Saturday, September 28, 2013

2013 Christmas Event Coming in November!

I’m so excited to partnering with Amy at This Mama’s Life and Kay at The More The Merrier for the 2013 holiday season! We’re going to be bringing you some fantastic products for reviews and giveaways so be sure to keep an eye out as we inch closer.

If you’re a company looking to partner with us individually or as a team, be sure to contact us. You can reach me on my contact form in the tab above.

Just in case you’re wondering who I’m already partnering with…feast your eyes on these companies:

Hugrz Logo-Stacked Version

Emerson Creek Pottery
Under The Rainbow Media
World Vision
MNN Logo Big
 Eli's Cheesecake Logo
Heat Holders
Bridgwater Candle Company
Wendell August
Hammacher Schlemmer

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: First Day of School

Ok, so I may be a bit behind in sharing the first day of school for both the boys, but I’m sharing them…finally! =)

Buddy’s first day of high school. We’re in MD and he chooses to wear his Packer’s jersey. lol You go fella!


Doodle is big man on campus this year! He’s in a super small school and so far, it’s been a great experience and he likes it SO much better than the school he attended for 6 mos in VA! He said, “yea, the work is harder!” He likes to be challenged!


I drove both kids to school the first day since they were new students in the state. So much paperwork it was crazy!

Be sure to visit Full Time Mama for her WW post, too!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Best Buy Jawbone UP: It’s Keeping Track

Jawbone UP Discloser
Since I left Menards the amount of movement I have on a daily basis has plummeted. At one point, I tracked the amount of walking I did every day I worked. Each day that I worked I walked approximately 10,000-11,000 steps a day. I also didn’t eat as much. I typically didn’t have lunch, but had a granola bar on those working days.

I knew that since moving and getting my work from home job my activity had completely tanked. I didn’t realize how much until the first day I wore my Jawbone UP wristband! That was the most depressing affirmation of how little I’ve been doing that I’ve ever seen.
When I received the Jawbone UP in the mail I was really interested in the technology. I had watched the video on how it worked and that’s why I wanted to review it! Let me first tell you about what interested me about it. I liked that it came in a variety of colors. You put the wristband on, turn it on and it tracks everything you do. UP is a system that takes a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. You will seriously be amazed at everything it will do.

The wristband tracks your movement and sleep in the background. You can’t tell at all that it’s tracking anything as it sits on your arm. You have to be intentional about your life to keep good track of your health and your activity. The nice thing about using the Jawbone UP is that you can personalize it as much or as little as you need. So far I’m not tracking my eating habits and I have no doubt it would be beneficial if I did. Problem is, I know my lack of activity and eating more isn’t working together to make me any healthier.

I really need to take to heart the message of Jawbone UP:

“Live Better. Start Now. Jawbone UP. Track your sleep activity, steps, calorie intake and more with the Jawbone UP wrist sensor and free mobile app. UP gives you meaningful, personalized insights so you can make lasting improvements to your everyday life.”
I think combining keeping track of my calorie intake and steps I take daily, it will help me get back on track with being healthy! Ugh, something I’ve sorely missed since December!

Now, setting up my UP was pretty easy. I had to charge mine when it got to me because it wasn’t turning on. I connected it to my laptop an it charged pretty quickly. While it charged I downloaded the app to my phone. One part that had me confused was where I was supposed to plug my wristband in. I actually kept pulling on the wrong end! The end with the long strip of silver was the part to pull off to plug it in to the phone or charge it.
Jawbone UP
The next step was to plug it into my phone and set up my account. I put in all of my stats and away I went. I wore my bracelet when I woke up and plugged it in at the end of the day to update my information. The app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.

Once I started seeing how inactive I was by the numbers, I realized something honestly needed to change. Fred and I started walking the track when his kids play soccer. We found that when we walk at least the entire time they practiced, we got upwards of half the steps I used to get with working 6 hrs. If we can do this at least twice a week, I’ll be a happy camper and on the path to getting back into my old routine. I would love to work my way up to four days a week, that would be the best for me!
Keeping Track
I really feel like I need to make a plan and the Jawbone UP will be my assistant as I try to get back into the habit I had for 6 yrs! I’m hoping that at my next check in with the Jawbone UP I’ll have even better news and numbers to share!

Teens Trash A Home, But Don’t Mention It!

So I heard on the news the last couple of days about an ex-football player who’s house was broken into by 200-400 kids and while they were there, proceeded to vandalize and destroy his vacation home. They all partied and while partying thought it would be a bright idea to take pictures of themselves and post them for the entire world to see on Twitter and Instagram.

Thankfully, this ex-football player’s son was at college and started seeing photos of the house and the party on social media. I’m guessing that’s when the police were called.

Now, they graffitied his home, left all kind of trash, and from what I’ve gathered, caused around $20,000 worth of damages to the property. The worst part was someone stealing and eagle off his deceased grandchild’s headstone, which thankfully has been returned.

Here’s the rub for me…the parents.

The parents are mad that the ex-football player has created a website trying to track down these vandals. The website though, is to try to help these kids. He doesn’t want this happening again. The site is supposed to help these kids own up to what they’ve done and make things right. The parents though, they’re worried that this site will cause colleges to look poorly on their children.

Is it just me or have these parents lost their ever loving minds?

Their punk kid goes into this man’s home to drink underage, vandalize it, post it on social media for the entire world to see…and somehow this man is the issue? Has our society made such a shift that I find this incomprehensible? Did I just fall off the turnip truck and my mind is just to back woods to believe that somehow it might be the CHILD’S fault? Do the parents take any responsibility in the behavior of their child?


First, let’s look at this realistically. Colleges as well as companies are going online to look at social media when considering someone as a student or employee. It’s the way of the world today people. These colleges would’ve been able to see the “character” of these kids and that would’ve sealed the deal there.

Second, if the ex-football player found every single kid and pressed charges against each one, these kids would have records. Do the parents not think that colleges and employers would have access to those records? Hmmm, underage drinking, destruction of property, yada yada yada…pass!

These kids were the ones who made all of their pictures public record. They were the brilliant ones who outed themselves! It’s in the public domain parents! What world do you live on to think that no one saw what your kid was doing.

So, parents of these kids, where do you hold your kid accountable? When do you take them over to this man’s house to apologize and help him to start cleaning up the mess they made? When do YOU go to this man and apologize for your child’s behavior? What will it take for you to come down off of your high horse and realize your kid did something wrong.

Have you considered that the reason your kid thought this might be ok is because you don’t hold them accountable for their actions? That when they see you placing the blame somewhere else that it might send a message to them that, “yea, see, I wasn’t at fault, this guy is ruining my future.” Hence, they have a sense of entitlement? Is this how you want your child to grow up? Who you want your child to be? If you’re so concerned about their future, my suggestion is to start worrying about the here and now.

You should be more concerned about your child’s character as it is right now. Is their sense of entitlement causing them to not consider their actions and how those actions will affect others? I think you need to take a step back and realize that there’s something wrong with this situation and what part your family had in it.

I truly hope that this man will start to see families come forward, with their kid who made an extremely poor choice, and start to make amends. I know that kids can redeem themselves and they can do the right thing. My hope is, you’ll encourage “right” behaviors instead of worrying about college.

What would you do if you were the parent of one of the kids? Do you think the ex-football player was within his rights by trying to track down the kids, many of whom he knows?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Bagel Shipment

Ok, since we moved to Virginia we haven’t been able to find Thomas’ Bagels in either Cinnamon Swirl or Brown Sugar Cinnamon Mini Bagels. Buddy loves eating them for lunch, but not with raisins. So I asked my bff, LK to send me some for him. She totally rocks!


Be sure to visit Full Time Mama for her WW post, too!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spa Time With The Girls With Aveeno and Clean & Clear #BacktoSchoolSkin #gotitfree

The Motherhood Disclosure
This past week the kids headed back to school and like any kids, the start of the new year is fun and exciting seeing friends and getting back into the swing of things. One of the last things I want the kids to worry about is their skin. Memories of being their age and heading back to school with breakouts are not ones I care to reflect on.
Aveeno Collection
Clean & Clear Back to School
I had Kgirl invite a couple of friends over, but along with being back to school there are the back to school activities. We had her friend Cgirl and her mom come over. It was going to be a day of pampering for the girls and the adults.
Spa Day with Aveeno and Clean N Clear
We settled in and talked about skin care to start off with. Now, I asked the girls what they use on their face and Cgirl said she uses all kinds of stuff to clean her face. Cracked me up because I’m the polar opposite. When I look back I remember not having a clue about products, how to use them or what any of it did. Cgirl seemed to have quite the grasp on it all. She’s quite the girly girl and I was about to find out that she loves the camera! =)

The girls headed into the bathroom to play with the Clean & Clear® while Jen and I hung out in the living room chatting and checking out the Aveeno® products we were sent.
Face Pampering
It was so fun hearing the girls play in the bathroom and I had to find out what was going on and what they were thinking about the various products they were trying. There was so much giggling going on I guessed they were having a good time!

The first thing they tried was the Clean & Clear Fruit Infusion™ smoothing facial scrub. They loved how it smelled and it has YUMBERRY & strawberry seeds and couldn’t get over how berry it was. Next they tried the Deep Action Cleanser. Now, that was funny to watch. On the tube, it says “cool, refreshing tingle” and Cgirl said, “it tingles, but in a good way. Kind of hurts, but not really.” They may have washed with it more than once. hahahahaha
Back to School Skin
After the scrubs they tried the Clean & Clear blackhead eraser™ cleansing mask. It was pretty amusing because they said it was drying so fast. lol I had to explain that it was a mask and the point of this was to draw out any trapped dirt and oil so it dries on their face quickly. That was when they went, “ahhhh.”

Neither of the girls were experiencing any acne breakouts on the day of our spa so they need the Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, but Kgirl did try it out just to see how it felt on her skin.
Clean & Clear
As the girls continued to play with the Clean & Clear products, Jen and I used the Aveeno® Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I thought the Stress Relief line was pretty appealing. Yes, the kids are going back to school, but as moms we have our own stresses. My oldest son was entering high school and didn’t know a single person. Doodle is the big man on campus this year as a 5th grader and is also in a new school. Mom has definitely been a bit more than stressed lately.
Aveeno Stress Relief Body WashAveeno Wash
Neither of us was going to take a shower to try the Aveeno Stress Relief Body Wash, but I did try it on my arms and really liked it and the scent. I love that it’s soap and dye free. And it’s got essential chamomile and ylang-ylang oils for the calming benefit! I should drench myself head to toe with this stuff on a regular basis.
Aveeno Makeup Removing Wipes
After we finished trying out all of the products, we dug into the chocolate fondue that I’d made. It had strawberries, marshmallows and pound cake. What’s a spa day without some fun desserts to go along with it? Right?

It was a pretty fun, relaxing and educational afternoon. Nothing like a day of pampering!

How do you and your tweens make sure you both have good back-to-school skin?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Freshening Up The Old House With Renuzit + Giveaway #ChooseThemAll

SoFab Disclosure for Renuzit
When I first started dating Fred and coming to his house, it had a distinct smell to it…old. He’d only been in the house for a couple of years and the house was a good 30+ yrs old. I wasn’t the only one who noticed, my boys did, too and blurted it out one time in front of him. Oy! I knew when I decided to move in that I was going to need an air freshener or two to make the house not smell so old.
Smelling Renuzit #cbias
Flashback about that many years and I remember Renuzit in our home. Do you? Those molds in the containers were in various rooms of our house all of the time. I loved it when my parents would bring in a new one because I loved how they felt. I always wanted to squish it. I know, I’m weird, but it’s the truth. And then, the other cool part, was watching it dry out. I was fascinated by the craziest things.

Now, Renuzit has a line of cones that has the entire house smelling amazing, but not in an over powering way. One of my concerns about bringing air fresheners into the house was the boys. They’re both opinionated and aren’t fans of “smelly” things. If the scents were overpowering, I knew I wouldn’t be keeping the cones in the main rooms. When I was going through all of the options at the store, I wanted to choose them all because I loved how they smelled.
Pure Breeze #ChooseThemAll
The first one I opened was for the living room, the biggest room in the house. I was putting it on the desk and that’s where the boys usually sit so that was going to be a big test. We started off with the Pure Breeze because I really liked how fresh the scent was. As soon as I opened the lid my oldest son’s response was, “What’s that smell?” lol At first I thought it was a negative response, but it wasn’t. I left it on the desk and the scent wasn’t overwhelming.

I really liked it there, but with the black desk, I thought I’d try the Renuzit “exotic escapes” Tahitian Breeze. Both boys really liked that scent. I loved that it was black and fit the desk. Since we’re still settling in, we don’t have a lot of d├ęcor so this fit nicely! I also like that it gave more of an exotic scent to the space.
Buddy sniffing Renuzit
In the kitchen, I like to have an aroma, but nothing that’s overwhelming. I don’t like it overtaking the smell of the food I’m making, but like to have something to give the room a fresh feeling. The one I went with was the Simply Vanilla. Makes sense, right? I think that it would fit in any room!

Last was the bathroom. This is the room I like smelling like it’s fresh or the outside. It was an easy choice with the Fresh Rain. I could’ve put this in the bedroom, too, but I’m still waiting on a dresser to make it’s way to my bedroom. Because everything is white in the bathroom, the Fresh Rain cone fit with everything else we have in there.
After the Rain in the Bathroom #ChooseThemAll
Once I get the boys room finished (we’re still unpacking clothing) the boys will have to agree on a cone they like because I tell you what, with two boys sharing a room, it can get quite stinky in there!

Ok, so, have you seen the new Renuzit commercials? So funny to have a man that goes along with scent in every room, basically a Scent Gent! There are 18 scents and you can see what “gent” goes along with each scent on Facebook!
Choose Them All #cbias
Now, you have the chance to win two coupons that are $1.00 each! There will be 5 coupons! You can also get the cones at Kroger and Target. a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: The Mustache

So, Buddy started showing signs of a mustache about a year and a half ago. Today is the first day he let me get a photo of him. He wasn’t happy, but gave into my camera’s presence. He has no idea I’m putting this on here, but I love that he loves his mustache. I don’t see that he’ll be shaving any time soon. I couldn’t get pics of the 2..yes…TWO hairs on his chin.
Be sure to visit Full Time Mama and enjoy her WW!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

So Thankful For My Parents

Growing up with my mom and dad wasn’t an easy time for any of us. They were strapped for cash, moving a lot, having a baby, etc. I was the typical teen with a lot of angst. My parents basically made my life miserable. Had noooothing to do with moi! *insert eye roll*

When my parents moved to Virginia the year I turned 18, I said, “see ya”. I was totally done with moving around all of the time. I was going to live on my own and didn’t care what they ended up doing.


Spring forward to me being 22 and having my first baby. I had become a Christian the year before and my life was completely changed. I started seeing my parents, especially my mom, in a new light. I wanted to be closer to her and have a better relationship. We spent the next 22 yrs living in different states.

Over a year ago I started talking to my mom about getting a new start. She offered for us to live with her and my dad and youngest brother. I decided to take her up on the offer. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but wanted to go back to school and support myself and the boys.

As the time got closer, I started reaaaally worrying about how things were going to go with us living together again. Would I be able to hold my temper if my mom ticked me off? Would we be able to live in a house without arguing? Would our parenting styles cause friction? There was a lot of unknown.

Right after we got here, we all went out to lunch. It was the first sign that things could go extremely bad between and my mom. The kids and I have regular meal times at what I’d consider “normal” times. I learned that my parents are about 2 hrs later in lunches and dinners than us. Apparently, my oldest daughter told them that we eat at exactly noon and 5. Ok, super exaggeration. I like to eat around those times, but I’m pretty lazy about anything “exact”. In fact, I’ve never been on time to anything.


Needless to say, mom and I talked and I explained how I’d love to have mealtimes with them every single night, but considering the fact that Doodle had a bedtime of 8pm and they didn’t get HOME until about 7:30-8 and ate around 8:30, it just wouldn’t work for us. She understood and away we went.

There were little things to adjust to, but all in all, living with my family this time was completely different. I wasn’t as angry at the world as I used to be. I didn’t feel like my parents were against me in general like I did when I was 17.

We were actually having fun. We joked around a lot, hung out at dinners, they went to baseball games when I couldn’t, watched the boys when I was out of town, bought me a car (so crazy), and made their home our home! We have truly been blessed to have been there. I have to admit, it was extremely hard to leave.

I want to thank my parents publicly for the hospitality and love they’ve shown me and my boys for the past 8 months! Their home has really been a refuge and a blessing. I became a daughter again instead of just a mom. Their house is amazing. Yes, the boys had to share a bed, but most of the time it felt like we had the house to ourselves since my parents were gone for so long. Weekends we got to spend together and it was SO nice! It turned out to be the ideal situation! I can guarantee, we’ll be back as often as we can!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Capri Sun Big Pouch Fits My Teen #CapriSunPickers #cbias

SoFab Disclosure Capri Sun Big Pouch
Buddy is off to high school and so far, all he’s taken to school are cold lunches. Being in a new school, he’s wanting to check out the hot lunches before he starts actually trying them. At this point Capri Sun Big Pouch is what he’ll need to get him through his meal!

The boys are pretty active in sports and I think these will come in handy during basketball and baseball once those seasons show up. We visited a couple of the Walmarts near us and weren’t able to find any of the pouches. Such a bummer!
American Pickers #CapriSunPickers
Since we moved into the new house, Buddy and I decided we needed a couple American Pickers marathons. We’ve never had OnDemand with our tvs and are thoroughly enjoying it. On Rosh Hashanah the boys had school off and Buddy chose, on his own, to watch an entire season since they had the day off.

He and I are huge fans of Mike Wolfe, creator and star of American Pickers on History. We laugh so much as he and his pal, Frank drive around digging through other people's "stuff" and how they give each other a hard time. The boys grew up with a grandma and great grandma who loved antiques. They taught the boys how to find cool, old things and that antiquing was fun. This is why my 14 yr old son would choose to watch an entire day of this show than cartoons or some other teen show.
Mike Wolfe, creator and star of American Pickers #cbias
In fact, gram and grandma Baker have an entire basement, a garage and several sheds full of all kinds of old stuff! They’re holding onto all of it with the hopes of someone like American Picker Mike Wolfe visiting them day, right?
American Pickers and Capri Sun Big Pouch #CapriSunPickers
So, now the exciting part…you could win a trip to Nashville TN, to win a half day pick with American Picker Mike Wolfe! 100 winners will win Messenger Bag, Magnifying Glass, Gloves, Bandanas, Flashlights, Journal, Pen, T-shirt, Kid Pickers Book, Carabineers! Who wouldn’t want that opportunity!

I’m so excited that kids have the opportunity to learn from the expert and get tips on how to pick! I have a feeling he’s going to want to try some picking of his own after watching American Pickers and learning from his grandma on how she’s done it for years!

Have you ever gone picking and if so, what’s the best thing you’ve ever scored?

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