I’m hoping they won’t add to thus increasing my Christmas-shopping anxiety, and I have an idea of the types of gifts I want them to have.

Among the toys and electronics they’re requesting, I’ve been eyeing a few personalized music and book items. When I was a young girl there wasn’t one single item that had my name included so it’s a treat nowadays to personalize items and I want my children to experience seeing their name in print especially for them.

image Personalized music and books for kids feature popular characters like Elmo from Sesame Street, Barney, Mickey Mouse, all the Disney princesses my girls swoon over as well as other popular characters. My children already love to read, but giving them a personalized book will increase their excitement. Who am I kidding? It will increase my excitement as well. I’d love to get each of my three youngest both a personalized music CD and a book. It’s definitely something they could cherish and enjoy for quite some time.

In addition to being exciting for young readers, this is also the perfect gift for someone to get a little one who may not be that interested in reading. Seeing their name in a personalized book or hearing their name on a CD could be just the thing they need to encourage their reading.

Best of all, these gifts are reasonably priced and that’s always a good factor when buying a Christmas gift. If you haven’t already purchased one of these special little gifts then now is a good time. If your child has experienced a personalized CD or book, please leave me a comment and let me know what they thought about it.

 

Yup, this is a paid or sponsored post. Any opinion expressed is my own. Take a moment to read my full disclosure policy.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My little monkey with the big monkey

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It’s been quite awhile since I participated in Wordless Wednesday

so I’m happy to share this picture.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kick, swim and fly

As a child growing up in Delaware, I never was allowed to celebrate Halloween. I wasn’t too interested in it except for when it came to the candy and all of my friends were participating. Back in the day, parents would inform teachers of what they celebrated or didn’t and the teachers adhered to that. I believe that it teaches children to learn that they everyone is not equal, everyone does not believe the same thing and everyone doesn’t have to have the same things as others have. But, that’s another post altogether.

When I began having children I didn’t celebrate Halloween either. I let my oldest daughter dress up as Minnie Mouse one year, but that was because of  “young mom pressure.” LOL… As I got older I didn’t wane on my beliefs and we didn’t celebrate Halloween. I’d treat my daughter to something else, but no trick or treating. As she got older she would participate at her high school in their events, but her believes as taught and read on her own, stuck with her.

With three younger children who feel so much entitlement, have more close friends and a mom who is getting to old to hold out, they celebrated Halloween by getting customs, going trick or treating with their dad at a mall over the weekend and attending our neighbors’ Halloween party. Everything gathering that they do next door with the kids is full of laughs as we watch kids dance, junk food – candy of course and other games involving music.

Although I don’t celebrate Halloween, I’m still glad the children had fun at the party. And, as any other proud parent, I love how they looked in their (not scary!) customs.

My middle daughter was a beautiful mermaid princess. I would have put seashells and whatnot in her hair, but I didn’t have time or patience, but she’s still gorgeous! The most perfect mermaid ever. ;-)

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I know I’m not objective, but I must say my little Miss Anna is the absolutely cutest ladybug I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Nope, not biased at all. 

 

 

 

My strong and mighty ninja sprinted next door so quickly that I didn’t get a picture before he left. It was hard to keep up with him because his Karate dance moves were awesomely quick. His sword action superb. :-D … I just realized that I didn’t get Anna’s little red antenna in the above pics. I’ll have to get her all dressed up again to get the perfect pic.

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I had to include this photo of Princess Jasmine… The pictures of her and Amareah together are just gorgeous! They are the prettiest princesses ever.

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Enjoy the rest of the photos!

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