We’re on the go about once a month, if not more. We’re either driving to my parents house, which is two hours away. We went to the ocean in August and September. That’s a three hour trip each way, and the drive earlier this month was totally worth it.
In July we drove down to Williamsburg and we’ll be doing it again next month! That’s another three hour drive…one way! We get to kill two birds with one stone on that trip. We get to stay with family and visit Busch Gardens! Not a bad way to spend a weekend!
When we make these trips I always have a cooler and a bag of snacks. I’m not a fan of eating out too much when we’re on the road. I mean, if I can bring sandwiches, fruit, drinks, and snacks, why stop? Ok, the occasional potty and gas break. I’m totally down for that.
This time the snack we took to go visit my mom for her 70th birthday was Red Vines Fruit Vines Bites. My boys are big fans of Red Vines. They get this from their dad. I’m not a big snacker, but my boys have snacks at home and on the road. What is it about road trips that makes us want to snack?
Now Red Vines has Fruit Vines Bites. We were able to try different sizes with their packaging. The Bites were the same, just a different way to have them during your day. I liked the small packages because those ones could be tossed into the boys’ lunches. My favorite was the resealable bag because it’s going to stay fresh longer.
We got to try out the strawberry and cherry flavors. The boys were passing them back and forth. Funny thing was, they wanted to try the Fruit Vines in the different packages as if they’d taste different. Ooooook Don’t ask. I have no idea.
Well, when we took a trip to the ocean the next week (I forgot to get pics) as soon as Fred saw I had them for snacks, he was ripping into them. Geez, like Red Vines much? I had no idea he liked them as much as he does. Not taken. I guess when we head down to Williamsburg next month I know what we’ll be taking along with us!
Thursday, September 25, 2014
We’re on the go about once a month, if not more. We’re either driving to my parents house, which is two hours away. We went to the ocean in August and September. That’s a three hour trip each way, and the drive earlier this month was totally worth it.
Words Woven by Mimi B at 12:21 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The past few weeks have been SO crazy. The boys went back to school and I started on two new teams at work. We went to the ocean one Saturday. Another weekend we went to my mom’s to celebrate her 70th birthday. I’m gone at night during the week for soccer, church, date night, and who knows what else shows up on the calendar. That being said, I’m behind on my reviews. Today I’m finally able to sit down and hopefully finish a few!
I think I’ve mentioned once (or a a dozen times) that we live in a small house. On top of that, we have well water. Well water at my house isn’t drinkable. Last month we got a water dispenser. This month we have reusable water bottles. We’re on the right path!
The Reduce WaterWeek Kids bottles have come in handy! Since we’ve stopped using plastic water bottles, because of our water dispenser, these new Kaleidoscope bottles have been awesome. The boys are used to the plastic bottles and want to be able to drink water and then put a lid back on like they used to.
What I like, that comes with these bottles, is the holder. Instead of the bottles being knocked around the fridge, they sit in a little white fridge tray. There are 5 that come in a set so that you can use them for your child’s lunch for school. We used them on our trip to the ocean. The kids each got one and Fred and I shared one. Super convenient and easy to tote around. The bonus, because each bottle is different colored, there was no mixing them up like you would a plastic disposable bottle!
Now, this next kitchen gadget is fun, but has been somewhat of a challenge for us. lol In a good way and it’s been an amusing time of playing “getting to know you.” Let me introduce you to the Freiling ABC 123 Baking Pan.
I’m not a foodie, but I love baking. This was challenging because there were no English directions that came with it. Not that it necessarily needed them because it’s a baking pan, but because we weren’t sure what temp we should bake the dough at or for how long. Everything was in German and in European degrees.
Our first attempt was amusing. We thought we had converted the temp correctly, but just a couple of minutes in the cookies were already burning. Those went right into the trash. The great part in all of these attempts is that you use so little batter mistakes aren’t a big deal.
The next attempt had us dropping the temp and the time we cooked them. I also hovered over mom’s oven like a hawk. After they’d cooked for a few minutes I could tell they were cooking faster than what I wanted so I pulled them out after another minute of baking. Several of the cookies didn’t turn out right because I didn’t put enough of the batter in the letter. Shoot the moon!
Finally they started to turn out right and everyone’s interest was piqued. Unfortunately, with everyone so interested in these letter and number shaped cookies, every time I turned around another letter or number had disappeared. So not helpful.
I was so impatient that when I tried to put the icing on the cookies, they were too warm and the icing just slid off. Yea, rookie move, but everyone was chomping at the bit to eat them. And no, you won’t see the picture I took of the cookies frosted because they were too embarrassing to capture “on film.” We were celebrating mom’s birthday so I redid yet another couple of batches so that I could spell out Happy 70th. She thought those were so stinkin’ cute, and so did we!
Next…oh, next we have the Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker! Coolest. Thing. Eh-ver! We were all riveted to this awesome gadget. By now I think everyone, aside from my mom, had heard of Zoku. She kept watching it with fascination. lol
I wanted to have fun and do a theme with the pops. I searched Pinterest for some inspiration and man did I find it. There are some seriously amazing ideas on there. Endless suggestions. I also watched a couple of videos to learn how to use the Zoku. I wanted to get creative right from the get-go, but was missing the Character Kit. I couldn’t find it at any stores near us and didn’t have the patience to order it. lol I did find the Tools Set and bought that because I knew it would come in handy!
So, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to tell, but I wanted to go with a Star Wars theme. Now…hahahaha…I’ve got a LOT to improve on. Figuring out how to use different fruits or veggies to be different shapes like a belt or a patch or who knows what else. =)
I had the darndest time getting the fruit to stick because I didn’t have the Character Kit to keep everything in place. Next time I’ll have it an they’ll turn out better. Practice makes perfect, eh?
Ahead of time, I figured out what I thought might make good coloring for the Star Wars characters. I had to figure out which ones I wanted to do, too. After I got them finished I thought of various ways to improve on the finished product. Next time I tell ya.
For the flavors, I used sour apple Kool-Aid for Yoda, Gatorade for the Storm Trooper, coffee & creamer for Chewbacca, and black cherry Kool-Aid for Darth Vader. I think next time I’d do something for ears, add black for the Storm Trooper, dip the wookie in crushed cookie crumbs for “fur”, and add more red to Darth.
Words Woven by Mimi B at 12:45 AM
Monday, September 22, 2014
Every year for the past 7 years I’ve taken one or both of my boys to a Minnesota Twins baseball game. We used to get THE best seats at the Metrodome. I’d get family seating and on a kids day. The tickets were about $20 each and included a pop and hotdog. On kids day the boys would either get a jersey or baseball bat for free! It was awesome.
Our seats were always in center outfield right behind Denard Span (who’s now a Washington Nationals player!). The seats would be a handful of rows up from the field. These were the “cheap” seats. We loved those seats! We weren’t up in the nose bleed sections, we could see the entire game, and were up close with Span’s plays. We didn’t care that our seats weren’t behind home plate. We were just happy to be at the games.
Then they built Target Field, the new open stadium for the Twins. Everyone loves it. We loved it, but miss our old seats. They’re no longer available because it’s open with signage behind center outfield. I won tickets once and sat just behind 1st base a few rows from the field. Other times we sat super high, one time just one row down from the top. THAT kind of freaked me out being so high. It was also where families with babies and little kids were so they were up and down, in and out constantly. No way was I getting those seats again.
Then we moved. UGH! How were we going to see the Twins? Turns out they’re in the same league as the Baltimore Orioles. That meant if we wanted to see our Twins we’d have to go to Camden Yards.
I got tickets for all of us to go to the game at the end of August. I went through StubHub, which I had never done before. I’m always leery about buying something like that. I asked people on Facebook of their experiences using it, and it was all positive. The boys’ seats were 2 rows down from us and several seats over.
Going to the game, the 3 of us wore Twins jerseys. I was a bit nervous about how we’d be received since we were at the home team’s field and the O’s were trying to clinch a spot in the Playoffs. Baltimore is a really tough city. Would that spill over to the baseball game?
As soon as we sat down, I leaned over to the lady next to me and apologized ahead of time because I tend to yell at sporting events. She said she was totally fine with it because she’d be yelling for her team, too. Whew, ok! I looked around the sea of orange and found several Twins jerseys.
The game didn’t go so great. We’ve never seen a grand slam before, but had the opportunity at this game. Unfortunately it was by the Orioles. So disappointing. The Twins did come back with a homerun, but it wasn’t enough to make an impact on the end score.
Let me tell you, when the Twins got that homerun, I stood up yelling and pretending to Hi-5 Twins fans around me like I’d do back home. lol Now, by this point, I’ve made friendly with the people around us. They were harassing me and I was harassing back. It was good, clean fun! Made the game more fun! All of the Orioles fans we ran into were super nice to me and the boys (and Fred who wasn’t wearing Twins gear).
We didn’t win by any stretch of the imagination, but it was so fantastic to see our team. The boys were able to go with their older sister last year when they went home to visit in July. That means the boys haven’t missed a year yet. So, I’ve got a goal. Whether they’re here in Maryland or back home in Minnesota, they will get to see a Twins game. Buddy is growing out of the free gear, but Doodle isn’t. I’ll have to start planning in the early spring next year! lol
Do you love baseball? Who do you root for?
Words Woven by Mimi B at 12:00 AM
Sunday, September 14, 2014
When the boys and I lived at our lake home, when I first moved to Minnesota, we'd been there for a couple of years and we started seeing a cat hanging out across the street. There were fields across from us, so it was more than likely a stray. Against my ex's wishes, because I knew he was all talk, we let the cat into the house. We put up some signs and called around. I ended up taking the cat to the vet and it turned out he was probably a couple of years old and had been neutered. He was someone's cat, but no one ever claimed him.
We named him Simba, because at the time, The Lion King was a favorite in our house and he became my oldest son's cat. He was just the coolest cat. He acts more like a Labrador Retriever than a cat. He loves to be hugged and kissed. You know how lions bump their heads up against other lions in the wilderness (at least they do on tv), he does the same thing to us. He's just so laid back.
We moved from our lake house to a house out in the country and after we had been there for a year, the kids and I had driven down to Chicago for a week. Well, our house flooded. Not too long after that, Simba had a major bladder infection and we almost lost him. The vet tech said she'd never seen anything so bad and if he had been a human, he'd have been on dialysis. He rebounded, but he was never the same health wise.
My friend Becky kept him for over 6 months after we moved from Minnesota. Last December we flew both of our cats, Simba and Pearl out to live with us here. For future reference, something like that costs over $600! We were so happy to have them here with us. We've never been without a cat or a dog in the home.
Simba and Pearl had been without us for almost a year. They adjusted pretty well to their new surroundings. I think they were just happy to be back with me and the boys. On a side note, Pearl is 16 yrs old and we think Simba is probably 11? Maybe 12?
Well, not too long ago, Simba just started not doing so well. He was constipated all of the time. He also had some sores around his neck. He didn't seem like he was interested in taking care of himself. The boys and I had gone over to VA for my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and when we got back, he had gunk all around his eyes. I knew he had to see a vet.
Honestly, I thought they'd give him an enema to loosen up his stool and off we'd go. Oh, how naive I am. The vet came in and took a look at him. She started telling me what she thought they should do and how we might be able to proceed. I had a feeling it was going to cost me about $350, and they'd end up telling me he had a virus or something that would be fixed with an antibiotic. When she took him to get some tests done, she had her vet tech come back and get the towel that had been in the cat carrier. Simba has an aversion to the car so he pees immediately when he's put into a kennel. He's always done this since we got him.
She came back and told me he had Type 2 Diabetes. Well, ok. I have no idea what that means. She went on to explain about the shots, the testing, the monitoring, food changes, etc. She also said she'd need to give him a shot of antibiotics for the sores on his neck and yucky eyes. They needed to do blood work and test his urine. Oh, and they had medication and the dispenser for the needles. That's when she asked me if I wanted her to continue with everything.
Sigh...what was I supposed to do? He has Diabetes. It's something that's manageable. How can I say no to that? The medication isn't cheap at about $100/mo if I'm lucky and his dosage doesn't need to be raised too much. Do I have my financial limit? Unfortunately, yes I do. As a single mom on a limited income and no child support, I can only spend so much. I told her to do what she needed to. I had no idea that mean a $550 bill to walk out with my cat and his medication. I couldn't even speak to the receptionist because I was in such shock.
I started out giving Simba his first shot that night. Buddy came in and held his head as I gave my very first shot. I had no clue how thick cat skin is! I couldn't get the needle to go in at first. I've never given shots before so I thought it would be like butter. It wasn't. Simba did awesome though. I've been giving it to him twice a day for a week. He gets soft food and as soon as he's done he gets a shot. He just lays there while I "pet" him. lol Sometimes he leaves the room before I give him his shot. I just sit on the floor, call him over and he lays down in front of me. Thankful I don't have some spazzy cat that I have to give the shots to.
One thing I'm so thankful for is having such mellow, lovey dovey cats.
Next week I have to take Simba back to the vet so he can be monitored throughout the day to see if his meds are where they need to be. Thankfully the vet understands my financial position. She just continues to say, "you do what you can." Turns out she's a single mom, too. Instead of going back in a week later (I was out of cashola) we're going back next week after pay day. I actually increased his dosage to 2 units. I also went out and bought him grain free hard food that's holistic. The lady at the pet store said he needed a low protein diet, as well as grain free. The bag I bought...twice as expensive as the Cat Chow they've always eaten and is 1/4 the size of the bag we've always had. They aren't fans of new or "fancy" food. They're not handling that change well. Hoping I find something they'll both like because the cats eat together. The vet said cats don't do well with carbs and that's one way they end up with diabetes.
Words Woven by Mimi B at 9:21 PM
Monday, September 8, 2014
My friend Maureen over at WisconsinMommy.com recently signed on with the Shop Your Way Rewards Program as a personal shopper. While I know many of you are familiar with the Shop Your Way Rewards Program, I’m going to guess that most of you don’t know how easy it is to sign up and earn free rewards! Realizing this, I partnered with Maureen to offer a giveaway just to give you an incentive to sign up with her as your personal shopper!
One of my favorite things is that you can spend points as you earn them – you don’t have to save up until you hit a specific amount.
Why sign up for a personal shopper?
Enter to win $100 giftcard to Kmart/Sears or Amazon – you pick!!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!
Words Woven by Mimi B at 12:52 PM
I’ve never done an official tailgate. *hangs head in shame* I love sports. I love football. I just can’t afford to go to professional games so tailgating isn’t something we get to do often. I want to hang out with my brother more often because he and his buddies like to tailgate. In fact, they’ll be heading down to VA Tech to watch several games this season and they’ll be tailgating with people who take that activity very seriously.
I know it sounds silly, but I love the whole atmosphere of sports. I’m the person yelling in the stands, clapping loudly, and when my fingers cooperate I’m whistling. I really get into the game, no matter what I’m watching. Football or baseball, it doesn’t matter, let’s just play ball!
When you think about tailgating, you have to have the right gear. I’ve slowly, but surely, started stocking up on essentials. I got some fun food trays, liners for the trays, place mats, and an awesome Wilton Armetale bowl.
Something I had NO clue about when I moved to Maryland was their obsession with crab in their food. Holy cow, I’ve been exposed to it on a regular basis since we got here. Fred, he would eat crab every day if he was able to. When I came to him looking for ideas on what to make he suggested crab dip. Go figure.
I haven’t any ideas or recipes that include crab. Fred came to the rescue by using a recipe on the site of his favorite seasoning…Old Bay. He should have industrial size containers the way he goes through that stuff. He’s learned to tamper it in foods I eat.
He’s also great in the kitchen and he taught me how to work with crab. Turns out I’m OCD about certain things. Who knew? When we were sifting through the crab meat to make sure all the tiny shell pieces were taken out, I found I could’ve gone through that stuff all day long finding just one more tiny piece. He finally had to just take the stuff away from me so he could put his recipe together.
He took all of the ingredients and mixed them in the bowl. After he got it ready, he stuck it in the fridge overnight. We had been invited out with friends and were ready for the next day. After church, we headed out to our friend’s and brought the remaining ingredients to cook at their house.
I got distracted after we’d got to our friend’s house, and Fred took it all in stride. He’s the cook in the family, and knows I’m easily distracted. He brought our dish into the kitchen and the next thing I know, our crab dip is ready.
The bowl stayed hot for the length of the party! He was able to cook the dip IN the bowl because it’s safe for the oven, stove, or grill. This is why you could take this bowl to tailgating at a sporting event. You could bring your Wilton Armetale bowl, use your portable grill, and have a dip ready as you hang with your friends rooting on your favorite team!
I’m not a fan of crab dip so I let Fred keep the bowl and the dip after the party. He ate the rest of the leftovers and then made the mistake of putting it in the dishwasher. NOTE: They are NOT dishwasher safe. I didn’t even think about that when he kept it to finish it off. So, when I got it back, it wasn’t a shiny bowl any more. Sad panda. Now I’ll have to use baking soda with water and get it back to it’s gleaming finish.
If you’re a crab dip fan, here’s the recipe:
If you’re up for tailgating be sure to enter this giveaway for a Medium Bowl, Pitcher, Cracker Tray, and Handle Tray.
Words Woven by Mimi B at 1:22 AM
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Wow, have your kids gone back to school yet? I would imagine with Labor Day past everyone is back to school. My boys have been back for a week and my sophomore is already sick with his first cold. I guess that’s what we get for being so shut in all summer. I teamed up with The Motherhood and Johnson & Johnson to help families get the school year started off on the right, healthy note!
The week before school started I started cutting back the summer hours the boys were staying up til. Bedtimes and adhering to them during the school week is important to me. Secondarily it’s important to the boys and their success at school. A tired kid has a hard time learning.
I want my boys to learn to take care of themselves by getting enough rest, eating healthy (or at least thinking about eating healthy), and taking care of their bodies and minds.
At bedtime Buddy uses the Clean and Clear every night. He’s 15 and going through all those fun hormonal changes. Mornings before school he’s using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. Even if he’s still breaking out because of hormones, at least his skin will be taken care of. Clean & Clear Advantage has been shown to reduce pimples in just four hours. The medication starts to clear pimples immediately with maximum strength 2% Salicylic acid. They are reduced in size, swelling and redness, and the formula won’t over-dry skin. I need to get Buddy using the Wash at bedtime before he using the acne cream. Revolutionary MicroClear® technology pushes medicine deep into pores to fight both the acne you see, and the acne that’s forming below the surface.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum is occasionally taking care of myself. A couple of weeks ago I started using the RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. I’m always skeptical about these products, but yes, I have what I call sleep lines that are disappearing! The ones that are back along my jaw line have pretty much become unnoticeable. I have two others closer to my chin that are deeper, but I’m seeing improvement there as well. I’m hoping the biggest change will be the wrinkles on my forehead. They drive me insane. I see a difference, but they’re deep so will take longer to see a change. It contains an exclusive combination of pure Retinol and an essential mineral complex that is clinically shown to visibly reduce even deep wrinkles after 12 weeks’ use.
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Words Woven by Mimi B at 11:08 AM
I’m so excited to be on a roll with some awesome giveaways! Now that school is in full swing, it’s time to fill the wallet back up after all of the back to school gear that was purchased! Now’s the time to enter!
Welcome to the $500 Sweet September Cash Giveaway!
Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.
If you love entering giveaways, visit Giveaway Promote to find the greatest giveaways listed in one place.
Words Woven by Mimi B at 12:16 AM
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Last year, Buddy got a pair of SOL REPUBLIC headphones for Christmas. I’ve been ever so slightly jealous of them since then. I got to try them before he did and knew they were comfortable and they’ve got great sound.
When I had the opportunity to get a pair of my very own, I jumped on it right away. The hardest part for me was deciding between in ear headphones or over the ear. I went with over the ear. Then they arrived and guess what? Doodle’s headphones started having issues. Gah! For real? So I let him use “mine” (interpret as “his”). I’m thinking I won’t see them again.
We got the SOL REPUBLIC Tracks AIR just in time for school to start. With all of the gadgets we have, mostly the boys have, and being in a one room house, headphones are a necessity.
Neither of the boys really likes to be plugged in unless they’re charging. That’s where the Super Power Wireless comes in handy. Doodle has a tablet and iPod so he’s using the new headphones with those. Buddy has his own pair of Tracks AIR and with his brand new smartphone, he’ll be able to be on the laptop and answer his cell phone at the same time. Have I mentioned how stinkin’ cool these are?
The one thing we’ll have to do is swap the color of Doodle’s headband. The boys like to be able to easily tell the different between their things and these bad boys will be NO different. I will nip arguments of who’s are who’s by grabbing a new color in the butt. I think Doodle would go with the Vivid Red because of their old school colors.
Turns out they’re great for traveling, too. First vacation was over Labor Day weekend and the headphones came in veeeery handy! Movies being watched, music being listened to, and games being played, all done with the Tracks AIR’s on and silence in the car aside from me listening to the radio!
For all you technical peeps out there who like to know the nitty gritty about your products, the Tracks AIR have Sonic Soft ™ Speaker Pads. And yes, they’re very soft and the padding over the head is comfortable, too. There’s a 15 hr battery life. You can be up to 150’ away from your wireless device for it to continue to get signal.
Now you have a chance to win an awesome pair below. Be sure to read the Terms & Conditions to make sure you qualify! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Words Woven by Mimi B at 8:09 AM