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Saturday, May 4, 2013

I wanna buy a zoo

While I’m trapped on the bed and the couch because of a killer cold or something I’ve been watching some movies. I normally go for the drama, horror, mystery-type movies, but I’d watched most of those offered On Demand right now so I ventured into the MA14 and PG13.

I watched “We Bought a Zoo” for the first time. I’m not going to bore you with a rehash of the movie, but I am going to recommend you watch it. Why? Because like many movies it has little gems of wisdom mixed in with the entertaining and interesting. The first gem of wisdom is a reminder about having a vision and picturing your success. I’ve added a mantra I hope to remember and say each day: “I see myself succeeding.”

A lot of us reevaluate our lives at different stages: when we reach a milestone, have a child, get married and particularly when we are a certain age. I know I have and still do, but there are things, dreams, goals I have and wanna meet that I’m not willing to give up on.

I see myself succeeding.” It’s a phrase I want to add to my vision board and that reminded me I need to place my vision board in a more… uh… visible place. I need to see my vision everyday. Ingrain those images and phrases into my head to motivate me to buy a zoo. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The other gem of wisdom I took away is “20 seconds of courage.” Benjamin Mee, played by Matt Damon, says, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

20 seconds…

Then I watched Mary and Martha starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn. If you’ve never seen it, I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s about two women who forge a bond fueled from tragedy and African culture. The message I take from this one? I want to and I can make a difference.

That’s what I’ll be working on while I’m buying my zoo.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Toot Sweet: early Mother’s Day present

My sweet youngest daughter Anna, who will be 6 years old in a few weeks, was so excited to visit the Mother’s Day Shopping Store at her school. On Monday she brought home a flyer with information about the store and told me her class had visited the store and she knew what she wanted to get me.

As any proud mother would do, I smiled and had to tell her five times not to tell me because I wanted it to be a surprise. This was during the four minute ride from their school to our home. When we arrived home, she continued talking about it and her sister, 8-year-old Amareah, kept telling her to keep the secret. I, of course, told her she could shop because who can resist the sparkly smile and excited eyes of a 5-year-old sweetheart? As instructed I reminded her of my favorite colors and let her take her money ($9) to spend.

8e5825eb-bb6a-42ce-aaf2-0eb593a0885fGuess what’s the first thing she did when she jumped in the van on Tuesday. “Mommy, I got your gift” and she thrust a thin red rose at me. “Moomie (my name for her) you didn’t want to wait? It isn’t Mother’s Day – I thought it would be a surprise.” She continued to grin, I thanked her  and I smiled at her via the rearview mirror. I glanced at Amareah and saw a patient, older sister gaze and a little shake of the head. We shared our private joke and chatted up Anna who had dug something else out of her backpack: a double-sided lip gloss just for me.

I immediately swiped on some of the orangey red color, which is surprisingly beautiful and long lasting, while glancing sideways at the sparkly pink. I’ll test that later. The best part about the gifts is she brought herself a tube of lip gloss as well. It’s “funny” to watch her waiver between the selfishness of a child who thinks the world revolves around her to the unconditional love and selflessness she has for her mommy.

CAM00882I’m as thrilled as she is about her first chance to shop for her mommy on her own. For her, I think it was less about the gift and more about the big-girl opportunity to do something for me. As for me, I love my gifts and my toot sweet girl.

Can you see the shimmer?



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get a helping hand with Campus Bellhops & 10% off

I remember the day I helped Amber, my oldest daughter, move into her first college dorm. It was a whole lot of work and it was really hot. The university she attended at the time was fairly organized with students showing up at pre-determined times, signing in and moving their belongings into their suites. Moving is not one of my favorite things to do so had I been able to enlist help, I would have been one happy first-time college mom.

Now parents and their students have the choice of choosing Campus Bellhops, a student-run moving company available on more than 50 college campuses across America. This ingenious business was started by two Auburn University entrepreneurs and they’ve grown their business to employ more than 2,500 students.


Since 54 percent of moms relate the college moving experience to a root canal, sitting in traffic or visiting the Department of Motor Vehicle, I know I’m not alone in my college moving feelings. We college moms agree carrying heavy items – TVs, microwaves, dishes, storage bins and mini refrigerators – up multiple flights of stairs is akin to torture. And, in my experience, lugging those same items into and out of elevators is no walk in the park either.

All the more reason to employ Campus Bellhops. The bellhops who are university students cover move-ins and –outs for houses, dorms, apartments and storage facilities. The standard dorm move costs under $100. Once booked clients receive an email beforehand including the biographies of their two Bellhops.

Ready to get started? Visit to book your move and use code PetulaWrites for 10 percent off your move.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube – username: CampusBellhops. And visit my first-time college mom posts at Campus Talk Blog.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Any opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way influenced by Campus Bellhops or other individuals. As a college mom, I would definitely employ this service. More information can be found in my ever-so-interesting disclosure policy.

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