Friday, May 31, 2013

Flashback Friday


On Friday's Camille runs a fun blog hop called Flashback Friday.

The rules are simple, simply link up an old picture, video, or post, and have fun!  I like it because it gives me a valid excuse to go through the old photo albums.

Today I found these oldies but goodies. That's me about to get in the plane. My second oldest was 6 months old, the oldest was 5 (they're 20 and 25 now). It was a long time ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I always wanted to go back and do it again, but never did get around to it.  I opted for the tandem jump, only because you had to take a 6-hour class if you wanted to jump solo, and I didn't want to take that much time away from my little guy. With the jumper on your back you literally got briefed, flew up, and jumped out. Easy Peasy. One of the instructors jumped with flip flops on!!  Still shaking my head 20-yrs. later. :)
 
About to board the plane w/other jumpers
I'm on the far left.
Coming in for the landing.
That's my nephew on the left taking my picture as I land.
He was 6 then (he's 26 now). ;)

If you have an old picture, video, or post that you'd like to share, here's Camille's Code so you can link up too!  Happy Friday to you! :) 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thursday's Favorite Things

Katherine's Corner is the place to be on Thursday's, with one of the most popular blog hops around. There's always a very talented group of bloggers who link up, and I never leave without learning something incredibly awesome and/or new. I've also come across some really great bloggers there too, that I am now happy to call friends.

If you haven't visited before, I highly recommend it because it's a really fun place to be. I'll be around to visit as many of you as I can. I am so happy to be co-hosting once again. Thank you, Katherine!


Thursday Favorite Things

Its Time For Thursday Favorite Things! Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Please share the hop with your readers and let Katherine know if you would like to co-host with her. 

Remember to leave her a comment if you are a new follower so she can follow you back.

Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few: Please DO NOT link and run...visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing at the hop.

·         Follow Katherines Corner preferably through Email it’s on her right sidebar (or facebook twitterbloglovin, etc. they are on her sidebar too) And My Blog too.
·         Visit as many blogs in the list as you can, please leave a comment so they know you stopped by!
·         Share the button or a linklback on your post. Grab the hop button code from Katherines button page It’s always nice to have the hop button on your post. It IS NOT mandatory; but a Link back to Katherines Corner is always appreciated. 

·         No adult content blogs or links directly to your shops please
·         Yes you can link giveaways ( they are everyone's favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the Win It Page at Katherines Corner too!


De-clutter and Earn Money Too!

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Music Magpie. 


Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

The Geese are back in full force, which is a good thing. It means winter is finally gone and warm weather is here to stay. From what I've been hearing and reading lately, most everyone who's been through winter has the cleaning bug right now. I know I do. The weather's warmer and we're itching to lighten up the colors, clean out the closets, open the windows, and get rid of the clutter.  For me, that includes going through the DVDs and CDs that have been sitting in boxes for years, and finally considering what to keep and what to give away.

Between my husband and I we literally have thousands of CDs. It's a tad ridiculous. Not as ridiculous as the amount of time it took us me to transfer them all to the iPod, but that's a different story for a different day. ;)  The funny thing is that I have the songs backed up on an external hard drive too, but I've just been having a hard time taking that final step to let go of the hard copies. I don't need them, and I know it. They've literally been sitting in boxes, unused, for years.



We don't have near as many DVDs that we're willing to part with (you can't back those up so easily), but we do have some.

musicMagpie has a service, which I recently discovered, that pays you money for your used CDs, DVDs, and games. It's FREE to use, and very easy. You just type in the barcode of the item you want to sell and it will tell you how much money they are willing to offer for your item. Easy Peasy, and a great way to de-clutter and make money at the same time. What's not to love?

I'm going to run it by hubby this evening when he gets home from work and see if he's willing to part with the CDs and DVDs we have but don't use anymore. Have you ever heard of such a service? Is it something you think you might like to use?

Baby Basket (Wordless Wednesday)

She has most excellent options to sleep in, including a beautiful crib and bassinet, but her mom and dad thought it would be fun to put her in a basket for size.  LOL!  My little sweet, nice, beautiful, teeny tiny baby granddaughter. :)

ClosetMaid 9 Cube Organizer w/Storage Bins (Giveaway)

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize delivery. Full disclosure at post end.

closetmaidgiveaway

Sponsored By: ClosetMaid
Thank you to our wonderful Co-Hosts for helping us out with this great giveaway: Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Four Littles, Tunica Mama, and Recreate and Decorate.

Everything Mommyhood has teamed up with ClosetMaid and a great group of bloggers to offer you this opportunity. ClosetMaid has been around for over 45 years helping people get organized in their homes. They are the worldwide leader in home storage and organization. Their products are sold at retailers across the nation including Target, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, Amazon and more! Check out Everything Mommyhood's ClosetMaid Review.

The options for how best to use an item like this one are innumerable. From the laundry room, to the utility room, to the family room and beyond, there are so many ways I can think of to properly utilize the usefulness of a ClosetMaid Cube Organizer. For us, the youngest child's bedroom was the perfect place to put one.
I saw this in the store, brought it home, and cleaning since then has been a cinch. I just have him put his toys in the bins, and voila', no more messes (and it's easy for him too).  It looks attractive, the room stays clean, and he and I have no friction or stress about keeping the toys off of the floor. Plus it's helped teach him accountability. Definitely a win-win situation all the way around.

Here's the giveway: ClosetMaid is offering ONE lucky winner a chance to win a 9 Cube Organizer in Dark Cherry w/4 storage bins! All you have to do is enter on the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Giveaway begins 5/29/2013 at 12am EST and will end 6/16/2013 at 11:59pm EST. US Residents only, void where prohibited 18 and up All winning entries WILL be verified
Disclosure: This giveaway is not associated with, affiliated with, endorsed by, sponsored by, or connected to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social media platform in any way. Social media outlets are in no way responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. The sponsor alone is responsible for fulfilling the aforementioned prize. This blog did not receive compensation for posting this giveaway. Your information will not be shared with anyone without your explicit consent. This giveaway event is hosted by Darci at Everything Mommyhood, please contact her with any questions at EverythingMommyhood@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Rush Giveaway

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey was not offered compensation to help promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize delivery.

Summer Rush Giveaway

Welcome to the Summer Rush Giveaway!

Host
Co-Hosts

The kids are almost out of school, summer is fast approaching, and that means it's time to break out the swim suits and the fun. At a loss for ideas? This inflatable ought to do the trick!

About our sponsor:  BlastZone , need I say more. The name says it all! They have all the good stuff your kids will love. HUGE Bounce Houses, Waterparks, and more. If you’re looking for some fun this summer at an affordable price you cannot go wrong with BlastZone products. Inflatables are an awesome way for the kids to burn some energy and have loads of fun. Your kid will be the coolest kid on the block with one of the awesome Inflatables from BlastZone.com. Take a moment and check out all the awesome products that BlastZone has to offer. The summer fun starts as low as $100 at BlastZone

This giveaway will run from May 28, 2013 until June 30, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. Open to US, and you must be at least 18 to enter. If you have any questions regarding the giveaway or would like to see your brand featured in a giveaway you can contact Jenn at Sweeps@JennsBlahBlahBlog.com or at Jenn@PinkNinjaMedia.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Memorial Day Festivities

Downtown

Yesterday I posted a tribute to the military and expressed our gratitude to those who have, or are still serving. It was a touching day for us, and one we enjoyed despite the chill in the air (at the end of May!) and the constant rain.

At lunchtime I stepped outside for something and even with it raining, I could clearly hear a neighbor standing   outside, playing Taps on his bugle. WHO DOES THAT??? It was so surprising that I was transfixed. It was an amazing, touching thing, and I hated when it was over. I suspect it was the older gentleman down the road who had his flag flying half mast, and was most likely a member of the military.

Just as he was finishing the neighbor next door stepped out, in his dress uniform (police) and gave a wave. I suspected, and later it was confirmed that he was going to participate in the Memorial Day tribute.

Ronald McDonald gave hubby a smile on a stick. He's such a clown (Ronald, not hubby. hehehe)

Then we headed out with our little family to enjoy the public festivities. The outdoor BBQ was cancelled due to rain. The inflatable bounce house, face painting, and such were also cancelled due to the rain. The tribute and parade were still going to go though, and we didn't want to miss it.

It was amazing how many people showed up, despite the constant rain, and I thought that was really awesome.


One float in the parade was comprised of a group of older veterans. They were riding on the back of a truck with a flat back (like for a hay ride), sitting on their bench seats in the rain, waving to the crowd. On each side of the truck were large pictures of the members when they were younger, in their military uniforms. I thought that was really cool. An older woman was sitting up front singing God Bless America. When it was time to leave, our car was parked in the lot with a retirement bus and workers were helping those same people from the float dismount from the truck and make it to the bus. That made it even more touching to me, for some reason.


I really liked the old cars. The one above had a 1901 plate on the front. The one below is the one that hubby marveled over the most (it even 'sounded!' like one of the old race cards he said... which made me laugh since, hello it was one of the old race cars). Never mind, he's my husband, I can laugh at him if I want to. ;)


Remember I lived in South Florida for 18 years, so John Deere was not a household name. Sure, we knew who he was, but Ron Jon had more meaning. ;) So... to see the way things work up here, with the fairs, parades and such always makes me laugh. But I'll tell you, I'm starting to like it.

The grand finale' was the firetrucks, but just before them, making their grand entrance and exit was a looong line of tractors.  Two different tractors had women riding in the little seat on the back.  Again, in the rain, lol!



It was a good time, and a nice way to spend the extra day off in the week.
I hope everyone who celebrates the day had a good one.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day


Memorial Day has such a deep meaning for us, and for everyone being protected by the freedom of our nation. Can you imagine a world where we weren't free to enjoy our choices, live our lives, and go about our own business at whatever level of autonomy we choose?

Neither Can I.  Neither Could They.

Our family is full of military men on both my husband's side and my own.

My husband served, and is a Gulf War veteran.

My son is serving now.

If they're not in uniform, they are thought of as just people on the street. But to the people who love them, they are our sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, spouses, children, aunts , uncles, and friends...and they are the ones who would give up their lives so we can keep our freedom. Today is a day to remember our national heroes. It is a day to honor those who are serving, and a day to remember those who have lost their lives so that we can continue to live ours freely. They are the ones that serve so I can close this post with the words, "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All," and that is no small thing.


Kindness Kingdom Board Game (review & giveaway)


Disclaimer: I received a product to better facilitate the review. All opinions stated, however, are genuine and my own.



Marvelously Well Mannered is a company who believes, like I do, that good manners begin at home. The importance of teaching our children how to behave politely, use good manners, and exhibit good taste while in public cannot be overrated. Here is some good news: An easy way to reinforce the good manners we are already, or wish to be teaching our children can now be done in a very fun way!


Kindness Kingdom is a board game that was created with good manners in mind. It is for 2-4 players, ages 5 and older. Players travel around to each of the eight neighborhoods in Kindness Kingdom hoping to collect charms for the bracelet the winner will use to gain entrance into the tea party.  There are different piles of cards, each drawn by a player in different situations, and they all deal with manners, in one way or another. From teaching proper terminology, discussing the faux pas, and everything in between, Kindness Kingdom offers positive learning for its players from beginning to end. There are many cards available, so the game will remain fun/fresh and continue to be a learning experience each time it is played. There are other cool surprises along the way as well, and a healthy dose of humor is peppered throughout.


It is a fun game, and a don't-miss opportunity for teaching young children important issues such as empathy, kindness, social skills, and proper etiquette. The end of the game, keeping in proper alignment with the theme, encourages the 'winner' to cheer the other players along until they too reach the gates of the tea party, because of course a tea party is never as fun when it's only for one.

I have nothing but good things to say about the game itself. I do hope, however, that Kindness Kingdom comes out with a more 'boy friendly' version in the future. My son loved playing but he did wonder where the knights and dragons were located. ;)

You can learn more about the company and the game on their website.  You can also follow them on Facebook, where you will find other tips, niceties, definitions, and the like updated on a regular basis.

Enter below to win a copy of your own. US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


iPad Mini Giveaway

iPadMini

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey did not receive any form of compensation to help promote this post.   

Welcome to the iPad Mini Giveaway!

Of course when the iPad came out all of the guys in my family (tech junkies) had to get their fix. Now the iPad Mini is the newest addition to Apple’s iPad family with all of the features of the iPad but at a smaller and more convenient size, and the guys are hoping to get their hands on these babies too. With a 7.9-inch display, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime and iSight cameras, thousands of available apps, and a 10-hour battery life, the iPad Mini has quickly become one of the most popular tablets on the market.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Betty Crocker Summer Cakes (with Infographic)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions stated are sincere and my own.

I've often talked talked about my grandmother and how she home cooked everything, and was always glad to let me help. Though I'm sure my 'help' was not really so helpful, she never let on and I never realized it until I was grown. Furthermore, it did just what I suspect she wanted it to do, and that was make me feel special, helpful and loved. We made some great memories in her kitchen, and now it's my turn to pass that sort of kindness on to my own children.

Betty Crocker Infographic Source

Betty Crocker realizes how special cooking with kids can be, and just in time for summer they've compiled a list of Summer Birthday Cakes that can easily (and fairly quickly) be made in the kitchen with the kiddos.  Check out some of these great recipes found here.

My favorite is the watermelon cake:

Source

My daughter is fond of rainbows and butterflies, making this the perfectly predictable (& scrumptious looking!) choice for her:

Source

And my little one 'ohh ohh oooohed' at the ice cream cone cakes below.

Source

There are many other great summer cake ideas too, many of which would work well to foster the bond between you and your precious littles (or not-so-littles) in the kitchen this summer.

Children do remember the fun things they consistently do with their parent(s). Why not make one of those memories this summer, be filled with the goodness of cake?

Winner Announcement





Congratulations to Sandy V. whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Krill Oil giveaway.

Teton Sports Mammoth Sleeping Bag Giveaway


Cuddle up Outdoors Button

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey did not receive compensation to help promote this post.

Prize:
ARV $199
Hosted by:

It's that time of year when camping is on everyone's mind, and a big woo hoo for it! Everyone in our house loves to take a camping excursion, but come night time, regardless of the hot temperatures during the day, it can get downright chilly. That is where the Teton Sports Mammoth comes into play.

This mammoth sleeping bag has quilting throughout and "cushioning around zipper and shoulder to keeps drafts out".  Built for two or more people it has three sided zippering for easy access from either side.  This is roughly the size of a queen mattress so you can even fit the little ones if you want!

Best of all there is a Oxford Compression Sack with Drawstring Closure to hold the sleeping back when not in use!  The "mummy style" hood holds pillows in place as you sleep!
M.O.O.N. Logo
 Teton Sports "was started in 2005 in Utah with a very long not-to-do list as opposed to the traditional to-do list. We do just a few things, but we try hard to do them well."  Their short but great list of products include sleeping bags, tents, bags/backpacks, cots, and a variety of accessories.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


"Make Our Own Network" solely organized this event and I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are 100% my own and may differ from your own or even those stated in this post. Mail4Rosey is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

**If you are a company and would like to see your brand advertised in a M.O.O.N. event similar to this please contact ldybug1682@gmail.com

Getting Ready for Summer Giveaway

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey did not receive compensation to help promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize delivery.


Hosted by:
and 
Your Fashion Resource

Co-Hosted by:

Barbara's Beat, BabyDashCoCapri's CouponsMaria's SpaceStay a Stay at Home MomMy Natural FamilySimply SherrylThe Parenting PatchThe Mommy NestMy Devotional ThoughtsAll in a Day's Work Kaisy Daisy's Corner  

The best thing about summer, hands down, is outside playtime. You may have little ones who like to be pulled around in a wagon, bigger ones who like bikes, or kiddos who are hoping to get a scooter. Whatever the case, this giveaway is geared towards summer fun!

Come and join us on this great giveaway
"Getting ready for Summer"
We will have 3 winners, all prizes will be ordered and shipped from Toysrus.com





Prize #1 Any bike up to $150 (kids or adult/Safety accessories not included)















Prize #2 Step2-Touring-Wagon-Functions Value $119 (if not available winner can pick another wagon up to $119)


Prize # 3 Scooter up to $80 (Safety accessories not included)


US Only

June 1 to June 30

All entries are optional

Disclosure:  Mail4Rosey is not responsible for prize. If you have any questions about this giveaway please send an email to nysavingspecials@gmail.com.  All entries are optional, if you do any of the tasks with the 10 extra entries, even if you do one entry you can get the extra 10 entries  but if the winner tasks is a tasks you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen. If the winner tasks is the one you did you will be the winner.

NYSavingSpecials is responsible for prize.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flashback Friday


Just curious...do you think of bloggers in groups?  I find that if I think of one blog to visit, the same two, three, or even four will come to mind to visit as well.

Maybe it's because I met one through another; they collaborate regularly on a meme; or the blog authors just seem like good friends.

There are also some days I associate with blog activities, though I don't always participate in them consistently, depending on what's on my plate. I like the blog hops, but if I don't have time to hop around, I won't sign up for the day. Friday, I associate with four things, three hops that I have visited pretty regularly since they started, and now Camille's Flashback Friday.

Last week was the first time I participated in Flash back Friday, and I think I like it so much because I get to go through old photo albums. My husband has TONS of old pictures that his mom has given him over time, and I love to flip through them. I, on the other hand, only have one small photo album from my childhood, but in it are my mom and dad's wedding pictures, my beloved grandparents (on both sides), and pictures of me and my half brother together. Everyone in the album except me and my mother, has passed, so while it's a little album, it's still very special to me.

In it are about (5) photos of me at various stages throughout childhood. All of the pictures in the little album are getting old now, with little spots forming, yellowing, and fading. The one I've posted today shows some very crooked bangs. My first thought was I must have gotten into the scissors, but then I remembered my mom always cutting my hair, and never getting it straight. People used to tease her about it, so I'm guessing that's what was going on here too. No idea how old I was, but the chubby little arms made me laugh.

The picture's getting old, faded, spotted, and stained...it def. qualifies as a flashback photo because believe you me, it was taken a loooooooong time ago. ;)


You can link up here, if you'd like to hop along. Thanks for hosting, Camille!
http://www.asortafairytale.com/2013/05/flashback-friday_23.html

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sick Ag'in?

Have you ever heard of winter allergies? My youngest child gets sick a lot in the winter. Just a fact. And in the wind, if his ears aren't protected, he gets an earache, a big one. His pediatrician says it's winter allergies. I've never heard of such a thing (though his teacher confirmed she's heard of it quite a lot lately). He has none of the symptoms associated with those of allergy sufferers, and the medicine the doctor told us to get once for his 'allergies' listed traditional allergy symptoms on the bottle. I like his pediatrician, but for this one, I think he's off.

Yesterday the weather was NICE all day long. Towards the end of the day, ominous skies predicted rain, and a visit to the weather channel showed that we were in for a thunderstorm.

We went to soccer practice and all was well the first half, but come part deux, the winds started to really pick up. Of course little man didn't have a hat on, it was still nice and warm, just windy as all get out. He came off the field tugging at an ear, and I knew what was in store.


Sure enough, he and I were up all night fighting a fierce ache in his ear and a fever. He got about two hours of sleep all night long, and I got even less.

Have you heard of winter allergies? Or does anyone have a child who just doesn't fare well with windy and/or cold weather? I have four kids and it's my very first time going through such a thing. I feel bad for my little one.  Seems you should be able to enjoy being out and about whatever the weather or season! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Earring Giveaway


Disclosure: I did not receive any form of compensation for this post, and all opinions stated are my own.

Sonya from It's a Bee's Life by Tee-iabo Designs (blog) & Tee-iabo Designs (Etsy) and her cousin Iris have a great pair of earrings to give away to one lucky Mail4Rosey winner. Handcrafted with care and love like each and every item in their store is, these earrings are both stylish and pretty, and they're a fantabulous way to ring in the summer!

You can see from the design that they will go with just about anything in your wardrobe, and they can easily be used to dress an outfit up or down, depending on the look you're after for the day. The versatility, neutral colors, style, and homemade crafting of these earrings make them a wonderful addition to any collection of jewelry.

Take a look at Sonya and Iris' shop where you'll also find most excellent hand-painted clothing, more handmade jewelry, accessories, and more. There's truly something for everyone in their store.

One person is going to get the fabulous earrings pictured above, simply by entering on the Rafflecopter form below.  Thank you Sonya and Iris for hosting this great giveaway! US entrants only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



TEA'S TEA® Summer Sweepstakes Promotion (with giveaway)!


I already know that so many of you love a good sweepstakes, and this one is a must-share. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, TEA's TEA® is offering you the chance to win a trip Australia. While there the winner will receive a VIP tour of ITO EN's Tea Farm. In addition to the grand prize, hundreds of other prizes will be handed out all summer long, and we're talking fun things here like cameras, tablets, things for the beach, and free tea coupons.


To enter, register at the TEA's TEA® Facebook page, and then use Facebook, Twiter, or Instagram to capture a refreshing summer moment that you'll share along with the hashtag #Teafreshing.


If you haven't tried the tea yet, be sure to keep your eyes open for it the next time you're out and about. It is an all-natural ready-to-drink iced tea named from the Japanese expression Ocha no Naka No Ocha, which means, "The Tea of all Teas." It comes in many flavor varieties and is an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle, and a perfect way to cool off in the summer!


TEA's TEA® is made with Green Tea, beneficial because of its catechinsthe naturally occurring antioxidant found in green tea leaves. It is authentically brewed from loose tea leaves with thoughtful sourcing and meticulous brewing and filtration methods, and it provides you with 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.


In order to help launch the social media sweepstakes, TEA's TEA® is offering one lucky Mail4Rosey reader a beach pack that includes a branded tote, towel, T-shirt, and one Tea Coupon. ARV $58. US only.

You can learn more about Tea's Tea® by visiting any of the following:
Tea's Tea® on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itoen.teastea
Tea's Tea® on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeasTea_
Official Website: http://www.teastea.com/
More Information about Green Tea Benefits: http://www.itoen.com/health-benefits-of-tea

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday (at the movies)

We FINALLY got to see Iron Man 3. Well worth the wait, it was a good one!

Monday, May 20, 2013

We're Thinking Chicago...

The Ferris Wheel from our trip to Chicago two years ago.

Just a little note here: I know I used these pictures before on my post a year ago, but the blog was new and hardly anyone read it. Of the people who did read and post on the article there's still one who comes to visit (thank you, Courtney!!!).

We're thinking Chicago...

Summer is fast approaching now and we are starting to plot out our mini-vacation plans. One thing on the agenda (and it usually is), is Chicago. It's not really a long drive for us and there's always so much to do. One of my very first blog posts ever was about a trip we took to Navy Pier. We won't be going there this time around because there are so many things to see and do that we haven't yet, but it was an awesome place to visit. We skipped it last year too, because we had something else we wanted to see, but  maybe next year we'll go back. It is a place worth visiting more than once.

The two youngest acting goofy in the gift shop (again, a picture from two years ago).

Tops on the agenda for me is the Art Institute of Chicago. On their website they mentioned having both Seurat and Boucher paintings, but aside from the fabulous paintings they promise, they also have a lot of other categories of art that I would like to see. It's hard to know how much time to plan for museums, some you are in and out of fairly quickly, and others you could be in all day and still not have enough time. If anyone has been to the Art Institute of Chicago and has some insight on how long it takes to have a good visit, I would love to hear it.

The location of the museum is prime, with several other big area attractions close by, but again I'm not quite sure how much time we'll spend in the museum, so we'll play the rest of that day by ear. Hubby is coming along this trip, and he usually does not. In fact, this will be the first time he and I have been to Chicago together (we've both been separately or with one of the kiddos). Strange that we haven't been together because we usually do most things as a family.  That will make this trip extra nice. He wants to go for the pizza.  He's been to Chicago many times, but has never had the pizza (say what??!!). I had pizza my first time in.

Sorry to the Chicago pizza lovers though...I'm more of a NYC pizza lover. My husband is a deep dish man, so I'm guessing he'll like the pizza there.

Another place I want to see is the Willis Tower. It used to be called the Sears Tower, and was once the tallest building in the US.  Hubby says he's not interested in going, but the rest of us really, really want to go, and it is my educated guess hubby will 'tag along' and end up loving it, or we may have to get a hotel close by so we can mosey on over while he's relaxing (sleeping in). ;)  He gets nervous if he's up too high, the rest of us just love it. Take a look at the sky deck online, it's exciting!

My favorite things about Chicago:
  • So much to see and do!!
  • The beautiful scenery on the water
  • Awesome shopping
  • Delicious dining!
  • Culture galore
  • The Bean! I love the bean!
My least favorite things about Chicago:
  • The price of parking (ack!)
  • The super busy traffic if I'm lost (and I always get lost)
Have you been to Chicago?  If so, do you love it?  

Winner Announcement





Congratulations to Alison whose name was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Graduation Ornament giveaway!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Carpet versus Hard Flooring

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. All opinions stated, however, are my own.

We have a wood floor in our library, beautiful over-sized Italian marble in the kitchen (a gift I gave my husband for finding a good home for a 100-lb., abandoned dog I brought home but he said there was no way we were keeping), and white tile in the kitchen/dining area of our basement. In the rest of the house (except the bathrooms) we have carpet.

The problem for me is that the main carpet that runs through the majority of rooms in our house, (not the kids' rooms, they chose much nicer colors) is ugly. And it's my fault. For some reason, I thought brown would be a great color to deflect the snow, dirt, mud, etc. that comes with seasonal weather (cutting myself some slack on this one because I was new to home ownership in the north when I made the decision). ;) Turns out it's just ugly, but my husband is a smart man, and said there was no way he was getting rid of carpet just because it wasn't attractive (not that I erm, um asked or anything, lol!).


What I've been noticing for the last couple of months, is that now our carpet is starting to look dingy too and could use a good rug and carpet cleaning. Winter will do that to you. So, tomorrow I'll call and make an appointment to have someone come in later in the week to give them a professional bath. I say later in the week because I know it's going to take me a lot of time to get the furniture disassembled and/or moved into the rooms that have no carpet.

I'd love to have hard flooring in all of the rooms, but hubby and the kids like carpet. They say it's warmer in the winter, and much cozier to sit on year-round (both points with which I can agree). So, since I'll not be the majority rule on that decision any time soon, I might as well make the best of it. That means keeping it as clean and attractive as I can, despite the huge color mishap.

Do you have a preference between hard and soft flooring? And do you get your rugs professionally cleaned once or twice a year to keep them looking their best?

Discipline Determines Destiny


I fell asleep with the TV running last night, and woke up to hear Charles Stanley saying, "Discipline determines your destiny." Then I fell back asleep.  When I woke up this morning, it was the first thing still on my mind.

And it's so true.

You can want a lot of things. You can need a lot of things. But without the proper discipline to put forth the effort, you're not going to get much of anything. Self-discipline can be the hardest of hard in some areas, but without it, it really is next to impossible to master the goals you've put on your plate.

I am one of those that believes where there's a will, there's a way, and all that good stuff. I also think as the old saying goes, the harder your work, the luckier you get.

I think it t was a good message to hear to start my Sunday off on the right foot. Actually it was a good meassage to hear to start any day off on the right foot.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Soccer Saturday


Today was Game #4 for the Kindergartners and it's so fun to see them learning. The progress they've made with the weekly practices and games really showed today on the field. I felt like they had a clue of what was going on, and weren't just out there to kick a ball.  If the coach was talking defense, they knew what that meant... if he was telling a player to walk the line, he/she knew what that meant, and so on and so forth.

We have a little girl who's about 6ft' tall (not really!! but she's a lot taller than the other kids) who dominates the field. She's really good, and of course can outrun everyone because her legs are longer. I've seen her mom at every practice and game, but never her dad. Today dad showed up, in a coach shirt, cheering his baby girl on. Her's dad's a soccer coach (for her older brother's team). That explains a lot.

I'm just glad she's on our team. ;)

That being said, everyone had a good time. All of the parents behave, and I like that...I've seen games (not w/this child) where that wasn't the case.

Afterward we stopped at the park (just a short walk from the field):


And when we got home we were greeted with this:


All the trees have at least some leaves on them, and I love, Love, LOVE this beaaaaaaaaautiful time of the year!

Today is a great day.  Happy weekend to you. :)