$10 Amazon Gift Card and Book Tote Giveaway!

Monday, August 31, 2009

To help kick-off my new blog, True Crime Book Reviews.com, I'm hosting a giveaway that includes a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card and a 14" x 14" book tote.

Head on over to www.truecrimebookreviews.com and register! Ends September 30, 2009!



Weekly Highlights: August 23 - August 29, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

If you're an avid book reader, I've got a great giveaway coming up at http://www.truecrimebookreviews.com/ and I'll announce details here too!



Boredom Breakers for Labor Day Weekend

Saturday, August 29, 2009

With four kids (okay, just three since one is a licensed driver), it seems that I spend my life in the car.

And, as it seems to go with children these days, they need entertainment.

Rand McNally's Boredom Breakers is a lifesaver!

The first game we tried was Car Karoake.

My 4-year-old loved it!

I really wanted to share a video of him trying to sing along, but he would freeze up every time I turned it on. :)

But he had a blast trying to sing along to songs like Twist and Shout, She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain, The Ants Coming March In, and 9 other fun songs; holding on to the inflatable microphone included.

For those of us who could read - the lyrics were included.

The worst part: I was always getting the "Please Stop" rating card while everyone else received either So-So, Pretty Good or Superstar ratings. :(

The second game we tried was Car Game Countdown.

A crazy combination of I-Spy and Madlibs, the 18 laminated cards give players ideas for things to spot along the roadway, things to say, or test their memory skills.

A clip-on, battery operated timer adds heightened excitement to each play.

My four-year-old had a little more difficulty with this game - as is to be expected. However, my 13-year-old enjoyed showing off his "spying" skills; not so much on the other games.

After trying out these games, the boys have decided they'd like to try Travel Card Games for a trip over Labor Day weekend.

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!



Have Kids, Will Travel -

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This is a paid advertisement. Please scroll down to the lower portion of this page for full disclosure policy.


Are You A Procrastinator?

Friday, August 28, 2009

My husband is driving me CRAZY!

I can be a procrastinator, but when it comes to projects I like to get them over and done!

Usually, Brian is this way too. But he hates (and that's putting it nicely) this fence project he started.

And now here it sits, almost finished and he keeps piddling with his other projects.

And I'm slowly, but surely, losing my mind.

My Question: Is there a project that you're putting off starting or finishing?



Always Looking for A Men's Gift?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I hate this time of year.

As I celebrate the last days of summer with Labor Day, I start preparing for the holiday: Christmas.

For my kids, my mom, my sister-in-law - no big deal.

My father, my husband, my brother - that's a different story.

I hate shopping for men's gifts, so I'm always on the lookout for some great ideas.

Now here's the funny part:

Citizen BM8180-03E Men's 180 Eco-Drive Black Dial StrapI found Citizen Eco drive Mens watches at BlueDial. As I'm browsing through them, one of my teenage sons points to a watch and says, "Oh, I like that one."

And then it dawned on me: this is the teen who is always running late and has absolutely no concept of time.

Who needs a watch more than anybody?

He does.

So, although I didn't say anything Ive written his choice down (and thank goodness he never reads my blog) and he will be receiving a special gift this year for Christmas.

A gift I'm sure will save us many arguments and headaches!

And while that's the best part - by far - the free shipping is an awesome too! :)



Vlog: Play Along for A Thousand Words Thursday

Our baby girl has a new game. This time when I was playing along, I decided to use the camera too!

Cheaper Than Therapy


What Is That Thing?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brian & Eli's Hunting House

A redneck concession stand? Some kind of fancy dog house? Where Brian has to go when I'm mad at him?

No. No. And-
Well, possibly. ;) For today's purposes, no.

Nope, this is a hunting house.

A.k.a.: a grown man's play house.


It's (Almost) Done! Creating a New Blog

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've been reviewing true crime much longer than anything else.

Years longer, actually.

Just that I never thought about putting them into blog format.

Until a few months ago.

Then it seemed too monsterous of a project.

And it was, but I finally did it!

Well - almost did it, I guess I should say. After all, I still have 100 more reviews I need to transfer into it but http://www.truecrimebookreviews.com/ is well underway!

True Crime Book Reviews.com

I hope you'll stop by and visit me. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know you were there! :)



Planning One Last Summer Getaway?

Find a quality, affordable vacation rental!


Nostalgia: The Warren County, Tennessee A & L Fair

Monday, August 24, 2009

Although they may not be so obvious, there are hundreds of faces here.

The Warren County A & L Fair in McMinnville, Tennessee makes its appearance only once a year; arriving in wee morning hours on the Sunday before the second Monday of the month of September.

As a child, I waited in anticipation as August came to an end and Labor day came to officially whisk summer away - even if it didn't immediately take the humid Southern summers.

The week of the fair was - still is - like our town's own personal holiday.

It is a week where old friends reconnect, old flames are revived (sometimes much to the despair of spouses and significant others), babies are put on display in the name of pageantry, a beauty queen is crowned; and the smell of grilled hamburgers, homemade apple pie, and cotton candy lures the most antisocial of society.

While the thrill of the county fair may have lost its flair for me over the years, I now see the anticipation in my own children's eyes.

A look that keeps me returning year after year after year...


Weekly Highlights: August 16 - August 22, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This week over here at The Mom Trap has been a slow one.

Unfortunately, it wasn't because I was playing hooky or just being lame.

Nope, I've been busting my bum this past week getting my new blog - http://www.truecrimebookreviews.com/ - ready to go live. Be sure to stop by and check it out!



What's The One Thing You Couldn't Live Without?

Friday, August 21, 2009

We've all got something that we couldn't live without.

Or think so anyway.

I'm not talking about food, clothing, shelter - needs.

I'm talking about a want that we've turned into a need.

For me, it's a book.

I always have to have something to read. And if I find myself without a book, it's like I'm a lost puppy. I just don't know what to do.

Most everyone else I know would say: internet, television, cell phone, computer, dishwasher.

Not me. I'm a nerd. I can live without those things as long as I have a book.

My Question:

What's the One Thing You Couldn't Live Without?



Mile High Mom Introduces Doug Kaplan

I'm always on the lookout for new Mom blogs, and that's how I happened across Mile High Mom.

While that's a cute blog with some funny content, I noticed an entry titled Doug Kaplan, who was noted to be a leader in advertising.

I found it to be funny, full of facts, and overall interesting. Check it out when you have the time!



Photo Affections.com Let's You See It Before You Buy It!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

With so many babies being born in our family, I'm always on the lookout for birth announcements to give as a gift.

When Photo Affections.com offered the opportunity for me to review their site, I was hoping to discover some new, unique designs.

I found more than that!

Not only do they offer simply adorable baby announcements, but customers are able to preview their item before purchasing with a simple 3 step, pop-up window (not blocked by pop-up blockers), fast loading ordering system.

Now that is unique!

With over 140 designs, you're sure to find a design to your liking and you'll know for sure even before you order!



13 Ways I Pinch My Pennies

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a penchant for pinching my pennies until Lincoln screams - or so I've been told repeatedly by close family and friends.

Irregardless of what they believe, I do not have being cheap down to a science...yet!

But here are some ways that I am a real cheapskate (even though, personally, I don't see it that way):

  1. I save all the condiments I get from fast food restaurants for use with meals I've cooked at home.

  2. I save all the extra napkins and/or utensil packets from fast food dining.

  3. I only use cold water to wash clothes. There has to be a special reason to use hot water.

  4. It's been a while since we've purchased a piece of furniture for our house. My mother and her sisters have very nice things, and they like to change frequently. If I wait long enough, I'll get some nice furniture given to me.

  5. I grocery shop only once a month to avoid temptations of being in the store too frequently. (Ok, this isn't so much based on cheap as it is that I hate grocery shopping...lol)

  6. Although I don't practice this as much anymore as I should - especially when we're hearing so much about "going green": no use of artificial lights during the day, instead relying on natural light.

  7. I try to avoid, at all costs, purchasing brand new clothing for my two youngest. At 4 years old and 7 months, they go so quickly that you never get your money's worth. Instead I shop consignment and yard sales as well as thrift stores such as Goodwill.

  8. All year I use grocery promotions (ie, those found on cereal boxes) to accumulate small gifts (for free or a very small fee) that I use as stocking stuffers - for the age appropriate kids - at Christmas.

  9. The children's movies that we want to purchase (and we only purchase children's movies because they can watch them over and over and over....), I only buy used: either a previous rental from the video store or on eBay. I've never purchased a brand new one.

  10. When free samples are offered - of products I know we will use, or at least consider using - I take them. I have a nice stash going on of trial size shampoos, hair sprays, deodorants, laundry detergent, that are great for sending with children to summer camp, on vacation, and other times when the "big sizes" aren't necessary.

  11. I always collect the shampoo, lotion, soap, etc. from hotels when we travel.

  12. Speaking of travel, I always avoid using the middle man when planning a vacation. I call the hotel direct and negotiate a rate and purchase park/event/show tickets direct. (I refuse to fly, so I have no tips for airfare.)

  13. Now that our local Walgreens has made it so easy to refill ink cartridges, I never buy new ones - well, at least until the crtridge has so much wear I have no choice, but that day hasn't arrived yet.

Find more interesting lists at Thursday 13!



From A Different Point of View: A Vlog for Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, August 19, 2009



The 17 Year Old and The KGB Incident

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In less than a year, my oldest (17) will leave for college.

I am really, really afraid of what will happen when he doesn't have mom to help squash the stupidity everyday.

The other day, I got our cell phone bill in the mail. It usually averages $110 per month.

Brian, who initially would have only sent a text kicking and screaming, has suddenly found that it's a handy dandy little way to talk with someone without all the useless conversation in between.

So, a month here and there, the bill will reach $120. (No unlimited text plan for Brian....yet!)

This month: $140.

Doesn't sound bad, right? Maybe to some, but I keep a tight reign on our expenses.

Amazing that my first thought wasn't the guy who has just learned texting as the culprit.

No, I immediately thought of the 17-year-old.

And, of course, I was right.

He didn't suddenly start texting out of network.

He didn't go over his allotted minutes.

He did decide he was going to text that silly KGB group. You've see the advertisements, right?

Text any question to 542542 and they'll answer it.

So when I confronted him with it, know what he said?

"I thought that counted in my unlimited texting."

Um, no. [insert an eye roll] Did you not see (or hear) that it's 99 cents per text?

He replies, "Sorry. No."

Brain dead.

Nothing going on up there.

Selective reading/hearing.


So I made him give me $20.

He wasn't happy.

I didn't care.

Bet he doesn't do that again.



Clipping Coupons for Tackle It Tuesday

I'm going to lame out on this week's Tackle It Tuesday since I'm so sore that I can't move.

Too much Wii Fit.

But I'm seeing improvement already, so it's worth it.

For this week's tackle, I'm going to clip my coupons.

Usually my coupon inserts sit stacked up until I'm ready to go grocery shopping; then in a flurry, I cut them out and dart out the door.

I've already done my grocery shopping for this month, but I'll go ahead and tackle this batch so that I don't have so many to do later.

Now I just need to file 'em - which could be a whole other Tackle It Tuesday project!



Menu Plan Monday: August 16 - August 22, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

  • Sunday: Fix-It-Yourself Night

  • Monday: Chuckwagons, French Fries

  • Tuesday: Spaghetti, Rolls

  • Wednesday: Chicken Strips, French Fries

  • Thursday: Beef Stew

  • Friday: Hamburger Steak, Baked Potatoes

  • Saturday: Sweet & Sour Meatballs



Weekly Highlights: August 9 - August 15, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mom Trap: Weekly Highlights



The Best Ways to Rest, Relax, and Unwind

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Join in Small Talk Six hosted by MomDot each Saturday where respond with 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 pictures - you get the hint - on an assigned topic.

This week's subject: 6 things you do, use to do, or would like to do to relax

  1. Hot Bubble Bath with a Good Book: This is most favorite way to relax. Say this phrase and I immediately begin unwinding.

  2. Read Before Bed: No matter how exhausted, I always take at least 5 minutes to read before going to bed. Nothing like a few minutes of true crime or mystery fiction to send me off to la-la land. (Not always with good dreams though...lol)

  3. Naps: Naps are always good. Rare, but good. Nothing like an afternoon nap, especially on a rainy and/or cold winter's day, to destress.

  4. Wii: But not in combination with Wii Fit. A few games of bowling, and I'm a loosey goosey!

  5. Watch a Funny TV Show/Movie: I love comedy! So anything that turns my giggle box over is relaxing to me.

  6. Ambien: As long time sufferer of insomnia, this magical little pill works wonders to help me unwind so that I can get a good night's sleep (well, when the baby cooperates anyway); which, in turn, is relaxing within itself.



Label It or Lose It! Lovable Labels Review and Coupon Code

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's back to school time!

And what does that mean in my home? It means label it, or lose it.

Big Brother is in his 3rd (and final) year of preschool. And, as is typical but necessary, with any of the younger ages, they want parents to label everything.

I couldn't have been contacted at a better time to try and review Lovable Labels of Ontario, Canada.

When I first agreed to review Lovable Labels' products, I was told to expect their arrival within 2 weeks; considering that it involved international shipping from Canada to the U.S.

How long did it actually take? A very impressive 9 days! And that included order processing and printing time! (I shop online a lot - worldwide - and this is one of the fastest companies from whom I have ever received a purchase.)

As soon as it arrived, my little guy was running circles waiting to see his "stickers."

It was well worth his wait. The first words out of his mouth when he say his black "stickers" with his name and dinosaur icon were "Oh cool! Can I put these on right now?"

So we snatched up his new backpack and attached his personalized mini-metal tag.

The tag was super easy to attach, fitting perfectly in existing zipper; and so much neater than the old stand-by of a permanent pen.

Don't let the name fool you, though.

Lovable Labels isn't just about "stickers." In addition to iron-on or press 'n stick labels, this company offers plastic bag tags, Vital ID/Medical wristbands, and plenty of other fun personalized products.

My 13 year old son came home a little later and was browsing through the brochure. He brought to my attention an item that we'll definitely be ordering: Allergy Alert labels!

As someone who suffers numerous food allergies and constantly having to remind others of them, he latched onto the idea right away - as I'm sure moms and kids who suffer this ordeal too will surely understand!

My middle-schooling allergy sufferer also wants his own set of identify labels because he too thinks they're "Cool!"

Kids of all ages will love (pun intended ☺ ) Lovable Labels. With over 20 icons and a wide variety of colors from which to choose, these work-reducing, handy tools are sure to put on a smile on your child's face!

Coupon Code: themomtrap (good through August 28, 2009)

Readers of The Mom Trap can receive 10% off their purchase of the Back To School Mega Pack, which includes:
  • 15 Sticker Labels

  • 48 Press 'n Stick Clothing Dots

  • 16 Shoe Labels
  • 60 Slimline Labels

  • 5 Book Binder Stickers

  • 2 Mini-Metal Tags


P.S. Are you a coach, PTA member, program coordinator, or anyone who is always looking for fun, easy, and unique fundraising ideas? Lovable Labels offers a great fundraising program too!

~ Thank you to limelite PR for this awesome opportunity! ~


What's The Funniest Thing Your Kid Said? (Kidisms)

I love kidisms! You know, those funny - usually one liners - that kids are prone to pop off with at the least opportune time.

My four-year-old - who we call Big Brother - either refuses or just can't seem to get the "T" in the word "Hunting." So, he goes around saying, "Hunking."

While it's hilarious to us - so much so that, at one time or another, all of us have jokingly said "hunking" instead of "hunting" - it can be embarrassing when you run into someone, usually a someone that you haven't talked to in a while, and your preschooler spouts out "I'm going deer hunking with my Dad!"

This innocent little phrase typically evokes a tried-to-be-discreet-but-failed look of shock along with a "You're what?"

I, of course, always "translate," much to the relief of said individual.

Right now, at times, it can make me want to crawl under a table. But I know one day, when he's all grown up and got the "t" in "hunting" down to a tee (hopefully), this is one of his adorable little sayings that I will look back fondly on.

What's Your Kidisms?
Have you blogged about your own child's or another kid's kidisms? Share your link!


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