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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hickies can be a parents best friend...

Not that kind of hickie! Get your mind out of the gutter...
As part of the US Family Guide, I'm reviewing Hickies - No Tie Elastic Shoelaces. I have an 8 and a 6 year old that both have no interest in learning to tie their own shoes. We have attempted many times to go over the easiest ways to do so, without success. So I was quite thrilled to be offered the chance to try out Hickies.
These are no-tie elastic shoelaces. You simply thread them through the holes and fasten. They turn your sneakers or tennis shoes into easy, streamlined, slide on shoes! My kids prefer to slide their shoes on anyhow, even if they are the kind that get tied. This way, I'm not slowed down having to tie them each time we have to go somewhere. They have a great tutorial to walk you through the process in getting started with using them.
I like how sturdy they are. My kids wear out their shoelaces painfully quick. Shoelaces come unraveled and don't want to re-thread as they should.
They also loosen over time when your kids keeping sliding their shoes on or off. These things hold their elasticity.

Some good points in their favor:
  • They work with any shoe that has eyelets.
  • One size fits all.
  • Elastic keeps shoes secure and comfortable.
  • Play will be uninterrupted by pesky retying.
  • Fun look without knots and bows.
  • 3 levels of adjustable tightness.
  • Quick and easy to slide on or off and be on your way.
    They have a current promotion running through US Family Guide. You can get 20% off just in time for stocking stuffers! Use the code, USFG at checkout to save. This code expires on November 30th, however, so you better check them out soon. Use the link below to get started.
Also on their website, if you buy 2+ packs, shipping is only 99 cents. And if you buy 4, you get another for free. Stack up the savings and give them to kids you know as stocking stuffers. Save the parents some grief this coming year.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wedding planning continues!

I had a question posed to me in the comments of my last wedding post. I'd like to take a moment to respond to that question before addressing the next part of our plans.

So the question is:
"I understand wanting a nice wedding. Here's my question...if you know you're going to do it, why wait? I just don't understand people who wait. A wedding is for those getting married and not so much others who attend. Just my thoughts."

My reply is this...
For us, there are a couple things having us wait. For starters, finances. We are doing it when we will have funding for everything. As I'm currently part time, I only have so much money to cover all the bills every month. Not much is left over for anything extra.
Secondly, is our desire to make it our perfect day. Regardless of who is there, we have imagined a day for us that is to our liking. We have put much planning into it. We want a day we will remember for the rest of our lives as one of the best.
And lastly, there are certain people we want to share that day with. So picking the time that gives them the chance to be there is important to us. I want my family from Florida to come in. I'd love my best friends to be there. And he has a brother in the Marines that he would like to serve as his Best Man.
Waiting and planning will give us this accomplishment. We can truly enjoy the act of being joined in matrimony and starting a lifetime together.

Now for the next step we took in planning the wedding...

We had to hire a photographer. Okay, maybe we could've had a family member taking pictures. And truly, we will need someone to video the ceremony as that doesn't come included. But this way, family and friends can enjoy the day without being assigned such tasks. We also had a special photographer in mind for this part of the planning. Lene Griego is the proud owner of Master Photography by LG, LLC. We had very special reasons for wanting her to be our photographer. I've known her for over 8 years now. I've seen her work through Facebook. And also because she has a wonderful green screen. My plans were to utilize her green screen so that every guest has the chance to put themselves in a professional photograph with a background of their own that they get to take home as a favor. My fiancé and I have gotten to try this out at a couple comic cons. That's where we got this beauty done.

Master Photography has a physical location now that we hope to get our newborn pictures shot in. If you are looking for a fun or nerdy Christmas card this year, its not too late! You can call or stop by her location.  210-860-9005 or come by 8521 Blanco Road, inside the Mad Crafter Gift Shop.
Let me know what you think of our idea. Would you do something like this at your wedding?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kikkoman House Party

I love hosting House Parties. You never quite know what to expect. Granted, this time around, my party was a bit farther delayed than we originally planned. My daughter decided to come when we least expected. So I took the turkey, brined in Teriyaki sauce instead of soy, to my future in-laws house for Thanksgiving.

I've never brined a turkey. I've always had the traditional kind. But I'm always up for trying something new. And that's what we did. Granted, with every new trial, comes the first time mistakes. My turkey came out a little dried.
And I suppose that with teriyaki sauce, you need more of it than the soy to truly taste it.
They sent recipes, shirts, coupons for free products, and an oven mitt.
The recipe they sent for the soy brined turkey is here.
As I mentioned, my turkey wasn't as beautiful or juicy. But you have to test it out differently to get it right. My suggestion if you decide to do something other than the recipe, go bigger.
We purchased a 9lb Butterball turkey. I got a 10 ounce bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce, and threw in the spices with water to my largest pot.
Granted I used half that amount of teriyaki sauce. And therein lies my mistake.
We could barely taste it. Scratch that, couldn't taste it at all.
We found that there are way more Kikkoman products than we originally thought.
More than just soy sauces.
I'm actually considering trying another recipe. I'll tweak it a bit. But I'd like to try a teriyaki turkey one day.
As for the party. I enjoyed the time we shared and the thoughts that were put into words about the turkey. Brining was nothing new to them. But soy and teriyaki was. Adding more flavor next time would be advisable to make this a more successful event. And having more options about shirt sizes wouldn't be a bad idea either. We only had large and extra large shirts, sadly. But the coupons I passed around were appreciated. Everyone got the chance to get their own Kikkoman products to try for free. What can be better than that?
My opinions voiced here are my own. I was sponsored in trying and hosting this party. I was not paid or otherwise told what to say.

Gooooing to the chapel and I'm gonna get marrrrieed!

Sorry, can't help myself with that title. Unless you remember the oldies song it went to, you probably think I've lost my mind and started writing like the idiot millennial youth of todays day and age. Yeah... no. I might be losing my mind, but I'm not reverting to stupidity with my English skills. I have dignity. They do not.
Anyhow.... moving on....
Normally, a couple decides to get married and THEN have kids. My fiancé and I went outside the box. We got knocked up and then agreed to get married. Neither of us are doing so because I had a baby though. Believe it or not, talk of such had occurred before we learned that 1+1 sometimes does equal 3. (Get the common core reference?) In addition to going about this step in the relationship backwards, we also took another step out of order. There was no ring involved when the question was posed. Heck, it wasn't even a question. More of a, "You know I plan on marrying you, right?"
I sit here laughing at the memory. Let's face it. I don't reside inside the box. I don't follow the crowds. I won't be a white sheep in the herd. I won't even settle to be the black sheep. More like a purple or a red sheep... The point is, I move to my own drumbeat. My decisions may not be what certain people want them to be. Maybe they aren't as well thought out as they should be. But they are my own. And my fiancé certainly rolls along with it. So the question wasn't, "Will you marry me?" Because I already knew that was the plan. I already knew there wasn't a doubt between us that that was the path we were on. There was no other answer than, yes. Followed by, "When are you planning this, by the way?" Because I promise you, I won't be having a shotgun wedding. I won't get married simply because I'm pregnant and its taboo. I won't do a justice of the peace ceremony thrown together in a couple months. My first wedding was in my parents living room and laughable all the way.
No, if I'm getting married again, it will have class. It will be done right. It will live up to the dreams I had of that happily ever after moment. Don't get me wrong, I'm no princess. I won't expect, or want, that Disney wedding fairy tale set up. I have every intention of nerding it up.
Fast forward to me being 9 1/2 months pregnant. We have now decided to start planning a wedding for next June. By then, I won't be pregnant. We will be moved into a better home/neighborhood. And I should be back to a much smaller size so that I can rock an elf-like or medieval style dress. The theme for our wedding? Star Trek marries Star Wars! He's the Trekkie and I'm all for SW. Granted I didn't fall in love with any of the dresses in the Star Wars movies. So that's why I'll be rocking another style. But close enough. I'm also a huge Lord of the Rings fan. It will work perfectly.
This month, we finally found the perfect venue. Its in an area we can enjoy, affordable (considering all that comes with the price and in comparison to others we looked at), fits our estimated guest list, and will add a great deal of class. Not to mention the staff is all for our theme! Vintage Villas in Austin is where we plan to go for our wedding.
I'm totally looking forward to it. And now that I know where, when and time... I can start putting together the more fun aspects of the wedding.
So from here on out, I'll post an update on the plans and things that are happening for the wedding. I'm sure it will be one to remember!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Patience is a virtue....

I try to be patient with all things. After all, good things come to those who wait, right? Lately though, my patience is stretched to its limits. I admit my plate is full to the edges, but that's just how my life rolls in general.
At work, and in my professional life, I'm loaded with new tasks. Some are for personal growth. Then there are all my daily tasks of keeping 3 kids in line, keeping our home clean, homework assignments... And planning a wedding to boot. Oh yeah... and let's not forget the being pregnant part.
I'm 39 weeks along. Its been a long 9 3/4 months. With many adversities I have had to overcome. I've dealt with comments and dirty looks ranging from, "Wow, you do realize four kids are a lot, right?" My answer? "I'm the oldest of ten. Take your concerns and condemnation elsewhere." Or when the older kids make comments about having a new dad and people realize I'm divorced... Nothing like having people assume you are the white trash type making babies with any guy that comes my way. I've also had pain like never before. From my head to my feet. Swelling, bruising, stretching, pulled muscles, aches, tingling, immobilizing pain...
This little one doesn't seem to be in any rush to come out. I have tried everything I can think of to get the contractions started. According to my midwives, that's all we are waiting for. The Braxton Hicks I have started getting stronger and lasting longer, but they die off as abruptly as they started after an hour or two. It baffles the mind. I know everyone says she will come when she is good and ready. Or they say she is just being a brat and torturing me... which I'm beginning to believe. Yet, she also seems to be running out of room in there. My stomach has stretched to its max. When skin stretches tight, it itches. My abdomen is no different. On a daily basis, my feet swell up to my ankles. Its not a very comfortable feeling. Tight and sore all rolled up in one. I can't lift my legs without upper body strength being involved. I can't even roll over without a great deal of effort and sometimes help. I'm "all baby" as they say, but that's a whopping total of 53 pounds that I've gained in the stomach and thighs. More so than any of the others. Sadly that is partly due to my limited mobility from the pain. I am so anxious for this to be over. To hold her, look in her eyes, and tell her how much I love her. I know that in the end I will laugh at this. That it is all worth the end result. That doesn't mean, however, that I won't sit here wondering when she will finally arrive. Why she hasn't come yet. And pace myself crazy in my delirium of waiting.

I keep telling myself, she will be here when its time. Patience is a virtue - that I am running low on. But the wait will be worth it all. And that clearly, I'm not as ready as I say if she hasn't come yet. I pray that God allows her to come soon. But then I wonder... what could His reason be for keeping her from coming out? After all, everything is done in His perfect timing. So what am I missing here? What have I not done in preparation for her being here? Or even more so... what is coming that makes it better for her to stay inside? So many questions plague my mind. Only time will tell at this point.

Coobie Seamless Bra promotion

Every woman needs a comfortable, but supportive bra in their life. Through my partnership with the US Family Guide, I'm happy to offer my readers the chance at 25% off a Coobie Bra.
They are super comfortable, offer support, and come in such a variety that they can rival name brands at the store. They even have nursing bras.
So check them out and don't forget to let me know what you think!

Perfect for everyday wear our versatile one-size fits 32A - 36D, available in 7+ styles and 70+ colors/patterns, with adjustable straps and removable pads! Try one, you'll love it!
PROMOTION: Save 25% on any order of Coobie Seamless Bras at www.shopcoobie.com Use code:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tale as old time....

Song as old rhyme. Beauty and the beast!
Sorry, happens to be my all time favorite princess story. Belle was the enchanting, nerdy princess. She did fear the ugliness of appearances. She shunned the ignorant, chauvinist jerk. And found that it is what lies within that truly matters. 
I'm still wary of the movie coming out March 17, 2017. Emma Watson is not a particular favorite of mine. And having Ewan McGregor as the voice for Lumiere doesn't sound quite right. In the animated version, Jerry Orbach was the voice and what a voice it was! He made Lumiere the perfect character of charm and charisma. Ewan doesn't have the right accent for this job.
But I suppose we will have to see...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hickies No Tie Elastic Shoelaces promotion

My kids still have issues with tying their own shoes. My oldest is 8 and has no interest in learning, though I do try to show him. Instead he'd rather run wild with his shoelaces flying. Hickies might just be an answer to my prayers...
Turn any pair of shoes into custom-fitted slip-ons with HICKIES lacing system. Perfect gift for any age from kids to adults. https://www.hickies.com/
HICKIES are great for any adult or kid with a wide range of colors. An unexpected, fun and extremely functional product. The travel, parenting and fitness hack that you never knew you needed, until now.

One size fits all!
Amazing stocking stuffer prices at $11.99 (HICKIES Kids), $14.99 (HICKIES Adult) and $17.99 (HICKIES Metallics)

Save 20% on HICKIES lacing system! Use code USFG at checkout to save. Only valid on https://www.hickies.com/

An Artistic review to organize the office desk with!

Shoplet.com has sent me something else of interest to review for your guys. They have some wonderful office supplies, that I love testing out and seeing where or how it will work for me. Organization is key for me, both at home and at work. Especially when it comes to office things. I do side jobs at home from time to time and need my work space to be clear and focused. That's why I love this Artistic Lift-Top Desk Pad.
It has a grip pattern underneath to help keep it in place on my desk. The top lifts up to allow me storage of documents or pictures.
There is a printed protractor and metric ruler in the top corner.
This pad will protect your desk from dust and scratches. It has a washable surface. And a great non-glare surface to reduce reflection.
The lift-top idea is great for reminders. Put an invitation card or to-do list under it and have it in view every time you are at your desk working on projects. Things like this will help keep you on task. More so than loose papers that get tossed into a stack and forgotten until you go searching.
This pad measures 19"x24". Something to keep in mind when you are thinking to pick one up. Shoplet.com is the largest e-tailer of office supplies. You can check out this Artistic lift-top desk pad, here, which runs for $36. Always watch for deals. If memory serves me right, the current promotion is free shipping on orders Shoplet offers such deals often. You can sign up for their newsletter and have them email you with current deals or offers. Look at other Artistic products as well.
Shoplet also provides cleaning supplies, medical supplies, and office furniture. The greatest thing about them? You can shop for all these things from the comfort of your home.
So I'm curious, what is your favorite thing about this product? Would it be useful to you? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Today's toy deal

I'm actually shocked that Target is putting up deals for things that my kids would want. Today's deal is for a Lego set. 
The Heroes of Justice: Sky High Battle is half off. Online it shows as being $46.99. Limited to one per guest. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Kikkoman House Party review coming soon!

I was recently chosen by House Party to sponsor a Kikkoman review, giveaway and party! As such, they sent my party pack today. I received a bunch of shirts, an oven mitt, recipe books, and coupons for Kikkoman products. I'm quite thrilled to test this product out when making Thanksgiving dinner this year. Providing my baby is born early enough to allow me to do so...
I will say that I'm disappointed in the shirt sizes. All I have to offer my guests will be Large and Extra Large.
Aside from being pregnant, that's not even my size.
The recipe books have a variety of entrée and side dishes that I'm dying to try out. I just have to go get a turkey... So who else is hungry?! And who thinks a brined turkey in Kikkoman sauce sounds yummy?

She's almost here...

Last month flew by far too quickly. I feel like the more I accomplish, the longer my to-do list grows. As far as being ready for the birth of my baby girl, we have everything we need to start off with. I'm sure as time passes, we will find things around here that we are going to have to go get. But its all little things. Her clothes are washed and sorted. She has plenty of bath supplies. We have the car seat ready in my fiancé's car (hopefully he will be driving me to the hospital when I go in labor). I've packed our fantastic tactical diaper bag that I got from Think Geek. Sadly, they no longer sell them. I was going to post a link. This thing is awesome! My fiancé can take it and not feel feminized. There are swappable tags for Mom and Dad to use depending on who has the baby out and about.
It has pockets galore to keep everything organized. At the moment, we have some of the normal things a diaper bag is to carry.
We also have a change of clothing for me, a change of clothing for my fiancé, going home outfit for Meagan, baby book, and this wonderful blanket that my sister handmade.
While I keep hearing that she hasn't "dropped" still, I'm hoping and praying she comes soon. I'm now at 37 weeks and completely wiped....

We didn't do Halloween. But we have all done other things to have a fun-filled month. My oldest son turned 8 years old.
Time flies by so quickly!
My fiancé and I decided to start planning our wedding for next summer. I had forgotten how much work goes into one. Dress, songs, cake, venue, photographer... The list goes on. The most important being the venue. Without that, we can't plan anything else. So in the midst of daily life and preparing for a newborn that should arrive any time now... We are truly swamped. This month we have those plans, baby due, Thanksgiving Day... Need I say more?
But I can't tell you how blessed I feel through it all.
How much we are truly loved. And how supportive everyone has been about everything. In the end, that is what really matters.