Thursday, August 30, 2012

Uh Oh, Mommy's Stressin' Out!


Guys I just got my NEW new header done, whattaya think?  It's about the ONLY thing I got accomplished today.  Seriously I spent hours and hours on it because I kept messing it up and making it not transparent and this and that and on and on.  Next week I hope to finish a matching FB cover (but it already looks like a pain in the ass) and button. I've also been modifying and rearranging gadgets. I'm trying to clean up my sidebars, they were such a hot mess! So I'll continue tweaking those next week as well.  I'm also looking for a tutorial on how to add a signature to blogger, but all of the ones I've found are for the old blogger.  Anyone know how to do it with the way blogger's set up now?  I'd appreciate it.

Nicole's wedding is THIS Sunday! I am so not prepared, and I am so ready for my MIL to stop calling me for the answers to things I have no f*cking clue about. Seriously, I'm waaaay out of the loop on this one!I'm at the point where it's like, ok, everyone else feel free to figure it out and just tell me what you come up with.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Liebster Awards!

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and  coming bloggers as a way to spread the word about smaller blogs who deserve a bigger audience.  This award is an honor, but once nominated you must earn it:
  • You must list 11 things about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions put to you by the person who nominated you
  • Choose up to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and post 11 questions for them to answer
  • Visit your nominee's pages to inform them of their award
 I've been nominated by both Laura fromThe Book of Lou Lou & Janna from Thoughts from a Mommy, Wife, and Friend.  I'll answer both of their sets of questions and then post 11 more things about me.

Wayman Publishing Bookfair & Giveaway

Wayman Publishing is throwing a Blogfest and Book Fair Giveaway during Labor Day Week in honor of Melynda Fleury, who came close to losing her eyesight because of diabetes. 

  • All entrants will receive a direct link (provided on Sept 1st) for unlimited FREE downloads of Wayman Publishings Top 10 books.
  • Mommy Blog Designs (yes, *that* Mommy Blog Designs!  You've already heard of her awesome service and seen her killer designs all over the blogosphere!) has agreed to give one lucky winner one of her Premade Designs with a full package - $269 value!
  • $200 Paypal CA$H

Infinity Best Friend Necklace Giveaway

Abby over at Mommy Moments with Abby is trying to have two beautiful weddings on a budget without missing out on the normal wedding expectations.  She's been blogging about her planning at Mommy Moments Getting Married. She's teamed up with Tyra Hand Made Jewelry to bring you this great giveaway!  Tyra has kindly offered to giveaway one of her best selling Infinity Best Friend Necklaces!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School!

Today's the day! The sun is shining, the tank is clean....

I'm sorry, I've got Finding Nemo on the brain today (First day of school! First day of school!)

And the sun is definitely NOT shining! The rain did let up before it was time to head to the bus though, so we can't complain.

 Matt was excited to go this morning, and Luke was barely phased.  He waved goodbye and headed right back inside!  It's all good  :D

Here's to a great school year for Matthew, and to all the mommas and their kiddos!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Last Day

Today is my last day of summer. 
Today is the last day I'll spend at home with my two boys.

I work this weekend, and Matthew starts school on Monday.  Already!  I know for some of you school has been open for a week or two, but we're only just about to step into the school year.  When I was growing up school never started until after Labor Day.  Starting in August seems so early to me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seeking Bloggers for a FREE Opportunity!

I'm proud to be participating in Melynda's Labor Day Blogfest & Book Fair!  Wayman Publishing, VoiceBoks, Linkie's Contest Linkies, Mommy Blog Designs & Terri's Little Haven are teaming up to bring you a free giveaway opportunity.

Prizes include unlimited free downloads of their top ten bestselling books to all entrants, a full package premade design from Mommy Blog Designs, and a cash prize of AT LEAST $100.

There is still time to sign up to be a part of this great giveaway!  Click below for more details.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Back to School Haircut

Campaign 19 Top Picks

Welcome to Campaign 19!  
To browse through the regular brochure page by page, along with mark., Tiny Tillia, the Avon Outlet, & others visit my website by clicking the AVON Storefront tab
 visit our Facebook page!

Get ready for some spooky fun with Avon's wide assortment of Halloween decor & accessories!  My favorite is the Sparkling Halloween Tree, but there are really SO many to love!

NEW!  Kohl Eye Liner
This is an intense, easy to smudge liner.  Soft, velvety cream can be used along the inside rim of the eye.
Special introductory price: $3.49
Don't miss out, the regular price will be $7!

Check out these *adorable* booties!
Leopard Print Bootie with Ruffles
Chiffon-covered-mess upper.  Heel zipper.  Satin-covered heel, 3 1/2" heel with a 3/8" platform.  Skid-resistant sole.  Padded footbed and breathable mesh upper.  Whole sizes 6-10
Introductory offer $39.99

 Deodorant Body Spray- 24 hour protection!

In scents reminiscent of Axe body sprays, these deodorant sprays are perfect for your young man!  Tuck a few of these into his college boxes before he heads away, or if yours is still at home in high school, into his gym bag!
Introductory special $4.99 each (will be $7.50)

Anew Platinum, Ultimate 7s, Reversalist, and Rejuvenate lines are all mix & match BUY 1 Get 1 for $10.  Check out my store to see the complete selection.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weddings are Expensive!

If I haven't mentioned it before, my sister in law is getting married.  In, like, two weeks.  She asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, and I was and am ecstatic to be a part of her wedding.  Over the years Nicole (yes, Eric's sister's name is also Nicole.  I know, kinda weird and creepy) and I have become very close, neither one of us having a sister.  I love her to death and she's marrying a great guy and none of us can wait for her to start having babies and giving my boys cousins!

The thing is, when I agreed to be a bridesmaid, I had NO idea what kind of cost that would entail.  People, we are poor.  No, really.  We are POOR.  Foodstamps poor.  No car, no cable, use the neighbor's Wifi poor. 

I believe Nicole has tried to make things as easy as possible for me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Slow Going

Last Thursday my Avon order came in.  I love sorting out everyone's orders and packing their bags with new brochures and samples!  Unpacking the box makes a huge mess in the living room and making up door hangers with samples takes hours.  It's so much fun!
Yesterday we went for a walk and Matthew helped me hang bags on doors.  This is the first time I'm really trying to reach out to strangers to boost my business, and I'm really hoping it works.  I need it to work!

This will be my first campaign without the newbie commission boost, so unless I land more sales, I'm afraid I won't be able to even afford being a rep.  So far my orders have all come from friends, family, and coworkers, and I really appreciate their business but I need more.  I would hate to give up on something that I enjoy so much!

I'm going to try to slip Avon into a few more tweets during the week, and I'm thinking about making a page on Facebook also.  I'm definitely NOT going to start an Avon only blog!  I have a lot of time on my hands, but I don't have *that* much time!  It's a little frustrating because the only thing I've gotten for my efforts on the web have been scams.  Good thing I'm a smart little cookie :D

If any of you wonderful readers would like to host an eParty on your blog, I'd love to set one up.  Hostesses get a discount on their personal orders equivalent to my rep discount!  Now is a good time because Avon has all of their adorable Halloween decor available.  If anyone's interested, let me know!  And if you'd like to visit my Avon store and register as a customer you'll get an email once every two weeks when the new campaign starts.  That's it!  I promise your inbox won't get flooded!

Now before I start flat out begging for customers...

Have a good weekend everyone, see you on Monday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Ice Cream Truck

Daddy's Going Back to School

So, Eric has been talking about going back to school for some time now.  Years, actually.  We both have.  About a year ago he was thinking about going for accounting and I was very pleased with the idea.  Accounting is something he could do easily; he's great with numbers.  Too bad he changed his mind.

In the spring he filled out the FAFSA to see what kind of aid he'd be eligible for.  As it turns out, with our situation, he can pretty much go to school part time for free.  So he enrolled at Lehigh Carbon Community College.  He took his placement tests in late spring to see what prerequisites he'd need.  Not for accounting, oh, no.  For biotechnology.

Are you friggin' kidding me?  One thing about my husband: he's got BIG dreams.  Sometimes I feel that his dreams are too big.  Yes, when we met in college he was majoring in biology.  Let's be realistic here, though.  He only spent ONE semester in college.  And he's 29.  And it would take foreeeeeeeeever to finish his schooling on a part time basis, what with only being able to take 3 classes per semester, and then graduate school after that.  No.  I just couldn't see that working in our family's favor.

He went and enrolled anyway, assuring me that he'd be able to get a relevant job in the field, twirling test tubes for some cancer-curing genius calling all the shots, in just a couple of years.

How could I say no to this when I've said no to so many other things?  I tried.  I backed off when I started searching for the kinds of jobs you could get with a biotechnology major.  Maybe he could get a job twirling test tubes.

Recently he's been scheming ways to make money.  Not scheming, really, but, you know.  The latest involves buying about a gross of Christmas ornaments, opening a kiosk in the mall, and selling them to people with their names on them.  Who'd be glitter gluing "The Jones'" on gold balls for the public at this kiosk while he works 65+ hours a week during his work's holiday rush?

Yeah.  You know who.

I don't consider myself a negative person (but maybe I am).  I'm just realistic.  Lots of people decorate their own Christmas ornaments at home.  The rent for a kiosk during the holidays even in our lame mall would be way too exorbitant.  And with what money are we buying the supplies?

One thing that came of this recent scheme?  He's decided to switch his major from biotechnology to business management.  Thank.  God.  It's too late to switch classes, so he will be taking a biology class this semester.  I hope he doesn't enjoy it too much and change his mind back.

His books arrived today.  I'm excited for him, and excited that this is a step forward for our entire family.  In just a couple of weeks, I'll have two of my boys in school!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Super Heroes


 When I came home from work last night, my living room was wallpapered!  Here's a sample of my new living room decor:


Matt has loved Ironman since the movie came out, and he's been the subject of several portraits.

We have a very similar picture to this already hanging next to the bathroom.  This one gets the costume in a little more detail.
The only thing I don't like is the Edward Scissorhands thing that's been going on with all of Matt's people.  A phase I can't wait for him to improve!

Captain America

Without a doubt, Lucas' favorite super hero!  I'm glad I got a picture of this one, because Matt tried to cut him out and he lost a leg :(

 Angry Birds

I don't know where this one even came from!  We don't play Angry Birds, but suddenly Matt is obsessed, and even managed to get Nana to buy him an Angry Birds t-shirt.
I have to admit, though, I LOVE the beaks and slanty eyes!

Does anyone recognize this last one?  A cracked up when I saw him!

Old school!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sometimes Accidents Happen, Sometimes People are Dumbasses

We've all heard the tragic stories: mom or dad forgets that a sleeping baby is in the back seat and they trudge off to work with baby in the car.  They come back for lunch, or at the end of the day, and are faced with a dead child.  It's heartbreaking, but it happens all too often, especially if there was a change in the daily routine.  It's just the way our brains are wired.  That's why they tell you to keep a stuffed animal in the carseat when it's empty, and to put it on the front seat when baby's back there.  That way if you do forget, at least there's something tangible to remind you.

When you see news like this in the paper though, it makes you want to vomit.  A woman left her five children, ages 10 months, 2, 6, 11, and 12 in the car with the windows cracked open while she gambled in the local casino.  Security officers found the children in the car, alive, thank God, and attempted to page the mother.  Attempted to page her for over an HOUR.  While  security footage shows she played SLOT MACHINES.  By the way, it was 91 degrees outside that day.

What the f*ck?!

Who freakin knows how long those kids were in the car BEFORE security officers found the kids and started tracking down their neglectful mother.  The oldest daughter had a cellphone and knew the number to reach her mother, but her mother didn't have a phone on her.  Way to go, mom.  She's been arraigned on five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and sent to county prison under $10,000 bail.  I'd be willing to bet that her bail is far more than those slots were paying out.

"District Attorney John Morganelli.... has said his office will seek 'severe sanctions' for parents who leave their kids alone while gambling.  He said none of those charged would be allowed to participate in a first-time offenders' program."  Apparently this isn't the first case in my area of the world of parents leaving their kids in cars while at a casino.  There have been ten other cases in the past two years in a nearby county.  What is wrong with people?!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Over the Mess

My boys have way too many toys.  I can't keep up with the mess, Matt can't keep up with the mess, and Lucas... well, he just adds to the mess.  Their room is the last place in the house I want to clean.  I thought practical storage solutions (in the form of two Cubeicles) would help.  They do, to an extent, but my boys, especially Lucas, tend to play with EVERYTHING at once.  So even though all of the cars have their own cubby drawer, even though all of the castle accessories have their own cubby drawer, even though all of the Potato Heads are in their own cubby drawer...nothing is actually *in* the drawers.  It's all over the floor.  Every.  Single.  Day.

It doesn't help that Lucas is systematically dumping things behind us when Matt and I tackle the disaster.  We never make any ground!  A part of me thinks it wouldn't be so overwhelming if they had less toys.  Another part of me reminds me that the toys that they have, they *do* still play with.  It's not like we have baby toys collecting dust.  I get rid of toys they don't play with at least four times a year, and still they have a ton.

I told Eric that I don't even want to get them toys this year for Christmas.  I'd rather get them things like new bedspreads, new curtains, maybe some shelving to keep the DVDs out of Luke's reach, a new DVD player because theirs recently died.  They'll get plenty of toys from my parents, his mom, his dad, and his sister.  Not that they won't get anything "fun."  We've already decided to get Matt an original DS and have a game for him.  Lucas will probably get one thing from us that he'll really love.  Other than that though, do we really need to get them a million toys?  Why not go for quality over quantity this year?  Matt doesn't need any more cars or blocks.  Luke doesn't need anymore anything, because he plays with all of his brother's toys.  Until they can keep up after themselves, I'm throwing my hands up!  I refuse to add to the burden.

Eric's not completely sold on the idea, and I get it.  He wants to give the boys those magical Christmases.  I'm just so over all the excess.  Am I wrong to feel this way?

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Really Fun, Easy, & Cheap Craft

Matthew's back from Florida!  He's been back since Monday, and I've just been trying to get back into the swing of things.  I've barely been on Facebook, not at all on Twitter, and I don't think I've even checked my gmail yet.  I told myself I'd get started on Monday, but I know that's the lazy way out, and truthfully, this post should have been done last week!  So here goes!

Raising Bean
I love my subscription to Disney's Family Fun Magazine.  There's at least one thing I want to try in every issue, be it a recipe, a craft, or even clever mom solutions that readers submit.  I'm not much of a crafter or a chef, but I have tried many of their ideas, and have many more ripped out and stashed away because I really really want to try them!

In the latest issue there were a bunch of crafts that featured using sticks and stones.  The one that caught my attention was the Pebble Plaque (Family Fun Aug 2012, pg 63).  This looked so cool and easy that I couldn't *not* try it!  Basically it's a mosaic using simple dough for the base and pebbles for the design.

"This project starts with a trip outdoors to collect a basket of small, beautiful stones for an all-natural mosaic."  So, outdoors we headed.  Living so close to the Lehigh River has its advantages.  One of them being an endless supply of river rocks!  Lucas helped me pick out rocks he liked.  He also threw back the rocks I picked that he *didn't* like.  In the end, I had to give him the bucket to fill with whatever he chose, and I put the smallest, flattest stones I could find in a plastic zip bag.  I didn't bring home nearly as many as I wanted to, but it turned out I had plenty!
When we got home I rinsed all the dirt, mud, and grime off of the stones and gave them time to dry.  Then I tried to figure out what designs I would make with them in the dough.  Once I had my rocks set up the way I wanted them, I went off the grid... I painted them.
With nail polish.
I don't have any other paint in the house, ok?  Yeah, I could've left them unspoiled, but my creative side was waking up, and I couldn't leave them plain.  Except for little turtle-y over there.  I don't have green nail polish. ;)

The next step was to make the dough, so here's the recipe and instructions for that:

3 cups of flour
1 cup salt
1 1/4 cups water (plus up to an additional 1/4 cup as needed)

Heat the oven to 275.

Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the ingredients together until a ball forms.  If the mixture is still crumbly, add more water.

Knead the dough until it's smooth.  Divide the dough into three balls (I got a little creative again in this part.  After dividing the dough, I added food coloring, and kneaded it in.).  Place each ball on a piece of foil and flatten it into a disk.  Press pebbles into the dough to create a design.

Transfer the foil and dough onto a baking sheet.  Bake the plaques for two hours, then let them cool completely.  Check to see if any pebbles are loose; if so, remove them, add a drop of tacky glue, and replace them.

Here's our end result:

I think they came out great, and they were super easy and fun to make, not to mention free!  I would definitely recommend trying it yourself.