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Friday, February 26, 2016

Give Grace to those who give you Grief

I’ve been reading Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado. My bosses wife and dear friend sent it to me. She knows I have been facing several of my giants in a very intimate way. And she knows that I need encouragement from time to time. I’ve barely gotten into it. It is my go-to on breaks at work or during down time (like when the work system crashes for a while).  But even as little as I have read, I have found such meaningful things to ponder.

The chapter I am reading now is about giving grace to those who give me grief. This is a huge deal in my life right now. My ex-husband, whether he is doing it on purpose or not, gives me so much grief. From being stupid and wrecking every vehicle he drives to putting me down to not lifting a finger for his kids’ needs… It can be so frustrating for me at times. We were married for over seven years before I decided I’d had enough and filed for divorce. I’ve been so relieved by such a choice, despite the strains that come with my decision.
Despite being divorced, however, we came to the agreement that we would stay living together since we were in a lease together and neither of us wanted to pay or break the lease. In hindsight, that was a mistake on my part. So much stress and arguing came after. I’ve bent over backwards for him. Let him call the shots with several of the divorce points, kept him in the loop with what I am doing, was even still doing his laundry and making his dinners. And to him… it was like I was still under his control. If I didn’t hang his shirts straight out the dryer, he yelled at me. If his plate wasn’t made in the fridge when he woke up, he complained. I started dating someone else. And this guy kept telling me to stand up. To stop doing for the ex. Stop letting him use me as his doormat. I made excuses. Let’s face the facts – I’m too nice to even my enemies. I let people walk all over me. I claim that it’s my southern upbringing that drives me to be kind and that my religious upbringing has instilled in me the thought of “turning the other cheek” every time someone does me wrong. We are to forgive 70 x 70 times, right? Does this mean I take abuse every time? No. Does it mean I have never stood up for myself and for others? No. In the past couple of years, I have grown a strong backbone again. I have established my dominate side. I know what I want. I know how to get it. And I’m not letting anyone get in my way anymore. Well… I get in my own way at times, but that is another story.

So getting back into the book, Facing Your Giants. I came across this statement, “Once again, we think about the purveyors of pain in our own lives. It’s one thing to give grace to friends, but to give grace to those who give us grief? Could you? Given a few uninterrupted moments with the Darth Vader of your days, could you imitate David?” (pg. 46)
My Darth Vader, my Saul, my Timothy McVeigh – he destroys my happiness, he seeks to kill my joys in his jealous rage, he blows up my plans for a better future. I can’t begin to count the times that I have thought, why? Why are you like this? Why do you do these things to me? Why are you so evil? I tell him that I don’t care how he feels. I don’t care what happens to him in the future. But I still wash his clothes. I still buy him food. Or grab printer paper when I’m doing my shopping. To some people, I’m too patient. I’m too nice. According to some, I should slip something into his food and drinks. Maybe I should put something on his clothes to give him an uncomfortable feeling. Will I do this? Most likely no. I want to. Not gonna lie. I want him to feel something of what I feel on a daily basis when he is around. But I won’t do anything. Its not me. I smile to my enemies. I might scare them with that smile, but it’s still a smile. The next thing that this passage of the book says is this, “Some people are graced with mercy glands. They secrete forgiveness, never harboring grudges or reciting their hurts.” Call me arrogant, but I think this is me. I don’t hold the past against anyone. I will never hold your mistakes against you when my own haunt me. We are human and our mistakes are how we learn and grow. And I am growing my patience daily with my ex .

There is one thing I want to point out though. Some people think I hold grudges because I cut people off. I block them from my personal life. Well, they are wrong. There is one thing I have learned over the years – forgive as you are forgiven, but don’t stand there and take the same abuse for the rest of your life. That saying “turn the other cheek”, for me, means that you can hurt me once and I will forgive you and let you try again. You can hurt me again once I’ve turned my other cheek to you. But after this second hurt, you will be forgiven and let go. I won’t stand there switching cheeks for continual abuse. You can tell when someone is truly learning from their mistakes. When they genuinely want to change and be the better person. They will do everything they can to never fall into that pattern again. Not everyone is like this. And you have to step up and say enough is enough. You have tried, you have forgiven. Now it is time to move on. And that is what I do. You can keep making your mistakes. But you won’t be making them towards me anymore. I am fiercely loyal to friends and family. I will lay down my life for those I hold dear. Stay on that side of the line and I will be with you until the end. Cross that line and you will lose me forever.
This is who I am. I will show mercy and forgiveness. I will continue to grow and try to be stronger against those that cause me pain. But I promise there will be times when I will be a pushover and someone will use me. It is going to happen. Have patience with me. I’m still just a diamond in the rough. Look past my rocky outside to find the gem inside that shines like ice but is still fragile.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Do you grow anything?

I just learned something recently about growing green onions... Normally I grow them outside in a pot. Water, dirt, air, and sunlight. But now I know there is another way to do it. And it requires only a baggie in the fridge.
Yep, you read that right. I cut the roots off. Then I put those roots into a plastic baggie. I put that baggie into the fridge and left it there for a month or two. When I went to pull that baggie out again, I found they had grown again. Oh the applications I can use this for...Especially since I'm the kind who kills things more than grows them.
So what do you grow? And how do you do it? I, personally, have plans to one day grow roses, lilies, and orchids. And if my thumb will turn green - tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and maybe strawberries. Good to aspire, right?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What price would you pay for your protection?

We are in the age of technology here. Everything is done with computers, “smart phones”, and the internet. Terms that our grandparents hadn’t had are household words that even my 7 year old son uses. Apple, iPhone, the Cloud, autocorrect, Android… And the advancements that come with these things are phenomenal! We can contact someone around the globe within seconds rather than sending mail that takes anywhere from a day to several weeks to arrive to our person in question. Business is affected and growing with connections being made. We are keeping in touch with those we care about daily rather than when we have the time to call and ask them what’s new.

But with all these great things, there are great downsides. Viruses, overloaded updates on people you don’t want to keep up with constantly, information leaks, stolen identity, cyber-crimes such as hacking, distancing ourselves from others (not staying close to those we love on a personal level), bullying… the list could go on. We are told to change our passwords often. Don’t give out unnecessary information. Don’t get addicted to social media – find a balance.

It can be hard to keep on the safe side when everything is available at the touch of a button. And now there’s a new concern to consider. This one applies strongly to smart phone users, particularly to Apple users. If you haven’t already heard about the F.B.I. trying to get Apple to give them a “master key” of sorts to break into locked iPhones, you must be living under a rock. The outrage is growing. The sides of pro or against are clearly lining up against each other. But think about this people… common sense might not be common these days, but just try to understand logic for the next couple of minutes…

So we have a horrific event that costed way too many lives in the United States. All because of a terrorist attack. Investigations start rolling and information starts flowing. An iPhone comes into play. But it’s locked. And the F.B.I., in their desire to put the pieces in place, decides they need to access everything in the phone. They could ask Apple to hand over the data in the iCloud. All they need is a warrant or maybe just a request. Apple has been cooperative in the situation, so how hard would it be? But that’s not good enough… They want to get into the phone themselves. A terrorist is most likely not going to store their plans in the iCloud. But they can’t get into the phone, its locked. They don’t know the technology. They don’t have a key to bypass the encryption. And they don’t have anyone smart enough to break into for them, apparently. So they want a way in through the back door. Apple balks at such a thing. They don't have the access past the encryption. Then the F.B.I. does what Apple said they would do. They don’t want it for just one phone now; they want to open 9 iPhones. For the sake of American safety, they claim. For the protection of future lives and the justice desired for those already lost. Now Apple is really pushing back. But why? Don’t they want to serve and protect as well? Yes. Of course they do. But think of the implications this can have on the future. Think of the fallout. Think of the applications this can have for all iPhone users present and future. This boils down to creating a way for the government to walk into any iPhone, anywhere, regardless of the system, encryptions, software. This is a get INTO jail card for Apple products. How so? You can create this key for one or for 9 phones. You can open up a secured zone for a brief moment to get what they need. But once they are in… they can go anywhere. They can do anything. And this key isn’t restricted to just that one device. It’suniversal. Every single iPhone would be open to them. How would such a key be abused? Who’s to stop them from looking into your device?  And would you know about it? Not unless they come after you. They wouldn’t have to say anything more than, “It’s the safety of America.” Now sure, you could say that its okay. After all, you don’t have anything to hide from the government, right? So who cares?! But here’s something else to consider. How many times has the government been hacked? How much information on weapons, military, or other government information been leaked in the past few years? Do you want to risk handing them the keys to your iPhone where a hacker can steal them? Then your identity is at risk. Think of the apps on your phone. Banking, shopping, emails, text messages, phone logs… What could happen to you if someone got that information? Would your life be the same? No. People were furious when Target was hacked and bank accounts were affected. I know only too well as I was a Target employee that dealt with irate customers blaming me personally for something I had absolutely no control over. What happens when the same occurs to Apple devices because the government gets hacked? Everyone will blame Apple, right? Is it going to be their fault? No! They did as asked and the government will be the ones dropping the ball in “protecting” iPhone users. But this is all hypothetical for now. These are the things that people are not thinking of for the future. Open your eyes folks! Be mindful of what reactions could occur with these actions. Its not a simple “one case” action. Once a key is made, there is no going back. There is only fighting for your own safety.

Don’t think that Apple will be the only ones targeted for such. Once Apple crumples and makes such a key, who is to say the government won’t pursue others such as Android or Microsoft? Why not have a key for every smart phone on the market? We already have our conversations on Skype being recorded for government use. Facebook Messenger Apps has access to your text messages and voice calls as well. Read the specifications one day on what they require you to allow them access to before you download an app. Or even after downloading an app. You’d be surprised at how much they access on your phone that has nothing to do with them. But you give permission blindly. Why? You just want the app. You don’t think about what comes with it besides the usefulness it holds to you personally.

It is time to wake up, America. No, it is time for the world to wake up. Everyone with a hand in technology needs to see that danger lurks everywhere on the World Wide Web. And if you want to be safe from it, you better watch what you share, what you click, and who is watching. Know your rights. Guard your privacy. Don’t take “protection” that costs you your privacy. It could ruin you in the long run. And most importantly, don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend that you don’t have any investment in what’s going on. If you own a device affected or that could be affected, keep up with what is happening. And plan for whatever outcome may come into play.
Read this letter from Apple about what they say it means if my words aren't enough.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Avery Label review via Shoplet.com

I love Shoplet.com! They have so many wonderful things to choose from when stocking your home or business office. They are the number one e-tailer for office and business supplies.  This is great in the sense that you can do all your one-stop-shopping at once, saving you time and energy. I know searching for the cheapest deals is great, but sometimes I just don’t have the time. And driving from place to place isn’t saving me money when I’m using so much gas. So I like having multiple options of all my must haves in one central location. There is also the added bonus of catching deals like free shipping or discounts randomly when you need it!

Being a brand ambassador with Shoplet lets me have the chance to try out many types of office products they offer and then pass the word on to you, my readers, to give you a trusted first-hand account. Word of mouth is typically one of the best ways to know if a product is worth my time and money. I hope that my review of the following product is helpful in the same way to you!
Shoplet sent me these cool labels. I can’t tell you how much I love labels. Easy to use, read and organize everything I have with a simple label. This year, I’ve been working so hard to clear out unnecessary clutter in my home and life. Things that I don’t use or need are getting tossed, donated and sold. The things I do use, I’m organizing. Everything is going in a box or place where I can find it when I need it. Especially after my move…

I love Avery labels. They have templates you can use on the website. Each product has a corresponding number that you can put in the search that allows you the perfect dimensions to create your labels. There is no guesswork needed. No measuring. Everything is set up and ready to go. You just need to have your wording in mind to get started. These in particular are the Avery Easy Align Self-Laminating ID labels.
The patent-pending Easy Align labels are supposed to laminate themselves so that they last longer. You print the label and seal it with a clear laminate film.
They are also UV resistant and water resistant. So you can wipe them off and they won't fade as quickly in the sun. 
Shoplet.com offers more than just Avery products. They also have cleaning supplies, office furniture and medical supplies.
What sort of uses would you have for a product such as this? Tell me about it in the comments section! And I might just hold a giveaway for a 250 count pack of these if I get enough requests for them...  Possibly even throw in some pens from Pilot. Yes, I'm testing to see who actually reads this to the end instead of looking at the pictures!

Never underestimate yourself

I can't tell you how many times I'm reminded of this. Of my own self worth and the value I can offer to others. How many times have I felt worthless? That I didn't have what it takes to make it in the world? Especially in the corporate sales world. It is brutal out there. And no one is looking to be your friend. They are looking to build themselves up. To keep climbing that ladder to the big bucks and fancy living. Or so I've always thought until now.
I've met so many people in my career paths. People from all walks in life that are genuine. People who are looking to improve not only themselves, but others as well. These people give freely of their time, their knowledge, and sometimes their resources to bring better life to those they meet. What is better life? Its being happy. Its doing the things you love. Its being healthy. And some people are naturally good at helping others achieve these things. I'm happy to say I have met so many of them. My godmother, my boss and his wife, a colleague in the business world... the list could go on.
What is one thing these people remind me of? Don't underestimate yourself. Why? Because I am my biggest critic. I put myself down. I tell myself that I can't make it. And I need to be reminded that I can. We can do whatever we set our mind to. We can push ourselves to achieve anything we want. We might need that reminder, that kick in the pants, to get us up when we start to fall. But we can keep at it and we will succeed. My supervisor has a quote hanging at her desk that reminds me daily of what I need to tell myself in order to succeed at work; "Whether you think you can, or you can't, you're right." (Henry Ford)
I'm going to make a conscious effort to live by this saying. I'm going to tell myself that I can. I'm going to make it in sales. I'm going to be the woman, the mother, the daughter, the girlfriend that I want to be. I'm not going to stop until I reach my goals. And even then, I'm going to keep making new goals. Because life doesn't stop after attaining the house, financial freedom, dream living... It just begins in a new chapter with a new dream.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thrifty finds!

Thrift store shopping can be a lot of fun. You never know what you will find or how much you will save. I look for clothes for work there. Or books. I always have to check the books out. My mom gets lucky often at her local thrift store. They have amazing deals. One that they had recently was. Anything under $20 = you only pay .99.
She found name brand clothes, like a dress (that still had the $64.95 price tags attached) and a leather jacket. Both were priced under $20, so she got both of them at .99 each.
She got this outfit, which was $2. It includes the skirt from Talbots and a Dress Barn shirt.
This outfit was made of Levi jeans, red tag. The shirt is a J Jill.
This skirt came from Target, Mossimo. The sweater is thick and chunky. It’s a mens brand called John Weitz.
I like this one. It’s an A line skirt by New York Company with a silky grey shirt that came from Nue Options.
We met up in Houston while she was on a trip away from Florida. There is large thrift stores called Texas Thrift that we decided to check out. I found this white sheer shirt for work.
I also found a nice black top. I had a skirt that would have been nice with either one, but since someone took the price tag off of it I couldn’t get it. But I know it was a Mossimo pinstripe one that I plan to hunt down online…
Thrift stores have such a stigma. They smell. You don't know who wore those clothes. Did someone die on that couch? Who needs this junk? But there are so many great finds if you know what you are searching for. I've found a Gone With the Wind Barbie, a Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) Barbie doll, name brand clothing.... The things I've found! I probably could've made decent money buying and selling them online if I had the ambition to do so. The trick is knowing what you need or what you are looking to score. Then sticking to a game plan to find those things. Like I said, I hit books every time. But I also go for clothes. And when I start planning my next serious cosplay, I have every intention of hitting a thrift store to get pieces to make what I need. I can't afford to go new and not everything is great new. I've got plans to take my kids to San Japan this year. And we will all dress up. With them in Star Wars for sure.

3 Ingredient Nutella Cookie recipe

I love baking. But some things take up too much of my time. So I like finding simple recipes. A buddy of mine had sent me this recipe from an iFunny post.
They are made of 3 ingredients, super quick to make, and taste delicious! I’ll add in my modifications though. The one from iFunny was a little too dry. So technically you might need a fourth ingredient – water. You can also stuff these with Oreo cookies for an even better treat.
What you will need:
1 egg
1 cup of flour
1 13 ounce jar of Nutella (1 cup didn't seem enough)
Water as needed
Simply mix all ingredients until you have a good batter. Water may be needed to help moisten it. These are easy to roll into 1 inch balls.
Bake at 350 degrees. They should only take 6-8 minutes. Take them out when they are a little moist to make them soft.
The first time I made these, I used the Hershey spread instead.
They make a richer chocolate cookie but come out just as good!
Always keep an eye for the deals. I got mine at Target on sale with a coupon! Sometimes they also have Cartwheel deals. This time around, the coupon and the offer had different sizes.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Finding that perfect guy

Falling for the Casanovas of today is a dangerous game. So many guys are only out there looking to add another notch on their belt. So if you are tired of having your heart broken or leaving a relationship feeling broken and used… maybe it’s time you tried a new approach.

Find a guy, and I know they are rare (but they do exist!), who holds fast to chivalry. What is chivalry?

What is Chivalry? The definition is as follows:

o    The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
o    Courteous behavior, especially that of a man toward women.
gallantry, gentlemanliness, courtesy, politeness, graciousness, good manners

Why? He will treat you like his queen. He’s the type of guy that will be there for you when you need him most. Sometimes without you even telling him that something is wrong. He takes the time to get to know you enough that he can tell when something is wrong with you. He’s that guy who speaks with words that seem old fashioned. And no, I don’t mean that he will use some fake but fancy accent when he talks. He is sincere. His compliments are rich. They are well thought out. And every bit of them is tailored to you. He does things that he knows you need done without asking, telling or making a big deal of. Know what I love? Having him make my bed, tighten that loose door handle, or wash the left over dishes when I’m not around. I don’t say anything. I don’t have to. He knows what I need done and he does these and more for me. And he doesn’t say anything about it. No, “Hey, by the way, I did such and such for you.” He doesn’t seek praise for these little things. He leaves them like sweet surprises for me to find later. That’s what a truly good guy who understands chivalry will be like. That’s what you should be looking for.

Don’t go for that guy who looks amazing but talks like an airhead. Give him 10-20 years depending on his lifestyle and you will have a sagging loser that you can’t believe you had a crush on way back when. And watch out for the sweet talkers who can’t back up their words. Words are only words until they are backed by actions that demonstrate them. Love is an action. The word itself is a verb, not just a noun. It’s what you do to show how you feel that makes it true.
Not the words that give you goosebumps. Or those that make you all giggly. Look for the one with words that warm your heart. That makes you feel proud of yourself. Building you up without being empty, fluffy statements. So the guy who says, “You’re hot!” versus that guy who says, “You’re beautiful.” is how you can tell who is more sincere. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to be told I’m hot, but only in the right moment. Tell me I’m beautiful and I’m more likely to listen to you. When you are told you are beautiful, chances are stronger that he sees the beauty shining from within. Hot is what he calls you when he wants to get laid.

I asked a modern “knight” what chivalry meant to him. His response was as follows:

“It opens the door for a much deeper relationship. It also allows one’s mind to be open to new possibilities. To act chivalrous, one has to think in a different manner. Meaning that it takes the mind to new areas of itself that aren’t usually stimulated during adolescence. This effect is amplified when this individual is also learning so much more about the woman he’s interacting with. It allows him to learn and grow in new ways.”

This, ladies. This is what men of today are missing. This is what women should be looking for. This is where you will find the lasting, lifetime of true love with your best friend.
This Valentine's Day, I spent with my gentleman. He and my mother bought me Star Wars themed gifts for my new kitchen.
(They know me so well!) He made me dinner, helped with the laundry, and had flowers (Don't buy ProFlowers) delivered.
He also had Shari's Berries deliver chocolate covered strawberries.
Talk about delicious....

Also, for those who love historical tidbits... Click here to get the scoop on how Valentine's Day got started! Kinda a dark event...

Pilot Pen review via Shoplet.com

I have a new review from Shoplet.com. This time it is for Pilot brand pens. Shoplet is the leading e-tailor for office supplies. They have a large selection for pretty much everything you could possibly need for your home or business office. I have four types of pens from them.

I received the Acroball Pro Advanced Ink Pens, Acroball PureWhite Advanced Ink Pens, Acroball Colors Advanced Ink Pens, and a Dr. Grip Frosted Pen. This last pen is brand new and has barely even been added to their website just yet. So here’s a preview into what you can expect!
I can see why its call the Acroball Pro pen. It has a sleek design with the color scheme and metal accents that make it look professional. It’s a medium 1.0mm with hybrid ink. Hybrid ink combines the vibrancy of gel ink with quick-drying ball point ink to make your writing smoother. I love the fact that it has comfort grips. I now work in an office. So keeping my fingers comfortable is my goal. Whether I’m typing or writing, I need to be able to do so for long periods of time. It fits comfortably in my hands and the writing comes out fluidly. It dries quickly. No blowing on my papers before moving on!

The next one I have to show you is the Acroball PureWhite pens. These are what they say, a pure white color with colored grips. It’s a clean look. It also has the hybrid ink and comes as a fine .07mm. This design is more of a fashionable approach. Writing with this one provides a sleeker look. I’m also happy that it has the grips.

The Acroball Colors are colorful pens. They come just like the Pro and PureWhite, with the grips and hybrid ink. They are closer to the Pro, however, with the medium 1.0mm tip.

Lastly, I have the brand new, not even up fully on the site yet, Dr.Grip Frosted pen! Beautiful color! I’m a fan of a nice looking pen, so this light frosted blue is right up my alley. It’s a medium 1.0mm ball point pen. The advanced ink is supposed to be smear-resistant. So if you are constantly writing like me, you know that you don’t want to be stopped by ink that smears as you go. Everything needs to be kept neat and tidy. This retractable pen is also refillable. So even after you use it up, save it and get the refills. Less trash and more use of something you will love. It is also endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation for its ease of use. Arthritic hands need that extra boost of help sometimes.  The grip almost feels like it is full of gel but it isn’t. The frosted feel of the pen makes the whole thing comfortable to use. I really LOVE this pen!

Pilot has many other types of pens that you could find useful to have. Whether you need erasable inks, or my favorite – B2P aka Bottle to Pen. B2P pens are recycled from plastic bottles and made into really cool pens. Not only are they making something that everyone has a use for, but they are cutting down pollution in plastic bottle forms. Reduce, reuse and recycle! Something my kids remind me often. There are gel ink pens, advanced ink pens, rolling ball or ball point pens. They even have 2 designs with the Go Pink theme to show your support of Breast Cancer. The Dr. Grip will be one of those! If you want to check out more Pilot products, just click the link.
Shoplet has branched out to offer other supplies as well. You can get medical supplies and cleaning supplies. Check them out and don't forget to leave a comment about what you like and what you might want to see more posts of.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Finish what you have in front of you before you move on

I’ve mentioned my Nana quite often. She has been a great influence in my life. She is someone I use as a role model in many aspects of how I live. Her life has been a very interesting one to say the least. From her childhood during the Depression, her travels around the world, her relationships, and even her personal growth, I have pulled stories, information, and dear memories that I treasure above diamonds. She lived with us briefly in Florida. And one thing she found herself repeating to me was, “Don’t move on until you finish what is in front of you.” I can be quite scattered in my daily activities. I used to make lists to get things done according to priority. For some crazy reason I moved away from that. I have my lists still, but now they are jumbled in my head. What I need to do, what’s for dinner, what bill needed to get paid, where are the kids at? It’s one continuous line of thought that makes me feel as though I’m a tiny sailboat facing the great tsunami. I start falling behind on projects. Sure the bills keep getting paid, but those letters sit unanswered. I forget that phone call I was supposed to make. I don’t set up that appointment. The toys find their way off the floors instead. The kids have lunches for school but its 10 PM and I’m feeling behind in so many ways.

Why? I don’t finish what is before me. I start one thing and jump to another in the middle of that first task. I might be bringing a load of laundry down the stairs to the washer when I see a bunch of toys on the floor. What do I do? I yell to the kids to pick them up and then set the laundry down to start picking them up myself! After all, I tell myself, want something done right – do it yourself! But I can’t do everything. And I definitely can’t do it all at once.
I need to prioritize. I need to have my list clearly outlined before me. I need to set goals. And I need to meet those goals regularly. Does this mean that I won’t be tempted to be sidetracked? No! But I need to be strong in resisting that urge. I need to finish what I have in front of me before I move on. And I need to see it through to completion before I move on. So I need to put that laundry into the washer, start it, and then take that empty basket back upstairs. Then and only then can I come back downstairs and make sure that instead of me picking up those toys, that my children are doing it. When I tell them to do something and threaten with punishment…. I need to actually carry through with it. But that’s another issue I have to work on.

So this year, one of my biggest goals will be to lock down my chaotic reactions. I will see my list through from start to finish. I might not finish everything in the day that I made that list, but I will give it my all. One task at a time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Gatti's Pizza promotion!

I love going to the Gatti's here. There is so much fun to be had! And my kids love all the games. So you can bet, I'm excited to offer you and your family this deal. Thanks to my connections to the US Family Guide! Click on the link below. 

Great food, fun games and good family times all under one roof! Find an unlimited buffet filled with pizzas, pastas, a full salad bar, desserts and more fill the buffet. So much food! Plus, there's plenty of space to eat with the family in multiple themed dining rooms. Then it's on to the game room - which is huge! Video/arcade games, Bumper Cars and more! My readers receive these special offers: $10.99 - One Kids buffet, drinks & $10 game card - valid anytime - $39.99 - 2 adult buffets, 2 kids buffets, drinks, 2 $10 game cards - Valid anytime
Use this link to get your deals on!

Label Daddy review

Summer is around the corner. Camps, Spring Break, and plenty of gear to label and organize. Plus, if you're like me, you might have a little one starting school this year!  
Label Daddy is ready to help you label all those things they have to carry around. When you are on a budget, making sure you know what is yours and making sure others know, is important. Label Daddy offers so many choices. They are washable and highly durable. My boys have been using them for quite some time without issues.
I ordered some for the little lady in our house. Her first year of school starts in August.
Since Minnie Mouse is her theme, I got her a cute set that she even helped picked out. They are great for all those supplies that your child has to take to school. So check them out now. They offer many promotions throughout the year. US Family Guide was offering a discount as well if you use the code USFAMILY20. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mixbook review via US Family Guide

As a member of US Family Guide bloggers, I was given the chance to review Mixbook. Mixbook is a Google Trusted Store that has so many wonderful products to choose from. 
They are an excellent source of photo gifts. I love that they have things such as yearbooks and specialized photo books, like a cookbook version! 
I chose to make the Our Story photo book for my Mom.
There are three options as far as sizes and shape goes. They also ship within 1-2 business days. 

Everything was a click and drop as far as creating the book. There are some lovely quotes already in it. I actually had to get more pictures to fill the 20 page book. By page 16, I'd exhausted all the ones I'd picked from my computer storage. 
There was one thing that bugged me about the ordering process. Even though I had Mixbook credits in my account, I still had to enter a card for payment. I don't like having to use my card unnecessarily. I did, however, like the fact that as a part of the Google Trusted Store group, Google ensures my orders up to $1,000. Its like having free insurance added. 
The book was very nice. A sturdy little paperback that I know my Mom will love. Its a slightly larger version of the common brag book. Sadly, the post office thought that bending it slightly and ripping it open as they shoved it into my mailbox would work just as well. So my book has a crease on the binding side that I'm hoping will lessen with proper care. Definitely check them out and see what goodies you might create. Gifting has begun with the new year!