If Bad Things Come In Threes, I've Met My Quota - Right?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This has to have been the longest day of my life. I swear. And I'm glad it's at least half over.

Yesterday I had to have the crank sensor replaced in my Dodge minivan. And thanks to Dodge's wonderful design, the mechanic had to "feel" his way to replacing it.

Once it was replaced, it still had trouble starting. It would, after three or four tries. Then it was still throwing errors. Why? Because the new crank sensor didn't recognize the start cylinder. Fortunately that's just a matter of one computer telling another what to do. And, thank goodness, our mechanic is a neighbor and friend so we don't even have to take it in to the shop.

But as I'm driving to school this morning, the oil light comes. Oh joy! When I first started driving, my father drilled it into my head that if the oil light comes on, you check it....NOW!

So I do. Or try to. Unfortunately this is when I realized that I'm going to have to break down and buy myself a pair of cheap reading glasses. (To invest more money would mean I have to admit I have a problem, and I'm not there yet) I kept having to hold the stick out, bring it in, hold it out - you get the picture, trying to see if where the oil was on the stick. I finally remembered my Daddy telling me if you see any on the stick, you've got about two quarts - enough to get somewhere.

I'm still driving around on that theory, waiting for my husband, who isn't blind, to check it. (If I don't burn the engine out, right?)

And I'm also trying to plan Big Brother's Halloween party. I had all these cute little menu ideas. I'll give you the short version of how that turned out: people who are not creative should not be party planners.

Know what I mean?

To add to these headaches, as I'm running like a chicken with its head cut off trying to gather the rest of the Halloween party stuff, Bigger Brother calls to ask me to bring his ROTC uniform to the high school.

He forgot it was uniform day. And he doesn't want to be dismissed.

FINE! I take it. Back to party stuff.

Big Brother calls again. It's also picture day, he needs his ACUs. WTH??!!

If it hadn't been for pictures, I'd told him "Too bad, hate it for ya." Instead, I opted to ream him on the phone, tell him it's the last time, and he better learn to get his &!@# organized.

Want to place any bets with me on whether it's really the last time?



My Fall To Do (or should I say Wanted) List

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Anybody else feeling that Fall is finally here?

After the thunderstorms rolled through here yesterday afternoon (remind me to tell you about schools closing because of what they "anticipated" would happen), there's a cleaner, crisper feel to the air.

What exactly does Fall mean to you? For me, I think it's time to start anew - the old dies off and the new moves in. (I know, some people see Spring as a time for rebirth but I've always been different.)

Of course, I'm thinking about how I still wanting to get one of those adorable Outdoor Fireplaces. They are so handy for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  Easy one-time set up, you toss in your wood, light it up, and your on sitting around a campfire on your own patio, baby!

Maybe just maybe this year I'll get one and mark this "want" off my list.

And what's Fall without Thanksgiving, right?  Every year I want to decorate my kitchen table for Thanksgiving with a style that would make Martha Stewart proud. 

I figure since we're fixing up our house this year, what better time to do this - start making it a habit.  So I've been browsing, check out a variety of Table Runners and Place Mats. If I find what I'm looking for, I might even get to Christmas table settings off my list too!

Last thing on my list of things I'd like to do this Fall is replace the bedding in my and Brian's room. Right now we've got a black bedspread with mauve and white flowers. He hates the colors, I hate the look. But I think we could both agree on some of the nice New Bedding by Triangle Home Fashions. With an eight piece set (includes the comforter, 2 shams, 2 Euro shams, bedskirt, oblong pillow and a square pillow), for only $154.99. Quality at almost 40 percent off regular retail, you can't beat it!

My Fall list could go on and on.  There's so much I want to do, the question is how much will I get done. 

What about you?  What's on your Fall - or Winter, Spring, Summer - to do list? 


I Think I'm Just A little Crazy for Christmas Villages

You know how some kitchen cabinets have that space between the top and ceiling?

I struggled for years what to do with that space. I put collectible plates, hated them. Tried a few decorative teapots, hated them.

Then one day I visited a friend's home and saw where she had filled the space with those adorable miniature lighted houses - villages, as they're sometimes called - and I fell in love.

Thus began my addiction to the tiny villages.

And it has grown and grown and grown.

While my kitchen cabinet tops stay full all year, at Christmas I bring out some of my most prized possessions.

This year I decided to add start adding theme houses. And what would I spot first but a small little replica from my most favorite Christmas movie: A Christmas Story!

I was browsing around the Christmas decorations department at Macys.com when I got the idea. They had Mickey and Minnie Mouse and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - not to mention just the beautiful, sophisticated, un-themed ones - but I fell in love and decided the A Christmas Story house would be the honorary first member of my themed collection.

I'm so excited I can't see straight! :)

Of course, I be visiting Savings.com when I'm ready to order to use any money-saver Macys coupon I can find.

Gotta save money so I'll have more my lighted house addiction collection!


Saturday Morning Wake-up Call (Wordless Wednesday)

See More fun Wordless Wednesdays at http://www.wordlesswednesday.com/!



Last Minute Halloween Costume Deals

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can you believe another Halloween is about here?  Where does the time go?

I'm typically right on top of things, but this year I put off getting Princess A's Halloween costume until the last minute.

I had no idea what to get for her!  And since she's not even 2 yet, it's hard for her toss any ideas my way. :)

In my search, I came across some great deals at Halloween Express.

They have over 18,000 costumes that are guaranteed to arrive by Friday, October 29th. (And they have an overnight shipping option too if you needed it like, oh say, yesterday!)

But that's not my favorite part.  The best part was the selection of costumes under $20!    

Princess A loves the Alice in Wonderland book, so when I spotted the Alice in Wonderland toddler's costume for less than $17, I knew right then and there who she was going to be this year.  (It helped that she got excited over the picture too!)

If you're like me and looking for last minute costumes, then let me suggest this place.  And you'll want to visit Savings.com to get discounts to use with your order.

Savings on top of savings - I don't think anything can be more awesome, can it?


Our Extreme Home Makeover: Week 5

Things are moving at a slower pace now as we work on doors and trim.

We did finish with the hall closet door.  Thank goodness!  Having all my "junk" out there for the world (okay, so it was just anyone who visited - but still...) to see was driving me insane.

Do you remember that episode of Friends where Chandler discovers the locked door in his and Monica's apartment?  Monica, of course, refuses to let him see inside.  Once he finally does get into it, he finds that Monica - normally so very neat and orderly - has a secret messy stash.

Well, if you've seen that episode then you've seen what my hall closet looks like.

Wouldn't you be anxious to get the door back up too? :)

While Brian does the physical labor, I spend a lot of my term browsing for the furniture, television, and all that good stuff that we're going to be putting into the living room.  (Hey, I'm not lazy.  He's a perfectionist and won't let me do any painting! And cutting?  Accident prone people like are NEVER allowed to that kind of stuff! lol)

The downside to browsing for living room furniture is that I find myself suddenly wanting to redo other rooms too.    

For example, we have small bedrooms so I'm always looking to space save.  And even though the kids all have nice bedroom furniture, I come across some trundle bunk beds. Those would be great for when they have friends spend the night. And I'm definitely considering twin bunk beds with stairs for Princess A's room - if we ever get there!

And then while I'm browsing, Big Brother spots a pirate ship bed and insists that he wants a themed room to go with it.

Oh boy, this project of ours could turn into more than makeover than we'd planned.

Oh well, it gives me something to blog about and we're having fun. So why am I complaining, right? :)



Dell Discounts, Coupon Codes, and Free Shipping at BestOnlineCoupons.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I don't know about you, but I'm already Christmas shopping. I get started early because I hate the crowds and I know the truly best deals are the ones found early.

The 14-year-old in our home has begged for a laptop this year. And being that he's taking computer high school classes and plans to have a career in information technology or something similar, I'd say it would be money well spent.

But not too much, of course.

So the first thing I went looking for was Dell coupons. (We love Dells and they've served us so well the past that it's the only computer we use!)  

Using the Dell coupon codes I found at BestOnlineCoupons.com, I was able to get a GREAT deal on a Dell laptop suitable for a teen and with the "extras" they love.

If you're in the market for a new computer, check out the money-saving Dell computer coupons that include savings such as over $200 in savings on the Inspiron 15 With FREE Next Business Day Shipping or the New Inspiron Mini 10v starting at only $299.

Not in the market for a computer?  How about a 42 inch Vizio HDTV?  Yep, you can find deals for it there too!

There's a lot of terrific deals out there for computers, televisions, cameras, and more.  So be sure to check out BestOnlineCoupons.com to see how you can start saving money!


Teen Mom Amber Should Be In Jail and Gary Shirley Needs a Good Fathers Rights Lawyer

Friday, October 22, 2010

I can't explain it. I really, really can't.  Other than to say it was a night there was NOTHING else on to watch.

I hate reality television.  I think it's one more piece of evidence that society is one a downward spiral.

But somehow I came to watch MTV's reality series Teen Mom (which I came learn is actually considered one of the more popular reality show - *sigh*).

And it's where I first saw Amber.

Amber may be a teen mom but she's also a psychotic bitch from hell too.  Ranting, raving, and screaming at and hitting her on-again-off-again fiance and Baby Daddy Gary Shirley seems to be favorite pasttime of this Psycho Teen Monster Mommy.

Check out this short video clip of one of her milder rampages:

As I said, this is a milder version of some of the tantrums she has thrown.

What irrates the fool out of me, is this: (1) MTV felt it was more appropriate to continue FILMING than to try and STOP it. Quit worrying about your ratings, put down the camera, and either (a) call 911 or (b) discourage her by walking out and taking her spotlight away - which is probably the reason why she's acting so horrendous in the first place (let's hope!) and (2) It took almost a week after this aired for police in Indiana to "investigate" this matter of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. And that remains the "official" status. WTH? What's to investigate? THE EVIDENCE IS ON FILM!!! Is Indiana one of those ackbasswards states that doesn't have that law that says any proof of domestic violence is a night in jail? If so, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

I'm not an idiot either, if this had been a MAN hitting a WOMAN, his butt would not only be IN jail but UNDER it if an angry N.O.W. mob hadn't already lynched him.

And, as of October 20, 2010, Amber is announcing she's pregnant again. Rumor is, however, that it's just another attention-getting lie being told by Amber. (Again, let's hope so!)    

Here's my message to Gary: GET OUT NOW! Contact Father's Rights groups and learn how you could (probably easily) get custody of your beautiful daughter. Ask for SUPERVISED visits for mom until she has proven her ability to CO-PARENT and completed anger management courses. No money for a lawyer? My guess is you'll find a good one willing to take your cases pro bono - again, the father's rights groups can help. Amber is only a few slaps to you away from turning on that baby girl. Quit messing around with an overgrown-baby-woman who is going to make the rest of your life hell and start working to save your daughter!

And my message for Amber: You may be able to slap Gary around and (so far) get away with it. But a beat down is coming for you - physically and via the Courts. I pray that you lose custody of that little girl until you get your act together. Lose the attitude of "I exist therefore I expect." You're a mother now, for God's sakes!

That's it. I'm ashamed that I even give this girl any attention via a blog posts but sometimes you just gotta have your say.

Know what I mean?


Maxine on Birthdays

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I know I'd prefer to pretend it's just another day!


An Online Degree is the Way to Go for this Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ashworth College. All opinions are 100% mine.

Earn Your Degree OnlineSeems like it's hard to go anywhere these days without hearing about someone earning their degree from an Online College.

And it's made me start to think a lot about going back and finishing what I started years ago.

As a full time stay-at-home mom, taking courses online is idea.  I wouldn't have to put my youngest in daycare (which I hate the thought of).  And it appeals to my frugality because I could save on the costs of gas and those inevitable lunch and/or dinners that come with brick and mortar classes.  

There's so many choices in schools.  However, one that really interest me is Ashworth College Featured by National Education Report.

Several things attracted me to Ashworth College.  The first being the many degrees and career training options available.  (Check out the Ashworth Video Gallery to what I'm talking about!)

Plus they offer monthly payment plans that start at less than the cost of a family pizza night, including tuition, books and other course materials.  All done without student loans so that you can graduate without the debt.

With over four million people taking online courses, there's got to be something to it, right?

Yep, definitely going to have to give this some serious consideration.

Visit Sponsor's Site


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This would make a GREAT Christmas gift for colleagues, Secret Santa,
gift swaps, or ANY woman in life!


What Does It Take To Become A Mom Blogger?

Monday, October 18, 2010

I can't help but to giggle sometimes when people ask, "What do you do?"  When I respond, "I'm a Mom blogger," I get some of the strangest looks.

After I explain exactly what a Mom (or sometimes referred to as "Review") blogger does, if the strange look disappears (it doesn't always) I get the question, "How did you get started in that?"

Which is secretly code for, "I want to do it too."

So here's my answer:  nothing special.

Start by picking you out a name.  The catchier the better.  Reserve a domain name (those .blogwhatever names just don't say you're very serious to potential advertisers), park yourself at a place offering budget hosting (just because it says "budget" doesn't mean low-rent, know what I mean?), and start posting.

You don't have to have perfect grammar, be the funniest or wittiest, or even be the most popular to be a Mom Blogger.  What you do have to have is dedication, stamina, and self-driven.  No, it doesn't require posting something every day but frequently enough to let potential advertisers know you're not just a fly-by-night blog.

Start out by reviewing products that you use around your home.  Talk about the funny conversations with your kids and your husband.  Post about projects you've got going on at home, in your community organizations, or at your children's school. 

And before you know it, you'll be getting emails on a regular basis asking you to "pitch" this product or that service to your readers - sometimes it's for free products, other times it'll involve cash.

Mom blogging can be a lot of fun.  A great way to meet other moms, vent your frustrations, and make a little extra money in the meantime.

Unlike some would have you believe, there's no big secret.  So go on, get started, then come back and let me know where I can find you!



Our Extreme Home Makeover: Week 4

This week wasn't nearly as productive as previous weeks.  We're getting into a lot of the "slow" work which involves the "creating" of door frames, measuring and cutting trim, etc.  A lot of things that are more behind-the-scenes.

Brian did get the utility closet door back in place.  Yay!  My sweetie knew it was driving batty, so made sure to get it done.  Unfortunately, my photo doesn't show the pristine white - nor did I remember to take a photo of the before with the antique white door and trim.  So you'll just have to believe me when I say it looks AWESOME!

Now - if I had taken a picture at everything I've been up to, we'd look a lot more productive.   For example, I've been researching window companies for replacement windows and browsing shutters. (Uh oh, I gotta be careful - I'm getting a little off course with exterior items. Ack, who cares. Shutters go with windows, so it's all good.)

Also, my next door neighbor convinced me that I had to at consider microfiber sofas (for years, I've been anit-microfiber).  After she was discussing the wonderful feature of beading-and-wiping (no staining) to this mother of four, I was ready to give it some consideration.

So back to the furniture store I went.

Sorry to say, I came out of there still being anti-microfiber.  Maybe if I hadn't landed on that one God send of an Ashley formfitting, dual recliner sofa, I would have had more of an open mind.

Maybe.  I don't know, though, I still don't like being able to tell when you've just sat on a couch.  (Crazy, huh? I mean, what else are they for?)

Hopefully I'll have more to show you next week especially since Brian did quite a bit of cutting this last weekend.



How to Earn Extra Cash for Christmas While Working From or Out Of Your Home

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yeah, I know. My last post was just about Halloween - and now here I am yapping about Christmas.

But no sooner will the Halloween candy treats be gone until Christmas is knocking on our doors.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm always up for extra ways to earn cash for Christmas. Like my Halloween costume ideas, I may not always be original, but they're good ideas nonetheless. Such as:

  • Gift Wrapping Services:  While I enjoy shopping,  I hate wrapping.  And I know I'm not alone.  For a reasonable fee, many of us would be happy to turn this chore over to someone else.
  • Gal/Guy Friday:  The weeks just before Thanksgiving through the New Years are busy, busy, busy.  Offer to run errands (such as bill paying, short list grocery shopping, dog walking, Airport shuttling, etc.) for a fee.  Not only will you earn a rate set by you, but you'll also be servicing customers during a generous tipping season.
  • Santa Letters:  Children love Santa Claus.  And parents like manipulating their children's behavior with the threat of Santa Claus.  Create a simple site and getting ready to write.  If you enjoying doing this, you can keep it up all year with letters from the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.
  • Mystery Shop:  Nope, all offers aren't a scam; but companies that want to pay for the information are.  Get free products, set rate pay, and more just by reporting about a store's customer service, cleanliness, and more.  Visit www.volition.com for FREE information on how to get started.
  • Bake:  Who doesn't love to give fresh, homebaked goodies to friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues?  Yet some of us don't have the talent.  If you do, put it to use - and those us without the Martha-Stewart-gene will thank you!
There's a few ideas that will hopefully get you started.  If you'd like to add any to the list, please feel free to comment! :)

Happy Holidays,


Halloween Couples Costume Ideas

I overhead a conversation the other day where a man mentioned that he and his wife had been in "text wars" all day about their couples costume for Halloween. And, it got me to thinking about possible ideas.

Here's what I've come up with (probably not on my own, since I'm not that creative):

  • Ying and Yang

  • Flower and pot

  • Heart and sole (like that of a shoe)

  • Good and Evil (Angel and Devil)

  • Mars and Venus (think about the book Women Are From Mars, Men Are From Venus)

  • North and South (i.e., Yankee and Confederate)

  • (and the old stand by) Ball and Chain. 
I warned you I'm not very original but maybe these will at least get some of your creative juices flowing!  And I'd love to hear you come up with! :)

OR, since it's running a little close to the holiday, you may want to check out the cool Halloween Costumes for Couples at Amazon - many offering FREE two day shipping with Prime!


Overpriced Baby Formula Does Not Equate to Quality

Friday, October 15, 2010

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Similac Formula RecallRecently I came across an article about the Similac formula recall.  In September, Abbott Laboratories warned the public that certain lots of Similac powered baby formula may contain beetles or their larvae. 

That's just disgusting!

Now, I'm not so naive to believe that there isn't a certain amount of "stuff" in all of the foods we purchase, but when it becomes enough for a recall...well, even I get concerned.

So exactly what is a parent to do?

This recall shows that being brand name or high cost doesn't equate to the better option. So I recommend saving a fortune over that first year and choosing a store brand formula - which are just as healthy for your baby without the ridiculous price tag.

Your baby is already using an overpriced formula and you would like to switch to generic formula?  It's not impossible - just talk to your little one's pediatrician about what's best for your baby and how to go about making this transition easiest for him/her.

I have four children.  I know how easy it is to believe that the higher the price, the better the quality.  Take it from someone who has been there, done that and knows that isn't always the case.   

Visit Sponsor's Site


Unique Christmas Card Ideas

Well, I got you here with my nifty title but now I have to tell you the truth:  I'm not so unique in my ideas. It's not for a lack of trying, I'm just not that talented. 

But I'm always willing to give it my best shot, and so is the case when Purple Trail, via Mom Bloggers Club, asked members to blog about their creative holiday card ideas.

I'm definitely not a first prize winner, but I think I've got a few adorable ideas.  Such as:

  • An individual picture of each member of the family participating in their favorite activity such as sports, baking, being a couch potato or creating chaos (such as is the case with Princess A!).  Collage them for a unique front cover.
  • Hand drawn and colored pictures by the children or the adults if they are talented.  Just as long as it shows you took time and effort - didn't cheat with a computer - then it's all good. (Ok, ok - I know, computer graphic design is just as much work.  I'm just a little old fashioned.)
  • Don't do a card at all.  Instead consider doing one of those family newsletter things, where everybody shares their good news (and, if your lucky, the gossip!) about the last 11 1/2 months.
  • If you're one of those people who keep mounds of Christmas cards from years past (I'm not that sentimental, but I know plenty who are), create a Collage of Cards from Christmas Past.  If you want to go all Christmas Carol, you could come up with a spiffy poem about this being the Card of Christmas Present and maybe even show a hint for the card from Christmas Future.
  • Play Hide 'n Seek with your cards.  You know those kids games where you hunt in the picture for certain objects?  Basing it on that game, you photoshop in your photo the letters spelling "Merry Christmas" at strategic places throughout the photo.  Or maybe photoshop in bows, ornaments, etc.
Hey, I forewarned you about my non-creativity.  But I've given my best shot.  And, if some of them sound weird, well, be forgiving because it wasn't supposed to but I'm not better at explaining that I am creating.

What you really want to do is visit PurpleTrail's vast selection of personalized holiday cards for some really fun card ideas - not just for Christmas but any holiday or occasion imaginable!
I am participating in a giveaway for PurpleTrail.com hosted by Mom Bloggers Club. 
By creating this post, I am eligible for a PurpleTrail gift code.


What To Do With Hersheys Halloween Candy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween is a Hershey's holiday, wouldn't you agree?

And now Hershey's wants to know what I would do if I won a Hershey's Halloween Prize Pack.

Hmmm, should I be honest?

Oh, why not - I'D EAT IT!

Yeah, yeah I know I'm tacky but at least I'm honest.  I'm just a little too addicted to Reese's to do otherwise.

Do I get any credit for saying I'd probably share with my children?

Well, whether I get boo'd (get it?) about my truthfulness or not, here's some fun facts for ya:

■About 30 percent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Kit Kat Wafer Bar and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate lovers will do the monster mash this year as a vampire, witch or monster.

■Fans of Twizzlers Twists may get the chance to show their dance moves as they twist the night away dressed in garb from the 1950s. More than 41 percent stated they plan to dress-up in period piece costumes from different eras of the 20th century.

■Jolly Rancher lovers will most likely sport a cape on Halloween, as 23 percent expressed a desire to channel superhuman powers as their favorite superhero.

This post was written as an entry at Mom Bloggers Club for the Hershey’s Halloween prize pack.


Find Great Recipes for Fall at Kraft Delicious Days

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Delicious Days is Kraft’s new headquarters for all things seasonal. Watch featured videos to learn new recipes that really take advantage of fall’s unique vegetables – even picky eaters will dive right in! There are also tons of classic recipes that are sure crowd pleasers - your family will definitely be asking about your secret recipe stash when you serve them an apple crumble filled with fresh picked apples and fragrant cinnamon! (See the video below about tips for choosing apples for your recipes)

The site also features content the whole family will love. Check out fun games, budgeting ideas, and party planning must-haves. If you want to get creative in time for Halloween, Delicious Days also features fun recipes that are spookily delicious, like eyeball cupcakes and the Ghosts in the Graveyard cake, perfect for getting kids to help out in the kitchen! After these recipes, your house is sure to be haunted with delicious candy ghosts!

While you’re at Delicious Days don’t forget to enter the AOL Home for the Holidays Sweepstakes* for a chance to win $2,500! It’s the perfect prize to get your family together in time for the holiday season.

*AOL's Home for the Holidays sweeps is solely sponsored by AOL only, not Kraft.


Introducing Role Mommy Magazine: PROJECT YOU (Fall 2010)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our Extreme Home Makeover: Week 3

It's been another busy week with our version of Extreme Home Makeover.

This is where the work starts to slow down - more than I'd like, anyway.

The Summer Breeze paint I picked it is one I'm really happy with, so we moved along this past week to changing light fixtures.

Not that we didn't really know it already, but removing the old fixtures was definite confirmation that we needed to put a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling.

Which is exactly what we did.

It's amazing how a fresh coat of ceiling paint can really freshen up a room (or hallway, in this case).

Add new, contemporary light fixtures and it's like "Wow!"

So then it was on to doors which, in my opinion, is the most tedious part of renovations.

To save money, we've opted to forego the door "kits" and just construct our own.  (Okay, my own little Bob the Builder, a.k.a. Brian, will actually do the constructing but, hey, I can take some credit too, right?)    

We've started with the utility closet doors.


Between a birthday celebration this week, football practice, and a full time job, Brian is just now getting started on building and paint the frame door.

In the meantime, the washer and dryer drown out the living room television.  Not to mention that my dirty-little-secrets-closet is not so good at keeping mute these days.

To keep on the positive side, though, I'm sure that by next week I'll be able to show our new, bright white doors and hopefully even a few more as we venture into this hallway renovation.

In the meantime, I'm the hunt for a charcoal grey recliner sofa and love seat.  It's a bigger task to find one than I thought.  Apparently this color of grey isn't very popular.

But - to give a shout out and kudos:

Our friends and neighbors, Steve and Patty Ray, owners of Sofa Center in McMinnville, Tennessee (931.474.7632), told us Ashley Furniture is coming out with a new bluish-grey color in about three months.  They are going to put one on reserve and when it arrives, I get to come check it out.  No strings attached! 

I'd like to think we're special, but the truth is they do things like that for everyone.  Gotta love those guys!

Be sure to join me next week for more updates, hopefully! :)

This post was submitted to 5 Minutes for Mom's Tackle It Tuesday meme.


Important Newborn Questions & Answers

Monday, October 11, 2010

The authors of Heading Home with Your Newborn answer important questions from moms about infant and baby care

heading home pic.jpg
Pediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of "parent-tested, pediatrician-approved" advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, HealthyChildren.org. Also available in bookstores nationwide. Here they answer a few questions from fellow moms:

Question: People often worry about taking a newborn out and you do not want to go to crowded spaces indoors like malls or parties where there could be germs and things like that; but in terms of how they can regulate heat, can they can go out if they are bundled correctly, in the cold for a walk? During the winter season is it best not to have them out and about like that?

Dr Jana: We have an entire section of the book called "Thinking Outside the House". That is a good example of what people often forget in the Pediatrician books. Where you say; what about the practical? Can I step out of my house? Now all of a sudden my baby seems even smaller because we are going out in the real world. Especially in the very specific new born period - the first three weeks, think of the timeframe when babies really need to wear their hats because their heads lose heat. Here in Nebraska I would not recommend somebody taking a newborn out at the peak of winter. What you find is a lot of new parents do not want to step outside when it is 40 degrees out, because they are afraid it is cold, and there are lots of good accessories to keep drafts from getting in to the where the babies are in the car seats and infant carriers. Just try avoiding extremes temperatures.

Question: What is the most important thing you think parents should know and do before a baby is born?

Dr Shu: One important thing, just from a timing standpoint, you might need to look for childcare as soon as you conceive. Just the reality of a lot of childcare situations is that you have to get on some kind of waiting list to get in to the place of your choice. So I would consider that high on the list. You want to make sure that your financial affairs like insurance are in order. There are so many smart parents I know that just accidentally forget to add their child to their insurance, and they are stuck with a huge bill. That is something you want to put on your To Do list, as soon as that baby has a name and birth date.    

Picking a Pediatrician before you deliver is also a really good idea, and that is something we recommend sometime in the early part of the 3rd trimester. The reason for that is you want to hit the ground running and get a head start, rather than play catch up when you have a baby and try to figure out somebody that you have a good fit with. Finally, the most important supplies you will need for having the baby include a car seat which you will need to have once leaving the hospital, something to clothe the baby in, diapers and feeding supplies.

Question: How can you prepare for the birth of a newborn if you wind up delivering early or have an unplanned c-Section?

Dr Jana: Some people have a sense they might deliver earlier, but for a large number of parents, it catches them completely off guard. People often ask as us, when is the best time to read the book? We wanted to make it so that you can start reading it 8 weeks in advance and then pick it up at two in the morning when you have a question with a one week old. The thing that catches people by surprise, most people do not plan on have a C section, most people do not plan on having a premature baby... getting those things that Doctor Shu mentioned really helps take away some of the stress of new parenthood because that unknown is not there anymore.

If you'd like more information about caring for your infant visit Heading Home with Your Newborn at HealthyChildren.org.

*This post is sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.


Get Goodies from Amazon Just For Being A Mom

Being a Mom (or caretaker) has it perks when it comes to shopping on Amazon.

When you join Amazon Mom (sign up is free!), you receive 3 months of Amazon Prime at no cost (Prime is free two day shipping on thousands of items or $3.99 for next day delivery), 30% off diapers and wipes that you have purchased on a scheduled delivery option, and promotional emails about discounts available to club members only.

Fretting because the Amazon Prime is only 3 months? Don't worry! For every $25 you spend in Amazon's Baby Department, you'll earn another free month of Prime. Too easy!


Share 'Em If You Got 'Em: Halloween Party Ideas for Kindergarteners

Friday, October 8, 2010

T.G.I.F.! Whew, I'm glad this week is almost over!

Not only am I ready for the weekend but I'm also ready to join Kailani of An Island Life for Aloha Friday.  Each week participants are asked a question and, in turn, ask questions on their own blogs.

And do I have a good question this week - one that I could really use some help on.

Big Brother is in Kindergarteners and I'm in charge of planning this year's Halloween Party.

While I'm great at choosing Halloween costumes (yes, we are one of those - the buyers!), preparing a menu, creating awesome little gift bags, I am not having such good luck on deciding on games for these little folks.

Most are reading yet, so forget anything that requires recognizing words.  This age has the attention span of gnats, so I don't want to do anything that requires much patience.   Based on simple safety precautions, things like bobbing for apples and games with sticks or other potential weapon type objects are also out.  And, since I like to plan TRULY ORIGINAL parties, things like Pin the Tail on the Black Cat is out.

Now that you know my dislikes, no-nos, and purely objectables, and you're not just shaking your head thinking, "Lady, there ain't nobody that can help you," I'd like to ask:

Do You Have Any Unique and Fun Halloween
Game Ideas for 5 and 6 year old Kindergarteners?

Think it goes without saying that I have no answer to this.  But if you've got something, I'm really anxious to hear it!  And THANKS SO MUCH in advance


Sausage Gravy and Biscuit Recipe with Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (Giveaway Too!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bring the mouthwatering aroma of fresh-baked biscuits to your kitchen with Pillsbury® Grands!® Mini Biscuits!

Each 70-calorie biscuit is a delight when served hot from the oven, with a warm fluffy center and golden, flaky crust. Pillsbury® Grands!® Mini Biscuits are the perfect size for kids, or for mini sandwiches and appetizers. There are countless recipe options, from miniature ham sandwiches come lunchtime, to delicious sliders for nighttime entertaining. There are so many ways to make these biscuits and your family will love trying each one.
When Pillsbury and My Blog Spark invited me to give Grands Biscuits a try, it didn't take much to convince me.

After all, I've been a fan of Pillsbury Grands biscuits for a while.

I was asked to come up with something creative with my biscuits, but I'm not much of a creative person.   I thought and thought and thought about it, but I just kept going back to my favorite:  Sausage Gravy and Biscuit.

My most favorite way to eat biscuits.

The recipe for Sausage Gravy and Biscuit is actually very simple (or at least the one I use):

1 package Pioneer biscuit gravy mix
2 sausage patties
8 Pillsbury Grands biscuits

Follow directions to make gravy mix.  Fry sausage patties and drain grease into biscuit mix.  Stir well.  Cut sausage patties into small pieces and drop into biscuit mix.  Stir well.  Serve over biscuits.

Simple, eh?  Yes, and so so so good!

Is your mouth watering yet?  Good, then you'll want to hear about this:  Pillsbury, by way of My Blog Spark, is offering ONE lucky reader of the The Mom Trap the chance to win a Pillsbury® Grands!® Mini Biscuits prize pack which includes a VIP coupon good for a free package of biscuits, a $15 gift card to purchase your recipe creation/experimentation needs, a biscuit basket, a butter dish and spreader!

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment telling me: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BISCUIT RECIPE?  (Be sure to include an email address or have one available on your profile in case you win!)

Want to increase your chances of winning with extra entries? (Leave a comment for each additional entry; i.e. 2 extra entries = 2 comments)

  • Become a Pillsbury Facebook Fan (1 extra entry. Already follow? That counts too!)
  • Become a Facebook Fan of The Mom Trap at www.facebook.com/themomtrap (1 extra entry. Current followers also receive extra entry.)
  • Follow The Mom Trap with Google Friend Connect. (1 extra entry. Current followers included.)
  • Follow The Mom Trap on Twitter (1 extra entry. Current followers included.)
  • Tweet this giveaway for 5 extra entries, including @kdcantrell in your tweet. (Include the Tweet status URL in your comment.)
  • Blog about this giveaway for 5 extra entries. (Be sure to include the URL of your post in your comment)

The Fine Print: Contest ends at 11:59:59 PM Central Time on Thursday, October 21, 2010. Winner will be chosen by random number generator. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to U.S. and territories residents only. Winner will be announced here and notified via email no later than Saturday, October 23, 2010, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate winner will be chosen.


Hoorah! ROTC Leads the Way on Homecoming Day

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

See More Wordless Wednesday!



Rescue Your Kitchen Appliances With This AWESOME KitchenAid Sweepstakes!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY! KitchenAid couldn't have decided to host a sweepstakes like this at a better time!

Although just in the beginning stages of our extreme home makeover, we're definitely working our way towards the kitchen.  So when I heard about the KitchenAid "Rescue My Appliances" contest, I was tempted to keep it to myself.

You know, to increase my chances of winning. ;)

But I like to share, so -

Here's the details:

From October 5, 2010 through November 2, 2010, you can enter your kitchen in the “Rescue My Appliances” Sweepstakes and win over $8000 worth of appliances!

All you have to do to enter is submit a photo of your old kitchen appliances and you could win a new suite of appliances from KitchenAid® (worth $7,000), Service Live Credits toward remodeling (worth $1,000), and a phone consultation with Susan Serra, our kitchen design expert (worth $200)!


From November 3rd to November 17th there will be public voting so everyone has a chance to rally their friends, family and readers to vote for their submission. Also, for each vote someone casts, they have a chance to win other great KitchenAid prizes!!

I don't know about y'all, but I REALLY want to win this!  So I'm off to snap photos of my kitchen.   Maybe I'll see you there too!


Fulfillment by Amazon, Computer Desk Things That Close Up, and Bindis

I've just wasted the better part of my life searching for something you think would be so obvious, but it's not.

Ever asked yourself whether or not you must be a Pro Merchant with Amazon to use their FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) services?

Okay, so you probably haven't but I did.  And with Amazon being such a got-it-together business, you'd think you could easily find the easy.

Think again.

I'll save you the long drawn out story, but the answer is this (for anyone who Googles the question only to get run around answers):  YES, You MUST be a Pro Merchant to use Fulfillment by Amazon.   You cannot be a hit-or-miss, lazy seller like me - we are stuck with either selling on eBay or doing it ourselves on Amazon.

Sucks, huh?

Speaking of selling...maybe you've been following along with our home renovation project - probably not but, hey, I got the keywords in there that might snag me a couple more sponsors - but we're ditching a lot of stuff.

One of the things we've got to unload is a computer desk that closes up.  You know, a computer armoire.  Sounds just a little to fancy for something coming out of my house, which is why I want to list it as "Computer Armoire Desk That Closes Up."  I figure since I'm selling this thing on a local basis where it's PICK UP ONLY (I'm too lazy to ship something small sold on Amazon, so does this really surprise you?), my fellow hicks will understand what I'm saying - may even be searching those terms.

I just don't see many of us country folks seeking out computer armoires.  Dang, even I didn't look at what it was called.  I just walked in, looked at it and said, "Yep, that's what I'm looking for."    

And speaking of "looking for" leads to "looking at" which could be defined by this big freakin' zit thing that's happened right in the middle of my forehead.  It's looks like a bindi - which I had to Google the phrase "Indian women red dot on forehead named" to learn the proper name.

Hillbilly search phrases...ha!  There's a blog post.  Maybe for next week's Random Thoughts Tuesday - which, by the way, you need to check out at http://www.theunmom.com/.



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