Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!


For those who celebrate the holiday today, Happy Easter!! We've already colored and hid the eggs, and had our big Easter dinner (we had an early celebration).  I used to go to Sunrise Service when I lived in a warm climate, but now that we're up north, it's not happening. ;) I'm not sure they even have them, if they do I haven't heard of them.  I do miss them though, there was something very nice about standing outside in the wee hours of the morning to hear the sermon.

If you don't celebrate the holiday, I still wish you a happy day!

For the upcoming week I will be doing something new.  We have an event going on in our house that's going to require me to be away from the computer all week long, so with the exception of Wordless Wednesday, I have posts scheduled each day from lovely ladies who have made wonderful contributions.  I hope you will stop by and give them a read.  I love that so many people pitched in and that so many others offered to help, if I needed it as well.  A big thank you to everyone who reads and/or who offered to help out.

I hope everyone's day is a really good one!


Winner Announcement!





Congrats to Louis whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Manhattan Toy giveaway!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Traditions?


Traditions used to be such a big part of my family when my grandparents were alive.  For instance, every Sunday we got dressed up, went to church, and then headed to Gram's for dinner.  Almost everything she made was homemade, from her noodles, to her biscuits, to her pies and most things in between.  And boy she could cook!  I can still see her now, dancing around in her half-apron, singing a little tune.



And she always cleaned up, right after dinner, and the ladies (myself included) went in the kitchen to help.  I'm sure I was more of a hindrance in that kitchen than I was a help, but she never once made me feel that way.  In fact, she had a special stool just for me (a metal chair with steps that slid in or out) to sit in while her and my mother did the dishes.  I can still envision all of us in the kitchen too, and hear the laughter, and see my grandma swatting my mom with her dish towel when my mom made an inappropriate crack.

As far as traditions go, holidays were never the exception.  Every holiday was spent at my grandmother's house.  On Easter morning, Mom and I would get all dressed up and go to church, then we'd head to my grandmother's house for the big meal and holiday festivities.  Gram and I would color eggs, then she'd turn them into deviled eggs that went on the dinner table.

It was comforting to have those traditions and consistencies in my life.


When I moved to another state, got married and had children of my own, my mother-in-law took the place of my grandmother. All holidays were at her house, she cooked a big meal, and my sister-in-law and I orchestrated the festivities for the kiddos.  Then the women retreated to the kitchen to help clean up (and the guys went outside or took naps, lol).  This kind of gathering wasn't unique to me, and it seemed like most everyone I knew experienced the same kind of holiday gathering.  Food, family, and fun.

Today I'm not seeing those traditions as consistently as I once did.  People are traveling during the holidays, arguing because they DON'T want to go to grandma's (ack, who'd have thunk it?!?), resentful that they feel pressured to go to their in-laws, and so on and so forth.  Those are just a few examples. You've probably seen something similar with someone you know too.  As a result of the lost consistency of holiday tradition, the holidays just don't seem as special as they used to (or maybe that's just me?).


Yesterday my husband and youngest got haircuts at the barber.  The lady cutting my son's hair was telling me how her grandchildren were in Florida for the holiday, and you could see she was visibly upset about it too.  She said, "I was thinking about it today and wondering what are they going to do for their eggs this year?  I guess just a plastic egg hunt if anything."  You could tell the idea didn't sit well with her.  She was obviously the one the kids came to on the holidays to color eggs.  I betcha' she usually made a big deal of the day and was happy to do it too.  And this year, she and her husband will be home sans kids on Easter Sunday.

It got me to thinking, and looking around me, and I noticed for the first time (or actually paid attention for the first time) that Christmas aside, there really isn't a lot of merit being given to the holiday traditions the way there used to be.


Every year dad hides the eggs, usually he's still in his jammies. ;)

We're deviating from the norm this year.  We did last year too.  Though we always have our egg hunt and Easter baskets, we're more inclusive now.  It's no longer a big deal, or a normal thing, to have the big family meal and family festivities as one big group. Families seem to be doing things more and more on their own, and grandma's house is not the first place everyone wants to go.  I'm not sure I like it.  I wonder if my younger children will have those fuzzy, happy memories of holidays the way I do?


Don't get me wrong, we celebrate the day, and we enjoy it, but never with the consistency from my youth.  We treat it as a holiday, a special day to do something fun or out of the ordinary (whatever it is we've decided to do for the day).  We don't treat it as a traditional holiday with traditional household/family norms. Maybe we're missing out.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Disney's "Planes" in 3D




Disney's got a new movie coming out, and I'd be lying if I didn't say we always anticipate a new Disney animation.  This one looks cute, and the drawings remind me of Cars, which of course was a family favorite in our house.  I love too, that it's got a Summer release date.  Will you be going?

“Like” Disney’s PLANES on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes

"Follow" Disney’s PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

Visit the website: www.disney.com/Planes

Disney’s PLANES releases in theaters everywhere on August 9th!



DISNEY’S PLANES (In 3D)
DISNEY
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyPlanes 
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures


Genre:                                      Animation/Adventure
Rating:                                      TBD
Release Date:                           August 9, 2013

Voice Cast:                               Dane Cook
Director:                                   Klay Hall          
Producer:                                  Traci Balthazor-Flynn

From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.

From above the world of “Cars,” “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane whose high-flying dream gives a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.


Honeywell True Hepa Tower Allergen Remover Air Purifier Giveaway


We have a walk-out basement that we use quite a bit (especially my husband who has claimed it as his man cave domain) and I have often considered that the air quality in it might not be up to par. Basements, are after all, underground.  One way I have considered to possibly counteract that potential truth is an air purifier.  I'm sure there are many other situations too, where an air purifier might be welcome or useful.  What better way to try one out, than to win one?

Welcome to The Honeywell True Hepa Tower Allergen Remover Air Purifier Giveaway.
Hosted by: Southern Belle
Sponsored by:  Kaz
Giveaway will run March 29th - April 5th
Open to U.S. only
One lucky winner will win their very own Honeywell True Hepa Tower Allergen Remover Air Purifier.
Information on the Honeywell True Hepa Tower Allergen Remover Air Purifier:
  • Easy Setup
  • Attractive tower design
  • Filters capture pollen, dust, smoke and pet dander
  • Easy to use controls
  • Three air cleaning levels
  • Electronic filter replacement reminder
  • ARB certified to comply with Federal ozone emissions limit
  • Works Great
You can read the full review here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email or another winner will be chosen. No exceptions. Sponsor (Kaz) has sole responsibility of prize fulfillment.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winner Announcement





Congratulations to Allison, whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Wax Vac giveaway!

Coloring Easter Eggs

I'm the first one to say I'm not going to do Pinterest much because I don't want to get addicted, but when I needed ideas for coloring Easter Eggs...where did I go first?  You guessed it.

It was fun, and I was delighted with some of the designs I found.  Sharing them would be fun, but I'm guessing some people don't like their photos shared, even if you cite the source.  So if you want to see my top three faves, I'll give the links.

My favorite was this Faux Gilded egg from Just Paint It.  I thought it had a great travel or map feel to it that I really liked!

My second favorite was the Glow in the Dark Easter Egg I found from Growing a Jeweled Rose. It is not a wild guess that the kids would love these, especially at nighttime.

And last but not least, I really liked these simple Twine Tied Eggs from Smart School House!  They look very easy to do and the twine adds just the right touch of festive to the project, without requiring a lot of time.

Of course there were a million other eggs I liked.  Star Wars characters, smiley faces, speckled robin's eggs, and so on and so forth.

In the end, because we'd been gone all weekend and didn't have a lot of time, we opted to just dye them with Vinegar and a color tablet (laugh if you want to, I did...all those elaborate plans and we did none of them, lol).  The dye tablets were simple, effective, and we thought it was fun.  But next year... maybe we'll be ready to move on to something more elaborate.

Simple Easter Egg Dye...Making Kids happy for years. But NEXT year, we might just get crafty. ;)

Are you doing eggs this year? If so, are they done yet? Do you get fancy, or keep it simple?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are You Ready to Embrace the Upcoming Summer?

http://www.firmoo.com/wrap-around-rx-sunglasses.html



If you read here regularly, you already know we have used Firmoo and enjoyed the site. It's also a site that I have recommended to friends and family.  The prices are affordable and the quality of the prescription eyeglasses we received was very solid.  But did you know Firmoo also sells sunglasses (with or without a prescription)?

With the summer in the air, have you all been ready to embrace it with the utmost enthusiasm and vigor? Now, sunglasses have conventionally been the ideal tool to prevent the fatal and life threatening UV radiation and annoying glare. In this upcoming summer, what will lead the fashion trend in the sunglasses department? We dare to say wraparound sunglasses for their better protection from UV rays (http://www.firmoo.com/wrap-around-rx-sunglasses.html). But for the people who have vision problems, a pair of sunglasses is not enough. In this case, prescription sunglasses (http://www.firmoo.com/prescription-sunglasses.html) can provide an excellent service.


http://plus.firmoo.com/

http://plus.firmoo.com/


Where will you get sunglasses? Firmoo (www.firmoo.com) should be one of your better choices, because they are offering sunglasses with high quality but at wholesale price. The latest styles and designs will make you outstanding among the public.

http://plus.firmoo.com/

http://plus.firmoo.com/

Since warm weather is almost here, it’s the greatest time to grace your eyes with a pair of bold sunglasses. Come on, let’s rock the fashionable sunglasses.

http://plus.firmoo.com/

http://plus.firmoo.com/
1. All the photos above are from Firmoo (http://plus.firmoo.com), the World’s NO.1 Eyewear Styling Community which focuses on the styling of eyewear and clothes, accessories, etc. Welcome all fashionistas to join in!

2. Firmoo is inviting bloggers to review their products for free, go to this link page http://www.firmoo.com/free-eyewear-trial.html to apply for Firmoo free eyewear free trial.  


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (Mission Accomplished)

Props to the hubs for a job well done, he held in there long after little man got tired of building. 

Free Lunch?


No one gets a free lunch.  Or so the old saying goes.

Until you get to the corporate world, and then they give you free lunch all of the time... but I digress. ;)

When I was a kid, I refused to eat at school.  We were too poor to pack a lunch, and I was too embarrassed to use my free lunch ticket.  Silly, I know, but true.  So I would go all day with no breakfast or lunch until it was time to come home from school, and it was by choice. My mom never knew I was embarrassed to be poor and she most certainly never knew that I skipped my meals.

My mom lost a child (stillborn) before I was conceived.  Then, when she was nine months along with me, my father passed away.  The two tragedies in a row when she was so young must have been a lot to bear, I'm certain of it, but something happened to her way of thinking, something that kept her from wanting to reach out and grab life.  She retreated into a shell after that and never took chances, never tried to make a better life for herself.  She was simply content to just get by.  She's still like that today.  The implications for herself and for me were great, including the fact that my whole childhood was wrought with the real ache of being poor.

Now I'm grown and have kids of my own, and I lovingly make packed lunches almost every single morning (hubby packs most days too).  It's such a joy for me to provide a well balanced lunch for the family to take to school and/or work.

It's something I find great comfort in, even though it doesn't mean much to them...they take it for granted, and I like it that way. :)


Those things that were huge in my life are now small today, but they still color so many of the things I do, the way I think, the person I am.

I've grown up, fought my way out of poverty, secured a solid career and valid education.  We are not rich by any means, nor are we poor.  We are happily middle class.  And while that doesn't mean much to anyone else in the world, it means everything to me because my children have food. They have clothes (a lot of them).  We own our own home, with a nice piece of land.  And we have prepared for their, and our futures. They will never know the burden of being poor like I did.  I don't remember to thank God for that every day, but I'm remembering it today.  I am thanking God that if you reach out and persist, and try, and work hard, you can make positive changes in your life.  I am thanking God for my good health, and the good health of my husband and children.  And I am thanking God even for my childhood.  Regardless of the poor I grew up in, as a small child I was always happy and loved, and safe.  And that has colored me too.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Winner Announcement (The Croods Poster/Toy)





Congrats to Valerie whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of The Croods movie poster and Belt plush!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Weekend Mini-Vaca

Do you ever go to another city that's close to home just to have a little break?

My husband is a major sports nut, and always has been.  Growing up he earned a scholarship for baseball, in college he became an avid MSU fan (basketball and football), and now that he's an adult, there's not many games he misses on the radio, TV, in the news, or when he's got time, in person.

The man is a walking sports statistic machine too.  I never doubt how much knowledge the human mind can hold when he starts talking to one of his friends about sports.


Right now brackets are big in the house.



And it's Fantasy Baseball season.



Draft night for the Fantasy Baseball was last night, in a city that's quite the hike from our house, so we decided to make a night of it.  We dropped my husband off at the drafting site, and off we went to explore the hotel, the pool, and then to take in our first ever IMAX movie (we finally saw the new Oz movie).



And then we finished up with silly pictures in a photo booth for good measure.


This morning we're meeting up for breakfast with friends that live this a'way, and then we'll be headed home.

The hotel was free (from points we've accumulated) and it was nice to get a break from cooking, cleaning, and "things to do."  A short but sweet mini vaca, juuuuust away from home.

Quite honestly, I don't think we've ever done such a thing, and we probably won't again any time soon, but it really was refreshing.

Do you ever mini-vaca close to home?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Water Shoes? Toe Shoes? Something... And another birthday!

Three of my four kids have birthdays in March.  I posted about my daughter's birthday recently.  I didn't post about my oldest child's birthday celebration, even though he was here visiting while it occurred (we celebrated his wife's birthday too, which is a day before his) because we had it a public place with members of the family who don't like to be on the Internet (and they were in all of the party pictures).

The last birthday this month belongs to my second oldest who is about to be 20. He's smart & has this really great sense of humor.  And he loves to travel, just like his mama.  And just like me he doesn't care where we're going, just let's get going. ;)

The big guys goofing around on vacation.

 He's also my water baby, and has loved water since the time he could crawl.

Hanging with his sister in the pool.  

Taking his little brother on the tube last summer.


Chillin' at the Lake

We spent the majority of our lives in south Florida (my oldest three were born there) so it stands to reason that they all love the beach, the ocean, and water activities.  

This particular child (ah...young man I should say, since he will officially be out of his teen years in a few days) moved back to Florida a year after he graduated high school, to attend college. 

So today I was surfing the net to see what I could send him to help celebrate his big day, and I came across these shoes.  I knew instantly that he would love them.

Fila Skele-toes:
Source

Have you ever seen such a thing?  I wanted to get him one of the brighter, funkier colors, but wasn't sure he'd like that, so I stuck with the black.

And now I have to deal with him being grown and gone for the first time ever, on his birthday.  Goodness, I'm going to have to be very busy that day. ;)  I get so nostalgic thinking about the boys being home, and quite honestly I have a love/hate relationship with them being gone.  I love it because I know they're supposed to grow up and do their own thing, and I know it's healthy that they're gone.  And I hate it because I miss them being right here with their mama.

Little Guy

5th Grade w/his little sister running behind him. 

Graduation Ceremony for his Mama (this was my 2nd degree & he wanted to wear the cap and gown for pictures before we went in).

Prom

His High School Graduation

I wrote a little about missing him when he first left, and I still feel just like that even though it's been a good 7 months since then.  Goodness I love that child.

And now it's his birthday.  So one more happy birthday this month, this time to one of the five people who are forever in my heart, my second oldest.

NuNaturals Review with Discount & Giveaway


NuNaturals, Inc. is the latest buzz in cooking and healthy eating.  Why? In large part because of the NuStevia which allows for an excellent way to prepare healthier food items without the use of sugar!  The product is a PreSweet Tagatose that offers a 1:1 ration for sugar sweetness, this allows for a whole new world of cooking to open for those who cannot or will not eat sugar.

We used ours for a Smothered Pork Chop recipe and Friday (when we'll have a house full of kids) we'll be using NuStevia to make Smoothies.

The pork chops came out great, just substituting NuStevia when the recipe called for sugar.

Ingredients:
4 large pork chops (bone-in tastes better but we used boneless which is fine too)
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/4 c. all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour)
14.5 oz. chicken stock
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. chopped Parsley
1. tbsp. butter (substitute what you like here)
1 tbsp. NuStevia
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste


Cooking Directions:
Salt and Pepper the chops.
Melt half of the butter in a skillet and brown each side of the pork chops (4-5 minutes per side).
Remove from skillet and keep warm.
Use remaining butter in the skillet and add your onions. Saute until golden brown. Add, flour, NuStevia, and Cumin. Stir until it's a pretty gold/brown color.
Add your chicken broth and mustard, stirring well and let it boil.
As soon as it begins to boil, reduce it to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for five minutes.
Add parsley and stir.
Return pork chops to the pan and simmer until pork chops are thoroughly cooked.
Serve hot.
We added yellow rice, broccoli, and carrots to the plate.

There are other many other NuNatural products available too, for all of your healthy eating desires and needs.  From Tagatose, to Oat Fiber, to Cinnamon Sticks, to Gourmet Vanilla Beans grown in Papua New Guinea (without pesticides or chemical fertilizers), and many things in between, they've got you covered.

One of their products I enjoy is the Stevia Flavored liquid.  These drops offer a fantastic way to add a burst of flavor to your baking (I think we're going to try the orange drops the next time we bake cranberry muffins), but another way to use them that I really like is simply adding a drop or two of flavoring to my morning coffee.  Today is my husband's day off for the week and he used the Pure Liquid Chocolate NuStevia and I used the Pure Liquid Orange NuStevia.  Both were delicious.  My advice here is to start out small (one drop) and add more as desired.  The flavors are potent (which is a good thing).


Of course there are many other uses for the Pure Liquids, but putting a drop or two in your coffee is a most excellent way to indulge in a decadent tasting morning treat, without the worry of indulgent-decadent-treat calories. ;)

You can learn more about NuNatural and their products by visiting their website.  You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Mail4Rosey readers who place an order prior to June 30, 2013 can receive a 15% discount off of their entire order by using the discount code: BLG0613.

Four lucky readers are going to win (1) bottle each of the Lemon / Orange / Peppermint Flavored SteviaLiquids, PLUS one of the new Chocolate Stevia Liquid.

Giveaway is open Worldwide.



a Rafflecopter giveaway







Winner Announcement


Congratulations to the following seven winners who were randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winners of the Firmoo eyeglasses giveaway.  The first winner randomly selected (MW H) will receive the free pair of glasses, and the six names following have already been e-mailed their certificate code for $30 off of designer frames.



Thank you to everyone who entered!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Free Blogger Giveaway Opportunity

 photo Buttons2_zpsd5428d7a.jpg


Sign - up now for the Honeywell True Hepa Allergen Remover Tower Air Purifier.
You will receive a free facebook or twitter link with announcement post.
Giveaway will begin March 29th and will be open to U.S. residents. Add southerngirlhl@aol.com to your contacts. You are invited to join the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/313631575411481/

Sign up HERE

Grab the Announcement post here

Doughnuts with Mom



I love my son's school, they always have happy little events going on and tons of participation from the parents too.  It's a small school, but trying to find a parking spot within comfortable walking distance can be quite the challenge if you're not significantly early for an event (not that we would know about such things, mind you ;) ).

This morning was "Doughnuts with Mom Day" (they had "Doughnuts with Dad Day" last week but dad couldn't go, he has to be to work too early).

It's basically just a morning of donuts and juice (coffee for the parents) and reading.  And it's fun.  The kids get excited about it, and the parents always like a chance to participate.

I wish they did these kinds of things in the middle and high schools too, but I guess such things lose their luster of cool when the kids get older.

In any case, it was a nice way to start the morning.  My son went a little overboard, bringing six books along, but that's okay, I like that he likes to read. ;)



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Worldless Wednesday (The Gatekeeper)

The GateKeeper is coming to Cedar Point.  We'll be there, will you?
WKYC (photo source) has a photo gallery up if you're interested in seeing it.

Little Me Giveaway (starts 3/20 at 7pm Central)

MBP

Little Me has adorable clothing for all seasons, but right now they've also got some of the cutest summer clothes I've seen (and summer will be here before you know it). If you have a little one head on over and take a look, I'm pretty sure you'll be delighted too.  
If you're the parent of a multiple birth, please continue reading:
Multiple birth is a joyous occasion that is understood and cherished by Little Me. Understanding that expecting a multiple birth is both a magical and a worrisome time in your life; they would like to help you focus on the double, triple, quadruple… adorable smiles and giggles you’ll have coming to you times many!
Little Me is offering a “Welcome to the World” gift after your multiple child birth. To receive your free gift please register for the Multiple Birth Program.
Enjoy!

Welcome to the BIG Little Me Giveaway!

Sponsored by Little Me - Organized by Mom Powered Media

Grand Prize $250 Little Me Gift Certificate

Five winners will receive a $100 Little Me Gift Certificate

Twenty winners will receive a $50 Little Me Gift Certificate

Giveaway ends April 15th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Mail4Rosey is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Do You Use the Phone for Phone Calls?



I distinctly remember how much joy the telephone brought me when  I was a kid, mostly in middle and high school, but before that too.

When I was growing up, every home had a phone.  Every phone had a cord.  And every house with a child had a parent who told them to stop pulling that cord so far while they were talking on it.

Calling my grandparents was always a treat.

Talking to my friends after school was a given...does anyone remember hearing, "What on Earth could you possibly have to talk about for so long when you just saw each other all day in school??"  

And then when I got old enough to have a guy friend, talking on the phone was elevated to a whole new level of importance.

Today talking on the phone seems to have lost its allure.  Most people, children and adults included, break out their phones to communicate via text, not by dialing a number.  I asked my son once why he didn't just call his girlfriend instead of texting her, and he said he doesn't like talking on the phone.

This morning I woke up thinking about one of my closest out-of-state friends.  We used to talk on the phone fairly regularly.  Now a'days we send each other e-mails, and we see each other at least once a year (usually).  We next to never talk on the telephone.  E-mail... yet another form of communication that has replaced the telephone call.

So, I'm curious:  Is the telephone becoming obsolete?  Do you use other forms of communication far more often than you make a call?  I know a lot of homes don't even have landlines anymore and I can't help but scratch my head and wonder, Who woulda' thunk it??