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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Justice for my son

While listening to the radio today and the reports of everything going on in Florida, I heard a woman crying profusely who called in to share her perspective. She explained how she has three sons and one of them looks like Treyvon Martin. That particular son walks to the convenience store all the time to get his little sister potato chips, he puts his hands in his pockets and wears his hoodie. He also lives in a gated community in Florida.

andre I listened to this mother, and the other details, as I drove my van with three of my children in the back. I have one son who  is only 8 years old and relatively oblivious to this type of senseless violence. He and two of his sisters quietly listened to the radio. I let them absorb the woman’s words without comment knowing there would be another time to converse. I let them listen as I also absorbed her words. Then the president’s statement washed over me, the young men, the grieving mothers, the activists and everyone else who are rallying for justice for Treyvon. Everyone who sees what I see as clearly as if it happened to me. I see my son, Andre, as a teenager strolling along, chatting on his phone, head and face covered with a sudden awareness that something isn’t quite right.

I hear his heart quicken with fear, and anger, at his personal space being violated and threatened. I see my son in Treyvon Martin just as every other parent can see their son, or nephew, or brother, or even themselves in the picture of this beautiful young man. We are amazed at his family’s strength, encouraged by the community support and embittered by the lack of justice. It is sad to live in a world where I am not surprised this has happened, but even more so that I live in a world that will let someone get away with cold-blooded murder.

Oh, should I say allegedly? *SMH*

There must be justice for my son. Treyvon is now our son… If we don’t seek justice for him then we’ll be burying them all in the end.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eeewww, I just coughed up a lung

This entire week has been filled with coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, tummy aches and yellow pollen spread all over vehicles and every.single.surface outside. It would be one thing if I had allergies, but all of this pollen inflames my sinuses and does something to my throat and whatnot.

So every single night this week when I’m trying to sleep I’m up coughing. I’ve added a humidifier, propped myself up, popped cough drops, sipped water and taken medicine, of course, and I’m still suffering. Hopefully today marks the beginning of my recovery. I haven’t coughed or sneezed as much today and my nose isn’t stuffy… The most that bothers me now is the pressure and tightness in my chest.

Now if I could just get enough rest to let my body, which has been wracked with pain, heal then I’ll be 100 percent better. Having medical issues is bad enough without the added pain of sickness. Ya know?

How are you fairing during this allergy season?

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It’s tax time

I finally filed my 2011 taxes and I’m glad that’s one thing I can check off my to-do list. There are a lot of sites where you can do your taxes for free or at a very low cost, and these sites have guided programs to make completing taxes very easy.

In the UK the tax deadline is April 5th. If you’re a resident or have worked part time there then you may be due a refund. Take a minute to Find out How to Get my Taxrebate and get your no-obligation quote today.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to have a scream-worthy ice cream party

Take one birthday girl + 12 friends = a sweet, good time

Birthdays are a big deal around here so when I’m able to make a few wishes come true then I take the chance and do it. This year my middle daughter decided on an ice cream party. Now just because her birthday is in January (yes, I’m a little behind in sharing) doesn’t mean that’s going to stop us.

The key to making this party fabulous was the decorations and games. Everything had to be about ice cream. A note for other ice cream party planners: Make sure the time is in between meals so your little guests aren’t hungry!

Ever since I’ve come across Oriental Trading I’ve been itching to use their products. They have a theme for every party you can think of and they did not disappointment when it came to planning Amareah’s ice cream party for her seventh birthday.

Img_00539The perfect ice cream party needs ice creamy decorations. Check out those ice cream cones adorning the napkins and plates. And, can you see those cute little ice cream cone bowls? Each child was able to take a bowl and matching spoon home with them.Img_00531

I love how the little hanging paper balls look like scoops of vanilla ice cream and the streamers with cones at the bottom are just adorable.

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An ice cream party isn’t an ice cream party without ice cream themed games. Take a look at the bean bag toss and the cone catcher thingy. The bean bag toss is so much fun that my children still play with it now and we had a fabulous time having ice cream showdowns.

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Watching the children attempt to hit the ice cream cone piñata was hilarious! Of course the birthday gift went first… and missed. In fact, every child missed after that. Well, except for one of Andre’s guests who hit it once. We ended up having a family friend, who jumped in with Amber to help me out, massacre hit it for the kids. Instead of just candy there were all kinds of treats including jewelry, spinning tops, mini stuffed animals, etc

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Even though we did the piñata outside, I found confetti throughout the house for almost six weeks. Probably because I dumped most of it on Amareah!

 

The perfect highlight to this party was the ice cream cake with ice cream cones on it. Not only was it gorgeous, but it was absolutely, perfectly delicious!

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photo 9Below Amareah gets ready to blow out her candles, but she has to make a wish first… She closes her eyes to think… --->

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photo 16It was all worth it ‘cause of that little face right there and the happiness it showed. Amareah was so happy with the way her party turned out and that so many children came. It was definitely a scream-worthy ice cream party.        

What’s your favorite party theme?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Make shopping easy, compare prices

Although times are hard for a lot of individuals when it comes to finances we still don’t want to have to do without certain things we need or want. When that’s the case we often look for fabulous deals. Sometimes deal hunting can be time consuming so when I find a way to minimize my time and maximize my savings I’m going to try it out.

Like some of the popular travel sites that compile a list of all the best deals, you can find the same feature at Become.com. Whether you’re looking for cream colored comforter sets or something as personal as a denture realignment kit, Become.com is an ideal site to find the best deals on both.

Here’s how the site works:

You type what you’re looking for in the shop (search) box. For my example, I’m typing ivory leather dining chairs. The site quickly pulls up different retailers that carry the product. For the chairs there are about 68 products listed. Although that’s not a lot I want to narrow it down more so I can go to the menu on the left-hand side of the page and choose brand, price, color, store or category. Any one of those, or all, will further narrow my choices and find the exact product I’m looking for at a price within my budget.

Sounds easy, right?

Then what are you waiting for? Click on over and compare prices on something you need to buy. Tell me how the site works out for you.

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I’d rather go shopping…

… and I don’t even like to shop.

For years I’ve been saying that I don’t like to shop. In fact, I really believe that. But I’ve begun to notice that when given the opportunity and with a little money in my pocket I will definitely take advantage of the chance. What makes that worse is the fact that it’s more than likely emotional shopping that occurs.

I sometimes use my mood(s) as a chance to purchase some things we need and a few things I want. Hence a trip to Target not too long ago that turned into a shopping cart balancing act. I stopped by the store to get a couple of items, I don’t even recall what I needed at the time, and ended up with this:

 target basket

Among the items are three barstools (that were the wrong height), children’s bedding sets (50 percent off each and they needed them), trashcan for the girls’ room, decals for my son’s room (can hardly ever find big boy themed ones), a little red basket for foam puzzle pieces… and a few other things I found on sale.

So if you happen to see me in Wal-Mart, Target or even the makeup aisle in Kroger, be sure to direct me toward the register before my cart contains a bunch of stuff I didn’t plan on purchasing. I’m sure there are better things to do when I’m feeling a little down: drinking a giant cup of coffee, eating a bag of chocolate chip cookies… uh, I mean, playing with my children, chatting with a friend or reading a good book. ;-)

Do you have a weakness when you’re feeling a little down? Emotional shopping, chocolate chomping or potato chip crunching? Leave a comment with your best pick-me-up advice or confess your weakness… I’m all ears.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Moving cross country

Normally when I move to a state I stay there for quite some time. I was born in Delaware and moved to Maryland with my mom when I was about 10 years old after my father passed away. I stayed there until I graduated high school then went into the Air Force and was stationed in Rome, New York (I don’t think the stint in basic training counts). I got out of the Air Force, went to college in the same state then moved to Georgia. That was in 1995 and I’m still here.

I, of course, have visited other states, but tend to appreciate consistency and stability especially with having children. Top that with the fact that moving is a bit, uh, distasteful to me and I have a formula for “stayputedness.” But just last night I was talking to a friend about California, which happens to be one of the states where I would love to live. He said it is one of the places he misses especially ‘cause of the nice evening temperatures.

That got me to thinking about what it would be like to move across the country. Would it be possible to hire LA movers to load all of our belongings in Georgia and make the cross-country trek? I have a picture in my head of driving into our new neighborhood with the top of the van piled high with boxes and the moving truck lumbering up behind us. You know what I mean? Like the scenes shown in a lot of movies.

I have quite a daydream going of how that would be. It makes me feel like a celebrity just to think about Los Angeles movers handling my household items… almost like the lady in the commercial who feels like she drives a rock star’s car because of the very impressive little phone she uses. Remember that?

‘Why isn’t this working,’ she says to her husband.

‘Because we drive [that],’ he says pointing… She turns with the funniest snooty look on her face… Can you picture it? That’s me; in Los Angeles.

Before I get too excited I better click to get a free quote from the Los Angeles moving company. When is the last time you moved? Share some of your favorite, tried-and-true moving tips in the comments.

 

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