Feb 28, 2012

School Shootings And Violence: The Difference You Can Make Right Now

On Monday morning, here in Ohio, a teenager walked into school and started shooting.  Two are dead and others are wounded.
Some say the boy was bullied, others say that he was just "different".

But was that his only option?

When I was in school, kids bullied each other, teased one another and were cruel.  Very cruel.

But it certainly did not justify killing anyone.

And believe me when I say that I know bullying has gone to a whole new level these days.  It starts much younger and can be done in ways that were not an issue when I was younger.

But what is it that makes a kid think that the answer is to start shooting people?

As parents, we need to say ENOUGH!

We need to stop exposing kids to such extreme violence on TV, movies and video games.  Even if you think your kid can handle it!  It's not for kids.  And you might not see the effects now...it might be when it's too late.

And we need to teach our kids the value of a life.  Every life.  Even the people you don't know.  Even the people who hurt you or are unkind. 

We need to teach our kids about kindness and compassion.  Be an example of that to them.  Teach them to treat people with respect and dignity, and make sure they do. 

Talk about forgiveness in your homes.  No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes and wish we could take back things we said or did.  Start by asking your kids for forgiveness when you do something wrong.

Have conversations with kids about how they feel.  Boys too!  Make sure they know that their feelings are important and that it's okay to talk about it.

And keep your eyes and ears open.  If you see a kid who's struggling, help them!  Not every kid comes from a caring family.  Not every kid has a listening and empathetic ear at home.  As people who do care, we are going to need to start adopting those kids into our families.  And I'm not talking about legal adoption.  I'm talking about caring for them.  Having them in your home for dinner.  Helping them with homework.  Asking them about their life.  Be the difference for them! 

Because this is happening too often.  Too many kids are going off the deep end because apparently, they feel like that's their only option.  We have to help them from getting to that point.

All the families affected are in my prayers, and I hope you will join me in praying for them, as well as praying that schools, families and communities start to address these issues in a way that gives kids another way to deal with their feelings. 

If you are interested in talking with your kids about bullying and violence in schools, here are some resources for you:







I will be linking up with We Are THAT Family for WFMW. 

Top Ten Brands That Rock!

Yesterday I mentioned that we had some AMAZING Sponsors at Blissdom.  Today, I want to share some of them with you!  Happy Top Ten Tuesday!!

10.  Chobani Champions!  I spoke about these in last week's TILT post, but they also happened to be a sponsor this week.  If you haven't gotten them for your kids yet, you're missing out!

9.  V8!  I got to try some of the V8 Fusion smoothies and also the new V8 Fusion Energy Drinks.  They were delicious and the Energy drinks only have 50 calories!

8.  GoGo Squeez!  Have you seen these super cute pouches of applesauce that kids can eat on the go?  They are perfect for lunch boxes, to store in your purse for emergency snacks and for home.  They have a variety of flavors, are 100% fruit, are gluten, dairy and nut-free, and have no preservatives, artificial flavors or refined sugar!

7.  OWN!  Wondering what happened to Oprah?  She's on her OWN channel.  We got a special preview of one of the new episodes of Oprah's Next Chapter and it was really good.  It's fun to see a different, and more casual side of Oprah outside the studio.

6.  De Wafflebakkers!  I got a chance to try some of the product and they were yummy!  My favorite is the blueberry and they use real Wild Maine Blueberries.  If you see these at the store, be sure to give them a try for a lighter and yummier pancake and waffle.

5.  Lisa Leonard Designs!  I was soooo excited to get to buy one of Lisa Leonared's necklaces while I was at Blissdom!!  They are gorgeous and unique.  Make sure you head over to her site and have a look around.  Her items are perfect for Mother's Day, Birthday's and any other gift giving occasion.

4.  Hallmark!  Everyone needs to hear something from you.  Happy Birthday?  I'm Sorry?  Glad You're My Friend?  No matter what you need to say, Hallmark can help. 

3.  Hershey's!  Ummm, it's chocolate.  The creamiest, yummiest, and most perfect chocolate.  Everyone loves Hershey's and be sure to stay tuned because I will be doing a Hershey's Easter Basket Giveaway soon!

2.  Famous Footwear!  I LOOOOVE shoes, so it's no surprise that this sponsor was one of my favorites.  Plus, they gave each of us a free pair of super cute shoes, so they pretty much have a special place in my heart now.

1.  ConAgra Foods!  ConAgra are the foods you love, like Hunts, Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee, Swiss Miss and More.  Plus, they are helping to stop Child Hunger with the Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign.  You can't NOT love a company that wants to help children in need!!  Be sure to check it out and see how you can help!

PLEASE check out these great sponsors and give them your support! 

I am linking up with OH Amanda and Many Little Blesings  for Top Ten Tuesday.  Be sure to check them out as well!

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Feb 27, 2012

Oscars? What Oscars??

I know everyone is talking about The Oscars, but since I didn't get to see them, (yet-I have it recorded and will watch when I have spare time. That should be sometime around 2014...), I won't be talking about who wore what, the speeches, who did/didn't win, or the parties.

What I WILL be talking about are the real stars I met this past weekend.

As if you didn't already know, I went to Blissdom this past weekend. (Actually, I was there from Wednesday night until yesterday!). And oh was it ever blissful!

The weekend was packed full of freebies, (thanks to all the sponsors! I will be posting about them tomorrow!), networking, workshops, and parties!

On Friday, there was even a concert! Joe Jonas opened and then we got to see Rascal Flatts! I was right up front, and it was Spectacular! The best part was that the group was even nicer than they seem on stage/TV. I got a big hug from the lead singer and they really make every fan feel like family.

But when I say real stars, they're not even who I'm talking about. The real stars were all the amazing women I met at Blissdom. These are women just like you and I who are using their voice to change the world, one blog post at a time. Sure, we may not be writing life changing posts every single day, but we are sharing our lives with you. And we are showing the world that women have an influence.

Some of these women are using their influence to raise money for starving children. Some are using their influence to help moms struggling in their everyday life. Some are using theirs to help other women feel better about themselves. And others are using theirs to change the way America looks at food.

There are so many ways that these women are changing the way we do life, that I could literally write about it all day and still not touch the surface.

Over the next few weeks, (which may turn into months...), I will be introducing you to some of the beautiful blogger gals that I had the privilege to get to know at Blissdom. I know you will love them as much as I do!

Now, here are some pictures from my Ultra Fabulous Weekend!

The lead singer of Rascal Flatts

The 'Florida Girls'...SequinstoSippyCups and AllinaDayBlog

I actually met another blogger girl named Riki...CrazyforaDeal

This is what Blogger Chicks do when we get back to our room at night...Blog :)

Lindsay from The Pleated Poppy.  Can you tell I'm like a little excited? :)

The BlissChicks!  Paula BrunoAllison Worthington and Barbara Jones

Recognize this sweet gal from Pinterest?  If you don't. click here and I'm sure you will!

Feb 23, 2012

Movies I Love

Since The Oscars are this weekend, I thought I would do today's post about Movies that I love.

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First, you should know that I almost always see a movie only once.

If I have seen it twice, it must be really good.

And if I have seen it several times, then it's probably one of the best movies of all time.  (If I do say so myself!)

So, in no particular order, here are some of my all time favorites:

- Gone With The Wind.  It's a classic and I have seen it several times. 

-Sixteen Candles.  It isn't Oscar worthy, but it's one of my guilty pleasures.  I mean, what girl has not daydreamed about Jake Ryan? 

-A Beautiful Mind.  This one did win an Oscar and it was definitely deserving! 

-Ocean's Eleven.  The George Clooney version.  BTW, pretty much anything with George Clooney would be on my 'must see' list :)

-The Sound of Music.  It is a classic for sure and I am hoping that this is the year I get to share it with my 2 little girls!

-Inception.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie.  Loved it!!

-Bridesmaids.  I saw this with some of my best friends and it was hysterical!  Melissa McCarthy totally deserves and Oscar for her role.

-Forrest Gump.  Just because.

-All of The Twilight Movies.  I tried to resist the Twilight frenzy, but I just couldn't.  Now I'm that mom acting like a teenage girl and waiting in line to see the midnight showing...

-Up.  If you didn't cry when the man's wife died, then I have no words.  We can't even be friends.

-Pride and Prejudice.  The version with Keira Knightely is my favorite.  It is sappy and wonderful.

-An Affair To Remember.  It's an older film and I only watched it after it was referenced in Sleepless In Seattle.  I am so glad I did because it has become one of my all time favorites!

-Anne of Green Gables.  Call me crazy, but that movie sucks you right in.

-Dirty Dancing.  No one puts baby in a corner. (Had to...)  I seriously watched this movie so many times when I was in middle school that I had the ENTIRE thing memorized.  Every.  Single.  Line.

-The Sixth Sense.  After watching it once, the surprise is ruined, but it still goes down as one of the best endings ever!

-The Harry Potter Movies.  Especially the last one, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

-The Help.  The movie was almost as good as the book.  And that's saying something!

-Titanic.  Cheesy, I know.  But I saw that movie a dozen times and loved it each time.

Okay, my brain is tired of thinking of movies.  Tell me what are some of your all time favorites?

Feb 22, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Chobani Yogurt!

I have never been much into yogurt.  Something about it always tasted chalky to me, and just wasn't appealing.

But, I know that I should be eating yogurt because it's healthy and it's a great source of calcium, which is something I struggle to get enough of.

I had heard a few people talk about Greek Yogurt and how good it was.  Specifically, they mentioned Chobani.

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So, when my local grocery store had it on sale, I decided to pick up a few containers and try it out.

I am SOOOO glad I did!!

This doesn't taste like any yogurt I've had before.  It was so creamy, (not chalky AT ALL!), and the flavor was awesome!

The first one I tried was the new blood orange, and since then I've tried several other flavors and have liked them all.

And they also have Chobani Champions, which is the first greek yogurt made for kids!  And my kids are definitely a fan!

Champions Orange Vanilla

So what are you waiting for?!  If you haven't tried Chobani or Chobani Champions yet, be sure to get some soon!  You won't be sorry!!!

I am linking up with the Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday.  Be sure to visit and see everything else getting Blog Love today!


WFMW: My Favorite Breakfast Food

My very favorite meal is breakfast.

{Except I don't like to eat it at breakfast time.  Weird, I know.}

So today I am listing a few of my favorite breakfast recipes/restaurant items/etc. so that you can try them too!  Oh, and just FYI, none of these are particularly healthy.  You've been warned...

-Okay, now I KNOW you are gonna think I'm crazy, but I love Waffle House.  My husband calls it Awful House, but it's just because he hasn't learned to appreciate the er, um, uniqueness of this wonderful place.  And my favorite item, in fact, the only thing I ever order, is the ham and cheese omelet and hash browns smothered and covered!  (If you have been to waffle house, you know what I'm talking about!).  It's the perfect comfort food. 

-Apple Cinnamon Pancakes is a family favorite.  It all started when I didn't have any blueberries or other fun fruit to mix into our pancake batter one morning.  I did a little quick thinking and added about a cup of applesauce and a few dashes of cinnamon and 2 packets of raisins.  I served them up and now, it's their favorite kind.

-Breakfast Strata is a recipe I got from a coworker many years ago.  It has become a Christmas tradition for us, and the aroma that fills the house when it's baking is Ah-Maz-Ing!  Here is the recipe I use:

16 slices bread-crust removed

16 slices cheddar cheese

1 ½ lbs. Sausage, browned

butter 8 slices bread, (or enough bread to make 2 layers), place buttered side down in 9X13 pan. Layer meat, cheese, meat, cheese, bread. 

6 eggs

3 C. milk

½ t. dry mustard

½ t. salt

Combine this mixture and pour over bread.  Cover and refrigerate over night.

mix ½ C. melted margarine  and ½ C. bread crumbs.  Top over sandwiches.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

-Cracker Barrel is pretty much the breakfast mecca.  And if you haven't tried their Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes, you have no idea what you're missing.  They serve it with delicious, warm blueberry syrup and I'm telling you that it is heaven on a plate.  Go get some.  Now.

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-Sometimes, something simple is just what you need.  One of my favorite simple and quick breakfast items is a piece of toast covered in peanut butter with a sliced banana on top.  And if you're feeling really edgy, drizzle a little honey on it too. 

-One of my go-to restaurants for meeting up with friends for breakfast is First Watch.  They have this menu item there called the Breakfast Scramble.  It's Scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Ham, and melted Cheddar and Monterey Jack on toast. They top it with hollandaise sauce and they serve it with fresh fruit and potatoes.  It is soooo yummy, and very filling.  It never disappoints.

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-when I was younger, and living at home, my mom would get up every Saturday and make us a big breakfast.  Sometimes it was pancakes or french toast, but mostly it was eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy.  My older sister had this trick of having her eggs with the yolk still runny, and breaking up her bacon into the eggs and mixing it all together.  It sounds totally gross, and I used to think it was too, until I tried it.  It is absolutely one of the best things ever.

-Egg McMuffin.  The original.  Sometimes, you just shouldn't mess with perfection.

-Overnight Blueberry French Toast is a recipe I fund on Pinerest.  I made it for our house church and it was a big hit!  Here is the recipe.

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-And finally, in the town I live in, there is this little donut shop called Bill's.  They have a peanut butter icing filled donut with chocolate icing on top.  It is so addictive that you will crave them in the middle of the night.  I speak from experience.

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Hope you've enjoyed my little walk down breakfast lane.  So tell me, what's your favorite breakfast food??

I will be linking up with We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday.  be sure to check it out!

Feb 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: What I WON'T Miss While I'm Gone

I am leaving for my Blissdom trip tomorrow evening.

Which means my husband will be holding down the fort while I'm gone.

{If my children show up for school without combed hair and mismatched shoes, someone please step in and help...}

There are a gazillion things I will miss while I'm gone.  Like snuggling with my 2 little girls, tuking them in at night, kisses and hugs, a backrub from my husband, sitting on the couch in my favorite snuggie...all things I will miss.

BUT, ther are several things I WON'T be missing while I'm gone.  I'm listing those here for your reading pleasure :)

10.  My children's constant requests for snacks.  Seriously.  How many snacks does a kid need during the day?!

9.  Making 3 trips to the grocery store in a single day.  Somehow, I alway forget something!

8.  Last Minute Laundry.  Realizing at 10pm that your kid needs the uniform in the dirty laundry at 8am the next morning happens way too often around here.

7.  Being asked to change the Wii Game Every 5 Minutes!  My kids have a pretty short attention span, so after about 5 minutes of one game, they decide they need a new one.  And since we implimented the "mommy or daddy are the only ones to put in/take out the games" rule (too many scratched games...), that means I *have* to do it.

6.  Doing Dishes.  Enough said.

5.  Dressing Drama!  Convincing my five-year-old that 20 degrees is not warm enough to wear a sundress is no easy task.  And have I mentioned that my eight-year-old ONLY wants to wear skinny jeans and her worn out, falling apart boots?  Yeah, it's fun times around here when we're getting ready.

4.  Bathtime.  For some reason, my kids never want to shower.  I assure you that this is not from example.  My husband and I do shower.  Every.  single.  day.

3.  Trying to Figure Out Dinner.  It is a constant, nagging, question.  And it's also one of the single most frustrating things this momma has to deal with because my kids never want to eat what I make.  Never.

2.  Homework.  No, I don't have homework.  My kids do.  But after an hour of sitting at the table trying to explain it and help her, it feels like my homework.

1.  Noise.  There are VERY FEW times that my house is quiet.  TV is on, the wii is going, the kids are fighting, the dishwasher is running, and the phone is ringing.  I will NOT miss the noise.

There you have it!  So tell me, if you're going to Blissdom, what will you not miss?

I will be linking up with Oh Amanda for Top Ten Tuesday.  Be sure to check it out!

top ten list

Feb 17, 2012

Taco Pasta and Other Stuff

It's a random Friday post again...because my life seems to be just a whole lot of randomness lately.

I went to the doctor this morning and it seems I may have a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome.  So now I'm wearing these oh-so-attractive wrist splints around all day (and night too).  Pretty sure they aren't trending for spring 2012...

I have pretty much narrowed down what I'm wearing to Blissdom to about 12 outfits {I'm gonna be there 4 days}.  I swear that no matter how determined I am to pack light, I always end up convincing myself that I *need* every pair of shoes I own.

I have finally stepped into the previous century and purchased a laptop.  But don't get too excited.  It's a used laptop from 2009.  Wouldn't want anyone to think we got all rich up in here.

We are having our roof replaced, and it is MUCH louder than I expected.  The girls have actually been frightened at times thinking that the roof was caving in.  I have also been frightened, but for much different reasons, (ummmm, anyone else think that roofing guys can be kinda scary??)

Oh, and I just want go on record that I think Pinterest has made me a better mother, wife and friend.

The sheer number of great ideas I have implemented since joining has been amazing.

Perfect example is last night.

I had not made dinner for my family at all this past week.  In fact, if it hadn't been for our house church, every dinner this week would have been fast food.  #Mommafail

So yesterday I was feeling guilty about it, but still wondering what in the world I would make for dinner with the short amount of time and ingredients I had.  I looked onto my recipe board on Pinterest and remembered that there was a Taco Pasta dish I was wanting to make.  I had almost all the stuff on hand, so I started it up. 


It only took about 20 minutes to make, and EVERYONE LOVED IT!!!  Addy even ate seconds, which she *never* does.  It's kind of like a homemade hamburger helper without all the preservatives etc.  I will say that I substituted the cream for sour cream, since that's what I had, and it worked out wonderfully.  It also made a TON!

Here is the link to the recipe.  It's from a wonderful blog called Lauren's Latest.  She has a whole mess of amazing recipes that I want to try!  I hope you get a chance to try out the Taco Pasta and love it as much as my family did!

Have a great weekend and I'll see ya back here on Monday!

Feb 16, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Vistaprint

If I haven't already mentioned, I'm going to Blissdom next week!!! :)

{Can you tell I'm a little excited??}

As I began my preparations, I decided I wanted to print new business cards to hand out. 

I remembered that Vistaprint had very reasonable rates, (you can 250 for FREE!), and so I visited them online and while I was there, I discovered I could create my own logo and purchase it to use on my cards, my blog, etc.!

{I can even order T-shirts, bags and all kinds of other stuff with my logo!!}

I had been wanting to do this for a looooong time, so I was REALLY excited to know that I could do it so easily! 

Now I have a new logo, (like it?), and pretty new business cards to hand out at Blissdom.

And don't forget that Vistaprint isn't just for business cards!  They do websites, Banners, Checks, Birth Announcements and a ton of other stuff as well!  Be sure to check out the link below to see what they can do for you!

Vista Print

I will be linking up with the Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday!  Be sure to check them out!!


Disclosure:  I am an affiliate and may receive compensation for the Vistaprint placed advertisement.  Please know that ALL opinions are completely mine and completely TRUE!  

Feb 15, 2012

WFMW: What to Do With a 3 Day Weekend

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This weekend will be a long one, (4 days for my kids, but 3 for most).

And often, families like to take advantage of these longer weekends to do something special.

So, if you need help coming up with something "special" to do, here are a few ideas!

Go on a Day Trip!  One of our favorite places to go is The Indy Children's Museum on long weekends.  You can read about our trip there last year here.  Other great ideas are an indoor water park or visiting an  aquarium.

Do a House Project!  Since you have the extra day, tackle that room you have been thinking about painting, or clean out the garage!  Just make sure to let the kids help out so they feel like the extra day was special for them, too!

Give a Helping Hand!  For all the times you say, "I wish I could help out, but I just don't have time", well here's some extra time for ya!  It's a great way to show kids that you can use your blessing of a day off to bless someone else.  You could shovel someones driveway, clean up a yard, serve a meal at a homeless shelter, hand out blankets to homeless, or deliver a meal to a family in need.

Complete a task you have been putting off!  Maybe your daughter wants you to mend her favorite dress up outfit.  Maybe your son wants you to build a Go-Kart.  Whatever it is, that extra day is perfect for catching up!

Have a Yes day!  My friend over at Amyforhim does this with her kids and they LOVE it!  A YES day is a day when it's okay to say yes to almost anything.  Ice cream for breakfast?  Yes!  Playing at the park when it's only 20 degrees?  Yes!  Not taking a nap?  Yes!  Dessert before dinner?  Yes! 

Go see a Show!  I don't know about you, but the cost of taking my family to a movie at the theater keeps us from doing it very often.  You could use that extra day to have a special day at the movies complete with popcorn and treats!

Plan a Party!  If you tell your kid that they get to have a party and it's not even their birthday, you're pretty much guaranteed to get mom-of-the-year!  Plus, other parents will love you for giving them a free option of something to do.  And it doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate!  Have a few snacks, some juice and plan a few games.  Your kids will ADORE you!

Visit a Bounce House!  Many places have specials on the days that kids are out of school.  Plus, it's a great way for them to burn off all that extra energy that they usually get out at school.

Have a special mommy/daddy day!  My girls love it when they get one-on-one time with us, so we try to plan days where each of us takes one of the girls out for a day doing things that she likes to do.  They usually involve McDonald's, ice cream and a park :)

So tell me, what are your plans for the long weekend???

I will be linking up with We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday.  Be sure to check them out!

Feb 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: What Women Want Men to Know About Romance

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In honor of Valentines Day, a day about Romance and Love, I thought I would write today's Top Ten about what women wish that men knew about romance. (for the 2 men that read this blog...)

Now, before the hater comments come, I want you to know that I know not ALL women feel this way.  But this is about the women that do, (which is a lot in my experience).  And it comes from years of girl talk and some personal experience as well.

Of course, my husband is perfect and I am NOT talking about him.  (...he may be reading this post...)

So here goes:

10.  Sometimes, it isn't just the thought that counts.  Don't get me wrong here, we love it when you think about us.  But what's really romantic is when you take the time to listen to what we really want, what we like, what makes us happy...and then act on it!

9.  Flower's just aren't for February 14th!  It's nice to get flowers on Valentines Day, but we LOVE getting flowers just because.  It means that you were thinking about us and wanted to do something to show us that.  And it doesn't have to be roses or be expensive.  It could be a single flower, or a wildflower bouquet.

8.  Sometimes, it just needs to be a back rub!  Every woman knows what I'm talking about here.  Sometimes, getting a back rub without any expectation is the most romantic thing a man could do! (TMI??)

7.  Randomness=I LOVE YOU!  One of my dear friends wrote the other day, "Far better than chocolates or flowers is the random email you get from your husband expressing his gratitude of you."  I couldn't have said it better myself!

6.  We still want chivalry!  I don't know if it's because we like independence, or because we want to be seen as strong, but somehow a lot of men think that women no longer want or need chivalry.  WRONG!  We still want you to open the door for us.  We still want you to take our hand to help us out of the car.  We still want you to hold our coat.  We still want you to stand up for us.  Not because we need you to, but because we want you to.

5.  Use Your Words!  Some men have a hard time expressing themselves.  So instead of putting themselves out there and making the effort, they assume women know how they feel because of the stuff they "do" for them.  While that's definitely important, women need to actually hear it too. 

4.  Give us a Break!  For busy moms who are always "on", sometimes the most romantic thing in the world is having our husband tell us to take the day off.  He takes the kids, and gives you a day to sleep, shop, whatever.  (And don't call to ask questions while she's out!!)

3.  Don't wait for us to ask!  I hear men say all the time, "I'm not a mind reader.  You have to tell me what you want!".  But having to ask you for what we need takes the romance out of it for us.  We don't need you to be a mind reader.  What we need is for you to pay attention and think about what it is that we would really like or need.

2.  Plan ahead!  Running out at the last minute to get a gift basically says, "I knew I had to get you something, but I didn't care enough to plan ahead."  Sounds harsh, but that's how women feel.  It doesn't have to be the perfect gift, but we want to know that you put thought into it and planned ahead.

1.  Take the Initiative!  Nothing is more sexy and romantic than a man who takes the lead and makes his lady feel like he's got it all covered.  Schedule the sitter, make the reservations, order her dinner for her, and plan the activities.  Maybe even make it a surprise.  The point is for her to feel like you've got it all under control and she can just sit back and relax.

Well there you have it!  I am linking up with Oh Amanda for Top Ten Tuesday.  Be sure to head over and check out all the other Top Ten's for Today!

Feb 10, 2012

Some Stuff About Me

Creative Kristi Designs

Okay, so today I am linking up to a couple of Blissdom blogs so that those lovely bloggers who will be going to Blissdom can get to know me better!


And also for those who may be new readers of this little blog...I hope that you feel like we're old friends once you finish reading :)

So here's some random stuff about me:

-My name is Ricki.

-I am a mom to 2 silly, sweet, funny, smart, and energetic little girls named Addy (8) and Faith (5).

-My fantastic husband and I have been married almost ten years, and I am even more madly in love with him today than the day we married!

-I am a Stay-at-Home mom and I think it is the best and most challenging job in the whole world.

-I LOATHE cleaning.  My husband is the cleaner in our relationship, and that *may be* the secret to our success.

-I love cooking and baking.  But I am a good cook, and, well, I do my best at baking :)

-I enjoy taking photos but I wish I had a better camera.

see what I mean...

-Fashion is one of my many passions.  If I were young and single, I would totally be living in New York trying to work in the fashion industry.

-I watch way too much TV...mostly reality.  I should feel guilty about it but I don't.

-I am a cheer coach to 1st and 2nd grade little girls.

-I have been on a diet since I was about 6.  It's not going very well...

-I am very outgoing and get my energy from other people.  But sometimes, when I first meet people, I can be shy.  I've been told it sometimes comes off as stuck up or uninterested, but it's truly just my insecurities.

-I love bright colors but mostly wear black and grey.  I have no idea why.
at least I put a yellow flower on...

-I like all kinds of music including hip hop and rap.  In fact, I'm the mom driving around in her minivan, bass pumping, and singing along to Will. I. Am. and Jay Z.  My kids are gonna be sooo embarrassed some day, but right now they think I'm cool.

-I love to travel and really wish we were able to do more.  My favorite family vacation place is Disney World.  I'm obsessed!!

-I like to sleep in and I am NOT a morning person.  I need at least 8 hrs to feel human, and in fact, my husband was always the one to get up with our babies because he could handle sleep deprivation much better than I. 

-I have some of the BEST girlfriends in the world!!  God has truly blessed me in that area of my life and I am soooo thankful!!

3 of my closest friends and I at a birthday party...yes, we're all crazy!

Those ladies who have been in my life a loooong time and I Love them!

-I love to read and right now I am into The Hunger Games series.  It's REALLY good!

-I have 3 sisters.

My 3 sisters, my mom and I.

-I like playing board games and cards.  Especially Euchre.  But I'm not that good.

-I have a gazillion ideas for books I would like to write, (novels), but I never write any of them.

-I love to dance!!!  If there is music, I will dance, and I don't care at all what I look like.,  (Okay, maybe I care a little.  But I don't let it stop me)

-My mom and father-in-law are both battling cancer right now.  It's tough, but we're getting through it.

-I love this little blog of mine.  I startd it about a year ago and it's kind of my escape.  It's so fun to share all of the craziness of my life here.

-planning fun activities for my family is definitely one of my passions!  I get so much happiness out of seeing them have a good time.

Our family in Chicago

-I am really nervous and super excited to be going to my first blogging conference in just 2 weeks!!  I hope I make some new friends, have a fun and relaxing weekend, and learn some stuff along the way.

-My most important relationship is with Christ.  I'm His and He's mine :)

Well, there you go.  That may be more than you ever wanted to know, but it's all true and it's all me!

Feb 9, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle Bars

I have been trying to make healthier choices with my eating lately, and have also been counting calories.

{This is not my first go-round in case you're wondering}

But one of the things that has been helping me is to have things that I actually like that I can eat.

Now, if you don't already know, one of my weaknesses is always chocolate.

We have had an unhealthy relationship, chocolate and I.

Chocolate is smooth.  He's usually wearing a candy wrapper or a fancy box.  And he knows just what to say.

He keeps telling me how great he is, how much he loves me and that he'll never leave me.

And he doesn't.

He's ALWAYS around.  Even when I'm trying to lose him.

Anyway, as much as I try to avoid him, I can't.

The promise of happiness and delight always get to me and I give in.

But it's a trick!

While there may be short-lived happiness, it's soon replaced by guilt and eventually pounds that land on my backside.

I swear I'll never give into him again, but the next thing you know, there he is.

Wooing me.

I finally told him that if he wanted to stay in my life, he had to make some changes. 

And whadayaknow...he did, with a little help from his friend's at Skinny Cow!!

Skinny Cow makes these incredible ice cream treats that perfectly satisfy my sweet tooth and the best part is, they're only 100 calories!!

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And before you say it, I know we've all tried the "diet" chocolate before and it tastes like brown chalk.  Yuck!

These are nothing like that.  The chocolate is sweet and creamy and you will swear it's not low calorie.

And if the chocolate truffle bars aren't your thing, Skinny Cow makes lots of other varieties of ice cream treats as well as candy bars now! 

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Did you hear me?


So now chocolate and I are back on.  And our relationship is stronger and healthier than ever :)  

I will be linking up with The Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday.  Be sure to check out all the other stuff getting blog love today!


Feb 8, 2012

Our Crazy Words

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The other day Faith was talking to me about one of her friend's great grandmas who had died.

She explained to me that "her friend's great grandma died.  But her other grandma, who's not that great, was still alive."

I was cracking up.  Of course she thought that when the little girl said her "great grandma", she was referring to how awesome she was!

I explained to Faith that it was actually a term we use to explain the grandparents of mommy's and daddy's etc., and not for how wonderful they are. :)

But it got me to thinking about how strange our language must seem to her sometimes. 

How words that mean one thing can also mean something completely different. 

And also how many "new" words she hears all the time.  Like the other day when she asked us what "revenge" meant.

We explained it to her, but then asked her why she wanted to know.

She said a boy in her class had used the word, and that she had never heard it before.

It just reminds me that sometimes I have to stop and put myself into her five-year-old world and remember how much she is learning and hearing and growing.  I bet it's pretty overwhelming at times.

It's my job to help her navigate all of that, and to be patient with her while she does it. 

Let's hope I do my job well...or this could be one confused kid!

Feb 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Homemade Valentines for Kids

I have a confession to make:

I have NEVER made homemade valentines for my children to hand out.

{Gasp!  I know, you can hardly believe it! :) }

But it's true.  I'm always that mom that is at Walgreens at 8pm the night before my kids valentines party trying to find an acceptable cartoon valentine that my kids won't be too embarrassed to hand out.

I don't know why I procrastinate on this task every year.

Maybe it's because I never had great valentines to hand out as a kid, (my mom was a procrastinator too when it came to valentines...)

Maybe it's because I think it's ridiculous to spend $10 on silly cards PLUS then you have to buy candy, (BTW, I have learned that you NEVER give out a valentine without candy attached.  That's like Valentines 101 nowadays!), when kids only care about the candy anyway.

Or maybe it's just because I'm a procrastinator.

But for whatever reason, I never seem to be able to get it together.

But this year, I'm giving it the old college try and am going to attempt to make homemade valentines with my girls.

Preferably before February 13th at 8pm.

So here are the Top Ten ideas I have found for homemade Valentines:

10.  I "Wheelie" Like You.  This is a great valentine for a boy!

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9.  You are O"Fish"ally The Best.  You could do this with Swedish fish or Goldfish crackers!

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8.  I Like The Way You Roll.  For the gangsta in all of us...

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7.  Every Day I Like You S'more.  Who doesn't like S'mores??

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6.  You're Just WRITE for me.  Cute idea, especially if you can't don't want to give candy.  (But remember what I said about Valentines 101...)

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5.  I'm Bursting with happiness That You're My Friend.  This is cute and not too mushy!

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4.  You Sure Are Kool.  Very Clever, and Kool-aid packs are cheap, which is a plus for momma!

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3.  I'm a Sucker For You.  Would be cute with a heart shaped lolly pop.

I'm a Sucker Classroom Valentine's Day Cards

2.  I Really Dig You Valentine.  Another cute idea and you could really put any kind of candy in the shovel.

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1.  You Color My World.  SUCH a creative idea!  You melt down crayons and then cool them in heart shaped molds to create a marbled crayon to give away!  How fun is that?!

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Do you have some creative homemade valentine ideas to share? 

I will be linking up with Oh Amanda for Top Ten Tuesday and We are THAT Family for Works for Me Wednesday.  Be sure to check them out!

Top Ten {Tuesday}