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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shop the Express Spring 2011 Swim Collection

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Although I can't remember the last time I wore a bathing suit I'm a little excited about the prospect now - especially since we live in a complex with a pool - because Express has revealed their new Spring swimwear. Now, ladies, I know some of us dread swimsuit season, but that's going to be a thing of the past. Why? I'm glad you asked. The new Express line has something everyone will love regardless of any of the imperfections you think you have or things you'd like to conceal.
For instance, I had my gallbladder out when I was in my mid to early 20s and now I have a huge scar as a souvenir. After the surgery I never wore two piece swimwear again. And when I'm shopping it's very seldom that I see a suit that I even want to try on let alone wear in public. Well, I don't have to look any further: I was browsing women's swimwear at ExpressAdvertisement and noticed some very sexy and classy one piece suits. One of my favorites is the Monokini, which will not only cover the areas of my stomach that I'm insecure about, but it's also shaped to accentuate the waistline. That's the type of suit I wouldn't mind wearing to my community pool.
Wouldn't you love the chance to shop at Express and update your swim suits? Then be sure to sign up for Express e-mail, using the provided link, for your chance to win one of 10 $200 Express gift cards. Check the site for sweepstakes rules. Good luck and I'll see you by the pool.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Where’s this griddle been all my life?

When I was a little girl I remember my mom fixing Sunday morning breakfast on an electric griddle. I don’t recall her using the griddle when we went from being a family of four to a family of two (my dad passed away and my brother was out on his own), and I never thought about the appliance again. Or so I thought.

Well about a month ago Amber and I were browsing around Kohl’s – I can’t remember why we were there – and we happened to be in the kitchen department. Amber loves to cook and is obsessed (don’t tell her I said that!) with gadgets and cooking ware so we had to get a closer look at everything. While we oooed and awwwed over everything I spotted a griddle.

“Hey, a griddle,” I said, and immediately walked over to it, “I’ve always wanted one of these. I need one!”

“Yup,” Amber agreed.

“It’s only $20?!”

I faced Amber with a silly look of astonishment on my face. “I’m going to get it.”

It has been one of the best household purchases I have made. Instead of having to stack up pancakes and try to keep them warm while flipping others in a skillet, I can do six to eight at a time. That means the kids are taken care of and I can fix my entire breakfast – eggs, turkey bacon and pancakes – at one time and it’ll all be hot. I actually sat down to a hot breakfast the other day and I think I grinned through the entire meal! It was so tasty… I made a perfectly, gigantic and yummy omelet.

My new purchase made me really happy last night when I decided to make turkey burgers for dinner. Making turkey burgers is one of those things that I often put off or change my mind about because of how messy my hands get. Using my largest skillet I could make three or four patties, cook them, take them out then form three or four more.

With the griddle I only have to get my hands “dirty” once and I can do them all at once. See?

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I was so excited about cooking the burgers on the griddle that I made barbecue spinach turkey burger. Not only did they look good, but they were extremely tasty. Here are the finished burgers:

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I love this thing!





So, tell me, have you used a griddle? What’s your favorite thing about having one?


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

They sure do grow up fast

Yesterday I took a rare moment to watch some television and lounge on the couch after Anna’s ENT appointment. I was watching the show about women picking out their wedding dresses. I usually don’t watch it, but for some reason it caught my attention.

In the middle of the show I started daydreaming about shopping with my oldest daughter, Amber, for her wedding dress. Wait, don’t get excited, she’s not getting married anytime soon, but – as most young women – she has begun talking about getting married and having children one day. She’s going to be 20 years old this year and I’ve got to face the fact that she has adult desires and goals…. and – SIGH – she isn’t a child, so to speak, anymore.

It seems like just last year she was worrying about her junior prom, going out with her friends and boyfriend, fretting about whether to get SAT tutoring and taking up too much time in the bathroom. Now she’s buried in college exams, Hope scholarship concerns and trying to decide whether to get an apartment next year as opposed to staying on campus.

I’m really proud of my little girl and I look forward to her sharing experiences with me: Buying items for her first apartment, attending her college graduation, encouraging her through medical school and, yes, shopping for her wedding dress.

What milestones are your children reaching that you’re ready – or not – for?


Take a picture…

Every once in awhile my almost 4-year-old daughter gets in her head that she wants me to take pictures. She normally catches me when I’m out and we explore taking pictures on my cell phone. Right now, for some unknown and irritating reason, the camera on the phone isn’t working, but that doesn’t keep her from asking when we’re at home.

When she asks me to take pictures of her I’m usually all for it… a perfectly willing participant. See?



It’s when she starts saying, “Hmmm?” and begins looking around the room that I look for something else to do. She always catches me before I disappear. The picture below is one of the ones she had me take.


Seconds after the flash went off she was peering at the camera to see how the picture came out and was particularly pleased. Even I got a giggle out of it. However, since she’s showing so much interest in photographer (she tries to take her big sisters’ cameras as well) I may look into getting her one of the kid’s cameras like I got for Amareah one Christmas. Amareah has a natural ability and a great eye when it comes to photographer… maybe she can teach her little sister. Check out some of Amareah’s pictures before you go. (They’re at the bottom of the post I linked to.)

What are some of your kids’ favorite things to do? Or ways they try to be like you and take over your technology?


Get ready for Spring & outdoor entertaining with Pier 1

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

The countdown to Spring has begun and Pier 1 has started the celebration for beautiful weather that inspires outdoor entertaining. Pier 1 is on top of things and already has outdoor furniture

Now for those of you who already have outdoor furniture and just need to add a little "umph," Pier 1 has beautiful placemats and dinnerware to liven up your table. A couple of my favorites include the Floral Stripes Outdoor Dinnerware and Felt Rose Placement, which is absolutely divine. But I wouldn't stop there: I took a look at the bright and colorful seat cushions and pillows, and I can already picture an afternoon of chatting with friends while sipping our favorite drinks. As the evening approaches there will be no reason to take the party indoors because there are some gorgeous tea light holders to brighten the night.

The furniture and accessories would look great indoors as well because a lot of Pier 1’s outdoor furniture is actually indoor/outdoor. That would definitely perk up a place in your home. Talk about the “wow” factor of some of the pieces that can be used inside or outside (for example – rugs, seating, wall décor...)

You don't want to miss out on all of the fun so be sure to visit to sign up for a special in-store offer from March 18th to the 20th. That way you'll be signed up to receive the Pier 1 Outdoor newsletter and stay abreast of what's going on. The first day of Spring is March 20th and I would love to have a double outdoor Papasan or Swingasan (how cool is that?) to relax and cuddle in.

To have a little fun Pier 1 style there will be Pier 1 Tweetups as follows:

Orlando: March 9th, 2011
Dallas: March 22nd
Atlanta: April 5th
NYC: April 20th

So don't miss out on the fun of shopping at Pier 1 and celebrating the start of Spring. Happy Entertaining.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Give me the remote!

Did I just enter the Twilight Zone? Nope, my kids are just growing up. So, picture this: I’m lounging on the couch after Anna’s ENT follow-up appointment and gazing at the television through barely open lids when Anna says, “I don’t want to watch this.” It didn’t matter to her that I was watching the boob tube; she didn’t even look my way. She grabbed the remote – the one I just taught her how to use – and changed to PBS to watch Arthur.

“Yup, that’s better,” the 3-year-old child said… or something like that. I was too tired for my mouth to hang open so I just closed my eyes and thought, “What is the world coming to?”

I sent a text to my oldest, 19-year-old Amber, and told her about it along with some other stuff her baby sister had been doing and she says something like, ‘I don’t think I’m ready for this.’  LOL

With the television/remote incident forgotten, Anna and I leave to pick up her other siblings from the afterschool program. After snacks, bathroom time and clothes changes, I go into the kitchen to begin dinner with my ear to the television, which I can clearly see from where I stand. I turn my back for a second and turn around just in time to see my son, 7-year-old Andre, plop down on the couch, prop his foot up on the couch, grab the remote and turn to the Disney channel.

“Hey!” I shooed him out of the room and indignantly changed the channel. Humph! I control the remote in this house.

Yea, right… uh, I think I may think about putting the extra cable box in my son’s room. Right after I figure out how to block channels.

In the meantime, someone better get me the remote!


It’s easy to find replacement ink cartridges

It doesn’t matter how many times you think about replacing the ink cartridges in your printer, it’s always an annoyance when they run out. That’s especially the case when you don’t have a spare hanging around or if it runs out right in the middle of an important project or work assignment.

With all of that going on I know you want to find a quick and easy way to order and replace  inkjet cartridges. has an abundant supply of printer ink and the site is fairly easy to use. I clicked through to check it out and didn’t even have to scroll to find my printer brand. Once I found the brand the only thing I had to do was pick the specific printer type and order from there. If you don’t have your printer model number or series  handy it may be a little more difficult to order, but if you have a good idea once you click through you’ll see an image of the cartridge and that’s really helpful when ordering online. Another thing that’s going to make online ordering easy is printer pictures, which are coming soon.

Oh, and I know what you’re thinking: How much are these easy-to-order ink cartridges gonna cost you? There seem to be quite a few cheap ink choices, but I must be honest and say that I wasn’t able to compare that to my current printer because it isn’t offered yet. That’s not surprising, however, because my series of printer isn’t offered yet at a light of retailers both on- and off-line. The costs are comparable, in regards to other brands, and it’s always great to have another resource to help you get rolling – or printing – again.

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