May 24, 2010

Smashbox Friends & Family Sale

It's been a while folks...but I'm back to share this wonderful offer!

Check out this Summer Essential set that's only $42.
Double Exposure Lip & Cheek Color in Irresistible
Bionic Mascara in Jet Black – Travel Size
Waterproof Bronzer & Highlighter
Illuminating Serum
Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss SPF 15 in Timeless

Use code FF2010 here. Offer expires May 28th. Enjoy!

April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...sort of

April 27, 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along

Tuesday Tag-Along

This is my first official Tuesday Tag-Along! I'm so excited to connect with bloggers with similar interests.

April 26, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Leftovers from Sunday's dinner out

Beef tacos, mexican rice and grapes 

Ham and Cheese Cresent Roll Ups with salad (using leftover lettuce and tomatoes from Tuesday)

Baked whole chicken, california veggie mix and shells and cheese

Fish sticks and mini tator tots
Blueberry & banana parfaits for dessert

Eating out

Lasanga, broccoli and Bread Machine Buttery Rolls

For tons of meal ideas go visit

April 20, 2010

DIY Bikini Wax. FAIL!

I know what you're thinking. What on God's green earth made me try this?

Yesterday I was just in the mood to experiment. I was full of energy and wanted to take things into my own hands. Cinnamon rolls and a bikini wax. Pause. The waxing makes my cinnamon rolls sound significantly less appealing. Please don't blame them! More on the cinnamon roll recipe I got from The Pioneer Woman tomorrow.

I have stopped getting bikini waxes done professionally. I switched to Veet about a year ago and it has never let me down. Now, don't get it's not the same but it's close enough and keeps a few extra coins in my pocket. I have successfully waxed my underarms with the hubby's help plenty of times. I apply my Gigi honey wax, apply the muslin strip, press to make sure it's nice and smooth and get my husband to rip the strip in the opposite direction the hair grows. He acts like he hates when I ask him to help with this. I think he secretly enjoys to see me cringe. The results last about a month.

So, back to the bikini...without giving too many unnecessary details....I still have some wax down below. Um, yeah. It took me so long to remove the excess wax that my neck started to hurt. FAIL. Back to Veet. At least the cinnamon rolls turned out good, right? You can't have it all.

April 12, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight? Pepperoni Pizza Pasta!

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

This is an easy recipe I throw together for a super quick and easy weeknight dinner. My kids adore pizza and pastas so they gobble this dish up. My oldest helps me mix everything in a bowl before tossing in the oven. Customize it by adding your family's favorite veggies or cheeses. I normally add a few dashes of garlic salt, pepper, and dried italian seasoning.

1 box of pasta
2 cups of cheese
1 jar of tomato sauce
Pepperoni (as many as you like)
Boil pasta as directed on package. Mix remaining ingredients with hot drained pasta together or layer in a baking dish. Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

April 6, 2010

Your Baby Can Read Review

The very minute after I twisted my husband's arm talked my husband into agreeing to fork over the dough for this program, I was online ordering it. This turned into a required phone call. Then, led to a representative trying to sell me an unrelated product. After politely declining, I was asked two additional times. This just reminded me of why I shop online…it’s usually hassle free! Grrr.

I played the beginning disc on Sunday for my little people. My 2 1/2 year old son, who loves watching television didn't budge while it was playing. He even requested to watch it again. So, we played it twice back to back. My 18 month old Princess glanced at the screen only when I prompted her, then went about her business. I had read reviews about the disc being cheaply directed considering the total cost of the program. I thought the quality was just fine. I think flashing lights, graphics, or any other bells and whistles could possibly take the focus off of main concepts. Now, it can be painful for an adult to sit through. But, as a parent you get used to things like that.

Both of my toddler's did enjoy the flash cards. We are currently trying to get my Princess to open her mouth and speak because she grunts most of the time. She actually spoke the works on the flash cards. No, it wasn’t her first time being introduced to flash cards. I think she was intrigued by being able to pull out the corresponding vivid picture alongside the word. The flash cards are awesome and are study enough to endure the wear of little people.

So far my 2 1/2 year old has watched the video at least 6 times in three days. He will watch it tonight before bed and both toddlers will play with the flash cards and books. My son has memorized the word "hi" and "tiger” so far. It's a step in the right direction…very quick step.

I will keep you updated monthly on our progress. I would love to hear our experiences with Your Baby Can Read!

March 29, 2010

Why I heart Intuniv

This is my updated post about my son's experience on Intuniv. You can read the first one here. It has worked wonderfully for us, and I say us because having a child with behavioral challenges effect the entire family. He's taking 2mg of Intuniv in the mornings with 5mg or 10mg of Focalin XR. During the school week he takes 10mg, and weekends 5mg. The reduction of Focalin XR helped him gain 4 lbs! By dinnertime his Focalin has worn off but the Intuniv is still going strong helping the hyperactivity. Not only does he now have an appetite but, he can sit still long enough to eat a meal! Whooo hoooo!

I'm am guilty of taking him off of Intuniv for a week. I just wasn't 100% sure the benefits were worth paying for two non-generic medications (I love my $5 co-pays for generic) equaling to about $100 a month. Sure the evenings were chaotic and drama filled. Sure I wanted to pull my hair out like usual. We had lived through it this long and if it saved us money...why pay more? Then, the weekly progress report came home from school with a note saying "he seemed to have problems focusing this week. Is everything okay?" Grrrrrr. So, the next day I picked up the refill. I didn't get truly elated about Intuniv until we went in for his check up and there was a 4 lb weight gain. Weight gain was a hump that we couldn't get over for so very long! No more Boost, Carnation Breakfast or costly Ensure shakes.

March 17, 2010

Benefit's St. Patrick's Day Discount

Enter STPADDY1 at checkout. Expires 3/17/10 at 5:59pm

March 15, 2010

Meal Plan Mondays

Stuffed shells in meat sauce w/ salad and bread
(leftovers from Sunday)

Breakfast for dinner
Pancakes, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns

Mystery meat with cabbage & potatoes

Baked BBQ Chicken tenders with rice & green beans

Broccoli & cheese soup w/ sandwiches

"Find what you can night"


March 12, 2010

Somebody Wants What You Have

Somebody Wants What You Have
borrowed from The Finer Things in Life

When you’re weary of fixing another meal and doing dishes yet again, somebody wishes they had food to put on the table.

When you’ve folded and put away (another) mountain of laundry, somebody wishes their children had proper coats and hats to wear to school.

When you’re groaning over the highest heating bill yet this year, somebody wishes they weren’t so cold.

When you’re losing sleep and gagging over a child’s stomach bug episode, somebody is praying for a miracle over her child’s hospital bed.

When the exhaustion and nausea of the first trimester are about to do you in, somebody is weeping (yet again) over a negative pregnancy test.

When your headache intensifies over your teen’s college financial paperwork, somebody is visiting the site of her teen’s fatal wreck.

When you wake up to another cloudy, rainy day, somebody is praying for moisture to end a season of drought.

When you pick up your husband’s dirty socks and take out the trash because he forgot, somebody is wishing that for just a moment she didn’t have to do it all alone, all the time.

The next time your situation threatens to steal your joy, try to remember… somebody wants what you have.

Give thanks in all circumstances…1 Thessalonians 5:18

March 8, 2010

Meal Plan Mondays

Welcome to my very first Meal Plan Monday. I hope this will help me stay organized and eliminate those last minute grocery store runs. Please join in and tell me what's for dinner in your home!

Sausage & roasted vegetables over high protein pasta
recipe found here
(leftovers from Sunday)

Fried catfish nuggets and macaroni & cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup

Baked pork tenderloin w/rice and gravy & corn on the cob

Dinner out

Corn dogs and french fries

*New recipe*

March 7, 2010

Candles by Victoria Review

This was my second order from Candles by Victoria. You can listen to all the great reviews about this company on Youtube and find that she's got quite a following. All for good reason, these candles are so strong and wonderfully scented!

I'm not a fan of the organization of her site. It just made my online shopping experience a little longer than I'm used to. Her extensive list scent options can be so overwhelming but enjoyable at the same time. In fact, it took me two days just to make a decision. That's the downside of this review--if you call it a downside.

Whatever scent you fancy, believe me she's got you covered. I couldn't make up my mind, so I scanned her message board for scent suggestions. My first order started with the scents Tiffany D and Dreamsickle. Tiffany D is described as a beautiful mix of watermelon, honeydew melon, cotton candy with a splash of vanilla. I melted Tiffany D in my warmer, and after 20 minutes my 6 years old ran from his downstairs bedroom, asking me if I was cooking a dessert. That's the kind of affect I want my candles to have! My second order was Peppermint Bark, Toyko Spring and Carmalized Pralines. Every order gets a free tart and my freebie was Butterfly Kisses. They all smell great except, I am disappointed with my Peppermint Bark scent choice. It smells very much like artificial chocolate.

Overall, I have enjoyed my purchases from Candles by Victoria. The shipping was fast and everything was packaged securely. I will reorder soon!

February 26, 2010

My Spring Lipstick--MAC Radicchio

I have found the most beautiful fushia lip combo for this Spring. MAC Radicchio lipstick, NYX lipliner in Plum and MAC dazzleglass in Internationalist. If you spot me, this is what I will have on my need to inquire. Keep in mind, it's not for the faint at heart. It's bold, bright and glossy! I even got a thumbs up from hubby who hates lipstick. I gave him his own temporary Kenyon Martin tattoo in my purplish pink hue. When I asked my 6 year old if he loved my lipstick as much as I did, he said "No, Mom. That's just too much pink." Mission accomplished.

February 25, 2010

Review: Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation SPF 15

I have been wanting to try out this foundation for so long! I picked this up at the Chanel counter inside my local Macy's for $54.00. As with many foundations, I always get concerned about finding the right color match. My face demands a light nutty color with a very yellow base. Some companies can't get the yellow right and I end up looking ashy. Chanel didn't have a huge color range but I did get lucky with the shade Sand.

The consistency of this foundation is so silky and luxurious feeling. Like butta! It glides over your skin without feeling like you are applying a mask. Since I have oily skin, I spot treat the drier areas of my face with moisturizer before applying. The coverage is a buildable medium to full. If you have perfect skin...then you will only need a dime size amount for your entire face. The elasticity allows for so much coverage. I cover blemishes, scars and under eye circles with concealer and then use my fingers to apply a nickel size amount for a flawless face. I set using MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural. The finished look is polished and still allows your skin to shine through.

February 17, 2010

Winter Wallop

I thought being snowed in and off of work for a week would be an amazing little free vacation. What was I thinking? The three kids, my husband, my mom, brother and the dog in the house with no place to go but crazy!

The kids did enjoy watching the white out blizzard from the windows. They needed to burn off some energy so we sent them outside to play but, it didnt last very long. Mama didn't raise no fools. It was was too cold out for that plum foolery.

I can't stand the whole process of cleaning up after the kids come in from the snow. The slippery floor, the wet clothes, hats, and gloves. All the freaking layers that don't want to peel off. On to the baths because they are somehow sweaty, stinky and cold all at the same time. Then there's the laundry. You know after it's washed you can't just throw into the dryer. That would be way too easy. Everything has to be hung or laid flat to dry. A never ending cycle of housework just to play in the snow for 30 minutes.

 The adults spent alot of time watching movies and eating. I'm actually very scared to even look at the scale because all I really did was eat. Oh, and then I ate some more. Searched online for yummy recipes to eat, and watched a ton of the Food Network Channel shows of people eating. Shows like "The Best Thing I Ever Ate..." should be banned. Seriously.

The backyard!

February 11, 2010

Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper for MAC Viva Glam

These two ladies are the latest celebs to work with MAC Cosmetics for the Viva Glam campaign. 100% of all Viva Glam products go directly to the MAC AIDS Fund.
What more of a reason do you need to buy these universally flattering shades? Buying yourself or a friend a lipstick could help save a life.

Viva Glam Cyndi is a light reddish coral color with a high lustre finish. Viva Glam Gaga is described as a cool blue pink in a lustre finish.

Lady Gaga created quite a buzz around this line when she wore her bring baby pink shade to the Grammy's.

What do you guys think?

January 20, 2010

Communicating with Your Husband

The stress alone of managing a household as a wife and mother of three can bring someone to their knees. Now add these ingredients to the pot: full time employment, a part time freelancing career, weekend continuing education trainings, volunteering, mommy dearest and occasionally your 22 year old brother as new roommates and a lazy husband. Sprinkle in a few shakes of this and that...and it equals the true definition of OMG.

Sometimes it gets the best of me and I become bitter and angry for really no reason at all--but for every single reason in the world. Does that make sense? Eeny, meeny, miny, husband was target this time. I came across this article on that was such an eye opener that I had to share it. I hope it speaks to your spirit as it did mine.

Communicating with your Husband Gods way
By Martha Matthews

A marriage can only be as good as the communication between the husband and wife.

Good communication is vital to a healthy marriage. As wives, we desire to have a close relationship with our husband, but, unfortunately, we can sabotage it by what we say and how we say it. In this month's article, we will discuss the most common mistakes that women make in their communication and examples of how to implement godly communication.

Communication breakers:

1. Defensiveness
Defensiveness seems to be the hardest thing for a woman to see in herself. It comes from an attitude that says "My way is the best way." We don't listen to what our husband has to say. Instead, we formulate our response while he is speaking. When he is finished, we defend our position instead of taking to heart what he has said. This type of behavior exposes our pride and arrogance. Proverbs 18:2 says "A fool finds no pleasure understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

2. Beating around the bush
Hint, hint, hint. "He should know how he hurt me. It's obvious!" We expect our mate to figure out what it is that has us upset instead of being venerable and sharing how we are hurt. This type of behavior is a form of control and manipulation born out of our attempt to protect ourselves from being hurt further. "He doesn't care about me!" We therefore feel justified in making him miserable as we play this guessing game to make him prove he really does care. Ephesians 4:15 says, "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." We will become more mature and be closer with our spouse if we practice speaking the truth in love.

3. Complaining.
There are so many ways that this behavior manifests itself. The two that seem to be the most popular are a critical attitude and nagging. The critical woman is always critiquing what her husband does. She is never satisfied. The nagging wife thinks that the only way to get her husband to do what she wants is to badger him until he does it. Both women are never happy with what their husband does or says. It makes them wonder why they married their husbands in the first place. There are the cutting remarks, the sarcasm, the mockery, the name calling and in some cases cursing. When confronted, the offense is neatly presented as "I'm just expressing how I feel." The woman with a complaining spirit will eventually find that she has pushed her husband away; possibly into the arms of another woman. Philippians 2: 14-15 says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe". Proverbs 21:9 says, "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife". Proverbs 12: 18-19 says, "Reckless words pierce like an arrow, but the tongue of the wise brings healing".

4. Stuffing
He says something that hurts your feelings and then, because he's done the same thing a thousand times before, without any regard for how it makes you feel, you decide to give up and harden your heart. "He doesn't care so why should I even bother talking to him about it". We bury the hurt and it festers inside us. Eventually it has to come out and when it does, look out. Mount Vesuvius has nothing on you! "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold". Ephesians 4: 26-27.

5. Lying
If you want a close relationship with your husband it has to be built on the foundation of truth. Even the small lie that we tell to cover up our inadequacies causes a rift in our marriage. Whether it is a big lie or a little lie, when the lie is discovered; it leaves our husbands wondering who we really are. It hurts deeply when your spouse is not truthful with you. Lying erodes, and eventually destroys, our husband's trust in us. Proverbs 26:28. "A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin."

Communication builders:

1. Prayer
Great communication begins with our relationship with God. No one can help your marriage change if you are not willing to take your needs to the Lord. No advice, no marriage book, no counselor, and no self-help book can change your marriage if you don't pray. Begin by praying every day for God to give you both the wisdom to understand each other better and to communicate in a way that is pleasing to Him. Pray together if your husband is willing. When you pray together, you both get a chance to hear what is on the other's heart; what they are struggling with, what they are thankful for and what their hopes and dreams are. There is no better way to get close to your spouse than to pray together.

1 Thessalonians 5:16. "Be joyful always, pray continually."

2. Showing Respect
Ephesians 5: 33b says, "and the wife must respect her husband." That doesn't mean that you respect him only if he respects you first. That means that you respect your husband in thought (the heart), word (your speech) and deed (your actions).

How you say something, your tone, speaks volumes about what is really in your heart. You'd be surprised at what you communicate with your voice inflection. If you are angry, bitter, or frustrated, it is bound to come through in your tone of voice. If you are not sure how you sound, try this experiment. Put a tape recorder in a room where you and your husband converse most often and forget it is on. Then play it back to see how you sound. It can be a real eye opener.

Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones".

The words you say can also damage your relationship. It can be the little things you say to your husband on a daily basis or that one big blow up that causes deep hurt and regret. If you are prone to saying things in anger, know this, it only takes a moment to say something you will regret for the rest of your life. Take a moment to go into another room and pray. Pray for patience, restraint, compassion and a gentle spirit. Proverbs 13:3 says, "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." Proverbs 25:11. "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Listen to what your husband says; listen to hear. The longer we are married the less we seem to listen to really hear and understand what our spouse has to say. Don't let the kids, the television or your housework distract you. Focus on him when he is talking. Get clarification. Repeat back to him what you understood him to say.

3. Timing
Timing is another essential component to communication. Here are some things to avoid. Don't try to discuss something with your husband right before being romantic, or as he's going to work or coming home from work. You'd be surprised at how many women try to do this. Also, be considerate about when you choose to discuss important matters with your husband. If you want your husband's undivided attention, don't do it when he's watching his favorite program. Choose the time to convey your message wisely.
4. Building him up.
Practice complimenting your husband. Even if he says it doesn't matter, let him how great he looks. Compliment him as he goes out the door to work and when he gets dressed up to go on a date with you. You appreciate it when he tells you that you look nice, so does he; even if he doesn't admit it.

Practice verbal appreciation. Men were designed by God to take care of their families. Make sure you let him know often that you appreciate how hard he works and how he looks after the affairs of the family. Thank him for the everyday things he does. Don't take him for granted.

Ephesians 4:29. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

The way in which you communicate can make or break your relationship. If you don't put an effort forth to communicate in a godly way with your husband, you will be distant from each other. As the Bible teaches us, we reap what we sow. What are you sewing in your communication?

January 12, 2010

Our Instant Breakfast with ADHD

My oldest child doesn’t eat too much of anything during the school week because of Focalin XR, a stimulant he takes that is used to help with his ADHD. It completely takes away his appetite. However, with it he has done wonderfully in school, had a decrease in tantrums and we can even have family outings again without being the center of attention. Without this medication he behaved similar to a previously caged zoo animal--an adorable loving zoo animal might I add. Anyhoo, we had been serving him a large breakfast before his daily medication. Or even by having plenty of healthy (sometimes unhealthy) snacks around for him.

Honestly, I don’t always have the time to make a nice calorie rich and protein packed breakfast every morning. We started using Carnation Instant Breakfast and he loves it! Not only in the mornings but anytime he's up for "chocolate milk". It’s much more economical than Boost or Ensure. I even give it to my toddler who is a picky eater. It’s full of vitamins, proteins, and carbs and contains 130 calories. I think it's a wonderful product.

Today, we are trying out a new medication called Intuniv. 1mg for 7 days and then it increases from there. From my understanding it does the same thing as his Clonidine except in an extended release form. I’m hoping it controls his hyperactivity so can become focused enough to remove him from a stimulant all together--without making him drowsy!

Is that so much to ask? Apparently, it is. Ask any parent of a child faced with ADD/ADHD and you will find out it take lots and lots and lots of time, money and prayer to get the right combination unique to your child.

Let’s get this party started, shall we?

January 9, 2010

Nails: Orly Act Your Shoe Size

Products Used:
China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat
Orly Act Your Shoe Size
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

January 7, 2010

Super Stickies are Super Adorable!

I saw these post-it note like stickies on Close to Your Heart and thought they were freaking adorable. Had to "borrow" Stephanie's idea and use them myself. Make your own stickies here.

January 5, 2010

Review: Kirkland Signature Body Soap

I never go without Costco's Kirkland brand paper towels, bath tissue, and baby wipes. These products perform just as well as the name brands at only half the cost. On my last Costco visit I decided to replace my current Dove soap with the Kirkland Signature Body Soap. I paid around $12 for 15 individually wrapped bars. Both of my boys suffer from eczema and my daughter has sensitive skin. So, I'm always careful to buy soaps that are moisturizing without being full of fragrance. Dove and Oil of Olay brand soaps have never failed us at keeping their skin issues at bay. But, I'm always looking for a way to save a few dollars without compromising quality.

The soap lathered like a dream and smelled delicate light and fresh. Just what I have come to love about Dove soaps. However, once the soap was rinsed away it left a chalky film on my skin and in the bathtub that reminded me of Ivory soap. My skin didn't feel excessively dry but, definitely didn't feel moisturized from the soap that claims to be 25% moisturizing cream.  Sadly, it didn't meet my expectations and I will be returning it for a refund.