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May 31, 2010

Causes, Books and Humor?? :)

I love the Monday Mingle  (although today feels nothing like a Monday!!)  Visit for the main Monday Mingle.

I hope everyone had a GREAT Memorial Day!!  Mine was very laid back, but I can't complain too much.  We don't have a lot of family around here and my grandmother preferred to stay home where it was cool.  Completely understandable seeing as how it was 95 degrees today.

We ended up taking Alayna to the Memorial Day parade here this morning.  It was so hot sitting out there, but she had a good time and loved the bands and drummers.  (She wants to play the drums)  

This afternoon we had a BBQ for just my mom, Alayna my uncle and I.  Today is my uncle's 35th anniversary of becoming a priest, so we had a cake and I BBQ'ed some burgers and hot dogs. :)  I was pretty proud of myself since I didn't burn anything.  The food seemed to be pretty good too!  Compliments to me! Ha!  I've never BBQ'ed before this, so it was a huge accomplishment for me.  

Me BBQing. :) Trust me, if I hadn't lost the 27lbs I have, I'd NEVER allow a full body pic to be posted. LOL

Alayna digging in the mud. Hehe. 

Grilled Kelbasa. Yummm

May 29, 2010

My little 2 and a half year old diva!

See my daughter in her beautiful sunglasses?  Olivia was so obsessed with those today.  She wore them as much as she could and kept walking around like she was THE most famous movie star ever. lol!  She's my little diva.  (The credit for her great picture goes to her Grandpa Joe.  He's great with the camera.)

May 28, 2010


Hello to everyone from the Friday blog hops that I am a part of. :)  Since Friday Follow ended, I've been trying to really get into all of the blog hops that I can. (AND I JUST FOUND OUT FRIDAY FOLLOW IS BACK!! Check below for the button)  I love finding new blogs to read and enjoy that people can visit me and learn more about myself and my family!  Here are some facts about what I'm about:

  1. My name is Kristin but I'm hardly ever called that.  Most friends call me Krissy or Jess(ie).
  2. I have two girls, Alayna is 4.5 and Olivia is 2.5.  They're my life.
  3. I'm a single mom and striving to be as strong of a single mom as my mom was.
  4. I have a weight loss blog where I log my journey.  Artsy Mom Weight Loss.
  5. I LOVE being a mommy blogger and product reviewer.  Honestly, I enjoy doing it and enjoy getting the word out about new products.  
  6. I love any kind of music, but mostly Top 40.  
  7. Broadway shows are such a love of mine.
  8. The town that I live in, in NJ, is 20 minutes away from Midtown Manhattan.  I go there a lot.
  9. Yes, Yes, I hate to admit it, but I do have an accent.  I say "draw" for drawer, "Cawfee", "Dawg" and so on... 
  10. I'm an artist and went to Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.
  11. Imagination Movers is a guilty pleasure of mine.  Yes, I like a Disney Channel kids band.  WHATEVER!! lol
  12. Currently, I am unemployed but had my own business.
  13. ELECTRONICS NUT HERE!!! I'm a self proclaimed geek.
  14. My family calls me the "Coupon Queen". (And so do a lot of grocery stores locally.)
  15. Saving money gives me such a sense of satisfaction and pride. :)
  16. I love comments and new followers. :D  
Hopefully you all can enjoy what I write.  I really write a little bit of everything and just really enjoy doing it.  To me, blogging is an emotional outlet.  No matter what I write.  I love meeting new friends and new mommy bloggers, so don't be shy!!

Have a great Holiday weekend!!

”” Smart and Trendy Moms The Trendy Treehouse

Five Question Friday

1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet?  I have always wanted to get a tattoo.  Just a small one on my inner wrist.  My friend has offered to take me numerous times and I have the money saved for it... I just keep chickening out whenever I think I have the courage.  I have no threshold for pain, so I'm just beyond petrified of getting a tattoo.  One day, though, I will!  I don't even know what I would get.  Something that has meaning to me.  I wouldn't just frivolously get a tattoo. :D

2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on? I would take $50 and buy something for myself.  Probably clothes or shoes! I'm an addict! LOL  I'd spend the other $50 on something for my kids.  Probably something they could play with.  I love making them happy. :)

3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child? Swings!! Duh! I used to love to see how high I could go.  Now, when I go on a swing, I stay low.  I've become a scardey cat.  I was so fearless when I was a kid.

4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast?  Hearty.  I love having as much as I can for breakfast. :)  Isn't it the most important meal of the day?  You need brain food!

5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy?  A mix of both, actually.  

May 27, 2010

Thursday Threes: If I Had Only Known...

I'm sure everyone has regrets in life.  I believe that life is too short to have too many regrets, but it's completely natural to wish you could go back and change something.  Honestly, if we didn't make the mistakes we have made in our past, we wouldn't be the people we are today.  I truly believe that we have to bypass many obstacles in life, and when we make mistakes, we learn from them.  

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans is hosting "Thursday Threes: If I Had Only Known".  It's basically about going back in your life and picking three times where you wish you made a different choice.  It's not about having regrets, I believe it's about realizing that you could have done something different and that you could have righted that wrong.  It could be a great part of actually closing a door in your life, if you have been dwelling on a choice or mistake that you made.  (I feel like that about so much!)  

What do you wish you could have done differently?

I wish that as a 13 year old, I understood that I actually had more of a choice about what High School I wanted to go to.  At the point where I was choosing, I felt pressured into going to the private all girls High School that my family wanted me to go to.  I remember not wanting to go and wishing that I could tell my mom I wanted to go to the public HS.  I didn't dare.  I didn't want to let her down and didn't want her to get mad.  Little did I know, those four years of my life would be the worst that I have ever experienced.  Filled with death threats, hatred, terrible words and the worst depression I had ever felt.  I would have been offered more if I had gone to the other High School.  

As a teenager, I wish that I hadn't wanted to be "cool" and wish I had "waited". I wanted the guy to like me, so I did what I did.  This seems like a very common occurrence for a teenager, but I regret this deeply.  This is probably the #1 regret in my life.  I never realized, at that time in my life, that I should have waited.  I just wanted to date the "cool guy" and thought that would really help me with that.  I was very wrong.  I wish I could go back and tell my teenage self that it wouldn't be worth it in the long run.

My goal, years ago, was to be a professional figure skater.  I was really working at it until I hurt my ankle during an exhibition and couldn't continue.  I always wanted to go back after my ankle healed, but after physical therapy and financial problems happening after that, I never got back into it.  I regret that because figure skating was my life for so long.  It was something that really de-stressed me and something I wish I could have finished and accomplished.

May 25, 2010

5 Must Have Fashionable Pieces for a Weekend Trip!!

Summer is coming and weekend trips are probably being planned!  I know for us, we love to take family trips on the weekends for many reasons.  Usually, because they're more cost efficient than actual week long trips!  The kids love them.  Even so, we want to be comfortable and fashionable.  We want to be able to look good on our weekend trips; be it with our friends or with our families.  

1. The first piece I'd definitely suggest you need is a nice pair of flip flops.  You can get flip flops pretty cheap from Old Navy, Walmart, Target, Payless, etc...  Flip flops are a MUST HAVE for those warm days when sneakers would just be too stuffy. (And I think this would count as every day in the summer!!)  I'd suggest to bring a pair of flip flops that are a neutral color or a color/pattern that will match almost everything you bring with you on the trip.  You definitely want to pack light for just a weekend, so bringing multiple pairs of shoes would definitely weigh down your luggage!

2. A denim skirt/skort.  I suggest this instead of shorts because of the simple fact that sometimes shorts just aren't comfortable in the summer.  Especially in the peak of summer when you're on a trip, in the sun, in the humidity... A skirt is more airy and definitely fashionable.  If you prefer the shorts but a more fashion savvy look; go with a skort.  You get the look of a skirt, but comfort of shorts.

3.  Breezy and airy light skirt.  I suggest you also have one of these in your bag.  Get a light cotton skirt. I suggest something from Old Navy because their skirts are beautiful, light, fashionable and very well priced.  This can be paired with almost anything!

4.  Tank Tops/Camis are a MUST HAVE!  Something that will match both your skirts and your flip flops.  They're light, airy, comfortable and they breathe very well.  I love to wear these in the hot weather because I don't end up completely sweating.  

5. A shrug or light sweater -  If you're going out for dinner, sometimes it's a little cooler at night.  I suggest you bring a shrug or light 3\4 inch sweater so you can just cover up a little at night.  I got a great priced light shrug from Dots that cost me $4.  Definitely cost efficient, comfortable and won't weigh you down when it's still a little humid.  

Some great deals for your weekend trips:

Gap Outlet is offering a doorbuster sale with up to 40% off all adult items and 30% off all kids items from May 25-31, 2010!  THEN, Gap Outlet extends the sale with up to 50% off select styles! Also, Gap Outlet is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 - June 7, 2010! 

Banana Republic Factory Store is offering 40% off the ENTIRE STORE from Wednesday 5/26/10 – Monday 5/31/10 ONLY! In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75.  This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 through June 7, 2010, so hurry to your closest location today.

Print off your Gap and Banana Republic coupons below!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

May 24, 2010

10 Ways to be Fashionable on a Budget!

It's so important for mom's to do something special for themselves.  To me and some other mom's I know, making yourself look good no matter what is a very important thing.  It makes me feel womanly, cute and makes me feel like I fit in with my other friends.  For those of you who think it's absolutely impossible to be fashionable and be on a mom's budget, that's the farthest thing from the truth!  How do I know?  Because I do it all the time!  

There are great ways to find great deals on fashionable clothes...and by great deals, I mean practically a steal!  

1.  GARAGE/YARD SALES!!  Yes, this may sound a little off for some people, but I have been hardcore into garage/yard sales for 5 years.  Throughout those 5 years, I have found some great deals on amazing clothes.  Yes, BRAND NAME clothes.  I've found great deals on clothes here from anywhere from $0.50 to $3.  That is way below retail.  You really have to look around, dig, have patience and know how to bargain.  My mom and I write a list of 30 garage sales in our area that have descriptions that fit what we're looking for.  A lot of garage sales will note they have clothing or brand name clothing.  Definitely go to those...  To give you an idea of how good you can get deals;  I got a $90 pair of coach shoes in the box never used for $10.   I also got a $30 Gap sweatshirt for $1.  

2. Discount clothing stores -  Such as TJ Maxx, Dots, D&D, Marshalls, AJ Wright, Pay/Half and so on...  You can get some great fashionable clothes at amazing prices.  Even shoes and purses.  Pay/Half, AJ Wright, TJ Maxx and Marshalls buy overstocked brand name clothing at wholesale prices so they can sell them for way below retail.  Those big name retailers just have too much of the stock and are itching to get them out of their warehouse...  So these stores offer them at great prices.  Dots & D&D's have their own clothing that are really knock offs of the brand name clothing.  So you can get fashionable clothing that looks like the real thing for very cheap.  For Dots, you can find various coupons every month for extra savings. 

3. Trading with friends - I have done this many a time.  Usually people have clothing they just don't want anymore and want to donate... I have gotten a bunch of friends together that have bags of clothes they don't want or can't use anymore.  Have a little party/get together at your house and have them bring the clothes.  At that party,  just swap the clothes that all of you don't want.  You get something you do want, get rid of things you don't need, and have new outfits for absolutely nothing!  It's a great way to clean through and restock your closet.  I have done this so many times and it always worked out.  Friends also love to do brings back youth and "borrowing" clothes. ;)  

4.  Outlet Stores -  Another great way to get some great things for cheap.  Most states have outlet malls where the retail stores send their overstock to get it sold at great prices.  You can also find some coupons TO the outlet stores.  

5.  Craigslist - I've sold clothes on Craigslist and also have bought clothes on Craigslist... The best part about this, is a lot of people sell a whole box of clothes for a certain price.  I got a box of Old Navy, Gap, Express, Forever 21 and so on clothes for just $30.  That box was worth over $100.  The clothes in there were so fashionable and were very well priced to sell.  Just make sure you specify your size, if inquiring about a box of clothes and make sure you read the listing to see if there is a size specified.  There are honestly listings for probably EVERY size...  Whatever doesn't fit, resell or give away.  

6. Sign Up for mailing lists/coupons - COUPONS.... I CAN NEVER STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!  They're so important and so valuable.  Treat your coupons like you would cash... Honestly.  I can't stress this enough! Ha!  Sign up for as many mailing lists as you can for your favorite stores.  NY&Co, Express, Old Navy, Target, Kohls..They frequently mail coupons and they're valuable too.  Most recently, NY&Co had a coupon that was $30 off a $75 purchase.  That's saving a lot...  I know Old Navy has had $50 off of $50 and a lot of others.  Coupons help out a lot...  Match them with clearance items.  Even if you're shopping for next season.

7.  Basics with Accessories - If you have a nice pair of jeans, you can dress them up with heels or down with sneakers.  What you absolutely NEED are:

  • A great pair of jeans.  Preferably one pair of flare and one pair of straight leg
  • Two pairs of leggings.  One ankle long pair and one calf long pair
  • A nice skirt
  • Black pants
  • Shirts in solid colors
If you have those, you can dress them up or down, making new looks every time.  Use the solid color shirts and wear new accessories every time.  You can buy accessories for very cheap from different stores (i.e. Claires, Icing, local stores...)  I have done this many times and it works.  Saves a lot of money as well!  

8. Thrift Stores -  The same concept as Craigslist and Garage sales.  Thrift stores are priced great as well and you can find some great pieces for a lot less than retail!  I really believe in buying clothes second hand.  Just make sure they are well kept before you purchase them.

9. Buy on off season - If you're looking for summer clothes, buy them towards the fall for next year.  Same with all of the other seasons.  Actually, stores usually put their clothes on clearange 4-5 weeks after they come out.  I have gotten some great fashionable summer clothes at Old Navy ALREADY... In May.  That's because they put them out at the beginning of April or even end of March and already are discounting their pieces 40-50%.  SHOP CLEARANCE SECTIONS..

10. Shop Online -  Sometimes shopping online can save you a lot because of coupon codes.  There are many great sites to obtain coupon codes, so really google around before you buy anything.  Hit the online stores that have free shipping after a certain amount.  ALSO - sign up for the sites that give you cash back or points towards gift cards.  Swag Bucks, My Points and so on are VERY good ways to turn what you spend into rewards...  You can use them in conjunction with coupon codes too.  Saving even more!!  

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Gap Outlet Offerings 
Gap Outlet is offering summer dress and cardigans for $15 and up to 40% off other select items from May 7-24, 2010!  Also, Gap Outlet is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11-May 24th, 2010! 

Banana Republic Factory Store Offerings
Banana Republic Factory Store's "It's All About Her Sale" offers savings of up to 50% off all women's clothes from April 30th through May 19th!  In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75.  This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11 through May 24, 2010, so hurry to your closest location today.

The Gap Gift Card
The Gap gift card may be redeemed for merchandise at any Gap brand, Old Navy or Banana Republic location, including Outlet and Factory stores. The Card may also be redeemed for merchandise at,,,, or

Get your coupons today at

May 23, 2010

Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Kids Will Love

Growing up, I've had some great memorable vacations with my family.  My mom always found the best things to do on week long vacations or even smaller day trips. (Which I still considered vacations!)  Now that I am a mom,  I am really trying to figure out great vacations for myself and my kids and I want to find something to do that is interesting to myself and to them.  Something they won't ever forget!

I know one of the biggest things people wonder at this time of the year is; What can we do on our vacation that would be fun?  Along with TwitterMoms giving us the idea to come up with a solution to this common question, we wanted to try to address that with what I have come up with!  I've been thinking long and hard about this!

1.  Disneyland / DisneyWorld -  Though it's one of the most common answers you'll hear, I believe the Magic Kingdom is probably the number one best place for a family vacation.  Kids know the magic of Disney and they believe in it.  While I think my kids are too young to enjoy it fully, I do hope to take them to Disney as soon as I feel they will be able to enjoy it.  I think that would definitely be the first best family vacation to take. (And I know that's cliche and it's probably said a lot.)

2.  Hershey Park -  If you live on the East Coast or can get to Hershey Park,  I believe this is the second best vacation for a family.  Hershey Park offers quite a lot of amusement for old and young alike!  You can find out a lot about Hershey itself, take tours, get amazing chocolate and the kids can meet the Hershey characters, go on rides and so much more.  I went here when I was younger and I absolutely loved it.  They offer so much!

3.  Six Flags -  ALWAYS a great choice.  Most Six Flags have water parks that have fun for the whole family.  The kids have their little water park and the adults have their section!  Six Flags also has the Wild Animal Safari that is a drive thru safari,  kids love animals and so do adults!  Of course, the amusement park is always great as well!  I have gone here numerous times in my life and had so much fun on every occasion; EVEN WHEN I WAS AN ADULT!! :)

4.  In your own backyard or Campgrounds - If you're on a budget, I'd say this is the way to go.  You can have a camp out in your own backyard.  Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows, you can do whatever you'd do at a camp out!  If you don't have a large enough backyard like we do,  go to a camp ground and do the same!  It's fun, cost efficient and definitely family friendly!

5.  The Beach - Most beaches don't charge, so this would also be great on a budget!  Here, we go down the Jersey Shore which is full of beautiful beaches and great amusement parks!  If you're lucky enough to have a beach that has a boardwalk with rides, even better!!  The beach itself could be a great vacation spot!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

May 15, 2010

THE VINTAGE PEARL GIVEAWAY! Win a $50 gift certificate!

I have been searching for a great Mommy necklace for myself and wanted something special.  Since I make my own jewelry as well, I know how important it is to support independent artisans.  I am a huge fan of Etsy and of work at home moms, so when I came across The Vintage Pearl I knew I wanted them to be the ones to make my necklace.  

The Vintage Pearl specializes in personalized hand stamped pieces that are just absolutely gorgeous.  The jewelry looks like it is made with love and care and I am sure it is, since it is made by a work at home mom!  

Not only is the jewelry beautiful, but her website is very clean, organized and easy to navigate and order from as well!  The photos of her pieces really do bring out the beauty because they're crisp, clear and have a great background that really brings out the shine and color of the stones that she uses.  You can't go wrong with a unique and beautiful gift from The Vintage Pearl

They have a large variety of styles to choose from and the pieces are quality. They also have many styles to choose from for the font. I believe strongly that is exactly why they have grown so much since 2007.  They only use the finest materials and every piece is made entirely from sterling silver.  Even the chains and jump rings.  This shop definitely deserves all of the success that it has had.  I wish them much more success!  

How can you get one of these darling pieces?

You can visit The Vintage Pearl's site to order your own hand stamped, personal piece!  


The Vintage Pearl is offering a $50 gift certificate to their store to one lucky reader!  The giveaway ends May 25, 2010 at 12 PM EST.  Enter using the steps below! You can do as many or as little as you'd like.  Each counts as ONE entry.  Please leave ONE comment PER entry.

  • Visit The Vintage Pearl and let us know what piece you would choose with your gift certificate! What is your favorite item?
  • Follow our blog VIA Google Friend Connect
  • Follow us on Twitter (leave your user name)
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  • Blog about our giveaway
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Tweet ->  
The Vintage Pearl is offering Artsy Mom readers a $50 gift card to their store & We're giving it away! Visit to enter!


May 14, 2010

Super Awesome Dots Coupon & Huggies Diapers for $3.49!?

I have been looking for some cute outfits that I am going to wear to events this summer, but finding the perfect outfit is always difficult. (Especially in my case of being in between weights!)  I've been shopping at Dots for a long time and I love their prices and their clothes.  They really have the perfect outfit for every shape and size. (They range from size 0 to size 24)  

Yesterday, I was looking for some coupons for another store and came across a great coupon for Dots.  $5 off $25, $10 off of $35 and $15 off of $50. You can print the coupon here.  I went today and got a dress, small light sweater and two shirts and only spent $30.  Even though their prices are low, they can still add up when you're finding clothes you love.  I would definitely recommend to see if you have a Dots nearby and print off the coupon.  

Totally worth it!!

This post is my own opinion and from my own love of shopping at Dots.  It was not solicited by Dots in any way.  

If you have a CVS near you, you can get Huggies diapers for $3.49!!  How, you ask?  Huggies Facebook is offering a $3 off coupon if you fan their Facebook.  They're on sale for $8.49.  There is a special that you get $2 ECB back when you purchase them.  

$8.49 Huggies Diapers
- $3 Coupon
= $5.49

Get $2.00 ECB = $3.49!!

I can't believe it's Thursday...

My mom has been a bit down lately because of us having to move within the next few months, so I have been trying to really get her out of the house.  We don't go too many places, but I take her to Target or the mall or even out to a local diner just so she won't have to stay home constantly.  Today we took a ride to the newer Shop Rite that opened a few months ago. (Nothing too spectacular! I'm going to stick with my normal supermarket!!)  

As much as I'm excited to move and can't wait to have this big change, it is very sad that we have to move.  I've lived here for 25 years (Except for the short time I spent living in Philadelphia) and  this house holds so many memories for us.  Especially for my mom!  She has lived here all her life...which is over 50 years.  I constantly tell her that just because we move doesn't mean we have to leave the memories behind!  We can take those memories with us and keep them alive forever...  She feels as though my grandparents would be very sad that we can't afford to keep the house.  That's so untrue.  My grandparents would want us to do whatever makes us happy and whatever we can do to keep going on.  

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine lost her dad.  It was sad for me, because she is a close friend and I really love her to death.  I spoke to her yesterday and we ended up talking about the passing of our loved ones.  It brought up my grandparents again.  

Honestly,  I'm still not completely over my grandparents' passing.  It's been 2 years for my grandmother and a little over a year for my grandfather...Almost 3 years for my dad's dad...  My grandparents just meant so much to me.  Especially my mom's parents, who we lived with all our lives.  

My Nana (Mom's mom) was one of my best friends.  She is the person that I would go to if I wasn't getting along with my mom, or if I needed to talk, or needed homework help.  She was always there for me.  I have some great memories of my grandmother babysitting me when I was younger.  We would sit on the floor and play Barbies. I remember when my mom would go out to school functions very fondly...  My grandmother would have something very special planned for that night.  My grandfather would be upstairs watching TV and my grandmother would be downstairs with me.  She would make me a special dinner, watch TV or a special movie that we rented... She would keep me busy so I didn't have to worry about not being with my mom.  (I had very very bad attachment anxiety.)  We would read stories when I refused to sleep until my mom came home.  As much as I took it for granted back then, I miss those days.  Those days when it would be just me and my Nana.  I loved her so much.  

She loved my kids...  Alayna and Olivia were her life.  She came to the hospital when Alayna was born and I will never forget how happy she was.  My mom always says that my kids are what kept her going, and I agree.  Not long after she had her foot amputated due to diabetes, but she kept hanging on.  Alayna has very fond memories of her too.  Olivia is too young to remember her.  

My grandpa (Mom's dad) I was also very close to.  I was his little girl.  We would take walks around the corner to buy the newspaper when I was a kid.  He would walk in the house singing funny songs that I still can hear to this day.  They were the kind of songs that were just so hilarious, you can't forget them.  His jokes were stupid too, but they were funny even though I heard them over and over again.  

One of the big events in his life, which he loved to relive, was being in the military.  He was stationed in Alaska and always told the story.  By the time I was a teenager, I would roll my eyes whenever he told the stories... But now I miss them.  I'd give anything to hear those funny songs, hear the corny jokes or relive his cherished time in the military with him.  I realize just how much I took those things for granted instead of really taking the time to enjoy them.  I never realized just how short the time with our loved ones really is...  I thought my grandparents were invincible.  I thought they would always be around.  I never thought of any time when I would have to be without them.  

We live upstairs in their house now and have for 5 years.  Even though we remodeled and things look different, I still walk in the rooms and have so many memories.  Memories of our family dinners, or memories of hanging out in my grandmother's room...  It's going to be hard to leave here.  As excited as I am for something different,  It's not going to be easy to leave this place behind.  This is my home and always has been.  

May 10, 2010

TV shows, Restaurants, Parenting and Mother's Day - Monday Mingle for May 10, 2010

(Monday Mingle is below.  I just want to update a little!)

Well, you know the apprehension about eating bad at the communion party we had to go to on Saturday?  Now I know why I had that apprehension... My mom always told me that when I get a bad feeling, there is usually a reason for it... It's proved to be right more than once, but I never want to admit my mom was right.  Turns out, I got sick.  I wasn't feeling good throughout the party, but ignored it.  I just had no appetite and didn't feel like eating.  All I had was a small salad and some green beans with parmesan and almonds.  I got home from the party around 9 pm and around 9:30 I started vomiting.  Turns out, I had a high fever and just felt terrible all day yesterday and until about 12pm today.  It was horrible.  I hate getting sick and this was no different.  What a great Mother's Day I had bed all day.  We did go visit my Mom-Mom to give her the gift we had gotten her, but I ended up sleeping on her couch for the 3 hours we were there.  The kids were very cooperative and very good for my mom when I was sick, I have to give them that credit.   At least I woke up this morning and was 199!  (But I only ate one small bowl of soup yesterday!)  

So many people told me how great I looked when we were at the party.  I wore the dress I bought in the smallest size I've been in years.  I've worked so hard to lose this weight and most of these people haven't even seen me in an entire year, so I was a lot heavier.  I just felt so great that people noticed.  I definitely notice.  :) 

My kids had such a good time at the party.  Alayna definitely isn't shy... She ended up making friends with all the kids there and was dancing like crazy!  I have videos that I want to upload, because she was so adorable dancing with everyone.  Olivia even started dancing, after she got over being shy.  They had such a good time and looked like such little princesses!  If you want to see the rest of the pictures from the party, click here -- Communion Party Pictures.

Now onto Monday Mingle!! (Hosted by Eighty MPH Mom)

May 7, 2010

Isn't shopping supposed to be fun?

I have a communion party tomorrow and I am very apprehensive about going.  The reason why is funny... It's a buffet type setting.  What do I do at buffet type settings?  Um, well, duh...I eat.  (And eat, and eat, and eat.)  The place that the party is being held is family owned... (By a family friend)  We have had many parties here over the years and the food is just amazing.  I shouldn't be worried and should just eat in proper portions, but this is what my dieting is turning into... Fearing anything different than my normal healthy meals.  I feel like I have worked so hard to get to where I am and I know one meal won't screw up my diet that much.  I should just relax and remember to just eat right...  We'll see how that goes...

Buying a Mother's Day gift for my grandmother is just the most difficult thing.  My mom and I spent so much time yesterday and today trying to find the right gift.  I love my grandmother, but she is very much stuck in the past.  We've bought her so much over the years, and they end up in her attic. (Like the cordless phone, VCR, toaster oven, answering machine...)  Remember that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where they find a CD Player in the basement?  Yes, that's my grandmother.  It seemed like more of a project than a joy trying to shop for her! Ha! We ended up getting her the GT Express and a bath robe... Can't go wrong with a bath robe, but the GT Express may end up in the attic.

My mom and I had another great day of spending time together.  She had fun going to random places around our city and buying things that she found interesting.  I have to admit that I had fun too.  I love finding great deals and sales, and I found many of those today.  At Kohls, I saved $78.34 and only spent $35!  Sales = Pure joy!! lol  The kids also got imitation Bratz dolls from a discount store we went to.  I have to say, those imitation Bratz dolls are so much better than the authentic ones!  Their feet stay on and the shoes just go on the normal people.  Ha!! The authentic Bratz have pop off feet and the shoes fit on tiny pegs... Not something I enjoy.  I find feet everywhere!

Tomorrow is going to be the birth of a new giveaway!!  It's from The Vintage Pearl... Such a great company, such great products and it will be a great giveaway!  Keep posted!!

Yay mommy, SALAD!

My daughter gets so excited when she can go to a restaurant and make her own salad.  Probably the only kid I know who actually loves salad to the point of jumping for joy over being able to order one!  I have to say; she eats really well. 

I took my mother out to dinner tonight for Mother's Day.  I know it's early, but I probably won't have the time to do it the days leading up to Sunday because either she or I are just too swamped with things here or family events.  We had a really good time and had the time to talk to each other.  The kids were very well behaved; something that never happens when we go out to eat.  Well, Alayna was too excited about getting to make her own salad, and Olivia was too enthralled with the Bubbles game on my iPhone. lol  

My mom and I are actually starting to talk more normal and civil.  I enjoy that.  She and I have had to depend on each other since my dad died when I was 3, and I guess sometimes we do fight more than we talk...  Doesn't mean I love her any less and doesn't mean I don't want a better relationship with her.  She and I both made promises to each other to try to be calm and talk out our problems.  I hope she can stick to her end of the bargain.  I had a great time with her at dinner.  She was very thankful too.  I felt like I finally did something right.

Upon request of Alayna, she and I got the Wii hooked up again.  We spent a lot of the day playing Wii Tennis and Wii Bowling together.  (She's amazing at bowling!)  We also got Wii Fit and Guitar Hero up and running too! (Man, I am obsessed with Guitar Hero!)  I have been a little down on myself lately because of my weight loss plateau, but when I stepped on my Wii Balance Board for Wii Fit and saw that the last time I used it, June 2009, I was 50+ lbs more.  That just blew me away, I couldn't believe that.  I guess I couldn't believe it because since June 09 I have been so yo-yo ing with my weight and my eating habits.  I would eat good and then regress and just binge...  This time -- I'm not going to binge.  I'm not going to let anything hinder my results.  I feel motivated and loved working out on the Wii Fit today.  Tomorrow, I'm going to start a more rigorous workout routine.

We have a Communion party on Saturday and the kids didn't have dresses.  I also needed to find something new, since most of my dresses are big on me. We ended up going to Burlington Coat Factory and I have to say...I fell in love with the most gorgeous dress ever.  It was also a size 11.  That just made my day...  It made me feel successful and happy with myself.  I'm going to keep up the good work. :)

Oh, and Welcome Friday Follow!!

May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Guess What This Is.

I took this picture the other day with my iPhone and I think it came out interesting.  What do you think this could be? :)  It was taken in New York City, if that makes it any easier for anyone.  If someone actually guesses, I will send them a $10 Starbucks Gift Card.  (And yes, it is IN a building.)  If the winner doesn't like Starbucks, I can send a $10 Visa Gift Card as well.  [Your Choice]

Just leave your answer in the comments. :)

I'm heading out with my mom and kids for the rest of the day!  We're going to the mall to just walk around.  My mom is excited since she made some money at our yard sale!

May 3, 2010

10 Little Things that Lead to a Happier, Healthier You


As moms, we can't always go to the spa, get a professional manicure, pedicure, massage and I know sometimes we want one more than anything else in the world!  I whole-heartedly believe that we deserve one after those long days of chasing the kids, putting clothes back on numerous times, the poops that may worry us and the housework/errands we had to finish.  Moms are really supermoms...they are always on the go with very little sleep.  How do we stay sane?  How do we keep ourselves in check?  There has to be a way!  

1. MAKE SURE TO MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF -  If you don't take at least one hour per day (even when the kids go to bed) just relax.  Drink a glass of wine, watch a movie, take a bath... Just spend some time recollecting yourself.  If you don't do that, you'll probably start to feel overwhelmed.  I know that's how I felt.

2. Take time out to exercise - You can do this alone by walking earlier in the morning or going to the gym earlier in the morning or with your kids.  I have gotten many "mommy and me" exercise tapes over the years and Alayna, Olivia and I really enjoy doing them together!  It's a fun activity to keep them busy and yourself fit and relaxed. :) 

3. Drink plenty of water per day -  Water purifies your body and gets rid of unnecessary toxins.  It also keeps your skin hydrated and makes you feel better!  You should have (6) 8oz glasses of water per day.  You may also lose a pound or two in the process!

4.  Eat healthy -  Add some veggies or fruits into your food planning.  Maybe add a salad to your meal.  I was very surprised how eating healthier made me feel so much better and gave me so much more energy.  It also makes you feel like you're doing something 

5. Take some time outside -  I can vouch for the fact that if you go out in the fresh air with your kids, it will calm them down and they will usually go to sleep at their bedtime.  It's just the fresh air tires them out, not to mention the running around and playing outside as well!  That will lead to a happier, healthier you because you can get to relax earlier and not have to have the stress of kids that will not calm down. 

6. Take a shower and get dressed as soon as you wake up -  I know this from experience,  if you wake up before the kids, take a shower and get dressed right then and there.  There are some days that I haven't done that, and it ended up 12 am the next day before I even had a chance to take a shower.  I know it's more comfy to walk around in your jammies, but getting dressed makes you feel refreshed and better!

7. Read alone or with your kids -  Take at least 20 minutes a day and read by yourself or with your kids; whichever you prefer.  You'll feel better because reading is very relaxing, and if you are reading with your kids, you're spending quality time with them.

8. Don't diet, change your way of eating - After years of dieting, I realized this is important.  Diets are not reliable.  You may lose some weight, but as soon as temptation hits and you binge or cave; you will gain it back.  Take it from someone who has been there, done that and made that mistake too many times.  Rather, change your way of eating.  I started Nutrisystem with their plan and their food...a year later,  I know enough to cook my own healthy foods and still eat the appropriate serving sizes...  I thank Nutrisystem for their assistance in my learning what's a right portion and what's a wrong portion... And I'm still losing weight. :)  I definitely do suggest Nutrisystem if you are starting out.  Even though it is a plan, it isn't a diet.  It's a long term way of life. :)

9. Think of things that you are thankful for every day -  It is so easy to just concentrate on the negative things in our everyday life.  I have been there.  I used to take everything negative and let it get me down.  One day, I realized that was not the way to go throughout my day.  It didn't accomplish anything and just depressed me!  Instead, whenever I feel like I am getting down, I think of things I am thankful for and things that I feel make my life absolutely great.  It definitely works!

10.  Every week; paint your nails -  Rather you paint your own nails or buy a cheap pair of fakes, doing your own nails once a week really helps you feel like you're pampering yourself.  I look forward to that one day per week that I give myself a manicure.  It makes me feel lady-like and beautiful.  Give yourself some attention!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tropicana would like to offer you guys a special Juicy Rewards code! This one-time use exclusive code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account. Limit one new account bonus code per new account. All accounts must be created and all codes entered by May 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST  - Code is TWMOM-READR.