Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Disappearing Flatware

I am missing silverware.  I have no idea where it has gone, but I am missing almost all of my forks and spoons.  Not my knives, though, which is kind of weird, because if I was going to stash some silverware under my bed (or where ever my kids have put it) I would make sure it's a knife or two so I could fend off intruders.  Not that there are many intruders in my bedroom, but you know what I'm saying.

I went to the store to buy some new stuff, and I couldn't believe how expensive flatware is.  You used to be able to get four forks (or spoons or knives) for about a dollar, but I can't find those anymore.  I did find some oneida flatware discounts online, but if I am going to spend any amount of money on flatware, I need to make sure it doesn't disappear.  Short of not allowing my kids to use any of it, I don't know how to keep track of it all.  Any ideas?

While I was shopping for flatware, it occurred to me that I could use an update on other things in my house as well.  I found some cute dining cushions, but honestly, that look is a little too country for me.  My mom would love them, though.  In fact, I remember cushions on our dining chairs growing up.

I also found this awesome ice bucket with stand and I want it so bad!  As soon as I saw it, I pictured it next to my bed, chilling a bottle of champagne on New Year's Eve.  Sure, I am going to be with my kids New Year's Eve, so I won't be using it that night.  But, the following week, I will have a special friend over, and it's never too late to toast in the new year, right?


Polar Express

Guest post from: Mohamed Simon

I have been loving all the Christmas movies on our direct tv. Most nights after supper my family of four has curled up on the couch to watch a Christmas movie. My all-time favorite is The Polar Express. I don't ever get tired of that movie. The magic that it brings to Christmas is so sweet. Of course I know the real reason we celebrate Christmas and I do have my family focus on that, but when my kids are this young it is fun to also do the whole Santa thing. I mean they are only small once and the excitement on my son's face when we took him to sit on Santa's lap is priceless. My favorite part of The Polar Express is when the little boy gets the bell off Santa's reindeer and finally hears the bell. My son saw some bell earrings hanging in Walmart the other day and was shaking them all. Of course he was holding the bell on the sides so it wasn't making any noise. I watched him shake all of them and he started getting worried. He then looked up at me and totally seriously said, “Mom, I must not believe in Christmas”!.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Host A PartyLite Candle Party And Earn Free Stuff

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

How cute is this little votive holder?  I love the little snowflakes.  It reminds me of Christmas.  It's from PartyLite. 

I went to a PartyLite party once, and all their candles are beautiful.  It was hard for me to decide which one I wanted to buy.  The hostess, who happened to be my sister, got a whole bunch of free stuff for hosting the party.  PartyLite recently put out their Winter/Spring 2012 Catalog on December 16, and I can't wait to check it out. 

They are always offering special deals to their hosts, and you can keep up to date with them by "liking" the PartyLite Facebook page.  In fact, they just ended their PartyLite Simple Pleasures Holiday Sweepstakes where they gave away five $500 PartyLite gift certificates.  I could have bought a whole bunch of Christmas gifts with one of those.  I'm thinking about hosting a party myself one of these days.  Now that I live alone, I can have my friends over for food, fun, and candles whenever I want. Plus, I can really go for some free stuff right now. Money has been really tight, and I haven't bought anything for myself in months. 

Nothing can lift my spirits more than beautiful candles helping my house smell wonderful.

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Losing Weight

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Slim-Fast for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's no secret that I have had a weight problem my entire life.  I have tried every diet known to man, and the only thing that worked for me was stress.  When my husband left, I was so stressed I lost a bunch of weight.  Last check, I was down just about one hundred pounds.  Unfortunately, I still have about fifty or so pounds left to lose. 

I have tried Slim-Fast in the past, but to be honest, it just didn't work for me.  Now, when I say the past, I mean about twenty years ago.  I still can't believe I am old enough to say that!  Back then, Slim-Fast was all about having a shake for breakfast, another for lunch, and a sensible dinner. In theory, it sounded good, but man, did I miss eating!  And the shakes were terrible.  I remember having to mix them myself, because they only came as a powder.  They always tasted gritty, no matter how much I mixed them. 

I recently tried their new shakes, and I was extremely impressed.  Thankfully, you no longer have to mix them for yourself.  They come in single serve bottles that you can take with you anywhere. I bought my shakes at my local grocery store, but they are available nationwide at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway and Kroger.  You can also find them online at and the Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Store on Facebook.  While they still encourage you to have two shakes a day and a sensible dinner, their new plan includes snacks! That's right!  You can also replace the shakes with their meal bars.  It's all part of the new Slim-Fast 3•2•1 Plan.  Three snacks, two shakes (or meal bars) and one meal.  In a normal day I don't eat that much, so this plan seems very doable to me.  And check out how yummy their snack bars look:


The new shakes are delicious.  I tried the Rich Chocolate Royale, and it was not gritty at all.  In fact, I found it to be smooth and creamy.  I am excited to try all the new flavors, which are:

• Creamy Milk Chocolate
• French Vanilla
• Rich Chocolate Royale
• Cappuccino Delight
• Strawberries N’ Cream

I plan on making a lot of changes in the upcoming new year, and the most important change is going to be to my weight.  I want to get healthy, and being at a normal weight is important for that.  I "liked" the Slim-Fast facebook page so that I can keep up with not only what they have to say, but also to encourage, and be encouraged by, those like me who are trying to lose weight. 

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stuff Those Stockings!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sprint for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have someone on your Christmas list who is hard to buy for? 

Are you looking for last minute stocking stuffers for your kids?

Do you just want a really cool new phone for yourself?

If you said yes to any of the above, head on over to Sprint online to take advantage of this awesome deal they have going on now through December 14.  You can get their Android™ powered EVO 4G devices free! That's right.  I said free. 

Not only are the phones free, you can also get the activation waived for new lines and get free shipping. 

This offer is only available for a limited time, and it is only available online. 

I can think of several people who would love a new phone for Christmas, myself included.  My phone is the most basic phone you can have.  It flips open and takes pictures, and while I can get online, I am very limited as to what I can do once I am connected.  I have actually been looking at Androids in the store, and think I really might get one for myself. 

Now is the perfect time, too.  I mean, who can pass up free?

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookies And Coupon Codes

 There are less than two weeks until Christmas, and I haven't baked a single cookie.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that by this time every year, not only are my cookies baked, they are iced and packed up for gift giving.  Do any of you remember last year when I gave a homeless guy we saw on the streets an entire container of cookies meant for a friend of mine?  I have never felt as good as I did that day, and my kids were so touched when the man teared up at our thoughtfulness. 

This year, I have so much going on in my life that I just haven't found the time to catch up on science and technology news, let alone bake cookies.  Having the kids go with their dad every other weekend has limited the time I have with them, and baking cookies by myself just doesn't seem like much fun.  They are with me this coming weekend, so we might find a few hours to spend in the kitchen. 

I am almost looking forward to Christmas being over this year.  I have been so stressed worrying about getting the kids gifts.  I plan on taking a vacation sometime early next year, without my kids.  I have a special friend, and I would love to get away, even if it is just for a weekend trip somewhere.  I have been looking online for Expedia coupons and Travelocity coupons, hoping I can find a good deal on something pretty close to home.  It's almost impossible for me to get time off of work, since I am the only one who can do my job, so a weekend trip is probably all I can do. I live close to the beach and the mountains, so I am sure I will find something perfect.

Until then, though, I will try to make time for baking.  I enjoy baking with my kids, and I refuse to let this Christmas go by without baking Santa some treats.

Applebee's Gift Card Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gift Card Weekend for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I can not remember the last time I was able to take the kids out for a nice dinner.  I simply can not afford it.  So, when I heard about this giveaway on Facebook, where all you have to do to enter is like Gift Card Weekend, I knew I was going to enter.  They are giving away hundreds of gift cards this month, and from December 10 to December 18, they will be giving away $25 gift cards to Applebee's.  I cannot even tell you how much I want to win one of these.  I love Applebee's, but haven't been in ages.  If you are one of my Facebook friends, be forewarned that I am going to encourage you to like Gift Card Weekend on Facebook and mention my name, which ups my chance of winning. 


Gift Card Weekend is a once-a-year event where participating retail partners give featured offers for gift cards purchased during the Holiday season and redeemed from January 6 - January 8, 2012.  You can purchase gift cards to all kinds of retailers to give as gifts, and the recipients can redeem them during Gift Card Weekend, getting more for their money.  Some of the participating retailers are:

-Regal Cinema
-Bass Pro Shops
-Buca di Beppo
-Spa Finder
-Giant Eagle

I know my kids get gift cards to JCPenny's every year, so I am going to take advantage of the deals they offer that weekend for sure.  I am also going to keep my fingers crossed that I am one of the lucky Applebee's gift card winners.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lady Bugs For My Little Lady

My mom makes the cutest cupcakes!  My youngest child had a birthday today...she turned 10!  She loves ladybugs and asked my mom to make her ladybug cupcakes.  These are what my mom came up with, and I think they are adorable!  The kids loved eating them, too.  Not only did they look good, they tasted amazing.  Thanks again mom.  You rock!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


To me, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. No matter what type of get together we have at my mom's house, my sisters and I always end up hanging out with mom in the kitchen.  My mother recently redid her kitchen, and it turned out beautiful.  She went with the county look, using shelves instead of upper cabinets, and it looks amazing.  It is also extremely functional.  She had a huge island installed, and that is usually where we gather.

Before she decided on what color scheme to go with, she looked for kitchen ideas online.  She clipped pictures out of magazines and printed stuff off the internet.  She knew exactly what she wanted.  I love looking at pictures of kitchens, too, especially when they have all the appliances I love with great flow.  If I ever have a home of my own, I want a huge stove with six burners and two ovens.  I want a huge fridge and freezer, and all the gadgets that make cooking and baking easier.

I am also obsessed with pantries.  I saw one kitchen online that had an archway leading into a huge pantry that was so well organized.  I want that someday in my own home.  You can check out tons of pictures at to get ideas for your own dream kitchen.