Thursday, June 24, 2010

Candy and popcorn! Oh! And a movie, too!

Today I took Nick to the theater for the very first time. His attention span...is not, well, it doesn't span very far and so I'd put off doing it for a long time. I haven't even been in a theater in several years...I think the last movie I saw at the theater was the first Star Wars prequel. Yeah. It's been awhile.

So, today, my mom came over and watched the other two so Nick and I could go on a date to see "Toy Story 3." Since I'm cheap, I rejected the extra $5 to see it in 3-D and instead, frugally spent $20 on popcorn, pop and candy. (I went on a date once, where the guy smuggled in his own pop and candy. It would have been one thing if it had been drugs and alcohol. But candy and pop?  Killed the romance.)  Anyway, we were the first people there and Nick wanted to sit waaaayyyy in the back. He wanted the seats farthest to the left and back. I convince him it will be better if we are watching from the middle. So we trudge way to the back (but middle) and set up camp.
"Is that a speaker?" he asks, excitedly pointing at the wall.
"Yes," I say.
"Is that a speaker?"
"Yes."
"Is that a..."
"Yes! It's a speaker. They are all speakers."
 After about a million questions later, the movie finally starts. My son gets emotionally involved in whatever he is watching.  He feels what the characters feel, he gasps and shouts and argues with the characters. He shouts warnings and laughs really, really loudly. While I think it's adorable, I'm sure those sharing the theater with us did not. I did get him to talk to Buzz and Woody quietly, however, so that's a plus. He curled up into a little ball and covered his eyes during the trash part, but he had a good time and loved the movie. And the pop and candy and popcorn.


As we were leaving, I asked him if he had a good time.
"And you got to sit way in the back!" I add.
"Yep, it was fun. But that's not where I wanted to sit. I wish you hadn't been so difficult."

Yeah. I get that a lot.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The average woman...does not live here.

I recently read that the average woman wears $1,500.00 worth of clothing daily. The average woman on an average day. The price apparently goes up for special occasions. The average woman. I always thought I was pretty average...I live in an average small town, in an average-sized house. I have an average dog and an average cat, drive an average suburban. So I was disturbed to hear this. Apparently, I'm not average. I'm so far below average that there isn't even a word for it. I always thought I was stylish. Apparently not. Even with my wedding rings on, my outfits don't amount to that much.  

According to www.stylist.com:
The total reportedly includes underwear, $39; a skirt, $44; top, $33; knitwear, $57; coat, $94; tights, $6; shoes, $75; watch, $112; and jewelry, $552. A woman's purse, $155, and its contents -- including a $155 phone and cash, tickets, and passes amounting to $213 -- were also reportedly included, resulting in a grand total of $1,534.28.

$39 for underwear?  Really? Maybe before I had kids, I'd spend half that on a pair of cute panties and a fancy bra, but now? This average woman refuses to spend more than a couple of dollars on a pair of underwear and when I do buy them, I make sure they're comfortable...
I'll admit it. I'm cheap. If it's over $20 I won't buy it. (Unless it's a coat or jacket...) I'm a bargain hunter. But that can work against me, as well. I've purchased things I didn't even really like or need, because they're cheap.

"Hey! Look at this ugly shirt! It's only $2.00! I have to buy it! It's only $2.00!"

Of course, if I added all those $2.00 purchases up, I might be able to afford something for $21.00. So, needless to say, the shirt I have on right now did not cost $33.00 More like $8.00. My "knitwear", aka sweatpants (or yoga pants when I'm feelin' fancy) cost about $10.00. And my purse? I bought it at a purse party and I think I spent about $40 on it. I splurged. I felt like a real big spender. And I can guarantee that there is not $213.00 worth of stuff in it. There's some Kleenex, a crunched up fortune cookie, some crayons, gum, chapstick, a granola bar, sunglasses (which were $4.80 at Kohl's!), my generic leatherman (you never know when you might have to build something), a wet wipe from Buffalo Wild Wings and my wallet (which has about $6.00 in it). There's some other miscellaneous junk and some coins lurking in the bottom. But definitely not enough to equal $200.

Granted, it's Sunday and I'm more lax than usual, I am in a variation of my stay at home mom uniform. Yoga pants, t-shirt, sweatshirt, fuzzy socks (it's cold outside!)...my total outfit maybe cost $30.00. If I put shoes on, I'd still only equal about $50.00. So, I'm $1,484.28 away from being average.

Tell me I'm not alone.

New cakes!

I have several new cakes on my cake blog!

Learning Online with USC

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.



There once was a time in my life when attending a college campus for a degree was feasible. Now, with a husband and three kids, that absolutely is not an option. For me, the only way I'd be able to attend college would be online. There are so many options out there and if you're a teacher searching for a way to earn your advanced degree or if you're just starting out and aspire to be a teacher, University of Southern California may be for you. The USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT@USC offers current educators and those who long to teach, the ability to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching, conveniently online. Aside from the obvious benefit of flexibility, they offer interactive online learning as well as field-based experiences in your local area. They have an accelerated program that can be completed in as little as 12 months. Rossier and the MAT@USC have even been awarded by AACTE for innovative use of technology in education.

You would be earning the Master of Arts in Teaching from an internationally renowned school with a 100- year history from distinguished faculty who have long been recognized for their contributions to education. They've been ranked #22 in the United States and #9 among all private universities by US New and the World Report. 

USC offers a groundbreaking tuition reimbursement program designed solely for MAT@USC graduates. Students receive full USC status and benefits and free lifetime Alumni Association memberships. Students also become part of the elite USC Trojan Family. For more program information, check out the link! You may be surprised by what you can learn at home, at your own pace!
 


Visit my sponsor: Master of Arts in Teaching degree online from USC

Monday, June 7, 2010

Scary Mommy

*I found this in my drafts and decided to publish it. I think it was originally written for the "Scary Mommy" contest last year*


I may look like Laura Ingalls Wilder, but despite my sweet and innocent exterior, I am a Scary Mommy. Yes I am.  Don’t argue with me. Why? WHY? Because I said so, dammit.

Oh, yes. I’m a very scary mommy. And it has nothing to do with the way I look first thing in the morning. Although, I will admit that since becoming a mommy, I’ve become less…becoming.  Before staying home with the kids, I groomed, I tweezed, I painted, patted, straightened and fluffed. I could spend 45 minutes in front of the mirror with assorted beauty products, tinting, smoothing, lengthening and  glossing.  I blew out my hair and then carefully re-curled it. I wore jewelry…tons of jewelry. Rings on each finger, bangles up and down my arms, dangling necklaces. I even wore clean clothes and real pants.  Now I’m lucky if I brush my teeth and comb my hair before twisting it up  into it’s customary knot. I actually wore slippers (Slippers!) to the bus stop the other morning.

You can’t deny that’s pretty scary.  Terrifying, even.

I asked my 6 year old if I was scary. And he giggled.  I don’t know if that meant, “Ha! You! Scary? I walk all over you! You’re about as scary as  limp toast.” I suppose it could mean that,  but I’m pretty sure that it meant that I’m so scary  that he was afraid to answer.

Flash back several months…a thunder storm woke my children and mommy, who will admit to being a tad unstable anyway, flipped out and took it out on them.  Screaming, crying, throwing things, shaking the bed like a mad woman. I had my “NO WIRE HANGERS” moment and the next day I called the doctor.  But even now, while heavily medicated, I can be pretty scary.




I fed my kids Eggo Waffles for dinner last night.  Scary stuff. Have you looked at the ingredient list on those??  Terrifying.  And then I let them have ice cream for dessert.  Are you cringing yet? No?

I let them eat cookie dough and lick the cake batter of the beaters. Just think…all those raw eggs swimming  with Salmonella. Scary.

I’ve made my son wear the same filthy socks for two days in a row, because I was slacking on laundry.
Scary? No? You need more dirty laundry?

Ok.

I let my children watch Yo Gabba Gabba.



If that doesn’t scare the wits out of you then there is nothing more I can do here.

Looking for a place to go this summer?

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.


Summer always makes me think of getting away and taking the family somewhere fun, somewhere kid-friendly and exciting. And I have to admit that Branson, Missouri never really crossed my mind. But after doing a little research on the area, I can easily imagine our family having an amazing time there. 

The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel   and the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing both look like excellent places to stay. They offer amazing amenities, as well as great packages and specials like The Great Getaway, where you can save 25% if you book between May 10 and September 6, 2010. The Promenade offers the third night three and there is even a Romance Package. Oo la la. The Hilton Branson Convention Ceneter is located in historic downtown. The hotel is located across from the Hilton Promenade and the new Branson Landing retail and entertainment district situated on Lake Taneycomo. They are minutes from the area's 49 theatres, outlet malls, Table Rock Lake, Silver Dollar City, Celebration City and other attractions, like lakes, museums and theme parks. You can even enjoy 18 holes of golf at the new Payne Stewart Golf Course. And both hotels are pet friendly, too!

The Promenade is home of a $7.5 million dollar water feature, with daily shows that merge light, water, music and fire. Yes. Fire. I have to admit I'm intrigued. 120-foot water geysers and blasting fire cannons? That I would like to see.


Branson Landing offers a one-of-a kind children's play area, an interactive "pirate island theme" called Adventure Cove.  Children can explore a miniature light house, climb and slide down a pirate fort, and find sunken treasure all within a controlled environment. I know my kids would like that. I'd like that. I've always had a secret desire to be a pirate...

Of course, Branson offers a ton of live music, like Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker, as well as many other concerts. This summer they also have events like Branson Z Fest, National Kid's Fest, (which really looks like a good time!) Stage One National Dance Finals, and the Father's Day Bass Pro Boat Show.

Unfortunately, we aren't currently in the position for a vacation, but I can honestly say that when we are, Branson, Missouri will definitely be on the list!



Visit my sponsor: Experience the Summer Spectacular in Branson!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday in My City...or "Fy wooks scawy"

This weekend was BBQ Days, complete with the Firefighter's Pancake Breakfast, parade and fireworks. The day starts at 4:15am when the firefighters race the trucks around town, sirens screeching and air horns blaring, a subtle reminder that the breakfast starts at 5:00am. But really, it's Saturday morning . Who isn't already up at 4:15 am?

So, sirens are wailing, dogs are barking and kids are crying...who's ready for pancakes?

Not me.

I finally get everyone back to sleep and we wake up again at 8:00am, which is a much more reasonable time. It takes more than pancakes and eggs to get me up that early. If I have to get up before the dawn to catch a plane to some exotic beach locale, I'm all for it. But for hash browns? Nope.

We did however, make it down to the fire station in time to join the parade.

 


Every year we ride in a fire truck with my husband and usually a few cousins. I've never actually seen it, because I'm always in it. Although, I hear it's a good one. It's one of the high points of Nick's year. He yells out the windows and waves at everyone. About half way through, Sam freaked out and decided to start screaming and crying for the remaining time. He also wanted to nurse and kept pulling my shirt. He must have known that nursing him was exactly what I wanted to do, while in the front seat of a fire truck, in a parade.

Fire Fighters in training.

The best part of the parade, is, of course, the water fight between the trucks. The entire crowd on Main runs into the road to get sprayed.


Although, it is recommended that women of a certain age, who do not wear bras, do not wear white shirts.


After the parade we head home where we had a rare family nap, where everyone, even the dog, falls asleep. Then on to the fireworks! The firefighters are stationed in the "fall out zone" in case of fire, so we had good seats, minus the threat of sparks, flames and singed hair. The "fy wooks" (as Sam says) were spectacular, but Sam found them "scawy" and screamed "NO" every time he heard a boom. So, we watched from the inside of the truck.
At least the other kids had a good time. When we got home, they were sure ready for bed! And in my book, any day that exhausts my children is a huge success!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DOVE Ice Cream Miniatures and "My Mini Moment" Contest

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret...I like ice cream. And I like chocolate. So, of course, I like Dove Ice Cream. What's not to like, really? There's chocolate! And ice cream! As I am writing this, it is 94 degrees outside and since our air conditioner is broken, it's 87 degrees in the house. There is nothing I would like more at this moment than a Dove Ice Cream Miniature. Or a whole box of them. (Well, and an air conditioner. I'd like one of those, too.) But really, yum. YUM!

For the weight conscious, it's nice to know that DOVE Ice Cream Miniatures are only 70 calories each. They have a new decadent Café Collection which features Java Chip and Cappuccino Flavors.
 DOVE Ice Cream Miniatures is currently running a contest for women, called "My Mini Moment" contest.

All you need to do is share a favorite mini moment of escape, include a photo and short essay and send it to DoveIceCream.com/myminimoment by June 7, 2010. So, hurry up! Because one lucky winner could win one of three amazing mini-grand prizes, like a mini-getaway to Napa Valley, Spa services for a year or a mini-home makeover. Now, wouldn't that make your day? I personally can't decided what I would choose. They all sound pretty good to me!

DOVE conducted a survey of 400 mothers, and apparently 70% of them manage to take time out for themselves, everyday. The "My Mini Moment" Contest is meant to celebrate those moments. I, unfortunately, am not one of the 70%. So, I am off to write my essay and submit it, in hopes of winning the getaway to Napa Valley. Or, er, the Spa services. Or maybe the mini-home makeover? Ahh...so many decisions!

So, go! Go and write your essay! Maybe the winner will be you! (And if you lose, you can always buy some DOVE Ice Cream Miniatures to comfort yourself with.) Good luck!

Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Duck Fest!

Recently, in this post, I wrote about Daffy who lost her sister, leaving her young son, Daffy's nephew, motherless. The blogging community has rallied together to help him out. A dollar gets you an entry into one of many, many giveaways or if you prefer, you can just donate.





This story is heartbreaking to me. A five year old shouldn't have to deal with losing his mother at such a young age. They should have had many more years together and I hope that through the generosity of all these great contributors, a little boy's future may be a little bit brighter.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fire! Fishing! Firearms!

In the Memorial Day spirit, this past weekend was spent doing patriotic type things...a BBQ by the lake, fire, fishing, firearms. Oh, and Budweiser...I have a twinge of fondness for Budweiser and even though it tastes like bathwater (You know, when you have three kids in the tub together and they've all peed? It even takes on the same color. Coincidence?), it is what brought my husband and I together, so I owe it something. My husband once told me that it stands for Because U Deserve What Every Individual Should Enjoy Regularly. I think it must have all been part of the brainwashing that they did at the Anheuser Busch company. But I digress...how odd.

Anyway...fishing! I went fishing this weekend for the first time in years and years and years and years and...you get the picture. Nick wanted to fish, so grandma's boyfriend got him all set up. We cast and Nick eagerly watched that bobber, clutching the pole for dear life. About 45 seconds later, he handed it to me. He'd had enough. The boy needs action! Immediate gratification! Fishing wasn't doing it for him so I ended up manning the pole (that almost sounded obscene..."oh,yeah baby, I'll man your pole..."). Anyway, it was quite fun. I didn't catch anything, but the anticipation was thrilling. The most excitement I've had in weeks. Then, THEN, if I thought THAT was exciting, the next day we went shooting.



Yeah, that's right. You don't mess with me. In case you were wondering, I have awesome aim. I once came in third in the woman's division of black powder shooting. Yup...little known fact, right there. I'm like an onion. Layers and layers...

I also discovered that when expended shells from a 9mm land in your cleavage, it hurts. A lot.

Note to self: wear turtleneck when shooting.

Social Spark

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I started blogging simply because I love to write. After a few weeks and I started to build up a following, I realized that I also loved to read other blogs and to comment. And of course, I became addicted to the comments on my blog! I quickly realized that there is a camaraderie in blogging that I didn't realize existed. I have made some true friends through this blog. I have also made some money, which was an unexpected perk. While I have no intention of making this blog a medium strictly for marketing or advertising, I'm not against the occasional review. So I signed up for SocialSpark

Socialspark_small

So far, I'm impressed with what I see. Signing up was simple and quick; all that was required was the installation of a code in my blog's HTML and some general information. Soon as my blog was confirmed, I was presented with immediate opportunities!  I'm excited to browse through further. What's better than actually getting paid to write and post on my blog? You can even donate your proceeds to various charities.

I'm looking forward to working with this company and contributing to their "Sponsored Conversations." It's just one more reason to love blogging!


Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

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