Thursday, January 31, 2013

My New Desk and Work Space from Staples

When the boys and I moved here last month, we only brought what we could fit in the van. I had no idea what the weather would be like driving across the Midwest at Christmas and figured it would be better not to pull a trailer. Unfortunately, that meant we left a LOT behind. One of those things was my desk.

I loved that desk because it had so many cubbies and a shelf. It was perfect for what I needed. I knew once we got settled in I’d need to find a desk for my small spot. My dad and brother, oh boy, they have a big set up downstairs with all of their computer gaming stuff and their desks? lol They’re huge! I was given a space next to my dad’s computer and could only fit a desk up to 65” wide.
Staples Whalen Bedford Desk & Hutch
So, I went searching at Staples to see what they might have. I knew there were a lot of things I needed while getting settled in, but with the new job, a desk took precedence. lol Do you know how hard it is choosing a desk? Of course, when I started looking I didn’t think it would be that difficult.

I had a price range that I wanted to stick to, but I also wanted to find something I would actually like, you know what I mean? Isn’t that the way it always is when you’re shopping? My mom always told me to marry someone rich because of my tastes. =) That’s not going to happen, but my tastes haven’t changed.
Desk Building
As I searched through the site looking all every, single desk, I finally found the one I wanted. I liked everything about it. I knew I would end up having to get a side cabinet or file, but for now, all I cared about was the desk. I ordered the Whalen Bedford Desk & Hutch.

The first thing that caught my eye was that it looked like furniture you’d find in a den. It’s black and brown cherry. I liked the hutch with the little shelves because as with my other desk, I like putting knick-knacks on them like the clay projects my kids work on at school and photos of my kids. I like my desk to be warm and cozy.
My Little Helpers
Ok, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty of my brand new desk! It was delivered and when my dad came home that night I could tell his wheels were turning about putting it together. Now, I’ve been a single mom for 6 yrs doing everything on my own and I have to tell you, I had to come up with something so he’d let me put it together. hahahaha I like this kind of stuff.

“I need to do this for blogging dad.” Yep, used blogging to my advantage. He and my brother brought it downstairs for me and a couple of days later I went to work on it.

I know it took me a couple of hours to put it together. Actually, I’d been so busy over the past week I had to do it over a few days when I had free time. The first night I just went through all of the pieces to make sure I had everything. I put a couple of pieces together.
Staples desk
The next day the boys had the day off so they wanted to help. You’d think that not wanting my dad’s help I’d kind of balk at the boys pitching in, but like any parent, I wanted them to learn from our experience. It was really awesome putting it together with the boys. We talked about the different tools we were using and why we couldn’t use anything other than a hand tool. I showed them why when it was being built, there were some issues and how to either overcome them or just let them go.

One problem I had was with the tiny screws for the keyboard. They take a #1 Philips head screw driver (thank you 6 yrs of working in hardware) and those were still pretty hard to turn in. The pilot holes for these screws weren’t straight so they didn’t go into the wood well at all. =/ Personally, I think it should’ve been a Torx head to make turning it into the wood easier and not worrying about stripping it. Thankfully the screws went in far enough that I’m not too concerned and If I do get worried, I’ll just replace them.
Staples Office Supplies
The only other issue was the top of the desk and having put the dividers in, you had to use the cam locks, but the space between the dividers and the sides didn’t leave room for a screwdriver so I had to go at those at an angle.

So, nothing major, and something that could easily be fixed through the manufacturer. My boys helped me move the bottom half of the desk against the wall and then the next morning we raised the top part onto the desk! It was awesome! I think we were all pretty thrilled with how it turned out.
Staples Whalen Desk
We got the computer set up right away and Buddy started using it right away. In a way, it’s become his desk. lol Not sure how that happened, but if it gets him to do his homework, I’m totally fine with it!

Now, I have to go back to Staples and find some storage to go along with my desk! No drawers means I’m left trying to find matching pieces, which I hadn’t thought of initially. Thankfully, I have a lot to choose from and the bonus for me? I just found out there’s one right down the road in this little town of mine!! When I drove by it the other day I was stoked to see it! Everything I’m going to need at a work-at-home-mom!!
PS This will be the only time that desk has nothing on it and looks this pristine! I’m keeping this photo for posterity! =)

*I was sent this desk for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cats & A Dog

Lucy the dog

I house sat for my in-laws while the drove to Chicago with my boys for 4 days. I got to watch a dog and 4 cats. This is Lucy. She’s the size of a lab. I’m in a side chair and this dog did NOT understand personal space whatsoever.

cat 3

This is how we all felt Sunday when the sun came out.

Cat 2

This is the kitty they rescued out of a gutter and man was it a lovey dovey cat. I loved being with the cats!


Again, personal space lacking.

cat 4

Be sure to stop by Full Time Mama for WW!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wanna Know Why I LML?

Life isn’t easy. No one was ever guaranteed an easy go of it. If we each looked at the life of another, we’d know that they don’t live in some la-la land of perfection.

Consider it pure joy

I’m so glad Amy shared her blog post with me, because to be honest, I’ve really be struggling to Love My Life lately. The past couple of months have been an emotional whirlwind that has at times gripped me and I just feel depressed. Thankfully we’re getting pretty well settled into life here with my family and the load feels like it’s lightening some.

I have so many things to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s just the little things, but I find those are the things that get me through the day to day. That’s how it’s been for years for me. If I can remember the little blessings that filter through my days then it puts a smile on my face.

So, let me share with you the little things I’m thankful for:

1. I have some of the greatest friends ever! Friends from church and from work. The love me just as I am, faults and all. They’ve stuck with me through thick and thin and without them my life would be it wouldn’t be as bright

2. My family. I’m so thankful that my family has opened their home up to me and my boys. Daily I see the sacrifices they are making for us to be here. They haven’t shared a house with kids or another adult for…well…years. My youngest brother is 27. They haven’t had preteens around her for longer than a week since he was a kid. lol

3. These 4 kids! They are a huge blessing to me and a joy to my heart! I would be an entirely different person without them in my life.

Love My Kids

4. My blogging friends. I have met some really great people through the internet. Some people I’ve met in real life, some I have only talked to via their sites or email. I have a group of blogging friends on Facebook who are a constant source of encouragement and support.

5. I’ve met a great guy and we’ve been spending time getting to know each other. He doesn’t live very close to me so we don’t get to see each other a lot, but it’s fun getting to know someone again! He’s going to school to be a church planter and has a couple of kids about the same ages as my boys. It’s all very new so there aren’t a lot of details to share. We’ll see how it goes. =) After 6 yrs, it’s kind of nice to have met someone.

Fred & Kids

6. The Lord. My life would be so far off course if I hadn’t realized my need for Him when I was 20 yrs old. I was heading down a very bad path and it would’ve led to a horrible future. He is my Savior and my strength. Without Him, I'm nothing and I’m everything with Him! From Him I get my true joy.

So, instead of of using the phrase FML (what a terrible acronym for a terrible phrase) consider daily thinking of why you could say you “LML”! Consider writing a quick post that tells everyone about how much you love your life. If you do, make sure to link up!

National Pie Day G!veaway Jan 23, 2013 #MarieCallenders


Pie, it’s such a sweet word. One that makes my taste buds stand at attention! I would have to say I love pretty much every kind of pie; berry, fruit, cream, you name it, I eat it!

I also love Marie Callender’s…everything and have for years! Truly they’re my favorite pie’s if I buy them from the store. Now, my blog post isn’t going to be about their full size pies, but on a side note, their Razzleberry Pie, hands down my favorite out of any selection from any frozen dessert company. And yes, you may quote me on that.

Marie Callender's Mini Pies

So, today is National Pie Day. Yes, “pie” not “pi”. National Pi Day actually happens on 3/14/13. Today is the “unofficial math holiday” from the American Pie Council! A tribute to my favorite baked good! Works for me!

In celebration of this day, I grabbed a few of the new Marie Callender’s Mini Pie Desserts. (shhhh I actually grabbed quite a few) I figured, my youngest and I absolutely love their full size Chocolate Satin Pie, may as well go for the Mini Chocolate Satin one as well! I’ve never had Key Lime or Coconut Cream, but unfortunately, they were out of the Coconut Cream.

My oldest is a fruit pie fan and I wasn’t sure what my parents would like so I grabbed a Small Apple and Small Cherry Berry Pie. I certainly didn’t want anyone to feel left out in the celebration!

National Pie Day Mini Pies

I decide to try a little experiment with the cream pies. I left one of each (you get two per box) on the counter to defrost and I microwaved the other two. I actually liked the one sitting out more because it stayed colder longer. You also have the option of letting it defrost in the fridge.

The apple and cherry berry pies I stuck in the microwave for the recommended amount of time while my boys kept asking me how much longer it would be. They were ready to eat pies! The pies came out with a nice golden and crispy crust and it reminded me of what it looks and tastes like right out of the oven!


I put all of them out on the table and divvied them up between the three of us. I had wanted to wait until my parents got home, but since they don’t get home until 7:30-8 I need to get my boys heading towards bedtime. I figured we’d be kind and leave a few bites for them.

We liked all 4 of the pies. Buddy’s only comment was, “They should have a pumpkin one.” I think the boy could live off of pumpkin pie. He pretty much ate the entire apple one!

My parents in the meantime, came home as we were half way through our celebration. My mom decided to have a “before dinner” treat. She ate the other half of the key lime pie and loved it. lol She’d never had it before and she said a number of times how good it was. I was also surprised that Doodle offered to try it since he doesn’t do that very often and this was the response it got:


Well, actually the first thumbs up was a real one in response to trying it. He did it so fast I asked him to recreate it. Not quite as “in the moment” though. lol

Be sure to visit Marie Callender’s Blog today and you can share with them what kind of pie you plan to celebrate the day with! In the meantime, check out the giveaway below!

Now you have the chance to win a $25 Visa gift card and you can enjoy the entire line of pies!

*I was provided compensation for this post by TheMotherhood. All opinions are mine and my families.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: The National Mall & Museums

I headed into D.C. this past weekend and went to the Air & Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. I also rode the Metro (subway) for the first time by myself. The other times we’ve gone to D.C. my brother rode with me and the kids. It was a zoo because they were getting ready for the inauguration.
Hot Air Balloon
White House
I can’t even tell you how many porta potties there were lined up and down the Mall! All zipped tied closed until Inauguration Day.
Porta Potties
National Monument
Ok, the grasshopper was humongous. It’s not just that it’s a really good close-up! It was HUGE! Speaking of huge, the Bird Eating Spider was as big, if not bigger than my hand. Clearly that thing could eat a bird and not think twice about it. And the best part, holding that Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Now, I wasn’t thrilled about holding it but there’s something that makes it “ok” when you’re at a museum or a zoo, like they’re somehow domesticated, because I can guarantee you, if I saw this scittering across the floor, I would FREAK out!Bugs
Be sure to join up with Full Time Mama on her WW post, too!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Laptop Repair From Best Buy’s Geek Squad

Geek Squad

My daughter’s computer. It was a gift from my brother as her graduation present. It’s what he’s planned on giving all of my children. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can graduate from something so that maybe he’ll give me a laptop.

Her computer, it’s been behaving badly for over a year. Last spring, she called me several times telling me that it was making some really strange noises. Finally she gave it to me, I can’t remember why, but she ended up getting a used Mac from someone.

My boys were using it, but it finally got to the place where it had to be plugged in all of the time. The battery was clearly dead. Ugh, batteries in laptops die after 3 yrs apparently.

Geek Squad tech guy

The battery was dead, but other than that, we never really experienced any issues or heard strange noises, until one time in the middle of the night. Thank goodness I’m a night owl or that laptop would’ve had me seriously freaked out. I was sitting at my desk top tapping away when I heard weird beeps and other sounds coming from her computer. It sounded like there were gremlins inside of it messing around.

That was the only time I ever heard the noise, and it did it for about 20 minutes if not longer. I haven’t been able to recreate it either.

Now that I have Geek Squad Coverage, I was able to take it in and have them take a gander at it. Of course as I tried explaining the noise to the guy, he looked at me like I was crazy and he just nodded nicely as if he thought to do otherwise might make me go all batty on him. I was just explaining what I heard, come on man!

Geek Squad tech check in

We talked a little bit about the issues and while he was booting it up, I mentioned having issues with the battery. Having never owned a laptop before, I had no clue that you shorten the life of said battery by leaving it in while having it plugged in! (shoot, I’m doing that right now). Hang on…

And it’s out! Ok, back to the Geek Squad…

We talked about all the possible issues and he wrote up a slip for me, took all of my information, etc. He told me it might be three days, but they were getting them done a lot sooner.

When I got home, there was an email for me saying that my laptop had been checked in for repair! I almost felt like a mama watching her baby going into surgery. Waiting for those updates, is my daughter’s laptop going to make it? Two days later, an new email…they were ready to reunite me with the laptop. Visiting hours were open!


I went in to get it and I tell you, they were extremely thorough! I was told they removed 129 infections, deleted all temp files, installed all windows updates, disabled extra startup items, and their basic end of task actions. Of course, they weren’t able to duplicate the sounds coming out of the computer, which doesn’t surprise me. If it happens again, I’ll have to get a recording of it so they can hear it.

The service was fantastic to say the least. This was the first time having used the Geek Squad in-store and they were extremely personable and helpful! And I got a final email saying that my repair had been closed and that my laptop had been “restore your device to ‘awesomely functional’ status.”

The only bad news I got was that to replace the battery I’ll have to go through Dell to buy it and that will run me about $60-90! Dang! Obviously replacing the battery is totally worth it! It’ll be nice for my daughter to have a back-up computer as well for school!


After having the Geek Squad find so many infections, I think I might make it a regular stop for me with my laptop and my desktop. Oh man, that desktop is about 7yrs old. I can only imagine what they’d find on that thing!

My only question at this point is, “why haven’t I been using them until now?”

*The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting Healthy With Small Appliances From Best Buy and a #Coupon

With the start of the new year, one of the things I’d like to do is make sure I am eating better. Being home during the day leaves me wide open to snacking throughout the day. Something I really haven’t done since I was a teen. Typically my work day consisted of me having a granola bar of some sort.

With my new job, I’ve been eating more lunches at home and it kind of weighs me down for the rest of the day and makes me sleepy. What I’d really like to do is get either a juicer like the Cuisinart - Pulp Control Citrus Juicer - Stainless-Steel/Black or a blender like the Oster - 16-Speed Blender - Brushed Nickel.
Juicer or Blender
Just the thought of having fresh juice makes me salivate. I’ve never had anything fresh out of a juicer so I’m sure I’d want to try it for different recipes! My brain is already concocting different ways to it. As for the blender, I have wanted one of those for a long time!
Grill or Blender
When I was reading the box today, it said that I could make smoothies and frappuccinos too! Those would be SO great during the summer months and it would keep my pocketbook healthy by not paying for them at a coffeehouse. I’d really just like to like a smoothie for my lunch substitute. Better than a granola bar and less than a full meal that I typically don’t eat.

The other thing I’d like to invest in is a grill/panini maker! Making sandwiches at home sounds so awesome! And there are days where I’d like to make some burgers or grill some chicken, but have no desire to fire up a grill outside or it’s too cold or it’s too wet.
Single Serve
Now, don’t feel like you’re leaving here empty handed because you’re not! WOOT! I know that a lot of people start the new year off making resolutions or goals to get healthier throughout the coming year. I have a couple of coupons to help you get started on the right foot!

One is a coupon for 20% off Small Kitchen Appliances (valid 1/13/13-2/13/13 see coupon for details) and one is for 20% off Health & Fitness Products (valid 1/13/13-2/13/13 see coupon for details). For the record, I WILL be putting this to use!

Being that I don’t walk 6 hrs a day any more at work, I’m thinking a pedometer would be good to have so I know what I need to do to keep up with the amount of walking I used to do. All of that walking 4-5 days a week really kept me in decent shape. Now I’m afraid I’m going to become too sedentary sitting at home for work all day.

Speaking of which, if you DO work from home, how do you not become a blogger sitting around in your pjs all day and not getting a lot of movement? If you have suggestions, feel free to pass them on.
*The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fasting & Clarity

Have you ever done a fast before? I realize that people fast for many reasons. I personal do it so I can hear more clearly from the Lord. When my belly growls, I’m reminded to turn to Him for what I’m praying about, what’s on my mind, or simply to hear better from him.

For me, when I fast, I am denying myself and taking my needs to the Lord. And let me tell you, those times when I have fasted, He as been faithful to meet me each time, right where I’m at. Would He meet me regardless of whether I fasted or not? Of course! I am His daughter. He loves me like no other.

The point of my fasting is obedience. I don’t take fasting lightly. I know it’s for a purpose. So, when God calls me to do it, it becomes an act of obeying His voice.

Proverbs 2 3-4

I’m an emotional person. Those who know me best (ahem Lisa & Lisa) know that my emotional pendulum can swing wildly sometimes. Let me just say, I love them for how they love me even in those crazy times!

Lisa P has always been the person I can go to when I’m smack dab in the middle of an emotional…whatever. If I’m ticked off, she listens to me, responds, we talk it through, she brings me clarity, and I get over it with no damage in sight. Other times, when I’m not seeing clearly, or am too far into my muck, I don’t call her. I don’t reach out and I typically have to go back and apologize to someone for my behavior, things I’ve said, etc.

Lately, it seems as if I just can’t find my “happy” place. My joy in the Lord seems to be missing. I know one part is that since I moved, my morning prayer time and time in the Word has stopped. I can blame it on many things that are valid, but in the end, I’ve just not taken the time. My bible has begun to gather dust and it sits, waiting for me to crack it open.

Proverbs 2 10-11

When that joy seems depleted or gone, I tend to take it out on those around me, those closest to me. I get into this zone, where my emotions are what I’m going by. If I’m hurt or sad, I stay there, not being able to shake it, not being able to see the forest through the trees. It’s a very heavy weight. As in, I can feel it throughout my entire body.

Do you ever get to that place? You get tunnel vision because of your emotions and/or your thoughts? What do you do to shake it, how do you get away from it so you can see everything clearly again?

Sometimes for me it’s as simple as talking, or arguing, through it. I get to the other side and everything is ok again. Other times, like today, I knew I needed to fast. I was just in such a yucky place. So, I started off my morning with nothing to eat. I had my coffee, but that was it. I spent the day working and going through emails and working on my blog.

Throughout the day, when my belly would growl or I’d feel hunger, I’d just turn it over to Him. It wasn’t until just before the boys got home that I actually went to the Word. Now, I know, I actually should’ve started my day IN the Word. I didn’t. Hopefully I will next time. Maybe next time I’ll have my bible next to me as I fast so I can go to it throughout the day. Who knows. I just know that right now I’m not going to go on a guilt trip. God isn’t about that.

As I opened the Word, I immediately landed at Proverbs 2. I actually had no idea where I was going to go in the Bible to figure out how to adjust my attitude, but as I began to read, it’s as if God were speaking directly to what I was going through in wrestling with my emotions.

And here, here sat what I needed all along. If I would’ve sought the Lord, His wisdom from the very start, I could’ve avoided all of the crud, or at least most of it. I could’ve asked God if what I was feeling had any truth attached to it. Honestly, yes, some. I think our emotions can be an indicator of things happening in our lives and around us. But it’s when we take those emotions and thoughts and don’t bring them captive to God that we run the risk of sinning or hurting others and ourselves.

Philippians 4 8-9

God tells us in Proverbs 2 that He “grants wisdom”! He also “grants a treasure of common sense”. Seriously, I could’ve used a good dose of both of those the last couple of days. In my pride, because I wanted to figure this out for myself, I neglected to go to the One who would give me the wisdom and understanding I needed to see everything around me more clearly.

In that moment, when I read, I knew I had the answer…at least today. I often know the answer when I’m not in the middle of life. When I’m not living in the moment, I know exactly what I should do. My prayer is that I will somehow be able to shake off what overcomes me and go immediately to the Lord and ask Him to show me what I need to overcome what I’m going through.

If you are going through something some struggles, I know that the Lord wants to bring you wisdom, understanding and joy. He loves you more than any other and cares for you deeply. Give it over to Him and He will be your help.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Believe In The Fairy Hobmother?

Last year, I saw so many wonderful bloggers being visited by a fairy! A true blue fairy. Oh, I hoped and hoped the Fairy Hobmother would come and visit my blog, but alas, it didn’t happen.
But guess, what? Wishes DO come true. Sometimes we just have to be patient a little bit longer! That’s what happened to me. No sooner had the new year started, I opened up my email Inbox and lo and behold, an email, from the elusive fairy!

The Fairy Hobmother had come to visit my blog and asked me to share about something that, if I had a money tree, I’d replace in my entire home…appliances. I haven’t had a new appliance in 14 yrs. And I mean, big appliances. When my ex and I built our first home 14 yrs ago, we were able to pick out all new appliances. Of course at this point, most of them are on their last leg.

Oh, to have a new fridge, dishwasher, convection oven or even a double oven, and washer/dryer combo! I would definitely go for stainless in the kitchen and I’d want some fun colored front load washer & dryers. A girl can dream, right? =)

Now, if you love to dream and make wishes, I highly suggest you leave a comment below because this sweet fairy will be looking through them and possibly picking one to visit next. Be sure to follow the Fairy Hobmother on Twitter so you can keep up with all of the delight!

Let’s say YOU were going to replace just one appliance in your home to start off the new year. Which one would you buy brand spanking new? Can you imagine a shiny subzero fridge? I know, I just smile thinking of them, too!

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you get a visit by a very special fairy this year!

*The Fairy Hobmother left some fairy dust in exchange for this post…in other words this is a paid post. =)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Breakfast As A Family #JennieO4kids, #MobilizingMillions

Well, my boys and I have been in Virginia for almost 3 weeks now. With the holidays over, we’re trying to get into a routine for ourselves and my extended family. One of our biggest hurdles we’re working on are meals.

My parents are gone before we wake up during the work week so they don’t eat breakfast at home.
My boys, they are now on different school schedules where they used to wake up at the same time, ride the same bus together, at the same time and come home together on the same bus at the same time. Now, Buddy gets up at 6:30a to catch the bus about half an hour later. Doodle gets up an hour later and doesn't start school until 9a!

That means they aren’t eating breakfast together anymore. Thankfully, that’s the only meal change the boys have had. We still eat dinner around the same time we used to back in Minnesota. This is very strange to my parents who typically don’t get home until 7:30-8 at the earliest. Just in time for Doodle to be going to bed. We, of course, have had dinner by that time.

I was so happy that we were all going to be around Saturday morning for breakfast. It was going to be our first non-holiday meal together. I wanted to keep it simple because I’ve made a couple of big meals and they aren’t quite used to homemade food. lol

Jenni-O Turkey Sausage Breakfast

I love bacon and sausage. If you look at my Pinterest page, you’ll see that Bacon is one of my Boards. Unfortunately, no bacon this morning. Instead, I made scrambled eggs two different ways: one WITH Jennie-O sausage and one without. I wasn’t sure how everyone was going to like eating it. I also decided, with the aid of a little helper, to have a few sausage patties.

Jennie-O Turkey Sausage

My parents haven’t been part of my blogging world like my friends and kids have so this is an entirely new experience for them. lol My dad was awesome. He said, “So I’m going to be on some blog? I protest!” He may have mentioned something along the lines of suing me. I don’t exactly remember because I just tuned him out.

We were all pretty hungry by the time was breakfast was made. I think we’re all used to eating on the run or in short spurts that waiting for a meal to be made in the morning is new to us. What I loved about it though was that we all hung around the kitchen talking. All of us. I can’t tell you how happy I was.

Jennie-O Sausage

When everything was ready (go figure it was pretty much all at the same time for a change) we all sat around the table and dug in. Now, dad had a golf game to go to so he took a bowl of cereal, big fat cheater! Buddy convinced me that on occasional Saturdays I allow him to have a donut, so he asked for that today. The only thing he requested to eat from my cooked breakfast…the sausage patties, of course. He nearly ate all of them!

Dad…oh, he decided to be Mr. Helpful as you can tell…

Jennie-O Sausage Breakfast

So in protest to his protest, this is what he gets…

Jennie-O Sausage Turkey

Take that old man! Your blogging daughter gets the last laugh!

Our usual breakfast is either cereal or (gulp) a pop tart. Ok, –> I <—don’t eat the pop tart, the boys will on occasion, but we all know that it’s not a nutritional breakfast that will help them through the school day until lunch. I know, it makes me cringe too thinking about it. I want my boys to succeed and knowing that they could eat healthier with just a few more minutes of my time in the morning, it makes me want to make a change…for their sakes!

Weekends are just a start. We need to make sure that during the school/work week that they’re getting a breakfast that will see them through to lunch. Especially if their hard classes are in the morning. We just need to figure out a system that’s going to work for us. Being on the East Coast, we’re an hour ahead and now with Buddy’s schedule we’re getting up half an hour earlier than THAT!

But you know what? It’s totally worth it. My boys eating a healthy meal is a good thing! With my new job, I need to eat healthy as well since I’m working from home!

Jennie-O Collage

Just a heads up, btw, if you plan on incorporating some Jennie-O Turkey Sausage into your meals, be sure to look for it in the frozen food section. I know each store is different, but I found them in a couple stores next to the other Jennie-O frozen products, so I’d start my search there! =)

And while I’m talking about how I’d like to serve my kids better, especially with their morning breakfast, I wanted to share about Champion For Kids. Here’s their Mission Statement:

Champions for Kids

This month, their Simple Service project is Give Breakfast A Wake-Up Call! As a single mom, who has kids that receive free meals at school, I know that this is a huge need for many families. I’m extremely grateful that there’s a program available to families, such as myself, to help keep my kids eating nutritional meals.

I don’t ask for handouts or rely on the government for much. As a single mom who’s trying to get back on her feet, I need some help during the interim. I don’t like it, but my kids need me to put my pride aside and make sure they’re taken care of. Yes, they can eat nutritious meals at home and I try to provide that as much as possible, but sometimes the schools will offer my boys better options. It’s just the way it is.

I’m extremely thankful that Champions for Kids is doing what it can to raise up people to serve those children in the community around them! If you’ve been looking for a way for you, and your whole family to get involved, I would ask that you check out some of their ideas and then share what you did with them. They’d love to hear about it!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Jennie-O #cbias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: New Life

New Life

We’re shocked at how small the lockers are at the new school. Kids put their backpacks on TOP of them. lol The deer we saw right outside of the elementary. The boys with new friends!

family Christmas

The only people missing in this photo are my brother and his girlfriend. They headed to Wisconsin for Christmas.

Be sure to visit Full Time Mama also!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My New Christmas Toy: Samsung WB150F

This past year my nearly 7 yr old Canon Rebel, which I love dearly, started giving me issues. Then it was knocked off the chair arm and the lens wouldn’t slide in and out for the telescopic view.

My dad heard me mention it and just before Christmas he asked me about my camera. I told him it was pretty much dead in the water. I could still use it but the battery lasted about 30 pictures, the lens wasn’t working and the quality of photo meant the camera desperately needed to be cleaned.

So, the first present I opened this year for Christmas was from my dad. lol I could tell he was like a kid in a candy shop waiting for me to open his present! Before I had even taken it OUT of the box, he was telling me that the camera was a wi-fi camera! I could send my photos immediately to Facebook, by email, to Picasa, etc. It was SO cool! Only bummer, I can’t tweet out the pictures from the camera and with Twitter being so big in the Social Media world, that was disappointing.

I wonder if they’ll do updates or if that’s even possible. Maybe they could add Twitter and Instagram to the uploading options! Everything would be complete for me at that point. =)

oil painting

Oil Painting my girls!

He got it for me BECAUSE of my blog. That’s how cool my dad is!

So, I started playing around and woo boy, he didn’t realize ALL of the cool features it has. I became the kid in the candy shop. I was clicking through all of the settings and each one I came to, I’d eventually end up say, “oh my gosh, dad, look at what ELSE it can do!”

After reading a couple of Liz’s posts about her camera, I longed for it because who wouldn’t want to do fun things with their camera? Of course, I never expected to actually be able to have a camera like that one! Thankfully my new Samsung as many of the same features.

Cross Filter

They’ve been Cross Filtered.

Ok, so what the heck am I talking about…

First, I can change the look of the photo before I take it with  the “Scenes”. I can pick backlight, text, dawn, sunset, etc. With the display screen, I see it change as I’m looking at it.

That’s cool and all, but here’s my FAVORITE part! There’s one button that gives me 8 options:

  1. Live Panorama
  2. Magic Frame
  3. Split Shot
  4. Picture in Picture
  5. Artistic Brush
  6. Photo Filter
  7. Movie Filter
  8. Photo Editor

With the Magic Frame I can choose from fun, funky backgrounds that will surround the picture like a classic tv setting, a holiday card, a city scene billboard, a concrete wall with a mural, etc. Pretty nifty.

I can also do a split shot like this of the puppies. I have 4 different designs to choose from. And when I click the down button, my camera explains to me what I can do with each option. Bad example, but I just started snapping random photos Christmas day just to play around. So, that’s Cappy on the left and old man Sam on the right in two different shots.

Split photo

Then you can do PiP. I can move the little picture around the screen until I want it right where I like it.

Picture in Picture

In Artistic Brush I can choose from Ink Painting, Cartoon or Sketch.

And my favorite part of this camera’s fun extras is the Photo Filter. I can choose from 14 options, which include the 3 from Artistic Brush. Here are a couple that again, I was just playing around and trying not to drive my family crazy. I actually wanted to try out each setting for each shot. My poor kids would still be sitting in their Christmas sweaters if I had!


My girls have been sketched!

Old time

Now they’ve been Old Filmed!

So many fun options. And these same options can be done in the Movie Filter! I can’t wait to play around with it more!

I’m also SO glad I can edit my photos before I even send them to my computer or somewhere online! Glad to know it can be cropped or I can fix my face. =)

Now, I know there are a lot of technical details about this camera that my dad would rather talk about like the 18x optical zoom and ISO 3200 blah blah blah stuff. As long as it takes a crisp, clear picture, I’m happy to leave the numbers to him!

Thanks Dad for the Christmas present!!

*No compensation for this post…hooray!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.